winerock.com

 About Me

 
Publications

 
Writings & Research

 
Teaching & Performing

 
Early Dance Texts

 
Shakespearean Dance
 Resource Guide

 Renaissance Dance Links

 Bernard the Bear
Home > Early Dance Texts > The Anatomie of Abuses

Search winerock.com

Loading

The Anatomie of Abuses

-- The following are dance references from Phillip Stubbe's "The Anatomie of Abuses: Contayning A DISCOVERIE, OR BRIEFE Summarie of such Notable Vices and Imperfections, as now raigne in many Christian Countreyes of the Worlde: but (especiallie) in a verie famous ILANDE called AILGNA: Together, with most fearefull Examples of Gods Iudgementes, executed vpon the wicked for the same, aswell in AILGNA of late, as in other places, elsewhere. Uerie Godly, to be read of all true Christians, euerie where: but most needefull, to be regarded in ENGLANDE."

-- The following section on dance is quoted from the Early English Books Online edition, which also has images of the original document. (link to full text.) The single dotted lines indicate page breaks, while the double lines indicate a different section of the text. Notes on the text originally in the margin have been incorporated in []s. -- E. F. Winerock

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A PREFACE TO THE READER.

I Thought it conuenient (good Reader, who soeuer thou art, yt shalt read these my poore laboures) to admonish thée (least haply yu mightest take my woords otherwise than I meant them) of this one thing: That wheras in the processe of this my booke, I haue intreated of certen exercyses, vsually practised amongest vs, as namely of Playes and Enterludes, of dauncing, gaming, and such other like: I would not haue thée so, to take mée, as though my speaches tended, to the ouerthrowe and vtter disliking of all kynd of exercyses in generall: that is nothing my simple meaning. But the particulare Abuses, which are crept into euery one of these seuerall exercyses, is the onely thing, which I think worthie of reprehension.

For, otherwise (all Abuses cut away) who séeth not, yt some kind of playes, tragedies and enterluds in their own nature, are not onely of great ancie~tie, but also very honest and very commendable

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

exercyses, being vsed and practised in most Christian common weales, as which containe matter (such they may be) both of doctrine, erudition, good example and wholsome instruction? And may be vsed in tyme and place conuenient, as conducible to example of life and reformation of maners. For such is our grosse & dull nature, that what thing we sée opposite before our eyes, [...]o pearce further, and printe déeper in our harts [...]nd minds, than that thing, which is hard onely with the eares, as Horace, the hethen Poët can witnesse. Segnius irritant animum, dimissa per aures, quàm quae sunt hominum occulis obiecta. So, that when honest & chast playes, tragedies, & enterluds, are vsed to these ends, for the Godly recreatio~ of the mind, for the good example of life, for the auoyding of that, which is euill, and learning of that which is good, tha~ are they very tollerable exercyses. But being vsed (as now commonly they be) to the prophanation of the Lord his sabaoth, to the alluring and inuegling of the People from the blessed word of God preached, to Theaters and vnclean assemblies, to ydlenes, vnthriftynes, whordome, wanto~nes, drunke~nes, and what not? and which is more, when they are vsed to this end, to maintaine a great sort of ydle Persons, doing nothing, but playing and loytring, hauing their lyuings of the sweat of other Mens browes, much like vnto dronets deuouring ye swéet honie of ye poore labouring bees,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

than are they exercyses (at no hand) sufferable. [...] But being vsed to the ends that I haue said, they are not to be disliked of any sober, and wise Christian.

And as concerning dauncing, I wold not haue thée (good Reader) to think that I condemne the exercyse it self altogether, for I know the wisest Sages and the Godlyest Fathers and Patriarches that euer liued, haue now and than vsed the same, as Dauid, Salomon, and many others: but my woords doo touch & co~cerne the Abuses thereof onely. As being vsed vppon the Sabaoth day, from morning vntill night, in publique assemblies and frequencies of People, Men & women together, with pyping, fluting, dromming, and such like inticements to wantonnesse & sin, together with their leapinges, skippings, & other vnchast gestures, not a few. Being vsed, or rather abused in this sort, I vtterly discommend it.

But vppon the otherside, being vsed in a mans priuat-chamber, or howse for his Godly solace, and recreation in the feare of GOD, or otherwise abroade with respect had to the time, place and persons, it is in no respect to be disalowed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thorow drunkennesse, Holophernes, that great and inuincible Monarche of the Assyrians, was ouercome by a Woman, hauing his head cut from his shoulders with a fauchone. Thorow drunkennesse, [Note in marg: Luc. 16.] King Herode was brought to suche ydiocie, and foolishe dotage, that he caused the head of good Ihon Baptist, to be cut of, to satis[...]ie the request of a dauncing strumpet. [Note in marg: Luc. 16.] That riche Epulo of whom Luke maketh mention, was for his drunkennesse, and ryotous excesse condemned to the fire of Hel for euer, with many moe examples, which for shortnes I omit. Now seeing than that drunke~nesse is both offensiue to GOD, and bringeth such euil[...]s in this lyfe present, let vs in the name of GOD auoyde it, as a most wicked thing, and prenicious euill. For euery Dr[...]nkard is so farre estranged from himselfe, [Note in marg: How farre Drunkards are estranged from themselues.] that as one in an extasie of mind, or rather in a playne Phrensie, he maye not be said to be, sui animi compos, or a man of sounde wit, but rather a[...]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Spud.

