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friendly spirit does all the household
drudgery when everybody is gone to bed
which is the reason, perhaps, why the Breton
cottages are the dirtiest in Europe. The
services of the Buguel Nos, on the other
hand, are rendered out of doors, and the
shape in which he appears is human, with
this peculiarity in his stature, which is
gigantic, that it increases as he approaches.
He is only to be seen where cross-roads
meet, between midnight and two in the
morning. When the belated peasant calls
upon him for aid, he comes forth dressed
in a long white mantle, which he throws
over the suppliant; who, safe beneath its
folds, listens to the terrific grating of the
wheels of the Devil's chariot, as it crashes
along the highway, to the accompaniment of
fearful shrieks and dismal howls; or, it may
be that he hides from the Carriguel-ar-ancou,
or death-cart, which is covered with white
cloth and driven furiously by skeletons.
Sometimes in lonely places, at the foot of
some Menhir (the long, upright, Druidical
stone), the peasant suddenly comes upon a
party of those unearthly washerwomen, the
Ar-cannercz-nos, or Singers of the Night;
who compel him to assist them in wringing
out their clothes, and woe betide him if he
twists the linen differently from them, as at
once they fall on him and break both his
arms. This is not a country where Falstaff
would have liked to be a night-walker; for,
even participation in the amusements of its
goblins is compulsory. There is one
particular class of dwarfs, called Courils, or
Poulpiquets, who inhabit the Dolmens (the
Druidical stones arranged in tabular form),
and whose pleasure it is to caper on the
heath by moonlight, pounce upon the
wayfarer, and oblige him to join in their dance,
never suffering him to stop until, overcome
by fatigue, he falls to the ground a corpse.
Less malevolent than the Courils, is a family
of dwarfs, about a foot high, who roam
through the vast caverns that lie beneath
the ruins of the old castle of Morlaix, making
music with their hammers on large
copper basins. These dwarfs are gold-diggers,
who spread their treasure in the sun to dry.
The peasant who modestly extends his palm,
receives from them a handful of the precious
metal; but he who provides himself with a
sack, intending to fill it, is cruelly beaten and
driven away. Treasure-trove in Brittany is
surrounded by many uncertainties. In the
district of Lesnaven, immense hoards are
guarded by demons, who take the shape,
sometimes of an old man or woman,
some-times of a black poodle. Having discovered
the localitywhich is equivalent to catching
your hareyou must silently make a deep
hole in the ground; the thunder will roar,
the lightning will flash, meteors will shoot
through the air; and, amidst the riot of the
discordant elements, you will hear the clanking
of chains; but, keep an undaunted heart,
persevere in your toil, and you will at last be
rewarded by discovering an enormous lump
of gold, or silver. If you chance to utter a
single exclamation while raising the treasure
to the surface, it is all over with you: it sinks,
and is seen no more. On Palm Sunday,
during the singing of the Mass, the demons
are forced to make an exhibition of their
metallic wealth, though they artfully
disguise its value under the appearance of
leaves, stones, and bits of coal. But you.
are perfectly up to this dodge; and, if you can
succeed in sprinkling these objects with holy
water, or even in touching them with some
other consecrated thing, they turn into gold,
and you may fill your pockets as conscientiously
as if you were a Royal British Bank
director. .

I know not whether the demon called
Jan-gant-e-tan (John and his fire) be a treasure-fiend
or not, but there is some probability in
the belief that he delights in confounding
treasure-seekers. It is his habit to turn out
at night, and spreading forth the five
fingers of his right hand, which blaze like
torches, to whirl them round with
inconceivable velocity, and run with all his
speed, until he bogs the unhappy wretch who
follows, and leaves him in utter darkness,
amid screams of derisive laughter.

In the neighbourhood of Plougasnou, there
is still practised a species of divination, the
future being predicted by weather-wise
sorcerers; who interpret the motion of the
sea and the rush of the waves as they break
upon the shore. These diviners fall on
their knees and worship the planet Venus
when she rises. Others raise an altar in
some lonely spot and place on it several
small copper coins which, when the evening
Mass is ended, they grind to dust. This powder,
taken in a glass of wine, cider, or brandy,
makes him who drinks it invincible in the
wrestling-match or the race: it is just possible
that the liquor alone might answer the same
purpose. More poetical than dram-drinking
is the custom of the maidens of Plougasnou.
There is a small chapel in a field that
overlooks the coast, whither they repair to hang
up their shorn tresses, a sacrifice which they
make in the hope of securing the safe return
of a sailor lover or the recovery of some
dear friend who is sick. A different custom
prevails at Croizic where a high rock hangs
over the shore, the approach to which is by a
gentle grassy slope. The women of the
country and the unmarried girls dress
themselves in all their bravery, and with their
hair floating over their shoulders and adorned
with freshly-gathered flowers, rush up the
slope, and, stretching out their arms, raise
their eyes to heaven, and sing in chorus:

         Sea-mew, sea-mew!
         Send back our husbands and lovers true
         (Goëlans, goëlans!
         Ramenez-nous nos maris et nos amans)