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one subject of diversion is to send people on errands and tenure; an admirable expedient, and extremely fit, in those expeditions that are to end in disappointment, and raise a barbarous times, to prevent the people from returning to laugh at the expense of the person sent.'
their old religion. Among these, in imitation of the RoThe Public Advertiser for April 13, 1789, gives the Fools,) when part of the jollity of the season, was a bur
man Saturnalia, was the Festum Fatuorum, (Feast of following humorous Jewish origin of the custom of lesque clection of a mock Pope, mock Cardinals*, &c. making Fools on the first of April.
attended with a thousand ridiculous and indecent cere“This is said to have begun from the mistake of Noah monies, gambols, and antics, all allusively to the exploded in sending the dove out of the ark before the water had pretensions of the Druids, whom these sports were calcuabated, on the first day of the month among the Hebrews, lated to expose to scorn and derision. whicn answers to our first of April; and to perpetuate the
This Feast of Fools had its designed effect, and conmemory of this deliverance, it was thought proper, whoever tributed, perhaps, more to the extermination of those forgot so remarkable a circumstance, to punish them by heathens, than all the collateral aids of fire and sword. sending them upon some sleeveless errand, similar to that The continuance of customs, (especially droll ones, which ineffectual message upon which the bird was sent by the suit the gross taste of the multitude,) after the cause of Patriarch."
them has ceased, is a great but no uncommon absurdity. Another paper for the 1st of April, 1792, says,
One epithet of Old Fools does not ill accord with the pictures of Druids transmitted to us.
The united appear“No antiquary has even tried to explain the custom of making April Fools. The writer recollects that he has priests assumed, doubtless contributed in no small degree
ance of age, sanctity, and wisdom, which these ancient met with a conjecture somewhere, that April Day is cele. I to the deception of the people. The Christian teachers, brated as part of the festivity of New Year's Day. That in their labours to undeceive the fettered multitudes, would day used to be kept on the 25th of March. All antiquaries probably spare no pains to pull off the mask from these know that an octave, or eight days, usually completed the venerable hypocrites, and point out to their converts, that festivals of our forefathers. If so, April Day, making the octave's close, may be supposed to be employed in fool
age was not always synonymous with wisdom; that youth making, all other sports having been exhausted in the with young ones, there were also old (auld) Fools.
was not the peculiar period of folly: but that together foregoing seven days."
N. P.S. The "conjecture" just alluded to, was probably the * Andrew, says the author of the Essay to retrieve the ancient following from the pen of Dr. Pegg, the venerable Celtic, whom he is here quoting, signifies a head Druid, or Rector of Whittington, in Derbyshire. It is to be the Druids, turned them into ridicule, in their Feast, or Holidays of found in the Gentleman's Magazine for April, 1766. Fools, one of the buffoon personages was a Merry Andrew." It is a matter of some difficulty to account for the ex
Mr. Pennant curiously remarks in his Zoology," It is very sin
gular, that most nations give the name of their favourite dish to the pression, “An April Fool," and the strange custom so facetious attendant upon every mountebank (Merry Andrew); thus universally prevalent throughout this kingdom, of people the Dutch call him Pickled Herring ; the Italians, Macaroni; making fools of one another, on the first of April, by try- the French, Jean Potage; the Germans, Hans Wurst, i.e. Jack ing to impose upon each other, and sending one another, Sausage ; and we dignify him with the title of Jack Pudding." upon that day, upon frivolous, ridiculous, and absurd errands. I have found no traces, either of the name or of We had an amusing account of an adventure which had the custom, in other countries, insomuch that it appears to occurred at Kazeroon, to two gentlemen of the Mission, me to be an indigenal custom of our own. Now, to who had been sent some months before to Shiraz. One of account for it; the name undoubtedly arose from the these, a relation of the Elchee, (ambassador,) was particucustom, and this I think arose from hence: our year for- larly averse to what he deemed unnecessary fatigue of merly began, as to some purposes, and in some respects, body. But he nd his companion had their curiosity so on the 25th of March, which was supposed to be the much raised, by the accounts they received of two strange Incarnation of our Lord; and it is certain that the com creatures that were said to be in a house at the distance of mencement of the new year, at whatever time that was fifteen miles, that, in spite of the severity of the weather, supposed to be, was always esteemed an high Festival, (for it was winter,) and the difficulties of the road, they and that both amongst the ancient Romans and with us. determined to go and see them. Now great Festivals were usually attended with an Octave, In answer to their inquiries, one man said “these creathat is, they were wont to continue eight days, whereof tures are very like birds, for they have feathers and two the first and last were the principal; and you will find the legs, but then their head is bare, and has a fleshy look, and 1st of April, is the Octave of the 25th of March, and the one of them has a long beard on its breast." But the chief close, or ending, consequently, of that Feast, which was point on which they dwelt, was the singularity of their both the Festival of the Annunciation and of the New voice, which was altogether unlike that of any other bird Year. Fro hence as I take it, it became a day of extra- they had ever heard of or seen. An old man, who had ordinary mirth and festivity, especially amongst the lower gone from Kazeroon to see them, declared it was a gutsorts, who are apt to pervert and make a bad use of insti- tural sound very like Arabic, but confessed that, though he tutions which at first might be very laudable in themselves. had listened with great attention, he had not been able to
We will close our extracts with a further suggestion make out one word they uttered. from the indefatigable antiquary, to whom we are
When the party arrived, very fatigued, at the end of
their journey, the inhabitants of the small village where indebted for the above notices, and leave our readers the objects of curiosity were kept came out to meet them. to select for themselves the origin, which they may Being conducted to the house where the birds were shut deem the most plausible.
