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maid lay!

CHAPTER IV.

belief is, that she also is destined to pin and wither away.

The following version of some lines from MIDSUMMER.

a German almanac, descriptive of this suOn the Vigil of St. John the Baptist (June perstition, is beautiful. 23d), the ancient custom of celebrating the

“ The young maid stole through the cottage door, summer solstice, common to almost all na- And blushed as she sought the plant of power; tions, by lighting bonfires, is still kept up in • Thou silver glow-worm, O lend me thy light! many parts of England.

Numerous pagan The wonderful herb whose leaf will decide

I must gather the mystic St. John's Wort to-night, rites, adopted afterwards by the Christians, If the coming year shall make me a bride.' are still observed on Midsummer Eve and

" And the glow-worın* came Day. According to Durand, there is a curi

With its silvery flame, ous custom of rolling a large wheel, bound And sparkled and shone, with straw set on fire, down a hill, on this Through the night of St. John, day, evidently intended to signify, that the

And soon as the maiden her love-kooi tied,

With noiseless tread sin was beginning to roll down again from To her chamber she sped, its greatest height. Naogeorgus refers to Where the spectral inoon ber white beams shed: the same, and adds, that the folks used to “ Bloom here-bloom here, thou plant of power, imagine that they could roll down and get To deck the young bride in ber brilul hour. rid of their ill lnck with this wheel The

But it drooped its head, that plant of power,

And died the mute death of the voiceless flower ; heathen rites of this festival, at the summer

And a withered wieath on the ground it lay, solstice, may be considered as a counterpart More meet for a burial than bridal day, of those used during the winter solstice, at And when the full year fad Mitted away Yuletide. In the old Runic fasti, a wheel All pile on her bier the young was used to denote the festival of Christmas, “ A:d the glow-worun came and Gebelin derives Yule froin a primitive

Wiat its silvery flauit,

And sparkied and shoc, word, carrying with it the general idea of

Through the night of St. John, revolution, and of a wheel; and it was so And they closed the cold grave o'er the maid's cold called, says Bede, because of the return of

clay," the sun's annual course after the wintry solstice. This wheel is common to both The forty days' rain, now ascribed to St. festivities.

Swithin, formerly belonged to this Saint. There are many absurd superstitions at

An old memorial asserts“ Pluvias S. Jotached to the Midsummer Eve. For instance, annis 40 dies pluvii sequuntur"—it is added, it is imagined that any unmarried woman, certa nu cum pernicies.” fasting, and at midnight, laying a clean cloth, Every one of our readers must be acwith bread, cheese, and ale, and sitting down quainted with the prognostications connecud as if going to eat, the door being left open, with St. Swithin's day (July 15). will see the person whom she is afterwards

“ Saint Swithin's day, gif ye do rain to marry, come into the room, and drink to

For fi rty daies it will remain. her, by bowing; and afterwards, filling the Saint Swithiu's day, an je be fair glass, he will leave it on the table, and mak- For furty dales iwili ja itt Du nueir." ing another bow, will retire. Mr. Aubrey has given us the following :

So saith an old Scotch proverb. In the The last summer, on the day of St. John time of old Ben, it was an ancient tradition,t the Baptist, 1694, I accidentally was walking and is asserted to have taken its rise from in the pasture behind Montague house; it the following circumstances. - Swithin or was twelve o'clock. I saw there, about two Swithum, Bishop of Winchester, who died or three and twenty young women, most of in 868, desired that he might be buried in them were habited on their knees, very busy the open churchyard, not in the chancel of as if they had been weeding. I could not the minster, as was usual with the bishops, presently learn what the matter was. At and his request was complied with ; but the last a young man told me that they were monks, on his being canonized, considering looking for a coat under the root of a plan- it disgraceful for the Saint to lie in a public tain, to put under their heads that night, and cemetery, resolved to remove his body into they should dream who would be their hus- the choir, which was to be done with solemn bands; it was to be found that day and hour."

