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MARRIAGE CEREMONIES.'

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confirms beyond a doubt, the sense here given-" til ein rar Meyar er trulofad var einum Manne," &c., i. e. to a Virgin espoused, that is, who was promised, or had engaged herself, to a man, sc.

Hence evidently the bride-favours or the top-knots at marriages, which had been considered as emblems of the ties of duty and affection between the bride and her spouse, have been derived.

Bride-favours appear to have been worn by the peasantry of France, on similar occasions, on the arm. In England, these knots of ribbons were distributed in great abundance formerly, even at the marriages of persons of the tirst distinction. They were worn on the hat, (the gentleman's, we suppose,) and consisted of ribbons of various colours. If we mistake not, white ribbons are the only ones used at present. To this variety of colours in the bride-favours used formerly, the following passage, wherein lady Haughty addresses Morose, in Jonson's play of the Silent Woman, evidently aliudes:

Let us know your bride's colours and your's at least.” .. The bride-favours have not been omitted in the northern provincial poem of “ The Collier's Wedding."

“ The blithsome, buxom, country maids,

With knots of ribands at their beads,
And pioners flutt'ring in the wind,

That fan before and toss behind, &c.”
And, speaking of the youth, with the bridegroom, it says,-

“ Like streamers in the painted sky,
At
every

breast the favours fly." Bride Maids.—The use of bride-maids at weddings appears as old as the time of the Anglo-Saxons; among whom, as Strutt informs us, “the bride was led by a matron, who was called the bride's woman, followed by a company of young maidens, who were called the bride's maids,"

The bride-maids and bridegroom men are both mentioned by the author of the Convivial Antiquities, in his description of rites at marriages in his country and time.

In later times it was among the offices of the bride-mails to lead the bridegroom to church, as it was the duty of the bridegroom men to conduct the bride thither.

This has not been overlooked in the provincial poem of the Collier's Wedding :

“ Two lusty lads, well drest and strong,

Stepp'd ont to lead the bride along:
And two young maids, of equal size,

As soon the bridegroom's hand surprise.” - Bridegroom Men.—These appear anciently to have had the title of Bride Knights. Those who led the bride to church were always bachelors: but she was to be conducted home by two married persons. Polydore Virgil, who wrote in the time of Henry the Eighth, informs us ihat a third married man, in coming home from church, preceded the bride, bearing, instead of a torch, a vessel of silver or

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gold. Moresin relates, that to the bachelors and married men who led the bride to and from the church, she was wont to present gloves for that service during the time of dinner.

In a curious old book called, "The Fifteen Comforts of Marriage," à conference is introduced at p. 44, 46, and 48, concerning bridal colours in dressing up the bridal-bed, by bridemaids : Not (say they) with yellow ribbands, these are the emblems of jealousymbor with feuillemort, which signifies fading love; but with true blue, that siguifies constancy, as green denotes youth: put them both together, and 'there's youthfulconstancy.-One proposed blue and black, which signifies constancy till death ; but that was objected to, as these colours will never match.---Violet was proposed, as signifying religion ; this was objected to as being too grave and at last they concluded to mingle gold tissue with grass green, which latter signifies youthfal jolity. For the bride's favour, (top-kuots and garters,) the bride proposed blue, gold colour, popinjay green, lemon colour but they objected to gold colour, as signifying avarice, and to popinjay green, as indicating wantooness. The younger bride-maid proposed mixture, flame-colour, willow, and milk white. The second objected to it, as willow signifies forsaken. It was settled that red siguities justice, and sea-green inconstancy. The milliner at last fixed the colours : for the Favours, blue, red, peach-colour, and orange-tawny; for the young ladies' Top-knots, grass-green and milk-wbite; and for the gariers, a perfect yellow, signifying honour and joy.

Garlands at Weddings :-Nuptial garlands are of the most remote antiquity. They appear to have been equally used by the Jews and the Heathens.

Among the Anglo-Saxons, after the benediction in the church, both the bride and bridegroom were adorned with crowns of flowers, kept ‘in the church for that purpose.

In the Eastern church, the chaplets used on these occasions appear to have been blessed.

The vuptial garlands were sometimes made of myrtle.

In England, in the time of Henry the Eighth, the bride wore a garland of corn-ears, sometimes one of Aowers.

