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oak, corresponds in size with that we have just quitted, and is enlivened by several pictures, some of the most valuable of which are protected by curtains of green silk. One over the chimney-piece particularly attracted my attention, being a very fine half length of Queen Elizabeth, by her favourite painter, Hilliard. Under this is suspended the poet's sword, in a crimson velvet-covered scabbard braced with gold. Another very splendid ornament to this parlour, consists of a cupboard of plate, among which I particularly distinguished a large silver gilt bowl.* Shakspeare appears, indeed, owing probably to his intimacy with some in the first ranks of society, and especially his munificent friend, the Earl of Southampton, to have early adopted several of the most delicate and pleasing improvements which have lately found their way into domestic life. We found the table, for instance, instead of being dressed, as usual, with carpet-cloth, covered with fine damask linen; forks, an invention, you know, of only three or
This piece of plate, which the poet bequeathed to his daughter Judith, is described in his will as " my broad silver gilt bowl."
four years' standing, were placed for each individual, and trenchers of pewter were in every instance discarded for china or porcelaine.
"Yet though neatness and elegance prevailed throughout, there was nothing of extravagance or ostentation in our entertainment, nothing, in short, beyond the character of the independent country gentleman; and, as a proof of this, I will just mention, in as brief a manner as possible, that our dinner consisted in the first course of stewed trout, a couple of boiled capons, a swan roasted with gallantine sauce, a shield of brawn, carbonadoed tongues, and an olave pye; and in the second, of pigeons and young peahens, with pastry, creams, and confections. As the afternoon was one of the loveliest of June, we took our banquet or dessert, which included march-pane *, marmalades, dates, and cherries, in an arbour in the poet's garden, and I must add, though rather out of my province, that the wines, numerous according to the fashion of the
March-pane was a species of sweet cake, composed of sugar and almonds, and therefore very similar to the modern macaroons. It was an almost invariable article at the tables of our ancestors, during the reigns of Elizabeth and James the First.
day, were, in the home-made class, ipocras *, and bracket; in the foreign, Zeres sack, claret, muscadine, and Elstertune Rhenish.
"I scarcely ever remember to have passed a pleasanter day than this; for my father, delighted by the good-humour, and conversational powers of his kind host, seemed to have forgotten all his cares and sorrows. Indeed every thing conspired to gratify his feelings; the beauty of the garden, planted by the hand of Shakspeare, the perfume of the roses, the melody of the birds, the blue serenity of the heavens, accompanied as they were by a responding cheerfulness on the features of all around him, could not fail to dissipate all sad
This was, indeed, a spiced, rather than a home-made wine, and was a great favourite with our forefathers. The following is Gervase Markham's receipt, written probably about 1616, for the composition of it. "Take a gallon of claret or white wine, and put therein four ounces of ginger, an ounce and a half of nut-megs, of cloves one quarter, of sugar four pound; let all this stand together in a pot at least twelve hours, then take it, and put it into a clean bag made for the purpose, so that the wine may come with good leisure from the spices.". English House-Wife, Ninth edition, p. 103.
The bag used on this occasion was a woollen one, termed by the apothecaries Hippocrates' Sleeve, whence the name of the wine.
ness not rooted in despair. It was, in truth, a most lovely and soothing sight to behold this incomparable bard, this unrivalled master of the human passions, thus enjoying, with the utmost simplicity and gaiety of heart, the society of his family and friends; for we were joined, shortly after we had reached the arbour, by his cousin Thomas Greene, a barrister in Chancery, but resident in Stratford, and by Mr. Quiney the admirer of Judith; whilst, at the same time, couched at his feet, and courting his ever ready smile, sate two of the sweetest children I have ever seen, his little god-son William Walker, a boy seven years of age, and his grand-daughter Elizabeth Hall.
"After a conversation perfectly easy and unrestrained, yet enlivened by many playful sallies, and in which Mrs. Hall took a conspicuous part, we left the arbour, which I should not forget to tell you, was closely shaded from the sun by the graceful foliage of a grape-vine, to wander through the garden walks. These, which have been newly laid out under the direction of the poet, are partly open, and partly close, either bordered with flower-beds, or
shadowed by fruit-trees, and amongst the latter is one of the lately imported mulberry trees, with which, as well from his own taste and inclination, as from deference to the circular letters of his Majesty, he has embellished the termination of his garden. This elegant tree, which was planted by Shakspeare's own hand, and is now six years old, thrives well, and promises to become a very useful and distinguished ornament to his pleasure-ground. It was the first, he told us, which had been seen in the place or neighbourhood; and, if I may be allowed to turn prophet on the occasion, I would venture to predict, that long after the present generation has ceased to breathe, it will be held in veneration for the poet's sake.
"The weather being singularly fine, we were induced to linger in the open air until near six o'clock, when, after evening prayer, supper was announced, and, as soon as this was finished, we adjourned to the tapestried parlour. Here, in music and conversation, the hours passed unperceived away. A Welsh harp, and the virginals
Virginals, a musical instrument something similar to a small harpsichord, or what was formerly in use under the name