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For the Antiquarian Repertory. hearth with their cheerful neighbours, In the parish of Berlen, near Snodland, and then in the spicy wassell-bowl (which in the county of Kent, are the vestiges of testifies the goodness of their hearts) a very old inansion, known by the name drowned every former animosity-an exof Grores. Being on the spot before the ample worthy modern imitation. Wassell, workmen began to pull down the front, was the word; Wassell, every guest returnI had the curiosity to examine its interior ed as he took the circling goblet froin his remains, when, amongst other things well friend, whilst song and civil mirth worth observation, appeared in the large brought in the infant year. This annual oak beam that supported the chimney- custom, says Geoffrey of Monmouth, had piece, a curious piece of carved work, of its rise from Rouix, or Rowen, or as some which the preceding is an exact copy. Its will have it, Rowena, daughter of the singularity induced me to set about an Saxon Hengist; she, at the command of investigation, which, to my satisfaction, her father, who had invited the British was not long without success. The large king Voltigern to a banquet, came in the bowl in the middle is the figure of the presence with a bowl of wine, and wel. old wassell-bowl, so much the delight of comed him in these words, Louerd king our hardy ancestors, who, on the vigil of wass-heil; he in return, by the help of an the new year, never failed (says my interpreter, answered, Drinc heile; and, author) to assemble round the glowing if we may credit Robert of Gloster,
Buste hire and sitte hire adoune and glad dronke hire heil
And so well he paith the fole about, that he is yut borgutt.
T. N. as Robert of Gloster, and only adds, that Wass-haile and Drinc-hail The following pleasant old song, in were the usual phrases of quaffing amongst serted by Mr. Brand, from Ritson's colthe earliest civilized inhabitants of this lection of “ Antient Songs," was met with island.
by the Editor of the Every-day Book, in The two birds upon the bowl did for 1819, at the printing-office of Mr. Rann, some time put me to a stand, till meeting at Dudley, printed by him for the Waswith a communicative person at Hobar- sailers of Staffordshire and Warwickrow, he assured me they were two hawks, shire. It went formerly to the tune of
" Gallants come away.” as I soon plainly perceived by their bills and beaks, and were a rebus of the builder's name. There was a string from
A jolly Wassel-Bowl, the neck of one bird to the other, which, A Wassel of good ale, it is reasonable to conjecture, was to note Well fare the butler's soul, that they must be joined together to That setteth this to sale ; show their signification; admitting this,
Our jolly Wassel. they were to be red hawks. Upon in
Good Dame, here at your door quiry, I found a Mr. Henry Hawks, the Our Wassel we begin, owner of a farm adjoining to Groves; he We are all maidens poor, assured me, his father kept Grove 'farm We pray now let us in, about forty years since, and that it was
With our Wassel. built by one of their name, and had been
Our Wassel we do fill in his family upwards of four hundred
With apples and with spice, years, as appeared by an old lease in his
Then grant us your good will possession.
To taste here once or twice
Of our good Wassel, bowl, I think, means no more than that
If any maidens be they drank good cyder' at their Wassells.
Here dwelling in this house, Saxon words at the extremities of the
They kindly will agree beam are already explained; and the To take a full carouse mask carved brackets beneath, correspond
Of our Wassel.
A CARROLL FOR A WASSELL-BOWL.
But here they let us stand
thoroughly liquefied, his loquacity is deAll freezing in the cold;
luging. He is thus in public-house parGood master, give command,
lours: he is in parties somewhat higher, To enter and be bold,
much the same. The business of dinner With our Wasscl.
draws on the greater business of drinking, Much joy into this hall
and the potations are strong and fiery; With us is entered in,
full-bodied port, hot sherry, and ardent Our master first of all,
spirits. This occupation consumes five We hope will now begin,
or six hours, and sometimes more, after Of our Wassel : dining. There is no rising from it, but
to toss off the glass, and huzza after the And after his good wife Our spiced bowl will try,
“ hip! hip! hip!” of the toast giver. A The Lord prolong your life,
calculation of the number who customaGood fortune we espy,
rily“ dine out” in this manner half the Por our Wassel. week, would be very amusing, if it were
illustrated by portraits of some of the Some bounty from your hands, indulgers. It might be further, and more Our Wassel to maintain :
usefully, though not so agreeably illusWe'll buy no house nor lands
trated, by the reports of physicians, wives, With that which we do gain, With our Wassel.
and nurses, and the bills of apothecaries.
