Then came old January, wrapped well
   In many weeds to keep the cold away;
   Yet did he quake and quiver like to quell;
   And blow his nayles to warm them if he may;
   For they were numb'd with holding all the day
   An hatchet keene, with which he felled wood,
   And from the trees did lop the needlesse spray
   Upon a huge great earth-pot steane he stood,
From whose wide mouth there flowed forth the Romane flood.


Laus Deo!—was the first entry by merchants and tradesmen of our forefathers' days, in the beginning of their new account-books with the new year. LAUS DEO! then, be the opening of this volume of the Every-Day Book, wherein we take further "note of time," and make entries to the days, and months, and seasons, in "every varied posture, place, and hour."

JANUARY, besides the names already mentioned,* [In vol. i. p. 2.] was called by the Anglo-Saxons Giuli aftera, signifying the second Giul, or Yule, or, as we should say, the second Christmas.* [Sayers.] Of Yule itself much will be observed, when it can be better said.

To this month there is an ode with a verse beautifully descriptive of the Roman symbol of the year:† [See vol. i. p. 1.

'Tis he! the two-fac'd Janus comes in view;
   Wild hyacinths his robe adorn,
   And snow-drops, rivals of the morn:
      He spurns the goat aside,
      But smiles upon the new
      Emerging year with pride:
   And now unlocks, with agate key,
   The ruby gates of orient day.


Mr. Luke Howard is the author of a highly useful work, entitled "The Climate of London, deduced from Meteorological Observations, made at different places in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis: London, 1818" 2 vols. 8vo. Out of this magazine of fact it is proposed to extract, from time to time, certain results which may acquaint general readers with useful knowledge concerning the weather of our latitude, and induce the inquisitive to resort to Mr. Howard's book, as a careful guide of high authority in conducting their researches. That gentleman, it is hoped, will not deem this an improper use of his labours: it is meant to be, as far as regards himself, a humble tribute to his talents and diligence. With these views, under each month will be given a state of the weather, in Mr. Howard's own words: and thus we begin.


The Sun in the middle of this month continues about 8 h. 20 m. above the horizon. The Temperature rises in the day, on an average of twenty years, to 40.28°; and falls in the night, in the open country, to 31.36°—the difference, 8.92°, representing the mean effect of the sun's rays for the month, may be termed the solar variation of the temperature.

The Mean Temperature of the month, if the observations in this city be included, is 36.34°. But this mean has a range, in ten years, of about 10.25°, which may be termed the lunar variation of the temperature. It holds equally in the decade, beginning with 1797, observed in London, and in that beginning with 1807, in the country. In the former decade, the month was coldest in 1802, and warmest in 1812, and coldest in 1814. I have likewise shown, that there was a tendency in the daily variation of temperature through this month, to proceed, in these respective periods of years, in opposite directions. The prevalence of different classes of winds, in the different periods, is the most obvious cause of these periodical variations of the mean temperature.

The Barometer in this month rises, on an average of ten years, to 3[0].40 in., and falls to 28.97 in.: the mean range is therefore 1.43 in.; but the extreme range in ten years is 2.38 in. The mean height for the month is about 29.79 inches.

The prevailing Winds are the class from west to north. The northerly predominate, by a fourth of their amount, over the southerly winds.

The average Evaporation (on a total of 30.50 inches for the year) is 0.832 in., and the mean of De Luc's hydrometer 80.

The mean Rain, at the surface of the earth, is 1.959 in.; and the number of days on which snow or rain falls, in this month, averages 14, 4.

A majority of the Nights in this month have constantly the temperature at or below the foregoing point.[doubledagger] [Howard on Climate.]

Long ere the lingering dawn of that blythe morn
Which ushers in the year, the roosting cock,
Flapping his wings, repeats his larum shrill;
But on that morn no busy flail obeys
His rousing call; no sounds but sounds of joy
Salute the ear—the first-foot's[section mark][The first visitant who enters a house on New-year's day is called the first-foot.] entering step,
That sudden on the floor is welcome heard,
Ere blushing maids have braided up their hair;
The laugh, the hearty kiss, the good new year
Pronounced with honest warmth. In village, grange,
And burrow town, the steaming flaggon, borne
From house to house, elates the poor man's heart,
And makes him feel that life has still its joys.
The aged and the young, man, woman, child,
Unite in social glee; even stranger dogs,
Meeting with bristling back, soon lay aside
Their snarling aspect, and in sportive chace,
Excursive scour, or wallow in the snow.
With sober cheerfulness, the grandam eyes
Her offspring round her, all in health and peace;
And, thankful that she's spared to see this day
Return once more, breathes low a secret prayer,
That God would shed a blessing on their heads.


January 1.

The Saints of the Roman calendars and martyrologies,

So far as the rev. Alban Butler, in his every-day biography of Roman catholic saints, has written their memoirs, their names have been given, together with notices of some, and especially of those retained in the calendar of the church of England from the Romish calendar. Similar notices of others will be offered in continuation; but, on this high festival in the calendar of nature, particular or further remark on the saints' festivals would interrupt due attention to the season, and therefore we break from them to observe that day which all enjoy in common,

New Year's Day.

Referring for the "New-year's gifts," the "Candlemas-bull," and various observances of our ancestors and ourselves, to the first volume of this work, wherein they are set forth "in lively pourtraieture," we stop a moment to peep into the "Mirror of the Months," and inquire "Who can see a new year open upon him, without being better for the prospect—without making sundry wise reflections (for any reflections on this subject must be comparatively wise ones) on the step he is about to take towards the goal of his being? Every first of January that we arrive at, is an imaginary mile-stone on the turnpike track of human life; at once a resting place for thought and meditation, and a starting point for fresh exertion in the performance of our journey. The man who does not at least propose to himself to be better this year than he was last, must be either very good, or very bad indeed! And only to propose to be better, is something; if nothing else, it is an acknowledgement of our need to be so, which is the first step towards amendment. But, in fact, to propose to oneself to do well, is in some sort to do well, positively; for there is no such thing as a stationary point in human endeavours; he who is not worse to-day than he was yesterday, is better; and he who is not better, is worse."

It is written, "Improve your time," in the text-hand set of copies put before us when we were better taught to write than to understand what we wrote. How often these three words recurred at that period without their meaning being discovered! How often and how serviceably they have recurred since to some who have obeyed the injunction! How painful has reflection been to others, who recollecting it, preferred to suffer rather than to do!

The author of the paragraph quoted above, expresses forcible remembrance of his youthful pleasures on the coming in of the new year.—"Hail! to thee, JANUARY!—all hail! cold and wintry as thou art, if it be but in virtue of thy first day. THE DAY, as the French call it, par excellence, 'Le jour de l'an.' Come about me, all ye little schoolboys that have escaped from the unnatural thraldom of your taskwork—come crowding about me, with your untamed hearts shouting in your unmodulated voices, and your happy spirits dancing an untaught measure in your eyes! Come, and help me to speak the praises of new-year's day!—your day—one of the three which have, of late, become yours almost exclusively, and which have bettered you, and have been bettered themselves, by the change. Christmay-day [sic], which was; New-year's-day, which is; and Twelfth-day, which is to be; let us compel them all three into our presence—with a whisk of our imaginative wand convert them into one, as the conjurer does his three glittering balls—and then enjoy them all together,—with their dressings, and coachings, and visitings, and greetings, and gifts, and "many happy returns"—with their plum-puddings, and mince-pies, and twelfth-cakes, and neguses—with their forfeits, and fortune-tellings, and blindman's-buffs, and sittings up to supper—with their pantomimes, and panoramas, and new penknives, and pastrycooks' shops—in short, with their endless round of ever new nothings, the absence of a relish for which is but ill supplied, in after life, by that feverish lingering and thirsting after excitement, which usurp without filling its place. Oh! that I might enjoy those nothings once again in fact, as I can in fancy! But I fear the wish is worse than an idle one; for it not only may not be, but it ought not to be. "We cannot have our cake and eat it too," as the vulgar somewhat vulgarly, but not less shrewdly, express it. And this is as it should be; for if we could, it would neither be worth the eating nor the having.*" [Mirror of the Months.]



The Wassail Bowl.

Health, my lord king, the sweet Rowena said,
Health, cry'd the chieftain, to the Saxon maid;
Then gayly rose, and 'midst the concourse wide,
Kiss'd her hale lips, and plac'd her by his side:
At the soft scene such gentle thoughts abound,
That health and kisses 'mongst the guests went round;
From this the social custom took its rise,
We still retain, and must for ever prize.

Now, on New-year's-day as on the previous eve, the wassail bowl is carried from door to door, with singing and merriment. In Devonshire,

A massy bowl, to deck the jovial day,
Flash'd from its ample round a sunlike ray.
Full many a cent'ry it shone forth to grace
The festive spirit of th' Andarton race,
As, to the sons of sacred union dear,
It welcomed with lambs' wool the rising year.


Mr. Brand says, "It appears from Thomas de la Moore,* [vita Edw. II.] and old Havillan,† [In Architren. lib. 2.] that was-haile and drine-heil were the usual ancient phrases of quaffing among the English, and synonimous [sic] with the 'Come, here's to you,' and 'I'll pledge you,' of the present day.["]

In the "Antiquarian Repertory," a large assemblage of curious communications, published by Mr. Jeffery, of Pall-mall, in 4 vols. 4to. there is the following paper relating to an ancient carving represented in that work, from whence the above engraving is taken. The verses beneath it are a version of the old lines in Robert of Gloucester's chronicle, by Mr. Jeffery's correspondent.

For the Antiquarian Repertory.

In the parish of Berlen, near Snodland, in the county of Kent, are the vestiges of a very old mansion, known by the name of Groves. Being on the spot before the workmen began to pull down the front, I had the curiosity to examine its interior remains, when, amongst other things well worth observation, appeared in the large oak beam that supported the chimney-piece, a curious piece of carved work, of which the preceding is an exact copy. Its singularity induced me to set about an investigation, which, to my satisfaction, was not long without success. The large bowl in the middle is the figure of the old wassell-bowl, so much the delight of our hardy ancestors, who, on the vigil of the new year, never failed (says my author) to assemble round the glowing hearth with their cheerful neighbours, and then in the spicy wassell-bowl (which testifies the goodness of their hearts) drowned every former animosity—an example worthy modern imitation. Wassell, was the word; Wassell, every guest returned as he took the circling goblet from his friend, whilst song and civil mirth brought in the infant year. This annual custom, says Geoffrey of Monmouth, had its rise from Rouix, or Rowen, or as some will have it, Rowena, daughter of the Saxon Hengist; she, at the command of her father, who had invited the British king Voltigern to a banquet, came in the presence with a bowl of wine, and welcomed him in these words, Louerd king wass-heil; he in return, by the help of an interpreter, answered, Drinc heile; and, if we may credit Robert of Gloster,

Ruste hire and sitte hire adowne and glad dronke hire heil
And that was tho in this land the berst was-hail
As in language of Saxoyne that we might ebere iwite
And so well he paith the fole about, that he is yut borgute.

Thomas De Le Moor, in his "Life of Edward the Second," says partly the same as Robert of Gloster, and only adds, that Wass-haile and Drine-hail were the usual phrases of quaffing amongst the earliest civilized inhabitants of this island.

The two birds upon the bowl did for some time put me to a stand, till meeting with a communicative person at Hobarrow, he assured me they were two hawks, as I soon plainly perceived by their bills and beaks, and were a rebus of the builder's name. There was a string from the neck of one bird to the other, which, it is reasonable to conjecture, was to note that they must be joined together to show their signification; admitting this, they were to be red hawks. Upon inquiry, I found a Mr. Henry Hawks, the owner of a farm adjoining to Groves; he assured me, his father kept Grove farm about forty years since, and that it was built by one of their name, and had been in his family upwards of four hundred years, as appeared by an old lease in his possession.

The apple branches on each side of the bowl, I think, means no more than that they drank good cyder at their Wassells. Saxon words at the extremities of the beam are already explained; and the mask carved brackets beneath, correspond with such sort of work before the fourteenth century.

T. N.

The following pleasant old song, inserted by Mr. Brand, from Ritson's collection of "Antient Songs," was met with by the Editor of the Every-day Book, in 1819, at the printing-office of Mr. Rann, at Dudley, printed by him for the Wassailers of Staffordshire and Warwickshire. It went formerly to the tune of "Gallants come away."


A jolly Wassel-Bowl,
   A Wassel of good ale,
Well fare the butler's soul,
   That setteth this to sale;
         Our jolly Wassel.

Good Dame, here at your door
   Our Wassel we begin,
We are all maidens poor,
   We pray now let us in,
         With our Wassel.

Our Wassel we do fill
   With apples and with spice,
Then grant us your good will
   To taste here once or twice
         Of our good Wassel.

If any maidens be
   Here dwelling in this house,
They kindly will agree
   To take a full carouse
         Of our Wassel.

But here they let us stand
   All freezing in the cold;
Good master, give command,
   To enter and be bold,
         With our Wassel.

Much joy into this hall
   With us is entered in,
Our master first of all,
   We hope will now begin,
         Of our Wassel;

And after his good wife
   Our spiced bowl will try,
The Lord prolong your life,
   Good fortune we espy,
         For our Wassel.

Some bounty from your hands,
   Our Wassel to maintain:
We'll buy no house nor lands
   With that which we do gain,
         With our Wassel.

This is our merry night
   Of choosing King and Queen,
Then be it your delight
   That something may be seen
         In our Wassel.

It is a noble part
   To bear a liberal mind,
God bless our master's heart,
   For here we comfort find,
         With our Wassel.

And now we must be gone,
   To seek out more good cheer;
Where bounty will be shown,
   As we have found it here,
         With our Wassel.

Much joy betide them all,
   Our prayers shall be still,
We hope and ever shall,
   For this your great good will,
         To our Wassel.

From the "Wassail" we derive, perhaps, a feature by which we are distinguished. An Englishman eats no more than a Frenchman; but he makes yule-tide of all the year. In virtue of his forefathers, he is given to "strong drink." He is a beer-drinker, an enjoyer of "fat ale;" a lover of the best London porter and double XX, and discontented unless he can get "stout." He is a sitter withal. Put an Englishman "behind a pipe" and a full pot, and he will sit till he cannot stand. At first he is silent; but as his liquor gets towards the bottom, he inclines towards conversation; as he replenishes, his coldness thaws, and he is conversational; the oftener he calls to "fill again," the more talkative he becomes; and when thoroughly liquefied, his loquacity is deluging. He is thus in public-house parlours: he is in parties somewhat higher, much the same. The business of dinner draws on the greater business of drinking, and the potations are strong and fiery; full-bodied port, hot sherry, and ardent spirits. This occupation five or six hours, and sometimes more, after dining. There is no rising from it, but to toss off the glass, and huzza after the "hip! hip! hip!" of the toast giver. A calculation of the number who customarily "dine out" in this manner half the week, would be very amusing, if it were illustrated by portraits of some of the indulgers. It might be further, and more usefully, though not so agreeably illustrated, by the reports of physicians, wives, and nurses, and the bills of apothecaries. Habitual sitting to drink is the "besetting sin" of Englishmen—the creator of their gout and palsy, the embitterer of their enjoyments, the impoverisher of their property, the widow-maker of their wives.

By continuing the "wassail" of our ancestors, we attempt to cultivate the body as they did; but we are other beings, cultivated in other ways, with faculties and powers of mind that would have astonished their generations, more than their robust frames, if they could appear, would astonish ours. Their employment was in hunting their forests for food, or battling in armour with risk of life and limb. They had no counting-houses, no ledgers, no commerce, no Christmas bills, no letter-writing, no printing, no engraving, no bending over the desk, no "wasting of the midnight oil" and brain together, no financing, not a hundredth part of the relationships in society, nor of the cares that we have, who "wassail" as they did, and wonder we are not so strong as they were. There were no Popes nor Addisons in the days of Nimrod.

The most perfect fragment of the "wassail" exists in the usage of certain corporation festivals. The person presiding stands up at the close of dinner, and drinks from a flaggon usually of silver having a handle on each side, by which he holds it with each hand, and the toast-master announces him as drinking "the health of his brethren out of the 'loving cup.' The loving cup, which is the ancient wassail-bowl, is then passed to the guest on his left hand, and by him to his left-hand neighbour, and as it finds its way round the room to each guest in his turn, so each stands up and drinks to the president "out of the loving cup."

The subsequent song is sung in Gloucestershire on New-year's eve:—

Wassail! Wassail! over the town,
Our toast it is white, our ale it is brown:
Our bowl it is made of a maplin tree,
We be good fellows all; I drink to thee.

Here's to * * * * ,* [The name of some horse] and to his right ear,
God send our maister a happy New Year;
A happy New Year as e'er he did see—
With my Wassailing bowl I drink to thee.

Here's to * * * *,† [The name of another horse.] and to his right eye,
God send our mistress a good Christmas pye:
A good Chrismas pye as e'er I did see—
With my Wassailing bowl I drink to thee.

Here's to Filpail,[double-dagger][The name of a cow.] and her long tail,
God send our measter us never may fail
Of a cup of good beer; I pray you draw near,
And then you shall hear our jolly wassail.

Be here any maids, I suppose here be some;
Sure they will not let young men stand on the cold stone;
Sing hey O maids, come trole back the pin,
And the fairest maid in the house, let us all in.

Come, butler, come bring us a bowl of the best:
I hope your soul in Heaven may rest:
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small,
Then down fall butler, bowl, and all.


Of this usage in Scotland, commencing on New-year's eve, there was not room in the last sheet of the former volume, to include the following interesting communication. It is, here, not out of place, because, in fact, the usage runs into the morning of the New Year.


To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

The annexed account contains, I believe, the first notice of the acting in our Daft Days. I have put it hurriedly together, but, if of use, it is at your service.

I am, Sir, &c.

Falkirk, December, 1825.

During the early ages of christianity, when its promulgation among the barbarous Celts and Gauls had to contend with the many obstacles which their ignorance and superstition presented, it is very probable that the clergy, when they were unable entirely to abolish pagan rites, would endeavour, as far as possible, to twist them into something of a christian cast; and of the turn which many heathen ceremonies thus received, abundant instances are afforded in the Romish church.

The performance of religious MYSTERIES, which continued for a long period, seems to have been accompanied with much licentiousness, and undoubtedly was grafted upon the stock of pagan observances.—It was discovered, however, that the purity of the chirstian religion could not tolerate them, and they were succeeded by the MORALITIES, the subjects of which were either historical, or some existing abuse, that it was wished to aim a blow at. Of this we have an interesting instance in an account given by sir William Eure, the envoy of Henry the Eighth to James the fifth, in a letter to the lord privy seal of England, dated 26th of January 1540, on the performance of a play, or morality, written by the celebrated sir David Lindsay. It was entitled The Satire of the Three Estates, and was performed at Linlithgow, "before the king, queene, and the whole counsaill, spirituall and temporall," on the feast of Epiphany. It gives a singular proof of the liberty then allowed, by king James and his court witnessing the exhibition of a piece, in which the curruptions of the existing government and religion were treated with the most satirical severity.

The principal dramatis personæ were a king, a bushop, [sic] a burges man, "armed in harness, with a swerde drawn in his hande," a poor man, and Experience, "clede like ane doctor." The poor man (who seems to have represented the people) "looked at the king, and said he was not king in Scotland, for there was another king in Scotland that hanged Johne Armstrong with his fellows, Sym the laird, and mony other mae." He then makes "a long narracione of the oppression of the poor by the taking of the corse-presaunte beits, and of the herrying of poor men by the consistorye lawe, and of mony other abusions of the spiritualitie and church. Then the bushop raised and rebuked him, and defended himself. Then the man of arms alleged the contrarie, and commanded the poor man to go on. The poor man proceeds with a long list of the bushop's evil practices, the vices of cloisters, &c. This is proved by EXPERIENCE, who, from a New Testament, showes the office of a bishop. The man of arms and burges approve of all that was said against the clergy, and allege the expediency of a reform, with the consent of parliament. The bushop dissents. The man of arms and burges said thay were two and he but one, wherefore their voice should have the most effect. Thereafter the king in the play ratified, approved, and confirmed all that was rehearsed."

None of the ancient religious observances, which have escaped, through the riot of time and barbarism, to our day, have occasioned more difficulty than that which forms the subject of these remarks. It is remarkable, that in all disputed etymological investigations, a number of words got as explanatory, are so provokingly improbable, that decision is rendered extremely difficult. With no term is this more the case, than HOGMENAY. So wide is the field of conjecture, as to be the signification of this word, that we shall not occupy much space in attempting to settle which of the various etymologies is the most correct.

Many complaints were made to the Gallic synods of the great excesses committed on the last night of the year and first of January, by companies of both sexes dressed in fantastic habits, who ran about with their Christmas boxes, calling tire lire, and begging for the lady in the straw both money and wassels. The chief of these strollers was called Rollet Follet. They came into the churches during the vigils, and disturbed the devotions. A stop was put to this in 1598, at the representation of the bishop of Angres; but debarred from coming to the churches, they only became more licentious, and went about the country frightening the people in their houses, so that the legislature having interfered, an end was put to the practice in 1668.

The period during the continuance of these festivities corresponded exactly with the present daft days, which, indeed, is nearly a translation of their French name fêtes de fous. The cry used by the bachelettes during the sixteenth century has also a striking resemblance to the still common cry "hogmenay trololay—gi'us your white bread and nane o' your grey," it being "au gui menez, Rollet Follet, au gui menez, tiré liré, mainte du blanc et point du bis."

The word Rollet is, perhaps, a corruption of the ancient Norman invocation of their hero, Rollo. Gui, however, seems to refer to the druidical custom of cutting branches from the mistletoe at the close of the year, which were deposited in the temples and houses with great ceremony.

A supposition has been founded upon the reference of this cry to the birth of our Saviour, and the arrival of the wise men from the east; of whom the general belief in the church of Rome is, that they were three in number. Thus the language, as borrowed from the French may be "homme est né, trois rois allois!" A man is born, three kings are come!

Others, fond of referring to the dark period of the Goths, imagine that this name had its origin there. Thus, minne was one of the cups drunk at the feast of Yule, as celebrated in the times of heathenism, and oel is the general term for festival. The night before Yule was called hoggin-nott, or hogenat, signifying the slaughter night, and may have originated from the number of cattle slaughtered on that night, either as sacrifices, or in preparation for the feast on the following day. They worshipped the sun under the name Thor. Hence, the call for the celebration of their sacrifices would be "Hogg-minne! Thor! oel! oel!" Remember your sacrifices, the feast of Thor! the feast!

That the truth lies among these various explanations, there appears no doubt; we however turn to hogmenay among ourselves, and although the mutilated legend which we have to notice remains but as a few scraps, it gives an idea of the existence of a custom which has many points of resemblance to that of France during the fêtes du fous. It has hitherto escaped the attention of Scottish antiquaries.

Every person knows the tenacious adherence of the Scottish peasantry to the tales and observances of auld lang syne. Towards the close of the year many superstitions are to this day strictly kept up among the country people, chiefly as connected with their cattle and crops. Their social feelings now get scope, and while one may rejoice that he has escaped difficulties and dangers during the past year, another looks forward with bright anticipation for better fortune in the year to come. The bannock of the oaten cake gave place a little to the currant loaf and bun, and the amories of every cottager have goodly store of dainties, invariably including a due proportion of Scotch drink. The countenances of all seem to say

"Let mirth abound; let social cheer
Invest the dawnin' o' the year,
Let blithsome Innocence appear
      To crown our joy,
Nor envy we' sarcastic sneer,
      Our bliss destroy.

When merry Yuleday comes, I trow
You'll scantlings find a hungry mou;
Sma' are our cares, our stomacks fu'
      O' gusty gear
An' kickshaws, strangers to our view
      Sin' fairnyear.

Then tho' at odds we' a' the warl,
Among oursels we'll never quarrel
Though discard gie a canker'd snarl
      To spoil our glee,
As lang's there pith into the barrel
      We'll drink and gree!"

Ferguson's Daft Days.

It is deemed lucky to see the new moon with some money (silver) in the pocket. A similar idea is perhaps connected with the desire to enter the new year rife o' roughness. The grand affair among the boys in the town is to provide themselves with fausse faces, or masks; and those with crooked horns and beards are in greatest demand. A high paper cap, with one of their great grandfather's antique coats, then equips them as a guisard—they thus go about the shops seeking their hogmenay. In the carses and moor lands, however, parties of guisards have long kept up the practice in great style. Fantastically dressed, and each having his character allotted him, they go through the farm houses, and unless denied entrance by being told that the OLD STYLE is kept, perform what must once have been a connected dramatic piece. We have heard various editions of this, but the substance of it something like the following:—

One enters first to speak the prologue in the style of the Chester mysteries, called the Whitsun plays, and which appear to have been performed during the mayoralty of John Arneway, who filled that office in Chester from 1268 to 1276. It is usually in these words at present—

Rise up gudewife and shake your feathers!
Dinna think that we're beggars,
We are bairns com'd to play
And for to seek our hogmenay;
Redd up stocks, redd up stools,
Here comes in a pack o' fools.* [The author of Waverly, in a note to the Abbot, mentions three Moralities played during the time of the reformation—The Abbot of Unreason, The Boy Bishop, and the Pepe o' Fools—may not pack o' fools be a corruption of this last?]
Muckle head and little wit stand behint the door,
But sic a set as we are, ne'er were here before.

One with a sword, who corresponds with the Rollet, now enters and says:

Here comes in the great king of Macedon,
Who has conquer'd all the world but Scotland alone.
When I came Scotland my heart grew so cold
To see a little nation so stout and so bold,
So stout and so bold, so frank and so free!
Call upon Galgacus to fight wi' me.

If national partiality does not deceive us, we think this speech points out the origin of the story to be the Roman invasion under Agricola, and the name of Galgacus (although Galacheus and Saint Lawrence are sometimes substituted, but most probably as corruptions) makes the famous struggle for freedom by the Scots under that leader, in the battle fought at the foot of the Grampians, the subject of this historical drama.

Enter Galgacus.

Here comes in Galgacus—wha doesna fear my name?
Sword and buckler by my side, I hope to win the game!

They close in a sword fight, and in the "hash smash" the chief is victorious. He says:

Down Jack! down to the ground you must go—
Oh O! what's this I've done?
I've killed my brother Jack, my father's only son!
Call upon the doctor.

Enter Doctor (saying)

Here comes in the best doctor that ever Scotland bred.

Chief. What can you cure?

The doctor then relates his skill in surgery.

Chief. What will ye tak to cure this man?

Doctor. Ten pound and a bottle of wine.

Chief. Will six not do?

Doctor. No, you must go higher.

Chief. Seven?

Doctor. That will not put on the pot, &c.

A bargain however is struck, and the doctor says to Jack, start to your feet and stand!

Jack. Oh hon, my back, I'm sairly wounded.

Doctor. What ails your back?

Jack. There's a hole in't you may turn your tongue ten times round it!

Doctor. How did you get it?

Jack. Fighting for our land.

Doctor. How mony did you kill?

Jack. I killed a' the loons save ane, but he ran, he wad na stand.

Here, most unfortunately, there is a "hole i'the ballad," a hiatus which irreparably closes the door upon our keenest prying. During the late war with France Jack was made to say he had been "fighting the French," and that the loon who took leg bail was no less a personage than NAP. le grand! whether we are to regard this as a dark prophetic anticipation of what did actually take place, seems really problematical. The strange eventful history however is wound up by the entrance of Judas with the bag. He says:

Here comes in Judas—Judas is my name,
If ye pit nought sillar i' my bag, for gudesake mind our wame!
When I gaed to the castle yett and tirl't at the pin,
The keepit the keys o' the castle wa', and wad na let me in.
I've been i' the east carse,
I've been i' the west carse,
I've been i' the carse o' Gowrie,
Where the clouds rain a' day wi' peas and wi' beans!
And the farmers theck houses wi' needles and prins!
I've seen geese ga in' on pattens!
And swine fleeing i' the air like peelings o' onions!
Our hearts are made o' steel, but our body's sma' as ware,
If you've onything to gi' us, stap it in there!

This character in the piece seems to mark its ecclesiastical origin, being of course taken from the office of the betrayer in the New Testament; whom, by the way, he resembles in another point; as extreme jealously exists among the party, this personage appropriates to himself the contents of the bag. The money and wassel, which usually consists of farles of short bread, or cakes and pieces of cheese, are therefore frequently counted out before the whole.

One of the guisards who has the best voice, generally concludes the exhibition by singing an "auld Scottish sang." The most ancient melodies only are considered appropriate for this occasion, and many very fine ones are often sung that have not found their way into collections: or the group join in a reel, lightly tripping it, although encumbered with buskins of straw wisps, to the merry sound of the fiddle, which used to form a part of the establishment of these itinerants. They anciently however appear to have been accompanied with a musician, who played the kythels, or stock-and-horn, a musical instrument made of the thigh bone of a sheep and the horn of a bullock.

The above practice, like many customs of the olden time, is now quickly falling into disuse, and the revolution of a few years may witness the total extinction of this seasonable doing. That there does still exist in other places of Scotland the remnants of plays performed upon similar occasions, and which may contain many interesting allusions, is very likely. That noticed above, however, is the first which we remember of seeing noticed in a particular manner.

The kirk of Scotland appears formerly to have viewed these festivities exactly as the Roman church in France did in the sixteenth century; and, as a proof of this, and of the style in which the sport was anciently conducted in the parish of Falkirk, we have a remarkable instance so late as the year 1702. A great number of farmers' sons and farm servants from the "East Carse" were publicly rebuked before the session, or ecclisiastical court, for going about in disguise upon the last night of December that year, "acting things unseemly;" and having professed their sorrow for the sinfulness of the deed, were certified if they should be found guilty of the like in time coming, they would be proceeded against after another manner. Indeed the scandalised kirk might have been compelled to put the cutty stool in requisition, as a consequence of such promiscuous midnight meetings.

The observance of the old custom of "first fits" upon New-year's day is kept up at Falkirk with as much spirit as any where else. Both Old and New Style have their "keepers," although many of the lower classes keep them in rather a "disorderly style." Soon as the steeple clock strikes the ominous twelve, all is running, and bustle, and noise; hot-pints in clear scoured copper kettles are seen in all directions, and a good noggin to the well known toast "A gude new year, and a merry han'sel Monday," is exchanged among the people in the streets, as well as friends in the houses. On han'sel Monday O. S. the numerous colliers in the neighbourhood of the town have a grand main of cocks; but there is nothing in these customs peculiar to the season.

