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with evergreens, and sees no harm in per And not even the daisy is seen. mitting the mistletoe to keep company Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly, with its green friends, the holly and the
That hangs over peasant and king;
While we laugh and carouse 'neath its glitterivy; and now, as of old, the church bells
ing boughs, may be heard right merrily ringing in the To the Christmas holly we'll sing. anniversary of the day which gave to the world a Saviour, and the “psalms, and
“The gale may whistle, the frost may come hymns, and spiritual songs,” tell
, as here- The woods may be bare, and warblers dumb,
To fetter the gurgling rill; tofore, of the happiness which reigns
But holly is beautiful still. around, while the ivy green and charming in the revel and light of princely halls holly, blended with the mistletoe, neatly The bright holly branch is found; arranged over old pictures, and canopied
and its shadow falls on the lowliest walls, above the cheerful fire-place, speak of the Then sing to the bolly, etc.
While the brimming horn goes round. joy which reign within. Above all evergreens we love the brave holly, even though The ivy lives long, but its home must be not the most delicate creature to handle,
Where graves and ruins are spread; for, like many other beautiful things, he | There's beauty about the cypress tree,
But it flourishes near the dead; bears a stinging thorn. Nevertheless, old The laurel the warrior's brow may wreathe, holly, dearly do we love thee, and fondly But it tells of tears and blood; have we, time and again, sang :
I sing the holly, and who can breathe
Aught of that that is not good ? “The holly! the holly! O, twine it with bay, Then sing to the holly,” etc.
Come give the holly a song;
We last year alluded to some of the With his garment so somber and long; superstitions which formerly existed, and It peeps through the trees with its berries of red, in some instances still exist in England.
And its leaves of burnish'd green, When the flowers and fruits have long been Since then we have learned that in Derbydead,
shire the watchers on that mysterious night
been practiced ever since the family lived there. When the money is gone, the servants have full liberty to drink, dance, sing, and go to bed when they please."
Stukely says, that at York, England, only a century ago, “on the eve of Christmas day they carried mistletoe to the high altar of the cathedral, and proclaimed a public and universal liberty, pardon, freedom, to all sorts of inferior, and even wicked people, at the gates of the city, toward the four quarters of heaven."
In a previous article we gave a full account of the rise and fall of mumming, and the antics of those gentlemen who figured so conspicuously
as “Lords of Misrule." The HEIGH HO, THE HOLLY!
actions of these individuals
cannot be looked back upon preceding Christmas day, may hear the with pleasure, nor, indeed, can their folringing of subterranean bells, and in the lowers, the “Merry Makers," who are thus mining districts the workmen declare that described : high mass is solemnly celebrated in that
"A strange and motley cavalcade, cavern which contains the richest lode of St. George in arms, a prancing wagon, ore ; that it is brilliantly lighted up; and Attacks a flaming scaly dragon; that the divine office is chanted by unseen
Fair Sabra is preserved from death,
And the grim monster yields his breath." choristers. A contributor to the “Gentleman's Magazine" for February, 1795, thus After which they proceeded to dance, sing, describes an amusement practiced on
and feast. Christmas Eve, at the mansion of a worthy
Some of the customs above described baronet, at Ashton, near Birmingham, yet remain. In Yorkshire, Staffordshire, England, down to the end of the last Cornwall, and Devon, the old spirit of century. He writes :
Christmas seems to be kept up more earn" As soon as supper is over, a table is set in estly than in most other places. In Cornthe hall. On it is placed a brown loaf, with
