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ft tt Lawyer, Second lawyer, Giovanni.
the heathens; and it is observed by Brand, that on Shrove Monday it was a custom with the boys at Eton to write verses concerning Bacchus, in all kinds of metre, which were affixed to the college doors, and that Bacchus' verses "are still written and put up on this day." The Eton practice is doubtless a remnant of the catholic custom.
that without grist will never go.
Giovanni. lawyer, there is one pound;
(to second Lawyer) lawyer, there are two;
(to first Lawyer) And now I am without a pound, i to the law and you. or, oh! I feel the law Has clapp'd on me its paw; And, oh '. the law's a mill
that without grist will never go.
The Monday before Shrove Tuesday is so called because it was the last day of flesh-eating before Lent, and our ancestors cut their fresh meat into collops, or steaks, for salting or hanging up till Lent was ever; and hence, in many places, it is ;t; 1] a custom to have eggs and collops, or slices of bacon, at dinner on this day. The Rev. Mr. Bowles communicates to his friend Mr. Brand, that the boys in the neighbourhood of Salisbury go about before Shrove-tide singing these lines:
Shrove-tide is nigh at hand,
Polydore Virgil affirms of this season and its delicacies, that it sprung from the feasts of Bacchus, which were celebrated in Rome with rejoicings and festivity at the same period. This, therefore, is another adoption of the Romish church from
Yellow Crocus. Crocus Masiacut. Dedicated to St. Valentine
Sts. Faustinas and Jovita, A. D. 121. St. Sigefride, or Sigfrid, of Sweden, Bp.
A. D. 1002.
It is communicated to the Every-Day Book by a correspondent, Mr. R. N. B—, that at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, the old curfew-bell, which was anciently rung in that town for the extinction and relighting of " all fire and candle light" still exists, and has from time immemorial been regularly rang on the morning of Shrove Tuesday at four o'clock, after which hour the inhabitants are at liberty to make and eat pancakes, until the bell rings again at eight o'clock at night. He says, that this custom is observed so closely, that after that hour not a pancake remains in the town.
That the curfew-bell came in with William the Conqueror is a common, but erroneous, supposition. It is true, that by one of his laws he ordered the people to put out their fires and lights, and go to bed, at the eight-o'clock curfew-bell; but Henry says, in his " History of Great Britain," that there is sufficient e\ idence of the curfew having prevailed in different parts of Europe at that period, as a precaution against fires, which were frequent and fatal, when so many houses were built of wood. It is related too, in Peshall's " History of Oxford," that Alfred the Great ordered the inhabitants of that city to cover their fires on the ringing of the bell at Carfajt every night at eight
"This utensil," says the Antiquarian Repertory, " is called a curfew, or couvrefeu, from its use, which is that of suddenly putting out a fire: the method of applying it was thus;—the wood and embers were raked as close as possible to the back of the hearth, and then the curfew was put over them, the open part laced close to the back of the chimney; y this contrivance, the air being almost totally excluded, the fire was of course extinguished. This curfew is of copper, rivetted together, a3 solder would have been liable to melt with the heat. It is 10 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 9 inches deep. The Rev. Mr. Gostling, to whom it belongs, says it has been in his family for time immemorial, and was al ways called the curfew. Some others of this kind are still remaining in Kent and Sussex." It is proper to add to this account, that T. Row, in the " Gentlemar's Magazine," because no mention is made " of any particular implement for extinguishing the fire in any writer," is inclined to think " there never was any such." Mr. Fosbroke in the " Encyclopaedia of An
tiquities" says, " an instrument of copper presumed to have been made for covering the ashes, but of uncertain use, is engraved." It is in one of Mr. K.'s plates.
On T. Row's remark, who is also facetious on the subject, it may be observed, that his inclination to think there never was any such implement, is so far from being warrantable, if the fact be even correct, that it has not been mentioned by any ancient writer, that the fair inference is the converse of T. Row's inclination. Had he consulted "Johnson's Dictionary," he would have found the curfew itself explained as "a cover for a fire; afireplate.—Bacon." So that if Johnson is credible, and his citation of authorities is unquestionable, Bacon, no very modern writer, is authority for the fact that there teat such an implement as the curfew.
Football at Kingston.
