and learned experience; making herself to be like a fosterchild of astrology."1


Physiognomy," says Gaule, in his Mag-astromancers Posed and Puzzel'd, 1. 2, "following from the inspection of the whole body, presumeth it can by probable signs attain to know what are the affections of body and mind, and what a man's fortune shall be; so far forth as it pronounces him Saturnal or Jovial; and him Martial or Solar; another Venerial, Mercurial, or Lunar; and collecting their horoscopes from the habitude of the body, and from affections transcending, as they say, by little and little, unto causes, namely, astrological; out of which they afterwards trifle as they list. Metoposcopy, out of a sagacious ingenie and learned experience, boasts herself to foresent all the beginnings, the progresses, and the ends of men, out of the sole inspection of the forehead; making herself also to be the pupil of astrologie. He concludes: "We need no other reason to impugn the error of all these arts, than this self-same, namely, that they are void of all reason."



BURTON, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, ed. 1660, p. 538, speaks of "cromnysmañtia," a kind of divination with onions laid on the altar at Christmas Eve, practised by girls, to know when they shall be married, and how many husbands they shall have. This appears also to have been a German cus

The following, on the presaging of the mind, occurs in Bartholinus, p. 681: "Sed rara erat ex ostensis atque prodigiis quæ infrequentia accidebant, divinatio: illa communior quæ præsagientis animi debebatur sagacitati. Tullius his verbis in primo de divinatione libro contendit: Inest igitur in animis præsagitio extrinsecus injecta, atque inclusa divinitus.'" He had before observed: "Neque enim illud verbum temerè consuetudo approbavisset, si ea res nulla esset omnino. Præsagibat animus, frustra me ire, quum exirem domo. Sagire enim, sentire acutè est: ex quo saga anus, quia multa scire volunt: et sagaces dicti canes. Is igitur, qui ante sagit, quam oblata res est, dicitur præsagire, id est, futura ante sentire."

tom. We have the following notice of it in Barnabe Googe's translation of Naogeorgus's Popish Kingdome, f. 44:

"In these same dayes young wanton gyrles, that meete for marriage be,
Doe search to know the names of them that shall their husbandes bee.
Four onyons, five, or eight, they take, and make in every one
Such names as they do fancie most, and best do think upon.
Thus neere the chimney them they set, and that same onyon then
That firste doth sproute, doth surely beare the name of their good man.
Their husbande's nature eke they seeke to know, and all his guise,
Whenas the sunne hath hid himselfe, and left the starrie skies,
Unto some wood-stacke do they go, and while they there do stande,
Eche one drawes out a faggot-sticke, the next that comes to hande,
Which if it streight and even be, and have no knots at all,
A gentle husband then they thinke shall surely to them fall.
But if it fowle and crooked be, and knottie here and theare,
A crabbed churlish husband then they earnestly do feare.
These things the wicked Papists beare," &c.

In a Quartron of Reasons of Catholike Religion, by Tho. Hill, 1600, p. 86, "with the Introduction of the Protestant Faith," he says, "were introduced your gallegascones, your scabilonians, your St. Thomas onions, your ruffees, your cuffees, and a thousand such new devised Luciferian trinckets." In a Dialogue between Mistris Macquerella, a suburb bawd, Mrs. Scolopendra a noted curtezan, and Mr. Pimpinello an usher, 1650, p. 4, is the following passage: "Macq. Some convenient well scituated stall (wherein to sit and sell time, rue, and rosemary, apples, garlike, and Saint Thomas onyons) will be a fit place for me to practice pennance in."



LUPTON, in his Tenth Book of Notable Things, 1660, p. 300, No. 87, says: Lay a green ivie-leaf in a dish, or other vessel of fair water, either for yourselfe or any other, on Newyear's even, at night, and cover the water in the said vessel, and set it in a sure or safe place, until Twelfe-even nexte after (which will be the 5th day of January), and then take the said ivie-leafe out of the said water, and mark well if the said

leafe be fair and green as it was before, for then you, or the party for whom you lay it into the water, will be whole and sound, and safe from any sicknesse all the next yeare following. But if you find any black spots thereon, then you, or the parties for whome you laid it into the water, will be sicke the same yeare following. And if the spots be on the upper part of the leafe towards the stalke, then the sicknesse or paine will be in the head, or in the neck, or thereabout. And if it be spotted nigh the midst of the leaf, then the sicknesse will be about the stomach or heart. And likewise judge, that the disease or grief will be in that part of the body, according as you see the black spots under the same in the leafe, accounting the spots in the nether or sharp end of the leafe to signifie the paines or diseases in the feet. And if the leafe be spotted all over, then it signifies that you, or the parties, shall die that yeare following. You may prove this for many or few, at one time, by putting them in water, for everie one a leaf of green ivie (so that every leafe be dated or marked to whom it doth belong). This was credibly told me to be very certain."


