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thought of. The money is now derived velvet, and a coat of mail, the nelmet of from publicans whose interest it is to which yet remains."* It will be observed keep up the custom. An old steel helmet in our correspondent's account, that the was used some years ago, but it is now no helmet has at last disappeared. more; a tin one is used instead. This custom is afplied to another pur

“OLD VINEGAR,” pose. The occupation of the last couple

and married in the old year are represented on

Hard Metal Spoons.". the effigy. If a tailor, the shears hang William Conway, who cried“ hard dangling by his side; if a draper, the metal spoons to sell or change,” is mencloth yard, and so on. The effigy then at tioned by Mr. J. T. Smith, as “a man the usual time visits the happy couple's whose cry is well-known to the inhabidoor, and unless the bearers are fed in a tants of London and its environs ;" but handsome manner, the dividing gentle- since Mr. Smith wrote, the “cry" of Conmen are not easily got rid of. Some way has ceased from the metropolis, and authors state that it is the first couple in from the remembrance of all, save a few the new year; but this is incorrect, as there surviving observers of the manners in is always great pressing for marrying on humble life that give character to the new year's day, in order to be sufficiently times. He is noticed here because he early in the year.

introduces another individual connected Such is the custom of Blake Lad Monday with the history of the season. Adopt-or Riding the Black Lad, a custom which ing Mr. Smith's language, we must speak thousands annually witness, and numbers of Conway as though his “ cry" were come from great distances to see. It is still with us. “ This industrious man, the most thronged, and the most foolish, who has eleven walks in and about Londay the Ashtonians can boast of. don, never had a day's illness, nor has C. C. -G. M. R. C. S. E. once slept out of his own bed; and let

the weather be what it may, he trudges It is observed by the historian of on, and only takes his rest on Sundays.

He walks, on an average, twenty-five miles “ Manchester and Salford," that the most

a day; and this he has done for nearly prevalent of several traditions, as to the forty-four years. His shoes are made origin of this custom, is, that it is kept up rom old boots, and a pair will last him to perpetuate the disgraceful actions of sir about six weeks. In his walks he has Ralph Ashton, who in the year 1483, as vice-constable of the kingdom, exercised but never more than a one pound note.

frequently found small pieces of money, great severity in this part of the country. He recollects a windmill standing near From a sum issued out of the court to de- Moorfields, and well remembers Old fray the expense of the effigy, and from a suit of armour, which till of late it usually way, we should not have known “ Old

Vinegar.”+ Without this notice of Con. rode in, together with other traditional Vinegar," who made the rings for the particulars, there is another account of the boxers

in Moorfields, beating the shins custom. According to this, in the reign

of the spectators, and who, after he had of Edward III., at the battle of Neville's

arranged the circle, would Cross, near Durham, his queen, with the earl of Northumberland as general, gained sticks for the cudgel players, whose

your pockets all round.” He provided a complete victory over the Scots, under David, king of Scotland, and in this battle that time the “ Bridewell boys” joined

sports commenced on Easter Monday. At one Thomas Ashton of Ashton-under- in the pastime, and enlivened the day by Lyne, of whom no other particulars are

their skill in athletic exercises. known, served in the queen's army, rode through the ranks of the enemy, and bore

WETTING THE BLOCK. away the royal standard from the Scottish king's tent. For this act of heroism, Ed

For the Every-Day Book. ward III. knighted him; he became sir The first Monday in March being the Thomas Ashton, of Ashton-under-Lyne; time when shoemakers in the country and to commemorate his valour, he insti- cease from working by candlelight, it tuted the custom above described, and left ten shillings yearly (since reduced to five)

+ Smith's Anciert Topograpby of London, to support it, with his own suit of black 1815, 4to.

