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Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. by Sir James George Frazer

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[657] J. Brand, _op. cit._ i. 455; _The Denham Tracts_, edited by Dr.
James Hardy (London, 1892-1895), ii. 25 _sq._

[658] Herrick, _Hesperides_, "Ceremonies for Christmasse":

"_Come, bring with a noise,
My merrie merrie boyes,
The Christmas log to the firing_;...
_With the last yeeres brand
Light the neiv block_"

And, again, in his verses, "Ceremonies for Candlemasse Day":

"_Kindle the Christmas brand, and then
Till sunne-set let it burne;
Which quencht, then lay it up agen,
Till Christmas next returne.
Part must be kept, wherewith to teend
The Christmas log next yeare;
And where 'tis safely kept, the fiend
Can do no mischiefe there_"

See _The Works of Robert Herrick_ (Edinburgh, 1823), vol. ii. pp. 91,
124. From these latter verses it seems that the Yule log was replaced on
the fire on Candlemas (the second of February).

[659] Miss C. S. Burne and Miss G. F. Jackson, _Shropshire Folk-lore_
(London, 1883), p. 398 note 2. See also below, pp. 257, 258, as to the
Lincolnshire, Herefordshire, and Welsh practice.

[660] Francis Grose, _Provincial Glossary_, Second Edition (London,
1811), pp. 141 _sq._; T.F. Thiselton Dyer, _British Popular Customs_
(London, 1876), p. 466.

[661] _County Folk-lore_, vol. iv. _Northumberland_, collected by M.C.
Balfour and edited by Northcote W. Thomas (London, 1904), p. 79.

[662] _County Folk-lore,_ vol. ii. _North Riding of Yorkshire, York and
the Ainsty,_ collected and edited by Mrs. Gutch (London, 1901), pp. 273,
274, 275 _sq_.

[663] _County Folk-lore_, vol. vi. _East Riding of Yorkshire_, collected
and edited by Mrs. Gutch (London, 1912), pp. 23, 118, compare p. 114.

[664] John Aubrey, _Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme_ (London, 1881),
p. 5.

[665] _County Folk-lore_, vol. v. _Lincolnshire_, collected by Mrs.
Gutch and Mabel Peacock (London, 1908), p. 219. Elsewhere in
Lincolnshire the Yule-log seems to have been called the Yule-clog (_op.
cit_. pp. 215, 216).

[666] Mrs. Samuel Chandler (Sarah Whateley), quoted in _The Folk-lore
Journal_, i. (1883) pp. 351 _sq_.

[667] Miss C.S. Burne and Miss G.F. Jackson, _Shropshire Folk-lore_
(London, 1883), pp. 397 _sq_. One of the informants of these writers
says (_op. cit._ p. 399): "In 1845 I was at the Vessons farmhouse, near
the Eastbridge Coppice (at the northern end of the Stiperstones). The
floor was of flags, an unusual thing in this part. Observing a sort of
roadway through the kitchen, and the flags much broken, I enquired what
caused it, and was told it was from the horses' hoofs drawing in the
'Christmas Brund.'"

[668] Mrs. Ella Mary Leather, _The Folklore of Herefordshire_ (Hereford
and London, 1912), p. 109. Compare Miss C.S. Burne, "Herefordshire
Notes," _The Folk-lore Journal_, iv. (1886) p. 167.

[669] Marie Trevelyan, _Folk-lore and Folk-stories of Wales_ (London,
1909), p. 28.

[670] "In earlier ages, and even so late as towards the middle of the
nineteenth century, the Servian village organisation and the Servian
agriculture had yet another distinguishing feature. The dangers from
wild beasts in old time, the want of security for life and property
during the Turkish rule, or rather misrule, the natural difficulties of
the agriculture, more especially the lack in agricultural labourers,
induced the Servian peasants not to leave the parental house but to
remain together on the family's property. In the same yard, within the
same fence, one could see around the ancestral house a number of wooden
huts which contained one or two rooms, and were used as sleeping places
for the sons, nephews and grandsons and their wives. Men and women of
three generations could be often seen living in that way together, and
working together the land which was considered as common property of the
whole family. This expanded family, remaining with all its branches
together, and, so to say, under the same roof, working together,
dividing the fruits of their joint labours together, this family and an
agricultural association in one, was called _Zadrooga_ (The
Association). This combination of family and agricultural association
has morally, economically, socially, and politically rendered very
important services to the Servians. The headman or chief (called
_Stareshina_) of such family association is generally the oldest male
member of the family. He is the administrator of the common property and
director of work. He is the executive chairman of the association.
Generally he does not give any order without having consulted all the
grown-up male members of the _Zadroega_" (Chedo Mijatovich, _Servia and
the Servians_, London, 1908, pp. 237 _sq._). As to the house-communities
of the South Slavs see further Og. M. Utiesenovic, _Die Hauskommunionen
der Suedslaven_ (Vienna, 1859); F. Demelic, _Le Droit Coutumier des
Slaves Meridionaux_ (Paris, 1876), pp. 23 _sqq._; F.S. Krauss, _Sitte
und Brauch der Suedslaven_ (Vienna, 1885), pp. 64 _sqq._ Since Servia,
freed from Turkish oppression, has become a well-regulated European
state, with laws borrowed from the codes of France and Germany, the old
house-communities have been rapidly disappearing (Chedo Mijatovich, _op.
cit._ p. 240).

[671] Chedo Mijatovich, _Servia and the Servians_ (London, 1908), pp.

[672] Baron Rajacsich, _Das Leben, die Sitten und Gebraeuche der im
Kaiserthume Oesterreich lebenden Suedslaven_ (Vienna, 1873), pp. 122-128.

[673] Baron Rajacsich, _Das Leben, die Sitten und Gebrauche der im
Kaiserthume Oesterreich lebenden Suedslaven_ (Vienna, 1873), pp. 129-131.
The Yule log (_badnyak_) is also known in Bulgaria, where the women
place it on the hearth on Christmas Eve. See A. Strausz, _Die Bulgaren_
(Leipsic, 1898), p. 361.

[674] M. Edith Durham, _High Albania_ (London, 1909), p. 129.

[675] R.F. Kaindl, _Die Huzulen_ (Vienna, 1894) p. 71.

[676] See above, pp. 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 258.
Similarly at Candlemas people lighted candles in the churches, then took
them home and kept them, and thought that by lighting them at any time
they could keep off thunder, storm, and tempest. See Barnabe Googe, _The
Popish Kingdom_ (reprinted London, 1880), p. 48 _verso_.

[677] See above, pp. 248, 250, 251, 257, 258, 263.

[678] See _The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings_, ii. 356 _sqq._

[679] See above, pp. 248, 249, 250, 251, 264.

[680] August Witzschel, _Sagen, Sitten und Gebraeuche aus Thueringen_
(Vienna, 1878), pp. 171 _sq._

[681] Jules Lecoeur, _Esquisses du Bocage Normand_ (Conde-sur-Noireau,
1883-1887), ii. 289 _sq._

[682] Joseph Train, _Historical and Statistical Account of the Isle of
Man_ (Douglas, Isle of Man, 1845), ii. 124, referring to Cregeen's _Manx
Dictionary_, p. 67.

[683] R. Chambers, _The Book of Days_ (London and Edinburgh, 1886), ii.
789-791, quoting _The Banffshire Journal_; Miss C.F. Gordon Cumming, _In
the Hebrides_ (London, 1883), p. 226; Miss E.J. Guthrie, _Old Scottish
Customs_ (London and Glasgow, 1885), pp. 223-225; Ch. Rogers, _Social
Life in Scotland_ (Edinburgh, 1884-1886), iii. 244 _sq_.; _The Folk-lore
Journal_, vii. (1889) pp. 11-14, 46. Miss Gordon Gumming and Miss
Guthrie say that the burning of the Clavie took place upon Yule Night;
but this seems to be a mistake.

[684] Caesar, _De bello Gallico_, vii. 23.

[685] Hugh W. Young, F.S.A. Scot., _Notes on the Ramparts of Burghead as
revealed by recent Excavations_ (Edinburgh, 1892), pp. 3 _sqq_.; _Notes
on further Excavations at Burghead_ (Edinburgh, 1893), pp. 7 _sqq_.
These papers are reprinted from the _Proceedings of the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland_, vols. xxv., xxvii. Mr. Young concludes as
follows: "It is proved that the fort at Burghead was raised by a people
skilled in engineering, who used axes and chisels of iron; who shot
balista stones over 20 lbs. in weight; and whose daily food was the _bos
longifrons_. A people who made paved roads, and sunk artesian wells, and
used Roman beads and pins. The riddle of Burghead should not now be very
difficult to read." (_Notes on further Excavations at Burghead_, pp. 14
_sq_.). For a loan of Mr. Young's pamphlets I am indebted to the
kindness of Sheriff-Substitute David.

[686] Robert Cowie, M.A., M.D., _Shetland, Descriptive and Historical_
(Aberdeen, 1871), pp. 127 _sq._; _County Folk-lore_, vol. iii. _Orkney
and Shetland Islands_, collected by G.F. Black and edited by Northcote
W. Thomas (London, 1903), pp. 203 _sq._ A similar celebration, known as
Up-helly-a, takes place at Lerwick on the 29th of January, twenty-four
days after Old Christmas. See _The Scapegoat_, pp. 167-169. Perhaps the
popular festival of Up-helly-a has absorbed some of the features of the
Christmas Eve celebration.

[687] Thomas Hyde, _Historia Religionis veterum Persarum_ (Oxford,
1700), pp. 255-257.

[688] On the need-fire see Jacob Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_*[4] i. 501
_sqq._; J.W. Wolf, _Beitraege zur deutschen Mythologie_ (Goettingen and
Leipsic, 1852-1857), i. 116 _sq._, ii. 378 _sqq._; Adalbert Kuhn, _Die
Herabkunjt des Feuers und des Goettertranks_*[2] (Guetersloh, 1886), pp.
41 _sqq._; Walter K. Kelly, _Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and
Folk-lore_ (London, 1863), pp. 48 _sqq._; W. Mannhardt, _Der Baumkultus
der Germanen und ihrer Nachbarstaemme_ (Berlin, 1875), pp. 518 _sqq._;
Charles Elton, _Origins of English History_ (London, 1882), pp. 293
_sqq._; Ulrich Jahn, _Die deutschen Opfergebraeuche bei Ackerbau und
Viehzucht_ (Breslau, 1884), pp. 26 _sqq._ Grimm would derive the name
_need-_fire (German, _niedfyr, nodfyr, nodfeur, nothfeur_) from _need_
(German, _noth_), "necessity," so that the phrase need-fire would mean
"a forced fire." This is the sense attached to it in Lindenbrog's
glossary on the capitularies, quoted by Grimm, _op. cit._ i. p. 502:
"_Eum ergo ignem_ nodfeur _et_ nodfyr, _quasi necessarium ignem vocant_"
C.L. Rochholz would connect _need_ with a verb _nieten_ "to churn," so
that need-fire would mean "churned fire." See C.L. Rochholz, _Deutscher
Glaube und Brauch_ (Berlin, 1867), ii. 149 _sq._ This interpretion is
confirmed by the name _ankenmilch bohren_, which is given to the
need-fire in some parts of Switzerland. See E. Hoffmann-Krayer,
"Fruchtbarkeitsriten im schweizerischen Volksbrauch," _Schweizerisches
Archiv fuer Volkskuende_, xi. (1907) p. 245.

