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I am obliged to J. S. tor his endeavour fore the occasion of the glass " being put
to rectify what he deems an error; but it into better hands." These " better hands'
rather corroborates than invalidates the were sir Isaac Newton's; the object
fact stated in vol. i. p. 560, on the au- of the intended present of the Maypole
thority of the work there referred to. to Derham was for Huygens's glass; and it
J. S. quotes " the ninth edition of Der- is reasonable to believe that as sir Isaac
ham's'Astro-Theology,'published 1750," bad the glass, so also he had the May
and infers that the Strand Maypole " must pole to appropriate to the purpose of the
have been standing at the time of publish- glass.
ing his book;" and so it was; but it was Nevertheless, though I think J. S. has
no more in being when the " ninth edi- failed in proving my authority to be erro
lion" of his book was published, than Der- neous, and that he himself is mistaken, I
ham himself was, who died in 1735. The repeat that I am obliged by his intention;
first edition of " his book" was published and I add, that I shall feel obliged to any
in 1714, and Derham then wrote of it as one who will take the trouble of pointing
then standing, and the citation of J. S. out any error. I aim to be accurate, and
shows that it was then contemplated to can truly say that it costs me more time
present Derham with the Maypole for to establish the facts I adduce, than to
Huygens's glass, which from •' incapa- write and arrange the materials after I
city" he could not accept, and was there- have convinced myself of their authority.
But who the melodies of morn can tell?
The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark;
Sweet was the Found when oft at evening's close,
By yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There, as I passed with careless steps and ^-low,
The mingling notes caine softened from below;
The swain responsive ns the milk-maid sung,
The sober herd that lowed to meet their young,
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children just let loose from school,
The watch-dog's voice that bayed the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind,
Those all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And filled each pause the nightingale had made. Gnlihwilh.
Mean Temperaiure . . 54 • 12.
This is the annual commemoration of the feast of Pentecost. In the catholic times of England it was usual to dramatise the descent of the Holy Ghost in the churches"; and hence we have Barnaby Googe's rhymes:—
On Whitsunday whyte pigeons tiime
in strings from henuen flie, Aud one that framed is of wood
still hangeth in the skie. Thou seest how they with idols play.
and teach the people too; None otherwise then little gyrles
with prppets vse to do.
These celebrations are noticed in vol. i. p. 685.
Whittunday Accident. St. Anthony's Church, Cornwall.
In an old tract printed against church ceremonies during "the troubles of England," there is an account of " fearfull judgements that God hath shewed upon churches," one whereof is alleged by the puritan author to have been manifested on this day. His account is curious, and the fact being historical, is here related in his own words, viz.
On Vfhittunday last, 1640, in the parish of Anthony in Cornwall, when people were kneeling at the Communion, great claps of thunder were heard, as though divers Cannons had been shot off at once, and extraordinary, and most fearfull flashes of Lightnings, and a terrible and unspeakable strange sound, to the great amazement of the people; and when the Minuter was turning towards the Communion Table, to give the Cup, after he had given the Bread, he saw (to his thinking) a flaming fire about his body, and withall, heard a terrible and unspeakable sound, and had no hurt, save that the outside of one of his legs was scalded: presently after, divers balls of fire came into the Church and struck one Ferdinantio Reepe on the sole of his left foot, with such a violence, as he thought his foot had been split in pieces, and was for a while deprived of his senses: One John Hodge was stricken in the knees and thighs, and lower parts of his body, so as he thought every part of his body to be
