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Tuis volume is a specimen of a work undertaken for the purpose of forming a collection of the manners and customs of ancient and modern times, with descriptive accounts of the several seasons of popular pastime.
Each of the three hundred and sixty-five days in the year is distinguished by occurrences or other particulars relating to the day, and by the methods of celebrating every holyday; the work is therefore what its title purports, THE EVERY-Day Book.
It is an EVERLASTING CALENDAR--because its collection of facts collcerning the origin and usages of every remarkable day, including movable feasts and fasts, constitute a calendar for every year.
It is a HISTORY OF THE YEAR-because it traces the commencement and progress of the year from the first day to the last.
It is a History Of The Months—because it describes the appearances that distinguish each month from the other months.
It is a HISTORY OF THE SEASONS--because it describes the influences and character of the four quarters into which the year is divided, and the most remarkable objects in natural history peculiar to each season.
It is a Perpetual KEY TO THE ALMANACK—because it explains the signification of every name and term in the almanack.
Its antiquarian and historical notices are calculated to engage the attention of almost every class of readers, and to gratify several who would scarcely expect such particulars in such a miscellany. The perplexities attending the discovery of certain facts, and the labour of reducing all in in order, will be appreciated by the few who have engaged in similar pursuits. Some curious matters are now, for the first time, submitted to the public; and others are so rare as to seem altogether new.
As regards the engravings, to such as are from old masters, notices of their prints are always annexed. The designs for the allegorical and other illustrations, have originated with myself; and the drawings been accommodated, and the engravings executed, according to my own sense of subject and style. In numerous instances they have been as satisfactory to me as to my readers; many of whom, however, are less difficult to please than I am, and have favourably received some things which I have been obliged to tolerate, because the exigency of publication left me no time to supply their place. I know what art can accomplish, and am therefore dissatisfied when artists fail to accomplish.
I may now avow that I have other aims than I deemed it expedient to mention in the prospectus :—to communicate in an agreeable manner, the greatest possible variety of important and diverting facts, without a single sentence to excite an uneasy sensation, or an embarrassing inquiry; and, by not seeming to teach, to cultivate a high moral feeling, and the best affections of the heart :-to open a storehouse, from whence manhood may derive daily instruction and amusement, and youth and innocence be informed, and retain their innocency.
To these intentions I have accommodated my materials under such difficulties as I hope may never be experienced by any one engaged in such a labour. To what extent less embarrassed and more enlarged facul. ties could have better executed the task I cannot determine; but I have always kept my main object in view, the promotion of social and benevolent feelings, and I am persuaded this prevailing disposition is obvious throughout. The poetical illustrations, whether“ solemn thinkings,” or light dispersions, are particularly directed to that end.
I may now be permitted to refer to the copious indexes for the multifarious contents of the volume, and to urge the friends to the undertaking for assistance towards its completion. There is scarcely any one who has not said “Ah! this is something that will do for the Every-Day Book :" I crave to be favoured with that "something."
“ something." Others have observed—“I expected something about so and so in the Every-Day Book.” It is not possible, however, that I should know every thing ; but if each will communicate “ something," the work will gratify every one, and my own most sanguine wishes.
And here I beg leave to offer my respectful thanks to several correspondents who have already furnished me with accounts of customs, &c. which appear under different signatures. Were I permitted to disclose their real names, it would be seen that several of these communications are from distinguished characters. As a precaution against impositior, articles of that nature have not been, nor can they be, inserted, without the name and address of the writer being confided to myself. Accounts, so subscribed, will be printed with any initials or mark, the writers may please to suggest.
From the publication of the present volume, a correct judgment may be formed of the nature and tendency of the work, which incidentally embraces almost every topic of inquiry or remark connected with the ancient and present state of manners and literature. Scarcely an individual is without a scrap-book, or a portfolio, or a collection of some sort; and whatever a kindhearted reader may deem curious or interesting, and can conveniently spare, I earnestly hope and solicit to be favoured with, addressed to me at Messrs. Hunt and Clarke's, Tavistock-street, who receive communications for the work, and publish it in weekly sheets, and monthly parts, as usual.
JANUARY. This is the first and the coldest month Discerns sereneness in that brow, of the year. Its zodiacal sign is Aquarius
That all contracted seem'd but now. or the Waterbearer. It derives its name
His revers'd face may show distaste, from Janus, a deity represented by the
And frown upon the ills are past; Romans with two faces, because he was
But that which this way looks is clear,
And smiles upon the new-born year. Acquainted with past and future events. Cotton introduces him into a poem on the According to the ancient mythology, new year
Janus was the god of gates and avenues, Hark, the cock crows, and yon bright star
and in that character held a key in his 'Tells us, the day himself's not far; right hand, and a rod in his left, to symAnd see where, breaking from the night, bolize his opening and ruling the year : He gilds the western hills with light. sometimes he bore the number 300 in one With him old Janus doth appear,
hand, and 65 in the other, the number of Peeping into the future year,
its days. At other times he was reproWith such a look as seems to say,
sented with four heads, and placed in a The prospect is not good that way.
temple of four equal sides, with a door Thus do we rise ill sights to see,
and three windows in each side, as emAnd 'gainst ourselves to prophesy ;
blems of the four seasons and the twelve When the prophetic fear of things A more tormenting mischief brings,
months over which he presided. More full of soul-tormenting gall
According to Verstegan (Restitution o. Than direst mischiefs can befall.
