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crusted crowns, and kings and queens, them, go round to the female part of the and their paraphernalia. I delight to see society in succession, and what one puts
score of happy children sitting huddled into the uppermost bowl the attendant all round the dainty fare, eyeing the cake collectress slips into the bowl beneath it. . and each other, with faces sunny enough All are expected to contribute something, to thaw the white snow. I like to see but not more than a shilling, and they the gazing silence which is kept so reli- are best esteemed who give most. The giously while the large knife goes its men choose two from themselves, and round, and the glistening eyes which follow the same custom, except that as feed beforehand on the huge slices, dark the gentlemen are not supposed to be with citron and plums, and heavy as altogether so fair in their dealings as the gold. And then, when the “Characters ladies, one of the collectors is furnished are drawn, is it nothing to watch the with pen, ink, and paper, to set down peeping delight which escapes from their the subscriptions as soon as received. little eyes ? One is proud, as king; ano. If a satirical prophecy in “ Vox Grather stately, as queen; then there are two culi,” 4to. 1623, may be relied on as whispering grotesque secrets which they authority, it bears testimony to the popucannot contain those are sir Gregory larity of Twelfth-night at that period. On Goose and sir Tunbelly Clumsy.) The the 6th of January the author declares, boys laugh out at their own misfortunes ; that “this day, about the houres of 5, 6, but the little girls (almost ashamed of 7, 8, 9, and 10, yea, in some places till their prizes) sit blushing and silent. It midnight well nigh, will be such a masis not until the lady of the house goes sacre of spice-bread, that, ere the next day round, that some of the more extravagant at noon, a two-penny browne loafe will fictions are revealed. And then, what a set twenty poore folkes teeth on edge. roar of mirth! Ha, ha! The ceiling Which hungry humour will hold so vio. shakes, and the air is torn. They bound lent, that a number of good fellowes will from their seats like kids, and insist on not refuse to give a statute-marchant of seing Miss Thompson's card. Ah! what all the lands and goods they enjoy, for merry spite is proclaimed—what ostenta- half-a-crown's worth of two-penny pastious pity! The little girl is almost in ties." He further affirms, that there will tears, but the large lump of allotted cake be “ on this night much masking in the is placed seasonably in her hands, and Strand, Cheapside, Holbourne, or Fleetthe glass of sweet wine "all round' street.' drowns the shrill urchin laughter, and a “The twelve days of Christmas," as the gentler delight prevails." Does not this extent of its holidays, were proverbial ; make a charming picture ?
but among labourers, in some parts,
Christmas festivities did not end till CanThere is some difficulty in collecting dlemas. Old Tusser, in his “Five Hunaccounts of the manner wherein Twelfth- dred Points of good Husbandry,” would night is celebrated in the country. In have the merriments end in six days; he “ Time's Telescope,” an useful and enter- begins January with this advice to the taining annual volume, there is a short countıyman : reference to the usage in Cumberland, and When Christmas is ended, other northern parts of England. It seems
bid feasting adue, that on Twelfth-night, which finishes their Goe play the good husband, Christmas holidays, the rustics meet in a
thy stock to renue: large room. They begin dancing at seven Be mindful of rearing, o'clock, and finish at twelve, when they
in hope of a gaine, sit down to lobscouse, and ponsondie ;
Dame Profit shall give thee the former is made of beef, potatoes, and
reward for thy paine. onions fried together; and in ponsondie This was the recommendation of prudence we recognise the wassail or waes-hael of tempered by kindness; a desire for diliale, boiled with sugar and nutmeg, into gence in the husbandınan, with an allowwhich are put roasted apples,-the an- ance of reasonable pastime to sweeten ciently admired lambs'-wool. The feast his labour. is paid for by subscription : two women From Naogeorgus, in “ The Popish are chosen, who with iwo wooden bowls Kingdome," a poem before quoted, and placed one within the other, so as to which will be frequently referred to for leave an opening and a space between its lore regarding our ancient customs, it and a pease.
us to be gathered, that the king of Twe!Ath- shall be King; and where the peace is,
“ Mel. I have the beane, and King; I to his abilitie,
must commande." Doth make a mightie cake, that may
Pinkerton's "Ancient Scotish Poems," suffice his companie :
contain a letter from sir Thomas RanHerein a pennie doth he pui,
dolph, queen Elizabeth's chamberlain of before it come to fire,
the Exchequer, to Dudley lord Leicester, This he divides according as
dated froin Edinburgh on the 15th Januhis householde doth require,
ary, 1563, wherein he mentions, that Lady And every peece distribuieth,
Flemyng was “ Queen of the Beene" on as round about they stand, Which in their names unto the poore
Twelfth-day in that year: and in Ben Jon
son's Masque of Christmas, Baby-cake, is given out of hand : But who so chaunceth on the peece
one of the characters, is attended by “an wherein the money lies,
Usher, bearing a great cake with a bean, Is counted king amongst them all,
Herrick, the poet of our and is with showtes and cries
festivals, has several allusions to the celeExalted to the beavens up.