unjoynted: One Dorothy Tubbe was stricken so, as she thought her legs and knees were struck off from her Dody: One Anthony Peeke was fearfully struck in all the lower parts of his body, and thought that he had been shot thorow, and was lift up from kneeling, and set upon the foim by which hee kneeled: One Swan ColUnt was struck in the lower parts of her body, so as it seemed to her, to be struck off from the upper part, and was scalded on the wrist of the right hand : A great fire, far redder then any lightning, came into the Church, and struck one Nicholat Shelton on both sides of his head, as though he had been struck with two flat stones, and did shake his body, as though it would shake it in pieces, whereby he lost his sight and his senses: One Roger Nile was struck on the backbone, on the right side, and on the anckle on the inside of his left leg, so as for a while, he was not able to stand; after the fire, there was heard in the Church, as it were, the hissing of a great shot; and after that a noise, as though divers Cannons had been shot off at once, to make one single and terrible report; the noise did not descend from above, but was heard, and seemed to begin close at the Northside of the Communion Table: After this fire and noise, then followed a loathsome smell of Gunpowder and Brimttone, and a great smoak. The Church had no harm, save that seven or eight holes and rents were made in the wall of the Steeple, some on the inside, and some on the outside; impressions on the stones in divers places, as if they were made by "force of snot, discharged out of a great Ordnance, so as in divers places, light might be seen through the walls. In this storm was no body kill'd, save one Dog in the Belfree, and another at the feet of one kneeling to receive the Cup; As soon as this fearfull storm was over, they that were weak, not able to stand, were (through the mercy of God) restored to their strength; and they that were frantick, to their senses; and he that was blind, was restored to his sight; and came all to the Lord* Table, and received the VVine, and went all in the afternoon to give God thanks.
Naturalists Calendar.. Mean Temperature ... 63 • 47
;f¥l3P 15. w'c'1 *"r» and tne sports in tlie pare, is
described in vol. i. p. 687, 8cc. 1826. Whit Monday. rt is a universal festival in the humble
This second season of annual holidays ranks of life throughout the kingdom, in England, with the humours of GreenHark, how merrily, from distant tower, Ring round the village bells; now on the gale They rise with gradual swell, distinct and loud; Anon they die upon the pensive ear, Melting in faintest music. They bespeak A day of jubilee, and oft they bear, Commixt along the unfrequented shore, The sound of village dance and tabor loud, Startling the musing ear of solitude. Such is the jocund wake of Whitsuntide, When happy superstition, gabbling eld, Holds her unhurtful gambols. All the day The rustic revellers ply the mazy dance On the smooth shaven green, and then at eve Commence the harmless rites and auguries; And many a tale of ancient days goes round. They tell of wizard seer, whose potent spells Could hold in dreadful thrall the labouring moon, Or draw the fixed stars from their eminence, And still the midnight tempest; then, anon, Tell of uncharnelled spectres, seen to glide Along the lone wood's unfrequented path, Startling the nighted traveller; while the sound Of undistinguished murmurs, heard to come From the dark centre of the deepening glen, Struck on his frozen ear H. K. IPhite.
Dnop Handkerchief. if,as was sometimes the case, she proved
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. t0 *? ** "S"'*?1 of foot, considerable
_. _ * . . -,... ., merriment was aflorded to the bystanders
Sir,—The approaching Whitsuntide m witnessing the chase through its differ.
b"T'8» V0 ,my remembrance a custom ent windings, dodgings, and circumlocu
which I believe to be now quite obsolete. ti wm(£ finded „ ,he ,ad ,„ ^p^
I remember when I was a boy that it with a kiss for the gentieman', trouble,
was usual in Devonshire, at Easter and j beHeve matches in the humble
Whiuunt.de, for young people of both walkg of lif(> 'date their ori in from
sexes to form a ring at fairs and revels, thu custom and however the opulent
and play at what was termed drop hand- and r(?fined ^ disposed t0 obj^.t to
kerchief. After the ring was formed, a promiscuou/ assemblage of the sexes,
which used to be done with little difficulty, T am doubtful whether they can point
a young man would go round it once or out an . which shaIl rival fa fnno.
