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NOVEMBER like the two preceding months has its name without alteration from the Latin, which was so called because reckoning from March it was the ninth month of the year. Among our Saxon ancestors it had the name of Wint-monath,*_that_is_Wind-month,-wint being the Saxon word for wind-on account of the prevalence of high winds at this season; and Blot-monath, i.e., Bloodmonth, the month of immolations,-for blot means blood,— because the cattle, which they now killed in abundance for their winter store, were dedicated to their Gods; or, what seems yet more probable, from the quantity of blood that was shed at this season in the slaughter of so many animals.
Our Floral record must here cease, nothing remaining either to field or garden but a few fungi and other cryptogamia. Even the Fauna ceases to contain any thing of general interest. "The females and young of the Brown or Norway Rat now leave their holes at the sides of ponds and rivers, to which they had betaken themselves in the spring, and repair to barns, outhouses, cornstacks, and dwellings. The males are said to remain
* Verstegan's Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, p. 49, Edit. 1655. "BLUMTONATH, mensis immolationum, quod in eo pecora, quæ occisuri erant, Diis suis voverent." BEDE OPERA.-De Temporum Ratione. Cap. xiii. tom. ii. p. 68.
in their holes, having laid up a winter-store of acorns, The black rats have become scarce.'
At this period of the year the rooks are observed to keep very good hours. When the evenings are dark, but mild and comparatively calm, they may be seen returning home between three and four o'clock, in parties of several hundreds. On such occasions they are generally attended by their friends and kinsmen, the jackdaws; sometimes too the starlings will join them in the course of the day, and the three may be seen feeding amicably together.
The first day of November was dedicated, as Vallancey informs us, to the angel presiding over fruit, seeds, &c., "and was therefore named La Mas Ubhal, that is, the day of the apple fruit; and being pronounced Lamasool, the English have corrupted the name to Lambswool, a name they give to a composition made on this eve (Allhallow's Eve) of roasted apples, sugar, and ale."†
ALL SAINTS DAY; OMNIUM SANCTORUM FESTUM ; November 1st.-There can be little doubt as to the origin of this observance, though there is some obscurity in regard to the Pantheon, from which it was derived. As the Gods of Rome were too numerous to be contained in one temple, Agrippa‡ erected the Pantheon, and so called it, as some say, because he held the images of Mars and Venus that were placed therein to be of themselves equivalent to all the Gods; or, as others explain it, because the temple being circular it appeared more like Heaven, and therefore more like the habitation of all the deities; *Forster's Perennial Calendar.
VALLANCEY, COLLECTANEA DE REBUS HIBERNICIS, vol. iii., p. 449-All Hallow Eve. Ingenious as this derivation may appear, I must confess that it seems to me to be very questionable.
Beda indeed maintains, in defiance of Dion's authority and of the inscription still remaining on the walls, that it was built by Domitian M. AGRIPPA L. F. CONSUL TERTIUM FECIT.-See Bedæ Martyrologia, D. Calend. Novemb. for the statement in regard to Domitian.
while some again assert that it was dedicated to Cybele the mother of the Gods; and Pliny affirms that it was sacred to Jupiter the Avenger. However this may be, it bore a comprehensive name that seems to include in some way or another all the Gods, or, as Bede not very civilly terms it, all the devils; and hence, at the instigation of Pope Boniface, the Emperor Phocas ordered the temple. to be purified of its idolatrous dregs, and as it had before been dedicated to all the Gods of Heathenism, it should now be made sacred to all the Saints of Christianity as well as to the Virgin Mary,* and this service therein to be daily celebrated. Gregory the Fourth however at a later period limited the festival to the first of November, and excluded the Virgin Mary from any share in it.
The Golden Legend has wonderfully improved on the original story, the substance of it being this; the Romans, having conquered all the world, "they made a ryght grete temple, and sette theyr ydolle in the mydle. And all about this ydolle they sette the false ymage of all the provynces, so that all the ymages behelde ryght th' ydolle of Rome; and it was ordeyned by arte of the devell that whan a provynce shold rebelle ageynst the Romans, th' ymage of that provynce sholde tourne his back to th' ydolle of Rome, lyke as in shewynge that it departed fro the sygnorye of Rome.† And thenne anone
"Festivitas Omnium Sanctorum; petente namque Papa Bonifácio, jussit Phocas, imperator, in veteri fano, quod Pantheon vocabatur, et a Domitiano prius factum erat, ablatis idolatriæ sordibus, ecclesiam beatæ semper Virginis Mariæ et omnium fieri martyrū; ut ubi quodam omnium ño deorum sed dæmonum cultus agebatur, ibi deinceps omnium fieret memoria Sanctorum.” Bedæ MartyroloGIUM. D. Calend. Novemb.
