Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/209

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159
CELEBRATION OF THE CALENDAR

proverbial expression "The hobby-horse is forgot" was equivalent to our Hamlet with Hamlet left out."

The music of the morris-dance was furnished either by the simple pipe, the pipe and tabor, or the bagpipe. That the latter instrument was rather preferred is implied in the words announcing the arrival of Autolycus. "If you did but hear the pedlar at the door, you would never dance again after a tabor and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you." One of Thomas Weilkes' Madrigals, printed in 1600, has the following:—

"Harke, harke, I hear the dancing
And a nimble morris prancing;
The bagpipe and the morris bells,
That they are not farre hence us tells;
Come let us all go thither,
And dance like friends together."

The garments of the morris-dancers were adorned with bells which were meant to be wrung while dancing. They were fastened to the wrists, the elbows, and the ankles. They were of different sizes and tones and bore such names as the forebell, the second bell, the treble, the tenor or great bell, and double bells. The principal dancer was always superbly dressed. "He wants no clothes, for he hath a cloak laid on with gold lace, and an