Immagini della pagina



doctor having plenty of leisure, weighed to all, and is amply stored with every the matter over and over, till he was at thing necessary for the support of the length fully satisfied that he had made a various families of the earth : it is owing great ornithological discovery, that its to the superior intelligence and industry promulgation would give wings to his of man, that he is enabled to appropriate fame, and that he was fated by means of so large a portion of the best gifts of prothese rooks to say,

vidence for his own subsistence and “Volito vivus per ora virum."

comfort ; let him not then think it waste,

that, in some instances, creatures inferior His goose-quill and foolscap were quickly to him in rank are permitted to partake in requisition, and he actually wrote a with him, nor let him grudge them their treatise, stating circumstantially what he

scanty pittance; but, considering them himself had seen, and in conclusion, giv- only as the tasters of his full meal, let ing it as the settled conviction of his him endeavour to imitate their cheerfulmind, that rooks were subject to

ness, and lift up his heart in grateful efthe falling sickness !*

fusions to Him, who filleth all things SPARROWS.

with plenteousness.' Country churchwardens and overseers are encouraged by farmers to offer rewards for the destruction of these merry Wood Crowfoot. Rununculus Auricomus twitterers, under the notion that they are

Dedicated to St. Rufus. fell destroyers of their grain. Mr. Bewick has taken some interest in their behalf, by stating a plain fact. He says:

April 23. “ Most of the smaller birds are sup

St. George St. Adalbert, Bp. A. D ported, especially when young, by a pro, 997.

St. Gerard, Bp. A. D. 994. fusion of caterpillars, small worms and Ibar, or Ivor, Bp. in Ireland, about 500. insects; on these they feed, and thus they contribute to preserve the vegetable world ST. GEORGE the Martyr, from destruction. This is contrary to the

Patron of England. commonly received opinion, that birds, Who was St. George? Butler says that particularly sparrows, do much mischief the Greeks long distinguished him by the in destroying the labours of the gardener title of “The Great Martyr;" that, among and husbandman. It has been observed, other churches, five or six were formerly “that a single PAIR OF SPARrows, dur- dedicated to him at Constantinople ; that ing the time they are feeding their young, he "seems” to have been the founder of will destroy about FOUR THOUSAND CA- the church of St. George over“his TERPILLARS WEEKLY!' They likewise tomb” in Palestine; that one of his feed their young with butterflies and churches in Constantinople gave to the other winged insects, each of which, if Hellespont the name of the Arm of St., not destroyed in this manner, would be George;" that he is honoured as prinproductive of several hundreds of cater- cipal patron of saints by several eastern pillars. Let us not condemn a whole nations, particularly “the Georgians ;" species of animals, because, in some in- that the Byzantine historians relate batstances, we have found them troublesome tles gained, and miracles won, by his or inconvenient. Of this we are suffi- intercession; that he was celebrated in ciently sensible; but the uses to which France in the sixth century; that his they are subservient, in the grand econo office is found in the sacramentary of the mical distribution of nature, we cannot so (credulous) pope Gregory the Great; easily ascertain.

We have already ob- that certain of his (presumed) relics were served that, in the destruction of cater- placed in a church at Paris, on its consepillars, sparrows are eminently service- cration to St. Vincent; that " he is said able to vegetation, and in this respect to have been a great soldier;" that he alone, there is reason to suppose, suffi was chosen by our ancestors the tutelar ciently re-pay the destruction they make saint of England, under the first Norman in the produce of the garden or the field. kings; that the council at Oxford in 1222, The great table of nature is spread alike commanded his feast to be kept a holiday

of the lesser rank; that under his name * Morn. Chron., Sept. 3, 1818.

