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The Evil Eye, by Frederick Thomas Elworthy, [1895], at

p. 389



FROM the protective amulets, specially intended to attract and baffle the evil eye by being worn on the person, or otherwise conspicuously displayed, we pass to another class of protectives, depending for their potency not upon symbolism so much as upon direct invocation of those powers or deities, typified by the various symbols, we have been considering. Of this class there are two distinct kinds: first, the written formulæ of many sorts; and next, the spoken words or actions, all tending to the same end. Both kinds, moreover, may be either concealed from view and hearing, or openly displayed.

Of the former, of course, the well-known Jewish phylacteries are the most obvious examples. Their virtue was supposed to rest in the written words shut up in the little leather case; their Hebrew name was tephillim, but the name, by which we know them in the New Testament sufficiently proves that they were amulets. 609

On Turkish horses and Arab camels at this day are hung little bags wherein are passages from the Koran; on Neapolitan horses, too, besides all the

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hands, horns, and wolf skin, is very frequently a little canvas bag, containing a prayer to the Madonna, or a verse of Scripture, but always with the same end in view--the jettatore must be countercharmed, in case the ostensible amulets should fail.

Through the kindness of Mrs. Charles Elton we are able to present a facsimile of a true phylactery from Abyssinia, where such things are common at the present day. The language of this charm, though Amharic, "is not the vernacular, but wholly that of the sacred books, called by the people Geez." At the present time no Ethiopic scholar in Europe reads it, and I am fortunate in having at last found a translator. The full transcription and glossed translation here given are the work of the Rev. R. Weakley of Alexandria, in whose service is a native Ethiopic "debterah" or scribe. This man read it easily, and dictated to Mr. Weakley, who has thus rendered it into English. It appears that these charms are quite common, and there is a class of disreputable men in Abyssinia who get their living by concocting and writing them for their ignorant countrymen.

Mr. Weakley has added some very valuable notes, which reader the whole much more intelligible, and the present writer desires fully to admit the obligation, and to express his thanks for this unique rendering into English of a most curious document--a document proving up to the hilt all the statements put forward as to the world-wide prevalence, even in these latter days, of the firm belief in the power of the evil eye. 610 The eyes themselves

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appear in two places, peeping out at the beginning and at the middle of the writing.


1. Bè asma^ a_ve, wa weld, wa ma^nfars ke^doos,
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost,

2. Ahade^ Amilack. Salot.
One God. Prayer.

3. Bénter hamamer ba^rya_ wa a_ye_net.
For (against) the sickness of the slave (epilepsy) and the (evil) eye.

4. Awlo-mela-el: Metowé-mela-el: Corooking. 611

5. Bè illoo asmat
By these names

6. Adi hinna imhemamer barya wa a_ye_net,
Deliver her from the sickness of the slave (epilepsy) and the (evil) eye,

7. A_ye_né sella wa a_ye_né Za_r,
The shadow of the eye and the eye of the Za_r,

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8. Aye_né sa_ve wa ganen,
The eye of men and demons,

9. Coorsa^t wa felta^t,
Colic and headache,

10. Wega^t wa serkseca^t was shentema^t.
Rending, and sharp pain, and painful micturition.

11. Ikerba lamatka welata Tekla Haimanoot. 613
Keep thy servant, the daughter of Tekla Haimanoot.

12. Ave_ isa^t, weld isa^t, wa manfar ke^doos isa^t,
The Father is fire, the Son is fire, and the Holy Ghost is fire,

13. Maisaromoo lè aganàt.
The chain of the demons.

14. Betaranyou: Bejune: Cashoon: wa Veaifa-satavias
15. Mashfatanersh: Keeyakee: Borons: Carityanos. 614

16. Bè illoo asmat iseromoo lè aganant.
By these names chain the demons (viz. the following),

17. Baria wa Legewon, Dabas wa Jinn, Salawogi wa Fagen,
Baria and Legewon, Dabas and Jinn, Salawogi and Fagen,

Za_r wa Nagergar: Didk wa chunafa_r:
Za_r and Nagergar: plague and sudden sickness

18. Mitch wa Mitat; Nahavi wa goosimt:
Sharp pain and stroke; the hunter and the toucher; 615

19. Tavive wa Booda: 616 Googooha wa tigrida:
The clever-wicked and sorcerers; choking and wild paroxysm;

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20. Fira wa nedad: Magua wa mansho:
Fever and ague; fever and periodic illness.

