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which the pedestrians reply, "Viva Gesú e Maria”, or vice versâ. The Vice-Consul at Messina mentions a characteristic example of a Sicilian pilgrimage. At a mountain town about fifty miles from Messina there is a festa in September called the Madonna of the Chain (Madonna della Catena). If a man is dangerously ill, or in trouble, or in love, or for whatever reason it may be, he vows to go for one, two, three, or four years on the pilgrimage of the "Madonna della Catena". The devotees strip themselves of all but a cloth about their loins. They have in their hands soft pieces of pithy wood called sferza, about the diameter of a penny piece, through which are stuck from forty to fifty pins, their points projecting one-eighth of an inch. The procession starts from the town to the chapel of the Madonna della Catena, about four miles distant; the men stab themselves with these pins on the shoulders, breast, thighs, and legs, shouting all the time, the women encouraging them with wine and bread, and a priest leads the way with a banner. When the Vice-Consul saw this there were over one hundred men in the procession, and the stabs given over and over again on the same spots caused horrible bleeding tumours, and two deaths occurred. The women who have made vows pass their tongues upon the ground through every impurity from the church door to the high altar. The men, it is said, never break a vow when made under the sense of religion.
But, indeed, we need not travel so far as to Russia, nor even to Sicily, to find illustrations of human credulity: London will supply us with a fund of examples. Let one suffice.
In the Morning Post of April 17, 1884, occurs the following notice of an old but still extant superstition. Certain proceedings took place at the Thames Police Court, in which
A woman named Lyons was charged with violently assaulting a woman named O'Brien, by striking her over the head with some heavy instrument, tearing out some of her hair, and knocking her down. The prisoner admitted the assault, but said the prosecutrix struck her first. The dispute, she explained, arose out of the loss of her shawl, which had disappeared in a mysterious way. She felt certain that it had been stolen, and she therefore made up her mind to find out the thief by means of the "Bible and key"-a test, she said, which never failed. She accordingly invited several friends to her room. She got a key and a Bible, and laying the Bible upon the table, she took the key, and, after tying a piece of string to it, placed it inside the Bible, with the wards flat upon the leaves. She then closed the book, and, sitting so that those in the room could see her, she took in her hand the part of the key which she had left projecting, and pronounced the names of the persons she was acquainted with, repeating after each name the words, "Turn, Bible, turn, turn round the key; turn, key, turn, and show the name to me." She repeated several names, but no sign was given. At last she mentioned the name of Mrs. O'Brien, and then the key gave such a turn that it twisted itself out of her hand and fell on
to the floor. She picked it up and replaced it, and then in the same way she got the name of the pawnbroker where her shawl was pledged. The prosecutrix, who was not the Mrs. O'Brien discovered by the key, went and told the other Mrs. O'Brien, who was meant, that she (the prisoner) had marked her down for stealing the shawl, and this caused a row, and then the prosecutrix attacked her and she only took her own part. Ultimately the magistrate bound both women over to keep the peace.
There are still happy hunting grounds for the charlatan, the fortune teller, and the impostor who is audacious enough to lay claim to the possession of magical knowledge. There are still believers in palmistry and astrology, and these are not exclusively limited to the least educated classes.
Canon Atkinson, in his very interesting Forty Years in a Moorland Parish, gives minute particulars of a charm which was actually in use in his own immediate neighbourhood, Danby in Cleveland, within living
"The largest farmer in the parish" of which he is speaking, "a right good sort, and a fair specimen of the old, untutored, unschooled, Yorkshire yeoman, with a large amount of natural shrewdness at the bottom, and with any amount of credulity in some directions, and obstinate incredulity in others, mainly on the side where reason and knowledge lay," was the possessor of the charm. "He could neither read nor write-by no means an unknown thing among the Dales farmers of fifty years ago. He had a lively sense of the actuality of the witch, of her power, of her malice." His cattle died in a mysterious manner. He did not attribute their untimely end to general bad management, or insufficient food, or poor pasturage. He was quite certain that they were bewitched. But Dr. Atkinson shall relate, in his own words, the method adopted to defeat the machinations of the malevolent witch.
