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January 1st

Part 1 of January 1st

A Happy New Year Happiness

Sir John Sinclair, visiting Lord Melville at Wimbledon on the last day of the year 1795, remained all night, and next morning entered his host's room at an early hour to wish him a happy New Year. Melville, who had been reading a long paper on the importance of conquering the Cape of Good Hope, as an additional security to our Indian possessions, said, as he received the shake of his friend's hand:

'I hope this year will be happier than the last, for I scarcely recollect having spent one happy day in the whole of it.' 'This confession, coming from an individual whose whole life hitherto had been a series of triumphs, and who appeared to stand secure upon the summit of political ambition, was often dwelt upon by my father, as exemplifying the vanity of human wishes.'—Memoirs of Sir John Sinclair by his Son, 1837, i. 275.

This anecdote recalls one which Gibbon extracts from the pages of Cardonne. He states that in the Closet of the Kaliph Abdalrahman the following confession was found after his decease:

'I have now reigned fifty years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation I have numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: they amount to fourteen. 0 man! place not thy confidence in this present world! '—Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, x. p. 40.

An actual millionaire of our time, a respected member of parliament on the liberal side, conversing confidently some years ago with a popular authoress, stated that he had once been a clerk in Liverpool, with forty pounds a year, living in a house of four small apartments; and he was fully of belief that he enjoyed greater happiness then, than he has since done in what must appear to the outer world as the most superbly fortunate and luxurious circumstances.

Much has been said, first and last, by sages, preachers, and poets, about happiness and its unattainableness here below; but, after all, there remains something to be done—a summing up for the jury, as it were. God certainly has not arranged that any such highly intelligent being as man should be perfectly happy; we have so many faculties to be exercised, so many desires and tastes calling for their several gratifications, and so many and so critical are the circumstances of relation in which those stand towards the outer world, that such a state never can be fully attained. But that approaches may be made to happiness, that by certain conduct we may secure many innocent gratifications, and avoid many painful experiences, is just as true. A harmonious exorcise of the faculties in subjection. to conscientiousness and benevolence—something to be always working at, something to be always hoping for—under the guidance of reason, so as to avoid over-carefulness on the one hand and over-sanguineness on the other—these, attended by a regard to the preservation of that health of body on which health of mind so much depends, will assuredly bring us as near to happiness as Providence, for the keeping of us in activity, has intended we should ever go; and that is all but up to the ideal point. Whore, after an active life, the apparently successful man proclaims his having altogether failed to secure happiness, we may be very sure there has been some strange inconsistency in his expectations, some undue straining in a wrong direction, some want of stimulus to the needful activity, some pervading jar between him and his life relations, or that he has been tempted into acts and positions which leave a sting in the mind.

Solomn Thoughts for the New-Year Day by Southbey

Come, melancholy Moraliser, come!
Gather with me the dark and wintry wreath;
    With me engarland now
    The Sepulchre of Time;

Come, Moraliser, to the funeral song!
I pour the dirge of the Departed Days;
    For well the funeral song
    Befits this solemn hour.

But hark! even now the merry bells ring round
With clamorous joy to welcome in this day,
    This consecrated day,
    To mirth and indolence.

Mortal! whilst Fortune with benignant hand
Fills to the brim thy cup of happiness,
    Whilst her unclouded sun
    Ilumes thy summer day,

Canst thou rejoice—rejoice that Time flies fast?
That night shall shadow soon thy summer sun?
    That swift the stream of Years
    Rolls to eternity?

If thou hast wealth to gratify each wish,
If pow'r be thine, remember what thou art--
    Remember thou art Man,
    And Death thine heritage!

Hast thou known Love? does beauty's better sun
Cheer thy fond heart with no capricious smile,
    Her eye all eloquence,
    Her voice all harmony?

Oh! state of happiness! hark how the gale
Moans deep and hollow o'er the leafless grove:
    Winter is dark and cold
    Where now the charms of spring?

Sayst thou that Fancy paints the future scene
In hues too sombrous? that the dark-stoled
    Maul With stern and frowning front
    Appals the shuddering soul?

And wouldst thou bid me court her fairy form,
When, as she sports her in some happier mood,
    Her many-coloured robes
    Dance varying to the sun?

Ah! vainly does the Pilgrim, whose long road
Leads o'er the barren mountain's storm-vexed height,
    With anxious gaze survey
    The fruitful far-off vale.

