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These girls are Flemings. They come to Fngland from the Netherlands in the spring, and take their departure with the summer. They have only one low, shrill, twittering note, “Buy a broom?” sometimes varying into the singular plural, “Buy a brooms?" It is a domestic cry; two or three go together, and utter it in company with each other; not in concert, nor to a neighbourhood, and scarcely louder than will attract the notice of an inmate seen at a parlour window, or an open street-door, or a lady or two passing in the street. Their hair is tightened up in front, and at the sides, and behind, and the ends brought together, and so secured, or skewered, at the top of the head, as if it were constricted by a tourniquet: the little close cap, not larger than an infant's, seems to be put on and tied down by strings fastened beneath the chin, merely as a concealment of the machinery. Without a single inflexion of the body, and for anything that appears to the contrary, it may be incased in tin. From the waist, the form abruptly and boldly bows out like a large beehive, or an arch of carpentry, built downward from above the hips, for the purpose of opening and distending the enormous petticoat into numerous plaits and folds, and thereby allowing the legs to walk without incumbrance. Their figures are exactly miniatured in an unpainted penny doll of turnery ware, made all round, before and behind, and sold in the toyshops for the amusement of infancy.
These Flemish girls are of low stature, with features as forma, and old fashioned as their dress. Their gait and manner answer to both. They carry their brooms, not under the left arm, but upon it, as they would children, upright between the arm and the side, with the heads in front of the shoulder. One, and one only, of the brooms is inYariably held in the right hand, and this is elevated with the sharp cry “Buy a broom?" or “Buy a brooms?” to any one likely to become a purchaser, till it is either bought or wholly declined. The sale of their brooms is the sole purpose for which they cross the seas to us; and they suffer nothing to divert them from their avocation. A broom girl's countenance, so wearisomely indicates unweafied attention to the “main chance,” and is, so inflexibly solemn, that you doubt whether she ever did or can smile; yet when she does, you are astonished that
she does not always: her face does not relax by degrees, but breaks suddenly into an arch laugh. . This appearance may be extorted by a joke, while driving a bargain, but not afterwards: she assumes it, perhaps, as a sort of “turn" to hasten the “business transaction;” for when that is concluded, the intercourse ends immediately. Neither lingering nor loitering, they keep constantly walking on, and looking out for customers. They seldom speak to each other; nor when their brooms are disposed of, do they stop and rejoice upon it as an end to their labours; but go homewards reflectively, with the hand every now and then dipping into the pocket of the huge petticoat, and remaining there for a while, as if counting the receipts of the day while they walk, and - reckoning what the before accumulated riches will total to, with the new addition. They seem influenced by this admonition, “get all you can, and keep all you get.” Rather late in an autumn afternoon, in Battersea-helds, I saw one of these girls by herself; she was seated, with her brooms on her lap, in a bit of scenery, which, from Weirottel's etchings and other prints, I have always fancied resembled a view in the Low Countries: it is an old windmill, near the “Red-house,” with some low buildings among willows, on the bank of the Thames, thrown up to keep the river from overflowing a marshy flat. To my imagination, she was fixed to that spot in a reverie on her “vaderland.” She gazed on the strait line of stunted trees, as if it were the line of beauty; and from the motion of her lips, and the enthusiasm of her look, I deemed she was reciting a passage from a poet of her native country. Elevation of feeling, in one of these poor girls, was hardly to be looked for; and yet I know not why I should have excluded it, as not appertaining to their character, o from their seeming intentness on thrift alone. They are cleanly, frugal, and no wasters of time; and that they are capable of sentiment, I state on the authority of my imagining concerning this poor girl; whereon, too, I pledge myself not to have been mistaken, for the language of the heart is universal- and hers discoursed to mine; though from the situation wherein
* Pader-land, a word signifying country, but infinitely more expressive; it was first adopted by Lord Å, ron into our language; he englishes it “Rotherland.”
I stood, she saw me not. I was not, nor could I be, in love with her—I was in 'ove with human nature. The “brooms" are one entire piece of wood; the sweeping part being slivered from the handle, and the shavings neatly turned over and bound round into the form of a besom. They are bought to dust, curtains and hangings with; but good housewives have another use for them; one of them dipt in fair water, sprinkles the dried clothes in the laundry, for the process of ironing, infinitely better than the hand; it distributes the water more equally and more quickly.
"here is a print with this inscription. It is a caricature representation of Mr. Brougham, with his barrister's wig, in the dress of a broom girl, and for its likeness of that gentleman, and the play on his name, it is amazingly popular; especially since he contended for a man's right to his own personal appearance, in the case of Abernethy v. The Lancet, before the chancellor. Mr. Brougham's goodhumoured allusion to his own countenance, was taken by the auditors in court, to relate particularly to his portrait in this print, called “Buy a Broom *" It is certainly as good as “The Great Bell of Lincoln’s-inn,” and two or three other prints of gentlemen eminent at the chancery-bar, sketched and etched. apparently, by the same happy hand at a thorough likeness.
