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new year

Hark, the cock crows, and yon bright star 'Tells us, the day himself's not far; And see where, breaking from the night, He gilds the western hills with light. With him old Janus doth appear, Peeping into the future year, With such a look as seems to say, The prospect is not good that way. Thus do we rise ill sights to see, And 'gainst ourselves to prophesy; When the prophetic fear of things A more tormenting mischief brings, More full of soul-tormenting gall Than direst mischiefs can befall. But stay! but stay! Methinks my sight, Belter informd by clearer light,

Discerns sereneness in that brow,
That all contracted seem'd but now.
His revers'd face may show distaste,
And frown upon the ills are past;
But that which this way looks is clear,
And smiles upon the new-born year.

According to the ancient mythology, Janus was the god of gates and avenues, and in that character held a key in his right hand, and a rod in his left, to symbolize his opening and ruling the year: sometimes he bore the number 300 in one hand, and 65 in the other, the number of its days. At other times he was repro sented with four heads, and placed in a temple of four equal sides, with a door and three windows in each side, as emblems of the four seasons and the twelve months over which he presided

According to Verstegan (Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, 4to. 1628, p. 59) the Saxons called this month « Wolf monat," or Wolf-month, because the

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wolves of our ancient forests, impelled by which he passed thirty years, and died hunger at this season, were wont to prowl about the sixth century. Bishop Patrick, and attack man himself; the inferior ani- in his “Reflexions upon the Devotions of mals, on whom they usually preyed, having the Roman Church,” 1674, 8vo. cites of reti.ed or perisher, from the inclemency of St. Mochua, that while walking and praythe weather. The Saxons also called this ing, and seeing a company of lambs runmonth “Aefter-yula," or After Christmas. ning hastily to suck their mothers, he drow In illuminated calendars prefixed to a line upon the ground which none of the catholic missals, or service books, January hungry lambs durst pass. Patrick again was frequently depicted as a man with cites, that St. Mochua having been vifagots or a woodman's axe, shivering sited by St. Kyenanus and fifteen of his and blowing his fingers. Spenser intro- clergy, they came to an impetuous and duces this month in nis Faerie Queene : impassable river on their return, and Then came old January, wrapped well

wanted a boat; whereupon St. Mochua In many weeds to keep the cold away;

spread his mantle on the water, and KyeYet did he quake and quiver like to quell; nanus with his fifteen priests were carried And blow his nayles to warme them if he may; safely over upon the mantle, which floated For they were numb'd with holding all the back again to St. Mochua without wrinkle day

or wetting. An hatchet keene, with which he felled wood,

St. Fanchea, or Faine, is said by Butler And from the trees did lop the needlesse spray. to have been an Irish saint of the sixth

century. Patrick quotes that St. Endeus January 1.

desiring to become a monk, his compaA close holiday at all public nions approached to dissuade him; but, Circumcision. offices except the Excise, Cus

upon the prayers of St. Faine, and her toms, and Stamps. This festival stands in the calendar of stuck to the earth like immovable stones,

making the sign of the cross, their feet the church of England, as well as in that until by repentance they were loosed and of the Roman catholic church. It is

went their way. said to have been instituted about 487;

St. Fulgentius, according to Butler, died it first appeared in the reformed English on the 1st of January, 533, sometimes went liturgy in 1550.

barefoot, never undressed to take rest, nor Without noticing every saint to whom each day is dedicated in the Roman catholic calen

ate flesh meat, but chietly lived on pulse dars, the names of saints will be given day

by and herbs, though when old he admitted day, as they stand under each day in the last the use of a little oil. He preached, exButler, in 12 vols. 8vo. On the authority of that plained mysteries, controveried with herework the periods will be mentioned when the tics, and built monasteries. Butler consaints most noted for their miracles flourished; cludes by relating, that after his death, a miracles will be given : First, from “The Golden bishop named Pontian was assured in a Legend," a black letter folio volume, printed by W. de Worde.-Secondly, from “ The Church

vision of Fulgentius's immortality; that History of Britain,” by the Benedictine father, his relics were translated to Bourges, where S. Cressy, dedicated by him to the queen con- they are venerated ; and that the saint's sort of Charles II., a folio, printed in 1668.Thirdly, from the catholic translation of the

head is in the church of the archbishop's " Lives of the Saints,” by the Rev. Father seminary. Peter Ribadeneira, priest of the society of Jesus, second edition, London, 1730, 2 vols. folio; and Fourtbly, from other sources which will be named. By this means the reader will be ac

NEW YEAR'S DAY. quainted with legends that rendered the saints and the celebration of their festivals popular. The King of Light, father of aged Time, For example, the saints in Butler's Lives on this Hath brought about that day, which is the day occur in the following order :

prime St. Fulgentius ; St. Odilo, or Olou ; To the slow gliding months, when every eye St. Almachus, or Telemachus ; St. Eu- Wears symptoms of a sober jollity; gendus, or Oyend; St. Fanchea, or Faine; And every hand is ready to present St. Mochua, or Moncain, alias Claunus ; Some service in a real compliment. St. Mochua, alias Cronan, of Balla.

