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LXXI. THE CEREMONIAL OF MAKING
THE following account of the old ceremony of making the King's bed in the time of Henry the Eighth, was sent to the Society of Antiquaries, in 1776, by Mr. J. C. Brooke, of the Heralds' College, F.S.A. &c. In a letter to the president, he says, “It is extracted from an original manuscript, elegantly written, beautifully illuminated, and richly bound, which was some time in the library of Henry Duke of Norfolk, earl marshal of England, to whom it came by descent from Thomas, the great Duke of Norfolk, beheaded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; who married Mary, daughter and coheir of Henry Fitz-Alan, Earl of Arundel, lord chamberlain to King Henry the Eighth. It contains the whole duty of the lord chamberlain, and of the officers in his department; is the original copy kept for the information of that earl ; and had been compiled by order of, and approved by, the King himself in council.” “ THE OOLDE ORDRE OF MAKYNG THE KYNGES BEDD NOT TO BE USED NOR DONE, BUT AS HYS GRACE WOLL COMAUND AND APOYNTE FROM TYME TO TYME HERAFTER. “Furste, a groome or a page to take a torche, and to goo to the warderobe of the kynges bedd, and bryng theym of the warderobe with the kynges stuff unto the chambr for makyng of the same bedde. Where as aught to be a gentylman-usher, iiii yeomen of the chambr for to make the same bedde. The groome to stande at the bedds feete with his torch. They of the warderobe opennyng the kinges stuff of hys bedde upon a fayre sheete, bytwen the sayde groome and the bedds fote, iii yeomen, or two at the leste, in every syde of the bedde; the gentylman-usher and parte commaundyng theym what they shall doo. A yoman with a dagger to searche the strawe of the kynges bedde that there be none untreuth therein. And this yoman to caste up the bedde of downe upon that, and Oon of theym to tomble over yt for the serche thereof. Then they to bete and tufle the sayde bedde, and to laye oon then the bolster without touchyng of the bedd where as it aught to lye. Then they of the warderobe to delyver theym a fustyan takyng the saye therof. All theys yomen to laye theyr hands theroon at oones, that they touch not the bedd, tyll yt be layed as it sholde be by the comaundement of the ussher. And so the furste sheet in lyke wyse, and then to trusse in both sheete and fustyan rownde about the bedde of downe. The warderoper to delyver the second sheete unto two yomen, they to crosse it over theyr arme, and to stryke [a] the bedde as the ussher shall more playnly shewe unto theym. Then every yoman layeing hande upon the sheete, to laye the same sheete upon the bedde. And so the other fustyan upon or ii with suche coverynge as shall content the kynge. Thus doon, the ii yomen next to the bedde to lay down agene the overmore fustyan, the yomen of the warderobe delyverynge theym a pane sheete, the sayde yoman therewythall to cover the sayde bedde. And so then to laye down the overmost sheete from the beddes heed. And then the sayd ii yomen to lay all the overmost clothes of
a quarter of the bedde. Then the warderoper to delyver unto them such pyllowes as shall please the kynge. The sayd yoman to laye theym upon the bolster and the heed sheet with whych the sayde yoman shall cover the sayde pyllowes. And so to trusse the endes of the said sheete under every end of the bolster. And then the sayd warderoper to delyver unto them ii lytle small pyllowes, werwythall the squyres for the bodye or gentylman-ussher shall give the saye to the warderoper, and to the yoman whych have layde on hande upon the sayd bedde. And then the sayd ii yomen to lay upon the sayde bedde toward the bolster as yt was bifore. They makyng a crosse and kissynge yt where there handes were. Then ii yomen next to the feete to make the feers as the ussher shall teche theym. And so then every of them sticke up the aungel about the bedde, and to lette downe the corteyns of the sayd bedde, or sparver. [b] “Item, a squyer for the bodye or gentylman-ussher aught to sett the kynges sword at hys beddes heed. “Item, a squyer for the bodye aught to charge a secret groome or page, to have the kepynge of the sayde bedde with a lyght unto the time the kynge be disposed to goo to yt. “Item, a groome or page aught to take a torche, whyle the bedde ys yn makyng, to feche a loof of brede, a pott with ale, a pott wyth wine, for them that maketh the bedde, and every man. “Item, the gentlyman-ussher aught to forbede that no manner of man do sett eny dysshe upon the kinge's
bedde, for fere of hurtying of the kinge's ryche counterpoynt that lyeth therupon. And that the sayd ussher take goode heede, that noo man wipe or rubbe their handes uppon none arras of the kynges, wherby they myght bee hurted, in the chambr where the kynge ys specially, and in all other.”—Archaeologia, vol. iv. p. 311.
THE lapse of more than two thousand years, though it has diminished the authority of the Father of Physic, has not lessened the admiration of his genius, which has been expressed by every qualified critic. Hippocrates amply merits the noble title of the Father of the art of healing, though it is obvious that it is not in his writings that we are to seek the first rude notions of physic. Some healing herbs, some rough chirurgical attempts, must have been used to soothe pain or avert death for many a long century before the sage of Cos: not only does all history, sacred and profane, bear testimony to this, but it is evident from the texture of his works. We see in them the exquisite finish of the sculptor, rather than the rough hewing of the stone-cutter. Yet does Hippocrates deserve the praise which countless generations have lavished upon him of having invented the art which he professed ; for in his hands the scattered precepts of the Eastern Brahmin, of the Egyptian priest, of the Greek demi-god AEsculapius, kindled by the Promethean fire of his own genius, became one living whole,
and astonished a grateful world. We may imagine him at one time culling the surgical anthology of Podalirius and Machaon, those heroes of the Trojan war, who, like the arrows in the old mythus, were equally potent in curing as in causing wounds; at another time, we learn that he copied from the Egyptian temples those inscriptions by which patients had recorded the remedies that had restored them to health; at another, the great master reveals the fruits of his own vast experience, and, with a candour which it is easier to praise than to imitate, selects the most instructive, that is, the most unsuccessful cases for relation, In all these instances, however, his writings have that homogeneousness which is the touchstone of true genius, the diagnostic mark (to use a medical term) by which the great and original thinker is distinguished from the mere compiler: his style, too, has the fluency which naturally results from an abundance of materials; and the fastidious Athenians, when they reverenced the stranger from Cos as little lower than a tutelary deity, (just as when they ascribed the history of Herodotus to the inspiration of the Muses,) might have been influenced by the graces of the author, as well as by the success of the physician. He wrote in the Ionic dialect ; and as Homer made this form of Greek the language of epic poetry, so the fame of Hippocrates consecrated its melodious variations to the service of physic. Some few writers think it necessary to depreciate his merits lest we should be tempted to imitate his practice: but, for our part, we would rather retain what is instructive, even in an obsolete medical creed, and not WOL. II. Q