Next came fresh April, full of lustyhed,
And wanton as a kid whose horne new buds;
Upon a bull he rode, the same which led
Europa floting through th' Argolick fluds:
His horns were gilden all with golden studs,
And garnished with garlands goodly dight
Of all the fairest flowers and freshest buds
Which th' earth brings forth; and wet he seem'd in sight
With waves, through which he waded for his love's delight.


This is the fourth month of the year. Its Latin name is Aprilis, from aperio, to open or set forth. The Saxons called it, Oster or Eastermonath, in which month, the feast of the Saxon goddess, Eastre, Easter, or Eoster is said to have been celebrated.* [Sayer's Disquisitions.] April, with us, is sometimes represented as a girl clothed in green, with a garland of myrtle and hawthorn buds; holding in one hand primroses and violets, and in the other the zodiacal sign, Taurus, or the bull, into which constellation the sun enters during this month. The Romans consecrated the first of April to Venus, the goddess of beauty, the mother of love, the queen of laughter, the mistress of the graces; and the Roman widows and virgins assembled in the temple of Virile Fortune, and disclosing their personal deformities, prayed the goddess to conceal them from their husbands.* [Lempriere.]

In this month the business of creation seems resumed. The vital spark rekindles in dormant existences; and all things "live, and move, and have their being." The earth puts on her livery to await the call of her lord; the air breathes gently on his cheek, and conducts to his ear the warblings of the birds, and the odours of new-born herbs and flowers; the great eye of the world "sees and shines" with bright and gladdening glances; the waters teem with life; man himself feels the revivifying and all-pervading influence; and his

—— spirit holds communion sweet
With the brighter spirits of the sky.

April 1. —All Fools' Day.

St. Hugh, Bp. A.D. 1132. St. Melito, Bp. A.D. 175. St. Gilbert, Bp. of Cathness, A.D. 1240.

On the first of April, 1712, Lord Bolingbroke stated, that in the wars, called the "glorious wars of queen Anne," the duke of Marlborough had not lost a single battle—and yet, that the French had carried their point, the succession to the Spanish monarchy, the pretended cause of these wars. Dean Swift called this statement "a due donation for 'All Fools' Day!'"

On the first of April, 1810, Napoleon married Maria Louisa, archduchess of Austria, on which occasion some of the waggish Parisians called him "un poisson d' Avril," a term which answers to our April fool. On the occasion of his nuptials, Napoleon struck a medal, with Love bearing a thunderbolt for its device.

It is customary on this day for boys to practise jocular deceptions. When they succeed, they laugh at the person whom they think they have rendered ridiculous, and exclaim, "Ah! you April fool!"

Thirty years ago, when buckles were worn in shoes, a boy would meet a person in the street with —"Sir, if you please, your shoe's unbuckled," and the moment the accosted individual looked towards his feet, the informant would cry—"Ah! you April fool!" Twenty years ago, when buckles were wholly disused, the urchin-cry was—"Sir, your shoe's untied;" and if the shoe-wearer lowered his eyes, he was hailed, as his buckled predecessor had been, with the said—"Ah! you April fool!" Now, when neither buckles nor strings are worn, because in the year 1825 no decent man "has a shoe to his foot," the waggery of the day is—"Sir, there's something out of your pocket." "Where?" "There!" "What?" "Your hand, sir—Ah! you April fool!"

Ah! You April Fool!


Or else some lady is humbly bowed to, and gravely addressed with "Ma'am, I beg your pardon, but you've something on your face!" "Indeed, my man! what is it?" "Your nose, ma'am—Ah! you April fool!"

The tricks that youngsters play off on the first of April are various as their fancies. One, who has yet to know the humours of the day, they send to a cobbler's for a pennyworth of the best "stirrup oil;" the cobbler receives the money, and the novice receives a hearty cut or two from the cobbler's strap: if he does not, at the same time, obtain the information that he is "an April fool," he is sure to be acquainted with it on returning to his companions. The like knowledge is also gained by an errand to some shop for half a pint of "pigeon's milk," or an inquiry at a booksellers for the "Life and Adventures of Eve's Mother."

Then, in-door young ones club their wicked wits,
And almost frighten servants into fits—
"Oh, John! James! John!—oh, quick! oh! Molly, oh!"
Oh, the trap-door! oh, Molly! down below!"
"What, what's the matter!" scream, with wild surprise,
John, James, and Molly, while the young ones' cries
Redouble till they come; then all the boys
Shout "Ah! you April fools!" with clamorous noise;
And little girls enticed down stairs to see,
Stand peeping, clap their hands, and cry "te-hee!"
Each gibing boy escapes a different way,
And meet again some trick, "as good as that," to play.         *

Much is written concerning the custom of fool-making on the first of April, but with this result only, that it is very ancient and very general.* [Brand.] As a better opportunity will occur hereafter, nothing will be said here respecting "fools" by profession.

The practice of making fools on this day in North Britain, is usually exercised by sending a person from place to place by means of a letter, in which is written

"On the first day of April
Hunt the gowk another mile."

This is called "hunting the gowk;" and the bearer of the "fools' errand" is called an "April gowk." Brand says, that gowk is properly a cuckoo, and is used here metaphorically for a fool; this appears correct; for from the Saxon "geac, a cuckoo," is derived geck,† [Ash.] which means "one easily imposed on." Malvolio, who had been "made a fool" by a letter, purporting to have been written by Olivia, inquires of her

"Why have you suffered me to be—
—Made the most notorious geck and gull
That e'er invention play'd on?"

Olivia affirms, that the letter was not written by her, and exclaims to Malvolio

"Alas, poor fool! how have they baffled thee!"

Geck is likewise derivable "from the Teutonic geck, jocus." * [Jamieson, in Nare's Glossary.]

The "April fool" is among the Swedes. Toreen, one of their travellers, says, "We set sail on the first of April, and the wind made April fools of us, for we were forced to return before Shagen." On the Sunday and Monday preceding Lent, people are privileged at Lisbon to play the fool: it is thought very jocose to pour water on any person who passes, or throw powder in his face; but to do both is the perfection of wit.† [Southey, quoted in Brand, as also Toreen.] The Hindoos also at their Huli festival keep a general holiday on the 31st of March, and one subject of diversion is to send people on errands and expeditions that are to end in disappointment, and raise a laugh at the expense of the persons sent. Colonel Pearce says, that "high and low join in it; and," he adds, "the late Suraja Doulah, I am told, was very fond of making Huli fools, though he was a mussulman of the highest rank. They carry the joke here (in India) so far, as to send letters making appointments, in the name of persons, who, it is known, must be absent from their house at the time fixed upon; and the laugh is always in proportion to the trouble given."[doubledagger] [A___st. Res. in Brand, from Maurice.]

The April fool among the French is called "un poisson b Avril." [sic] Their transformation of the term is not well accounted for, but their customs on the day are similar to ours. In one instance a "joke" was carried too far. At Paris, on the 1st of April, 1817, a young lady pocketed a watch in the house of a friend. She was arrested the same day, and taken before the correctional police, when being charged with the fact, she said it was an April trick (un poisson d'Avril.) She was asked whether the watch was in her custody? She denied it; but a messenger was sent to her apartment, and it was found on the chimney-place. Upon which the young lady said, she had made the messenger un poisson d'Avril, "an April fool." The pleasantry, however, did not end so happily, for the young lady was jocularly recommended to remain in the house of correction till the 1st of April, 1818, and then to be discharged as un poisson d' Avril.* [Morn. Chron. June 17, 1817.]

It must not be forgotten, that the practice of "making April fool" in England, is often indulged by persons of maturer years, and in a more agreeable way. There are some verses that pleasantly exemplify this:† [Cited by Brand from Julia, or Last Follies, 1798, 4to.]

To a LADY, who threatened to make the AUTHOR an APRIL FOOL.

Why strive, dear girl, to make a fool
    Of one not wise before,
Yet, having 'scaped from folly's school,
     Would fain go there no more?

Ah! if I must to school again,
     Wilt thou my teacher be?
I'm sure no lesson will be vain
     Which thou canst give to me.

One of thy kind and gentle looks,
    Thy smiles devoid of art,
Avail, beyond all crabbed books,
     To regulate my heart.

Thou need'st not call some fairy elf,
    On any April-day,
To make thy bard forget himself,
     Or wander from his way.

One thing he never can forget,
    Whatever change may be,
The sacred hour when first he met
    And fondly gazed on thee.

A seed then fell into his breast;
    Thy spirit placed it there:
Need I, my Julia, tell the rest?
    Thou seest the blossoms here.


Annual Mercury. Mercurialis annua.
Dedicated to St. Hugh.

April 2.

St. Francis of Paula. St. Apian, A.D. 306. St. Theodosia, A.D. 308. St. Nicetius, Abp. of Lyons, A.D. 577. St. Ebba, Abbess, and her companions, A.D. 870, or 874. B. Constantine II. king of Scotland, A.D. 874. St. Bronacha, or Bronanna, Abbess.

St. Francis of Paula

Was a Calabrian, and at fifteen years old shut himself up in a cave, in a rock on the coast. Before twenty he was joined by two others, and the people built them three cells; the number increased, and so arose the order of friar Minims, which means the least of the friars. Constant abstinence from flesh, and all food made of milk or eggs, was one of their rules. In 1479, being invited to Sicily, "he was received there as an angel from heaven, wrought miracles, and built several monasteries." He prophesied, held burning coals in his hand without being burnt, restored his nephew to life, cured people of the plague, received the host with a cord about his neck on Maundy Thursday, died on the 2d of April, 1508, aged ninety-one, and was buried till 1562 when the hugonots burnt his bones with the wood of a crucifix.* [Butler.]

Besides this, it is related, that the elements lost their force against him; that he walked upon fire; entered into a burning oven without harm; and made a sea voyage on his own cloak instead of a ship, and had a companion on board with him.† [Ribadeneira.]

According to another account he was much worried by the devil. Once while he was at prayers the devil called him three times by his own name. Another time he was so possessed by the fiend, that he had no other way to get rid of him, than by stripping and beating himself with a hard cord, crying while he did it, "thus brother ass thou must be beaten;" after which he ran into the snow and made seven snowballs, intending to swallow them if the devil had not taken his leave. Then a whole parcel of devils came one night, and gave him a grievous beating; this was because he lodged in a cardinal's palace, and it occasioned him to shift his lodging. Afterwards, when at prayers, he saw upon the roof of the house whole companies of these infernals. He was a bird-fancier. A bird sat singing on a fig-tree by the side of his cell, he called it to him; the bird came upon his hand and he said to it—"Sing, my sister, and praise the Lord," and the bird sat singing till he gave it liberty to go away. Going to Venice with his companions, and hearing birds singing in a wood, he proposed to sing the canonical hours, but the monks could not hear themselves for the chanters of the grove, wherefore, he entreated the feathered choir to be silent, and they remained so till he gave them liberty to proceed. At another place when he was preaching, he could not be heard for the swallows, which were making their nests; he said to them—"Sister swallows, it is time for me to speak; as you've said enough, be quiet," and so they were. It was customary with him when one of his friars had committed a fault to take off the friar's hood, and throw it into the fire, from whence after staying there a proper time, he commanded it to be restored to the friar, and the hood was then taken out of the fire without having sustained injury. More to the like effect, and of equal credibility, is related of this saint in the Golden Legend.


1801. Lord Nelson's victory at Copenhagen, when eighteen sail of the line were either captured or destroyed.


White Violet. Viola alba.
Dedicated to St. Francis of Paula.

Moveable Feasts.

* * * AN ERROR under the above title having crept into the EVERY-DAY BOOK, at p. 190, and also extended to the list of "Moveable feasts," the reader will please to correct that list, &c. by the following statement.

Shrove Sunday is the Sunday next before Shrove Tuesday. It is also called Quinquagesima Sunday.

Shrove Tuesday is always the seventh Tuesday before Easter-day.

Maundy Thursday, also called Chare or Shere Thursday, is the day before Good Friday.

Good Friday is the Friday in Passion-week, and consequently the Friday next before Easter-day.

EASTER-DAY is always the first Sunday after the first full moon, which happens on or next after the 21st of March; but if the full moon happens upon a Sunday, Easter-day is the Sunday following.

Octave or Utas of a Feast.

The Octave or Utas of each feast is always the eighth day after it occurs; for example, the feast of St. Hillary is the 13th of January, hence the ocatve of St. Hillary is the 22d of January.

††† THESE CORRECTIONS would have been made in the sheet itself, but a great number of copies having been printed, before the error was discovered, it became necessary to postpone the rectification. See NOTE below.* [Mr. NICOLAS obligingly informs me, that since his "Notitia Historica" was printed, he has ascertained that the rule laid down for Shrove Tuesday, in that work, was not correct, and that having made some alterations in the event of a second edition being demanded, and finding I had cited the part containing the error, he thought it right to send me a copy of his corrections, from whence the preceding list is formed. There can scarcely be a doubt that a second edition of Mr. Nicolas's "Notitia Historica" will be required speedily, because the series of Tables, Calendars, and miscellaneous information which it contains must be eminently useful, not only to the legal profession, antiquaries, and every historical and topographical inquirer, but to general readers, many of whom daily suffer inconvenience without such a source of reference. W. H.]


EASTER-DAY is distinguished by its peculiar name, through our Saxon ancestors, who at this season of the year held a great festival, in honour of the goddess Eastor, probably the Astarte of the eastern nations. The French call this festival Paques, derived from the Greek pascha, which is also derived from the Hebrew pesech, meaning passover; and whence we have the English word paschal, applied to the lamb, which formed part of the evening meal, the last of which our saviour partook, before his death, with his twelve missionaries. In Cambridgeshire the word pasch is still in use, and applied to a flower which appears at this time on the Gogmagog hills and its environs[.] The day is of importance in a civil, as well as in a religious, light; for on this day depend the openings of our courts of law, which take place after it, and the festivals of the church are arranged in conformity to it. By the act of parliament on this subject, and the rule given in conformity to it in the "Common Prayer-Book," which of course every body has an opportunity of seeing, "EASTER-DAY is always the first Sunday after the Full Moon, which happens upon, or next after the twenty-first day of March; and if the Full Moon happen upon a Sunday, Easter-day is the Sunday after."

One would think, that when such precise directions had been given, and the state of the moon on any day is so clearly and easily ascertained, that there would be no difficulty in following them; but experience has proved that contrary deviations from the act of parliament have been numerous. These have been pointed out at various times, but without any effect on the public. In the year 1735, Henry Wilson, of Tower-hill, styling himself mathematician, denounced the errors on this subject in a very ingenious work, entitled "The regulation of Easter, or the cause of the errours and differences contracted in the calculation of it, discovered and duly considered, showing—The frequency and consequence of that errour, with the cause from whence it proceeds, and a method proposed for rectifying it, and reconciling the differences about it, and for restoring the time of celebrating that great solemnity in its primitive certainty and exactness, and that without the difficulty and confusion which some have objected would attend such a regulation." 8vo.

Within these few years an error in the observance of Easter took place, and on all the almanacs fixing an improper day for its observance, a memorial was presented to the lords in council and to the prince regent, humbly soliciting their interference on this subject. It was noticed also by Mr. Frend, in his "Evening Amusements;" and a clergyman of Oxford published a pamphlet on the occasion. There was also, we believe, on clergyman, who, disregarding the almanac, obeyed the rubric, and read the services for Easter-day, and the Sundays depending on it, on very different days from those adopted in other churches. It was remarkable also, that in that very year, judge Garrow arrived at Gloucester a short time after twelve o'clock at night, of the day on which the assizes were to commence, and the high-sheriff very properly representing his scruples, on the legality of then commencing the assizes, they were delayed till the opinion of the judges could be taken, and the consequence was, the issuing of a new writ. Thus the difference of a few minutes was considered fatal to the opening of a country court, though the courts of law at Westminster had been opened a few months before, when a much greater error had taken place with respect to Easter-day, on which, as before observed, the opening of those courts depends.

To understand this subject we must refer back to the origin of this festival, instituted in honour of the resurrection of our saviour, which took place on the third day after his execution as a malefactor. Friday had been fixed upon as the day of commemorating his death, and as that took place on the day of a full moon, the first full moon after the twenty-first of March was fixed upon as the regulator of the festival. The great point had in view was to prevent the festival of Easter-day from being observed on the day of a full moon, but as near to it as circumstances would admit, and in consequence there is a great difference in the times of observing this festival; it being specially provided, however, that it should happen after a full moon. The Jews observe their passover by juster rules; the day for the celebration of it taking place on different days of the week: but the Christians having fixed on Friday for the celebration of the fast on the death of our saviour, the Easter-day, on the following Sunday, was accommodated to it, and both were so fixed, that there could not be a full moon on the Easter-day, nor for some weeks after it.

In this year, 1825, the full moon occurs at twenty-three minutes past six in the morning of the third of April; consequently, according to the act of parliament, and the rubric of the church, Easter-day ought to be celebrated on the tenth, and the courts of law ought to open, or Easter term begin, on the twenty-seventh; but our almanac-makers thought good to fix Easter-day on the third, and consequently Easter term is placed by them on the twentieth, on which day it is presumed that judicial proceedings will commence.

Easter-day is observed all over Christendom with peculiar rites. In the catholic church high mass is celebrated, the host is adored with the greatest reverence, and both Catholics and Protestants might be led from it, to a more particular attention to the circumstances attending its form and substance. The host, derived from the Latin word hostia, meaning a victim, is a consecrated wafer, of a circular form, composed of flour and water. Both substance and form are regulated by custom of very ancient date. On the night before his execution, our saviour took bread, and blessing it, divided it among his missionaries; but the bread he took was not ordinary bread, but unleavened bread, wuch as is used by the Jews during the passover week in the present days. This bread is composed of merely flour and water, no leaven during the festival of their passover being permitted to enter the house of a Jew. It is a kind of biscuit of a circular form, and the host thus, by its form and substance, brings us back to the recollection of the Catholics, and the rite celebrated by our saviour. It is the representation of the Jewish cake, or unleavened bread, which is to this day eaten by that nation during the passover week.

The Protestants have deviated from this custom, and in their churches use leavened bread, without any regard to form, and they cut it with a knife into small pieces, forgetting that our saviour broke the bread; but some use leavened bread, and, as they cannot break it, they attempt to imitate our saviour's action by tearing it in pieces.

For those who wish to have a more comprehensive view of this subject, the following works are recommended: Cardinal Bona on the mass; Dean Comber on the liturgy; and above all, the Hebrew ritual, which is translated into English, and to which both Catholics and Protestants are indebted for greater part of their services.* [This article on "Easter" is communicated by the gentleman who favoured the editor with the account of the "Vernal Equinox," at p. 375.]

April 3.

1825. EASTER SUNDAY. The Resurrection.

Sts. Agape, Chionia, and Irene, Sisters, and their Companions, A.D. 304; St. Richard. St. Ulpian. St. Nicetas, Abbot, A.D. 824.

St. Richard de Wiche

Was born at Wiche, near Worcester; studied at Oxford, Paris, and Bologna; became chancellor to the diocese of Canterbury; and was consecrated bishop of Chichester in 1245, against the desire of Henry III. who seized his temporalities. These he regained by replevin, and pleading his cause against the king's deputies before Innocent IV. at Rome, a papal decree confirmed his election. Among his clergy he was a strict disciplinarian, and a friend and comforter to the poor. Preaching a crusade, according to the fashion of those times, against the Saracens, he fell sick, and died in the hospital at Dover, called God's-house, in 1253, in the fifty-sixth year of his age, and in the ninth of his episcopal functions. This is a brief character of an exemplary prelate, but the credulous Butler chooses to affirm, that three dead persons were restored to life, and other miraculous cures were worked at his tomb. Father Porter gossips a story of a miraculous flow of unction at his consecration; of a dead-born child having been brought to life by his dead merits; and of the touch of his old clothes having cured the diseased, with other performances, "which moved pope Boniface IV. to enrol him into the number of the canonized saincts." [sic] If bibles could be suppressed, and the printing-press destroyed, miracles and canonizations would "come in" again.

For particulars respecting Easter-day and Easter Monday, see Easter Tuesday, 5th of APRIL.


Evergreen Alkanet. Anchusa Sempervirus.
Dedicated to St. Agape.

April 4.

St. Isidore, Bishop of Seville, A.D. 636. St. Plato, Abbot, A.D. 813.


Holiday at the Public Offices; except Excise, Custom, and Stamp.


1774. Oliver Goldsmith died: he was born in Ireland, November 29th, 1728.

1802. Lloyd, lord Kenyon, lord chief-justice of England, died, aged 69.


Red Crown Imperial. Fritillaria Imperialis.
Dedicated to St. Isidore.

April 5.

St. Vincent Ferrer, A.D. 1419. St. Gerald, Abbot, A.D. 1095. St. Tigernach, Bishop in Ireland, A.D. 550. St. Becan, Abbot.


Holidays at the Public Offices; except Excise, Stamp, and Custom.


1605. John Stow, the antiquary, died, aged 80. He was a tailor.

1800. The rev. William Mason died. He was born at Hull, in Yorkshire, in 1725.

1804. The rev. William Gilpin, author of "Picturesque Tours," "Remarks on forest Scenery," an "Essay on Prints," &c. died aged 80.

1811. Robert Raikes, of Gloucester, died, aged 76. He was the originator of sunday-schools, and spent his life in acts of kindness and compassion; promoting education as a source of happiness to his fellow beings, and bestowing his exertions and bounty to benefit the helpless.


Yellow Crown Imperial. Fritillaria Imperialis Lutea.
Dedicated to St. Vincent Ferrer.

Easter Customs.

Dancing of the Sun.

The day before Easter-day is in some parts called "Holy Saturday." On the evening of this day, in the middle districts of Ireland, great preparations are made for the finishing of Lent. Many a fat hen and dainty piece of bacon is put in the pot by the cotter's wife about eight or nine o'clock, and woe be to the person who should taste it before the cock crows. At twelve is heard the clapping of hands, and the joyous laugh, mixed with "Shidth or mogh or corries," i. e. out with the Lent: all is merriment for a few hours, when they retire, and rise about four o'clock to see the sun dance in honour of the resurrection. This ignorant custom is not confined to the humble labourer and his family, but is scrupulously observed by many highly respectable and wealthy families, different members of whom I have heard assert positively that they had seen the sun dance on Easter morning.* [* Communicated to the Every-Day Book by Mr. T. A——.]

It is inquired in Dunton's "Athenian Oracle," "Why does the sun at his rising play more on Easter-day than Whit-Sunday?" The question is answered thus:— "The matter of fact is an old, weak, superstitious error, and the sun neither plays nor works on Easter-day more than any other. It is true, it may sometimes happen to shine brighter that morning than any other; but, if it does, it is purely accidental. In some parts of England they call it the lamb-playing, which they look for, as soon as the sun rises, in some clear or spring water, and is nothing but the pretty reflection it makes from the water, which they may find at any time, if the sun rises clear, and they themselves early, and unprejudiced with fancy." The folly is kept up by the fact, that no one can view the sun steadily at any hour, and those who choose to look at it, or at its reflection in water, see it apparently move, as they would on any other day. Brand points out an allusion to this vulgar notion in an old ballad:—

But, Dick, She dances such away!
No sun upon an Easter-day
   Is half so fine a sight.

Again, from the "British Apollo," a presumed question to the sun himself upon the subject, elicits a suitable answer:

  Q.   Old Wives, Phœbus, say
    That on Easter-day
To the music o' th' spheres you do caper;
    If the fact, sir, be true,
    Pray let's the cause know,
When you have any room in your paper.

  A.   The old wives get merry
    With spic'd ale or sherry,
On Easter, which makes them romance;
    And whilst in a rout
    Their brains whirl about,
They fancy we caper and dance.

A bit of smoked glass, such as boys use to view an eclipse with, would put this matter steady to every eye but that of wilful self-deception, which, after all, superstition always chooses to see through.


Mr. Ellis inserts, in his edition of Mr. Brand's "Popular Antiquities," a letter from Mr. Thomas Loggan of Basinghall-street, from whence the following extract is made: Mr. Loggan says, "I was sitting alone last Easter tuesday, at breakfast, at the Talbot in Shrewsbury, when I was surprised by the entrance of all the female servants of the house handing in an armchair, lined with white, and decorated with ribbons and favours of different colours. I asked them what they wanted, their answer was, they came to heave me; it was the custom of the place on that morning, and they hoped I would take a seat in their chair. It was impossible not to comply with a request very modestly made, and to a set of nymphs in their best apparel, and several of them under twenty. I wished to see all the ceremony, and seated myself accordingly. The group then lifted me from the ground, turned the chair about, and I had the felicity of a salute from each. I told them, I supposed there was a fee due upon the occasion, and was answered in the affirmative; and, having satisfied the damsels in this respect, they withdrew to heave others. At this time I had never heard of such a custom; but, on inquiry, I found that on Easter Monday, between nine and twelve, the men heave the women in the same manner as on the Tuesday, between the same hours, the women heave the men."

Lifting--an Easter Custom

Lifting—an Easter Custom

In Lancashire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and some other parts of England there prevails this custom of heaving or lifting at Easter-tide. This is perfromed mostly in the open street, though sometimes it is insisted on and submitted to within the house. People form into parties of eight or a dozen or even more for the purpose, and from every one lifted or heaved they extort a contribution. The late Mr. Lysons read to the Society of Antiquaries an extract from a roll in his custody, as keeper of the records in the tower of London, which contains a payment to certain ladies and maids of honour for taking king Edward I. in his bed at Easter; from whence it has been presumed the he was lifted on the authority of that custom, which is said to have prevailed among all ranks throughout the kingdom. The usage is a vulgar commemoration of the resurrection which the festival of Easter celebrates.

