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THIS is the first and the coldest month of the year. Its zodiacal sign is Aquarius or the Waterbearer. It derives its name from Janus, a deity represented by the Romans with two faces, because he was acquainted with past and future events. Cotton introduces him into a poem on the new year

Hark, the cock crows, and yon bright star
Tells us, the day himself's not far;
And see where, breaking from the night,
He gilds the western hills with light.
With him old Janus doth appear,
Peeping into the future year,
With such a look as seems to say,
The prospect is not good that way.
Thus do we rise ill sights to see,
And 'gainst ourselves to prophesy;
When the prophetic fear of things
A more tormenting mischief brings,
More full of soul-tormenting gall
Than direst mischiefs can befall.
But stay! but stay! Methinks my sight,
Better inform'd by clearer light,

Discerns sereneness in that brow,
That all contracted seem'd but now.
His revers'd face may show distaste,
And frown upon the ills are past;
But that which this way looks is clear,
And smiles upon the new-born year.

According to the ancient mythology, Janus was the god of gates and avenues, and in that character held a key in his right hand, and a rod in his left, to symbolize his opening and ruling the year: sometimes he bore the number 300 in one hand, and 65 in the other, the number of its days. At other times he was reprosented with four heads, and placed in a temple of four equal sides, with a door and three windows in each side, as emblems of the four seasons and the twelve months over whi he presided.

According to Verstegan (Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, 4to. 1628, p. 59) the Saxons called this month "Wolfmonat," or Wolf-month, because the

wolves of our ancient forests, impelled by hunger at this season, were wont to prowl and attack man himself; the inferior animals, on whom they usually preyed, having retired or perished from the inclemency of the weather. The Saxons also called this month "Aefter-yula," or After Christmas. In illuminated calendars prefixed to catholic missals, or service books, January was frequently depicted as a man with fagots or a woodman's axe, shivering and blowing his fingers. Spenser introduces this month in nis Faerie Queene : Then came old January, wrapped well In many weeds to keep the cold away; Yet did he quake and quiver like to quell ; And blow his nayles to warme them if he may; For they were numb'd with holding all the day An hatchet keene, with which felled wood, And from the trees did lop the needlesse spray. January 1.

A close holiday at all public Circumcision. offices except the Excise, Cus

{offices except the

This festival stands in the calendar of the church of England, as well as in that

of the Roman catholic church. It is said to have been instituted about 487; It first appeared in the reformed English liturgy in 1550.

Without noticing every saint to whom each day is dedicated in the Roman catholic calen. dars, the names of saints will be given day by day, as they stand under each day in the last edition of their "Lives," by the Rev. Alban Butler, in 12 vols. 8vo. On the authority of that work the periods will be mentioned when the saints most noted for their miracles flourished, and some of those miracles be stated. Other

miracles will be given: First, from "The Golden Legend," a black letter folio volume, printed by W. de Worde.-Secondly, from "The Church History of Britain," by the Benedictine father, S. Cressy, dedicated by him to the queen consort of Charles II., a folio, printed in 1668.Thirdly, from the catholic translation of the "Lives of the Saints," by the Rev. Father Peter Ribadeneira, priest of the society of Jesus, second edition, London, 1730, 2 vols. folio; and Fourthly, from other sources which will be named. By this means the reader will be acquainted with legends that rendered the saints and the celebration of their festivals popular. For example, the saints in Butler's Lives on this day occur in the following order:

;

St. Fulgentius; St. Odilo, or Olou St. Almachus, or Telemachus; St. Eugendus, or Oyend; St. Fanchea, or Faine; St. Mochua, or Moncain, alias Claunus ; St. Mochua, alias Cronan, of Balla.

Sts. Mochua. According to Butler, these were Irish saints. One founded the monastery, now the town of Balla, in Connaught. The other is said to have founded 120 cells, and thirty churches, in one of

which he passed thirty years, and died about the sixth century. Bishop Patrick, in his "Reflexions upon the Devotions of the Roman Church," 1674, 8vo. cites of St. Mochua, that while walking and praying, and seeing a company of lambs running hastily to suck their mothers, he drew a line upon the ground which none of the hungry lambs durst pass. Patrick again cites, that St. Mochua having been visited by St Kyenanus and fifteen of his clergy, they came to an impetuous and impassable river on their return, and wanted a boat; whereupon St. Mochua spread his mantle on the water, and Kyenanus with his fifteen priests were carried safely over upon the mantle, which floated back again to St. Mochua without wrinkle or wetting.

