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The consciousness of strength in enemies,
Who must be strained upon, or else they rise,
The battle to the moon, who all the while
High out of hearing passes with her smile;
The Tempest, trampling in his scanty run,
To the whole globe, that basks about the sun;
Or as all shrieks and clangs, with which a sphere.
Undone and fired, could rake the midnight ear,
Compared with that vast dumbness nature keeps
Throughout her million starried deeps,
Most old, and mild, and awful, and unbroken,
Which tells a tale of peace, beyond whate'er was spoken.
♦. Literary Pocket hook. 1810.
Certain Festival Days were believed, formerly,to prognosticate the weather of the coming year; and, although the alteration of the style,by removing each festival about twelve days forwarder in the calendar., created great confusion in the application of these prognostications, yet many an ignorant husbandman and astrologer still consults the "critical days."
It is not however the particular day, but the particular time of year, which justifies an expectation of particular weather.
There are weather prognostics derived from St. Vincent's Day, January 22d; St. Paul's,January25th; Candlemas, February 2d; St. John, June 24th; St. Swithin, July 15th; and St. Simon and Jude, October 28th. But, to render the prognosis concerning these or any other days valid and consistent, a constant relation should subsist between the phenomena of each in every year. This is not the case, and therefore, if there were no other reason, the fallacy of relying on the weather of any particular day is obvious.
It is true that certain critical changes of the weather usually take place, and certain well known plants begin to flower in abundance, about the time of certain festival days; yet these marks of the year are connected only, because the festivals were appointed to be celebrated at the weather-changing and plant-blowing seasons.
The fragrant coltsfoot in mild seasons has the greatest quantity of its flowers at Christmas.
The dead nettle is generally in flower on St. Vincent's Day, January 22d.
The wimer hellebore usually flowers, in mild weather, about the conversion of St. Paul, January 25th.
The snowdrop is almost proverbially constant to Candlemas Day, or the Purification, February 2d. The mildness or severity of the weather seems to make but little difference in the time of its appearance; it comes up blossoming through the snow, and appears to evolve its white and pendant flowers, as if by the most determined periodical laws.
The yellow spring crocus generally flowers about St. Valentine's Day, February 14th; the white and blue species come rather later.
The favorite daisy usually graces the meadows with its small yellow and white blossoms about February 22d, the festival day of St. Margaret of Cortona, whence it is still called in France La Belle Marguerite, and in England Herb Margaret.
The early daffodil blows about St. David's Day, March 1st, and soon covers the fields with its pendant yellow cups.
The pilewort usually bespangles the banks and shaded sides of fields with its golden stars about St. Perpetua, March 7th.
About March 18th, the Day of St. Edward, the magnificent crown imperial blows.
The cardamine first flowers about March 25th, the festival of the Annunciation, commonly called Lady Day. Like the snowdrop it is regarded as the emblem of virgin purity, from its whiteness.
The Marygold is so called from a fancied resemblance of the florets of its disk to the rays of glory diffused by artists from the Virgin's head.
The violets, heartseases, and primroses, continual companions of spring, observe less regular periods, and blow much longer.
About April 23d, St. George's Day, the blue bell or field hyacinth, covers the fields and upland pastures with its brilliant blue—an emblem of the patron saint of England—which poets feigned to braid the bluehaired Oceanides of our seagirt isle.
The whitethorn used, in the old style, to flower about St. Philip and St. James, May 1st, and thence was called May; but now the blackthorn is hardly out by the first of that month.
At the Invention of the Cross, May 3d, the poetic Narcissus, as well as the pri mrose peerless, are usually abundant in the southern counties of England ; and about this season Flora begins to be so lavish of her beauties, that the holiday wardrobe of her more periodical handmaids is lost amidst the dazzle of a thousand " quaint and enamelled eyes," which sparkle on her gorgeous frontlet. Plants of surpassing beauty are blowing every hour,
And on the green turf suck the honied showers, And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
The whole race of tulips come to perfection about the commemoration of St. John the Evangelist ante portum, May 6th, and the fields are yellow with the crowfoots. The brilliant light red monkey poppy, the glowing crimson peony, the purple of the German iris, and a thousand others are added daily. A different tribe of plants begin to succeed, which may be denominated solstitial.
