Billie, instructed in the ways of the court by his friend Lobbin, appears before Jockie in his new-gotten finery; the country dialect imitated appears to derive from Spenser, who had ridiculed courtly ways in Mother Hubberds Tale. The pastorals of George Wither and Browne of Tavistock might be a more immediate influence. The "Strappado" was published anonymously.
Richard Brathwaite's note: "Ecloge apud Lucianum extat quae hoc titulo plane inscribitur, Mirica nimrium, quam Fungem esse existimo, intempestive orienteus arentemque, &c. Eo nomine Romanes Sabini appellavere, Gallos Romani, Tuscos Itali, in fimo nempe genere, & ignota gente ortos, subitoque provectos, &c" 129.
Frederick Ives Carpenter: "Satire influenced by M.H.T.; evidence is not specific" Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 141. Dorothy E. Mason also sees an allusion to Spenser in "If I had liv'd when that proud fayre Queene, | Boasted to run with swift wingd Zephirus" in "Upon a Poets Palfry" in this volume; Spenser Allusions (1972) 141.
Whou Billie whou, what faire has thou bin at?
Thouse be so trim, I mickle torken at:
For wele I wate, last time I met with thee,
Thou hardly had a lapp to swedle thee.
Pray thee (good Bille,) tell me swith and soone,
Jockie may doe what Billy late has done.
What Jockie (lither lurden) lesse for wea,
Thou'st be so tattert, but theres many sea,
That ill can wappe it: but be vis'd by mee,
And thou or lang sall glish in bravery.
Swatt on thy tayle man, heeres a blythy place,
And ile ensure thee how I gat this grace.
Mickle may Bille thrive, as hees begun,
My lugges are lithing, Bille now jogge on
Then heare me Jocky. Bout mid-belten twas
Or Ise bethought awrang, when I mut passe,
Ore th' Breamy bourne, and (wele I traw) I had,
Smaw gere (at tat tide) but a lether-bagge,
A Motley jacket, an a slop of blew,
It was my Fadders, I mun tell thee true.
A lang youd I, (and langer then thoule say)
And wele, I knew not whether, ne what way,
Fute-sare I was, for Bille shoon had neane,
But an aud pare with him, and they were gane.
Nor hose legs (wele I wate) but skoggers aud,
That hardly hap't poore Billes legs fractu'd.
Hate was my weasia, empty was my maw,
And nane I met with, I could ken or knaw,
So uncath was the gete (as but for shame)
I had com'd backe toth place fra whein I came,
For siler had I skant, nor lesse nor mare,
Then three Bawbees, Ile tell thee all my stare.
But lith me Jocky (after many a mile)
At last I hapt to light upon an Ile,
Bu Come and full a gere, and full a store,
For Bille never met with like before,
Sae Greathy was the place where I was driven
That I me sicker thought I was in Heaven.
But wele Ise sure they that this Iland kept,
Were by our Whilome Fathers Angels clept.
And wele they might be so, for wele I wate,
They were fine men, and men of mickle state.
Had lusty husses (that were tricke and trim,)
Cud wele don on their geere, with every pin.
Heere stood I musing lang full heavily,
Till Jockie wha dost thinke speard up to me.
Wha Bille mot that be?
Ane wha thou kens.
Caud ane, we raught on meanely, but now sene,
He has the pricke and preze Ile say to thee.
Was it not Lobbie?
Jocky it was he.
But now the mickle Lurden is so great,
Theyr blest by God, that may with Lobbie speake.
By Gods bread Jockie, he so gaish was,
I thought no boot to speake, but let him passe,
And had done so, but Lobby was so kinde,
To come to me and leave his men behind.
Great chat we had, and many that were nye,
Musd he would chat with sike an ene as I.
But blith was Lobbie, and so meeke he was,
That he unhorst sate by me on the grasse,
Lang did we tauke of this thing and of that,
A Jugge, a Peggy, and a nut-brown Kate,
A Crowd the Piper, and the Fiddler Twang,
And many sike things, as wee layen alang.
Ablangst the leave, this Councell gave he mee,
That made me wele to leve, so may it thee.
Billie (quoth Lobby) if thoule prosper heere,
Thou mun be bald, and learne to bandon feare,
Thou mun not blush, nor colour change for ought,
Though th' plea thou hast in hand be nere so nought.
