Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/388

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"that on frequent occasions, the priest was improperly detained till midnight, while the wedding guests rioted in the luxuries of the table, and made use of language that was extremely offensive to the clergy. It was therefore ordained, in the year 1577, that the ceremony of blessing the nuptial bed should for the future be performed in the daytime, or at least before supper, and in the presence of the bride and bridegroom, and of their nearest relatives only."

Early the next morning the couple were roused from slumber by a serenade, usually the "Hunt's up," or hunting song which so frequently preceded the great hunt that had been planned for the second day of merriment. However great the celebration during this period, all things usually went off decently and in order. In the country, however, the case was not exactly the same. There the merry-making often became exaggerated to boisterous buffoonery. So different was the appearance of a rural wedding from the more decorous ceremony in vogue in London that Leicester considered the representation of such a scene suitable for the entertainment of the Queen when she visited his castle. Laneham, who wrote a description in the form of a Letter on the Queen's Entertainment at Kenilworth Castle in 1575, is so circumstantial in his narrative of the