HAVING prepared the Reader, by the preceding Chapter, of the Manner of taking off the Hat, I shall now speak of every Bow in particular, to let him know the Difference, by shewing him the Manner of making them properly, according to the different Occasions that offer every Day ; and shall begin with that made forwards : The Body being upright, slide either the right or left Foot forwards to the common Proportion, which is the fourth Position, as represented by these two Figures, which express in their Attitudes, the Uprightness of the Body, with one Foot foremost, to remind you that the Body ought not to incline or stoop, till after you have moved the Foot, because the Body follows the Legs ; and what it ought to do afterwards, appears by the other two Figures which are bent.
I say then, that you ought to move the Foot gently forwards, leaving the Weight of the Body on the hinder Leg, the Knee of which is forced to bend by the Weight of the Body ; whereas the foremost Leg ought to be very much extended : But the Inclination of the Body is greater or less according to the Quality of the Person you salute : The Head also inclines, which is one of the essential Parts of the Bow. And in bending the Waste, extend not the hinder Knee, because that would raise the Hip, and make the Body seem awry ; whereas in the Disposition I have given, all the Parts are supported by their Opposites : But when you rise again, let it be with the same Ease you bow'd ; and in rising leave the Weight of the Body on the foremost Leg, which gives the other behind the Liberty of advancing forwards, or stepping sideways to make another Bow, which is commonly made behind, and what I shall explain in the Manner of making your Honours in entering a Room.
IN making a passing Bow in walking, it is to be done as the former, except that you must turn your Body half sideways towards the Person you bow to, sliding that Leg before you which is next them, bending the Waste, and inclining the Head at the same Time, as I have endeavoured to express in this Figure.
IF the Salute is to be paid on the left Side, it must be with the left Foot, and on the right Side with the right Foot. But as Bows are used in several Places, I ought to distinguish those where they ought to be made with the greatest Observance : For Example ; those in the Streets may be made more carelesly ; but those in publick Walks, where Persons of the best Fashion resort, they must be made with more Care and Regard. In walking in such publick Places, People generally wear their Hats under their Arms ; therefore if you meet a Person of a superiour Rank, you must take your Hat in your right Hand, and afterwards make a very low Bow, to shew the greater Respect.
IT is also necessary to observe, when you bend the Body, not to incline the Head so much as to hide the Face, which is so much the more palpable Fault, because you put the Person in doubt whether or no it is him you salute ; therefore before you begin the Bow, look the Person modestly in the Face, which is what we call directing your Bow before you make it. I am very well perswaded, that by Attention to these Observations, every one will make their Honours with all the Grace they require ; but as the surest Way of learning is a frequent Repetition of what we desire to know, I exhort those young Gentlemen who are bred in Academies and Colleges, to apply themselves closely to their Honours, since they are most exposed to the Meeting of their Masters or Tutors, and indispensibly obliged to pay or return a Salute ; therefore I advise them to apply themselves more strictly to these Things, that they may become more habitual to them.
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THESE Bows are made quite different from the former, as they are more respectful ; and for this Reason require more Care, it being a Pleasure to a Man's self to be distinguished from the common People. Supposing then the Hat in the Hand, and the Feet in the fourth Position, and the Body as the Figure represents, the Weight of the Body on the left Foot, and by consequence the Right ready to move, or make a Step, which it does on the same Line : The Heel is first set down in making this Step, and the Body rests the more easily thereon ; then make the Bow as this second Figure represents, which is in the fourth Position.
THE Body being thus rested on the right Foot (3), and the Left (4) ready to move, you draw it easily behind the right Foot (3), in the third Position, rising at the same Time that you draw the Foot behind, which brings the Body upright, and is the Extent of your Honour.
I have seen many bow from the Waste, and draw the Leg at the same Time : I think it very good ; but, in my Opinion, the Manner I have described seems more graceful, and to have a much better Air.
I have told you that this Bow is different from that forwards, which is made by sliding the Foot and bowing at the same Time ; whereas in this backwards, you first bow the Body and Head before you move the Foot, but not at too great a Distance of Time, because these Honours onght to be made together to avoid Affectation.
BUT the Way to bring one's self to a Habit of doing them well, is to make several together, which will be the more easy, as the Foot drawn behind having finished the Extent of the Step, you have the Weight of the Body upon it, and from thence move the foremost Foot aside to make another, and so continue to make several together ; for when you have the Manner of making them with one Foot, you make them easily with the Contrary ; and so by practice you make them equally with one Foot as well as the other.
