« ZurückWeiter »
of similitude is unavoidably suggested in the failure and decrepitude of the dying year, a picture faithfully, and, in some points of view, mournfully emblematic of the closing hours of human life.
With the daily retirement of the sun, and the gradual approach of twilight, though circumstances, as we have seen, often associated in our minds with the transitory tenure of mortal existence, there are usually connected so many objects of beauty and repose as to render such a scene in a high degree soothing and consolatory; but with the customary decline of light are now united the sighing of the coming storm, the edying of the withered foliage;
for now the leaf Incessant rustles from the mournful grove j Oft startling such as, studious, walk below, And slowly circles through the waving air. But, should a quicker breeze amid the boughs Sob, o'er the sky the leafy deluge streams; Till choak'd, and matted with the dreary shower9
The forest-walks, at every rising gale, Roll wide the wither'd waste, and whistle bleak.
These are occurrences which so strot appeal to our feelings, which so forcil remind us of the mutability of our species, and bring before us, with such impressive solemnity, the earth as opening to receive us, that they have, from the earliest period of society, and in every stage of it, been considered as typical of the brevity and destiny of man. Like leaves on trees,—says the first and the greatest of all uninspired writers,—
Like leaves on trees the race of man is found, Now green in youth, now withering on the ground ;
Another race the following spring supplies;
a simile which, as originating in the sympathies of our common nature, has found an echo in the poetry of the melancholy Ossian. "The people are," exclaims the Bard of Cona, " like the waves of ocean; like the leaves of woody Morven, they
pass away in the rustling blast, and other eaves lift their green heads on high."
• Homer apud Pope, book 6. t Macphcrson's Ossian, Berrathon, vol. L. p. MB.
The preceding are a portion of many delightful thoughts and reflections in Dr. Drake's " Evenings in Autumn"
The mountain torrent, and the rill
That bubbles o'er its pebbly bed,
The aching heart and weary head j
The lispings of the summer breeze,
Have each a sovereign power to please,
And from their crazy thrones on high. Around the moon's faint glimmering,
The stars are watching tremblingly,—
[For the Year Book.]
The strong feeling against the use of false hair which the lines express at p. 92 is still common amongst country people, and was once almost universal; even the "profane" partook of the antipathy, as well as the precisians, for Heywood, in one place, where Sardanapalus enumerates his enormities, makes him say :—
"Ctirl'd periwigs upen my head I wore, And, being man, the shape of woman bore/
And amongst the Annotations on his "Pleasant Dialogues and Dramas, 1637," describing the disgusting excesses to which the Iapygte abandoned themselves, he remarks "they grew to such profuse riot, intemperance, and wantonness," that, " forgetting their country modesty and honesty, they painted their faces and wore other folkes' haire."
J. B n.
October 6.—Day breaks . . 4 29 Sun rises ... 6 22 — sets ... 5 38 Twilight ends . 7 31 Marlins emigrate: a few remain till the middle of the month.
[For the Year Book.]
There is not a prettier village near Northampton, at least within the same distance from the town, than Kingsthorpe. Half an hour's leisurely stroll will conduct you thither, by a rural route. Follow the line of Sheep-street, northward along the London road, till you reach a gate just beyond a row of unfinished houses facing the race ground; push open the gate, and continue along the path till you reach a lane crossing your right and left; turn to the right? and stroll along the delightfully pleasant and picturesque lane, and you will again find yourself in the high London road, and, after proceeding a few yards along the road, step over a low stile on the left into a path running parallel with the road, but separated from it by a row of fine elms. On the left is a prospect almost as lovely as an inland u»d not mountainous country can pos
sibly present. Crossing a stile or two (which, by the way, are annoyingly numerous heieabouts), you will enter the park and catch a pretty view of a stone mansion, recently occupied by Mr. Dwarris, embowered in some of the finest forest trees I have seen. By a stile at the end of this path, you are once more in the high road, but at a very picturesque portion of it. On the east side is a cluster of primitive-looking cottages, built of stone at 1 thatched. Upon an attentive inspection they appear to have been formed from the remains of some ancient ruin, probably of an hospital which was founded here about the year 1200. Except for one object, a very charming picture might be painted from this spot: that object is a toll-gate, modern and very ill assorted with its antique and lowly neighbours. It has an impertinent perkish look, which disconcerts the eye. Pass it, and taking
the first turning on the left, pursue a lane | formed on one side by the low stone wall 'and noble trees of the park you just traversed, and on the other by closes and the stabling belonging to an antique-looking farm-house. This lane will bring you to the spot in my pencil sketch to which I wish I could have done more justice. This is Kingsthorpe.
In Dooms-day Book Kingsthorpe is named simply Torp, and is bounded on the east by Moulton, on the north by Boughton (remarkable for its Fair), on the west by the river Nyne, or Nen, and on the south by Northampton. "The church," says Bridges in his History of Northamptonshire, is "dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and consists of a body, north and south aisle, and chancel, leaded; with a | chaunting chapel at the east end of each aisle. At the west end is a spire raised on an embattled tower, in which are five I bells. Within the church-yard, near the south door of the church, are still remaining the steps and stump of a cross. The register begins in 1540." I have sought for this relic in vain. It has yielded to the great destroyer " Time," or perhaps to the yet more destructive judgment of some Dogberry of a churchwarden.
