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The Masque - So What Was THAT About?
This page explains some of the things behind remarks Diccen makes, and things he does, while teaching the Masque.
"Good Morrow"- It was polite to greet people much more than we now tend to do. Diccen hasn't yet had time to sort out whether the people in front of him are very important, so he treats them as GENTRY just in case.
Beating Children?Diccen tells how any father would expect his son to be beaten at school. In the first place, only sons, that is, boys, went to school. If girls were tutored, they were taught at home.
In the second place, it was thought that if you beat a boy, he would remember what you'd been telling him better. So school involved many beatings. I'm hoping to find a copyright-free picture I can put here, but meanwhile, any picture you see of a schoolmaster with boys normally has the birch branch somewhere in sight, usually in the master's hand.
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Here's part of a Bruegel, or Brueghel, painting.
This bit shows the points between jerkin (waistcoat) and hose (leggings) quite clearly.
Look at Brueghel's paintings again - "Children's Games" is a good one. The boy with blue hose in the front right hand corner, playing a sort of leap-frog game shows them well. Or paintings of more gentry people, where you'll see ribbons, often with metal tags, points, on the end, fastening gaps between parts of clothing. Sleeves were often held in this way too.
But wait, I hear you say, we thought Henry VIII spoke French at court himself.
Quite right, he did... some of the time. It all depended whether he liked the French at the time or not. So when he was trying to get his younger sister Mary Rose (18 yrs.old at the time,) to marry the old, ill King Louis of France, as a way of getting France on his side, French was in fashion. It was different when he was fighting the French to get back bits of France he thought of as belonging to England. France was now The Enemy and things French were out of fashion.
And as for the Spanish,wasn't Henry himself married to a Spanish Princess, Katherine of Aragon?
Quite true, and some of the time he made friendly noises to the Spanish. Then various things happened, including Katherine's father choosing to make friends with kings Henry didn't like, just when poor Mary Rose was due to be married to as Spanish Prince, who was also an Austrian Prince (what horribly complicated families these Royals all had!) So that marriage was off...just in time to marry her off to the French Louis.
Then of course he fell out with Katherine herself, and ended their marriage, so Spain was not too pleased about that, and things Spanish were then very much out of fashion.
In fact it was often quite difficult keeping up with King Henry's latest mood.
For Example...1509: Henry brings French and other European musicians and artists to England, to make the court more fashionable.
Then French falls out of fashion and is banned as a language at court.
1513: Henry & his court all visit France, and copy EVERYTHING French, especially Burgundian.
1513: Henry and some other countries go to war with France.
1513: Mary Rose has been betrothed - promised in marriage - to Charles Archduke of Austria and Prince of Castile, in Spain. King Ferdinand of Spain, Katherine of Aragon's Dad, offends Henry. The wedding's off.
1514: Mary Rose is married to the old (52 yr old!) French King Louis, instead, to show how friendly we all are after all.
1515: Louis is dead.
In the time leading up to the 1520 meeting with the new French King Francis, he & Henry agree that neither of them will shave their beards off until they've met.
1520, June. The Field of the Cloth of Gold. The two kings meet. Henry spends the equivalent of over £4 million, at modern value, on food and drink alone, to impress France. They sign treaties of eternal peace & friendship.
1520, July. Henry signs a treaty with Emperor Charles, the Holy Roman Emperor, that he won't sign any more friendly treaties with France for at least two years. Francis hears, & is not pleased.
Early 1521: H. hears Francis has had a head injury, causing him to have his hair cut short while it mends. Orders the English courtiers to have theirs cut short too, to show sympathy, but grows his own long again quite soon.
1523: England at war with France again.
And so it went on.
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