Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/367

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289
BIRTH—BAPTISM—ETC.

considering a great while what should be the fittest gift for me to bestow upon my godchild, and I have resolved at last.' 'I pr'y thee, what?' says he. 'I' faith, Ben, I'le e'en give him a dozen good Latin spoons, and thou shalt translate them.'" Latten was an inferior kind of metal resembling brass.

Following the christening was the gossips' feast. This was the occasion of much fraternal drinking and exchange of sentiment. The Bachelor's Banquet, published in 1603, and attributed to Thomas Dekker the dramatist, says in regard to the gossips' feast: "What cost and trouble it will be to have all things fine against the Christening Day; what store of sugar, biskets, comphets, and caraways, marmalet, and marchpane, with all kinds of sweet suckers and superfluous banqueting stuff, with a hundred other odd and needless trifles, which at that time must fill the pocket of dainty dames."

The falling off in generosity exemplified by the gradual cessation of the habit of giving presents of plate seemed to foster a notion that the gossips no longer deserved their feast. At any rate, we read the following in regard to the custom in Shipman's Gossip, published in 1666.

"Especially since gossips now
Eat more at christenings than bestow.