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naturalists should refer this kind of rain to vapours drawn up out of red earth aloft into the air, which congealing afterwards into liquor, fall down in this form; because such vapours as are drawn aloft by heat, ascend without colour, as we may know by the alone example of red roses, out of which the vapours that arise by heat, are congealed into transparent water. He was less pleased with the common people, and some divines, who judged that it was a work of the devils and witches, who had killed innocent young children; for this he counted a mere conjecture, possibly also injurious to the goodness and providence of God. “In the mean while an accident happened, out of which he conceived he had collected the true cause thereof. For some months before, he shut up in a box a certain palmer-worm which he had found, rare for its bigness and form; which, when he had forgotten, he heard a buzzing in the box, and when he opened it, found the palmer-worm, having cast its coat, to be turned into a very beautiful butterfly, which presently flew away, leaving in the bottom of the box a red drop as broad as an ordinary sous or shilling; and because this happened about the beginning of the same month, and about the same time an incredible multitude of butterflies were observed flying in the air, he was therefore of opinion, that such kind of butterflies resting upon the walls, had there shed such like drops, and of the same bigness. Wherefore, he went the second time, and found by experience, that those drops were not to |. found on the house tops, nor upon the round sides of the stones which stuck out, as it would have hapo if blood had fallen from the sky, ut rather where the stones were somewhat hollowed, and in holes, where such small creatures might shroud and nestle themselves. Moreover, the walls which were so spotted, were not in the middle of towns, but they were such as bordered upon the fields, nor were they on the highest parts, but only so moderately high as butterflies are commonly wont to flie. “Thus, therefore, he interpreted that which Gregory of Tours relates, touching a bloody rain seen at Paris in divers places, in the days of Childebert, and on a certain house in the territory of Senlis; also that which is storied, touching raining of blood about the end of June, in the days of king Robert; so that the blood which fell upon flesh, garments, or stones,
could not be washed out, but that which fell on wood might; for it was the same season of butterflies, and experience hath taught us, that no water will wash these spots out of the stones, while they are fresh and new. When he had said these and such like things to Varius, a great company of auditors being present, it was agreed that they should go together and search out the matter, and as they went up and down, here and there, through the fields, they found many drops upon stones and rocks; but they were only on the hollow and under parts of the stones, but not upon those which lay most open to the skies.”
Thus the first mentioned appearances on the paper, may be naturally accounted for, and so
“ends the history Of this wonderful mystery.”
On the evening of the same day, the 25th of August, 1826, the editor witnessed the terrific tempest of thunder and lightning, mentioned in the newspapers. He was walking in the London-road near the Surrey obelisk, when the flashes sheeted out more rapidly in succession, and to greater extent than have ever been witnessed in this country, within the memory of man. They were accompanied by a gale of wind that took up light objects, such as hay, leaves, and sticks, and immense clouds of dust to a great height, and impelled people along against their will. The sudden loud claps of thunder, and the red forking of the flashes were tremendously grand and appalling. At one time there was a crashing burst of thunder, and a rushing sound from the electric fluid, like the discharge of a flight of rockets close at hand. This was in the midst of a torrent of rain, which lasted only a few minutes, and was as heavy as from the bursting of a number of water spouts. This storm was literally a tornado.
Lightning was looked upon as sacred both by the Greeks and Romans, and was supposed to be sent to execute vengeance on the earth. Hence persons killed with lightning, being thought hateful to the gods were buried apart by themselves, lest the ashes of other men should receive pollution from them. All places struck with lightning were carefully avoided and fenced round, from an opinion that Jupiter had either taken offence at them, and fired upon them the marks of his displeasure, or that he had by this means pitched upon them as sacred to himself. e ground thus fenced about, was called by the Romans bidental. Lightning was much observed in augury, and was a good or bad omen, according to the circumstances attending it.”
