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#3 obtmber 18.
The Dedication of the Churches of Sts. Peter, and Paul, at Rome. Sts. Al
phaeus, and Zachaeus ; also Romanus, and Barulas. St. Odo, Abbot of Cluni, A. D. 942. St. Hilda, or Hild, Abbess, A. D. 680.
The “Mirror of the Months,” a pleasing volume published in the autumn of 1825, and devoted to the service of the year, points to the appearance of nature at this time:—“The last storm of autumn, or the first of winter, (call it which you will) has strewed the bosom of the all-receiving earth with the few leaves that were still clinging, though dead, to the already sapless branches; and now all stand bare once more, spreading out their innumerable ramifications against the cold grey sky, as if sketched there for a study by the pencil of your only successful drawing-mistress—nature.
“Of all the numerous changes that are perpetually taking place in the general appearance of rural scenery during the year, there is none so striking as this which is attendant on the falling of the leaves; and there is none in which the unpleasing effects so greatly predominate over the pleasing ones. To say truth, a grove denuded of its late gorgeous attire, and instead of bowing majestically before the winds, standing erect and motionless while they are blowing through it, is “a sorry sight,’ and one upon which we will not dwell. But even this sad consequence of the coming on of winter (sad in most of its mere visible effects,) is not entirely without redeeming accompaniments; for in most cases it lays open to our view objects that we are glad to see again, if it be but in virtue of their assoeiation with past years; and in many cases it opens vistas into sweet distances that we had almost forgotten, and brings into view objects that we may have been sighing for the sight of all the summer long. Suppose, for example, that the summer view from the windows of a favourite sleeping-room is bounded by a screen of shrubs, shelving upwards from the turf, and terminating in a little copse of limes, beeches, and sycamores; the prettiest boundary that can greet the morning glance when the shutters are opened, and the sun slants gaily in at them, as if glad to be again admitted. How pleasant is it, when (as now) the winds of winter have stripped the branches
that thus bound our view in, to spy beyond them, as if through network, the sky-pointing spire of the distant village church, rising from behind the old yewtree that darkens its portal; and the trim parsonage beside it, its ivy-grown windows glittering perhaps in the early sun! Oh, none but those who will see the good that is in every thing, know how very few evils there are without some of it attendant on them, and yet how much of good there is unmixed with any evil. “But though the least pleasant sight connected with the coming on of winter in this month is to see the leaves that have so gladdened the groves all the summer long, falling every where around us, withered and dead, that sight is accompanied by another which is too often overlooked. Though most of the leaves fall in winter, and the stems and branches which they beautified stand bare, many of them remain all the year round, and look brighter and fresher now than they did in spring, in virtue of the contrasts that are every where about them. Indeed the cultivation of evergreens has become so fo with us of late years, that the ome enclosures about our country dwellings, from the proudest down to even the poorest, are seldom to be seen without a plentiful supply, which we now, in this month, first begin to observe, and acknowledge the value of. It must be a poor plot of garden-ground indeed that does not now boast its clumps of winter-blowing laurestinus; its trim holly bushes, bright with their scarlet
berries; or its tall spruce firs, shooting
up their pyramid of feathery branches beside the low ivy-grown porch. Of this last-named profuse ornamentor of whatever is permitted to afford it support, (the ivy) we now too every where perceive the beautifully picturesque effects: though there is one effect of it also perceived about this time, which I cannot persuade myself to be reconciled to : I mean where the trunk of a tall tree is bound about with ivy almost to its top, which during the summer has o: been distinguished as a separate growth, but which now, when the other leaves are fallen, and the outspread branches stand bare, offers to the eye, not a contrast, but a contradiction. But let us not dwell on any thing in disfavour of ivy, which is one of the prime boasts of the village scenery of our island, and which even at this season of the year offers pic
This English king and saint is in the church of England calendar and almanacs. St. Edmund was king of East Anglia, which took its name from a people called the Angles, who landed on the eastern coast of Britain, under twelve chiefs, the survivor of whom, Uffa, assumed the title of king of the East Angles. This kingdom contained Norfolk and Suffolk, with part of Cambridgeshire. The chief towns were Norwich, Thetford, Ely, and Cambridge. In 867, the Danes landed in East Anglia, and after ravaging different parts of the island, and continuing some time in Northumberland, returned into Fast Anglia, committing, in their route, the most horrid barbarities. Edmund the king opposed them; but his army was defeated at Thetford, and the king being taken prisoner, fell a miserable victim to their barbarity, for they tied him to a tree, as a butt, or mark, and then
Ghost of an Arm Chair.
A. lady assured the editor of the “Perennial Calendar,” of the truth of the following story. She had ordered an armed chair which stood in her room to be sent to a sick friend, and thought it had been sent conformably to her orders. Waking, however, in the night, and looking by the light of the night-lamp at the furniture in her room, she cast her eyes on the place where the said chair used to stand, and saw it, as she thought, in its F. She at first expressed herself to er husband as being vexed that the chair had not been sent; but, as he protested that it was actually gone, she got out of bed to convince herself, and distinctly saw the chair, even on a nearer approach to it. What now became very remarkable was, that the spotted chair-cover which was over it, assumed an unusual clearness, and the pattern assumed the appearance of being studded with bright stars. She got close to it, and putting her hand out to touch it, found her fingers go through the spectrum unresisted. Astonished, she now viewed it as an illusion, and presently saw it vanish, by becoming fainter till it disappeared. Dr. Forster considers this apparition as affording a clue to one mode by which spectra are introduced, namely, by local association. The lady had anticipated seeing the chair in its place, from its always being associated with the rest of the furniture; and this anticipation of an image of perception was the basis of a corresponding image of spectral illusion.
This saint is in the church of England calendar and the almanacs.
Clement was a follower and coadjutor of the apostle Paul, who, writing to the Philippians, (iv. 3.) requires them to be mindful of the flock and their teachers, and distinguishes Clement by name— “help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, and with Clement also, and with other my fellow-labourers.” The Romish writers contend for the direct papal succession from the apostles, and call Clement a pope; but in the uninterrupted succession they claim for the pontiffs of their hierarchy, they fail in establishing as indisputable whether he was the first, second, or third pope; the name itself was not devised until centuries afterwards. Some of them say he was martyred, others contend that he died a natural death. The advocates for his martyrdom assign him an anchor as a symbol of distinction, because they allege that he was thrown into the sea with an anchor about his neck. It is further alleged that two of his disciples desirous of recovering his remains, assembled a multitude and prayed for the discovery, and, as usual, there was a miracle. “Immediately the sea retired for the space of three miles, or a league, in such sort that they could go into it for all that space as upon the dry land; and they found in it a chapel, or little church, made by the hands of angels; and within the church a chest of stone, in which was the body of St. Clement, and by it the anchor with which he had been cast into the sea. This miracle did not happen only that year in which the holy pope died, but it happened also every year, and the sea retired itself three miles, as was
said, leaving the way dry for seven days, namely, the day of his martyrdom, and the other six following days.” Though “travellers see strange sights,” no modern tourist has related this annual miracle, which is still performed by the sea in the jo of Rome, on the days aforesaid, as duly and truly as the annual liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius at Naples—“or, if not, why not *" Protestants, in London, are reminded of St. Clement's apocryphal death by his anchor being the weathercock that “turns and turns,” to every wind, on the steeple of the parish church of St. Clement Danes in the Strand. It denotes the efflux of time as a minute-hand upon the clock; it denotes the limits of the parish as a mark upon the boundary stones; it graces the beadles' staves; and on the breasts of the charity children is, in the eyes of the parishioners, “a badge of honour.”
It appears from a state proclamation, dated July 22, 1540, that children were accustomed to be decked, and go about on St. Clement's day in procession. From an ancient custom of going about on the night of this festival to beg drink to make merry with, a pot was formerly marked against the 23d of November upon the old clog-almanacs.t
St. Clement is the patron of blacksmiths. His quality in this respect is not noticed by Brand, or other observers of our ancient customs, nor do they mention any observances by that trade in commemoration of his festival . But the following communications will show the estimation wherein he is held among the “cunning workmen in iron.”
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Si Chancery-lane, Nov. 19, 1825. Sir, As secretary of the “Benevolent Institution of Smiths," I take the liberty of jogging your memory. I hope you will not forget our St Clement, §. 23,) in your interesting Every-Day Book. When I was a child, an old man went about in the trade, reciting the following ode on smithery, which, I believe, is very old. If you think it worthy a place in your work, it will much oblige me and our trade; for it is now quite forgot, with many good customs of hospitality of the
* Ribadeneira. t Plot's Staffordshire.
olden days which are no more. I hope a story of St. Dunstan, the smith, with you will cull your flowers of antiquity, and his tongs, pinching the devil by the nose, collect all you can for our trade; there is &c.
An Ode on Smithery, 1610.
“By reading of old authors we do find
I hope you will polish up for insertion. manners; for the same reason, his sugges
I will call for the old copy at your office:
The editor has given the “ode” without Mr. Johnson's alterations and additions, because its original state is better suited to convey a notion of his predecessors'
tion to “polish up" has been declined. The homeliness of those who preceded him is not discreditable to him, or any of the brethren of his trade. They are daily increasing in respectability, and ought to be a thriving branch. Compared with those who lived before them, they have extraordinary means of becoming acquainted with the principles of their varied manufacture, by becoming members of the Mechanics' Institution. Many blacksmiths have already joined that society. A diligent and good hand who knows