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sentation; and when the value of money at that time is considered, and also that on the same day every church in London had a sepulchre, each more or less attractive, the sum will not be regarded as despicable. he only theatres for the people were churches, and the monks were actors; accordingly, at Easter, plays were frequently got up for popular amusement. Brand cites from the churchwardens' accounts of Reading, set forth in Coate's history of that town, several items of different sums paid for nails for the sepulchre; “for rosyn to the Resurrection play;" for setting up off poles for the scaffold whereon the plays were performed; for making “a Judas;” for the writing of the plays themselves; and for other expenses attending the “getting up” of the representations, Though the subjects exhibited were connected with the incidents commemorated by the festival, yet the most splendid shows must have been in those churches which performed the resurrection at the sepulchre with a full dramatis personae of monks, in dresses according to the characters they assumed. Mr. Fosbroke gives the “properties” of the sepulchre show belonging to St. Mary R. church at Bristol, from an original MS. in his possession formerly belonging to Chatterton, viz. “Memorandum :-That master Cannings hath delivered, the 4th day of July, in the year of our Lord 1470, to master Nicholas Pelles, vicar of Redclift, Moses Conterin, Philip Berthelmew, and John, Brown, procurators of Redclift beforesaid, a new Sepulchre, well guilt with fine gold, and a civer thereto; an image of God Almighty rising out of the same Sepulchre, with all the ordinance that longeth thereto; that is to say, a lath made of timber and iron work thereto. Item, hereto longeth Heven, made of timber and stained cloths. Item, Hell made of timber and iron work thereto, with Devils the number of thirteen. Item, four knights armed, keeping the Sepulchre, with their weapons in their hands; that is to say, two spears, two axes, with two shields. Item, four pair of Angel's wings, for four Angels, made of timber,and well-painted. Item, the Fadre, the crown and visage, the ball with a cross upon it, well gilt with fine gold. Item, the Holy Ghost coming out of Heven into the Sepulchre. Item, longeth to the four Angels, four Perukes.” The lights at the sepulchre
shows, and at Faster, were of themselves a most attractive part cf the Easter spectacle. The paschal or great Easter taper at Westminster Abbey was three hundred pounds' weight. Sometimes a large wax light called a serpent was used; its name was derived from its spiral form, it being wound round a rod. To light it, fire was struck from a flint consecrated by the abbot. The paschal in Durham cathedral was square wax, and reached to within a man's length of the roof, from whence this waxen enormity was lighted by “a fine convenience.” From this superior light all others were taken. Every taper in the church was purposely extinguished in order that this might supply a fresh stock of consecrated light, till at the same season in the next year a similar parent torch was prepared.”
EASTER IN LONDON.
Easter Monday and Tuesday, and Greenwich fair, are renowned as “holidays” throughout most manufactories and trades conducted in the metropolis. On Monday, Greenwich fair commences. The chief attraction to this spot is the park, wherein stands the Royal Observatory on a hill, adown which it is the delight of boys and girls to pull each other till they are wearied. Frequently of late this place has been a scene of rude disorder. }. it is still visited by thousands and tens of thousands from London and the vicinity; the lowest join in the hill sports; others regale in the publichouses; and many are mere spectators, of what may be called the humours of the day.
On Easter Monday, at the very dawn of day, the avenues from all parts towards Greenwich give sign of the first London festival in the year. Working men and their wives; 'prentices and their sweethearts; blackguards and bullies; make their way to this fair. Pickpockets and their female companions go later. The greater part of the sojourners are on foot, but the vehicles for conveyance are innumerable. The regular and irregular stages are, of course, full inside and outside. Hackney-coaches are equally well filled; gigs carry three, not including the driver; and there are countless private chaise-carts, public pony-chaises and open accommodations. nomingled with these, town-carts, usually employed
* Fosbroke's Brit. Monach.
