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Bound upon th' accursed tree,
Bp. Heber's Hymns. 4.-SAINT AMBROSE, Bishop of Milan, died on this day in the year 397. For an account of his writings the reader may consult Cave and Dupin.
6.-EASTER DAY. An account of some very curious early English customs, on this day, will be found in our volume for 1826, p. 73.
In the week preceding Easter, in France, baskets full of eggs boiled hard, of a red or violet colour, are seen in the streets, and the children amuse themselves in playing with, and afterwards eating them. In Egypt, at this period, the cattle and trees were coloured red, because say they, at this time, the world was once on fire. The egg placed on the paschal table of the Jews was a symbol of the duration of the human race, and of their successive generation; the egg entered into all the mysterious ceremonies called apocalyptic; and the Persians, who present eggs at the commencement of the new year, know that the egg is the symbol of the world; and whether the Christians, whose year commenced at Easter till 1563, have borrowed the custom of presenting eggs to children from the Persians, or from the paschal ceremonies of the Jews, there is little doubt that the red colour given to them, is derived from the Jews and the Egyptians. Throughout the country of Bonneval, on the day preceding Easter Sunday, and during the first days of that week, the clerks of the different
parishes, the beadles, and certain artisans, as those who were constantly employed in constructing the implements of agriculture, or in making or mending barness for the horses, went about from house to house, to ask for their · Easter Eggs. In many places, the children make a sort of feast at breakfast time on Easter Day, with red or yellow eggs. The following custom on Easter Day is general throughout France : On this day, the different mechanics, such as the smith, the wheel-wright, the shepherd, the ferryman, the miller, &c. go to their customers and ask for eggs, which are never refused; the children of the village also proceed on the same errand, and have red eggs given to them. This kind of begging is called les roulées, or going the rounds.
7, 8.-EASTER MONDAY and TUESDAY. An accountof some curious customs, on these days, in different parts of England, will be found in T. T. for 1822, p. 107: see also our volume for 1823, p. 75.
Votive Ceremony at Poitiers on Easter Monday. A few years since, it was proposed by some pious people to re-establish a custom suspended by the Revolution, and which first took place in the year 1202, on the occasion of the miracle of the keys. At first every year, and afterwards every two years, it was the custom on Easter Monday for the lady of the mayor, accompanied by all the wives of the members of the corporation (long since composed of a hundred indi. viduals, that is, a mayor, twenty-four aldermen, and seventy-five citizens) to go, in the name of the civic body, after vespers, and to offer, with flowers, a rich new mantle to the statue of the Virgin, which they put on the image, in the presence of the Curé of Notre-Dame, and all his clergy who received the cortége at the door of the church. During the procession, a remarkable etiquette was preserved,—that of the women giving the right side to the men. In the evening, there was a grand ball and supper at the mayor's house.
Fête of the Eggs at La Motte du Pougard.—This is an ancient Druidical Barrow, situated at a short distance from Dieppe, in the midst of a plain covered with corn; the Fête was held annually, on Easter Monday, and was only abolished at the time of the Revolution. A crowd of persons of both sexes came from the neighbouring villages, and met together round the
Barrow, forming what is called, in this country, an assembly. A hundred eggs were put into a basket, and placed at the foot of the eminence; one of the troop, now united in a circle, took an egg, which he successively carried to the top of the mound, till they were all placed there; he then brought them back, one by one, till they were replaced in the basket. In the mean time, another man belonging to the same assembly ran the eggs (as it is called), that is, went as fast as legs would carry him to Bacqueville, a large village, about a mile and a quarter from the spot; and if he returned before the hundredth egg was replaced in the basket, he gained the prize of the course, consisting of a hogshead of cider, which he afterwards distributed among his friends, The whole assembly now gave themselves up to rejoicing and amusement, and danced in a ring, round the pile, representing a chain without end. The egg figured, in this rural fète, in memory of the serpent-egg consecrated by the Druids; it was also an emblem of the year, as is attested by the accounts of many religious ceremonies in different nations.
*7. 1827.- REBECCA FURY DIED, ÆT. 140!
She was a black woman, and resided at Falmouth in Jamaica; her extraordinary age has been correctly traced from the deeds of her owners. Rebecca retained her reason entire to the last.
13.–LOW SUNDAY. It was a custom among the primitive Christians, on the first Sunday after Easter-day, to repeat some part of the solemnity of that grand festival; whence this Sunday took the name of Low-Sunday, being celebrated as a feast, though in a lower degree.
