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ST. SIMEON STYLITES, HERMIT OF THE PILLAR.

January 5.

his mortifications. In the monastery of

Heliodorus, a man sixty-five years of age, Si. Simeon Stylites. St. Telesphoru. who had spent sixty-two years so abS1. Syncletin.

stracted from the world, that he was St. Simeon Stylitcs.

ignorant of the most obvious things in it; Alban Butler declares, that St. Simeon the monks ate but once a day : Simeon astonished the whole Roman empire by joined the community, and are put once •

week. Heliodorus required Simeon to ter at the top, so that he could not lie ex. be more private in his mortifications; tended on it: he had no seat with him; " with this view,” says Butler,“ judging he only stooped or leaned to take a little the rough rope of the well, made of rest, and bowed his body in prayer so twisted palm-tree leaves, a proper instru- often, that a certain person who counted ment of penance, Simeon tied it close these positions, found that he made one about his naked body, where it remained thousand two hundred and forty-four unknown both to the community and his reverences in one day, which if he began superior, till such time as it having ate at four o'clock in the morning and finished into his flesh, what he had privately done at eight o'clock at night, gives a bow to was discovered by the effluvia proceeding every three-quarters of a minute; befrom the wound.” Butler says, that it sides which he exhorted the people twice took three days to disengage the saint's a day.. His garments were the skins of clothes, and that “ the incisions of the beasts, he wore an iron collar round his physician, to cut the cord out of his body, neck, and had a horrible ulcer in his were attended with such anguish and foot. During his forty days' abstinence pain, that he lay for some time as dead.” throughout Lent, he tied himself to a pole. After this he determined to pass the whole He treated himself as the outcast of the forty days of Lent in total abstinence, world and the worst of sinners, worked and retired to a hermitage for that pur- miracles, delivered prophecies, had the pose. Bassus, an abbot, left with him sacrament delivered to hiin on the pillar, ten loaves and water, and coming to visit and died bowing upon it,in the sixty-ninth him at the end of the forty days, found of his age, after having lived upon pillars both loaves and water untouched, and the for six and thirty years. His corpse was saint stretched on the ground without carried to Antioch attended by the bishops signs of life. Bassus dipped a sponge in and the whole country, and worked miwater, moistened his lips, gave him the racles on its way. So far this account eucharist, and Simeon by degrees swal- is from Alban Butler. lowed a few lettuce leaves and other herbs. Without mentioning circumstances and He passed twenty-six Lents in the same miracles in the Golden Legend, which manner. In the first part of Lent he are too numerous, and some not fit to be prayed standing; growing weaker he related, it may be observed that it is there prayed sitting; and towards the end, being affirmed of him, that after his residence almost exhausted, he prayed lying on the on the pillars, one of his thighs rotted a ground. At the end of three years he whole year, during which time he stood left his hermitage for the top of a moun on one leg only. Near Simeon's pillar tain, made an enclosure of loose stones, was the dwelling of a dragon, so very vewithout a roof, and having resolved to nomous, that nothing grew near his cave. live exposed to the inclemencies of the This dragon met with an accident; he weather, he fixed his resolution by fasten- had a stake in his eye, and coming all ing his right leg to a rock with a great blind to the saint's pillar, and placing his iron chain. Multitudes thronged to the eye upon it for three days without doing mountain to receive his benediction, and harm to any one, Simeon ordered earth many of the sick recovered their health; and water to be placed on the dragon's But as some were not satisfied unless they eye, which being done, out came the touched him in his enclosure, and Simeon stake, a cubit in length ; when the people desired retirement from the daily con saw this miracle, they glorified God, and course, he projected a new and unprece- ran away for fear of the dragon, who dented manner of life. He erected a arose and adored for two hours, and repillar six cubits high, (each cubit being turned to his cave. A woman swallowed eighteen inches,) and dwelt on it four a little serpent, which tormented her for years; on a second of twelve cubits high many years, till she came to Simeon, who he lived three years ; on a third of twenty- causing earth and water to be laid on her two cubits high ten years; and on a mouth, the little serpent came out four fourth of forty cubits, or sixty feet high, feet and a half long. It is affirmed by the which the people built for him, he spent Golden Legend, that when Simeon died, the last twenty years of his life. This Anthony smelt a precious odour proceeding occasioned him to be called stylites, from from his body; that the birds cried so the Greek word stylos, a pillar. This much, that both men and beasts cried; pillar did not exceed three feet in diame- that an angel came down in a cloud ; that

lle was

accus

the patriarch of Antioch taking Simeon's for the third time; and that he was boro beard to put among his relics, his hand in this last marriage. withered, and remained so till multi- tomed, agreeably to the rules of his relitudes of prayers were said for him, and gion, to observe fast days with great it was healed : and that more miracles strictness, and never to use any other food were worked at and after Simeon's sepul- than milk, and certain cakes, called by the ture, than he had wrought all his life. Hungarians kollatschen, together with a

good glass of brandy, such as is made in LONGEVITY.

the country. He had descendants in the 1724. Jan. 5. An extraordinary instance fifth generation, with whom he sometimes of longevity is contained in a letter dated sported, carrying them in his arms. His the 29th of January, 1724, from M. Ha- son, though ninety-seven, was still fresh melbranix, the Dutch envoy at Vienna, to and vigorous. When field marshal count their high mightinesses the states general, Wallis, the commandant of Temeswar, and published in a Dutch dictionary, heard that this old man was taken sick, hé “ Het Algemeen historisch, geographisch caused a portrait of him to be painted, en genealogisch Woordenbock,” by Luis- and when it was almost finished' he excius. It relates to an individual who had pired.” attained the extraordinary age of one 1808. Early in January, this year, the hundred and eighty-five years.

shaft of death supplied another case of “ Czartan Petrarch, by religion a Greek, longevity. At the advanced age of 110 was born in the year 1539, and died on years, died Dennis Hampson, the blind the 5th of January, 1724, at Kofrosch, a bard of Maggiligan, of whom an interestvillage four miles from Temeswar, on the ing account has been given by lady road leading to Karansebes. He had Morgan, in “ The Wild Irish Girl.” The lived, therefore, a hundred and eighty “ Ichenæum," from whence this notice is five years. At the time when the Turks extracted, relates, that only a few hours took Tenieswar from the Christians, he before his decease he tuned his harp, that was employed in keeping his father's cattle. he might have it in readiness to entertain A few days before his death he had sir H. Bruce's family, who were expected walked, with the help of a stick, to the to pass that way in a few days, and who post-house at Kofrosch, to ask charity were in the habit of stopping to hear his from the travellers. His eyes were much music; suddenly, however, he felt the apinflamed, but he still enjoyed a little sight. proach of death, and calling his family His hair and beard were of a greenish, around him resigned his breath without a white colour, like mouldy bread; and he struggle, and in perfect possession of his had a few of his teeth remaining. Ilis faculties to the last moment. A kindred son, who was ninety-seven years of age, spirit produced the following tribute to the declared his father had once been the memory of this “ aged son of song." He head taller; that at a great age he married was the oldest of the Irish bards.

The fame of the brare shall no longer be sounded,

The last of our bards now sleeps cold in his grave;
Maggiligan rocks, where his lays have resounded,

Frown dark at the ocean, and spurn at the ware.

For, Hampson, no more shall thy soul-touching finger

Steal sweet o'er the strings, and wild melody pour;
No more near thy hut shall the villagers linger,

While strains from thy harp warble soft round the shore
No more thy harp smells with enraptured emotion,

Thy wild gleams of fancy for ever are fled,
No longer thy minstrelsy charms the rude ocean,

That rolls near the green turf that pillows thy head.
Yet vigour and youth with bright visions had fired thee,

And rose-buds of health have blown deep on thy cleek į
The songs of the sweet bards of Erin inspired thee,

And urged thee to wander like laurels to seek,

Yes, oft hast thou sung of our kings crown'd with glory,

Or, sighing, repeated the lover's fond lay;
And oft hast thou sung of the bards famed in story,

Whose wild notes of rapture have long past away.
Thy grave shall be screen'd from the blast and the billow,

Around it a fence shall posterity raise ;
Erin's children shall wet with their tears thy cold pillow,

Her youths shall lament thee, and carol thy praise.

This is the eve of the Epiphany, or of as poor a fiddle, will this evening strain Twelfth-night eve, and is a night of pre- their instruments, to charm forth the paration in some parts of England for the rustic from his dwelling, and drink to him merriments which, to the present hour, from a jug of warm ale, spiced with a distinguish Twelfth-day. Dr. Drake race of ginger, in the hope of a pittance mentions that it was a practice formerly for their melody, and their wish of wasfor itinerant minstrels to bear a bowl sail. Of the wassail-bowl, much will apof spiced-wine to the houses of the gentry pear before the reader in the after pages and others, from whom they expected a of this work. hospitable reception, and, calling their In certain parts of Devonshire, the bowl a wassail-bowl, to drink wassail to farmer, attended by his workmen, with a their entertainers. These merry sounds large pitcher of cider, goes to the orchard of mirth and music are not extinct. There this evening; and there, encircling one of are still places wherein the wandering the best bearing trees, they drink the folblower of a clarionet, and the poor scraper lowing toast three tiines :

“ Here's to thee, old apple-tree,
hence thou mayst bud, and whence thou mayst blow!
And whence thou mayst bear apples enow!

