Obrázky na stránke

In a work by a bright star of the dreary eighteenth century, Jones of Nayland, entitled Reflections on the Growth of Heathenism among Modern Christians, the following passage occurs :

Botany, which in ancient times was full of the blessed Virgin Mary, and had many religious memorials affixed to it, is now as full of the heathen Venus, the Mary of our modern virtuosi. Amongst the ancient names of plants, we found the Calceolus Mariæ, Carduus Mariæ, Carduus benedictus, Our Lady's Thistle, Our Lady's Mantle, the Alchymilla, &c. ; but modern improvements have introduced the Speculum Veneris, Labrum Veneris, Venus's Lookingglass, Venus's Basin, Venus's Navelwort, Venus's Flytrap, and such like ; and whereas the ancient botanists took a pleasure in honouring the memory of the Christian saints with the St. John's Wort, St. Peter's Wort, Herb Gerard, Herb Christopher, and many others, the modern ones, more affected to their own honour, have dedicated several newly-discovered genera of plants to one another, of which the Hottonia, the Sibthorpia, are instances, with others, so numerous and familiar to men of science, that they need not be specified.

Sir Thomas Browne, in one of his Dialogues, makes the Puritan Prynne say

In our zeal we visited the gardens and apothecaries' shops. So Ungentium Apostolicum was commanded to take a new name, and besides, to find security for its good behaviour for the future. Carduus benedictus, Angelica, St. John's Wort, and Our Lady's Thistle, were summoned before a class and forth with ordered to distinguish themselves by more sanctified appellations.--Quoted in Southey's Colloquies, i. p. 373, and in Teale’s Life of William Jones, p. 367.

Ah! what ravages Botany has made in the poetry of flowers! Truly there was exquisite beauty in many of our old-fashioned country appellations. How many a tale of rustic love yet lives in some of their names ! Who can doubt whence arose such as Mary-gold, None-so-pretty, Goldilock ? And by the very name were village maidens warned against Love-in-idleness and London Pride; and long delicious walks in the deep summer twilights, and lingerings before the old grey cottage, and partings at the wicket--they all live in one little plant, Kiss-me-at-the-garden-gate! The Forget-me-not is so called in every Christian tongue. In village botany, too, lingers many a quaint and lovely superstition ; look, for example, at the Fox-glove, that is, Folks-glove or Fariesglove. What needed the villager to lament his poverty, when his meadows gave him Money-wort, and Shepherd's-purse flowered in the waysides? Why needed he to envy the skill of the physician, when for his sight he had Eyebright, for his hurts he had Wound-wort, for ointment Ploughman's-spikenard, for sprains Chafe-weed, against infection Pestilent-wort, in the burning summer, Fever-few; in the unhealthy autumn, Spleen-wort; if hurt by poison, Adderwort ; for condiments, Poor-man's-pepper; finally, against all possible accidents, All-heal? Merrily might the traveller wend on his way when there was the little Speedwell to cheer him, Waybread to support him, Gold-of-pleasure to enrich him, Travellers'-joy to welcome him ; when, though Dent-de-lion and Wolf'sclaw might meet his eye, he would find no further trace of those evil beasts. Animals, too, have left their names; so we have Snake-weed, and from its sweetness Ox-lips or Cows'-lips; and how pretty are the names Day's-eye and Night-shade! Sage men, too, have given such titles as Honesty, and Thrift, and Heart's-ease, and Loose-strife; and even in this cold age we have St. John's Wort, St. Peter's Wort, St. Barnaby's Thistle, ay, and best of all, Everlasting!

Palæophilus.—Yes, our boasted wisdom has fallen very short here in the unpronounceable and hideous names which we fasten on our delicate plants.--Hierologus, p. 171: Lond. 1846.


1. Indeed there is an ignorance that is no better than a dancing-roome for the satyre.–Sydenham's Serm., 1637, p. 198.

2. Our Church is full crammed with Pastours, our Pastours with the Worde, and our Congregations with both, and our Parloures sometimes with all three.-Ibid, p. 223.

3. That hande is vnshapen and little better than monstrous, where all the fingers are the same length.-Ibid, p. 295. (Touching the Degrees of Church Ministry.)

4. Between a toad under a sill, and the sunne in the firmament.--Baxter's Saints' Rest, 1649, p. 270.

5. When God will, he takes up whom He will amongst the wicked and trusseth him up so or so, quarters him, and hangs up his quarters; setts him up as a mark, and shoots him clean thorow. -Lockyer's England Watched, 1646, p. 308.

6. Malice should be looked on as an implacable thing, and the men in whose breasts it is, as fire shovels fetched from Hell. -Ibid, p. 402.

7. Vindication of conscience! ah, what a thing 'tis ! 'tis a granado shot into the house in the night, when all are abed and asleep : which awakens, breaks open, teares open windows, doores, eyes, and bowels, and fetches the sleeper outo piecemeal.-Ibid,

p. 499.

8. As all the beastes tremble when the lion roreth, soe let all men harken when God teacheth.-Smith's Serm., 1622, p. 311.

