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out the kingdom. The usage is a vulgar commemoration of the resurrection which the festival of Faster celebrates. Lifting or leaving differs a little in different places. In some parts the person is laid horizontally, in others placed in a sitting position on the bearers' hands. Usually, when the lifting or heaving is within doors, a chair is produced, but in all cases the ceremony is incomplete without three distinct elevations. A Warwickshire correspondent, L. S., says, Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday were known by the name of heaving-day, because on the former day it was customary for the men to heave and kiss the women, and on the latter for the women to retaliate upon the men. The womens' hearing-day was the most amusing. Many a time have I passed along the streets inhabited by the lower orders of people, and seen parties of jolly matrons assembled round tables on which stood a foaming tankard of ale. There they sat in all the pride of absolute sovereignty, and woe to the luckless man that dared to invade their prerogatives!—as sure as he was seen he was pursued—as sure as he was pursued, he was taken—and as sure as he was taken he was heaved and kissed, and compelled to pay sixpence for “leave and license” to depart. Conducted as lifting appears to have been by the blooming lasses of Shrewsbury, and acquitted as all who are actors in the usage any where must be, of even the slightest knowledge that this practice is an absurd performance of the resurrection, still it must strike the reflective mind as at least an absurd custom, “more honored i'the breach than the observance." It has been handed down to us from the bewildering ceremonies of the Romish church, and may easily be discountenanced into disuse by opportune and mild persuasion. If the children of ignorant persons be properly taught, they will perceive in adult years the gross follies of their parentage, and so instruct their own offspring, that not a hand or voice shall be listed or heard from the sons of labour, in support of a superstition that darkened and dismayed man, until the printing-press and the reformation ensured his final enlightenment and emancipation. Easter Eggs. Another relic of the ancient times, are the eggs which pass about at Easter week
under the name of pask, paste, or pace eggs. A communication introduces the subject at once.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Sir, 19th March, 1825. A perusal of the Every-Day Book induces me to communicate the particulars of a custom still prevalent in some parts of Cumberland, although not as generally attended to as it was twenty or thirty years ago. I allude to the practice of sending reciprocal presents of eggs, at Easter, to the children of families respectively, betwixt whom any intimacy subsists. . . For some weeks preceding Good Friday the price of eggs advances considerably, from the great demand occasioned by the custom referred to. The modes adopted to prepare the eggs for presentation are the following: there may be others which have escaped my recollection. The eggs being immersed in hot water for a few moments, the end of a common tallow-candle is made use of to inscribe the names of individuals, dates of particular events, &c. The warmth of the egg renders this a very easy process. Thus inscribed, the egg is placed in a pan of hot water, saturated with cochineal, or other dye-woods; the part over which the tallow has been passed is impervious to the operation of the dye; and consequently when the egg is removed from the pan, there appears no discolouration of the egg where the inscription has been traced, but the egg presents a white inscription on a coloured ground. The colour of course depends upon the taste of the person who prepared the egg; but usually much variety of colour is made use of. Another method of ornamenting “pace eggs” is, however, much neater, although more laborious, than that with the tallowcandle. The egg being dyed, it may be decorated in a very pretty manner, by means of a penknife, with which the dye may be scraped off, leaving the design white, on a coloured ground. An egg is frequently divided into compartments, which are filled up according to the taste and skill of the designer. Generally one compartment contains the name and (being young and unsophisticated) also the age of the party for whom the egg is intended. In another is, perhaps, a landscape; and sometimes a cupid is found lurking in a third : so that these “pace
eggs” become very useful auxiliaries to the missives of St. Valentine. Nothing was more common in the childhood of the writer, than to see a number of these eggs preserved very carefully in the corner-cupboard; each egg being the occupant of a deep, long-stemmed ale-glass, through which the inscription could be read without removing it. Probably many of these eggs now remain in Cumberland, which would afford as good evidence of dates in a court of justice, as a tombstone or a family-bible. It will be readily supposed that the majority of pace eggs are simply dyed; or dotted with tallow to present a piebald or bird's-eye appearance. These are designed for the junior boys who have not begun to participate in the pleasures of “a bended bow and quiver full of arrows;”—a flaming torch, or a heart and a true-lover's knot. These plainer specimens are seldom promoted to the dignity of the ale-glass or the cornercupboard. Instead of being handed down to posterity they are hurled to swift destruction. In the process of dying they are boiled pretty hard—so as to prevent inconvenience if crushed in the hand or the pocket. But the strength of the shell constitutes the chief glory of a pace egg, whose owner aspires only to the conquest