This page comes in two parts again.
I thought it would be fun to celebrate the New Year with a Prize
Draw, so please feel free to enter wherever you are in the world.
All are welcome.
I bought a copy of Hone's Everyday Book,
published in 1826 a while ago. It was actually a present, but,
being something of a bookworm, I had a good look through it first.
By the time I'd finished I was rather sorry to give it away as
it was very entertaining indeed. Despite the fact that nearly
200 years have gone by, not everything changes as much as you
would think. After you've entered the Prize Draw, take a look
at some of the entries further down the page.
Catsup's Prize Draw
This was won
by Miles and Jenica. Both winners live in the USA and have been
sent their copies.
Just enter your
first name and your email address in the boxes below,
click the send button and you'll automatically be included.
(Under no circumstances will we
pass your email address onto any third parties unless
required to do so by law. Nor will you subsequently be
inundated with emails from us.)
only one entry per email address is allowed.
The prize is a copy
of the boys first book, "The Wilderness Weeks".
You can read some excerpts from it here.
If there are enough entrants, I will add a couple of extra
prizes from the Catsup
If you already own
the boys first book, don't be put off from entering. If
you win, you can choose from selected alternatives in
The closing date
is Saturday 16th February 2002.
Aren't you glad this is
a custom that has died out!
Twelfth Day ( Entry for
6th January 1826)
On Twelfth night in London,
boys assemble round the inviting shops of the pastrycooks,
and dexterously nail the coat-tails of spectators,
who venture near enough, to the bottoms of the window
frames; or pin them together strongly by their clothes.
Sometimes eight or ten persons find themselves thus
connected. The dexterity and force of the nail driving
is so quick and sure, that a single blow seldom
fails of doing the business effectually. Withdrawal
of the nail without a proper instrument is out of
the question; and, consequently, the person nailed
must either leave part of his coat, as a cognizance
of his attachment, or quite the spot with a hole
in it. At every nailing and pinning shouts of laughter
arise from the perpetrators and the spectators.
Yet it often happens to one who turns and smiles
at the duress of another, that he also finds himself
nailed. Efforts at extrication increase mirth, nor
is the presence of a constable, who is usually employed
to attend and preserve free "ingress, egress,
and regress," sufficiently awful to deter the
It's hard to top this
next item for eccentricity.
8th January 1826
A newspaper of January 8,
1821, mentions an extraordinary feat by Mr. Huddy,
the postmaster of Lismore, in the 97th year of his
age. He travelled, for a wager, from that town to
Fermoy in a Dungarvon oyster-tub, drawn by a pig,
a badger, two cats, a goose, and a hedgehog; with
a large red nightcap on his head, a pig-driver's
whip in one hand, and in the other a common cow's
horn, which he blew to encourage his team, and give
notice of this new mode of posting.
Isn't this entry all
14th February 1826
To him that goes to law,
nine things are requisite:
1. A good deal of money
2. A good deal of patience
3. A good cause
4. A good attorney
5. Good counsel
6. Good evidence
7. A good jury
8. A good judge
9. Good luck.
Students priorities weren't
always studying 200 years ago.
13th April 1826 Parody
of a Cambridge University Examination
This appeared in The Times
on 25th January, 1816
1 Give a comparative sketch
of the principal English theatres, with the dates
of their erection, and the names of the most eminent
candle-snuffers at each. What were the stage boxes?
What were the offices of prompter - ballet-master
- and scene-shifter? In what part of the theatre
was the one-shilling gallery? Distinguish accurately
between operas and puppet-shows.
2. Where was Downing-street?
Who was prime-minister when Cribb defeated Molineux
- and where did the battle take place? Expain the
terms milling - fibbing - cross buttock - neck and
crop - bang up - and - prime.
(Cribb and Molineux
were famous prize fighters.)
3. Enumerate the principal
houses of call in and about London, marking those
of te Taylors, Bricklayers, and Shoemakers, and
stating from what Brewery each house was supplied
with Brown Stout. Who was the tutelary Saint of
the Shoemakers? At what time was his feast celebrated?
Who was Saint Swithin? Do you remember any remarkable
English proverb respecting him?
4. Express the following
words in the Lancashire, Derbyshire, London, and
Exmoor dialects - Bacon - Poker - You - I - Doctor
- and Turnpike-gate.
5. Mention the principal
Coach Inns in London, with a correct list of the
Coaches which set out from the Bolt-in-tun. Where
were the chief stands of Hackney Coaches - and what
was the No. of that in which the Princess Charlotte
drove to Connaught-house? To what stand do you suppose
this removed after it set her down?
As you'd expect, cats
haven't changed much.
13th August 1826
Cats neither like to be put
out of their way, nor to be kept out of their food:-
In cloisters, wherein people
are immured in roman catholic countries, to keep
or make them of that religion, it is customary to
announce the hours of meals by ringing a bell. In
a cloister in France, a cat that was kept there
was used never to receive any victuals till the
bell rung, and she therefore never failed to be
within hearing of it. One day, however, she happened
to be shut up in a solitary apartment, and the bell
rang in vain, as far as regarded her. Being some
hours after liberated from her confinement, she
ran, half famished, to the place where a plate of
victuals used generally to be set for her, but found
none this time. In the afternoon the bell was heard
ringing at an unusual hour, and when the people
of the cloister came to see what was the cause of
it, they found the cat hanging upon the bell-rope,
and setting it in motion as well as she was able,
in order that she might have her dinner served up
Few who possess the faculty
of hearing and have heard the music of cats, would
desire the continuance of their "sweet voices,"
yet a concert was exhibited at Paris, wherein cats
were the performers. They were placed in rows, and
a monkey beat time to them. According as he beat
the time, so the cats mewed; and the historian of
the fact relates, that the diversity of the tones
which they emitted produced a very ludicrous effect.
This exhibition was announced to the Parisian public
by the title of Concert Miaulant.
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