Lifting or heaving differs a little in different places. In some parts the person is laid horizontally, in others placed in a sitting position on the bearers' hands. Usually, when the lifting or heaving is within doors, a chair is produced, but in all cases the ceremony is incomplete without three distinct elevations.

A Warwickshire correspondent, L. S., says, Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday were known by the name of heaving-day, because on the former day it was customary for the men to heave and kiss the women, and on the latter for the women to retaliate upon the men. the womens' heaving-day was the most amusing. Many a time have I passed along the streets inhabited by the lower orders of people, and seen parties of jolly matrons assembled round tables on which stood a foaming tankard of ale. There they sat in all the pride of absolute sovereignty, and woe to the luckless man that dared to invade their prerogatives!—as sure as he was seen he was pursued—as sure as he was pursued he was taken—and as sure as he was taken he was heaved and kissed, and compelled to pay sixpence for "leave and license" to depart.

Conducted as lifting appears to have been by the blooming lasses of Shrewsbury, and acquitted as all who are actors in the usage any where must be, of even the slightest knowledge that this practice is an absurd performance of the resurrection, still it must strike the reflective mind as at least an absurd custom, "more honored i' the breach than the observance." It has been handed down to us from the bewildering ceremonies of the Romish church, and may easily be discountenanced into disuse by opportune and mild persuasion. If the children of ignorant persons be properly taught, they will perceive in adult years the gross follies of their parentage, and so instruct their own offspring, that not a hand or voice shall be lifted or heard from the sons of labour, in support of a superstition that darkened and dismayed man, until the printing-press and the reformation ensured his final enlightenment and emancipation.

Easter Eggs.

Another relic of the ancient times, are the eggs which pass about at Easter week under the name of pask, paste, or pace eggs. A communication introduces the subject at once.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

19th March, 1825

   A perusal of the Every-Day Book induces me to communicate the particulars of a custom still prevalent in some parts of Cumberland, although not as generally attended to as it was twenty or thirty years ago. I allude to the practice of sending reciprocal presents of eggs, at Easter, to the children of families respectively, betwixt whom any intimacy subsists. For some weeks preceding Good Friday the price of eggs advances considerably, from the great demand occasioned by the custom referred to.

The modes adopted to prepare the eggs for presentation are the following: there may be others which have escaped my recollection.

The eggs being immersed in hot water for a few moments, the end of a common tallow-candle is made use of to inscribe the names of individuals, dates of particular events, &c. The warmth of the egg renders this a very easy process. Thus inscribed, the egg is placed in a pan of hot water, saturated with cochineal, or other dye-woods; the part over which the tallow has been passed is impervious to the operation of the dye; and consequently when the egg is removed from the pan, there appears no discolouration of the egg where the inscription has been traced, but the egg presents a white inscription on a coloured ground. The colour of course depends upon the taste of the person who prepared the egg; but usually much variety of colour is made use of.

Another method of ornamenting "pace eggs" is, however, much neater, although more laborious, than that with the tallow-candle. The egg being dyed, it may be decorated in a very pretty manner, by means of a penknife, with which the dye may be scraped off, leaving the design white, on a coloured ground. An egg is frequently divided into compartments, which are filled up according to the taste and skill of the designer. Generally one compartment contains the name and (being young and unsophisticated) also the age of the party for whom the egg is intended. In another is, perhaps, a landscape; and sometimes a cupid is found lurking in a third: so that these "pace eggs" become very useful auxiliaries to the missives of St. Valentine. Nothing was more common in the childhood of the writer, than to see a number of these eggs preserved very carefully in the corner-cupboard; each egg being the occupant of a deep, long-stemmed ale-glass, through which the inscription could be read without removing it. Probably many of these eggs now remain in Cumberland, which would afford as good evidence of dates in a court of justice, as a tombstone or a family-bible.

It will be readily supposed that the majority of pace aggs are simply dyed; or dotted with tallow to present a pie-bald or bird's-eye appearance. These are designed for the junior boys who have not begun to participate in the pleasures of "a bended bow and quiver full of arrows;"—a flaming torch, or a heart and a true-lover's knot. These plainer specimens are seldom promoted to the dignity of the ale-glass or the corner-cupboard. Instead of being handed down to posterity they are hurled to swift destruction. In the process of dying they are boiled pretty hard— so as to prevent inconvenience if crushed in the hand or the pocket. But the strength of the shell constitutes the chief glory of a pace egg, whose owner aspires only to the conquest of a rival youth. Holding his egg in his hand he challenges a companion to give blow for blow. One of the eggs is sure to be broken, and its shattered remains are the spoil of the conqueror: who is instantly invested with the title of "a cock of one, two, three," &c. in proportion as it may have fractured his antagonist's eggs in the conflict. A successful egg, in a contest with one which had previously gained honours, adds to its number the reckoning of its vanquished foe. An egg which is a "cock" of ten or a dozen, is frequently challenged. A modern pugilist would call this a set-to for the championship. Such on the borders of the Solway Frith were the youthful amusements of Easter Monday.

Your very proper precaution, which requires the names of correspondents who transmit notices of local customs, is complied with by the addition of my name and address below. In publication I prefer to appear only as your constant reader. J. B.

A notice below, the editor hopes will be read and taken by the reader, for whose advantage it is introduced, in good part.*

[* Mr. J. B——, a native of Maryport in Cumberland, who obligingly communicates the above information respect pasch eggs in that county, has ensured the adoption of his letter by subscribing his name and address.

COMMUNICATIONS have been received in great numbers from anonymous correspondents, but the information many of them contain, however interesting or true, can never interest the readers of the Every-Day Book, for this reason, that information will not on any account be inserted, which is not verified by the contributor's name and residence: as every contributor may have his name inserted or not, as he pleases, so no one can object to satisfy the editor, that the facts communcated are from responsible sources. The precaution is necessary; and it may be proper to add, that all contributions with quotations from an "old book," "an excellent author," "a work of authority," and so forth, are useless, when contributors forget to mention the names and title pages.

This is the first time that a notice to correspondents has appeared within the columns of the Every-Day Book, and it is designed to be the last. Such intimations cannot be inserted without injury to the uniform appearance of the work; but they are printed on the wrappers of the Monthly Parts.

COMMUNICATIONS of local usages or customs, or other useful and agreeable particulars, are earnestly and respectfully solicited; and extracts, or permission to extract, from scarce works and original manuscripts, will be highly esteemed. The favours of correspondents with real names and addresses are obviously the most valuable, and will receive marked regard.


45, Ludgate-hill,
31st March, 1825.

Pasch eggs are to be found at Easter in different parts of the kingdom. A Liverpool gentleman informs the editor, that in that town and neighbourhood they are still common, and called paste eggs. One of his children brought to him a paste egg at Easter, 1824, beautifully mottled with brown. It had been purposely prepared for the child by the servant, by being boiled hard within the coat of an onion, which imparted to the shell the admired colour. Hard boiling is a chief requisite in preparing the pasch egg. In some parts they are variously coloured with the juices of different herbs, and played with by boys, who roll them on the grass, or toss them up for balls. Their more elegant preparation is already described by our obliging correspondent, J. B.

The terms pace, paste, or pasch, are derived from paschal, which is a name given to Easter from its being the paschal season. Four hundred eggs were bought for eighteen-pence in the time of Edward I., as appears by a royal roll in the tower; from whence it also appears they were purchased for the purpose of being boiled and stained, or covered with leaf gold, and afterwards distributed to the royal household at Easter. They were formerly consecrated, and the ritual of pope Paul V. for the use of England, Scotland, and Ireland, contains the form of consecration.* [Brand.] On Easter eve and Easter day, the heads of families sent to the church large chargers, filled with the hard boiled eggs, and there the "creature of eggs" became sacred by virtue of holy water, crossing and so on.

Ball. Bacon. Tansy Puddings.

Eating of tansy pudding is another custom at Easter derived from the Romish church. Tansy symbolized the bitter herbs used by the Jews at their paschal; but that the people might show a proper abhorrence of Jews, they ate from a gammon of bacon at Easter, as many still do in several country places, at this season, without knowing from whence this practice is derived. Then we have Easter ball-play, another ecclesiastical device, the meaning of which cannot be quite so clearly traced; but it is certain that the Romish clergy abroad played at ball in the church, as part of the service; and we find an archbishop joining in the sport. "A ball, not of size to be grasped by one hand only, being given out at Easter, the dean and his representatives began an antiphone, suited to Easter-day; then taking the ball in his left hand, he commenced a dance to the tune of the antiphone, the others dancing round hand in hand. At intervals, the ball was bandied or passed to each of the choristers. The organ played according to the dance and sport. The dancing and antiphone being concluded, the choir went to take refreshment. It was the privilege of the lord, or his locum tenens, to throw the ball; even the archbishop did it."† [Fosbroke's Brit. Monach. from Du Cange.] Whether the dignified clergy had this amusement in the English churches is not authenticated; but it seems that "boys used to claim hard, eggs, or small money, at Easter, in exchange for the ball-play before mentioned."* [Fosbroke's Brit. Monach. from Du Cange.] Brand cites the mention of a lay amusement at this season, wherein both tansy and ball-play is referred to.


At stool-ball, Lucia, let us play,
  For sugar, cakes, or wine.
Or for a tansy let us pay,
  The loss be thine or mine.
If thou, my dear, a winner be
  At trundling of the ball,
The wager thou shall have, and me,
  And my misfortunes all.


Also, from "Poor Robin's Almanack" for 1677, this Easter verse, denoting the sport at that season:

Young men and maids,
  Now very brisk,
At barley-break and
   Stool-ball frisk.

A ball custom now prevails annually at Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk. On Shrove Tuesday, Easter Monday, and the Whitsuntide festivals, twelve old women side off for a game at trap-and-ball, which is kept up with the greatest spirit and vigour until sunset. One old lady, named Gill, upwards of sixty years of age, has been celebrated as the "mistress of the sport" for a number of years past; and it affords much of the good old humour to flow round, whilst the merry combatants dextrously hurl the giddy ball to and fro. Afterwards they retire to their homes, where

"Voice, fiddle, or flute,
No longer is mute,"

and close the day with apportioned mirth and merriment.† [Communicated to the Every-Day Book by S. R.]

Corporations formerly went forth to play at ball at Easter. Both then and at Whitsuntide, the mayor, aldermen, and sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with a great number of the burgesses, went yearly to the Forth, or little mall of the town, with the mace, sword, and cap of maintenance, carried before them, and patronised the playing at hand-ball, dancing, and other amusements, and sometimes joined in the ball-play, and at others joined hands with the ladies.

There is a Cheshire proverb, "When the daughter is stolen, shut the Pepper-gate." This is founded on the fact that the mayor of Chester had his daughter stolen as she was playing at ball with other maidens in Pepper-street; the young man who carried her off, came through the Pepper-gate, and the mayor wisely ordered the gate to be shut up:* [Drake's Shakspeare, from Fullers Worthies.] agreeable to the old saying, and present custom agreeable thereto, "When the steed's stolen, shut the stable-door." Hereafter it will be seen that persons quite as dignified and magisterial as mayors and aldermen, could compass a holiday's sport and a merry-go-round, as well as their more humble fellow subjects.

Clipping the Church at Easter.

L. S., a Warwickshire correspondent, communicates this Easter custom to the Every-Day Book:

"When I was a child, as sure as Easter Monday came, I was taken 'to see the children clip the churches.' This ceremony was performed, amid crowds of people and shouts of joy, by the children of the different charity-schools, who at a certain hour flocked together for the purpose. The first comers placed themselves hand in hand with their backs against the church, and were joined by their companions, who gradually increased in number, till at last the chain was of sufficient length completely to surround the sacred edifice. As soon as the hand of the last of the train had grasped that of the first, the party broke up, and walked in procession to the other church, (for in those days Birmingham boasted but of two,) where the ceremony was repeated."

Old Easter Customs in Church.

In the celebration of this festival, the Romish church amused our forefathers by theatrical representations, and extraordinary dramatic worship, with appropriate scenery, machinery, dresses, and decorations. The exhibitions at Durham appear to have been conducted with great effect. In that cathedral, over our lady of Bolton's altar, there was a marvellous, lively, and beautiful image of the picture of our lady, called the lady of Bolton, which picture was made to open with gimmes, (or linked fastenings,) from the breast downward; and within the said image was wrought and pictured the image of our saviour marvellously finely gilt, holding up his hands, and betwixt his hands was a large fair crucifix of Christ, all of gold; the which crucifix was ordained to be taken forth every Good Friday, and every man did creep into it that was in the church at that time; and afterwards it was hung up again within the said image. Every principal day the said image of our lady of Bolton, was opened, that every man might see pictured within her, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, most curiously and finely gilt; and both the sides within her were very finely varnished with green varnish, and flowers of gold, which was a goodly sight for all the beholders thereof. On Good Friday, there was marvellous solemn service, in which service time, after the Passion was sung, two of the ancient monks took a goodly large crucifix, all of gold, of the picture of our saviour Christ nailed upon the cross, laying it upon a velvet cushion, having St. Cuthbert's arms upon it, all embroidered with gold, bringing it betwixt them upon the cushion to the lowest steps in the choir, and there betwixt them did hold the said picture of our saviour, sitting on either side of it. And then one of the said monks did rise, and went a pretty space from it, and setting himself upon his knees with his shoes put off, very reverently he crept upon his knees unto the said cross, and most reverently did kiss it; and after him the other monk did so likewise; and then they sate down on either side of the said cross, holding it betwixt them. Afterward, the prior came forth of his stall, and did sit him down upon his knees with his shoes off in like sort, and did creep also unto the said cross, and all the monks after him did creep one after another in the same manner and order; in the mean time, the whole choir singing a hymn. The service being ended, the said two monks carried the cross to the sepulchre with great reverence.* [Hone's Ancient Mysteries described, from Davie's Rites, &c.

The sepulchre was erected in the church near the altar, to represent the tomb wherein the body of Christ was laid for burial. At this tomb there was a grand performance on Easter-day. In some churches it was ordained, that Mary Magdalen, Mary of Bethany, and Mary of Naim, should be represented by three deacons clothed in dalmaticks and amesses, with their heads in the manner of women, and holding a vase in their hands. These performers came through the middle of the choir, and hastening towards the sepulchre, with downcast looks, said together this verse, "Who will remove the stone for us?" Upon this a boy, clothed like an angel, in albs, and holding a wheat ear in his hand, before the sepulchre, said, "Whom do you seek in the sepulchre?" The Maries answered "Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified." The boy-angel answered, "He is not here, but is risen;" and pointed to the place with his finger. The boy-angel departed very quickly, and two priests in tunics, sitting without the sepulchre, said, "Woman, whom do ye mourn for? Whom do ye seek?" the middle one of the women said, "Sir, if you have taken him away, say so." The priest, showing the cross, said, "They have taken away the Lord." The two sitting priests said, "Whom do ye seek, women?" The Maries, kissing the place, afterwards went from the sepulchre. In the mean time a priest, in the character of Christ, in an alb, with a stole, holding a cross, met them on the left horn of the altar, and said, "Mary!" Upon hearing this, the mock Mary threw herself at his feet, and, with a loud voice, cried Cabboin. The priest representing Christ replied, nodding, "Noli me tangere," touch me not. This being finished, he again appeared at the right horn of the altar, and said to them as they passed before the altar, "Hail! do not fear." This being finished, he concealed himself; and the women-priests, as though joyful at hearing this, bowed to the altar, and turning to the choir, sung "Alleluia, the Lord is risen." This was the signal for the bishop or priest before the altar, with the censer, to begin and sing aloud, Te Deum.* [Fosbroke's Brit. Monach. from Du Cange.]

The making of the sepulchre was a practice founded upon ancient tradition, that the second coming of Christ would be on Easter-eve; and sepulchre-making, and watching it, remained in England till the reformation. Its ceremonies varied in different places. In the abbey church of Durham it was part of the service upon Easter-day, betwixt three and four o'clock in the morning, for two of the eldest monks of the quire to come to the sepulchre, set up upon Good Friday after the Passion, which being covered with red velvet, and embroidered with gold, these monks, with a pair of silver censers, censed the sepulchre on their knees. Then both rising, went to the sepulchre, out of which they took a marvellous beautiful image of the resurrection, with a cross in the hand of the image of Christ, in the breast whereof was inclosed, in bright crystal, the host, so as to be conspicuous to the beholders. Then, after the elevation of the said picture, it was carried by the said two monks, upon a velvet embroidered cushion, the monks singing the anthem of Christus resurgens. They then brought it to the high altar, setting it on the midst thereof, and the two monks kneeling before the altar, censed it all the time that the rest of the quire were singing the anthem, which being ended, the two monks took up the cushion and picture from the altar, supporting it betwixt them, and proceeded in procession from the high altar to the south quire door, where there were four ancient gentlemen belonging to the quire, appointed to attend their coming, holding up a rich canopy of purple velvet, tasselled round about with red silk and gold fringe; and then the canopy was borne by these "ancient gentlemen," over the said images with the host carried by the two monks round the church, the whole quire following, with torches and great store of other lights; all singing, rejoicing, and praying, till they came to the high altar again; upon which they placed the said image, there to remain till Ascension-day, when another ceremony was used.

In Brand's "Antiquities," and other works, there are many items of expenses from the accounts of different church-books for making the sepulchre for this Easter ceremony. The old Register Book of the brethren of the Holy Trinity of St. Botolph without Aldersgate, now in the possession of the editor of the Every-Day Book, contains the following entries concerning the sepulchre in that church:— "Item, to the wexchaundler, for makyng of the Sepulcre light iii times, and of other dyvers lights that longyn to the trynite, in dyvers places in the chirche, lvii[superscript "s"]. 10 [superscript "d"]." In An. 17 Henry VI. there is another "Item, for xiii tapers unto the lyght about the Sepulcre, agenst the ffeste of Estern, weying lxxviii lb. of the wich was wasted xxii lb." &c. In Ann. 21 & 22 K. Henry VI. the fraternity paid for wax and for lighting of the sepulchre "both yers, xx[super "s"]. viii[super "d"]." and they gathered in those years for their sepulchre light, xlv[super "s"]. ix[super"d"]. This gathering was from the people who were present at the representation; and when the value of money at that time is considered, and also that on the same day every church in London had a sepulchre, each more or less attractive, the sum will not be regarded as despicable.

The only theatres for the people were churches, and the monks were actors; accordingly, at Easter, plays were frequently got up for popular amusement. Brand cites from the churchwardens' accounts of Reading, set forth in Coate's history of that town, several items of different sums paid for nails for the sepulchre; "for rosyn to the Resurrection play;" for setting up off poles for the scaffold whereon the plays were performed; for making "a Judas;" for the writing of the plays themselves; and for other expenses attending the "getting up" of the representations. Though the subjects exhibited were connected with the incidents commemorated by the festival, yet the most splendid shows must have been in those churches which performed the resurrection at the sepulchre with a full dramatis personæ of monks, in dresses according to the characters they assumed.

Mr. Fosbroke gives the "properties" of the sepulchre show belonging to St. Mary Redcliff's church at Bristol, from an original MS. in his possession formerly belonging to Chatterton, viz. "Memorandum:— That master Cannings hath delivered, the 4th day of July, in the year of our Lord 1470, to master Nicholas Pelles, vicar of Redclift, Moses Conterin, Philip Berthelmew, and John Brown, procurators of Redclift beforesaid, a new Sepulchre, well guilt with fine gold, and a civer thereto; an image of God Almighty rising out of the same Sepulchre, with all the ordinance that longeth thereto; that is to say, a lath made of timber and iron work thereto. Item, hereto longeth Heven, made of timber and stained cloths. Item, Hell made of timber and iron work thereto, with Devils the number of thirteen. Item, four knights armed, keeping the Sepulchre, with their weapons in their hands; that is to say, two spears, two axes, with two shields. Item, four pair of Angel's wings, for four Angels, made of timber, and well-painted. Item, the Fadre, the crown and visage, the ball with a cross upon it, well gilt with fine gold. Item, the Holy Ghost coming out of Heven into the Sepulchre. Item, longeth to the four Angels, four Perukes." The lights at the sepulchre shows, and at Easter, were of themselves a most attractive part of the Easter spectacle. The paschal or great Easter taper at Westminster Abbey was three hundred pounds' weight. Sometimes a large wax light called a serpent was used; its name was derived from its spiral form, it being wound round a rod. To light it, fire was struck from a flint consecrated by the abbot. The paschal in Durham cathedral was square wax, and reached to within a man's length of the roof, from whence this waxen enormity was lighted by "a fine convenience." From this superior light all others were taken. Every taper in the church was purposely extinguished in order that this might supply a fresh stock of consecrated light, till at the same season in the next year a similar parent torch was prepared.* [Fosbroke's Brit. Monach.]


Easter Monday and Tuesday, and Greenwich fair, are renowned as "holidays" throughout most manufactories and trades conducted in the metropolis. On Monday, Greenwich fair commences. The chief attraction to this spot is the park, wherein stands the Royal Observatory on a hill, adown which it is the delight of boys and girls to pull each other till they are wearied. Frequently of late this place has been a scene of rude disorder. But it is still visited by thousands and tens of thousands from London and the vicinity; the lowest join in the hill sports; others regale in the public-houses; and many are mere spectators, of what may be called the humours of the day.

On Easter Monday, at the very dawn of day, the avenues from all parts towards Greenwich give sign of the first London festival in the year. Working men and their wives; 'prentices and their sweethearts; blackguards and bullies; make their way to this fair. Pickpockets and their female companions go later. The greater part of the sojourners are on foot, but the vehicles for conveyance are unnumerable. The regular and irregular stages are, of course, full inside and outside. Hackney-coaches are equally well filled; gigs carry three, not including the driver; and there are countless private chaise-carts, public pony-chaises, and open accommodations [sic]. Intermingled with these, town-carts, usually employed in carrying goods, are now fitted up, with boards for seats; hereon are seated men, women, and children, till the complement is complete, which is seldom deemed the case till the horses are overloaded. Now and then passes, like "some huge admiral," a full-sized coal-waggon, laden with coal-heavers and their wives, and shadowed by spreading boughs from every tree that spreads a bough; these solace themselves with draughts of beer from a barrel aboard, and derive amusement from criticising walkers, and passengers in vehicles passing their own, which is of unsurpassing size. The six-mile journey of one of these machines is sometimes prolonged from "dewy morn" till noon. It stops to let its occupants see all that is to be seen on its passage; such as what are called the "Gooseberry fairs," by the wayside, whereat heats are run upon half-killed horses, or spare and patient donkeys. Here are the bewitching sounds to many a boy's ears of "A halfpenny ride O!" "A halfpenny ride O!"; upon that sum "first had and obtained," the immediately bestrided urchin has full right to "work and labour" the bit of life he bestraddles, for the full space or distance of fifty yards, there and back; the returning fifty being done within half time of the first. Then there is "pricking in the belt," an old exposed and still practised fraud. Besides this, there are numberless invitations to take "a shy for a halfpenny," at a "bacca box, full o' ha'pence," standing on a stick stuck upright in the earth at a reasonable distance for experienced throwers to hit, and therefore win, but which is a mine of wealth to the costermonger proprietor, from the number of unskilled adventurers.

Greenwich fair, of itself, is nothing; the congregated throngs are every thing, and fill every place. The hill of the Observatory, and two or three other eminences in the park, are the chief resort of the less experienced and the vicious. But these soon tire, and group after group succeeds till evening. Before then the more prudent visitors have retired to some of the numerous houses in the vicinage of the park, whereon is written, "Boiling water here," or "Tea and Coffee," and where they take such refreshment as these places and their own bundles afford, preparatory to their toil home after their pleasure.

At nightfall, "Life in London," as it is called, is found at Greenwich. Every room in every public-house is fully occupied by drinkers, smokers, singers and dancers, and the "balls" are kept up during the greater part of the night. The way to town is now an indescribable scene. The vehicles congregated by the visitors to the fair throughout the day resume their motion, and the living reflux on the road is dense to uneasiness. Of all sights the most miserable is that of the poor broken-down horse, who having been urged three times to and from Greenwich with a load thither of pleasure-seekers at sixpence per head, is now unable to return, for the fourth time, with a full load back, through whipped and lifted, and lifted and whipped, by a reasoning driver, who declares "the hoss did it last fair, and why shouldn't he do it again." The open windows of every house for refreshment on the road, and clouds of tobacco-smoke therefrom, declare the full stowage of each apartment, while jinglings of the bells, and calls "louder and louder yet," speak wants and wishes to waiters, who disobey the instructions of the constituent bodies that sent them to the bar. Now from the wayside booths fly out corks that let forth "pop" and "ginger-beer," and little party-coloured lamps give something of a joyous air to appearances that fatigure and disgust. Overwearied children cry before they have walked to the halfway house; women with infants in their arms pull along their tipsey well-beloveds, others endeavour to wrangle or drag them out of drinking rooms, and, until long after midnight, the Greenwich road does not cease to disgorge incongruities only to be rivalled by the figures and exhibitions in Dutch and Flemish prints.

