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Indian Bird. It was esteemed so valuable, as to have been a proper ransom for the King, had he been taken.
The use of the feather, as a decorative article of dress in male attire, seems to have continued, more or less, during several of the succeeding reigns. In the early part of the civil wars, the cavalier ornamented his “ broad. leaved Flemish beaver hat,” with the plume. In the days of Charles, the Second, the feather was worn in a more reclining posture; and at a later time, that is, during the early period of the reign of-the cocked hat, it was often seen, in a prostrate position, to fill up its folds. Its appearance lingered during the reign of Queen Anne, although it is spoken of in the “ Tatler," in Nos. 7, 11, and 48, and, perhaps, it was no longer seen after that of George, the First, when, with good judgment, man did that, which he should have done long before— tacitly, and virtually, resign the use of the feather to the female race, for whose charms it is much better adapted, and o'er whose heads alone may the tasteful ostrich plume in future ever wave. It is surprising, that men were thus permitted, during this lengthened æra, very nearly to mo: nopolize the use of this elegant decoration ; but it often happened, that the reigning head-dress of the female was ill-suited to the introduction of the feather. Thus it was in the days of John Halle, when " the ladies ornamented their heads with certain rolls of linen pointed like steeples, generally half, and sometimes three quarters of an ell in height. These were
called by some, great butterflies, from having two large wings on each side resembling those of that insect. The high cap was covered with a fine piece of lawn hanging down to the ground, the greater part of which was tucked under the
Yet I must frankly confess, that the female, when she first laid claim to this tasteful article of the feather, forfeited, for the time, that acknowledged delicacy of conduct, for which she is usually, and justly, distinguished. It was in the earlier part of the eighteentl century, that she seems first to have generally adopted the use of the feather, and this she then accompanied, with the affectation of the male attire, by appearing at unnecessary times in the riding-suit. This fashion is repeatedly noticed, and censured, by the “ Spectator.” In No. 104, he describes a lady thus absurdly arrayed, and, amongst other articles of dress, he states her to have on a smartly cocked beaver hat, edged with silver, and rendered more sprightly with a feather. The use of the feather is now, occasionally, to be seen amongst the females of every class. The daughter of the lowly cottager, with an ambition ill suited to her station, is often led, with instinctive pride, thus to attire herself on holiday occasions; and on state days, the drawing-room of the Queen is seen to wave with a feathery-sea. It is time, however, to dismiss this light subject, and to discuss that of the more substantial, and golden, brooch, which upholds the feather in the hal of John Halle.
• Planche on “ British Costume," p. 206.
The word broche, brooch, or broach, (for thus various is its orthography) is doubtlessly of Norman, or Gallic, Origin. In our days, it denotes an ornamental article of gold, or precious stones, with a clasp, or tongue, to connect, or fasten, the different parts of dress, but originally it designated alone-what do you think, gentle reader?-a spit! This most useful, and esteemed, culinary article was simultaneously by the Normans called a broche, and by the Saxons denominated a spit. But, before we proceed, it is necessary to explain the etymology of these two rival words, and here I see my excellent, and old friend, Minshieu, coming to my aid: “A Broach, or spit (says he) Ital. Broccia : Gallic, Broche à Gr. Teipw, i. e. transfigo, transfigit enim carnes." And of the word spit, he says thus: "A Spitte, or broach. Belgic, Spet, Spit: Teutonic, Spisst: Saxon, Speet à cuspis per apheresin, vel à σπίξειν, i. e. ἐκτείνειν, i. e. tendere."
Having thus imparted the obvious derivations of these synonymous words, as taken in a culinary sense, I must now proceed to instance, as such, their similarity of meaning. Bacon, in his life of "Henry, the Seventh," (p. 36) speaking of the overthrow of the impostor, Lambert Simnel, (who had been proclaimed at Dublin under the title of Edward, the Sixth, as the son of George, Duke of Clarence,) says: "Hee was taken into seruice in his Court to a base office in his Kitchin; so that Hee turned a Broach, that had worne a Crowne." The Saxon Word, spit, is so familiar to us in its purpose, that an
illustrative example is quite unnecessary. Let us now, then, seek to develope the times, in which these rival words were respectively in
Before the arrival of the Normans, this instrument, (so auxiliary to our wants,) we may rest assured, was only known by the appellative of spit, but after their arrival, they successfully “ introduced (as was before observed in p. 31) the feudal system, personal arms, and the double name, and, together with these, were endeavoured to be introduced, but with partial success, the Norman Language, laws, manners, and customs.” Of the attempt, as to the former of these, we have here a successful instance, as the Norman Word, broche, utterly superseded the Saxon Word, spit. Do you why was this? I can only answer, (but I believe that answer to be correct,) that it arose from the more predominant use of this most useful instrument by the Normans. William of Malmesbury (Lib. 3, p. 58) boldly contrasts the different style of living of the Saxons and the Normans. The former, he describes, as generally given to drinking, and that they spent their whole substance in small, and despicable, habitations. The latter, he states, as living in large edifices, as sumptuously clothed, and as satiating themselves with delicious food : “ cibis citra ullam nimietatem delicati.” There is no doubt, from numerous testimonies, that the Normans lived as sumptuously, as the Saxons did meanly, and we cannot wonder, that the Norman Broche eclipsed the Saxon Spit. On reference to the plates of the Bayeux Tapestry (published by the Antiquarian Society) of supposed coeval origin with the Norman Invasion, the dinner of the Norman Duke, and his Court, may be seen to be represented, as shortly after his landing at Pevensey;, it is accompanied with this inscription : “ Hìc exeunt caballi de navibus-Et hìc milites festinaverunt Hastinga, ut cibum raperentur-Hìc est Wadard-Hic coquitur caro et hic ministraverunt ministri-Hic fecerunt prandium et hìc episcopus cibum et potum benedicit.” The processes of cooking-of bringing to the table—and of feasting-may here all be viewed, as going on at the same time, and luxuriously did they fare. The foragers brought in from the farms cattle, sheep, &c., and the cooks are drawing from off the broches the fowls, and larks, and “ such small gear,” but delicate in the kind, and bearing them to the royal tables, and thus we have here a practical instance of the use of the Norman Broche. In the middle, and dark, ages, when litera
, , ture was in abeyance—when its genial influence, which
" emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros,"
embued not the minds of men, then it was that their thoughts were wholly engrossed with love, war, and good cheer-that the broche (or spit) was held in the highest estimation ; and thus we see, in the inventory of the crown jewels of Edward, the Third, are included “ 4 broch' ferri magni,” that is, “ four great iron spits !” * The word broche, as designating this much
• Archæologia, Vol. 10, p. 250.