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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/233

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poor gipsy boy died and was buried in the new ground, and since then the dread has been dispelled.

These superstitious fears of being the first to pass over a new bridge, enter a new house, be baptised in a new font, be laid in a new cemetery, are very widely spread. The bronze valve of the doors of Aachen Cathedral has a crack in it. The story goes that the town could not get the church built without the assistance of the devil, who found sufficient gold for the purpose on condition that he should be given the first who passed into the church when completed. But as the news of the conclusion of the compact got wind, no one would enter. So a trick was devised. A wolf was caught, and on Sunday, when the bells rang for service and a crowd was assembled before the gates, the wolf was let loose and dashed into the sacred building. The devil came down in a whirlwind, laid hold of his prey, but, seeing how he had been balked, dashed the brazen doors together with such violence that one split, and the rent is visible to this day. In commemoration of what had occurred, a brazen wolf was cast and planted by the doors. In 1815 this, which had been carried off to Paris by the French, was returned and replaced.