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Dances Of The Olden Times

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Tliere were dances of the court and dances of the people. ïhe Morris dance, whioh seems to havo been an invention of the Moors, had firmly established itself in England in the sixteeuth oentury. The country dance was even of earlier date. The old Roundel or Boundelay has been described by ancient suthorities as an air ippropriate to dancing, and would indícate littlo moro tlian a circular dance with the hands joined. Among the uobler and statelier danöeg in vogue at the court of the Tudors were the Pavan (from pavo, a peacock), with the GalHard, a lighter measure, which was probably to the Pavan what m later years the Gavotte was to the Minuet, the Passamezzo, the Courant, and the Saraband. Sir John Elyot, who published in 15:31 his book called the " Governor," wherein he avors that dancing by persons of both sexes is a mystical representation of matrimony, mentions other dances, such as Bargenettes and Turgyons, concerning which no explanation can be offered, except purhaps that the former may be derived from Berger, and be soruething of a shepherd's dance. Dancing, however, had degenerated in King Charles' time. In his Table Talk, Solden writes of the matter in very quaint tenns : "The court in England is much altered. At a soleran dancing, iirst yoil luid the grave measures, then the Coralitos and the Galliards, and this kept up with ceremony ; and at length to Trenchinore and the cushion dance ; then all the company dances, lord and groom, lady and kitchen-maid, no distinction. So in our court in (neen Elizabeth's time gravity and state were kept up. In King James' time things were pretty well. But in King Charles' time there has been nothing but Trenchmore and the cushion dance, omnium gat he rum, tolly polly, hoite cum toite." The Trenchmore was a lively dance, mentían of which may be found in the " Pilgrim " and " Island Princesa " of Beaumont and Fletcher, and in the " Rohearsal " of the Duke of Buckingham. The last editor oí' Selden, it may be noted, by altering the word to " Freuch-more, " has considerably obscured the author's meaning. In former times men of the gravest profession did not disdain to dance. Even the Judges, in compliance with j ancient custoro, long continued to dance Í annually on Candlemas-day in the hall of Sergeants' Inn, Chancery lane. Lincoln's Inn, too, had its reveis - four in each year - with a mustor duly elected of the society to direct the pastimes. Nor were these " exercises of dancing," as Dugdale calis them, merely tolerated ; they were held to be " very necessary, and much conducing to the rnaking of gentlemen more rit for iheir books at other times." Indeed, it appears that, by an order made in James I. 's timo, the junior bar was severely dealt with for j declining to dance ; ' ' the onder j ters were by decimation put ut of commons for example's sake, Isecause the ■ whole bar olïended by not dancing on Candlemas-day preceding, according to the ancient order of this society, wheD the Judges were jjresent ; with this, that if the like fault were committed afterward they should be iinnd or disbarred. "


Old News
Michigan Argus