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1725. Feb. 25. Sir Christopher Wren died in the ninety-first year of his age. He was born at hnoyle near Hindon, in the neighbourhood of Salisbury, Wiltshire. Besides being the architect and builder of St. Paul's Cathedral, he erected Greenwich Hospital, Chelsea Hospital, the Theatre at Oxford, Trinity College Library, Emanuel College, Cambridge, the Monument in London, and Queen Anne's fifty churches. The recent addition of churches to London may render a list of the expences of Sir Christopher Wren's edifices useful.
Cost Of The London Churches, built by Sir Christopher Wren, including the Monument.
St. Paul's Cathedral . . 736,752 2
St. Alban, Wood-street . 3165 0
St. Anne and Agnes . . 2448 0
St Andrew, Wardrobe . 7060 16 11
St. Andrew, Holborn . 0000 0 0
St. Aiilholin .... 5685 6
St. Austin 3145 3
St. Benet, Gracechurch . 3583 9
St. Benet, Paul's Wharf . 3328 18 10
St. Benet, Fink. . . . 4129 16 10
St, Bride 11,430 5 11
St. Bartholomew . . . 5077 1 1
Christ Church . . . .11,778 9 6
St. Clement, Eastcheap . 4365 3 4}
St. Clement Danes . . . 8786 17 0$
St. Dionis Backchurch . 5737 10 8
St. Edmund the King . 5207 11 0
St. George, Botolph-lane. 4509 4 10
St. James, Garlick-hill . 5357 12 10
St. Jane's, Westminster . 8500 0 0
St. Lawrence, Jewry . .11,870 1 9
St. Michael, Basinghall . 2822 17 1
St. Michael Royal. . . 7455 7 0
St. Michael, Queenhithe .
February 25. Day breaks . . 5 50 Sun rises ... 6 43 — sets ... 5 17 Twilight ends . r 10 Beetle willow flowers, and is quick N succeeded by most of the tribe. The willow affords the "palm," which is still fetched into town on Palm Sunday.
1723. Feb. 26. Died, « Tom D'Urfey," or, as Noble calls him, Thomas D'Urfey, Esq. He was bred to the bar. With too much wit, and too little diligence, for the law, and too little means to live upon "as a gentleman," he experienced the varied fortunes of men with sparkling talents, who trust to their pens for their support. Little more is known of D' Urfey, than that he was born in Devonshire. His plays, which are numerous, have not been acted for many years, and his poems are seldom read. He was an accepted wit at court, after the restoration. Charles II. would often lean on his shoulder, and hum a tune with him; and he frequently entertained queen Anne, by
• Genu Mag. 1784.
ringing catches and glees. He was called "Honest Tom," and, being a tory, was beloved by the tories; yet his manners were equally liked by the whigs. The author of the prologue to D'Urfey's last play, says,
Though Tom the poet writ with ease aud pleasure,
The comic Tom abounds in other treasure.
says Addison, "and I hope they will make him easy, as long as he stays among us. This I will take upon me to say, they cannot do a kindness to a more diverting companion, or a more cheerful, honest, good-natured man."
D'Urfey died aged, and was buried in the cemetery of St. James's Church, Westminster.
D'Urfey, and Bello, a musician, had high words once at Epsom, and swords were resorted to, but with great caution. A brother wit maliciously compared this rencontre with that mentioned in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, between Clinias and Dametas.
D'Urfey's " Pills to purge Melancholy" are usually among the "facets" of private libraries. Addison was a friend to him, and often pleaded with the public in his behalf, " Hi has made the world merry,"
"I sing of a duel in Epsom befel,
Twixt Fa sol la D'Urfey, and Sol la mi Bell:
But why do I mention the scribbling brother?
For, naming the one, you may guess at the other.
Betwixt them there happen'd a terrible clutter;
Bell set up the loud pipes, and D'Urfey did sputter—
• Draw, Bell, wert thou dragon, I'll spoil thy soft note:'
« For thy squalling,' said t'other, • I'll cut thy throat.'