This passage is most corruptly given in Julyan Notary's edition of 1513, from which I first made my extract. The errors have been corrected and the omissions supplied from Caxton's folio, published at Westmestre, 1483.
the Romayns wolde brynge grete puyssaunce in to that provynce, and there subdued it to theyr seygnorye.' "'* But even this temple in the long run proved insufficient for the growing family of the Gods, whereupon the Romans built a second much larger, " and more for to deceive the people, the bysshops of th' idollis fayned that it had been comanded to theym of Cybele, a goddesse that is called moder of goddes. And they called thys temple, Patheon, wyche is as moche to saye as, all goddes-of pan, that is, alle; and theos, that is, God. And by cause they wolde have victory of all the people, therefore they made a grete temple to all the sones of the Cybele" And at last the Romans made a pynet of copper and gilt, and sette it in a ryght hyghe place. And it is sayde all the provynces were entaylled and graven merveyllously wythin that pyne, so that all they that came to Rome might see in that pyne in what part his province was." But Pope Boniface, A.D., 605, persuaded the Emperor Focas to turn out the idols, and "the forthe Kalendas of Maye" (i.e., April the 28th) "he hallowed it in th' honour of our lady saynt marye, and of alle the martyrs, and callyd it saynt marye at martyrs, whyche now is called sācta marya rotunda—that is, saynt As however at this season of the marye the roūde."§ year it was difficult to find sufficient food for the numerous pilgrims and visitors, Pope Gregory "establyshed
* GOLDEN LEGEND-History of Allhallowen, folio 197.
Pyne, is the pina, or pinna, of the Romans, a sort of shell-fish, in which the pearl is found, but here the shell itself is to be understood. In the HISTORIA LOMBARDICA, the Latin original of the Golden Legend, we read "Denique romani pinā eneã et deaurată fabricat, et in summitate collocant." OPUS AUREUM-De Omnibus Sanctis, folio 122). Now old Philemon translates the PINNA of Pliny by pinna-" In Acarnania there is a little cockle called Pinna, (i.e., a nacre) which engendreth such"-that is to say, engendreth pearls. See his Ninth Book of Pliny, chap. xxxv., p. 256, vol. 1.
GOLDEN LEGEND. - History of Allhallowen, folio 197.
this feste to be in the kalendas of November,"-that is to say, on the first of November, where we now find it.
The Welsh used to consider this day as the conclusion of the summer, and celebrated it with bon-fires and other ceremonies.* In many parts of England too they crack nuts and bob for apples as upon the previous vigil; and at one time it was the popular belief that if the sun flung his rays brightly over the tops of the woods on All Saints' Day, the pigs would be unusually fat and large that year.†
ALL SOULS, OR COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE DEPARTED FAITHFUL; November 2nd.-The custom of sacrificing to the manes, or souls, of the dead was an old Roman rite, borrowed from the Greeks, and so common as scarcely to stand in need of argument or illustration.‡ This Commemoration would seem to be precisely the same in substance and not so very much differing even in form and sprinkling with holy water as a means of purification is clearly of pagan origin.§ Various times and causes have
*W. OWEN PUGHE'S TRANSLATIONS OF THE HEROIC ELEGIES OF LLYWARCH HEN, Lond. 1792.
+I believe I am correct in saying the superstition prevailed in this country; it certainly did among the Danes_“Quod si hoc die per sylvarum cacumina sol radios suos diffuderit, amplissimam porcorum futuram dicunt saginam." FASTI DANICI. ab Olao Wormio, lib. ii. cap. ix.
"At jam pridem increbuerat mos hic apud veteres parentādi ad sepulchru, quod indicat M. Tullius in prima Philippica, dicens—ubi cujus sepulchrum nusquam extet ibi parentetur et publice supplicetur." - POLYD. VERGILIUS, De Invent. Rerum. Lib. 6.-Cap. 9. Hence perhaps arose the expiatory office called Februa, which lasted for twelve days.
§ "Idem ter socios pura circumtulit unda,
V. P. VIRGILII MAR. ENEIDOS, lib. vi. v. 229.
"A verdant branch of olive in his hands,
He thrice waves round to purify the bands;