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ber, are decorated with wreaths and gar- accustomed to honour them with the title lands of newly-gathered flowers, disposed of saints. In our own country innumer in various devices. Sometimes boards are able instances occur of wells being so used, which are cut to the figure intended denominated.” “Where a spring rises or to be represented, and covered with moist a river flows,” says Seneca, "there should clay, into which the stems of the flowers we build altars, and offer sacrifices." At are inserted to preserve their freshness; the fountain of Arethusa in Syracuse, of and they are so arranged as to form a which every reader of poetry and history beautiful mosaic work, often tasteful in has often heard, great festivals were cele design, and vivid in colouring : the boards, brated every year. 'In Roman antiquity thus adorned, are so placed in the spring, the fontinalia were religious feasts, held that the water appears to issue from in honour of the nymphs of wells and amongst beds of flowers. On this occa- fountains; the ceremony consisted in sion the villagers put on their best attire, throwing nosegays into fountains, and and open their houses to their friends. putting crowns of flowers upon wells. There is service at the church, where a Many authorities might be quoted in supsermon is preached : afterwards a pro- port of the antiquity of this elegant cuscession takes place, and the wells are tom, which had its origin anterior to the visited in succession: the psalms for the introduction of christianity. It was minday, the epistle and gospel are read, one gled with the rites and ceremonies of the at each well, and the whole concludes heathens, who were accustomed to wor. with a hymn which is sung by the church ship streams and fountains, and to suppose singers, and accompanied by a band of that the nymphs, whom they imagined the music. This done, they separate, and the goddesses of the waters, presided over remainder of the day is spent in rural them. Shaw in his “ History of the Prosports and holiday pastimes.
vince of Morray,” says, that “heathen The custom of well-flowering as it exists customs were much practised amongst the at Tissington, is said to be a popish re- people there;" and he cites as an inlic; but in whatever way it originated, stance, “that they performed pilgrimages one would regret to see it discontinued. to wells, and built chapels to fouutains." That it is of great antiquity cannot From this ancient usage, which has been be disputed; it seems to have existed continued through a long succession of at different periods of time, in coun- ages, and is still in existence at Tissington, tries far
from each other. arose the practice of sprinkling the Severn In the earliest ages of poetry and ro- and the rivers of Wales with flowers, as mance, wherever fountains and wells alluded to by Dyer in his poem of the were situated, the common people were Fleece and by Milton in his Comus.
-With light fantastic toe the nymphs
-The shepherds at their festivals
I hope some of your correspondents will of well-dressings in other parts of the contribute to our information by accounts kingdom.
SHAFT ESBURY “ BYZANT." the cart was drawn by mules ornaThe town of Shaftesbury from its sit- mented with bunches of flowers and uation on the top of a high hill, is entirely ribands; a number of people stuck over destitute of springs; except at the foot of with flovers and little twigs of trees, who the hills in St. James's parish, where are
were called the“ wild men,” followed the two wells, in the possession of private
cart and closed the procession. After persons. At the foot of Castle-hill were parading about the town all day, towards formerly some water-works, to supply the evening the whole company repaired to town, their reservoir was on the top of the chapel of the Blue Penitents, where it the Butter cross; but the inhabitants have was met by the chapter of the cathedral, from time immemorial been supplied sion round the town, and then a large
who had previously also gone in proceswith water brought on horse's backs, or on people's heads, from three or four quautity of bread was given away by the large weils, a quarter of a mile below the
poor. town in the hamlet of Motcomb, and
Another part of the ceremonies of the parish of Gillingham; on which account
that the peasants from the there is this particular custom yearly ob- country assembled in the streets with served by ancient agreement, dated 1662, crooks in their hands, and ranging thembetween the lord of the manor of Gilling- selves in long files on each side, made ham, and the mayor and burgesses of mock skirmishes with their crooks, aiming Shaftesbury. The mayor is obliged the strokes at each other, and parrying them Monday before Holy Thursday to dress with great dexterity. Each of these up a prize besom, or byzant, as they call skirmishes ended with a dance to the fife it, somewhat like a May garland in form, and tabourine. The inhabitants threw with gold and peacock's feathers, and sugar-plums and dried fruits at each carry it to Enmore Green, half a mile other from their windows, or as they below the town, in Motcomb, as an
passed in the streets. acknowledgment for the water ; together
The day usually concluded by a fawith a raw calf's head, a pair of gloves,
vourite dance among the young men and a gallon of beer, or ale, and two penny women, called la danse des treilles. Every luaves of white wheaten bread, which dancer carried a cerceau, as it is called, the steward receives, and carries away to
that is a half hoop, twined with vine his own use. The ceremony being over,
branches; and ranging themselves in the “ byzant” is restored to tie mayor, and long files on each side of the street, brought back by one of his officers with formed different groups. great solemnity. This “ byzant” is gene
men were all dressed in white jackets rally so richly adorned with plate and and trowsers, and the young women in jeweis, borrowed from the neighbouring white jackets with short petticoats, and gentry, as to be worth not less than ornaments of flowers and ribands. These 15001
sports.of Beziers were suspended during the revolution.*
PROCESSION OF THE CAMEL.
NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. Holy Thursday was formerly a day of Mean Temperature ....52 . 77. great festivity at Beziers, in France, and was celebrated with a variety of little sports.
“ The Procession of the Camel" constituted one part of them. A figure repre
“ A PARTICULAR Fact." senting that animal, with a man in the THE INDEXES, &c. to the EVERY-DAY inside, was made to perform ridi- Book, Vol. I. were published on the 5th culous tricks. The municipal officers, of May, 1826. attended by the companies of the dif- The new preface to the volume is parferent trades and manufactures, preceded ticularly addressed to the notice of corthe camel. It was followed by a cart, respondents, and I shall be particularly over which were branches of trees twined obliged if every reader of the work will into an arbour, filled with people : favour it with attentive perusal.
* Miss Plumptre.
• Hutchins's Dorset. VOL. II.-73.
together with some account of Spanish It should be observed of Joseph Baretti, Literature." This was his last production ; who died on this day in the year 1789, his constitution was broken by uneasiness that he was the friend and associate of of mind and frequent attacks of the gout, Johnson, who introduced him to the and he died in May, 1789. Thrale family, and whom he assisted in Baretti was rough and cynical in apthe compilation of his “ Dictionary of the pearance, yet a pleasant companion; and English Language.”
of his powers in conversation Johnson Baretti was a native of Turin; he had thought very highly: received a good education, and inherited He communicated several of Dr. John. paternal property, which in his youth he son's letters to the “European Magazine,” soon gambled away, and resorted to a and intended to publish several more; but livelihood by teaching Italian to some on his decease his papers fell into the English gentlemen at Venice; whence he hands of ignorant executors, who barbarrepaired to England, and distinguished ously committed them to the flaines.* himself as a teacher of Italian. By his It is remarkable that with Johnson's employment under Dr. Johnson, he ac- scrupulous attachment to the doctrines and quired such a knowledge of our language ceremonies of the church of England, he as to be enabled to compile the “ Italian was sincerely attached to Baretti, whose and English Dictionary," which is still in notions on religious matters widely dif
He then revisited his native coun- fered from the opinions of “the great try, and after an absence of six years re- lexicographer.” Johnson seems to have turned through Spain and Portugal, and been won by his friend's love of literature in 1768 published" An Account of the and independence of character,
Baretti Manners and Customs of Italy,” in reply often refused pecuniary aid when it was to some querulous strictures on that coun- greatly needed by his circumstances : his try in the “ Letters from Italy" by surgeon morals were pure, and his conduct, except Sharp, which Baretti's book effectually in the unhappy instance which placed his put down, with no small portion both of life in jeopardy, was uniformly correct. humour and argument. Not long after- He died with the reputation of an honest wards, he was accosted in the Haymarket man. by a woman, whom he repulsed with a degree of roughness which was resented by her male confederates, and in the
There is an engraving representing scuffie, he struck one of them with a Diogenes at noon-day with his lantern French pocket desert knife. On this, the in one hand, and in the other a circular man pursued and collared him; when picture frame, which is left vacant, that a Baretti
, still more alarmed, stabbed him purchaser of the print may insert the repeatedly with the knife, of which wounds portrait of the man he delights to honour he died on the following day. He was as the most honest. Hence the vacancy immediately taken into custody, and tried is sometimes supplied by the celebrated for murder at the Old Bailey, when John- John Wilkes, the prophetic Richard son, Burke, Goldsmith, Garrick, Reynolds, Brothers, the polite lord Chesterfield, and Beauclerk gave testimony to his good Churchill
, the satirist, Sam House, or character ; and although he did not escape Joseph Baretti, or any other. “Cornelius censure for his too ready resort to a knife, May," of whose existence, however, there he was acquitted. Domesticated in the is reason to doubt, would scarcely find a Thrale family, he accompanied them and head to grace the frame. Dr. Johnson to Paris, but in a fit of unreasonable disgust, quitted them the next
“ POETRY." year; and in the latter part of his life was harassed with pecuniary difficulties,
“ The Knaverie of the Worlde, sette forthe in
homelie verse, by Cornelius May," from which were very little alleviated by his
“ The Seven Starrs of Witte," 1647. honorary post of foreign secretary to the Royal Academy, and an ill-paid pension Ah me throughoute the worlde of eighty pounds per annunt under the Doth wickednesse abonnde ! Nortn administration. Among other And well I wot on neither hande works he published one with the singular
Can bonestie be founde. title of “Tolondron : Speeches to John Bowles about his edition of Don Quixote,
• General Biog. Dict.
