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to religion, and, to prevent his importunities, gave her whole fortune to the poor. The youth, enraged at this denial, accused her before Paschasius, the heathen judge, of professing Christianity; and Lucy, after much cruel treatment, fell a martyr to his revenge, in the year 305.

*13. 1784.-DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON died. Translation of a Passage in the MEDEA of EURipides, not printed in Johnson's Works.

The rites derived from antient days
With thoughtless reverence we praise;
The rites that taught us to combine
The joys of music and of wine;

That bade the feast, the song, the bowl,
O'erfill the saturated soul;

But ne'er the lute nor lyre applied
To soothe DESPAIR or soften Pride,
Nor called them to the gloomy cells
Where madness raves and vengeance swells,
Where hate sits musing to betray,
And MURDER meditates his prey.
To dens of guilt and shades of care
Ye sons of melody repair,

Nor deign the festive hour to cloy

With superfluity of joy;

The board, with varied plenty crowned,

May spare the luxury of sound.



This is the beginning of an Anthem in the Latin service to the honour of Christ's advent, which used to be sung in the church from this day until Christ




The extraordinary capacity of this young prince unfolded itself so early as his fifteenth year, in the study of the languages, history, mathematics, bo

tany, music, and drawing, in which last he has made a proficiency that would be creditable to a professor. In his campaigns, and in the field of battle, where all false greatness disappears, Leopold has given the most undeniable proofs that courage, and a profound sense of religion and liberty, are innate in his soul; and that clear intelligence and unshaken fortitude are his securest possessions. With such qualities of the head and heart, with a character and principles that so completely harmonize with the feelings, the notions, nay, even the prejudices, of the British nation, this illustrious Prince authorizes us to anticipate, from his union with the heiress to the throne, results equally conducive to the welfare of the people at large, and to the happiness of that distinguished family of which he is become a member.-Shoberl's Memoir of the House of Saxony, 8vo.


Thomas, surnamed Didymus, or the Twin, was a Jew, and, in all probability, a Galilean. He suffered martyrdom in the same city, being killed by the lances of some people instigated by the Bramins.

This is the shortest day, and is, at London, 7 h. 44 m. 17 s.; allowing 9 m. 5 s. for refraction.



The feast of our Saviour's nativity is named Christmas-day, from the Latin Christi Missa, the Mass of Christ, and thence the Roman Catholic Liturgy is termed their Missal or Mass-Book. In the primitive church this day was always preceded by an eve or vigil. When the devotion of the eve was completed, our forefathers used to light up candles of an uncommon size, which were called Christmas

candles, and to lay a log of wood upon the fire, called the yule-clog or log'.

The turkey is now the appropriate dish, at the tables of the opulent, on Christmas-day. Gay, in his Fable of the Turkey and Ant, makes the old turkey say

But man, curst man, on turkey preys,
And Christmas shortens all our days.
Sometimes with oysters we combine,
Sometimes assist the savoury chine.

Norfolk being the great place for rearing turkeys, the stage coaches from Norwich to London, for some days previous to Christmas-day, take no human passengers, but turkeys only 2.

When rosemary and bays, the poet's crown,

Are bawled in frequent cries through all the town,
Then judge the festival of Christmas near,
Christmas, the joyous period of the year !
Now with bright holly all the temples strew,
With laurel green, and sacred MISLETOE.



Stephen was the first deacon chosen by the apostles. He was cited by the Sanhedrin, or Jewish Council, for prophesying the fall of the Jewish Temple and economy; and while vindicating his doctrine by several passages of the Old Testament, he was violently carried out of the city, and stoned to death, in the year 33. See Acts, chap. vii, for his admirable defence.

I For many other customs formerly observed in England at this season, see T. T. for 1814, p. 309; and, for some particulars of the Fête de l'Ane, or Feast of the Ass, see our volume for 1815, p. 318.


According to Tusser, the turkey began to form an article in our Christmas feasts about the year 1585.

Beefe, mutton, and porke, shred pies of the best,
Pig, veale, goose, and capon, and turkie well drest;
Cheese, apples, and nuts, jolly carols to heare,
As then in the country is counted good cheare.

*26. 1806.-W. I. ROBERTS DIED.


Pilgrim! if youth's seductive bloom
Thy soul in pleasure's vest arrays,
Pause at this sad and silent tomb,

And learn how swift thy bliss decays!

But, ah! if woe has stabbed thy breast,
And dimmed with tears thy youthful eye,
Mourner, the grave's a house of rest,
And this one teaches how to die!

For she who sleeps this stone beneath,
Tho' many an hour to pain was given,
Smiled at the hovering dart of death,
While Hope displayed the joys of Heaven1!
27.-JOHN EVANGELIST. See p. 163 et seq.


The slaughter of the Jewish children, by Herod, is commemorated on this day. The festival is very antient, for Tertullian and Saint Cyprian call these Innocents martyrs, and Prudentius has written a hymn upon the subject. Childermas day is another name for this feast. The lower orders think that every thing done on this day must go wrong. John

Moody, in Vanbrugh's Play of the Provoked Husband,' imputes all the evils which befal the wronghead family on their journey to London, to their setting out on Childermas day: But my leady was in such main haste to be here, that set out she would, thof I told her it was Childermas day.'


He was Bishop of Rome, and succeeded Miltiades in the papacy, in 314. Silvester is accounted the author of several rites and ceremonies of the Romish church, as asylums, unctions, palls, corporals, mitres, &c. He died in 334.

1 See Roberts's Poems and Letters, p. 9, a pleasing compa nion to the Remains of Kirke White. The author died at the early age of twenty!

Astronomical Occurrences


THE Sun enters Capricornus at 19 m. after 3 in the morning of the 22d; and the following Table shows the time of his rising and setting on every fifth day during the present month.


Monday, Dec. 1st, Sun rises 57 m. after 7. Sets 3m. after 4




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True or mean time will be found from that exhibited by a good sun-dial, by employing the quantities as directed in the following


Of the Equation of Time for every fifth Day of the Month.

m. S.

Dec. 1st, from the time by the dial subtract 10 44

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The Moon will enter her last quarter at 21 m. past 8 in the evening of the 1st; there will be a new Moon at 33 m. after 12 on the 8th; the first quarter will be at 29 m. after 11 in the morning of the 15th she will be full at 59 m. after 4 in the afternoon of the 23d; and she will enter her last quarter at 33 m. after 7 in the morning of the 31st. The Moon may also be seen on the first meridian at the following convenient times for observation, viz :—

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