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An English lady visiting France, who was none of the pomp I had been so had been mightily impressed by the rites lately delighted with; the prevailing chaof the Roman Catholic religion, revived racter of the worship was simplicity; the there since the restoration of the Bour- minister who delivered the sermon was bons, was induced to attend the Pro- only sufficiently elevated to be seen by testant worship, at the chapel of the the auditors; he preached to a silent British ambassador.
“ the and attentive congregation, whose senses splendour of the Romish service, the had not been previously affected; his dissuperb dresses, the chanting, accompanied course was earnest, persuasive, and conby beautiful music, the lights, and the vincing. I began to perceive the differother ceremonies, completely overpowered ence between appeals to the feelings and my mind; at last on the Sunday before to the understanding, and I came home a I left Paris I went to our ambassador's better Protestant and I hope a better chapel, just to say that I had been. There Christian than when I left England."
Quarter-day. store for them, had their decline reached
its expected crisis, while they have secured For the Every-Day Book. the approbation and kind wishes of all This is quarter-day !—what a variety the good and considerate. The conscionsof thought and feeling it calls up ness of this consoles them for what is past, in the minds of thousands in this great contents them with the present, and animetropolis. How many changes of abode, mates their hopes for the future. voluntary and involuntary, for the better Now, let us shift the scene a little, and and for the worse, are now destined look at quarter-day under another aspect. to take place! There is the charm of On this day some may quit, some may renovelty at least; and when the mind is main; all must pay—that can! Alas, disposed to be pleased, as it is when the that there should be some unable! I pass will leads, it inclines to extract gratifica- over the rich, whether landlord or tenant; tion from the anticipation of advantages, the effects of quarter-day to them are rather than to be disturbed by any latent sufficiently obvious: they feel little or no doubts which time may or may not realize. sensation on its approach or arrival, and
Perhaps the removal is to a house of when it is over, they feel no alteration in decidedly superior class to the present; their accustomed necessaries and luxuries. and if this step is the consequence of Not so with the poor man; I mean the augmented resources, it is the first indi- man who, in whatever station, feels his cation to the world of the happy circum- growing inability to meet the demands stance. Here, then, is an additional periodically and continually making on ground of pleasure, not very heroic indeed, him. What a day quarter-day is to him ! but perfectly natural. Experience may He sees its approach from a distance, tries have shown us that mere progression in to be prepared, counts his expected means life is not always connected with pro- of being so, finds them short of even his not gression in happiness; and therefore, very sanguine expectations, counts again, though we may smile at the simplicity but can make no more of them; and which connects them in idea, yet our while day after day elapses, sees his liitle recollection of times past, when we our- stock diminishing. What shall he do? selves indulged the delusion, precludes us He perhaps knows his landlord to be in. from expressing feelings that we have exorable ; how then shall he satisfy him? acquired by experience. The pleasure, if Shall he borrow? Alas, of whom? from a shallow source, is at least a present Where dwell the practicers of this precept benefit, and a sort of counterpoise to vexa- -“ From him that would borrow of thee tions from imaginary causes. It does not turn thou not away?" Most of the proseem agreeable to contemplate retrogres- fessors of the religion which enjoins this sion; to behold a familydescending from their precept, construe it differently. What wonted sphere, and becoming the inmates shall he do? something must be soon deof a humbler dwelling ; yet, they who have cided on. He sits down to consider. He had the resolution, I may almost say the looks about his neatly-furnished house or
I magnanimity, voluntarily io descend, may apartments, to see what out of his humble reasonably be expected again to rise. possessions, he can convert into money. They have given proof of the possession The faithful wife of his busom becoines of of one quality indispensable in such an his council. There is nothing they have, attempt that mental decision, by which they did not purchase for some which they have achieved a task, difficult, particular, and as they then thought, nepainful, and 10 many, impracticable. cessary purpose; how, then, can they They have shown, too, their ability to form spare any thing? they ruminale; they rea correct estimate of the value of the peat the names of the various articles, world's opinion, so far as it is influenced they fix on nothing—there is nothing they by external appearances, and boldly dis- can part with. Tiey are about so to deregarding its terrors, have wisely resolved cide; but their recollection that external to let go that which could not be much resources are now all dried up, obliges longer held. By this determination, be- them to resume their task, and resolutely sides rescuing themselves from a variety deterinine to do without something, b: wof perpetually recurring embarrassments ever painful may be the sacrifice. Could and annoyances, they have suppressed half we hear the reasons which persons thus the speers which the malicious had in situated assign, why this or that article
