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“ who are much addicted to superstition, will neither borrow nor lend on any of these days. If any one should propose to borrow of them, they would consider it as an evidence that the person wished to employ the article borrowed for the purposes of witchcraft against the lenders. Some of the vulgar imagine that these days received their de ion from the conduct of the Israelites in borrowing the property of the Egyptians. This extravagant idea must have originated partly from the name, and partly from the circumstances of these days nearly corresponding to the time when the Israelites left Egypt, which was on the fourteenth day of the month Abib, or Nisan, including part of our March and April. I know not whether our western magi suppose that the inclemency of the Borroring Days has any relation to the storm which proved so fatal to the Egyptians."

In the Highlands the same idea is commonly received ; with this difference, that the days are considerably antedated, as the loan is also reversed. Mrs. Grant, in her Superstitions of the Highlanders, ii. 217, says: “The Favilteach, or three first days af February, serve many poetical purposes in the Highlands. They are said to have been borrowed for some purpose by February from January, who was bribed by February with three young sheep. These three days, by Highland reckoning, occur between the 11th and 15th of February; and it is ac counted a most favorable prognostic for the ensuing year, that they should be as stormy as possible. If they should be fair, then there is no more good weather to be expected through the spring. Hence the Favilteach is used to signify

ultimatum of bad weather.”

the very


BOURNE (chap. xviii.), speaking of that superstitious custom among the heathens of observing one day as good, and another as bad, observes : “that among these were lucky and unlucky days; some were Dies atri, and some Dies albi. The Atr were pointed out in their calendar with a black character, the Albi with a white; the former to denote it a day of bad

success, the latter a day of good. Thus have the monks, in the dark and unlearned ages of Popery, copy'd after the heathens, and dream'd themselves into the like superstitions, esteeming one day more successful than another.' He tells us, also, that St. Austin, upon the passage of St. Paul to the Galatians against observing days, and months, and times, and years, explains it to have this meaning: “The persons the Apostle blames are those who say, I will not set forward on my journey, because it is the next day after such a time, or because the moon is so; or I'll set forward that I may have luck, because such is just now the position of the stars. I will not traffick this month, because such a star presides, or I will because it does. I shall plant no vines this year, because it is Leap-year,” &c. Barnabe Googe thus translates the remarks of Naogeorgus on this subject :

“ And first, betwixt the dayes they make no little difference,

For all be not of vertue like, nor like preheminence.
But some of them Egyptian are, and full of jeopardee,
And some againe, beside the rest, both good and luckie bee.
Like diffrence of the nights they make, as if the Almightie King,
That made them all, not gracious were to them in every thing.'

Popish Kingdome, fol. 44. Thomas Lodge, in his Incarnate Devils, 1596, p. 12, glances as follows at the superstitious observer of lucky and unlucky times: “He will not eat his dinner before he hath lookt in his almanacke.” Mason, in the Anatomie of Sorcerie, 1612, p. 85, enumerates among the superstitious of that age, “Regarders of times, as they are which will have one time more lucky than another : to be borne at one hower more unfortunate than at another: to take a journey or any other enterprize in hand, to be more dangerous or prosperous at one time than at another: as likewise, if such a festivall day fall upon such a day of the weeke, or such like, we shall have such a yeare following: and many other such like vaine speculations, set downe by our astrologians, having neither footing in God's word, nor yet natural reason to support them; but being grounded onely upon the superstitious imagination of man's braine."

In the Tryall of a Man's Own Selfe, by Thomas Newton, 1602, p. 44, he inquires, under “Sinnes Externall and Outward” against the First Commandment, "whether, for the procuring of any thing either good or bad, thou hast used

any unlawfull meanes, or superstitious and damnable helps. Of which sort bee the observation and choise of Dayes, of planetarie houres, of motions and courses of starres, mumbling of prophane praiers, consisting of words both strange and senselesse, adjurations, sacrifices, consecrations, and hallowings of divers thinges, rytes and ceremonies unknowne to the Church of God, toyish characters and figures, demanding of questions and aunsweares of the dead, dealing with damned spirits, or with any instruments of phanaticall divination, as basons, rings, cristalls, glasses, roddes, prickes, numbers, dreames, lots, fortune-tellings, oracles, soothsayings, horoscoping, or marking the houres of nativities, witchcraftes, enchauntments, and all such superstitious trumperie :—the enclosing or binding of spirits to certaine instruments, and such like devises of Sathan the devill.” Under the same head, p. 50, he asks : “Whether the apothecarie have superstitiously observed or fondly stayed for CHOISE DAYES or houres, or any other ceremonious rites, in gathering his herbs and other simples for the making of drougs and receipts."

The following curious passage on this subject is taken from Melton's Astrologaster, p. 56 et seq. : “Those observers of time are to be laught at that will not goe out of their house before they have had counsell of their Almanacke, and will rather have the house fall on their heads than stirre, if they note some natural effect about the motion of the aire, which they suppose will varie the luckie blasts of the starres, that will not marry, or traflique or doe the like, but under some constellation. These, sure, are no Christians : because faith

1 At the end of an old MS. mentioned in the Duke de la Valiere's Catalogue, i. 44 (Add.), there is a part of a Calendar in which the follow. ing unlucky days are noticed : “ Januar, iii. Non. [10th] Dies ater et nefastus. viii. Id. [25th] Dies ater et nefastus. Mar. vi. Non. [10th] non est bonum nugere (q. nubere ?] Jan. iii. Kal. [2nd] Dies ater.”

