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1766. On the 9th of January died Dr. Thomas Birch, a valuable contributor to history and biography. He was born on the 23d of November, 1705, of Quaker parents. His father was a coffee-mill maker, and designed Thomas for the same trade; but the son “took to reading,” and being put to school, obtained successive usherships; removing each time into a better school, that he might improve his studies; and stealing hours from sleep to increase his knowledge. He succeeded in qualifying himself for the church of England, without going to the university; obtained orders from bishop Hoadley in 1731, and several preferments from the lord chancellor Hardwicke and earl Hardwicke ; became a member of the Royal Society before he was thirty years of age, and of the Antiquarian Society about the same time; was created a doctor of divinity, and made a trustee of the British Museum; and at his death, left his books and MSS. to the national library there. Enumeration of his many useful labours would occupy several of these pages. His industry was amazing. His correspondence was extensive; his communications to the Royal Society were various and numerous, and his personal application may be inferred from there being among his MSS. no less than twenty-four quarto volumes of Anthony Bacon's papers transcribed by his own hand. He edited Thurloes' State Papers in 7 vols. folio; wrote the Lives of illustrious Persons of Great Britain, and a History of the Royal Society; published miscellaneous pieces of ord Bacon, before unprinted, and produced a large number of other works. The first undertaking wherein he engaged, with other learned, men, was the • General Dictionary, Historical and Critical,”—a most useful labour, containing the whole of Bayle's Dictionary, newly translated, and several thousand additional lives. He was enabled to complete his great undertakings by being a very early riser, and by usually executing the business of the morning before most persons had commenced it.
w1NTER. From “Poetic Vigils,” by Bernand Baaron. The flowret's bloom is faded, Its glossy leaf grown sere; The landscape round is shaded By Winter's frown austere. The dew, once sparkling lightly On grass of freshest green, In heavier drops unsightly On matted weeds is seen. No songs of joy, to gladden, From leafy woods emerge; But winds, in tones that sadden, Breathe Nature's mournful dirge. All sights and sounds appealing, Through merely outward sense, To joyful thought and feeling, Seem now departed hence. But not with such is banished The bliss that life can lend; Nor with such things hath vanished Its truest, noblest end. The toys that charm, and leave us, Are fancy's fleeting elves; All that should glad, or grieve us Exists within ourselves. Enjoyment's gentle essence |. virtue's godlike dower; Its most triumphant presence Illumes the darkest hour.
St. JPilliam. St. Agatho, Pope. St Marcian.
This saint, who died in 1207, was archbishop of Bourges, always wore a hair shirt, never ate flesh meat, when he found himself dying caused his body to be laid on ashes in his hair shirt, worked miracles after his death, and had his relics venerated till 1562, when the Hugonots burnt them without their manifesting miracles at that important crisis. A bone of his arm is still at Chaalis, and one of his ribs at Paris; so says Butler, who does not state that either of these remains worked miracles since the French revolution.
1820. The journals of January relate some particulars of a gentleman remarkable for the cultivation of an useful quality to an extraordinary extent. He drew from actual memory, in twenty-two hours, at two sittings, in the presence of two well-known gentlemen, a correct plan of the parish of St. James,Westminster, with parts of the
shes of St. Mary-le-bone, St. Ann, and St. Martin; which plan contained every
square, street, lane, court, alley, market,
church, chapel, and all public buildings, with all stable and other yards, also every public-house in the parish, and the corners of all streets, with every minutiae, as pumps, posts, trees, houses that proso and inject, bow-windows, Carltonouse, St.James's palace, and the interior of the markets, without scale or reference to any plan, book, or paper whatever. He did the same with respect to the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, in the presence of four gentlemen, from eight to twelve, one evening at a tavern; and he also undertook to draw the plan of St. Giles-in-thefields, St. Paul's, Covent-garden, St. Mary-le-strand, St. Clement's, and threefourths of Mary-le-bone, or St. George's. The plans before alluded to were drawn in the presence of JohnWillock, Esq. Goldensquare; Mr. Robinson, of Surrey-road; William Montague, Esq. of Guildhall; Mr. Allen, vestry clerk of St. Ann's ; John Dawson, Esq. of Burlington-street; N. Walker, Holborn; and two other gentlemen. He can tell the corner of any great and leading thoroughfare-street from Hyde Park-corner, or Oxford-street, to St. Paul's; or from the New-road to Westminster abbey; and the trade or so carried on at such corner house. He can tell every public shop of business in Piccadilly, which consists of two hundred and forty-one houses, allowing him only twenty-four mistakes; he accomplished this in the presence of four gentlemen, after five o'clock, and proved it before seven in the same evening. A house being named in any public street, he will name the trade of the shop, either on the right or left hand of the same, and whether the door of such house so named is in the centre, or on the right or left. He can take an inventory, from memory only, of agentleman's house, from the attic to the groundfloor, and afterwards write it Qut. He did this at lord Nelson's, at Merton, and likewise at the duke of Šent's, in the presence of two noblemen. He is known by the appellation of “Memory-corner Thompson” The plan of his house, called Priory Frognall, Hampstead, he designed, and built it externally *d internally, without any workingdrawing, but carried it up by the eye only. Yet, though his memory is so acourate in the retention of objects sub"wed to the eye, he has little power of
recollecting what he hears. The dialogue of a comedy heard once, or even twice, would, after an interval of a few days, be entirely new to him.
