April. Since the time of NumaPompilius, this month has retained the same place in the calendar that, it does now. Romulus assigned thirty days to the month, but Numa reduced it to twenty-nine. Julius Caesar, however, restored it to its original length, which has not been altered since.
The name of the month is derived from the Latin word A perio (to open), and was no doubt bestowed in allusion to the season, for the earth opens her bosom, and sends forth her riches, and the young buds open under the influence of April showers
Symbol or Allegory of the Month. - A young man, with a cheerful and youthful face, clad in green, with a garland of myrtle and hawthorn in buds crossing his left shoulder, allegorical of the verdure at this
Period of the year. In his right-hand he olds a bunch of prize roses and violets, while his left-hand rests upon a bull's head, typical of the sign of Taurus, or the Bull, because the sun enters that constellation on the 19th of the month.
Synonymes - In Latin, this month is called Aprilis; in French, Avril: in Italian, Aprile; in Portugese, Abril; in ancient Cornish, Eprell; and in Saxon, Oster-Monath, or Easter month.
There are several remarkable day belonging to the month. The 1st day is called All Fools'-day. The well-known practice of making persons go on some foolish errand, such as to inquire for "pigeon's-milk," "strap-oil," etc., or playing some practical joke upon them, has given rise to the name of All Fools'-day. The person so deceived died an April fool in America, a gowk in land, and un poisson d'Avril (an April fish) in France.
12th. Henry Clay was born in Virginia, in the neighborhood of a region known as the slashes," (hence the sobriquet of The Mill-boy of the Slashes,") on the 12th of April. 1777. In 1811 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives at Washington, and chosen by that body as their Speaker, which office he filled with great ability until 1814, when he was appointed one of the Commissioners to negotiate at Ghent a treaty of peace with Great Britain. On the acceesion of John Quincy Adams to the presidency, Henry clay was appointed Secretary of State. and continued in that office until the election of Andrew .Jackson as President, in 1829. In 1831 Clay was elected United Slates Senator from Kentucky, and served several terms in that office. He died on the 29th of June, 1852, at the age of 75 years.
17th. Benjamin Franklin, born in Boston, 6th .January, 1706, died on the 17th of April, 1790. The name of Franklin has long been a household word in America. He was her moralist, statesman, and philosopher, and he deserves highest honor from all mankind for his services to the cause of national liberty, and the independence of nations.
19th. The battle of Lexington was fought April 19th, 1775, and claims distinction as being the first fought between Great Britain and the United States of America in the war of independence. The British troops, under Major Pitcairn, sent from Boston to destroy the American stores at Lexington were attacked by the Americans, and 273 of them were killed and wounded.
On the eighth anniversary of the battle of Lexington, on the 19th day of April, in the year 1782, a cessation of hostilities was proclaimed in the American army, and the first war between the United States and the mother country brought to a close.
30tb. On the 30th day of April, 1789, George Washington was Sworn into office as the first President,and John Adams as the first Vice President of the United states of
21st. In the old almanacks this day is dedicated to St. Anselm, who was born at Aoust, in Piedmont, and created Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093, by William Rufus. He died on this day, 1109, aged Seventy-six. In 1142, Peter Abelard, a learned doctor in the Church, died, aged sixty-three. He was the celebrated lover of the no less celebrated Heloise.
23rd. St. George's-day. St. George is the patron saint of England, and is said to have been born in Cappadocia, of Christian parents Every has read the fabulous history of St. George rescuing the King of Beyrout's daughter from a desperate dragon, and all that befel him m his sojourn in Palestine, He is represented on our old sovereigns and five-shilling pieces in the act of slaying the dragon. Historians agree that he was beheaded on this day, 290, after being drawn through the city of Lydda, for having openly avowed himself as the champion of the Christians. St. George was the ancient word of attack of England, as St. Andrew was that of Scotland, and the figure of this saint is attached to the Order of the Garter, which was instituted by Edward 111., after the battle of Calais, in the year 1349.
25th. This day is dedicated to St. Mark, whose Gospel was written in the year 63. The order of Knights at Venice, taking his name, was instituted in 737; their motto was "Pax tibi, Maree, evangelista meus." There were many peculiar customs kept upon this day, but they have now become obsolete. Among others was that of blessing the corn, and also watching in the church-porch on the eve of St. Mark, to see the ghosts of those who should die in the following year.
Four illustrious individuals were born in this month, viz., Handel, Harvey, Shakspeare, and Cromwell.
George Frederick Handel was one of the most distinguished musicians that ever lived. He composed "Israel in Egypt," "The Messiah," "Judas Maccabams," and several other oratorios, which have immortalized his name. He was born at Halle, in Saxony, and died on the 13th of April, 1759, in the seventy-fifth year of his age.
William Harvey was the celebrated discoverer of the circulation of the blood, and physician to James I. and Charles I. He was born at Folkestone, on the 1st of April, 1578, and died in 1658.
Of William SHakspeare, the immortal dramatist, it is unnecessary to say more than that he was born in 1564, and the entry of his baptism in the register of the parish church of Stratford-upon-Avon is upon the 26th of April, l564 ; and the date of burial is registered as the 25th of April, 1616.
" Each change of many-coloured life he drew - Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new."
Oliver Cromwell, as a soldier and a statesman, was one of the most extraordinary characters in English history. He was born at Huntingdon, on the 25th of April, 1599, and died at Whitehall, 3rd September, 1658.