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Before remarking on the work terminating with this vo.ume, some notice should be taken of its Frontispiece.
1. The “ Clog" or “ Perpetual Almanack” having been in common use with our ancient ancestors, a representation and explanation of it seemed requisite among ihe various accounts of manners and customs related in the order of the calendar.
Of the word “clog," there is no satisfactory etymology in the sense here used, which signifies an almanack made upon a square stick. Dr. Robert Plot, who published the “ History of Staffordshire," in 1686, instances a variety of these old almanacks then in uge in that county. Some he calls “ public," because they were of a large size, and commonly hung at one end of the mantle-tree of the chimney; others he calls “ private,” because they were smaller, and carried in the pocket. For the better understanding of the figures on these clogs, he caused a family clog “ to be represented in plano, each angle of the square stick, with the moiety of each of the fat sides belonging to it, being expressed apart." From this clog, so represented in Dr. Plot's history, the engraving is taken which forms the frontispiece now, on his authority, about to be described.
There are 3 months contained upon each of the four edges; the number of the days in 'hem are represented by the notches; that which begins each month has a short spreading stroke turned up from it; every seventh notch is of a larger size, and stands for Sunday, (or rather, perhaps, for the first day of each successive natural week in the year.)
Against many of the notches there are placed on the left hand several marks or symbols denoting the golden number or cycle of the Moon, which number if under 5, is represented by so many points, or duts; but if 5, a line is drawn from the notch, or day, it belongs to, with a hook returned back against the course of the line, which, if cut off at due distance, may be taken for a V, the numeral signifying 5. If the golden nuinber be above 5, and under 10, it is then marked out by the hooked line, which is 5; and with one point, which makes 6; or two, which makes 7; or three, for 8; or four, for 9; the said line being crossed with a broad stroke spreading at each end, which represents an X, when the golden number for the day, over against which it is put, is 10; points being added (as above over the hook for 5,) till the number arises to 15, when a hook is placed again at the end of the line above the X, to show us that number.
The figures issuing from the notches, towards the right hand, are symbols or hieroglyphics, of either, 1st, the offices, or endowments of the saints, before whose festivals they are placed; or 2dly, the manner of their martyrdoms; or 3dly, their actions, or the work or sport in fashion about the time when their feasts are kept.
For instance: 1. from the notch which represents January 13th, on the feast of St. Ililary, issues a cross or badge of a bishop, as St. Hilary was ; from March 1st, a harp, showing the feast of St. David, by that instrument; from June 29th, the keys for St. Peter, reputed the Janitor of heaven; from October 25th, a pair of shoes for St. Crispin, the patron of shoe-makers. Of class 2, are the axe against January 25th, the feast of St. Paul, who was beheaded with an axe; the sword against June 24th, the feast of St. John Baptist, who was beheaded; the gridiron against August 10th, the feast of St. Lawrence, who suffered martyrdom on one ; a wheel on the 25th of November, for St. Catherine, and a decussated cross on the last of that month, for St. Andrew, who are said also to have suffered death by such instruments. Of the 3d kind, are the star on the 6th of January, to denote the Epiphany; a true lover's knot against the 14th of February, for Valentine's-day; a bough against the 2d of March, for St. Ceadda, who lived a Hermit's life in the woods near Litchfield ; a bough on the 1st of May, for the May-bush, then usually set up with great solemnity; and a rake on the 11th of June, St. Barnabas'-day, importing that then it is hay-harvest. So, a pot is set against the 23d of November, for the feast of St. Clement, from the ancient custom of going about that night to beg drink to make merry with : for the purification, annunciation, and all other feasts of our lady, there is always the figure of a heart : and lastly, for December 25th, or Christmas-day, a horn, the ancient vessel in which the Danes use to wassail, or drink healths ; signifying to us, that this is the time we ought to rejoice and make merry.
