Close ×

Search EBBA

EBBA 33248

National Library of Scotland - Crawford
Ballad XSLT Template
A CHOICE
PENNYWORTH of WIT.

HEre is a Pennyworth of Wit,
For those that ever went astray,
If Warning they will take by it.
It will do them Good another Day.

It is a Touchstone of true Love
Betwixt a Harlot and a Wife,
The former doth destructive prove,
The latter yields the Joy of Life.

As in this Sheet you may behold,
Put forth by one William Lane.
A wealthy Merchant brave and bold,
Who long a Harlot did maintain

Altho' a virtuous Wife he had,
Likewise a handsome Daughter dear,
Which might make his Heart right glad.
Yet them he seldom did come near.

The Traffick which he traded for,
On the tempestuous Ocean wide,
His Harlot had it brought to her,
But nothing to his loving Bride.

So the best Silks as could be bought,
Nay Rubies, Jewels, Diamonds, Rings,
He to his wanton Harlot brought,
With many other costly Things.

She still receiv'd him with a Smile,
When he came from the roaring Seas.
And said with Words as smooth as Oil.
My Jewel come and take thy Ease.

Unto the Bed and Linnen fine,
You are right welcome, Love, said she,
Both I and all that here is mine
Must yet at thy Devotion be.

Bringing two hundred Pounds in Gold,
And after that three hundred more,
Rich Chains and Jewels manifold.
Bidding her lay them up in store.

Yes, that I will thou needst not fear,
Embracing him with a kind Kiss,
So took the Wealth, crying my Dear,
I'll take a special Care of this.

So they did banquet many a Day,
Feasting upon delicious Fare:
For with her false deluding Tongue
She drew him in a fatal Snare.

When he had liv'd some time on Shore.
He must go to the Seas again.
With Musick to increase his Store,
His wanton Harlot to maintain.

To whom he said, my Joy my Dear,
What Venture will you with me send.
A good Return you need not fear,
I'll be both Factor, and a Friend.

In Goods my Dear now will I send
Fifty Pounds with thee on board,
I know that unto me my Dear
A treble Gain you will afford.

Next Day unto his Wife he goes,
And ask'd her in a scornful wise,
What Venture she did then propose
To send by him for Merchandize.

I'll send a Penny, Love, by thee,
Be sure you take good Care of it:
When you're in distant Parts, said she,
Pray buy a Pennyworth of Wit.

She put the Penny in his Hand,
Crying, pray don't forget;
When you are in another Land,
To buy a Pennyworth of Wit.

Putting the Penny up secure,
Cries he, I'll take great Care
To lay it out you may be sure,
So to his Miss he did repair,

And told her what he had to buy,
When she laugh'd her to Scorn.
On Board he went immediately,
Unto the Sea that very Morn.

THIS being done, with merry Heart
The Merchant and his jovial Crew,
From Port to Port in foreign Parts,
Did trade as they were wont to do.

Now at length having bestow'd
The Cargo that was ourward bound,
He did the trading Vessel load,
With rsch Treasure that he found.

As he his Merchandize then sent,
It turn'd to Gems and Golden Ore,
Which crown'd his labour with Delight,
He never was so rich before.

The wanton Harlot's Adventure,
Did turn to vast Account likewise,
For every Pound she would have ten,
Such was the lucky Merchandize.

For Joy of which the Merchant said,
One jovial Bout my Boys must have
One splendid Supper I'll provide
Of all the Dainties we can have.

Before we set to Sea again,
Which said they to a Tavern went,
Where they did drink and feast amain,
Until Crowns and Pounds were spent.

The Merchant by Laughter mov'd,
Said, he for Wit had never sought,
My Harlot's Venture is improv'd,
But of my Wife's I never thought.

One single Penny and no more,
She as a Venture sent by me.
Alas! to lay it out therefore
In what I think a Rarity.

She bid me use my utmost Skill,
To buy a Pennyworth of Wit,
But I have kept the Penny still,
And never once did think of it.

Where shall I go to lay it out?
True Wit is hard and scarce to find,
But come my Lads let's drink about,
My Wife's Venture I'll not mind.

There is a Proverb often us'd,
Wit's never good till bought full dear,
Wherefore I well may be excus'd,
There's little for a Penny here.

An aged Father sitting by
Whose venerable Looks were gray,
Strait made the Merchant this Reply.
Hear me a Word or two I pray,

The Harlot in Prosperity,
She will embrace thee for thy Gold,
But when in want and Poverty,
You shall nought but Frowns behold.

And ready to betray thy Life,
When naked, poor, mean and low,
But thy true hearted loving Wife
Will stand by thee in Weal and Woe.

