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the theatre became to me, upon a new stock, the most delightful of recreations.
After this robbery of" Elia," my conscience forces me to declare that I wish every reader would save me from the shame of further temptation to transgress, by ordering "Eli* into his collection. 1 here is no volume in our language so full of beauty, truth, and feeling, as the volume of " Elia." I am convinced that every person who has not seen it, and may take the hint, will thank me for acquainting him with a work which he cannot look nto without pleasure, nor lay down without regret. It is a delicious book.
On this day it is a custom to exercise ihe largest bell of one of our country churches, in the manner described in the following communication.
The 23d of September has obtained in Sherborne, Dorset, the name of "tollingday," in commemoration of the death of John Lord Digby, baron Digby of Sherborne, and earl of Bristol, in the year Mdcxcviii. and in conformity with the following wish expressed in a codicil annexed to his lordship's will.
"Item, I give and bequeath out of my said estate to the parish church, the yearly .nun of ten pounds, to be paid by my successors, lords of the said manor for the time being, at and upon, or within forty days after, the feast days of St. Michael the archangel, and of the annunciation of our blessed lady St. Mary the virgin, by equ al portions yearly and for ever, and to be employed and bestowed by the churchwardens of the said parish for the time being, with the consent of the lord of the said manor for the time being, in keeping in good repair the chancel, and towards the reparations of the rest of the said church, yearly and for ever; provided that my successors, the lord or lords of the said manor for the time being, shall have and enjoy a convenient pew, or seat, in the said chancel for himself and family for ever; and provided that the said churchwardens for the time being, shall cause the largest bell in the tower of the said church, to be tolled six full hours, that is to say, from five to nine of the clock in the forenoon, and
from twelve o'clock till two in the afternoon, on ti.at day of the said month whereon it shall be my lot to depart this life, every year and for ever; otherwis* this gift of ten pounds per annum shall determine and be void."
Thiscuslom is annually observed, but not to the extent above intended, the tolling of the bell being limited to two hours instead of six. It begins to toll at six o'clock and continues till seven in the morning, when six men, who toll the bell for church service, repair to the mansion of the present earl Digby, with two large stone jars, which are there filled with some of his lordship's strong beer, and, with a quantity of bread and cheese, taken to the church by the tollers and equally divided amongst them, together with a small remuneration in money paid by the churchwardens as a compensation for their labour. At twelve o'clock the bell is again tolled till one, and in the evening divine service is performed at the church, and a lecture suited to the occasion delivered from the pulpit; for which lecture or sermon the vicar is paid thirty pounds, provided by the will of the above donor.
Bow Bells. Who has not heard of "Bow Bells J" Who that has heard them does not feel an interest in their sounds, or in the recollection of them? The editor is preparing an article on "Bow Bells," and for that purpose particularly desires communications. Accounts relative to their present or former state, or any facts or anecdotes respecting them at any time, are earnestly solicited from every reader as soon as possible.
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature .... 56 • 02.
A Good Tenant. In the "Gentleman's Magazine," for September, 1775, Mr. Clayton, a wealthy fanner of Berkshire, is related to have died at the extraordinary age of a hundred and fifteen years, and retained his faculties to the last; he is further remarkable, for having rented one farm ninety years. An occupancy of so great duration, by one individual, is perhaps urequailed in the history of landlord and tenant.
Mean Temperature ... 55 ' 40.
Sea Side Sports.
There is an exhilarating effect in the sea-air and coast scenery, which inland views or atmosphere, however fine, fail to communicate.
On the 25th of September, 1825, a gentleman and lady came out of one of the hotels near the Steyne, and after taking a fair start, set off running round the Steyne. They both ran very swiftly, .but the young lady bounded forward with the agility of the chamois and the fleet, ness of the deer, and returned to the spot from whence they started a considerable distance before the gentleman. She appeared much pleased with her victory. There were but few persons on the Stoyne at the time, but those who were there, expressed their admiration at the swiftness of this second Atalanta.*
'Did he think there was room?' He was sure of it. 'Did he belong to the inn?' 'No,' he was from London. In fact, he was a young gentleman from town, who had been stopping some time at the White-horse hotel, and who wished to employ his spare time (when he was not riding out on a blood-horse) in serving the house, and relieving the perplexities of his fellow-travellers. No one but a Londoner would volunteer his assistance in this way. Amiable land of Cockayne, happy in itself, and in making others happy! Blest exuberance of selfsatisfaction, that overflows upon others! Delightful impertinence, that is forward to oblige them 1"
In Mr. Hazlitt's " Notes of a Journey -through France and Italy," he mentions the place from whence he sailed for the continent:—
"Brighton stands facing the sea, on the bare cliffs, with glazed windows to reflect the glaring sun, and black pitchy bricks shining like the scales of fishes. The town is however gay with the influx of London visiters—happy as the conscious abode of its sovereign I Every thing here appears in motion—coming or
foing. People at a watering-place may e compared to the flies of a summer; or to fashionable dresses, or suits of clothes, walking about the streets. The only idea you gain is, of finery and motion. The road between London and Brighton,
Sresents some very charming scenery; eigate is a prettier English countrytown than is to be found anywhere—out of England 1 As wc entered Biighton in the evening, a Frenchman was playing and singing to a guitar.—The genius of the south had come out to meet us."
