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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Woodcock. Medieval manuscript illumination



A woodcock and a daw1 sat upon a plain,
Both showed comparison each other to disdain.
"Back!" (quoth the woodcock). "Straw for thee!" (quoth the daw);
"Shall woodcocks keep daws now in dreadful awe?"
"None awe," (quoth the woodcock), "but in behaviour;
Ye ought to reverence woodcocks, by your favour!"
"For what cause?" (quoth the daw), "For your long bills?"
"Nay," (quoth the woodcock), "but lords will, by their wills,
Rather have one woodcock than a thousand daws;
Woodcocks are meat, daws are carron2—weigh this clause."
"Indeed, sir," (said the daw), "I must needs agree;
Lords love to eat you, and not to eat me—
Cause of daws' courtesies!—so, if woodcocks thus gather,
Ye shall have courtesy; for this, I would rather
Be a daw, and to woodcock courtesy make,
Than be a woodcock, and of daws courtesy take.
I were3 double a daw, had I not liever4
Birders should, (in their birding endeavour),
Take up gins5 and let me go when they geat6 me,
Than set gins to get me, for lords to eat me."

[AJ Notes:]
1. The jackdaw, a relative of crows and ravens.
2. Carrion.
3. Would be.
4. Rather.
5. Traps.
6. Get; catch.

Farmer, John S., ed. The Proverbs, Epigrams, and Miscellanies of John Heywood.
London: Early English Drama Society, 1906. 150-151.

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Elizabethan Theatre
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Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR

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