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well or ill in the glass, accordingly they pre Pliny concludes as a sign of tem pests apsumed of his future condition. Sometimes, proaching. also, Glasses were used, and the images of “Stones against rain will have a dew hang what should happen, without water. Mr. upon them; but the sweating of stones is Douce's manuscript notes add that “wash from several causes, and, sometimes, are signs ing hands in the same water is said to forebode of much drought. Glasses of all sorts will a quarrel.”

have a dew upon them in inoist weather : Willsford, in his “ Nature's Secrets,” p. Glasse windows will also shew a frost, by 138, tells us : “ Mettals in general, against turning the air that touches them into water, much wet or rainy weather, will seem to have and then congealing of it.” a dew hang upon them, and be much apter to In the “ TEXNOTAMIA, or Marriage of the sully or foul any thing that is rubbed with Arts,” by Barton Holiday, 4to. Lond. 1630, the mettal; as you may see in pewter dishes sign. M 4 b. is the following: “I have often against rain, as if they did sweat, leaving a heard them say 'tis ill luck to see one's face smutch upon the table cloaths : with this in a Glasse by candle-light.



In Shakspeare's “Much Ado about No Ear, the itching of the Eye, the glowing of the thing," Beatrice


“ What fire is in mine Cheek, the bleeding of the Nose, the stamEars!" which Warburton explains as al mering in the beginning of a speech, the luding to a proverbial saying of the common being over-merry on a sudden, and to be people, that their Ears burn when others are given to sighing, and to know no cause why." talking of them. On which Reed observes Dr. Nathaniel Home, in his “ Dæmonolothat the opinion from whence this proverbial gie, or the Character of the crying Evils of the saying is derived is of great antiquity, being present Times,” 8vo. Lond. 1650, p. 61, tells thus mentioned by Pliny: “Moreover is not us, “ If their Eares tingle, they say it is a signe this an opinion generally received, that when they have some enemies abroad, that doe or our Ears do glow and tingle some there be that are about to speake evill of them : so, if their in our absence doe talke of us?"- Philemon right Eye itchelh, then it betokens joyfull Holland's Translation, b. xxviii. p. 297 ; laughter: and so, from the itching of the and Browne's “ Vulgar Errors.” Sir Thomas Nose and Elbow, and severall affectings of Browne says: “ When our Cheek burns, or severall parts, they make severall predictions Ear tingles, we usually say somebody is too silly to be mentioned, though regarded by talking of us, a conceit of great antiquity, them." and ranked among superstitious opinions by In the third Idyllium of Theocritus, the Pliny. He supposes it to have proceeded itching of the right Eye occurs as a lucky from the notion of a signifying genius, or universal Mercury, that conducted sounds to Αλλεται οφθαλμος μεν ο δεξιος αρα γ' ιδησω their distant subjects, and taught to hear by Αυταν; touch.”(')

thus translated by Creech, 1. 37: Gaule, in his “ Mag-astromancers posed My right Eye itches now, and shall I see and puzzel’d,” p. 181, has not omitted, in his My love ?'' (*) list of “ Vain Observations and Superstitious Mr. Douce's' MS. notes preserve the folOminations thereupon,” the tingling of the lowing superstition on mensuring the Neck,


extracted from “ Le Voyageur à Paris,” tom. iii. p. 223: “Les anciennes nourrices, quand l'usage etoit de leur laisser les filles jusq'à ce qu'on les donnât a un mari, persuadoient à ces credules allolescentes que la grosseur du Cou etoit de moyen d'apprecier leur continence; et pour cela elles le mésuroient chaque mat Retenue par une telle epreuve, la fille sage dût tirer vanité de la mesure; de là l'usage des colliers."

