The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51834   Message #2458734
Posted By: nutty
06-Oct-08 - 05:31 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Who Wrote Dalesman's Litany? (Moorman)
Subject: RE: Origins: Who Wrote Dalesman's Litany?
Or anyone wanting an original version of Taylors works on begging can find it on abe books ..................

Praise, antiquity, and commodity, of beggery, beggers, and begging
Taylor, John, the Water Poet

Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
        Price: £ 15000.00

Book Description: London 1621., 1621. The praise, antiquity, and commodity, of beggery, beggers, and begging. London: printed by E. A[llde] for Henry Gosson; and are to be sold by Edward Wright, 1621. 28 pp. (unpaginated). Sm. 4to, half calf antique and marbled boards, red morocco label. First edition. A quintessential effort by one of London's most prolific and popular versifiers during the first half of the 17th century. John Taylor worked for some years as a Thames waterman, but in the end he abandoned his trade because the profession was overcrowded, and rising competition from hackney coaches, as well as the removal of the theaters from the Surrey side of the river, had rendered business poor. "Taylor therefore sought to increase his earnings by turning to account his knack for easy rhyming." -- DNB. In his new role he attracted much attention, and a certain degree of patronage from such notables as Ben Jonson, Nicholas Breton, and Thomas Dekker. He had particular success with the glorification of his own poverty, which he sought to display in ingenious ways, most notably, in 1618, by undertaking to travel on foot from London to Edinburgh without taking a single penny from his pocket. It is this form of itinerant beggary which the present poem celebrates. Taylor revels in the beggar's freedom from the troubles of the rich, and catalogues in doggerel the beggar's virtues, including humility, patience, fortitude, temperance, and honor. Towards the end he interrupts his rhymes with a traditional prose "character," in which a beggar is portrayed asking alms from, in turn, a nobleman, a lawyer, and a country farmer; each appeal is supplemented by an amusing prayer of thanks. Taylor also discourses upon the natural relationship between poverty and poetry: "Apollo, with advice did wisely grant,/ That poets should be poore, and live in want." In describing the benefits of beggary he cites two Elizabethan predecessors: "He (in his owne conceit) may have this blisse, / And sing, My minde to me a kindome is. / But 'tis a kingdome wanting forme or matter, / Or substance, like the moonshine in the water. / For as a learned poet wrote before, / Grosse gold runnes headlong from them, to the bore." The first quote, by Sir Edward Dyer, was by this time essentially proverbial. The second is identified in a side-note as by "Chris Marlo;" the line does in fact come from Marlowe's Hero and Leander, first published in 1598, and reprinted in 1600, 1606, 1613, and 1617. Of additional interest is the three-page sarcastic dedication "to the bright eye-dazeling mirrour of mirth, adelantado of alacrity, the pump of pastime, spout of sport, and regent of ridiculous confabulations, Archibald Armstrong, alias the court Archy." Armstrong was the court jester to both James I and Charles I; for the collected edition of Taylor's works published in 1630 it was thought prudent that this dedication be suppressed. With a fine large woodcut on the title-page, showing a "beggers bush," "a maundering begger," and "a gallant begger." Trimmed a bit close at the top, just touching the first two words of the title, and many of the headlines; one side-note slightly shaved, affecting a handful of letters which are wholly obvious. Some browning, otherwise a very good copy of a rare and appealing title; only five other copies are known (L, O; CSmH, MH, NN), and none has appeared on the market for more than fifty years.