21. Cama iyikravoo imlaila amatea Welata Tekla Haimanoot. 617
Lest they approach her, (and fall) on thy servant, the daughter of Tekla Haimanoot.

22. Sloter d'ngaze megraray aganent.
The prayer of fear to Him who rules the demons.

23. Coltekolcol, Coltekolcol, Coltekolcol, Coltekolcol, Coltekolcol, Coltekolcol, Coltekolcol. (Repetition in Sevens.)

24. Hajirji, Hajirji, Hajirji, Hajirji, Hajirji, Hajirji, Hajirji.

25. Gohajir, Gohajir, Gohajir, Gohajir, Gohajir, Gohajir, Gohajir.

26. Gorgovajir, Gorgovajir, Gorgovajir, Gorgovajir, Gorgovajir, Gorgovajir, Gorgovajir. 618

27. Bè illoo asmat, Ikaba imdingaza aganant,
By these names keep her from the terror of the demons,

28. Baraya wa magaña, Za_r wa kuraña, Algoom wa Koomaña. 619
still birth, evil possession, dumbness and standing sickness.

29. Adihinna, lamatika, Welata Tekla Haimanoot. 620
Deliver her, thy servant, daughter of Tekla Haimanoot.

30. Wa ga_zoo zalizoom lé zilmat, firha wa dangaza Dia_volos (fikat)
Then he whose face is covered with darkness, feared and trembled; the archdevil.

31. Rigo bihooterlidat besiga Amlacka bè seaol.
When he saw the mighty one who was born in the flesh (even) God, in hell.

32. El; M'el; Jan'el; Ililfarsangana-el; M'el; Telk-el; Walil-el; Z'el; B'el; M'el. 621

33. Fatare samayat wa midir, Adihinnani lamatika Eon Kalloo deerè taviv wa booda goorgooha wa tigrida, Welata Tekla Haimanoot.

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The creator of heaven and earth, deliver me, thy servant, from every ill by the evil, wicked, and sorcerer choking and paroxysm daughter of Tekla Haimanoot.

Back of Scroll

Continuation: there being not sufficient space below the last line on the face.

34. Isma alvo negar Zèyesano lè Egziàwehair.
Nothing is impossible with God

The figures and letters after the above form a talisman, signifying in words: "Bind him! Bind him! Bind him!"

Coming back from Abyssinia to England, we subjoin to the above the following genuine recipes. They are taken from a book which belonged to the "Conjurer" referred to in note 80, Chap. II. p. 55:--

A Receipt for Ill Wishing

Take a handful of white salt in your right hand and strewe it over the Backs of all your cattle: begin at the head of the near side and go to the Tail, and from the Tail to the head up the off side, and as you let it out of your hand say these words: "As Thy servant Elisha healed the waters of Jericho by casting salt therein, so I hope to heal this my Beast: in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen."

If any Cattle is bad, do thus

Cut a bit of hair from between the Ears, a bit from behind each Shoulder, and a bit from the Stump of the Tail, a little Blood, a Teaspoonful of Gunpowder, and put the whole into a small Bladder, and tie the top of it; then get some Green Ashen wood, and make a fire, and set it on the brand irons, and take the Bladder into your right hand, and say those words: "I confine all Evil, and all Enemies of mine and my cattle into the fire for ever, never to hurt me or mine any more for ever: in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen." Then drop it into the Fire, and let it burn out. Read the first

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thirteen verses of the 28th chapter of Duteronomy (sic) and no more every morning before you go to see your Cattle. 621a

The Ethiopic and the Somerset charms are exactly contemporary. The man who used the latter was well known to the writer.