up, the door was opened, and out marched a turkey-cock Calling this “ All Fools' Day," seems to denote it to be and hen! the former, rejoicing in his release from confinea different day from the Feast of Fools, which was held on ment, immediately commenced his Arabic. The Persians the 1st of January: and I am inclined to think, the word who came from Kazeroon were lost in astonishment, while “ All," here is a corruption of our northern word " • auld,"
our two friends looked at each other with that expression for old; because I find in the ancient Romish Calendar, of countenance which indicates a doubt, between an incli(which I have so often cited,) mention made of a “ Feast nation to laugh or be angry; the former feeling, however, of Old Fools.” It must be granted that this Feast stands prevailed. Their merriment surprised the Persians, who, there on the 1st of another month, November: but then
on being informed of its cause, seemed disappointed to it mentions at the same time, that it is by a removal ; hear that the birds, which appeared so strange to them, “ The Feast of Old Fools is removed to this day." Such were very common, both in India and England. removals, indeed, in the very crowded Romish Calendars,
From the account given by the possessor of the turkeys, were often obliged to be made.
it appeared that they had been saved from the wreck of a There is nothing hardly that will bear a clearer demon- vessel in the Gulf, and had gradually come to the part of stration, than that the primitive Christians, by way of the interior where they then were.— Sketches of Persia. conciliating the Pagans to a better worship, humoured their prejudices by yielding to a conformity of names, and
LONDON: even of customs, where they did not essentially interfere JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. with the fundamentals of the Gospel doctrine. This was
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comely, whether standing or sitting, but he was most No. V. STATUE OF King William The Turd, graceful on horseback. In his common conversation he IN ST. JAMES's SQUARE.
was courteous and affable; in matters of importance grave
and reserved, and on no occasion did he sink below his The engraving on the preceding page represents the dignity. He was sometimes apt to be choleric, but the heat large equestrian statue in bronze, of King William of his temper vented itself among certain of his household the Third, which stands in the centre of St. James's and physicians. He was so mild and merciful, that he Square, and forms one of the noblest ornaments of those who had conspired against his own life, if the Parlia
would have pardoned his most inveterate enemies, and even the metropolis. It was cast by Mr. Bacon, son of ment had not prevailed with him to the contrary. in the celebrated John Bacon the sculptor, (a son various kinds of eloquence no man was more acute, sentenworthy of such a sire,) and erected in the year 1808. tious, or polite. In doubtful or dangerous cases, he dis
This statue was executed, pursuant to the will of played wonderful quickness, alacrity, and singular benevoSamuel Travers Esq., who had lived in the reign of lence, and not less address to gain the favour of other King William, and who, in his will, dated July 6th, princes, and to endear himself to God and man. Such was 1724, calls him,“ his master King William the Third.” | city desirous of riches, nor in his public, desirous of a
his benignity, that he seemed neither in his private capaAfter bequeathing considerable sums to various
crown to gratify his ambition, but to qualify himself the charitable purposes, he there directs, that an eques- better to become an instrument of doing good. trian statue of his sovereign, in bronze, should be A correspondent in the Gentleman's Magazine of erected, either in St. James's Square, or in the 1806, evidently a great admirer of this monarch, Poultry. It being found next to impossible, in these expresses his regret, that on walking through St. later days, to fix it in the Poultry, it was, of course, James's Square, he found on the east and west sides assigned to its present position. It is curious, indeed, of the pedestal, GULIELMUS III., and no more; and to contemplate the change that has taken place in then suggests the insertion of a Latin inscription, by the aspect of London, since the date of that will. Akenside, which describes his character, and states “ I have,” says an ingenious modern author, “ met the reasons Britons have to honour his memory. with several old persons in my younger days, who remembered that there was but a single house, a
INDUSTRY. cake-house, between the Mews-gate at Charing-cross, A LABOURER, at Hasketon, in the county of Suffolk, occuand St. James's Palace-gate, where now stand the pied four enclosures, containing fourteen acres of pasturestately piles of St. James's Square, formerly a place for land, at a rent of £13 a year, upon which he kept two cudgel-playing, &c., Pall Mall, and other fine streets.