St. Fanchea, or Faine, is said by Butler to have been an Irish saint of the sixth century. Patrick quotes that St. Endeus desiring to become a monk, his companions approached to dissuade him; but, upon the prayers of St. Faine, and her stuck to the earth like immovable stones, making the sign of the cross, their feet until by repentance they were loosed and went their way.

St. Fulgentius, according to Butler, died on the 1st of January, 533, sometimes went barefoot, never undressed to take rest, nor ate flesh meat, but chiefly lived on pulse and herbs, though when old he admitted the use of a little oil. He preached, explained mysteries, controverted with heretics, and built monasteries. Butler concludes by relating, that after his death, a bishop named Pontian was assured in a vision of Fulgentius's immortality; that his relics were translated to Bourges, where they are venerated; and that the saint's head is in the church of the archbishop's seminary.

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Be this day frugal, and not spare his friend
Some gift, to show his love finds not an end
With the deceased year.

POOLES'S ENG. PARNASSUS.

In the volume of "ELIA," an excellent paper begins with "Every man hath two birthdays: two days, at least, in every year, which set him upon revolving the lapse of time, as it affects his mortal duration. The one is that which in an especial manner he termeth his. In the gradual desuetude of old observances, this custom of solemnizing our proper birthday hath nearly passed away, or is left to children, who reflect nothing at all about the matter, nor understand any thing beyond the cake and orange. But the birth of a new year is of an interest too wide to be pretermitted by king or cobbler. No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.

"Of all sound of all bells-(bells, the music nighest bordering upon heaven) most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the old year. I never hear it without a gathering-up of my mind to a concentration of all the images that have been diffused over the past twelvemonth; all I have done or suffered, performed, or neglected-in that regretted time. I begin to know its worth as when a person dies. It takes a personal colour; nor was it a poetical flight in a contemporary, when he exclaimed,

'I saw the skirts of the departing year.'

"The elders with whom I was brought up, were of a character not likely to let slip the sacred observance of any old institution; and the ringing out of the old year was kept by them with circumstances of peculiar ceremony. In those days the sound of those midnight chimes, though it seemed to raise hilarity in all around me, never failed to bring a train of pensive imagery into my fancy. Yet I then scarce conceived what it meant, or thought of it as a reckoning that concerned me. Not childhood alone, but the young man till thirty, never feels practically that he is mortal."

Ringing out the old and ringing in the new year, with "a merry new year! a happy new year to you!" on new year's day, were greetings that moved sceptred pride, and humble labour, to smiles and

kind feelings in former times; and why should they be unfashionable in our own?

Dr. Drake observes, in "Shakspeare and his Times," that the ushering in of the new year, or new year's tide, with rejoicings, presents, and good wishes, was a custom observed, during the 16th century, with great regularity and parade, and was as cordially celebrated in the court of the prince as in the cottage of the peasant.

The Rev.T.D. Fosbroke, in his valuable "Encyclopedia of Antiquities," adduces various authorities to show that congratuthe Romans on this day. The origin, he lations, presents, and visits were made by says, is ascribed to Romulus and Tatius, and that the usual presents were figs and dates, covered with leaf-gold, and sent by clients to patrons, accompanied with a piece of money, which was expended to purchase the statues of deities. He mentions an amphora (a jar) which still exists, with an inscription denoting that it was a new year's present from the potters to Count Caylus a piece of Roman pottery, their patroness. He also instances from with an inscription wishing" a happy new year to you;" another, where a person medallions, with the laurel leaf, fig, and wishes it to himself and his son; and three date; one, of Commodus; another, of Victory; and a third, Janus, standing in a temple, with an inscription, wishing a happy new year to the emperor. New year's gifts were continued under the Roman emperors until they were prohibited by Claudius. Yet in the early ages of the church the Christian emperors received them; nor did they wholly cease, although condemned by ecclesiastical councils on account of the pagan ceremonies at their presentation.

