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an account is given of the funeral of Martin Mar-prelate, it is observed, that he would not be laid East and West (for he went ever against the haire) but North and South ; and in Cymbeline, Guiderius is represented as saying over the lifeless body of Imogen, “Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to the East; my father has a reason for't. It is recorded of the antiquary Hearne, that he left injunctions to have his grave made East and West, according to the compass. Bede insists, that such was the position of our Saviour in the tomb; Sir Thomas Browne speaks of it as the one uniformly adopted in England; we decline,' says he, the religious consideration, but, to avoid confusion, have adopted the Athenian cuslom; the same which we have described. In early times, and in some countries at the present day, the last and most touching tribute of affection was paid, by fondly strewing flowers on the grave. Virgil refers to this simple custom, in his lines on the death of Marcellus ; the English poets are full of allusions to it. Sweet-scented flowers only were considered proper for this purpose; but nettles and other dishonorable plants were sometimes thrown in scorn, or planted upon the grave of an enemy; and garlands, generally composed of artificial flowers, were suspended in the churches in memory of friends. We have nothing to remind us that such a custom was ever known abroad, except the descriptions given of it by travellers and writers. That of erecting stones at the grave, inscribed with the name and character of the deceased, has descended to us from very remote antiquity.
We now turn to the appropriate conclusion of the drama; but the simplicity of our ancestors is plainly seen at this day in that of the marriage ceremony, wherever their mode of religious worship prevails. When they came to this country, they brought with them a very unfavorable recollection of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction they had left behind; and it was this wbich induced them to render the marriage contract so exclusively civil, that clergymen were not even allowed to perform the nuptial ceremony, until the introduction of the provincial charter. It was previously performed by civil officers, as it may be now. In depriving the ceremony of its religious character, they put an end to many customs, which had once been connected with it; we know not, indeed, that they retained any ; the few which remain may have been imported more recently; but however this may be, they are most of them very ancient. The wedding or bride-cake, is a signal improvement upon a part of the old Roman ceremony of confarreation, or a verbal marriage contract, executed in the presence of ten witnesses, on which occasion the bride and bridegroom partook of a cake composed of flour, salt, and oil. In England, it has always been composed of a more luxurious assortment of ingredients ; in some instances it was broken at the altar over the head of the bride, and the fragments made the subject of a general scramble; but most commonly, pieces of it were passed nine times through the wedding ring, as a charın to enable the young to ascertain in dreams how soon a siinilar fortune awaited them. The wedding ring was anciently regarded as a pledge of faith, and was worn by the Greeks and Romans upon the third finger of the left hand, because a small artery was believed to establish an intimate connexion between that finger and the heart; though a less sentimental reason is assigned for this usage by some, who pronounce this finger better calculated than the rest to preserve the ring from injury, because it is the only one which cannot be extended alone. Among the Northern nations, a knot, as well as a ring, was a symbol of plighted faith ; hence the top-knots or bridal favors, which were once distributed in great profusion at weddings, and worn in the hat for some weeks afterwards. The Anglo-Saxons appointed bride-maids and bride-groom's men to accompany the parties to the church ; but the old English custom appears to have
2 been to put the bridegroom under the protection of the bridemaids for the same purpose, while the bride-knights, as they were called, accompanied the bride. Those who attended her to the church were bachelors; but she was expected to return under the more experienced escort of married men. In the time of Henry VIII. it was usual for one of them to precede her, bearing a vessel of silver or gold; and flowers, of which rosemary, primroses, maiden's blushes and violets were esteemed most appropriate, were liberally strewed before her. A morose old writer, probably a bachelor, states, that she takes it by tradition from her gossips, that she must weepe shoures upon her marriage day; and more than intimates, that artificial means were used to extract the tears, which the heart had no disposition to bestow. It is asserted by another, that in some countries, the bride was crowned by the matrons with a garland of prickles and delivered to her husband, that hee might know hee hath tyed himself to a thorny pleasure ;' but the
reason assigned may be nothing more than the suggestion of his own experience. After the ceremony, the day was commonly devoted to sport and feasting. There was a custom among the Anglo-Saxons, which, filiy years ago, was in remarkable preservation here; the youth amused themselves with dancing, while the ancient sate down to a drinking-bout, in which they bighly delighted.' The game of quintain was once fashionable in England upon this occasion. A horizontal bar was attached to a perpendicular one, and turned freely upon a pivot in the centre; on one end of it was placed a target, and at the other a bag of sand; the assailant on horseback, rode full at the target with his lance, and the speciality of the sport,' according to Master Laneham, was to see how ome for his slacknesse had a good bob with the bag, and soine for his haste to topple downright, and come tumbling to the post.' A country bridal was one of the sports exhibited for the amusement of Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth. It would be an endless task, however, to give an account of the wedding custoins of different countries; perhaps the strangest of all is one described by Park in his travels in Africa; he was awakened at midnight to receive a present from a bride, which consisted of a well-filled bowl dashed directly in his face, and which he was somewhat at a loss to know in what manner to receive, until informeď that it was a mark of particular favor. The wedding serenade was known, in rather a rude form, two centuries ago. Misson, an old traveller in England, after describing the nuptial ceremony, adds; · If the drums and fiddles have notice of it, they are sure to be with them, making a horrible racket, till they have got the pence;' and a vivid idea of this compliment may be formed, by examining one of Hogarth's pictures of the Industrious and Idle Apprentice.
