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Virgo, or Capricorne. To bathe when the Moone is in Cancer, Libra, Aquarius, or Pisces. To cut the Hair off the Head or Beard, when the Moon is in Libra, Sagittarius, Aquarius, or Pisces. Briefe Observations of Husbandry. . Set, sow seeds, graft, and plant, the Moone being in Taurus, Virgo, or in Capricorn. And all kind of Corne in Cancer. Graft in March at the Moone's increase, she being in Taurus or Capricorne.”
Among the preposterous inventions of Fancy in ancient Superstition occurs “ The Moon Calf, an inanimate shapeless mass, supposed by Pliny to be engendered of Woman only." See his Natural History, B. x. c. 64. Reed's edit. of Shakesp. 1803, vol. iv.
88. “ They forbidde us, when the Moone is in a fixed Signe, to put on a newe Garment; why so ? because it is lyke that it wyll be too longe in wearing, a small fault about this Towne, where Garments seldome last till they be payd for. But theyr meaning is, that the Garment shall continue long, in respect of any strength or goodnes in the stuffe; but by the duraunce or disease of him, that hath neyther leysure nor liberty to weare it.” Defensative against the poyson of supposed Prophecies, by the Earl of Northampton, 4to, Lond. 1583.
In Tusser's Five Hundred Points of Husbandry, under February, are the following lines :
Sowe peason and beans in the wane of the Moone,
March 8. St. John of God, C. St. Felix, B. C.
St. Julian, &c. St. John of God, so called from his piety, was born in Portugal, of low parents, in 1495, and died in 1550. He was founder of the Order of Charity. At one time of his life, in order the more completely to humble himself, and mortify the old Adam, he covered himself with dirt and filth, and ran about the Streets counterfeiting a Lunatic, and was in consequence confined in a madhouse for a considerable time.
VIJI. ID. Corona Ariadnes oritur. - Rom. Cal. The acronycal_rising of the Crown of Ariadne, is thus noticed by Ovid, Fasti, lib, iji.
Protinus aspicies venienti nocte Corona
Gnosida : Theseo crimine facta dea.
Virgil, in Georgick I. 220, observes of a setting of the same Constellation :
Ante tibi Eoae Atlantides abscondantur,
Invitae properes anni spem credere terrae. Gnosus was a city of Crete, where Minos reigned, whose daughter, Ariadne, was stolen away by Theseus; and afterwards, being deserted by him, was wedded to Bacchus, and received a Crown from the hands of Venus, which Bacchus eventually reposed in Heaven. One of the Stars in the Crown is brighter than the rest : thus Columella, speaking of the cosmical rising of this Constellation on October 8, observes: Octavo Idus Octobris coronae clara stella exoritur : tertio et pridie Idus Octobris corona tota mane exoritur. There is, however, great confusion in the accounts of the Risings of Stars. Kepler regarded the cosmical to be the vespertine exhorizontal Rising. We must always refer to Books of Astronomy, to find out which Rising was intended in each instance.
FAUNA. - Owls begin to hoot much at this time of year, and in spite of the continued frequency of their howling or screeching, the vulgar still regard them as unlucky omens ; and if an Owl happens to sit on a house top, and hoot of an evening, some death in the family is immediately expected. Spenser speaks of
The illfaced Owle, Death's dreadful messenger.
The Bird of night did sit
Houting and shrieking.
Within my Cot where quiet gave me rest,
Let the dread Sebreech Owl build ber hated nest.
When Schreech Owls shriek upon the chimney tops,
Death soon into the fated dwelling pops.
The cold March moon is dull and pale,
The aire smells dank and harsh,
That breaths o'er yonder marsh.
Now startles dampish night,
If sages augur right.
In a very old work, entitled, More Knaves yet; The Knaves of Spades and Diamonds, with new Additions, is the following account of The Country Cunning Man.