While this turmoil, commonly called pleasure-taking, is going on, there is another order of persons to whom Easter affords real recreation. Not less inclined to unbend than the frequenters of Greenwich, they seek and find a mode of spending the holiday-time more rationally, more economically, and more advantageously to themselves and their families. With their partners and offspring they ride to some of the many pleasant villages beyond the suburbs of London, out of the reach of the harm and strife incident to mixing with noisy crowds. Here the contented groups are joined by relations or friends, who have appointed to meet them, in the quiet lanes or sunny fields of these delightful retreats. When requisite, they recruit from well-stored junket baskets, carried in turn; and after calmly passing several hours in walking and sauntering through the open balmy air of a spring-day, they sometimes close it by making a good comfortable teaparty at a respectable house on their way to town. Then a cheerful glass is ordered, each joins in merry conversation, or some one suspected of a singing face justifies the suspicion, and "the jocund song goes round," till, the fathers being reminded by the mothers, more than once possibly, that "it's getting late," they rise refreshed and happy, and go home. Such an assembly is composed of honest and industrious individuals, whose feelings and expressions are somewhat, perhaps, represented below.



We're independent men, with wives, and sweethearts, by our side,
We've hearts at rest, with health we're bless'd, and, being Easter tide,
We make our spring-time holiday, and take a bit of pleasure,
And gay as May, drive care away, and give to mirth our leisure.

It's for our good, that thus, my boys, we pass the hours that stray,
We'll have our frisk, without the risk of squabble or a fray;
Let each enjoy his pastime so, that, without fear or sorrow,
When all his fun is cut and run, he may enjoy to-morrow.

To-morrow may we happier be for happiness to-day,
That child or man, no mortal can, or shall, have it to say,
That we have lost both cash and time, and been of sense bereft,
For what we've spent we don't relent, we've time and money left.

And we will husband both, my boys, and husband too our wives;
May sweethearts bold, before they're old, be happy for their lives;
For good girls make good wives, my boys, and good wives make men better,
When men are just, and scorning trust, each man is no man's debtor.

Then at this welcome season, boys, let's welcome thus each other,
Each kind to each, shake hands with each, each be to each a brother;
Next Easter holiday may each again see flowers springing,
And hear birds sing, and sing himself, while merry bells are ringing.

The clear open weather during the Easter holidays in 1825, drew forth a greater number of London holiday keepers than the same season of many preceding years. They were enabled to indulge by the full employment in most branches of trade and manufacture; and if the period was spent not less merrily, it was enjoyed more rationally and with less excess than before was customary. Greenwich, though crowded, was not so abundant of boisterous rudeness. "It is almost the only one of the popular amusements that remains: Stepney, Hampstead, Westend, and Peckham fairs have been crushed by the police, that 'stern, rugged nurse' of national morality; and although Greenwich fair continues, it is any thing but what it used to be. Greenwich, however, will always have a charm: the fine park remains—trees, glades, turf, and the view from the observatory, one of the noblest in the world—before you the towers of these palaces built for a monarch's residence, now ennobled into a refuge from life's storms for the gallant defenders of their country, after their long and toilsome pilgrimage—then the noble river; and in the distance, amidst the din and smoke, appears the 'mighty heart' of this mighty empire; these are views worth purchasing at the expense of being obliged to visit Greenwich fair in this day of its decline. 'Punch' and his 'better half' seemed to be the presiding deities in the fair, so little of merriment was there to be found. In the park, however, the scene was different; it was nearly filled with persons of all ages: the young came there for amusement, to see and be seen—the old to pay their customary annual visit. On the hills was the usual array of telescopes; there were also many races, and many sovereigns in the course of the day changed hands on the event of them; but one race in particular deserves remark, not that there was any thing in the character, appearance, or speed of the competitors, to distinguish them from the herd of others; the circumstances in it that afforded amusement was the dishonesty of the stakeholder, who, as the parties had just reached the goal, scampered off with the stakes, amidst the shouts of the by-standers, and the ill-concealed chagrin of the two gentlemen who had foolishly committed their money to the hands of a stranger." * [British Press.]

According to annual custom on Easter Monday, the minor theatres opened on that day for the season, and were thronged, as usual, by spectators of novelties, which the Amphitheatre, the Surrey theatre, Sadler's-wells, and other places of dramatic entertainment, constantly get up for the holiday-folks. The scene of attraction was much extended, by amusements long before announced at distant suburbs. At half-past five on Monday afternoon, Mr. Green accompanied by one of his brothers, ascended in a balloon from the Eagle Tavern, the site of the still remembered "Shepherd and Shepherdess," in the City-road. "The atmosphere being extremely calm, and the sun shining brightly, the machine, after it had ascended to a moderate height, seemed to hang over the city for nearly half an hour, presenting a beautiful appearance, as its sides glistened with the beams of that orb, towards which it appeared to be conveying two of the inhabitants of a different planet." It descended near Ewell in Surrey. At a distance of ten miles from this spot, Mr. Graham, another aërial navigator, let off another balloon from the Star and Garter Tavern, near Kew-bridge. "During the preparations, the gardens began to fill with a motley company of farmers' families, and tradesmen from the neighbourhood, together with a large portion of city folks, and a small sprinkle of some young people of a better dressed order. The fineness of the day gave a peculiar interest to the scene, which throughout was of a very lively description. Parties of ladies, sweeping the 'green sward,' their gay dresses, laughing eyes, and the cloudless sky, make every thing look gay. Outside, it was a multitude, as far as the eye could see on one side. The place had the appearance of a fair, booths and stalls for refreshments being spread out, as upon these recreative occasions. Carts, drays, coaches, and every thing which could enable persons the better to overlook the gardens, were put into eager requisition, and every foot of resting-room upon Kew-bridge had found an anxious and curious occupant. In the mean time, fresh arrivals were taking place from all directions, but the clouds of dust which marked the line of the London-road, in particular, denoted at once the eagerness and numbers of the new comers. A glimpse in that direction showed the pedestrians, half roasted with the sun, and half suffocated with the dust, still keeping on their way towards the favoured spot. About five o'clock, Mr. Graham having seated himself in the car of his vehicle, gave the signal for committing the machine to its fate, She swung in the wind for a moment, but suddenly righting, shot up in a directly perpendicular course, amidst the stunning shout of the assembled multitude, Mr. Graham waving the flags and responding to their cheers. Nothing could be more beautiful than the appearance of the balloon at the distance of about a mile from the earth, for from reflecting back the rays of the sun, it appeared a solid body of gold suspended in the air. It continued in sight nearly an hour and a half; and the crowd, whose curiosity had brought them together, had not entirely dispersed from the gardens before seven o'clock. On the way home they were gratified with the sight of Mr. Green's balloon, which was seen distinctly for a considerable time along the Hammersmith-road. The shadows of evening were lengthening, and

     —— midst falling dew,
  While glow the Heavens with the last steps of day,
Far through their rosy depths it did pursue
  Its solitary way." * [Morning Herald.]


In London, on Easter Monday and Tuesday, the Spital Sermons are preached. "On Easter Monday, the boys of Christ's Hospital walk in procession, accompanied by the masters and steward, to the Royal Exchange, from whence they proceed to the Mansion-house, where they are joined by the lord mayor, the lady mayoress, the sheriffs, aldermen, recorder, chamberlain, town clerk, and other city officers, with their ladies. From thence the cavalcade proceeds to Christ church, where the Spital Sermon is preached, always by one of the bishops, and an anthem sung by the children. His lordship afterwards returns to the Mansion-house, where a grand civic entertainment is prepared, which is followed by an elegant ball in the evening.

On Easter Tuesday, the boys again walk in procession to the Mansion-house, but, instead of the masters, they are accompanied by the matron and nurses. On Monday, they walk in the order of the schools, each master being at the head of the school over which he presides; and the boys in the mathematical school carry their various instruments. On Tuesday, they walk in the order of the different wards, the nurses walking at the head of the boys under her immediate care. On their arrival at the Mansion-house, they have the honour of being presented individually to the lord mayor, who gives to each boy a new sixpence, a glass of wine, and two buns. His lordship afterwards accompanies them to Christ church, where the service is the same as on Monday. The sermon is on Tuesday usually preached by his lordship's chaplain."* [Wilson's History of Christ's Hospital.]

The most celebrated Spital Sermon of our times, was that preached by the late Dr. Samuel Parr, upon Easter Tuesday, 1800, against "the eager desire of paradox; the habit of contemplating a favourite topic in one distinct and vivid point of view, while it is disregarded under all others; a fondness for simplicity on subjects too complicated in their inward structure on their external relations, to be reduced to any single and uniform principle;" and against certain speculations on "the motives by which we are impelled to do good to our fellow creatures, and adjusting the extent to which we are capable of doing it." This sermon induced great controversy, and much misrepresentation. Few of those who condemned it, read it; and many justified their ignorance of what they detracted, by pretending they could not waste their time upon a volume of theology. This excuse was in reference to its having been printed in quarto, though the sermon itself consists of only about four and twenty pages. The notes are illustrations of a discourse more highly intellectual than most of those who live have heard or read. † [Archdeacon Butler had been selected by Dr. Parr to pronounce the last appointed words over his remains, and he justified the selection. Dr. Butler's sermon at the funeral of Dr. Parr, has the high merit of presenting a clear outline of this great man's character, and from its pages these passages are culled and thrown together. "His learning was the most profound, and the most varied and extensive, of any man of his age. He has left a chasm in the literature of his country, which none of us shall ever see filled up. As a classical scholar he was supreme—deeply versed in history, especially that of his own country; in metaphysics and moral philosophy not to be excelled; in theology he had read more extensively and thought more deeply, than most of those who claim the highest literary fame in that department. He was well read in controversy, though he loved not controversialists; for his benevolent and tolerating spirit was shocked by any thing like rancour among men who believe a gospel of love, and worship a God of love, and yet can let loose the malignant and vindictive passions, in their religious disputes, against each other. In politics his ardent love of freedom, his hatred of oppression, and his invincible spirit, joined to the most disinterested and incorruptible integrity, and the most resolute independence, even in the days of poverty and privation, made him always a prominent and conspicuous character. Caution he despised, it was not a part of his noble and fearless nature. What he thought greatly, he uttered manfully; and such a mighty master of language when speaking or writing on civil and religious liberty, carried away his hearers with the same resistless torrent of eloquence by which himself was swept along." Such is the testimony to Dr. Parr's talents, by one "differing from him on many political points, and on some theological questions." More to the same effect might be adduced on the same competent authority; but, if the preacher, like him of whom he discoursed, "loved his friend well, he loved truth better;" and hence Dr. Butler has honestly and faithfully sketched a few inconsiderable weaknesses, which, to a correct judgment, enlarge the nobility, and heighten the splendour of Dr. Parr's heart and mind. Undeviating eulogy is praiseless praise.

The Spital Sermon derives its name from the priory and hospital of "our blessed Lady, St. Mary Spital," situated on the east side of Bishopsgate-street, with fields in the rear, which now form the suburb, called Spitalfields. This hospital founded in 1197, had a large churchyard with a pulpit cross, from whence it was an ancient custom on Easter Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, for sermons to be preached on the Resurrection before the lord mayor, aldermen, sheriffs, and others who sat in a house of two stories for that purpose; the bishop of London and other prelates being above them. In 1594, the pulpit was taken down and a new one set up, and a large house for the governors and children of Christ's Hospital to sit in.* [Stowe.] In April 1559, queen Elizabeth came in great state from St. Mary Spital, attended by a thousand men in harness, with shirts of mail and croslets, and morris pikes, and ten great pieces carried through London unto the court, with drums, flutes, and trumpets sounding, and two morris dancers, and two white bears in a cart.† [Maitland.] On Easter Monday, 1617, king James I. having gone to Scotland, the archbishop of Canterbury, the lord keeper Bacon, the bishop of London, and certain other lords of the court and privy counsellors attended the Spital Sermon, with sir John Lemman, the lord mayor, and aldermen; and afterwards rode home and dined with the lord mayor at his house near Billingsgate. [double dagger][Stowe.] The hospital itself was dissolved under Henry VIII.; the pulpit was broken down during the troubles of Charles I.; and after the restoration, the sermons denominated Spital Sermons were preached at St. Bride's church, Fleet-street, on the three usual days. A writer of the last century * [Ned Ward in his Dancing School.] speaks of "a room being crammed as full of company, as St. Bride's church upon the singing a Spittle psalm at Easter, or an anthem on Cicelia's day," but within the last thirty years the Spital Sermons have been removed to Christ church, Newgate-street, where they are attended by the lord mayor, the aldermen, and the governors of Christ's, St. Bartholomew's, St. Thomas's, Bridewell, and Bethlem Hospitals; after the sermon, it is the usage to read a report of the number of children, and other persons maintained and relieved in these establishments. In 1825, the Spital Sermon on Easter Monday was preached by the bishop of Gloucester, and the psalm sung by the children of Christ's Hospital was composed by the rev. Arthur William Trollope, D. D. head classical master. It is customary for the prelate on this occasion, to dine with the lord mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen at the Mansion-house. Hereafter there will be mention of similar invitations to the dignified clergy, when they discourse before the civic authorities. In 1766, bishop Warburton having preached before the corporation, dined with the lord mayor, and was somewhat facetious: "Whether," says Warburton, "I made them wiser than ordinary at Bow (church,) I cannot tell. I certainly made them merrier than ordinary at the Mansion-house; where we were magnificently treated. The lord mayor told me—'The common council were much obliged to me, for that this was the first time he ever heard them prayed for;' I said, 'I considered them as a body who much needed the prayers of the church.'"† [Letters from a late eminent prelate.]

An Easter Tale.

Under this title a provincial paper gives the following detail:— In Roman catholic countries it is a very ancient custom for the preacher to divert his congregation in due season with what is termed a Fabula Paschalis, an Eastern Tale, which was becomingly received by the auditors with peals of Easter laughter. During Lent the good people had mortified themselves, and prayed so much that at length they began to be rather discontented and ill-tempered; so that the clergy deemed it necessary to make a little fun from the pulpit for them and thus give as it were the first impulse towards the revival of mirth and cheerfulness. This practice lasted till the 17th and in many places till the 18th century. Here follows a specimen of one of these tales, extracted from a truly curious volume, the title of which may be thus rendered:— Moral and Religious Journey to Bethlem: consisting of various Sermons for the safe guidance of all strayed, converted, and misled souls, by the Rev. Father ATTANASY, of Dilling. "Christ our Lord was journeying with St. Peter, and had passed through many countries. One day he came to a place where there was no inn, and entered the house of a blacksmith. This man had a wife, who paid the utmost respect to strangers, and treated them with the best that her house would afford. When they were about to depart, our Lord and St. Peter wished her all that was good, and heaven into the bargain. Said the woman, 'Ah! if I do but go to heaven, I care for nothing else.'—'Doubt not,' said St. Peter, 'for it would be contrary to scripture if thou shouldest not go to heaven. Let what will happen, thou must go thither. Open thy mouth. Did I not say so? Why, thou canst not be sent to hell, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, for thou hast not a tooth left in thy head. Thou art safe enough; be of good cheer.' Who was so overjoyed as the good woman? Without doubt, she took another cup on the strength of this assurance. But our Lord was desirous to testify his thanks to the man also, and promised to grant him four wishes. 'Well,' said the smith, 'I am heartily obliged to you, and wish that if any one climbs up the pear-tree behind my house, he may not be able to get down again without my leave.' This grieved St. Peter not a little, for he thought that the smith ought rather to have wished for the kingdom of heaven; but our Lord, with his wonted kindness, granted his petition. The smith's next wish was, that if any one sat down upon his anvil, he might not be able to rise without his permission; and the third, that if any one crept into his old flue, he might not have power to get out without his consent. St. Peter said, 'Friend smith, beware what thou dost. These are all wishes that can bring thee no advantage; be wise, and let the remaining one be for everlasting life with the blessed in heaven.' The smith was not to be put out of his way, and thus proceeded: 'My fourth wish is, that my green cap may belong to me for ever, and that whenever I sit down upon it, no power or force may be able to drive me away.' This also received the fiat. Thereupon our Lord went his way with Peter, and the smith lived some years longer with his old woman. At the end of this time grim death appeared, and summoned him to the other world. 'Stop a moment,' said the smith; 'let me just put on a clean shirt, meanwhile you may pick some of the pears on yonder tree.' Death climbed up the tree; but he could not get down again; he was forced to submit to the smith's terms, and promised him a respite of twenty years before he returned. When the twenty years were expired, he again appeared, and commanded him in the name of the Lord and St. Peter to go along with him. Said the smith, 'I know Peter too. Sit down a little on my anvil, for thou must be tired; I will just drink a cup to cheer me, and take leave of my old woman, and be with thee presently. But death could not rise again from his seat, and was obliged to promise the smith another delay of twenty years. When these had elapsed, the devil came, and would fain have dragged the smith away by force. 'Holla, fellow!' said the latter; 'that won't do. I have other letters, and whiter than thou, with thy black carta-bianca. But if thou art such a conjuror as to imagine that thou has any power over me, let us see if thou canst get into this old rusty flue.' No sooner said than the devil slipped onto the flue. The smith and his men put the flue into the fire, then carried it to the anvil, and hammered away at the old-one most unmercifully. He howled, and begged and prayed; and at last promised that he would have nothing to do with the smith to all eternity, if he would but let him go. At length the smith's guardian-angel made his appearance. The business was now serious. He was obliged to go; the angel conducted him to hell. The devil, whom he had so terribly belaboured, was just then attending the gate; he looked out at the little window, but quckly shut it again, and would have nothing to do with the smith. The angel then conducted him to the gate of heaven. St. Peter refused to admit him. 'Let me just peep in, said the smith, 'that I may see how it looks within there.' No sooner was the wicket opened than the smith threw in his cap, and said, 'Thou knowest it is my property, I must go and fetch it.' Then slipping past, he clapped himself down upon it, and said, 'Now I am sitting on my own property; I should like to see who dares drive me away from it.' So the smith got into heaven at last.'* [Salisbury Gazette, January 8, 1818.]



There is a remarkable notice by Dr. E. D. Clarke, the traveller, respecting a custom in the Greek islands. He says, "A circumstance occurs annually at Rhodes which deserves the attention of the literary traveller: it is the ceremony of carrying Silenus in procession at Easter. A troop of boys, crowned with garlands, draw along, in a car, a fat old man, attended with great pomp. I unfortunately missed bearing testimony to this remarkable example, among many others which I have witnessed, of the existence of pagan rites in popular superstitions. I was informed of the fact by Mr. Spurring, a naval architect, who resided at Rhodes, and Mr. Cope, a commissary belonging to the British army; both of whom had seen the procession. The same ceremony also takes place in the island of Scio." It is only necessary here to mention the custom, without adverting to its probable origin. According to ancient fable, Silenus was son to Pan, the god of shepherds and huntsmen; other accounts represent him as the son of Mercury, and foster-father of Bacchus. He is usually described as a tipsey old wine-bibber; and one story of him is, that having lost his way in his cups, and being found by some peasants, they brought him to king Midas, who restored him "to the jolly god" Bacchus, and that Bacchus, grateful for the favour, conferred on Midas the power of turning whatever he touched into gold. Others say that Silenus was a grave philosopher, and Bacchus an enterprising young hero, a sort of Telemachus, who took Silenus for his Mentor and adopted his wise counsels. The engraving is after an etching by Worlidge from a sardonyx gem in the possession of the duke of Devonshire.

April 6.


St. Sixtus I. Pope, 2d Cent. 120 Persian Martyrs, A.D. 345. St. Celestine, Pope, A.D. 432. St. William, Abbot of Eskille, A.D. 1203. St. Prudentius, Bp. A.D. 861. St. Celsus, in Irish Ceallach Abp. A.D. 1129.


1348. Laura de Noves died. She was born in 1304, and is celebrated for having been beloved by Petrarch, and for having returned his passion by indifference. He fostered his love at Vaucluse, a romantic spot, wherein he had nothing to employ him but recollection of her charms, and imagination of her perfections. These he immortalized in sonnets while she lived; Petrarch survived her six and thirty years.

Francis I., who compared a court without ladies to a spring without flowers, caused Laura's tomb to be opened, and threw verses upon her remains complimentary to her beauty, and the fame she derived from her lover's praises.

1803. Colonel Montgomery and captain Macnamara quarrelled and fought a duel at Primrose-hill, because their dogs quarrelled and fought in Hyde-park. Captain Macnamara received colonel Montgomery's ball in the hip, and colonel Montgomery received captain Macnamara's ball in the heart. This exchange of shots being according to the laws of duelling and projectiles, Colonel Montgomery died on the spot. Captain Macnamara was tried at the Old Bailey, and, as a man of honour, was acquitted by a jury of men of honour. The laws of England and the laws of christianity only bind honourable men; men of honour govern each other by the superior power of sword and pistol. The humble suicide is buried with ignominy in a cross road, and a finger-post marks his grave for public scorn; the proud and daring duellist reposes in a christian grave beneath marble, proud and daring as himself.


Starch Hyacinth. Hyacinthus racemosus.
Dedicated to St. Sixtus I.

April 7.

St. Aphraates, 4th Cent. St. Hegesippus, A.D. 180. St. Aibert, A.D. 1140. B. Herman Joseph, A.D. 1226. St. Finan of Keann-Ethich.


1520. Raphael d'Urbino died on the anniversary of his birth-day which was in 1483.

1807. Lalande, the astronomer, died at Paris, aged 70.


Wood Anemony. Anemone Nemorosa.
Dedicated to St. Aphraates.

April 8.

St. Dionysius, Bp. of Corinth, 2d Cent. St. Ædesius, A.D. 306. St. Perpetuus, Bp. A.D. 491. St. Walter, Abbot, A.D. 1099. B. Albert. Patriarch of Jerusalem, A.D. 1214.


1341. The expression of Petrarch's passion for Laura, gained him such celebrity, that he had a crown of laurels placed upon his head, in the metropolis of the papacy, amidst cries from the Roman people, "Long live the poet!"

1364. John, king of France, who had been brought prisoner to England by Edward, the Black Prince, in his captivity, died at the Savoy-palace, in the Strand.


Ground Ivy. Glecoma hederacea.
Dedicated to St. Dionysius.

April 9.

St. Mary of Egypt, A.D. 421. The Massylitan Martyrs in Africa. St. Eupsychius. The Roman Captives, Martyrs in Persia, year of Christ 362, of Sapor 53. St. Waltrude, or Vautrude, commonly called Vaudru, Widow, A.D. 686. St. Gaucher, or Gautier, Abbot, A.D. 1130. St. Dotto, Abbot.


1483. The great lord Bacon died, aged 66. He fell from distinguished station to low estate, by having cultivated high wisdom at the expense of every day wisdom. "Lord Bacon," says Rushworth, "Was eminent over all the christian world for his many excellent writings. He was no admirer of money, yet he had the unhappiness to be defiled therewith. He treasured up nothing for himself, yet died in debt." His connivance at the bribery of his servants made them his master and wrought his ruin. The gifts of suitors in the chancery rendered him suspected, but his decrees were so equitable that no one was ever reversed for its injustice.

Let him who lacking wisdom desires to know, and who willing to be taught will patiently learn, make himself master of "Bacon's Essays." It is a book more admired than read, and more read than understood, because of higher thought than most readers dare to compass. He who has achieved the "Essays" has a master-key to Bacon's other works, and consequently every department of English literature.

1747. Lord Lovat was executed on Tower-hill, for high treason, at the age of 90. He was a depraved, bad man; and the coolness with which he wrought his profligate purposes, throughout and abandoned life, he carried to the scaffold.

1807. John Opie, the artist, died. He was born in Cornwall in 1761; self-taught in his youth he attained to high rank as an English historical painter, and at his death was professor of painting at the royal Academy.


Red Polyanthus. Primula polyantha rubra.
Dedicated to St. Mary.

April 10.

St. Bademus, Abbot, A.D. 376. B. Mechtildes, Virgin and Abbess, after 1300.


The Sunday after Easter-day is called Low Sunday, because it is Easter-day repeated, with the church-service somewhat abridged or lowered in the ceremony from the pomp of the festival the Sunday before.


Pale Violet. Viola Tonbrigens
Dedicated to St. Mechtildes.

April 11.

St. Leo the Great, Pope, A.D. 461. St. Antipas. St. Guthlake, A.D. 714. St. Maccai, Abbot. St. Aid of Eacharaidh, Abbot.


1713. The celebrated peace of Utrecht was concluded, and with it concluded the twelve years' war for the succession to the throne of Spain.


Dandelion. Taraxacum Dens Leonis.
Dedicated to St. Leo.

April 12.

St. Sabas, A.D. 372. St. Zeno, Bp. A.D. 380. St. Julius, Pope, A.D. 352. St. Victor, of Braga.


65. Seneca, the philosopher, a native of Corduba in Spain, died at Rome, in the fifty-third year of his age. His moral writings have secured lasting celebrity to his name. He was preceptor to Nero, who, in the wantonness of power when emperor, sent an order to Seneca to destroy himself. The philosopher complied by opening his veins and taking poison. During these operations he conversed calmly with his friends, and his blood flowing languidly he caused himself to be placed in a hot bath, till Nero's soldiers becoming clamorous for quicker extinction of his life, it was necessary to carry him into a stove and suffocated him by steam.* [Lempriere.] A distinguished French writer † [Bayle, Art. Pericles, note.] quotes a passage from Seneca remarkable for its christian spirit; but this passage is cited at greater length by a living English author, [double dagger] [Dr. John Jones, "On the Truth of the Christian eligion." (sic)] in order to show that Seneca was acquainted with christian principles, and in reality a christian.

We may almost be sure that it was impossible for Paul to have preached "in his own hired house," at Rome, without Seneca having been attracted thither as an auditor, and entered into personal communication with the apostle. There exists a written correspondence said to have passed between Paul and Seneca, which, so far as regards Seneca's epistles, many learned men have supposed genuine.


