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The waltos, goodcha is sorces on the lan est ne from
where as open and as light as the heart; grave features relax; stiff and starched manners unbend; and the haughty master and obsequious servant lose their constrained representations.
Let mirth abound; let social cheer
To crown our joy;
Our bliss destroy. This festival is called hogmany, either from l'homme est né (the man is born), or l'an est né (the year is born), and commences on the vigil of New Year's Day, which is spent in rejoicing, drinking healtbs, good wishes for the next year, &e. The old year is now fast waning to its close, and the hour of twelve is anxiously expected by the juvenile part of the company. The lassie is waiting for the first foot' or favoured youth, whose privilege it is to salute her as soon as the clock has struck twelve; he is no less eager to be close to Jenny's door, and to knock at the last stroke o'twaľ, lest any other should be beforehand with him, to offer the incense of an affectionate heart at the shrine of beauty. What a heavy disappointment, what a galling humiliation is his, if a paukie maiden aunt, or auld Christie, the female servant, should first appear!
Long ere the lingering dawn of that blithe morn
" It is supposed that the welfare and prosperity of every family, especially the fair part of it, depend very much upon the character of the person who is first admitted into the house on the beginning of the New Year, Hence every suspected person is carefully ex. cluded; and the lasses generally engage beforehand some favoured youth, who willingly comes, happy in being honoured with that signal mark of female distinction.
That sudden on the floor is welcome beard
GRAHAME'. For the manner in which New Year's Day was observed by the Romans, and by our ancestors in the time of Elizabeth, see our last volume, pp. 4-7; for an account of various other customs, the reader is requested to refer to T. T. for 1814, and the subsequent years.
The commencement of the year, as we have just seen, is a season most frequently devoted to mirth and amusement; but should it not be a season of reflection also ? Such it must be to those who are intent on husbanding and improving their time.
Come, melancholy Moralizer, come!
With me engarland now
The Sepulebre of Time!
For well the funeral sorg
Befits this solemn hour.
This consecrated day,
To mirth and indolence.
Whilst her unclouded sun
Illumes thy summer day,
That swift the stream of Years
Rolls to Etervity?
Remember thou art Man,
* See the very entertaining Essays, entitled, “The Hermit in the Coun. try,' vol. ii, p. 215-924, and two other pleasing papers on this subject, in vel, iii, pp. 89, 135.
Hast thou known Love? does beauty's better sun
Her eye all eloquence,
Her voice all harmony?
Winter is dark and cold
Where now the charms of Spring!
With stern and frowning front
Appals the shuddering soul?
Her many-coloured robes
Dance varying to the sun?
With anxious gaze survey
The fruitful far-off vale.
There are, who at this hour
Will love to contemplate!
Is sunk again in night, ,
That one day more is gone!
The World a pilgrimage,
SOUTHEY'. 6.-EPIPHANY, or TWELFTH DAY. The rites of this day, the name of which signifies an appearance of light, or a manifestation, are different in various places, but all in honour of the Eastern Magi. Many singular customs have been noticed in our former volumes, particularly the last, pp. 8-11.
At Venice, the Epiphany is called the Epifania or Befánia indifferently; as if it took its name from the
*For another poctical effusion on this subject, see T.T. for 1816, p. 2.
Befana-an odd sort of she-goblin, who is supposed to preside over Twelfth-day. This is not distinguished by the ceremonies with which it is celebrated by üs, though some of these were of Latin origin. The rites are propitiatory of the Befana, who seems to fill the same place here as the queen of the fairies formerly did in England. Children usually leave her a part of their supper, or, at least, a brown roll (for she is supposed to prefer brown bread to white) and a tumbler of wine. As a receptacle for the exchange of merchandize, they suspend a stocking in the kitchen, which is found the next morning filled with dirt, rubbish, and a few sweetmeats. We need not observe that the bread and wine disappear. At Rome, a puppet, representing the Befana, is dressed up and hung with Christmas presents'.
The Popish Carnival commences from Twelfthday, and usually holds till Lent: the Carnival, though it is gayer or duller, according to the genius of the nations which celebrate it, is, in its general character, nearly the same all over Italy. It is nowhere seen in such perfection as at Rome. Mr. Evelyn thus describes it as it was in the year 1644: “We were all taken up next morning in seeing the impertinences of the Carnival, where all the world are aș mad at Rome, as at other places; but the most remarkable were the three races of the Barbarie horses, that run in the Strada del Corso, without riders, onely having spurrs so placed on their backs, and hanging đowne by their sides, as by their motion to stimulate them; then of mares, then of asses, of buffalos, naked men, old and young, and boys, and aboundance of idle ridiculous pastime. One thing is remarkable, their acting comedies on a stage placed on a cart, or plaustrum, where the scene or tiring place is made of boughs in a rural manner, which they drive from streete to streete, with a yoake pr
• Rose's Letters from the North of Italy, vol. ii, p. 168.
two of oxen, after the antient guise. The streets swarm with prostitutes, buffoones, and all manner of rabble.' (Memoirs, vol. i, p. 161.).
The same ingenious author thus describes the Carnival at Venice: “The women, men, and persons of all conditions, disguising themselves in antiq dresses, with extravagant musiq, and a thousand gambols, traversing the streetes from house to house, all places being then accessible and free to enter. Abroad, they fling eggs filled with sweet water, but sometimes not over sweete. They have also a barbarous custom of hunting bulls about the streetes and piazzas, which is very dangerous, the passages being generally narrow. The youth of the several wards and parishes contend in other masteries and pastimes, so that it is impossible to recount the universal madnesse of this place during this time of licence. The greate banks are set up for those who will play at bassett; the comedians have liberty, and the operas are open; witty pasquils are thrown about, and the mountebanks have their stages at every corner.' (Memoirs, vol. i, p. 203.) . ::
A modern traveller', speaking of the Carnival at Venice, observes, towards the middle of it, you begin to meet masks and mummers in sunshine; in the last fifteen days, the plot thickens, and during the three last all is hurly-burly. Here are
Beggars and vagabonds, blind, lame and sturdy,
An uproar like ten thousand Smithfield fairs. The shops are shut, all business is at a stand; and the drunken cries heard at night, afford a clear proof of the pleasures to which these days of leisure are dedicated.
* Mr. Rose, in his Letters from the North of Italy, vol. ii, p. 171.