Oh! there are those who love the pensive song,
To whom all sounds of mirth are dissonant!
    There are who at this hour
    Will love to contemplate!

For hopeless sorrow hail the lapse of Time,
Rejoicing when the fading orb of day
    Is sunk again in night,
    That one day more is gone!

And he who bears Affliction's heavy load
With patient piety, well pleased he knows
    The World a pilgrimage,
    The Grave the inn of rest!

New-Years Gifts

The custom of making presents on New-Year's Day has, as far as regards the intercourse of the adult population, become almost if not entirely obsolete. Presents are generally pleasant to the receiver on any day of the year, and are still made, but not on this day especially. The practice on New-Year's Day is now limited to gifts made by parents to their children, or by the elder collateral members of a family to the younger; but the old custom, which has been gradually, like the drinking of healths, falling into disuse in England, is still in full force in France, as will presently be more particularly adverted to.

The practice of making presents on New-Year's Day was, no doubt, derived from the Romans. Suetonius and Tacitus both mention it. Claudius prohibited demanding presents except on this day. Rand, in his Popular Antiquities, observes, on the authority of Bishop Stillingfleet, that the Saxons kept the festival of the New Year with more than ordinary feasting and jollity, and with the presenting of New-Year's gifts to each other. Fosbroke notices the continuation of the practice during the middle ages; and Ellis, in his additions to Brand, quotes Matthew Paris to shew that Henry III extorted New-Year's gifts from his subjects.

The New-Year's gifts presented by individuals to each other were suited to sex, rank, situation, and circumstances. From Bishop Hall's Satires (1598), it appears that the usual gifts of tenants in the country to their landlords was a capon; and Cowley, addressing the same class of society, says:

"When with low legs and in an humble guise
Ye offered up a capon-sacrifice
Unto his worship at the New-Year's tide.'

Ben Jonson, in his Masque of Christmas, among other characters introduces 'New-Year's Gift in a blue coat, serving-man like, with an orange, and a sprig of rosemary on his head, his hat full of brooches, with a collar of gingerbread, his torch-bearer carrying a marchpane, with a bottle of wine on either arm.' An orange stuck with cloves was a common present, and is explained by Lupton, who says that the flavour of wine is improved, and the wine itself preserved from mouldiness, by an orange or lemon stuck with cloves being hung within the vessel, so as not to touch the liquor.

Gloves were customary New-Year's gifts. They were formerly a more expensive article than they are at present, and occasionally a sum of money was given instead, which was called 'glove-money: Presents were of course made to persons in authority to secure favour, and too often were accepted by magistrates and judges. Sir Thomas More having, as lord chancellor, decided a cause in favour of a lady with the unattractive name of Croaker, on time ensuing New-Year's Day she sent him a pair of gloves with forty of the gold coins called an angel in them. Sir Thomas returned the gold with the following note: 'Mistress, since it were against good manners to refuse your New-Year's gift, I am content to take your gloves, but as for the lining I utterly refuse it.'

When pins were first invented and brought into use about the beginning of the sixteenth century, they were a New-Year's gift very acceptable to ladies, and money given for the purchase of them was called 'pin-money,' an expression which has been extended to a sum of money secured by a husband on his marriage for the private expenses of his wife. Pins made of metal, in their present form, must have been in use some time previous to 1543, in which year a statute was passed (35 Hen. VIII. c. 6), entitled 'An Acte for the true making of Pynnes,' in which it was enacted that the price charged should not exceed 6s. 8d. a thousand. Pins were previously made of boxwood, bone, and silver, for the richer classes; those used by the poor were of common wood—in fact, skewers.

The custom of presenting New-Year's gifts to the sovereigns of England may be traced back to the time of Henry VI. In Rymer's Faedera, vol. x. p. 387, a list is given of gifts received by the king between Christmas Day and February 4, 1428, consisting of sums of 40s., 20s., 13s. 4d., 10s., 6s. 8d., and 3s. 4d.

A manuscript roll of the public revenue of the fifth year of manuscript roll of the public revenue of the fifth year of Edward VI has an entry of rewards given on New-Year's Day to the king's officers and servants, amounting to £155, 5s., and also of sums given to the servants of those who presented New-Year's gifts to the king.