[689] "_Illos sacrilegos ignes, quos_ niedfyr _vocant_," quoted by J.
Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] i. 502; R. Andree, _Braunschweiger
Volkskunde_ (Brunswick, 1896), p. 312.

[690] _Indiculus Superstitionum et Paganiarum_, No. XV., "_De igne
fricato de ligno i.e._ nodfyr." A convenient edition of the _Indiculus_
has been published with a commentary by H.A. Saupe (Leipsic, 1891). As
to the date of the work, see the editor's introduction, pp. 4 _sq_.

[691] Karl Lynker, _Deutsche Sagen und Sitten in hessischen Gauen_,*[2]
(Cassel and Goettingen, 1860), pp. 252 _sq._, quoting a letter of the
mayor (_Schultheiss_) of Neustadt to the mayor of Marburg dated 12th
December 1605.

[692] Bartholomaeus Carrichter, _Der Teutschen Speisskammer_ (Strasburg,
1614), Fol. pag. 17 and 18, quoted by C.L. Rochholz, _Deutscher Glaube
und Brauch_ (Berlin, 1867), ii. 148 _sq._

[693] Joh. Reiskius, _Untersuchung des Notfeuers_ (Frankfort and
Leipsic, 1696), p. 51, quoted by J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] i.
502 _sq._; R. Andree, _Braunschweiger Volkskunde_ (Brunswick, 1896), p.

[694] J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_, *[4] i. 503 _sq._

[695] J. Grimm, _op. cit._ i. 504.

[696] Adalbert Kuhn, _Maerkische Sagen und Maerchen_ (Berlin, 1843), p.

[697] Karl Bartsch, _Sagen, Maerchen und Gebraeuche aus Mecklenburg_
(Vienna, 1879-1880), ii. 149-151.

[698] Carl und Theodor Colshorn, _Maerchen und Sagen_ (Hanover, 1854),
pp. 234-236, from the description of an eye-witness.

[699] Heinrich Proehle, _Harzbilder, Sitten und Gebraeuche aus dem
Harz-gebirge_ (Leipsic, 1855), pp. 74 _sq._ The date of this need-fire
is not given; probably it was about the middle of the nineteenth

[700] R. Andree, _Braunschweiger Volkskunde_ (Brunswick, 1896), pp. 313

[701] R. Andree, _op. cit._ pp. 314 _sq._

[702] Montanus, _Die deutschen Volks-feste, Volksbraeuche und deutscher
Volksglaube_ (Iserlohn, N.D.), p. 127.

[703] Paul Drechsler, _Sitte, Brauch und Volksglaube in Schlesien_
(Leipsic, 1903-1906), ii. 204.

[704] Anton Peter, _Volksthuemliches aus Oesterreichisch-Schlesien_
(Troppau, 1865-1867), ii. 250.

[705] Alois John, _Sitte, Brauch und Volksglaube im deutschen
Westboehmen_ (Prague, 1905), p. 209.

[706] C.L. Rochholz, _Deutscher Glaube und Brauch_ (Berlin, 1867), ii.

[707] E. Hoffmann-Krayer, "Fruchtbarkeitsriten im schweizerischen
Volksbrauch," _Schweizerisches Archiv fur Volkskunde_, xi. (1907) pp.

[708] E. Hoffmann-Krayer, _op. cit._ p. 246.

[709] J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] i. 505.

[710] "Old-time Survivals in remote Norwegian Dales," _Folk-lore_, xx.
(1909) pp. 314, 322 _sq._ This record of Norwegian folk-lore is
translated from a little work _Sundalen og Oeksendalens Beskrivelse_
written by Pastor Chr. Gluekstad and published at Christiania "about
twenty years ago."

[711] Prof. VI. Titelbach, "Das heilige Feuer bei den Balkanslaven,"
_Inter-nationales Archiv fuer Ethnographie_, xiii. (1900) pp. 2 _sq._ We
have seen (above, p. 220) that in Russia the need-fire is, or used to
be, annually kindled on the eighteenth of August. As to the need-fire in
Bulgaria see also below, pp. 284 _sq._

[712] F.S. Krauss, "Altslavische Feuergewinnung," _Globus_, lix. (1891)
p. 318, quoting P. Ljiebenov, _Baba Ega_ (Trnovo, 1887), p. 44.

[713] F.S. Krauss, _op. cit._ p. 319, quoting _Wisla_, vol. iv. pp. 1,
244 _sqq._

[714] F.S. Krauss, _op. cit._ p. 318, quoting Oskar Kolberg, in
_Mazowsze_, vol. iv. p. 138.

[715] F.S. Krauss, "Slavische Feuerbohrer," _Globus_, lix. (1891) p.
140. The evidence quoted by Dr. Krauss is that of his father, who often
told of his experience to his son.

[716] Prof. Vl. Titelbach, "Das heilige Feuer bei den Balkanslaven,"
_Internationales Archiv fur Ethnographie_, xiii. (1900) p. 3.

[717] See below, vol. ii. pp. 168 _sqq._

[718] Adolf Strausz, _Die Bulgaren_ (Leipsic, 1898), pp. 194-199.

[719] _Wissenschaftliche Mittheilungen aus Bosnien und der Hercegovina_,
redigirt von Moriz Hoernes, iii. (Vienna, 1895) pp. 574 _sq._

[720] "_Pro fidei divinae integritate servanda recolat lector quod, cum
hoc anno in Laodonia pestis grassaretur in pecudes armenti, quam vocant
usitate Lungessouth, quidam bestiales, habitu claustrales non animo,
docebant idiotas patriae ignem confrictione de lignis educere et
simulachrum Priapi statuere, et per haec bestiis succurrere_" quoted by
J.M. Kemble, _The Saxons in England_ (London, 1849), i. 358 _sq._; A.
Kuhn, _Die Herabkunft des Feuers und des Goettertranks_*[2] (Guetersloh,
1886), p. 43; Ulrich Jahn, _Die deutschen Opfergebraeuche bei Ackerbau
und Viehzucht_ (Breslau, 1884) p. 31.

[721] W.G.M. Jones Barker, _The Three Days of Wensleydale_ (London,
1854), pp. 90 _sq._; _County Folk-lore_, vol. ii., _North Riding of
Yorkshire, York and the Ainsty_, collected and edited by Mrs. Gutch
(London, 1901), p. 181.

[722] _The Denham Tracts, a Collection of Folklore by Michael Aislabie
Denham_, edited by Dr. James Hardy (London, 1892-1895), ii. 50.

[723] Harry Speight, _Tramps and Drives in the Craven Highlands_
(London, 1895), p. 162. Compare, _id., The Craven and North-West
Yorkshire Highlands_ (London, 1892), pp. 206 _sq._

[724] J.M. Kemble, _The Saxons in England_ (London, 1849), i. 361 note.

[725] E. Mackenzie, _An Historical, Topographical and Descriptive View
of the County of Northumberland_, Second Edition (Newcastle, 1825), i.
218, quoted in _County Folk-lore_, vol. iv. _Northumberland_, collected
by M.C. Balfour (London, 1904), p. 45. Compare J.T. Brockett, _Glossary
of North Country Words_, p. 147, quoted by Mrs. M.C. Balfour, _l.c.:
"Need-fire_ ... an ignition produced by the friction of two pieces of
dried wood. The vulgar opinion is, that an angel strikes a tree, and
that the fire is thereby obtained. Need-fire, I am told, is still
employed in the case of cattle infected with the murrain. They were
formerly driven through the smoke of a fire made of straw, etc." The
first edition of Brockett's _Glossary_ was published in 1825.

[726] W. Henderson, _Notes on the Folklore of the Northern Counties of
England and the Borders_ (London, 1879), pp. 167 _sq._ Compare _County
Folklore_, vol. iv. _Northumberland_, collected by M.C. Balfour (London,
1904), p. 45. Stamfordham is in Northumberland. The vicar's testimony
seems to have referred to the first half of the nineteenth century.

[727] M. Martin, "Description of the Western Islands of Scotland," in J.
Pinkerton's _General Collection of Voyages and Travels_, iii. (London,
1809), p. 611. The second edition of Martin's book, which Pinkerton
reprints, was published at London in 1716. For John Ramsay's account of
the need-fire, see above, pp. 147 _sq._

[728] J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] i. 506, referring to Miss
Austin as his authority.

[729] As to the custom of sacrificing one of a plague-stricken herd or
flock for the purpose of saving the rest, see below, pp. 300 _sqq._

[730] John Jamieson, _Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language_,
New Edition, revised by J. Longmuir and D. Donaldson, iii. (Paisley,
1880) pp. 349 _sq._, referring to "Agr. Surv. Caithn., pp. 200, 201."

[731] R.C. Maclagan, "Sacred Fire," _Folk-lore_, ix. (1898) pp. 280
_sq._ As to the fire-drill see _The Magic Art and the Evolution of
Kings_, ii. 207 _sqq._

[732] W. Grant Stewart, _The Popular Superstitions and Festive
Amusements of the Highlanders of Scotland_ (Edinburgh, 1823), pp.
214-216; Walter K. Kelly, _Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and
Folk-lore_ (London, 1863), pp. 53 _sq._

[733] Alexander Carmichael, _Carmina Gadelica_ (Edinburgh, 1900), ii.
340 _sq._

[734] See above, pp. 154, 156, 157, 159 _sq._

[735] _Census of India, 1911_, vol. xiv. _Punjab_, Part i. _Report_, by
Pandit Harikishan Kaul (Lahore, 1912), p. 302. So in the north-east of
Scotland "those who were born with their feet first possessed great
power to heal all kinds of sprains, lumbago, and rheumatism, either by
rubbing the affected part, or by trampling on it. The chief virtue lay
in the feet. Those who came into the world in this fashion often
exercised their power to their own profit." See Rev. Walter Gregor,
_Notes on the Folk-lore of the North-East of Scotland_ (London, 1881),
pp. 45 _sq._

[736] Rev. Walter Gregor, _Notes on the Folk-lore of the North-East of
Scotland_ (London, 1881), p. 186. The fumigation of the byres with
juniper is a charm against witchcraft. See J.G. Campbell, _Witchcraft
and Second Sight in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland_ (Glasgow,
1902), p. ii. The "quarter-ill" is a disease of cattle, which affects
the animals only in one limb or quarter. "A very gross superstition is
observed by some people in Angus, as an antidote against this ill. A
piece is cut out of the thigh of one of the cattle that has died of it.
This they hang up within the chimney, in order to preserve the rest of
the cattle from being infected. It is believed that as long as it hangs
there, it will prevent the disease from approaching the place. It is
therefore carefully preserved; and in case of the family removing,
transported to the new farm, as one of their valuable effects. It is
handed down from one generation to another" (J. Jamieson, _Etymological
Dictionary of the Scottish Language_, revised by J. Longmuir and D.
Donaldson, iii. 575, _s.v._ "Quarter-ill"). See further Rev. W. Gregor,
_op. cit._ pp. 186 _sq._: "The forelegs of one of the animals that had
died were cut off a little above the knee, and hung over the fire-place
in the kitchen. It was thought sufficient by some if they were placed
over the door of the byre, in the 'crap o' the wa'.' Sometimes the heart
and part of the liver and lungs were cut out, and hung over the
fireplace instead of the fore-feet. Boiling them was at times
substituted for hanging them over the hearth." Compare W. Henderson,
_Notes on the Folk-lore of the Northern Counties of England and the
Borders_ (London, 1879), p. 167: "A curious aid to the rearing of cattle
came lately to the knowledge of Mr. George Walker, a gentleman of the
city of Durham. During an excursion of a few miles into the country, he
observed a sort of rigging attached to the chimney of a farmhouse well
known to him, and asked what it meant. The good wife told him that they
had experienced great difficulty that year in rearing their calves; the
poor little creatures all died off, so they had taken the leg and thigh
of one of the dead calves, and hung it in a chimney by a rope, since
which they had not lost another calf." In the light of facts cited below
(pp. 315 _sqq._) we may conjecture that the intention of cutting off the
legs or cutting out the heart, liver, and lungs of the animals and
hanging them up or boiling them, is by means of homoeopathic magic to
inflict corresponding injuries on the witch who cast the fatal spell on
the cattle.

