Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Oracle of Sieve and Shears (The).

 Oracle of the Holy Bottle, Bacbuc,Oracles 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Oracle of Sieve and Shears (The).
This method of divination is mentioned by Theoc’ritos. The modus operandi was as follows:—The points of the shears were stuck in the rim of a sieve, and two persons supported them with their finger-tips. Then a verse of the Bible was read aloud, and St. Peter and St. Paul were asked if it was A, B, or C (naming the persons suspected). When the right person was named, the sieve would suddenly turn round.   1
        “Searching for things lost with a sieve and shears.”—Ben Jonson: Alchemist, i. 1.

 Oracle of the Holy Bottle, Bacbuc,Oracles 


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