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St. John's Eve and Day, as the shadowy relicks of a Pagan festival, were naturally connected with a multitude. of superstitious observances. Thus the rain, if it should fall on this day is particularly injurious to nuts,* a fact which is allowed by that arch-protestant, Hospinian, who even attempts to assign a cause for it, though he has the grace to say he has heard some maintain the opinion to be vain and superstitious. It was a famous time too for charms and divinations, which appear to have been of various kinds. Not the least singular of these was the drawing of lots, which we find mentioned with much other curious matter in the scholiasts on the sixth Trullan council-" The demoniacal mystery of fires and drawing lots prevailed till the time of the most holy patriarch Michael, who was the prince of philosophers in this queen of cities, and in this manner. On the twenty-third evening of the month of June, men and women assembled on the sea-shore and in certain houses, and adorned some first-born maiden like a bride. After they had feasted, and leaped and danced in Bacchanalian fashion, and had shouted as was their wont on holydays, they poured seawater into a narrow-necked vessel, and flung into it some articles belonging to each of them; then, as if the maiden had received from Satan the faculty of predicting future events, they would interrogate her in loud voice as to their good or evil fortunes; hereupon she would draw out any of the things thrown into the vessel, which the foolish owner receiving imagined he was now more


"Persuasum denique est vulgo si circa diem S. Joannis pluat, officere id avellanis. Causa fortasse est ipsarum tunc teneritudo, humoris impatiens. Audivi qui dicerent esse opinionem vanam et superstitiosam, quæ etiam in aliis id genus observationibus multis simplicium animos teneat."-Hospinian De Festis Christ., fol. 114.

certain as to the good or evil that would happen to him.'

Another superstition of the day may be deduced from the following tale told by Bovet, with all the simple earnestness of Defoe in his narrative of Mrs. Veal's ghost. "At South Petherton, in the county of Somerset, lives a gentlewoman (very well known to all the neighbouring gentry) whom I can not mention without an honourable respect, having often had the happiness to have been entertained with most obliging respect both by the virtuous mother and her congenerous issue. It was on Midsummer day, in the year 1680, I happened to pay a visit to that worthy family, and finding the lady and her daughters at home, after passing common civilities, the eldest of the daughters (who is a very ingenious and accomplisht lady,) informed me that there had been the strangest thing done in their family the preceding night that ever was heard on, for their servant maids had raised the devil, &c. and so went on to give a thorow relation of what you will hear by and by; only I think it best to let the maids

* Τê Ιουνίου μηνὸς ἠθροιζοντο ἐν ταῖς ῥυμίσι καὶ ἐν τισιν οἰκοις ἄνδρες καὶ γυναῖκες, καὶ πρωτότοκον κοράσιον νυμφικως ἐστολιζον. Μετα γῆν το συμποσιασαι καὶ βακχικώτερον ὀρχήσασθαι, καὶ χορευσαι καὶ ἀλαλάξαι, ἔβαλον ἐν αςγείῳ συςόμῳ χαλχῷ θαλαττιον ὕδωρ, καὶ εïdŋ Tivà εkáσTW TOUTWV, &c. SYNODICON, SIVE PANDECTE S. S. APOSTOLORUM, &c.—Canones Concilii Sexti in Trullo. Can. 65, p. 235, tom. i. fol. Oxon. 1672.

The Trullum, or Trullan, Council, from whose canons the above extract has been made, was a council assembled in 692 against the Monothelites, (uovos, single, and Oɛλɛμa, will,) a sect that had its rise about sixty years before, and which, according to Mosheim, maintained that Christ had two natures, but so united as to form one. The council received its name from the trullum, i.e. dome (trulla, a cap or dome,) of the palace of Constantinople, though the term was more properly applied to the hall in which the emperors consulted on state affairs. This Council in Trullo was the sixth œcumenical or general council.



themselves tell the story, which after the old lady had called them into the room, they did after this manner :—