twice, examining all the time with curious ceace ^^^ those of our forefathers,
eve each well formed blooming maiden; m of which are gone, and as pteudo
the favoured fair was selected by the hand- j,,,^ and rcfinement are now the order
kerchief being thrown oyer her shoulders, of the'day T fear that they never can
and at the same time saluted with a kiss. return aciin
The young man then took his place in the Cannon-itreet. R. S. ring, and the young woman proceeded
round it as he had done before, until she —!
dropped the handkerchief behind one ot The editor saw " Drop-handkerchief"
the young men. As soon as this was done .in Greenwich-park at Whitsuntide, 1825,
she would bound away with the swiftness and mentioned it as "Kiss in the ring''
of a roe, followed by the young man, and in vol. i. p. 692.
Whit Monday At Lichfield. To the Editor of the Every-Day Booh. Sir,—In the pleasant little city of Lichfield (celebrated for the neatness of its streets, and the beauty of its splendid cathedral) the annual fair for the exhibition of shows, &c. is held on Whit Monday, and it is the custom on that day for a procession, accompanied with musicians, flags, &c. to be formed, composed of part of the corporation, with its inferior officers, &c. who are joined by several of the best mechanics of the place, each of whom carries a representation in miniature of his separate workshop and mode of trade, the figures being so formed as to be put in motion by machinery, and worked by a single wheel. These representations are about two feet square, and are fixed at the top of a pole about two yards high, decorated with flowers, &c. The procession walks from the guildhall to a high hill in the vicinity of the city, called Greenhill, (but which is now nearly surrounded by houses,) where a temporary booth has been erected, with a small space of ground enclosed at the front with boards. This booth is also decorated with flowers, and hence the fair has derived the appellation of " The Greenhill Bower." On arriving at this booth, the gates of the enclosed park are opened and the procession enters. The different little machines are placed around the enclosure, and then put in motion by the separate "operatives," in the presence of the higher portion of the corporation, who award which of the machines presents the greatest ingenuity, and prizes are distributed accordingly. This takes place about the middle of the day. The machines remain, and are put in motion and exhibited .by their owners until the evening. The booth itself is filled with refreshments; and men being stationed at the gates to prevent the entrance of the disorderlies, every well-dressed person is admitted at once, and some cakes, &c. are given gratuitously away; the corporation I believe being at this expense. The various shows are ranged in different parts of the hill, and as none make their appearance there but such as have already graced " Bartholomew," it will be endless for me to say another word on this part of the subject, as by reference to your notices of September 3, 1825, will more fully and at large appear, and where your reader will find, although enough, yet "not to spare." I am, &c. J. (). W.
Whitsuntide Hikings. To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. May 3, 18»G.
Sir,—If you think the annexed worth a place in your invaluable and entertaining work, you will extremely oblige me by inserting it. I am, Sir, &c.
Henry Wm. Dewhurst. 63, Upper Thoriihavgh-ttreet, Bedford-tquare.
The " hirings" for farmers' servants half yearly at Whitsuntide and Martinmass, though not altogether peculiar to the county of Cumberland, are however, I conceive, entitled to notice. Those who come to be hired stand in a body in the market-place, and to distinguish themselves hold a bit of straw or green sprig in their mouths. When the market is over the girls begin to file off and gently pace the streets, with a view of gaining admirers, whilst the young men with similar designs follow them; and having "eyed the lasses," each picks up a sweetheart, conducts her to a dancing-room, and treats her with punch, wine, and cake. Here they spend their afternoon, and part of their half-year's wages, in drinking and dancing, unless, as it frequently happens, a girl becomes the subject of contention, when the harmony of the meeting is interrupted, and the candidates for her love settle the dispute by blows. When the diversions of the day are concluded, the servants generally return to their homes for a few holidays before they enter on their new servitude. At fairs, as well as hirings, it is customary for all the young people in the neighbourhood to assemble and dance at the inns and alehouses. In their dances, which are jigs and reels, exertion and agility are more regarded than ease and grace. But little order is observed in these rustic assemblies: disputes frequently arise, and are generally terminated by blows. During these combats the weaker portion of the company, with the minstrels, get on the benches, or cluster in corners, whilst the rest support the combatants; even the lasses will often assist in the battle in support of their relations or lovers, and in the last cases they are desperate. When the affray is over the bruised pugilists retire to wash, and the tattered nymphs to re-adjust their garments. Fresh company arrives, the fiddles strike up, the dancing proceeds as before, and the skirmish which had commenced without malice, is rarely remembered. In their dancing parties the attachments of the country people are generally formed.
