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fJremwicn by water. The mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen, with several worshipful commoners, chosen out of every craft, in their liveries, had waited on the river to receive her. Their barges were freshly furnished with banners and streamers of silk, richly beaten with the arms and badges of their crafts; and especially one called the bachelor's I arje was garnished and apparelled beyond all others. In it was a dragon spouting flames of fire into the Thames, and many other "gentlemanly pageants, " well and curiously devised to give her highness sport and pleasure. And so, accompanied with trumpets, clarions, and other minstrels, she came and landed at the 'l ower, and was there welcomed by the king. On the following day she went through London to Westminster, aparelled in white cloth of gold of damask, with a mantle of the same furred with ermine, fastened before her breast with a great lace of gold and silk, and rich knobs of gold tasseled at the ends; her fair yellow hair hanging down plain behind her back, with a cawl of pipes over it, and confined only on the forehead by a circlet of gold ornamented with precious stones. On her passage to her litter, her train was borne by her sister Cecily. The litter was covered with white cloth of gold, and furnished with large pillows of down covered with the same, and supported by twelve knights of the body, who changed by four and four at stated points. The streets through which the procession passed were cleansed, and dressed with cloths of tapestry and arras, and some streets, as Cheap, hung with rich cloth of gold, velvet, and silk; and along the streets, from the Tower to St. Paul's, stood in order all the crafts of London in their liveries; and in various places were ordained singing children, some arrayed iike angels, and others like virgins, to sing sweet songs af her grace passed by. Next before the litter rode the duke of Bedford, the king's uncle, as high steward of England, and many other noblemen, among whom went the mayor of London with Garter king of arms. There were also fourteen newly created knights of the Bath in their blue bachelor gowns. After the litter went sir Roger Colton, the queen's master of the horse, leading a horse of estate, with a woman's saddle of red cloth of gold tissue; six henchmen riding on white palfreys, with saddles to match the saddle of estate, and
Latino The Witches
Amongst the customs of Lancashire which have come under my own knowledge there is one, almost obsolete when I saw it, perhaps now quite so; for it had its origin in a superstition that has nearly died away even with the vulgar. It was called " Latingt the Witches," and was observed on the eve preceding the 1st of November, when they are presumed to make their appearance " for the season ;" the exact time of its close and their departure, after doing all the mischief they can, I forget. Whether the custom was confined to Longridge Fell, where I witnessed it, or not, I cannot tell; but as nearly as I can recollect, after a lapse of thirteen years, and being then but a child of ten, I will relate it to you.
I was then visiting at the house of a relation resident at the Fell: three members of the family were ill at the time, two of whom died within a few months after; and, child-like, I was delighted when, on the afternoon of the 31st of October, the monotonous gloom of our existence was broken upon by a troop of boys, girls, and old women, with Ailce Becketh, the most famous old woman about for gingerbread and fairy tales, at
the head of them, knocking at my uncle's gate. They were answered in the first instance by the man employed in the yard, who being himself a stranger to the place, and deeming their request an absurdity, told them to go about their business; but, my uncle having caught a glimpse of them, the affair became more serious.
"Bless me," cried my uncle, "it is Latins; night, and your poor aunt has forgot to prepare Ailces lights: run Annie, and bring them all up to the door."
Hun I did fast enough, and escorted the whole party to the threshold, which Vilce would not have crossed for worlds until after her return from Lating, and not then if her candle had gone out.
I now found it was the custom on that day to call at every considerable house in the neighbourhood and ask for Lating candles, of which they receive in number according to the number of inmates; these candles the persons they are meant to represent may themselves carry, or resign to a deputy, whose services on the occasion must however be voluntary. My uncle's family were soon provided with proxies. Harry, one of my cousins, a sturdy spoilt urchin, no older than myself, declared he would carry his light himself.
"Master Allan want go lating himself this year?" enquired Ailce. My uncle shook his head and no one enquired further.
"I will carry Allan's light," cried I and another in the same breath, and, on turning to examine the speaker, I beheld the ill-favored knavish countenance of Laithwaye Oales, a Preston boy, about eighteen years old, and, although belonging to respectable parents, a wild, wandering, homeless being, famous all the country round for idiotical fun, mischief, and almost unearthly ugliness. After a short contention with my uncle, and a still shorter one with Laithwaye, who disappointed of my cousin's light offered to carry mine, it was agreed that Harry and I should be ready to join the Lating party at 11 o'clock at night, the hour at which they would finally call for us and the lights.