The yellow flag is hoisted by the sides of ponds and ditches, about St. Nicemede, June 1st
The poppies cast a red mantle over the fields and corn lands about St. Barnabas, June Uth.
The bright scarlet lychnis flowers about June 24th, and hence a poet calls this plant Cundelubrum mgens, lighted up for St. John the Baptist: it is one of the most regular tokens of the summer sol stice.
The white lily expands its candied bells about the festival of the Visitation, July 2d.
The roses of midsummer remain in perfection until they fade about the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, July 22d.
Many similar coincidences might be instituted between remarkable days in the calendar and the host of summer and autumnal flowers down to the michaelmas daisy, and various ancient documents might be adduced to show a former prevailing belief in the influence of almost every festival on the periodical blowing
of plants. For, in the middle or dark ages, the mind fancied numberless signs and emblems, which increase the list of curious antiquities and popular superstitions in " the short and simple annals of the poor." The persuasion which occupied and deluded men's minds in the past days are still familiarly interwoven with the tales and legends of infancy —that fairy time of life, when we wonder at all we see, and our curiosity is most gratified by that which is most marvellous.*
Lo, my fair! the morning lazy
Phiebus rises, red and hazy;
Frost has stopped the village mill.
All around looks sad and dreary,
Fast the flaky snow descends:
While the mitten'd lass attends
Rise the winds and rock the cottage,
Dorcas cooks the savory pottage;
Sunshine intermits with ardor.
Showers revive the drooping verdure.
Pearly beams the eye of morning;
Child, forbear the deed unblest I Hawthorn every hedge adorning,
Pluck the flowers—but spare the nest,
Schoolboys, in the brook disporting.
While the nymphs and swains are courting,
Maids, with each a guardian lover.
Hastening to the nearest cover,
Clasp their hands before their eyes.
• Pr T. Pouter's Perennial Calendar.
See the reapers, gleaners, dining,
Seated on the shady grass; O'er the gate the squire reclining,
Slily eyes each ruddy lass.
Hart! a sound like distant thunder.
Torn from all they love asunder,
Now Pomona pours her treasure,
Plenty crowns the market measure,
Now the giddy rites of Comas
Ah! the year is fleeing from ns:
Bring more wood, and set the glasses. Join, my friends, our Christmas cheer.
Come, a catch !—and kiss the lasses— Christmas comes but once a year.
CHARACTERS IN ALMANACS.
0 The Sun. 0 The Earth.
5 The Moon. $ Mars.
2 Mercury. % Jupiter.
5 Venus. ti Saturn.
Discovered since 1780. y Uranus. $ Pallas. ?Ceres. 3f Juno. £l Vesta.
Concerning the old planets there is sufficient information: of those newly discovered a brief notice may be acceptable.
Uranus was called the Georgium Sid us by its discoverer Dr. Herschell, and, in compliment to his discovery, some astronomers call it Hertchell. Before him Dr. Flamstead, Bayer, and others had seen and mistaken it for a fixed star, and so placed it in their catalogues. It is computed to be 1,800,000.000 of miles from the sun; yet it can be seen without a glass, on clear nights, like a small star of the fifth magnitude, of a bluish-white color, and considerably brilliant. To obtain a good view of its disk, a telescopic power of nearly 200 is requisite.
Pallas was 6rst seen on the 28th of March, 1802, at Bremen in Lower
Saxony, by Dr. Olbers. It is situated between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter; is nearly of the same magnitude with Ceres, but less ruddy in color; is surrounded with a nebulosity of almost the same extent; and revolves annually in about the same period. But Pallas is remarkably distinguished from Ceres, and the other primary planets, by the immense inclination of its orbit; for while they revolve around the sun in paths nearly circular, and rise only a few degrees above the plane of the ecliptic, Pallas ascends above this plane at an angle of about thirty-five degrees. From this eccentricity of Pallas being greater than that of Ceres, while their mean distances are nearly equal, the orbits of these two planets mutually intersect each other, which is a phenomenon without a parallel in the solar system.
