Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/464

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to set up temporary booths for the display of wares about the doors and lower windows. The gradual solidification of these temporary stalls into permanent pent-houses that inconveniently encroached upon the narrow streets was often the subject of serious remonstrance.

The principal room in an Elizabethan house of any size or pretension was the hall. This, usually the largest room in the house, was in use for many purposes. All the merrymakings on annual feast days took place in the hall. Meals were served there upon movable tables that were laid against the walls between times. Though the women withdrew at the end of a meal the men remained in the hall to drink, tell stories, or to attend to a thousand and one articles of daily business. The hall, being also a sort of trophy room for weapons and articles of venery, formed a convenient workshop for imping broken hawks' wings, curing dogs, mending arrows, cleaning guns, polishing armour, etc., etc.

A withdrawing room, or bower, was always provided for the women, to which they withdrew at the end of meals, and where they practised the daily occupations of sewing and playing upon the lute, not to mention looking out of the bay-window after passing gallants—a habit which is the subject of frequent reference in Elizabethan