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Bidding To A Wedding.
28lh May, 1797—« Bell's Weekly Messenger" of this date contained the following advertisement :— "May no miscarriage prevent my marriage."
"Matthew Dawson, in Bothwell, Cumberland, intends to be married at Holm church, on the Thursday before Whitsuntide next, whenever that may happen, and to return to Bothwell to dine.
"Mr. Reid gives a turkey to be roasted; Ed. Clementson gives a fat lamb to be roasted; Win. Elliot gives a hen to be roasted; Jos. Gibson gives a fat calf to be roasted.
"And, in order that all this roast meat may be well basted, do you see Mary Pearson, Betty Hodgson, Mary Bushley, Molly Fisher, Sarah Briscoe, and Betty Porthouse, give, each of them, a pound of butter. The advertiser will provide every thing else for so festive an occasion. "And he hereby gives notice, "To All Young Women desirous of changing their condition, that he is at present disengaged; and advises them to consider, that altho' there be luck in leisure, yet, in this case delays are dangerous ; for, with him, he is determined it shall be first come first served. "So come along lasses who wish to be married,
Matt. Dawson is vex'd that so long he has tarried."
The preceding invitation is stated to be an extract from the" Cumberland Packet."
May 28. Sun rises .... 8 57 — sets .... 8 3
Long-spiked wolfsbane flowers, and continues till August.
Midsummer daisy flowers, but not in full luxuriance till June.
The bugle begins to decline.
King Charles IL, Restoration.
Mr. Evelyn says, that in 1686 the first year of the reign of James IL, and consequently the first year after the death of Charles II., there was no sermon on this
anniversary of his Restoration, "as there had usually been."
The Royal Oak.
In the sign or picture representing Charles IL, in the Royal Oak, escaping the vigilance of his pursuers, there are usually some erroneous particularities. Though I am as far as any other Briton can be from wishing to "curtail" hit majesty's wig "of its fair proportion," yet I have sometimes been apt to think it rather improper to make the wig, as is usually done, of larger dimensions than the tree in which it and his majesty are concealed. It is a rule in logic, and, I believe, may hold good in most other sciences, that "omne majus continet in se minus," that "every thing larger can hold any thing that is less," but I own I never heard the contrary advanced or defended with any plausible arguments, viz. "that every little thing can hold one larger." I therefore humbly propose that there should at least be an edge of foliage round the outskirts of the said wig; and that its curls should not exceed in number the leaves of the tree. There is also another practice almost equally prevalent, of which I am sceptic enough to doubt the propriety. I own I cannot think it conductive to the more effectual concealment of his majesty that there should be three regal crowns stuck on three different branches of the tree. Horace says, indeed,
- Pictoribus atqne poctis
Quidlibet audendi semper fuit scqua potestas. Painters and Poets our indulgence claim, Their daring equal, and their art the same.
And this may be reckoned a very allowable poetical licence; inasmuch as it lets the spectator into the secret, " who is in the tree." But it is apt to make him at the same time throw the accusation of negligence and want of penetration on the three dragoons, who are usually depicted on the fore ground, cantering along very composedly with serene countenances, erect persons, and drawn swords very little longer than themselves.*
Lawless Day At Eseter.
Of the origin of the custom on the 29th of May which I am about to describe, or
• The Mic
how long it has existed, I am unable to give any information, and, as it is mere than a dozen years since I left Exeter, I am likewise ignorant whether it is discontinued or not. It is asserted and believed by many of the Exonians, that the statutes "made and provided" take no cognizance of any misdemeanors and breaches of the peace, short of downright rioting, on this day ; hence it has acquired the cognomen of " Lawless Day," a name every way appropriate to the proceedings upon its celebration.
Early on the morning the bells at the various churches ring merry peals, and squads of the mischief-loving part of the mobility, with large bludgeons, haste to different situations which they have previously selected for the scene of operations. The stations are soon, but not always peaceably occupied; for it frequently happens that two parties have chosen the same spot, and the right of possession is decided by violent and obstinate contests. As the day advances, and these preliminaries are rightfully adjusted by the weak giving place to the strong, the regular business commences. The stoutest and most resolute remain to guard the stations while the rest are detached, and busily employed in collecting mud, stonesl brick bats, old mats, hay, straw, and other materials suitable to the purpose of forming dams across the kennels for stopping the water. These pools are sometimes as much as two feet deep, and are called bays. If the water does not accumulate fast enough in these "bays," the deficiency is supplied by parties, who fetch it from various parts, in all kinds of vessels, and, when they can get nothing better, in their hats. Any one acquainted with Exeter, at the time to which I refer, will be aware that a deficiency of slop could not often occur, the streets and lanes being mostly very steep and narrow, with deep and ill-made kennels in the midst; most of the houses without drains, or even common conveniences; and the scavenger being seldom in requisition, render that city peculiarly adapted to the dirty sports and mud larks of "Lawless Day." At a short distance from the " Bay," its foundaries are marked out; and at each bay one of the party belonging to it is stationed to solicit donations from passengers. If a gift be refused he makes a signal by whistling to his companions, and they directly commence splashing and bedabbling most lustily, and render it impos
sible for any one to pass by without a thorough drenching; but if a trifle, however small, is bestowed, the donor is allowed safe conduct, and three cheers for liberality. Persons who are no enemies to rough pastime sometimes throw a few half-pence into the water, and become bystanders to enjoy the sight of the snatching, raking, tumbling, and rolling of the poor fellows, in their endeavours to find the money, which, as fast as it is got, is mostly spent at the nearest public house. The effects of the liquor is soon perceived in the conduct of the various parties. The more they drink the more outrageous they become, and it mostly happens that the interference of the beadles and constables is absolutely necessary to put an end to the violence, by locking up some of the ringleaders, who are thus taught that, if there is no law upon "Lawless Day," there is law the next day.