[737] _The Mirror_, 24th June, 1826, quoted by J. M. Kemble, _The Saxons
in England_ (London, 1849), i. 360 note 2.

[738] Leland L. Duncan, "Fairy Beliefs and other Folklore Notes from
County Leitrim," _Folk-lore_, vii. (1896) pp. 181 _sq._

[739] (Sir) Edward B. Tylor, _Researches into the Early History of
Mankind_, Third Edition (London, 1878), pp. 237 _sqq._; _The Magic Art
and the Evolution of Kings_, ii. 207 _sqq._

[740] For some examples of such extinctions, see _The Magic Art and the
Evolution of Kings_, ii. 261 _sqq._, 267 _sq._; _Spirits of the Corn and
of the Wild_, i. 311, ii. 73 _sq._; and above, pp. 124 _sq._, 132-139.
The reasons for extinguishing fires ceremonially appear to vary with the
occasion. Sometimes the motive seems to be a fear of burning or at least
singeing a ghost, who is hovering invisible in the air; sometimes it is
apparently an idea that a fire is old and tired with burning so long,
and that it must be relieved of the fatiguing duty by a young and
vigorous flame.

[741] Above, pp. 147, 154. The same custom appears to have been observed
in Ireland. See above, p. 158.

[742] J.N.B. Hewitt, "New Fire among the Iroquois," _The American
Anthropologist_, ii. (1889) p. 319.

[743] J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] i. 507.

[744] See above, p. 290.

[745] William Hone, _Every-day Book_ (London, preface dated 1827), i.
coll. 853 _sq._ (June 24th), quoting Hitchin's _History of Cornwall_.

[746] Hunt, _Romances and Drolls of the West of England_, 1st series, p.
237, quoted by W. Henderson, _Notes on the Folk-lore of the Northern
Counties of England and the Borders_ (London, 1879), p. 149. Compare
J.G. Dalyell, _The Darker Superstitions of Scotland_ (Edinburgh, 1834),
p. 184: "Here also maybe found a solution of that recent expedient so
ignorantly practised in the neighbouring kingdom, where one having lost
many of his herd by witchcraft, as he concluded, burnt a living calf to
break the spell and preserve the remainder."

[747] Marie Trevelyan, _Folk-lore and Folk-stories of Wales_ (London,
1909), p. 23.

[748] W. Henderson, _op. cit._ pp. 148 _sq._

[749] Rev. Walter Gregor, _Notes on the Folk-lore of the North-East of
Scotland_ (London, 1881), p. 186.

[750] R. N. Worth, _History of Devonshire_, Second Edition (London,
1886), p. 339. The diabolical nature of the toad probably explains why
people in Herefordshire think that if you wear a toad's heart concealed
about your person you can steal to your heart's content without being
found out. A suspected thief was overheard boasting, "They never catches
_me_: and they never ooll neither. I allus wears a toad's heart round my
neck, _I_ does." See Mrs. Ella M. Leather, in _Folk-lore_, xxiv. (1913)
p. 238.

[751] Above, p. 301.

[752] Robert Hunt, _Popular Romances of the West of England_, Third
Edition (London, 1881), p. 320. The writer does not say where this took
place; probably it was in Cornwall or Devonshire.

[753] Rev. Walter Gregor, _Notes on the Folk-lore of the North-East of
Scotland_ (London, 1881), p. 184.

[754] _County Folk-lore, Printed Extracts, No. 2, Suffolk_, collected
and edited by the Lady Eveline Camilla Gurdon (London, 1893), pp. 190
_sq._, quoting _Some Materials for the History of Wherstead_ by F.
Barham Zincke (Ipswich, 1887), p. 168.

[755] _County Folk-lore, Printed Extracts, No. 2, Suffolk_, p. 191,
referring to Murray's _Handbook for Essex, Suffolk_, etc., p. 109.

[756] (Sir) John Rhys, "Manx Folklore and Superstitions," _Folk-lore_,
ii. (1891) pp. 300-302; repeated in his _Celtic Folk-lore, Welsh and
Manx_ (Oxford, 1901), i. 306 _sq._ Sir John Rhys does not doubt that the
old woman saw, as she said, a live sheep being burnt on old May-day; but
he doubts whether it was done as a sacrifice. He adds: "I have failed to
find anybody else in Andreas or Bride, or indeed in the whole island,
who will now confess to having ever heard of the sheep sacrifice on old
May-day." However, the evidence I have adduced of a custom of burnt
sacrifice among English rustics tends to confirm the old woman's
statement, that the burning of the live sheep which she witnessed was
not an act of wanton cruelty but a sacrifice per formed for the public

[757] (Sir) John Rhys, "Manx Folklore and Superstitions," _Folk-lore_,
ii. (1891) pp. 299 _sq.; id., Celtic Folklore, Welsh and Manx_ (Oxford,
1901), i. 304 _sq._ We have seen that by burning the blood of a
bewitched bullock a farmer expected to compel the witch to appear. See
above, p. 303.

[758] Olaus Magnus, _Historia de Gentium Septentrionalium
Conditionibus_, lib xviii. cap. 47, p. 713 (ed. Bale, 1567).

[759] Collin de Plancy, _Dictionnaire Infernal_ (Paris, 1825-1826), iii.
473 _sq._, referring to Boguet.

[760] Collin de Plancy, _op. cit._ iii. 473.

[761] Felix Chapiseau, _Le Folk-lore de la Beauce et du Perche_ (Paris,
1902), i. 239 _sq._ The same story is told in Upper Brittany. See Paul
Sebillot, _Traditions et Superstitions de la Haute-Bretagne_ (Paris,
1882), i. 292. It is a common belief that a man who has once been
transformed into a werewolf must remain a were-wolf for seven years
unless blood is drawn from him in his animal shape, upon which he at
once recovers his human form and is delivered from the bondage and
misery of being a were-wolf. See F. Chapiseau, _op. cit._ i. 218-220;
Amelie Bosquet, _La Normandie Romanesque et Merveilleuse_ (Paris and
Rouen, 1845), p. 233. On the belief in were-wolves in general; see W.
Hertz, _Der Werwolf_ (Stuttgart, 1862); J. Grimm, _Deutsche
Mythologie_*[4] i. 915 _sqq._; (Sir) Edward B. Tylor, _Primitive
Culture_[2] (London, 1873), i. 308 _sqq._; R. Andree, _Ethnographische
Parallelen und Vergleiche_ (Stuttgart, 1878), pp. 62-80. In North
Germany it is believed that a man can turn himself into a wolf by
girding himself with a strap made out of a wolf's hide. Some say that
the strap must have nine, others say twelve, holes and a buckle; and
that according to the number of the hole through which the man inserts
the tongue of the buckle will be the length of time of his
transformation. For example, if he puts the tongue of the buckle through
the first hole, he will be a wolf for one hour; if he puts it through
the second, he will be a wolf for two days; and so on, up to the last
hole, which entails a transformation for a full year. But by putting off
the girdle the man can resume his human form. The time when were-wolves
are most about is the period of the Twelve Nights between Christmas and
Epiphany; hence cautious German farmers will not remove the dung from
the cattle stalls at that season for fear of attracting the were-wolves
to the cattle. See Adalbert Kuhn, _Maerkische Sagen und Maerchen_ (Berlin,
1843), p. 375; Ulrich Jahn, _Volkssagen aus Pommern und Ruegen_ (Stettin,
1886), pp. 384, 386, Nos. 491, 495. Down to the time of Elizabeth it was
reported that in the county of Tipperary certain men were annually
turned into wolves. See W. Camden, _Britain_, translated into English by
Philemon Holland (London, 1610), "Ireland," p. 83.

[762] J.J.M. de Groot, _The Religious System of China_, v. (Leyden,
1907) p. 548.

[763] A. C. Kruijt, "De weerwolf bij de Toradja's van Midden-Celebes,"
_Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal- Landen Volkenkunde,_ xli. (1899) pp.
548-551, 557-560.

[764] A.C. Kruijt, _op. cit._ pp. 552 _sq._

[765] A.C. Kruijt, _op. cit._ pp. 553. For more evidence of the belief
in were-wolves, or rather in were-animals of various sorts, particularly
were-tigers, in the East Indies, see J.J. M. de Groot, "De Weertijger in
onze Kolonien en op het oostaziatische Vasteland," _Bijdragen tot de
Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indie_, xlix. (1898) pp.
549-585; G.P. Rouffaer, "Matjan Gadoengan," _Bijdragen tot de Taal-
Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indie_ 1. (1899) pp. 67-75; J.
Knebel, "De Weertijger op Midden-Java, den Javaan naverteld,"
_Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde_, xli. (1899) pp.
568-587; L.M.F. Plate, "Bijdrage tot de kennis van de lykanthropie bij
de Sasaksche bevolking in Oost-Lombok," _Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-
Land- en Volkenkunde_, liv. (1912) pp. 458-469; G.A. Wilken, "Het
animisme bij de volken van den Indischen Archipel," _Verspreide
Geschriften_ (The Hague, 1912), iii. 25-30.

