Page images
PDF
EPUB

nerally lasted four hours. On the entry of the new married couple into the house, a servant from one of the windows threw a few handfuls of grain and some small money on their heads. There was a reigning prejudice in those days among Maltese, which made them believe that if the wife on her return from church put her foot first on the threshold of the door, she would undoubtedly govern her husband; now with such an idea, it is not very likely the bridegroom should be polite enough to give place to his bride on this occasion.

The nuptial feast took place immediately afterwards; but the bride either ate in a separate apartment, or in a corner of the hall, which was properly prepared and covered with linen cloth to conceal her from public view. The repast over, she was seated next her hushand, and drank out of the same cup.

At a village wedding, the company danced during the feast; each dancer throwing a piece of money to the fiddlers, and each guest contributing a fowl to the repast..

Till the beginning of the 18th century, all balls given in town on wedding-days were in the Spanish style, and every one danced with castanets in their hands.

The bride always passed the first week in her fáther's house; after which she was received with much pomp by her husband, whose relations gave a great feast and a ball. · The Maltese never married during the month

[ocr errors]

of May ; indeed, they carried their prejudice so far, that they would not even cut out a coat, thinking it impossible that any thing begun at that time could ever succeed. This supers calls to remembrance the manner in which the Romans divided the year into fortunate and unfortunate days; and it is impossible not to perceive a great resemblance between the old Maltese customs, and those of various ancient nations.

A private letter from Jamaica brings advice, that the wife of one Mr. --, a reputable planter, about ten miles from Spanish Town, suspecting her husband of a connection with a likely negro wench in his own family, mixed a dose of

poison in a fit of jealousy, and administered it to - both in so large a quantity, that they expired in a

few minutes after taking it. The moment they were dead, she took the fataldose herself, rejoicing with her last breath, that she had obtained so ample a revenge on a presumptuous rival, and a perjured husband.

Country News, Gloucester, March 18.-A labouring man at Witchcomb in this county, brewed lately a small barrel of ale against his wife's groaning. A few days ago, the woman being in labour, her female friends of the neighbourhood assembled. In the interval of expectation, it was proposed by one, and agreed to by all the gossips,

- that the cask should be tapped to keep up their

spirits; and when the poor husband came home, · he found his barrel empty, the gossips drunk, and

his wife dead.

A new method of purifying water has been lately invented. It consists of simply collecting small pieces of charcoal, but not reduced to powder, and the water which passes through it is rapidly purified. At the school of Medicine at Paris, the experiment was made with water, in which corrupted carcases had lain for three days ; it speedily passed through the charcoal, by which it became perfectly limpid, and had neither taste nor smell.

Some ill-timed pleasantry was played off a few days ago, on a respectable Law Officer and his wife, who made a summer excursion to Brighton. An invitation couched in due form, and bearing all the marks of authenticity, was sent to them, desiring their company at the Pavilion in the evening. The Gentleman and Lady, justly proud of the distinguished honour thus conferred on them, they knew not how, attended at the hour appointed, and were ushered into the saloon, in which were many persons of fashion, to whom they were wholly unknown. Some embarrassment necessarily ensued, but it was increased to a ten-fold degree, when they were announced to

ere

now

the illustrious master of the house, who had no recollection either of his guests, or the invitation in his name; an explanation ensued, when his Royal Highness, with all that urbanity which distinguishes him as the most finished Gentleman in Europe, was pleased to declare, “ that he felt himself much indebted to the ingenious person who (by forging his invitation, in order, perhaps, to sport with their feelings) had afforded him the pleasure of their society and acquaintance, however unexpected; and that he was perfectly happy in the opportunity of receiving them.” His Royal Highness conducted himself towards them, during the whole of the evening, with the most liberal and marked attention, and thus converted a rencontre, which was produced by the most malignant motives, into a source of honour and perfect satisfaction.

Lines on inclosing a Lock of Hair in the Coffin of a

deceased Mother.

Offspring, dear Mother, of thy womb,
To whom, long since, I owe my birth;
Thy son resigns thee to the tomb,
And to our common parent—Earth.

This Lock with filial love I give,
Within thy grave it safe shall lie:
In memory Thou with Me shalt live,
With Thee a part of Me shall die!

The following odd circumstance which lately happened in this metropolis is said to be authentic:-A shopman to a capital silk mercer having for some days observed a young lady take an opportunity to secret some goods every time she came, and knowing her to have an independent fortune, formed a resolution to convert her crime. and avarice to his own advantage; accordingly the next time she came, he artfully laid some things of value in her way, which she did not fail to pocket; but at going away the shopman desired her to walk into a back parlour, where he roundly charged her with the theft. In the midst of the terrors which this accusation threw her into, he proposed an expedient, which he observed was the only method to save her honour and her life ; which was, to marry him: she consented, and the young fellow is now in possession of a . very handsome young thief, and twelve thousand pounds.

Epigram for the Ladies.

My Chloe's as fickle and light as a feather, ''
Yet I love her to death ; prithee, Dick, should I wed her ?
That a feather should teaze you, quoth Dick, is not strange:
T’other day, as I happen’d to pass through the grange,
I saw that thief Cupid, from doves and from sparrows,
A pilfering feathers, to stick in his arrows.
The urchin first shoots you, then pulls out his dart,
And leaves you the feather to tickle your heart.

« PreviousContinue »