in Persia that storms might be averted by burning Agates. The
Tree-Agate of former times— light green in colour, whilst mottled with
yellow, (our Jasper)—was supposed to make sure of fertile crops if it
were tied about the ploughman's arm, or attached to the horns of the
oxen ploughing the fields. An esteem for the virtues of the Agate came
down to the days of our Queen Elizabeth, who received from no less
eminent a person than Archbishop Parker, the gift of an Agate, with an
inscription on parchment detailing its miraculous properties.
for the most part are made up of Silica ; and their several colours
come from particles of iron mixed therewith, in different ways. To be
seen in the British Museum is a very remarkable Agate from Egypt, which
shows on both sides a likeness of the Poet Chaucer.
Stone " Onyx," is actually an Amethyst. Its original name was "
Achlamah." There are five varieties of the Onyx ; the first, "
Finger-nail Stone," which is white, resembling the human nail at its
root, where a white crescentic lunula is to be seen ; for which reason
it has received its (Greek) name ; this variety is not marked by any
stripes. The second sort is a white stone striped with red ; the third
is white striped with black ; the fourth is all black, without stripes
; and the fifth—the most valuable Onyx—is black, with white stripes.
Mediaeval writers sought to find a Scriptural basis for superstitions
then current by connecting " Achlamah "—Onxy—with the verb " chalam
"—to dream ; and asserting that therefore