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bly flaunty and gaudy; her head in full dress; in her right hand a brass ladle, in her left a handkerchief like to my lord’s. When the garland stops, my lord and lady exhibit their graces in a minuet de la cour, or some other grave movement; in a minute or two they quicken into a dance, which enables my lord to picture his conceptions of elegance; the curvilinear elevation of his arm, with his cane between his finger and thumb, is a courtly grace, corresponding with the stiff thrownback position of his head, and the strait fall .P. handkerchief in the other hand. My lady answers these inviting positions by equal dignity; they twirl and whirl in sight of each other, though on opposite sides of the dancing garland, to the continued clatter of the shovel and brush held by each capering member of the sooty tribe. The dance concluded, my lord and my lady interchange a bow and a curtsy; my lord flings up his canearm, displaces his magnificent hat with the other hand, and courteously bends, with imploring looks, to spectators at the adjacent windows or in the street; the little sootikins hold up their shovels, my lady with outstretched arm presents the bowl of her ladle, and “the smallest donations are thankfully received” by all the sable fraternity. This is the chimneysweepers' London pageant on May-day 1825; but for the first time, there was this year added a clown, a-la-Grimaldi, to one or two of the sweeping processions; he grimaces with all his might, walks before Jack-in-the-green on his hands or his feet, as may be most convenient, and practises every antic and trick that his ingenuity can devise, to promote the interest of his party. It is understood, however, that the offerings on the festival are not exclusively appropriated to the receivers; masters share a certain portion of their apprentices' profits from the holiday; others take the whole of the first two days’ receipts, and leave to the worn-out, helpless objects, by whom they profit all the year round, no more than the scanty gleanings of the third day's performance.
ELIA, AND JEM white's FEAST TO THE SW epips.
ELIA, the noble heart of ELIA, responds to these humble claimants upon humanity; they cry and have none to help them; he is happy that a personal misfortune to himself can make one of them laugh; he
imagines “all the blood of all the Howards” in another; he conceives no degradation by supping with them in public at “Bartlemy Fair.” Kind feelings and honesty make poets and philosophers. Listen to what Elia says:— “I have a kindly yearning toward these dim specks—poor blots—innocent blacknesses“I reverence these young Africans of our own growth–these almost clergy imps, who sport their cloth without assumption; and from their little pulpits (the tops of chimnies), in the nipping air of a December morning, preach a lesson of patience to mankind. “When a child, what a mysterious pleasure it was to witness their operation l to see a chit no bigger than one'sself enter, one knew not by what process, into what seemed the fauces Averni—to pursue him in imagination, as he went sounding on through so many dark, stifling caveins, horrid shades l—to shudder with the idea that “now, surely, he must be lost for ever'—to revive at hearing his feeble shout of discovered day-light—and then (O, fulness of delight) running out of doors, to come just in time to see the sable phenomenon emerge in safety, the brandished weapon of his art victorious like some flag waved over a conquered citadel ! I seem to remember having been told, that a bad sweep was once left in a stack with his brush, to indicate which way the wind blew. It was an awful spectacle certainly ; not much unlike the old stage direction in Macbeth, where the “Apparition of a child crowned with a tree in his hand rises.’ “Reader, if thou meetest one of these small gentry in thy early rambles, it is good to give him a penny. It is better to give him two-pence. # it be starving weather, and to the proper troubles of his hard occupation, a pair of kibed heels (no unusual accompaniment) be superadded, the demand on thy humanity will surely rise to a tester. “I am by nature extremely susceptible of street affronts; the jeers and taunts of the populace; the low-bred triumph they display over the casual trip, or splashed stocking, of a gentleman. Yet can I endure the jocularity of a young sweep with something more than forgiveness.-In the last winter but one, pacing along Cheapside with my accustomed precipitation when I walk westward, a treacherous slide brought me upon my back in an instant. I scrambled up with pain and shame enough—yet outwardly trying to face it down, as if nothing had happened—when the roguish grin of one of these young wits encountered me. There he stood, pointing me out with his dusky finger to the mob, and to a poor woman (I suppose his mother) in particular, till the tears for the exquisiteness of the fun (so he thought it) worked themselves out at the corners of his poor red eyes, red from many a previous weeping, and sootinflamed, yet twinkling through all with such a joy, snatched out of desolation, that Hogarth but Hogarth has got him already (how could he miss him ') in the March to Finchley, grinning at the pie-man—there he stood, as he stands in the picture, irremovable, as if the jest was to last for ever—with such a maximum of glee, and minimum of mischief, in his mirth—for the grin of a genuine sweep hath absolutely no malice in it— that I could have been content, if the honour of a gentleman might endure it, to have remained his butt and his mockery till midnight.
