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The Rev Thomas Dudley Fosbroke, M.A. F. A. S., &c. whose “Encyclopædia of Antiquities” has been already cited from, is the author of “British Monachism, or, Manners and Customs of the Monks and Nuns of England,” 4to. 1817; a most erudite work, wherein he gives an account, from Du Cange, of the Feast of the Star, or Office of the Three Kings, a catholic service performed on this day. “Three priests, clothed as kings, with their servants carrying offerings, met from different directions of the church before the altar. The middle one, who came from the east, pointed with his staff to a star: a dialogue then ensued; and after kissing each other, they began to sing, “Let us go and inquire;’ after which the K. began a responsory, ‘Let the Magi come.’ A procession then commenced, and as soon as it began to enter the nave, a crown like a star, hanging before the cross, was lighted up, and point
ed out to the Magi, with “Behold the
star in the east. This being concluded, two priests, standing at each side of the altar, answered, meekly, “We are those whom you seek,” and drawing a curtain showed them a child, whom, falling down, they worshipped. Then the servants made the offerings of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which were divided among the priests. The Magi in the mean while continued praying till they dropped asleep; when a boy clothed in an alb, like an angel, addressed them with, “All things which the prophets said are fulfilled.” The festival concluded with chanting services, &c.” Mr. Fosbroke adds, that at Soissons a rope was let down from the roof of the church, to which was annexed an iron circle, having seven tapers, intended to represent Lucifer, or the morning star. The three persons honoured by this service, and called kings, were the three wise men who, in catholic works, are usually denominated the Three Kings of Cologne. Cressy tells us, that the empress Helena, who died about the year 228, brought their bodies from the east to Constantinople; from whence they were
transferred to Milan, and afterwards, in 1164, on Milan being taken by the emperor Frederick, presented by him to the archbishop of Cologne, who put them in the principal church of that city, “ in which place,” says Cressy, “they are to this day celebrated with great veneration.” Patrick quotes a prayer to them from the Romish service, beginning “O, king Jas
ar, king Melchior, king Balthasar;” and e says that the Salisbury Missal states their offerings to have been disposed of in this way:—“Joseph kept of the gold as much as him needed, to pay his tribute to the emperor, and also to keep our lady with while she lay in childbed, and the rest he gave to the poor. The incense he burnt to take off the stench of the stable there as she lay in ; and with the myrrh, our lady anointed her child, to keep him from worms and disease.” Patrick makes several observations on the service to these three kings of Cologne, and as to the credibility of their story; and he inquires what good this prayer will do to Jaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, when another tradition says their names were Apellius, Amerus, and Damascus; a third, that they were Magalath, Galga. lath, and Sarasin; and a fourth, Ator Sator, and Peratoras which last, Patrick says, he should choose in this uncertainty to call them by, as having the more kingly sound, if it had not been that Casaubon represents these three, “together with Misael, Achael, Cyriacus, and Stephanus, (the names of the four shepherds that came to visit our Lord in Bethlehem,) had been used (and he telis how) for a charm to cure the biting of serpents and other venomous beasts.” Patrick gives other }. to these three kings, one of them rom the “Hours of the Virgin,” and also quotes this miraculous anecdote; that one John Aprilius, when he was hanged, implored the patronage of the three kings of Cologne; the consequence of which seems to have been, that after he had been hung three days and was cut down, he was found alive; whereupon he came to Cologne half naked, with his halter about his neck, and returned thanks to his deliverers.
ary, painted with variegated colours, glitter by “excess of light” from mirrors against the walls festooned with artificial “wonders of Flora.” This “paradise of dainty devices,” is crowded by successive and successful desirers of the seasonable delicacies, while alternate tapping of hammers and peals of laughter, from the throng surrounding the house, excite smiles from the inmates. The cause of these sounds may be inferred from something like this passing outside. Constable. Make way, make way ! Clear the way! You boys stand aside 1 Countryman. What is all this ; Is any body ill in the shop : 1st Boy. Nobody, sir; it's only Twelfth day ! 2d Boy. This is a pastrycook's, sir; look at the window ! There they stand! What cakes | 3d Boy. What pretty ones these are 4th Boy. Only see that 1 5th Boy. Why it's as large as the hindwheel of a coach, and how thick 1 6th Boy. Ah! it's too big to come out at the door, unless they roll it out. 7th Boy. What elegant figures, and what lots of sweetmeats! 8th Boy. See the flowers ; they look almost like real ones. Countryman. What a crowd inside 1 9th Boy. How the people of the house are packing up all the good things! Countryman. What a beautiful lady that is behind the counter 1 10th Boy. Which 2 Countryman. Why the young one 10th Boy. What her P oh, she's the pastrycook's daughter, and the other's her mother. Countryman. mean her, there. 10th Boy. Oh, her ; she's the shopwoman; all the pastrycooks always try to get handsome ladies to serve in the shop! Tlth Boy. I say, I say! halloo! here's a piece of work! Look at this gentleman— text to me—his coat-tail's nailed to the window ! Look, look 1 Countryman. Aye, what? All the boys. Ah! ah! ah! Huzza. Countryman. Who nailed my coat-tail? Constable ! 12th Boy. That's the boy that's got the hammer 2 2d Boy. What me * why that’s the boy—there; and there's another boy ham
mering! and there's a man with a hammer! 1st Boy. Who pinned that woman to the ‘gentleman? Why there's a-dozen pinned together. Courtryman. Constable ! constable ! 2d Boy. Here comes the constable. Hark at him ' Const. Clear away from the doors Let the customers go in 1 Make way ! Let the cakes come out ! Go back, boy! 13th Boy. If you please, Mr. Constable, I'm going to buy a cake I Const. Go forward, then 1 Man with cakes. By your leave by your leave. Const. Clear the way! All the Boys. Huzza! huzza! people pinned — and plenty up !
