[graphic][merged small]

Antonio, moving so on account of their the transportation of military stores be. recent sea voyage, and the comfort of the tween these two points. The experiment young animals born on the voyage. In has been successful, and the usefulness of his report to the Secretary of War, the the camel for that interior region is no major writes : “The weather was ex- longer a question among those who have ceedingly hot and the roads dusty, unusu seen them there at work. Major Wayne ally so, I am told, yet the animals traveled regards the acclimation “certain,” but the without suffering, and are in good condition. experiment fairly to be determined will After acclimation, I think they will be require five or six years. He entertains capable of rendering good service.” but little doubt, that in ten years the race

Camp Verde, in Green Valley, some can be spread through Texas, and thence sixty miles from San Antonio, was selected to any part of our continent. Several of for the permanent station of the animals. the animals have died, the most from some It is a military post, and here they pro- accident; and from the hair of one Mrs. ceeded in the month of August, 1856, and Shirkey, at Victoria, Texas, knit a pair have since been engaged with success in of socks for the President, Mr. Polk.

Resolving fully to make the experiment which old writers devote but little attenof acclimating the camel in the United | tion to, but which, nevertheless, were solStates, our government again dispatched emnized by our “Christian sires" with Captain Porter, with Mr. Heap, in the great pomp and devotion. It appears from ship “ Supply,” for a second load, and ten the following extract from the “ Popish thousand dollars to defray the expenses. In Kingdom,” that, as at the present time in November, 1856, the expedition arrived at some parts of Europe and South America, Smyrna, and from three hundred camels they partook of a dramatic character: Mr. Heap selected the best, most being young females of the Arabian breed. Six

“Three masses every priest doth sing upon that

solemn day, were a present from the sultan, and the With offerings unto every one, that so the more vessel returned with forty-four in all ; may play. eleven more than were shipped last year. This done, a wooden child in clouts is on the Three died on the passage, and the remain

altar set,

About the which both boys and girls do dance ing forty-one were landed in good order

and trimly jet, at Indianolo, Texas, on the 10th of Feb And carols sing in praise of Christ; and for to ruary, 1857, and thence joined the others

help them here, in Camp Verde.

The organs answer every verse with sweet and

solemn cheer." Mr. Beale, the superintendent of the wagon road from Fort Defiance, has re- Fosbroke states, that after the Te Deum cently made an interesting report to the a stable was prepared behind the altar, and War Department. The camels have car- the image of the Virgin placed upon it. ried seven hundred pounds, principally | A boy, from above, before the choir, in the provender for the mules, and were much likeness of an angel, announced the nativless jaded than those animals. Mr. Beale ity to certain canons or vicars, who entered, believes it easier to manage a train of as shepherds, through the great door of the twenty camels than five mules. They eat choir, clothed in tunics and “amesses." little, preferring the bushes to grass, and The Gloria in Excelsis was then chanted live, to use his words, on food with which by many boys in the vaults of the church, “other animals would starve.” Every who played the part of angels. Immediother beast of burden, unshod, reached El ately on hearing this, the shepherds adPaso lame, except the camels, not one of vanced to the stable, singing “ Peace," which ever exhibited fatigue.

“Good will," etc. As soon as they entered it, two priests, in dalmatics, who

were stationed at the stable, said, “Whom CHRISTMAS, PAST AND PRESENT. seek ye?” The shepherds answered,

" Our Saviour, Christ." The two priests AGAIN merry Christmas draws nigh,

then, " opening the curtain, exhibited the and once more we greet the readers of The National, and in wishing them

boy, saying, “The little one is here,' as all the compliments of the forthcoming

the prophet Isaiah said, “ Behold the Virfestive season, call their attention to a few

gin,'” etc. Upon these exhibitions they

bowed and worshiped the boy, and saluted ancient and modern customs, which in our former articles we were necessarily obliged

his mother. The office ended by their to omit.

returning to the choir and singing Alleluia.

The churches then, as now, were decked “ Christmas comes but once a year, --we speak of the churches in Europe Therefore let's be merry !"

with laurels, holly, yew, and other everwas the jovial motto of our ancestors, and greens. The mistletoe was, however, well did they carry out in practice the never admitted into the sacred edifices, it spirit of its exhortation. The holy Christ-being regarded as a heathen and profane mas morn was melodiously ushered in by plant, appertaining to the rites of Druidbands of carolers, whose sacred strains ism. How changed are the customs since avakened a feeling of love and adoration | then. Superstition has paled before the for the day upon which Christ was born. / light of the gospel, and enlightenment, to a Immediately after matin service, the grand great extent, has taken the place of idolatry festivities commenced ; but ere we treat and ignorance. of them, let us examine a few of the re- The Church of England, as of old, sancligious observances of ancient Christmas, / tions the decorating of her sacred edifices

[graphic][merged small]

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; ivy; and now, as of old, the church bells While we laugh and carouse 'neath its glitter

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,

While the brimming horn goes round. above the cheerful fire-place, speak of the Then sing to the holly, etc. 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;
For it helps to drive stern winter away,

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, s 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, choristers. A contributor to the “Gentle

And the grim monster yields his breath." man'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, judges 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, verse. In reference to the modern secular if they do not, he takes ofthe 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 ample 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.

creases the wants and necessities of the In the farm-house hearty spirits are met. 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

THE VALLEY OF THE NAUGATUCK. presence of mind, is said to have “rammed 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, which 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 | where the sun never casts its rays, away

Obliee above the village of Birming,

« VorigeDoorgaan »