Hauing (by the grace of Christe) hytherto spoken of sundrie Abuses of that countrie, let vs procéed a little further, howe doe they sancti[...]ie and kéepe the Sabbaoth day? In godly Christian exercises, or els in prophan[...] pastimes and pleasures?

The Maner of sanctifiyng the Sabaoth in Ailgna.

Philo.

THE Sabaoth day, of some is well santified, namely in hearing the Word of GOD read, preached and interpreted, in priuat and publique Prayers, in singing of Godly Psalmes, in celebrating the sacrame~ts, & in collecting for y^[...] poore & indigent,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

which are the true vses and ends wherto the Sabaoth was ordained. But other some spend the Sabaoth day (for the most part) in frequenting of baudie Stage-playes and enterludes, in maintaining Lords of mis-rule (for so they call a certaine kinde of play which they vse) May-games, Church-ales, feasts and wakeesses: in pyping, dauncing, dicing, carding, bowling, tennisse playing: in Beare-bayting, cock-fighting, [Note in marg: Prophane exercises vpon the Sabaoth day.] hawking, hunting, and such like. In kéeping of Faires, and markets on the sabaoth. In kéeping Courts and Léets: In foot-ball playing, and such other deuilish pastimes: reading of laciuious and wanton bookes, and an infinit number of such like practises and prophane exercises vsed vppon that day, wherby the Lord God is dishonoured, his Sabaoth violated, his woord neglected, his sacraments contemned and his People meruelously corrupted, and caryed away from true vertue and godlynes. Lord remooue these exercises from thy Sabaoth.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sp.

As I remember, you spoke of dauncing before, inferring y^[...] the [...]abaoth is greatly prophaned therby: whereof I pray you shew mée your iudgement.

The horrible Vice of pestiferous dauncing, vsed in Ailgna.

Philoponus.

DAuncing, as it is vsed (or rather abused) in these daies, is an introductio~ to whordom, a preparatiue to wantonnes, a prouocatiue to vncleanes, & an introite to al kind of lewdenes, rather than a pleasant exercyse to y^[...] mind, or a holsome practise for ye body: yet notwithstanding, in Ailg. both men, wemen & childre~, are so skilful in this laudable scie~ce, as they maye be thought nothing inferiour to Cynoedus, y^[...] prostitut ribauld, nor yet to Sardanapalus that effeminat varlet. Yea thei are not ashamed to erect scholes of dau~cing, [Note in marg: choles of d uncing e ected.] thinking it an ornament to their childre~, to be expert in this noble science of heathen diuelrie: and yet this people glory of their christianitie & integritie of life: Indead,
verbo tenus Christiani boni vocitentur: But vita & moribus Ethnicis, & paganis peiores reperie~tur.
Fro~

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

y^[...] mouth outward, they may be said to be good Christians, but in life & maners, farre worser than the heathen, or Paganes: Wherof, if they repent not, & amend, it shalbe easier for that Land of Sodoma and Gomorra at the day of iudgement then for them.

Sp.

I haue heard it said, y^[...] dauncing is both a recreation for the minde, & also an exercyse for the body, very holsome, and not only that, but also, a meane wherby loue is acquired.

Ph.

I will not much denie, [Note in marg: Dauncing a pleasure to them that delight in vanities.] but being vsed in a meane, in tyme and place conueniente, it is a certe~ solace to the minds of such as take pleasure in such vanities, but it is not good reason to say, some me~ take pleasur in a thing ergo, it is good, but the co~trarie is true rather: For this is (basis veritatis) a ground of truth, y^[...] whatsoeuer a carnall man with vncircumcised heart, either desireth, or taketh pleasure in, is most abhominable & wicked before god: As on the other side, what the spirituall man regenerat, & borne anew in Christ, by the direction of God his spirit desireth or taketh delight in, is good, and according to the will of God. And seeing ma~s nature is too procli[...]e of it selfe to sinne, it hath no need of allureme~ts & allections to sin (as dauncing is) but rather of restraints & inhibitio~s fro~ the same· [Note in marg: What a urements to sin, be in dauncing.] which are not there to be found. For what clipping, what culling, what kissing and bussing, what

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

smouching & s[...]abbering one of another, what filthie groping and vncleane handling is not practised euery wher in these dauncings? yea the very deed and action it selfe, which I will not name for offending chast eares, shall be purtrayed and shewed foorth in their bawdye gestures of one to another. All which, whither they blow vp Venus cole, or not, who is so blind that séeth not? wherfore, let them not think that it is any recreation (which word is abusiuely vsed to expresse the ioyes, or delightes of y^[...] mind, [Note in marg: Dauncing no recreation, but a corrosiue to a good Christian.] which signifieth a making againe of that, which before was made) to the mind of a good Christian, but rather a corrosiue most sharp and nipping. For seing that it is euill in it self, it is not a thing wherin a Christia~ Mans heart may take any comfort.

