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It is now complete winter. The vapour- is in general too early a month for the fine ish and cloudy atmosphere wraps us about manly exercise of skating, which indeed with dimness and chilliness; the reptiles can be taken but rarely, on account of uur and other creatures that sleep or hide changeful weather and the short continduring the cold weather, have all retired uance of frost. Like swimming, all the to their winter quarters ; the farmer does difficulty of it is in the commencement, at little or nothing out of doors; the fields least for the purposes of enjoyment. The are too damp and miry to pass, except in graces of outside strokes, and spread eagles, sudden frosts, which begin to occur at the are the work of time and ambition. end of the month; and the trees look but But December has one circumstance in like skeletons of what they were it, which turns it into the merriest month of Bare ruined choirs in which the sweet birds the year, - Christmas. This is the holiday,
which, for obvious reasons, may be said sang.
to have survived all the others; but still Shakspeare.
it is not kept with any thing like the The evergreen trees with their beautiful
vigour, perseverance, and elegance of our cones, such as firs and pines, are now ancestors. They not only ran Christmasparticularly observed and valued. In the day, new-year's-day, and twelfth-night, all warmer countries, where shade is more
into one, but kept the wassail-bowl floatdesirable, their worth and beauty are more ing the whole time, and earned their right regularly appreciated. Virgil talks of the
to enjoy it by all sorts of active pastimes. pine as being handsomest in gardens; and The wassail-bowl, (as some of our readers it is a great favourite with Theocritus, may know by experience, for it has been especially for the fine sound of the air
a little revived of late,) is a composition of under its kind of vaulted roof.
spiced wine or ale, with roasted apples But we have flowers as well as leaves pit into it, and sometimes eggs. They in winter-time; besides a few of last also adorned their houses with green month, there are the aconite and helle- boughs, which it appears, from Herrick, bore, two names of very different celebrity; was a practice with many throughout the and in addition to some of the flourishing year --box succeeding at Candlemas to shrubs, there is the Glastonbury thorn, the holly, bay, rosemary, and misletoe of which puts forth its beauty at Christmas. Christmas,-yew at Easter to box,--birch It is so called, we believe, because the and flowers at Whitsuntide to yew,-and abbots of the famous monastery at that then bents and oaken boughs. The whole place first had it in their garden from nation were in as happy a ferment at abroad, and turned its seasonable efflores- Christmas, with the warmth of exercise and cence into a miracle.
their firesides, as they were in May with The evergreens and winter flowers are
the new sunshine. The peasants wrestled like real friends, who, whatever be their and sported on the town-green, and told peculiar disposition, whether serious or
tales of an evening; the gentry feasted gay, will never forsake us. Even roses, then, or had music and other elegant paswith which we are so apt to associate sum- times; the court had the poetical and mer weather, flourish from May to De- princely entertainment of masques ; and cember inclusive; and during the winter all sung, danced, revelled, and enjoyed months will live and prosper in apart- themselves, and so welcomed the new ments. We need never be without them year like happy and grateful subjects of from the first day of the year to the last; nature. and thus, to the numerous comparisons This is the way to turn winter to summade between roses and the fair sex, may mer, and make the world what heaven has be added this new one, as complimentary enabled it to be; but as people in general to their friendship as it is true.
manage it, they might as well turn sumWe have anticipated our general ob- mer itself to winter. Hear what a poet servations on winter-time in our remarks says, who carries his own sunshine about at the beginning of the year. December with him :
As for those chilly orbs, on the verge of creation,
Where sunshine and smiles must be equally rare;
Oh, think what a world we should have of it here, !
If the haters of peace, of affection, and glee,
Moore. Nor is it only on holidays that nature pet and curtains, a sparkling fire, a book, tells us to enjoy ourselves. If we were wise, a little music, a happy sympathy of talk we should earn a reasonable portion of or a kind of discussion, may then call to leisure and enjoyment day by day, instead mind with unenvying placidity the very of resolving to do it some day or other, rarest luxuries of the summer-time; and and seldom doing it at all. Company is instead of being eternally and foolishly not necessary for it, at intervals, except told, that pleasures produce pains, by that best and most necessary company of those who really make them do so with one's family-partners in life, or some one their profligacy or bigotry, we shall or two especial friends, truly so called, learn the finer and manlier knowledge who are friends for every sort of weather, -how to turn pain to the production of winter as well as summer. A warm car- pleasure.