I DOUBT not but I should be accused of Indifference, or of knowing only how to teach Men, if I should not shew my Zeal and Care for the Instruction of the fair Sex, who are the Life of Dancing, unless I would cut off the most beautiful Part of the Creation ; for without Women there's no Spirit in Dancing ; they raise that ardent and noble Emulation that appears between them and us, when we dance together, especially those who delight in this Exercise, of which there is a great Number ; for nothing to me seems more engaging in a Company, than to see two Persons of each Sex dance together with Justness and Applause : For which Reason, independantly of what I have already said of the Manner of Walking in the foregoing Chapters, which equally regards both Sexes, the same Remarks are necessary for the Women, who ought to turn out their Feet, and straighten or extend their Knees ; though it is said by some, that these Faults are imperceptible in them ; but to undeceive such Persons, especially those young Ladies who are negligent of themselves, let them walk before a Glass, and observe the Manner I have laid down in the preceding Chapters, and let them walk carelesly, they will find they have another Air, and own, that by holding their Heads upright the Body is more steady, and by extending their Knees their Steps are more firm.
IN short, I have made an Observation, which seems to me very just, on the Manner of carrying the Head ; which is, that a Woman, how graceful soever she may be in her Deportment, may be differently judged of : For Example; if she holds it upright, and the Body disposed, without Affectation, or too much Boldness, they say there goes a stately Lady ; if the carries it negligently, they accuse her of Carelessness; if she pokes her Head forward, of Indolence ; and in short, if she stoops, of Thoughtlessness, or want of Assurance ; and so on.
THEREFORE my Desire is, that young Ladies would only observe the easy Method I lay down, to avoid the Faults I have recited, which has engaged me to place this Figure here which represents the Carriage they ought to have in Walking : Viz. the Head upright, the Shoulders down, the Arms bent, and easily drawn back to the Body, and the Hands before, one upon the other, with a Fan ; but above all, without Affectation.
WOMEN labour not under the same Difficulties that the Men do, to make their Honours ; it is enough for them to have a good Presence, that they turn their Feet out, flide them properly, sink equally on their Knees, and hold up their Heads, their Bodies being steady, and their Arms well placed, as this Figure shews, which is what is most essential.
WE may distinguish three sorts of Honours for them as well as ourselves, viz. a Courtesy forwards, a passing Courtesy, and a Courtesy behind, which is that which shews the greatest Respect, and in which there is made a little Stop, and the Sink much lower.
I shall begin with those forwards : One Foot must be slid gently before, to the fourth Position, leaving the Weight of the Body on both Legs ; then sink easily with both Knees, not bending in the Waste, that ought to be most upright, without wavering, which oftentimes happens by the Feet being ill placed, either too close or too wide ; but when you have sunk low enough, rise again with the same Ease, which finishes the Honour.
AS to that en passant, or passing by one, it is made after the same Manner, except that when you meet any Person, you make two or three Steps forwards to begin your Honour, looking at the Person you salute, to direct your Courtesy, and at the same Time turn half sideways towards the Person you salute, and slide forwards the Foot that is nearest to them ; then sink, and rise again easy, observing to rest the Weight of the Body on the foremost Foot, to be able to move with the Hinder.
THIS second Figure is to represent and give a just Idea of this Honour, which being made on the right Side, the Head is turned on the same Side, and the right Shoulder, as you see, falling back. But as these Courtesies are most used in publick Walks, and other Places of Ceremony, it ought to be observed, that when you salute any one above you, instead of making your passing Courtesy, you should make one backwards, to shew the greater Respect.
THIS Courtesy is made by a Step on either Side, in the second Position ; the Weight of the Body resting on the moved Foot, and the other drawn to it with both the Heels close together, in the first Position ; then sink on both Feet very low, and rise again with the same Ease : But if you are to make a second Courtesy, you must rest the Weight of the Body on the Foot you have drawn, and step the other Foot aside, and do the same Thing with the other Foot. For this Reason I have drawn this Figure, which represents a Courtesy, in a direct Prospect, or to the Presence, which I thought very necessary to come at a true Eclaircissement. Also Care should be taken not to draw the Foot and sink at the same Time, which would disorder the Body, put it out of its perpendicular Position, and make it waver.
I have also said that the two Heels should be close to one another ; in which Position, when you bend the Knees, turning them outwards, neither is advanced before the other ; whereas by drawing one Foot behind the other, the Knee must appear forwards, and will more easily fall inwards, both which Faults should be avoided.
WHEN you come into a Room, pull off your Hat with the right Hand, as I have said in the tenth Chapter, and advance two or three Steps forwards, that the Door may not be in your Way ; and also take time to direct your Honours : Afterwards make your first Bow forwards ; but in rising up, rest the Body on the Foot moved forwards, and with the Hinder, step aside in the same Line, according to the second Position, to make your Bow backwards.
AFTER these two Bows, you enter ; and if there be a great deal of Company seated on both Sides of you, make your Honours en passant as you go along on both Hands, as you go through the Company.
BUT in case you go to speak to any one, in accosting him, you make the same Bows as at your Entrance ; and in quitting him, make two Bows backwards, and others en passant, as far as good Manners allows of, which has no Bounds ; the Behaviour of People of Fashion being the best Rule.
AFTER having taught the Manner of entering a Room, I must, to pursue the Instruction necessary for Youth, give an Idea of a Ball, and of the Manner of behaving with Politeness, whether a Person be taken out to dance, or goes to take out another, which shall be explained in the following Chapters.
I THOUGHT I could not give a Description capable of gaining Attention for the Ceremonies and Rules of private Balls, before I gave a short Account of the King's grand Ball ; to which, as it is the Entertainment of People of the first Rank, all private Balls ought to be conformable, as well for the Order kept, as the Respect and Politeness observed therein.
FIRST you must know, that nobody is admitted in the Ring but Princes and Princesses of the Blood ; then Dukes and Peers, and Dutchesses ; and after them, the other Lords and Ladies of the Court according to their Rank ; the Ladies placed foremost, and the Lords behind them.
EVERY one being thus placed in Order, when his Majesty has a Mind the Ball should begin, he rises, and the whole Court does the same.
THE King places himself in that Part of the Room most proper for the Beginning of the Ball, (which is by the Musick Room). The late King used to dance with his Queen, and in her Absence his Majesty took out the first Princess of the Blood, and they placed themselves first, and after them every one in a Row according to their Rank ; all the Lords on the left Side, and all the Ladies on the Right ; and in this Order they made their Honours one before the other. Afterwards his Majesty and his Partner led up the Brawl, which was danced wherever there were any Court Balls, all the Lords and Ladies following their Majesties, each on their Side ; and at the End of the Strain, the King and Queen went to the Bottom, and the next Couple led up the Brawl in their Turn, and so successively till their Majesties came at the Top again : After which they danced the Gavotte in the same Order as the Brawl, every Couple going to the Bottom in their Turn ; and then made the same Honours in parting as they did before they began to dance.
AFTERWARDS they danced double Dances ; but formerly the Courant used to be danced after the Brawls : And Lewis the Fourteenth danced one better than any Person of his Court, as I shall give you an Account hereafter ; but now the Menuet is danced after the Brawls.
THEREFORE after the King has danced the first Menuet, he goes to his Seat, and every Body then sits down ; for while his Majesty is dancing, all stand : After which the Prince, who is to dance next, makes the King a low Bow, and then goes to the Queen or first Princess, and they make their Honours together before they begin to dance ; and after the Menuet, they make the same Honours as before. Then this Lord makes a very low Bow to this Princess at parting from her, because nobody offers to reconduct her to the King.
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AT the same Instant he advances two or three Steps, to address himself by a Bow to the Princess that is to dance next, to invite her to dance, and there waits for her to make their Honours together to the King, as shewn by the Figures (1), (2) ; then they descend a little lower, as represented by the Figures (3), (4), and make the usual Honours together before dancing, and dance a Menuet, and then make the same Honours again ; afterwards he makes her a Bow backwards, taking his Leave, and goes to his Place ; whilst the Lady observes the same Ceremonial to invite another Prince, and so to the End. But if his Majesty desires another Dance to be danced, one of the first Gentlemen of his Bed-Chamber speaks for it ; but still the same Honours are observed.
