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" Idem. “ Deliras insulse ; salem sapientia servat: Omen ab ingenio desi piente malum."
« Idem. “Perde animam temulente, cades; sic
augu. ror Omen; Non est in toto corpore mica Salis."
The same author, in his “ Tour in Wales," tells us that “ A tune called 'Gosteg yr Halen, or the Prelude of the Salt,' was always played whenever the Salt-cellar was placed before King Arthur's Knights at bis Round Table."
(3) Grose says, on this subject, “ To scatter Salt, by overturning the vessel in which it is contained, is very unlucky, and portends quarrelling with a friend or fracture of a bone, sprain, or other bodily misfortune. Indeed may
some measure be averted by throwing a small quantity of it over one's head. It is also unlucky to help another person to Salt. To whom the ill-luck is to happen does not seem to be settled."
Gaule, in his “ Mag-astromancers posed and puzzel'd,” p. 181, reckons among vain observations and superstitious ominations thereupon, “the Spilling of the Wine, the Overturning of the Salt." He afterwards, in p. 320, tells us: “I have read it in an orthodox divine, that he knew a young gentleman who, by chance, spilling the Salt of the table, some that sate with him said merrily to him that it was an ill omen, and wish't him take heed to himselfe that itay : of which the young man was so superstitiously credulous, that it would not go out of his mind; and going abroad that day, got a wound, of which he died not long
In Melton's “ Astrologaster," p. 45, this occurs in a “Catalogue of many Saperstitious Ceremonies,” No. 26, “ That it is ill-lucke to have the Salt-sellar fall towards you."
Gayton, in his “ Art of Longevity,” 4to. 1659, p. 90, says: “I have two friends of either sex, which do
Eat little Salt, or nove, yet are friends too, Of both which persons I can truly tell, They are of patience most invincible, Whom out of temper no mischance at all Can putấno, if towards them the Salt should
In the “ British Apollo," fol. Lond. 1708, vol. i. No. 21, it is said : “ Wee'l tell you the reason
Why Spilling of Salt
Is esteem'd such a fault :
So serv'd it to guests iu decorum;
Let the Salt-cellar tumble before them." In “ The Rules of Civility," 12mo. Lond. 1685 (transl. from the French), p. 134, we read: "Some are so exact, they think it uncivil to help any body that sits by them either with Sult or with brains; but in my judgment that is but a ridiculous scruple, and, if your neighbour desires you to furnish bim, you must either take out some with your knife, and lay it upon his plate, or, if they be more than one, present them with the Salt, that they may furnish themselves."
(*). “ Salt was equally used in the sacrifices both by Jews and Pagans; but the use of Salt in baptism was taken from the Gentile idolatry, and not from the Jewish sacrifices. Salt, as an emblem of preservation, was ordered by the law of Moses to be strewed on all flesh that was offered in sacrifice. But among the Pagans it was not only made use of as an adjunct, or necessary concomitant of the sacrifice, but was offered itself as a propitiation. Thus in the Ferialia, or Offerings to the Diis Manibus, when no animal was slain : “Parva petunt Manes, Pietas pro divite grata
Munere ; non avidos Styx habet una Deos Tegula porrectis satis est velata coronis,
Et parcæ fruges, parvaque mica Salis." “ The Manes' rights expenses small supply, The richest sacrifice is piety. With vernal garlands a small Tile exalt, A little flour and little grain of Salt."
That the flour and Salt were both designed as propitiatory offerings to redeem them from the vengeance of the Stygian or infernal Gods, may be proved from a like custom in the Lemuria, another festival to the same Diis
Manibus, where beans are flung instead of the of Killearn, county of Stirling, we read : “Suflour and salt; and when flung the person perstition yet continues to operate so strongly says,
on some people, that they put a small quan“His, inquit, redimo, meque, meosque fabis.”
tity of Salt into the first milk of a cow, after -Fast. lib. v.
calving, that is given any person to drink.
