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The following doggerel is the burden of a common streetditty, among the boys of Campden, in Gloucestershire :

Jonathan Hulls,
With his paper skulls,

Invented a machine
To go against wind and stream ;

But he, being an ass,

Couldn't bring it to pass,
And so was asham'd to be seen.



The practice of “making a bidding” and sending “ bidding letters,” of which the following is a specimen, is so general in most parts of Wales, that printers usually keep the form in type, and make alteration in it as occasion requires. The custom is confined to servants and mechanics in towns; but in the country, farmers of the humbler sort make biddings. Of late years tea parties have in Carmarthen been substituted for the bidding; but persons attending pay for what they get, and so incur no obliga

but givers at a bidding are expected and generally do return “all gifts of the above nature whenever called for on a similar occasion." When a bidding is made, it is usual for a large procession to accompany the young couple to church, and thence to the house where the bidding is held. Accompanying is considered an addition to the obligation conferred by the gift. I have seen, I dare say, six hundred persons in a wedding procession, and have been in one or two myself (when a child). The men walk together and the women together to church; but in returning they walk in pairs, or often in trios, one man between two women, The last time I was at such a wedding I had three strapping wenches attached to my person. In the country they ride, and generally there is a desperate race home to the bidding, where you would be surprised to see a comely lass, with Welsh hat on head and ordinary dress, often take the lead of fifty or a hundred smart fellows over rough roads that would shake your Astley riders out of their seats and propriety.

CARMARTHEN, October 2, 1850. As we intend to enter the Matrimonial State, on Tuesday, the 22nd of October instant, we are encouraged by our Friends to make a Bidding on the occasion the same day, at the New Market House, near the Market Place; when and where the favour of your good and agreeable company is respectfully solicited, and whatever donation you may be pleased to confer on us then, will be thankfully received, warmly acknowledged, and cheerfully repaid whenever called for on a similar occasion,

By your post obedient Servants,


The Young Man, his Father (John Jones, Shoemaker), his Sister (Mary Jones), his Grandmother (Nurse Jones), his Uncle and Aunt (George Jones, Painter, and Mary, his wife), and his Aunt (Elizabeth Rees), desire that all gifts due to them be returned to the Young Man on the above day, and will be thankful for all additional favours.

The Young Woman, her Father and Mother (Evan Davies, Pig-drover, and Margaret, his wife), and her Brother and Sisters (John, Hannah, Jane, and Anne Davies), desire that all gifts of the above nature due to them be returned to the Young Woman on the above day, and will be thankful for all additional favours conferred.


On the fly-leaf of an old music-book is the following little poem. I do not remember to have seen it in print.


Dazeld thus with height of place,

Whilst our hopes our wits beguile;
No man marks the narrow space

"Twixt a prison and a smile.

Then since fortune's favours fade,

You that in her arms do sleep,
Learn to swim, and not to wade,

For the hearts of kings are deep.

But if greatness be so blind,

As to burst in towers of air;
Let it be with goodness lin’d,

That at least the fall be fair.

Then, though dark’ned


When friends fail and princes frown;
Virtue is the roughest way,

But proves at night a bed of down. It is in the handwriting of “ Johs. Rasbrick vic. de Kirkton," but whether he was the author, or only the transcriber, is uncertain.


Spenser gives us a hint of the annoyances to which Shakspeare and Burbage may have been subject:

All suddenly they heard a troublous noise,

That seemed some perilous tumult to design,
Confused with women's cries and shouts of boys,
Such as the troubled theatres oft-times annoys.

B. IV. iii. 37.

Spenser's solitary pun occurs in book iv. canto viii. verse 31 :

But when the world wox old, it wox war old,
Whereof it hight.

Cleanliness does not appear to have been a virtue much in vogue in the "glorious days of good Queen Bess." Spenser (book iv. canto xi. verse 47) speaks of

Her silver feet, fair washed against this day,

i. e. for a special day of rejoicing.

An instance of the compound epithets, so much used by Chap

man in his translation of Homer, is found in Spenser's description of the sea-nymphs, book iv. canto xi. verse. 50:

Eione well-in-age,
And seeming-still-to-smile Glauconome.


In the Musæum Tradescantianum, or a Collection of Rarities preserved at South Lambeth, near London, by John Tradescant, 1656, is, amongst other variety of rarities," " the pliable Mazer wood, which, being warmed in water, will work to any form;” and a little farther on, in the list of “utensils and houseold stuffe,” is “Mazer dishes." It is more than a coincidence that Doctor Montgomery, who, in 1843, received the gold medal of the Society of Arts for bringing gutta percha and its useful properties under the notice of that body, describes it in almost the same words that Tradescant uses when speaking of the pliable Mazer wood. The Doctor says, “it could be moulded into any form by merely dipping it into boiling water.” It is worthy of remark that Tradescant, who was the first botanist of his day, seems to have been uncertain of the true nature of the “ Mazer wood," for he does not class it with his "gums, rootes, woods; " but, as before observed, in a heterogeneous collection which he styles "other variety of rarities.” Presuming that this Mazer wood was what we now term gutta percha, the question may be propounded, How could Tradescant have procured it from its remote locale? The answer is easy. In another part of the Musæum Tradescantianum may be found a list of the “benefactors”. to the collection; and amongst their names occurs that of William Curteen, Esq. Now this William Curteen and his father Sir William, of Flemish descent, were the most extensive British merchants of the time, and had not only ships trading to, but also possessed forts and factories on, some of the islands of the Eastern Archipelago, the native habitat of the sapotaceous tree that yields the gutta percha. Curteen was a collector of curiosities himself, and no doubt his captains and agents were instructed to procure such : in short, a specimen of gutta percha was just as likely to attract the attention of an intelligent Englishman at Amboyna in the fifteenth century, as it did at Singapore in the nineteenth.

If there are still any remains of Tradescant's collection in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, the question, whether the Mazer wood was gutta percha or not, might be soon set at rest; but it is highly probable that the men who ordered the relics of the Dodo to be thrown out, showed but little ceremony to the Mazer wood or dishes.


The following lines are said to be the impromptu production of some passer-by, struck with the Horse and Lamb over the Temple gates. They are printed (probably for the first time) in the sixth number of The Foundling Hospital for Wit, 8vo. : Printed for W. Webb, near St. Paul's, 1749 (p. 73). The learned author of Heraldic Anomalies (2d edit. vol. i. p. 310), says they were chalked upon one of the public gates of the Temple; but from the following note, preceding the lines in question, in The Founding Hospital for Wit, this statement is probably erro


The Inner Temple Gate, London, being lately repaired, and curiously decorated, the following inscription, in honour of both the Temples, is intended to be put over it.

A MS. note, in a Cotemporary hand, in my copy in The Foundling Hospital for Wit, states the author of the original lines to have been the “Rev. William Dunkin, D.D." The answer which follows it, is said to be by "Sir Charles Hanbury Williams."

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