Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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Cavendish, in his life of Cardinal Wolsey, gives an account of going to the castle of M. de Crequi, a French nobleman, " and very nigh of blood to King Louis XII.," where, he says, " I being in a fair great dining chamber, where the table was covered for dinner, I attended my lady's coming; and, after she came thither out of her own chamber, she received me most gently, like one of noble estate, having a train of twelve gentlewomen. And when she with her train came all out, she said to me,' For as much as ye be an Englishman, whose custom is in your country to kiss all ladies and gentlewomen without offence, and although it be not so here in this realm (of France), yet will I be so bold as to kiss you, and so shall all my maidens.' By means whereof I kissed my lady, and all her women. Then went she to her dinner, being as nobly served as I have seen any of her estate here in England."—(p. 171, ed. 1827.)
In the same reign, Erasmus writes to a friend, describing the beauty, the courtesy, and gentleness of the English ladies in glowing terms, and this custom as one never sufficiently to be praised. He tells him that if he were to come to England he would never be satisfied with remaining for ten years, but must wish to live and die here.a
A Spanish pamphlet in the library of the British Museum (4to., dated 1604) gives an account of the ceremonies observed during the residence of the Duke de Frias (Ambassador Plenipotentiary from the Spanish Court) in England, on the accession of James I. In that the writer says, " The Ambassador kissed her Majesty's hands, craving at the same time permission to salute the ladies present, a custom of which the non-observance on such occasions is deeply resented by the fair sex of this country," and leave was accordingly given. (Ellis's Letters on English History, v. iii., s. 2, p. 211.)
Again, when the celebrated Bulstrode Whitelock was at the court of Christina, Queen of Sweden, as Ambassador from Cromwell, he waited on her on Mayday, to invite her " to take the air, and some little collation which he had provided as her humble servant." Having obtained her consent, she, with several ladies of her court, accompanied him; and her Majesty," both in supper time and afterwards," being " full of pleasantness and gaiety of spirits, among other frolics, commanded him to teach her ladies the English mode of salutation; which after some pretty defences, their lips obeyed, and Whitelock most readily." (GenCs. Mag., v. xcii., part i., p. 325.) " From these passages, it is evident that the custom was as much admired by the ladies of other countries as it was peculiar to this."
Whytford's Pype of Perfection has been quoted to prove that objection was taken to the custom of kissing at the time of the Reformation; but Whytford objected not only to kissing, but also to every sort of salutation, even to shaking
•"Quanquam si Bri^annlse dotes satis pernosses,      via: venitur ad tef propinantur suavia: discediturabste
Fauste, nae tu alatis'pedibus, hue accurreres J et si poda-      dividunter basia: occuritur alicubi ? basiatur aflatim
gra tua non sineret, Dasdalum te fieri optares. Nam ut e      denique, quocunque te moveas. Suaviorum plena sunt
pluribus unum quiddam attingam. Sunt hie nymphas      omnia. Qua?, si tu, Fauste, gustasses semel quam sint
divinis vultibus, blandse, faciles, et quas tu tuis camcenis      mollicula quam fragrantia, profecto cuperes non decen-
facile anteponas. Est preeterea mos nunquam satis lau-      nlum solum, ut Solon fecit, sed ad mortem usque in Anglia
datus : Sive quo venias omnium osculis exciperis ; sive      peregrinari."—Erasmi Epistol, Fausto Andrelino, p. 315,
diseedas aliquo, oscuiisdemitteris : redis! redduntur sua-      edit. 1642.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III