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May 18.

St. Eric, King of Sweden, A.D. 1151. St. Theodotus, Vintner, and Seven Virgins, Martyrs, A.D. 303. St. Venantius, A.D. 250. St. Potamon, Bp. of Heraclea, in Egypt, A.D. 341.


1808. Sir John Carter, knt. died at Portsmouth, his native town, aged sixty-seven. He was an alderman, and nine times mayor of the borough; and a magistrate of the county, for which he also served the office of sheriff in 1784. His name is here introduced to commemorate an essential service that he rendered to his country, by his mild and judicious conduct during the mutiny at Spithead, in the spring of 1797. The sailors having lost three of their body in consequence of the resistance made to their going on board the London, then bearing the flag of admiral Colpoys, wished to bury them in Kingston churchyard, and to carry them in procession through the town of Portsmouth. This request was most positively refused them by the governor. They then applied to sir John Carter to grant their request, who endeavoured to convince the governor of the propriety and necessity of complying with it, declaring that he would be answerable for the peace of the town, and the orderly conduct of the sailors. The governor would not be prevailed on, and prepared for resistance; and resistance on both sides would most probably have been resorted to, had not the calmness, perseverance, and forbearance of sir John Carter at length compromised the affair, by obtaining permission for the sailors to pass through the garrison of Portsmouth in procession, and the bodies to be landed at the Common Hard in Portsea, where the procession was to join them.

So great was sir John Carter's influence over the sailors, that they most scrupulously adhered to the terms he prescribed to them in their procession to the grave. Two of their comrades having become "a little groggy" after they came on shore, they were carefully locked up in a room by themselves, lest they should become quarrelsome, or be unable to conduct themselves with propriety. It was a most interesting spectacle. Sir John accompanied them himself through the garrison, to prevent any insult being offered to them. At the Common Hard he was joined by Mr. Godwin, the friend and associate of his youth, and also a most worthy magistrate of this borough. They attended the procession till it had passed the fortifications at Portsea: every thing was conducted with the greatest decorum. When the sailors returned, and were sent off to their respective ships, two or three of the managing delegates came to sir John, to inform him that the men were all gone on board, and to thank him for his great goodness to them. Sir John seized the opportunity of inquiring after their admiral, as these delegates belonged to the London. "Do you know him, your honour?" "Yes; I have a great respect for him, and I hope you will not do him any harm." "No, by G—d, your honour, he shall not be hurt." It was at that time imagined admiral Colpoys would be hung at the yard-arm, and he had prepared for this event by arranging his affairs and making his will. In this will he had left to the widows of the three men who were so unfortunately killed an annuity of 20l. each. The next morning, however, the admiral was privately, unexpectedly, and safely brought on shore, though pursued by a boat from the Mars, as soon as they suspected what was transacting. The delegates brought him to sir John Carter, and delivered him to his care: they then desired to have a receipt for him, as a proof to their comrades that they had safely delivered him into the hands of the civil power; and this receipt he gave. The admiral himself, in his first appearance at court afterwards, acknowledged to the king that he owed his life to sir John Carter, and assured his majesty that his principles were misinterpreted and his conduct misrepresented, and that he had not a more faithful and worthy subject in his dominions. Notwithstanding this, the duke of Portland, then secretary of state for the home department, received a very strong letter against him, which letter his grace sent to sir John, assuring him at the same time that the government placed the utmost confidence in his honour, integrity, and patriotism, and concluded by proposing to offer a large reward for the discovery of the writer: this, with a dignified consciousness of the purity of his conduct, sir John declined; though, from some well-founded conjectures, the discovery might possibly have been easily made. This inestimable consciousness enabled him to meet with the greatest composure every effort of party rage to sully his reputation and destroy his influence. So pure were his principles, that when in the year 1806 he was offered a baronetage by Mr. Fox, he declined it on the ground that he believed the offer to have been made for his undeviating attachment to Mr. Fox's politics; and that, to accept it, would be a manifest departure from his principles. In every public and domestic relationship he was uniformly mild, impartial, and upright; nor was he ever deterred by personal difficulties or inconveniences from a faithful, and even minute attendance on his widely extended duties. The poor in him ever found a friend, and the unfortunate a protector. The peace, comfort, and happiness of others, and not his own interest, were the unwearied objects of his pursuit. Never was there a character in which there was less of self than in his.


