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and more honourable than the leader of an army. If his life was not illustrious, it was wise; for he could not have been seen, and sojourned in the hamlets of labour and ignorance, without exciting regard and communicating instruction. He might have been ridiculed or despised on his first appearance, but where he remained he taught by the pithy truth of his sayings, and the rectitude of his conduct: if the peripatetic philosophers of antiquity did so much, they did no more. Few among those who, in later times, have been reputed wise, were teachers of practical wisdom: the wisdom of the rest was surpassed by " Cheap Tommy's."
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature.. . 64 • 07.
A Vicious Swan. In July, 1731, "an odd accident happened in Bushy-park to one of the helpers in the king's stables, riding his majesty's own hunting horse, who was frighted by a swan flying at him out of the canal, which caused him to run away, and dash out his brains against the iron gates; the man was thrown on the iron spikes, which only entering his clothes did him no hurt. Some time before, the same swan is said to have flown at his highness the duke, but caused no disaster."*
This, which is noticed by a pleasant story in column 914 as the " swan-hopping season," is a time of enjoyment with all who are fond of aquatic pleasures. On fine days, and especially since the invention of steam-boats, crowds of citizens and suburbans of London glide along the Thames to different places of entertainment on its banks.
Annual Excursion To Twickenham.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Sir,—As it is the object of the EveryDay Book to preserve a faithful portraiture of the prominent features and amusements of the age, as well as the customs of the " olden time," I subjoin for insertion a biief account of an unobtruding society for the relief of the dis
tressed; with the sincere hope that its laudable endeavours may be followed by many others.
A number of respectable tradesmen, who meet to pass a few social hours at the house of Mr. Cross, Bethnal-green, impressed by the distresses of the thicklypopulated district in which they reside. resolved to lay themselves and friends under a small weekly contribution, to alVy, as far as possible, the wretchedness of their poorer neighbours. They feel much gratification in knowing that in the course of two years their exertions have alleviated the sorrows of many indigent families. Nearly four hundred friends have come forward as subscribers to assist them in their praise-worthy undertaking; yet such is the misery by which they are surrounded—such are the imperative demands on their bounty, that their little fund is continually impoverished.
In furtherance of their benevolent views they projected an annual excursion to Twickenham, sometime in the month of July; the profits from the tickets to be devoted to the Friend-in-Need Society. I have joined them in this agreeable trip, and regard the day as one of the happiest in my existence. A few gentlemen acted as a committee, and to their judicious arrangements much of the pleasure of the day is due. The morning was particularly favourable: at eight o'clock the "Diana" steam-packet left her moorings off Southwark-bridge, and bore away up the river with her long smoky pendant; a good band of music enlivened the scene by popular airs, not forgetting the eternal "Jagher chorus." I arrived on board just at starting, and having passed the usual "how d'ye does," seated myself to observe the happy circle. They appeared to have left " old care" behind them; the laugh and joke resounded from side to side, and happiness dwelt in every countenance. There was no unnecessary etiquette; all were neighbours and alt intimate. As soon as we began to get clear of London, the beautiful scenery formed a delightful panoramic view. Battersea, Wandsworth, Putney, Kew, and Richmond, arose in succession; when, after staying a short time at the latter place to allow those who were disposed to land, we proceeded on to Twickenham Aite, an island delightfully situated in the middle of the Thames, where we anived about twelve o'clock. Preparation had been made for our reception: the boat hauled up alongside the island for the better landing; tents were erected on the lawn; a spacious and well-stocked fruit-garden was thrown open for our pleasure; and plenty of good cheer provided by " mine host" of the " Eel-pie house." On each side of the lawn might be seen different parties doing ample justice to "ham sandwiches, and bottled cider."' After the repast, the " elder" gentlemen formed into a convivial party; the "report of the society" was read ; and, afterwards, the song and glee went merrily round; while the younger formed themselves in array for a country-dance, and nimbly footed to the sound of sweet music "under the greenwood tree:" the more juvenile felt equal delight at "kiss-in-the-ring," on the grass-plat.
* OtMleman*! Magaiinr.
He must have been a stoic indeed who could have viewed this scene without feelings of delight, heightened as it was by the smiles of loveliness. These sports were maintained until time called for our departure; when having re-embarked, the vessel glided heavily back, as if reluctant to break off such happy hours. The dance was again renewed on board—the same hearty laugh was again heard; there was the same exuberance of spirits in the juniors ; no one was tired, and all seemed to regret the quickly approaching separation. About nine o'clock we safely landed from the boat at Queenhithe stairs, and after a parting " farewell," each pursued the way home, highly delighted with the excursion of the day, enhanced as it was by the reflection, that in the pursuit of pleasure we had assisted the purposes of charity. J. H. C.