Falkirk, 1825.

J. W. R.


The following are recorded particulars of a whimsical custom in Yorkshire, by which a right of sheep-walk is held by the tenants of a manor:—

Hutton Conyers, Com. York.

Near this town, which lies a few miles from Ripon, there is a large common, called Hutton Conyers Moor, whereof William Aislabie, esq. of Studley Royal, (lord of the manor of Hutton Conyers,) is lord of the soil, and on which there is a large coney-warren belonging to the lord. The occupiers of messuages and cottages within the several towns of Hutton Conyers, Baldersby, Rainton, Dishforth, and Hewick, have right of estray for their sheep to certain limited boundaries on the common, and each township has a shepherd.

The lord's shepherd has a preeminence of tending his sheep on every part of the common; and wherever he herds the lord's sheep, the several other shepherds are to give way to him, and give up their hoofing-place, so long as he pleases to depasture the lord's sheep thereon. The lord holds his court the first day in the year, to entitle those several townships to such right of estray; the shepherd of each township attends the court, and does fealty, by bringing to the court a large apple-pye, and a twopenny sweetcake, (except the shepherd of Hewick, who compounds by paying sixteen pence for ale, which is drank as after mentioned,) and a wooden spoon; each pye is cut in two, and divided by the bailiff, one half between the steward, bailiff, and the tenant of the coney-warren before mentioned, and the other half into six parts, and divided amonst the six shepherds of the above mentioned six townships. In the pye brought by the shepherd of Rainton an inner one is made, filled with prunes. The cakes are divided in the same manner. The bailiff of the manor provides furmety and mustard, and delivers to each shepherd a slice of cheese and a penny roll. The furmety, well mixed with mustard, is put into an earthen pot, and placed in a hole in the ground, in a garth belonging to the bailiff's house; to which place the steward of the court, with the bailiff, tenant of the warren, and six shepherds, adjourn with their respective wooden spoons. The bailiff provides spoons for the stewards, the tenant of the warren, and himself. The steward first pays respect to the furmety, by taking a large spoonful, the bailiff has the next honour, the tenant of the warren next, then the shepherd of Hutton Conyers, and afterwards the other shepherds by regular turns; then each person is served with a glass of ale, (paid for by the sixteen pence brought by the Hewick shepherd,) and the health of the lord of the manor is drank; then they adjourn back to the bailiff's house, and the further business of the court is proceeded in.

Each pye contains about a peck of flour, is about sixteen or eighteen inches diameter, and as large as will go into the mouth of an ordinary oven. The bailiff of the manor measures them with a rule, and takes the diameter; and if they are not of a sufficient capacity, he threatens to return them, and fine the town. If they are large enough, he divides them with a rule and compasses into four equal parts; of which the steward claims one, the warrener another, and the remainder is divided amongst the shepherds. In respect to the furmety, the top of the dish in which it is put is placed level with the surface of the ground; all persons present are invited to eat of it, and those who do not, are not deemed loyal to the lord. Every shepherd is obliged to eat of it, and for that purpose is to take a spoon in his pocket to the court; for if any of them neglect to carry a spoon with him, he is to lay him down upon his belly, and sup the furmety with his face to the pot or dish, at which time it is usual, by way of sport, for some of the bystanders to dip his face into the furmety; and sometimes a shepherd, for the sake of diversion, purposely leave his spoon at home.* [Blount's Frag. Antiq. by Beckwith.]


To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

A practice which well deserves to be known and imitated is established at Maresfield-park, Sussex, the seat of sir John Shelley, bart. M. P. Rewards are annually given on New-year's day to such of the industrious poor in the neighbourhood as have not received parish relief, and have most distinguished themselves by their good behaviour and industry, the neatness of their cottages and gardens, and their constant attendance at church, &c. The distribution is made by lady Shelley, assisted by other ladies; and it is gratifying to observe the happy effects upon the character and disposition of the poor people with which this benevolent practice has been attended during the few years it has been established. Though the highest reward does not exceed two guineas, yet it has excited a wonderful spirit of emulation, and many a strenuous effort to avoid receiving money from the parish. Immediately as the rewards are given, all the children belonging to the Sunday-school and national-school lately established in the parish, are set down to a plentiful dinner in the servants' hall; and after dinner they also receive prizes for their good conduct as teachers, and their diligence as scholars.

I am, &c.
J. S.



A Gentleman of Literary Habits and Means.

For the Every-Day Book.

All hail to the birth of the year,
See golden haired Phœbus afar;
Prepares to renew his career,
And is mounting his dew spangled car.

Stern Winter congeals every brook,
That murmured so lately with glee;
And places a snowy peruke,
On the head of each bald pated tree.

Now wild duck and widgeon abound,
Snipes sit by the half frozen rills:
Where woodcocks are frequently found,
That sport such amazing long bills.

The winds blow out shrilly and hoarse,
And the rivers are choking with ice;
And it comes as a matter of course,
That Wallsends are rising in price.

Alas! for the poor! as unwilling
I gaze on each famishing group;
I never miss giving a shilling,
To the parish subscription for soup.

The wood pigeon, sacred to love,
Is wheeling in circles on high;
How charming he looks in the grove,
How charming he looks in the pye.

Now gone is St. Thomas's day,
The shortest, alas! in the year.
And Christmas is hasting away,
With its holly and berries and beer,

And the old year for ever is gone,
With the tabor, the pipe, and the dance;
And gone is our collar of brawn,
And gone is the mermaid to France.

The scythe and the hour glass oftime,
Those fatal mementos of woe,
Seem to utter in accents sublime,
"We are all of us going to go!"

We are truly and agreeably informed by the "Mirror of the Months," that "Now periodical works put on their best attire; the old ones expressing their determination to become new, and the new ones to become old; and each makes a point of putting forth the first of some pleasant series (such as this, for example!), which cannot fail to fix the most fugitive of readers, and make him her own for another twelve months at least."


Under this head it is proposed to place the "Mean temperature of every day in the Year for London and its environs, on an average of Twenty Years," as deduced by Mr. Howard, from observations commencing with the year 1797, and ending with 1816.

For the first three years, Mr. Howard's observations were conducted at Plaistow, a village about three miles and half N.N.E. of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, four miles E. of the edge of London, with the Thames a mile and a half to the S., and an open level country, for the most part well-drained land, around it. The thermometer was attached to a post set in the ground, under a Portugal laurel, and from the lowness of this tree, the whole instrument was within three feet of the turf; and had the house and offices, buildings of ordinary height, to the S. and S.E. distant about twenty yards, but was in other respects freely exposed.

For the next three years, the observations were made partly at Plaistow and partly at Mr. Howard's laboratory at Stratford, a mile and a half to the N.W., on ground nearly of the same elevation. The thermometer had an open N.W. exposure, and six feet from the ground, close to the river Lea.

The latter observations were made at Tottenham-green, four miles N. of London, which situation, as the country to the N.W. especially is somewhat hilly and more wooded, Mr. Howard considers more sheltered than the former site; the elevation of the ground is a trifle greater, and the thermometer was about ten feet from the general level of the garden before it, with a very good exposure N., but not quite enough detached from the house, having been affixed to the outer door-case, in a frame which gave it a little projection, and admitted the air behind it.

On this day, then, the average of these twenty years' observations gives

Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 57.

It is, further, proposed to notice certain astronomical and meteorological phenomena; the migration and singing of birds; the appearance of insects; the leafing and flowering of plants; and other particulars peculiar to animal, vegetable, and celestial existences. These observations will only be given from sources thoroughly authentic, and the authorities will be subjoined. Communications for this department will be gladly received.

January 2.

St. Concord

Is said, by his English biographer Butler, to have been a sub-deacon in a desert, martyred at Spoletto, about the year 178; whereto the same biographer adds, "In the Roman Martyrology his name occurs on the first, in some others on the second of January." The infallible Roman church, to end the discord, rejects the authority of the "Roman Martyrology," and keeps the festival of Concord on the second of January.


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 92.

January 3.


By Cleobulus.

There is a father with twice six sons; these sons have thirty daughters a-piece, party-coloured, having one cheek white and the other black, who never see each other's face, nor live above twenty-four hours.

Cleobulus, to whom this riddle is attributed, was one of the seven wise men of Greece, who lived about 570 years before the birth of Christ.

Riddles are of the highest antiquity; the oldest on record is in the book of Judges xiv. 14-18. We are told by Plutarch, that the girls of his times worked at netting or sewing, and the most ingenious "made riddles."


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 60.

January 4.

Prepare for Twelfth-day.

The "Mirror of the Months," a reflector of "The Months" by Mr. Leigh Hunt, enlarged to include other objects, adopts, "Above all other proverbs, that which says, 'There's nothing like the time present,'—partly because 'the time present' is but a periphrasis for Now!" The series of delightful things which Mr. Hunt links together by the word Now in his "Indicator," is well remembered, and his pleasant disciple tells us, "Now, then, the cloudy canopy of sea-coal smoke that hangs over London, and crowns her queen of capitals, floats thick and threefold; for fires and feastings are rife, and every body is either 'out' or 'at home' every night. Now, if a frosty day or two does happen to pay us a flying visit, on its way to the North Pole, how the little boys make slides on the pathways, for lack of ponds, and, it may be, trip up an occasional housekeeper just as he steps out of his own door; who forthwith vows vengeance, in the shape of ashes, on all the slides in his neighbourhood, not, doubtless, out of vexation at his own mishap, and revenge against the petty perpetrators of it, but purely to avert the like from others!—Now the bloom-buds of the fruit-trees, which the late leaves of autumn had concealed from the view, stand confessed, upon the otherwise bare branches, and, dressed in their patent wind-and-waterproof coats, brave the utmost severity of the season,—their hard, unpromising outsides, compared with the forms of beauty which they contain, reminding us of their friends the butterflies, when in the chrysalis state.—Now the labour of the husbandman is, for once in the year, at a stand; and he haunts the alehouse fire, or lolls listlessly over the half-door of the village smithy, and watches the progress of the labour which he unconsciously envies; tasting for once in his life (without knowing it) the bitterness of that ennui which he begrudges to his betters.—Now, melancholy-looking men wander 'by twos and threes' through market-towns, with their faces as blue as the aprons that are twisted round their waists; their ineffectual rakes resting on their shoulders, and a withered cabbage hoisted upon a pole; and sing out their doleful petition of 'Pray remember the poor gardeners, who can get no work!'"

Now, however, not to conclude mournfully, let us remember that the officers and some of the principal inhabitants of most parishes in London, preceded by their beadle in the full majesty of a full great coat and gold laced hat, with his walking staff of state higher than himself, and headed by a goodly polished silver globe, go forth from the vestry room, and call on every chief parishioner for a voluntary contribution towards a provision for cheering the abode of the needy at this cheerful season:—and now the unfeeling and mercenary urge "false pretences" upon "public grounds," with the vain hope of concealing their private reasons for refusing "public charity:"— and now, the upright and kind-hearted welcome the annual call, and dispense bountifully. Their prosperity is a blessing. Each scattereth and yet increaseth; their pillows are pillows of peace; and at the appointed time, they lie down with their fathers, and sleep the sleep of just men made perfect, in everlasting rest.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 42.

January 5.


Agricultural Custom.

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

Credulity and Incredulity.

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


To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

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

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

I am, &c.
J. G.


A Family Sketch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


December 30, 1825.


Mean Temperature   . . .   37 . 47.

The King Drinks!

"The King Drinks!"

The bean found out, and monarch crown'd,
He dubs a fool, and sends him round,
To raise the frolic when it's low—
Himself commands the wine to flow.
Each watches for the king to quaff,
When, all at once, up springs the laugh;
They cry "The king drinks!" and away
They shout a long and loud huzza!
And when its ended comes the dance,
And—thus is Twelfth-night spent in France.


January 6.

Epiphany.—Old Christmas-day.
Holiday at the Public-offices.


It is only in certain rural parts of France that the merriments represented above still prevail. The engraving is from an old print, "I. Marriette ex." inscribed as in the next column.

Les Divertissements du Roi-boit.

Loin dicy mille soins facheux,
Que porte avec soy la coronne;
Celle quá table Bacchus donne
Ne fit jamais de malheureux."

This print may be regarded a faithful picture of the almost obsolete usage.

During the holidays, and especially on Twelfth-night, school-boys dismiss "the cares and the fears" of academic rule; or they are regarded but as a passing cloud, intercepting only for an instant the sunshine of joy wherewith their sports are brightened. Gerund-grinding and parsing are usually prepared for at the last moment, until when "the master's chair" is only "remembered to be forgotten." There is entire suspension of the authority of that class, by whom the name of "Busby" is venerated, till "Black Monday" arrives, and chaises and stages convey the young Christmas-keepers to the "seat of government."

Dr. Busby's Chair.

Dr. Busby's Chair.

Him! sui generis, alone,
Busby! the great substantive noun!
Whose look was lightning, and whose word
Was thunder to the boys who heard,
Is, as regards his long vocation,
Pictured by this his great location,
Look on it well, boys, and digest
The symbols!—learn—and shun the rest!


The name of Busby!—not the musical doctor, but a late magisterial doctor of Westminster school—celebrated for severe discipline, is a "word of fear" to all living who know his fame! It is perpetuated by an engraved representation of his chair, said to have been designed by sir Peter Lily, and presented by that artist to king Charles II. The arms, and each arm, are appalling; and the import of the other devices are, or ought to be, known by every tyro. Every prudent person lays in stores before they are wanted, and Dr. Busby's chair may as well be "in the house" on Twelfth-day as on any other; not as a mirth-spoiler, but as a subject which we know to-day that we have "by us," whereon to inquire and discuss at a more convenient season. Dr. Busby was a severe, but not an ill-natured man. It is related of him and one of his scholars, that during the doctor's absence from his study, the boy found some plums in it, and being moved by liquorishness, began to eat some; first, however, he waggishly cried out, "I publish the banns of matrimony between my mouth and these plums; if any here present know just cause or impediment why they should not be united, you are to declare it, or hereafter hold your peace;" and then he ate. But the doctor had overheard the proclamation, and said nothing till the next morning, when causing the boy to be "brought up," and disposed for punishment, he grasped the well-known instrument, and said, "I publish the banns of matrimony between this rod and this boy: if any of you know just cause or impediment why they should not be united, you are to declare it."—The boy himself called out, "I forbid the banns!" "For what cause?" inquired the doctor. "Because," said the boy, "the parties are not agreed!" The doctor enjoyed the validity of the objection urged by the boy's wit, and the ceremony was not performed. This is an instance of Dr. Busby's admiration of talent: and let us hope, in behalf of its seasonableness here, that it was at Christmas time.

The King drinks.

We recur once more to this subject, for the sake of remarking that there is an account of a certain curate, "who having taken his preparations over evening, when all men cry (as the manner is) The king drinketh, chanting his masse the next morning, fell asleep in his memento; and when he awoke, added, with a loud voice, The king drinketh." This mal-apropos exclamation must have proceeded from a foreign ecclesiastic: we have no account of the ceremony to which it refers, having prevailed in merry England.

An excellent pen-and-ink picture of "Merry England"* [In the New Monthly Magazine, Dec. 1825.] represents honest old Froissart, the French chronicler, as saying of some English in his time, that "they amused themselves sadly after the fashion of their country;" whereon the pourtrayer of Merry England observes, "They have indeed a way of their own. Their mirth is a relaxation from gravity, a challenge to 'Dull Care' to 'be gone;' and one is not always clear at first, whether the appeal is successful. The cloud may still hang on the brow; the ice may not thaw at once. To help them out in their new character is an act of charity. Any thing short of hanging or drowning is something to begin with. They do not enter into their amusements the less doggedly because they may plague others. They like a thing the better for hitting them a rap on the knuckles, for making their blood tingle. They do not dance or sing, but they make good cheer—'eat, drink, and are merry.' No people are fonder of field-sports, Christmas gambols, or practical jests. Blindman's-buff, hunt-the-slipper, hot-cockles, and snap-dragon, are all approved English games, full of laughable surprises and 'hair-breadth 'scapes,' and serve to amuse the winter fireside after the roast beef and plum-pudding, the spiced ale and roasted crab, thrown (hissing-hot) into the foaming tankard. Punch (not the liquor, but the puppet) is not, I fear, of English origin; but there is no place, I take it, where he finds himself more at home or meets a more joyous welcome, where he collects greater crowds at the corners of streets, where he opens the eyes or distends the cheeks wider, or where the bangs and blows, the uncouth gestures, ridiculous anger and screaming voice of the chief performer excite more boundless merriment or louder bursts of laughter among all ranks and sorts of people. An English theatre is the very throne of pantomime; nor do I believe that the gallery and boxes of Drury-lane or Covent-garden filled on the proper occasions with holiday folks (big or little) yield the palm for undisguised, tumultuous, inextinguishable laughter to any spot in Europe. I do not speak of the refinment of the mirth (this is no fastidious speculation) but of its cordiality, on the return of these long-looked-for and licensed periods; and I may add here, by way of illustration, that the English common people are a sort of grown children, spoiled and sulky, perhaps, but full of glee and merriment, when their attention is drawn off by some sudden and striking object.

The comfort, on which the English lay so much stress, arises from the same source as their mirth. Both exist by contrast and a sort of contradiction. The English are certainly the most uncomfortable of all people in themselves, and therefore it is that they stand in need of every kind of comfort and accommodation. The least thing puts them out of their way, and therefore every thing must be in its place. They are mightily offended at disagreeable tastes and smells, and therefore they exact the utmost neatness and nicety. They are sensible of heat and cold, and therefore they cannot exist, unless every thing is snug and warm, or else open and airy, where they are. They must have 'all appliances and means to boot.' They are afraid of interruption and intrusion, and therefore they shut themselves up in in-door enjoyments and by their own firesides. It is not that they require luxuries (for that implies a high degree of epicurean indulgence and gratification,) but they cannot do without their comforts; that is, whatever tends to supply their physical wants, and ward off physical pain and annoyance. As they have not a fund of animal spirits and enjoyments in themselves, they cling to external objects for support, and derive solid satisfaction from the ideas of order, cleanliness, plenty, property, and domestic quiet, as they seek for diversion from odd accidents and grotesque surprises, and have the highest possible relish not of voluptuous softness, but of hard knocks and dry blows, as one means of ascertaining their personal identity."

Twelfth-day, in the times of chivalry, was observed at the court of England by grand entertainments and tournaments. The justings were continued till a period little favourable to such sports.

In the reign of James I., when his son prince Henry was in the 16th year of his age, and therefore arrived to the period for claiming the principality of Wales and the duchy of Cornwall, it was granted to him by the king and the high court of parliament, and the 4th of June following appointed for his investiture: "the Christmas before which," sir Charles Cornwallis says, "his highnesse, not onely for his owne recreation, but also that the world might know what a brave prince they were likely to enjoy, under the name of Meliades, lord of the isles, (an ancient title due to the first-borne of Scotland,) did, in his name, by some appointed for the same purpose, stragely attired, accompanied with drummes and trumpets, in the presence, before the king and queene, and in the presence of the whole court, deliver a challenge to all knights of Great Britaine." The challenge was to this effect, "That Meliades, their noble master, burning with an earnest desire to trie the valour of his young yeares in foraigne countryes, and to know where vertue triumphed most, had sent them abroad to espy the same, who, after their long travailes in all countreyes, and returne," had nowhere discovered it, "save in the fortunate isle of Great Britaine: which ministring matter of exceeding joy to their young Meliades, who (as they said) could lineally derive his pedegree from the famous knights of this isle, was the cause that he had now sent to present the first fruits of his chivalrie at his majesties' feete; then after returning with a short speech to her majestie, next to the earles, lords, and knights, excusing their lord in this their so sudden and short warning, and lastly, to the ladies; they, after humble delivery of their chartle concerning time, place, conditions, number of weapons and assailants, tooke their leave, departing solemnly as they entered."

Then preparations began to be made for this great fight, and each was happy who found himself admitted for a defendant, much more an assailant. "At last to encounter his highness, six assailants, and fifty-eight defendants, consisting of earles, barons, knights, and esquires, were appointed and chosen; eight defendants to one assailant, every assailant being to fight by turnes eight severall times fighting, two every time with push and pike of sword, twelve strokes at a time; after which, the barre for separation was to be let downe until a fresh onset." The summons ran in these words:

"To our verie loving good ffreind sir Gilbert Loughton, knight, geave theis with speed:

"After our hartie commendacions unto you. The prince, his highnes, hath comanded us to signifie to you that wereas he doth intend to make a challenge in his owne person at the Barriers, with sixe other assistants, to bee performed some tyme this Christmas; and that he hath made choice of you for one of the defendants (whereof wee have comandement to give you knowledge), that theruppon you may so repaire hither to prepare yourselfe, as you may bee fitt to attend him. Hereunto expecting your speedie answer wee rest, from Whitehall this 25th of December, 1609. Your very loving freindes, Notingham. | T. Suffolke. | E. Worcester."

On New-year's Day, 1610, or the day after, the prince's challenge was proclaimed at court, and "his highnesse, in his own lodging, in the Christmas, did feast the earles, barons, and knights, assailants and defendants, untill the great Twelfth appointed night, on which this great fight was to be performed."

On the 6th of January, in the evening, "the barriers" were held at the palace of Whitehall, in the presence of the king and queen, the ambassadors of Spain and Venice, and the peers and ladies of the land, with a multitude of others assembled in the banqueting-house: at the upper end whereof was the king's chair of state, and on the right hand a sumptuous pavilion for the prince and his associates, from whence, "with great bravery and ingenious devices, they descended into the middell of the roome, and there the prince performed his first feats of armes, that is to say, at Barriers, against all commers, being assisted onlie with six others, viz. the duke of Lenox, the earle Arundell, the earle of Southampton, the lord Hay, sir Thomas Somerset, and sir Richard Preston, who was shortly after created lord Dingwell."

To answer these challengers came fifty-six earles, barons, knights, and esquires. They were at the lower end of the roome, where was erected "a very delicat and pleasant place, where in privat manner they and their traine remained, which was so very great that no man imagined that the place could have concealed halfe so many." From thence they issued, in comely order, to the middell of the roome, where sate the king and the queene, and the court, "to behold the barriers, with the several showes and devices of each combatant." Every challenger fought with eight several defendants two several combats at two several weapons, viz. at push of pike, and with single sword. "The prince performed this challenge with wonderous skill and courage, to the great joy and admiration of the beholders," he "not being full sixteene yeeres of age untill the 19th of February." These feats, and other "triumphant shewes," began before ten o'clock at night, and continued until three o'clock the next morning, "being Sonday." The speeches at "the barriers" were written by Ben Jonson. The next day (Sunday) the prince rode in great pomp to convoy the king to St. James', whither he had invited him and all the court to supper, whereof the queen alone was absent; and then the prince bestowed prizes to the three combatants best deserving; namely, the earl of Montgomery, sir Thomas Darey (son to lord Darey), and sir Robert Gourdon.* [Mr. Nichols's Progresses of James I.] In this way the court spent Twelfth-night in 1610.

On Twelfth-night, 1753, George II. played at hazard for the benefit of the groom porter. All the royal family who played were winners, particularly the duke of York, who won 3000l. The most considerable losers were the duke of Grafton, the marquis of Hartington, the earl of Holderness, earl of Ashburnham, and the earl of Hertford. The prince of Wales (father of George III.) with prince Edward and a select company, danced in the little drawing room till eleven o'clock, and then withdrew.† [Gentleman's Magazine.]

Old Christmas-day.

According to the alteration of the style, OLD Christmas-day falls on Twelfth-day, and in distant parts is even kept in our time as the festival of the nativity. In 1753, Old Christmas-day was observed in the neighbourhood of Worcester by the Anti-Gregorians, full as sociably, if not so religiously, as formerly. In several villages, the parishioners so strongly insisted upon having an Old-style nativity sermon, as they term it, that their ministers could not well avoid preaching to them: and, at some towns, where the markets are held on Friday, not a butter basket, nor even a Goose, was to be seen in the market-place the whole day. [double dagger][Ibid.]

To heighten the festivities of Christmas, 1825, the good folks of "London and its environs" were invited to Sadler's Wells, by the following whimsical notice, printed and distributed as a handbill:

"SOVEREIGNS WILL BE TAKEN, during the Christmas holidays, and as long as any body will bring them to SADLER'S WELLS; nay so little fastidious are the Proprietors of that delectable fascinating snuggery, that, however incredible it may appear, they, in some cases, have actually had the liberality to prefer Gold to Paper. Without attempting to investigate their motives for such extraordinary conduct, we shall do them the justice to say, they certainly give an amazing quantum of amusement, All in One Night, at the HOUSE ON THE HEATH, where, besides the THREE CRUMPIES, AND THE BARON AND HIS BROTHERS, an immense number of fashionables are expected on MERLIN'S MOUNT, and some of the first Cambriam families will countenance HARLEQUIN CYMRAEG, in hopes to partake of the Living Leek, which being served up the last thing before supper, will constitute a most excellent Christmas carminative, preventing the effects of night air on the crowds who will adorn this darling little edifice. In addition to a most effective LIGHT COMPANY engaged here, a very respectably sized Moon will be in attendance to light home a greater number of Patrons than ever this popular petted Palace of Pantomime is likely to produce. We say nothing of warmth and comfort, acquired by recent improvements, because these matters will soon be subjects of common conversation, and omit noticing the happiness of Half-price, and the cheering qualities of the Wine-room, fearful of wounding in the bosom of the Manager that innate modesty which is ever the concomitant of merit; we shall therefore conclude, by way of invitation to the dubious, in the language of an elegant writer, by asserting that the Proof of the Pudding is in—VERBUM SAT."


Mean Temperature   -   -   -  37 . 12.

January 7.

1826. Distaff's Day.* [See vol. i. p. 61.]


I stood between the meeting years,
   The coming and the past,
And I ask'd of the future one,
   Wilt thou be like the last?

The same in many a sleepless night,
   In many an anxious day?
Thank Heaven! I have no prophet's eye
   To look upon thy way!

For Sorrow like a phantom sits
   Upon the last year's close.
How much of grief, how much of ill,
   In its dark breast repose!

Shadows of faded Hopes flit by,
   And ghosts of Pleasures fled:
How have they chang'd from what they were!
   Cold, colourless, and dead.

I think on many a wasted hour,
   And sicken o'er the void;
And many darker are behind,
   On worse than nought employ'd.

Oh Vanity! alas, my heart!
   How widely hast thou stray'd
And misused every golden gift
   For better purpose made!

I think on many a once-loved friend
   As nothing to me now;
And what can mark the lapse of time
   As does an alter'd brow?

Perhaps 'twas but a careless word
   That sever'd Friendship's chain;
And angry Pride stands by each gap,
   Lest they unite again.

Less sad, albeit more terrible,
   To think upon the dead,
Who quiet in the lonely grave
   Lay down their weary head.

For faith and hope, and peace, and trust,
   Are with their happier lot:
Though broken is their bond of love,
   At least we broke it not.—

Thus thinking of the meeting years,
   The coming and the past,
I needs must ask the future one,
   Wilt thou be like the last?

There came a sound, but not of speech,
   That to my thought replied,
"Misery is the marriage-gift
   That waits a mortal bride:

"But lift thine hopes from this base earth,
   This waste of worldly care,
And wed thy faith to yon bright sky,
   For Happiness dwells there!"

L. E. L.* [New Monthly Magazine, January, 1826.]


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 85.

January 8.

1826. First Sunday after Epiphany.


On the 8th of January, 1753, died sir Thomas Burnet, one of the judges of the court of Common Pleas, of the gout in his stomach, at his house in Lincoln's-inn fields. He was the eldest son of the celebrated Dr. Gilbert Burnet, bishop of Salisbury; was several years consul at Lisbon: and in November, 1741, made one of the judges of the Common Pleas, in room of judge Fortescue, who was appointed master of the rolls. On November 23, 1745, when the lord chancellor, judges, and association of the gentlemen of the law, waited on his majesty with their address, on occasion of the rebellion, he was knighted. He was an able and upright judge, and a great benefactor to the poor.† [Gentleman's Magazine.]


To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

Encouraged by your various expressions of willingness to receive notices of customs not already "imprinted" in your first volume, I take the liberty of presenting the first of several which I have not yet seen in print.

I am, sir,
Your constant reader,
J. O. W.



Gentle reader,
If thou art not over-much prejudiced by the advances of modernization, (I like a long new-coined word,) so that, even in these "latter days," thou dost not hesitate to place explicit reliance on ancient, yet infallible "sayings and doings," (ancient enough, since they have been handed down to us by our grandmothers—and who would doubt the weight and authority of so many years?—and infallible enough, since they themselves absolutely believed in their "quite-correctness,") I will tell thee a secret well worth knowing, if that can be called a secret which arises out of a well-known and almost universal custom, at least, in "days of yore." It is neither more nor less than the possession throughout "the rolling year" of a pocket never without money. Is not this indeed a secret well worth knowing? Yet the means of its accomplishment are exceedingly simple (as all difficult things are when once known); On the first day of the first new moon of the new year, or so soon afterwards as you observe it, all that you have to do is this:—on the first glance you take at "pale Luna's silvery crest" in the western sky, put your hand in your pocket, shut your eyes, and turn the smallest piece of silver coin you possess upside down in your said pocket. This will ensure you (if you will but trust its infallibility!) throughout the whole year that "summum bonum" of earthly wishes, a pocket never empty. If, however, you neglect, on the first appearance of the moon, your case is hopeless; nevertheless and notwithstanding, at a future new moon you may pursue the same course, and it will be sure to hold good during the then current month, but not a "whit" longer.

This mention of the new moon and its crest brings to mind a few verses I wrote some time ago, and having searched my scarp-book, (undoubtedly not such a one as Geoffery Crayon's,) I copied them from thence, and they are here under. Although written in the "merry merry month of May," they may be read in the "dreary dark December," for every new moon presents the same beautiful phenomenon.

A Simile.

Hast thou ne'er marked, when first the crescent moon
Shines faintly in the western horizon,
O'er her whole orb a slight soft blush o'erspread,
As though she were abashed to be thus seen
From the sun's couch with silver steps retreating?
Hast thou ne'er marked, that when by slow degrees,
Night after night, her crescent shape is lost,
And steadily she gains her stores of light,
Till half her form resplendently proclaims
An envious rival to the stars around—
Then mark'st thou not, that nought of her sweet blush
Remains to please the gazer's wistful sight,
And that she shines increasingly in strength,
Till she is full-orb'd, mistress of the sky?—
So is it with the mind, when silently
Into the young heart's void steals timorous love.
Then enter with it fancy's fairy dreams,
Visions of glory, reveries of bliss;
And then they come and go, till comes, alas!
Knowledge, forced on us, of the "world without!"
How soon these scenes of beauty disappear!
How soon fond thought sinks into nothingness!
How soon the mind discovers that true bliss
Reposes not on sublunary things,
But is alone when passion's blaze is o'er
In that high happy sphere, where love's supreme.

