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*10. 1778. LINNÆUS DIED.
Ten years after the death of this great man, a new society of Naturalists, distinguished by his name, was founded in London, and has since been incorporated by Royal Charter. This appellation was chosen also on account of the Museum of Linnæus having fallen into the hands of Sir James Smith, its original projector, and hitherto only president. This treasure comprehending the library, herbarium, insects, shells, and all other natural curiosities, with all the MSS. and whole correspondence of the illustrious Swede, were obtained by private purchase from his widow, after the death of his son, in 1783. The Linnean Society have published several volumes of most valuable Transactions.'
On this day, or about this time, in the north, the fool-plough goes about, a pageant that consists of a number of sword-dancers, dragging a plough, with music, and one, sometimes two, in a very fantastic dress; the Bessy, in the grotesque habit of an old woman, and the fool, almost covered with skins, wearing a hairy cap, and the tail of some animal hanging from his back.
13. SAINT HILARY.
Hilary was born at Poictiers in France, of an illustrious family; and of this place he was chosen bishop in the year 353. He died at Poictiers in 368. Hilary was an excellent orator and poet; his style abounds with rhetorical figures.
*13. 1790.-MONASTERIES SUPPRESSED IN FRANCE. *14. 640.-ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY BURNT. This noble library, containing more than seven hundred thousand volumes, was utterly destroyed by the order of the calif Omar, when he acquired possession of Alexandria. The volumes of paper, or parchment, were distributed to the four thousand baths of
the city; and six months were barely sufficient for the consumption of this precious fuel. *16. 1794.-GIBBON DIED.
It was on the day, or rather night, of the 27th of June, 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last in a sumpage mer-house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took several turns in a berceau, or covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains. The air was temperate, the sky was serene, the silver orb of the moon was reflected from the waters, and all nature was silent.
I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and, perhaps, the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind by the idea that I had taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that, whatsoever might be the future date of my History, the life of the historian might be short and precarious. I will add two facts which have seldom occurred in the composition of six, or, at least, five quarto volumes: 1. My rough MS., without any intermediate copy, has been sent to press. 2. Not a eet has been seen by any human eyes, excepting those of the author and of the printer; the faults and merits are exclusively my own.-Gibbon's Common Place Book.
*16. 1780.-SIR J. H. MOORE DIED.
If in the web of life entwined
Some mingled threads of love we find,
Lest with rude touch the work they tear,
*17. 1792.-BISHOP HORne died.
This great man thus beautifully characterises the Psalms of David: They present (says he) religion to us in the most engaging dress; communicating
1 Of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
truths which philosophy could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal; while history is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends all its charms to paint the glories of redemption. Calculated alike to profit and to please, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination. Indited under the influence of HIM, to whom all hearts are known, and all events foreknown, they suit mankind in all situations, grateful as the manna which descended from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lose their fragrancy; but these unfading plants of paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily heightened; fresh odours are emitted and new sweets extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellencies, will desire to taste them yet again; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best.' 18. SAINT PRISCA.
Prisca, a Roman lady, was early converted to Christianity; but refusing to abjure her religion, and to offer sacrifice when she was commanded, was horribly tortured, and afterwards beheaded, under the Emperor Claudius, in the year 275.
*20. 1779.-GARRICK DIed.
*20. 1790.-HOWARD DIed.
He visited all Europe, not to survey the sumptuousness of palaces, or the stateliness of temples; not to make accurate measurements of the remains of antient grandeur, nor to form a scale of the curiosity of modern art; not to collect medals, or collate manuscripts;-but to dive into the depths of dungeons; to plunge into the infection of hospitals; to survey the mansions of sorrow and pain; to take the gage and dimensions of misery, depression, and contempt; to remember the forgotten, to attend to the neglected,
to visit the forsaken, and to compare and collate the distresses of men in all countries.-Burke.
*20. 1813.-WIELAND, GERMAN POET, DIED. 21.-SAINT AGNES.
Agnes, a young Roman lady, of a noble family, suffered martyrdom in the tenth general persecution, under the Emperor Dioclesian, in the year 306. Although the executioners wounded her most cruelly with the sword, yet she bore it with incredible constancy, singing hymns all the time she was then no more than thirteen or fourteen years of age.
*21. 1793.-LOUIS XVI BEHEADED.
The 21st of the month was peculiarly fatal to Louis. June 21, 1770, at a fête given in consequence of his marriage, a vast number of persons were trampled to death; June 21, 1792, he escaped from Paris to Varennes; and on September 21, 1792, royalty was abolished in France.
*22. 1788.-LORD BYRON BORN.
Yes, once the rural scene was sweet,
But, now, I seek for other joys;
Yet, e'en in these, a thought will steal
Vincent, a deacon of the church in Spain, suffered
From lines To-
in Hours of Idleness,' by Lord
martyrdom in the Dioclesian persecution, about the year 303, being extended upon burning coals; and, after his body was broiled there, he was thrown upon heaps of broken tiles.
*23. 1792.-SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDs died.
Who, when Cimmerian darkness whelmed our isle,
Bid Nature from the canvas start,
And with the Graces bade that canvas smile.
Could Titian from his tomb arise,
*23. 1806.-WILLIAM PITT DIED.
Drop upon Fox's grave the tear,
*24. 1679.-LONG PARLIAMENT DISSOolved.
This day celebrates the miraculous conversion of St. Paul. He was beheaded under the general persecution of Nero; hence the usual representation of him with a sword in his hand.
*28. 1547.-EDWARD VI BEGAN TO REIGN. He was counted the wonder of his time; he was not only learned in the tongues and the liberal sciences, but he knew well the state of his kingdom. He kept a table-book, in which he had written the cha