« НазадПродовжити »
these fires, and made their sons and of flowers. A layer of clay is placed on daughters, together with their cattle, pass the stool, and therein is stuck, with great the fire; and the whole was conducted regularity, an arrangement of all kinds of with religious solemnity.”
flowers, so close as to form a beautiful
cushion. These are exhibited at the doors Mr. Brand notices, that Mr. Douce has of houses in the villages, and at the ends a curious French print, entitled “L'este of streets and cross-lanes of larger towns, le Feu de la St. Jean;" Mariette ex. In where the attendants beg money from the centre is the fire made of wood piled passengers, to enable them to have an up very regularly, and having a tree evening feast and dancing.* stuck in the midst of it. Young men One of the “Cheap Repository Tracts," and women are represented dancing round entitled, “Tawney Rachel, or the Forit hand in hand. Herbs are stuck in tune-Teller," said to have been written their hats and caps, and garlands of the by Miss Hannah More, relates, among same surround their waists, or are slung other superstitious practices of Sally across their shoulders. A boy is repre. Evans, that “she would never go to bed sented carrying a large bough of a tree. on Midsummer eve, without sticking up Several spectators are looking on. The in her room the well-known plant called following lines are at the bottom :- Midsummer Men, as the bending of the
“Que de Feux brulans dans les airs ! leaves to the right, cr to the left, would Qu'ils font une douce harmonie !
never fail to tell her whether her lover Redoublons cette mélodie
was true or false." The Midsummer Men Par nos dances, par nos concerts !"
were the orpyne plants, which Mr. Brand This “curious French print,” furnished says is thus elegantly' alluded to in the the engraving at page 82., or to speak “Cottage Girl," a poem “written on more correctly, it was executed from one Midsummer evé, 1786:"in the possession of the editor of the Every-Day Book.
“ The rustic maid invokes her swain;
And hails, to pensive damsels dear, To enliven the subject a little, we may
This eve, though direst of the year. recur to recent or existing usages at this
" Oft on the shrub she casts ber eye, period of the year. It may be stated then on the authority of Mr. Brand's collec
That spoke her true-love's secret sigh; tions, that the Eton scholars formerly had
Or else, alas! too plainly told
Her true-love's faithless heart was cold.' bonfires on St. John's day; that bonfires are still made on Midsummer eve in In the “Connoisseur," there is menseveral villages of Gloucester, and also tion of divinations on Midsummer eve. in the northern parts of England and in “ I and my two sisters tried the dumbWales ; to which Mr. Brand adds, that cake together : you must know, two must there was one formerly at Whiteborough, make it, two bake it, two break it, and a tumulus on St. Stephen's down near the third put it under each of their pilLaunceston, in Cornwall
. A large summer lows, (but you must not speak a word all pole was fixed in the centre, round which the time), and then you will dream of the the fuel was heaped up. It had a large man you are to have. This we did : and bush on the top of it. Round this were to be sure I did nothing all night but parties of wrestlers contending for small dream of Mr. Blossom. The same night, prizes. An honest countryman, who had exactly at twelve o'clock, I sowed hempoften been present at these merriments, seed in our back-yard, and said to myinformed Mi. Brand, that at one of them self.---'Hemp-seed I sow, hemp-seed 'I an evil spirit had appeared in the shape hoe, and he that is my true-love come of a black dog, since which none could after me and mow.' Will you believe wrestle, even in jest, without receiving me? I looked back, and saw him behind hurt : in consequence of which the wresl. me, as plain as eyes could see him. After ling was, in a great measure, laid aside. that, I took a clean shift and wetted it, The rustics there believe that giants are and turned it wrong-side out, and hung buried in these tumuli, and nothing would it to the fire upon the back of a chair; tempt them to be so sacrilegious as to and very likely my sweetheart would have disturb their bones.
come and turned it right again, (for I In Northumberland, it is customary on this day to dress out stools with a cushion * Hutchinson's Northumberland,
heard his step) but I was frightened, keep it in a clean sheet of paper, without
At eve last Midsummer no sleep I sought,
With his keen scythe behind me came the youth.
Was freshly gather'd from its stem, clean cloth, with bread, cheese, and ale,
She values as the ruby gem ; and sitting down as if going to eat, the
And, guarded from the piercing air,
With all an anxious lorer's care, street-door being left open, the person
She bids it, for her shepherd's sake, whom she is afterwards to marry will
Await the new-year's frolic wake come into the room and drink to her by
When, faded, in its alter'd hue bowing; and after filling the glass will
She reads—the rustic is untrue ! leave it on the table, and, making another But, if it leaves the crimson paint, bow, retire.*
Her sick’ning hopes no longer faint. So also the ignorant believe that any The rose upon her bosom worn, person fasting on Midsummer eve, and She meets him at the peep of morn ; sitting in the church porch, will, at mid
And lo! her lips with kisses prest, night, see the spirits of the persons of that
He plucks it from her panting breast. parish who will die that year, come and knock at the church door, in the order In "Time's Telescope," there is cited and succession in which they will die. the following literal version of a beautiful
In the “Cottage Girl," before referred ballad which has been sung for many to, the gathering the rose on Midsummer centuries by the maidens, on the banks of eve and wearing it, is noticed as one of the Guadalquivir in Spain, when they go the modes by which a lass seeks to divine forth to gather flowers on the morning of the sincerity of her suitor's vows:- the festival of St John the baptist :
Come forth, come forth, &c.
Come, forth, come forth, &c.
Come forth, come forth, &c.
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, the air is calm and cool,
Come fortb, come forth, &c.
Come forth, come forth, &c.
