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THIS is the first and the coldest month of the vear. Its zodiacal sign is Aquarius or the Waterbearer It derives its name from Janus, a deity represented by the Romans with two faces, because he was acquainted with past and future events, Cotton introduces him into a poem on the new yearHark, the cock crows, and yon bright star 'Tells us, the day himself's not far; And see where, breaking from the night, He gilds the western bills with light. With bim old Janus doth appear, Peeping into the future year, With such a look as seems to say, The prospect is not good that way. Thus do we rise ill sights to see, And 'gainst ourselves to prophesy ; When the prophetic fear of things A more tormenting mischief brings, More full of soul-tormenting gall Than direst mischiefs can befall. But stay! but stay! Methinks my sight, Better informd by clearer light,
Discerns sereneness in that brow,
According to the ancient mythology, Janus was the god of gates and avenues, and in that character held a key in his right hand, and a rod in his left, to symbolize his opening and ruling the year: sometimes he bore the number 300 in one hand, and 65 in the other, the number of its days. At other times he was repro sented with four heads, and placed in a temple of four equal sides, with a door and three windows in each side, as emblems of the four seasons and the twelve months over which he presided
According to Verstegan (Restitution o. Decayed Intelligence, 4to. 1628, p. 59) the Saxons called this month « Wolfmonat," or Wolf-monin, Decause the
wolves of our ancient forests, impelled by which he passed thirty years, and died hunger at this season, were wont to prowl about the sixth ceptury. Bishop Patrick, and attack man himself; the inferior ani- in his“Reflexions upon the Devotions of mals, on whom they usually preyed, having the Roman Church,” 1674, 8vo. cites of reti ed or perisher, from the inclemency of St. Mochua, that while walking and praythe weather. The Saxons also called this ing, and seeing a company of lambs runmonth "Aefter-yula," or After Christmas. ning hastily to suck their mothers, be drew In illuminated calendars prefixed to a line upon the ground which none of the catholic missals, or service books, January hungry lambs durst pass. Patrick again was frequently depicted as a man with cites, that St. Mochua having been vifagots or a woodman's axe, shivering sited by St Kyenanus and fifteen of his and blowing his fingers. Spenser intro- clergy, they came to an impetuous and duces this month in nis Faerie Queene : impassable river on their return, and Then came old January, wrapped well wanted a boat; whereupon St. Mochua In many weeds to keep the cold away;
spread his mantle on the water, and Kye. Yet did he quake and quiver like to quell; nanus with his fifteen priests were carried And blow his nayles to warme them if he may; safely over upon the mantle, which floated For they were pumb'd with holding all the back again to St. Mochua without wrinkle day
or wetting, An hatchet keene, with which he felled wood, St. Fanchea, or Faine, is said by Butler And from the trees did lop the needlesse spray. to have been an Irish saint of the sixth
century. Patrick quotes that St. Endeus January 1.
desiring to become a monk, his compaA close holiday at all public nions approached to dissuade him ; but, circumcision. offices except the Excise, Cus. upon the prayers of St. Faine, and her I toms, and Stamps.
making the sign of the cross, their feet This festival stands in the calendar of
stuck to the earth like immovable stones, the church of England, as well as in that
until by repentance they were loosed and of the Roman Catholic church. It is
went their way. said to have been instituted about 487 ;
St. Fulgentius, according to Butler, died it first appeared in the reformed English on the 1st of January, 533, sometimes went liturgy in 1550.
barefoot, never undressed to take rest, noi Without noticing every saint to whom each day is dedicated in the Roman catholic calen. dars, the names of saints will be given day by and herbs, though when old he admitted day, as they stand under each day in the last
the use of a little oil. He preached, exedition of their “Lives," by the Rev. Alban Butler, in 12 vols. 8vo. On the authority of that plained mysteries, controverted with herework the periods will be mentioned when the
tics, and built monasteries. Butler consaints most noted for their miracles flourished, and some of those miracles be stated. Other
cludes by relating, that after his death, a miracles will be given: First, from “The Golden Legend,” a black letter folio volume, printed by
vision of Fulgentius's immortality; that W. de Worde. Secondly, from “The Church History of Britain," by the Benedictine father, his relics were translated to Bourges, where S. Cressy, dedicated by him to the queen con
they are venerated ; and that the saint's sort of Charles II., a folio, printed in 1668.Thirdly, from the catholic translation of the
Peter Ribof the Saints," by Theslation of the head is in
Peter Ribadeneira, priest of the society of Jesus, second edition, London, 1730, 2 vols. folio ; and Fourtbly, from other sources which will be named. By this means the reader will be ac
NEW YEAR'S DAY. quainted with legends that rendered the saints and the celebration of their festivals popular. The King of Light, father of aged Time, For example, the saints in Butler's Lives on this Hath brought about that day, which is the day occur in the following order :
prime St. Fulgentius ; St. Odilo, or Olou ; To the slow gliding months, when every eye St. Almachus, or Telemachus ; St. Ev- Wears symptoms of a sober jollity; rendus, or Oyend; St. Fanchea, or Faine ; And every hand is ready to present St. Mochua, or Moncain, alias Claunus ; Some service in a real compliment. St. Mochua, alias Cronan, of Balla.
Whilst some in golden letters write then
love, Sts. Mochua. According to Butler, these
er, these Sonne speak affection by a ring or glove,
s were Irish saints. One founded the mo. Or pins and points (for ev'n the peasant may nastery, now the town of Balla, in Con. After his ruder fashion, be as gay naught. The other is said to have founded As the brisk courtly sir,) and thinks that he 120 cells, and thirty churches, in one of Cannot, without a gross absurdity.