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fight called the Plough-light, was maintained by old and young persons who were husbandmen, before images in some churches, and on Plough Monday they had a feast, and went about with a plough and dancers to get money to support the Plotgh-light. The Reformation put out these lights; but the practice of going about with the plough begging for money remains, and the " money for light" increases the income of the village alehouse. Let the sons of toil make glad their hearts with " Barley-wine;" let them also remember to " be merry and wise." Their old acquaintance," Sir John Barleycorn," has had heavy complaints against him. There is " The Arraigning and Indicting «^Sn Jobs Barleycorn, knt. printed for Timothy Tosspot." This whimsical little tract describes him as of " noble blood, well beloved in England, a great support to the crown, and a maintainer of both rich and poor." It formally places bjrn upon his trial, at the sign of the Three Loggerheads, before " Oliver and Old Nick bis holy father," as judges. The witnesses for the prosecution were cited under the hands and seals of the said judges, sitting "at the sign of the Three merry Companion* in Bedlam; that is to say, Poor Robin, Merry Tom, and Jack Lackwit." At the trial, the prisoner, sir John Barleycorn, pleaded not guilty.
Latryer Noisy. —May it please your lordship, and gentlemen of the jury, I am counsel for the king against the prisoner at the bar, who stands indicted of many heinous and wicked crimes, in that the said prisoner, with malice prepense and several wicked ways, has conspired and brought about the death of several of his majesty's loving subjects, to the great loss of several poor families, who by this means have been brought to ruin and beggary, which, before the wicked designs and contrivances of the prisoner, lived in a flourishing and reputable way, but now are reduced to low circumstances and great misery, to the great loss of their own families and the nation in general M'e shall call our evidence; and if we make the facts appear, I do not doubt but you will find him guilty, and your lordships will award such punishment as the nature of his crimes deserve.
Vulcan, the Blacksmith.—My lords, sir John has been a great enemy to me, and many of my friends. Many a time, when I have been busy at my work, not thinking any harm to any man, having
a fire-spark in my throat, I, going over to the sign of the Cup and Can for one pennyworth of ale, there I found sir John, and thinking no hurt to any man, civilly sat me down to spend my twopence; but in the end, sir John began to pick a quarrel with me. Then I started up, thinking to go away; but sir John had got me by the top of the head, that I had no power to help myself, and so by bis strength and power he threw me down, broke my head, my face, and almost all my bones, that I was not able to work for three days; nay, more than this, he picked my purse, and left me never a penny, so that I had not wherewithal to support my family, and my head ached to such a degree, that I was not able to work for three or four days; and this set my wife a scolding, so that I not only lost the good opinion my neighbours had of me, but likewise raised such a storm in my family, that I was forced to call in the parson of the parish to quiet the raging of my wife's temper.
IVill, the Weaver.—I am but a poor man, and have a wife and a charge of children: yet this knowing sir John will never let me alone; he is always enticing me from my work, and will not be quiet till he hath got me to the alehouse; and then he quarrels with me, and abuses me most basely; and sometimes he binds me hand and foot, and throws me in the ditch, and there stays with me all night, and next morning leaves me but one penny in my pocket. About a week ago, we had not been together above an hour, before he began to give me cross words: at our first meeting, he seemed to have a pleasant countenance, and often smiled in my face, and would make me sing a merry catch or two; but in a little time, he grew very churlish, and kicked up my heels, set my head where my heels should be, and put my shoulder out, so that I have not been able to use my shuttle ever since, which has been a great detriment to my family, and great misery to myself.
Stitch, the Tailor, deposed to the same effect.
Mr. Wheatly.—The inconveniencies I have received from the prisoner are without number, and the trouble he occasions in the neighbourhood is not to be expressed. I am sure I have been oftentimes very highly esteemed both with lords, knights, and squires, and none could please them so well as James Wheatly, the baker; but now the case is altered; Sir John Barleycorn is the man that is highly esteemed in every place, I am now but poor James Wheatly, and he is Sir John Barleycorn at every word; and that word hath undone many an honest man in England; for I can prove it to be true, that he has caused many an honest man to waste and consume all that he hath.
The prisoner, sir John Barleycorn, being called on for his defence, urged, that to his accusers he was a friend, until they abused him; and said, if any one is to be blamed, it is my brother Malt. My brother is now in court, and if your lordships please, may be examined to all those facts which are now laid to my charge.
Court.—Call Mr. Malt.
