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is found to be five, the allusion is to the fingers of one hand: when numbers change at ten, nature has carried them so far on both our hands; when the Indians of America to express innumerable persons or things, take the hair of the head into their hands and shake it, we must allow the sign to be extremely expressive. And could we assemble the various allusions, phrases, and metaphors, to which the body and its members have given occasion (to say nothing of measures, foot, an ell, &c. which are notoriously taken from it), the whole together would furnish matter of extremely curious speculation.


season is of great antiquity; a similar one prevailed in many of the cities of Gaul during the times of heathenism, and was continued after the establishment of Christianity.

By one of the canons enacted at Auxerre, A. D. 578, it was forbidden on the calends of January, vetula aut cervolo facere, to act the calf or buck. Elsewhere, the youth assumed the skin of a ram, and ran against their fellows. This was called Iulbock-the buck of Yule. A homily, ascribed to Augustine, mentions these transformations. The singing of Carol's is also very ancient. It was practised by the heathen Romans during the calends of January. The canons forbad it; nevertheless, carols are still sung.

Dr. J. has good articles on the Fairies and Brounies; but for these we must refer About this time last year, we submitto the work. The first we certainly should ted to our readers a few remarks on' deduce from the Peri of the Persians; Christmas, and the festivities of the seabut, we believe the principals of the race son. Many a learned dissertation has must now be sought for in Wales. The been composed on subjects less interesting latter we hardly know what to make of; than this merry time. A complete hiswe had thought them the opponents of tory of it could not fail of being both cuthe Fairies, but Dr. J. produces authori-rious and entertaining. We shall tranties that seem to imply some relationship between them.

It may not be amiss, however, to state certain circumstances mentioned by Dr. J. as still extant in Scotland, which are practised by the flesh-and-blood representatives of this superior class of beings.

The exhibitions of Gysarts are still known in Scotland, being the same with the Christmas mummery of the English. In Scotland, even till the beginning of this century, maskers were admitted into any fashionable family, if the person who introduced them known, and became answerable for the behaviour of his companions. Dancing with the maskers ensued."-Bannatyne Poems. Note p. 235.


The custom of disguising now remains only among boys and girls, some of whom wear masks, others blacken their faces with


They go from door to door, singing carols that have some relation to the season, and asking money, or bread superior in qua lity to that used on ordinary occasions.

It is common, in some parts of the country at least, that if admitted into any house, one of them, who precedes the rest, carries a small besom, and sweeps a ring or space for them to dance in. This ceremony is strictly observed; and, it has been supposed, is connected with the vulgar tradition concerning the light dances of the fairies, one of whom. is always represented as sweeping the spot appropriated to their festivity.

The custom of appearing disguised at this

scribe some, and abridge others, of Dr. J.'s remarks on this subject.

The ancient Goths had three great religious festivals in the year. Of these Yule was the first; it occurred at the same time as our Christmas.

Many conjectures have been formed as derived it from the Greek 18705, which to the origin of this name. Some have denoted a hymn sung by the women in honour of Bacchus. Theodoret, in his work De Materiâ et Mundo, says: "Let us not sing the lulus to Ceres." This term might be derived from a common origin; but certainly is not the origin of Yule. The notion that Yule was deof consideration. The Anglo-Saxons gave rived from Julius Caesar, is undeserving the name of Geola to two of their months, December and January, calling the first Aerre-Geola, or the first Yule, and the second Aeftera-Geola, or the latter Yule. Dr. J., without hesitation, considers Geola as the same word with Yule. We may be allowed to doubt, however, whether it may not rather be allied to goal, the termination or finishing of a thing or purpose, and so of the year; and therefore, if it be the same with Yule, the idea is the feast at the year's


This festival among the northern nations was the great season of sacrifice.

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he lets in Yule."

who first opens the door on Yule day, expects
to prosper more than any other member of
the family during the future year, because, as
the vulgar express it,
The door being opened, it is customary with
with a clean cloth, and according to their own
some to place a table or chair in it, covering it
language, to "set on it bread and cheese tó
Yule." Early in the morning, as soon as any
one of the family gets out of bed, a new
broom besom is set at the back of the outer
door. The design is to let in Yule."
These gross superstitions, and the very mode
of expression, have undoubtedly had á heath-
en origin; for Yule is thus not only personi-
fied, but treated as a deity who receives an

It is also very common to have a table covered, in the house, from morning to even

with bread and drink on it, that every one who calls may take a portion, and it is deemed very ominous, if one come into a house, and leave it without participation. However many may call on this day, all must partake of the cheer provided.

Human sacrifices, some think, marked
its importance. Besides these, they of
fered horses, dogs, and cocks in place of
hawks, to the number of ninety-nine.
The Persians sacrificed horses; so did
the Goths, in the feast of Yule. The
Greenlanders at this day keep a sun-feast,
at the winter solstice, Dec. 22. The
Goths also sacrificed boar; to this our
ancient custom of bringing in a boar's-
head at Christmas festivities has a refe-
rence, and even our still retained prepa-
ration of brawn. In the Orkney Islands,
in the parish of Sandwick, every family
that has a herd of swine, kills a sow on
Dec, 17, which thence is called sow-day."
The noble chine at Christmas is well
known among ourselves, at family meeting,
ings. The same is customary in Holland;
and in the north of Europe, the peasants,
at Christmas-time, make bread in the
form of a boar pig. This they place on
a table, with bacon and other dishes;
and, as a good omen, they expose it as
long as the feast continues. They call
this kind of bread Julagalt." In this
word we discover, if we mistake not, the
Geola of our Saxon ancestors, in compo-
sition with Yule, which does not diminish
the force of our objection already men-
tioned. The Roman Saturnalia were ce-
lebrated in the latter part of the month of
December. It was also customary with
the Romans, at this season, to cover fa-
bles, and set lamps on them. At this
season, the Druids perfomed some of the
most solemn acts of their worship; such
as cutting the misletoe with their golden
bill, &c. Peculiar ceremonies at this time
were observed among the Egyptians also.
So that it appears to have been a general
custom among the heathen to distinguish
the close of the year, or the beginning of
the new year, by religious observances :
as Jerom says. But this intention could be
true only of those nations which begun
their year at the winter solstice; those
which begun their year in spring, could
have no such allusion in December.

Jerom on Isaiah Ixv. 11. says, "There is an ancient idolatrous custom in all cities, and especially in Egypt and Alexandria, that on the last day of the year and of the last month, they place a table covered with meats of different kinds, and a cup mixed with honey, expressive of abundance, either of the past, or of the future year."

In our own country, there are still several estiges of this idolatry. In Augus, he,

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Any servant who is supposed to have a due regard to the interests of the family, and at of superstition, is careful to go early to the the same time not emancipated from the yoke well, on Christmas morning, to draw water, to draw corn out of the stack, and also to bring in Kale from the kitchen-garden. This is meant to insure prosperity to the family,

A similar superstion is, for the same reason, still observed by many on the morning of the new year. One of a family watches the stroke of twelve, goes to the well, as quickly as possible, and carefully skims it. This is called " getting the scum or ream (cream) of the well."

land, is observed on the morning of New
This superstious rite in the South of Scot-
Year's Day.

Twall struck.-Twa neebour hizzies raise;
An', liltin, gaed a sat gate ;
The flower o'the well to our house gaes,

An' I'll the bonniest lad get."

Upon the morning of the first day of the new year, the country lasses are sure to rise as early as possible, if they have been in bed, which is seldom the case, that they may get the flower, as it is called, or the first pail full of water from the well. The girl who is so lucky as to obtain that prize, is supposed to have more than a double chance of gaining the most accomplished young man in the parish. As they go to the well they chaunt over the words, which are marked with inverted commas." Rev. 1. Nicol's poems i. 30.

This rite was not unknown to the Romans. Virgil attributes it to Æneas. The act of skimming water with the hand was one of the rites necessary to successful augury.

Et sic affatus ad undam Processit,summoque hausit de gurgite lymphas Multa Deos orans, oneravitque æthera votis. Virg. En. ix. 23.

The Goths at Yule time used by turns to

feast with each other. Those who were related had the closest intercourse. These entertainments they called Offergilden. The term guild denotes community. It was also customary during Yale, particularly in Sweden, for different families to meet together in one village, and to bring meat and drink with them, for the celebration of the feast, The same custom was observed, when there was a general concourse to the place where one of their temples stood.

This is most probably the origin of the custom among us, of friends and relations feasting in each others houses, at this time. The vulgar, in the northern countries of Scotland, have also a custom which greatly resembles the Offergilden. On the morning of the new year, it is common for neighbours to go into each others houses, and to club their money in order to send out for drink to welcome in the year. This is done in private houses.

The festive observations of this season, even where there is no idea of sanctity in relation to the supposed date of our Saviour's birth, is far more general in the North of Scotland, than in other parts of the country. There is scarcely a family so poor, as not to have a kind of feast on the Yule. Those have butcher meat in their houses on this day, who have it at no other time; it being the day appropriated for the meeting of all the relations of a family.

Among the lower classes, it is universally observed according to the old style. "Our fathers," say they, observed it on this day;" and, they may alter the style, but they cannot alter the seasons."


The gifts now generally conferred on the new year, seem to have originally belonged to Yule. Among the northern nations, it was customary for subjects to present gifts to their sovereign. These were denominated Iola giafr, i. e. Yule-gifts. [The same obtained in England to the time of Queen Elizabeth, who accepted such gifts from her courtiers.] They were benevolences of that description, which if not given cheerfully, the prince considered himself as having a right to extort.