Here it may not be out of place to endeavour to describe, as familiarly as possible, the cause of the lunar appearance. Hold a piece of looking-glass in a ray of sunshine, and then move a small ball through the reflected ray: it is easy to conceive that both sides will be illumined: that side towards the sun by the direct sunbeam, and the side towards the mirror, though less powerfully, by the reflected sunbeam. In a somewhat similar manner, the earth supplies the place of the mirror, and as at every new moon, and for several days after the moon is in that part of her orbit between the earth and the sun, the rays of the sun are reflected from the earth to the dark side of the moon, and consequently to the inhabitants of that part of the moon, (if any such there be, and query why should there not be such?) the earth must present the curious appearance of a full moon of many times the diameter which ours presents.

J. O. W.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 05.

January 9.

1826. Plough Monday.

The first Monday after Twelfth day.* [See vol. i. p. 71.]


On the 9th of January, 1752, William Stroud was tried before the bench of justices at Westminster-hall, for personating various characters and names, and defrauding numbers of people, in order to support his extravagance. It appeared by the evidence, that he had cheated a taylor of a suit of velvet clothes, trimmed with gold; a jeweller of upwards of 100l in rings and watches, which he pawned[;] a coachmaker of a chaise; a carver and cabinet-maker of household goods; a hosier, hatter, and shoemaker; and, in short, some of almost every other business, to the amount of a large sum. He sometimes appeared like gentleman attended with livery servants; sometimes as a nobleman's steward; and, in the summer time, he travelled the west of England, in the character of Doctor Rock; and, at the same time, wrote to London for goods, in the names of the Rev. Laroche, and the Rev. Thomas Strickland. The evidence was full against him; notwithstanding which, he made a long speech in his own defence. He was sentenced to six months' hard labour in Bridewell, and, within that time, to be six times publicly whipped.

Such offences are familiar to tradesmen of the present times, through many perpetrators of the like stamp; but all of them are not of the same audacity as Stroud, who in the month following his conviction, wrote and published his life, wherein he gives a very extraordinary account of his adventures, but passes slightly over, or palliates his blackest crimes. He was bred a haberdasher of small wares in Fleet-street, married his mistress's sister before his apprenticeship determined, set up in the Poultry, became a bankrupt, in three months got his certificate signed, and again set up in Holborn, where he lived but a little while before he was thrown into the King's Bench for debt, and there got acquainted with one Playstowe, who gradually led him into scenes of fraud, which he afterwards imitated. Playstowe being a handsome man, usually passed for a gentleman, and Stroud for his steward; at last the former, after many adventures, married a girl with 4000l., flew to France, and left Stroud in the lurch, who then retired to Yorkshire, and lived some time with his aunt, pretending his wife was dead, and he was just on the brink of marrying advantageously, when his real character was traced. He then went to Ireland, passed for a man of fashion, hired an equipage, made the most of that country, and escaped to London. His next grand expedition was to the west of England, where he still personated the man of fortune, got acquainted with a young lady, and pursued her to London, where justice overtook him; and, instead of wedlock, bound him in the fetters of Bridewell.

On the 24th of June, 1752, Stroud received "his last and severest whipping, from the White Bear to St. James's church Piccadilly."* [Gentleman's Magazine.]


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 12.

January 10.

On the 10th of January, 1812, it is observed, that London was this day involved, for several hours, in palpable darkness. The shops, offices, &c., were necessarily lighted up; but, the streets not being lighted as at night, it required no small care in the passenger to find his way, and avoid accidents. The sky, where any light pervaded it, showed the aspect of bronze. Such is, occasionally, the effect of the accumulation of smoke between two opposite gentle currents, or by means of a misty calm. The fuliginous cloud was visible, in this instance, from a distance of forty miles. Were it not for the extreme mobility of our atmosphere, this volcano of a hundred thousand mouths would, in winter, be scarcely habitable!† [Howard on Climate.

Winter in the Country.

      All out door work
Now stands; the waggoner, with wisp-wound feet,
And wheelspokes almost filled, his destined stage
Scarcely can gain. O'er hill, and vale, and wood,
Sweeps the snow-pinioned blast, and all things veils
In white array, disguising to the view
Objects well known, now faintly recognised.
One colour clothes the mountain and the plain,
Save where the feathery flakes melt as they fall
Upon the deep blue stream, or scowling lake,
Or where some beetling rock o'erjutting hangs
Above the vaulty precipice's cove.
Formless, the pointed cairn now scarce o'ertops
The level dreary waste; and coppice woods,
Diminished of their height, like bushes seem.
With stooping heads, turned from the storm, the flocks,
Onward still urged by man and dog, escape
The smothering drift; while, skulking at a side,
Is seen the fox, with close downfolded tail,
Watching his time to seize a straggling prey;
Or from some lofty crag he ominous howls,
And makes approaching night more dismal fall.

Mr. Paul Pry in the Character of Mr. Liston.

Mr. Paul Pry in the Character of Mr. Liston.

"Just popp'd in, you know!"




To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

I hope I don't intrude — I have called at Ludgate-hill a great many times to see you, and made many kind inquiries, but I am always informed you are "not at home;" and what's worse, I never can learn when you'll be "at home;" I'm constantly told, "it's very uncertain." This looks very odd; I don't think it correct. Then again, on asking your people what the Every-Day Book is all about? they say it's about every thing; but that you know is no answer—is it? I want something more than that. When I tell 'em so, and that I'm so much engaged I haven't time to read, they say the book is as useful to people engaged in business as to people out of business—as if I was in business! I wish to acquaint every body, that I am not in business, and never was in business, though I've a deal of business to do; but then it's for my own amusement, and that's nobody's business, you know—as I also told 'em. They say it's impossible to describe the contents of the book, but that all the particulars are in the Index; that's just what I wanted; but behold! it is "not out"—that is, it is not in—I mean not in the book—you take. Excuse my humorsomeness: I only wish to know when I can get it? They say in a few days, but, bless you, I don't believe 'em; for though I let 'em know I've a world of things to communicate to you, when you've time to see me, and let me ask you a few questions, they won't credit me, and why should I credit them—I was not born yesterday, I assure you. I'm of a very ancient stock, and I've some notion you and I are kinsmen—don't you think we are? I dare say there's a likeness, for I'm sure we are of the same disposition; if you are n't, how can you find out so much "about every thing." If I can make out that you are one of the Pry family, it will be mutually agreeable—won't it? How people will stare—won't they?

I suppose you've heard how I've been used by Mr. Liston—my private character exposed on the public stage, and the whole town roaring at the whole of the Pry family. But we are neither to be cried down nor laughed down, and so I'd have let the play-goers know, if the managers had allowed me to sing a song on New-year's night, in imitation of Mr. Liston when he's a playing me. Will you believe it—they burst out a laughing, and would not let me go on the boards—they said the audience would suppose me to be the actor himself; what harm would that have done the theatre?—can you tell? They said, it would hurt Mr. Liston's feelings—never considering my feelings! If ever I try to serve them or their theatre again, I'll be—Liston! They shall be matched, however, if you'll help me. I've copied out my song, and if you'll print it in the Every-Day Book, it will drive 'em mad. I wish, of all things, that Mr. Cruikshank could see me in the character of Liston—he could hit me I know—don't you think he could?—just as I am—"quite correct"—like he did "Guy Faux" last 5th of November. [link] I never laughed so much in all my life as when I saw that. Bless you, I can mimic Liston all to nothing. Do get your friend George to your house some day—any day he likes—it's all one to me, for I call every day; and as I'm an "every-day" man, you know, why you might pop me at the head of the song in your Every-Day Bookthat's a joke you know—I can't help laughing—so droll! I've enclosed the song, you see.

[The wish of this correspondent is complied with, and the manner wherein, it is presumed, he would have sung the song, is hinted parenthetically.]


Intended to have been sung by him at the Theatre,

In the Character of MR. LISTON,


TUNE——Mr. Liston's.

(Pryingly.) I hope I don't intrude!—
(Fearfully.) I thought I heard a cough
(Apologetically.) I hope I am not rude—
(Confidentially.) I say—the Year's going off!

(Inquisitively.) Where can he be going to?
(Ruminatively.) Its very odd!—its serious!
(Self-satisfactively.) I'm rather knowing too!—
(Insinuatively.) But isn't it mysterious?

(Comfortably.) 'Twas better than the other—
(Informingly.) The one that went before;—
(Consolingly.) But then there'll be another
(Delightedly.) And that's one comfort more!

(Alarmedly.) I'm half afraid he's gone!
(Kindlily.) Must part with the old fellow!
(Hastily.) Excuse me—I must run—(Exit.)
(Returns.) Forgot my umbrella.—

(Determinedly.) I'll watch the new one though,
(Circumspectly.) And see what he'll be at—(Exit.)
(Returns.) Beg pardon—did'nt bow—(Bows and exit.)
(Returns.) Bid pardon—left my hat.

(Lingeringly.) It's always the wish of Paul,
(Seriously.) To be quite correct and right—
(Respectfully.) Ladies and gentlemen—all—
(Retreatingly.) I wish you very good night!

(Recollectively.) And—ladies and gentlemen—all!
(Interjectively.) You laugh so much, I declare—
(Vexedly.) I'm not Mr. Liston!—I'm Paul!
(Lastly.) I wish you a happy New Year!—(Exit finally.)

If you print this in the Every-Day Book it will send Liston into fits—it will kill him—won't it? But you know that's all right—if he takes me off I've a right to take him off—haven't I? I say, that's another joke—isn't it? Bless you I co'd do as good as that for ever. But I want to see you, and ask you how you go on? and I've lots of intelligence for you—such things as never were known in this world—all true, and on the very best authority, you may take my word for it. Several of my relations have sent you budgets. Though they know you won't publish their names unless they like it, they don't choose to sign 'em to their letters for private reasons,—why don't you print 'em? They cann't give up their authors you know, (that's impossible,) but what does that signify? And then you give 'em so much trouble to call and make inquiries—not that they care about that, but it looks so. However, I'm in a great hurry and so you'll excuse me. —Mind though I shall pop in every day till I catch you. I hope you'll print the song—its all my own writing, it will do for Liston, depend on it. What a joke—isn't it a good one?

Yours eternally,

Pryory Place,
6, 1826.

P. S. Don't forget the Index—I want to learn all the particulars—multum in parvo—all quite correct.

P. S. I'm told you've eleven children—is it true? What day shall you have another? — to-day? — Twelfth-day? that would be a joke—wouldn't it? I hope I don't intrude. I don't wish to seem curious.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 07.

January 11.

"Feast Week."

This is a term in many parts of England for an annual festivity celebrated on the occasion described in the subjoined communication.

For the Every-Day Book.


This festival, so called, is supposed to be nearly coeval with the establishment of Christianity in this island. Every new church that was founded was dedicated to some peculiar saint, and was naturally followed by a public religious celebration, generally on the day of that saint, or on the Sunday immediately following. Whatever might be the origin, the festival part is still observed in most of the villages of several of the midland and other counties. It is a season much to be remembered, and is anticipated with no little pleasure by the expecting villagers. The joyful note of preparation is given during the preceding week; and the clash, and splash, and bustle of cleansing, and whitewashing, and dusting, is to be seen and heard in almost every cottage. Nor is the still more important object of laying in a good solid supply for a hungry host of visitors forgotten. Happy those who can command a ham for the occasion. This is a great favourite, as it is a cut-and-come-again dish, ready at hand at all times. But this is mostly with the tip-topping part. Few but can boast of a substantial plum-pudding!—And now the important day is arrived. The merry bells from the steeple announce the event; and groups of friends and relations, not forgetting distant cousins and children, are seen making their way, long before the hour of dinner, to the appointed spot. This is Sunday; and in the afternoon a portion of these strangers, clean and neatly dressed, are seen flocking to the village church, where the elevated band in the gallery, in great force both in noise and number, contribute lustily to their edification, and the clergyman endeavours to improve the solemnity of the occasion by an appropriate address. During the early part of the ensuing week, the feast is kept up with much spirit: the village presents a holiday appearance, and open-housekeeping, as far as may be, is the order of the day; the bells at intervals send forth an enlivening peal; all work is nearly suspended; gay stalls of gingerbread and fruit, according to the season of the year, together with swings and roundabouts, spread out their allurements to the children; bowls, quoits, and nine-pins, for the men; and the merry dance in the evening, for the lasses. Fresh visitors keep dropping in; and almost all who can make any excuse of acquaintance are acknowledged, and are hospitably entertained, according to the means of their village friends. As the week advances, these means gradually diminish; and as an empty house has few attractions, by the end of the week the bustle ceases, and all is still and silent, as if it had never been.

Man naturally requires excitement and relaxation; but it is essentially necessary that they should be adapted to his situation and circumstances. The feast week, however alluring it may appear in description, is in reality productive of greater evil than good. The excitement lasts too long, and the enjoyment, whatever it may be, is purchased at the sacrifice of too great expense. It is a well-known fact, that many of the poor who have exerted every effort to make this profuse, but short-lived display, have scarcely bread to eat for weeks after. But there is no alternative, if they expect to be received with the same spirit of hospitality by their friends. The alehouses, in the interim, are too often scenes of drunkenness and disorder; and the labouring man who has been idle and dissipated for a week, is little disposed for toil and temperance the next. Here, then, the illusion of rural simplicity ends! These things are managed much better where one fair day, as it is called, is set apart in each year, as is the case in many countries; the excitement, which is intense for ten or twelve hour, is fully sufficient for the purpose; all is noise and merriment, and one general and simultaneous burst and explosion, if it may be so expressed, takes place. You see groups of happy faces. Every one is willing "to laugh he knows not why, and cares not wherefore;" and one day's gratification serves him for every day's pleasing topic of reference for weeks to come.

S. P.


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 62.

January 12.

Leeches unhurt by Frost.

Among the cold-blooded animals which resist the effects of a low temperature, we may reckon the common leech, which is otherwise interesting to the meteorologist, on account of its peculiar habits and movements under different states of the atmosphere. A group of these animals left accidentally in a closet without a fire, during the frost of 1816, not only survived, but appeared to suffer no injury from being locked up in a mass of ice for many days.* [Howard on Climate.]


Certain rewards allowed by act of parliament to firemen, turncocks and others, who first appear with their engines and implements at premises sworn to be on fire, were claimed at the public office, Marlborough-street, in this month, 1826, and resisted on the ground that the chimney, which belonged to a brewery, and was more than eighty feet high, was not, and could not be on fire. A witness to that end, gave a lively specimen of familiar statement and illustration. He began by telling the magistrate, that he was a sweep-chimney by profession—a piece of information very unnecessary, for he was as black and sooty a sweep as ever mounted a chimney-top,—and then went on in this fashion—"This here man, (pointing to the patrol,) your worship, has told a false affidavit. I knows that ere chimley from a hinfant, and she knows my foot as well as my own mother. The way as I goes up her is this—I goes in all round the boiler, then I twistes in the chimley like the smoke, and then up I goes with the wind, for, your wortship, there's a wind in her that would blow you out like a feather, if you didn't know her as well as I do, and that makes me always go to the top myself, because there isn't a brick in her that doesn't know my foot. So that you see, your wortship, no soot or blacks is ever in her: the wind won't let 'em stop: and besides they knows that I go up her regular. So that she always keeps herself as clean as a new pin. I'll be bound the sides of her is as clean this minutes as I am (not saying much for the chimney); therefore, your wortship, that ere man as saw two yards of fire coming out of her, did not see no such thing, I say; and he has told your wortship, and these here gentlemen present, a false affidavit, I say. I was brought up in that chimley, your wortship, and I can't abear to hear such things said—lies of her; and that's all as I knows at present, please your wortship."* [The Times, 5th January, 1826.]


The London Christmas evenings of 1826, appear to have been kept out of doors, for every place of entertainment was overflowing every night.

At this season, from six o'clock in the evening, a full tide of passengers sets in along every leading street to each of the theatres. Hackney coaches drawl, and cabriolets make their way, and jostle each other, and private carriages swiftly roll, and draw up to the box door with a vigorous sweep, which the horses of hired vehicles are too aged, or too low in condition to achieve. Within a hundred yards of either playhouse, hands are continually thrust into each coach window, with "a bill of the play," and repeated cries of "only a penny!" The coach-door being opened, down fall the steps with a sharp clackity-clack-click, and the companies alight, if they can, without the supernumerary aid of attendant pliers, who offer their over-ready arms to lean upon, and kindly entreat—"Take care, sir!—mind how you step ma'am—this way if you please—this way," all against your will, and ending with "I hope you'll please remember a poor fellow!" the "poor fellow" having done nothing but interrupt you. When past the "pay place," great coats, umbrellas, shawls or other useful accompaniments to and from "the house," though real encumbrances within it, may be safely deposited with persons stationed for their reception, who attach tickets to them, and deliver corresponding numbers, which ensure the return of your property on your coming out; six-pence or a shilling being a gratuity for the accomodation. Then, when the whole is over, there is the strict blockade of coaches further than the eye can reach; servants looking out for the parties they came with, and getting up their master's carriages; and a full cry of hackney coachmen and their representatives, vociferating "Want a coach, sir! Here's your coach, sir? Which is it, sir! Coach to the city, sir! West end, sir! Here! Coach to the city! Coach to Whitechapel! Coach to Portman-square! Coach to Pentonville! Coach to the Regent's Park! This way! this way! Stand clear there! Chariot, or a coach, sir? No chariots, sir, and all the coaches are hired! There's a coach here, sir—just below! Coachman, draw up!" and drawing up is impossible, and there is an incessant confusion of calls and complaints, and running against each other, arising out of the immediate wants of every body, which can only be successively gratified. Pedestrians make their way home, or to the inns, as fast as possible, or turn in to sup at the fish-shops, which in five minutes, are more lively than their oysters were at any time. "Waiter! Waiter! Yes, sir? Attend to you directly, sir! Yours is gone for, sir! Why, I've ordered nothing! Its coming directly, sir! Ginger-beer—why this is poison! Spruce—why this is ginger-beer! Porter, sir! I told you brandy and water! Stewed oysters! I ordered scolloped! When am I to have my supper! You've had it, sir—I beg your pardon, sir, the gentleman that sat here is gone, sir! Waiter! waiter!" and so on; and he who has patience, is sure to be indulged with an opportunity of retaining it, amidst loud talking and laughter; varied views of the new pantomime; conflicting testimony as to the merits of the clown and the harlequin; the "new scenery, dresses, and machinery;" likings an dislikings of certain actresses; "the lovely" Miss So-and-so, or "that detestable" woman, Mrs. Such-an-one, that clever fellow, "Thing-a-merry," or that stupid dog "What-d'ye-call-um." These topics failing, and the oysters discussed, then are stated and considered the advantages of taking something "to keep 'em down;" the comparative merits of Burton, Windsor, or Edinburgh ale; the qualities of porter; the wholesomeness of smoking; the difference between a pipe and a segar, and the preference of one to the other; whether brandy or rum, or the clear spirit of juniper is the best preservative of health; which of the company or their friends can drink most; whether the last fight was "a cross," and who of all the men in the fancy is most "game;" whether the magistrates dare to interfere with "the ring;" whether if fighting should be "put an end to" Englishmen will have half the courage they had three hundred years ago, before prize fighting existed; whether Thurtell was not "a good one" to the last, and whether there's a better "trump" in the room. On these points, or to points like these, the conversation of an oyster room is turned by sitters after the play, till they adjourn to "spend the evening" at the "flash-and-foolish" houses which "keep it up" all night in the peculiar neighbourhood of the public office, Bow-street. This is more than mere animal gratification, as the police reports exemplify.

Seasonable Refreshment.

Seasonable Refreshment.

Capital oysters, I declare!
Excellent spruce, and ginger beer!
Don't you take vinegar? there's the bread—
We'll just have a pipe—and then to bed. ———*

Why should not this be deemed a real scene, and as respectable as that just described. It is quite as lively and as intellectual. The monkey eats, and according to many accounts can catch fish as well as man. It is told of this animal, that from love of the crab and experience of his claws, he gently shakes his tail before the hole of the crab, who, as soon as he begins to "pull him by his long tail" is drawn out by that dependancy and falls a prey to his decoyer. It is related that party of officers belonging to the 25th regiment of infantry, on service at Gibraltar, amused themselves with whiting fishing at the back of the rock till they were obliged to shift their ground from being pelted from above, they did not know by whom. At their new station they caught plenty of fish, but the drum having unexpectedly beat to arms, they rowed hastily ashore, and drew their boat high and dry upon the beach. On their return they were greatly surprised to find it in a different position ashore, and some hooks baited which they had left bare. In the end it was ascertained that their pelters while they were fishing were a party of young monkeys. They were driven off by two or three old ones who remained secretly observing the whiting fishing of the officers till they had retired. The old monkeys then launched the boat, put to sea, baited their hooks, and proceeded to work[.] The few fish they caught, they hauled up with infinite gratification, and when tired they landed, placed the boat as nearly as they could in its old position, and went up the rock with their prey. General Elliot, while commander at Gibraltar, never suffered the monkeys with which the rock abounds to be molested or taken.

The faculty of imitation in monkeys is limited, but not so in man; a remarkable instance of this is lately adduced in a pleasant little story of perhaps the greatest performer on our stage.


At a splendid dinner-party at lord ——'s they suddenly missed Garrick, and could not imagine what was become of him, till they were drawn to the window by the convulsive screams and peals of laughter of a young negro boy, who was rolling on the ground in an ecstasy of delight to see Garrick mimicking a turkey-cock in the court yard, with his coat-tail stuck out behind, and in a seeming flutter of feathered rage and pride. Of our party only two persons had seen the British Roscius; and they seemed as willing as the rest to renew their acquaintance with their old favourite. This anecdote is new: it is related by the able writer of a paper concerning "Persons one would wish to have seen,"* [In the New Monthly Magazine, Jan. 1826.] as an instance of Garrick's singleness of purpose when he was fully possessed by an idea.


Mean Temperature   . . .   34 . 45.

January 13.

1826. Hilary Cambridge Term begins.


Some curious circumstances are connected with the name of this saint, who appears to have been a poor ignorant girl, born near Milan, where she worked in the fields for her living. Conceiving a desire to becume a nun, she sat up at night to learn to read and write, which, her biographer says, for want of an instructor, was a great fatigue to her. He proceeds to tell us, that she was relieved from labour of that kind in the following manner:—"One day, being in great anxiety about her learning, the mother of God, in a comfortable vision, bade her banish that anxiety, for it was enough if she knew three letters." So Veronica became a nun, seeking "the greatest drudgery," desiring "to live always on bread and water," and dying "at the hour which she had foretold, in the year 1497, and the fifty-second of her age. Her sanctity was confirmed by miracles." We gather this from Alban Butler, who subjoins, by way of note, thus:—

"The print of the holy face of our Saviour on a linen cloth is kept in St. Peter's church at Rome, with singular veneration.—Some private writers and churches have given the name of St. Veronica to the devout woman who is said to have presented this linen to our divine Redeemer, but without sufficient warrant."

Before saying any thing concerning the earlier St. Veronica, or "this linen" whereon Romish writers allege Christ impressed his own portrait by wiping his face with it, mention may be made of another portrait of him which Romish writers affirm he miraculously executed in the same manner, and sent to Abgarus, king of Edessa, in the way hereafter related. They have further been so careful as to publish a print of this pretended portrait, with representations around illustrating the history they tell of it. An engraving from it immediately follows. The Latin inscription beneath their print is placed beneath the present engraving.

Effigies Christi Domini.

Effigies Christi Domini.

Ex ipsomet Divino Exemplari AD ABGARUM missa Genuœ in Ecclesia Sti. Bartolomœi
Clericorum Reg. Sti. Pauli Summa Veneratione asservato

Accuratissime Expressa.

No circumstance is more remarkable than the existence of this pretended resemblance, as an object of veneration in the Romish church. Being one of the greatest curiosities in its numerous cabinets of relics, it has a place in this work, which, while it records manners and customs, endeavours to point out their origin, and the means by which they have been continued. Nor let it be imagined that these representations have not influenced our own country; there is evidence to the contrary already, and more can be adduced if need require, which will incontestably prove that many of our present popular customs are derived from such sources.


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 27.

January 14.

1826. Oxford Hilary Term begins.


Mariners form a distinct community, with peculiar manners, little known to their inland fellow countrymen, except through books. In this way Smollett has done much, and from Mr. Leigh Hunt's "Indicator," which may not be in every one's hands, though it ought to be, is extracted the following excellent description.


And first of the common sailor.—The moment the common sailor lands, he goes to see the watchmaker, or the old boy at the Ship. His first object is to spend his money: but his first sensation is the strange firmness of the earth, which he goes treading in a sort of heavy light way, half waggoner and half dancing master, his shoulders rolling and his feet touching and going; the same way, in short, in which he keeps himself prepared for all the rolling chances of the vessel, when on deck. There is always, to us, this appearance of lightness of foot and heavy strength of upper works, in a sailor. And he feels it himself. He lets his jacket fly open, and his shoulders slouch, and his hair grow long to be gathered into a heavy pigtail; but when full dressed, he prides himself on a certain gentility of toe; on a white stocking and a natty shoe, issuing lightly out of the flowing blue trowser. His arms are neutral, hanging and swinging in a curve aloof; his hands, half open, look as if they had just been handling ropes, and had no object in life but to handle them again. He is proud of appearing in a new hat and slops, with a belcher handkerchief flowing loosely round his neck, and the corner of another out of his pocket. Thus equipped, with pinchbeck buckles in his shoes (which he bought for gold) he puts some tobacco in his mouth, not as if he were going to use it directly, but as if he stuffed it in a pouch on one side, as a pelican does fish, to employ it hereafter: and so, with Bet Monson at his side, and perhaps a cane or whanghee twisted under his other arm, sallies forth to take possession of all Lubberland. He buys every thing that he comes athwart,—nuts, gingerbread, apples, shoe-strings, beer, brandy, gin, buckles, knives, a watch, (two, if he has money enough,) gowns and handkerchiefs for Bet, and his mother and sisters, dozens of "superfine best men's cotton stockings," dozens of "superfine best women's cotton ditto," best good check for shirts (though he has too much already), infinite needles and thread (to sew his trowsers with some day), a footman's laced hat, bear's grease to make his hair grow (by way of joke), several sticks, all sorts of jew articles, a flute (which he can't play and never intends), a leg of mutton which he carries somewhere to roast, and for a piece of which the landlord of the Ship makes him pay twice what he gave for the whole;—in short, all that money can be spent upon, which is every thing but medicine gratis; and this he would insist on paying for. He would buy all the painted parrots on an Italian's head, on purpose to break them, rather than not spend his money. He has fiddles and a dance at the Ship, with oceans of flip and grog; and gives the blind fiddler tobacco for sweetmeats, and half a crown for treading on his toe. He asks the landlady with a sigh, after her daughter Nance who first fired his heart with her silk stockings; and finding that she is married and in trouble, leaves five crowns for her; which the old lady appropriates as part payment for a shilling in advance. He goes to the port playhouse with Bet Monson, and a great red handkerchief full of apples, gingerbread nuts, and fresh beef; calls out for the fiddlers and Rule Britannia; pelts Tom Sikes in the pit; and compares Othello to the black ship's cook in his white night-cap. When he comes to London, he and some messmates take a hackney-coach, full of Bet Monsons and tobacco pipes, and go through the streets smoking and lolling out of window. He has ever been cautious of venturing on horseback; and among his other sights in foreign parts, relates with unfeigned astonishment how he has seen the Turks ride,—"Only," says he, guarding against the hearer's incredulity, "they have saddle-boxes to hold 'em in, fore and aft; and shovels like for stirrups." He will tell you how the Chinese drink, and the NEGURS dance, and the monkies pelt you with cocoa-nuts; and how king Domy would have built him a mud hut and made him a peer of the realm, if he would have stopped with him and taught him to make trowsers. He has a sister at a "school for young ladies," who blushes with a mixture of pleasure and shame at his appearance; and whose confusion he completes, by slipping fourpence into her hand, and saying out loud that he has "no more copper" about him. His mother and elder sisters at home doat on all he says and does, telling him however that he is a great sea-fellow, and was always wild ever since he was a hop-o'-my-thumb no higher than the window-locker. He tells his mother she would be a duchess in Paranaboo; at which the good old portly dame laughs and looks proud. When his sisters complain of his romping, he says that they are only sorry it is not the baker. He frightens them with a mask made after the New Zealand fashion, and is forgiven for his learning. Their mantle-piece is filled by him with shells and shark's teeth; and when he goes to sea again, there is no end of tears, and God bless you, and home-made gingerbread.