In Petri Molinæi “ Vates," p. 218, we read : “ Si cui riget Collum, aut Cervicis vertebræ sunt obtortæ, præsignificatio est futuri sus. pendii." (8)

To rise on the right Side is accounted

lucky ; see Beaumont and Fletcher's “ Wo-
men Pleased," at the end of act i. So, in the
old play of “ What you will:" “ You rise on
your right side to-day, marry." Marston's
Works, 8vo. 1633, signat. R. b. And again,
in “ The Dumb Knight," by Lewis Machin,
4to. 1633, act iv. sc. 1, Alphonso says :
“Sure I said my prayers, ris’d on my right

Wash'a 'hands and eyes, put on my girdle
Sure I met no splea-footed baker,
No hare did cross me, nor no bearded

Nor other ominous sign."




6 Right

() Pliny's words are: « Absentes tinnitu Non moror hoc, sed inoffensum tamen arceo Aurium præsentire sermones de se receptum vulgus :

Cur? scio, me famâ nolle loquente In Petri Molinæi “ Vates," p. 218, we

loqui." read : “Si cui Aures tinniunt, indicium est alibi de eo sermones fieri."

The following is in Herrick's "Hesperides," I find the following on this in Delrio,

p. 391 : “Disquisit.Magic." p.473: “Quidam sonitum

« On himselfe. spontaneum auris dextræ vel sinistræ observant, ut si hæc tintinet, inimicum, si illa,

“One Eare tingles; some there be amicum, nostri putent memoriam tum reco

That are snarling now at me; lere; de quo Aristænetus in Epist. amatoria :

Be they those that Homer bit, ουκ βομβεισοι τα ωτα, σoυμεταδ ακροων εμεμνημην,

I will give them thanks for it.” nonne auris tibi resonabat quando tui lachry Mr. Douce's MS. notes say: mans recordabar : et alicui huc pertinere vi

Lug, left Lug, whilk Lug lows ?" If the left deatur illud Lesbyæ Vatis a Veronensi con Ear, they talk_harm; if the right, good. versum,

Scottish. J. M. D. “Sonitus suopte tintinant aures.

Werenfels, in his “ Dissertation «Quod illa dixerat βομβευς ευδ' ακοα εμοι : et perstition," p. 6, speaking of a superstitious apertius incertus quidam, sed antiquus, (inter man, says: “When his right Ear tingles, he Catalect. Virg.)

will be chearful; but, if his left, he will be “ Garrula quid totis resonas mihi noctibus

(*) In Molinæi “ Vates," we read, “Si Auris Nescio quem dicis nunc meminisse mei." | palpebra exiliit, ominosum est,” p. 218.

În “ The Shepherd's Starre, &c., 4to. The subsequent occurs in Roberti Keuche

1591, a paraphrase upon the third of the nii “ Crepundia,” p. 113:

6 Canticles" of Theocritus, dialoguewise, “ Aurium tinnitus.

Corydon says:

But my right eie watreth; “ Laudor, et adverso, sonat Auris, lædor ab 'tis a signe of somewhat : do I see her yet ?" Ore :

(8) It is said, ibid., “ Si Servulus sub CenDextra bono tinnit murmure, læva malo. tone crepuit-ominosum est.”

upon Su


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In the old play called “ The Game at Chesse,” 4to. p. 32, we read : “A sudden fear invades me, a faint trembling

Under this Omen,
As is oft felt, the panting of a turtle
Under a stroaking hand.”


“ That boads good lucke still. Signe you shall change state speedily, for

that trembling Is alwayes the first symptom of a bride."

OMENS relating to the CHEEK, NOSE, AND MOUTH.


Melton, in his “ Astrologaster," p. 45, No. 7, observes, that “when the left Cheek burnes, it is a signe somebody talks well of you ; but if the right Cheek burnes, it is a sigu of ill.' ()

Itching of the Nose. I have frequently heard this symptom interpreted into the expectation of seeing a stranger. So in Dekker's “ Honest Whore,” Bellefront says:

“We shall ha guests to day, I'll lay my little maidenhead, my Nose itcheth so.

