but the sweating of stones is from several causes, and sometimes are signs of much drought. Glasses of all sorts will have a dew upon them in moist weather; glasse-windows will also shew a frost, by turning the air that touches them into water, and then congealing of it."

In the Marriage of the Arts, by Barton Holiday, 1630, is the following: "I have often heard them say 'tis ill luck to see one's face in a glasse by candle-light."


IN Shakspeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice says: "What fire is in mine ears!" which Warburton explains as alluding to a proverbial saying of the common people that their ears burn when others are talking of them. On which Reed observes that the opinion from whence this proverbial saying is derived is of great antiquity, being thus mentioned by Pliny: "Moreover is not this an opinion generally received that when our ears do glow and tingle some there be that in our absence doe talke of us?"-Philemon Holland's Translation, b. xxviii. p. 297; and Browne's Vulgar Errors. Thomas Browne says: "When our cheek burns, or ear tingles, we usually say somebody is talking of us, a conceit of great antiquity, and ranked among superstitious opinions by Pliny. He supposes it to have proceeded from the notion of a signifying genius, or universal Mercury, that conducted sounds to their distant subjects, and taught to hear by touch." The following is in Herrick's Hesperides, p. 391: "On himselfe :

One care tingles; some there be
That are snarling now at me;
Be they those that Homer bit,
I will give them thanks for it."


'Pliny's words are: "Absentes tinnitu aurium præsentire sermones de se receptum est." In Petri Molinæi Vates, p. 218, we read: "Si cui aures tinniunt, indicium est alibi de eo sermones fieri." I find the following on this in Delrio, Disquisit. Magic. p. 473: "Quidam sonitum spontaneum auris dextræ vel sinistræ observant, ut si hæc tintinet, inimicum, si illa,

Mr. Douce's MS. notes say: "Right lug, left lug, wilk lug lows?" If the left ear, they talk harm; if the right, good. Scottish, J.M.D. Werenfels, in his Dissertation upon Superstition, p. 6, speaking of a superstitious man, says: "When his right ear tingles, he will be cheerful; but, if his left, he will be sad."

Gaule, in his Mag-astromancers Posed and Puzzel'd, p. 181, has not omitted, in his list of "Vain Observations and Superstitious Ominations thereupon," the tingling of the ear, the itching of the eye, the glowing of the cheek, the bleeding of the nose, the stammering in the beginning of a speech, the being over-merry on a sudden, and to be given to sighing, and to know no cause why."

Dr. Nathaniel Home, in his Dæmonologie, or the Character of the crying Evils of the present Times, 1650, p. 61, tells us: "If their eares tingle, they say it is a signe they have some enemies abroad, that doe or are about to speake evill of them : so, if their right eye itcheth, then it betokens joyfull laughter; and so, from the itching of the nose and elbow, and severall affectings of severall parts, they make severall predictions too silly to be mentioned, though regarded by them.”

In the third Idyllium of Theocritus, the itching of the right eye occurs as a lucky omen:

Αλλεται οφθαλμος μεν ο δεξιος αρα γ' ιδησῶ


thus translated by Creech, 1. 37 :

amicum, nostri putent memoriam tum recolere; de quo Aristænetus in Epist. amatoria: ουκ βομβεισοι τα ώτα, σου μεταδ ακροων εμεμνημην, nonne auris tibi resonabat quando tui lachrymans recordabar; et alicui huc pertinere videatur illud Lesbyæ Vatis a Veronensi conversum, Sonitus suopte tintinant aures. Quod illa dixerat βομβεύς ευδ' ακοα εμοι : et apertius incertus quidam, sed antiquus (inter Catalect. Virg.):

Garrula quid totis resonas mihi noctibus auris

Nescio quem dicis nunc meminisse mei.'"

The subsequent occurs in Roberti Keuchenii Crepundia, p. 113, "Aurium tinnitus:

"Laudor et adverso, sonat auris, lædor ab ore;

Dextra bono tinnit murmure, læva malo.

Non moror hoc, sed inoffensum tamen arceo vulgus ;
Cur? scio, me famâ nolle loquente loqui."

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Douce preserves the following superstition on measuring the neck, extracted from Le Voyageur à Paris, iii. 223: "Les anciennes nourrices, quand l'usage étoit de leur laisser les filles jusqu'à ce qu'on les donnât à un mari, persuadoient à ces crédules adolescentes que la grosseur du cou étoit de moyen d'apprecier leur continence; et pour cela elles le mésuroient chaque matin. Retenue par une telle épreuve, 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 suspendii."2

To rise on the right side is accounted lucky; see Beaumont and Fletcher's Women 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 side,
'Wash'd hands and eyes, put on my girdle last;
Sure I met no splea-footed baker,

No hare did cross me, nor no bearded witch,
Nor other ominous sign."

In the old play called the Game at Chesse, 4to. p. 32, 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."


In Molinæi Vates, we read: "Si palpebra exiliit, ominosum est," p. 218. In the Shepherd's Starre, &c., 4to. 1591, a paraphrase upon the third of the Canticles of Theocritus, dialoguewise, Corydon says: "But my right eie watreth; 'tis a signe of somewhat do I see her yet?" 2 It is said, ibid.: "Si servulus sub centone crepuit, ominosum est."



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 sign of ill." 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 right 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."

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

-"We shall ha guests to day,

I'll lay my little maidenhead, my nose itcheth so."

The reply made by her servant Roger further informs us that the biting of fleas was a token of the same kind. In Melton's Astrologaster, 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."

Poor Robin, in his Almanac for 1695, thus satirises 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 losing:

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."

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 Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, says: 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."

In Bodenham's Belvedere, or Garden of the Muses, 1600, p. 147, on the subject of "Feare, Doubt," &c., he gives the following simile from some one of our old poets:

"As suddaine bleeding argues ill ensuing,

So suddaine ceasing is fell feares renewing."

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

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