The glow-worm is denominated in Germai Again: according to a custom common Johannis - Wurmgen or Wurmlein-St. John's worm. over Germany, every young girl plucks a + Sordido, who reposer cupsiderable confidence in sprig of St. John's Wort (Hypericum), and the predictions of bis penny almanac, like loo many sticks it into the wall of her chamber. the 15th day, variable weather, for the most part rain, Should it, owing to the dampness of the wall, good! for the most part rain why it should raiu retain its freshness and verdure, she may fety days after, now, more or less

, it was a rule held, reckon upon gaining a suitor in the course of iwo days no rain: ba! it nukes me muse."-- Erery the year; but should it droop, the popular man out of his humour. Act 1. Scene I. Vol. I.

2 L

No. IX.-DECEMBER 27, 1828.

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procession, on the 15th of July; it rained, minations-Mell supperpa-Kern supperhowever, so violently, for forty days together, Chum supper, and Feast of Ingathering. that the design was abandoned.-(Forster, In all Christian countries, when the fruits p. 344.)

are gathered in, and placed in their proper The vulgar tradition adds, that the monks, repositories, it is common to provide a finding it vain to contend with a Saint who plentiful supper for the reapers and servants had the elements so completely under bis of the family. At this entertainment, all control, gave him his own way; so soon as are, in the modern revolutionary idea of the their intention was abandoned, he became word, perfectly equa). In the northern parts appeased, though not completely so, and of England, a Mell Doll, or image of corn, hence still reminds the descendants of those dressed like a doll, is carried in triumph, obstinate people of the permanency of his amidst the frantic screaming of the women, power. In the north of Scotland, this day on the last day of reaping. In some places, is termed St. Martin of Bullion's day,* and this is called a Kern (perhaps properly Corn) the same superstition is there prevalent. It Baby. There is also occasionally a harvest has evidently been founded on popular ob- queen: thought to be a representation of thie servation ; and certainly, in a majority of the Roman Ceres—apparelled in great finery, British summers, there is a showery period and crowned with flowers; with a sevthe in at this season : farther there is no truth in one hand, and a portion of corn in the other. the tradition.

All these ceremonies lave arisen, like the Lammas day (August 1st), seems, ctymo- Anūs and Suyxouisapia of the Greeks, from logically, to be a corruption of Loaf Mass; gratitude to the gods, by whose blessing and is a remnant of a very old British custom they enjoyed the fruits of the ground. of celebrating the gifts of Ceres. In Orosius By St. Bartholomew's day (August 24th), we have hlafmaesse for panis festum vel the showery period has generally passed frumenti primitiarum festum Calendarum away, and the weather has become more Augusti, and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, favourable, or as Dr. Forster has affectedly the word is spelled plam maesse, whence, by and ridiculously expressed it—“ the watery rejecting the aspiration, we have Lammas. spell of a weeping St. Swithin bas nearly Naesse, mass in Anglo-Saxon, merely signi- ceased to draw down the tears of Cælum, the fies a festival, and hence our names Christ. forty days' lamentation ending yesterday.” mas, Candlemas, Martinmas, &c.

(p. 426). Hence the proverb. Gebelin, in his Allegories Orientales tells us, that as the month of August was the

“ All the tears that St. Switbin can cry,

St. Bartlemy's dusty mantle wipes dry." first in the Egyptian year, the first day of it was called Gule, which, being latinized, makes Gula. Our legendaries, surprised at seeing this word at the head of the month of

CHAPTER V. August, did not overlook, but converted it to their own purpose. They made out of it the feast of the daughter of the Tribune Michaelmas (Sept. 29th), is one of the reQuirinus, cured of some disorder in Gula, gular quarter days in some countries, for the throat, by kissing the chains of St. Peter, settling rents, &c.; but it is no longer rewhose feast is solemnized on this day. So markable for the hospitality which once Sir Henry Spelman— Gula Augusti sæpe attended it. Stubble geese being in England, obvenit in membranis antiquis præsertim esteemed in perfection early in the autumn, forensibus pro festo S. Petri ad vincula; most families have one dressed on this day. quod in ipsis calendis Augusti celebratur. Numerous inquiries have been made by anOccasionem inter alias Durandus suggerit tiquaries into the origin of this custom, none lib. vii. cap. 19. Quirinum Tribunum filiam of which are satisfactory, and it probably habuisse gutturosam; que osculata, iussu had no other meaning than that which we Alexandri Papæ (a B. Petro sexti) vincula have assigned. Geese being in some counquibus Petrus sub Nerone coercitus fuerat, a tries later in being ready for the table, we morbo liberatur.'"-(Forster, p.381.)

