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"HOLLAND-TIDE."

Straw for your gentilesse! quod our hoste-
What, Frankeleine? Parde, Sire, wel thou wost
That eche of you mote tellen at the lest
A Tale or two, or breken his behest.

CHAUCER.

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66 HOLLAND-TIDE," "All-Hollands," "HollandsEve," or November-Eve, was once a merrier time in Ireland than it is at present, though even still its customary enjoyments are by no means neglected. Fortunately for "all the Saints," in whose honour the feast is celebrated, it occurs at a season of the year when the pressure of want is less sensibly felt than at most others, and, among a people who are, generally speaking, perhaps too easily satisfied as to the external comforts of life, a comparative alleviation of suffering is hailed with as hearty a welcome as if it were a positive acquisition of happiness. The peasant sees, at this period at least, the assurance of present abundance around him. He beholds a vast extent of land all cultivated, and burthened with the treasured produce of

the soil-gardens of stubble covered with shocks of wheat, oats, and barley, which look just as if they were intended to make bread for him and his neighbours-fields of potatoes, some, in which the numerous earthen mounds, or pits,* have been already raised; others, in which the first nipping frost that is borne on the November blast has embrowned the stalks, and withered the leaves upon their stem. The stroke of the flail, and the clack of the water-mill are in his ear-the meadow-land is green and fresh with its after-grass-and the haggart, or hay-yard, is stacked into a labyrinth with hay and corn. He is satisfied with the appearance of things about him--he thinks he has no business asking himself whether any of these good things are destined for his use, or for that of a foreign mechanic-he never stops to anticipate in fancy, while he puts the spade for the first time into his own little half acre, and discloses the fair produce of his labour, how many calls from

* There is a curious inversion of signification in the words pit, ditch, and dyke, in the sister isle. A potato pit is an elevated mound of earth, containing potatoes. A ditch is a dyke, and a dyke means a ditch.

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