vol II date / index
The Dedication of St. Michael's Church, or The Festival of St. Michael and all the holy Angels. St., Theodota, A. D. 642.
This saint is in our almanacs and in the calendar of the church of England. The day is a great festival in the Romish church. The rev. Edward Barnard, of Brantinghamthorpe, in "The Protestant Beadsman," an elegantly written "series of biographical notices and hymns, commemorating the saints and martyrs whose holidays are kept by the church of England," says, "The rank of arch-angel is given in scripture to none but Michael, who is represented as the guardian and protector both of the Jewish church, and the glorious church of Christ, in which the former merged. On this account he is celebrated by name, while the rest of the holy angels are praised collectively. St. Michael is mentioned in scripture five times, and always in a military view; thrice by Daniel, as fighting for the Jewish church against Persia; once by St. John, as fighting at the head of his angelic troops against the dragon and his host; and once by St. Jude, as fighting personally with the devil, about the body of Moses; for the very ashes of God's servants have angelic protection. It has been thought by many, that there is no other archangel but Michael. An author of great name, who has not given his reasons or authority, inclines to this opinion; and adds, that he succeeded Lucifer in this high dignity. Others imagine, and not without strong probability, that Michael is the Son of God himself. The interpretation of his name, and the expression (used by St. John) of 'his angels,' strengthen this supposition; for to whom can the angels belong but to God, or Christ? The title, by which Gabriel spoke of him, when he required his assistance, ('Michael your prince') is likewise brought forward, by bishop Horsley, in confirmation of this opinion. Besides, the Jews always claimed to be under the immediate spiritual protection and personal government of God, who calls them his peculiar people. How then can Michael preside over them? This festival will not lose any dignity by the adoption of such an interpretation, but will demand a more conscientious observance from those, who celebrate in it, not only the host of friendly angels, but, likewise (under the title of Michael) Jesus Christ the common Lord both of angels and men." A well-informed expositor of the "Common Prayer-book," Wheatley, says that the feast of St. Michael and all angels is observed, that the people may know what benefits are derived from the ministry of angels.
The accompanying engraving is from an ancient print emanating from the "contemplations" of catholic churchmen, among whom there is diversity of opinion concerning the number of archangels. Their inquiries have been directed to the subject, because it is an article of the catholic faith that angels, as well as saints, intercede for men, and that their intercession may be moved by prayers to them. In conformity with this persuasion patron-saints and angels are sometimes drawn for, by putting certain favourite names together, and selecting one, to whom, as the patron-saint or angel, the invocations of the individual are from that time especially addressed.
In the great army of angels the archangels are deemed commanders. The angels themselves are said to be divided into as many legions as there are archangels; whether these are seven or nine does not appear to be determined; but Michael, as in the present engraving, is always represented as the head or chief archangel, he is here accompanied by six only.
Dr. Laurence, regius professor of Hebrew at Oxford, and now archbishop of Cashel, recently printed at the Clarendon press, the long lost "Book of Enoch." This celebrated apocryphal writing of ancient times calls "Michael one of the holy angels, who, presiding over human virtue, commands the nations." It says, that Raphael "presides over the spirits of men;" that Uriel "presides over clamour and terror;" and Gabriel, "over paradise and over the cherubims."
Our old heraldic friend, Randle Holme, says, Michael is the head of the "order of archangels;" his design is a banner hanging on a cross, and he is armed, as representing victory with a dart in one hand, and a cross on his forehead. He styles Raphael as leader of the "order of powers," with a thunderbolt and a flaming sword to withstand the power of evil angels. Uriel, he says, commands the "order of seraphims;" his ensign is a flaming heart and a cross-staff. Gabriel he [m]akes governor of the "order of angels," and his ensign a book and a staff. Of the other three archangels in the print, it would be difficult to collect an account immediately.
St. Michael and the other Archangels.
Our forefathers were told by the predecessor of Alban Butler, that Michael bore the banner of the celestial host, chased the angel Lucifer and his followers from heaven, and enclosed them in dark air unto the day of judgment, not in the upper region, because there it is clear and delightful, nor upon the earth, because there they could not torm[e]nt mankind, but between heaven and earth, that when they look up they may see the joy they have lost, and when they look downward, may see men mount to heaven from whence they fell. The relation says, they flee about us as flies; they are innumerable, and like flies they fill the air without number; and philosophers and doctors are of opinion, that the air is as full of devils and wicked spirits "as the sonne bemes ben full of small motes which is small dust or poudre."* 
Bishop Hall, in his "Triumphs of Rome," mentions a red velvet buckler to have been preserved in a castle in Normandy which Michael wore in his combat with the dragon.
