« 前へ次へ »
“ with Honour. Hence (he observes) without
doubt came the long continued Custom of swim" ming People, suspected of Witchcraft.-There
are also, he observes farther, the faint traces of " these antient Customs in another superstitious " Method of proving a Witch; it was done by şo weighing the suspected Party against the Church “ Bible, which if they outweighed, they were inno
cent; but on the contrary, if the Bible proved the Ýr heaviest, they were instantly condemned. ---How" ever absurd and foolish these superstitious Cus
toms may seem to the present Age, little more, " he observes, than a Century ago, there were seu veral unhappy Wretches, not only apprehended, " but also cruelly burnt alive for Witchcraft, on very
little better Evidence than the above ridicu“ lous Trials. Several great and learned Men have " also taken vast Pains to convince the doubting
Age of the real Existence of Witches, and the “ Justness of their Executions : But so very unbe. o lieving we are grown at present in these and “ such like Stories, as to consider them only as the “ idle Phantoms of a fertile Imagination.”
The Ephialtes, or Night Mare, is called by the Common People Witch-riding. This is in Fact an old Gothic of Scandinavian Superstition : Mara*,
* The Reader will please to add an Observation to the Note in Page 116, “ Boggle-boe.” Boh, Mr. Warton tells us, was one of the most fierce and formidable of the Gothic Generals, and the Son of Odin; the mention of whose Name only was sufficient to spread
from whence our Night Mare is derived, was io the Runic Theology, a Spectre of the Night, which seized Men in their Sleep, and suddenly deprived them of Speech and Motion. See Warton's first Dissertat, Hist. Poet.
In Ray's Collection of Proverbs, I find the following relative to this Superstition: “Go in God's Name, so ride no Witches."
There is also a Scotch one: * Ye breed of the Witches, ye can do nae Good to
AT Newcastle upon Tyne, and other Places in the North of England, grey Peas, * after having
an immediate Panic among his Enemies - Few will question the probability of an Opinion that has the Sanction of the very learned and ingenious Person who has advanced this. It is an additional Instance of the inconstancy of Fame. The Terror of Warriors has dwindled down into a Nume contemptible with Men, and only retained for the Purpose of intimidating Children: A Reflection as mortifying to human Vanity as that of our Poet, Shakespear, whose Imagination traced the noble Dust of Alexander, till he found it stopping a Bunghole! See Hamlet.
* There were several religious Uses of Pulse, particularly Beans, among the Romans. Hence Pliny says, “ in eadem peculiaris religio. ." -Thus in Ovid's Fasti. Book 5. I. 435, where he is describing some superstitious Rites for appeasing the Dead :
Terque manus puras fontanâ proluit unda;
been steeped a Night in Water, are fryed with Butter, given away, and eaten at a Kind of Entertainment on the Sunday preceding Palm-Sunday, which was formerly called Care-sunday, as may be yet seen in some of our old Almanacks. They are called Carlings, probably a Corruption of Carings, as we call the Presents at our Fairs, Fairings.
Marshal in his Observations on the Saxon Gospels, Vol. I. p. 556, elucidates the old Name (Care) of this Sunday in Lent: He tells US, “ The Friday, on which Christ was crucified, " is called in German, both Gute Freytag and Karr
Freytag;”-that the Word Karr signifies a Satis“ faction for a Fine or Penalty; and that Care or “ Carr Sunday was not unknown to the English “ in his Time, at least to such as lived among “ old People in the Country.*"--Rites, peculiar it should seem to Good Friday, were used on this Day, which was called Passion Sunday in the Church of Rome. Durand assigns many superstitious Reasons for this, which confirm the Fact, but are too ridiculous for transcribing.
Thus also in Book 2. 1. 575.
“ Et septem nigras versat in ore fabas." Sacrificia apud Græcos pro mortuis erant, alia à tempore, ut Tpita, evvatl, Tplanades, alia nomen à re significata sumebant, ut xoxi, tapxez..alia a sepulchris, ut evtæpict; alia à mortuis, ut κένυσια-κτηρεα.
