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Ye virgias then your cleanly rooms prepare, with a heart full of gratitude to Him who
days past busily employed in preparing
for passing Christmas worthily. My beef
and mince-meat are ready, (of wbich, with Now, Mrs. Betty, pray get up and rise,
some warm garments, my poor neighIf you intend to make your Christmas pies : Scow'ring the pewter fails to Cisley's share;
bours will partake,) and my holly and And Margery must to clean the house take mistletoe gathered ; for I heartily approve
of your article, and am of opinion that to And let Doll's ingenuity be seen,
the false refinement of modern times may In decking all the windows up with green.*
be traced the loss of that primitive and
pure simplicity which characierised “other It is scarcely necessary to remind the beg leave to add that learned and truly
times." "To your list of “authorities” I reader, that several notices of this day Christian prelate, Bishop Hall, who, in have been already presented; yet, many his “ Contemplation on the Marriage of as they are, there are others from whence Cana," so strongly enforces the doctrine, a few may be gleaned, with the probas that the Creator is best honoured in a bility of their still being acceptable.
wise and rational enjoyment of the creaWith Mr. Leigh Hunt, who is fore
ture. most among modern admirers of the old festivals of the season, Christmas is, as lunary blessings, i. e. health of body and
Cordially wishing you the chief of subit ought to be, the chief. His papers, in health of mind, I remain, Sir, your 1817, which occasioned the following obliged and constant reader, letter, are not at hand to cite; and, per
A WIFE, A MOTHER, AND haps if they were, the excellent feelings
AN ENGLISH WOMAN.
In Mr. Nichols's Collection of Poems
there are some pleasant verses, which
On his refusing a Christmas Dinner hope, which has not been disappointed,
with a friend, on pretence of gallanting that you would take some notice again of
come Ladies to Leicester. its return. I feel unwilling to intrude on
When you talk about Leicester your valuable time, yet I cannot refrain
I hope your’re a jester. from thanking you for your cheering at
Why desert an old friend, tempts to enforce a due observance of
For no purpose or end? this delightful season.
But to play the gallant, my own name, and I thank you in the With belles who will flaunt, name of those to whom the spring of life And who, cruel as vain, is opening in all its natural and heartfelt Will rejoice in your pain ! enjoyments, I thank you in the name of No-Come to our pudding the more juvenile part of the holyday
We'll put all things good in circle, who, released from the thraldom of Give you beef, the sirloin, school discipline, are come home, (that
If with us you will dine; expressive word,) to bask awhile in the
Perhaps too a capon, eyes and the smiles of their fond parents;
With greens and with bacon":
Give you port and good sherry, and, lastly, I thank you on behalf of those
To make your heart merry. who have none to plead for them, and to Then sit down to a pool, whom pleasure is but a name—the sick at 'Stead of playing the fool ; heart and sick in body, the friendless Or a rubber at whist, and the fatherless, the naked and the But for this as you list. hungry. To all of these I hope to ex Next, give muffins and tea, rend a portion of happiness and of help, As you sometimes give me.
As for supper, you know, # Bellman's Treasury, 1707.
A potato, or so ;
I thank you in
Of a bit of cold ham,
and that it always budded on the 24th, was As at night we ne'er cram;
full blown the next day, and went all off Or a tart, if you please,
at night. The people finding uo appear. With a slice of mild cheese.
ance of a bud, it was agreed by all, that Then we'll sing—sing, did I say ? December 25 (new style) could not be Yes: “The Vicar of Bray;"*
the right Christmas-day, and accordingly And, what I know you don't hate “My fond shepherds of late :"+
refused going to church, and treating their Nor think me a joker,
friends on that day as usual : at length If I add " Ally Croaker." I
the affair became so serious, that the miIn fine, we'll sing and delight ye,
nisters of the neighbouring villages, in Till
you say, " Friends, good night t' ye.' order to appease them, thought it prudent 1780,
NJ. to give notice, that the Old Christmas-day Whether these verses were written by Mr. Nichols should be kept holy as before.* or not, the mention of his name occasions it to be observed, that about a week before the present date he died, at the age of eighty-five.
