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phenomenon should be more attended to; and the question
beg to submit to future observation is, Whether any connexion can be found between the times of these vegetable periods, discovered in the phenomena of plants, and those periods of the recurrence of the paroxysms of ephemeral diseases, observed by pathologists in the animal system when disordered?
This subject might possibly admit of further illustration, from regular tables of the times of the phenomena, both of plants and animals, and of collateral journals of the electrical changes of the air, noticed by means of the atmospherical electroscopes, and of M. De Luc's column.”
February 23. St, Milburge, V. of England.
St. Boisil of Melrose.
Regifugium. - Rom. Cal. St. Milburge, celebrated today, was daughter of Merowald, and granddaughter of Penda, King of Mercia, and in the seventh century she was Abbess of Wenlock, in Shropshire, near whose remains her relics were found; and many miracles are recorded by Historians as accompanying the translation of these relics, May 26, 1101.
St. Boisil was prior of the famous Melrose Abbey in Scotland. He appeared twice after his death to one of his disciples, in the form of a Spirit, about the year 1030.
The subject of the reappearance of the Saint naturally brings to one's mind the subject of the final Resurrection of the Body; to which these visions seem to bear no great analogy, being quite of a shadowy or substanceless nature, while we are assured that the corporeal fabric will be reanimated at the Day of Judgment, even if it do not exist, as such, in Purgatory. In a work, entitled Somatopsychonoologia, by Philostratus, before quoted at p. 65, will be found some curious observations on, and proofs of a corporeal resurrection; but the subject is very deeply metaphysical, and we shall therefore omit its further discussion, and close our remarks with the following impressive and beautiful lines on Sleep and Death, by the late Percy Bysshe Shelley.
On Death and Sleep.
Death and his brother, Sleep!
With lips of lurid blue;
The other glowing like the vital morn,
When throned on ocean's wave
It breathes over the world :
Nor putrefaction's breath
But loathsomeness and ruin?
Spare aught but a dark theme,
To watch their own repose ?
Flows through those wells of light,
A lulling murmur weave? -
The dreamless sleep of death;
Or mark her delicate cheek
Outwatching weary night,
Her dewy eyes are closed :
With unapparent fire,
The bosom's stainless pride,
Around a marble column. This was the Birthday of the Poet Mason, who has written thereon the following lines, descriptive of the usual weather of the end of February.
On his Birthday, by Mason.
Oft have I known on this my natal day,
Hoar frost and sweeping snow prolong their sway,
And now the birds on every budding spray
February 24. St. Ethelbert, K. of England.
Flora. - White Willow Salix alba flowers. In recording in this Calendar numerous annual ceremonies and religious customs which come round in rotation, the question will naturally suggest itself to many of our philosophical readers — whither tend all these institutions what was the object and aim of their founders? It seems evidently, that Man, with all his boasted superiority, is at best but a very imperfect Creature, and that it has been the intention of his Creator, that his conduct should be ruled by a large portion of what the vain selfsufficiency of pretended philosophers would deem superstition. There are persons who have contended, that human nature is capable of arriving at perfection, and that, in the present enlightened times, the sooner ceremonies of a superstitious nature be forgotten the better. This, however, has been the jargon of schoolmen and freethinkers for ages; and yet, in spite of all their predictions, mankind are as prone to vice and folly as ever, and as much in want as heretofore of those salutary monitors to virtue and religion, which are comprehended by the universal religion of the whole civilized world under the name of Rites. The very tendency to abuse even these, and the absurdities into which men left to themselves always run, doth of itself show the necessity of salutary restraint, and religious obligation.
Who can look back on the state of cultivation, of the arts and sciences, and of the moral government to which many of the nations of antiquity had arrived, and on the dark intervals of ignorance and superstition which have intervened between the flourishing condition of many ancient empires; and not feel the force of my observation ? Such a melancholy review represents to us the stream of time as a fluctuating torrent, alternately elevating the bark of society on lofty billows, whose summit seemed to touch the Heavens; alternately subsiding in muddy and disgusting shallows. Individual man seenis but as a creature of yesterday, carried on by the resistless current, to cull the flowers on the margin as he passes forwards, and to sink tomorrow, and be forgotten — the sport of chance, the prey of his contending passions - prevented by the tempests, which trouble the flood, from transmitting down the Stream to posterity the fruits of his industry - the treasures he has collected by a fortuitous concourse of the Waters. Happy is the individual who is borne on the ascending Surge: but in vain has he looked through the Telescope of Time across the Chasm behind him, to view the wave of Glory, which broke before his era; if he thought to gather from the glance the principles on which human greatness is founded, and learn the way to establish and perpetuate the prosperity of his species.
Before we proceed to point out the true source of such conduct as will effect this desirable end, (lest we should be accused of exaggerating this melancholy picture of human fatality,) let us turn awhile from the metaphor, and refer to facts recorded in the pages of history,
Ask the sanguine advocate of the doctrine of man's perfectibility and progressive improvement, where is now the learning of Africa, who once taught wisdom to the rest of the world? Can he show us, among the hordes of barbarians, who now inhabit that continent, the least vestiges of science or of civilization ?
Are there any traces left among the tribes which now infest the shores of Barbary, of a race which could once oppose the arms of Rome? Alas! plunged in the deepest ignorance, degraded in themselves, and still more so, as the degraded slaves of their pious European brethren, the Africans present to the historian a melancholy spectacle of human degeneracy!
Let us cast our eyes still farther back on the magnificent rains of the once renowned cities of the East, whose stupendous monuments of past splendour contain fragments of architecture that remind the historian of science, and of civil policy, which will bear but a humiliating comparison with the corrupt and superstitious race now inhabiting those countries, and let us ask ourselves, where is human perfectibility ? Let those who are sanguine enough enjoy the pleasing hope that Society may go on improving, and that the prejudices which retard the progress of science, may fly before the Clarion of Philosophy, like Ghosts at Cockcrowing.
Ariel's Song, from Shakespeare's Tempest.
And there take hands.
The wild waves wist.
February 25. St. Walburge. St. Caesarius.
St. Tarasius, &c. FLORA. — BRITTLE Willow Salix fragilis flowers. St. Walburge was daughter to St. Richard the King. She was born in the Kingdom of West Saxony, and educated at Wimburn Monastery in Dorsetshire. She died on the 25th February, 779, at Heidenheim, and in 870 her relics were translated to Aichstadt.
COELUM. - In the following Table, extracted from Mr. Howard's Climate of London, the second and third columns show the extremes of heat and cold weather, by Fahrenheit's Thermometer, which happened in January and February for ten years; the fourth and fifth show the extremes of the Weight and Levity of the Air by the Barometer, during the same time. The Roman letters signify the wind blowing at the time.
1814 41 SE. SW
+ 8 NW.N.
50 SW.S 30:17 N *30:42 NE
Note. — The mark * denotes the greatest elevation of the year, and the mark + the greatest depression.