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Then came cold February, sitting
Of hasting prime did make them burgeon round. Spenser.
In which the tombs were also purified cated it to Neptune, the lord of waters.
Of such as had no dirges when they died; Its name is from the Februa, or Feralia, For our religious fathers did maintain, sacrifices offered to the manes of the Purgations expiated every stain gods at this season. Ovid in his Fasti of guilt and sin; from Greece the custom attests the derivation :
came, In ancient times, purgations had the name
But here adopted by another name; Of Februa , various customs prove the same ;
The Grecians held ibat pure lustrations could The pontiffs from the res and famen crave
Efface an impious deed, or guilt of blood A lock of wool; in former days they gave
Weak men; to think that water can make To wool the naine of Februa.
clean A pliant branch cut from a lofty pine,
A bloody crime, or any sinful stain. Which round the temples of the priests they
Massey's Ovid. twine,
Our Saxon ancestors, according to VerIs Februa called; which if the priest demand, stegan, “ called February Spront-hele, by A branch of pine is put into his hand; kele meaning the kele-wurt, which we
now call the colewurt, the greatest pot- he remarks that “if February were not wurt in time long past that our ancestors the precursor of spring, it would be the used, and the broth made therewith was least pleasant season of the year, Novemthereof also called kele; for before we ber not excepted. The thaws now take borrowed from the French the name of place; and a clammy mixture of moisture potage, and the name of herbe, the one and cold succeeds, which is the most in our owne language was called kele, and disagreeable of wintry sensations.” Yet the other wurt; and as this kele-wurt, so variable is our climate, that the Februor potage-hearbe, was the chiefe winter- ary of 1825 broke in upon the inhabitants wurt for the sustenance of the husband of the metropolis with a day or two of man, so was it the first hearbe that in piercing, cold, and realized a delightful this moneth began to yeeld out whole- description of January sparkled from the some yong sprouts, and consequently same pen. “What can be more delicately gave thereunto the name of Sprout-kele." beautiful than the spectacle which someThe “ kele” here mentioned, is the well- times salutes the eye at the breakfastknown kale of the cabbage tribe. But room window, occasioned by the hoarthe Saxons likewise called this month frost dew? If a jeweller had come to “ Solmonath,” which Dr. Frank Sayers in dress every plant over night, to surprise his “Disquisitions says, is explained an Eastern sultan, he could not produce by Bede “mensis plancentarum,” and any thing like the .pearly drops, or the rendered by Spelman in an unedited “silvery plumage.' An ordinary bed of manuscript "pan-cake month," because greens, to those who are not at the in the course of it, cakes were offered by mercy of their own vulgar associations, the pagan Saxons to the sun; and “Sol, will sometimes look crisp and corrugated or "soul,” signified “food," or cakes.” emerald, powdered with diamonds."
In “The Months,” by Mr. Leigh Hunt,
Reply; forth gushes the imprisoned wave.
yet he declares that “her five modern
lives mention little else but wonderful St. Ignatius. St. Pionius, A. D. 250. St. miracles.” According to the same author,
Bridget. St. Kinnia. St. Sigebert II. she flourished in the beginning of the King
sixth century, her body was found in the St. Bridget.
twelfth century, and her head “is now St. Bride, otherwise St. Bridget, con- kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisfers her name upon the parish of St. bon.” This writer does not favour us Bride's, for to her its church in Fleet- with any of her miracles, but bishop Pastreet is dedicated. Butler says she was trick mentions, that wild ducks swimborn in Ulster, built herself a cell ming in the water, or flying in the air, under a large oak, thence called Kill-dara, obeyed her call, came to her hand, let or cell of the oak, was joined by others of her embrace them, and then she let them her own sex, formed several nunneries, fly away again. He also found in the and became patroness of Ireland. “But,” breviary of Sarum, that when she was sent says Butler, “ a full account of her vir- a-milking hy her mother to make butter, tues has not been transmitted down to us, she gave away all the milk to the poor; together with the veneration of her name;" that when the rest of the maids brought
BURIAL OF ALLELUIA.
