Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

On Friday too! the day I dread!
Would I were safe at home in bed!
Last night (I vow to heav'n 'tis true)
Bounce from the fire a coffin flew.
Next post some fatal news shall tell!
God send my Cornish friends be well
That raven on yon left-hand oak
(Curse on his ill-betiding croak),
Bodes me no good. No more she said.
When poor blind ball, with stumbling tread.

Fell prone; o'erturn'd the pannier lay,
And her mash'd eggs bestrew'd the way.
She, sprawling in the yellow road,
Rail'd, swore, and enrst. Thou croaking toad,
A murrain take thy whoreson throat!
I knew misfortune in the note.

Dame, quoth the raven, spare your oaths,
Unclench your fist, and wipe your clothes;
But why on me those curses thrown T
Goody, the fault was all your own j
For, had you laid this brittle ware
On Dun, the old sure-footed mare,
Though all the ravens of the hundred
With croaking had your tongue out-thunder'd.
Sure-footed Dun had kept his legs,
And you, good woman, sav'd your eggs.

h. m.

tievtmber 28.—Day breaks . . 5 50 Sun rises . . 7 53 — sets ..47 Twilight ends. 6 10

Nobtmrter 29.

[For the Year Book.]

November 29, 1759, died at Keysoe, a village about nine miles from Bedford, aged seventy-three, William Dickens, whose life was distinguished by the following remarkable incident:—

Dickins was a bricklayer and mason. On the 17th of April, 1718, he was engaged in painting the steeple of the church, and fell from the middle window of the spire (a height of 132 feet) over the south-west pinnacle. In his fall he struck the battlements with such force that his leg and foot were dreadfully fractured, and part of the stone work precipitated with him to the ground ; he sustained so little injury in other respects that in the course of a few months from the period of his fall he was sufficiently recovered to be capable of re-ascending the steeple to finish his work, which he

accomplished, and lived for forty years afterwards in the full enjoyment of all his faculties. The chair in which he sat while engaged in pointing the steeple wa« securely suspended by a strong rope of four strands, yet it parted, as was supposed, through the rocking of the spire occasioned by the striking of the churchclock, but upon examining the rope it appeared that three of the four strands of which it was composed had been purposely cut through with a knife or some sharp instrument. Dickins had been in company with a person of the same business the evening before his disaster: and on the strength of the old proverb, " two of a trade seldom agree," suspicion arose that Dickins's rival nad privily cut the rope.

he had been an unsuccessful candidate for the task which the parish authorities had assigned to Dickins in preference. That this suspicion was just never was satisfactorily proved, but an awful fact remains on record: the man who was presumed to have worked this secret revenge, having shortly afterwards finished erecting a stack of chimneys, ascended to the top of them to give (as is usual on such occasions) an exulting shout on the completion of this part of his building, when the work not being sufficiently dry gave way, and falling with him he was dashed to pieces. There is still to be seen in Keysoe church-yard an old stone, which formerly contained an inscription commemorative of the above remarkable circumstances, but now entirely obliterated by the ravages of time " that destroyeth all things."

as. m.

h. m.

November 29.—Day breaks . 5 51 Sun rises . . 7 54 — sets ..46 Twilight ends . 6 9

Nob*mter 30.

St. Andrew.

This is the festival day of the patron saint of Scotland. There are particulars relating to it in the Every-Day Book.

November 80, 1793, died at Beaumaris William Lewis, Esq., of Llandisman, in

the act of drinking a cup of Welsh ale, containing about a wine quart, called a tumbler maur. He made it a rule, every morning of his life, to read so many chapters in the Bible, and in the evening to drink eight gallons of ale. It is calculated that in his life-time he must have drunk a sufficient quantity to float a seventy-four gun ship. His size was astonishing, and he weighed forty stone. Although he died in his parlour, it was found necessary to construct a machine in form of a crane, to lift his body on A carriage, and afterwards to have the machine in the church-yard to let him down into the grave. He went by the name of the king of Spain, and his family by the different titles of prince, infanta, &c.

