The Romans counted Feb. 13, an unlucky day, and therefore then never attempted any business of importance; for on that day they were overthrown at Allia by the Gauls; and the Fabii attacking the city of the Veii, were all slain, save one. (Heylin, speaking of St. Peter's patrimony.) And see the calendar annext to Ovid's "Fastorum", as to the last circumstance. The Jews accounted August 10, an unfortunate day; for on that day the Temple was destroyed by Titus, the son of Vespasian; on which day also the first Temple was consumed with fire by Nebuchadnezzar. (Heylin.) The treasury of the times says the eighth of Loyon (August) the very same day 679 years one after another. And not only among the Romans and Jews, but also among Christians, a like custom of observing such days is used, especially Childermas or Innocent's day. Comines tells us, that Lewis XI. used not to debate any matter, but accounted it a sign of great misfortune towards him, if any man communed with him of his affairs; and would be very angry with those about him, if they troubled him with any matter whatsoever upon that day. But I will descend to more particular instances of lucky and unlucky days. Upon the sixth of April, Alexander the Great was born. Upon the same day he conquered Darius, won a great victory at sea, and died the same day. Neither was this day less fortunate to his father Philip; for on the same day he took Potidea; Parmenio, his General, gave a great overthrow to the Illyrians; and his horse was victor at the Olympic Games. Therefore, his prophets foretold to him, "Filium cujus natalis", &c. That a son whose birth-day was accompanied with three victories, should prove invincible. "Pezelius in melificio historico". Upon the thirtieth of September, Pompey the Great was born: upon that day he triumphed for his Asian conquest, and on that day he died. The nineteenth of August was the day of Augustus his adoption: on the same day he began his consulship: he conquered the Triumviri, and on the same day he died. Hitherto out of the memories of King Charles I's. heroes. If Solomon counts the day of one's death better than the day of one's birth, there can be no objection why that also may not be reckoned amongst one's remarkable and happy days. And therefore I will insert here, that the eleventh of February was the noted day of Elizabeth, wife to Henry VII. who was born and died that day. Weever, p. 476. Brooke, in Henry VII. marriage. Stow, in Anno 1466, 1503. As also that the twenty-third of November was the observable day of Francis, Duke of Lunenburgh, who was born on that day, and died upon the same, 1549, as says the French author of the Journal History, who adds upon particular remark and observable curiosity. "Ipsa dies vitam contulit, ipsa necem". The same day life did give, And made him cease to live. Sir Kenelm Digby, that renowned knight, great linguist, and magazine of arts, was born and died on the eleventh of June, and also fought fortunately at Scanderoon the same day. Here his epitaph, composed by Mr. Ferrar, and recited in the aforesaid Memoirs: Under this stone the matchless Digby lies, Digby the great, the valiant and the wise: This age's wonder for his noble parts; Skill'd in six tongues, and learn'd in all the arts. Born on the day he died, th' eleventh of June, On which he bravely fought at Scanderoon. 'Tis rare that one and self-same day should be His day of birth, of death, of victory. I had a maternal uncle, that died the third of March,1678, which was the anniversary day of his birth; and (which is a truth exceeding strange) many years ago he foretold the day of his death to be that of his birth; and he also averred the same but about the week before his departure. The third of March is the day of St. Eutropius; and as to my uncle it was significative; it turned well to him, according to that of Rev. 14, 13. Blessed are the dead, &e. and that of Ovid Metam. lib. 3. "---Dicique beatus", "Ante obitum nemo supremaque funera debet.-----" --None happy call Before their death, and final funeral. The sixth of January was five times auspicious to Charles, Duke of Anjou. Ibid. in the life of the Earl of Sunderland. The twenty-fourth of February was happy to Charles V. four times. (Ibid.) Heylin, speaking of the Temple of Jerusalem, hints three of these four; his birth, taking of Francis, King of France, prisoner; his receiving the Imperial crown at Bononia. And so doth also the Journal History before mentioned. Of the family of the Trevors, six successive principal branches have been born the sixth of July. Same memoirs. Sir Humphrey Davenport was born the 7th of July; and on that day anniversary, his father and mother died, within a quarter of an hour one of another. Same memoirs. I have seen an old Romish MSS. prayer-book, (and shewed the same to that general scholar, and great astrologer, Elias Ashmole, Esq.;) at the beginning whereof was a Calendar wherein were inserted the unlucky days of each month, set out in verse. I will recite them just as they are, sometimes infringing the rule of grammar, sometimes of Prosodia; a matter of which the old monkish rhymers were no way scrupulous. It was as ancient as Henry the sixth, or Edward the fourth's time. January "Prima dies mensis, & septima truncat ut ensis". February "Quarta subit mortem, prostemit tertia fortem." March. "Primus mandentem, disrumpit quarto, bibentem". April "Denus & undenus est mortis vulnere plenus". May "Tertius occidit, & Septimus ora relidit".