When Mr. Hazlitt arrived at Brighton, it was in the full season. He says, "A lad offered to conduct us to an inn.
It is here both in place and season, to quote a passage of remarkably fine thought :—
"There is something in being near the sea, like the confines of eternity. It is a new element, a pure abstraction. The mind loves to hover on that which is endless, and for ever the same. People wonder at a steam-boat, the invention of man, managed by man, that makes its liquid path like an iron railway through the sea —I wonder at the sea itself, that vast Leviathan, rolled round the earth, smiling in its sleep, waked into fury, fathomless, boundless, a huge world of water-dtops. —Whence is it, whither goes it, is it of eternity or of nothing? Strange ponderous riddle, that we can neither penetrate nor grasp in our comprehension, ebbing and flowing like human life, and swallowing it up in thy remorseless womb,—what art thou? What is there in common between thy life and ours, who gaze at thee? Blind, deaf and old, thou seest not, hearest not, understandest not; neither do we understand, who behold and listen to thee! Great as thou art, unconscious of thy greatness, unwieldy, enormous, preposterous twin-birth of matter, rest in thy dark, unfalhomed cave of mystery, mocking human pride and weakness. Still is it given to the mind of man to wonder at thee, to confess its ignorance, and to stand in awe of thy stupendous might and majesty, and of its own being, that can question thine V*
In Mr. Hazlitt's "Journey through France and Italy," there are "thoughts
* Bnghton p*Fera
that breathe and words that burn." His conceptions of beauty and grandeur, are at all times simple and vast. His works are pervaded by the results of profound thinking. His sentences have the power of elevating things that are deemed little remarkable, and of lowering those which successive submissions to over praise, have preposterously magnified. Many of the remarks on works of art, in his " Notes of a Journey through France and Italy," will be wholly new to persons who never reflected on the subjects of his criticism, and will not be openly assented to by others thinking as he does, who, for the first time, has ventured to publicly dissent from received notions. If any of his opinions be deemed incorrect, the difference can easily be arbitrated. Taking the originals, whether corporeal or imaginary existences, as the standard, our pure sight and feeling may be relied on as unerring judges of the imitations.
Naturalists' Calendar Mean Temperature . . .54-27.
St. Cyprian. Old Holy Rood.
For these remembrances in the church of England calendar and almanacs, see vol. i. p. 1324.
Communications of local customs are always received and inserted with satisfaction. It is with peculiar pleasure that the editor submits the following, from a gentleman with respect to whom he has nothing to regret, but that he is not permitted to honour the work, by annexing the name of the respectable writer to the letter.
Paisley Hallow-eve Fires.
rahley, September 21, 1826. To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Sir,—Having been a subscriber to your Every-Day Book from its first appearance in this town, up to the present time, I reproach myself with neglect, in not having sent you before now, an account of a lather singular custom prevalent here, and, as it should seem, of ancient date.
The river White Cart, on which Paisley
stands, although affected by the tide, and navigable to the town for vessels not exceeding fifty tons' burden, is often remarkably shallow at low water. This is especially the case between the highest and the lowest of three stone bridges, by which the old town or burgh is connected with the new town. In this shallow part of the stream, parties of boys construct, on Hallow-eve,—the night when varied superstitions engross most of old Scotia's peasantry,—circular raised hearths, if I may so term them, of earth or clay; bordered by a low round wall composed of loose stones, sods, &c. Within these enclosures, the boys kindle on their hearths, bonfires, often of considerable size. From the bridges, the appearance of these bonfires, after nightfall, is singular; and attracts, as spectators, many of the grownup inhabitants of the place. The number and glare of the fires, their tremulous reflection in the surrounding water, the datk moving figures of the boys that group around them, and the shouts and screams set up by the youthful urchins in testimony of enjoyment, might almost make one fancy that the rites and incantations of magic, or of wizardry, were taking place before one's very eyes. What is the origin of this custom, or how long it has prevailed, I do not know.
