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Alps, continue perpetually to increase in Reasonings of this kind are suppo
garb, characterising the arctic regions
• See M. Chronicle, 4 Oct, iniz.
Pass where to Ceuta Calpe's thunder roars,
HATliri* LISTS CALENDAR.
Mean Temperature . . . 35 • 05.
Mr. Reddock's paper on this subject, at page 13. has elicited the following letter from a literary gentleman, concerning a dramali: representation in England similar to that which Mr. Reddock instances at Falkirk, and other parts of North Britain. Such communications are particularly acceptable; because they show to what extent usages prevail, and wherein they differ in different parts of the country. It will be gratifying to every one who peruses this work, and highly so to the editor, if he is obliged by letters from readers acquainted with customs in their own vicinity, similar to those that they are informed of in other counties, and particularly if they will take the trouble to desciibe them in every particular. By this means, the Every-Day Book will become what it is designed to be made,—a storehouse of past and present manners and custom.?. Any customs of any place or season that have not already appeared in the worn, are earnestly solicited from those who have the means of furnishing the information The only condition stipulated for, as absolutely indispensable to the insertion of a letter respecting facts of this nature, is, that the name and address of !h<? writer be communicated to the editor, who will subjoin such signature as the writer may choose his letter should bear to the eye of the public. The various valuable articles of
this kind which have hitherto appeared in the work, however signed by initials Ot otherwise, have been so authenticated to the editor's private satisfaction, and he is thus enabled to vouch for the genuineness of such contributions.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
In your last number appeared a very amusing article touching some usages and customs in Scotland, and communicated from Falkirk. In the description of the boys' play, ingeniously suggested as typical of the Roman invasion under Agricola, we, however, read but a varied edition of what is enacted in other parts besides Scotland, and more particularly in the western counties, by tliose troops of old Father Christmas boys, which are indeed brief chronicles of the times. I mean, those paper-decorated, -brickdust-daubed urchins, 'yclept Mummers.
To be sure they do not begin,.
"Here comes in the king of Macedon;"
but we have instead,
"Here comes old Father Christmas, Christmas or Christmas not, I hope old Father Christmas never will be forgot"
And then for the Scottish leader Galgacus,
"Here comes in St. George, St. George
That man of mighty name.
With sword and buckler by my side
J hope to win the game."
These "western kernes" have it, you see, Mr. Editor, " down along," to use their own dialect, with those of the thistle. Then, too, we have a fight. Oh! how beautiful to my boyish eyes were their wooden swords and their bullying gait! —then we have a fight, for lo
"Here's come I, the Turkish knight,
A vile Saracenic pun in the very minute of deadly strife. But they fight—the cross is victorious, the crescent o'erthrown, and, as a matter of course, even in our pieces of mock valour, duels we have therein—the doctor is sent for; and he is addressed, paralleling again our players of "Scotia's wild domain," with
"Doctor, doctor, can yon tell What will make a sick man well?"
and thereupon he enumerates cures which would have puzzled Galen, and put Hippocrates to a " non-plus;" and he finally agrees, as in the more classical drama of your correspondent, to cure our unbeliever for a certain sum.
The " last scene of all that ends this strange eventful history" consists in the entrance of the most diminutive of these Thespians, bearing, as did jEneas of old, his parent upon his shoulders, and reciting this bit of good truth and joculation (permitting the word) by way of epilogue:
"Here comes I, little Johnny Jack,
This may be but an uninteresting tailpiece to your correspondent's clever communication, but still it is one, and makes the picture he so well began of certain usages more full of point.
I doat upon old customs, and I love hearty commemorations, and hence those mimics of whom I have written—I mean the mummers—are my delight, and in the laughter and merriment they create I forget to be a critic, and cannot choose but laugh in the fashion of a Democritus, rather than weep worlds away in the style of a Diogenes.
I am, &c. &c.
J. S. jun.
In the preface to Mr. Davies Gilbert's
work on "Ancient Christmas Carols,"
■\is an account of Cornish sports,
with a description of a "metrical play," which seems to be the same with which is the subject of the preceding letter.
Being on the popular drama, and as the topic arose in Mr. Reddock's communication from Scotland, a whimsical dramatic anecdote, with another of like kin from that part of the kingdom,is here subjoined from a Scottish journal of this month in the year 1823.
New Reading! of Burns.
We were lately favoured with the perusal of a Perth play-bill, in which Tarn O'Shanter, dramatized, is announced for performance as the afterpiece. A ludicrous mistake has occurred, however, iu the classification of the Dramatis Persona. The sapient playwright, it would appear, in reading the lines
"Tarn had got planted unco ricbt,
Fast by an ingle blcezin' finely,
Wi' reaman swats that drank divinely,"
very naturally conceiving ream an' swats, from the delectable style of their carousing, to be a brace of Tarn's pot companions, actually introduced them as such, as we find in the bill that the characters of " Ream" and " Swats" are to be personated by two of the performers!
