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other night were to be free for general accommodation. But about two months after, the Arm-Chairs were removed, and a long bench was substituted.

On this great event, the Editor has no Intercepted Letters to lay before the public by authority, and therefore he has not applied to Mr. Canning for a Preface, nor for Notes to Mr. Gifford. There is no Egyptian Fast to be solemnized, nor Festival to be celebrated. He can assure them also, that neither the Mustapha Raschid Effendi and Mustapha Ressichi Effendi for the Grand Vizir; nor General Dessaix and Citizen Poussielgue for General Kleber, were Commissioners on signing this Convention. But The EvaCuation Of The Ahm-fi) Chairs was effected without bloodshed or loss on either side, by Lord Galloway and Mr. Bell, Commissioners on the part of the Amateurs and Conoscenti, and by Signor Lorenzo Da Ponte, Poet to the Opera House, and Mr. Solomon, Leader of the Band, Commissioners on the part of General Taylor and the Dramatic Field Marshal The Marquis Of Salisbury. The Arm-ed Chairs were surrendered three day3 after the signing of the Capitulation, without the intervention of any gallant Knight* from Sweden or from Malta.

Thus far is from the preface, and after a few remarks and a " Scena" in Italian, the poem alluded to, and here reprinted verbatim, is introduced in the following manner:—

March 19, 1800.


A month or two ago, Lord Galloway came to the Opera, and on the Pit-door near the Orchestra being opened, he perceived, to hie confusion and astonishment, that a long Bench was substituted in the place of the Row of Arm-chairs at the bottom of the Pit, the principal or central of which he had filled for so many nights with discernment and dignity, and to the general satisfaction of every person present. His Lordship

* Thit differ* a little from Thc Argument prefixed to the Poem, but the impartial Hiitorian of a future age will weigh the authoritie« on either »ide, and record the truth according to the evidence.

The Editor.

conceiving, rather nastily, that this measure was intended as a personal slight to himself, retired disconcerted, without taking his seat; and, as he is a votary of the Muses, petincd the following Lamentation, which he sent to Lord Salisbury the next day, and recovered his wonted good humour, cheerfulness, and gayety.








What !—the proud honours of the chair Must I no more, with Cecil (a), share ?—

Still be my soul serene VWli, or virtue's but a name, Brutus and Galloway exclaim,

And sighing quit the scene.

Too sure I heard a warning knell,
And told my Critic Brother Bell (4)

The fall of seats (c) and stocks;
Yet fondly sooth'd by Bolla's airs,
Thought Taylor's bottom, and his chairs

Secure with keys and locks, (if)

But ah ! bow Fortune loves to joke!
Expell'd am I, who sung and spoke

As loud as at the Fair: (e)
While yearly, with six thousand pound,
The Commons Adding Tun have bound

Their Servant To The Chair.

My purer taste, my classic eye,
Unzon'd Thalia could descry.

Who stepp'd beyond her place:

(a) '• Our Midaa tits Lord Chancellor of Plays." Dunciad.

(4) Mr. Bell, an ingenious Gentleman, very conversant in the Stocks and Funds, Grand Amateur, and Connoisseur of the Lower Bench.

(c) It is feared that the Noble Lord alludes to the value of seats in a certain House, after the Union.. Editor.

{d) The bottoms of these lamented Chain were kept under lock and key.

(t) i. e. As loud at the very Gipsies themselves on the Stage at the Fair. Thin it poetry, but no fiction. Km run.

Haw oft I waru'd, in either bouse,
That charms too plain at last would rouse
The Mitre and the Mace!

1 with Pandolfo watch'd the sphere,
When Mars on Venus shone so clear,

That Saturn (/) felt the shock: Grave Shute and Henry shrunk at Love, And at the loose flesh-colour'd glove,

That blush'd at twelve o'clock.

I said, some folks would thunder Greek
At HlLUGSBERG's Morale lubrique,

And Parisot's costume ! (g)
Where shall Paullim'a, tight and round, (A)
Id rest appropriate now be found,

With India's palm and plume?

Old Q—NSB—Ry feels his dotard qualm,
Terpsichore can pour no balm

O'er half his visual ray;
Nor William (i) can console the Sag,
Nor Elisee (A) his pain assuage,

Nor Yarmouth smooth his way.

