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Flora.— The Everlasting Gnaphalium Stoechas often first flowers at this time. The time is now fast approaching when there cease to be any fresh acquisitions to the Aestival Flora, though most of her plants remain now in full and luxuriant perfection. It has often been contended, that the flowers of this time of year are the most beautiful, and that we only give the preference to Spring gardens from their being companions of the return of a delightful season. There is no doubt that, considered abstractedly, the Daffodils, Hepaticas, and even the Tulips, Hyacinths, and Anemonies, are not such beautiful objects as the tall Sunflowers and Holyhocks, and the glowing China Asters, and African Marigolds, which now adom our gardens. The Heartsease and Violet which remain all the year, are scarcely admired amidst Carnations, and we should hardly notice the Winter Hellebore if it blew amongst the Pinks and Roses of Midsummer.
On the Colours of Flowers. - It may be as well to guard the amateur of popular Botany against being deceived by the changing colours of flowers. Nimium ne crede colori was the maxim of Linnaeus; and we believe we may say, that in judging of species, colour should be totally disregarded. Besides this, Flowers are very apt to change their colour owing to difference of soil and climate. The purple variety of Hepatica, for instance, being transplanted, will change from purple to white; and being replaced in its former soil, will become purple again. Whether the crimson and blue varieties will change in a similar way or not, is uncertain; but they certainly change to some other colour, when planted in a different soil. Many of our names for colours, indefinite and vague as they are, seem to have been derived from the names of plants. We shall subjoin, for the entertainment of the curious reader, the following etymological account of colours :
Yellow. This word is derived from the Anglo Saxon geaelyan accendere to inflame, and signifies the colour of fame, which is a sort of a yellowish colour. In like manner the Latin flammeus, as well as flavus, come from payua, fame of φλεγειν. The Italian giallo, and French jaune, seem to have had a common origin with yellow.
Red. - However the real difference between red and yellow may be demonstrated by a prism, I suspect the etymology expresses no difference. The etymology of the word seems doubtful. Horne Tooke has omitted it in his etymological account of colours in the Diversions of Purley. I suspect, however, it may have some connexion with the word ray, and expresses the colour of the Sun's rays. In this sense it has the same real import as yellow. The Anglo Saxon word is read. The Latin rubere, whence ruber and rufer, was sometimes used simply for splendescere to shine.
Blue. - This word seems to come from blopan florere,
to blow as a flower does, and signifies the colour of flowers ; certainly the most indefinite of all our names for colours.
I next proceed to the compounds; and first the binaries.
GREEN is derived from the Anglo Saxon verb gerennian or grenman, virescere. In like manner the Latin virere gave the adjective viridis.
Purple. - This word, commonly used in modern times for the mixture of red and blue, is derived from the Latin purpureus, and signifies only flame coloured, from nüs, fire. The word is variously applied by the Romans to substances differing essentially in colour. They used also many other indefinite words for this kind of colour, as ostreus, phoenicius, i. e. color palmulae, &c. Certain varieties of this binary are expressed by the words crimson, pink, lake, &c.
ORANGE. — We have no name for this third binary, but such as has reference to the colours of specific bodies, as orange; or such as represent the compound, as yellowish
The ternary only remains to be spoken of, and
Brown is a corruption of the past participle of the Anglo Saxon verb brennan urere to burn, and signifies the colour of burnt substances; having etymologically no distinction between it and ash colour. In like manner the Latin fuscus comes from QworeLv, ustulare, as noticed by Tooke; and has the same real meaning, as well as the same application, as brown. Query, Wbence come fulvus and aquilus?
White comes from OlOGIIN spumare.
Our word GRAY is derived from zereznian inficere meaning the colour of tainted, infused, or damaged articles, and is most properly used when applied to mixtures, which appear as if tainted or tinged with foreign colours, as the salt and pepper mixtures, &c.
The dilutions of yellow by wbite are called straw colour.
Black has probably the same root as bleak, perhaps from blaecan, and signifies deprived of colour.
Among the desiderata of philosophy may be included the want of a systematic arrangement of colours, with specific names for each, whereby the numerous combinations and shades of colour which appear on the surfaces of bodies, may be expressed with greater precision than they can be at present with our imperfect and indefinite names.
We are surprised that scientific persons, but Botanists in particular, have not before this attempted something of the kind. How different is the red of the flower of the Peony from that of the Papaver Rhoeas! How almost contrasted does the
brilliant red of the Scarlet Lychnis appear to the red of the Papaver Orientale, called the Monkshood Poppy! Who is there who cannot discover much difference in the colours of the flowers of the Spring Crocus, of the Field Ranunculus, and of the Evening Primrose ; and are not these termed yellow flowers? What distinction between the blue of the Sonchus Caeruleus from that of the Field Hyacinth!