The manufacture of mystical writings is a very ancient art; so also is the teaching how to ascertain propitious days. Dies fasti and ne fasti were household words in ancient Rome. Much light is thrown on this art by a very remarkable papyrus in the British Museum (No. XLVI. Greek) of about the second century A.D. It came from Egypt, and was discovered in one of the later tombs. The magic arts practised in the early years of the Christian era, which Irenæus, Origen, Epiphanius, and other Fathers lay to the charge of the heretics of their day, are he-rein laid bare. 622

Several spells are given in this document for various purposes, amongst which is one for producing an immediate vision of the god evoked by the operator. Besides the words of incantation, we are told (p. 5) "in a brazen cup with oil, anoint your right eye with water taken from a boat that has been wrecked, and the left [mixing some] Coptic stibium with the water. And if you cannot find water from a boat that has been wrecked, take some from a wicker wherry that has been submerged."

Various charms are given for discovering a thief; for driving away evil spirits; for compelling a thief

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to confess; but the chief interest of the papyrus lies in the following translation:--

Take a sheet of hieratic paper, or a leaden plate, and an iron ring, and place the ring upon the paper, and mark both inside and out with a pen the form of a ring. Then having described the circular outline of the ring, write upon the said outline, inscribing upon the paper the name, and the characters on the outside, and inside the thing which you wish not to happen, or that such a man's mind may be bound so as not to do such and such a thing. Then placing the ring upon its outline which you have made, and taking up the parts outside the outline, sew up the ring with thread, so as to completely conceal it, piercing through the characters with the pen, and when you wish to bind, say: "I bind such an one not to speak to such an one; let him not resist, let him not contradict, let him not be able to look me in the face, or to answer me, but let him be subject to me as long as this ring is buried. And again I bind his mind, and his senses, his desires, his actions, that he may be sluggish towards all men . . . and let not such a woman marry such a man. Common words."

Then taking it to the grave of one untimely dead, dig four fingers deep and put it in and say "O! departed spirit whosoever thou art . . . I deliver to thee such an one, that he may not do such a thing." Then having covered it up depart.--And you will do it best in the waning of the moon.--The words written within the circle are these (several lines of Greek): let such a thing not be done, as long as this ring is buried. Bind it with knots, making strings for that purpose, and thus deposit it. The ring may also be cast into a disused well, or into the grave of one untimely dead. And after the characters write also these words below the ring as a base (five lines of Greek) and the . . . spell which you also place within.

We give a facsimile (Fig. 187) of the figure to which the above refers, taken from Mr. Goodwin's paper; to this for further particulars the reader is referred. So valuable a relic of the doings of past ages ought to be well known. 623

Written charms of this kind, intended to cast a spell as well as to be protectives, have been found

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of late in several places. They were first discovered at Athens in 1811 by M. Fauvel. These latter are on leaden tablets, and are called κατάδεσμα or diræ. They professed to bind persons by name precisely

FIG. 187.
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FIG. 187.

in the same manner as is done in that just described, and in the Ethiopic charm. The whole household of the man named are placed under the same spell. 624

Among the gems at the British Museum is a very beautiful little golden scroll, which was found rolled up in a gold case of precisely the same shape as the Ethiopian charm. It is of course very minute, being

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no thicker than an ordinary lead pencil, and about two inches long. 625 It is marked Petilia·S·Italy [C. ·I·5772 M·].

There does not appear to be anything which may be termed Magical in the words, but neither is there in passages from Scripture or the Koran worn at the present day. It is very difficult in most cases to perceive any connection between the actual words or figures used, and the purpose for which they are inscribed. This one is based on the ancient Orphic mysticism. 626 The shape of the case and general conditions, however, prove it incontestably to have been a charm for the protection of the wearer.

