used at one time to mean the dessert. Thus, Taylor, in the Pennyless Pilgrim, says: “Our first and second course being threescore dishes at one boord, and after that, always a banquet.” (French, banquet; banc, a bench or table. We use “table” also for a meal or feast, as “the funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage table,” i.e. feast.)
“After supper ... a delicate banquet, with abundance of wine.” —Cogan (1583).
“My heart was charged to overflowing, and forced into my eyes a banquet of brine.” —O. Thomson: Autobiography, p. 263.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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