Hats full! caps full!
Bushel—bushel-sacks full,

And my pockets full too! Huzza !" This done, they return to the house, the apple-trees, passing by those that are not doors of which they are sure to find good bearers, he addresses it in the folbolted by the females, who, be the wea- lowing words: ther what it may, are inexorable to allen • Health to thee, good apple-tree, treaties to open them till some one has Well to bear, pocket-fulls, hat-fulls, guessed at what is on the spit, which is Peck-fulls, bushel-bag-fulls !' generally some nice little thing, difficult And then drinking up part of the contents, to be hit on, and is the reward of him who he throws the rest, with the fragments of first names it. The doors are then thrown the roasted apples, at the tree. At each open, and the lucky clodpole receives the cup the company set up a shout.”. tit-bit as his recompense. Some are so Pennant, in his tour in Scotland, says superstitious as to believe, that if they respecting this custom, that after they neglect this custom, the trees will bear no have drank a cheerful glass to their masapples that year. To the preceding par- ter's health, with success to the future ticulars, which are related in the Gentle- harvests, and expressed their good wishes man's Magazine for 1791, may be added in the same way, they feast off cakes made that Brand, on the authority of a Cornish- of caraways and other seeds soaked in man, relates it as a custom with the cider, which they claim as a reward for Devonshire people to go after supper into their past labours in sowing the grain. the orchard, with a large milk-pan full of “ This,” says Pennant,“ seems to resemcider, having roasted apples pressed into ble a custom of the ancient Danes, who, it. “Out of this each person in company in their addresses to their rural deities, takes, what is called a clayen cup, that is emptied, on every invocation, a cup in an earthenware cup full of liquor, and honour of them." standing under sach of the more fruitful So also Brand tells us that, in Here

“ kings

fordshire," at the approach of evening val of Christmas used in this part of the on the vigil of the twelfth day, the farm- country to hold for twenty days, and some ers, with their friends and servants, meet persons extended it to Candlemas.) The together, and about six o'clock walk out to ingredients put into the bowl, viz. ale, a field where wheat is growing. In the sugar, nutmeg, and roasted apples, were highest part of the ground, twelve small usually called lambs’-wool, and the night fires and one large one are lighted up. The on which it is used to be drunk (generally attendants, headed by the master of the fa on the twelfth eve) was commonly called mily, pledge the company in old cider,which Wassil eve." The glossary to the Excirculates freely on these occasions. A more dialect has “Watsail-a drinking circle is formed round the large fire, when song on twelfth-day eve, throwing tuast a general shout and hallooing takes place, to the apple-trees, in order to have a which you hear answered from all the ad- fruitful year, which seems to be a relic or jacent villages and fields. Sometimes the heathen sacrifice to Pomona.” fifty or sixty of these fires may be all seen Brand found it observed in the ancient at once. This being finished, the com calendar of the Romish church, that on pany return home, where the good house- the fifth day of January, the eve or vigil wife and her maids are preparing a good of the Epiphany, there were supper. A large cake is always provided, created or elected by beans ;" that the with a hole in the middle. After supper, sixth of the month is called “The Festithe company all attend the bailiff (or val of Kings ;” and “that this ceremony head of the oxen) to the wain-house, of electing kings was continued with where the following particulars are ob- feasting for many days." served. The master, at the head of his Twelfth-night eve or the vigil of the friends, fills the cup, (generally of strong Epiphany is no way observed in London. ale,) and stands opposite the first or finest There Twelfth-day itself comes with little of the oxen.

He then pledges him in a of the pleasure that it offered to our forecurious toast : the company follow his ex fathers. Such observances have rapidly ample with all the other oxen, addressing disappeared, and the few that remain are each by his name. This being finished, still more rapidly declining. To those who the large cake is produced, and, with much are unacquainted with their origin they ceremony, put on the horn of the first ox, afford no associations to connect the prethrough ihe hole above-mentioned. The sent with former ages; and without such ox is then tickled, to make him toss his feelings, the few occasions which enable head: if he throw the cake behind, then us to show a hospitable disposition, or it is the mistress's perquisite; if before, from whence we can obtain unconstrained (in what is termed the boosy,) the bailiff cheerfulness, will pass away, and be rehimself claims the prize. The company membered only as having been. then return to the house, the doors of which they find locked, nor will they be opened tili some joyous songs are sung.

January 6. On their gaining admittance, a scene of mirth and jollity ensues, and which lasts Epiphany. { except Stamp, Customs, and Excise.

Close holiday at all public offices the greatest part of the night."

Mr. Beckwith relates in the Gentle St. Melanius. St. Peter. St. Vilam man's Magazine, 1784, that “ near Leeds, in Yorkshire, when he was a boy, it was St. Peter was a disciple of Gregory customary for many families, on the the Great, the first abbot of St. Augustwelfth eve of Christmas, to invite their tine's monastery at Canterbury, and relations, friends, and neighbours, to their drowned in 608 while proceeding on a houses, to play at cards, and to partake voyage to France. According to Cressy, of a supper, of which minced pies were the inhabitants buried his body without an indispensable ingredient; and after knowing any thing about him, till “a supper was brought in, the wassail cup or heavenly light appeared every night over wassail bowl, of which every one partook, his sepulture,” when they held an inquest, by taking with a spoon, out of the ale, á and a count Fumert buried him in the roasted apple, and eating it, and then church of Boulogne.. From a quotation drinking the healths of the company out in Patrick, it appears that a weasel who of the bowl, wishing them a merry Christ- gnawed his robe was found dead upon it mas and a happy new year. (The festis for his sauciness.

mon.

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