vol II date / index
Feast of the Holy Angel-Guardians. St. Thomas, Bp. of Hereford, A. D. 1282. St. Leodegarius, or Leger, A. D. 678.
The festival of "the Holy Angel-Guardians" as they are called by Butler, is this day kept by his church. He says that, "according to St. Thomas," when the angels were created, the lowest among them were enlightened by those that were supreme in the orders. It is not to be gathered from him how many orders there were; but Holme says, that "after the fall of Lucifer the bright star and his company, there remained still in heaven more angels then [sic] ever there was, is, and shall be, men born in the earth." He adds, that they are "ranked into nine orders or chorus, called the nine quoires of holy angels;" and he ranks them thus:—
1. The order of seraphims.
2. The order of cherubims.
3. The order of archangels.
4. The order of angels.
5. The order of thrones.
6. The order of principalities[.]
7. The order of powers.
8. The order of dominions.
9. The order of virtues.
Some authors put them in this sequence: 1. seraphims; 2. cherubims; 3. thrones; 4. dominions; 5. virtues; 6. powers; 7. principalities; 8. archangels; 9. angels. Holme adds, that "God never erected any order, rule, or government, but the devil did and will imitate him; for where God hath his church, the devil will have his synagogue." The latter part of this affirmation is versified by honest Daniel De Foe. He begins his "True-born Englishman" with it:—
Wherever God erects a house of prayer
The devil's sure to have a chapel there.
Angel, in its primitive sense, denotes a messenger, and frequently signifies men, when, from the common notion of the term, it is conceived to denote ministering spirits. Angels, as celestial intelligences, have been the objects of over curious inquiry, and of worship. Paul prohibits this: "Let no man," he says, "beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility, and the worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen."* An erudite and sincere writer remarks, that "The worship, which so many christians pay to angels and saints, and images and relics, is really a false worship, hardly distinguishable from idolatry. When it is said, in excuse, that 'they worship these only as mediators,' that alters the case very little; since to apply to a false mediator is as much a departure from Jesus Christ, our only advocate, as to worship a fictitious deity is withdrawing our faith and allegiance from the true God."† 
Amid the multiplicity of representations by Roman catholic writers concerning angels, are these by Father Lewis Henriques, "That the streets of Paradise are adorned with tapestry, and all the histories of the world are engraven on the walls by excellent sculptors; that the angels have no particular houses, but go from one quarter to another for diversity; that they put on women's habits, and appear to the saints in the dress of ladies, with curles and locks, with waistcoats and fardingales, and the richest linens."
This occupation of the angels agrees with the occupations that Henriques assigns to the saints; who, according to him, are to enjoy, with other pleasures, the recreation of bathing: "There shall be pleasant bathes for that purpose; they shall swim like fishes, and sing as melodious as nightingales; the men and women shall delight themselves with muscarades, feasts and ballads; women shall sing more pleasantly than men, that the delight may be greater; and women shall rise again with very long hair, and shall appear with ribands and laces as they do upon earth." Father Henriques was a Jesuit, and communicates this information in a book entitled, "The Business of the Saints in Heaven," published by the written authority of Father Prado, the Provincial of the order of Jesuits at Castille, dated at Salamanca, April 28th, 1631.*
"For Age and Want save while you may;
No morning sun lasts a whole day."
The Times and other journals report the "obit" of this female. "On the 2nd of October, 1825, died Mrs. Hannah Want, at Ditchingham, Norfolk, in the 106th year of her age. She was born on the 20th of August, 1720, and throughout this long life enjoyed a state of uninterrupted health; and retained her memory and perception to the end with a clearness truly astonishing. Till the day previous to her decease she was not confined to her bed; and on the 105th anniversary of her birth, entertained a party of her relatives who visited her to celebrate the day: she lived to see a numerous progeny to the fifth generation, and at her death there are now living children, grand-children, great-grand-children, and great-great-grand-children to the number of one hundred and twenty-one."
An intelligent correspondent writes: "As it is not an 'every-day;' occurrence for people to live so long, perhaps you may be pleased to immortalize Hannah Want, by giving her a leaf of your Every-Day Book." That the old lady may live as long after her death as this work shall be her survivor the Editor can promise, "with remainder over" to his survivors.
Hannah Want, in common with all long-livers, was an early riser. The following particulars are derived from a correspondent. She was seldom out of bed after nine at night, and even in winter; and towards the last of her life, was seldom in it after six in the morning. Her sleep was uniformly sound and tranquil; her eye-sight till within the last three years was clear; her appetite, till two days before her death, good; her memory excellent; she could recollect and discourse on whatever she knew during the last century. Her diet was plain common food, meat and poultry, pudding and dumpling, bread and vegetables in moderate quantities; she drank temperately, very temperately, of good, very good, mild home-brewed beer. During the last twenty years she had not taken tea, though to that period she had been accustomed to it. She never had the small pox, and never had been ill. Her first seventy-five years were passed at Bungay in Suffolk, her last thirty at the adjoining village of Ditchingham in Norfolk. She was the daughter of a farmer named Knighting. Her husband, John Want, a maltster, died on Christmas-day, 1802, at the age of eighty-five, leaving Hannah ill provided for, with an affectionate and dutiful daughter, who was better than house and land; for she cherished her surviving parent when "age and want, that ill-matched pair, make countless thousands mourn."
Hannah Want was of a serious and sedate turn; not very talkative, yet cheerfully joining in conversation. She was a plain, frugal, careful wife and mother; less inclined to insist on rights, than to perform duties; these she executed in all respects, "and all without hurry or care." Her stream of life was a gentle flow of equanimity, unruffled by storm or accident, till it was exhausted. She was never put out of her way but once, and that was when the house wherein she lived at Bungay was burned down, and none of the furniture saved, save one featherbed.
In answer to a series of questions from the Editor, respecting this aged and respectable female, addressed to another correspondent, he says, "What a work you make about an old woman! 'I'll answer none of your silly questions; ax Briant!' as a neighbouring magistrate said to sir Edmund Bacon, who was examining him in a court of justice. The old woman was well enough. There is nothing more to be learned about her, than how long a body may crawl upon the earth, and think nothing worth thinking—as if 'thinking was but an idle waste of thought;' and how long a person to whom 'naught is every thing, and every thing is nothing', did nothing worth doing. I suppose that the noted H. W. knew as much of life in 105 hours, as Hannah Want did in 105 years. All I know or can learn about her is nothing, and if you can make any thing of it you may. Some of our free-knowledgists, 'with a pale cast of thought' have taken a cast of her head, and discovered that her organ of self-destructiveness was harmonized by the organ of long-livitiveness." This latter correspondent is too hard upon Hannah; but he encloses information on another subject that may be useful hereafter, and therefore what he amusingly says respecting her, is at the service of those readers who are qualified to make something of nothing.
A portrait of Hannah Want, in 1824, when she was in her 104th year, taken by Mr. Robert Childs, "an ingenious gentleman" of Bungay, and etched by him, furnishes the present engraving of her.
Friars' Minors Soapwort. Saponaria Officinalis.
Dedicated to the Guardian Angels.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Colossians ii. 17. [return]
2. Jortin. [return]
3. Moral Practice of the Jesuits. Lond. 12mo. 1670. [return]