Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the Drink Kauhi, or Coffee.” As this celebrated traveller lived to 1652, it may excite surprise that the first cup of coffee was not drunk at Rome. Purchas, an English traveller, at the time Valle wrote was also a “pilgrim," and well knew what was “coffa,which “ they drink as hot as they can endure it. It is as black as soot, and tastes not much unlike it : good, they say, for digestion and mirth.”

In 1658 a celebrated traveller gave coffee after dinner; but it was considered as the whim of a traveller. Neither the thing itself nor its appearance was inviting. It was probably spoken of by the public of the day as the humour of a traveller. But, ten years after, a Turkish ambassador at Paris made the beverage highly fashionable. The elegance with which it was served, charmed the eye and pleased the women. The brilliant porcelain cups in which it was poured, the napkins fringed with gold, and the Turkish slaves on their knees presenting it to the ladies seated on the ground on cushions, turned the heads of the Parisian dames. This elegant introduction made the new drink a subject of conversation, and in 1672 an Armenian at Paris opened a coffee-house at the fair-time. But in the first coffeehouses, the custom still prevailed to sell beer and wine, and smoke tobacco. An Italian improved greatly upon this by opening a coffee-house where nothing offensive was allowed, but which was furnished in a very elegant manner. The literary characters of the day used to resort to this house to drink their coffee and talk over passing events.

An English merchant trading in Turkey, brought over a Greek servant, who, in 1652, opened a shop for the sale of coffee. I have also discovered his handbill, in which he sets forth “the virtue of the coffee-drink, first publicly made and sold in England by Pasqua Rosee, in St. Michael's Alley, Cornhill, at the sign of his own head.”.

For about twenty years after the introduction of coffee into England, we find a continued series of invectives against its adoption. The use of coffee, indeed, seems to have excited more notice, and to have had a greater influence on the manners of the people, than that of tea. It seems at first to have been more universally used, as it is still on the Continent, and its use is connected with a resort for the idle and curious. In this way the history of coffee-houses is often that of the manners, the morals, and the politics of a people. Coffee-houses were generally the resort of excited and turbulent people, and were often forcibly closed by the authorities.

The following is a specimen of the poetical satires written at that time against the use of coffee :

For men and Christians to turn Turks, and think
To excuse the crime because 'tis in their drink!
Pure English apes! Ye may, for aught I know,
Would it but mode, learn to eat spiders too.
Should any of your grandsires' ghosts appear
In your wax-candle circles, and but hear
The name of coffee so much called upon,
Then see it drunk like scalding Phlegethon,
Would they not startle, think ye-all agreed,
'Twas conjuration both in word and deed ?

[ocr errors]

and

Other complaints arose from the mixture of the company in the first coffee-houses. In a Broadside against Coffee; or, The Marriage of the Turk (1672), the writer indicates the growth of the fashion :

Confusion huddled all into one scene,
Like Noah's Ark, the clean and the unclean ;
For now, alas ! the drench has credit got,
And he's no gentleman who drinks it not.
That such a dwarf should rise to such a stature!

But custom is but a remove from nature. In The Women's Petition against Coffee, in 1674, they complained that through the use of this beverage “the offspring of our mighty ancestors would dwindle into a succession of

apes pigmies ; and on a domestic, message a husband would stop by the way to drink a couple of cups of coffee.” It was now sold in convenient pennyworths ; for in another poem in praise of a coffee-house, for the variety of information contained there, it is called “ a penny university.”

At length the custom was universally established. Nor were there wanting some reflecting minds desirous of introducing the use of coffee among the labouring classes of society, to wean them from strong liquors. Howel observed that “this coffa-drink hath caused a great sobriety among all nations. Formerly, apprentices, clerks, &c., used to take their morning draughts in ale, beer, or wine, which often made them unfit for business; now they play the good fellows in this wakeful and

civil drink. The worthy gentleman, Sir James Muddiford, who introduced the practice hereof first into London, deserves much respect of the whole nation.” Here it appears—what, indeed, is most probable—that the use of this berry was introduced by other Turkish merchants besides Edwards and his servant Pasqua. The custom of drinking coffee, however, among the labouring classes does not appear to have lasted ; and even since it has been the cheapest beverage, the popular prejudices have prevailed against it, and run in favour of tea. Mr. Lowe has stated, in a recent speech, that this arises from the fact that the English people do not know how to make coffee properly. The contrary practice prevails on the Continent, where beggars are viewed making their coffee in the street.

