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has heard affirmed, that it preserves the house from fire;” “no fire ever happened in a house that had one.” This undoubtedly is a relic of the old superstition; as is also a vulgar notion in the west of England, that the straight stripe down the shoulders of the ass, intersected by the long one from the neck to the tail, is a cross of honour conferred upon him by Christ, and that before Christ rode upon the ass, that animal was not so distinguished. Hot-cross-buns are the ecclesiastical Eulogiae, or consecrated loaves, bestowed in the church as alms, and to those who from any impediment could not receive the host. They are made from the dough from whence the host itself is taken, and are given by the priest to the people after mass, just before the congregation is dismissed, and are kissed before they are eaten. They are marked with the cross as our Good Friday buns are. Winckelman relates this remarkable fact, that at Herculaneum were found two entire loaves of the same size, a palm and a nals, or five inches in diameter. They were marked by a cross, within which were four other lines; and so the bread of the Greeks was marked from the earliest periods. Sometimes it had only four lines, and then it was called quadra. This bread had rarely any other mark than a cross, which was on purpose to divide and break it more easily.” The Tenebrae, a Roman catholic service signifying darkness, is performed on and before Good Friday, to denote the circumstances and darkness at the crucifixion. This is partly symbolized by a
triangular candlestick with fourteen yellow wax candles and one white one, seven of these yellow candles being on one side, the seven other yellow ones on the other side, and the white wax candle being at the top. The fourteen yellow candles represent the eleven apostles, the virgin Mary, and the women that were with her at the crucifixion; the white candle at the top is to represent Christ. Fourteen psalms are sung, and at the end of each psalm one of the yellow candles is put out till the whole fourteen are extinguished, and the white candle alone left alight. After this and the extinction of the light on the altar, “the white candle is taken down from the top of the triangular candlestick, and hid under the altar.” The putting out of the fourteen candles is to denote the flight or mourning of the apostles and the women; and the hiding of the white candle denotes that Christ is in the sepulchre; then a noise is made by beating the desks or books, and by beating the floor with the hands and feet, and this noise is to represent the earthquake and the splitting of the rocks at the crucifixion." In the church of St. Peter's at Rome on Good Friday, the hundred burning lamps on the tomb of St. Peter are extinguished, and a stupendous illuminated cross depends from the immense dome of the cathedral, as if it hung self-supported. But to relate the papal ceremonies pertaining to the fast of lent, and its ensuing festival, would fill volumes of this size, and we hasten from the devices of men to contemplate works which all his art is incompetent to rival.
Next came fresh April, full of lustyhed,
Which th' earth brin
This is the fourth month of the year. Its Latin name is Aprilis, from aperio, to open or set forth. The Saxons called it, Oster or Eastermonath, in which month, the feast of the Saxon goddess, Eastre, Easter, or Eoster is said to have been celebrated.” April, with us, is sometimes represented as a girl clothed in green, with a garland of myrtle and hawthorn buds; holding in one hand primroses and violets, and in the other the zodiacal sign, Taurus, or the bull, into which constellation the sun enters during this month. The Romans consecrated the first of April to Venus, the goddess of beauty, the mother of love, the queen of laughter, the mistress of the graces ; and the Roman widows and virgins assembled in the temple of Virile Fortune, and dis
forth; and wet he seem'd in sight Spenser.
* Sayer's Disquisitions.
closing their personal deformities, prayed
On the first of April, 1712, Lord Bolingbroke stated, that in the wars, called the “glorious wars of queen Anne,” the duke of Marlborough had not lost a single battle—and yet, that the French had carried their point, the succession to the P. monarchy, the pretended cause of these wars. Dean Swift called this statement “a due donation for “All Fools' Day I’”
On the first of April, 1810, Napoleon married Maria Louisa, archduchess of Austria, on which occasion some of the waggish Parisians called him “un poisson d’April,” a term which answers to our April fool. On the occasion of his nuptials, Napoleon struck a medal, with Love bearing a thunderbolt for its device.
It is customary on this day for boys to practise jocular deceptions. When they succeed, they laugh at the person whom they think they have rendered ridiculous, and exclaim, “Ah you April fool!”
