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beauty of their music, many of them are well known and frequently performed at public concerts, as well as in private societies, for whose use chiefly this book is intended.

Yet nevertheless, amongst much that some people may consider childish nonsense, there will be found stanzas of which a first-rate poet might well be proud ; ideas and allusions which could only have proceeded from the mind of a scholar: there will be found descriptions of natural objects, country sports, dancing, singing, &c. to interest the outward observer; while for the benefit of such as love to analyze the inward feelings of the breast, there are strains in a more serious mood.

Moreover, there are ditties of shepherds and shepherdesses, suited to the cases of all, from the fickle coquette who plays with hearts like nine-pins, down to the lovesick serving-maid, who cries her eyes out over the sweet tale of “ Jemmy and Jenny

Jessamy;" or laments, in propriá personá, the faithlessness of an inconstant swain. I have ventured to intersperse these ditties with observations, some original, but mostly consisting of passages from other works tending to illustrate the different subjects under consideration. To Burton I am indebted (as other compilers have been before me) for many a hint or quaint comparison. Much that is said will, I fear, seem trifling; yet to such as in this utilitarian age, sometimes condescend to open a book for the sake of relaxation from severer studies, I am not without hope that my humble volume may prove an amusing companion.

At all events, I consider myself fully entitled to “honour in my generation,” which, according to Ecclesiasticus, chap. xliv. 5. is the meed due to “such

as found out musical tunes and recited ditties in

writing:" for I do assure thee, gentle reader, this is but a small part of my labours in that way: verily,

, I have (to use the words of the same writer) found “much study a weariness to the flesh;" in recompense whereof,

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“My friend, if that thou dost regard

“ Such songs to reade or heare;
“ Doubt not to buy this prettie book;
“ The price is not so dear.”

A Handful of Pleasant Ditties, 1584.

Having in a former publication given the different meanings assigned to the word Madrigal, I have merely to add, that there is a town in Spain of that name, thirty miles from Valladolid, but cannot say if any thing is thence to be deduced. My own opinion is, that if we must have a derivation, there can be none better than mandra, a fold for cattle ; whence mandriale, the keeper of a fold; which word in old Italian Dictionaries is said to be an obsolete term in regard to music; whence Madriale and Madrigale. In fact it is a pastoral kind of verse corresponding in derivation to the bucolicks of the Latin Poets.

To those, however, who wish to know the meaning of Madrigal, not considered as a mere word, I do not say, (as the late Dr. Abernethy used to advise his patients,) “ Buy my book;" but buy John Wilbye’s Down in a Valley, or Sweet honey-sucking bees; and you will understand what a Madrigal is, much better than from any explanation of mine.

Not being able to ascertain the authors of many of the following ditties, I have arranged them under the titles of the composers of the music, except in the case of Collections, such as The Triumphs of Oriana, Musica Transalpina, &c., which form separate heads.

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CONTENTS.

332

25

83
309
172
143

76
185
302
180
237
110
376
370
385
352

.......

76

3 Weelkes.........
All at once well met........................ 5 Weelkes......
All creatures now .........

5 Bennet
All in to service

3 From Pammelia
All ye that joy

5 Nanini

All ye who music love

4 Donato

All ye whom love ...

4 Dowland

........

153

115

101

271

55

....C

388

159

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