should by no means be parted with, we sort, (assistance from without not being should be enabled, in some degree, to ap- afforded,) prevents them altogether. The preciate their conflicts, and the heart-aches case is then desperate. The power which which precede and accompany them. In the law thus permits a landlord to exersuch inventories much jewellery, diamond cise, is one of fearful magnitude, and is rinys, or valuable trinkets, are not to be certainly admirably calculated to discover expected. The few that there may be, the stuff he is made of. Yet, strange as it are probably tokens of affection, either seems, this power is often enforced in all from some deceased relative or dear its rigour, and the merciless enforcers lose friend; or not less likely from the hus- not, apparently, a jot of reputation, nor band to the wife, given at their nnion- forfeit the esteem of their intimates : so “ when life and hope were new"-when much does familiarity with an oppressive their minds were so full of felicity, that no action deaden the perception of its real room was left for doubts as to its perma- nature, and so apt are we to forget that nence ; when every future scene appeared owing to the imperfection of human in to their glowing imaginations dressed in stitutions, an action may be legal and beauty; when every scheme projected, cruel at the same time! The common appeared already crowned with success; phrase, “ Su and so have had their goods when the possibility of contingencies frus- seized for rent," often uttered with indiftating judicious endeavours, either did not ference and heard without emotion, is a present itself to the mind, or presenting phrase pregnant with meaning of the itself, was dismissed as an unwelcome direst import. It means that they-wife, guest,“ not having on the wedding gar- children, and all-who last night sat in a ment.” At such a time were those tokens decent room, surrounded by their own presented, and they are now produced. furniture, have now not a chair of their own They serve to recal moments of bliss un- to sit on; that they, who last night could alloyed by cares, since become familiar. retire to a comfortable bed, after the faThey were once valued as pledges of af- tigues and anxieties of the day, have tofection, and now, when that affection en- night not a bed to lie on-or none but dures in full force and tenderness, they what the doubtful ability or humanity of wish that those pledges had no other strangers or relations may supply: it value than affection confers on them, that means that sighs and tears are proSo there might be no temptation to sacri- duced, where once smiles and tranquilfice them to a cruel necessity. Let us, lity existed; or, perhaps, that long chehowever, suppose some of them selected rished hopes of surmounting difficulties, for disposal, and the money raised to meet have by one blow been utterly desthe portentous day. Our troubled fellow. troyed, -that the stock of expedients creatures breathe again, all dread is for long becoming threadbare, is at last the present banished ; joy, temporary, quite worn out, and all past efforts renbut oh! how sweet after such bitterness, is dered of no avail, though some for a time diffused through their hearts, and grati- seemed likely to be available. It means tude to Providence for tranquillity, even that the hollowness of professed friends by such means restored, is a pervading has been made manifest; that the busy feeling. It is, perhaps, prudent at this tongue of detraction has found employjuncture to leave them, rather than follow ment; that malice is rejoicing; envy is on to the end of the next quarter. It may at a feast; and that the viands are the be that, by superior prudence or some un- afflictions of the desolate. Landlord ! expected supply, a repetition of the same ponder on these consequences ere you evil, or the occurrence of a greater is distrain for rent, and let your heart, rather avoided; yet, we all know that evils of than the law, be the guide of your conthe kind in question, are too frequently duct. The additional money you may followed by worse. If a family, owing to receive by distraining may, indeed, add the operation of some common cause, such something to the luxuries of your table, as a rise in the price of provisions, or a but it can hardly fail to diminish your partial diminution of income from the relish. You may, perhaps, by adopting depression of business, become em- the harsh proceeding, add down to your barrassed and with difficulty enabled to pillow, but trust not that your sleep will pay their rent; the addition of a fit of be tranquil or your dreams pleasant. sickness, the unexpected failure of a Above all remember the benedictiondebtor, or any other contingency of the • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall
obtain mercy;" and inspired with the particulars and superstitions relating to sentiment, and reflecting on the Auctua- the bonfires on this day :tions which are every day occurring, the “In worshyp of Saint Johan the peopoor and humble raised, and the wealthy ple waked at home, and made three and apparently secure brought down, you maner of fyres; one was clene bones, will need no other incitement to fulfil the and noo woode, and that is called a bone golden rule of your religion—" Do unto fyre; another is clene woode, and no others as ye would they should do unto bones, and that is called a wood fyre, for you."