His officer on shore does much of all this, only, generally speaking, in a higher taste. The moment he lands he buys quantities of jewellery and other valuables, for all the females of his acquaintance; and is taken in for every article. He sends in a cart load of fresh meat to the ship, though he is going to town next day; and calling in at a chandler's for some candles, is persuaded to buy a dozen of green wax, with which he lights up the ship at evening; regretting that the fine moonlight hinders the effect of the colour. A man, with a bundle beneath his arm, accosts him in an undertone; and, with a look in which respect for his knowledge is mixed with an avowed zeal for his own interest, asks if his honour will just step under the gangway here, and inspect some real India shawls. The gallant lieutenant says to himself, "this fellow knows what's what by his face;" and so he proves it by being taken in on the spot. When he brings the shawls home, he says to his sister with an air of triumph, "there Poll, there's something for you; only cost me twelve, and is worth twenty, if it's worth a dollar." She turns pale—"Twenty what, my dear George? Why, you haven't given twelve dollars for it, I hope?" "Not I, by the Lord."—"That's lucky; because you see, my dear George, that all together is not worth more than fourteen or fifteen shillings." "Fourteen or fifteen what! Why, it's real India, en't it? Why the fellow told me so; or I'm sure I'd as soon"—(here he tries to hide his blushes with a bluster) "I'd as soon have given him twelve douses on the chaps as twelve guineas." "Twelve GUINEAS," exclaims the sister; and then drawling forth "Why—my—DEAR—George," is proceeding to show him what the articles would have cost him at Condell's, when he interrupts her by requesting her to go and choose for herself a tea-table service. He then makes his escape to some messmates at a coffee-house, and drowns his recollection of the shawls in the best wine, and a discussion on the comparative merits of the English and West Indian beauties and tables. At the theatre afterwards, where he has never been before, he takes a lady at the back of one of the boxes for a woman of quality: and when after returning his long respectful gaze with a smile, she turns aside and puts her handkerchief to her mouth, he thinks it is in derision, till his friend undeceives him. He is introduced to the lady; and ever afterwards, at first sight of a woman of quality (without any disparagement either to those charming personages), expects her to give him a smile. He thinks the other ladies much better creatures than they are taken for; and for their parts, they tell him, that if all men were like himself, they would trust the sex again:—which, for aught we know, is the truth. He has, indeed, what he thinks a very liberal opinion of ladies in general; judging them all, in a manner, with the eye of a seaman's experience. Yet he will believe nevertheless in the "true-love" of any given damsel whom he seeks in the way of marriage, let him roam as much, or remain as long at a distance as he pleases. It is not that he wants feeling; but that he has read of it, time out of mind, in songs; and he looks upon constancy as a sort of exploit, answering to those which he performs at sea. He is nice in his watches and linen. He makes you presents of cornelians, antique seals, cocoa-nuts set in silver, and other valuables. When he shakes hands with you, it is like being caught in a windlass. He would not swagger about the streets in his uniform, for the world. He is generally modest in company, though liable to be irritated by what he thinks ungentlemanly behaviour. He is also liable to be rendered irritable by sickness; partly because he has been used to command others, and to be served with all possible deference and alacrity; and partly, because the idea of suffering pain, without any honour or profit to get by it, is unprofessional, and he is not accustomed to it. He treats talents unlike his own with great respect. He often perceives his own so little felt that it teaches him this feeling for that of others. Besides, he admires the quantity of information which people can get, without travelling like himself; especially when he sees how interesting his own becomes, to them as well as to every body else. When he tells a story, particularly if full of wonders, he takes care to maintain his character for truth and simplicity, by qualifying it with all possible reservations, concessions, and anticipations of objection; such as "in case, at such times as, so to speak, as it were, at least, at any rate." He seldom uses sea-terms but when jocosely provoked by something contrary to his habits of life; as for instance, if he is always meeting you on horseback, he asks if you never mean to walk the deck again; or if he finds you studying day after day, he says you are always overhauling your log-book. He makes more new acquaintances, and forgets his old ones less, than any other man in the busy world; for he is so compelled to make his home every where, remembers his native one as such a place of enjoyment, has all his friendly recollections so fixed upon his mind at sea, and has so much to tell and to hear when he returns, that change and separation lose with him the most heartless part of their nature. He also sees such a variety of customs and manners, that he becomes charitable in his opinions altogether; and charity, while it diffuses the affections, cannot let the old ones go. Half the secret of human intercourse is to make allowance for each other.

When the officer is superannuated or retires, he becomes, if intelligent and inquiring, one of the most agreeable old men in the world, equally welcome to the silent for his card-playing, and to the conversational for his recollections. He is fond of astronomy and books of voyages; and is immortal with all who know him, for having been round the world, or seen the Transit of Venus, or had one of his fingers carried of by a New Zealand hatchet, or a present of feathers from an Otaheitean beauty. If not elevated by his acquirements above some of his humbler tastes, he delights in a corner-cupboard holding his cocoa-nuts and punch-bowl; has his summer-house castellated and planted with wooden cannon; and sets up the figure of his old ship, the Britannia or the Lovely Nancy, for a statue in the garden; where it stares eternally with red cheeks and round black eyes, as if in astonishment at its situation.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 20.

January 15.

Changes of Climate.

An opinion has been long entertained, that there are vicissitudes in the climate and temperature of the air unknown to former times, and that such variations exist in America as well as in Europe. It is said that the transatlantic changes have been more frequent, and the heat of the sun not so early or so strongly experienced as formerly. In America, these alterations are attributed to a more obvious cause than uncertain hypothesis, and at not many degrees distance. For instance, the ice in the great river St. Lawrence, at Quebec, did not break up till the first week in May, 1817, when it floated down the stream in huge masses, and in vast quantities; these, with other masses from the coast of Labrador, &c. spread a general coldness many degrees to the southward. But a few weeks before the snow fell in some parts of New England, and New York, to a considerable cepth, and there were severe frosts. The vessels from England and Ireland, which arrived at Quebec, all concurred in their accounts of the dangers which they encountered, and the cold which they suffered. In fine, it would appear that the ice in those regions had accumulated to so alarming a degree, as to threaten a material change in all the adjacent countries, and to verify the theory of some who imagined that the extreme cold of the north was gradually making encroachments upon the extreme heat of the south. They have remarked, in confirmation of their opinions that the accounts of travellers and navigators, furnish strong reasons for supposing that the islands of ice in the higher northern latitudes, as well as the glaciers on the Alps, continue perpetually to increase in bulk. At certain times, in the ice mountains of Switzerland, there occur fissures, which show the immense thickness of the frozen matter; some of these cracks have measured three or four hundred ells deep. The great islands of ice, in the northern seas bordering upon Hudson's Bay, have been observed to be immersed one hundred fathoms beneath the surface of the sea, and to have risen a fifth or sixth part above the surface, measuring, at the same time, about a mile and a half in diameter. It has been shown by Dr. Lyster, that the marine ice contains some salt, and less air, than common ice, and that it therefore is more difficult of solution. From these premises, he endeavours to account for the perpetual augmentation of those floating islands. By a celebrated experiment of Mr. Boyle, it has been demonstrated that ice evaporates very fast, in severe frost weather, when the wind blows upon it; and as ice, in a thawing state, is known to contain six times more cold than water, at the same degree of sensible coldness, it is easy to conceive that winds sweeping over islands and continents of ice, perhaps much below nothing on Farenheit's scale, and rushing thence into our latitudes, must bring most intense degrees of cold along with them. If to this be added the quantity of cold produced by the evaporation of the water, as well as by the solution of ice, it can scarcely be doubted but that the arctic seas are the principal source of the cold of our winters, and that it is brought hither by the regions of the air blowing from the north, and which take an apparently easterly direction, by their coming to a part of the surface of the earth, which moves faster than the latitude from which they originate. Hence, the increase of the ice in the polar regions, by increasing the cold of our climate, adds, at the same time, to the bulk of the glaciers of Italy and Switzerland.

Reasonings of this kind are supported by the greatest names, and countenanced by the authentic reports of the best informed travellers. Mr. Bradley attributes the cold winds and wet weather, which sometimes happen in May and June, to the solution of ice islands accidentally detached and floating from the north. Mr. Barham, about the year 1718, in his voyage from Jamaica to England, in the beginning of June, met with some of those islands, which were involved in such a fog that the ship was in danger of striking against them. One of them measured sixty miles in length.

On the 22d of December, 1789, there was an instance of ice islands having been wafted from the southern polar regions. It was on these islands that the Guardian struck, at the commencement of her passage from the Cape of Good Hope towards Botany Bay. These islands were wrapt in darkness, about one hundred and fifty fathoms long, and above fifty fathoms above the surface of the waves. In the process of solution, a fragment from the summit of one of them broke off, and plunging into the sea caused a tremendous commotion in the water, and dense smoke all around it.

These facts were strongly urged upon public attention in the autumn of 1817,* [See M. Chronicle, 4 Oct. 1817.] as grounds of not only curious and interesting, but likewise of highly important speculation. A supposed change in the temper, and the very character of our seasons, was deemed to have fallen within the observation of even young men, or at least middle-aged men; and upon this supposition, it was not deemed extravagant to anticipate the combined force of the naval world employed in navigating the immense masses of ice into the more southern oceans; while to render the notion more agreeable, and to enliven the minds of such as might think such matters of speculation dull or uninteresting, the project was laid before them in a versified garb, characterising the arctic regions.

There in her azure coif, and starry stole,
Grey Twilight sits, and rules the slumbering pole;
Bends the pale moon-beans round the sparkling coast,
And strews, with livid hands, eternal frost!
There, Nymphs! alight, array your dazzling powers,
With sudden march alarm the torpid hours;
On ice-built isles expand a thousand sails,
Hinge the strong helm, and catch the frozen gales;
The winged rocks to feverish climates guide,
Where fainting Zephyrs pant upon the tide;
Pass where to Ceuta Calpe's thunder roars,
And answering echoes shake the kindred shores;
Pass where with palmy plumes Canary Smiles,
And in her silver girdle binds her isles;
Onward, where Niger's dusky Naiad laves
A thousand kingdoms with prolific waves,
Or leads o'er golden sands her threefold train
In steamy channels to the fervid main,
While swarthy nations crowd the sultry coast,
Drink the fresh breeze, and hail the floating frost;
Nymphs! veil'd in mist, the melting treasures steer,
And cool with arctic snows the tropic year.
So from the burning line, by monsoons driv'n,
Clouds sail in squadrons o'er the darken'd heav'n;
Wide wastes of sand the gelid gales pervade,
And ocean cools beneath the moving shade.


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 05.

January 16.


MR. REDDOCK'S paper on this subject, at page 13, [link] has elicited the following letter from a literary gentleman, concerning a dramatic representation in England similar to that which Mr. Reddock instances at Falkirk, and other parts of North Britain. Such communications are particularly acceptable; because they show to what extent usages prevail, and wherein they differ in different parts of the country. It will be gratifying to every one who peruses this work, and highly so to the editor, if he is obliged by letters from readers acquainted with customs in their own vicinity, similar to those that they are informed of in other counties, and particularly if they will take the trouble to describe them in every particular. By this means, the Every-Day Book will become what it is designed to be made,—a storehouse of past and present manners and customs. Any customs of any place or season that have not already appeared in the work, are earnestly solicited from those who have the means of furnishing the information. The only condition stipulated for, as absolutely indispensable to the insertion of a letter respecting facts of this nature, is, that the name and address of the writer be communicated to the editor, who will subjoin such signature as the writer may choose his letter should bear to the eye of the public. The various valuable articles of this kind which have hitherto appeared in the work, however signed by initials or otherwise, have been so authenticated to the editor's private satisfaction, and he is thus enabled to vouch for the genuineness of such contributions.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

In your last number appeared a very amusing article touching some usages and customs in Scotland, and communicated from Falkirk. In the description of the boys' play, ingeniously suggested as typical of the Roman invasion under Agricola, we, however, read but a varied edition of what is enacted in other parts besides Scotland, and more particularly in the western counties, by those troops of old Father Christmas boys, which are indeed brief chronicles of the times. I mean, those paper-decorated, brick-dust-daubed urchins, 'yclept Mummers.

To be sure they do not begin,

"Here comes in the king of Macedon;"

but we have instead,

"Here comes old Father Christmas,
Christmas or Christmas not,
I hope old Father Christmas never will be forgot."

And then for the Scottish leader Galgacus, we find,

"Here comes in St. George, St. George
That man of mighty name,
With sword and buckler by my side
I hope to win the game.

These "western kernes" have it, you see, Mr. Editor, "down along," to use their own dialect, with those of the thistle. Then, too, we have a fight. Oh! how beautiful to my boyish eyes were their wooden swords and their bullying gait!—then we have a fight, for lo

"Here's come I, the Turkish knight,
Come from the Soldan's land to fight,
And be the foe's blood hot and bold
With my sword I'll make it cold."

A vile Saracenic pun in the very minutes of deadly strife. But they fight—the cross is victorious, the crescent o'erthrown, and, as a matter of course, even in our pieces of mock valour, duels we have therein---the doctor is sent for; and he is addressed, paralleling again our players of "scotia's wild domain," with

"Doctor, doctor, can you tell
What will make a sick man well?"

and thereupon he enumerates cures which would have puzzled Galen, and put Hippocrates to a "non-plus;" and he finally agrees, as in the more classical drama of your correspondent, to cure our unbeliever for a certain sum.

The "last scene of all that ends this strange eventful history" consists in the entrance of the most diminutive of these Thespians, bearing, as did Æneas of old, his parent upon his shoulders, and reciting this bit of good truth and joculation (permitting the word) by way of epilogue:

"Here comes I, little Johnny Jack,
With my wife and family at my back,
Yet, though my body is but small,
I'm the greatest rogue amongst ye all;
This is my scrip—so for Christmas cheer
If you've any thing to give throw it in here."

This may be but an uninteresting tailpiece to your correspondent's clever communication, but still it is one, and makes the picture he so well began of certain usages more full of point.

I doat upon old customs, and I love hearty commemorations, and hence those mimics of whom I have written---I mean the mummers---are my delight, and in the laughter and merriment they create I forget to be a critic, and cannot choose but laugh in the fashion of a Democritus, rather than weep worlds away in the style of a Diogenes.

I am, &c. &c.
J. S. Jun.

Little Chelsea,
Jan. 4, 1826.

In the preface to Mr. Davies Gilbert's work on "Ancient Christmas Carols," there is an account of Cornish sports, with a description of a "metrical play," which seems to be the same with which is the subject of the preceding letter.

Being on the popular drama, and as the topic arose in Mr. Reddock's communication from Scotland, and whimsical dramatic anecdote, with another of like kin from that part of the kingdom, is here subjoined from a Scottish journal of this month in the year 1823.

New Readings of Burns.

We were lately favoured with the perusal of a Perth play-bill, in which Tam O'Shanter, dramatized, is announced for performance as the afterpiece. A ludicrous mistake has occurred, however, in the classification of the Dramatis Personæ. The sapient playwright, it would appear, in reading the lines

"Tam had got planted inco richt,
Fast by an ingle bleezin' finely,
Wi' reaman; swats that drank divinely,"

very naturally conceiving ream an' swats, from the delectable style of their carousing, to be a brace of Tam's pot companions, actually introduced them as such, as we find in the bill that the characters of "Ream" and "Swats" are to be personated by two of the performers!

This reminds us of an anecdote, connected with the same subject, which had its origin nearer home. Some time ago we chanced to be in the shop of an elderly bookseller, when the conversation turned upon the identity of the characters introduced by Burns in his Tam O'Shanter. The bibliopole, who had spent the early part of his life in this neighbourhood, assured us that, "exceptin' Kerr, he kent every body to leuk at that was mentioned, frae Tam himsel' doun to his mare Maggie." This being the first time we had ever heard Mr. Kerr's cognomen alluded to, in connection with Tam O'Shanter, we expressed considerable surprise, and stated that he undoubtedly must have made a mistake in the name. "It may be sae, but is a point easily sattled," said he, raxing down a copy of Burns from the shelf. With "spectacles on nose," he turned up the poem in question. "Ay, ay," said he, in an exulting tone, "I thocht I was na that far wrang—

"Care mad to see a man sae happy,
E'n drowned himself amang the happy."

Now, I kent twa or three o' the Kerr's that leev't in the town-head, but I never could fin' out whilk o' them Burns had in his e'e when he wrote the poem."* [Ayr Courier.]

To Thespian ingenuity we are under an obligation for an invention of great simplicity, which may be useful on many occasions, particularly to literary persons who are too far removed from the press to avail themselves of its advantages in printing short articles for limited distribution.

A Dramatic Printing Apparatus.

Itinerant companies of comedians frequently print their play-bills by the following contrivance: The form of letter is placed on a flat support, having ledges at each side, that rise within about a thirteenth of an inch of the inked surface of the letter. The damped paper is laid upon the letter so disposed, and previously inked, and a roller, covered with woollen cloth, is passed along the ledges over its surface; the use of the ledges is to prevent the roller from rising in too obtuse an angle against the first letters, or going off too abruptly from the last, which would cause the paper to be cut, and the impression to be injured at the beginning and end of the sheet. The roller must be passed across the page, for if it moves in the order of the lines, the paper will bag a little between each, and the impression will be less neat.† [Dr. Aikin's Athenæum.]


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 65.

January 17.

Snow, &c.

On the 16th and 17th of January, 1809, Mr. Howard observed, that the snow exhibited the beautiful blue and pink shades at sunset which are sometimes observable, and that there was a strong evaporation from its surface. A circular area, of five inches diameter, lost 150 grains troy, from sunset on the 15th to sunrise next morning, and about 50 grains more by the following sunset; the gauge being exposed to a smart breeze on the house top. The curious reader may hence compute for himself, the enormous quantity raised in those 24 hours, without any visible liquefaction, from an acre of snow: the effects of the load thus given to the air were soon perceptible. On the 17th, a small brilliant meteor descended on the S. E. horizon about 6 p.m. On the 18th, though the moon was still conspicuous, the horns of the crescent were obtuse. On the 19th appeared the Cirrus cloud, followed by the Cirrostratus. In the afternoon a freezing shower from the eastward glazed the windows, encrusted the walls, and encased the trees, the garments of passengers, and the very plumage of the birds with ice. Birds thus disabled were seen lying on the ground in great numbers in different parts of the country. Nineteen rooks were taken up alive by one person at Castle Eaton Meadow, Wilts. The composition of this frozen shower, examined on a sheet of a paper, was no less curious than these effects. It consisted of hollow spherules of ice, filled with water; of transparent globules of hail; and of drops of water at the point of freezing, which became solid on touching the bodies they fell on. The thermometer exposed from the window indicated 30,5°. This was at Plaistow. The shower was followed by a moderate fall of snow. From this time to the 24th, there were variable winds and frequent falls of snow, which came down on the 22d in flakes as large as dollars, with sleet at intervals. On the 24th a steady rain from W. decided for a thaw. This and the following night proved stormy: the melted snow and rain, making about two inches depth of water on the level, descended suddenly by the rivers, and the country was inundated to a greater extent than in the year 1795. The River Lea continued rising the whole of the 26th, remained stationary during the 27th, and returned into its bed in the course of the two following days. The various channels by which it intersects this part of the country were united in one current, above a mile in width, which flowed with great impetuosity, and did much damage. From breaches in the banks and mounds, the different levels, as they are termed, of embanked pasture land, were filled to the depth of eight or nine feet. The cattle, by great exertions, were preserved, being mostly in the stall; and the inhabitants, driven to their upper rooms, were relieved by boats plying under the windows. The Thames was so full during this time, that no tide was perceptible; happily, however, its bank suffered no injury; and the recession of the water from the levels proceeded with little interruption till the 23d of February, when it nearly all subsided. No lives were lost in these parts; but several circumstances concurred to render this inundation less mishievous than it might have been, from the great depth of snow on the country. It was the time of neap tide; the wind blew strongly from the westward, urging the water down the Thames; while moonlight nights, and a temperate atmosphere, were favourable to the poor, whose habitations were filled with water. On the 28th appeared a lunar halo of the largest diameter. On the 29th, after a fine morning, the wind began to blow hard from the south, and during the whole night of the 30th it raged with excessive violence from the west, doing considerable damage. The barometer rose, during this hurricane, one-tenth of an inch per hour. The remainder of the noon was stormy and wet, and it closed with squally weather; which, with the frequent appearance of the rainbow, indicated the approach of a drier atmosphere, and change on few occasions within Mr. Howard's recollection more desirable.

Numerous inundations, consequent on the thaw of the 24th, appear to have prevailed in low and level districts all along the east side of the island: but in no part with more serious destruction of property, public works, and the hopes of the husbandman, than in the fens of Cambridgeshire: where, by some accounts, 60,000, by others above 150,000 acres of land, were laid under deep water, through an extent of 15 miles. It is a fact worth preserving, that about 500 sacks filled with earth, and laid on the banks of the Old Bedford river, at various places, where the waters were then flowing over, proved effectual in saving that part of the country from a general deluge.

Swearing on the Horns at Highgate.

It's a custom at Highgate, that all who go through,
Must be sworn on the horns, sir!—and so, sir, must you!
Bring the horns!—shut the door!—now, sir, take off your hat!—
When you come here again, don't forget to mind that!


"Have you been sworn at Highgate?" is a question frequently asked in every part of the kingdom; for, that such a custom exists in this village is known far and near, though many who inquire, and are asked, remain ignorant of the ceremony. As the practice is declining, diligence has been exercised to procure information on the spot, and from every probable source, concerning this remarkable usage.

The village of Highgate take[s] its name from the gate across the public road into London, opposite the chapel, which is sometimes erroneously called the church, for it is, in fact, only a chapel of ease to Hornsey church. This road runs through land belonging to the bishopric of London, and was made, by permission of the bishop in former times, probably when the whole of this spot, and the circumjacent country, was covered with wood, and part of the great forest of Middlesex, which, according to Matthew Paris, was infested by wolves, stags, boars, and other wild beasts, besides robbers. This gate, from being on the great northern eminence towards London, was called the high-gate; as the land became cleared of wood, houses arose near the spot, and hence the village now called Highgate. It seems probable, that the first dwelling erected here was the gate-house. The occupier of the inn of that name holds it under a lease from the bishop, under which lease he also farms the bishop's toll. In the year 1769 the old gate-house, which extended over the road, was taken down, and the present common turnpike-gate put up. So much, then, concerning Highgate, as introductory to the custom about to be related.

"Swearing on the horns," which now is "custom more honour'd in the breach than in the observance," prevailed at Highgate as a continual popular amusement and private annoyance. An old and respectable inhabitant of the village says, that sixty years ago upwards of eighty stages stopped every day at the Red Lion, and that out of every five passengers three were sworn. It is a jocular usage of the place, from beyond the memory of man, especially encouraged by certain of the villagers, to the private advantage of public landlords. On the drawing up of coaches at the inn-doors, particular invitations were given to the company to alight, and after as many as could be collected were got into a room for purposes of refreshment, the subject of being "sworn at Highgate" was introduced, and while a little artifice easily detected who had not taken the oath, some perhaps expressed a wish to submit to the ceremony. It often happened however, that before these facts could be ascertained "the horns" were brought in by the landlord, and as soon as they appeared, enough were usually present to enforce compliance. "The horns," fixed on a pole of about five feet in height, were erected, by placing the pole upright on the ground, near the person to be sworn, who was required to take off his hat, and all present having done the same, the landlord then, in a loud voice, swore in the "party proponent." What is called the oath is traditional, and varies verbally in a small degree. It has been taken down in writing from the lips of different persons who administer it, and after a careful collation of the different versions the following may be depended on as correct.—The landlord, or the person appointed by him to "swear in," proclaims aloud—

"Upstanding and uncovered! Silence!" Then he addresses himself to the person he swears in, thus—

"TAKE NOTICE what I now say unto you, for that is the first word of your oath—mind that! You must acknowledge me to be your adopted Father, I must acknowledge you to be my adopted son (or daughter.) If you do not call me father you forfeit a bottle of wine, if I do not call you son, I forfeit the same. And now, my good son, if you are travelling through this village of Highgate, and you have no money in your pocket, go call for a bottle of wine at any house you think proper to go into, and book it to your father's score. If you have any friends with you, you may treat them as well, but if you have money of your own, you must pay for it yourself. For you must not say you have no money when you have, neither must you convey the money out of your own pocket into your friends' pockets, for I shall search you as well as them, and if it is found that you or they have money, you forfeit a bottle of wine for trying to cozen and cheat your poor old ancient father. You must not eat brown bread while you can get white, except you like the brown the best; you must not drink small beer while can get strong, except you like the small the best. You must not kiss the maid while you can kiss the mistress, except you like the maid the best, but sooner than lose a good chance you may kiss them both. And now, my good son, for a word or two of advice. Keep from all houses of ill repute, and every place of public resort for bad company. Beware of false friends, for they will turn to be your foes, and inveigle you into houses where you may lose your money and get no redress[.] Keep from theives of every denomination. And now, my good son, I wish you a safe journey through Highgate and this life. I charge you, my good son, that if you know any in this company who have not taken this oath, you must cause them to take it, or make each of them forfeit a bottle of wine, for if you fail to do so you will forfeit a bottle of wine yourself. So now, my good son, God bless you! Kiss the horns or a pretty girl if you see one here, which you like best, and so be free of Highgate!"

If a female be in the room she is usually saluted, if not, the horns must be kissed: the option was not allowed formerly. As soon as the salutation is over the swearer-in commands "silence!" and then addressing himself to his new-made "son," he says, "I have now to acquaint you with your privilege as a freeman of this place. If at any time you are going through Highgate and want to rest yourself, and you see a pig lying in a ditch you have liberty to kick her out and take her place; but if you see three lying together you must only kick out the middle one and lie between the other two! God save the king!" This important privilege of the freemen of Highgate was first discovered by one Joyce a blacksmith, who a few years ago kept the Coach and Horses, and subjoined the agreeable information to those whom "he swore in."

When the situation of things and persons seems to require it, the "bottle of wine" is sometimes compounded for by a modus of sundry glasses of "grog," and in many cases a pot of porter.

There is one circumstance essential for a freeman of Highgate to remember, and "that is the first word of his oath,—mind that!" If he fail to recollect that, he is subject to be resworn from time to time, and so often, until he remember that. He is therefore never to forget the injunction before he swears, to take notice what is said, "for that is the first word of your oath—mind that!" Failure of memory is deemed want of comprehension, which is no plea in the high court of Highgate— "mind that!" That is, that that "that," is "that."

There is no other formality in the administration or taking of this oath, than what is already described; and the only other requisite for "a stranger in Highgate" to be told, is, that now in the year 1826, there are nineteen licensed houses in this village, and that at each of these houses the "horns" are kept, and the oath administered by the landlord or his deputy.

To note the capabilities of each house, their signs are here enumerated, with the quality of horns possessed by each.

1. THE GATE-HOUSE is taken first in order, as being best entitled to priority, because it has the most respectable accommodation in Highgate. Besides the usual conveniences of stabling and beds, it has a coffee-room, and private rooms for parties, and a good assembly-room. The horns there are Stag's.

2. Mitre, has Stag's horns.

3. Green Dragon, Stag's horns.

4. Red Lion and Sun, Bullock's horns. The late husband of Mrs. Southo, the present intelligent landlady of this house, still lives in the recollection of many inhabitants, as having been a most facetious swearer in.

5. Bell, Stag's horns. This house now only known as the sign of the "Bell," was formerly called the "Bell and Horns." About fifty years ago, it was kept by one Anderson, who had his "horns" over his door, to denote that persons were sworn there as well as at the Gate-house. Wright, the then landlord of the "Red Lion and Sun," determined not to be outrivalled, and hung out a pair of bullock's horns so enormous in size, and otherwise so conspicuous, as to eclipse the "Bell and Horns;" at last, all the public houses in the village got "horns," and swore in. It is within recollection that every house in Highgate had "the horns" at the door as a permanent sign.

6. Coach and Horses, . Ram's horns.

7. Castle, . . . . . . Ram's horns.

8. Red Lion, . . . . Ram's horns.

9. Wrestler's, . . . . Stag's horns.

10. Bull, . . . . . . Stag's horns.

11. Lord Nelson, . . . Stag's horns.

12. Duke of Wllington, . Stag's horns. This house is at the bottom of Highgate Hill, towards Finchley, in the angle formed by the intersection of the old road over the hill, and the road through the archway to Holloway. It therefore commands the Highgate entrance into London, and the landlord avails himself of his "eminence" at the foot of the hill, by proffering his "horns" to all who desire to be free of Highgate.

13. Crown, . Stag's horns. This is the first public house in Highgate coming from Holloway.

14. Duke's Head, . . Stag's horns.

15. Cooper's Arms, . . Ram's horns.

16. Rose and Crown, . Stag's horns.

17. Angel, . . . . . Stag's horns.

18. Flask, . . . . . Ram's horns. This old house is now shut up. It is at the top of Highgate Hill, close by the pond, which was formed there by a hermit, who caused gravel to be excavated for the making of the road from Highgate to Islington, through Holloway. Of this labour old Fuller speaks, he calls it a "two-handed charity, providing water on the hill where it was wanting, and cleanliness in the valley which before, especially in winter, was passed with difficulty."

19. Fox and Crown. . . Ram's Horn's. This house, commonly called the "Fox" and the "Fox under the Hill," is nearly at the top of the road from Kentish Town to Highgate, and though not the most remarked perhaps, is certainly the most remarkable house for "swearing on the horns." Guiver, the present landlord, (January 1826) came to the house about Michaelmas 1824, and many called upon him to be sworn in; not having practised he was unqualified to indulge the requisitionists, and very soon finding, that much of the custom of his house depended on the "custom of Highgate," and imagining that he had lost something by his indifference to the usage, he boldly determined to obtain "indemnity for the past, and security for the future." Thereupon he procured habiliments, and an assistant, and he is now an office-bearer as regards the aforesaid "manner" of Highgate, and exercises his faculties so as to dignify the custom. Robed in a domino with a wig and mask, and a book wherein is written the oath, he recites it in this costume as he reads it through a pair of spectacles. The staff with "the horns" is held by an old villager who acts as clerk, and at every full stop, calls aloud, "Amen!" This performance furnishes the representation of the present engraving from a sketch by Mr. George Cruikshank. He has waggishly misrepresented one of the figures, which not being the landlord, who is the most important character, no way affects the general fidelity of the scenes sometimes exhibited in the parlour of the Fox and Crown. [note the representation of Hone himself in the engraving]

It is not uncommon for females to be "sworn at Highgate." On such occasions the word "daughter" is substituted for "son," and other suitable alterations are made in the formality. Anciently there was a register kept at the gate-house, wherein persons enrolled their names when sworn there, but the book unaccountably disappeared many years ago.—Query. Is it in Mr. Upcott's collection of autographs?

There seems to be little doubt, that the usage first obtained at the Gate-house; where, as well as in other public houses, though not in all, at this time, deputies are employed to swear in. An old inhabitant, who formerly kept a licensed house, says, "In my time nobody came to Highgate in any thing of a carriage, without being called upon to be sworn in. There was so much doing in this way at one period, that I was obliged to hire a man as a 'swearer-in:' I have sworn in from a hundred to a hundred and twenty in a day. Bodies of tailors used to come up here from town, bringing five or six new shopmates with them to be sworn; and I have repeatedly had parties of ladies and gentlemen in private carriages come up purposely to be made free of Highgate in the same way."

Officers of the guards and other regiments repeatedly came to the Gate-house and called for "the horns." Dinner parties were formed there for the purpose of initiating strangers, and as pre-requisite for admission to sundry convivial societies, now no more, the freedom of Highgate was indispensable.

Concerning the origin of this custom, there are two or three stories. One is, that it was devised by a landlord, who had lost his licence, as a means of covering the sale of his liquors; to this there seems no ground of credit.

Another, and a probable account, is, to this effect—That Highgate being the place nearest to London where cattle rested on their way from the north for sale in Smithfield, certain graziers were accustomed to put up at the Gate-house for the night, but as they could not wholly exclude strangers, who like themselves were travelling on their business, they brought an ox to the door, and those who did not choose to kiss its horns, after going through the ceremony described, were not deemed fit members of their society.

It is imagined by some, because it is so stated in a modern book or two as likely, that the horns were adopted to swear this whimsical oath upon, because it was tendered at the parish of Horns-ey, wherein Highgate is situated.

The reader may choose either of these origins; he has before him all that can be known upon the subject.

An anecdote related by Mrs. Southo of the Red Lion and Sun, may, or may not, be illustrative of this custom. She is a native of Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, where her father kept the Griffin, and she says, that when any fresh waggoner came to that house with his team, a drinking horn, holding about a pint, fixed on a stand made of four rams' horns, was brought out of the house, and elevated above his head, and he was compelled to pay a gallon of beer, and to drink out of the horn. She never heard how the usage originated; it had been observed, and the stand of rams' horns had been in the house, from time immemorial.


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 52.

January 18.

St. Priscian.

In the church of England calendar.


This is still observed in some parts of England.

Don Sebastian.

In default of holiday making by the editor, who during the Chrismas season has been employed in finishing the indexes, which will be in the readers' hands in a few days to enable them to complete the first volume of this work, he has now and then turned to his collections to relieve the wearisomeness of his occupation, and finding the following anecdote in "The Times" of Dec. 1825, he subjoins from his stores an illustration of the curious fact it relates to. "It may be mentioned," The Times says, "as a singular species of infatuation, that many Portuguese residing in Brazil as well as Portugal, still believe in the coming of Sebastian, the romantic king, who was killed in Africa about the year 1578, in a pitched battle with the emperor Muley Moluc. Some of these old visionaries will go out, wrapped in their large cloaks, on a windy night, to watch the movements of the heavens, and frequently, if an exhalation is seen flitting in the air, resembling a falling star, they will cry out, "there he comes!" Sales of horses and other things are sometimes effected, payable at the coming of king Sebastian. It was this fact that induced Junot, when asked what he would be able to do with the Portuguese, to answer, what can I do with a people who are still waiting for the coming of the Messiah and king Sebastian?"

This superstitious belief is mentioned in a MS. Journal of a Residence at Lisbon in 1814, written by an individual personally known to the editor, who extracts from the narrative as follows:—

It is the daily practice at Lisbon for the master of the family to cater for the wants of his table himself. According to ancient usage, he must either employ and pay a porter to carry home his purchases at market, or send a servant for them. A certain doctor, well known to be a lover of fish, and an enthusiastic expectant of Don Sebastian, was watched several days in the fish market by some knavish youths, who contrived a trick upon him. One morning, they observed him very intent upon a fine large fish, yet disagreeing with the fishmonger as to its price. One of these knaves managed to inform the man, if he would let the doctor have the fish at his own price he would pay the difference, and the fishmonger soon concluded the bargain with the doctor. As soon as he was gone, one of the party, without the fishmonger's knowledge, insinuated down the fish's throat a scroll of parchment curiously packed, and shortly afterwards, the doctor's servant arrived for his master's purchase. On opening the fish, in order to its being cooked, the parchment deposit was found, and the credulous man, to his astonishment and delight, read as follows:—

"Worthy and well-beloved Signor ———, respected by the saints and now revered by men. From our long observation of thine heart's integrity, and in full knowledge of thy faith and firm belief, thou art selected as the happy instrument of our return; but know, most worthy Signor, the idea of a white horse in clouds of air, is a mere fable invented by weak men. It will be far otherwise, but be thou circumspect and secret, and to thee these things will be explained hereafter. Know, that by the element of water, by which we make this known, we shall return. Not far from Fort St. Juliana is a spot thou knowest well, a smooth declivity towards the sea; it is there we first shall touch the shore of our loved Portugal to-morrow's night at twelve. Be thou there alone, and softly gliding on the water's surface a small boat shall appear. Be silent and remain quiet on our appearance, for until we can join our prayers with thine thou must not speak; load not thyself with coin, for soon as dawn appears a troop of goodly horse from Cintra's Road will rise upon thy view. But be not destitute of wherewith to bear thine expense. All thy future life shall be thy prince's care.


The trick succeeded; for the next day the doctor left Lisbon as privately as possible, while his trepanners who had watched him quickly followed, two in a boat hired for the purpose, and two on shore, to make a signal. The boat arrived at the appointed hour, and the doctor expected nothing less than the landing of the long expected and well-beloved Sebastian. It reached the shore, and by those who stepped out and their confederates concealed on the beach, the doctor was eased of some doubloons he had with him, received a cool dip in the water, and was left on the beach to bewail his folly. The story soon got wind, and now (in 1814) there are wags who, when they observe the doctor coming, affect to see something in the sky; this hint concerning Don Sebastian's appearance is usually intimated beyond the reach of the doctor's cane.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 12.

January 19.

Feast of Lanthorns.

This is a festival with the Chinese on the fifteenth day of the first month of their year. It is so called from the great number of lanthorns hung out of the houses, and in the streets; insomuch that it rather appears a season of madness, than of feasting. On this day are exposed lanthorns of all prices, whereof some are said to cost two thousand crowns. Some of their grandees retrench somewhat every day out of their table, their dress, their equipage, &c. to appear the more magnificent in lanthorns. They are adorned with gilding, sculpture, painting, japanning, &c. and as to their size, it is extravagant; some are from twenty-five to thirty feet diameter; they represent halls and chambers. Two or three such machines together would make handsome houses. In lanthorns of these dimensions the Chinese are able to eat, lodge, receive visits, have balls, and act plays. The great multitude of smaller lanthorns usually consist of six faces or lights, each about four feet high, and one and a half broad, framed in wood finely gilt and adorned; over these are stretched a fine transparent silk, curiously painted with flowers, trees, and sometimes human figures. The colours are extremely bright; and when the torches are lighted, they appear highly beautiful and surprising.

French Lark Shooting.

To the gentleman whose letter from Abbeville, descriptive of "Wild fowl shooting in France," is on p. 1575 of vol. I., [link] the editor is indebted for another on "Lark shooting," which is successfully practised there by a singular device unknown to sportsmen in this country.* [To his former letter J. J. H. are printed as the initials by mistake, instead of J. H. H.]

Lark Shooting in France.

Lark Shooting in France.

————As far-off islanders,
Innocent of trade, unskilled in commerce,
To whom a glass or toy unknown before
Is wonderful, give freely, flocks and fruits
To gain mere baubles; so, these silly birds,
Attracted by the glisten of the twirler,
Hover above the passing strange decoy,
Intent to gaze, and fall the gunner's prey.


Dear Sir,
If I do not send you your wished for wood cuts I at least keep my promise of letting you hear from me. I told you in my last you should have something about our lark-shooting, and so you shall, and at this time too; though I assure you writing flying as I almost do, is by no means so agreeable to me as shooting flying, which is the finest sport imaginable. When I come home I will tell you all about it, for the present I can only acquaint you with enough to let you into the secret of the enjoyment that I should always find in France, if I had no other attraction to the country. I must "level" at once, for I have no time to spare, and so "here goes," as the boy says.

Partridge and quail shooting cease in this delightful part of the world about the middle of October, for by that time the partridges are so very wild and wary that there is no getting near them. The reason of this is, that our fields here are all open without either hedge or ditch, and when the corn and hemp are off, the stubble is pulled up so close by the poor people for fuel, that there is no cover for partridges; as to the quails, they are all either "killed off," or take their departure for a wilder climate; and then there is nothing left for the French gentry to amuse themselves with but lark-shooting. These birds are attracted to any given spot in great numbers by a singular contrivance, called a miroir. This is a small machine, made of a piece of mahogany, Shaped like a chapeau bras, and highly polished; or else it is made of common wood, inlaid with small bits of looking glass, so as to reflect the sun's rays upwards. It is fixed on the top of a thin iron rod, or upright spindle, dropped through an iron loop or ring attached to a piece of wood, to drive into the ground as here represented.

Diagram of a mirrored lark decoy.

By pulling a string fastened to the spindle, the miroir twirls, and the reflected light unaccountably attracts the larks, who hover over it, and become a mark for the sportsman. In this way I have had capital sport. A friend of mine actually shot six dozen before breakfast. While he sat on the ground he pulled the twirler himself, and his dogs fetched the birds as they dropped. However, I go on in the common way, and employ a boy to work the twirler. Ladies often partake in the amusement on a cold dry morning, not by shooting but by watching the sport. So many as ten or a dozen parties are sometimes out together, firing at a distance of about five hundred yards apart, and in this way the larks are constantly kept on the wing. The most favourable mornings are when there is a gentle light frost, with little or no wind, and a clear sky—for when there are clouds the larks will not approach. One would think the birds themselves enjoyed their destruction, for the fascination of the twirler is so strong, as to rob them of the usual "fruits of experience." After being fired at several times they return to the twirler, and form again into groupes above it. Some of them even fly down and settle on the ground, within a yard or two of the astonishing instrument, looking at it "this way and that way, and all ways together," as if nothing had happened.

Larks in France fetch from three to four sous a piece. In winter, however, when they are plentiful, they are seldom eaten, because here they are always dressed with the trail, like snipes and woodcocks; but for this mode of cooking they are not fitted when the snow is on the ground, because they are then driven to eat turnip-tops, and other watery herbs, which communicate an unpleasant flavour to the trail. Were you here at the season, to eat larks in their perfection, and dressed as we dress them, I think your praise of the cooking would give me the laugh against you, if you ever afterwards ventured to declaim against the use of the gun, which, next to my pencil, is my greatest hobby. I send you a sketch of the sport, with the boy at the twirler—do what you like with it.

I rather think I did not tell you in my last, that the decoy ducks, used in wildfowl shooting, are made of wood—any stump near at hand is hacked out any how for the body, while a small limb of any tree is thrust into the stump for the duck's neck, and one of the side branches left short makes his head. These ducks answer the purpose with their living prototypes, who fly by moonlight, and have not a perfect view, and don't stay for distinctions, like philosophers.

It will not be long before I'm off for England, and then, &c.

I am, &c.
J. H. H.


Mean Temperature   . . .   37 . 02.

January 20.


In the church of England calendar.* [See vol. i. p. 135.]


The dedication of each day in the year, by the Romish church, in honour of a saint, which converts every day into a festival, is a fact pretty well known to the readers of the Every-Day Book. It is also generally known, that in certain almanacs every part of the human body is distributed among the days throughout the year, as subjects of diurnal influence; but it is not perhaps so well known, that every joint of each finger on each hand was appropriated to some saint. The proof of this is supplied by two very old prints, from engravings on wood, at the British Museum. They are among a collection of ancient wood cuts pasted in a folio volume. It would occupy too much room to give copies of these representations in fac-simile: the curiously inclined, who have access to the Museum print-room, may consult the originals; general readers may be satisfied with the following description:—

Right Hand.

The top joint of the thumb is dedicated to GOD; the second joint to the Virgin; the top joint of the fore finger to Barnabas, the second joint to John, the third to Paul; the top joint of the second finger to Simeon Cleophas, the second joint to Tathideo, the third to Joseph; the top joint of the third finger to Zaccheus, the second to Stephen, the third to Luke; the top joint of the little finger to Leatus, the second to Mark, the third joint to Nicodemus.

Left Hand.

The top joint of the thumb is dedicated to Christ, the second joint to the Virgin; the top joint of the fore finger to St. James, the second to St. John the evangelist, the third to St. Peter; the first joint of the second finger to St. Simon, the second joint to St. Matthew, the third to St. James the great; the top joint of the third finger to St. Jude, the second joint to St. Bartholomew, the third to St. Andrew; the top joint of the little finger to St. Matthias, the second joint to St. Thomas, the third joint to St. Philip.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 92.

January 21.

St. Agnes.

In the church of England calendar.* [See vol. i. p. 141.]

How to sleep well in cold weather.

Obtain a free circulation of the blood by walking, or other wholesome exercise, so as to procure a gentle glow over the entire surface of the body. Hasten to your chamber, undress yourself quickly, and jump into bed without suffering its temperature to be heightened by the machine called a warming-pan. Your bed will be warmed by your own heat, and if you have not eaten a meat supper, or drunk spirits, you will sleep well and warm all night. Calico sheets are adapted to this season—blankets perhaps are better; but as they absorb perspiration they should be washed before they come into use with sheets in summer time.

Extraordinary sleeper.

Samuel Clinton, of Timbury, near Bath, a labouring man, about twenty-five years of age, had frequently slept, without intermission, for several weeks. On the 13th of May, 1694, he fell into a profound sleep, out of which he could by no means be roused by those about him; but after a month's time, he rose of himself, put on his clothes, and went about his business as usual. From that time to the 9th of April following he remained free from any extraordinary drowsiness, but then fell into another protracted sleep. His friends were prevailed on to try what remedies might effect, and accordingly he was bled, blistered, cupped, and scarified, but to no purpose. In this manner he lay till the 7th of August, when he awaked, and went into the fields where he found people busy in getting in the harvest, and remembered that when he fell asleep they were sowing their oats and barley. From that time he remained well till the 17th of August, 1697, when he complained of a shivering, and, after some disorder of the stomach, the same day fell fast asleep again. Dr. Oliver went to see him; he was then in an agreeable warmth, but without the least sign of his being sensible; the doctor then held a phial of sal-ammoniac under his nose, and injected about half an ounce up one of his nostrils, but it only made his nose run and his eyelids shiver a little. The doctor then filled his nostrils with powder of white hellebore, but the man did not discover the least uneasiness. About ten days after, the apothecary took fourteen ounces of blood from his arm without his making the least motion during the operation. The latter end of September Dr. Oliver again visited him, and a gentleman present ran a large pin into his arm to the bone, but he gave not the least sign of feeling. In this manner he lay till the 19th of November, when his mother hearing him make a noise ran immediately to him, and asked him how he did, and what he would have to eat? to which he replied, "very well, I thank you; I'll take some bread and cheese." His mother, overjoyed, ran to acquaint his brother that he was awake, but on their going up stairs they found him as fast asleep as ever. Thus he continued till the end of January, at which time he awoke perfectly well and very little altered in his flesh, and went about his business as usual.* [Phil. Trans.]


Mean Temperature   . . .   37 . 35.

January 22.

St. Vincent.

In the church of England calendar.† [See vol. i. p. 151.]

Skating on the Serpentine.

Skating on the Serpentine.

   The Hyde-park river—which no river is,
      The Serpentine—which is not serpentine,
   When frozen, every skater claims as his,
      In right of common, there to intertwine
   With countless crowds, and glide upon the ice.
      Lining the banks, the timid and unwilling
   Stand and look on, while some the fair entice
      By telling, "yonder skaters are quadrilling"—
And here the skateless hire the "best skates" for a shilling.


A hard frost is a season of holidays in London. The scenes exhibited are too agreeable and ludicrous for the pen to describe. They are for the pencil; and Mr. Cruikshank's is the only one equal to the series. In a work like this there is no room for their display, yet he has hastily essayed the preceding sketch in a short hour. It is proper to say, that however gratifying the representation may be to the reader, the friendship that extorted it is not ignorant that scarcely a tithe of either the time or space requisite has been afforded Mr. Cruikshank for the subject. It conveys some notion however of part of the doings on "the Serpentine in Hyde-park" when the thermometer is below "freezing," and every drop of water depending from trees and eaves becomes solid, and hangs

"like a diamond in the sky."

The ice-bound Serpentine is the resort of every one who knows how or is learning to skate, and on a Sunday its broad surface is covered with gazers who have "as much right" to be on it as skaters, and therefore "stand" upon the right to interrupt the recreation they came to see. This is especially the case on a Sunday. The entire of this canal from the wall of Kensington-gardens to the extremity at the Knightsbridge end was, on Sunday the 15th of January, 1826, literally a mob of skaters and gazers. At one period it was calculated that there were not less than a hundred thousand persons upon this single sheet of ice.

The coachmen on the several roads, particularly on the western and northern roads, never remembered a severer frost than they experienced on the Sunday night just mentioned. Those who recollected that of 1814, when the Thames was frozen over, and booths raised on the ice, declared that they did not feel it so severely, as it did not come on so suddenly. The houses and trees in the country had a singular appearance on the Monday, owing to the combination of frost and fog; the trees, and fronts of houses, and even the glass was covered with thick white frost, and was no more transparent than ground-glass.

Butchers, in the suburbs, where the frost was felt more keenly than in the metropolis, were obliged to keep their shops shut in order to keep out the frost; many of them carried the meat into their parlours, and kept it folded up in cloths round the fires, and unfolded it as their customers came in and required it. The market gardeners also felt the severity of the weather—it stopped their labours, and some of the men, attended by their wives, went about in parties, and with frosted greens fixed at the tops of rakes and hoes, uttered the ancient cry of "Pray remember the gardeners! Remember the poor frozen out gardeners!"* [Morning Herald, 16th January, 1826.]

The Apparition.

'Twas silence all, the rising moon
   With clouds had veil'd her light,
The clock struck twelve, when, lo! I saw
   A very chilling sight.

Pale as a snow-ball was its face,
   Like icicles its hair;
For mantle, it appeared to me
   A sheet of ice to wear.

Tho' seldom given to alarm,
   I'faith, I'll not dissemble,
My teeth all chatter'd in my head,
   And every joint did tremble.

At last, I cried, "Pray who are you,
   And whither do you go?"
Methought the phantom thus replied,
   "My name is Sally Snow;

"My father is the Northern Wind,
   My mother's name was Water;
Old parson Winter married them,
   And I'm their hopeful Daughter.

I have a lover—Jackey Frost,
   My dad the match condemns;
I've run from home to-night to meet
   My love upon the Thames."

I stopp'd Miss Snow in her discourse,
   This answer just to cast in,
"I hope, if John and you unite,
   Your union wo'n't be lasting!

"Besides, if you should marry him,
   But ill you'd do, that I know;
For surely Jackey Frost must be
   A very slippery fellow."

She sat her down before the fire,
   My wonder now increases;
For she I took to be a maid,
   Then tumbled into pieces!

For air, thin air, did Hamlet's ghost,
   His foremost cock-crow barter;
But what I saw, and now describe,
   Resolv'd itself to water.


The severest and most remarkable frost in England of late years, commenced in December, 1813, and generally called "the Great Frost in 1814," was preceded by a great fog, which came on with the evening of the 27th of December, 1813. It is described as a darkness that might be felt. Cabinet business of great importance had been transacted, and lord Castlereagh left London about two hours before, to embark for the continent. The prince regent, (since George IV.) proceeding towards Hatfield on a visit to the marquis of Salisbury, was obliged to return to Carlton-house, after being absent several hours, during which period the carriages had not reached beyond Kentish-town, and one of the outriders fell into a ditch. Mr. Croker, secretary of the admiralty, on a visit northward, wandered likewise several hours in making a progress not more than three or four miles, and was likewise compelled to put back. It was "darkness that might be felt."

On most of the roads, excepting the high North-road, travelling was performed with the utmost danger, and the mails were greatly impeded.

On the 28th, the Maidenhead coach coming to London, missed the road near Hartford bridge and was overturned. Lord Hawarden was among the passengers, and severely injured.

On the 29th, the Birmingham mail was nearly seven hours in going from the Post-office to a mile or two below Uxbridge, a distance of twenty miles only: and on this, and other evenings, the short stages in the neighbourhood of London had two persons with links, running by the horses' heads. Pedestrians carried links or lanterns, and many, who were not so provided, lost themselves in the most frequented, and at other times well-known streets. Hackney-coachmen mistook the pathway for the road, and the greatest confusion prevailed.

On the 31st, the increased fog in the metropolis was, at night, truly alarming. It required great attention and thorough knowledge of the public streets to proceed any distance, and persons who had material business to transact were unavoidably compelled to carry torches. The lamps appeared through the haze like small candles. Careful hackney-coachmen got off the box and led their horses, while others drove only at a walking pace. There were frequent meetings of carriages, and great mischief ensued. Foot passengers, alarmed at the idea of being run down, exclaimed, "Who is coming?"—"Mind!"—"Take care!" &c. Females who ventured abroad were in great peril; and innumerable people lost their way.

After the fogs, there were heavier falls of snow than had been within the memory of man. With only short intervals, it snowed incessantly for forty-eight hours, and this after the ground was covered with ice, the result of nearly four weeks continued frost. During this long period, the wind blew almost continually from the north and north-east, and the cold was intense. A short thaw of about one day, rendered the streets almost impassable. The mass of snow and water was so thick, that hackney-coaches with an additional horse, and other vehicles, could scarcely plough their way through. Trade and calling of all kinds in the streets were nearly stopped, and considerably increased the distresses of the industrious. Few carriages, even stages, could travel the roads, and those in the neighbourhood of London seemed deserted. From many buildings, icicles, a yard and a half long, were seen suspended. The water-pipes to the houses were all frozen, and it became necessary to have plugs in the streets for the supply of all ranks of inhabitants. The Thames, from London Bridge to Blackfriars, was completely blocked up at ebb-tide for nearly a fortnight. Every pond and river near the metropolis was completely frozen.

Skating was pursued with great avidity on the Canal in St. James's, and the Serpentine in Hyde-park. On Monday the 10th of January, the Canal and the Basin in the Green-park were conspicuous for the number of skaters, who administered to the pleasure of the throngs on the banks; some by the agility and grace of their evolutions, and others by tumbles and whimsical accidents from clumsy attempts. A motley collection of all orders seemed eager candidates for applause. The sweep, the dustman, the drummer, the beau, gave evidence of his own good opinion, and claimed that of the belles who viewed his movements. In Hyde-park, a more distinguished order of visitors crowded the banks of the Serpentine. Ladies, in robes of the richest fur, bid defiance to the wintry winds, and ventured on the frail surface. Skaters, in great numbers, of first-rate notoriety, executed some of the most difficult movements of the art, to universal admiration. A lady and two officers, who performed a reel with a precision scarcely conceivable, received applause so boisterous as to terrify the fair cause of the general expression, and occasion her to forego the pleasure she received from the amusement. Two accidents occurred: a skating lady dislocated the patella or kneepan, and five gentlemen and a lady were submerged in the frosty fluid, but with no other injury than from the natural effect of so cold an embrace.

On the 20th, in consequence of the great accumulation of snow in London, it became necessary to relieve the roofs of the houses by throwing off the load collected upon them. By this means the carriage-ways in the middle of the streets were rendered scarcely passable; and the streams constantly flowing from the open plugs, added to the general mass of ice.

Many coach proprietors, on the northern and western roads, discontinued to run their coaches. In places where the roads were low, the snow had drifted above carriage height. On Finchley-common, by the fall of one night, it lay to a depth of sixteen feet, and the road was impassable even to oxen. On Bagshot-heath and about Esher and Cobham the road was completely choked up. Except the Kent and Essex roads, no others were passable beyond a few miles from London. The coaches of the western road remained stationary at different parts. The Windsor coach was worked through the snow at Conbrook, which was there sixteen feet deep, by employing about fifty labourers. At Maidenhead-lane, the snow was still deeper; and between Twyford and Reading it assumed a mountainous appearance. Accounts say that, on parts of Bagshot-heath, description would fail to convey and adequate idea of its situation. The Newcastle coach went off the road into a pit upwards of eight feet deep, but without mischief to either man or horse. The middle North-road was impassable at Highgate-hill.

On the 22d of January, and for some time afterwards, the ice on the Serpentine in Hyde-park bore a singular appearance, from mountains of snow which sweepers had collected together in different situations. The spaces allotted for the skaters were in circles, squares, and oblongs. Next to the carriage ride on the north side, many astonishing evolutions were performed by the skaters. Skipping on skates, and the Turk-cap backwards, were among the most conspicuous. the ice, injured by a partial thaw in some places, was much cut up, yet elegantly dressed females dashed between the hillocks of snow, with great bravery.

At this time the appearance of the river Thames was most remarkable. Vast pieces of floating ice, laden generally with heaps of snow, were slowly carried up and down by the tide, or collected where the projecting banks or the bridges resisted the flow. These accumulations sometimes formed a chain of glaciers, which, uniting at one moment, were at another cracking and bounding against each other in a singular and awful manner with loud noise. Sometimes these ice islands rose one over another, covered with angry foam, and were violently impelled by the winds and waves through the arches of the bridges, with tremendous crashes. Near the bridges, the floating pieces collected about mid-water, or while the tide was less forcible, and ranged themselves on each other; the stream formed them into order by its force as it passed, till the narrowness of the channel increased the power of the flood, when a sudden disruption taking place, the masses burst away, and floated off. The river was frozen over for the space of a week, and a complete Frost Fair held upon it, as will be mentioned presently.

Since the establishment of mail-coaches correspondence had not been so interrupted as on this occasion. Internal communication was completely at a stand till the roads could be in some degree cleared. The entire face of the country was one uniform sheet of snow; no trace of road was discoverable.

The Post-office exerted itself to have the roads cleared for the conveyance of the mails, and the government interfered by issuing instructions to every parish in the kingdom to employ labourers in reopening the ways.

In the midland counties, particularly on the borders of Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, the snow lay to a height altogether unprecedented. At Dunchurch, a small village on the road to Birmingham, through Coventry, and for a few miles round that place, in all directions, the drifts exceeded twenty-four feet, and no tracks of carriages or travellers could be discovered, except on the great road, for many days.

The Cambridge mail coach coming to London, sunk into a hollow of the road, and remained with the snow drifting over it, from one o'clock to nine in the morning, when it was dragged out by fourteen waggon horses. The passengers, who were in the coach the whole of the time, were nearly frozen to death.

On the 26th, the wind veered to the south-west, and a thaw was speedily discernible. The great fall of the Thames at London-bridge for some days presented a scene both novel and interesting. At the ebbing of the tide, huge fragments of ice were precipitated down the stream with great violence, accompanied by a noise, equal to the report of a small piece of artillery. On the return of the tide, they were forced back; but the obstacles opposed to their passage through the arches were so great, as to threaten a total stoppage to the navigation of the river. The thaw continued, and these appearances gradually ceased.

On the 27th, 28th, and 29th, the roads and streets were nearly impassable from floods, and the accumulation of snow. On Sunday the 30th a sharp frost set in, and continued till the following Saturday evening, the 5th of February.

The Falmouth mail coach started from thence for Exeter, after having proceeded a few miles was overturned, without material injury to the passengers. With the assistance of an additional pair of horses it reached the first stage; after which all endeavours to proceed were found perfectly useless, and the letters were sent to Bodmin by the guard on horseback. The Falmouth and Plymouth coach and its passengers were obliged to remain at St. Austell.

At Plymouth, the snow was nearly four feet high in several of the streets.

At Liverpool, on the 17th of January, Fahrenheit's thermometer, in the Athenæum, stood at fifteen degrees; seven below the freezing point. From the ice accumulated in the Mersey, boats could not pass over. Almost all labour without doors was at a stand.

At Gloucester, Jan. 17. The severity of the frost had not been exceeded by any that preceded it. The Severn was frozen over, and people went to Tewkesbury market across the ice on horseback. The cold was intense. The thermometer, exposed in a north-eastern aspect, stood at thirteen degrees, nine below the freezing point. On the eastern coast, it stood as low as nine and ten; a degree of cold unusual in this country.

Bristol, Jan. 18. The frost continued in this city with the like severity. The Floating Harbour from Cumberland basin to the Feeder, at the bottom of Avon-street, was one continued sheet of ice; and for the first time in the memory of man, the skater made his appearance under Bristol-bridge. The Severn was frozen over at various points, so as to bear the weight of passengers.

At Whitehaven, Jan. 18, the frost had increased in severity. All the ponds and streams were frozen; and there was scarcely a pump in the town that gave out water. The market was very thinly attended, it having been found in many parts impossible to travel until the snow was cut.

At Dublin, Jan. 14, the snow lay in a quantity unparalleled for half a century. In the course of one day and night, it descended so inconceivably thick and rapid, as to block up all the roads, and preclude the possibility of the mail coaches being able to proceed, and it was even found impracticable to send the mails on horseback. Thus all intercourse with the interior was cut off, and it was not until the 18th, when an intense frost suddenly commenced, that the communication was opened, and several mail bags arrived from the country on horseback.

The snow in many of the narrow streets of Dublin, after the footways had been in some measure cleared, was more than six feet. It was nearly impossible for any carriage to force a passage, and few ventured on the hazardous attempt. Accidents, both distressing and fatal, occurred. In several streets and lanes the poorer inhabitants were literally blocked up in their houses, and in the attempt to go abroad, experienced every kind of misery. The number of deaths from cold and distress were greater than at any other period, unless at the time of the plague. There were eighty funerals on the Sunday before this date. The coffin-makers in Cook-street could with difficulty complete their numerous orders: and not a few poor people lay dead in their wretched rooms for several days, from the impossibility of procuring assistance to convey them to the Hospital-fields, and the great difficulty and danger of attempting to open the ground, which was very uneven, and where the snow remained in some parts, twenty feet deep.

From Canterbury, January 25, the communication with the metropolis was not open from Monday until Saturday preceding this date, when the snow was cut through by the military at Chatham-hill, and near Gravesend; and the stages proceeded with their passengers. The mail of the Thursday night arrived at Canterbury late on Friday evening, the bags having been conveyed part of the distance upon men's shoulders. The bags of Friday and Saturday night arrived together on Sunday morning about ten o'clock.

Dalrymple, North Britain, January 29.—Wednesday, the 26th, was an epoch ever to be remembered by the inhabitants of this village. The thaw of that and the preceding day had opened the Doon, formerly "bound like a rock," to a considerable distance above this; and the melting of the snow on the adjacent hills swelled the river beyond its usual height, and burst up vast fragments of ice and congealed snow. It forced them forward with irresistible impetuosity, bending trees like willows, carrying down Skelton-bridge, and sweeping all before it. The overwhelming torrent in its awful progress accumulated a prodigious mass of the frozen element, which, as if in wanton frolic, it heaved out into the field on both sides, covering acres of ground many feet deep. Alternately loading and discharging in this manner, it came to a door or two in the village, as if to apprize the inhabitants of its powers. The river having deserted its wonted channel, endeavoured to make its grand entry by several courses successively in Saint Valley, and finding no one of them sufficient for its reception, took them altogether, and overrunning the whole holm at once, appeared here in terrific grandeur, between seven and eight o'clock in the evening, when the moon retreated behind a cloud, and the gloom of night added to the horrors of the tremendous scene. Like a sea, it overflowed all the gardens on the east side, from the cross to the bridge, and invaded the houses behind by the doors and windows, extinguishing the fires in a moment, lifting and tumbling the furniture, and gushing out at the front doors with incredible rapidity. Its principal inroad was by the end of a bridge. Here, while the houses stood as a bank on either side, it came crashing and roaring up the street in full career, casting forth, within a few yards of the cross, floats of ice like millstones. The houses on the west side were in the same situation with those on the east. At one place the water was running on the house-eaves, at another it was near the door-head, and midway up the street, it stood three feet and a half above the door. Had it advanced five minutes longer in this direction, the whole village must have been inundated.

