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St. Martina, V. M.
Like other hypocrites, of which the world is full, the ancient Romans, in the constant practice of bloody and nefarious warfare, sacrificed to the Goddess of Peace. Ovid says of this day :
Frondibus Actaicis comptos redimita capillos
Pax ades et toto mitis in orbe mane. A wish violated and forgotten, the moment a pretext for aggrandizement by warfare had offered itself.
CHRONOLOGY.-King Charles I. of England beheaded in 1649.
The following anecdote is related on the authority of Pope: The night after King Charles the First was beheaded, Lord Southampton and a friend of his got leave to sit up by the body, in the Banquetting House at Whitehall. As they were sitting very melancholy there, about two o'clock in the morning, they heard the tread of somebody coming very slowly up stairs. By and by the door opened, and a man entered, very much muffled up in his cloak, and his face quite hid in it. He approached the body, considered it very attentively for some time, and then shook his head, and sighed out the words · Cruel necessity!' He then departed in the same slow and concealed manner as he had come in. Lord Southampton used to say, that he could not distinguish any thing of his face, but that, by his voice and gait, he took him to be Oliver Cromwell.
The above Vision of Lord Southampton was probably one of those cerebral hallucinations so well illustrated by Dr. Ferriar in his Book on Apparitions, and of which more notice will be taken in the course of this Calendar. A particular organization of the Brain, where there is much of the organ of Supernaturality, is said by MM. Gall, Spurzheim, Forster, and other phrenologists, to predispose to these sort of spectral illusions. The following lines will afford the general Reader some clue to the system of cranioscopy alluded to.
Verses found inscribed on a Skull.
Whate'er thou wert in time of old,
Though now so hollow, dead, and cold;
For in thy form is yet descried
The traces left of young Desire;
The Muse's song, the Poet's fire;
Hath marked each mental operation,
On all the heads throughout the nation, That there might no deception be;
And he who kens her tokens well, Hears tongues which every where agree
In language that no lies can tell
Deceit — Destruction Theft
An awful change of form is seen,
None is replaced that once hath been; Endless variety in all,
Froin Fly to Man, Creation's pride,
Eftsoons in time's o'erwhelming tide :
Those who still bend life's fragile stem,
Before the sun shall set to them; Calm the contending passions dire,
Which on thy surface I descry,
In combat, which of them shall die;
While now I trace with trembling hand
Dismayed at such a jarring band ! Man, with discordant frenzy fraught,
Seems either madman, fool, or knave ;
To 'scape her foot who nought doth save
Where Friendship loved, where Passion glowed, Where Veneration grew in grace,
Where Justice swayed, where man was proud – Whence Wit its slippery sallies threw
On Vanity, thereby defeated; Where Hope's imaginary view
Of things to come (fond fool) is seated; Where Circumspection made us fear, 'Mid gleams of 'joy some danger near,
Here fair Benevolence doth grow
In forehead bigh-here Imitation
Are Sound, and Color's legislation.
By help of Secrecy to gain
For heirs to dissipate again.
Wild Ideality unshaken
Maddens the soul and fires our beacon.
Whoin Circumspection tills with dread,
Until Destruction o'er his head
And canst thou teach to future Man
The way his evils to repair-
Of mortal life? For if the care
(From whom no treachery it can sever,)
That error may not reign for ever.
Of the Equation of Time for every Fifth Day of January.
January 1st, to the time on the Dial udd
6th, 11th, 16th, 21st, 26th, 31st,
M. S. 3 42 6 0 8 7 9 59 11 34 12 49 13 44
January 31. St. Marcella, W. St. Serapion. St. Peter Nolasco. St. Cyrus and St. John, Martyrs.
Diis Penatibus. - Rom. Cal. The Penates were certain inferior deities among the Romans, who presided over houses and the domestic affairs of families. They were called Penates, because they were generally placed in the innermost and most secret parts of the house, in penitissimâ aedium parte, quod, as Cicero says, penitus insident. The place where they stood was afterwards called Penetralia, and they themselves received the name of Penetrales. It was in the option of every master of a family to choose his Penates, and therefore Jupiter, and some of the superior gods, are often invoked as patrons of domestic affairs. According to some, the gods Penates were divided into four classes; the first comprehended all the celestial, the second the sea gods, the third the gods of hell, and the last all such heroes as had received divine honours after death. The Penates were originally the manes of the dead; but when superstition bad taught mankind to pay uncommon reverence to the statues and images of their deceased friends, their attention was soon exchanged for regular worship, and they were admitted by their votaries to share immortality and power over the world, with Jupiter or Minerva. In a similar way, in later times, crucifixes and the images of the Christian Saints became an object of idolatrous worship among certain ignorant persons, of which abuse the Protestants and Infidels largely availed themselves in their unjust representation of pretended Catholic idolatry. The statues of the Penates were generally made with wax, ivory, silver, or earth, according to the 'affluence of the worshipper; and the only offerings they received were wine, incense, fruits, and sometimes the sacrifice of lambs, sheep, goats, &c. In the early ages of Rome, human sacrifices were offered to them; but Brutus, who expelled the Tarquins, abolished this unnatural custom. When offerings were made to them, their statues were crowned with garlands, poppies, or garlic, and besides the monthly day that was set apart for their worship, their festivals were celebrated during the Saturnalia. Some have confounded the Lares and the Penates, but they were different. The disposition in the human mind to preserve and foster images is well illustrated by the habit almost all children get into of cherishing dolls, wooden monkeys, lions, and other the like baubles, which they call their Gooddies. The late Mr. Granville Sharpe used to object to the indulgence of children in this practice, and used to say, that nursing dolls was fostering a spirit of idolatry. For an account of the Penates see Cic. de Nat. Deor. 2, c. 27, ver. 2. — Dionys. i.
FLORA.–Winter Hellebore or Aconite Helleborns hyemalis flowers, in mild weather, at or even before this time, and continues in blow through February
In the following beautiful lines the Robin Redbreast is consigned to the protection of the Household Gods, which correspond to the Lares or the Penates celebrated this day in old Rome :
Chill Winter still doth reign: the fowls of Heaven,
FEBRUARY. HORNUNG. PLUVIOSUS.
February 1. St. Ignatius. St. Briget. St. Kinnia. .
O rises at vir. 28'. sets at iv. 32'. KALENDAE Lucarin. Jodi sacr. Junonis sospitae temp.-— Rom. Cal.
February is so called from the Februa, supposed by some persons to be the same person as Juno; and the evident relation between the Februata Juno, and the Purificata Virgo Maria, is one among the most striking instances of the connexion between Pagan and Christian rites and festivities as to the periods of their occurrence. Ovid observes
Februa Romani dixere piamina patres,
Nunc quoque dant verbo plurima signa fidem. FLORA.—The PRIMROSE Primula verna flowers, and shows its pale blossoms on every warın bank; but the gala or culmination of this plant does not take place till April, when they cover every bank, and mix agreeably with the Violet.
To the Primrose, by John Mayne.