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Almost all the nations of the ancient world had their
Jewisu DISABILITIES. peculiar feast of mid-winter, but the Juel-fesé of the Northern mythology, is that which seems to have left The tribute required of the Jews by Vespasian, on the the most discernible traces in our country. The circling subjugation of Judæa, was by Domitian rendered almost year was represented as a wheel, the word itself being insupportable, and even the observance of the religious derived from juel ; closing only to commence again ;
rites of their faith was permitted only on their complythe yule log was heaped on the fire, and the boar, an ing with the Emperor's exactions, which were enforced animal obnoxious to the god of the Sun, was roasted with great rigour. Suetonius, recounting the various whole in the open air. The most pleasing part con
| means of plundering his subjects, observes, — Above all nected with this observance of the mid-winter festival, others, the Jews were miserably harassed by the confiswas the custom of concealing the presents in as many
cation of their estates; those in particular, who, declinwrappers as possible, and throwing them in at the win
ing to give in their names as Jews, yet lived after the dows, the practice being emblematical of the hidden manner of Jews; or who, concealing their original, did blessings in store for the coming year.
not pay the tribute that had been imposed upon that It was not till several centuries after the birth of our nation. The assassination of Domitian made way for Saviour, that the Church appointed the Nativity to be
the accession of Nerva, A. D. 96, when these oppressive a high day, and a holyday ; and not having specific in taxes were reinitted, and the event perpetuated on the formation, as to the exact period of our Lord's birth, reverse of one of Nerva's large brass coms, now of conDecember 25 was fixed on, as being more likely than siderable rarity. any other to be the correct day. With the Germans, the greatest festival is our Christmas-eve, the heilege abend, which has the more propriety, as whatever doubt attaches to the date of His birth, it is certain that our Lord was born in the night-time. The festival is called weihnacht, or night dedicated to the commemoration. As Christmas-eve always falls on the evening of Adam and Eve's day, an orthodox Christmas-tree will have the figures of our first parents at its foot, and the serpent twining himself round its stem. By a bold stretch of theological fancy, the tree with its branches and tapers, is with the abovementioned accessories, understood to typify the genealogy of our Lord, closing in the most luminous apex, the sun of light and life, “the seed of
Imp. Nerva Caes. Avg. P. M. TR. P. Cos. III. P. P. the woman should crush the serpent's head.” The Ro
Rev. Fisci JVDAICI CALVMNIA SVBLATA. mans had already affixed on the sunmit of their trees,
The word fiscus was derived from the hamper, or a representation of a radiant sun in honour of Phæbus
| basket, in which the taxes were originally collected. Apollo, to whom the three last days of December were dedicated. In connexion with this god, sheep were
MENDIZABAL, who advanced in - life from being a sometimes exhibited pasturing under the tree, or Apollo himself took charge of the herd, or taught the shep
Jew boy named Mendez, selling old clothes at Cadiz or
| wandering about the country as a pedlar, receiving on herds the use of the pipe. This was skilfully construed
account of his Hebrew origin many a cuff or a kick from by the Christian clergy to be emblematic of the Good
his customers, which he was obliged to pocket with their Shepherd. The sigillaria of the Romans were impressed with
copper monies -- first became a millionaire, and lastly
Prime Minister of Spain, evincing in that position the the images of saints and holy persons; the lighted
most enlightened patriotism towards the land of his tapers, also borrowed from the saturnalia, were retained
birth, from which, in common with all his caste, he had here, as elsewhere, as portion of the religious ceremony.
received lisages that might have turned the blood to The giving of presents, another portion of the satur
gall, if the blood and spirit of his race had been like nalia, was understood to be expressive of Christian
that of the rest of the sons of Adam. brotherly love, while the apples, nuts, and gingerbread, equally unmistakeable remnants of the Northern heathen mythology, have been retained in the service of the ARNOLD OF BRESCIA.--What was the name of the Christian festival, as accessories that sufficiently recom- Viscount of the Campania, who gave shelter to Arnold mended themselves without typifying anything par- of Brescia, a heretic burned alive by order of Pope ticularly holy.