Ere I relinquish my pen, allow me to describe to you another singular custom which obtains in the largest town of England, north of the Trent.* No one is better acquainted than, Mr. Hone, are you, with the existence of the wake or feast, still held annually in some of the towns, and nearly all the parochial villages of the midland and norm era counties. In many of the larger towns, the traces of the ancient wake are, indeed, nearly worn out, and this is pretty much the case with that particular town, to which reference has just been made, namely, Sheffield; our great national emporium for cutlery, files, edge-tools, and the better kinds of plated goods. Only in a few ancient and primitive families, do roast beef, plum-pudding, and an extra allowance of Yorkshire stingo, gracing, o» Trinity Sunday, a large table, begirt wit> some dozen of happy, and happy-faced town and country cousins, show, that the venerable head of the family, and his antique dame, have not forgotten Sheffield feast-day. But if the observance of Sheffield feast itself be thus partial, and verging towards disuse, amends is made for the circumstance, in the establishment, and pretty vigorous keeping up of sundry local feasts, held on different days, within the town, or in its suburbs. Besides those of the Wicker and little Sheffield, which are suburban, Broad-lane and Scotland-street, in the town itself, have their respective feasts too. At Little Sheffield and in Broad-lane, the zest of the annual festivity is often heightened by ass-races; foot-races, masculine, for a hat; foot-races, feminine, for a chemise; grinning-matches; and, though less frequently, the humours and rattle of a mountebank and his merry andrew. Occasionally too changes, in imitation of those on the church bells, are rung, by striking with a hammer, or a short piece of steel, on six, eight, or ten long bars each suspended by twine from the roof of a workshop, and the entire set chosen so as to resemble pretty nearly, a ring of bells, both in diversity and in sequence of tone.*
* 1 speak advisedly. As a town, Sheffield, thsj place lie re referred to, it larger and more populous than Leeds. In 1821 it contained with its lubiirna, hut without including cither out.hamlets, or th« country p.trl t.f the parish, at least £4,000 inhabitant!,;—Leeds no more than 48,000.
Scotland /east, however, in point of interest, bears away the bell from all the other district revels of Sheffield. It is so called from Scotland-street, already mentioned; a long, hilly, and very populous one, situated in the northern part of the town. On the eve of tne feast, which is yearly held on the 29th of May, the anniversary of the restoration of our second Charles, parties of the inhabitants repair into the neighbouring country; whence, chiefly however from Walkley-bank, celebrated as Sheffield schoolboys too well know for birch trees, they bring home, at dead of night, or morning's earliest dawn, from sixteen to twenty well-sized trees, besides a profusion of branches. The trees they instantly plant in two rows; one on each side of the street, just without the kirbstone of the flagged pavement. With the branches, they decorate the doors and windows of houses, the sign-boards of drinking-shops,
• When the period fir which an apprentice ii ><ound (seven years) expires, his "loosing" is held hy himself, anrl sh'tpmales. Then are these steel hells made to jungle all day. At night the loosing is farther celebrated !>y a supper and bonze. The pirochial ringers frequently attend fi-siivit ea with u set of hand-bells, which, in tilt estimation of their auditors, th«v make "discourse most elo |iieut music."
arid so on. By five or six in the morning, Scotland-street, which is not very wide, has the appearance of a grove. And soon, from ropes stretched across it, three, four, or five, superb garlands delight the eyes, and dance over the heads of the feast-folk. These garlands are composed of hoops, wreathed round with foliage and flowers, fluttering with variously coloured ribands, rustling with asidew,* and gay with silver tankards, pints, watches, &c. Before the door of the principal alehouse, the largest tree is always planted. The sign of this house is, if memory do not deceive me, the royal oak.-fBut be this as it may, certain it is, that duly ensconced among the branches of the said tree, may always be seen the effigy, in small, of king Charles the Second: to commemorate indeed the happy concealment and remarkable escape of the merry monarch, at Boscobel, should seem to be the object of creating a sylvan scene at "Scotland feast;" while that of holding the feast itself on the anniversary of his restoration is, there can be little doubt, to celebrate with honour the principal event in the life of hiin, after whose ancient and peculiar kingdom the street itself is named. To the particulars already given, it needs scarcely be added, that dancing, drinking, and other merry-making are, as a Scotsman would say, rife,\ at the annual commemoration thus briefly described.