Kingtland-road, July, 1826.
It appears that formerly—" When the citizens, in gaily-decorated barges, went up the river annually in August, to mark and count their swans, which is called swan-hopping, they used to land at Barn Elms, and, after partaking of a cold collation on the grass, they merrily danced away a few hours. This was a gala-day for the village; and happy was the lad or lass admitted into the party of the fine folks of London. This practice has, however, been long discontinued."*
• Gentltffnan'f Magazine.
The yearly visit of members of the corporation of London to the swans on its noble river, is commonly termed " SwanAopping." This name is a vulgar and long used corruption of " Swan-uj>ping," signifying the duties of the official visiters, which was to " take up" the swans and mark them. The ancient and real terra may be gathered from the old laws concerning swans, to have been technically and properly used. They were manorial and royal birds; and in proof of their estimation in former times, a rare and valuable quarto tract of four leaves, printed in 1570, may be referred to. It mentions the "vpphig daies;" declares what persons shall " vp no swannes;" aud speaks of a court no longer popularly known, namely, "the king's majesties justices of sessions of swans." This curious tract is here reprinted verbatim, viz:—
(BtUtv for £>toattiws
The Statutes, And By The Auncient Orders And Customes, Used Within The Realme Op England.
The Order For Swannes.
First, Ye shall enquire if there be any person that doth possesse any Swanne, and hath not compounded with the Kings Maiesty for his Marke (that is to say) six shillings eight pence, for his Marke during his life: If you know any such you shall present them, that all such Swans and Cignets, may be seazed to the King.
2. Also you shall enquire, if any person doth possesse any Swan, or Cignet, that may not dispend the cleare yearly value of five Markes of Freehold, except Heire apparant to the Crowne: then you shall present him. 22 Edw. iv. cap. 6.
3. Also, If any person or persons doe drive away any Swanne or Swannes, breeding or prouiding to breed; be it vpon his own ground; or any other mans ground: he or they so offending, shall suffer one yeeres imprisonment, and fine at the Kings pleasure, thirteene shillings four pence. 11 Hen. vii.
4. If there be found any Weares vpon the Riuers, not hauing any Grates before them; It is lawfull for every Owner, Swan-Masters, or Swanne-herdes, to pull vp, or cut downe the Birth-net, or Gyine of the said Weare or Weares.
5. If any person, or persons, be found carrying any Swan-hooke, and the same person being no Swan-herd, nor accompanied with two Swan-herds: every such person shall pay to the King. Thirteene shillings four pence, (that is to say) Three shillings foure pence to him that will infonne, and the rest to the King.
6. The auncient custome of this Realme hath and dothe allow to every owner of such ground where any such Swan shall heirie, to take one Land-bird; and for the same, the Kings Maiestie must have of him that hath the Landbird, Twelve pence, Be it vpon his owne ground, or any other.
7. It is ordained, that if any person, or persons, do convey away orsteale away the Egge, or Egges of any Swannes, and the same being duely proued by two sufficient witnesses, that then euery such offender shall pay to the King thirteene shillings foure pence, for euery Egge so taken out of the Nest of ■inv Swanne.
8. it is ordained, that euery owner that hath any Swans, shall pay euery yeare yearly for euery Swan-marke, foure pence to the Master of the Game for his lee, and his dinner and supper free on the Upping daies: And if the saide Master of the Game faile of the foure pence, then he shall distraine the Game of euery such owner, that so doth faile of payment.
9. If there be any person or persons, that hath Swannes, that doe heirie vpon any of their seuerall waters, and after come to the co'mon Riuer, they shall pay a Land-bird to the King, and be obedient to all Swanne Lawes: for diuers such persons doe use collusion, to defraud the King of his right.
10. It is ordained, that euery person, hauing any Swans, shal begin yearly to nark, the Monday next after St. Peters day, and no person before; but after as conueniently may be, so that the Master of the Kings Game, or his Deputy, be present. And if any take vpon him or them, to marke any
Swanne or Cignet, in other manner, to forfeit to the Kings Maiestie for euery Swan so marked fortie shillings.
11. It is ordained, that no person or persons being Owners, or Deputies, or seruants to them, or other, shall go on marking without the Master of the Game, or his Deputie be present, with other Swan-herds next adioyning, vpon paine to forfeit to the Kings Maiesty, fortie shillings.
