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a custom which it is astonishing the delicacy and refinement of modern manners have not generally adopted.

As our ancestors, during the greater part of the period we are considering, possessed not the conveniency of eating with forks, and were, therefore, compelled to make use of their fingers, it became an essential point of good manners, to wash the hands immediately before dinner and supper, as well as afterwards : thus Petruchio, on the entrance of his servants with supper, says, addressing his wife,

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a practice which gave rise to the phraseology, he knocks to the dresser, or, he warns to the dresser, as synonymous with the annunciation that, “ dinner is ready."

It was usual, also, especially where the domestic fool was retained, to keep an ape or a monkey, as a companion for him, and he is frequently represented with this animal on his shoulders. Monkeys, likewise, appear to have been an indispensable part of a lady's establishment, and, accordingly, Ben Jonson, in his Cynthia's Revels,

* Reed's Shakspeare, vol. ix. p. 133. + Gifford's Massinger, vol. i. p. 166.; and Dodsley's Old Plays, by Reed, vol. xii.

p. 430.

For these pur

or the skin of the coat, and the latter, consisting of a stick, decorated at one end with a carved fool's head, and having at the other an infiatal bladder, an instrument either of sport or defence.

Bitter jests, provided they were so dressed up, or so connected with adjunctive circumstances, as to raise a laugh, were at all times allowed; but it was moreover expected, that their keenness or bitterness should be also allayed by a due degree of obliquity in the mode of attack, by a careless, and, apparently, undesigning manner of delivery, and by a playful and frolic demeanour. poses, fragments of sonnets and ballads were usually chosen by the fool, as a safe medium through which the necessary degree of concealment might be given, and the edge of his sarcasm duely abated ; a practice of which Shakspeare has afforded us many instances, and especially in his Fool in King Lear, whose scraps of old songs fully exemplify the aim and scope of this favourite of our ancestors.

A few household arrangements, in addition to those developed in Sir John Harrington's orders, shall terminate this branch of our subject.

We have seen, when treating of the domestic economy of the country squire, that it was usual to take their banquet or dessert, in an arbour of the garden or orchard ; and in town, the nobility and gentry, immediately after dinner and supper, adjourned to another room, for the

purpose of enjoying their wine and fruit; this practice is alluded to by Shakspeare, in Romeo and Juliet † ; and Beaufort, in the Unnatural Combat of Massinger, says :

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66 We'll dine in the great room, but let the musick

And banquet be prepared here;” I

* We must here observe, that the Baron of Brandwardine's Fool, in Waverley, is an admirable copy of the character, as drawn by Shakspeare; and, as the work seems a faithful picture of existing manners in 1745, is a striking proof of the retention of this curious personage, until a recent period.

+ Reed's Shakspeare, vol. xx. p. 72.
| Gifford's Edition of Massinger, vol. i. p. 167.; and vol. iv. p. 29.

a custom which it is astonishing the delicacy and refinement of modern mamers have not generally adopted.

As our ancestors, during the greater part of the period we are considering, possessed not the conveniency of eating with forks, and were, therefore, compelled to make use of their fingers, it became an essential point of good manners, to wash the hands immediately before dinner and supper, as well as afterwards : thus Petruchio, on the entrance of his servants with supper, says, addressing his wife,

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In the fifteenth item of Harrington's Orders, we find that no man was allowed to come to the kitchen without reasonable cause, an injunction which may appear extraordinary ; but, in those days, it was customary, in order to prevent the cook being disturbed in his important duties, to keep the rest of the men aloof, and, when dinner was ready, he summoned them to carry it on the table, by knocking loudly on the dresser with his knife: thus in Massinger's Unnatural Combat, Beaufort's steward says, –

" When the dresser, the cook's drum, thunders, Come on,

The service will be lost else;" +

a practice which gave rise to the phraseology, he knocks to the dresser, or, he warns to the dresser, as synonymous with the annunciation that, “ dinner is ready."

It was usual, also, especially where the domestic fool was retained, to keep an ape or a monkey, as a companion for him, and he is frequently represented with this animal on his shoulders. Monkeys, likewise, appear to have been an indispensable part of a lady's establishment, and, accordingly, Ben Jonson, in his Cynthia's Revels,

* Reed's Shakspeare, vol. ix. p. 133. + Gifford's Massinger, vol. i. p. 166.; and Dodsley's Old Plays, by Reed, vol. xii.

p. 430.

represents one of his characters as asserting, the gentleman (I'll undertake with him) is a man of fair living, and able to maintain a lady in her two caroches a day, besides pages, monkeys, parachitoes, with such attendants as she shall think meet for her turn.* Beside monkeys and parachitoes, this quotation also proves,

that caroches, a species of coach, were common in 1600, when Jonson's play was first acted. The coach and caroch, vehicles differing probably rather in size than form, are thus distinguished by Green, who in his Tu Quoque, 1641, speaks of

“ the keeping of a coach For country, and carcch for London;" +

and, indeed, in 1595, they seem to have been equally general, for the author of Quippes for upstart newfangled Gentlewemen, says :

« Our wantons now in coaches dash

From house to house, from street to street.”

The era of their introduction into this country has been recorded by Taylor, the water-poet. “ In the year 1564,” he remarks, “ one William Boonen, a Dutchman, brought first the use of coaches hither, and the said Boonen was Queene Elizabeth's coachman ; for indeede a coach was a strange monster in those days, and the sight of it put both horse and man into amazement: some said it was a great crab shell brought out of China, and some imagined it to be one of the Pagan Temples, in which the Cannibals adored the divell ; but at last those doubts were cleared, and coach-making became a substantial trade." ģ

So substantial, indeed, had this trade become in 1601, that on the 7th of November of the same year, an act was introduced into the House of Lords, “ to restrain the excessive and superfluous use of

* Activ. sc.

+ Ancient British Drama, vol. i. p. 546. col. 1. Restituta, vol. iii. p. 258. The Works of Taylor, the Water Poet, 1630. p. 249.

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