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Pains to invade the Hawkers’ Province, by exhibiting any Specimens of them.-The Conclusion of this bombastic Play I find in Ray's Collection of Proverbs:
« Bounce * Buckram, Velvet's dear,
Dr. Johnson tells us, that the Pious Chansons, a Kind of Christmass Carrol, containing some Scrip
* Mr. Blount tells us, that in Yorkshire and our other Northern Parts, they have an old Custom, after Sermon or Service on Christ mass Day, the People will, even in the Churches, cry Ule, Ule, as a Token of rejoicing, and the common Sort run about the Streets, singing,
Ule, Ule, Ule, Ule,
Crack Nuts and cry Ule.
6. Bounce Buckram, &c." seems to be an Apology offered for the Badness or Coarseness of the Mummers' Cloaths: The moral Reflections that follow are equally new and excellent; the “ Carpe “ Diem” of Horace is included in them, and if I mistake not the good Advice is seldom thrown away.
+ There is an old Proverb preserved in Ray's Collection, which I think is happily expressive of the great Doings, as we say, or good Eating on this Festival:
“Blessed be St. Stephen, there's no Fast upon his Even.” . Thus also another:
“ It is good to cry Ule at other Men's Costs.” I shall add a third; 'tis Scotch : “ A Yule Feast may be quit at Pasche.” That is, one good
Turn deserves another. In the Collection of old Scotch Ballads above-mentioned, there is a Hunting Song, in which the Author runs down Rome with great Fury. I subjoin a Specimen:
The Hunter is Christ, that hunts in haist,
The Hunds are Peter and Paul;
ture History, thrown into loose Rhimes, were sung about the Streets by the common People, when they went at that Season to beg Alms.
Hamlet. Appendix, Vol. VIII.
Indulgencies are alluded to in a comical Thought in the following Stanza:
“ He had to sell the Tantonie Bell,
And Pardons therein was,
Our Sauls to bring from Grace.")
Of New-Year's Day's Ceremonies. The New
Year's-Gist án harmless Custom : wishing a good New-Year, no Way sinful. Munming, a Custom which ought to be laid aside.
As the Vulgar are always very careful to End the old Year well, so they are also careful of Beginning well the new one : As they End the Former with a hearty Compotation, so they begin the latter with the sending of Presents, which are termed New-Year's Gifts, to their Friends and Acquaintances: The Original of both which Customs, is * superstitious and sinful; and was observed that the succeeding Year, might be prosperous and successful.
Bishop + Stillingfleet tells us, That among “ the Saxons of the Northren Nations, the Feast “ of the New Year was observed with more " than ordinary Jollity: Thence as Olaus Wor“ mius and Scheffer observe, they reckoned
* Et sic quidem annum veterem terminamus, novumque auspicamur, inauspicatis prorsus dirisque auspiciis. Hosp. de Orig. Fest. Christ, P. 41. f Orig. Brit. P. 343.
“their Age by so many * Jola's and Snorro “ Sturleson describeth this New-Year's Feast, “just as Buchannan sets out the British Satur“ nalia, by Feasting and sending Presents, or “ New-Year's Gifts, one to another.”
The Poet Naogeorgus says, * That it was usual at that Time, for Friends to present each other with a New-Year's Gift; for the Husband, the Wife; the Parents, their Children; and Master's, their Servants; which, as I Hospinian tells us, was an ancient Custom of the Heathens, and afterwards practis'd by the Christians.
And no doubt, those Christians were highly worthy of Censure, who imagined, as the Heathens did, that the sending of a Present then, was any way Lucky, and an Omen of the Success of the following Year. For this was the very Thing that made both several Holy Men, and some general Councils, take
. * Iola in the Gothick Language sinifies to make merry, Stilling. ibid.
7. Jani- Calendis,
Hosp. de Orig. Fest. Christ, P. 41.
notice of, and forbid any such Custom; be-
* Citatur locus ex. Augustino, in quo præcipitur, ne obsera ventur calendæ Januarii in quibus cantilenæ quædam, & commessationes, & ad invicem dona donentur, quasi in principio anni, boni fati augurio. Hosp. de Orig. Fest. Christ. in Fest.. Jan.
+ In calendas Januarias antiqui patres vehementius invehebantur, non propter istas missitationes adinvicem, & mutui amoris pignora, sed propter diem idolis dicatum : Propter ritus quosdam profanos, & sacrilegos in illa solennitate adhibitos. Mountacut. Orig. Eccles. Pars Prior, P. 128.