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408
Kynge Arthure's Puden.

[Octs sealed scroll,' I will not 'fash ma thum’ to transcribe it. In the copy, I have retained all the original contractions, and give it to you literatim, but not punctuatim,' for it exhibits a noble defiance of punctuation. As it throws great light on the gastrology of the olden people of this island, I have ventured to add a few observations by way of illustration, which I hope will not prove unamusing.

Farewell.- In the Swedish manner I wish you “bonne digestion.

Yours,

WILLIAM KITCHINER.

*

KYNGE ARTHURE'S PUDEN.
1. When gode Kynge Arthure whylome reigned

O'er all ys English londe
He had Knyghtes errante 24

Under hys commande
2. Ys Kynge for Sonday mornenge bade

Hys cooke withoute delaie
To have a greate bagge-puden made

For to dyne upon yt daie
3. Ye cooke yn toke hys byggeste potte

Yt 90 Hhds helde
And soone he made ye water hotte

Wyth which yt potte was fyllede
4. Hys knedynge troughe was 50 yds

In lengthe & 20 wyde
And 80 kytchen wenches stode

In ordere bye its syde
5. Fulle 60 sakes of wheatene floure

They emptyed in a tryse
And 15 Bbls of melases

& 7 casks of Ryse
6. For every pounde of floure they toke

Att leaste 2 poundes of plums
Ye lumps of suete in it were

As bygge as my two thumbes
7. Ye puden bagge was of toe-clothe

Ech yd was worthe a groate,
Beinge too small they peeced it wyth

Ye Queene's stuffe pettykote.
8. From 4 o'clock before

sunryse
They boyled it untylle noone
When ye cooke he swore if it boyled anie more

It wd turne to poyson soone

9. Att length they gott ye puden oute

Wyth much adoe and clatter
& yn wyth iron crowe-bars rolled

it on a puter platter
10. It toke 200 Servynge men

To lyft it on ye table
& everie knyghte sat down to eate

As much as be was able
11. Ye kynge yn drew hys shynynge bronde

& swore by gode saint Toddy
Yt he wd eate a peece of itt

As bygge as his owne bodie
12. Eache valorouse knyght swore bye ye rood

Yt he wd doe soe too
& eate as much as anie kynge

In Chrystendome could doe
13. Grayse beinge saide ye graycious kynge

Bowed rounde to everie manne
& thrust bis sworde upp to ye bylte

& oute ye gravie ranne
14. It was so gode yt everie knighte

Stuffed tylle hee almost dyed
what they cd not eate yi daie

They had ye next daie fryed
15. Ande nowe God blesse y noble Kynge

Hys knyghtes & table rounde
& when he nexte suche a puden boyls

0! may wee there bee founde.

ANNOTATIONS.

Stanza 1st. Knyghtes errantes 24. THE “ Rounde Tacle," or collection of knights

' errant attached to King Arthur's court was the most celebrated institution in the annals of chivalry, and was the model which succeeding monarchs followed. The name is derived, says Selden, from the form of the table at which the court was accustomed to dine during the Christmas holidays, at which time all the knights were bound to be present, and renew their fealty. The architect who erected it was a resident of Merchwyr Tydwyll, and was nephew of the celebrated Merlin. His grave is yet to be seen with the following inscription : Vol. I. No. VI.

52

I HS
" Ye baines off Llywellyn app Tydwyll
“Lye in ys halie grounde
“ He was a rite-gode wode-crafte manne
“ And maide ye Table Rounde

Ob. A. D. 537." Stanza 2d. It seems to have been the custom at King Arthur's court, that all the knights present, should dine at the king's table on Sanday; and we may in this stanza learn the antiquity of the English custom of having a plum pudding for dinner on Sundays. Vide the old ballad of Good Queen Bess.' “They thought they sinned on Sunday if they dined without a pudding."

Stanzas 3d and Ath. The magnitude of King Arthur's kitchen establishment proves that he well understood the secret of Dutch courage, and that he fed his bully-boys,' in proportion to the work he wanted of them, I doubt whether any monarch of the holy alliance' can show such magnificent culinary utensils. Indeed, our forefathers had very enlarged notions on the subject of eating and drinking. The • Heidelberg Ton' is an evidence of this. That vessel is of such capacity, that while the present generation are drinking the wine from the bottom, they are pouring in at the top that intended to wash the throats of their great grandchildren. Harmann Von Skunchbrüch in his • Staaten der Bavaren'—a work on the · Statistics of Bavaria,' mentions another, of which he writes, quaintly enough I confess, that it cost so much, and held so much, that the wine in it, by the accumulation of compound interest, if it had not all been drank up in the second year, would in the year 1739, have cost twenty gola florius per gill. Vide page 1983. vol. 17th.

