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Behold our orbit as through twice six signs
The Golden Fleece his pale ray first adorns,
Then tow'rds the Bull he winds and gilds his horns;
On burning Cancer then he seems to stay;
On flaming Leo pours the liquid shower;
Then faints beneath the Virgin's conquering power:
Now the just Scales weigh well both day and night;
in the country, from whom profuse supplies of turkeys, geese, hares, pheasants, and partridges, are received in return for barrels of oysters and baskets of Billingsgate fish. So plenteous and diversified are the arrivals of poultry and game, in the metropolis, that, for a repast of that kind, an epicure could scarcely imagine a more satisfactory bill of fare than the way-bill of one of the Norwich coaches.
The meats in season are beef, veal, mutton, pork, and house-lamb; with Westphalia and north-country hams, Canterbury and Oxfordshire brawn, salted chines and tongues.
Besides fowls and turkeys, there are capons, guinea-fowls, pea-hens, wild-ducks, widgeons, teal, plovers, and a great variety of wild water-fowl, as well as woodcocks, snipes, and larks.
The skill and industry of the horticulturist enliven the sterility of winter with the verdure of spring. Potatoes, savoy cabbages, sprouts, brocoli, kale, turnips, onions, carrots, and forced small sallads, are in season; and some epicures boast of having so far anticipated the course of ve
getable nature as to regale their friends at Christmas with asparagus and green peas.
There is also an infinite variety of puddings and pastry, among which the plum-pudding holds, by national preference, the first rank, as the inseparable companion or follower of roast beef: puddings also of semolina, millet, and rice; tarts of preserved fruit, apple-pies, and that delicious medley the mince-pie.
The appetite may be further amused by a succession of custards and jellies.
A dessert may be casily made up of Portugal grapes, oranges, apples, pears, walnuts, and other fruits, indigenous or exotic, crude or candied.
These supplies comprehend a great proportion of the alimentary productions of the year; and, indeed, many of the main articles of solid fare are in season either perennially, or for several months in succession.
Beef, mutton, veal, and house-lamb; seasalmon, turbot, flounders, soles, whitings, Dutch herrings, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, eels, and anchovies; fowls, chickens, pullets, tame pigeons, and tame rabbits, are perennials.
Grass-lamb is in season in April, May, June, July, August, September, and October; pork in the first three months and four last months of the year; buck-venison in June, July, August, and September; and doe-venison in October, November, December, and January.
There is scarcely an article of diet, animal or vegetable, the appearance of which, at table, is limited to a single month.
The fish in season during January are sea-salmon, turbot, thornback, skate, soles, flounders, plaice, haddock, cod, whiting, eels, sprats, lobsters, crabs, crayfish, oysters, muscles, cockles, Dutch herrings, and anchovies. There is also a small supply of mackarel in this and the preceding month.
The poultry and game are turkeys, capons, fowls, pullets, geese, ducklings, wild ducks, widgeons, teal, plovers, woodcocks, snipes, larks, tame pigeons, hares, herons, partridges, pheasants, wild and tame rabbits, and grouse.
Of fowls the game breed is most esteemed for flavor. The Poland breed is
the largest. Dorking in Surrey, and Epping in Essex, are alike famed for good poultry. In the neighbourhood of Bethnal Green and Mile End are large establishments for fattening all kinds of domestic
fowls, for the supply of Leadenhall market, and the shipping in the port of London; these repositories have every convenience, such as large barns, enclosed paddocks, ponds, &c. ; but, however well contrived and managed, every person of taste will prefer a real barn-door-fed fowl.
Norfolk has the reputation of breeding the finest turkeys; they are in season from November to March, when they are succeeded by turkey-poults.
The various birds of passage, such as wild-ducks, widgeons, teal, plovers, &c., which arrive in the cold season, are to be found in most parts of England; but London is chiefly supplied from the fens of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. There are said to be more than a hundred varieties of the duck tribe alone; those with red legs are accounted the best.
Plover's eggs, which are abundant in the poulterers' shops, and esteemed a great delicacy, are generally picked up by shepherds and cottagers on the moors and commons, where they have been dropped by the birds during their annual sojourn
VEGETABLE GARDEN DIRECTORY.
In frosty weather wheel manure to the plots or quarterings which require it.
