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falls on any given day, it is probable (that is, it usually happens) that it will also fall for many days after. Thus, the St. Swithin's day is placed is this twofold natural situation. First, that it falls in a part of the summer which is usually rainy; and secondly, that if it is a rainy day, it is natural that it should be accompanied by many other rainy days. It remains only to observe, that a philosophical explanation of the forty days' rain of St. Swithin has been given in which the heat of the season is taken into the account. St. Swithin's day falls in the dog-days; that is, in a time of great heat. Now it has been observed, that if a heavy rain falls upon the earth at this season, the heat is so great that the evaporation is exceedingly rapid. The water which has been thrown upon the earth rises rapidly in the form of a vapour; in the higher regions of the atmosphere it is condensed-it falls again--it is evaporated, or raised into the air again-it is condensed again-it falls again ; and thus repeatedly, for many days, till the winds, or other changes in the atmosphere, carry the clouds to distant parts; or rather till the diminished heat of the season suffers the rain, when it has fallen, to sink into the earth.'
ORIGIN AND ANECDOTES
OF VARIOUS INVENTIONS AND NAMES.
THE THREE BALLS. THE three blue balls suspended from the doors or windows of pawn-brokers have been humorously enough described by the vulgar, as meaning that it was two chances to one that the things pledged should ever be redeemed; but in fact they are the arms of the Lombard merchants, who gave the name to the street in which
they dwelt, and who were the first who publicly lent money on chattel securities.
THE BARBER'S POLE. Many mistakes have been made on the origin of a barber's pole, which is vulgarly supposed to be indicative of the poll or head of his customers : this is a far-fetched, although a popular conceit; that variouscoloured staff being no more than a sign that its master could breathe a vein as well as mow a beard, and professed bleeding as well as shaving: the custom then being, which is yet observed in some villages, for the practitioner to put a staff into the hands of his patient while the latter was undergoing the operation of phlebotomy.
BARD. The ancient British word Bardd, or Bard, originally implied a prophet, musician, poet, philosopher, teacher, and herald. His dress was unicoloured, ofsky-blue, as an emblem of truth, and of his sacred character ; not unlike the primitive priesthood; for the Lord commanded Moses, “ And thou shalt make the robe of the Ephod all of blue.”—Exodus, chap. xxviii. ver. 31; chap. xxxix. ver. 22 : and Leviticus, chap. xix. ver. 27 and 28. These Seers, or British Beirdd, are mentioned by Lucan, thus :
“ Plurima securi fudistis carmina Bardi.”
Can tune their timely voices cunningly."-SPENCER. According to Juv. 16, 13. Bardaicus Judex seems to have been a Judge Advocate in the army. In the primitive times it was the office of the priesthood to sound the trumpet; and Barddhirgorn we call the Trumpet Major. The system of bardism having fallen into almost total oblivion, poetry and music are now the only characteristics preserved, by which the ancient Bardd is recognized. In the early state of mankind, the Bards
were the most learned and skilful, therefore they were appointed ministers of state and legislators.
The term Bardd is derived from Bâr, which in Welsh signifies the top, or eminence; also a bush, as the misseltoe of the oak is called Uchelfâr, the high branch; or, Prenawyr, the celestial shrub. Likewise Barr is a court of judicature; Barn, is judgment; Barnwr, a Judge; Breyr, and Barwn, is a Baron, a Lord, or President; hence a Bar-pleader, Barrister; Lord Chief Baron, Court Baron, &c.