This is done with a view to prevent skaith “ And with these beans I me and mine re
(harm) if it should happen that the person is deem."
not canny.' “It is plain, therefore, that the Salt in the Camden, in his "Ancient and Modern Manformer ceremony was offered as a redemption, ners of the Irish,” says: “ In the town when which property the Papists impiously ascribe any enter upon a public office, women in the to it still; and the parva mica, a little grain, streets, and girls from the windows, sprinkle is the very thing put into the child's mouth them and their attendants with wheat aud Salt. at present.”—Seward's Conformity between And before the seed is put into the ground, Popery and Paganism, p. 53.
the mistress of the family sends Salt into the Ibid. p. 50, we read, “ Then he, the priest, field." Gough's Camden, fol. 1789, vol. exorcises and expels the impure spirits from iii. p. 659. See also “Memorable Things the Salt, which stands by him in a little silver noted in the Description of the World,” p.
and, putting a bit of it into the mouth of 112. the person to be baptized, he says, 'Receive Willsford, in his “Nature's Secrets," p. 139, the Salt of wisdom, and may it be a propi
tells us :
“ Salt extracted out of the earth, tiation to thee for eternal life.'
water, or any mineral, hath these properties to By the following extract from Dekker's foreshew the weather; for, if well kept, in “ Honest Whore,” 4to. Lond. 1635, the taking fair weather it will be dry, and apt to dissolve of Bread and Salt seems to have been used as against wet into its proper element; on boards a form of an oath or strong asseveration : that it hath lain upon, and got into the pores
of the wood, it will be dry in fair and serene "Scena 13.
weather, but when the air inclines to wet it “ He tooke Bread and Salt by this light, that
will dissolve; and that you shall see by the he would
board venting his brackish tears; and saltNever open his lips.” (It is also said)
sellers will have a dew hang upon them; and “He damned himself to hel, if he speak on't
those made of mettal look dim against rainy agein.”
Park, in his “ Travels in the Interior of Of the oath of Bread and Salt, see “ Black Africa,'' tells us: “ It would appear strange wood's Edinburgh Magazine," vol. i. p. 236. to an European to see a child suck a piece of
Waldron, in his “ Description of the Isle of rock Salt as if it were sugar: this is frequent Man” (Works, fol. p. 187), says: “No person in Africa ; but the poorer sort of inhabitants will go out on any material affair without
are so rarely indulged with this precious artitaking some Salt in their pockets, much less cle, that to say, ' A man eats Salt with his remove from one house to another, marry, put victuals,' is to say he is a rich man.” out a child, or take one to nurse, without Salt In the order for the house at Denton, by being mutually interchanged ; nay, tho’a poor Tho. Lord Fairfax, among Croft's “Excerpta creature be almost famished in the streets, he Antiqua," p. 32, I find, " For the chamber let will not accept any food you will give him, the best fashioned and apparell'd servants unless you join Salt to the rest of your bene attend above the Salt, the rest below.” volence.” The reason assigned by the natives (5) "The Lydians, Persians, and Thracians, for this is too ridiculous to be transcribed, i.e. esteeme not soothsaying by birds, but by powring the account given by a pilgrim of the disso. of Wine upou the ground, upon their cloathes, lution of an enchanted palace on the island, with certaine superstitious praiers to their occasioned by Salt spilt on the ground. gods that their warres should have good suc
In the “Statistical Account of Scotland," cesse.”—Lloyd's Stratagems of Jerusalem, vol. xvi. (8vo. Edinb. 1795), p. 121, parish 4to. 1602, Signat. P.P.
SHOE OM ENS.
The casual putting the left Shoe on the right foot, or the right on the left, was thought anciently to be the forerunner of some unlucky accident. Scot, in his “ Discovery of Witch. craft," tells us: “ He that receiveth a mischance will consider whether he put not on his shirt the wrong side outwards, or his left Shoe on his right foot.”
Thus Butler, in his “ Hudibras:"
Put on his left Shoe 'fore his right,
By soldiers mutin'yng for pay."
Similar to this, says Grose, is putting on one stocking with the wrong side outward, without design ; though changing it alters the luck.
A great deal of learning might be adduced on the subject of Shoe Superstitions.(?) For the ancient religious use of the Shoe, see Stuckius's “ Convivial Antiquities,” p. 228.
It is accounted lucky by the vulgar to throw an old Shoe after a person when they wish him to succeed in what he is going about. There was an old ceremony in Ireland of electing a person to any office by throwing an old Shoe over his head.(3)
Shenstone, the pastoral poet, somewhere in his works asks the following question : “ May not the custom of scraping when we bow be derived from the ancient custom of throwing the Shoes backwards off the feet ?" and in all probability it may be answered in the affirmative.
