By LIZ HULL
As a way of getting yourself a date, it would raise more than a few eyebrows nowadays.
But for those desperate to win a lover in Elizabethan Britain, burying a dead frog in an anthill at a cross roads and putting it's bones in a river was apparently a sure fire way to secure a woman's heart.
The bizarre spell has been unearthed in a unique handwritten book of 400-year-old magic due to be auctioned next month.
Found among the effects of controversial artist Robert Lenkiewicz, who died five years ago aged 60, the "manuscript grimoire" provides an extraordinary number of conjurations, incantations, signs, portents, spells and folk remedies from the late 16th century.
The anonymous author describes how to use magic not only to find a lover, but also to help find treasure or even prevent theft and punish robbers.
According to the book, the best way to win a woman is for a man to "take a frog and put him in a pot and stop it fast," before advising him to bury the pot in an ant hill at a crossroads.
After nine days, two of the frog's bones should then be removed and placed in a stream or river of running water.
The extraordinary spell continues: "One of them will float against the stream.
"Make thee a ring, and take the part that swum against the stream and set it in the ring, and when you will have any woman put it on her right hand...she shall never rest till she hath been with thee."
Written between 1590 and 1620, the 30-page volume also includes illustrations of the planets with angelic seals, coded messages, invocations in Latin and crudely-drawn Christian symbols. It also makes reference to witchcraft, blood rituals and contains a sketch of a reversed pentacle - a symbol of Satanism.
The manuscript, which is expected to fetch up to £12,000 when it goes under the hammer at London-based auctioneers Sotheby's on July 13, tells readers how to summon a spirit to one's bed chamber or summon a spirit into a crystal, as well as providing folk remedies for the relief of toothache and labour pains.
It also contains instructions on how to draw a "magical eye" to identify and punish thieves and claims robbers could be warned off by a spell in which the reader is required to chant a long list of the names of angels.
The book says: "Whoever be afraid of thieves, to be robbed by night or by day in his house, or else that he hath a pond of fish or garden of fruit of a field of sheep or a horse...that he would have kept from all thieves and saved.
"Let him say this charm next following like as it standeth written hereafter. They shall have no power to bear away his goods nor rob him but they shall stand as still as amazed men, till they have leave to go.
"...And when thou hast said what thou list, then bid him go hence in God's name, and come no more here. And if he will not go, bid him go hence in the devil's name."
Dr Gabriel Heaton, manuscripts specialist at Sotheby's, said the spell book offered an interesting insight into early European magic.
"This is a richly illustrated Elizabethan anthology and an important and unique source of occult material covering a wide range of spells and conjurations - a sourcebook of practical magic as practised in early modern Europe," he said.
"But I wouldn't recommend trying these at home.
"Much of the text is set within a Christian framework - but there are also signs of an older and darker tradition in the use of blood rituals and, on one occasion, a reversed pentacle."
Now I hope I do not need to remind anyone that this is not actual Satanism, but as truthfully stated in the article, the text is set within a christian framework; and I suppose the frog was already dead. Plus, if anyone has to resort to such shenanigans, forget it. Do not harm animals unless attacked or for your food.