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another illustrious Saint who bears this name, St. Francis of Sales, also a Confessor, celebrated January 29; and St. Francis de Xavier the celebrated worker of miracles and apostle of the east, December 3; which the reader may refer to. See Index under Monastic Orders.
COELUM. - October is generally a fine month, and, when dry and warm, is perhaps as agreeable as any in
Blowing weather, however, with intervals of showers, is now to be expected to interchange with the fine days we allude to; and an old proverb expresses a wish for such weather, and desires
A good October and a good blast,
To blow the Hog acorn and mast. The evenings begin now apace to draw in, as the phrase is; and a fire lighted up for tea in the evening, and
a few hours of candlelight before bedtime, have been celebrated by literati as being pleasing circumstances, and a change favourable to the Muses, after the long days of Summer, when we live almost out of doors.
FLORA. — Forest Scenery now begins to assume new beauties. No longer the bright and verdant colour of the leaves is seen, but the yellow and brown mellowing of Autumn coming on by degrees presents, under various circumstances of weather, of progress towards decay, and of difference in the species of trees, such a varied succession of tints as can be contemplated at no other time
These appearances become more striking as Autumn advances; and it is, perhaps, under the glowing and refulgent skies of the Autumnal months, that there is greatest diversity of appearance in the face of the landscape, of which the late William Gilpin has given so many truly poetical, though at the same time prosaic illustrations, in his Forest Scenery. The following lines were addressed to him by a cotemporary amateur draughtsman of equal merit, though less known in the arts :
Sonnet to W. G.' 1792.
For thee the blushes mild at opening morn,
* And with its vivid ray thy verse adorn.
Nor dread the chilling of a critic's scorn,
Who under Nature's lenient band is born.
And treads the path thy ready, step pursues ;
Then tune the song for thy descriptive Muse,
"Twere churlish offered bounties to refuse.
October 5. St. Placidus and others Martyrs. St.
rises at vs. 19'. and sets at v. 41.
PALES.-Sheep now are turned into the stubble fields, wherein they roam about and feed on the herbage that grows among the old cornstalks.
Hogs now begin to be very troublesome, rambling about in all directions after acorns, beechmast, and other favourite food; they break through hedges, enter gårdens, and do a great deal of mischief. Bloomfield has aptly observed
Of rambling Hogs.
The welcome margio of some rushgrown pool.
“ The first step the swineherd takes is to investigate some close sheltered part of the forest where there is a conveniency of water, and plenty of oak or beechmast, the former of which he prefers when he can have it in abundance. He fixes next on some spreading tree, round the bole of which he wattles a slight circular fence of the dimensions he wants; and covering it roughly with boughs and sods, he fills it plentifully with straw or fern.
“ Having made this preparation, he collects his colony among the farmers with whom he commonly agrees for a shilling a head, and will get together, perhaps, a herd of five or six hundred hogs. Having driven them to their destined habitation, he gives them a plentiful supper of acorns or beechmast which he had already provided, sounding his horn during the repast. He then turns them into the litter, where after a long journey and a hearty meal they sleep deliciously.
“ The next morning he lets them look a little around them; shows them the pool or stream where they may occasionally drink; leaves them to pick up the offals of the last night's meal; and as evening draws on gives them another plentiful repast under the neighbouring trees, which rain acorns upon them for an hour together, at the sound of his horn. He then sends them again to sleep..
“ The following day he is perhaps at the pains of procuring them another meal with music playing as usual. He then leaves them a little more to themselves, having an eye however on their evening hours. But as their bellies are full they seldom wander far from home, retiring commonly very orderly and early to bed.
“ After this he throws his sty open and leaves them to cater for themselves; and from henceforward has little more trouble with them during the whole time of their migration. Now and then in calm weather when mast falls sparingly, he calls them perhaps together by the music of his horn to a gratuitous meal.”
From the mischief that Hogs do among com, they were expressly selected to be sacrificed to Ceres.—See p. 21.
October 6. St. Faith. St. Bruno the Founder of the
Carthusians. SS. Bruno Bishops.
St. Faith virgin and martyr suffered death under Dacianus about the year 290, the most cruel torments being inflicted upon her. Vows of celibacy were highly esteemed in the early ages of the Church; and even in our own times many rites still exist in honour of the virgin state. Upon the decease of a virgin flowers are yet strewed before the corpse by young girls dressed in white, as emblematic of innocence. Garlands also are in some places woven and attached to the beams of churches in which virgins have been buried.
CHRONOLOGY.-Peace proclaimed with America in 1783. Fauna. — Large migrations of Swallows and Martins still continue to take place, particularly if the wind happens to get to a northerly point of the compass. They often ascend into the air from the roofs of some high building, and wing their way to the remote regions of Africa and Asia. They have been often seen from off the rocky shores to ascend in vast volleys, and bear off southward at a great elevation in the air:
On a Cat. By Dr. Jortin.
Infernos tandem cogor abire lacus:
Elysios soles, Elysiumque nemus:
Da mihi saltem unâ nocte redire domum,
Te tua fida etiam trans Styga felis amat.
On a favourite Cat killed by a Bitch Hound, Oct. 6, 1820.
A victim to Euphonia's furious rage,
Tho' thy attentive hand was ever nigh
At length with hideous agony I die.
Nor do I rest without a fond desire
All which true love and gratitude inspire.
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon,
-This wish obtained I ask no farther boon.
October 7. St. Mark Pope and Confessor. St. Justina
Virgin and Martyr. St. Osith Virgin. SS. Mercellus and others Martyrs.
CHRONOLOGY.—Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.
DIANA.-The weather is now peculiarly favourable to the sports of the field beginning; as little damage is committed on the farmer's grounds after the gathering of the harvest. Fox hunting which in some places now commences is thus described by the poet Bloomfield :
For now the pack, impatient rushing on,
Till fresh and lightsome, every power untried,
And joyous villages partake the roar. Ceres.-The sowing of wheat is generally carried on in this month: when the weather is too wet for this occupation, the farmer ploughs up the stubble fields for winter fallows, and the sowing is deferred till later in the year. Acorns are sown at this season, and the planting of forest and fruit trees takes place.
October 8. St. Briget Widow. St. Thais the Peni
tent. St. Pelagia Penitent. St. Keyna Virgin.
St. Briget, also called Bright and Bride, was descended from Bergen of the royal blood of Sweden. After the death of her husband she renounced the courtly life and became a devout Christian. She made a pilgrimage to Rome to venerate the reliques of so many Saints as were to be found there, and afterwards died about the year 1373.
St. Thais was a beautiful Aegyptian female who was early converted to Christianity, but afterwards led a profligate life as a courtesan. She was reclaimed however again by advancing age and subsequent reflection, and died a penitent about the middle of the fourth age of the church.
St. Pelagia was an actress at Antioch and was converted by the preaching of St. Nonnus, who in the middle of his discourse delivered to the church of St. Julian pointed to Pelagia, dressed in all her jewels and comedian tinsel, and exclaimed “ The Almighty in his goodness will shew mercy even to this woman the work of his hands.” She heard, felt the force of his observation, and became penitent. This Saint is celebrated today in the Roman, Greek, and Muscovite calendars, but an old Neapolitan marble tablet inscribes her name under Oct. 5.-See Theophanes Chron. anno 432.
St. Keyne was daughter to Braghan Prince of South Wales who left his name to Brecknockshire. The Welsh called her by distinction The Virgin. She dwelt continually in an obscure wood in Somersetshire, where according to tradition