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was so scarce, that, to mend the broken windows
in a chapel at Stamford, the King issued
his writ to one Nicholas Hoppewell, to take
as much glass as he could find, or might be
needful for his purpose, from the counties of
Norfolk, Northampton, Leicester, and Lincoln.
Yet, though scarce, glass was not very
dear; and, from this fact, we fairly may deduce,
that it was not, on the whole, much
cared about. Even in the reign of Edward
the First, it cost but threepence-halfpenny a
foot, including the expense of glazing;
threepence-halfpenny being, it is remembered,
equal to about four shillings and fourpence
of our modern currency.

In the matter of fire-places, it must be
observed, that marble mantel-pieces, carved or
painted, were in use at this period. One of
the cosey notions of King Henry the Third
was, that a certain mantel-piece should be
painted over with a blue-nosed personification
of winteran old man with contorted body,
by way of contrast to the comfortable
blaze. So Egyptian ladies had the head of a
demon to adorn the handles of their looking-glasses,
and to cheer their hearts by the
suggestion of a contrast. These mantel-pieces
did not always border flues. In many
remains of this period no trace of a chimney is
perceptible, because it was a common custom
to attach it to the wall in the form of a light-plastered
structure,—a mere cobweb, which,
of course, time would have dusted off.

We have mentioned the stairs, often external,
which led to the solar chamber. Sometimes
these stairs communicated with a trap-door.
It was through a trap-door that Henry
the Third descended from his chamber to his
chapel at Clarendon; so the said chamber
had another quality pertaining to a cock-loft.
In Rochester Castle the chapel of the
same King was above the chamber, and his
Majesty ordered the construction of an outer
stair, because he had been worried by the
number of people passing up to chapel
through his bed-room.

Deal wainscoting painted, especially painted
green, and starred with gold or decorated
with pictures, began now to be adopted by
the high and mighty. It was probably not
carried higher than five or six feet. Hangings
were not generally applied to private
rooms, though they were used abundantly in
churches on a festival; also, the outsides of
houses in towns were covered with drapery on
great occasions, so that the streets were on
each side thoroughly be-curtained.

In the reign of Henry the Third, the first
attempts were made at underground drainage.
The refuse and dirty water from the royal
kitchens had long been carried through the
great hall at Westminster; but the foul
odours were said seriously to affect the people's
health. An under-ground drain was devised,
therefore, to carry the offensive matter to the

Furniture, at this more advanced period, still
had to be made for its owner on the premises.
In 1249, Henry the Third sent a writ to one of
his bailiffs, authorising him to obtain by gift
or purchase a great beech tree for the purpose
of making tables for the royal kitchens.
It was to be sent by water to London immediately.
There were fixed tables and forms
in the great hall; the royal seat, sometimes of
stone, being elaborately carved and painted.
In the private chamber, forms and chairs were
fastened round the wall; so the King and
Queen and their attendants must have made
rather a stiff party when they sat together.
There were some moveable chairs; the
Coronation chair, in Westminster Abbey,
being one of them. Eleanor of Castile introduced,
for her own use, carpetsto the
scandal of the Londoners. Carpets, however,
as church furniture, had long been
known. Eleanor's fashion was not followed,
even by Kings, until the succeeding
century. The private chamber, when large,
was sometimes divided into boxes by thin
partitions, which kept the royal person more
secluded. The bed of the King was a clumsy
sofa, to which by this time a canopy had
come to be added. The King's mattresses,
bolsters, and pillows were covered with silk
or velvet. Sheets and counterpanes were
used even by men quite in the middle class,
and the royal outlay for table-linen leads one
to suppose that at the royal feasts clean
table-cloths were spread even before the poor.
Upon the cloth, the mighty salt-cellar was the
chief table ornament; the King feasted from
silver; but the people ate and drank from
wooden bowls and platters. Gourds, horns,
and cocoa-nut shells were also put in valuable
settings, and employed as cups.

People ate with their fingers, or used spoons.
The cook is often represented, in the pictures
of the period, bringing his meat upon the spit,
and offering it in that way to each guest, who
cuts off with his knife, and removes with his
fingers, what he wants, and suffers the cook
then to pass on, and present the spit to his
neighbour. Among very great people these
spits were usually made of silver. Forks were
scorned by Mr. Bull, long after this period,
when they were known in England. It was
a mark of good breeding to keep the hand as
little greasy as possible. It is recorded of
Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, from
1458 to 1490, that he was very accomplished
in this respect. His contemporary biographer
says that at that time, in Hungary, forks were
not used at table, as they were in many parts
of Italy; but that at meals each person laid
hold of the meat with his fingers, and on that
account Hungarian lingers were always found
to be much stained with saffron, which was
then put into sauces and soup. The biographer
praises the King for eating without a
fork, yet conversing at the same time, and
never dirtying his clothes.

Now, as to the aspect of the country.

It is well known that every county in

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