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It may be observed that in both the above descriptions of similar phenomena the East wind is recorded as bringing up the storm. There is something very remarkably unwholesome in East winds, and a change to that quarter often disturbs the nervous system and digestive organs many persons, causing headaches, fevers, and other disorders. Moreover, a good astronomical observation cannot be made when the wind is East: the star seems to oscillate or dance about in the field of the telescope. An old proverb says:
When the wind is in the East
January 20. St. Fabian. St. Sebastian. St. Fechin.
O enters the nominal sign O declinat. South 20°, 10'. 56". John Howard the Reformer died in 1790.
St. Fabian, celebrated today, succeeded St. Anterus in 236 as Pontifex. He died a martyr in the persecution of Decius in 250.
Sometimes calm warm and dark weather occurs at this time and is of some continuance. It is well characterized by Mr. White, of Selborne, in the following verses :On the dark still dry warm Weather occasionally happening
in the Winter Months.
All nature nodding seems composed: thick steams
Push'd by the weightier atmosphere, up springs
While high in air, and poised upon his wings
Sooth'd by the genial warmth, the cawing rook
The ploughman inly smiles to see upturn
* The Barometer.
The happy boy now brings transported forth
Not so the museful sage:- abroad he walks
For days, for weeks, prevails the placid calm.
Mutters the wind at eve: th' horizon round
And float the deluged paths, and miry fields. This evening being the Vigil of St. Agnes, it used to be customary with Virgins to use many charms in order to dream of the man they should marry, to which Ben Jonson alludes :
And on sweet St. Agnes' night,
Ah! bitter chill it was !
Seemed taking flight for Heaven, without a death,
The precautions to be observed by the fair Madeline differ somewhat from those just mentioned, and are thus enumerated :
They told her how, upon St. Agnes' Eve,
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
A casement high and triple arched there was,
And twilight saints, with dim emblazonings,
Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
January 21. St. Agnes, V. M. St. Vivian.
O rises at vii. 45'. sets iv. 15'. The Pleiades or Seven Stars pass Meridian at vi. 33'. St. Agnes was a Roman Virgin, who suffered martyrdom in the tenth persecution of the Emperor Dioclesian in the year 306. The images of this Saint are represented with a Lamb, in consequence of the appearance of a white Lamb by her side in the Vision of her, which was presented to her parents after her death.
The following lines of Barnaby Googe seem to relate to some religious ceremony on this day:
For in St. Agnes' church this day, the while the Mass they sing, Two Lambs as white as suow the Nuns do yearly use to bring.
In the Missale ad usum sacrum we find the following notice of St. Agnes :- Haec est Virgo sapiens quam Dominus vigilantem invenit.
Verses on St. Agnes' Shrine. WHERE each pretty Balamb most gayly appears, With ribands stuck round on its tail and its ears, On gold fringed cushions they're stretched out to eat, And piously ba, and to church musick bleat; Yet to me they seem crying, Alack, and alas ! What's all this white dažnask to daisies and grass ! Then they're brought to the Pope, and with transport they're kissed, And receive consecration from sanctity's fist: To chaste Nuns he consigns them, instead of their dams, And orders the Friars to keep them from rams.
January 22. St. Vincent, M. St. Anastasius, M.
St. Vincent was esteemed a most glorious martyr, as he actually seemed to glory in his sufferings. He was born at Ossa in Granada, and was barbarously destroyed by order of the Emperors Dioclesian and Maximian in the year 304.
There is an ancient admonition to note down whether or no the Sun shine on St. Vincent's Day:
Vincenti festo si sol radiet memor esto.
If that the Sun his Beams display. The particular origin of this command is unknown, but it may probably be from an idea that the Sun would not shine unominously on that day on which the martyrdom of the Saint was so inhumanly finished by burning.
Our Poet Lord Byron was born on St. Vincent's Day 1788. We select the following specimen of this author's turn of mind :
Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog.
I never knew but one, and here he lies.
January 23. St. Emerentia, V. M. St. Eusebius.
Lyra occidit. - Rom. Cal.
How keen and ruthless is the storm!
Long, cheerless nights, and murky days!
And great, from Ileaven, shall be your meed !
Now sharpnosed Janus, with his frozen face,
January 24. Șt. Timothy." St. Cadoc. St. Macedonius.
Sementinae feriae. — Rom. Cal. The weather is commonly hard about this time. The wild quadrupeds are driven from their accustomed remote haunts. Hares enter the gardens to browze on the cultivated vegetables; and leaving their tracks in the snow, are frequently hunted down, or caught in snares; and the hen roosts are pillaged by foxes.