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those noble fire-fies that, within the tropics, sparkle far and near, filling the air with a harmless conflagration, and keeping the scene bright until the sudden dawn of day dispels the darkness. As a hot summer produces many of these lucifers, so does it increase the activity of meteors that shoot athwart the shades of night, or drop suddenly from sky to earth, as if stars had fallen from their orbits.
And now the large white poppy is gathered for the shops, and its juice will bring respite to the sleepless. And the amaranth, ever blooming, waits unmoved upon the stem, to be gathered and carried home, there to be honoured as a household link between the autumnal and the vernal flowers; and its wreath serves as a humble image of the crown that is incorruptible, and undefiled, and fadeth not away:
ASTRONOMICAL FACTS OF AUGUST, 1852.
RISING AND SETTING OF THE SUN.
Truro. London. Manchester. Edinburgh.
Tain. Day Rises. Sets
Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. h. m. h. m. h. m. h, m. h. m. h. m. h. m. h, m. h. m. 14 30 7 414 25
7 464 16 7 57 4 5 8 63 57 8 14 114 45 7 24 4 41 7 28 4 34 7 35 4 25 7 44 4 18 7 51 21 5 1 7 44 57 7 84 51 7 15 4 44 7 21 4 38 727
THE Moon's CHANGES.
29th day, 3h. 6m. aftern. MERCURY, in the constellation Leo, is an evening star till the 21st, then invisible to the end of the month. On the 7th, at 9h. 33m., P.M., at greatest elongation, 27° 22' E; on the 8th, at Oh. 37m., P. M.., in aphelion ; on the 21st, at 6h. 2m., A.M., stationary. VENUs, in the constellations Gemini and Cancer, is a morning star throughout the month ; on the 11th, at 6h. 33m., P.M., stationary ; on the 26th, at 9h. 25m., A.M., at greatest brilliancy. Mars, in the constellation Virgo, is an evening star throughout the month. JUPITER, in the constellation Libra, is an evening star throughout the month ; on the 6th, at 8h. 2m., P.M., in quadrature with the Sun; on the 15th passes the meridian at 5h. 15m., P.M. SATURN, in the constellation Aries, on the 10th, at 3h. 23m., A.M., in quad. rature with the Sun; on the 15th passes the meridian at 5h. 29m., A.M. ; on the 30th, at 9h. 9m., P.M., stationary. URANUS, in the constellation Aries, on the 13th, at 6h. Om., P.M., stationary ; on the 15th passes the meridian at 4h. 50m., A.M.
H. T. & J. Roche, Printers, 25, Hoxton-square, London.
LORENZO DE' MEDICI, “THE MAGNIFICENT.”
(With a Portrait.) To this distinguished man belongs the praise of having restored to literature the honours of which, during twenty generations, it had been despoiled. Lorenzo commanded the homage of his times, however, for other reasons; and Italy was slow to do him literary justice. As a statesman, he seems to have had the power of moving Europe, and he certainly accomplished marvels in a brief life of forty-four years.
Florence, which gave to half the world historians, poets, orators, and preceptors, was the home of the Medici. Several members of that family had, in successive generations, adorned the city of their birth, and illuminated the annals of the Florentine republic. Some of them had also paid the heavy taxes of pre-eminence. Cosmo de' Medici 'is a name truly illustrious: his monument records him as
COUNTRY.” Great attention was paid early in the fifteenth century to the discovery of ancient Greek and Latin authors. The art of printing was meanwhile arising in Germany, soon to be adopted in Italy. All things promised a brighter era. But no family was so honourably characterized by the love of learning, and of learned men, as that of the Medici.
Lorenzo was born January 1st, 1448. Early instructed in the views of Plato, he afterwards sought to give stability to these studies by renewing the anniversary-feasts to the memory
l'on. IVI. Second Series. R
THE FATHER OF
of the philosopher; and these, for some time, drew together, on the 7th of November, the chief Italian literati. Lorenzo was the son of Piero, and grandson of Cosmo. Very early indeed, if we may confide in his biographers, he gave promise of mental power, and of a truly noble disposition. In his very childhood he observed, that nothing is more glorious than to excel others in deeds of generosity. A combination of qualities entitled him to be held up as an accomplished youth. Active, courageous, eloquent, vivacious, – he was rich in endowments of nature, and these were developed by the best culture that could be obtained. His panegyrists add, that he was devout ; but, in this most important respect, he has very small claim to be regarded as an example.
The influence of his family was an object of his first consideration; and this he sought to promote by measures of singular prudence, lenity, and promptitude. Various political storms, that threatened Florence, he was thus the means of diverting. Shortly after his father's death he was induced to take on himself the care and administration of the republic, availing himself, however, of the wisest citizens as his counsellors. The name he bore carried with it equal glory and responsibility,—the burdensome reward of patriotism. During thirty-seven years Lorenzo's ancestors had expended, in works of public charity or utility, more than six hundred and sixty thousand forins; and of himself it has been said, that it is scarcely possible to name an Italian of that age, eminent in any branch of learning, who did not share his bounty.
As he rose to unquestionable supremacy in Florence, his power was felt also throughout Europe. Princes sought bis aid, and made him their confidant. Affairs of state now competed for his attention with the pursuits and patronage of literature. But Sixtus IV. hated the Medici; and our rapid sketch brings us to “a transaction that has seldom been mentioned without emotions of the strongest horror and detestation, and which, as has justly been observed, is an incontrovertible proof of the practical atheism of the times in which it took place: a transaction in which a Pope, a Cardinal, an Archbishop, and several other Ecclesiastics, associated themselves with a band of ruffians, to destroy two men who