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one of the chapters of Froissart's Chronicle, in his account of Gaston Phoebus, Count of Foix, whose son Gaston received a bag of powder from his uncle, Charles the Bad, with direction to sprinkle a small quantity over anything which his father might eat, the effect of which would be to restore his father's affection for Gaston's mother, who was at that time parted from her husband, and resident at Charles the Bad's court. Charles the Bad intended to have poisoned Gaston. Werenfels,

“Whenever the superstitious person is in love, he will complain that tempting powder has been given him.”

The unfortunate Miss Blandy, who was executed many years ago for poisoning her father, persisted to the last in affirming that she thought the powder which her villainous lover, Cranston, sent her to administer to him was a love powder, which was to conciliate her father's affection to the captain. She met her death with this asseveration; and I presume that those who have considered the wonderful power of superstition, added to the fascination of love, will be half persuaded to believe that she did not go out of the world with a lie in her mouth. Her dying request, too, to be buried close to her father, appears to me a corroborating proof that though she was certainly the cause of his premature death, and underwent the judgment of the law for the same, (which can take no cognizance for such excuses for so horrid a crime as parricide,) yet she was not, in the blackest sense of the word, his wilful murderess.

Andrews in his Continuation of Dr. Henry's History of Great Britain, 4to. p. 178, speaking of the profligate Bothwell, says, in a note : "It seems strange that an author so respectable as Mr. Guthrie should allow any credit to the asseverations in a will in which the testator affirms, that as he had from his youth addicted himself much to the art of enchantment at Paris and elsewhere, he had bewitched the queen (Mary) to fall in love with him.'

In the Comical Pilgrim's Pilgrimage into Ireland, 1723, p. 97, we read : “ They often used philtres. The spark that's resolved to sacrifice his youth and vigour on a damsel, whose coyness will not accept of his love oblations, he threads a needle with the hair of her head, and then running it through the most fleshy part of a dead man, as the brawn of the arms, thigh, or the calf of the leg, the charm has that virtue

in it, as to make her run mad for him whom she so lately slighted.”

The following is copied from the Gent. Mag. for Jan. 1731, i. 30: “A man at a village near Mortagne, in France, had been long ill of a distemper which puzzled the physicians : his wife believed he was bewitched, and consulted a pretended conjurer, who shewed her the wizard (her husband's uncle) in a glass of water, and told her that, to oblige him to withdraw the charm, they must beat him and burn the soles of his feet. On her return she sent for the uncle, and with the assistance of her relations beat him unmercifully, and burnt the soles of his feet and the crown of his head in such a manner that in two days after he died. The woman and her accomplices were seized. She owned the fact, and said, that if it was to do again, she would do it. This happened in December last.” In the same Magazine, for August, 1731, p. 358, we read, that “the Tournelle condemned the woman to be hanged” for the above fact, but that “great interest was making to get her sentence commuted, the fact proceeding from conjugal affection.

In the comedy entitled the Mock Marriage, 1696, some love charms occur to cause a person to dream of his lover. “ Hide some dazy-roots under your pillow, and hang your shoes out of the window." The following is found in Herrick's Hesperides, p. 245 : “A charme, or an allay, for

love :

• If so be a toad be laid
In a sheep-skin newly flaid,
And that ty'd to man, 'twill sever

Him and his affections ever.'
See other curious love-charms in Halliwell's Popular Rhymes,

pp. 215-20.


SIR THOMAS BROWNE, in his Quincunx artificially considered, p. 111, mentions a rural charm against dodder, tetter, and strangling weeds, by placing a chalked tile at the four corners, and one in the middle of the fields, which, though ridiculous in the intention, was rational in the contrivance,


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and a good way to diffuse the magic through all parts of the

The following rural charms are found in a collection entitled, Wit a sporting in a pleasant Grove of New Fancies, 8vo. Lond. 1657, p. 78. They also occur in Herrick’s Hesperides, p. 383:

“ This I'le tell ye by the way,
Maidens, when ye leavens lay,
Crosse your dow, and your dispatch

Will be better for your batch."
“ In the morning when ye rise,

Wash your hands and cleanse your eyes.
Next be sure ye have a care
To disperse the water farre :
For as farre as that doth light,

