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minster, and so through the Sanctuary, and round about the park of St. James, and returned home through Oldborne.* King Henry then considering the great charges. of the citizens,"-(jealous rather of so large an armed force)" for the furniture of this unusual muster, forbad the marching watch provided for at Midsummer for that year, which being once laid down was not raised again till the year 1548, the 2nd of Edward VI., Sir John Gresham then being mayor, who caused the marching watch, both on the Eve of St. John the Baptist, and of St. Peter the Apostle, to be revived and set forth in as comely order as it hath been accustomed, which watch was also beautified by the number of more than three hundred demilances and light horsemen prepared by the citizens to be sent into Scotland for the rescue of the town of Haddington, and others kept by the Englishmen."+

We must not however imagine that this festival was confined to the city of London, for we have ample records of its observance in many of the provincial capitals. In Deering's Nottingham, in the various histories of Chester, of Cornwall, and of other principal places, we have similar details in abundance. But the chief point now to be noticed is the appearance of giants in the procession, a fact which seems to be connected with the images of Gog and Magog, in Guildhall. That they formed a customary part in all such processions is evident not only from what has been just quoted from Stow, but from a multitude of other authorities. Puttenham mentions it

* With such strange examples before us how a word may be corrupted from its original spelling, one is almost tempted to believe in any derivations however fanciful. But that the thing is here too plain for doubt, who could have ever supposed that our modern Holborn was to be sought in Old Borne, the Old Spring? + Stow's Survey of London, p. 39, 8vo. 1842.

in his ART OF POESIE, (p. 128,) wherein he compares a bloated style to "these midsommer pageants in London where, to make the people wonder, are set forth great and uglie gyants marching as if they were alyve and armed at all points, but within they are stuffed full of browne paper and tow." So again King in his VALE-ROYAL, (p. 208,) says "this mayor for his time altered many ancient customs,-as, the shooting for the sheriff's breakfast, the going of the gyants at midsommer, &c." But the fact being allowed, we do not seem to be a jot nearer the origin of the custom. Perhaps after all, the truth lies upon the surface, and instead of seeking for the cause of it in any ancient tales or superstitions, we shall find that the custom originated simply in the circumstance of giants adding to the exhibition by the oddity of their appearance, and that they were introduced with no more reason, than flags and banners are introduced into any modern procession. Still it is possible, as the whole ceremony is clearly of Druid origin, that they also have relation to Druid rites. I allude to the horrible fact related by Cæsar of these barbarous fanatics, that they formed immense images of wicker-work, and filled them with living men, when they set fire to the figures and burnt to death all within them.*

As to the giants in Guildhall, Stow,—and he no doubt gave the received opinion of his day,-states that they were the representatives of a Briton and a Saxon. It does not, however seem very probable, and unless they were originally used as parts of the Midsummer pageant, I am at a loss to offer any reasonable conjecture for these Dagons of civic idolatry.

* "Alii immani magnitudine simulacra habent, quorum contexta viminibus membra vivis hominibus complent, quibus succensis, circumventi flammâ exanimuntur homines."-Cæsar, L. vi.

St John's Eve and Day, as the shadowy relicks of a Pagan festival, were naturally connected with a multitude of superstitious observances. Thus the rain, if it should fall on this day is particularly injurious to nuts,* a fact which is allowed by that arch-protestant, Hospinian, who even attempts to assign a cause for it, though he has the grace to say he has heard some maintain the opinion to be vain and superstitious. It was a famous time too for charms and divinations, which appear to have been of various kinds. Not the least singular of these was the drawing of lots, which we find mentioned with much other curious matter in the scholiasts on the sixth Trullan council-"The demoniacal mystery of fires and drawing lots prevailed till the time of the most holy patriarch Michael, who was the prince of philosophers in this queen of cities, and in this manner. On the twenty-third evening of the month of June, men and women assembled on the sea-shore and in certain houses, and adorned some first-born maiden like a bride. After they had feasted, and leaped and danced in Bacchanalian fashion, and had shouted as was their wont on holydays, they poured seawater into a narrow-necked vessel, and flung into it some articles belonging to each of them; then, as if the maiden had received from Satan the faculty of predicting future events, they would interrogate her in loud voice as to their good or evil fortunes; hereupon she would draw out any of the things thrown into the vessel, which the foolish owner receiving imagined he was now more


