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when we add that the beer and ale are sold to
the guests; but, any reader, who knows the
poverty of the Welsh peasantry, and their
simple habits, will find excuse sufficient. The beer
is supplied by the young woman's father, and
the profits form part of her dower.

Drinking is kept up, until a late hour, amid
singing and music. Welsh vocal melodies are
generally rather dismal. Few get beyond
psalms, which are pretty enough, set to Ar-hyd-
y-nos, &c., but national psalmody partakes very
much of the cow-killing tune of general
notoriety. Dancing is often indulged in. When
the bride retires to rest, if a wary woman, she
investigates the arrangements of her bed-room,
for her friends consider it their duty to
conclude the amusements with a practical joke.

A melancholy catastrophe is said to have
been the result of one of these practical jokes.
On the afternoon of a wedding-day, what was
supposed to have been a dead viper was put
into the bride's bed. Her husband, on joining
her, found her a corpse! The viper lay in
her bosom, with its head elevated to her
mouth. She had not been stung, but had
died, it was thought, from fear.


I THINK if old Saint Valentine but knew
The way his fête day now's commemorated;
And if the strange productions met his view
That fill our picture-shops, at any rate he'd
Be much amused, and, no doubt, marvel too,
At fame he surely scarce anticipated
A fame as great as any of the sages
Of Greece, or Rome, or of the Middle Ages.

I wonder what his Saintship had to do
With flaming hearts, or with the cooing dove,
With little bows and arrows, and the true
Entangled lover's knot (fit type of love);
With chubby, flying Cupids, peeping through
The leaves of roses, or through clouds above,
Daintily sketched on paper, with lace edges,
To be perhaps of timid love the pledges.

The Sacred Nine, by many a youthful poet,
Are now invoked, and many a wasted quire
Of cream-laid note-paper will serve to show it,
Covered with scraps of wild poetic fire,
And bursts of eloquence! No doubt you know it,
By observation, or experience dire.
What crooked stanzas will be perpetrated
By Bards and Rhymesters uninitiated!

They'll scarce improve upon the doggrel verse,
That tells of "roses red and violets blue;"
And ends by saying in a style most terse,
That the "carnation's sweet, and so are you."
I have seen modern rhymes that are much worse,
But then I have seen better, it is true;
Exquisite songs and sonnets bright and pure,
The gems of minstrelsy and literature.

How many hearts are throbbing with emotion,
How many eyes are sparkling with love-light,
As loving words are read; and what commotion
When postmen knock! What ill-concealed delight,
When these mysterious tokens of devotion,
Tinted and scented meet the dear one's sight!
But I'm on dangerous ground and rather blundering,
So I'll return to where I left off wondering.

Wondering about Saint Valentine's connection
With all this sort of thing so unmonastic,
Suggesting something like a dereliction
From the prescribed high roads ecclesiastic,
'Twould seem his heart was in the wrong direction,
And for an ancient Bishop far too plastic;
He's certainly the Cupid of Theology,
Rivalling the rosy boy of Old Mythology.

Perhaps he had a taste for wedding-cake,
Or orange blossoms in a white chip bonnet;
Perhaps the marriage fees he liked to take;
At least he never did (depend upon it),
Treat marriage like St. Paul, who seemed to make
A point of throwing ice-cold water on it.
I wonder whether, too, he wrote epistles,
Or spent his time illuminating missals!

If he did write at all, it was a lecture
On love I think, or something of the kind;
And much less calculated to correct your
Follies and foibles, than distract your mind:
But this is only founded on conjecture,
For not a line of his can I yet find,
Though I have searched through many darksome pages
Of the Church Hist'ry of the Middle Ages.

And there I read, that, in the Eternal City,
Now nearly one thousand six hundred years ago,
Saint Valentine, the subject of my ditty,
Was doomed to death by Claudius Cæsar,—so
Our Saint was martyred!—what a dreadful pity!
What it was for, I don't exactly know,
(He didn't know perhaps); indeed his history
Remains to me a most intricate mystery.

Long live thy mem'ry, Great St. Valentine!
Still lend thy ancient name to lovers' lays,
And with thy spirit animate each line,
And still may poets celebrate thy praise,
And yearly help to make that name of thine
"Familiar in our mouths," as Shakespeare says,
"As Household Words."—(This wish is loyal too,
For Valentines increase the Revenue.)


SYDNEY SMITH, with his wise wit, remarked
that there never was a great abuse brought to
light in England, but there certainly arose
some men prepared to contend not only that
it was no abuse at all, but that it was something
to be admired, and glorified, and boasted
about. Such folks are tender, we presume,
even of the Court of Chancery.

On the 7th of December we published an
article bearing the above title. It was a statement
of facts, respecting certain individuals
imprisoned in the Queen's Bench by the Court
of Chancery, for contempt of its decrees. A
month afterwards, a letter appeared in the
Times newspaper, the object of which was to
deny the truth of the historiettes we published;

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