Thou mun not take petition (lithen me)
Nor entertaine him, till thou take thy fee,
And (wele I warne thee) better way thou thrive,
If thy hand open be to aw that give.
Get mee some prollers, they are best of all,
To make thee weet, when some good office falls,
Or a barre-hoisted Lawyer that can see,
With his foure eyne where aud concealments be,
But of aw things I mun fore-warne thee hence,
To have small dealing with a Conscience.
That will undoe thee (Billy) looke to ane,
Poore men have Conscience, but rich men have nane.
'Mongst other things listen to what I say,
For I in briefe will speake now what I may.
In Teucria here (this Citie where there be)
Many a man will have an eye of thee,
Gaine me Acquaintance: it's the spring of life,
And know thou maist a Tradesman by his Wife.
Be sicker on her Billye, she it is
Can ope her hushands Casket with a kisse.
Dive me into a Mercers Booke, and say,
Thoul't pay on sike a time, but doe not pay.
Chauke me on Vintners, and for aw thy skore,
Let great words pay for aw, still run on more.
Be stately Billy (and I doe thee rede)
Thou mun now throw away thy countrey weed.
For skoggers, hozen of the Naples twine,
For thy blew slop, sike a made breeke as mine:
For thy aud motley jacket, thou mun weare,
A cloath a silver, sike as I have heere.
Then mun thou looke big (what way ere thou passe)
As if that Billy were not th' man he was.
Then learne me Billy some aud Pedegree,
Noe matter though't belong not unto thee,
And say thy Grand-sire was a Duke at least,
And first inventor of Saint Gallowayes feast.
Maintaine me leeing in a Livery,
For that's the first meanes that mun honour thee:
Let her be Page-like, at thy elbow still,
For when thou canst not doe it, leeing will,
Let Suters dance Attendance, lithen me,
And quicke dispatch, be it thine enemye.
Take fees for expedition, for of aw,
Sutes hastly ended wreake our overthrow.
Get me an Heralt (wele I wat) oth best,
That may for Bille find some pretty Crest,
A Rat, a Pismire, or a Butterflie,
A Cornish Chucke, a Parrat, or a Pie,
A nimble Squirrell or a picke-a tree,
A Wesell, Urchin, or a Bumble Bee.
Or if of plants, my Bille will have ane,
He may full swithly mange these chuse him ane.
The Brier, the haw-thorne: or the Privet bush,
The Osire, Cypresse, or where th' merry Thrash,
Sings cut her Fa, la, la, but nane there be,
"That like the Mushrome Bille sitteth thee,
Her grouth is sudden, Bille so is thine,
Then take the Mushrome, its a Crest of mine.
Mare need I not say, keepe but wele my reede,
And siker Ise, thou cannot chuse but speede.
With that he twin'd frame, and left me there,
Where I with mickle Carke, and mickle Care,
Bustling now up now downe, at last me yode,
To ply my lesson wele I understood,
And in a pretty while I learnd to bee,
That cunning Clerke that he awarded me.
Deftly could I tricke up me sell, and trim,
Me featly fine, in every legge and limme,
Wele cud I marke my name in Marchants books,
Fo wele I wate, wha ere he be, that lookes,
I'se there in black and white, and wele I may,
For he is said to aw that menes to pay.
Not a petion would I listen ore,
Till Billie had sam chinke in's fist before.
Not a rich mickle lossell could there be,
That had a plea but had his path by me.
And sine I sau as Lobbie teld belive,
That he that had a conscience could not thrive.
I drave the Haggard fra me, sine whilke time,
Jockie thou sees how Billie gins to shine.
And lang may Billie shine, but sayne to me
Fare aw our Coustrils haufe as wele as thee,
Jockie they doe, nor neede thou t' arken out,
For we will feede, wha ever famish for't:
O its a place so full of lovisance,
Play but thy round the Ilanders will daunce.
Ladies and Lordings, Swainelines with their Swaines,
Will trimly trip it ore the levie plaines.
And wele I wat that Jockie ance could play,
For I have heard him,—
And so Billie may.
Then tune thy chanter up and gae with me,
Come blithly on,—
Jockie does follow thee.