Imágenes de páginas

Pronounced with honest warmth. In village, ijraiijie,
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.


9anuarp 1.

The Saints of the Roman calendar! and martyrologiet.

So fir 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,

^cto gear's Bap.

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," ana 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 mutt 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 vropose to be better, is something; if uothing else, it is an acknowledgment 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 t 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 ix of the new year.—" Hail! to thee, Jaku Ahy!—all hail! cold and wintry as thou art, if it be but in virtue of thy first day. The Oay, 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 nave, of late, become yours almost exclusively, and which have bettered you, and have been bettered themselves, by the change. Christmay-day, which teat; New-year'sday, which it; and Twelfth-day, which it 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 visiting.), and greetings, and gifts, and "many happy returns'—with their plumpuddings, and mince-pies, and twelfthcakes, and neguses—with their forfeits, and fortune-tellings, and blindraan's-bufis, 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 tht having.''*

[merged small][graphic][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

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 chimneypiece, 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

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 bad 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

our hardy ancestors, who, on the vigil of wass-heil; he in return, by the help of an the new year, never failed (says my interpreter, answered, Drinc heile; and, author) to assemble round the glowing if we may credit Robert of Gloster,

ftugtt hire ant iittt tyvt aomme ant glat ttronhe hire heil
9ntl that toatf tijo in tijtS larrtl the berst toa^fjatl
2fa in language of j&ajomu tjhat toe might efctre itoite
antr £fo bull i)t paid) the tolt about, that he ii nut borgutt.

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 Drinc-hail were the usual phrases of quaffing amongst (lie 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 Juilt by one of their name, and had been I) 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 cider at their Wassells. Saxon words at the extremities of the beam are already explained; and the ssatk 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 j

Our jolly Wassel.
Good Dame, here at your door

Our Wassel we begin,
We are all maidens poor,

We pray now let ns 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 Want).

But here they let ua stand

All freezing in the cold;
Good master, give command,

To enter and be bold,

With our WasseL

Much joy into this hall

With ns 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 bur no house nor lands

Willi that which we do gain,

With our Wassel.

This is onr 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 hare 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 yuletide 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 gels 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 destaging. 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 consumes 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 1 hip 1 hip 1" 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 letterwriting, no printing, no engraving, no bending over the desk, no " wasting of the midnight oil" and the 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 fiaggon usually of silver having a handle on each side, by which he holds it with each hand, and the toastmaster announces him as drinking " the health of his brethren out of the ' loving cup.' The loving cup, which is the ancient wauail-botel, is then passed to the guest on his left hand, and by him to hit left-hand neighbour, and as it finds its way round the rtvm to each guest in his

turn, so each stands up and drinks to the The subsequent song is sung in Oloc president "out of the loving cup." cestershire on New-yearS eye :—

Wassail! Wassail! ovei 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 • • • * *, and to his right ear,
God send our maister a happy New Year;
A happy New Year as e'er he did see—
With ray Wassailing bowl I drink to thee.

Here's to * • • *, f and to his right eye,
God send our mistress a good Christmas pie:
A good Christmas pie as e'er I did see—
With my Wassailing bowl I drink to thee.

Here's to Filpail, J 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.

3}fjfrm("mn rous Celts and Gauls had to contend with

„-... • c „.i„^i' „,«„,.;„„ the many obstacles which their ignorance

Of this usage in Scotland, comraenang su'er9tition preserited, it is very

on New-year s eve, there was not room in bableFthat the cf when they ^

the last sheet of the former volume, torn- P f h J rf

cludethefollowmginterestrngcommuraca- endeavoyur> M far a/plss.ble, to

tion. It is, here, not out o pi ace, because something of a christian

in fact, the usage runs into the morning ^. and rf ^ turn which many heathen

ot the new xear. ceremonies thus received, abundant in

Daft Dats.Hoomany. stances are afforded in the Romish

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. ch"Lch- , , „ .

The performance of religious Mtsts

_ S,r> , .. .. Rif.s, which continued for a long period,

The annexed account contains, I believe, Kena tQ have been acc0mpanied w;th

the first notice of the acting in our Daft much licentiousness, and undoubtedly

Day: I have put it hurriedly together, waj ftedthe stock of ob.

but, if of use, it is at your service. servances. — ft was discovered, how

I am, Sir, &c. eTe that the purity 0f the christian reli.

r.,.,n L J^oL °°D reddock- gion could not tolerate them, and the)

ralkirk, December, 1825. were succee(ied by the Moralities, the

During the early ages of Christianity, subjects of which were either historical, or

when its promulgation among the barba- some existing abuse, that it was wished

* fht lumi of iom« horst. Th» name of another hnfM. j The Imiik ul a "»w

« AnteriorContinuar »