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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/238

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A superstition I found common in Yorkshire was that, where several children were to be baptised at the same time, it would be fatal to take a girl before a boy--for by so doing the girl would acquire a beard and moustache, and the boy grow up smooth-faced. Whence that notion arose I cannot say. This belief is not confined to Yorkshire, it is found in Durham, and extends as far north as the Orkney Isles.

The first visit made by a baby to another house is an occasion for its receiving an egg, salt, white bread, and in the East Riding of Yorkshire, some matches. These are pinned into the child's long clothes; and several of my children have received these gifts. With the egg comes the promise of immortality, or else of the child itself becoming a parent; the salt signifies salubrity of mind and body; the white bread a promise of having all things needful during life; and, finally, the matches are to light the child on its way to heaven.

I come now to a matter in connection with the social and moral development of the British people that must be dealt with, although it is one to be touched on as lightly as may be. St Jerome says that he had met the Attacotti, inhabitants of our isles, who were barbarians, having their wives in