in their milk she prayed, and the batter call the Purification of the virgin, they multiplied ; that the butter she gave away observe it with great pomp. It stands as she divided into twelve parts,
as if it
a holiday in the calendar of the church were for the twelve apostles; and one of England. Naogeorgus thus introduces part she made bigger than any of the the day; or rather Barnaby Googe, in rest, which stood for Christ's portion; his translation of that author's, “ Popish though it is strange," says Patrick,“ that Kingdom :" she forget to make another inequality by "Then comes the Day wherein the Virgin
offred Christ unto ordering one portion more of the butter to be made bigger than the remaining
The Father chiefe, as Moyses law
commaunded hir to do. ones in honour of St. Peter, the prince of
Then numbers great of Tapers large, the apostles."
both men and women beare
To Church, being halowed there with pomp, In Mr. Fosbroke's British Monarch
and dreadful words to heare. ism,” the observation of this catholic ce- This done, eche man his Candell lightes remony is noticed as being mentioned in
where chiefest seemeth hee, “Ernulphus's Annals of Rochester Cathe- Whose Taper greatest may be seene dral," and by Selden. From thence it ap
and fortunate to bee; pears to have taken place just before the Whose Candell burneth cleare and bright, octaves of Easter
" that it
a wondrous force and might used to be sung in all churches from
Doth in these Candels lie, which if Easter to Pentecost, but Damasus ordered
at any time they light, it to be performed at certain times, They sure beleve that neyther storme whence it was chanted on Sundays from
or tempest dare abide,
Nor thunder in the skies be heard, the octaves of Epiphany to Septuagesima,
nor any Devil's spide, and on the Sundays from the octaves of Nor fearefull sprites that walke by night, Pentecost and Advent. One mode of nor hurts of frost or haile.' burying the Alleluia was this : in the According to “The Posey of Prayers, or sabbath of the Septuagesima at Nones, the Key of Heaven,” it is called Candlethe choristers assembled in the great ves- mas, because before mass is said this day, tiary, and there arranged the ceremony. the church blesses her candles for the Having finished the last · Benedicamus,' whole year, and makes a procession with they advanced with crosses, torches, holy hallowed or blessed candles in the hands waters, and incense, carrying a turf (Gle- of the faithful.” bam) in the manner of a coffin, passed From catholic service-books, quoted through the choir and went howling to in “ Pagano Papismus,” some particulars the cloister, as far as the place of inter- are collected concerning the blessing ment; and then having sprinkled the wa- of the candles. Being at the altar, ter, and censed the place, returned by the the priest says over them several prayers; same road. According to a story (whe- one of which commences thus: “O Lord ther true or false) in one of the churches Jesu Christ, who enlightenest every one of Paris, a choir boy used to whip a top, that cometh into the world, pour out thy marked with Alleluia, written in golden benediction upon these Candles, and letters, from one end of the choir to the sanctifie them with the light of thy other. In other places Alleluia was bu- grace,” &c. Another begins: “Holy ried by a serious service on Septuagesima Lord, Father Almighty, Everlasting God, Sunday.”
who hast created all things of nothing,
and by the labour of bees caused this Lesser Water Moss. Fontinalis minor. liquor to come to the perfection of a wax Dedicated to St. Ignatius.
candle; we humbly beseech thee, that by Bay. Laurus nobilis.
the invocation of thy most holy name, Dedicated to St. Bridget.
and by the intercession of the blessed
virgin, ever a virgin, whose festivals are February 2.