“I am by theory obdurate to the seductiveness of what are called a fine set of teeth. Every pair of rosy lips (the ladies must pardon me) is a casket, presumably holding such jewels; but, methinks, they should take leave to “air' them as frugally as possible. The fine lady, or fine gentleman, who show me their teeth, show me bones. Yet must I confess, that from the mouth of a true sweep a display (even to ostentation) of those white and shining ossifications, strikes me as an agreeable anomaly in manners, and an allowable piece of foppery. It is, as when
* A sable cloud Turns forth her silver lining on the night.
It is like some remnant of gentry not quite extinct; a badge of better days; a hint of nobility:—and, doubtless, under the obscuring darkness and double night of their forlorn disguisement, oftentimes lurketh good blood, and gentle conditions, derived from lost ancestry, and a lapsed pedigree. The premature apprenticements of these tender victims give but too much encouragement, I fear, to clandestine, and almost infantile abductions; the seeds of civility and true courtesy, so often discernible in these young grafts (not otherwise to be accounted for) plainly hint at some forced
adoptions; many noble Rachels mourning for their children, even in our days, countenance the fact; the tales of fairyspiriting may shadow a lamentable verity, and the recovery of the young Montague be but a solitary instance of good fortune, out of many irreparable and hopeless defiliations. “In one of the state-beds at Arundel Castle, a few years since—under a ducal canopy—(that seat of the Howards is an object of curiosity to visitors, chiefly for its beds, in which the late duke was especially a connoisseur)—encircled with curtains of delicatest crimson, with starry coronets inwoven—folded between a pair of sheets whiter and softer than the lap where Venus lulled Ascanius—was discovered by chance, after all methods of search had failed, at noon-day, fast asleep, a lost chimney-sweeper. The little creature, having somehow confounded his passage among the intricacies of those lordly chimnies, by some unknown aperture had alighted upon this magnificent chamber; and, tired with his tedious explorations, was unable to resist the delicious invitement to repose, which he there saw exhibited; so, creeping between the sheets very quietly, laid his black head upon the pillow, and slept like a young H. “Such is the account given to the visitors at the Castle. But I cannot help seeming to perceive a confirmation of what I have just hinted at in this story. A high instinct was at work in the case, or I am mistaken. Is it probable that a poor child of that o whatever weariness he might be visited, would have ventured, under such a penalty as he would be taught to expect, to uncover the sheets of a duke's bed, and deliberately to lay himself down between them, when the rug or the carpet presented an obvious couch, still far above his pretensions—is this probable, I would ask, if the great power of nature, which I contend for, had not been manifested within him, prompting to the adventure? Doubtless this young nobleman (for such my mind misgives me that he must be) was allured by some memory, not amounting to full consciousness, of his condition in infancy, when he was used to be lapt by his mother, or his nurse, in just such sheets as he there found, into which he was now but creeping back as into his proper incunabula and resting-place. By no other theory, than by this sentiment
of a pre-existent state (as I may call o can I explain a deed so venturous, and, indeed, upon any other system so indecorous, in this tender, but unseasonable, sleeper. “My pleasant friend JEM White was so impressed with a belief of metamorphoses like this frequently taking place, that in some sort to reverse the wrongs of fortune in these poor changelings, he instituted an o feast of chimneysweepers, at which it was his pleasure to officiate as host and waiter. It was a solemn supper held in Smithfield, upon the yearly return of the fair of St. Bartholomew. Cards were issued a week before to the master-sweeps in and about the metropolis, confining the invitation to their younger fry. Now and then an elderly stripling would get in among us, and be good-naturedly winked at ; but our main body were infantry. One unfortunate wight, indeed, who, relyin upon his dusky suit, had intruded himself into our party, but by tokens was providentially discovered in time to be no chimney-sweeper (all is not soot which looks so), was quoited out of the presence with universal indignation, as not having on the wedding garment; but in general the greatest harmony prevailed. The place chosen was a convenient spot among the pens, at the north side of the fair, not so far distant as to be impervious to the agreeable hubbub of that vanity; but remote enough not to be obvious to
the interruption of every gaping spectator.