We have thus attempted, in a very imperfect and cursory manner, to illustrate some of those sestivals and customs which have come down to us, like mutilated fragmenis of antiquity. Our limits will not permit is even to allude to a vast number of them ; they would hardly be sufficient for the full description of any one. The subject may not be generally regarded as entitled to much consideration, and the attention may doubtless be directed to many of a graver and more imposing character; but in the relation which it bears to the investigation of ancient manners and modes of life, it is at least as valuable as most other subjects of antiquarian inquiry.
ART. IX.-Harvard University. Letter to Governor Lincoln in Relation to Harvard University. By F. C. GRAY. Second Edition, with an Appendix. Boston. Carter, Hendee & Babcock. 1831.
The author of this pamphlet, who is a member of the Corporation of Harvard College, has undertaken to defend that institution against certain charges which have lately been made upon it in the newspapers. The work is written with great ability, candor, and vivacity, and has been, we believe, very generally satisfactory to unprejudiced readers. Of the charges alluded to, the most importanı is that of sectarianism in religion; and the reply to it occupies a pretty large portion of Mr. Gray's pages. We cannot, however, follow him in this discussion, which is too closely connected with the theological controversies of the day, to suit the purposes of this journal. The two points, to which we shall chiefly direct our attention, are the economy of the college, and the state of its library. The Corporation, it seems, have been accused, on the one hand, of excessive prudence in the husbandry of their resources, and on the other, of appropriating too large a portion of them to the augmentation of the library. These charges are not, on the face of them, very plausible, nor even very consistent with each other; and if the enemies of the college can find nothing worse to allege against it, its friends and the public have, perhaps, reason to suppose that its concerns are pretty well managed.
It is the singular and peculiar fortune of Cambridge College to be connected with the earliest history of the country, and identified with the progress of its liberties. Its influence was national; pervading not New England only, but all the Colonies ; co-extensive with the firm maintenance of piety and the general regard for the interests of science. questioned, whether it was not an important element in the formation of the character, which terminated in the struggle for independence. Other institutions may, perhaps, come to be more munificently endowed, more numerously attended : but none can ever rival it in the crowd of grateful and deeply interesting associations which belong to Harvard College, as the cherished child of the pilgrims, venerable from its age, almost coeval with the landing of the Fathers.
The whole country has a continued interest in the permanent success of an institution, which was commenced under such auspices. We may all clain that it should be administered in a spirit of just liberality, that its benefits should be dispassionately distributed, that its principles should be elevated above the control of political factions or religious parties, and that its steady advancement should be promoted in proportion to the rapid increase of our national wealth, population, moral influences and responsibilities. And we hold it to be a self-evident maxim, that all this cannot be accomplished without the exercise of a vigilant economy.
Where there is no spirit of thrift, generosity is sure to defeat itself; and an inconsiderate enthusiasm works its own ruin, however pure and exalted may be its purposes. It is a beautiful fable, which tells use of the bird that freely strikes wounds into its breast for the nurture of its brood ; and, we doubt not, many a young mother would cheerfully lay down her life for her child. But our Alma Mater is in the custody of her sons; and their piety would surely never allow her to languish from the thoughtless excesses of her liberality. Dollars and cents are, after all, the main instrument of efficient action; and thrist is the main support of temporal prosperity. Without thrift, private charity would run rapidly to the condition of the unavailing exercise of a barren good will; and there could be no large expenditures for public charities, no munificent endowment of the sciences, no careful and sufficient provision for the infirm, the aged, and the insane ; no continued and untiring appropriations for the diffusion of religion. It is the thrist of New England, which has enabled her thus far, in proportion to her numbers and resources, to contribute to public uses more than any portion of the world ; to contribute voluntarily and steadily; to contribute cheerfully and lavishly; and yet to retain her energies unimpaired, or rather to find them refreshed and invigorated by the sacrifice. Hence it is, that so much good has sprung from our barren soil. It was in our Eastern sky, that the star of missionary enterprise first arose ; it was here, that the universal establishment of common schools was wisely designed and most happily executed ; and it is here, that new associations are perpetually forming for diffusing the blessings of civilization and the influence of religion.
We cannot perceive why the same duty of economy is not VOL. XXXIII.NO. 72. 28