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that a stray writ of expenses, due to the knights of Wiltshire, for their attendance on that Parliament, has been published by Prynne (4. 37), from which it appears, that twenty-three pounds were levied on the county for that service. It is probable, from the amount of this sum, that the Parliament, which met on the Sunday in the quintaine of Easter, continued sitting for 51 days. An act, in the form of letters patent, was published on the 18th of May, declaring that Gaveston should, on no account, be permitted to stay in England beyond the morrow of St John's Day; and on the 16th of June he was appointed by the King his lieutenant in Ireland.
In pages 261, 262, and 263, we have a most slovenly and incorrect account of the important proceedings in the 5th of Edward II. From their own blunders and mistakes, the Committee draw an inference, that the presence of knights, citizens, and burgesses, was not then considered as necessary to constitute a Parliament, especially when no charge was attempted to be imposed upon the people.' They suppose, that the knights, citizens, and burgesses, summoned, by writs of the 6th of June, in the 4th of Edward II. to be at Westminster on the Sunday before St Laurence, did not attend, or were dismissed, though the prelates and barons remained assembled, and the King continued the Parliament.' If they had only looked into Prynne, (4. 31.) they would have seen writs for the expenses of these very knights, citizens, and burgesses, for their long attendance in Parliament, from the Sunday before St Laurence (August 6.) to St Denis, a period of 60 days. They would also have seen, not writs to the sheriffs, of the 9th of October, for the election of knights, citizens, and burgesses, '-but writs of the 11th of October, commanding the sheriffs to send back to Parliament the same knights, citizens, and burgesses, or other fit persons in their room if they could not attend, so as to be at Westminster, at the latest, on the morrow of St Martin, (Prynne, 2. 75). And, lastly, they would have found, in the collections of the same indefatigable compiler (4. 34.) writs for the expenses of these knights, citizens, and burgesses, so reassembled, from the morrow of St Martin to the Sunday after St Lucia, a period of 34 days. The ordinances, which the Committee suppose to have been confirmed in this second session of the Parliainent, had been confirmed and ratified in the first session, and promulgated on the 5th of October preceding. Our readers will excuse these minute, and to many uninteresting, details. It is impossible otherwise to correct the mistakes of negligence and precipitancy.
But we have not yet done with the errors of this period,
The Committee (p. 264) have found no evidence of writs for the election of knights, citizens and burgesses, to attend the • Parliament summoned to meet at Lincoln on the Sunday after St Mary Magdalene.' If they have found no evidence, it is their own fault. They might have found in Prynne (2. 74.) writs to the Sheriffs, referring to former writs, which had ordered the attendance of knights, citizens and burgesses at Lincoln on the Sunday after St Mary Magdalene, but countermanding these writs, and directing the Sheriffs to send the knights, citizens and burgesses, so elected, to London on the Sunday after the Assumption (Aug. 20th): And they might have found a memorandum, dated at Westminster on the 28th of August, stating that the knights, citizens and burgesses, so convened, had obeyed the suminons; but that on the Monday before the decollation of St John the Baptist (August 28th), they were sent home with orders to return on the morrow of Michaelmas. They might also have found writs of expenses for these knights, citizens and burgesses, habito respectu ad moram suam diutinam, dated on the 16th of December following (Prynne, 4. 38.) The civil war then raging in England explains these fluctuating and contradictory orders, which nevertheless show the importance of the Commons at that period, and the desire of the King to have their advice and assistance in composing the disturbances of his realm.
The Committee, as usual, have found no writs for the election of knights, citizens and burgesses (p. 266) to attend the Parliament summoned at Westminster on the Sunday after St Matthew, in the 7th of Edward II. The writs are nevertheless published by Prynne (2. 76.)
Because no rolls of the proceedings of the Parliament' summoned at York in the 8th of Edward II. are inserted in the printed collection,' the Committee conjecture, that there may have been no meeting in pursuance of the writs,' (p. 267.) The Committee might have saved their conjecture. The writs of expenses for this Parliament are in Prynne, (4. 39.)
They infer (p. 271) from the Rolls, that the Parliament which met at Westminster on the 20th of January, in the 8th of Edward II., continued to sit till after the 7th of July. They have been misled by trusting to the running title of the printed edition of the Rolls. The latest date referrible to this Parliament, is of the 27th of February.
They suppose (p. 277) that the Parliament which met at Lincoln on Tuesday in the quintaine of St Hilary, in the 9th of Edward II., either continued to sit till the feast of St James, or that it met a second time at the feast of St James, on proro
gation. They are mistaken in both conjectures. The Parliament that met on Tuesday in the quintaine of Hilary, was dissolved on the 17th February. A great Council was then held at Westminster, which met on the 26th of April, and sat till the 29th of May. A Parliament was then convoked at Westminster on the 13th of June, which sat till the 27th of June. And, lastly, writs were issued to recal the knights who had sat in that Parliament, or to have others chosen in their place, to meet at Lincoln on the Thursday after St James (22d of July): And this, which was the second Parliament at Lincoln within the year, continued to sit till the 8th of August, (Prynne, 4. 43–50.) These corrections to some of our readers will appear trifling; but there is such an apparent anxiety in the Report to be exact in the most minute particulars, that, where the Committee have erred, they will forgive us for correcting their mistakes.