Pollux lib. 8. cap. ult. Cæl. Rhod. lib. 17, cap. 21. Æschin. contra Ctesiphont. Demosth. adversus Macartatum. hujus, modi habet Papa. Moresini Deprav. Rel. Orig. 153.
* Memini me legisse diem illam Veneris, in quâ passus est Christus, Germanicè dici ut gute Freytag, ita Karr-Frytag, à voce Karr, quæ satisfactionem pro mulcta significat.-Certé Care vel Carr Sunday non prorsus inauditum est hodiernis Anglis, ruri saltem inter fenes degentibus.
Lloyd tells us, in his Dial of Days, that on the 12th of March*, they celebrated at Rome the Mysteries of Christ and his Passion, with much Devotion and great Ceremony.-In the old Ronish Calendar so often cited, I find it observed on this Day, that “a Dole is made of foft Beanst.”
I have satisfied myself that our Custom is derived from hence, and hope to evince it clearly to my Readers. It was usual amongst the Roinanists to give away Beans in the Doles at Funerals :8 It was also a Rite in the Funeral Ceremonies of Heathen Rome. Why we have substituted Peas I know not, unless it was because they are a Pulse somewhat fitter to be eaten. They are given away in a kind of a Dole at this Day: In the Country, Men assemble at the Village Alehouse, Carlings are set
* Passion, or Carling Sunday, might often happen on this Day. -Easter always falls between the 21st of March and the 26th of April. I know not why these Rites were confined in the Calendar to the 12th of March. However that be, one cannot doubt of their having belonged to what Durand calls Passion Sunday.,
+ “The soft Beans" are much to our purpose: Why soft, but for the Purpose of eating? Thus our Peas on this Occasion are steeped in Water.
I Quadragesimæ Reformatio
Cum stationibus & toto Mysterio Passionis.
Fabæ mollss in Sportulam dautur. § Fabis Romani sæpius in sacrificiis funeralibus operati sunt, nec est ea Consuetudo abolita alicubi inter Christianos, ubi in Eleemosinam pro mortuis Fabæ distribuuntur, Moresini Deprav. Rel. p. 56, verb. Fabis.
“ Tbe Repast designed for the Dead, consisting coinmonly of • Beans, &c.” Kennett's Román Antiq. p. 361.
In the Lemuria, which was observed the 9th of May, every other Night for three Times, to pacify the Ghosts of the Dead, the Ro. mans threw Beans on the Fire of the Altar, to drive them out of their Houses 5
before them, and each spends his Carling Groat. Our popish Ancestors celebrated the Funeral of our Lord on this Care Sunday, with many other Superstitions; this only has travelled down to us. Durand tells us, that on Passion Sunday the Church began her public Grief, remembering the Mystery of the Cross, the Vinegar, the Gall, the Reed, the Spear, &c.
There is a great deal of Learning in Erasmus' Adages concerning the religious Use of Beans: they were thought to belong to the Dead :-An Observation he gives us of Pliny concerning Pythagoras' Interdiction of this Pulse is highly remarkable ;– it is, “ That Beans contain the Souls of the Dead." For which Cause also they are used in the Parentalia. Plutarch too, he tells us, held that Pulse was of the highest Efficacy for invoking the Manes. Ridiculous and absurd as these Superstitions are, yet it is certain that our Carlings deduce their Origin from hence. Every antient Superstition seems to have been adopted into papal Christianity.
The Vulgar here in the North give the following
* Quin & apud Romanos inter funesta habebantur fabæ: quippe quas nec tangere, nec nominare Diali flamini liceret, quod ad Mortuos pertinere putarentur. Nam et Lemuribus jaciebantur larvis & Parentalibus adhibebantur sacrificiis & in flore earum literæ luctus apparere videntur et testatur Festus Pompeius. Plinius existimat ob id a Pythagora damnatam fabam, quod hebetet sensus & pariat Insomnia, vel quod Animæ Mortuorum sint in ea. Qua de causa et in Parentalibus assumitur. Unde et Plutarchus testatur, legumina potissimum valere ad evocandos manes. Erasmi Adag. in Prov. A fabis abstincto.