The [...]nely, [Note in marg: The onely thing, wherin a good christian doth delight.] summum bonum, wherin a true Christians heart is recreated and comforted, is the meditatio~ of y^[...] passion of Iesus Christ, the effusion of his blood, the remission of sins, and the contemplation of the ineffable ioyes and beatituds after this life, prepared for the faithfull, in the blood of Iesus Christ. This is the only thing, wherin a Christian ma~ ought to reioyse, and take delight in, all other pleasures & delights of this lyfe set a parte, as amarulent and bitter, bringing foorth fruit to eternall destruction, but the other, to eternall lyfe: And wheras they conclude, it is a holesome

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

exercise for the bodie, the contrary is moste true, for I haue knowen diuers by the immoderate vse therof, haue in short time become decrepit and lame, so remaining to their dying day. Some haue broke their legs with skipping, [Note in marg: Dancing no holsom exercise for the Bodie.] leaping, turning and vawting, and some haue come by one hurt, some by another but neuer any came from thence without so~e parte of his minde broken and lame, such a wholsome exercise it is. But say they it induceth looue, so I say also, but what looue?

Truely a lustful loue, a venereous looue, a concupiscencious, baudie & beastiall looue, such as procéedeth from the stinking pump and lothsome sink of carnall affection, and fleshly appetite, [Note in marg: What looue dancing procureth.] and not such as distilleth from the bowels of the hart ingenerat by the spirit of God.

Wherfore, I exhort them in the bowels of Iesus Christ to eschue not only from euil, but also from all apperance of euil, as the Apostle willeth them, proceeding from one vertue to another, vntil they growe to perfect men in Christe Iesus, knowing that we must giue accou~ts at y^[...] day of iudgment of euery minut and iote of time, from the day of our birth to the time of our death: for there is nothing more precious, [Note in marg: We must render accounts for time heer lent vs.] then time, which is giuen vs to glorifie God in good-woorks, and not to spend in luxurious exercises after our owne fantasies and delights.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Spud.

But I haue heard then: affirme that dau~cing is prouable by the woord of God: for (say they) did not the women come foorth of all the Cities of Israel to méet king Saule? [Note in marg: 1 Sa. 18.] and Dauid returning from the slaughter of Goliath, with psalteries, flutes, tabrets, Cymbals and other musicall Instruments, dauncing & leaping before them? [Note in marg: Exo. 15.] Did not the Israelites hauing passed ouer the red sea bring foorth their Instruments and danced for ioy of their deliuerance? [Note in marg: Exo. 32.]

Againe[...], did they not daunce before th[...] golden Calf, which they had made, in Horeb or Sinai? Did not king Dauid daunce before the Ark of the Lord? [Note in marg: 2. Sa. 6.] Did not the Daughter of Iephtah daunce with tabret and harp at the return of her Father from the Féeld? [Note in marg: Iudic, 11.] Did not the women of the Israelits dance comming to visit[...] good Iudith? [Note in marg: Iudic. 15.] Did not the Damsel dance before King Herod? [Note in marg: Mat. 14.] Did not Christ blame ye people for their not dancing, when he said, [Note in marg: Luc. 7.] wee haue pyped vnto you, but you haue [Note in marg: Eccle. 3.] not daunced?

Saith not Salomon,
there is a tune to wéep and a time to laughe, a time to mourne and a time to daunce?

And dooth not the Prophet Dauid in many places of his Psalmes commend and commaund dauncing and playing vpon Instruments of Musick.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Wherfore (for thus they conclude) séeing these holy Fathers (wherof some were guided by the instinction of God his Spirit) haue not only taught it in doctrine, but also expressed it by their Examples of life, [Note in marg: No ma~ wit out errors both in lyfe and doctrin.] who may open his mouth once to speake against it.


Philo.

The Fathers as they were men had their errors and erred as men, for Hominis est errare, decipi et labi: it is naturall for man to erre, to be deceiued & to slide from the trueth. Therfore the Apostle saith: follow mée in all things as I follow Christ: but to ye intent that they who perpend the Examples of the Fathers, and Scripture falsly wrested, to maintaine their[...] deuilish dauncings withall, may sée their owne impietie & grosse ignorance discouered, I wil co~pendiously set down the true sence and meaning of euery place, as they haue cyted them perticulerly. For the first: wheras they say that the Women came foorth in daunces with timbrels and Instruments of Ioy to méet Dauid and Saule, [Note in marg: 1. Sa. 18.] I aske them for what cause they did so? [Note in marg: The first pillare of dauncing ouerthrowen.]

