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CHILDREN'S GAMES 487
dance took place at the time when bride and bridegroom retired to the nuptial chamber. It is probable the bride and bridegroom would first go through the dance, and after the bridegroom had caught his bride and they had retired the dance would be continued in sport. The chasing of the bride in sport by her new-made husband at the close of the marriage festivities is mentioned in old ballads.
In the " Cushion Dance " (i. pp. 87-94) we have an instance of another similar old English game sang and danced at weddings. The " Cushion Dance," though not played in line form, has two other elements of " Babbity Bowster." The description is so interesting, I will repeat it shortly here. The company were all seated. Two young men left the room, and returned carrying, one a square cushion, the other a drinking horn or silver tankard. The young man carrying the cushion locked the door, taking the key. The young men then danced round the room to a lively tune played by a fiddler, and sang the words of the dance. There is a short dialogue with the fiddler, in which it is announced that " Jane Sandars won't come to." The fiddler says " She must come, whether she will or no." The young men then dance round again and choose a young woman, before whom they place the cushion and offer the horn or cup. The girl and the young man kneel on the cushion and kiss. Here there is no capturing or chasing of the girl, but her reluctance to be brought to the cushion is stated by another person, and the locking of the door is evidently done to prevent escape of the girls.
Other line games contain the element of courting, some versions of " Green Grass," for instance (i. pp. 161-62), show boys on one line, girls on the other, inviting girls to come' and dance, and promising them gifts. After the boys have selected a girl, she is asked if she will come. She replies first No ! then Yes ! " Pray, Pretty Miss," is similar to these (vol. ii. pp. 65-67).
The remaining line form of marriage games are probably degenerate versions of "Three Dukes," "Three Knights," except " Here Comes a Lusty Wooer" (i. 202) and " Jolly