vol II date / index
St. John before the Latin Gate. St. John Damascen, A.D. 780. St. Eadbert, Bp. of Lindisfarne, A.D. 687.
ST. JOHN PORT LATIN.
This was St. John the Evangelist, though his name stands with Ante Port. Lat. annexed to it in the church of England calendar. The description is founded on a Roman Catholic legend that St. John the Evangelist in his old age was accused of atheism to Domitian, who sent him to Rome, and there, before the gate called Porta Latina, caused him to be put into a cauldron of boiling oil, from whence he suffered no pain, and came forth without harm. This miracle is fabled to have occurred before the exile of St. John to the desert isle of Patmos, in the Archipelago, where he is supposed to have written the Apocalypse, or book of "Revelations."
St. John in the Isle of Patmos.
There is no evidence that St. John suffered martyrdom; on the contrary, he is said to have returned to Ephesus in the reign of Nerva, who succeeded Domition in the imperial dignity. Painters usually represent him in Patmos with an eagle by his side; though, as St. John Port Latin, there are many engravings of him in the legendary oil cauldron. Other representations of him put a chalice in his hand, with a serpent issuing from it, founded on another legend, that being constrained to drink poison, he swallowed it without sustaining injury.
There is a further legend, that while St. Edward the Confessor was dedicating a church to St. John, a pilgrim demanded alms of him in the saint's name, whereupon the king gave him the ring from his finger. This pilgrim was St. John, who discovered himself to two English pilgrims in the Holy Land, bidding them bear the ring to the king in his name, and require him to make ready to depart this world; after this they went to sleep. On awakening they found themselves among flocks of sheep and shepherds in a strange place, which turned out to be Barham Downs in Kent, wherefore they thanked God and St. John for the good speed, and coming to St. Edward on Christmas-day, delivered to him the ring with the warning; these the king received in a suitable manner, "And on the vigyll of the Epyphanye, next after, he dyed and departed holyly out of this worlde, and is buryed in the Abbey of Westmester by London, where as is yet unto this daye that same rynge." Again it is said, that Isidore affirms of St. John, that he transformed branches of trees into fine gold, and sea-gravel into precious stones, with other like incredibilities.* 
1677. Samuel Bochart, a learned French Protestant divine and orientalist, died at Caen, aged 68 years.
1802. Died at Guernsey, aged 40, of water in his chest, serjeant Samuel M'Donald, of the 93d regiment, commonly known by the name of Big Sam. He served during the American war with his countrymen, the Sutherland Fencibles, and afterwards as fugelman in the Royals, till 1791, when he was taken into the household of his royal highness the prince of Wales, as lodge-porter at Carlton-house, and remained in that capacity till 1793; he was then appointed a serjeant in the late Sutherland Fencibles, and continued to act in that corps, and the 93d regiment, formed from it, till his death.— He was six feet ten inches in height, four feet round the chest, and well proportioned. He continued active till his 35th year, when he began to decline. His strength was prodigious, but he was never known to exert it improperly. Several considerable offers were made to engage him as a public exhibition, all of which he refused, and always disliked being stared at.
The greatest misfortune that the cultivator of a garden apprehends at this season, is blight, of which, according to Dr. Forster, there are three kinds. "The first occurs in the early spring, about the time of the blossoming of the peach, and is nothing more than a dry frosty wind, usually from the north or north-east, and principally affects the blossoms, causing them to fall off prematurely. The two other kinds of blight occur in this month, affecting principally the apple and pear trees, and sometimes the corn. One of these consists in the appearance of an immense multitude of aphides, a kind of small insect of a brown, or black, or green colour, attacking the leaves of plants, and entirely incrusting the young stems. These pests are always found to make their appearance after a north-east wind, and it has been supposed by many that they are actually conveyed hither by the wind. Thomson, too, positively ascribes them to the north wind:—
For oft engendered by the hazy north,
Myriads on myriads, insect armies warp
Keen in the poisoned breeze; and wasteful eat,
Through buds and bark, into the blackened core
Their eager way.
"In our opinion, an east wind more often brings blights. Many circumstances, indeed, favour the opinion that blights are animalculæ; as the suddenness with which they appear, being generally in the course of a single night, and those trees that are sheltered from the wind being uninfected: indeed, it frequently happens that a single branch that chances to be screened, will escape unhurt, while the rest of the tree is quite covered with these minute destroyers. A third reason may be derived from the inactivity of these insects: they generally remain almost immovable on the branch or leaf where they are first seen, and are, for the most part, unprovided with wings; yet the places where they are commonly found are those parts of a tree which are farthest from the ground, and the most exposed to the wind. The last kind of blight is generally preceded by a south or south-west wind, unaccompanied by insects; the effects of which are visible in the burnt appearance of all leaves and shoots which are exposed to that quarter. Oaks and other large trees suffer from this blight."* 
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile
To blush and gently smile,
And go at last!
What, were ye born to be
An hour or half's delight?
And so to bid good night?
'Tis pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite!
But your lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave:
And after they have shown their pride,
Like you, awhile they glide
Into the grave!
Lucken Gowans. Trollius Europœus.
Dedicated to St. John Damascen.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Golden Legend. [return]
2. Peren. Calendar. [return]