in it. The guests assembled about seven. In those little temporary parlours three tables were spread with napery, not so fine as substantial, and at every board a comely hostess presided with her pan of hissing sausages. The nostrils of the young rogues dilated at the savour. JAMEs Wii ITE, as head waiter, had charge of the first table; and myself, with our trusty companion Bigod, ordinarily ministered to the other two. There was clambering and jostling, you may be sure, who should get at the first table— for Rochester in his maddest days could not have done the humours of the scene with more spirit than my friend. After some general expression of thanks for the honour the company had done him, his inaugural ceremony was to clasp the greasy waist of old dame Ursula (the fattest of the three), that stood frying and fretting, half-blessing, half-cursing “the gentleman,’ and imprint upon her chaste
lips a tender salute, whereat the universal host would set up a shout that tore the concave, while hundreds of grinning teeth startled the night with their brightness. O, it was a pleasure to see the sable younkers lick in the unctuous meat, with his more unctuous sayings—how he would fit the tit-bits to the puny mouths, reserving the lengthier links for the seniors —how he would intercept a morsel even in the jaws of some young desperado, declaring it ‘must to the pan again to be browned, for it was not fit for a gentleman's eating'—how he would recommend this slice of white bread, or that piece of kissing-crust, to a tender juvenile, advising them all to have a care of cracking their teeth, which were their best patrimony, how genteelly he would deal about the small ale, as if it were wine, naming the brewer, and protesting, if it were not good, he should lose their custom ; with a special recommendation to wipe the lip before drinking. Then we had our toasts —“The King,'—the ‘Cloth,'— which, whether they understood or not, was equally diverting and flattering;-and for a crowning sentiment, which never failed, “May the Brush supersede the Laurel.” All these, and fifty other fancies, which were rather felt than comprehended by his guests, would he utter, standing upon tables, and prefacing every sentiment with a ‘Gentlemen, give me leave to propose so and so,' which was a prodigious comfort to those young orphans; every now and then stuffing into his mouth (for it did not do to be squeamish on these occasions,) indiscriminate pieces of those reeking sausages, which pleased them mightily, and was the savouriest part, you may believe, of the entertainment:—
“Golden lads and lasses must, . As chimney-sweepers, come to dust—
“JAMES WHITE is extinct, and with him these suppers have long ceased. He carried away with him half the fun of the world when he died—of my world at least. His old clients look for him among the pens; and, missing him, reproach the altered feast of St. Bartholomew, and the glory of Smithfield departed for ever.”
A philanthropist, who rejoices over every attempt to cheer helplessness, will not quarrel with the late annual treat of “Jem White.” Our kindnesses wear different fashions, and Elia's report of the festival is a feast for a feeling and merry heart. Mrs. Montague's entertainment to the London chimney-sweepers was held every May-day, at her house, in Portman-square; she gave them roastbeef and plumb-pudding, and a shilling each, and they danced after their dinner. But Mrs. Montague and Jem White are dead; and now the poor fellows, though the legislature has interfered for their protection, want “a next friend” to cheer them once a year, and acquaint the sufferers that they have sympathizers. . An extract from a letter to the editor of the Every-Day Book, dated April 16, 1825, from Sheffield, in Yorkshire, is a reproach to us of the metropolis:—“In the ‘Chimney-sweepers' Friend, and Climbingboys' Album,' by Mr. James Montgomery, the poet, and editor of the “Shef. field Iris, is a literal representation of an annual dinner which that gentieman, and a few of us, give to the lads employed as climbing-boys in Sheffield. This we have done for about eighteen years in succession. From twenty-four to twenty-six attend; and their appearance, behaviour, and acquirements, (I may say,) do credit to their masters. They are a much better generation to look upon than they were when we first took them by the hand. On last Easter Monday, out of the twenty-four present, there were only two who did not attend Sunday-schools; which, in whatever estimation these institutions may be held, shows that once, at least, every week, these poor children looked like other people's children, and associated with them; being clean washed, decently dressed, and employed in reading, or in learning to read: many of them could write. Something of the kind is projected at Leeds. A benevolent lady, at Derby, has this year raised friends, and a fund, for an annual dinner to the climbing-boys there on Easter Monday.” Mr. Montgomery's “Chimney-sweepers' Friend” is a series of representations calculated to assist “the immediate relief of the sufferers, and the gradual abolition of this home slave-trade in little children.” His apÉ. to distinguished characters for iterary contributions to his work were successful. “May 1,” he said, “entreat your aid to this humble cause? Were you to see all the climbing-boys in the kingdom (and climbing-girls, too, for we have known parents who have employed their own daughters in this hideous way,)
assembled in one place, you would meet a spectacle of deformed, degraded, and depraved humanity, in its very age of innocence, (pardon the phrase,) which would so affect your heart that we should be sure of your hand.” Not one being of humanity can read the statements in Mr. Montgomery's volume with a dry eye— not one but before he has half perused it will resolve never to let a climbing-boy enter his chimney again. Fathers and mothers of England, read the book 1 The “Eraminer,” some time ago, related an anecdote much to the purpose, from a |. by Mr. J. W. Orderson, late of arbadoes; it is a fine specimen of pure feeling. “About fourteen years ago,” says Mr. Orderson, “a Mrs. P. arrived at Bristol, from the West Indies, and brought with her a female Negro servant, mother of two or three children left in that country. A few days after their arrival, and they had gone into private lodgings, a sweep-boy was sent for by the landlady to sweep the kitchen chimney. This woman being seated in the kitchen when little Soot entered, was struck with amazement at the spectacle he presented; and with great vehemence, clapping her hands together, exclaimed, “Wha dis me see! La, la, dat buckara piccaninny ? So help me, nyung Misse,” (addressing herself to the housemaid then present,) “sooner dan see one o'mine piecaninnies tan so, I drown he in de sea.” The progress of the poor child in sweep.ing the chimney closely engrossed her attention, and when she saw him return from his sooty incarceration, she addressed him with a feeling that did honour to her maternal tenderness, saying, “ Child! come yaw, child,’ (and without waiting any reply, and putting a sixpence into his hand;) “Who you mammy You hab daddy, too? Wha dem be, da la you go no chimney for 2 and moistening her finger at her lips, began to rub the poor child's cheek, to ascertain, what yet appeared doubtful to her, whether he was really a buccara, (white.) I saw this woman some time after in the West Indies; and it was a congratulation to her ever after, that her ‘children were not born to be sweeps.”
