Basket-weaving Babulo

Babulo, whose name has an echo of babbling, is the clown servant of Grissell’s father.  The marquis isn’t upset by his lack of grovelling genuflection, and invites him to live at court, but Babulo is (again) unimpressed, and roundly expresses his career choice preference:

Marquis.  … Ile have thee live at court.

Babulo.  I haue a better trade sir, basketmaking.  (Act I, ll..310-11)

I loved that unabashed put down when offered a place at court; in so many words, ‘Bog off, I’d rather be basket-weaving.’

Source: Thomas Dekker (c. 1572-1632) and others, Patient Grissell (1600), in The Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker, ed. by Fredson Bowers, 4 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953), vol. 1, pp. 207-98.

Image credit: title page of the 1603 quarto edition; Brad Filippone’s Thomas Dekker page, which includes an excellent introduction, followed by the full text. 


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