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general, and general governor of Ireland, or the lord deputy or deputies, or lords justices, or other chief governor or governors for the time being, were to officiate as deputy grand-masters." By the statutes of the order the badge is to be of gold, surmounted with a wreath of shamrock, in this instance understood to mean trefoil
, surrounding a golden circlet, on which is the motto of the brotherhood in letters of the same-Quis separabit ?—with the date of their foundation, encircling Saint Patrick's cross gules, surmounted with a trefoil vert, each leaf charged with an imperial crown or, upon a field argent. This badge, encircled with rays in form of a silver star of eight points, four greater and four lesser, is directed to be worn on the left side of the outer garment.
Lady-Day, or the Day of Annunciation, is only an abridgment of Our Lady's-Day, and is peculiarly dedicated to the Virgin Mary, from its having been the season when the angel announced to her that she should bring forth a Son. Its near approach to the vernal equinox, one of the natural divisions of the year, was, it
be supposed, the reason of its being called Quarter-Day, since it marks, though not quite correctly, the first of the four quarters. Beyond this, the month has no day requiring a particular notice.
So familiar is Lady-Day that there is a story told in Hone's Every Day Book, of a gentleman in the country writing to a lady of rank in London, who directed his letter to “ The Twenty-Fifth of March, 6, Foley Place, London,” and that it was duly delivered to Lady Day at the above address.
o Spring ! of hope, and love, and youth, and gladness,
Wind-winged emblem! brightest, best, and fairest !
The tears that fade in sunny smiles thou sharest ?
Thy mother's dying smile, tender and sweet;
Fresh flowers, and beams like flowers, with gentle feet,
Now daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver white,
Do paint the meadows with delight:
The distinguishing characteristic of the weather during this month is fickleness; the most lovely sunshiny days are succeeded by others, which by the force of contrast often seem the most unpleasant of any in the year; the bright green of the fresh leaves, and the delightful view of newly opened flowers, are too frequently obscured by clouds, and chilled by rough wintry blasts.
The most perfect image of spring, however, is exbibited in this month; no production is yet come to maturity, and the vicissitudes of warm gleams and gentle showers have the most powerful effect in hastening that universal springing of the vegetable tribes, whence the season der its appellation.
April generally begins with raw unpleasant weather, the influence of the equinoctial storms in some degree still