Notes and Queries, Number 55, November 16, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 49 pages of information about Notes and Queries, Number 55, November 16, 1850.

A Test of Witchcraft.—­Among the many tests applied for the discovery of witchcraft was the following.  It is, I believe, a singular instance, and but little known to the public.  It was resorted to as recently as 1759, and may be found in the Gentleman’s Magazine of that year.

“One Susannah Hannokes, an elderly woman of Wingrove, near Ayleshbury, was accused by a neighbour for bewitching her spinning-wheel, so that she could not make it go round, and offered to make oath of it before a majistrate; on which the husband, to justify his wife, insisted upon her being tried by the Church Bible, and that the accuser should be present:  accordingly she was conducted to the parish church, where she was stript of all her cloathes to her shift and undercoat, and weighed against the Bible; when, to the no small mortification of her accuser, she outweighed it, and was honorably acquitted of the charge.”


Abingdon, Nov. 1850.

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Quin’s incoherent Story.—­The comic story of Sir Gammer Vans (Vol. ii., p. 280.) reminds me of an anecdote related of Quin, who is said to have betted Foote a wager that he would speak some nonsense which Foote could not repeat off-hand after him.  Quin then produced the following string of incoherences:—­

“So she went into the garden to pick a cabbage leaf, to make an apple-pie of; and a she-bear, coming up the street, put her head into the shop, and said ‘Do you sell any soap?’ So she died, and he very imprudently married the barber; and the powder fell out of the counsellor’s wig, and poor Mrs. Mackay’s puddings were quite entirely spoilt; and there were present the Garnelies, and the Goblilies, and the Picninnies, and the Great Pangendrum himself, with the little round button at top, and they played at the ancient game of ’Catch who catch can,’ till the gunpowder ran out of the heels of their boots.”


Touchstone’s Dial.—­Mr. Knight, in a note on As You Like It, gives us the description of a dial presented to him by a friend who had picked it “out of a deal of old iron,” and which he supposes to be such a one as the “fool i’ the forest” drew from his poke, and looked on with lacklustre eye.  It is very probable that this species of chronometer is still in common use in the sister kingdom; for my brother mentions to me that, when at school in Ireland some fifteen or sixteen years since, he had seen one of those “ring-dials” in the possession of one of his schoolfellows:  and Mr. Carleton, in his amusing Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry, thus describes them:—­

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Notes and Queries, Number 55, November 16, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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