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edict to be issued, “ that all heathenish playes and interludes should be banished upon sabbath-days,"* but this is under stood as only applying to the jurisdiction of the lord mayor. for three years afterward a prodigious concourse of people being assembled on a Sunday afternoon at the Paris Gar dens in Southwark, to see plays and a bear-baiting, the theatre fell with their weight, when many were killed and more wounded. The successor of Elizabeth, on the other hand, thinking that the restrictions on the public sports were too generally and too strictly applied, especially in the public places, published the following declaration :1 “Whereas we did justly, in our progress through Lancashire, rebuke some puritanes and precise people, in prohibiting and unlawfully punishing of our good people for using their lawful recreations and honest exercises on Sundayes and other holidayes, after the afternoone sermon or service : It is our will, that after the end of Divine service our good people be not disturbed, letted, or discouraged from any lawful recreation, such as dauncing, either for men or women; archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any other such harmless recreation ; nor for having of May-games, Whitson-ales, and morris-daunces, and the setting up of Maypoles and other sports therewith used; so as the same be had in due and convenient time, without impediment or neglect of Divine service. But withall, we do still account here, as prohibited, all unlawful games to be used on Sundays onely, as beare and bull-baitings, interludes, and, at all times in the meaner sort of people by law prohibited, bowling.”

This proclamation was confirmed by Charles I., to the great displeasure of those who regarded these amusements as unlawful on the Sabbath, and many of them unlawful in themselves, apart from any alleged profanity of the day : and on their obtaining the helm of government, they enforced a rigid observance of the Sabbath, which was not less exceptionable than the other extreme in its effects, for the law of force may make hypocrites, but it will ever fail to make Christians. The Restoration again made the Sabbath afternoon a time of sport and pastime, and too often of licentiousness: so that, driven by the authority of law from one extreme to another, the poor commonalty of England must have been sadly puzzled how to comport themselves properly on their weekly holyday, or what to think of an institution which gave rise to such conflicting edicts, all enforced by the pains and penalties of law, and all diametrically opposed to each other.

* Her majesty does not appear to have objected to other Sabbath pas. times. In the list of the Kenilworth entertainments we read, that “ On Sunday evening she was entertained with a grand display of fireworks, as well in the air as upon the water."

See the introduction to Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, and the preface to Brand's Popular Antiquities, from which parts of the preceding summary have been abridged.

In the subsequent part of this ehapter the publishers have omitted some of the author's observations and modified others, in order to render the work more acceptable to the American public.

From the time of the Revolution, there has been an increasing tendency to compel a rigorous observance of the Sabbath, which is supposed by some to savour of pharisaical bigotry and intolerance. There is, doubtless, a possibility of pushing the restraints of law so far as to defeat the object for which they are employed, and this perhaps has sometimes been the case in the attempts made to enforce observance of the Sabbath, especially when rigid and ascetical regulations were enforced by harsh and severe penalties. For the sake of religion herself, it is not proper to enjoin those peculiar austerities which, in the minds of the vulgar, tend to associate her with gloom, sadness, mortification, and ennui.

Still, however, the importance of the Sabbath, in a civil as well as religious point of light, should never be lost sight of by an enlightened legislature. Christianity, which can only exist where the Sabbath is reverenced, has founded all our noble institutions, introduced free government and general happiness, and with no other compulsory sway than that of light and love, as the sun reigns over the world, and this alone can pour temporal and eternal riches upon every region of our earth.

The laws of every government professedly Christian ought to recognise the Sabbath as of Divine appointment, and open profanation of the day, by gross and public profligacy or dissipation, should be prohibited by law. But the restraints of law should be directed at prohibitions rather than injunctions. They should act negatively, not positively; and so long as the operations of law are directed to restrair.

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the irregular and dissolute from open profanation of the day, the peace and good order of society will be maintained, and such measures will receive the approbation of every intelligent citizen of any government. Political freedom can never be dissevered from virtue; virtue is but another name for the sense of moral responsibility to God; and this moral sense cannot live in a land where the Sabbath is publicly disregarded. It will ever be a true sentiment that no legislature can license sin; no human power can make that lawful which is unlawful in itself;-nor can any government justify that which the book of nature and the book of revelation alike proclaim to be contrary to the law of God.

