« PreviousContinue »
In London, with every pastrycook in illuminate countless cakes of all prices and the city, and at the west end of the dimensions, that stand in rows and piles town, it is “high change" on Twelfth-day. on the counters and sideboards, and in From the taking down of the shutters in the windows. The richest in flavour and the morning, he, and his men, with addi- heaviest in weight and price are placed tional assistants, male and female, are on large and massy salvers ; one, enorfully occupied by attending to the dress- mously superior to the rest in size, is the ing out of the window, executing orders chief object of curiosity; and all are deof the day before, receiving fresh ones, or corated with all imaginable images of supplying the wants of chance customers. things animate and inanimate. Stars, casBefore dusk the important arrangement tles, kings, cottages, dragons, trees, fish, of the window is completed. Then the palaces, cats, dogs, churches, lions, milkgas is turned on, with supernumerary maids, knights, serpents, and innumeraargana-laings and manifold wax-lights, to ble other forms in snow-white confection
ary, painted with variegated colours, glit- mering! and there's a man with a harnter by “excess of light" from mirrors mer! against the walls testooned with artificial 1st Boy. Who pinned that woman to “wonders of Flora.” This “paradise of the gentleman? Why there's a dozen dainty devices,” is crowded by successive pinned together. and successful desirers of the seasonable Countryman. Constable ! constable ! delicacies, while alternate tapping of ham 2d Boy. Here comes the constable. mers and peals of laughter, from the Hark at him! throng surrounding the house, excite Const. Clear away from the doors ! Let smiles from the inmates.
the customers go in! Make way! Let The cause of these sounds may be in- the cakes come out ! Go back, boy! ferred from something like this passing 13th Boy. If you please, Mr. Constaoutside.
ble, I'm going to buy a cake! Constable. Make
y ! Const. Go forward, then ! Clear the way! You boys stand aside! Man with cakes. By your leave! by
Countryman. What is all this ; Is any your leave. body ill in the shop ?
Const. Clear the way
y! 1st Boy. Nobody, sir; it's only Twelfth All the Boys. Huzza! huzza! More day!
people pinned — and plenty nailed 2d Boy. This is a pastrycook's, up!sir; look at the window ! There they To explain, to those who may be ignostand! What cakes !
rant of the practice.
On Twelfth3d Boy. What pretty ones these are ! night in London, boys assemble round the 4th Boy. Only see that !
inviting shops of the pastrycooks, and 5th Boy. Why it's as large as the hind- dexterously nail the coat-tails of spectawheel of a coach, and how thick !
tors, who venture near enough, to the 6th Boy. Ah! it's too big to come out bottoms of the window frames; or pin at the door, unless they roll it out. them together strongly by their clothes.
7th Boy. What elegant figures, and Sometimes eight or ten persons find them. what lots of sweetmeats!
selves thus connected. The dexterity and 8th Boy. See the flowers ; they look force of the nail driving is so quick and almost like real ones.
sure, that a single blow seldom fails of Countryman. What a crowd inside ! doing the business effectually. With
9th Boy. How the people of the house drawal of the nail without a proper inare packing up all the good things ! strument is out of the question; and, con
Countryman. What a beautiful lady sequently, the person nailed must either that is behind the counter !
leave part of his coat, as a cognizance of 10th Boy. Which?
his attachment, or quit the spot with a Countryman. Why the young one! hole in it. At every nailing and pinning
10th Boy. What her? oh, she's the shouts of laughter arise from the perpepastrycook's daughter, and the other's trators and the spectators. Yet it often her mother.
happens to one who turns and smiles Countryman. No, no; not her ; I at the duress of another, that he also finds mean her, there.
himself nailed. Efforts at extrication in10th Boy. Oh, her ; she's the shop- crease mirth, nor is the presence of a conwoman; all the pastrycooks always try stable, who is usually employed to attend to get handsome ladies to serve in the and preserve free “ingress, egress, and shop!