[766] Ernst Marno, _Reisen im Gebiete des blauen und weissen Nil_
(Vienna, 1874), pp. 239 _sq._

[767] Petronius, _Sat._ 61 _sq._ (pp. 40 _sq._, ed. Fr. Buecheler,*[3]
Berlin, 1882). The Latin word for a were-wolf (_versipellis_) is
expressive: it means literally "skin-shifter," and is equally
appropriate whatever the particular animal may be into which the wizard
transforms himself. It is to be regretted that we have no such general
term in English. The bright moonlight which figures in some of these
were-wolf stories is perhaps not a mere embellishment of the tale but
has its own significance; for in some places it is believed that the
transformation of were-wolves into their bestial shape takes place
particularly at full moon. See A. de Nore, _Coutumes, Mythes et
Traditions des Provinces de France_ (Paris and Lyons, 1846), pp. 99,
157; J.L.M. Nogues, _Les Moeurs d'autrefois en Saintonge et en Aunis_
(Saintes, 1891), p. 141.

[768] J.G. Campbell, _Witchcraft and Second Sight in the Highlands and
Islands of Scotland_ (Glasgow, 1902), p. 6: "In carrying out their
unhallowed cantrips, witches assumed various shapes. They became gulls,
cormorants, ravens, rats, mice, black sheep, swelling waves, whales, and
very frequently cats and hares." To this list of animals into which
witches can turn themselves may be added horses, dogs, wolves, foxes,
pigs, owls, magpies, wild geese, ducks, serpents, toads, lizards, flies,
wasps, and butterflies. See A. Wuttke, _Der deutsche
Volksaberglaube_*[2] (Berlin, 1869), p. 150 Sec. 217; L. Strackerjan,
_Aberglaube und Sagen aus dem Herzogthum Oldenburg_ (Oldenburg, 1867),
i. 327 Sec. 220; Ulrich Jahn, _Hexenwesen und Zauberei in Pommern_
(Breslau, 1886), p. 7. In his _Topography of Ireland_ (chap. 19), a work
completed in 1187 A.D., Giraldus Cambrensis records that "it has also
been a frequent complaint, from old times as well as in the present,
that certain hags in Wales, as well as in Ireland and Scotland, changed
themselves into the shape of hares, that, sucking teats under this
counterfeit form, they might stealthily rob other people's milk." See
_The Historical Works of Giraldus Cambrensis_, revised and edited by
Thomas Wright (London, 1887), p. 83.

[769] _The Folk-lore Journal_, iv. (1886) p. 266; Collin de Plancy,
_Dictionnaire Infernal_ (Paris, 1825-1826), iii. 475; J.L.M. Nogues,
_Les Moeurs d'autrefois en Saintonge et en Aunis_ (Saintes, 1891), p.
141. In Scotland the cut was known as "scoring above the breath." It
consisted of two incisions made crosswise on the witch's forehead, and
was "confided in all throughout Scotland as the most powerful
counter-charm." See Sir Walter Scott, _Letters on Demonology and
Witchcraft_ (London, 1884), p. 272; J.G. Dalyell, _The Darker
Superstitions of Scotland_ (Edinburgh, 1834), pp. 531 _sq._; M.M. Banks,
"Scoring a Witch above the Breath," _Folk-lore_, xxiii. (1912) p. 490.

[770] J.L.M. Nogues, _l.c._; L.F. Sauve, _Le Folk-lore des
Hautes-Vosges_ (Paris, 1889), P. 187.

[771] M. Abeghian, _Der armenische Volksglaube_ (Leipsic, 1899), p. 117.
The wolf-skin is supposed to fall down from heaven and to return to
heaven after seven years, if the were-wolf has not been delivered from
her unhappy state in the meantime by the burning of the skin.

[772] J.G. Campbell, _Witchcraft and Second Sight in the Highlands and
Islands of Scotland_ (Glasgow, 1902), p. 8; compare A. Wuttke, _Der
deutsche Volksaberglaube_*[2] (Berlin, 1869), p. 150 Sec. 217. Some think
that the sixpence should be crooked. See Rev. W. Gregor, _Notes on the
Folk-lore of the North-East of Scotland_ (London, 1881), pp. 71 _sq._,
128; _County Folk-lore_, vol. v. _Lincolnshire_, collected by Mrs. Gutch
and Mabel Peacock (London, 1908), p. 75.

[773] J.G. Campbell, _op. cit._ p. 30.

[774] J.G. Campbell, _op. cit._ p. 33.

[775] (Sir) Edward B. Tylor, _Primitive Culture_*[2] (London, 1873), i.

[776] Joseph Glanvil, _Saducismus Triumphatus or Full and Plain Evidence
concerning Witches and Apparitions_ (London, 1681), Part ii. p. 205.

[777] Rev. J.C. Atkinson, _Forty Years in a Moorland Parish_ (London,
1891), pp. 82-84.

[778] _County Folk-lore_, vol. v. _Lincolnshire_, collected by Mrs.
Gutch and Mabel Peacock (London, 1908), pp. 79, 80.

[779] Leland L. Duncan, "Folk-lore Gleanings from County Leitrim,"
_Folklore_, iv. (1893) pp. 183 _sq._

[780] L.F. Sauve, _Le Folk-lore des Hautes-Vosges_ (Paris, 1889), p.

[781] L.F. Sauve, _op. cit._ pp. 176 _sq._

[782] Ernst Meier, _Deutsche Sagen, Sitten und Gebraeuche aus Schwaben_
(Stuttgart, 1852), pp. 184 _sq._, No. 203.

[783] E. Meier, _op. cit._ pp. 191 _sq._, No. 215. A similar story of
the shoeing of a woman in the shape of a horse is reported from Silesia.
See R. Kuehnau, _Schlesische Sagen_ (Berlin, 1910-1913), iii. pp. 27
_sq._, No. 1380.

[784] R. Kuehnau, _Schlesische Sagen_ (Berlin, 1910-1913), iii. pp. 23
_sq._, No. 1375. Compare _id._, iii. pp. 28 _sq._, No. 1381.

[785] See for example L. Strackerjan, _Aberglaube und Sagen aus dem
Herzogthum Oldenburg_ (Oldenburg, 1867), i. pp. 328, 329, 334, 339; W.
von Schulenburg, _Wendische Volkssagen und Gebraeuche aus dem Spreewald_
(Leipsic, 1880), pp. 164, 165 _sq._; H. Proehle, _Harzsagen_ (Leipsic,
1859), i. 100 _sq._ The belief in such things is said to be universal
among the ignorant and superstitious in Germany. See A. Wuttke, _Der
deutsche Volksaberglaube_*[2] (Berlin, 1869), p. 150, Sec. 217. In Wales,
also, "the possibility of injuring or marking the witch in her assumed
shape so deeply that the bruise remained a mark on her in her natural
form was a common belief" (J. Ceredig Davies, _Folk-lore of West and
Mid-Wales_, Aberystwyth, 1911, p. 243). For Welsh stories of this sort,
see J. Ceredig Davies, _l.c._; Rev. Elias Owen, _Welsh Folk-lore_
(Oswestry and Wrexham, N.D., preface dated 1896), pp. 228 _sq._; M.
Trevelyan, _Folk-lore and Folk-stories of Wales_ (London, 1909), p. 214.

[786] L. Strackerjan, _Aberglaube und Sagen aus dem Herzogthum
Oldenburg_ (Oldenburg, 1867), i. p. 361, Sec. 239.

[787] Marie Trevelyan, _Folk-lore and Folk-stories of Wales_ (London,
1909), p. 210.

[788] L. Strackerjan, _Aberglaube und Sagen aus dem Herzogthum
Oldenburg_ (Oldenburg, 1867), i. p. 358, Sec. 238.

[789] L. Strackerjan, _op. cit._ i. p. 360, Sec. 238e.

[790] "The 'Witch-burning' at Clonmell," _Folk-lore_, vi. (1895) pp.
373-384. The account there printed is based on the reports of the
judicial proceedings before the magistrates and the judge, which were
published in _The Irish Times_ for March 26th, 27th, and 28th, April
2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 8th, and July 6th, 1895.

[791] John Graham Dalyell, _The Darker Superstitions of Scotland_
(Edinburgh, 1834), p. 185. In this passage "quick" is used in the old
sense of "living," as in the phrase "the quick and the dead." _Nois_ is
"nose," _hoill_ is "hole," _quhilk (whilk)_ is "which," and _be_ is

[792] J.G. Dalyell, _op. cit._ p. 186. _Bestiall_=animals; _seik_=sick;
_calling_=driving; _guidis_=cattle.

[793] John Ramsay, of Ochtertyre, _Scotland and Scotsmen in the
Eighteenth Century_, edited by Alexander Allardyce (Edinburgh and
London, 1888), ii. 446 _sq._ As to the custom of cutting off the leg of
a diseased animal and hanging it up in the house, see above, p. 296,
note 1.

[794] (Sir) Arthur Mitchell, A.M., M.D., _On Various Superstitions in
the North-West Highlands and Islands of Scotland_ (Edinburgh, 1862), p.
12 (reprinted from the _Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of
Scotland_, vol. iv.).

[795] _County Folk-lore_, vol. v. _Lincolnshire_, collected by Mrs.
Gutch and Mabel Peacock (London, 1908), p. 75, quoting Rev. R.M.
Heanley, "The Vikings: traces of their Folklore in Marshland," a paper
read before the Viking Club, London, and printed in its _Saga-Book_,
vol. iii. Part i. Jan. 1902. The wicken-tree is the mountain-ash or
rowan free, which is a very efficient, or at all events a very popular
protective against witchcraft. See _County Folk-lore_, vol. v.
_Lincolnshire_, pp. 26 _sq._, 98 _sq._; Mabel Peacock, "The Folklore of
Lincolnshire," _Folk-lore_, xii. (1901) p. 175; J.G. Campbell,
_Witchcraft and Second Sight in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland_
(Glasgow, 1902), pp. 11 _sq._; Rev. Walter Gregor, _Notes on the
Folk-lore of the North-East of Scotland_ (London, 1881), p. 188. See
further _The Scapegoat_, pp. 266 _sq_.



Sec. 1. _On the Fire-festivals in general_

[General resemblance of the European fire-festivals to each other.]

The foregoing survey of the popular fire-festivals of Europe suggests
some general observations. In the first place we can hardly help being
struck by the resemblance which the ceremonies bear to each other, at
whatever time of the year and in whatever part of Europe they are
celebrated. The custom of kindling great bonfires, leaping over them,
and driving cattle through or round them would seem to have been
practically universal throughout Europe, and the same may be said of the
processions or races with blazing torches round fields, orchards,
pastures, or cattle-stalls. Less widespread are the customs of hurling
lighted discs into the air[796] and trundling a burning wheel down
hill;[797] for to judge by the evidence which I have collected these
modes of distributing the beneficial influence of the fire have been
confined in the main to Central Europe. The ceremonial of the Yule log
is distinguished from that of the other fire-festivals by the privacy
and domesticity which characterize it; but, as we have already seen,
this distinction may well be due simply to the rough weather of
midwinter, which is apt not only to render a public assembly in the open
air disagreeable, but also at any moment to defeat the object of the
assembly by extinguishing the all-important fire under a downpour of
rain or a fall of snow. Apart from these local or seasonal differences,
the general resemblance between the fire-festivals at all times of the
year and in all places is tolerably close. And as the ceremonies
themselves resemble each other, so do the benefits which the people
expect to reap from them. Whether applied in the form of bonfires
blazing at fixed points, or of torches carried about from place to
place, or of embers and ashes taken from the smouldering heap of fuel,
the fire is believed to promote the growth of the crops and the welfare
of man and beast, either positively by stimulating them, or negatively
by averting the dangers and calamities which threaten them from such
causes as thunder and lightning, conflagration, blight, mildew, vermin,
sterility, disease, and not least of all witchcraft.

