Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

to the poor.

the proposition ? Not I, for one. When Easter Monday which is not confined to our English mechanics accuse their betters the lower classes, and which fun forbid of oppressing them, the said betters that I should pass over silently. If the should reverse the old appeal, and refer reader has not, during his boyhood, perfrom Philip sober to Philip drunk ; and formed the exploit of riding to the tumthen nothing more could be said. But out of the stag on Epping-forest-follownow, they have no betters, even in their ing the hounds all day long at a respect. own notion of the matter. And in the ful distance--returning home in the name of all that is transitory, envy them evening with the loss of nothing but his not their brief supremacy! It will be over hat, bis hunting whip, and his horse, not before the end of the week, and they will to mention a portion of his nether person be as eager to return to their labour as -and finishing the day by joining the they now are to escape from it; for the lady mayoress's ball at the Mansiononly thing that an Englishman, whether house ; if the reader has not done all this high or low, cannot endure patiently for when a boy, I will not tantalize him by a week together, is, unmingled amuse- expatiating on the superiority of those who ment. At this time, however, he is de- have. And if he has done it, I need not termined to try. Accordingly, on Easter tell him that he has no cause to envy his Monday all the narrow lanes and blind friend who escaped with a flesh wound alleys of our metropolis pour forth their from the fight of Waterloo; for there is dingy denizens into the suburban fields not a pin to choose between them. and villages, in search of the said amusement, which is plentifully provided for

Epping HUNT. them by another class, even less enviable In 1226, king Henry III. confirmed to than the one on whose patronage they the citizens of London, free warren, or depend; for of all callings, the most mé- liberty to hunt a circuit about their city, lancholy is that of purveyor of pleasure in the warren of Staines, &c.; and in

ancient times the lord mayor, aldermen, During the Monday, our determined and corporation, attended by a due numholiday-maker, as in duty bound, con ber of their constituents, availed themtrives, by the aid of a little or not a little selves of this right of chace“ in solemn artificial stimulus, to be happy in a tolera- guise.” From newspaper reports, it apbly exemplary manner. On the Tuesday, pears that the office of « common hunt,” he fancies himself happy to-day, because attached to the mayoralty, is in danger of he felt himself so yesterday. On the desuetude. The Epping hunt seems to Wednesday he cannot tell what has come have lost the lord mayor and his brethren to him, but every ten minutes he wishes in their corporate capacity, and the annual himself at home, where he never goes sport to have become a farcical show. but to sleep. On Thursday he finds out A description of the Epping hunt of the secret, that he is heartily sick of Easter Monday, 1826, by one “ Simon doing nothing ; but is ashamed to confess Youngbuck," in the Morning Herald, is it; and then what is the use of going to the latest report, if it be not the truest; work before his money is spent ? On but of that the editor of the Every-Day Friday he swears that he is a fool for Book cannot judge, for he was not there to throwing away the greatest part of his see: he contents himself with picking out quarter's savings without having any the points ; should anyone be dissatisfied thing to show for it, and gets gloriously with the “hunting of that day," as it will drunk with the rest to prove his words; be here presented, he has only to sit down, passing the pleasantest night of all thé in good earnest, to a plain matter-of-fact week in a watchhouse. And on Satur- detail of all the circumstances from his day, after thanking “his worship" for own knowledge, accompanied by such cihis good advice, of which he does not tations as will show the origin and former remember a word, he comes to the wise state of the usage, and such a detail, so determination, that, after all, there is accompanied, will be insertednothing like working all day long in

“For want of a better this must do." silence, and at night spending his earn On the authority aforesaid, and that, ings and his breath in beer and politics ! without the introduction of any term not So much for the Easter week of a London in the Herald, be it known then, that beholiday-maker.

fore, and at the commencement of the But there is a sport belonging to hunt aforesaid, it was a cold, dry, and

dusty morning, and that the huntsmen of eaten and drank, where would have been the east were all abroad by nine o'clock, the use of providing so many good things ? trotting, fair and softly, down the road, on So they carted the stag from public-house great nine-hand skyscrapers, nimble daisy- to public house, and showed him at threecutting nags, flowing-tailed chargers, and pence a head to those ladies and gentleponies no bigger than the learned one at men who never saw such a thing before ; Astley's; some were in job-coaches, at two and the showing and carting induced á guineas a-day; some in three-bodied non- consumption of eatables and drinkables, descripts, some in gigs, some in cabs, an achievement which was helped by a some in drags, some in short stages, and band of music in every house, playing some in long stages; while some on no hungry tunes to help the appetite ; and stages at all, footed the road, smothered then, when the eatables and drinkables by dust driven by a black, bleak north- were gone, and paid for, they turned out easter full in the teeth. Every gentleman the stag. was arrayed after his own particular taste, Precisely at half-past two o'clock, the in blue, brown, or black-in dress-coats, stag-cart was seen coming over the hill long coats, short coats, frock coats, great by the Bald faced Stag, and hundreds of coats, and no-coats ;-in drab-slacks and horsemen and gig-men rushed gallantly slippers ;-in gray-tights, and black- forward to meet and escort it to the top of spurred Wellingtons ;-in nankeen bomb- Fairmead bottom, amidst such whooping balloons ;-in city-white cotton-cord un- and hallooing, as made all the forest echo mentionables, with jockey toppers, and in again; and would have done Carl Maria Russian-drill down-belows, as a memento Von Weber's heart good to hear. And of the late czar. The ladies all wore a then, when the cart stopped and was goose-skin under-dress, in compliment to turned tail about, the horsemen drew up the north-easter.