MAY-DAY IN IRELAND.
It appears from a volume of “Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland,” that there are romantic remains of antiquity connected with the celebration of May-day in that country of imagination. “Mummers in Ireland,” says the author, “are clearly a family of the same race with those festive bands, termed Morrice-dancers, in England. They appear at all seasons in Ireland, but Mayday is their favourite and proper festival. They consist of a number, varying according to circumstances, of the girls and oung men of the village or neighbouri. usually selected for their good looks, or their proficiency, the females in the dance, the youths in hurling and other athletic exercises. They march in procession, two abreast, and in three divisions; the young men in the van and the rear, dressed in white or other gaycoloured jackets or vests, and decorated with ribbons on their hats and sleeves; the young women are dressed also in light-coloured garments, and two of them bear each a holly bush, in which are hung several new hurling balls, the May-day present of the girls to the youths of the village. The bush is decorated with a
rofusion of long ribbons or paper cut in imitation, which adds greatly to the gay and joyous, yet strictly rural, appearance of the whole. The procession is always
receded by music; sometimes of the
agpipe, but more commonly of a military fife, with the addition of a drum or tamboureen. A clown is, of course, in, attendance: he wears a frightful mask, and bears a long pole, with shreds of cloth nailed to the end of it, like a mop, which ever and anon he dips in a pool of water, or puddle, and o such of the crowd as press upon his companions, much to the delight of the younger spectators, who greet his exploits with loud and repeated shouts and laughter. The Mummers, during the day, parade the neighbouring villages, or go from one *: seat to another, dancing beore the mansion-house, and receiving money. The evening, of course, terminates with drinking. May-eve is considered a time of peculiar danger. The “good people,’ are supposed then to possess the power and the inclination to do all sorts of mischief without the slightest restraint. The “evil eye' is then also deemed to have more than its usual vigilance and malignity; and the nurse who would walk in the open air with a child in her
arms, would be reprobated as a monster. Youth and loveliness are thought to be especially exposed to peril. It is therefore a natural consequence, that not one woman in a thousand appears abroad : but it must not be understood that the want of beauty, affords any protection. The grizzled locks of age do not always save the cheek from a blast : neither is the brawny hand of the roughest ploughman exempt from a similar visitation. The blast is a large round tumour, which is thought to rise suddenly upon the part affected, from the baneful breath cast on it by one of the ‘good people’ in a moment of vindictive or capricious malice. May-day is called la na Beal tina, and May-eve neen na Beal tina, that is, day and eve of Beal's fire, from its having been in heathen times, consecrated to the god Beal, or Belus ; whence also the month of May is termed in Irish ‘Mi na Beal-time.’ The ceremony practised on May-eve, of making the cows leap over lighted straw, or faggots, has been generally traced to the worship of that deity. It is now vulgarly used in order to save the milk from being pilfered by “the good people.”—Another custom prevalent on May-eve is the painful and mischievous one of stinging with nettles. In the south of Ireland it is the common practice for school-boys, on that day, to consider themselves privileged to run wildly about with a bunch of nettles, striking at the face and hands of their companions, or of such other persons as they think they may venture to assault with impunity.” A popular superstition related in the last quoted work, is, that at early dawn on May-morning, “the princely O'Donoghue gallops his white charger over the waters of Killarney.” The foundation of this is,
The Legend of O'Donoghue.
In an age so distant that the precise period is unknown, a chieftain named O'Donoghue ruled over the country which surrounds the romantic Lough Lean, now called the lake of Killarney. Wisdom, beneficence, and justice distinguished his reign, and the prosperity and happiness of his subjects were their natural results. He is said to have been as renowned for his warlike exploits as for his pacific virtues; and as a proof that his domestic administration was not the less rigorous because it was mild, a rocky island is pointed out to strangers, called “O’Donog