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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/109

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Miscellanea. 87

mistakeable, being all from ten to fourteen inches in length, and from half an inch to an inch in width. There was a certain indica- tion of intention and of a purpose in them by which they could easily be distinguished from the idle scratching often made by boys.

After my return to Europe I often found similar markings on stones, and they were invariably on buildings, market crosses, and similar monuments which had been erected previous to the fifteenth century. I found them in England, Germany, and Normandy. I regret that I cannot give with accuracy the names of the places where I saw them, but there are few among those who will hear or read this communication who can not verify for themselves the existence of such marks. What is of equal importance will be to ascertain whether there exists in written or oral records any proof of such a custom or belief in Europe, and what details or circum- stances are connected with it.

It is specially to be observed that these marks all have a generic character or family likeness, that they generally occur in groups, and, thirdly, that they are only found on ancient buildings. Those which were made by idlers on modern buildings are collectively of an entirely different character.

Charles Godfrey Leland.

Florence^ June 1st, 1896.

The Straw Goblin.

I have often seen in windows in Florence, and three times pur- chased for three so/di or sot^s each, a small toy known as a Pagli- accio, or Man of Straw. It represents a little fellow, holding in either hand a cymbal, having on his head a red cap, like the ancient Phrygian bonnet, and no garment except a short red shirt. It is exactly the figure of the goblins which are often seen depicted in old Roman and Etruscan art, and corresponds to the descrip- tion of the Brownie all over Europe. The name Pagliaccio in no wise corresponds to the appearance of this goblin or toy. But there is in the old popular plays of Italy a kind of Punch, who is known as Pagliaccio, a comic character, who carries the tradition back for a long time.

Suddenly it occurred to me that in the year 1870 I had pur-