Bishop Patrick who wrote subsequently, in 1674, says, "I hope that the precious piece of St. Michael's red cloth is forthcoming—his dagger and his shield were to be seen at the beginning of this age, though one of their historians says, that five years before he came thither, in 1607, the bishop of Avranches had forbidden his shield to be any more showed: but who knows but some of the succeeding bishops may have been better natured, and not have denied this gratification to the desires of their gaping devotees."
Bishop Patrick cites a Roman catholic litany, wherein after addresses to God, the Trinity, and the virgin Mary, there are invocations to St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael, together with all the orders of angels, to "pray for us." He also instances that in the old Roman missal, and in the Sarum missal, there is a proper mass to Raphael the archangel, as the protector of pilgrims and travellers, and a skilful worker with medicine. Likewise an office for the continual intercession of St. Gabriel, and all the heavenly militia. In these catholic services St. Michael is invoked as a "most glorious and warlike prince," "chief officer of paradise," "captain of God's hosts," "the receiver of souls," "the vanquisher of evil spirits," and "the admirable general." After mentioning several miracles attributed by the Romanists to St. Michael, the bishop says, "You see from this legend, that when people are mad with superstition, any story of a cock and a bull will serve their turn to found a festival upon, and to give occasion for the further veneration of a saint or an angel, though the circumstances are never so improbable." He relates as an instance, that in a Romish church-book, Michael is said to have appeared to a bishop, whom he required to go to a hill-top, where if he found a bull tied, he was to found a church, and dedicate it to God and St. Michael. The bishop found the bull, and proceeded to found the church, but a rock on each side hindered the work, wherefore St. Michael appeared to a man, and bade him go and put away the rock, and dread nothing; so the man went, and "sette to his shoulders," and bade the rock go away in the name of God and St. Michael; and so the rocks departed to the distance necessary to the work. "This removing the rock," says bishop Patrick, "is a pretty stretcher!"
It is noticed by Mr. Brand in his "Popular Antiquities," which cites most of the circumstances presently referred to, that—"It has long been and still continues the custom at this time of the year, or thereabouts, to elect the governors of towns and cities, the civil guardians of the peace of men, perhaps, as Bourne supposes, because the feast of angels naturally enough brings to our minds the old opinion of tutelar spirits, who have, or are thought to have, the particular charge of certain bodies of men, or districts of country, as also that every man has his guardian angel, who attends him from the cradle to the grave, from the moment of his coming in, to his going out of life."
Mr. Nichols notices in the "Gentleman's Magazine," that on Monday, October 1st, 1804,—"The lord mayor and alderman proceeded from Guildhall, and the two sheriffs with their respective companies from Stationers'-hall, and having embarked on the Thames, his lordship in the city barge, and the sheriffs in the stationers' barge, went in aquatic state to Palace-yard. They proceeded to the court of Exchequer: where, after the usual salutations to the bench (the cursitor baron, Francis Maseres, Esq. presiding) the recorder presented the two sheriffs; the several writs were then read, and the sheriffs and the senior under-sheriff took the usual oath. The ceremony, on this occasion, in the court of Exchequer, which vulgar error supposed to be an unmeaning farce, is solemn and impressive; nor have the new sheriffs the least connection either with chopping of sticks, or counting of hobnails. The tenants of a manor in Shropshire are directed to come forth to do their suit and service; on which the senior alderman below the chair steps forward, and chops a single stick, in token of its having been customary for the tenants of that manor to supply their lord with fuel. The owners of a forge in the parish of St. Clement (which formerly belonged to the city, and stood in the high road from the Temple to Westminster, but now no longer exists,) are then called forth to do their suit and service; when an officer of the court, in the presence of the senior alderman, produces six horse-shoes and sixty-one hobnails, which he counts over in form before the cursitor baron; who, on this particular occasion, is the immediate representative of the sovereign.