A similar roll has been preserved of the reign of Philip and Mary. The Lord Cardinal Pole gave a 'saulte,' with a cover of silver and gilt, having a stone therein much enamelled of the story of Job; and received a pair of gilt silver pots, weighing 1433/4 ounces. The queen's sister, the Lady Elizabeth, gave the fore part of a kyrtell, with a pair of sleeves of cloth of silver, richly embroidered over with Venice silver, and rayed with silver and black silk; and received three gilt silver bowls, weighing 132 ounces. Other gifts were—a sacrament cloth; a cup of crystal; a lute in a case, covered with black silk and gold, with two little round tables, the one of the phisnamy of the emperor and the king's majesty, the other of the king of Bohemia and his wife. Other gifts consisted of hosen of Garnsey-making, fruits, sugar-loaves, gloves, Turkey hens, a fat goose and capon, two swans, two fat oxen, conserves, rose-water, and other articles.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the custom of presenting Now-Year's gifts to the sovereign was carried to an extravagant height. The queen delighted in gorgeous dresses, in jewellery, in all kinds of ornaments for her person and palaces, and in purses filled with gold coin. The gifts regularly presented to her were of great value. An exact and descriptive inventory of them was made every year on a roll, which was signed by the queen herself, and by the proper officers. Nichols, in his Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, has given an accurate transcript of five of these rolls. The presents were made by the great officers of state, peers and peeresses, bishops, knights and their ladies, gentlemen and gentlewomen, physicians, apothecaries, and others of lower grade, down to her majesty's dustman. The presents consisted of sums of money, costly articles of ornament for the queen's person or apartments, caskets studded with precious stones, valuable necklaces, bracelets, gowns, embroidered mantles, smocks, petticoats, looking-glasses, fans, silk stockings, and a great variety of other articles.

Howell, in his History of the World, mentions that 'Queen Elizabeth, in 1561, was presented with a pair of black silk knit stockings by her silk-woman, Mrs. Montague, and thence-forth she never wore cloth hose any more.' The value of the gifts in each year cannot be ascertained, but some estimate may be made of it from the presents of gilt plate which were in all instances given in return by the queen; an exact account having been entered on the roll of the weight of the plate which each individual received in return for his gift. The total weight in 1577-8 amounted to 5882 ounces. The largest sum of money given by any temporal lord was £20; but the Archbishop of Canterbury gave £40, the Archbishop of York £30, and other spiritual lords £20 or £10. The total amount in the year 1561-2 of money gifts was £1262, 11s. 8d. The queen's wardrobe and jewellery must have been principally supplied from her New-Year's gifts.

The Earl of Leicester's New-Year's gifts exceeded those of any other nobleman in costliness and elaborate workmanship. The description of the gift of 1571-2 may be given as a specimen:

'One armlet, or shakell of gold, all over fairely garnished with rubyes and dyamondes, haveing in the closing thearof a clocke, and in the fore part of the same a fayre lozengie dyamonde without a foyle, hanging thearat a round juell fully garnished with dyamondes, and perle pendant, weying 11 oz. qu. dim., and farthing golde weight: in a case of purple vellate all over embranderid with Venice golde, and lyned with greeve vellat.'

In the reign of James I the money gifts seem to have been continued for some time, but the ornamental articles presented appear to have been few and of small value. In January 1601, Sir Dudley Carleton, in a letter to Mr. Winwood, observes:

'New-Year's Day passed without any solemnity, and the accustomed present of the purse and gold was hard to be had without asking.'

Mr. Nichols, in a note on this passage, observes:

'During the reigns of King Edward VI., Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, the ceremony of giving and receiving New-Year's gifts at Court, which had long before been customary, was never omitted, and it was continued at least in the early years of King James; but I have never met with a roll of those gifts similar to the several specimens of them in the Progresses of Queen Elizabeth.'

He afterwards, however, met with such a roll, which he has copied, and in a note attached to the commencement of the roll, be makes the following remarks:

'Since the note in that page [471 of vol. i., Progresses of James I] was printed, the roll here accurately transcribed has been purchased by the trustees of the British Museum, from Mr. Rodd, book-seller of Great Newport Street, in whose catalogue for 1824 it is mentioned. It is above ten feet in length; and, like the five printed in Queen Elizabeth's "Progresses," exhibits the gifts to the king on one side, and those from his majesty on the other, both sides being signed by the royal hand at top and bottom. The gifts certainly cannot compete in point of curiosity with those of either Queen Mary's or Queen Elizabeth's reign. Instead of curious articles of dress, rich jewels, &c., nothing was given by the nobility but gold coin.'