12. It is ordained, that no person shall hunt any Duckes, or any other chase in the water, or neere the haunt of Swans in Fence-time, with any Dogge or Spaniels: viz. from the feast of Easter to Lammas: vpon paine for euery time so found in hunting, to forfeit sixe shillings eight pence.
13. It is ordained, that if any person doth set any snares or any manner of Nets. Lime, or Engines, to take Bittorns or Swans, from the Feast of Easter to the Sunday after Lammas day; He or they to forfeit to the Kings Maiestie for euery time so setting, six shillings eight pence.
14. It is ordained that no person take vp any Cignet unmarked, or make any sale of them, but that the Kings Swanherd, or his Deputie be present, with other Swan-herds next adioyning, or haue knowledge of the same: vpon paine to forfeit to the Kings Maiestie fortie shillings.
15. It is ordained that the Swan-herdes of the Duchie of Lancaster, shall vp no Swannes, or make any sale of them, without the Master of the Swannes or his Deputy be present: vpon paine to forfeite to the Kings Maiestie forty shillings.
16- And in like manner, the Kings Swanherd shal not enter into the Libertie of the Duchie, without the Duchies Swanherd be there present: vpon the like paine to forfeite forty shillings.
17. It is ordained, that if any Swannes or Cignets be found double marked, they shall be seaz'd to the Kings vse, till it be grooved to whom the same Swans or Cignets doe belong: And if it cannot be prooved to whome they doe belong, that then they be seazd for the King, and his Grace to be answered to the value of them.
13. It is ordained that no person make sale of any white Swans nor make delivery of them, without the Master of the Game be present or his Deputy,
with other Swan-herds next adioyning; vpon paine to fortiet forty shillings: whereof six shillings eight pence to him that will informe: and the rest to the Kings Maiestie. 19- It is ordained, that no person shall lay Leapes, set any Nets, or Dragge, - within the common streames or Hiutrs vpon the day time, from the Feast of the Inuention of the Crossse, vnto the Feast of Lammas: vpon paine so oft as they be found so offending, to forfeit twenty shillings. 20. It is ordained, that if the Master of the Swans, or his Deputy, do seaze, or take vp any Swa'nes, as strayes, for the * Kings Maiesty, that he shall keepe them in a Pit within twenty foote of the Kings streame, cr within twenty foote of the common High-way, that the Kings subiects may have a sight of the said Swans so seazed, vpon paine of forty shillings. 21. It is ordained, that if any person doe raze out, counterfeit, or alter the Marke of any Swanne, to the hindering or losse of any mans Game, and any such offendor duly prooved before the Kings Maiesties Commissioners of Swaimes, shal suffer one yeares imprisonment, and pay three pounds six shillings eight pence, to the King. 22. It is ordained, that the Commons (that is to say) Dinner and Supper, shall not exceed above twelve pence a man at the most: If there be any Game found where the dinner or supper is holden, vpon that Riuer, the owner being absent and none there for him, the Master of the Game is to lay out eight pence for him, and he is to dis11nine the Game of him that faileth the paiment of it. 23- It is ordained, that there shall be no forfeiture of any white Swanne or Cignet, but only to the Kings Grace, as well within the franchise and Liberties, as without, and if any doe deliver the Swanne or Signet so seazed, to any person, but only to the Master of the Kings Game, or to his Deputy, to the Kings vse; he is to forfeit sixe shillings eight pence; and the Swannes to be restored vnto the Master of the Game. 24. It is ordained, that no person shall take any Gray Swans, or Cignets, or white Swans flying, but that, he shall within foure dayes next after, deliver it, or them, to the Master of the Kings Game, anr> the Taker to haue for his Voi. II.- 83.
paines eight pence. And if he faile, and bring him not, he forfeits forty shillings to the King.
25. It is ordained, that no person, having any Game of his own shall not be Swan-herd for himselfe; nor keeper of any other mans Swannes: upon paine to forfeit to the Kings Maiestie forty shillings.
26. It is ordained, that no Swan-herd, fisher, or fowler, shall vex any other Swan-herd, f sher or fowler, by way of action, but only before the Kings Maiesties Justices of Sessions of Swans, vpon paine of forfeiting to the Kings Grace forty shillings.
27. The Master of the Kings Game, shal not take away any vnmarked Swan coupled with any other mans Swan, for breaking of the brood: and when they doe Heirie, the one part of the Cignets to the King, and the other to the owner of the marked Swanne.
28. Also, any man whatsoever he be, that killeth :ny Swanne with dogge, o' Spaniels, shall forfeit to the King forf i shillings, the owner of the Dogge u pay it, whether he be there or no. Also, the Maister of the Swannes, is to have for every White Swanne and Gray vpping, a penny, and for every Cignet two pence.
29. It is ordained, that if any Heirie be. leyed with one Swan, the Swan and the Cignets shall be seazed for the King, till due proofe be had whose they are, and whose was the Swan, that is away; Be it Cobbe or Pen.
30. Lastly, If there be any other misdemeanour, or offence committed or done by the owner of any Game, Swan-herd, or other person whatsoeuer, contrary to any law, ancient custome, or vsage heretofore vsed and allowed, and not before herein particularly mentioned or expressed, you shal present the same offence, that reformation may be had, and the offendors punished, according to the quantitie and qualitie of the seuerall offences.
God Saue the King.
It may be presumed that " the Order for Swannes" fairly illustrates the origin of the term " swan Aopping;" perhaps the "order" itself will be regarded by some of the readers of the Every-Day Book as " a singular rarity."
« SWAN WITH TWO NECKS,"
The sign of the "Swan with two necks," at one of our old city inns, from ■whence there are " passengers and parcels booked" to all parts of the kingdom, is manifestly a corruption. As every swan belonging to the king was marked, according to the swan laws, with two nicks or notches; so the old sign of this inn was the royal bird so marked, that is to say, "the swan with two nicW In process of time the " two nicks" were called " two necks;" an ignorant landlord hoisted the foul misrepresentation; and, at the present day, "the swan with two nicks" is commonly called or known by "the name or sign" of " the swan with two necks."
"A Southern Tourist," in the " Gentleman's Magazine," for 1703, giving an account of his summer rambles, winch he calls "A naturalist's stray in the sultry days of July," relates that he " put up for the night at the Bush-inn, by Stainesbridge," and describes his sojournment there with such mention of the swans as seems fitting to extract.
"The Swan at Staines."
"This inn is beautifully situated: a translucent arm of the Thames runs close under the windows of the eating-rooms, laving the drooping streamers of the Babylonian willows that decorate the garden, and which half conceal the small bridge leading into it. In these windows we spent the evening in angling gudgeons for our supper, and in admiring a company of swans that were preening themselves near an aite in the river. The number of these birds on the Thames is very considerable, all swimming between Marlow and London, being protected by the dyers and vintnei's companies, whose properties they are. These companies annually send to Marlow six wherries, manned by persons authorized to count and to mark the swans, who are hence denominated swan-hoppers. The task assigned them is rather difficult to perform; for, the swans being exceeding strong, scuffling with them amongst the tangles of the river is rather dangerous, and recourse is obliged to be had to certain strong crooks, shaped like those we suppose the Arcadian shepherds to have used''
The swan is a royal bird, and often figured in the princely pleasures of former kings of England.
In Edward the fourth's time none was permitted to keep swans, who possessed not a freehold of at least five marks yearly value, except the king's son: and by an act of Henry the Seventh, persons convicted of taking their eggs were liable to a year's imprisonment, and a fine at the will of the sovereign.*
More anciently, if a swan was stolen in an open and common river, the same swan or another, according to old usage, was to be hanged in a house by the beak, and* he who stole it was compelled to give the owner as much corn as would cover the swan, by putting and turning the corn upon the head of the swan, until the head of the swan was covered with corn.f
In the hard winter of 1726, a swan was killed " at Emsvvoith, between Chichester and Portsmouth, lying on a creek of the sea, that had a ring round its neck, with the king of Denmark's arms on it."}
For indications of the weather, by the flight of the swans on the Thames, see vol. i. col. S05.
It is mentioned by the literary lord Northampton, as formerly " a paradox of simple men to thinke that a swanne cannot hatch without a cracke of thunder."||
The Swan's Death Sono.
The car of Juno is fabled to have been drawn by swans. They were dedicated to Venus and Apollo. To the latter, according to Banier, because they were "reckoned to have by instinct a faculty of prediction;" but it is possible that they were consecrated to the deity of music, from their fabled melody at the moment of death.
Buffon says, the ordinary voice of the tame swan is rather low than canorous. It is a sort of creaking, exactly like what is vulgarly called the swearing of a cat, and which the ancients denoted by the imitative word dremare. It would seem to be an accent of menace or anger; nor does its love appear to have a softer. In the
* Buffon, note.
t fivntlrman'i Mftgutnc.