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torted new year's gifts; and he cites from most of the peeresses, gave rich gowns, a MS. of the public revenue, anno 5, petticoats, shifts, silk stockings, garters, Edward VI. an entry of “ rewards given sweet-bags, doublets, mantles embroidered on new year's day to the king's officers with precious stones, looking-glasses, fans, and servants in ordinary 1551. 58., and bracelets, caskets studded with jewels, to their servants that present the king's and other costly trinkets. Sir Gilbert majestie with new year's gifts." An Dethick, garter king at arms, gave a book orange stuck with cloves seems, by refer- of the States in William the Conqueror's ence to Mr. Fosbroke and our early au- time; Absolon, the master of the Savoy, thors, to have been a popular new year's gave a Bible covered with cloth of gold, gift. Mr. Ellis suggests, that the use of garnished with silver gilt, and plates of this present may be ascertained from a the royal arms; the queen's physician remark by old Lupton, that the flavour of presented her with a box of foreign wine is improved, and the wine itself pre- sweetmeats; another physician presented served from mouldiness, by an orange or a pot of green ginger, and a pot of orange lemon stuck with cloves being hung within flowers; her apothecaries gave her a box of the vessel so as not to touch the liquor. lozenges, a box of ginger candy, a box of
Thomas Naogeorgus, in “ The Popish green ginger, and pots of other conserves. Kingdome," a Latin poem written in 1553, Mrs. Blanch a Parry gave her majesty a and Englished by Barnabe Googe, after little gold com fit-box and spoon; Mrs. remarking on days of the old year, urges Morgan gave a box of cherries, and one this recollection :
of apricots. The queen's master cook The next to this is Newe yeares day
and her serjeant of the pastıy, presented whereon to every frende,
her with various confectionary and preThey costly presents in do bring,
serves. Putrino, an Italian, gave her two and Newe yeares giftes do sende, pictures; Ambrose Lupo gave her a box of These giftes the husband gives his wife, lute strings, and a glass of sweet water ; and father eke the childe,
each of three other Italians presented her And maister on his men bestowes
with a pair of sweet gloves; a cutler the like, with favour milde.
gave her a meat knife having a fan haft Honest old Latimer, instead of present- of bone, with a conceit in it; Jeromy ing Henry VIII. with a purse of gold, as Bassano gave two drinking glasses; and was customary, for a new year's gift, put Smyth, the dustman, presented her mainto the king's hand a New Testament, jesty with two bolts of cambrick. Some of with a leaf conspicuously doubled down these gifts to Elizabeth call to recoilection at Hebrews xiii. 4, which, on reference, the tempting articles which Autolycus, in will be found to have been worthy of all the “ Winter's Tale," invites the country acceptation, though not perhaps well ac- girls to buy : he enters singing, cepted. Dr. Drake is of opinion that the wardrobe and jewellery of queen Elizabeth
Lawn, as white as driven snow;
Cypress, black as e'er was crow; were principally supported by these an
Gloves, as sweet as damask roses nual contributions on new year's day. He
Masks for faces, and for noses ; cites lists of the new year's gifts presented
Bugle bracelet, necklace-amber, to her, from the original rolls published in Perfume for a lady's chamber; her Progresses by Mr. Nichols; and from Golden quoifs, and stomachers, these it appears that the greatest part, if For my lads to give their dears ; not all the peers and peeresses of the Pins, and poking-sticks of steel, realm, all the bishops, the chief officers of What maids lack from head to beel : state, and several of the queen's house
Come, buy of me, come: come buy, come hold servants, even down to her apothe
buy; caries, master cook, serjeant of the pastry,
Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry, &c. gave new year's gifts to her majesty;
Come, buy, &c. consisting, in general, either of a sum of Dr. Drake says, that though Elizabeth money, or jewels, trinkets, wearing appa- made returns to the new year's gifts, in rel, &c. The largest sum given by any plate and other articles, yet she took sufof the temporal lords was 201.; but the scient care that the balance should be in archbishop of Canterbury gave 401., the her own favour. archbishop of York 301., and the other No. 4982, in the Catalogue for 1824, of spiritual lords 201. and 101.; many of Mr. Rodd, of Great Newport-street, is a the temporal lords and great officers, and roll of vellum, ten feet long, containing the
new year's gifts from king James I. to the sent to Sir Simon Steward." He compersons whose names are therein mention- mences it merrily, and goes on to call it ed on the 1st of January 1605, with the
a jolly new year's gifts that his majesty received Verse, crown'd with ivy and with holly; the same day; the roll is signed by James That tells of winter's tales and mirth, himself and certain officers of his house. That milk-maids make about the hearth ; hold.
