From Particles and Disputations: Writings for Jeff. A Book of Hours
In the carses and moor lands, however, parties of guisards have long kept up the practice in great style. Fantastically dressed, and each having his character allotted him, they go through the farm houses, and unless denied entrance by being told that the OLD STYLE is kept, perform what must once have been a connected dramatic piece. We have heard various editions of this, but the substance of it is something like the following:—.
One enters first to speak the prologue in the style of the Chester mysteries , called the Whitsun plays , and which appear to have been performed during the mayoralty of John Arneway, who filled that office in Chester from to It is usually in these words at present—.
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If national partiality does not deceive us, we think this speech points out the origin of the story to be the Roman invasion under Agricola, and the name of Galgacus although Galacheus and Saint Lawrence [19, 20] are sometimes substituted, but most probably as corruptions makes the famous struggle for freedom by the Scots under that leader, in the battle fought at the foot of the Grampians, the subject of this historical drama.
He says:. A bargain however is struck, and the Doctor says to Jack , start to your feet and stand! Whether we are to regard this as a dark prophetic anticipation of what did actually take place, seems really problematical. The strange eventful history however is wound up by the entrance of Judas with the bag.
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This character in the piece seems to mark its ecclesiastical origin, being of course taken from the office of the betrayer in the New Testament; whom, by the way, he resembles in another point; as extreme jealousy exists among the party, this personage appropriates to himself the contents of the bag.
The money and wassel , which usually consists of farles of short bread, or cakes and pieces of cheese, are therefore frequently counted out before the whole. They anciently however appear to have been accompanied with a musician, who played the kythels , or stock-and-horn, a musical instrument made of the thigh bone of a sheep and the horn of a bullock.
The above practice, like many customs of the olden time, is now quickly falling into disuse, and the revolution of a few years may witness the total extinction of this seasonable doing. That there does still exist in other places of Scotland the remnants of plays performed upon similar occasions, and which may contain many interesting allusions, is very likely. That [21, 22] noticed above, however, is the first which we remember of seeing noticed in a particular manner.
The kirk of Scotland appears formerly to have viewed these festivities exactly as the Roman church in France did in the sixteenth century; and, as a proof of this, and of the style in which the sport was anciently conducted in the parish of Falkirk, we have a remarkable instance so late as the year Indeed the scandalized kirk might have been compelled to put the cutty stool in requisition, as a consequence of such promiscuous midnight meetings.
The following are recorded particulars of a whimsical custom in Yorkshire, by which a right of sheep-walk is held by the tenants of a manor:—. Near this town, which lies a few miles from Ripon, there is a large common, called Hutton Conyers Moor , whereof William Aislabie, esq. The occupiers of messuages and cottages within the several towns of Hutton Conyers, Baldersby, Rainton, Dishforth, and Hewick, have right of estray for their sheep to certain limited boundaries on the common, and each township has a shepherd.
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The lord holds his court the first day in the year , to entitle those several townships to such right of estray; the shepherd of each township attends the court, and does fealty, by bringing to the court a large apple-pie , and a twopenny sweetcake , except the shepherd of Hewick, who compounds by paying sixteen pence for ale, which is drank as after mentioned, and a wooden spoon ; each pie is cut in two, and divided by the bailiff, one half between the steward, bailiff, and the tenant of the coney-warren before mentioned, and the other half into six parts, and divided amongst the six shepherds of the above mentioned six townships.
In the pie brought by the shepherd of Rainton an inner one is made, filled with prunes. The cakes are divided in the same manner. The bailiff of the manor provides furmety and mustard , and delivers to each shepherd a slice of cheese and a penny roll. The bailiff provides spoons for the stewards, the tenant of the warren, and himself.
Each pie contains about a peck of flour, is about sixteen or eighteen inches [23, 24] diameter, and as large as will go into the mouth of an ordinary oven. The bailiff of the manor measures them with a rule, and takes the diameter; and if they are not of a sufficient capacity, he threatens to return them, and fine the town.
If they are large enough, he divides them with a rule and compasses into four equal parts; of which the steward claims one, the warrener another, and the remainder is divided amongst the shepherds. In respect to the furmety , the top of the dish in which it is put is placed level with the surface of the ground; all persons present are invited to eat of it, and those who do not, are not deemed loyal to the lord. Every shepherd is obliged to eat of it, and for that purpose is to take a spoon in his pocket to the court; for if any of them neglect to carry a spoon with him, he is to lay him down upon his belly, and sup the furmety with his face to the pot or dish, at which time it is usual, by way of sport, for some of the bystanders to dip his face into the furmety ; and sometimes a shepherd, for the sake of diversion, will purposely leave his spoon at home.
A practice which well deserves to be known and imitated is established at Maresfield-park, Sussex, the seat of sir John Shelley, bart. The distribution is made by lady Shelley, assisted by other ladies; and it is gratifying to observe the happy effects upon the character and disposition of the poor people with which this benevolent practice has been attended during the few years it has been established. Though the highest reward does not exceed two guineas, yet it has excited a wonderful spirit of emulation, and many a strenuous effort to avoid receiving money from the parish.
Howard, from observations commencing with the year , and ending with For the first three years, Mr. The thermometer was attached to a post set in the ground, under a Portugal laurel, and from the lowness of this tree, the whole instrument was within three feet of the turf; it had the house and offices, buildings of ordinary height, to the S.
