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a striking emblem of integrity, and a perfect model of wisdom, strength, and beauty."* But is this walking emblem, wise, strong, and handsome, in reality, and are such wisdom, strength, and handsomeness, the result of his various amulets? if not, where is the use of all his badges? But the truth is that Freemasonry belongs not to our times. It was the fiction of a credulous age, when besides the vulgar religion, or popular mythology, the priests and philosophers had a secret system of their own, compelling the people under severe penalties to abide in ignorance while they kept all the light they could collect to themselves. It was not much to be sure, but what it was they retained and guarded with a barbarous and unrelenting jealousy. Such has been the case in all ages of which we have any record. The priests of Egypt had their hidden and undivulgable wisdom, an inner portion of their temple to which the multitude could never penetrate. The Jewish hierarchy had their Cabala, that knowledge, which, as they said, God had granted to them under a solemn command of secrecy, and denied to the rest of their fellow creatures. Zoroaster at their head, had one and another for the elect. The Eleusinian mysteries. Even Pythagoras bound his followers to silence. But we repeat it, the day of mysticism has gone by; and though it is only the first dawn of real knowledge that is breaking upon us, yet even in this early twilight men for the most part can see too plainly to be the dupes of such absurd pretensions. The very attempt however to continue them is an effort to perpetuate ignorance and error, and upon this principle the sooner the Freemasons lay aside their aprons and talk like the rest of the world the better.
The Indian teachers, with code for the multitude, Greeks boasted of their
Antiquities of Freemasonry, p. 175.
And now let me say a few words in justice to the despised and abused alchemists, whose relationship the Freemasons are so anxious to deny; they at least, amidst all their dreams and follies, had much practical knowledge, which is more than can be said of the Freemasons, simply considered as such, and were of service to mankind. If they did not find the philosopher's stone, they were not less the fathers of chemistry, and were much better informed in general than the world is willing to give them credit for. As one instance only, I will show from a writer of their own, that they had some notion, though perhaps not very precise or accurate, of the gaseous nature of water. In the ATALANTA FUGIENS, we read, "from coagulated (compressed) winds, which are nothing else but air, water is made, and from this, mingled with earth, proceed all minerals and metals."*And with this I conclude, though the history of the alchemists would admit of much curious investigation.
*Ex fumis autem, seu ventis, qui sunt nihil aliud quam aer motus, coagulatis fit aqua, ex qua cum terra mixta mineralia et metalla omnia."-ATALANTA FUGIENS. p. 14. Discursus I.-Qrto. Oppenheim, 1518.
THIS month, which was the beginning of the Celtic year,* was called by our Saxon ancestors HENMONATH, i.e. foliage month, from the German Hain, a grove; HEYMONATH, i.e. Haymonth; and LIDA AFTERA, i.e. the Second Lida, or second month of the sun's descent, as June was named the LIDA ERRA, i.e. the first month of the sun's descent.† In proof of the correctness of the names thus given, Dr. Sayers refers us to an emblematical representation of the Saxon months on an ancient font belonging to the church of Burnham Depedale in Norfolk. GIULI AFTERA, i.e. January, is represented by a man drinking from a horn; SOLMONATH, i.e. February, by a person apparently sitting at the door of his house; LENCTMONATH, i.e. March, by a man digging; EOSTERMONATH, i.e. April, by a man employed in pruning; SEREMONATH, i.e. May, (apparently) by a person occupied in trimming a vine; WEEDMONATH, i.e. June, by a weeder;
* See Davies' Celtic Researches, p. 190.
For some of these names and derivations I am indebted to Dr. Frank Sayers in his DISQUISITIONS, p. 255, 8vo. Norwich, 1808. The venerable Bede (De Ratione Temporum) calls this month Lida only, and Verstegan confines himself to the name of HEYMONATH, which he says was given to it, "because therein they usually mowed, and made their hay-harvest."-Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, p. 67.
HEYMONATH, i.e. July, by a mower; ARNMONATH, i. e. August, by a reaper; GERSTMONATH, i. e. September, by a thresher; WYNMONATH, i. e. October, (apparently) by a person pouring wine from a bottle into a cup or funnel BLOTMONATH, i. e. November, by a man killing a hog; and GIUL ERRA, i.e. December, by a company feasting.*
The name of July is from the Latin Julius, an appellation given to the month by Mark Antony in honour of Julius Cæsar,† who was born in it; before his time it had been called Quintilis, or Fifth, because it was the fifth month, dating the commencement of the year from March.
The Flora of this month is peculiarly abundant; the solstitial plants, many of which began to open early in June, are all in full perfection, and some even commence declining by about the ninth. At that time the æstival plants begin to flower, though it should be remembered that many of them blossomed at an earlier period, and indeed it is utterly impossible to draw a fixed and determinate line for the season of any vegetable productions. At the very commencement of the month, the Agrimony and the Bindweeds begin to flower, are abundant about the middle of it, and continue flowering till September; the Evening Primrose opens its yellow flowers towards sunset, blowing through the rest of the summer; while the Cockle flowers amongst the corn, wheat and barley in particular; the Pink Garden Hawksweed also flowers about Old Midsummer Day (July 5th), as also the Garden Hawksaye, whose bright
Disquisitions, p. 257.
"Sequitur Julius, qui cum, secundum Romuli ordinationem Martio anni renente principium, Quintilis a numero vocaretur; nihilominus tamen etiam post præpositos a Numa Januarium ac Februarium, retinuit nomen cum non videretur jam quintus esse sed septimus." Macrobii Saturnal, Lib. i. Cap. xii. p. 261. 8vo. Biponti, 1788.
Denique quintus ab hoc fuerat Quintilis; et inde
P. Ovidii Nasonis Fastorum, Lib. iii. v. 149.
yellow flowerets, surrounding a dark disk, show the origin of its name; so too the Nasturtium, or Indian Cress, its orange - coloured flowers continuing to ornament the gardens during the whole of August; the White Lily, the Scarlet Martagon, and the Marsh Thistle, blow much about the same time; the Bearded Cats-Tail Grass, the Club Rush, the Bulbous Fox-Tail Grass, the Reflexed and Creeping Meadow Grass, the Field Eryngo, Parsley Water Dropwort, Smooth Seaheath, and the Golden Dock, all of them maritime plants, may be seen flowering in the salt marshes; on sandy shores will be found the Sea Matweed, Upright Sealime Grass, the Sea Longwort, the Sea Bindweed, Saltwort, Sea Holly; on maritime rocks, Prickly Samphire, and Sea Lavender; and on rocky shores the Sea-pea.* As the
*The solstitial plants, which begin to open early in June, gradually give way about the time of St. Swithin, to the æstival plants. The following, which is taken from Forster, is a tolerably comprehensive catalogue of the former:
Dutch or Garden Rose.
The Provence Rose.
Damask Rose, producing red and white flowers on the same tree.