Ceres was re-discovered by Dr. Olbers, after she had been lost to M. Piazzi and other astronomers. She is of a ruddy color, and appears, through a proper telescope, about the size of a star of the eighth magnitude, surrounded with a large dense atmosphere. She is situated between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and revolves around the sun in four years, seven months, and ten days; her mean distance from it is nearly 260,000,000 of miles. The eccentricity of her orbit is not great, but its inclination to the ecliptic exceeds that of all the old planets.
Juno. On the 1st of September, 1804, Professor Harding at Libiensthall, near Bremen, saw a star in Pisces, not inserted in any catalogue, which proved to be this planet.
Vesta is of the fifth apparent magnitude, of an intense, pure, white color, and without any visible atmosphere. To account for certain facts connected with the discovery of Pallas, Ceres, and Juno, Dr. Olbers imagined the existence of another planet in the constellations of Aries and the Whale, and carefully examined them thrice every year until the 29th of March, 1807, when his anticipation was realised by finding in the constellation of Virgo this new planet.'
n A planet's ascending node. B Descending node. d Conjunction, or planets situated in the same longitude.
J Quadrature, or planets situated in longitudes differing three signs from each other. Trine.
$ Opposition, or planets situated in opposite longitude, or differing six signs from each other.
Phases Of The Moon.
1i First Quarter
O Ful1 Moon
Signs Of The Zodiac.
y Aries, or the Ram . . . Mar. 20. g Taurus, or the Bull . . April 19 n Gemini, or the Twins . . May 21. 93 Cancer, or the Crab . . June 22. IS Leo, or the Lion . . . July 23. flR Virgo, or the Virgin . . Aug. 23. e, Libra, or the Balance . . Sept. 23. 1H Scorpio, or the Scorpion . Oct. 23. $ Sagittarius, or the Archer Nov. 22. yf Cupricornus, or the Wild Goat, Dec. 22.
Aquarius, or the Water Bearer, Jan. 19. X Pisces, or the Fishes . . Feb. 18.
Behold our orbit as through twice six signs
Our central Sun apparently inclines:
The Golden Fleece his pale ray first adorns,
Then tow'rds the Bull tie winds and gilds his horns;
Castor and Pollux then receive his ray;
On burning Cancer then he seems to stay;
On flaming Leo pours the liquid shower;
Then faints beneath the Virgin's conquering power?
Now the just Scales weigh well both day and night;
The Scorpion then receives the solar light;
Then quivered Chiron clouds his wintry face,
And the tempestuous Sea-Goat mends his pace;
Now in the water Sol's warm beams are quench'd,
Till with the Fishes he is fairly drench'd.
These twice six signs successively appear,
And mark the twelve months of the circling year.
THE OLDEST CUSTOM.
Old customs I Oh I I love the sound.
However simple they may be: Whate'er with time hath sanction found
is welcome, and is dear to me.
Unquestionably the most ancient and universal usage that exists is that of eating; and therefore it is presumed that correct information, which tends to keep up the custom, will be esteemed by those who ire enabled to indulge in the practice. An old Epicure's Almanac happily affords the means of supplying an Alimentary Calendar, month by month, beginning with the year.
January.—The present month commences in the joyous season of Christmas festivity, which, as Sir Roger de Coverley good-naturedly observes, could not have been contrived to take place at a better time.
At this important juncture a brisk interchange of presents is kept up between the residents in Loudon and their friends
in the country, from whom profuse supplies of turkeys, geese, hares, pheasants, and partridges, are received in return for barrels of oysters and baskets of Billingsgate fish. So plenteous and diversified are the arrivals of poultry and game, in the metropolis, that, for a repast of that kind, an epicure could scarcely imagine a more satisfactory bill of fare than the way-bill of one of the Norwich coaches.
The meats in season are beef veal mutton, pork, and house-lamb; \i:,th Westphalia and north-country hams, Canterbury and Oxfordshire brawn, s<ed chines and tongues.
Besides fowls and turkeys, there are capons, guinea-fowls, pea-hens, wild-ducks, widgeons, teal, plovers, and a great variety of wild water-fowl, as well as woodcock; sniper, and larks.
