Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

naturalists should refer this kind of rain could not be washed out, but that which to vapours drawn up out of red earth aloftfell on wood might; for it was the same into the air, which congealing afterwards season of butterflies, and experience hath into liquor, fall down in this form; be- taught us, that no water will wash these cause such vapours as are drawn aloft by spots out of the stones, while they are heat, ascend without colour, as we may fresh and new. When he had said these know by the alone example of red roses, and such like things to Varius, a great out of which the vapours that arise by company of auditors being present, it heat, are congealed into transparent water. was agreed that they should go together He was less pleased with the common and search out the matter, and as they people, and some divines, who judged that went up and down, here and there, through it was a work of the devils and witches, the fields, they found many drops upon who had killed innocent young children; stones and rocks; but they were only on for this he counted a mere conjecture, the hollow and under parts of the stones, possibly also injurious to the goodness but not upon those which lay most open and providence of God.

to the skies.” “In the mean while an accident hap- Thus the first mentioned appearances pened, out of which he conceived he had on the paper, may be naturally accounted collected the true cause thereof. For some for, and so months before, he shut up in a box a cer

Lo ends the history tain palmer-worm which he had found,

of this wonderful mystery;" rare for its bigness and form; which, when he had forgotten, he heard a buzzing in the box, and when he opened it, found

On the evening of the same day, the the palmer-worm, having cast its coat, to 25th of August, 1826, the editor witnessed be turned into a very beautiful butterfly, the terrific tempest of thunder and lightwhich presently flew away, leaving in the ning, mentioned in the newspapers. He bottom of the box a red drop as broad as

was walking in the London-road near the an ordinary sous or shilling; and because Surrey obelisk, when the flashes sheeted this happened about the beginning of the out more rapidly in succession, and to same month, and about the same time an greater extent than hav ever been witincredible multitude of butterflies were

nessed in this country, within the memory observed flying in the air, he was there- of man. They were accompanied by a fore of opinion, that such kind of butter- gale of wind that took up light objects, flies resting upon the walls, had there shed such as hay, leaves, and sticks, and imsuch like drops, and of the same bigness, mense clouds of dust to a great height, and Wherefore, he went the second time, and impelled people along against their will. found by experience, that those drops The sudden loud claps of thunder, and were not to be found on the house tops, the red forking of the flashes were trenor upon the round sides of the stones mendously grand and appalling. At one which stuck out, as it would have hap- time there was a crashing burst of thunpened, if blood had fallen from the sky, der, and a rushing sound from the electric but rather where the stones were some- Auid, like the discharge of a flight of what hollowed, and in holes, where such rockets close at hand. This was in the small creatures might shroud and nestle midst of a torrent of rain, which lasted themselves. Moreover, the walls which only a few minutes, and was as heavy as were so spotted, were not in the middle from the bursting of a number of water of towns, but they were such as bordered spouts. This storm was literally a torupon the fields, nor were they on the

nado. highest parts, but only so moderately high as butterflies are commonly wont to flie.

“Thus, therefore, he interpreted that Lightning was looked upon as sacred which Gregory of Tours relates, touching both by the Greeks and Romans, and a bloody rain seen at Paris in divers was supposed to be sent to execute venplaces, in the days of Childebert, and on geance on the earth.

Hence persons à certain house in the territory of Senlis; killed with lightning, being thought batealso that which is storied, touching rain- ful to the gods were buried apart by ing of blood about the end of June, in the themselves, lest the ashes of other men days of king Robert; so that the blood should receive pollution from them. All which fell upon flesh, garments, or stones, places struck with lightning were carefully avoided and fenced round, from an opin- too close to leave the passage free. It is ion that Jupiter had either taken offence by the velocity of the lightning that the at them, and fired upon them the marks bones of men and animals are sometimes of his displeasure, or that he had by this calcined, while the flesh remains unhurt. means pitched upon them as sacred to That the strongest buildings are thrown himself. The ground thus fenced about, down, trees split, or torn up by the root, was called by the Romans bidental. the thickest of walls pierced, stones and Lightning was much observed in augury, rocks broken, and reduced to ashes. It and was a good or bad omen, according is to the rarification and violent motion to the circumstances attending it.* of the air, produced by the heat and velo

When a stormy cloud, which is nothing city of the lightning, that we must attribute but a heap of exhalations strongly electri- the death of men and animals found saffo fied, approaches near enough to a tower, cated, without any appearance of having or a house, or a cloud not electrified; been struck by lightning. when it approaches so near, that a spark “ Experience teaches us, that the rain Mies from it, this occasions the explosion, which falls when it thunders, is the most which we call a clap of thunder. The fruitful to the earth. The saline and sullight we then see is the lightning, or the phurous particles which fill the atmosthunderbolt. Sometimes we see only a phere during a storm, are drawn down by sudden and momentary fash, at other the rain, and become excellent nourishtimes it is a train of fire, taking different ment for the plants; without mentioning forms and directions. The explosion at- the number of small worms, seeds, and tending the lighning, shows that it is the little insects which are also drawn down vapours which occasion the thunder ; by in thunder showers, and are with the taking fire suddenly, they agitate and help of a microscope, visible in the drops dilate the air violently. At every electri- of water.* cal spark a clap is heard. The thunder is sometimes composed of several claps or prolonged and multiplied by echoes.