this day devoutly celebrated, and by the floliday at the Public Ottices, exrept Excise, Stamps,
prayers of all thy saints, thou wouldst
vouchsafe to bless and sanctifie these canThe Purification. St. Laurence, Arch- dles,” &c. Then the priest spţinkles the bishop of Canterbury, A. D. 619 candles thrice with holy water, saying
“Sprinkle me with,” &c. and perfumes This being the festival which catholics them thrice witi incense. One of the
consecratory prayers begins : “O Lord Mr. Fosbroke shows, from catholic authoJesu Christ, bless this creature of wax tc rities, that light-bearing on Candlemas us thy suppliants; and infuse into it, by day is an old Pagan ceremony; and the virtue of the holy cross, thy heavenly from Du Cange, that it was substituted benediction; that in whatsoever places it by pope Gelasius for the candles, which shall be lighted, or put, the devil may in February the Roman people used to depart, and tremble, and fly away, with carry in the Lupercalia. all his ministers, from those habitations, Pope Innocent, in a sermon on this fesand not presume any more to disturb tival, quoted in “ Pagano Papismus," inthem,” &c. There is likewise this bene- quires, “Why do we (the catholics) in diction: “I bless thee, O wax, in the this feast carry candles?" and then he exname of the holy trinity, that thou may'st plains the matter by way of answer. be in every place the ejection of Satan, « Because,” says he, “the gentiles dediand subversion of all his companions, cated the month of February to the infernal &c. During the saying of these prayers, gods, and as, at the beginning of it, Pluto various bowings and crossings are inter- stole Proserpine, and her mother, Ceres, jected; and when the ceremonies of con- sought her in the night with lighted cansecration are over, the chiefest priest dles, so they, at the beginning of this goes to the altar, and he that officiates month, walked about the city with lighted receives a candle from him; afterwards, candles; because the holy fathers could that priest, standing before the altar to- not utterly extirpate this custom, they orwards the people, distributes the candles, dained that Christians should 'carry about first to the priest from whom he received candles in honour of the blessed virgin a candle, then to others in order, all kneel- Mary: and thus,” says the pope, ing (except bishops) and kissing the can- was done before to the honour of Cedle, and also kissing the hand of the res is now done to the honour of the priest who delivers it. When he begins Virgin." to distribute the candles, they sing, “A Polydore Vergil, observing on the pagan light to lighten the gentiles, and the processions and the custom of publicly glory of thy people Israel.” After the carrying about images of the gods candles are distributed, a solemn proces- with relics, says, “Our priests do the sion is made; in which one carries a same thing. We observe all these cerecenser, another a crucifix, and the rest monies, but I know not whether the cusburning candles in their hands.
tom is as good as it is showy; I fear, I The practice is treated of by Butler in fear, I say, that in these things, we rather his notice of the festival under this please the gods of the heathen than Jesus head, “On blessing of Candles and the Christ, for they were desirous that their Procession." It is to be gathered from worshippers should be magnificent in their him that “St. Bernard says the procession processions, as Sallust says; but Christ was first made by St. Joseph, Simeon, and hates nothing more than this, telling us, Anne, as an example to be followed by When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, all the earth, walking two and two, hold- and when thou hast shut thy door pray to ing in their hands candles, lighted from thy Father. What will then become of fire, first blessed by the priests, and sing- us, if we act contrary to his commanding.” The candle-bearing has reference to ment? Surely, whatever may become of Simeon's declaration in the temple when he us, we do act contrary to it." took Jesus in his arms, and affirmed that Brand shows, from “Dunstan's Concord he was a light to lighten the gentiles, and of Monastic Rules,” that the monks went in the glory of Israel. This was deemed surplices to the church for candles, which sufficient ground by the Romish church, were to be consecrated, sprinkled with whereon to adopt the torch-bearing of holy water, and censed by the abbot. the pagans in honour of their own deities, Every monk took a candle from the saas a ceremony in honour of the presenta- crist, and lighted it. A procession was tion of Jesus in the temple. The pagans made, thirds and mass were celebrated, used lights in their worship, and Constan- and the candles, after the offering, were tine, and other emperors,endowed churches offered to the priest. The monks' canwith land and various possessions, for the dles signified the use of those in the pamaintenance of lights in catholic churches, rable of the wise virgins. and frequently presented the ecclesiastics In catholic countries the people joined with coffers full of candles and tapers. the priests in their public processions to the churches, every individual bearing a her hand; whereat she marvelled, and burning candle, and the churches them- returned thanks to the glorious virgin, selves blazed with supernumerary illumi- who had not suffered her to be without a nations at mid-day.
