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But here they let us stand
thoroughly liquefied, his loquacity is deAll freezing in the cold;
luging. He is thus in public-house parGood master, give command,
jours: he is in parties somewhat higher, To enter and be bold,
much the same. The business of dinner With otir Wassel.
draws on the greater business of drinking, Muth joy into this hall
and the potations are strong and fiery ; With us is entered in,
full-bodied port, hot sherry, and ardent Our master first of all,
spirits. This occupation consumes five We hope will now begin,
or six hours, and sometimes more, after Of our Wassel : dining. There is no rising from it, but
to toss off the glass, and huzza after the And after his good wife Our spiced bowl will try,
hip! hip! lip!” of the toast giver. A The Lord prolong your life,
calculation of the number who customaGood fortune we espy,
rily “dine out" in this manner half the For our Wasse), week, would be very amusing, if it were
illustrated by portraits of some of the Some bounty from your hands, indulgers. It might be further, and more Our Wassel to maintain :
usefully, though not so agreeably illusWe'll buy no house nor lands With that which we do gain,
trated, by the reports of physicians, wives; With our Wassel.
and nurses, and the bills of apothecaries,
Habitual sitting to drink is the“ besetting This is our merrý night
sin” of Englishmen—the ereator of their Of choosing King and Queen, gout and palsy, the embitterer of their Then be it your delight
enjoyments, the impoverisher of their That something may be seen
property, the widow-maker of their wives. In our Wassel
By continuing the “wassail” of our anIt is a noble part
cestors,we attempt to cultivate the body as To bear a liberal mind,
they did; but we are other beings, cultiGod bless our master's heart,
vated in other ways, with faculties and For here we comfort find,
powers of mind that would have astonished With our Wassel.
their generations, more than their robust And now we must be gone,
frames, if they could appear, would astoTo seek out more good cheer ;
nish ours. Their employment was in Where bounty will be shown,
hunting their forests for food, or battling As we have found it here,
in armour with risk of life and limb. They With our Wassel. had no counting-houses, no ledgers, no
commerce, no.Christmas bills, no letterMuch joy betide them all,
writing, no printing, no engraving, no Our prayers shall be still,
bending over the desk, no “wasting of the We hope and ever shall, For this your great good will,
midnight oil ” and the brain together, no To our Wassel. financing, not a hundredth part of the
relationships in society, nor of the cares From the "Wassail” we derive, per- that we have, who " wassail” as they did, haps, a feature by which we are distin- and wonder we are not so strong as they guished. An Englishman eats no more There were no Popes nor Addithan a Frenchman; but he makes yule- sons in the days of Nimrod. tide of all the year. In virtue of his The most perfect fragment of the “ forefathers, he is given to “strong drink.” sail” exists in the usage of certain corHe is a beer-drinker, an enjoyer of “ fat poration festivals. The person presiding ale;" a lover of the best London porter stands up at the close of dinner, and and double XX, and discontented unless drinks from a flaggon usually of silver he can get a stout.” He is a sitter withal. having a handle on each side, by which Put' an Englishman “ behind a pipe" and he holds it with each hand, and the toasta full pot, and he will sit till he cannot master announces him as drinking " the stand!' At first he is silent; but as his health of his brethren out of the loving liquor gets towards the bottom, he inclines cup.' The loving cup, which is the antowards conversation; as he replenishes, cient wassuil-bowl, is then passed to the his coldness thaws, and he is conversa guest on his left hand, and by him to his tional; the oftener he calls to “fill again," left-hand neighbour, and as it finds its the more talkative he becomes; and when way round the room to each guest in his
turn, so each stands up and drinks to the president « out of the loving cup."
The subsequent song is sung in Glous cestershire on New-year's eve :
Wassail! Wassail ! over the town,
Here's to ****,* and to his right ear,
my Wassailing bowl I drink to thee.