Adrian the Fourth, in 1155 ? Gibbon, Mosheim and
Count who protected him, or of the Bishop of Constance, Tavern orgies tear asunder the stoutest constitution. another of his friends. as well as impoverish the weightiest purses.
Religious BELIEF OF THE CHINESE. mentions Mo ye (Mary), Moo kia ye (Mark), and Om i TAERE are two languages, the Hebrew and the Chi- to Fo, i.e. Om (the Hindoo Triad) is the Fo, etc. From nese, every word of which may be literally interpreted their own records, we may therefore reasonably suppose, by means of the significations of the hieroglyphs which the Chinese might easily be persuaded to embrace the compose the words. This method of interpretation / gospel of Jesus Christ. appears to be the only one for restoring the true history
Southwick Vicarage, near Oundle.. T. R. BROWN. of such events, as from length of time have been so corrupted by glosses, as scarcely to leave a trace of their
Curious Sign-BOARDS IN SOMERSETSHIRE. original meaning, even to those professing to be perfectly conversant with their intricacies. We may thus speak
Whilst passing through Yeovil, a short time since, of the Chinese language in particular, and only by un
I noticed the sign of a public house, “ The Pall," and the folding the compound structure of words can we be | inn adjoins the churchyard, now in the centre of this enabled to see and explain the historical events contained large and flourishing town. I should feel obliged if in them ; let us then pursue this decomposition in order some reader of . Current Notes' can give any account to shew what was the ancient religious belief of the of its origin. Can it be that the inn was formerly used Chinese.
as a resting-place for the corpse on its way to the last Du Halde, Hist. of Chinn, Svo. edit. vol. iii. p. 16, home? states : “ The chief object of their worship is the Supreme Another, and more remarkable sign, is to be seen at Being, Lord and Chief Sovereign of all things, which they West Coker, a few miles from Yeovil, namely, The worshipped under the name of Chang ti." The literal | Case is altered. What can this possibly mean? meaning of Chang ti, or in English orthography, Shang Dorchester, Feb. 13.
JOHN GARLAND. te, Supreme Lord of Heaven, is as follows, -one piercing or extending from our heaven, or atmosphere, above the
Your correspondent's conjectures may to a certain eight coverings, regions, or residences. Here we are
extent be right. The Lich-gate, covered overhead, was referred, if I mistake not, to the pure Empyrean, or the in the middle ages, a common adjunct or entrance to Spirit that extends throughout infinite space, surround
grave-yards; some yet remain, and are still used as a ing and supporting the whole of the creation, as the
brief resting place for the corpse-bearers; but as palls Alpha, or, as it is beautifully expressed in the Edda,
are of great antiquity, the now inn may have been the the Ljosalfaheim, the region of pure light tending house of some official connected with the church, and downwards, and which is above the other eight regions. who had charge of the pall? Chang ti therefore means the essential part of the Deity, • Dear old Dorset' has more than one instance of whom we are taught to call “ the Father. Here we have The Case is altered. The allusion is at once both the pure worship of the Supreme; but this is not all; obvious and self-interpreting,-a house from bad mathey had also, at the same time, a correct knowledge of nagement falls into bad repute, and the new occupant the nature and future mission of the Messiah, whom
retrieves the error, by adopting a different course, and they called the God Fo. This word literally signifies - in place of the old sign, has painted in large letters,Man descending from above the third heaven, upon THE CASE IS ALTERED.' His resolve is thus, patent to earth, and afterwards ascending thither. In Du Halde,
every one. This I have known done, and so speak with vol. ii. p. 288, he is also described on a coin, called a
certainty; I well remember a case in point, in years superstitious coin, figured on the left hand, at the bottom
gone by, when at the grammar school in Wimborne. of the plate ; where the spiritual index is prefixed to
. CHARLES WARNE. Fo, instead of jin, man. The most ancient hieroglyphs
n describe that part of holy writ, contained in In the City of London, the churches, as well as the Genesis i. 2, 3; or, it may be from the same record, Companies halls, appear formerly to have had palls for that was in common among mankind, handed down from funereal purposes. The vestry minute book of Allhalthe earliest ages.
lows, Honey Lane, Cheapside, notices :I will mention but two more, most ancient records of 1649. Received for the bell and herse cloth for Mr. the same nature; one, in Heuselii Synopsis Universe | Gippe, 00:05:0. Philosophiæ, p. 46, plate 1; "the descent of the Trinity, upon one man on earth to establish a kingdom, and
GOLDEN SICKLE.—Can any of your correspondents return again to heaven. The other in Hammer's
give me any information respecting the Druidical cusAncient Hieroglyphic Characters, pp. 91 and 22; the
tom of cutting the misletoe, with a golden sickle ; or description of which is as follows, – The creation of the
the shape of the sickle ?