* Sed et circa dies injecta est animis religio. Inde dies nefasti, qui 'Anoopades Græcis, quibus iter, aut aliquid alicujus momenti indipisci, periculosum existiinatur.”—“ De quibus diebus faustis aut infaustis, multa, Hesiodus nuépais, et Virgilius primo Georgicon. Quan scrupulosam su. perstitionem, sese illigantem delira formidine, damnat Apostolus ad Galatas. 4. Observatis dies, et menses, et tempora, et annos : metuo ne incassum circa vos me fatigaverim.” Pet. Molinæi Vates, p. 155.

full men ought not to doubt that the Divine Providence from any part of the world, or from any time whatsoever, is absent. Therefore we should not impute any secular business to the power of the starres, but to know that all things are disposed by the arbitrement of the King of Kings. The Christian faith is violated when, so like a pagan and apostate, any man doth observe those days which are called Ægyptiaci, or the calends of Januarie, or any moneth, or day, or time, or yeere, eyther to travell, marry, or doe anything in."

In the Book of Knowledge, p. 19, I find the following " Account of the perillous dayes of every month :-In the change of every moon be two dayes, in the which what thing soever is begun, late or never, it shall come to no good end, and the dayes be full periHous for many things. In January, when the moon is three or four days old. In February, 5 or 7. In March, 6 or 7. In April, 5 or 8. May, 8 or 9. June, 5 or 15. July, 3 or 13. August, 8 or 13. September, 8 or 13. October 5 or 12. November, 5 or 9. In December, 3 or 13. Astronomers say that six dayes of the year are perillous of death; and therefore they forbid men to let blood on them, or take any drink; that is to say, January the 3d, July the 1st, October the 2d, the last of April, August the 1st, the last day going out of December. These six dayes with great diligence ought to be kept, but namely the latter three, for all the veins are then full. For then, whether man or beast be knit in them, within seven days, or certainly within fourteen days, he shall die. And if they take any drinks within fifteene dayes, they shall die; and if they eat any goose in these three dayes, within forty days they shall die ; and, if any child be born in these three latter dayes, they shall die a wicked death. Astronomers and astrologers say, that in the beginning of March, the seventh night, or fourteenth day, let thee bloud of the rigbt arm; and in the beginning of April, the eleventh day, of the left arm; and in the end of May, third or fifth day, on whether arm thou wilt; and thus, of all that year, thou shalt orderly be kept from the fever, the falling gout, the sister gout, and losse of thy sight.”

Grose tells us that many persons have certain days of the week and month on which they are particularly fortunate, and others in which they are as generally unlucky. These days are different to different persons. Aubrey has given several instances of both in divers persons. Some days, however, are commonly deemed unlucky: among others, Friday labours under that opprobrium; and it is pretty generally held that no new work or enterprise should commence on that day. Likewise, respecting the weather there is this proverb :

“ Friday's moon, Come when it will, it comes too soon." A respectable merchant of the city of London informed me that no person there will begin any business, i. e. open bis shop for the first time, on a Friday.

Thursday was noted as a fatal day to King Henry VIII. and his posterity. See Stowe's Annals, ed., 631, p. 812.

In Preceptes, &c., left by William Lord Burghley to his Sonne, 1636, p. 36, we read : " Though I think no day amisse to undertake any good enterprize or businesse in hande, yet have I observed some, and no meane clerks, very cautionarie to forbeare these three Mundayes in the yeare, which I leave to thine owne consideration, either to use or refuse, viz. 1. The first Munday in April, which day Caine was born, and his brother Abel slaine. 2. The second Munday in August, which day Sodome and Gomorrah were destroyed. 3. The last Munday in December, which day Judas was born, that betrayed our Saviour Christ.” Bishop Hall, in his Characters of Virtues and Vices, speaking of the superstitious man, observes : “ If his journey began unawares on the dismal day, he feares a mischiefe."

In the Calendar prefixed to Grafton's Manuel, or Abridgment of his Chronicle, 1565, the unlucky days, according to the opinion of the astronomers, are noted, which I have extracted as follows : “ January 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 15, 17, 29, very unlucky. February 26, 27, 28, unlucky; 8, 10, 17, very unlucky. March 16, 17, 20, very unlucky. April 7, 8, 10, 20, unlucky; 16, 21, very unlucky. May 3, 6, unlucky; 7, 15, 20, very unlucky. June 10, 22, unlucky; 4, 8, very unlucky. July 15, 21, very unlucky. August 1, 29, 30, unlucky; 19, 20, very unlucky. September 2, 4, 21, 23, unlucky; 6, 7, very unlucky. October 4, 16, 24, unlucky; 6, very unlucky. November 5, 6, 29, 30, unlucky; 15, 20, very unlucky. December 15, 22, unlucky; 6, 7, 9, very unlucky.” In the

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