Decayed Intelligence, 4to. 1628, p. 59) But stay! but stay! Methinks my siglit, the Saxons called this month « WolfBetter inform'd by clearer light,
monat," or Wolf-monin, because
wolves of our ancient forests, impelled by which he passed thirty years, and died Plunger at this season, were wont to prowl about the sixth century. Bishop Patrick, and attack man himself; the inferior ani- in his“ Reflexions upon the Devotions of mals, on whom they usually preyed, having the Roman Church," 1674, 8vo. cites of reti.ed or perished from the inclemency of St. Mochua, that while walking and praythe weather. The Saxons also called this ing, and seeing a company of lambs runmonth "Aefter-yula," or After Christmas. ning hastily to suck their mothers, he drew In illuminated calendars prefixed to
the ground which none of the catholic missals, or service books, January hungry lambs durst pass. Patrick again was frequently depicted as a man with cites, that St. Mochua having been vifagots or a woodman's axe, shivering sited by St. Kyenanus and fifteen of his and blowing his fingers. Spenser intro- clergy, they came to an impetuous and duces this month in nis Faerie Queene : impassable river on their return, and Then came old January, wrapped well wanted a boat; whereupon St. Mochua In many weeds to keep the cold away; spread his mantle on the water, and KyeYet did he quake and quiver like to quell; nanus with his fifteen priests were carried And blow his nayles to warme them if he may; safely over upon the mantle, which floated For they were numb'd with holding all the back again to St. Mochua without wrinkle day
or wetting. An hatchet keene, with which he felled wood,
St. Fanchea, or Faine, is said by Butler And from the trees did lop the needlesse spray. to have been an Irish saint of the sixth
century. Patrick quotes that St. Endeus January 1.
desiring to become a monk, his compaA close holiday at all public nions approached to dissuade him ; but, circumcision. offices except the Excisc, Customs, and Stamps.
upon the prayers of St. Faine, and her This festival stands in the calendar of stuck to the earth like immovable stones,
making the sign of the cross, their feet the church of England, as well as in that until by repentance they were loosed and of the Roman catholic church. It is
went their way. said to have been instituted about 487 ; it first appeared in the reforned English on the 1st of January, 533, sometimes went
St. Fulgentius, according to Butler, died liturgy in 1550.
barefoot, never undressed to take rest, nor Without noticing every saint to whom ench day is dedicated in the Roman catholic calen- ate flesh meat, but chiefly lived on pulse dars, the names of saints will be given day by and herbs, though when old he admitted day, as they stand under each day in the last the use of a little oil. He preached, exedition of their “Lives," by the Rev. Alban Butler, in 12 vols. 8vo. On the authority of that plained mysteries, controverted with herework the periods will be mentioned when the tics, and built monasteries. Butler consaints most noted for their miracles flourished, and some of those miracles be stated. Other cludes by relating, that after his death, a miracles will be given: First, from "The Golden bishop named Pontian was assured in a Legend,” a black letter folio volume, printed by vision of Fulgentius's immortality; that W. de Worde.-Secondly, from “ The Church History of Britain,” by the Benedictine father, his relics were translated to Bourges, where S. Cressy, dedicated by him to the queen.con- they are venerated; and that the saint's sort of Charles II., a folio, printed in 1668.Thirdly, from the catholic translation of the head is in the church of the archbishop's
Lives of the Saints,” by the Rev. Father seminary. Peter Ribadeneira, priest of the society of Jesus, second edition, London, 1730, 2 vols. folio; and Fourthly, from other sources which will be nained. By this means the reader will be ac
NEW YEAR'S DAY. quainted with legends that rendered the saints and the celebration of their festivals popular. The King of Light, father of aged Time, For example, the saints in Butler's Lives on this
Hath brought about that day, which is the day occur in the following order :
prime St. Fulgentius ; St. Odilo, or Olou ; To the slow gliding months, when every eye St. Almachus, or Telemachus; St. Eu- Wears symptoms of a sober jollity; gendus, or Oyend; St. Fanchea, or Faine ; And every hand is ready to present St. Mochua, or Moncain, alias Claunus ; Some service in a real compliment. St. Mochua, alias Cronan, of Balla. Whilst some in gol en letters write their Sts. Mochua. According to Butler, these Some speak affection by a ring or glove,
love, were Irish saints.
One founded the mo- Or pins and points (for ev’n the peasant may, nastery, now the town of Balla, in Con- After his ruder fashion, be as gay naught. The other is said to have founded
As the brisk courtly sir,) and thinks that he 120 cells, and thirty churches, in one of Cannot, without a gross absurdity,