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Orion. He speaks of the power“ which maketh Arcturus, and Orion, and the Pleiades, and the Chambers of the South, ix. 9. We shall close our account of this constellation with its fabulous origin.
Pleiades, or Vergiliae, was a name given to seven of the daughters of Atlas by Pleione or Aethra, one of the Oceanides. They were placed in the heavens after death, where they formed a constellation called Pleiades, near the back of the Bull in the Zodiac. Their names were Alcyone, Merope, Maia, Electra, Taygeta, Sterope, and Celeno. They all, except Merope, who married Sisyphus, king of Corinth, had some of the immortal gods for their suitors. On that account, therefore, Merope's star is dim and obscure among the rest of her sisters, because she married a mortal. The name of the Pleiades is derived from the Greek word TREEN, to sail, because that constellation shows the time most favourable to navigators, which is in the Spring. The name of Vergiliae they derive from Ver, the Spring. They are sometimes called Atlantides from their father, or Hesperides from the gardens of that name, which belonged to Atlas. Hygin. fab. 192. P. A. ii. c. 21. Ovid. Met. xii. v. 293. Fast. v. 106 and 170. Hesiod. Oper. et Dies. Homer, Od.5. Horat. iv. od. 11. Virg. G. i. v. 138, 1. 4, 253.
The Hyades were five daughters of Atlas, king of Mauritania, who were so disconsolate at the death of their brother Hyas, who had been killed by a wild boar, that they pined away and died. They became stars after death, and were placed near Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. They received the name of Hyades from their brother Hyas. Their names are Phaola, Ambrosia, Eudora, Coronis, and Polyxo. To these some have added, Thione and Prodice, and they maintained that they were daughters of Hyas and Aethra, one of the Oceanides. Euripides calls them daughters of Erectheus. The ancients supposed that the rising and setting of the Hyades were always attended with much rain, whence the name iw, pluo. Ovid. Fast. v. 165. Hygin. fab. 182. Eurip. in Iron.
May 28. St. Germanus.
St. Germanus. St. Caro, Martyr. St. Germain, Bishop of Paris, Confessor, the glory of the church of France, was born near Autun in 469, and died in 576. His life is written by St. Gregory of Tours, by Mabillon, and others. St. Germain was forewarned of his episcopal dignities at Paris in a dream, wherein he had
a vision of the keys of that city being presented to him.See a full account in Butler's Lives, v. 393.
We shall close today with a selection of lines appropriate to the time of year.
Lucretius on Spring and the Seasons, translated by Goode.
Spring comes, and Venus with fell foot advanced ;
Snows, hoary Sleet, and Frost, with chattering teeth. Milton makes the most heavenly clime to consist of an eternal Spring
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
From Atherstone's Last Days of Herculaneum.
From Spring, by Kleist.
And smell eternal, form a juster claim,
May 29. St. Cyril. St. Conon and Son. St. Maxi
minus. SS. Sisinnius &c. Martyrs. CHRONOLOGY.–King Charles 11. restored. On the 8th of May, 1660, Charles II. was proclaimed in London and Westminster, and afterwards throughout his dominions, with great joy and universal acclamations. On the 16th be came to the Hague; on the 23d he embarked with his two brothers for England, and landed at Dover on the 25th, where he was received by General Monk and some of the army. He was then attended by numbers of the nobility and gentry to Canterbury, and on the 29th he made his magnificent entry into London. This day is also his birthday.
In some parts of England it is customary for the common people to wear Oak leaves, covered with leafgold, in their hats, in commemoration of the concealment of Charles II. in a certain Oak, after the battle of Worcester. To this tree, not far from Boscobel House, the king and his companion Colonel Careless resorted, when they thought it no longer safe to remain in the house; climbing up by the henroost ladder, and the family giving them victuals on a nuthook.
“ Not far from Boscobel House," says Dr. Stukeley, in his Itinerarium Curiosum, fol. Lond. 1724, Iter. iii. p. 57, "just by a horsetrack passing through the wood, stood the Royal Oak, into which the king and his companion, Colonel Carlos, climbed by means of the henroost ladder, when they judged it no longer safe to stay in the house ; the family reaching them victuals with the nuthook. The tree is now enclosed in with a brick wall, the inside whereof is covered with lawrel, of which we may say, as Ovid did of that
before the Augustine palace, 'mediamque tuebere quercum.' Close by its side grows a young thriving plant from one of its acorns.
