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Omens

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

March 12.—There is nothing more ridiculous than the idle stories which are daily told of omens and forebodings on every trifling occasion; but, upon great occasions, all ages have afforded such proofs of something of this kind, that the most learned and candid have been obliged to take notice of them. How far the following may be considered of this kind, every one will judge for himself. Of the truth of each there is incontestable evidence:

In the ceremony of coronation in England, there are two swords used: one representing justice, the other representing mercy. At the coronation of George the Third, the sword of justice was brought, but the sword of mercy was left at the tower. To have sent for it would have delayed time; and therefore the Lord Mayor of London’s sword was borrowed, and used in its stead. At the same time the great diamond fell from his sceptre. When the same King reviewed his fleet, under Keppel, in May, 1778, the weather was so fine that hundreds of small boats were on the sea; and yet, so it was, that at the mast-head of the royal yacht, on board which the King then was, the great union flag was rent from top to bottom, in the sight of twenty thousand people. A pious lady of New York, having some years ago been to see the waxworks shown there, among which was the likeness of George the Third, she dreamed the night following that she saw that King in his great chair fast asleep, and his crown lying at his feet. Beyond him stood the devil, and after some time he cried out with a strong and terrifying voice, “Arouse, O Prince, for thy kingdom is departed from thee.” This dream was written and sent to Mrs. Wright, then in London, with a strong injunction to show it to the King. It was accordingly handed to Lord North, but he did not dare to show it to his master.1

 

1 Pennsylvania Packet, March 16.

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