and ensign our Edward III. institutet

the most noble order of knighthood in and forty years before the order of St. Europe; that this institution was fifty George by the emperor Frederick IV.; years before that of St. Michael by Louis and that “ the extraordinary devotion of XI. of France, eighty years before the all Christendom to this saint is an authenorder of the Golden Fleece by Philip the tic proof how glorious his triumph and Good, duke of Burgundy, one hundred name have always been in the church.” and ninety years before that of St. Andrew Still who was St. George ? by James I. of Scotland, and one hundred

[graphic][ocr errors]

St. George and the Dragon. It is related of St. George, * that he pearance was so horrible, that they fled. arrived at a city of Lybia called Sylene. Then the dragon pursued them even to Near this city was a stagnant lake or the city itself, and the inhabitants were pond like a sea, wherein dwelt a dragon, nearly destroyed by his very breath, and who was so fierce and venomous, that he suffered so much, that they were obliged terrified and poisoned the whole country. to give him two sheep every day to keep The people therefore assembled to slay him from doing them harm. At length him; but when they saw him, his ap- the number of sheep became so small,

that they could only give him one sheep * In the Golden Legend.

every day, and they were obliged to give

him a man instead of the other : at last, & holy martyr saynt George, is patron of because all the men might not be eaten this realme of englond, & the crye of men up, a law was made that they should of warre. In the worshyp of whom is draw lots to give him the youth and in- founded the noble ordre of the gartre, & fants of all ranks, and so the dragon was also a noble college in the castel of fed with young gentlefolks and poor peo- wyndsore by kynges of englonde, in ple's children, till the lot fell upon the whiche college is the hert of saint George, king's daughter. Then the king was which Sygysmond the emperour of alvery sorry, and begged the people to take mayne* brought, & gave it for a grete his gold and silver instead of his daugh- & precyous relyke to kynge Henry the ter, which the people would not accept, fyfth; & also the sayd Sygismond was because it was according to his own law; a broder of the said garter, & also there and the king wept very much, and begged is a pece of bis heed.' of the people to give the princess eight Butler informs us, that St. George, days before she should be given to ine was born in Cappadocia; that he went dragon to be devoured, and the people with his mother into Palestine, of which consented. And when the eight days country she was a native, where she had were gone, the king caused his daughter a considerable estate, “ which fell to her to be richly dressed as if she were going son George,” who was a soldier, and to her bridal, and having kissed her, he became “ a tribune or colonel in the gave her his diessing, and the people led army," wherein he was further promoted her to where the dragon was. St. George by the emperor Dioclesian, to whom he had just come; when he saw the princess, resigned his commissions and posts when and demanding why she was there, she that emperor waged war against the answered, “Go your way, fair young christian religion, and who threw him man, that you perish not also.” Then into prison for remonstrating against again St. George demanded the reason bloody edicts, and caused him to be beof her being there, and why she wept, headed. This is all that Butler relates of and endeavoured to comfort her; and him, and this on the authority of what he when she saw he would not be satisfied, calls “ the account given to us by Metashe told him. Upon this St. George pro- phrastes.” According also to Butler, mised to deliver her; but she could not St. George became the patron of the milibelieve he had power to do her so great tary because he had been military himself, a service, and therefore again begged him and his apparition encouraged “ the to go away. And while they were talk- christian army in the holy war before the ing the dragon appeared, and began to battle of Antioch," which proved fortunate run towards them; but St. George being under Godfrey of Bouillon ; and also beon horseback, drew his sword and signed cause his apparition inspirited Richard I. himself with the cross, and rode violently, in his expedition against the Saracens. and smiting the dragon with his spear, “ St. George,” says Butler, " is usually wounded him so sorely that he threw him painted on horseback, and tilting at a down. Then St. George called to the dragon under his feet; but this is no princess, to bind her girdle about the more than an emblematical figure, purdragon's neck, and not to be afraid ; and porting that, by his faith and christian when she had done so, “the dragon fortitude, he conquered the devil, called folowed as it had been a meke beest and the dragon in the Apocalypse.” This is debonayre ;” and she led him into the very easily said, but not so easily proved, city, which when the people saw, they nor has Butler in any way attempted to fied for fear to the mountains and vallies, prove it. To this assertion may be optill, being encouraged by St. George, posed the fact, that St. Michael is also they returned, and he promised to slay represented killing a dragon; and the the dragon if they would believe and be present writer presumes to think, that baptized. Then the king was baptized, unless there be any valid objection to with upwards of 15,000 men, besides mounting an angel on horseback, the women and children, and St. George slew well-known legend of this archangel supthe dragon, and cut off his head; and the plies the clue to the pictorial representpeople took four carts and drew the body ation of St. George; or, in plain words, with oxen out of the city; and the king built a church, and dedicated it to our Lady and St. George. - This blyssyd

