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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/120

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On Dartmoor is a sheet of water in a depression, called Classenwell pooi, covering about an acre of ground. It has been dug out of the southern part of the hill and along the verge of the banks on the tors; the measurement is three hundred and forty-six yards. From this part, which is level with the adjacent common, the banks slope rapidly down to the margin of the pool. On the east side the bank is almost perpendicular, and is nearly one hundred feet high. According to popular superstition a voice can be heard at night shouting a name of some inhabitant of the parish of Wallthampton, in which it is situated, several times and on successive nights, when that individual is certain to obey the call by death.

Now let us consider another current of popular superstition. At the foundation of any building--a church, a town hail, a private mansion--almost invariably a coin is laid beneath the foundation stone. The coin takes the place of an animal. I will not enter fully into this, because I have dealt with it at large elsewhere.[1] But I will mention the salient facts. There can be no doubt that in the early Middle Ages a horse, a lamb or a dog was laid under the foundations. In

  1. Strange Survivals, 3rd edition, Methuen & Co., 1905