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like the stikas ut sobriety. When Christian IV., King of Denmark, Vannband England in July, 1606, the carousals at the palace were carinil to a most extravagant height, and their influence on the higher Janka Wils such, that " our good English nobles,” remarks Harringilla " whom I never could get to taste good liquor, now follow the fashion, and wallow in beastly delights. The ladies abandon their sobriety, and are seen to roll about in intoxication;" accusations which he fully substantiates whilst relating the following most ludiCrous scene:
** One day,” says he, “ a great feast was held, and, after dinner, the representation of Solomon his Temple, and the coming of the Queen of Sheba was made, or (as I may better say) was meant to have been made, before their Majesties, by device of the Earl of Salisbury and others. But, alas ! as all earthly thinges do fail to poor mortals in enjoyment, so did prove our presentment hereof. The Lady who did play the Queen's part, did carry most precious gifts to both their Majesties ; but, forgetting the steppes arising to the canopy, overset her caskets into his Danish Majesties lap, and fell at his feet, tho I rather think it was in his face. Much was the hurry and confusion; cloths and napkins were at hand, to make all clean. His Majesty then got up and would dance with the Queen of Sheba; but he fell down and humbled himself before her, and was carried to an inner chamber and laid on a bed of state ; which was not a little defiled with the presents of the Queen which had been bestowed on his garments ; such as wine, cream, jelly, beverage, cakes, spices, and other good matters. The entertainment and show went forward, and most of the presenters went backward, or fell down; wine did so occupy their upper chambers. Now did appear, in rich dress, Hope, Faith, and Charity: Hope did assay to speak, but wine rendered her endeavours so feeble that she withdrew, and hoped the King would excuse her brevity: Faith was then all alone, for I am certain she was not joyned with good works, and left the court in a staggering condition : Charity came to the King's feet, and seemed to cover the multitude of sins her sisters had committed ;
in some sorte she made obeysance and brought giftes, but said she would return home again, as there was no gift which heaven had not already given his Majesty. She then returned to Hope and Faith, who were both sick and spewing in the lower hall.
Next came Victory, in bright armour, and presented a rich sword to the King, who did not accept it, but put it by with his hand; and by a strange medley of versification, did endeavour to make suit to the King. But Victory did not triumph long; for, after much lamentable utterance, she was led away like a silly captive, and laid to sleep in the outer steps of the anti-chamber. Now did Peace make entry, and strive to get foremoste to the King ; but I grieve to tell how great wrath she did discover unto those of her attendants; and much contrary to her semblance, most rudely made war with her olive branch, and laid on the pates of those who did oppose her coming." The facetious Knight concludes his story by declaring that “in our Queen's days - I neer did see such lack of good order, discretion, and sobriety, as I have now done." *
We have already mentioned in Part the First, Chapter the Fifth of this work, that the usual hour of dinner, among the upper classes, was eleven o'clock in the forenoon; and though Harrison, in the passage which we last quoted from him, describes the provisions as often brought to the tables of the nobility served on silver, yet wooden trenchers for plates were still frequently to be found at the most sumptuous tables ; thus Harrington in 1592, giving directions to his servants, orders, “ that no man waite at the table without a trencher in his hand, except it be upon good cause, on pain of 1d.” †
To the silver, gilt plate, and cut glass of Harrison, may be added the use of china, an article of luxury to which the Clown in Measure for Measure thus alludes: - “ Your honours have seen such dishes; they are not china dishes, but very good dishes.” I A considerable quantity of china or porcelain, had been brought into this country,
during the reign of Elizabeth, as part of the cargo of some capmund Spanish curracks. * It appears, also, that carpet-cloth for abbas wiss, towards the close of our period, dismissed for table-linen, warunt that of a quality so fine, that Mrs. Otter, in Ben Jonson's Silent Wowon, which was first acted in 1609, laments having a stained a damak table-cloth, cost me eighteen pound." +
With all these luxuries, the reader will be surprised to learn, that fwho were not introduced into this country before 1611. Knives had ben in general use since the year 1563, but for the former the fingers had been the sole substitute.
The honour of this cleanly fashion, must be given to that singular traveller Thomas Coryat, who in his Crudities informs us, that he found forks common in Italy.
Hereupon,” says he, “ I myself thought good to imitate the Italian fashion, by this forked cutting of meate, not only while I was in Italy, but also in Germany, and oftentimes in England since I came home; being once quipped for that frequent using of forke, by a certaine learned gentleman, a familiar friend of mine, one M. Laurence Whitaker, who in his merry humour doubted not to call me at table Furcifer, only for using a forke at feeding, but for no other cause.”
