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keep them from the gallows. The remark is just. If there be not room in our prayer-book, we have some services there which might better be dispensed with. It was not very decent in the late abolition of holydays, to let the two Charleses hold their place, when the Virgin Mary, and the saints were deprived of the red letter privileges. If we are to have any state service, it ought to be for the expulsion of the Stuarts. There is no other part of their history which England ought to remember with sorrow and shame. Guy Faux also might now be dismissed, though the Eye of Providence would be a real loss. The Roman catholics know the effect of such prints as these, and there can be no good reason for not imitating them in this instance. I would have no prayer-book published without that eye of Providence in it.”
PURTON Bonfire. To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Dear Sir, At almost every village in England, the fifth of November is regarded in a very especial manner. Some F. greater attention to it than others, but believe it is invariably noticed by all. I have been present at Old Purton bonfire, and perhaps the following short notice of it may not be uninteresting. I before stated (col. 1207) that the green, or close, at Purton, is the spot allotted for amusements in general. This is also the place for the ceremonies on this highly important day, which I am about to describe. Several weeks before, the boys of the village go to every house begging faggots; and if they are refused they all answer together—
If you don't give us one
The better for us, sir,
They were once refused by a farmer, (who was very much disliked by the poor for his severity and unkindness,) and accordingly they determined to make him repent. He kept a sharp look out over his faggot pile, §: forgot that something else might be stolen. The boys got into his backyard and extracted a new pump, which had not been properly i.J. and bore it off in triumph to the green, where it
was burnt amidst the loud acclamations of the young rogues generally. All the wood, &c. which has been previously collected, is brought into the middle of the close where the effigy of poor Guy is burnt. A figure is made (similar to one of those carried about London streets,) intending to represent the conspirator, and placed at the top of a high pole, with the fuel all around. Previous to lighting it, poor Guy is shot at by all who have the happiness to possess guns for the purpose, and so with squibs, crackers, &c. This fun continues about an hour, and then the pile is lighted, the place echoes with huzzas, guns keep up perpetual reports, fireworks are flying in all directions, and the village bells merrily ring. The fire is kept up a considerable time, and it is a usual custom for a large piece of “real Wiltshire bacon” to be dressed by it, which is taken to the publichouse, together with potatoes roasted in the ashes of the bonfire, and a jovial repast is made. As the fire decreases, successive quantities of potatoes are dressed in the embers by the rustics, who seem to regard them as the great delicacies of the night. There is no restraint put on the loyal zeal of these good folks, and the fire is maintained to a late hour. I remember, on one occasion, hearing the guns firing as I lay in bed between two and three o'clock in the morning. The public-house is kept open nearly all night. Ale flows plentifully, and it is not spared by the revellers. They have a noisy chorus, which is intended as a toast to his majesty: it runs thus:– My brave lads remember The fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot, We will drink, smoke, and sing, boys, And our bells they shall ring, boys, And here's health to our king, boys, For he shall not be forgot. Their merriment continues till morning, when they generally retire to rest very much inebriated, or, as they term it, “merry,” or “top heavy.” I hope to have the pleasure of reading other communications in your interesting work on this good old English custom; and beg to remain, Dear Sir, &c. C. T. October 20, 1826.
If the collections formerly published as
England calendar and almanacs, from his ancient popularity in Romish times. He is the titular saint of many of our great churches, and was particularly invoked in behalf of prisoners.
A list of holydays published at Worcester, in 1240, ordains St. Leonard's festival to be kept a half-holyday, enjoins the hearing of mass, and prohibits all labour except that of the plough.
St. Leonard was a French nobleman in the court of Clovis I., where he was converted by St. Remigius, or Remy; became a monk, built an oratory for himself in a forest at Nobilac, near Limoges, lived on herbs and fruits, and formed a community, which after his deathi was a flourishing monastery under the name of St. Leonard le Noblat. He was remarkable for charity towards captives and prisoners, and died about 559, with the reputation of having worked miracles in their behalf.”
* Alban. Butler.
The legend of St. Leonard relates that there was no water within a mile of his monastery, “wherfore he did do make a pyt all drye, the which he fylled with water by his prayers—and he shone there by so grete myracles, that who that was in prison, and called his name in ayde, anone his bondes and fetters were broken, and went awaye without ony gaynsayenge frely, and came presentyng to hym theyr chaynes or yrens.”
It is particularly related that one of St. Leonard's converts “was taken of a tyraunt,” which tyrant, considering by whom his prisoner was protected, determined so to secure him against Leonard, as to “make hym paye for his raunsom a thousand shyllynges." Therefore, said the tyrant, “I shall go make a ryght grete and depe pyt vnder the erth in my toure, and I shall cast hym therin bounden with many bondes; and I shal do make a chest of tree vpon the mouth of the pyt, and shall make my knyghtes to lye therin all armed; and how be it that yf Leonarde breke the yrons, yet shall he not entre into it vnder the erth.” Having done as he said, the prisoner called on St. Leonard, who at night “came and turned the chest wherein the knyghtes laye armed, and closed them therein, lyke as deed men ben in a tombe, and after entred into the pyt with grete lyght,” and he ... to the prisoner, from whom the chains fell off, and he “toke hym in his armes and bare hym out of the toure— and sette nym at home in his hous.” And other great marvels are told of St. Leonard as true as this.”