Sailing Fish

November 30, 1822. Under this date there is the following account from Singapore in the Life of Sir Stamford Raffles, —"the only amusing discovery which we have recently made is that of a sailing fish, called by the natives than layer, of about ten or twelve feet long, which hoists a main sail, and often sails in the manner of a native boat, and with considerable swiftness. I have sent a set of the sails home, as they are beautifully cut, and form a model for a fast sailing boat —they are composed of the dorsal fins of the animal, and, when a shoal of these are under sail together, they are frequently mistaken for a fleet of native boats."

Exercise And Recreation

The exercise which I recommend first is the exact use of their weapons, to guard and to strike safely with edge or point; this will keep them healthy, nimble, strong and well in breath; is also the likeliest means to make them grow large and tall, and to inspire them with a gallant and fearless courage, which, being tempered with seasonable lectures and precepts to them of true fortitude and patience, will turn into an active and heroic valor, and make them hate the cowardice of doing wrong. The interim of unsweatin^ themselves regularly, and convenient rest before meat, may both with profit and delight be taken up in recreating and composing their travailed spirits with the solemn and divine harmonies of music heard or learned ; either whilst the skilful organist plies his grave and fancied descant in lofty fugues, or the whole of the symphony with artful and unimaginable touches adorn and grace the well studied chords of some choice composer; sometimes the lute or soft organ stop waiting on elegant voices, either to religious, martial, or civil ditties; which, if wise men and prophets be not extremely out, have a great power over dispositions and manners, to smooth and make them gentle from rustic harshness and distempered passions —Milton.

h. m.

November 30.—Day breaks . 5 52
Sun rises . . 7 55
— sets ..45
Twilight ends. b 8

Thus wears the month along, in checker'd moods,
Sunshine and shadows, tempests loud, and calms;
One hour dies silent o'er the sleepy woods,
The next wakes loud with unexpected storms;
A dreary nakedness the field deforms—
Yet many a rural sound, and rural sight,
Lives in the village still about the farms,
Where toil's rude uproar hams f-oin morn till night—

Noises in which the ears of Industry delight.

At length the stir of rural Labor's still,
And Industry her care awhile foregoes;
When Winter comes in earnest to fulfil
His yearly task, at bleak November's close,
And stops the plough, and hides the field in snows |
When frost locks up the stream in chill delay,
And mellows on the hedge the jetty sloes,
For little birds—then Toil hath time for play,

And nought but threshers' flails awake the dreary day.

Clare

[graphic]

DECEMBER.

Glad Christmas comes, and every hearth
Makes room to give him welcome now,
E'en want will dry its tears in mirth,

And crown him with a holly bough;
Though tramping 'neath a wintry sky,

O'er snowy paths and rimy stiles The housewife Bets her spinning by

To bid him welcome with her smiles. Each house is swept the day before,

And windows stuck with ever-greens, The snow is besom'd from the door,

And comfort crowns the cottage scenes. Gilt holly, with its thorny pricks,

And yew and box, with berries, small, These deck the unused candlesticks, And pictures hanging by the wall.

Clakb's Shepherd's Calendar.

Now is the season of dreariness and gloom. The sun rises late and sets early: his beams display not the vapors that reek up with intense cold. The dark davs of Christmas end with falls of snow; and the frozen earth yields no sustenance to animals.

At night, bursts of revelry break forth from the illuminated mansions of the opulent. If we listen at the hovels of the destitute we may hear the low wai ings of helplessness, and the cries of infancy.

Now come the advent, and celebration of the festival in memory of that great Birth Day which was proclaimed with " Glory to God in the highest 1 and on earth peace! good will towards men 1" And the

rich "fare sumptuously everyday"; an
retire, sated with enjoyment, to couches ol
pleasure. In their vicinage are some who,
at night-fall, huddle together for warmth,
or creep with their famishing offspring to
cheerless resting-places, and forget their
misery until they awaken to it in the .
morning.

To shelter the houseless, clothe the naked, and feed the hungry, to avert the rigors of the season from the needy, and to make the poor man's heart leap for joy, is a recipe for a merry Christmas.

They whom " the day-spring from on high hath visited," especially know that to do unto others as we would be done unto is the bond of human brotherhood.

Stanzas.
(Original.]

