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ceived and dangers escaped in the year past, as well as for gratitude to the kind Providence which permits us to witness the commencement of a succeeding one. Among the Romans it was the custom for the people to appear in their new clothes ; and the consuls entering upon their office on the first of January, they went in procession to the capitol, clothed in purple, having the fasces (a bundle of rods, inclosing an axe) carried before them by officers called lictors. Ovid, in his Fasti, alludes to this ceremony :

The joyous morn appears, let all attend
With silence, and kind salutations send
From house to house; let rude contention cease,
And nought disturb the upiversal peace ;
Envy, the poison of thy tongue, restrain,
Nor cast on this white day a livid stain.
See how in æther spicy odours rise,
And the Cilician nard perfumes the skies !
The sacred fires upon the altars blaze,
And gilded roofs reverberate the rays;
By people, in their new attire arrayed,
To Jove's high tow'rs the long procession's made;
The fasces new precede the splendid line,
And new consuls in new purple shine;
Fat heifers in the Tuscan meadows.feed,

Before the altars grateful victims bleed. The ushering in of the New Year, or New Year's tide, with rejoicings, presents, and good wishes, was a custom observed, during the sixteenth century, with great regularity and parade, and was as cordially celebrated in the court of the prince as in the cottage of the peasant.

To end the old year merrily and begin the new one well, and in friendship with their neighbours, were the objects which the common people had in view in the celebration of this tide or festival. New-Year's Eve, therefore, was spent in festivity and frolic by the men; and the young women of the village carried about, from door to door, a bowl of spiced ale, which they offered to the inhabitants of

every house where they stopped, singing at the same time some rude congratulatory verses, and expecting some small present in return. This practice, however, which originated in pure kindness and benevolence, soon degenerated into a mere pecuniary traffic, for Selden, in his Table Talk, thus alludes to the subject, while drawing the following curious comparison: The Pope, in sending relicks to princes, does as wenches do by their wassails at New Year's Tide. They present you with a cup, and you must drink of a sorry stuff; but the meaning is, you must give them money ten times more than it is worth'.'

It was customary, also, on this eve, for the young men and women to exchange their clothes, which was termed Mumming or Disguising; and when thus dressed in each other's garments, they would go from one neighbour's cottage to another, singing, dancing, and partaking of their good cheer; a species of masquerading which, as may be imagined, was often productive of the most licentious freedoms.

On the succeeding morning, the first of the New Year presents, called new-year's gifts, were given and received, with the mutual expression of good wishes, and particularly that of a happy New Year. The compliment was sometimes paid at each other's doors in the form of a song; but more generally, (especially in the north of England and in Scotland) the house was entered very early in the morning, by come young men and maidens selected for the purpose, who presented the spiced bowl, and hailed you with the gratulations of the season.

"The antient custom of going about with the wassail, 'a bowl of spiced ale,' on New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night, and Christmas Eve, is yet retained in many places. The composition was ale, nutmeg, sugar, toast, and roasted crabs or apples, and was called lamb's wool. Some verses still sung in Gloucestershire, on this day, may be seen in T. T. for 1814, p. 3.

The custom of interchanging gifts on this day, though now nearly obsolete, was, in the days of Shakspeare, observed most scrupulously; and not merely in the country, but, as hath been just before hinted, even in the palace of the monarch. In fact, the wardrobe and jewelry of Elizabeth appear to have been supported principally by these annual contributions.

The greatest part, if not all the peers and peeresses of the realm, all the bishops, the chief officers of state, and several of the Queen's household servants, even down to her apothecaries, master cook, serjeant of the pastry, &c. gave New Year's gifts to Her Majesty; consisting, in general, either of a sum of money, or jewels, trinkets, wearing apparel, &c. The largest sum given by any of the temporal lords was £20; but the Archbishop of Canterbury gave £40, the Archbishop of York £30, and the other spiritual lords £20, and £10; many of the temporal lords and great officers, and most of the peeresses, gave rich gowns, petticoats, kirtles, silk stockings, cypres garters, sweet-bags, doblets, mantles, some embroidered with pearles, garnets, &c. looking. glasses, fans, bracelets, caskets studded with precious stones, jewels ornamented with sparks of diamonds in various devices, and other costly trinkets. See T.T. for 1819, p. 2.