bration of this day by our ancestors : the Mr. Fosbroke notices, that “ the cake poem here subjoined, recognises its cus. was full of plums, with a bean in it for toms with strict adherence to truth, and in
pleasant strains of joyousness. the king, and a pea for the queen, so as to determine them by the slices. Some- TWELFE-NIGHT, or KING AND QUEENE, times a penny was put in the cake, and Now, now the mirth comes the person who obtained it, becoming With the cake fall of plums, king, crossed all the beams and rafters Where beane's the king of the sport here of the house against devils. A chafing
Beside, we must know, dish with burning frankincense was also
The pea also lit, and the odour snuffed up by the whole Must revell, as queene in the court here. family, to keep off disease for the year.
Begin then to chuse, After this, the master and mistress went
This night as ye use, round the house with the pan, a taper,
Who shall for the present delight here, and a loaf, against witchcraft."
Be a king by the lot,
And who shall not gus's account, which goes on to say, that
Which knawne, let us make in these dayes beside,
Joy-sops with the cake; They judge what weather all ihe
yeare And let not a man then be seen here, shall happen and betide :
Who unurg'd will not drinke, Ascriting to each day a month,
To the base from the brink, and at this present time,
A health to the king and the queede here. . The youth in every place doe flocke,
Next crowne the bowle ful. and all apparel'd fine,
With gentle lambs-wooll; With pypars through the streetes they runne, Aude sugar, nutmeg, and ginger, and singe at every dore.
With store of ale, too,
And thus ye must doe There cities are, where boyes and gyrles, To make the wassaile a swinger.
together still do rutine, About the streete with like, as soone
Give them to the king as night beginnes to come,
And queene wassailing i And bring abrode their wassel bowles,
And though with ale ye be whet here ; who well rewarded bee,
Yet part ye from hence, With cakes and cheese, and great good cheare, As when ye innocent met here.
As free from offence, and money plenteouslee. Queen Elizabeth's Progresses by Mr. A citation by Brand represents the ancient Nichols, contain an entertainment to her Twelfth-night-cake to have been composat Sudley, wherein were Melibals, the ed of Hour, honey, ginger, and pepper. king of the Bean, and Nisa, the queen of The maker thrust in, at random, a small the Pea.
coin as she was kneading it. When baked, “ Mel. Cut the cake : who hath the beane, it was divided into as inany parts as there
were persors in the family, and each had drew lots for kingdoms, and like kings has share. Portions of it were also as- exercised their temporary authority.” Irk signed to Christ, the Virgin, and the deed, it appears, that the question is three Magi, and were given in alms. almost at rest. Mr. Fosbroke affirms that
“the king of Saturnalia was elected by On Twelfth-day the people of Ger- beans, and that from thence came our many and the students of its academies king and queen on this day.” The coincichose a king with great ceremony and dence of the election by beans having sumptuous feastings.
