Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

April.

THE word April is derived from Aprilis, of aperio, I open; because the earth in this month begins to open her bosom for the production of vegetables : or, according to others, , from the Greek word AQgodity, one of the numerous epithets given to Venus. April is described by PEACHAM (p. 418) as a young man in green, with a garland of mirtle and hawthorn buds, winged; in one hand primroses and violets, in the other the sign Taurus. The Saxons called April by the name of Oster-Monat, some thinke of a goddesse called Goster, whereof I see no great reason, for if it tooke appellation of such a goddesse (a supposed causer of the Esterly windes), it seemeth to have bin somewhat by some miswritten, and should rightly be Oster, and not Goster. The winds indeed, by antient observation, were found in this moneth most commonly to blow from the East, and East in the Teutonicke is Ost, and

Ost-end, which rightly in English is East-end, hath that name for the Easterne situation thereof, as to the ships it appeareth which through the narrow seas doe come from the West. So as our name of the feast of Easter may be as much to say as the feast of Oster, being yet at this present in Saxon called Ostern, which commeth of Oster-monat, their and our old name of April.'-( Verstegan, p. 60.)

Remarkable Days.

1.-ALL FOOLS' DAY. " On this day every body strives to make as many fools as he can: the wit chiefly consists in sepding persons on what are called sleeveless errands, for the history of Eve's mother, for pigeon's milk, stirrup oil, and similar ridiculous absurdities.

In Poor Robin's Almanack for 1760, there is a pleasant, and what is meant for a poetical, description of the modern fooleries on the 1st of April : . .'1'. 3. The first of April, some do say, " ,

Is set apart for all-fools' day;
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know: ..
But on this day are people sent :
On purpose for pure merriment;
And though the day is known before,
Yet frequently there is great store
Of these forgetfuls to be found,
Who're sent to dance Moll Dixon's round; -
And having tried each shop and stall,
And disappointed at them all,
At last some tells them of the cheat;
Then they return from their pursuit,';
And straightway home with shame they run,
And others laugh at what is done.'
But 'tis a thing to be disputed,. .
Which is the greatest fool reputed,"
"The man that" innocently went..licen sen
· Or he that him designedly sent. c 'esi'.

I am convinced (says Mr. Douce) that the an. tient ceremony of the Feast of Fools'' has no connection whatever with the custom of making fools on the 1st of April. The making of April fools, after all the conjectures which have been formed touching its origin, is certainly borrowed by us from the French, and may, I think, be deduced from this simple analogy. The French call them April Fish (Poissons d'Auril); i. e. simpletons, or, in other words, silly mackerel, who suffer themselves to be caught in this month. But as, with us, April is not the season of that fish, we have very properly 'substituted the word ' Fools.' ipi' ; -)

We shall conclude this light subject with the fol. lowing elegant verses from Julia, or Last Follies, 4to, 1798:

To a LADY, who threatened to make the AUTHOR an APRIL ..:'

FOOL. isinin,
: Why strive, dear Girl, to make a Fools '; ?

Of one not wise before,
Yet, having 'scaped from Folly's school, SA
Would fain go there no more?

!!! 27. 1) ? Ah! if I must to school again, .

Wilt thou my teacher be ? '
I'm sure no lesson will be vainc

Which thou canst give to me."
One of thy kind and gentle looks,

Thy smiles devoid of art, - Avail, beyond all crabbed books, :;!", indi ,

To regulate my heart... i cil i i -155; Thou need'st not call some fairy elf,: ... 25

On any April Day,
To make thy bard forget himself, . sve! ..

Or wander from his way.

1 The Fête de Foux was formerly practised on the 1st of January, and throughout the Christinas vacation. This festival consisted of a burlesque election of a mock pope, mock cardinals, and mock bishops, attended with a number of ab surd and indecent ceremonies, gambols, and antics. :10

One thing he never can forget,

Whatever change may be, 1". The sacred hour when first he met 5 ' And fondly gazed on thiee. "?",,,,

A seed then fell into his breast; .. másol, i Thy Spirit placed it there :: 1

ini. 11 Need I, my Julia, tell the rest?,') si e' alieri a: 1. Thou seest the blossoms here.. i i . ionit

Listinto : --PALM SUNDAY. ile · In the missals, this day is denominated Dominica in ramis Palınarum, or Palın Sunday ; and was so called from the palm branches and green boughs formerly distributed on thať day, in commemoration of our Lord's riding to Jerusalem. Sprigs of borwood are still used as a substitute for palms in Roman Catholic countries.–Stow, in his Survey of London, tells us, that, in the week before Easter, had ye great shewes made for the fetching in of a twisted tree, or with, as they termed it, out of the woods into the king's house, and the like into every man's house of honour or worship.'. This must also have been a substitute for the palm : 'thus it is still customary with our boys to go out and gather the willow,- flowers, or buds, at this time. ".

3.-RICHARD, Bishop. ':. Richard, surnamed de Wiche, from a place in Worcestershire where he was born, was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Paris. He afterwards travelled to Bononia, where he studied the canon law for seven years. On his return home he was nominated to the see of Chichester by the chapter ; but his appointment being opposed by the king, Richard appealed to Rome, and had his election confirmed by the pope, who consecrated him also at Lyons in the year 1245. He was 'as remarkable for his learning and diligence in preaching, as he was for integrity... Richard was canonized by Pope, Urban. isinisi

3.

No he Univelled to B vears. Chichester posed

4.-SAINT AMBROSE. Our saint was born about the year 340, and was educated in his father's palace, who was Prætorian Præfect of Gaul. After his father's death, he went with his mother to Rome, where he studied the laws, practised as an advocate, and was made gover, nor of Milan and the adjacent cities. Upon the death of Auxentius, Bishop of Milan, he' was unanimously chosen to succeed him; and he ruled over this see with great piety and vigilance for more than twenty years; during which time, he gave all his money to pious uses, and settled the reversion of his estate upon the church. He converted the celebrated St. Augustine to the faith, and at his baptism, in a miraculous manner, composed that divine hymn, so well known in the church by the name of

Te Deum. He died, aged 57, in the year of our Lord 396.

. 7.-MAUNDY THURSDAY. This day is called in Latin dies Mandati, the day of the command, being the day on which our Lord washed the feet of his disciples, as recorded in the second lesson. This practice was long kept up in the monasteries. After the ceremony, liberal donations were made to the poor, of clothing and of silver money, and refreshment was given them to mitigate the severity of the fast. On the 15th April 1731,, (Maundy Thursday) a distribution was made, at Whitehall, to 48 poor men, and 48 poor women, (the king's age then being 48) of boiled beef, and shoulders of mutton; fish, and loaves; shoes, stockings, linen and woollen cloth, and leathern bags, with 1, 2, 3, and 4 penny pieces of silver, and shillings; to each, about four pounds in yalue. The Archbishop, of York also washed the feet of a certain number of poor persons. James II. was the last king who performed-this in person. A relic of this custom is still preserved in the donations dispensed at St. James's on this day. . .

L

thoney, and "ade to the poche ceremony.ng kept up in

« ElőzőTovább »