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newspaper for Dec. 1772, in Dr. Lort's interleaved copy of my Popular Antiquities. “The definition of hob or nob.-In the days of good Queen Bess (we find it upon record) the maids of honour not only used manly exercise, but eat roast beef and drank ale for breakfast; and as in their masculine exercises they were liable to accidents and the tooth ache, so it was natural for them occasionally to warm their beer, which they who required such indulgence generally did by ordering their cupfuls to be placed on the hob of the grate; and when any of the company called for beer, it was just as natural for their attendants to ask, “from the hob or not from the hob?' which constant practice (from the constant indisposition of one or other of these fair ladies) was soon not only remarked by the courtiers, but also perhaps first humorously adopted by them, with the courtly vice of corrupting hob or no hob into Hob or NOB.” To this I beg leave to apply the "Credat Judæus Apella, non ego.” Compare the note, p. 348.
In the Workes of John Heywoode, 1566, is the following
* Where wooers hoppe in and out, long time may bryng
Best sticke to the tone out of hand, hab or nab.”
“ Not of Jack Straw, with his rebellious crew,
That set king, realme, and lawes at hab or nab,
With dudgeon dagger's honourable stab.”
“I write not of religion
If any me to question call,
Have at all.”
his Almanack, we are told, “He writes of the weather hab nah, and as the toy takes him, chequers the year with foul and fair.”
The following is from the Antiquarian Repertory, ii. 98, where M. Jorevin is speaking of Worcester, and the Stag Inn there: “According to the custom of the country, the landladies sup with the strangers and passengers, and if they have daughters, they are also of the company, to entertain the guests at table with pleasant conceits, where they drink as much as the men : but what is to me the most disgusting in all this is, that when one drinks the health of any person in company, the custom of the country does not permit you to drink more than half the cup, which is filled up, and presented to him or her whose health you have drank.” He next speaks of tobacco, which it seems the women smoked as well as the men. M. Jorevin was here in Charles the Second's reign.
The following curious passage is from Galateo, of Manner and Behaviour, 4to. (and of which the scene lies in Italy): “Now to drink all out every man (drinking and carowsing): which is a fashion as little in use amongst us, as ye terme itself is barbarous and strange : I meane, ick bring you, is sure a foule thing of itselfe, and in our countrie so coldly accepted yet, that we must not go about to bring it in for a fashion. If a man doe quaffe or carrouse unto you, you may honestly say nay to pledge him, and geveing him thankes, confesse
1 In a curious book entitled a Character of England, as it was lately presented in a Letter to a Nobleman of France, with Reflections upon Gallus Castratus, (attributed to John Evelyn,) 1659, the author, speaking of taverns, says, p. 31: “Your L. will not believe me that the ladies of greatest quality suffer themselves to be treated in one of these taverns, but you will be more astonisht when I assure you that they drink their crowne! cups roundly, strain healths through their smocks, daunce after the fiddle, kiss freely, and term it an honourable treat." At p. 37 we are told, there is “ a sort of perfect debauchees, who style themselves Hectors, that in their mad and unheard of revels pierce their veins to quatt their own blood, which some of them have drank to that excess, that they died of the intemperance.” At p. 36 we read : “ I don't remember, my lord, ever to have known (or very rarely) a health drank in France, no, not the king's; and if we say, à votre santé, Monsieur, it neither expects pledge or ceremony. 'Tis here so the custome to drink to every one at the table, that by the time a gentleman has done his duty to the whole company, he is ready to fall asleep, whereas with us, we salute the whole table with a single glass only."
your weaknesse, that you are not able to beare it: or else to doe him a pleasure, you may for curtesie sake taste it, and then set downe the cup to them that will, and charge yourselfe no further. And although this, ick bring you, as I have heard many learned men say, hath beene an auncient custome in Greece; and that the Grecians doe much commend a good man of that time, Socrates by name, for that hee sat out one whole night long, drinking a vie with another good man, Aristophanes; and yet the next morning, in the breake of the daye, without any rest uppon his drinking, made such a cunning geometrical instrument, that there was no maner of faulte to be found in the same: bycause the drinking of wine after this sorte in a vie, in such excesse and waste, is a shrewde assault to trie the strength of him that quaffes so lustily.”
ALEHOUSE OR TAVERN SIGNS. SIR THOMAS BROWNE is of opinion that the human faces described in alehouse signs, in coats of arms, &c. for the sun and moon, are reliques of Paganism, and that these visages originally implied Apollo and Diana. Butler, the author of Hudibras, asks a shrewd question on this head, which I do not remember to have seen solved :
“ Tell me but what's the nat'ral cause
The full moon ever, but the half ?" There is a well-known proverb, “Good wine needs no bush ;" i. e. nothing to point out where it is to be sold. The subsequent passage seems to prove that anciently tavern-keepers kept both a bush and a sign : a host is speaking:
“ I rather will take down my bush and sign
Good Newes and Bad Newes, by S. R., 1622. As does the following that anciently putting up boughs upon anything was an indication that it was to be sold, which, if I do not much mistake, is also the reason why an old besom
(which is a sort of dried bush) is put up at the topmast-head of a ship or boat when she is to be sold.?