been common to both customs, leaves ln France, the Twelfth-cake is plain, scarcely the possibility of doubt that with a bean; the drawer of the slice con- ours is a continuation of the heathen taining the bean is king or queen. All practice under another name. Yet “ some drink to her or his majesty, who reigns, of the observances on this day are the and receives homage from all, during remains of Druidical, and other superstithe evening. There is no other drawing, tious ceremonies.” On these points, if and consequently the sovereign is the Mr. Fosbroke's Dictionary of Antiquities only distinguished character. In Nor- be consulted by the curious inquirer, he mandy they place a child under the will there find the authorities, and be in table, which is so covered with a cloth other respects gratified. that he cannot see; and when the cake is divided, one of the company taking up The Epiphany is called Twelfth-day, the first piece, cries out, “ Fabe Domini because it falls on the twelfth day after pour qui ?" The child answers, “ Pour Christmas-day. Epiphany signifies male bon Dieu:” and in this manner the nifestation, and is applied to this day pieces are allotted to the company. If because it is the day whereon Christ was the bean be found in the piece for the manifested to the Gentiles. Bourne in
bon Dieu," the king is chosen by draw- his Vulgar Antiquities, which is the subing bag or short straws. Whoever gets structure of Brand's Popular Antiquities, the bean chooses the king or queen, remarks that this is the greatest of the according as it happens to be a man or twelve holidays, and is therefore more woman. According to Brand, under the jovially observed, by the visiting of friends old order of things, the Epiphany was and Christmas gambols, than any other.: kept at the French court by one of the Finally, on observances of this festival courtiers being chosen king, and the not connected with the Twelfth-night other nobles attended an entertainment king and . queen. It is a custom in ou the occasion; but, in 1792, during the many parishes in Gloucestershire on this revolution, La Fête de Rois was abo- day to light up twelve small fires and lished; Twelfth-day. was ordered to be one large one; this is mentioned by called La Féte de Sans-Culottes ; the old Brand : and Mr. Fosbroke relates, that in feast was declared anti-civic; and any some countries twelve fires of straw are priest keeping it was deemed a royalist. made in the fields “to burn the old The Literary Pocket Book affirms, that at witch,” and that the people sing, drink, La Féte de Rois the French monarch and dance around it, and practise other and his nobles waited on the Twelfth- ceremonies in continuance. He takes sight king, and that the custom was not "the old witch” to be the Druidical God revived on the return of the Bourbons, of Death. It is stated by sir Henry Piers, but that instead of it the royal family in genl. Vallancey's “ Collectanea,” that, washed the feet of some people and gave at Westmeath,“ on Twelve-eve in Christthem alms.
mas, they use to set up as high as they
can a sieve of oats, and in it a dozen of There is a difference of opinion as to candles set round, and in the centre one the origin of Twelfth-day. Brand says, larger, all lighted ; this in memory of our " that though its customs vary in different saviour and his apostles, lights of the 'countries, yet they concur in the same world.” Sir Henry's inference may reasonend, that is, to do honour to the Eastern ably be doubted; the custom is probably Magi.” He afterwards observes, “ that of higher antiquity than he seems to have the practice of choosing “king,' on suspected. Twelfth-day, is similar to a custom that A very singular merriment in the Isle existed among the ancient Greeks and of Man is mentioned by Waldron, in his Romans, who, on the festival days of history of that place. He says, that Saturn, about this season of the year, ..“ during the whole twelve days of Christ.
mas, there is not a barn unoccupied, and hemisphere. At the beginning of Januthat every parish hires fiddlers at the ary the earth is at its least distance from public charge. On Twelfth-day, the the sun, which is proved by measuring fiddler lays his head in some one of the the apparent magnitude of that luminary girls' laps, and a third person asks, who by means of an instrument called a such a maid, or such a maid shall marry, micrometer, his disc being now about naming the girls then present one after 32 minutes of a degree; whereas apother; to which he answers according at the opposite season, or at the begin to his own whim, or agreeable to the ning of July, near our Midsummer, his intimacies he has taken notice of during apparent diameter is only about 31 this time of merriment. But whatever minutes. The coldness of winter therehe says is as absolutely depended on as fore does not depend on the distance an oracle; and if he happens to couple of the earth from the sun, but on the two people who have an aversion to each very oblique or slanting direction of his other, tears and vexation stcceed the rays ; less heat falling on any given part mirth. This they call cutting off the of the earth, than when the rays fall more fiddler's head; for, after this, he is dead direct. From the slanting direction of for the whole year.”.
his rays they pass through a more dense It appears from the Gentleman's Ma- region of the atmosphere, and are some gazine, that on Twelfth-day 1731, the what intercepted; while another cause king and the prince at the chapel royal, of the cold is the shortness of our days St. James's, made their offerings at the and the length of our nights; the sun altar, of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, continuing only about seven hours and a according to custom, and that at night half above the horizon, while he is absent their majesties, &c. played at hazard for for about sixteen hours and a half. the benefit of the groom-porter. These This position of the earth relatively to offerings which clearly originate from the sun is exemplified in the Popular the Roman church, and are not analogous Lectures on Astronomy, now delivering to any ceremony of the church of Eng- at the Assembly-room, Paul's Head, land, continue to be annually made; with Cateaton-street, by Mr. John Wallis, on this difference, however, that the king is Tuesday and Thursday evenings. His represented by proxy in the person of explanations of this noble science are some distinguished officer of the house- familiarly and beautifully illustrated, by hold. In other respects the proceedings an original and splendid apparatus doare conducted with the usual state. vised and constructed by his own hands.
It consists of extensive mechanism and THE SEASON.
