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and the short, Account of each Day be something to beguile the Breakfast Hour in the absence of a Daily Newspaper, or after its perusal. Or the History of each Day may be read over night: by this means the Reader will know what Day the Morrow is in the Calendar, what Saints are recorded, what Festivals kept, what Natural Phenomena in the Heavens take place, what Tiine the Sun rises, what Plants may be found in flower, and what periodical Birds may be expected to arrive: and the appropriate Poetry and Citations from the ancient Authors will further impress these Facts on the Memory, and give them an additional Interest.
The 2d Mode of reading the Work is by means of the Index, the Reader having therein a means afforded him of selecting his Subject, and of finding many Authorities and References to Subjects of general Interest, arranged in a certain convenient Order : for any given Fast, Feast, Holiday, any particular Saint, and indeed almost any Subject touched on in the body of the Work, may be found in one or other of the Indexes at the End of the Volume.
The 3d and last Way this Calendar may be einployed is, as what is termed a Lounging Book, to which popular Function of Literature, the entertaining Stories, and the Poetry, much of which is from the MSS. of eminent Persons written in their Youth, will be very conducive. We shall say no more, except that we hope, though its original Merits are none, that as a Compilation it may afford to the Reader, in the printed Volume, as much Entertainment as it did to the Editor in the Manuscript; and that the Mode of Composition, and the hasty Way in which it has been printed, together with the Editor's Ignorance about Language, may plead excuse for a few typographical and literary Errors; and that the Manner in which the Subjects have been introduced, may serve as a general Stimulus to Vigilance on
the part of the Peruser : since every Page of a Calendar is a Record of the Flight of Time which we can never recall, and furnishes an Incitement to replenish the Lamp of Life while it burns with wholesome Unction, that it may blaze and not simmer in its Day, and may die like a bright Candle that has burned out and enlightened the Household ; and not as Ignis Fatuus that has wandered unweetingly over a Marsh, and is extinguished and missed in the Quagmire; serving, while it brenned, rather to mislead the unwary and faltering Sojourner in the Vale of Tears into a Whirlpool of Jeopardy, than to illumine the Path of the Pilgrim that leads to Glory! .
January 1. CIRCUMCISION. St. Faine.
Rom. Cal. O rises at vni. 5' and sets at it. 55'. SHEPHERD OF EDONIA Tussilago fragrans now blows. This is called New Year's Day, and the morning salutation is “ A happy new Year.” January is the coldest month of the year — hence the proverbs :
Janiveer freeze the pol by the fire.
When the grass grows in Janiveer
An icy Gale, oft shifting o'er the Pool,
Shakes from afar.
Of Christmas sports, the Wasselle Boule,
A plentious barvest to your grounds.
A massie Bowl to deck the jovial day
It welcomed with lamb's wool the rising year. January is so called from Janus, whose festival was held by the Romans on this day, and about whose fabulous origin
commentators do not agree. Some assert him to be a most antient king of Italy, while others contend that he is the same person as Noah. The connexion of this word with Janua a door is very curious, considering that this month is called the portal of the year. There was a temple of Janus in Rome, which was shut up twenty five years before the Birth of Jesus Christ. It is said that Janus received Saturn when his son Jupiter had driven him out of Crete. Ovid observes in his Fasti,
Ecce tibi faustum, Germanice, nunciat annum,
Inque meo primús carmine Janus adest.
Solus de superis qui tua terga vides. In the Monthly Miscellany for December 1692, there is an Essay on New Year's Gifts, which states, that the Romans were “ great observers of the custom of New Year's Presents, even when their year consisted only of ten months, of thirty six days each, and began in March; also when January and February were added by Numa to the ten others, the calends, or first of January, were the time on which they made presents: and even Romulus and Tatius made an order, that every year Vervine should be offered to them, with other gifts, as tokens of good fortune for the New Year. Tacitus makes mention of an order of Tiberius, forbidding the giving or demanding of New Year's Gifts, unless it were on the Calends of January; at which time, as well the senators, as the knights and other great men, brought gifts to the emperor, and, in his absence, to the capitol. The ancient Druids, with great ceremonies, used to scrape off from the outside of oaks the misleden, which they consecrated to their great Tutates, and then distributed it to the people through the Gauls, on account of the great virtues which they attributed to it; from whence New Year's Gifts are still called in some parts of France, Guy-l'an-neuf. Our English nobility, every New Year's tide, still send to the King a purse with gold in it. Reason may be joined to custom to justify the practice; for as presages are drawn from the first things which are met on the beginning of a day, week, or year, none can be more pleasing than of those things that are given us. We rejoice with our friends, after having escaped the dangers that attend every year; and congratulate each other for the future, by presents and wishes for the happy continuance of that course, which the ancients called Strenarum Commercium."
The Festival of the Circumcision was held by the Scotch in former times as ominous, and as affording a prognostic of