"The whole of the numerous company then again embarked in their barges, and returned to Blackfriars-bridge, where the state carriages were in waiting. Thence they proceeded to Stationers'-hall, where a most elegant entertainment was given by Mr. Sheriff Domville."
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
I have no doubt but many thousands of my fellow-citizens were unaware of the existence and very recent destruction of the baronial establishment of their chief magistrate; and that, therefore, by recording a few particulars you will endeavour to mark the era, when, perhaps, the last of these gentlemanly households, once to be found in every knightly and noble family, was destroyed in England. It is perhaps an unavoidable consequence of change of manners; but to those who delight in contemplating those of their ancestors, to witness the wreck of what appears almost consecrated by ancient usage, affords any thing but a pleasurable sensation. In former days those of rank considered it a degradation to have menials officiate about their persons, and therefore created officers in their households, which were looked upon as initiatory schools to every thing gallant or polite, and were consequently eagerly filled by noble youths and aspiring cadets. In imitation of those with whom for a brief period he ranked, the lord mayor of London had an establishment arranged for him, consisting of the following officers:
1st. The sword-bearer, whose duty it was to advise his lordship of the necessary etiquette to be observed on stated occasions. To some it may appear very unimportant whether the lord mayor has on a violet or a scarlet gown; whether the mace is always carried before him or not, and strictly speaking it is so; but while old customs are harmless, and tend to preserve dignity and good order, why should they not be observed? This place used to be purchased, but when the late Mr. Cotterel died, who gave I believe upwards of 7000l. for it, and could have parted with it for 9000l. but was prevented by the corporation, it was made a gift place, and given to Mr. Smith of the chamberlain's office, who now holds it subject to an annual election. This has placed the office on a very different, less independent, and less respectable footing, than it used to be. The predecessor of Mr. Cotterel, Heron Powney, Esq., who enjoyed the office thirty-three years, exercised great authority throughout the house, and used, with great form, to attend the lord mayor every morning to instruct him in any necessary ceremonial; and on all public occasions, assisted by two yeomen of the water side, robed his lordship: this is now performed by servants. There are four swords—the black, used on Good Friday, 30th of January, fire of London, and all fast days, when his lordship ought to go to St. Paul's: on these days he wears his livery gown. The common sword, to go to the sessions, courst of aldermen, common council, &c.; the Sunday sword; and the pearl sword, which used to be carried on very rare occasions only, but is now exhibited at every turn. This gentleman, in the olden times, had apartments at the Old Bailey, and derived emolument from granting admission to two galleries during the sessions. He wears a black silk damask gown, and a cap of maintenance, and chain upon state days. He sits at the head of the table which goes by his name, at which the gentlemen of the household dined when they were in waiting; but now they only dine together fourteen days in the year, on public occasions. The lord mayors were latterly allowed 1500l. per annum for the maintenance of this table, which supplied that in the servants' hall; but the latter have long been on board wages, to the great loss of many an exhausted pauper.
The second squire was Mr. Common Hunt: his principal office is indicated by his title; but he was likewise master of the ceremonies. He was in waiting every Monday and Wednesday, and every third Sunday while the house was in waiting. The last who held this office was Mr. Charles Cotterel, brother to the late sword-bearer, at whose death in 1807 it was abolished, and the duty of master of the ceremonies has since been performed by Mr. Goldham, one of the serjeants of the chamber. The common hunt's house used to be at the Dog-house-bar in the City-road.
The third squire is Mr. Common Crier, whose duty it is to attend his lordship with the mace to the courts of aldermen and common council, common halls, and courst of hustings: he is in waiting every Tuesday and Thursday; and whenever the lord mayor wears his scarlet robes, attends him with the mace. His dress is a damask gown and a counsellor's wig: he had apartments at Aldersgate. Formerly this place was purchased, but not within the memory of man.
The fourth squire is the water-bailiff, who is empowered by the lord mayor to act as sub-conservator of the Thames and Medway. He is in waiting every Friday and Saturday, every third Sunday, and all public days. Dress, damask gown. Had apartments at Cripplegate. This is now likewise a gift place.
The four attornies used to attend his lordship in turn, weekly, to advise him in his magisterial capacity; but this part of their duty has now become obsolete, and has devolved to Mr. Hobler.
