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were asleep, and in the morning Saint Martin would get the merit of the whole transaction.*
There is yet one point that remains to be mentioned before we leave the feast of Martinmas. It was popularly believed in former times that if the sun set brightly on this day, it portended a hard winter; if amidst clouds, then it was a sign that the winter would be mild; a coincidence that no doubt often happens, greatly to the satisfaction of all weather-prophets.
OLD MARTINMAS-FEAST OF ST. CLEMENT; November 23.-St. Clement was born at Rome, and was one of its earliest bishops, dying, according to some accounts, a natural death about the year 100, at the commencement of the Emperor Trajan's reign. In the case, however, of Saints, death by fire, sword, or water, are such natural modes of leaving the world, that this story can hardly be considered as militating against the tale of the venerable Bede,† though if taken to the letter it certainly may
*"Vasa solent exponere pueri, hac nocte, aqua repleta, quam transmutari in vinum pia simplicitas credit, quando vinum a parentibus suppositum videt." M. J. G. Drechsslers. DE LARVIS NATALITIIS, p. 31, 12mo. Lipsiæ, 1683.
It may perhaps puzzle my readers-as it used to puzzle me before I got acquainted with Durandus-to conceive why Bede above all men should be designated by the epithet of venerable. But that expounder of all that is most inexplicable, and who has a dozen reasons for all that is most unreasonable, has been pleased to enlighten us upon this as upon so many other topics. According to him, Bede, although he be placed in the catalogue of Saints is yet not so called by the church, but is named the venerable, and for this two-fold reason: First; becoming blind from old age and causing himself to be led about that he might preach the word, it happened one day that he strayed into a valley full of stones, when one of his guides, instigated no doubt by the deyil, derisively told him that a numerous congregation was waiting in eager silence for his discourse; accordingly the Venerable, nothing lothe, began to preach with much unction, but no sooner had he got to his sæcula sæculorum, than all the stones responded with a loud voice, "Amen venerable father;" and hence
seem to infer a contradiction. The latter writer informs us that Clement was banished by Trajan to a desert beyond the Euxine, but as he still contrived to draw a crowd of followers to himself it was deemed expedient to fling him into the sea with an anchor about his neck. While however his disciples prayed for him the water ebbed three miles out, when they found his body in a stone chest, within a marble temple, and the anchor at his side. It is probably in allusion to this passage of the saint's life, or rather of his decease, that we still find the device of an anchor in various parts of the church of
came the appellation; though, according to some, it was the angels, and not the flints, that replied. If, however, there are any so unreasonable as not to be satisfied with this explanation, Durandus has a second for them: After his death, a certain poetical follower wished to inscribe an epitaph on his tomb-stone, but could by no means manufacture an hexameter out of
"Hæc sunt in fossa Bedæ sancti ossa"
In this grave are Saint Bede's bones.
Through the whole night he meditated in vain upon this unlucky verse, but when at day-break he visited the tomb in despair, lo and behold! some angel had with his own hands done the job for him, and inscribed a handsome hexameter on the marble;
"Hæc sunt in fossa Bedæ venerabilis ossa"
Here lies in earth the venerable Bede.
The original is much too long to be extracted, but the reader may rely that he has here the substance of it. If, however, he be at all curious on the subject he will find the passage in Durandi Rationale Divin. Officior. lib. vii., cap. 37, and at page 303 of the edition of 1609.
"Jubente Trajano missus est in exilium trans Pontum Mare, in eremo; ubi multis ad fidem vocatis per miracula et doctrinam ejus, præcipitatum est in mare, ligata ad collum ejus anchora. Sed recessit mare, orantibus discipulis, per tria milia, et invenerunt corpus in arca saxea, in marmoreo templo, et anchoram juxta." BEDE OPERAMartyrologium-ix. Calend. Decemb.
St. Clement Danes, London, as well as on the boundary marks of the parish.