Lawrence, of virtuous father, virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
the air in a vertical column, or inclines so
little with the breath of air as to indicate St. Eligius, or Eloy, Bp. of Noyon. a. D. sometimes one wind and sometimes
another. At this time the crowing of the 659.
cocks, the noise of busy rooks and daws, The Season.
which feed in flocks in the meadows, and
fly at morning and eventide in flocks to It is observed by Dr. Forster in the and from their nests, the music of distant « Perennial Calendar,” that the weather singing, and the strokes of the church at this time is usually mild, and wet, with clocks and chimes are heard for miles, as fogs; we have an occasional interchange if carried along under the apparent soundof frosts. On some occasions a kind of ing board of the clouds above. Even the weather occurs now which occasionally voices of persons are heard at a vast dishappens during all the winter months. tance, all being hushed around. The air becomes perfectly calm, the sky clouded and dark, without much mist
FLORAL DIRECTORY. below, the ground gets dry, and not a leaf Dark Stapelia. Stapelia pulla stirs on the trees, and the sounds of dis
Dedicated to St. Eligius. tant bells, and other sounds and noises are heard at a great distance, just as they are on other occasions before rain. The
December 2. thermometer is often from 45° to 52'. The barometer rises to “set fair" and remains
St. Bibiania, A. D. 363. steady, and the current of smoke from the
CHRONOLOGY. chimnies either goes straight upright into On the 2d of December, 1823, the
London Mechanics' Institution was form- Magazine," which contained an account of ed, and on the anniversary of the day, in the first meeting ofthe members—a,vellum 1824, the first stone of its theatre for the roll,on which was inscribed the names of the delivery of the lectures, in Southampton officers of the institution,—and a portrait Buildings, Chancery-lane, was laid by of Dr. Birkbeck, the president. The Dr. Birkbeck. In a cavity of the stone bottle having been deposited, the president was placed a bottle, wherein were sealed proceeded to lay the stone, which bears up a book of the laws of the institution, the following inscription, with the names the tenth number of the “ Mechanics' of all the officers of the institution :
This Stone, the first of the Lecture Room,
was laid on the 2d of December, 1824,
Vice-Presidents, Trustees, Auditors,
John Martineau, Esq.,
Robert MʻWilliam, Esq. After the stone was laid, Dr. Birkbeck man;' and if thus we shall be the happy addressed the meeting in nearly the fol- means of rendering it palpable, that the lowing words :-" Now have we founded immortal essence within us, when freed our edifice for the diffusion and advance. from the deformity of ignorance and vice, ment of human knowledge. Now have has been created in the express image of we begun to erect a temple, wherein man God-then may we confidently hope that shall extend his acquaintance with the Omniscience will favourably behold our universe of mind, and shall acquire the rising structure; and that in its future means of enlarging his dominion over the progress, Omnipotence, without whose universe of matter. In this spot, here- assistance all human endeavours are vain, after, the charms of literature shall be will confer upon us a portion of his displayed, and the powers of science shall powers. Whilst I remind you that the be unfolded to the most humble inquirers; illustrious Bacon, long ago, maintained for to the feast of reason' which will be that knowledge is power,
may apprize here prepared, the invitation shall be as you that it has, since his time, been esunbounded as the region of intellect. tablished that knowledge is wealth—is For an undertaking so vast in its design, comfort-is security-is enjoyment–is and so magnificent in its objects (no- happiness. It has been found so comthing short, indeed, of the moral and intel- pletely to mingle with human affairs, that lectual amelioration and aggrandizement it renders social life more endearing; has of the human race), the blessing of heaven, given to morality more sprightliness; and, I humbly trust, will not be implored in politically, has produced more consistent vain. If, in this institution, we seek to obedience-it takes from adversity some obey the mandate which has gone forth, of its bitterness, and enlarges the sphere, that knowledge shall be increased ; if we as well as augments the sweetness of every act in obedience to the injunction, that in laudable gratification; and lastly, unall our getungs we should get understand- questionably one of its brightest influing; if we succeed in proving, that for ences, it becomes at once an avenue and the existence of the mental wilderness, a guide to that 'temple which is not made the continuance of which we all deeply with hands, eternal in the heavens.'” deplore, we ought to blame the culture, not the soil;' if by rendering man more percipient of the order, harmony, and benevolence, which pervade the universe, Lemon Geodorum. Geodorum citrinum. we more effectually . assert eternal Pro Dedicated to St. Bibiania. vidence, and justify the ways of God to
growth of onions in the chimney-corner,
and that they ascertained the temper of St. Francis Xavier, A.D. 1552. St. the good man, from the straitness or
Birinus, first Bp. of Dorchester, A.D. crookedness of a faggot-stick drawn from 650. St. Sola, A. D. 790. St. Lucius, a woodstack. Advent seems likewise to King, A. D. 182.
