Three kytchen maides have lefte us latelye for barbyng themselves upon hydden hookes that doe scatter our shelves and drawers. Thy persecuted daughter, ANNE WALTON. Our mind is dreadfully active sometimes, and the other day we began to speculate on Truth. Our friends are still avoiding us. Every man knows what Truth is, but it is impossible to utter it.
"Against May, Whitsonday, or other time, all the yung men and maides, olde men and wives, run gadding over night to the woods, groves, hils, and mountains, where they spend all the night in plesant pastimes; and in the morning they return, bringing with them birch and branches of trees, to deck their assemblies withall.
It can be said of them, as of the Jew, had they not "eyes, hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?" were they not as other men? It is recorded of Rev. Samuel Whiting, of Lynn, that "once coming among a gay partie of yong people he kist all ye maides and said yt he felt all ye better for it." And who can doubt it?
"Then doth the joyfull feast of John the Baptist take his turne, When bonfiers great with loftie flame, in every towne doe burne; And yong men round about with maides, doe daunce in every streete, With garlands wrought of Motherwort, or else with Vervain sweete, And many other flowres faire, with Violets in their handes, Whereas they all do fondly thinke, that whosoever standes, And thorow the flowres beholds the flame, his eyes shall feele no paine.
The last part is the most entertaining of all: it is headed 'The Third Part, treating of Gods and Goddesses, Men and Women, Boyes and Maides, Giants and Diuels, Birds and Beasts, Monsters and Serpents, Wells and Riuers, Herbes, Stones, Trees, Dogges, Fishes, and the like'; it is a key to the allusions to classical, historical, mythological, and other marvellous persons, animals, and things, to be met with in polite literature.
Would one have thought the foolish ape would putt The finger in the eye & tell it daddy! 'Tis a rare guift 'mong many maides of these dayes; If she speed well she'le bring it to a Custome, Make her example followed to the spoyle Of much good sport: but I meane to looke to't. Now, sir, your newes? Enter Buzzano. Buz. The most delicious, rare, absolute newes that ere came out of France, sir! Hen.
"Antient maides" were held in little esteem by him; not one thornback is on his list. Not only did he look and wander, but all his friends and neighbors arose and began to suggest and search for a suitable wife for him, with as officious alacrity as if he needed help, which he certainly did not. In March Madam Henchman strongly recommended to him "Madam Winthrop, the Major General's widow."
How did Ben Jonson pronounce the word? "Some that are proper find signify o'thing, And some another, and some that are nothing." But perhaps he pronounced thing, ting? If he did, Herrick as surely did not, for he has "Maides should say, or virgins sing, Herrick keeps, as holds, nothing,"
Ye scaffolds too from which ye provinder had been removed were swept cleane as broome could make them. Some seats were put up on ye scaffoldes whereon might sitt such of ye antient women as would see & ye maides and children. Ye greate floor was all held for ye company which was to partake of ye feast of fat things, none others being admitted there save them that were to wait upon ye same.
It was neatly adorned with green bows and other hangings and made very faire to look upon, ye wreaths being mostly wrought by ye young folk, they meeting together, both maides and young men, and having a merry time in doing ye work. Ye rough stalls and unbowed posts being gaily begirt and all ye corners and cubbies being clean swept and well aired, it truly did appear a meet banquetting hall.