The Druids were accustomed on certain days to cut the sacred misletoe with a golden knife, in a forest dedicated to the gods, and to distribute its branches with much ceremony as new year's gifts among the people.

The late Rev. John Brand, in his "Popular Antiquities" edited by Mr. Ellis, observes from Bishop Stillingfleet, tha among the Saxons of the North, the festival of the new year was observed with more than ordinary jollity and feasting, and by sending new year's gifts to one another. Mr. Fosbroke notices the continuation of the Roman practice during the middle ages; and that our kings, and the nobility especially, interchanged presents. Mr. Ellis quotes Matthew Paris, who appears to show that Henry III ex

torted new year's gifts; and he cites from a MS. of the public revenue, anno 5, Edward VI. an entry of "rewards given on new year's day to the king's officers and servants in ordinary 1557. 58., and to their servants that present the king's majestie with new year's gifts." An orange stuck with cloves seems, by reference to Mr. Fosbroke and our early authors, to have been a popular new year's gift. Mr. Ellis suggests, that the use of this present may be ascertained from a remark by old Lupton, that the flavour of wine is improved, and the wine itself preserved from mouldiness, by an orange or lemon stuck with cloves being hung within the vessel so as not to touch the liquor.

Thomas Naogeorgus, in "The Popish Kingdome," a Latin poem written in 1553, and Englished by Barnabe Googe, after remarking on days of the old year, urges this recollection :

The next to this is Newe yeares day whereon to every frende,

They costly presents in do bring,

and Newe yeares giftes do sende, These giftes the husband gives his wife, and father eke the childe, And maister on his men bestowes the like, with favour milde.

Honest old Latimer, instead of presenting Henry VIII. with a purse of gold, as was customary, for a new year's gift, put into the king's hand a New Testament, with a leaf conspicuously doubled down at Hebrews xiii. 4, which, on reference, will be found to have been worthy of all acceptation, though not perhaps well accepted. Dr. Drake is of opinion that the wardrobe and jewellery of queen Elizabeth were principally supported by these annual contributions on new year's day. He cites lists of the new year's gifts presented to her, from the original rolls published in her Progresses by Mr. Nichols; and from these it appears that the greatest part, if not all the peers and peeresses of the realm, all the bishops, the chief officers of state, and several of the queen's household servants, even down to her apothecaries, master cook, serjeant of the pastry, &c. gave new year's gifts to her majesty; consisting, in general, either of a sum of money, or jewels, trinkets, wearing apparel, &c. The largest sum given by any of the temporal lords was 201.; but the archbishop of Canterbury gave 401., the archbishop of York 301., and the other spiritual lords 201. and 107.; many of the temporal lords and great officers, and

most of the peeresses, gave rich gowns, petticoats, shifts, silk stockings, garters, sweet-bags, doublets, mantles embroidered with precious stones, looking-glasses, fans, bracelets, caskets studded with jewels, and other costly trinkets. Sir Gilbert Dethick, garter king at arms, gave a book of the States in William the Conqueror's time; Absolon, the master of the Savoy, gave a Bible covered with cloth of gold, garnished with silver gilt, and plates of the royal arms; the queen's physician presented her with a box of foreign sweetmeats; another physician presented a pot of green ginger, and a pot of orange flowers; her apothecaries gave her a box of lozenges, a box of ginger candy, a box of green ginger, and pots of other conserves. Mrs. Blanch a Parry gave her majesty a little gold comfit-box and spoon; Mrs. Morgan gave a box of cherries, and one of apricots. The queen's master cook and her serjeant of the pastry, presented her with various confectionary and preserves. Putrino, an Italian, gave her two pictures; Ambrose Lupo gave her a box of lute strings, and a glass of sweet water, each of three other Italians presented her with a pair of sweet gloves; a cutler gave her a meat knife having a fan haft of bone, with a conceit in it; Jeromy Bassano gave two drinking glasses; and Smyth, the dustman, presented her majesty with two bolts of cambrick. Some of these gifts to Elizabeth call to recoilection the tempting articles which Autolycus, in the "Winter's Tale," invites the country girls to buy: he enters singing,

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new year's gifts from king James I. to the persons whose names are therein mentioned on the 1st of January 1605, with the new year's gifts that his majesty received the same day; the roll is signed by James himself and certain officers of his household.

