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Remarkable Days


1.- ALL SAINTS. IN the early ages of Christianity the word saint was applied to all believers, as is evident in the use of it by Saint Paul and Saint Luke; but the term was afterwards restricted to such as excelled in Christian virtues. In the Romish church, holy persons canonized by the Pope are called saints, and are invoked and supplicated by the professors of that religion. The church of England instituted this festival in memory of all good men defunct, proposing them as patterns for Christian imitation, but not allowing any prayers to be addressed to them. For some rural customs on this day, see T. T. for 1814, pp. 278-9.

2.--ALL SOULS. In Catholic countries, on the eve and day of All Souls, the churches are hung with black; the tombs are opened; a coffin covered with black, and surrounded with wax lights, is placed in the nave of the church, and in one corner, figures in wood, representing the souls of the deceased, are halfway plunged into the flames.

*3. 1640.- PARLIAMENT MET. In the following year this parliament took up arms against Charles I; took the militia into their own hands, and declared all persons who should serve or assist the king, traitors. In 1642, it passed an ordinance for a weekly assessment throughout the kingdom for the maintenance of the parliament's forces, amounting to more than £34,000 per week. And, in 1644, another ordinance was passed for converting the festival of Christmas into a fast. Oliver Cromwell was made their lieutenant-general in 1645. In the following year the great seal, and all the other seals of state used by the king, were ordered to be broken to pieces in the presence of both houses; and the king was taken into custody. In 1647, several members were impeached by the army; the speakers of both houses and fifty members fled to the army for protection against an insurrection of the Londoners: the Commons declared it high treason for any person to deliver a message from the king, or to receive any letters or message from him, without the consent of both houses. In 1648, it was voted treason in the king to levy war against the parliament: the Lords rejected the ordinance for the king's trial; the trial proclaimed by order of the Commons, in the usual places where it was customary to proclaim the king. A new great seal made with this legend, In the first year of freedom by God's blessing restored, 1648. The Commons styled their ordinances, acts of parliament, and refused the concurrence of the Lords; . a peer elected, and sat as a member of the House of Commons. From this time to the restoration, there were no public proceedings that range under the title of parliaments, the privileges of the peers being suspended during the republican administration.A legal parliament, consisting of the Houses of Lords and Commons, sat April 25, 1660, and, on the 1st of May following, voted that the government ought to be by King, Lords, and Commons. This parliament was dissolved on the 29th December, 1660, after having continued only eight months and four days. The next parliament, called the Long Parliament, met on May 8, 1661, and lasted for the unprecedented time of "Sixteen years, eight months and sixteen days.'

5.-KING WILLIAM LANDED. The glorious revolution of 1688 is commemorated

on this day, when the throne of England became vested in the illustrious House of Orange. Although King William landed on the 5th of November, the almanacks still continue the mistake of marking it as the fourth.

5.-POWDER PLOT. This day is kept to commemorate the diabolical attempt of the Papists to blow up the Parliament House. The best account of this nefarious transaction is detailed in Hume's History of England, vol. vi, pp. 33-38 (8vo edition, 1802.) See also T. T. for 1814, p. 280.

6.-SAINT LEONARD. Leonard, or Lienard, was a French nobleman of great reputation in the court of Clovis I; he was instructed in divinity by Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, and afterwards made Bishop of Limosin. Several miraculous stories are told of him by the monks, not worth relating. He died about the year 559, and has always been implored by prisoners as their guardian saint. *6. 1817.-PRINCESS CHARLOTTE DIBD.

:. 9.—LORD MAYOR'S DAY. . The word mayor, if we adopt the etymology of Verstegan, comes from the antient English maier, able or potent, of the verb may or can. King Richard 1, A.D. 1189, first changed the bailiffs of London into Mayors; by whose example others were afterwards appointed. See T. T. for 1818, p. 278, for some lines on this day; and our last volume, p. 274, for a minute description of the Lord Mayor's Show, as it was managed in the year 1575. The following is a poetical account of the modern ceremonies :

Scarce the shrill trumpet or the echoing horn
With zeal impatient chides the tardy morn,
When Thames, meandering as thy channel strays,
Its ambient wave Augusta's Lord surveys:
No prouder triumph, when with eastern pride
The burnished galley burst upon the tide,

Thy banks of Cydnus say-tho' Egypt's queen
With soft allurements graced the glowing scene;
Though silken streamers waved and all was mute,
Save the soft trillings of the mellow lute;
Though spicy torches chased the lingering gloom,
And zephyrs blew in every gale perfume.

But soon, as pleased they win their wat’ry way,
And dash from bending oars the scattered spray,
The dome wide spreading greets th’ exploring eyes,
Where erst proud Rufus bade his courts arise.
Here borne our Civic Chief the brazen store,
With pointing fingers numbers o'er and o'er;
Then pleased around him greets his jocund train,
And seeks in proud array his new domain.
Returning now, the ponderous coach of state
Rolls o'er the pavement that groans 'neath its weight,
And as slow paced amid the shouting throng,
Its massive frame majestic moves along;
The prancing steeds with gilded trappings gay,
Proud of the load, their sceptred lord convey.

Behind, their posts, a troop attendant gain,
Press the gay throng, and join the smiling train;
While martial bands with nodding plumes appear,
And waving streamers close the gay career.

Here too a Chief the opening ranks display,
Whose radiant armour shoots a beamy ray;
So Britain erst beheld her troops advance,
Apd prostrate myriads crouch beneath her lance:
But though no more when threat'ning dangers nigli,
The glittering cuisses clasp the warrior's thigh;
Aloft no more the nodding plumage bows,
Or polished helm bedecks his manly brows;
A patriot band still generous Britain boasts,
To guard her altars avd protect her coasts;
From rude attacks her sacred name to shield,
And now, as ever, teach her foe to yield.

11.- SAINT MARTIN. He was a native of Hungary, and for some time followed the life of a soldier; but afterwards took orders, and was made Bishop of Tours in France, in which see he continued for twenty-six years. Martin died about the year 397, much lamented, and highly esteemed for his virtues. Formerly, a universal custom prevailed of killing cows, oxen, swine, &c. at this season, which were cured for winter consumption; as fresh provisions were seldom or never to be had during the dreary months which succeed November. This practice is yet retained in some country villages. Martinmas is still celebrated on the Continent by good eating and drinking; and was antiently, in England, a day of feasting and revelry, as will appear by the following extract from a pleasing little ballad, entitled Martilmasseday:-

It is the day of Martilmasse,
Cuppes of ale should freelie passe.
What thongh wynter has begunne
To push downe the summer sunne,
To onr fire we can betake,
And enjoy the crackling brake;
Never heedinge wyuter's face
On the day of Martilmasse.
* * * * *
Some do the citie now frequent,
Where costlie shows and merriment
Do weare the vaporish ev'ninge out
With interlude and revellinge rout;
Such as did pleasure Englande's queene,
When here her royal Grace was seen;
Yet will they not this day let passe,
The merrie day of Martilmasse.

13.--SAINT BRITIUS. Britius, or Brice, succeeded St. Martin in the bishopric of Tours in the year 399. He died in 444.

17.-SAINT HUGH. Our saint was a native of Burgundy, or Gratianopolis. At first he was only a regular canon, but afterwards a Carthusian monk, and at length, through the favour of King Henry II, was constituted Bishop of Lincoln. In this see he obtained great fame, not only for his extraordinary austerity of life and excellent economy, but for his rebuilding the cathedral from the foundation. Hugh died on this day, in the year 1200, of an ague. In 1220, he was canonized at Rome, and his remains were taken up October 7, 1282, and deposited in a silver shrine.

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