have been a time wherein the young
ones went about and levied contributions. Royal Dance of Torches. Berlin, December 3, 1821.-Of all the entertainments which took place in Three weekes before the day whereon
was borne the Lorde of Grace, this capital, on the occasion of the mar
And on the Thursday boyes and girles riage of the prince royal with the prin
do runne in every place, cess of Bavaria, none appeared so extra And bounce and beate at every doore, ordinary to foreigners, as the dance of with blowes and lustie snaps, torches, (Fakeltanz.) It was executed And crie, the advent of the Lord after the grand marriage feast, in the fol not borne as yet perhaps. lowing manner :-" The royal family, And wishing to the neighbours all, followed by all the personages who had
that in the houses dwell, partook of the feast at separate tables, A happie yeare, and every thing proceeded to the white saloon. The to spring and prosper well : dance was immediately opened by the Here have they peares, and plumbs, and
pence, privy councillor, marshal of the court, the baron de Maltzahn, bearing his baton of For these three nightes are always thought
ech man gives willinglee, order. After him followed two and two,
unfortunate to bee: according to seniority of rank, the privy Wherein they are afrayde of sprites, councillors and the ministers of state, and cankred witches spight, bearing war torches. The august bride And dreadfull devils blacke and grim, and bridegroom preceded the above that then have chiefest might. dancers, and walked round the saloon. In these same dayes yong wapton gyrles The princess royal stopped before the that meete for marriage bee, king, and making him a profound rever- Doe search to know the names of them ence, invited him to dance. After having
that shall their husbands bee. danced one turn with his majesty, she Foure onyons, five, or eight, they take danced with all the princes. The prince Such names as they do fansie most,
and make in every one, royal, in like manner, danced with all the
and best do thinke upon. princesses.
After the ball, the royal Thus neere the chimney them they set, family passed into the apartment of and that same onyon than, Frederick I., where the grand mistress, That first doth sproute, doth surely beare countess of Norde, distributed the garter the name of their good man. of the bride.
Their husbandes nature eke they seeke
to know, and all his guise, "FLORAL DIRECTORY.
When as the sunne hath bid himselfe, Indian Tree. Euphorbia Tirucalli. and left the starrie skies, Dedicated to St. Francis Xavier.
Unto some woodstacke do they go,
and while they there do stande,
Eche one drawes out a faggot sticke,
the next that commes to hande,
Which if it streight and even be, St. Peter Chrysologus, A. D. 450. St. and have no knots at all,
Barbara, A. D. 306. St. Anno, Abp. A gentle husband then they thinke of Cologn, A. D. 1075. St. Osmund, shall surely to them fall
. Bp. A. D. 1099.
St. Maruthas, Bp. 5th But if it fowle and crooked be, Cent. St. Siran, or Sigirannus, A. D.
and knottie here and theare, 655. St. Clement, of Alexandria, A. D. A crabbed churlish husband then, 189.:
they earnestly do feare.
These thinges the wicked papistes beare, Ancient Divinations in Advent.
and suffer willingly, From the following lines of Barnaby Because they neyther do the ende, Googe, it appears that rustic young girls And rather had the people should in ancient times, indulged at this season
obey their foolish lust, in attempting to divine the name of the Than truely God to know; and in man they were to marry, from forcing the him here alone to trust.
• Foot Ball in Scotland. Barbadou Gooseberry. Cactus Pereskia. Dedicated to St. Peter Chrysologus.
On Tuesday the 5th of December; 1815, a great foot-ball match took place at Carterhaugh, Ettrick Forest (a spot
classical in minstrelsy), betwixt the EtDecember 5.
trick men and the men of Yarrow; the
one party backed by the earl of Home, St. Sabas, Abbot, A. D. 532. St. Cris- and 'the other by sir Walter Scott,
pina, A. D. 304. St. Nicetius, Bp. of sheriff of the forest, who wrote two songs: Triers, A. D. 566.
for the occasion, one whereof follows :
Lifting the Banner of the House of Buccleugh,
at the great Foot-ball match, on Carterhaugh.
Our signal is waving in smoke and in flame;
With heart and with hand, like our fathers' before.
At the glance of her crescents he paus'd and withdrew;
Then up with the banner, &c.
No mail glove has grasp'd her, no spearmen around;
Then up with the banner, &c.
And hail, like our brethren, Home, Douglas, and Car;
with the banner, &c.
And if, by mischance, you should happen to fall,
Then up with the banner, &c.
To each laird and each lady that witness'd our fun,
Then up with the banner, &c.
From the hall of the peer to the herd's ingle nook;
QUOTH THE SHERIFF OF TIE FOREST.