The Ancient Library

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Joseph's cup " which my lord drinketh and whereby he divineth " served probably for a similar rite.1 In ancient Greece, too, to observe the movement of the liquid or the sound of the splash caused by throwing in objects was a method of divining the future.2 In Babylon diviners observed the results of dropping oil into water.3 At the present day the custom of pouring melted lead, wax, or the white of an egg into water and divin­ing from the shapes which result the trade of a future husband, the luck for the year, and so on, survives in the folk practice of modern Europe. Finns (stearine and melted lead), Magyars (lead), Russia (wax), Denmark (lead and egg), and the northern counties of England (egg) will supply examples. The rite has been reported in Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Krete, and is, I believe, common in the islands of the Aegean.4 In England in the seventeenth century it was used " to learne whether the sick

1 Genesis xliv. 5, 15. Witton Davies, Divination and Detnonology, etc. p. 82.

2 Bouch£ Leclerq, op. cit. i. p. 185.

* Jastrow, Aspects of Religious Belief, etc. pp. 146, 282. Dr. Farnell draws attention to a reference in Aisch. Ag. 322 to this practice in Greece, Greece and Babylon, 301.

4 Jones, Magyar Folk-Tales, p. liii; Abbott, Macedonian Folklore, p. 52 ; Henderson, Folklore of the Northern Counties of England, p. 105 ; '0 Kpirri/fis Aa6s, Sept. 1909, p. 138; Bent, The Cyclades, p. 162; Carnoy et Nicolaides, Traditionspopulaires de I'Asie Mineure, pp. 342, 354, 355.

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