in carrying goods, are now fitted up, with boards for seats; hereon are seated men, women, and children, till the complement is complete, which is seldom deemed the case till the horses are overloaded. . Now and then passes, like “some huge admiral,” a full-sized coal-waggon, laden with coal-heavers and their wives, and shadowed by spreading boughs from every tree that spreads a bough; these solace themselves with draughts of beer from a barrel aboard, and derive amusement from criticising walkers, and passengers in vehicles passing their own, which is of unsurpassing size. The six-mile journey of one of these machines is sometimes prolonged from “dewy morn” till noon. It stops to let its occupants see all that is to be seen on its passage; such as what are called the “Gooseberry fairs,” by the wayside, whereat heats are run upon half-killed horses, or spare and patient donkeys. Here are the bewitching sounds to many a boy's ears of “A halfpenny ride O!” “A halfpenny ride Ol”; upon that sum “first had and obtained,” the immediately bestrided urchin has full right to “work and labour” the bit of life he bestraddles, for the full space or distance of fifty yards, there and back; the returning fifty being done within half time of the first. Then there is “pricking in the belt,” an old exposed and still practised fraud. Besides this, there are numberless invitations to take “a shy for a halfpenny,” at a “bacca box, full o' ha'pence,” standing on a stick stuck upright in the earth at a reasonable distance for experienced throwers to hit, and therefore win, but which is a mine of wealth to the costermonger proprietor, from the number of unskilled adventurers. Greenwich fair, of itself, is nothing; the congregated throngs are every thing, and fill every place. The hill of the Observatory, and two or three other eminences in the park, are the chief resort of the less experienced and the vicious. But these soon tire, and group after group succeeds till evening. Before then the more prudent visitors have retired to some of the numerous houses in the vicinage of the park, whereon is written, “Boiling water here,” or “Tea and Coffee,” and where they take such refreshment as these places and their own bundles afford, preparatory to their toil home after their pleasure.
At nightfall, “Life in London,” as it is called, is found at Greenwich.
Every room in every public-house is fully occupied by drinkers, smokers, singers and dancers, and the “balls” are kept up during the greater part of the night. +. way to town is now an indescribable scene. The vehicles congregated by the visitors to the fair throughout the day resume their motion, and the living reflux on the road is dense to uneasiness. Of all sights the most miserable is that of the poor broken-down horse, who having been urged three times to and from Greenwich with a load thither of pleasure-seekers at sixpence per head, is now unable to return, for the fourth time, with a full load back, though whipped and lifted, and lifted and whipped, by a reasoning driver, who declares “the hoss did it last fair, and why shouldn't he do it again.” The open windows of every house for refreshment on the road, and clouds of tobacco-smoke therefrom, declare the full stowage of each apartment, while jinglings of the bells, and calls “louder and louder yet,” speak wants and wishes to waiters, who disobey the instructions of the constituent bodies that sent them to the bar. Now from the wayside booths fly out corks that let forth “pop” and “ginger-beer,” and little party-coloured lamps give something of a joyous air to appearances that fatigue and disgust. Overwearied children cry before they have walked to the halfway house; women with infants in their arms pull along their tipsey well-beloveds, others endeavour to wrangle or drag them out of drinking rooms, and, until long after midnight, the Greenwich road does not cease to disgorge incongruities only to be rivalled by the figures and exhibitions in Dutch and Flemish prints.
While this turmoil, commonly called pleasure-taking, is going on, there is another order of persons to whom Easter affords real recreation. Not less inclined to unbend than the frequenters of Greenwich, they seek and find a mode of spending the holiday-time more rationally, Inore economically, and more advantageously to themselves and their families. With their partners and offspring they ride to some of the many pleasant villages beyond the suburbs of London, out of the reach of the harm and strife incident to mixing with noisy crowds. Here the contented groups are joined by relations or friends, who have appointed to meet them, in the quiet lanes or sunny fields of these delightful retreats. When requisite, they recruit from well-stored junket baskets, carried in turn; and after calmly passing several hours in walking and sauntering through the open balmy air of a spring-day, they sometimes close it by making a good comfortable teaparty at a respectable house on their way to town. Then a cheerful glass is order
ed, each joins in merry conversation, or some one suspected of a singing face Justifies the suspicion, and “the jocung song goes round,” till, the fathers being reminded by the mothers, more than once possibly, that “it’s getting late,” they rise refreshed and happy, and go home. Such an assembly is composed of honest and industrious individuals, whose feelings and expressions are somewhat, perhaps,
A HOLIDAY SONG.
