were they witty; and thence it grew that they held it good lucke if a wolf crost the way and was gone without any more danger or trouble ; but ill luck, if a hare crost and escaped them, that they had not taken her.” Lupton, in his third book of Notable Things, 1660, p. 52, says :

“ Plinie reports that men in antient times did fasten upon the gates of their towns the heads of wolves, thereby to put away witchery, sorcery, or enchantment, which many hunters observe or do at this day, but to what use they know not.”

Werenfels says, p. 7: “When the superstitious person goes abroad he is not so much afraid of the teeth as the unexpected sight of a wolf, lest he should deprive him of his speech.”

Grose tells us : “ If going on a journey on business a sow cross the road, you will probably meet with a disappointment, if not a bodily accident, before you return home. To avert this, you must endeavour to prevent her crossing you : and if that cannot be done, you must ride round on fresh ground; if the sow is with her litter of pigs, it is lucky, and denotes a successful journey.

According to the following passage in Ellison's Trip to Benwell, lix., it should seem that swine appearing in sight, in travelling, was an omen of good luck:

“ Neither did here
In sight appear

Of swine, foul, dreadful nomen;
Which common fame
Will oft proclaim

Of luck, dire, wretched omen.”

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The following is from Copley's Wits, Fits, and Fancies, 1614, 4to.: “A plaine country vicar perswaded his parishioners, in all their troubles and adversities, to call


God, and thus he said: “There is (dearlie beloved) a certaine familiar beast amongst you called a hogge; see you not how toward a storme or tempest it crieth evermore, Ourgh, Ourgh ? So must you likewise, in all your eminent troubles and dangers, say to yourselves, Lourghd, Lourghd, helpe me.'”

The meeting of a weasel is a bad omen. See Congreve's comedy of Love for Love. In Secret Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbell, 8vo. 1732, p. 60, we read : "I have known people who have been put into such terrible appre

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hensions of death by the squeaking of a weasel, as have been very near bringing on them the fate they dreaded.”

In Dives and Pauper, fol. 1493, the firste precepte, chap. 46 : “Some man hadde levyr to mete with a froude or a frogye in the way than with a knight or a squier, or with any man of religion, or of holy churche, for than they say and leve that they shal have gold. For sumtyme after the metyng of a frogge or a tode they have resceyved golde—wele I wote that they resseyve golde of men or of wymen, but nat of frogges ne of todes, but it be of the devel in lyknesse of a frogge or a tode-these labourers, delvers, and dykers, that moost mete with frogges and todes, been fulle pore comonly and but men paye them their hyre, they have lyteł or nought.”

Willsford, in his Nature's Secrets, 1658, p. 130, tell us : “Beasts eating greedily, and more than they used to do, prenotes foul weather; and all small cattel, that seeme to rejoyce with playing and sporting themselves, foreshews rain. Oxen and all kind of neat, if you do at any time observe them to hold up their heads, and snuffle in the air, or lick their hooves, or their bodies against the hair, expect then rainy weather. Asses or mules, rubbing often their ears, or braying much more than usually they are accustomed, presages rain, Hogs crying and running unquietly up and down, with hay or litter in their mouths, foreshews a storm to be near at hand. Moles plying their works, in undermining the earth, foreshews rain; but if they do forsake their trenches and creep above ground in summer time, it is a sign of hot weather; but when on a suddain they doe forsake the valleys and low grounds, it foreshews a flood neer at hand; but their coming into meddows presages fair weather, and for certain no floods. The little sable beast (called a flea), if much thirsting after blood, it argues rain. The lamentable croaking of frogs more than ordinary does denote rainy weather. Glow-worms, snayles, and all such creatures, do appear most against fair weather ; but if worms come out of the earth much in the daytime it is a presage of wet weather; but in the summer evenings it foreshews dewy nights, and hot days to follow."

Melton, in his Astrologaster, p. 46, says : “ 16. That it is a very unfortunate thing for a man to meete early in a morning an ill-favoured man or woman, a rough-footed hen, a shag-haird dog, or a black cat."

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Shaw, in his History of Moray, tells us that the ancient Scots much regarded omens in their expeditions: an armed man meeting them was a good omen :' if a woman barefoot crossed the road before them, they seized her and fetched blood from her forehead: if a deer, fox, hare, or any beast of game appeared, and they did not kill it, it was an unlucky

In Secret Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbell, 8vo. Lond. 1732, p. 61, we read : “Some will defer going abroad, though called by business of the greatest consequence, if on going out they are met by a person who has the misfortune to squint. This turns them immediately back, and, perhaps, by delaying till another time what requires an immediate despatch, the affair goes wrong, and the omen is indeed fulfilled, which, but for the superstition of the observer, would have been of no effect.”

We gather from a remarkable book entitled the Schoolemaster, or Teacher of Table Philosophy, 4to. Lond. 1583, B. iv. cap. 8, that in the ages of chivalry it was thought unlucky to meet with a priest, if a man were going forth to war or a toúrnament.?