shall find that they are eaten at a later period. We can give only a passing notice to the They seem to have formed a staple article celebration of Harvest Home, which, although in the way of presents from the tenant to varying in every country, is a period of the landlord. joyful festivity in all; the many rural cere

“ And when the tenauntes come to pay their quar. monies, however, formerly appertaining to ter's rept, it, are fast going out of use. In different They bring some fowle at Midsummer, a dish of fish parts of Great Britain, it has various deno

At Christmasse a Capon, at Michaelmas a goose :

And somewhat else at Newyere's tide, for fear their It is not clear why St. Martin is designated of lease fie loose."

Gascoigne. Bullion. Du Cange calls this day-Festum S. Martini Bullientis, adding “ vulgo etiamnum, S. Martin Bouillant,probably so called on account of + Perhaps from Mael (Tegt.)-convivium rejectio, the warmth of the season in which the feast falls. pastus.

MICHAELMAS.

in Leul,

There is a singular custom in Yorkshire, is still, we are informed, to be seen, with a on St. Luke's day (October 18th)—that of boot and imperial crown on it; and, in all collecting children with small whips, to wbip processions, the Company of Cobblers takes the dogs about the streets-hence called precedence of the Company of Shoemakers.-Whipdog day. This custom was very com- (Forster, p. 585.) mon in York, formerly, and is not yet dis- The day is still observed as a festival by continued. A friend, now by us, saw this the corporate body of Cordwainers, or Shoeceremony performed, not many years ago, makers, of London. at Hull. Ellis, in his edition of Brand The Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude (ii. 323), asserts it to have originated in the (October 28th), has also been considered a following accident :-The tradition which rainy period, probably because observation I have heard of its origin, seems very pro- bad shown that the autumnal rains usually bable: that, in times of popery, a priest cele- commenced in Great Britain on or about that brating mass at this festival, in some church day. In Paris, a trick seems formerly to in York, unfortunately dropped the Pax after have been played off, similar to those geneconsecration, which was snatched up sud- rally practised on the first of April. “ A la denly, and swallowed by a dog that lay under Saint Simon et Saint Jude on envoi du the altar table. The profanation of this high Temple les Gens un peu simple demander des mystery, occasioned the death of the dog ; Nefles (Medlars), afin de les attraper et faire *and a persecution began, and has since con- noirecir par des valets." * tinued, on this day, to be severely carried

All Hallous Eve, or Halloweven--the on against his whole tribe in our city.” Vigil of All Saints Day (October 31st), is a (York.)

busy period among the superstitious. To St. Crispin's day (October 25th), is a great haud Halloween, is, in Scotland, to observe holiday in many places, amongst the shoe- the childish or idle rites appropriated to this makers, and the origin of this is thus evening. assigned. Two brothers, Crispinus and Crispianus, were born at Rome; wbence “ Some merry, friendly, countra folks they travelled to Soissons, in France, about

Together did convenc

To burn their nits, an pou their stocks, the year 303, to propagate the Christian Re

An' haud their Halluwecu." ligion. Being, however, desirous of render

Burns's Hallowe'en. ing themselves independent, they gained a subsistence by shoemaking. The governor Nuts and apples compose the chief mateof the town, having discovered that they rials of the entertainment on this night ; and, privately maintained the Christian faith, and from the custom of flinging the former into endeavoured to make proselytes of the in- the fire, or of cracking them with the teeth, habitants, ordered them to be beheaded, it doubtless had its vulgar name of Nutcrack about the year 308. From this time, the Night given to it. The nuts are thrown in shoemakers have chosen them for their pairs into the fire, as a love divination by tutelary saints.

