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The Conversion of St. Paul. will be pretty hard to find out.” In an This is a festival in the calendar of the ancient Romish calendar, much used by church of England, as well as in that of Brand, the vigil of St. Paul is called the Romish church.
“ Dies Ægyptiacus;" and he confesses his ignorance of any reason for calling it “ an Egyptian-day.'
Mr. Fosbroke exSt. Paul's Bay.
plains, from a passage in Ducange, that
it was so called because there were two On this day prognostications of the unlucky days in every month, and St. months were drawn for the whole year. Paul's vigil was one of the two in If fair and clear, there was to be plenty; January. if cloudy or misty, much cattle would die; Dr. Forster notes, that the festival of if rain or snow fell then it presaged a the conversion of St. Paul has always dearth; and if windy, there would be been reckoned ominous of the future wea
ther of the year, in various countries re
mote from each other. If Saint Paul's Day be fair and clear. It does betide a happy year;
According to Schenkius, cited by Brand, But if it chance to snow or rain,
it was a custom in many parts of GerThen will be dear all kinds of grain : many, to drag the images of St. Paul and If clouds or mists do dark the skie,
St. Urban to the river, if there was foul
St. Paul's day being the first festival of These prognostications are Englished an apostle in the year, it is an opportunity from an ancient calendar: they have for alluding to the old, ancient, English likewise been translated by Gay, who custom, with sponsors, or visitors at enjoins,
christenings, of presenting spoons, called Let no such vulgar tales debase thy mind,
apostle-spoons, because the figures of Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and the twelve apostles were chased, or carved wind.
on the tops of the handles. Brand cites
several authors to testify of the practice. The latter lines are allusive to the
Persons who could afford it gave the set popular superstitions, regarding these
of twelve; others a smaller number, and days, which were before remarked by bishop Hall, who observes of a person the figure of the saint after whom the
a poor person offered the gift of one, with under such influences, that “ St. Paule's day, and St. Swithine's, with the twelve,
child was named, or to whom the child are his oracles, which he dares believe
was dedicated, or who was the patron against the almanacke.” It will be re
saint of the good-natured donor. collected that “ the twelve” are twelve
Ben Jonson, in his Bartholomew Fair, days of Christmastide, mentioned on a
has a character, saying, “ And all this for preceding day as believed by the ignorant and a cup to eat caudle in.". In the
the hope of a couple of apostle-spoons, to denote the weather throughout the
Chaste Maid of Cheapside, by Middleton, year. Concerning this day,Bourne says. “ How her? What is it, Gossip ?" Whereto the
Gossip ” inquires, "What has he given it came to have this particular knack of foretelling the good or ill fortune of the
answer of another“ Gossip" is, “ A faire following year is no easy matter to find high-standing cup, and two great 'postle
Beaumont out. The monks, who were undoubtedly spoons one of them gilt.” the first who made this wonderful obser
and Fletcher, likewise, in the Noble
Gentleman, say: vation, have taken care it should be handed down to posterity ; but why, or for
" I'll be a Gossip. Bewford, what reason, they have taken care to con
I have an odd apostle-spoon." ceal. St. Paul did indeed labour more The rarity and antiquity of apostle abundantly than all the apostles; but spoons render them of considerable value never that I heard in the science of as- as curiosities. A complete set of twelve trology: and why this day should there is represented in the sketch on the fore be a standing almanac to the world, opposite page, from a set of the rather thar. the day of any other saiot, spoons themselves on the writer's table
BEARS AND BEES.
