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Dionysius Halicarnassus, on Homer's poetry (s. 24), says, sneezing was considered by that poet as a good sign (orúußodov ủyabóv); and from the Anthology (lib. ii.) the words oudè déyel, Ζεύ σώσον, εάν πταρη, show that it was proper to exclaim « God bless you !” when any one sneezed.

Aristotle, in the Problems (xxxiii. 7), inquires why sneezing is reckoned a God (διά τί τον μεν πταρμον, θεον ηγούμεθα είναι); to which he suggests that it may be because it comes from the head, the most divine part about us (θειοτάτου των περί ημάς).

Athenæus, says Potter in his Archæologia Græca, proves that the head was esteemed holy, because it was customary to swear by it, and adore as holy the sneezes that proceeded from it.

Oscitatio in nixu letalis est, sicut
Sternuisse a coitu abortivum.

Quoted from Pliny by Aulus Gellius,

Noct. Att. III. xvi. 24.

Persons having the inclination, but not the power to sneeze, should look at the sun, for reasons he assigns in Problems (xxxiii. 4).

Plutarch, on the Dæmon of Socrates (s. 11), states the opinion which some persons had formed, that Socrates dæmon was nothing else than the sneezing either of himself or others. Thus, if any one sneezed at his right hand, either before or behind him, he pursued any step he had begun; but sneezing at his left hand caused him to desist from his formed purpose. He adds something as to different kinds of sneezing. To sneeze twice was usual in Aristotle's time; but once, or more than twice, was uncommon (Prob. xxxiii. 3).

Petronius (Satyr. c. 98) notices the "blessing" in the following passage:

Giton collectione spiritus plenus, ter continuo ita sternutavit, ut grabatum concuteret. Ad quem motum Eumolpus conversus, salvere Gitona jubet.

Et n'esternuay point regardant le soleil.
And did not sneeze as he looked upon the sun,

Ronsard, tom. v. p. 158, quoted in Southey's

Common Place Book, 3d series, p. 303.

Here, not to sneeze appears to be looked on as an ill omen.

Ammianus has an epigram upon one whose nose was so long that he never heard it sneeze, and therefore never said Zell @ov, God bless.---Notes on the Variorum Plautus (ed. Gronov., Lugd. Bat.), p. 720.

Erasmus, in his Colloquies, bids one say to him who sneezes, “Sit faustum ac felix," or "Servet te Deus," or “Sit salutiferum," or Bene vertat Deus."

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Quare homines sternutant?

Respondetur, ut virtus expulsiva et visiva, per hoc purgetur, et cerebrum a sua superfluitate purgetur, eto. Etiam qui sternutat frequenter, dicitur habere forte cerebrum.-- Aristotelis Problemata: Amstelodami, anno 1690.

Query whether from some such idea of the beneficial effect of sneezing, arose the practice of calling for the divine blessing on the sneezer ?

When Themistocles was offering sacrifice, it happened that three beautiful captives were brought him, and at the same time the fire burnt clear and bright, and a sneeze happened on the right hand. Hereupon Euphrantides the soothsayer, embracing him, predicted the memorable victory which was afterwards obtained by him, &c.

Sneezing was not always a lucky omen, but varied according to the alteration of circumstances— Tôv trapuã oi cioiv ωφέλιμοι, οι δε βλαβεροί,“Some Sneezes are profitable, others prejudicial "--according to the scholiast upon the following passage of Theocritus, wherein he makes the sneezing of the Cupids to have been an unfortunate omen to a certain lover :

Σιμιχίδα μεν έρωτες επέκταρον. .

If any person sneezed between midnight and the following noontide it was fortunate, but from noontide till midnight it was unfortunate.

If a man sneezed at the table while they were taking away, or if another happened to sneeze upon his left hand, it was unlucky; if on the right hand, fortunate.

If, in the undertaking any business, two or four sneezes happened, it was a lucky omen, and gave encouragement to proceed; if more than four, the omen was neither good nor bad; if one or three, it was unlucky, and dehorted them from proceeding in what they had designed. If two men were deliberating about any business, and both of them chanced to sneeze together, it was a prosperous omen.---Archæol. Græc. (5th ed.). pp. 339, 340.

