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

 Oracle of the Holy Bottle, Bacbuc,Oracles 
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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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