Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/197

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149
CELEBRATION OF THE CALENDAR

An answer in All's Well That Ends Well is "as fit as a pancake for Shrove-Tuesday;" and in Pericles this article of food is termed a flap-jack. There are numerous allusions to the pancake diet in the Elizabethan dramas; and of the pancake-bell Taylor, the Water Poet, has the following to say: "Shrove-Tuesday, at whose entrance in the morning all the whole kingdom is unquiet, but by that time the clock strikes eleven, which (by the help of a knavish sexton) is commonly before nine, then there is a bell rung, cal'd pancake-bell, the sound whereof makes thousands of people distracted, and forgetful either of manners or humanity."[1]

By the time of Elizabeth the cock-fighting mentioned by Fitzstephen,[2] who wrote in the time of Henry II., was coupled with or supplanted by the less sportsmanlike amusement of cock-throwing.The practice is thus described by Strutt:

"In some places it was a common practice to put the cock in an earthen vessel made for the purpose, and to place him in such a position that his head and tail might be exposed to view; the vessel, with the bird in it, was then suspended across the street, about twelve or fourteen feet from the ground, to be thrown at by such as chose to make trial of their skill; two pence was paid

  1. Works, fol. 1630, p. 115.
  2. See chapter p.