[Two explanations suggested of the fire-festivals. According to W.
Mannhardt, they are charms to secure a supply of sunshine; according to
Dr. E. Westermarck they are purificatory, being intended to burn and
destroy all harmful influences.]

But we naturally ask, How did it come about that benefits so great and
manifold were supposed to be attained by means so simple? In what way
did people imagine that they could procure so many goods or avoid so
many ills by the application of fire and smoke, of embers and ashes? In
short, what theory underlay and prompted the practice of these customs?
For that the institution of the festivals was the outcome of a definite
train of reasoning may be taken for granted; the view that primitive man
acted first and invented his reasons to suit his actions afterwards, is
not borne out by what we know of his nearest living representatives, the
savage and the peasant. Two different explanations of the fire-festivals
have been given by modern enquirers. On the one hand it has been held
that they are sun-charms or magical ceremonies intended, on the
principle of imitative magic, to ensure a needful supply of sunshine for
men, animals, and plants by kindling fires which mimic on earth the
great source of light and heat in the sky. This was the view of Wilhelm
Mannhardt.[798] It may be called the solar theory. On the other hand it
has been maintained that the ceremonial fires have no necessary
reference to the sun but are simply purificatory in intention, being
designed to burn up and destroy all harmful influences, whether these
are conceived in a personal form as witches, demons, and monsters, or in
an impersonal form as a sort of pervading taint or corruption of the
air. This is the view of Dr. Edward Westermarck[799] and apparently of
Professor Eugen Mogk.[800] It may be called the purificatory theory.
Obviously the two theories postulate two very different conceptions of
the fire which plays the principal part in the rites. On the one view,
the fire, like sunshine in our latitude, is a genial creative power
which fosters the growth of plants and the development of all that makes
for health and happiness; on the other view, the fire is a fierce
destructive power which blasts and consumes all the noxious elements,
whether spiritual or material, that menace the life of men, of animals,
and of plants. According to the one theory the fire is a stimulant,
according to the other it is a disinfectant; on the one view its virtue
is positive, on the other it is negative.

[The two explanations are perhaps not mutually exclusive.]

Yet the two explanations, different as they are in the character which
they attribute to the fire, are perhaps not wholly irreconcilable. If we
assume that the fires kindled at these festivals were primarily intended
to imitate the sun's light and heat, may we not regard the purificatory
and disinfecting qualities, which popular opinion certainly appears to
have ascribed to them, as attributes derived directly from the
purificatory and disinfecting qualities of sunshine? In this way we
might conclude that, while the imitation of sunshine in these ceremonies
was primary and original, the purification attributed to them was
secondary and derivative. Such a conclusion, occupying an intermediate
position between the two opposing theories and recognizing an element of
truth in both of them, was adopted by me in earlier editions of this
work;[801] but in the meantime Dr. Westermarck has argued powerfully in
favour of the purificatory theory alone, and I am bound to say that his
arguments carry great weight, and that on a fuller review of the facts
the balance of evidence seems to me to incline decidedly in his favour.
However, the case is not so clear as to justify us in dismissing the
solar theory without discussion, and accordingly I propose to adduce the
considerations which tell for it before proceeding to notice those which
tell against it. A theory which had the support of so learned and
sagacious an investigator as W. Mannhardt is entitled to a respectful

Sec. 2. _The Solar Theory of the Fire-festivals_

[Theory that the fire-festivals are charms to ensure a supply of

In an earlier part of this work we saw that savages resort to charms for
making sunshine,[802] and it would be no wonder if primitive man in
Europe did the same. Indeed, when we consider the cold and cloudy
climate of Europe during a great part of the year, we shall find it
natural that sun-charms should have played a much more prominent part
among the superstitious practices of European peoples than among those
of savages who live nearer the equator and who consequently are apt to
get in the course of nature more sunshine than they want. This view of
the festivals may be supported by various arguments drawn partly from
their dates, partly from the nature of the rites, and partly from the
influence which they are believed to exert upon the weather and on

[Coincidence of two of the festivals with the solstices.]

First, in regard to the dates of the festivals it can be no mere
accident that two of the most important and widely spread of the
festivals are timed to coincide more or less exactly with the summer and
winter solstices, that is, with the two turning-points in the sun's
apparent course in the sky when he reaches respectively his highest and
his lowest elevation at noon. Indeed with respect to the midwinter
celebration of Christmas we are not left to conjecture; we know from the
express testimony of the ancients that it was instituted by the church
to supersede an old heathen festival of the birth of the sun,[803] which
was apparently conceived to be born again on the shortest day of the
year, after which his light and heat were seen to grow till they
attained their full maturity at midsummer. Therefore it is no very far
fetched conjecture to suppose that the Yule log, which figures so
prominently in the popular celebration of Christmas, was originally
designed to help the labouring sun of midwinter to rekindle his
seemingly expiring light.

[Attempt of the Bushmen to warm up the fire of Sirius in midwinter by
kindling sticks.]

The idea that by lighting a log on earth you can rekindle a fire in
heaven or fan it into a brighter blaze, naturally seems to us absurd;
but to the savage mind it wears a different aspect, and the institution
of the great fire-festivals which we are considering probably dates from
a time when Europe was still sunk in savagery or at most in barbarism.
Now it can be shewn that in order to increase the celestial source of
heat at midwinter savages resort to a practice analogous to that of our
Yule log, if the kindling of the Yule log was originally a magical rite
intended to rekindle the sun. In the southern hemisphere, where the
order of the seasons is the reverse of ours, the rising of Sirius or the
Dog Star in July marks the season of the greatest cold instead of, as
with us, the greatest heat; and just as the civilized ancients ascribed
the torrid heat of midsummer to that brilliant star,[804] so the modern
savage of South Africa attributes to it the piercing cold of midwinter
and seeks to mitigate its rigour by warming up the chilly star with the
genial heat of the sun. How he does so may be best described in his own
words as follows:--[805]

"The Bushmen perceive Canopus, they say to a child: 'Give me yonder
piece of wood, that I may put the end of it in the fire, that I may
point it burning towards grandmother, for grandmother carries Bushman
rice; grandmother shall make a little warmth for us; for she coldly
comes out; the sun[806] shall warm grandmother's eye for us.' Sirius
comes out; the people call out to one another: 'Sirius comes yonder;'
they say to one another: 'Ye must burn a stick for us towards Sirius.'
They say to one another: 'Who was it who saw Sirius?' One man says to
the other: 'Our brother saw Sirius,' The other man says to him: 'I saw
Sirius.' The other man says to him: 'I wish thee to burn a stick for us
towards Sirius; that the sun may shining come out for us; that Sirius
may not coldly come out' The other man (the one who saw Sirius) says to
his son: 'Bring me the small piece of wood yonder, that I may put the
end of it in the fire, that I may burn it towards grandmother; that
grandmother may ascend the sky, like the other one, Canopus.' The child
brings him the piece of wood, he (the father) holds the end of it in the
fire. He points it burning towards Sirius; he says that Sirius shall
twinkle like Canopus. He sings; he sings about Canopus, he sings about
Sirius; he points to them with fire,[807] that they may twinkle like
each other. He throws fire at them. He covers himself up entirely
(including his head) in his kaross and lies down. He arises, he sits
down; while he does not again lie down; because he feels that he has
worked, putting Sirius into the sun's warmth; so that Sirius may warmly
come out. The women go out early to seek for Bushman rice; they walk,
sunning their shoulder blades."[808] What the Bushmen thus do to temper
the cold of midwinter in the southern hemisphere by blowing up the
celestial fires may have been done by our rude forefathers at the
corresponding season in the northern hemisphere.

[The burning wheels and discs of the fire-festivals may be direct
imitations of the sun.]

Not only the date of some of the festivals but the manner of their
celebration suggests a conscious imitation of the sun. The custom of
rolling a burning wheel down a hill, which is often observed at these
ceremonies, might well pass for an imitation of the sun's course in the
sky, and the imitation would be especially appropriate on Midsummer Day
when the sun's annual declension begins. Indeed the custom has been thus
interpreted by some of those who have recorded it.[809] Not less
graphic, it may be said, is the mimicry of his apparent revolution by
swinging a burning tar-barrel round a pole.[810] Again, the common
practice of throwing fiery discs, sometimes expressly said to be shaped
like suns, into the air at the festivals may well be a piece of
imitative magic. In these, as in so many cases, the magic force may be
supposed to take effect through mimicry or sympathy: by imitating the
desired result you actually produce it: by counterfeiting the sun's
progress through the heavens you really help the luminary to pursue his
celestial journey with punctuality and despatch. The name "fire of
heaven," by which the midsummer fire is sometimes popularly known,[811]
clearly implies a consciousness of a connexion between the earthly and
the heavenly flame.

[The wheel sometimes used to kindle the fire by friction may also be an
imitation of the sun.]

Again, the manner in which the fire appears to have been originally
kindled on these occasions has been alleged in support of the view that
it was intended to be a mock-sun. As some scholars have perceived, it is
highly probable that at the periodic festivals in former times fire was
universally obtained by the friction of two pieces of wood.[812] We have
seen that it is still so procured in some places both at the Easter and
the midsummer festivals, and that it is expressly said to have been
formerly so procured at the Beltane celebration both in Scotland and
Wales.[813] But what makes it nearly certain that this was once the
invariable mode of kindling the fire at these periodic festivals is the
analogy of the need-fire, which has almost always been produced by the
friction of wood, and sometimes by the revolution of a wheel. It is a
plausible conjecture that the wheel employed for this purpose represents
the sun,[814] and if the fires at the regularly recurring celebrations
were formerly produced in the same way, it might be regarded as a
confirmation of the view that they were originally sun-charms. In point
of fact there is, as Kuhn has indicated,[815] some evidence to shew that
the midsummer fire was originally thus produced. We have seen that many
Hungarian swineherds make fire on Midsummer Eve by rotating a wheel
round a wooden axle wrapt in hemp, and that they drive their pigs
through the fire thus made.[816] At Obermedlingen, in Swabia, the "fire
of heaven," as it was called, was made on St. Vitus's Day (the fifteenth
of June) by igniting a cartwheel, which, smeared with pitch and plaited
with straw, was fastened on a pole twelve feet high, the top of the pole
being inserted in the nave of the wheel. This fire was made on the
summit of a mountain, and as the flame ascended, the people uttered a
set form of words, with eyes and arms directed heavenward.[817] Here the
fixing of a wheel on a pole and igniting it suggests that originally the
fire was produced, as in the case of the need-fire, by the revolution of
a wheel. The day on which the ceremony takes place (the fifteenth of
June) is near midsummer; and we have seen that in Masuren fire is, or
used to be, actually made on Midsummer Day by turning a wheel rapidly
about an oaken pole,[818] though it is not said that the new fire so
obtained is used to light a bonfire. However, we must bear in mind that
in all such cases the use of a wheel may be merely a mechanical device
to facilitate the operation of fire-making by increasing the friction;
it need not have any symbolical significance.