In August, 1769, a flash of lightning As soon as we see a Aash of lightning, were more than six hundred persons.

fell upon the theatre at Venice, in which we have only to reckon the seconds in a Besides killing several of the audience, it watch, or how often our pulse beats, be put out the candles, singed a lady's hair, tween the flash and the clap: Whoever and melted the gold case of her watch can reckon ten pulsations between the and the fringe of her robe. The earrings lightning and the thunder, is still at the of several ladies were melted, and the distance of a quarter of a league from the stones split; and one of the performers storm; for it is calculated that the sound in the orchestra, had his violincello shattakes nearly the time of forty pulsations, in tered in a thousand splinters, but received going a league. The lightning does not

no damage himself.t always go in a direct line from top to bottom. It often winds about and goes

NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. zigzag, and sometimes it does not lighten Mean Temperature . 61 · 97. till very near the ground. The combustible matter which reaches the ground, or takes fire near it, never fails to strike.

August 26. But sometimes it is not strong enough to

CHRONOLOGY. approach us, and like an ill-charged cannon, it disperses in the atmosphere and

On the 26th of August, 1635, died does no harm. When, on the contrary, Lope de Vega, called the “ 'Spanish Phethe fiery exhalations reach the ground, nix,” aged sixty-three years. His funeral they sometimes make terrible havoc, was conducted with princely magnificence

We may judge of the prodigious force of by his patron, the duke of Susa, and his the lightning by the wonderful effects it memory was celebrated with suitable produces. The heat of the flame is such, pomp in all the theatres of Spain. ihat it burns and consumes every thing

Lope de Vega was the rival and conthat is combustible. It even melts metals, queror of Cervantes in the draniatic art; but it often spares what is contained in yet in his youth he embarked in the cele them, when they are of a substance not brated Spanish armada, for the invasion

• Ency. Brit.

• Sturm.

# Annual Register.

He

of England, and spent part of his life in in his footsteps, until its genius was civil and military occupations.

banished by the introduction of the His invention is as unparalleled in the French taste into Spain.* history of poetry, as the talent which enabled him to compose regular and well

NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. constructed verse with as much ease as

Mean Temperature ...00: 77. prose. Cervantes, on this account, styled him a prodigy of nature. His verses flowed freely, and such was his confidence

August 27. in his countrymen, that as they applauded

1688. A DATE IN PANYER-ALLEY. his writings, which were unrestrained by critical notes, he refused conformity to The editor has received a present from any restrictions. “ The public,” he said, Mr. John Smith of a wood block, en“ paid for the drama, and the taste of graved by himself, as a specimen of his those who paid should be suited." talents in that department of art, and in

required only four-and-twenty acknowledgment of a friendly civility he hours to write a versified drama of three is pleased to recollect at so long a distance acts, abounding in intrigues, prodigies, from the time when it was offered, that it or interesting situations, and interspersed only dwelt in his own memory. with sonnets and other versified accompa- The impression from this engraving, niments. In general the theatrical mana- and the accompanying information, will ger carried away what De Vega wrote acquaint the reader with an old London before he had time to revise it, and a effigy” which many may remember to fresh applicant often arrived to prevail on have seen. It is the only cut in the him to commence a new piece immedi- present sheet; for an article on a popular ately. In some instances he composed a amusement, which will require a consiplay in the short space of three or four derable number of engravings, is in prehours. This astonishing facility enabled paration, and the artists are busily enhim to supply the Spanish theatre with gaged on them. upwards of two thousand original dramas. Concerning this stone we must resort According to his own testimony he wrote to old Stow. According to this “ honest on an average five sheets every day, and at chronicler," he peregrinated to where this this rate he must have produced upwards stone now stands, and where in his time of twenty millions of verses.