regress," sufficiently awful to deter the Ilth Boy. I say, I say! halloo! here's offenders. a piece of work! Look at this gentleman Scarcely a shop in London that offers a Dext to meçhis coat-tail's nailed to the halfpenny plain bun to the purchase of a window ! Look, look !
hungry boy, is without Twelfth-cakes and Countryman. Aye, what ?
finery in the windows on Twelfth-day. All the boys. Ah! ah ! ah ! Huzza. The gingerbread-bakers—there are not
Countryman. Who nailed my coat-tail? many, compared with their number when Constable !
the writer was a consumer of their manu12th Boy. That's the boy that's got factured goods,-even the reduced ginthe hammer!
gerbread-bakers periwig a few plum-buns 2d Boy. What me? why that's the with sugar-frost io-day, and coaxingly inboy--there ; and there's another boy ham- terpolate them among their new made
sixes, bath-cakes, parliament, and ladies' same size, and number each on the back; fingers. Their staple-ware has leaves of taking care to make the king No. 1, and untarnished dutch-gilt stuck on; their up- the queen No. 2. Then prepare and right cylinder-shaped show-glasses, con number the gentlemen's characters. Cause taining peppermint-drops, elecampane, tea and coffee to be handed to your visitsugar-sticks, hard-bake, brandy-balls, and ors as they drop in. When all are asbulls'-eyes, are carefully polished; their sembled and tea over, put as many ladies' lolly-pops
fresh encased, and look characters in a reticule as there are ladies as white as the stems of tobacco-pipes; present; next put the gentlemen's chaand their candlesticks are ornamented racters in a hat. Then call on a gentlewith fillets and bosses of writing paper; man to carry the reticule to the ladies as or, if the candles rise from the bottom of they sit, from which each lady is to draw inverted glass cones, they shine more one ticket, and to preserve it unopened. sparkling for the thorough cleaning of Select a lady to bear the hat to the gentheir receivers in the morning.
tlemen for the same purpose. There will How to eat Twelfth-cake requires no be one ticket left in the reticule, and anorecipe ; but how to provide it, and draw ther in the hat, which the lady and genthe characters, on the authority of Rachel tleman who carried each is to interchange, Revel's “ Winter Evening Pastimes,” as having fallen to each. Next, arrange may be acceptable. First, buy your cake. your visitors according to their numbers; Then, before your visitors arrive, buy the king No.1, the queen No. 2, and so your characters, each of which should The king is then to recite the verse have a pleasant verse beneath. Next look on his ticket; then the queen the verse on at your invitation list, and count the num- hers; and so the characters are to proceed ber of ladies you expect; and afterwards in numerical order. This done, let the the number of gentlemen. Then, take as cake and refreshments go round, and hey! many female characters as you have in- for merriment! vited ladies; fold them up, exactly of the
They come! they come ! each blue-eyed sport,
'Tis Mirth fresh crown'd with mistletoe!
Joy " on light fantastic toe,"
Singing and dancing as they go.
