Page images
PDF
EPUB

prising character is now 75 years of age, and never knew a day's illness: inured to hard work from his cradle, it became so habitual to him, that to this day he could no more live without employment, than any other man could live without food. He has brought up and educated eleven sons and daughters (several of whom are now living in respectable circumstances), without ever having received, and would even now disdain to receive, parochial relief:. he is esteemed and respected by all who know him.

God to the human race
Indulgent prompts to necessary toil
Man, provident of life; with kindly signs
The seasons marks, when best to turn the glebe
With spade and plough, to nurse the tender plants,
And cast o'er fost'ring earth the seeds abroad.

ARATUS.

9.-SAINT DENYS. Saint Denys, or Dionysius, the Areopagite, was converted to Christianity by St. Paul. See Acts xvii. He was, at first, one of the judges of the celebrated court of the Areopagus, but was afterwards made Bishop of Athens, where he suffered martyrdom for the sake of the gospel.--For an account of an antient tradition relative to St. Denis, see our last volume,

p. 261.

11.-OLD MICHAELMAS DAY, Still observed as the quarter day in many places, and as the end of one year, and beginning of another, in hiring servants.

*12. 1821.-WILLIAM ANGUS DIED, Landscape Engraver, and eminent for his productions in this line. One of his principal works is his Collection of Views of the Seals of the Nobility and Gentry,' 1787-1815. 13.-TRANSLATION OF KING EDWARD THE

CONFESSOR. He was the youngest son of King Ethelred; but as all his elder brothers were either dead, or had fled

away, he succeeded to the crown of England in the year 1042. He collected all the most useful laws made by the Saxon and Danish kings. The additional title of Confessor was probably given him by the pope, for settling what was then called Rome Scot, but now is better known by the name of Peter's Pence. For some pretty lines on this subject, see T. T. for 1815, p. 281.

*15. 1400'.-JOHN GOWER, POET, DIED, Not long after this day; he lieth buried in St. Mary Overies church, or St. Mary's on the bank in Southwarke. He new builded a great parte of that church, and compiled three famous books. The firste in Latine, Vox Clamantis; the seconde in Frenche, Speculum Meditantis: the thirde in English, Confessio Amantis, which is in .prynte; Summarie of English Chronicles.' Our learned antiquarian Leland tells us, that 'this John Gower was of the knightly order, and born in Yorkshire : that he was a lawyer by profession, and laboured much in poetry, and was the first polisher of his own countrey language, which before his time lay uncultivated, and almost quite rude: that he wrote many things in English, not only in verse, but also in prose, which were read with pleasure by the learned even in his time, the reign of King Henry VIII. He flourished in King Richard II's reign, to whom he dedicated his works; and, when he was blind, presented to him his Song in praise of Peace. He was an intimate friend and acquaintance of that eminent poet, Geoffery Chaucer, as he shows in this book, and used to submit his lucubrations to his judgment, as Chaucer did his Loves of Troilus to the censure and correction of Gower and Strode.'

*16. 1822.-MRS. GARRICK DIED, ÆT. 99! This lady was the widow of the inimitable Garrick,

Ritson, iu his Bibliographia Poetica, says 1402.

1

who contributed so greatly to lessen the sum of human misery, by his mirthful exertions on the stage. Mrs. Garrick was in her hundredth year-and such was the state of her health and spirits, that, it is said, she was making arrangements to be present at the re-opening of Drury-lane Theatre, when Death on the pale horse' summoned her to act her part in • another and a better world.'

17.-SAINT ETHELDREDA. She was a princess of

distinguished piety, daughter of Anna, King of the East-Angles, and Hereswitha his queen, and was born about the year 630, at Isning, a small village in Suffolk. In the year 673, she founded the conventual church of Ely, with the adjoining convent. Of this monastery she was constituted abbess, the monks and nuns living in society and regular order: it flourished for nearly two hundred years, but was destroyed, with its inhabitants, by the Danes, in 870.--See T.T. for 1814, p. 255.

