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The last half of the month.— By this time the vocal music of the groves may be said to cease altogether, if we except the pensive note of the yellow-hammer, and the chirping of a few small birds. Insects are now in full vigour : gnats and flies buzz around us, the grasshopper chirps his merry note, the dew-moth appears, and flying ants quit their nests. .

Lavender is now in flower: the purple loose-strife ornaments the sides of ponds and brooks, and, by its tall spike of blue flowers, gives a rich appearance to the cooling retreats of river-banks; it is intermixed with the meadow-sweet, the spicy fragrance of which scents the surrounding air. The enchanter's nightshade, the Yorkshire sanicle, the water-horehound or gipsy-wort, the common nettle, the goose-grass, the fringed water-lily, and various other plants, are now in bloom. The dianthus, or pink and earnation tribe, grace the gardens of all; while their allies, the several species of lychnis, cerastium, and spergula, add beauty to the fields, and glow with every hue and shade of colorific radiance.

" But for what purpose do these charming flowers come forth? Is it merely to please our eyes with their brilliant colours, and regale the sense of smelling with their odoriferous perfumes, that they unfold their fascinating beauties, and emit their pleasing fragrance ? Or is it to attract those numerous insects which swarm among them, and riot amidst their liquid sweets? That flowers were designed for both these purposes is apparent from the sensations which we experience when we visit the delightful spots where they grow, and from the assiduous eagerness which the busy bee evinces in roaming from flower to flower, to extract their balmy juices. But there is another, and that a most important nise to which the flowery tribe may be made subservient. In reason's ear they become preachers. The upright philosopher of the land of Uz, and that devout admirer of the works of nature, David, King of Israel, both took occasion to compare the uncertain tenure of human life to the frail and perishable state of a flower. The Prophet Isaiah represents the transient glory of the crown of pride as being like one of these fading beauties; and our Saviour has demonstrated that an important lesson against too anxious care and pride in dress, may be learned from a right consideration of these gay visitants. Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.'- Book of Nature.

After great heats with dryness in this month, frequently thundershowers follow; and sometimes is seen that beautiful meteor, the rainbow.

"I see Him in the bow which spans the sky,

Sweet combination of all varied hues;
So softly blending, that the astonish'd eye

Seems rapture-full, as often as it views
This faithful token of the Diety,

That He to man his ancient oath renews,
No more to flood the earth,-his curse repeat;
My meditation of Him shall be sweet."

G. S.

334

BRIEF ASTRONOMICAL NOTICES,

POR JULY, 1847. By Mr. WILLIAM Rogerson, of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,

“WERE all the stars, those beauteous realms of light,

At distance only hung to shine by night,
And with their twinkling beams to please our sight?
How many roll in ether, which the eye
Could ne'er, till aided by the glass, descry,
And which no commerce with the Earth maintain ?
Are all those glorious empires made in vain ?"

BLACKMORE.

'The Sun rises on the 1st at Greenwich at forty-nine minutes past three, and sets at seventeen minutes after eight : on the same day he rises at Edinburgh at twenty-one minutes past three, and sets at forty-five minutes after eight. The Sun rises on the 19th at Greenwich at seven minutes past four, and set at five minutes after eight: on the same day he rises at Edinburgh at forty-three minutes past three, and sets at twenty-nine minutes after eight.

The Moon rises on the 1st at four minutes before ten, and on the 3d at six minutes before eleven, at night : she enters on her last quarter on the 5th, and rises a few minutes before inidnight: she rises on the 8th at one o'clock, and on the 10th at a quarter past two, in the morning. The Moon changes on the 12th, at thirty-eight minutes after eleven in the morning; and presents her crescent in the evening on the 15th, and sets at a quarter past nine : she sets on the 17th at ten o'clock, and on the 19th at fortyseven minutes past eleven, at night. The Moon is half-full on the 20th ; and is due south on the 22d at half-past seven in the evening: she is due south on the 24th at a quarter past nine, and on the 26th at ten minutes after eleven, at night. The Moon is full on the 27th, at eight minutes past ten at night; and rises on the 28th at five minutes before eight in the evening: she rises on the 29th at half-past eight, and on the 31st at twenty-five minutes after nine, in the evening.

MERCURY is invisible.

Venus is a splendid object in the western skies after sunset: this beautiful planet sets at the beginning of the month at about half-past ten, and towards the end at about half-past nine : on the 16th she is in the neighbourhood of the Moon.

MARS rises on the 1st a few minutes before midnight, and on the 20th at eleven o'clock : on the 4th and 5th he is in the vicinity of the Moon.

SATURN rises at the commencement of this month at eleven o'clock at night, and at the end two hours earlier: on the 2d, 3d, and 30th he is near the Moon.

Note.—July 10th, 1682. Roger Cotes born. This celebrated man published the second edition of Newton's “ Principia,” to which he prefixed a preface, in which he explained the true method of philosophizing, showing the foundation on which the Newtonian philosophy is built, and refuted the objections that had been made to it. Nearly three hundred letters passed between Sir Isaac and Mr. Cotes, during the progress of this edition, in one of which the latter says, “ I have been so much obliged by yourself and by your book, that (I desire you to believe me) I think myself bound in gratitude to take all the care I possibly can that it shall be correct.”

July 11th, 1732. Lalande born. This celebrated and eccentric astronomer was intended for the Bar, and went to Paris for the study of jurisprudence, when the view of the Observatory inspired him with notions which deranged his former plan, and became the ruling passion of his life. He wisely confined himself to his astronomical studies during the heat of the Revolution ; and when he consequently escaped that fate which had befallen the illustrious Builly and Lavoisier, he jocosely said, “ I may thank my stars for it."

POETRY.

BASKET OF SPECIMENS FROM ROBERT HERRICK.

ROBERT HERRICK was one of the minor poets of the Elizabethan age. He was the son of Nicholas Herrick, goldsmith, Cheapside, London, where he was born, August 20th, 1591. He studied at Cambridge, took orders, and was presented to the living of Dean Priors, Devonshire, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying there in 1674. He only wrote smaller pieces, of which a few specimens are given below.]

1.-TO BLOSSOMS. FAIR pledges of a fruitful tree,

Why do you fall so fast?

Your date is not so past,
But you may yet here stay 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?
'Twas pity nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,

And lose you quite.
But you are 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.

II. TO DAFFODILS.
Fair daffodils, we weep to see

You haste away too soon ;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon:

Stay, stay,
Until the hastening day

Has run
But to the even-song;
And having pray'd together, we

Will go with you along!
We have short time to stay, as you ;

We have as short a spring,
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you, or anything:

We die,
As your hours do ; and dry

Away
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning dew,

Ne'er to be found again.

111.-THE SUCCESSION OF THE FOUR SWEET MONTIIS.

First, April, she with mellow showers
Opens the way for early flowers;
Then after her comes smiling May,
In a more rich and sweet array ;
Next enters June, and brings us more
Gems than those two that went before;
Then, lastly, July comes, and she
More wealth brings in than all those three.

IV.-ALL THINGS DECAY AND DIE.
All things decay with time: the forest sees
The growth and downfal of her aged trees;
That timber tall, which threescore lustres stood
The proud dictator of the state-like wood:
I mean the sovereign of all plants, the oak,
Droops, dies, and falls without the cleaver's stroke.

V.-NO WANT WHERE There's LITTLE.
To bread and water none is poor;
And having these, what need of more?
Though much from out the cess be spent,
Nature with little is content.

Roche, Printer, 25, Hoxton-square, London

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