Habitual sitting to drink is the “ besetting This is our merry night
sin" of Englishmen—the creator of their Of choosing King and Queen, gout and palsy, the embitterer of their Then be it your delight
enjoyments, the impoverisher of their That something may be seen
property, the widow-maker of their wives. lo our Wassel.
By continuing the “wassail" of our anIt is a noble part
cestors, we attempt to cultivate the body as To bear a liberal mind,
they did ; but we are other beings, cultiGod bless our master's heart,
vated in other ways, with faculties and For here we comfort find,
powers of mind that would have astonished With our Wassel.
their generations, more than their robust And now we must be gone,
frames, if they could appear, would asta
nish ours. To seek out more good cheer;
Their employment was in Where bounty will be shown,
hunting their forests for food, or battling As we have found it here,
in armour with risk of life and limb. They With our Wassel. had no counting-houses, no ledgers, no
commerce, no Christmas bills, no letterMuch joy betide them all,
writing, no printing, no engraving, no Our prayers shall be still,
bending over the desk, no “wasting of the We hope and ever shall, For this your great good will,
midnight oil ” and the brain together, no To our Wassel. financing, not a bundredth part of the
relationships in society, nor of the cares From the “ Wassail” wę derive, per- that we have, who “ wassail" as they did, haps, a feature by which we are distin- and wonder we are not so strong as they guished. An Englishman eats no more There were no Popes nor Addithan a Frenchman; but he makes yule- sons in the days of Nimrod. tide of all the year. In virtue of his The most perfect fragment of the forefathers, he is given to “strong drink.” sail” exists in the usage of certain corHe is a beer-drinker, an enjoyer of " fat poration festivals. The person presiding ale ;" a lover of the best London porter stands up at the close of dinner, and and double XX, and discontented unless drinks from a flaggon usually of silver he can get“ stout.” He is a sitter withal. having a handle on each side, by which Put an Englishman“ behind a pipe” and be holds it with each hand, and the toasta full pot, and he will sit till he cannot master announces him as drinking “ the stand. At first he is silent; but as his health of his brethren out of the loving liquor gets towards the bottom, he inclines cup. The loving cup, which is the antowards conversation; as he replenishes, cient wassuil-boul, is then passed to the his coldness thaws, and he is conversa- guest on his left band, and by him to his tional; the oftener he calls to “ fill again," left-hand neighbour, and as it finds its the more talkative he becomes; and when way round the room to each guest in his
turn, so each stands up and drinks to the president “out of the loving cup.”
The subsequent song is sung in Gloucestershire on New-year's eve :
Wassail! Wassail ! over the town,
Here's to ****,* and to his right ear,
Here's to Filpail, t and her long tail,
Be here any maids, I suppose here be some;
Come, butler, come bring us a bowl of the best :
DAFT DAYS. HOGMANY.
rous Celts and Gauls had to contend with
the Of this usage in Scotland, commencing
obstacles which their ignorance, on New-year's eve, there was not room in and superstition presented, it is very the last sheet of the former volume, to in- probable that the clergy, when they were clude the following interesting communica- unable entirely to abolish pagan rites, tion. It is, here, not out of place, because, would endeavour, as far as possible, la in fact, the usage runs into the morning twist them into something of a christian of the New Year.
cast; and of the turn which many heathen ceremonies thus received, abundant in
stances are afforded in the Romish To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
The performance of religious mysTESir, The annexed account contains, I believe, RIES, which continued for a long period, the first notice of the acting in our Daft much licentiousness, and undoubtedly
seeins to have been accompanied with Days. I have put it hurriedly together,
was grafted upon the stock of pagan obbut, if of use, it is at your service.