To the lord mayor's household also properly belong three serjeant carvers, three serjeants of the chamber, one serjeant of the channel, one yeoman of the chamber, two marshals, four yeomen of the water-side, one yeoman of the channel, one under water-bailiff, six young men.
The members of the household, with the exception of the four squires, attornies, and marshals, had the privilege of alienating their places on payment of 50l. to the corporation; but if they died without paying this fine, their places lapsed to the city, and the value of them was consequently lost to their family. But let the one who sold hold what situation he might in this little republic, the purchaser was admitted to only the lowest rank, that of junior young man, that all below the one who sold might rise a step.
The gentlemen were in waiting on fixed days; sometimes the whole number, at others only a part, and at these times were entitled to a dinner, and on any extra occasion when the sword was carried: there was a bill of fare for each day. At table, the marshals were the lowest above the salt. This was formerly made of pewter, but in the year [ ], a carver presented the table with one of silver, nearly similar in form. the pewter one was used in the servants' hall until it was rendered useless by the introduction of board wages. Except the squires, attornies, and marshals, the household now all wear black gowns, in form like those of the livery, made of prince's stuff faced with velvet, though formerly they were curious enough. Divided as if by a herald into two parts, dexter and sinister, one side was formed of the colours distinguishing the lord mayor's livery, and the other those of the two sheriffs.
On Plough Sunday his lordship goes to church to qualify, when two of the yeomen of the water-side attend, that they may depose to this fact at the next sessions. On the Monday his lordship keeps wassail with his household, and with his lady presides at the head of their table. This used indeed to be a gala day; but elegance now takes place of profusion and hilarity. Formerly they could scarcely see their opposite neighbour for the piles of sweemeats; but these have disappeared to make way for the city plate and artificial flowers. The lady mayoress is generally accompanied by two or three ladies, to obviate the unpleasantness of finding herself the only female among so many strangers: the chaplain on that day takes the lower end of the table. The yeoman of the cellar is stationed behind his lordship, and at the conclusion of the dinner produces two silver cups filled with negus, and giving them to his lord and lady, proclaims with a loud voice, "Mr. Sword-bearer, squires, and gentlemen all! my lord mayor and lady mayoress drink to you in a loving cup, and bid you all heartily welcome!" After drinking, they pass the cups down each side of the table, for all to partake and drink their healths. When the ladies retire the chaplain leads her ladyship, and after a few songs his lordship follows. Then a mighty silver bowl of punch was introduced, and a collection amounting to nearly 25l. used to be made for the servants. They were all introduced, from the stately housekeeper to the kitchen girl, in merry procession to accept the largess, taste the punch, and perhaps the cook or a pretty housemaid did not escape without a kiss. This was not the only day on which the servants partook of the bounty of the gentlemen. Every Saturday there was a collection of three shillings and sixpence from the sword-bearer and the other squire, and one shilling and sixpence from the other individuals. This was termed cellarage, and was divided between the yeoman of the cellar and the butler. But these golden days are over. Since the days of the Fitzaleyns and Whittingtons, it has been found expedient to make the lord mayors an allowance to enable them, or rather assist them, to maintain the hospitality and splendour of their station; but such is the perverseness of human nature, that as this has from time to time been increased, the gorgeousness of the display seems to have decreased. The following are the receipts and expenses of Mr. Wilkes during his mayoralty:
£. s. d. Payments from the chamberlain's office 2372 8 4 Cocket office 702 5 6 1/2 Gauger 250 0 0 Annual present of plate from the Jews 50 0 0 Lessees of Smithfield-market 10 0 0 Licenses 4 10 0 From the bridge-house towards the feast 50 0 0 Alienation of a young man's place 40 0 0 Sale of a young man's place 1000 0 0 Presentation of the sheriffs 13 6 8 For keeping the mansion-house in order 100 0 0 Six freedoms to the lord mayor 150 0 0 In lieu of buckets 6 0 0 Licensing the sessions paper 180 0 0 From Mr. Roberts, comptroller, for the importation fee 10 10 0 £4889 0 6 1/2
£. s. d. Lord mayor's table, including public dinners 2050 0 0 Sword-bearer's table 1500 0 0 Lord mayor's-day 520 0 0 Easter Monday 1200 0 0 Rout 190 0 0 Old Bailey 730 0 0 Horses, coaches, &c. 420 0 0 Servants' wages, liveries, &c. 570 0 0 Lamps, wax, and other candles 295 0 0 Linen 160 0 0 Coals and firing 280 0 0 China and glass 110 0 0 Stationery wares, newspapers, &c. 60 0 0 Winter and summer for the sword-bearer and household 36 13 0 Glazier, upholsterer, &c. 46 0 0 Music, &c. 35 0 0 Ribands, &c. 24 0 0 £8226 13 0