The utility of the practice was soon acknowledged, for we find Jonson, in 1614, speaking of their adoption in his “ Devil Is An Ass," where Meercraft, having mentioned his “ project of the forks," Sledge exclaims
“ Forks? what be they ?
Brought into custom here, as they are in Italy,
To the articles of provision enumerated by Harrison, we may add,
* Douce's Illustrations, vol. i. p. 125.
+ Whalley's Jonson; act iii. sc. 2. “ Coryat’s Crudities, hastily gobled up in five Moneths Travells, &c.” 1611. 4to.
that the bread of this period was of many various kinds, and sometimes peculiarly fine, especially that made at York.
Bred,” says a physician who wrote in 1572, “ of dyvers graines, of divers formes, in divers places be used :--some in forme of manchet, used of the gentility: some of greate loves, as is usual among yeomanry, some betweene both, as with the franklings: some in forme of cakes, as at weddings: some rondes of hogs, as at upsittings : some simnels, cracknels, and buns, as in the Lent, some in brode cakes, as the oten cakes in Kendall on yrons: some on slate stones as in the hye peke: some in frying pans as in Darbyshyre: some betwene yrons as wapons : some in round cakes as bysket for the ships. But these and all other the mayne bread of York excelleth, for that it is of the finest floure of the wheat well tempered, best baked, a patterne of all others the fineste." *
Dinners had attained a degree of epicurism which rival those of the present day; three courses, of which the second consisted of game, and the third of pastry, creams, and confections, together with a dessert, including marchpane, (a cake composed of filberts, almonds, pistacho-nuts, pine-kernels, sugar of roses, and flour) marmalades, pomegranates, oranges, citrons, apples, pears, raisins, dates, nuts, grapes, &c. &c. t, were common in the houses of the opulent, nor was any expense spared in procuring the most luxurious dainties. 66 Who will not admire,” remarks an Essayist of this age, “ our nice dames of London, who must have cherries at twenty shillings a pound, and pescods at five shillings a pecke, huske without pease ? Yong rabbettes of a spanne, and chickens of an inch ?" I
To such a height, indeed, had sensuality in eating arisen among the courtiers of James the First, that Osborne, in his “ Traditional
“ The benefit of the auncient Bathes of Buckstones, which cureth most greeyous sicknesses, never before published: compiled by John Jones, Chisition. At the King's Mede nigh Darby. Anno salutis 1572, &c.” bl. l. - Vide Censura Literaria, vol. x. p. 277.
+ Vide Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, p. 69, and Caius's Booke of Counseil, &c. fol. 24.
| The Passions of the Minde. By Th. W. (Thomas Wright.). London, printed by V. S. for W. B. 1601. small 8vo.
Memorials” on the reign of that monarch, informs us, “ the Earl of Carlisle was one of the Quorum, that brought in the vanity of Ante-suppers not heard of in our Fore-fathers time, and for ought I have read, or at least remember, unpractised by the most luxurious tyrants. The manner of which was, to have a board covered at the first entrance of the guests with dishes as high as a tall man could well reach, filled with the choicest and dearest viands sea and land could afford : and all this once seen and having feasted the eyes of the invited, was in a manner thrown away, and fresh set on the same height, having only this advantage of the other, that it was hot. I cannot forget one of the attendants of the K. that at a feast, made by this monster in excess, eat to his single share a whole pie reckoned to my Lord at ten pounds.” *
The extravagance and excess of refection with regard to eatables, must, however, we are sorry to say, yield to those which accompanied the use, or rather the abuse, of vinous liquors. The propensity of the English of his times to drunkenness, has been frequently commented on by Shakspeare; Iago, in reference to a drinking-catch which he had just sung, says, “ I learned it in England, where (indeed) they are most potent in potting; your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander, — Drink, ho! -- are nothing to your English.
Cass. Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking ?
Iago. Why, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane dead drunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almain ; he gives your Hollander a vomit, ere the next pottle can be filled †;" a charge which seems to be confirmed by the sober testimony of Gascoigne, —“ The Almaynes,” he observes, “ with their smale Rhenish wine, are contented; but we must have March beere, double beere, dagger ale, bracket, &c. Yea, wine itself is not sufficient, but sugar, lemons,
* The Works of Francis Osborn, Esq. 8vo. 9th edit. p. 475.