« AnteriorContinuar »
obtained me a pension of sevenpence a.day, which, together with my fourpence from Greenwich, brought me within a penny of the shilling; and, as my wife was still alive, I betook me once more to Wassall, where for some time we lived in tolerable comfort. But it was God's will to separate us in 1825, and I became after her decease a homeless mun. Under these circumstances, I applied for admission into the Hospital,--and here I am.
RETIRING FROM BUSINESS: A BARGAIN.
Poor Love growing old, sent a message to Wealth
A friendly one though, by the by;
Began, like his business, to die.
I'm weary of dealing in hearts:
I'll sell them en gros or in parts.
The material is all of the best;
They've not had a chance like the rest !
I laid in a various supply,
To fetch cent. per cent. by and by !"
Says Wealth, in response, “ My dear Love, for your sake
The proposal I gladly will meet.
So send them per bearer tout-de-suite !"
Let them e'en of their kinds be the worst,
J. A. Wade. VOL. IV.
“St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in the fourth century, was a saint of great virtue, and disposed so early in life to conform to ecclesiastical rule, that when an infant at the breast he fasted on Wednesday and Friday, and sucked but once on each of those days, and that towards night.* An Asiatic gentleman sending his two sons to Athens for education, ordered them to wait on the bishop for his benediction. On arriving at Myra with their baggage, they took up their lodging at an inn, purposing, as it was late in the day, to defer their visit till the morrow; but in the meantime the innkeeper, to secure their effects to himself, killed the young gentlemen, cut them into pieces, salted them, and intended to sell them for pickled pork. St. Nicholas, being favoured with a sight of these proceedings in a vision, went to the inn and reproached the cruel landlord for his crime, who immediately confessing it, entreated the saint to pray to Heaven for his pardon. The bishop, moved by his confession and contrition, besought forgiveness for him, and supplicated restoration of life to the children. He had scarcely finished when the pieces re. united, and the animated youths threw themselves from the brine-tub at the bishop's feet. He raised them up, exhorted them to return ihanks to God alone, gave them good advice for the future, bestowed his blessing upon them, and sent them to Athens with great joy to prosecute their studies.
St. Nicholas was the patron of scholars and of youth, of sailors, and of the company of parish clerks of London. He was called the Child Bishop, on account of the strictness with which he fasted when an infant at the breast. Formerly, in all our cathedrals, his anniversary, the 6th of December, was thus celebrated: A boy to represent the boy bishop was elected from among the choristers. He was invested with great authority, and had the state of a diocesan bishop from the time of his election until Innocents' Day (the 28th of the same month). He was to bear the name and maintain the state of a bishop, habited with a crosier or pastoral-staff in his hand, and a mitre on his head. His fellows, the rest of the children of the choir, were to take upon them the style and office of prebendaries, and yield the bishop canonical obedience; and further, the same service as the very bishop himself, with his dean and prebendaries, had thus been used to officiate, were to have performed, the very same, mass excepted, was done by the chorister and his canons upon the eve and holiday. It further appears that this infant bishop did, to a certain limit, receive to his own use rents, capons, and other emoluments of the church. In case the little bishop died within the
* Ribandineira, vol. ii. p. 503.
TALES AND LEGENDS OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT.
mouth, his exequies were solemnized with great pomp, and he was interred, like other bishops, with all his ornaments. There is still to be seen in the cathedral at Salisbury a monument erected to one of these boy bishops. On the stone is sculptured the figure of a child clad in the episcopal habits. It has sorely puzzled many respectable antiquaries.
- St. Nicholas was also considered to be the patron of maidens. In many convents it is said that he used to come in the night of the eve of his teast-day and fill the nuns' stockings with sugar-plums whilst they were asleep."
"Pray what is the latest date at which these boy bishops made their appearance ?" asked the tutor; “ for the ceremony seems very extraordinary."
· Queen Elizabeth finally put an end to it. But it is not near so extraordinary as the Feast of Fools, ! hat was annually celebrated in the neighbouring abbey of Quarr, or Quarraria. Upon New-year's. day they elected a Fool Abbot, who was dressed out in imitation of the real abbot. He was attended by his proper officers, ridiculously habited. One of the ceremonies was to shave the precentor of fools upon a stage erected before the chapel, in the presence of the people, who were amused during the operation by his loose and vulgar discourses, accompanied by actions equally reprehensible.
“ They afterwards entered the chapel, and performed the service, attended by every species of buffoonery; some wearing masks repre. senting monsters, or with their faces smutted or chalked ; some personating females, and conducting themselves indecorously. During divine service they sang indecent songs in the choir, ate rich pud. dings upon the altar, and burnt old shoes for incense, and ran jumping all over the chapel. The Abbot of Fools performed the service habited in pontifical garments, and gave his benediction. The mass, however, was composed for the occasion, and was called the Fool's Prose.
“ These abominable and impious ceremonies were probably ori. ginally instituted with a view to Christianise the Bacchanalia and Saturnalia. They were called the December Liberties.”
“Pray, sir, who was this King Stuff, sole monarch of the Isle of Wight, that you spoke of just now ?” asked the tutor.
• Never heard of King Stuff ?" said the antiquary. “Why, Mr. Elder informed me that you were a Master of Arts, and had taken first-class honours at Oxford. You must at least have read of Stuff and Witgar in the Saxon Chronicles ?”
“ I never heard of the Saxon Chronicles," was the reply.
“ Never heard of the Saxon Chronicles !” said the antiquary, lifting up his hands in astonishment. Perhaps you never heard of King Alfred ?"
