A few moments ago while writing a comment on Mrs. Osbornes Antidote post I was struck by how much my words sounded like something I had read some time in the far past. Digging back in my various messy archives I found the source, I take no credit for the writing, or the spelling.
by Nicholas Breton
Milton elsewhere used fantastic as a noun too, meaning “someone given to showy dress”. But as a noun it could also mean “a fanciful composition”, and Fantasticks was the title chosen by Nicholas Breton (c1554-1626) for his curiously pleasing series of sketches, of hours, season and months.
It is long out of print, and several years ago Chistopher Howse of the Telegraph took the trouble to transcribe it over the period of a year. I thought it delightful and still do. Here is October, complete with its fanciful spelling.
It is now October, and the lofty windes make bare the trees of their leaves, while the hogs in the Woods grow fat with the falne Acorns: the forward Deere begin to goe to rut, and the barren Doe groweth good meat: the Basket-makers now gather their rods, and the fishers lay their leapes in the deepe: the loade horses goe apace to the Mill, and the Meal-market is seldome without people: the Hare on the hill makes the Grey-hound a faire course, & the Foxe in the wood cals the Hounds to full cry: the multitude of people raiseth the price of wares, and the smoothe tongue will sell much: the Sayler now bestirreth his stumps, while the Merchant liveth in feare of the weather: the great feasts are now at hand for the City, but the poore must not beg for feare of the stockes: a fire and a paire of Cards keepe the ghests in the Ordinary, and Tobacco is held very precious for the Rhewme: The Coaches now begin to rattle in the street but the cry of the poore is unpleasing to the rich: Muffes and Cuffes are now in request, and the shuttle-Cocke with the Battel-Doore is a pretty house-exercise: Tennis and Baloune are sports of some charge, and a quicke bandy is Court-keepers commodity: dancing and fencing are now in some use, and kind hearts and true Lovers lye close, to keepe off cold: the Titmouse now keepes in the hollow tree, and the black bird sits close in the bottom of a hedge: In briefe, for the little pleasure I find in it I thus conclude of it: I hold it a Messenger of ill newes, and a second service to a cold dinner.