Thursday, December 29, 2016

Proper Celebrating...nothing that leads to fornication

1736 A Ball by Johann Franz Hörmannsperger (Austrian, 1710-) The musician’s hats are levitating!

Dancing, wrote Philip Stubbs or Stubbes (c 1555 – 1610) in 1583, is altogether a “horrible vice.” In his work The Anatomie of Abuses, Stubbes decryed, “what clipping, what culling, what kissing and bussing, what smouching and slabbering of one another: what filthy groping and unclean handling is not practised everywhere in these dancings.” For dancing “provoketh lust, and the fires of lust, [which] once conceived...burst forth into the open action of whoredom and fornication.” 

In The Anatomie of Abuses, Philip Stubbs – a pamphleteer – rails against aspects of popular culture that he believes are immoral and in need of immediate reform if his fellow countrymen and women are to escape punishment from God. The subjects that come under his criticism include some expected transgressions – visiting prostitutes, lending money at interest, drinking and gluttony – plus others which are surprising – the wearing of fancy clothing, showy hats, the theater, sports, and dancing! His work summarizes "Notable Vices and Imperfections, as now raigne in many Countreyes of the World: but (especiallye) in a famous ILANDE called AILGNA," (Ailgna is another name for England.) Stubbes has been described as a Puritan (or at least exceedingly puritanical); but records indicate, that he supported the established Church. 


Restrained Couples dancing with propriety in the Dance House of Augsburg, 1500

See The British Library