of a rival youth. Holding his egg in his hand he challenges a companion to give blow for blow. One of the eggs is sure to be broken, and its shattered remains are the spoil of the conqueror: who is instantly invested with the title of “a cock of one, two, three,” &c. in proportion as it may have fractured his antagonist's eggs in the conflict. A successful egg, in a contest with one which had previously gained honours, adds to its number the reckoning of its vanquished foe. An egg which is a “cock” of ten or a dozen, is frequently challenged. A modern pugilist would call this a set-to for the championship. Such on the borders of the Solway Frith were the youthful amusements of Easter Monday. Your very proper precaution, which requires the names of correspondents who transmit notices of local customs, is complied with by the addition of my name and address below. In publication I Prefer to appear only as your constant leader. J. B. A notice below, the editor hopes will be read and taken by the reader, for
whose advantage it is introduced, in good part.” Pasch eggs are to be found at Easter in different parts of the kingdom. A Liverpool gentleman informs the editor, that in that town and neighbourhood they are still common, and called paste eggs. One of his children brought to him a paste egg at Easter, 1824, beautifully mottled with brown. It had been purposely prepared for the child by the servant, by being boiled hard within the coat of an onion, which imparted to the shell the admired colour. Hard boiling is a chief requisite in preparing the pasch egg. In some parts they are variously coloured with the juices of different herbs, and played with by boys, who roll them on the grass, or toss them up for balls. Their more elegant preparation is already described by our obliging correspondent, The terms pace, paste, or pasch, are derived from paschal, which is a name given to Easter from its being the puschal season. Four hundred eggs were bought for eighteen-pence in the time of Edward I., as appears by a royal roll in the tower; from whence it also appears they were purchased for the purpose of being boiled and stained, or covered with leaf gold, and afterwards distributed to the royal household at Easter. They were formerly consecrated, and the ritual of pope Paul V. for the use of England, Scotland, and Ireland, contains the form of consecration.” On Easter eve and Easter day, the heads of families sent to the church large chargers, filled with the hard boiled eggs, and there the “creature of eggs” became sacred by virtue of holy water, crossing, and so on.
* Mr. J. B–, a native of Maryport in Cumberland, who obligingly communicates the above information respecting pasch eggs it; that county, has ensured the adoption of his letter by subscribing his name and address.
CoMMUNICAtions have been received in great numbers from anonymous correspondents, but the information many of them contain, however interesting or true, can never interest the readers of the Every-Day Book, for this reason, that information will not on any account be inserted, which is not verified by the contributor's name and residence: as every contributor may have his name inserted or not, as he pleases, so no one can object to satisfy the editor, that the facts communicated are from responsible sources. The precaution is necessary; and it may be proper to add, that all contributions with quotations from an “old book,” “an excellent author,” “a work of authority," and so forth, are useless, when contributors forget to mention names and title-pages.
This is the first time that a notice to correspondents has appeared within the columns of the Every-Day Book, and it is designed to be the last. Such intimations cannot be inserted without injury to the uniform appearance of the work; but they are printed on the wrappers of the Monthly Parts.
CoMMUNicATIons of local usages or customs, or other useful and agreeable particulars, are earnestly and respectfully solicited; and extracts, or permission to extract, from scarce works and original manuscripts, will be highly esteemed. The favours of correspondents with real names and addresses are obviously the most valuable, and will receive marked regard. W. HoNE.
31st March, 1825.
Ball. Bacon. Tansy Puddings. Eating of tansy pudding is another custom at Easter derived from the Romish church. Tansy symbolized the bitter herbs used by the Jews at their paschal; but that the people might show a proper abhorrence of Jews, they ate from a gammon of bacon at Easter, as many still do in several country places, at this season, without knowing from whence this practice is derived. Then we have Easter ball-play, another ecclesiastical device, the meaning of which cannot be quite so clearly traced; but it is certain that the Romish clergy abroad played at ball in the church, as part of the service; and we find an archbishop joining in the sport. “A ball, not of size to be grasped by one hand only, being given out at Easter, the dean and his representatives began an antiphone, suited to Easter-day; then taking the ball in his left hand, he commenced a dance to the tune of the antiF." the others dancing round hand in and. At intervals, the ball was bandied or passed to each of the choristers. The organ played according to the dance nd sport. The dancing and antiphone eing concluded, the choir went to take efreshment. It was the privilege of the ord, or his locum tenens, to throw the all; even the archbishop did it.” + Whether the dignified clergy had this amusement in the English churches is not authenticated; but it seems that *** boys used to claim hard eggs, or small
ball-play before mentioned.” Brand cites the mention of a lay amusement at this season, wherein both tansy and ballplay is referred to.