Protect vegetables, such as celery, young peas, beans, lettuces, small cabbage plants, cauliflowers, endive, &c., from severe cold, by temporary coverings of fern-leaves, long litter, or matting, stretched over hoops: remove these coverings in mild intervals, but not till the ground is thoroughly thawed, or the sudden action of the sun will kill them.
During fine intervals, when the surface is nearly dry, draw a little fine earth around the stems of peas, beans, brocoli.
Attend to neatness. Remove dead leaves into a pit or separate space to form mould; also carry litter of every kind to the compost heap.
Destroy slugs, and the eggs of insects. Dig and trench vacant spaces when the weather is mild and open, and the earth is dry enough to pulverize freely
If the weather be favorable,
Peas; early frame and charlton about the first or second week: Prussian and dwarf imperial about the last week.
Beans; early mazagan and long pods about the first and last week
Lettuce; in a warm sheltered spot, not before the last week: choose the hardy sorts, as the cos and brown Dutch.
Radishes; short top, and early dwarf, in the second and fourth week.
Religious Meditations, 1725." 12mo. "The complete New-Year's Gift, or
"The Young Gentleman's New-Year's Gift, or Advice to a Nephew, 1729." 12mo.
Among the works published under this title, the most curious is a very diminutive and extremely rare volume called "The
Cabbages; early York, and sugar loaf, New-Year's Gift, presented at court from
about the close of the month.
The stems of brocoli and savoys; also rows of celery, to blanch and preserve.
In sowing or planting mark every row with a cutting of gooseberry, currant, china rose, or some plant that strikes root quickly. By this you distinguish your rows, and gain a useful or ornamental shrub for transplantation at leisure.
Gardens do singularly delight, when in them a man doth behold a flourishing show of summer beauties in the midst of winter's force, and a goodly spring of flowers, when abroad a leaf is not to be Gerard.
the Lady Parvula, to the Lord Minimus (commonly called little Jeffery), her majesty's servant-with a letter penned in short hand, wherein is proved that little things are better than great. Written by Microphilus, 1636." This very singular publication was written in defence of Jeffery Hudson, who, in the reign of Charles I., was a celebrated dwarf, and had been ridiculed by Sir William Davenant, in a poem called Jeffreidos,concerning a supposed battle between Jeffery and a vived the popularity of the little hero by turkey-cock. Sir Walter Scott has reintroducing him into " Peverel of the Peak.
was born at Oakham in Rutlandshire. At about seven or eight years old, being then only eighteen inches high, he was retained in the service of the duke of Buckingham, who resided at Burleigh-on-the hill. On a visit from king Charles I. and his queen, Henrietta Maria, the duke caused little Jeffery to be served up to table in a cold pie, which the duchess presented to her majesty. From that time her majesty kept him as her dwarf; and in that capacity he afforded much entertainment at court. Though insignificant in stature, his royal mistress employed him on a mission of delicacy and importance; for in 1630 her majesty sent him to France to bring over a midwife, on returning with whom he was taken prisoner by the Dunkirkers, and despoiled of many rich presents to the queen from her mother £2500 belonging to himself, which he had Mary de Medicis: he lost to the value or received as gifts from that princess and ladies of the French court. It was in reference to this embassy that Davenant wrote his mortifying poem, in which he laid the scene at Dunkirk, and represented Jeffery to have been rescued from the enraged turkey-cock by the courage of the gentlewoman he escorted. Jeffery is said to have assumed much consequence after his embassy, and to have been impatient under the teazing of the courtiers, and the insolent provocations of the domestics of the palace. One of his tormentors waz
THE DOMESTIC DWARF.
the king's porter, a man of gigantic height,
As a phenomenon more remarkable of Jeffery Hudson than his stature, it is said that he remained at the height of eighteen inches till he was thirty, when he shot up to three feet nine inches, and there fixed.
His waistcoat of blue satin, slashed, and ornamented with pinked white silk, and his breeches and stockings, in one piece of blue satin, are preserved in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.*
The Romans kept dwarfs, as we do monkies, for diversion; and some persons even carried on the cruel trade of stopping the growth of children by confining them in chests: most dwarfs came from Syria and Egypt. Father Kircher published an engraving of an ancient bronze, representing one of these dwarfs; and Count Caylers another print of a similar bronze. Dwarfs commonly went unclothed, and decked with jewels. One of our queens carried a dwarf about for the admiration of spectators.+ Dwarfs and deformed persons were retained to ornament the tables of princes.