in long lines, forming an avenue wide At that far-famed spot, the brow above enough for the stag to run down. For a Fairmead bottom, by iwelve o'clock, there moment, all was deep, silent, breathless were not less than three thousand merry anxiety; and the doors of the cart were lieges then and there assembled. It was thrown open, and out popped a strapping a beautiful set-out. Fair dames“ in purple, four-year-old red buck, fat as a porker, and in pall,” reposed in vehicles of all with a chaplet of flowers round his neck, sorts, sizes, and conditions, whilst seven a girth of divers coloured ribbons, and a or eight hundred mounted members of long blue and pink streamer depending the hunt wound in and out “in restless from the summit of his branching horns. ectasy,” chatting and laughing with the He was received, on his alighting, with a fair, sometimes rising in their stirrups to shout that seemed to shake heaven's conlook out for the long-coming cart of the cave, and took it very graciously, looking stag, whilst, with off heel assiduously round him with great dignity as he stalked aside,” they “ provoked the caper which slowly and delicately forward, down the they seemed to hide.” The green-sward avenue prepared for him; and occasionally was covered with ever-moving crowds on shrinking from side to side, as some superfoot, and the pollard oaks which skirt the valorous cockney made a cut at him with bottom on either side were filled with men his whip. Presently, he caught a glimpse and hoys.

of the hounds and the huntsmen, waiting But where the deuce is the stag all this for him at the bottom, and in an instant while? One o'clock, and no stag. Two off he bounded, sideways, through the o'clock, and no stag !-a circumstance rank, knocking down and trampling all easily accounted for by those who are in who crowded the path he chose to take; the secret, and the secret is this. There and dashing at once into the cover, he are buttocks of boiled beef and fat hams, was ought of sight before a man could and beer and brandy in abundance, at the say “ Jack Robinson !” Then might be Roebuck public-house low down in the seen, gentlemen running about without forest; and ditto at the Baldfaced Stag, on their horses, and horses galloping about the top of the hill; and ditto at the Coach without their gentlemen; and hats out of and Horses, at Woodford Wells; and number brushed off their owners' heads by ditto at the Castle, at Woodford; and the rude branches of the trees; and every ditto at the Eagle, at Snaresbrook; and body asking which way the stag was gone, if the stag had been brought out before and nobody knowing anything about him; the beef, beer, bacon, and brandy, were and ladies beseeching gentlemen not to

«

be too venturesome; and gentlemen took away through the covers towards gasping for breath at the thoughts of what Woodford. Finding himself too near the they were determined to venture; and haunts of his enemy, man, he there turned myriads of people on foot running hither back, sweeeping down the bottom for a and thither in search of little eminences mile or two, and away up the enclosures to look from; and yet nothing at all to towards Chingford ; where he was caught be seen, though more than enough to be nobody knows how, for every body reheard; for every man, and every woman turned to town, except those who stopped too, made as loud a noise as possible. to regale afresh, and recount the glorious Meanwhile the stag, followed by the perils of the day. Thus ended the keepers and about six couple of hounds, Easter Hunt of 1826.

[graphic]

Minerba. From a Chrysolite possessed by Lord Montague. The Minervalia was a Roman festival 4. Minerva, the daughter of Jupiter in March, commencing on the 19th of and Corypha, whose father Oceanus inthe month, and lasting for five days. vented four-wheeled chariots. The first day was spent in devotions 5. Minerva, the daughter of Pallantis, to the goddess; the rest in offering who fled from her father, and is, therefore, sacrifices, seeing the gladiators fight, represented with wings on her feet, in the acting, tragedies, and reciting witticisms same manner as Mercury. for prizes. It conferred a vacation on The second Minerva, of Egypt, is imascholars who now, carried schooling gined to have been the most ancient. money, or presents, called Minerval, to The Phænicians also had a Minerva, the their masters.

daughter of Saturn, and the inventress of According to Cicero there were five arts and arms. From one of these two, Minervas.

the Greeks derived their Minerva. 1. Minerva, the mother of Apollo. Minerva was worshipped by the Athe2. Minerva, the offspring of the Nile, nians before the age of Cecrops, in of whom there was a statue with this in- whose time Athens was founded, and its scription :—“I am all that was, is, and is name taken from Minerva,whom the Greek lo come; and my veil no mortal hath called 'Adhun. It was proposed to call yet removed.”

the city either by her name or that of 3. Minerva, who sprung armed from Neptune, and as each had partizans, and Jupiter's brain.

the women had votes equal to the men,

Cecrops called all the citizens together women exceeding the men by one voice, both men and women; the suffrages Athens was called after Minerva. A were collected ; and it was found that temple was dedicated to her in the city, all the women had voted for Minerva, and with her statue in gold and ivory, thirtyall the men for Neptune; but the nine feet high, executed by Phydias.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