cows. He died in 1779, and these two cows, with a very In 1725, the year after the death of Mr. Travers, little furniture and clothing, were all the property that an Act of Parliament was passed, for adorning St. devolved, upon his death, to his widow and fourteen children,
the eldest being a girl, under fourteen years of age. The James's Square: but the will was disputed by sur
parish is within the district of one of the Incorporated viving relations, and thrown into chancery, and was Houses of Industry. Upon being made acquainted with the not confirmed for many years. It also appears, situation of the family, the directors immediately agreed that the bequest had been forgotten, until the money
to relieve the widow, by taking seven of her youngest was found in the list of unclaimed dividends. In children into the house. This was proposed to her, but consequence of all this delay, the commission was
with great agitation of mind, she refused to part with any
of her children: she said, she would rather die in working reserved for the employment of a modern artist.
for their maintenance, or go herself with all of them into The statue which is admirably executed, and the house, and work for them there, than either part with possesses great expression, is of the same general them all, or suffer any partiality to be shown to them. dimensions as that of King Charles at Charing-cross.
She then declared, that if her landlord would continue her The bronze is about half an inch in thickness, the in the farm, as she called it, she would undertake to legs of the horse excepted, which are solid. It was, parochial assistance. She persisted in her resolution; and
maintain and bring up all her fourteen children, without at the time of its being cast, supposed by some persons, being a strong woman, about forty-five years old, her landto have been one of the works left unfinished by the lord told her she should continue his tenant, and hold it, elder Bacon, who at his death, directed that his the first year, rent-free. This she accepted with much second son, John Bacon, should continue in the pro- thankfulness, and assured him that she should manage fession of sculpture, and finish the works which he her family without any other assistance. had left incomplete. But it is right to add, that way, the landlord, directed his steward not to call upon
At the same time, though without her knowledge, Mr. the whole of the beautiful statue here described, was
her at all for his rent, conceiving it would be a great thing performed since the death of the father, by a separate if she could support so large a family, even with that contract, entered into with the present Mr. Bacon. advantage. The result, however, was, that with the benefit
For those of our readers who would like to know of her two cows, and of the land, she exerted herself so as more of the person represented by the statue, and, to bring up all her children, twelve of whom she placed in the words of Addison, to be informed “ whether out in service; continuing to pay her rent regularly, of her he was a dark or a fair man, of a mild or choleric the milk of her two cows, together with the cream and
own accord, every year after the first. She carried part of disposition, with other particulars of the like nature,"
butter, every day to sell, at Woodbridge, a market-town, we add the following short, but spirited sketch of two miles off; and brought back bread and other necesthe person and character of William. It is extracted saries, with which, and with her skim-milk, butter-milk; from a history of Great Britain, comprising the &c., she supported her family. The eldest girl took care events from the Revolution in 1688 to the accession of the rest, while the mother was gone to Woodbridge, and of George the First, and written originally in Latin by degrees, as they grew up, the children went into the
service of the neighbouring farmers. by Alexander Cunningham, minister from the last
She came at length and informed her landlord, that all mentioned sovereign to the republic of Vienna. her children, except the two youngest, were able to get After describing the circumstances attending the their own living, and that she had taken to the employment king's death at Kensington, which was occasioned by of a nurse, which was a less laborious situation, and at a fever, brought on in consequence of breaking his the same time, would enable her to provide for the two collar-bone by a fall from his horse when hunting, remaining children, who, indeed, could now almost mainthe author continues :
She, therefore, gave up the land, ex
pressing great gratitude for the enjoyment of it, which had King William was of a middle stature, and had chesnut- afforded her the means of supporting her family under a coloured hair ; he had a piercing eye, a hooked nose, round calamity, which must otherwise have driven both her and shoulders, and slender legs; his appearance was not un
her children into a workhouse,
WILLIAM OF WYKEHAM.