If thou would prove the Truth of this,
Strip off [t]hy gaudy rich Array,
And so go back to thy lewd Miss,
Declare that thou wast cast away.

Your Riches buried in the Main,
Besides as you past through a Wood.
One of your Servants you had slain,
For which your Life in Danger stood.

Beseech her for to shelter thee,
Declare on her you do depend.
And then alas! too soon you'll see
How far she'll prove your honest Friend.

Then if she frowns, go to your Wife,
Shew her your melancholy Theme.
Who strives the most to save thy Life,
Let her be most in thy Esteem.

Father, the Merchant then reply'd,
You must this single Penny take,
And when I've pass'd the Ocean wide,
A Proof of this I mean to make.

So loving Friend, for ought I know,
I may this single Penny prize,
It may be the best I do bestow
In my fine wealthy Merchandsze.

So taking Leave, away they went,
Both he and his fine Hearts of Gold,
Unto them he said, I must pruve the same.
When I my native Land behold.

WIth full-spread Sails to Sea they went,
Neptune, the Golden Cargo bore,
Thro' roaring Waves to their Content,
At last they reach'd the British Shore.

The Merchant put on poor Array,
The very worst of ragged Cloaths.
And then without the least Delay,
Unto his wanton Harlot goes.

When she beheld him in Distress,
She said what is the Matter now?
Said he, I'm poor and Pennyless,
And then he made a courteous Bow.

Saying, no Man was e'er so crost,
As I have been, my Soul's Delight,
My Ship and all the Cargo's lost,
And now I'm ruin'd quite.

My Loss is great, yet that's not all.
One of my Servants I have slain:
As we did both at Variance fall,
Some Shelter let me here obtain.

I dare not go unto my Wife
Whom I have wrong'd so many Years,
Into your Hands I've put my Life,
Take pity on my moving Tears.

You bloody Villain she reply'd,
Don't the least on me depend,
Be gone, or as I live she said,
I for an Officer will send.

I'll give you neither Meat nor Drink,
Nor any shelter shall you have,
Of nasty filthy Rags you stink,
Be gone, you base and cruel Knave.

Don't think I can your Counsel keep,
Or shelter any such as you:
He turn'd about and seem'd to weep,
And bid the wanton Whore adieu.

Then to his loving Wife he came,
Both poor and naked in Distress,
He told to her the very same,
Yet she reliev'd him ne[']ertheless.

My Dear, said she, since it is so,
Take Comfort in thy loving Wife.

All that I have shall freely go,
To gain a Pardon for thy Life.

I'll lodge thee in a Place secure,
Where I will daily nourish thee,
Believe me Love thou may'st be sure,
To find a constant Friend in me.

When he this parfect Proof had made,
Which of them two did Love him best,
Unto his virtuous Wife he said,
My Jewel set thy Heart at Rest.

Behold no Servant have I slain,
Nor have I suffer'd any Loss,
Enough I have us to maintain,
The Ocean Seas no more I'll cross.

My laden Ship lies near the Shore,
With Gold and Jewels richly fraught,
So much I never had before,
Thy Pennyworth of Wit I've bought.

Once more unto his Harlot goes,
With fourteen Sailors brave and bold,
Cloathed in new and costly Robes,
Of Silk and rich embroider'd Gold.

The Miss when she his Pomp beheld,
Did offer him a kind Embrace
But he with Wrath and Anger fill'd,
Did strait upbraid her in her Face.

But she with Smiles these Words exprest,
I have a constant Love for thee:
And what I said, was but in Jest,
Why did you run so fast from me?

Time to go, as I am told,
You have another Love in Store,
Whom you have furnish'd with my Gold,
And Jewels which I brought on Shore.

false, she said, I have them all,
With that the Merchant then reply'd,
Bring them to me, aad then I shall
Be soon convinc'd and satisfy'd.

Then up she run and brought them down,
His Jewels and Diamonds bright,
He seiz'd them all, and with a Frown,
He bid the wanton Jilt Good-Night.

When he had took the Golden Prize,
And swept up every precious Stone,
She said, what will you rob me thus?
Yes that I will, of what's my own.

You wanted to betray my Life,
But thanks to God there's no such Fear,
These Jewels shall adorn my Wife.
Henceforth your House I'll not come near.

Home he returned to his Wife,
And told her all that he had done.
E'er since they lead a happy Life,
He does no more to Harlots run.

Thus he the wanton Harlot bit,
That long had his Destruction sought,
This is a Pennyworth of Wit.
The best that ever Merchant bought.


Printed and Sold in Bow-Church-Yard, London.

View Raw XML