The apostles on this set of spoons are enings, or on visiting the “ lady in the somewhat worn, and the stems and straw;" though they are not now adorned bowls have been altered by the silver- with imagery. smith in conformity with the prevailing fashion of the present day; to the eye of
Winter hellebore. Helleborus hyemalis. the antiquary, therefore, they are not so interesting as they were before they un
January 26. derwent this partial modernization: yet
St. Polycarp. St. Paula. St. Conan.* in this state they are objects of regard. Their size in the print is exactly that of On winter comes—the cruel north the spoons themselves, except that the Pours his furious whirlwind forth stems are necessarily fore-shortened in Before him—and we breathe the breath the engraving to get them within the Of famish'd bears, that howl to death: page. The stem of each spoon measures Onward he comes from rocks that blanch exactly three inches and a half in length
O'er solid streams that never flow, from the foot of the apostle to the com
His tears all ice, his locks all snow, mencement of the bowl; the length of Just crept from some huge avalanche. Incog. each bowl is two inches and nine-sixteenths of an inch; and the height of M. M. M. a traveller in Russia, comeach apostle is one inch and one-six- municates, through the Gentleman's Mateenth : the entire length of each spoon is gazine of 1785, a remarkable method of seven inches and one-eighth of an inch. cultivating bees, and preserving them from They are of silver; the lightest, which is their housebreakers, the bears. The RusSt. Peter, weighs 1 oz. 5 dwts. 9 gr.; the sians of Borodskoe, on the banks of the heaviest is St. Bartholomew, and weighs river Ufa, deposit the hives within exca1 oz. 9 dwts. 4 gr.; their collective weight_vations that they form in the hardest, is 16 oz. 14 dwts. 16 gr. The bat, or Hat strongest, and loftiest trees of the forest, covering, on the head of each figure, is at about five-and-twenty or thirty feet usual to apostles-spoons, and was pro- high from the ground, and even higher, if bably affixed to save the features from the height of the trunk allows it. They effacement. In a really fine state they hollow out the holes lengthways, with are very rare.
small narrow hatchets, and with chisels It seems from “ the Gossips,” a poem and gouges complete their work. The by Shipman, in 1666, that the usage of longitudinal aperture of the hive is stopped giving apostle-spoons' at christenings, by a cover of two or more pieces exactly was at that time on the decline :
fitted to it, and pierced with small holes, “ Formerly, when they us’d to troul, to give ingress and egress to the bees. Gilt bowls of sack, they gave the bowl ; No means can be devised more ingenious Two spoons at least; an use ill kept ; or more convenient for climbing the high"Tis well if now our own be left."
est and the smoothest trees than those An anecdote is related of Shakspeare practised by this people, for the construcand Ben Jonson, which bears upon the tion and visitation of these hives. For usage: Shakspeare was godfather to one this purpose they use nothing but a very of Jonson's children, and, after the christ- sharp axe, a leathern strap, or a common ening, being in deep study, Jonson cheer- rope. The man places himself against ingly asked him, why he was so melan- the trunk of the tree, and passes the cord choly? Ben,'
,” said he, “ I have been round his body and round the tree, just considering a great while what should be leaving it sufficient play for casting it the fittest gift for me to bestow upon my higher and higher, by jerks, towards the godchild, and I have resolved it at last.” elevation he desires to attain, and there to *I prithee, what?" said Ben, “I' faith, place his body, bent as in a swing, his Ben," answered Shakspeare, “ I'll give feet resting against the tree, and preservhim a dozen good latten spoons, and thou ing the free use of his hands. This done, shalt translate them.” The word latten, he takes his axe, and at about the height intended as a play upon latin, is the name of his body makes the first notch or step for thin iron tinned, of which spoons, and in the tree; then he takes his rope, the similar small articles of household use, are two ends whereof he takes care to have sometimes made. Without being aware tied very fast, and throws it towards the of the origin, it is still a custom with top of the trunk. Placed thus in his rope many persons, to present spoons at christ by the middle of his body, and resting