A welcome - nor unbidden guest. Twelfth-day is now only commemorated nance of character is essential to the by the custom of choosing king and queen. drawing. Within the personal observa“ I went,” says a correspondent in the tion of the writer of these sheets, character Universal Magazine for1774,“ to a friend's has never been preserved. It must be house in the country to partake of some admitted, however, that the Twelfth-night of those innocent pleasures that constitute characters sold by the pastrycooks, are a merry Christmas. I did not return till either commonplace or gross—when genI had been present at drawing king and teel they are inane; when humorous, queen, and eaten a slice of the Twelfth- they are vulgar. cake, made by the fair hands of my good Young folks anticipate Twelfth-night friend's consort. After tea yesterday, a as a full source of innocent glee to their noble cake was produced, and two howls, light little hearts. Where, and what is containing the fortunate chances for the he who would negative hopes of happidifferent sexes. Our host filled up the ness for a few short hours in the daytickets; the whole company, except the spring of life? A gentle spirit in the king and queen, were to be ministers of London Magazine beautifully sketches a state, maids of honour, or ladies of the scene of juvenile enjoyment this evening : bed-chamber. Our kind host and hostess, “I love to see an acre of cake spread out whether by design or accident, became the sweet frost covering the rich earth king and queen. According to Twelfth- below---studded all over with glittering day law, each party is to support their flowers, like ice-plants, and red and green character till midnight.” The mainte- knots of sweetmeat, and hollow yellow
crusted crowns, and kings and queens, them, go round to the female part of the and their paraphernalia. I delight to see society in succession, and what one puts
score of happy children sitting huddled into the uppermost bowl the attendant all round the dainty fare, eyeing the cake collectress slips into the bowl beneath it. and each other, with faces sunny enough All are expected to contribute something, to thaw the white snow. I like to see but not more than a shilling, and they the gazing silence which is kept so reli are best esteemed who give most. The giously while the large knife goes its men choose two from themselves, and round, and the glistening eyes which follow the same custom, except that as feed beforehand on the huge slices, dark the gentlemen are not supposed to be with citron and plums, and heavy as altogether so fair in their dealings as the gold. And then, when the “Characters ladies, one of the collectors is furnished are drawn, is it nothing to watch the with pen, ink, and paper, to set down peeping delight which escapes from their the subscriptions as soon as received. Iittle eyes? One is proud, as king; ano If a satirical prophecy in “ Vox Grather stately, as queen; then there are two culi,” 4to. 1623, may be relied on as whispering grotesque secrets which they authority, it bears testimony to the popucannot contain those are sir Gregory larity of Twelfth-night at that period. On Goose and sir Tunbelly Clumsy.) The the 6th of January the author declares, boys laugh out at their own misfortunes; that “this day, about the houres of 5, 6, but the little girls (almost ashamed of 7, 8, 9, and 10, yea, in some places till their prizes) sit blushing and silent. It midnight well nigh, will be such a masis not until the lady of the house goes sacre of spice-bread, that, ere the next day round, that some of the more extravagant at noon, a two-penny browne loafe will fictions are revealed. And then, what a set twenty poore folkes teeth on edge. roar of mirth! Ha, ha! The ceiling Which hungry humour will hold so vioshakes, and the air is torn. They bound lent, that a number of good fellowes will from their seats like kids, and insist on not refuse to give a statute-marchant of seing Miss Thompson's card. Ah! what all the lands and goods they enjoy, for merry spite is proclaimed—what ostenta half-a-crown's worth of two-penny pas. tious pity! The little girl is almost in ties.” He further affirms, that there will tears, but the large lump of allotted cake on this night much masking in the is placed seasonably in her hands, and Strand, Cheapside, Holbourne, or Fleetthe glass of sweet wine all round' street.' drowns the shrill urchin laughter, and a “ The twelve days of Christmas," as the gentler delight prevails." Does not this extent of its holidays, were proverbial ; make a charming picture ?
but among labourers, in some parts, the
Christmas festivities did not end till CanThere is some difficulty in collecting dlemas. Old Tusser, in his “Five Hunaccounts of the manner wherein Twelfth- dred Points of good Husbandry," would night is celebrated in the country. In have the merriments end in six days; he “Time's Telescope," an useful and enter- begins January with this advice to the taining annual volume, there is a short countryman: reference to the usage in Cumberland, and When Christmas is ended, other northern parts of England. It seems
bid feasting adue, that on Twelfth-night, which finishes their Goe play the good husband, Christmas holidays, the rustics meet in a
thy stock to renue: large room. They begin dancing at seven
Be mindful of rearing, o'clock, and finish at twelve, when they
in hope of a gaine, sit down to lobscouse, and ponsondie;
Dame Profit shall give thee the former is made of beef, potatoes, and
reward for thy paine. onions fried together; and in ponsondie This was the recommendation of prudence we recognise the wassail or waes-hael of tempered by kindness; a desire for diliale, boiled with sugar and nutmeg, into gence in the husbandman, with an allowwhich are put roasted apples,--the an ance of reasonable pastime to sweeten ciently admired lambs'-wool. The feast his labour. is paid for by subscription : two women From Naogeorgus, in “The Popish are chosen, who with two wooden bowls Kingdome," a poem before quoted, and placed one within the other, so as to which will be frequently referred to for leave an opening and a space between its lore regarding our ancient customs, it
and a pease.