Kingsthorpe is remarkable too for its beautiful springs. One of them supplies the rivulet represented in my sketch, and is called I believe King's Well. This place ] was anciently a royal manor. The old rent was £60 per ann.: which was reduced for a term of 40 years to an annual rent of £l by Henry VI., on the complaint that the freeholders had fallen to decay and the town become impoverished. It seems to have subsequently revived; for Edward IV. granted an annuity of£40,"outof the farm at Kingsthorpe," to his queen Elizabeth.
The "May-games" were anciently celebrated at Kingsthorpe with much pomp and circumstance, and an order was wont to be made by the bailiff in the court for 1 appointing "a lord and lady on Easter-day after even-song, under the penalty of paying 6s. 8d. in case the office was refused." But for upwards of a century and a half there are no records of any observance of this kind. A tradition however assigns a better reason for the disuse than can usually be given for similar omissions—namely, that of a man having been killed at the last wake observed at this place.
7th October, 1792, died at his domain of Gunston-hall, in Fairfax county, Virginia, in the sixty-seventh year of his age,Col George Mason. Thefollowingextract from his will is worthy of lasting remembrance :—" I recommend it to my sons, from my experience in life, to prefer the happiness and independence of a private station to the troubles and vexations of public business; but, if either their own inclinations or the necessity of the times should engage them in public affairs, I charge them, on a father's blessing, never to let the motive of private interest, or ambition, induce them to betray, nor the terrors of poverty and disgrace, or the fear of danger or death deter them from asserting the liberty of their country, and endeavouring to transmit to their posterity those sacred rights to which themselves were burn."
Good Life, Long Life.
It is not growing like a tree
To fall a logge, at last, dry, bald, and sca.ro
A lillie of a day.
Is fairer farre, in May,
Although it fall, and die that night;
It was the p.ant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see
And in short measures life may perfect be.
October 7. Day breaks . . 4 31 Sun rises ... 6 24 — sets .... 5 36 Twilight ends ..72? Damsons and bolusses gathered
1795, October 8, died at his house in Crown street Westminster, in his seventysecond year, the learned Andrew Kippis, D. D., F. R. S., and A. S. He was born at Nottingham, March 28 (U. S.) 1725. His father, Robert Kippis, a respectable silk hosier of that town, dying in 1730
q Gentleman's Magazine.
he went to reside with his grandfather, at Sleaford; and received his classical education at the grammar-school in that town. In 1741 he removed to Northampton, and commenced his academical studies under Dr. Doddridge. After a residence of five years at the academy, he settled as a dissenting minister at Boston, in Lincolnshire, in 1746,and in November 1750 accepted the charge of a congregation at Dorking, Surry. In June 1753, the congregation in Princesstreet Westminster chose him their minister, and in September following he married, and fixed his residence in Westminster. In June 1767 he received the degree of D. D. from the University of Edinburgh, on the unsolicited recommendation of Professor Robertson. He was elected F. A. S. March 19, 1778, and F. R. S. June 17, 1779; and was, of the council in both societies. Dr. hippis was eminently distinguished for the virtues and accomplishments which form the chief ornaments of private life. He united that knowledge of men and books which rendered his conversation uncommonly entertaining; and as a minister he was eminent for his profound acquaintance with every branch of theology. His sermons were remarkable for perspicuity, elegance, and energy; and his elocution was unaffected and very impressive. The superior powers and vigour of his mind he had cultivated with diligence and success. He labored incessantly with his pen. His improved edition of "Dr. Doddridge's Lectures" is a work of great value; and the "History of Knowledge, Learning, and Taste, in Great Britain," prefixed to the New Annual Register, was received with deserved approbation. But the work which engaged his principal attention, and by which he is chiefly distinguished, is the last edition of the "Biographia Britannica." In this great national publication, which unhappily remains incomplete, are developed the comprehensiveness and powers of his mind, the correctness of his judgment, the vast extent of his information, his indefatigable researches and unremitting assiduity, his peculiar talent of appreciating the merits and analysing the labors of the most eminent writers, and his unshaken integrity, unbiassed fidelity, and impartial decision on the characters of the philosopher, statesman, poet, scholar, and divine. His style is remarkable for iu> perspicuity, elegance,
and purity; and gives a peculiar lustre to the rich stores of knowledge he im parted. *
Dorsetshire Customs, &c.
[For the Year Book.]
Harvest Home—Hoy making—Matrimonial Oracles—Midsummer Eve —Peace in 1814 — Country Pairs— Perambulations.