The Romans sent presents of sweetmeats, dried figs, honey, &c. they were called Saturnalitia. Tertullian severely reprehends the Christians for complying with such customs. Under Augustus all orders of the people were expected to present new year's gifts, to the Emperor. Caligula demanded his new year's giit by an edict. These gifts were called Strenæ:


and a deity presided over them ; - Dea Strenia.

The dissipation of the time will be readily inferred from what has been stated. During the Saturnalia, public business among the Romans was, suspended: and schools had a vacation. Masters and servants were completely on a level. Among the Goths disguisings were customary; also games of chance, and other amusements.

The idea of Yule is operative even in Autumn; as our author reports under the article MAIDEN, which, he observes, is

The name given to the last handful of corn that is ent down by the reapers on any parti

cular farm.

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They drave an' shore fu' teugh an' sair;
They had a bizzy mornin':
The Maiden's taen ere Phoebus fair
The Lomonds was adornin'.

Douglas's Poems, p. 142.

By some, a sort of superstitious idea is attached to the winning of the maiden. If got by a young person it is considered as a happy omen, that he or she shall be married before another harvest. For this reason, perhaps, as well as because, it is viewed as a sort of triumphal badge, there is a strife among the reapers, as to the gaining of it. Various stratagems are employed for this purpose. A handful of corn is often left by one, uncut, and covered with a little earth, to conceal it from the other reapers, till such time as the rest of the field is cut down. The person who is most cool generally obtains the prize; waiting till the other competitors have exhibited their pretensions, and then calling them back to

the handful that had been concealed.

In the north of Scotland, the maiden is carefully preserved till Fule morning, when it is divided among the cattle," to make them "thrive all the year round."

To this custom, Burns alludes in his Auld Farmer's New Year Morning Salutation to his Auld Mare Maggie, on giving her the accustomed ripp of corn to hansel in the new year.

A guid New Year I wish thee! Maggie,
Ilae, there's a ripp to thy auld baggie, &c.

In some places the Maiden is given at this time, to the horse that usually leads the rest in the plough team.

Dr. J. pursues his subject, by informing us that,

Candles of a particular kind are made for

this season; for the candle, that is lighted on Yule, must be so large as to burn from the time of its being lighted till the day be done, If it did not, the circumstance would be an omen of ill fortune to the family during the

subsequent year. Hence large candles are by the vulgar called Yule cand'es. Even where lamps are commonly used, the poorest will not light them at this time. Rudbeck informs us, that in the ancient language of Sweden, Iule lius, denotes the candies of Yule, or of the Sun, which on the night preceding the festival of Yule, illuminated the houses of private persons throughout the whole kingdom.

The Romans in their Saturnalia, used lights in the worship of their deity. The poor were wont to present the rich with wax tapers. Yule candles are, in the North of Scotland, given as a present at this season by

merchants to their stated customers.

By many who rigidly observe the superstitions of the season, the Yule candle is allowed to burn out of itself. By others, when the day is at a close, the portentous candle is extinguished, and carefully locked up in a chest. There it is kept, in order to be burnt out at the owners Late-wake.

I may observe by the way, that the preservation of candles has been viewed by the superstitious as a matter of great importance. This notion seems to have been preity generally diffused. An Icelandic writer informs us, that a spa-kona a spac-wife, or sybil, who thought herself neglected, in comparison of her sisterhood, at some unhallowed rites observed for fortelling the fate of a child, cried out: Truly, I add to these predictions, that the, child shall live no longer than those candles which are lighted beside him, are burnt out." Then the chief of the sybils immediately extinguished one of the candles, and gave it to the mother of the child to be carefully preserved, and not to be lighted while the child was in life.

This will remind the classical reader of the brand, on the burning of which depended the life of Meleager: as the lights will remind him of those used in the feasts

of Adonis.

Dr. J. has omitted to mention the Yule log, which is an immense block, in many parts of England reserved for making up a blazing fire. The absence of a log of wood is supplied in other places by a coal of extraordinary dimensions.

Other customs are also. observed at Yule tide. In the morning one rises before the rest of the family and prepares food for them, which must be eaten in bed. This frequently consists of cakes baken with eggs, called Care

cakes: a cake for every person in the house. If any one of these break in the toas ing, the person for whom it is baked, will not, it is supposed see another Yule.

In the North of Scotland, the men will not labour on Yule day, alledging that "their fathers never wrought on Yule." The women have a peculiar aversion to spinning on that day, nor will they leave any flax or yarn on their wheels overnight, lest the Devil should reel it for them before morning. In Yorkshire, and other northern parts, they have an old custom after sermon or service on Christmas day, the people will, even in the churches, cry Ule! Ule! as a token of rejoicing; and the common sort run about the street singing Ule, Ule, Ule, Ute.