To explain, to those who may be ignorant of the practice. On Twelfthnight in London, boys assemble round the inviting shops of the pastrycooks, and dexterously nail the coat-tails of spectators, who venture near enough, to the bottoms of the window frames; or pin them together strongly by their clothes. Sometimes eight or ten persons find themselves thus connected. The dexterity and force of the nail driving is so quick and sure, that a single blow seldom fails of doing the business effectually. Withdrawal of the nail without a proper instrument is out of the question; and, consequently, the person nailed must either leave part of his coat, as a cognizance of his attachment, or quit the spot with a hole in it. At every nailing and pinning shouts of laughter arise from the perpetrators and the spectators. Yet it often happens to one who turns and smiles at the duress of another, that he also finds himself nailed. Efforts at extrication increase mirth, nor is the presence of a constable, who is usually employed to attend and preserve free “ingress, egress, and regress,” sufficiently awful to deter the offenders.
Scarcely a shop in London that offers a halfpenny plain bun to the purchase of a hungry boy, is without Twelfth-cakes and finery in the windows on Twelfth-day. The gingerbread-bakers—there are not many, compared with their number when the writer was a consumer of their manufactured goods,-even the reduced gingerbread-bakers periwig a few plum-buns with sugar-frost to-day, and coaxingly interpolate them among their new made sixes, bath-cakes, parliament, and ladies' fingers. Their staple-ware has leaves of untarnished dutch-gilt stuck on ; their upright cylinder-shaped show-glasses, con taining peppermint-drops, elecampane, sugar-sticks, hard-bake, brandy-balls, and bulls'-eyes, are carefully polished; their lolly-pops are fresh encased, and look as white as the stems of tobacco-pipes; and their candlesticks are ornamented with fillets and bosses of writing paper; or, if the candles rise from the bottom of inverted glass cones, they shine more sparkling for the thorough cleaning of their receivers in the morning. How to eat Twelfth-cake requires no recipe; but how to provide it, and draw the characters, on the authority of Rachel Revel's “Winter Evening Pastimes,” may be acceptable. First, buy your cake. Then, before your visitors arrive, buy your characters, each of which should have a pleasant verse beneath. Next look at your invitation list, and count the number of ladies you expect; and afterwards the number of gentlemen. Then, take as many female characters as you have invited ladies; fold them up, exactly of the
same size, and number each on the back; taking care to make the king No. 1, and the queen No. 2. Then prepare and number the gentlemen's characters. Cause tea and coffee to be handed to your visitors as they drop in. When all are assembled and tea over, put as many ladies’ characters in a reticule as there are ladies present; next put the gentlemen's characters in a hat. Then call on a gentleman to carry the reticule to the ladies as they sit, from which each lady is to draw one ticket, and to preserve it unopened. Select a lady to bear the hat to the gentlemen for the same purpose. There will be one ticket left in the reticule, and another in the hat, which the lady and gentleman who carried each is to interchange, as having fallen to each. Next, arrange your visitors according to their numbers; the king No. 1, the queen No. 2, and so on. The king is then to recite the verse on his ticket; then the queen the verse on hers; and so the characters are to proceed in numerical order. This done, let the cake and refreshments go round, and hey! for merriment
They come they come 1 each blue-eyed sport,
Twelfth-day is now only commemorated by the custom of choosing king and queen. “I went,” says a correspondent in the Universal Magazinefor1774,” to a friend's house in the country to partake of some of those innocent pleasures that constitute a merry Christmas. I did not return till I had been present at drawing king and queen, and eaten a slice of the Twelfthcake, made by the fair hands of my good friend's consort. After tea yesterday, a noble cake was p. and two bowls, containing the fortunate chances for the different sexes. Our host filled up the tickets; the whole company, except the king and queen, were to be ministers of state, maids of honour, or ladies of the bed-chamber. Our kind host and hostess, whether by design or accident, became king and queen. According to Twelfthday law, each party is to support their character till midnight.” The mainte
nance of character is essential to the drawing. Within the personal observation of the writer of these sheets, character has never been preserved. It must be admitted, however, that the Twelfth-night characters sold by the pastrycooks, are either commonplace or gross—when genteel they are inane; when humorous, they are vulgar.
