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May 25. ST. URBAN. St. Mary Magdalen of
Pazzi, V. St. Gregory VII. &c.
O rises at iv. 1'. and sets at vii. 59'.
Publica, cui templum luce sequente datum est.
Grata Jovi fulvae rostra videbis avis.
It is customary in many parts of Germany to drag the image of St. Urban to the river, if on the day of his feast it happens to be foul weather.
J. B. Aubanus tells us, that "upon St. Urban's Day all the vintners and masters of vineyards set a table either in the marketsteed, or in some other open and public place, and covering it with fine napery, and strawing upon it greene leaves and sweete flowers, do place upon the table the image of that holy bishop, and then, if the day be cleare and faire, they crown the image with great store of wine ; but if the weather prove rugged and rainie, they cast filth, mire, and puddle water upon it; persuading themselves that, if that day be faire and calme, their grapes, which then begin to flourish, will prove good that year; but if it be stormie and tempestuous, they shall have a bad vintage." p. 282.
The same anecdote is related in the Regnum Papisticum of Naogeorgus, which we have so often quoted.
If St. Urban's Day be fair, the Germans count on a good vintage ; but if stormy, the reverse is said to be indicated. The image of this saint used to be set up in the market places, and crowned with flowers ad levandum omen..
FAUNA.—The birds are still occupied with their nests, and the idle part of mankind in disturbing them, for mischievous human kind can never let Nature alone; and birds' nesting, as it is called, makes one of the chief amusements of idle and bad boys.
In many places great havoc is made in Spring among Sparrows and other small birds by the farmer; and rewards are sometimes offered for their destruction. How ignorant are the generality of mankind of their own good! This order of birds, the Sparrows, includes no fewer than forty different kinds of birds which do not eat a single grain of corn, but which, in the course of the Spring and Summer, devour millions of insects that would otherwise prove infinitely more injurious to the farmer than all the Sparrows that haunt his fields, were they ten times more numerous than they are; and even with respect to House Sparrows, which
are certainly, in some measure, injurious to the crops, were the farmer seriously to reflect that the Almighty has not formed any race of beings whatever without giving to them an important destination, he would not probably be so anxious for their destruction. It has been satisfactorily ascerlained that a single pair of common Spurrows, while their young ones are in the nest, destroy on an average above three thousand Caterpillars every week! At this rate, if all the species of small birds were to be extirpated, what would then become of the crops ?
May 26. St. AUGUSTINE, B.C. Apostle of England.
St. Philip Neri. St. Quadratus. St. Eleutherius.
Of St. Augustine, the Apostle of England, an elaborate account will be found in Butler under the 26th of May.
Arctophylax occidit.-Rom. Cal.
Continuaque die sidus Hyantis erit.
FLORA.— The Purple Rhododendron Rhododendron Ponticum is now in full flower; and the Yellow Azalea Azalea Pontica, as well as the Scarlet Azalea Azalea nudiflora, are also in full blow.
The above three flowering shrubs make a beautiful figure in gardens at, this time of year, and continue in blow for a month or more. They succeed to another flowering shrub, the Mezereon, which blossoms during the primaveral period, and is now out of blow, the small leaves and reddish seeds alone being seen on its branches.
The White Thorn, or May, as it is called, is still in blossom, the grass is green, and the vernal bloom of Nature still in perfection - every where, as Göthe expresses it, “ Jede Heke ist ein Straus von Blühten."
POMONA.—A few unripe Gooseberries begin now to be gathered for tarts, which, however, still taste a good deal of the wood, though they are by some persons regarded as a great luxury.
Proverbs relating to May.