Wise Gosling did but hear the Scrich Owle crie,
And bad daies when his Wife doth braule and scold. Willsford, in his Nature's Secrets, p. 134, says: “ Owls whooping after Sunset, and in the Night, foreshows a fair Day to ensue; but if she names herself in French Huette, expect then fickle and unconstant Weather, but most usually rain.”
Mason, in the Anatomie of Sorcerie, 4to, London, 1612, p. 85, ridicules the Superstition of those persons of his age, that are “the markers of the flying or the noise of Foules : as they which prognosticate Death by the Croaking of Ravens, or the hideous crying of Owles in the Night.”
Marston, in Antonio and Mellida, Works, 8vo, London, 1633, signat. F, says:
'Tis yet dead Night, yet all the Earth is cloucht
March 9. St. Frances, W. Founder of the Colletines.
St. Gregory of Nyssa, B. C. St. Pacian. CHRONOLOGY. Battle before Laon, in 1814. Dr. Daniel Clarke, the Traveller, died in 1822, aged 54.
The following Ode, written by Clarke, shows the bent of his enterprising genius :
Ode to Enterprise.
O'er bleak perennial snow,
And raging north winds blow;
Where hungry wolves are prowling,
And famished eagles cry,
And lowering vapours fly.
Bedecked with dewy tears,
Lo! Enterprise appears;
Still points to objects new,
Her fleeting steps pursue.
And oh! the vow record !
I pledge this solemn word :
While health, while life remains,
O'er Afric's burning plains ;
Which Earth's vast cave conceal,
The miner's path reveal;
The lithal flowers unfold,
Beams efflorescent gold;
Is still to follow thee!
Shall check the gay career;
Begins to hover near;
May thy fair form be nigh,
Receive his parting sigh;
Of some new world to come,
May call the wanderer home!
The sudden' obscuration of the sun by day, and of the stars by night, without any definite cloud, forebodes Rain, as has been frequently mentioned by the more ancient writers.
The Rainbow, which is only an effect of the Nimbus, has been regarded as a sign of Rain; which it may rightly
be, for it often appears in the Nimbus before that cloud, weeping in his sable shroud, has reached the spot where we stand. Bibit ingens arcus, says the Mantuan bard, who took most of his prognostics from the Diosemeia of Aratus.
Of the particular indications of the haze in the atmosphere, we may notice, that the mere hazy or pale colour of the Moon often forebodes Rain, while she is more brazen, red, or copper coloured, before Wind. This corresponds with the red in the clouds, before noticed, as a sign of Wind; and hence the proverbial verse,
Pallida Luna pluit, rubicunda flat, alba serenat. The cumulostratus being a state of the clouds going on to become nimbus, has been regarded as one of the rainy signs, and has given rise to the following adage :
When Clouds appear like rocks and towers,
Of several other Prognostics of Rain. Many indications of atmospheric changes have been noticed by different authors, which we have not determined by our own observation to be correct: such, for example, as the smell of drains and suspools; the excrescence of fungi about the wicks of lamps and candles; the flaring and snapping of the flame; the soot taking fire in sparks round the smoky outside surface of a pot on the fire; the wicks of candles not being easily lighted ; and many others of this sort. Wind has been indicated by candles burning unequally, or by coals casting off more ashes than usual.
Pains felt in limbs formerly broken, or in other injured parts of the body, often forebode Rain. -" On Wednesday, the 23d of June, 1813, the extensor tendon of my forefinger was divided by accident; and though by means of a new substance interposed between the divided ends of the tendon, its functions were restored, and the wound completely healed, yet I always feel an uneasy sensation in it before rainy weather, very similar to that which I experience after having much exerted it.” Researches, &c.
Of Indicatious of the Return of Fair Weather. The absence of those circumstances which forębode or accompany soul weather, may generally be considered as indicating a return of fair. So Virgil "mentions the clear and bright appearance of the Moon and Stars, after they have long been hazy and confused, to indicate approaching