Frommannd's book is a perfect mine of written magic spells against fascination, which in many cases
FIG. 188
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FIG. 188

have to be prepared with such accompaniments as white of egg mixed with oak charcoal, to be wrapped in paper having Fig. 188 upon it. A prayer is to be uttered in German gibberish, of which he says: "Sed modus hic est absurdus, impius, magicus et Diabolicus." In the same chapter he discusses the meaning of cauculator, whence German Gauckler. He inquires whence Okos Bokos? He says: "Agyrtæ vocant Okos Bokos, vocabulis a vero vel ficto nomine Itali cuiusdam." 627 He gives several

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versions of the well-known Abracadabra, which was amuletum insigne not only against hemitritæum, but also against fevers and other maladies. This famous cabalistic form is of very ancient date, for even in the third century it was a traditional prescription, set out at length by Qu. Serenus Ammoniacus, 628 physician to Gordian Junior. 629 He directs it to be written in the form of an inverted cone, i.e. each line of repetition drops the final letter until A alone remains as the apex. Frommannd (p. 309) says that this is like the amulet of the Talmudists, worn on their necks against blindness. 630

Very closely allied to these writings for the protection of the living, is the remarkable custom still surviving in Russia, of placing in the hands of the dead a sort of passport to the nether-world almost precisely analogous to the "Book of the Dead" of ancient Egypt, see ante, pp. 50, 51.

At the burial of the late Czar we read:-- 630a

A prayer was chanted, described as the Prayer of Absolution. It begins with the words: "Our Lord Jesus Christ, by virtue of His divine grace, gift, and power given to His holy Disciples and Apostles to bind and loose the sins of men," and, going on to cite the text in question, prays Christ to forgive all the sins, including excommunication and others of the gravest categories, by His love for man and by the prayers of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of the holy Apostles, and of all saints, This prayer is not merely read, it is likewise printed on a scroll of

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paper, which the officiating priest places in the hands of the corpse as a document enabling him, when wandering about in the spirit world during the first few days after death, to pass on his solitary way unmolested by evil spirits.

There is abundant evidence in all lands of the value attached to certain words, usually written, though they may be merely uttered, to keep off evil from, or to bring good to, the user. The well-worn "blessed word Mesopotamia" proves that the idea survives, though allied to crass ignorance. The many Scriptural or other inscriptions upon old houses here in England, and perhaps more commonly upon the Continent, or the passages from the Koran upon the houses of Mahomedans, are much less in reality the expressions of piety than protective charms against the origin of every misfortune--the evil eye.

The first words of the Gospel of St. John in any of the Aryan languages have always been held of great virtue when carried on the person. These should be written upon virgin parchment, enclosed in a goose quill, an hour before sunrise on the first Sunday in the year. 631

Brand (iii. 319) gives a number of similar inscriptions, which were called Characts, but the real collector of them must go to Frommannd or Delrio. The former quotes Voetius, who says that the beginning of the fourth Gospel was worn as an amulet from the times of the Apostles themselves.

For the bite of a mad dog the following words are to be written upon the crust of a loaf, which, transfixo pollice, is to be applied three several

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times. The performer is to repeat the Lord's Prayer five times for the five wounds of Christ, etc. 632


























[paragraph continues] For the mad dog's bite, also: "Hæc verba pani azymo inscripta, Affra, Gaffra, Gaffritan, etc., prodesse dicuntur."

A curious formula against the plague is--

†. Z. †. D. I. A. †.

These are the initials of a number of prayers and recitations. † = Crux Christi salva me." Z = "Zelus domus libera me." † = Crux Christi vincit et regnat," etc. D = "Deus! expelle pestem de loco isto," etc. † = "In manus tuas Domine commendo animam meam," etc. A = "Ante cœlum et terram Deus erat," etc. † = "Crux Christi potens est ad expellendam pestem a loco isto."

Another charm against wounds by sword, cut and thrust (für Hieb und Stich), is the following, written also on virgin parchment; to be worn on the person:

† A 3 6 ma 9 † † † etc.

Diese Figur sey in Gott gesegnet, etc.

The following is to be used as an amulet engraved upon a sword: "Hoc qui dextre velit uti amuleto."

Ich beschwere dich Degen gut,
Dass du nicht von mir sollst bringen Blut.
Diss zehl ich dir Schwerd schneid zür Buss
In den Namen der 3, Gestern, Gafalon, Samalecti, etc. etc.


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Other amulets to be worn against fascination 633 are the following, engraved upon silver plates.