INVESTIGATOR, universe, the fall of Adam and Eve in Paradise, and its cause; the coming of the Messiah at the appearance of a wonderful star, the establishment of his kingdom on Mr J. R. PLANCHÉ, hitherto popularly known as a earth, and his subsequent ascent to heaven.'
dramatist, was on the 14th inst. gazetted as Rouge Du Halde, vol. iii. p. 34, in a confused and corrupted Croix, Pursuivant of Arms; an appointment deservedly history of some few of the leading parts of the gospels, conferred,
Allusive to her armorial insignia, are the following
Il n'apartient porter ces armes
Songs of DEGREES.-Having recently met with this phrase, I have referred to Busby's Dictionary of Music, but cannot there find any elucidation; possibly some friendly reader of Current Notes' can explain what to me has been a question of some difficulty ? S. S.
“In the court of the Temple was an ascent of fifteen steps or stairs, between the women's court and the men's. Upon these steps or stairs, the Levites sung those fifteen psalms, immediately following the 119th ; upon each step, one psalm, whence those psalms are entitled Psalmi Graduales, Songs of Degrees."
Godwin's Jewish Antiquities, lib, ii. p. 16.
Bien plus utile est l'heure que non pas la fortune Puisquelle change autant qu'elle est oportune.
La viellesse est un mal qui ne se peut guérir
Mary, QUEEN OF Scots. In the Imperial Library at St. Petersburgh, is a richly illuminated Missal, formerly the property of that unhappy Queen, and having various verses written in her autograph.
In allusion to one of the illuminations, are the following lines —
Comme autre fois la renommée
Celle que d'honneur sait combler
En effet n'estant que un bel ange.
Les heures ie guide et le jour
Pour isy croistre ma lumière. The following appear to have been written, as expressive of her feelings at the moment
Un cour que l'outrage martire
Silvio PELLICO, well known to every English student of Italian literature, by his Le Mie Prigioni, has ceased to exist. Born in 1788, in early life he devoted himself much to poetry, and among other productions wrote a tragedy, entitled, Francesa di Rimini, it has still a high reputation in Italy. In 1820, he was tutor in the family of Count Porro at Milan, where, in the following year, he was arrested as a carbonaro, and, with Count Gonfaloniere and many others, was at the same time condemned to death ; the sentence was, however, commuted to imprisonment, and he was confined in the fortress of Spielberg until the amnesty of 1830. His privations and sufferings during his incarceration were such as to cause great debility, and to incapacitate him for any very active employment; he therefore, on his release, sought shelter in Turin, and having wholly dissevered himself from all political connexions, was employed as librarian in the house of the Marchesa Barolo, at Montcagliere, near Turin, where he died on February 1. Though only in his sixty-sixth year, the faculties of both his mind and body were exhausted ; and during many years past he was affected by a pulmonary complaint. His sufferings were, however, doubtlessly alleviated by his receiving while in Piedmont two instances of popular homage, which could not be otherwise than grateful to a man so capable of valuing the sources whence they came- the first was, Gioberti's dedication to him of his great work on Italy, as “the first of Italian patriots," the other was the decoration of St. Maurice, from the hand of a constitutional sovereign, the King of Sardinia.
Si pos pensers sont eslevés
Pour récompense et pour salaire
Autant comme ie vous en doye.