- It was discovered, howI am, Sir, &c.
John Wood REDDOCK. ever, that the purity of the christian relia Falkirk, December, 1825.
gion could not tolerate them, and they
were succeeded by the MORALITIES, the During the early ages of christianity, subjects of which were either historical, or when its promulgation among the barba. some existing abuse, that it was wished
+ The trame of some horse
† The name of another horse.
The name of a cow,
to aim a blow at. Of this we have an in- vokingly improbable, that decision is renteresting instance in an account given by dered extremely difficult. With no term sir William Eure, the envoy of Henry is this more the case, than HOGMENAY. So the Eighth to James the Fifth, in a letter wide is the field of conjecture, as to the to the lord privy seal of England, dated signification of this word, that we shall 26th of January 1540, on the performance not occupy much space in attempting to of a play, or morality, written by the cele- settle which of the various etymologies is brated sir David Lindsay. It was enti- the most correct. tled The Satire of the Three Estates, and Many complaints were made to the was performed at Linlithgow, “before Gallic synods of the great excesses comthe king, queene, and the whole counsaill, mitted on the last night of the year and spirituall and temporall,” on the feast of first of January, by companies of both Epiphany. It gives a singular proof of sexes dressed in fantastic habits, who ran the liberty then allowed, by king James about with their Christmas boxes, calling and his court witnessing the exhibition of tire lire, and begging for the lady in the a piece, in which the corruptions of the straw both money and wassels. The chief existing government and religion were of these strollers was called Rollet Follet. treated with the most satirical severity. They came into the churches during the
The principal dramatis persona were a vigils, and disturbed the devotions. A king, a bushop, a burges man, “armed in stop was put to this in 1598, at the repreharness, with a swerde drawn in his sentation of the bishop of Angres; but hande," a poor man, and Experience, debarred from coming to the churches, “clede like ane doctor.” The poor man they only became more licentious, and (who seems to have represented the peo- went about the country frightening the ple)" looked at the king, and said he was people in their houses, so that the legislanot king in Scotland, for there was an- ture having interfered, an end was put to other king in Scotland that hanged Johne the practice in 1668. Armstrong with his fellows, Sym the The period during the continuance of laird, and mony other mae.' He then these festivities corresponded exactly with makes “a long narracione of the oppres- the present daft days, which, indeed, is sion of the poor by the taking of the corse- nearly a translation of their French name presaunte beits, and of the herrying of fêtes de fous. The cry used by the bapoor men by the consistorye lawe, and of chelettes during the sixteenth century has mony other abusions of the spiritualitie also a striking resemblance to the still and church. Then the bushop raised and common cry “ hogmenay trololay-gi'us rebuked him, and defended himself. Then your white bread and nane o' your grey," the man of arms alleged the contrarie, and it being “au gui menez, Rollet Follet, au commanded the poor man to go on. The gui menez, tiré liré, mainte du blanc et poor man proceeds with a long list of the point du bis.” bushop's evil practices, the vices of clois- The word Rollet is, perhaps, a corrupters, &c. This is proved by EXPERIENCE, tion of the ancient Norinan invocation of who, from a New Testament, showes the their hero, Rollo. Gui, however, seems to office of a bishop. The man of arms and refer to the druidical custom of cutting burges approve of all that was said against branches from the mistletoe at the close of the clergy, and allege the expediency of a the year, which were deposited in the reform, with the consent of parliament. temples and houses with great ceremony. The bushop dissents. The man of arms A supposition has been founded upon and burges said they were two and he but the reference of this cry to the birth of our one, wherefore their voice should have the Saviour, and the arrival of the wise men most effect. Thereafter the king in the from the east; of whom the general belief play ratified, approved, and confirmed all in the church of Rome is, that they were that was rehearsed."
three in number. Thus the language, as None of the ancient religious observ- borrowed from the French may be “homances, which have escaped, through the me est né, trois rois allois !” A man is riot of time and barbarism, to our day, born, three kings are come ! have occasioned more difficulty than that Others, fond of referring to the dark which forms the subject of these remarks. period of the Goths, imagine that this It is remarkable, that in all disputed ety- name had its origin there. Thus, minne mological investigations, a number of was one of the cups drunk at the feast of words got as explanatory, are so pro- Yule, as celebrated in the times of hea.
