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January 5.


Agricultural Custom.

In the parish of Pauntley, a village on the borders of the county of Gloucester, next Worcestershire, and in the neighbourhood, "a custom intended to prevent the smut in wheat, in some respect resembling the Scotch Beltein, prevails." "On the eve of Twelfth-day all the servants of every farmer assemble together in one of the fields that has been sewn with wheat. At the end of twelve lands, they make twelve fires in a row with straw; around one of which, made larger than the rest, they drink a cheerful glass of cyder to their master's health, and success to the future harvest; then, returning home, they feast on cakes made of carraways, &c. soaked in cyder, which they claim as a reward for their past labours in sowing the grain."* [1]

Credulity and Incredulity.

In the beginning of the year 1825, the flimsiest bubbles of the most bungling projectors obtained the public confidence; at the close of the year that confidence was refused to firms and establishments of unquestionable security. Just before Christmas, from sudden demands greatly beyond the amounts which were ready for ordinary supply, bankers in London of known respectability stopped payment; the panic became general throughout the kingdom, and numerous country banks failed, the funds fell, Exchequer bills were at a heavy discount, and public securities of every description suffered material depression. This exigency rendered prudence still more circumspect, and materially retarded the operations of legitimate business, to the injury of all persons engaged in trade. In several manufacturing districts, transactions of every kind were suspended, and manufactories wholly ceased from work.


To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

As just at this time it may be interesting to many of your readers, to know the origin of Exchequer bills, I send you the following account.

In the years 1696 and 1697, the silver currency of the kingdom being, by clipping, washing, grinding, filing, &c. reduced to about half its nominal value, acts of parliament were passed for its being called in, and re-coined; but whilst the re-coinage was going on exchequer bills were first issued, to supply the demands of trade. The quantity of silver re-coined, according to D'Avenant, from the old hammered money, amounted to 5,725,933l. It is worthy of remark, that through the difficulties experienced by the Bank of England (which had been established only three years,) during the re-coinage, they having taken the clipped silver at its nominal value, and guineas at an advanced price, bank notes were in 1697 at a discount of from 15 to 20 per cent. "During the re-coinage," says D'Avenant, "all great dealings were transacted by tallies, bank-bills, and goldsmiths' notes. Paper credit did not only supply the place of running cash, but greatly multiplied the kingdom's stock; for tallies and bank-bills did to many uses serve as well, and to some better than gold and silver; and this artificial wealth which necessity had introduced, did make us less feel the want of that real treasure, which the war and our losses at sea had drawn out of the nation."

I am, &c.
J. G.


A Family Sketch.

Bring me a garland of holly,
  Rosemary, ivy, and bays;
Gravity's nothing but folly,
  Till after the Christmas days.

Fill out a glass of Bucellas;
  Here!—boys put the crown on my head:
Now, boys!—shake hands—be good fellows,
  And all be —good men—when I'm dead.

Come, girls, come! now for your kisses,
  Hearty ones—louder—loud—louder!
How I'm surrounded with blisses!
  Proud men may here see a prouder.

Now, you rogues, go kiss your mother:—
  Ah! ah!—she won't let you?— pho! pho!
Gently—there, there now!—don't smother:—
  Old lady! come, now I'll kiss you.

Here take the garland, and wear it;
  'Nay, nay!' but you must, and you shall;
For, here's such a kiss!—come, don't fear it;
  If you do—turn round to the wall.

A kiss too for Number Eleven,
  The Newcome—the young Christmas berry—
My Alice!—who makes my girls seven,
  And makes merry Christmas more merry.

Another good glass of Bucellas,
  While I've the crown on my head;
Laugh on my good girls, and good fellows,
  Till it's off—then off to bed.

Hey!—now, for the Christmas holly,
  Rosemary, ivy, and bays;
Gravity's nothing but folly,
  Till after the Christmas days.


December 30, 1825.


Mean Temperature   . . .   37 . 47.

Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Rudge's Gloucester. [return]