Was it for wantonnes or for very ioye of hart, for their Uictorie gotten ouer the Philistines their sworne Enemies? Was it in prayse of GOD? or to stirre vp filthie lust in them selues, or for nicenes onely, as our daunces bée?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Did men and women daunce togither, as is now vsed to be doon: or rather was it not doon amongst women only? for so saith the text, the women came foorth &c. But admit it were neither so, [Note in marg: good co~ uent to say ers did so, o it is od, or wee y doo the e.] nor so, wil they conclude a generall rule, of a particuler example? it is no good reason to say such and such did so, therfore it is good, or we may doo so, but all things are to be poysed in ye balance of holy scripture and therby to be allowed or disalowed, according to the meaning of the holy Ghost, who is only to be heard and obeyed in his woord.

The Israelitish women hearing of the fame of Dauid, and how he had killed their deadly enemie Goliath, came foorth to méet him playing vpon instrume~ts, dancing & singing songs of ioye and thanks-giuing to the Lord who had giuen them victorie and deliuered them, from the deadly hostilitie of him, who sought their distruction euery way. Now what maketh this, for our le[...]d, wanton, nice and vbiquitarie dauncings, for so, I may call them because they be vsed euery where, let the godly iudge: [Note in marg: he differe~ce etween the ances of our orefathers, nd ours.] who seeth not rather y^[...] this example, (let Cerberus the dog of hel alatrate what he list to the co~trary) clean ouerthroweth them. Theirs was a godly kind of da~cing in praise of God: ours a lustful, baudie kinde of deame[...]our, in praise of our selues: the[...]rs to shew their inward ioy of minde for the blessings of

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

God bestowed vpon them, ours to show our actiuitie, agilitie and curious nicitie and to procure lustful looue and such like wickednes infinit: But to their second allegation: [Note in marg: Their s co Pillar shak] ye Children (say they) of Israel danced being deliuered out of the seruitude of Pharo and hauing passed ouer the red sea: I graunt they did so, and good cause they had so to doo: For were they not emancipate and set frée from thrée great calamities and extreame miseries? First fro~ the serui[...]e bondage of Egipt, from the swoord of Pharo, who pursued the rereward of their hoste, and from the danger of the red sea, their enemies béeing ouerwhelmed in the same.

For these great and inestimable benefits and blessings receiued at the hands of God, they played vpon Instruments of musick, leaped, daunced, and sung godly songs vnto ye Lord, shewing by these outward gestures ye inward ioy of their harts and mindes. Now what conduceth this, for the allowance of our luxurious dauncings? [Note in marg: How the Isr lits danced.] Is it not directly against them? They danced for ioy in thanks to god, wée for vainglorie[...]: they for looue to God, wée for looue of our selues: they to shew the interior ioy of the minde for God his blessing, heaped vpon them: we to shew our concinitie, dexteritie, and vain curiositie in the same: they to stir vp and to make them selues the apter to praise God, we to stir vp carnall appetites

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

and fleshlie motions: they to shewe their humilitie before God, and we to shew our pride both before God and ye world. But how so euer it be, sure I am, their dauncing was not like [...]ures, co~sisting in measures, capers, quauers, & I cannot tel what, for thei had no such leas[...]re in Egigt to learne such vaine curiosity in that lustfull bawdie schoole, for making of brick and tyles. [Note in marg: The dau~cing of our Forfa hers mai not e called a , but Godly . for ioy.] And notwithstanding, it is ambiguous whether this may be called a dau~cing or not, at lest not like oures, but rather a cer[...]~ kind of modest leaping, skipping, or moouing of the body to expresse the ioye of ye mind in prayse of God, as the Man did, who being [...] by the power of our S[...]uiour Christe, [...]alked in the Temple, leapping, skipping, & praising God.

We neuer read, that they euer daunced, but at some wonderfull por[...]ent, or straunge iudgment of God, and therfore, made not a common practise of it, or a daylie occupation as it were, much lesse set vp schools of it, and frequenting nothing els night and day, Sabaoth day, [Note in marg: Their .3. Reason· examined.] and other, as we do. But to their third Reason: The Israelits dau~ced before the Calf in Horeb. And what than? They made a Golden Calf, and adored it, maye we therfore do the like? They committed ydolatrie there, therfore is ydolatrie good, because they committed it?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Adam, disobyed GOD, and obeyed the deuil: is obedience therfore to the deuil good, because hee did so?

Therfore wée must not take héede what man hath doon héertofore, but what God hath commaunded in his woord to be doon, and that followe, euen to the death. But to be short, as it is a friuilous thing to say, because they committed Idolatrie, therfore may wée doo the like, so it is no lesse ridiculous, to say, because they daunced, therfore wée may doo the same: for as it is not lawful to commit Idolatrie, because they did so, so is it not lawfull to daunce, because they daun[...]ed.

So that if this place inferre any thing for dauncing, it inferreth that wee must neuer daunce but before a golden Calf, as they did: but I think by this time, they are ashamed of their dances: therfore, of this place I néed to sayn[...] more, giuing the~ to note, that this their dauncing in respect of the end therof, was farre dissonant from ours: for they daunced in honour of their Idol, wee clean contrary though neither the one nor the other be at any hand tollerable.

Their fourth reason, [Note in marg: Their .4. Reason.] Did not Dauid daunce before the Ark, say they? very true: and this place (as the rest before) refelleth their customarie dauncings of men and women togither moste excellentlie. For

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dauid danced him selfe alone, without either woman, or musicall Instrument to effeminate the minde. And this dauncing of Dauid was no vsuall thing, nor freque~ted euery day but that one time, and that in prayse of God, for the deliuerie of the Ark of God his testament out of the hands of the Infidels and hethen people: the ioy of this holy Prophet was so vehement, for this great blessing of GOD (such a ferue~t zeale he bore to the trueth) that it burst foorth into exterior action, y^[...] more to induce others to prayse God also. Would God we would dance as Dauid daunced héer, for the deliuerie of his alsauing woord out of the hands of that Italian Philistin & archenemy of all trueth, the Pope of Roome, for in this respect I would make one to daunce, to leap, to skip, to triumph, and reioyce as Dauid did before the Ark. [Note in marg: Why Dauid d unced before the Ark.] By this I trust any indifferent man séeth, that by this place, they gain as much for the maintenance of their· leude dancings, and baudie chorusses, as they did by citing the former places, that is iust nothing at all, which they may put in their eies and see neuer the w[...]rsse?

Their fift reason. [Note in marg: Their fift Reson examined.] Did not Ieptath his daughter méet her Father when he came from war dancing before him, and playing vppon Instruments of Ioy. Ieptath going foorth to warre against the Amonites promised the

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Lord (making a rashe vowe) that if it would please his Maiestie to giue him victorie ouer his Ennemies, he wold sacrifice the first lyuing thing that shuld meet him fro~ his house: It pleased GOD that his sole daughter and heire hearing of her Fathers prosperous return (as the maner of the Cuntrey was) ran foorth to meete her Father playing vppon instruments, in praise of GOD, and dauncing before him for ioye. Now what prooueth this for their daunces? Truely, it ouerthroweth them if it be well considered: for first, we read that she did this but once, we daylie: She in prayse of God, we in prayses· of our selues: [Note in marg: Wherfore & how the Daughters of Iepthath dau~ced.] she for ioy of her Fathers good successe, we to stere vp filthie and vncleane motions: She with a virginall grauitie, we with a babish leuitie: she in comly maner, we in bawdie gesture. And moreouer, this sheweth, that women are to daunce by themselues (if they wil néeds daunce·) and men by themselues, for so importeth the Tert, making no mention of any other her collegues, [Note in marg: Ther. 6. Reason. Iudith. Ca. 15.] or Companions dancing with her.

Their .vi. Reason: Did not y^[...] Israelitish wemen daunce before Iudith, comming to visit her? I graunt they did s[...]: the storie is thus.

Holofernes, opposing himselfe, against the Israelits, the chosen people of GOD, and intending to ouerthrowe them, and to blot out·

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

their remembrance for euer from vnder heauen, assembled a huge power, and besieged them on euery side.

The Israelits, séeing themselues circumvalled and in great daunger on eachside, suborned good Iudith, [Note in marg: Iudith cutteth of the head of holofernes.] a vertous Godlye Woman (for without some stratagem, or pollicie wrought, it was vnpossible for them in the eyes of ye world, to haue escaped) to repaire to Holofernes, & by some meanes or other to work his destruction: who guided by the hand of God, attempted the thing & brought it happely to passe. For she cut of his head with his owne fauchine, wrapping his body in the canopie, wherin he lay sléepingly possest as he was with ye spirit of drunkennesse: this done, the Women of Israell came together, and went to visit this worthie Woman, and to co~gratulat her prosperous successe, with instruments of musick, singing of Godly songs, and dauncing for ioye, in h[...]nor and prayse to God, for this great victorie obtained. Now who s[...]eth not, that these women sang, dau~ced, and played vppon instrumentes in prayse of God, [Note in marg: The vnlawfullnes of dauncing of men and women together.] & not for any other lewdnes, or wantonnes, as co~monly the world doth now adaies? This also ouerthroweth the dauncinges of Men and Women together in one companie: for though there was an infinite number of People by, yet the Text saith, there daunced

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

none, but onely Women, which plainly argueth the vnlawfulnesse of it in respecte of Man. And this being but a particular fact of a sort of imprudent Women, shall we draw it into example of lyfe, and thinke it lawfull, or good, because they did practife it?

