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appeared an old man, representing Silenus, riding on an ass, and distributing his jokes and his gibes among the surrounding populace. The Gauls worshipped the Sun under the names of Taranis, Belenos, and Mithra : those who were initiated into the mysteries of Mithra were divided into several companies, each of which had one of the celestial constellations for an emblem; and the members celebrated their festivals in processions and entertainments, disguised like lions, rams, bears or dogs, as signs of the different constellations. Thus the balls and masquerades of the French may, perhaps, derive their origin from these religious ceremonies of their ancestors.
At La Tombe, a small village in France, the last day of the Carnival is devoted to various gay ceremonies and amusements. If it so happen that, during the course of the year, a husband has ill-treated or beaten bis wise, and her next neighbour bas not come to her assistance, he is punisbed, on this day, for his negligence. Being placed on an ass with his face towards the tail, he is surrounded by a number of people, and led through the streets and neighbouring villages.
On the last day of the Carnival also, they celebrate the cere, mony of the Femmes folles, or foolish women; but this is the case only when any one has commenced house-keeping in the course of the year. The married women (not the youngest in the village) meet together, and disguise themselves by putting the front part of their caps behind, to which rags are suspended, and by blacking their faces : thus arrayed, they proceed, dancing and singing, to the domicile of the new house-keeper. Having gained admittance, they leap, jump, and dance about, and sing couplets and songs adapted to the occasion, and to the music of the epistle at grand mass. Tbis is a specimen.
Comme cette semaine nous serons traitées !
Le lundi du bouilli,
Des saucisses et du boudin. " What a treat we sball have, ibis week! Monday, bouilli' ; Tuesday, roast mcat; Wednesday, ham; Thursday, a capon ; Friday, salmon; Saturday, fish; and on Sunday morning, sausages and black puddings.'
From this specimen our readers will be enabled to judge of the rest. The inhabitants of the house are bound to regale the actresses in this burlesque scene; and if they refuse, the women
1 'The meat of which soup has been made.
make no scruple of taking away what furniture they like, and carry it to the wine-house (cabaret), where it is deposited as a pledge for the entertainment they may choose to order; and the proprietor of it must pay the cabaretier his bill before he is allowed to redeem his effects. The women say, that they come to search for the andouille (a kind of large sausage), and for the groulée, a name given to the feast formerly held under similar circumstances.
Ceremony of the Shrove-tide Ox.-At Bonneval, in the Department of the Eure-et-Loir, before the Revolution, every year on Shrove-Tuesday, he who had the killing of the meat at this time of the year, led through the streets the finest and fattest ox he could find. It was decorated with ivy and ribands; and if the animal was docile, it was ridden by a young man, holding a branch of laurel in his hand, ornamented with ribands. The procession stopped before the houses of the most respectable persons in the town, and particularly at the doors of the butcher's friends and customers; and, at each resting-place, they drank a glass of wine. When they had thus passed through the town, the animal was taken to the slaughter-house, and killed: it was afterwards cut up, and the different parts exposed to sale, with ivy leaves stuck on them.
At the small town of Bron, where there is a large cattle market, it was the custom to lead an ox through the streets at the time of the carnival; and the bailiff and the attorney-fscal were to select the finest and fattest ox they could find.-For an account of the Carnival in Portugal, consult our last volume, pp. 33-35.
20.-ASH WEDNESDAY. The Lent fast was called by the Latins Quadragesima ; but whether on account of its being originally a fast of forty days, or only forty hours, has been much disputed among learned men. Bingham inclines to the opinion, that, at first, it was only forty hours.—About three centuries ago, in a small village among the Apennines, the priest was so ignorant, that, not being himself aware of the annual feasts, he never announced them to his congregation. Having gone to Terranuova one day, and seeing the priests preparing their branches of olive and palm for next day, he found he had totally forgotten to announce Lent to his flock. Returning eight days afterwards, he caused the palm branches to be gathered, and, addressing his congregation, said, “To-morrow, my friends,
is Palm Sunday. Easter will take place next week : we shall fast during this week only, for Lent has come later this year, in consequence of the cold weather and bad roads.' --An account of the austerities of the early Christians will be found in our last volume, pp. 40-44.
