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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/110

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88 Miscellanea.

chased in Verona for ten soldi three small Etruscan images of burned terra-cotta, which were quite the same with the Fagliaccio, wearing the short shirt and antique cap. One day, by accident, one of these was broken in two, and I found passing at full length through it an unburnt straw. This inclosing a straw in a burning substance which does not scorch it is a well-known trick to us, but it was a great wonder in the olden time. The cutlers of London four hundred years ago sorely puzzled the men of Sheffield by sending them a knife in which, when broken, a straw was found unconsumed. A straw is in Italian paglia, whence Fagliaccio, a straw-man.

Such a toy would very naturally be called a Straw-Man, what- ever the equivalent for that may have been in Etruscan ; and as the appearance of the ancient and modern figures is identical it seems that we have here — truly " strung on straw" — the proofs of a very ancient and curious tradition.

Charles Godfrey Lelaxd.

Charms from Siam.

The two charms exhibited come from Siam. One is a charm of invulnerability, the other a witchcraft-charm offensive and defensive. They were recently taken from two notorious Malay brothers, named respectively Ah-Mat and Mut, well known as the perpetrators of many murders and robberies committed upon Siamese and others in and around the neighbourhood of Bangkok. The brothers were repeatedly shot at, stabbed and cut at with swords, chased and surrounded by parties of men sent out time after time to take them, but to no purpose ; bullets and swords had no effect, nothing could harm them, because — as the Siamese declared — they wore powerful charms. It is this belief of the Siamese that has enabled me to show the present specimens ; for when, a few weeks ago, the Malay desperadoes were at last captured, the Siamese were so terror-stricken by the presence of those two dangerous engines that the authorities found it neces- sary to have the charms at once removed from the prisoners. Fortunately they were not destroyed, but shortly after sent to England with other objects of interest.