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*24. 1603.-JAMES I BEGAN TO REIGN.
A king, said James, ought to be a preserver of his people, as well of their fortunes and lives, and not a destroyer of his subjects. Were I to make such. a war as the King of France doth, with such tyranny on his own subjects-with Protestants on one side, and his soldiers drawn to slaughter on the other,I would put myself in a monastery all my days after, and repent me that I had brought my subjects to such misery. Again he says, a king of England has no reason but to seek always to decline a war; for though the sword was, indeed, in his hand, the purse was in the people's. One could not go without the other. Suppose a supply were levied to begin the fray, what certainty could he have that he should not want sufficient to make an honourable end?See Mr. D'Israeli's Inquiry into the Literary and Political Character of James I, an interesting work, in which this peaceful sovereign is vindicated from the unjust aspersions of his various historians. 25.-ANNUNCIATION OF THE B. V. M., or Lady Day.
This day celebrates the angel's message to the Virgin Mary, respecting our Blessed Lord. She was, probably, an only child, and but fifteen years of age when espoused to Joseph. She died A. D. 48, being about sixty years old.
This is one of the four quarter-days, on which rent is paid, &c.
*26. 1812.-EARTHQUAKE AT THE CARACCAS. The first commotion took place at five o'clock in the afternoon. The air was calm, the heat excessive: nothing preceded or announced such a catastrophe. A shaking was first perceived, strong enough to set the bells of the church a-ringing: it lasted about six seconds, and was followed by an interval of ten or twelve seconds, during which the earth exhibited an undulation similar to the motion of the sea in a calm : the crisis was then supposed to have passed; but im
mediately, extraordinary subterraneous noises were heard, and electrical discharges infinitely stronger than atmospheric thunder; the earth was agitated with a quickness which cannot be described, and seemed to boil like water when subjected to the heat of a very strong fire: there was then a perpendicular rumbling or strepitus for about three or four seconds, followed by agitations in an opposite direction from north to south, and from east to west, for three or four seconds also. This short but awful period was sufficient to overturn the whole city of Caraccas, -with upwards of thirty towns, and the country houses and numerous establishments spread over the surface of that delightful province! In an instant, all was destroyed to an extent of 300 miles, and ́80,000 inhabitants ceased to live, while thousands were dreadfully wounded!
*27. 1802. PEACE OF AMIENS.
*29. 1815.-FRENCH SLAVE TRADE ABOLISHED
30. PALM SUNDAY.
In the missals, this day is denominated Dominica in ramis Palmarum, or Palm Sunday, and was so called from the palm branches and green boughs formerly distributed on that day, in commemoration of our Lord's riding to Jerusalem. Sprigs of boxwood are still used as a substitute for palms in Roman Catholic countries. On this day is still retained the antient usage of decorating churches, houses, &c. with evergreens. The ceremonies of the Greek church, on this occasion, are noticed in T. T. for 1815, p. 85.
In MARCH 1817.
THE Sun enters Aries on the 20th of March, at 54 m. past 10 at night. The following Table shows
his time of rising and setting on every 5th day during the present month.
Of the Sun's Rising and Setting for every fifth Day of March 1817.
On this subject we must refer our readers to the explanations we have already given in our former volumes, and merely insert in this place the following Table, which shows what is requisite to be added to the time indicated by a good sun-dial, to obtain mean time from apparent.
For every fifth Day of the Month.
March 1, to the time on the dial add 12
The sum will be the true time, as given by a well regulated clock.
The Moon will be full at 35 m. after 1 P.M. on the 3d. She will commence her last quarter at 53 m. past 4, on the morning of the 10th; there will be a new Moon on the 17th, at 11 m. after 9 in the evening; and she will enter her first quarter at 2 m. past 2 on the morning of the 26th. The Moon
will also be in conjunction with the star marked ẞ in Scorpio at 29 m. after 9 on the evening of the 8th. The Moon's passage over the first meridian may be conveniently observed at the following times during this month, viz.
7th day, at 53 m. after 4 in the morning
On the 16th of the present month, Mercury and Saturn will be in conjunction; Mercury being at that time 26' south of Saturn. Mercury will also attain his greatest elongation on the 7th, and Venus on the 13th. The Georgium Sidus will be in quadrature at 30 m. after 1 P.M. on the 6th; and he will appear stationary on the 21st of this month. Jupiter will also be stationary on the 28th.
Jupiter's first satellite will be visibly eclipsed on the 17th and 24th of this month. The immersion will take place at 19 m. past 2 in the morning of the former day, and at 13 m. after 4 in the morning of the latter. The second satellite will also be eclipsed; immersion on the 22d, at 50 m. after 1 P.M.
The eclipses of these satillites are calculated for mean time, or that as shown by a true going clock; and those only are noticed above which will be visible at the Royal Observatory and its neighbourhood.
On the Nature, and Effects of Refraction.
WHEN the rays of light pass obliquely out of one medium into another of a different density, they are bent out of their rectilineal course, and this effect is denominated Refraction. This, for instance, takes place when light passes from air into water, from
glass in air, or from one stratum of air into another of different density. Observations on these phenomena have established the following fact: if a luminous ray successively traverse two mediums of the same nature, but of different densities, and, at the point where it passes from the one to the other, a perpendicular to their common surface be drawn, the ray, on passing into the denser medium, approaches this perpendicular; and the sine of the angle of incidence is to the sine of the angle of refraction always in a constant ratio, the densities remaining the same.
The atmosphere being composed of an indefinite number of beds or strata of air, which may be considered as spherical and concentric to each other, and having their density increasing as they approach the earth, the rays of light which traverse these strata pass successively through mediums of different densities, and consequently ought to be inflected towards the earth in proportion as the density increases. This effect will be evident from the following figure;
in which a, b, c, and d, represent different concentric beds of the atmosphere, and r the successive directions which a ray of light assumes in passing through these different strata to arrive at the surface of the earth at O..
Now, as the density of the atmosphere at different