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Swift, in his Tale of a Tub, written in the following year (1697), says of Jack :
He wore a large plaister of artificiall causticks on his stomach, with the fervor of which he would set himself a groaning like the famous board upon application of a red-hot iron.
Steele, in the 44th number of the Tatler, speaking of Powell, the "puppet showman," says :
He has not brains enough to make even wood speak as it ought to do: and I, that have heard the groaning-board, can despise all that his puppets shall be able to speak as long as they live.
So much for the "story" of the groaning-board. As to "how it was done,” we leave the matter open to the reader's sagacity.
The following notice of the “Groaning-Board” is given in a Memoir of Sir Thomas Molyneux, Bart. M.D., in the Dublin University Magazine, Sept. 1841, written by W. R. Wilde :
In one of William Molyneux's communications, he mentions the exhibition of “the groaning elm-plank” in Dublin, a curiosity that attracted much attention and many learned speculations about the years 1682 and 1683. He was, however, too much of a philosopher to be gulled with the rest of the people who witnessed this so-called “sensible elm-plank,” which is said to have groaned and trembled on the application of a hot iron to one end of it. After explaining the probable cause of the noise and tremulousness by its form and condition, and by the sap being made to pass up through the pores or tubuli of the plank which was in some particular condition, he says: “ But, Tom, the generality of mankind is lazy and unthoughtful, and will not trouble themselves to think of the reason of a thing: when they have a brief way of explaining any thing that is strange by saying "The devil's in it;' what need they trouble their heads about pores, and matters, and motion, figure, and disposition, when the devil and a witch shall solve all the phenomena of nature.”
EARTH TO EARTH,
Earth walks on Earth,
Glittering in gold :
Sooner than it wold:
Palaces and towers :
Soon, all shall be ours. In the church of Stratford upon Avon, was painted an angel holding a scroll, upon which were seven stanzas in old English, being an allegory of mortality. The two following stanzas stand third and fourth in the inscription :
Erth apon erth wynnys castellys and towrys,
And yet schall erth unto erth rather than he wold.
Here lyeth ye bodyes of
The following two epitaphs are from monuments in the churchyard of Llangerrig, Montgomeryshire :
O earth, 0 earth! observe this well-
From earth my body first arose ;
The origin of Yankee Doodle is by no means as clear as American antiquaries desire. The statement that the air was composed by Dr. Shuckburg, in 1755, when the Colonial troops united with the British regulars near Albany for the conquest of Canada, and that it was produced in derision of the old-fashioned manners of the provincial soldiers, when contrasted with the neat and dandified appearance of the regulars, was published some years ago in a musical magazine printed in Boston. The account there given as to the origin of the song is this :-During the attacks upon the French outposts in 1755, in America, Governor Shirley and General Jackson led the force directed against the enemy lying at Niagara and Frontenac. In the early part of June, whilst these troops were stationed on the banks of the Hudson, near Albany, the descendants of the "Pilgrim fathers” flocked in from the eastern provinces ; never was seen such a motley regiment as took up its position on the left wing of the
army. The band played music some two centuries of age, officers and privates had adopted regimentals each man after his own fashion; one wore a flowing wig, while his neighbor rejoiced in hair cropped closely to the head; this one had a coat with
wonderful long skirts, his fellow marched without his upper garment; various as the colors of the rainbow were the clothes worn by the gallant band. It so happened that there was a certain Dr. Shuckburgh, wit, musician, and surgeon, and one evening after mess he produced a tune, which he earnestly commended as a well-known piece of military music, to the officers of the militia. The joke succeeded, and Yankee Doodle was hailed by acclamation their own march."
This account is somewhat apocryphal, as there is no song: the tune in the United States is a march; there are no words to it of a national character. The only words ever affixed to the air in this country is the following doggerel quatrain :
Yankee Doodle came to town
Upon a little pony,
And called it macaroni.
It has been asserted by writers in this country, that the air and words of these lines are as old as Cromwell's time. The only alteration is in making Yankee Doodle of what was Nankee Doodle. It is asserted that the tune will be found in the Musical Antiquities of England, and that Nankee Doodle was intended to apply to Cromwell, and the other lines were designed to "allude to his going into Oxford with a single plume, fastened in a knot called a macaroni." The tune was known in New England before the Revolution as Lydia Fisher's Jig, and there were verses to it commencing :
Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Lydia Fisher found it,
Only binding round it.
The regulars in Boston in 1775 and 1776 are said to have sung verses to the same air :
Yankee Doodle came to town,
For to buy a firelock;
And so we will John Hancock, &c.
The manner in which the tune came to be adopted by the Americans, is shown in the following letter of the Rev. W. Gordon. Describing the battles of Lexington and Concord, before alluded to, he says :
The brigade under Lord Percy marched out [cf Boston] playing, by way of contempt, Yankee Doodle : they were afterwards told they had been made to dance it.
NOTES ON MANNERS, COSTUME, ETC.
Billiards.—Evelyn (Mem., vol. i. p. 516) describes a new sort of billiards, “ with more hazards than ours commonly have." The game was therefore already known. The new game was with posts and pins. The balls were struck with “the small end of the billiard stick, which is shod with brass or silver.”
Buckles. Charles II. attempted in 1666 to introduce what was called a Persian dress (Evelyn's Mem., vol. i. p. 398) into national use.
One point of this alteration was to change “shoestrings and garters into buckles, of which some were set with precious stones.” The attempt wholly failed, and soon went out of fashion, except the buckles, which appear never to have been wholly lost. The shoe-buckles were pushed to a great size by the fops about 1775: the largest were called Artois-buckles, after the Comte d'Artois, the French king's brother. But on the Revolution they became unpopular, and at one time it would have been dangerous to wear them. The republican Roland was the first person who ventured to Court without buckles. This matter made a sensation so great as to deserve the ridicule of the Antijacobin : “Roland the Just with ribands in his shoes ! "? The opportunity which buckles afford of ornament and expense