AS I proposed in all this Treatise to teach Youth the Manner of Behaviour in publick Places ; and as Balls give a certain Freedom, by the easy Admittance every Body finds, and as a great many who come puffed up with I know not what Birth or Rank, but little Manners, take Liberties contrary to a just Order and Decorum, I shall set down here the Ceremonies that ought to be observed, to prepossess my Readers in their Favour by their Politeness.
AS in regulated Balls there's a King and Queen, whose Example is to be followed, they begin to dance, and when their first Menuet is over, the Queen invites another Gentleman to come and dance with her ; and after they have danced, he reconducts, and asks her in a handsome Manner, who she has a Mind that he should take out ; and then making her a Bow, goes to the Lady he is to dance with, to invite her to dance. But if she is talking to any Body, and does not come presently, he must go to that Part of the Room where they begin to dance, and wait for her, watching her Motions to go to meet her, which is what good Manners requires. After the Menuet, or other Dance, you make the same Honours as before you begun : And independant of all this, the Gentleman makes a Bow backwards, and goes to his Place.
BUT if any one takes you out, when 'tis your Turn you must ask that Person that first ask'd you, otherwise it would be a Breach of good Manners : This Rule is equally to be observed by the Ladies. So when you are invited to dance, you must go to the Place where they begin, and make your Honours before Dancing : And after you have danced, and made your Honours again, lead the Lady to her Place, and then invite another Lady ; but should you happen to take out a Lady that excuses herself with not being used to dance, or not having learnt long enough, you must lead her back to her Place, and pitch upon another, to prevent any Disorder in the Ball. But when you are press'd close to dance, and have once refused before, you must not dance all that Ball, notwithstanding any Perswasion, because that would affront the Person that ask'd first, which ought to be observed by Persons of both Sexes. Also they that have the Management of the Ball ought to take Care that every one dances in their Turn, to avoid Confusion and Displeasure ; and if any Persons come in Masquerade, to make them dance first, that they may introduce their Company afterwards ; Regard being always to be had to Masques, as they often disguise People of the first Rank.
I doubt not, but by these Precautions, those that assist at Balls, and those that make the Company, will distinguish themselves only by their good Manners and Breeding.
AS to private Dancings in Families, which are generally composed of Relations and Friends, the same Ceremonial ought to be observed, as well as in Balls ; that is, to know how to take a Person out to dance, by making their Honours properly, and returning them reciprocally. Above all, I recommend to young Persons, for whom these Dancings are often made, to observe these Rules that there Masters ought to have taught them, and to take a Pride in the Education they receive.
THOUGH the Honours before Dancing are made after the same Manner as those backwards, yet they require some particular Instructions ; therefore I desire Attention to the Rules I shall give, to make them well, which is of Consequence, because in whatever Company we are, we generally look very earnestly at those that are going to dance ; and when any one presents himself with a good Grace, we are very much prepossessed in the Favour of him, that should he not dance so extraordinarily well, it is some Merit to know how to make a Bow handsomly.
I also am obliged to inform you, that you ought to have your Gloves on before you place yourself for dancing, nay, even before you go to ask a Lady to dance, for it is a Piece of Rudeness to make her wait for you.
I suppose you then standing aside of one another, the right Foot foremost, in the fourth Position, as this Figure represents : I shall not speak of the Manner of pulling off the Hat, having already spoken of it before, but shall only tell you, that here it must be taken off by the left Hand, with the same Precautions as with the Right, the Body being rested on the left Foot (1), the right Foot before (2), take off the Hat with the left Hand, letting it fall by the Side, the same as the right Arm, as demonstrated (3), presenting at the same time the right Hand (4) to the Lady, looking at her.
THESE two Figures are to shew the Gentleman and Lady placed as they should be ; the Lady on the Right, and the Gentleman on the Left aside of each other, on the same Line ; the Gentleman holding the Lady by the Hand, his below (5), and hers above (6); her right Arm extended by her Side, holding her Pettycoat with her Thumb (7), the Hand being hid by the Pettycoats as the Arm is turned outwards.
FROM this Attitude the Man moves his right Foot aside to the Line (8), which is the second Position, and the Lady her left Foot also aside to (9) in the same Position.
THESE two other Figures express the Form of this Honour ; the Man having moved his Foot into the second Position, rests the Weight of his Body on it, and bows at the same Time to make his Honour, which is made as the Honours backwards, as I have said before : But in making this Honour he does not let the Lady's Hand go ; and to make you sensible of all the Times, I'll distinguish them.