young people, in many parts of Great Bri. With reference to this day, Dr. Forster has tain, anxious to know their future lot in the introduced the following anecdote of Charles connubial state. If the nuts lie still and V. This sovereign, in his intervals of re- burn together, the circumstance prognostilaxation, used to retire to Brussels; and,

cates a happy marriage, or at least a hopeful being desirous of knowing the sentiments of love; if, on the contrary, they bounce and his meanest subjects, concerning himself and fly asunder, the sign is unpropitious to matribis administration, he frequently went,

mony. incog., and mixed himself in such companies and conversations as he thought proper.

“ The auld guidwife's weel hooded pits

Are round an'rouvd divided, One night, his boot requiring mending, he was directed to a cobbler. Unfortunately,

Are tbere that night decided. it chanced to be St. Crispin's holiday; and, instead of finding the cobbler inclined for

“Some kindle couthie, side by side,

An'burn thegither trimly; work, he was in the height of his jollity Some start awa' wi' saucy pride, among his acquaintance. The emperor ac

An jump out owre the cisimlie." quainted him with his wishes, and offered him a handsome gratuity.“What! friend!"

From this unwarrantable curiosity as to says the cobbler,“ do you know no better their future lot, many thoughtlessly perform than to ask one of our craft to work on St. Other rites of the most idolatrous character, Crispin's day? Was it Charles himself, I'd in expectation of seeing the person who is to not do a stitch for him now: but if you will be their future husband or wife, or of hearing come in and drink St. Crispin, do and wel- his or her name repeated. They who are

come: we are as merry as the emperor can anxious to find these particularly described, be.” The sovereign accepted the offer, and, may refer to the Notes attached to Burns's as a return for his hospitality, gave the beautiful poem on this subject. The more cobblers a coat of arms-a boot with an imperial crown upon it. 'In Flanders, a chapel Sauval Antiq. de Paris, tom. ii, p. 617.

An' monie lads' and lasses' fates

16.

ignorant and superstitious, in Scotland, are and Romans, and is referred to every where persuaded, that on the eve of All Saints, the in the poets. invisible world has peculiar power ; that Martinmas—the feast of St. Martin (No. witches and fairies and ghosts are all ram- vember 11), was anciently a day of great bling abroad ; and that there is no such night festivity: it was the old quarter day, and as in the year for intercourse with spirits, or for it occurred at a period when geese are in obtaining insight into futurity.

high season, the landlords were formerly ia We have already alluded to the custom the habit of entertaining their tenants with amongst almost all nations, of employing geese, then only kept by opulent persons. fires and torches in their ceremonies. In In some parts of the continent of Europe, some parts of Scotland, that of lighting fires St. Martin's day is celebrated by a feast of is still followed on Hallowe'en, and is termed goose, as that of St. Michael is in Great a Hallowe'en bleeze. These fires are used Britain. This custom is referred to in va. as means of divination, and are evident re. rious proverbial distichs :mains of Heathenism, apparently of Druidism. In the Orkneys, when the beasts are sick, "Tigra velit, martatque boves, et lælus ad ignem

Ebria Montio, festa Novembar agit the inhabitants sprinkle them with a factitious Ad pustein in Sylvanı porcos comigullit, et ipse water, with which they also sprinkle their Pioguibus interea vexitur Anscribus.“ boats, when their fishing does not turn out prosperously: this they do especially on

The vulgar expression, “ My eye and Hallowe'en, and, in addition, place a cross of Belly Martin," seems to be a corruption of

Mihi beate Martine"-an invocation to tar upon them-to make them “luck." At this time, too, was held, it was formerly

this saint. believed by the vulgar, a Hallowmass Rade droismess, or Andermess (Novenber 30), the

