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irregularities, he was murdered at the instigation of an abandoned woman. Being canonized, he obtained, at first, only a simple commemoration in the Calendar; but Robert the Bishop of Leeds, in a general chapter of the Cistercian order, procured a solemn feast to his honour in the church in 1240.
St. Columba was a holy vestal in the cloister of Tobanos : she was beheaded by the Moors, on account of her faith, under the reign of Mohammed in Spain, in 853.
FAUNA.-In fine weather, about this period, it is no uucommon thing to see the ground so covered with the woof of the Spider that it appears, when shining in the Sun, to be covered with a silvery network; this is most striking early in the morning, when the dew reflects the light. Wasps are still very troublesome from their numbers, and we have observed that they are more numerous after rather wet Summers than after a continuance of hot dry weather. In some of the southern counties Hornets are now seen about, and are very dangerous on account of their stings. Bees do not appear much more numerous now than at other times of the year : their stings are said to be more painful than those of Wasps, but they do not sting so readily. The humble Bees are entirely stingless.
Various means are devised for destroying Wasps and their nests, but the safest, and that which is now commonly resorted to, is the sulphurous match, which, being introduced carefully into the nest by night, burns in it, and suffocates them. Butchers object to the destruction of Wasps, under an idea that they destroy the Flies, and thus secure the meat from becoming the repository of their eggs.
Flies, which, as we have observed, begin to be very numerous at the end of July and throughout August, are still very troublesome, and some kinds of them particularly obtrusive before rain, which they indicate by their biting.
September 18. St. Thomas of Villanova Bishop and
Confessor. St. Methodius Bishop and Martyr.
rises at v. 46'. and sets at vi. 14'.
Spica Virginis oritur mane.-Rom. Cal.? We have placed a ? to this notation as not corresponding to astronomical facts.
The sign Virgo me might probably first emerge from the Sun's light at this time. She is the last of the Summer signs, and the sixth in the order of the Zodiac, into which the Sun enters on the 23d of August. This is considered as tlre harvest sign, and the usual symbol by which it is represented is a damsel, whom the popular mythology of the Greeks represented as Ceres, with a bunch of corn in her hand. The same ingenious people also feigned the emblem of this sign to be Astraea, the goddess of Justice; and some of their poets affirmed her to be Erigone, the daughter of Icarius. There seems, however, reason to suppose that the original of this symbol was the Aegyptian Isis. “ In the Zodiac of Dendera,” says Jamieson, “ Virgo is represented with a branch of a Palm tree in her hand; and trees, branches of trees, or groves, were symbolical of the heavenly hosts. In the Aegyptian Zodiac, Isis, whose place was supplied by Virgo, was also represented with three ears of corn in her hand. The Chinese call the Zodiac the Yellow Road, as resembling a path over which the ripened ears of corn are scattered; and, according to the Aegyptian mythology, Isis was said to have dropped a sheaf of corn as she fled from Typhon, who scattered it over the heavens as he continued to pursue her. Very anciently, indeed, it is said, this sign of the Zodiac was composed of corn bound in sheaves.” The same writer enters into a disquisition of some length relative to the origin and import of this sign, and the inferences that are to be drawn from them in reference to the antiquity of astronomy. He has also endeavoured “to embalm the memory of the Princess Charlotte in the symbol of the sixth sign of the heavens."
The sign of Virgo is bounded on the East and West by those of Libra and Leo, and on the North and South by some of inferior order. It contains 110 stars; one of which is of the first magnitude, six of the third, and ten of the fourth. The most brilliant of these is Spica Virginis, which forms a large and nearly equilateral triangle with Derobola in Leone, and Arcturus.
CHRONOLOGY.—This is said to have been the birthday of Dr. Johnson the English Lexicographer, in the year 1709. Besides his ponderous Dictionary, Dr. Johnson edited several periodical publications, in whicb his own style is usually conspicuous. The Rambler and the Idler are almost entirely his own composition, and he wrote also Sketches of the Lives of the Poets. He died in Bolt Court, Fleet Street, December 13, 1781, aged 72. Dr. Johnson was certainly a man of considerable ability as a general writer, but almost all his compositions are tinged with a sort of inelancholy which haunted him all his life, and was produced, as it is thought, by a slight and chronic disorder of the functions of the liver. This hypochondriacal tinge is very conspicuous in his novel called Rasselas. Before his death this complaint entirely left him, and he died tranquil and
comfortable. Johnson was a good Scholar, but a bad critic; and though he made a Dictionary, which for ages will be a useful appendage to English grammatical literature, yet he understood nothing of the spirit of philology, much less of metaphysics, as has been clearly shown by John Horne Tooke in the celebrated Enea 11 Tegokita, or Diversions of Purley. Added to this, Johnson had an affected bearishness of mien, under which much real benevolence was concealed. And this hoggish air, we lament to say, is aped by many of his inferiors in knowledge in modern days, who imagine that they can induce the world to give them credit for the talents of a great man, merely because they can succeed in the easier imitation of his defects; for: getful that, independently of the contempt that affectation always entails, the first quality requisite for society is good breeding, and that a gentlemanly character is much preferable to scholarship.
