Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/263

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


207
INDOOR AMUSEMENTS

play began. "Before the play begins," says Dekker to the Gallant in his Gull's Hornbook, "fall to cards; you may win or lose, as fencers do in a prize, and beat one another by confederacy, yet share the money when you meet at supper: notwithstanding, to gull the ragamuffins that stand gaping aloof at you, throw the cards, having first torn four or five of them, round about the stage, just upon the third sound, as though you had lost."

Dancing was a favourite amusement for all, and a necessary accomplishment for the well bred. Dancing was extremely popular at court, the queen herself being a good dancer and very fond of the amusement. It is common tradition that Sir Christopher Hatton owed his advancement to his pleasing skill in this accomplishment. Whether the tradition is true or not, all who would appear well at court spent much time in learning to fashion their steps. Like card games, many of the old dances have gone altogether out of fashion. A list of dances taken from the old plays would include many names that were also the names of tunes which were sung by the dancer to accompany his steps. The following are mentioned in Heywood's A Woman Killed With Kindness: Rogero, Beginning of the World, John Come Kiss Me Now, Cushion Dance, Tom Tyler, Hunting of