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second verse before cited more fully expresses, " The origin and founder of all things. Whence this notion arose, unless from a tradition that he first built shrines, raised altars, and instituted sacrifices, it is not easy to conjecture: hence it came, however, that his name was invoked before any other godthat, in the old sacred rites, corn and wine, and, in later times, incense also, were first offered to Janusthat the doors or entrances to private houses were called Januæ; and any pervious passage or thoroughfare, in the plural number, Jani, or with two beginnings'---that he was represented holding a rod as guardian of ways; and a key, as opening, not gates only, but all important works and affairs of mankind--that he was thought to preside over the morning or beginning of day---that, although the Roman year began regularly with March, yet the eleventh month, named Januarius, was considered as first of the twelve : whenoe the whole year was supposed to be under his guidance, and opened with great solemnity by the consuls inaugurated in his fame, where his statue was decorated on that occasion with fresh laurel; and, for the same reason, a solemn denunciation of war, 'than which there can hardly be a more momentous national act, was made by the military consul's opening the gates of his temple with all the pomp of his magistracy. The twelve altars and the twelve chapels of Janus might either denote, according to the general opinion, that he leads and governs twelve months; or that, as he says of himself in Ovid, all entrance and access must be made through him to the principal gods, who were, to a proverb, of the same number. We may add, that Janus was imagined to preside over infants at their birth, or the beginning of life.
The Indian divinity has precisely the same character. All sacrifices and religious ceremonies, all addresses even to superior gods, all compositions in writing, and all worldly affairs of moment, are begun with an invoeation of GANESA ; a word composed of isa, the Governor or Leader, and gana, or a Company of Deities, Instances of opening business auspi. ciously by an ejaculation to the Janus of India might be multiplied with ease. Few books are begun without the words “ Sahntation to Ganes ;** and he is first invoked by the Brahmins, who conduct the trial by ordeal, or perform the core. mony of the homa,' or sacrifice to fire. Mons. Sonnerat represents him as highly revered on the Coast of Coromandel; 'where the Indians," he says, 'would not, on any account, build a house, without having placed on the ground an image of this deity, which they sprinkle with oil, and adom every day with flowers. They set up his figure in all their temples, in the streets, in the high roads, and in open plains at the foot of some tree : so that persons of all ranks may invoke him, before they undertake any business, and travellers worship him, before they proceed on their journey, To this may be added that, in the commodious and useful town which now rises at Dharmaranya or Gaya, every new-built house, agreeably to an immemorial usage of the Hindoos, has the name of Ganesa superscribed on its door; and, in the Old Town, his image is placed over the gates of the temples.---(See Sir Wm. Jones's Works, vol. iii, p. 326, Svo ed.)
In JANUARY 1820,
1.-CIRCUMCISION. This festival was instituted in the sixth century, in commemoration of the circumcision of our Saviour ; a rite of the Jewish law, first enjoined to Abraham as a token of the covenant God made with him and his posterity.
New Year's Day has ever been considered a season of joy and congratulation for blessings re
ceived and dangers escaped in the year past, as well
The joyous morn appears, let all attend
Before the altars grateful victims bleed.
To end the old year merrily and begin the new one well, and in friendship with their neighbours, were the objects which the common people had in view in the celebration of this tide or festival. New-Year's Eve, therefore, was spent in festivity and frolic by the men; and the young women of the village carried about, from door to door, a bowl of spiced ale, which they offered to the inhabitants of
every house where they stopped, singing at the same time some rude congratulatory vesses, and expecting some small present in return, This practice, however, which originated in pure kindness and benevolence, soon degenerated into a mere pecuniary traffic, for Selden, in his Table Talk, thus alludes to the subject, while drawing the following curious comparison: The Pope, in sending relicks to princes, does as wenches do by their wassails at New Year's Tide, They present you with a cup, and you must drink of a sorry stuff; but the meaning is, you must give them money ten times more than it is worth".
It was customary, also, on this eve, for the young men and women to exchange their clothes, which was termed Mumming or Disguising; and when thus dressed in each other's garments, they would go from one neighbour's cottage to another, singing, dancing, and partaking of their good cheer; a species of masquerading which, as may be imagined, was often productive of the most licentious freedoms.
On the succeeding morning, the first of the New Year presents, called new-year's gifts, were given and received, with the mutual expression of good wishes, and particularly that of a happy New Year. The compliment was sometimes paid at each other's doors in the form of a song; but more generally, (especially in the north of England and in Scotland) the house was entered very early in the morning, by come young men and maidens selected for the purpose, who presented the spiced bowl, aụd hailed you with the gratulations of the season.
" The antient custom of going about with the wassgil, 'a bowl of spiced ale,' op New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night, aņd Christmas Eve, is yet retained in many places. The composition was ale, nutmeg, sugar, toast, and roasted crabs or apples, and was called lambis wool. Sone verses still sung in Gloucestershire, on this day, may be seen in T, T. for $814, p. 3.
The custom of interchanging gifts on this day, though now nearly obsolete, was, in the days of Shakspeare, observed most scrupulously; and not merely in the country, but, as hath been just before hinted, even in the palace of the monarch. In fact, the wardrobe and jewelry of Elizabeth appear to have been supported principally by these annual contributions.
The greatest part, if not all the peers and peeresses of the realm, all the bishops, the chief officers of state, and several of the Queen's household servants, even down to her apothecaries, master cook, serjeant of the pastry, &c. gave New Year's gifts to Her Majesty; consisting, in general, either of a sum of money, or jewels, trinkets, wearing apparel, &c. The largest sum given by any of the temporal lords was £20; but the Archbishop of Canterbury gave £40, the Archbishop of York £30, and the other spiritual lords £20, and £10; many of the temporal lords and great officers, and most of the peeresses, gave rich gowns, petticoats, kirtles, silk stockings, cypres garters, sweet-bags, doblets, mantles, some embroidered with pearles, garnets, &c. lookingglasses, fans, bracelets, caskets studded with precious stones, jewels ornamented with sparks of diamonds in various devices, and other costly trinkets. See T.T. for 1819, p. 2.
The Queen, though she made returns in plate and other articles, took sufficient care that the balance should be in her own favour; hence, as the custom was found to be lucrative, and had indeed been practised with success by her predecessors on the throne, it was encouraged and rendered fashionable to an extent hitherto unprecedented in this kingdom. In the country, however, with the exception of the extensive households of the nobility, this
interchange was conducted on the pure basis of reciprocal kindness and good will, and without any view of secur