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handful of hemp-seed, harrowing it with any thing you can conveniently draw after you. Repeat, now and then, “hempseed I saw thee, hemp-seed I saw thee; and him (or her) that is to be my true, come after me and pou thee." Look over your left shoulder and you will see the appearance of the person invoked, in the attitude of pulling hemp. Some traditions say, ‘come after me and shaw thee,’ that is, show thyself; in which case it simply appears. Others omit the harrowing, and say, ‘come after me and harrow thee.’ zy Another is, “to winn three wechts o'naething.” The wecht is the instrument used in winnowing corn. “This charm must likewise be performed unperceived and alone. You go to the barn and open both doors, taking them off the hinges, if possible: for there is danger that the being, about to appear, may shut the doors and do you some mischief. Then take that instrument used in winnowing the corn, which, in our country dialect, we call a wecht, and go through all the attitudes of letting down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times; and, the third time, an apparition will pass through the barn, in at the windy door, and out at the other, having both the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue marking the employment or station in life.” Then there is “to fathom the stack three times.” “Take an opportunity of going unnoticed to a bear stack (barley stack), and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time, you will catch in your arms the appearance of your future conjugal yokefellow.” Another, “to dip your left shirt sleeve in a burn where three lairds land's meet.” “You go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to a south-running spring or rivulet, where “three lairds' lands meet,' and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to dry. Lie awake; and some time near midnight, an apparition, having the exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn the sleeve, as if to dry the other side of it.” The last is a singular species of divination “with three luggies, or dishes.” “Take three dishes; put clean water in one, foul water in another, and leave the third empty; blindfold a person, and lead him to the hearth where the dishes are ranged: he (or she) dips the left hand; if
by chance in the clean water, the future husband or wife will come to the bar of matrimony a maid; if in the foul, a widow; if in the empty dish, it foretells with equal certainty no marriage at all It is repeated three times : and every time the arrangement of the dishes is altered.” Sir Frederick Morton Eden says, that “Sowens, with butter instead of milk, is not only the Hallow E'en supper, but the Christmas and New-year's-day's breakfast, in many parts of Scotland.”* In the province of Moray, in Scotland, “A solemnity was kept on the eve of the first of November as a thanksgiving for the safe in-gathering of the produce of the fields This I am told, but have not seen it is observed in Buchan and other countries, by having Hallow Eve fire kindled on some rising ground.”f In Ireland fires were anciently lighted up on the four great festivals of the Druids, but at this time they have dropped the fire of November, and substituted candles. The Welsh still retain the fire of November, but can give no reason for the illumination.] The minister of Logierait, in Perthshire, describing that parish, says: “On the evening of the 31st of October, O.S. among many others, one remarkable ceremony is observed. Heath, broom, and dressings of flax, are tied upon a pole. This faggot is then kindled. One takes it upon his shoulders; and, running, bears it round the village. A crowd attend. When the first faggot is burnt out, a second is bound to the pole, and kindled in the same manner as before. Numbers of these blazing faggots are often carried about together; and when the night hapF. to be dark, they form a splendid ilumination. This is Halloween, and is a night of great festivity." Also at Callander, in Perthshire:—“On All Saints Even they set up bonfires in every village. When the bonfire is consumed, the ashes are carefully collected into the form of a circle. There is a stone put in, near the circumference, for every person of the several families interested in the bonfire; and whatever stone is moved out of its place, or injured before next morning, the person represented by that stone is devoted, or fey; and is supposed not to live twelve months from that day. The le received the consecrated fire from ruid priests next morning, the virtues of which were supposed to continue for a year.” At Kirkmichael, in the same shire, “The practice of lighting bonfires on the first night of winter, accompanied with various ceremonies, still H. in this and the neighbouring ighland parishes.”f So likewise at Aberdeen, “The Midsummer Even fire, a relict of Druidism, was kindled in some arts of this county; the Hallow Even ire, another relict of Druidism, was kindled in Buchan. Various magic ceremonies were then celebrated to counteract the influence of witches and demons, and to prognosticate to the young their success or disappointment in the matrimonial lottery. These being devoutly finished, the Hallow fire was kindled, and guarded by the male part of the family. Societies were formed, either by pique or humour, to scatter certain fires, and the attack and defence here often conducted with art and fury.”—“But now”—“the Hallow fire, when kindled, is attended by children only; and the country girl, renouncing the rites of magic, endeavours to enchant her swain by the charms of dress and of industry.”f Pennant records, that in North Wales “ there is a custom upon All Saints Eve of making a great fire called Coel Coeth, when every family about an hour in the night makes a great bonfire in the most conspicuous place near the house; and when the fire is almost extinguished, every one throws a white stone into the ashes, having first marked it; then, having said their prayers, turning round the fire, they go to bed. In the morning, as soon as they are up, they come to search out the stones; and if any one of them is found wanting, they have a notion that the person who threw it in will die before he sees another All Saints Eve.” They also distribute soul cakes on All Souls-day, at the receiving of which poor people pray to God to bless the next crop of wheat. Mr. Owen’s account of the bards, in sir R. Hoare's “Itinerary of archbishop Baldwin through Wales,” says, “The autumnal fire is still kindled in North Wales on the eve of the first day of November, and is attended by many ceremonies; such as running through the fire and smoke, each casting a stone into the fire, and all running off at the conclusion to
* Eden's State of the poor. + Shaw's Hist. of Moray. t Vallancey, Collect. Hibern. $ Sinclair's Stat. Acc. of Scotland.