* Gerinany.

that St. George and the dragon are neither feat. The , ballad of “St. George and more nor less than St. Michael contend- the Dragon,” which is not the oldest, ing with the devil. Concerning this de- begins with the first and ends with the vice, however, more cannot be observed last of the following verses, and places without excluding curious particulars. him above sir Bevis of Hampton, and

There are many old ballads in honour other heroes of mighty doings in our old of the patron saint of England and his romances.

Why should we boast of Arthur and his Knights,
Knowing how many Men bave performed Fights ?
Or why should we speak of Sir Lancelot de Lake,
Of Sir Tristram du Leon, that fought for Ladies Sake ?
Read in old stories, and there you shall see,
How St. George, St. George, he made the Dragon flee.

St. George he was for England, St. Dennis was for France ;

Sing Honi soit qui mal y pense.
Mark Anthony, I'll warrant ye, play'd Feats with Ægypt's Queen ;
Sir Eglemore, that valiant Knight, the like was never seen;
Grim Gorgon's Might was known in Fight; old Bevis most Men frighted;
The Mirmidons and Prester Johns; why were not these Men knighted ?
Brave Spinola took in Breda, Nassau did it recover ;
But St. George, St. George, turn'd the Dragon over and over.

St. George he was for England, St. Dennis was for France;

Sing, Honi soit qui mal y pense. * This latter verse is a modern interpola- Advance our standards, set upon our foes. tion. Percy gives a purer version of the Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint old ballad.t

George, In the romance of the “Seven Cham- Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons! pions of Christendom,” St. George's Upon them! performances exceed that of the other

In the 10th year of king Henry VII.

the Irish were prohibited from using champions; the ballad, bearing the same title, distinguishes him in like manner,

their favourite battle-cry of Aboo, or and it is there sung, that in his fight with Aber. Every native of that country was the dragon,

enjoined against using that word, or

“ other words like or otherwise contrary When many hardy Strokes he'd dealt,

to the king's laws, his crown and dignity And could not pierce his Hide, He run his Sword up to the Hilt,

and peace, but to call on St. George, or In at the Dragon's Side ;

the name of his Sovereign Lord, the King By which he did his Life destroy,

of England, for the time being,” &c. * Which cheer'd the drooping King ;

There is also this injunction to the EngThis caus'd an universal Joy,

lish in an old art of war: “Item that all Sweet Peals of Bells did ring. souldiers entering into battaile, assault, Saint George was the ancient English skirmish, or other faction of armes, shall war-cry. Shakspeare so uses it in his have for their common cry and word, « Richard III.;" he makes Richmond St. George forward, or, Upon them st. conclude his address to his soldiery, with George, whereby the soldier is much com

forted, and the enemie dismaied by calling Sound, drums and trumpets, bold and to minde the ancient valour of England,

chterfully, God and Saint George, Richmond and vic- victorious.”+ So much for the present

which with that name has so often been tory.

concerning St. George. So also Richard, after he receives the

His majesty, king George IV., who was news of Stanley's defection, exclaims, born on the 12th of August, changed the

annual celebration of his birth-day, to Collection of Old Ballad 3, 3 vols.