wall they still exhibit the old dance of St. twenty silver threepences stuck on the top of George and the Dragon. A recent writer it, a tankard of ale, with pipes and tobacco; informs us, that happening to be staying and the two oldest servants have chairs behind with a friend at Calden-low, in the Stafit, to sit as judges, if they please. The steward brings the servants, both men and women, by fordshire hills, at Christmas, in came a one at a time, covered with a winnow-sheet, and band of bedizened actors, and performed lays their right hand on the loaf, exposing no the whole ancient drama, personating St. other part of the body. The oldest of the two George, the King of Egypt, the fair Sabra, judgęs guesses at the person, by naming a name, then the younger judge, and lastly the
the king's daughter, the doctor, and other oldest again. If they hit upon the right name, characters, with great energy and in rude the steward leads the person back again; but,
In reference to the modern secular if they do not, he takes off the winnow-sheet, and observance of Christmas day, the same the person receives a threepence, makes a low
writer observes : obeisance to the judges, but speaks not a word. When the second servant was brought, the “In large houses are large parties, music and younger judge guessed first and third ; and thus feasting, dancing and cards. Beautiful faces they did alternately, till all the money was and noble forms, the most fair and accomplished given away. Whatever servant had not slept of England's sons and daughters, beautify the in the house the preceding night forfeited his amplo firesides of aristocratic halls. Senators right to the money. No account is given of and judges, lawyers and clergymen, poets and the origin of this strange custom, but it has | philosophers, there meet in cheerful and even
sportive ease, amid the elegances of polished state of all grades of business, the season life. In more old-fashioned, but substantial itself, from its cold and dreary nature, incountry abodes, old-fashioned hilarity prevails. In the farm-house hearty spirits are met.
creases the wants and necessities of the
Here are dancing and feasting too; and often blind- poor, not unfrequently to distressing exman's buff, turn-trencher, and some of the tremity From the palace to the prison, simple games of the last age, remain. In all from the hall to the humble home, there families, except the families of the poor, who seem too much forgotten at this as at other
are countless opportunities for the practice times in this refined age, there are visits paid of Fuller's third hospitality, charity. and received ; parties going out or coming in; Hence, one of the best indications of the and everywhere abound, as indispensable to the approach of Christmas is the distribution season, mince-pies, and wishes for 'a merry of a few of the necessaries of life, by those Christmas and a happy new year.'”
who enjoy the “luxury of doing good.' There is no more interesting, and, by Not as by our ancestors, in the lavish exthe way, no more hackneyed feature con- penditure of money for selfish gratification nected with the celebration of Christmas --in excess, and revelry, and gluttonyin the olden time, than the custom of bring- may you most fittingly welcome this festiing in the boar's head with minstrelsy, val season, and evince gratitude to Him which, as we remarked last year, is still from whom cometh every good gift; but retained, in all its pristine dignity, in | by acts of benevolence and brotherly kindQueen's College, Oxford. Tradition rep- ness, by remembering the poor, and thus resents this usage as a commemoration of bringing blessings upon yourselves and an act of valor performed by a student of your children, may you expect what from this old institution, who, while walking in the fullness of our heart we wish you, a the neighboring forest of Shotover, and right merry, joyous, happy Christmas, to be reading Aristotle, was suddenly attacked followed by a heaven-blessed New Year. by a wild boar. The furious beast came open-mouthed upon the youth, who, however, very courageously, and with a happy presence of mind, is said to have “ THE VALLEY OF THE NAUGATUCK. med in the volume, and cried, Græcum est," N the west bank of the Housatonic, fairly choking the savage with the sage. This may or may not be true. Indeed, it ham, is Fort Hill, a high bluff, wbich rises is very doubtful, but we give it, en passant, abruptly from the stream; once a strong to show how hard it is, even in such a
fortress of the Pequots, and probably of learned institution, to root out the old tribes before them. About two miles superstitious customs which ages have so above is the great camping ground, where religiously sanctioned.