The poet Prior died this day in 1721.
September 19. SS. Januarius and Companions Martyrs.
St. Theodore Bishop and Confessor. SS. Peleus,
O rises at v. 48. and sets at vi. 12'.
Sol in Libra.-Rom. Cal. The Sun now enters the nominal Libra about the 23d of September, which corresponds pretty nearly to the time when the real stellification so called was in 6 with O. See p. 6. See also any account of the procession of the equinox in astronomical books. Libra is a very ancient sign, and seems to imply the balance of day and night at the autumnal equinox, as Virgil says :
Libra die Somnique pares ubi fecerat horas. This sign would equally apply to the vernal equinox, and some philosophers believe that at a very remote period it did belong to it, and that it became the autumnal by procession in course of time. —“Mr. Dupuis, in his learned memoir concerning the origin of the constellations, has assigned many plausible reasons to prove that Libra was formerly the sign of the vernal, and Aries of the autumnal equinox; that is, that since the origin of the actual astronomical system, the procession of the equinoxes has carried forward by seven signs the primitive order of the Zodiac. Now estimating the procession at about seventy years and a half to a degree, that is 2,115 years to each sign; and observing that Aries was in its fifteenth degree, 1,447 years before Christ, it follows, that the first degree of Libra could not have coincided with the vernal equinox more lately than 15,194 years before Christ; to which if you add 1790 years since Christ, it appears that 16,984 years have elapsed since the origin of the Zodiac. The vernal equinox coincided with the first
degree of Aries 2,504 years before Christ, and with the first degree of Taurus 4,619 years before Christ. Now it is to be observed, that the worship of the Bull is the principal article of the theological creed of the Aegyptians, Persians, and Japanese, from whence it clearly follows, that some general revolution took place among those nations at that time. The chronology of five or six thousand years in Genesis is little agreeable to this hypothesis ; but as the book of Genesis cannot claim to be considered as a history further back than Abraham, we are at liberty to make what arrangements we please in the time that preceded.”- Volney. We
e may refer the reader to Sir William Drummond's Oedipus Judaicus, 8vo, London. We must not, however, place too much confidence in the astronomical accounts of writers who wrote with a particular view to the overthrow of the old systems. Neither can we so hastily agree with M. Volney, that the book of Genesis is only a good history up to the time of Abraham ; but the observations we have recorded may, if not true, be easily refuted, and they certainly are curious and deserving of consideration.
ÚRANIA.- On the Harvest Moon and the Hunter's Moon.The nearest Moonto the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon: it rises nearer to the same each succeeding night at this time of year, than it does at any other: it has received its cognomen in autumn only, on account probably of its use to the farmers, when pressed for time with the ingathering of the harvest. The cause of this phenomenon is the Moon's being in the signs X and r at the time of the full, which she is in this and the succeeding month. The October Moon is called the Hunter's Moon. It is well known that the signs * and or rise making the smallest, and - and m rise making the greatest angle with the horizon; and vice versâ with respect to setting. Now the Moon, whose orbit is nearly parallel to the ecliptic, is the full in * and r in September and October, consequently, rising in those months, she makes the least angle with the horizon, and therefore rises nearer the same time every evening.
In northern latitudes, the autumnal full Moons are in Pisces and Aries; and the vernal full Moons in Virgo and Libra: in southern latitudes just the reverse, because the seasons are contrary. But Virgo and Libra rise at as small angles with the horizon in southern latitudes, as Pisces and Aries do in the northern; and therefore the Harvest Moons are just as regular on one side of the Equator as on the other.
On the parallel of London as much of the ecliptic rises about Pisces and Aries in two hours as the Moon goes through in six days; and therefore, whilst the Moon is in
these signs, she differs but two hours in rising, for six days together; that is, about 20 minutes later every day or night than on the preceding, at a mean rate. But in fourteen days afterwards, the Moon comes to Virgo and Libra, which are the opposite signs to Pisces and Aries; and then she differs almost four times as much in rising ; namely, one hour and about fifteen minutes later every day or night than the former, whilst she is in these signs. The annexed Table shows the daily mean difference of the Moon's rising and setting on the parallel of London for 28 days, in which time the Moon finishes her period round the ecliptic, and gets nine degrees into the same sign from the beginning of which she set out. So it appears by the Table, that when the Moon is in me and she rises an hour and a quarter later every day than she rose on the former; and differs only 28, 24, 20, 18, or 17 minutes in setting. But, when she comes to * and p, she is only 20 or 17 minutes later in rising, and an hour and a quarter later in setting.
0 50 0 43 0 37 0 32 0 28 0 24 0 20 0 18 O 17
28 m 12
1 14 27 10 23