During this frost a great number of the fish called golden maids, were picked up on Brighton beach and sold at good prices. They floated ashore quite blind, having been reduced to that state by the snow.

Annexed are a few of the casualties consequent on this great frost. A woman was found frozen to death on the Highgate-road. She proved to have been a charwoman, returning from Highgate, where she had been at work, to Pancras.

A poor woman named Wood, while crossing Blackheath from Leigh to the village of Charlton, accompanied by her two children, was benighted, and missed her way. After various efforts to extricate herself, she fell into a hole, and was nearly buried in the snow. From this, however, she contrived to escape, and again proceeded; but at length, being completely exhausted, and her children benumbed with cold, she sat down on the trunk of a tree, where, wrapping her children in her cloak, she endeavoured by loud cries to attract the attention of some passengers. Her shrieks at length were heard by a waggoner, who humanely waded through the snow to her assistance, and taking her children, who seemed in a torpid state, in his arms, he conducted her to a public-house; one of the infants was frozen to death, and the other was recovered with extreme difficulty.

As some workmen were clearing away the snow, which was twelve feet deep, at Kipton, on the border of Northamptonshire, the body of a child about three years old was discovered, and immediately afterwards the body of its mother. She was the wife of a soldier of the 16th regiment, returning home with her infant after accompanying her husband to the place of embarkation. It was supposed they had been a week in the snow.

There was found lying in the road leading from Longford to Upham, frozen to death, a Mr. Apthorne, a grazier, at Coltsworth. He had left Hounslow at dusk on Monday evening, after having drank rather freely, and proposed to go that night to Marlow.

On his return from Wakefield market, Mr. Husband, of Holroyd Hall, was frozen to death, within little more than a hundred yards of the house of his nephew, with whom he resided.

Mr. Chapman, organist, and master of the central school at Andover, Hants, was frozen to death near Wallop, in that county.

A young man named Monk, while driving a stage-coach near Ryegate, was thrown off the box on a lump of frozen snow, and killed on the spot.

The thermometer during this intense frost was as low as 7° and 8° of Fahrenheit, in the neighbourhood of London. There are instances of its having been lower in many seasons, but so long a continuance of very cold weather was never experienced in this climate within the memory of man.

Frost Fair—1814.

On Sunday, the 30th of January, the immense masses of ice that floated from the upper parts of the river, in consequence of the thaw on the two preceding days, blocked up the Thames between Blackfriars and London Bridges; and afforded every probability of its being frozen over in a day or two. Some adventurous persons even now walked on different parts, and on the next day, Monday the 31st, the expectation was realized. During the whole of the afternoon, hundreds of people were assembled on Blackfriars and London Bridges, to see people cross and recross the Thames on the ice. At one time seventy persons were counted walking from Queenhithe to the opposite shore. The frost of Sunday night so united the vast mass as to render it immovable by the tide.

On Tuesday, February 1, the river presented a thoroughly solid surface over that part which extends from Blackfriars Bridge to some distance below Three Crane Stairs, at the bottom of Queen-street, Cheapside. The watermen placed notices at the end of all the streets leading to the city side of the river, announcing a safe footway over, which attracted immense crowds, and in a short time thousands perambulated the rugged plain, where a variety of amusements were provided. Among the more curious of these was the ceremony of roasting a small sheep, or rather toasting or burning it over a coal fire, placed in a large iron pan. For a view of the extraordinary spectacle, sixpence was demanded, and willingly paid. The delicate meat, when done, was sold at a shilling a slice, and termed "Lapland mutton." There were a great number of booths ornamented with streamers, flags, and signs, and within them there was a plentiful store of favourite luxuries with most of the multitude, gin, beer, and gingerbread. The thoroughfare opposite Three Crane Stairs was complete and well frequented. It was strewed with ashes, and afforded a very safe, although a very rough path. Near Blackfriars Bridge, however, the way was not equally severe; a plumber, named Davis, having imprudently ventured to cross with some lead in his hands, sank between two masses of ice, and rose no more. Two young women nearly shared a similar fate; they were rescued from their perilous situation by the prompt efforts of two watermen. Many a fair nymph indeed was embraced in the icy arms of old Father Thames;—three young quakeresses had a sort of semi-bathing, near London Bridge, and when landed on terra-firma; made the best of their way through the Borough, amidst the shouts of an admiring populace. From the entire obstruction the tide did not appear to ebb for some days more than one half the usual mark.

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, the sports were repeated, and the Thames presented a complete "FROST FAIR." The grand "mall" or walk now extended from Blackfriars Bridge to London Bridge; this was named the "City-road," and was lined on each side by persons of all descriptions. Eight or ten printing presses were erected and numerous pieces commemorative of [t]he "great frost" were printed on the ice. Some of these frosty typographers displayed considerable taste in their specimens. At one of the presses, an orange-coloured standard was hoisted, with the watch-word "ORANGE BOVEN," in large characters. This was in allusion to the recent restoration of Holland, which had been for several years under the dominion of the French. From this press the following papers were issued.


"Amidst the arts which on the THAMES appear,
To tell the wonders of this icy year,
PRINTING claims prior place, which at one view
Erects a monument of THAT and YOU."


"You that walk here, and do design to tell
Your children's children what this year befell,
Come, buy this print, and it will then be seen
That such a year as this has seldom been."

Another of these stainers of paper addressed the spectators in the following terms: "Friends, now is your time to support the freedom of the press. Can the press have greater liberty? here you find it working in the middle of the Thames; and if you encourage us by buying our impressions, we will keep it going in the true spirit of liberty during the frost." One of the articles printed and sold contained the following lines:

"Behold, the river Thames is frozen o'er,
Which lately ships of mighty burden bore;
Now different arts and pastimes here you see,
But printing claims the superiority."

The Lord's prayer and several other pieces were issued from the icy printing offices, and bought with the greatest avidity.

On Thursday, Feb. 3, the number of adventurers increased. Swings, book-stalls, dancing in a barge, suttling-booths, playing at skittles, and almost every appendage of a fair on land, appeared now on the Thames. Thousands flocked to this singular spectacle of sports and pastimes. The ice seemed to be a solid rock, and presented a truly picturesque appearance. The view of St. Paul's and of the city with the white foreground had a very singular effect;—in many parts, mountains of ice upheaved resembled the rude interior of a stone quarry.

Friday, Feb. 4. Each day brought a fresh accession of "pedlars to sell their wares;" and the greatest rubbish of all sorts was raked up and sold at double and treble the original cost. Books and toys, labelled "bought on the Thames," were in profusion. The watermen profited exceedingly, for each person paid a toll of twopence or threepence before he was admitted to "Frost Fair;" some douceur was expected on the return. Some of them were said to have taken six pounds each in the course of a day.

This afternoon, about five o'clock, three persons, an old man and two lads, were on a piece of ice above London-bridge, which suddenly detached itself from the main body, and was carried by the tide through one of the arches. They laid themselves down for safety, and the boatmen at Billingsgate, put off to their assistance, and rescued them from their impending danger. One of them was able to walk, but the other two were carried, in a state of insensibility, to a public-house, where they received every attention their situation required.

Many persons were on the ice till late at night, and the effect by moonlight was singularly novel and beautiful. The bosom of the Thames seemed to rival the frozen climes of the north.

Saturday, Feb. 5. This morning augured unfavourably for the continuance of "FROST FAIR." The wind had veered to the south, and there was a light fall of snow. The visitors, however, were not to be deterred by trifles. Thousands again ventured, and there was still much life and bustle on the frozen element; the footpath in the centre of the river was hard and secure, and among the pedestrians were four donkies; they trotted a nimble pace, and produced considerable merriment. At every glance, there was a novelty of some kind or other. Gaming was carried on in all its branches. Many of the itinerant admirers of the profits gained by E O Tables, Rouge et Noir, Te-totum, wheel of fortune, the garter, &c. were industrious in their avocations, and some of their customers left the lures without a penny to pay the passage over a plank to the shore. Skittles was played by several parties, and the drinking tents were filled by females and their companions, dancing reels to the sound of fiddles, while others sat round large fires, drinking rum, grog, and other spirits. Tea, coffeee, and eatables, were provided in abundance, and passengers were invited to eat by way of recording their visit. Several tradesmen, who at other times were deemed respectable, attended with their wares, and sold books, toys, and trinkets of almost every description.

Towards the evening, the concourse thinned; rain began to fall, and the ice to crack, and on a sudden it floated with the printing presses, booths, and merry-makers, to the no small dismay of publicans, typographers, shopkeepers, and sojourners.

A short time previous to the general dissolution, a person near one of the printing presses, handed the following jeu d'esprit to its conductor; requesting that it might be printed on the Thames.

To Madam Tabitha Thaw.

"Dear dissolving dame,

"FATHER FROST and SISTER SNOW have Boneyed my borders, formed an idol of ice upon my bosom, and all the LADS OF LONDON come to make merry: now as you love mischief, treat the multitude with a few CRACKS by a sudden visit, and obtain the prayers of the poor upon both banks. Given at my own press, the 5th Feb. 1814.


The thaw advanced more rapidly than indiscretion and heedlessness retreated. Two genteel-looking young men ventured on the ice above Westminster Bridge, notwithstanding the warnings of the watermen. A large mass on which they stood, and which had been loosened by the flood tide, gave way, and they floated down the stream. As they passed under Westminster Bridge they cried piteously for help. They had not gone far before they sat down, near the edge; this overbalanced the mass, they were precipitated into the flood, and overwhelmed for ever.

A publican named Lawrence, of the Feathers, in High Timber-street, Queenhithe, erected a booth on the Thames opposite Brook's-wharf, for the accomodation of the curious. At nine at night he left it in the care of two men, taking away all the liquors, except some gin, which he gave them for their own use.—

Sunday, Feb. 6. At two o'clock this morning, the tide began to flow with great rapidity at London Bridge; the thaw assisted the efforts of the tide, and the booth last mentioned was violently hurried towards Blackfriars Bridge. There were nine men in it, but in their alarm they neglected the fire and candles, which communicating with the covering, set it in a flame. They succeeded in getting into a lighter which had broken from its moorings. In this vessel they were wrecked, for it was dashed to pieces against one of the piers of Blackfriars Bridge: seven of them got on the pier and were taken off safely; the other two got into a barge while passing Puddle-dock.

On this day, the Thames towards high tide (about 3 p.m.) presented a miniature idea of the Frozen Ocean; the masses of ice floating along, added to the great height of the water, formed a striking scene for contemplation. Thousands of disappointed persons thronged the banks; and many a 'prentice, and servant maid, "sighed unutterable things," at the sudden and unlooked for destruction of "FROST FAIR."

Monday, Feb. 7. Immense fragments of ice yet floated, and numerous lighters, broken from their moorings, drifted in different parts of the river; many of them were complete wrecks. The frozen element soon attained its wonted fluidity, and old Father Thames looked as cheerful and as busy as ever.

The severest English winter, however astonishing to ourselves, presents no views comparable to the winter scenery of more northern countries. A philosopher and poet of our own days, who has been also a traveller, beautifully describes a lake in Germany:—

Christmas out of doors at Ratzburg.


The whole lake is at this time one mass of thick transparent ice, a spotless mirror of nine miles in extent! The lowness of the hills, which rise from the shores of the lake, preclude the awful sublimity of Alpine scenery, yet compensate for the want of it, by beauties of which this very lowness is a necessary condition. Yesterday I saw the lesser lake completely hidden by mist; but the moment the sun peeped over the hill, the mist broke in the middle, and in a few seconds stood divided, leaving a broad road all across the lake; and between these two walls of mist the sunlight burnt upon the ice, forming a road of goden fire, intolerably bright! and the mist walls themselves partook of the blaze in a multitude of shining colours. This is our second post. About a month ago, before the thaw came on, there was a storm of wind; during the whole night, such were the thunders and howlings of the breaking ice, that they have left a conviction on my mind, that there are sounds more sublime than any sight can be, more absolutely suspending the power of comparison, and more utterly absorbing the mind's self-consciousness in its total attention to the object working upon it. Part of the ice, which the vehemence of the wind had shattered, was droven shoreward, and froze anew. On the evening of the next day at sunset, the shattered ice thus frozen appeared of a deep blue, and in shape like an agitated sea; beyond this, the water that ran up between the great islands of ice which had preserved their masses entire and smooth, shone of a yellow green; but all these scattered ice islands themselves were of an intensely bright blood colour—they seemed blood and light in union! On some of the largest of these islands, the fishermen stood pulling out their immense nets through the holes made in the ice for this purpose, and the men, their net poles, and their huge nets, were a part of the glory—say rather, it appeared as if the rich crimson light had shaped itself into these forms, figures, and attitudes, to make a glorious vision in mockery of earthly things.

The lower lake is now all alive with skaters and with ladies driven onward by them in their ice cars. Mercury surely was the first maker of skates, and the wings at his feet are symbols of the invention. In skating, there are three pleasing circumstances—the infinitely subtle particles of ice which the skaters cut up, and which creep and run before the skate like a low mist and in sunrise or sunset become coloured; second, the shadow of the skater in the water, seen through the transparent ice; and third, the melancholy undulating sound from the skate not without variety; and when very many are skating together, the sounds and the noises give an impulse to the icy trees, and the woods all round the lake trinkle.

   In the frosty season when the sun
Was set, and visible for many a mile,
The cottage windows through the twilight blazed,
I heeded not the summons;—happy time
It was indeed for all of us, to me
It was a time of rapture! clear and loud
The village clock tolled six! I wheel'd about
Proud and exulting, like an untired horse
That cared not for its home. All shod with steel
We hissed along the polished ice, in games
Confederate, imitative of the chase
And woodland pleasures, the resounding horn,
The pack loud bellowing and the hunted hare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle; with the din,
Meanwhile the precipices rang aloud,
The leafless trees and every icy crag
Tinkled like iron, while the distant hills
Into the tumult sent an alien sound
Of melancholy—not unnoticed, while the stars
Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west
The orange sky of evening died away.

   Not seldom from the uproar I retired
Into a silent bay, or sportively
Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng
To cut across the image of a star
That gleamed upon the ice; and oftentimes
Where we had given our bodies to the wind,
And all the shadowy banks on either side
Came sweeping through the darkness, shunning still
The rapid line of motion, then at once
Have I, reclining back upon my heels,
Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs
Wheeled by me even as if the earth had rolled
With visible motion her diurnal round!
Behind me did they stretch in solemn train
Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched
Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.



The earliest notice of skating in England is obtained from the earliest description of London. Its historian relates that, "when the great fenne or moore (which watereth the walles of the citie on the north side) is frozen, many young men play upon the yce." Happily, and probably for want of a term to call it by, he describes so much of this pastime in Moorfields, as acquaints us with their mode of skating: "Some," he says, "stryding as wide as they may, doe slide swiftly," this then is sliding; but he proceeds to tell us, that "some tye bones to their feet, and under their heeles, and shoving themselves by a little picked staffe doe slide as swiftly as a birde flyeth in the air, or an arrow out of a crosse-bow."* [Fitzstephen.] Here, although the implements were rude, we have skaters; and it seems that one of their sports was for two to start a great way off opposite to each other, and when they met, to lift their poles and strike each other, when one or both fell, and were carried to a distance from each other by the celerity of their motion. Of the present wooden skates, shod with iron, there is no doubt, we obtained a knowledge from Holland.

The icelanders also used the shank-bone of a deer or sheep about a foot long, which they creased, because they should not be stopped by drops of water upon them.† [Fosbroke's Dict. of Antiquities.]

It is asserted in the "Encyclopædia Britannica," that Edinburgh produced more instances of elegant skaters than perhaps any other country, and that the insitution of a skating club there contributed to its improvement. "I have however seen, some years back" says Mr. Strutt, "when the Serpentine river was frozen over, four gentlemen there dance, if I may be allowed the expression, a double minuet in skates with as much ease, and I think more elegance, than in a ball room; others again, by turning and winding with much adroitness, have readily in succession described upon the ice the form of all the letters in the alphabet." The same may be observed there during every frost, but the elegance of skaters on that sheet of water is chiefly exhibited in quadrilles, which some parties go through with a beauty scarcely imaginable by those who have not seen graceful skating. In variety of attitude, and rapidity of movement, the Dutch, who, of necessity, journey long distances on their rivers and canals, are greatly our superiors.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 35.

January 23.

1826. Hilary Term begins.


It appears that our ingenious neighbours, the French, are rivalled by the lark-catchers of Dunstaple, in the mode of attracting those birds.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

6, Bermondsey New Road,
January 18, 1826.

In the present volume of your Every-Day Book p. 93, a correspondent at Abbeville has given an account of lark-shooting in that country, in which he mentions a machine called a miroir, as having been used for the purpose of attracting the birds within shot. Perhaps you are not aware that in many parts of England a similar instrument is employed for catching the lark when in flight, and at Dunstaple. At that place, persons go out with what is called a larking glass, which is, if I may so term it, a machine made somewhat in the shape of a cucumber. This invention is hollow, and has holes cut round it, in which bits of looking-glass are fitted; it is fixed on a pole, and has a sort of reel, from which a line runs; this line, at a convenient distance, is worked backward and forward, so as to catch the rays of the sun: the larks seeing themselves in the glass, as some think, but more probably blinded by the glare of it, come headlong down to it, a net is drawn over them, and thus many are taken, deceived like ourselves with glittering semblances. Yes! lords as we deem ourselves of the creation, we are as easily lured by those who bait our passions or propensities, as those poor birds. This simple truth I shall conclude with the following lines, which, be they good, bad or indifferent, are my own, and such as they are I give them to thee:—

As in the fowler's glass the lark espies
His feath'ry form from 'midst unclouded skies;
And pleased, and dazzled with the novel sight,
Wings to the treacherous earth his rapid flight,
So, in the glass of self conceit we view
Our soul's attraction, and pursue it too,
In every shape wherein it may arise,
In gold, or land, or love before our eyes,
And in the wary net are captive ta'en,
By the sure hand of woman, or of gain.

S. R. Jackson.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 57.

January 24.

The scenes and weather which sometimes prevail on the Vigil of St. Paul are described in some verses inserted by Dr. Forster in his "Perennial Calendar."

St. Paul's Eve.

   Winter's white shrowd doth cover all the grounde,
      And Caecias blows his bitter blasts of woe;
   The ponds and pooles, and streams in ice are bounde,
      And famished birds are shivering in the snowe.
   Still round about the house they flitting goe,
      And at the windows seek for scraps of foode
   Which Charity with hand profuse doth throwe,
      Right weeting that in need of it they stoode,
For Charity is shown by working creatures' goode.

   The sparrowe pert, the chaffinche gay and cleane,
      The redbreast welcome to the cotter's house,
   The livelie blue tomtit, the oxeye greene,
      The dingie dunnock, and the swart colemouse;
   The titmouse of the marsh, the nimble wrenne,
      The bullfinch and the goldspinck, with the king
   Of birds the goldcrest. The thrush, now and then,
      The blackbird, wont to whistle in the spring,
Like Christians seek the heavenlie foode St. Paul doth bring.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 60.

January 25.

Conversion of St. Paul.* [See vol. i. p. 175]

This Romish festival was first adopted by the church of Engand in the year 1662, during the reign of Charles II.


Buck and Doe in St. Paul's Cathedral.

Formerly a buck's head was carried in procession at St. Paul's Cathedral. This by some antiquaries is presumed to have been the continuation of a ceremony in more ancient times when, according to certain accounts, a heathen temple existed on that site. It is remarkable that this notion as to the usage is repeated by writers whose experience in other respects has obtained them well-earned regard: the origin of this custom, is stated by Stow to the following purport.

Mentioning the opinion already noticed, which, strange to tell, has been urged ever since his time, he says in its refutation, "But true it is I have read an ancient deed to this effect," and the "effect" is, that in 1274, the dean and chapter of St. Paul's granted twenty-two acres of land, part of their manor of Westley, in Essex, to sir William Baud, knt., for the purpose of being enclosed by him within his park of Curingham; in consideration whereof he undertook to bring to them on the feast day of the Conversion of St. Paul, in winter, a good doe, seasonable and sweet; and upon the feast of the commemoration of St. Paul in the summer, a good buck, and offer the same to be spent (or divided) among the canons resident; the doe to be brought by one man at the hour of procession, and through the procession to the high altar, and the bringer to have nothing; the buck to be brought by all his men in like manner, and they to be paid twelve pence only, by the chamberlain of the church, and no more to be required. For the performance of this annual present of venison, he charged his lands and bound his heirs; and twenty seven years afterwards, his son, sir Walter, confirmed the grant.

The observance of this ceremony, as to the buck, was very curious, and in this manner. On the aforesaid feast-day of the commemoration, the buck being brought up to the steps of the high altar in St. Paul's church at the hour of procession, and the dean and chapter being apparelled in their copes and vestments, with garlands of roses on their heads, they sent the body of the buck to be baked; and having fixed the head on a pole, caused it to be borne before the cross in their procession within the church, until they issued out of the west door. There the keeper that brought it blew "the death of the buck," and then the horners that were about the city answered him in like manner. For this the dean and chapter gave each man fourpence in money and his dinner, and the keeper that brought it was allowed during his abode there, meat, drink and lodging, at the dean and chapter's charges, and five shillings in money at his going away, together with a loaf of bread, with the picture of St. Paul on it. It appears also that the granters of the venison presented to St. Paul's catherdral two special suits of vestments, to be worn by the clergy on those two days; the one being embroidered with bucks, and the other with does.

The translator of Dupre's work on the "Conformity between modern and ancient ceremonies," also misled by other authorities, presumed that the "bringing up a fat buck to the altar of St. Paul's with hunters, horns blowing, &c. in the middle of divine service," was of heathen derivation, whereas we see it was only a provision for a venison feast by the Romish clergy, in return for some waste and of one of their manors.


Mean Temperature   . . .   35 . 10.

January 26.

"St. George he was for England."

So says a well-known old ballad, and we are acquainted, by the following communication, that our patron saint still appears in England, through his personal representatives, at this season of the year.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

I send you an account of the Christmas drama of "St. George," as acted in Cornwall, subscribing also my name and address, which you properly deem an indispensable requisite. I thereby vouch for the authenticity of what I send you. Having many friends and relations in the west, at whose houses I have had frequent opportunities of seeing the festivities and mixing in the sports of their farm, and other work-people, at the joyous times of harvest home, finishing the barley mow, (of which more hereafter if agreeable,) Christmas, &c. In some of the latter it is still customary for the master of the house and his guests to join at the beginning of the evening, though this practice, I am sorry to say, is gradually wearing out, and now confined to a few places. I have "footed it" away in sir Robert de Coverley, the hemp-dressers, &c. (not omitting even the cusion dance,) with more glee than I ever slided through the chaine anglaise, or demi-queue de chat, and have formed acquaintance with the master of the revels, or leader of the parish choir, (generally a shrewd fellow, well versed in song,) in most of the western parishes in Cornwall; and from them have picked up much information on those points, which personal observation alone had not supplied to my satisfaction.

You may be sure that "St. George" with his attendants were personages too remarkable not to attract much of my attention, and I have had their adventures represented frequently; from different versions so obtained, I am enabled to state the the performances in different parishes vary only in a slight degree from each other.

St. George and the other tragic performers are dressed out somewhat in the style of morris-dancers, in their shirt-sleeves, and white trowsers much decorated with ribands and handkerchiefs, each carrying a drawn sword in his hand, if they can be procured, otherwise a cudgel. They wear high caps of pasteboard, adorned with beads, small pieces of looking-glass, coloured paper, &c.; several long strips of pith generally hang down from the top, with small pieces of different coloured cloth, strung on them: the whole has a very smart effect.

Father Christmas is personified in a grotesque manner, as an ancient man, wearing a large mask and wig, and a huge club, wherewith he keeps the bystanders in order.

The doctor, who is generally the merry-andrew of the piece, is dressed in any ridiculous way, with a wig, three-cornered hat, and painted face.

The other comic characters are dressed according to fancy.

The female, where there is one, is usually in the dress worn half a century ago.

The hobby-horse, which is a character sometimes introduced, wears a representation of a horse's hide.

Besides the regular drama of "St. George," many parties of mummers go about in fancy dresses of every sort, most commonly the males in female attire, and vice versá.

This Christmas play, it appears, is, or was in vogue also in the north of England as well as in Scotland. A correspondent of yours (Mr. Reddock) has already given an interesting account of that in Scotland, and a copy of that acted at Newcastle, printed there some thirty or forty years since, is longer than any I have seen in the west. By some the play is considered to have reference to the time of the crusades, and to have been introduced on the return of the adventurers from the Holy-Land, as typifying their battles. Before proceeding with our drama in the west, I have merely to observe that the old fashion was to continue many of the Christmas festivities till Candlemas-day, (February 2,) and then "throw cards and candlesticks away."

Battle of St. George.

[One of the party steps in, crying out—

"Room, a room, brave gallants, room,
Within this court
I do resort,
To show some sport
And pastime,
Gentlemen and ladies, in the Christmas time—

[After this note of preparation, old Father Christmas capers into the room, saying,

Here comes I, old Father Christmas,
   Welcome, or welcome not,
I hope old Father Christmas
   Will never be forgot.

I was born in a rocky country, where there was no wood to make me a cradle; I was rocked in a stouring bowl, which made me round shouldered then, and I am round shouldered still.

[He then frisks about the room, until he thinks he has sufficiently amused the spectators, when he makes his exit with this speech,

Who went to the orchard, to steal apples to make gooseberry pies against Christmas?

[These prose speeches, you may suppose, depend much upon the imagination of the actor.

Enter Turkish Knight.

Here comes I, a Turkish knight,
Come from the Turkish land to fight,
And if St. George do meet me here
I'll try his courage without fear.

Enter St. George.

Here comes I, St. George;
   that worthy champion bold,
And, with my sword and spear,
   I won three crowns of gold.
I fought the dragon bold,
   and brought him to the slaughter,
By that I gained fair Sabra,
   the king of Egypt's daughter.

T. K. Saint George, I pray be not too bold,
If thy blood is hot, I'll soon make it cold.

St. G. Thou Turkish knight, I pray forbear,
I'll make thee dread my sword and spear.

[They fight until the T. knight falls.

St. G. I have a little bottle, which goes by the name of Elicumpane,
If the man is alive let him rise and fight again.

[The knight here rises on one knee, and endeavours to continue the fight, but is again struck down.

T. K. Oh! pardon me, St. George, oh! pardon me I crave.
Oh! pardon me this once, and I will be thy slave.

St. G. I'll never pardon a Turkish Knight,
Therefore arise, and try thy might.

[The knight gets up, and they again fight, till the knight receives a heavy blow, and then drops on the ground as dead.

St. G. Is there a doctor to be found,
To cure a deep and deadly wound?

Enter Doctor.

Oh! yes, there is a doctor to be found,
To cure a deep and deadly wound.

St. G. What can you cure?

Doctor. I can cure the itch, the palsy, and gout,
If the devil's in him, I'll pull him out.

[The Doctor here performs the cure with sundry grimaces, and St. George and the Knight again fight, when the latter is knocked down, and left for dead.

[Then another performer enters, and on seeing the dead body, says,

Ahses to ashes, dust to dust,
If uncle Tom Pearce won't have him, Aunt Molly must.

[The hobby-horse here capers in, and takes off the body.

Enter Old Squire.

Here comes I, old, old squire,
As black as any friar,
As ragged as a colt,
To leave fine clothes for malt.

Enter Hub Bub.

Here comes I old Hub Bub Bub Bub,
Upon my shoulders I carries a club,
And in my hand a frying pan,
So am not I a valiant man.

[These characters serve as a sort of burlesque on St. George and the other hero, and may be regarded in the light of an anti-masque.

Enter the Box-holder.

Here comes I, great head and little wit,
Put your hand in your pocket and give what you think fit.
Gentlemen and ladies, sitting down at your ease,
Put your hands in your pockets, give me what you please.

St. G. Gentlemen and Ladies, the sport is almost ended,
Come pay to the box, it is highly recommended.
The box it would speak, if it had but a tongue;
Come throw in your money, and think it no wrong.

The characters now generally finish with a dance, or sometimes a song or two is introduced. In some of the performances, two or three other tragic heroes are brought forward, as the king of Egypt and his son, &c.; but they are all of them much in the style of that I have just described, varying somewhat in length and number of characters.

I am, Sir,
Your constant reader,
W. S.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 20.

January 27.



1826. The alteration of the standard this year, in order to its uniformity throughout the kingdom, however inconvenient to individuals in its first application, will be ultimately of the highest public advantage. The difference between beer, wine, corn, and coal measure, and the difference of measures of the same denomination in different counties, were occasions of fraud and grievance without remedy until the present act of parliament commenced to operate. In the twelfth year of Henry VII. a standard was established, and the table was kept in the treasury of the king's exchequer, with drawings on it, commemorative of the regulation, and illustrating its principles. The original document passed into the collection of the liberal Harley, earl of Oxford, and there being a print of it with some of its pictorial representations, an engraving is here given of the mode of trial which it exhibits as having been used in the exchequer at that period.

Trial of Weights and Measures under Henry VII.

Trial of Weights and Measures under Henry VII.

From the same instrument is also taken the smaller diagram. They are curious specimens of the care used by our ancestors to establish and exemplify rules by which all purchases and sales were to be effected. In that view only they are introduced here. Conformity to the new standard is every man's business and interest, and daily experience will prove its wisdom and justice. It would be obviously inexpedient to state any of the parliamentary provisions in this work, which now merely records one of the most remarkable and laudable acts in the history of our legislation.


Mean Temperature   . . .   37 . 82.

January 28.

An Appearance of the Season.

Apology will scarcely be required for introducing a character, who at this season of the year comes forth in renovated honours, and may aptly be termed one of its ever-blues

The Beadle

The Beadle—

"The great image of authority!"