Of Christmas' sports, the wassail bowl, In a “Banquet of Jests, 1634,” 12mo., That tost-up after fox-i' th' hole; there is a pleasant story of Archee, the of blind-ınan-buff
, and of the care king's jester, who, having fooled many,
Thai young men have to shoe the mare; was fooled himself. Coming to a noble
Of twelfth-tide cakes, of pease and beans, man, upon new year's day, to bid him Of crackling laurel, which fore-sounds
make those merry scenes ; good-morrow, Archee received twenty A plenteous harvest to your grounds pieces of gold; but, covetously desiring of those, and such like things, for shift, more, he shook them in his hand, and said We send, instead of New Year's Gift. they were too light. The donor answered: Read then, and when your faces shine “I prithee, Archee, let me see them again, With buxom meat and cap'ring wine, for there is one amongst them I would bé Remember us in cups full crown'd loth to part with :” Archee, expecting the And let our city-health go round. sum to be increased, returned the pieces Then, as ye sit about your embers, to his lordship; who put them in his Call not to mind the fied Decembers, pocket with this remark, “ I once gave As daughters to the instant year;
But think on these, that are t'appear, money into a fool's hand, who had not the And to the bagpipes all address wit to keep it." Pins were acceptable new year's gifts And thus throughout, with Christmas plays,
Till sleep take place of weariness. to the ladies, instead of the wooden skew- Frolick the full twelve holidays. ers which they used till the end of the fifteenth century: Sometimes they re
Mr. Ellis, in a note on Brand, introceived a composition in money: and hence duces a poetical new year's gift in Latin, allowances for their separate use is still from the stern Buchanan to the unhappy denominated “ pin-money."
Mary of Scotland. Gloves were customary new year's
“ New year's gifts," says Dr. Drake, gifts. They were more expensive than were given and received, with the mutual in our times, and occasionally a money expression of good wishes, and particularly present was tendered instead: this was that of a happy new year. The complicalled “glove-money." Sir Thomas More, ment was sometimes paid at each other's as lord chancellor, decreed in favour of doors in the form of a song; but more gea Mrs. Croaker against the lord Arundel. nerally, especially in the north of EngOn, the following new year's day, in land and in Scotland, the house was entoken of her gratitude, she presented sir tered very early in the morning, by some Thomas with a pair of gloves, containing young men and maidens selected for the forty angels. “It would be against good purpose, who presented the spiced bowl, manners,” said the chancellor, to forsake and hailed you with the gratulations of a gentlewoman's new year's gift, and I the season. To this may be added, that accept the gloves; their lining you will it was formerly the custom in Scotland to be pleased otherwise to bestow."
send new year's gifts on new year's Mr. Brand relates from a curious MS. eve; and on new year's day to wish in the British Museum, of the date of each other a happy new year, and ask for 1560, that the boys of Eton school used a new year's gift. There is a citation in on this day to play for little new year's Brand, from the “ Statistical Account of gifts before and after supper; and also Scotland,” concerning new year's gifts to to make verses, which they prevented to servant maids by their masters ; and is the provost and masters, and to each other: mentions that “there is a large stone new year's gifts of verses, however, were about nine or ten feet high, and fou. pot peculiar to schoolboys. A poet, the broad, placed upright in a plain, in the beauties of whose poetry are justly re- (Orkney) isle of North Ronaldshay; bu marked to be “ of a kind which time has no tradition is preserved concerning it a tendency rather to hallow than to in- whether erected in memory of any signa jure,” Robert Herrick, presents us, in his event, or for the purpose of administerin Hesperides, with “a New Year's Gift justice, or for religious worship.