Here's to Filpail, I and her long tail,
Be here any maids, I suppose here be some;
Come, butler, come bring us a bowl of the best :
DAFT DAYS, HOGMANY,
rous Celts and Gauls had to contend with of this usage in Scotland, commencing and superstition presented, it is very
the many obstacles which their ignorance on New-year's eve, there was not room in the last sheet of the former volume, to ina probable that the clergy, when they were elude the following interesting communica- unable entirely to abolish' pagan rites, tion. It is, here, not out of place, because, would endeavour, as far as possible, to in fact, the usage runs into the morning cast; and of the turn which many heathen
twist them into something of a christian of the New Year.
ceremonies thus received, abundant in
afforded in the Romish To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
The performance of religious MYSTESir, The annexed account contains, I believe, seeins to have been accompanied with
RIES, which continued for a long period, the first notice of the acting in our Daft much licentiousness, and undoubtedly Days. I have put it hurriedly together, was grafted upon the stock of pagan obbut, if of use, it is at your service.
servances. - It was discovered, how-' I am, Sir, &c. John Wood REDDOCK.
ever, that the purity of the christian reliFalkirk, December, 1825.
gion could not tolerate them, and they
were succeeded by the MONALITIES, the, During the early ages of christianity, subjects of which were either bistorical, or when its promulgation among the barba. some existing abuse, that it was wished
* The name of some horse :
t The name of another horse.
The name of a cow.
to aim a blow at. Of this we have an in- vokingly improbable, that decision is renteresting instance in an account given by dered extremely difficult. With no term sir William Eure, the envoy of Henry is this more the case, than HOGMENAY. So the Eighth to James the Fifth, in a letter wide is the field of conjecture, as to the to the lord privy seal of England, dated signification of this word, that we shall 26th of January 1540, on the performance not occupy much space in attempting to of a play, or morality, written by the cele- settle which of the various etymologies is brated sir David Lindsay. It was enti- the most correct. tled The Satire of the Three Estates, and Many complaints were made to the was performed at Linlithgow, “before Gallic synods of the great excesses comthe king, queene, and the whole counsaill, mitted on the last night of the year and spirituall and temporall,” on the feast of first of January, by companies of both Epiphany. It gives a singular proof of sexes dressed in fantastic habits, who ran the liberty then allowed, by king James about with their Christmas boxes, calling and his court witnessing the exhibition of tire lire, and begging for the lady in the a piece, in which the corruptions of the straw both money and wassels. The chief existing government and religion were of these strollers' was called Rollet Follet. treated with the most satirical severity. They came into the churches during the
The principal dramatis personæ were a vigils, and disturbed the devotions. A king, a bushop, a burges man,“ armed in stop was put to this in 1598, at the
repreharness, with a swerde drawn in his sentation of the bishop of Angres; but hande," a poor man, and Experience, debarred from coming to the churches, “clede like ane doctor.” The poor man they only became more licentious, and (who seems to have represented the peo- went about the country frightening the ple)" looked at the king, and said he was people in their houses, so that the legislanot king in Scotland, for there was an ture having interfered, an end was put to other king in Scotland that hanged Johne the practice in 1668. Armstrong with his fellows, Sym the The period during the continuance of laird, and mony other mae.' He then these festivities corresponded exactly with makes “ a long narracione of the oppres- the present daft days, which, indeed, is sion of the poor by the taking of the corse- nearly a translation of their French name presaunte beits, and of the herrying of fétes de fous. The cry used by the bapoor men by the consistorye lawe, and of chelettes during the sixteenth century has mony other abusions of the spiritualitie also a striking resemblance to the still and church. Then the bushop raised and common cry “hogmenay trololay-gi'us rebuked him, and defended himself. Then your white bread and nane o' your grey,” the man of arms alleged the contrarie, and it being “ au gui menez, Rollet Follet, au commanded the poor man to go on. The gui menez, tiré liré, mainte du blanc et poor man proceeds with a long list of the point du bis." bushop's evil practices, the vices of clois The word Rollet is, perhaps, a corrupters, &c. This is proved by EXPERIENCE, tion of the ancient Norinan invocation of who, from a New Testament, showes the their hero, Rollo. Gui, however, seems to office of a bishop. The man of arms and refer to the druidical custom of cutting burges approve of all that was said against branches from the mistletoe at the close of the clergy, and allege the expediency of a the year, which were deposited in the reform, with the consent of parliament. temples and houses with great ceremony. The bushop dissents. The man of arms A supposition has been founded upon and burges said they were two and he but the reference of this cry to the birth of our one, wherefore their voice should have the Saviour, and the arrival of the wise men most effect. Thereafter the king in the from the east; of whom the general belief play ratified, approved, and confirmed all in the church of Rome is, that they were that was rehearsed."