N. B. Benefactions on public occasions, charities, &c. cloths, fees to the water-bailiff, are not included.
Expenses 8226 13 0 Receipts 4889 0 6 1/2 Balance £3337 12 5 1/2
The rout was first discontinued by sir Brooke Watson, because it was always customary to have it in passion week. The allowance has since had an increase of 3000l. This liberality on the part of the corporation, instead of exciting a corresponding feeling on the part of their magistrates, seems rather to have raised in them a spirit of cupidity, and of late years, on many occasions, the office seems to have been undertaken on a kind of speculation for saving money. Though allowed 1500l. a year for the sword-bearer's table, every chicken and bottle of wine began to be grudged; and after repeated appeals by the household to the court of common council, on account of the shabby reductions successively made, and which were considered as unjust, as they had purchased their places with the usual privileges, the corporation concluded a treaty with them a short time ago, by which a specified sum of money was secured to each individual, either on giving up his place, or at his death to be paid to his family. They have of course given up the right of alienating their places, and thus perpetuating the system. The corporation have thus gained an extensive increase of patronage; though the number of officers is to be reduced as the places fall in. But some of the aldermen below the chair were rather disagreeably surprised at the result; for the common council very justly deducted the 1500l. at which the expense of the table was generally calculated, from his lordship's allowance.
I am, &c.
C. R. H.
The lord mayor's household, scarcely known in its constitution by the citizens whom the lord mayor selects for his visitors, is well set forth by the preceding letter of a valuable correspondent. It concerns all who are interested in the maintenance of civic splendour, and especially those who are authorized to regulate it. Such papers, and indeed any thing regarding the customs of London, will always be acceptable to the readers of this work, who have not until now been indulged with information by those who have the power to give it. The Every-Day Book is a collection of ancient and present usages and manners, wherein such contributions are properly respected, and by the editor they are always thankfully received.
On Michaelmas-day the sheriffs of London, previously chosen, are solemnly sworn into office, and the lord mayor is elected for the year ensuing.
Pennant speaking of the mercers' company, which by no means implied originally a dealer in silks, (for mercery included all sorts of small wares, toys, and haberdashery,) says, "This company is the first of the twelve, or such who are honoured with the privilege of the lord mayor's being elected out of one of them." If the lord mayor did not belong to either of the twelve, it was the practice for him to be translated to one of the favoured companies. The custom was discontinued in the mayoralty of sir Brook Watson, in 1796, and has not been revived.
E. I. C.
The "Gentleman's Magazine" notices a singular custom at Kidderminster—"On the election of a bailiff the inhabitants assemble in the principal streets to throw cabbage stalks at each other. The town-house bell gives signal for the affray. This is called lawless hour. This done, (for it lasts an hour,) the bailiff elect and corporation, in their robes, preceded by drums and fifes, (for they have no waits,) visit the old and new bailiff, constables, &c. &c. attended by the mob. In the mean time the most respectable families in the nieghbourhood are invited, to meet and fling apples at them on their entrance. I have known forty pots of apples expended at one house."
"September, when by custom (right divine)
Geese are ordain'd to bleed at Michael's shrine."
Mr. Brand notices the English custom of having a roast goose to dinner on Michaelmas-day. He cites Blount as telling us that "goose-intentos" is a word used in Lancashire, where "the husbandmen claim it as a due to have a goose intentos on the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost; which custom took origin from the last word of the old church-prayer of that day: 'Tua, now quæsumus, Domine, gratia semper præveniat et sequitur; ac bonis operibus jugiter præstet esse intentos.' The common people very humourously mistake it for a goose with ten toes." To this Mr. Brand objects, on the authority of Beckwith, in his new edition of the "Jocular Tenures:" that "besides that the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, or after Trinity rather, being movable, and seldom falling upon Michaelmas-day, which is an immovable feast, the service for that day could very rarely be used at Michaelmas, there does not appear to be the most distant allusion to a goose in the words of that prayer. Probably no other reason can be given for this custom, but that Michaelmas-day was a great festival, and geese at that time most plentiful. In Denmark, where the harvest is later, every family has a roasted goose for supper on St. Martin's Eve."
