Abbildungen der Seite


BEFORE remarking on the work terminating with this volume, some notice should be taken of its Frontispiece.

I. The "Clog" or "Perpetual Almanack" having been in common use with our ancient ancestors, a representation and explanation of it seemed requisite among the various accounts of manners and customs related in the order of the calendar.

Of the word "clog," there is no satisfactory etymology in the sense here used, which signifies an almanack made upon a square stick. Dr. Robert Plot, who published the "History of Staffordshire," in 1686, instances a variety of these old almanacks then in use in that county. Some he calls " public," because they were of a large size, and commonly hung at one end of the mantle-tree of the chimney; others he calls "private," because they were smaller, and carried in the pocket. For the better understanding of the figures on these clogs, he caused a family clog "to be represented in plano, each angle of the square stick, with the moiety of each of the flat sides belonging to it, being expressed apart." From this clog, so represented in Dr. Plot's history, the engraving is taken which forms the frontispiece now, on his authority, about to be described.

There are 3 months contained upon each of the four edges; the number of the days in them are represented by the notches; that which begins each month has a short spreading stroke turned up from it; every seventh notch is of a larger size, and stands for Sunday, (or rather, perhaps, for the first day of each successive natural week in the year.)

Against many of the notches there are placed on the left hand several marks or symbols denoting the golden number or cycle of the Moon, which number if under 5, is represented by so many points, or dots; but if 5, a line is drawn from the notch, or day, it belongs to, with a hook returned back against the course of the line, which, if cut off at due distance, may be taken for a V, the numeral signifying 5. If the golden number be above 5, and under 10, it is then marked out by the hooked line, which is 5; and with one point, which makes 6; or two, which makes 7; or three, for 8; or four, for 9; the said line being crossed with a broad stroke spreading at each end, which represents an X, when the golden number for the day, over against which it is put, is 10; points being added (as above over the hook for 5,) till the number arises to 15, when a hook is placed again at the end of the line above the X, to show us that number.

The figures issuing from the notches, towards the right hand, are symbols or hieroglyphics, of either, 1st, the offices, or endowments of the saints, before whose festivals they are placed; or 2dly, the manner of their martyrdoms; or 3dly, their actions, or the work or sport in fashion about the time when their feasts are kept.

For instance: 1. from the notch which represents January 13th, on the feast of St. Hilary, issues a cross or badge of a bishop, as St. Hilary was; from March 1st, a harp, showing the feast of St. David, by that instrument; from June 29th, the keys for St. Peter, reputed the Janitor of heaven; from October 25th, a pair of shoes for St. Crispin, the patron of shoe-makers. Of class 2, are the axe against January 25th, the feast of St. Paul, who was beheaded with an axe; the sword against June 24th,

the feast of St. John Baptist, who was beheaded; the gridiron against August 10th, th feast of St. Lawrence, who suffered martyrdom on one; a wheel on the 25th of Novem ber, for St. Catherine, and a decussated cross on the last of that month, for St. An drew, who are said also to have suffered death by such instruments. Of the 3d kind, are the star on the 6th of January, to denote the Epiphany; a true lover's knot against the 14th of February, for Valentine's-day; a bough against the 2d of March, for St Ceadda, who lived a Hermit's life in the woods near Litchfield; a bough on the 1st of May, for the May-bush, then usually set up with great solemnity; and a rake on the 11th of June, St. Barnabas'-day, importing that then it is hay-harvest. So, a pot is set against the 23d of November, for the feast of St. Clement, from the ancient custom of going about that night to beg drink to make merry with: for the purification, annunciation, and all other feasts of our lady, there is always the figure of a heart and lastly, for December 25th, or Christmas-day, a horn, the ancient vessel in which the Danes use to wassail, or drink healths; signifying to us, that this is the time we ought


to rejoice and make merry.

II. Respecting this second volume of the Every-Day Book, it is scarcely necessary to say more than that it has been conducted with the same desire and design as the preceding volume; and that it contains a much greater variety of original information concerning manners and customs. I had so devoted myself to this main object, as to find no lack of materials for carrying it further; nor were my correspondents, who had largely increased, less communicative: but there were some readers who thought the work ought to have been finished in one volume, and others, who were not inclined to follow beyond a second; and their apprehensions that it could not, or their wishes that it should not be carried further, constrained me to close it. As an "Everlasting Calendar" of amusements, sports, and pastimes, incident to the year, the Every-Day Book is complete; and I venture, without fear of disproof, to affirm, that there is not such a copious collection of pleasant facts and illustrations, " for daily use and diversion," in the language; nor are any other volumes so abundantly stored with original designs, or with curious and interesting subjects so meritoriously engraven.