II. Respecting this second volume of the Every-Day Book, it is scarcely necessary to say more than that it has been conducted with the same desire and design as the preceding volume; and that it contains a much greater variety of original information concerning manners and customs. I had so devoted myself to this main object, as to find no lack of materials for carrying it further ; nor were my correspondents, who had largely increased, less communicative : but there were some readers who thought the work ought to have been finished in one volume, and others, who were not inclined to follow beyond a second; and their apprehensions that it could not, or their wishes that it should not be carried further, constrained me to close it. As an “Everlasting Calendar" of amusements, sports, and pastimes, incident to the year, the Every-Day Book is complete; and I venture, without fear of disproof, to affirm, that there is not such a copious collection of pleasant facts and illustrations, “ for daily use and diversion," in the language ; nor are any other volumes so abundantly stored with original designs, or with curious and interesting subjects so meritoriously engraven.
III. Every thing that I wished to bring into the Every-Day Book, but was compelled to omit from its pages, in order to conclude it within what the public would deem a reasonable size, I purpose to introduce in my Table Book. In that publication, I have the satisfaction to find myself aided by many of my“ Every-Day" correspondents, to whom I tender respectful acknowledgments and hearty thanks. This is the more due to them here, because I frankly confess that to most I owe letters ; I trust that those who have not been noticed as they expected, will impute the neglect to any thing rather than insensibility of my obligations to them, for their valuable favours.
Although I confess myself to have been highly satisfied by the general reception of the Every-Day Book, and am proud of the honour it has derived from individuals of high literary reputation, yet there is one class whose approbation I value most especially. The“ mothers of England" have been pleased to entertain it as an every-day assistant in their families; and instructors of youth, of both sexes, have placed it in schoot-libraries :--this ample testimonial, that, while engaged in exemplifying “manners," I have religiously adhered to “ morals,” is the most gratifying reward I could hope to receive
Then came old January, wrapped well
Upon a huge great earth-pot steane he stood,
Spenser Laus Deo !-was the first entry by entries to the days, and months, and seamerchants and tradesmen of our fore- sons, in “ every varied posture, place, fathers' days, in beginning their new and hour.” account-books with the new year. LAUS Deo! then, be the opening of this vo- JANUARY, besides the names already iume of the Every-Day Book, wherein we mentioned, * was called by the Angle take further “ note of time,” and make
* )a vol. i. p. 2. VOL. II.-53.
Saxons Giuli aftera, signifying the second zon. The Temperature rises in the day, Giul, or Yule, or, as we should say, the on an average of twenty years, to 40.280 second Christmas. * Of Yule itself much and falls in the night, in the open country will be observed, when it can be better to 31.36°—the difference, 8.92°, represaid.
senting the mean effect of the sun's rays for the month, may be termed the solar
variation of the temperature. To this month there is an ode with a
The Mean Temperature of the month, ai verse beautifully descriptive of the Roman the observations in this city be included, symbol of the year:t
is 36.34o. But this mean has a range, in Tis he ! the two-fac'd Janus comes in views termed the lunar variation of the tempera
ten years, of about 10.25°, which may be Wild hyacinths his robe adorn, And snow-drops, rivals of the morn
ture. It holds equally in the decade, He spurns the goat aside,
beginning with 1797, observed in LonBut smiles upon the new
don, and in that beginning with 1807, in Emerging year with pride :
the country. In the former decade, the And now unlocks, with agate key, month was coldest in 1802, and warmest The ruby gates of orient day.