Upon " Lawless Day" the lawless rabble frequently drag out the parish engines, and play them upon any on whom it is presumed the trick can be practised with impunity. This has been done even in the principal streets. Towards the close of the day the stations are gradually deserted, one after the other, and the groups who occupied them, and have not spent all the money they collected, go to the public houses and drink it out. In the mean time their vacant places in the streets are eagerly taken possession of by ragged children, who imitate the boisterous folly of their elders.
J s S—Llm—N.
May 29. Sun rises .... 3 56 — sets . . ..84
Oak Apple day. The oak-apple is the nest of an insect, and being found about this time, is worn by the vulgar to commemorate the concealment of Charles II in the oak.
Perennial flax flowers.
On this day, which is the anniversary of the cruel execution of the maid of Orleans in 1431, it may be noted that" An edict of Louis XIII., dated in June 1614, ordains that females descended from the brothers of Joan of Arc, shall no longer ennoble their husbands. From this it ap
Eears that the nieces of this heroic female ad been honored with the singular pri rilege of transmitting nobility.
May 30. Sun rises . . . . 3 55
sets 8 5
Shady slopes are still blue with hae bells, and meadows yellow with butter cups
31 May, 1723, died William Baxter, a native of Shropshire, and nephew of the celebrated nonconformist, Richard Baxter. He entered upon life unpromisingly: his edmation had been wholly neglected; he could not even read when eighteen years of age, nor understand any one language but Welsh; yet he afterwards became, not only a schoolmaster of great credit, but a good linguist; and his desire for knowledge overcame all impediments. . He presided in the free school at Tottenham High-Cross, and was for twenty years master of the Mercer's school of London. He wrote a grammar published
in 1697, entitled "De Analogia seu Arte LatinffiLinguae Commentariolus .,"and edited "Anacreon," with notes, printed in 1695, and a second time, with considerable improvements, in 1710; and "Horace, which is still in estimation with the learned. Besides these works, he compiled a " Dictionary of the British Antiquities," in Latin, and left imperfect a "Glossary of Roman Antiquities," a fragment of which has been since published. He was engaged in an English translation of Plutarch. The "Philosophical Transactions," and the first volume of the "Archa?ologia," contain some of his communications. He had an accurate knowledge of the British and Irish tongues, the northern and eastern languages, and Latin and Greek. The Rev. Mr. Noble says, that Mr. Baxter left his own life in manuscript, a copy of which was in the library of the late Mr. Tut
May 31. Sun rises .... 3 54
The Progress of A Thunder-storm.
See ye the signals of his march ?—the flash
Lord 1 God supreme!
Prais'd be thy glorious name I
How sweeps the whirlwind !—leader of the storm I
Again new signals press;—enkindled, broad,
Rlopstock, 6j Good.
The mowers now bend o'er the bearded grass—
CLake's Shepherd's Calendar. SPRING.
Spring, the year's youth, fair mother of new flowers,
New leaves, new loves, drawn by the winged hours,
Thou art return'd ;—but the felicity
Thou brought'st me last is not return'd with thee;
Thou art returned, but nought returns with thee,
Save my lost joys—regretful memory—
Thou art the self-same thing thou wert before,
As fair and jocund: but I am no more
The thing I was so gracious in her sight,
Who is Heaven's masterpiece, and Earth's delight.
Gt'ARlM, by Sir R. Fanthawe.
JtJHE—it is june What yearnings for descriptive writers and poets call it "the the enjoyment of pure air and sunshine, May."—The blowing of the flowers, and in fresh meadows, are in the bosoms of the singing of the birds, make, with them, the young, confined to the scorching the May of the year. How they rejoice "plain brownbrick" dwellings of great in the season I A few passages from Diem cities—what delicious feelings arise in would be a picture of it. Listen tc hearts alive to nature—at the name and Drayton: coming of this sweet month I Our best
When Phoebus lifts his head out of the winter's wave,
No sooner doth the earth her flowery bosom brave,
At such time as the year brings on the pleasant spring,
But hunts-up to the morn the feather'd sylvans sing:
And in the lower grove, as on the rising knoll,
Upon the highest spray of every mounting pole,
These quiristers are prickt with many a speckled breast;
Then from her burnisht gate the goodly glittering ?ast
Gilds every lofty top, which late the humorous night
Bespangled had with pearl, to please the morning's sight;
On which the mirthful quires, with their clear open throats
Unto the joyful morn so strain their warbling notes,
That hills and valleys ring, and even the echoing air
Seems all composed of sounds, about them every where.
The throstel with shrill sharps; as purposely he sung
T' awake the listless sun; or, chiding that so long
He was in coming forth, that should the thickets thrill,
The woosel near at hand, that hath a golden bill;
As nature him had markt of purpose t' let us see
That from all other birds his tune should different be;
For, with their vocal sounds, they sing to pleasant May;
Upon his dulcet pipe the marie doth only play,
When, in the lower brake, the nightingale hard by,
In such lamenting strains the joyful hours doth ply,
As though the other birds she to her tunes would draw,
And, but that nature (by her all-constraining law)
Each bird to her own kind this season doth invite,
They else, alone to hear the charmer of the night,
(The more to use their ears) their voices sure would spare,
That moduleth her tunes so admirably rare,
As man to set in parts at first had leam'd of her.
To philomel, the next, the linnet we prefer;
And, by that warbling bird, the woodlark place we then.
The red-sparrow, the nope, the red-breast, and the wren,
The yellow-pate; which, though she hurt the blooming tree
Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pipe than she.
And of these chanting fowls, the goldfinch not behind,
That hath so many sorts descending from her kind,