The miracles wrought by St. Leonard in releasing prisoners continued after his death, but at this time the saint has ceased from interposing in their behalf even on his festival; which, being the first day of Michaelmas term, and therefore the day whereon writs issued since the Trinity term are made returnable, would be a convenient season for the saint's interpoSition. This day the long vocation o'er, And lawyers go to work once more; With their materials all provided, That they may have the cause decided. The plaintiff he brings in his bill, He'll have his cause, cost what it will ; Till afterwards comes the defendant, And is resolved to make an end on't.
* Golden Legend.
And having got all things in fitness,
On the 7th day of November, 1665, the first “Gazette” in England was published at Oxford; the court being there at that time, on account of the plague. On the removal of the court to London, the title was changed to the “London Gazette.” The “Oxford Gazette" was published on Tuesdays, the London on Saturdays: and these have continued to be the days of publication ever since.
The word gazette originally meant a newspaper, or printed account of the transactions of all the countries in the known world, in a loose sheet or half sheet; but the term is with us confined to that paper of news now published by authority. It derived its name from gazetta, a kind of small coin formerly current at Venice, which was the usual price of the first newspaper printed there.”
In the subjoined humorous account of a former civic procession and festival, there are some |. which do not belong to the present celebrations.
Lond MAYor’s DAY, 1773.
To describe the adventures and incidents of this important day in the city annals, it is very necessary to revert to the preceding evening. It is not now as it was formerly—
“That sober citizens get drunk by nine.”
Had Pope lived in the auspicious reign of George III., he would have indulged us at least two hours, and found a rhyme for eleven.
On the evening of the 8th of November, the stands of several livery companies clogged the passage of Cheapside and the adjacent streets. The night was passed in erecting the temporary sheds, sacred to city mirth, ruby gills, and round paunches. The earliest dawn of the morning witnessed the industry of the scavengers; and the broom-maker was, for once, the first patriot in the city.
This service done, repair we to Guildhall.
At five in the morning the spits groaned beneath the ponderous sirloins. These, numerous as large, proved that the “roast beef of Old England" is still thonght an ornament to our tables. The chandeliers in the hall were twelve in number, each provided with forty-eight wax candles; exclusive of which there were three large glass lamps, two globular lamps under the giants, and wax candles in girandoles. Hustings were raised at each end of the hall for the accommodation of the superior.
company, and tables laid through the centre for persons of lower rank. One advantage arose from the elevation at the west end of the hall, for the inscription under Beckford's statue was thereby rendered perfectly legible. Tables were spread in the court of king's-bench, which was provided with one chandelier of forty-eight candles. All the seats were either matted, hung with tapestry, or covered with crimson cloth, and the whole made a very noble appearance. By eleven o'clock the windows from Blackfriars-bridge, to the north end of King street, began to exhibit such a number of angelic faces, as would tempt a man to wish for the honour of chief magistracy, if it were only to be looked at by so many fine eyes. There was scarce a house that could not boast a Venus for its tenant. At fifteen minutes past ten the common serjeant entered Guildhall, and in a few minutes the new lord-mayor, receded by four footmen in elegant F. of brown and gold, was brought into the hall in a superb sedan chair. Next came alderman Plomer, and then the recorder, who was so mnch afflicted with the gout, that it required the full exertion of his servant's strength to support him. Mr. Alderman Thomas arrived soon after, then the two sheriffs, and lastly Mr. Crosby. There being no other alderman, Mr. Peckham could not be sworn into his office. At twenty minutes ast eleven the lord mayor left the hall, o: preceded by the city sword and mace, and followed by the alderman and sheriffs. The breakfast in the council chamber, at Guildhall, consisted of six sirloins of beef, twelve tureens of soup, mulled wines, pastry, &c. The late lord-mayor waited at the end of Kingstreet to join the procession. As soon as his carriage moved, the mob began to groan and hiss, on which he burst into so immoderate a fit of laughter, evidently unforced, that the mob joined in one laughing chorus, and seemed to wonder what they had hissed at. The procession by water was as usual, but rather tedious, as the tide was contrary. The ceremonies at Westminsterhall being gone through in the customary manner, the company returned by water to Blackfriars-bridge, where the lordmayor landed at about three o'clock, and proceeded in solemn state to Guildhall, where the tables groaned beneath the weight of solids and dainties of every kind in season: the dishes of pastry, &c. were elegantly adorned with flowers of various sorts interspersed with bay-leaves; and many an honest freeman got a nose-gay at the city expense. A superb piece of confectionary was placed on the lordmayor's table, and the whole entertainment was splendid and magnificent. During the absence of the lord-mayor, such of the city companies as have not barges paraded the streets in the accustomed
manner; and the man in armour exhibited to the delight of the little masters and misses, and the astonishment of many a gaping rustic. The lord-mayor appeared to be in good health and spirits, and to enjoy the applausive shouts of his fellowcitizens, probably from a consciousness of having deserved them. Mr. Gates, the city marshal, was as fine as powder and ribbons and gold could make him; his horse, too, was almost as fine, and nearly as stately as the rider. Mr. Wilkes came through the city in a chair, carried on men's shoulders, just before the procession, in order to keep it up, and be saluted with repeated shouts. The lord-mayor's coach was elegant, and his horses (longtailed blacks) the finest that have been seen for many years. There were a great number of constables round Mr. Alderman Townsend's coach; and a complaint has since been made, that he was grossly insulted. The night concluded as usual, and many went home at morning with dirty clothes and bloody faces.”
Some recent processions on lord-mayor's day are sufficiently described by these lines:—
Where erst prou
Rufus bade his courts arise.
Here borne, our civic chief the brazen store,
And as slow paced, amid the shouting throng,
Behind, their posts, a troop attendant gain,
Press the gay throng, and join the smiling train; o
• Gentleman's Magazine.