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In this particular group of singing games love-making forms an important element; we have thus reached a higher level of culture than is exhibited in the previous games.

In these courting games we often find love-lorn damsels, who, like poor Mary, sit weeping.

“Poor Mary sits a-weeping, a-weeping, a-weeping.

What is Mary weeping for, weeping for, weeping for ?
She 's weeping for a husband, a husband, a husband."

Or there is the very practical young lady on the mountain:

“ There stands a lady on a mountain,
Who she is I do not know ;
All she wants is gold and silver,

All she wants is a nice young man.
“Now she's married I wish her joy,

First a girl and then a boy ;
Seven years after son and daughter :

Pray, young couple, kiss together.
“ Kiss her once, kiss her twice,

Kiss her three times three.”

The marriage formula of the second verse is a very common one, subject, of course, to numerous variations. That this enshrines some ancient and widely spread sentiment there can be little doubt.

Finally, we find a large number of games which are merely excuses for kissing, such as “ Kiss in the Ring,” the Cushion Dance,” and others, and incidentally kissing comes, not unnaturally, into a number of courting and marriage games. As it happens, England has an ancient reputation for kissing, as the celebrated scholar Erasmus testified to his friend, Faustus Anderlin, at Paris:

"Your friend Erasmus gets on well in England. ... If you are a wise man you will cross the Channel yourself. . . . To mention but a single attraction, the English girls are divinely pretty. Soft, pleasant, gentle, and charming as the Muses. They have one custom which cannot be too much admired (Est præterea mos nunquam satis laudatus). When you go anywhere on a visit the girls all kiss you. They kiss you when you arrive. They kiss you when you go away ; and they kiss you again when you return. Go where you will, it is all kisses (basiatur affatim denique, quocunque te moveas). My dear Faustus, if you had once tasted how soft and fragrant these lips were, you would wish to spend your life here."

1 “Ex Anglia, anno 1499," Epist., Ixv. (quoted from the Programme of Sir Ernest Clarke's lecture on “ May Day in Merrie England," delivered to the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, March 8, 1897).

CHAPTER XV

FUNERAL GAMES

IN the summer of 1896, I saw the following game played in | the village of Barrington, near Cambridge.

A row of girls stand opposite to the “ mother," behind whom hides the crouching“ Jenny” (Plate VII., Fig. 1). The row advance and retreat, singing the first couplet.

“I've come to see Jenny Jones, Jenny Jones,
How does she do ?

The“ mother” replies:

“She is washing, washing, washing,

You can't see her now."

The row again advance and retreat (this they do all through the game):

"' I 've come to see Jenny Jones, Jenny Jones,
How does she do?'

“She is scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing,
You can't see her now.'

“' I 've come to see Jenny Jones, Jenny Jones,
How does she do?'

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“I've come to see Jenny Jones, Jenny Jones,
How does she do ?'

"She 's very ill.'
“I've come to see Jenny Jones, Jenny Jones,
How does she do ?'

“She 's dead.'”

The “ mother" says this in a mournful voice, and at the same time“ Jenny” lies on the ground (Plate VII., Fig. 2).

The row again advance as before:

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"Come in red, red, red,
Will that suit?'
“ Red is for soldiers, soldiers, soldiers,

That won't suit.'

« • Come in white, white, white,

Will that suit ?'

"'White is for weddings, weddings, weddings,

That won't suit.'

“Come in black, black, black,
Will that suit?'

““Black is for mourning, mourning, mourning,

That will suit.'”

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