completed, he secured, in the intermediate time, the We hear much said of the exorbitant wealth of best instructions that he could procure for his seventy churchmen of former times; while the beneficial scholars at Winchester, and seventy at Oxford. And, purposes to which that wealth was frequently applied at length, the two fabrics were finished with a magniare passed over in silence. The subject of this ficence of design, which might have been expected memoir is a noble instance of liberality and muni- from a founder eminently skilled, as Wykeham was, ficence. We do not propose to enter at any length in architecture. They were each about six years in into the private and personal history of William of building. The College at Oxford was opened and Wykeham, although it is by no means destitute of entered on, with great solemnity, on the 14th of interest. He was born of humble parents, at April, 1386; that at Winchester on the 28th of Wykeham, in Hampshire, about the year 1324, in March, 1393. the reign of Edward the First. He received his The design of Wykeham was one for which he education through the kindness of Nicholas Uvedale, had no precedent before him ; nor has his plan been a neighbouring landholder; and in his twenty-second completely followed by more than one person since, or twenty-third year, was received into the service of and that person was a king. Henry the Sixth, in Edward the Third, at first, for the purpose of super- the following century, made himself intimately acintending the buildings then going on at Windsor quainted with the institutions of Wykeham, and Castle. Such, however, were the prudence, assiduity, copied them for his two Colleges of Eton, and King's and intelligence displayed by Wykehamn, that he College Cambridge. gradually advanced in the favour and confidence of But, although only one individual was found comthe king, until, after having passed through some pletely to emulate Wykeham, the example of his inferior employments, he was made, in the year 1366, munificence was not altogether lost. One of the in the forty-second year of his age, Bishop of Win- youths, whom he himself placed in his school, was chester, and Lord High Chancellor of England. Henry Chicheley; who afterwards became Archbishop
The latter office, however, Wykeham did not long of Canterbury, and founded All Souls' College in retain. Soon after his appointment to his bishopric, Oxford. His school at Winchester was also taught he retired to the charge and superintendence of his by William of Wainfleet, who, in the course of time, diocese. And, although, in the troubles and disturb- attained the highest honours in Church and State, ances, which occurred in the latter days of Edward and became the founder of Magdalen College in the the Third, in the reign of Richard the Second, and same University. the early part of the reign of Henry the Fourth, Wykeham lived to see his foundations flourishing Wykeham was often called upon to take a share in in reputation and usefulness. It was his principle public affairs, and never undertook them without not to leave his benefactions to take effect after his credit to himself and advantage to the nation, yet
death. He expressly said, that he resolved to exhe rather wished to devote himself to the duties of ecute his designs during his life, that he might his episcopal office, and to the execution of the see with his own eyes their practical operation, great design, which he was anxiously revolving in his and apply to them such securities and improvemind,
ments, as experience might show to him to be This design was the creation of his two Colleges, of useful. On the same principle, he executed in his Winchester, and New College Oxford.
life-time various other works, which might have At an earlier period, the liberality of pious men immortalized any other man. He repaired his castles; had vented itself in the foundation and endowment he rebuilt churches; he made public roads. But his of monasteries. These institutions, although not greatest work in architecture, was the re-construction without their use in the dark and rude ages when of the entire nave of his Cathedral at Winchester ; they arose, were less suited to the advancing spirit of which remains, to the present time, a monument of the times, and had become liable to gross abuses and his genius, and exhibits one of our finest specimens corruptions. Learning, at the time of which we are of the pointed style of building prevalent in his age. now speaking, was beginning to revive; and the We must mention one other very pleasing instance great demand was for institutions, not to form of the liberality of this munificent Prelate. By his recluses and hermits, but men who should be qualified will he had bequeathed legacies and remembrances to to take an useful part in life, and, more particularly, various friends and public bodies. And, in order to to fill, in an adequate manner, the office of secular ensure their due appropriation, he paid them during priests.
his life-time; thus becoming, in a manner, the executor supply ; a design, which he prosecuted with can realita William of Wykeham died in the year 1404, in his diligence and boundless liberality. For this purpose eightieth year, full of age and honours; leaving an he founded his two Colleges. The first, that at example that cannot easily be paralleled, of principles Winchester, beside a Warden and ten Fellows, was directed by consummate prudence and judgment, and endowed for the education of seventy poor scholars, animated by unbounded generosity. who should be instructed in the learning suited to their years, and current in the times: the second, at Oxford, which consisted also of a Warden and seventy for a desirable end, and a consciousness of advancement
A GREAT means of happiness is, a constant employment Fellows, was to receive the same scholars, as they towards that end. advanced toward manhood, and to instruct them in Theology, Canon and Civil Law, Philosophy, Medicine,
ONE part, one little part, we dimly scan, and in the various sciences most useful for the practice Through the dark medium of life's feverish dream, of social life. There was, besides, à noble establish Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan, ment of clerks, choristers, and inferior officers; and
If but that little part incongruous seem; the whole was endowed with funds on the noblest
Nor is that part, perhaps, what mortals deem. scale of munificence.