When Marinari's (/) magic band
Traced the bold view in fabled land,

For Fawns and Wood-nymphs meet • Ah, soon, I cried, may Sal'sb'ry think, Tis just, that they who dance should drink,

And they who sing, should eat. {![)

(f) "Quel Saturno briccon ti guards triuo."

Gli Zingari in Fiera, A. !. is) Contecta levi velatum pectus arnictu, Et tereti strophio luctantes vmcta papil(as. Catullus.

(A) Alluding to the fascinating Ballet of Paul et Vvrgiaie. Bacchus And Ariadne too are now constrained to appear in patch-work dresses. The Costume is lost, and the Graces mourn. Jacet semisepulta Venus. So says the D. of Q. and many others of the ton hold the same doctrine.

If Propertius were Ballet Master he would cast the parts of the Hillisbero toujour! gate et interessante, of the Parisot an gesle ammd et sublime, and of the Laborie a sourire doux et enchantcur, with exquisite and approptiate taste.

Hvx hederas legal in thyros, Hie carminn nervis Aptet, et Ilia manu texat utraque rosam 1 m Lord William Gordon. (A) Pereelise'e, Coooscente e Medico di camera al Serenissimo Duca.

"Corpo tlotato di Sunitd."

Gli Zingari in Fiera. [I, The painter of various exquisite scenes at the Opera House

(II) Les Chanteurs et les Danseurs, des deux Sexes, a MonsieurT. si tend rr et si cruel; "II fant que nous virions."Reponse de Monsiur 11. " Je n'en rois pas la nicessiti."

For this, in arbitrating state.

In presence of the wise and great,

I sung the Sovereign's air : (»«) Firm was my voice, for Taylor smil'd; Nor dcem'd I then, (too well beguil'd,)

Hnw slippery was the Chair.

Nor G—rd—n's coarse and brawny Grace, The Inst new Womun IN THE Place (n)

With more contempt could blast; Not Marlb'rough's damp on Bland ford's

purse To me could prove a heavier curse \

My fame, my glory past.

Fall'n though I am, I ne'er shall mourn,
Like 'he dark Peer on Storer's urn, (m)

Reflecting on his seat!
In rain that mean mysterious Sire
In embers would conceal the fire;

While Honour's pulse can beat.

For me shall droop th' Assyrian Queen, (
With softest train and tragic mien,

The Siddons in her art;
E'en BoLLA (p) shall forget to please,
With sparkling eye and playful ease,

And Didelot shall start.

Le Tableau, Pre'sente' a Monseigneur le Chambellan Polo

Nius! "Chanteurs, Danseurs, assailants, ossaillis, Battans, battus, dans ce grand chauiaillis: Ciel, quedecris, etque de hurlemens! Peri Elise'e reurit un peu ses sens; It se tenoit les deux c6tes de rire, Et reconnut que ce fatal empire De l'Opera, des Jeux, et du grand Ton, Etoit sans doute une ceuvre du Demon." The Editor. (»>) The Air of Midas in the Burletta, beginning thus:

"I'm given to understand that you're all in a pother here, Disputing whether, &c." (») An expression used, with a curious felicity, by her Grace for " the Manufactured Ladies of fashion" imported from Yorkshire and other Counties into Portland Place, &c. whose houses she condescended to enter. But once she was most unfortunately mistaken. Car Madame M—Lls, ouvrant un large bee, {Ayant en un Palais change'e sa chamniire, Son air de ilrap devint dimarchefiere;) Disoit tout haul, que G—Rd—,\ parloit Grec. Les Grands surpris admirent sa hauteur, Et les Petits l'appellant Dame d'honneur.