Shakspeare. [sic.]

not a peculiar of either Farringdons, nor him of Cripplegate, or St. Giles in the Fields, or of any ward or precenct within the bills: not this or that "good man"—but the universal parsih beadle. "How Christmas and consolatory he looks! how redolent of good cheer is he! He is a cornucopia—an abundance. What pudding sleeves!—what a collar, red, and like a beef steak, is his! His a walking refreshment! He looks like a whole parish, full, important — but untaxed. The children of charity gaze at him with a modest smile. The straggling boys look on him with confidence. They do not pocket their marbles. They do not fly from their familiar gutter. This is a red-letter day; and the cane is reserved for to-morrow."

For the pleasant verbal description we are indebted to an agreeable writer in the "London Magazine;"* [For December, 1822.] his corporal lineaments are "borrowed" (with permission) fron a new caricature,† [The Progress of Cant; designed and etched by one of the authors of 'Odes and Addresses to Great People;' and published by T. Maclean, Haymarket, L. Relfe, Cornhill, and Dickenson, New Bond-street.] if it may be given so low a name, wherein this figure stands out, the very gem and jewel, in a grouping of characters of all sorts and denominations assembled with "infinite fancy" and "fun," to illustrate the designer's views of the age. It is a graphic satire of character rather than caricatura; mostly of class-characters, not persons; wherein the ridicule bears heavily, but is broad and comprehensive enough to shift from one neighbour to another.

The print, wherein our beadle is foremost, though not first, is one of the pleasantest "drolls" of the century, and seems to hit at all that is. In this whimsical representation, a painted show-board, at the window of a miserable garret, declares it to be "The Office of the Peruvian Mining Company." On the casement of the first floor, in the same hereditament of poverty, is a bill of "Eligant rooms to let." Wigs in the shop-window illustrate the punning announcement above it—"Nature improved by Rickets," which is the name of the proprietor, a capital barber, who stands at the door, and points to a ragged inscription depending from the parti-coloured pole of his art, from whence we learn that "Nobody is to be s( )aved during di( )ine service, by command of the magistracy." He enforces attention to this fact on an unshaved itinerant, with "Subscription for putting down Bartlemy fair" placarded on his back. This fellow has a pole in his right hand for "The preservation of public morals," and a puppet of punch lolling from his left coat pocket. An apple-stall is taken care of by a fat body with a screaming child, whose goods appear to be coveted by two little beings untutored in the management of the eye. We gather from the "New Times," on the ground, that the fruit woman is Sarah Crumpage, and the she and Rickets, the former for selling fruit, and the latter for shaving on the Sunday, "were convicted on the oath of the notorious Johnson, and fined ten shillings each." Next to the barber's is "the Star eating-house," with "Ladies School" on the first-floor casement, and "Mangleing took in." At the angle of the penthouse roofs of these dwellings "an angel's head in stone with pigeon's wings" deceives a hungry cat into an attempt to commit an assault upon it from the attic window. Opposite the cook's door an able-bodied waggoner, with a pennon from his whip, inscribed "Knowledge is Power," obscures part of another whereon all that remains is "NICK'S INSTITUTION." A "steeled butcher," his left hand resting at ease within his apron, cleaver hung, and carelessly capped, with a countenance indicating no other spirit than that of the still, and no disposition to study deeper than the bottom of a porter pot, carries the flat of the "London University:" a well-fed urchin, his son, hangs by his father's sleeve, and drags along a wheeled toy, a lamb—emblem of many a future "lamb his riot dooms to bleed." A knowing little Jew-boy, with the flag of the "Converted Jews," relieves the standard-bearer of the "School for Adults" from the weight of his pocket handkerchief, and his banner hides the letter "d" on another borne by a person of uneven temper in canonicals, and hence for "The Church in danger," we read "The Church in anger." Close at the heels of the latter is an object almost as miserable, as the exceedingly miserable figure in the frontispiece to the "Miseries of Human Life." This rearward supporter of "the church in danger," alias in "anger," is a poor, undersized, famine-worn, badged charity boy, with a hat abundantly too large for its hydrocephalic contents, and a coat to his heels, and in another person's shoes, a world too wide for his own feet—he carries a crooked little wand with "No Popery" on it; this standard is so low, that it would be lost if the standard-bearer were not away from the procession. A passionate person in a barrister's wig, with a shillelagh, displays "Catholic Claims." Opposite to a church partly built, is a figure clearly designating a distinguished preacher of the established church of Scotland in London, planting the tallest standard in the scene upright on the ground, from whence is unfurled "No Theatre"—the flag-bearer of "The Caledonian Chapel," stands behind, in the act of tossing up a halfpenny with the standard bearer of "No more State Lotteries." A black mask bears the "Liberty of the Press." A well-fed man with bands beneath his chin, rears a high pole, inscribed "No fat Livings," and "The cause of Greece" follows. A jovial undertaker in his best grave-clothes, raises a mute's staff, and "No Life in London:" this character looks as if he would bury his wife comfortably in a country churchyard, get into the return-hearse with his companions, and crack nuts and drink wine all the way to town. A little personage, booted and buttoned up, carries a staff in his pocket, surmounted by a crown, and a switch to his chin, the tip whereof alone is visible, his entire face and head being wholly concealed by the hat; this is "The great Unknown"—he has close behind him "Gall and Spurs-him." "No Treadmill" is exhibited by a merry rogue, half disarmed, with a wooden leg. At a public house "The Angel and Punch Bowl.—T. Moore," the "United Sons of Harmony" hold wassail; their flag is hung at one of the windows, from whence many panes are absent, and themselves are fighting at the door, and heartily cheered by the standard bearer of "No Pugilism." A ferocious looking fellow, riding on a blind horse, elevates "Martin for Ever," and makes cruel cuts with his whip on the back of a youth who is trying to get up behind him with the banner of "No climbing Boys." We are now at a corner messuage, denominated "Prospect House Establishment for Young Ladies, by the Misses Grace and Prudence Gregory." The corner opposite is "Seneca House Academy for Young Gentlemen, by Dr. Alex. Sanderson." Prospect House has an "Assurance" policy, and from one of its windows one of the "young ladies" drops a work by "H. More"—in eager regard of one of the "young gentlemen" of Seneca-house, who addresses her from his room, with a reward of merit round his neck. This Romeoing is rendered more scenical by a tree, whereon hangs a lost kite, papered with a "Prospectus" of Seneca-house, from whence it appears that pupils bringing a "knife and fork," and paying "twenty Guineas per ann.," are entitled to "Universal Erudition," and the utmost attention to their "Morals and Principles." Near this place, the representative of "United Schools" fells to the earth the flag-bearer of "Peace to the world;" while the able supporter of "Irish Conciliation," endeavours to settle the difference by the powerful use of his pole; the affray being complacently viewed by a half-shod, and half-kilted maintainer of "Scotch Charity." A demure looking girl is charged with "Newgatory Instruction." At her elbow, a female of the order of disorder, so depicted that Hogarth might claim her for his own, upholds "Fry for ever," and is in high converse with a sable friend who keeps "Freedom for the Blacks." Hopeless idiocy, crawling on its knees by the aid of crutches, presents the "March of Mind." An excellent slippered fruiterer with a tray of apples and pears, beguiles the eyes of a young Gobbleton, who displays "Missionary penny subscriptions," and is suffering his hand to abstract wherewithal for the satisfaction of his longings. Here too are ludicrous representations of the supporters of "Whitefield and Wesley," "Reform," &c. and a Jewish dealer in old clothes, covered in duplicate, with the pawnbroker's sign upside down, finds wind for "The Equitable Loan." A wall round Seneca-house is "contrived a double debt to pay"—proffering seeming security to the "sightless eyeballs" of over-fond and over-fearful parents, and being of real use to the artist for the expression of ideas, which the crowding of his scene does not leave room to picture. This wall is duly chalked and covered by bills in antithesis. A line of the chalkings, by an elision easily supplied, reads, "Ask for War." One of the best exhibitions in the print is a youth of the "Tract Society," with a pamphlet entitled "Eternity," so rulled as to look like a pistol, which he tenders to a besotted brute wearing candidates' favours in his hat, and a scroll "Purity of Election." The villainous countenance of the intoxicated wretch is admirable—a cudgel under his arm, his tattered condition, and a purse hanging from his pocket, tell that he has been in fight, and received the wages of his warfare; in the last stage of drunkenness he drops upon a post inscribed "under Government." Among books strewed on the ground are "Fletcher's Appeal," "Family Shakspeare," "Hohenlohe," &c.; at the top is a large volume lettered "Kant," which, in such a situation, Mr. Wirgman, and other disciples of the German philosopher, will only quarrel or smile at, in common with all who conceive their opinions or intentions misrepresented. In truth it is only because the print is already well known among the few lynx-eyed observers of manners that this notice is drawn up. Its satire, however well directed in many ways, is too sweeping to be just every way, and is in several instances wholly undeserved. The designer gives evidence however of great capability, and should he execute another it will inevitably be better than this, which is, after all, an extraordinary production.—In witness whereof, and therefrom, is extracted and prefixed the "Beadle" hereinbefore mentioned.


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 37.

January 29.

1826. Sexagesima Sunday.

Accession of George IV.

1820. King George III. died. A contemporary kalendarian, in recording this memorable fact, observes, that "the slow and solemn sound of St. Paul's bell announced the event a short time after, and was heard to a great distance around the country." He adds, that he was reminded, by this "mournful proclamation of departed royalty," of the following lines in Heywood's "Rape of Lucrece," written to go to a funeral peal from eight bells:

Come list and hark, the bell doth toll
For some but now departing soul,
Whom even now those ominous fowle,
The bat, the nightjar, or screech owl,
Lament; hark! I hear the wilde wolfe howle
In this black night that seems to scowle,
All these my black book shall enscrole.
For hark! still still the bell doth toll
For some but now departing soul.

This opportunity the same agreeable writer improves to discourse on, thus:


The passing bell owes its origin to an idea of sanctity attached to bells by the early Catholics, who believed that the sound of these holy instruments of percussion actually drove the devil away from the soul of the departing Christian. Bells were moreover regarded formerly as dispelling storms, and appeasing the imagined wrath of heaven, as the following lines from Barnaby Googe will show:—

If that the thunder chaunce to rore
   and stormie tempest shake,
A woonder is it for to see
   the wretches howe they quake,
Howe that no fayth at all they have,
   nor trust in any thing,
The clarke doth all the belles forthwith
   at once in steeple ring:
With wondrous sound and deeper farre,
   than he was woont before,
Till in the loftie heavens darke,
   the thunder bray no more.
For in these christned belles they thinke,
   doth lie such powre and might
As able is the tempest great,
   and storme to vanquish quight.
I saw myself at Numburg once,
   a towne in Toring coast,
A bell that with this title bolde
   hirself did prowdly boast:
By name I Mary called am,
   with sound I put to flight
The thunder crackes, and hurtfull stormes,
   and every wicked spright.
Such things when as these belles can do,
   no wonder certainlie
It is, if that the papistes to
   their tolling always flie,
When haile, or any raging storme,
   or tempest comes in sight,
Or thunder boltes, or lightning fierce,
   that every place doth smight.


We find from Brand, that "an old bell at Canterbury required twenty-four men, and another thirty-two men, ad sonandum. The noblest peal of ten bells, without exception, in England, whether tone or tune be considered, is said to be in St. Margaret's church, Leicester. When a full peal was rung, the ringers were said 'pulsare classicum.'"

Bells were a great object of superstition among our ancestors. Each of them was represented to have its peculiar name and virtues, and many are said to have retained great affection for the churches to which they belonged, and where they were consecrated. When a bell was removed from its original and favourite situation, it was sometimes supposed to take a nightly trip to its old place of residence, unless exercised in the evening, and secured with a chain or rope. Mr. Warner, in his "Hampshire," enumerates the virtues of a bell, by translating two lines from the "Helpe to Discourse."

Men's deaths I tell by doleful knell.
Lightning and thunder I break asunder.
On sabbath all to church I call.
The sleepy head I raise from bed.
The winds so fierce I doe disperse.
Men's cruel rage I do asswage.

There is an old Wiltshire legend of a tenor bell having been conjured into the river; with lines by the ringer, who lost it through his pertinacious garrulity, and which say:

In spite of all the devils in hell
Here comes our old Bell.* [Dr. Forster's Perennial Calendar.]

Baron Holberg says he was in a company of men of letters, where several conjectures were offered concerning the origin of the word campana; a klocke, (i.e. bell) in the northern tongues. On his return home, he consulted several writers. Some, he says, think the word klocke to be of the northern etymology; these words, Ut cloca habeatur in ecclesia, occurring in the most ancient histories of the north. It appears from hence, that in the infancy of Christianity, the word cloca was used in the north instead of campana. Certain french writers derive the word cloca from cloche, and this again from clocher, i.e. to limp; for, say they, as a person who limps, falls from one side to the other, so do klocks (bells) when rung. Some have recourse to the latin word clangor, others recur to the greek [greek kalew], I call; some even deduce it from the word cochlea, a snail, from the resemblance of its shell to a bell. As to the latin word campana, it was first used in Italy, at Nola in Campania; and it appears that the greater bells only were called campana, and the lesser nola. The invention of them is generally attributed to bishop Paulinus; but this certainly must be understood only of the religious use of them; it being plain, from Roman writers, that they had the like machines called tintinnabula.

The use of bells continued long unknown in the east, the people being called to public worship by strokes of wooden hammers; and to this day the Turks proclaim the beginning of their service, by vociferations from the steeple. Anciently priests themselves used to toll the bell, especially in cathedrals and great churches, and these were distinguished by the appellation of campanarii. The Roman Catholics christen their bells, and godfathers assist at the solemnity; thus consecrating them to religious use. According to Helgaudus, bells had certain names given them like men; and Ingulphus says, "he ordered two great clocks (bells) to be made, which were called Bartholomeus and Bettelinus, and two lesser, Pega and Bega." The time is perhaps uncertain when the hours first began to be distinguished by the striking of a bell. In the empire this custom is said to have been introduced by a priest of Ripen, named Elias, who lived in the twelfth century; and this the Chronicon Anonymi Ripense says of him, hic dies et horas campanarum pulsatione distincxit. The use of them soon became extended from their original design to other solemnities, and especially burials: which incessant tolling has long been complained of as a public nuisance, and to this the french poet alludes:—

Pour honorer les morts, ils font mourir les vivans.

Besides the common way of tolling bells, there is also ringing, which is a kind of chimes used on various occasions in token of joy. This ringing prevails in no country so much as in England, where it is a kind of diversion, and, for a piece of money, any one may have a peal. On this account it is, that England is called the ringing island. Chimes are something very different, and much more musical; there is not a town in all the Netherlands without them, being an invention of that country. The chimes at Copenhagen, are one of the finest sets in all Europe; but the inhabitants, from a pertinacious fondness for old things, or the badness of their ear, do not like them so well as the old ones, which were destroyed by a conflagration.

The Rev. W. L. Bowles has an effusion agreeably illustrative of feelings on hearing the bells ring.


Written at Ostend, July 22, 1787.

How sweet the tuneful bells responsive peal!
   As when at opening morn, the fragrant breeze
   Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease,
So piercing to my heart their force I feel!
And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall,
   And now, along the white and level tide,
   They fling their melancholy music wide;
Bidding me many a tender thought recall
Of summer days, and those delightful years
   When by my native streams, in life's fair prime,
   The mournful magic of their mingling chime
First wak'd my wondering childhood into tears!
But seeming now, when all those days are o'er,
The sounds of joy once heard, and heard no more.

"The Times"* [Sept. 17, 1816.] has a literary correspondent, who communicates information that it may be useful to record.


To the Editor of the Times.

MR. EDITOR,—Having read in your paper of to-day, that the king of France "has been pleased to grant to the parish of Notre-Dame, at Nismes, two unserviceable pieces of cannon from the arsenal of Montpellier, for the purpose of forming a parish bell," it has occurred to me that the following description of the practice of baptizing bells, used by the Roman Catholics, may not be unacceptable to your readers. This account is a true translation from a book entitled "Pontificale Romanum, Autoritate Pontificia, impressum Venetiis, 1698. Lib. ii. Cap. de Benedictione Signi vel Campanæ." I have run parallel with their method of baptizing children and bells, in twelve particulars, as follows:—

[set the following in two-column table, with single roman digits centered between each parallel passage.]

Of the Baptism of a Child.

The child must be first baptized, before it can be accounted one of the church.

The child must be baptized by a priest or a minister.

In baptizing a child there is used holy water, cream, salt, oil, spittle, &c. &c.

In baptism, the child receiveth a name.

The child must have godfathers, &c. &c.

The child must be washed in water.

The child must be crossed in baptism.

The child must be anointed.

The child must be baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity.

At baptism they pray for the child.

At the child's baptism the scriptures are read.

At child-baptism there are public prayers made.

Of the Baptism of a Bell.

The bell must be first baptized, before it may be hung in the steeple.

The bell must be baptized by a bishop or his deputy.

In the baptism of a bell, there is used holy water, oil, salt, cream, tapers for lights, &c.

And so it is in the baptism of bells.

The bell must have godfathers, and they must be persons of great rank.

The bell must be washed in water by the hands of the bishop and priests.

The bell is solemnly crossed by the bishop.

The bell is anointed by the bishop.

The bell is washed and anointed, in the name of the Trinity, by the bishop.

At the baptism of the bell they pray literally for the bell.

There are more psalms read at the baptism of a bell than at the baptism of a child; and a gospel also.

At the baptism of a bell there are more prayers used, and (excepting salvation) greater things are prayed for, and more blessings on the bell, than on the child. But for the better proof of this point, I shall here give part of one of the very curious prayers put up for the bell at its baptism:—————— Lord grant that wheresoever this holy bell, thus washed (or baptized) and blessed, shall sound, all deceits of Satan, all danger of whirlwind, thunders, lightnings, and tempests, may be driven away, and that devotion may increase in Christian men when they hear it. O Lord, sanctify it by thy Holy Spirit; that when it sounds in thy peoples ears they may adore Thee! May their faith and devotion increase, the devil be afraid, and tremble and fly at the sound of it. O Lord, pour upon it thy heavenly blessing! that the fiery darts of the devil may be made to fly backwards at the sound thereof; that it may deliver from danger of wind and thunder, &c., &c. And grant, Lord, that all that come to the church at the sound of it, may be free from all temptations of the devil. O Lord, infuse into it the heavenly dew of thy Holy Ghost, that the devil may always fly away before the sound of it &c., &c.

The doctrine of the church of Rome concerning bells is, first, that they have merit, and pray God for the living and the dead; secondly, that they produce devotion in the hearts of believers; thirdly, that they drive away storms and tempests; and, fourthly, that they drive away devils.

The dislike of evil spirits to the sound of bells, is extremely well expressed by Wynkin de Worde, in the Golden Legend: —"It is said, the evil spirytes that ben in the region of th' ayre, doubte moche when they here the belles rongen: and this is the cause why the belles ringen whan it thondreth, and whan grete tempeste and to rages of wether happen, to the ende that the feinds and wycked spirytes should ben abashed and flee, and cease of the movynge of tempeste."

As to the names given to bells, I beg leave to add, that the bells of Little Dunmow Priory, in Essex, new cast A. D. 1501, were baptized by the following names:—

Prima in honore Sancti Michaelis Archangeli.

Secunda in honore S. Johannis Evangelisti.

Tertia in honore S. Johannis Baptisti.

Quarta in honore Assumptionis beatæ Mariæ.

Quinta in honore Sancti Trinitatis, et omnium Sanctorum.

In the clochier near St. Paul's stood the four greatest bells in England, called Jesus's bells; against these sir Miles Partridge staked 100l., and won them of Henry VIII. at a cast of dice.

I conclude with remarking, that the Abbé Cancellieri, of Rome, lately published a work relative to bells, wherein he has inserted a long letter, written by Father Ponyard to M. de Saint Vincens, on the history of bells and steeples. The Abbé wrote this dissertation on the occasion of two bells having been christened, which were to be placed within the tower of the capitol.

I am, sir,
Your obedient servant,
R. H. E.

Sept. 11.

R. H. E. "wise and good" as he was, and he was both—he is now no more—would not willingly have misrepresented the doctrines of the Romish church, though he abhorred that hierarchy. It seems, however, that he may be mistaken in affirming, that the Romish church maintains of bells that "they have merit, and pray God for the living and the dead." His affirmation on this point may be taken in too extensive a sense: It is no doubt a Romish tenet that there is "much virtue in bells," but the precise degree allowed to them at this period, it would be difficult to determine without the aid of a council.

At Hatherleigh, a small town in Devon, exist two remarkable customs:—one, that every morning and evening, soon after the church clock has struck five and nine, a bell from the same steeple announces by distant strokes the number of the day of the month—originally intended, perhaps, for the information of the unlearned villagers: the other is, that after a funeral the church bells ring a lively peal, as in other places after a wedding; and to this custom the parishioners are perfectly reconciled by the consideration that the deceased is removed from a scene of trouble to a state of rest and peace.

When Mr. Colman read his Opera of "Inkle and Yarico" to the late Dr. Mosely, the Doctor made no reply during the progress of the piece. At the conclusion, Colman asked what he thought of it. "It won't do," said the Doctor, "Stuff—nonsense." Every body else having been delighted with it, this decided disapprobation puzzled the circle; he was asked why? "I'll tell you why," answered the Critic; "you say in the finale—

'Now let us dance and sing,
While all Barbadoes bells do ring.'

It won't do—there is but one bell in all the island!"

With a citation from the poet of Erin, the present notice will "ring out" delightfully.

Evening Bells.

Those evening bells, those evening bells,
How many a tale their music tells,
Of youth and home, and that sweet time
Since last I heard their soothing chime.

Those joyous hours are passed away,
And many a friend that then was gay,
Within the tomb now darkly dwells,
And hears no more those evening bells.

And so 'twill be when I am gone,
That tuneful peal will still ring on,
While other bards shall walk these dells,
And sing thy praise, sweet evening bells!


Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 64.

January 30.

King Charles's Martyrdom, 1644 — Holiday at the Public Offices, 1826.

It is recorded, that, after King Charles the First received the sentence of death, on Saturday the 27th, he spent the next day in devout exercises. He refused to see his friends, and ordered them to be told, that his time was precious, and the best thing they could do was to pray for him. On Monday the 29th, his children were brought to take their leave of him, viz. the lady Elizabeth and the duke of Gloucester. He first gave his blessing to the lady Elizabeth, bidding her that when she should see her brother James, she should tell him that it was his father's last desire that he should no more look upon his brother Charles as his eldest brother only, but be obedient to him as his sovereign; and that they should love one another, and forgive their father's enemies. The king added, "Sweetheart, you will forget this." "No," said she, "I shall never forget it as long as I live." He bid her not grieve and torment herself for him; for it would be a glorious death he should die, it being for the laws and liberties of this land, and for maintaining the true Protestant religion. He recommended to her the reading of "Bishop Andrews's Sermons," "Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity," and "Archbishop Laud's Book against Fisher." He further told her, that he had forgiven all his enemies, and hoped God would likewise forgive them. He bade her tell her mother, that his thoughts had never strayed from her, and that his love should be the same to the last. After this he took the duke of Gloucester, being then a child of about seven years of age, upon his knees, saying to him, "Sweetheart, now they will cut off thy father's head:" upon which the child looked with great earnestness upon him. The king proceeding, said, "Mark, child, what I say, they will cut off my head, and perhaps make thee a king: but mark what I say, you must not be a king so long as your brothers Charles and James do live; for they will cut off your brothers' heads when they can catch them, and cut off thy head too at last: and therefore I charge you do not be made a king by them." At which the child fetched a deep sigh, and said, "I will be torn in pieces first." Which expression falling from a child so young, occasioned no little joy to the king. This day the warrant for execution was passed, signed by fifty-nine of the judges, for the king to die the next day, between the hours of ten in the morning and five in the afternoon.

On the 30th, "The king having arrived at the place of execution, made a long address to colonel Tomlinson; and afterwards turning to the officers, he said, 'Sirs, excuse me for this same: I have a good cause and a gracious God: I will say no more.' Then turning to colonel Hacker, he said, 'Take care that you do not put me to pain;' and said, 'This and please you—' A gentleman coming near the axe, he said, 'Take heed of the axe—take heed of the axe.' Then speaking to the executioner (who was masked) he said, "I shall say but very short prayers, and when I thrust out my hands----.' Then he asked the bishop for his cap, which, when he had put on, he said to the executioner, 'Does my hair trouble you?' who desiring it might be all put under his cap, it was put up by the bishop and executioner. Turning to the bishop, he said, 'I have a good cause, and a gracious God on my side.' To which the bishop answered, 'There is but one stage more, which, though turbulent and troublesome, yet it is a very short one; it will soon carry you a very great way. It will carry you from earth to heaven; and there you will find, to your great joy, the prize you hasten to,—a crown of glory.' The king added, 'I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance is, no disturbance in the world.' The bishop replied, 'You are exchanged from a temporal to an eternal crown, and good exchange.' Then the king asked the executioner if his hair was well. After which, putting off his cloak, doublet, and his George, he gave the latter to the bishop, saying, 'Remember.' After this he put on his cloak again over his waistcoat, inquiring of the executioner if the block was fast, who answered it was. He then said, 'I wish it might have been a little higher.' But it was answered him, it could not be otherwise now. The king said, 'When I put out my hands this way, then----.' He prayed a few words standing, with his hands and eyes lift up towards heaven, and then stooping down, laid his neck on the block. Soon after which the executioner putting some of his hair under his cap, the king thought he had been going to strike, bade him stay for the sign. After a little time the king stretched forth his hand, and the executioner took off his head at one stroke. When his head was held up, and the people at a distance knew the fatal stroke was over, there was nothing to be heard but shrieks, and groans, and sobs, the unmerciful soldiers beating down poor people for this little tender of their affection to their prince. Thus died the worthiest gentleman, the best master, the best friend, the best husband, the best father, and the best Christian, that the age in which he lived produced."* [Clarendon]

Sir Philip Warwick, an adherent to this unfortunate king, says, "His deportment was very majestic; for he would not let fall his dignity, no not to the greatest foreigners that came to visit him and his court: for though he was far from pride, yet he was careful of majesty, and would be approached with respect and reverence. His conversation was free; and the subject matter of it, on his own side of the court, was most commonly rational; or if facetious, not light. With any artist or good mechanic, traveller, or scholar, he would discourse freely; and as he was commonly improved by them, so he often gave light to them in their own art or knowledge: for there were few gentlemen in the world that knew more of useful or necessary learning than this prince did; and yet his proportion of books was but small, having, like Francis the First of France, learnt more by the ear than by study. His way of arguing was very civil and patient; for he never contradicted another by his authority, but by his reason; nor did he by petulant dislike quash another's arguments; and he offered his exception by this civil introduction, 'By your favour, Sir, I think otherwise, on this or that ground;' yet he would discountenance any bold or forward address unto him. And in suits, or discourses of business, he would give way to none abruptly to enter into them, but looked that the greatest persons should in affairs of this nature address to him by his proper ministers, or by some solemn desire of speaking to him in their own persons. His exercises were manly, for he rid the great horse very well; and on the little saddle he was not only adroit, but a laborious hunter, or field-man. He had a great plainness in his own nature, and yet he was thought, even by his friends, to love too much a versatile man; but his experience had thoroughly weaned him from this at last. He kept up the dignity of his court, limiting persons to places suitable to their qualities, unless he particularly called for them. Besides the women who attended on his beloved queen and consort, the lady Henrietta Maria, sister of the French king, he scarcely admitted any great officer to have his wife in the family. His exercises of religion were most exemplary; for every morning early, and evening, not very late, singly and alone, in his own bed-chamber, or closet, he spent some time in private meditation, (for he dared reflect and be alone,) and through the whole week, even when he went to hunt, he never failed, before he sat down to dinner, to have part of the liturgy read to him and his menial servants, came he ever so hungry or late in: and on Sundays and Tuesdays he came, commonly at the beginning of service, well attended by his court lords and chief attendants, and most usually waited on by many of the nobility in town, who found those observances acceptably entertained by him. His greatest enemies can deny none of this; and a man of this moderation of mind could have no hungry appetite to prey upon his subjects, though he had a greatness of mind not to live precariously by them. But when he fell into the sharpness of his afflictions, (than which few men underwent sharper,) I dare say I know it, (I am sure conscientiously I say it,) though God dealt with him, as he did with St. Paul, not remove the thorn, yet he made his grace sufficient to take away the pungency of it; for he made as sanctified an use of his afflictions as most men ever did. As an evidence of his natural probity, whenever any young nobleman or gentleman of quality who was going to travel, came to kiss his hand, he cheerfully would give them some good counsel leading to moral virtue, especially a good conversation; telling them, that if he heard they kept good company abroad, he should reasonably expect they would return qualified to serve their king and country well at home; and he was careful to keep the youth in his time uncorrupted. The king's deportment at his trial, which began on Saturday the 20th of January, 1648, was very majestic and steady; and though usually his tongue hesitated, yet at this time it was free, for he was never discomposed in mind; and yet, as he confessed himself to bishop Juxon, who attended him, one action shocked him very much; for whilst he was leaning in the court upon his staff, which had a head of gold, the head broke off on a sudden: he took it up, but seemed unconcerned; yet told the bishop, it really made a great impression on him; and to this hour (says he) I know not possibly how it should come. It was an accident I myself have often thought on, and cannot imagine how it came about; unless Hugh Peters, who was truly and really his gaoler, (for at St. James's nobody went to him but by Peters's leave,) had artificially tampered upon his staff. But such conjectures are of no use."

In the Lansdowne collection of MSS. a singular circumstance before the battle of Newbury is thus related:—

"The king being at Oxford went one day to see the public library, where he was shown, among other books, a Virgil, nobly printed and exquisitely bound. The lord Falkland, to divert the king, would have his majesty make a trial of his fortune by the sortes Virgilianæ, which every body knows was not an unusual kind of augury some ages past. Whereupon the king opening the book, the period which happened to come up was part of Dido's imprecation against Æneas, which Mr. Dryden translates thus:—

Yet let a race untamed, and haughty foes,
His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose;
Oppressed with numbers in th' unequal field,
His men discouraged and himself expelled,
Let him for succour sue from place to place,
Torn from his subjects and his sons' embrace,
First let him see his friends in battle slain,
And their untimely fate lament in vain;
And when at length the cruel war shall cease,
On hard conditions may he buy his peace.
Nor let him then enjoy supreme command,
But fall untimely by some hostile hand,
And lie unburied on the barren sand.