This famous hawthorn, which grew on The editor of this humble work, who has derived mach assistance in its progress from the “Gentle a hill in the church-yard of Glastonburynearly hall a century, would omit to do rightly if he abbey, it has been said, sprung from the can he recollect without feelings of respectful grati. having fixed it in ihe ground with his own were not thus to acknowledge the phligation Nor staff of St. Joseph of Arimathea, who “ Domestic Occurrences” of the "Gentleman's Ma- hand on Christmas-day, the staff took gazine" with fidelity to its readers, unaccompanied by root immediately, put forth leaves, and remarks which some of its admirers mini perpages the next day was covered with milk-white subsequently distinguished the volume on " Ancient blossoms. It has been added, that this tion of which this is the last sheet. There was no day during a long series of years, and been pleased to favour, and even praise, the publica- thorn continued to blow every Christmaspersonal intimacy to incline 'such goud-will, and therefore it may be fairly inferred to bave resulted that slips from the original plant are still Nichols's rank as a literary antiquary is manifested preserved, and continue to blow every by many able and elaborate works. As he declined Christmas-day to the present time. in life, his active duties gradually and naturally There certainly was in the abbey churchdevolved on his successor may that gentleman Jive as long in healt and wealth, and be remem- yard a hawthorn-tree, which blossomed in bered with as high honour, as his revered father. winter, and was cut down in the time of Dec. 23, 1826.
the civil wars : but that it always blossom
ed on Christmas-day was a mere tale of GLASTONBURY THORN.
the monks, calculated to inspire the vulgar On Christmas-eve, (new style,) 1753, a
with notions of the sanctity of the place. vast concourse of people attended the There are several of this species of thorn noted thorn, but to their great disap- in England, raised from haws sent froin
One of pointment there was no appearance of its the east, where it is common. blowing, which made them watch it nar
our countrymen, the ingenious Mr. Millar, rowly the 5th of January, the Christmas- raised many plants from haws brought day, (old style,) when it blowed as usual. from Aleppo, and all proved to be what - London Evening Post.
are called Glastonbury thorns. This exoric, On the same evening, at Quainton, in
or eastern thorn, differs from our common Buckinghamshire, above two thousand hawthorn in putting out its leaves very people went, with lanterns and candles, early in spring, and flowering twice a to view a blackthorn in that neighbour year; for in mild seasons it often flowers hood, and which was remembered to be a the usual time of the common sort; but
in November or December, and again at slip
from the famous Glastonbury thorn, the stories that are 'told of its budding, • “In good king Charles's golden days." blossoming, and fading on Christmas-day This is said to have been written by an officer in colonel Fuller's regiment, in the reign of king
are ridiculous, and only monkish legends.†. George I. It is founded on an historical fact, and, though it reflects no great honour on the hero of the poem, is humorously expressive of the complexion of the times in the successive reigns from
HODENING " IN KENT. Charles II. to George I.
+ " My fond shepherds of late were so blest At Ramsgate, in Kent, they begin the + " There lived a youth in Ballan o Crazy."
festivities of Christmas by a curious muThis song is ascribed to a lady of great quality: it does not, however, abound with the wit which Gentleman's Magazine. usually flows from female pens; but it admits of Communicated by I. B. C. from Boswell's An. king sung with great humour.
tiquities of England and Wales
A favourite air in Dr. Arne's “Eliza."
sical procession. A party of young people gularly conducted, and therefore on the procure the head of a dead horse, which revival of the old custom it was omitted." is affixed to a pole about four feet in length, a string is tied to the lower jaw, a
CHRISTMAS. horse cloth is then attached to the whole, With footstep slow, in furry pall yclad, under which one of the party gets, and His brows enwreathed with holly never sere, by frequently pulling the string keeps up Old Christmas comes, to close the waiged a loud snapping voise, and is accompanied
year; by the rest of the party grotesquely ha- And aye the shepherd's heart to make right bited and ringing hand-bells. They thus
glad; proceed from house to house, sounding Who, when his teeming flocks are homeward their bells and singing carols and songs.
To blazing hearth repairs, and nutbrosa They are commonly gratified with beer
beer, and cake, or perhaps with money. This And views well pleased the raddy prattlers is provincially called a hodening ; and
dear the figure above described hoden," or Hug the grey mungrel; meanwhile maid wooden horse.
and lad This curious ceremony is also observed Squabble for roasted crabs. Thee, Sire, & in the Isle of Thanet on Christmas-eve,
hail, and is supposed to be an ancient relic of Whether thine aged limbs thou dost eaà festival ordained to commemorate our
shroud Saxon ancestors' landing in that island.*
In vest of snowy white and hoary veil,
Or wrap'st thy visage in a sable cloud;
Thee we proclaim with mirth and cheer, w CHRISTMAS POTTAGE.
