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When you are asleep, you'll fancy you hear him talking to you of love : then looking into your shoes, and attempting to put them on, if you are desirous of two, they will appear.” (p. 23.)
202. ARISTOTLE'S LEGACY, OR HIS GOLDEN CABINET
OF SECRETS opened, in five treatices. Licensed according to order. Printed for J. Blare at the
Looking-Glass on London-bridge, n. d. A tract very similar to the last. The following “love-observations on first hearing the cuckoo” are curious :
“When you walk abroad in the spring, as soon as you hear the cuckoo, sit down on a bank, or any convenient place, and pull the stocking from off your right leg, and whilst you are doing it, say :
“ May this to me
Now lucky be.
Then looking between your great toes, and you'll perceive a hair, which will easily come off; take it, and look well on it, and you will perceive it to be the colour (of) the party's hair you desire. Wrap it up in a piece of paper, and keep it ten days carefully. If then it has not changed colour, then the party loved will be constant, and you will obtain your desire; but if it do, you are flattered, and will be deceived." Gay alludes to this method of divination in his Pastorals, ed. 1742, p. 32,
When first the year I heard the cuckow sing,
I straitway set a running with such haste,
This tract is illustrated with hideous woodcuts, one of which, at p. 16, represents Robin Goodfellow and
the fairies, and is evidently a copy of that prefixed to the Mad Pranks of Robin Goodfellow, 1628, reprinted by Mr. Collier for the Percy Society. The following list of contents is given at the commencement of the tract :-1. The fortune-teller, or knowledge of good
and bad fortune by throwing the dice on the wheel of fortune.-2. By palmestry, as the lines or marks in the hand.-3. By phisiognomy, or the several parts of the face and head, as eyes, nose, chin, hair, &c. By metocopy, as the several lines and marks in the forehead, and other parts of the face. With marks and sacred characters, and all other matters relating to long, or short life, love, business, the humours and dispositions of the partys, and how they are inclin'd.—4. A treatise of moles and their significations on the face or any part of the body : the like of dreams and their interpretation, more exact than ever.–5. Observations on Valentine's day, St. Agnes' day, and upon the first hearing the cuckoo, as they particularly relate to love and marriage, by which a maid or widdow may know whether her sweetheart be true or false, in earnest or in jest; when married, and if fortunate or unfortunate in wedlock.-6. How to make an enchanted ring, or make any who wears it to fall in love with you.—7. Also the best and most powerful receipt for making love-powder, to which are added twenty merry and pleasant riddles, with their solutions or explanations : the whole illustrated throughout with curious cuts proper to each particular, being the best, most exact, and accomplished book of this nature. The tract consists of twenty-four pages, with forty-eight cuts.
With respect to moles, we are told that “a mole on the right arm denotes riches and honour to a man, or woman, by great undertakings and happy marriages : a mole on the left-arm, under the wrist, denotes this party to be crossed in his issue, but that he shall attain riches ; a mole on the back, inclining to the right-side, denotes riches and honour to be gained by the favour of great men ; a mole on the left-side the stomach, denotes indifferent good fortune to man, or woman ; a mole on the groin, inclining to the rightside of the loin, signifies prosperity and fortune to man, or woman, by marriage, or other ways : a mole appearing on the right, or left knee, denotes a person will advantage himself by travel into strange countrys: two moles, answering equally on either side the gullet, threatens untimely death ; a mole on the left-side of the forehead, denotes the party shall get riches by tillage, building, and planting. A mole on the rightside of the forehead promises happy contentment of life, &c.” .
Another edition of this tract in my possession, but, unfortunately, imperfect, was “printed for Tho. Norris, at the Looking-glass on London Bridge,” 1711. 12mo. It contains many more cuts, and a collection of jests is added. From the latter we may accept the following, the first relating to cucking-stools, and the other to the ancient custom of marking an infected house with a red-cross :
“Some gentlemen were riding into the country to be merry, and coming near a country town, they saw a ducking-stool, and an old woman near it spinning. “Come,' says one of them, “you shall see how I'll abuse this old woman. Good woman,' says he, “what was that chair made for ? She told him he
knew well enough what it was. “No,' says he, 'I do not know, unless it be the chair you use to spin in.' “Oh, fie!' says she, you must needs know it, for 'tis a cradle your good mother has often lain in.”
“In a great plague-time, a constable passing by one of his neighbour's houses, heard his wife soundly basting him, wherefore that night he set up a redcross upon the door. The man next morning seeing it, was highly offended, and complained thereof to the alderman of the ward, who thereupon was sent for to answer wherefore he did it. To which the constable said, “Yesterday, passing by his house, I heard his wife soundly vilain him, and I think there can be no greater plague in a house than that.'”
203. MOTHER BUNCH'S GOLDEN FORTUNE-TELLER,
containing “Love's delight, or how to ascertain
all future events.” 12mo. Newcastle, n.d. A curious collection of rural superstitions, from which we may select the following extract respecting the dumb-cake :—“In order to make the dumb-cake to perfection, it is necessary to observe strictly the following instructions : let any number of young women take a handful of wheaten-flour (not a word is to be spoken by any one of them during the rest of the process) and place it on a sheet of white-paper, then sprinkle it over with as much salt as can be held between the finger and thumb: then one of the damsels must bestow as much water as will make it into a dough ; which being done, each of the company