Hard is the lot of cheerless poverty!
May none who read it, by experience know
That this is true—none ever feel like me
The sad extremes of hopeless grief and woe!
Harsh is perhaps my verse—can roses blow
Where no warm genial sunbeams ever shine?
Or polished numbers rich in music flow
f rom any breast so sad and seared as mine?
But ah! the thoughtless world will mock if I repine I

One flower—the primrose—from its chilly bed
Peeps lovely e'en while winter lingers round,
And not another dares to lift its head
Above the surface of the frozen ground:
Such may the beauty of my verse be found—
A wintry blossom—tho' not like the scene
Where all the beauties of the spring abound,
Except that lovely flower, so pale and mean,
Which sweetly spread its leaf when nought beside was prM rt.

But ah! 'tis spring with all the world but me 1
In each poetic garden, richly fair,
Prolific nature's store of bounty see,
All but the primrose show their beauty there.
Those blooming beds the marks of culture bear;
And my poor wild-flower will but he despised.
Low tenant of the waste !—not worth the care
Of being thence transplanted; only prized
When Nature's lovely face is dreary and disguised.

Then let me wed thee to mine own sad heart:
Thou art my all, and I will treasure thee—
E'en wild and worthless, as perhaps thou art.
There is a charm in thy simplicity,
Sweetly enticing, tho' to none but me
And should I try to make the world admire,
And love thee too, contempt my fate would be.
While in cold critic blight must thou expire:
Or flowers of piouder bloom would shame thee to rftir*

Yet many a withering blast we've braved befc:e
And little sunshine serves to nourish thee,
Thou art a winter blossom—I am poor—
Go, let the world thy humble beauty see—
Say thou art dear to suffering Poverty;
And then, if thou art trampled and despised,
From man's contempt return again to me;
Still by my partial heart wilt thou be prized,
E'en though to scorn thee too, perfidiously advised.

Can I the magic charms of song resign
For ought the world accounts more worth its care'
Can ought so sweetly soothe this breast of mine,
Or raise my hopes when drooping to despair?
E'en wealth and honours though they promise fair,
Can no real pleasure to the mind impart!
All those let avarice and ambition share;
But I cannot acquire their grovelling art.
While Nature has such charms for my devoted heart

When all the vernal choirs their songs begin,
As early spring peeps forth in new array;
Like them enamoured of the lovely scene,
With imitative power I join the lay:
When tuneful Phoebus gains his brightening way,
Who can his powerful influence resist?
And as theyearis waning fast away,
An elegiactlioughtinspires my breast;
And late in wintry days are my own woes expressed I

A. B.

Alimentary Calendar.

Fish in season, during December, are turbot, skate, soles, mackarel (a small supply); haddock, cod, whiting, holibut, lampreys (chiefly for potting), lobsters, oysters, and other shell-fish.

The game, wild-fowl, and poultry of the month, ere. hares, partridges, pheasants, wild and tame rabbits, grouse, wild-ducks, widgeons, teal, plovers, woodcocks,snipes, larks, turkeys, capons, pullets, chickens, geese, and ducks.

Butcher's meat of various kinds is to be had in great perfection.

Towards the 20th of the month there is an annual prize show of cattle, near Smithfield; and, afierwards, as a suitablesequel to the exhibition, a good dinner.

During the advance of Christmas, arrivals from the country, of poultry and game, become more frequent and abundant.

Large quantities of brawn come up, chiefly from Canterbury and Oxfordshire. It is manufactured from the flesh of large boars, which are suffered to live in a half wild state, and when put up to fatten, are strapped and belted tight round the prin

cipal parts of the carcase, in order tnat the flesh may become dense and brawny. This article comes to market in rolls about two feet long, and ten inches in diameter, packed in wicker baskets. It is commonly vended by fishmongers and pastry-cooks, who, at this season, generally expose, along with it, a boar's head, with a lemon stuck between the tusks.

Christmas week is a season of festivity among all ranks of people. The middling classes, who are for the most part immersed in the cares of business throughout the year, welcome and celebrate it as a period of holiday enjoyment; while, at the tables of the rich, the refinements of foreign invention are for once superseded by the simpler products of old English cookery, roast beef and plum-pudding, turkeys and chines, ham and fowls, capons and sausages, saddles and haunches of mutton; with a profusion of custards and pies, and, among thera that characteristic uxury the mince-pie.

Charles Small Pybus, esq., author of "The Sovereign (a poem): dedicated to

« ZurückWeiter »