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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2).

“Smite, I say Gammer,
Bite, I say Gammer,
Where be your nails?  Claw her by the jawes
Pull me out both her eyen.

Hoise her, souse her, bounce her, trounce her,
Pull out her thrott.”

On some one giving Hodge a good slap, the needle runs into him, and is thus happily found.

At the opening of the second act of Gammer Gurton there is a drinking song, which deserves notice as it was the first written in English,—­

“I cannot eat but little meat
My stomack is not good: 
But sure I think that I can drink
With him that wears a hood. 
Though I go bare, take ye no care
I nothing am a colde;
I stuff my skin so full within
Of ioly good ale and olde. 
Backe and side go bare, go bare,
Booth foot and hand go colde;
But belly, God send thee good ale inoughe,
Whether it be new or olde;

  “I love no rost, but a nut browne toste
   And a crab laid in the fire;
   A little bread shall do me stead
   Moche bread I noght desire. 
   No frost, no snow, no wind I trowe
   Can hurt me if I wolde. 
   I am so wrapt and throwly lapt
   Of ioly good ale and olde. 
                    Backe and side, &c.

  “And Tib my wife, that as her life
   Loveth well good ale to seeke,
   Full oft drinkes shee, till ye may see
   The teares run downe her cheeke. 
   Then doth she trowle to me the bowle
   Even as a mault-worm sholde,
   And saith ’sweet heart I tooke my part
   Of this ioly good ale and olde.’ 
                    Backe and side, &c.

  “Now let them drinke, till they nod and winke,
   Even as good fellows should do;
   They shall not misse to have the blisse
   Good ale doth bring men to. 
   And al goode sowles that have scoured bowles,
   Or have them lustely trolde,
   God save the lives of them and their wives
   Whether they be yong or olde. 
                    Backe and side, &c.”

CHAPTER IV.

ROBERT GREENE.

Robert Greene—­Friar Bacon’s Demons—­The “Looking Glasse”—­Nash and
  Harvey.

One of the principal humorists at this time was Robert Greene, born at Norwich about 1560.  He was educated at Cambridge, and was generally styled “Robert Greene, Maister of Artes.”  Early in life he became, as he tells us, “an author of playes and a penner of love pamphlets.”  From the titles of some of them, and from his motto, “Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci,” it is evident that they were intended to be humorous.  Thus, his “Euphues” professes to contain “Mirth to purge Melancholy;” his “Quips for an Vpstart Courtier” is “A Quaint Dispute between Velvet-breeches and Cloth-breeches,” and his “Notable Discovery of Coosnage” has “a delightfull discourse of the coosnage of Colliers;” his “Second and last part

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