The gifts from the nobility and prelates amounted altogether to £1293, 13s. 4d. The remainder were from per-sons who held some office about the king or court, and were generally articles of small value. The Duke of Lennox and the Archbishop of Canterbury gave each £40; all other temporal lords, £20 or E10; and the other spiritual lords, £30, £20, £13, 6s. 8d., or £10. The Duke of Lennox received 50 ounces of plate, the Arch-bishop of Canterbury 55 ounces; those who gave £20 received about 30 ounces, and for smaller sums the return-gift was in a similar proportion.

No rolls, nor indeed any notices, seem to have been preserved of New-Year's gifts presented to Charles I., though probably there were such. The custom, no doubt, ceased entirely during the Commonwealth, and was never afterwards revived, at least to any extent worthy of notice. Mr. Nichols mentions that the last remains of the custom at court consisted in placing a crown-piece under the plate of each of the chaplains in waiting on New-Year's Day, and that this custom had ceased early in the nineteenth century.

There is a pleasant story of a New-Year's gift in the reign of King Charles I, in which the court jester, Archy Armstrong, figures as for once not the maker, but the victim of a jest. Coming on that morn to a nobleman to bid him good-morrow, Archy received a few gold pieces; which, however, falling short of his expectations in amount, he shook discontentedly in his hand, muttering that they were too light. The donor said: 'Prithee, then, Archy, let me see them again; and, by the way, there is one of them which I would be loth to part with.' Archy, expecting to get a larger gift, returned the pieces to his lordship, who put them in his pocket, with the remark: 'I once gave my money into the hands of a fool, who had not the wit to keep it.'—Banquet of Jests, 1634

It cannot be said that the custom of giving presents to superiors was a very rational one: one can even imagine it to have been something rather oppressive— 'a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance.' Yet Robert Herrick seems to have found no difficulty in bringing the smiles of his cheerful muse to bear upon it. It must be admitted, indeed, that the author of the Hesperides made his poem the gift. Thus it is he addresses Sir Simon Steward in:

                                         'A jolly
Verse, crowned with ivy and with holly;
That tells of winter's tales and mirth,
That milkmaids make about the hearth;
Of Christmas' sports, the wassail howl,
That's tost up after fox-i'-th'-hole;
Of blind-man-buff, and of the care
That young men have to shoe the mare;
Of twelfth-tide cakes, of pease and beaus,
Wherewith ye make those merry scenes;
Of crackling laurel, which fore-sounds
A plenteous harvest to your grounds;
Of those, and each like things, for shift,
We send, instead of New Year's gift.
Read then, and when your faces shine
With buxom meat and cap'ring wine,
Remember us in cups full crown'd,
And let our city-health go round.
Then, as ye sit about your embers,
Call not to mind the fled Decembers;
But think on these, that are t' appear
As daughters to the instant year;
And to the bagpipes all address,
Till sleep take place of weariness.
And thus throughout, with Christmas plays,
Frolic the full twelve holidays.'

The custom of giving of presents among relatives and friends is much declined in England, but is still kept up with surprising vigor in Paris, where the day is especially recognized from this circumstance as Le Jour d' Etrennes. Parents then bestow portions on their children, brothers on their sisters, and husbands make settlements on their wives. The mere externals of the day, as observed in Paris, are of a striking character: they were described as follows in an English journal, as observed in the year 1824, while as yet the restored Bourbon reigned in France: 'Carriages,' says this writer, 'may be seen rolling through the streets with cargoes of bon-bons, souvenirs, and the variety of etceteras with which little children and grown up children are bribed into good humour; and here and there pastrycooks are to be met with, carrying upon boards enormous temples, pagodas, churches, and playhouses, made of fine flour and sugar, and the embellishments which render French pastry so inviting. But there is one street in Paris to which a New-Year's Day is a whole year's fortune—this is the Rue des Lombards, where the wholesale confectioners reside; for in Paris every trade and profession has its peculiar quarter. For several days preceding the 1st of January, this street is completely blocked up by carts and wagons laden with cases of sweetmeats for the provinces. These are of every form and description which the most singular fancy could imagine; bunches of carrots, green peas, hoots and shoes, lobsters and crabs, hats, books, musical instruments, gridirons, frying-pans, and sauce-pans; all made of sugar, and coloured to imitate reality, and all made with a hollow within to hold the bon-bons.

