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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/110

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The only degree of likeness that lies between them now is, that where the child of the present day escapes a certain kind of juvenile punishment, the retention of the word originally meant DEATH in its most cruel and barbarous way." The correspondence, as Mr H.C. Rothes has pointed out, is much closer than the writer perceived, for he overlooked the fact that the process in both instances is one of elimination, the one remaining being the victim, the rest being successively set free.

I have tried in my novel Perpetua to give a description of what took place, according to tradition, at NImes once in every seven years. NImes possesses a marvellous spring, a river of green water that swells up out of the bowels of the earth and fills a large circular reservoir. A temple of Nemausus stood near the basin, and Nemausus was the tutelary god of the town.

"On the 1st March in the year 213, the inhabitants of the town were congregated near the fountain, all in holiday costume. Among them ran and laughed numerous young girls, all with wreaths of white hyacinths or of narcissus on their heads. Yet, jocund as the scene was, to such as