* June "Denus pallescit, quindenus feeders nescit". July. "Ter-decimus mactat, Julij denus labefactat." August. "Prima necat fortem, prostemit secunda cohortem". September "Tertia Septembris & denus fert mala membris". October. "Tertius & denus est, sicut, mors alienus". November. "Scorpius est quintus, & tertius e nece cinctus". December. "Septimus exanguis, virosus denus & anguis". * Ex re & ledo. The tenth verse is intolerable, and might be mended thus. "Tertia cum dena sit sicut mors aliena". If any object and say, "Deni" is only the plural; I excuse my self by that admirable chronogram upon King Charles the martyr. "Ter deno, Jani, Lunae, Rex (Sole cadente)" "Carolus euxtus Solio, Sceptroque, secure". Neither will I have recourse for refuge to that old tetrastich, "Intrat Avaloniam duodena Caterva virorum "Flos Arimathioe Joseph, &c." because I have even now blamed the liberty of the ancient rhymers. He means by "Mors aliena", some strange kind of death; though "aliena", signifies in quite another sense than there used. I shall take particular notice here of the third of November, both because 'tis my own birth day, and also for that I have observed some remarkable accidents to have happened thereupon. Constantius, the Emperor, son of Constantine the Great, little inferior to his father, a worthy warrior, and good man, died the third of November: "Ex veteri Calendario penes me". Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, that great man, and famous commander under Henry IV. V. and VI. Died this day, by a wound of a cannon-shot he received at Orleans, E MSS. quodam, & Glovero. So, also Cardinal Borromeo, famous for his sanctity of life, and therefore canonized, (Heylin in his "Prcognita", says, he made Milan memorable, by his residence there) died 1584, this day, as Possevinus in his life. Sir John Perrot, (Stow corruptly calls him Parrat) a man very remarkable in his time, Lord Deputy of Ireland, son to Henry VIII. And extremely like him, died in the tower, the third of November, 1592 (as Stow says). Grief, and the fatality of. this day, killed him. See Naunton's "Fragmenta Regalia", concerning this man. Stow, in his Annals, says, Anno 1099, November 3, as well in Scotland as England, the sea broke in, over the banks of many rivers, drowning divers towns, and much people; with an innumerable number of oxen and sheep, at which time the lands in Kent, sometimes belonging to Earl Godwin, were covered with sands, and drowned, and to this day are called Godwin's Sands. I had an estate left me in Kent, of which between thirty and forty acres was marsh-land, very conveniently flanking its up-land; and in those days this marsh-land was usually let for four nobles an acre. My father died, 1643. Within a year and half after his decease, such charges and water-schots came upon this marsh-land, by the influence of the sea, that it was never worth one farthing to me, but very often eat into the rents of the up-land: so that I often think, this day being my birth-day, hath the same influence upon me, that it had 580 years since upon Earl Godwin, and others concerned in low-lands. The Parliament, so fatal to Rome's concerns here, in Henry VIII's. time, began the third of November (26 of his reign;) in which the Pope, with all his authority, was clean banished the realm; he no more to be called otherwise than Bishop of Rome; the King to be taken and reputed as supreme head of the church of England, having full authority to reform all errors, heresies and abuses of the same: also the first-fruits and tenths of all spiritual promotions and dignities were granted to the King. See Stow's Annals, and Weever, page 80. Not long after which, followed the visitation of abbies, priories, and nunneries; and after that, their final suppression: this Parliament being the door, or entrance thereto. The third of November 1640, began that Parliament so direfully fatal to England, in its peace, its wealth, its religion, its gentry, its nobility; nay, its King. So verifying the former verse of the calendar. "Scorpius est quintus, & tertius e nece cinctus, " A killing day to some or other. On the third of November 1703, was the remarkable storm. The third of September was a remarkable day to the English Attila, Oliver, 1650. He obtained a memorable victory at Dunbar; another at Worcester, 1651, and that day he died, 1658. The first two occurrences