When a stormy cloud, which is nothing
but a heap of exhalations strongly electrified, approaches near enough to a tower, or a house, or a cloud not electrified; when it approaches so near, that a spark flies from it, this occasions the explosion, which we call a o of thunder. The light we then see is the lightning, or the thunderbolt. Sometimes we see only a sudden and momentary flash, at other times it is a train of fire, taking different forms and directions. The explosion attending the lighning, shows that it is the vapours which occasion the thunder; by taking fire suddenly, they agitate and dilate the air violently. At every electrical spark a clap is heard. The thunder is sometimes composed of several claps or prolonged and multiplied by echoes. As soon as we see a flash of lightning, we have only to reckon the seconds in a watch, or how often our pulse beats, between the flash and the clap. Whoever can reckon ten pulsations between the lightning and the thunder, is still at the distance of a quarter of a league from the storm; for it is calculated that the sound takes nearly the time of forty pulsations, in going a league. The lightning does not always go in a direct line from top to bottom. It often winds about and goes zigzag, and sometimes it does not lighten till very near the ground. The combustible matter which reaches the ground, or takes fire near it, never fails to strike. But sometimes it is not strong enough to approach us, and like an ill-charged cannon, it disperses in the atmosphere and does no harm. When, on the contrary, the fiery exhalations reach the ground, they sometimes make terrible havoc. We may judge of the prodigious force of the lightning by the wonderful effects it produces. The heat of the flame is such, that it burns and consumes every thing that is combustible. It even melts metals, but it often spares what is contained in them, when they are of a substance not
too close to leave the passage free. It is by the velocity of the lightning that the bones of men and animals are sometimes calcined, while the flesh remains unhurt. That the strongest buildings are thrown down, trees split, or torn up by the root, the thickest of walls pierced, stones and rocks broken, and reduced to ashes. It is to the rarification and violent motion of the air, produced by the heat and velocity of the lightning, that we must attribute the death of men and animals found suffocated, without any appearance of having been struck by lightning.
“Experience teaches us, that the rain which falls when it thunders, is the most fruitful to the earth. The saline and sulphurous particles which fill the atmosphere during a storm, are drawn down by the rain, and become excellent nourishment for the plants; without mentioning the number of small worms, seeds, and little insects which are also drawn down in thunder showers, and are with the help of a microscope, visible in the drops of water.”
In August, 1769, a flash of lightning fell upon the theatre at Venice, in which were more than six hundred persons. Besides killing several of the audience, it put out the candles, singed a lady's hair, and melted the gold case of her watch and the fringe of her robe. The earrings of several ladies were melted, and the stones split; and one of the performers in the orchestra, had his violincello shattered in a thousand splinters, but received no damage himself.t
NATURALISTS' cALEN DAR. Mean Temperature ... 61 ° 97.
On the 26th of August, 1635, died Lope de Vega, called the “Spanish Phenix,” aged sixty-three years. His funeral was conducted with princely magnificence by his patron, the duke of Susa, and his memory was celebrated with suitable pomp in all the theatres of Spain.
Lope de Vega was the rival and conqueror of Cervantes in the dramatic art; yet in his youth he embarked in the celebrated Spanish armada, for the invasion
* Sturm. t Annual Regist-:.
of England, and spent part of his life in civil and military occupations. His invention is as unparalleled in the history of poetry, as the talent which enabled him to compose regular and well constructed verse with as much ease as Fo Cervantes, on this account, styled im a prodigy of nature. His verses flowed freely, and such was his confidence in his countrymen, that as they applauded his writings, which were unrestrained by critical notes, he refused conformity to any restrictions. “The public,” he said, “paid for the drama, and the taste of those who paid should be suited.” He required only four-and-twenty hours to write a versified drama of three acts, abounding in intrigues, prodigies, or interesting situations, and interspersed with sonnets and other versified accompaniments. In general the theatrical manager carried away what De Vega wrote before he had time to revise it, and a fresh applicant often arrived to prevail on him to commence a new piece immediately. In some instances he composed a F. in the short space of three or four ours. This astonishing facility enabled him to supply the Spanish theatre with upwards of two thousand original dramas. According to his own testimony he wrote on an average five sheets every day, and at this rate he must have produced upwards of twenty millions of verses. He was enriched by his talents, and their fame procured him distinguished honours. He is supposed at one time to have possessed upwards of a hundred thousand ducats, but he was a bad economist, for the poor of Madrid shared his purse. He was elected president of the spiritual college in that capital; and pope Urban VIII. sent him the degree of doctor in divinity with a flattering letter, and bestowed on him the cross of Malta; he was also appointed fiscal of the apostolic chamber, and a familiar of the inquisition, an office regarded singularly honourable at that period. . Whenever he appeared in the streets, boys ran shouting after him; he was surrounded by crowds of people, all eager to gain a sight of the “prodigy of nature;” and those who * not keep pace with the rest, stood and gazed on him with wonder as he passed. Lope de Vega's inexhaustible fancy and fascinating ease of composition, communicated that character to Spanish comedy; and all subsequent Spanish writers trod
