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“This is an entertaining and instructive annual work.'-Bell's Weekly Messenger, December 29, 1823.
• Time's Telescope has certainly been furnished this year with an additional number of lenses, bright, clear, and achromatic; so that we are enabled to view, with distinctness and pleasure, the various objects that are set before us. Of the natural pictures here held up to view we can scarcely speak in too warm terms of commendation. The Introduction on the habits, economny, and uses of British Insects, is original and amusing; and the description of Astronomical Instruments is concise and clear. With the Ode to Time, by Mr. Barton, we have been greatly pleased, and indeed the whole volume is one wbich we can cordially recommend. The Editor is entitled to the highest praise for his laborious collections in poetry, biography, and the facts of natural history; the last is, at all times, a pleasing and delightful study, and which cannot be too much pressed upon the attention of youth. In a word, this is the best volume of Time's Telescope which has yet appeared. - London Journal of Arts, December 1822.
“We have repeatedly recommended this work to our readers, who have a taste for scientific studies. The present volume contains a vast variety of interesting matter.'-Supplement to Evangelical Magazine for 1822.
For the tenth time we meet this truly interesting compilation, which seems to improve with every recurring year, and may be justly said to afford a high intellectual treat to all who possess a love for literature and science. We know not a volume, indeed, even in the present productive state of the Periodical Press, which is so well calculated as this, to excite in the youthful and ingenuous mind a vivid and durable impression of the value of time, and of the beauty, sublimity, and utility, of the mighty works of God. It is evidently the production of a man of great ingenuity and research; for he has contrived, notwithstanding an apparent necessity for repetition in some of the details, to give to each succeeding volume, and through every department of its contents, the charm of variety and the impress of novelty; a result which he has been enabled to obtain through a very lappy use of the almost inexhaustible treasures which are to be found in the mines of Philosophy and Natural History, in the delightful stores of Biography and Literary Anecdote, and in the curious minutiæ of Manners, Customs, and Superstitions. With these he has mingled copious and judiciously selected illustrations from our best poets, living as well as dead; a feature in the work which stamps it with a lively and endearing interest, and which appears, indeed, in the volunie before us, with singular attractions for our Suffolk readers, as it includes some highly finished effusions from the moral pen of one who resides amongst them (Mr. B. Barton), and who, whether regarded as a poet or a man, may be correctly said to refleet honour, not only on the sect to which he more peculiarly belongs, but on the country which has given him hirth:'Suffolk-Chronicle, December 14, 1822.
* This work blends instruction with amusement, and presents a compilation of topics extremely well adapted to excite its younger
THE first and coldest month of the year, whose zodiacal sign is Aquarius, or the Water-Bearer, derives its name from Janus, a deity represented by the Romans with two faces, because he was acquainted both with the past and future.
In JANUARY 1828.
1.-CIRCUMCISION. This festival commemorates the circumcision of our Lord on the 8th day of his nativity. It was first observed in the year 487. This is also New Year's Day. Every man,' says Elia, 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 birth-day 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 peasant. No one ever regarded the First of January with in
difference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.'
When we look back on hours long past away,
And every circumstance of joy or woe
That goes to make this strange beguiling show,
Still flies unwearied Time;-on still we go,
And whither ?-Unto endless weal or woe,
But ill became a head where folly dwelt,
Had nothing learnt from wbat they saw or felt : :
The practice of making New Year's Gifts existed among the Romans; they sent little presents to their friends as auguring happiness throughout the year: they were called strenice, whence their goddess Strenua and the French word etrennes. But the joy manifested by the Romans at the renewing of the year degenerated into debauchery, disguisings, and indecent farées, which continued for several days; and these follies were practised throughout the whole Roman empire. The Gauls were: consequently infected by their dangerous example, and their proceedings were afterwards so scandalous, that they called forth the censures of the church, which proscribed the customs of the calends of January, as celebrated by indecencies unworshy of Christians ;--such is the origin of the Feast of Fools, practised in the churches at the time of the winter solstice.
The first day of January in France, and in most Catholic countries, is devoted to congratulatory and complimentary visits, the performance of which is considered so indispensable in society, that the omission of them is frequently the cause of great coolness, and even enmity, among friends. On New Year's Day, .which is called le jour d'etrennes, parents bestow-portions on their children, brothers on their sisters, and husbands take presents to their wives. In Paris, carriages may be bear rolling through the streets with cargoes of bonbons, souvenirs, and the variety of etceteras, with which little children and grown-up children are bribed into good humour; and here and there pastrycooks are to be met witb, carrying upon boards enormous temples, pagodas, churches, and play-houses, made of fiñe flour and
sugar, and embellished in the way which makes French pastry so inviting. But there is one street in Paris to which a New Year's Day is a whole year's fortune- this is the rue des Lombards, where the wholesale confectioners reside. For several days preceding the 1st of January, this street is completely blocked up by carts and waggons laden with cases of sweetmeats for the provinces. These are of every form and description which the most singular fancy can imagine-bunches of carrots, green peas, boots and shoes, lobsters, crabs, hats, books, musical instruments, gridirons, frying pans, and saucepans-all made of sugar, and coloured to imitate reality. It would not, perhaps, be an exaggeration to state that the amount expended for presents on New Year's Day in Paris, for sweetmeats alone, exceeds 500,000 francs, or £20,000 sterling. Jewellery is also sold to a very large amount; and the fancy articles exported in the first week of the year to England, and otber countries, is computed at one-fourth of their sale during the twelve months. In Paris, it is by no means uncommon for a man of 8 or 10,000 francs a-year to make presents on New Year's Day which cost him a fifteenth part of his income. No person able to give, must on this day pay a visit empty-handed. Every body accepts, and every man gives according to the means which be possesses. Females alone are exempted from the charge of giving. A pretty woman, respectably connected, may reckon her New Year's presents at something considerable-gems, jewellery, gloves, stockings, and artificial flowers, fill her drawingroom; for in Paris it is a custom to display all the gifts, in order to excite emulation, and obtain as much as possible. At the Palace, New Year's Day is a complete jour de fête. Every branch of the royal family is expected to make handsome presents to the king.
A curious ceremony formerly took place in the cathedral of Chartres, entitled the Fool-Pope, or Pope of Fools; it was held on the first four days of the year. The ministers elected every year, among themselves, a pope and his cardinals; for one would not do without the other: and the clergy who accompanied them were equally respectable with the cbiels. This grotesque assemblage officiated in the cathedral in masquerade habits, and acted in the most indecent manner; every sort of disorder being allowed. Each appeared to have but one object in view, that of distinguishing himself by the wildest extravagancies. They afterwards went through the streets and public squares in the town with the same dress, and in the same disguise, insulting and levying contributions on every one they met. In 1504, war, plague, and famine, desolated the country of Chartres, like the rest of France; and the Canons, affected by these scourges, ordered this scandalous fête to be suppressed.
Lines on the New Year.
A silent tear to that gone by ;
The dreams of hope and memory.
Assembled in the festal room-
Some sleeping in the tomb !
And dreams of good-a long adieu
And welcome to the new.
To hail the sacred season's call,
• A good New Year to all. Literary Magnet... *2. 1827.-JOHN MASON GOOD, M.D. DIED, ÆT. 62.
A memoir of this celebrated writer has already appeared in our volume for 1825, p. 127, to which we refer the reader. It remains only to complete the list of his multifarious and useful publications; in addition to the more important works before enumerated, may be added the following: