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assumed to glory by a singular privilege before the general resurrection; the numerous authorities for which holy assumption are recorded by the learned Butler in his Lives, vol. viji. 173.
Barnaby Googe, imitating the churlish and illtimed raillery of Naogeorgus, thus describes the ancient ceremonies of this day :
The Blessed Virgin Marie's feast hath here his place and time, Wherein, departing from the earth, she did the heavens clime; Great bundels then of bearbes to church, the people fast doe beare, The which against all hurtfull things the priest dotb hallow theare. Thus kindle they and nourish still the people's wickednesse, And vainly make them to believe whatsoever they expresse : For sundrie witchcrafts by these hearbs are wrought, and divers charmes, And cast into the fire, are thought to drive away all harines, And every painefull griefe from man, or beast, for to expell Far otherwise than nature or the worde of God doth tell.
Popish Kingdome, fol. 55. Bishop Hall tells us in the Triumphs of Rome, p. 58, “ that upon this day it was customary to implore blessings upon herbs, plants, roots, and fruits.”
This is perhaps the greatest of all festivals, says Butler, which the Catholic Church celebrated in honour of the Holy Virgin; her assumption being the consummation of all the other great mysteries by which her life was rendered wonderful.
Among all the Hymns to the Virgin which we have seen; none has occurred to us, in which the natural scenery and the circumstances of a beautiful moonlight night, seem so naturally to conduct the mind of a Catholic to this great event in his creed, as the Hymn of the Sentinel, alluded to in the following lines from Southey's Roderick:
How calmly gliding through the dark blue sky
Of yonder sapphire infinite are seen,
August 16. St. Roch Confessor. St. Hyacinth.
Among the extracts from the Churchwardens' Accounts of St. Michael Spurriergate in the city of York, printed in Mr. Nichols's Illustrations of Ancient Manners, I find,
* 1518. Paid for writing of St. Royke Masse Ol. Os. 9d.' “ Dr. Whitaker thinks that St. Roche or Rocke's Day was celebrated as a general harvest home.”- Brand's Pop. Ant.
FLORA.-The MARVEL OF Peru Mirabilis Jalapa flowers. This plant is called the Four o'Clock Flower from its period of opening in the afternoon. The China Aster and the African Marigolds, as well as the Zinnia and other aestival flowers of this sort, are now in the height of flowering.
Wild heaths and waste commons are now in all their beauty, the flowers of the various species of Heath covering them with a fine purple hue instead of the golden yellow that covered them in Spring. Ferns also begin to flower, the commonest sort of which is the Fern or Brakes Polypodium filirmas; but the female Pteris aquilina is the most beautiful plant.
The Heath, by C. Smită.
Here the furze,
FAUNA.-Insects still continue to swarm and to sport in the sun from flower to flower. It is very amusing to observe, in the bright sun of an August morning, the animation and delight of some of the lepidopterous insects. That beautiful little blue Butterfly Papilio Argus is then all life and activity, flitting from flower to flower in the grass with remarkable vivacity: there seems to be a constant rivalship and contention between this beauty, and the not less elegant little beau Pupilio phlaeas. Frequenting the same station, attached to the same head of Clover, or of Harebell, whenever they approach, mutual animosity seems to possess them; and darting on each other with courageous rapidity, they buffet and contend until one is driven from the field, or to a considerable distance from his station, perhaps many hundred yards, when the victor returns to his post in triumph; and this contention is renewed, as long as the brilliancy of the Sun animates their courage. When the beautiful evening of this season arrives, we again see the Bat.
The Bat begins with giddy wing,
His circuit round the shed and tree;
A Summer night's serenity. CHRONOLOGY.--The annual and grand Fair of Falaise in France begins today,
August 17. St. Mamas Martyr. SS. Liberatus and
Sir Monks Martyrs. CHRONOLOGY. - Frederick the Great King of Prussia is said to have died this day in 1786.