With a scratch on the finger the duel's dispatch'd;
Thy Clinias, O Sidney, was never so match'd."
"Tom Brown" was another of the wits, as they were called in a licentious age. His father was a Shropshire farmer, and Tom was educated at Newport school, and Christ Church College, Oxford. Taking advantage of a remittance from an indulgent parent, and thinking he had a sufficiency of learning and wit, he left Oxford, for London. He soon saw his last " golden Carolus Secundus" reduced to "fractions," and exchanged the gay metropolis for Kingston-upon-Thames, where he became a schoolmaster; for which situation he was admirably qualified by a competent knowledge of the Latin, Greek, French, Italian, and Spanish languages. But he lacked diligence, became disgusted with keeping a school, returned to London, and the wits laughed. His "Conversion of Mr. Bays," related in dialogue, raised his character with the public, for sense and humor. This was followed by other dialogues, odes, satires, letters, epigrams, and numerous
tions. But Tom's tavern bills were long, and he lived solely by a pen, which, as well as his tongue, made him more enemies than friends. In company he was a railing buffoon, and he liberally scattered low abuse, especially against the clergy. He became indigent: lord Dorset, pitying nis misfortunes, invited him to a Christmas dinner, and put a £50 note under his
Hare hunting ends to day, and this termination is usually celebrated by sportsmen with convivial dinners, and transTa' !0aStS °f " success t0 tne next merry meet
1734-5, Died Dr. John Arbuthnot, a physician, and a deservedly eminent wit, and man of letters, among the choice spirits of the reign of qneen Anne. He was of an ancient and honorable family
in Scotland, one branch of which is ennobled. His father was an episcopal clergyman, and he was born at Arbuthnot, in Kincardineshire. After receiving at education at Aberdeen, he came to England with the degree of doctor, but without money or friends; for his father being a nonjuror, and living upon a small patrimony, was incapable of providing for his children. The doctor went to practice physic at Dorchester, but the salubrity of the air was unfriendly to his success, and he took horse for London. A neighbour, meeting him on full gallop, asked him where he was going? "To leave your confounded place, where I can neither live nor die." Mr. William Pate, "the learned woollen draper," gave him an asylum at his house in the metropolis, where he taught mathematics, without venturing on medicine. Objections which he urged, without his name, against Dr. Woodward's Account of the Deluge, raised him into esteem, and he resumed nis profession, in which he soon obtained celebrity. His wit and pleasantry some time assisted his prescriptions, and in some cases superseded the necessity of prescribing. Queen Anne and her consort appointed him their physician; the Royal Society elected him a member, and the college of Physicians followed. He gained the admiration of Swift, Pope, and Gay, and with them he wrote and laughed. No man had more friends, or fewer enemies; yet he did not want energy of character; he diverged from the laugh ter-loving mood to tear away the mask from the infamous " Charitable Corporation." He could do all things well but walk. His health declined, while his mind remained sound to the last. He long wished for death to release him from a complication of disorders, and declared himself tired with " keeping so much bad company." A few weeks before his decease he wrote, " I am as well as a man can be who is gasping for breath, and has a house full of men and women unprovided for." Leaving Hampstead, he breathed his last at his residence in Cork street, Burlington Gardens. Dr. Arbuthnot was a man of great humanity and benevolence. Swift said to Pope,—" O that the world had but a dozen Arbuthiiots in it, I would burn my travels." Pope no less passionately lamented him, and said of him ;— "He was a man of humor, whose mind seemed to be always pregnant with comic ideas, "Arbuthnot was, indeed,seldom seri
ous, except in his attacks upon great enormities, and then his pen was masterly. The condemnation of the play of " Three Hours after Marriage," written by him, Pope, and Gay, was published by Wilkes, in his prologue to the " Sultaness."
