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cepted, and peradventure some great “ Personage),—but each made his fire
against a reredosse 28 in the hall, where “ he dined and dressed his meat :
“ The second is, the great amendment “ of Lodging; -for, said they, our fathers, “and we ourselves, have lain full oft
upon “ straw pallettes covered only with a sheet “ under coverlets made of dagswaine 29
hopharlots, and a good round log under “their head, instead of a bolster. If it “ were so, that the father or the good-man 66 of the house had a mattrass or flock“ bed, and thereto a sack of chaff to rest “ his head upon, he thought himself to be
as well lodged as the Lord of the town, “—so well were they contented. Pillows, " said they, were thought meet only for “ women in childbed,-as for servants, if
they had any sheet above them it was « well,- for seldom had they any under “their bodies, to keep them from the
prickling straws that ran oft through
28 A screen.
29 A rough coarse mantle.
“ the canvas, and rázed their hardened 66 hides :
The third thing, they tell us of, is, “ the exchange of Treene Platter 30 into
pewter, and wooden spoons into silver
or tin. For so common were all sorts “ of treene vessels in old time, that a man ~ should hardly find four pieces of pewter
(of which one was peradventure a Salt) “ in a good farmer's house :-
“In times past men were contented to 6.dwell in houses builded of Sallow, Wil
low, &c. ;—so that the use of the Oak
was in a manner dedicated wholly unto “ Churches, Religious Houses, Princes'
Palaces, Navigation, &c., but now Sal“ low, &c., are rejected, and nothing but Oak any
where regarded, and yet see
30 Wooden Dishes.-Sir THOMAS ROKESBY being controlled for first suffering himselfe to be served in treene cuppes, answered, -" These homely cups and dishes
pay truely for that they containe, I had rather “ drinke out of treene, and pay gold and silver, than “ drink out of gold and silver, and make wooden pay“ment."-Camden's Remaines, p. 269. edit. 1657.
“ the change,-for, when our houses were “ builded of willow, then had we oaken men,- but now that our houses are
come to be made of Oak, our men are “ not only become willow, but a great
many altogether of straw, which is a
sore alteration. In these the courage of " the owner was a sufficient defence to “ keep the house in safety,—but now the
assurance of the timber must defend the
men from robbing. Now have we many “ chimnies,
--and yet our tenderlines com“plain of rheums, catarrhs, and
poses, “ then had we none but reredosses, and
our heads did never ache. For as the “smoke in those days was supposed to “be a sufficient hardening for the tim“ber of the house, so it was reputed a “ far better medicine to keep the good“man and his family from the Quack or “ Pose, wherewith, as then, very few were
HENTZNER, in his Itinerary, p. 25, in* 31 Hume's Hist. of England, vol. iv. p. 462. 8vo. edit. 1823.
1 : 31
forms us, that the Presence Chamber in the Royal Palace at Greenwich, was hung with rich tapestry, and the floor, after the English fashion, was strewed with hay (probably rushes), through which Queen ELIZABETH commonly passed in her way to the Chapel.
Mr. CRADOCK, in his Remarks on North Wales, in 1777, says,
66 the area of the .church of Dolgelly is spacious, and the pews neat,
there is a coving roof of wood, which is necessary to aid the voice, as the floor is only clay covered deep with rushes; the congregation was large, and the service was read with devotion and propriety."
Chambers, and indeed all apartments usually inhabited, were ceremoniously strewed, with this plant,
She bids you
First Part of K. Hen. IV. Act. iii. Sc. I.
-Our Tarquin thus
Cymbeline, Act. ii. Sc. II. And the whimsical fellow, Grumio, impatiently asks,
is supper ready, the house trimm'd, rushes strew'd, cobwebs swept ?
Taming of the Shrew. This practice is mentioned in Caius “ de Ephemera Britannica.” And NewTON, in his “ Herball to the Bible,” adds, “ Sedge and rushes,—with the which many “ in this country do use in sommer time “ to strawe their parlors and churches, as “ well for coolenes as for pleasant smell.”
The modern method, where the luxury of carpets cannot be afforded, is to use sand instead of rushes,
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The Deserted Village, lin. 225.