« mind

cry out

Aikin's Manchester.

used to he customary for them to meet Some of the days in this month zeem together in the evening for the purpose “Por talking age and youthful lovers of wetting the block. On these occasions made." the master either provided a supper for his men, or made them a present of The genial breezes animate declining life, money or drink; the rest of the expense who are about to travel the journey of

and waft “visions of glory” to those was defrayed by subscriptions among existence on their own account. In the themselves, and sometimes by donations from customers. After the supper was

following lines, which, from the “ Lady's ended, the block candlestick was placed

Scrap Book," whence they were extracted, in the midst, the shop, candle was lighted, appear to have been communicated to her

on this day, by a worthy old gentleman and all the glasses being filled, the oldest hand in the shop poured the contents of

“ of the old school,” there is a touch of

satirical good humour, that may heighten his glass over the candle to extinguish it:

cheerfulness. the rest then drank the contents of theirs standing, and gave three cheers. The

No FLATTERY meeting was usually kept to a late hour.

From J. M-Esq. This account of the custom is from

To Miss H

Wpersonal observation, made many years ago, in various parts of Hampshire, Berk

March 28, 1825. shire, and the adjoining counties. It is I never saiá thy face was fair, now growing into disuse, which I think Thy cheeks with beauty glowing; is not to be regretted ; for, as it is mostly Nor whispered that thy woodland air a very drunken usage, the sooner it is With grace was overflowing. sobered, or becomes altogether obsolete the

I never said thy teeth were white, better.

In bue were snow excelling;

Nor called thine eye, so blue, so bright, N.B. In some places this custom took Young Love's celestial dwelling. place on Easter Monday.

I never said thy voice so soft,

Soft heart but ill concealing;

Nor praised thy sparkling glances oft,
Mean Temperature ...45.32.

So well thy thoughts revealing.

I never said thy taper form
March 28.

Was, Hannah, more than handsome ;

Nor said thy beart, so young, so warm, EASTER TUESDAY.

Was worth a monarch's ransom, Formerly,“ in the Easter holidays, was the Clarke's-ale for his private bene I never said to young or old fit, and the solace of the neighbourhood."* I felt no joy without thee : Our ancestors were abundant drinkers; No, Hannah, no, I never told they had their “ bride-ales,” church-ales,"

A single lie about thee. and other sort of ales, and their feats of potation were so great as to be surprising

NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. to their posterity; the remainder of whom, in good time, shall be more generally in

Mean Temperature ... 45 • 70. formed of these regular drinking bouts. “ Easter-ale" was not always over with

March 29. Easter week. Excessive fasting begat excessive feasting, and there was no feast

March MORNINGS. in old times without excessive drinking. For the Every Day Book. A morning head-ache from the contents of the tankard was cured by “ a hair of March, when a lover of nature may enjoy,

There are frequently mornings in the same dog,”—a phrase well under- in a stroll, sensations not to be exceeded, stood by hard-drinkers, signifying that madness from drinking was to be cured or, perhaps, equalled by any thing which by the madness of drinking again. It is mornings, which tempt us to cast the me

the full glory of summer can awaken :in common use with drinkers of punch.

mory of winter, or the fear of its recur. rence out of our thoughts. The air is mild and balmy, with, now and then, a

* Aubrey.

cool gush by no means unpleasant, but, calling to them. It is not less pleasant on the contrary, contributing towards that to catch the busy caw of the rookery, and cheering and peculiar feeling which we the first meek cry of the young lambs. experience only in spring. The sky is The hares are hopping about the fields, clear, the sun flings abroad not only a the excitement of the season overcoming gladdening splendour, but an almost sum their habitual timidity. The bees are remer glow. The world seems suddenly velling in the yellow catkins of the sallow. aroused to hope and enjoyment. The The woods, though yet unadorned with fields are assuming a vernal greenness, their leafy garniture, are beautiful to the buds are swelling in the hedges,—the look on. They seem Aushed with life. banks are displaying amidst the brown Their boughs are of a clear and glossy remains of last year's vegetation, the lead colour, and the tree-tops are rich luxuriant weeds of this. There are arums, with the vigorous hues of brown, red, and ground-ivy, chervil, the glaucous leaves, purple; and if you plunge into their soliand burnished flowers of the pilewort, tudes, there are symptoms of revivifica“ The first gilt thing,