En feinte mes amis changent leur bienveillance Tout le bien qu'ils me font, est desirer ma mort; Et comme si mourant i'estois en défaillance Dessus mes vestements ils ons ieté le sort,
QUEBEC.- The Parliament House, with the attached buildings, was destroyed by fire, on the morning of Feb. Ist; the calamity is said to have originated in the furnace, in the south wing. Part of the very valuable | library, it is believed, has been saved, but the historical
portion was wholly consumed. The building was, it is stated, insured for 36,0001.
designated “a new song, set for two voices,” was sung GOD SAVE THE King.
at both theatres. The words, with the Musical Notes,
are thus printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for Much has been both said and written on the origin of October, p. 552. the words and music of this highly popular air.
God save great George our King, Throughout Europe it is considered to have originated
Long live our noble King, in England, but it would appear it was derived from
God save the King, France, and that to Lulli we are indebted for the musi
Send him victorious, cal notes.
Happy and glorious, The establishment of the convent of Saint Cyr was
Long to reign over us, one of the last public works founded under the patron
God save the King. age of Louis the Fourteenth. It was built at the
Oh ! Lord our God arise, extremity of the park in Versailles, in 1686, and its
Scatter his enemies, purposes were to educate the daughters of the nobility,
And make them fall; too poor to perform that office, in the manner the Court
Confound their politics, at that period required the principles of the persons in
Frustrate their knavish tricks, that class should be instilled. Madame de Maintenon,
On him our hopes we fix, the widow of Scarron ; then the wife of the monarch,
Oh! save us all. gave a form to this seminary, was herself the superior
Thy choicest gifts in store, of the convent, and assisted by Gadet Desmarets,
On GEORGE be pleased to pour, Bishop of Chartres, made the rules.
Long may he reign. In this year, 1686, the King was so indisposed, that
May he defend our cause, (laws ?) great fears as to the result prevailed, but his recovery
And ever give us cause was hailed with great delight ; Racine, having become
To say with heart and voice, imbued with Jansenism, had in consequence turned
God save the King. courtier, and had ceased to write for the theatres; was
Arne produced the music on this occasion, as he did at the instigation of Madame de Maintenon, appointed also to the words “ Rule Britannia ;" sung at Cliefden to superintend the revival of dramatic representations
House, Buckinghamshire, on August 1, 1740. The in the convent; having for his assistants Duchat, and
popularity was instantaneous — and so generally apthe Abbé Genêt. Lulli, the Court musician, was also
proved, that many of the Jacobite songs were set to the installed as the composer and musical director.
tune of “Rule Britannia." As Thomson wrote the The recovery of the King was the cause of an anthem
words of that song, it is not improbable Arne again being written and composed for the chapel of St. Cyr,
sought his assistance, and that he was the writer of the the whole choir of which, being the three hundred noble
words as printed in the Gentleman's Magazine- more ladies there established, on the entrance of his most
most especially, as his Tancred and Sigismunda was perChristian Majesty, instantaneously arose, and sang the formed at Drury Lane in the same year, 1745, with following words, doubtless written by Racine, to a considerable applause. The result of these appropriabeautiful air composed by Lulli.
tions is to substantiate the assertion that to Thomson Grand Dieu, sauvez le Roi!
the author of The Seasons, and to the skilful adaptaGrand Dieu, sauvez le Roi!
tion of Arne, England is indebted for two of her most Vangez le Roy !
popular and soul-stirring lyrical effusions. Can any Que toujours glorieux,
Correspondent of the Current Notes subvert any of these Louis victorieux,
facts, or produce any version said to bear the name of Voye ses enemies,
James I. Instead of being encomiastic of the Stuarts, Toujours soumis !
the songs were written to arouse the popular resentment Grand Dieu, sauvez le Roy !
against the whole race; in which accord, the Editor Grand Dieu, sauvez le Roy !
most heartily joinsVive le Roy!
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN. Whether this was constantly sang in the chapel after this year, is not stated; Louis the Fourteenth died in CHRONOGRAMS.-Philip the Second of Spain caused 1715, when Madame de Maintenon retired into the Charles his eldest son, to be executed in 1568, for conconvent, and died there, April 15, 1719.
spiring, as was pretended, against his father's life. A The inroad by Charles Edward Stuart, the Pre- |
nroad by Charles Edward Stuart, the Pre- wit in such difficult toyes, thus accommodated the numetender in 1745, induced a general expression of loyalty l ral letters in Ovid's verse, to the year the Prince suftowards King George II. and on the opening of the
fered. theatres royal, Drury Lane and Covent Garden, in September, the receipts of three nights' performances were
FILIVs ante DIeM patrlos InqVIrIt. In annos 1568. proffered by the proprietors in aid of the armaments to Before the TIMe, the oVer-hasty sonne, repel the invader ; when “ God save the King," then Seekes forth hoVV near the father's Life Is Donne.
