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great celebrity by giving various imitations of birds, &c., which he would very readily do after collecting a sufficient sum “to clear his pipe,” as he used to say. He then began with the nightingale, which he imitated very successfully, then followed the blackbird-linnet—goldfinch—robin—geese and ducks on a rainy morning–turkies, &c. &c. Then, perhaps, after collecting some more money “to clear his pipe,” he would imitate a jackass, or a cow. His excellent imitation of the crow of a cock strongly affected the risible muscles of his auditors. The amusements last till near midnight, when the rustics, being exhilarated with the effects of good strong Wiltshire ale, generally part after a few glorious battles. The next day several champions enter the field to contest the right to several prizes, which are laid out in the following order:— 1st. A new smock. 2nd. A new hat with a blue cockade. 3rd. An inferior hat with a white cockade. 4th. A still inferior hat without a cockade. A stage is erected on the green, and at five o'clock the sport commences; and a very celebrated personage, whom they call their umpshire, (umpire,) stands high above the rest to award the prizes. e candidates are generally selected from the best players at singlestick, and on this occasion they use their utmost skill and ingenuity, and are highly applauded by the surrounding spectators. I must not forget to remark that on this grand, and to them, interesting day, the inhabitants of Purton do not combat against each other. No-believe me, sir, they are better acquainted with the laws of chivalry. Purton produces four candidates, and a small village adjoining, called Stretton, sends forth four more. These candidates are representatives of the villages to which i. respectively belong, and they who lose have to pay all the expenses of the day; but it is to the credit of the sons of Purton I record, that for seven successive years their candidates have been returned the victors. The contest generally lasts two hours, and, after that, the ceremony of chairing the representatives takes place, which is thus performed :—Four chairs made with the boughs of trees are in waiting, and the conquerors are placed therein and carried through the village with every possible demonstration of joy,
the inhabitants shouting “Purton for ever! huzza! my boys, huzza!” and waving boughs over their triumphant candidates. After the chairing they adjourn to the village public-house, and spend the remainder of the evening as before. The third day is likewise a day of bustle and confusion. . All repair to a small common, called the cricket ground, and a grand match takes place between the Purton club and the Stretton club; there are about twenty candidates of a side. The vanquished parties pay a shilling each to defray the expense of a cold collation, which is previously provided in a pleasant little copse adjoining the cricket-ground, and the remainder of the day is spent convivially. I remember hearing the landlord of the public-house at Purton, (which is situated on one side of the green,) observe to a villager, that during the three days' merriment he had sold six thousand gallons of strong beer and ale; the man of course doubted him, and afterwards very sarcastically remarked to me, “It’s just as asy, measter, for he to zay zix thousand gallons as dree thousand 1" Does not this, good Mr. Editor, show a little genuine Purton wit? I have now, my dear sir, finished, and have endeavoured to describe three pleasant days spent in an innocent and happy manner; and if I have succeeded in affording you any service, or your readers any an usement, I am amply rewarded. Allow me to add I feel such an affection for old Purton, that should I at any time in my life visit Wiltshire, I would travel twenty miles out of my road to ramble once more in the haunts of my boyhood. Believe me, my dear Sir, Yours very *}. August, 18, 1826. 2.
P. S. Since writing the above I have received a letter from a very particular friend who went to Purton school five years, to whom I applied for a few extra Fo respecting the fair, &c., and e thus writes, “Dear C. You seem to think that with the name I still retain all the characteristics and predilections of a hodge ; and therefore you seek to me for information respecting the backswordplaying, fair, &c. Know that as to the first, it is (and has been for the last two years) entirely done away with, as the principal ‘farmers’ in the place “done like it, and so don't suffer it. As to the fair, where lads and lasses meet in their best gowns, and ribands, and clean smocks, you must know, most assuredly, more of it than I do, as Iseldom troubled about it. You must bear in mind that this fair is exactly the same as that held in the month of May, but as no notice has been taken of it by Mr. Hone in either of his volumes, I suppose it very little matters whether your description is of the fair held in May or September.” I have to lament, my dear sir, the discontinuance of the ancient custom of backswording at Purton village; but so
long as they keep up their fairs, the other loss will not be so much felt. C. T.
