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condite monuments of the intellectual labours of our ancestors !

6: SAINT NICHOLAS. Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, in Lycia, holding à place in the calendar on the 6th December, had the title of Great, and appears to have been honoured with public worship, ever since the sixth century. See some curious particulars of Saint Nicholas in our last volume, pp. 349-352.

*6. 1714,-ELIZ. THO. CORDIEUX BORN. This female, a native of Savoy, and now in Paris, is, in all probability, say the French, the doyenne (the senior) of the human race. Her face is not more wrinkled than that of a female half her age; her sight is good, her appetite excellent, and she can walk ten miles a day without exhibiting fatigue; she does not make use of a stick to support herself, and it is really true that she has trudged all the way, on foot, from her native mountains to the metropolis of France. She passed through Lyons and Dijon, where she attended the theatres at the desire of the managers, who made her a liberal compensation for the benefit they obtained from her presence, people coming from all parts to behold the senior of the human race.

Dr. Granville, in his interesting account of St. Petersburgh, lately published, says, it must be admitted, that cases of longevity are not only much more common, but also more extraordinary in respect to a greater duration, in Russia, than in any other part of Europe; thus, from the Report of the Holy Synod, published in 1827, it appears that there were living, in 1825, among those who professed the Greco-Russian religion, throughout the empire, not fewer than 848 males who were a hundred and more years old; among whom thirty-two had passed the age of 120, four were between 125 and 130, and four others between 130 and 135 years of age. The Gazette of

the Royal Academy published, in the month of January of the present year, a statement of the progress of the population in Russia, as far as it concerns those who profess the Greco-Russian religion, in the course of 1826. This document contains results still more extraordinary; for, out of 606,881 males who died that year, 2,785 had passed the age of 90 years; 1,432, that of 95; and 818, that of 100. Among the latter, thirty-eight were more than 115 years of age; twenty-four, more than 120; seven, more than 125; and one was 160 years old at his death!

There is now residing at Little Birch, in Herefordshire, a fine young man, in the 107th year of his age. This youth lately amused himself with ploughing a field, and afterwards sowed it with wheat in a traly husbandlike manner. He was also seen spreading manure in a field, with the vigour of a man of forty, He occasionally rides on horseback-Hereford Journal, Oct. 1828.

8.--CONCEPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY. This festival was instituted by Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, because William the Conqueror's fleet, being in a storm, afterwards came safe to shore.

13. SAINT LUCY. Lucy, a virgin martyr, was a native of Syracuse, who suffered in the year 305.

16.--O SAPIENTIA. This is the commencement of an anthem, which, in the Romish church, used to be sung from this day until Christmas-eve: O sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi, prodisti, &c. 16, 18, 19.-EMBER DAYS. See


88.. *20. 1827.-STEPHEN JONES DIED. He was son of Mr. Giles Jones, formerly Secretary to the Yorkbuildings Water Company; was educated at St. Paul's School, and afterwards placed under an eminent sculptor, but, on account of some difference, he was removed from that situation, and apprenticed to a printer, in Fetter-lane. On the expiration of bis time, he was engaged as corrector of the press by Mr. Strahan; but, at the end of four years, he removed to the office of Mr. Thomas Wright, in Peterborough-court, where he remained till the death of his employer, in March, 1797, an event which terminated Mr. Jones's immediate connexion with the printing business. He then became the editor of the Whiteball Evening Post; but on the decline of that paper, he was appointed to the management, and became a part proprietor, of the General Evening Post.' This paper, too, he was destined to see gradually fall in sale till it merged in its contemporary the ‘St. James's Chronicle.' Mr. Jones became also, on the death of Mr. Isaac Reed, the editor of the European Magazine,' and was for some time the conductor of a monthly publication called the 'Freemason's Magazine.' In the craft of freemasonry Mr. Jones was very deeply versed, and, unfortunately for his own interests, devoted too large a portion of his evenings to the lodge and other convivial parties, being himself a very good-tempered agreeable companion, and singing an excellent song. These evening habits were undoubtedly inconsistent with attention to basiness in the morning; and, after having had very considerable patronage from the booksellers, in enlarging former publications, and revising works of others through the press, he lived till nearly all literary employment was denied to him. His talents, in his best days, were respectable; and his Biographical Dictionary,' in miniature, ran through many editions. The republication of the ‘Biographia Dramatica,' in four vols., 1812, was, perhaps, his largest undertaking. He was most unmercifully attacked by a critic in the 'Quarterly,' on the publication of this edition, and blamed for many articles which he merely retained from their having appeared in the former edition of that work. This attack drew from bim a pamphlet, entitled Hypercriticism Exposed ; in a letter to the readers of the Quarterly Review,' 8vo, 1812 ; but the article, we fear, did Mr. Jones a lasting injury in his profession. From 1799, for very many years, he selected an amusing annual volume from the newspapers, &c., under the title of “The Spirit of the Journals. He was also author and editor of various other works.-See Gentleman's Magazine, for January, 1828.

