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people received the consecrated fire from the Druid priests next morning, the virtues of which were supposed to continue for a year."' At Kirkmichael, in the same shire, "The practice of lighting bonfires on the first night of winter, accompanied with various ceremonies, still prevails in this and the neighbouring highland parishes", So likewise at Aberdeen, " The Midsummer Even fire, a relict of Druidism, was kindled in some parts of this county; the Hallow Even fire, another relict of Druidism, was kindled in Buchan. Various magic ceremonies were then celebrated to counteract the influence of witches and demons, and to prognosticate to the young their success or disappointment in the matrimonial lottery. These being devoutly finished, the Hallow fire was kindled, and guarded by the male part of the family. Societies were formed, either by pique or humour, to scatter certain fires, and the attack and defence here often conducted with art and fury."—" But now"—" the Hallow fire,when kindled, is attended by children only; and the country girl, renouncing the rites of magic, endeavours to enchant i by the charms of dress and of
Pennant records, that in North Wales "there is a custom upon All Saints Eve of making a great fire called Coel Coeth, when every family about an hour in the night makes a great bonfire in the most conspicuous place near the house; and when the lire is almost extinguished, every one throws a white stone into the ashes, having first marked it; then, having said their prayers, turning round the fire, they to bed. In the morning, as soon as to search out the
In the morning, as soon they are up, they come to search out I stones; and if any one of them is found wanting, they have a notion that the person who threw it in ,will die before he seet another All Saints Eve." They also distribute toul cahet on All Souls-day, at the receiving of which poor people pray to God to bless the next crop of wheat.
Mr. Owen's account of the bards, in Sir R. Hoare's " Itinerary of archbishop Baldwin through Wales," says," The autumnal fire is still kindled in North Wales on the eve of the first day of November, and is attended by many ceremonies; such as running through the fire and smoke, each casting a stone into the fire, and all running on at the conclusion to
• Sinclair's Stat. Ace. of Scotland, t Ibid. » Ibid.
escape from the black short-tailed sow; then supping upon parsnips, nuts, and apples; catching at an apple suspended by a string with the mouth alone, and the same by an apple in a tub of water; each throwing a nut into the fire, and those that burn bright betoken prosperity to the owners through the following year, but those that burn black and crackle denote misfortune. On the following morning the stones are searched for in the fire, and if any be missing they betide ill to those that threw them in."
At St. Kilda, on Hallow E'en night, they baked "a large cake in form of a triangle, furrowed round, and which was to be all eaten that night.'' In England, there are still some parts wherein the grounds are illuminated upon the eve of All Souls, by bearing round them straw, or other fit materials, kindled into a blaze. The ceremony is called a tinley, and the Homish opinion among the common peo
f>le is, that it represents an emblematical ighting of souls out of purgatory.
"The inhabitants of the isle of Lewis (one of the western islands of Scotland,) had an ancient custom to sacrifice to a sea god, called Shony, at Hallow-tide, in the manner following: the inhabitants round the island came to the church of St. Mulvay, having each man his prov ision along with him. Every family furnished a peck of malt, and this was brewed into ale. One of their number was picked out to wade into the sea up to the middle; and, carrying a cup of ale in his hand, standing still in that posture, cried out with a loud voice, saying, 1 Shony, I give you this cup of ale, hoping that you'll be so kind as to send us plenty of sea-ware, for enr ground the ensuing year;' and so the cup of ale into the sea. This was performed in the night time. At his return to land, they all went to church, where there was a candle burning upon the altar; and then standing silent for a little time, one of them gave a signal, at which the candle was put out, and immediately all of them went to the fields, where they fell a drinking their ale, and spent the remainder of the night in dancing and singing," &cf
At Blandford Forum, in Dorsetshire, "there was a custom, in the papal times, to ring bells at AUhallow-tide for all christian souls." Bishop Burnet gives a letter from king Henry the Eighth to
Cranmer " against superstitious practices," wherein " the vigil and ringing of bells all the night long upon AUhallowday at night," are directed to be abolished; and the said vigil to have no watching or ringing. So likewise a subsequent injunction, early* in the reign of queen Elizabeth, orders "that the superfluous ringing of bels, and the superstitious ringing of bells at Alhallowntide, and at Al Soul's day, with the two nights next before and after, be prohibited."