Harvest Home, formerly celebrated with great mirth, but now a declining usage, was a feast given by the farmer at the end of harvest, or when his hay and corn were got in. "O fortunutos nimium, sua sibona norint, ugricolus," says Virgil; how happy, if they knew their bliss, are farmers 1 yet this, like all other happiness, has its alloy. The farmer's seed is scattered upon the surface of his field, where it receives the attentions of a nurse, and yet sometimes perishes with his hopes; he has anxieties for the firstlings of his flock, exposed to the storms of March, and many die from inclemency; bad weather, unhealthy and thin crops, fluctuations of market, loss of cattle, inroads of thieves, and unfaithfulness of servants, often disturb the farmer's peace; and, if he have not a just confidence in the wisdom and goodness of God, he is an unhappy and ill-tempered man. Some years ago the "Harvest-home" in my native county, Dorset, was kept up with good old English hospitality. When the last load was ricked, the laborers, male and female, the swarthy reaper, and the sun-burnt hay-maker, the saucy boy who had not seen twelve summers, and the stiff horny-handed old mower who had borne the toil of fifty, all made a happy groupe, and went with singing and loudlaughing to the " harvtst-home supper" at the farm-house, where they were expected by the good mistress, dressed in a quilted petticoat and a linsey-wolsey apron, with shoes fastened by large silver buckles which extended over her foot like a pack-saddle on a donkey. The dame and her husband welcomed them to a supper of good wholesome food,—a round of beef, and a piece of bacon, and perhaps the host and hostess had gone so far as to kill a fowl or two, or stick a turkey, which had fattened in the wheatyard. This plain English fare was Eaten from wooden trenchers, by the side c.
* Gents. Magazine*
j which were put little cups of horn filled with heer or cider. When the cloth was removed, one of the men, putting forth his large hand like the gauntlet of an armed knight, would grasp his horn of beer, and standing on a pair of legs which had long out-grown the largest holes of the village stocks, and with a voice which, if he had not been speaking a dialect of the English language, you might have thought came from the deepseated lungs of a lion, he would propose the health of the farmer in the following lines:—
Here's a health unto our miastcr
The founder of the feast,
His soul in heaven mid rest;
That every thing mid prosper
Vor we be all his servants.
After this would follow a course of jokes, anecdotes, and songs, in some of which the whole company joined, without attention to the technicalities of counterpoint, bass, tenor, and treble, common chords and major thirds; but each singing the air and pitching in at the key that best fitted his voice, making a medley of big and little sounds, like the j lowings of oxen and the low bleatings of old ewes, mixed up with the shrill pipings of the lambs at a fair. The conversation commonly turned on the incidents of the summer: how the hay-makers overtook the mowers, or how the rain kept the labor back; how they all crept in a heap under the waggon in a thunderstorm; how nearly some of them were crushed under the load that was upset; who was the best mower or reaper in the village; which field yielded the best crop; and which stack was most likely to heat.
Hay-tnuking is one of the most pleasing occupations of an English summer. The bright green of the smooth mown fields, bordered by *' hedge-row elms," the sweet smell of the new hay, the bustle and merry songs of the busy hay-makers, and the waving uncut crops, are to the peaceful mind of a thinking observer really charming. In the hay-field the master distributes his men with the same attention to their abilities as the manager of a theatre casts the characters of a play among his performers. The younger and less experienced are set to rake the hay up unto ridges, called in Dorset "wales,"
or to put it up into cocks; some of that numerous class of laborers who have more strength than wit are sent to pitch or unload; the next "grade," as brother Jonathan says, is that of the loader, who must be a man of some little talent, to build the load upright, and make it firm by properly putting in the binding masses at the corners; but the highest rank is that of the rick or stack-maker, who, besides having a proper knowledge of the mathematical lines under which haystacks are commonly comprehended, must be a man of activity and strength. The ground-shape of the rick is either a circle or a parallelogram, which is to be correctly kept; the rick must be upright, rounded out in the middle, and then go off into a cone or pyramid; and the rickmaker must so fix its size that it may take all the hay intended to be put into it, without spoiling its shape and without waste or want I or, in the expression of the hay-makers, "with none to leave and none to lack."
Matrimonial Oracles, and Midsummer Eve.—When we thinkon the consequences of a woman's marriage—that she may be dragged into R long train of evils, and her heart be broken by a profligate or indolent partner—or be led smiling in well-being through life, by a man of virtue and good sense:—when we see a happy girl, and imagine what may be her fate— subjected to the unkind treatment and coarse language of a boor, or have her mind soothed and exalted by the conversation of a well-acting and right-thinking Christian man;—whether, like another Penelope, she is to regret the absence of a husband wandering in other lands, or navigating the stormy deep; to be united to a home-dwelling partner, and make with him a pair as inseparable as the two staves of a piece of music for the pianoforte, and as like in sentiment as the two texts of a biglot Bible;—whether she is to inhabit the " flaunting town," or to live in the quiet farms and fields;—when we think and reflect that her destiny depends upon him whom she chooses for better or for worse, we cannot be surprised that young females hanker to know what sort of men the fates have given them for husbands, even at an early age.
In my childhood, a time when—as Petrarch says of old age—little lovers may be allowed
*' Sedersi insiome, e dir che lor incontra,'