While Nero followed Seneca's advice, Rome enjoyed tranquillity. This emperor, who was tyrannical to a proverb, commenced his reign by acts of clemency, his sole object seemed to be the good of his people. When required to sign a list of malefactors, authorizing their execution, he exclaimed, "I wish to heaven I could not write." He rejected flatterers; and when the senate commended the justice of his government, he desired them to keep their praises till he deserved them. Such conduct and sentiments were worthy the pupil of Seneca, and the Romans imagined their happiness secure. But Nero's sensual and tyrannical disposition, which had been repressed only for a time, soon broke forth in acts of monstrous cruelty. He caused his mother Agrippa to be assassinated, and divorced his wife Octavia, whom he banished to Campania. The people, enraged at his injustice toward the empress, so openly expressed their indignation that he was compelled to recall her, and she returned to the capital amidst shouts of exultation.

The Empress Octavia's return from Exile

The Empress Octavia's return from Exile.

The popular triumph was of short duration. Scarcely had Octavia resumed her rank, when Nero, under colour of a false and infamous charge, again banished her. Never exile filled the hearts of the beholders with more affecting compassion. The first day of Octavia's nuptials was commencement of her funeral. She was brought under a sad and dismal roof, from whence here father and brother had been carried off by poison. Though a wife, she was treated as a slave, and now she suffered the imputation of a crime more piercing than death itself. Add to this, she was a tender girl in the twentieth year of her age, surrounded by officers and soldiery devoted to her husband's will, and whom she viewed as sad presages of his ferocious purposes. Almost bereft of life by her fears, and yet unwilling to surrender herself to the rest of the grave, she passed the interval of a few days in unspeakable terror. At length it was announced to her that she must die; but while she implored that at least her life might be spared, and conjured Nero to remember the relationship which before marriage they had borne to each other, by descent from a revered ancestor, she only exemplified the utter inefficacy of crouching to a truculent tyrant. Her appeals were answered by the seizure of her person, and the binding of her limbs; her veins were opened, but her blood, stagnant through fear, issued slowly, and she was stifled in the steam of a boiling bath. "For this execution the senate decreed gifts and oblations to the temples; a circumstance," says Tacitus, "which I insert with design, that whoever shall, from me or any other writer, learn the events of those calamitous times, he may hold it for granted, that as often as sentences of murder and banishment were pronounced by the prince, so often were thanksgivings by the fathers paid to the deities." Every decree of the senate was either a new flight of flattery, or the dregs of excessive tameness and servitude.

Nero and the Roman Senate.

Nero and the Roman Senate.

From this moment Nero butchered without distinction all he pleased, upon any idle pretence, and after an indiscriminate slaughter of men signal in name and quality, he became possessed with a passion to hew down virtue itself. His crimes would be incredible if they were not so enormous that it is scarcely possible imagination could invent atrocities of so foul a nature. He had attained to such indulgence in bloodshed, that the dagger itself was dedicated by him in the capitol, and inscribed to Jupiter Vindex, Jove the Avenger. Yet to this monster one of the consuls elect proposed that a temple should be raised at the charge of the state, and consecrated to the deified Nero as to one who soared above mortality, and was therefore entitled to celestial worship. This, though designed as a compliment to the tyrant, was construed into an omen of his fate, "since to princes," says Tacitus, "divine honours are never paid till they have finally forsaken all commerce with men," or, in other words, have ceased to be useful to them. Suetonius relates, that somebody in conversation saying, "When I am dead let fire devour the world"— "Nay," rejoined Nero, "let it be whilst I am living;" and then he set Rome on fire, in so barefaced a manner, that many of the consular dignitaries detected the incendiaries with torches and tow in their own houses, and dared not touch them because they were officers of Nero's bedchamber. The fire, during six days and seven nights, consumed a prodigious number of stately buildings, the public temples, and every thing of antiquity that was remarkable and worthy of preservation. The common people were driven by this conflagration to the tombs and monuments for shelter; and Nero himself beheld the flames from a tower on the top of Mæcenas's house, and sung a ditty on the destruction of Troy, in the dress which he used to perform in on the public stage. This atrocious want of feeling occasioned the saying— "Nero fiddled while Rome was burning." To divert the hideousness of this crime from himself, he transferred the guilt to the Christians. To their death and torture were added cruel derision and sport; "for," says Tacitus, "either they were disguised in the skins of savage beasts, and exposed to expire by the teeth of devouring dogs; or they were hoisted up alive and nailed to crosses; or wrapt in combustible vestments, and set up as torches, that when the day set, they might be kindled to illuminate the night." For this tragical spectacle Nero lent his own gardens, and exhibited at the same time the public diversions of the circus, sometimes driving a chariot in person, and at intervals standing as a spectator amongst the vulgar in the habit of a charioteer; and hence towards the miserable sufferers popular commiseration arose, as for people who were doomed to perish to gratify the bloody spirit of one man. At length, while plotting new and uncommon barbarities, an insurrection broke out amongst the troops, and the senate, who had truckled to his wishes, and made him a tyrant by submitting to be slaves, took heart and issued a decree against him. He committed suicide, under circumstances of such mental imbecility, that his death was as ludicrous as his life was horrible.

1765. Dr. Edward Young, author of the "Night Thoughts," died.

1782. Admiral Rodney defeated the French fleet under count de Grasse, in the West Indies.

1814. A general illumination in London, on three successive nights, for the termination of the war with France.


Great Saxifrage. Saxifraga crassifolia.
Dedicated to St. Zeno.

An Epitaph.

(Written on a chimney-board.)

Here lie entombed
of a
in his youth it is confessed
discovered some sparks
of a light and volatile nature,
but was in maturity
of a steady and a grateful disposition
and diffusive benevolence.
Though naturally of a warm temper,
and easily stirred up,
yet was he a shining example
of fervent and unreserved benignity.
For though he might have been
the most dangerous and dreadful
of enemies,
yet was he the best and warmest of
Nor did he ever look cool
even on his worst foes,
though his friends too often,
and shamefully indeed,
turned their backs upon him.
Oh! undeserving and licentious times,
when such illustrious examples
are wantonly made light of!
Such resplendent virtue
basely blown upon!
Though rather a promoter of a cheerful glass
in others,
and somewhat given to smoking,
yet was he himself never seen
in liquor,
which was his utter abhorrence.
which ruins most constitutions,
was far from spoiling his,
though it often threw him
into inflammatory disorders.
His days, which were short,
were ended by a gentle decay,
his strength wasted,
and his substance spent.
A temporal period
was put to his finite existence,
which was more immediately effected
by his being seized
with a severe cold,
and no help administered,
in some of the warm days
of the fatal month of
His loss and cheerful influence
are often and feelingly regretted
by his sincere admirers,
who erected this monument
in memory
of his endearing virtue,
till that grateful and appointed day,
the dormant powers
of his more illustrious nature
shall be again called forth:
inflamed with ardour,
and with resplendence crowned,
he shall again rise
songs of joy and triumph
o'er the grave.

April 13.

Oxford and Cambridge Terms begin.

St. Hermengild, Martyr, A.D. 586. St. Guinoch, about 838. St. Caradoc, A.D. 1124.


1517. Cairo taken by the sultan Selim, who thus became sole master of Egypt.

1748. The rev. Christopher Pitt, translator of Virgil, died at Blandford in Dorsetshire, where he was born in 1699.

1814. Charles Burney, Mus, D. F. R. S. &c. author of the "History of Music," and other works, which stamp his literary ability, and his scientific character as a musician, died at Chelsea, aged 88.


A good-humoured jeu d'esprit, intended to produce nothing but corresponding good humour in the persons whose names are mentioned, appeared in The Times on the 25th of January, 1816. This being the first day of Cambridge Term, the "freshmen" who have seen recent imitations may be much amused by perusal of the original witticism.

Parody of a Cambridge Examination.


1. Give a comparative sketch of the principal English theatres, with the dates of their erection, and the names of the most eminent candle-snuffers at each. What were the stage-boxes? What were the offices of prompter—ballet-master—and scene-shifter? In what part of the theatre was the one-shilling gallery? Distinguish accurately between operas and puppet-shows.

2. Where was Downing-street? Who was prime-minister when Cribb defeated Molineux—and where did the battle take place? Explain the terms milling—figging—cross buttock—neck and crop—bang up—and—prime.

3. Give the dates of all the parliaments from their first institution to the period of the hard frost on the Thames. In what month of what year was Mr. Abbot elected Speaker? Why was he called "the little man in the wig?" When the Speaker was out of the chair, where was the mace put?

4. Enumerate the principal houses of call in and about London, marking those of the Taylors, Bricklayers, and Shoemakers, and stating from what Brewery each house was supplied with Brown Stout. Who was the tutelary Saint of the Shoemakers? At what time was his feast celebrated? Who was Saint Swithin? Do you remember any remarkable English proverb respecting him?

5. Give a ground plan of Gilead-house. Mention the leading topics of the Guide to Health, with some account of the Anti-Impetigines—Daffy's Elixir—Blaine's Distemper Powders—Ching's Worm Lozenges—and Hooper's Female Pills.

6. Give characters of Wat Tyler, Jack Cade, and sir Francis Burdett. Did the latter return from the Tower by water or land? On what occasion did Mr. Lethbridge's "hair stand on ind"? Correct the solecism, and give the reason of your alteration.

7. Enumerate the roads on which double toll was taken on the Sundays. Did this custom extend to Christmas-day and Good Friday? Who was toll-taker at Tyburn, when Mrs. Brownrigg was executed?

8. Distinguish accurately between Sculls and Oars—Boat, and Punt—Jackass, and Donkey—Gauger, Exciseman, and Supervisor—Pantaloons, Trowsers, Gaiters, and Over-alls.— At what place of education were any of these forbidden? Which? and Why?

9. Express the following words in the Lancashire, Derbyshire, London, and Exmoor dialects—Bacon—Poker—You—I—Doctor—and Turnpike-gate.

10. Mention the principal Coach Inns in London, with a correct list of the Coaches which set out from the Bolt-in-Tun. Where were the chief stands of Hackney Coaches?—and what was the No. of that in which the Princess Charlotte drove to Connaught-house? To what stand do you suppose this removed after it set her down?

11. Give a succinct account, with dates, of the following persons—Belcher— Mr. Waithman—Major Cartwright—Martin Van Butchell— and Edmund Henry Barker.

12. Draw a Map of the Thames with the surrounding country, marking particularly Wapping, Blackwall, Richmond, and the Isle of Dogs. Distinguish between Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Newcastle-under-Line — Gloucester and Double Gloucester — and the two Richmonds. What celebrated teacher flourished at one of them?—and who were his most eminent disciples?

13. What were the various sorts of paper in use amongst the English? To what purpose was whited-brown chiefly applied? What was size? Distinguish between this and ordinary expense of papering a room.

14. "For every one knows little Matt's an M. P." Frag. Com. Inc. ap. Morn. Chron. vol. 59, p. 1624.
What reasons can you assign for the general knowledge of this fact? Detail at length, the ceremony of chairing a Member. What were the Hustings? Who paid for them? Explain the abbreviations — Matt. M.P. — Tom — Dick — F. R. S. — L. L. D. — and A. S. S.

15. What was the distinguishing title of the Mayors of London? Did any other city share the honour? Give a list of the Mayors of London from Sir Richard Whittington to Sir William Curtis, with an account of the Cat of the first, and the Weight of the last. What is meant by Lord Mayor's day? Describe the Apothecaries' Barge, and give some account of Marrow-bones and Cleavers.

16. When was Spyring and Marsden's Lemon Acid invented? Distinguish between this and Essential Salt of Lemons. Enumerate the principal Patentees, especially those of Liquid Blacking.

17. Scan the followng lines—
      But for shaving and tooth-drawing,
      Bleeding, cabbaging and sawing,
    Dicky Gossip, Dicky Gossip is the man!
What is known of the character and history of Dicky Gossip?


Green Narcisse. Narcissus Viridiflorus.
Dedicated to St. Hermenigild.

April 14.

Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus, A.D. 229. Sts. Carpus, Bishop, Papylus, and Agathodorus, A.D. 251. Sts. Antony, John, and Eustachius, A.D. 1342. St. Benezet, or Little Bennet, A.D. 1184. B. Lidwina, or Lydwid, A.D. 1433.


1471. The battle of Barnet was fought in the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, and the earl of Warwick, called "the king-maker," was slain on the field.

1685. Thomas Otway, the dramatic poet, died, at a public-house in the Minories, of want, by swallowing bread too eagerly which he had received in charity.

1759. George Frederick Handel, the illustrious musician, died. He was born at Halle, in Saxony, in 1684.

1793. Tobago, in the West Indies, taken by the English.

1809. Beilby Porteus, bishop of London, died at Fulham, aged 78.


Borage. Borago Officinalis.
Dedicated to St. Lidwina.


The Floral appearances of the year are accurately described by Dr. Forster in his "Perennial Calendar." He says, "In order to ascertain the varieties in the seasons, as indicated by the flowering of plants, we ought to become accurately acquainted with their natural periods, and the average time of flowering which belongs to each species. I have of late made an artificial division of the seasons of different plants into six distinct periods, to each of which respectively a certain number of species belong. Dividing then the reign of the goddess of blooms into six principal portions, we shall begin with the first in the order of phenomena. The Primaveral Flora may be said to commence with the first breaking of the frost before February; it comprehends the snowdrop, the crocus, the coltsfoot, all the tribe of daffoddils, narcissi, jonquils, and hyacinths, the primrose, cyclamen, heartsease, violet, cowslip, crown imperial, and many others. The Equinox being also past, and the leaves beginning to bud forth amidst a display of blossoms on the trees, another period may be said to begin, and May ushers in the Vernal Flora, with tulips, peonies, ranunculi, monkey poppy, goatsbeards, and others: at this time, the fields are bespangled with the golden yellow of the crowfoot, or blue with the harebells[.] The whole bosom of earth seems spread with a beautiful carpet, to soften the path of Flora, at this delicious season. By and bye, towards the middle of June, the approach of the Solstice is marked by another set of flowers; and the scarlet lychnis, the various poppies, the lilies and roses, may be said to constitute the Solstitial Flora. As the year declines, the Aestival Flora, corresponding to the Vernal, paints the garish eyes of the dog-days with sunflowers, China asters, tropoeoli, African marigolds, and other plants which love heat. The Autumnal Flora, answering to the Primaveral, then introduces Michaelmas daisies, starworts, and other late blowing plants, with their companions, fungi and mushrooms, till at length bleak winter shows only a few hellebores, aconites, and mosses, belonging to the Hibernal Flora of this dreary season. Thus, in this our temperate climate, have we a round of botanical amusements all the year, and the botanist can never want for sources of recreation. How different must be the order of phenomena about the poles of the earth, where summer and winter are synonymous with day and night, of which Kirke White has given us a very fine description:—

On the North Pole.

  Where the North Pole, in moody solitude,
    Spreads her huge tracts and frozen wastes around,
  There ice rocks piled aloft, in order rude,
    Form a gigantic hall; where never sound
    Startled dull Silence' ear, save when, profound
  The smoke frost muttered: there drear Cold for aye
    Thrones him,—and fixed on his primæval mound,
   Ruin, the giant, sits; while stern Dismay
Stalks like some woe-struck man along the desert way.

   In that drear spot, grim Desolation's lair,
    No sweet remain of life encheers the sight;
  The dancing heart's blood in an instant there
    Would freeze to marble[.] Mingling day and night,
  (Sweet interchange which makes our labours light,)
    Are there unknown; while in the summer skies,
    The sun rolls ceaseless round his heavenly height
   Nor ever sets till from the scene he flies,
And leaves the long bleak night of half the year to rise.

April 15.

St. Peter Gonzales, or Telm, or Elm, A.D. 1246. Sts. Basilissa and Anastasia, 1st Cent. St. Paternus, Bishop, or Patier, Pair, or Foix, 6th Cent. St. Munde, Abbot, A.D. 962. St. Ruadhan, A.D. 584.


Average day of arrival of Spring Birds from a Twenty years' Journal.

April 3. Smallest Willow Wren. Ficaria pinetorum arrives.

April 10. Common Willow Wren. Ficaria Salicum arrives.

April 14. Called First Cuckoo Day in Sussex. The Cuckoo, cuculus canorus, sometimes heard.

April 15. Called Swallow Day. The Chimney Swallow, Hirundo rustica, arrives.

April 19. The Sand Swallow. Hirundo riparia arrives.

April 20. The Martin. Hirundo terbica sometimes seen.

April 21. The Cuckoo, commonly heard.

April 30. The Martin, commonly seen.

The other vernal birds arrive between the 15th and 30th of the month. * [Communicated by a scientific gentleman, whose daily observations and researches in Natural History, stamp value upon his contributions.]


Green Stitchwort. Stellaria holostra.
Dedicated to St. Peter Gonzales.



Dear Emma, on that infant brow,
  Say, why does disappointment low'r?
Ah! what a silly girl art thou,
  To weep to see a summer show'r!

O, dry that unavailing tear,
  The promis'd visit you shall pay;
The sky will soon again be clear,
  For 'tis, my love, an April day.

And see, the sun's returning light
   Away the transient clouds hath driv'n,
The rainbow's arch with colours bright
   Spreads o'er the blue expanse of heav'n;

The storm is hush'd, the winds are still,
  A balmy fragrance fills the air;
Nor sound is heard, save some clear rill
  Meandering thro' the vallies fair.

Those vernal show'rs that from on high
  Descend, make earth more fresh and green;
Those clouds that darken all the air
  Disperse, and leave it more serene

And those soft tears that for awhile
   Down sorrow's faded cheek may roll,
Shall sparkle thro' a radiant smile,
  And speak the sunshine of the soul!

While yet thy mind is young and pure,
  This sacred truth, this precept learn—
That He who bids thee all endure,
  Bids sorrow fly, and hope return.

His chast'ning hand will never break
  The heart that trusts in Him alone;
He never, never will forsake
  The meanest suppliant at his throne.

The world, that with unfeeling pride
  Sees vice to virtue oft preferr'd,
From thee, alas! may turn aside—
  O, shun the fawning, flatt'ring herd!

And while th' Eternal gives thee health
  With joy thy daily course to run,
Let wretches hoard their useless wealth,
  And Heav'n's mysterious will be done.

With fair Religion, woo content,
  'Twill bid tempestuous passions cease;
And know, my child, the life that's spent
  In pray'r and praise, must end in peace.

The dream of Life is quickly past,
  A little while we linger here;
And tho' the Morn be overcast,
  The Ev'ning may be bright and clear.

Islington. D. G.

An Evening in Spring.

          Now the noon,
Wearied with sultry toil, declines and falls
Into the mellow eve:— the west puts on
Her gorgeous beauties—palaces and halls
And towers, all carved of the unstable cloud
Welcome the calmy [sic] waning monarch— he
Sinks gently 'midst that glorious canopy
Down on his couch of rest—even like a proud
King of the earth—the ocean.


April 16.

Eighteen Martyrs of Saragossa, and St. Encratis, or Engratia, A.D. 304. St. Turbius, Bp. 420. St. Fructuosus, Abp. A.D. 665. St. Druon, or Drugo, A.D. 1186. St. Joachim of Sienna, A.D. 1305. St. Mans, or Magnus, A. D 1104.

"The Venerable
"Who died in the odour of sanctity
"On the 16th of April, 1783."

If such a creature as the venerable B. J. Labre can be called a man, he was one of the silliest that ever lived to creep and whine, and one of the dirtiest that ever "died in the odour of sanctity;" and yet, for the edification of the English, his life is translated from the French "by the rev. M. James Barnard, ex-president [o]f the English college at Lisbon and Vicar General of the London district."

From this volume it appears that Labre was born at Boulogne, on the 26th of March, 1748. When a child he would not play as other children did, but made little oratories, and "chastised his body." Having thus early put forth "buds of self-denial and self-contempt," he was taught Latin, educated superior to his station, did penance, made his first general confession, and found his chief delight at the feet of altars. At sixteen years old, instead of eating his food he gave it away out of the window, read pious books as he walked, turned the house of his uncle, a priest, into "a kind of monastery, observed religious poverty, monkish silence, and austere penance, and, by way of humility, performed abject offices for the people of the parish, fetched provender for their animals, took care of their cattle, and cleaned the stalls. The aversion which he entertained against the world, induced him to enter into a convent of Carthusians; there he discovered that he disliked profound retirement, and imagined he should not be able to save his soul unless he embraced an order more austere. Upon this he returned home, added extraordinary mortifications to his fasts and prayers, instead of sleeping on his bed lay on the floor, and told his mother he wished to go and live upon roots as the anchorets did. All this he might have done in the Carthusian convent, but his brain seems to have been a little cracked, for he resolved to go into another Carthusian convent, the prior of which would not admit him till he had studied 'philosophy' for a year, and learned the Gregorian chant." Church music was very agreeable to him—but it was not so with regard to logic; "notwithstanding all his efforts, he was never able to conquer his repugnance to this branch of study;" yet he somehow or other scrambled through an examination; got admitted into the convent; "thought its rules far too mild for such a sinner as he looked upon himself to be;" and after a six weeks' trial, left it in search of admission into the order of La Trappe, as the most rigid of any that he knew. The Trappists would not have him; this refusal he looked upon as a heavenly favour, because the monastery of Sept-Fonts surpassed La Trappe in severe austerities and discipline, and there he became a "novice" till the life he fancied, did not agree with him. "Having a long time before quitted his father's house he could not think of returning to it again;" and at two and twenty years of age he knew not what to do. His biographer says, that "little fit for the cloister, and still less fit for the world, he was destitute of the means of getting a livelihood; and being now persuaded of what were the designs of God concerning him, he resolved to follow the conduct, the light, and the inspirations of the holy spirit, and to submit himself to all the sufferings and afflictions which might await him." If in this condition some one had compelled him to eat a good dinner every day, made him go to bed at a proper hour and take proper rest, and then set him on horseback and trotted him through the fresh air and sun-shine every forenoon, he might have been restored; or if his parents, as in duty they ought, had bound him apprentice at a proper age to a good trade, he might have been an useful member of society. These thoughts, however, never appear to have entered Labre's head, and in the dilemma represented "his love of humility, poverty, and a penitential life, presented to his zealous mind the practice of that kind of piety which he afterwards put in execution[.]" His first step to this was writing a farewell letter to his parents, on the 31st of August, 1770, "and from that time they never received any account of him till after his death." His next steps were pilgrimages. First he went to Loretto "from tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin, whom he looked on as his mother;" next to Assissium the birthplace of St. Francis, where he, "according to custom, got a small blessed cord which he constantly wore;" then he went to Rome where he sojourned for eight or nine months and wept "in the presence of the tomb of the holy apostles;" afterwards "he visited the tomb of St. Romuald at Fabrieno, where the inhabitants immediately began to look upon him as a saint;" from thence he returned to Loretto; he then journeyed to Naples, and had the pleasure of seeing the blood of St. Januarius which would not liquify when the French entered Naples, till the French general threatened the priests who performed the miracle that the city would suffer, if the saint remained obstinate; "and in short," says the rev. Vicar General of the London district, "there was hardly any famous place of devotion in Europe which was not visited by this servant of God;"— the Vicar General's sentence had concluded better with the words "this slave of superstition." To follow Labre's other goings to and fro would be tedious, suffice it to say that at one of his Loretto trips some people offered him and abode, in order to save him the trouble of going every night to a barn at a great distance; but as they had prepared a room for him with a bed in it he thought this lodging was too sumptuous; and he therefore retired into a hole "cut out of the rock under the street." Labre at last favoured the city of Rome by his fixed residence, and sanctified the amphitheatre of Flavian by making his home in a hole of the ancient ruins.

In this "hole of sufficient depth to hold and shelter him in a tolerable degree from the weather," he deposited himself every night for several years. He employed the whole of every day, "sometimes in one church and sometimes in another, praying most commonly upon his knees, and at other times standing, and always keeping his body as still as if he were a statue." Labre's daily exercise in fasting and lifelessness reduced him to a helpless state, that a beggar had compassion on him, and gave him a recommendation to an hospital, where "by taking medicines proper for his disorder, and more substantial food, he soon grew well;" but relapsing into his "constant, uniform and hidden life," he became worse. This opportunity of exhibiting Labre's virtues is not neglected by his biographer, who minutely informs us of several particulars. 1st. He was so careful to observe the law of silence, that in the course of a whole month, scarcely any one could hear him speak so much as a few words. 2dly. He lived in the midst of Rome, as if he had lived in the midst of a desert. 3dly. He led a life of the greatest self-denial, destitute of every thing, disengaged from every earthly affection, unnoticed by all mankind, desiring no other riches than poverty, no other pleasures than mortification, no other distinction than that of being the object of universal contempt. 4thly. He indulged in rigorous poverty, exposed to the vicissitudes and inclemencies of the weather, without shelter against the cold of winter or the heat of summer, wearing old clothes, or rather rags, eating very coarse food, and for three years living in the "hole in the wall." 5thly. To his privations of all worldly goods, he joined an almost continual abstinence, frequent fasts, nightly vigils, lively and insupportable pains from particular mortifications, and two painful tumours which covered both his knees, from resting the whole weight of his body on them when he prayed. 6thly. ""He looked upon himself as one of the greatest of sinners;" and this was the reason why "he chose to lead a life of reproach and contempt," why he herded "among the multitude of poor baggars," "why he chose to cover himself with rags and tatters instead of garments, why he chose to place a barrier of disgust between himself and mankind," why "he abandoned himself to the bites of disagreeable insects," and why he coveted to be covered with filthy blotches.

