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The crowd

On these occasions, the presence of the people could also be heard.   A crowd of 7,000 greeted Henri II as he went through the city gates at Lyons in 1548.   In the Low Countries, the clamour of the people was heard at Bruges in 1515 appealing to the young prince Charles to reinvigorate the city and its trade.  At Antwerp, in 1594, the Theatre of Peace (which as we’ve seen in Illustrations 18 and 19 so resembled the Colosseum) offered a visual reminder and plea from the townspeople that the wars that had devastated their country for so long might cease.   In German states, at Halle in 1616 for example, peasants were participants in the revelry - over 120 of them joined in the procession, tumbling as they went, and carrying sheaves of corn and farm implements.   Occasionally, though, the populace was not quiescent.  After the duc d’Anjou had left an elaborately contrived garden filled with elegant statues wrought in ancient fashion at the centre of Tours in 1576, the crowd came in and “pillaged, ravaged and ransacked” despite the guards posted all around.

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