Old Custom. Till within the last century, an old custom prevailed in the parish of Ensham, Oxfordshire, by which the townspeople were allowed on Whit Monday to cut down and carry away as much timber as could be drawn by men's hands into the abbey-yard, the churchwardens previously marking out such timber by giving the first chop; so much as they could carry out again, notwithstanding the opposition of the servants of the abbey to prevent it, they were to keep for the reparation of the church. By this service they held their right of commonage at Lammas and Michaelmas; but about the beginning of the last century, this practice was laid aside by mutual consent.*
There is a custom at Kidlington, in Oxfordshire, on Monday afterWhitson Week, to provide a fat live lamb; and the maids of the town, having their thumbs tied behind them, run after it, ajid she that with her mouth takes and holds the lamb, is declared Lady of the Lamb ; which being dressed, with the skin hanging on, is carried on a long pole before the lady and her companions to the green, attended with music, and a morisco dance of men, and another of women, where the rest of the day is spent in dancing, mirth, and merry glee. The next day the lamb is part baked, boiled, and roast, for the lady's feast, where she sits majestically at the upper end of the table, and her companions with her, with music and other attendants, which ends the solemnity .t
Necton, Norfolk For the Every-Day Book. Various purse clubs, or benefit societies, annual feasts, and other merrymakings, having from time immemorial produced a Whitsuntide holiday amongst the inhabitants of numerous villages in Norfolk, in 1817, colonel, at that time major, Mason, in order to concentrate these festivities, and render Necton, (his
* Topographical, Ac.Description of Oxfordshire. t Blount's Jocular Tenures.
place of family residence,) the focus of popular attraction to the neighbouring villagers, established a guild or festival for rural sports, on Whit Monday and Tuesday. Having, during the late war, while with his regiment (the East Norfolk Militia) had an opportunity of observing the various celebrations of Whitsuntide, in different parts of the kingdom, he was thus enabled to constitute Necton guild, a superior holiday 'festival. Arranged under his immediate patronage, and conducted by his principal tenantry, it soon became, and still continues, the most respectable resort of Whitsuntide festivities in Norfolk.
Previous to the festival, the following printed notice is usually circulated
"On the afternoons of Whit Monday and Whit Tuesday next, a guild for rural games, Maypole dances, &c. will be held in the grounds of William Mason, Esq., Necton.
"The guild being entirely distinct from a fair, no stalls, stands, or booths, or other conveniences for the sale of goods, will be suffered to be brought upon the grounds, but by those who have special leave for that purpose, in writing, given on application to John Carr, master beadle.
"The guild will open each day at two p. M., and canteens, (where refreshments of all sorts may be had, and cold dinners supplied,) will close each night by sound of bell at eleven.
"N. B.—As this guild is regularly policed, it is hoped that the hilarity of the festival will continue to be preserved as heretofore, by the order and obliging conduct of all those who come to mix in the entertainment.
"Signed by • * * Mayor. «■•*•• Past Mayor.
"God Save The King."
The field selected for the purpose is beautifully and picturesquely situated, opposite the park of Necton-hall. Near the centre is a raised mound of earth, fenced round to protect it from the pressure of the crowd, on which is erected a "Maypole," crowned with a streamer or pennant, and encircled by numerous garlands of flowers and evergreens, suspended longitudinally from the top to the bottom of the pole :—this is called