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at Tutbury, in Staffordshire. The traditionary origin of the bull-running at Stamford, and the manner in which it was performed in the seventeenth century, are given by Butcher, in his survey of that town; and this account I shall lay before my readers in the author's own words. “ The bullrunning is a sport of no pleasure, except to such as take a pleasure in beastliness and mischief: it is performed just the day six weeks before Christmas. The butchers of the town, at their own charge, against the time provide the wildest bull they can get. This bull over night is had into some stable or barn belonging to the alderman. The next morning, proclamation is made by the common bellman of the town, round about the same, that each one shut up their shop-doors and gates, and that none, upon pain of imprisonment, offer to do any violence to strangers; for the preventing whereof, the town being a great thoroughfare, and then being term-time, a guard is appointed for the passing of travellers through the same, without hurt; that none have any iron upon their bull-clubs, or other staff which they pursue the bull with. Which proclamation made, and the gatos all shut up, the bull is turned out of the alderman's house ; and then hivie-skivy, tag and rag, men, women, and children, of all sorts and sizes, with all the dogs in the town promiscuously running after him with their bull-clubs, spattering dirt in each other's faces, that one would think them to be so many furies started out of hell for the punishment of Cerberus, &c. And, which is the greater shame, I have seen persons of rank and family, of both sexes,* following this bulling business. I can say no more of it, but only to set forth the antiquity thereof as tradition goes. William, Earl of Warren, the first lord of this town, in the time of King John, standing upon his castle-walls in Stamford, saw two bulls fighting for a cow in a meadow under the
A butcher of the town, owner of one of the bu!ls, set a great mastiff dog upon his own bull, who forced him up into the town; when all the butchers' dogs, great and small
, followed in pursuit of the bull, which, by this time made stark mad with the noise of the people and the fierceness of the dogs, ran over man, woman, and child that stood in his way. This caused all the butchers and others in the
* This passage he has Latinized in these words: “Senatores majorum gentium et matronæ de eodem gradu "
town to rise up, as it were, in a kind of tumult.” The sport so highly diverted the earl, who it seems was a spectator, that “ he gave all those meadows in which the two bulls had been fighting perpetually as a common to the butchers of the town, after the first grass is eaten, to keep their cattle in till the time of slaughter, upon the condition, that on the anniversary of that day they should yearly find, at their own expense, a mad bull for the continuance of the sport.”
The company of minstrels belonging to the manor of Tutbury had several peculiar privileges granted to them by a charter from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. In this charter it is required of the minstrels to perform their respective services, upon the day of the assumption of our Lady (the 15th of August), at the steward's court, held for the honour of Tutbury, according to ancient custom. They had also, it seems, a privilege, exclusive of the charter, to claim upon that day a bull from the prior of Tutbury. In the seventeenth century these services were performed the day after the assumption ; and the bull was given by the Duke of Devonshire, as the prior's representative.
The historian of Staffordshire informs us, that a dinner was provided for the minstrels upon this occasion, which being finished, they went anciently to the abbey-gate, but of late years to “a little barn by the town side, in expectance of the bull to be turned forth to them.” The animal provided forth is purpose had his horns sawed off, his ears cropped, his tail cut short, his body smeared over with soap, and his nose blown full of beaten pepper, in order to make him as mad as it was possible for him to be. Whence, “after solemn proclamation first being made by the steward, that all manner of persons should give way to the bull, and not come near him by forty feet, nor by any means to hinder the minstrels, but to attend to his or their own safeties, every one at his peril; he was then put forth, to be caught by the minstrels, and none other, within the county of Stafford, between the time of his being turned out to them and the setting of the sun, on the same day; which if they cannot doe, but the bull escapes from them untaken, and gets over the river into Derbyshire, he continues to be Lord Devonshire's property; on the other hand, if the minstrels can take him, and hold him so long as to cut off some small matter of his hair, and bring the same to the market-cross, in token that
they have taken him, the bull is brought to the bailiff's house in Tutbury, and there collared and roped, and so conveyed to the bull-ring in High-street, where he is baited with dogs ; the first course allotted for the king, the second for the honour of the town, and the third for the king of the minstrels; this done, the minstrels claim the beast, and may sell, or kill and divide him among them, according to their pleasure.” The author then adds, “this rustic sport, which they call bullrunning, should be annually performed by the minstrels only ; but now-a-days they are assisted by the promiscuous multitude, that flock thither in great numbers, and are much pleased with it; though sometimes through the emulation in point of manhood that has been long cherished between the Staffordshire and the Derbyshire men, perhaps as much mischief may have been done as in the bull-fighting practised at Valencia, Madrid, and other places in Spain.' The noise and confusion occasioned by this exhibition are aptly described in the marriage of Robin Hood and Chlorinda, Queen of Titbury Feast, a popular ballad published early in the last century :
Before we ne to it, we heard a strange shouting,
And all that were in it look'd madly,
And some singing Arthur 0 Bradley.*
Dancing “Dancing, being that which gives graceful motions to all our limbs and, above all things, manliness and a becoming confidence to young children, I think, cannot be learned too early. Nothing appears 10 me to give children so much confidence and behaviour, and so to raise them to the conversation of those above their years, as dancing."- Locke's Trea tise on Education.
“Multarum deliciarum comes saltatio."-Cicero. Under certain vehement emotions, more especially those of a pleasant description, all men are, and ever have been, natural, spontaneous, involuntary dancers. The child is
* Extracted from Strutt's Sports and Pastimes.
but “the father of the man,” when in his first leap for joy he executes le premier pas de la danse, yielding to the impulses of our common nature without dreaming that the saltatory merriment in which he indulges, and which might not improperly be termed the laughter of the legs, has been solemnly termed “the art of expressing the sentiments of the mind or the passions by measures, steps, or bounds, that are made in cadence; by regulated motions of the body, and by graceful gestures; all performed to the sound of musical instruments, or of the voice."
The connexion that exists between certain sounds and those motions of the human body called dancing, is assuredly a curious speculation that deserves more inquiry than has hitherto been bestowed upon it. Even between inanimate objects and certain notes, there is a sympathy, if that term may be allowed, which is equally surprising and inexplicable. It is well known that the most massive walls, nay, the solid ground itself, will responsively shake and tremble at particular notes in music. This strongly indicates the presence of some universally-diffused and exceedingly elastic fluid, which is thrown into vibrations by the concussions of the atmosphere upon it, produced by the motions of the sounding body. If these concussions are so strong as to make the large quantity of elastic fluid vibrate that is dispersed through a stone wall, or a considerable portion of earth, it is no wonder they should have the same effect upon that invisible and exceedingly subtile matter which pervades and seems to reside in our nerves.
6 Some there are whose nerves are so constructed that they cannot be affected by the sounds which affect others, while there are individuals whose nerves are so irritable that they cannot, without the greatest difficulty, sit or stand still when they hear a favourite piece of music played. It has been conjectured by profound inquirers into such subjects, that all the sensations and passions to which we are subject depend immediately upon the vibrations excited in the nervour fluid above mentioned. If this be true, we shall immediately understand the origin of the various dances among different nations. One kind of vibration, for instance, excites the passions of anger, pride, &c., which are paramount among warlike nations. The sounds capable of such effects would naturally constitute their martial
music, and dances conformable to it would be simulta neously instituted. Among barbarous people, in particular, this appears to have been an invariable occurrence. Other vibrations of the nervous fluid produce the passions of love joy, &c.; and sounds capable of exciting these particular vibrations will immediately be formed into music for dances of another kind."*
As barbarous people have the strongest passions, so they are the most easi.y affected by sounds, and the most addicted to dancing, whatever be the nature of the music by which it is accompanied. Mr. Gallini informs us, that the spirit of dancing prevails almost beyond imagination, among both men and women, in the greater part of Africa, in some districts of which it arises beyond a mere instinct, and may almost be termed a rage. Upon the Gold Coast, especially, the inhabitants are so passionately fond of it, that in the midst of their hardest labour, if they hear a person sing or any musical insérument played, they cannot refrain froin dancing. There are even well-attested stories of some negroes flinging themselves at the feet of a European playing on the fiddle, entreating him to desist, unless he had a niind to tire them to death, as they could not cease dancing so long as he continued playing.
The same involuntary, we had almost said spasmodie, obedience of the limbs to certain sounds, is found to prevail among the American Indians, whose saltatory orgasms are even more uncouth and irrepressible than those of the Africans. They love every thing, says Gallini, that makes a noise, however harsh and dissonant. They will also hum over something like a rude tune, to which they dance thirty or forty in a circle, stretching out their hands and laying them on each other's shoulders, stamping and jumping, and using the most antic gestures for several hours, till they are heartily weary. But we need not refer to nations either barbarous or civilized to prove this instinctive connexion between certain vibrations and corresponderit movements of the limbs, or to establish the pleasant intoxication of both the mind and body which dancing is calculated to produce. Singing and dancing have prevailed from the crea. sion to the present time, says a very grave inquirer; and
* Encyclop. Britan. art. Dancing.