Thy cooke hath made thy dish
From the offals on the shelfe,
Are served to himselfe.
The valet thou dost trust,
Smooth-tongued and placid-faced, Dothe weare thy brilliantes in his cappe
And thou wear'st his of paste.
Alack ! thou canst not finde
Of high or lowe degree
A man of honestie.
There is not in the worlde,
Northe, southe, or easte, or weste, Who would inaintaine a righteous cause
Against his intereste.
Ah me! it grieves me sore,
And I sorrowe nighte and daie,
Doth leade his soule astraie.
The wisest man in Athens
Aboute the citie ran
To find an honeste man;
To reckon on his gaines,
His labour for his paines.
Alle men of alle degree Striving, as if their onely trade
Were that of cheating thee.
His servantes at thy calle-
Till he has wonne thy alle;
Till thy golde is in his hande,
Till he winne alle thy lande.
When ye shared booke and bedde Would eat himself the sugar plums
And leave thee barley bread :
His hart is colder grown,
And he'll give thee a stone.
Alack, she is thy curseA bachelor's an evil state,
But a married man's is worse. The lawyer at his deske
Good lawe will promise thee
Is given for his fee.
Doe wronge thee night and morne ;
In grinding of thy corne. Thy goldsmith and thy jeweller
Are leagu'd in knavish sorte, And the elwande of thy tailor
It is an inche too shorte.
BIRDS. The bird-catchers are now peering about the fields and thickets in search of different species of song-birds, for the purpose of netting and training them for sale.
Old bird-fanciers treat the younger ones with disdain, as having corrupted the rich melodies of the birds, by battling them against each other, in singing matches, for strength of pipe.
For the Every-Day Book.
Bird of the golden beak, thy pensive song
Floats visions of the country to my mind;
I hear again, while on my bed reclined.
I long for fair-green fields and shady groves,
And rosy health with meditation roves.
Sing on, my bird-as in thy native trec,
Sing on-and I will close my burning eyes,
And sweetest music on my ears arise ;
And sounds of waters lull me to repose.
S. R. J.
NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. all over France; they will keep good for Mean Temperature . 54 · 57. six weeks or two months. There is also
a way of preserving it to keep the whole year round with salt and oil, called thon mariné : this is eaten cold, as we eat
pickled salmon, and is delicious. Be THE SEASON.
sides the great season in May and June, Thunny Fishing.
they are caught in considerable numbers The Mediterranean produces many the great season for making the pies. A
in the autumn, about November, which is sorts of fish unknown to us, the thunny large quantity of them were sent to Paris among others. The manner in which these fish are caught is somewhat curious ; glers of these fish are occasionally taken
against Buonaparte's coronation. Stragit is a sort of hunting at sea. The nets the whole year round. They are an ugly are extended in the water so as to close fish to the eye. upon the fish when they come within reach of them, and then the boats chase than the thunny, seems so much of the
The palamede, though much smaller them to that part where they are taken :
same nature that some persons have supthey have great force in their tails, so that posed it only the young thunny; but na. much caution is required in getting them turalists say that it is a distinct species of aboard. Vernet among his other sea
fish. It is mentioned by Gibbon in his pieces has a very good one of this fishery: description of Constantinople, as, at the There are four principal places near Mar- time of the foundation of that city, the seilles where it is carried on, called the
most celebrated among the variety of madragues, which are rented out to the excellent fish taken in the Propontis.* fishers, by the town, at a considerable advantage. When Louis XIII. visited Marseilles in 1662, he was invited to a
NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. thunny fishing at the principal madrague Mean Temperature ...54. 70. of Morgion, and found the diversion so much to his taste, that he often said it was the pleasantest day he had spent in his
May 8. whole progress through the south.
-“ THE FURRY." The thunnies come in such shoals, that in the height of the season, that is, in the
For the Every-Day Book. months of May and June, from five to six On the eighth of May, at Helston, in Cornhundred are sometimes taken in a day at wall, is held what is called “the Furry." one madrague only : they commonly The word is supposed by Mr. Polwhele weigh from about ten to twenty or twenty- to have been derived from the old Cornish five pounds each, but they have been word fer, a fair or jubilee. The morning known to weigh'even as much as fifty is ushered in by the music of drums and pounds. They are very delicious food, kettles, and other accompaniments of a but the flesh is so solid that it seems song, a great part of which is inserted in something between fish and meat; it is Mr. Polwhele's history, where this ciras firm as sturgeon, but beyond all com- cumstance is noticed. So strict is the parison_finer flavoured. They dress this observance of this day as a general fish in France in a great variety of ways, holiday, that should any person be found and always excellent: it makes capital at work, he is instantly seized, set astride soup, or it is served as a ragout, or on a pole, and hurried on men's shoulders plain fried or broiled; pies are made of it, which are so celebrated as to be sent
* Miss Plumptre.