IN a most rare tract in my possession, dated April 23d, 1591, entitled the Shepherd's Starre, by Thomas Bradshaw, we find a paraphrase upon the third of the Canticles of Theocritus, dialoguewise. Amaryllis, Corydon, Tityrus. Corydon says: "There is a custome amongst us swaynes in Crotona, (an auncient towne in Italy, on that side where Sicilia bordereth), to elect by our divination lordes and ladies, with the leaf of the flower Telephilon, which being laide before the fier leapeth unto them whom it loveth, and skippeth from them whom it hateth. Tityrus and I, in experience of our lott, whose happe it should be to injoye your love, insteade of Telephilon we burned mistletoe and boxe for our divination, and unto me, Amaryllis, you fled, and chose rather to turne to an unworthy shepherd than to burn like an unworthy lover." Signat. G. 2. "Lately I asked counsell of Agræo,

a prophetesse, how to know Amaryllis should ever love mee: shee taught mee to take Telephilon, a kinde of leafe that pepper beareth, so called of Anλepidor, because it foresheweth love, and to clap the leaves in the palme of my hand. If they yeelded a great sound, then surely shee should love me greatly; if a little sound, then little love. But either I was deafe, being senceles through love, or else no sound at all was heard, and so Agræo the divinatrix tolde me a true rule. Now I preferre my garlande made in sorrowful hast, of which the flowers, some signifying death and some mourning, but none belonging to marriage, do manifest that Amaryllis hath no respect of meane men.' He had before said "I will go gather a coronet, and will weave and infolde it with the knottes of truest love, with greene laurell, Apollo's scepter, which shall betoken her wisdom, and with the myrtle, faire Venus poesie, which shall shewe her beautie. And with amaranthus, Diana's herbe, whereby bloud is stenched, so may shee imitate the herbe, and have remorse."

Borlase, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, p. 91, speaking of the Druids, says: "They were excessively fond of the vervaine they used it in casting lots, and foretelling events. It was to be gathered at the rise of the dog-star."

The following singular passage is in Green's Quip for an Upstart Courtier, 1620: "Questioning," says he, "why these women were so cholericke, he pointed to a bush of nettles: Marry, quoth he, they have severally watered this bush, and the virtue of them is to force a woman that has done so to be as peevish for a whole day, and as waspish, as if she had been stung in the brow with a hornet." Perhaps the origin of this well-known superstitious observation must be referred to a curious method of detecting the loss of female honour noticed in Naturall and Artificiall Conclusions, by Thomas Hill, 1650, art. 79.

[In the north of England, children used to run round a cherry tree, singing,

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'Cuckoo, cherry tree,

Come down and tell me

How many years I have to live,

each on shaking the tree successively, and obtaining the divination of the length of his life by counting the number of cherries which fall.]

Herrick, in his Hesperides, p. 40, has the following "divination by a daffadill:

'When a daffadill I see,

Hanging down her head t'wards me,
Guesse I may what I must be :
First, I shall decline my head;
Secondly, I shall be dead;
Lastly, safely buried."


THIS is a vulgar error of considerable antiquity. Dr. Percy tells us that it obtained full credit in this part of the world before the year 1228, as we learn from Matthew Paris. In that year it seems there came an Armenian archbishop into England to visit the shrines and reliques preserved in our churches; who being entertained at the monastery of St. Albans was asked several questions relating to his country, &c. Among the rest a monk, who sat near him, inquired "if he had ever seen or heard of the famous person named Joseph, who was so much talked of, who was present at our Lord's crucifixion and conversed with him, and who was still alive in confirmation of the Christian faith." The archbishop answered, that the fact was true; and afterwards one of his train, who was well known to a servant of the abbot's, interpreting his master's words, told them in French, that his lord knew the person they spoke of very well; that he dined at his table but a little while before he left the east; that he had been Pontius Pilate's porter, by name Cartaphilus: who, when they were dragging Jesus out of the door of the judgement hall, struck him with his fist on the back, saying, "Go faster, Jesus, go faster; why dost thou linger?" Upon which Jesus looked at him with a frown, and said, "I, indeed, am going; but thou shalt tarry till I come." Soon after he was converted and baptized by the name of Joseph. He lives for ever, but at the end of every hundred years falls into an incurable illness, and at length into a fit of ecstasy, out of which, when he recovers, he returns to the same state of youth he was in when Jesus suffered, being then about thirty years of

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