writer of this (the parish priest) has seen ferent apartments, till the vapour from tne fifty of the inhabitants assembled there, burning branches condenses into opaque on the first day of the year, dancing by clouds, and coughing, sneezing, wheezing, moonlight, with no other music than gasping, and other demonstrations of suftheir own singing."
focation ensue. The operator, aware that In Mr. Stewart's “ Popular Superstitions the more intense the“ smuchdan,” the of the Highlands," there is some account more propitious the solemnity, disregards of the Candlemas buh, on new year's these indications, and continues, with eve, as introductory to che new year. streaming eyes and averted head, to inThe term Candlemas, applied to this sea- crease the fumigation, until in his own son, is supposed to have originated in defence he admits the air to recover the some old religious ceremonies performed exhausted household and himself. He by candlelight. The Bull is å passing then treats the horses, cattle, and other cloud, which Highland imagination per- bestial stock in the town with the same verts into the form of that animal; as it smothering, to keep them from harm rises or falls or takes peculiar directions, throughout the year. When the gudeof great significancy to the seers, so does wife gets up, and having ceased from it prognosticate good or bad weather. The coughing, has gained sufficient strength more northern nations anciently assigned to reach the bottle dhu, she administers portentous qualities to the winds of new its comfort to the relief of the sufferers : year's eve. One of their old legends in laughter takes place of complaint, all the Brand may be thus versified—the last line family get up, wash their faces, and reeking out the verse:
ceive the visits of their neighbours, who If New Year's eve night-wind blow south,
arrive full of gratulations peculiar to the It betokeneth warmth and growth;
day. Mu nase choil orst, “My CandleIf west, much milk, and fish in the sea ; mas bond upon you" is the customary If north, much cold, and storms there will be; salutation, and means, in plain words, If east, the trees will bear much fruit
“ You owe me a new year's gift.” A li north-east, flee it man and brute.
point of great emulation is, who shal! Mr. Stewart says, that as soon as night salute the other first; because the one sets in it is the signal with the Strath- who does so is entitled to a gift from the lown highlander for the suspension of his person saluted. Breakfast, consisting of sual employment, and he directs his at- all procurable luxuries, is then served, the ention to more agreeable callings. The neighbours not engaged are invited to nen form into bands with tethers and partake, and the day ends in festivity. zes, and, shaping their course to the Riding stang, a custom that will be uviper bushes, they return home laden observed on hereafter, prevails in some vith mighty loads, which are arranged parts of England on new year's day to ound the fire to-day till morning. A cer- the present hour. The “stang” is a ain discreet person is despatched to the cowl-staff; the cowl is a water-vessel, lead and living ford to draw a pitcher of borne by two persons on the cowl-staff, water in profound silence, without the which is a stout pole whereon the vessel ressel touching the ground, lest its virtue hangs. “ Where's the cowl-staff?” cries hould be destroyed, and on his return all Ford's wife, when she purposes to get etire to rest. Early on new year's morn- Falstaff into a large buck-basket, with two ng the Usque-Cashrichd, or water from handles; the cowl-staff, or stang,” is he dead and living ford, is drank, as a produced, and, being passed through the jotent charm, until next new year's day, handles,the fat knight is borne off by two of gainst the spells of witchcraft, the malig- Ford's men. A writer in the Gentlemans lity of evil eyes, and the activity of all Magazine, 1791, says, that in Westmoreinfernal agency. The qualified highlander land and Cumberland, on the 1st of Jahen tal es a large brush, with which he nuary, multitudes assemble early in the oro sely asperses the occupants of all morning with baskets and “stangs," and ed: ; from whom it is not14 isual for whoever does not join them, whether im to receive ungrateful rénstrances inhabitant or stranger, is immediately gainst ablution. This e:lded, and the mounted across the “ stang," and carried, loors and windows being thorcughly shoulder height, to the next public-house, losed, and all crevices stopped, he kindles where sixpence liberates the prisoner, iles of the collected juniper, in the dif- Women are seized in this way, and car
ried in baskets—the sex being privileged large amount, and the fancy articles exfrom riding“ stang,” in compliment, per- ported in the first week in the year to haps, to the use of side-saddles. In the England and other countries, is computed same part of the country, no one is al- at one-fourth of the sale during the twelve lowed to work on new year's day, how- months. In Paris it is by no means unever industrious. Mr. Ellis shows that it common for a man of 8,000 or 10,000 was a new year's day custom in ancient francs a year to make presents on new Rome for tradesmen to work a little only, year's day which cost him a fifteenth part for luck's sake, that they might have con- of his income. No person able to give stant business all the year after.