Besides seventeenth-century metal objects of this kind to be worn as charms, there are a great many written formulæ in Latin and German, or rather in gibberish, intended both to be worn as amulets in suitable cases like the three on Fig. 112, and to be uttered in mumbo-jumbo incantation.

Combinations of figures, too, have long had high reputation as efficient protectors, particularly those called magic squares-in which certain numbers are arranged in rows, so that their sum, in whatsoever direction it may be taken, always produces the same result.

The following common example is perhaps the simplest:--










It will be seen that addition of any three figures in line will produce 15. Another square taken in the same way makes 72 in each line. This latter is

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said to be a veritable amulet, and if your enemy's name be written underneath it, and you wear this as a charm, his envy will be baffled and his eye will be powerless against you. 634

Not only do we find great store set upon the many combinations such as these, but very wonderful things are done with figures outside the sphere of magic, so that the ignorant may well have become impressed by the power of numbers whether expressed in writing or not. The curious results certain people delight in producing from numbers found in the Revelation and other sacred books are but proofs of the still surviving idea that mystery lies in the very numbers themselves. What wonderful prophecies have been obtained by manipulation of the figures recited in the Book of Daniel, whereby the end of the world has been so often foretold, and the "number of the beast" deciphered!

In an article called "In Calabria-Passeggiate," by Caterina Pignorini-Beri, 635 is a description of what was seen in a peasant's house:--

In an angle just over the doorway was affixed a horseshoe; above this were two horns painted, and beneath were placed the two magic numbers (numeri fatali) 8 and 9 to avert the jettatura. "Why is this?" I asked. The old woman replied: "Against

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the evil eye, Miss" ("Pel fora fascino, signorina"). "And what is the evil eye?" "Ah!" said the old woman, pointing the fore and little fingers towards the ground:--

"Ah! eight nine, eight nine!" 636

But why eight nine?"

"Eccellenza, the witches (streghe) say six and seven."

No other explanation was obtainable--perhaps it is the only one that can be given, owing to the terror of witchcraft which inspires all southerners, gentle and simple alike. It was indeed a new thing to break the seven, the famous cabalistic seven, which has pursued humanity for six thousand years, by (the use of) the next number. In fact the poor woman had given me something more than others--she had given me a valid reason for the fora fascino, and I could not grumble.

The authoress does not further explain the numbers, but she calls at another ground-floor tenement (botteguccia), and remarks that the usual bed was not in the room, nor were the numbers 8 and 9, nor the horseshoe, nor the painted horns to be seen. The owner was a corporal of bersaglieri, and therefore arrived at a state of new civilisation which took no note of such things. She concludes her remarks with the regretful "Ahime! Non tutti sono più calabresi in Calabria!"

In Calabria the words which we should translate by "amulet against the evil eye" are fora fascino. The authoress in another place (p. 66) speaks of the utterance of the numbers 8 and 9 as a charm per allontanare la malia. So far as the present writer knows, of all Italians the lottery-loving Calabresi alone furnish an example of the belief that the mere utterance of particular numbers is a protective charm.

We all know of the common belief in "the luck in odd numbers." We shall see it later in the many

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repetitions of "three times" as to spitting. The old saying "Third time lucky" is familiar to everybody.

Three has always been looked upon by both Jews and Gentiles as a specially complete and mystic number. In Scripture, three is given as an exact measure, while other numbers were used indefinitely, merely to convey the notion of several, or of a great many, precisely as we now speak of dozens, scores, or thousands, when we do not even imply any definite number. There were three great feasts; there were three cities of refuge, and the number three is several times repeated in connection with them; three alternatives were offered to David, and two of these had each the special element of three in it. So we have the three Christian virtues; three great witnesses; and endless other examples of the use of three as something more than a mere numeral. The three-sided triangle is said to be symbolic of deity, pagan as much as Christian. The Egyptians had triads of divinities, specially worshipped in particular cities, while the Romans had their Diana Triformis. In the Hebrides the accounts given in Chap. II. on sun-worship show that each act was performed three times. We are told 637 that in Ireland a cure for whooping-cough, called there chin-cough, is to pass the child three times over and under a donkey, certain prayers being said during the operation. So spitting as a preventive act had to be done three times, and in the many recited acts to be performed it will be noted how often "three times" occurs.