Reed's Old Plays, vol. iii. p. 281. The reply made by her servant Roger further informs us that the biting of fleas was a tuken of the same kind. In Melton's " Astro. logaster,” p. 45, No. 31, it is observed that, “ when a man's Nose itcheth, it is a signe he shall drink wine;" and 32, that, “ if your Lips itch, you shall kisse somebody.” (0)

The Nose falling a bleeding appears by the following passage to have been a sign of love:

Did my Nose ever bleed when I was in your company? and, poor wench, just as she spake this, to shew her true heart, her Nose fell a bleeding." Boulster Lectures, 12mo. Lond. 1640, p. 130.

Launcelot, in Shakspeare's “Merchant of Venice," says,

It was not for nothing that my Nose fell a bleeding,” &c.; on which Steevens observes that, from a passage in Lodge's “Rosalynde," 1592, it appears that

some superstitious belief was annexed to the accident of bleeding at the Nose : “As he stood gazing, his Nose on a sudden bled, which made him conjecture it was some friend of his." To which Reed adds: “ Again, in the Duchess of Malfy,' 1640, act i. sc. 2: * How superstitiously we mind our evils ! The throwing down salt, or crossing of a

hare, Bleeding at Nose, the stumbling of a horse, Or singing of a creket, are of power

To daunt whole man in us.' Again, act i. sc. 3 : "My Nose bleeds.' One that was superstitious would count this ominous, when it merely comes by chance." (3)

Melton's “ Astrologaster,” p. 45, observes, “8. That when a man's Nose bleeds but a drop or two, that it is a sign of ill lucke." “ 9. That when a man's Nose bleeds one drop, and at the left nostril, it is a sign of good lucke, but, on the right, ill.”

Grose says a drop of blood from the Nose commonly foretells death, or a very severe fit of sickness; three drops are still more ominous. (*) Burton, in his “ Anatomy of Melancholy," edit. 4to. 1621, p. 214, says that to bleed three drops at the Nose is an ill omen.

If, says Grose, in eating, you miss your Mouth, and the victuals fall, it is very unlucky, and denotes approaching sickness.

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O) Grose says that, when a person's Cheek or Ear burns, it is a sign that some one is then talking of him or her. If it is the Cheek or Ear, the discourse is to their advantage: if the left, to their disadvantage. When the right Eye itches, the party affected will shortly cry; if the left, they will laugh.

In Ravenscroft's “ Canterbury Guests, or a Bargain Broken,” 4to. p. 20, we read :

“That you should think to deceive me! Why, all the while I was last in your company, my heart beat all on that side you stood, and my Cheek next you burnt and glow'd.”

(%) Poor Robin, in his Almanac for 1695, thus satirizes some very indelicate superstitions of his time in blowing the Nose :

They who, blowing their Nose, in the taking away of their handkercher look stedfastly upon it, and pry into it, as if some pearls had drop'd from them, and that they would safely lay them up for fear of loosing : These men are fools, although the name

they hate,
Each of them a child at man's estate.”

The same writer ridicules the following indelicate fooleries then in use, which must surely have been either of Dutch or Flemish extraction: “ They who, when they make

water, go streaking the walls with their urine, as if they were framing some antic figures, or making some curious delineations; or shall piss in the dust, making I know not what scattering angles and circles; or some chink in a wall, or little hole in the ground-to be brought in, after two or three admonitions, as incurable fools."

(3) In Bodenham's “ Belvedere, or Garden of the Muses," 8vo. Lond. 1600, p. 147, on the subject of “ Feare, Doubt,” &c., be gives the following simile from some one of our old poets : “ As suddaine bleeding argues ill ensuing,

So suudaine ceasing is fell feares renewing."

() I found the following in Roberti Keuchenii“ Crepundia," p. 214 :

Tres stillæ sanguineæ. “ Cur nova stillantes designant funere Gutta, Fatidicumque trias Sanguinis omen ha

bet? Parce superstitio: numero Deus impare

gaudet, Et Numero gaudens impare vivit homo." “ That your Nose may never bleed only three drops at a time,” is found among the omens deprecated in Holiday's “TEXNOTAMIA, or the Marriage of the Arts,” a comedy, 4to. Lond. 1636, signat. E b.