The colour we call Green has nearly as many varieties. We hear of grassgreen, applegreen, &c. but these terms do not express the numerous kinds of green observable in different leaves and other natural productions. The word brown appears still more various; it seems to have become the common name for all unknown and mixed corruptions of colour.
In future perhaps some theory of smells may also be formed by repeated experiments with compounds of them; something like what Haller is said to have had in view.
Refer to Phil. Mag. for 1813.
August 28. St. Augustine Bishop and Confessor
Doctor of the Church. St. Hermes Martyr. St.
St. Augustine was born at Thagaste, a town in Numidia, in the year 354. He early applied himself to the study of polite literature, and became a professor of philosophy and rhetoric, first at Rome, and afterwards at Milan. He next diligently studied theology, in which he was instructed by St. Ambrose, with whom he contracted an intimate acquaintance. In the year 388 he returned to his native country, and three years afterwards was chosen Bishop of Hippo. Augustine was a judicious divine, and the most voluminous writer of all the fathers. He died in 430, at the age of 77. He is for shortness called St. Austin
The monastery of St. Augustine at Canterbury is well known to all antiquaries. See a long account of his life in Butler's Lives, vol. viii. p. 404.
St. Austin used often to quote these lines of Juvenal, whereof the following is Dryden's translation :
He that once sins, like him who slides on ice,
Arae Victoria in Curia dedic.-Rom. Cal.
the Greeks Nuxen, supposed to be the daughter of Pallas, or of Titan and Styx. The goddess Victory was sister to Strength and Valour, and was one of the attendants of Jupiter. She was greatly honoured by the Greeks, particularly at Athens. Sylla raised her a temple at Rome, and instituted festivals in her honour. She was represented with wings, crowned with Laurel, and holding the branch of a Palm Tree in her hand. But the figure of Victory is variously represented on different statues and pictures. She is always an elegant female and usually with wings, sometimes blowing a trumpet and flying before an army, or triumphantly trampling her enemies, crowned with Laurels. A golden statue of this goddess, weighing 320 pounds, was presented to the Romans by Hiero king of Syracuse, and deposited in the temple of Jupiter, on the Capitoline hill. Liv. 22. Varro de L. L. Hesiod. Theog. Hygin. praef. fab.
CHRONOLOGY.-Hugo Grotius died at Delft in 1645.
FAUNA.- Glowworms, which begin to be seen about St. John's day 24th June, are still very numerous on fine evenings. A late entymological writer thus describes them and some other luminous insects :-“ This little planet of the rural scene may be observed in abundance in the month of August, when the earth is almost as thickly spangled with them as the cope of heaven is with stars. It is not only the Glowworm that will not bear inspection when its lustre is lost by the light of day; but all those luminous insects that bear the same phosphoric fire about them, such as the Lanthorn Fly of the West Indies and of China, of which there are several sorts ; some of which carry their light in a sort of snout, so that when they are seen in a collection, they are remarkably ugly. There is also an insect of this luminous sort common in Italy, called the Lucciola. An intelligent traveller relates, that some Moorish ladies having been made prisoners by the Genoese, lived in a house near Genoa till they could be exchanged, and, on seeing some of the Lucciola, or Flying Glowworms, darting about in the evening in the garden near them, they caused the windows to be shut in a great alarm, from a strange idea which seized them, that these shining flies were the souls of their deceased relations.”
Ceres.- Barley is now ripe. The following humorous Ballad on Barleycorn, by Burns, may amuse :
John Barleycorn, a Ballad. There went three kings into the east, three kings both great and high, And they hae sworn a solemn oath John Barleycorn should die.
They took a plough and ploughed him down, put clods upon bis lead,
August 29. St. Sabina Martyr. St. Sebbi King and
Confessor. St. Mevoi Abbot. This day was formerly denominated Festum Collectionis Sancti Johannis Baptistae, or the Feast of gathering up St. John the Baptist's Relics; but afterwards, by corruption, Festum Decollationis, signifying the festival in remembrance of his being beheaded. His nativity is celebrated on the 24th of June, to which we refer our readers.
l'olcanalia.-Rom. Cal. We have already explained the Volcanalia. The fable of Vulcan forging thunderbolts for Jupiter is very ancient, and we can trace lineaments of the same features in the history of Tubal Cain. The thunderbolt was in fact a meteoric stone, which, being an effect of the same causes that produce fiery meteors, was not uncommon in this month. There are many undoubted proofs of the knowledge of Meteorolites possessed by the ancients.
However astonishing it may seem, yet it is nevertheless true, that the ancient Ephesians worshipped the Meteorolites in their Diopetus. This imaginary being, whose idolatrous