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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/265

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Ghost Lights of the West Highlands. 241

" I too saw what you would call a dreug, but it foretold no one's death. It broke up in our own park."

" Oh, mem, that would be before Mr. C. died."

" No, it was years before Mr. C.'s death; and he, being a Lowlander, I cannot see why a dreug should appear before his death?"

" Mem, you would not notice at the time, but it must have been before the death of a big man. I am quite sure they are never seen but before the death of a big man."

No doubt there are exceptions to this rule. An old Islay man, my correspondent says, " with somewhat of a socialistic turn," claimed the dreug as the right of the poor man also. He said: "They say that it will not be seen when a poor man dies, but the Lord thinks as much of poor men as of rich, and it is seen when poor men die."

In Islay, Tiree, and Mull, the dreug and the equivalent of the corpse-candle are understood to be quite distinct, and are both seen, the one before the death of the rich, the other before any one's death. In some parishes, where lights as " manadhs " are quite common, the dreug does not seem to be known at all. This is said to be the case in the parish of Killin.

Whether confined to the rich of the male sex or free to both, it never appears before the death of a woman. On one occasion a steamer was in Lochandaal, and they had to work at her cargo on Sunday. While so engaged they saw a dreug. Not long after, the owner's wife died, and some were of opinion that the dreug was hers, but if it was, D. says " that it is the only time he ever heard of a dreug appearing before a woman's death. He himself was of the belief that it was a warning against Sabbath- breaking." The opinion that it did not appear before the death of a woman was fully confirmed by A. F. He him- self had seen a dreug, and thus he described it. " It was when was in his glory. That was the time, I

VOL. VIII. R