three in number. Thus the language, as None of the ancient religious observ- borrowed from the French may be “homances, which have es through the me est né, trois rois allois !” A man is riot of time and barbarism, to our day, born, three kings are come! have occasioned more difficulty than that Others, fond of referring to the dark which forms the subject of these remarks. period of the Goths, imagine that this It is remarkable, that in all disputed ety- name had its origin there. Thus, minne mological investigations, a number of was one of the cups drunk at the feast of words got as explanatory, are so pro- Yule, as celebrated in the times of hea.
thenism, and oel is the general term for It is deemed lucky to see the new moon festival. The night before Yule was called with some money (silver) in the pocket. hoggin-nott, or hogenat, signifying the A similar idea is perhaps connected with slaughter night, and may have originated the desire to enter the new year rife o' from the number of cattle slaughtered on roughness. The grand affair among the that night, either as sacrifices, or in pre- boys in the town is to provide themselves paration for the feast on the following with fausse faces, or masks; and those with day. They worshipped the sun under the crooked horns and beards are in greatest name Thor. Hence, the call for the ce- demand. A high paper cap, with one of lebration of their sacrifices would be their great grandfather's antique coats, “Hogg-minne! Thor! oel! oel!” Re- then equips them as a guisard—they thus member your sacrifices, the feast of Thor! go about the shops seeking their hogmethe feast!
nay. In the carses and moor lands, howThat the truth lies among these various ever, parties of guisards have long kept up explanations, there appears no doubt; we the practice in great style. Fantastically however turn to hogmenay among our- dressed, and each having his character alselves, and although the mutilated legend lotted him, they go through the farm which we have to notice remains but as a houses, and unless denied entrance by few scraps, it gives an idea of the exist- being told that the OLD STYLE is kept, perence of a custom which has many points form what must once have been a conof resemblance to that of France during nected dramatic piece. We have heard the fêtes du fous. It has hitherto escaped various editions of this, but the substance the attention of Scottish antiquaries. of it is something like the following :Every person knows the tenacious ad.
One enters first to speak the prologue herence of the Scottish peasantry to the in the style of the Chester mysteries, call. tales and observances of auld lang syne, ed the Whitsun plays, and which appear Towards the close of the year many super- to have been performed during the maystitions are to this day strictly kept up oralty of John Arneway, who filled that among the country people, chiefly as con- office in Chester from 1268 to 1276. It nected with their cattle and crops. Their is usually in these words at presenta social feelings now get scope, and while one may rejoice that he has escaped diffi- Rise up gudewife and shake your feathers /
Dinna think that we're beggars, culties and dangers during the past year, We are bairns com’d to play another looks forward with bright antici- And for to seek our hogmenay; pation for better fortune in the year to Redd up stocks, redd up stools, come. The bannock of the oaten cake gave Here comes in a pack o' fools." place a little to the currant loaf and bun, Muckle head and little wit stand behint the and the amories of every cottager have door, goodly store of dainties, invariably includ- But sic a set as we are, ne'er were here being a due proportion of Scotch drink. The fore. countenances of all seem to say
One with a sword," who corresponds “ Let mirth abound; let social cheer with the Rollet, now enters and says: Invest the dawnin' o' the year,
Here comes in the great king of Macedon, Let blithsome Innocence appear
Who has conquer'd all the world but Scot. To crown our joy,
land alone. Nor envy wi' sarcastic sneer,
When I came to Scotland my heart grew so Our bliss destroy.
cold When merry Yuleday comes, I trow To see a little nation so stout and so bold, You'll scantlings find a hungry mou; So stont and so bold, so frank and so free! Sma' are our cares, our stomacks fu', Call upon Galgacus to fight wi' me. O' gusty gear
If national partiality does not deceive An' kickshaws, strangers to our view Sin' fairnyear.
us, we think this speech points out the
origin of the story to be the Roman inThen tho' at odds wi' a' the warl,
vasion under Agricola, and the name of Among oursels we'll never quarrel
Galgacus (although Galacheus and Saint Though discard gie a canker'd snarl To spoil our glee,
The author of Waverly, in a note to the Abbot, As lang's there pith into the barrel
mentious three Moralities played during the time of We'll drink and gree !"
the reformation--The Abbot of Unreason, The Boy
Bishop, and the Pepe o' Fools-may not pack o' fools Ferguson's Daft Days. be a corruption of this last ?