The skill and industry of the horticulturist enliven the sterility of winter with the verdure of spring. Potatoes, savry cabbages, sprouts, broccoli, kale, turnips onions, carrots, and forced small salladr, are in season; and some epicures boast of having so far anticioated the course of ve
^etable nature as to regale their friends 1 at Christmas with asparagus aci green peas.
There is also an infinite variety of puddings and pastry, among which the plum-pudding holds, by national preference, the first rank, as the inseparable companion or follower of roast beef: puddiugs also of semolina, millet, and rice; tarts of preserved fruit, apple-pies, and that delicious medley the inince-pie.
The appetite may be further amused by a succession of custards and jellies.
A dessert may be easily made up of Portugal grapes, oranges, apples, pears, walnuts, and other fruits, indigenous or exotic, crude or candied.
These supplies comprehend a great proportion of the alimentary productions of the year; and, indeed, many of the main articles of solid fare are in season either perennially, or for several months in succession.
Beef, mutton, veal, and house-lamb; seasalmon, turbot, flounders, soles, whitings, Dutch herrings, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, eels, and anchovies; fowls, chickens, pullets, tame pigeons, and tame rabbits, are perennials.
Grass-lamb is in season in April, May, June, July, August, September, and October; pork in the first three months and four last months of the year; buck-venisou in June, July, August, and September; and doe-venison in October, November, December, and January.
There is scarcely an article of diet, animal or vegetable, the appearance of which, at table, is limited to a single month.
The fish in season during January are sea-salmon, turbot, thorn back, skate, soles, flounders, plaice, haddock, cod, whiting, eels, sprats, lobsters, crabs, crayfish, oysters, muscles, cockles, Dutch herrings, and anchovies. There is also a small supply of mackarel in this and the preceding month.
The poultry and game are turkeys, capons, fowls, pullets, geese, ducklings, wild ducks, widgeons, teal, plovers, woodcocks, snipes, larks, tame pigeons, hares, herons, partridges, pheasants, wild and tame rabbits, and grouse.
Of fowls the game breed is most esteemed for flavor. The Poland breed is the largest. Dorking in Surrey, and Eppingin Essex, are alike famed for good poultry. In the neighbourhood of Uetlmal Green and Mile End are large establishments for fattening all kinds of domestic
fowls, for the supply of Leadenhall market, and the shipping in the port of London; these repositories have every convenience, such as large barns, enclosed paddocks, ponds, &c.; but, however well contrived and managed, every person of taste will prefer a real barn-door-fed fowl.
Norfolk has the reputation of breeding the finest turkeys; they are in season from November to March, when they are succeeded by turkey-poults.
The various birds of passage, such as wild-ducks widgeons, teal, plovers, &c, which arrive in the cold season, are to be found in most parts of England; but London is chiefly supplied from the fens of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. There are said to be more than a hundred varieties of the duck tribe alone; those with red legs are accounted the best.
Plover's eggs, which are abundant in the poulterers' shops, and esteemed a great delicacy, are generally picked up by shepherds and cottagers on the moors and commons, where they have been dropped by the birds during their annual sojoure meut.
VEGETABLE GARDEN DIRECTORY.
In frosty weather wheel manure to tbs plots or quartering* which require it.
Protect vegetables, such as celery young peas, beans, lettuces, small cabbage plants, cauliflowers, endive, Ore, from severe cold, by temporary coverings of fern-leaves, long litter, or matting stretched over hoops: remove these coverings in mild intervals, but not till tht ground is thoroughly thawed, or the sudden action of the sun will kill them.
During fine intervals, when the surface is nearly dry, draw a little fine earth around the stems of peas, beans, brocoli.
Attend to neatness. Remove dead leaves into a pit or separate space to form mould; also carry litter of every kind tc the compost heap.
Destroy slugs, and the eggs of insects.
Dig and trench vacant spaces when the weather is mild and open, and the earth is dry enough to pulverize freely
If the weather be favorable,
Peas; early frame and charlton about the first or second week: Prussian and d.varf imperial about the last week.
Beans; early mazagan and long pods about the first and last week