Cæsar informs us, that all decisions and controversies were decided by the British Druids, or DruidBards, who were a branch of that institution. The ancient law of this land was administered to the people upon the highest or most convenient hill of the district; and we find in King Howel's Laws, p. 123, the Lord or Judge is directed to sit with his back to the sun and storm, so that he might not be incommoded in his deliberation. Many of those ancient Gorseddau, or tribunal seats, still remain both in England and Wales, which fact is corroborated by the names of the following hills and mounts : Bryn-gwyn, the supreme tribunal, and Barnhill, or judgment hill, in Anglesey; Barr's-Court, in Gloucestershire; Ma'lvern, or Moelvarn, the hill of Judgment, in Worcestershire; Moelburgh, or Marlborough mount, in Wiltshire ; Tynwald hill, in the Isle of Man, (probably derived from Dyfnwal Moelmud, the great law-giver); Stanton Druw ; Bergmote Court, in Derbyshire; Bryn-Barlwm in South Wales; Eisteddfa Gurig; Parlàs; Cader Bronwen, upon Berwyn, iu Meirionydd ; Pen-bre; Moelfre; Breiddin Hill, in Montgomeryshire ; and Breon; hence, probably, is derived the Brean Laws of the Irish. . There are likewise a great number of christian names, as well as of places, derived from the same origin; such às Par; Barr; Bar-jesus; Bar-jonah; Bardus, the son of Druis; Barton; Bardolph; St. Baruch, and Barry Island, in Glamorganshire; Bardney Abbey, in Lincolnshire; Barbury Castle, in Wiltshire ; Bard
field, in Essex; a considerable demesne, which formerly was the land of a Bard. Also, from Cân, and Cell, comes Canghell, the singing-room, or chancel of a monastery, or church; and hence is derived Changhellawr, or Chancellor. --Celtic Remains, by Mr. Lewis Morris ; Mr. Richards; and Mr. Owen's excellent Dictionaries; and see more in Mr. Cleland's curious Etymological Vocabulary.
BELL SAVAGE INN. The Spectator has attempted to elucidate the origin of the Bell Savage Inn, by supposing that it was intended to record the finding of a beautiful female in the woods, called in French La belle Sauvage. This hypothesis is more ingenious than probable, and it is yet uncertain what really caused the name. Some have said that it arose from the inn belonging to Lady Arabelle Savage, and familiarly designated from her name, - Bell Savage's House," and hence represent that fact, . (as rebusses were then very popular and fashionable), by a Bell and a Savage.
BURYING-GROUNDS. - The custom of burying dead persons in grounds set apart for that purpose was not established till the year 200. People before that time were interred in the highways, and ancient tombs are still to be seen in the roads leading to Rome. Hence these words so often repeated in epitaphs, “Sta, Viator."-Stop, Traveller.
THE CAMERA OBSCURA. In a letter from Sir Henry Wotton to Lord Bacon is the following curious relation respecting Kepler, the celebrated astronomer and mathematician ; to whom Şir Henry, then being ambassador to one of the princes of Germany, had made a visit.
“ I laid a night at Lintz, the metropolis of the higher Austria, but then in very low estate, having been newly taken by the Duke of Bavaria, who, blandiente fortuna, was gone on to the late effects : there I found Kepler,
a man, famous in the sciences, as your lordship knows, to whom I purpose to convey from hence one of your books, that he may see we have some of our own that can honour our king, as well as he hath done with his carmonica. In this man's study I was much taken with the draught of a landscape on a piece of paper, methought masterly done; whereof inquiring the author, he betrayed by a smile it was himself, adding that he had done it, non tanquam pictor, sed tanquam mathematicus. This set me on fire ; at last he told me how. He had a little back tent (of what stuff is not much importing), which he can suddenly set up where he will in a field, and it is convertible, like a wind mill, to all quarters at pleasure: capable of not much more than one man, as I conceive, and perhaps at no great ease ; exactly close and dark, save at one hole, about an inch and a half in the diameter, to which he applies a long perspective trunk, with a convex glass fitted to the said hole; and the concave taken out at the other end, which extendeth to about the middle of this erected tent; through which the visible radiations of all without are intromitted, falling upon a paper which is accommodated to receive them; and so he traceth them with his pen in their natural appearance, turning his little tent round by degrees till he hath designed the whole aspect of the field. This I bave described to your lordship, because I think there might be good use made of it for chorography; for otherwise to make landscapes by it were illiberal: though surely no painter, can do them so precisely.”
CHEQUERS. White and red, or blue and red Chequers, even now form an ornament of many public-houses, being painted in front on either door-post. These chequers are 'nothing more than a remnant of the lattices, which formerly performed the office of glass in our ale-house windows, and which in time became a sort of sign for such places. The bars of the lattice were of various colours, crossed something like trellis-work, and in.