Court.—Mr. Malt, you have (as you have been in court) heard the indictment that is laid against your brother, sir John Barleycorn, who says, if any one ought to be accused, it should be you; but as sir John and you are so nearly related to each other, and have lived so long together, the court is of opinion he cannot be acquitted, unless you can likewise prove yourself innocent of the crimes which are laid to his charge.
Malt.—My lords, I thank you for the liberty you now indulge me with, and think it a great happiness, since I am so strongly accused, that I have such learned judges to determine these complaints. As for my part, I will put the matter to the bench. First, I pray you consider with yourselves, all tradesmen would live; and although Master Malt does make sometimes a cup of good liquor, and many men come to taste it, yet the fault is neither in me nor my brother John, but in such as those who make this complaint against us, as I shall make it appear to you all.
In the first place, which of you all can say but Master Malt can make a cup of good liquor, with the help of a good brewer; and when it is made, it will be sold. I pray which of you all can live without it? But when such as these, who complain of us, find it to be good, then they have such a greedy mind, that they think they never have enough, and this overcharge brings on the inconveniences complained of, makes them quarrelsome with one another, and abusive to their very friends, so that we are forced to lay them down to sleep. From hence it ap
pears, it is from their own greedy desires all these troubles arise, and not from wicked designs of our own.
Court.—Truly, we cannot see that you are in the fault. Sir John Barleycorn, we will show you so much favour, that if you can bring any person of reputation to speak to your character, the court is disposed to acquit you. Bring in your evidence, and let us hear what they can say in your behalf.
Thomas, the Ploughman.—May I be allowed to speak my thoughts freely, since I shall offer nothing but the truth.
Court.—Yes, thou mayest be bold to speak the truth, and no more, for that is the cause we sit here for; therefore speak boldly, that we may understand thee.
Ploughman.—Gentlemen, sir John is of an ancient house, and is come of a noble race; there is neither lord, knight, nor squire, but they love his company, and he theirs; as long as they don't abuse him, he will abuse no man, but doth a great deal of good. In the first place, tew ploughmen can live without him; for if it were not for him, we should not pay our landlords their rent; and then what would such men as you do for money and clothes? Nay, your gay ladies would care but little for you, if you had not your rents coming in to maintain them; and we could never pay, but that sir John Barleycorn feeds us with money; and yet would you seek to take away his life! For shame, let your malice cease, and pardon his life, or else we are all undone.
Bunch, the Brewer.—Gentlemen, I beseech you, hear me. My name is Bunch, a brewer ; and I believe few of you can live without a cup of good liquor, no more than I can without the help of sir John Barleycorn. As for my own part, I maintain a great charge, and keep a great many men at work; I pay taxes forty pounds a year to his majesty, God bless him, and all this is maintained by the help of sir John; then how can any man for shame seek to take away his life.
Mistress Hostess.—To give evidence in behalf of sir John Barleycorn, gives me pleasure, since I have an opportunity of doing justice to so honourable a person. Through him the administration receives large supplies; he likewise greatly supports the labourer, and enlivens the conversation. What pleasure could there be at a sheep-clipping without his company, or what joy at a feast without his assistance? I know him to be an honest man, and he never abused any man, if they abused not him. If you put him to death, all England is undone, for there is not another in the land can do as he can do, and hath done; for he can make a cripple go, the coward fight, and a soldier neither Seel hunger nor cold. I beseech you, gentlemen, let him live, or else we are all undone; the nation likewise will be distressed, the labourer impoverished, and the husbandman ruined.
Court.—Gentlemen of the jury, you have now heard what has been offered against sir John Barleycorn, and the evidence that has been produced in his defence. If you are 'of opinion he is guilty of those wicked crimes laid to his charge, and has with malice propense conspired and brought about the death of several of his majesty's loving subjects, you are then to find him guilty ; but if, on the contrary, you are of opinion that he had no real intention of wickedness, and was not the immediate, but only the accidental, cause of these evils laid to his charge, then, according to the statute law of this kingdom, you ought to acquit him.
Verdict, Not Guilty.
From this facetious little narrative may be learned the folly of excess, and the injustice of charging a cheering beverage, with the evil consequences of a man taking a cup more of it than will do him good.
St. iMtlan—Holiday at the Exchequer.
St. Appollinaru. St. Severinui. St. Pe/fa. St.ruUin. St.Gudula. St.Natkalan.
