British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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JAN. 17]                           SEPTUAGESIMA.                                       45
The Romans once admired a gander More than they did their chief commander; Because he saved, if some don't fool us, The place that's called th' 'head of Talus'
Oh ! by the blood of King Edward, &o.
The poets feign Jove turned a swan, But let them prove it if they can; As for our proof, 'tis not at all hard, For it was a swapping, swapping Mallard.
Oh ! by the blood of King Edward, &c.
Therefore let us sing and dance a galliard. To the remembrance of the Mallard ; And as the Mallard dives in pool, Let us dabble, dive, and duck in bowl.
Oh ! by the blood of King Edward, Oh ! by the blood of King Edward, It was a swapping, swapping Mallard."
When Pointer wrote his Oxoniensis Academia (1749), he committed a grave offence by insinuating that this immor­talised mallard was no other than a goose. The insinuation produced a reply from Dr. Buckler, replete with irresistible irony; but Pointer met a partisan in Mr. Bilson, chaplain of All Souls, who issued a folio sheet entitled 'Proposals for printing by subscription the History of the Mallar-dians,' with the figure of a cat prefixed, said to have been found starved in the college library.—Hist, of Co. of Ojfordy 1852, p. 144.
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Jan. 17.]                      SEPTUAGESIMA.
Septtjagesima occurs between this day and February the 22nd, according as the Paschal full moon falls. It was formerly distinguished by a strange ceremony, denominated the Funeral of Alleluia. On the Saturday of Septuagesima, at nones, the choristers assembled in the great vestiary of the cathedral, and there arranged the ceremony. Having finished the last benedicamus, they advanced with crosses, torches, holy waters, and incense, carrying a turf in the
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