is to he gathered, that the king of Twelfth- shall be King; and where the peaze is, night, after the manner of royalty, ap- she shall be Queene. pointed his officers. He himself attained “ Nis. I have the peaze, and must be his dignity thus :
“ Mel. I have the beane, and King ; [ Then also every householder, to his abilitie,
must commande." Doth make a mightie cake, that may
Pinkerton's "Ancient Scotish Poems," suffice his companie :
contain a letter from sir Thomas RanHerein a pennie doth he put,
dolph, queen Elizabeth's chamberlain of before it come to fire,
the Exchequer, to Dudley lord Leicester, This he divides according as
dated froin Edinburgh on the 15th Januhis householde doth require,
ary, 1563, wherein he mentions, that Lady And every peece distributeth,
Flemyng was “ Queen of the Beene” on as round about they stand,
Twelfth-day in that year: and in Ben JonWhich in their names unto the poore
son's Masque of Christmas, Baby-cake, is given out of hand. But who so chaunceth on the peece
one of the characters, is attended by "an wherein the money lies,
Usher, bearing a great cake with a bean, Is counted king amongst them all,
Herrick, the poet of our and is with showtes and cries
festivals, has several allusions to the celeExalted to the heavens up.
bration of this day by our ancestors : the Mr. Fosbroke notices, that “ the cake poem here subjoined, recognises its cus
toms with strict adherence to truth, and in was full of plums, with a bean in it for the king, and a pea for the queen, so as
pleasant strains of joyousness. to determine them by the slices. Some TwelfE-NIGHT, OR KING AND QUEENE. times a penny was put in the cake, and Now, now the mirth comes the person who obtained it, becoming With the cake full of plums, king, crossed all the beams and rafters Where beane's the king of the sport he of the house against devils. A chafing
Beside, we must know, dish with burning frankincense was also
The pea also lit, and the odour snuffed up by the whole Must revell, as queene in the court here. family, to keep off disease for the year. Begin then to chuse, After this, the master and mistress went
This night as ye use, round the house with the pan, a taper,
Who shall for the present delight here,
Be a king by the lot, and a loaf, against witchcraft."
And who shall not So far Mr. Fosbroke abridges Naogeor- Be Twelfe-day queene for the night here. gus's account, which goes on to say, that
Which knowne, let us make in these dayes beside,
Joy-sops with the cake; They judge what weather all the yeare And let not a man then be seen here, shall happen and betide:
Who unurg'd will not drinke, Ascribing to each day a month,
To the base from the brink, and at this present time,
A health to the king and the queene here. The youth in every place doe flocke,
Next crowne the bowle ful. and all apparel'd fine,
With gentle lambs-wooll; With pypars through the streetes they runne, Adde sugar, nutmeg, and ginger, and singe at every dore.
With store of ale, too;
And thus ye must doe
together still do runne,
Give them to the king as night beginnes to come,
And queene wassailing; And bring abrode their wassel bowles,
And though with ale ye be whet here ; who well rewarded bee,
Yet part ye from hence,
As free from offence, With cakes and cheese, and great good cheare, and money plenteouslee.
As when ye innocent met here. Queen Elizabeth's Progresses by Mr. A citation by Brand represents the ancient N ols, contain an entertainment to her Twelfth-night-cake to have been compos-, at Sudley, wherein were Melibæus, the ed of flour, honey, ginger, and pepper., king of the Bean, and Nisa, the queen of The maker thrust in, at random, a small the Pea.
coin as she was kneading it. When baked, “ Mel. Cut the cake : who hath the beane, it was divided into as many parts as there.