Valentine's customs revealed in 1839 column.
"To-morrow is 8t. Valehtime's day." Old Song . Tc-morroV, gentle and fairj reader, is St- Val-entiae's day, a period of some moment, to all young lovers both in Old Eugland and New England, whatever it may be here. St. yalentine, as you probably : know, was a presbyter of the 'church, who was beheaded in the time of Valerianus, the empeYor, and by a most singular coincidsnce th day on which he sufTeredmartyrdom 1500 years ago, has been for centuries commemorated bv the effusions of earthly love and fancy. Not one of the Saints' days in our calendar has been so honored by the muses. , Little deemed the tyrant when he gave the order which. doomed the j persecuted bishop to the block, that he was bestowing a name upon a day to be held .in pleasant luemory a day in which the spirit of martyrdom has little place, utiles?, indeed, the muse may jie fated - to act the part of the deceased saint, which, we arc incliued to believe, is pretty oJieu the cjise. There is, however, no occurrence in the legendary life of StJ Valeuline, in the slightest degree connected with the .customs which were once pretty generally observed on this day ; though it is said, that ho was a man of admirable part?, and so famous - for his love and charitv, that the custom ol choosing Valentines upon his festival took its rise from thence. .' It is a very general custom, of doubtful origin, but of great antiquity, for young people to draw lots on the eve ol St. Valcntinejs day : the names of a select number of one se are, by an equal number of the other, put into some vessel, out of which each person draws one, which is called .their Valentine, and is looked upon as a eood omen of their being inun and wife ufterwards. This custom of choosing Valentines was a sport practised in the houses; of the gentry of England, us early ns die year 1476; and it is still obseived in the Aortliern .bounties of that couirtrv, where ulso the first woman seen bv a man, .or man seeu by u woman, on St. Valentine's day, is marked for their Valentine for the cusu- iuz vcar. i The rural tradition, thnt on this dav, evcrv bird chooses its mate, is u I Unfed to by ChuticcrJ ami numerous Otuer writers, fciakspeure, in lus Midsummer's Night's Dream, t--ays : -St. Valentine is past ; The customs of St. Valentine's day seem at present confined to that of young people send ing complimentary or satiricul letters to their acquaintance, sometimes accompanied with a cai ricature engraving; aud to such uu extent has I jthis practice been canicd, lliut iu New York Begin these w ood birds but to couple now.?" And Derrick, iu his Ucspexides, has the follow- "To ms Valentine on Sr. Valentine's Day. "Oft have 1 heard Luili j outh and virgin say, Birds choose their inatce, aud couple loo this day; But by their Hi j: lit I uevcrcan divine, When I sliull couple with my Valtuiincn the increuse of two-penny post letters on St. Valentiue's duv iu 1U31 exceeded fifteen thou sand. This "was once a day to make a poet feel him J self somebody. The little children would crowd I about uiui in luJJ UepeiHleuc ou his power oiex pressing, iu appropriate language, . their baby loves, i he fui.1 growti youth, of grcuter modesty man oramary, wnose poeucai sjiru naruiy Kept pace with the ardor of his passion, pi;t iu his bin-, claim to the like indulgence. And, now and l.i .1:11 .i. . fc .i. r i .... I iucu, u. uiu uuppiu uiui iac iaur one uersen, igno- faut that hercouusel had been previously cuga- spe- ged ou the other side, culled in his uid, and required him to weave an appropriate answer to lus own rhyme. How gratilying, how pleu.ant, ut to the vauitv of the man and the noct ! i lu thetc degenerate days hov greiuly is hi couscquence dimiuished, when every eighth uiau ou; i3a "universal genius," wheuli oplc are not an I . . .l I .1 j coiiieiii wiiu uiuug liicir own uoctors, luwvers and barhcrs, but ever- man must be his own vutt : too. It is a certain fact (at least we have the Lest authority for no stating) thai voutig ladi shuine iudecd if Viileutine's day j furuished v inappropriate rhym s regularly aud gcutleincn ut bqiuding tchooil Laught to make verses; and it would be a treat bund tlieju uii