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Present them to the gazing company
Earth-treading stars,' "lights that mislead the morn.
At the last Lord Mayor's Day (1815), independently of two persons in complete armour, and a third partially armed, representing antient knights, with their attendants, 'squires, heralds, standardbearers, &c.; the procession was rendered very interesting by small parties of horse soldiers, arrayed as cuirassiers, in the spoils so bravely won at the evermemorable battle of Waterloo !
A very splendid banquet is on these occasions provided at Guildhall, at the expense of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, and about 1300 persons, male and female, sit down to dinner; which, from the disposition of the tables, the sumptuousness of the viands, the arrangement of the company, the brilliancy of the lights, music, and decorations, and the general good humour and hilarity that prevails, is one of the most interesting spectacles that can be seen in the British metropolis. The festivities of the day conclude with a grand ball; and, as every possible kind of refreshment is provided for the visitors, the meeting never breaks up till a very late hour. On the last Lord Mayor's Day the use of gas was first introduced, with a very striking effect.
The charges of the Lord Mayor's Feast commonly amount to about 30007.; and, as splendid entertainments are also given at the respective halls of the principal city companies, as well as by numerous other parties, the total expenditure for public dinners on this day is supposed to average from 8000l. to 10,000l.
The constant place of residence for the Lord Mayor since the year 1752, when the building was completed, has been the Mansion House, which is an extensive and splendid dwelling. Here he lives in an elegant and princely manner, and has a considerable establishment to maintain his dignity. On all state occasions he is superbly habited, either in a knotted gown, similar to that of the Lord Chancellor, or in one of crimson velvet, as when he precedes the Sovereign: on minor ceremonials, he appears either in a gown of scarlet cloth with a velvet hood, or in one of mazarine blue silk, according to the season, both being richly furred. He wears also a double chain of gold to distinguish his office, or a rich collar of SS, with a costly jewel appendant: when on foot, on official duties, his train is supported by a page, and the mace and sword are carried before him.
INSCRIBED to un ALDERMAN.
Know ye the land where the leaf of the myrtle
Is bestowed on good livers in eating sublime?
Many of the Lord Mayors of this metropolis have been renowned for their talents and general virtues; and there is not a single quality that can adorn the human heart, but what has been displayed by these magistrates. The most disinterested public spirit, and the noblest beneficence, the purest patriotism, and the firmest integrity, have all united in the illustrious characters of many that have filled the civic chair; and numerous are the instances in which this high office has been attained, and most worthily held, by those who, at the outset of life, to employ the language of a late eminent moralist (Dr. Johnson),
had to provide food for the day that was passing over them.' The ennobled families of Cornwallis, Capel, Coventry, Legge, Cowper, Thynne, Craven, Marsham, Pulteney, Hill, Holles, Osborne, Cavendish, Bennet, and many others, have sprung either immediately or collaterally from those who have been Mayors, Sheriffs, or Aldermen of this city; and it may be affirmed with truth, that a very enlarged proportion of the Peerage of the United Kingdom is related, by descent or intermarriage, to the citizens of London.
The present highly-respected Chief Magistrate (Matthew Wood, Esq.) has been re-elected Lord Mayor by the Livery of London, and has entered into the second year (1816) of his arduous duties. This is a most unusual occurrence; for not a single instance of the same person having been twice elected in successive years is recorded in the annals of the city, since within a very short period of the Revolution, and not for upwards of three centuries prior to that memorable event 1.
11. SAINT MARTIN.
He was a native of Hungary, and, for some time, followed the life of a soldier; but, afterwards, took
See a Tract, entitled culars have been gleaned.
Civic Honours,' whence these parti-* (Sherwood and Co., 1816.)
orders, and was made Bishop of Tours, in France, in which see he continued for twenty-six years. Martin died about the year 397, much lamented, and highly esteemed for his virtues. This Bishop was once so popular in France, that his feast had an octave, that is, was celebrated a second time in the week following; and it was a rule among his devotees to roast a goose for the family dinner on the day of his anniversary. A medal has lately been struck in France in commemoration of this laudable custom; on one side of which is embossed a goose, and on the reverse occurs the word Martinalia.
Diodorus Siculus speaks of the goose as a regular and favourite diet of Ægyptian kings; and, on several of the monuments constructed by them, priests are represented offering a goose in sacrifice. Athenæus mentions the fondness of the Lacedæmonians for the goose; and the Romans not only valued it as a delicacy, but kept holy geese at the public expense, in honour of those which saved the capitol. According to Lampridius, Geta gave orders to his cook to serve his dinners in alphabetic order. To-day every dish was to begin with an a, and tomorrow with a b; and thus the anser under him had the honour of ushering in every cyclus of repasts.
Alexander Severus commonly dined on chickens; but he added a goose on solemn occasions, such as the birthday of those worthies whom he honoured with a select veneration. Horace praises the liver of a goose that has fed on figs; and Pliny describes a method of swelling it, which he hesitates whether to attribute to Scipio Metellus or to Marcus Seius: but he awards to Messalinus Cotta the indisputable honour of inventing a dish consisting of goose's feet grilled.
The festival of St. Martin occurring when geese are in high season, it is always celebrated with a voracity the more eager, as it happens on the eve of the petit carême, when fowls could no longer be presented on
the tables of a religious age. A German monk, Martin Schoock, has made it a case of conscience whether, even on the eve of the little Lent, it be
allowable to eat goose: 'An liceat Martinalibus anserem comedere? After having dived into the weedy pool of the casuist's arguments, the delighted devotee emerges with the permission to roast his goose; and thus the goose came to be a standing dish on the Continent at Martinmas, as in England at Michaelmas.
Charlemagne was fond of geese, and contributed to give them a vogue; and they formed at one time so important an object of rural economy, that the first poulterers were called oyers. Geese are rarely boiled, but usually roasted; and they were stuffed by the Romans with white meats, as by the Germans with chesnuts. The legs are sometimes separated, and salted apart for hams.
Formerly, a universal custom prevailed of killing cows, oxen, swine, &c., at this season, which were cured for winter consumption; as fresh provisions were seldom or never to be had during the dreary months which succeed November. This practice is yet retained in some country villages. Martinmas is still celebrated on the Continent by good eating and drinking; and was antiently, in England, a day of feasting and revelry, as will appear by some extracts from a pleasing little ballad, entitled Martilmasse-day :
It is the day of Martilmasse,
And enjoye the crackling brake;
* See a notice of M. Millin's Martinales,' or description of the Martinmas Medal, in the Monthly Review, vol lxxx, p. 498. The reader may also refer to Michaelmas Day, in this and our former volumes.