Sidor som bilder

the custom in England. The following extracts from some of his poems are given, as containing allusions to the subject immediately before us.

"A ce jour de Saint Valentin

Que chascun doit choisir son per,
Amours demourrai-je non per

Sans partir à vostre butin?

A mon reveillier au matin

Je n'y ay cessé de penser

A ce jour de saint Valentin."

It appears from the following songs, that when Ash Wednesday happened to fall on Saint Valentine's day, the knights and their ladies assembled only in the afternoon, the morning being necessarily devoted to pious purposes.

"Saint Valentin quant vous venez
En caresme au commencement,
Receu ne serez vrayement
Ainsi que accoustumè avez

Saint Valentin dit, veez me ça,
Et apporte pers a choysir :
Viegne qui y devra venir,

C'est la coustume de pieça.
Quand le jour des cendres, hola,
Respond, auquel doit-on faillir?
Saint Valentin dit, veez me ça,

Et apporte pers à choysir.


Au fort au matin convendra

En devotion se tenir,

Et après disner à loysir,
Choysisse qui choisir vouldra;

Saint Valentin dit, veez me ça,
Et apporte pers à choysir."

Another French Valentine, composed by John Gower, is quoted by Mr. Warton in his History of English poetry, add. to vol. ii. p. 31, from a manuscript in the library of Lord Gower. In this the poet tells his mistress that in choosing her he had followed the example of the birds.

Madame Royale, the daughter of Henry the Fourth of France, built a palace near Turin which was called the Valentine, on account of the great veneration in which the saint was held in that country. At the first entertainment given there by the princess, who was naturally of a gallant disposition, she directed that the ladies should choose their lovers for the year by lots. The only difference with respect to herself was, that she should be at liberty to fix on her own partner. At every ball during the year each lady received from her gallant a nosegay; and at every tournament the lady furnished his horse's trappings, the prize obtained being hers. From this circumstance Monsieur Menage, to whom we are

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indebted for the above information, infers that in Piedmont, the parties were called Valentines; but the learned writer was not aware of the circumstances already stated, nor of the antiquity of the custom in his own country. See Menage Dict. étymologique, art. Valentin.'

In an old English ballad the lasses are directed to pray cross-legged to Saint Valentine, for good luck. For the modern ceremonies on choosing Valentines, the reader may consult Brand's Popular antiquities, and No. 56 of The connoisseur.

Sc. 5. p. 263.

OPH. Let in the maid, that out a maid,
Never departed more.

In an Album that belonged in 1598 to a Dutch lady named Theodora Van Wassenaer, there is the following pretty French ballad addressed to her. The conclusion resembles the above lines in Ophelia's song.

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Elle cueillit les plus meures,

Les verds elle y laissa ;

Elle les alloit porter vendre

Au marcher de Damas.

Mignone, &c.

En son chemin rencontroit

Le fils d'un avocat;

Que portez vous la belle

Dans ce panier couvert?
Mignone, &c.

Monsieur ce sont des orenges
Ne vous en plait-il pas ?
Il en prend une couple,
Dans son sein il les metta.

Mignone, &c.

Venez vous en la belle,
On vous les payera ;
Elle y entra pucelle
Grossette elle en sorta.

Mignone tant je vous ayme,
Mais vous ne m'aymez pas."

Sc. 5. p. 263.

OPн. By Gis, and by Saint Charity.

The frequent occurrence of this adjuration sufficiently proves that Dr. Johnson's proposed change to Cis, is unnecessary; nor indeed would the name of Saint Cecilia be proper to swear by. Mr. Ritson's Gislen, an obscure Irish saint, is equally out of the question. In the interlude of Mary Magdelain, she is made to say,

"Nay by Gis, twentie shillings I dare holde

That there is not a gentlewoman in this land More propre than I in the waste, I dare be bolde." In Promos and Cassandra, Dalia swears by Gys; and in Gammer Gurton's needle and some other old plays, the same expression occurs. Mr. Ridley's conjecture that Jesus is the corrupted word is the true one; but the corruption is not in the way that he has stated. The letters IHS would not be pronounced Gis, even by those who understood them as a Greek contraction.


Scene 1. Page 297.

2 CLO. therefore make her grave straight.

Dr. Johnson thought this meant "from East

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