Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/281

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223
INDOOR AMUSEMENTS

In setts which there were seene, the musick wondrous choice.
To shew that England could variety afforde,
The Cithron, the Pandore, and the Therbo strike;
The Cittern and the Kit the wandering fiddlers like.
So there were some againe, in this their learned strife,
Loud instruments that loved, the Cornet and the Phife,
The Hoboy, Sagbut deepe, Recorder and the Flute,
Even from the shrillest Shawm unto the Cornemute,
Some blow the Bagpipe up, that plaies the country 'round.
The Tabor and the Pipe some take delight to sound."

The word "setts" in the above quotation refers to the fact that the instruments composing a consort were usually sold in sets: thus a chest or set of viols would consist of two trebles, two tenors, and two basses.

The lute was the popular instrument in use to accompany the voice. In one form it possessed eight strings and looked not unlike a mandolin. There were also other forms, one of which contained a number of unfretted strings. The fact that this instrument required retuning with every change of key gives point to many allusions, the following of which is a fair example: "If a lute player have lived eighty years, he has probably spent about sixty years tuning his instrument." [1] The gift of a set of lute strings was a dainty and much-coveted gift in Shakespeare's time. A very,

  1. Mattheson, 1720