In a "Banquet of Jests, 1634," 12mo., there is a pleasant story of Archee, the king's jester, who, having fooled many, was fooled himself. Coming to a nobleman, upon new year's day, to bid him good-morrow, Archee received twenty pieces of gold; but, covetously desiring more, he shook them in his hand, and said they were too light. The donor answered: "I prithee, Archee, let me see them again, for there is one amongst them I would be loth to part with:" Archee, expecting the sum to be increased, returned the pieces to his lordship; who put them in his pocket with this remark, "I once gave money into a fool's hand, who had not the wit to keep it."

Pins were acceptable new year's gifts to the ladies, instead of the wooden skewers which they used till the end of the fifteenth century. Sometimes they received a composition in money: and hence allowances for their separate use is still denominated "pin-money."

Gloves were customary new year's gifts. They were more expensive than in our times, and occasionally a money present was tendered instead: this was called "glove-money." Sir Thomas More, as lord chancellor, decreed in favour of a Mrs. Croaker against the lord Arundel. On the following new year's day, in token of her gratitude, she presented sir Thomas with a pair of gloves, containing forty angels. "It would be against good manners," said the chancellor, to forsake a gentlewoman's new year's gift, and I accept the gloves; their lining you will be pleased otherwise to bestow."

Mr. Brand relates from a curious MS. in the British Museum, of the date of 1560, that the boys of Eton school used on this day to play for little new year's gifts before and after supper; and also to make verses, which they presented to the provost and masters, and to each other: new year's gifts of verses, however, were not peculiar to schoolboys. A poet, the beauties of whose poetry are justly remarked to be " of a kind which time has a tendency rather to hallow than to injure," Robert Herrick, presents us, in his Hesperides, with "a New Year's Gift

sent to Sir Simon Steward." fle commences it merrily, and goes on to call it Verse, crown'd with ivy and with holly; a jolly That tells of winter's tales and mirth, That milk-maids make about the hearth; Of Christmas' sports, the wassail bowl, That tost-up after fox-i' th' hole; Of blind-inan-buff, and of the care That young men have to shoe the mare; Of twelfth-tide cakes, of pease and beans, Wherewith ye make those merry scenes; A plenteous harvest to your grounds Of crackling laurel, which fore-sounds Of those, and such like things, for shift, Read then, and when your faces shine We send, instead of New Year's Gift. With buxom meat and cap'ring wine, Remember us in cups full crown'd And let our city-health go round. Then, as ye sit about your embers, Call not to mind the fled Decembers, As daughters to the instant year; But think on these, that are t' appear, And to the bagpipes all address And thus throughout, with Christmas plays, Till sleep take place of weariness. Frolick the full twelve holidays.

Mr. Ellis, in a note on Brand, introduces a poetical new year's gift in Latin, from the stern Buchanan to the unhappy Mary of Scotland.

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"New year's gifts," says Dr. Drake, were given and received, with the mutual expression of good wishes, and particularly that of a happy new year. The compliment was sometimes paid at each other's doors in the form of a song; but more generally, especially in the north of England and in Scotland, the house was entered very early in the morning, by some young men and maidens selected for the purpose, who presented the spiced bowl, and hailed you with the gratulations of the season.' " To this may be added, that it was formerly the custom in Scotland to send new year's gifts on new year's eve; and on new year's day to wish each other a happy new year, and ask for a new year's gift. There is a citation in Brand, from the "Statistical Account of Scotland," concerning new year's gifts to servant maids by their masters; and it mentions that "there is a large stone, about nine or ten feet high, and four broad, placed upright in a plain, in the (Orkney) isle of North Ronaldshay; but no tradition is preserved concerning it, whether erected in memory of any signa! event, or for the purpose of administering justice, or for religious worship. The

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