The Committee have found no evidence of writs for the election of knights, citizens and burgesses, in the 11th of Edward H. (p. 277.) The writs they have been unable to find are referred to by Prynne, (2. 77.)
They tell us there are no writs on record for the convocation of Parliament a month after Easter, in the 12th of Edward II. (p. 278.) They are mistaken. The writs are published and referred to by Prynne, (1. 23. & 2. 77.)
They have not found (p. 284) any writs for the election of knights, citizens and burgesses, to attend the Parliament which met at Westminster three weeks after Candlemas, in the 17th of Edward II.; and, from no mention of the Commons in a statute of that Parliament, they conclude, that even at that time it was not distinctly understood, that to make a law on every subject the assent of the Commons was necessary,' (p. 285); and yet, when they find the substance of that statute circulated throughout England in writs to the Sheriffs, they infer that this precaution was taken to supply the want of authority in a • statute made by the King and Lords, without the concurrence of the representatives of counties, cities and boroughs,' (p.286.) It is unnecessary to make any remarks on the consistency of these opinions. It is sufficient to observe, that the writs of summons for knights, citizens and burgesses to this Parliament have been published by Prynne (2. 78), and that the writs for their expenses are given by the same author (4.62); from which it appears, that they sat for 24 days.
We have now followed the Committee through the reigns of the two first Edwards, and trust we have pointed out errors in their Report, sufficient, in number and importance, to induce them to undertake a calm and deliberate revision of their work.
We consider ourselves greatly indebted to them for their labours; but have deeply to lament, that so much industry has been conjoined with such negligence,-that so much unnecessary caution on some topicks has been accompanied with such rashness of assertion on others, and that so many sound and liberal views respecting our antient Constitution have been obscured by prejudices from the school of Brady, and other enemies of popular rights. We know of no way to reconcile these inconsistencies, unless on the supposition, that the Author of the Report is a young adventurer in the paths of constitutional antiquities, who brings with him to the pursuit an active mind, exercised in subtile and minute investigations, but who is still dazzled with the novelty of the scenery, and not yet sufficiently acquainted with the region he attempts to explore, to know in what quarter to direct his steps, or on what objects to fix his attention,-while his judgment is warped and perverted by the false and prejudiced accounts he has perused of former travellers, on whom he obstinately pins his faith, in opposition to the evidence of his own senses.
ART. II. 1. Almanach des Gourmands; Servant de Guide dans les moyens de faire excellente Chère. Paris. 8 Tom.
2. Chimie du Gout. Paris. 1 Tom.
3. Manuel des Amphytrions. Paris. 1 Tom.
4. L'Almanach Comestible. Paris.
5. Cours Gastronomique. Second Edit. Paris, 1809.
6. La Gastronomie, Poëme didactique. Par BERCHOUX. Paris. 4trieme Ed. 1805.
7. Dictionnaire de la Cuisine. Paris, 1814.
8. Apicius Redivivus, or the Cook's Oracle. Second Edit. London, 1818.
9. Peptic Precepts. London, 1821.
10. Tabella Libaria. London, 1820.
W take blame to ourselves for not bringing the subject of
these interesting publications oftener before our readers; being well aware of the truth of Dr Johnson's profound remark, that there are few things of which a man thinks so seriously as his dinner, and that the pleasures of the table are
the first we enjoy, the last we leave, and those we taste often
We were half tempted to touch on this subject in our recent examination of the Comparative State of Science in England and France; but, on consideration, we felt that justice could not be done to it, except in a separate article.
The entire superiority of our neighbours in the arts of cookery and dancing, has been very long established, in their own estimation and, indeed, is very generally admitted: and modern philosophers seem pretty clearly of opinion, that the latter perfection is very much a consequence of the former. The Revolution, indeed, is supposed to have robbed them of this proud preeminence. The iron reign of Bonaparte nearly destroyed the rising generation of cooks; and although there are some veterans, whose green old age has weathered the storms of the times, a lamentable number of those who, in the order of nature, should have supplied their places, have themselves furnished food to the Eagles of Russia and Spain: while the conscription must have materially affected the advancement of an art which requires so long and so assiduous an apprenticeship. +
It is now, we believe, generally admitted, that the best served tables in this country are at least equal in every respect to the best served tables of France; but this, we candidly confess, is no sure or sufficient test of our national superiority: For though our superior riches, increasing luxury, and less severe domestic , troubles, may allow some few to devote their whole minds to the science, and thus advance before the age in which they live; in general knowledge of the art, it is to be feared that we are far be hind our neighbours. On a review of the esculent productions of this country and France, the balance may at first sight appear to be in our favour: But the cheapness of most of the articles of luxury in France renders them far more accessible; while their numerous kinds of fine fruit and vegetables enable them, at a small expense, to give a greater variety to their repasts. In England nothing is cheap. The first of our artists regard economy with disdain; and he who will have a good dinner must pay for it. In France, however, it is otherwise. Valere, in L'Avare, says, Voilà, une belle merveille que de faire bonne chère avec bien
In the article of portable soup (the constant food of the French soldiers), perhaps the art of cookery owes something to French wars, and French armies. C'est la soupe qui fait le soldat,' is a well known saying in France,