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market. Her companion has a puce coat, with pink lining and blue breeches, and his hat is orange and blue. His stockings are pink, and his sleeves red. Our next cut is taken from a manuscript in the British Museum (MS. Harl., No. 2278, folio 75, r°), also of the fifteenth century, but executed in England, and containing Lydgate's metrical history of the life and miracles of St. Edmund the Martyr.
It is intended to illustrate one of the miracles performed by the saint, and represents a countryman and his wife, who were the subject of it, sitting together in their cottage. To judge by the elegance displayed in the small house and its furniture, we may suppose the couple to be intended for a respectable yeoman and his wife. Their dresses are both white.
Whoever would form a true notion of the condition and manners of the rural population during the middle ages, must read the
Propos Rustiques, Baliverneries, Contes, et Discours d'Eutrapel,” of Noel du Fail. They form a charming picture of rustic life, com
posed by a gentleman of Britanny towards the middle of the sixteenth century; but they no doubt represent social life as it had existed in the country, with very little change, through the feudal period. The peasant was not ill at ease; he was neither hard worked nor starved, nor oppressed in a manner which would be personally painful, and, with religious feasts and holidays, he was indulged with frequent occasions for festivity. As the peasantry were in an entirely servile condition, attached to the ground on
which they were born, they must have been more or less rude and uncultivated in their manners and character. One class, however, the shepherds and shepherdesses, are described as an exception to this. Pastoral life would seem to have had the effect of softening down the character of those engaged in it, and they appear to us as passing their days in quiet happiness, occupied in weaving chaplets of flowers and leaves for each other's heads, the shepherd making
love to his shepherdess, and the latter testifying to her attachment for her swain. Our cut represents a dance of shepherds and shepherdesses, taken from a manuscript Livre d'Heures of the fifteenth century, preserved in the Bibliothèque Imperiale in Paris (No. 1173, Lat.), said to have been executed in Flanders. In the original it forms part of the scene of the Annunciation, and represents a group of shepherds and shepherdesses engaged in a carole, or dance, round a tree. The damsel to the right, with the chaplet on her head, is evidently the belle of the party.
It is a curious fact that almost all ages, and almost all countries, have agreed in clothing the pastoral life in poetic form and sentiment. How this feeling arose, it is difficult to explain, but we know that it was eminently the case among the Greeks and Romans. This pastoral sentiment appears to have been carried into the mediæval literature of Western Europe through the poetry of the Provençals, of which it appears to have formed a part in the earliest ages of its history. We find pastoral poets among the small number of trobadors who lived before the middle of the twelfth century, and they belong evidently to a class which had existed long before. But feudalism introduced into this pastoral poetry a new and very characteristic element.
The type of the mediæval shepherd and shepherdess is Robin and Marion. The latter is seen during much of her time seated alone, making a chaplet for her Robin or for herself, or engaged in some other rustic occupation, and watching her flocks. Then comes a knight, a châtelain, perhaps some great baron, riding over the land. He considers the shepherd maiden as his right, addresses himself to her, and seeks to overcome her virtue by persuasion or by force. Sometimes she yields easily, and perhaps he carries her away. At other times she resists, or at least is overcome only by degrees, or by personal violence. Or sometimes her Robin, with a sufficient number of his companions, comes to the rescue, and the intruder is obliged to relinquish his prey. It is the knight himself who always, in the Pastoral, relates the adventure, whether it were to his advantage or not. As poetical compositions, these feudal pastorals are extremely elegant and graceful. A certain number of these “Pastourelles," as they are called, are preserved, two or three in Provençal, and therefore belong to the south of Franoe, but the greater proportion are composed in the language of the north. These belong to the thirteenth century. Adam de la Halle, a writer of that century, a native of Arras, has left us a sort of dramatic pastoral, “The play of Robin and Marion” (li Gieus de Robin et de
Marion), which gives quite a charming picture of pastoral life in this poetic point of view. At the opening of the scene, Marion sits meditating on her affection for Robin, when a knight rides up and pays his addresses to her somewhat rudely. She resists, and ultimately, after several amusing incidents, the knight is driven away. The shepherds and shepherdesses then elect a king, and join in a game of questions, in the course of which Robin is condemned to embrace his Marion, and the following description of the maiden's coyness, and the somewhat grotesque compliment paid to her by her lover open a new scene :
ROBINS. Certes, non fac.
There you lie.
Vous en mentés.
It must be borne in mind that the cheese seems to have been the favourite food of the rustic population of France. The play of Adam de la Halle ends with a dance.
RESULTS OF METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS MADE
AT THE KEW OBSERVATORY,
BY G. M. WHIPPLE.
(With a Plate.)
JANUARY, 1869. ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE.—The barometer was generally high through January, but at the end of the month descended to a very low point. The mean height on the 1st was 30.044 ins. ; from this it fell to 29.548 ins. on the 3rd. On the 4th, there was a little increase in pressure, but the next day the readings were decreasing from 3 A.M. to 3.30 P.M. At this time the barometer commenced rising rapidly, and continued in uniform upward movement to 3 P.M. of the 6th, bringing that day's mean to 30-283 ins.
The readings increased gradually, attaining the maximum height of the month 30-502 ins. on the 9th. A period of diminishing pressure ensued, which lasted to 3 A.M. of the 15th, reducing the mean to 29.701 ins. On the 16th, the barometer rose very quickly until 11 A.m., and a continuance of the motion at a reduced rate for the three succeeding days, brought the mean height to 30.487 ins. on the 19th.
There was a nearly uniform descent of the mercury until the 27th, when its movement, accelerating, became very fast from 4 P.M. of the 28th, to 5 A.M, the following day. Considerable oscillation was recorded during this fall, and also throughout the day, the barometer remaining low. The mean 29.118 ins was the lowest in the month. On the 30th, the barograph showed a steady rise in pressure until 4 p.m., bringing the mean to 29.566 ins. On the 31st, at 4.50 P.M., the curve indicated a sudden depression of 0.052 ins. in the mercury, which lasted until 5.10 P.M., when it regained its former position.
The mean height was 29.260 ins. on the 31st.
TEMPERATURE OF THE AIR.—The temperature was unusually mild during January, rising above 50° on ten occasions, and only falling below 30° five times. At the beginning of the month the thermometer rose from 35•3° on the 1st, to 52:6° on the 3rd; the succeeding days were a little colder. On the 7th, the temperature curve rose rapidly from 1 to 3.5 A.M., then fell instantaneously 4o.