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forth to battle against the enemies of the Lord. He adds : “ This mode of divination, by accepting as an omen the first sacred words which in particular circumstances should be presented to the eye or ear, was derived from the Pagans, and the Psalter or Bible was substituted to the poems of Homer and Virgil. From the fourth to the fourteenth century, these sortes sanctorum, as they are styled, were repeatedly condemned by the decrees of councils, and repeatedly practised by kings, bishops, and saints. See a curious dissertation of the Abbé de Resnel, in the Mémoires de l'Académie, xix. 287 -310.”

It appears from Eccho to the Voice from Heaven, 1652, p. 227, that the fanatic Arise Evans, in the time of the Com. monwealth, used this species of divination by the Bible. It appears also, from Lord Berkeley's Historical Applications, 8vo. Lond. 1670, p. 90, that the good earl, being sick and under some dejection of spirit, had recourse to this then prevailing superstition. His words are: “I being sick and under some dejection of spirit, opening my Bible to see what place I could first light upon, which might administer comfort to me, casually I fixed upon the sixth of Hosea : the three first verses are these. I am willing to decline superstition upon all occasions, yet think myself obliged to make this use of such a providential place of Scripture : 1st. By hearty repenting me of my sins past: 2dly. By sincere reformation for the time to come.”

In Willis's Mount Tabor, pp. 199, 200, we read: “As I was to passe through the roome where my little grand childe was set by her grandmother to read her morning's chapter, the ninth of Matthew's gospell, just as I came in she was uttering these words in the second verse, • Jesus said to the sicke of the palsie, sonne, be of good comfort, thy sinnes are forgiven thee,' which words sorting so fitly with my case, whose whole left side is taken with that kind of disease, I stood at a stand at the uttering of them, and could not but conceive some joy and comfort in those blessed words, though by the childe's reading, as if the Lord by her had spoken them to myselfe, a paralytick and a sinner, as that sicke man was,” &c. This may be called a Bible omen.



MR. PENNANT gives an account of another sort of divination used in Scotland, called sleina-nachd, or reading the speal bone, or the blade-bone of a shoulder of mutton, well scraped. (Mr. Shaw says picked; no iron must touch it.) See Tacitus's Annals, xiv.

When Lord Loudon, he says, was obliged to retreat before the rebels to the isle of Skie, a common soldier, on the very moment the battle of Culloden was decided, proclaimed the victory at that distance, pretending to have discovered the event by looking through the bone. Tour in Scotland, 1769, p. 155. See also Pennant's Tour to the Hebrides, p. 282, for another instance of the use of the speal bone. The word speal is evidently derived from the French espaule, humerus." Drayton, in his Polyolbion, song v. mentions :

“A divination strange the Dutch-made English have
Appropriate to that place (as though some power it gave)
By th’shoulder of a ram from off the right side par'd,
Which usually they boile, the spade-bone being bar'd,
Which when the wizard takes, and gazing therupon

Things long to come foreshowes, as things done lone agone."
He alludes to a colony of Flemings planted about Pem-
brokeshire. Selden, in a note on this passage, tells us :
“Under Henry the Second, one William Mangunel, a gentle-
man of those parts, finding by his skill of prediction that his
wife had played false with him, and conceived by his own
nephew, formally dresses the shoulder-bone of one of his own
rammes, and sitting at dinner (pretending it to be taken out
of his neighbour's flocke) requests his wife (equalling him in
these divinations) to give her judgement. She curiously ob-
serves, and at last with great laughter casts it from her.
The gentleman importuning her reason of so vehement an
affection, receives answer of her, that his wife, out of whose
flocke that ramme was taken, had by incestuous copulation
with her husband's nephew fraughted herself with a young
one. Lay all together and judge, gentlewomen, the sequell of
this crosse accident. But why she could not as well divine
of whose flocke it was, as the other secret, when I have more
skill in osteomantie, I will tell you.” He refers to Girald.

Itin. i. cap. 11. Hanway, in his Travels into Persia, vol. i. p. 177, tells us, that in that country too they have a kind of divination by the bone of a sheep.

In Caxton's Description of England, at the end of the Scholemaster of St. Alban's Chronicle, 1500, we read : “ It semeth of tliese men a grete wonder that in a boon of a wethers ryght sholder whan the fleshe is soden awaye and not rosted, they knowe what have be done, is done, and shall be done, as it were by spyryte of prophecye and a wonderful crafte. They telle what is done in ferre countries, tokenes of peas or of warre, the state of the royame, sleynge of men, and spousebreche, such thynges theye declare certayne of tokenes and sygnes that is in suche a sholder bone.” Camden, in his Ancient and Modern Manners of the Irish, says: “They look through the blade-bone of a sheep, and if they see any spot in it darker than ordinary, foretell that somebody will be buried out of the house. Gough's Camden, 1789, iii. 659.

There is a rustic species of divination by bachelors' buttons, a plant so called. "There was an ancient custom, says Grey, in his Notes upon Shakespeare, i. 108, amongst the country fellows, of trying whether they should succeed with their mistresses by carrying the batcheliour's buttons, a plant of this Lychnis kind, whose flowers resemble also a button in form, in their pockets; and they judged of their good or bad success by their growing or not. growing there. În Greene's Quip for an Upstart Courtier, 4to. Lond. 1620, batchelors' buttons are described as having been worn also by the young women, and that too under their aprons. Thereby I saw the batchelors' buttons, wliose virtue is to make wanton maidens weepe when they have worne it forty weekes under their aprons, for a favour.”[

Borlase, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, p. 133, says, that “the Druids, besides the ominous appearances of the entrails, had several ways of divining. They divined by augury, that is, from the observations they made on the voices, flying, -eating, mirth or sadness, health or sickness of birds."

Germanos veteres ex hinnitu et fremitu equorum cepisse auguria, nec ülli auspicio majorem fidem adhibitam, testatur' Tacitus, lib. de Moribus Germanorum." Pet. Molinæi Vates, p. 218.



In Lilly's History of his Life and Times, there is a curious experiment of this sort made, it should seem, by the desire of Cliarles the First, to know in what quarter of the nation he might be most safe, after he should have effected his

escape, and not be discovered until himself pleased. Madame Whorewood was deputed to receive Lilly's judgment. He seems to have had high fees, for he owns he got on this occasion twenty pieces of gold. Dr. Johnson probably alluded to this fact in Înis Lives of the Poets. Speaking of Hudibras, he says: “Astrology, against which so much of this satire is directed, was not more the folly of the Puritans than of others. It had at that time a very extensive dominion. Its predictions raised hopes and fears in minds which ought to have rejected it with contempt. In hazardous undertakings care was taken to begin under the influence of a propitious planet; and when the king was prisoner in Carisbrook Castle, an astrologer was consulted what hour wonld be found most favourable to an escape.'

By the Nauticum Astrologicum, directing Merchants, Mariners, Captains of Ships, Ensurers, &c. how (by God's blessing) they may escape divers dangers which commonly happen in the Ocean, the posthumous work of John Gadbury, 1710, it appears that figures were often erected concerning the voyages of ships from London to Newcastle, &c. In p. 123, the predictor tells us his answer was verified; the ship, though not lost, had been in great danger thereof, having unhappily run agroured at Newcastle, sprung a shroud, and wholly lost her keel. At p. 93, there is a figure given of a ship that set sail from London towards Newcastle, Aug. 27, 11 p.m. 1669. This proved a fortunate voyage.

“ As, indeed,” saith our author, “under so auspicious a position of heaven it had been strange if she had missed so to have done; for herein you see Jupiter in the ascendant in sextile aspect of the sun, and the moon, who is lady of the horoscope, and governess of the hour in which she weighed anchor, is applying ad trinum Veneris. She returned to London again very well laden, in three weeks' time, to the great content as well as advantage of the owner.”

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Henry, in his History of Great Britain, iii. 575, speaking of astrology, tells us : “ Nor did this passion for penetrating into futurity prevail only among the common people, but also among persons of the highest ranke and greatest learning: All our kings, and many of our earls and great barons, had their astrologers, who resided in their families, and were consulted by them in all undertakings of great importance.' The great man, he observes, ibid. chap. iv. p. 403, kept these “ to cast the horoscopes of his children, discover the success ། of his designs, and the public events that were to happen. Their predictions," he adds, “were couched in very general and artful terms." In another part of his history, however, Dr. Henry says:

Astrology, though ridiculous and delusive in itself, hath been the best friend of the excellent and useful science of astronomy.”

Zouch, in his edition of Walton's Lives, 1796, p. 131, note, says, mentioning Queen Mary's reign : “Judicial astrology

, was much in use long after this time. Its predictions were received with reverential awe; and men even of the most enlightened understandings were inclined to believe that the conjunctions and oppositions of the planets had no little influence in the affairs of the world. Even the excellent Joseph Mede disdained not to apply himself to the study of astrology.” Astrology is ridiculed in a masterly manner in Shakespeare's King Lear, act i. sc. 8.

Mason, in his Anatomie of Sorcerie, 4to. Lond. 1612, p. 91, mentions in his list of the prevailing superstitions,“ erecting of a figure to tell of stolne goods.” In the Dialogue of Dives and Pauper, printed by Pynson, A.D. 1493, among superstitious practises then in use and censured, we meet with the following: “Or take hede to the judicial of astronomyor dyvyne a mans lyf or deth by nombres and by the spere of Pyctagorus, or make any dyvyning therby, or by songuary or sompnarye, the boke of dremes, or by the boke that is clepid the Apostles lottis.” The severe author adds : And

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1“Of this,” he says,“ we meet with a very curious example, in the account given by Matthew Paris of the marriage of Frederick, Emperor of Gerniany, and Isabella, sister of Henry III., A.D. 1235. Nocte vero prima qua concubuit imperator cum ea, noluit eam carnaliter cognoscere, donec competens hora ab astrologis ei nunciaretur.' M. Paris, p. 285, ad ann. 1235." See Henry, vol. iv. p. 577.

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