Finally, let all the religious observances of the Sabbath be duly attended, and let Christians everywhere content themselves with the single weapons of persuasion and example; -meaning, by persuasion, an open and candid statement of facts, arguments, and motives; and by example, the conscientious regulation of their own conduct, in accordance with the requisitions of the fourth commandment. He who instead of observing its ordinances, abandons himself to profligate or forbidden indulgences is a Sabbath-breaker; so is he who dedicates it to the worship of his own narrow notions, for this is self-idolatry; who saddens it by misery and moroseness, for this is ingratitude towards heaven, who imbitters it with bigotry and intolerance, for this is un charitableness towards his fellow-creatures.

CHAPTER X.

Holyday Notices.

"Thus times do shift, each thing his turne does hold;
New things succeed, as former things grow old."

Herrick

As the festivals take precedence in our titlepage, we shall briefly notice those that are most distinguished, and the modes of their celebration, before we proceed to the subject of games and amusements. avoiding in our summary such

minute researches as would little please the general reader, however they may interest the professed antiquary. Inquirers of the latter character having often thrown so much light upon the subject as to obscure it by their illustrations, it may perhaps be rendered more intelligible as well as attractive by presenting it in a more condensed and simple form ; though even in this shape we may often have to repeat that with which the reader is already conversant.

New-YEAR's Day.-It is at once so natural and so laudable to commemorate the nativity of the new year, which is a sort of second birthday of our own, by acts of grateful worship to heaven, and of beneficence towards our fellow-creatures, that this mode of its celebration will be found to have prevailed, with little variety of observance, among all ages and people. Congratulations, visits, and presents of figs and dates, covered with gold-leaf, are said to have distinguished New-year's Day even in the times of Romulus and Tatius, and to have continued under the Roman emperors, until the practice, being abused into a mode of extortion, was prohibited by Claudius. Yet the Christian emperors still received them, although they were condemned by ecclesiastical councils on account of the Pagan ceremonies at their presentation; so difficult was it found, in the earlier ages of Christianity, to detach the newly-converted people from their old observances. The Druids of ancient Britain were accustomed on certain days to cut the sacred misletoe with a golden knife, in a forest dedicated to the gods, and to distribute itş branches with much ceremony as New-year's gifts to the people. Among the Saxons and northern nations this anniversary was also observed by gifts, accompanied with such extraordinary festivity, that they reck oned their age by the number of these merrimakings at which they had been present. The Roman practice of interchanging presents and of giving them to servants, remained in force during the middle and later ages, especially among our kinys and nobility; Henry III. appearing to have even imitated some of the Roman emperors by extorting them, * and Queen Elizabeth being accused of principally supporting her wardrobe and jewelry by levying similar contribu

* According to Mr. Ellis, who quotes Matthew Paris in proof rif his assertion.

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tions.* Pins were acc ptable New-year's gifts to the ladies, so substitutes for the wooden skewers which they used till the end of the fifteenth century.

Instead of this present they sometimes received a composition in money, whence the allowance for their separate use is still termed “ pin-money."

To the credit of the kindly and amiable feelings of the French, they bear the palm from all other nations in the extent and costliness of their New-year's gifts. It has been estimated that the amount expended upon bon-bons and sweetmeats alone, for presents on New-year's Day in Paris, exeeeds 20,0001. sterling ; while the sale of jewelry and fancy articles in the first week in the year is computed at one-fourth of the sale during the twelve months. no means uncommon for a Parisian of 8000 or 10,000 francs a-year to make presents on New-year's Day which cost him a fifteenth part of his income. At an early hour of the morning this interchange of visits and bon-bons is already in full activity, the nearest relations being first visited, until the furthest in blood and their friends and acquaintance have all had their calls. A dinner is given by some member of the family to all the rest, and the evening concludes, like Christmas Day, with cards, dancing, or other amuse

In London, New year's Day is not observed by any public festivity; the only open demonstration of joy is the ringing of merry peals from the belfries of the numerous steeples late on the eve of the old year, until after the chimes of the clock have sounded its last hour. We may have done well to drop what Prynne, in his Histrio-Mastix, calls “a meore relique of Paganisme and idolatry, derived from the heathen Romans' feast of two-faced Janus, which was spent in mummeries, stage plays, dancing, and such like interludes, wherein fiddlers and others acted lascivious effeminate parts, and went about the wns and cities in women's appare!,” but, however the celebration of Newyear's Day may have been disfigured in the earlier ages by Pagan associations and superstitious rites, nothing can be

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* This is Dr. Drake's opinion, whose researches prove her majesty to have even received New-year's gifts from her household servants. Among others the dustman is recorded as having presented her with two bolts of cambric. Unless these donations were upon the calculating principlo of do ut des, their reception implies great meanness.

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