On St. Andrew's Day, Andyr's Day, An. --the word Rude (A. S. rail, rade, equitatio, day dedicated to St. Andrew, the Patron iter equestre), evidently referring to their Saint of Scotland ; singed sheep's heads (a riding, by virtue of their enchantment, to these assemblages.

favourite dish with the Scotch), are borne in All Saints Day, Hallowsday, Hallow. the procession before the Scots in London on mass, or Hallowtide (November 1st), the

this day.'-(Forsler, 674.) festival observed in the Christian Church in

The sixth of December is the festival of commemoration of all the Saints, was for: St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, merly dedicated by superstition to the angel in the fourth century, was a saint of the presiding over fruits, seeds, &c., and thence highest virtue, even from his earliest infancy. called in Saxon Lumas ubhalthe day of the He has always been consid red the patron of apple fruit : and being pronounced lamasool, has been thus given by the Rev. W. Cole,

scholars and of youth, the reason of which it has been gradually corrupted to Lambs. from a life of si. Nicholas, 3d edition. 4to., wool. Lambswool is in Ireland a constant ingredient at the entertainments on All Naples, 1645. An Asiatic gentleman, sendo Saints Day, and is used to designate a com

ing his two sons to Athens for education, pound, consisting of the pulp of roasted ordered them to wait on the bishop for his apples, mixed with sugar and nutmeg, the benediction. On arriving at Myra with their relic of the commemoration of the old Mas inn, proposing, as it was too late in the day,

baggage, they took up their lodgings at an ubhal.

to defer their visit till the morrow; but, in All Souls Day (November 20), is a festival observed in the Romish Church, when

the meantime, the innkeeper, to secure their

prayers are offered up for all departed' souls. This effects to himself, killed the young gentleceremony corresponds with the Nexuore and men, cut them into pieces, salted them, and Noleggio, or Noutbox, and the Feralia and intended to sell them for pickled pork. St. Lemurin, or Remuria, of the Romans, in Nicholas being favoured with a sight of these which they sacrificed in honour of the dead ; proceedings in a vision, went to the inn, and offered up prayers and made oblations to reproached the landlord for his crime, who, them. The Feralia was celebrated on the immediately confessing it, entreated the Saint

The 21st of February, but the Church of Rome

to pray to heaven for his pardon. translated it in her calendar to the first of bishop, moved by his confession and contriNoveinber. It was originally designed to procure rest and peace to the souls of the . In the Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. xxiji. departed.

p. 359, we are informed, that to Duddingston parisis, The feeling, possessed by the Romans, little more than a mile, many of the opulent citizens

county of Edinburgh, and distant from Edinburgh a that the manes of their departed friends came resort in the summer months to feast upon one of and hovered over their graves, and smiled the ancient homely dishes of Scotland, for which the upon the humble offerings made to them by sheep's beads, boiled or baked, so common in this

place bas been long celebrated. The use of singed the hand of affection, still exists, but more village, is supposed to have arisen from the practice strongly in Catholic countries. The custom of slaughtering the sheep sed on the neighbouring of bedecking the graves with garlands of and leaving the bead, &c. to be consumed in the

hill for the market, removing the carcases to town, Powers, was common with both the Greeks place. --(Forster, ibid.)

tion, besought forgiveness for him, and sup- burled like other bishops, in his episcopal plicated restoration of life to the children. ornaments: his obsequies were solemnized Scarcely had he finished, when the pieces re- with much pomp, and a monument was united, and the resuscitated youths threw erected to his memory, with his episcopal themselves from the brine tub at the feet of effigy. About 150 years ago, a Boy Bishop's the bishop: he raised them up, exhorted monument, in stone, was discovered in Salisthem to return thanks to God alone, gave bury cathedral. Not only, however, does them good advice for the regulation of their this ceremony seem to have existed in cathefuture conduct, bestowed his blessing upon drals, but in almost every parish. A statute them, and sent them to Athens, with great of the collegiate church of St. Mary Offery joy, to prosecute their studies.* -(Hone, p. (London), in 1337, restrains one of them 193.)

