Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/529

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


397
DOMESTIC LIFE

Servants usually rose at four in the summer and five in the winter time. They were subject throughout the long day to rule and regimen. We are told that even the maid-servants were thrashed into good behaviour by their masters. When not in disgrace, it was a part of their duty to amuse their master, mistress, and the guests during the meal. In this direction, however, the fool was the greatest resource. Fools were of two kinds. One was the witty fool or jester, so cleverly described in Twelfth Night. He wore the parti-coloured or motley garb, the cock'scomb, and carried his bauble and bells. The other kind of fool was the idiot. Elizabethans had not yet learned the pathos of insanity. The foolish antics of the half-witted afforded them endless amusement.

Returning again to Markham we find that he lays great stress upon the proper serving of a meal. "Thus you shall order them in your closet; but when they go to the table you shall first send forth a dish made for show only, as Beaste, Bird, Fish, or Fowle, according to invention: then your marchpane, then your preserved fruit, then a paste, then a wet sucket, then a dry sucket, marmelaide, cumfits, apples, pears, wardens, oranges, and lemons sliced; then wafers and another dish of preserved fruits and so conse-