It is not merely as an odd number that three

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of all others was held so specially sacred; yet the preference generally for odd numbers is not only old but still abiding. As a matter of course an odd number of eggs are put under a hen. Indeed this is so thoroughly recognised, that one sees constant advertisements of choice eggs for sale at so much "per sitting." A sitting of eggs is a number just as well known as a baker's dozen--thirteen. The notion is that a brood is certain to be odd in number, and that therefore to set an even number of eggs is certain waste. The fact, however, remains that as often as not an even number of chicks are hatched; still the custom is to set thirteen, and no luck is expected from an even number. Again, military salutes are always odd in number. A Royal salute is twenty-one guns. The valiant "Thirteen Club" is in itself an evidence of the belief that if odd numbers generally are lucky, thirteen sitting down together at a meal is held to be unlucky--indeed fatal to one of the party. This notion is said by some to be based upon the experience of past mortality: that out of thirteen adults, the chances are strong that one will die during the next year. Moreover, under the well-worn paradox that exceptions prove the rule, thirteen is a specially unlucky number, except for the setting of eggs.

Perhaps in these latter days, however, the magic number seven is the one most used. It is that of the strega in Calabria, and of the white-witch in England. A seventh son of a seventh son is a born doctor--he has miraculous powers of healing by touch. 638 "The doctor" is the recognised name here in

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[paragraph continues] Somerset of a seventh son; and it is very Commonly held that he should be trained for one, as a matter of course. Seven has always been a mystical number. Balaam had seven altars built by the sun-worshipper Balak, three distinct times. Elisha ordered Naaman to wash in Jordan seven times. Elijah sent seven times to the top of Carmel. The days of Creation were seven; seven weeks divided the great feasts. There were seven Churches in Asia; the great dragon of the Revelation had seven heads; there were seven angels with seven vials; besides a host of sevens, where perhaps only an indefinite number was implied. 639 Curiously, too, the common name for the dormouse is the "seven-sleeper," no doubt from the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. 640 We west-country folks talk of a person who sleeps soundly as a "proper zeb'm-slaiper." 640a Again, there is a very common belief that in seven years a man changes every atom in his body, and that each seventh year of his life is a climacteric in which he has to pass through dangers physical and moral. The sixty-third year, that is the ninth septennial period, is the "grand climacteric"--the year specially perilous to old men. The very common term of leases for seven, fourteen, or twenty-one years, is believed to originate in the idea that it is desirable to reconsider conditions and to renew agreements

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in accordance with the recognised stages of human life.

The numbers of certain days and months are considered fortunate or otherwise according to certain modes of reckoning, wherein the rationale or the logic is by no means obvious.

A curious little black-letter book called A Concordancie of Yeares, by Arthur Hopton, 1612, gives a chapter headed "Of the infortunate and fatall dayes of the yeare," etc., which throws some light upon the methods of "wise men." It sets out the infortunate days, beginning--

January the 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 641 15, 17, 19.

February the 8, 10, and the 17.

March the 15, 16, and the 19.

Aprill the 16 and 21. Not so euill the 7, 8, 10, 20;

and so on through the year. He says that "astrologers will have in every moone 2 infortunate daies, wherein they recount it most unhappy to begin or undertake any kind of worldly affaires." These he specifies, and says "it is therefore very ill to have a child borne in them, for feare of an euill death." The most unfortunate days of all the year are "January the 3 day, July the 1, October the 7, Aprill the 30, August the 1 and the 3l."

Those in the former table were only "infortunate," while these latter appear to be fatal.

There were also two days in every month called Ægri, mali and Ægyptiaci. On Ægri "if any fell sick they should hardly or never escape." On mali "evill affections of the Constellations" would frustrate any kind of work, and Ægyptiaci were unlucky

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because they were so thought by the Egyptians, and because "they do also note unto us the 10 plagues of Egypt in these verses":--

Sanguis, rana, culex, muscæ parvæ, pecus, ulcus,
Grando, locustæ, nox, mors, prius orta necant.