This day is so distinguished in the church of England calendar. Edward was the king of the West Saxons, murdered by order of Elfrida. He had not only an anniversary on the 18th of March, in commemoration of his sufferings, or rather of the silly and absurd miracles alleged to have been wrought at his tomb; but he was even honoured by our weak forefathers with another festival on the 20th of June, in each year, in remembrance of the removal, or translation, as it is termed, of his relics at Wareham, where they were inhumed, to the minster at Salisbury, three years after his decease. It is observed by Mr. Brady, on the translation of St. Edward, as follows:– “At the period this solemn act of absurd pomp took place, all Europe was plunged in a state of profound ignorance and mental darkness; no marvel, therefore, that great importance should have been attached to such superstitious usage; but for what reason our reformers chose to keep up a recollection of that folly, cannot readily be ascertained. “Of the origin of translations of this kind, much has been written ; and if we are to credit the assertions of those monkish writers, whose works are yet found in catholic countries, though they have themselves long passed to the silent tomb, we must believe not only that they had their source from a principle of dévotion, but that peculiar advantages accrued to those who encouraged their increase. In the year 359, the emperor Constantius, out of a presmmed and, perhaps, not inconsistent respect, caused the remains of St. Andrew and St. Luke to be removed from their ancient place of interment to the temple of the twelve apostles, at Constantinople; and from that example, the practice of searching for the bodies of saints and martyrs increased so rapidly, that in the year 386, we find almost the whole of the devotees engaged in that pursuit. Relics, of course, speedily became of considerable value; and as they were all alleged to [. peculiar virtues, no expense or abour were spared to provide such treasures for every public religious foundation. Hence translations innumerable took place of the decayed members of persons
reputed saints; and where the entire bodies could not be collected, the pious contented themselves with possessing such parts alone as ‘ Providence chose to bless them with.' Without these sacred relics, uo establishments could expect to thrive; and so provident had the persons been who laboured in their collection, that not a single religious house but could produce one or more of those invaluable remains; though, unless we are to believe that most relics, like the holy cross itself, possessed the power of self-augmentation, we must either admit, that some of our circumspect forefathers were imposed upon, or that St. John the Baptist had more heads than that of which he was so cruelly deprived, as well as several of their favourite saints having each kindly afforded them two or three skeletons of their precious bodies; circumstances that freuently occurred, “ because,’ says Father }. Ferand, of Anecy, ‘ God was pleased so to multiply and re-produce them, for the devotion of the faithful!' “Of the number of these relics that have been preserved, it is useless to attempt a description, mor, indeed, could they ...! in many volumes; yet it may gratify curiosity to afford some brief account of such as, in addition to the heads of St. John the Baptist, were held in the greatest repute, were it for no other reason than to show how the ignorance and credulity of the commonally have, in former ages, been imposed upon, W1z. :“A finger of St. Andrew ; “A finger of St. John the Baptist; “The thumb of St. Thomas ; “A tooth of our Lord ; “A rib of our Lord, or, as it is profanely styled, of the Perbum caro factum, the word made flesh ; “The hem of our Lord's garment, which cured the diseased woman ; “The seamless coat of our Lord ; “A tear which our Lord shed over Lazarus; it was preserved by an angel, who gave it in a phial to Mary Magdalene; “Two handkerchiess, on which are impressions of our Saviour's face; the one sent by our Lord himself as a present to Agbarus, prince of Edessa; the other given at the time of his crucifixion to a holy woman, named Veronica; “The rod of Moses, with which he performed his miracles; “A lock of hair of Mary Magdalene's;
“A hem of Joseph's garment: “A feather of the Holy Ghost; “A finger of the Holy Ghost; * A feather of the angel Gabriel; “A finger of a cherubim ; “The water-pots used at the marliage in Galilee; “The slippers of the antediluvian Enoch; “The face of a seraphim, with only part of the nose; “The ‘snout' of a seraphim, thought to nave belonged to the preceding; “The coal that broiled St. Lawrence; “The square buckler, lined with “red velvet,” and the short sword of St Michael; “A phial of the “sweat of St. Michael,’ when he contended with Satan; “Some of the rays of the star that appeared to the Magi; with innumerable others, not quite consistent with decency to be here described. “The miracles wrought by these and other such precious remains, have been enlarged upon by writers, whose testimony, aided by the protecting care of the inquisition, no one durst openly dispute who was not of the ‘holy brotherhood;’
Summer Morning and Evening.
The glowing morning, crown'd with youthful roses,
Shaking their dewy tresses.
Of untaught minstrels blend their various powers
Now cometh welcome Summer with great strength,
“How beautiful is summer,” says the ing whisper gently through the leaves, elegant author of Sylvan Sketches, a which reflect the liquid light of the moon volume that may be regarded as a when she is seen—
sequel to the Flora Domestica, from the hand of the same lady.—“How beautiful is summer! the trees are heavy with fruit and foliage; the sun is bright and cheering in the morning; the shade of broad and leafy boughs is refreshing at noon; and the calm breezes of the even
“lifting her silver rim Above a cloud, and with a gradual swim Coming into the blue with all her light.” Qn page 337 of the present work, there is the spring dress of our ancestors in the fourteenth century, from ar illumination