mass on Candlemas-day, and all her life It is to be noted, that from Candlemas kept the piece of candle for a relic; and the use of tapers at vespers and litanies, all they that were touched therewith were which prevailed throughout the winter, healed of their maladies and sicknesses. ceased until the ensuing All HALLOW Masy; and hence the origin of an old
Poetry is the history of ancient times. English proverb in Ray's Collection
We know little of the times sung by Ho. “ On Candlemas.day
mer but from his verses. To Herrick Throw candle and candlestick away."
we must confess our obligation for acCandlemas candle-carrying remained quaintance with some of the manners in England till its abolition by an order pertaining to this great day in the in council, in the second year of king calendar.” Perhaps, had he not written, Edward VI.
we should be ignorant that our forefathers
fared more daintily during the Christmas The “ Golden Legend" relates, that a holidays than at other seasons; be unlady who had given her mantle to a poor
aware of the rule for setting out the due man for the love of our lady, would not go quantum of time, and orderly succession, to church on Candlemas-day, but went into
to Christmas ever-greens; and live, as her own private chapel, and kneeling be
most of us have lived, but ought not to fore the altar, fell asleep, and had a mira- live longer, without being informed, that culous vision, wherein she saw herself at the Christmas-log may be burnt until this church. Into this visionary church she day, and must be quenched this night imagined that a troop of virgins came,
till Christmas comes again. with a noble virgin at their head, “ crown
Candlerras Eve. ed ryght precyously," and seated them. selves in order; then a troop of young
End now the white-loafe and the pye,
And let all sports with Christmas dye. men, who seated themselves in like order; then one, with a proper number of can- Kindle the Christmas Brand, and then dles, gave to each a candle, and to the
Till sunne-set let it burne, lady herself he gave a candle of wax; Which quencht, then lay it up agen, then came St. Laurence as a deacon, and Till Christmas next returne. St. Vincent as a sub-deacon, and Jesus
Part must be kept wherewith to teend Christ as the priest, and two angels bear- The Christmas Log next yeare; ing candles; then the two angels began And where 'tis safely kept, the fiend the Introit of the mass, and the virgins Can do no mischiefe there.
Herrick. sung the mass; then the virgins went and each offered the candle to the priest, How severely he enjoins the removal and the priest waited for the lady to offer of the last greens of the old year, and yet her candle; then “the glorious quene of how essential is his reason for their disvirgyns” sent to her to say that she was placement : not courteous to make the priest tarry so
Candlemas Eve. long for her, and the lady answered that
Down with the Rosemary, and so the priest might go on with the mass, for Down with the Baies and Misletoe ; she should keep her candle herself, and Down with the Holly, Ivie, all not offer it; and the virgin sent a second Wherewith ye drest the Christmas Hall; time, and the lady said she would not That so the superstitious find offer the candle; then “the quene of vir- No one least Branch there left behind : gyns” said to the messenger, “ Pray ber to For look, how many leaves there be offer the candle, and if she will not, take Neglected there, maids, trust to me, it from her by force;” still she would not
So many goblins you shall see.
Herrick, offer the candle, and therefore the messenger seized it; but the lady held so Hearken to the gay old man again, and fast and long, and the messenger drew participate in his joyous anticipations of and pulled so hard, that the candle broke, pleasure from the natural products of the and the lady kept half. Then the lady new year. His next little poem is a colawoke, and found the piece of candle in lyrium for the mind's eye :