in 1812, and coldest in 1814. I have likewise shown, that there was a tendency in the daily variation of temperature
through this month, to proceed, in these Mr. Luke Howard is the author of a
respective periods of years, in opposite highly useful work, entitled “The Climate classes of winds, in the different periods,
directions. The prevalence of different of London, deduced from
Meteorological is the most obvious cause of these peObservations, made at different places in riodical variations of the mean temperathe neighbourhood of the Metropolis: ture. London, 1818.” 2 vols. 8vo. Out of this
The Barometer in this month rises, on magazine of fact it is proposed to extract, from time to time, certain results which falls to 28.97 in.: the mean range is there
an average of ten years, to 3.40 in., and may acquaint general readers with useful fore 1.43 in.; but the extreme range in knowledge concerning the weather of our
ten years is 2.38 in. The mean height latitude, and induce the inquisitive to for the month is about 29.79 inches. resort to Mr. Howard's book, as a careful guide of high authority in conducting their west to north. The northerly predomi
The prevailing Winds are the class from researches. That gentleman, it is hoped, nate, by a fourth of their amount, over the will not deem this an improper use of his labours : it is meant to be, as far as re
southerly winds. gards himself, a humble tribute to his 30-50 inches for the year) is 0.832 in.,
The average Evaporation (on a total of talents and diligence. With these views, and the mean of De Luc's hydrometer 80. under each month will be given a state of the weather, in Mr. Howard's own words : earth, is 1.959 in.; and the number of
The mean Rain, at the surface of the and thus we begin.
days on which snow or rain falls, in this mouth, averages 14, 4.
A majority of the Nights in this month The Sun in the middle of this month have constantly the temperature at or continues about 8 h. 20 m. above the hori- below the foregoing point.I
Long ere the lingering dawn of that blythe morn
The laugh, the hearty kiss, the good new year
+ See vol. i. p. I.
Howard on Climate.
Pronounced with honest warmth. In village, grange,
good, or very bad indeed! And only to
oropose to be better, is something'; if The Saints of the Roman calendars and nothing else, it is an acknowledgment of martyrologies.
our need to be so, which is the first step
towards amendment. But, in fact, to So far as the rev. Alban Butler, in his every-day biography of Roman Catholic propose to oneself to do welí
, is in some saints, has written their memoirs, their such thing as a stationary point in human
sort to do well, positively; for there is no names have been given, together with endeavours; he who is not worse to-day notices of some, and especially of those than he was yesterday, is better; and he rctained in the calendar of the church of who is not better, is worse.” England from the Romish calendar. Similar notices of others will be offered in the text-hand set of copies put before us
It is written, “ Improve your time," in continuation ; but, on this high festival in when we were better taught to write than the calendar of nature, particular or fur: to understand what we wrote. How often ther remark on the saints' festivals would these three words recurred at that period interrupt due attention to the season, and without their meaning being discovered ! therefore we break from them to observe How often and how serviceably they have that day which all enjoy in common, recurred since to some who have obeyed New Year's Day.
the injunction! How painful has reflee
tion been to others, who recollecting it, Referring for the “ New-year's gifts," preferred to suffer rather than to do! the “ Candlemas-bull," and various observances of our ancestors and ourselves, The author of the paragraph quoted to the first volume of this work, wherein above, expresses forcible remembrance of they are set forth“ in lively pourtraie- his youthful pleasures on the coming in ture,' we stop a moment to peep into the of the new year.—« Hail! to thee, Janu“ Mirror of the Months,” and inquire ARY!-all hail! cold and wintry as thou “ Who can see a new year open upon art, if it be but in virtue of thy first day. him, without being better for the pros- The day, as the French call it, par excelpect-without making sundry wise reflec- lence, Le jour de l'an. Come about tions (for any reflections on this subject me, all ye little schoolboys that have must be comparatively wise ones) on the escaped from the unnatural thraldom of step he is about to take towards the goal your taskwork come crowding about of his being ? Every first of January that me, with your untamed hearts shouting we arrive at, is an imaginary mile-stone in your unmodulated voices, and your on the turnpike track of human life; at happy spirits dancing an untaught meaonce a resting place for thought and me- sure in your eyes! Come, and help me ditation, and a starting point for fresh to speak the praises of new-year's day!exertion in the performance of our jour. your day-one of the three which have, ney. The man who does not at least of late, become yours almost exclusively, propose to himself to be better this year and which have bettered you, and have than he was last, must be either very been bettered themselves, by the change.