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a philosophical consideration of the attraction of the Sun and Moon in their several positions respecting the earth ; and, if confirmed by the experience of many years of actual observation, would, without trouble, suggest to the observer what kind of weather would most probably follow the Moon's entrance into any of her quarters; and that so near the truth, that in very few instances it would be found to fail.
Hence, the nearer the time of the Moon's entrance, at full and change, or quarters, is to midnight; (that is, within two hours before and after midnight), the more fair the weather is in summer, but the nearer to noon the less fair. Also, the Moon's entrance, at full, change, and quarters, during six of the afternoon hours, viz. from four to ten, may be followed by fairweather; but this is mostly dependent on the wind. The same entrance during all the hours after midnight, except the two first, is unfavourable to fair weather; the like, nearly, may be observed in winter.
February 9. St. Apollonia, V. M. St. Attraita, V.
of Ireland. FLORA.—THE POLYANTIUS Narcissus Narcissus Tazetta A, in the house.
The Romans regarded the Spring as now beginning; whence Ovid says of this time,
Jam puer Idaeus media tenus eminet aluo :
Et liquidas mixto nectare fundit aquas.
From sunward rocks the icicle's faint drop,
Of bearded grain, rustling in autumn breeze. The flowers of the croci now begin to appear, before their leaves are grown to their full length; the barren Strawberry, the Laurustinus, and the Yew Tree, are in flower. The Elder Tree begins to put forth its flower buds, and the catkins of the Hazel are very conspicuous in the hedges. The Gooseberry bush, and the red Currant, show their young leaves about the end of the month. The Hepatica, unless the weather be severe, gives brilliance to the garden with its bright pink flowers; and the Houndstongue with its more modest flowers of pink or light blue.
The Primrose Bank, from Gent. Mag.
The Primrose pale, and violet blue,
since sober Time has shed
Thus, many a year, and month, and day,
Thus in the round of mortal things,
For ever bloom and never die.
February 10. St. Scholastica, V. St. Soteris, V. M. Flora.- Early CYCLAMEN Cyclamen Coum flowers in the greenhouse.
The old medical writers still guard us against the effects of vapours at this time of year; and to atmospheric causes they ascribe those low spirits which result from hepatic irritation and bile. Sentimentality is heightened by melancholy, which is brought on by the state of the liver.
Moral on the Vanity of Greatness.
Between the cradle and the grave.
Dum nos fata sinunt, oculos satiemus amore,
Nox tibi longa venit, nec reditura dies. About this time all nature begins, as it were, to prepare for its revivification. God, as the Psalmist expresses it, renews the face of the earth; and animate and inanimate nature seem to vie with each other in opening the way to Spring. The Woodlark, one of our earliest and sweetest songsters, renews his note; Rooks begin to pair; the Thrush sings; and the Yellow hammer is heard. The Chaffinch sings, and the Redbreast continues to warble. Turkeycocks strut and gobble. Partridges begin to pair ; the house Pigeon has young; field Crickets open their holes; Missel Thrushes couple; and Wood Owls hoot. Gnats play about, and insects swarm under sunny hedges; the Stonecurlew clamours; and Frogs croak.
By the latter end of February, the Raven has generally laid its eggs, and begun to sit. Moles commence their subterraneous operations.
About this time, the Green Woodpecker is first heard in the woods, making a loud noise.
Bullfinches return to our gardens in February, and though timid half the year, are now fearless and persevering : the mischief effected by these birds at this period is less than is perhaps supposed, and we are not deprived of a very large portion of the produce of our fruit trees by this bird: The idea that has been entertained sometimes, that they only select such buds as contain the larva of an insect, and so render us a kindness by destroying a colony in embryo, is the real fact, ascertained by examination.
The admonition to make use of time and enjoy the fleeting hours is very good, and the way to prepare for every enjoyment is to guard against ill health. Melancholy is so generally connected with disease of the bile, as its name implies, that Horace, in describing his atrabilious feelings from jealousy of Lydia, actually paints all the four principal features of hypochondriasis from a disordered liver, namely, hepatic irritation and tumefaction - depression of spirits flushing and change of colour in the face - lastly, a flow of tears, a symptom with which a fit of periodical melancholy often terminates.
Ad Lydiam, lib. i. od. 3.
Cervicem roseam, cerea Telephi
Fervens difficili bile lumet jecur.
Certa sede manent: humor et in genas
Quam lentis penitus macerer ignibus.
February 11. St. Theodora. SS. Saturnina and others.
O rises at vir. 10'. and sets at iv. 50'. Flora.–Oriental Hyacintu Hyacinthus Orientalis flowers in the house. This plant shows innumerable varieties, and is much in
Arcturus oritur.–Rom. Cal.
star in the constellation Boötes, is recorded in the Roman Calendar as rising this day. Thus Ovid :
Tertia nox veniet: custodem protinus Ursae
Adspicies geminos exseruisse pedes.
Calisto sacri pars fuit una chori. The rising of Arcturus was regarded by the Ancients as a tempestuous period, to which the Poets make many allusions. Thus Aratus in Diosemea :
Και μεν τις και νης πολυκλύστου χειμώνος
'Εφράσατ' , ή δεινού μεμνημένος 'Αρκτούροιο. There are many other passages relating to this prognostic of bad weather from Arcturus, but it is not always easy to determine whether the Poet alludes to the acronycal, the heliacal, the cosmical, or the quotidian rising of the stars. Virgil observes of Palinurus, in Aeneid iii. 516 :
Sidera cuncta notat tacito labentia coelo
Armatumque auro circumspicit Oriona.
Nec saevus Arcturi cadentis
Iinpetus, aut orientis Hoedi. Sometimes the whole constellation Bootes is put instead of Arcturus, and sometimes the Wain. Thus Virgil notes the
— Plaustrum coeleste Bootes. For more particulars see Virgil's Geor. i. 68. 204.-Aeneid. i. 748; iii. 516. See also many passages respecting Orion. Betalgeus, or the first star in Orion, is in long. II. 24o. 14'. 26". lat. 169. 6. S.
february 12. St. Eulalia, V. of Barcelona. St. Mile
tius. St. Anthony Cauleas.
CHRONOLOGY.–Lady Jane Grey beheaded in 1554. Flora.-HEARTSEASE or Pansie Viola tricolor flowers in mild seasons,
and is the more esteemed from its early time of appearing. There are many garden varieties of this plant, but they are in general marked by three colours. Milton calls it The Pansie freaked with Jet. It has received a variety of whimsical names, such as Three Faces under a Hood, Herb Trinity, Wild Pansie, Call me to you, Love in Idleness, and others; and it seems to have been as favourite a flower with the Poets as the Violet.