Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/143

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quoted by the contemporary Stow as illustrative of his own time.

"But London, for the shows upon theatres, and comical pastimes, hath holy plays, representations of miracles, which holy confessors have wrought, or representations of torments wherein the constancy of martyrs appeared. Every year also at Shrove-Tuesday, that we may begin with children's sports, seeing we have all been children, the schoolboys do bring the cocks of the game to their master, and all the forenoon they delight themselves in cock-fighting: after dinner all the youths go into the fields to play at the ball.

"The scholars of every school have their ball, or baston in their hands ; the ancient and wealthy men of the city come forth on horseback to see the sport of the young men, and to take part of their pleasure in beholding their agility. Every Friday in Lent a fresh company of young men comes into the field on horseback, and the best horseman conducteth the rest. Then march forth the citizens' sons and other young men, with disarmed lances and shields, and there they practice feats of war. Many courtiers likewise, when the King lieth near, and attendants of noblemen, do repair to these exercises; and while the hope of victory doth inflame their minds, do show good