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likely to be chronicled by the spirit of tradition. The truth, as I imagine, is simply this. In the early ages of Christianity the corporeal resurrection was an admitted article of faith, but in process of time a schism on this subject arose in the church itself; bishops even were found who maintained that we should rise again, not in the body, but in the spirit, and to oppose this heresy the more orthodox invented the legend of the Seven Sleepers; or, I should rather say, adopted a common fable and moulded it to their purposes, for it is one of those that belongs to all ages and all countries. Thus Pliny tells us of Epimenides, the Cretan, that when a boy, being weary one day from heat and travel, he laid himself down in a cave and slept for fifty-seven years. Waking-the next morning, as he imagined—he was of course, like the Sleepers of Ephesus, and the more modern Emperor Barbarossa, greatly surprised at the changes that had taken place. We have the same story, though with some slight variations, in the life of Epimenides by Diogenes Laertius. The tale of the latter author is briefly as follows: Being one day sent out by his father to tend a sheep, the boy strayed into a cavern, where he fell asleep and slumbered for fifty-seven years. On awaking he sought his sheep, but was astonished to find the whole face of the country altered, upon which he made the best of his way home, where he was scarcely recognized by his youngest brother, who had now become an old man. consequence his fame was spread throughout all Greece, and hence, as we learn from many authorities, came the phrase "to sleep the slumber of Epimenides."+


* C. Plinii Sec. Nat. Hist. Lib. vii. cap. 53. (52) p. 107. 8vo. Bipont.

"Dormire somnum Epimenidis." This story is to be found in Diogenes Laertius De Vitis Claror. Philosoph. Lib. i. cap. 10, sect. ii. p. 116. 8vo. Curiæ Regnitianæ. 1639.

To us in the present day it may seem strange to quote a miracle in proof of any doctrine; seeing that there is nothing stands so much in need of proof as a miracle itself. But such was not the notion of the darker ages; the use of reason was denied to the mass as a crime; and belief, that asked nothing, doubted nothing, was a virtue. In every case of difficulty some pious person would be favoured with a vision, or some miracle would be said to have been wrought, and either was accepted as conclusive. What still farther tends to disprove the dictum of Baronius is the fact of the legend having been repeated by a multitude of Mahommedan writers, and Mahomet has even inserted it in the Koran.*

"SEPTEM DORMIENTIUM historia Dionysii quoque tempori assignatur, quam non modo Arabes Christiani, sed Muhamedani, credunt et miris coloribus exornant. Eam absque ullo insigni discrimine circumstantiarum referunt Eutychius, Elmacinus, Abulfaragius, Makrizius, Chronicon. Omnes tandem eos sub Decio passos asserunt, etiam Muhamedani, atque inter eos Autor COMPENDII PERSICE HISTORIE UNIVERSALIS, cui titulus MOGEMAL TOUARICH; ut alii multi, atque et præter alios celeberrimus Emir-Condus, et ejus epitomator CondEmirus. Nec mirum cum ipse Muhamed impostor eam historiam qualis in ore vulgi circumferebatur, Alcorano inseruerit."—HISTORIA PATRIARCHARUM ALEXANDRIN. p. 38.-Dionysius Patriarcha, Parisiis, 1713, 4to. The writer's name does not appear in the title-page, but from the dedication to Cosmo III., Grand Duke of Tuscany, we find that Eusebius Renaudot is the author.


"THE first time a child visits a neighbour or relation, it is regularly presented with three things, salt, bread, and an egg; this practice however (not noticed by Bourne or Brand) is widely extended over the north of England. Valentine's Day is duly observed; the swains vent not their passions on sheets speckled with tinsel, and interlarded with Cupids, yet their epistles abound with the usual inflated hyperbole, which would not disgrace modern gallantry, and their Dulcineas are seldom deficient in comprehension. The solemnities practiced every where on Carling, Palm, and Easter Sundays, of which a full account is given in Brand's Popular Antiquities, are here most scrupulously observed.

A custom prevails on the Monday immediately following the latter festival for the men to take off the women's shoes or buckles, and on the Tuesday for the women to retaliate in like manner; these petty thefts are only to be redeemed by presents.† The trifling sums obtained by

* Cuthbert Sharp's History of Hartlepool, 8vo. Durham, 1816. + I have already made mention of this custom, but repeat it rather than interrupt the current of our author's narrative.

this mutual and frequently provoked warfare, are generally expended in a merry-making towards the end of the week. Mell-suppers are customary in the neighbourhood at harvest-home; and Guisers, though their numbers are 'considerably diminished of late years, are still to be seen. On the approach of Christmas, carols are sung by the children; yule-clogs blaze on the eve of the nativity; and yule-cakes form an essential part of the evening's entertainment. The Christmas Box and New Year's Gifts are not forgotten; and detachments of sword-dancers perambulate the neighbourhood, exhibiting their feats of harmless warfare. The first Monday after Twelfth Day the Stot-Plough, a small anchor drawn by young men and boys, is paraded through the town. They stop at every door and beg a small donation; if successful, they salute the donor with three cheers; but if their request is refused, they plough up the front of the house, to the great annoyance of the inhabitants.

Waffs* are still common, and few people die before their neighbours have seen their waffs glide softly by. Indeed some persons have seen their own waffs, and under the conviction that their own death was thereby predicted, have seldom recovered from the impression of the apparition.

A belief in Bad Prayers is still prevalent, and various arts practiced to render those prayers abortive.

* Or whiffs, as it is called in some parts of the country. Sharp says nothing about its meaning, but it is probably derived from Weffe, which, in the Promptorium Parvulorum, by Richard Frauncis, is explained to mean a vapour. This last word would seem to belong to Norfolk, for the author of the Promptorium, who was a Black Friar, tells us in the pröemium of his work, that he follows the Norfolk dialect, to which he had been used from his infancy. Thus much we learn from his prologue to the work in question-"Comitatus tamen Norfolchie modum loquendi solum sum secutus, quem solum ab infancia didici, et solotenus plenius perfectiusque cognovi."

The lake-wake, or watching with a corpse, is not entirely laid aside, though somewhat fallen into disuse. Funerals are attended, not only by the intimate friends and relations of the deceased, but by all those who wish to pay a melancholy tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased. The funeral procession is opened by singers chaunting appropriate psalms, followed by two young girls, dressed in white, whose business it is to attend to the wants and wishes of the mournful attendants, and are called servers.

Until of late years, when a young unmarried female was buried, a garland was carried before the corpse, and afterwards suspended in the church; at present only one remains there, formed of white paper cut in various shapes, apparently to resemble flowers; and in the centre is represented the figure of a human hand, on which is (are) written the name and age of the deceased."

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