Whilst some in golden letters write thens Sts. Mochua. According to Butler, these Sonne speak affection by a ring or glore,

love, were Irish saints. One founded the mo.

Or pins and points (for ev'n the peasant may rastery, now the town of Balla, in Con- After bis ruder fashion, be as gay naught. The other is said to have founded As the brisk courtly sir,) and thinks that he 120 cells, and thirty churches, in one of Cannot, without a gross absurdity.


Be this day frugal, and not spare his friend kind feelings in former times; and why Sone gift, to show his love finds not an end should they be unfashionable in our own? With the deceased year.

Dr. Drake observes, in “Shakspeare and Pooles's ExG. PARNASSUS.

his Times,” that the ushering in of the new In the volume of “ Elsa,” an excellent year, or new year's tide, with rejoicings, paper begins with “ Every man hath two

presents, and good wishes, was a custom birthdays: two days, at least, in

observed, during the 16th century, with

every year, which set him upon revolving the great regularity and parade, and was as lapse of time, as it affects his mortal dura. cordially celebrated in the court of the tion. The one is that which in an especial prince as in the cottage of the peasant. manner he termeth his. In the gradual “ Encyclopedia of Antiquities," adduces

The Rev.T. D. Fosbroke, in his valuable desuetude of old observances, this custom of solemnizing our proper birthday hath various authorities to show that congratunearly passed away, or is left to children, the Romans on this day. The origin, he

lations, presents, and visits were made by who reflect nothing at all about the matler, nor understand any thing beyond the says, is ascribed to Romulus and Tatius, cake and orange. But the birth of a

and that the usual presents were figs and new year is of an interest too wide to be dates, covered with leaf-gold, and sent by pretermitted by king or cobbler. No one

clients to patrons, accompanied with a ever regarded the first of January with piece of money, which was expended to indifference. It is that from which all purchase the statues of deities. He mendate their time, and count upon what is tions an amphora (a jar) which stili exists, left. It is the nativity of our common

with an inscription denoting that it was a Adam.

new year's present from the potters to “ (f all sound of all bells—(bells, the

their patroness. He also instances from music nighest bordering upon heaven)

Couni Caylus a piec: of Roman pottery, most solemon and touching is the peal

with an inscription wishing a happy which rings out the old year. I never

new year to you;" another, where a person hear it without a gathering-up of w.y medallions, with the laurel leaf, fig, and

wishes it to himself and his son; and three mind to a concentration of all the images date; one, of Commodus; another, of that have been diffused over the past Victory; and a third, Janus, standing in a performed, or neglected—in that regretted temple,with an inscription, wishing a happy time. I begin to know its worth as when

new year to the emperor. New year's gifts a person dies. It takes a personal colour; until they were prohibited by Claudius.

were continued under the Roman emperors no: was it a poetical flight in a contem- Yet in the early ages of the church the porary, when he exclaimed,

Christian emperors received them; nor did • I saw the skirts of the departing year.'

tney wholly cease, although condemned

by ecclesiastical councils on account of the “ The elders with whom I was brought pagan ceremonies at their presentation. up, were of a character not likely to let The Druids were accustomed on certain slip the sacred observance of any old in- days to cut the sacred misletoe with a stitution; and the ringing out of the old golden knife, in a forest dedicated to the year was kept by them with circumstan- gods, and to distribute its branches with ces of peculiar ceremony. In those days much ceremony as new year's gifts among the sound of those midnight chimes, the people. though it seemed to raise hilarity in all The late Rev. John Brand, in his around me, never failed to bring a train “Popular Antiquities” edited by Mr. Ellis of pensive imagery into my fancy. Yet I observes from Bishop Stillingfleet, tha. then scarce conceived what it meant, or among the Saxons of the North, the fes. thought of it as a reckoning that con- tival of the new year was observed with cerned me. Not childhood alone, but the more than ordinary jollity and feasting, young man till thirty, never feels practi- and by sending new year's gifts to one cally that he is mortal."

