The Book of Days

 
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February 13th

Born: Alexander Wedderburn, Earl of Rosslyn, 1733, Chesterhall; David Allan, Scottish painter, 1744, Allen; Charles Maurice de Talleyraud-Perigord, diplomatist, 1754.

Died: Catherine Howard, beheaded, 1543, Tower; Benvenuto Cellini, Florentine sculptor, 1576; Elizabeth (of Bohemia), 1662, Leicester House; Dr. Cotton Mather, 1728, Boston, N. A.; Dr. Samuel Croxall, fabulist, 1752; Charles Count de Vergennes, French diplomatist, 1787, Verrsailles; the Duke de Berri, assassinated, 1820, Paris; Henry Hunt, political character, 1835; Sharon Turner, historian, 1847.

Feast Day: St. Polycuctus, martyr at Melitine, 250. St. Martinianus, hermit, of Athens, circ. 4th century. St. Medomnoc (or Dominic), bishop of Ossory, 6th century. St. Stephen, abbot in Italy, 6th century. St. Licinius, bishop of Augers, 618. St. Gregory II (Pope), 631. Roger, abbot of Elan in Champagne, cite. 1175. St. Catherine de Ricci, virgin, 1559.

ST. VALENTINE'S EVE

At Norwich, St. Valentine's eve appears To be still kept as a time for a general giving and receiving of gifts. It is a lively and stirring scene. The streets swarm with carriers, and baskets laden with treasures; bang, bang, bang go the knockers, and away rushes the banger, depositing first upon the door-step some packages from the basket of stores—again and again at intervals, at every door to which a missive is addressed, is the same repeated, till the baskets are empty. Anonymously, St. Valentine presents his gifts, labelled only with "St Valentine's love," and "Good morrow, Valentine." Then within the houses of destination, the screams, the shouts, the rushings to catch the bang-bangs,—the flushed faces, sparkling eyes, rushing feet to pick up the fairy-gifts—inscriptions to be interpreted, mysteries to be unravelled, hoaxes to be found out —great hampers, heavy and ticketed "With care, this side upwards," to be unpacked, out of which jump live little boys with St. Valentine's love to the little ladies fair,—the sham bang-bangs, that bring nothing but noise and fun—the mock parcels that vanish from the door-step by invisible strings when the door opens—monster parcels that dwindle to thread papers denuded of their multiplied envelopes, with fitting mottoes, all tending to the final consummation of good counsel, "Happy is he who expects nothing, and he will not be disappointed." It is a glorious night marvel not that we would perpetuate so joyous a festivity.'—Madders's Rambles in an Old City (Norwich).

February 14th

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