At stool-ball, Lucia, let us play,
Also, from “Poor Robin's Almanack” for 1677, this Easter verse, denoting the sport at that season:
Young men and maids,
At barley-break and
A ball custom now prevails annually at
Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk. On Shrove Tuesday, Easter Monday, and the Whitsuntide festivals, twelve old women side off for a game at trap-and-ball, which is kept up with the greatest spirit and vigour until sunset. One old lady, named Gill, upwards of sixty years of age, has been celebrated as the “mistress of the sport” for a number of years past; and it affords much of the good old humour to flow round, whilst the merry combatants dexterously hurl the giddy ball to and fro. Afterwards they retire to their homes, where
“Voice, fiddle, or flute,
No longer is mute,”
and close the day with apportioned mirth and merriment.t Corporations formerly went forth to play at ball at Easter. Both then and at Whitsuntide, the mayor, aldermen, and sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with a great number of the burgesses, went yearly to the Forth, or little mall of the town, with the mace, sword, and cap of maintenance, carried before them, and patronised the playing at hand-ball, dancing, and other amusements, and sometimes joined in the ball-play, and at others joined hands with the ladies. There is a Cheshire proverb, “When the daughter is stolen, shut the Peppergate.” This is founded on the fact that the mayor of Chester had his daughter stolen as she was playing at ball with other maidens in Pepper-street; the young man who carried her off, came through the Pepper-gate, and the mayor wisely ordered the gate to be shut up : * agreeable to the old saying, and present custom agreeable thereto, “When the steed's stolen, shut the stable-door.” Hereafter it will be seen that persons quite as dignified and magisterial as mayors and aldermen, could compass a holiday's sport and a merry-go-round, as well as their more humble fellow subjects.
money, at Easter, in exchange for the
* Fosbroke's Brit. Monach. from Du Cange
Clipping the Church at Easter.
L. S., a Warwickshire correspondent, communicates this Easter custom to the Every-Day Book :
“When I was a child, as sure as Easter Monday came, I was taken ‘to see the children clip the churches.’ This ceremony was performed, amid crowds of people and shouts of joy, by the children of the different charity-schools, who at a certain hour flocked together for the purpose. The first comers placed themselves hand in hand with their backs against the church, and were joined by their companions, who gradually increased in number, till at last the chain was of sufficient length completely to surround the sacred edifice. As soon as the hand of the last of the train had grasped that of the first, the party broke up, and walked in procession to the other church, (for in those days Birmingham boasted but of two,) where the ceremony was repeated.”
Old Easter Customs in Church.
In the celebration of this festival, the Romish church amused our forefathers by theatrical representations, and extraordinary dramatic worship, with appropriate scenery, machinery, dresses, and decora tions. The exhibitions at Durham appear to have been conducted with great effect. In that cathedral, over our lady of Bolton's altar, there was a marvellous, lively, and beautiful image of the picture of our lady, called the lady of Bolton, which picture was made to open with gimmes. (or linked fastenings,) from the breast downward; and within the said image was wrought and pictured the image of our saviour narvellously finely gilt, holding up his hands, and betwixt his hands was a large fair crucifix of Christ, all of gold; the which crucifix was ordained to be taken
forth every Good Friday, and every man did creep unto it that was in the church at that time; and afterwards it was hung up again within the said image. Every principal day the said image of our lady of Bolton, was opened, that every man might see pictured within her, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, most curiously and finely gilt; and both the sides within her were very finely varnished with green varnish, and flowers of gold, which was a goodly sight for all the beholders thereof. On Good Friday, there was marvellous solemn service, in which service time, after the Passion was sung, two of the ancient monks took a goodly large crucifix, all of gold, of the picture of our saviour Christ nailed upon the cross, laying it upon a velvet cushion, having St. Cuthbert's arms upon it, all embroidered with gold, bringing it betwixt them upon the cushion to the lowest steps in the choir, and there betwixt them did hold the said picture of our saviour, sitting on either side of it. And then one of the said monks did rise, and went a pretty space from it, and setting himself upon his knees with his shoes put off, very reverently he crept upon his knees unto the said cross, and most reverently did kiss it; and after him the other monk did so likewise; and then they sate down on either side of the said cross, holding it betwixt them. Afterward, the prior came forth of his stall, and did sit him down upon his knees with his shoes off in like sort, and did creep also unto the said cross, and all the monks after him did creep one after another in the same manner and order; in the mean time, the whole choir singing a hymn. The service being ended, the said two monks carried the cross to the sepulchre with great reverence.