Stanzas 5th and 6th present us with the component parts of this morsel of dainties," and it is enough to make one's mouth water to read them. From them we also learn, that the Cambrians were largely engaged in the West India trade, and also carried on a considerable traffick to Charleston for rice, and to Malaga for raisins. From some expressions of Aneuryn and Taliesin, in the fragments of the “ Triads," we are informed that the Muscadel raisins of Barrell's brand were most esteemed; and Hoel ap Owen ap Gwyllwyn in his letter to Madog ap Owen Gwynedd, (commonly called Madoc,) disproving his claim to the first discovery of a new continent, quotes a passage from Llywarc-Hen, expressly stating, that

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the ships from Aberystwyth, were accustomed to bring home 6 barrells of BLACK Honey from Yaymaykya.

Stanza 7th exhibits a delightful specimen of good housewifery. It is evident that the Queen, Guanharanhua or Gunaera, (for she is called by both names by Taliesin,) was overseer of the kitchen, and when she found the pudding bag too small, she is represented as piecing it with her " stuff petty-kote” to enlarge it. Such an instance of her desire to do every thing in her power to serve her husband, is so pleasing, and so unlike the conduct of the wives of the present age, that I am almost impelled with Don Quixote to declare myself her champion against the calumnies which have been cast upon her reputation. We also from these stanzas learn the antiquity of the woollen manufacture in the west of England, where it still continues to flourish. Whether the stuffe" of which the petticoat was made was camblet, serge, bombazett or kersey, we unfortunately are not told.

In stanza 8th, we find the origin of the old proverb, that“ pudding over boiled is poison.” In my note to the recipe for a plum pudding, in the “cook's oracle,"? I have proied that the meaning of this phrase is, that it cannet be over boiled.

Stanzas 10th, et infra. What a delightful picture is here presented of the bustle in the kitchen to dish up the ambrosial morsel, and the magnanimous attitude assumed by the knights, on taking their seats at the festal board. Then the king, drawing his sword excalibor, (which is a gaelic word, meaning slicer, and is used in the same sense as cheese toaster at the present day,) with a great flourish, and announcing the eagerness of his appetite-It is indeed a picture for painters to study. St. Toddy, who seems to have been the king's favourite and patron saint, was one of the missionary companions of St. Patrick. He preached chiefly in the southeastern part of Ireland, and was accustomed to baptize his converts, with a mixture of potsheen and hot water, to which they, in gratitude, gave his name, which it bears to this day. Llywarc-Hen in his hymn to St Tafy, (or David,) mentions this fact, and adds that the success of his labours was, astonishing.

And notwithstanding the craving of appetite, the court, more pious than courts in the present age, would not set down to eat, until grace before meat had been pronounced ; when that was done, like true knights, and honest trencher-men, they did their devoirs to the pudding.

I am much pleased with the refined economy which they observed in those days, and which is evinced in the fact, that

the remains of the pudding was warmed over for breakfast the next morning ; a mode of treatment, which you may be lieve, meo periculo, is much better than eating it cold.

I have recently seen a fragment of the Welsh verses among the Celtic manuscripts in the British Museum, and found a marginal note upon it in the hand writing of our friend Laurence Templeton Esq. stating that the author is supposed to be Aneuryn-Llwyrdych, or Aneuryn of the silver mouth, who, with Taliesin, was considered as chief of the bards of Wales in the middle of the sixth century, and whose heroic exploits against the Saxons, are celebrated in the fragments of the Triads.-Vide archæology of Wales, vol. 2d.

W.K.

TO A LADY, ON THE DEATB OF HER DAUGHTER WRO KAD JUST

TAKEN TRE VEIL.

(From the French of Gresset.)
Shall grief perverse, with midnight gloom,

Thy fairest days o'ercast,
While prostrate by a daughter's tomb,

Thy ceaseless sorrows last?
Ere the glad morp her gates unfolds,

They wake thee with a sigh,
And evening's pensive shade beholds

Tears dim thy lucid eye.
Just was the debt to sacred grief

For her whose fate I sing,
Whose bloom was lovely, as 'twas brief,

And perished in its spring.
The earlier hours of passionate wo
A secret joy mysterious know,

To jealous sorrow dear;
I did not then forbid their ffow,

But gave thee tear for tear.
But short the term that nature gives

To unavailing sighs ;
The constant grief that longer lives,

Seems morbid to the wise.
Thy dear remains, oh shade beloved !

In their dark prison pent,
Sleep on by all our moans unmoved,

Nor hear our sad lament.
Nor funeral dirge, nor anguish wild

Relentless fate can stay;
The mother mourns in va'n her child,

For death retains his prey.

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