A permanent table on which food was constantly kept.
table dormant was an article of furniture often mentioned in wills,
and (occasionally) romances. Unfortunately, no description has
Its distinctive feature would seem to be that it remained standing,
the tables on which people dined consisted of boards on trestles and
removed after the meal. A table dormant was sometimes quite large, and
there are recorded instances in which people were seated at one.
"His table dormant in his halle alway
Stood redy covered al the longe day." - Prologue to The Canterbury
A"halle" was the main room of the house, also used
for meals. Chaucer's Franklin was known for his table dormant, which
ready covered (with food) all the long day." The modern equivalent
to this would be a buffet table which is constantly refreshed with food
throughout the day.
herb Paris, sometimes called True Love and One Berry (Solanum
identified as Paris quadrofolia in John Gerard's Herbal,
Historie of Plants, 1633. A narcotic, in overdoses it can cause
and even death in children & small animals but in small doses is
to help bronchitis, spasmodic coughs, rheumatism, cramps, colic, and
palpitations. An ointment for wounds is made from its seeds and
while the berry juice cures inflammation of the eyes. It was also used
as an aphrodisiac, the seeds and berries being similar in nature to
In Russia the leaves are prescribed for madness.
"Under his tonge a trewe-love he beer" - The Miller's
Here it is being used as a breath-freshener.
- Tonne A
"Til that almoost al empty is the tonne." - The Reeve's
"Wel ofter of the welle than of the tonne" - The Clerk's
big as a tun.
"Was tonne-greet, of iren bright and shene." - The Knight's
- Trip A
"A Goddes kechyl, or a trip of chese" - The Summoner's
B C D
to A Chaucerian Cookery Part 3: Chaucer's Foods
© James L. Matterer
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