Thanking you for much instruction, as well as entertainment, already derived from your book, and wishing you success from its publication, I remain, Sir, Your obedient servant,
Asidew. In vol. i. col. \2l2,arsedine is noticed as having been in use at Baitholomew fair, and Mr Archdeacon Nares's supposition is mentioned, that arscdine,crsadinc, or orsden, as it was variously called, was a corruption of arsenic, ororpiment. The editor then ventured to hazard a different suggestion, and show that the word might be saxon, and expressive of " pigments obtained from minerals and metals.'' Since then, a note in Mr. Sharp's remarkably interesting "Dissertation on the Country Mysteries," seems to favour the notion.
* Asidew. The orthography of this word may be wrong. I never, to my knowledge, saw it written. It is used in Sheffield to express a thin, very thin brass leaf, of a high gold colour.
t In my boyish days, one Ludlam kept It. Wm It he to wlinni belonged the dog which gave occasion to this proverbial saying r •' As "dta as Ludlam1 dog, that l.iy down to bark i
Mr. Sharp says, "At the end of Gent's * History of York, 1730," is an advertisement of numerous articles, sold by Hammond, a bookseller of that city, and amongst the rest occurs ' Assidue or horsegold,' the very next article to which, is 'hobby-horse-bells.'—A dealer in Dutch metal, Michael Oppenheim, 27, Mansellstreet, Goodman's-fields, thus described himself in 1816—'Importer of bronze powder, Dutch metal, and Or-sedew,' and upon inquiry respecting the last article, it proved to be that t'lin yellow metal, generally known by the name of tinsel, much used for ornamenting children's dolls, hobby-horses, and some toys, as well as manufactured into various showy articles of dress. The word orsedew is evidently a corruption of oripeau t. e. leaf (or skin) gold, afterwards brat*. The Spaniards call it oropoel, gold-skin, and the Germans flitter-gold."*
Through Mr. Sharp we have, at length, attained to a knowledge of this substance as the true ariedine of onr forefathers, and the atideta of the Sheffield merry-makers at present.
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 55 • 57.
On the 27th of September, 1772, died at Turnhurst, in Staffordshire, James Brindley, a man celebrated for extraordinary mechanical genius and skilful labours in inland navigation. He was born at Tunsted, in the parish of Wormhill, Derbyshire, in 1716, where he contributed to support his parents' family till he was nearly seventeen years of age, when he bound himself apprentice to a wheelwright named Bennet, near Macclesfield, in Cheshire. In the early period of his apprenticeship, he performed several parts of the business without instiuction, and so satisfied the millers, that he was always consulted in preference to his master, and before the expiration of his servitude, when Mr. Bennet, by his age and infirmi
* Mr. Sliarp'i Dim nation, p. JJ>.
ties, became unable to work, H*. carried on the business, and provided a conasortable suosistence for the old man and ha
About this time Bennet was employtd in constructing an engine paper-mill, the first of the kind that had been attempted in these parts; but, as he was likely to fail in the execution of it, Mr. Brindley, without communicating his design, set oat on Saturday evening after the business of the day was finished, and having inspected the work, returned home on Monday morning, after a journey of fifty miles, informed his master of its defects, and completed the engine to the entire satisfaction of the proprietors. He afterwards engaged in the mill-wright business on bis own account. The fame of his inventions in a little while spread far beyond his Owe neighbourhood. In 1752, he was employed to erect a curious water-engine at Clifton, in Lancashire, for the purpose of draining coal-mines, which had before been performed at an enormous expense. The water for the use of this engine was conveyed from the river Irwell by a subterraneous channel, nearly six hundred yards long, which passed through a rock; and the wheel was fixed thirty feet below the surface of the ground.
In 1755, he constructed a new silkmill at Congleton, in Cheshire, according to the plan proposed by the proprietors, after the execution of it by the original undertaker had failed; and in the completion of it he added many new and useful improvements. He introduced one contrivance for winding the silk upon the bobbins equally, and not in wreaths; and another for stopping, in- an instant, not only the whole of this extensive system, in all its various movements, but any indidual part of it at pleasure. He likewise invented machines for cutting the tooth and pinion wheels of the different engines, in a manner that produced a great saving of time, labour, and expense. He also introduced into the mills, used at the potteries in Staffordshire for grinding flintstones, several valuable additions, which greatly facilitated the operation.
In 17.'o, he constructed a steam-engine at Newcastle-under-Line, upon a new plan. The boiler was made with brick and stone, instead of iron plates, and the water was heated by fire-places, so constructed as to save the consumption of fuel. He also introduced cylinders of wood instead of those of iron, and substi