The most prevailing device is what is called a cornet; that is, a little cone ornamented in different ways, with a bag to draw over the large end, and close it up. In these things, the prices of which vary from one franc (tenpenee) to fifty, the bon-bons are presented by those who choose to be at the expense of them, and by those who do not, they are only wrapped in a piece of paper; but bon-bons, in some way or other, must be presented. It would not, perhaps, be an exaggeration to state that the amount expended for presents on New-Year's Day in Paris, for sweet-meats alone, exceeds 500,000 francs, or £20,000 sterling. Jewellery is also sold to a very large amount, and the fancy articles exported in the first week of the year to England and other countries, is computed at one-fourth of the sale during the twelvemonths. In Paris, it is by no means uncommon for a man 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. No person able to give must on this day pay a visit empty-handed.

Everybody accepts, and every man gives according to the means which he possesses. Females alone are excepted from the charge of giving. A pretty woman, respectably connected, may reckon her New-Year's presents at something considerable. Gowns, jewellery, gloves, stockings, and artificial flowers fill her drawing-room: for in Paris it is a custom to display all the gifts, in order to excite emulation, and to obtain as much as possible. At the palace, the New-Year's Day is a complete jour de fete. Every branch of the royal family is then expected to make handsome presents to the king. For the six months preceding January 1824, the female branches were busily occupied in preparing presents of their own manufacture, which would fill at least two common-sized wagons.

The Duchess de Berri painted an entire room of japanned panels, to be set up in the palace, and the Duchess of Orleans prepared an elegant screen. An English gentleman, who was admitted suddenly into the presence of the Duchess de Berri two months before, found her and three of her maids of honour, lying on the carpet, painting the legs of a set of chairs, which were intended for the king. The day commences with the Parisians, at an early hour, by the interchange of their visits and bon-bons. The nearest relations are visited first, until the furthest in blood have had their calls; then friends and acquaintances. The conflict to anticipate each other's calls, occasions the most agreeable and whimsical scenes among these proficients in polite attentions. In these visits, and in gossiping at the confectioners' shops, which are the great lounge for the occasion, the morning of New-Year's Day is passed; 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 any other amusement that may be preferred.'

HOBSON, THE CAMBRIDGE CARRIER

Died, January 1, 1630-1, Thomas Hobson, of Cambridge, the celebrated University carrier, who had the honour of two epitaphs written upon him by Milton. He was born in or about 1514; his father was a carrier, and he bequeathed to him 'the team ware, with which he now goeth, that is to say, the cart and eight horses,' harness, nag, &c. After his father's death, he continued the business of a carrier with great success; a considerable profit was then made by carrying letters, which the University of Cambridge licensed persons to do, before and after the introduction of the post-office system.

The old man for many years passed monthly with his team between his own home in Cambridge, and the Bull Inn in Bishopsgate-street and back again, conveying both packages and human beings. He is also said to have been the first person in the kingdom who let horses for hire, and the scrupulous pertinacity with which he refused to allow any horse to be taken from his stables except in its proper turn, has given him a kind of celebrity. If the horse he offered to his customer was objected to, he curtly replied, 'This or none;' and 'Hobson's choice—this or none,' became a proverb, which it is to this day. Steele, in the Spectator, No. 509, however, considers the proverb to be 'by vulgar error taken and used when a man is reduced to an extremity, whereas the propriety of the maxim is to use it when you would say, There is plenty, but you must make such a choice as not to hurt another who is to come after you.' 'He lived in Cam-bridge, and observing that the scholars rid hard, his manner was to keep a large stable of horses, with boots, bridles, and whips, to furnish the gentlemen at once, without going from college to college to borrow.' He used to tell the scholars they would ' come time enough to London if they did not ride too fast.' By his rule of taking the horse which stood next the stable-door, 'every customer,' says Steele, 'was alike well served according to his chance, and every horse ridden with the same justice. This memorable man stands drawn in fresco at an inn (which he used) in Bishopsgate-street, with an hundred pound bag under his arm.'

Hobson grew rich by his business: in 1604, he contributed £50 to the loan to King James I. In 1626, he gave a large Bible to the church of St. Benedict, in which parish he resided. He became possessed of several manors, and, in 1628, gave to the University and town the site of the Spinning House, or 'Hobson's Workhouse.'

