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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/265

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257
Folk-lore Miscellanea.

(Theatre of the Hindús), compares it with that of the patriarch Isaac smelling his son Jacob (Gen. xxvii, 27) ; but there seems little analogy, I think, since Isaac was blind, and, not being satisfied with the pretended Esau having "the voice of Jacob", endeavoured to ascertain the fact by the sense of smell, after which he exclaimed, "See, the smell of my son is as the smell of the field which the Lord hath blessed." It is well known that the senses are remarkably acute among savage and semi-civilised peoples. American Indians (outside of Fenimore Cooper and Capt. Mayne Reed) have been known to unerringly track an enemy after having smelt his footprints in the ground.

W. A. Clouston.


Naxian Superstitions (extracted from an Article by Mr. Marcopolis in the 'Εστία' for May 17th, 1891).—1. During the first five days of August no woman must wash clothes in the river ; for the wind hears the noise of her beating the clothes, and blows so strongly, that it uproots the trees. 2. It is a sin for three men to stand in the doorway of the house where a dead body lies ; for the angels go in and out, and they are in their way. 3. When a man dies, his soul goes about inside the house for three days ; so you must put a jug of water beside a lighted candle, in order that the soul may find the water when it is thirsty [formerly the custom in Calymnos. — W. R. Paton.] 4. None of the women who follow the bier must turn round and look behind her; for if she do, she will die on the spot, or else one of her relations will die. 5. When anyone dies in your house you must not throw the sweepings out into the street ; for the soul remains three days in the house, and it may be among the sweepings which you throw out [formerly so in Calymnos. — W.R.P.]. 6. All the while that they are boiling the κόλυβα (corn boiled and distributed the day after the funeral) in the pot, the soul is on its way to paradise; therefore a woman must always stand over the pot, holding the "hanging lamp" alight to light the soul on its way. If she does not do this, the soul is tossed about like the κόλυβα boiling in the pot. 7. On the vigil of St. Basil (the last night of the year) the oxen speak ; whoever hears them will die soon [common, I think, in Greece. — W. R. P.]. 8. When you first see the swallow, you must stop and dig where your left foot rests ; you will find a piece of charcoal, which, dissolved in water cures the moonstruck. 9. If you have a young child you must not throw out the sweepings into the street, for the luck (Μοίρα) of the child may be thus lost. (Cp. 5. One of the things which is forbidden in the law of Julis in Ceos relating to funerals is "to carry the sweepings to the tomb" [τα καλλύσματα φέρειν επι το σήμα.— W. R. P.])