In Gayton's “ Festivous Notes upon Don Quixote,” p. 104, is the following passage, which will be thought much to our purpose : “An incantation upon the horse, for want of nailing his old Shoes at the door of his house when he came forth; or because, nor the old woman, nor the barber, nor his niece, nor the curate, designed him the security of an old Shooe after him.”(*)
NOTES TO SHOE OMENS,
() The following is in St. Foix, “ Essais cum Urbem aliquem obsiderent, calceum in sur Paris," tom. v. p. 145:“ Auguste, cet Em eam projicerent, in signum pertinacis propositi pereur qui gouverva avec tant de sagesse, & non solvendæ Obsidionis, priusquam Urbs sit dont le regne fut si florissant, restoit immobile redacta in potestatem, omnino non liquet. De & consterné lorsqu'il lui arrivoit par mégarde Chirotheca quoque non memini me quicquam de mettre le Soulier droit au pied gauche, et legisse.” le Soulier gauche au pied droit.”
Ibid. lib. i. p. 179, I read the following: (?) The following curious passage occurs “ Balduinus observat veteres, cum calceain Bynæus on the Shoes of the Hebrews, lib. menta pedibus inducerent, eaque pressius ad. ii. : “Solea sive Calceo aliquem cædere olim stringerent, si quando corrigiam contingeret contemptus atque contumeliæ rem fuisse ha effringi, malum Omen credidisse, adeo ut bitam quod varia Scriptorum veterum loca suscepta negotia desererent, uti disertè testatur ostendunt.” “Over Edom will I cast out my Cicero in Divinatione, ubi sic ait: Quæ si Shoe,” p. 353. As does the subsequent, p. suscipiamus, pedis offensio nobis et abruptio 358: “Apud Arabes calceum sibi detractum corrigiæ et sternutamenta erunt observanda," in alium jacere, servandæ fidei signum et &c., atque illud Omen veteres portendere pignus esse certissimum." So is the following credidisse, rem susceptam haud feliciter proto our purpose, ibid. p. 360 : “An Mos iste
gressuram aut sinistro aliquo casu impedienobtinuerit apud Hebræos veteres, ut Reges, dam."
Leo Modena, speaking of the customs of the Shoe or Shoes after any one going on an impresent Jews, tells us that “Some of them ob- portant business is by the vulgar deemed serve, in dressing themselves in the morning, lucky. See instances of this in Reed's Old to put on the right stocking and right Shoe Plays, vol. xii. p. 434. first, without tying it; then afterward to put Ő So in the “Workes of John Heywoode, on the left, and so to return to the right; that newlie imprinted," &c., 4to. Lond. 1598, signat. so they may begin and end with the right C, I read : side, which they account to most fortunate.” Transl. by Chilmead, 8vo. Lond. “And home agayne bitherward quicke as a 1650, p. 17.
bee, Gaule, in his “Mag-astromancers posed Now, for good lucke, cast an olde Shooe after and puzzel'd," p. 181, does not leave out, among vain observations and superstitious I find the following in “The Raven's Alominations thereupon, the "putting on the manacke,” b. l. (no date): “But at his shuthose uneven, or a crosse, and the Shooe
ting in of shop could have bene content to wrong foot ;" “the band standing awry;" have had all his neighbours have throwne his “the going abroad without the girdle on;" and olde Shooes after him when hee went home, in “the bursting of the Shoe-luchet.”
signe of good lucke." In Pet. Molinæi“Vates," p. 218, we read : In Ben Jonson's masque of “ 'The Gypsies," “Si corrigia Calcei fracta est-ominosum est." 4to. Lond. 1610, p. 64, we find this supersti
James Mason, Master of Artes, in “ The tion mentioned : Anatomie of Sorcerie,” 4to. Lond. 1612, p. 90, speaking of “vaine and frivolous devices,
3 Gypsie. “ Hurle after an old Shoe, of which sort we have an infinite number also
I'le be merry what ere I doe,” &c. used amongst us,” enumerates “foredeeming See Beaumont and Fletcher's “Honest of evill lucke, by pulling on the Shooe awry.' Man's Fortune,” p. 3979. See also “ The
(3) See the “Idol of the Clownes," p. 19. In Wild Goose Chace," p. 1648: Sir John Sinclair's “Statistical Account of Scotland,” vol. x. 8vo. Edinb. 1794, p. 543, parish In the “Statistical Account of Scotland," of Campbelton, in Argyleshire, the following vol. xiv. p. 541, parish of Forglen, in the curious anecdote occurs : “We read of a king county of Banff, we read: “The superstition of the Isle of Man sending his Shoes to his of former times is now much worn out. Majesty of Dublin, requiring him to carry There remains, however, still a little. There them before his people on a high festival, or are happy and unhappy feet. Thus, they expect his vengeance.” This good Dublinian wish bridegrooms and brides a happy foot ; king discovers a spirit of humanity and wis- and to prevent any bad effect, they .salute dom rarely found in better times. His sub- those they meet on the road with a kiss. It jects urged him not to submit to the indignity is hard, however, if any misfortune happens of bearing the Manksman's shoes. “had when you are passing, that you should be rather,'' said he, “not only bear but eat them, blamed, when neither you nor your feet ever than that one province of Ireland should bear thought of the matter. The tongue too must the desolation of war.
