Magpie Rhyme. — "One for sorrow,
- Two for joy,
- Three for a girl,
- Four for a boy,
- Five for heaven,
- Six for hell,
- Seven 's the de'il's own sel !
It is very unlucky to meet a red-haired person first thing in the morning.
If you pass a house where there is building or painting going on, you must never walk underneath a ladder ; always go out in the road.
If you find a little spider on any article of dress, or in the china closet, etc., don't brush it off. If you leave it alone someone may give you a new one of whatever the spider was on, It is a common superstition amongst the Irish peasantry that the last person who has been buried has no rest, as they have to keep watch over the rest. Consequently, when two deaths occur near together, their friends make a great rush to see who shall be buried first. Near Renvyle, co. Galway, the relatives provide a quantity of new pipes and parcels of tobacco, which are distributed amongst those who attend the funeral, who sit about and smoke while the grave is being dug. They believe that the departed spirit, while watching the other graves, might like the solace of a little tobacco, so that all unused pipes and parcels of tobacco are left in the graveyard, but the people are at liberty to take away the pipes they have used.
A thread is sometimes tied round a toe of a corpse.
I don't know if the following can be included in folk-lore; it is more curious than edifying, but I can vouch for it absolutely, as my cousin has seen a seventh son do what follows. The seventh son of a seventh son has always been dowered with miraculous powers in the co. Meath they do this : When the child is born, the nurse puts a worm in a piece of muslin into each hand, and ties the hand up till the worm dies. One worm must be male, the other female. When the worms die they are thrown away and nothing more is done. When the boy grows up, you may get him to draw a line or a circle or any mark in the road,