Wierix's Bible contains a plate by John Wierix, representing the feast of Dives, with Lazarus at his door. In the rich man's banqueting room there is a dwarf to contribute to the merriment of the company, according to the custom among people of rank in the sixteenth century. This little fellow, at play with a monkey, is the subject of the engraving on the preceding page.
Among vulgar errors is set down this, that there is a nation of pigmies, not above
• Granger. Walpole's Painters.
+ Fosbroke's Encyclopædia of Antiquities, + Montaigne.
two or three feet high, and that they solemnly set themselves in battle to fight against the cranes. "Strabo thought this a fiction; and our age, which has fully discovered all the wonders of the world as fully declares it to be one."* This refers to accounts of the Pechinians of
Ethiopia, who are represented of small stature, and as being accustomed every year to drive away the cranes which flocked to their country in the winter. They are pourtrayed on ancient gems mounted on cocks or partridges, to fight the cranes; or carrying grasshoppers, and leaning on staves to support the burthen: also, in a shell, playing with two flutes, or fishing with a line.t
A crane was a sumptuous dish at the tables of the great in ancient times.
William the Conqueror was remarkable for an immense paunch, and withal was so exact, so nice and curious in his repasts, that when his prime favorite, William Fitz Osborne, who, as dapifer or steward of the household, had the charge of the curey, served him with the flesh of a crane scarcely half roasted, the king was so highly exasperated that he lifted up his fist, and would have struck him, had not Eudo, who was appointed dapifer immediately after, warded off the blow.
Tame cranes, kept in the middle ages, are said to have stood before the table at dinner, and kneeled, and bowed the head, when a bishop gave the benediction.§ But how they knelt is as fairly open to enquiry, as how Dives could take his seat in torment, as he did, according to an old carol, "all on a serpent's knee."
ROYAL NEW YEAR GIFTS.
"The manner of presenting a New-yere's gifte to his Majestie from the Earle of Huntingdon.
"You must buy a new purse of about vs. price, and put thereinto xx pieces of new gold of xxs. a-piece, and go to the presence-chamber, where the court is, upon new-yere's day, in the morning about 8 o'clocke, and deliver the purse and the gold unto my Lord Chamberlain then you must go down to the Jewellhouse for a ticket to receive xviiis. vid, as a gift to your pains, and give vid. there to the boy for your ticket; then go to Sir William Veall's office, and shew your ticket, and receive your xviiis. vid. Then go to the Jewell-house again, and make a piece of plate of xxx ounces weight, and marke it, and then in the afternoone you may go and fetch it away, and then give the gentleman who delivers it you xls. in gold, aud give to the boy iis. and to the porter vid.”*
PEERS' NEW YEAR'S GIFTS.
From the household book of Henry Algernon Percy, the fifth Earl of Northumberland, in 1511, it appears, that, when the earl was at home, he was accustomed to give on new-year's day as follows,
To the king's servant bringing a newyear's gift from the king, if a special friend of his lordship, £6. 13s. 4d.; if only a servant to the king, £5.
To the servant bringing the queen's new-year's gift £3. 6s. 8d.
To the servant of his son-in-law, bringing a new-year's gift, 13s. 4d.
To the servant bringing a new-year's gift from his lordship's son and heir, the lord Percy, 12d.
To the daily minstrels of the household, In 1605, the year after prince Henry as his tabret, lute, and rebeck, upon newpresented his verses to James I., Sir Dud- year's day in the morning, when they ley Carleton writes :--" New year's day play at my lord's chainber door, 20s. viz. passed without any solemnity, and the 13s. 4d. for my lord and 6s. 8d. for my exorbitant gifts that were wont to be used lady, if she be at my lord's finding, and at that time are so far laid by, that the not at her own. And for playing at my accustomed present of the purse of gold lord Percy's chamber door 2s., and 8d a was hard to be had without asking.' It piece for playing at each of my lord's appears, however, that in this year the younger sons. Earl of Huntingdon presented and received a new year's gift. His own words record the method of presenting and receiving it.
To each of my lord's toree henchmen, when they give his lordship gloves, ôs. 8d.
To the grooms of his lordship's chamber, to put in their box, 20s.