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It was a screen from wind or sun,
A veil from curipsity;
We still could feast, with social glee,
On its autumnal fruitery.
With fretted frost-work spangled o'er;
And crimson budlets told once more
That spring would all its charms restore !
Where blossoms now my favourite tree;
Which boasts of more variety,
And more enraptures all but me;
Have treasured with a guardian eye,
To my fond thought will oft be nigh
MAY. MAY is so called from Maia, the mother of Mercury, to whom sacrifices were offered by the Romans on the first of this month; or, according to some, from respect to the senators and nobles of Rome, who were named Majores, as the following month was termed Junius, in honour of the youth of Rome. The Saxons called May tri-milki, because, in that month, they began to milk their kine three times in the day.
In MAY 1819.
1.-MAY-DAY. In the north of England, May-day still retains some of its antient sports. The celebration of Mayday was, moreover, among the number of triumphal shows exhibited by our ancestors in London and its environs. It was not only a civic but a royal amusement; as the kings, queens, and their courtiers, as well as the citizens, went a Maying. 1.-SAINTPHILIP AND SAINT JAMES THE LESS.
Philip was born at Bethsaida, near the sea of Tiberias, the city of Andrew and Peter. He was one of the first disciples, and an apostle. James the Less, called also James the Just, and, by the apostle Paul, James, the Lord's brother, was the son of Joseph, afterwards husband to the Virgin Mary, as is probable by his first wife. The first of these martyrs was stoned to death, and the second, having been thrown from a high place, was killed by a fuller's staff.
3.-INVENTION OF THE CROSS. The Romish church celebrates this day as a festival, to commemorate the invention or finding of a wooden cross, supposed to be the true one, by Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great.
6.-JOHN EVANGELIST, A. P.L. John the Evangelist, so called from the Greek term Eulyvenos, the messenger of glad tidings, was a Galilean by birth, the son of Zebedee and Salome, the younger brother of James, but not of him that was surnamed the Just, and who was the brother of our Lord.
His brother James and he were surnamed by Jesus, the Sons of Thunder, meaning the principal ministers of the gospel, and John was more endeared to him than any of his disciples. He was condemned to be thrown into a cask of burning oil, Ante Port. Lat., before the gate of Latina ; hence the letters added to his name. He lived to the reign of Trajan, and died about ninety years of age.
16.-ROGATION SUNDAY. This day takes its name from the Latin term rogare, to ask ; because, on the three subsequent days, supplications were appointed by Mamertus, Bishop of Vienna, in the year
469, to be offered up with fasting
to God, to avert some particular calamities that threatened his diocess.
19.-SAINT DUNSTAN. Dunstan was a native of Glastonbury, and nobly descended; Elphegus, Bishop of Winchester, and Athelm, Archbishop of Canterbury, being his uncles; he was also related to King Athelstan. He was a skilful painter, musician, and an excellent forger and refiner of metals; he manufactured crosses, vials, and sacred vestments; he also painted and copied good books.
Dunstan was promoted to the see of Worcester by King Edgar; he was afterwards Bishop of London, and Archbishop of Canterbury. He died in 988, in the 64th year of his age, and in the 27th of his archiepiscopal dignity. His miracles are too commonly known to be repeated.
19.-QUEEN CHARLOTTE BORN. Her present Majesty (Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburgh Strelitz) was born on the 19th of May, 1744; but her birthday is celebrated on the 18th of January
20.-ASCENSION DAY. From the earliest times, this day was set apart to commemorate our Saviour's ascension into heaven : all processions on this, and the preceding rogation days, were abolished at the reformation. In London, on this day, the minister, accompanied by the churchwardens, and a number of boys, with wands, walk in procession, and beat the bounds of the parish. But this is not always practised, nor in every year. For an account of some curious ceremonies practised on this day in the south of France, see our last volume, p. 87.
26.-AUGUSTIN, or Austin. This English apostle, as he is termed, was commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to convert the Saxons. He was created archbishop of Canterbury in 556, and died about the year 610.–See a fuller account of him in T.T. for 1815, p. 174.
27.-VENERABLE BEDE. Bede was born at Yarrow in Northumberland, in 673. His grand work is the Ecclesiastical History of the Saxons. Bede has obtained the title of Venerable, for his profound learning and unaffected piety, and not on account of any celebrity for miraculous and angelic operations.
*28. 1808.—BISHOP HURD DIED, ÆT. 88. As a writer, his taste, learning, and genius, have been universally acknowledged; and although a full acquiescence has not been given in all his opinions, he must be allowed to be everywhere shrewd, ingenious, and original. Even in his sermons and charges, while he is sound in the doctrines of the church, his arguments and elucidations have many features of novelty, and are conveyed in that simple, yet elegant style, which renders them easily intelligible to common capacities. His private character was in all respects amiable. With his friends and connexions he obtained the best eulogium, their constant and warm attachment; and with the world in general a kind of veneration, which could neither be acquired nor preserved, but by the exercise of great virtues.
29.-KING CHARLES II RESTORED. On the 8th of May, 1660, Charles II was proclaimed in London and Westminster, and afterwards throughout his dominions, with great joy and universal acclamations. In some parts of England it is customary for the common people to wear oak leaves, covered with leaf-gold, in their hats, in commemoration of the concealment of Charles II in an oak tree, after the battle of Worcester. An account of the king's escape to France, extracted from his own Narrative, will be found in T.T. for 1815,
30.-WHIT-SUNDAY. On Whit-Sunday, or White-Sunday, the catechumens, who were then baptized, as well as those who had been baptized before at Easter, appeared, in the antient church, in white garments. The Greeks, for the same reason, call it Bright Sunday ; on account of the number of bright white garments which were then worn.
The name of this Sunday, in the old Latin church, was Dominica in Albis, as was the Sunday next after Easter, on the same occasion. On this day the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles and other Christians, in the visible appearance of fiery tongues. The celebration of divine service in St. Peter's church at Rome, on Whitsunday, is described in T.T. for 1815, p. 165.
31.-WHIT-MONDAY. This day and Whit-Tuesday are observed as festivals, for the same reason as Monday and Tuesday in Easter. Their religious character, however, is almost obsolete, and they are now kept as holidays, in which the lower classes still pursue their favourite diversions. For an account of the Eton Montem, see T.T. for 1815, p. 168. The Whitsun Ales and other customs formerly observed at this season, are noticed in T.T. for 1814, pp. 119-120. Astronomical Occurrences
In MAY 1819. The Sun enters Gemini at 25 m. after 11 in the evening of this month, and he will rise and set as in the following table during the same period.
TABLE of the Sun's Rising and Setting for every fifth Day. May 1st, Sun rises 38 m. after 4. Sets 22 m. past 7 6th, 29
4 4 4
22 13 7 1 52