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trumpet, the bugle or French horn, and the hautboy or pipe.
As the unhappy residents of this island enjoyed very short intervals indeed of the “piping time of peace," amusements, which had not a tendency
promote the operations of war, must have been much neglected, except upon particular occasions. Whatever methods were in use on the arrival of the Saxons to exhilarate the individual or public mind, ceased, and certainly did not revive till they were destined to be rivalled or superseded by those of the new oppressors, which we are now to trace to the best of our ability. A warlike people naturally. divided them into three classes, the military, the chace, and domestic. In the first instance, they did not differ greatly from ourselves, as the arts of swimming, riding, boxing, leaping, running, and wrestling, were equally necessary for the soldiery of both nations, and were indeed common throughout all parts of the world. Dancing, in their particular case, seems to have been included in the military useful amusements : antient illuminations of MSS. con
armed danced with swords and shields, with which they performed such exercises as were difficult, and perhaps not perfectly necessary in battle. Tacitus also describes noble youths as having danced naked amidst the projecting points of swords and spears, with so
much skill and grace as to excite equal astonishment and admiration. These
be considered as the superior accomplishments of the better classes, who possibly did not at any time indulge in the more effeminate movements similar to tliose since invented. As the daughter of Herodias danced before the King a very long time before that now under consideration, it would be extremely ungallant indeed to suppose the females of this branch of our ancestry did not approach her excellence, particularly as we are convinced musicians of the Saxons danced while they sounded their instruments; and that even bears were taught that fascinating amusement, as has been fully proved by Mr. Strutt in his Sports and Pas times of these people.
The art of riding well naturally produced horse-races; and the swiftness and conduct of that noble animal was eminently useful both in battle and the chace. When the vindictive passions of the chiefs were at rest, their ambition was directed to excellence in hunting: consequently, the swiftest and most dangerous animals were selected for pursuit through the rough half uncultivated country; and he secured the public applause who followed the dogs and the flying beast with least regard to the chasms and precipices which lay in his way, and tore himself through the underwood with the greatest indifference to
the wounds the branches inflicted. The kings and princes, the nobles and chiefs, of this hardy race were early initiated in the mysteries of the chace as an essential part of their education, and consequently became adepts in hunting. Hawking, an appendage to this pursuit, but infinitely inferior to it in enterprize and exertion, was probably brought into England by the Saxons, though the former diversion was as familiar to our countrymen as to their oppressors.
The amusements of the domestic circle must have been in some degree similar to those of the Romans. Whether the Saxons introduced the two species of dice mentioned as used by them, or found them here, it is certain they played deep with them, as did the antient Germans. Singing and conviviality were well known in the Northern nations; and they doubtless had many ridiculous sports, which might well be collected in those of their present descendants, were it necessary. Itinerant poets, musicians, and buffoons, often contributed their, aid, as we find by Bede the historian.
It would be almost an impossibility to collect any thing like a satisfactory account of the common amusements of the invading Normans and their immediate successors; but it will not be difficult to demonstrate, that the games of chess and dice found general encouragement amongst
them, when the usual gymnastic exercises were prevented by the weather or night. It is well known, they were adepts in shooting the arrow, racing, leaping, throwing stones, baiting bulls and boars, horse-racing, and even cock-fighting, exclusive of their excellence in hawking and hunting, The lowest gradation of amusement, calculated to promote military purposes, is described by Fitz Stephen, and was of a ludicrous and rather dangerous nature.
A post was set upright in the Thames, on which a shield had been firmly fastened: a boat with a piatform on the bow, which supported a young man armed with a spear, was rowed with great violence towards the post ; when arrived within reach, the man strained every muscle to break his weapon against the shield, that he might thus gain the prize, and avoid a severe ducking, the inevitable consequence of failure. Every precaution was used to prevent drowning on these occasions, and Fitz Stephen says
their immersion caused infinite merriment to the spectators.
The Quintain, mentioned by Stowe, had its origin from a whimsical idea; and those who practised with it were compelled to exert no trifling degree of agility to avoid the heavy blows it inflicted. In this instance, a strong post was placed erect in the ground, on which a piece of wood turned by means of a spindle; at one ex
tremity tremity a bag of sand was suspended, and the other presented a surface sufficiently broad to make it practicable to strike it with a spear when on full gallop on horseback; the pressure from the spear caused an instantaneous whirl of the wood, which was increased by the weight of the sand, and that saluted the back of the horseman in no very gentle manner, if the speed of his courser happened to be less than that of the quintain.
The 'Tournament was the most important, the most dignified and expensive, of all entertainments; and for that reason confined to princes, barons, and knights, as even the esquires were forbid to enter the lists at them. A modern can barely imagine the interest and splendour of these martial exhibitions, which in many respects equalled, and in some excelled, those of the Roman circus. The area of the tournament was the theatre on which emperors, kings, and their nobles of every rank who were knights, contended for the prize due to superior skill in arms; and when we consider, that the spectators, both male and female, were composed of all that was powerful, honourable, and beautiful, from every part of Europe, we may readily conceive the magnificence of the scene, the polished armour, the dazzling display of rich silks, embroidered with gold and silver, and the jewellery of the ladies. It is very probable that the idea of tournaments