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On Friday too! the day I dread!
Fell prone; o'erturn'd the pannier lay,
Dame, quoth the raven, spare your oaths,
tievtmber 28.—Day breaks . . 5 50 Sun rises . . 7 53 — sets ..47 Twilight ends. 6 10
[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."
November 29.—Day breaks . 5 51 Sun rises . . 7 54 — sets ..46 Twilight ends . 6 9
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.
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.
November 30.—Day breaks . 5 52
Thus wears the month along, in checker'd moods,
Noises in which the ears of Industry delight.
At length the stir of rural Labor's still,
And nought but threshers' flails awake the dreary day.
Glad Christmas comes, and every hearth
And crown him with a holly bough;
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
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.
Hard is the lot of cheerless poverty!
One flower—the primrose—from its chilly bed
But ah! 'tis spring with all the world but me 1
Then let me wed thee to mine own sad heart:
Yet many a withering blast we've braved befc:e
Can I the magic charms of song resign
When all the vernal choirs their songs begin,
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