3anuarp ll. St. Theodosius. St. Hyginus. St Egwin. St. Salvius.
This saint visited St. Simeon Stylites on his pillar and had his fortune told. He ate coarse pulse and wild herbs, never tasted bread for thirty years, founded a monastery for an unlimited number of monks, dug one grave large enough to hold the whole community, when he received strangers, and had not food enough, he o for its miraculous increase and had it multiplied accordingly, prophesied while he was dying, died in 529, and had his hair shirt begged by a count, who won a victory with it. He was buried according to Butler, who relates these particulars, in the cave wherein the three kings of Cologne were said to have lodged on their way to Bethlehem.
Fish IN WINTER In hard frosts holes must be broken in the ice that forms upon fish ponds, or the fish will die. It is ". to watch the finny tenants rising half torpid beneath a new-formed hole for the benefit of the air. Ice holes should be kept open during the frost: one hole to a pond is sufficient.
At Logan or Port Nessock in Wigtownshire, North Britain, a large saltwater pond was formed for Cod in 1800. It is a basin of 30 feet in depth, and 160 feet in circumference, hewn out from the solid rock, and communicating with the sea by one of those fissures which are common to bold and precipitous coasts. Attached to it is a neat Gothic cottage for the accommodation of the fisherman, and the rock is surmounted all round by a substantial stone wall at least 300 feet in circumference. In every state of the wind or tide, winter and summer, when not a single boat dare venture to sea, Colonel M*Dowal can command a supply of the finest fish, and study at his leisure the instincts and habits of the “finny nations,” with at least all the accuracy of those saga natu
ralists, who rarely trave farther than Exeter 'Change. From the inner or back door of the lodge, a winding stair-way conducts to the usual halting place—a large flat stone projecting into the water, and commanding a view of every part of the aquatic prison. When the tide is out, this stone is left completely dry, and here a stranger perceives with surprise, a hundred mouths simultaneously opened to greet his arrival. The moment the fisherman crosses his threshold, the pond is agitated by the action of some hundred fins, and otherwise thrown into a state of anarchy and confusion. Darting from this, that, and the other corner, the whole population move as it were to a common centre, elevate their snouts, lash their tails, and jostle one another with such violence, that on a first view they actually seem to be menacing an attack on the poor fisherman, in place of the creel foil of limpets he carries. Many of the fish are so tame, that they will feed greedily from the hand, and bite your fingers into the bargain, if you are foolish enough to allow them; while others again are so shy, that the fisherman discourses of their different tempers, as a thing quite as palpable as the gills they breathe, or the fins they move by. One gigantic cod, which seems to answer to the name of “Tom,” and may well be described as the patriarch of the pond, forcibly arrests attention. This unfortunate, who passed his youth in the open sea, was taken prisoner at the age of five, and has since sojourned at Port Nessock, for the long period of twelve years, during all which time he has gradually increased in bulk and weight. He is now wholly blind from age or disease, and he has no chance whatever in the general scramble. The fisherman, however. is very kind to him, and it is affecting as well as curious, to see the huge animal raise himself in the water; and then resting his head on the flat stone, allow it to be gently patted or stroked, gaping all the while to implore that food which he has no other means of obtaining. In this pond, cod appears to be the prevailing species; there are also blochin or glassin, haddocks, flounders, and various other kinds. Salmon, which at spawning time visit the highest rivers, could not of course obey their instincts here, and accordingly there is only one specimen of this favourite fism in the pond at present. As the
fisherman remarked, “he is far soupler than any o' the rest,” and by virtue of this one quality, chases, bites, and otherwise annoys a whole battalion of gigantic cod, that have only, one would think, to open their mouths and swallow him. To supply them with food is an important part of the fisherman's duty; and with this view, he must ply the net, and heave the line, during two or three days of every week. He has also to renew the stock, when the pond appears to be getting thin, from the con
tributions levied on it by the cook.
A letter from Cairo, in a journal of January 1824, contains a whimsical exemplification of Turkish manners in the provinces, and the absurdity of attempting to honour distant authorities, by the distinctions of civil society. A diploma of honorary member of the Society of Frankfort was presented to the Pacha, at the divan (or council.) The Pacha, who can neither read nor write, thought it was a firman (despatch) from the Porte. He was much surprised and alarmed; but the interpreter explained to him that it was written in the Nemptchee (German) language, contained the thanks of the ulemas (scholars) of a German city named Frankfort, for his kindness to two Nemptchee travelling in Egypt.
