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water from an overhanging Raincloud ; a circumstance which superstition has figuratively ascribed to the tears of Heaven, shed for the destructive carnage going forward on Earth. That a great union of flames, by rarifying the air, which would naturally ascend, may, in some measure, do the same thing, is within the bounds of possibility.
The sound of bells is heard at a great distance like other noises before rain, of which it becomes a prognostic.
Ovid thus describes the setting of the Dolphin today. The longitude of this constellation being really about 10%. 70.30'. —
Quem modo caelatum stellis Delphina videbas,
Is fugiet visus nocte sequente tuos. The Fable related by Ovid of Arion and the Dolphin is well known.
The following is the account of St. Blaze in the Popish Kingdome, fol. 47 b.
Then followeth good St. Blaze, who doth a waxen Candell give,
February 4. St. Joan, Q. St. Andrew Corsini.
Signs of Spring now begin to appear. The Woodlark sings : the Thrush, the Chaffinch, and the Blackbird follow. Rooks pair, Geese lay, and some buds are seen on the very early shrubs.
Moles go to work in throwing up their hillocks as soon as the earth is softened. Under some of the largest, a little below the surface of the earth, they make their nests of moss, in which four or five young are found at a time. These animals live on worms, insects, and the roots of plants. They do much mischief in gardens, by loosening and devouring flower roots; but in the fields they seem to do no other damage, than rendering the surface of the ground unequal by their hillocks, which obstruct the scythe in mowing. They are said also to pierce the sides of dams and canals, and let out the water.
Mountain Scenery in Wales, Switzerland, Savoy, and particularly in the barren mountains of Scotland, is often seen in the greatest perfection during this month, when
torrents are seen rolling down the rocky precipices of the hills, and streaming across the stony valleys with the hollow roar of waterfalls reechoing from the rocks, which reminds us of Lord Byron's lines on solitude :
To sit on Rocks, to muse o'er Flood and Fell,
But mid the Crowd, the Hum, the Shock of Men,
On the Month of February.
February 5. ST. AGATHA, V. M. St. Adelaide, V. A. NONAE Augustus dict. Pater Patriae — Aquarius oritur.–Rom. Cal. PLORA.—FRUITLESS STRAWBERRY Fragaria sterilis sometimes flowers.
It is evidently the heliacal rising of Aquarius that is denoted in the Roman Calendar today, since the Sun, according to the same Calendar, was in that sign on the 17th of January; and the origin of this sign is taken from the watery time of year in which the Sun entered it, as an old verse reminds us :
Now old Aquarius from his rainie urne
About her feet the Snowdrop and Primrose. The weather begins generally to be much milder, and the days longer; still, February being an unwholesome month, people should guard against colds, and, above all, against the contagion of Typhus and other Fevers which are apt to prevail in the early Spring. Smoking tobacco is a very
salutary practice in general, as well as being a preventive against infection in particular. The German Pipes are the best, and get better as they are used, particularly those made of Merschaum, called Ecume de Mer. Next to these, the Turkey Pipes, with long tubes, are to be recommended, but
these are fitter for Summer smoking under the shade of Trees, than for the Fireside. The best Tobacco is the Turkey, the Persian, and what is called Dutch Canaster. Smoking is a custom which should be recommended in the close cottages of the Poor, and in great populous Towns liable to contagion.
The Rule of Health.
February 6. St. Dorothy, V. M. St. Amand. St.
Vedast. O rises at vii. 19'. sets at iv. 41'. FLORA.-BUTCHER'S BRoom Ruscus aculeatus flowers. One begins now to perceive the lengthened days, and this, together with the blowing of the early primaveral flowers, calls our attention to the approach of Spring. Many persons feel a peculiar melancholy and pensiveness about this time, which seems connected with some physical
In the popular Songs of many nations relating to Spring, we find a particular recurrence to melancholy ideas.
The Germans are remarkable for their peculiar taste for this sort of composition, as may be found by almost all their popular ballads. We may allude to one example from the German Erato, in the Lebenspflichten, an old popular song, beginning
Rosen auf den weg gestruet, &c. The Scottish bards generally write in a very melancholy strain, particularly the writers of popular ballads ; but if we carefully analyse their works, we shall find that theirs is more a retrospective, and the German's more a prospective
pensiveness: thus, while the Germans dwell, during the gay enjoyment of pleasures, on the gloomy period of their future termination, the Scotch love continually to lament those actually gone by and fled for ever. Many familiar examples of our position might be adduced from Burns, and other poets. See the popular ballad
The Banks o' Doon.
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
And I sae weary, fu' o' care?
That wantons through the flowering thorn:
Departed never to return.
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And fondly sae did I o' mine.
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree;
But ah! he left the thorn wi' me. Instances of this kind of poetry, interspersed with beautiful recurrences to the happy scenes of early childhood, are too numerous among Scottish pastoral songs and sonnets, to be quoted here. The peculiar pleasure of this kind of melancholy poetry, when unaccompanied by those morbid hypochondriacal feelings which may have sometimes mingled with it, are only known to those who derive from genius originally a peculiar susceptibility of mind.
February 7. St. Romauld, A. St. Richard. St. Theo
dorus. St. Tressain. St. Angulus. FLORA.-Yellow COLTSFOOT Tussilago Farfora begins to open, but the
general flowering takes place somewhat later. The weather of this time of year is generally very disagreeable, and people generally come to town to beguile it with amusements. Concerts, Public Balls, Theatres, and other entertainments, occupy the time of the wealthy.
Conviviality and good cheer may convert the most dreary time of the year into a season of pleasure; and association of ideas, that great source of our keenest pleasures, may attach delightful images to the howling wind of a bleak winter's night, and the hoarse screeching and mystic hooting of the ominous owl, if such times have been usually
passed in merriment: of which the following song reminds Us :
Winter, from Shakespeare.
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
Then roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. To keel the pot is merely an ancient spelling for to cool it. Cool is really the past participle of the verb, see J. Horne Tooke's Enea II reperta, vol. ii. where this passage is noticed.
February 8. St. John of Matha, Founder of the Tri
nitarians. St. Stephen of Grandmont. FLORA.- EARLY Whitlow Grass Draba verna flowers on old walls, and
the dry sides of fields. If the weather be fair and open at this time, many small and early plants may be found in flower, as Snowdrops, Primroses, and Double Daisies.
The prospective melancholy, alluded to February 6, as being often the companion of the early Spring, is strongly marked in the following Odes of Horace on the approach of this Season, to which we refer our readers; Ist, Ode 7, of lib. iv.:
In Adventum Veris.
In Adventum Veris. Soluitur acris hyems grata vice veris et Favonii, &c. In the absence of any particular observations relating to this day, we shall insert the following excellent Table, copied from the European Magazine, and ascribed to the illustrious astronomer, Dr. Herschel. It is constructed upon