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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/68

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60
Sacred Wells in Wales.

well of some repute at Cae Garvv, in the parish of Pistyll, near the foot of Carnguwch, in Lleyn or West Carnarvonshire. The water possessed virtues to cure one of rheumatism and warts; but, in order to be rid of the latter, it was requisite to throw a pin into the well for each individual wart. For these two items of information, and several more to be mentioned presently, I have to thank Mr. John Jones, better known in Wales by his bardic name of Myrddin Fardd, and as an enthusiastic collector of Welsh antiquities, whether MSS. or unwritten folk-lore. On the second day of this year I paid him a visit at Chwilog, on the Carnarvon and Avon Wen Railway, and asked him many questions, which he not only answered with the utmost willingness, but also showed me the unpublished materials that he had collected. To leave him for a moment, I come to the competition on the folk-lore of North Wales at the London Eisteddfod in 1887, in which, as one of the adjudicators, I observed that several of the writers in that competition mentioned the prevalent belief that every well with healing properties must have its outlet towards the south. According to one of the writers, if you wished to get rid of warts, you should, on your way to the well, look for wool which the sheep had lost. When you had found enough wool you should prick each wart with a pin, and then rub the wart well with the wool. The next thing was to bend the pin and throw it into the well. Then you should place the wool on the first whitethorn you could find, and as the wind scattered the wool, the warts would disappear. There was a well of the kind, the writer goes on to say, near his home; and he, with three or four other boys, went from school one day to the well to charm their warts away. For he had twenty-three on one of his hands; so that he always tried to hide it, as it was the belief that if one counted the warts they would double their number. He forgets what became of the other boys' warts, but his own disappeared soon afterwards; and his grandfather used to maintain that it was owing to the virtue of the well. Such