“I read about him at school ; but I never troubled myself about the history of England after I got to the University. A man may take every degree that Oxford confers without even having heard of William the Conqueror. But I can tell you all about Jupiter, and Mars, and Venus; and I could give you a very correct account of the lives and the amours of the heathen gods and god. desses, all which it was absolutely necessary for me to learn ; besides which-."
“But am I to understand, then, that the study of the language and the history of England is totally neglected ?"
“Oh no,—not the language certainly. We study diligently the Greek and Latin languages, from which our English tongue is derived."
The antiquary puffed out both his cheeks, and gave a very long peculiar whistle, to the utter astonishment of all of us, of me not the least, for I had never heard the old gentleman whistle before. I had no idea that he knew how to whistle. The two undergraduates, convulsed with laughter, dropped behind to enjoy their laugh more at their ease. The tutor and myself looked at one another, and con. trived to keep our countenance. After a long pause, the antiquary said,
“And so you think that the English tongue is derived from the Greek and Latin? Pray, young man,” said he, addressing one of the Oxonians, “what do you consider the Latin word homo to be derived from ?"
Quasi ex humo," was the reply. •Right,” said the tutor.
“Quasi ex fiddlestick !" said the antiquary. “ Homo is derived from the English word man, or at least from the Gothic, which is only an old form of the English." The tutor smiled, and arched up his eyebrows. The antiquary continued—“Homo, like most of the common words in every language, has been much corrupted and, as it were, worn by use. We meet with the root, however, in the ge. nitive case hominis. The adjective humanus is, however, quite clear. Hu-man signifies the good man."
“ Eu, certainly does mean good," said the tutor. “ In Greek," added one of the younger ones.
Signifies good !—to be sure it does,” said the antiquary; “ what is more, it is derived from the word good.” The tutor's eyebrows went up again The antiquary went on——“G and y were formerly pronounced alike; so that good is that which yoo'd, or made good. It is a regular participle-past, though the rest of the verb is ob. solete.” “I do not quite follow your meaning," said the tutor. Well, then,'
," said the antiquary, “what is the meaning of the word humanus? It means—like the action of a good man. Inhu. manus means—unlike the action of a good man. Now let us leave out the hu, and see what becomes of it. Immanis means monstrous, or unlike the action of a man at all.”
“ This is very curious, it must be confessed,” replied the tutor, who was completely puzzled by this display of learning. “But you forgot to tell me who this King Stuff was.
King Stuff,” replied the antiquary, “was the nephew of Cerdic, King of the West Saxons, who was the son of Elesa, who was the son of Esla, who was the son of Gewis, the son of Wye, the son of Frewin, the son of Frithgar, the son of Brand, the son of Balday, the son of Woden."
“ Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said the tutor, fearing that the antiquary was only stopping to take breath before he carried the pedigree up to Adam.
Here ragged Jack impudently put in his word in support of his patron—“I can assure you, sir, that he came of a very respectable family.”
But the antiquary reproved him with dignity, saying, “ Jack, you can know nothing about it.
“ And pray, Mr. Winterblossom, who succeeded King Stuff in his island kingdom ?"
“ There is very little known of the history of the island after that time till the invasion of Wulf here, about which there is a very pleasant history still remaining."
“ We should consider ourselves under great obligations to you, if you would favour us with it.'
“ I shall have great pleasure in doing so."
WULFHERE THE KIND-HEARTED.
"* In the year 661, Wulf here, the son of Penda, invaded the Isle of Wight. 'He penetrated with his ships up the lake of Brerding, (now called Brading Haven,) and seized upon the town of Woolver. ton, to which he did no injury; for he came to free the inhabitants from the cruelties of Sebert, who reigned over them, and to cause the Christian truths to be preached to the Jutes,* who then dwelt in the Isle of Wight. But the Jutes, when they saw the Angles under Wulf here land and take possession of their town by force of arms, would not trust to their offers of friendship; but they assembled on the hills around, under the banners of Sebert, and descending like a storm from the mountain, fell upon the army of Wulf here; and Redwald, surpamed the Bold, with twenty followers, penetrated to where the chief of the Angles fought in person. But as they lifted their spears to throw them, Wulf here said, "Before our blood flows, let me speak one word. I come not here for conquest, or to destroy the lives of the Jutes, but to free them from the cruelties of Sebert.' Then Redwald the Bold answered, · The Jutes trust not to the Angles when they come in arms and wet their spears in our blood.' Balday threw his spear, but Wulf here avoided it; and the spear of Wulf here struck the shield of Redwald, but did him no injury. But the Angles were in great power, and the Jutes were driven back to their hills. Many, indeed, fled early in the day, for they loved not their leader Sebert.
“ Wulf here crossed the river Yar, and rested at Brerding. † Here he built a Christian church, and Eoppa, a mass-priest, who came with him, consecrated it, and stood ready to baptize the Pagan Jutes.
“ After which Wulf here pursued Sebert, and burned his castle of Witgarisberig † Afterwards they met in battle, and Sebert was slain; but Redwald still held them at bay. He was left almost alone, and the
* Jutis,-Bede, Hist. Eccles. vol. i. p. 15,-not Vitis, as Gibson quotes him. The Goths, Jutes, and Getæ were the same people; whence the peninsula of Jutland, as well as the isle of Gothland, is called Gotland by King Ålfred in the periplus of Oht-here. From Jutna.cynn, Jeatna-kym, come Jenkyn, Jenkyns, Jen. kins, &c., facts highly interesting to a number of persons at present inhabiting the principality of Wales. † Brading