from going in procession beyond the limits of Hospinian remarks, that it was common, his own parish. On the seventh of Decemon the vigil of St. Nicholas, for parents to ber, 1229, the day following that of St. Ni. convey secretly various kinds of presents to cholas, the Boy Bishop, in the chapel at their children, who were taught to believe Heton, near Newcastle-upon-T'yne, said vesthat they owed them to the kindness of St. pers before Edward I., then on his way to Nicholas and his train, who came in at the Scotland, who made him a considerable prewindows and distributed them. This custom, sent, as well as the boys who sang with him. he says, originated in the legendary account In the reign of Edward III. he received a of that Saint's having given portions to three present of nineteen shillings and sixpence, daughters of a poor citizen, whose necessities for singing before the king, in his private had driven him to an intention of prostituting chamber, on Innocent's Day. Dean Colet, them, and this he effected by throwing à in the statutes of the school founded by him purse filled with money privately at night in in 1512, at St. Paul's, expressly orders, that at the father's bed-chamber window to enable his scholars shall, every Childermass (Innohim to portion them out honestly.

cent's) Day," come to Paulis Churche and A singular ceremony connected with this hear the Chylde-Byshop's sermon ; and after day, was the election of the Boy Bishop. In be at the hygh masse, and each of them offer many places, the scholars, on the feast of St. a penny to the Chylde-Bishop, and with them Nicholas, were in the habit of electing one the maisters and surveyors of the scole." of their number to play the Boy Bishop, and Warton affirms that the practice of electing a two others for his deacons. He was escorted Boy Bishop subsisted in common grammar to church, wearing his mitre, by the other schools : for St. Nicholas, as the patron of boys, in solemn procession, where he presided scholars, has a double feast at Eton College, at the worship, and afterwards he and his where, in the papal times, the scholars (to deacons went about singing from door to door, avoid interfering, as it would seem, with the and collecting money : not begging, but de- Boy Bishop of the college on St. Nicholas 's manding it as a subsidy. This seenis to Day) elected their Boy Bishop on St. Hugh's have been a very ancient practice. In 1274, Day, in the month of November. Brand, the Council of Nice prohibited the choosing indeed, is of opinion that the anniversary of the Boy Bishop, though so late as the montem at Eton is merely a corruption of the time of Hospinian, who wrote in the 17th Boy Bishop and his companions; the schocentury, it was customary at schools, dedi. lars, by an edict of Henry 8th, being precated to Pope Gregory the Great, who was vented from continuing that ceremony, gave also a patron of scholars, for one of the boys a new face to their festivity, and began their to be the representative of Gregory on the present pastime at soldiers, and electing a occasion, and to act as bishop, with certain captain. Even within the memory of persons companions as his clergy. Anciently, too, alive when Brand wrote (1777), the montem on this day, the same ceremony was per

was kept a little before Christmas, although formed by the choir boys in cathedrals, whose now held on Whit Tuesday. office and authority continued from the Feast According to Scandinavian mythology, the of St. Nicholas to that of the eve of Inno. supreme God Odin, or Woden, assumes the cent's Day (December 28). At the cathedral name of Nicker, Nikar, or FInickar, when

of Sarum, it appears that the Boy Bishop he acts as the destructive or evil principle; held a kind of visitation, and maintained a (hence our own term, Old Nick, as applied to corresponding state and prerogative, and he is the evil one). In this character he inhabits supposed to have had power to dispose of the lakes and rivers of Scandinavia, where he prebends that fell vacant during his episco- raises sudden storms and tempests, and leads pacy. If he died within the month, he was mankind into destruction. In short, he is

the northern Neptune, or some subordinate * In old representations, the bishop is always de. sea-god of noxious disposition. Nikar, with picted with the children rising trom the tub-the the Scandinavians, being an object of dread, common people, however, in Catholic countries, propitiatory worship was offered to him ; and generally misunderstand these emblems. With them hence it has been imagined, that the Scandithe boys in the lub being considered as sailors in a navian Nikar became in the middle ages, St. toat.

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