thenism, and oel is the general term for It is deemed lucky to see the new moon festival. The night before Yule was called with some money (silver) in the pocket. hoggin-nott, or hogenat, signifying the A similar idea is perhaps connected with slaughter night, and may have originated the desire to enter the new year rife of from the number of cattle slaughtered on roughness. The grand affair among the that night, either as sacrifices, or in pre- boys in the town is to provide themselves paration for the feast on the following with fausse fuces, or masks; and those with day. They worshipped the sun under the crooked horns and beards are in greatest name Thor. Hence, the call for the ce- demand. A high paper cap, with one of lebration of their sacrifices would be their great grandfather's antique coats, “ Hogg-minne! Thor! oel! oel!” Re- then equips them as a guisard—they thus member your sacrifices, the feast of Thor! go about the shops seeking their hogmethe feast!
nay. In the carses and moor lands, howThat the truth lies among these various ever, parties of guisards have long kept up explanations, there appears no doubt; we the practice in great style. Fantastically however turn to hogmenay among our dressed, and each having his character alselves, and although the mutilated legend lotted him, they go through the farm which we have to notice remains but as a houses, and unless denied entrance by few scraps, it gives an idea of the exist- being told that the old style is kept, perence of a custom which has many points form what must once have been a conof resemblance to that of France during nected dramatic piece. We have heard the fêtes du fous. It has hitherto escaped various editions of this, but the substance the attention of Scottish antiquaries. of it is something like the following: Every person knows the tenacious ad.
One enters first to speak the prologue herence of the Scottish peasantry to the in the style of the Chester mysteries, call. tales and observances of auld lang syne. ed the Whitsun plays, and which appear Towards the close of the year many super- to have been performed during the maystitions are to this day strictly kept up oralty of John Arneway, who filled that among the country people, chiefly as con- office in Chester from 1268 to 1276. It nected with their cattle and crops. Their is usually in these words at presentsocial feelings now get scope, and while one may rejoice that he has escaped diffi- Rise up gudewife and shake your feathers !
Dinna think that we're beggars, culties and dangers during the past year, We are bairns com’d to play another looks forward with bright antici- And for to seek our hogmenay; pation for better fortune in the year to Redd up stocks, redd up stools, come. The bannock of the oaten cake gave Here comes in a pack o’ fools." place a little to the currant loaf and bun, Muckle head and little wit stand behint the and the amories of every cottager have door, goodly store of dainties, invariably includ- But sic a set as we are, ne'er were here being a due proportion of Scotch drink. The fore. countenances of all seem to say
One with a sword," who corresponds “ Let inirth abound; let social cheer ] with the Rollet, now enters and says: Invest the dawnin' o' the year,
Here comes in the great king of Macedon, Let blithsome Innocence appear
Who has conquer'd all the world but ScotTo crown our joy,
land alone. Nor envy wi' sarcastic sneer,
When I came to Scotland my heart grew so Our bliss destroy.
cold When merry Yuleday comes, I trow To see a little nation so stout and so bold, You'll scantlings find a hungry mou ; So stont and so bold, so frank and so free!, Sma' are our cares, our stomacks fu', Call upon Galgacus to fight wi' me. O'gusty gear
If national partiality does not deceive An' kickshaws, strangers to our view Sin' fairnyear.
us, we think this speech points out the
origin of the story to be the Roman inThen tho' at odds wi' a' the warl,
vasion under Agricola, and the name of Among oursels we'll never quarrel
Galgacus (although Galacheus and Saint Though discard gie a canker'd snarl To spoil our glee,
* The author of Waverly, in a note to the Abbot, As lang's there pith into the barrel
mentions three Moralities played during the time of We'll drink and gree !"
the reformation-The Abbot of Unreason, The Boy
Bishop, and the Pepe o' Fools-may not pack o' fools Ferguson's Daft Days. be a corruption of this last ?