III. Every thing that I wished to bring into the Every-Day Book, but was compelled to omit from its pages, in order to conclude it within what the public would deem a reasonable size, I purpose to introduce in my Table Book. In that publication, I have the satisfaction to find myself aided by many of my "Every-Day" correspondents, to whom I tender respectful acknowledgments and hearty thanks. This is the more due to them here, because I frankly confess that to most I owe letters; I trust that those who have not been noticed as they expected, will impute the neglect to any thing rather than insensibility of my obligations to them, for their valuable favours.

Although I confess myself to have been highly satisfied by the general reception of the Every-Day Book, and am proud of the honour it has derived from individuals of high literary reputation, yet there is one class whose approbation I value most especially. The "mothers of England" have been pleased to entertain it as an every-day assistant in their families; and instructors of youth, of both sexes, have placed it in school-libraries:-this ample testimonial, that, while engaged in exemplifying " manners," I have religiously adhered to “morals,” is the most gratifying reward I could hope to receive.

February, 1827.






Then came old January, wrapped well
In many weeds to keep the cold away;
Yet did he quake and quiver like to quell,
And blow his nayles to warm them if he may;
For they were numb'd with holding all the day
An hatchet keene, with which he felled wood,
And from the trees did lop the ncedlesse spray;
Upon a huge great earth-pot steane he stood,
From whose wide mouth there flowed forth the Romane flood.

Laus Deo-was the first entry by merchants and tradesmen of our forefathers' days, in beginning their new account-books with the new year. LAUS DEO! then, be the opening of this voJume of the Every-Day Book, wherein we take further "note of time," and make VOL. II.-53.

Spenser. entries to the days, and months, and seaevery varied posture, place, sons, in " and hour."

[blocks in formation]

Saxons Giuli aftera, signifying the second Giul, or Yule, or, as we should say, the second Christmas.* Of Yule itself much will be observed, when it can be better said.

To this month there is an ode with a verse beautifully descriptive of the Roman symbol of the year:†

"Tis he! the two-fac'd Janus comes in view; Wild hyacinths his robe adorn,

And snow-drops, rivals of the morn
He spurns the goat aside,
But smiles upon the new
Emerging year with pride:
And now unlocks, with agate key,
The ruby gates of orient day.


Mr. Luke Howard is the author of a highly useful work, entitled "The Climate of London, deduced from Meteorological Observations, made at different places in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis: London, 1818." 2 vols. 8vo. Out of this magazine of fact it is proposed to extract, from time to time, certain results which may acquaint general readers with useful knowledge concerning the weather of our latitude, and induce the inquisitive to resort to Mr. Howard's book, as a careful guide of high authority in conducting their researches. That gentleman, it is hoped, will not deem this an improper use of his labours it is meant to be, as far as regards himself, a humble tribute to his talents and diligence. With these views, under each month will be given a state of the weather, in Mr. Howard's own words: and thus we begin.


The Sun in the middle of this month continues about 8 h. 20 m. above the hori


The Temperature rises in the day, on an average of twenty years, to 40-28 and falls in the night, in the open country to 31.36°-the difference, 8.92°, representing the mean effect of the sun's rays for the month, may be termed the solar variation of the temperature.

The Mean Temperature of the month, the observations in this city be included, is 36-34°. But this mean has a range, in ten years, of about 10-25°, which may be termed the lunar variation of the temperature. It holds equally in the decade, beginning with 1797, observed in London, and in that beginning with 1807, in the country. In the former decade, the month was coldest in 1802, and warmest in 1812, and coldest in 1814. I have likewise shown, that there was a tendency in the daily variation of temperature through this month, to proceed, in these respective periods of years, in opposite directions. The prevalence of different is the most obvious cause of these peclasses of winds, in the different periods, riodical variations of the mean tempera


The Barometer in this month rises, on falls to 28.97 in.: the mean range is therean average of ten years, to 3:40 in, and fore 1.43 in.; but the extreme range in for the month is about 29.79 inches. ten years is 2:38 in. The mean height

The prevailing Winds are the class from west to north. The northerly predominate, by a fourth of their amount, over the southerly winds.

