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LETTER OF F. MICHEL.
Another document of the same date throws a new and curious light on the commerce between Bordeaux and England in the fifteenth century. I refer to the register of the custom-house at Hull, containing a detailed account of all the wines which arrived at that port during the month of September. It begins with the customary ejaculation, Jesu Maria, and after a sort of summary containing the name of the vessel, together with that of her captain, as well as the number of tuns of which her cargo was composed, mentions the name of all those owning them, with the share belonging to each. For instance, we find in the very first part of the register, that on the 15th of September, A.D. 1444, 23 Henry VI., a ship called the Saubade of Bayonne, commanded by Etienne de Jeuberry, entered inward; and that she was freighted with 136 tuns and a pipe, of which 70 tuns and a pipe belonged to Fortin de Cantelop; 42 barrels to the same; 18 tuns 12 barrels to Lorens La Boria ; 3 tuns 1 pipe to Monyn Jeuven de la Layve; 3 tuns 1 pipe 8 barrels to Pey Estort; 3 tuns to Naudin de Lastage; 2 tuns to Johan Jeustay; 8 tuns to Bernard Julian; 1 pipe to Johan Buscat ; and 2 tuns to Pey Bachey.
To these details I could easily add a great many others, perhaps more interesting; but I must not forget that I am writing a letter and not a book (I will write that hereafter). In the meantime, however, I must beg leave to call your attention to a circumstance well worthy of notice, which is, that this register is written in Latin and Gascon. I do not, of course, mean to deduce from this that the patois of Guienne was ever spoken at Hull; but that they registered in this dialect, at their ports of departure, the vessels that were laden with wine in Guienne, which brought to their ports of destination bills of lading made out for this purpose, and which the officers of the English customs were bound to reproduce.
We have now, my dear sir, arrived at the middle of the fifteenth century, an epoch memorable and distinguished, amongst other events, by the loss of Guienne by the English. This affords me a good opportunity of concluding my letter, which I am afraid has been already too long, and which must startle you like Macbeth, if only by the long series of effigies of the Sovereign which the envelope must bear for postage before it can reach you.
I have certainly not said all that I might have done on this subject, and I have scarcely mentioned the names of Scotland and Ireland; but, as I have already handled the history of the commerce between the northern parts of Great Britain and France in my work, ‘Les Écossais en France, &c., I must be excused from reverting to that subject, at least here. I am ready, however, to take up again the sketch of the history of this commerce, which I have commenced, and to carry it down to the period preceding ours, if you should so desire.
I remain, yours truly,
The following would have come in more appropriately, when alluding to the old drinking habits of the Scotch, but that part of the book is now printed, and I therefore insert here what, I think, will be very interesting to those who are fond of tracing the derivation of words.
Dining with Monsieur Michel and his son, I asked Mr. M. if he could explain the origin of the word Tappit-hen, used by Scott, and others, to denote an immense bottle, containing about a gallon ; but he could not.
His son knows very little English, but he guessed what his father and I were talking about, and ex
claimed, “Oh! I know all about it. He then told us that the small barrel which the vivandières, attached to every regiment in France, carry, slung to their back, containing wine or spirits, is called by them and the soldiers, a cuppetin.
The word is not in the dictionary, but is pronounced as I have spelt it. I cannot doubt that this has been a usual term among the common French people ; has been picked up by the Scotch, during their intimate intercourse with them in olden days; and that it explains the derivation of the incomprehensible Tappit-hen.
It is much more likely to be correct, than Jamieson’s explanation, in his Scottish Dictionary :
Tappit-hen.-A hen with a tuft of feathers. 1. A cant phrase denoting a tin measure containing a quart, so called from the knob on the lid, as supposed to resemble a crested hen. 2. A measure containing a Scot's pint. 3. A large bottle of claret containing three magnums.
Vin de Champagne-Reims—Chalons—Epernay-Cramant-Bouzy
-Partridge-Eye-Fermentation - Blending -Fining-RackingThe Montagne-Bottling—Saccharometer-Old Still Wine in Cask -Great Breakage–Bining-Disgorging-Liqueuring-CorkingWiring-Papering-Injured by Icing-Château Sillery-Sillerysec-non-Mousseux - Secrets and Mysteries — Liqueur to different Countries – Immense Fortunes—Palaces in Epernay- The celebrated Madame Mater Filiæ - Fraudulent Trade Marks Statistical Tables.
LE VIN DE CHAMPAGNE.
Que le Vieillard cherche un reste de vie
Dans le Bordeaux qui réchauffe les sens,
Que le Champagne aux flots resplendissants.
Du vieux Falerne au reflet si vermeil ?
A nos drapeaux victorieux pareil ;
Invoque-le, Poète, dont la lyre
Devient rebelle, et ne rend plus de sons!
Fera gaîment pétiller tes chansons !
Phæbus n'est bon qu'à donner du sommeil
REIMS AND CHAMPAGNE.
Notre Champagne a fait le tour du monde
À nos drapeaux victorieux pareil ;
Vous, froids Anglais, qui vantez notre France,
Et ses enfants au rire toujours prêts,
Buvez! buvez ! et vous rirez après !
Et vous verrez les brouillards de votre onde
Fuir dans les cieux en nuage vermeil !
À nos drapeaux victorieux pareil !
AMAURY DE CAZANOVE.
HE fine old town of Reims, with its magni
ficent cathedral, is the capital of Champagne, so celebrated for its sparkling wine. In the same department are also the important cities, Chalons and Epernay, and, unless it be Cognac, I doubt if there is any other small place where such an amount of wealth exists-all derived from Champagne.
The district is a very extensive plain, with numerous undulations, and hills high enough to offer the most perfect exposures to the rays of the sun ; and, as far as the eye can carry, these are seen clothed in the deep green of the vine-leaf.
The subsoil is generally white chalk. Above this, in geological order, is the argile-lignites. It is on