Portumnalia ad Pontem Aemylium. Jano. — Rom. Cal. The Portumnalia were festivals held anciently in Rome on this day on the banks of the Tiber, near the bridge built by Aemylius. They were conducted with great pomp and lugubrous solemnity. They were instituted in honour of Portumnus, a sea god, who went by various names in both Greece and Rome, and whose origin is as follows:- His ancient name was Melicerta, Melicertes, or Melicertus, a son of Athamas and Ino. He was saved by his mother from the fury of his father, who prepared to dash him against the wall as he had done his brother Learchus. The mother was so terrified that she threw herself into the sea, with Melicerta in her arms. Neptune had compassion on the misfortunes of Ino and her son, and changed them both into sea deities. Ino was called Leucothoë or Matuta, and Melicerta was known among the Greeks by the name of Palaemon, and among the Latins by that of Portumnus. Some suppose that the Isthmian games were in honour of Melicerta. Apollod. i. c. 9. 1.3. c. 4. Paus. i. c. 44. Hygin. fab. 1 & 2. Ovid. Met. iv. v. 529, &c. Plut. de Symp. Ovid Fasti, vi. 547. Varro de L. L. v. 3. Ovid describes this deity and the changes of his name thus :
Leucothee Craiis, Matuta vocabere nostris :
In portus nato jus erit omne tuo:
Ite precor nostris aequus uterque locis. FAUNA. — The Swift Hirundo apus is missed in its usual haunts about this time. The great body of these birds migrate at once, so that we are struck with their absence about the old steeples of churches and other edifices which they usually inhabit, and from whence they sally forth on rapid wings each morning and evening in search of food, wheeling round and round, and uttering a very loud piercing and peculiar cry, wherefore they are called Squeakers. For the last month past these birds may have been seen flying in lofty gyrations in the air, and seemingly exercising their wings and preparing for their aërial voyage. It is not precisely ascertained to what countries they go when they leavé Europe.
August 18. St. Helen Empress. St. Agapetus Martyr.
St. Clare Virgin. St. Helen was a native of Britain, and died in 828. Her history is very remarkable, and may be found in Butler's Liver, viii. 204. See our May 3 and September 14.
Consualia. Sabinarium raptus.-Rom. Cal. Consuales Ludi, or Consualia, were festivals at Rome in honour of Consus, the god of counsel, whose altar Romulus discovered under the ground. This altar was always covered except at the festival, when a mule was sacrificed, and games and horse races exhibited in honour of Neptune. It was during these festivals that Romulus carried away the Sabine women who had assembled to be spectators of the games. They were first instituted by Romulus. Some say, however, that Romulus only regulated and reinstituted them after they had been before established by Evander. During the celebration, Horses, Mules, and Asses were exempted from all labour, and were led through the streets adorned with garlands and flowers. Auson. Ixix. v. 9.
Auson. Ixix. v. 9. Ovid. Fast, ji. v. 199. Liv. i. c. 9. Dionys. Hal.
CHRONOLOGY. – This day is the anniversary of the Great FIERY Meteor which happened in 1783, about eight o'clock on a Monday evening. It was seen in various parts of Europe. August is the month in which meteors and falling stars most prevail. See Phil. Mag. for 1821,
Bernadotte made Crown Prince of Sweden in 1810.
On the morning of this day, in 1821, Mr. B. M. Forster of Walthamstow observed the remarkable blue colour of the Sun produced by the refraction of light through a thin cloud. The phenomenon of blue sunlight was noticed at the same time at Yarınouth and other parts of England, which shows that the peculiar state of the aqueous vapour which produced the effect existed over a large space of country. An account of this phenomenon was communicated to the Philosophical Magazine for September 1821, vol. lviii. p. 234. It has, in Forster's Atmos. Pbenom. 3d edit., been recorded by mistake as having happened on the 19th.
Epigram on the Blue Colour of the Sun this Day.
And blushing Blue Dogs, that are spoken in jest;
Ás to find a Blue Sun for a Signpost or Crest.
On the Origin of Signs. — We shall resume today, as we premised above, the subject of Signposts, and the origin of the many whimsical devices set up for Signs over Tradesmen's Shops, Inns, and Taverns.
We have already adverted to an opinion held by Sir Thomas Browne, that the human faces set up for the Sun and Moon on Signs implied originally Apollo and Diana. Butler, however, the author of Hudibras, asks a puzzling question on this head, which we do not remember to have seen solved :
Tell me but what's the natural cause,
The Full Moon ever, but the Half? It must be remembered, however, that the Crescent Moon is the Crest of Diana, and is the emblem of Virgin Chastity; it is likewise a sign placed on the Mohammedan mosques as the representative of their lunar feasts and divisions of time. The festivals also held at the New Moon were at first, probably, held on the first appearance of her crescent, as, before astronomy was advanced, the precise period of the Moon's opposition could not be ascertained ; hence the crescent might have become a popular Sign. The form too of the crescent is beautiful, and the term semilunaris used in scientific language to signify this modification of a curved figure.
The custom of hanging up a Bush where wine is sold is very ancient.
There is a well known proverb, “Good wine needs no bush;" i. e. nothing to point out where it is to be sold.