[The influence which the fires are supposed to exert on the weather and
vegetation may be thought to be due to an increase of solar heat
produced by the fires.]

Further, the influence which these fires, whether periodic or
occasional, are supposed to exert on the weather and vegetation may be
cited in support of the view that they are sun-charms, since the effects
ascribed to them resemble those of sunshine. Thus, the French belief
that in a rainy June the lighting of the midsummer bonfires will cause
the rain to cease[819] appears to assume that they can disperse the dark
clouds and make the sun to break out in radiant glory, drying the wet
earth and dripping trees. Similarly the use of the need-fire by Swiss
children on foggy days for the purpose of clearing away the mist[820]
may very naturally be interpreted as a sun-charm. Again, we have seen
that in the Vosges Mountains the people believe that the midsummer fires
help to preserve the fruits of the earth and ensure good crops.[821] In
Sweden the warmth or cold of the coming season is inferred from the
direction in which the flames of the May Day bonfire are blown; if they
blow to the south, it will be warm, if to the north, cold.[822] No doubt
at present the direction of the flames is regarded merely as an augury
of the weather, not as a mode of influencing it. But we may be pretty
sure that this is one of the cases in which magic has dwindled into
divination. So in the Eifel Mountains, when the smoke blows towards the
corn-fields, this is an omen that the harvest will be abundant.[823] But
the older view may have been not merely that the smoke and flames
prognosticated, but that they actually produced an abundant harvest, the
heat of the flames acting like sunshine on the corn. Perhaps it was with
this view that people in the Isle of Man lit fires to windward of their
fields in order that the smoke might blow over them.[824] So in South
Africa, about the month of April, the Matabeles light huge fires to the
windward of their gardens, "their idea being that the smoke, by passing
over the crops, will assist the ripening of them."[825] Among the Zulus
also "medicine is burned on a fire placed to windward of the garden, the
fumigation which the plants in consequence receive being held to improve
the crop."[826] Again, the idea of our European peasants that the corn
will grow well as far as the blaze of the bonfire is visible,[827] may
be interpreted as a remnant of the belief in the quickening and
fertilizing power of the bonfires. The same belief, it may be argued,
reappears in the notion that embers taken from the bonfires and inserted
in the fields will promote the growth of the crops,[828] and it may be
thought to underlie the customs of sowing flax-seed in the direction in
which the flames blow,[829] of mixing the ashes of the bonfire with the
seed-corn at sowing,[830] of scattering the ashes by themselves over the
field to fertilize it,[831] and of incorporating a piece of the Yule log
in the plough to make the seeds thrive.[832] The opinion that the flax
or hemp will grow as high as the flames rise or the people leap over
them[833] belongs clearly to the same class of ideas. Again, at Konz, on
the banks of the Moselle, if the blazing wheel which was trundled down
the hillside reached the river without being extinguished, this was
hailed as a proof that the vintage would be abundant. So firmly was this
belief held that the successful performance of the ceremony entitled the
villagers to levy a tax upon the owners of the neighbouring
vineyards.[834] Here the unextinguished wheel might be taken to
represent an unclouded sun, which in turn would portend an abundant
vintage. So the waggon-load of white wine which the villagers received
from the vineyards round about might pass for a payment for the sunshine
which they had procured for the grapes. Similarly we saw that in the
Vale of Glamorgan a blazing wheel used to be trundled down hill on
Midsummer Day, and that if the fire were extinguished before the wheel
reached the foot of the hill, the people expected a bad harvest; whereas
if the wheel kept alight all the way down and continued to blaze for a
long time, the farmers looked forward to heavy crops that summer.[835]
Here, again, it is natural to suppose that the rustic mind traced a
direct connexion between the fire of the wheel and the fire of the sun,
on which the crops are dependent.

[The effect which the bonfires are supposed to have in fertilizing
cattle and women may also be attributed to an increase of solar heat
produced by the fires.]

But in popular belief the quickening and fertilizing influence of the
bonfires is not limited to the vegetable world; it extends also to
animals. This plainly appears from the Irish custom of driving barren
cattle through the midsummer fires,[836] from the French belief that the
Yule-log steeped in water helps cows to calve,[837] from the French and
Servian notion that there will be as many chickens, calves, lambs, and
kids as there are sparks struck out of the Yule log,[838] from the
French custom of putting the ashes of the bonfires in the fowls' nests
to make the hens lay eggs,[839] and from the German practice of mixing
the ashes of the bonfires with the drink of cattle in order to make the
animals thrive.[840] Further, there are clear indications that even
human fecundity is supposed to be promoted by the genial heat of the
fires. In Morocco the people think that childless couples can obtain
offspring by leaping over the midsummer bonfire.[841] It is an Irish
belief that a girl who jumps thrice over the midsummer bonfire will soon
marry and become the mother of many children;[842] in Flanders women
leap over the Midsummer fires to ensure an easy delivery;[843] and in
various parts of France they think that if a girl dances round nine
fires she will be sure to marry within the year.[844] On the other hand,
in Lechrain people say that if a young man and woman, leaping over the
midsummer fire together, escape unsmirched, the young woman will not
become a mother within twelve months:[845] the flames have not touched
and fertilized her. In parts of Switzerland and France the lighting of
the Yule log is accompanied by a prayer that the women may bear
children, the she-goats bring forth kids, and the ewes drop lambs.[846]
The rule observed in some places that the bonfires should be kindled by
the person who was last married[847] seems to belong to the same class
of ideas, whether it be that such a person is supposed to receive from,
or to impart to, the fire a generative and fertilizing influence. The
common practice of lovers leaping over the fires hand in hand may very
well have originated in a notion that thereby their marriage would be
blessed with offspring; and the like motive would explain the custom
which obliges couples married within the year to dance to the light of
torches.[848] And the scenes of profligacy which appear to have marked
the midsummer celebration among the Esthonians,[849] as they once marked
the celebration of May Day among ourselves, may have sprung, not from
the mere license of holiday-makers, but from a crude notion that such
orgies were justified, if not required, by some mysterious bond which
linked the life of man to the courses of the heavens at this
turning-point of the year.

[The custom of carrying lighted torches about the country at the
festival may be explained as an attempt to diffuse the Sun's heat.]

At the festivals which we are considering the custom of kindling
bonfires is commonly associated with a custom of carrying lighted
torches about the fields, the orchards, the pastures, the flocks and the
herds; and we can hardly doubt that the two customs are only two
different ways of attaining the same object, namely, the benefits which
are believed to flow from the fire, whether it be stationary or
portable. Accordingly if we accept the solar theory of the bonfires, we
seem bound to apply it also to the torches; we must suppose that the
practice of marching or running with blazing torches about the country
is simply a means of diffusing far and wide the genial influence of the
sunshine, of which these flickering flames are a feeble imitation. In
favour of this view it may be said that sometimes the torches are
carried about the fields for the express purpose of fertilizing
them,[850] and for the same purpose live coals from the bonfires are
sometimes placed in the fields "to prevent blight."[851] On the Eve of
Twelfth Day in Normandy men, women, and children run wildly through the
fields and orchards with lighted torches, which they wave about the
branches and dash against the trunks of the fruit-trees for the sake of
burning the moss and driving away the moles and field mice. "They
believe that the ceremony fulfils the double object of exorcizing the
vermin whose multiplication would be a real calamity, and of imparting
fecundity to the trees, the fields, and even the cattle"; and they
imagine that the more the ceremony is prolonged, the greater will be the
crop of fruit next autumn.[852] In Bohemia they say that the corn will
grow as high as they fling the blazing besoms into the air.[853] Nor are
such notions confined to Europe. In Corea, a few days before the New
Year festival, the eunuchs of the palace swing burning torches, chanting
invocations the while, and this is supposed to ensure bountiful crops
for the next season.[854] The custom of trundling a burning wheel over
the fields, which used to be observed in Poitou for the express purpose
of fertilizing them,[855] may be thought to embody the same idea in a
still more graphic form; since in this way the mock-sun itself, not
merely its light and heat represented by torches, is made actually to
pass over the ground which is to receive its quickening and kindly
influence. Once more, the custom of carrying lighted brands round
cattle[856] is plainly equivalent to driving the animals through the
bonfire; and if the bonfire is a sun-charm, the torches must be so also.

Sec. 3. _The Purificatory Theory of the Fire-festivals_

[Theory that the fires at the festivals are purificatory, being intended
to burn up all harmful things.]

Thus far we have considered what may be said for the theory that at the
European fire-festivals the fire is kindled as a charm to ensure an
abundant supply of sunshine for man and beast, for corn and fruits. It
remains to consider what may be said against this theory and in favour
of the view that in these rites fire is employed not as a creative but
as a cleansing agent, which purifies men, animals, and plants by burning
up and consuming the noxious elements, whether material or spiritual,
which menace all living things with disease and death.

[The purificatory or destructive effect of the fires is often alleged by
the people who light them; the great evil against which the fire at the
festivals is directed appears to be witchcraft.]

First, then, it is to be observed that the people who practise the
fire-customs appear never to allege the solar theory in explanation of
them, while on the contrary they do frequently and emphatically put
forward the purificatory theory. This is a strong argument in favour of
the purificatory and against the solar theory; for the popular
explanation of a popular custom is never to be rejected except for grave
cause. And in the present case there seems to be no adequate reason for
rejecting it. The conception of fire as a destructive agent, which can
be turned to account for the consumption of evil things, is so simple
and obvious that it could hardly escape the minds even of the rude
peasantry with whom these festivals originated. On the other hand the
conception of fire as an emanation of the sun, or at all events as
linked to it by a bond of physical sympathy, is far less simple and
obvious; and though the use of fire as a charm to produce sunshine
appears to be undeniable,[857] nevertheless in attempting to explain
popular customs we should never have recourse to a more recondite idea
when a simpler one lies to hand and is supported by the explicit
testimony of the people themselves. Now in the case of the
fire-festivals the destructive aspect of fire is one upon which the
people dwell again and again; and it is highly significant that the
great evil against which the fire is directed appears to be witchcraft.
Again and again we are told that the fires are intended to burn or repel
the witches;[858] and the intention is sometimes graphically expressed
by burning an effigy of a witch in the fire.[859] Hence, when we
remember the great hold which the dread of witchcraft has had on the
popular European mind in all ages, we may suspect that the primary
intention of all these fire-festivals was simply to destroy or at all
events get rid of the witches, who were regarded as the causes of nearly
all the misfortunes and calamities that befall men, their cattle, and
their crops.[860]

[Amongst the evils for which the fire-festivals are deemed remedies the
foremost is cattle-disease, and cattle-disease is often supposed to be
an effect of witchcraft.]

