« PoprzedniaDalej »
is known to be grateful and wholesome, seldom disagreeing with a healthy stomach, except when eaten to excess. The flowers are used for medicinal purposes; they have an agreeable weak smell and a bitterish taste; they are made into a syrup, which is given as an opening medicine to children, principally to destroy worms. Care, however, should be taken not to confound the flowers of those peach trees which have been grafted on the plum, with those raised from almond stocks. The former are more decidedly cathartic, and the latter lose all their aperient qualities by being grafted on the almond tree, which is a species of the same genus as the peach. It is true the almond tree in England produces no fruit of any consequence; yet it is not only valuable for the above purpose, but also as an ornamental tree in clumps and shrubberies, where it exhibits its delicate red-purple bloom in the month of March, when few other trees have either leaves or flowers. An almond tree thus covered with blossoms is one of the most elegant objects in nature.
THIS word is derived from the Latin Julius, the sumame of C. Cæsar, the dictator, who was born in it. Mark Anthony first gave to this month the name of July, which was before called Quintilis, as being the fifth month in the year, in the old Roman calendar established by Romulus. July was called by the Saxons heu-monat, or hey-monat, because therein they usually mowed, and made their hay-harvest.
In JULY 1819. *1. 1818.-SIR THOMAS BERNARD DIED, Well known for his zealous labours and writings in behalf of public charities, and other useful institu
tions; as well as for his conduct of the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor, the Reports of which he published annually. 2.-VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
This festival was first instituted by Pope Urban VI, in commemoration of that remarkable journey which the Mother of our Lord took into the mountains of Judæa, in order to visit the mother of St. John the Baptist. It was afterwards confirmed, not only by a decree of Pope Boniface IX, but by the council of Basil, in 1441.
3.-DOG-DAYS BEGIN. These are a certain number of days before and after the heliacal rising of Canicula, or the dog-star, in the morning. The dog-days in our modern Almanacks occupy the time from July 3d to August 11th; the name being applied now, as it was formerly, to the hottest time of the year:
4.-TRANSLATION OF ST. MARTIN. This day was appointed to commemorate the removal or translation of St. Martin's body from one tomb to another much more noble and magnificent; an honour conferred upon the deceased saint by Perpetuus, one of his successors in the see of Tours. His festival is celebrated on the 11th of November, which see.
7.-THOMAS A BECKET. This haughty prelate was born in London, in the year 1119, and was the son of Gilbert, a merchant, and Matilda, a Saracen lady, who is said to have fallen in love with him when he was a prisoner to her father in Jerusalem. Thomas received the first part of his education at Merton Abbey in Surrey, whence he went to Oxford, and afterwards studied at Paris. In 1159, he made a campaign with King Henry to Toulouse, having in his own pay 1200 horse, besides a retinue of 700 knights or gentlemen.
For further particulars respecting Becket we refer to T.T. for 1814, pp. 166-172, and T.T. for 1815, p.
*7.-CAMBRIDGE COMMENCEMENT. At this period the Doctors, Masters of Arts, and others commence their degrees. This is a grand public time at that University, and is often attended by much company. The annual prizes are then recited in the Senate-House, and oratorios and concerts sometimes performed. The new Chancellor is also installed at this time. The last installation took place in 1811, when. H. R. H. the Duke of Gloucester exhibited the gratifying sight of a Prince anxious not to obtain extensive empire and military fame, but to preside over a learned body.
The period corresponding with Cambridge commencement at the sister University, and which is there held with great solemnity, is called the Oxford Act.
*10. 1212.- FIRE AT LONDON BRIDGE, Which, by a singular though most disastrous dispensation, occurring at both ends of the structure, then covered with houses, caused the death of more than 3000 persons.
*13. 1793.-MARAT ASSASSINATED By Charlotte Cordé; who, with exalted though mistaken heroism, when led to execution, exclaimed, “ 'Tis guilt makes shame, and not the scaffold !"
15.-SAINT SWITHIN. Swithin, in the Saxon Swithum, received his clerical tonsure, and put on the monastic habit, in the old monastery at Winchester. He was of noble parentage, and passed his youth in the study of grammar, philosophy, and the scriptures. Swithin was promoted to holy orders by Helmstan, Bishop of Winchester, at whose death, in 852, King Ethelwolf granted him the see. In this he continued eleven years, and died in 868. For some remarks on the popular saying respecting St. Swithin, see our former volumes.
*15. 1817.-MADAME DE STAEL DIED. In point of intellect, literary attainments, and splendour of character, Madame de Stael-Holstein (daughter of M. Necker, so distinguished before the French revolution for his financial talents) was one of the most extraordinary women of her age. Her character,' says Lady Morgan in her “ France,"
was uniformly described to me, by her friends, as largely partaking of a disposition whose kindness knew no bounds; and of feelings which lent themselves in ready sympathy to every claim of friendship, and every call of benevolence. Among those who knew her well, the splendour of her reputation seems sunk in the popularity of her character; and “ c'est une excellente personne"-"c'est un bon enfant, were epithets of praise constantly lavished on one who has so many more brilliant claims to celebrity. She died at Paris, aged 53; having, only the evening before, enjoyed the fresh air of her garden. She expired in a gentle slumber; and it is remarkable, that, as if foreseeing this catastrophe, she never, for some months previous to her dissolution, felt an inclination to sleep without dread.
*15. 1662.- ROYAL SOCIETY CHARTERED. The Royal Society, on the day of its creation, was the whetstone of the wit of their patron Charles II. With a peculiar gravity of countenance, he proposed to the assembly the following question for their solution : Suppose two pails of water were fixed in two different scales equally poised, and which weighed equally alike, and that two live bream, or small fish, were put into either of these pails, he wanted to know the reason why that pail, with such addition, should not weigh more than the other pail which stood against it.'—Every one was ready to set at rest the royal curiosity; but it appeared that every one was giving a different opinion. One, at length, offered so ridiculous a solution, that another of the members could not refrain from a loud laugh; when
the King, turning to him, insisted that he should give his sentiments as well as the rest. This he did without hesitation, and told his Majesty, in plain terms, that he denied the fact. On which the King, in high mirth, exelaimed, Odds fish, brother, you are in the right!
20.-SAINT MARGARET. She was born at Antioch, and was the daughter of a Pagan priest. Olybius, president of the East, under the Romans, wished to marry her; but finding that Margaret was a Christian, he postponed his intended nuptials until he could prevail on her to renounce her religion. Our saint, however, was inflexible, and was first tortured, and then beheaded, in the year 278.
22.-MARY MAGDALEN. This day was first dedicated to the memory of St. Mary Magdalen, by King Edward VI. And in his Common Prayer, the Gospel for the day is from St. Luke, chap. yü, verse 36. Our reformers, however, upon a more strict inquiry, finding it doubtful whe. ther this woman, mentioned in the Gospel, was really Mary Magdalen, thought it prudent to discontinue the festival.
25.-SAINT JAMES. James was surnamed the Great, either on account of his age, being esteemed older than the other James, or for some particular honour conferred upon him by our Lord. He was by birth a Galilean, and partner with Peter in fishing, from which our Lord called him to be one of his disciples: Mark i, 19, 20. Of his ardent zeal, no other proof is necessary than his becoming the victim of Herod Agrippa. The Spaniards esteem James their tutelar saint.
26.-SAINT ANNE. She was the mother of the Virgin Mary, and the wife of Joachim her father. Her festival is celebrated by the Latin church.