Rambling in cultivated spots renders one almsot forgetful of cultivating friends. On the subject of "manure," the editor of the Every-Day Book has no competent knowledge; he has not settled in his own mind whether he would decide for "long straw or short straw," and as regards himself would willingly dispose of the important question by "drawing cuts;" all he can at present do for his country readers, is to tell them what lord Bacon affirms; his lordship says that "muck should be spread." This would make a capital text or vignette for a dissertation; but there is no space here to dissertate, and if Messrs. Taylor and Hessey's London Magazine, for May, had not suggested the subject, it would scarcely have occurred. There the reviewer of "Gaieties and Gravities" has extracted some points from that work, which are almost equal to the quantity of useful information derivable from more solid books—here they are:—

"Residing upon the eastern coast, and farming a considerable extent of country, I have made repeated and careful experiments with this manure; and as the mode of burial in many parts of the Continent divides the different classes into appropriated portions of the church yard, I have been enabled, by a little bribery to sextons and charnel-house men, to obtain specimens of every rank and character, and to ascertain with precision their separate qualities and results for the purposes of the farmer, botanist, or common nurseryman. These it is my purpose to communicate to the reader, who may depend upon the caution with which the different tests were applied, as well as upon the fidelity with which they are reported.

"A few cartoads of citizens' bones gave me a luxuriant growth of London pride, plums, Sibthorpia or base money-wort, mud-wort, bladder-wort, and mushrooms; but for laburnum or golden chain, I was obliged to select a lord mayor. Hospital bones supplied me with cyclamen in any quantity, which I intermixed with a few seeds from the Cyclades Islands, and the scurvy-grass came up spontaneously; while manure from different fields of battle proved extremely favourable to the hæmanthus or blood-flower, the trumpet-flower and laurel, as well as to widow-wail and cypress. A few sample skulls from the poet's corner of a German abbey furnished poet's cassia, grass of Parnassus, and bays, in about equal quantities, with wormwood, crab, thistle, stinging-nettle, prickly holly, teasel, and loose-strife. Courtiers and ministers, when converted into manure, secured an ample return of jack-in-a-box, service-apples, climbers, supple-jacks, parasite plants, and that species of sun-flower which invariably turns to the rising luminary. Nabobs form a capital compost for hepatica, liver-wort, spleen-wort, hips, and pine; and from those who had three or four stars at the India-house, I raised some particularly fine China asters. A good show of adonis, narcissus, jessamine, cockscomb, dandelion, money-flower, and buckthorn, may be obtained from dandies, although they are apt to encumber the ground with tickweed; while a good drilling with dandisettes is essential to those beds in which you wish to raise Venus's looking-glass, Venus's catchfly, columbines, and love-apples. A single dressing of jockies will ensure you a quick return of horse-mint, veronica or speedwell, and colt's-foot; and a very slight layer of critics suffices for a good thick spread of scorpion senna, viter's bugloss, serpent's tongue, poison-nut, nightshade, and hellebore. If you are fond of raising stocks, manure your bed with jobbers; wine-merchants form the most congenial stimulant for sloes, fortune-hunters for the marygold and goldenrod, and drunkards for Canary wines, mad-wort and horehound. Failing in repeated attempts to raise the chaste tree from the bones of nuns, which gave me nothing but liquorice-root, I applied those of a dairy-maid, and not only succeeded perfectly in my object, but obtained a good crop of butter-wort, milk-wort, and heart's-ease. I was equally unsuccessful in raising any sage, honesty, or everlasting from monks; but they yielded a plentiful bed of monk's hood, or jesuit's bark, medlars, and cardinal flowers. My importation of shoemakers was unfor tunately too scanty to try their effect upon a large scale, but I contrived to procure from them two or three ladies' slippers. As school-boys are raised by birch, it may be hardly necessary to mention, that when reduced to manure, they return the compliment; but it may be useful to make known as widely as possible, that dancing-masters supply the best hops and capers, besides quickening the growth of the citharexylum or fiddle-wood. For your mimosas or sensitive plants there is nothing better than a layer of novel-readers, and you may use up the first bad author that you can disinter for all the poppies you may require. Coffee-house waiters will keep you supplied in cummin; chronologists furnish the best dates, post-office men serve well for rearing scarlet-runners, poulterers for hen-bane, tailors for cabbage, and physicians for truffles, or any thing that requires to be quickly buried. I could have raised a few bachelors' buttons from the bones of that class; but as nobody cares a button for bachelors, I did not think it worth while. As a general remark it may be noticed, that young people produce the passion-flower in abundance, while those of a more advanced age may be beneficially used for the elder-tree, the sloe, and snapdragon; and with respect to different nations, my experiments are only sufficiently advanced to enable me to state that Frenchmen are favourable to garlic, and that Poles are very good for hops. Of mint I have never been able to raise much; but as to thyme, I have so large a supply, as the reader will easily perceive, that I am enabled to throw it away; and as he may not possibly be in a similar predicament, I shall refer him for the rest of my experiments to the records of the Horticultural Society.

It is noticed by Dr. Forster, that about this time the purple goatsbeard tragopogon porrifolius and the yellow goats-beard tragopogon pratensis begin to blow; and that of all the indices in the HOROLOGIUM FLORÆ the above plants are the most regular: they open their flowers at sunrise, and shut them so regularly at mid-day, that they have been called by the whimsical name of go to bed at noon. They are as regular as a clock, and are mentioned as such in the following verses:—


To sit and smoke between two rows of Limes,
Along the wall of some neat old Dutch town,
In noontide heat, and hear the jingling chimes
From Stadhouse Steeple; then to lay one down
Upon a Primrsoe bank, where Violet flowers
Smell sweetly, and the meads in bloomy prime,
'Till Flora's clock, the Goat's Beard, mark the hours,
And closing says, Arise, 'tis dinner time;
Then dine on Pyes and Cauliflower heads,
And roam away the afternoon in Tulip Beds.

To give an idea of the general face of nature at this period, Dr. Forster composed the subjoined

Catalogue of Plants which compose the VERNAL FLORA in the Garden.

COMMON PEONY Paeonia officinalis in full blow.

SLENDERLEAVED PEONY P. tenuifolia going off.

CRIMSON PEONY P. peregrina.

DWARF PEONY P. humilis.

TULIP Tulipa Gesneriana in infinite varieties.

MONKEY POPPY Papaver Orientale.

WELCH POPPY P. Cambricum.

PALE POPPY P. nudicaule.



BACHELOR'S BUTTONS Ranunculus aeris plenus.



GERMAN FLEUR DE LIS Iris Germanica, two varieties.

LURID IRIS Iris lurida.

WALLFLOWER Chieranthus cheiri numerously, both single and double sorts.

STOCK GILLIFLOWER Chiranthus frutioulosus beginning. Of this plant there are red, white, and purple varieties; also double Stocks.

YELLOW ASPHODEL Asphodelus luteus.

COLUMBINE Aquilegia vulgaris begins to flower, and has several varieties in gardens.

GREAT STAR OF BETHLEHEM Ornitholgalum umbellatum.

PERUVIAN SQUILL Scilla Peruviana.

YELLOW AZALEA Azalea Pontica.

SCARLET AZALEA Azalea nudiflora.

PURPLE GOATSBEARD Tragopogon porifolins.

YELLOW GOATSBEARD Tragopogon pratensis.

MOTHERWORT Hesperis matronalis begins to blow.

GREAT LEOPARD'S BANE Doronicum pardalianches

LESSER LEOPARD'S BANE Doronicum plantagineum.

RAMSHORNS OR MALE ORCHIS O. mascula still blows.

FEMALE ORCHIS Orchis morio still flowers

In the Fields.

THE HAREBELL Scylla Nutans makes the ground blue in some places.

