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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/470

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462
Pin-Wells and Rag-Bushes.

the principle of substitution and representation, so familiar to all students of folk-lore. It is sufficient to point out that, since the rite is almost everywhere in a state of decay, the presumption is in favour of entire garments having been originally deposited; and that, in fact, we do find this original form of the rite in the Ukrainian example I have cited and (as I read the record) at Saint Michel-la-Rivière and elsewhere in the diocese of Bordeaux, under the fostering care of ecclesiastical officials. If we may trust the somewhat slovenly compilation of Mr. R. C. Hope on the holy wells of Scotland, a traveller in 1798 relates of the Holy Pool of Strathfillan in Perthshire, that "each person gathers up nine stones in the pool, and, after bathing, walks to a hill near the water, where there are three cairns, round each of which he performs three turns, at each turn depositing a stone; and if it is for any bodily pain, fractured limb, or sore, that they are bathing, they throw upon one of those cairns that part of their clothing which covered the part affected; also, if they have at home any beast that is diseased, they have only to bring some of the meal which it feeds upon, and make it into paste with these waters, and afterwards give it to him to eat, which will prove an infallible cure; but they must likewise throw upon the cairn the rope or halter with which he was led. Consequently the cairns are covered with old halters, gloves, shoes, bonnets, night-caps, rags of all sorts, kilts, petticoats, garters, and smocks. Sometimes they go as far as to throw away their halfpence."[1] From this account it appears that stones from the pool, rags, garments which had covered the diseased parts of the devotees, and halfpence, had all the same value. The stones could not have been offerings, and it was evidently not usual to throw away halfpence. The gifts of rags and articles of clothing are ambiguous. If we must choose between regarding

  1. Antiquary (April 1893), xxvii, 169. Heron's Journey is quoted in a note, Brand and Ellis, ii, 268, in reference to the same pool and its reputed cures of lunacy.