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more than his fellows, will be the best workman, and get the most money; and frugality abroad, and economy at home, will secure his independence. Attendance at the Mechanics' Institution will teach these things: and St. Clement cannot be better honoured than by observing them. St. CleMENT, at Woolwich.
R. R. obligingly communicates with his name, the following account of an annual ceremony on the evening of St. Clement's day, by the blacksmiths' apprentices of the dockyard there.
(For the Every-Day Book.)
One of the senior apprentices being chosen to serve as old Clem, (so called by them,) is attired in a great coat, having his head covered with an oakham wig, face masked, and a long white beard flowing therefrom ; thus attired, he seats himself in a large wooden chair, chiefly covered with a sort of stuff called buntin, with a crown and anchor, made of wood, on the top, and around it, four transparencies, representing “ the blacksmiths' arms,” “anchor smiths at work,” “Britannia with her anchor,” and “Mount Etna.” He has before him a wooden anvil, and in his hands a pair of tongs and wooden hammer which, in general, he makes good use of whilst reciting his speech. A mate, also masked, attends him with a wooden sledge-hammer; he is also surrounded by a number of other attendants, some of whom carry torches, banners, flags, &c.; others battle-axes, tomahawkes, and other accoutrements of war. This procession, headed by a drum and fife, and six men with old Clem mounted on their shoulders, proceed round the town, stopping and refreshing at nearly every public house, (which, by the by, are pretty numerous,) not forgetting to call on the blacksmiths and officers of the dockyard: there the money-box is pretty freely handed, after old Clem and his mate have recited their speeches, which commence by the mate calling for order, with
“Gentlemen all, attention give,
Old Clem then recites the following speech :
“I am the real St. Clement, the first founder of brass, iron, and steel, from the ore. I have been to Mount Etna, where the god Vulcan first built his forge, and forged the armour and thunderbolts for the god Jupiter. I have been through the deserts of
Arabia; through Asia, Africa, and America;: through the city of Pongrove ; through the town of Tipmingo; and all the northern parts of Scotland. I arrived in London on the twenty-third of November, and came down to his majesty's dockyard, at Woolwich, to see how all the gentlemen Vulcans came on there. I found them all hard at work, and wish to leave them well on the twenty-fourth.”
The mate then subjoins:—
“Come all you Vulcans stout and strong, Unto St. Clem we do belong, I know this house is well prepared With plenty of money o good strong beer, And we must drink before we part, All for to cheer each merry heart. Come all you Vulcans, strong and stout, Unto St. Clem I pray turn out; For now St. Clem's going round the town, His coach and six goes merrily round. Huzza, a,—a.” After having gone round the town and collected a pretty decent sum, they retire to some public house, where they enjoy as good a supper as the money collected will. allow. R. R.
In the already cited “Mirror of the Months,” there is a feeling account of certain days in the metropolis, at this, season, which every one who has sojourned in “that overgrown place” will immediately recognize to be “quite correct.”
“Now the atmosphere of London begins to thicken over head, and assume its natural appearance, preparatory to its becoming, about Christmas time, that “palpable obscure,' which is one of its proudest boasts; and which, among its other merits, may reckon that of engendering those far-famed fogs, of which every body has heard, but to which no one has ever done justice. A London fog, in November, is a thing for which I have a sort of natural affection—to say nothing of an acquired one—the result of a hackneycoach adventure, in which the fair part of the fare threw herself into my arms for protection, amidst the pleasing horrors of an overthrow.
“As an affair of mere breath, there is something tangible in a London fog. . In the evanescent air of Italy, a man might as well not breathe at all, for anything he knows of the matter. But in a wellmixed metropolitan fog, there is something substantial and satisfying. You can feel what you breathe, and see it too. It is like breathing water, as we may suppose the fishes to do. And then the taste of it, when dashed with a due seasoning of seacoal smoke, is far from insipid. It is also meat and drink at the same time: something between egg-flip and omelētte soufflée, but much more digestible than either. Not that I would recommend it medicinally, especially to persons of queasy stomachs, delicate nerves, and afflicted with bile. But for persons of a good robust habit of body, and not dainty withal, (which such, by the by, never are,) there is nothing better in its way. And it wraps you all round like a cloak, too—a patent water-proof one, which no rain ever penetrated. No-I maintain that a real London fog is a thing not to be sneezed atif you help it. Mem. As many spurious imitations of the above are abroad, such as Scotch mists, and the like, -which are no less deleterious than disagreeable,_ please to ask for the ‘true London particular,’ – as manufactured by Thames, Coalgas, Smoke, Steam, & Co. No others are genuine.”
