The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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CHILDREN'S GAMES                           485
and separates this game from others akin to it. This refrain is doubtless a survival of an old tribal war-cry.
The game of " The Three Knights from Spain " (ii. pp. 257-279), played in the same way as " Three Dukes," may appear at first to be a variant of the " Three Dukes "; but it is signi­ficant that the form of marriage custom is different, though it is still marriage under primitive conditions of society. The personal element, entirely absent from the "Three Dukes," is here one of the principal characteristics. The marriage is still one without previous courtship or love between two individuals, but the parental element is present here, or, at any rate, if not parental, there is that of some authority, and a sanction to marry is given, although there is no trace of any actual ceremony. The young men apparently desire some particular person in marriage, and a demand is made for her. The suitors here are, I think, making a demand on the part of another rather than for themselves. They may be the ambassadors or friends of the would-be bride­groom, and are soliciting for a marriage in which purchase-money or dowry is to be paid. The mention of " gold " and "silver" and the line, "She must be sold," and the offering of presents by the " Knights," are important. These indica­tions of purchase refer to a time when the custom of offering gold, money, and other valuables for a bride was in vogue. While, therefore, the game has traces of capturing or carrying off the bride, this carrying off is in strict accord with the con­ditions prevalent when marriage by purchase had succeeded to marriage by capture. There is evidence in this game of a mercantile spirit, which suggests that women and girls were too valuable to be parted with by their own tribe or family without something deemed an equivalent in return.
In another line game, " Here comes Three Sailors" (ii. pp. 282-289), there is still more evidence of the mercantile or bargaining spirit. Here the representative of the parental element or other authority selects the richest and highest in rank of the suitors, and a sum of money is given with the bride. The suitors are supposed to have performed some actions which have gained them renown and entitled them to a wife. The

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