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:In T'ime's Telescope it is observed :-" In the ancient calendar of the Romish church, is an observation on the 5th day of January, the Vigil of the Epiphany: “ Kings created or elected by beans.' The 6th is called · The Festival of Kings,' with this additional remark, that the ceremony of electing kings was continued with feasting for many days.' In the cities and academies of Germany, the students and citizens choose one of their own number for king, providing a most magnificent banquet on the occasion. In France, during the Ancient Regime, one of the courtiers was chosen king, and the nobles attended on this day at an entertainment.
“ With the French, Le Roi de la Fève signifies a Twelfth Night King; and they have a proverb, 'Il a trouvé la fève au gâteau,' signifying,' he is in luck,' &c., but, literally, * he has found the bean in the cake.'- In the Anthologie Française for 1817 we find :
Les Rois de la Fève.
Pour célébrer ma royauté, &c. “The evening and early part of the night of the Epiphany in Rome is a feast particularly dear to children. Not that they draw king and queen as we do, but there are cakes and sweetmeats and fruit, and, in short, all good things, sold and given away upon the occasion. The Piazza della Rotonda is particularly distinguished by the gay appearance of the fruit and cake stalls, ornamented with flowers and lighted with paper lanterns. Persons dressed up to resemble the pictures of Mother Bunch or Mother Goose, and called Beffana, are led about the streets, and a great deal of popular wit is displayed. But these visible Beffanas are nothing in importance to the invisible. When the children go to bed, each hangs up a stocking near the pillow. If the child has been good, the stocking is filled with sweetmeats and cakes before morning; but if naughty, the Beffana puts nothing but stones and dirt into it, and we have seen, says Mrs. Graham, many a smile and many a tear occasioned by the impartial gifts of the Beffana.
“ The Carnival commences on Twelfth Day, and usually holds till Lent. During this festival at Paris, the grand annual procession of a Fat Ox, with all its motley accompaniments of buffoonery, the glory of Paris, and the pride and joy of the Boulevards, lasts for three whole days together. A great improvement was made in the procession of the
Fat Ox this year (1822), for the first time. Formerly the child who represented Cupid used to sit in a chair on the back of the ox; but this year the ox was led first covered with a fine pall
, and Cupid sat on a canopied throne, fixed on a triumphal car, in which there were other smiling Loves like himself.”
January 7. St. Kentigerna. St. Canut. St. Aldric.
LAURESTINE Viburnum Tinus flowers now, and often all winter.
being the day after Twelfth Day is called by some people St. Distaffe's day, and Christmas holidays are said then to be at an end.
St. Distaff's Day, or the Morrow after Twelfth Day.
Partly worke and partly play,
To his owne vocation. -- HERRICK's Hesperides, p. 374. Aikin in his calendar observes of this time of year :“ The domestic cattle now require all the care and protection of the farmer. Sheep are often lost in the sudden storms by which the snow is drifted in the hollows, so as to bury them a great depth beneath it; yet they have been known to survive many days in this situation. Cows with much ado scratch up a few mouthfuls of grass; but for their chief subsistence they must depend upon the hay and other provision of the farm yard. Early lambs and calves are kept within doors, and tended with as much care as the farmer's own children.”
Now, Shepherds, to your helpless charge be kind;
The billowy Tempest whelms; till upward urg'd,
January 8. Sr. GUDULA, V. Patroness of Brussels. St. Apollinaris. St. Lucian. St. Pega.
Sacrificium Jani.-Rom. Cal. In Holland the amusements of sliding, skating, and other pastimes on the ice, give life to this dreary season.
Now, in the Netherlands, and where the Rhine
January 9. St. Marciana, V. M. St. Julian.
Agonalia - Delphinus oritur.- Rom. Cal.
Quatuor adde dies ductis ex ordine Nonis ;
Janus Agonali luce piandus erit. Observations on the Weather in January. - The weather this month may be divided into the hard and the mild, and these often alternate with each other, and last for above a week, a fortnight, or a month, as may happen. Generally speaking, these changes of weather are under lunar influence, and happen most often near the new or full of the moon. This month is more liable to snow than any other in the year; and the poet Thomson thus describes the effect of a first heavy fall of it :
All on a sudden now the cherished Fields
Faint from the West, emits his evening Ray,
The Works of Man. At this dreary season of the year there is little or no amusement for the Botanist. But though Flora does not make her appearance, Fauna ranges the fields, and there are many objects of interest to the natural historian : wild fowl of several kinds still perform partial migrations; and when the weather is mild, the sportsman may find diversion in the field. Snipes and Woodcocks are still to be found in the swampy situations, and many wild Ducks and Geese of various sorts in the fenny countries.
January 10. St. Agatho, V. St. Marcian, P.
1778.-Linnaeus died. Ten years after the death of this great man, a new society of Naturalists, distinguished by his name, founded in London, and has since been incorporated by Royal Charter. This appellation was chosen also on account of the Museum of Linnaeus having fallen into the hands of Sir James Edward Smith, its original projector, and hitherto its only President. This treasure, comprehending the library, herbarium, insects, shells, and all other natural curiosities, with all the MSS. and whole correspondence of the illustrious Swede, were obtained by private purchase from his widow, after the death of his son, in 1783. The Linnaean Society have published several volumes of Transactions.
Those who have the means of living part of the year in town and part in the country find more diversion now in the Opera, Theatre, and various nightly amusements, than in the country. The following favourite old song, sung in Italy, may perhaps amuse; its antiquity and popularity, induce us to give the original Italian.
Le Piume delle Donne.
QUELLE Piume bianche e nere,
Vi fan crescer la beltà.
Van sul prato in libertà.
Nello scorso carnevale,
Chi sultana rassembrð;
Sotto voce tarocco.
Non da Persia, o dal Perù.
Che dal cielo scese giù.
Quando bella si vuol far;
Per potersene adornar.
January 11. St. Theodosius. St. Egwin. St. Salvius.
rises at vii. 57'. sets at įv. 3'. Carmentalia — Juturnae aedes die. Rom. Cal.
This is the season when, from the prevalence of frost, the hounds and horn often give place to the cymbal and castanet, and dancing to the fiddle is resorted to as a necessary pastime. The following ode on a Ball, found among the papers
of a man of letters, may amuse.
De puellá rusticá saltante.
Quanti sit pretii capit :
Gaudens accipiet sibi:
Pulchro praeniteat choro!