This suspicion is confirmed when we examine the evils for which the
bonfires and torches were supposed to provide a remedy. Foremost,
perhaps, among these evils we may reckon the diseases of cattle; and of
all the ills that witches are believed to work there is probably none
which is so constantly insisted on as the harm they do to the herds,
particularly by stealing the milk from the cows.[861] Now it is
significant that the need-fire, which may perhaps be regarded as the
parent of the periodic fire-festivals, is kindled above all as a remedy
for a murrain or other disease of cattle; and the circumstance suggests,
what on general grounds seems probable, that the custom of kindling the
need-fire goes back to a time when the ancestors of the European peoples
subsisted chiefly on the products of their herds, and when agriculture
as yet played a subordinate part in their lives. Witches and wolves are
the two great foes still dreaded by the herdsman in many parts of
Europe;[862] and we need not wonder that he should resort to fire as a
powerful means of banning them both. Among Slavonic peoples it appears
that the foes whom the need-fire is designed to combat are not so much
living witches as vampyres and other evil spirits,[863] and the
ceremony, as we saw, aims rather at repelling these baleful beings than
at actually consuming them in the flames. But for our present purpose
these distinctions are immaterial. The important thing to observe is
that among the Slavs the need-fire, which is probably the original of
all the ceremonial fires now under consideration, is not a sun-charm,
but clearly and unmistakably nothing but a means of protecting man and
beast against the attacks of maleficent creatures, whom the peasant
thinks to burn or scare by the heat of the fire, just as he might burn
or scare wild animals.

[Again, the bonfires are thought to avert hail, thunder, lightning, and
other maladies, all of which are attributed to the maleficent arts of

Again, the bonfires are often supposed to protect the fields against
hail[864] and the homestead against thunder and lightning.[865] But both
hail and thunderstorms are frequently thought to be caused by
witches;[866] hence the fire which bans the witches necessarily serves
at the same time as a talisman against hail, thunder, and lightning.
Further, brands taken from the bonfires are commonly kept in the houses
to guard them against conflagration;[867] and though this may perhaps be
done on the principle of homoeopathic magic, one fire being thought to
act as a preventive of another, it is also possible that the intention
may be to keep witch-incendiaries at bay. Again, people leap over the
bonfires as a preventive of colic,[868] and look at the flames steadily
in order to preserve their eyes in good health;[869] and both colic and
sore eyes are in Germany, and probably elsewhere, set down to the
machinations of witches.[870] Once more, to leap over the Midsummer
fires or to circumambulate them is thought to prevent a person from
feeling pains in his back at reaping;[871] and in Germany such pains are
called "witch-shots" and ascribed to witchcraft.[872]

[The burning wheels rolled down hills and the burning discs and brooms
thrown into the air may be intended to burn the invisible witches.]

But if the bonfires and torches of the fire-festivals are to be regarded
primarily as weapons directed against witches and wizards, it becomes
probable that the same explanation applies not only to the flaming discs
which are hurled into the air, but also to the burning wheels which are
rolled down hill on these occasions; discs and wheels, we may suppose,
are alike intended to burn the witches who hover invisible in the air or
haunt unseen the fields, the orchards, and the vineyards on the
hillside.[873] Certainly witches are constantly thought to ride through
the air on broomsticks or other equally convenient vehicles; and if they
do so, how can you get at them so effectually as by hurling lighted
missiles, whether discs, torches, or besoms, after them as they flit
past overhead in the gloom? The South Slavonian peasant believes that
witches ride in the dark hail-clouds; so he shoots at the clouds to
bring down the hags, while he curses them, saying, "Curse, curse
Herodias, thy mother is a heathen, damned of God and fettered through
the Redeemer's blood." Also he brings out a pot of glowing charcoal on
which he has thrown holy oil, laurel leaves, and wormwood to make a
smoke. The fumes are supposed to ascend to the clouds and stupefy the
witches, so that they tumble down to earth. And in order that they may
not fall soft, but may hurt themselves very much, the yokel hastily
brings out a chair and tilts it bottom up so that the witch in falling
may break her legs on the legs of the chair. Worse than that, he cruelly
lays scythes, bill-hooks and other formidable weapons edge upwards so as
to cut and mangle the poor wretches when they drop plump upon them from
the clouds.[874]

[On this view the fertility supposed to follow the use of fire results
indirectly from breaking the spells of witches.]

On this view the fertility supposed to follow the application of fire in
the form of bonfires, torches, discs, rolling wheels, and so forth, is
not conceived as resulting directly from an increase of solar heat which
the fire has magically generated; it is merely an indirect result
obtained by freeing the reproductive powers of plants and animals from
the fatal obstruction of witchcraft. And what is true of the
reproduction of plants and animals may hold good also of the fertility
of the human sexes. We have seen that the bonfires are supposed to
promote marriage and to procure offspring for childless couples. This
happy effect need not flow directly from any quickening or fertilizing
energy in the fire; it may follow indirectly from the power of the fire
to remove those obstacles which the spells of witches and wizards
notoriously present to the union of man and wife.[875]

[On the whole the theory of the purificatory or destructive intention of
the fire-festivals seems the more probable.]

On the whole, then, the theory of the purificatory virtue of the
ceremonial fires appears more probable and more in accordance with the
evidence than the opposing theory of their connexion with the sun. But
Europe is not the only part of the world where ceremonies of this sort
have been performed; elsewhere the passage through the flames or smoke
or over the glowing embers of a bonfire, which is the central feature of
most of the rites, has been employed as a cure or a preventive of
various ills. We have seen that the midsummer ritual of fire in Morocco
is practically identical with that of our European peasantry; and
customs more or less similar have been observed by many races in various
parts of the world. A consideration of some of them may help us to
decide between the conflicting claims of the two rival theories, which
explain the ceremonies as sun-charms or purifications respectively.


[796] Above, pp. 116 _sq._, 119, 143, 165, 166, 168 _sq._, 172.

[797] Above, pp. 116, 117 _sq._, 119, 141, 143, 161, 162 _sq._, 163
_sq._, 173, 191, 201.

[798] W. Mannhardt, _Der Baumkultus der Germanen und ihrer
Nachbarstaemme_ (Berlin, 1875), pp. 521 _sqq._

[799] E. Westermarck, "Midsummer Customs in Morocco," _Folk-lore_, xvi.
(1905) pp. 44 _sqq.; id., The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_
(London, 1906-1908), i. 56; _id., Ceremonies and Beliefs connected with
Agriculture, certain Dates of the Solar Year, and the Weather in
Morocco_ (Helsingfors, 1913), pp. 93-102.

[800] E. Mogk, "Sitten und Gebraeuche im Kreislauf des Jahres," in R.
Wuttke's _Saechsische Volkskunde_*[2] (Dresden, 1901), pp. 310 _sq._

[801] _The Golden Bough_, Second Edition (London, 1900), iii. 312: "The
custom of leaping over the fire and driving cattle through it may be
intended, on the one hand, to secure for man and beast a share of the
vital energy of the sun, and, on the other hand, to purge them of all
evil influences; for to the primitive mind fire is the most powerful of
all purificatory agents"; and again, _id._ iii. 314: "It is quite
possible that in these customs the idea of the quickening power of fire
may be combined with the conception of it as a purgative agent for the
expulsion or destruction of evil beings, such as witches and the vermin
that destroy the fruits of the earth. Certainly the fires are often
interpreted in the latter way by the persons who light them; and this
purgative use of the element comes out very prominently, as we have
seen, in the general expulsion of demons from towns and villages. But in
the present class of cases this aspect of fire may be secondary, if
indeed it is more than a later misinterpretation of the custom."

[802] _The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings_, i. 311 _sqq_.

[803] See _Adonis, Attis, Osiris_, Second Edition, pp. 254 _sqq_.

[804] Manilius, _Astronom_. v. 206 _sqq._:

"_Cum vero in vastos surget Nemeaeus
Exoriturque Canis, latratque Canicula
Et rabit igne suo geminatque incendia
Qua subdente facem terris radiosque
movente_" etc.

Pliny, _Naturalis Historic_ xviii. 269 _sq_.: "_Exoritur dein post
triduum fere ubique confessum inter omnes sidus ingens quod canis ortum
vocamus, sole partem primam leonis ingresso. Hoc fit post solstitium
XXIII. die. Sentiunt id maria et terrae, multae vero et ferae, ut suis
locis diximus. Neque est minor ei veneratio quam descriptis in deos
stellis accendique solem et magnam aestus obtinet causam_."

[805] _Specimens of Bushman Folklore_ collected by the late W.H.I.
Bleek, Ph.D., and L.C. Lloyd (London, 1911), pp. 339, 341. In quoting
the passage I have omitted the brackets which the editors print for the
purpose of indicating the words which are implied, but not expressed, in
the original Bushman text.

[806] "The sun is a little warm, when this star appears in winter"
(Editors of _Specimens of Bushman Folklore_).

[807] "With the stick that he had held in the fire, moving it up and
down quickly" (Editors).

[808] "They take one arm out of the kaross, thereby exposing one
shoulder blade to the sun" (Editors).

[809] See above, pp. 161, 162 _sq._ On the wheel as an emblem of the
sun, see J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] ii. 585; A. Kuhn, _Die
Herabkunft des Feuers und des Goettertranks_*[2] (Guetersloh, 1886), pp.
45 _sqq._; H. Gaidoz, "Le dieu gaulois du soleil et le symbolisme de la
roue," _Revue Archeologique_, iii. Serie, iv. (1884) pp. 14 _sqq._;
William Simpson, _The Buddhist Praying Wheel_ (London, 1896), pp. 87
_sqq._ It is a popular Armenian idea that "the body of the sun has the
shape of the wheel of a water-mill; it revolves and moves forward. As
drops of water sputter from the mill-wheel, so sunbeams shoot out from
the spokes of the sun-wheel" (M. Abeghian, _Der armenische Volksglaube_,
Leipsic, 1899, p. 41). In the old Mexican picture-books the usual
representation of the sun is "a wheel, often brilliant with many
colours, the rays of which are so many bloodstained tongues, by means of
which the Sun receives his nourishment" (E.J. Payne, _History of the New
World called America_, Oxford, 1892, i. 521).

[810] Above, p. 169.

[811] Ernst Meier, _Deutsche Sagen, Sitten und Gebraeuche aus Schwaben_
(Stuttgart, 1852), p. 225; F. Panzer, _Beitrag zur deutschen Mythologie_
(Munich, 1848-1855), ii. 240; Anton Birlinger, _Volksthuemliches aus
Schwaben_ (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1861-1862), ii. 57, 97; W. Mannhardt,
_Baumkultus_, p. 510.

