Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/83

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53
COUNTRY LIFE AND CHARACTER

a halfpenny. Also, if any stranger or servant, or youth, comes in, without the knowledge of the officers, he shall pay a halfpenny. Also, if any brother or sister is bold enough to take the seat of another, he shall pay a halfpenny.

"Also, if it happens that any brother or sister has been robbed, or has fallen into poverty, then so long as he bears himself well and rightly towards the brethren and sisters of the guild, they shall find him in food and clothing and what else he needs."

The annual banquet was the chief social event of the year. "The receipts," says Mr. Lee, "under the various headings of 'light-money,' rents, and fines, increase with satisfactory regularity, and the expenses grow correspondingly. Candles both of tallow and wax, repairs of house and property, the setting up of hedges, form large items of expenditure, but in each year's balance sheet the details of the food and drink provided for the annual feast occupy more and more extravagant space. The small pigs and large pigs; the pullets, geese, veal, and 'carcases' of mutton; the eggs, butter, and honey; the almonds, raisins, currants, garlic, salt, pepper, and other spices were gathered in from all the neighbouring villages in appalling quantities. Gallons of wine and bushels of malt for brewing ale were alike provided