18.-SAINT LUKE THE EVANGELIST. Luke was born at Antioch, the metropolis of Syria, a place celebrated for the study of the liberal arts. The notion that he was a painter is without foundation, as it is not countenanced by antient, writers. Dr. Lardner thinks that he might have been by profession a physician, as the expression beloved physician,' Col. iv, 14, seems to intimate. Luke lived a single life, and died in the 84th year of his age, about the year of Christ 70; probably a natural death.

25.-SAINT CRISPIN. Crispinus and Crispianus, two brothers, were born at Rome; whence they travelled to Soissons in France, about the year 303, to propagate the Christian religion. Being desirous, however, of rendering themselves independent, they gained a subsistence by shoemaking. It having been discovered that they privately embraced the Christian faith, and endeavoured to make proselytes of the inhabitants, the

[ocr errors]

governor of the town immediately ordered them to be beheaded, about the year 308. From this time, the shoemakers chose them for their tutelar saints. There is a curious anecdote relative to this day in T.T. for 1816, p. 291. The shoemakers of Edinburgh, and the principal towns of Scotland, meet annually on St. Crispin's-day to choose a king from among their own body, and celebrate the event with a grand pageant, an excellent supper, and a ball for their female friends.

28.-SAINT SIMON AND SAINT JUDE, Apostles.

Simon is called the Canaanite, from the Hebrew word Cana, to be zealous; hence his name of Simon Zelotes, or the Zealot, Luke vi, 15. After enduring various troubles and afflictions, he, with great cheerfulness, suffered death on the cross.

Jude is called both by the name of Thaddæus and Libbæus: Matt. x, 3, and Mark iii, 18. Jude, the brother of James : Jude, verse 1. And Judas, not Iscariot: John xiv, 22. He was of our Lord's kindred; ‘Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James and Joses, and Simon and Judas ?' Matt. xiii, 55. After great success in his apostolic mi-nistry, he was, at last, for a free and open reproof of the superstitious rites of the Magi, cruelly put to death. He has left one epistle of universal concern to Christians.

*OCT. 1821.--POETICAL FRAGMENT FOUND In the skeleton case at the Royal Academy, supposed to have been written by one of the students, and deposited there by him.

Behold this ruin—'twas a skull,
Once of ethereal spirit full.
This narrow cell was life's retreat-
This space was thought's mysterious seat:
What beauteous pictures filled this spot!
What dreams of pleasure long forgot!
Nor love, nor joy, nor hope, nor fear,
Has left one trace or record here!

Bb

Beneath this mouldering canopy
Once shone the bright and busy eye ;
But start not at the dismal void,
If social love that eye employed
If with no lawless fire it gleamed,
But through the dew of kindness beamed,
The eye shall be for ever bright
When stars and suns have lost their light.
Here in this silent cavern hung
The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue ;
If falsehood's honey it disdained,
And where it could not praise, was chained
If bold in virtue's cause it spoke,
Yet gentle concord never broke-
That tuneful tongue shall plead for thee
When death unveils eternity.
Say, did these fingers delve the mine,
Or with its envied rubies shine?
To hew the rock, or wear the gem,
Can nothing now avail to them;
But if the page of truth they sought,
Or comfort to the mourner brought,
These hands a richer meed shall claim
Than all that waits on wealth or fame.

Avails it, whether bare or shod
These feet the path of duty trod ?
If from the bow'rs of joy they fled,
To soothe affliction's humble bed
If grandeur's guilty bribe they spurned,
And home to virtue's lap returned-
These feet with angels' wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky'.

" These lines, though not original, are a very successful parody of a piece entitled 'Time's Lecture to Man, printed in the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine for 1801, vol. i, p. 403. As a specimen of this piece, we give a stanza which has not been imitated by the modern writer :

See, not the least remains appear
To show where Nature placed the ear :
Who knows if it were musical,
Or could not judge of sounds at all?
Yet, if it were to counsel bent,
To caution and reproof attent,
That ear shall with this sound be blest,
Well done, and enter into rest.'

« PreviousContinue »