wonderfully accord to the preceding verses. "Tertia Septembris, & denus fert mala membris." Being fatal to the two members of great Britain, Scotland and England. The third, as happy to them both, as the same day, 1666, was dismal and unhappy to the city of London, and consequently to the whole kingdom, with its immediate preceding and two succeeding days, viz. the second, fourth, and fifth of September. I come now to the days of the week. Tuesday ("Dies Martis") was a most remarkable day with Thomas Becket, Arch Bishop of Canterbury, as Weever, 201, observes from Mat. Paris: "Mars Secundum Poetas, Deus Belli nuncupatur. Vita Sancti Thomae (secundum illud Job, Vita hominis militia est super terram) tota fuit contra hostem bellicosa, &c". The life of St. Thomas (according to that of Job, the life of a man is a warfare upon earth) was a continual conflict against the enemy. Upon a Tuesday he suffered; upon Tuesday he was translated; upon Tuesday the Peers of the land sat against him at Northampton; upon Tuesday he was banished; upon Tuesday the Lord appeared to him at Pontiniac, saying, Thomas, Thomas, my church shall be glorified in thy blood; upon Tuesday he returned from exile, upon Tuesday he got the palm or reward of martyrdom; upon Tuesday 1220, his venerable body received the glory and renown of translation, fifty years after his passion. Thus my author. One thing I make bold to gloss upon. His translation is here mentioned twice. Note, this is no tautology of the historian; but the latter paragraph is a mere recitation of the first, viz. reference to the time when he was translated into the number of Saints and Martyrs: "quando in divorum numerum relatus", as Camden. Wednesday is said to have been the fortunate day of Sixtus Quintus, that Pope of renowned merit, that did so great and excellent things in the time of his government. See the just weight of the scarlet robe, (page 101, his desired praises.) On a Wednesday he was born; on that day he was made Monk; on the same he was made General of his order; on that also, was he successively created Cardinal, elected Pope, and also inaugurated. See Heylin, speaking of the Temple of Jerusalem. Friday was observed to be very fortunate to the great renowned Captain Gonsalvo, he having on that day given the French many memorable defeats. Saturday was a lucky day to Henry VII. upon that day he atchieved the victory upon Richard III. being August 22, 1485. On that day he entered the city, being August 29 (correct Stow, who mistakes the day) and he himself always acknowledged, he had experienced it fortunate. See Bacon in his Life. Thursday was a fatal day to Henry VIII. (as Stow, 812); and so also to his posterity. He died on Thursday, Jan. 28. King Edward VI. on Thursday, July 6. Queen Mary on Thursday, November 17. Queen Elizabeth on Thursday, March 24. Saturday (or the Jewish Sabbath) was fatal to Jerusalem Temple; for on that day it was taken by Pompey, Herod and Titus, successively. Heylin. Hitherto by way of prologue. And be pleased to take notice, as to the days of the month, I have taken such care, that all are according to the Julian or old account, used by us here in England. (See Partridge's almanack, preface to the reader) Pope Gregory XIII. brought in his new stile (generally used beyond sea) anno 1585, in October, as asserts the Journal History before recited. An old proverb. When Easter falls in our lady's lap, Then let England beware a rap. Easter falls on March 25, when the Sunday letter is G, and the golden number 5, 13, or 16. As in the late years, 1459,1638,1649. 1459, King Henry VI. was deposed and murdered. 1638, The Scottish troubles began, on which ensued the great rebellion. 1648-9, King Charles I. murdered. I think it will not happen so again till the year 1991. Now for epilogue and remarkable reflection. Turning over our annals, I chanced upon a two-fold circumstance: I will not say, that none else hath observed the same; but I protest, ("Ita, me Deus amet, ut verum loquor") I do not know of any that have; and therefore must justly claim to be acquitted from the least suspicion of plagiarism, or plowing with others heifers. The first is, of William the Conqueror. The second, of Edward III. (I need not say any thing of the eminency of these two; every one knows what great things they did.) And making reflection upon the auspicious birth-day of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, I adventured upon the following composure. (I cannot be proud of my poetry; but I cannot but be glad of my Bon Heur, "d'avoir (en lisant) tombe si fortuement sur les evenements d'un si Bon Jour".) Ad Illustrissimum & Celsissimum Principem, Jacobum Ducem Eboracensem, de Natali suo Auspicatissimo Octobris XIV. Anno 1633. "--Deus Anna nefasto te posuit die?" Hor. lib. 2. ode 13. Oct. "Decimo quarto Normannus Haraldum Dux superavit, & Hinc Regia sceptra tulit.
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