BULBOUS CROWFOOT Ranunculus bulbosus.

CREEPING CROWFOOT R. repens now common.

UPRIGHT MEADOW CROWFOOT R. acris the latest of all.

ROUGH CROWFOOT R. hirsutus not so common as the above. The fields are quite yellow with the above genus.

MEADOW LYCHNIS Lychnis Flos Cuculi.

CAMPION LYCHNIS Lychnis dioica under hedges in our chalky soils.

GERMANDER SPEEDWELL Veronica chamaedris on banks, covering them with its lively blue, comparable only to the Borage, or the Cynoglossum Omphalodes, still blowing and luxuriant in gardens.


OUR LADY'S SMOCK Cardamine pratensis

BITTER LADY'S SMOCK Cardamine amara.

HEDGE GERANIUM Geranium Robertianum; also several other wild Geraniums.

KIDLOCK Sinapis arvensis.

CHARLOCK Raphanus Raphanistrum.

STICHWORT Stellaria Holostea.

YELLOW WATER LILY Nuphar luteum in ponds and rivers.

WHITE WATER LILY Nymphea alba in the same.

We might add numerous others, which will be found noticed on the days when they usually first flower. Besides these, many of the plants of the Primaveral Flora still remain in blow, as violets, hearteases, hepaticas, narcissi, some hyacinths, marsh marigolds, wood anemonies, garden anemonies, &c. &c. The cuckoo pint, or lord and lady Arum, is now in prime.

The nations among whom a taste for flowers was first discovered to prevail in modern times, were China, Persia, and Turkey. The vegetable treasures of the eastern world were assembled at Constaninople, whence they passed into Italy, Germany, and Holland, and from the latter into England; and since botany has assumed the character of a science, we have laid the whole world under contribution for trees, and shrubs, and flowers, which we have not only made our own, but generally improved in vigour and beauty. The passion for flowers preceded that of ornamental gardening. The Dutch system of straight walks, enclosed by high clipped hedges of yew or holly, at length prevailed; and tulips and hyacinths bloomed under the sheltered windings of the "Walls of Troy," most ingeniously traced in box and yew. A taste for gardening, which, however, formal, is found at length to be preferable to the absurd winding paths, and the close imitation of wild nature by art, which modern garden-makers have pretended to of late years. The learned baron Maseres used to say, "Such a garden was to be had every where wild in summer, and in a garden formality was prefereable."

Proverbs relating to May.

A cold May and a windy
Makes a fat barn and a findy.

A hot May makes a fat churchyard.

Proverbs relating to the Weather and Seasons generally.

Collected by Dr. Forster.

Drought never bred dearth in England.

Whoso hath but a mouth, shall ne'er in England suffer drought.

When the sand doth feed the clay,
England woe and welladay;
But when the clay doth feed the sand,
Then it is well with Angle land.

After a famine in the stall,
Comes a famine in the hall.

When the cuckoo comes to the bare thorn,
Sell your cow, and buy your corn;
But when she comes to the full bit,
Sell your corn, and buy your sheep.

If the cock moult before the hen,
We shall have weather thick and thin;
But if the hen moult before the cock,
We shall have weather hard as a block.

As the days lengthen, so the cold strengthen.

If there be a rainbow in the eve, it will rain and leave,
But if there be a rainbow in the morrow, it will neither lend nor borrow.

A rainbow in the morning
Is the shepherd's warning;
But a rainbow at night
Is the shepherd's delight.

No tempest, good July,
Lest corn come off blue by.

When the wind's in the east,
It's neither good for man nor beast.
When the wind's in the south,
It's in the rain's mouth.

When the wind's in the south,
It blows the bait into the fishes' mouth.

No weather is ill,
If the wind be still.

When the sloe-tree is as white as a sheet,
Sow your barley, whether it be dry or wet.

A green winter makes a fat churchyard.

Hail brings frost in the tail.

A snow year, a rich year.

Winter's thunder 's summer's wonder.


Mouse Ear. Hieracium Pilosella.
Dedicated to St. Eric.