Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/46

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them about the country, inserted a clause in the contract that enabled them to stop over in any place where there was going to be a cockfight. Every town of any pretension possessed its bear and bearward. The occasion of an entertainment of this sort was made the subject of elaborate advertisement. When a bear-baiting was to take place, the same was publicly made known, and the bearward previously paraded the streets with his bear, to excite the curiosity of the populace, and induce them to become spectators of the sport. The animal on these occasions was usually preceded by a minstrel or two, and carried a monkey or baboon upon his back.

Another game for children was to balance one piece of wood upon another like a sea-saw. A toad was placed upon one end, the other struck sharply with a stick. Then the children ran and struggled to catch the toad as it came down, often killing it in their eagerness. In the matter of practical jokes, the Elizabethans went far beyond the limits of our time. Dun is in the Mire, a game referred to in Romeo and Juliet, provoked no end of fun. Dun was a heavy log. One player tried to lug it away, but, finding himself unable to do so, he called another to his assistance. When the latter came up the former dropped the log on his companion's toes—if he could do so, for that