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CHAPTER III.

May-Day Festivities Forinerly celebrated with more Gaiety

than any others—Came down from Pagan Antiquity in all

their Arcadian Beauty-It was the Festival of the Poets--

None now more entirely obsolete — Washington Irving's

Delight at seeing Plough-bullocks and May-poles in the

Neighbourhood of Newstead — Great Decline of these things

during the last Thirty Years even there—A few May-poles

still to be found in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire-May-

dances quite gone by-May-day celebrated with enthusiasm

by the Poets-European observance of May derived from

the Roman Festival of Flora-Saxon Customs of this period

of the Year-Druid Customs-Blowing of Horns at Oxford

and other places—Custom mentioned by Erasmus, of placing

a Deer's Horns on St. Paul's Altar-Custom of the Hindus

-Beltane in Ireland and Scotland-May-feast of Northum-

berland-Fishing for the Wedding-ring—Roman Feast of

Flora imitated in France and England - Various Additions

here of Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, etc. --Spen-

ser and Herrick's description of May-day Festivities-Henry

VIII., Elizabeth, and James I.'s going a-Maying-Sheriffs

and Aldermen of London going a-Maying-Congratulated

by Lydgate the Poet-In 1644, all May-poles pulled down

- In 1654 Maying again, in presence of the Lord Protector

-Great May-pole in the Strand raised again at the Restora.

tion— Aubrey's Account of the May-booms in Holland-

Complaints of Aubrey and Evelyn of Injury done to the

Woods by Mayers-May Customs that yet remain

152

CHAPTER IV.

Page

Easter Festivities-May the Festival of the Young, Easter that

of the Church-Celebration of Easter in Catholic Countries
– Royal distribution of Alms on Maunday Thursday at
Whitehall, still kept up-Easter at Moscow, Jerusalem
Kome, and other Places Eating Hot-cross-buns, and
going to Church the sole remaining Ceremonies in Eng-
land-Easter Morning as described by Goethe-Strange
Plays acted in Churches by the Monks at Easter-Church-
wardens' Accounts at Reading for such Expenses—Paschal
Lights—Lighting the Annual Fire at the Holy Sepulchre
at Jerusalem-Easter Customs in various Countries- Pas-
chal Eggs—Peculiar Privileges attached to their Presenta-
tion in Russia — Courts shut, and Business suspended
formerly in London-Still a time of great Recreation to
Mechanics there-Less observed in Country Towns—Pace-
Eggs still given in some Countries-Heaving, or Lifting

-Ball-Play

- 166

CHAPTER VII.

The Fairy Superstitions — Fairies all vanished from the Country

-Gone in Chaucer's Days, Bishop Corbett's Farewell to
them — Hogg their last Poet - Fairies of Caldon-Low-

CHAPTER X.

Sports and Pastimes of the People—History of their Changes

and Present State-Sports generated by the Feudal Habits

-Sports introduced by the Catholic Church — The mere

Brutal portion of both these remaining in the last Cen-

tury Many of these now abolished, and a better class

encouraged —Sports and Pastimes prevalent in Farming

Districts and obscure Hamlets-Prevalence of Cricket-

Description of a Cricket-Match between Nottingham and

the Sussex Club-Auguries drawn from the present Popular

Taste

. 257

CHAPTER XII.

Favourite Pursuits of English Cottagers and Workmen- The

Genius of the Working Class—Its Effects on the Happiness

of that Class- Almost every Man his Hobby-Pigeon-

fanciers, Dog-fanciers, Lovers of Music, Singing, Bell.

ringing, Poaching, Bird-stuffing, Bird-catching--X Caveat

against kidnapping of Nightingales—Interior of a Bird-

catcher's House- Anecdote of a Bird-catcher-Angling, its

effect on the Spirits-Lovers of Gardens and Bees- Anec-

dote of a Bee-lover and the Abbess of Caverswall- Florists-

Entomologists—Crabbe's Description of some known to him

-- Artizans' Gardens—Account of 5000 of these at Notting-

ham-Happiness to be diffused through the Working-class

by sound Legislation

293

CHAPTER XIII.

Sunday in the Country-Goethe's Description of a Sunday in

Germany— Applicable in a great degree to Sunday here-

Trip to Richmond by the Steamer, and its result-Passing

of Sunday by many Inhabitants of large Towns—The

Street Preacher— The Sailor's Chapel— The Irvingite Street-

preacher-A Camp-meeting- Profound Air of Repose in

the Country on this day-The Farmer and his Household

-Groups going Churchward— The Country Church a place

congenial to Worship-Social Pleasures of Sunday Evening

-Millions who enjoy the Blessings of a day of Rest-

Holy Influence of Sunday-Evening Walk

312

CHAPTER XIV.

Cheap Pleasures of Country Life-No great Events needed by

the Lover of Nature to render him happy-Recollections of
early Delight in the Country-Objects of Pleasurable Ob-
servation as they present themselves in the course of the

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