General Vallancey says, concerning this night, "On the Oidhche Shamhna, (Ee Owna,) or vigil of Samara, the peasants in Ireland assemble with sticks and clubs, (the emblems of laceration,) going from house to house, collecting money, bread-cake, butter, cheese, eggs, &C. &c. for the feast, repeating verses in honour of the solemnity, demanding preparations for the festival in the name of St. Columb Kill, desiring them to lay aside the fatted calf, and to bring forth the black sheep. The good women are employed in making the griddle cake and candles; these last are sent from house to house in the vicinity, and are lighted up on the (Saman) next day, before which they pray, or are supposed to pray, for the departed soul of the donor. Every house abounds in the best viands they can afford. Apples and nuts are devoured in abundance; the nut-shells are burnt, and from the ashes many strange things are foretold. Cabbages are torn up by the root. Hempseed is sown by the maidens, and they believe that if they look back, they will see the apparition of the man intended for their future spouse. They hang a shift before the fire, on the close of the feast, and sit up all night, concealed in a corner of the room, convinced that his apparition will come down the chimney and turn the shift. They throw a ball of yarn out of the window, and wind it on the reel within, convinced that if they repeat the paternoster backwards, and look at the ball of yarn without, they will then also see his sith, or apparition. They dip for apples in a tub of water,
and endeavour to bring one up in the mouth. They suspend a cord with a cross stick, with apples at one point, and candles lighted at the other; and endeavour to catch the apple, while it is in a circular motion, in the mouth. These, and many other superstitious ceremonies, the remains of Druidism, are obserred vi this holiday, which will never be eradicated while the name of Saman is permitted to remain."
It is mentioned by a writer in the "Gentleman'sMagazine," thai lanb'i-ml is a constant ingredient at a merrymaking on Holy Eve, or on the evening before All Saints-day in Ireland. Its made there, he says, by bruising roasted apples, and mixing them with ale, or sometimes with milk. "Formerly, vhea the superior ranks were not too refund for these periodical meetings of jollity, white wine was frequently substituted fo ale. To lamb' s- wool, apples and nuts are added as a necessary part of the eotertainment; and the young folks araia themselves with burning nub in pent the bar of the grate, or among tie warn embers, to which they give their name and that of their lovers, or those of Iter friends who are supposed to hare sue! attachments; and from the manner I their burning and duration of the tut, &c, draw such inferences respecting i» constancy or strength of their passiffl as usually promote mirth and good tumour." Lamb't-tcool is thus etywk gized by Vallancey:—" The first iv. J November was dedicated to the aK9 presiding over fruits, seeds, &c. and"1 therefore named La Mat L'IM. th*1 * the day of the apple fruit, and being F* nounced lamasool, the English hare csrupted the name to lamb't-aeoL"
So much is said, and perhaps «* for the present, concerning the eeW* tion of this ancient and popular vig3
II on AL D1RECT0RT.
Fennel-leaved. TickseedCorcotw/'* folia.
Dedicated to St. Qmta
Now comes the season when the humble want.
"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth:" To him who gives, a blessing never ceasetb.
"This is the eleventh month of the year. The anglo-saxons gave names in their own tongue to each month, and "November they termed wint-monat, to wit, wind-moneth, whereby wee may see that our ancestors were in this season of the yeare made acquainted with blustring Boreas; and it was the antient custome for shipmen then to shrowd themselves at home, and to give over sea-faring (notwithstanding the littleness of their then used voyages) untill blustring March had bidden them well to fire.'" They likewise called it blot-monath. In the saxon, "blot" means blood; and in this month they killed great abundance of cattle for winter-store, or, according to some, for purposes of sacrifice to their deities.f
Bishop Warburton commences a letter to his friend Hurd,with an allusion to the evil influence which the gloominess of this month is proverbially supposed to have on the mind. He dates from Bedford-row, October 28th, 1749:—" I am now got hither," he says, " to spend the month of November: the dreadful month of November! when the little wretches hang and drown themselves, and the great ones sell themselves to the court and the devil."
"This is the month." says Mr. Leigh Hunt, "in which we are said by the Frenchman to hang and drown ourselves. We also agree with him to call it 'the gloomy month of November;' and, above all, with our in-door, money-getting, and unimaginative habits, all the rest of the year, we contrive to make it so. Not all of us, however: and fewer and fewer, we trust, every day. It is a fact well known to the medical philosopher, that, in proportion as people do not like air ana exercise, their blood becomes darker and darker: now what corrupts and thickens the circulation, and keeps the humours within the pores, darkens and clogs the mind; and we are then in a state to receive pleasure but indifferently or confusedly, and pain with tenfold painfulness. If we add to this a quantity of unnecettary cares and sordid mistakes, it is so much the worse. A love of nature is the refuge. He who grapples with March, and has the smiling eyes upon him of June and August, need have no fear of November.—And as the Italian
Sroverb says, every medal has its reverse. tovember, with its loss of verdure, its frequent rains, the fall of the leaf, and
. • V« *ttftn. t D,. F. Siyer.
the visible approach of winter, is undoubtedly a gloomy month to the gloomy; but to others, it brings but pensiveness, a feeling very far from destitute of pleasure; and if the healthiest and most imaginative of us may feel their spirits pulled down by reflections connected with earth, its mortalities, and its mistakes, we should but strengthen ourselves the more to make strong and sweet music with the changeful but harmonious movements of nature." This pleasant observer of the months further remarks, that, " There are many pleasures in November if we will lift up our matter-of-fact eyes, and find that there are matters-of-fact we seldom dream of. It is a pleasant thing to meet the gentle fine days, that come to contradict our sayings for us; it is a pleasant thing to see the primrose come back again in woods and meadows; it is a pleasant thing to catch the whistle of the green plover, and to see the greenfinches congregate; it is a pleasant thing to listen to the deep amorous note of the woodpigeons, who now come back again ; and it is a pleasant thing to hear the deeper voice of the stags, making their triumphant love amidst the falling leaves.