It would be as difficult for most persons, He leaves the features he contemplates, who think Mr. Matthews acts easily, to enters into the mind, becomes joint tenant act as he does, as it would be difficult to of its hereditaments and appurtenances make such persons comprehend, that his with the owner, and describes its secret ease is the result of labour, and that his chambers and closets. This faculty obpresent performance is the result of greater tained lord Chesterfield his fame, and Îabour than his exhibitions of former years. enabled him to persuade the judgment; An examination of the process by which but he never succeeded by his voice or pen he has attained the extraordinary ability in raising the passions, like Mr. Maito“ command success," would be a fatigu- thews, who, in that respect, is above the ing inquiry to most readers, though a very nobleman. The cause of this superiority curious one to some. He has been called is, that Mr. Matthews is the creature a “mimic;" this is derogation from his. of feeling-of excitation and depression. real powers, which not only can represent This assertion is made without the the face, but penetrate the intellect. An slightest personal knowledge or even sight expert swimmer is not always a successful of him off the stage; it is grounded on a diver: Mr. Matthews is both. His fa- generalized view of some points in human culty of observation “surpasses show." nature. If Mr. Matthews were not the slave

of temperament, he never could have pic The people who attend it call at every tured ine Frenchman at the Post Office, public-house, for the purpose of begging nor the gaming Yorkshireman. These are liquor for its thirsty attendants, who are prominences seized by his whole audience, always numerous. During its progress on whom, however, his most delicate the figure is shot at from all parts. When touches of character are lost. His high finish the journey is finished, it is tied to the of the Irish beggar woman with her“ poor market cross, and the shooting is contichild," was never detected by the laughers nued till it is set on fire, and falls to the at their trading duett of “ Sweet Home !” ground. The populace then commence The exquisite pathos of the crathur's story tearing the effigy in pieces, trampling it in was lost. To please a large assemblage mud and water, and throwing it in every the points must be broad. Mr, Mat- direction. This riot and confusion are thews's countenance of his host drawing increased by help of a reservoir of water the cork is an excellence that discovers being let off, which runs down the streets, itself, and the entire affair of the dinner is and not unfrequently persons obtain large “ pleasure made easy” to the meanest ca- quantities of bay, rags, &c. independent pacity. The spouting child who sings the of that which falls from the effigy. The * Bacchanal Song” in “ Der Freischütz" greatest heroes at this time are of the from whence the engraving is taken, is coarsest nature. another“ palpable hit,” but amazingly in The origin of this custom is of so ancreased in force to some of the many cient a nature that it admits of no real who heard it sung by Phillips. The explanation : some assert that it is intended “ tipsy toss" of that actor's head, his rol- as a mark of respect to an ancient family locking look, his stamps in its chorus, and others deem it a disrespect. Dr. Hibthe altogetherness of his style in that bert considers it to have the same meansingle song, were worth the entirety of ing as the gool-riding in Scotland, estabthe drama-yer he was seldom encored. lished for the purpose of exterminating To conclude with Mr. Matthews, it is weed from corn, on pain of forfeiting a merely requisite to affirm that his “At wether sheep for every stock of gool found Home” in the year 1826, evinces rarer growing in a farmer's corn. Gool is the talent than the merit of a higher order yellow flower called the corn Marygold. which he unquestionably possesses. He

It is further supposed, that this custom is an adept at adaptation beyond com- originated with one of the Assheton's, who peer.

possessed a considerable landed property

in this part of Lancashire. He was viceCOLESHILL Custom.

chancellor to Henry VI., who exercised They have an ancient custom at Coles- great severity on his own lands, and estahill, in the county of Warwick, that if the blished the gool or guld riding. He is young men of the town can catch a hare, said to have made his appearance on and bring it to the parson of the parish Easter Monday, clad in black armour, and before ten o'clock on Easter Monday, the on horseback, followed by a numerous parson is bound to give them a calve's train for the purpose of claiming the head, and a hundred eggs for their break. penalties arising from the neglect of fast, and a groat in money.*

farmers clearing their corn of the “ carr

gulds." The tenants looked upon this RIDING THE BLACK Lad. visit with horror, and tradition has still An account of an ancient usage still perpetuated the prayer that was offered maintained under this name at Ashton- for a deliverance from his power :under-Lyne, will be found in the an “ Sweet Jesu, for thy mercy's sake, nexed letter.

And for thy bitter passion ;
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

Save us from the axe of the Tower,
Ashton-under-Lyne, March, 1826.

And from Sir Ralph of Assheton,
Sir,

It is alleged that, on one of his visits on A singular custom prevails at this town

Easter Monday, he was shot as he was on Easter Monday. Every year on that day riding down the principal street, and that a rude figure of a man made of an old suit the tenants took no trouble to find out the of clothes stuffed with rags, hay, &c. is murderer, but entered into a subscription, carried on a horse through all the streets. the interest of which was to make an effigy

of disgrace to his memory. At the present day, however, the origin is never

* Blount.

« AnteriorContinuar »