Mirror of Literature, 9 (1827), 372–75.
Native Reminiscences. By a Young American. Hans Hosman
Reading, Time, Astronomy, Astrology, Meteorology, Prognostication
The narrator describes Hans Hosman, a 'venerable Dutchman' he knew some years before 'in the neighbourhood of Franklin, in Mississippi' (372). Hosman had only three books: a guide to New York, a Dutch Bible, and an almanac dated 1797. The last of these was one of his 'most especial treasures, and as the holy book ministered to the comfort of his soul, he resorted to this very frequently to obtain information in many matters relating to his body.' He frequently used it 'to learn the day of the month, the changes of the moon, the rising and setting of the sun, &c.' but 'it was more especially his oracle on the subject of the weather, when it was his constant practice to consult it, before undertaking any affair of great importance'. Often the planets 'most capriciously flew into the face of his oracle, manifestly setting at defiance its prognostications, but this never once staggered his faith in its complete authenticity. He used to say that their strange conduct must be attributed to the new-fangled notions existing in the world of latter days'. (373)
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