To greet thee well with many a carol loud. Amongst the customs observed on
Bamfylde, Christmas-eve, the Venetians eat a kind of pottage, which they call torta de la
CAROLS. sagne, composed of oil, onions, paste, parsley, pine nuts, raisins, currants, and The practice of singing canticles or candied orange peel.
carols in the vulgar tongue on Christmaseve, and thence called noels in the conn
try churches of France, had its origin MARSEILLES' FESTIVAL.
about the time that the common people Many festivals, abrogated in France ceased to understand Latin. The word by the revolution, were revived under noel is derived from natalis, and signified Buonaparte. Accordingly, at Marseilles originally a cry of joy at Christmas. on Christmas-eve all the members of any
NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. family resident in the same town were invited to supper at the house of the
Mean Temperature ...37 · 87. senior of the family, the supper being entirely au maigre, that is, without meat,
December 25. -after which they all went together to a solemn mass, which was performed in all
CHRISTMAS-DAY. the churches at midnight : this ceremony
BELLMAN'S VERSES, 1707, was called in Provence faire calene.
Upon Christmas Day. After mass the party dispersed and retired
To the Shepherds. to their respective houses; and the next day, after attending high mass in the Go bappy shepherds, leave your flocks and bie morning, they assembled at dinner at the And when you've view'd his Sacred Person
To Bethlem, where your infant Lord doth lie: same house where they had supped the well, night before, a turkey being, as in Eng- Spare not aloud what you have seen to tel. land, an established part of the dinner. Write volumes of these things, and let them The evening was concluded with cards, bear dancing, or any other amusement usual The title of the Shepherd's Calendar: on holydays. Formerly there had been This I assure you never shepherds knew the midnight mass, which was often irre- With all their studies half so much as you!
* Miss Plumptre. • Busby's Concert Room and Orchestra Anecdotes, + Burney's History of Music.
| Bellinan's Treasury
The tract accompanying the preceding
communication is entitled “ Alexander To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
and the King of Egypt; a mock Play, as Whitehaven, 4th Sept. 1826. it is acted by the Mummers every ChristSır,-You furnished your readers last mas. Whitehaven. Printed by T. Wilson, Christmas with a dish, greatly up-heaped, King-street." Eight pages, 8vo. An of information regarding the manner in opportunity is thus obligingly afforded of which it was kept in various parts of the making the following extracts : kingdom. I enclose herein a printed copy of the play, which is said, or rather
Act I. Scene I. sung, at and about that time, by numbers of boys in this town. The comedians, of
Enter Alexander which there are many companies, parade the streets, and ask at almost every door
Alexander speaks if the mummers are wanted. They are Silenco, brave gentlemen, if you will give an dressed in the most grotesque fashion ;
eye, their heads adorned with high paper caps, Alexander is my name, I'll sing a tragedy ; gilt and spangled, and their bodies with A ramble here I took the country for to see, ribbons of various colours, while St. Three actors I have brought, so far from Italy: George and the prince are armed with ten The first I do present, he is a noble king, swords. The “mysterie” (query?) ends He'st just come from the wars, good tidings he with a song, and afterwards a collection is
doth bring; made. This is the only relic of ancient The next that doth come in he is a doctor good, times which exists in this town, except- Had it not been for him I'd surely lost my ing, indeed, it be the Waites —a few pero Old Dives is the next, a miser you may see, sons who parade the streets for a fortnight Who, by lending of his gold, is come to poor three weeks before Christmas, and play
verty; upon violins one or two lively
, jig tunes, So, gentlemen, you see, our actors will go and afterwards call upon the inhabitants
round, for a few pence each. The same persons, Stand off a little while more pastime will be when they hear of a marriage, or of the found. arrival from abroad of a sea-faring man, regularly attend and fiddle away till they
Act I. Scene II raise the person or persons; and for this
Enter Actors they expect a trifling remuneration.
I am satisfied you will join me, in sur Room, room, brave gallants, give us room to prise, that for so great a number of years. sport, such a mass of indecent vulgarity as For in this room we wish for to resort, “ Alexander and the king of Egypt,” should Resort and to repeat to you our merry rhyme, been used without alteration.