"We had been told divers times, that if we fasted on Midsummer Eve, and then at 12 o'clock at night laid a cloth on the table, with bread and cheese, and a cup of the best beer, setting ourselves down as if we were going to eat, and leaving the door of the room open, we should see the persons, whom we should afterwards marry, come into the room and drink to us. Accordingly we kept a true fast all the day yesterday, unknown to any of the family; and at night, having disposed of my mistresses to bed, we fastened the stair-door of their rooms, which came down into the hall, and locked all the doors of the yard, and whatever way besides led into the house, except the door of the kitchen, which was left open to the yard for the sweethearts to enter. It being then near twelve o'clock, we laid a clean cloath on the kitchen table, setting thereon a loaf and cheese, and a stone jug of beer, with a drinking glass, seating ourselves together in the inside of the table with our faces towards the door. We had been in this posture but a little while before we heard a mighty rattling at the great gate of the yard as if it would have shook the house down; there was a jingling of chains, and something seemed to prance about the yard like a horse, which put us into great terror and affrightment, so that we wisht we had never gone so far in it; but now we knew not how to go back, and therefore kept the place where we were. My master's spaniel (for the young captain was then alive) got against the door of the stair-foot, and there made so great a noise with howling and rattling the door, that we feared they might have taken notice of the disturbance; but presently came a young man into the kitchen (here one of the young ladies interrupted her, saying, ' housewife it was the devil, to which the maid replied, 'Madam, I do not believe that, but perhaps

it might be the spirit of a man) and making a bow to me he took up the glass, which was full of beer, on the table, and drunk to me, filling the glass again and setting it on the table as before; then making another bow went out of the room. Immediately after which, another came in the same manner, and did the same to the other maid (whom she named, but I have forgot) and then all was quiet, and after we had eaten some bread and cheese we went to bed."*

From the same authority we learn that those who fasted on St. John's Eve, and then sate in the church-porch at midnight, would "see who should die in that parish the subsequent year, and that the spirits of such would (in the same order they were to die in) come one after another and knock at the church-door."† Upon one occasion it appears a watcher fell asleep so soundly that nobody could wake him, and during this unnatural torpor his spirit appeared and gave the usual warning, though, he himself was totally unconscious of any thing of the kind.

Of the divination by ORPINE, the Stone-crop, Lib-long, or Livelong, I have already spoken in another place. §

* PANDEMONIUM, or the DEVIL'S CLOYSTER. By Richard Bovet, p. 211. Tenth Relat. 12mo. London. 1684.

+ Idem. p. 216.

It is not very easy to decide whether by ORPINE here is intended the Lesser Houselesk or the Stone-crop; and what renders the matter yet more confused and doubtful is that neither of these plants flowers till late in July, whereas to really meet the terms of the superstitious custom the Orpine, whatever it is, should flower in June. Gerard, however, in his Herbal (p. 519,) gives us several sorts-the Spanish O. ; the Common O., and three smaller kinds; the Purple O.; the NeverDying O.; the Creeping O.

§ In the article in question (vol i. p. 210), I gave a quotation from some old writer, I could not recollect whom, respecting the popular superstition of Midsummer Men. Oddly enough, I have since found a

The ARTEMISIA, Mugwort, or Motherwort, was also a

Aubrey in his usual summer on St. John's

ceremonial plant of the season. gossiping vein tells us, "the last Day (1694) I accidentally was walking in the pasture behind Montague House, it was twelve o'clock. I saw there about two or three and twenty young women, most of them well habited, on their knees very busie, as if they had been weeding. I could not presently learn what the matter was; at last a young man told me that they were looking for a coal under the root of a plantain to put under their heads that night, and they should dream who would be their husbands. It was to be found that day and hour."*

In Hill's NATURALL AND ARTIFICIAL CONCLUSIONS, We have a tale of the same kind in a chapter (c. 146) headed— "The Vertue of a rare Cole, that is to be found but one hour in the day, and one day in the yeer. Divers authors affirm concerning the verity and vertue of this Cole, viz., that it is only to be found upon Midsummer Eve (being the Eve of St. John the Baptist) just at noon, under every root of plantine and of mugwort: the effects whereof are wonderful; for whosoever weareth or beareth the same about with them, shall be freed from the plague, fever, ague, and sundry other diseases. And one author especially writeth, and constantly averreth, that he

portion of it, word for word, in Tawny Rachel (p. 208, vol. ii.) a tale by that stupid fanatic, Hannah More, who however has not given any acknowledgment of the source from which she borrowed it. It is quoted by Ellis in his edition of Brand, of course without the slightest suspicion of an earlier original.

* AUBREY'S MISCELLANIES, chap. xiii. p. 103. London. 1696. The reader, 'however, who wishes to refer to the original, should be made aware that two works under this same title, but with very different matter, were published by Aubrey, the latter one bearing date

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