This reminds us of an anecdote, connected with the same subject, which had its origin nearer home. Some time ago we chanced to be in the shop of an elderly bookseller, when the conversation turned upon the identity of the characters introduced by Burns in his Tarn O'Shanter. The bibliopole, who had spent the early part of his life in this neighbourhood, assured us that, "exceptin' Kerr, he kent every body to leuk at that was mentioned, frae Tarn himsel' doun to his mare Maggie." This being the first time we had ever heard Mr. Kerr's cognomen alluded to, in connection with 7am O'Shanter, we expressed considerable surprise, and stated that he undoubtedly must have made a mistake in the name. "It may be sae, but its a point easily saltled," said he, raxing down a copy of Burns from the shelf. With "spectacles on nose," he turned up the poem in question. "Ay, ay," said he, in an exulting tone, " I thocht I was na that far wrang—
"Care mad to see a man sae happy,
Now, I kent twa or three o' the Ken's
A Dramatic Printing Apparatus. Itinerant companies of comedians frequently print their play-bills by the following contrivance: The form of letter is placed on a flat support, having ledges at each side, that rise within about a thirteenth of an inch of the inked surface of the letter. The damped paper is laid upon the letter so disposed, and previously inked, and a roller, covered with woollen cloth, is passed along the ledges over its surface; the use of the ledges is to prevent the roller from rising in too obtuse an angle against the first letters, or going off too abruptly from the last, which would cause the paper to be cut, and the impression to be injured at the beginning and end of the sheet. The roller must be passed across the page, for if it moves in the order of the lines, the paper will bag a little between each, and the impression will be less neat.f
Mean Temperature ... 35 * 65.
On the 16th and 17th of January, 1809, Mr. Howard observed, that the snow exhibited the beautiful blue and pink shades at sunset which are sometimes observable, and that there was a strong evaporation from its surface. A circular area, of five inches diameter, lost 150 grains troy, from sunset on the 15th to sunrise next morning, and about 50 grains more by the following sunset; the gauge being exposed to a smart breeze on the house top. The curious reader may hence compute for himself, the enormous quantity raised in tliose 24 hours, without any visible lique
• Ayr Courier.
f l»r. Aikm'* Atli.<nxnm.
faction, from an acre of snow: the effects of the load thus given to the air were soon
fierceptible. On the 17th, a small briliant meteor descended on the S. E. horizon about 6 p. m. On the 18th, though the moon was still conspicuous, the horns of the crescent were obtuse. On the 19th appeared the Cirrut cloud, followed by the Cirrostratus. In the afternoon a freezing shower from the eastward glazed the windows, encrusted the walls, and encased the trees, the garments of passengers, and the very plumage of the birds with ice. Birds thus disabled were seen lying on the ground in great numbers in different parts of the country. Nineteen rooks were taken up alive by one person at Castle Eaton Meadow, Wilts. The composition of this frozen shower, examined on a sheet of paper, was no less curious than these effects. It consisted of hollow spherules of ice, filled with water; of transparent globules of hail; and of drops of water at the point of freezing, which became solid on touching the bodies they fell on. The thermometer exposed from the window indicated 30,5°. This was at Plaistow. The shower was followed by a moderate fall of snow. From this time to the 24th, there were variable winds and frequent falls of snow, which came down on the 22d in flakes as large as dollars, with sleet at intervals. On the 24th a steady rain from VV. decided for a thaw. This and the following night proved stormy: the melted snow and rain, making about two inches depth of water on the level, descended suddenly by the rivers, and the country was inundated to a greater extent than in the year 1795. The River Lea continued rising the whole of the 26th, remained stationary during the 27th, and returned into its bed in the course of the two following days. The various channels by which it intersects this part of the country were united in one current, above a mile in width, which flowed with great impetuosity, and did much damage. From breaches in the banks and mounds, the different levels, as they are termed, of embanked pasture land, were filled to the depth of eight or nine feet. The cattle, by great exertions, were preserved, being mostly in the stall; and the inhabitants, driven to their upper rooms, were relieved by boats plying under the windows. The Thames was so full during this time, thnt no tide was perceptible; happily, however, its bank suffered no injury; and the recession of the water from the levels proceeded with little interruption till the 2Sd of February, when it nearly all subsided. No lives were lost in these parts; but several circumstances concurred to render this inundation less mischievous than it might have been, from the great depth o. snow on the country. It was the time of neap tide; the wind blew strongly from the westward, urging the water down the Thames; while moonlight nights, and a temperate atmosphere, were favourable to the poor, whose habitations were filled with water. On the 28th appeared a lunar halo of the largest diameter. On the 29th, after a fine morning, the wind began to blow hard from the south, and during the whole night of the 30th it raged with excessive violence from the west, doing considerable damage. The barometer rose, during this hurricane, onetenth of an inch per hour. The remainder of the noon was stormy and wet, and it
closed with squally weather; which, with the frequent appearance of the rainbow, indicated the approach of a drier atmosphere, a change on few occasions within Mr. Howard's recollection more desirable. Numerous inundations, consequent on the thaw of the 24th, appear to have prevailed in low and level districts all along the east side of the island: but in no part with more serious destruction of properly, public works, and the hopes of the husbandman, than in the fens of Cambridgeshire: where, by some accounts, 60,000, by others above 150,000 acres of land, were laid under deep water, through an extent of 15 miles. It is a fact worth preserving, that about 500 sacks filled with earth, and laid on the banks of the Old Bedford river, at various places, where the waters were then flowing over, proved effectual in saving that part of the country from a general deluge.