Page:Primitive Culture Vol 1.djvu/141

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123
HARUSPICATION.

and pass on through the mediæval treatises down to such a dream-dictionary as servant-maids still buy in penny chap- books at the fair, and it will be seen that the ancient rules still hold their places to a remarkable extent, while half the mass of precepts still show their original mystic significance, mostly direct, but occasionally according to the rule of con- traries. An offensive odour signifies annoyance; to wash the hands denotes release from anxieties; to embrace one's best beloved is very fortunate; to have one's feet cut off prevents a journey; to weep in sleep is a sign of joy; he who dreams he hath lost a tooth shall lose a friend; and he that dreams that a rib is taken out of his side shall ere long see the death of his wife; to follow bees, betokens gain; to be married signifies that some of your kinsfolk are dead; if one sees many fowls together, that shall be jealousy and chiding; if a snake pursue him, let him be on his guard against evil women; to dream of death, denotes happiness and long life; to dream of swimming and wading in the water is good, so that the head be kept above water; to dream of crossing a bridge, denotes you will leave a good situation to seek a better; to dream you see a dragon is a sign that you shall see some great lord your master, or a magistrate.[1]

Haruspication belongs, among the lower races, especially to the Malays and Polynesians,[2] and to various Asiatic tribes.[3] It is mentioned as practised in Peru under the Incas.[4] Captain Burton's account from Central Africa perhaps fairly displays its symbolic principle. He de- scribes the mganga or sorcerer taking an ordeal by killing

1 Artemidorus, 'Oneirocritica;' Cockayne, 'Leechdoms, &c., of Early England,' vol. iii.; Seafield, 'Literature, &c., of Dreams;' Brand, vol. iii.; Halliwell, 'Pop. Rhymes, &c.,' p. 217, &c., &c.

2 St. John, 'Far East,' vol. i. pp. 74, 115; Ellis, 'Polyn. Res.' vol. iv. p. 150; Polack, 'New Zealanders,' vol. i. p. 255.

3 Georgi, 'Reise im Russ.' Reich, vol. i. p. 281; Hooker, 'Himalayan Journals,' vol. i. p. 135; 'As. Res.' vol. iii. p. 27; Latham, 'Descr. Eth.' vol. i. p. 61.

4 Cieza de Leon, p. 289; Rivero and Tschudi, 'Peru,' p. 183.

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