another. Mr. Fosbroke notices the conRinging out the old and ringing in the tinuation of the Roman practice during new year, with “ a merry new year ! the middle ages; and that our kings, and happy new year to you!" on new year's the nobility especially, interchanged pre. day, were greetings that moved sceptred sents. Mr. Ellis quotes Matthew Paris, pride, and humble labour, to smiles and who appears to show that Henry III ex


torted new year's gifts; and he cites from most of the peeresses, gave rich gowns, a MS. of the public revenue, anno 5, petticoats, shifts, silk stockings, garters, Edward VI. an entry of “ rewards given sweet-bags, doublets, mantles embroidered on new year's day to the king's officers with precious stones, looking-glasses, fans, ard servants in ordinary 155l. 58., and bracelets, caskets studded with jewels, to their servants that present the king's and other costly trinkets. Sir Gilbert majestie with new year's gifts.” An Dethick, garter king at arms, gave a book orange stuck with cloves seems, by refer- of the States in William the Conqueror's ence to Mr. Fosbroke and our early au- time; Absolon, the master of the Savoy, thors, to have been a popular new year's gave a Bible covered with cloth of gold, gift. Mr. Ellis suggests, that the use of garnished with silver gilt, and plates of this present may be ascertained from a the royal arms; the queen's physician remark by old Lupton, that the flavour of presented her with a box of foreign wine is improved, and the wine itself pre- sweetmeats; another physician presented served from mouldiness, by an orange or a pot of green ginger, and a pot of orange lemon stuck with cloves being hung within flowers; her apothecaries gave her a box of the vessel so as not to touch the liquor. lozenges, a box of ginger candy, a box of

Thomas Naogeorgus, in “ The Popish green ginger, and pots of other conserves. Kingdome," a Latin poem written in 1553, Mrs. Blanch a Parry gave her majesty a and Englished by Barnabe Googe, after little gold comfit-box and spoon; Mrs. remarking on days of the old year, urges Morgan gave a box of cherries, and one this recollection :

of apricots. The queen's master cook The next to this is Newe yeares day

and her serjeant of the pastıy, presented whereon to every frende,

her with various confectionary and preThey costly presents in do bring,

serves. Putrino, an Italian, gave her two and Newe yeares giftes do sende, pictures; Ambrose Lupo gave her a box of These giftes the husband gives his wife, lute strings, and a glass of sweet water, and father eke the childe,

each of three other Italians presented her And maister ou his men bestowes

with a pair of sweet gloves; a cutler the like, with favour milde.

gave her a meat knife having a fan haft Honest old Latimer, instead of present- of bone, with a conceit in it; Jeromy ing Henry VIII. with a purse of gold, as Bassano gave two drinking glasses; and was customary, for a new year's gift, put Smyth, the dustman, presented her mainto the king's hand a New Testament, jesty with two bolts of cambrick. Some of with a leaf conspicuously doubled down these gifts to Elizabeth call to recoilection at Hebrews xiii. 4, which, on reference, the tempting articles which Autolycus, in will be found to have been worthy of all the “Winter's Tale,” invites the country acceptation, though not perhaps well ac- girls to buy : he enters singing, cepted. Dr. Drake is of opinion that the wardrobe and jewellery of queen Elizabeth

Lawn, as white as driven snow; were principally supported by these an

Cypress, black as e'er was crow; nual contributions on new year's day. He

Glores, as sweet as damask roses

Masks for faces, and for noses ; cites lists of the new year's gifts presented

Bugle bracelet, necklace-amber, to her, from the original rolls published in Perfume for a lady's chamber; her Progresses by Mr. Nichols; and from Golden quoifs, and stomachers, these it appears that the greatest part, if For iny lads to give their dears; not all the peers and peeresses of the Pins, and poking-sticks of steel, realm, all the bishops, the chief officers of What maids lack from head to heel : state, and several of the queen's house- Come, buy of me, come: come buy, coine hold servants, even down to her apothecaries, master cook, serjeant of the pastry,

Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry, &c. gave new year's gifts to her majesty;