For remember, good sirs, this is Christmas
time. Upon the death of any individual, poor or rich, in this town, and the day before The time to cut up goose-pies now doth apthe funeral , the parish clerk, or the clerk So we are come to act our merry Christmas
pear, of the church in whose church-yard the
here, corpse is to be interred, goes round the At the sound of the trumpet and beat of the town, with or without mourning as the drum case may be, and rings a bell, like a bell- Make room, brave gentlemen, and let our acman, and thus announces his purpose : “ All friends and neighbours are desired We are the merry actors that traverse the to attend the corpse of A. B. from Queen street; street to St. James's church to-morrow We are the merry actors that fight for our afternoon at four o'clock.”
meat ; Some of these hints may be of use to
We are the merry actors that show pleasant you-if so I shall rejoice ; for a kinder
play, hearted publication than yours
Step in thou King of Egypt and clear the way.
K. of Egypt. I am the King of Egypt as perused.
plainly doth appear, For the present I am, Mr. Hone,
And Prince George he is my ouly son and heir, Yours, most respectfully, Step in therefore, my son, and act thy pari ANADMIRER OF YOUR EVERY-DAY BOOK.
And show forth thy fame before the company.
P. George. I am Prince George, a champion
Act II. Scene II. brave and bold,
Prince George arises. For with my spear I've won three crowns of
Prince George speaks. gold, 'Twas I that brought the dragon to the slaugh- O horrible ! terrible! the like was never seen, ter,
A man drove out of seven senses into fifteen, And I that gain’d the Egyptian monarch's And out of fifteen into four score, daughter.
O horrible! terrible! the like was ne'er before. In Egypt's fields I prisoner long was kept,
Alex. Thou silly ass, that liv'st on grati, But by my valour I from them escap'd ;
dost thou abuse a stranger ? I sounded loud at the gate of a divine,
I live in hopes to buy new ropes, and tic thy And out came a giant of no good design,
nose to a manger. He gave me a blow which almost struck me P. George. Sir, unto you I bend. dead,
Alex. Stand off thou slave, I think thee not But I up with my sword and cut off his head, my friend; Alex. Hold, Slacker, bold, pray do not be P. George. A slave: Sir, that's for me by so hot,
far too base a name, For in this spot thou know'st not who thou'st That word deserves to stab thine honour's
fame! got, 'Tis I that's to hash thee and smash thee as Alex. To be stabb’d, sir, is least of all my small as flies,
care, And send thee to Satan to make mince pies. Appoint your time and place, I'll meet you Mince pies hot, mince pies cold,
there. I'll send thee to Satan 'ere thou’rt three days
P. George. I'll cross the water at the bou old;
of five. But hold, Prince George, before you go away,
Alex. I'll meet you there, sir, if I be alive. Either you or I must die this bloody day, P. George. But stop, sir, I'll wish you a Some mortal wounds thou shalt receive by me,
wife both lusty and young, So let us fight it out most manfully.
Can talk Dutch, French, and the Italian tongue.
Alex. I'll have none such.
P. George. Why don't you love your leana
ing? Alexander and Prince George fight, the latter Alex. Yes, I love my learning as I love my is wounded and falls.
I love a learned scholar, but not a learned King of Egypt speaks.
Stand off, &c.
K. of Egypt. Sir, to express thy beauty l'e Alex. He gave me a challenge, why should For thy face shines like the very kitchen table,
not able, I him deny ?
Thy teeth are no whiter than the charcoal, &c. How high he was, but see, how low he lies.
Alex. Stand off thou dirty dog, or by my K. of Egypt. O Sambo, Sambo, help me
sword thou'lt die, now, For I was never more in need,
I'll make thy body full of holes, and cause thy
buttons to fly.
Act II, Scene III
Enter Prince George.
Oh! what is here? oh! what is to be done? son, And har bis ruin thoughtlessly begun,
Our king is slain, the crown is likewise gone ; I'll try if he be sprung from royal blood,
Take up his body, bear it hence away, And through his body make an ocean flood,
For in this place no longer shall it stay.
And Christmas comes but once a year,
Though when it comes it brings good cheer, That can cure my son of his deadly wound ? But farewell Christmas once a year.
Doctor. Yes there is a doctor to be found, Farewell, farewell, adieu! friendship and unity, That can cure your son of his deadly wound I hope we have made sport, and pleas'd the K. of Egypt. What discases can he core?
But, gentlemen, you see we're but actors four, [The doctor relates in ribald lines his va- We've done our best, and the best can do no
rious remedies, and the scene ends.]