Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Mouse.

 Mournival.Mouse, Mousie, 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The soul or spirit was often supposed in olden times to assume a zoömorphic form, and to make its way at death through the mouth of man in a visible form, sometimes as a pigeon, sometimes as a mouse or rat. A red mouse indicated a pure soul; a black mouse, a soul blackened by pollution; a pigeon or dove, a saintly soul.   1
   Exorcists used to drive out evil spirits from the human body, and Harsnet gives several instances of such expulsions in his Popular Impositions (1604).   2
        No doubt pigeons were at one time trained to represent the departing soul, and also to represent the Holy Ghost.

 Mournival.Mouse, Mousie, 


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