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ried to the vicar, who wrote copies of it and dispersed them over the island). They tell you,” says he, "that they are of such wonderful virtue to such as wear them, that on whatever business they go, they are certain of success.
They also defend from witchcraft, evil tongues, and all efforts of the devil or his agents; and that a woman wearing one of them in her bosom while she is pregnant, shall by no accident whatever lose the fruit of her womb. I have frequently rode by the stone under which they say the original paper was found, but it would now be looked on as the worst sacrilege to make any attempt to move it from the place.” He gives also the tenor of the inscription : "Fear God, obey the priesthood, and do by your neighbour as you would have him to do to
Andrews, in his Continuation of Dr. Henry's History, p. 502, tells us, from Arnot's History of Edinburgh, that « On all the old houses still existing in Edinburgh there are remains of talismanic or cabalistical characters, which the superstition of earlier ages had caused to be engraven on their fronts. These were generally composed of some text of Scripture, of the name of God, or, perhaps of an emblematic representation of the Resurrection."
" It is recorded in divers authors, that in the image of Diana, which was worshipped at Ephesus, there were certain obscure words or sentences not agreeing together, nor depending one upon
another ; much like unto riddles written upon the feete, girdle, and crowne of the said Diana; the which, if a man did use, having written them out, and carrying them about him, hee should have good lucke in all his businesses ; and hereof sprung the proverbe Ephesæ literæ, where one useth anything which bringeth good successe.”—Mason's Anatomie of Sorcerie, 1612, p. 90. Ibid. p. 91, our author mentions the superstition of “ curing diseases with certaine words or characters.”
Cotta, in his Short Discoverie, &c. p. 49, inserts “a merrie historie of an approved famous spell for sore eyes. By many honest testimonies, it was a long time worne as a jewell about many necks, written in paper, and inclosed in silke, never failing to do soveraigne good when all other helps were helplesse. No sight might dare to reade or open. At length a curious mind, while the patient slept, by stealth ripped open
the mystical cover, and found the powerful characters Latin : 'Diabolus effodiat tibi oculos, impleat foramini stercoribus.'” Nash, in his Notes on Hudibras, says : Cato recommends the following as a charm against sprains : “ Haut, haut, hista pista,
Park, in his Travels in the Interior of Africa, speaking of “certain charms or amulets called Saphies, which the negroes constantly wear about them," says : “ These saphies are prayers or sentences from the Koran, which the Mahometan priests write on scraps of paper and sell to the natives, who suppose them to possess extraordinary virtues. Some wear them to guard against the attack of snakes and alligators ; on such an occasion, the saphie is inclosed in a snake or alligator's skin, and tied round the ankle. Others have recourse to them in time of war, to protect their persons from hostile attacks ; but the general use of these amulets is to prevent or cure bodily diseases, to preserve from hunger and thirst, and to conciliate the favour of superior powers."
He informs us, in another place, that his landlord requested him to give him a lock of his hair to make a saphie, as he said he had been told it would give to the possessor all the knowledge of white men. Another person desired him to write a saphie; Mr. Park furnished him with one containing the Lord's Prayer. He gave away several others.
BURTON, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621, p. 476, has the following passage on this subject : “Amulets, and things to be borne about, I find prescribed, taxed by some, approved by others : looke for them in Mizaldus, Porta, Albertus, &c. A ring made of the hoof of an asse's right fore-foot carried about, &c. I say with Renodeus, they are not altogether to be rejected. Piony doth help epilepsies. Pretious stones most diseases. A wolf's dung carried about helps the cholick. A spider, an ague, &c. Such medicines are to be exploded
bat consist of words, characters, spells, and charms, which can do no good at all, but out of a strong conceit, as Pompo.
natius proves, or the divel's policy, that is the first founder and teacher of them.”
Dr. Herring, in his Preservatives against the Pestilence, 1625, has the following: “Perceiving many in this citie to weare about their necks, upon the region of the heart, certaine placents, or amulets (as preservatives against the pestilence), confected of arsenicke, my opinion is that they are so farre from effecting any good in that kinde, as a preservative, that they are very dangerous and hurtfull, if not pernitious, to those that weare them.”
Bourne, chap. xviii. cites a passage of Bingham, from St. Austin, on these superstitious observations.
" To this kind, says he," belong all ligatures and remedies, which the schools of physitians reject and condemn; whether in inchantments or in certain marks, which they call characters, or in some other things which are to be hanged and bound about the body, and kept in a dancing posture. Such are ear-rings hanged upon the tip of each ear, and rings made of an ostriche's bones for the finger; or, when you are told, in a fit of convulsions, or shortness of breath, to hold your left thumb with your right hand.”
I remember it was a custom in the North of England for boys that swam, to wear an eel's skin about their naked leg to prevent the cramp. Armstrong in his History of Minorca, p. 212, says: “I have seen an old woman placed on a bier, dressed like a Franciscan monk, and so conducted by the good brothers of that order, with singing and the tinkling of the hand-bell to their church.” This superstition was observed by Milton in his travels through Roman Catholic countries; for when describing the Paradise of Fools, he does not forget to mention those
“ Who, to be sure of Paradise,
Par. Lost, b. iii. That this practice was not unknown in our own country at an earlier period will be seen by the following extract from the Berkeley Manuscripts, by Smith, i. 117: “It is recorded that on the 13th of May, 1220 (4th Hen. III), died Robert the second Lord Berkeley, ætis 55, or thereabouts, and was buried in the north isle of the church of the monastery of St.
Augustines (Bristol) over against the high altar, in a monck's cowle, an usual fashion for great peeres in those tymes, esteemed as an amulet, or defensative to the soule, and as a scala cæli, a ladder of life eternal.”! In Douce's Illustrations of Shakespeare, and of Ancient Manners, i. 493, are woodengravings of several Roman amulets ; these were intended against fascination in general, but more particularly against that of the evil eye. Such, he observes, p. 497, are still used in Spain by women and children, precisely in the same manner as formerly among the Romans.
Lupton, in his fourth book of Notable Things (edit. 8vo. 1660, p. 92), 41, says: "A piece of a child's navell string, borne in a ring, is good against the falling sickness, the pain of the head, and the collick. — Miz.”
Park, in his Travels in the Interior of Africa, speaking of a Mahometan Negro, who, with the ceremonial part of that religion, retained all his ancient superstition, says that : ; the midst of a dark wood he made a sign for the company ti stop, and, taking hold of an hollow piece of bamboo that hung as an amulet round his neck, whistled very loud three times; this, he said, was to ascertain what success would attend the journey. He then dismounted, laid his spear across the road, and having said a short number of prayers, concluded with three loud whistles ; after which he listened for some time, as if in expectation of an answer, and, receiving none, said the company might proceed without fear, as there was no danger.”
Gaule, in his Mag-astromancers Posed and Puzzel’d, p. 192, inquires “whether pericepts, amulets, præfiscinals, phylacteries, niceteries, ligatures, suspensions, charms, and spells, had ever been used, applyed, or carryed about, but for magick and astrologie ? Their supposed efficacy (in curing diseases and preventing of perils) being taught from their fabrication, configuration, and confection, under such and such sydereal aspects, conjunctions, constellations." His preceding observations upon alchemy are too pointed and sensible not to be retained : “ Whether alchymie (that enticing yet nice harlot) had made so many fooles and beggars, had she not clothed or painted herself with such astrological phrases and magical practises? But I let this kitchen magick or chimney astrology passe. The sweltering drudges and smoaky scullions of it (if they may not bring in new fuel to the fire) are soon taught (by their past observed folly) to ominate their own late repentance. But if they will obstinately persist, in hope to sell their smoak, let others beware how they buy it too dear."
THE LEE-PENNY, OR LEE-STONE.
[The Lee-penny, or Lee-stone, is a curious piece of antiquity belonging to the family of Lee in Scotland.
It is a stone, of a dark red colour and triangular shape, and its size about half an inch on each side. It is set in a piece of silver coin, which, though much defaced, hy some letters still remaining, it is supposed to be a shilling of Edward the First, the cross being very plain, as it is on his shillings. It has been, by tradition, in the Lee family since the year 1320; that is, a little after the death of King Robert Bruce, who having ordered his heart to be carried to the Holy Land, there to be buried, one of the noble family of Douglas was sent with it, and it is said got the crowned heart in his arms from that circumstance; but the person who carried the heart was Simon Locard of Lee, who just about this time borrowed a large sum of money from Sir William de Lindsay, a prior of Ayr, for which he granted a bond of annuity of ten pounds of silver, during the life of the said Sir William de Lindsay, out of his lands of Lee and Cartland. The original bond, dated 1323, and witnessed by the principal nobility of the country, is still remaining among the family papers.
As this was a great sum in those days, it is thought it was borrowed for that expedition; and from his being the person who carried the royal heart, he chan his name to Lockheart, as it is sometimes spelt, or Lockhart, and got a heart within a lock for part of his arms, with the motto Corda serata pando. This Simon Lockhart having taken prisoner a Saracen prince or chief, his wife came to ransom him, and on counting out the money or jewels, this stone fell out of her
which she hastily snatched up; which Simon Lockhart observing, insisted to have it, else he would not give up his prisoner. Upon this the lady gave it him, and told him its many virtues, viz. that it cured all diseases in cattle, and the bite of a mad dog both in man and beast. It is used by dipping the stone in water, which is given to the diseased cattle to drink ; and the person who has been bit, and the wound or part infected, is washed with the water. There are no words used in the dipping of the stone, nor any money taken by the servants, without incurring the owner's displeasure. Many are