Gloves at Weddings :-The giving of gloves at marriages is a custom of remote antiquity.

The following notice of them occurs in a letter to Mr. Winwood from Sir Dudley Carleton, dated London, 1604, concerning the manner of celebrating the marriage between Sir Philip Herbert and the Lady Susan : “No ceremony was omitted of bride-cakes, points, garters, and gloves."

In Ben Jonson's play of the Silent Woman, Lady Haughty observes to Morose, “ We see no ensigns of a wedding bere, no character of a bridale ; where be our skarves and our gloves ?"

The custom of giving away gloves at weddings occurs in the old play of “ The Miseries of inforced Marriage.” White gloves still continue to be presented to the guests on this occasion. The following is an extract of the late Rev. Dr. Lort's : “ At Wrexham in Flintshire, on occasion of the marriage of the surgeon and apothecary of the

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MARRIAGE CEREMONIES.

289 place, August 1785, I saw at the doors of his own and neighbour's houses, throughout the street where he lived, large boughs and posts of trees, that had been cut down and fixed there, filled with white paper, cut in the shape of women's gloves and of wbite ribbons.":

The following is in Parkinson's Garden of Flowers: “The bayleaves are necessary both for civil uses and for physic, yea, both for the sick and for the sound, both for the living and the dead. It serveth to adorn the house of God as well as uan--lo crown or encircle, as with a garland, the heads of the living, and to sticke and decke forth the bodies of the dead : so that from the cradle to the grave we have still use of it, we have still need of it.Ibid." Rosewary is almost of as great use as bayes, as well for civil as physical purposes.: for civil uses, as all doe know, at weddings, fugerals, &c. to bestow among friends."

It should seem, by the following passage in Clavell's Recantation of an IU-led Life, that anciently this present was made by such prisovers as received pardon after condemnation. It occurs in his Dedication "To the impartial Judges of his Majesties Bench, my Lord Chief Justice and his other three honourable Assistants."

“Those pardon'd men, who taste their prince's loves

(As married to new life) do give you gloves," &c. Clavell was a highwayman, who had just received the king's pardoo. He dates from the King's Bench Prison, October, 1627.-Füller in his “ Mixt Contemplations on these Times,” says, " It passeth for a general report of what was customary in former times, that the sheriff of the county osed to present the judge with a pair of white gloves, at those which we call mayden assizes, viz. when no malefactor is put to death therein."

Can the eustom of dropping or sending the glove, as the signal of a challenge, have been derived from the circumstance of its being the cover of the baod, and therefore put for the hand itself?-The giving of the band, is well known to ivtimate that the person who does so will not deceive, but stand to his agreement.-- To“ shake hands upon it,” would not, it should seem, be very delicate in an agreement to fight, and therefore gloves may, possibly, have been deputed as substitutes -We may, perhaps, trace the same idea in wedding gloves.

Wedding Ring.--Among the customs used at marriages, those of the ring and bride-cake seem of the most remote antiquity. Confarreation and the ring were used anciently as binding ceremonies by the heathen, in making agreements, grants, &c., whence they have doubtless been derived to the most solemn of our engagements. The supposed heathen origin of our marriage ring had well nigh caused the abolition of it during the time of the commionwealth. • The wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, because it was anciently believed, though the opinion has been justly exploded by the anatomists of modern times, that a small artery ran

In the north of England, a custom still prevails, at maiden assizes, ied when no prisoner is capitally convicted, to present the judges, &c. with white gloves.

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from this finger to the heart. Wheatley, on the authority of the Missals, calls it a vein : “ It is,” says he, “because from thence there proceeds a particular veiu to the heart. This, indeed, (be adds.) is pow contradicted by experience; but several eminent authors, as well Gentiles as Christians, as well physicians as divines, were formerly of this opinion, and therefore they thought this finger the properest to bear the pledge of love, that from thence it might be conveyed, as it were, to the heart,"

Rings appear to have been given away formerly at weddings. In Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses, vol. i. p. 280, we read, in the account of the famous philosopher of queen Elizabeth's days, Edward Kelley, " Kelley, who was openly profuse beyond the modest limits of a sober philosopher, did give away in gold wire rings, (or rings twisted with three gold wires,) at the marriage of one of his maid-servants, to the value of 40001.” This was in 1589, at Trebona.

