Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/250

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a chain."[1] From The Puritan[2] we learn that monkeys, parrots, and musk-rats were occasionally used as lady's pets. This was a habit not unrelated to the more masculine habit of love for captive wild animals. There was a famous menagerie at the Tower of London, and in many of the country houses wild animals were kept from time to time as objects of show.

It is only the authority of Erasmus that suggests classing the national custom of kissing among the indoor amusements of the time. In many respects the manners of the Elizabethans were, judged by modern standards, very free and unconventional. Between equals, kissing was a form of salutation as common as hand-shaking is to-day. A French lady thus addressed Cavendish: "'Forasmuch,' quoth she, 'as ye be an Englishman, whose custom it is in your country to kiss all ladies and gentlewomen without offence, and though it be not so in this realm, yet will I be so bold as to kiss you, and so shall all my maidens.'"[3]

"Item, when a foreigner or an inhabitant goes to a citizen's house on business, or is invited as a guest, and having entered therein, he is received by the master of the house, the lady, or the

  1. Same, note, p. 508.
  2. Act IV., Scene ii.
  3. Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, Temple Ed., p. 75.