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day of delivery, for restitution of the cattle, in case the bride die childless within a certain day limited by agreement, and in this case every man's own beast is restored. Thus care is taken that no man shall grow rich by often marriages. On the day of bringing home, the bridegroom and his friends ride out, and meet the bride and her friends at the place of treaty. Being come near each other, the custom was of old to cast short darts at the company that attended the bride, but at such a distance that seldom any hurt ensued; yet it is not out of the memory of man that the Lord Hoath on such an occasiop lost an eye: this custom of casting darts is now obsolete.” The following is from the Gent. Mag. for March, 1767,
“ The ancient custom of seizing wives by force, and carrying them off
, is still practised in Ireland. A remarkable instance of which happened lately in the county of Kilkenny, where a farmer's son, being refused a neighbour's daughter of only twelve years of age, took an opportunity of running away with her ; but being pursued and recovered by the girl's parents, she was brought back and married by her father to a lad of fourteen. But her former lover, determining to maintain his priority, procured a party of armed men, and beseiged the houte of his rival; and in the contest the fatherin-law was shot dead, and several of the beseigers were mortally wounded, and forced to retire without their prize.”
THE NUPTIAL KISS IN THE CHURCH.
This nuptial kiss in the church is enjoined both by the York Missal' and the Sarum Manual. It is expressly mentioned in the following line from the old play of the Insatiate Countess, by Marston :
“ The kisse thou gav'st me in the church, here take."
| Thus the York Missal : “ Accipiat sponsus pacem (the pax) a sacerdote, et ferat sponsæ, osculans eam, et neminem alium, nec ipse nec ipsa."
2 4to. Par. 1553, Rubrick, fol. 69 : “ Surgant ambo, sponsus et sponsa, et accipiat sponsus pacem a sacerdote, et ferat sponsæ, osculans eam, et neminem alium, nec ipse nec ipsa.”
We learn that, in dancing, kiss was anciently the established fee of a lady's partner.” So, in a Dialogue between Custom and Veritie concerning the Use and Abuse of Dancing and Minstrelsie, printed by John Allde:
“But some reply, what foole would daunce,
If that, when daunce is doone,
That which in daunce he woon?", This custom is still prevalent among the country people in many, perhaps all, parts of the kingdom. When the fiddler thinks his young couple have had music enough, he makes his instrument squeak out two notes which all understand to say, “Kiss her!” In the Tempest this line occurs :
“ Curtsied when you have and kissed.” To which the following is a note : “As was antiently done at the beginning of some dances.” So, in King Henry VIII. that prince says:
“I were unmannerly to take you out,
And not to kiss you." It is still customary among persons of middling rank as well as the vulgar, in most parts of England, for the young men present at the marriage ceremony to salute the bride, one by one, the moment it is concluded. This, after officiating in the ceremony myself, I have frequently seen done. In the provincial poem of the Collier's Wedding, the bride is introduced as being waylaid, after the ceremony, at the church style for this purpose. [It is almost unnecessary to remind the reader of the excellent use made of this custom by Shakespeare in the Taming of the Shrew.]
The subsequent curious particulars relating to the nuptial kiss in the church, &c. are from Randolph's Letters, cited by Andrews in his Continuation of Henry's History of Great Britain, 1796, p. 148, note. He is speaking of the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to Lord Darnley : “She had on her back the great mourning gown of black, with the great white mourning hood, &c. The rings, which were three, the middle a rich diamond, were put on her finger. They kneel together, and many prayers were said over them; she tarrieth out the mass, and he taketh a kiss, and leaveth her there, and went
to her chamber, whither, within a space, she followeth, and being required (according to the solemnity) to cast off her cares, and leave aside these sorrowful garments, and give herself to a more pleasant life, after some pretty refusal (more, I believe for manner sake than grief of heart), she suffereth them that stood by, every man that could approach, to take out a pin ; and so, being committed to her ladies, changed her garments, but went not to bed; to signifie to the world that it was not lust that moved them to marry, but only the necessity of her country, not, if God will, to leave it without an heir.”! Vaughan, in his Golden Grove, 1608, says: “ Among the Romans, the future couple sent certain pledges one to another, which, most commonly, they themselves afterwards being present, would confirme with a religious kisse.”
