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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Dancing of Royalty
By Pierre de Bourdeille, Seigneur de Brantôme (d. 1614)
 
From ‘Lives of Notable Women’

AH! how the times have changed since I saw them together in the ball-room, expressing the very spirit of the dance!  1
  The King always opened the grand ball by leading out his sister, and each equaled the other in majesty and grace. I have often seen them dancing the Pavane d’Espagne, which must be performed with the utmost majesty and grace. The eyes of the entire court were riveted upon them, ravished by this lovely scene; for the measures were so well danced, the steps so intelligently placed, the sudden pauses timed so accurately and making so elegant an effect, that one did not know what to admire most,—the beautiful manner of moving, or the majesty of the halts, now expressing excessive gayety, now a beautiful and haughty disdain. Who could dance with such elegance and grace as the royal brother and sister? None, I believe; and I have watched the King dancing with the Queen of Spain and the Queen of Scotland, each of whom was an excellent dancer.  2
  I have seen them dance the ‘Pazzemezzo d’Italie,’ walking gravely through the measures, and directing their steps with so graceful and solemn a manner that no other prince nor lady could approach them in dignity. This Queen took great pleasure in performing these grave dances; for she preferred to exhibit dignified grace rather than to express the gayety of the Branle, the Volta, and the Courante. Although she acquired them quickly, she did not think them worthy of her majesty.  3
  I always enjoyed seeing her dance the Branle de la Torche, or du Flambeau. Once, returning from the nuptials of the daughter of the King of Poland, I saw her dance this kind of a Branle at Lyons before the assembled guests from Savoy, Piedmont, Italy, and other places; and every one said he had never seen any sight more captivating than this lovely lady moving with grace of motion and majestic mien, all agreeing that she had no need of the flaming torch which she held in her hand; for the flashing light from her brilliant eyes was sufficient to illuminate the set, and to pierce the dark veil of Night.  4
 
 
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