9. But if they bee vsed as beautifull baites to couer a barbed hooke, I will there lay a strawe, and reject them.-Frewen's Serm., 1612, c. 4.

10. They returned home with the same sinnes they carried away; like new moones, they had a new face and appearance, but the same spots remained still.-Stillingfleet's Serm., 1666, p. 9.

11. Hell paved with skulls of children.—Watson's Art of Contentment, 1653, p. 27.

12. His house made an habitation for Zim and Jim, and every unclean thing.–Godly Man's Portion, 1663, p. 129.*

13. A covenant with them is like a loose collar aboute an ape's neck, which they can put off and on at pleasure.—Calamy's Serm., p. 27; Gibson's Serm., 1645, p. 22.

Pray'r is Faith's pump, where't works till the water come;
If't comes not free at first, Faith puts in some.
Pray'r is the sacred bellows; when these blow,
How doth that live-coal from God's altar glow.

Faithful Teate's Ter Tria, 1658. Walking in the streets, I met a cart that came near the wall; so I stept aside, to avoid it, into a place where I was secure enough. Reflection. Lord, sin is that great evill of which Thou complainest that Thou art pressed as a cart is pressed; how can it then but bruise me to powder ?-Caleb Trenchfield's Christian Chymestree.

* See the margin of the authorized version of Isaiah xiii. 21, 22, where these words occur: Gesenius makes Zim to be animals, ;. e. jackals, ostriches, wild beasts. The Jim, he says, were jackals.


And with his right drew forth a truncheon of a white ox rib, and two pieces of wood of a like form; one of black Eben, and the other of incarnation Brazile; and put them betwixt the fingers of that hand, in good symmetry. Then knocking them together, made such a noise as the lepers of Britany used to do with their clappering clickets; yet better resounding, and far more harmonious.-Rabelais, book ii. c. 19.


There formerly prevailed an odd custom at Oxford and Cambridge, entitled Salting, which was the ceremony of initiating a freshman into the company of senior students. There is an account of it given in the Life of Anthony Wood, who was admitted a student at Oxford, 1647. At various periods, from All Saints till Candlemas, “there were Fires of Charcole made in the Common hall."

At all these Fires every Night, which began to be made a little after five of the clock, the Senior Under-Graduats would bring into the hall the Juniors or Freshmen between that time and six of the clock, and there make them sit down on a Forme in the middle of the Hall, joyning to the Declaiming Desk : which done, every one in Order was to speake some pretty Apothegme, or make a Jest or Bull, or speake some eloquent Nonsense, to make the Company laugh: But if any of the Freshmen came off dull or not cleverly, some of the forward or pragmatical Seniors would Tuck them, that is, set the nail of their Thumb to their chin, just under the Lipp, and by the help of their other Fingers under the Chin, they would give him a chuck, which sometimes would produce Blood. On Candlemas day, or before (according as Shrove Tuesday fell out), every Freshman had warning given him to provide his Speech, to be spoken in the public Hall before the Under-Graduats and Servants on ShroveTuesday night that followed, being alwaies the time for the observation of that Ceremony. According to the said Summons A. Wood provided a Speech as the other Freshmen did.

Shrove Tuesday Feb. 15, the Fire being made in the Common hall before 5 of the Clock at night, the Fellowes would go to Supper before six, and making an end sooner than at other times, they left the Hall to the Libertie of the Undergraduats, but with an Admonition from one of the Fellowes (who was the Principall of the Undergraduats and Postmasters) that all things should be carried in good Order. While they were at Supper in the Hall, the Cook (Will. Noble) was making the lesser of the brass Pots full of Cawdle at the Freshmans Charge; which, after the Hall was free from the Fellows, was brought up and set before the Fire in the said Hall. Afterwards every Freshman, according to seniority, was to pluck off his Gowne and Band, and if possibly to make himself look like a Scoundrell. This done, they were conducted each after the other to the high Table, and there made to stand on a Firme placed thereon; from whence they were to speak their Speech with an audible voice to the Company: which, if well done, the person that spoke it was to have a Cup of Cawdle and no salted Drinke ; if indifferently, some Cawdle and some salted Drinke; but if dull, nothing was given to him but salted Drinke, or salt put in College Bere, with Tucks to boot. Afterwards when they were to be admitted into the Fraternity, the Senior Cook was to administer to them an Oath over an old Shoe, part of which runs thus: Item tu jurabis, quod penniless bench non visitabis, &c.: the rest is forgotten, and none there are that now remombers it. After which spoken with gravity, the Freshman kist the Shoe, put on his Gowne and Band, and took his place among the Seniors.

Mr. Wood gives part of his speech, which is ridiculous enough. It appears that it was so satisfactory that he had cawdle and sack without any salted drink. He concludes thus:

This was the way and custome that had been used in the College, time out of mind, to initiate the Freshmen; but between that time and the restora-tion of K. Ch. 2. it was disused, and now such a thing is absolutely forgotten.


It has been ingeniously said that “ Life is an epigram, of which death is the point." Alas for human nature! good points are rare, and no wonder, according to this wicked but witty

« PredošláPokračovať »