The following diagram is a ground plan of the room in which the dances are supposed to take place:-
A diagram, showing the initial disposition of the dancers, is printed at the head of the notation of each dance, and placed so that its four sides correspond with the four sides of the room as depicted in the above plan. That is, the upper and lower sides of the diagram represent, respectively, the right and left walls of the room; its left and right sides the top and bottom.
In Playford's time, the top of the room was called the Presence, alluding to the dais upon which the spectators were seated. The expression facing the Presence means therefore, facing up, i.e., toward the top of the room; while back to the presence means facing down, toward the bottom of the room.
Page transcribed by Hugh Stewart