We're independent men, with wives, and sweethearts, by our side,
It's for our good, that thus, my boys, we pass the hours that stray,
When all his fun is cut and run, he mav enjoy to-morrow.
To-morrow may we happier be for happiness to-day,
That child or man, no mortal can, or shall, have it to say,
And we will husband both, my boys, and husband too our wives;
Then at this welcome season, boys, let's welcome thus each other,
The clear open weather during the Easter holidays in 1825, drew forth a greater number of London holiday keepers than the same season of many preceding years. They were enabled to indulge by the full employment in most branches of trade and manufacture; and if the period was spent not less merrily, it was enjoyed more rationally and with less excess than before was customary. Greenwich, though crowded, was not so abundant of boisterous rudeness. “It is almost the only one of the popular amusements that remains: Stepney, Hampstead, Westend, and Peckham fairs have been crushed by the police, that ‘stern, rugged nurse’ of national morality; and although Greenwich fair continues, it is anything but what it used to be. Greenwich, however, will always have a charm : the fine park remains—trees, glades, turf, and the view from the observatory, one of the noblest in the world—before you the towers of these palaces built for a monarch's residence, now ennobled into a refuge from life's storms for the gallant defenders of their country, after their long and toilsome pilgrimage—then the noble river; and in the distance, amidst the din and smoke, appears the “mighty heart’ of this mighty empire; these are views worth purchasing at the expense of being obliged to visit Greenwich fair in this day of its decline. ‘Punch' and his ‘better half” seemed to be the presiding deities in the fair, so little of merriment was there to be found. In the ark, however, the scene was different; it was nearly filled with persons of all ages: the young came there for amusement, to see and be seen—the old to pay their customary annual visit. On the hills was the usual array of telescopes; there were also many races, and many sovereigns in the course of the day changed hands on the event of them; but one race in particular deserves remark, not that there was anything in the character, appearance, or speed of the competitors, to distinguish them from the herd of others; the circumstances in it that afforded amusement was the dishonesty of the stakeholder, who, as the parties had just reached the goal, scampered off with the stakes, amidst the shouts of the by-standers, and the ill-concealed chagrin of the two gentlemen who had foolishly committed their money to the hands of a stranger.”
* British Press.
According to annual custom on Easter Monday, the minor theatres opened on that day for the season, and were thronged, as usual, by spectators of novelties,which the Amphitheatre, the Surrey theatre, Sadler's-wells, and other places of dramatic entertainment, constantly get up for the holiday-folks. The scene of attraction was much extended, by amusements long before announced at distant suburbs. At half-past five on Monday afternoon, Mr. Green accompanied by one of his brothers, ascended in a balloon from the Eagle Tavern, the site of the still remembered “Shepherd and Shepherdess,” in the City-road. “The atmoor. being extremely calm, and the sun shining brightly, the machine, after it had ascended to a moderate height, seemed to hang over the city for nearly half an hour, presenting a beautiful appearance, as its sides glistened with the beams of that orb, towards which it appeared to be conveying two of the inhabitants of a different lanet." It descended near Ewell in urrey. At a distance of ten miles from this spot, Mr. Graham, another aerial navigator, let off another balloon from the Star and Garter Tavern, near Kew-bridge. “During the preparations, the gardens began to fill with a motley company of farmers' families, and tradesmen from the neighbourhood, together with a large portion of city folks, and a small sprinkle of some young people of a better dressed order. The fineness of the day gave a peculiar interest to the scene, which throughout was of a very lively description. Parties of ladies, sweeping the ‘green sward,' their gay dresses, laughing eyes, and the cloudless sky, made everything look gay. Outside, it was a multitude, as far as the eye could see on one side. The place had the appearance of a fair, booths and stalls for refreshments being spread out, as upon these recreative occasions. Carts, drays, coaches, and every thing which could enable persons the better to overlook the gardens, were put into eager requisition, and every foot of resting-room upon Kew-bridge had found an anxious and curious occupant. In the mean time, fresh arrivals were taking place from all directions, but the clouds of dust which marked the line of the London-road, in particular, denoted at once the eagerness and numbers of the new comers. A glimpse in that direction showed the pedestrians, half roasted with the sun, and half suffocated with the dust, still keeping on their way towards the favoured spot. About five o'clock, Mr. Graham having seated himself in the car of his vehicle, gave the signal for committing the machine to its fate. She swung in the wind for a moment, but suddenly righting, shot up in a directly perpendicular course, amidst the stunning shout of the assembled multitude, Mr. Graham waving the flags and responding to their cheers. Nothing could be more beautiful than the appearance of the balloon at the distance of about a mile from the earth, for from reflecting back the rays of the sun, it appeared a solid body of gold suspended in the air. It continued in sight nearly an hour and a half; and the crowd, whose curiosity had brought them together, had not entirely dispersed from the gardens before seven o'clock. On the way home they were gratified with the sight of Mr. Green's balloon, which was seen distinctly for a considerable time along the Hammersmith-road. The shadows of evening were lengthening, and midst falling dew, While glow the Heavens with the last steps of day, Far through their rosy depths it did pursue Its solitary way.”