Labre's biographer, who was also his confessor, says that his "appearance was disagreeable and forbidding; his legs were half naked, his clothes were tied round the waist with an old cord, his head was uncombed, he was badly clothed and wrapped up in an old and ragged coat, and in his outward appearance he seemed to be the most miserable beggar that I had ever seen." His biographer further says, "I never heard his confession but in a confessional, on purpose that there might be some kind of separation between us." The holy father's lively reason for this precaution, any history of insects with the word "pediculus" will describe accurately.

Thus Labre lived and died: and here it might be supposed would end his memoirs. But, no. In whatever odour he lived, as he "died in the odour of sanctity," and enthusiasm seized some persons to touch Labre dead, who, when living, was touchless. Labre being deceased, was competent to work miracles; accordingly he stretched out his left hand, and laid hold on the board of one of the benches. On Easter-day being a holiday, he worked more miracles, and wonders more wonderful than ever were wondered in our days, as may be seen at large, in the aforesaid volume, entitled—"The Life of the venerable Benedict Joseph Labre, who died at Rome, in the Odour of sanctity." The portrait, from which the engraving on this page is taken, was published immediately after his death by Mr. Coghlan, Catholic bookseller, Duke-street, Grosvenor-square, from a drawing in his possession.

Miracle at Somers Town.

The authenticity of the following extraordinary fact can be verified. Mr. H— a middle-aged gentleman, long afflicted by various disorders, and especially by the gout, had so far recovered from a severe attack of the latter complaint, that he was enabled to stand, yet with so little advantage, that he could not walk more than fifty yards, and it took him nearly an hour to perform that distance. While thus enfeebled by suffering, and safely creeping in great difficulty, on a sunny day, along a level footpath by the side of a field near Somers Town, he was alarmed by loud cries, intermingled with the screams of many voices behind him. From his infirmity, he could only turn very slowly round, and then, to his astonishment, he saw, within a yard of his coat-tail, the horns of a mad bullock; when, to the equal astonishment of its pursuers, this unhappy gentleman instantly leaped the fence, and overcome by terror, continued to run with amazing celerity nearly the whole distance of the field, while the animal kept its own course along the road. The gentleman, who had thus miraculously recovered the use of his legs, retained his power of speed until he reached his own house, where he related the miraculous circumstance; nor did his quickly-restored faculty of walking abate, until it ceased with his life several years afterwards. This "miraculous cure" can be attested by his surviving relatives.

Somers Town Miracle.

Somers Town Miracle.


In April, 1818, London was surprised by the sudden appearance of an optical instrument for creating and exhibiting beautiful forms, which derives its name from [Greek KALOS] beautiful, [Greek EIDOS] a form, and [Greek skopeo] to see. The novelty was so enchanting, that opticians could not manufacture kaleidoscopes fast enough, to meet the universal desire for seeing the delightful and ever-varying combinations, presented by each turn of the magical cylinder.

The kaleidoscope was invented by Dr. Brewster, to whom, had its exclusive formation been ensured, it must have produced a handsome fortune in the course of a single year. Unhappily, that gentleman was deprived of his just reward by fraudful anticipation.* [Brewster's Hist. of the Kaleidoscope] He says, "I thought it advisable to secure the exclusive property of it by a patent; but in consequence of one of the patent instruments having been exhibited to one of the London opticians, the remarkable properties of the kaleidoscope became known before any number of them could be prepared for sale. The sensation excited in London by this premature exhibition of its effects is incapable of description, and can be conceived only by those who witnessed it. It may be sufficient to remark, that, according to the computation of those who were best able to form an opinion on the subject, no fewer than two hundred thousand instruments have been sold in London and Paris during three months."

The Kaleidoscope.

Mystic trifle, whose perfection
Lies in multiplied reflection,
Let us from thy sparkling store
Draw a few reflections more:
In thy magic circle rise
All things men so dearly prize,
Stars, and crowns, and glitt'ring things,
Such as grace the courts of kings;
Beauteous figures ever twining,—
Gems with brilliant lustre shining;
Turn the tube;—how quick they pass—
Crowns and stars prove broken glass!

Trifle! let us from thy store
Draw a few reflections more;
Who could from thy outward case
Half thy hidden beauties trace?
Who from such exterior show
Guess the gems within that glow?
Emblem of the mind divine
Cased within its mortal shrine!

Once again—the miser views
Thy sparkling gems—thy golden hues—
And, ignorant of thy beauty's cause,
His own conclusions sordid draws;
Imagines thee a casket fair
Of gorgeous jewels rich and rare;—
Impatient his insatiate soul
To be the owner of the whole,
He breaks thee ope, and views within
Some bits of glass—a tube of tin!
Such are riches, valued true—
Such the illusions men pursue!

W. H. M.


Yellow Tulip. Tulipa Sylvstris.
Dedicated to St. Joachim of Sienna.

April 17.

St. Anicetus, Pope, 2d. Cent. St. Stephen, Abbot, A.D. 1134. St. Simeon, Bishop, and other Martyrs, A.D. 341.




Antiquaries are exceedingly puzzled respecting the derivation of this annual festival, which commenced the fifteenth day after Easter, and was therefore a movable feast dependent upon Easter.* [Nares's Glossary.] Though Matthew Paris, who is the oldest authority for the word Hoke-day, says it is "quindena paschæ," yet Mr. Douce assigns convincing reasons for taking it as the second Tuesday after Easter. At Hock-tide, which seems to have included Monday and Tuesday, collections of Hock-money were made in various parishes by the churchwardens, until the Reformation.† [See large extracts from their accounts, in Brand. &c.] Tuesday was the principal day. Hock Monday was for the men, and Hock Tuesday for the women. On both days the men and women alternately, with great merriment, intercepted the public roads with ropes, and pulled passengers to them, from whom they exacted money to be laid out for pious uses; Monday probably having been originally kept as only the vigil or introduction to the festival of Hock-day. Mr. Brand unaccountably, because inconsistently with his previous representations respecting the antiquity of the custom of heaving at Easter, derives that custom from the men and women Hocking each other, and collecting money at Hock-tide.

It is a tradition that this festival was instituted to commemorate the massacre of the Danes in England, under Etheldred, in the year 1002; a supposition however wholly unsupportable, because that event happened on the feast of St. Brice, in the month of November. Another and more reasonable opinion is, that the institution celebrated the final extinction of the Danish power by the death of Hardicanute, on the sixth day before the ides of June, 1042. [double dagger] [Allen's Hist of Lambeth.] Yet, in relation to the former event, "certain good-hearted men of Coventry" petitioned, "that they might renew their old storial show" of the Hock-tide play before queen Elizabeth, when she was on a visit to the earl of Leicester, at his castle of Kenilworth, in July, 1575. According to "Laneham's Letter," this "storial show" set forth how the Danes were for quietness borne, and allowed to remain in peace withal, until on the said St. Brice's night they were "all despatched and the realm rid;" and because the matter did show "in action and rhymes" how valiantly our English women, for love of their country, behaved, the "men of Coventry" thought it might move some mirth in her majesty. "The thing," said they, "is grounded in story, and for pastime (was) wont to be played in our city yearly without ill example of manners, papistry, or any superstition;" and they knew no cause why it was then of late laid down, "unless it was by the zeal of certain of their preachers; men very commendable for their behaviour and learning, and sweet in their sermons, but somewhat too sour in preaching away their pastime." By license, therefore, they got up their Hock-tide play and Kenilworth, wherein "capt. Cox," a person here indescribable without hindrance to most readers, "came marching on valiantly before, clean trussed and garnished above the knee, all fresh in a velvet cap, flourishing with his ton-sword, and another fence-master with him, making room for the rest. Then proudly came the Danish knights on horseback, and then the English, each with their alder-pole martially in their hand." The meeting at first waxing warm, then kindled with courage on both sides into a hot skirmish, and from that into a blazing battle with spear and shield; so that, by outrageous races and fierce encounters, horse and man sometimes tumbled to the dust. Then they fell to with sword and target, and did clang and bang, till, the fight so ceasing, afterwards followed the foot of both hosts, one after the other marching, wheeling, forming in squadrons, triangles, and circles, and so winding out again; and then got they so grisly together, that inflamed on each side, twice the Danes had the better, but at the last were quelled, and so being wholly vanquished, many were led captive in triumph by our English women. This matter of good pastime was wrought under the window of her highness, who beholding in the chamber delectable dancing, and therewith great thronging of the people, saw but little of the Coventry play; wherefore her majesty commanded it on the Tuesday following, to have it full out, and being then accordingly presented, her highness laughed right well. Then too, played the "good-hearted men of Coventry" the merrier, and so much the more, because her majesty had given them two bucks, and five marks in money; and they prayed for her highness long happily to reign, and oft to come thither, that oft they might see her; and rejoicing upon their ample reward, and triumphing upon their good acceptance, vaunted their play was never so dignified, nor ever any players before so beatified.* [Concerning the Coventry Hock-tide play, it is reasonable to expect curious information from a forthcoming "Dissertation on the Pageants or Dramatic Mysteries, anciently performed at Coventry, chiefly with reference to the vehicle, characters, and dresses of the actors," by Mr. Thomas Sharp, of Coventry, who, with access to the corporation manuscripts, and to other sources hitherto unexplored, and above all, with the requisite knowledge and qualifications, will probably throw greater light on the obsolete drama, than has devolved upon it from the labours of any preceding antiquary.]


Fravi's Cowl. Arum Arisarum.
Dedicated to St. Stephen of Citeaux

April 18.

St. Apollonius, A.D. 186. St. Galdin, Abp. 1176. St. Laserian, or Molaisre, Bp. of Leighlin, A.D. 638.


1689. The infamous judge Jefferies died in the tower, whither he had been committed by the lords of the council, after he had been taken in the disguise of a common sailor for the purpose of leaving England. He was born at Acton, near Wrexham, in Denbighshire, and being raised to the bench, polluted its sanctity by perversions of the law. His habits and language were vulgar and disgusting. John Evelyn says, "I went this day to a wedding of one Mrs. Castle, to whom I had some obligation; and it was to her fifth husband, a lieutenant-colonel of the city. She was the daughter of one Bruton, a broom-man, by his wife, who sold kitchen-stuff in Kent-street, whom God so blessed, that the father became very rich, and was a very honest man; and this daughter was a jolly, friendly woman. There were at the wedding the lord mayor, the sheriff, several aldermen, and persons of quality; above all sir George Jefferies, newly made lord chief justice of England, who, with Mr Justice Withings, danced with the bride, and were exceeding merry! These great men spent the rest of the afternoon, till eleven at night, in drinking healths, taking tobacco, and talking much beneath the gravity of judges that had but a day or two before condemned Mr. Algernon Sidney, who was executed the 7th of Dec. 1683, on Tower-hill, on the single witness of that monster of a man, lord Howard of Escrick, and some sheets of paper taken in Mr. Sidney's study, pretended to be written by him, but not fully proved." James II. found Jefferies a fit instrument for his arbitrary purposes. After the defeat of the duke of Monmouth in the west, he employed the most sanguinary miscreants, and Jefferies among the rest, to wreak his vengeance on the deluded people. Bishop Burnet says, that Jefferies's behaviour was brutally disgusting, beyond any thing that was ever heard of in a civilized nation; "he was perpetually either drunk or in a rage, liker a fury than the zeal of a judge." He required the prisoners to plead guilty, on pretence of showing them favour; but he afterwards showed them no mercy, hanging many immediately. He hanged in several places about six hundred persons. The king had a daily account of Jefferies' proceedings, which he took pleasure to relate in the drawing-room to foreign ministers, and at his table he called it Jefferies's campaign. Upon Jefferies' return, he created him a peer of England, by the title of earl of Flint. During these "bloody assizes," the lady Lisle, a noble woman of exemplary character, whose husband had been murdered by the Stuart party, was tried for entertaining two gentlemen of the duke of Monmouth's army; and though the jury twice brought her in not guilty, Jefferies sent them out again and again, until, upon his threatening to attaint them of treason, they pronounced her guilty. Jefferies, before he tried this lady, got the king to promise that he would not pardon her, and the only favour she obtained was the change of her sentence from burning to beheading. Mrs. Gaunt, a widow, near Wapping, who was a Baptist, and spent her time in acts of charity, was tried on a charge of having hid one Burton, who, hearing that the king had said that he would sooner pardon rebels than those who harboured them, accused his benefactress of having saved his life. She was burned at the stake. The excellent William Penn, the Quaker, saw her die, and related the manner of her death to Burnet. She laid the straw about her for her burning speedily, and behaved herself so heroically, that all melted into tears. Six men were hanged at Tyburn, on the like charge, without trial. At length, the bloody and barbarous executions were so numerous, that they spread horror throughout the nation. England was an acaldema: the country, for sixty miles together, from Bristol to Exeter, had a new and terrible sort of sign-posts or gibbets, bearing the heads and limbs of its butchered inhabitants. Every soul was sunk in anguish and terror, sighing by day and by night for deliverance, but shut out of all hope, till the arrival of the prince of Orange, on whom the two houses of parliament bestowed the crown. Jefferies had attained under James II. to the high office of lord chancellor.

1794. Died Charles Pratt, earl Camden, born in 1713. As chief justice of the common pleas, he was distinguished for having discharged the celebrated John Wilkes from the tower. By that decision, general warrants were pronounced illegal; and for so great a service to his country, lord Camden received the approbation of his fellow citizens; they conferred on him the freedom of their cities, and placed his picture in their corporation-halls. He was equally distinguished for opposing the opinion of prerogative lawyers in matters of libel. At his death he was lord president of the council. firm of purpose, and mild in manners, he was a wise and amiable man. It is pleasantly related of him, that while chief justice, being upon a visit to lord Dacre, at Alveley, in Essex, he walked out with a gentleman, a very absent man, to a hill, at no great distance from the house, upon the top of which stood the stocks of the village. The chief justice sat down upon them; and after a while, having a mind to know what the punishment was, he asked his companion to open them and put him in[.] This being done, his friend took a book from his pocket, sauntered on, and so completely forgot the judge and his situation, that he returned to lord Dacre's. In the mean time, the chief justice being tired of the stocks, tried in vain to release himself. Seeing a countryman pass by, he endeavoured to move him to let him out, but obtained nothing by his motion. "No, no, old gentleman," said the countryman, "you was not set there for nothing;" and left him, until he was released by a servant of the house despatched in quest of him. Some time after he presided at a trial in which charge was brought against a magistrate for false imprisonment, and for setting in the stocks. The counsel for the magistrate, in his reply, made light of the whole charge, and more especially setting in the stocks, which he said every body knew was no punishment at all. The chief justice rose, and leaning over the bench, said, in a half-whisper, "Brother, have you ever been in the stocks?" "Really, my lord, never." — "Then I have," said the judge, "and I assure you, brother, it is no such trifle as you represent."

1802. Dr. Erasmus Darwin died. He was born at Newark in Nottinghamshire, in 1732, and attained to eminence as a physician and a botanist. His decease was sudden. Riding in his carriage, he found himself mortally seized, pulled the check-string, and desired his servant to help him to a cottage by the road-side. On entering, they found a woman within, whom the doctor addressed thus, "Did you ever see a man die?" — "No, sir." — "Then now you may." The terrifed woman ran out at the door, and in a few minutes Darwin was no more. He strenuously opposed the use of ardent spirits, from conviction that they induced dreadful maladies, especially gout, dropsy, and insanity; hence his patients were never freed from his importunities, and the few who courage to persevere benefited by his advice.


Holidays being looked forward to with unmixed delight by all whose opportunities of enjoying them are dependent upon others, a sketch of character at such a season may amuse those whose inclination is not sufficiently strong to study the original, and just enough to feel pleasure in looking at the picture. The outline and finishing of that which is here exhibited prove it the production of a master hand.

"The maid servant must be considered as young, or else she has married the butcher, the butler, or her cousin, or has otherwise settled into a character distinct from her original one, so as to become what is properly called the domestic. The maid servant, in her apparel, is either slovenly or fine by turns, and dirty always; or she is at all times snug and neat, and dressed according to her station. In the latter case, her ordinary dress is black stockings, a stuff gown, a cap, and neck-handkerchief pinned corner-wise behind. If you want a pin, she just feels about her, and has always one to give you. On Sundays and holidays, and perhaps of afternoons, she changes her black stockings for white, puts on a gown of a better texture and fine pattern, sets her cap and her curls jauntily, and lays aside the neck-handkerchief for a high body, which, by the way, is not half so pretty. There is something very warm and latent in the handkerchief,—something easy, vital, and genial. A woman in a high-bodied gown, made to fit her like a case, is by no means more modest, and is much less tempting. She looks like a figure at the head of a ship. We could almost see her chucked out of doors into a cart with as little remorse as a couple of sugar-loaves. The tucker is much better, as well as the handkerchief; and is to the other, what the young lady is to the servant. The one always reminds us of the Sparkler in the 'Guardian;' the other of Fanny in 'Joseph Andrews.' But to return:—The general furniture of her ordinary room, the kitchen, is not so much her own as her master's and mistress's, and need not be described; but in a drawer of the dresser of the table, in company with a duster and a pair of snuffers, may be found some of her property, such as a brass thimble, a pair of scissars, a thread-case, a piece of wax candle much wrinkled with the thread, an odd volume of 'Pamela,' and perhaps a sixpenny play, such as 'George Barnwell,' or Mrs. Behn's 'Oroonoko.' There is a piece of looking-glass also in the window. The rest of her furniture is in the garret, where you may find a good looking-glass on the table; and in the window a Bible, a comb, and a piece of soap. Here stands also, under stout lock and key, the mighty mystery—the box,—containing among other things her clothes, two or three song-books, consisting of nineteen for the penny; sundry tragedies at a half-penny the sheet: the 'Whole Nature of Dreams laid open,' together with the 'Fortune-teller,' and the 'Account of the Ghost of Mrs. Veal;' 'the story of the beautiful Zoa who was cast away on a desert island, showing how,' &c.: some half-crowns in a purse, including pieces of country money, with the good countess of Coventry on one of them riding-naked on the horse; a silver penny wrapped up in cotton by itself; a crooked sixpence, given her before she came to town, and the giver of which has either forgotten her or been forgotten by her, she is not sure which; two little enamel boxes, with looking-glass in the lids, one of them a fairing, the other 'a trifle from Margate;' and lastly, various letters, square and ragged, and directed in all sorts of spelling, chiefly with little letters for capitals. One of them written by a girl who went to a day school with her, is directed 'miss.'— In her manners, the maid servant sometimes imitates her young mistress; she puts her hair in papers, cultivates a shape, and occasionally contrives to be out of spirits. But her own character and condition overcome all sophistications of this sort; her shape, fortified by the mop and scrubbing-brush, will make its way; and exercise keeps her healthy and cheerful. From the same cause her temper is good; though she gets into little heats when a stranger is over saucy, or when she is told not to go so heavily down stairs, or when some unthinking person goes up her wet stairs with dirty shoes—or when she is called away often from dinner; neither does she much like to be seen scrubbing the street-door-steps of a morning; and sometimes she catches herself saying, 'drat that butcher,' but immediately adds, 'God forgive me.' The tradesmen indeed, with their compliments and arch looks, seldom give her cause to complain. The milkman bespeaks her good humour for the day with— 'Come, pretty maids.' Then follow the butcher, the baker, the oilman, &c. all with their several smirks and little loiterings; and when she goes to the shops herself, it is for her the grocer pulls down his string from its roller with more than ordinary whirl, and tosses, as it were, his parcel into a tie,—for her, the cheesemonger weighs his butter with half a glance, cherishes it round about with his patties, and dabs the little piece on it to make up, with a graceful jerk. Thus pass the mornings between working, and singing, and giggling, and grumbling, and being flattered. If she takes any pleasure unconnected with her office before the afternoon, it is when she runs up the area-steps, or to the door to hear and purchase a new song, or to see a troop of soldiers go by; or when she happens to thrust her head out of a chamber window at the same time with a servant at the next house, with a dialogue infallibly ensues, stimulated by the imaginary obstacles between. If the maid-servant is wise, the best part of her work is done by dinner time; and nothing else is necessary to give perfect zest to the meal. She tells us what she thinks of it, when she calls it 'a bit o' dinner.' There is the same sort of eloquence in her other phrase, 'a cup o' tea;' but the old ones, and the washerwomen, beat her at that. After tea in great houses, she goes with the other servants to hot cockles, or What-are-my-thoughts like, and tells Mr. John to 'have done then;' or if there is a ball given that night they throw open all the doors, and make use of the music upstairs to dance by. In smaller houses, she receives the visit of her aforesaid cousin; and sits down alone, or with a fellow maid servant, to work; talks of her young master, or mistress, Mr. Ivins (Evans): or else she calls to mind her own friends in the country, where she thinks the cows and 'all that' beautiful, now she is away. Meanwhile, if she is lazy, she snuffs the candle with her scissars; or if she has eaten more heartily than usual, she sighs double the usual number of times, and thinks that tender hearts were born to be unhappy. Such being the maid-servant's life in doors, she scorns, when abroad, to be any thing but a creature of sheer enjoyment. The maid-servant, the sailor, and the schoolboy, are the three beings that enjoy a holiday beyond all the rest of the world: and all for the same reason,—because their inexperience, peculiarity of life, and habit of being with persons or circumstances or thoughts above them, give them all, in their way, a cast of the romantic. The most active of money-getters is a vegetable compared with them. The maid-servant when she first goes to Vauxhall, thinks she is in heaven. A theatre is all pleasure to her, whatever is going forward, whether the play, or the music, or the waiting which makes others impatient, or the munching of apples and gingerbread nuts, which she and her party commence almost as soon as they have seated themselves. She prefers tragedy to comedy, because it is grander, and less like what she meets with in general; and because she thinks it more in earnest also, especially in the love scenes. Her favourite play is 'Alexander the Great, or the Rival Queens.' Another great delight is in going a shopping. She loves to look at the patterns in the window, and the fine things labelled with those corpulent numerals of 'only 7s.'— "only 6s. 6d." She has also, unless born and bred in London, been to see my lord mayor, the fine people coming out of court, and the 'beasties' in the tower; and at all events she has been to Astley's and the Circus, from which she comes away equally smitten with the rider, and sore with laughing at the clown. But it is difficult to say what pleasure she enjoys most. One of the completest of all is the fair, where she walks through an endless round of noise, and toys, and gallant apprentices, and wonders. Here she is invited in by courteous, well dressed people as if she were the mistress. Here also is the conjurer's booth, where the operator himself, a most stately and genteel person all in white, calls her 'ma'am;' and says to John by her side, in spite of his laced hat, 'Be good enough, sir, to hand the card to the lady.' Ah! may her cousin turn out as true as he says he is; or may she get home soon enough, and smiling enough, to be as happy again next time."


Musk Narcisse. Narcissus moschatus.
Dedicated to St. Apollonius.

April 19.

St. Leo IX. Pope, A.D. 1054. St. Elphege, A.D. 1012. St. Ursmar, Bp. A.D. 713.

St. Elphege.

This saint's name in the church of England calendar is Alphege. He was brought up at the monastery of Deerhurst, in Gloucestershire; afterwards he built himself a lonely cell in the abbey of Bath, where he became abbot, and corrected the "little junketings" and other irregularities of the monks. St. Dunstan being warned in a vision, drew him from thence, and gave him episcopal ordination. In 1006, he became bishop of Winchester, and was afterwards translated to the see of Canterbury. On the storming of that city by the Danes, he endeavoured to allay their fury, but they burnt his cathedral, decimated his monks, and carrying Alphege prisoner to Canterbury, there slew him on this day in 1012.* [Butler.]

It is storied, that when St. Alphege was imprisoned at Greenwich, the devil appeared to him in likeness of an angel, and tempted him to follow him into a dark valley, over which he wearily walked through hedges and ditches, till at last being in a most foul mire the devil vanished, and a real angel appeared and told St. Alphege to go back to prison and be a martyr, which he did. Then after his death, an old rotten stake was driven into his body, and those who drave it said, that if on the morrow the stake was green and bore leaves they would believe; whereupon the stake flourished and the drivers thereof repented as they said they would, and the body being buried at St. Paul's church, in London, worked miracles. † [† Golden Legend.]

In commemoration of this saint was put up in Greenwich church the following inscription: "This church was erected and dedicated to the glory of God, and the memory of Saint Alphege, archbishop of Canterbury, here slain by the Danes."


1739. Died, Dr. Nicholas Saunderson, Lucasian professor of mathematics. He was born in 1659, at Thurlston, in Yorkshire, lost his sight from the small pox when twelve months old, and became so proficient in the science of certainties, that his eminence has rarely been equalled.

1775. The American war commenced at Lexington.

1791. Dr. Richard Price died. He was born in Glamorganshire in 1732. Revered for the purity of his private character, he is celebrated for his religious, moral, mathematical, and political works throughout Europe.

1824. Lord Byron died. A letter taken froma newspaper several years ago, [double dagger] [Observer, Nov. 15, 1818.] relative to the residence of this distinguished character in the island of Mitylene, seems to have escaped editorial inquiry, and is therefore subjoined. If authentic, it is, in some degree, and interesting memorial.