21.-SAINT THOMAS THE APOSTLE. St. Thomas is said to have preached the Gospel in Media and Persia, and, about the year 73, to have been pierced through with a dart.

This is the shortest day, and is, at London, 7 h. 44 m. 17 s.; allowing 9 m. 5 s. for refraction.

All that we love and feel on Nature's face
Bear dim relations to our common doom,
The clouds that blush and die a beamy death,
Or weep themselves away in rain,--the streams
That flow along in dying music,-leaves
That fade, and drop into the frosty arms
Of Winter, there to mingle with dead flowers,
Are all prophetic of our own decay.
And who, when hung enchanted o'er some page
Where genius flashes from each living line,
Hath never wandered to the tomb to see
The hand that penned it, and the head that thought?

Yet feelings, coloured by the cloud of death,
With sweet oppression oft o'erflow the mind;
As when with pauseful step we pace some aisle,
And own the eloquence of tombs; or when
Sublimely musing by the sounding deep,
We watch the ever-rolling waves' career
To where the ocean weds the sky, and think-
Thus roll away the restless hours of time!


25.-CHRISTMAS DAY. According to some authors, the festival of Christmas was first established by Pope Julius in 336, in opposition to the idolatrous worship which the heathens paid to the reviving sun, Sol novus ; and Saint Augustin exhorts the faithful to celebrate this holy day, not as the Pagans did in honour of the sun, but to the glory of Him who created this splendid luminary.


By Delta of Blackwood's Magazino. [By some accident, a few stanzas only of this fine hymn appeared in

Blackwood's Magazine for 1827 : the above is a copy of it, in its
original and perfect state, with which we have been kindly favour-
ed by the author.]
From the dark branches down have dropped the sere leaves;
O'er the bare hill-top moan the gusty breezes;
Blue skies have waned, and earth obeys thy sceptre,

Tyrannous December.
With inefficient ray glimmers out the pale sun,
"Tween brooding rain-clouds o'er the pallid landscape ;
Comfortless is noontide ; desolate is evening,
Stormy and starless.

Dear is the aspect of old rugged Ocean,
To his caves of basalt riding on his foam-steed;
Forth comes the Polar duck, and the shrieking grey gull

Wings to its shelter.
Of hail, sleet, and snow the magazines thou openest;
Thy mantle of whiteness thou spreadest o'er the mountains,
Binding the blue streams, and hanging up to morning

Icicles of crystal.
Pity bast thou none for the houseless wanderer;
Shivers pauper old beside his tiny fire-place ;
Howl the wild-beasts starving, and the timid songsters

Die of cold and hunger.
Yet let us think not, savage though thy looks be,
That of his handywork mindless is the Maker:
'Twas 'mid thy storms, December, that the sky-born

Came to redeem us!
When in guilt and misery sunk was the wide world,
A recreant, a lost, a perishing creation,
From the celestial abodes of his glory

Jesus descended.
Sunk had the sun; the raven wings of darkness
Brooded o'er earth; when, beautiful in brightness,
Shone the promised star, and eastward descending

Led on the wise men.
Watching their night-flocks lay Judea's shepherds,
Mantle-enwrapt, beneath the shady palm-trees,
When glory burned o'er them, and, 'mid choiring music,

Thus spake the angel :--
Fear not,-good tidings I bring to ye,-fear not;
This day is born to ye Christ the Redeemer ;
Haste ye to Bethlehem, and see the world's Saviour,

Laid in a manger.'
To the city of David journeyed up the wise men;
Up went the shepherds; and lo! the infant Jesus,
The gracious, the glorious, the Son of the Eternal,

As the angel told them.
Joy, joy to Earth! Oh tyrannous December,
'Twas 'mid thy storm-clouds that our Lord descended ;
Christmas is thine; and Man will rejoice him,

Dark though thy scowl be.
Rattle and rave then, tornado and tempest,
O’er the joyless roof-tree bluster and beat ye;
But man has a home, where the arm of thy fury

Never can reach him.

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