be guarded, even when it commends : it had Grose, citing Ben Jonson saying “Would more need, one would think, when it discomI had Kemp's shoes to throw after you," ob- mends. Thus, to prevent what is called foreserves, perhaps Kemp was a man remarkable speaking, they say of a person, God save for his good luck or fortune: throwing an old them : of a beast, Luck sair it."
LOOKING-GLASS O MENS.
To break a Looking-Glass is accounted a tells us that “ Breaking a Looking-Glass bevery unlucky accident. Should it be a va tokens a mortality in the family, commonly luable one this is literally true, which is not the master." always the case in similar superstitions. Mir In the “Mémoires de Constant, premier rors were formerly used by magicians in their Valet de Chambre de l'Empereur, sur la Vie superstitious and diabolical operations; (') privée de Napoleon," &c., Paris, 1830, and there was an ancient kind of divination
Buonaparte's superstition respecting the Lookby the Looking-Glass : (?) hence, it should ing-Glass is particularly mentioned : “Durseem, has been derived the present. popular ing one of his campaigns in Italy he broke notion.
the Glass over Josephine's portrait. He never Wben a Looking-Glass is broken, it is an rested till the return of the courier he forthomen that the party to whom it belongs will with despatched to assure himself of her safety, lose his best friend. See the Greek Scholia 80 strong was the impression of her death upon on the“ Nubes” of Aristophanes, p. 169. Grose his mind."
NOTES TO LOOKING-GLASS OMENS.
() See p. 31.
“Some magicians (being to see therein that which they require, as the curious to find out by the help of a Looking same Bodin doth also make mention." Molle's Glasse, or a glasse viall full of water, a thiefe “ Living Librarie,”' &c., fol. 1621, p. 2. that lies hidden) make choyce of young In a list of superstitious practices preserved maides, or boyes unpolluted, to discerne in “ The Life and Character of Harvey the therein those images or sights which a person famous Conjurer of Dublin," 8vo. Dublin, defiled cannot see. Bodin, in the third book 1728, p. 58, with “ Fortune-telling, dreams, of his Dæmonomachia, chap. 3, reporteth visions, palmestry, physiognomy, omens, that in his time there was at Thoulouse a casting nativities, casting urine, drawing certain Portugais, who shewed within a boy's images," there occur also “ Mirroirs.” naile things that were bidden. And he add (ÝThe following occurs in Delrio,“ Diseth that God had expressely forbidden that quisit. Magic.” lib. iv. chap. 2, quæst. 7, none should worship the stone of imagination. sect. 3, p. 594 : “Genus Divinationis CaHis opinion is that this stone of imagination toptromanticum : quo Augures in splendenti or adoration (for so expoundeth he the first Cuspide, velut in Crystallo vel Ungue, verse of the 26th chapter of Leviticus, where futura inspiciebant.” So, also, ibid. p. 576 : he speaketh of the idoll, the graven image, Κατοπτρομαντεια, quae rerum quesitarum and the painted stone) was smooth and cleare figuras in Speculis exhibet politis : in usu as a Looking-Glasse, wherein they saw cer fuit D. Juliano Imper. (Spartianus in Jutaine images or sights, of which they enquired liano.)” Consult also Pausanias, Cælius Rhoafter the things hidden. In our time con doginus, and Potter's “ Greek Antiquities,” jurers use christall, calling the divination vol. i. p. 350, Potter says: “When divinachrystallomantia, or onychomantia, in the tion by water was performed with a Lookingwhich, after they have rubbed one of the Glass it was called Catoptromancy: somenayles of their fingers, or a piece of chrystall, times they dipped a Looking-Glass into the they utter I know not what words, and they water, when they desired to know what would call a boy that is pure and no way corrupted, become of a sick person : for as he looked