Mr. Douce is quoted by Mr. Brand, as saying, "I have somewhere seen the following reason for eating goose on Michaelmas-day, viz. that queen Elizabeth received the news of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, whilst she was eating a goose on Michaelmas-day, and that in commemoration of that event she ever afterwards on that day dined on a goose." This Mr. Brand regards as strong proof that the custom prevailed even at court in queen Elizabeth's time; and observing that it was in use in the tenth year of king Edward the Fourth, as well be shown presently, he represents it to have been a practice in queen Elizabeth's reign, before the event of the Spanish defeat, from the "Posies of Gascoigne," published in 1575.
"And when the tenauntes come
to paie their quarter's rent,
They bring some fowle at Midsummer,
a dish of fish in Lent,
"At Christmasse a capon,
at Michaelmasse A GOOSE,
And somewhat else at New-yeres tide,
for feare their lease flie loose."
So also the periodical paper called "The World," represents that "When the reformation of the calendar was in agitation, to the great disgust of many worthy persons who urged how great the harmony was in the old establishment between the holidays and their attributes, (if I may call them so,) and what confusion would follow if MICHAELMAS-DAY, for instance, was not to be celebrated when stubble-geese are in their highest perfection; it was replied, that such a propriety was merely imaginary, and would be lost of itself, even without any alteration of the calendar by authority: for if the errors in it were suffered to go on, they would in a certain number of years produce such a variation, that we should be mourning for a good king Charles on a false thirtieth of January, at a time of year when our ancestors used to be tumbling over head and heels in Greenwich-park in honour of Whitsuntide: and at length be choosing king and queen for Twelfth Night, when we ought to be admiring the London prentice at Bartholomew-fair."
According to Brand, geese are eaten by ploughmen at the harvest-home; and it is a popular saying, "If you eat goose on Michaelmas-day you will never want money all the year round."
In 1470, John de la Hay took of William Barnaby, lord of Lastres, in the county of Hereford, one parcel of the land of that demesne, rendering twenty-pence a year, and one goose fit for the lord's dinner on the feast of St. Michael the archangel, with suit of court and other services.
According to Martin, in his "Description of the Western Islands of Scotland," the protestant inhabitants of Skie, observe the festivals of Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, and that of St. Michael, on which latter day they have a cavalcade in each parish, and several families bake the cake called St. Michael's bannock. So also, "They have likewise a general cavalcade on St. Michael's-day in Kilbar village, and do then also take a turn round their church. Every family, as soon as the solemnity is ended, is accustomed to bake St. Michael's cake, and all strangers, together with those of the family, must eat the bread that night." We read too, in Macauley's History, that "It was, till of late, a universal custom among the islanders, on Michaelmas-day, to prepare in every family a loaf or cake of bread, enormously large, and compounded of different ingredients. This cake belonged to the archangel, and had its name from him. Every one in each family, whether strangers or domestics, had his portion of this kind of shew-bread, and had, of course, some title to the friendship and protection of Michael."
Macauley, in the "History of St. Kilda," says, that "In Ireland a sheep was killed in every family that could afford one, on the same anniversary; and it was ordained by law that a part of it should be given to the poor. This, and a great deal more was done in that kingdom, to perpetuate the memory of miracle wrought there by St. Patrick through the assistance of the archangel. In commemoration of this, Michaelmas was instituted a festival day of joy, plenty, and universal benevolence."
Mr. Brand found in a London newspaper of October 18, 1787, the following extraordinary septennial custom at Bishops Stortford, in Hertfordshire, and in the adjacent neighbourhood, on old Michaelmas-day: "On the morning of this day, called Ganging-day, a great number of young men assemble in the fields, when a very active fellow is nominated the leader. This person they are bound to follow, who, for the sake of diversion, generally chooses the route through ponds, ditches, and places of difficult passage. Every person they meet is bumped, male or female; which is performed by two other persons taking them up by their arms, and swinging them against each other. The women in general keep at home at this period, except those of less scrupulous character, who, for the sake of partaking of a gallon of ale and a plumb-cake, which every landlord or publican is obliged to furnish the revellers with, generally spend the best part of the night in the fields, if the weather is fair; it being strictly according to ancient usage not to partake of the cheer any where else."
