Early American Costume

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Customs and Fashions in Old New England

roystering Morton and his gay crew. Bradford says: "They set up a May-pole, drinking and dancing aboute it many days togeather, inviting the Indian women for their consorts, dancing and frisking togeather like so many fairies or furies rather." This May-pole was a stately pine-tree eighty feet high, with a pair of buck's horns nailed at the top, and with "sundry rimes and verses affixed." Stern Endicott rode down ere long to investigate matters, and at once cut the "idoll Maypole" down, and told the junketers that he hoped to hear of their "better walking, else they would find their merry mount but a woful mount."

To eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday was held by the Puritans to be a heathenish vanity; and yet, apparently with the purpose of annoying good Boston folk, some attempts were made to observe the day. One year a young man went through the town "carrying a cock on his back with a bell in 's hand." Several of his fellows followed him blindfolded, and, under pretence of striking him with heavy cart-whips, managed to do considerable havoc in the surrounding crowd. We can well imagine how odious this horse-play was to the Puritans, aggravated by the fact that it was done to note a holy day. On Shrove Tuesday, in 1685, there was "great disorder in town by reason of Cock-skailing." This was the barbarous game of cock-steling, or cock-throwing, or cock-squoiling-a game as old as Chaucer's time, a universal pastime on Shrove Tuesday in England, where scholars also had cock-fights in the school-rooms.

The observance, or even notice, of the first day of the year as a "gaudy-day"—of New-Year's tides in any way—was thought by Urian Oakes to savor strongly of superstitious reverence for the heathen god Janus; the Pilgrims made no note of their first New-Year's Day in the New World, save by this very prosaic record, "We went to work betimes." Yet Judge Sewall, as rigid and stern a Puritan as any of the earliest days, records with some pride his being greeted with a levet, or blast of trumpets, under his window, early on the morning of January 1, 1697; while he himself celebrated the opening of the new century with a very poor poem of his own making, which he caused to be cried or recited throughout the town of Boston by the town bellman.

Guy Fawkes' Day, or "Pope's Day," was observed with much noise throughout New England for many years by burning of bonfires, preceded by parades of young men and boys dressed in fantastic costumes and carrying "guys" or "popes" of straw. Fires are still lighted on the 5th of November in New England towns by boys, who know not what they commemorate. In Newburyport, Mass., and Portsmouth, N. H., Guy Fawkes' Day is still celebrated. In Newcastle, N. H., it is called "Pork Night." In New York and Brooklyn, the bonfires on the night of election, and the importunate begging on Thanksgiving Day of ragged fantastics, usually children of Roman Catholic parents, are both direct survivals of the ancient celebration of "Pope's Day."

In Governor Belcher's time, in Massachusetts, the stopping of pedestrians on the street, by "loose and

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