St. Lucian. The St. Lucian of the Romish church on this day was from Rome, and preached in Gaul, where he suffered death about 290, according to Butler, who affirms that he is the St. Lucian in the English Protestant calendar. There is reason to suppose, however, that the St. Lucian of
the church of England was the saint of that name mentioned yesterday.
St. Gudula Is the patroness of Brussels, and is said to have died about 712. She suffered the misfortune of having her candle blown out, and possessed the miraculous power of praying it a-light again, at least, so says Butler; "whence," he affirms, "she is usually represented in pictures with a lantern. He particularizes no other miracle she performed. Surius however relates, that as she was praying in a church without shoes, the priest compassionately put his gloves under her feet; but she threw them away, and they miraculously hung in the air for the space of an hour— whether in compliment to the saint or the priest does not appear.
Chronology. 1821. A newspaper of January 8, mentions an extraordinary feat by Mr. Huddy, the postmaster of Lismorc, in the-97th year of his age. He travelled, for a wager, from that town to Fermoy in a Dungarvon oyster-tub, drawn by a pig, a badger, two cats, a goose, and a hedgehog; with a large red nightcap on his head, a pigdriver's whip in one hand, and in the other a common cow's-horn, which he blew to encourage his team, and give notice of this new mode of posting.
Let us turn away for a moment from the credulity and eccentricity of man's feebleness and folly, to the contemplation of " the firstling of the year" from the bosom of our common mother. The Snow-drop is described in the " Flora Domestica" " as the earliest flower of all our wild flowers, and will even show her head above the snow, as if to prove her rivalry in whiteness;" as if —Flora's breath, by some transforming power. Had chang'd an icicle into a flower.
Mrs. Barbauld. One of its greatest charms is its "coming in a wintry season, when few others visit us: we look upon it as a friend in adversity; sure to come when most needed."
Like pendent flakes of vegetating snow,
Ere yet the adventurous crocus dares to blow,
While still the cold north-east ungenial lowers, And scarce the hazel in the leafless copse,
Or nallows, show their downy powder'd flowers, The gran is spangled with thy silver drops.
St. Peter of Sebaste. St. Julian and Batiluta. St. Marciana. St. Brithicald. St. Felan. St. Adrian. St. Vaneng.
Of the seven Romish saints of this day scarcely an anecdote is worth mentioning.
Chronology. 1766. On the 9th of January died Dr. Thomas Birch, a valuable contributor to history and biography. He was born on the 23d of November, 1705, of Quaker parents. His father was a coffee-mill maker, and designed Thomas for the same trade; but the son " took to reading," and being put to school, obtained successive usherships; removing each time into a better school, that he might improve his studies; and stealing hours from sleep to increase his knowledge. He succeeded in qualifying himself for the church of England, without going to the university; obtained orders from bishop Hoadley in 1731, and several preferments from the lord chancellor Hardwicke and earl Hardwicke; became a member of the Royal Society before he was thirty years of age, and of the Antiquarian Society about the same time; was created a doctor of divinity, and made a trustee of the British Museum; and at his death, left his books and MSS. to the national library there. Enumeration of his many useful labours would occupy several of these pages. His industry was amazing. His correspondence was extensive; his communications to the Royal Society were various and numerous, and his personal application may be inferred from there being among his MSS. no less than twenty-four quarto volumes of Anthony Bacon's papers transcribed by his own hand. He edited Thurloes' State Papers in 7 vols, folio; wrote the Lives of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain, and a History of the Royal Society; published miscellaneous pieces of lord Bacon, before unprinted, and produced a large number of other works. The first undertaking wherein he engaged, with other learned men, was the "General Dictionary, Historical and Critical,"—a most useful labour, containing the whole of Bayle's Dictionary newly translated, and several thousand additional lives. He was enabled to complete his great undertakings by being a very early riser, and by usually executing the business of the morning before most persons had commenced it.
From " Poetic Vigils," by Bernard Bartc 2"«r
Its glossy leaf grown sere;
By Winter's frown austere.
On grass of freshest green,
On matted weeds is seen.
From leafy woods emerge;
Breathe Nature's mournful dirge.
Through merely outward sense,
Seem now departed hence.
The bliss that life can lend;
Its truest, noblest end.
Are fancy's fleeting elves;
Exists within ourselves.
Is virtue's godlike dower;
Illumes the darkest hour.
St. WtUiam. St. Agatho, Pope. St. Martian.