Mr. Editor,

In sailing through the Grecian Archipelago, on board one of his majesty's vessels, in the year 1812, we put into the harbour of Mitylene, in the island of that name. The beauty of this place, and the certain supply of cattle and vegetables always to be had there, induce many British vessels to visit it, both men of war and merchantmen; and though it lies rather out of the track for ships bound to Smyrna, its bounties amply repay for the deviation of a voyage. We landed, as usual, at the bottom of the bay, and whilst the men were employed in watering, and the purser bargaining for cattle with the natives, the clergyman and myself took a ramble to a cave, called Homer's School, and other places, where we had been before. On the brow of Mount Ida (a small monticole so named) we met with and engaged a young Greek as our guide, who told us he had come from Scio with an English lord, who left the island four days previous to our arrival, in his felucca. "He engaged me as a pilot," said the Greek, "and would have taken me with him, but I did not choose to quit Mitylene, where I am likely to get married. He was an odd, but a very good man. The cottage over the hill, facing the river, belongs to him, and he has left an old man in charge of it; he gave Dominick, the wine trader, six hundred zechines for it, (about 250l. English currency,) and has resided there about fourteen months, though not constantly; for he sails in his felucca very often to the different islands."

This account excited our curiosity very much, and we lost no time in hastening to the house where our countryman had resided. We were kindly received by an old man, who conducted us over the mansion. It consisted of four apartments on the ground floor: an entrance hall, a drawing-room, a sitting parlour, and a bed room, with a spacious closet annexed. They were all simply decorated: plain green-stained walls, marble tables on either side, a large myrtle in the centre, and a small fountain beneath, which could be made to play through the branches by moving a spring fixed in the side of a small bronze Venus in a leaning posture; a large couch or sopha completed the furniture. In the hall stood half a dozen English cane chairs, and an empty bookcase; there were no mirrors, nor a single painting. The bed-chamber had merely a large mattrass spread on the floor, with two stuffed cotton quilts and a pillow—the common bed throughout Greece. In the sitting room we observed a marble recess, formerly, the old man told us, filled with books and papers, which were then in a large seaman's chest in the closet: it was open, but we did not think ourselves justified in examining the contents. On the tablet of the recess lay Voltaire's, Shakespeare's, Boileau's, and Rousseau's works, complete; Volney's "Ruins of Empires;" Zimmerman, in the German language; Klopstock's "Messiah;" Kotzebue's novels; Schiller's play of the "Robbers;" Milton's "Paradise Lost," an Italian edition, printed at Parma in 1810; several small pamphlets from the Greek press at Constantinople, much torn. Most of these books were filled with marginal notes, written with a pencil, in Italian and Latin. The "Messiah" was literally scribbled all over, and marked with slips of paper, on which also were remarks.

The old man said, "the lord had been reading these books the evening before he sailed, and forgot to place them with the others; but," said he, "there they must lie until his return; for he is so particular, that were I to move one thing without orders, he would frown upon me for a week together: he is otherwise very good. I once did him a service, and I have the produce of this farm for the trouble of taking care of it, except twenty zachines, which I pay to an aged Armenian, who resides in a small cottage in the wood, and whom the lord brought here from Adrianople; I don't know for what reason."

The appearance of the house externally was pleasing. The portico in front was fifty paces long and fourteen broad, and the fluted marble pillars with black plinths and fret-work cornices, (as it is now customary in Grecian architecture,) were considerably higher than the roof. The roof, surrounded by a light stone balustrade, was covered by a fine Turkey carpet, beneath an awning of strong coarse linen. Most of the house-tops are thus furnished, as upon them the Greeks pass their evenings in smoking, drinking light wines, such as "lachryma Christi," eating fruit, and enjoying the evening breeze.

On the left hand, as we enetered the house, a small streamlet glided away; grapes, oranges, and limes were clustering together on its borders, and under the shade of two large myrtle bushes, a marble seat, with an ornamental wooden back, was placed, on which, we were told, the lord passed many of his evenings and nights, till twelve o'clock, reading, writing, and talking to himself. "I suppose," said the old man, "praying; for he was very devout, and always attended our church twice a week, besides Sundays."

The view from this seat was what may be termed "a bird's eye view." A line of rich vineyards led the eye to Mount Calcla, covered with olive and myrtle-trees in bloom, and on the summit of which an ancient Greek temple appeared in majestic decay. A small stream issuing from the ruins, descended in broken cascades, until it was lost in the woods near the mountain's base. The sea, smooth as glass, and an horizon unshaded by a single cloud, terminates the view in front; and a little on the left, through a vista of lofty chestnut and palm-trees, several small islands were distinctly observed, studding the light blue wave with spots of emerald green. I seldom enjoyed a view more than I did this; but our inquiries were fruitless as to the name of the person who had resided in this romantic solitude; none knew his name but Dominick, his banker, who had gone to Candia. "The Armenian," said our conductor, "could tell, but I am sure he will not."—"And cannot you tell, old friend?" said I.—"If I can," said he, "I dare not." We had not time to visit the Armenian, but on our return to the town we learnt several particulars of the isolated lord. He had portioned eight young girls when he was last upon the island, and even danced with them at the nuptial feast. He gave a cow to one man, horses to others, and cotton and silk to the girls who live by weaving these articles. He also bought a new boat for a fisherman who had lost his own in a gale, and he often gave Greek Testaments to the poor children. In short, he appeared to us, from all we collected, to have been a very eccentric and benevolent character. One circumstance we learnt which our old friend at the cottage thought proper not to disclose. He had a most beautiful daughter, with whom the lord was often seen walking on the seashore, and he had bought her a piano-forte, and taught her himself the use of it.

Such was the information with which we departed from the peaceful isle of Mitylene; our imaginations all on the rack, guessing who this rambler in Greece could be. He had money, it was evident: he had philanthropy of disposition, and all those eccentricities which mark peculiar genius. Arrived at Palermo, all our doubts were dispelled. Falling in with Mr. Foster, the architect, a pupil of Wyatt's, who had been travelling in Egypt and Greece, "The individual," said he, "about whom you are so anxious, is lord Byron; I met him in my travels on the island of Tenedos, and I also visited him at Mitylene."—We had never then heard of his lordship's fame, as we had been some years from home; but "Childe Harold" being put into our hands, we recognised the recluse of Calcla in every page. Deeply did we regret not having been more curious in our researches at the cottage, but we consoled ourselves with the idea of returning to Mitylene on some future day; but to me that day will never return.


The names of Byron and Moore are associated for their attainments; they were kindred in their friendship. The last lines, written by lord Byron, on his native soil, were addressed to Mr. Moore:

My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But ere I go, TOM MOORE,
Here's a double health to thee.

Here's a sigh for those I love,
And a smile for those I hate,
And, whatever sky's above,
Here's a heart for any fate.

Though the ocean roars around me,
It still shall bear me on;
Though a desert should surround me
It hath springs that may be won.

Were it the last drop in the well,
As I gasped on the brink,
Ere my fainting spirits fell,
'Tis to thee that I would drink.

In that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour
Should be—Peace to thee and thine,
And a health to thee, TOM MOORE.

Forbearing to estimate him whom the low and the lofty alike assume to measure, a passage from his own pen may fitly conclude this notice:—

How beautiful is all this visible world!
How glorious in its action and itself;
But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar, with our mix'd essence make
A conflict of its elements, and breathe
The breath of degradation and of pride,
Contending with low wants and lofty will
Till our mortality predominates,
And men are—what they name not themselves,
And trust not to each other.



Ursine Garlick. Allium Ursinum.
Dedicated to St. Leo IX., Pope.

April 20.

St. Agnes, of Monte Pulciano, A.D. 1317. St. Serf, or Sevanus, Bp. 5th Cent. St. James of Sclavonia, or Illyricum, A.D. 1485.

Easter Term, 1825, begins.

On this day the sun enters Taurus [Zodiacal sign] or the bull, at 9 h. 50 m. A. M., at which period black cattle produce their offspring, and hence probably the sign is represented by the male animal. The Greeks affirmed it to be the bull into which Jupiter metamorphosed himself, when he visited Europa, but this sign was figured and worshipped throughout the East as the god Apis, or a symbol of the sun, before the Greek zodiac existed.


With the incoming of spring there is an outgoing from town, or a wish to do so. We all love what nature proffers to our enjoyment. Now—the humble tenant of the lofty attic in the metropolis, cultivates a few flowers in garden pots, within the ridge of the parapet that bounds the eye from all things but sky and clouds; and when he can, walks with his wife in search of fields where grass grows and cattle feed. Now—the better conditioned take a trip a few miles beyond the suburbs, and all manifest hopes or wishes for prolonged enjoyment of the country in the approaching summer. Now—ready furnished cottages and lodgings, which have been "to let" throughut the winter in the villages near the metropolis, find admirers, and some of them find occupiers[.] Now—the good wife reminds her good man—"My dear it's very hard, after so many years not to be able to afford a little comfort at last—we can't, you know, live in this way for ever. What a charming day this is. Let us see and get a little place just a little way from town against the fine weather comes; the walk there and back will do you good; it will do us all good; and the expense won't be miss'd in the long run." Now the thoughtful and thrifty, and the unthoughtful and the unthrifty, of certain and uncertain income, begin to plan or scheme where to go "after parliament's up," or in what neighbourhood, or on what site, to hire or build a house suitable to their real or imaginary wants. Now, in other words, "all the world" in London is thinking how or where "to go out of town by and bye."

I who a country life admire,
And ne'er of rural prospects tire,
Salute my friend who loves the town,
And hates to see a country clown.
Tho' we almost congenial be,
In this howe'er we disagree;
You're fond of bustle, din, and smoke,
And things that always me provoke,
Whilst I clear rivulets extol,
That o'er their pebbly channels roll,
Rude mossy rocks that nodding stand;
Rich corn that's waving o'er the land:
Thick shady groves where zephyrs play
And cool the sultry heat of day;
I'm fond of every rustic sport,
And hate—detest a venal court.
Whene'er I quit the noisy town,
And to my rural spot get down,
I find myself quite at my ease,
And can do whatsoe'er I please;
Sometimes I study, sometimes ride,
Or stroll along the river's side,
Or saunter through some fertile mead,
Where lowing herds in plenty feed;
Or rest upon a bank of flowers,
And pass, 'midst innocence, my hours.


Spring Snowflake. Leucojum vernum.
Dedicated to St. Agnes of Monte Pulciano[.]

April 21.

St. Anselm. St. Anastasius, the Sinaite, A.D. 678. St. Anastasius I., Patriarch, A. D., 598. St. Anastasius, the younger, A.D. 610. St. Beuno, or Beunor, Abbot of Clynnog, A.D. 616. St. Eingan, or Eneon, A.D. 590. St. Malrubius, A.D. 721.

St. Anselm

Was born a Aoust in Piedmont, and was made archbishop of Canterbury, by William Rufus, in 1093. Butler gives a circumstantial account of his life and writings, from whence it appears that Anselm was a learned and skilful theologian, and conducted his affairs with great circumspection and obedience to the papal see under William I. and II., and Henry I.; and that he died on the 21st of April, 1109, aged seventy-six: he says, "We have authentic accounts of many admirable miracles wrought by this saint."


753. B. C. Romulus commenced the foundations of Rome; on this day his brother Remus was slain by Romulus or his workmen, for having ridiculed the slenderness of the walls. Thus raised in blood they became the sanctuary of refugees and criminals, and to increase the population neighbouring females were forcibly dragged within its boundaries.

323. B. C. Alexander the Great, son of Philip of Macedon died. When a boy he tamed Bucephalus, a horse which none of the courtiers could manage, and Philip wept that the kingdom of Macedonia would be too small for such a son. He was under Aristotle for five years; after the assassination of his father, he slew his murderers, succeeded him in the sovereignty, conquered Thrace and Illyricum, destroyed Thebes, became chief commander of all the f[o]rces of Greece, conquered Darius and all Minor Asia, subdued Egypt, Media, Syria, and Persia, visited the temple of Jupiter Ammon, bribed the priests to salute him as the son of that god, exacted divine honours from his army, spread his conquests over India, invaded Scythia, visited the Indian ocean, and laden with the spoils of India, returned to Babylon, where he died of drunkenness, in the thirty-second year of his age. After his death, all his family and infant children were put to death, his generals quarrelled for the empire, and bloody wars distributed the prize in shares to the sanguinary winners.

1142. Peter Abelard, a learned doctor of the church died, aged sixty-three. He was the celebrated lover of the no less celebrated Heloise, the niece of a canon, who placed her under Abelard to be taught philosophy, of whom she learned the art of love; and preferring an infamous reputation to the bonds of wedlock, caused her tutor's ruin.


Cyprus Narcisse. Narcissus Orientalis albus.
Dedicated to St. Anselm.

April 22.

Sts. Sotor and Caius, Popes, 2d Cent. St. Caius, Pope, A.D. 296. Sts. Azades, Tharba &c., Martyrs in Persia, A.D. 341. Sts. Epipodius and Alexander, 2d Cent. St. Theodorus, of Siceon, Bishop, A.D. 613. St. Opportuna, Abbess, A.D. 770. St. Leonides, A.D. 202. St. Rufus, or Rufin, of Glandaloch.

ROOKS.—An Anecdote.

Amongst the deliramenta of the learned, which have amused mankind, the following instance merits a conspicuous rank. Some years ago, there were several large elm trees in the college garden, behind the ecclesiastical court, Doctors Commons, in which a number of rooks had taken up their abode, forming in appearance a sort of convocation of aërial ecclesiastics. A young gentleman, who lodged in an attic, and was their close neighbour, frequently entertained himself with thinning this covey of black game, by means of a cross-bow. On the opposite side lived a curious old civilian, who, observing from his study, that the rooks often dropt senseless from their perch, or, as it may be said, without using a figure, hopp'd the twig, making no sign, nor any sign being made to his vision to account for the phenomenon, set his wits to work to consider the cause. It was probably during a profitless time of peace, and the doctor having plenty of leisure, weighed the matter over and over, till he was at length fully satisfied that he had made a great ornithological discovery, that its promulgation would give wings to his fame, and that he was fated by means of these rooks to say,

"Volito vivus per ora virum."

His goose-quill and foolscap were quickly in requisition, and he actually wrote a treatise, stating circumstantially what he himself had seen, and in conclusion, giving it as the settled conviction of his mind, that rooks were subject to the falling sickness!* [* Morn Chron., Sept. 3, 1818.]


Country churchwardens and overseers are encouraged by farmers to offer rewards for the destruction of these merry twitterers, under the notion that they are fell destroyers of their grain. Mr. Bewick has taken some interest in their behalf, by stating a plain fact. He says:

"Most of the smaller birds are supported, especially when young, by a profusion of caterpillars, small worms and insects; on these they feed, and thus they contribute to preserve the vegetable world from destruction. This is contrary to the commonly received opinion, that birds, particularly SPARROWS, do much mischief in destroying the labours of the gardener and husbandman. It has been observed, 'that a SINGLE PAIR OF SPARROWS, during the time they are feeding their young, will destroy about FOUR THOUSAND CATERPILLARS WEEKLY!' They likewise feed their young with butterflies and other winged insects, each of which, if not destroyed in this manner, would be productive of several hundred of caterpillars. Let us not condemn a whole species of animals, because, in some instances, we have found them troublesome or inconvenient. Of this we are sufficiently sensible; but the uses to which they are subservient, in the grand economical distribution of nature, we cannot so easily ascertain. We have already observed that, in the destruction of caterpillars, sparrows are eminently serviceable to vegetation, and in this respect alone, there is reason to suppose, sufficiently re-pay the destruction they make in the produce of the garden or the field. The great table of nature is spread alike to all, and is amply stored with every thing necessary for the support of the various families of the earth: it is owing to the superior intelligence and industry of man, that he is enabled to appropriate so large a portion of the best gifts of providence for his own subsistence and comfort; let him not then think it waste, that, in some instances, creatures inferior to him in rank are permitted to partake with him, nor let him grudge them their scanty pittance; but, considering them only as the tasters of his full meal, let him endeavour to imitate their cheerfulness, and lift up his heart in grateful effusions to HIM, 'who filleth all things with plenteousness.'"


Wood Crowfoot. Rununculus Auricomus
Dedicated to St. Rufus.

April 23.

St. George. St. Adalbert, Bp. A.D. 997. St. Gerard, Bp. A.D. 994. St. Ibar, or Ivor, Bp. in Ireland, about 500.

Patron of England.

Who was St. George? Butler says that the Greeks long distinguished him by the title of "The Great Martyr;" that, among other churches, five or six were formerly dedicated to him at Constantinople; that he "seems" to have been the founder of the church of St. George over "his tomb" in Palestine; that one of his churches in Constantinople gave to the Hellespont the name of "the Arm of St. George;" that he is honoured as principal patron of saints by several eastern nations, particularly "the Georgians;" that the Byzantine historians relate battles gained, and miracles won, by his intercession; that he was celebrated in France in the sixth century; that his office is found in the sacramentary of the (credulous) pope Gregory the Great; that certain of his (presumed) relics were placed in a church at Paris, on its consecration to St. Vincent; that "he is said to have been a great soldier;" that he was chosen by our ancestors the tutelar saint of England, under the first Norman kings; that the council at Oxford in 1222, commanded his feast to be kept a holiday of the lesser rank; that under his name and ensign our Edward III. instituted the most noble order of knighthood in Europe; that this institution was fifty years before that of St. Michael by Louis XI. of France, eighty years before the order of the Golden Fleece by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, one hundred and ninety years before that of St., Andrew by James I. of Scotland, and one hundred and forty years before the order of St. George by the emperor Frederick IV.; and that "the extraordinary devotion of all Christendom to this saint is an authentic proof how glorious his triumph and name have always been in the church." Still who was St. George?

St. George and the Dragon.

St. George and the Dragon.

It is related of St. George,* [In the Golden Legend.] that he arrived at a city of Lybia called Sylene. Near this city was a stagnant lake or pond like a sea, wherein dwelt a dragon, who was so fierce and venomous, that he terrified and poisoned the whole country. The people therefore assembled to slay him; but when they saw him, his appearance was so horrible, that they fled. Then the dragon pursued them even to the city itself, and the inhabitants were nearly destroyed by his very breath, and suffered so much, that they were obliged to give him two sheep every day to keep him from doing them harm. At length the number of sheep became so small, that they could only give him one sheep every day, and they were obliged to give him a man instead of the other: at last, because all the men might not be eaten up, a law was made that they should draw lots to give him the youth and infants of all ranks, and so the dragon was fed with young gentlefolks and poor people's children, till the lot fell upon the king's daughter. Then the king was very sorry, and begged the people to take his gold and silver instead of his daughter, which the people would not accept, because it was according to his own law; and the king wept very much, and begged of the people to give the princess eight days before she should be given to the dragon to be devoured, and the people constented. And when the eight days were gone, the king caused his daughter to be richly dressed as if she were going to her bridal, and having kissed her, he gave her his blessing, and the people led her to where the dragon was. St. George had just come; when he was the princess, and demanding why she was there, she answered, "Go your way, fair young man, that you perish not also." Then again St. George demanded the reason of her being there, and why she wept, and endeavoured to comfort her; and when she saw he would not be satisfied, she told him. Upon this St. George promised to deliver her; but she could not believe he had power to do her so great a service, and therefore again begged him to go away. And while they were talking the dragon appeared, and began to run towards them; but St. George being on horseback, drew his sword and signed himself with the cross, and rode violently, and smiting the dragon with his spear, wounded him so sorely that he threw him down. Then St. George called to the princess, to bind her girdle about the dragon's neck, and not to be afraid; and when she had done so, "the dragon followed as it had been a meke beest and debonayre;" and she led him into the city, which when the people saw, they fled for fear to the mountains and vallies, till, being encouraged by St. George, they returned, and he promised to slay the dragon if they would believe and be baptized. Then the king was baptized, with upwards of 15,000 men, besides women and children, and St. George slew the dragon, and cut off his head; and the people took four carts and drew the body with oxen out of the city; and the king built a church, and dedicated it to our Lady and St. George.—"This blyssyd & holy martyr saynt George, is patron of this realme of englond, & the crye of men of warre. In the worshyp of whom is founded the noble ordre of the gartre, & also a noble college in the castel of wyndsore by kynges of englonde, in whiche college is the hert of saint George, which Sygysmond the emperour of almayne * [Germany] brought, & gave it for a grete & precyous relyke to kynge Henry the fyfth; & also the sayd Sygismond was a broder of the said garter, & also there is a pece of his heed."

Butler informs us, that St. George, was born in Cappadocia; that he went with his mother into Palestine, of which country she was a native, where she had a considerable estate, "which fell to her son George," who was a soldier, and became "a tribune or colonel in the army," wherein he was further promoted by the emperor Dioclesian, to whom he resigned his commissions and posts when that emperor waged war against the christian religion, and who threw him into prison for remonstrating against bloody edicts, and caused him to be beheaded. This is all that Butler relates of him, and this on the authority of what he calls "the account given to us by Metaphrastes." According also to Butler, St. George became the patron of the military because he had been military himself, and his apparition encouraged "the christian army in the holy war before the battle of Antioch," which proved fortunate under Godfrey of Bouillon; and also because his apparition inspirited Richard I. in his expedition against the Saracens. "St. George," says Butler, "is usually painted on horseback, and tilting at a dragon under his feet; but this is no more than an emblematical figure, purporting that, by his faith and christian fortitude, he conquered the devil, called the dragon in the Apocalypse." This is very easily said, but not so easily proved, nor has Butler in any way attempted to prove it. To this assertion may be opposed the fact, that St. Michael is also represented killing a dragon; and the present writer presumes to think, that unless there be any valid objection to mounting an angel on horseback, the well-known legend of this archangel supplies the clue to the pictorial representation of St. George; or, in plain words, that St. George and the dragon are neither more nor less that St. Michael contending with the devil. Concerning this device, however, more cannot be observed without excluding curious particulars.

There are many old ballads in honour of the patron saint of England and his feat. The ballad of "St. George and the Dragon," which is not the oldest, begins with the first and ends with the last of the following verses, and places him above sir Bevis of Hampton, and other heroes of mighty doings in our old romances.

Why whould we boast of Arthur and his Knights,
Knowing how many Men have performed Fights?
Or why should we speak of Sir Lancelot de Lake,
Of Sir Tristram du Leon, that fought for Ladies Sake?
Read in old stories, and there you shall see,
How St. George, St. George, he made the Dragon flee.

St. George he was for England, St. Dennis was for France;
Sing Honi soit qui mal y pense.

* * * * *

Mark Anthony, I'll warrant ye, play'd Feats with Ægypt's Queen;
Sir Eglemore, that valiant Knight, the like was never seen;
Grim Gorgon's Might was known in Fight; old Bevis most Men frighted;
The Mirmidons and Prester Johns; why were not these Men knighted?
Brave Spinola took in Breda, Nassau did it recover;
But St. George, St. George, turn'd the Dragon over and over.

St. George he was for England, St. Dennis was for France;
Sing Honi soit qui mal y pense.* [Collection of Old Ballads, 3 vols.]

This latter verse is a modern interpolation. Percy gives a purer version of the old ballad.† [In his Reliques.]

In the romance of the "Seven Champions of Christendom," St. George's performances exceed that of the other champions; the ballad, bearing the same title, distinguishes him in like manner, and it is there sung, that in his fight with the dragon,

When many hardy Strokes he'd dealt,
And could not pierce his Hide,
He run his Sword up to the Hilt,
In at the Dragon's Side;
By which he did his Life destroy,
Which cheer'd the drooping King;
This caus'd an universal Joy,
Sweet Peals of Bells did ring. [double dagger][Coll. Old Ballads.]

Saint George was the ancient English war-cry.[swirly][Fosbroke's Dict. Antiq., Crabbe's Techn. Dict. &c.] Shakespeare so uses it in his "Richard III." He makes Richmond conclude his address to his soldiery, with

Sound, drums and trumpets, bold and cheerfully,
God and Saint George, Richmond and victory.

So also Richard, after he receives the news of Stanley's defection, exclaims,

Advance our standards, set upon our foes!
Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!
Upon them!

In the 10th year of king Henry VII. the Irish were prohibited from using their favourite battle-cry of Aboo, or Aber. Every native of that country was enjoined against using that word, or "other words like or otherwise contrary to the king's laws, his crown and dignity and peace, but to call on St. George, or the name of his Sovereign Lord, the King of England, for the time being," &c.* [Brady's Clavis Coll.] There is also this injunction to the English in an old art of war: "Item that all souldiers entering into battaile, assault, skirmish, or other faction of armes, shall have for their common cry and word, St. George forward, or Upon them St. George, whereby the soldier is much comforted, and the enemie dismaied by calling to minde the ancient valour of England, which with that name has so often been victorious."† [Nare's Glossary, from Warton, &c. which Glossary also see further concerning St. George.] So much for the present concerning St. George.

His majesty, king George IV., who was born on the 12th of August, changed the annual celebration of his birth-day to St. George's-day.

The mail-coaches, according to annual custom on the king's birth-day, go in procession from Millbank to Lombard-street. At about twelve o'clock, the horses belonging to the different mails, with new harness, and the postmen and postboys on horseback, arrayed in their new scarlet coats and jackets, proceed from Lombard-street to Millbank, and there dine. At this place the coaches are fresh painted; from thence the procession being arranged begins to move about five o'clock in the afternoon, headed by the general postmen on horseback. The mails follow them, filled with the wives and children, friends and relations, of the coachmen and guards; while the postboys sounding their bugles and cracking their whips, bring up the rear. From the commencement of the procession the bells of the different churches ring out merrily, and continue their rejoicing peels till it arrives at the General Post-office in Lombard-street, from whence they sparkle abroad to all parts of the kingdom. Great crowds assemble to witness the cavalcade as it passes through the principal streets of the metropolis, viz. Parliament-street, the Strand, Fleet-street, Ludgate-hill, St. Paul's church-yard, and Cheapside. The clean and cheerful appearance of the coachmen and guards, each with a large bouquet of flowers in his bright scarlet coat, the beauty of the cattle, and the general excellence of the equipment, present a most agreeable spectacle to every eye and mind, that can be gratified by seeing and reflecting on the advantages derived to trade and social intercourse by this magnificent establishment.

