This passage occurs in ‘Cornu-copiae or Pasquils Night Cap’ (STC 3639), 0 2r, published in 1612 and attributed to the poet Nicholas Breton (1545? -1626?). This work is a comic poem, the chief theme of which is cuckoldry. There is a later brief allusion to Skelton on Q 3r.
But as for Skelton with his Lawrel Crowne,
Whose ruffling rimes are emptie quite of marrow:
Or fond Catullus, which set grossely downe
The commendation of a sillie Sparrow:
Because their lines are void of estimation,
I passe them ouer without confutation.
Much would the Cuckoe thinke herselfe impared,
If shee with Philip Sparrow were compared
From Humphrey King’s ‘An Halfe-penny-worthe of Wit, in a Penny-worth of Paper. Or, the Hermit’s Tale’, published in 1613, p. 21 (STC 14973). The work is a homiletic dialogue in verse, part of which (pp. 16-21) is written in what is characterized as ‘Skeltons rime’. The comparison between Skelton and Robin Hood was a frequent one in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, cf., for example, Nos 3, 16.
But what meane I to runne so farre?
My foolish words may breed a skarre,
Let vs talke of Robin Hoode,
And little Iohn in merry Shirewood,
Of Poet Skelton with his pen,
And many other merry men,
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Publication information: Book title: John Skelton: The Critical Heritage. Contributors: Anthony S. G.Edwards - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 68.
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