« السابقةمتابعة »
14.-SAINT VALENTINE. On the subject of Valentines we have now before us two splendid volumes, the one entitled • POEMS, by Mrs. Elizabeth Cobbold, with a Memoir of the Author,' in one large volume octavo, 1825, beautifully printed, with engravings of the authoress and her husband, and with many Valentines in lithography; the other is entitled - VALENTINE VERSES, or Lines of Truth, Love, and Virtue, by the Rev. Richard Cobbold, A.M.,' octavo, 1827, with a hundred lithographic cuts, and the same portraits of the author's father and mother, as in the former volumes. Of the nature of these Valentine verses Mr. C. gives the following account in the memoir of his mother.
• For a period of nearly twenty years the hospitable mansions of the Cliff, and Holy Wells, were enlivened by an annual party on the evening of St. Valentine's Day; for which festive occasion Mrs. Cobbold designed, composed, and executed, with great taste and elegance, a collection of valentines, generally to the number of eighty, which were all curiously cut out on a half sheet of letter paper, and each inscribed with verses applicable to the subject. They were then folded precisely alike, in blue paper, and placed, the ladies' Valentines in one basket, and the gentlemen's in another; and when cards or music had contributed, for an hour or two, to the amusement of the evening, these baskets were handed round to the unmarried visiters, and the valentines drawn by them as a lottery, each lady or gentleman selecting one, at their pleasure, from any part of the respective packets. The prize was intended to prognosticate to the person who drew it, marriage, or a matrimonial engagement in the ensuing year; while the others, from the variety, and accidental or fancied coincidences with the supposed sentiments of the parties, afforded a unique and highly interesting amusement.'
The following are specimens of the poetry:
A Basket of Fruit.
And trained their blossoms gay,
On life's domestic plan-
Have warped the mind of man-
To many a melting tone,
A soothing all her own;
The Pledge of Lobe.
When the lover we descry
Welcome tale of constancy.
When the lover bids adieu ;
Breaking off the interview.
Honest word of such delight;
Giving thee his sacred plight ?
Ever, ever faithful boon;
Life is but a boney-moon.
15.-SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY. The words Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima (seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth), were first applied to denote these three Sundays, when the season of Lent was extended to a fast of six weeks, that is, thirty-six days, not reckoning the Sundays,
which were always celebrated as festivals. So much of serene and so much of joyful feeling, so much of calm and grateful recollection, so much of present peace and comfort, and so much of holy and transporting hope, are connected with the cultivation of the devotional spirit,--that to assist its exercises, to administer to its wants, and to accompany its heavenly aspirations, are objects worthy of the noblest, the best ambition. It is with pleasure, therefore, that we give a place to the following beautiful Hymn for Sunday Evening, by Mr. Bowring, which may be read with advantage on Septuagesima or any other Sunday in the year:
Welcome the hour of sweet repose,
In such an hour as this, how sweet,
It may be that the Eternal Mind
Yes! if the Great Invisible,
Now let the solemn thought pervade
Then turn my wandering thoughts within,
That love which over all is shed,
To Him alike the living stream
Thither we hasten-as the sand
What is our duty here? to tend
And so to live, that, when the sun
*16. 1629.-BURNING OF WITCHES.
two preceding years. In this short period upwards of 150 victims perished. They included persons of every rank and station; many of the dignified clergy belonging to the cathedral, and some of the richest citizens. Neither age nor sex could excite compassion. The witch-laws of England and Scotland were repealed in the reign of George II. Those of Ireland were allowed to remain upon the statute-book till the year 1821! We are informed by Mr. Kirkpatrick Sharpe, that the last execution of a Scottish witch took place in Sutherland, A.D. 1722, the sentence having been pronounced by Captain David Ross, of Little Dcan. This old woman belonged to the parish of Loth, and, among other crimes, was accused of having ridden upon her own daughter, transformed into a pony, and shod by the devil, which made the girl ever after lame, both in hands and feet a misfortune entailed upon her son, who was alive of late years. The grandmother was executed at Dornoch. After being brought out for execution, the weather proving very severe,
poor old woman sat composedly before the pile, warming herself by the fire prepared to consume her, while the other instruments of death were making ready.
'I went once,' says Sir George Mackenzie, 'when I was Justice Depute, to examine some women that had confessed judicially; and one of them, who was a sickly creature, told me, under secresie, that she had not confessed because she was guilty, but, being a poor creature who wrought for her meat, and being defamed for a witch, she knew she should starve, for no person hereafter would either give her meat or lodging; and that all men would beat her, and hound dogs at her; and that therefore she desired to be out of the world; whereupon she wept most bitterly, and upon her knees called God to witness what she said.' This species of torment leads to insanity. Wretchedness and oppression, disorganizing the body as well as the mind, will make even wise men mad. At