On the same day the Society of Antiquaries, by their charter of incorporation, meet at their apratments in Somerset-place, to elect a president, council, and other officers for the year ensuing, and dine together, according to annual custom.


1616. Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra, the celebrated Spanish author, died. Cervantes was born in 1549; he is best known in England by his "Don Quixote," which has rendered him popular throughout Europe.

1616. On the same day with Cervantes in Spain, Shakespeare died in England. It was the anniversary of his birthday, whereon he had completed the fifty-second year of his age. Who is qualified to prasie him, whose supereminent genius all men acknowledge and reverence? To his greatness he added a quality it is seldom allied with. "No man had ever fewer enemies alive or dead; and this is the more remarkable as he was himself prone to parody, and must therefore have mortified many of his contemporaries." * [Mr. Gifford, Life of Ben Jonson.]

Goodness and he fill up one monument.

Shakspeare's Jest Book.

Under this title a book was reprinted in 1815, from one lately discovered bearing the title of

¶ A. C. Mery Talys.

Referring to the preface of the reprint for its value in support of the opinion corroborated by other reprints, that Shakspeare was destitute of the learning attributed to him by some writers, an extract (with the spelling modernized) is taken from it as a specimen of the wit, and morals which amused our ancestors:

Of the woman that followed her fourth husband's bier and wept.

A woman there was which had four husbands. It fortuned also that her fourth husband died and was brought to church upon the bier, whom this woman followed, and made great moan, and waxed very sorry, insomuch that her neighbours thought she would swoon and die for sorrow; wherefore one of her gossips came to her and spake to her in her ear, and bade her for God's sake comfort herself and refrain that lamentation, or else it would hurt her, and peradventure put her in jeapardy of her life. To whom this woman answered and said "I wys good gossip I have great cause to mourn if ye knew all, for I have buried three husbands beside ths man, but I was never in the case that I am now, for there was not one of them but when that I followed the corse to church, yet I was sure of another husband, before the corse came out of my house; and now I am sure of no other husband, and therefore ye may be sure I have great cause to be sad and heavy."

By this tale ye may see, that the old proverb is true, that it is as great a pity to see a woman weep, as a goose to go barefoot.

If the moral deduced by the story-teller from the tale just related is satirical on the sex, it should be remembered, that he wrote at a period when jokes were homely, and less felt than in our refined times. To talk now of "no joke like a true joke" is scarcely passable, unless the application be in itself true, and then it is no longer a joke.


A resident on the banks of the Thames at Kingston observes, that when the swan flies any distance against the wind, however serene and fine the weather may appear, a wind, amounting almost to a hurricane, is always certain to ensue within twenty-four hours afterwards, and generally within twelve. If they fly with the wind, which rarely occurs, it seems to be merely for their amusement, or for reading some certain spot in a quicker way than floating down the tide, and in this case no change takes place. The gale is usually unaccompanied by wet, though sometimes a heavy shower will be brought up with it.* [Athenæum.]


According to our old works on husbandry, we have many prognostics of rain from the motions of animals. One of them observes thus: "In a herd of cows, as they are on their march towards their pastures in a morning, if the bull lead the van, and keep back his company that they go not before him, it is a prognostic of rainy or tempestuous weather; but if he be careless and let them go at random, the contrary. Or if they eat more than ordinary, or lick their hoofs all about, rain follows forthwith. If they run to and fro, flinging and kicking, and extending their tails, tempests usually follow."* [Worlidge's Mystery of Husbandry.]

The same writer says that, "If the swallow fly low, and near the waters, it presageth rain: the coming of the swallow is a true presage of the spring." It has been already remarked, that the 15th of April, from the usual appearnce of this remarkable bird about that time, is called "swallow-day."

The Swallow.

The Swallow.

The preceding engraving is copied from one which illustrates a scientific and agreeable investigation concerning the harbinger of spring, by Dr. Forster; from which dissertation the following interesting particulars are also derived.† [Observations on the Brumal Retreat of the Swallow, by Thos. Forster, F. L. S. &c. fifth edit. 1817. 8vo.]

The swallow makes its first appearance in Great Britain, early in spring; remains with us during summer, and disappears in autumn. The four species which inhabit this island, are also found during summer, in almost every other region in Europe and Asia, where their manners and habits are nearly the same as in this country. In the more southern parts of the Continent, they appear somewhat earlier than in England. The distinguishing marks of the swallow tribe are—a small bill, a wide mouth; a head rather large in proportion to the bulk of the body, and somewhat flattish; a neck scarcely visible; a short, broad, and cloven tongue; a tail mostly forked; short legs; very long wings; a rapid and continued flight.

The house or Chimney Swallow, hirundo rustica, (figured above) is the most common, as well as the best known. Its length is about six inches, its breadth from tip to tip of the wings, when extended, about twelve inches; the upper parts of its body and wings are black; the under parts whitish ash-colour; the head black; the forehead and chin marked with a red spot; the tail very much forked. It generally arrives earlier than the rest of its genus, and mostly before the middle of April. It builds its nest in chimnies, at the distance of about a foot from the top, or under the roofs of barns and outhouses, has commonly two broods in the year, and usually disappears in the latter end of September, or beginning of October. Like all birds of the swallow tribe, it is perpetually on the wing, and lives upon insects, which it catches flying. It has been calculated from the velocity of this bird on the wing, and its flight in the air for fourteen or fifteen hours together, in search of food, that it flies from two to three hundred miles in that time. As previously observed by an early writer, before rain it may often be seen skimming round the edge of a lake or river, and not unfrequently dipping the tips of its wings, or under part of its body into the water, as it passes over its surface. Dr. Forster cites Aratus and Virgil in corroboration, that ancient authors had observed the same fact. He describes the Martin, or Martlett, hirundo urbica, as being rather less than the swallow, and as easily distinguishable from it, by the bright white colour of all the under parts of the body. This species usually makes its first appearance early in May, though sometimes sooner, and leaves us towards the latter end of October. It builds under the eaves of houses, in crags of rocks and precipices near the sea, has oftentimes three broods in the year, and constructs its curious nest like that of the swallow, with mid and straw, lined with feathers on the inside. He says that the Swift, hirundo apus, is the largest of the genus, being seven inches in length, and nearly eighteen in breadth, when its wings are extended, and that it is of a sooty black colour, with a whitish spot on its breast. It arrives towards the middle of May, and departs about the middle of August. It builds in holes of rocks, in ruined towers, and under the tiling of houses; and has only one brood in the year. He observes of the Bank or Sand Martin, hirundo riparia, that it is the smallest of the genus, is of a disky brown colour above, and whitish beneath; and that it builds its nest in holes, which it bores in banks of sand, and is said to have only one brood in the year.

No subject has more engaged the attention of naturalists, in all ages, than the brumal retreat of the swallow; neither is there any subject on which more various and contrary opinions have been entertained. Some have supposed that they retire at the approach of winter to the inmost recesses of rocks and mountains, and that they there remain in a torpid state until spring. Others have conjectured that these birds immerse themselves in the water at the approach of winter, and that they remain at the bottom in a state of torpidity, until they are again called forth by the influence of the vernal sun. Dr. Forster admits that there are several instances on record of their having been found in such situations, clustered together in great numbers, and that, on being brought before the fire they have revived and flown away. But he thinks that few of the accounts were well authenticated; and that the celebrated John Hunter and Mr. Pearson clearly prove, from various experiments, that these birds cannot continue long under water without being drowned. The doctor does not deny that swallows have occasionally been found under water; but he attributes their having been found in such situations to mere accident. As it is well known that, towards the latter end of autumn, swallows frequently roost by the sides of lakes and rivers; he therefore supposes that a number of these birds had retired to roost on the banks of some shallow and muddy river at low tide; that they had been induced by the cold to creep among the reeds or rushes which might grow in the shallow parts of the river, and that while in that situation, driven into a state of torpidity by the cold, they had been overwhelmed, and perhaps washed into the current, by the coming in of the tide. He alludes to occasional instances of other birds besides swallows having been found in a state of torpor during winter, and imagines that fishermen had availed themselves of the coming in of the tide to catch fish, and that the swallows, before supposed to have been carried into the current, coming in contact with their nets, were consequently drawn out by them, and, not having been long under water, were not completely drowned. There are several circumstances which seem to favour the opinion, that these birds remain concealed during winter in this country. Among others, the most striking is, that swallows, hirundines rusticae, as well as martins, hirundines urbicae, have sometimes appeared very late in autumn, a considerable time after they were all supposed to have taken their departure; and that they have likewise been found concealed in the crevices of rocks, in holes of old decayed trees, in old ruined towers, and under the thatch of houses. Dr. Forster further presumes, that those birds, which have been found in a state of torpidity, had, owing to some accident, been hatched later in the year than ordinary, and consequently had not acquired sufficient strength to undergo the fatigue of a long journey upon the wing, at the time when the migration of the rest of their species took place; and that to shelter themselves from the inclemency of the weather, they had sought retreats wherein, from cold and hunger, they had sunk into a state of torpidity. "For several years past," says Dr. Forster, "I have observed that chimney swallows have appeared first in cold weather. I have sometimes seen them as early as April the 2d, when the mercury in the thermometer has been below the freezing point. On the other hand, I have often taken notice, that during a continuance of mild weather for the space of a fortnight, in the month of April, not so much as one swallow has appeared." He remarks, that towards the latter end of September, swallows, as well as martins, congregate in great numbers, and are frequently seen sitting on the tops of houses, and on rocks near the sea. These meetings usually continue for several days, after which they suddenly disappear. They seldom perch on trees, except in autumn, shortly provious to their disappearance, and they then choose dead trees in preference. They sometimes sit on trees earlier in summer, when the weather has been very cold.

Swifts begin to assemble in large bodies previous to their departure, early in July: their numbers daily increase, and they soar higher in the air, with shriller cries, and fly differently from their usual mode. Such meetings continue till towards the middle of August, after which they are seldom seen. Sand martins likewise flock together in autumn. Some years ago they appeared in great numbers in London and its neighbourhood. Dr. Forster clearly shows that swallows are birds of passage, and produces the accounts of mariners, who had seen these birds many hundred miles out at sea, and on whose ships they had alighted to rest, almost exhausted with fatigue and hunger. By this means we may be enabled, in some measure, to determine to what quarter of the globe they retire, when they leave Europe in autumn. Adanson, in his "Voyage to Senegal," relates, that on the 6th of October, being about fifty leagues from the coast, between the island of Goree and Senegal, four swallows alighted on the shrouds of his ship, which he easily caught, and knew to be European swallows. He adds, that they never appear at Senegal, until the winter season, and that they do not build nests as in Europe, but roost every night on the sand by the sea shore. Sir Charles Wager, first lord of the admiralty, relates, that in one of his voyages home, as he came into soundings of our channel, a great flock of swallows settled on his rigging: every rope was covered with them: they hung on one another like a swarm of bees: the decks and carvings were filled with them: they seemed spent and famished, and, to use his own expression, were only feathers and bones; but, recruited with a night's rest, they resumed their flight in the morning. A similar circumstance happened to captain Wright, in a voyage from Philadelphia to London.

There are many anecdotes of sagacity in these birds. For several years some swallows had built their mud habitations in the window frames of a house at Beaumaris, in Anglesea. These dry, comfortable, and protected abodes, were envied by the less favoured sparrows of the same place, who embraced the opportunity (while the unsuspected swallows were skimming o'er the wide bosom of the main) and confidently took possession, thinking also to establish an undoubted settlement by depositing their eggs; the swallows finding their rightful mansions engrossed by other tenants, seemed reconciled to the ejectement; but to the astonishment of the lady residing in the house, no sooner had the sparrows hatched their young, than the swallows gather all their forces and plastered up the entrance of the nest containing the old sparrow and her brood, where they perished.

In most parts of the country, martins and swallows are considered sacred birds, and to kill one is deemed a greater sin than the killing of other equally harmless birds. Children of all ages in the counties of Berks, Buckingham, and Oxford, repeat the following couplet, which if not taught, is always sanctioned by their parents:

The Martin and the Swallow,
Are God Almighty's birds to hollow.


Harebell. Hyacinthus non scriptus.
Dedicated to St. George.

April 24.

St. Fidelis. St. Mellitus, Abp. of Canterbury, A.D. 624. Sts. Bona, or Beuve, A.D. 673, and Doda, Abbesses. B. Robert, Abbot, A.D. 1067.

St. Fidelis.

According to Butler this saint was a missionary among the calvinists in Switzerland, was killed by their soldiers in 1622, he and his relics worked three hundred and five miracles, and he was canonized in 1729 by pope Benedict XIII.


Blackthorn. Prunus Spinosa.
Dedicated to St. Fidelis.

April 25.

St. Mark, Evangelist. St. Macull, or Macallius, or Manghold, 5th Cent. St. Anianus. St. Phœbadius, or Fiari, Bp. A.D. 392. St. Ivia, or Ivo, Bp. 7th Cent. St. Kebius, Bp. 4th Cent.

St. Mark.

Mr. Audley says, "It is generally allowed, that Mark, mentioned i[n] Pet. v. 13. is the Evangelist, but it has been doubted whether he be the same as John Mark, mentioned in the acts, and in some of Paul's epistles. Dr. Lardner thinks there is but one Mark in the New Testament, John Mark, the evangelist, and fellow-labourer of Paul Barnabas and Peter. He was the son of Mary, a pious woman of Jerusalem, at whose house the disciples used to meet. It is not known at what period Mark became a follower of Christ. His gospel was probably written about the year 63 or 64, and it has been said, that Mark going into Egypt first preached the gospel which he had written, and planted there many churches. He does appear to have been a martyr; but died in the eighth year of Nero, and was buried at Alexandria." Butler says, "It is certain that he was appointed by St. Peter, bishop of Alexandria," that he was martyred in the year 68, and that when he was discovered by his persecutors, he was "offering to God the prayer of oblation or the mass." So that we are to believe from Butler, that there was the "mass" in Mark's time!

St. Anianus, A.D. 86.

Alban Butler gravely quotes the "Acts of St. Mark" to acquaint us that St. Anianus, whom he calls the second bishop of Alexandria, "was a shoemaker of that city, whose hand being wounded with an awl, St. Mark healed when he first entered the city: such was his fervour and progress in virtue and learning, that St. Mark constituted him bishop of Alexandrea during his absence; and Anianus governed that great church four years with him, and eighteen year and seven months after his death." Robinson lowers the inflation of Butler's language by stating that Mark, as he was walking in Alexandria, "burst the stitching of his shoe, so that he could not proceed till it was repaired; the nearest cobler [sic] was the man; he mended the shoe or sandal, or whatever it was; the man was taught the gospel by Mark; he taught others, and this was the first pontiff of Alexandria, that is, the first regular teacher of a few poor people at Alexandria, who peradventure had no other cathedral than a garret: a teacher of primitive christianity is not to be confounded with a patriarch of Alexandria."* [Robinson's Eccles. Researches, 42.] This is a very different picture from that of the "great church" represented by Butler. In truth, the early christian pastors were poor and lowly men, and hence the ideas we affix to the denominations which they and their flocks receive from catholic writers should be derived from plain common-sense views of their real situations, so far as they can be ascertained.


Shoes or slippers were worn in the East, but sandals, which leave the toes bare, very seldom. The Egyptians made their shoes of papyrus or palm leaves. The Greeks and Romans of both sexes wore rich sandals of gold, silk, or other precious stuffs; the soles were of cork, which for that reason was called sandal wood, and they were, in general, at least one finger thick; sometimes they sewed five soles one over another. They were covered within and without with leather broader than the cork. Sandals were among the early, but not the later, Anglo-Saxons.* [Fosbroke's Dict. Antiq.]

Curious old Sandal.

Curious old Sandal.

The preceding cut is of a "very curious sandal," in three different views, from one made of leather, partly gilt, and variously coloured. It was formerly in the possession of Mr. Bailey, leather-stainer, Little Wild-street, Drury-lane, and afterwards in that of Mr. Samuel Ireland, of Norfolk-street, by whose permission, an engraving on copper was made by Mr. J. T. Smith, of the British Museum, and from this the present representation is given. The age of the sandal is not by the writer determinable, but as a remarkable relic of antiquity, its form and make deserve preservation. It will be observed, that it belonged to the left foot of the wearer; so that if other evidence could not be adduced, this is proof that "rights and lefts" are only "an old, old, very old" fashion revived.

The shoes of Bernard, king of Italy, found in his tomb, were "right and left": the soles were of wood, the upper part red leather, laced with thongs, and they fitted so closely, that the order of the toes, terminating in a point at the great toe, might easily be discovered.* [Fosbroke's Dict. Antiq.] Stubbs, the satirist in Shakspeare's time, describes cork shoes of pantofles, (slippers) as bearing up their wearers two inches or more from the ground; as of various colours, and raised, carved, cut, or stitched; as frequently made of velvet, embroidered with the precious metals; and when fastened with strings, covered with enormous and valuable roses of ribband curiously ornamented. "It is remarkable that, as in the present age, both shoes and slippers were worn shaped after the right and left foot. Shakespeare describes his smith as

'Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste
Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet:—

and Scott, in his 'Discoverie of Witchcraft,' observes, that he who receiveth a mishcance 'will consider, whether he put not on his shirt wrong side outwards, or his left shoe on his right foot.'"† [Dr. Drake's Shakspeare and his Times]

Some light may be thrown on the engraving by an extract from an heraldic writer: "He beareth or, two sandals sable, buckles or tyes argent. This was the ancient way of securing the feet of travellers from the hardness of the country passage; and consisted of nothing else but a sole, (either of leather or wood) to which was made fast 2 or 3 tyes or latches which was buckled on the top of the foot; the better sort adorned these latches with inbrauthered (embroidered) work, and set them with stones." Whence it appears that the engraving represents such a sandal "of the better sort." The same author mentions three sandals sable, buckled and adorned or, on a field azure "borne by Palmer."* [Holme's Acad. of Armorie.] Ladies may be amused by looking at the form, as placed before his readers, of a shoe which the author just cited says was "of the gentest (genteelest) fashion" of his time.

Early High Heeled Shoe

This was the fashion that beautified the feet of the fair in the reign of king William and queen Mary. The old "Deputy for the kings or arms" is minutely diffuse on the "gentle craft:" he engraves the form of "a pair of wedges," which he says "is to raise up a shooe in the instep when it is too straight for the top of the foot;" and thus compassionates ladies' sufferings.— "Shoomakers love to put ladies in their stocks; but these wedges, like merciful justices upon complaint, soon do ease and deliver them." If the eye turns to the cut— to the cut of the sole with the "line of beauty" adapted by the cunning workman's skill to stilt the female foot—if the reader behold that association, let wonder cease, that a venerable master in coat-armour should bend his quarterings to the quartering of a lady's shoe, and forgetful of heraldic forms, condescend from his "high estate" to the use of similitudes.


The difference of opinion respecting the true time of Easter, in the year 1825, and the explanation at p. 416 of the error at p. 190, as to the rule for finding this feast have occasioned various letters to the editor, from which he selects three, in order to further elucidate and close the subject. The first is a lively introduction.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

In your fourteenth number, you accuse the almanac-makers of having thought good to fix Easter-day on the 3rd of April instead of the 10th, on which day, you say, according to the act of parliament and the rubric of the church, Easter-day ought to be celebrated. This statement is calculated to "unsettle the faith of thousands in their almanac-maker;" for, sure enough, the almanac-maker appears to have made Easter-day fall on the day of the full moon, instead of the week after; I therefore fully acquit you of all intention to mislead your readers, and slander the almanac-maker; and yet you most certainly have done both from not sufficiently taking into your consideration the omnipotence of parliament, especially in astronomical matters. You may possibly recollect, that, even a few years back, parliament, for the purpose I think of protecting game from poachers, declared that night should commence, during the summer month, before the sun thought proper to set. Now, in defiance of those matter-of-fact gentlemen, the almanac-makers, the act of parliament for the uniformity of worship, has this year appointed the paschal full moon for the 2d of April instead of the 3rd, and thereby converted the 3rd into Easter Sunday. The statute of 14 Cr. II. says nothing about Easter Sunday, but it orders the Book of Common Prayer to be joined and annexed to the act, so that the rubric has the force and omnipotence of an act of parliament to alter the course of the moon, and to regulate its wane and increase.

The rubric exercises this power, by compelling you to look out for the full moon in certain tables of its own concocting, and does not allow you to consult the almanac. The paschal full moon must be ascertained by discovering the golden number of the year, (for which a rule given,) and the day set next that Golden Number (in the table before-mentioned,) is, by the omnipotence of parliament, declared to be the full moon day. The Golden Number for the present year is according to the rule 2, and the day fixed against that number is April 2d, and is therefore the paschal full moon in spite of the almanac-makers. The full moon being fixed thus by government, Easter-day is ascertained by finding the Sunday letter by another rule, according to which B is the Sunday letter for the present year, and the day of the month affixed to the first B, after the act of parliament full moon, is Easter Sunday; unluckily this letter B has chanced to fall upon the almanac-maker's full moon, viz. the 3rd of April, but surely you are too reasonable a man to blame them for that: remember, however loyal they may be, they cannot compel the sun to set at eight o'clock on the longest day, nor persuade the moon to attain her full a moment before it pleases her variable ladyship.

I am, sir,
Your much amused, and constant reader,


The next communication is in further support of the almanac-maker's Easter.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

It appears the author of the article "Easter," in the Every-Day Book, p. 416, thinks the almanac-makers wrong in fixing Easter Sunday, for 1825, on the 3rd of april, when the full moon took place at 6h. 23m. in the morning of that very day. He probably was not aware, that the astronomical day commences at 12 noon, and ends the next noon. The 2d of April (as an astronomical day,) commenced on the Saturday, and ended on the Sunday at noon. The festivals being regulated according to this astronomical division of time, it follows that the almanac-makers were correct in considering the full moon to take place on Saturday, the 2d of April, and in fixing Easter Sunday for the 3rd of April. I trust you will find it worth while to insert this correction of your statement, from


To the latter correspondent's observations, this answer has been received from the gentleman to whom it became the editor's duty to transmit it for consideration.

For the Every-Day Book.

The object of those who fixed the day for the celebration of Easter, was to prevent the full moon being on the Sunday on which the offices for the Resurrection were to be performed, and the custom of astronomers has nothing to do with the question. The full moon according to them might be on the twenty-third hour of the Saturday, but this would be eleven o'clock of Saturday, at which time the Romish and English chruches would be performing the offices of the Resurrection; this was the point to be avoided, and this is done by the ecclesiastical canon and the act of parliament.

In this correspondence Easter is disposed of. The rubric clearly states the rule for finding the festival, and the last letter represents the ground whereon it was deemed expedient that the church should celebrate it according to that rule.


1595. Torquatus Tasso, the poet, died at Rome. He was born, in 1544, at Sorrento in Naples, wrote verses at nine years of age, became a student at law, and composed the "Rinaldo" at seventeen. Althought his celebrated epic "Jerusalem Delivered" is that whereon his poetical fame is chiefly grounded, yet his "Aminta," and other pieces are rich in fancy and beautiful in style; he was also excellent in prose. The most remarkable feature in his character was a hopeless passion for the princess Eleanora, sister of the duke of Ferrara, that he conceived early in life, and nourished till his death.

1800. William Cowper, the poet, died at Dereham, in Norfolk; he was born November, 26, 1731, at Berkhamstead, in Hertfordshire. When a child he was shy and diffident. "His own forcible expression," says Hayley, "represented him at Westminster-school as not daring to raise his eye above the shoe-buckle of the elder boys, who were too apt to tyrannize over his gentle spirit." Fear of personal publicity increased with his years. At thirty-one it was necessary that he should appear at the bar of the House of Lords, to entitle himself to the appointment of clerk of the journals which had been obtained for him, he was incapable of the effort, his terror overwhelmed his reason, and he was subjected to confinement till his faculties recovered. Morbid glooms and horrors of the imagination clouded his mind throughout life, and he more than once attempted self-destruction. When not subjected to these dreadful affections he was cheerful and amiable. Innocence of heart and extreme modesty were the most remarkable features in his character. His poetry is in the hands of every body; its popularity is the best praise of its high merits. He was enabled by his fortune to indulge his love of retirement, surrounded by a few friends whom he ardently loved. He speaks of himself, in a letter to Mr. Park, so as to exemplify his usual habits—"From the age of twenty to thirty-three I was occupied, or ought to have been , in the study of the law; from thirty-three to sixty I have spent my time in the country, where my reading has been only an apology for idleness, and where, when I had not either a magazine or a review, I was sometimes a carpenter, at others a bird-cage maker, or a gardener, or a drawer of landscapes. At fifty years of age I commenced an author:— it is a whim that has served me longest and best, and will probably be my last." A little volume entitled the "Rural Walks of Cowper," illustrates his attachment to the country, by a series of fifteen views from drawings made and engraved by Mr. James Storer; they exemplify scenery in Cowper's poems, with descriptive sketches; it is an agreeable assistant to every one who desires to know something of the places wherein the poet delighted to ramble or meditate. There is a natural desire to bcome acquainted with the countenance of a man whose writings we love or admire, and the spots that were associated with his feelings and genius. Who can read Cowper's letter to his friend Hill, descriptive of his summer-house, without wishing to walk into it? "I write in a nook that I call my boudoir; it is a summer-house not bigger than a sedan chair; the door of it opens into the garden that is now crowded with pinks, roses, and honeysuckles, and the window into my neighbour's orchard. It formerly served an apothecary as a smoking-room; at present, however, it is dedicated to sublimer uses; here I write all that I write in summer time, whether to my friends or to the public. It is secure from all noise, and a refuge from all intrusion." The present engraving of it is taken by Mr. Storer's permission from his design made on the spot.

