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THE following curious poem on Cookery is now first printed from a transcript of the Sloane MS. 1986, where it occurs as an appendix to the "Boke of Curtasye". It is written in a Northern dialect of the XVth century, probably not much earlier than the time of Henry VI. The author of the poem furnishes us with an appropriate English title in the opening of the work, where he speaks of his subject as "The Slytes of Cure", or, as expressed in more modern English, "The Art of Cookery".

Though the poem professes to be somewhat comprehensive, and treats of a great variety of dishes under the titles of Potages, broths, roasted meats, baked meats, sauces and 'petecure', it is still far from containing an account of all the ancient dishes, upon the preparation of which the cooks of old prided themselves so much, as may be seen upon comparing this poem with the tracts upon Old English Cookery contained in Warner's 'Antiquitates Culinariae' and in the 'Collection of Ordinances and Regulations for the government of the Royal Household'. 2

Some knowledge of the composition of these dishes is rendered necessary by the constant allusions to them in our early English Metrical Romances, which give the poem an Archaeological as well as a Philological value.

1 Edited by Mr. Halliwell for the Percy Society. Referred to at p. 20 n. as "Ord. and Reg."

From internal evidence it would seem that the author of this poem was a native of North-West Lancashire, for we find the same peculiarities which have been pointed out by Mr. Robson in the Romances edited by him for the Camden Society, viz. the plurals of Nouns in us and passive participles in -ud, or -ut, to which may be added the forms schyn, schun (= shall) and wyn, wynn, (will) which I have not met with elsewhere.

The usual Northumbrian grammatical forms occur, as tas for takes; tone and tother for that one and that other; -s as the ending of all the persons (Singular and Plural) in the Present Tense Indic. Mood, and as the sign of the 2nd Person, Imperative Mood; and -and as the termination of the Present Participle.

For all words enclosed in brackets I alone am responsible. No alteration has been made in the text of the MS. without some acknowledgment in a foot-note.

July 31, 1862.

R. M.

Now speke I wele a lytul more
Of craft, iwys, pat tase grete lore
In court, pat men calles cure,
þat most be don in prinne degre;
pis hasteler, pasteler, and potagere,
And get po scoler pat foloes in fere,
Fyrst to ow I wylle schawe
po poyntes of cure, al by rawe ',
Of Potage, hastery, and bakun mete,
And petecure, I nylle forzete.

po names in tabulle I schalle sete

po number in augrym above, with outen lete,

In augrim pat schalle wryten be,

An po tytels with in on po same degre.

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