Sigma. people to sit and wake thereby; the thirde
is made of wode and bones, and it
is callyd Saynt Johannys fyre. The Concerning the Feast of St. John the first fyre, as a great clerke, Johan Belleth, Baptist, an author, to whom we are obliged telleth, he was in a certayne countrey, so for recollections of preceding customs, in the countrey there was so soo greate gives us information that should be hete, the which causid that drayons to go carefully perused in the old versified togyther in tokenynge, that Johan dyed version :
in brennynge love and charyte to God Then doth the joyfull feast of John
and man, and they that dye in charyte the Baptist take his turne,
shall have part of all good prayers, and When bonfiers great, with loftie flame, they that do not, shall never be saved. in every towne doe burne;
Then as these dragons fewe in th' ayre And yong men round about with maides, they shed down to that water froth of ther
doe daunce in every streete, kynde, and so envenymed the waters, and With garlands wrought of Motherwort, caused moche people for to take theyr or else with Vervain sweete,
deth thereby, and many dyverse sykenesse. And many other flowres faire,
Wyse clerkes knoweth well that dragons with Violets in their handes, Whereas they all do fondly thinke,
haie nothyng more than the stenche of that whosoever standes,
brennynge bones, and therefore they gaAnd thorow the flowres beholds the fame,
deryd as many as they mighte fynde, and his eyes shall feel no paine.
brent them; and so with the stenche When thus till night they daunced have,
thereof they drove away the dragons, and they through the fire amaine,
so they were brought out of greete dysease. With striving mindes doe runne, and all The seconde fyre was made of woode, for
their hearbes they cast therein, that wyll brenne lyght, and wyll be seen And then with wordes devout and prayers farre. For it is the chefe of fyre to be they solemnely begin,
seen farre, and betokennynge that Saynt Desiring God that all their ills
Johan was a lanterne of lyght to the peomay there consumed bee; Whereby they thinke through all that for that they shulde be seene farre, and
ple. Also the people made blases of tyre
yeare from agues to be free.
specyally in the nyght, in token of St. Some others get a rotten Wheele,
Johan's having been seen from far in the all worne and cast aside,
spirit by Jeremiah. The third fyre of bones Which covered round about with strawe
betokenneth Johan's martyrdome, for hys and tow, they closely hide :
bones were brente."-Brand calls this And caryed to some mountaines top,
a pleasant absurdity ;" the justice of the being all with fire light,
denomination can hardly be disputed. They hurle it downe with violence,
Gebelin observes of these fires, that when darke appears the night : they were kindled about midnight on Resembling much the sunne, that from
very moment of the summer solstice, the Heavens down should fal,
by the greatest part as well of the ancient A strange and monstrous siglt it seemes,
as of modern nations; and that this fireand fearefull to them all :
lighting was a religious ceremony of the But they suppose their mischiefes all are likewise throwne to hell,
most remote antiquity, which was obAnd that from harmes and duungers now,
served for the prosperity of states and in safetie here they dwell.*
people, and to dispel every kind of evil.” A very ancient “ Homily” relates other origin of this fire, which is still retained
He then proceeds to remark, that “ the by so many nations, though enveloped in
the mist of antiquity, is very simple: it • Naogeorgus by Googe.