"Such were the wags, who boldly did adventure
To dob k farce by tripartite indenture;
Arbuthnot amply retorted, in "Gulliver decyphered." Satire was his chief weapon, but the wound he inflicted on folly soon healed: he was always playful, unless he added weight to keenness for the chastisement of crime. His miscellaneous works were printed in two volumes, but the genuineneness of part of the contents has been doubted. He wrote papers for the Royal Society, a work on Aliments, and Tables of Ancient Coins, Weights, and Measures. 4
In the February of 1798 died at Cat • lisle, aged sixty-six, Mr. J. Strong, who, though blind from his infancy, distinguished himself by a wonderful proficiency in mechanics. At an early age he constructed an organ, his only knowledge of such an instrument having been previously obtained by once secreting himself in the cathedral after the evening service, and thereby getting an opportunity of examining the instrument. Having disposed of his first organ, he made another, upon which he was accustomed to play during his life. At twenty years of age he could make himself almost every article of dress, and was often heard to say that the first pair of shoes which he made were for the purpose of walking to London, to " visit the celebrated Mr. Stanley, organist of the Temple church." This visit he actually paid, and was much gratified with the journey. He indulged his fancy in making a great variety of minus
lure figures and machines, beside almost every article of household furniture, lie married at the age of twenty-five, and had 'several children.
February 28. Day breaks . . 4 45 Sun rises . . 6 37 — sets ... 5 23 Twilight ends . 7 15 Lent lily flowers. Primroses increase in flowering.
Memorandum. The birthday of a person born on this intercalary day can only be celebrated in leap year.
On the 29th of February, 1T44, died at his lodging at the Bedford Coffee-house, Covent Garden, Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers, an eminent natural philosopher. He was the son of a French Protestant clergyman, and educated at Christ's College, Cambridge. He took orders, and settled in London, though he held the donative of Whitchurch, in Middlesex, which he was presented with by the duke of Chandos. He wa3 the first person who lectured on experimental p <ilosophy in the metropolis, and his lectures were published in two volumes, quarto, besides other philosophical works, and a thanksgiving sermon, preached before his sovereign. The Royal Society appointed him a salary, to enable him to exhibit before them a variety of new experiments, and several of his papers are preserved in their transactions. He was a man of real ability, and, when a housekeeper, usually had pupils at home with him. His income was considerable, and he kept an equipage. His coachman, Krasmus King, from the force of example, became a kind of rival to the Doctor; for he, also, undertook to read lectures, and exhibit experiments in natural philosophy. His " Lyceum " was ct Lambeth Marsh; and his terms of admission were proportioned to the humble situation he had filled.
From personal observations I have collected a few of the popular superstitions
of the present day, at which the rising generation may smile when the credulous are dead and only remembered fo then fond belief.
Fortune-telling has become rather unfashionable since the invention of the tread-mill, but still many a "cunning man," and many a "cunning woman," pretends to unfold future events to visitors of every degree, from the servant girl, who desires to know if John will be faithful, to the rich heiress, and the wealthy matron.
There are still a few respectable tradesmen and merchants who will not transact business, or be bled, or take physic, on a Friday, because it is an unlucky day. There are other people who, for the same reason, will not be married on a Friday; others, again, who consider every child horn on that day doomed to misfortune. It is a common saying, and popular belief, that,
"Fridaynights* dreams on the Saturday told Are sure to come true be it never so old."
Many believe that the bowlings of a dog foretel death, and that dogs can see death enter the houses of people who are about to die.
Among common sayings at present are these—that pigs can see the wind—hairy people are born to be rich—and people born at night never see spirits.
Again, if a cat sneezes or coughs, every person in the house will have colds. In the morning, if, without knowing or intending it, you put on your stockings the wrong side outwards, you will have good luck all day.
To give to, or receive from, a friend a knife or a pair of scissors cuts friendship.
