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THIS month, which was under the protection of Ceres, was originally denominated Sextilis, it being the sixth month in the old Roman calendar. The name Augustus was given to it by the Emperor Augustus. August and July are the only months which retain the names given to them by the emperors. Other months had similar names, as April, Neroneus; May, Claudius, &c. but these appellations were speedily disused.
On the first of August, sacrifices were offered to Mars and to Hope; on the third, to Health; on the sixth, to Hope; on the tenth, to Ops and to Ceres; on the eleventh, to Hercules; on the thirteenth, to Diana and to Vertumnus; on the seventeenth, to Janus; and, on the twenty-eighth, to Victory. The second of the month was a feast-day, in memory of the subjugation of Spain by Cæsar. The thirteenth was a festival of slaves and servants. The Portumnalia were celebrated on the seventeenth. They were games in honour of Portunus or Portumnus, a maritime divinity, who presided over the Ports, and who is supposed by some to have been Melicertus, and by others Neptune. He had a temple in Rome. The Consualia took place on the eighteenth, and were dedicated to the god Consus, which was another name for Neptune. There was on this occasion a magnificent equestrian procession, because that Neptune was believed to have given the horse to the human race. All the horses and asses were crowned, and allowed to rest on this day. These games were, it is said, first instituted by Evander, and re-established by Romulus. It was at the celebration of them that the rape of the Sabines took place. The last Vinalia, or Vinalia rustica, occurred on the nineteenth, and were held with great care and ceremony throughout the whole of Latium. They were dedicated to Jupiter, to obtain an abundant vintage, and the sacrifice was a female lamb. On the twenty-third the Vulcanalia, in honour of Vulcan, were celebrated in the Flaminian Circus. Vulcan being the god of fire, a portion of the sacrifices was burned upon his
altar. The twenty-fourth was a feast-day or holyday. The Opiconsiva, in honour of Ops, took place on the twenty-fifth; and the Volturnalia on the following day. These latter were dedicated to Volturnus, who was nothing more than the river of that name, which was deified by the people of Campania.
The sun, during this month, is in the signs Leo and Virgo.
Or, ORIGINAL HINTS, SKETCHES, and ANECDOTES.
"A thing of shreds and patches."
No. 8.-RICHARD BURKE.
RICHARD BURKE, though not equal to his father, was a man of more than common talent, and of extensive information. He was the hope and delight of Edmund Burke, who never thoroughly recovered from the shock of losing him, and who, indeed, was not long before he followed him to the grave. A short time before Richard Burke expired, his father was sitting by his side, as he was lying in bed. "It rains heavily, I think," said the dying youth. "No, my dear," answered his parent, "it is only the wind rustling among the trees." Richard Burke raised his head, and in a feeble but devout voice repeated, from Milton's morning hymn,
"His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow, Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines, With every plant, in sign of worship wave."
These were almost the last words which he spoke.There is a good mezzotinto engraving of him, the motto to which, partly allusive to the effect of his death on his father, was, I believe, chosen from Dryden by the late Dr. Laurence:
"As precious gums are not for common fire,
IMITATION BY MOLIERE.
THERE is a passage in Shakspeare which every one remembers: by the bye, there are few passages in Shakspeare which we do not remember. But the particular passage to which I allude is the soliloquy of Falstaff, in the first scene of the fifth act of Henry IV. part I."Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honour set a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. What is honour? A word," &c. Moliere seems to have had his eye on this passage, when he wrote the seventeenth scene of his comedy of "Sganarelle." The resemblance, however, is but a general one, and may be merely accidental.
"Mais mon honneur me dit que d'une telle offense
A FRIEND of mine called one morning on Sir ****** ******, a youth not celebrated for a superabundance of brains. He found him in the midst of numerous packages, and apparently just departing on a long journey. "Where the deuce are you going to?" exclaimed he. "I am just setting off for France and Italy," replied the baronet. Having bidden the customary adieu to each other, they separated. A short time after, however, my friend met the baronet in the street. "What! are you still here?" said he, "I thought that you were going to France and Italy; and I supposed that ere now you had travelled at least half way to Italy.' "Yes," said Sir, "I did mean to go to the countries you mention; but, just as I was going, I recollected that I knew nobody there."