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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/368

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A Batch of Irish Folk-lore.

supposed to have cured a girl by gathering carrabone-beg and other herbs and making use of incantations. Witch, loo years old, still alive.

8. A seventh son is supposed to have the power of curing "St. Anthony's fire" by touch ; also to be able to cure tubercular affections by bleeding his gums and rubbing the blood on part affected (Wicklow). In Tipperary, the seventh son of a seventh son is supposed to have the power of healing many affections by touch, or in case of cross-birth to be able to bring about a happy result by lifting the woman in his arms three times, and shaking her gently. It is especially lucky if he has red hair or is left-handed.

9. No information on this point.

10. Pregnant woman is afraid to meet a hare for fear of the child being born with a hare-lip.

11. The custom of floating straw down a river, in the expectation that it will stop over a drowned body and indicate the spot, prevails in Cork and Tipperary. I have (when a school-boy) seen it done at Cork.

12. Cairn custom used to prevail in Tipperary; I am not sure whether it is still kept up. In the counties of Dublin and Wicklow, the spot where a man meets with a violent death is marked by scooping a cross out of the earth, into which passers-by throw pebbles. Sometimes the branches of a hedge, if there be one at the spot, are twisted into the form of a cross. In Cork I have seen the spot where a man was shot by the police in a fight, marked with a cross. The people pray at the spot for the rest of the soul of departed, especially on moonlight nights.

13. I believe it is a custom in most, if not all, small towns in the south for a body to be carried, on its way to the graveyard, round the town by the longest way to bid its last farewell to the place. If the body be that of a murdered man, it is, if possible, carried past the house of the murderer. In county Wicklow, if an old church lies on way to the grave the body is borne round it three times.

15. This custom prevails in Wicklow. In a case I know of, the gravedigger became ill while digging a grave; no one else could finish it ; so he had to get out of his bed to do so.

16. Hansel Monday custom obtains in most parts of Ireland.