Lawrence are sometimes substituted, but really problematical. The strange event. most probably as corruptions) makes the ful history however is wound up by the famous struggle for freedom by the Scots entrance of Judas with the bag. He says: under that leader, in the battle fought at the foot of the Grampians, the subject of Here comes in Judas-Judas is my namne, this historical drama,
If ye pit nought sillar i'my bag, for gude:
sake mind our wame! Enter Galgacus.
When I gaed to the castle yett and tirl't at
the pin, Here comes in Galgacus—wha doesna fear
They keepit the keys o' the castle wa', and my name? Sword and buckler by my side, I hope to win I've been i' the east carso,
wad na let ine in. the garfie!
I've been i' the west carse, They close in a sword fight, and in the I've been i' the carsa o' Gowrie, "hash" smash" the chief is victorious. Where the clouds rain a' day wi' peas and He
wi’ beans ! Down Jack ! down to the ground you must And the farmers theek houses wi' needles
I've seen geese ga'in' on pattens ! Oh 0! what's this I've done?
And swine fleeing i' the air like peelings o' I've killed my brother Jack, my father's
onions! only son !
Our hearts are made o'steel, but our body's Call upon the doctor.
sma' as ware, Enter Doctor (saying)
If you've ouything to gi' us, stap it in there! Here comes in the best doctor that ever
This character in the piece seems to Scotland bred.
mark its ecclesiastical origin, being of Chief. What can you cure ? The doctor then relates his skill in sure in the New Testament; whom, by the way,
course taken from the office of the betrayer gery.
he resembles in another point; as extreme Chief
. What will ye tak to cure this jealousy exists among the party, this perman?
sonage appropriates to himself the contents Doctor. Ten pound and bottle of
of the bag. The money and wassel, which wine.
usually consists of farles of short bread, or Chief. Will six not do?
cakes and pieces of cheese, are therefore Doctor. No, you must go higher.
frequently counted out before the whole. Chief. Seven?
One of the guisards who has the best Doctor. That will not put on the pot, voice, generally concludes the exhibition &c. :. A bargain however is struck, and the
by singing an “auld Seottish sang.” The
most ancient melodies only are consiDoctor says to Jack, start to your feet and dered appropriate for this occasion, and stand !
many very fine ones are often sung that Jack. Oh hon, my back, I'm sairly have not found their way into collections : wounded.
or the group join in a reel, lightly tripping Doctor. What ails your back ?
it, although encumbered with buskins of Jark. There's a hole in't you may turn
straw wisps, to the merry sound of the your tongue ten times round it!
fiddle, which used to form a part of the Doctor. How did you get it?
establishment of these itinerants. They Jack. Fighting for our land.
anciently however appear to have been acDoctor. How mony did you kill ?
companied with a musician, who played Jack. I killed a' the loons save ane, the kythels, or stock-and-born, a musical but he ran, he wad na stand.
instrument made of the thigh bone of a Here, most unfortunately, there is a sheep and the horn of a bullock. “hole i'the ballad," a hiatus which irre. The above practice, like many customs parably closes the door upou our keenest of the olden time, is now quickly falling prying. During the late war with France into disuse, and the revolution of a few Jack was made to say he had been "fight years may witness the total extinction of ing the French," and that the loon who this seasonable doing. That there does took leg bail was no less a personage than still exist in other places of Scotland the Nap. le grand! Whether we are to re remnants of plays performed upon similar gard this as a dark prophetic anticipation occasions, and which may contain many of what did actually take place, seems interesting allusions, is very likely. That