must on this day pay a visit empty-handed. A communication in an English journal Every body accepts, and every man gives of January 1824 relates, that in Paris on according to the means which he possesses. new year's day, which is called le jour Females alone are excepted from the charge d'étrennes, parents bestow portions on of giving. A pretty woman, respectably their children, brothers on their sisters, connected, may reckon her new year's preand husbands make presents to their wives. sents at something considerable. Gowns, Carriages may be seen rolling through the jewellery, gloves, stockings, and artificial streets with cargoes of bon-bons, souvenirs, flowers, fill her drawing-room; for in Paris and the variety of et cæteras with which it is a custom to display all the gifts, in little children and grown-up children are order to excite emulation, and to obtain bribed into good humour; and here and as much as possible. At the palace the there pastrycooks are to be met with, car- new year's day is a complete jour de rying upon boards enormous temples, pa- fête. Every branch of the royal family is godas, churches, and playhouses, made of then expected to make handsome presents fine flour and sugar, and the embellish- to the king. For the six months preceding ments which render French pastry so in- January 1824, the female branches were viting. But there is one street in Paris busily occupied in preparing presents of to which a new year's day is a whole their own manufacture, which would fill year's fortune-this is the Rue des Lom- at least two common-sized waggons. The bards, where the wholesale confectioners duchess de Berri painted an entire room reside; for in Paris every trade and pro- of japanned pannels, to be set up in the fession has its peculiar quarter. For se- palace; and the duchess of Orleans preveral days preceding the 1st of January, pared an elegant screen. An English this street is completely blocked up by gentleman who was admitted suddenly carts and waggons laden with cases of into the presence of the duchess de Berri sweetmeats for the provinces. These are of two months before, found her, and three every form and description which the most of her maids of honour, lying on the carsingular fancy could imagine; bunches of pet, painting the legs of a set of chairs, carrots, green peas, boots and shoes, lob- which were intended for the king. The sters and crabs, hats, books, musica, in- day commences with the Parisians, at an struments, gridirons, frying-pans, and early hour, by the interchange of their saucepans; all made of sugar, and co- isit and bon-bons. The nearest relations loured to imitate reality, and all made are visited first, until the furthest in blood with a hollow within to hold the bon-bons. have had their calls; then friends and acThe most prevailing device is what is quaintances. The conflict to anticipate called a cornet, that is, a little cone orna- each other's calls, occasions the most agreemented in different ways with a bag to able and whimsical scenes among these draw over the large end, and close it up. proficients in polite attentions. In these In these things, the prices of which vary visits, and in gossiping at the confecfrom one franc (tenpence) to fifty, the tioners' shops, which are the great lounge bon-bons are presented by those who for the occasion, the morning of new choose to be at the expense of them, and by year's day is passed; a dinner is given those who do not, they are only wrapped by some * nber of the family to all the in a piece of paper ; bút bon-bons in some rest, ander e evening concludes, like way or other must be presented. It would Christmas ' i with cards, dancing, or not, perhaps, be an exaggeration to state any other ar isement that may be prethat the amount expended for presents on
ferred. One of the chief attractions to a new year's day in Paris, for sweetmeats foreigner in Paris is the exhibition, which alone, exceeds 500,000 francs, or 20,0001. opens there on new year's day, of the sterling Jewellery is also sold to a very finest specimens of the Sevres china manufactured at the royal establishment in the good year. In the hilarity of the season neighbourhood of Versailles during the let him not forget that to the needy it is preceding year.