Oft from apparent ill our blessings rise :
Oh! then renounce that impious self-esteem, To this great work Wykeham devoted himself for
That aims to trace the secrets of the skies; many years. That the benefits of his design might
For thou art but of dust,-be humble and be wise. not be suspended until the necessary buildings were
NEST OF TIIE PENSILE GROBBEAK, (Loxia pensilis).
with few exceptions, build pensile nests. Few of VOLUMES might be written, and have been, upon them, however, equal the Baltimore Starling in the Birds' Nests. The great variety of materials and of construction of these receptacles for their young.. construction displayed in these interesting structures, I have a number of their nests now before me, all is known to every school-boy; but there is one kind completed, and with eggs. One of these, the neatest, of nests, of which we are not aware that there is any is in the form of a cylinder, of five inches diameter, specimen to be found in the architecture of British and seven inches in depth. ... .This nest was hung on birds --we allude to Pensile, or Pendent Nests. the extremity of the horizontal branch of an appleThere is an account of one of these nests, that of tree, and was visible one hundred yards off, though the Tailor Bird, in our First Volume, page 172 ; and shaded by the sun, and was the work of a very some curious specimens of pendent nests may be beautiful bird." seen in the British Museum. Some of these structures In one of the religious periodical publications for are solitary, others are thickly clustered together ; of last month, (The Christian Observer,) the Editor, in the latter kind the most remarkable is that of the allusion to this passage from Wilson, has given a African Pensile Grosbeak, (Loxia pensilis,) of which moralizing turn to the subject in the following verses, five or six hundred nests have been seen hanging with which, for variety's sake, we shall conclude our upon one tree. The Grosbeak's nest is a sort of present detached notices. basket of straw and reeds, in the shape of a bag,
THE ORIOLE'S NEST. with the entrance below. It is fastened to the twig
Tue Oriole builds her a pensile nest : of a tree, and, generally, overhangs a stream. The
It hangs by a thread, and it waves in the skies; birds go on from year to year hanging one nest Yet no foo dares that tranquil asylum molest: to another, so that these at length accumulate to a
If he tempt the frail twig, it forsakes him-he dies. chain of five or six of them suspended from one twig.
The lion is tracked to the wild tangled lair;
In vain the whale shrinks to the dark icy wave; Several varieties of the Finch Tribe, in South The elephant's strength may not burst the fell snare, Africa, suspend their nests from the branches of Nor the swift-bounding fawn find retreat in her cave: trees, especially when they happen to impend over a
Yet the Oriole sings in her soft fragile nest,
Though it hang by a thread and is rocked by the gale river or precipice. The object of this precaution, it Foes are near, yet no tumult approaches her breast; is supposed, is to secure their offspring from the Her offspring no prowling marauders assail. assaults of their numerous enemies, particularly the
O'erhanging the torrent, unheeded, alone,
In her fair leafy island she nurtures her brood ;serpent race.
Would they wish for some path-way to tempt realms unknown The Baya, or Bottle-crested Sparrow, is remarkable By that path-way, so envied, would dangers intrude. for its pendent nest, brilliant plumage, and uncommon
Then blest be the cottage that shields me from care;
I ask no new ties of ambition or pride; sagacity. These birds are found in most parts of
May my nest loose-suspended float calm in mid air, Hindostan. The nests are formed in a very ingenious Unsullied by earth, though to earth near allied : manner, by long grass woven together in the shape Yet nearer to heaven; for death's wintry blast of a bottle, and suspended by the other end to the
The thread that enlínks me to earth shall dissever;
This nest soon must fall-its frail grace may not last extremity of a flexible branch, the more effectually, But the soul disenthralled shall be buoyant for ever. says Mr. Forbes, to secure the eggs and young brood And aye shall it sing, where a calm cloudless sky, from serpents, monkeys, squirrels, and birds of prey.
And a clime ever bright, heaven's spring-tide disclose ;
Where no shelter is craved, for no danger is nigh;
I have hung by a thread over death's sullen wave; the whole genus of Orioles belong to America, and,
Soft zephyrs have lulled me in youth's idle dream,
Or tempests portended the night of the grave.