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D. TAYLER IN DE
11.-SHROVE TUESDAY. Shrove Tuesday (observes a lively writer) is a relic of the carnival, and is more properly called, in some parts of the country, Pancake Tuesday, the shriving or confession of sin taking place in the Shrovetide or Lent, which follows it. It was the interval between flesh-eating and fish-eating, and so they judiciously filled up the time with pudding. The making of the pancakes used to furnish as much amusement in the kitchen as their mastication did in the parlour, the operators piquing themselves on tossing them skilfully in the pan. But the custom is too much gone out. We see a great many reasons for the discontinuance of some customs,---of cock-fighting, for instance, which used to be the disgrace of this day, and which is the pastime of cowards. But why we should give up our pancakes, unless we have lost our gums as well as teeth, or are subject to the heart-burn, we see no reason upon table. They are of taste 'not inelegant,' as Milton says ; they are a nice variety; their entrance is a prodigious moment for the children; they can accommodate themselves to sophisticated palates by means of lemon-juice or vinegar: the rolling of one of them up, and then cutting it with a knife and fork, and dipping the slice into plenty of sugar, is a thing not to be lightly praised. All such customs and puddings, even black ones, for which we have an esteem, are innocent links with, and memorials of, our ancestors.--(Literary Pocket Book, 1822.). .
Our Huntingdonshire correspondent has sent us an account of a practice in his neighbourhood, called cock-running, which, though not quite so cruel as cock-throwing, is not much inferior to it. A cock is procured, and his wings are cut; the runners pay so much a-head, and have their hands tied behind them, and run after him, and are to catch him in their mouths, hold him, and carry him to a certain place or goal, when the bird is his. In this race there is much tumbling and squabbling for the bird, and the one who gets hold of it frequently has his face and eyes very much pecked. On an attempt to have one of these runnings in our correspondent's parish on Shrove Tuesday, 1822, the owner of the cock, who had given two shillings for it, could not get runnrs sufficient, at three pence a-head, to make it answer to him; and our correspondent attributes this to his having put up in the school-house, in a large print, the following lines, which had been given him by a friend, and which had been got by heart by all the children for several years :
On CRUELTY to BRUTES.
· P. 12.-ASH WEDNESDAY. Formerly Lent began on the Sunday after Quinquagesima, i, e. our first Sunday in Lent, and ended at Easter, containing in all 42 days; and subtracting the six Sundays which are not fasts, there remained only 36 fasting days, the tenth part of 360, the number of days in the antient year, then considered as a tythe of the year consecrated to God's service. To these 36 fasting-days, however, of the Old-Lent, Gregory added. four days more, to render it equal to the time of our Saviour's fasting, causing it to begin on Ash Wednesday, three days after Quinquagesima; and thus it has remained ever since. Lent is not of apostolic institution, nor was it known in the earlier ages of the Christian church.
14.-SAINT VALENTINE. By a most singular arrangement, the day on which a christian bishop suffered martyrdom 1500 years ago, has been for a long course of time commemorated by the effusions of earthly love and fancy. Not one of the saints' days in our calendar, we may safely say, has been so honoured by the Muses. Little dreamed the Emperor Valerianus, when he gave the order which doomed this persecuted individual to the block, that he was bestowing a name upon a day to be held in pleasant memory by youthful swains and blushing damsels-a day in which the spirit of martyrdom has little place, unless indeed the Muse may be doomed to act the part of the deceased saint, which, we believe, is pretty often the case.
From an ingenious essay on Valentine-Writing, in the New Monthly Magazine (vol. iv, N.S. p. 228), we select the following pretty specimens of Valentines. The first is, we suppose, by a young lady only just sixteen :
It is the hour of morning's prime,
The young day of the year,
When brighter hopes appear.
When suns but faintly shine ;
The sweet St. Valentine !
And not a leaf is green,
A gleam of light is seen.
Darts forth a light divine;
Of thive, St. Valentine! The next is from a poor melancholy witling, who really loved love, because it added to his stock of romantic musings. If his lady had smiled upon him, it would infallibly have broken the charm, and his
heart also. But from this catastrophe he was happily delivered. He has not unaptly pourtrayed his feelings in these lines, and therefore we select them from among a dozen more appropriate to the occasion.
Poor Primrose ! that through covering snow
Peep'st forth the morn to greet,
Than summer flowers more sweet?
In man thus wayward prove?
Ere aught he finds to love?
And has not Love, by fortune's blast,
By storms, by perils tried,
'Mid smiles and sunshine died ?
That Hope is man's true bliss;
No fairer flower than this.
It is said that the sweet air of Rousseau's Dream,' to which all our poets, now-a-days, have a song, was first imported into this country twenty-two years ago, and that the first English words ever written to it were in the form of a serenade from a lover to his betrothed on the morning of Valentine's-day. If this be true, our readers will, no doubt, thank us for laying before them a copy of these lines.
Health to thee, mine own sweet lady!
Health and blessing, first and last!
Round thy path new spells to cast.
Blessed be thine evening close !
Act the faithless flatterer's part.
Win and wear thy prize, sweet lady!
Faith as true, as pare as thine ;
19, 21, 22.-EMBER DAYS. There are four Ember Weeks in the year, namely, after the first Sunday in Lent, after the feast of Pentecost, after the 14th of September, and after the 13th of December. It is enjoined by a canon of the church, “that Deacons and Ministers be ordained, or made, but only on the Sundays immediately following these Ember feasts.'-(Nelson.)
24.-SAINT MATTHIAS. Matthias was, probably, one of the seventy disciples, and was a constant attendant upon our Lord, from the time of his baptism by St. John until his ascension. The gospel and traditions published under his name are considered spurious.
In FEBRUARY 1823.
SOLAR PHENOMENA. · The Sun enters Pisces at 33 m. after 9 in the morning of the 19th of this month. He will also be eclipsed in the morning of the 11th ; but as he will not have risen to this country at the time, the eclipse will, of course, be invisible here. The circumstances
Conjunction at .. 3 h. 4m. 30 s.
Moon's latitude. 0 1 201 N. This bright luminary also rises and sets on several days in this month, as in the following
TABLE Of the Sun's Rising and Setting for every fifth Day. February 1st, Sun rises 28 m. after 7. Sets 32 m. after 4
6th, ............ 19 ......... 7 .......... 41 ......... 4 11th, .............. 10 ......... 7 ........... 50 ......... 4 16th, ............. I .......... 7 ......... 59 .......... 4 21st, ............ 51 .......... 6 ......... 9 ........... 5 26th, ............. 41 ........... 6 ........ 19 .......... 5