a season of discomfort. Undoubtedly, new year's gifts originated in htathen observances, and were
There is a satisfaction grossly abused in after ages; yet latterly
In doing a good action : they became a rational and pleasant mode and he who devises liberal things will of conveying our gentle dispositions to- find his liberality return to him in a full wards those we esteem. Mr. Audley, in tide of happiness. An economist can his compendious and useful “Companion afford to be generous. “ Give me neither to the Almanack," says, with truth, that poverty nor riches,” prayed the wise man. they are innocent, if not praiseworthy; To him who is neither encumbered by and he quotes this amiable sentiment from wealth, nor dispirited by indigence, the Bourne : “ If I send a new year's gift stores of enjoyment are unlocked. to my friend, it shall be a token of my
He who holds fast the Golden Mean, friendship; if to my benefactor, a token
And lives contentedly between of my gratitude ; if to the poor, which at
The little and the great, this season must never be forgot, it shall
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor, be to make their hearts sing for joy, and
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door, give praise and adoration to the Giver of
Embitt'ring all his state. all good gifts." The Jews on the first day of their new year give sumptuous enter
The tallest pines feel most the pow'r tainments, and joyfully wish each other
Of wintry blasts ; the loftiest tow'r
Comes heaviest to the ground; “ a happy new year.' This salutation
The bolts that spare the mountain's side, is not yet obsolete even with us; but the
His cloud.capt eminence divide, new year's gift seldom arrives, except to And spread the ruin round. honest rustics from their equals ; it is scarcely remembered with a view to its
The well-inform’d philosopher use but by young persons, who,“ unvexed
Rejoices with a wholesome fear, with all the cares of gain,” have read or
And hopes, in spite of pain ;
If Winter bellow from the North, heard tell of such things, and who, with
Soon the sweet Spring comes dancing innocent hearts, feeling the kindness of And Nature laughs again. the sentiment, keep up the good old cus
If hindrances obstruct thy way, tom among one another, till mixture with the world, ard“ long experience, makes
Thy magnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen; them sage," and sordid.
But oh! if fortune fill thy sail New year's day in London is not ob- With more than a propitious gale, served by any public festivity ; but little Take half thy canvass iu. social dining parties are frequently formed
Cowper. amongst friends; and convivial persons
CHRONOLOGY. may be found at taverns, and in publicans' parlours, regaling on the occasion. Dr 1308. On the 1st of January in this Forster relates, in his “ Perennial Calen- year, William Tell, the Swiss patriot, as. dar,” that many people make a point to sociated himself on this day with a band wear some new clothes on this day, and of his countrymen, against the tyranny of esteem the omission as unlucky: the their oppressors. For upwards of three practice, however, from such motives, centuries the opposition was carried on, inust obviously be confined to the unin- and terminated by the treaty of Westformed.
The only open demonstration phalia in 1648, declaring the independof joy in the metropolis, is the ringing of ence of Switzerland. merry peals from the belfries of the nu- 1651. On the 1st of January Charles II. merous steeples, late on the eve of the was crowned at Scone king of the Scots. new year, and until after the chimes of Charles, when a child, was weak in the the clock have sounded its last hour. legs, and ordered to wear steel - boots.
On new year's day the man of business Their weight so annoyed him that he opens new account-books.
“A good be. pined till recreation became labour. An ginning makes a good ending." Let every old rocker took off the steel-boots, and man open an account to himself; and concealed them; promising the countess so begin the new year that he may expect of Dorset, who was Charles's governess, to say at its termination-it has been a that she would take any blame for the act