Spit AL SERMONS. In London, on Easter Monday and Tuesday, the Spital Sermons are preached., “On Easter Monday, the boys of Christ's Hospital walk in procession, accompanied by the Inasters and steward, to the Royal Exchange, from whence they proceed to the Mansion-house, where they are joined by the lord mayor, the lady mayoress, the sheriffs, aldermen, recorder, chamberlain, town clerk, and other city officers, with their ladies. From thence the cavalcade proceeds to Christ church, where the Spital Sermon is preached, always by one of the bishops, and an anthem sung by the children. His lordship afterwards returns to the Mansion-house, where a grand civic entertainment is prepared, which is followed by an elegant ball in the evening. On Easter Tuesday, the boys again walk in procession to the Mansion-house, but, instead of the masters, they are accomK. by the matron and nurses. On onday, they walk in the order of the schools, each master being at the head of
the school over which he presides; and the boys in the mathematical school carry their various instruments. . On Tuesday, they walk in the order of the different wards, the nurses walking at the head of the boys under her immediate care. On their arrival at the Mansion-house, they have the honour of being presented individually to the lord mayor, who gives to each boy a new sixpence, a glass of wine, and two buns. His lordship afterwards accompanies them to Christ church, where the service is the same as on Monday. The sermon is on Tuesday usually preached by his lordship's chaplain.”
The most celebrated Spital Sermon of our times, was that preached by the late Dr. Samuel Parr, upon Easter o: 1800, against “the eager desire of paradox; the habit of contemplating a favourite topic in one distinct and vivid point of view, while it is disregarded under all others; a fondness for simplicity on subjects too complicated in their inward structure on their external relations, to be reduced to any single and uniform principle;” and against certain speculations on “the motives by which we are impelled to do good to our fellow creatures, and adjusting the extent to which we are capable of doing it.” This sermon induced great controversy, and much misrepresentation. Few of those who condemned it, read it; and many justified their ignorance of what they detracted, by pretending they could not waste their time upon a volume of theology. This excuse was in reference to its having been printed in quarto, though the sermon itself consists of only about four and twenty pages. The notes are illustrations of a discourse more highly intellectual than most of those who live have heard or read.t
* Morning Herald.
* Wilson's History of Christ's Hospital.
t Archdeacon Butler had been selected by Dr. Parr to pronounce the last appointed words over his remains, and he justified the selection. Dr. Butler's sermon at the funeral of Dr. Parr, has the high merit of presenting a clear outline of this great man's character, and from its pages these passages are culled and thrown together. “His learning was the most profound, and the most varied and extensive, of any man of his age. He has left a chasm in the literature of his country, which none of us shall ever see filled up. As a classical scholar he was sureme-deeply versed in history, especially that of his own country; in metaphysics and moral philosophy not to be excelled; in theology he had read more extensively and thought more deeply, than most of those who claim the highest literary fame in that department. He was well read in controversy, though he loved not controversialists; for his benevolent and tolerating spirit was shocked by any thin like rancour among men who believe a gospel o love, and worship a God of love, and yet can let loose the malignant and vindictive passions, in their religious disputes, against each other. In politics