Percy's Reliques - The Old and Young Courtier.

The Old and Young Courtier.

            This excellent old song, the subject of which is a comparison between the manners of the old gentry, as still subsisting in the times of Elizabeth, and the modem refinements affected by their sons in the reigns of her successors, is given, with corrections, from an ancient black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, compared with another printed among some miscellaneous "poems and songs" in a book intitled, Le Prince d'Amour, 1660, 8vo.

AN old song made by an aged old pate,
Of an old worshipful gentleman, who had a greate estate,
That kept a brave old house at a bountiful rate,
And an old porter to relieve the poor at his gate;
Like an old courtier of the queen's,
And the queen's old courtier.

With an old lady, whose anger one word asswages;
They every quarter paid their old servants their wages,
And never knew what belong'd to coachmen, footmen, nor pages,
But kept twenty old fellows with blue coats and badges;
Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old study fill'd full of learned old books,
With an old reverend chaplain, you might know him by his looks.
With an old buttery hatch worn quite off the hooks,
And an old kitchen, that maintain'd half a dozen old cooks:
Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old hall, hung about with pikes, guns, and bows,
With old swords, and bucklers, that had borne many shrewde blows,
And an old frize coat, to cover his worship's trunk hose,
And a cup of old sherry, to comfort his copper nose;
Like an old courtier, &c.

With a good old fashion, when Christmasse was come,
To call in all his old neighbours with bagpipe and drum,
With good chear enough to furnish every old room,
And old liquor able to make a cat speak, and man dumb,
Like an old courtier, &c.

With an old falconer, huntsman, and a kennel of hounds,
That never hawked, nor hunted, but in his own grounds;
Who, like a wise man, kept himself within his own bounds,
And when he dyed gave every child a thousand good pounds;
Like an old courtier, &c.

But to his eldest son his house and land he assign'd,
Charging him in his will to keep the old bountifulI mind,
To be good to his old tenants, and to his neighbours be kind
But in the ensuing ditty you shall hear how he was inclin'd;
Like a young courtier of the king's,
And the king's young courtier.

Like a flourishing young gallant, newly come to his land,
Who keeps a brace of painted madams at his command,
And takes up a thousand pound upon his father's land,
And gets drunk in a tavern, till he can neither go nor stand;
Like a young courtier, &c.

With a new-fangled lady, that is dainty, nice, and spare,
Who never knew what belong'd to good house-keeping, or care,
Who buyes gaudy-color'd fans to play with wanton air,
And seven or eight different dressings of other womens hair;
Like a young courtier, &c.

With a new-fashion'd hall, built where the old one stood,
Hung round with new pictures, that do the poor no good,
With a fine marble chimney, wherein burns neither coal nor wood,
And a new smooth shovelboard, whereon no victuals ne'er stood;
Like a young courtier, &c.

With a new study, stuft full of pamphlets and plays,
And a new chaplain, that swears faster than he prays,
With a new buttery hatch, that opens once in four or five days,
And a new French cook, to devise fine kickshaws, and toys;
Like a young courtier, &c.

With a new fashion, when Christmas is drawing on,
On a new journey to London straight we all must begone,
And leave none to keep house, but our new porter John,
Who relieves the poor with a thump on the back with a stone;
Like a young courtier, &c.

With a new gentleman-usher, whose carriage is compleat,
With a new coachman, footmen, and pages to carry up the meat,
With a waiting-gentlewoman, whose dressing is very neat,
Who, when her lady has din'd, lets the servants not eat;
Like a young courtier, &c.

With new titles of honour bought with his father's old gold,
For which sundry of his ancestors' old manors are sold;
And this is the course most of our new gallants hold,
Which makes that good house-keeping is now grown so cold,
Among the young courtiers of the king,
Or the king's young courtiers.



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