Lecon a deux tranchans, unit a la Bourgeoisie, qu'A la Noblesse. The Editor. (iih) Antony Storer, Esq. formerly Member for Morpeth, (as some persons may possibly recollect J a gentleman well known in the circles of fashion and polite literature, (o) Banti la Sovrana. (j>) la Vezzosa.

ber, are decorated with wreaths and garlands of newly-gathered flowers, disposed in various devices. Sometimes boards are •used, which are cut to the figure intended to be represented, and covered with moist clay, into which the stems of the flowers are inserted to preserve their freshness; and they are so arranged as to form a beautiful mosaic work, often tasteful in design, and vivid in colouring : the boards, thus adorned, are so placed in the spring, that the water appears to issue from amongst beds of flowers. On this occasion the villagers put on their best attire, and open their houses to their friends. There is service at the church, where a sermon is preached: afterwards a procession takes place, and the wells are visited in succession: the psalms for the day, the epistle and gospel are read, one at each well, and the whole concludes with a hymn which is sung by the church lingers, and accompanied by a band of music. This done, they separate, and the remainder of the day is spent in rural sports and holiday pastimes.

The custom of well-flowering as it exists at Tissington, is said to be a popish relic; but in whatever way it originated, one would regret to see it discontinued. That it is of great antiquity cannot be disputed; it seems to have existed at different periods of time, in countries far remote from each other. In the earliest ages of poetry and romance, wherever fountains and wells were situated, the common people were

accustomed to honour them with the ml* of saints. In our own country mnunxable instances occur of wells being so denominated." "Where a spring rises ■» a river flows," says Seneca, " there shou'.l we build altars, and offer sacrifices." At the fountain of Arethusa in Syracuse, of which every reader of poetry and history has often heard, great festivals were celebrated every year. In Roman antiquity the foutiualia were religious feasts, held in honour of the nymphs of wells and fountains; the ceremony consisted in throwing nosegays into fountains, and putting crowns of flowers upon wells. Many authorities might be quoted in support of the antiquity of this elegant custom, which had its origin anterior to the introduction of Christianity. It was mingled with the rites and ceremonies of the heathens, who were accustomed to worship streams and fountains, and to suppose that the nymphs, whom they imagined the goddesses of the waters, presided over them. Shaw in his "History of the Province of Morray," says, that "heathen customs were much practised amongst the people there;" and he cites as an instance, "that they performed pilgrimages to wells, and built chapels to fountains." From this ancient usage, which has been continued through a long succession of ages, and is still in existence at Tissington, arose the practice of sprinkling the Severn and the rivers of Wales with flowers, as alluded to by Dyer in his poem of the Fleece and by Milton in his Comue.

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I liopi< donip of your correspondents will of well-dressings in other parts of 'he contribute to our information by accounts kingdom.


Shaftesbury "Byzant."

The town of Shaftesbury from its situation on the top of a high hill, is entirely destitute of springs; except at the foot of the hills in St. James's parish, where are two wells, in the possession of private persons. At the foot of Castle-hill were formerly some water-works, to supply the town, their reservoir was on the top of the Butter cross; but the inhabitants have from time immemorial been supplied with water brought on horse's backs, or on people's heads, from three or four large wells, a quarter of a mile below the town in the hamlet of Motcomb, and parish of' Gillingham; on which account there is this particular custom yearly observed by ancient agreement, dated 1662, between the lord of the manor of Gillingham, and the mayor and burgesses of Shaftesbury. The mayor is obliged the Monday before Holy Thursday to dress up a prize besom, or byzant, as they call it, somewhat like a May garland in form, with gold and peacock's feathers, and carry it to Enmore Green, half a mile below the town, in Motcomb, as an acknowledgment for the water; together wilh a raw calfs head, a pair of gloves, a gallon of beer, or ale, and two penny loaves of white wheaten bread, which the steward receives, and carries away to his own use. The ceremony being over, the " byzant" is restored to the mayor, and brought back by one of his officers with great solemnity. This " byzant" is generally so richly adorned with plate and jewels, borrowed from the neighbouring gentry, as to be worth not less than 1500J.*

the cart was drawn by mules ornamented with bunches of flowers and ribands; a number of people stuck over with Hovers and little twigs of trees, who were called the " wild men," followed the cart and closed the procession. After parading about the town all day, towards evening the whole company repaired to the chapel of the Blue Penitents, where it was met by the chapter of the cathedral, who had previously also gone in procession round the town, and then a large quantity of bread was given away by the chapter among the poor.