At eleven therefore we sallied forth, each with a large lighted candle, in the direction of Lancaster. Our number might not exceed thirty, and, as I kept close to Ailce for the purpose of better
knowing how I was to conduct myself, I had an opportunity of learning what I now communicate.
The custom originated in the belief that if a lighted candle was carried about the Fell from 11 to 12 o'clock at night, and it burnt all that time steadily, it had so far triumphed over the evil power of the witches, who would try all they could to blow it out, and the person it represented might safely defy their malice during the season; but, if by any accident the candle went out, it was an omen of evil to its representative. It was deemed unlucky too to cross the threshold of the person for whom you carried the light until after the return from lating, and not then unless the candle had preserved itself alight.
On the particular night I am alluding to, an unforeseen and unavoidable accident, though a very natural one as it was esteemed afterwards, prevented our ascertaining the exact limits of the witches' power for the time being. After scouring the dells and dingles for about half an hour, during which time our candles had burnt well and steadily, for it was a clear still night, all on a sudden, one by one, with not above five minutes' intermission between each, they all went out. Young as I was, and credulous even to the full belief of all I had lately heard respecting the evil power of the witches over our candles, I could not avoid bursting into a fit of laughter, as I saw our lights disappear one after the other, as if by magic, and beheld the dismayed faces of the old woman and her troop, looking first at their lightless candles, and then at each other, afraid to utter a word. A strange feeling came over me—I remember it as well as if it were but yesterday—a kind of triumph over my affrighted companions, amounting to a feeling of fellowship with the wild frolicsome beings who I imagined at the moment had so discomfited them and delighted me. I almost longed to shake hands with them; but the illusion lasted not long, for Alice found that her candle had four small pins stuck across it at the point where it went out, and, on examining the rest, they were all found to be in the same condition. There was no occasion to ask who was the author of this mischief; no, Laithwaye Oates was too well known, and all the subsequent surprise was that he should ever have been trusted. Poor Laithwaye I I never saw mm after.
This is all I remember of the custom, and probably I should not have recollected so much, had not the frolic, and the hobgoblin face of Laithwaye Oates been connected with it. I left Longridge Fell a few months after, and Lancashire altogether within the year, and never had another opportunity of seeing or hearing of it, for even in Preston it was unknown. But there are some old women about the Fell, as well as young ones, who will remember somewhat of this. Ailce Becketh indeed, who might be termed the reviver of the custom that perhaps died with her, is dead; and even Laithwaye, poor Laithwaye Oates, he too has—
Passed from earth away."
Perhaps the custom may be more prevalent than I have hitherto imagined it to have been, but I have heard my uncle speak of it as one of which he had heard in his childhood that it had long gone by, and, but for him and Alice Becketh, I might never have seen it at the Fell; for the old woman firmly believed in its prevailing efficacy against witches, and my uncle loved to encourage her and the I custom, while he laughed at both as innocent and absurd.
I am, Sir,
Mr. Brand says, on the authority of captain Grose, that corpse candles are very common appearances in the counties of Cardigan, Caermarthen, and Pembroke, and also in some other parts of Wales. They are called candles, from their resemblance not of the body of the candle, but the fire ; because that fire says an honest Welshman, Mr. Davis, in a letter to Mr. Baxter, doth as much resemble material candle lights, as eggs do eggs: saving that, in their journey, these candles are sometimes visible and sometimes disappear, especially if any one comes near to them, or in the way to meet them. On these occasions they vanish, but presently appear again behind the observer and hold on their course. If a little candle is seen, of a pale bluish colour, then follows the corpse, either of an abortive, or some infant: if a larger one, then I he corpse of some one come to age. If there be seen two, three, or
more, of different sizes, some big, some small, then shall so many corpses pass together and of such ages or degrees. If two candles come from different places, and be seen to meet, the corpses will do the same; and if any of these candles be seen to turn aside, through some by-path, leading to the church, the following corpse will be found to take exactly the same way. Sometimes these candles point out the places where persons shall sicken and die. They have also predicted the drowning of persons passing a ford. All this is affirmed by Mr. Davis.
Another kind of fiery apparition peculiar to Wales is what is called the tan-we or tanwed. This appearetii, says Mr. Davis, to our seeming, in the lower region of the air, straight and long, not much unlike a glaive. It moves oi shoots directly and level (as who should say I'll hit), but far more slowly than falling stars. It lighteneth all the air and ground where it passeth, lasteth three or four miles or more, for aught is known, because no man seeth the rising or beginning of it; and, when it falls to the ground, it sparkleth and lighteth all about. These commonly announce the death or decease of freeholders by falling on their lands; and you shall scarce bury any such with us, says Mr. Davis, be he but a lord of a house and garden, but you shall find some one at his burial that hath seen this fire fall on some part of his lands.