19.-SAINT ALPHEGE, Archbishop of Canterbury, was stoned to death at Greenwich, A.D. 1012.
*22. 1827.-T. ROWLANDSON DIED, ÆT. 70.
It is not generally known, that, however coarse and slight may be the generality of bis humorous and political etchings, many of which were the careless effusions of a few hours, his early works were wrought with care; and his studies from the human figure, at the Royal Academy, were scarcely inferior to those of the justly admired Mortimer.
From the versatility of his talent, the fecundity of
h care; Academy; Mortimer.fecundity
ndubitable have eachhe honour to the old sc
bis imagination, the grace and elegance with which he could design his groups, added to the almost miraculous despatch with which he supplied his patrons with compositions upon every subject, it has been the theme of regret among his friends, that he was not more careful of his reputation. Had he pursued the course of art steadily, he might have become one of the greatest historical painters of the age. His style, which was purely his own, was most original. He drew a bold outline with the reed-pen, in a tint composed of vermilion and Indian-ink, washed in the general effect in chiaro-scuro, and tinted the whole with the proper colours. This manner, though slight, in many instances was most effective: and it is known, on indubitable authority, that Sir Joshua Reynolds and Mr. West have each declared, that some of his drawings would have done honour to Rubens, or any of the greatest masters of design of the old schools. · For many years (for he was too idle to seek new employment), his kind friend, and, it may justly be added, his best adviser, Mr. Ackermann, supplied him with ample subjects for the exercise of his talent. The numerous works which his pencil illustrated, are existing evidence of this. Many suggestions for plates for new editions of those popular volumes, 'The Travels of Dr. Syntax,' The Dance of Death,' · The Dance of Life,' and other well-known productions of the versatile pen of the late. ingenious Mr. Coombe, will long remain the mementos of his graphic humour.
23.—SAINT GEORGE, The patron Saint of England. --See T.T. for 1821, p. 107. The King's birth-day is kept on this day, being his name-day, in imitation of the custom in Catholic countries.
25.-SAINT MARK. This Evangelist wrote his gospel about the year 63. He died in the 8th year of Nero, and was
buried at Alexandria. The custom of sitting and watching in the church-porch, on St. Mark's Eve, still exists in some parts of the north of England. A curious narrative, by Mr. Gervas Holles, relative to this day, we extract from the Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum, No. 207 (c), fol. 356.
In the yeare 1634 two men (inhabitants of Burton co.Linc.) agreed betwixt themselves upon St. Marke's Eve at night, to watch in the Church porch at Burton to try whether or noe (according to the ordinary beleife amongst the common people) they should see the Spectra's of Phantasmes of those persons which should dy in that Parish the yeare following. To this intent (having first performed the usuall ceremonies and superstition) late in the night the moone shining then very bright, they repayred to the Church porch and there seated themselves, continuing there till neare twelve of the clock. About wch time (growing weary with expectation, and partly wth feare) they resolved to depart, but were held fast by a kind of insensible violence, not being able to move afoot. About midnight, upon a suddaine (as if the moone had beene Ecclipst) they were environed with a blacke darknes: imediately after a kinde of light as if it had beene a resultancy from torches : Then appeares comming towards the Church porch, the minister of the place with a booke in his band, and after him one in a winding sheet, whome they both knew to resemble one of their neibours. The church dores imediately fly open, and thorough passe the Apparitions, and then the dores clap to againe. Then they seeme to heare a muttering, as it were of the buriall service, with a ratling of bones and noise of earth, as in the filling up of a grave: Suddainly a still silence, and imediately after, ye apparition of the Curate againe with another of their neibours following in a winding sheet and to a thirde, fourth and fifth, every one attended with the same circumstances as the first. These all passed away, there ensued a serenity of the Sky, the moone sbining bright as at the first, tbey themselves being restored to their former liberty to walke away'wch they did, sufficiently affrighted. The next day they kept within dores and met not together, being both of them exceeding ill, by reason of the affrightment wch had terrified them the night before. Then they conferred their Notes and both of them could very well remember the circumstances of every passage. Three of the apparitions they well knew to resemble 3 of their neibours; but the fourth (which seemed an infant) and the fifth(like an olde man) they could not conceave any resemblance of. After this they confidently reported to every one what they had done and seene; and in order designed to death, thosc three of their neighbours wch came to passe accordingly. Shortly after their deathes, a woman in ye toune was delivered of a childe