Another part of the ceremonies of the day was, that the peasants from the country assembled in the streets with crooks in their hands, and ranging themselves in long files on each side, made mock skirmishes with their crooks, aiming strokes at each other, and parrying them with great dexterity. Each of these skirmishes ended with a dance to the fife and tabourine. The inhabitants threw sugar-plums and dried fruits at each other from their windows, or as they passed in the streets.

The day usually concluded by a favourite dance among the young men and women, called la danse des treilles. Every dancer carried a cerceati, as it is called, that is a half hoop, twined with vine branches; and ranging themselves in long files on each side of the street, formed different groups. The young men were all dressed in white jackets and trowsers, and the young women in white jackets with short petticoats, and ornaments of flowers and ribands. These sports of Beziers were suspended during the revolution.*

Procession Of The Camel.

Holy Thursday was formerly a day of great festivity at Beziers, in France, and was celebrated with a variety of little sports.

"The Procession of the Camel" constituted one part of them. A figure representing that animal, with a .man in the inside, was made to perform ridiculous tricks. The municipal officers, attended by the companies of the different trades and manufactures, preceded the camel. It was followed by a cart, over which were branches of trees twined into an arbour, filled with people:

* Hutchins's Dorset. Vol. II.—73.

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Leo enthron'd bade Querno sit 5
And Gianni's (9) verse and rrgal wit

The Consul lores to share:
Pye has the laurel and the sack,
And C—mbe the foolscoat on his back,

But Galloway, no Chair.

Yet though, redue'd by Taylor's pranks, I sit confounded in the ranis,

Good Humour's still my own; Still shall 1 breathe in rapfrous trance, "Eternal be the Song, the Dance, _

The Opera And The Throne ■'

la) Gianni, the Italian Poet Laureat to Buonaparte, as Camillo Querno was to Pope Leo X. For a specimen of Gianni's Poetry, see The Times of Dec. 31, 1800.

Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature. . . 52 • 75.

iflap 2.

Demonstrative Proof.

It is noticed in the journals of May, 1817, that in the preceding summer, Mr. J. Welner, a German chemist, retired to his house in the country, there to devote himself, without being disturbed, to the study and examination of poisonous substances for the purpose of producing a complete " Toxicology," established by undeniable proof. He tried his poisons upon himself, and appeared insensible to the great alterations which such dangerous trials produced upon his health. At the latter end of the month of October, he invented some unknown poisonous mixture; and wished to be assured of its effect. The following is the account which he gives of it in the last page of his manuscript:—" A potion composed of—(here the substances are named, and the doses indicated)—is mortal; and the proof of it is—that I am dying .'"

Naturalists' Calenpar. Mean Temperature ... 52 - 55.

"A Pie Sat On A Pear Tree." To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.

May 3, 1826. Sir,—There is a custom at Yarmouth dinners, which in my opinion would be "more honoured in the breach than the observance." After the cloth has been removed, and the ladies have retired, some one in the company, who is an adept in the game, sings the following lines,—

"A pie sat on a pear tree,
A pie sat on a pear tree,
A pie sat on a pear tree,
Heigh oh! heigh oh! heigh oh!"

At the conclusion, the person sitting next to the singer continues the strain thus,—

"And once so merrily hopp'd she;" during which the first singer is obliged to drink a bumper, and should he be unable to empty his glass before the last line is sung, he must begin again until he succeeds.

The difficulty consists in swallowing the liquor fast enough, many getting tipsy before they are able to accomplish it. This of course goes round the party, until the whole are either completely " knocked up," save a few who from the capacity of their throats are so fortunate as to escape. Your inserting the above in the EveryDay Book will much oblige, Sir, &c.


The preceding is from a valued correspondent, on whose veracity full reliance is placed by the editor; he will nevertheless be happy to hear that thit usage is on the decline.

Jflap 3.

Invention Of The Cross.

For the origin of this church of England holiday, see vol. i. p. 611.

Naturalists Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 52 ■ 67.


1826. Holy Thursday, Or Ascen*ion Day. For this movablefeatt see vol. i. p. 651.


Tissinoton Well Dressing. For the Every-Day Book. Unless the historians of Derbyshire have been very negligent in their inquiries, the peak differs exceedingly from mountainous tracts in general, where the customs, manners, nnd language of antiquity are preserved with peculiar care.

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