|Share page||Visit Us On FB|
488 MEMOIR ON THE STUDY OF
Hooper" (i. 287-88). Ritson records the first of these two in " Gammer Gurton's Garland," 1783; the second is probably a degenerate version of the first or similar version. They are both demands for a bride.
The other important line games are u Jenny Jones " (i. 260-283), "Lady of the Land," and "Queen Anne." I refer here to the Scotch version of "Jenny Jones," quoted from Chambers, given in vol. i. p. 281, where "Janet Jo" is a dramatic entertainment amongst young rustics. Two of the party represent a goodman and a goodwife, the rest a family of daughters. One of the lads, the best singer, enters, demands to court Janet Jo. He is asked by the goodwife what he will give for Janet Jo. His offers of a peck o' siller, a peck of gold, are refused; he offers more and is accepted, and told to sit beside his chosen one. He then has a scramble with her for kisses. Versions of this game which indicate funeral customs will be treated under that head; but love and courtship appear in the game, and the courting appears to be that of a young man or young men, to whom objection is made, pretended or real; the suitors are evidently objects of suspicion to the parental authority, and their sincerity is tested by the offers they make.
. In "Queen Anne," vol. ii. pp. 90-102, I have attempted a conjectural rendering of what the game might have been, by putting together the words of different versions. If this conjectural restoration be accepted as something near the original form, it would suggest that this game originated from one of the not uncommon customs practised at weddings and betrothals, where the suitor has to discriminate between several girls all dressed exactly alike, and to distinguish his bride by some token. This incident of actual primitive custom also obtains in folktales, showing its strong hold on popular tradition. Many a lost bride in the folk-tales proves her identity by having possession of some article previously given as a token, and this idea may account for the " ball " incident in this game. (See also "King William.")
From these games, when thus taken together, we have evidence of the existence of customs obtaining in primitive