* The sepulchre was erected in # church near the altar, to represent the tomb wherein the body of Christ was laid for burial. At this tomb there was a grand performance on Easter-da In some churches it was ordained, that Mary Magdalen, Mary of Bethany, and Mary of Naim, should be represented by three deacons clothed in dalmaticks and amesses, with their heads in the manner of women, and holding a vase in their hands. These performers came through the middle of the choir, and hastening ‘owards the sepulchre, with downcast ooks, said together this verse, “Who twill remove the stone for us?” Upon this a boy, clothed like an angel, in albs, and holding a wheat ear in his hand, before the sepulchre, said, “Whom do you seek in the sepulchre " The Maries answered, “Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified.” The boy-angel answered, “He is not here, but is risen ;” and pointed to the place with his finger. The boy-angel departed very quickly, and two priests in tunics, sitting without the sepulchre, said, “Woman, whom do ye mourn for 2 Whom do ye seek?” The middle one of the women said, “Sir, if you have taken him away, say so." The Fo showing the cross, said, “They ave taken away the Lord.” The two sitting priests said, “Whom do ye seek, women " The Maries, kissing the place, afterwards went from the sepulchre. In the mean time a priest, in the character of Christ, in an alb, with a stole, holding a cross, met them on the left horn of the altar, and said, “Mary !” Upon hearing this, the mock Mary threw herself at his feet, and, with a loud voice, cried Cabboin. The priest representing Christ replied, nodding, “Noli me tangere,” touch me not. This being finished, he again appeared at the right horn of the altar, and said to them as they passed before the altar, “Hail! do not fear.” This being finished, he concealed himself; and the women-priests, as though joyful at hearing this, bowed to the altar, and turning to the choir, sung “Alleluia, the Lord is risen.” This was the signal for the bishop or priest before the altar, with the censer, to I. and sing aloud, Te Deum.” The making of the sepulchre was a practice founded upon ancient tradition, that the second coming of Christ would be on Easter-eve; and sepulchre-making, and watching it, remained in England till the reformation. Its ceremonies vaned in different places. In the abbey church of Durham it was part of the service upon Faster-day, betwixt three and four o'clock in the morning, for two of the eldest monks of the quire to come to the sepulchre, set up upon Good Friday after the Passion, which being covered with red velvet, and embroidered with gold, these monks, with a pair of silver censers, censed the ... on their knees. Then both rising, went to the
* Drake's Shakspeare, from Fuller's Worthics.
* Hone's Ancient Mysteries described, froms", Davies's Rites, &c. s * Fosbroke's Brit. Monach. from Du Cange.
sepulchre, out of which they took a marvellous beautiful image of the resurrection, with a cross in the hand of the image of Christ, in the breast whereof was inclosed, in bright crystal, the host, so as to be conspicuous to the beholders. Then, after the elevation of the said picture, it was carried by the said two monks, upon a velvet embroidered cushion, the monks singing the anthem of Christus resurgens. They then brought it to the high altar, setting it on the midst thereof, and the two monks kneeling before the altar, censed it all the time that the rest of the quire were singing the anthem, which being ended, the two monks took up the cushion and picture from the altar, suporting it betwixt them, and proceeded in procession from the high altar to the south quire door, where there were four ancient gentlemen belonging to the quire, appointed to attend their coming, holding up a rich canopy of purple velvet, tasselled round about with red silk and gold fringe; and then the canopy was borne by these “ancient gentlemen,” over the said images with the host carried by the two monks round about the church, the whole quire following, with torches and great store of other lights; all singing, rejoicing, and praying, till they came to the high altar again; upon which they placed the said image, there to remain till Ascension-day, when another ceremony was used. In Brand’s “Antiquities,” and other works, there are many items of expenses from the accounts of different churchbooks for making the sepulchre for this Easter ceremony. The old Register Book of the brethren of the Holy Trinity of St. Botolph without Aldersgate, now in the possession of the editor of the Every-Day Book, contains the following entries concerning the sepulchre in that church :— “Item, to the weschaundeler, for makyng of the Sepulcre light iii times, and of other dyvers lights that longyn to the trynite, in dyvers places in the chirche, lvii. 10".” In An. 17 Henry VI. there is another “Item, for xiii tapers unto the lyght about the Sepulcre, agenst the feste of Estern, weying lxxviii lb. of the wich was wasted xxii lb.” &c. In Ann. 21 & 22 K, Henry VI, the fraternity paid for wax and for lighting of the sepulchre “both yers, xx'. viii".” and they gathered in those years for their sepulchre light, xlv. ix". This gathering was from the people who were present at the repre