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tion to many authorities, from Ritson to Naylor. In his "Musa Madrigalesca" (p. 242), he cites the following preface to the second book of catches, published in 1609. As it is another example of the wretched punning which was held to be such a delightful accomplishment in Shakespeare's day, and of the forcible introduction of unnecessary Latin (also found in many plays of the time), we reproduce the entire preface, together with Oliphant's comments upon it.
"Or the second part of Music's Melodie, or melodious music of pleasant roundelays; K. H. mirth, or Freemen's songs, and such delightful catches. Qui canere potest canat. Catch that catch can. Ut mel os, sic cor melos afficit et reficit. London: printed for Thomas Adams, dwelling in Paul's Church-yard, at the sign of the White Lion, 1609.
"Mirth and music to the cunning catcher,
"Secundæ cogitationes are ever, they say, meliores, and why may not then secundæ cantiones as well be dulciores? I presume they are so; and that makes me resume this vein, with hope that I shall not consume in vain my labour therein. For, first, the kind acceptation of the former impression, is as a new invitation to this latter edition; though not of the same things, yet of things of the same condition: full of the same delectation, made to please as the other were; made truly musical with art by my correction, and yet plain and capable with ease by my direction.
"Neither can he that is the most able musician say, but
that of these most men, almost all men are capable, that are not altogether unmusical; neither can he that is most spiteful say, but they are very delightful, aye, and someway gainful too (yet more painful to me, I am sure, than gainful); but tho' there be but little to be gotten by them, yet pity were it such mirth should be forgotten of us; and therefore, to make an end, I say no more, but
Si quid novisti dulcius istis,
Candidus imperti; si non, his utere mecum ;'
either commend me or come mend me, and so I end me, as resolute as thou art dissolute."
Oliphant's comments on the above are:
"From the foregoing preface it is, I think, quite clear that Deuteromelia is a second publication by the editor of Pammelia. The terms K. H. mirth and Freemen's songs have given rise to considerable discussion. It is supposed that the former stands for King Henry's mirth; that is, songs or catches of a merry nature, which were favourites with that jovial prince. I think it likely to be so, but am not aware of anything either for or against the matter, except conjecture.
"How the meaning of Freemen's songs could ever appear doubtful, I know not, nor can I imagine how Warren could be guilty of such a stupid mistake as to suppose that Freeman was the name of a composer; for in his collection is inserted Of all the birds that I ever see, (which is one of the three part Freemen's songs in Deuteromelia), with the name prefixed of Nicholas Freeman, 1667! nearly sixty years after the original publication. Ritson has some absurd notion of Freemen being a mistake for Three-men, because Shakspeare speaks of Three-men-song men, that is, men who could sing songs of three parts: but if he ever saw the book of which I am now writing, he must there have found also Freemen's songs to
four voices, which sets that matter at rest. Drayton, in his 'Legend of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex,' puts the following verses in that nobleman's mouth:
"Of Freemen's Catches to the Pope I sing,
Which wan much license to my countrymen;
"He went to Italy in the year 1510."
Nevertheless, the weight of evidence seems to be in favour of the derivation from "Three men," and the overwhelming majority of catches and "Freemen's Songs" are in three parts, as we shall see in the succeeding chapter.
Bacchanalian Music, continued
A Scottish Melody Used by Table-music in Elizabethan Days Refrains of Catches and Ballads Hunt's-ups Serenades-Morning
"Iago. Some wine, ho!
We have already seen that the chief bacchanalian music of Shakespeare is to be found in "Twelfth Night," while the leading tavern-scenes are to be discovered in the two parts of "King Henry IV." Nevertheless, to our collection of musical vagabonds must be added a rascal of much deeper dye, a man who seems a living proof that the music-maker, as well as the music-hater, "is fit for treason, stratagem, and spoils," Iago. The scene ("Othello," Act ii. Sc. 3) where the crafty Iago, by simulated good-fellowship, leads Cassio to his intoxication and ruin
'And let me the canakin clink, clink;
And let me the canakin clink:
A Soldier's a man;
A life's but a span;
Why then, let a soldier drink.'
Some wine, boys!
Cassio. 'Fore Heaven, an excellent song.
[Wine brought in.
Iago. I learned it in England, where (indeed) they are most potent in potting; your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander, — Drink, ho!— are nothing to your English.
Cassio. Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking? Iago. Why, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane dead
Iago. O sweet England!
King Stephen was a worthy peer,
He was a wight of high renown,
And thou art but of low degree:
Some wine, ho!
Cassio. Why, this is a more exquisite song than the other. Iago. Will you hear it again ?
Cassio. No; for I hold him to be unworthy of his place, that does those things."
Of the first song the original music is not traceable,' but the second snatch of rollicking music can be traced home; it was sung to an old Scottish melody.
A somewhat similar catch, however, by Doctor Byrd, is given in the collection called "Pammelia " (1609), running: