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A Treatise of Daunces

-- my transcription, with modernised u/v i/j and ƒ/s and expanded letters when obvious, of the reprint printed in New York by Garland Publishing, 1974, with a preface by Arthur Freeman.

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A Treatise of daunses, wherin it is shewed, that they are as it were accessories and depēdants (or thinges annexed) to whoredome: where also by the way is touched and proued, that playes are ioyned and knit togeather in a rancke or rowe with them.

I. Thessal.5.

Let everie one possesse his vessel in holines and honor.

Anno 1581.

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A Treatise of Daunses, in which is shewed, that daunses bee intisementes to whoredome, and that the abuse of playes ought not to be among Christians.

Doubt not, but that some, into whose handes this little treatise shall come, wil thinke me to be at greate leasure, that have enterprited largely to levie out and handle this argument: which to their seeming is not otherwise of great importaunce. For be it that daunses were allowed or condemned, or els [tho] they were putt in the rowe of thinges indifferent men might easily judge according to their opinion, that that should not bring great profit or hurt to our christian common wealth, seeing that ther are divers points of greater weight and consequence, which trouble the spirits of manye learned men, & make afraide the consciences of the weake and simple

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simple ones: which poyntes have verye much nede to be opened and made plaine, rather then to trouble a mans selfe to write agaynst playes and daunses. Furthermore men should be in very great forwardnes, if every thinge were to well refourmed, that they were come even unto daunses, that is to say, that all that which is corrupted, and those abuses which beare the sway among Christians were so cut off, and this so sick a body againe so wel restored to his soundnes and health, that there should remayne nothing els but to debate the question of leapings, skippings and daunses.

Ther will be found an other manner & sort of people, who wil make no attempte at all to mocke at this matter: as indeede the world is ful of mockers, and men without Godlines, without God, and without religion. Now as concerninge these persons, they deserve no manner of aunsweare at al, because they do as soone scoffe at the principall pointes of christian religion, and that which directly concerneth the service of God, as at matters of less weight and importaunce. Wherefore I not much regarding or caringe for the judgement of such

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such judges, will let them runne to the water with the bridle uppon their head, or in their necke, as they say. But as touchinge the first, because they bee not altogeather malicious and obstinate, I hope, that having aunsweared their objections, and declared the reasons which have moved, yea rather driven me forward or inforsed mee to descipher and sett out this matter, they will judge my labour not to have bene altogeather unprofitable.

It is then in the first place to bee wished and desired, that troubles beyng pacified, and all dissentions repressed, and put out, the spirits and consciences of men, should be assured and thorowly perswaded of that which appertaineth to their salvation. And indeede our Lorde hath stirred and raised up so perfect an age in al sciences & knowledge, in which so many learned men, and of excellent learning and knowledge, have so blessedly and diligently imployed themselves to teach us the order and maner to live well, some after one sort and fashion, and some after an other, that those which be not yet satisfyed, can not, or ought not to lay the fault in any but in themselves. Next

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Next all good men ought to wishe and desire that those which put their hande to (that is to say travaile for) the reformation of maners, should do it with such good argumentes, that there shoulde remayne, or be left, but even a very litle to be corrected and amended. And yet this wish & desire should not let or hinder the travaile of such as do indevor to pull up by the rootes such herbes as be hurtful to the field of the Lord, be they never so small and little: as I do, or which thing I labour to do in this little boke according to the talente & graces which are geven me from above.

Adde also that if any do deeply & seasonably consider this matter, I hope he that not finde it so barren and of little edification, that it ought to be dispised or troden under foote: for many men of quality (yea, even in the company of notable personages) of name and authority, make no conscience to demaunde and aske whether it be yll done to daunce, demaunding also a formall or playne parcell and text of Scripture, by which it may appeare that daunses be prohibited and forbidden, otherwise they think not that they do evill in daunsing. Some others

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others goe further and alledging or rather indeede abusing some peece of the Scripture, where it appeareth that the faithfull have leaped and daunsed: they thinke verily that they have founde the beane in the cake, as though this were a proper coverture & cloke to cover the infection and filthines of their daunces.

Seyng then that many be foulie & grosely deceaved in this behalfe, and that possible for want of beyng sufficiently instructed and informed or taught touching this matter, i have bene so much the more willing to ease them in this question, by how much I hope to profit in common, that is, to do good to the greatest multitude, as also being willing hereby to satisfy some which have earnestly and instantly required it at my handes.

Now to answeare them which demaund and aske a playne peece or text of Scripture in which daunses should be forbidden, let them know that there be many wicked and evill thinges which are not evidently and playnly expressed in the Scripture, to be forbidden, notwithstanding they bee of the same kynd and nature, or els dependences

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-dences of some thinges which are therein expressed, and under which they ought to be comprehended, or els when the contrary of these things is praised and commended, we are sufficiently taught and instructed to call them away, as things condemned by the holy Ghost, because ther is one & the selfe same reason in contrary things.

I will place, & put in the order or rowe of the first, playes and daunses: I meane such playes as by which man draweth or getteth to hymselfe, his neighboures money. It is true that wee fynd not in the Scripture these wordes. Thou shalt not play, but wee finde indeede these wordes. Thou shalt not steale: Now that to gayne or get an other mans money at play shoulde not be a most manifest & plaine thievery: none of sound judgement ______nie it. For hee which hath wonne or gotten it, by what title or right can he say, that such money is his: Verily when we get or win the money, or the goods of our brother, it must be with the sweate of our face or browe, & that our laboure bringe him some profite, that is to be profitable unto him: and even as we receave his money or good: so must hee

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hee thorow our diligence and travaile receave some profite. But when a man hath gotten his money by the hazard or chaunce, as a man woulde say, of play, I pray you what commoditye and profite commeth to him thereby: wee must then conclude, that this is a kind of theft: which although it be not playnly expressed in the holye Scripture, yet nevertheles it ought to bee referred to the eight commaundement, in which it is sayd, Though shalt not steale.

The like is of daunses which wee may put in the first & second row or order. For although wee have not any playne and expresse forbidding, where it should be sayd, Thou shalt not daunse, yet we have a formall and plaine commaundement, Thou shalt not commit adultery, or whoredome: to which the daunses ought to be referred. Now if one woulde aske me what daunses were: I wil answeare, that considering the sway which they have at this day amongest us Cristians, they bee nothing els but impudent, shameles, and dissolute gestures, by which the lust of the flesh is awaked, stirred up, and inflamed, as wel in men as in women. Bat if honesty, modesty and sobernes

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-nes, be required in apparaile, & adorning of mens selves, as we see that it is commended and commaunded in Deuteronomie, & seing that S. Paule also in his epistle to Titus, willeth that there should be among us a sober and holy countenaunce, singularly and specially in women, which ordinarily be very curious in their garmentes, it is certayne and sure, that there is some poyson or venym hidden under the grasse. And because it is so, S. Peter in his first canonicall or generall epistle, forbiddeth that women should appeare, shew, and sett out themselves by theyr apparayle and neatnes. And that in many other places of the sayd holy Scripture, the diversity and difference in attire and garmentes, is condemned, as provoking to whoredome, and slipperines, by more stronge reason the dissolute and lewde gestures, which be practised by the proper and owne members of a mans bodye, ought to be cutt of, and banished from among christians. And S. Jude exhorteth us, to have, yea and that in hatred the garment which is defiled by the flesh, meaning under this figure & manner of speech, all inticementes & allurements, which

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which might draw us to any pollution, uncleannes, and fylthynes: what ought we to judge in the excellency (as a man woulde say) value and estimation of the flesh it selfe, which is so polluted and defyled, that it bringeth forth, and setteth out the pollution and filthines thereof, by villanous and dishonest gestures. And when S. Paule in his epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, forbiddeth us all corrupt, infected, & filthy speech , or woordes, is there not at the least as much, or as greate occasion: yea more or greater to condemne dissolute and lewd gestures: for as concerning dishonest and unmeete woordes, they be gathered or receaved with our eares onely,

but as for villanous & dishonest gestures, they be so many objects, or thinges set before eyes, as if one shoulde set before us a painted table, in which all villany infection, and filthines should be lively pourtraited and set out. Now that the sighte of all our senses is it which hath most force & strength to make us incline to uncleannes and filthines, I will have none other judge but our Lord himselfe, when he hath uttered and spoken with his mouth, that hee which

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which hath cast his eye uppon his neighbours wife, for to covet, desyre, and with her is already a whoremonger in his hart: behold also wherefore S. John in his first canonicall or generall epistle, putteth or joyneth with the concupiscence or lust of the flesh, the concupiscence & lust of the eyes. finally when S. Paule placeth or putteth sobernes, modestie, and temperaunce among the effectes and truites which the grace of God ought to bring forth in us, doth hee not sufficiently forbid all dissolutenes, lightnes, outrages, and disorders, as wel in our manners as in our gestures, & other manner of doing:

But for as much as all the former argumentes are founded and grounded upon that definition of daunses, which I have before geven and made, and that some men might deny it me, we must answeare that which they have bene accustomed to object against it. First of al I have heard of some which denye daunces to be shamelesse and dissolute gestures, because that when they daunse, they do it not, but for a recreation of themselves and bodily exercise, yea that they use it as a certayne thing, which of itselfe

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-selfe is neither good nor evill. But let such people bee aunsweared after this manner, that is to say, that their affection cannot so chaunge the nature of the thing, that it doth not alwaies kepe and hold fast, his proper or owne name. We see that if one enter or goe into a Brothel house, or Stewes, yea without affection or mind to commit whoredome ther, yet neverthelesse the place shal not cease or leave of to be called a stewes, or Brothel house. Likewise let them say, that in daunsing they have not any shamelesse or vilanous mynde, & affection, which notwithstanding, may not well, easily, or lightly be beleeved, yet so it is, the[r] daunses cease not to be called shamelesse gestures.

But what: The question is not onely of their persons, but of a thing, which ought not to be in any use among Christians.

And moreover this is not all, to [bere] respect or regard onely of a mans owne selfe, but we must loke also to our neighbours, who is he which dare assure or warant himselfe & ohters, that when he daunceth, or after that he hath daunsed he hath not provoked & stirred up the lust of the flesh in some one of the standers by: But [ther] it is so, the effect & ___ decla-

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declareth it, because that the daughter and sister of the County or Earle of A. was so enamoured or ravished with the love of a very simple and base gentleman whom she had seene daunse in the courte, and it printed so wel, that is, toke such deepe impression and roote in her hart, and understanding, that against the will of Father and Mother, parentes and friendes shee married him. Now let us come to the poynt or matter, what provoked this young gentlewoman beyng rych, wise, learned, fayre, & of good countenaunce to love a base man, of litle discretion, unlearned, cockbrained, yea, which with great payne or much adoe knoweth to write his owne name, and besyde, or moreover very deformed in face & countenaunce, if not to daunce onely, and to see in him some small experience & skill to runne at the ringe:

Men will say, that shee shewed not hir wisedome, in that shee chose her husbande for daunsing onely: but what is that the flesh doth not intise and allure, with his snares & baytes: For albeit ther is so much difference betweene the two parties, as betweene fayre gold and leade, yea so much indeed [tho] by

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by her wisedome shee kept him backe, or made him to refrayne from striking, fighting, slaying, and casting the house out at the windowes, as we say, for the least flee, which came before his eies: yet so it is, that he obtayned and got her by the meane above sayde: notwithstanding if ther fell cut no worse by daunsing, this were somewhat to be supported, or borne withall.

But now if he reply, and say hee careth not or regardeth not, what other men think, seyng hee hath no maner of evil or naughty meaninge in himselfe. I answere, that here we see an offence geven, and the very bond of love broken and violated.

For put the case, or graunt that daunsing were put & rekoned among things indifferent, in respect and consideration of itselfe, is it meete or dutifull that for an indifferent and light thing, a man should geve an occasion of falling or stumbling to his neighboure: But so farr of is it, that daunses should bee put in the rome and number of htinges indifferent, that every one cught to make an accompt of them, and to holde them altogeather wicked, and unlawful: in so much that I send all them againe back to

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to their owne consciences, which say, that in daunsing they have not any impudent & shamelesse affection. For the thing beyng so vilanous, and so infected of his own nature, as daunsing is, it is impossible, that he which useth it, should not bee infected, neither more nor lesse: then it is impossible to touch any filthines, and not to bee once uncleane, infected, and defyled.

And that it is so, let us somewhat, or a little serch and seeke out the beginning of daunses, and we shal fynd that men cannot geve them a better nor more apt and proper definition, then that which hath bene brought heretofore. For if wee would in this matter refer ourselves to them, which have written of the antiquities, as well of the Grecians as of the Romains, yea, and that to some Poets, wee shall fynde how that daunses gave taken their begyngging, from Pagans and Heathen men, which hatte then first used them, when they did sacrifyce to their Gods. For beeing plunged into very thick, & as it were palpable darknesses, after that they had forged and advised Gods according to their own fantasy, they thought and supposed that they should bee

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bee delighted and pleased, with the selfe same delightes and pleasures, wherein, or wherwith they delighted themselves.

Whereuppon weeneede not doubt hereof, but that it was the devil which did guide and leade them, whom al superstition, false religion, and erronious doctrine pleaseth, above all thinges, speciallye when such a toy and trifle is accompanied with al wantonnesse and villanie. Not that such manner of doing, that is to say, custome of Pagans and heathen men, hath bene followed and practised, by the children of Israel, after that having sacrificed to the golden calf, they gave themselves to play, the Scripture assureth us thereof, in the xx. chapiter of Exodus.

Afterward men began to daunce in open playes, spectacles, and shewes, from which notwithstanding the people were driven, prohibited, and forbidden, for feare lest they should be constrained there to behold and see, an unhonest, and unseemly thinge, for their sere or kynd. Afterwarde when in a small space of tyme all honesty and shame did begin, to vanish and weare away, then mens daughters and women were admitted and

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and receaved to daunses: and yet withall it is true, that this was a part by themselves, and in prime places.

Finally a short time after, men have so far disordered themselves, and broken the bondes and limites of honesty, that men & women have daunsed togeather, or as we would say, in mingle mangle, and namely and specially in feastes and banquets, in so much that we see, that this wicked and ungodlye custome, hath stretched foth itselfe even unto us, and hath yet, or already the sway at this daye, more then ever it had.

Beholde the beginninge of daunses, togeather with their fruits and properties, which if they be well considered, and deeply weighed by sound and rype understandinge, it will not, or shall not bee thought straunge & marvailous, that I condemne them, having indeede on my syde as well the authority of the doctors of the Church, as of the fathers which were found or present at certayne auncient, and olde councels.

Saint Augustine in his booke agaynst Peti-

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Petilian, speaketh in this manner: The Byshops have alwayes accustomed to represse and beate downe vayne and wanton daunses: but there are at this day some, which are found in daunses, yea, and they themselves daunse with women, so farre of is it, that they reprove, correct, or amend such a greate vice.

And uppon the thirtie and two psalme, he condemneth also, or lykewyse the daunses which be had or used on the Sondaies or Lordes dayes.

Saint John Chrisostome in the fiftie & first homily uppon the booke of Genesis, intreatinge or speaking of the mariage of Jacob, doth very much condemne daunses calling them divilish.

The like is founde in the fourty and eighte Homily. And upon the fourteenth chapiter of Saint Mathew, speakinge of the daunsynge of Salome, the Daughter of Herodias, hee sayth, that when a wanton daunsynge is hadde, or used, the Devill, daunseth by and by, or altogeather.

In the counsell of Laodicea, which was holden

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holden in the yeare 368, ther was a cannon made, in these proper tearmes, or wordes. It must not be admitted that the Christians, which either goe or come to mariages, leape or daunse, but that chastlye & soberly they sup or dyne, and as it is seemly and convenient for christians. Likewise in the yeare 676, there was holden & kept the [fixt/sixt] councell of Constantinople, where daunses were forbidden, principally to women as greatly hurtfull.

The third councel of Toletum, condemneth the perverse and wicked custome of suche people which occupied themselves in vile and infected daunses: and above all uppon the Sondayes, and holy dayes when they should have imployed themselves in the service of God.

According to these Canons, there was made by the estates lately holden at Orleans, in the young age or minority of Charles the 9. an article, in which, amongest other thinges all judges are forbidden to permit or suffer any publicke daunses, uppon the Sondayes, and other solemne holy dayes.

But in the first place it were to be desired, and wished, that this ordinance might be

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be straitly observed and kept. Secondlye, that it were more generall, that is to say, that it did wholly and altogeather forbidd daunses, as wicked and unlawful thinges: for if wee be Christians indeede, we ought not to suffer, that some pore and blinde Pagans should surmount and overcome us in honesty & modesty. We fynd that amongest the Romains, they which were overmuch geven to daunsinge, caried, or bare with them so greate a note or marke of infamy, & sklaunder, that they oftentimes accounted and estemed them unworthy to exercise or have a publicke and honorable office: as appeareth by the censure, punishment, and correction, of Domitian, who, for thys only case, cast out of the Senate a citizen of Rome, as unmeete and unworthy of such a degree of honor. Salust in his Oration against Catilina, speaking of a certaine woman, named Sempronia, sayeth that shee could daunse more delicately and fynely, then did appertaine to an honest and good woman. Cicero much reprocheth and upbraydeth, yea and constantly objecteth, to Gabinius the studying and practisinge of daunses, as an infamous thing. He doth like

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like in his Philippickes agaynst Antonius, and in the oration of Murena, he sayth that a sober man never daunseth, neither a part or privily, neyther in an honest & moderate banquet, unless perhaps hee be unwyse, or out of his wit.

Varro writeth, that Scipio was wont to say, that there was no difference at all betweene a furious, outragious, or mad man and a daunser, saving that this man, that is to say, the daunser was then onely mad when he daunsed, and the other was so all his life long. From thence commeth the Latine proverbe, that daunsers play the fooles, or wantons, but it is with measure.

Here wee evidently and playnly see, in what estimation and regard daunses were among Pagans and infidels, which trulye could not judge otherwise therof, I speake of them which had the best and more sound judgement, and which were able to weigh and consider, as well the daunses themselves, as their so pretious fruites, and excellent effectes. For if it be, that after feastes and banquets, men commonly set, or geve themselves to daunse, and after that men be full of wyne and good meates, they bee then

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then provoked & pricked forwarde, by the prickes of the flesh, to what end serve such manner of gestures, if not, to make manifest & set out their intemperancy. Now if men would refer it, or bringe it to bodily exercise, this would be very folishly done. For the body of her owne health, requireth not to be shaken, tossed, and as a man woulde say, hunted after meate, for feare to hinder digestion, as the Phisition placed it amonge their rules of diet. Moreover seeing the that men may exercise themselves in many other manners and sortes of exercises, hee, as mee thinketh openly sheweth, that he hath not modesty, nor temperance, nor his health itselfe in estimation, that is, he estemeth & regardeth not. &c. which choseth daunsing for his exercise. Daunses then were never heretofore otherwise accounted of, nether be at this present otherwise thought of, then mere vilany, & a most certaine, plaine, and evident testimony of the filthines & intemperancy of them which delighted themselves therin. Now, that so it is, the Proverbe sayeth, De la pa-se, vient la Danse: from the panch commeth the daunce: And if we durst joine thereto whoredom their elder daughter, we shal find that she followeth after immediatly. Which

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Which thing we shall easily fynd, if we consider the most ordinary & common effectes of daunsing. What was the cause that Herode so lightly promised, to that goodlye daunser Salome, the daughter of Herodias, even the one halfe of his Realme, and kingdome, but that by her vilanous, and shameles daunsing, shee had stirred up and set on fyre his concupiscence and lust who was already a villanous adulterer, and infamous whoremunger, so that the delighte and pleasure which he toke therin, provoked him to be willing to make so excessive and unmeasurable a recompence: Moreover let us marke more narrowly in Genesis, that which is written of Dina the daughter of Jacob, and we shall find that daunses were partly the cause of her ravishing, or deflouring. For albeit, that in that place, there is no expresse mention made of daunses, yet so it is, that when it is sayde, that Dina went to see the daughters of the countrey or land, there is some appearance and likelihod that the daughters had this custome, to assemble themselves togeather to daunse, and that to the end, that in shewing the nimblenes of their body, their bewty, and

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and __ery conceyts, they might bee coveted and desyred of young men, as indeede Dina was by Sichem. And in this our tyme and age, do not men daily see many such thinges, which daunses bring with them: The example by mee heretofore brought forth and alledged, ought to serve for an example to all great lords, to withdraw their daughters from such baites.

But setting al the rest aside, do wee not see that daunsing hath cost, this holy man, and great prophet of God so deare, that it hath taken away from him the head from above his shoulders.

By the way or meane of daunsinge, the children of Israell, were willing to geve honour to an ydole, to a calfe of Gold, to a dead thing, and which they themselves had molten & framed after the imitation & manner of Pagans, which in such a sort & fashion served their gods. Bee not these things sufficient to make a man flie daunses, & to provoke a Christian man to have them in abhomination, & to abhore them as things which have ordinarilye, and commonlye served to idolatry, and have provoked to whoredome, and have chaunged and altered many daughters

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daughters of good house and stocke, from the love and favour of their parentes, and finally have caused infinte murthers: murthers I say, for in all the 3 peeces of Scripture before alledged, we ever fynd ther the death of some. In the daunse before Herod the death of John Baptist. In the rape or ravishing of Dina, Sichem, his father, & all his subjectes, died there. In the worshipping of the golden calfe, where the children of Israel daunsed and leaped so nimblie, cherefully, & merily, before that their belly was full, there died then aboute three thousande in recompence of their joy and gladnes. If then we would consider the issues, and effectes, which come from daunses, & the fayre or goodly fruites which they bring forth, wee would never thinke, but that the heares would stand upright upon our very heads when the question is of daunsing.

It remaineth now to answeare them, who would serve themselves with certaine parcels and peeces of the Scripture, in which is made, that the faithfull people have daunsed. First they alledge that which is written in Exodus, that Mary the prophetesse, the sister of Aaron, who after that God

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God had overwhelmed and drowned Pharao & his army in the red sea, toke a taberet in hir hand, & being attended, or waited upon by other women, song with them a song to the Lord: as also Moses, and the children of Israel song another.

The like is founde in the booke of Samuel, after that David had slaine Goliath, that many women came out of all the townes of Israel singing and daunsing before King Saule, with tabours, rebeckes, and other instrumentes of harmonie, or musicke.

But when these which love to leape and daunse, seeing there is here spoken not only of daunses, but also of taberets and other musicall instrumentes, do thinke that they are already in the hall of leapinge or skipping, and do daunse according to the note and measures that the Minstrels and Pipers wil sound or play to them: inferringe that the holy scripture before alledged maketh for them, and that by it daunses are approved, they are indeede fouly deceaved and very farre of from their reckoninge, because that reckoning without the host, it was meete for them to reckon twyse. For

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For it is most certaine that there is as much difference betweene their daunses, and those which holy men have used, as there is betwene mariage and fornication. I meane betweene chastity & whoredome. And even as it is no maner of way permitted or suffered to committe whoredome, so our daunses and the usage of them may not be allowed nor received. But to cut it short, that is to say, to be short, wee can not gather that any appearaunce or shew of evil, or any signe of wantonnes or dissolutenes, was ever found in the daunses of holy men, but altogeather contrariwise, they therein behaved themselves with such honor, fear, and reverence towardes God, the whole matter itselfe beyng accompanied, with so great honesty and sobernesse, as nothinge more. And in which mens deede 3. pointes are to be considered and marked, which can not be at any hand found in the Prophane and wicked daunses of our tyme.

First the occasions which thrust them forwarde to do it, was such a greate joy which they had conceaved of the favoure which God had shewed to them, that they coulde not conceale, or kepe hidden, but needes

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needes must manifest it, & set it abroad, by al the meanes and wayes that they could invent or devise. Which thinge also David declareth in the sixty and eight psalme, saying, the Lord hath geven an argument, occasion or matter unto the women, who also have song accordingly: It was then a solemne (as a man would say) or publicke thankes geving, which they rendred, or gave unto God, singing or setting forth him to be the author of their deliverance. What fellowship, agreement, or likenes, can there bee, betweene the daunce of those holy fathers, and these which wee behold nowe at this day among Christians. Is it a question when men daunce to acknowledge or confesse the graces & goodnesses of God, to thanke him therfore, rejoicing themselves in him: When the lofty and fyne man should holde a young damosel, or a woman by the hand, and keeping his measures he shal remove himselfe, whirle about, & shake his legges alofte (which the daunsers call crosse capring) for pleasure, doth not the in the meane while make a good threede, playing at the Moris on her behalfe: but I pray you whawt can ther be there of God, of his worde, of ho-

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of honesty in such folishnes: I holde my tounge, that is, I speake nothing of their wordes, amorous devises, or devises of love, wanton communications of speeches or markes onely knowen to the Ladye, or Gentlewoman. It is true, that a man will say to me, that he must rejoyce and be mery, which thing also I graunt, but yet not with a worldly, dissolute, and leuse joy.

The second pointe is, that even as the people of Israell were instructed in the service of God by very many cerimonies, and outward manners or fashions, so when they would honor him, and geve him some duety which they did owe, they did not content themselves to do it with the harte, and with the mouth, but by and by they added, and joyned there with all some outwarde gestures, to witnes that, which was within. Even unto this present or hetherto we have founde very little affinitye or agreement betweene the daunses of the auncient patriarches, and of good and religious people, and these, which we use at this present, or in these dayes.

It is certaine and true, that the daunsers of our tyme would very fayne make themsleves

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selves equall with them, and be in the selfe same degree of honor: saving notwithstanding, that they content not themselves to have a shameles and villanous harte, but they will also discover and lay open their own shame & villany, by dissolute gestures.

The third and last poynt sheweth us the fashion of the nations or people of the East, the outward gestures, and custome receaved among them, contrary herein to the westerne people. The reason is because every nation hath alwayes some proper and perticuler inclination, which another hath not. Moreover those which draw nigh unto the East and South, are by rason of the heate, more easie to move themselves, and consequently to make or shew gestures, then they are which be in the East, or North who by reason of the cold be more heavy & weighty: From whence it commeth, that the Italian in his communications or speeches, but specially if he speake with an affection or good hart, intermingleth and useth so many gestures, that if an English man should see him farre of, not hearing his words, would judge him out of his wit or els playing some comedy upon a scaffold. Let

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Let a man on the other side beholde an Almaine or Germain in the Pulpit, and hee would thinke him benummed, and impotent, or lame in all his members or partes, of his bodie.

And to confirme this, lett us beholde and call to remembraunce, how the auntient Romains were removed farr from the opinion and mind of the Greks. These, that is the Greekes, esteemed daunsing verye much, and all these which knew howe to helpe and comfort themselves with an instrument of musicke. The other, that is the Romains made very small account of both daunsyngs, and lesse of the daunsers themselves. Here appeareth the difference of Climates, and of such as dwell under those climates. From thence it commeth that the people of the East partes did breake and rent in peeces their garmentes when they had understanding of evil newes. Wherefore they did lye weltering and tumblinge upon the ground, put on sackcloth, put on ashes, or dust upon their heads, yea then, when they pretended to them some repentance, and to manifest or let out an inward greefe: all which thinges would bee founde and

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and thought ridiculous, foolish, and to bee laughed at amonge nations & peoples, on this side of them: And if that women should take tabourets in their handes, as we read that the women of Israel hatte done: would not men thinke that they were out of their witt: which notwithstanding was not found or thought straung among the Israelites, because this was the custome of the nation and people. It is true, that a man may also referr the tabourets & other instrumentes of musicke to the ceremonies of Moyses law: which ceremonies have bene abolished at the comming of Jesus Christ, in so much that at this day where we are under the Gospell, wee must use the same more soberly, and sparingly, & with greater modesty: but all that, hath nothinge common to the daunses of this present time or age.

These three poyntes being dispatched we fynd and see cleerely, what affinity & agreement there is, betweene these twoo maners of daunses. Our daunsers do yet further alledge an other parcel or peece of the Scripture written in the booke of the Kinges, where it is said, that David leaped and daunsed before the Arke of the Lord.

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Lord. But so far of is it, that this serveth them to mayntayne their daunses, that I would not wish to have a more proper, fitt, playne, and agreeable place to confute them. For if David had had a like affection in his daunse, as they have in theirs, that is to say, to please the gentlewomen and Ladies, as our daunsers endevor, studye & devise to please their minions and flattering dames, Michol his wife, had never mocked him. He might then have daunsed more pleasantly, and after a fashion more agreeable to the flesh: and for trueth, hee might have done it beyng light or nimble by nature, and able or meete to do al thinges.

But the aunsweare which he made his wife Michol, very well declareth, that hee pretended or purposed no other thinge but to set out by outward gestures, the greatnes of the joy which he had conceaved in his harte, because of the presence of God. This was (sayd he) before the Lord which I have done in this behalfe: it appeareth by this aunsweare, that his affection was not in or on the world, and that he cared not much for the judgement of Michol, and of all other worldlines, because he would not please

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please them, nor satisfy or feede their fine and goodly eyes, by his daunsing. Wherfore we must conclude that David condemneth the worldlines of his wife, and such other as shee: yea in that that shee was punished by barrennes, which followed theruppon. It is an evident argument, that God approved or allowed the doing and saying of the Prophet.

Now if al they, which make daunsinge their god, would imprint this in their hart and understanding, they should receave & use the same, rather to their condemnation, then to be so much without aforehead, that is to say, shameles, that they woulde abuse the Scripture, to cover their uncleannes & infection. For this is a most detestable & abhominable sacriledge, to make the unspeakable truth of God to serve our wicked and most shamefull affections. Adde thereunto that he will greevously & sharply punish all such scoffers, and prodigall persons which do so much prophane the majesty and excellency of his name, and that divinity, which is contayned and expressed in the holy scriptures. Moreover, when we so disguise and chaunge the nature of things

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thinges that wee call good evill, and the evil good, we ought to assure ourselves of the curse of God, pronounced by the prophet Ilajah, sayinge: cursed (sayeth he) be they, which say that evil is good, and that good is evil, which put darkenes for light, and light for darknes, which geve sowre thinges for sweete, and sweete for sower & bytter. But I demaund or aske now, whether they which allow daunses, and place them among indifferent things, do not call good evill, and evil good: and by consequent do not inflame and kindle the wrath of God upon them themselves, and al their fautors or favourers.

All which thinges beyng considered, I hope that divers knowing what evil, and mischief there is in daunses, will give them over and cast them away, thinking or supposing, that in that, that thei have retained & favoured them, even unto this present, they have rather done it thorowe ignoraunce, than thorowe stubburnesse or selfe will. But as concerning others, whiche will persever and continue in their dissolutenes and loosenesse. the Lord withdraw and plucke them therefrom, when it pleaseth

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-seth him, least they incurre or runne headlong into his wrath and vengeance, which hangeth over their heads, for that they have obstinatelie and stubburnlie gainesaide and withstood, so manifest * plaine a trueth.

Prayse be to GOD.


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Updated 10 March, 2015