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POMONA.- A rich supply of garden vegetables usually comes in at this time: among numerous others, the produce of the kitchen garden, in this month, we may observe
“ The martial Pea,
June 19. SS. Gervaisius and Protasius M. M.
When the Sun's beams upon the Crab are poured,
Minerva on Mount Aventine's adored. The entrance of the Sun into Cancer is now two days later.
This is an interesting constellation, being full of small Stars and Nebulae; at present it is in the light of the Sun, and therefore invisible. Another feast of Minerva took place in old Rome today. The character and fabulous origin of this personified emblem of wisdom is very singular; for Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, war, and all the liberal arts, was produced from Jupiter's brain without a mother. The god, as it is reported, married Metis, whose superior prudence and sagacity above the rest of the gods made him apprehend that the children of such an union would be of a more exalted nature, and more intelligent than their father. To prevent this, Jupiter devoured Metis in her pregnancy, and some time after, to relieve the pains which he suffered in his head, he ordered Vulcan to cleave it open. Minerva came all armed and grown up from her father's brain, and immediately was admitted into the assembly of the gods, and made one of the most faithful counsellors of her father. The festivals held in her honour were solemn and magnificent. She was invoked by every artist, and particularly such as worked in wool, embroidery, painting, and sculpture. It was the duty of almost every member of society to implore the assistance and patronage of a deity who presided over sense, taste, and reason. Hence the poets have had occasion to say,
Tu nihil invitâ dices faciesve Minerva, and,
Qui bene placârit Pallada, doctus erit. Minerva was represented in different ways, according to the
different characters in which she appeared. She generally appeared with a countenance full more of masculine firmness and composure, than of softness and grace. Most usually she was represented with a helmet on her head, with a large plume nodding in the air. In one hand she held a spear, and in the other a shield, with the dying head of Medusa upon it. Sometimes this Gorgon's head was on her breastplate, with living serpents writhing round it, as well as round her shield and helmet. In most of her statues, she is represented as sitting; and sometimes she holds in one hand a distaff, instead of a spear. When she appeared as the goddess of the liberal arts, she was arrayed in a variegated veil, which the ancients called peplum. Sometimes Minerva's helmet was covered at the top with the figure of a Cock, a bird which, on account of his great courage, is properly sacred to the goddess of war. Some of her statues represented her helmet with a sphinx in the middle, supported on either side by griffins. In some medals, a chariot drawn by four horses, or sometimes a dragon or a serpent, with winding spires, appear at the top of her helmet. She was partial to the Olive tree; the Owl and the Cock were her favourite birds, and the Dragon, among reptiles, was sacred to her. The functions, offices, and actions of Minerva, seem so numerous, that they undoubtedly originate in more than one person. Cicero speaks of five persons of this name: a Minerva, mother of Apollo; a daughter of the Nile, who was worshipped at Sais, in Egypt; a third born from Jupiter's brain; a fourth, daughter of Jupiter and Coryphe; and a fifth, daughter of Pallas, generally represented with winged shoes. This last put her father to death because he attempted her virtue. - Paus. 1, 2, 3, &c. Horat. 1, od. 16, 1.3, od. 4. Virg. Aen. 2, &c. Strab. 6, 9, and 13. Philost. Icon. 2. Ovid. Fast. 3, &c. Met. 6. Cic. de Nat. D. I, c. 15, 1.3, c. 23, &c. Apollod. 1, &c. Pindar. Olymp. 7. Lucan. 9, v. 354. Sophocl. Oedip. Homer. Il. &c. Od. Hymn. ad Pall. “Diod. 5. Hesiod. Theog. Aeschyl. in Eum. Lucian. Dial. Clem. Alex. Strom. 2. Orpheus. Hymn. 31. Q. Smyrn. 14, v. 448.
Pales.-Sheepshearing commencing when warm weather is now set in, reminds us of a custom common in the South of England, namely, that of scattering flowers on the streams at shearing time, which has been long observed in the South West of England; and is thus alluded to as an ancient rite by Dyer, in his beautifully descriptive poem entitled The Fleece:
With light fantastic toe, the nymphs
And o'er the dimpled stream a thousand Aowers,
Sabrina's early haunt.
On the Jasmine, from Lalla Rookh.