Over the door of the enclosure, I took this inscription in marble :
“ Felicissimam arborem quam in asylum potentissiini Regis Caroli II. Deus O. M. per quem reges regnant hic crescere voluit, tam in perpetuam rei tantae memoriam, quam specimen firmae in reges fidei, muro cinctarn posteris commendant Basilius et Jana Fitzherbert.
“ Quercus amica Jovi.”
Flora.--Mouse Ear Hieracium Pilosella, which continues flowering through June, is now full out; often has a second blowing in Autumn. It is immediately recognized when flowering among Cats Ear, or any of the Apargias, by its paler or strawcoloured flowers, which, compared with similar plants, have a very elegant appearance.
COELUM. -- Prognostics of Weather and Horologe of Flora. — To the numerous prognostics of weather which we have inserted in March 3 and 5, we add the following, only to be observed in the Spring and Summer time.
Chickweed.—When the flower expands boldly and fully, no rain will happen for four hours or upwards: if it continues in that open state, no rain will disturb the Summer's day: when it half conceals its miniature flower, the day is generally showery; but if it entirely shuts up or veils the white flower with its green mantle, let the traveller put on his great coat, and the ploughman, with his beasts of draught, expect rest from their labour.
Siberian Sowthistle.-If the flowers of this plant keep open all night, rain will certainly fall the next day.
Trefoil. The different species of Trefoil always contract their leaves at the approach of a storm : hence these plants have been termed the Husbandman's Barometer.
African Marygold.-If this plant opens not its flowers in morning about seven o'clock, you may be sure it will rain that day, unless it thunders.
The Convolvulus also, and the Pimpernel Anagallis arvensis, fold up their leaves on the approach of rain: the last in particular is termed the Poor Man's Weather Glass.
White Thorns and Dogrose Bushes.-Wet Summers are generally attended with an uncommon quantity of seed on these shrubs: whence their unusual fruitfulness is a sign of a severe Winter.
Besides the above, there are several plants, especially those with compound yellow flowers, which nod, and during the whole day turn their flowers towards the Sun, viz. to the East in the morning, to the South at noon, and to the West towards evening; this is very observable in the Sowthistle
Sonchus arvensis : and it is a well known fact, that a great part of the plants in a serene sky expand their flowers, and as it were with cheerful looks behold the light of the Sun; but before rain they shut them up, as the Tulip.
The flowers of the Alpine Whitlow Grass Draba Alpina, the Bastard Feverfew Parthenium, and the Wintergreen Trientalis, hang down in the night as if the plants were asleep, lest rain or the moist air should injure the fertilizing dust.
One species of Woodsorrel shuts up or doubles its leaves before storms and tempests, but in a serene sky expands or unfolds them, so that the husbandman can pretty clearly foretell tempests from it. It is also well known that the Mountain Ebony Bauhinia, sensitive plants, and cassia, observe the same rule.
Besides affording prognostics, many plants also fold themselves up at particular hours, with such regularity, as to have acquired particular names from this property. The following are among the more remarkable plants of this description :
Goatsbeard.—The flowers of both species of Tragopogon open in the morning at the approach of the Sun, and without regard to the state of the weather regularly shut about noon. Hence it is generally known in the country by the name of Go to Bed at Noon.
The Princesses' Leaf, or Four o'Clock Flower, in the Malay Islands, is an elegant shrub so called by the natives, because their ladies are fond of the grateful odour of its white leaves. It takes its generic name from its quality of opening its flowers at four in the evening, and not closing them in the morning till the same hour returns, when they again expand in the evening at the same hour. Many people transplant them from the woods into their gardens, and use them as a dial or a clock, especially in cloudy weather.
The Evening Primrose is well known from its remarkable properties of regularly shutting with a loud popping noise, about sunset in the evening, and opening at sunrise in the morning. After six o'clock, these flowers regularly report the approach of night.
The Tamarind tree Parkinsonia, the Nipplewort Lapsana communis, the Water Lily Nymphaea, the Marygolds Calendulae, the Bastard Sensitive Plant Aeschynomene, and several others of the Diadelphia class, in serene weather, expand their leaves in the daytime, and contract them during the night. According to some botanists, the Tamarind tree enfolds within its