his feet against the tree, he ascends by necessary work with the above-mentioned two steps, and easily enables himself to tools, which are stuck in his girdle. He put one of his feet in the notch. He now also carefully cuts away all boughs and makes a new step, and continues to mount protuberances beneath the hive, to render in this manner till he has reached the access as difficult as possible to the bears, intended height. He performs all this which abound in vast numbers throughwith incredible speed and agility. Being out the forests, and in spite of all imamounted to the place where he is to make ginable precautions, do considerable dathe hive, he cuts more convenient steps, mage to the hives. On this account the and, by the help of the rope, which his natives put in practice every kind of body keeps in distension, he performs his means, not only for defending themselves from these voracious animals, but for their often finely varnished to protect them from destruction. The method most in use the wet and cold, are the principal boconsists in sticking into the trunk of tanical subjects for observation in Janu.. the tree old blades of knives, standing up- ary, and their structure is particularly wards, scythes, and pieces of pointed iron, worthy of notice; to the practical gardisposed circularly round it, when the dener an attention to their appearance is tree is straight, or at the place of bending, indispensable, as by them alone can he when the trunk is crooked. The bear has prune with safety. Buds are always commonly dexterity enough to avoid formed in the spring preceding that in these points in climbing up the tree; but which they open, and are of two kinds, when he descends, as he always does, leaf buds and flower buds, distinguished backwards, he gets on these sharp hooks, by a difference of shape and figure, easiand receives such deep wounds, that he ly discernible by the observing eye; the usually dies. Old bears frequently take fruit buds being thicker, rounder, and the precaution to bend down these blades shorter, than the others—hence the garwith their fore-paws as they mount, and dener can judge of the probable quantity thereby render all this offensive armour
of blossom that will appear :"useless.
Lines on Buds, by Cowper. Another destructive apparatus has some When all this uniform uncoloured scene similitude to the catapulta of the ancients. Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load, It is fixed in such a manner that, at the And Aush into variety again. instant the bear prepares to climb the From dearth to plenty, and from death to life, tree, he pulls a string that lets go the ma- Is Nature's progress, when she lectures man chine, whose elasticity strikes å dart into In heavenly truth ; evincing, as she makes the animal's breast. A further mode is The grand transition, that there lives and
works to suspend a platform by long ropes to the farthest extremity of a branch of the He sets the bright procession on its way,
A soul in all things, and that soul is God. tree. The platform is disposed horizon- And marshals all the order of the year; tally before the hive, and there tied fast He marks the bounds which winter may not to the trunk of the tree with a cord made
pass, of bark. The bear, who finds the seat And blunts his pointed fury; in its case, very convenient for proceeding to the Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ, opening of the hive, begins by tearing Uninjured, with inimitable art; the cord of bark which holds the plat- And ere one flowery season fades and dies, form to the trunk, and hinders him from Designs the blooming wonders of the next. executing his purpose. Upon this the “ Buds possess a power analogous to platform immediately quits the tree, and that of seeds, and have been called the swings in the air with the animal seated viviparous offspring of vegetables, inas upon it. If, on the first shock, the bear much as they admit of a removal from is not tumbled out, he must either take a their original connection, and, its action very dangerous leap, or remain patiently being suspended for an indefinite time, in his suspended seat. If he take the can be renewed at pleasure." leap, either involuntarily, or by his own
On Icicles, by Cowper. good will, he falls on sharp points, placed The mill-dam dashes on the restless wheel, all about the bottom of the tree; if he re- And wantons in the pebbly gulf below. solve to remain where he is, he is shot No frost can bind it there; its utmost force by arrows or musket balls.
Can but arrest the light and smoky mist,
banks White butterbur. Tressilago alba. With forms so various, that no powers of art,
The pencil, or the pen, may trace the scene !
Here glittering turrets rise, upbearing high January 27.
(Fantastic misarrangement !) on the roof St. John Chrysostom.
St. Julian of Large growth of what may seem the sparkling Mans. St. Marius.
And shrubs of fairy land. The crystal drops
That trickle down the branches, fast con It is observed in Dr. Forster's “ Per
gealed, ennial Calendar,” that “ Buds and em- Shoot into pillars of pellucid length, bryo blossoms in their silky, downy coats, And prop the pile they but dorned before.