Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

now (as Sir Peter Sidney saith) an indifferent arbiter between the day and night, poizing to each his equal hours, according to Virgil :-

Libra dies, somnique pares ubi fecerit horas.' 6 September they called Gerst-monat, for that barley which that moneth commonly yeelded was antiently called gerst, the name of 'barley being given unto it by reason of the drinke therewith made, called beere, and from beerlegh it come to be berlegh, and from berlegh to barley. So in like manner beereheym, to wit, the 'overdecking or covering of beere, came to be called berham, and afterwards barme, having since gotten I wot not how many names besides. .

* This excellent and healthsome liquor, beere, antiently also called ael, as of the Danes it yet is (beere and ale being in effect all one), was first of the Germans invented, and brought in use.'(Verstegan, p. 61.)

Remarkable Days.

1.-SAINT GILES. GILES, or Ægidius, was born at Athens; but, after he had disposed of his patrimony in charitable uses, came to France in the year 715. He lived two years with Cæsarius, Bishop of Arles, and afterwards retired into solitude. Charles Martel, when hunting, found him in his hermit's cell, and, pleased with his unaffected piety and sanctity of manners, erected an abbey for him at Nismes, of which he was constituted abbot. He died in the year 795.

2.-LONDON BURNT.. The fire of London broke out on Sunday morning, September 2, 1666, 0. S.; and, being impelled by strong winds, raged with irresistible fury nearly four days and nights ; nor was it entirely mastered till the fifth morning after it began. This most

destructive conflagration commenced at the house of one Farryner, a baker, in Pudding-lane, near [New] Fish-street Hill, and within ten houses of Thamesstreet, into which it spread within a few hours ; nearly the whole of the contiguous buildings being of timber, lath, and plaster, and the whole neighbourhood presenting little else than closely confined passages and narrow alleys. The fire quickly spread, and was not to be conquered by any human means, · Then, (says a contemporary writer) then the city did shake indeed ; and the inhabitants did tremble, and flew away in great amazement from their houses, lest the flames should devour them: rattle, rattle, rattle, was the noise which the fire struck upon the ear round about, as if there had been a thousand iron chariots beating upon the stones :- you might see the houses tumble, tumble, tumble, from one end of the street to the other, with a great crash, leaving the foundations open to the view of the heavens''

The destructive fury of this, conflagration was never, perhaps, exceeded in any part of the world, by, any fire originating in accident. Within the walls, it consumed almost five-sixths of the whole city; and without the walls it cleared a space nearly as extensive as the one-sixth part left unburnt within. Scarcely a single building that came within the range of the flames was left standing. Public buildings, churches, and dwelling-houses, were alike involved in one common fate.

In the summary account of this vast devastation, given in one of the inscriptions on the Monument, and which was drawn up from the reports of the surveyor's appointed after the fire, it is stated, that • The ruins of the city were 436 acres [viz. 333 acres within the walls, and 63 in the liberties of the city); that, of the six and twenty wards, it utterly destroyed fifteen, and left eight others shattered, and half burnt; and that it consumed 400 streets, 13,200 dwelling-houses, eighty-nine churches [besides chapels; four of]; the city gates, Guildhall, many public structures, hospitals, schools, libraries, and a vast number of stately edifices. The immense property destroyed in this dreadful time cannot be estimated at less than ten millions sterling. Amid all the confusion and multiplied dangers that arose from the fire, it does not appear that more than sıx persons lost their lives. Calamitous as were the immediate consequences of this dreadful fire, its remote effects have proved an incalculable blessing to subsequent generations. To this conflagration may be attri. buted the complete destruction of the PLAGUE, which, the year before only, swept off 68,590 persons !! To this tremendous fire we owe most of our grand public structures—the regularity and beauty of our streetsmand, finally, the great salubrity and extreme cleanliness of a large part of the city of London.

