صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ward, lads,' and pursued my route, and saw it no more, until England and all her flowery meadows met my view: but many days and service had wasted life, and worn the fine edge of sensibility away;—they were now before me in endless profusion, atmost unheeded, and without excitement: 1 viewed not the cowslip, when fifty, as I had done with the eyes of nineteen.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

MAY. MAY was thus named from Maia, the mother of Mercury. The sign of this month is Gemini.

Remarkable Days

In MAY, 1829. 1.-SAINT PHILIP AND SAINT JAMES THE LESS.

The first of these martyrs was stoned to death; and the second, having been thrown from a high place, was killed by a fuller's staff.

1.-MAY-DAY. The following has been given as the origin of the May-pole:-The leisure days after seed-time had been chosen by our Saxon ancestors for folk-motes, or conventions of the people. After the Norman conquest, the Pagan festival of Whitsuntide fully melted into the Christian holiday of Pentecost. Its original name is Whittentide, the time of choosing the wits or wise men to the Wittenagemote. It was consecrated to Hersha, the goddess of peace and fertility; and no quarrels could be maintained, no blood shed, during this truce of the goddess. Each village, in the absence of the baron at the assembly of the nation, enjoyed a kind of saturnalia. The vassals met upon the common green, round the May-pole, where they elected a village lord, or king, as he was called, who chose his queen. He wore an oaken, and she a hawthorn wreath; and, together, they gave laws to the rustic sports during these sweet days of freedom. The May-pole, then, is the English tree of liberty !-For an account of customs on May-day, consult our previous volumes, particularly the last, pp. 108-113.—The following beautiful lines, taken from the ' Desolation of Eyam, and other Poems,' by W. & M. Howitt, our kind friends and contributors, give a vivid picture of May-Day in olden time:' they are the three opening stanzas of a beautiful poem, entitled 'Surrey in Captivity.'

'Twas a May morning, and the joyous sun
Rose o'er the city, in its proud array,
As though he knew the month of flowers begun,
And came bright-vested for a holiday ;
On the wide river barge and vessel lay,
Each with its pennon floating in the gale;
And garlands hung, in honour of the May,

Wreathed round the masts, or o'er the furled sail,
Or scattered on the deck, as fancy might prevail.

And quick on every side were busy feet,
Eagerly thronging, passing to and fro;
Bands of young dancers gathering in the street;
And, ever and anon, apart and low,
Was heard of melody the quiet flow,
As some musician tuned his instrument,
And practised o'er his part, for mask or show;

And dames and maidens o'er their thresholds bent,
And scattered flowers about that a sweet perfume lent.
From every church, the merry bells rung out;
The gay parades were thronging every square,
With flaunting banner, revelry, and shout;
And, like a tide, the gale did music bear;
Now loud, then softened; and in that low air,
Came on the listener's ear the regular tread
Of the gay multitude. The brave, the fair

Passed on; the high-born, and the lowly bred; All, for one little day, a round of pleasure led. May Goslings.-In Westmoreland, it is the practice, every May morning, to make folks May goslings, a custom similar to that on the first of April. This custom prevails till twelve o'clock at noon, after wbich time none can carry on the sport. And it

may be observed, that ploughmen and others decorate themselves with garlands and flowers, and parade through different towns for their annual collection, which they spend in the evening with their sweethearts at the May-pole.

3.-INVENTION OF THE CROSS. This is the day appointed by the Romish church to celebrate the invention, that is, the finding of a wooden cross, fancied to be the true cross on which

our Lord was crucified, by Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great.-See some interesting information respecting this day in our previous volumes, particularly in T.T. for 1827, pp. 133 et seq.

6.-JOHN EVANGELIST, A.P. L. St. John was banished to the isle of Patmos, and there he remained till the death of Domitian, when he returned into Asia. *10. 1828.-REV. THOMAS KERRICK, M.A., F.S.A.,

DIED, ÆT. 80. He was formerly Fellow of Magdalen College; and, at the time of his death, Principal Librarian of the University of Cambridge, Vicar of Dersingham, Norfolk, and Prebendary of the cathedral churches of Lincoln and Wells. Mr. K. had travelled abroad in his younger days; and was eminent as an antiquary, a painter, and an etcher. Being an amateur painter, he painted only from such originals as he approved; and his likenesses are, accordingly, marked and striking. Of those which have been engraved, we may enumerate Dr. Glynn, Mr. Masters, Mr. Wade, Dr. Waring, and Dean Milner. His etchings, none of which have been published, are numerous. When Mr. Nollekens, the sculptor, went to Cambridge to erect his statue to Mr. Pitt, in the Senate House, which he said he intended should be his own monument, Mr. K. invited him to make his house his home, during the time he was in Cambridge; with which he was so well pleased, that he made him and Mr. Douce his heirs, leaving them at his death about £50,000 each. *12. 1812.-PRAYER BOOK AND HOMILY SOCIETY

INSTITUTED. This comparatively despised society bas struggled on for sixteen years, with little patronage and slender means; or, rather, bas persevered and increased in its useful operations amidst all its discouragements. It now, however, boasts the Royal Chancellor of the University of Cambridge for its patron, and reckons seven of our bishops as its vice-patrons; and the Report this year speaks of an increasing fund. But what is this with the field they have before them: The Report for the last year, now before us, states, that the number of bound books, namely, of prayer-books, psalters, and homilies, in the volume, sent ont from the depository during the year, has been greater by 1,000 copies than that issued in the former; making an increase in the last two years of more than 60,000, Of the bound books, 13,300 were put into circulation between March 31, 1827, and the same day in 1828; and of the tracts, 128,192. So that the whole number of bound books disseminated by the society from the time when it was formed, amounts to 154,980, and of its tracts to 1,230,500.The excellent sermon prefixed to this Report, which was preached before the society at Christ Church, Newgate Street, on Wednesday, May 7, 1828, by the Rev. Richard Waldo Sibthorp, B.D., we consider as one of the best defences of a liturgy, or composed form of prayer, that we have seen.-J. P.

19.-SAINT DUNSTAN. St. Dunstan was born at Glastonbury in 924. He was successively Bishop of Worcester and London, and Archbishop of Canterbury. He died in 988. Many and ridiculous are the miracles imputed to him.

24.-ROGATION SUNDAY. For an account of some very singular ceremonies in France on this day, and during Rogation week, see our last volume, p. 117.

Some curious customs are mentioned by Mr Shaw, and several other writers, as having prevailed at Wolverhampton, in Staffordshire, even so late as the commencement of the last century. Among these was the practice of processioning. On the Monday and Tuesday of Rogation week, the sacrist, resident prebendaries, and the members of the choir, assembled at morning prayers with the charity children, each of whom carried a long pole, decked with a profusion of different kinds of flowers. Prayers being finished, the whole assembly marched through the streets with great solemnity, the clergy, singing men, and boys, arrayed in their sacred robes bringing up the rear. The origin of this ceremony is referred to very high antiquity, and would appear to have been a continua

« السابقةمتابعة »