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the house of his mistress Erotium to bespeak a dinner, he adds, "Harke ye, some oysters, a mary-bone pie or two, some artichockes, and potato-roots; let our other dishes be as you please."
Again, in Greene's Disputation between a Hee Coneycatcher and a Shee Coneycatcher, 1592: "I pray you, how many badde proffittes againe growes from whoores. Bridewell woulde have verie fewe tenants, the hospitall would wante patientes, and the surgians much woorke: the apothecaries would have surphaling water and potato-roots lye deade on their handes."
Again, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson: "'tis your only dish, above all your potatoes or oyster-pies in the world." Again, in The Elder Brother, by Beaumont and Fletcher: "A banquet-well, potatoes and eringoes, "And as I take it, cantharides-Excellent!" Again, in The Loyal Subject, by the same authors: "Will your lordship please to taste a ""Twill advance your wither'd state, "Fill your honour full of noble itches," &c.
Again, in The Martial Maid, by Beaumont and Fletcher: "Will your ladyship have a potatoe-pie? 'tis a good stirring dish for an old lady after a long lent."
Again, in The Sea Voyage, by the same authors:
"Potatoes, or cantharides !"
"See provoking dishes, candied eringoes
Again, in The Picture, by Massinger : he hath got a pye
"Of marrow-bones, potatoes and eringoes." Again, in Massinger's New Way to pay old Debts: 66 'tis the quintessence
"Of five cocks of the game, ten dozen of sparrows,
Again, in The Guardian, by the same author:
Again, in The City Madam, by the same: prescribes my diet, and foretells "My dreams when I eat potatoes."
Taylor the Water-poet likewise, in his character of a Bawd, ascribes the same qualities to this genial root.
Again, Decker, in his Gul's Hornbook, 1609: "Potato-pies and custards stood like the sinful suburbs of cookery,” &c.
Again, in Marston's Satires, 1599: camphire and lettice chaste,
"Are now cashier'd-now Sophi 'ringoes eate,
Again, in Holinshed's Chronicle, Description of England, p. 167: "Of the potato and such venerous roots, &c. I speake
Lastly, in Sir John Harrington's Metamorphosis of Ajax, 1596: " Perhaps you have been used to your dainties of potatoes, of caveare, eringus, plums of Genowa, all which may well encrease your appetite to severall evacuations."
In The good Huswives Jewell, a book of cookery published in 1596, I find the following receipt to make a tarte that is a courage to a man or woman: "Take two quinces, and twoo or three burre rootes, and a POTATON; and pare your POTATON and scrape your roots, and put them into a quarte of wine, and let them boyle till they bee tender, and put in an ounce of dates, and when they be boiled tender, drawe them through a strainer, wine and all, and then put in the yolkes of eight eggs, and the braynes of three or four cocke-sparrowes, and straine them into the other, and a little rose-water, and seeth them all with sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, and cloves, and mace; and put in a little sweet butter, and set it upon a chafing-dish of coles between two platters, to let it boyle till it be something bigge."
Gerard elsewhere observes, in his Herbal, that "potatoes may serve as a ground or foundation whereon the cunning confectioner or sugar-baker may worke and frame many comfortable conserves and restorative sweetmeats."
The same venerable botanist likewise adds, that the stalk of clotburre, "being eaten rawe with salt and pepper, or boiled in the broth of fat meat, is pleasant to be eaten, and stirreth up venereal motions. It likewise strengtheneth the back," &c.
Speaking of dates, he says, that "thereof be made divers excellent cordial comfortable and nourishing medicines, and that procure lust of the body very mightily." He also mentions quinces as having the same virtues.
We may likewise add, that Shakspeare's own authority for the efficacy of quinces and dates is not wanting. He has certainly introduced them both as proper to be employed in the wedding dinner of Paris and Juliet:
"They call for dates and quinces in the pastry."
It appears from Dr. Campbell's Political Survey of Great Britain, that potatoes were brought into Ireland about the year 1610, and that they came first from Ireland into Lancashire. It was, however, forty years before they were much cultivated
about London. At this time they were distinguished from the Spanish by the name of Virginia potatoes,-or battatas, which is the Indian denomination of the Spanish sort. The Indians in Virginia called them openank. Sir Walter Raleigh was the first who planted them in Ireland. Authors differ as to the nature of this vegetable, as well as in respect of the country from whence it originally came. Switzer calls it Sisarum Peruvianum, i. e. the skirret of Peru. Dr. Hill says it is a solanum; and another very respectable naturalist conceives it to be a native of Mexico.
The accumulation of instances in this note is to be regarded as a proof how often dark allusions might be cleared up, if commentators were diligent in their researches. COLLINS.
END OF VOL. XV.
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