tion under your feet, the springing merWhich wears the trembling pearls of spring;" cury, and green blades of the blue-bells

and perhaps, above you, the early nest of and many another fresh and early burst of the missel-thrush perched between the greenery. All unexpectedly too, in some boughs of a young oak, to tinge your em bowered lane, you are arrested by the thoughts with the anticipation of summer. delicious odour of violets—those sweetest These are mornings not to be neglected of Flora's children, which have furnished by the lover of nature; and if not nege so many pretty allusions to the poets, and lected, then, not to be forgotten, for they which are not yet exhausted; they are will stir the springs of memory, and make like true friends, we do not know half us live over again times and seasons, in their sweetness till they have felt the sun which we cannot, for the pleasure and the shine of our kindness; and again, they purity of our spirits, live too much. are like the pleasures of our childhood, Nottingham.

W.II. the earliest and the most beautiful. Now, however, they are to be seen in all their glory-blue and white-modestly peering NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. through their thickly clustering leaves. Mean Temperature . . . 45 · 12. The lark is carolling in the blue fields of air; the blackbird and thrush are again sbouting and replying to each other from

March 30. the tops of the highest trees. As you pass cottages, they have caught the happy in

KITTY FISHER. fection. There are windows thrown open, and doors standing a-jar. The inhabitants brated female issued a singular advertise.

On the 30th of March, 1759, this celeare in their gardens, some cleaning away ment through the “ Public Advertiser," rubbish, some turning up the light and which shows her sensitiveness to public fresh-smelling soil amongst the tufts of snowdrops and rows of glowing yellow opinion. She afterwards became duchess

of Bolton. crocuses, which every where abound; and , busy peeping


mortality, hedge-sparrow's, with its four blue eggs, dom or never escapes without censure, snugly, but unwisely, built in the pile of the more heavy, as the character is old pea-rods.

more remarkable; and doubled, nay In the fields the labourers are plashing trebled, by the world, if that character is and trimming the hedges, and in all marked by success: then malice shoots directions are teams at plough. You against it all her stings, and the snakes of smell the wholesome, and we may truly envy are let loose. To the humane and say, aromatic soil, as it is turned up to the generous heart then must the injured apsun, brown and rich, the whole country peal, and certain relief will be found in

It is delightful as you pass along impartial honour. Miss Fisher is forced deep hol'nw lanes, or are hidden in to sue to that jurisdiction to protect her copses, to hear the tinkling gears of the from the baseness of little scribblers, and horses, and the clear voices of the lads scurvy malevolence. She has been abused

into the first bird's-nest of the seasonedine To Era is a blemish entailed upon


in public papers, exposed in print shops, Museum.* At its date, which was long and, to wind up the whole, some wretches, before " the troubles of England," where mean, ignorant, and venal, would impose in he bore a distinguished part, it upon the public by daring to publish her appears that he was absorbed by memoirs. She hopes to prevent the suc- constant avocation, and attention to the cess of their endeavours, by declaring business of others. The letter has been that nothing of that sort has the slightest obligingly transcribed and communicated foundation in truth.

by our kind correspondent, T. A. It is C. FISHER. curious from its style and sentiments,

and is here printed, because it has not NATURALISTS' CALENDAR.

before been published. The commencing

and concluding words are given facMean Temperature ... 44 • 67.

simile, from the original. It is addressed

thus, March 31.

To my honoured and

deare friend Sr. John HAMPDEN.

JOHN ELLIOTT at This celebrated man wrote a letter to

his lodging in sir John Elliott, on this day, in the year

the Tower. 1631, which is deposited in the British

• Addit. MSS. 5016.