August 30, 1826. I forgot to mention in my particulars of Purton-fair, that Old Corey, and the other celebrated worthies, only come to the September fair, as the May fair is disregarded by them, it being a fair principally for the sale of cattle, &c. and the September fair is entirely devoted to pleasure. Perhaps you can introduce this small piece of intelligence, together with the following
doggrel song written for the “o:
to the worthy AND RESPECTABLE IN habitanTs of PURTox,
This song is most respectfully inscribed,
By their ever true and devoted humble servant,
* * Ch ARLEs ToM LINSox.
There's the brave lads of Purton at backsword so clever,
'Tis “Old Corey Dyne,” who wisely declares,
“Old Corey's" the merriest blade in the fair,
But—here ends my song, so let's haste to the green,
NATURALists' cAl ENDAR.
A ToTAL Eclipse IN CALIGRAPHY. To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Sir, As a subscriber to your highly entertaining work, I take the liberty of sending you the following.
In the first volume of the Every-Day Book, page 1086, I found an account of some small writing, executed by Peter Bales, which Mr. D'Israeli presumed to have been the whole bible written so small, that it might be put in an English walnut no bigger than a hen's egg. “The nut holdeth the book; there are as many leaves in this little book as in the great bible, and as much written in one of the little leaves, as a great leaf of the bible.”—There is likewise an account in the same pages of the “Iliad” having been written so small that it might be put in a nut-shell; which is nothing near so much as the above.
I have lately seen written within the compass of a new penny piece, with the naked eye, and with a common clarified pen, the lord's prayer, the creed, the ten commandments, the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth collects after Trinity, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c., the name of the writer, place of abode, nearest market town, county, day of the month and date of the year, all in words at length, and with the whole of the capital letters and stops belonging thereto, the commandments being all numbered. It was written by, and is in the possession of, Mr. John Parker of Wingerworth, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire: the writing bears date September 10, 1823. This piece of writing, I find, upon calculation, to be considerably smaller than either of the before-mentioned pieces. My calculation is as follows:—
A moderate sized egg will hold a book one inch and three quarters by one inch and three-eighths. Bibles have from about sixty to eighty lines in a column; I have not seen more. In this ingenious display of fine penmanship, there are eighty lines in one inch, and two half-eighths of an inch, which in one inch and three quarters, (the length of the bible,) is one hundred and six lines, which would contain one-third more matter than the bibles with eighty lines in a column; and one line of this writing, one inch and two-half eighths of an inch in length, (which is the sixteenth of an inch less in bread than the small bible,) is equal to two lines from one column of the great bible—for example.
Isaiah. Chap. xxiv.–Two lines of verse 20, the bible having seventy-nine lines in a column :“and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again.” Ezekiel, Chap. xxx-Two lines of verse 12, the bible having sixty-three lines in a column:— “and I will make the Land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers.” One line of Mr. Parker's writing being part of the seventh collect after Trinity:—
“good things; graft in our hearts the love of thy name, increase in us true religion, now”—
Another line being part of the ninth and tenth commandments:— “false witness against thy neighbour. 10.Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house."—
Mr. Parker very obligingly submits his writing to the inspection of the curious, and would execute one similar for a pro. per reward. If this account ...if be thought worthy of a place in your “EveryPay Book,” I shall feel much obliged by its insertion, and will endeavour to send you something amusing respecting the customs, pastimes, and amusements of this part of Derbyshire.
I am, Sir,
Lings, near Chesterfield,
August, 30, 1826.
* Annual Register.
$årom 33rotum, the Burbam port.
A Latin line beneath his name
- Imagined it a fit proceeding
MR. John Sykes, bookseller, Johnson'shead, Newcastle, in the “Local Records, or Historical Register of Remarkable Events,” which, in 1824, he compiled into a very interesting octavo volume, inserts the death, with some account of the “life, character, and behaviour,” of the selfcelebrated poet-laureate of Durham, whose portrait adorns this page . He has not been registered here under the day of his decease according to Mr. Syke's obit, but
it is not fitting as regards this work, that Brown should die for ever, and therefore, from a gentleman who knew him, the reader will please to accept the following
MEMoIR of JAMEs BRowN.
This curious personage was well known for a long series of years to the inhabitants of Northumberland and Durham, and we believe few men have figured on