For the next three years, the observations were made partly at Plaistow and partly at Mr. The thermometer had an open N. The latter observations were made at Tottenham-green, four miles N. Howard considers more sheltered than the former site; the elevation of the ground is a trifle greater, and the thermometer was about ten feet from the general level of the garden before it, with a very good exposure N.
It is, further, proposed to notice certain astronomical and meteorological phenomena; the migration and singing of birds; the appearance of insects; the leafing and flowering of plants; and other particulars peculiar to animal, vegetable, and celestial existences. These observations will only be given from sources thoroughly authentic, and the authorities will be subjoined. Communications for this department will be gladly received.
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Cleobulus, to whom this riddle is attributed, was one of the seven wise men of Greece, who lived about years before the birth of Christ. Riddles are of the highest antiquity; the oldest on record is in the book of Judges xiv. Now , if a frosty day or two does happen to pay us a flying visit, on its way to the North Pole, how the little boys make slides on the pathways, for lack of ponds, and, it may be, trip up an occasional housekeeper just as he steps out of his own door; who forthwith vows vengeance, in the shape of ashes, on all the slides in his neighbourhood, not, doubtless, out of vexation at his own mishap, and revenge against the petty perpetrators of it, but purely to avert the like from others!
Their prosperity is a blessing. Each scattereth and yet increaseth; their pillows are pillows of peace; and at the appointed time, they lie down with their fathers, and sleep the sleep of just men made perfect, in everlasting rest. In the beginning of the year , the flimsiest bubbles of the most bungling [29, 30] projectors obtained the public confidence; at the close of the year that confidence was refused to firms and establishments of unquestionable security. Just before Christmas, from sudden demands greatly beyond the amounts which were ready for ordinary supply, bankers in London of known respectability stopped payment; the panic became general throughout the kingdom, and numerous country banks failed, the funds fell, Exchequer bills were at a heavy discount, and public securities of every description suffered material depression.
This exigency rendered prudence still more circumspect, and materially retarded the operations of legitimate business, to the injury of all persons engaged in trade.
In several manufacturing districts, transactions of every kind were suspended, and manufactories wholly ceased from work. As just at this time it may be interesting to many of your readers, to know the origin of Exchequer bills, I send you the following account.
It is worthy of remark, that through the difficulties experienced by the Bank of England which had been established only three years, during the re-coinage, they having taken the clipped silver at its nominal value, and guineas at an advanced price, bank notes were in at a discount of from 15 to 20 per cent.
A Family Sketch. Holiday at the Public-offices. It is only in certain rural parts of France that the merriments represented above still prevail. Marriette ex. Les Divertissements du Roi-boit.
The name of Busby! It is perpetuated by an engraved representation of his chair , said to have been designed by sir Peter Lily, and presented by that artist to king Charles II. The arms, and each arm, are appalling; and the import of the other devices are, or ought to be, known by every tyro. Every prudent person lays in stores before they are wanted, and Dr. Busby was a severe, but not an ill-natured man.
This is an instance of Dr. The cloud may still hang on the brow; the ice may not thaw at once. To help them out in their new character is an act of charity. Any thing short of hanging or drowning is something to begin with. They do not enter into their amusements the less doggedly because they may plague others.
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They like a thing the better for hitting them a rap on the knuckles, for making their blood tingle. Punch not the liquor, but the puppet is not, I fear, of English origin; but there is no place, I take it, where he finds himself more at home or meets a more joyous welcome, where he collects greater crowds at the corners of streets, where he opens the eyes or distends the cheeks wider, or where the bangs and blows, the uncouth gestures, ridiculous anger and screaming voice of the chief performer excite more boundless merriment or louder bursts of laughter among all ranks and sorts of people.
An English theatre is the very throne of pantomime; nor do I believe that the gallery and boxes of Drury-lane or Covent-garden [37, 38] filled on the proper occasions with holiday folks big or little yield the palm for undisguised, tumultuous, inextinguishable laughter to any spot in Europe.
I do not speak of the refinement of the mirth this is no fastidious speculation but of its cordiality, on the return of these long-looked-for and licensed periods; and I may add here, by way of illustration, that the English common people are a sort of grown children, spoiled and sulky, perhaps, but full of glee and merriment, when their attention is drawn off by some sudden and striking object. Both exist by contrast and a sort of contradiction. The English are certainly the most uncomfortable of all people in themselves, and therefore it is that they stand in need of every kind of comfort and accommodation.
The least thing puts them out of their way, and therefore every thing must be in its place.
CARICATURE AND COMIC ART.
They are mightily offended at disagreeable tastes and smells, and therefore they exact the utmost neatness and nicety. They are sensible of heat and cold, and therefore they cannot exist, unless every thing is snug and warm, or else open and airy, where they are. It is not that they require luxuries for that implies a high degree of epicurean indulgence and gratification, but they cannot do without their comforts ; that is, whatever tends to supply their physical wants, and ward off physical pain and annoyance.
As they have not a fund of animal spirits and enjoyments in themselves, they cling to external objects for support, and derive solid satisfaction from the ideas of order, cleanliness, plenty, property, and domestic quiet, as they seek for diversion from odd accidents and grotesque surprises, and have the highest possible relish not of voluptuous softness, but of hard knocks and dry blows, as one means of ascertaining their personal identity. Twelfth-day , in the times of chivalry, was observed at the court of England by grand entertainments and tournaments.