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the music of the church-bells, and the curate,
who headed the procession, blessed the spring,
dipped in the holy-water brush, and sprinkled
the water on the ground. What came of the
ceremony is not recorded.

Amongst the ordinary Breton superstitions,
the following may be cited:—He who eats
the heart of an eel, warm from the body, is
supposed to be at once endowed with the
gift of prophecy. (If this were known on the
turf, how many an eel-pieman might win the
Derby!)  A man whose hair curls naturally,
is sure, they say, to be beloved by everybody
(a very serviceable belief if the negroes could
have the benefit of it in the United States
and elsewhere). Throughout Finistère the
peasants make a point of not eating cabbage
on Saint Stephen's day, because the proto-
martyr is said to have concealed himself
from his persecutors in a field of cabbages.
They suppose that if butter is offered to Saint
Hervé (whoever he may have been), their
cattle are safe from wolves, because the saint,
stricken with blindness, was once led about
by a wolf: they also entertain the notion
that foxes will never enter a henroost that
is sprinkled with the water in which pig's
chitterlings have been boiled; but it is not
set forth that any of the Breton saints were
ever remarkably addicted to pig's chitterlings,
though, without doubt, some of them
were.

Divination, by all kinds of processes, is
common in Brittany. It is accomplished
by means of needles:—Five-and-twenty
new needles are put into a plate; water
is poured over them; and, as many needles
as cross each other, so many are the diviner's
enemies. To know how long a person will
live, a fig-leaf is gathered, and the question
asked is written with the finger upon it. If
the leaf dries up quickly afterward, a
speedy death ensues; if slowly, then a
long life. The mole, famous always for
working in the dark, lends himself very much
to the practice of divination, all sorts of sage
conclusions being inferred from the aspect of
his entrails. He is also considered in valuable
as a remedy in many parts of France, where
the use of the mole-fied hand (la main
taupée), in which a live mole had been
squeezed to death, is the medium resorted
to: the slightest touch with this hand, while
it is yet warm from contact with the animal,
cures the toothache and also the colic. If the
foot of a mole is wrapped in a laurel leaf
and put into a horse's mouth, he
immediately takes fright. There is a curious
magnetic sympathy, apparently, between
moles and horses, for if a black horse be
sponged over with the water in which a mole
has been boiled, the beast will immediately
turn white. There is also an alleged
sympathy between men and bees, and in some
districts of Brittany it is believed that if the
hard-working insects are not informed of the
events which interest their masters, nothing
goes right afterwards about the house. It
is on this account that when any one in a
family dies, the peasants fasten a bit of black
cloth to the hive, or a bit of red if a marriage
takes place. The French, as we know, are
not first-rate sportsmencertain devices not
commonly practised in England may therefore
be allowed them in the pursuit of game.
Thus, in the Berrichonthough George Sand
says nothing about itsome artful dodgers
mix the juice of henbane with the blood of a
leveret, and having anointed their gaiters
therewith, expect that all the hares in the
neighbourhood will be attracted towards the
wearer of the gaiters.

The kingfisher is held in great estimation
in many parts of France, on account of
certain supposed qualities. It is considered to
be a natural weathercock, which, when hung
up by the beak, will turn its breast to the
quarter whence the wind blows. The
kingfisher is also said to be endowed with the
precious gift of enriching its possessor, of
preserving harmony in families, and of
imparting beauty to women who wear its
feathers. The kingfisher's fame has travelled
into Tartary, where the inhabitants almost
adore the bird. They eagerly collect its
plumage, and, throwing the feathers into a
vase of water, preserve those that float,
believing that it is quite sufficient for a
woman to touch one of them to make her
love the wearer. A Tartar, if he be fortunate
enough to own a kingfisher, carefully
preserves the beak, claws, and skin, when it
dies, and puts them in a purse; as long as
he carries these relics on his person, he is
secure against any misfortune.

Some of the preceding superstitions have,
probably, become merely traditional, and to
the latter class we must assign the belief in
the good traveller's walking-stick (le bâton
du bon voyageur), the wondrous properties of
which, and the manner of its construction,
are described as follows in the Secrets
Merveilleux du Petit Albert:—"Take," says the
necromantic teacher, "a thick and straight
branch of elder, and after extracting the
pith, put a ferrule at one end. Then substitute
for the pith the eyes of a young wolf,
the tongue and the heart of a dog, three green,
lizards, and the hearts of three swallows, all
of them reduced to powder by the heat of the
sun"  (a fragrant process)  "between two
papers sprinkled with saltpetre. On the top
of this powder, place seven leaves of vervain,
gathered on the eve of Saint John the
Baptist, together with a stone of divers colours,
which is found in the nest of the lapwing,
and put whatever kind of knob to the stick
that you fancy. You may then rest assured
that this stick will not only preserve you
from robbers, mad dogs, wild beasts, and
dangers of all sorts, but also procure you a good
supper and a night's lodging wherever you
choose to stop."  Such a walking-stick would
have been of infinite service to the Gallician

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