It was a custome in those dayes, when God had powred foorth and notable blessing vpon his People from his Heauenly Pallace, [Note in marg: A customet daunce in prayse of God.] the People in honour, praise and thankesgiuing to God for them· would, play vppon their instruments, sing Godly Songs, daunce, leape, skip and triumphe, shewing foorth the ioye of their mindes, with their thankefulnesse to GOD, by all exteriour gestures, that they could deuyse. Which kinde of thankefull dauncing, or spirituall reioycing, wold God, we did follow, leauing all other wanton dancing to their Father the Deuill.

Their .vij. Reason: [Note in marg: Ther. 7. Reason.] Did not (quothe they) the Damosell daunce before Kinge Herode, when the head of Iohn Baptist was cut of? She daunced indeed: And herein they maye sée the fruite of dauncing, what goodnesse it bringeth: For, was not this the cause of the beheading of Iohn the Baptist? Sée whether dauncing, [Note in marg: Dauncing styrreth vp lust.] styreth not vp lust and inflameth the mind.

For, if Herode with séeing her daunce, was so inflamed in her loue, and rauished in her

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

behauiour, that he promised her, to giue her whatsoeuer she wold desire, though it were half of his Emperie, or Kingdome: what wold he haue béene, if he had daunced with her? and what are those that daunce with them, hand in hand, chéek by chéek, with bussing and kissing, slabbering and smearing, most beastly to behold? in so much, as I haue heard many impudently say, that they haue chosen their Wyues, and wyues their Husbands by dauncing: Which plainely proueth the wickednesse of it. Their .viij. reason: [Note in marg: Their. 8. Reason. Luc. 7.] Did not Christ rebuke the People, for not dauncing, saying: we haue pyped vnto you, but you haue not daunced. They may as well conclude that Christ in this place, was a Pyper, or a Minstrell, as that he alowed of dauncing, or reproued them, for not excercysing the same.

This is a Metaphoricall, or Allegoricall kinde of speach, wherin our Sauiour Christ, goeth about to reprooue and checke the styfneckednes, the rebellion and pertinacious co~tumacy of y^[...] Scribes and Phariseis, who were neither mooued to receiue the glad tydings of the Gospell by the austeritie of Iohn the Baptiste, [Note in marg: The more than obdu at hardnes of the Iewes.] who came preaching vnto them the doctrine of repe~taunce, in mourning sort: neither yet at the preaching of our Sauiour him selfe, breaking vnto them the pure Ambrosia, the Coelestial Manna, the word of life in ioyfull,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

and gladsome maner.

Ihon the Baptist he piped vnto them, that is, he preached vnto them, austeritie of life, to mourn for their sinnes, to repent, to fast, pray and such like. Our Sauiour Christ he pyped (that is) preached vnto them, the glad & comfortable tidyngs of ye Gospell, yet at neither of these kinde of concions, they were any whit mooued, either to imbrace Christ, or his gospell: Wherfore he, sharply rebuketh them, by a similitude of foolishe Children sitting in the market place, and piping vnto them that wold not daunce. This is the true vndoubted sence of this place, which, whether it ouerthrow not all kinde of lewd dauncing (at lest maketh nothing for them) allowing a certen king of spirituall dauncing, and reioysing of the heart vnto God (that I may suspend my owne iudgement) let wyse men determine. [Note in marg: Eccle. 3. Their. 9. Reason.]

Their .ix. Reason: Saith not Salomon, there is a time to wéep, & a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to daunce? This place is directly against their vsuall kinde of dauncing. For, saith not the Text, there is a time, meaning, somtime, now and than, as the Israelites did in prayse to GOD, when anie notable thing happened vnto them, and not euery daye and howre as we do, making an occupatio~ of it, neuer leauing it, vntil it leaue vs. But what, and if Salomon [Note in marg: Salomo~ meaneth a certen kind of a spituall dau~cing or reioying of the heart.] speaketh here

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

of a certen kind of spiritual dauncing, and reioysing of ye heart in praise to GOD? This is easily gathered by the circumstances of the place, but specially by the sentence precedent (vz. there is a time to mourn, & a time to da~ce &c.) that is, a time to mourn for our sinnes, & a tyme to dau~ce or reioyse, for the vnspeakable treasures purchased vnto vs by ye death & passion of Iesus christ. How much this place maketh for defence of their nocturnall, diuturnall, wanton, lewde and lascivious dauncings (if it be censured in the imparciall ballance of true iudgement) all ye world may sée aud iudge. And now to draw to an end, I will come vnto their vltimum refugium. [Note in marg: Their vltimu~ refugium.] That is: Doth not Dauid both commend, and also co~maunde dauncing and playing vpon instruments in diuerse of his Psal. In all those places, ye Prophet speaketh of a certe~ kind of spirituall dauncing and reioysing of the heart to y^[...] Lord for his graces & benefits in mercie bestowed vpon vs. This is the true kinde of dauncing, which the word of God doth allow of in any place, and not that we should trippe like rammes, [Note in marg: Why our feet were giue~ vs.] skip like goats, & leap like mad men. For, to y^[...] end our féet were not giue~ vs, but rather to represent yeimage of God in vs, to keep Companie with the Angels, & to glorifie our heuenly Father thorow good works.