Young folks anticipate Twelfth-night as a full source of innocent glee to their light little hearts. Where, and what is he who would negative hopes of happiness for a few short hours in the dayspring of life? A gentle spirit in the London Magazine beautifully sketches a scene of juvenile enjoyment this evening: “I love to see an acre of cake spread out —the sweet frost covering the rich earth below---studded all over with glittering flowers, like ice-plants, and red and green knots of sweetmeat, and hollow yellow
crusted crowns, and kings and queens, and their paraphernalia. I delight to see score of j. children sitting huddled all round the dainty fare, eyeing the cake and each other, with faces sunny enough to thaw the white snow. I like to see the gazing silence which is kept so religiously while the large knife goes its round, and the glistening eyes which feed beforehand on the huge slices, dark with citron and plums, and heavy as gold. And then, when the “Characters” are drawn, is it nothing to watch the ping delight which escapes from their ittle eyes 2 One is proud, as king; another stately, as queen; then there are two whispering grotesque secrets which they cannot contain (those are sir Gregory Goose and sir Tunbelly Clumsy.) The boys laugh out at their own misfortunes; but the little girls (almost ashamed of their prizes) sit blushing and silent. It is not until the lady of the house goes round, that some of the more extravagant fictions are revealed. And then, what a roar of mirth 1 Ha, ha! The ceiling shakes, and the air is torn. They bound from their seats like kids, and insist on seing Miss Thompson's card. Ah! what merry spite o OStentatious pity! e little girl is almost in tears; but the large lump of allotted cake is placed seasonably in her hands, and the glass of sweet wine “all round' drowns the shrill urchin laughter, and a gentler delight prevails.” Does not this make a charming picture?
There is some difficulty in collecting accounts of the manner wherein Twelfthnight is celebrated in the country. In “Time's Telescope,” an useful and entertaining annual volume, there is a short reference to the usage in Cumberland, and other northern parts of England. It seems that on Twelfth-night, which finishes their Christmas holidays, the rustics meet in a large room. They begin dancing at seven o'clock, and finish at twelve, when they sit down to lobscouse, and ponsondie; the former is made of beef, potatoes, and onions fried together; and in ponsondie we recognise the wassail or waes-hael of ale, boiled with sugar and nutmeg, into which are put roasted apples, the anciently admired lambs'-wool. The feast is paid for by subscription: two women are chosen, who with two wooden bowls placed one within the other, so as to leave an opening and a space between
them, go round to the female part of the society in succession, and what one puts into the uppermost bowl the attendant collectress slips into the bowl beneath it. All are expected to contribute something, but not more than a shilling, and they are best esteemed who give most. The men choose two from themselves, and follow the same custom, except that as the gentlemen are not ". to be altogether so fair in their dealings as the ladies, one of the collectors is furnished with pen, ink, and paper, to set down the subscriptions as soon as received. If a satirical prophecy in “Vox Graculi,” 4to. 1623, may be relied on as authority, it bears testimony to the popularity of Twelfth-night at that period. On the 6th of January the author declares, that “this day, about the houres of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, yea, in some o: till midnight well nigh, will be such a massacre of spice-bread, that, ere the next day at noon, a two-penny browne loafe will set twenty poore folkes teeth on edge. Which hungry humour will hold so violent, that a number of good fellowes will not refuse to give a statute-marchant of all the lands and goods they enjoy, for half-a-crown's worth of two-penny pasties.” He further affirms, that there will be “on this night much masking in the Strand, Cheapside, Holbourne, or Fleetstreet.” “The twelve days of Christmas,” as the extent of its holidays, were proverbial; but among labourers, in some parts, the Christmas festivities did not end till Candlemas. Old Tusser, in his “Five Hundred Points of good Husbandry,” would have the merriments end in six days; he begins January with this advice to the countryman: When Christmas is ended, bid feasting adue, Goe play the good husband, thy stock to renue: Be mindful of rearing, in hope of a gaine, Dame Profit ..f.give thee reward for thy paine. This was the recommendation of prudence tempered by kindness; a desire for diligence in the husbandinan, with an allowance of reasonable pastime to sweeten his labour. From Naogeorgus, in “The Popish Kingdome,” a poem before quoted, and which will be frequently referred to for its lore regarding our ancient customs, it