CARE CLOTH. AMONG the Anglo-Saxons the nuptial benediction was performed under a veil, or square piece of cloth, held at each corner by a tall man over the bridegroom and bride, to conceal her virgin blushes ; but if the bride was a widow, the veil was esteemed useless. According to the use of the church of Sarum, when there was a marriage before mass, the parties kneeled together and had a fine linen cloth (called the care
I Nor is the nuptial kiss an English ceremony only. In the Dissertations sur les Antiquités de Russie, by Dr. Guthrie, already quoted, we have the following section among the marriage ceremonies, p. 129: “ Kitra, ou baser d'amour des Grecs.-Après que la bénédiction nuptiale a déclaré les jeunes époux mari et femme, ce caractère leur donne le droit de suivre une coutume aussi singulière qu'ancienne, qui consiste à se donner le kitra des Grecs, ou le fameux baiser d'antiquité, si emblématique de l'amour et de l'attachement, dont Théocrite parle dans la cinquième idylle, où il représente une jeune nymphe qui se plaint amèrement de son amant Alcippes ; parce que l'ingrat, à qui elle a bien voulu donner un baiser, a dédaigné de jouir de cette faveur selon la manière usitée, c'est-à-dire, en la prenant par les oreilles. Tibulle, dans sa cinquième élégie, liv. II., et Ciceron dans sa vingt-septième épître familière, citent pareillement ce témoignage curieux de l'amour, que nous trouvons encore en usage parmi les paysans Russes, lorsqu'une fois engagés par le lien du mariage ils se donnent le premier baiser conjugal."
cloth) laid over their heads during the time of mass, till they received the benediction, and then were dismissed.'
I have a curious Wedding Sermon, by William Wheatley, preacher of Banbury in Oxfordshire, 1624, entitled a Care Cloth, or a Treatise of the Cumbers and Troubles of Marriage. I know not the etymology of the word “care,” used here in composition with “cloth.” Wheatley has given it the ordinary meaning of the word, but I think erroneously. Like many other etymologists, he has adapted it to his own purpose. Selden's fifteenth chapter in his Uxor Hebraica (Opera ii. 633), treats “de velaminibus item quibus obtecti sponsi.”
In the Appendix to Hearne's Hist. and Antiq. of Glastonbury, p. 309, is preserved “ Formula antiqua nuptias in iis partibus Angliæ occidentalibus nimirum) quæ ecclesiæ Herefordensis in ritibus ecclesiasticis ordine sunt usi, celebrandi.” The care cloth seems to be described in the following passage : “ Hæc oratio ‘S. propiciare Domine,' semper dicatur super nubentes sub pallio prosternentes.”
In Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland, 1793,
· Blount in v. In the Hereford Missal it is directed that at a particular prayer the married couple shall prostrate themselves, while four clerks hold the pall, i. e. the care cloth over them. See the Appendix to Hearne's Glastonbury, p. 309 et seq. The Rubric in the Sarum Manual is somewhat different: “ Prosternat se sponsus et sponsa in oratione ad gradum altaris, extenso super eos pallio, quod teneant quatuor clerici per quatuor cornua in superpelliciis." The York Manual also differs here: “ Missa dein celebratur, illis genuflectentibus sub pallio super eos extento, quod teneant duo clerici in superpelliceis.”
Something like this care cloth is used by the modern Jews, from whom it has probably been derived into the Christian church : “ There is a square vestment called Taleth, with pendents about it, put over the head of the bridegroom and the bride together." See Leo Modena's Rites of the Jews, by Chilmead, 1650, p. 176. Levi, in his Succinct Account of the Rites and Ceremonies of the Jews as observed by them in their different dispersions throughout the World at this present time, p. 132, speaks of a “ velvet canopy.” He adds, that when the priest has taken the glass of wine into his hand, he says as follows: "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the universe, the creator of the fruit of the vine. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the universe, who hath sanctified us with his commandments, and hath forbid us fornication, and hath pro. hibited unto us the betrothed, but hath allowed unto us those that are married unto us by the means of the CANOPY and the wedding-ring : blessed art thou, O Lord! the sanctifier of his people Israel, by the means of the CANOPY and wedlock."
v. 83, the minister of Logierait in Perthshire, speaking of the superstitious opinions and practices of the parish, says: “Immediately before the celebration of the marriage-ceremony, every knot about the bride and bridegroom (garters, shoestrings, strings of petticoats, &c.) is carefully loosened. After leaving the church the whole company walk round it, keeping the church-walls always upon the right hand. The bridegroom, however, first retires one way with some young men to tie the knots that were loosened about him ; while the young married woman, in the same manner, retires somewhere else to adjust the disorder of her dress.”
CALLED ALSO BRIDE-BUSH, BRIDE-STAKE, BIDDING,
BRIDE-ALE, bride-bush, and bride-stake are nearly synonymous terms, and all derived from the circumstance of the bride's selling ale on the wedding-day, for which she received, by way of contribution, whatever handsome price the friends assembled on the occasion chose to pay her for it. The
expense of a bride-ale was probably defrayed by the relations and friends of a happy pair, who were not in circumstances to bear the charges of a wedding-dinner.
In the Christen State of Matrimony, 1543, f. 48, we read : “When they come home from the church, then beginneth excesse of eatyng and drynking, and as much is waisted in one daye as were sufficient for the two newe-maried folkes halfe a year to lyve upon."!
The following is from the Antiquarian Repertory, iii. 24, communicated by Astle from the court-rolls of Hales-Owen Borough, in the county of Salop (in the hands of Thomas
1 I know not the meaning of the following lines in Christopher Brooke's Epithalamium:
“The board being spread, furnished with various plenties;
The bride's fair object in the middle plac'd.” Opposite, in the margin, is "dinner.”