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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/183

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Reviews. 159

known arts would be practised by one person, or rather one household. They can only gradually have been differentiated into trades. Perhaps the arts of millers, bakers, spinners, weavers, wood-cutters, and blacksmiths, may be considered among the oldest ; and as they developed into trades, they would carry the lore attaching to the art, with them. Ceremonies in felling trees, taboos on spinning, omens from baking, may thus be older than the existence of the separate crafts or callings of the wood- cutter, the spinster, the baker. The millers' lore, on the other hand, seems to date only from the beginning of the craft. Every- where, at some time or other, there must have been a period when the windmill or watermill began to supersede the hand- quern, and this period of course marks the rise of the miller's trade. To this period also, evidently belong the bulk of the millers' superstitions, which chiefly deal with the supposed exist- ence of a supernatural being in the mill, and bring one face to face with the time when wind and water were so new as motive powers, that what was effected by them must needs be set down to diabolical agency. But the interesting point is, that the most modern trades (the printers', for example, for the origin of which a definite historical date can be assigned), have quite as much folklore about them as the ancient ones, though they do not, of course, appear in folktales and proverbs, like the blacksmith, the woodcutter, or the spinning-girl. But all organised trades, which are carried on in concert (such as printers, carpenters, and masons), have trade customs, practised in com- mon, such as are not found among solitary workers, like the old- fashioned weavers or tailors. Some crafts demand the aid of at least one assistant — the mason's server, the printer's devil, the miller's man, the blacksmith's boy ; and these lower grades often have separate characteristics and usages of their own. All this, of course, is the lore of the craftsman, as distinct from the lore of the art : and so is the position held by the craft in popular esti- mation. Stonecutters and masons (save for their eating and drinking powers) seem to be generally respected ; they have, per- haps, always, from the time of the mediaeval freemasons, belonged to the superior class of artizans. But for tailors, weavers, and millers (for all, in short, who manufactured the raw material sup- plied by their customers) there is but one voice : " Put them all three in a bag and shake them, and the first that comes out will