Thirty years ago, when buckles were worn in shoes, a boy would meet a person in the street with—“Sir, if you please, your shoe's unbuckled,” and the moment the accosted individual looked towards his feet, the informant would cry—“Ah! you April fool!" Twenty years ago, when buckles were wholly disused, the urchin-cry was—“Sir, your shoe's untied ;” and if the shoe-wearer lowered his eyes, he was hailed, as his buckled predecessor had been, with the said—“Ah! you April fool!” Now, when neither buckles nor strings are worn, because in the year 1825 no decent man “has a shoe to his foot,” the waggery of the day is— “Sir, there's something out of your pocket.” “Where?” “There !” “What?” “Your hand, sir—Ah! you April fool!"
Or else some lady is humbly bowed to,
rup oil;" the cobbler receives the money, and the novice receives a hearty cut or two from the cobbler's strap: if he does not, at the same time, obtain the information that he is “an April fool.” he is sure to be acquainted with it on returning to his companions. The like knowledge is also gained by an errand to some shop for half a pint of “pigeon's milk,” or an inquiry at a bookseller's for the “Life and Adventures of Eve's Mother.”
Then, in-door young ones club their wicked wits,
Geck is likewise derivable “from the
* Prand. * Ash.
* Jamieson, in Nare’s Glossary.
formation of the term is not well accounted for, but their customs on the day are similar to ours. In one instance a “joke” was carried too far. At Paris, on the 1st of April, 1817, a young lady pocketed a watch in the house of a friend. She was arrested the same day, and taken before the correctional police, when being charged with the fact, she said it was an April trick (un poisson d'Avril.) She was asked whether the watch was in her custody? She denied it; but a messenger was sent to her apartment, and it was found on the chimney-place. Upon which the young lady said, she had made the messenger un poisson d'Avril, “an April fool.” The pleasantry, however, did not end so happily, for the young lady was jocularly recommended to remain in the house of correction till the 1st of April, 1818, and then to be discharged as unpoisson d'Avril.”
It must not be forgotten, that the practice of “making April fool” in England, is often indulged by persons of maturer years, and in a more agreeable way. There are some verses that pleasantly exemplify this:t
To a LADY, who threatened to make the AUTHoR an APRIL Fool.
Why strive, dear girl, to make a fool
Yet, having 'scaped from folly's school,
Ah! if I must to school again, Wilt thou my teacher be 2
I'm sure no lesson will be vain Which thou canst give to me.
One of thy kind and gentle looks, Thy smiles devoid of art,
Avail, beyond all crabbed books, To regulate my heart.
Thou need'st not call some fairy elf,
To make thy bard forget himself.
One thing he never can forget,
The sacred hour when first he met
A seed then fell into his breast; Thy spirit placed it there :
Need I, my Julia, tell the rest ? Thou seest the blossoms here.
FLQRAL Di RECTORY.
Annual Mercury. Mercurialis annia. Dedicated to St. Hugh.
St. Francis of Paula. St. Apian, A. L. 306. St. Theodosia, A. D. 308. St. Nicetius, Abp. of Lyons, A. D. 577. St. Elba, Abbess, and her companions, A. D. 870, or 874. B. Constantine II. king of Scotland, A. D. 874. St Bromacha, or Bronanna, Abbess.
St. Francis of Paula
Was a Calabrian, and at fifteen years old shut himself up in a cave, in a rock on the coast. Before twenty he was joined by two others, and the people built them three cells; the number increased, and so arose the order of friar Minims, which means the least of the friars. Constant abstinence from flesh, and all food made of milk or eggs, was one of their rules. In 1479, being invited to Sicily, “he was received there as an angel from heaven, wrought miracles, and built several monasteries.” He prophesied, held burning coals in his hand without being burnt, restored his nephew to life, cured people of the plague, received the host with a cord about his neck on Maundy Thursday, died on the 2d of April, 1508, aged ninety-one, and was buried till 1562 when the hugonots burnt his bones with the wood of a crucifix.”
Besides this, it is related, that the elements lost their force against him; tha. he walked upon fire; entered into a burning oven without harm; and made a sea voyage on his own cloak instead of a ship, and had a companion on board with him.f
According to another account he was much worried by the devil. ... Once while he was at prayers the devil called him three times by his own name. . Another time he was so possessed by the fiend, that he had no other way to get rid of him, than by stripping and beating himself with a hard cord, crying while he did it, “thus brother ass thou must be beaten;” after which he ran into the snow and made seven snowballs, intending to swallow them if the devil had not taken his leave. Then a whole parcel of devils came one night, and gave him a grievous
* Morn. Chron. June 17, 1817. *Cited by Brand from Julia, or Last Follics, 798, 4to.
* Butler. * Wribadeneira.