The following superstitions among the Malabrians are related in Phillips's account of them, 12mo, 1717: “It is interpreted as a very bad sign if a blind man, a Bramin, or a washerwoman, meets one in the way ; as also when one meets a man with an empty panel, or when one sees an oil-mill, or if a man meets us with his head uncovered, or when one hears

· Gaule, in his Mag-astromancers Posed and Puzzel’d, p. 312, mentions this superstition : “Meeting of monks is commonly accounted as an ill omen, and so much the rather if it be early in the morning: because these kind of men live for the most part by the suddain death of men; as vultures do by slaughters." The following occurs in Pet. Molinæi Vates, p. 154 : “Si égredienti domo summo mane primus occurtit Æthiops, aut claudus, ominosum est. . . Ex quibuslibet 'rebus superstitio captat auguria, casum vertens in omen."

? Gaule, in his Mag-astromancers Posed and Puzzel'd, p. 181, holds it. as a vain observation to bode good or bad luck from the rising up on the right or left side; from lifting the left leg over the threshold, at first going out of doors ; from the meeting of a beggar or a priest the first in a morning; the meeting of a virgin or a harlot first; the running in of a child betwixt two friends; 'the justling one another at unawares ; one treading upon another's toes ; to meet one fasting that is lame, or defective in any member; to wash in the same water after another."

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a weeping voice, or sees a fox crossing the way, or a dog running on his right hand, or when a poor man meets us in our way, or when a cat crosses our way: moreover, when any earthen-pot maker or widow meets us, we interpret it in the worst sense; when one sprains his foot, falls on his head, or is called back; presently the professors of prognostication are consulted, and they turn to the proper chapter for such a sign, and give the interpretation of it.

[“ Easy to foretel what sort of summer it would be by the position in which the larva of Cicada (Aphrophora) spumària was found to lie in the froth (cuckoo-spit) in which it is enveloped. If the insect lay with its head upwards, it infallibly denoted a dry summer; if downwards, a wet one."]


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“IF an owl,” says Bourne, p. 71, "which is reckoned a most abominable and unlucky bird, send forth its hoarse and dismal voice, it is an omen of the approach of some terrible thing: that some dire calamity and some great misfortune is near at hand.” This omen occurs in Chaucer :

“The jelous swan, ayepst hys deth that singeth,
The oule eke, at of deth the bode bringeth."

Assembly of Foules, fol. 235. It is thus mentioned by Spenser :

“ The rueful strich still wayting on the beere,

The whistler shril, that whoso heares doth die." Pennant, in his Zoology, i. 202, informs us that the appearance of the eagle owl in cities was deemed an unlucky

Rome itself once underwent a lustration, because one of them strayed into the Capitol. The ancients held them in




· Thus Butler, in his Hudibras, p. ii. canto iii. 1. 707 :

“ The Roman senate, when within

The city walls an owl was seen,
Did cause their clergy with lustrations
(Our synod calls humiliations)


the utmost abhorrence,' and thought them, like the screech owl, the messengers of death. Pliny styles it, “ Bubo funebris et noctis monstrum.”2 Thus also Virgil, in the lines already quoted from Armstrong's History of Minorca, in a

former page.

In Bartholomæus, De Proprietatibus Rerum, by Berthelet, fol. 166, is the following: *Of the oule. Divynours telle that they betokyn evyll; for if the owle be seen in a citie, it signifyeth distruccion and waste, as Isidore sayth. The cryenge of the owle by nyght tokeneth deathe, as divinours conjecte and deme.” Gaule, in his Mag-astromancers Posed and Puzzel’d, p. 181, does not omit, in his Catalogue of vain observations and superstitious ominations thereupon : “The owles scritching."

“ When screech owls croak upon the chimney tops,
It's certain then you of a corse shall hear.”

Reed's Old Plays, vi. 357. Alexander Ross informs us, in his appendix to the Arcana Microcosmi, p. 218, that Lampridius and Marcellinus, among other prodigies which presaged the death of Valentinian, the

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The round-fac'd prodigy t'avert

From doing town and country hurt.” “ According to the author of the Æneid, the solitary owl foretold the tragical end of the unhappy Dido." See Macaulay's St. Kilda, p. 176.

“Suetonius," he tells us, “who took it into his head to relate all the imaginary prodigies that preceded the deaths of his twelve Cæsars, never misses an opportunity so favourable of doing justice to the prophetical character of some one bird or other. It is surprising that Tacitus should have given into the same folly.”

· Thus Alex. ab Alexandro, lib. v. c. 13, p. 680: "Maxime vero abominatus est bubo, tristis et dira avis, voce funesta et gemitu, qui formidolosa, dirasque necessitates et magnos moles instare portendit.'

Macaulay, above quoted, p. 171, observes: “On the unmeaning actions or idleness of such silly birds; on their silence, singing, chirping, chattering, and croaking; on their feeding or abstinence; on their flying to the right hand or left—was founded an art : which from a low and simple beginning grew to an immense height, and gained a surprising degree of credit in a deluded world."

? The owl is called also, by Pliny, “inauspicata et funebris avis :" by Ovid, “ dirum mortalibus omen: by Lucan, “ sinister bubo :" and by Claudian, “infestus bubo."

In Petri Molinæi Vates, p. 154, we read : “Si noctua sub noctem audiatur, ominosum est."

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