The editor has received a present from Mr. John Smith of a wood block, engraved by himself, as a specimen of his talents in that department of art, and in acknowledgment of a friendly civility he is pleased to recollect at so long a distance from the time when it was offered, that it only dwelt in his own memory. he impression from this engraving, and the accompanying information, will acquaint the reader with an old London “effigy" which many may remember to have seen. It is the only cut in the present sheet; for an article on a popular amusement, which will require a considerable number of engravings, is in preparation, and the artists are busily engaged on them. Concerning this stone we must resort to old Stow. According to this “honest chronicler,” he peregrinated to where this Stone now so and where in his time stood “the church of St. Michael ad Bladudum, or at the corne (‘corruptly, he says, “at the querne,') so called, because in place thereof, was sometime a cornemarket. At the west end of this parish church is a small passage for people on foot thorow the same church;” and he proceeds to throw the only light that seems to appear on this stone, “and west from the said church, some distance, is another passage out of Paternoster-row, and is called (of such a signe) Panyeralley, which commeth out into the north, over against Saint Martin's-lane.” It is plain from Stow's account, that Panyer-alley derived its name from “a signe,” but what that “signe” was we are ignorant of it may have been a tavern-sign, and this stone may have been the ancient sign in the wall of the tavern. It represents a boy seated on a panyer, F. a bunch of grapes between his and and his foot. By some people it is called “the Pick-my-toe.” T. inscription mentions the date when it was either
repaired or put up in its present situation affirms that the spot is the highest ground in a wall on the east side of the alley, and of the city.
Wnile we are at this place, it is amus- houses, and divers offices have been there ing to remark what Stow observes of Ivy- kept, by registers, namely, for the preroJane, which runs parrallel with Panyer- gative court of the archbishop of Canturalley westward. He says, that “Ivie- bury, the probate of wils, which is now lane” was “so called of iv.ie growing on removed into Warwicke-lane, and also the walls of the prebend's houses,” which for the lord treasurer's remembrance of were situated in that lane; “but now,” the exchequer, &c.” speaking of his own days, “the lane is Hence we see that in Ivy-lane, now a replenished on both sides with faire place of mean dwelling, was one of the
great offices at present in Doctors' Commons, and another of equal importance belonging to the crown; but the derivation of its name from the ivy on the walls
of the prebends' houses, an adjunctive ornament that can scarcely be imagined by the residents of the closely confined neighbourhood, is the pleasantest part of the narration.
And Stow also tells us of “ Mountgoddard-street,” which “goeth up to the north end of Ivie-lane,” of its having been so called “of the tippling there, and the goddards mounting É. the tappe to the table, from the table to the mouth, and some times over the head.”
These were cups or goblets made with a cover or otherwise. In “Tancred and Gismunda,” an old play, we are told, “Lucrece entered, attended by a maiden of honour with a covered goddard of gold, and, drawing the curtains, she offered unto Gismunda to taste thereof.” So also Gayton, in his “Festivous Notes on Don Quixote,” mentions—
“A goddard, or an anniversary spice bowl, Drank off by th’ gossips.” Goddard, according to Camden, means “godly the cup,” and appears to Mr. Archdeacon Nares, who cites these authorities to have been a christening cup. That gentleman can find no certain account of the origin of the name. Perhaps goddard was derived from “godward:” we had looking godward, and thinking godward, and perhaps drinking godward, for a benediction.
might have been usual at a christening or solemn merry-making; and from thence godward drinking might have come to the godward cup, and so the goddard.
Sir, If the following “Address to the Cuckoo,” from my work on birds, should suit the pages of the Every-Day Book, it
..is quite at your service.
Of the cuckoo, I would just observe, that I do not think, notwithstanding ali that Dr. Jenner has written concerning it, its natural history is by any means fully developed. I have had some opportunities of observing the habits of this very singular bird, and in me there is room for believing that, even when at maturity, it is sometimes, if not frequently, fed by other birds. It is very often attended by one, two, or even more, small birds, during its flight, for what purpose is not, I believe, at present known. The “wry. neck,” juna torquilla, called in some provinces the “cuckoo's maiden,” is said to be one of these. Perhaps it may be novel information to your readers to be told, that there is a bird in the United States of America, called “Cowpen,” emberiza pecoris, by Wilson, which lays her eggs in other bird's nests, in a similar way to the cuckoo in this country: the “cowpen” is, however, a much smaller bird than the cuckoo.
I am, &c.
To The Cuckoo.
Thou monotonous bird! whom we ne'er wish away,