In Greene in Conceipt, 1598, p. 10, we read : “Good wine needes no ivie bushı.” In England's Parnassus, 1600, the first line of the address to the reader runs thus: “I hang no ivie out to sell my wine :” and in Braitbwaite's Strappado for the Divell, 1615, p. 1, there is a dedication to Bacchus, “sole soveraiyne of the ivy bush, prime founder of red-lettices," &c.
In Dekker's Wonderful Yeare, 1603, we read : “Spied a bush at the ende of a pole (the auncient badge of a country ale-house.” In Vaughan's Golden Grove, 1608, is the follow. ing passage: “Like as an ivy-bush, put forth at a vintrie, is not the cause of the wine, but a signe that wine is to bee sold there; so, likewise, if we see smoke appearing in a chimney, we know that fire is there, albeit the smoke is not the cause of the fire." The following is from Harris's Drunkard's Cup, p. 299: “Nay, if the house be not worth an ivy-bush, let him bare his tooles about him; nutmegs, rosemary, tobacco, with other the appuntenances, and he knowes how of puddle-ale to make a cup of English wine.”
Coles, in his Introduction to the Knowledge of Plants, p. 65, says: “ Box and ivy last long green, and therefore vintners make their garlands thereof; tliough perhaps ivy is the rather used, because of the antipathy between it and wine." In a curious poem entitled Poor Robin's Perambulation from Saffron Walden to London, July 1678, at p. 16, we read:
“ Some ale-houses upon the road I saw,
And some with bushes shewing they wine did draw.” A note in the Lansd. MS. 226, f. 171, upon the “ Tavern Bush,” by Bishop Kennett, says : “ The dressing the frame or bush with ivy-leaves fresh from the plant was the custome forty years since, now generally left off for carved work."
By the following passage in Whimzies, or a New Cast of
' In Nash's Christ's Teares over Jerusalem, 1613, p. 145, speaking of the head-dresses of London ladies, he says: “Even as angels are painted in church windowes, with glorious golden fronts, besette with sunnebeames, so beset they their foreheads on either side with glorious borrowed gleamy bushes; which, rightly interpreted, should signify beauty to sell, since a bush is not clse hanged forth, but to invite men to buy. And in Italy, when they sette any beast to sale, they croune his head with garlands, and becieck it with gaudy blossoms, as full as ever it may stick."
Characters, 1631, Second Part, p. 15, it should seem that signs in alehouses succeeded birch-poles. The author is describing a painter : “ He bestowes his pencile on an aged piece of decayed canvas in a sooty ale-house, where Mother Red Cap must be set out in her colours. Here hee and his barmy hostesse drew both together, but not in like nature; she in ale, he in oyle ; but her commoditie goes better downe, which he meanes to have his full share of when his worke is done. If she aspire to the conceite of a signe, and desire to have her birch-pole pulled downe, hee will supply her with one.”
In Scotland a wisp of straw upon a pole is, or was heretofore, the indication of an alehouse. So in a quotation already made, from Dunbar's macaronic Will of Maister Andro Kennedy: “ Et unum ale-wisp ante me.”
“In olde times, such as solde horses were wont to put flowers or boughes upon their heads” (I think they now use ribbands), “to reveale that they were vendible.” See the English Fortune Teller, 1609.
The Chequers, at this time a common sign of a public-house, was originally intended, I should suppose, for a kind of draught-board, called tables, and showed that there that game might be played. From their colour, which was red, and the similarity to a lattice, it was corruptly called the Red Lettuce, which word is frequently used by ancient writers to signify an alehouse. See the Antiquarian Repertory, i. 50. Thus I read in the Drunkard's Prospective, by Joseph Rigbie, 1656, p. 6:
“The tap-house fits them for a jaile,
The jaile to the gibbet sends them without faile;
You oft find crying through an iron grate.”!
1 In the First Part of Antonio and Melida, Marston's Works, 1633, we read : “As well knowen by my wit, as an ale-house by a red laltice." So, in a Fine Companion, one of Shakerley Marmion's plays: “A waterman's widow at the sign of the Red Lattice in Southwark." Again, in Arden of Faversham, 1592: “ His sign pulled down, and his lattice born away." Again, in the Miseries of Infore’d Marriage, 1607 : “ 'Tis treason to the red lattice, enemy to the sign post.”