Spud.

Do you condemne al kinde of dauncing,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

as wicked and prophane?


Ph.

All lewde, wanton, & lasciuious dauncing in publique assemblies & conuenticles, without respect either of sex, kind, time, place, Person, or any thing els, I by the warrant of the word of God, do vtterly condemne: But that kind of dauncing which is vsed to praise and laud the name of God withall (as weare [Note in marg: What dauncing is condemned by the word of God.] the dau~ces of the people of the former world) either priuatly or publiquely is at no hand to be dysallowed, but rather to be greatly commended. Or if it be vsed for mans comfort, recreation, and Godly pleasure· priuatly (euery sex distincted by themselues) whether with musick, or otherwyse, it cannot be but a very tollerable exercise, being vsed moderatly, and in ye feare of God. And thus, though, I conde~ne all filthie, luxurious and vncleane dauncing, yet I condemne not al kind of dauncing generally. For certen it is, the exercyse it self, in it own nature, qualitie & proprietie, though to some it is lawfull, to othersome vnlawfull in dyuerse respects, is both ancient & general, hauing been vsed euer in all ages, as wel of ye Godly, as of ye wicked, almost from the beginning. Wherfore, when I co~demne the same in some, my meaning is, in respecte of the manifold abuses therof. And in my iudgement as it is vsed now a dayes, an occupatio~ being made of it, and a continuall exercyse,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

without any difference or respect had either to time, Person, sex or place in publique assemblies and frequencies of People, with suche beastlie slabberings, bussings & smouchings and other filthie gestures & misdeameanors therein accustomed, it is as vnpossible to be vsed without doing of inf[...]nit hurt, as it is for a naked Man to lye in the middest of a hote burning fire, and not to consume. But these abuses with other y^[...] like (as there be legions moe in it) being cut of from the ex[...]ercyse it selfe, the thing remayneth very commendable in some respectes. Or els, if our daunces tended, as I haue said, to the setting foorth of GOD his glorie (as the daunces vsed in preter time did) to draw others to pietie and sanctitie of life, and to praise and reioyce in God, to recreat y^[...] minde oppressed with some great toyle, or labor taken in true virtue and godlynes, I would not (being don in the feare of GOD, men by them selues, and Wemen by the~ selues, for els it is not possible to be without sinne) much gainstand it. But I see the contrarie is euery where vsed to ye great dishonor of God, [Note in marg: Why men old daunce y themselfes and women by themselfs.] and corruption of good maners, which God amend.


Spud.

And wherfore, would you haue Men to daunce by them selues, and Women by them selues?

Philo.

Because it is without all doubte· a

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

prouocation to lust and venery, and the fire of lust once conceiued, [Note in marg: Why men should dance by the~ selues and Women by the~ selues.] (by some irruption or other) bursteth foorthe into open action of whoredome and fornication. And therfore a certain godly Father saidwel, Omnis saltus in chorea, est saltus in profundum inferni, Euery leap or skip in dance, is a leap toward hel. Yet notwithstanding in Ailgna it is cou~ted a vertue, and an ornament to a man, yea, and the onely way to attaine to promotion & aduancement, as experience teacheth.


Spud,

Notwithstanding, for my further instruction, I pray you showe mée what Fathers and Councels haue iudged of it, and what they haue writ and decréed against it.

Philo.

If I should goe foorth to shew all the inuectiues of Fathers, all the decrées of councels, and all the places of holy Scripture against the same, [Note in marg: Testimonies of Fathers councels, and Writers against dauncing.] I should neuer make an end: wherfore, of many I wil select a few, hoping that they wil suffice any reasonable man.

Syrach saith, frequent not the company of a woman, that is a singer or a dauncer, neither heare her, [Note in marg: Eccle. 131] least thou be intrapped in her craftines. Chrisostome, dylating vpon Mathew saith: In euery dance, the deuil daunceth by, for companie, though not visible to ye eye, yet palpable to ye minde. [Note in marg: Mat.] Theophilus, writing vpon Mark y^[...] sixt Chapter saith, Mira collusio saltat per puellam Diabolus This is a wunderful

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

deceit, for the deuil danceth amo~gst the~ for company. Augustine [Note in marg: Augustine.] writing vpon the 32. Psalme, saith, [Note in marg: Erasmus. it is better to digge all the Sabaoth day, then to dance.] Erasmus, in his Booke, de contemptu Mundi, saith, Whose minde is so well disposed, so stable, or wel setled, which these wanton dances, with swinging of armes, kicking of legs, playing vpon instruments, and such like would not ouercome and corrupt: Wherfore saith hée, as thou desirest thine owne credit, and welfare, [Note in marg: Lodouicus viues.] eschew these scabbed and scuruy companie of dauncers.