"Among other ways and means, Jonathan employed a standing charm, and when he died it was found in (as was to be presumed) full operation, in his standing desk, or bureau, with a white-handled penknife, half open, laid in front of it. It consisted of a half-sheet of letter-paper, folded in the fashion of those days when as yet the envelope was undiscovered, and sealed with three black seals, inserted between each two of which was a hackle from a red cock's neck. This, when opened, was found to have a pentacle, inscribed within a circle, drawn on it. It is somewhat difficult to make out which is top and which is bottom, but, from such indications as there are, I assume that the point from which the passage from the Bible, which surrounds the circle just named, begins to read is the bottom. The said extract is, IN HIM SHALL BE THE STRENGTH OF THY HAND. HE SHALL KEEP THEE IN SIX TROUBLES, YEA, EVEN IN SEVEN SHALL NO HARM COME TO THEE,' the
1 See Job, v, 19: "He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee."
"thee" being interlined over the word "come". In the central hexagonal space formed by the mutual intersection of the three triangles which form the figure, is what is meant for a short sentence of three words in the Hebrew character, but is really a mere rough imitation, such as might be made by an ignorant impostor, who knew the general characteristics of the Hebrew as printed. There are then six triangular spaces formed by the cutting off of the apices of the composing triangles by the intersecting sides of the same, and, beginning with the lowest (as we are regarding the diagram) and proceeding to the right, round the circle, in the first (or lowest) is the word AGLA; in the next, the letters or the word EL; in the third, ON; in the fourth, and upside down as we are regarding it, the word NALGAH, and a cross above it; in the fifth, ADONAI; and in the sixth, SADAI. Besides these triangular spaces there are six other spaces, formed by the segments of the containing circle cut off between the several apices of the constituent triangles, and the sides of the small vertical triangles already noted. Taking as the first of these that on the left of the triangular space numbered as the first, just above, the words inscribed are CARO VERBUM FACTUM EST; and proceeding in the same direction as before, in the second the inscription is IESU CHRISTI NAZARENUS REX IUDÆORUM ; in the third, the word PERMUMAITON; in the fourth, AMATI SCHEMA; in the fifth, SADAI; and in the sixth, ADONAI. Turning the charm the other way up, nearly underneath the cross above named, as it now stands, begins the sentence, YE ARE EVERLASTING POWER OF GOD THEOS; and then at the bottom of all, in a straight line, the words, Hoc IN VINCE, all run together, as was the case also in the sentence previously noticed. This last, doubtless, refers directly to the sign of the cross made immediately above, in the small triangle containing the word NALGAH."1
If any members of the Association should, by chance, have read my previous paper on a Seventeenth Century Magical Roll, they will have seen a series of charms some of which may have supplied the material with which this particular charm was constructed.
TRANSCRIPT OF A MAGICAL ROLL.
(British Museum, Rot. Harl. T. 11.)
Worshipp thus crosse wyth saing off v paternoster v auez
"This crosse2 Imete xv .. ys the ...gh' of our Lord Ih'u Crist and what day that a man or woman ther... or blesse hym ther wyth or bere hyt upon hym ther... no person to hurt the.. lyght ... see nor wyndys nor shall' not hurt the nor ... will be
1 Dr. Atkinson, Forty Years in a Moorland Parish (Danby in Cleveland), pp. 94, 96. 8vo., London, 1891.
2 In the margin a cross is drawn.
ouer commyd nor wy'th no ... but confessyon shamefull' de... water and yf ye dedly syn ye shall nor ... ther euer for seincte Cyryce & seinct Julite his moder deseryd this bowne of Almyghty God which was grauntyd them from all harmys and poyson they shall be deleu'yd and breke ther enemys & encresse them in worly & gooddiz & yf a woman be trauelyng of chyld ley this or set this on her & she shall be deleueryd pe child to haue crestendom & the moder purificacion for this is regestrid at Rome at John' Latoranensez."
"Salue1 decus paruulorum, milez Regis angelorum, S. Cirice cum beata genitrice tua inclitus Christus et Maria nos saluet in hora mortis nostre. Amen.
Preciosa est in conspectu Domini Mors sanctorum eius.