It was here, perhaps, that Cowper wrote his poem on a nightingale, that sung with a thorn in her breast, an affecting allusion to the state of his own feelings. There is another of his productions on the same "sweet bird," whom all poets wait on, which is subjoined by way of conclusion to this brief notice of a bard honoured for his talents, and revered for his love of virtue.

Which the author heard sing on New Year's Day, 1792.

Whence is it, that amaz'd I hear
From yonder wither'd spray,
This foremost morn of all the year,
The melody of May.

And why, since thousands would be proud
Of such a favour shown,
Am I selected from the crowd,
To witness it alone!

Sing'st thou, sweet Philomel, to me,
For that I also long
Have practised in the groves like thee,
Though not like thee in song?

Or sing'st thou rather under force
Of some divine command,
Commission'd to presage a course
Of happier days at hand?

Thrice welcome then! for many a long
And joyless year have I,
As thou to-day, put forth thy song
Beneath a wintry sky

But thee no wintry skies can harm,
When only need'st to sing,
To make ev'n January charm,
And ev'ry season Spring.

Cowper's Summer-House at Olney.

Cowper's Summer-House at Olney.

St. Mark's Day, or Eve.

This was a great fast-day in England during the rule of the Romish church. An old writer says, that in 1589, "I being as then but a boy, do remember that an ale wife, making no exception of dayes, would needs brue upon Saint Marke's days; but loe, the marvailous worke of God! whiles she was thus laboring, the top of the chimney tooke fire; and, before it could bee quenched, her house was quite burnt. Surely," says this observer of sainted seasons, "a gentle warning to them that violate and profane forbidden daies."* [Vaughan's Golden Grove] Another writer observes, that although there was not anciently any fast-day between Easter and Whitsunday, yet, besides many days in the Rogation week, the popes had devised "a monstrous fast on Saint Marke's day." He says, "all other fastinge daies are on the holy day Even, only Saint Marke must have his day fasted." He asks why and by what decree of the church, or by what general council the fast was ordained? He inquires why one side of the street in Cheapside being in the diocese of London fasts on that day, and why the other side being in the diocese of Canterbury fasts not?* [The burnynge of Paules Church in 1561. See Brand.]

On St. Mark's day blessings on the corn were implored. According to a manuscript of Mr. Pennant's, no farmer in North Wales dare hold his team on this day, because they there believe one man's team that worked upon it was marked with the loss of an ox. A Yorkshire clergyman informed Mr. Brand, that it was customary in that county for the common people to sit and watch in the church porch on St. Mark's Eve, from eleven o'clock at night till one in the morning. The third year (for this must be done thrice,) they are supposed to see the ghosts of all those who are to die the next year, pass by into the church. When any one sickens that is thought to have been seen in this manner, it is presently whispered about that he will not recover, for that such, or such an one, who has watched St. Mark's Eve, says so. This superstition is in such force, that, if the patients themselves hear of it, they almost despair of recovery. Many are said to have actually died by their imaginary fears on the occasion. The terrors of the ignorant are high in proportion to the darkness wherein they grovel.

A correspondent near Peterborough, who has obliged the editor by transmitting what he denominates some "miscellaneous superstitions and shadows of customs whose origins are worn out," includes among them the following interesting communication respecting St. Mark's day usages in Northamptonshire.

For the Every-Day Book.

On St. Mark's Eve, it is still a custom about us for young maidens to make the dumb cake, a mystical ceremony which has lost its origin, and in some counties may have ceased altogether. The number of the party never exceeds three; they meet in silence to make the cake, and as soon as the clock strikes twelve, they each break a portion off to eat, and when done, they walk up to bed backwards without speaking a word, for if one speaks the spell is broken. Those that are to be married see the likeness of their sweethearts hurrying after them, as if wishing to catch them before they get into bed, but the maids being apprized of this before hand, (by the cautions of old women who have tried it,) take care to unpin their clothes before they start, and are ready to slip into bed before they are caught by the pursuing shadow; if nothing is seen the desired token may be a knocking at the doors, or a rustling in the house, as soon as they have retired. To be convinced that it comes from nothing else but the desired cause, they are always particular in turning out the cats and dogs before the ceremony begins. Those that are to die unmarried neither see nor hear any thing; but they have terrible dreams, which are sure to be of new-made graves, winding-sheets, and church-yards, and of rings that will fit no finger, or which, if they do, crumble into dust as soon as put on. There is another dumb ceremony, of eating the yolk of an egg in silence, and then filling the shell with salt, when the sweetheart is sure to make his visit in some way or other before morning. On this same night too, the more stout-hearted watch the church-porch; they go in the evening and lay in the church-porch a branch of a tree, or a flower, large enough to be readily found in the dark, and then return home to wait the approach of midnight. They are to proceed to the porch again before the clock strikes twelve, and to remain in it till it has struck; as many as choose accompany the maid, who took the flower or branch and is to fetch it again, as far as the church-gate, and there wait till their adventuring companion returns, who, if she is to be married within the year, is to see a marriage procession pass by her, with a bride in her own likeness hanging on the arm of her future husband; as many bridesmen and maidens as appear to follow them, so many months is the maid to wait before her marriage. If she is to die unmarried, then the expected procession is to be a funeral, consisting of a coffin covered with a white sheet, borne on the shoulders of shadows that seem without heads. This custom, with all its contingent "hopes and fears," is still practised, though with what success, I am not able to determine. The imagination may be wrought to any height in such matters, and doubtless some persuade themselves that they see what the story describes. An odd character at Helpstone, whose name is Ben Barr, and whom the villagers call and believe as "the prophet," watches the church-porch every year, and pretends to know the fate of every one in the villages round, and who shall be married or die in the year; but as a few pence, generally purchase a good omen, he seldom prophesies the deaths of his believers. ¶ ¶

This "Ben Barr," of Helpstone, must be an useful fellow to timid believers in such affairs. He seems to have created for himself a place of trust and profit; if he is only a wag he may enjoy his emoluments with his humour, and do no harm; but should he assume to foretel mischief to his believers, he is, legally speaking, a "sturdy rogue." The seeing of supernatural sights by a paid proxy is a novelty in the annals of superstition. But if Ben Barr is the first, so he is the last of such seers. He will have no successor in office, there will be little demand for such a functionary, the income will fall off, and no one will undertake to see "Satan's invisible world," and warn unbelievers in ghosts, for nothing.


Clarimond Tulip. Tulipa præcox.
Dedicated to St. Mark.

April 26.

St. Cletus, Pope and Martyr, A.D. 89. St. Marcellinus, Pope and Martyr, A.D. 304. St. Richarius, or Riquier, Abbot, about 645. St. Paschasius Radbert, Abbot, about 865.


1716. The great lord Somers died. He was lord chancellor, and at different periods held other offices of high trust, which he ennobled by acts of distinguished virtue and patriotism: he vindicated public liberty with courage, and maintained it with success to the end of his life.

The Country.

A town life is coveted by the artificial, praised to ecstacy by mindless minds. They who can only derive entertainment from

Shows and sights, and hateful forms,

and they who are without intellectual resources, throw themselves into the floods of the "mighty heart," in search of refreshing pleasures. Not so he, who has tasted the "knowledge of good and evil," and from depth of reflection welled up wisdom: he loves only what is good, and attaches himself only to what is great in his species; this is from sympathy, not contact. Silence and time are not of man's make, and hence the wise court solitude from the wrongs and follies of surrounding beings, and enjoy a portion of their existence in contemplating the pure forms of nature. The perverted genius which preferred

"The sweet shady side
Of a grove in Pall Mall"

to rural scenery, by a little further perversion, would have preferred the groves of Moloch to the plains of Mamre.

If one would live by nature's laws,
Regardless of the world's applause;
And be desirous of a spot
Whereon to build a humble cot,
What situation can compare
With that where purest country air
Dispels the vapours and the spleen,
And makes one wear a healthful mien?

Than in the country tell me where
Men freer are from pining care?
Where can they sounder sleep enjoy,
Or time more harmlessly employ?
Do marble pavements more delight,
Than the green turf that cheers the sight?
Or does the water of the town,
From the New-river head broaght [sic] down
Taste sweeter than the crystal rills,
That trickle down the verdant hills?

So much are rustic scenes admir'd,
And rural prospects now desir'd,
That in the town one often sees
The houses shaded by tall trees,
Which give them quite a country look,
And fill with envy my lord-duke.
And if a mansion can command
A distant prospect o'er the land
Of Hampstead, or the Surrey hills,
Its site with admiration fills.
Each connoisseur, with wond'ring eyes,
Beholds it, and enraptur'd cries,
"What charming prospect! air how free
"The rus in urbe here we see."
For nature still will have her way,
Let men do whatsoe'er they may.
And still that pure and genuine taste,
In every mind by Heav'n plac'd,
Will show itself some how in part,
Howe'er corrupted by vile art.
Who know not silver from vile dross,
Will not sustain a heavier loss
Than they who truth and falsehood join,
And know not where to strike the line.
Whoe'er with success is elated,
Will be more wretched when ill-fated;
And things which mortals value most
Cause greatest pain when they are lost.
Let not ambition then destroy
Your happiness and heart-felt joy;
Contentment more true pleasure brings
Than all the wealth and pomp of kings.


Yellow Erysemum. Erysemum Barbarea.
Dedicated to St. Richarius.

April 27.

St. Anthimus, Bp. and many other martyrs at Nicomedia, A.D. 303. St. Anastasius, Pope, A.D. 401. St. Zita, A.D. 1272.


1742. Nicholas Amhurst, an English political, poetical, and miscellaneous writer, died in poverty and of a broken heart at Twickenham, at the age of thirty-six. He was author of "Terræ Filius," a severe satire on the university of Oxford, from whence he had been expelled, and he edited the once celebrated "Craftsman," one of the most popular journals ever printed, and the most effective of all the publications against the Walpole administration. Bolingbroke and Pulteney with whom he had been associated in the conduct of this paper, and whose interests he had promoted by his wit, learning, and knowledge, deserted him when they had attained their purposes by Walpole's downfal. Mr. A. Chalmers concludes a memoir of him by an observation that ought to be rivetted on the mind of every man who thinks himself a public character. "The ingratitude of statesmen to the persons whom they make use of as the instruments of their ambition, should furnish an instruction to men of abilities in future times; and engage them to build their happiness on the foundation of their own personal integrity, discretion, and virtue." Ralph the historian, in one of his pamphlets, says "Poor Amhurst, after having been the drudge of his party for the best part of twenty years together, was as much forgotten in the famous compromise of 1742, as if he had never been born! and when he died of what is called a broken heart, which happened a few months afterwards, became indebted to the charity of (Richard Francklin) a bookseller for a grave; not to be traced now, because then no otherwise to be distinguished, than by the freshness of the turf, borrowed from the next common to cover it."

There is an order
Of mortals on the earth, who do become
Old in their youth, and die ere middle age,
Without the violence of warlike death;
Some perishing of pleasure—some of study—
Some worn with toil—some of weariness—
Some of disease—and some insanity—
And some of withered, or of broken hearts;
For this last is a malady which slays
More than are numbered in the lists of Fate,
Taking all shapes, and bearing many names.

1785. Prince Leopold of Brunswick, was drowned by the waters of Frankfurt upon the Oder, in endeavouring to succour the inhabitants of a village which was overflowed.

1794. Sir William Jones died, aged forty-eight.

1794. James Bruce, the traveller into Abyssinia, died by falling down the stairs of his own house. He was born at Kinnaird, in Stirlingshire, North Britain, 1730. His veracity, defamed in his lifetime, has been supported by every subsequent information concerning the regions he visited.


Great Daffodil. Narcissus major.
Dedicated to St. Anastasius.

April 28.

St. Vitalis, Martyr, about 62. Sts. Didymus and Theodora, A.D. 304. St. Patricius, Bp. of Prussia, in Bithynia, Martyr.


1535. Albert Pio, price [sic] of Carpi, was buried with extraordinary pomp in the church of the Cordeliers at Paris. He had been deprived of his principality by the duke of Ferara [sic], became an author, and finally a fanatic. Entering one day into one of the churches at Madrid, he presented holy water to a lady who had a very thin hand ornamented by a most beautiful and valuable ring. He exclaimed in a loud voice as she reached the water, "Madam, I admire the ring more than the hand." The lady instantly exclaimed with reference to the cordon with which he was decorated, "And for my part, I admire the halter more than I do the ass." He was buried in the habit of a Cordelier, and Erasmus made a satire upon the circumstance, entitled the "Seraphic Interment."

1772. The counts Struensee, the Danish prime minister, and Brandt, the favourite of the king of Denmark, were executed opposite the eastern gate of Copenhagen. Their alleged crime was an intrigue with the queen of Denmark, the princess Carolina Matilda of England, sister to king George III., on whose entreaty she was removed from confinement in the castle of Cronenburg to Zell in the electorate of Hanover, where she died about three years afterwards.


Cuckoo Pink. Arum Maculatum.
Dedicated to Sts. Didymus and Theodora

April 29.

St. Peter, Martyr, A.D. 1252. St. Robert, Abbot of Molesme, A.D. 1110. St. Hugh, Abbot of Cluni, A.D. 1109. St. Fiachna, A.D. 630.


1779. Died at Pershore in Worcestershire, the Rev. John Ash. L. L. D. He was an eminent minister among the dissenters, but is better known for his grammar and other works in philology. His "Complete English Dictionary," until the appearance of Mr. Todd's octavo edition of Johnson's, was the best compendium of words that could be referred to, and may still be consulted with advantage by the student.

1822. Sir Isaac Heard, garter principal king at arms, died aged ninety-one. He was a good herald and an amiable man.

A Morning in Spring.

The dawn now breaks, the dews distil,
And zephyrs fan the waving hill;
The low'ring clouds begin to rise,
And chilly vapours blot the skies.
O'er neighb'ring woods the golden ray
Emits the blush of op'ning day:
The flocks, that leave the verdant brake,
The dew-drops from their fleeces shake:
The lawns, with gems besprinkled shine;
The spider weaves his silky line;
The cowslip, mark'd with spots of gold,
And daisies, all their hues unfold;
The violets, more modest, shade
Their odours in the silent glade;
The early lark now wings her flight,
And gaily soars beyond the sight;
The tender linnet, and the thrush,
Resound from ev'ry dripping bush,
And finches, perch'd on many a spray,
With dulcet sounds proclaim the day;
The housewife now prepares to bake
The kneaded bread, or homely cake;
Or sets the milk, or tends the race
That haunts her yard, or kitchen grace.
When nature clothes the various scene
With tufts of flow'rs, and robes of green;
When limpid streams their lustres give,
And health, and glad contentment live
With lovely nymphs and happy swains,
In humble cots, or tranquil plains,
I bless her bounties, and I raise
My artless theme to sounds of praise.
While others seek for wealth and pow'r,
Let me enjoy the sober hour
Which converse, or which books bestow,
To soothe the heart, and blunt its woe!


Herb Robert. Geranium Robertianum.
Dedicated to St. Robert.

April 30.

St. Catharine of Sienna, A.D. 1380. St. Maximus, A.D. 250. Sts. James, Marian, &c. Martyrs in Numidia, A.D. 259. St. Erkonwald, B. of London, 7th Cent. St. Ajutre or Adjutor, A.D. 1131.

St. Catharine of Sienna.

St. Catharine often saw the devil. According to Ribadineira, at six years old she knew the lives of the holy fathers and hermits by revelation, practised abstinence, and shut herself up with other children in a room, where they whipped themselves. At seven she offered herself to the Virgin as a spouse for her son. When marriageable, she refused the importunity of her parents to wed; and having cut off her hair to keep her vow, they made her a kitchen-maid; but her father, one day as he was praying in a corner, seeing the Holy Ghost sitting upon her head in the shape of a dove, she was released from drudgery, and was favoured with a revelation from St. Dominick. She eat no meat, drank only water, and at last left off bread, sustaining herself by herbs alone, and her grace before meals was, "Let us go take the punishment due to this miserable sinner[.]" She so mastered sleep, that she scarcely took any rest, and her bed was only boards. She wore around her body next to the skin a chain of iron, which sunk into her flesh. Three times a day, and for an hour and a half each time, she flogged herself with another iron chain, till great streams of blood ran down; and when she took the black and white habit of the order of St. Dominick she increased her mortification. For three years she never spoke, except at confession; never stirred out of her cell but to go to the church; and sat up all night watching—taking rest in the quire at matins only, and then lying upon the floor with a piece of wood under her head for a bolster. She was tempted by devils in a strange manner described by Ribadeneira: but to drive them away, she disciplined her body with the iron chain so much the more. When the fiend perceived he could make no impression on her virginal heart, he changed his battery. She had undertaken to cure an old woman who had a cancer in her breast so loathsome, that no one would go near her, but by the devil's instigation, the old woman gave out that Catharine was not as good as she should be, and stuck to her point. Catharine, knowing the devil's tricks, would not desist; and, to do her honour, Christ appeared, and offered to her the choice of two crowns—one of pure gold, the other of thorns; she took the crown of thorns, pressed it so close upon her head, that it gave her great pain; and Christ commanded her to continue her attendance upon the woman, who, in consequence of a vision, confessed her calumny, to the great confusion of the devil. Ribadineira says that after this, Christ appeared to her, "opened to her the wound in his side, and made her drink till she was so ravished, that her soul was deprived of its functions." Her love and affection to Christ were so intense, that she was almost always languishing and sick; at last it took away her life, and she was dead for four hours, in which time she saw strange things concerning heaven, hell, and purgatory. On a certain day he appeared to her, with his mother and other saints, and espoused her in a marvellous and singular manner; visited her almost continually with the greatest familiarity and affection, sometimes in their company, though ordinarily he came alone, and entertained her by reciting and singing psalms with her. Once as she was coming home from church, he appeared to her in the disguise of a pilgrim, and begged a coat of her; she returned to the church, and secretly taking off her petticoat, brought it to him, not knowing who he was. He asked her for a shirt; she bade him follow her home, and she gave him her shift. Not content with this, he requested more clothes of her, as well for himself as a companion; but as she had nothing else left, and was much afflicted, in the night, he appeared to her as the pilgrim, and showing her what she had bestowed upon him in the garb he had assumed, promised to give her an invisible garment, which should keep her from all cold both of body and soul. One time she prayed to him to take from her her heart of flesh, and it seemed to her that he came, and opening her side, took out her heart, and carried it away with him. It appeared almost incredible to her confessor when she told him she had no heart; "Yet," says Ribadineira, "that which happened afterwards was a certain argument of the truth; for, in a few days, Christ appeared to her in great brightness, holding in his hand a ruddy heart, most beautiful to behold, and coming to her, put it into her left side, and said, 'My daughter Catharine, now thou hast my heart instead of thy own;' and having said this, he closed up her side again, in proof whereof a scar remained in her side, which she often showed." By her influence with heaven, she obtained forgiveness for numbers that were ready to fall into hell. Two hardened and impenitent thieves, being led to execution, and tied and tortured on a cart, were attended by a multitude of devils. Catharine begged the favour of going with them in the cart to the city gates, and there by her prayers and intercession, Christ showed himself to the thieves, all bloody and full of wounds, invited them to penance, and promised them pardon if they would repent, which they accordingly did. Through her intercession, her mother, who died without confession, was raised to life again, and lived till she was fourscore and nine years old. She had the gift of prophecy, healed the sick at the last gasp, cast out devils, and worked miracles. Once making bread of tainted flour, the "queen of angels" came to help her to knead it, and it proved to be most excellent bread, white and savoury. She drew also very good wine out of an empty hogshead. Her numerous victories over the devil enraged him so much, that he tormented her till she was nothing but skin and bones. Sometimes he amused himself with throwing her into the fire, and the marks and prints of the wounds he gave her, appeared all over her body. "At length," says Ribadeneira, "when she was three and thirty years old, she entered into an agony, fought the devil valiantly, and triumphed over him at her death, which happened at Rome on the 29th of April, 1380, her ghost appearing to Father Raymundus, her confessor, at Genoa, on the same day, and her body working so many miracles, that for the multitude of people resorting thither, it could not be buried for three days." All this may be seen in Ribadeneira's "Lives of the Saints," with more, which, from regard to the reader's feelings, is not even adverted to. It should be added, that the present particulars are from the "Miraculous Host," a pamphlet published in 1821, in illustration of a story, said to have been used in converting two ladies, belonging to the family of Mr. Loveday, of Hammersmith.


With the spring comes the lark, and now she carols her rich melody from the earliest beam to the meridian of solar glory. There is no enjoyment more delicious to the ear of nature, than her aërial song in this delightful season:—


O, earliest singer! O, care-charming bird,
Married to Morning by a sweeter hymn
Than priest e'er chaunted from his cloister dim
At midnight,—or veiled virgin's holier word
At sunrise or the paler evening heard,—
To which of all Heaven's young and lovely Hours,
Who wreathe soft light in hyacinthine bowers,
Beautiful Spirit, is thy suit preferred?
—Unlike the creatures of this low dull earth,
Still dost thou woo, although thy suit be won
And thus thy mistress bright is pleased ever.
Oh! lose not thou this mark of finer birth—
So may'st thou yet live on, from sun to sun,
Thy joy uncheck'd, thy sweet song silent never.
Barry Cornwall.


To the indications respecting rain by the flight of the swallow, mentioned under April 23, should be added, that when the swallow is observed to fly high, the weather will probably be fair. There are also some other indications in a set of old rules which may be consulted; viz.

Prognostics of the Weather.

To be able to ascertain the future changes of the weather, is of infinite use to the farmer and gardener.

Animals are evidently sooner sensible of the ensuing change of the atmosphere than we are, and from their divers appearance, and apparent sensations, we may in many instances determine what changes are likely to take place.

The following may be set down as general rules, and upon minute observation we shall find them correct.

When the raven is observed early in the morning at a great height in the air, soaring round and round, and uttering a hoarse croaking sound, we may be sure the day will be fine, and may conclude the weather is about to clear and become fair.

The loud and clamorous quackling of ducks, geese, and other water-fowl, is a sign of rain.

Before rain swine appear very uneasy, and rub in the dust, as do cocks and hens.

Before storms kine and also sheep assemble at one corner of the field, and are observed to turn all their heads toward the quarter from whence the wind doth not blow.

The appearance of sea gulls, petrels, or other sea fowl in the inlands, indicates stormy weather.

In fine weather the bat is observed to continue flying abont [sic] very late of an evening.

In autumn before rain some flies bite, and others become very troublesome, and gnats are more apt to sting.

When flocks of wild geese are observed flying in a westward or southern direction in autumn, it indicates a hard winter.

The floating of gossamer, and its alighting on the rigging of ships, foretels fine weather.

The clamorous croaking of frogs indicates rainy weather.

The appearance of beetles flying about of an evening in summer, indicates that the next day will be fair.

Before rain dogs are apt to grow very sleepy and dull, and to lay all day before the fire.

Before rain moles throw up the earth more than usual.

The appearance of rare foreign birds in this country, such as rollers, hoopoos, &c. indicates hard weather.

When spiders are seen crawling on the walls more than usual, rain will probably ensue.

The much barking of dogs in the night frequently indicates a change in the weather.

When the trees and hedges are very full of berries, it indicates a hard winter.

The abundance of woodseare and honeydew on herbs indicates fair weather, as does floating gossamer.

It is said in Wiltshire, that the dunpickles or moor buzzards alight in great numbers on the downs before rain.

Before storms the missel thrush is observed to sing particularly loud, and to continue so till the commencement of the rain; from which circumstance it is in some places called the storm cock.

It is a sign of rain when pigeons return slowly to the dovehouses.

When bees do not go out as usual, but keep in or about their hives, rain may be expected.

Before wind, swine run squeaking about as though they were mad; which has given rise to the notion that pigs can see the wind.

Before rain the pintadoes called comebacks squall more than usual; as do peacocks.

The early appearance of woodcocks, snipes, swinepipes, fieldfares, &c. are prognostications of severe winters.

When the dew lies plenteously upon the grass in the evening, the next day will probably be fine; when there is little or no dew, probably wet.

Dr. Forster observes, on the authority of Virgil, "that the blowing about of feathers, or any light substances on the water, is also a sign of rain."


In the "Indicator" Mr. Leigh Hunt discourses of this beautiful season with his usual grace. He says—

"The spring is now complete. The winds have done their work. The shaken air, well tempered and equalized, has subsided; the genial rains, however thickly they may come, do not saturate the ground, beyond the power of the sun to dry it up again. There are clear crystal mornings; noons of blue sky and white cloud; nights, in which the growing moon seems to lie looking at the stars, like a young shepherdess at her flock.

"Then the young green. This is the most apt and perfect mark of the season,—the true issuing forth of the spring. The trees and bushes are putting forth their crisp fans; the lilac is loaded with bud; the meadows are thick with the bright young grass, running into sweeps of white and gold with the daisies and buttercups. The orchards announce their riches, in a shower of silver blossoms. The earth in fertile woods is spread with yellow and blue carpets of primroses, violets, and hyacinths, over which the birch-trees, like stooping nymphs, hang with their thickening hair. Lilies of the valley, stocks, columbines, lady-smocks, and the intensely red piony which seems to anticipate the full glow of summertime, all come out to wait upon the season, like fairies from their subterraneous palaces."


Cowslip. Primula Veris.
Dedicated to St. Catharine of Sienna.