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March 28.

Priscus, Malchus, and Alexander, Martyrs, A.D. 260. St. Sixtus III. Pope, A.D. 440. St. Gontran, King and Confessor, A.D. 593.


On this day in 1380, gunpowder was first used in Europe by the Venetians against the Genoese. Its power is said by the Germans to have been discovered accidentally by Berthold Schwartz; but our Roger Bacon who died in 1278, certainly was acquainted with it. Gunpowder was known in India very early, and from thence the knowledge of it was obtained by the Arabians, who employed it in a battle near Mecca so long ago as the year 690.

1677. Wenceslaus Hollar, the engraver, died at Westminster. His view of London in Howell's "Londinopolis," and the numerous plates he executed for Dugdale's "Monasticon," "Warwickshire," "St. Paul's," "Origines Juridiciales," and other works have made him well known to the topographer and portrait collector; but his "muffs" and "insects" are particularly beautiful. His style almost peculiar to himself, is known at a glance by the experienced eye; Gaywood, in portraits, and King, in views, were inferior artists of the same school. Merian, in some insects, rivals him formidably. Hollar's labour was immense as may be seen from Vertue's catalogue of his prints; yet he often worked at fourpence an hour, and perished in poverty.

1801. Sir Ralph Abercrombie died in Egypt. He received his death-wound on the 21st, during his memorable victory over the French at Alexandria.

1802. Pallas, a new planet, was discovered by Dr. Olbers, of Bremen in Germany.


Lesser Leopardsbane. Doronicum Plantagineum
Dedicated to St. Priscus.