vol II date / index
Then came October, full of merry glee,
For yet his noule was totty of the must,
Which he was treading, in the wine-fat's see,
And of the joyous oyle, whose gentle gust
Made him so frollick, and so full of lust:
Upon a dreadfull scorpion he did ride,
The same which by Dianae's doom unjust
Slew great Orion; and eeke by his side
He had his ploughing-share, and coulter ready tyde.
This is the tenth month of the year. From our Saxon ancestors, "October had the name of Wyn-monat," wyn signifying wine; "and albeit they had not anciently wines made in Germany, yet in this season had they them from divers countries adjoining."* They also called it Winter-fulleth.† 
In noticing the stanza, beneath the above engraving by Mr. Williams from his own design, Mr. Leigh Hunt says, that "Spenser, in marching his months before great nature, drew his descriptions of them from the world and its customs in general; but turn his October wine-vats into cider-presses and brewing-tubs, and it will do as well." He continues to observe, that "This month on account of its steady temperature, is chosen for the brewing of such malt liquor as is designed for keeping. The farmer continues to sow his corn, and the gardener plants forest and fruit trees. Many of our readers, though fond of gardens, will learn perhaps for the first time that trees are cheaper things than flowers; and that at the expense of not many shillings, they may plant a little shrubbery, or make a rural skreen for their parlour or study windows, of woodbine, guelder-roses, bays, arbutus, ivy, virgin's bower, or even the poplar, horse-chestnut, birch, sycamore, and plane-tree, of which the Greeks were so fond. A few roses also, planted in the earth, to flower about his walls or windows in monthly succession, are nothing in point of dearness to roses or other flowers purchased in pots. Some of the latter are nevertheless cheap and long-lived, and may be returned to the nursery-man at a small expense, to keep till they flower again. But if the lover of nature has to choose between flowers or flowering shrubs and trees, the latter, in our opinion, are much preferable, inasmuch as while they include the former, they can give a more retired and verdant feeling to a place, and call to mind, even in their very nestling and closeness, something of the whispering and quiet amplitude of nature.
"Fruits continue in abundance during this month, as everybody knows from the shop-keeper; for our grosser senses are well informed, if our others are not. We have yet to discover that imaginative pleasures are as real and touching as they, and give them their deepest relish. The additional flowers in October are almost confined to the anemone and scabious; and the flowering-trees and shrubs to the evergreen cytisus. But the hedges (and here let us observe, that the fields and other walks that are free to every one are sure to supply us with pleasure, when every other place fails.) are now sparkling with their abundant berries,—the wild rose with the hip, the hawthorn with the haw, the blackthorn with the sloe, the bramble with the blackberry; and the briony, privet, honeysuckle, elder, holly, and woody nightshade, with their other winter feasts for the birds. The wine obtained from the elder-berry makes a very pleasant and wholesome drink, when heated over a fire; but the humbler sloe, which the peasants eat, gets the start of him in reputation, by changing its name to port, of which wine it certainly makes a considerable ingredient. A gentleman, who lately figured in the beau-monde, and carried coxcombry to a pitch of the ingenious, was not aware how much truth he was uttering in his pleasant and disavowing definition of port wine: 'A strong intoxicating liquor much drank by the lower orders.'
"Swallows are generally seen for the last time this month, the house-martin the latest. The red-wing, field-fare, snipe, Royston crow, and wood-pigeon, return from more northern parts. The rooks return to the roost trees, and the tortoise begins to bury himself for the winter. The mornings and afternoons increase in mistiness, though the middle of the day is often very fine; and no weather when it is unclouded, is apt to give a clearer and manlier sensation than that of October. One of the most curious natural appearances is the gossamer, which is an infinite multitude of little threads shot out by minute spiders, who are thus wafted by the wind from place to place.
"The chief business of October, in the great economy of nature, is dissemination, which is performed among other means by the high winds which now return. Art imitates her as usual, and sows and plants also. We have already mentioned the gardener. This is the time for the domestic cultivator of flowers to finish planting as well, especially the bulbs that are intended to flower early in spring. And as the chief business of nature this month is dissemination or vegetable birth, so its chief beauty arises from vegetable death itself. We need not tell our readers we allude to the changing leaves with all their lights and shades of green, amber, red, light red, light and dark green, white, brown, russet, and yellow of all sorts."
The orient is lighted with crimson glow,
The night and its dreams are fled,
And the glorious roll of nature now
Is in all its brightness spread.
The autumn has tinged the trees with gold,
And crimson'd the shrubs of the hills:
And the full seed sleeps in earth's bosom cold;
And hope all the universe fills.
St. Remigius, A. D. 533. St. Bavo, Patron of Ghent, A. D. 653. St. Piat, A. D. 286. St. Wasnulf, or Wasnon, A. D. 651. St. Fidharleus, Abbot in Ireland, A. D. 762. Festival of the Rosary.
This is another saint in the church of England calendar and the almanacs. He was bishop or archbishop of Rheims, and the instructor of Clovis, the first king of the Franks who professed christianity; Remigius baptized him by trine immersion. The accession of Clovis to the church, is deemed to have been the origin of the "most christian king," and the "eldest son of the church," which the kings of France are stiled in the present times.
The beadles and Servants of the worshipful company of salters are to attend divine service at St. Magnus church, London-bridge, pursuant to the will of sir John Salter, who died in the year 1605; who was a good benefactor to the said company, and ordered that the beadles and servants should go to the said church the first week in October, three times each person, and say, "How do you do brother Salter? I hope you are well!"*
Lowly Amaryllis. Amaryllis humilis.
Dedicated to St. Remigius.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Verstegan. [return]
2. Dr. F. Sayer. [return]
3. Annual Register, 1769. [return]