Æneid, b. iv. l. 88.

"It is said, king Charles seemed concerned at this accident, and that the lord Falkland observing it, would likewise try his own fortune in the same manner, hoping he might fall upon some passage that could have no relation to his case, and thereby divert the king's thoughts from any impression the other might have upon him. But the place that Falkland stumbled upon was yet more suited to his destiny* [Lord Falkland engaged in a thoughtless skirmish and perished in it.] than the other had been to the king's; being the following expressions of Evander upon the untimely death of his son Pallas, as they are translated by the same hand:—

O Pallas! thou hast failed thy plighted word
To fight with caution, not to tempt the sword:
I warned thee, but in vain; for well I knew
What perils youthful ardour would pursue.
That boiling blood would carry thee too far;
Young as thou wert in dangers—raw in war!
O curst essay in arms,—disastrous doom,—
Prelude of bloody fields and fights to come.

Æneid, b. xi. l. 230.

Remarkable 30th of January Sermon.

On the 30th of January, 1755, the rev. John Watson, curate of Ripponden, in Yorkshire, preached a sermon there which he afterwards published. The title-page states it as "proving that king Charles I. did not govern like a good king of England." He also printed "An Apology for his Conduct yearly on the 30th of January." In these tracts he says, "For some years last past I have preached on the 30th of January, and my labours were employed in obviating the mistakes which I knew some of my congregation entertained with regard to the character of king Charles I.; and in proving that if it was judged rebellion in those who took up arms against that unfortunate prince, who had made so many breaches in the constitution, it must be an aggravation of that crime, to oppose the just and wise measures of the present father of his country, king George. The chief reason for publishing the sermon is to confute a commonly received opinion that I applauded therein the act of cutting off the king's head, which any one may quickly see to be without foundation. For when I say that the resistance he met with was owing to his own mal-administration, nothing else can be meant than the opposition he received from a wise, brave, and good parliament:—not that shown him by those furious men who destroyed both the parliament and him, and whose conduct I never undertook to vindicate. It has been observed that I always provide a clergyman to read prayers for me on the 30th of January; but not to read that service is deemed criminal, because in subscribing the 36th canon I obliged myself to use the form prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. The office for the 30th of January is no part of the Liturgy of the church of England. By the liturgy of the church I mean the contents of The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, &c., established by the act of uniformity, in the year 1662; and whatever has been added since, I suppose no clergyman ever bound himself by subscription to use; the reason is because the law requires no more."

Mr. Watson then says, on the authority of Wheatly, in his "Illustration of the Common Prayer," Johnson in his "Clergyman's Vade Mecum," and the author of "The Complete Incumbent," that the services for the 30th of January and the 29th of May are not confirmed by act of parliament, and that penalties do not attach for the non-celebration of the service on those days. "I cannot in conscience read those prayers," says Watson, "wherein the king is called a Martyr. I believe the assertion to be false, and therefore why should I tell a lie before the god of Truth! What is a martyr? He is a witness, for so the word in the original imparts. Robert Stephens tells us, that they are martyrs who have died giving a testimony of divinity to Christ: but if this be true king Charles can be no martyr, for he was put to death by those who believed in the divinity of Christ as well as he. What were the grounds then for giving him this glorious title? his dying rather than give up episcopacy? I think lord Clarendon hath proved the contrary: he consented to suspend episcopacy for three years, and that money should be raised upon the sale of the church lands, and only the old rent should be reserved to the just owners and their successors. My charity leads me so far, that I hope king Charles meant well when he told the princess Elizabeth that he should die a martyr, and when he repeated it on the scaffold. But this might be nothing else but a pleasing deception of the mind; and if saying that he died a martyr made him such, then the duke of Monmouth also was the same, for he died with the same words in his mouth, which his grandfather, king Charles, had used before. King Charles II. seems to have had no such opinion of the matter; for when a certain lord reminded his majesty of his swearing in common discourse, the king replied, 'Your martyr swore more than ever I did.' which many have deemed a jest upon the title which his father had got. In fact, we, of this generation, should never have judged, that he who swore to preserve the religion, laws, and liberties of his country inviolate, and yet broke through every one of these restraints—that he, who put an English fleet into the hands of the French to crush the protestants there, who were struggling to maintain their religion and liberties—that he, who contrary to the most solemn promises, did sacrifice the protestant interest in France—that he, who concurred with Laud in bringing the church of England to a kind of rivalship, for ornaments, &c., with the church of Rome—that he, who could consent, when he married the French king's daughter, that their children were to be educated by their mother until thirteen years of age—that he, who gave great church preferments to men who publicly preached up popish doctrines; and that protected known papists from the penalties of the law, by taking several very extraordinary steps in their behalf—that he, who permitted an agent, or a kind of nuncio from Rome, to visit the court publicly, and bestowed such offices as those of lord high treasurer, secretary of state, chancellor of the exchequer, &c., on papists—that he, who by proclamation could command the Lord's day to be profaned (for I can call it no less) by revels, plays, and many sorts of ill-timed recreations, punishing great numbers of pious clergymen for refusing to publish what their consciences forbad them to read: and to name no more—that he, who could abet the Irish massacre, wherein above three hundred thousand protestants were murdered in cold blood, or expelled out of their habitations. (Vide 'Temple's Irish rebellion,' page 6.) I say, we, at this period of time, should not have thought such a one worthy to be deemed a martyr for the cause of protestantism; but that it has been a custom in the church for near a century to call him so. However, it is time seriously to consider whether it is not proper to correct this error; at least, it should be shown to be no error if we must keep it, for, at present, many of the well-meaning members of the church are offended at it."

The writer cited, goes on to observe, "My second objection against reading this service is, that I judge it to be contrary both to reason and the contents of the Bible, to say that 'the blood of king Charles can be required of us or our posterity.' There is not, I suppose, one man alive who consented to the king's death. We know nothing of it but from history, therefore none of us were concerned in the fact; with what reason then can it be averred that we ought to be responsible for it, when it neither was nor is in our power to prevent it. But what if we disclaim the sins of our forefathers, or are the posterity of those who fought for the king, are we still to be in danger of suffering? Such seems to be the doctrine of this service, where all, without exception, are called upon to pray that they 'may be freed from the vengeance of his righteous blood.' I could prove, from undoubted records, that the family I came from were royalists; but I think it sufficient to say that I never did nor ever will consent that a king shall be beheaded, or otherwise put to death; therefore let others say what they will, I look upon myself to be innocent, and why should I plead with God as if I thought myself guilty? But we are told that they 'were the crying sins of this nation which brought down this heavy judgment upon us.' I think it is more clear, that a series of ill-judged and ill-timed acts, on the part of the king, brought him into the power of his opposers, and that, afterwards, the ambition of a few men led him to the scaffold. Let it only be remembered, that at the beginning of his reign he entered into a war for the recovery of the Palatinate against the consent of his parliament; and when he could not get them to vote him money enough for his purpose he extorted it illegally from his subjects; refusing to join the parliament in redressing the grievances of the nation; often threatening them; and even counteracting their designs; which, at last, bred so many disputes, that he overstepped all bounds, and had the misprudence to attempt the seizing of five members in the house; on which the citizens came down by land and water, with muskets on their shoulders, to defend the parliament: soon after which so great a distrust arose between the two houses and him, that all likelinood of agreement wholly ceased. This was the cause whereon to make war—sending the queen to Holland to buy arms, himself retiring from the capital, and soon after erecting his standard at Nottingham. Not succeeding, he was made prisoner, and when many expected his restoration, a violent opposition in the army broke forth; a design was formed to change the monarchy into a republic, and to this, and nothing else, he fell a sacrifice. If the real cause of the king's death was the wickedness of those times, does it not follow that his death was permitted by God as a punishment for that wickedness; and if so, why should we fear that God will still visit for it? Will the just and merciful Judge discharge his vengeance on two different generations of men for the offences committed by one? Such doctrine as this should be banished from every church, especially a christian one; for it has no foundation in reason or revelation." The reasons of this clergyman of the established church for his dissent from the established usage are still further remarkable.

Mr. Watson states other objections to this service. "In the hymn used instead of Venite exultemus, it is said, They fought against him without a cause: the contrary of which, when it is applied to king Charles, I think has been owned by every historian. The parliament of England were always more wise and good, than to raise armies against the kings who gave them no occasion to do so; and I cannot but entertain this favourable opinion of that which began to sit in the year 1640. There is nothing more true than that the king wanted to govern by an arbitrary power. His whole actions showed it, and he could never be brought to depart from this. Either, therefore, his people must have submitted to the slavery, or they must have vindicated their freedom openly; there was no middle way. But should they have tamely received the Yoke? No, surely; for had they done so, they had deserved the worst of evils; and the bitter effects thereof, in all probability, had not only been derived to us, but our posterity. Happy Britons, that such a just and noble stand was made! May the memories of those great patriots that were concerned in it be ever dear to Englishmen; and to all true Englishmen they will!

"In the same hymn it is likewise affirmed that False witnesses rose up against him, and laid to his charge things that he knew not. Which on this occasion cannot be truly said, because as the chief fact to be proved was the king's being in arms, it cannot be supposed that out of more than 200,000 men who had engaged with him, a sufficient number of true witnesses could be wanting. What, therefore, Mr. Wheatly could think when he said that his hymn is as solemn a composure, and as pertinent to the occasion as can be imagined or contrived, I cannot tell. I am sure a broad hint is given therein, that the clergy in king Charles's time were a set of wicked people, and that it was through their unrighteousness, as well as that of the laity, that the king lost his life. The words are these, 'For the sins of the people, and the iniquities of the priests, they shed the blood of the just in the midst of Jerusalem.' Let those defend this passage who are able, for I own myself incapable of doing it consistently."

Mr. Watson says, "I am not by myself in thinking that this service for the 30th of January needs a review; many sensible, worthy men think further—that it is time to drop it; for they see that it is unseasonable now, and serves no other end than as a bone of contention in numberless parishes, preventing friendship, and good will being shown towards such of the clergy as cannot in all points approve of it; excepting that (as I have found by experience) it tends to make bad subjects. A sufficient argument this, was there no other, why it should either be altered or taken away; but I presume not to dictate; and, therefore, I urge this no further: had I not a sincere regard for the church of England, I should have said less; but notwithstanding any reports to the contrary, I declare myself to be a hearty well-wisher to her prosperity. Did I not prefer her communion to that of any other, I would instantly leave her, for I am not so abandoned as to play the hypocrite: that I detest, and have often detested it to my great loss. But I am not of that opinion, that it is for the interest of the church to conceal her defects; on the contrary, I think I do her the greatest service possible by pointing them out, so that they may be remedied to the satisfaction of all good men. She ought not to be ashamed of the truth, and falsehood will never hurt her."

It appears that Mr. Watson's conduct obtained much notice; for he preached another sermon at Halifax, entitled "Moderation; or a candid disposition towards those that differ from us, recommended and enforced." This he also printed, with the avowed view of "promoting of that moderation towards all men which becometh us as Christians, is the ornament of our profession, and which we should therefore labour to maintain, as we desire to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." He proceeds to observe in this discourse, that "whoever reflects upon the nature of human constitutions, will readily allow the impossibility of perfection in any of them; and whoever considers the mutability of human things, will grant that nothing can be so well devised, or so sure established, which, in continuance of time, will not be corrupted. A change of circumstances, to which the best constituted state is liable, will require such alterations as once would have been needless: and improvement of observation will demand such regulations as nothing else could have discovered to have been right. Of this the wise founders of the established church of England were very sensible; they prudently required no subscription to perfection in the church well knowing that they but laid the foundation stone of a much greater building than they could live to see completed. The Common Prayer, since it was first properly compiled, in the year 1545, has undergone sixteen alterations, as defects became visible, and offence was thereby given to the promoting of separations and divisions: noble examples these—fit for the present age to imitate! for, as ninety years have elapsed since the last review, this experienced age has justly discovered that the amendments, at that time made, were not sufficient. I could produce you many instances; but I forbear; for I am very sensible how tender a point I am discussing. However, I cannot but observe, that for my own part, upon the maturest and most sober consideration, I take him to be a greater friend to Christianty in general, and to this church in particular, who studies to unite as many dissenters as may be to us, by a reasonable comprehension, than he who is against it."

It is urged by Mr. Watson, that the church of England herself does not claim a perfection which is insisted upon as her distinguishing quality by some of her over zealous advocates. He says, "The first reformers were wise and good men, but the Common Prayer they published was little better than popery itself; many indeed, have been the alterations in it made since then; but as, through the unripeness of the times, it never had any but imperfect emendations, we may reasonably suppose it capable of still further improvements." Deeming the service appointed for this day as inappropriate, and referring to suggestions that were in his time urged upon public attention for a review of the liturgy, he proceeds to say, "There may be men at work that misrepresent this good design; that proclaim, as formerly, the church's danger; but let no arts like these deceive you; they must be enemies in disguise that do it, or such who have not examined what they object to with sufficient accuracy. What is wished for, your own great Tillotson himself attempted: this truly valuable man, with some others but little inferior to himself, being sensible that the want of a sufficient review drew many members from the church, would have compromised the difference in a way detrimental to no one, beneficial to all; and had he not been opposed by some revengeful zealots, had certainly completed what all good men have wished for."

The Editor of the Every-Day Book has Mr. Watson's private copies of these printed tracts, with manuscript additions and remarks on them by Mr. Watson himself. It should seem from one of these notes, in his own hand-writing, that his opinions were not wholly contemned. Regarding his latter discourse, he observes that "the late Dr. Sharp, archdeacon of Northumberland, in a pamphlet, called 'A Serious Inquiry into the Use and Importance of External Religion;' quotes this sentence "Where unity and peace are disregarded, devotion must be so too, as it were by natural consequences. I have borrowed these words from a sermon preached at Halifax, by John Watson, A. M., which, if any man, who has sixpence to spare, will purchase, peruse, and lay to heart, he will lay out his time and his money very well." Archdeacon Sharp was father of the late Granville Sharp, the distinguished philanthorpist and hebraist.

Mr. Watson was born at Presburg, in Cheshire, and educated at Brazen Nose college, Oxford, where he obtained a fellowship. He wrote a History of Halifax, in 2 vols. 4to., 1775; and a History of the Warren Family, by one of whom he was presented to the rectory of Stockport, where he died, aged 59 years. He also wrote a review of the large Moravian hymn book, and several miscellaneious pieces. There is a portrait of him by Basire.

By those who believe that Charles was "guiltless of his country's blood," and that the guilt "of his blood" is an entail upon the country not yet cut off, it may be remarked as a curious fact, that at about that season, eighty years after the king "bowed his head" on the scaffold at Whitehall, it was "a very sickly time." It is recorded, that in 1733 "people were afflicted this month with a head-ach and fever which very few escaped, and many died of; particularly between Tuesday, the twenty-third, and Tuesday, the thirtieth of January, there died upwards of fifteen hundred in London and Westminster."* [British Chronologist, 177.] On the twenty-third of January, 1649, the king having peremptorily denied the jurisdiction of the court, the president, Bradshaw, "ordered his contempt to be recorded: on the thirtieth of January he was beheaded." During these days, and the intervening ones, the fatal London head-ach prevailed in 1733.

On the second of March, 1772, Mr. Montague moved in the house of commons to have so much of the act of 12th C. II. c. 30, as relates to the ordering the thirtieth of January to be kept as a day of fasting and humiliation, to be repealed. His motive he declared to be, to abolish, as much as he could, any absurdity from church as well as state. He said that he saw great and solid reasons for abolishing the observation of that day, and hoped that it was not too harsh a name to be given to the service for the observation of that day, if he should brand it with the name of impiety, particularly in those parts where Charles I. is likened to our Saviour. On a division, there being for the motion 97, and against it 125, it was lost by a majority of 27.

The Calves-head Club.

On the 30th of January, 1735, certain young noblemen and gentlemen met at a French Tavern in Suffolk-street, (Charing Cross,) under the denomination of the "Calves-head Club." They had an entertainment of calves' heads, some of which they showed to the mob outside, whom they treated with strong beer. In the evening, they caused a bonfire to be made before the door, and threw into it with loud huzzas a calf's-head dressed up in a napkin. They also dipped their napkins in red wine, and waved them from the windows, at the same time drinking toasts publicly. The mob huzzaed as well as "their betters,"—but at length broke the windows, and became so mishievous that the guards were called in to prevent further outrage.* [Gents. Mag. and Brit Chron.]

These proceedings occasioned some verses in the "Grub-street Journal," wherein are the following lines:—

Strange times! when noble peers secure from riot
Cann't keep Noll's annual festival in quiet.
Through sashes broke, dirt, stones and brands thrown at em,
Which, if not scand was brand-alum-magnatum—
Forced to run down to vaults for safer quarters,
And in cole-holes, their ribbons hide and garters.
They thought, their feast in dismal fray thus ending,
Themselves to shades of death and hell descending:
This might have been, had stout Clare-market mobsters
With clevers arm'd, outmarch'd St. James's lobsters;
Numsculls they'd split, to furnish other revels,
And make a calves-head feast for worms and devils.

The Calves-head Club in Suffolk Street, 1734.

The Calves-head Club in Suffolk Street, 1734.

There is a print entitled "The true Effigies of the Members of the Calves-head Club, held on the 30th of January, 1734, in Suffolk Street, in the County of Middlesex." This date is the year before that of the disturbance related, and as regards the company, the health drinking, huzzaing, a calf's head in a napkin, a bonfire, and the mob, the scene is the same; with this addition, that there is a person in a mask with an axe in his hand. The engraving above is from this print.

On a work entitled the "History of the Calves-head Club," little reliance is to be placed for authenticity. It appears, however, that their toasts were of this description: "The pious memory of Oliver Cromwell." "Damn—n to the race of the Stuarts." "The glorious year 1648." "The man in the mask, &c." It will be remembered that the executioner of Charles I. wore a mask.

Oranges and Bells.

A literary hand at Newark is so obliging as to send the communication annexed, for which, in behalf of the reader, the editor offers his sincere thanks.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

Newark, Dec. 10, 1825.

On the 30th of January, the anniversary of king Charles's martyrdom, and on Shrove Tuesday, we have a custom here, which I believe to be singular, having never heard of it elsewhere. On those days, there are several stalls placed in the market-place, (as if for a regular market,) having nothing but oranges: you may purchase them, but it is rarely the case; but you "raffle" for them at least that is their expression. You give the owner a halfpenny, which entitles you to one share; if a penny, to two, and so on; and when there is a sufficient sum, you begin the raffle. A ball nearly round, (about the size of a hen's egg,) yet having twenty-six square sides, each having a number, being one to twenty-six, is given you: (some balls may not have so many, others more, but I never saw them.) You throw the ball down, what I may term, the chimney, (which is so made as to keep turning the balls as it descends,) and it falls on a flat board with a ledge, to keep it from falling off, and when it stops you look at the number. Suppose it was twelve, the owner of the stall uses this expression, "Twelve is the highest, and one gone." Then another throws; if his is a lesser number, they say, "Twelve is the highest, and two gone;" if a higher number, they call accordingly. The highest number takes oranges to the amount of all the money on the board. When they first begin, a halfpenny is put down, then they call "One, and who makes two?" when another is put down, it is "Two, and who makes three?" and so on. At night the practice is kept up at their own houses till late hours; and others go to the inns and public-houses to see what they can do there.

Also every day, at six in the morning, and night, at eight o'clock, we have a bell rung for about a quarter of an hour: it is termed six o'clock and eight o'clock bell. On saint days, Saturdays, and Sundays, the time is altered to seven o'clock in the morning, and to seven o'clock at night, with an additional ringing at one o'clock at noon. Again, at eight o'clock on Sunday morning, all the bells are tolled round for a quarter of an hour.

I have mentioned the above, that, if they come within the notice of the Every-Day Book, you would give them insertion, and, if possible, account for their origin.

Whilst on the subject of "bells," perhaps you can mention how "hand bells came into the church, and for what purpose." We have a set in this church.

I am, &c.
H. H. N. N.

The editor will be glad to receive elucidations of either of these usages.

Accounts of local customs are particularly solicited from readers of the Every-Day Book in every part of the country.

To the notice of this day in the Perennial Calendar, the following stanzas are subjoined by Dr. Forster. They are evident "developments" of phrenological thought.


In a church-yard.

O empty vault of former glory!
   Whate'er thou wert in time of old,
Thy surface tells thy living story,
   Tho' now so hollow, dead, and cold;
For in thy form is yet descried
   The traces left of young desire;
The Painter's art, the Statesman's pride,
   The Muse's song, the Poet's fire;
But these, forsooth, now seem to be
Mere lumps on thy periphery.

Dear Nature, constant in her laws,
   Hath mark'd each mental operation,
She ev'ry feeling's limit draws
   On all the heads throughout the nation,
That there might no deception be;
   And he who kens her tokens well,
Hears tongues which every where agree
   In language that no lies can tell—
Have traces on the skullcap left.

But through all Nature's constancy
   An awful change of form is seen,
Two forms are not which quite agree,
   None is replaced that once hath been;
Endless variety in all,
   From Fly to Man, Creation's pride,
Each shows his proper form—to fall
   Eftsoons in time's o'erwhelming tide,
And mutability goes on
With ceaseless combination.

'Tis thine to teach with magic power
   Those who still bend life's fragile stem,
To suck the sweets of every flower,
   Before the sun shall set to them;
Calm the contending passions dire,
   Which on thy surface I descry,
Like water struggling with the fire
   In combat, which of them shall die;
Thus is the soul in Fury's car,
A type of Hell's intestine war.

Old wall of man's most noble part,
   While now I trace with trembling hand
Thy sentiments, how oft I start,
   Dismay'd at such a jarring band!
Man, with discordant frenzy fraught,
   Seems either madman, fool, or knave;
To try to live is all he's taught—
   To 'scape her foot who nought doth save
In life's proud race;—(unknown our goal)
To strive against a kindred soul.

These various organs show the place
   Where Friendship lov'd, where Passion glow'd,
Where Veneration grew in grace,
   Where justice swayed, where man was proud—
Whence Wit its slippery sallies threw
   On Vanity, thereby defeated;
Where Hope's imaginary view
   Of things to come (fond fool) is seated;
Where Circumspection made us fear,
Mid gleams of joy some danger near.

Here fair Benevolence doth grow
   In forehead high—here Imitation
Adorns the stage, where on the Brow
   Are Sound, and Color's legislation.
Here doth Appropriation try,
   By help of Secrecy, to gain
A store of wealth, against we die,
   For heirs to dissipate again.
Cause and Comparison here show,
   The use of every thing we know.

But here that fiend of fiends doth dwell,
   While Ideality unshaken
By facts or theory, whose spell
   Maddens the soul and fires our beacon.
Whom memory tortures, love deludes,
   Whom circumspection fills with dread,
On every organ he obtrudes,
   Until Destruction o'er his head
Impends; then mad with luckless strife,
He volunteers the loss of life.

And canst thou teach to future man
   The way his evils to repair—
Say, O momento,—of the span
   Of mortal life? For if the care
Of truth to science be not given,
   (From whom no treachery it can sever,)
There's no dependance under heaven
   That error may not reign for ever.
May future heads more learning cull
From thee, when my own head's a skull.

There is a parish game in Scotland, at this season of the year, when the waters are frozen and can bear pracitioners in the diversion. It prevails, likewise, in Northumberland, and other northern parts of south Britain; yet, nowhere, perhaps, is it so federalized as among the descendants of those who "ha' wi' Wallace bled." This sport, called curling, is described by the georgical poet, and will be better apprehended by being related in his numbers: it being premised that the time agreed on, or the appointment for playing it, is called the tryst; the match is called the bonspiel; the boundary marks for the play are called the tees; and the stones used are called coits, or quoits, or coiting, or quoiting-stones.

   Now rival parishes, and shrievedoms, keep,
On upland lochs, the long-expected tryst
To play their yearly bonspiel. Aged men,
Smit with the eagerness of youth, are there,
While love of conquests lights their beamless eyes,
New-nerves their arms, and makes them young once more.

   The sides when ranged, the distance meted out,
And duly traced the tees, some younger hand
Begins, with throbbing heart, and far o'ershoots,
Or sideward leaves, the mark: in vain he bends
His waist, and winds his hand, as if it still
Retained the power to guide the devious stone,
Which, onward hurling, makes the circling groupe
Quick start aside, to shun its reckless force.
But more and still more skilful arms succeed,
And near and nearer still around the tee,
This side, now that, approaches; till at last,
Two, seeming equidistant, straws, or twigs,
Decide as umpires 'tween contending coits.

   Keen, keener still, as life itself were staked,
Kindles the friendly strife: one points the line
To him who, poising, aims and aims again;
Another runs and sweeps where nothing lies.
Success alternately, from side to side,
Changes; and quick the hours un-noted fly,
Till light begins to fail, and deep below,
The player, as he stoops to lift his coit,
Sees, half incredulous, the rising moon.
But now the final, the decisive spell,
Begins; near and more near the sounding stones,
Some winding in, some bearing straight along,
Crowd justly all around the mark, while one,
Just slightly touching, victory depends
Upon the final aim: long swings the stone,
Then with full force, careering furious on,
Rattling it strikes aside both friend and foe,
Maintains its course, and takes the victor's place.
The social meal succeeds, and social glass;
In words the fight renewed is fought again,
While festive mirth forgets the winged hours.—
Some quite betimes the scene, and find that home
Is still the place where genuine pleasure dwells.



Mean Temperature   . . .   36 . 85.

January 31.

King George IV. proclaimed.—Holiday at the Exchequer.


A newspaper of this day,* [New Times] in the year 1821, relates the following anecdote:—

All through Ireland the ceremonial of wakes and funerals is most punctually attended to, and it requires some savoir faire to carry through the arrangement in a masterly manner. A great adept at the business, who had been the prime manager at all the wakes in the neighbourhood for many years, was at last called away from the death-beds of his friends to his own. Shortly before he died he gave minute directions to his people as to the mode of waking him in proper style. "Recollect," says he, "to put three candles at the head of the bed, after you lay me out, and two at the foot, and one at each side. Mind now, and put a plate with the salt on it just a top of my breast. And, do you hear? have plenty of tobacco and pipes enough; and remember to make the punch strong. And—but what the devil is the use of talking to you? sure I know you'll be sure to botch it, as I won't be there myself."

MR. JOHN BULL, an artist, with poetical powers exemplified in the first volume* [P. 299.] [link] by a citation from his poem entitled "The Museum," which deserves to be better known, favours the Every-Day Book with the following original lines. the conflict between the cross and the crescent, renders the communication peculiarly interesting to those who indulge a hope that the struggle will terminate in the liberation of Greece from "worse than Egyptian bondage."


By Mr. John Bull.

Arch of peace! the firmament
   Hath not a form more fair
Than thine, thus beautifully bent
   Upon the lighten'd air.

Well might the wondrous bards of yore
   Of thee so sweetly sing;
Thy fair foot on their lovely shore
   Returning with the spring!

An angel's form to thee they gave,
   Celestial feign'd thy birth,
Saw thee now span the light green wave,
   And now the greener earth.

Yet then, where'er thy smile was seen,
   On land, or billowy main,
Thou seem'd to watch, with look serene,
   O'er Freedom's glorious reign.

Thy brilliant arch, around the sky,
   The nurse of hope appear'd,
Sweet as the light of liberty,
   Wherewith their souls were cheer'd!

But ah! if thou, when Greece was young,
   Didst visit realms above;
Go and return, as minstrels sung
   A messenger of love:

What tale, in heaven, hast thou to tell,
   Of tyrants and their slaves—
Despots, and soul-bound men that dwell
   Without their fathers' graves!

Oh! when they see thy beauteous bow,
   Surround their ancient skies,
Do not the Grecian warriors know,
   'Tis then their hour to rise?

Let them unsheath the daring sword,
   And, pointing up to thee,
Speak to their men, one fiery word,
   And march to set them free[.]

Upon thine arch of hope they'd glance,
   And say, "The storm is o'er!
"The clouds are breaking off—advance,
   ["]We will be slaves no more!"

The "Mirror of the Months" represents of the coming month, that:—

"Now the Christmas holidays are over, and all the snow in Russia could not make the first Monday in this month look any other than black, in the home-loving eyes of little schoolboys; and the streets of London are once more evacuated of happy wondering faces, that look any way but straight before them; and sobs are heard, and sorrowful faces seen to issue from sundry post-chaises that carry sixteen inside, exclusive of cakes and boxes; and theatres are no longer conscious of unconscious éclats de rire, but the whole audience is like Mr. Wordsworth's cloud, "which moveth altogether, if it move at all."

In the gardens of our habitations, and the immense tracts that provide great cities with the products of the earth, the cultivator seizes the first opportunity to prepare and dress the bosom of our common mother. "Hard frosts, if they come at all, are followed by sudden thaws; and now, therefore, if ever, the mysterious old song of our school days stands a chance of being verified, which sings of

'Three children sliding on the ice,
All on a summers day!'

Now the labour of the husbandman recommences; and it is pleasant to watch (from your library-window) the plough-team moving almost imperceptibly along, upon the distant upland that the bare trees have disclosed to you.—Nature is as busy as ever, if not openly and obviously, secretly, and in the hearts of her sweet subjects the flowers; stirring them up to that rich rivalry of beauty which is to greet the first footsteps of spring, and teaching them to prepare themselves for her advent, as young maidens prepare, months before hand, for the marriage festival of some dear friend.—If the flowers think and feel (and he who dares to say that they do not is either a fool or a philosopher—let him choose between the imputations!)—if the flowers think and feel, what a commotion must be working within their silent hearts, when the pinions of winter begin to grow, and indicate that he is at least meditating his flight! Then do they, too, begin to meditate on May-day, and think on the delight with which they shall once more breathe the fresh air, when they have leave to escape from their subterranean prisons: for now, toward the latter end of this month, they are all of them at least awake from their winter slumbers, and most are busily working at their gay toilets, and weaving their fantastic robes, and shaping their trim forms, and distilling their rich essences, and, in short, getting ready in all things, that they may be duly prepared to join the bright procession of beauty that is to greet and glorify the annual coming on of their sovereign lady, the spring. It is true none of all this can be seen. But what a race should we be, if we knew and cared to know of nothing, but what we can see and prove!"* [Mirror of the Months.]


Mean Temperature   . . .   39 . 35.