"Besides a quantity of fruit, our gardens retain a number of the flowers of last month, with the stripped lily in leaf; and, in addition to several of the flowering trees and shrubs, we have the fertile and glowing china-roses in flower; and in fruit the pyracantha, with ru lustrous red-berries, that cluster so beautifully on the walls of cottages. This is the time also for domestic cultivators of flowers to be very busy in preparing for those spring and winter ornaments, which used to be thought the work of merit- They may plant hyacinths, dwarf tulips, polyanthus-narcissus, or any other moderately-growing bulbous roots, either ia water-glasses, or in pots of light dry earth, to flower early in their apartments If in glasses, the bulb should be a little in the water; if in pots, a little in tht earth, or but just covered. They shoali be kept in a warm light room.
"The trees generally lose their leaves in the following succession :— walnut, mulberry, horse-chesnut, sycamore, lime, ash, then, after an interval, elm, th« beech and oak, then apple and peachtrees, sometimes not till the end of November; and lastly, pollard oaks and young beeches, which retain their withered leaves till pushed oft by their nt« ones in spring. Oaks that happen to it stripped of their leaves by chaffers, will often surprise the haunter of nature by being clothed again soon after midsummer with a beautiful vivid foliage.
"The farmer endeavours to finish his ploughing this month, and then lays up his instruments for the spring. Cattle are kept in the yard or stable, sheep turned into the turnip-held, or in bad weather fed with hay ; bees moved under shelter, and pigeons fed in the dove
"Among our autumnal ought not to have omitted the very i of the leaves I To view the leaves, thin dancers upon air, Go eddying round. C. Lamb
"Towards the end of the month, under the groves and other shady places, they begin to lie in heaps, and to rustle to the foot of the passenger; and there they will lie till the young leaves are grown overhead, and spring comes to look down upon them with their flowers :—
O Spring! of hope, and love, and youth, and gladness,
All Saints. St. Cettariut, a. D. 300. St. Mary. M. St. Marcello, Bp. of Paris, 5th Cent. St. Benignnt, Apostle of Burgundy, A. D. 272. St. Atutremonitu, 3d Cent. St. Harold W., King of Denmark, A. r. Mo.
This festival in the almanacs and the church of England calendar is from the church of Rome, which celebrates it in commemoration of those of its saints, to whom, on account of their number, particular days could not be allotted in their individual honour.
On this day, in many parts of England, apples are bobbed for, and nuts cracked, as upon its vigil, yesterday; and ws still retain traces of other customs that we had in common with Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, in days of old.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. S.r,
Should the following excerpt relative to the first of November be of use to you, it is at your service, extracted from a 6carce and valuable work by Dr. W. Owen Pughe, entitled " Translations of the Heroic Elegies of Llywarch Hen,
On All Saints day hard i, the grain,
"The first day of November was considered (among the ancient Welsh) as the conclusion of summer, and was celebrated with bonfires, accompanied with ceremonies suitable to the event, and some part* of Wales still retain these customs. Ireland retains similar ones, and the fire that is made at these seasons, is called Beal teinidh, in the Irish language, and some antiquaries of that country, in establishing the eras of the different colonies planted in the island, have been happy enough to adduce as an argument for their Phoenician origin this term of Beal teinidh.
"The meaning of tan, (in Welsh), like the Irish teinidh, is fire, and Bal is simply a projecting springing out or expanding, and when applied to vegetation, it means a budding or shooting out of leaves and blossoms, the same as balant, of which it is the root, and it is also the root of bala and of blwydd, blwyddyn and bh/nedd, a year, or circle of vegetation. So the signification of MI din, or tin bdl, would be the rejoicing fire for the vegetation, or for the crop of the year."
The following seven triplets by Llywarch Hen, who lived to the surprising age of one hundred and forty years, and wrote in the sixth century, also relate to the subject. The translations, which are strictly literal, are also from the pen of Dr. Pugha. Tribanau. 1.
Calangauaf caled grawn
Dail ar gyehwyn, Uynwyn Uawn:—
Y bore cyn noi Jyuro,
that a yfnddirred i estrawn!