Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/350

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ominous sign. "Ha, bleed? I would not have a sad and ominous fate hang o'er thee for a million: perhaps 'tis custom with you." (Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West.) Bloodshot eyes were cured by the pressure of a ring. The bloodstone hung about the neck would staunch a wound.

The juice of the mandrake would take away an artificial mole raised by magic. It was a matter of common belief that the mandrake gave a peculiar cry when torn from the ground. One who heard this cry was likely to go mad. "I have this night digged a mandrake … and I am grown mad with it." (Webster, The Dutchess of Malfi.) This sound was also a sign of coming death and calamity. "Curses kill as doth the mandrake's groan." (2 Henry VI., iii. 2.) "O hark, hark. The mandrake's shrieks are music to their cries. The very night is frighted, and the stars do drop like torches to behold the deed." (Heywood, 2 Edward IV.)

Madmen were affected by the moon. The Elizabethans believed in the man in the moon, with a bundle of sticks on his back, and his dog following. Very sharp horns to the new moon indicated windy weather. The changeable nature of women was also attributed to the influence of the changing moon.