- numerous brilliant transparencies. Mr. Wallis's lectures on Tuesday and Thursday next, the 18th and 20th of January, 1825, are under the patronage of the Lord Mayor. Here is a sure mode of acquiring astronomical knowledge, accompanied by the delightful gratification of witnessing a display of the heavens more bewitching than the mind can con
ceive. Ladies, and young persons espeMidwinter is over. According to as- cially, have a delightful opportunity of tronomical reckoning, we have just passed being agreeably entertained by the novelty that point in the earth's orbit, where the and beauty of the exhibition and the north pole is turned most from the sun. eloquent descriptions of the enlightened This position is represented in the dia. lecturer. gram above, by the direction of the terminator, or boundary line of light and darkness, which is seen to divide the The holly with its red bernes, and globe into two equal parts; the north the “fond ivy,” still stick about our pole, which is the upper pole in the houses to maintain the recollection of the figure, and all parts within 324 degrees, seasonable festivities. Let us hope that we being enveloped in constant darkness. may congratulate each other on having, We now trace the sun among the stars while we kept them, kept ourselves within of the constellation Capricorn or sea-goal, compass, Merriment without discretion and it is winter in the whole northern is an abuse for which nature is sure to
punish us. She may suffer our violence of rustic life than to the comparative for a while in silence; but she is certain to refinement of our own, this contest beresume her rights at the expense of our tween fire and water must have afforded health, and put us to heavy charges to great amusement. maintain existence.
1772. “An authentic, candid, and cirJanuary 7.
cumstancial narrative of the astonishing St. Lucian. St. Cedd. St. Kentigerna. transactions at Stockwell, in the county St, sildric. St. Thillo. St. Canut..
of Surry, on Monday and Tuesday, St. Lucian.
the 6th and 7th days of January, 1772, This saint is in the calendar of the
containing a series of the most sur
prising and unaccountable events that church of England on the following day, 8th of January He was
ever happened ; which continued from
first to last upwards of twenty hours, Syrian. According to Butler, he corrected the Hebrew version of the Scrip
and at different places. Published with
the consent and approbation of the tures for the inhabitants of Palestine, during some years was separated from
family, and other parties concerned, to
authenticate which, the original Copy the Romish church, afterwards conformed to it, and died after nine years
is signed by them." imprisonment, either by famine or the lished in “ London, printed for J. Marks,
This is the title of an octavo tract pubsword, on this day, in the year 312. It bookseller, in St. Martin's-lane, 1772." further appears from Butler, that the It describes Mrs. Golding, an elderly Arians affirmed of St. Lucian, that to him lady, at Stockwell
, in whose house the Arius was indebted for his distinguish- transactions happened, as a woman of ing doctrine, which Butler however unblemished honour and character; her denies. ST. DISTAFF'S DAY, OR ROCK-DAY.
niece, Mrs. Pain, as the wife of a farmer
at Brixton-causeway, the mother of seveThe day after Twelfth-day was so ral children, and well known and recalled because it was celebrated in ho- spected in the parish; Mary Martin pour of the rock, which is a distaff held as an elderly woman, servant to Mr. in the hand, from whence wool is spun and Mrs. Pain, with whom she had lived by twirling a ball below. It seems that two years, having previously lived four the burning of the flax and tow belonging years with Mrs. Golding, from whom to the women, was the men's diversion in she went into Mrs. Pain's service ; and the evening of the first day of labour Richard Fowler and Sarah, his wife, as an after the twelve days of Christmas, and honest,industrious, and sober couple, who that the women repaid the interruption to lived about opposite to Mr. Pain, at the their industry by sluicing the mischief- Brick-pound. These were the subscribmakers. Herrick tells us of the custom ing witnesses to many of the surprising in bis Hesperides :
transactions, which were likewise wit
neszed by some others. Another person St. Distaff's day, or the morrow after who bore a principal part in these scenes Twelftheday.
was Ann Robinson, 'aged about twenty Partly work, and partly play,
years, who had lived servant with Mrs. Ye mast on S. Distaff's day:
Golding but one week and three days. From the plough soone free your teame, The “ astonishing transactions” in Mrs. Then come home and fother them.
Golding's house were these : If the maides a spinning goe,
On Twelfth-day 1772, about ten o'clock Burne the flax, and fire the tow;
in the forenoon, as Mrs. Golding was in Bring in pailes of water then,
her parlour, she heard the china and Let the maides bewash the men :
glasses in the back kitchen tumble down Give S. Distaffe all the right,
and break; her maid came to her and Then bid Christmas sport good-night.
told her the stone plates were falling And next morrow, every one
from the shelf; Mrs. Golding went into To his owne vocation.
the kitchen and saw them broke. Pre.
sently after, a row of plates from the In elder times, when boisterous diver- next shelf fell down likewise, while she sions were better suited to the simplicity was there, and nobody, near them; this