So farre keeps the evil spright.”
“ If ye feare to be affrighted,
When ye are (by) chance benighted ;
In your pocket, for a trust,
Carrie nothing but a crust;
For that holie piece of bread

Charmes the danger and the dread.” Some older charms, however, are to be found in Bale's Interlude concerning the Laws of Nature, Moses, and Christ, 4to. 1562. Idolatry says:

“ With blessynges of Saynt Germayne

I wyll me so determyne,
That neyther fox nor vermyne

Shall do my chyckens harme.
For your gese seke Saynt Legearde,
And for your duckes Saynt Leonarde,
For horse take Moyses yearde,

There is no better charme.
Take me a napkyn folte
With the byas of a holte
For the healyng of a colte

No better thynge can be :
For lampes and for bottes
Take me Saynt Wilfride's knottes
And holy Saynt Thomas lottes,

On my lyfe I warrande ye.

1 The superstition of holding the poker before the fire to drive away the witch has been already noticed. Whatever may be the reason, it is a certain fact that setting up a poker before a fire has a wonderful effect in causing it to burn.

A dram of a shepe's tyrdle,
And good Saynt Frances gyrdle,
With the hamlet of a hyrdle,

Are wholsom for the pyppe :
Besydes these charmes afore,
I have feates many more
That kepe styll in store,

Whom nowe I over hyppe.''! [In the west of England we have a version of the charm for a prick by a thorn, given in the Athenæum :

“ Christ was of a virgin born,
And he was pricked by a thorn;
And it did neither bell nor swell,

As I trust in Jesus this never will."
The following is a common charm for the cramp, in both
Devonshire and Cornwall :

“Cramp, be thou painless !
As our Lady was sinless

When she bare Jesus." And for a scald or burn, I have been told this, although the act of telling destroys the charm :

“ There came three angels out of the west,

One brought fire, and two brought frost :
Out fire, and in frost,

In the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Another version is in Halliwell's Popular Rhymes, p. 211.

I send you a charm which the old women in Wiltshire vow to be very efficacious. When I came home from bird's-nesting, with my hands, and sometimes my face, well studded with thorns, they were extracted with a needle, and the finger passed over the wound with these words :

“Unto the Virgin Mary our Saviour was born,

And on his head he wore the crown of thorn;
If you believe this true and mind it well,

This hurt will never fester, nor yet swell.”
The following charm and prayer is used at this day in

1 In the Athenian Oracle, i. 158, is preserved the following charm to stop bleeding at the nose, and all other hemorrhages in the country :

In the blood of Adam sin was taken,

In the blood of Christ it was all to shaken,
And by the same blood I do the charge,
That the blood of run no langer at large.”

Westmoreland. It is taught by mothers, as well as nurses, to young children; and is repeated by them on retiring to rest:

“ Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
God bless the bed that I lie on;
If anything appear to me,
Sweet Christ arise and comfort me.
Four corners to this bed,
Six angels round me spread;
Two to pray, two to wake,
Two to guard me till daybreak.

And blessed guardian angels keep

Me safe from dangers while 1 sleep.
I lay me down upon my side,
And pray the Lord to be my guide ;
And if I die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take."
Sometimes this variation is heard :

“ Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,

Bless the bed that I lie on;
All the four corners round about,

When I get in, when I get out.”] Ady, in his Candle in the Dark, 1655, p. 58, says: “It appeareth still among common silly country people, how they had learned charms by tradition from popish times, for curing cattle, men, women, and children; for churning of butter, for baking their bread, and many other occasions ; one or two whereof I will rehearse only, for brevity. An old woman in Essex, who was living in my time, she had lived also in Queen Marie’s time, had learned thence many popish charms, one whereof was this : every night when she lay down to sleep she charmed her bed, saying

* Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,

The bed be blest that I lie on :' and this would she repeat three times, reposing great confidence therein, because (she said) she had been taught it, when she was a young maid, by the churchmen of those times.

“ Another old woman came into an house at a time whenas the maid was churning of butter, and having laboured long and could not make her butter come, the old woman told the maid what was wont to be done when she was a maid, and also in her mother's young time, that if it happened their

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