Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/393

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307
BIRTH—BAPTISM—ETC.

red and yellow buckram begilded, and gallantly streaming by such wind as there was, for he carried it aloft: This gentle cup-bearer yet had his freckled physiognomy somewhat unhappily infested as he went, by the busy flies, that flocked about the bride-cup for the sweetness of the sucket that it savoured on; but he, like a tall fellow, withstood their malace stoutly (see what manhood may do), beat them away, killed them by scores, stood to his charge, and marched on in good order.

"Then followed the worshipful bride, led (after the country manner) between two ancient parishioners, honest townsmen. But a stale stallion, and a well spread (hot as the weather was), God wot, and ill smelling was she: a thirty-five year old, of colour brown bay, not very beautiful indeed, but ugly, foul, ill-favoured; yet marvellous vain of the office, because she heard she should dance before the Queen, in which feat she thought she would foot it as finely as the best: Well, after this bride came there two by two and two, a dozen damsels for bridemaids; that for favour, attire, for fashion and cleanliness, were as meet for such a bride as a treen ladle for a porridge pot; more (but for fear of carrying all clean) had been appointed, but these few were enow."