Though it is long since St. Clement has ceased to be noticed in this country, yet at one time his day like that of so many other Saints was a period of feasting and rejoicing. Of this we have still the undeniable vestiges. In the old clogs,* "a pot was placed against the 23rd of November, for the feast of St. Clement, from the ancient custom of going about that night to begg drink to make merry with."+
* Cloggs were a sort of almanacks made upon square sticks, which were still in use among the lower classes in the country when Dr. Plot wrote his History of Staffordshire, that is to say, in 1686. They were also used at one time both in Sweden and Denmark (See Olaus Magnus, De Ritu Gent. Sept., lib. 1, cap. 34, and lib. 16, cap. 20-Olai Wormii Fast. Danic. lib. 2, cap. 2, 3, 4, and 5.) By the Danes they were called Rimstocks, perhaps because the Dominical Letters used to be in Runick characters; or, more probably because Rimur signified a calendar, and thus the compound word would mean no more than a calendar of wood. By the Norwegians they were called Primstaves, from the chief thing inscribed upon the staves, namely, the Prime or Golden Number. By the Swedes they were named Baculi Annales, an appellation which seems to be somewhat too restricted, inasmuch as they were often engraved upon little oblong boards as well as upon staves; while at other times their material was horn, or a hollow bone, or many bones tesselated as it were, or fastened together. In this country they were chiefly made of box-wood, but also of fir and oak. Sometimes they were made of brass. regard to form, some were small, and adapted to be carried about in the pocket for private use; others again were large, and suspended from the wall or chimney mantle-piece. Lastly, as to the kinds of cloggs; some were "perfect, containing the Dominical Letters, as well as the Prime and marks for the feasts engraven upon them; others were imperfect, having only the Prime and the immoveable feasts on them." There can be no doubt as to these matters, for specimens of the clogg are still to be found both in the Museum at Oxford and in private collections; and Dr. Plot has given a full account of them in his HISTORY OF STAFFORDSHIRE, (chap. x.)
PLOT'S STAFFORDSHIRE, p. 430.
ST. ANDREW'S DAY; November 30.-A day that never was of much note with us, though in Scotland it has given rise to many observances. The only point worth recording of it in respect to this country is the annual Kentish custom, or diversion as it is called, of hunting the squirrel. "The labourers and lower kind of people assembling together form a lawless rabble, and being accoutred with guns, poles, clubs, and other such weapons, spend the greatest part of the day in parading through the woods and grounds, with loud shoutings, and under the pretence of demolishing the squirrels, some few of which they kill, they destroy numbers of hares, pheasants, partridges, and in short, whatever comes in their way, breaking down the hedges and doing much. other mischief; and in the evening betaking themselves to the alehouses, finish their career there, as is usual with such sort of gentry."*
In Saxony the young girls in the time of Luther used to strip themselves naked, and recite the following prayer, in order to learn what kind of a husband they were like to have. "Oh God! my God!-Oh Saint Andrew! take care that I have a good and pious husband; and show me this day who it is that is to marry me.t"
* HASTED'S HISTORY OF KENT, vol. 11, p. 757.
"Deus, deus meus!-O sancte Andrea, effice ut bonum et pium acquiram virum; hodie mihi ostende qualis sit qui me in uxorem ducere debet."-LUTHER'S COLLOQUIA MENSALIA, part 1, p. 233.
ANCIENT AND POPULAR SUPER
STITIONS AND CUSTOMS.
IT is an ordinary superstition of old women that they dare not intrust a child alone in the cradle without a candle. This conceit derived from the Jews, who were afraid of a she-devil called Lilith.*
Flowers at Funerals.-The custom of rosemarie and flowers owing to the Jews, whose ancient custom it was, as they went by the waie with their corpses, to pluck every one a blade or two of grass, as who should say, they were not sorry as men without hope, for their brother was but so cropt off and should spring up again.†
* Abp. Kennett's MS. Collection, Lansdowne Cat. Brit. Mus. N. 1039. Plut. 79. F. vol. 105. fol. 8.-The Lilith mentioned by Kennett was, properly speaking, either a bird of night (nocturna avis) or an animal howling in the night-time (animal noctu clamans. Vid. Hoffman's Lexicon.) Hence,-and the transition is not very difficultthe Lilith passed into a female spectre, that appeared in the night-time and was supposed to be peculiarly hostile to new-born children. The fables in regard to her amongst the Jews are numerous. They hold her to be the mother of demons, and had a regular demonifuge song, or incantation, which they chaunted to protect infants in the cradle against her influence.
+ Id. p. 8.