was a feu de joie, kindled the very mo
ment the year began ; for the first of all of St. John the baptist and St. Peter, they years, and the most ancient that we know always have in every town a bonfire late of, began at this month of June. Thence in the evenings, and carry about bundles the very name of this month, junior, the of reeds fast tied and fired; these being youngest, which is renewed ; while that dry, will last long, and flame better than of the preceding one is May, major, the a torch, and be a pleasing divertive prosancient. Thus the one was the month of pect to the distant beholder; a stranger young people, while the other belonged would go near to imagine the whole to old men. These feux de joie were country was on fire." Brand cites furaccompanied at the same time with vows ther, from “ The Survey of the South of and sacrifices for the prosperity of the Ireland,” that—" It is not strange that people and the fruits of the earth. They many Druid remains should still exist; danced also round this fire; for what but it is a little extraordinary that some feast is there without dance ? and the of their customs should still be practised. most active leaped over it. Each on de. They annually renew the sacrifices that parting took away a fire-brand, great or used to be offered to Apollo, without small, and the remains were scattered to knowing it. On Midsummer's eve, every the wind, which, at the same time that it eminence, near which is a habitatica, dispersed the ashes, was thought to expel blazes with bonfires; and round these every evil. When, after a long train of they carry numerous torches, shouting years, the year ceased to commence at and dancing, which affords a beautiful this solstice, still the custom of making sight. Though historians had not given these fires a: this time was continued by us the mythology of the pagan Irish, and force of habit, and of those superstitious though they had not told us expressly ideas that are annexed to it.” So far re- that ihey worshipped Beal, or Bealin, and marks Gebelin concerning the univer- that this Beal was the sun, and their chief sality of the practice.
god, it might, nevertheless, be investi. Bourne, a chronicler of old customs, gated from this custom, which the lapse says, “that men and women were ac- of so many centuries has not been able to customed to gather together in the even- wear away." Brand goes on to quote ing by the sea side, or in some certain from the “ Gentleman's Magazine," for houses, and there adorn a girl, who was February 1795, “ The Irish have ever her parent's first begotten child, after the been worshippers of fire and of Baal, and manner of a bride. Then they feasted, are so to this day. This is owing to the and leaped after the manner of baccha- Roman Catholics, who have artfully yield. nals, and danced and shouted as they ed to the superstitions of the natives, in were wont to do on their holidays; after order to gain and keep up an establishthis they poured into a narrow-necked ment, grafting christianity upon pagan vessel some of the sea water, and put also rites. The chief festival in honour of the into it certain things belonging to each of sun and fire is upon the 21st of June, them ; then, as if the devil gifted the girl when the sun arrives at the summer solwith the faculty of telling future things, stice, or rather begins its retrograde mothey would inquire with a loud voice tion. I was so fortunate in the summer about the good or evil fortune that should of 1782, as to have my curiosity gratified attend them: upon this the girl would by a sight of this ceremony to a very great take out of the vessel the first thing that extent of country. At the house where I came to hand, and show it, and give it to was entertained, it was told me that we the owner, who, upon receiving it, was should see at midnight the most singular so foolish as to imagine himself wiser as sight in Ireland, which was the lighting of to the good or evil fortune that should fires in honour of the sun. Accordingly, attend him.” “ In Cornwall, particu- exactly at midnight, the fires began to larly,” says Borlase, “the people went appear: and taking the advantage of with lighted torches, tarred and pitched going up to the leads of the house, which at the end, and made their perambula- had a widely extended view, I saw on a tions round their fires." They went" from radius of thirty miles, all around, the village to village, carrying their torches fires burning on every eminence which bocorre them, and this is certainly the re- the country affor led. I had a farther
the Druid superstition." satisfaction in leirning, from undoubtel
in Ireland, according to sir authority, that the people danced round s, in Vallancey,“ on the eves the fires, and at the close weat through