Christening Customs.--The learned Dr. Moresin informs us of a remarkable custom, which he himself was an eye-witness of in Scotland: They take, says he, on their return from church, the newly baptized infant, and vibrate it three or four times gently over a flame, saying, and repeating it thrice, " Let the flame consume thee now or never."-Grose tells us there is a superstition that a child who does not cry in baptism will not live. He has added another idea equally well founded, that children prematurely wise are not long lived, that is, rarely reach maturity; a notion which we find quoted by Shakspeare, and put into the mouth of Richard the Third. It appears to have been anciently the custoń at christening entertainments, for the guests not only to eat as much as they pleased, but also, for the ladies at least, to carry away as much as they liked in their pockets. Hutchinson, in his History of Northumberland, tells us that children in that country, when first sent abroad in the arms of the nurse, to visit a neighbour, are presented with an egg, salt, and fine bread. It was anciently the custom for the sponsors at Christenings to offer gilt spoons as presents to the child ; these spoon were called Apostle Spoons, because the figures of the twelve apostles were chased or carved on the tops of the handles. Opulent sponsors gave the whole twelve ; those in middling circumstances gave sort contented themselves with the gift of one, exhibiting the figure of any saint, in honour of whom the child received its name.-Brand's Popular Antiquities.

four ; and the poorer

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NUMEROUS FAMILIES OF CHILDREN. In the genealogical history of Tuscany, written by Gamarini, mention is made of a nobleman of Sienna, named Pichi, who by three wives had had one hundred and fifty children; and that, being sent ambassador to the pope and the emperor, he had forty-eight of his sons in his retinue. In a monument in the church-yard of St. Innocent, at Paris, erected to a woman who died at eighty-eight years of age, it is recorded that she might have seen 288 children directly issued from hier. But children here evidently includes grand-children, &c. &c. Hakewell relates of Mrs. Honeywood, a gentlewoman of Kent, who

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LAWS RESPECTING BACHELORS.

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as born in 1527; married at sixteen to her only husband, R. Honeywood of Charing, Esq. who died in her ninety-third year; that she had sixteen children of her own body: of whom three died young, and a fourth had no issue; yet her grand-children amounted to one hundred and fourteen ; her great grand-children to two hundred and twenty-eight; and her grand-children's grand-children to nine, before she died. The whole number she might have seen in her life-time, being 367! 16+ 114 +228 +9=367.— But the faithful mother of the Dalburg family saw ber offspring of the sixth generation; as recorded in the following distich :

: Mater (1), ait natæ (2), dic natæ (3), in Onn tilia natam (4),

Ut moneat, natæ (5) plangere

filiolam (6): That is, “ The mother (1), says to her daughter (2), Daughter, go tell your daughter (3), to advise her daughter (4), to chastise her daughter's (6) little daughter." (6). *911# !! 101 W LAWS OF SPARTA RESPECTING CELIBACY AND MARRIAGE.

CELIBACY in men was infamous, and punished in a most extraordinary manner; for the bachelor was constrained to walk naked in the depth of winter, through the market place: while he did this, he was obliged to sing a song in disparagement of himself; and he had none of the honours paid him which otherwise belonged to old age, it being held unreasonable that the youth should venerate him who was 'resolved to have none of his progeny behind him, to revere them when they grew old in their turn. The time of marriage was also fixed ; and if a man did not marry when he was at full age, he was liable to an action; as were such also as married above or below themselves.'. Such as had three children had great immunities : such as had four were free from all taxes whatsoever. Virgins were married without portions ; because neither want should hinder a man, bor riches induce him, to marry contrary to inclinations.

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LAWS RESPECTING BACHELORS. The Roman censors frequently imposed fines on old bachelors.Dion. Halicarnassus mentions an old law, by which all persons of full age were obliged to marry. But the most celebrated law of the kind was that made under Augustus, called the “ Lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus;" by which bachelors were made incapable of legacies or inheritances by will, unless from their near relations. This brought many to marry, according to Plutarch's observations, not so much for the sake of raising heirs to their own estates, as to make themselves capable of inheriting those of others.

The rabbins maintain, that by the laws of Moses, every body, except some few particulars, is obliged in conscience to marry, at twenty years of age : this makes one of their 613 precepts. Hence those maxims so frequent among their casuists, that he who does not take the necessary measures to leave heirs behind him, is not a man,

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