the Indians of the up river country met Christmas, above all other seasons of the coast tribes to hold their clam feasts ; the year, the civilized world over, brings acres of ground are still whitened with with it more happiness, more cheerfulness, the shells. Near here the old Indian more hospitality, more genial good nature, spring is at the present day a favorite rethan any other. And if ever they were sort of the pale-faces for pic-nics ana needed, it is at the present time, when
“ pow-wows;" it is claimed that its wathere is so much suffering in our midst, ters, with a slight addition, possess the the result of the disastrous financial panic power of causing the pale-faces to approxwhich is now sweeping over the country. imate very closely that of the red man. And 0, charitable, open-hearted reader, I have found very little of tradition in pardon us if we give you a hint from Old regard to the old Indian Well. There is Fuller, which we would fain have you re- no doubt that it was once looked upon by member, and which we hope you will not the aborigines with as much awe and venregard as out of place:
eration as the famed temple of Delphi by “ Hospitality is three-fold : for one's family; the ancient Greeks. For a superstitious this is of necessitie: for strangers ; this is of people like the Indians, no place could be courtesie: for the poor; this is charity.”
found where their imaginations would more At no period of the year is the exercise dispose them to look for the Hop-Mog, or of this kindly virtue so directly prompted Indian devil, than the old well. It is a by association and right feeling, as the quiet spot in the gorge of the mountains, present. Not to speak of the melancholy I where the sun never casts its rays, away
from the habitation of man ; silence reigns There exists a tradition, that in former here, broken only by the murmur of the times the Indian Well was unfathomable, stream falling from the precipice above. and that it was once sounded to the depth It is a “ still small voice” which lulls the of some one hundred and fifty feet without visitor into quiet and thoughtful repose. finding bottom.
The far-famed fountain of Egeria is not The illustration which I present, of the a lovelier spot; but tradition has clothed confluence of the Naugatuck with the that classic ruin with especial interest as Housatonic, was sketched from near the the scene where Numa met his shadowy bridge over the Naugatuck, at Derby. counselor ; a legend that has been ac- The Naugatuck appears on the left, the knowledged one of the most genuine flow- Housatonic on the right. The picturesque ers of poetry that ever started from the edifice which is the most prominent in this hard rock of the Roman mind. But the cut, was built about the close of the war Indian Well, like many other enchanting of the Revolution, by Leman Stone, Esq., spots in our new country, has yet to be and was occupied as a store-house. The clothed with legendary interest, although name of this gentleman is conspicuous a greater number of ages are doubtless al- | among those interested in the commerce ready its dower.
of Derby in her palmy days.
In the year 1806, a company was in- 1753. There can be no question that corporated here, under the name of the General Hull exhibited bravery, and was “Derby Fishing Company," with a capital a useful officer of the Revolutionary war. of one hundred thousand dollars. As ear- He graduated with credit at Yale College, ly as 1809 a bank was established at after which, in accordance with the wishes Derby.
of his parents, he devoted himself to the The village of Birmingham was com- study of divinity,“ rather from motives of menced in 1834, by Sheldon Smith, Esq., filial affection (says his biographer) than and was originally called Smithville. Sub- from a conviction of religious duty." He sequently, Mr. Smith disposed of a con- studied for a year with Doctor Wales, subsiderable portion of his interest here to sequently professor of theology in Yale Anson G. Phelps, Esq. ; the name was College ; after this, he determined to then changed to Birmingham.
change his profession, and attached himGeneral William Hull, governor of self to the celebrated Law School at LitchMichigan, was born at Derby, 24th June, field, and was admitted to the bar in 1775.
At this period the war with Great | terminated fatally. He left a handsome Britain absorbed the public attention. One property to his family, but William is said evening, after a meeting of the citizens to have declined any portion of it. “I of Derby, his father returned home, and want only my sword and uniform," said said to his son, "Who do you suppose he; and thus he left the paternal abode to has been elected captain of the company enter into the service of his country. raised in this town ?" The young man Many interesting facts are related of named several. His father replied, “ It General Hull's services during the war of is yourself.” Mr. Hull at once accepted the Revolution. the appointment, so unexpectedly offered In 1805 he was appointed Governor of by his townsmen, and soon placed himself Michigan Territory, in which office he was in readiness to join the regiment of Colonel succeeded by Lewis Cass in 1814. At Webb, at that time being raised in the the beginning of the late war with Great state. His father was immediately after Britain, he was requested to command this seized with a severe illness, which the Northwestern army; he surrendered