Mr. P., an obliging contributor, furnishes the Every-Day Book with a letter from a Friend, descriptive of a custom on this day in the vicinity of London
Respected Friend, Baring some business which called me to Kingston-upon-Thames on the day called Shrove Tuesday, I got upon the Hampton-court coach to go there. We had not gone above four miles, when the coachman exclaimed to one of the passengers, " It's Foot-ball day;" not understanding the term, I questioned him what he meant by it; his answer was, that I would see what he meant where I was going—Upon entering Teddington, I was not a little amused to see all the inhabitants securing the glass of all their front windows from the ground to the roof, some by placing hurdles before them, and some by nailing laths across the frames. At Twickenham, Bushy, and Hampton-wick, they were all engaged in the same way: having to stop a few hours at Hampton-wick and Kingston, I had an opportunity of seeing the whole of the custom, which is, to carry a foot-ball from door to door and beg money :—at about 12 o'clock the ball is turned loose, and those who can, kick it. In the town of Kingston, all the shops are purposely kept shut upon that day ; there were several balls in the town, and of course several parties. I observed some persons of respectability following the ball: the game lasts about four hours, when the parties retire to the public-houses, and spend the money they before collected in refresh
I understand the corporation of Kingston attempted to put a stop to this prac- churches, at least in some of them, still re
Pancake Day Is another name for Shrove Tuesday, from the custom of eating pancakeson this day, still generally observed. A writer in the " Gentleman's Magazine, 1790," says, that " Shrine is an old Saxon word, of which shrove is a corruption, and signifies confession. Hence Shrove Tuesday means Confession Tuesday, on which day all the people in every parish throughout the kingdom, during the Romish times, were obliged to confess their sins, one by one, to their own parish priests, in their own parish churches; and that this might be done the more regularly, the great bell in every parish was rung at ten o'clock, or perhaps sooner, that it might be heard by all And as the Romish religion has given way to a much better, I mean the protestant religion, yet the custom of ringing the great bell in our ancient parish
tice, but the judges confirmed the right of
till it can hold no more,
mains, and obtains in and about London the name of Pancake-hell: the usage of dining on pancakes or fritters, and such like provision, still continues." In "Pasquil's Palinodia, 1634," 4to. it is merrily observed that on this day every stomach
Threshing the Hen. This singular custom is almost obsolete, yet it certainly is practised, even now, in at least one obscure part of the kingdom. A reasonable conjecture con
cerning its origin is, that the fowl was a delicacy to the labourer, and therefore given to him on this festive day, for sport and food.
At Shrovetide to shroving, go thresh the fat hen,
Ok Shrove Tuesday, at a certain ancient borough in Staffordshire, a hen was set up by its owner to be thrown at by himself and his companions, according to the usual custom on that day. This poor hen, after many a severe bang, and many a broken bone, weltering in mire and blood, recovered spirits a little, and to the unspeakable surprise and astonishment of all the company, just as her late master was handling his oaken cudgel to fling at her again, opened her mouth and said —" Hold thy hand a moment, hardhearted wretch! if it be but out of curiosity, to hear one of my feathered species utter articulate sounds.—What art thou, or any of thy comrades, better than I, though bigger and stronger, and at liberty, while I am tied by the leg? What art thou, I say, that I may not presume to reason with thee, though thou ne'er reasonest with thyself? What have I done to deserve the treatment I have suffered this day, from thee and thy
barbarous companions? Whom have I ever injured? Did I ever profane the name of my creator, or give one moment's disquiet to any creature under heaven * or lie, or deceive, or slander, or rob my fellow-creatures? Did I ever guzzle down what should have been for the support and comfort (in effect the blood) of a wife and innocent children, as thou dost every week of thy life? A little of thy superfluous grain, or the sweeping of thy cupboard, and the parings of thy cheese, moistened with the dew of heaven, was all I had, or desired for my support; while, in return, I furnished thy table with dainties. The tender brood, which I hatched with assiduity, and all the anxiety and solicitude of a humane mother, fell a sacrifice to thy gluttony. My new laid eggs enriched thy pancakes, puddings, and custards; and all thy most delicious fare. And I was ready myself at any time, to lay down my life to support thine, but the third part of a day.