1 The progress of the fire might have been stopped, but for the foolish conduct of the LORD Mayon, who refused to give orders for pulling down some houses, without the consent of the owners, Buckets and engines were of no use, from the confined state of the streets.

7.-SAINT EUNERCHUS, Eunerchus, or Evortius, was bishop of Orleans, and present at the council of Valentia, A.D. 375.' The circumstances of his election to this see were considered as maraculous, and principally ascribed to. a dove which alighted upon his head in consequence of the prayers of the electors. Other wonderful effects of his own prayers are attributed to him ; such as extinguishing fire in the city almost instantaneously; finding a large pot of gold, which had long lain concealed under the ruins of a church, and which proved nearly sufficient to defray the expenses of rebuild. , ing it; the conversion of 7000 infidels in the space of three days only; and lastly, foretelling, not only ·

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of Arianus IRGIN MARin the ait

the time of his own death, but nominating a successor in the person of Arianus. ; '

8.-NATIVITY OF THE VIRGIN MARY. A concert of angels having been heard in the air to solemnize this important event, the festival was appointed by Pope Servius about the year 695. In. nocent IV honoured this feast with an octave in 1244 ; and Gregory XI, about the year 1370, with a vigil.

14.-HOLY CROSS... This festival was first observed in the year 615, on the following occasion: Cosroes, King of Persia, having plundered Jerusalem, carried away large pieces of the cross which had been left there by the Empress Helena. Heraclius, the emperor, soon afterwards engaged and defeated him, and recovered the cross : but bringing it back in triumph to Jeru. salem, he found the gates shut against him, and heard a voice from heaven, saying, that the King of Kings did not enter into that city in so stately a manner, but meek and lowly, and riding upon an ass. The emperor then immediately dismounted from his horse, and walked through the city barefooted, carrying the cross himself. The holy-rood, or cross, when perfectly made, had not only the image of our Saviour extended upon it, but the figures of the Virgin Mary and St. John, one on each side ; in allusion to John xix, 26,- Christ on the Cross saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing by.'

Such was the representation denominated the rood, usually placed over the screen which divided the nave from the chancel of our churches. To our ancestors, we are told, it conveyed a full type of the Christian church; the nave representing the church militant, and the chancel the church triumphant; denoting that all who would go from the one to the other, must pass under the rood; that is, carry the Cross, and suffer affliction.",

:

17.-SAINT LAMBERT. Lambert was bishop of Utrecht, in the time of King Pepin I. But, reproving the king's grandson for his irregularities, he was cruelly murdered at the instigation of an abandoned woman. Being canonized, he obtained at first only a simple commemoration in the calendar; but Róbert, Bishop of Leeds, in a general chapter of the Cistercian Order, procured a solemn feast to his honour in the church in 1240.

. . 21.–SAINT MATTHEW. Matthew, called also Levi, was a Galilean, the son of Alpheus and Mary; and a publican or tax-gatherer under the Romans. Our Lord having healed a paralyric, retired out of Capernaum to walk by the seaside, teaching the people; here he saw Matthew sit. ting at the receipt of customs, whom he called to come and follow him. Though Matthew was rich, he left all for this purpose.

After his election to the apostleship, he continued with the rest till our Saviour's ascension; and then, for the first eight years, preached in Judea. About this time (64 or 65) he wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, which was afterwards translated into Greek: after many labours and miracles, he closed his life at Nadabar in Ethiopia, probably by martyrdom. '.:.

22.-CORONATION OF KING GEORGE III. 'n His present Majesty was crowned on the 22d of September, 1761. The form of the oath, and the manner of taking it, we copy from 'An Account of the Ceremonies observed in the Coronations of King James II, and his royal consort; King William III and Queen Mary; Queen Anne; King George I; and King George II, and Queen Caroline: 4to. London, 1760.

Sermon being ended, the king uncovers his head, and the archbishop repairs to his majesty, and asks him, Sir, are you willing to take the Oath usually taken by your Predecessor?

« ElőzőTovább »