"Persuasum denique est vulgo si circa diem S. Joannis officere id avellanis. Causa fortasse est ipsarum tunc teneritudo, humoris impatiens. Audivi qui dicerent esse opinionem vanam et superstitiosam, quæ etiam in aliis id genus observationibus multis simplicium animos teneat."—Hospinian De Festis Christ., fol. 114.

certain as to the good or evil that would happen to him."*

Another superstition of the day may be deduced from the following tale told by Bovet, with all the simple earnestness of Defoe in his narrative of Mrs. Veal's ghost. "At South Petherton, in the county of Somerset, lives a gentlewoman (very well known to all the neighbouring gentry) whom I can not mention without an honourable respect, having often had the happiness to have been entertained with most obliging respect both by the virtuous mother and her congenerous issue. It was on Midsummer day, in the year 1680, I happened to pay a visit to that worthy family, and finding the lady and her daughters at home, after passing common civilities, the eldest of the daughters (who is a very ingenious and accomplisht lady,) informed me that there had been the strangest thing done in their family the preceding night that ever was heard on, for their servant maids had raised the devil, &c. and so went on to give a thorow relation of what you will hear by and by; only I think it best to let the maids

* Τ5 Ιουνίου μηνὸς ἠθροιζοντο ἐν ταῖς ῥυμίσι καὶ ἐν τισιν οἰκοις ἄνδρες καὶ γυναῖκες, καὶ πρωτότοκον κοράσιον νυμφικως ἐστολιζον. Μετα γᾶν το συμποσιασαι καὶ βακχικώτερον ὀρχήσασθαι, καὶ χορευσαι καὶ ἀλαλάξαι, ἔβαλον ἐν αςγείῳ συσόμῳ χαλχῷ θαλαττιον ὕδωρ, καὶ eïdŋ Tivà ekάotW TOUTWV, &c. SYNODICON, SIVE PANDECTE S. S. APOSTOLORUM, &c.-Canones Concilii Sexti in Trullo. Can. 65, p. 235, tom. i. fol. Oxon. 1672.

The Trullum, or Trullan, Council, from whose canons the above extract has been made, was a council assembled in 692 against the Monothelites, (μovoç, single, and Oɛλɛμa, will,) a sect that had its rise about sixty years before, and which, according to Mosheim, maintained that Christ had two natures, but so united as to form one. The council received its name from the trullum, i.e. dome (trulla, a cap or dome,) of the palace of Constantinople, though the term was more properly applied to the hall in which the emperors consulted on state affairs. This Council in Trullo was the sixth œcumenical or general council.



themselves tell the story, which after the old lady had called them into the room, they did after this manner :

"We had been told divers times, that if we fasted on Midsummer Eve, and then at 12 o'clock at night laid a cloth on the table, with bread and cheese, and a cup of the best beer, setting ourselves down as if we were going to eat, and leaving the door of the room open, we should see the persons, whom we should afterwards marry, come into the room and drink to us. Accordingly we kept a true fast all the day yesterday, unknown to any of the family; and at night, having disposed of my mistresses to bed, we fastened the stair-door of their rooms, which came down into the hall, and locked all the doors of the yard, and whatever way besides led into the house, except the door of the kitchen, which was left open to the yard for the sweethearts to enter. It being then near twelve o'clock, we laid a clean cloath on the kitchen table, setting thereon a loaf and cheese, and a stone jug of beer, with a drinking glass, seating ourselves together in the inside of the table with our faces towards the door. We had been in this posture but a little while before we heard a mighty rattling at the great gate of the yard as if it would have shook the house down; there was a jingling of chains, and something seemed to prance about the yard like a horse, which put us into great terror and affrightment, so that we wisht we had never gone so far in it; but now we knew not how to go back, and therefore kept the place where we were. My master's spaniel (for the young captain was then alive) got against the door of the stair-foot, and there made so great a noise with howling and rattling the door, that we feared they might have taken notice of the disturbance; but presently came a young man into the kitchen (here one of the young ladies interrupted her, saying, housewife it was the devil, to which the maid replied, 'Madam, I do not believe that, but perhaps

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