We are told how to discover lucky or unlucky days, and that "these infortunate days were noted alwaies in the Romane Kalender, notwithstanding ye inhibition of Augustine, saying: 'Calendas mensium, et dies Ægyptiacos, non observetis.' But yet to satisfie all, take them in the ensuing verses":--

Armis Gunfe, Dei Kalatos, Adamare dabatur.
Lixa memor, Constans gelidos, Infancia quosdam.
Omne limen, Aaron bagis, Concordia laudat.
Chije linkat, Ei Coequata, Gearcha Lisardus.

[paragraph continues] Of the words in these four lines of gibberish he says that

every two serve for one moneth, the first standing for January. If therefore you desire to know the first of the two former fatall daies in any moneth, count so many daies from the beginning of the moneth, descending, as the: first letter in the first word is distant from A inclusively, according to the Alphabet, and where that number ends, there is a fatall day: as in Aprill, L (beginning Lixa) is the 10 letter in the Alphabet, therefore the 10 day is fatall, and according to the number of the first letter (in order of ye Alphabet) of the seco_d sillable, ye said houre of ye said day is vehemently to be suspected.

In similar fashion, but "ascending," he shows how to reckon the second fatal day; but we are not told how or by whom the magic verses were composed, whereby such discoveries can be made.


389:609 The tephillah of the arm and of the forehead have been already explained (p. 124), and the Scripture texts recited.

390:610 In Mr. Theodore Bent's Sacred City of the Ethiopians, pp. 165, 166, are facsimiles of charms of just this character, and also drawings of several p. 391 leather cases like the one here produced (Fig. 186). There is also a learned chapter on "Inscriptions," by Dr. David Heinrich Müller of Vienna, but none of the charms are described or translated. In fact it is confidently believed that at present there is no European now in Europe who can read them, or the one here lithographed.

391:611 Mr. Weakley's Notes. Secret names of God.

391:612 Za_r. The following paragraph is copied from Isenberg's Amharic Dictionary, C.M.S. London, 1841--a very scarce book--under the word "Za_r," p. 156: "Name of a sort of demons or genii, to whose influence the people of Shoa and the Gallas ascribe many changes in man's bodily constitution and general welfare; such as health and disease, pregnancy, birth, death, change of weather, success or disappointment in several undertakings, etc. They believe that these invisible beings are eighty-eight in number, and divided into two equal parties; forty-four of them being united under one chief, called Warrar, and the other forty-four under another chief whose name is Ma_ma. In Shoa these Za_rs are worshipped, we were told, by those who are in the habit of smoking tobacco, except foreigners; and we persuaded ourselves that that very custom is, by those Shoa people who followed it, observed in honour of those imaginary beings. After having witnessed an extraordinary instance of Za_rolatry in our own house, where we saw an otherwise intelligent and respectable woman alternately smoking and praying to the Za_rs with great vehemence until she was mad, and then killing a hen whose brain she ate and became quiet again; after this, I say, we inquired into several instances where we met with smokers, and found that they all were worshippers of the Za_rs. In the state of phrensy, into which they work themselves by vehemently smoking, praying, and shaking of the head, their language alters so as to call everything by names which are known only to the Za_r worshippers."

392:613 Tecla Halmanoot, "one of the most celebrated Abyssinian saints, a native of Shoa, who flourished in the thirteenth century" (Isenberg's Amharic Dictionary).

392:614 Secret names of God.

392:615 i.e. the demon who hunts to death, and the demon who touches gently to death.

392:616 Cf. "Taviv wa Booda." The latter word in Isenberg's Dictionary is explained "as an adjective: 'Mad,' Esp. 'sorcerer,' generally sorceress.' The Abyssinian's belief in witchcraft goes so far as to ascribe to its influence not only every kind and degree of mania, epilepsy, Chorus Sti. Viti, but also several other nervous and febrile complaints, such as hysteria and delirium, as well as every obstinate disease for which they know no remedy. Their idea in those cases is, that either some demon or a Booda must have taken possession of the patient. The Falashas of Semên and the neighbourhood of Gondar, skilful artisans in general, and a number of other people possessed with more than common skill or genius, are looked upon as Boodas. The hyæna is generally believed to be a transformation of a Booda."

