Abbildungen der Seite
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]



The custom of submitting some preliminary observations, by way of PREFACE, to every new publication, has been so long established, that it might appear a want of respect were any person to present his labours to notice, without such, introduction. The Author of the following sheets, therefore, cheerfully complies with the prevailing practice, not only from a sense of imperious duty to the Community at large, for whose fayour he is an humble candidate; but as it affords him an opportunity of offering to the numerous friends who have favoured him with their support, his unfeigned acknowledgments, for the advantage of their countenance, and, through them, for that of many great and distinguished characters, whose names dignify his List of Subscribers.

The Reformed Calendar, upon the basis of which the Author has raised his superstructure,


will, upon examination, be found to possess a much stronger claim to attention than it has hitherto appeared to merit: That it is the National Register' of Time, and the Instrument whereby is regulated the Ecclesiastical Establishment of the Nation, cannot but be generally known; though it requires a more extensive course of reading than many are habituated to, clearly to trace the progress of the Calendar, through its various gradations of improvement, to its present accuracy; or to appretiate the causes that gave rise to the division of our Church service, in the order that has been settled by our forefathers.

The primary object of the Author's attention, has been correctly to point out, and distinguish, the several divisions and subdivisions of that portion of duration denominated Time, of every variation in the regulation of which phenomenon, he has given a particular and historical account: And he has added a minute description not only of those Instruments to which human ingenuity has resorted for tracing its flight, from the simple Sun-dial to the accurate Chronometer ; but also of such different Tables as have been introduced for marking its progress, from the rude Alban Calendar to that of the present day. — The first part, upon Time, may justly be regarded as introductory to the general subject treated upon, denominated Clavis Calendaría, from its being a key to,

[ocr errors]

or explanation of the Calendar: and the Author trusts that he will be found to have executed his task with an industry, that may procure for him the approbation of a liberal and enlightened public. The scrupulous and vigilant attention he has bestowed to attain correctness may, perhaps, justify the hope of his having been in that respect successful: the Work has been the result of long and arduous application; and unlike the productions of genius or of fancy, which may be executed with a rapidity proportionate to extent of talent, or fertility of invention, the

progress of exertion has been impeded by the necessity of close investigation, and by the tediousness attendant

minute research. The National Calendar, and the yearly Almanac formed from that manual, have hitherto been chiefly used for the ordinary purposes of life, and rarely resorted to as mediums through which instruction or amusement might be attained; but a close investigation will evince that they are abundantly fertile in both respects. Besides the days appropriated to particular observance by the Church, others set apart as Political Holidays, and for the commemoration of persons eminent for piety and virtue, likewise lay claim to attention :--The Author, therefore, has not restricted his research to those days preeminent for sanctity of observance, but has extended his remarks to all others, which though now disrobed of their former importance, are still retained in the Calendar, either to commemorate great events, or to perpetuate the remembrance of characters who for ages were regarded as worthy of such honourable distinction.


In the progress of this work, occasion has frequently arisen for noticing the laws, customs, and idolatrous worship, of our Saxon forefathers: This part will be found to contain an outline of the Northern Mythology, which though less elegant than that of the South, yet nevertheless 'excites considerable interest; from our Saxon Progenitors' is derived no small portion of the traditionary, or as it is usually termed, COMMON LAW of England; and from the same source are to be traced many of our local customs, and proverbial expressions, some yet retaining their original import, others perverted from their true meaning by the varying hand of Time: To explain such of those customs and sayings as appear to possess a sufficient interest to warrant notice, has also been an object of the Author's solicitude.

The Historical Extracts, with the Classical and other Anecdotes, introduced in illustration of particular points, will, it is hoped, be found apposite, and generally acceptable; they will at all events be gratifying to youthful readers, and by alleviating the tediousness of constant narration, will relieve the mind from a too ardent attention.

Although the subjects treated upon are each rendered distinct, for the convenience of those who

may be desirous of referring to specific ob

« ZurückWeiter »