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pallets, on rough mats covered onlie with a shéet, under, coverlets made of dagswain or hop harlots (I use their owne termes) and a good round log under their heads instead of a bolster or pillow. If it were so that our fathers, or the good man of the house, had within seven yeares after his mariage purchased a matteres or flockebed, and thereto a sacke of chaffe to rest his head upon, he thought himselfe to be as well lodged as the lord of the towne, that peradventure laie seldome in a bed of downe or whole fethers; so well were they contented, and with such base kind of furniture: which also is not verie much amended as yet in some parts of Bedfordshire, and elsewhere further off from our southerne parts. Pillowes (said they were thought méet onelie for women in child bed. As for servants, if they had anie shéet above them it was well, for seldome had they anie under their bodies, to kéepe them from the pricking straws that ran oft through the canvas of the pallet, and rased their hardened hides.

“ The third thing they tell of, is the exchange of vessell, as of treene platters into pewter, and wodden spoones into silver or tin. For so common was all sorts of tréene stuff in old time, that a man should hardlie find four péeces of pewter, (of which one was peradventure a salt,) in a good farmer's house, and yet for all this frugalitie (if it may so be justly called) they were scarce able to live and paie their rents at their daies without selling of a cow, or an horsse, or more, although they paid but foure pounds at the uttermost by the yeare. Such also was their povertie, that if some one od farmer or husbandman had beene at the alehouse, a thing greatlie used in those daies, amongst six or seven of his neighbours, and there in a braverie to shew what store he had, did cast downe his purse, and therein a noble or six shillings in silver unto them (for few such men then cared for gold, because it was not so readie paiment, and

they were oft inforced to give a penie for the exchange of an angell) it was verie likelie that all the rest could not laie downe so much against it: whereas in my time, although peradventure foure poundes of old rent be im. proved to fortie, fiftie, or an hundred pounds, yet will the farmer as another palme or date trée thinke his gaines verie small toward the end of his terme, if he have not six or seven yeares rent lieing by him, therewith to purchase a new lease, beside a faire garnish of pewter on his cupbord, with so much in od vessell going about the house, thrée or foure feather beds, so manie coverlids and carpets of tapistrie, a silver salt, a bowle for wine (if not an whole neast) and a dozzen of spoones to furnish up the sute."

“ To this let me add a quotation from a pastoral of a shepherd youth, which is in itself not only a choice morsel of poetry, but an historical portrait.”

“ Sweet growte, or whig, his bottle had

As much as it might hold:

A sheeve of bread as browne as nut,

And cheese as white as snowe,
And wildings, or the season's fruite,

He did in scrip bestow :

And whil'st his py-bald curre did sleepe,

And sheep-hooke lay him by,
On hollow quilles of oten strawe

He piped melody :

- - - - - - With the sun

He doth his flocke unfold,
And all the day on hill or plaine

He merrie chat can hold :

This gallery is hung with portraits, chiefly in the Spanish dresses of the sixteenth century. In one of the bedchambers, which you pass in going towards the gallery, is a bedstead with blue furniture, which time has now made dingy and threadbare, and in the bottom of one of the bed-curtains you are shewn a place where a small piece has been cut out and sown in again,-a circumstance which serves to identify the scene of the following story :

“ It was a dark rainy night in the month of November, that an old midwife sate musing by her cottage fire-side, when on a sudden she was startled by a loud knocking at the door. On opening it she found a horseman, who told her that her assistance was required immediately by a person of rank, and that she should be handsomely rewarded, but that there were reasons for keeping the affair a strict secret, and, therefore, she must submit to be blindfolded, and to be conducted in that condition to the bed-chamber of the lady. After proceeding in silence for many miles through rough and dirty lanes, they stopped, and the midwife was led into a house, which, from the length of her walk through the apartment, as well as the sounds about her, she discovered to be the seat of wealth and power. When the bandage was removed from her eyes, she found herself in a bed-chamber, in which were the lady on whose account she had been sent for, and a man of haughty and ferocious aspect. The lady was delivered of a fine boy. Immediately the man commanded the midwife to give him the child, and, catching it from her, he hurried across the room, and threw it on the back of the fire, that was blazing in the chimney. The child, however, was strong, and by its struggles rolled itself off upon the hearth, when the ruffian again seized it with fury, and, in spite of the intercession of the midwife, and the more piteous entreaties of the mother, thrust it under the

grate, and raking the live coals upon it, soon put an end to its life. The midwife, after spending some time in affording all the relief in her power to the wretched mother, was told that she must be gone. Her former conductor appeared, who again bound her eyes, and conveyed her behind him to her own home; he then paid her handsomely, and departed. The midwife was strongly agitated by the horrors of the preceding night, and she immediately made a deposition of the fact before a magistrate. Two circumstances afforded hopes of detecting the house in which the crime had been committed : one was, that the midwife, as she sate by the bed-side, had, with a view to discover the place, cut out a piece of the bed-curtain, and sown it in again; the other was, that as she had descended the staircase, she had counted the steps. Some suspicions fell upon one Darrell, at that time the proprietor of Littlecote-house, and the domain around it. The house was examined, and identified by the midwife, and Darrell was tried at Salisbury for the murder. By corrupting his judge he escaped the sentence of the law ; but broke his neck by a fall from his horse in hunting in a few months after. The place where this happened is still known by the name of Darrell's Hill,-a spot to be dreaded by the peasant whom the shades of evening have overtaken on his way.'

“ Harrison,” resumed Egeria, “ who wrote about 1580, gives several curious particulars relative to the manners and habits of the country gentlemen of Queen Elizabeth's time, when it would appear that the old complaint was not new of the proneness among the English to ape French fashions. • Neither was it merrier,' says he, with England, than when an Englishman was knowne abroad by his owne cloth, and contented himselfe at home And with the sun doth folde againe ;

Then jogging home betime,
He turnes a crab, or tunes a round,

Or sings some merrie ryme :

Nor lackes he gleeful tales to tell,

Whil'st round the bole doth trot;
And sitteth singing care away,

Till he to bed hath got.

Theare sleeps he soundly all the night,

Forgetting morrow cares,
Nor feares he blasting of his corne,

Nor uttering of his wares,

Or stormes by seas, or stirres on land,

Or cracke of credite lost,
Not spending franklier than his flocke

Shall still defray the cost.

Wel wot I, sooth they say that say:

More quiet nightes and daies
The shepheard sleepes and wakes than he

Whose cattel he doth graize.” “ As a contrast to this picture of the shepherd lad, let me read to you his companion, from Bishop Earle's work, which I have already quoted.”

THE CLOWN. « The plain country fellow is one that manures his ground well, but lets himself lye fallow and untilled. He has reason enough to do his business, and not enough to be idle or melancholy. He seems to have the punishment of Nebuchadnezzar, for his conversation is among beasts, and his tallons none of the shortest, only he eats

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