Nobb sro

Tis well for mee that letters cannot blush, else you would easily reade mee guilty I am ashamed of so long a silence and know not how to excuse it, for as nothing but businesse can speake for mee, of weh kinde I have many advocates, so can I not tell how to call any businesse greater than holding an affectionate correspondence with so excellent a friend. My only confidence is pleade at a barr of loue, where absolutions are much more frequent then censures. Sure I ame that conscience of neglect doth not accuse mee; though euidence of fact doth. I would add more but yo entertainment of a straunger friend calls upon mee, and one other unsuitable occasion hold mee excused : therefore, deare friend, and if you vouchsafe mee a letter, lett mee begg of you to teach mee some thrift of time; that I may imploy more in yok service who will ever bee

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at half-past five in the morning if we We may now see the great luminary shake off dull sloth," and set our faces

to be greeted by his, at his rising, in the Ewbank and Wallis, of York, and a ton open air. Lying a bed is a sad destroyer of Glauber's salt, with other articles in of health, and getting up early a vast im- proportion, was their usual order. On a prover of time. It is an old and a true Sunday morning the doctors used to bleed saying, that “ an hour in the morning gratis. The patients, often to the number before breakfast, is worth two all the rest of an hundred, were seated on benches of the day.”

round a room, where troughs were placed

to receive the blood. One of the doctors In “The Examiner” of the 31st of March, then went and tied up the arm of each 1822, there is the following pleasant little patient, and was immediately followed by

the other who opened the vein. Such a story.

scene is easier conceived than described. THE WONDERFUL PHYSICIAN.

From their medical practice, the nice One morning at daybreak a father came formality of scales and weights was bainto his son's bedchamber, and told him nished; all was “rule of thumb." An that a wonderful stranger was to be seen. example of their practice may elucidate “ You are sick," said he, “and fond of their claim to celebrity: being sent for to great shows. Here are no quack-doctors a patient who was in the last stage of a now, nor keeping of beds. A remarkable consumption, the learned doctor prescribed being is announced all over the town, a leg of mutton to be boiled secundum who not only heals the sick, but makes artem, into very strong broth, a quart of the very grass grow; and what is more, which was to be taken at proper interhe is to rise out of the sea.” The boy, vals : what might have been its success though he was of a lazy habit, and did is not to be related, as the patient died not like to be waked, jumped up at hear- before the first dose was got down. As ing of such an extraordinary exhibition, bone-setters they were remarkably skilful, and hastened with his father to the door and, perhaps, to their real merit in this, of the house, which stood upon the sea. and the cheapness of their medicines, they shore. “There," said the father, pointing were indebted for their great local fame. to the sun, which at that moment sprung out of the ocean like a golden world, “there, foolish boy, you who get me so

The “ Public Ledger" of the 31st of many expenses with your lazy diseases, March, 1825, contains and yourself into so many troubles,

A crooked Coincidence. behold at last a remedy, cheap, certain, and delightful. Behold at last a physi- 1703, has the following strange title :

A pamphlet published in the year cian, who has only to look in your face

“ The deformity of sin cured, a sermon, every morning at this same hour, and you preached at St. Michael's, Crooked Lane, will be surely well."

before the Prince of Orange; by the Rev.

James Crookshanks. Sold by Matthew PROVINCIAL MEDICAL PRACTICE. Dowton, at the Crooked Billet, near Country people who are unusually lers. The words of the text are, “Every

Cripplegate, and by all other Bookselplain in notion, and straight forward in crooked path shall be made straight." conduct, frequently commit the care of

The Prince before whom it was preached their health to very odd sort of practi

was deformed in his person. tioners.

A late celebrated empiric, in York, shire, called the Whitworth Doctor, was A SEASONABLE EPITAPH of so great fame as to have the honour of

on the late attending the brother of lord Thurlow.

J. C. MARCH, Esq. The name of this doctor was Taylor :

Death seemed so envious of my clay, he and his brother were farriers by pro He bade me march and marched away; fession, and to the last, if both a two

Now underneath the vaulted arch, legged and a four-legged patient were My corpse must change to dust and March, presented at the same time, the doctor

J.R. P. always preferred the four-legged one. Their practice was immense, as may be NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. well imagined from the orders they gave Mean Temperature . . . 44• 22. the druggist ; they dealt principally with

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