Coffee-houses were at one time so important in a political sense, that in 1675 Charles II. issued a proclamation closing them for a certain time. The judges were summoned to consult as to whether this measure was legal. Their decision was, “that the retailing of coffee and tea might be an innocent trade; but as it was said to nourish sedition, spread lies, and scandalise great men, it might also be a common nuisance.” A general discontent followed, and the coffee-merchants and keepers of the coffee-houses petitioned to be allowed their former privileges. Permission was soon granted to open the houses to a certain period, under a severe admonition that the masters should prevent all scandalous papers, books, and libels from being read in them, and hinder every person from spreading scandalous reports against the Government.

The best way to make coffee is to use an earthenware vessel, strong enough to stand near the fire, place the coffee in it, and pour boiling water over it. Good coffee cannot be made in the ordinary tin coffee-pots, and it is not improved by boiling on the fire.

Sweet are the uses of adversity ;
Which, like a toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in its head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

Shakespere.

Young Scholars' Compositions.

CHOIR PICNIC. THE farmer came with his wagon and two horses. We started from the churchyard gate at half-past eight in the morning. Our destination was old Seaham. On our way there we saw in a field a lapwing sitting on its nest. A boy went over the hedge, and there were tw young ones. It uttered its plaintive “ Pee-weet," but the boy was not moved by it—he took the young ones. The wagon rolled gaily along, and we soon arrived there. We then went on to the beach, and saw the tide coming in at a rapid rate. Coal is exported from this place, chiefly to London. Feeling hungry, we lighted a fire on the beach, and some of us had refreshments. The volunteers were assembled for rifle practice, and we watched them for some time. When night was coming on, we set off to return home. On our way back we sang and hurrahed until we were hoarse.

GEORGE T. URWIN (agéd 113 years). Certified by R. T. Sagar, Master East Rainton N. S.

A VISIT TO MORECAMBE AND GRANGE. ONE fine day during our summer holidays, my pa, my sister, and myself went to Morecambe, which is a nice little seaport about four miles from Lancaster ; and we went from Morecambe, on a nice little steamboat, across the bay to Grange, which is a pretty little marine village, composed principally of gentlemen's houses. When we landed, we took a walk up one of the adjacent hills. The footpaths were bordered with trees and beautiful flowers. When we got to the top we sat down under the shade of some trees, and ate our dinner, which we enjoyed very much. Then we came down again, and set sail again for Morecambe, after enjoying ourselves very much.

JOSEPH Dawson (aged 11 years). I certify that this is the work of the boy whose name is appended. St. Peter's R. C. School, Lancaster.

M. DAWSON, Master.

AUTUMN. AUTUMN is fast approaching, for the leaves are fading and falling down from the trees, and flowers are dying and falling to the ground. Robin-redbreast is hopping about the garden before the windows; for it is a place which he very often frequents when winter is approach. ing, and sings a song which we love so much to hear. The sun is gradually proceeding southward, and we do not feel his rays so hot as in summer. The swallows, and ther birds that only visit England in the summer season of the year, are preparing to fly to their homes in Africa and Egypt, and other countries where it is warm, and never to be seen in England again until springtime, which we hope will come in due season.

Thomas EMMERSON (aged 12 years). Certified by R. T. SAGAR, Master East Rainton National School.

These compositions want more stops, and in some of them words are too much repeated. The first is too curt and sententious, though this is rather a good fault. No exercise is more beneficial than this, and it deserves every encouragement from parents and teachers.

Editor's Examinations.

Answers should reach the Editor by the 10th instant. They should

be written on only one side of the paper, and should not contain a larger number of words than would fill one-half or three-quarters of a page of this Magazine. Each answer should be signed by the writer, and should state his age from his last birthday. Boys and girls who have completed their twelfth year are eligible to answer the first question ; boys and girls under twelve must confine themselves to the second question. The papers written by scholars of the same age will be examined together, and the names of forty of the best essayists, with the addresses of their schools, published in each division. The prizes will be awarded to the papers that excel most within the limit of the prescribed ages, varying from eight to fifteen years inclusive. Papers sent from schools should contain a certificate from the teacher that they have been honestly worked ; in the cases of writers who are receiving their education at home, a certificate from the parent

will suffice.

Questions for this Month. FOR SENIORS. (Boys and girls of the ages of 12, 13, 14, and 15.)

A pupil-teacher, in receipt of his first year's salary of £12 per annum, pays his parents 2g. 6d. a week for his board, and ls. a week for his clothes. He is allowed out of it sixpence a week for pocket-money, and the rest is invested in the Postoffice Savings Bank. How much does he save weekly? and

how much yearly? FOR JUNIORS. (Boys and girls of the ages of 8, 9, 10, and 11.) Draw a map of the county in which you

live.

The Publisher has much pleasure in giving PRIZES to the writers of the two best answers

to each question in every number. The first prize will be a book of the value of Five SHILLINGS; the second, a book of the

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »