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declare the same. The swalowe flying and beating the water, the chirping of the sparow in the morning, signifie rayne. Raine sodainly dried up: woody coveringes strayter than of custome; belles harde further than commonly; the wallowyng of dogges; the alteration of the cocke crowing; all declare rainy weather. I leave these, wanting the good grounde of the rest. If the learned be desyrefull of the to forsayd, let them reade grave Virgil, primo Georgicorum, At Bor, &c."
In Lloyd's Stratagems of Jerusalem, 4to. 1602, p. 286, we read: "The Thracians, when it thunders, take their bowes and arrowes, and shoote up to the cloudes against the thunder, imagining by their shooting to drive the thunders away. Cabrias, the generall of Athens, being ready to strike a battel on sea, it suddenly lightened, which so terrified the soldiers that they were unwilling to fight, until Cabrias said that now the time is to fight, when Jupiter himselfe, with his lightening, doth shewe he is ready to go before us. So Epaminondas, at his going to battell it suddenly lightened that it so amazed his souldiers that Epaminondas comforted them and saide, Lumen hoc numina ostendunt,'-by these lightenings the Gods shew us that we shall have victories." Ibid. p. 287: "In Rome, the dictator, the consul, the prætor, and other magistrates, were to be removed from their offices, if the soothsayer sawe any occasion by lightning, thundering, by removing of starres, by flying of fowles, by intrailes of beasts, by eclipse of the sun and moon." Ibid. p. 288, we read: "Pau. Æmilius, consul and generall of the Romanes in Macedonia, at what time he sacrific'd unto the gods in the city of Amphipolis, it lightned, whereby he was perswaded it pretended the overthrow of the kingdom of Macedonia, and his great victory and tryumph of the same at Rome."
Willsford, in his Nature's Secrets, p. 113, says: "Thunder and lightning in winter in hot countryes is usual, and hath the same effects; but in those northern climates it is held ominous, portending factions, tumults, and bloody wars, and a thing seldome seen, according to the old adigy, 'Winter's thunder is the sommer's wonder."
Massey, in his notes on Ovid's Fasti, p. 90, says: "The left-hand thunder was accounted a happy omen by the Romans, but by the Greeks and barbarians it was thought
otherwise; so inconsistent are superstitious observations." See Tully, de Divinatione, lib. ii. cap. 39.
Lord Northampton, in the Defensative against the Poyson of supposed Prophecies, 1583, tells us: "It chaunceth sometimes to thunder about that time and season of the yeare when swannes hatch their young; and yet no doubt it is a paradox of simple men to thinke that a swanne cannot hatch without a cracke of thunder."
In Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland, x. 14, parish of Wick, co. Caithness, the minister, speaking of the swans which periodically visit the lakes there, says: "They are remarkable prognosticators of the weather, and much relied on as such by the farmer."
In the Cambrian Register, 1796, p. 430, we read: "It cannot be denied that the Welsh have much superstition amongst them, though it is wearing off very fast. But the instance adduced here (by the Gleaner), that of their predicting a storm by the roaring of the sea, is a curious kind of proof of their superstition. Their predictions, if they may be so called, are commonly justified by the event; and may, I apprehend, be accounted for from causes as natural as the forebodings of shepherds; for which they have rules and data as well known to themselves, and, perhaps, as little liable to error, as any of those established by the more enlightened philosophers of the present day."
WILLSFORD, in his Nature's Secrets, p. 136, tells us that "Trefoile, or claver-grasse, against stormy and tempestuous weather will seem rough, and the leaves of it stare and rise up, as if it were afraid of an assault. Tezils, or fuller's thistle, being gathered and hanged up in the house, where the air may come freely to it, upon the alteration of cold and windy weather, will grow smoother, and against rain will close up his prickles. Heliotropes and marigolds do not only presage stormy weather by closing or contracting together their leaves, but turn towards the sun's rays all the day, and in the evening shut up shop. Pine-apples, hanging up in the house, where they freely may enjoy the air, will close themselves against
wet and cold weather, and open against hot and dry times. The leaves of trees and plants in general will shake and tremble against a tempest more than ordinary. All tender buds, blossoms, and delicate flowers, against the incursion of a storm, do contract and withdraw themselves within their husks and leaves, whereby each may preserve itself from the injury of the weather."
He says, ibid. p. 144: "Leaves in the wind, or down floating upon the water, are signs of tempests. In autumn (some say), in the gall, or oak-apple, one of these three things will be found (if cut in pieces): a flie, denoting want; a worm, plenty; but, if a spider, mortality." He tells us, ibid., that "the broom having plenty of blossoms, or the walnut tree, is a sign of a fruitful year of corn." That "great store of nuts and almonds presage a plentiful year of corn, especially filberds. When roses and violets flourish in autumn, it is an evil sign of an insuing plague the year following, or some pestiferous disease."
Lupton, in his third Book of Notable Things (edit. 8vo. 1660, p. 52), No. 7, says: "If you take an oak-apple from an oak tree, and upon the same you shall find a little worm therein, which if it doth flye away it signifies wars; if it creeps, it betokens scarceness of corn; if it run about, then it foreshews the plague. This is the countryman's astrology, which they have long observed for truth.-Mizaldus." He says, ibid., 25: "The leaves of an elm tree or of a peach tree, falling before their time, do foreshew or betoken a murrain or death of cattle.-Cardanus."
In the Supplement to the Athenian Oracle, p. 476: "The fly in the oak-apple is explained as denoting war; the spider, pestilence; the small worm, plenty."
[The following, communicated by Mr. R. Bond, of Gloucester, was received too late for insertion under its proper heading in Vol. I.: “A circumstance which occurred in my presence on Saturday evening last (the 31st of March), brought to my recollection a superstitious notion which I have often heard repeated. A lady (in the common acceptation of the term) requested of a seedsman that she might be then furnished with various flower-seeds, 'for,' she added, 'I must not omit sowing them to-morrow.' 'May I inquire,' exclaimed the astonished shopman, ‘if there is any particular reason for your making choice of that day? 'Yes,' was the answer; 'it is because to-morrow is Palm Sunday, and the advantage to be derived from sowing on that day is, that the flowers will be sure to come double.'"]
WE gather, from Congreve's Love for Love, where, in the character of Old Foresight, he so forcibly and wittily satirises superstition, that to stumble in going down stairs is held to be a bad omen. From him, as well as from the Spectator, we gather, that sometimes "a rusty nail, or a crooked pin, shoots up into prodigies!"
Cicero, in his second book, De Divinatione, § 40, observes: "Quæ si suscipiamus, pedis offensio nobis, et abruptio corrigiæ et sternutamenta erunt observanda." In Pet. Molinæi Vates, p. 218, we read: "Si quis in limine impegit, ominosum est.'
"That you may never stumble at your going out in the morning," is found among the omens deprecated in Barton Holiday's Marriage of the Arts, 4to.
Poor Robin, in his Almanack for 1695, thus ridicules the superstitious charms to avert ill luck in stumbling: "All those who, walking the streets, stumble at a stick or stone, and when they are past it turn back again to spurn or kick the stone they stumbled at, are liable to turn students in Goatam college; and, upon admittance, to have a coat put upon him, with a cap, a bauble, and other ornaments belonging to his degree."
"It is lucky," says Grose, "to tumble up stairs." Probably this is a jocular observation, meaning it was lucky the party did not tumble down stairs. Melton, in his Astrologaster, p. 45, says: "10. That if a man stumbles in a morning as soon as he comes out of dores, it is a signe of ill lucke.' He adds: "30. That if a horse stumble on the highway, it is a signe of ill lucke." Bishop Hall, in his Characters of Vertues and Vices, under the head of the Superstitious Man, observes, that "if he stumbled at the threshold, he feares a mischief." Stumbling at a grave was anciently reckoned ominous; thus Shakespeare:
"How oft to-night
In Whimzies, or a New Cast of Characters, 1631, speaking of a yealous (jealous) neighbour, the author says: "His earth-reverting body (according to his mind) is to be buried
in some cell, roach, or vault, and in no open space, lest passengers (belike) might stumble on his grave."
Gaule, in his Mag-astromancers Posed and Puzzel'd, p. 181, omits not, in his very full catalogue of vain observations and superstitious ominations thereupon, "the stumbling at first going about an enterprise."
KNIVES, SCISSORS, RAZORS, &c.
It is unlucky, says Grose, to lay one's knife and fork crosswise; crosses and misfortunes are likely to follow. Melton, in his Astrologaster, p. 45, in his catalogue of many superstitious ceremonies, observes: "25. That it is naught for any man to give a pair of knives to his sweetheart, for feare it cuts away all love that is betweene them." Thus Gay, in his second Pastoral of "The Shepherd's Week:"
"But woe is me! such presents luckless prove,
It is, says Grose, unlucky to present a knife, scissors, razor, or any sharp or cutting instrument, to one's mistress or friend, as they are apt to cut love and friendship. To avoid the ill effects of this, a pin, a farthing, or some trifling recompense, must be taken in return. To find a knife or razor denotes ill luck and disappointment to the party.
The following is found in Delrio, Disquisit. Magic., p. 494, from Beezius: "Item ne alf, vel mar equitet mulierem in puerperio jacentem, vel ne infans rapiatur (a strigibus) debet poni cultellus vel corrigia super lectum."
OF FINDING OR LOSING THINGS.
MELTON, in his Astrologaster, p. 46, says: "11. That if a man, walking in the fields, finde any foure-leaved grasse, he shall, in a small while after, finde some good thing." He tells ibid. : "15. That it is naught for a man or woman to lose