escape from the black short-tailed sow; then supping upon parsnips, nuts, and apples; catching at an apple suspended by a string with the mouth alone, and the same by an apple in a tub of water; each throwing a nut into the fire, and those that burn bright betoken prosperity to the owners through the following year, but those that burn black and crackle denote misfortune. On the following morning the stones are searched for in the fire, and if any be missing they betide ill to those that threw them in.” At St. Kilda, on Hallow E’en might, they baked “a large cake in form of a triangle, furrowed round, and which was to be all eaten that night.” In England, there are still some parts wherein the grounds are illuminated upon the eve of All Souls, by bearing round them straw, or other fit materials, kindled into a blaze. The ceremony is called a tinley, and the Romish opinion among the common people is, that it represents an emblematical lighting of souls out of purgatory. “The inhabitants of the isle of Lewis (one of the western islands of Scotland,) had an antient custom to sacrifice to a sea god, called Shony, at Hallow-tide, in the manner following: the inhabitants round the island came to the church of St. Mulvay, having each man his provision along with him. Every family furnished a peck of malt, and this was brewed into ale. One of their number was picked out to wade into the sea up to the middle; and, carrying a cup of ale in his hand, standing still in that posture, cried out with a loud voice, saying, * Shony, I give you this cup of ale, hoping that you'll be so kind as to send us plenty of sea-ware, for enriching our ground the ensuing year;' and so threw the cup of ale into the sea. This was performed in the night time. At his return to land, they all went to church, where there was a candle burning upon the altar; and then standing silent for a little time, one of them gave a signal, at which the candle was put out, and immediately all of them went to the fields; where they fell a drinking their ale, and spent the remainder of the night in dancing and singing,” &c.t At Blandford Forum, in Dorsetshire, “there was a custom, in the papal times, to ring bells at Allhallow-tide for all christian souls.” Bishop Burnet gives a letter from king Henry the Eighth to Cranmer “ against superstitious practices,” wherein “the vigil and ringing of bells all the night long upon Allhallowday at night,” are directed to be abolished; and the said vigil to have no watching or ringing. So likewise a subsequent injunction, early in the reign of queen Elizabeth, orders “that the superfluous ringing of bels, and the superstitious ringing of bells at Alhallowntide, and at Al Soul's-day, with the two nights next before and after, be prohibited.” General Vallancey says, concerning this night, “On the Oidhche Shamhna,(Ee Owna,) or vigil of Samam, the peasants in Ireland assemble with sticks and clubs, (the emblems of laceration,) going from house to house, collecting money, bread-cake, butter, cheese, eggs, &c. &c. for the feast, repeating verses in honour of the solemnity, demanding preparations for the festival in the name of St. Columb Kill, desiring them to lay aside the fatted calf, and to bring forth the black sheep. The good women are employed in making the griddle cake and candles; these last are sent from house to house in the vicinity, and are lighted up on the (Saman) next day, before which they pray, or are supposed to pray, for the departed soul of the donor. Every house abounds in the best viands they can afford. Apples and nuts are devoured in abundance; the nut-shells are burnt, and from the ashes many strange things are foretold. Cabbages are torn up by the root. Hempseed is sown by the maidens, and they believe that if they look back, they will see the apparition of the man intended for their future spouse. They hang a shift before the fire, on the close of the feast, and sit up all night, concealed in a corner of the room, convinced that his apparition will come down the chimney and turn the shift. They throw a ball of yarn out of the window, and wind it on the reel within, convinced that if they repeat the paternoster backwards, and look at the ball of yarn without, they will then also see his sith, or apparition. They dip for apples in a tub of water,
* Sinclair's Stat. Acc. of Scotland. † I bitt. t 1 bid.
* Martin's Western islands. + 1 bid
and endeavour to bring one up in the mouth. They suspend a cord with a
cross stick, with apples at one point, and candles lighted at the other; and endeavour to catch the apple, while it is in a circular motion, in the mouth. These, and many other superstitious ceremonies, the remains of Druidism, are observed on this holiday, which will never be eradicated while the name of Saman is permitted to remain.” It is mentioned by a writer in the “Gentleman's Magazine,” that lamb's-wool is a constant ingredient at a merrymaking on Holy Eve, or on the evening before All Saints-day in Ireland. It is made there, he says, o bruising roasted apples, and mixing them with ale, or sometimes with milk. “Formerly, when the superior ranks were not too refined for these periodical meetings of jollity, white wine was frequently substituted for ale. To lamb's-wool, apples and nuts are added as a necessary part of the entertainment; and the young folks amuse themselves with burning nuts in pairs on the bar of the grate, or among the warm embers, to which they give their name and that of their lovers, or those of their friends who are *...* to have such attachments; and from the manner of their burning and duration of the flame, &c. draw such inferences respecting the constancy or strength of their passions, as usually promote mirth and good humour.” Lamb's-wool is thus etymologized by Vallancey:-" The first day of November was dedicated to the angel presiding over fruits, 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 lamb's-wool.” So much is said, and perhaps enough for the present, concerning the celebration of this ancient and popular vigil.