GAULE, in his “ Mag-astromancers posed Head, of an impudent sot,” &c. Our author's and puzzel'd," p. 183, very justly gives the remarks, or rather citation of the remarks, epithets of “ vain, superstitious, and ridicu- upon Round Heads above, seem not to have lous," to the subsequent observations on been over-well timed, for this book was HEADS : “ That a great Head is an

omen or

printed in 1652, and is dedicated to the Lord a sign of a sluggish fool”—(this reminds General Cromwell. one of the old saying “Great Head and little There is a vulgar notion that men's hair wit'); “

a little Head, of a subtile knave; will sometimes turn grey upon a sudden and a middle Head, of a liberal wit; a'round violent fright, to which Shakspeare alludes Head, of a senselesse irrational fellow ; a sharp in a speech of Falstaff to Prince Henry :



“ Thy father's beard is turned white with the news.” See Dr. Grey's Notes on Shakspeare, vol. i. p. 338. He adds, “ This whimsical opinion was humorously bantered by a wag in a coffee-house, who, upon hearing a young gentleman giving the same reason for the change of his hair from black to grey, observed that there was no great matter in it; and told the company that he had a friend who wore a coal-black wig, which was turned grey by a fright in an instant.”

By the following passage, a simile in Bodenham's “ Belvedere, or the Garden of the Muses," 8vo. Lond. 1600, it should seem

that our ancestors considered “heaviness
an omen of some impending evil, p. 160:
“ As heaviness foretels some harme at hand,

So minds disturb`d presage ensuing ills."

In “ Secret Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbell," Evo. Lond. 1732, p. 61, in the chapter of Omens, we read, “ Others again, by having caught cold, feel a certain noise in their Heads, which seems to them like the sound of distant bells, and fancy themselves warned of some great misfortune." (")



person being sud

( ) Grose


that denly taken with a shivering is a sign that some one has just then walked over the spot of their future grave. Probably all persons

are not subject to this sensation, otherwise the inhabitants of those parishes whose burialgrounds lie in the common foot-path would live in one continued fit of shaking."


Sir Thomas Browne admits that conjec Burton, in his “ Melancholy," edit. 1621, tures of prevalent humours may be collected p. 214, tells us that a black spot appearing from the spots in our Nails, but rejects the on the Nails is a bad omen. sundry divinations vulgarly raised upon them. To cut the Nails upon a Friday, or a SunMelton, in his “ Astrologaster," giving a cata day, is accounted unlucky amongst the comlogue of many superstitious ceremonies, tells mon people in many places.(3) The set and us, 6, “ That to have yellow speckles on the statary times, says Browne, of paring Nails Nailes of one's hand is a greate signe of and cutting of hair, is thought by many a death." He observes, ibid. 23, that, “ when point of consideration, which is perhaps but the palme of the right Hand itcheth, it is a the continuation of an ancient superstition. shrewd sign he shall receive movey." ("). In To the Romans it was piacular to pare their Reed's Old Plays, vol. vi. p. 357, we read, Nails upon the Nundinæ, observed every “ When yellow spots do on your hands ap

ninth day, and was also feared by others on

certain days of the week, according to that pear, Be certain then you of a corse shall hear."(?)

of Ausonius, Ungues Mercurio, Barbam Jove,

Cypride Crines. Washing Hands, says Grose, in the same Gaule, in his “ Mag-astromancers posed bason, or with the same water, that another and puzzel’d," p. 187, ridicules the popular person has washed in, is extremely unlucky, belief that “ a great thick Hand signes one as the parties will infallibly quarrel. A not only strong but stout; a little slender “ wherefore" for this “ why'' I nowhere find Hand, one not only weak but timorous; a long eveu conjectured.

Hand and long Fingers betoken a man not

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