Ballads and Performance: The Multimodal Stage in Early Modern England

"'Hear for your love, and buy for your money': Ballads and Theater as Experiential Commodities"

Watt describes the use of clothing images (points and garters) to be a way to “present aphoristic wisdom” by “structur[ing] it around a metaphorical gimmick or pun” (Cheap Print and Popular Piety, 102). While it’s not clear that “Goose-Green Starch” existed in ballad form, the story comes from Stubbes’s Anatomy of Abuses. See Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, ed. Horseman, note for 2.4.13. In Costume in England, v.3 (London: Chapman and Hall, 1860), Fairholt connects this line to a ballad referenced in Thomas Nashe’s Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Devil (588). That ballad is recorded in the Stationers’ Register in 1590; The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works, 78n145.

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