Spanish Schoolmaster

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William Stepney, The Spanish Schoole-master (London, 1591) contains two examples of discussions of news: in the fourth dialogue, ‘to speake at the table, at feastes, and at banquets’, and in the fifth, ‘familiar communications to use in the inne’. The latter assumes that travellers arriving at an inn, after instructing the ostler on the needs of their horses and before asking for their bed to be made up, will talk to other travellers. The assumption is plainly that "no news is good news".

From where come you now?
I come from beyond the sea, out of Spaine.
What newes in Spaine?
Truely nothing good.
How so?
There is like to grow great wars betweene England and Spaine,
for the one people is so chafed against the other,
that I am afraid to speake of it.
God preserve us from wars, for it is an evill plague,
but we must have patience, we shall have peace
when it pleaseth God.
What newes do men report in this towne?
and what do men say?
All goeth well, I know no newes.

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