Ludouicus Viues saith, amongst all pleasures, dauncing and voluptuousnes is the kingdome of Venus, and the empire of Cupid: wherfore, saith hée, it were better for thée to stay at home, and to break either a leg, or an arme of thy body, then to break the legges and armes of thy minde & soule, as thou doost in filthie scuruy dauncings. And as in all Feasts and pastimes, dauncing is the last, so it is the extream of all other vice: [Note in marg: Dauncers thought to be mad-men.] And again, there were (saith he) from far cuntries, certain men brought into our parts of ye world, who when they saw men daunce, ran away, meruelously affraid: crying out and thinking the~ to haue béen mad. And no meruaile, for who seing them leap, skip & trip like Goates & and hindes, if hee neuer saw the~ before, would

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

not think them either mad, or els possest with some furie? Bullinger, [Note in marg: Bullinger.] paraphrasting vpo~ Mathew, 14. saith, After feasting swilling and gulling commeth dancing, the root of all filthynes and vncleannes.

Maister Caluin, [Note in marg: Caluin.] writing vpon Iob, Ser. 8. Cap. 12. calleth dauncing the chéefe mischéef of all mischéefs, saying there be such vnchast gestures in it, as are nothing els, but inticements to whordome.

Marlorate, vpon Mathew saith, whosoeuer hath any care either of honestie, sobrietie or grauitie, haue long since bad adieu to all filthie dauncing.

No man (saith a certaine heathen Writer) if hée be sober daunceth, except hée be mad.

Salustius, [Note in marg: Salust.] commending Sempronia that renowmed whore, for many goodly gifts, condemneth her for her ouer great skil in dauncing: concluding, that dauncing is the Instrument of lecherie.

Cicero, saith, [Note in marg: Cicero.] a good man would not dance in open assembles, though hee might by it get infinite treasure.

The Councel of Laodecea decréed that it should not be lawful for any Christia~ to dance at mariages or at any sollemne feast.

It an other Councel it was enacted, that no man should daunce at any marriage, nor yet at any other time.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Emperour Iustinian decréed, that for no respect in feasts or assemblies, there should be any dauncing, for feare of corrupting the Beholders, and inticing men to sinne.

Thus you may see, bothe Scripture, councels and Fathers, holy and prophane, [Note in marg: All Writers bothe holy and prophane against dauncing.] heathen and other, euen all ingenerall, haue detested and abhorred this [...]ilthie dauncing, as the quauemire or plash of all abhomination: and therfore, it is no exercise for any Christians to followe: for it stirreth vp the motions of ye flesh, it induceth lust, it inferreth [...]a[...]drie, affoordeth ribaldrie, maintaineth wantonnes, & ministreth oile to y^[...] stinking lamp of deceitful pride: and in summa, nourisheth a world of wickednes and sinne. [Note in marg: Dauncing a World of sin]

Spud

Now that the wickednes of it, is so manifestly shewed, that no man can denie it, I pray you who inuented this noble science, or from whence sprang it?

Philo.

Héereof, [Note in marg: Who inuented dauncing and from whome it sprang,] there be sundry and diuers opinions: for some holde and opinion (and very likely) that it sprang from the heathen idolatrous Pagans [...]nd Infidels, who hauing offred vp their sacrifices victimats and holocaustes to their false Gods, in reuerence of them, and for ioy of their so dooing, vsed to daunce, leape, and skip before them.

And this may be prooued by the Israelits the~selues, who hauing seen and learned the same

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

practise in Egipt, feared not to imitate the like in the wildernes of Horeb: some again, suppose that Pyrrhus one of Sibils Preists deuise[...] it in Creet. Others holde that the Priests of Mars, who in Roome were had in great estimation for their dexteritie in dau~cing, inuented it: [Note in marg: A Supposall who inue~ted dauncing.] Others think y^[...] one Hiero a truculent and bloody Tirant in Sicilia, who to set vp his tyrannie the more, inhibited the people to speake one to an other, for feare of insurrections and commotions in his kingdome was the occasio~ of y^[...] inuenting therof: for whe~ the Sicilians, sawe that they might not vnder pain of death one speak to another, they inue~ted dauncing to expresse the inward meaning and intentio~s of the minde by outward [...]ecks and exteriour gestures of the body, which vse afterward grew into custome, and now into nature. But what so[...]uer men say of it, or from whence soeuer it sprang, S. Chrisostom saith plainly (to whom I willingly subscribe) [Note in marg: Vnpossible that dancing should be good.] that it sprang from the t[...]ates of the Deuils brest, from whence all mischeef els dooth flow: Therfore to conclude, if of the egges of a Cokatrice, may be made good meat for man to eat, and if of the web of a spider, can be made good cloth for mans body, then may it be prooued that dancing is good and an exercise fitte for a christian man to followe, but not before:

Wherfore God of his mercy take it away

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

from vs.

Top 



Home
Copyright 1999-2015 E. F. Winerock
Updated 10 March, 2015