24.–FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT. This day is called, in France, Le Dimanche des Brandons, or Torch-Sunday. It is the custom in the country villages, on the evenings of this day, to light bonfires in the fields, and for the children to dance and sing round them. This is also a periodi. cal custom; the ancients, in the spring-time of the year, ran about with lighted torches, to purify themselves, and to procure repose for the shades of their relatives. The cultivators of the ground, in the course of time, turned this ceremony to a useful purpose, going through their orchards with lighted wisps of straw, for the purpose of destroying the nests of insects in their trees. But may we not suppose that this custom refers to the equinoctial season? and that it is intended to celebrate that period, when the sun begins to shed its vivifying rays on our atmosphere, and to diffuse light and warmth around us? Fire was, among the ancients, the symbol of life; and we see it used both at the winter and summer solstice, to celebrate the new course of the sun. On funeral monuments we observe an extinguished torch; but, on the contrary, lighted ones in the hands of Hymen and Love, because they are the sources of life: lighted candles are placed round the dead corpse by Catholics, to express that the soul has passed into another state of existence.
The name of Brandons, given to the first Sunday in Lent, is derived from the penitence imposed by the Catholic church on those who, during the time of the Carnival, have been engaged in unlawful diversions; as the penitent is compelled to appear at the church on the Sunday following the Carnival with a
lighted torch in his hand, to make public reparation for the scandal to which his conduct has given rise."
At Bonneval, and in its vicinity, it is the custom to carry firebrands on the evenings of the first and second Sundays in Lent. The people go into the fields, or the neighbouring roads, carrying lighted brands made of straw, which they flourish about, at the same time singing
Pour les filles à marier. They afterwards meet together, and eat furmety, made with wheat or other grain.--At Lu Tombe, also, they celebrate the festival of torches; but they do not, as in other places, run over the grounds with lighted torches of straw; they do not imitate the ancient lustrations. The following is their mode of proceeding: At a short distance from the village is an ancient landmark, called the black land-mark; and here they light up a fire, wbich, according to their notions, is to preserve the approaching harvest from all injury. It is called the black landmark, because the stone is blackened by the smoke of the frequent fires near it. Here we see the remains of primitive worship, and of the respect paid to landmarks and ancient lustrations.
24.–SAINT MATTHIAS. St. Matthias was chosen by lot into the apostolical office, in the place of the traitor Judas (Acts i, 26), and was afterwards murdered by the Jews.-See T.T. for 1825, pp. 45, 46. *26. 1827.-WILLIAM KITCHINER, M.D. DIED..
Dr. Kitchiner was the son of an eminent coalmerchant in the Strand, who was patronized by the then minister, Lord Shelburne; and, through this nobleman's powerful influence, pursued his business on a gigantic scale, supplying most of the government offices, and many of the high tory party and fashion of the day. When he died, he transmitted the handsome fortune (between sixty and seventy thousand pounds) he had thus honourably acquired to his only son, whose benevolence was great, his good humour unbounded, and his eccentricity amusing. Perhaps none ever better knew the town; and the proof is in the tact with which he selected the subjects on which he wrote. His Cook's Oracle will probably be the
who put as well.e. His his bo
lasting Oracle of Cooks. A plain eater will say that there is too much of the gourmand in it: but, if gourmands will seek their savoury dishes, it is a benefit to have them, in some measure, regulated by an experienced physician. “His Art of invigorating and prolonging Life,' . Pleasure of making a Will, and Traveller's Oracle and Horse and Carriage Keeper's Guide,' are all extremely useful publications. With his ample fortune, Dr. Kitchiner was still an economist, and those who purchase bis Housekeeper's Ledger will enjoy a laugh, as well as learn how to turn their means to the best advantage. His acquirements in astronomy were considerable, and his book on telescopes proves him to have been a master in the science of optics. In music he was a proficient; and several of his songs and duets in the Opera of
Ivanhoe evince the extent of his talents as a com· poser. In 1821, at the coronation, he put forth his collection of the National Songs of Great Britain, a folio volume, with a very splendid dedication plate to his Majesty. In 1823, he published, in quarto, a col. lection of the Sea Songs of Charles Dibdin, with a memoir of the writer prefixed. Dr. K.'s collection of music was particularly extensive and valuable. In short, whether as a philanthropist or an author; whether as a man of science or a man of the world; the death of Dr. Kitchiner must be considered a public loss. . A love of music accompanied the Doctor through life; and, to the last, he played and sang with con. siderable taste and feeling. Though always an epicure-fond of experiments in cookery, and exceedingly particular in the choice of his viands, and in their mode of preparation for the table-he was regular, and even abstemious, in his general habits. His dinners, unless when he had parties, were comparatively plain and simple; served in an orderly manner-cooked according to his own maxims-and placed upon the table, invariably, within five minutes