JWater-proof Boots and Shoes.
Take one pound of drying (boiled linseed) oil, two ounces of yellow wax, two ounces of spirits of turpentine, and one of Burgundy pitch, melted carefully over a slow fire. ith this composition new shoes and boots are to be rubbed in the sun, or at a distance from the fire, with a small bit of sponge, as often as they become dry, until they are fully saturated; the leather then is impervious to wet, the shoes and boots last much longer, acquire softness and pliability, and thus prepared, are the most effectual preservatives against cold.
A Notable Woman.
On the 24th of November, 1735, a butcher near Rumford, in Essex, was rode up to by a women well mounted on
This saint is in the church of England calendar, and the almanacs. It is doubtful whether she ever existed; yet in massbooks and breviaries, we find her prayed to and honoured by hymns, with stories of her miracles so wonderfully apocryphal that even cardinal Baronius blushes for the threadbare legends. In Alban Butler's memoirs of this saiut, it may be discovered by a scrutinizing eye, that while her popularity seems to force him to relate particulars concerning her, he leaves himself room to disavow them ; but this is hardly fair, for the great body of readers of his “Lives of the Saints,” are too confiding to criticise hidden meanings. “From this martyr's uncommon erudition,” he says, “and the extraordinary spirit of piety by which she sanctified her learning, and the use she made of it, she is chosen, in the schools, the patroness and model of christian philosophers." According to his authorities she was beheaded under the emperor Maxentius, or Maximinus II. He adds, “She is said first to have been put upon an engine made of four wheels joined together, and stuck with sharp pointed spikes, that when the wheels were ovo her body might be torn to pieces. The acts add, that at the first stirring of the terrible engine, the cords with which the martyr
* Gentleman's Magazine.
was tied, were broke asunder by the invisible power of an angel, and, the engine falling to pieces by the wheels being separated from one another, she was delivered from that death. Hence, the name of “St. Catharine's wheel.”
The Catharine-wheel, a sign in the Borough, and at other inns and public houses, and the Catharine-wheel in fireworks, testify this saint's notoriety in England. Besides pictures and engravings representing her pretended marriage with Christ, others, which are more numerous, represent her with her wheel. She was, in common with other papal saints, also painted in churches, and there is still a very fine, though somewhat mutilated, painting of her, on the glass window in the chancel of the church of West Wickham, a village delightfully situated in Kent, between Bromley and Croydon. The editor of the Every-Day Book went thither, and took a tracing from the window itself, and now presents an engraving from that tracing, under the expectation that, as an ornament, it may be acceptable to all, and, as perpetuating a relic of antiquity, be still more acceptable to a few. The figure under St Catharine's feet is the tyrant Maxentius. In this church there are other fine and perfect remains of the beautifully painted glass which anciently adorned it. A coach leaves the Ship, at Charing-cross, every afternoon for the Swan, at West Wickham, which is kept by Mr. Crittel, who can give a visiter a good bed, good cheer, and good information, and if need be, put a good horse into a good stable. A short and pleasant walk of a mile to the church the next morning will be gratifying in many ways. The village is one of the most retired and agreeable spots in the vicinity of the metropolis. It is not yet deformed by building speculations.
St. Catharine's Day. Old Barnaby Googe, from Naogeorgus, says– “What should I tell what sophisters - on Cathrins day devise 2 Or else the superstitious toyes that maisters exercise.”
Anciently women and girls in Ireland kept a fast every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the year, and some of them also on St. Catharine's day; nor would they omit it though it happened on their birthday, or they were ever so ill. The reason given for it was that the girls might get good husbands, and the women better ones, either by the death, desertion, or reformation of their living ones.”
St. Catharine was esteemed the saint and patroness of spinsters, and her holiday observed by young women meeting on this day, and making merry together, which they call “Cathar'ning."+ Something of this still remains in remote parts of England.
Our correspondent R. R. (in November, 1825,) says, “On the 25th of November, St. Catharine's day, a man dressed in woman’s clothes, with a large wheel by his side, to represent St. Catharine, was brought out of the royal arsenal at Woolwich, (by the workmen of that place,) about six o'clock in the evening, seated in a large wooden chair, and carried by men round the town, with attendants, &c. similar to St. Clement's. They stopped at different houses, where they used to recite a speech; but this ceremony has been discontinued these last eight or nine years.”
Much might be said and contemplated in addition to the notice already taken of the demolition of the church of St. Catharine's, near the Tower. Its destruction has commenced, is proceeding, and will be completed in a short time. The surrender of this edifice will, in the end, become a precedent for a spoliation imagined by very few on the day when he utters this foreboding.
25th of November, 1825.
FLORAL DIRECTORY, Sweet Butter-bur. Tussilago fragrams Dedicated to St. Catharine.
* Camden Brit. " t La Motte on Poetry and Painting, 1750, 12me.
I do not remember to have seen in your book, “ where every-day we turn the leaf to read,” any notice of a custom, which is not only very prevalent, but which is, also, most harmless in its nature and endearing in its tendency—promotes in its practice goodwill and good humour—and, not unfrequently, with those who view the “future i* th’ instant,” love itself. Among the many new moon customs, such as looking through a new silk handkerchief to ascertuin the number of your lovers, feeling for money in your pocket, to see if you will have a lucky month, &c.; I know of none so pleasant, or, to my thinking, so rational, as that of claiming the FIRst Kiss For A PAIR of New Gloves! The person, in a company, male or female, who first gets a glimpse of the new moon, immediately kisses some member of the company, and pronounces with a triumphant chuckle, “Aha! Jane, (or as the name may be,) there's a pair of gloves for me!” By this means a pleasant interruption is often given to a tedious tale, or uninteresting debate, and a new subject starts, in which all may join with greater or less avidity. How happy is some modest youth, should the blushing and ingenuous girl, whom he has secretly “singled from the world,” have laid him under the penalty of a pair of new gloves, by that soft phrase and that first delicious kiss—how fruitful are his sweet anticipations of that golden time—
* When life is all one dream of love and
How joyful is an amiable sister, if, by this species of initiation, she has been enabled to re-conciliate the vagrant affections of some estranged brother: and even where love and sisterly feelings are out of the question, viewed as an interchange of common (common () friendship, between the sexes, how felicitous is
it in effect and operation 1 Should you, Mr. Editor, be of opinion with me, respecting this no longer “tyrant custom,” you may, possibly, by printing this letter, be productive of much good humour, and a pair of new gloves. I am, Your constant and approof, W. G. T. Newcastle-on-Tyne. P. S. I cannot write the name of the town where I reside, without feeling a strong inducement to say one word of him, who has been so pleasantly immortalized by yourself, and the inimitable being who wrote so affectingly of “Rosamund Gray,” and the “Old Familiar Faces”—I mean poor Starkey. I was born, and have lived all my life (not a long one), in the town where he terminated his humble career, and gave another name to the neglected and uno list of those, who seem chiefly to ave entered the world for the purpose of swelling “The short and simple annals of the poor,” and my earliest recollections are haunted by his meagre care-worn form;-many a time have I shrunk from the shaking of his stick, and the imperious “dem your bluds,” which he bestowed with uncommon celerity on the defenceless heads of his young and unthinking sources of annoyance, as they assailed him from the corners which he was accustomed to pass. But the captain was a humble man, and these “moods of the mind.” were seldom indulged in, save when he was returning, brim-full of brief and intemperate importance, from the Black Horse, in Pilgrim-street, the tap-room of which was the scene of many a learned disputation with the “unwashed artificers” of the evening, and in which the captain was always proportionably brilliant to the number of gills he had drank. On these occasions, in his efforts to silence the sons of toil, he did not scruple to use his Latin—and, in such instances, appeal was impossible, and victory sure. Among several anecdotes, I am in possession of two, which you, his most celebrious biographer, may not think unworthy of recording. On one evening, when he was returning from a carousal, furnished by the generosity of friends, or his own indiscretion—for the captain despised to-morrow as much as