stood “ the church of St. Michael ad BlaHe was enriched by his talents, and dudum, or at the corne (corruptly,' he their fame procured him distinguished says, ' at the querne,') so called, because monours. He is supposed at one time to in place thereof, was sometime a cornehave possessed upwards of a hundred market. At the west end of this parish thousand ducats, but he was a bad econo- church is a small

passage for people on mist, for the poor of Madrid shared his foot thorow the same church;" and he purse. He was elected president of the proceeds to throw the only light that spiritual college in that capital; and seems to appear on this stone, “and west pope Urban VIII. sent him the degree from the said church, some distance, is of doctor in divinity with a flattering another passage out of Paternoster-row, letter, and bestowed on him the cross of and is called (of such a signe) PanyerMalta; he was also appointed fiscal of alley, which commeth out into the north, the apostolic chamber, and a familiar of over against Saint Martin's-lane.” the inquisition, an office regarded singu- It is plain from Stow's account, that larly honourable at that period. When- Panyer-alley derived its name from “ ever he appeared in the streets, boys ran signe,” but what that “ signe” was we shouting after him; he was surrounded

are ignorant of. It may have been a by crowds of people, all eager to gain a tavern-sign, and this stone may have been sight of the prodigy of nature;”, and the ancient sign in the wall of the tavern. those who could not keep pace with the It represents a boy seated on a panyer, rest, stood and gazed on him with wonder pressing a bunch of grapes between his as he passed.

hand and his foot. By some people it is Lope de Vega's inexhaustible fancy and called “the Pick-my-toe.” The inscripfascinating ease of composition, commu- tion mentions the date when it was either nicated that character to Spanish comedy; and all subsequent Spanish writers trod

a

• Bouterwek.

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.

[graphic][subsumed]

The Eligy in Panyer-alley, Paternoster-row.

[ocr errors]

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 ivie 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

[ocr errors]

great offices at present in Doctors' Com- might have been usual at a christening or mons, and another of equal importance solemn merry-making; and from thence belonging to the crown; but the deriva- godward drinking might have come to tion of its name from the ivy on the walls the godward cup, and so the goddard. of the prebends' houses, an adjunctive ornament that can scarcely be imagined

The Cuckoo. by the residents of the closely confined neighbourhood, is the pleasantest part of To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. the narration.

Sir,- If the following “ Address to the

Cuckoo,” from my work on birds, should And Stow also tells us of “ Mount- suit the pages of the Every Day Book, it goddard-street,” which “goeth up to the .is quite at your service. north end of Ivie-lane,” of its having been Of the cuckoo, I would just observe, so called “ of the rippling there, and the that I do not think, notwithstanding all goddards mounting from the tappe to the that Dr. Jenner has written concerning it, iable, from the table to the mouth, and its natural history is by any means fully desome times over the head."

veloped. I have had some opportunities Goddards.

of observing the habits of this very singuThese were cups or goblets made with lar bird, and in me there is room for a cover or otherwise. In “ Tancred and believing that, even when at maturity, it Gismunda,” an old play, we are told, other birds. 'It is very often attended by

is sometimes, if not frequently, fed by Lucrece entered, attended by a maiden of honour with a covered goddard of gold, one, twoor, even more, small birds, and, drawing the curtains, she offered during its flight, for what purpcse is not, unto Gismunda to taste thereof.” So also

I believe, at present known. The "

wryGayton, in his “ Festivous Notes on Don neck," junx torquilla, called in some Quixote,” mentions

provinces the "cuckoo's maiden,” is said

to be one of these. Perhaps it may be "A goddard, or an anniversary spice bowl, novel information to your readers to be Drank off by th' gossips."

told, that there is a bird in the United Goddard, according to Camden, means States of America, called “ Cowpen," godly the cup," and appears to Mr. emberiza pecoris, by Wilson, which lays Archdeacon Nares, who cites these autho- her eggs in other bird's nests, in a similar rities to have been a christening cup. way to the cuckoo in this country : the That gentleman can find no certain cowpen" is, however, a much smaller account of the origin of the name.

bird than the cuckoo. Perhaps goddard was derived from

I am, &c. godward :" we had looking godward,

JAMES JENNINGS. and thinking godward, and perhaps Dalby-terrace, City-road, drinking godward, for a benediction August 28, 1826.

TO THE Cuckoo.
Thou monotonous bird! whom we ne'er wish away,
Who hears thee not pleas'd at the threshold of May
Thy advent reminds us of all that is sweet,
Which nature, benignant, now lays at our feet;
Sweet flowers—sweet meadows-sweet birds and their loves;
Sweet sunshiny mornings, and sweet shady groves ;
Sweet smiles of the maiden_sweet looks of the youth,
And sweet asseverations, too, prompted by truth;
Sweet promise of plenty throughout the rich vale ;
And sweet the bees' humming in meadow and vale;
Of the summer's approach—of the presence of spring,
For ever, sweet cuckoo! continue to sing.
Oh, who then, dear bird ! could e'er wish thee away,
Who hears thee not pleas'd at the threshold of May

[ocr errors]
« IndietroContinua »