Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 476 pages of information about Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists.
his son, the young squire, a lover, and a lusty bachelor, with curled locks and gay embroidery; a bold rider, a dancer, and a writer of verses, singing and fluting all day long, and “fresh as the month of May;”—­and his “knot-headed” yeoman; a bold forester, in green, with horn, and baudrick, and dagger, a mighty bow in hand, and a sheaf of peacock arrows shining beneath his belt;—­and the coy, smiling, simple nun, with her gray eyes, her small red mouth, and fair forehead, her dainty person clad in featly cloak and “’ypinched wimple,” her choral beads about her arm, her golden brooch with a love motto, and her pretty oath by Saint Eloy;—­and the merchant, solemn in speech and high on horse, with forked beard and “Flaundrish bever hat;”—­and the lusty monk, “full fat and in good point,” with berry brown palfrey, his hood fastened with gold pin. wrought with a love-knot, his bald head shining like glass, and his face glistening as though it had been anointed; and the lean, logical, sententious clerk of Oxenforde, upon his half-starved, scholar-like horse;—­and the bowsing sompnour, with fiery cherub face, all knobbed with pimples, an eater of garlic and onions, and drinker of “strong wine, red as blood,” that carried a cake for a buckler, and babbled Latin in his cups; of whose brimstone visage “children were sore aferd;”—­and the buxom wife of Bath, the widow of five husbands, upon her ambling nag, with her hat broad as a buckler, her red stockings and sharp spurs;—­and the slender, choleric reeve of Norfolk, bestriding his good gray stot; with close-shaven beard, his hair cropped round his ears, long, lean, calfless legs, and a rusty blade by his side;—­and the jolly Limitour, with lisping tongue and twinkling eye, well-beloved franklins and housewives, a great promoter of marriages among young women, known at the taverns in every town, and by every “hosteler and gay tapstere.”  In short, before I was roused from my reverie by the less poetical but more substantial apparition of a smoking beef-steak, I had seen the whole cavalcade issue forth from the hostel-gate, with the brawny, double-jointed, red-haired miller, playing the bagpipes before them, and the ancient host of the Tabbard giving them his farewell God-send to Canterbury.

When I told the Squire of the existence of this legitimate descendant of the ancient Tabbard Inn, his eyes absolutely glistened with delight.  He determined to hunt it up the very first time he visited London, and to eat a dinner there, and drink a cup of mine host’s best wine in memory of old Chaucer.  The general, who happened to be present, immediately begged to be of the party; for he liked to encourage these long-established houses, as they are apt to have choice old wines.


  Farewell rewards and fairies,
    Good housewives now may say;
  For now fowle sluts in dairies
    Do fare as well as they;
  And though they sweepe their hearths no lease
    Than maids were wont to doo,
  Yet who of late for cleanlinesse
    Finds sixpence in her shooe?

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Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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