dragon's blood

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A useful and powerful ingredient in love divination and other spells, used in a number of ways, but usually involving the fire: ‘Buy a pennyworth of dragon's blood from a chemist, sprinkle the powder in the fire any night when the clock is striking twelve, and your future husband or wife will appear … ‘(Billson, 1895: 59–60). It was being used in this way well into the 20th century (N&Q 12s:10 (1922), 248). Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary glosses Dragon's Blood as the herb Robert (Geranium Robertianum); A. R. Wright (1928: 69) defines it as ‘the resin from the Calamus draco and certain other trees, used chiefly in varnish-making’.

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