"Deus qui gloriosis martiribus tuis Cirico et Julite tribuisti dira nephande iudicis tormenta superare, tribue michi famulo tuo N. humilitatem et virtutem gloriose longitudinis tue et venerabilis crucis preciosi corporis tui et omnes potencias et virtutes tuas [per] intercessionem sanctorum tuorum concedas michi triumphum omnium inimicorum meorum et ut possim semper retinere constanciam per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
"Si vis ut mulier cito pareat et sine dolore has literas in dextra manu eius mittos et statim pareat. Sator arepo tenet operarotas Sancta Anna peperit beatissimam Virginem Mariam, Maria X'm Saluatorem, sic et hec mulier pareat, in nomine Domini nostri Ihesu Christi panditur in terra Dominus Omnipotentis Olimpi. Jam noua progenies celo dimittitur alto.
"Ad eos qui dormire non possunt hec nomina scribe et ad capud infirmi ponat. Respice omnipotens Deus et quia proprie acciones grauat beatorum dormiencium Melchi, Marciniani, Maximiani,
1 In his Lateinische Sequenzen des Mittelalters, Kehrein gives two hymns for St. Cyriac: No. 543, "De Torrente Passionis"; No. 886, "Christi Miles Inclytus". But I do not find the hymn in the text in Kehrein, nor in Mone, nor in Daniel.
2 In the MS. (Brit. Mus.) Titus, D. xxvi, the reading is "in virtute gloriosi...... corporis et sanguinis Tui et omnipotenciarum et virtutum per."
Mitto: sic, for mitte.
It will be observed that this charm, when printed thus,—
exhibits the peculiarity of presenting the same reading when read in different ways,-horizontally, vertically, etc. See Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc., xl, pp. 313-15.
Dionicij Johannez Seraphion Constantynus gloriosus intercessio
nibus requiei sopore adipiscatur.
"Contra dolorem et mortem subitaneam standi vel sedendi. sancta et beata fruendi Crux beata mors moriendi
crux gloriosa ferari Crux clara leball' Crux splendida guttam in corpore Christi dedicata es conserua me famulum tuum. N. ab omni angustia.
"Quicunque super se portauerit in die nec nocte in igne in aqua in bello non ei nocent nec morte subitanea nec in paupertate. Christus paraclitus Filius Dei viui liberet me N. corpus et animam a Sathana. In nomine Patris et Filij et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. Et in virtute sancte crucis. Amen. psoak lnu a. aurum omnibus in Deo vincit omnia mala Amen pa ors r ducta corrupta ope lenti corrupea sta ferrum non facias vulnus in me famulo Dei N. non in carne nec in ossibus nec in nervis sta gladio. In nomine Patris et Filij et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. Hoc imperat ille qui fecit Jordane stare Marcus Matheus Lucas et Johannes
"Pope Innocent the viij hath grauntyd that who so euer man or woman that beryth the lenght of this naylis upon hym & worshipith' deuoutly the iij naylis1 of our' Lord Ihesu Crist wt v. pater noster & v. auez & a crede he shall' haue grauntyd to hym vij yeftiz. the first yefte he shall' not dey of the soden deth' nor evyll' deth. the second yeft he shall not bee slayn' wt no swerd' nor wt no wepyn. the iij that his Enemys shall' haue no power to ouer comme hym. the iiij that no poyson nor fals wyttenesse shall' not greue hym. the vth yefte he shall' haue suffycient goodds & honest lyuyng in this world' ye vj he shall not dey without receyuyng' the holy sacram't of the church' the vij. yefte he shall' be deleueryd from all wykyd spyritz feuers pestelens & other malicyeus. And this ys the very lengh' of Cristiz nayliz which' most be holdy as a relekys & worshipith deuot deuoutly wt sayng of v pater noster & v auez & a crede."
(Here occur several drawings of circles enclosing magical signs with inscriptions.)
"This is the mesur of the blessyd wound' that our Lord Ihesu Crist had in h3 right syde the whiche an angell' brought to Charlamayn the nobyll' emperour of Constantyne wyth yn a cofer of gold saing this in his tetyll' that who so euer man or woman hauyng this mesur on hym shall' not be slayn wyth no swerd' nor spere. nor no shot shall not hurt the. nor no man shall' not ouer comme hym in batell'. nor fire nor water shall' not noy hym & yf
1 In the margin are drawn the three nails of the Passion, each about 7 inches in length.
2 In the margin is a drawing of the wound: it is lozenge-shaped, about 1 inch in length, enclosed in a longer lozenge 2 inches in length. On the Devotion to the Five Wounds, see also Notes and Queries, Sixth Series, viii, 443.