To every breeze that roams about. The Cock afloat in the Bowl. - Many attempts have been made to explain why the Cock is sacred to Minerva, and his claims to her protection are often founded on an assumed preeminence of wisdom and sagacity. This brings to our minds a story related by a gentleman, late resident in the Netherlands, of a Cock in a farm yard somewhere in Holland near Rotterdam, whose sagacity saved him from perishing in a flood, occasioned by the bursting of one of the dykes. The water rushing furiously and suddenly into the village swamped every house to the height of the first story, so that the inhabitants were obliged to mount, and had no communication for awhile, except by boats. The cattle and other animals and many fowls perished. Our friend chanticleer, however, had the adroitness to jump into a large wooden bowl containing some barley, in which he sat, and quietly floated, till the flood had subsided; having not only a good ship to carry him, but provision on board during
June 20. St. Sylverius Pope and Martyr.
St. GObain M. St. Idaberga Virgin. St. Bain Bishop. SUMMER SOLSTICE. O rises at 111. 43'. and sets at viir. 17'.
Summanalia Orphiuchus oritur.—Rom. Cal. The Summanalia were festivals in pacification of Summanus, that is, Pluto, so called quia Summa Manium est. He had a Temple at Rome, and the people believed that he had power over the Thunderbolts of Jupiter. See Ovid. Fasti, vi. 371. and Cic. de Divinatione.
Flora.—The Scarlet Lychnis Lychnis Chalcedonica now begins to Alower, and its brilliant scarlet adorns the gardens till the end of July or beginning of August, when the plant sheds its seeds, and the arm of it dies in September; but, being a perennial, it grows again each succeeding year. This beautiful plant grows wild in Russia, Siberia, and other northern parts of Europe, and consequently bears the severity of winter remarkably well. It forms agreeable clusters in the borders at this time of year, alternating with beds of Pinks, Sweet Williams, and Orange Lilies. Its brilliant scarlet is contracted agreeably to the deep criinson of the China Rose. The blowing of the Scarlet Lychuis is one of the sure signs of the approaching Summer Solstice.
By this time the Red Corn Poppy Papaver Rhaeas is become numerous, and the Corn fields in some places seem quite scarlet with it: they have been then called the Red Mantle of Ceres. This plant is probably the original Cereale Papaver of the ancients, transferred by Virgil to his description of the large Officinal Poppy.
Now is the beginning of Hay Harvest, for the southern and middle parts of the kingdom. This is one of the busiest and most agreeable of rural occupations; both sexes and all ages are engaged in it: the fragrance of the new mown Grass, the gaiety of all surrounding objects, and the genial warmth of the weather, all conspire to render it a season of delight and pleasure to the beholder. Thus our poet Thomson :
Now swarins the village o'er the jovial mead;
In order gay.
Milton, in l'Allegro, beautifully expresses haytime and its frolics
Or, if the earlier season lead
And young and old come forth to play
June 21. St. Aloisius C. St. Ralph Bp. and (
St. Meen A. St. Aaron A. St. Eusebius Bj and Martyr. St. Leufridus A.
CHRONOLOGY.–Victory of Vittoria in Spain, in 1813. Flora. — The great Viper Buglos Echium vulgare flowers about ti time, and, when growing among the long grass, is sometimes found from fo to five feet high. The general aspect of the meadows at this time delightful; in some the Grass is cut, and the enlivening period of Hay making is begun: in others, the Grass still stands adorned by the later oi the Yellow Crowfoots. Some fields are purple with Saint Foin, and all are rich in various grasses. The Wheat advances tall, the Corn looks green and lively. The Sportsman is anxious to save all the Partridge nests which are exposed by the cutting them out in the Grass, and the young birds are often brought up in the farmyard.
FAUNA.— In warm dry weather the Snake, the Viper, and the Sloworm, begin to be seen on dry Banks and beside Ponds. A strong and rather absurd prejudice exists against all the Serpent tribe, partly from the ancient story of the seduction of Eve, and partly from a natural disgust inherent in mankind to reptiles and creeping insects. Milton thus describes the Serpent who tempted Eve :
Oft he bowed
Fawning, and licked the ground whereon she trod. De Lille, in his Trois Règnes de la Nature, has thus described the various motions of the Serpent:
Il court, nage, bondit, gravit, vole, ou serpente;