30-50 inches for the year) is 0.832 in., The average Evaporation (on a total of and the mean of De Luc's hydrometer 80.

The mean Rain, at the surface of the earth, is 1.959 in.; and the number of days on which snow or rain falls, in this month, averages 14, 4.

A majority of the Nights in this month have constantly the temperature at or below the foregoing point.

Long ere the lingering dawn of that blythe morn
Which ushers in the year, the roosting cock,
Flapping his wings, repeats his larum shrill;
But on that morn no busy flail obeys
His rousing call; no sounds but sounds of joy
Salute the ear-the first-foot's § entering step,
That sudden on the floor is welcome heard,
Ere blushing maids have braided up their hair;
The laugh, the hearty kiss, the good new year

• Sayers. ↑ See vol. i. p. 1. The first visitant who enters a house on New-year's day is called the first-foot.

Howard on Climate.

[ocr errors]

Pronounced with honest warmth. In village, grange,
And burrow town, the steaming flaggon, borne
From house to house, elates the poor man's heart,
And makes him feel that life has still its joys.
The aged and the young, man, woman, child,
Unite in social glee; even stranger dogs,
Meeting with bristling back, soon lay aside
Their snarling aspect, and in sportive chace,
Excursive scour, or wallow in the snow.
With sober cheerfulness, the grandam eyes
Her offspring round her, all in health and peace;
And, thankful that she's spared to see this day
Return once more, breathes low a secret prayer,
That God would shed a blessing on their heads.

So far as the rev. Alban Butler, in his every-day biography of Roman catholic saints, has written their memoirs, their names have been given, together with notices of some, and especially of those retained in the calendar of the church of England from the Romish calendar. Similar notices of others will be offered in continuation; but, on this high festival in the calendar of nature, particular or further remark on the saints' festivals would interrupt due attention to the season, and therefore we break from them to observe that day which all enjoy in common,


January 1.

good, or very bad indeed! And only to propose to be better, is something; if


The Saints of the Roman calendars and nothing else, it is an acknowledgment of our need to be so, which is the first step towards amendment. But, in fact, to propose to oneself to do well, is in some sort to do well, positively; for there is no such thing as a stationary point in human endeavours; he who is not worse to-day than he was yesterday, is better; and he who is not better, is worse."

New Year's Day.

Referring for the "New-year's gifts," the "Candlemas-bull," and various observances of our ancestors and ourselves, to the first volume of this work, wherein they are set forth in lively pourtraieture," we stop a moment to peep into the "Mirror of the Months," and inquire "Who can see a new year open upon him, without being better for the prospect-without making sundry wise reflections (for any reflections on this subject must be comparatively wise ones) on the step he is about to take towards the goal of his being? Every first of January that we arrive at, is an imaginary mile-stone on the turnpike track of human life; at once a resting place for thought and meditation, and a starting point for fresh exertion in the performance of our jour ney. The man who does not at least propose to himself to be better this year than he was last, must be either very

the text-hand set of copies put before us It is written," Improve your time," in when we were better taught to write than to understand what we wrote. How often these three words recurred at that period without their meaning being discovered! How often and how serviceably they have recurred since to some who have obeyed the injunction! How painful has reflection been to others, who recollecting it, preferred to suffer rather than to do!

The author of the paragraph quoted above, expresses forcible remembrance of his youthful pleasures on the coming in of the new year." Hail! to thee, JANUARY!-all hail! cold and wintry as thou art, if it be but in virtue of thy first day. THE DAY, as the French call it, par excellence, Le jour de l'an.' Come about me, all ye little schoolboys that have escaped from the unnatural thraldom of your taskwork-come crowding about me, with your untamed hearts shouting in your unmodulated voices, and your happy spirits dancing an untaught measure in your eyes! Come, and help me to speak the praises of new-year's day !— your day-one of the three which have, of late, become yours almost exclusively, and which have bettered you, and have been bettered themselves, by the change.

« ZurückWeiter »