In 1630, Hobson's visits to London were suspended by order of the authorities, on account of the plague being in London; and it was during this cessation from business that he died. Milton, in one of his epitaphs on him, quaintly adverts to this diet, remarking that Death would never have hit him had he continued dodging it backwards and forwards between Cambridge and the Bull.

Hobson was twice married. By his first wife he had eight children, and he survived his second wife. He bequeathed considerable property to his family; money to the corporation, and the profits of certain pasture-land (now the site of Downing College) towards the maintenance and heightening of the conduit in Cambridge. He also left money to the poor of Cambridge, Chesterton, Waterbeach, Cottenham, and Bunting-ford, of which latter place he is believed to have been a native. He was buried in the chancel of Benedict's church, but no monument or inscription marks the spot. In one of Milton's humorous epitaphs on him, reference is made to his cart and wain, which proves that there is no foundation for the popular opinion that Hobson carried on his business by means of packhorses. In the second epitaph it is amusing to hear the author of England's solemn epic indulging in drolleries and puns regarding poor Hobson, the carrier:

'Rest, that gives all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm
Too long vacation hastened on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sickened,
Fainted, and died, nor would with all be quickened.
Ease was his chief disease; and, to judge right,
He died for weariness that his cart went light:
His leisure told him that his time was conic, And lack of load made his life burdensome: Obedient to the Moon, he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his Into
Linked to the mutual flowing of the seas;
Yet, strange to think, his wain was his increase.
His letters are delivered all and gone,
Only remains this superscription.'

Several memorials of the benevolent old carrier, who is believed to have reached his eighty-fifth year, are preserved. There was formerly a picture of him at Anglesey Abbey; and Roger Yorke had another, supposed to have belonged to Mrs. Katherine Pepys, who, in her will dated 1700, bequeathed 'old Mr. Hobson's picture.' His saddle and bridle were preserved in the town-hall at Cambridge during the present century. A public-house in the town was called ' Old Hobson,' and another 'Hobson's House;' but he is traditionally said to have resided at the south-west corner of Pease Hill, and the site of the two adjoining houses were his stables. Even in his life-time his popularity must have been great, as in 1617 was published a quarto tract, entitled 'Hobson's Horseload of Letters, or Precedent for Epistles of Business, &c.'

The name of Hobson has been given to a street in Cambridge, 'in which have long resided Messrs Swann and Sons, carriers, who possess a curious portrait of Hobson, mounted on a stately black nag. This was preserved for many years at Hobson's London inn, the Bull, in Bishopsgate Street.'—Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, vol. iii. p. 236.

There are several engraved portraits of Hobson: that by John Payne, who died about 1648, represents Hobson in a cloak, grasping a bag of money, and has these lines underneath:

'Laugh not to see so plaine a man in print,
The shadow's homely, yet there's something in 't.
Witness the Bagg he wears (though seeming pore),
The fertile Mother of a thousand more:
He was a thriving Man, through lawful gain,
And wealthy grew by warrantable faime.
Men laugh at them that spend, not them that gather,
Like thriving sonnes of such a thrifty Father.'

This print is, most probably, from the fresco figure at the Bull Inn, which, in Chalmers's English Poets, 1810, is stated as 'lately to be seen,' but it has long since disappeared; and the Bull is more modernised than either the Green Dragon or the Four Swans inns, at a few houses distant: the Green Dragon has its outer galleries remaining, but modernised and inclosed with glass; the Four Swans is still more perfect, and is, perhaps, the most entire galleried inn which remains in the metropolis, and shews how well adapted were the inns of old for the representation of stage plays. That the Bull was indeed for this purpose, we have evidence—the yard having supplied a stage to our early actors before James Burbage and his fellows obtained a patent from Queen Elizabeth for erecting a permanent building for theatrical entertainments. Tarlton often played here.—Collier's Annals, vol. iii. p. 291, and Tarlton's Jests, by Halliwell, pp. 13, 14. Anthony Bacon (the brother of Francis Bacon) lived in Bishopsgate Street, not far from the Bull Inn, to the great annoyance of his mother, who dreaded that the plays and interludes acted at the Bull might corrupt his servants.

On the whole, we obtain a pleasing idea of Hobson, as an honest, painstaking man; a little arbitrary perhaps, but full of sound principle, and essentially a well-wisher to his species.

January 2nd

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