[812] Compare J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] i. 521; J.W. Wolf,
_Beitraege zur deutschen Mythologie_ (Gottingen und Leipsic, 1852-1857),
ii. 389; Adalbert Kuhn, _Die Herabkunft des Feuers und des
Goettertranks_*[2] (Guetersloh, 1886), pp. 41 _sq._, 47; W. Mannhardt,
_Baumkultus_, p. 521. Lindenbrog in his Glossary on the Capitularies
(quoted by J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] i. 502) expressly says:
"The rustics in many parts of Germany, particularly on the festival of
St. John the Baptist, wrench a stake from a fence, wind a rope round it,
and pull it to and fro till it catches fire. This fire they carefully
feed with straw and dry sticks and scatter the ashes over the vegetable
gardens, foolishly and superstitiously imagining that in this way the
caterpillar can be kept off. They call such a fire _nodfeur_ or
_nodfyr_, that is to say need-fire."

[813] Above, pp. 144 _sq._, 147 _sq._, 155, 169 _sq._, 175, 177, 179.

[814] J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] i. 509; J.W. Wolf, _Beitraege
zur deutschen Mythologie_, i. 117; A. Kuhn, _Die Herabkunft des
Feuers_,*[2] pp. 47 _sq._; W. Mannhardt, _Baumkultus_, p. 521; W.E.
Kelly, _Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folk-lore_ (London,
1863), p. 49.

[815] A. Kuhn, _Die Herabkunft des Feuers und des Goettertranks_*[2]
(Guetersloh, 1886), p. 47.

[816] Above, p. 179.

[817] F. Panzer, _Beitrag zur deutschen Mythologie_ (Munich, 1848-1855),
ii. 240, Sec. 443.

[818] Above, p. 177.

[819] Above, pp. 187 _sq._

[820] Above, pp. 279 _sq._

[821] Above, p. 188.

[822] Above, p. 159.

[823] Above, p. 116.

[824] Above, p. 201.

[825] L. Decle, _Three Years in Savage Africa_ (London, 1898), pp. 160

[826] Rev. J. Shooter, _The Kafirs of Natal and the Zulu Country_
(London, 1857), p. 18.

[827] Above, pp. 140, 142.

[828] Above, pp. 119, 165, 166, 173, 203.

[829] Above, p. 140.

[830] Above, p. 121.

[831] Above, pp. 141, 170, 190, 203, 248, 250, 264.

[832] Above, p. 251.

[833] Above, pp. 119, 165, 166, 168, 173, 174.

[834] Above, pp. 118, 163 _sq._

[835] Above, p. 201.

[836] Above, p. 203.

[837] Above, p. 250.

[838] Above, pp. 251, 262, 263, 264.

[839] Above, p. 112.

[840] Above, p. 141.

[841] Above, p. 214.

[842] Above, p. 204.

[843] Above, p. 194.

[844] Above, p. 185, 189; compare p. 174.

[845] Above, p. 166.

[846] Above, pp. 249, 250.

[847] Above, pp. 107, 109, 111, 119; compare pp. 116, 192, 193.

[848] Above, p. 115.

[849] Above, p. 180.

[850] Above, pp. 113, 142, 170, 233. The torches of Demeter, which
figure so largely in her myth and on her monuments, are perhaps to be
explained by this custom. See _Spirits of the Corn and of the Wild_, i.
57. W. Mannhardt thought (_Baumkultus_, p. 536) that the torches in the
modern European customs are imitations of lightning. At some of their
ceremonies the Indians of North-West America imitate lightning by means
of pitch-wood torches which are flashed through the roof of the house.
See J.G. Swan, quoted by Franz Boas, "The Social Organization and the
Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians," _Report of the United States
National Museum for 1895_ (Washington, 1897), p. 639.

[851] Above, p. 203.

[852] Amelie Bosquet, _La Normandie Romanesque et Merveilleuse_ (Paris
and Rouen, 1845), pp. 295 _sq._; Jules Lecoeur, _Esquisses du Bocage
Normand_ (Conde-sur-Noireau, 1883-1887), ii. 126-129. See _The
Scapegoat_, pp. 316 _sq._

[853] Br. Jelinek, "Materialen zur Vorgeschichte mid Volkskunde
Boehmens," _Mittheilungen der anthropolog. Gesellschaft in Wien_ xxi.
(1891) p. 13 note.

[854] Mrs. Bishop, _Korea and her Neighbours_ (London, 1898), ii. 56

[855] Above, pp. 190 _sq._

[856] Above, pp. 178, 205, 206.

[857] See _The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings_, i. 311 _sqq._

[858] Above, pp. 108, 109, 116, 118 _sq._, 121, 148, 154, 156, 157, 159,
160, 170, 171, 174, 175, 176, 180, 183, 185, 188, 232 _sq._, 245, 252,
253, 280, 292, 293, 295, 297. For more evidence of the use of fire to
burn or expel witches on certain days of the year, see _The Scapegoat_
pp. 158 _sqq._ Less often the fires are thought to burn or repel evil
spirits and vampyres. See above, pp. 146, 170, 172, 202, 252, 282, 285.
Sometimes the purpose of the fires is to drive away dragons (above, pp.
161, 195).

[859] Above, pp. 107, 116, 118 _sq._, 159.

[860] "In short, of all the ills incident to the life of man, none are
so formidable as witchcraft, before the combined influence of which, to
use the language of an honest man who had himself severely suffered from
its effects, the great laird of Grant himself could not stand them if
they should fairly yoke upon him" (W. Grant Stewart, _The Popular
Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the Highlanders of Scotland_,
Edinburgh, 1823, pp. 202 _sq._). "Every misfortune and calamity that
took place in the parish, such as ill-health, the death of friends, the
loss of stock, and the failure of crops; yea to such a length did they
carry their superstition, that even the inclemency of the seasons, were
attributed to the influence of certain old women who were supposed to be
in league, and had dealings with the Devil. These the common people
thought had the power and too often the inclination to injure their
property, and torment their persons" (_County Folklore_, vol. v.
_Lincolnshire_, collected by Mrs. Gutch and Mabel Peacock, London, 1908,
p. 76). "The county of Salop is no exception to the rule of
superstition. The late vicar of a parish on the Clee Hills, startled to
find that his parishioners still believed in witchcraft, once proposed
to preach a sermon against it, but he was dissuaded from doing so by the
parish schoolmaster, who assured him that the belief was so deeply
rooted in the people's minds that he would be more likely to alienate
them from the Church than to weaken their faith in witchcraft" (Miss
C.F. Burne and Miss G.F. Jackson, _Shropshire Folk-lore_, London, 1883,
p. 145). "Wherever a man or any living creature falls sick, or a
misfortune of any kind happens, without any natural cause being
discoverable or rather lying on the surface, there in all probability
witchcraft is at work. The sudden stiffness in the small of the back,
which few people can account for at the time, is therefore called a
'witch-shot' and is really ascribed to witchcraft" (L. Strackerjan,
_Aberglaube und Sagen aus dem Herzogthum Oldenburg_, Oldenburg, 1867, i.
p. 298, Sec. 209). What Sir Walter Scott said less than a hundred years ago
is probably still true: "The remains of the superstition sometimes
occur; there can be no doubt that the vulgar are still addicted to the
custom of scoring above the breath (as it is termed), and other
counter-spells, evincing that the belief in witchcraft is only asleep,
and might in remote corners be again awakened to deeds of blood"
(_Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft_, London, 1884, p. 272). Compare
L. Strackerjan, _op. cit._ i. p. 340, Sec. 221: "The great power, the
malicious wickedness of the witches, cause them to be feared and hated
by everybody. The hatred goes so far that still at the present day you
may hear it said right out that it is a pity burning has gone out of
fashion, for the evil crew deserve nothing else. Perhaps the hatred
might find vent yet more openly, if the fear were not so great."

[861] For some evidence, see _The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings_;
ii. 52-55, 330 _sqq._ It is a popular belief, universally diffused in
Germany, that cattle-plagues are caused by witches (A. Wuttke, _Der
deutsche Volksaberglaube_,*[2] Berlin, 1869, p. 149 Sec. 216). The Scotch
Highlanders thought that a witch could destroy the whole of a farmer's
live stock by hiding a small bag, stuffed with charms, in a cleft of the
stable or byre (W. Grant Stewart, _The Popular superstitions and Festive
Amusements of the Highlanders of Scotland_, Edinburgh, 1823, pp. 201

[862] _The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings_, ii. 330 _sqq._

[863] Above, pp. 282, 284 _sq._

[864] Above, pp. 118, 121, 144, 145, 176.

[865] Above, pp. 121, 122, 124, 140 _sq._, 145, 146, 174, 176, 183, 184,
187, 188, 190, 191, 192, 249, 250, 252, 253, 254, 258.

[866] J. Grimm, _Deutsch Mythologie_,*[4] ii. 908 _sqq._; J.V. Grohmann,
_Aberglauben und Gebraeuche aus Boehmen und Maehren_ (Prague and Leipsic,
1864), p. 32 Sec. 182; A. Wuttke, _Der deutsche Volksaberglaube_*[2]
(Berlin, 1869), pp. 149 _sq._, Sec.216; J. Ceredig Davies, _Folk-lore of
West and Mid-Wales_ (Aberystwyth, 1911), p. 230; Alois John, _Sitte,
Branch und Volksglaube im deutschen Westboehmen_ (Prague, 1905), p. 202.

[867] Above, pp. 108, 121, 140, 146, 165, 183, 188, 196, 250, 255, 256,

[868] Above, pp. 107, 195 _sq._

[869] Above, pp. 162, 163, 166, 171, 174.

[870] A. Wuttke, _Der deutsche Volksaberglaube_*[2] (Berlin, 1869), p.
351, Sec. 395.

[871] Above, pp. 165, 168, 189, compare 190.

[872] A. Wuttke, _Der deutsche Volksaberglaube_*[2] (Berlin, 1869), p.
351, Sec. 395; L. Strackerjan, _Aberglaube und Sagen aus dem Herzogthum
Oldenburg_ (Oldenburg, 1867), i. p. 298, Sec. 209. See above, p. 343 note.

[873] In the Ammerland, a district of Oldenburg, you may sometimes see
an old cart-wheel fixed over the principal door or on the gable of a
house; it serves as a charm against witchcraft and is especially
intended to protect the cattle as they are driven out and in. See L.
Strackerjan, _Aberglaube und Sagen aus dem Herzogthum Oldenburg_
(Oldenburg, 1867), i. p. 357, Sec. 236. Can this use of a wheel as a
talisman against witchcraft be derived from the practice of rolling
fiery wheels down hill for a similar purpose?

[874] F.S. Krauss, _Volksglaube und religioeser Brauch der Suedslaven_
(Muenster i. W., 1890), pp. 118 _sq._

[875] In German such spells are called _Nestelknuepfen_; in French,
_nouer l'aiguilette_. See J. Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_,*[4] ii. 897,
983; A. Wuttke, _Der deutsche Volksaberglaube_*[2] (Berlin, 1869), p.
252 Sec. 396; K. Doutte, _Magic et Religion dans l'Afrique du Nord_
(Algiers, 1908), pp. 87 _sq._, 294 _sqq._; J.L.M. Nogues, _Les Moeurs
d'autrefois en Saintonge et en Aunis_ (Saintes, 1891), pp. 171 _sq._

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