THE Body resting intirely on the right Foot (10), the Left is ready to move (11); but from the Beginning to rise from your Bow, the Left with the Heel raised, slides at the same Time behind the Right, a little farther than the third Position, as appears by the Figure (12), which brings the Body again into its perpendicular Station.
BUT in rising again, the Body rests on the left Foot, and you let go the Lady's Hand, sliding the right Foot forwards, crossing it a little more than in the fifth Position. In making this Step, the Body moves different from other common Steps, because it turns to the Left, moving the Leg and Arm of the same Side at the same Time ; and when you slide the right Foot, the left Knee bends, which by its Motion throws the Body on the right, and by making a quarter Turn about to the Right, sets you opposite to your Lady. Then make a Step, with the left Foot aside, in the second Position, and looking at her to direct your Honour, bow from the Waste and incline the Head, as in the First, and rising, draw the right Foot behind : But if you are to dance a Menuet, you in rising leave the Body on the Left, to move with your Right in the Menuet Step. If it is another Dance, you must, after drawing the right Foot behind, leave the Weight of the Body on that, to be able at the same Time to slide the left Foot forwards, to return to the Place from whence you made your first Honour ; and making a quarter Turn to the Left, and another Step with the right Foot, which sets you before the Presence, there to wait for the Time of the Musick to begin your Dance.
AS to the Lady, having the left Foot before, in the fourth Position, she steps aside with it in the Second, and afterwards drawing the Right quite close in the First, bends both Knees equally, as I have shewn before. The first Honour being finished, she must leave the Weight of her Body on the right Foot, and slide the Left forwards a little beyond the fifth Position, to make a quarter Turn to the Left and at the same Time make a step with the right Foot aside which brings her opposite to her Partner ; then looking at him, and drawing the left Foot close to the Right, she sinks easily, and rises again, resting the Body on the left Foot, to be able to move with the right in the Menuet. But if 'tis another Dance, she must slide the right Foot forwards somewhat beyond the fifth Position ; and in returning to the Place from whence she began her first Courtesy, and making a quarter Turn to the Right, and a Step with the left Foot in the second Position, she will front the Presence.
AS it is most essential in Dancing, to know how to take the Movements, the Way to perform them justly, is to know them well, and to know them thoroughly, to understand the Power of Motion, which is what I shall endeavour to make you apprehend by the Rules of Art.
THERE are three Movements from the Waste to the Feet, which is that of the Hip, Knee, and Instep : From these principal Movements we form all the different Steps in Dancing.
BUT they are not brought to their Perfection until the Joints have made their Flexions, or Bendings, and regain'd the Situation they were in before ; that is to say, the Leg stretch'd out.
I shall begin then by the Explanation of that of the Instep, which has two ways of moving, to wit, Tension and Extension, according to the Terms of Anatomists, which is what we call raising the Toe and setting it down : In my Opinion I find it the most tiresome Motion of all, because it supports the Weight of the Body in its Equilibrium or Balance, and is the most necessary to dance well : 'Tis by its greater or less Strength that the Leg extends it self with most Ease, either in Dancing or Jumping ; for the Instep, by its Strength, raises you with Sprightliness, and when you fall again you light on your Toes. The Number of Steps on the Toes in Dancing make you seem somewhat more light ; but it is the Hip that makes the Step, and the Instep which supports the Body and compleats it, by carrying it on with that Lightness.
THE Movement of the Knee is different from this because it is not in its Perfection but when the Leg is extended and on the Toes, as is plain in the half Coupees, where the Knee bends, and the Toe is raised a little ; but when you make the Step and raise yourself, 'tis the Instep that compleats it ; therefore the Movement of the Knee is inseparable from the Instep : That of the Hip is very different, its Movement is not so apparent, but nevertheless it governs and disposes the other Movements, since neither the Knees nor Feet could turn out if the Hip did not turn first, which is undeniable, since it is the commanding Joint. But there are Steps in which no other Joint but the Hip has any thing to do, as in the Capers in Theatrical Dancings, in which the Hips only move the Legs, which are to be well extended, therefore neither Instep nor Knee moves. But as I took upon me only to give Instructions in the several Steps used in Ball Dancing, I should not inlarge on those which are more difficult to be performed.