Yule was also introduced with peculiar solemnity. The evening before it was, by the northern nations, called Moedre-nect : the Mother Night, that which produced all the rest and this epoch was rendered remarkable, as they dated from thence the beginning of the year, which they computed from one winter solstice to another, as they did the month from one new moon to another. Wormius says, this was also a custom of the Icelanders. They even reckoned a person's age by the num ber of Yules he had seen; and a child born a single day before Yule, is reckoned one year old after it is passed. Something of the same obtains in Scotland, also; and the same principle has been adopted to explain the two year old infauts of Bethlehem.

To hese observances, many others, extant in England, might be added, to shew the importance attached to this season., The custom of decorating our churches with evergreens, of sticking in the windows, over the chimnies, &c. branches and sprigs of holly, &c. together with that unhallowed rite which excites puritanic ire, (envy, rather, say sly prac tioners) the kissing of the lasses under the misletoe b.anch.

We presume that these extracts justifyour observation that Christmas is a deep" theme for a learned wight to investigate: and we take our leave of the subject, and of Dr. Jamieson's work, by acknowledge. ing the satisfaction with which we baved perused a great number of articles in it ; and by expressing our confidence that thes public will not fail to estimate his laboura › very highly.

The Doctrine of the Greek Article; applied to the Criticisms and the Illustration of the New Testament. By T.F. Middleton, A.M. Rector of Tansor in Northamptonshire, and of Bytham in Lincolnshire. pp. 724. Price 14s. bds. Cadell and Davies, London,


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the purpose of saving time, and thereby assisting the introduction of a greater variety of matter into discourse. But articles do not abbreviate nouns, they seem rather to abbreviate circumstances, or to hint at them, by. concise and apt allusion. Even the cockneyisms of "this here" and" that there" are abbreviations of "this, which is distinguished by the circumstance of lying here; and " that, which is distinguished by the circumstance of lying there." To speak of a circumstance without a subject, would be a serious defect in language; to describe every circumstance at length, would be a serious inconvenience. If rapidity and succinctness were indulged till they generated confusion, language must suffer, and knowledge with it. Brevity and discrimination are the wings of language. Brevity alone would become unintelligible: discrimination alone would be tiresome. These appear to be general principles. Those languages that have no article, are defective in perspicuity; often too in force, and application. But it must not be supposed that the article is without its rules in those which possess it, and what were the rules of the Greek language in reference to the article, which maintains an important place in it, is the purport of Dr. Middleton's inquiry, in the volume before us.

MR. HORNE TOOKE's idea of "winged words was a happy conception: the expression, indeed, is borrowed from Homer, but the application of it is his own. When Time was young, and subjects of discourse were few, each might be described at length, and the speaker might "bestow all his tediousness upon it, without any perceptible disadvantage. But when the articles with which men were conversant, were multiplied, their descriptions respectively, must suffer abbreviation, and the number of subjects to be described, demanded that fewer words should represent each, in order to include the whole. For time was not lengthened, because things were multiplied; words therefore, the representations of things, must be shortened, or some things must be denied their due mention in the discourse intended. Hence the shorter terms in language. Like the pins of a tabernacle, they combine the whole structure, though seldom discerned, and to these the master A few years ago Mr. Granville Sharp workman pays peculiar attention, how-published observations on the use of the ever the unskilful and unwise may neg- article, as employed by the writers of lect them. the New Testament; this we examined with mingled satisfaction and hesita tion. Mr. Wordsworth followed, in. support of the same principles, and we attentively perused Mr. Wordsworth, who had amassed a collection of instances from the Christian Fathers, with exemplary patience, diligence, and learning. A Mr. Blunt, on the opposite side of the question, we acknowledge we did not read seriously; as that writer did not affect the character of a serious philologist. Something, however, was yet wanting, for though it was evident, that the usage was so and so, yet the reason why it was so, did not sufficiently appear. Dr. M. has supplied this deficiency and we consider his labours as of great importance, not merely in New Testament criticism, but in the study of philology at large. His work is divided into two Parts: the first treats of the nature, power,

In the present age of the world, we cannot enter into long descriptions in order to convey information that we have seen a certain quadruped, leaping and frisking about-with long mane and tail,à horse; but the term horse" expresses our meaning at once to whoever knows the animal: nor need we embellish our description of a bull, by imitative lowing, and butting with our heads, as Omiah did, when recently arrived from Otaheite, where bulls were unknown. The word "bull" in our language excites the idea of the animal with sufficient distinctness. Pronouns, in 'ke manner, are representatives of no `; and, ever retaining the purposes of ged words, they are shorter and capab of more rapid pronun ciation than nouns in general. Articles, too, may be considered as abbreviated representatives, abstrac or epitomes, for VOL. V. [Lit. Pan. Dec. 1808.]



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