vol II date / index
St. Basil of Ancyra, A.D. 362. St. Paul, Bp. St. Lea, A.D. 384. St. Deogratias, Bp. of Carthage, A.D. 457. St. Catharine of Sweden, Abbess, A.D. 1381.
1687. John Baptist Lulli, the celebrated musician, died, aged 54. He was born at Florence, in 1634, and from being page to madame Montpensier, niece to Louis XIV. became superintendent of music to that monarch.
The Plague in London.
In March, 1665, London abounded in wealth and grandeur, in comparison with its state in former ages. Goldsmiths' shops shone with plate all along the south-side of the street called Cheapside, then named Goldsmiths'-row. The Strand then united London and Westminster by a range of palaces, inhabited by the nobility, with gardens in the rear reaching to the Thames, from whence through watergates they descended by stairs to take water. Each of these mansions was named after its owner or occupier; as Essex, Arundel, Norfolk, Salisbury, Worcester, Exeter, Hungerford, Howard, York, and Northumberland. They were built at equal distances from each other, in the grandest style of antique architecture. Such was London in March 1665, when it was visited by the plague, which raged with such unabating fatality, that three, four, and five thousand of the inhabitants died weekly. Deaths increased so fast that the usual mode of interment could no longer be observed; large pits were dug at Hollywell-mount, and in other suburbs of the city, to which the dead were carried in carts, collected by the ring of a bell, and the doleful cry of "Bring out your dead." The bodies were brought out of the houses, and placed in the carts with no other covering than rugs or sheets tied round them, and were thrown into the pits in promiscuous heaps. Trade was at a stand, the shops were shut up, every day had the appearance of a sabbath; grass grew on the Royal Exchange, and most of the public streets; and Whitechapel might be mistaken for green fields.
Dr. Forster observes, in his "Perennial Calendar," that about this time spiders begin to appear in the gardens, for in winter they are only seen in houses; and that the species which inhabits our dwellings, is quite distinct from the garden spider. These are a very interesting tribe of insects, in spite of their ugly appearance, and the general dislike which most persons, especially females, attach to them, in common with earwigs and other unsightly insects. Naturalists have found out this curious propensity in spiders, that they seem remarkably fond of music, and have been known to descend from the ceiling during concerts, and to retire when the strain was finished; of which the following old verses, from the "Anthologia Borealis et Australis," remind us:—
To a Spider which inhabited a Cell.
In this wild, groping, dark, and drearie cove,
Of wife, of children, and of health bereft,
I hailed thee, friendly spider, who hadst wove
Thy mazy net on yonder mouldering raft:
Would that the cleanlie housemaid's foot had left
Thee tarrying here, nor took thy life away;
For thou, from out this seare old celing's cleft,
Came down each morn to hede my plaintive lay;
Joying like me to heare sweete musick play,
Wherewith I'd fein beguile the dull dark lingering day.
Pilewort. Ficaria verna.
Dedicated to St. Catharine of Sweden.