According to the same worthy Mr. Davis, these appearances have been seen by the person whose death they foretold: two instances of which Mr. Davis records as having happened in his own family. Also, in the " Cambrian Register, 8vo., 1796," p. 431, we read of "A very commonly-received opinion, that within the diocese of St. David's, a short space before death, a light is seen pro ceeding from the house, and sometimes, as has been asserted, from the very bed where the sick person lies, and pursues its way to the church where he or she is to be interred, precisely in the same track in which the funeral is afterwards to follow. This light is called eaimyli corpt, or the corpse candle."
At length it comes among the forest oaks,
With sobbing ebbs, and uproar gathering high;
The scared, hoarse raven on its cradle croaks,
And stockdove-flocks in hurried terrors fly,
While the blue hawk hangs o'er them in the sky.—
The hedger hastens from the storm begun,
To seek a shelter that may keep him dry;
And foresters low bent, the wind to shun,
Scarce hear amid the strife the poacher's muttering gun. The ploughman hears its humming rose begin,
And hies for shelter from his naked toil;
Buttoning his doublet closer to his chin,
He bends and scampers o'er the elting soil,
While clouds above him in wild fury boil,
And winds drive heavily .the beating rain;
He turns his back to catch his breath awhile,
Then ekes his speed and faces it again,
The boy, tnat scareth from the spiry wheat
The melancholy crow—in hurry weaves,
Beneath an ivied tree, his sheltering seat,
Of rushy flags and sedges tied in sheaves,
Or from the field a shock of stubble thieves.
There he doth dithering sit, and entertain
His eyes with marking the storm-driven leaves;
Oft spying nests where he spring eggs had ta'en, And wishing in his heart 'twas summer-time again.
Clare's Shepherd's Calendar.
In the "Haven's Almanacke for 1609," by Thomas Decker, there is a cjuaint description "Of Aulumne, or the Jail of the. leafe"—the season which continues into this month—" Autumne, the Barber of the yeare, that sheares bushes, hedges, and trees; the ragged prodigall that consumes al and leaves himself nothing; the arrantest beggar amongst al the foure quarters, and the most diseased, as being alwaies troubled with the falling sick nesse; this murderer of the Spring, this theef to Summer, and bad companion to Winter; seemes to come in according to his old custome, when the Sun sits like Justice with a pair of scales in his hand, vveying no more houres to the day then he does to the night, as he did before in his vernall progresse, when he rode on a Ram; but this bald-pated Autumnus wil be seen walking up and down groves, medows, fields, woods, parks and pastures, blasting of fiuites, and beating leaves from their trees, when common high-wayes shall be strewed with boughes in mockery of Summer and in triumph of ner death ; and when the doores of Usurers shall be strewed with greene hearbs, to doe honour to poor Brides that have no dowrie (but their honestie) to their marriage: when the world looked like olde Chaos, and that Plentie is turned into Penurie, and beautie into uglinesse; when Men ride (the second time) to Bathe—and when unthriftes fly amonest Hen-sparrowes, yet bring home all the feathers they carried out: Then say that Autumne raignes, then is the true fall of the leafe, because the world and the yeare turne over a new leafe.'
From these amusing conceits we turn for better thoughts to the following instructive passages by Dr. Drake in his "Evenings in Autnmn":—
No period of the year is better entitled to the appellation of The Season of Philosophic Enthusiasm, than the close of Autumn. There is in the aspect of every thing which surrounds us, as the sun is sinking below the horizon, on a fine evening of October (or November), all that can hush the troubled passions to repose, yet all which.at the same time, is calculated to elevate the mind, and awaken the imagination. The gently agitated and refreshing state of the atmosphere, though at intervals broken in upon by the fitful and protracted moaning of the voiceful wind ; the deep brown shadows which are gradually enveloping the many-coloured woods, and diffusing over the extended landscape a solemn and not unpleasing obscurity; the faint and farewell music of the latest warblers, and the waning splendor of the western sky, almost insensibly dispose the intellectual man to serious and sublime associations. It is then we people the retiring scene with more than earthly forms; it is then we love
to listen to the hollow sighs Through the half-leafless wood that breathes the gale.
For at such hours the shadowy phantom pale Oft seems to fleet before the Poet's eyes; Strange sounds are heard, and mournful melodies
As of night-wanderers who their woes bewail.