We insert, in conclusion, the following proverbs, being the supplement to those we have already given under March and April, and which make up a collection of popular adages relating to the seasons, &c. which we have collected with much diligence :
Proverbs relating to the Weather, Seasons, &c. Drought never bred dearth in England. Whoso hath but a mouth, shall ne'er in England suffer drought. When the sand doth feed the clay, England woe and welladay. But when the clay doth feed the sand, Then it is well with Angle Land. After a famine in the stall, Comes a famine in the hall. When the Cuckoo comes to the bare Thorn, Sell your Cow, and buy your corn: But when she comes to the full bit, Sell your corn, and buy your Sheep. If the Cock moult before the Hen, We shall have weather thick and thin; But if the Hen moult before the Cock, We shall have weather hard as a block. As the days lengthen, so the cold strengthen. If there be a rainbow in the eve, it will rain and leave. But if there be a rainbow in the morrow, it will neither leed nor borrow. A rainbow in the morning Is the shepherd's warning; But a rainhow at night Is the shepherd's delight. No tempest, good July, lest corn come off blue by. When the wind's in the East, it's neither good for man nor beast. When the wind's in the South, it's in the rain's mouth. When the wind's in the South, It blows the bait into the fishes' mouth. No weather is ill, if the wind be still. When the Sloetree is as white as a sheet, Sow your Barley whether it be dry or wet. A green Winter makes a fat churchyard. Hail brings frost in the tail. A snow year, a rich year. Winter's thunder's Summer's wonder.
May 27. St. Bede. St. Julius. St. John, Pope.
The venerable St. Bede, who lived in the eighth century, is noted as a most remarkable instance of profound learning
and deeprooted piety: it was always a question which he did most, pray or read.-Refer to Butler, vol. v. p. 379.
Mr. Wordsworth, in his “ Sonnets and Memorials," recently published, has paid an elegant tribute to the memory of Bede. Having described the “primitive Saxon clergy," their entire devotion to religious duties, and their secluded life, the poet thus beautifully continues his sonnettal chain :
Metbinks that to some vacant hermitage
The last dear service of thy passing breath!
:- John Calvin, the persecuting, unchristian, and, as Bishop Milner styles him, blasphemous reformer, died in 1564, at Geneva.
Hyades oriuntur.-Rom. Cal. This must allude to their cosmical rising, and is not noticed in Ovid today. But their heliacal setting is mentioned, or rather alluded to, yesterday.
The Hyades, so called from their rainy indications, are a small cluster of stars near to the south of Aldebaran : they are neither so light nor so numerous as the Pleiades, to which they bear some resemblance; but it requires a very clear atmosphere to distinguish them without a telescope. The Hyades, like the Pleiades and all the constellations of Taurus, become conspicuous as an evening stellification in the East late in Autumn.
Although the Hyades and the Pleiades are sometimes represented as distinct constellations, and, indeed, very properly so, being distinct clusters of stars, they are only, nevertheless, component parts of that of Taurus. The Hyades are the feigned daughters of Atlas and Pleione. They are composed of numerous small stars surrounding Aldebaran, which forms the right eye of the Bull, and is a star of the first magnitude, whose latitude is 5° 29' 40" south, and longitude 6° 32 9" of Gemini. The Arabians call it Ainaltor, the Bull's Eye; but Aldebiron, signifying “ he went before, or led the way,” points to a period in the history of astronomy when this star was the foremost, or most illustrious, among the celestial host, Taurus being then the first of the signs. The Hyades, it is also said, were anciently called Debaroth, of which the most brilliant was named Aldebaran; but al or el was the name of Sol, and Deborah or Debaran has been translated order, march, series ; the march of the celestial hosts would then be typified by the asterism Aldebaran. The declination of Aldebaran, in 1820, was 16° 8' 24" N. and its right ascension 66° 23' 52". It rises at London nearly on the NE. by E. į E. point of the compass. Its meridian altitude is 54° 37' 24", and the time of its rising and culminating, or passing the meridian of that city, is given in the following table : Rising. Culminating
H. M. January 15 aft. 9 37 aft. | July ...... 2 10 February • 0 2
N. 42 34 42 54 58 55
7 25 August 0 15 March ...10
10 mor. 5 37 September 10 10 aft. April 8 6
3 43 October 8 30 May ..... 6 15
1 53 November 6 S5 June 4 15 11 46 mor.
December 4 SO
5 3 1 11
Aldebaran is one of those stars which are frequently employed by sailors for determining the course and position of their vessel, either by means of its altitude or its distance from the Moon; whence the longitude of the place of observation may be found from the chronometer.
The Pleiades are situated on the neck of the Bull, northwest of the Hyades; they consist of many small bright stars, the largest of which is of the third magnitude, and is called Lucida Pleiadum. This group passes vertically over the deserts of Arabia, Bengal, the southern parts of China, California, and the Straits of Florida. It was obviously one of those which attracted early notice, as the various allusions to it in the writings of antiquity sufficiently prove. Job mentions the Pleiades Pleione in conjunction with Arcturus and