THE BEAR WANTS A Tail!
INCENTIVES TO THE READERS OF CORRENT Notes. FULLER among his Warwickshire Proverbs, * elucidates Nothing great is performed, or approaches perfection one, that had its origin, from the supposed ambition of without much labour, and an infinity of pains, and not one of Queen Elizabeth's worthies, the presumption of unfrequently without the cordial co-operation of minds whom, was then considered as reprehensive, as the now similarly disposed, or proficients in the same object or unjustifiable aggression of the Russian autocrat. pursuit. According to the old Latin proverb: “ The Bear wants a tail, and cannot be a Lion.
“Nihil est aliud magnum quam multa minuta”“Nature hath cut off the tail of the Bear, close at the or, as more poetically defined, by the author of Night rump, which is very strong and long in a Lion ; for a Thoughtsgreat part of a Lion's strength consists in his tail, where
"Sands form the mountain, moments make the year." with (when angry) he useth to flap and beat himself, to raise his rage therewith to the height, so to render himself more fierce and furious. If any ask, why this Pro
In reading authors, when you find, verb is placed in Warwickshire ? let them take the
Bright passages, that strike your mind ; ensuing story for their satisfaction
And which, perhaps, you have reason “Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, derived his pedigree
To think on at another season ;
Be not contented with the sight. from the ancient Earls of Warwick, on which title he
But take them down in black and white. gave their crest, the Bear and Ragged Staffe; and when
Such a respect is wisely shewn. he was governor of the Low Countries, with the high
As makes another's sense one's own. title of His Excellency,' disusing his own Coat of the
BYROM. Green Lion with Two Tails, he signed all Instruments with the crest of the Bear and Ragged Staffe. He was
Old books by great authors are not in every body's then suspected, by many of his jealous adversaries, to hatch an ambitious design to make himself absolute
reach ; and though it is better to know them thoroughly
than to know them here and there, yet it is a good work commander, as the Lion is king of the beasts, over the Low Countries. Whereupon some, foes to his faction,
to give a little to those, who have neither time, nor and friends to the Dutch freedom, wrote under his crest,
means to get more. Let every bookworm, when in any
fragrant scarce old tome he discovers a sentence, or an set up in public places—
illustration that does his heart good, hasten to give it. “ Ursa caret caudâ, non quent esse Leo."
COLERIDGE. i. e. « The Bear he never can prevail To Lion it, for lack of tail."
Tue Mind will no more do its best without encourage« Nor is Ursa in the feminine merely placed to make I ment, than trees will produce
ment, than trees will produce ripe fruit without the the verse, but because Naturalists observe in Bears, that warmth of the sun. Men, who have the greatest gifts the female is always the strongest.
of mind, do not trust themselves without some en“ This proverb is applied to such, who not content with
couragement- they will not venture out of beaten their condition, aspire to what is above their worth to paths, and they therefore bring forth other people's deserve, or power to achieve.”
ideas, instead of their own. Now, nothing is valuable Coventry
except what is actually produced - materials as well as coinage-in the mint of a man's own mind.
BRYDGES. Turale's ENTIRE, A BAGATELLE-ASCRIBED TO DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON.
To know, and to admire only, the literature and the If e'er my fingers touched the lyre,
tastes of our own age, is a species of elegant barbarism. In satire fierce, in pleasure gay,
A. G.–The wife of Charles Edward Stuart, the last
Pretender, was of the Stolberg family, and after his Or govern well the brewing tub.
death, was, it is said, privately married to the Italian To rich felicity thus rais'd,
The Third volume of Current Notes' is now ready, 'Tis I myself, am Thrale's Entire.
price three shillings, in cloth boards. A few copies of
the prior volumes remain, but an early application for * Worthies of England, edit. 1811, 4to. vol. ii. p. 403. them is desirable.