Strada, in his Prolusions, Book III. Prol. 4, replies at some length, and not unamusingly, to the query, "Why are sneezers saluted ? » It seems to have arisen out of an occurrence which had recently taken place at Rome, that a certain Pistor Suburranus, after having sneezed twenty-three times consecutively, had expired at the twenty-fourth sneeze: and his object is to prove that Sigonius was mistaken in supposing that the custom of saluting a sneezer had only dated from the days of Gregory the Great, when many had died of the plague in the act of sneezing. In opposition to this notion, he adduces passages from Apuleius and Petronius Arbiter, besides those from Ammianus, Athenæus, Aristotle, and Homer, already quoted. He then proceeds to give five causes from which the custom may have sprung, and classifies them as religious, medical, facetious, poetical, and augural.

Under the first head, he argues that the salutation given to sneezers is not a mere expression of good wishes, but a kind of veneration; "for," says he, "we rise to a person sneezing, and humbly uncover our heads, and deal reverently with him.” In proof of this position, he tells us that in Ethiopia, when the emperor sneezed, the salutations of his adoring gentlemen of the privy chamber were so loudly uttered as to be heard and reechoed by the whole of his court; and thence repeated in the streets, so that the whole city was in simultaneous commotion.

The other heads are then pursued with considerable learning, and some humor; and, under the last, he refers us to St. Augustin, De Doctr. Christ, ii. 20, as recording that

When the ancients were getting up in the morning, if they chanced to sneeze whilst putting on their shoes, they immediately went back to bed again, in order that they might get up more auspiciously, and escape the misfortunes which were likely to occur on that day.

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It is a curious circumstance that if any one should sneeze in company in North Germany, those present will say, “Your good health ;” in Vienna, gentlemen in a café will take off their hats, and say, “God be with you; " and in Ireland Paddy will say, “God bless your honor,” or “ Long life to your honor.” In Italy and Spain similar expressions are used. The custom is also very common in Russia. The phrases the Russians use on these occasions are- “ To your good health!” or do?” It is said that in Bengal the natives make a salam these occasions. One of the salutations, by which a sneezer is greeted amongst the lower class of Romans at the present day is, Figli maschi, “May you have male children!”

The Athenæum, in a review of M. Nisard's curious though ill-executed work on the popular literature of France, remarks that the following passage contains evidence of the almost universal practice of salutation after sneezing :

If you sneeze in the presence of another person, you should take off your hat, turn aside ; put your hat, your handkerchief, hand, or napkin before him; and as soon as the paroxysm is past, you ought to salute those who have saluted, or ought to have saluted you, although they may not have said any thing.

At different stages of social progress, such instructions may be found occupying positions in the social scale correspondingly various, and helping accordingly to mark the point reached hy different nations. In France the above extract, at the middle of the nineteenth century, occupies a page in a chap-book destined for the classes at the bottom of the social pyramid. In Italy is found the following in a child's primer, issued authoritatively in 1553, and stated in the title-page to be “enriched with new and moral maxims adapted to form the hearts of children." Among “the duties of man to society” are enumerated those of

Abstaining from scratching your head, putting your fingers in your ri: outh, crossing one knee over the other in sitting and being prompt in saluting any one who may sneeze, and returning thanks to any who, on such an occasion, may have wished you well.

It is a commonly current statement, that the practice in question had its origin at the time of a wide-spread epidemic, of which sneezing was supposed to be a premonitory symptom.

Another of the maxims, in the same little book, supposed by its author to be adapted for the formation of the juvenile heart," is characteristic and noteworthy. “One ought never," it is taught, “ to introduce any conversation on topics unseasonable or contrary to current opinions."

A less morally questionable, though more inconvenient pre. cept, is, that you are never to blow your nose in the presence of

any one!

CORPULENCE A CRIME.

Mr. Bruce has written, in his Classic and Historic Portraits that the ancient Spartan paid as much attention to the rearing of men as the cattle-dealers in modern England do to the breeding of cattle. They took charge of firmness and looseness of men's flesh; and regulated the degree of fatness to which it was lawful,

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