But the most difficult part was yet to come; it was to explain to him that he had been appointed a member of their society; and the Turkish language having no word for this purely European idea, the interpreter, after many hesitations and circumlocutions, at last succeeded in explaining, “ that as a mark of respect and gratitude, the society had made him one of their partners.” . At these words the eyes of the Pacha flashed with anger, and with a voice of thunder he roared that he would never again be the partner of any firm; that his partnership with Messrs. Briggs and Co. in the Indian trade, cost him nearly 500,000 hard piasters; that the association for the manufactory of sugar and rum paid him nothing at all; and, in short, that he was completely tired of his connections with Frank merchants, who were indebted to him 23,000,000 of piasters, which he considered as completely lost. In his rage, he even threatened to have the interpreter drowned in the Nile, for having presumed to make offer of a mercantile connection, against his positive orders
The poor interpreter was confounded, and unable to utter a word in his defence. At this critical moment, however, Messrs. | Fernandez, Pambonc, and others who have access to the Pacha, interposed; and it was some time before they could reduce his Highness to reason; his passion had thrown him into an hysterical hiccup. When his Highness was a little recovered, Mr. Fernandel endeavoured to explain to him that there was no question about business: that the ulemas of Frankfort were possessed of no stock but books, and had no capital. “So much the worse,” replied the Pacha; “then they are sahhaftehi, (booksellers,) who carry on their business without money, like the Franks at Cairo and Alexandria.” “Oh, no, they are no sahhaftehi, but ulemas, kiatibs, (authors,) physicians, philoussoufs, &c., who are only engaged in science.” “Well,” said he, “and what am I then to do in their society; I, a Pacha of three horse tails o' “Nothing at all, your Highness, like perlaps most of the members of their society, but by receiving you into their society, these gentlemen intended to show you their respect and gratitude.” “That is a strange custom, indeed,” cried the Pacha, “to show respect to a person by telling or writing to him in funny letters—you.
st. BRIDE's church.
On the 11th of January, 1825, a sketch of this church was taken from a secondfloor window in the house No. 115, Fleetstreet, which stands on the opposite side of the way to that whereon the opening was made by the late fire; and the subjoined engraving from the sketch is designed to perpetuate the appearance through that opening. Till then, it had been concealed from the view of passengers through Fleet-street by the houses destroyed, and the conflagration has been rightly deemed a favourable opportunity for endeavouring to secure a space of sufficient extent to render the church a public ornament to the city. To at least one person, professionally unskilled, the spire of St. Bride's appears more chaste and effective than the spire of Bow. In 1805, it was 234 feet high, which is thirty-two feet higher than the Monument, but having been struck by lightning in that year, it was lowered to its present standard.
St. Bride's church was built by sir
Qhristopher Wren, and completed in 1680. It has been repeatedly beautified:
are worthy of being one of us.” “But this is the custom,” added Divan Effendi (his Secretary.) “Your Happiness knows that the friends (Franks) have many customs different from ours, and often such as are very ridiculous. For instance, if they wish to salute a person, they bare their heads, and scrape with their right foot backwards ; instead of sitting down comfortably on a sofa to rest themselves, they sit on little wooden chairs, as if they were about to be shaved: they eat the pillao with spoons, and the meat with pincers; but what seems most laughable is, that they humbly kiss the hands of their women, who, instead of the yashmak, (veil,) carry straw baskets on their heads; and that they mix sugar and milk with their coffee.” This last sally set the whole assembly (his Highness excepted) in a roar of laughter. Among those who stood near the fountain in the middle of the hall, several exclaimed with respect to the coffee with sugar and milk, Kiafirlers (Ah, ye infidels')
In the end the Pacha was pacified, and “All's well that ends well;” but it had been better, it seems, if, according to the customs of the east, the society of Frankfort had sent the Pacha the unquestionable civility of a present, that he could have applied to some use.
its last internal decorations were effected in 1824. In it are interred Thomas Flatman the poet, Samuel Richardson the novelist, and William Bingley, a bookseller, remarkable for his determined and successful resistance to interrogatories by the court of King's Bench—a pool. which that resistance abated or ever: his latter years were em!. or rather were supported, by the indness of the venerable and venerated John Nichols, Esq. F. S.A. whose family tablet of brass is also in this church. As an ecclesiastical edifice, St. Bride's is confessedly one of the most elegant in the metropolis: an unobstructed view of it is indispensable therefore to the national character. Appeals which will enable the committee to purchase the interests of individuals on the requisite site are now in progress, and can scarcel be unheeded by those whom wealth, taste, and liberality dispose to assist in works of public improvement. The engraved sketch does not claim to be more than such a representation as may give a distant reader some grounds for determining whether a vigorous effort to save a build