These people have been so called ever since the days of Herodotus, see ante, Chap. 1. p. 28.

393:617 See note 613, p. 392.

393:618 Secret names.

393:619 Koomaña, "standing sickness." A disease which works imperceptibly and fatally while the person affected is "on his feet," i.e. going about as if in health.

393:620 See note 613, p. 392.

393:621 Names of God.

395:621a These recipes are inserted here by way of comparison of language with the Abyssinian; naturally their place would be in the next chapter.

395:622 The part preserved is apparently imperfect; but an account of it with a translation alongside the text is given by Mr. Charles Wycliffe Goodwin for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1852, in a paper called Fragment of a Græco-Egyptian Work upon Magic.

396:623 See also R. Stuart Poole in Smith's Dict. Bible, s, v. "Magic," p. 197.

397:624 Miss L. Macdonald, Proc. Soc. Bib. Archæol. Feb. 1891, p. 162 sq. In the article quoted from, much information is given about tablets and injurious inscriptions. The author refers to the papyrus we have mentioned known as the "Goodwin Cambridge Fragment." There is also a similar "binding" Latin inscription quoted by Jahn, Aberglauben, p. 55

398:625 The case is described in Bullettino dell' Istit. di Corr. Archeol. 1836, p. 149.

398:626 On this see Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p. 643. A facsimile of the original inscription with a translation into literary Greek by Mr. Cecil Smith will be found in an article by G. Comparetti, in Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. iii. p. 112.

398:627 Here is a new etymology of hocus pocus for Dr. Murray! For this he p. 399 quotes Voetius, lib. iii. Dispp. p. 542. Ady (Candle in the Dark) says that in King James's time a juggler went about who called himself "the King's Majesty's most excellent Hocus Pocus" (Hone, Year-Book, 1832, p. 1477). This seems to match Frommannd.

399:628 Frommannd, pp. 45, 307.

399:629 King, Gnostics, p. 105, gives a translation of the Abracadabra prescription.

399:630 He gives the Hebrew formula, and several others written in the same cone shape.

399:630a Daily Telegraph, Nov. 20, 1894; also Spectator, Nov. 24, 1894, p. 733.

400:631 Thiers, Traité des Superstitions, i. 414. Freemasons again will recognise something here.

401:632 Frommannd, p. 46. We are told (J. Lewes André, in Reliquary, October 1893, p. 195) that this is a Roman charm found at Cirencester on a piece of plaster; it evidently was well known elsewhere; also that it was written upon the binding cloth of a woman in the Middle Ages. The Cirencester charm had the same words differently arranged.

402:633 Tract. de Fasc. p. 306. Many other cabalistic formulæ will be found.

403:634 Chambers's Cyclopædia, s.v. "Magic."

403:635 Nuova Antologia, Roma, Luglio, 1883, p. 71.

404:636 It is to be noted as a curious coincidence that the magic square sums up in each line the same product as these two potent factors--8 x 9 = 72.

405:637 Le Fanu, Seventy Years of Irish Life, 1894, p. 113

406:638 Lupton, Notable Things, 1660, bk. ii. p. 25. See also Thiers, Traité des Superstitions, 1679, p. 436.

407:639 In the Nineteenth Century for October 1894 is an article on "The Seven Lord Roseberys," discussed, however, in twelve divisions!

407:640 For an account of the Seven Sleepers see Baring-Gould, Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, p. 93. At Ephesus the story is devoutly believed. The writer has been shown into the cave in which they slept.

407:640a "For no sooner did Abraham pay the eighteenpence than he slept as sound as a sebem-sleeper, and began to get the good of his victuals."--W. Raymond, "Love and Quiet Life," Somerset Idylls, 1894, p. 206. See West Somerset Word-Book.

408:641 The present writer has no practical reason to complain of this day, during the many "happy returns of it" for which he has given thanks.

Next: Chapter XII. Spitting, Incantation, and Other Protective Acts. Pixies