St. William. This saint, who died in 1207, was archbishop of Bourges, always wore a hair shirt, never ate flesh meat, when he found himself dying caused his body to be laid on ashes in his hair shirt, worked miracles after his death, and had his relics venerated till 1562, when the Hugonots burnt them without their manifesting miracles at that important crisis. A bone of his arm is still at Chaalis, and one of his ribs at Paris; so says Butler, who does not state that either of these remains worked miracles since the French revolution.
1820. The journals of January relate some particulars of a gentleman remarkable for the cultivation of an useful quality to an extraordinary extent. He drew from actual memory, in twenty-two hours, at two sittings, in the presence of two well-known gentlemen, a correct plan of the parish of St. James, Westminster, with parts of the
I of St. Mary-le-bone, St. Ann, and St. Martin; which plan contained every square, street, lane, court, alley, market, church, chapel, and all public buildings, with all stable and other yards, also every public-house in the parish, and the corners of all streets, with every minutiae, as pumps, posts, trees, houses that project and inject, bow-windows, Carltonhouse, St. James's palace, and the interior of the markets, without scale or reference to any plan, book, or paper whatever. He did the same with respect to the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, in the presence of four gentlemen, from eight to twelve, one evening at a tavern; and he also undertook to draw the plan of St. Giles-in-theFields, St. Paul's, Covent-garden, St. Mary-le-strand, St. Clement's, and threefourths of Mary-le-bone, or St. George's. The plans before alluded to were drawn in the presence of JohnWillock, Esq. Goldensquare; Mr. Robinson, of Surrey-road; William Montague, Esq. of Guildhall; Mr. Allen, vestry clerk of St. Ann's; John Dawson, Esq. of Burlington-street; N. Walker, Holborn; and two other gentlemen. He can tell the corner of any great and leading thoroughfare-street from Hvde Park-comer, or Oxford-street, to St. Paul's ; or from the New-road to Westminster abbey; and the trade or profession carried on at such corner house. He can tell every public shop of business in Piccadilly, which consists of two hundred and forty-one houses, allowing him only twenty-four mistakes; he accomplished this in the presenceof four gentlemen, after five o'clock, and proved it before seven in the same evening. A house being named in any public street, he will name the trade of the shop, either on the right or left hand of the same, and whether the door of such house so named is in the centre, or on the right or left. He can take an inventory, from memory only, of a gentleman's house, from the attic to the groundfloor, and afterwards write it out. He did this at lord Nelson's, at Merton, and likewise at the duke of Kent's, in the presence of two noblemen. He is known by the appellation of " Memory-comer Thompson." The plan of his house, called Priory Frognall, Hampstead, he designed, and built it externally and internally, without any workingdrawing, but carried it up by the eye only. Yet, though his memory is so accurate in the retention of objects submuted to the eye, he has little power of
recollecting what he hears. The dialogue of a comedy heard once, or even twice, would, after an interval of a few days, be entirely new to him.
St. Theodosius. St. Hyginut. St. Egwin. St. Salviu*.
St. Theodosius This saint visited St. Simeon Stylites on his pillar and had his fortune told. He ate coarse pulse and wild herbs, never tasted bread for thirty years, founded a monastery for an unlimited number of monks, dug one grave large enough to hold the whole community, when he received strangers, and had not food enough, he prayed for its miraculous increase and had it multiplied accordingly, prophesied while he was dying, died in 529, and had his hair shirt begged by a count, who won a victory with it. He was buried according to Butler, who relates these particulars, in the cave wherein the three kings of Cologne were said to have lodged on their way to Bethlehem.
FISH IN WINTER
In hard frosts holes must be broken in the ice that forms upon fish ponds, or the fish will die. It is pleasing to watch the finny tenants rising half torpid beneath a new-formed hole for the benefit of the air. Ice holes should be kept open during the host : one hole to a pond is sufficient. •
At Logan or Port Nessock in Wigtownshire, North Britain, a large salt- tcater pond was formed for Cod in 1800. It is a basin of 30 feet in depth, and 160 feet in circumference, hewn out from the solid rock, and communicating with the sea by one of those fissures which are common to bold and precipitous coasts. Attached to it is a neat Gothic cottage for the accommodation of the fisherman, and the rock is surmounted all round by a substantial stone wall at least 300 feet in circumference. In every state of the wind or tide, winter and summer, when not a single boat dare venture to sea, Colonel M'Dowal can command a supply of the finest fish, and study at his leisure the instincts and habits of the "finny nations," with at least all the accuracy of those sage natu