While talking thoughtlessly with a good woman, I carelessly turned a chair tound two or three times; she was offended, and said it was a sign we should quarrel: and so it proved, for she never spoke friendly to me afterwards.
When your cheek burns, it is a sign some one is talking about you. When your ears tingle lies are being told about you. When your nose itches, you will* be vexed. When your right eye itches, it is a sign of good luck; or your left eve, of bad luck; but
"Left or right
These are every day sayings, and things of every day belief.
j It is further believed that children wil. nnt thrive if they are not christened ; and, if they do not cry during the ceremony, that they will not live long.
It is unlucky to pare your finger nails on a Sunday.
To prevent ill luck from meeting a squint-eyed person, you must spit three times; and when you pass under a ladder you must spit through it, or three times jflerwards.
If a married woman loses her wedding ring, it is a token that she will lose her husband's affections; her breaking of it, forebodes death.
A spark in the candle, is a sign of a letter coming.
Bobbles upon tea, denote kisses.
Birds' eggs hung up in a house, are unlucky.
Upon new year's day if you have not something new on, you will not get much all the year.
To cure your corns, you must steal a very small bit of beef, bury it in the | ground, and as that rots the corns will go away, even though you are put upon I the tread mill for the theft.
There are dames in the country who, to cure the hooping cough, pass the afflicted child three time before breakfast under a blackberry bush, both ends of which grow into the ground. Other country women travel the road to meet a man on a piebald horse, and ask him what will cure the hooping cough, and whatever he recommends is adopted as an infallible remedy. There was one remarkable cure of this kind. A young mother made an enquiry of a man mounted as directed; he told her to put her finger, to the knuckle joint, down the child's throat, and hold it there twenty minutes by the church clock. She went home, and did so, and it never coughed again.
Some persons carry in their pockets a piece of coffin, to keep away the cramp.
Stockings are hung crosswise at the foot of the bed, with a pin stuck in them, to keep off the nightmare.
To prevent dreaming about a dead body, you must touch it.
To always have money in your pocket, put into it small spiders, called money spinners: or keep in your purse a bent coin, or a coin with R hole in it; at every new moon take it out and spit upon it, return it to your pocket, and wish yourself good luck.
In Berkshire, at the first appearance of a new moon, maidens go into the fields, and, while they look at it, say,
New moon, new moon, I hail thee'
They then return home, firmly believing that before morning their future husbands will appear to them in their dreams.
The left seat at the gateway of the entrance to the church-yard at Yarmouth is called the Devil's seat, and is supposed to render any one who sits upon it particularly liable to misfortunes ever afterwards.
Divination is not altogether obsolete. . A few evenings ago a neighbour's daughter came to request of me the loan of a Bible. As I knew they had one of their own, I enquired why mine was wanted. She said that one of their lodgers, a disagreeable woman, had lost one of her husband's shirts, and, suspecting the thief to be in the house, was going to find it out by the Bible and key; and, for this purpose, neither a Bible nor a key belonging to any person living in the house would do. Find a thief by the Bible and key, thought I; I'll even go and be spectator of this ceremony. So I gave the child a Bible and went with her. I found the people of the house assembled together, and a young boy and girl to hold the apparatus; for it seems it can only be done properly by a bachelor and a maid. The key was bound into the Bible against the first chapter of Ruth and part of the seventeenth verse, " the Lord do so to me and more also," and strict silence and gravity were then enjoined, and the cer> mony began. First,1 the boy and g_ rl placed their left hands behind their >acka, and the key balanced on the middle fingers of their right hands: then, the vjomam who had lost the above-mentiot.ed. article named a person, and said, " the Lord do so to me and more also, has he [or sfiej got my husband's shirt." Nearly all the names of the people in the house had been repeated, when, upon the name of an old crony of the loser being mentioned, the urchin who held the Bible suspended from the key gave his hand a slight motion —down went the Bible, and the scene of pro-ing and con-ing which ensued would beggar description. During the disturbance I thought it better to look on and