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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 bang what should happen, without water. Mr. upon them; but the sweating of stones is Douce's manuscript potes 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 tuming 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 pewier dishes sign. M4 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 I in a Glasse by candle-light.”
TINGLING OF THE EARS. ITCHING OF THE RIGHT
EYE. NECK. SIDE.
In Shakspeare's “Much Ado about No- | Ear, the itching of the EYE, the glowing of the thing," Beatrice says: “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," Svo. 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 omen: universal Mercury, that conducted sounds to Αλλεται οφθαλμος μεν ο δεξιος αρα γ' ιδησ their distant subjects, and taught to hear by Avtay; 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 fol. Ominations thereupon,” the tingling of the lowing superstition on measuring the Neck,
extracted from « Le Voyageur à Paris," | lucky ; see Beaumont and Fletcher's “ Wotom. iii. p. 223: “Les anciennes nourrices, men Pleased," at the end of act i. So, in the quand l'usage etoit de leur laisser les filles old play of “What you will:" “ Yon rise on jusq'à ce qu'on les donnât a un mari, per your right side to-day, marry." Marston's suadoient à ces credules adolescentes que la Works, Svo. 1633, signat. R. b. And again, grosseur du Cou etoit de moyen d'apprecier in “ The Dumb Knight," by Lewis Machin, leur continence; et pour cela elles le mésu 4to. 1633, act iv. sc. 1, Alphonso says: roient chaque matin. Retenue par une telle “Sure I said my prayers, risid on my right epreuve, la fille sage dût tirer vanité de la
side, mesure; de là l'usage des colliers."
Wash'd bands and eyes, put on my girdle In Petri Molinæi * Vates," p. 218, we read :
last; “Si cui riget Collum, aut Cervicis vertebræ
Sure I met no splea-footed baker, sunt obtortæ, præsignificatio est futuri sus
No hare did cross me, nor no bearded pendii." (3)
witch, To rise on the right Side is accounted Nor other ominous sign."
In the old play called “ The Game at
" 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. | some superstitious belief was annexed to the 7, observes, that " when the left Cheek burnes, accident of bleeding at the Nose : “As he it is a signe somebody talks well of you ; but stood gazing, his Nose on a sudden bled, which if the right Cheek burnes, it is a sign of ill.” (1) made him conjecture it was some friend of
Itching of the Nose. I have frequently his." To which Reed adds: “ Again, in the heard this symptom interpreted into the ex | Duchess of Malfy,' 1640, act i. sc. 2: pectation of seeing a stranger. So in Dekker's “ Honest Whore,” Bellefront says:
“How superstitiously we mind our evils !
The throwing down salt, or crossing of a - “We shall ha guests to day,
hare, I'll lay my little maidenhearl, my Nose
Bleeding at Nose, the stumbling of a horse, itcheth so."
Or singing of a creket, are of power Reed's Old Plays, vol. iii. p. 281. To daunt whole man in us.' The reply made by her servant Roger fur Again, act i. sc. 3: “My Nose bleeds.' One ther informs us that the biting of fleas was a that was superstitious would count this omituken of the same kind. In Melton's " Astro nous, when it merely comes by chance." (3) logaster,' p. 45, No. 31, it is observed that, Melton's “ Astrologaster," p. 45, observes, “ when a man's Nose itcheth, it is a signe he «8. That when a man's Nose bleeds but a shall drink wine;" and 32, that, “ if your Lips drop or two, that it is a sign of ill lucke.” itch, you shall kisse somebody.” (%)
“9. That when a man's Nose bleeds one drop, The Nose falling a bleeding appears by the and at the left nostril, it is a sign of good following passage to have been a sign of love: lucke, but, on the right, ill.”
“Did my Nose ever bleed when I was in your Grose says a drop of blood from the Nose company? and, poor wench, just as she spake commonly foretells death, or a very severe this, to shew her true beart, her Nose féll a fit of sickness; three drops are still more omibleeding." Boulster Lectures, 12mo. Lond. nous. Burton, in his “ Anatomy of Melan1640, p. 130.
choly," edit. 4tó. 1621, p. 214, says that“ to Launcelot, in Shakspeare's “ Merchant of bleed three drops at the Nose is an ill omen." Venice," says, “ It was not for nothing that If, says Grose, in eating, you miss your my Nose fell a bleeding,” &c.; on which Mouth, and the victuals fall, it is very unSteevens observes that, from a passage in lucky, and denotes approaching sickness. Lodge's “Rosalynde," 1592, it appears that
NOTES TO OMENS RELATING TO THE CHEEK, NOSE, AND MOUTH.
O Grose says that, when a person's Cheek | water, go streaking the walls with their urine, or Ear burns, it is a sign that some one is as if they were framing some antic figures, then talking of him or her. If it is the right or making some curious delineations; or shall Cheek or Ear, the discourse is to their advan piss in the dust, making I know not what tage: if the left, to their disadvantage. When scattering angles and circles; or some chiuk the right Eye itches, the party affected will in a wall, or little hole in the ground—to be shortly cry; if the left, they will laugh. brought in, after two or three admonitions, as
In Ravenscroft's “Canterbury Guests, or a incurable fools." Bargain Broken,” 4to. p. 20, we read :
(8) In Bodenham's “ Belvedere, or Garden “That you should think to deceive me! of the Muses," 8vo. Lond. 1600, p. 147, on Why, all the while I was last in your com the subject of “Feare, Doubt,” &c., he gives pany, my heart beat all on that side you the following simile from some one of our old stood, and my Cheek next you burnt and poets : glow'd.”
“As suddaine bleeding argues ill ensuing, (2) Poor Robin, in his Almanac for 1695, So suddaine ceasing is fell feares renewing." thus satirizes some very indelicate super
(9) I found the following in Roberti Keustitions of his time in blowing the Nose : “ They who, blowing their Nose, in the taking
chenii“ Crepundia,” p. 214 : away of their handkercher look stedfastly
“ Tres stille sanguineæ. upon it, and pry into it, as if some pearls had
| “ Cur nova stillantes designant funere Gutta, drop'd from them, and that they would safely
Fatidicumque trias Sanguinis omen halay them up for fear of loosing :
Parce superstitio: numero Deus impare These men are fools, although the name they hate,
Et Numero gaudens impare vivit homo." Each of them a child at man's estate."
“ That your Nose may never bleed only The same writer ridicules the following in- | three drops at a time,” is found among the delicate fooleries then in use, which must omens deprecated in Holiday's “TEXNOTAsurely have been either of Dutch or Flemish MIA, or the Marriage of the Arts,' a coextraction: “They who, when they make | medy, 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" as
So minds disturb d presage ensuing ills.
In “ Secret Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbell," 8vo. Lond. 1732, p. 61, in the chapter of Omens, we read, “ Others again, by baving 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." ()
NOTE TO HEAD OMENS.
(1) Grose says that " a person being sud. | are not subject to this sensation, otherwise denly taken with a shivering is a sign that the inhabitants of those parishes wbose burialsome one has just then walked over the spot grounds lie in the common foot-path would of their future grave. Probably all persons live in one continued fit of shaking.”
HAND AND FINGER NAILS.
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 money." () 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."(2) 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 6 wherefore" for this "why I nowhere find Hand, one not only weak but timorous; a long even conjectured.
Hand and long Fingers betoken a man not