Page images
PDF
EPUB

no

It was in those days that we are told there was small innkeeper, however poor and humble he might be, who did not serve his table with silver dishes and drinking cups; and no one who had not in his house silver plate to the amount of at least £100 sterling (£1000 modern) was considered to be a person of any consequence," whilst of the inferior or middle classes “there were few whose tables were not daily provided with spoons, cups, and a salt-cellar of silver.” The traffic in Wensleydale must have been much more considerable than at present, for, besides fairs, there were weekly markets at East Witton, Middleham, Wensley, and Leyburn, only one of which remains, and that revived within the last century. dinner, 10s.; 21 dozen conies, 51. 5s.; three venison, red deer hinds, and fetching them, 10s.; twelve fallow deer, does,

seventy-two capon of grease, 31. 12s.; thirty dozen mallards and teal, 31. 1ls. 8d.; three lambs, 4s.; two dozen heron-sewes, 11. 4s.; twelve bitterns, 16s; eighteen pheasants, 11. 4s.; forty partridges, 6s. 8d.; eighteen curlews, 11. 4s.; three dozen plovers, 6s.; five dozen stints, 9s.; sturgeon on goile, 5s.; one seal, 13s. 4d.; one porpoise, 13s. 4d. Sum total, 461. 58. 8d.

FOR FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS. 1st.-Leich brayne. 2nd.-Fromety to pottage. 3rd.-Whole ling and haberdine. 4th.-Great guils of salt salmon. 5th.-Great salt eels. 6th.Great salt sturgeon guils. 7th.-Fresh ling. 8th.-Fresh turbot. 9th.—Great pike. 10th.--Great guils fresh salmon. 11th.-Great rudds. 12th.-Baken turbots. 13th.-Tarts of three several meats.

SECOND COURSE.

1st.-Marterns to pottage. 2nd.--A great fresh sturgeon goil. 3rd. Fresh eel roasted. 4th.-Great brett. 5th.-Salmon chins, broiled. 6th.-Roasted eels. 7th.-Roasted lampreys. 8th.–Roasted lamprons. (Petromyzon Fluviatilis, still called lamprons in Cumberland. The Neviles sent fish ready cooked from Warwick to Middlebam, as Dugdale asserts.) 9th.—Great turbuts. 10th.-Salmon, baken. 11th.-Fresh eel, baken. 12th.-Fresh lampreys, baken. 13th.-Clear gilley. 14th.-Gingerbread.

On the edibiles, given in this Bill of Fare, few observations need be made, as most of them are in use at present. Some, however, are forgotten. Seals, porpoises. cranes, herons, and bitterns are no longer used in general, though all are very far from being unpalatable food. Marchpayne, was a kind of biscuit, or almond cake, much used in old desserts. “Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane,” says the 1st servant at the banquet in Romeo and Juliet. Act I,

Apples and cheese stewed with sugar and sage"evidently formed a part of the dessert in Queen Elizabeth's time. In “ The Merry Wives of Windsor.' Shakspere makes Sir Hugh Evans exclaim to Simple, when directing him to call at Dr. Caius's house with a letter.—“I pray you, be gone; I will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.” Act I, sc. 2.

scene 5. 66

[ocr errors]

Reader, my sketch is necessarily a very brief and imperfect one: I have subdued the colouring lest it should seem too glowing to eyes unaccustomed to Catholicity. I might have shown more—much more, and expatiated at far greater length upon the glorious Past; but I trust you have seen enough to make you venerate your Catholic forefathers, and to heave with me a sigh of regret as you gaze on the ruined monasteries and defaced churches around-contrast these beautiful memorials of the brilliant piety exhibited of old with our darkened times

-think of the altered condition of the now suffering poor, and remember what fair Wensleydale was in

THE CATHOLIC DAY.

[graphic][merged small]

A SIGH FOR THE DAYS OF OLD.

A sigh for the days of old

For the merry ancient time-
When British hearts were stout and bold

As the tough oak of their clime.
When the Holy Faith was kept,

Before faithless men had chang'd, And from the way their fathers trod,

Through Error's pastures rang'd.

A sigh for the years gone by

When every warrior's sword At the glance of Beauty's eye,

Flash'd, obedient to her word ; When the high-born noble knelt

In the light of maiden's smile, And maintain’d more fair than foreign dames

The Ladies of our Isle.

When oft in the Castle hall

Was the banquet freely spread,
Till the massive table groan'd withal ;-

While the baron graced its head, -
And the vassals sate below,

And the poor men at the gate, Each feasting on the plenteous cheer

According to his state.

A sigh for the days gone by

For the kindly ancient time,When the wanderer heard with joy

The convent's evening chime;
And the doors were open thrown,

And the weary welcom'd in,
Where the broken-hearted shelter found

From life's tempestuous din.

In the sunset of their day, That a ruthless hand would tear the wife

From her husband's breast away ; But the labourer worn with toil,

As at length asleep he fell, Was sooth'd by her whom from lusty youth

He chose and cherish'd well.

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Why dost thou build the hall, son of the winged days? Thou lookest from thy tower to-day; yet a little while and the blast of the desert comes; it howls in thy empty courts.

Ossian.

HITHERTO, our steps in Wensleydale have been surrounded by natural and religious beauty; but we have reached a gloomy Day. Although the valley's natural charms will continue, in the inscrutable dispensations of Almighty God, its religious beauty must be overspread

K

« PreviousContinue »