FLORAL DIRECTORY, Fennel-leaved. TickseedCorcopsis ferulefolia. Dedicated to St. Quintin.
Now comes the season when the humble want,
... There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth : To him who gives, a blessing never ceaseth.
Next was November; he full grown and fat As fed with lard, and that right well might seeme; For he had been a fatting hogs of late, That yet his browes with sweat did reek and steam ; And yet the season was full sharp and breem; In planting eeke he took no small delight, Whereon he rode, not easie was to deeme For it a dreadful centaure was in sight, The seed of Saturn and fair Nais, Chiron hight. Spenscr.
This is the eleventh month of the year. The anglo-saxons gave names in their own tongue to each month, and “November they termed wint-monat, to wit, wind-moneth, whereby wee may see that our ancestors were in this season of the yeare made acquainted with blustring Boreas; and it was the antient custome for shipmen then to shrowd themselves at home, and to give over sea-faring (notwithstanding the littlenesse of their then used voyages) untill blustring March had bidden them well to fare.” They likewise called it blot-monath. In the saxon, “blot" means blood; and in this month they killed great abundance of cattle for winter-store, or, according to some, for purposes of sacrifice to their deities.t Bishop Warburton commences a letter to his friend Hurd, with an allusion to the evil influence which the gloominess of this month is proverbially supposed to have on the mind. He dates from Bedford-row, October 28th, 1749:—“I am now got hither,” he says, “to spend the month of November: the dreadful month of November 1 when the little wretches hang and drown themselves, and the great ones sell themselves to the court and the devil.” “This is the month,” says Mr. Leigh Hunt, “in which we are said by the Frenchman to hang and drown ourselves. We also agree with him to call it “the gloomy month of November;' and, above all, with our in-door, money-getting, and unimaginative habits, all the rest of the year, we contrive to make it so. Not all of us, however: and fewer and fewer, we trust, every day. It is a fact well known to the medical philosopher, that, in proportion as people do not like air and exercise, their blood becomes darker and darker: now what corrupts and thickens the circulation, and keeps the humours within the pores, darkens and clogs the mind; and we are then in a state to receive pleasure but indifferently or confusedly, and pain with tenfold painfulness. If we add to this a quantity of unnecessary cares and sordid mistakes, it is so much the worse. A love of nature is the refuge. He who grapples with March, and has the smiling eyes upon him of June and August, need have no fear of November.—And as the Italian R. says, every medal has its reverse. ovember, with its loss of verdure, its frequent rains, the fall of the leaf, and
* Verstegan. + Dr. F. Sayer.
the visible approach of winter, is undoubtedly a gloomy month to the gloomy; but to others, it brings but pensiveness, a feeling very far from destitute of pleasure; and if the healthiest and most imaginative of us may feel their spirits pulled down by reflections connected with earth, its mortalities, and its mistakes, we should but strengthen ourselves the more to make strong and sweet music with the changeful but harmonious movements of nature.” This pleasant observer of the months further remarks, that, “There are many pleasures in November if we will lift up our matter-of-fact eyes, and find that there are matters-of-fact we seldom dream of. It is a pleasant thing to meet the gentle fine days, that come to contradict our sayings for us; it is a pleasant thing to see the primrose come back again in woods and meadows; it is a pleasant thing to catch the whistle of the green plover, and to see the greenfinches congregate; it is a pleasant thing to listen to the deep amorous note of the woodpigeons, who now come back again; and it is a pleasant thing to hear the deeper voice of the stags, making their triumphant love amidst the falling leaves. “, Besides a quantity of fruit, our gardens retain a number of the flowers of last month, with the stripped lily in leaf; and, in addition to several of the flowering trees and shrubs, we have the fertile and glowing china-roses in flower: and in fruit the pyracantha, with its lustrous red-berries, that cluster so beautifully on the walls of cottages. This is the time also for domestic cultivators of flowers to be very busy in preparing for those spring and winter ornaments, which used to be thought the work of magic. They may plant hyacinths, dwarf tulips, polyanthus-narcissus, or any other moderately-growing bulbous roots, either in water-glasses, or in pots of light dry earth, to flower early in their apartments. If in glasses, the bulb should be a little in the water; if in pots, a little in the earth, or but just covered. They should be kept in a warm light room. “The trees generally lose their leaves in the following succession: – walnut, mulberry, horse-chesnut, sycamore, lime, ash, then, after an interval, elm, then beech and oak, then apple and peachtrees, sometimes not till the end of November; and lastly, pollard oaks and young beeches, which retain their withered leaves till pushed off by their new ones in spring. Oaks that happen to be