The Queen, though she made returns in plate and other articles, took sufficient care that the balance should be in her own favour; hence, as the custom was found to be lucrative, and had indeed been practised with success by her predecessors on the throne, it was encouraged and rendered fashionable to an extent hitherto unprecedented in this kingdom. In the country, however, with the exception of the extensive households of the nobility, this

interchange was conducted on the pure basis of reciprocal kindness and good will, and without any view of secur

ing patronage or support; it was, indeed, frequently the channel through which charity delighted to exert her holy influence, and, though originating in the heathen world, became sanctified by the Christian virtues.-See Dr. Drake's Shakspeare and his Times, vol. i, p. 123.

For some customs in France on New Year's Day, see T. T. for 1815, p. 2, and our last volume, p. 3.

*2. 1815.-LORD BYRON MARRIED To Anne Isabella, only child of Sir Ralph Noel, Bart., by whom he has one daughter.

Is thy face like thy mother's, my fair child !
Ada! sole daughter of my house and heart?
When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled,
And when we parted,

-Rot as now we part,
But with a hope.--

My daughter!
I see thee not, I hear thee pot-but none
Can be so wrapt in thee; thou art the friend
To whom the shadows of far years extend :
Alheit my brow thou never should'st behold,
My voice shall with thy future visions blend,
And reach into thy heart,

when mine is cold, A token and a tone, even from thy father's mould.

To aid thy mind's developement,--to watch
Tby dawu of little joys,-to sit and see
Almost thy very growth, ---to view thee catch
Knowledge of objects,—wonders yet to thee!
To hold thee lightly on a gentle knee,
And print on thy soft cheek a parent's kiss,
This, it should seem, was not reserved for me;
Yet this was in my nature :--as it is,
I know not what is there, yet something like to this.

Yet, though dull Hate as duty should be tauglit,
I know that thou wilt love me; though my name
Should be shnt from thee, as a spell still fraught
With desolation, and a broken elaim:
Though the grave closed between us,--twere the same,
I know that thou wilt love me; though to drain
My blood from out thy being, were an aim

And an attainment, all would be in vain,-
Still thou would'st love ine, still that more than life retain.

The child of love,-though born in bitterness,
And nurtured in convulsion. Of thy sire
These were the elements, and thine no less.
As yet such are around thee, but thy fire
Shall be more tempered, and thy hope far higher.
Sweet be thy cradled slumbers! O'er the sea,
And from the mountains where I now respire,
Fain would I waft such blessing upon thee,
As, with a sigh, I deem thou might'st have been to me!

CHILDE HAROI.D, Canto 3, p. 62-64. *4. 1568.-ROGER ASCHAM DIED. He was Latin secretary and tutor in the learned languages to Queen Elizabeth, by whom he was much lamented; her Majesty having, it is said, declared, that she would rather have lost ten thousand pounds than her tutor Ascham. Being remarkable for writing a fine hand, he was employed to instruct several of the royal family in that art.

*5. 1793.-MRS. GRIFFITHS DÍED. Her letters to young married women, her plays, and her volume on the Morality of Shakspeare's Dramas, bespeak this lady to have been one of those numerous females who were the ornament of the age and country in which she lived.

6.-EPIPHANY. The rites of this day, the name of which signifies an appearance of light, or a manifestation, are different in various places, though the object of them is much the same in all; namely, to do honour to the memory of the Eastern magi, to whom Christ on this day was manifested, and who, according to a tradition of the Romish church, were three in number, and of royal dignity. This being the Twelfth-day after the Nativity of our Lord, is celebrated in the metropolis, and in the south of England, by drawing lots, and assuming fictitious characters for the evening: formerly the king or queen was chosen by a bean found in a piece of divided cake; and this was once a common Christmas gambol in both the English Universities. Herrick, who was the contemporary of Shakspeare from the year 1591 to 1610, gives the

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