Come forth, come forth, &c. There are too many obvious traces of follow. He accordingly called several of the fact to doubt its truth, that the mak- his friends together, on an appointed day, ing of bonfires, and the leaping through and having lighted a large fire, brought them, are vestiges of the ancient worship forth his best calf; and, without ceremoof the heathen god Bal; and therefore, ny or remorse, pushed it into the flames. it is, with propriety, that the editor of The innocent victim, on feeling the in“ Times's Telescope,” adduces a recent tolerable heat, endeavoured to escape; occurrence from Hitchin's “ History of but this was in vain. The barbarians Cornwall," as a probable remnant of pagan that surrounded the fire were armed with superstition in that county. He presumes pitchforks, or pikes, as in Cornwall they that the vulgar potion which gave rise are generally called; and, as the burning to it, was derived from the druidical victim endeavoured to escape from death, sacrifices of beasts. “An ignorant old with these instruments of cruelty the farmer in Cornwall, having met with wretches pushed back the tortured animal some severe losses in his cattle, about the into the flames. In this state, amidst the year 1800, was much afflicted with his wounds of pitchforks, the shouts of unmisfortunes. To stop the growing evil, feeling ignorance and cruelty, and the he applied to the farriers in his neigh- corrosion of flames, the dying victim bourhood, but unfortunately he applied poured out its expiring groan, and was in vain. The malady still continuing, consumed to ashes. It is scarcely posand all remedies failing, he thought it sible to reflect on this instance of supernecessary to have recourse to some extra- stitious barbarity, without tracing a kind ordinary measure. Accordingly, on con- of resemblance between it, and the ansulting with some of his neighbours, cient sacrifices of the Druids. This calf equally ignorant with himself, and evi- was sacrificed to fortune, or good luck, dently not less barbarous, they recalled to avert impending calamity, and to ento their recollections a tale, which tradi- sure future prosperity, and was selected tion had handed down from remote anti- by the farmer as the finest among his quity, that the calamity would not cease herd.” Every intelligent native of Cornuntil he had actually burned alive the wall will perceive, that this extract from finest calf which he had upon his farm; the history of his county, is here made for but that, when this sacrifice was made, the purpose of shaming the brutally ignothe murrian would afflict his cattle no rant, if it be possible, into humanity. more The old farmer, influenced by this To conclude the present notices rather counsel, resolved immediately on reduc- pleasantly, a little poem is subjoined, ing it to practice; that, by making the which shows that the superstition respectdetestable experiment, he might secure ing the St. John's wort is not confined to an advantage, which the whisperers of England; it is å version of some lines tradition, and the advice of his neigh- transcribed from a German almanac: bours, had conspired to assure him would
The St. John's Wort.
“Thou silver glow-worm, 0 lend me thy light,
And the glow-worm came
Thro' the night of St. John,
With noiseless tread
To her chamber she sped,
“Bloom here—bloom here, thou plant of pow'r,
And when a year was past away,
And the glow-worm came
Thro' the night of St. John,
It would be easy, and perhaps inore Franking of Newspapers. agreeable to the editor than to his readers, to accumulate many other notices con
By a recent regulation it is not necescerning the usages on this day; let it suf- sary to put the name of a member of fice, however, that we know enough to be the address of the party to whom it is
either house of parliament on the cover; assured, that knowledge is engendering good sense, and that the superstitions of sent, with the ends of the paper left open
as usual, will be sufficient to ensure its our ancestors will in no long time have passed away for ever. Be it the business delivery. This is a praiseworthy accomof their posterity to hasten their decay.
modation to common sense. The old fiction was almost universally known to be one, and yet it is only a few years
ago, that a member of parliament reSt. John's Wort. Hypericum Pulchrum.
ceived a humble letter of apology, coupled Nativity of St. John.
with a request from one of his constituents, that he might be allowed to use
the name of his representative in directJune 25.
ing a newspaper.
To the ingenuous,
pretences seem realities. St. Prosper, A. D. 463. St. Maximus,
Bp. A. D. 465. St. William of Monte-
Dedicated to St. William. CHRONOLOGY. 1314. The battle of Bannockburn
June 26. which secured the independence of Scotland, and fixed Robert Bruce on the St. John and Paul, Martyrs abont a. D. throne of that kingdom, was fought on 362. St. Marentins, Abbot, A. D. 515. this day between the Scots under that St. Vigilius, Bp. A. D. 400, or 403. chieftain, and the English under Ed. St. Babolen, St. Anthelm, Bp. of ward II.
Bellay, A. D. 1178. Raingarda, Widow,
by suddenly attacking him, and making On the 26th of June, 1541, Francis him prisoner. The exaction of an imPizarro, the conqueror of Peru, was assas- mense ransom for this king's release; the sinated. He was born at Truxillo, in Spain; shameful breach of faith, by which he was his birth was illegitimate, and in his held in captivity after his ransom was youth he was a keeper of hogs. Becom- paid ; his brutal murder under the infaing a soldier, he went to America, and mous mockery of a trial; the horrible settled at Punama, where he projected frauds by which he was inveigled to die the prosecution of discoveries to the in the profession of the christian faith, eastward of that settlement. By means without being able to comprehend its of an expedition, which he solicited, and tenets; and the superaddition of other was intrusted to command from the court acts of perfidy and cruelty, will render of Spain, he entered Peru when the em- the name of Pizarro infamous so long as pire was divided by a civil war between it exists. Huascar the legitimate monarch, and His assassination was effected by the Atahualpa his half brother. Pretending friends of Almagro, his original associate, succour to Atahualpa, he was permitted with whom he had quarelled, and whom to penetrate twelve days' journey into he caused to be executed when he got the country, and received as an ally by him into his power. Atahualpa, whose confidence he rewarded
In olden times, so high a 'rise
For pleasure, or against surprise.