CAMBRIDGE LENT TERM begins.
St. Veronica of Milan. St. Kentigern.
The festival of St. Hilary is not, at this time, observed by the Romish church until to-morrow, but it stands in old calendars, and in Randle Holmes's Heraldry, on this day, whereon it is also placed in the English calendar. Butler says, he was born at Poictiers, became bishop of that city, was a commentator on Scrip ture, an orator, a poet, wrote against the Arians, was banished for his orthodoxy, but returned to his see, worked miracles, and died on the 13th of January, 368. Ribadeneira says, that in a certain island, uninhabitable by reason of venemous serpents, they fled from his holiness; that he put up a stake as a boundary, commanding them not to pass it, and they obeyed; that he raised a dead child to life, prayed his daughter to death, and did other astonishing things; especially after his decease, when two merchants, at their own cost and by way of venture, offered an image at his shrine, but as one begrudged the cost of his share, St. Hilary caused the image to divide from top to bottom, while being offered, keeping the one half, and rejecting the niggard's moiety. The Golden Legend says that St. Hilary also obtained his wife's death by his prayers; and that pope Leo, who was an Arian, said to him, "Thou art Hilary the cock, and not the son of a hen;" whereat Hilary said, "I am no cock, but a bishop in France;" then said the pope, "Thou art Hilary Gallus (signifying a cock) and I am Leo, judge of the papal see;" whereupon Hilary replied, "If thou be Leo, thou art not (a lion) of the tribe of Juda." After this railing the pope died, and Hilary was comforted.
She was a nun, with a desire to live always on bread and water, died in 1497, and was canonized, after her claim to sanctity was established to the satisfaction of his holiness pope Leo X.
He was bishop of Glasgow, with jurisdiction in Wales, and, according to Butler, "favoured with a wonderful gift of miracles." Bishop Patrick, in his "Devotions of the Romish Church," says, "St. Kentigern had a singular way of kindling fire, which I could never have hit upon." Being in haste to light candles for vigils, and some, who bore a spite to him, having put out all the fire in the monastery, he snatched the green bough of an hazel, blessed it, blew upon it, the bough produced a great flame, and he lighted his candles: "Whence we may conjecture," says Patrick, "that tinder-boxes are of a later invention than St. Kentigern's days."
THE LAW TERMS.
Term is derived from Terminus, the heathen god of boundaries, landmarks, and limits of time. In the early ages of Christianity the whole year was one continued term for hearing and deciding causes; but after the establishment of the Romish church, the daily dispensation of justice was prohibited by canonical authority, that the festivals might be kept holy.
Advent and Christmas occasioned the winter vacation; Lent and Easter the spring; Pentecost the third; and hay time and harvest, the long vacation between Midsummer and Michaelmas.
Each term is denominated from the festival day immediately preceding its commencement; hence we have the terms of St. Hilary, Easter, the Holy Trinity, and St. Michael.
There are in each term stated days called dies in banco (days in bank,) that is, days of appearance in the court of common bench. They are usually about a week from each other, and have reference to some Romish festival. All original writs are returnable on these days and they are therefore called the return days.
The first return in every term is, properly speaking, the first day of the term. For instance, the octave of St. Hilary, or the eighth day, inclusive, after the saint's feast, falls on the 20th of January, because his feast is on the 13th of January. On the 20th, then, the court sits to take essoigns, or excuses for non-appearance to the writ; "but," says Blackstone, "as our ancestors held it beneath the condition of a freeman to appear or to do any thing at the precise time appointed," the person summoned has three days of grace beyond the day named in the writ, and if he appear on the fourth day inclusive it is sufficient. Therefore at the beginning of each term the court does not sit for despatch of business till the fourth, or the appearance day, which is in Hilary term, for instance, on the 23rd of January. In Trinity term it does not sit till the fifth day; because the fourth falls on the great Roman catholic festival of Corpus Christi. The first appearance day therefore in each term is called the first day of the term; and the court sits till the quarto die post, or appearance day of the last return, or end of the term.
In each term there is one day whereon the courts do not transact business; namely, on Candlemas day, in Hilary term; on Ascension day, in Easter term; on Midsummer day, in Trinity term; and on All Saints' day, in Michaelmas term. These are termed Grand days in the inns of court; and Gaudy days at the two universities; they are observed as Collar days at the king's court of St. James's, for on these days, knights wear the collars of their respective orders.
An old January journal contains a remarkable anecdote relative to the decease of a M. Foscue, one of the farmers-general of the province of Languedoc[.] He had amassed considerable wealth by means which rendered him an object of universal detestation. One day he was ordered by the government to raise a considerable sum: as an excuse for not complying with the demand, he pleaded extreme poverty; and resolved on hiding his treasure in such a manner as to escape detection. He dug a kind of a cave in his wine-cellar, which he made so large and deep, that he used to go down to it with a ladder; at the entrance of it was a door with a spring lock on it, which on shutting would fasten of itself. He was suddenly missed, and diligent search made after him; ponds were drawn, and every suggestion adopted that could reasonably lead to his discovery, dead or alive. In a short time after, his house was sold; and the purchaser beginning to make some alterations, the workmen discovered a door in the wine-cellar with a key in the lock. On going down they found Foscue lying dead on the ground, with a candlestick near him, but no candle in it. On searching farther, they found the vast wealth that he had amassed. It is supposed, that, when he had entered his cave, the door had by some accident shut after him; and thus being out of the call of any person, he perished for want of food, in the midst of his treasure.
SIGNS OF FOUL WEATHER.
The hollow winds begin to blow;
The clouds look black, the glass is low;
The soot falls down, the spaniels sleep;
And spiders from their cobwebs peep.
Last night the sun went pale to bed;
The moon in halos hid her head.
The boding shepherd heaves a sigh,
For, see, a rainbow spans the sky.
The walls are damp, the ditches smell,
Clos'd is the pink-ey'd pimpernel.
Hark! how the chairs and tables crack,
Old Betty's joints are on the rack:
Her corns with shooting pains torment her,
And to her bed untimely send her.
Loud quack the ducks, the sea fowl cry,
The distant hills are looking nigh.
How restless are the snorting swine!
The busy flies disturb the kine.
Low o'er the grass the swallow wings
The cricket too, how sharp he sings!
Puss on the hearth, with velvet paws,
Sits wiping o'er her whisker'd jaws.
The smoke from chimneys right ascends
Then spreading, back to earth it bends.
The wind unsteady veers around,
Or settling in the South is found.
Through the clear stream the fishes rise,
And nimbly catch the incautious flies.
The glow-worms num'rous, clear and bright,
Illum'd the dewy hill last night.
At dusk the squalid toad was seen,
Like quadruped, stalk o'er the green.
The whirling wind the dust obeys,
And in the rapid eddy plays.
The frog has changed his yellow vest,
And in a russet coat is drest.
The sky is green, the air is still,
The mellow blackbird's voice is shrill.
The dog, so alter'd is his taste,
Quits mutton-bones, on grass to feast.
Behold the rooks, how odd their flight
They imitate the gliding kite,
And seem precipitate to fall,
As if they felt the piercing ball.
The tender colts on back do lie,
Nor heed the traveller passing by.
In fiery red the sun doth rise,
Then wades through clouds to mount the skies.
'Twill surely rain, we see't with sorrow,
No working in the fields to-morrow.