M. Stevenson, in "The Twelve Moneths, Lond. 1661, 4to." mentions the following superstition; "They say, so many dayes old the moon is on Michaelmass-day, so many floods after."
Anecdote of a Goose.
An amusing account of a Canada goose once the property of Mr. Sharpe, at Little Grove, near East Barnet, was inserted by that gentleman in his copy of "Willughby's Ornithology." He says:—
The following account of a Canada goose is so extraordinary, that I am aware it would with difficulty gain credit, were not a whole parish able to vouch for the truth of it. The Canada geese are not fond of a poultry-yard, but are rather of a rambling disposition. One of these birds, however, was observed to attach itself, in the strongest and most affectionate manner, to the house-dog; and would never quit the kennel, except for the purpose of feeding, when it would return again immediately. It always sat by the dog; but never presumed to go into the kennel, except in rainy weather. Whenever the dog barked, the goose would cackle and run at the person she supposed the dog barked at, and try to bite him by the heels. Sometimes she would attempt to feed with the dog; but this the dog, who treated his faithful companion rather with indifference, would not suffer.
This bird would not go to roost with the others at night, unless driven by main force; and when, in the morning, she was turned into the field, she would never stir from the yard gate, but sit there the whole day, in sight of the dog. At last, orders were given that she should be no longer molested, but suffered to accompany the dog as she liked: being thus left to herself, she ran about the yard with him all the night; and what is particularly extraordinary, and can be attested by the whole parish, whenever the dog went out of the yard and ran into the village, the goose always accompanied him, contriving to keep up with him by the assistance of her wings; and in this way of running and flying, followed him all over the parish.
This extraordinary affection of the goose towards the dog, which continued till his death, two years after it was first observed, is supposed to have originated from his having accidentally saved her from a fox in the very moment of distress. While the dog was ill, the goose never quitted him day or night, not even to feed; and it was apprehended that she would have been starved to death, had not orders been given for a pan of corn to be set every day close to the kennel. At this time the goose generally sat in the kennel, and would not suffer any one to approach it, except the person who brought the dog's or her own food. The end of this faithful bird was melancholy; for, when the dog died, she would still keep possession of the kennel; and a new house-dog being introduced, which in size and colour resembled that lately lost, the poor goose was unhappily deceived; and going into the kennel as usual, the new inhabitant seized her by the throat, and killed her.
Michaelmas-day is one of the "four usual quarter-days, or days for payment of rent in the year."
A Michaelmas Notice to quit.
TO ALL gad-flies and gnats, famed for even-tide hum,
To the blue-bottles, too, with their gossamer drum;
To all long-legs and moths, thoughtless rogues still at ease,
Old Winter sends greeting—health, friendship, and these.
WHEREAS, on complaint lodged before me this day,
That for months back, to wit, from the first day of May,
Various insects, pretenders to beauty and birth,
Have, on venturesome wing, lately traversed the earth,
And, mistaking fair Clara's chaste lips for a rose,
Stung the beauty in public—and frightened her beaux.
AND, WHEREAS, on the last sultry evening in June,
The said Clara was harmlessly humming a tune;
A blue-bottle, sprung from some dunghill, no doubt,
Buzzed about her so long—he at last put her out.
AND WHEREAS, sundry haunches and high-seasoned pies,
And a thousand sweet necks have been o'errun with flies;
In his wisdom, Old Winter thinks nothing more fit
Than to publish this friendly 'memento to quit.'
AT YOUR PERIL, ye long-legs, this notice despise!
Hasten hence, ye vile gad-flies! a word to the wise!
Hornets, horse-stingers, wasps, fly so hostile a land,
Or your death-warrant's signed by Old Winter's chill hand.* 
Michaelmas Daisy. Aster Tradescanti.
Dedicated to St. Michael and all Angels.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Golden Legend. [return]
2. From Times Telescope. [return]