St. George's-day. + In bis Reliques. 1 Coll. Old tallads.

• Brady's Clavis Coll. $ Fosbroke's Dict. Antiq., Crabbe's Techn. Dict. † Nare's Glossary, from Warton, &c. which Glog

sary also see further concerning St. George.

[ocr errors]

age. Who is


hring up

the rear

The mail-coaches, according to annual day, whereon he had completed the custom on the king's birth-day, go in pro- fifty-second year

of his cession from Millbank to Lombard-street. lified to praise him, whose supereminent At about twelve o'clock, the horses, be- genius all men acknowledge and reverlonging to the different mails, with new ence? To his greatness he added a harness, and the postmen and postboys quality it is seldom allied with. “No on horseback, arrayed in their new scar man had ever fewer enemies alive or let coats and jackets, proceed from Lom- dead; and this is the more remarkable as bard-street to Millbank, and there dine. he was himself prone to parody, and must At this place the coaches are fresh painted; therefore have mortified many of his confrom thence the procession being arranged temporaries." begins to move about five o'clock in the Goodness and he fill up one monument. afternoon, headed by the general postmen on horseback. The mails follow them,

Shakspeare's Jest Book. filled with the wives and children, friends

Under this title a book was reprinted in and relations, of the coachmen and 1815, from one lately discovered bearing guards; while the postboys sounding the title of their bugles and cracking their whips, I a. C. Flery Talys.

From the commencement of the procession, the bells of the for its value in support of the opinion

Referring to the preface of the reprint different churches ring out merrily, and

corroborated by other reprints, that Shakscontinue their rejoicing peels till it arrives at the General Post-office in Lombard- buted to him by some writers, an ex

peare was destitute of the learning attristreet, from whence they sparkle abroad

tract (with the spelling modernized) is to all parts of the kingdom. Great crowds assemble to witness the cavalcade and morals which amused our ancestors :

taken from it as a specimen of the wit, as it passes through the principal streets of the metropolis, viz. Parliament-street, Of the woman that followed her fourth the Strand, Fleet-street, Ludgate-hill, St.

husband's bier and wept. Paul's church-yard, and Cheapside. The A woman there was which had four clean and cheerful appearance of the husbands. It fortuned also that her fourth coachmen and guards, each with a large husband died and was brought to church bouquet of flowers in his bright scarlet upon the bier, whom this woman followed, coat, the beauty of the cattle, and the and made great moan, and waxed very general excellence of the equipment, pre- sorry, insomuch that her neighbours sent a most agreeable spectacle to every thought she would swoon and die for soreye and mind, that can be gratified by row; wherefore one of her gossips came seeing and reflecting on the advantages to her and spake to her in her ear, and derived to trade and social intercourse by bade her for God's sake comfort herself this magnificent establishment.

and refrain that lamentation, or else it On the same day the Society of Anti- would hurt her, and peradventure put her quaries, by their charter of incorporation, in jeopardy of her life. To whom thi meet at their apartments in Somerset woman answered and said “ I wys good place, to elect a president, council, and gossip I have great cause to mourn if ye other officers for the year ensuing, and knew all, for I have buried three hus dine together, according to annual cus

bands beside this man, but I was never in the case that I am now, for there was not one of them but when that I followed

the corse to church, yet I was sure of CHRONOLOGY.

another husband, before the corse came

out of my house; and now I am sure of 1616. Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra, no other husband, and therefore ye may the celebrated Spanish author, died. Cer- be sure I have great cause to be sad and vantes was born in 1549; he is best heavy." known in England by his “Don Quixote," which has rendered him popular through. proverb is true, that it is as great a pity

By this tale ye may see, that the old out Europe.

to see a woman weep, as a goose to go 1616. On the same day with Cervantes barefoot. in Spain, Shakspeare died in England, It was the anniversary of his birth

* Mr. Gifford, Life of Ben Jonson,


« IndietroContinua »