Come, buy, &c. consisting, in general, either of a sum of Dr. Drake says, that though Elizabeth money, or jewels, trinkets, wearing appa- made returns to the new year's gifts, in rel, &c. The largest sum given by any plate and other articles, yet she took su, of the temporal lords was 201.; but the hicient care that the balance should be archbishop of Canterbury gave 401., the her own favour. archbishop of York 301., and the other No. 4982, in the Catalogue for 1824, 01 spiritual lords 201. and 101.; many of Mr. Rodd, of Great Newport-street, is a the temporal lords and great officers, and roll of vellum, ten feet long, containing the

buy ;


new year's gifts from king James I. to the sent to Sir Simon Steward." ile coinpersons whose names are therein mention- Yences it merrily, and goes on to call it ed ou the 1st of January 1605, with the

a jolly
Dew year's gifts that his majesty received Veise, crown'd with ivy and wieh holly';
the same day; the roll is signed by James That tells of winter's tales and mirth,
himself and certain officers of his house. That inilk-maids make about the hearth;

Of Christmas' sports, the wassail bowl,
In a “Banquet of Jests, 1634," 12mo. That tost-up after fox-i' th' hole;
there is a pleasant story of Archee, the Of blind-ınan-buff

, and of the care
king's jester, who, having fooled many of twelfth-tide cakes, of pease and beans,

Tha. young men have to shoe the mare;
was fooled himself. Coming to a noble- Wherewith ye make those merry scenes :
ilan, upon new year's day, to bid him Of crackling laurel, which fore-sounds
good-morrow, Archee received twenty A plenteous harvest to your grounds
pieces of gold; but, covetously desiring of those, and such like things, for shift,
more, he shook them in his hand, and said We send, instead of New Year's Gift.
they were too light. The donor answered: Read then, and when your faces shine
“I prithee, Archee, let me see them again, With buxom meat and cap'ring wine
for there is one amongst them I would bé Remember us in cups full crown'd
loth to part with:” Archee, expecting the And let our city-health go round.
sum to be increased, returned the pieces Then, as ye sit about your embers,
to his lordship; who put them in his Call not to mind the fied Decembers,
pocket with this remark, “I once gave As daughters to the instant year;

But think on these, that are t'appea;
money into a fool's hand, who had not the And to the bagpipes all address
wit to keep it.”
Pins were acceptable new year's gifts And thus throughout, with Christmas p.ays,

Till sleep take place of weariness.
to the ladies, instead of the wooden skew Frolick the full

twelve holidays.
ers which they used till the end of the
fifteenth century
Sometimes they re-

Mr. Ellis, in a note on Brand, intije ceived a composition in money: and hence duces a poetical new year's gift in Latin, allowances for their separate use is still from the stern Buchanan to the unhappy denominated “ pin-money.”

Mary of Scotland.
Gloves customary new year's

“ New year's gifts," says Dr. Drake gifts. They were more expensive than were given and received, with the mutual in our times, and occasionally a money expression of good wishes, and particularly present was tendered instead : this was that of a happy new year. The complicalled “glove-money.” Sir Thomas More, ment was sometimes paid at each other's as lord chancellor, decreed in favour of doors in the form of a song; but more gea Mrs. Croaker against the lord Arundel. nerally, especially in the north of EngOn the following new year's day, in land and in Scotland, the house was entoken of her gratitude, she presented sir tered very early in the morning, by some Thomas with a pair of gloves, containing young men and maidens selected for the forty angels. “ It would be against good purpose, who presented the spiced bowl, manners," said the chancellor, to forsake and hailed you with the gratulations of a gentlewoman's new year's gift, and I the season." To this may be added, that accept the gloves; their lining you will it was formerly the custom in Scotland to be pleased otherwise to bestow.”

send new year's gifts on new year's Mr. Brand relates from a curious MS. eve; and on new year's day to wish in the British Museum, of the date of each other a happy new year, and ask for 1560, that the boys of Eton school used a new year's gift. There is a citation in on this day to play for little new year's Brand, from the “ Statistical Account of gifts before and after supper; and also Scotland,” concerning new year's gifts to to make verses, which they presented to servant maids by their masters; and it the provost and masters, and to each other: mentions that “ there is a large stone, new year's gifts of verses, however, were about nine or ten feet high, and four pot peculiar to schoolboys. A poet, the broad, placed upright in a plain, in the beauties of whose poetry are justly re- (Orkney) isle of North Ronaldshay ; but marked to be “ of a kind which time has no tradition is preserved concerning it,

of & lendency rather to hallow than to in- whether erected in memory any signa? jure,” Robert Herrick, presents us, in his event, or for the purpose of administering

The Hesperides, with “a New Year's Gif justice, or for religious worship.



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