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derable distance; which was no sooner done than they increased into vast rocks they so entirely broke the force of the winds, that the convent was never after incommoded.
For some reason or other, it does not appear what, St. Pol de Leon took a fancy to travel, and walked over tiie sea one fine morning from England to the Isle of Batz. Immediately on landing changed its name.
continent, the place where the town now stands. The saint converted the palace into a monasteiy; and, there being no water, had recourse to his staff a_',ini, and produced a fountain of fresh water still existing on the seashore, which is not affected by the overflowing of the sea.
St. Pol was afterwards bishop of Oc
cisraor, on which occasion the place
Here he continued
there, by a touch of his staff—for saints to work miracles, till, growing weary of
used a staff instead of a wand, which was mankind, he retired again to the Isle of
the instrument employed by fairies—he Batz, where he died at the age of a hun
cured three blind men, two who were dred and two years. The inhabitants of
dumb, and one who was a cripple with the island and the people of Occismor
the palsy. disputed fi>r his body; the dispute was
settled by each agreeing to accept half.
A count de Guythure, who was go- They were about to carry this agreement
vernor of Batz at the saint's arrival into execution, when the body suddenly
laboured under a mortal uneasiness of disappeared, and was afterwards found
mind, on account of a little silver bell on the sea-shore at Occismor, which was
belonging to the reigning king of England, considered as a plain indication that the
the possession of which, in defiance of saint himself chose that for the place of
the injunction contained in the tenth his interment. Such are the kind of fables commandment, he coveted exceedingly. St. Pol ordered a fish to swallow the bell, and bring it over: this was instantly performed; but the saint had provided a rival to himself, for the bell became a no less celebrated adept in miracles than he was, and between them both the want of
related of this saint.
An occurrence in the town of St. Pol de Leon about the end of the seventeenth century, has only this of prodigy in it, ( . that such facts are not common. A
physicians in the country was entirely seigneur of the neighbourhood had accuprecluded. The bell was afterwards mulated debts to so large an amount.
deposited among the treasures in the cathedral of St. Pol de Leon.
But the Isle of Batz was visited with even a heavier affliction than the mortal uneasiness of its governor; it was infested by a terrible dragon, which devoured men, animals, and every thing that came in its way. St. Pol, dressed in his pontificial robes and accompanied by a young man whom he had selected for the purpose, repaired to the monster's cavern, and commanded him to come forth. He soon appeared, making dreadful hissings and bowlings; a stroke of the saint's staff silenced him : a rope thrown round his neck, and an order to lead him away finished all opposition. St. Pol conducted him to the northernmost point of the island; another stroke of his staff precipitated the monster into the sea, and he never more returned.
The count de Guythure, charmed with the saint, resigned his splendid palace t" him, and rrhred to Occismor on the
that he was entirely unable to discharge them, and knew not what means to pursue for extricating himself from his embarrassments. Three of his tenants, farmers, offered to undertake the management of his affairs, if he would resign every thing in trust to them for a certain term ot years; and they proffered to allow him half the revenue he had drawn from them, and with the remainder to pay ofl" his debts, taking to themselves only what profit they might be able to derive from the speculation. The seigneur agreed to the proposal, and every part of the agreement was punctually performed by the farmers. At the term agreed on the estates were returned to the owner, not merely disencumbered, but exceedingly increased in value, and in a state of excellent cultivation, while the farmers had at the same time made a fair profit to themselves. .At the final conclusion of the agreement they made a present to the seigneur's lady of eight hoises, that she might come lo church, as ihey said, in a manner suitable to her rank.
Id Brittany, mingled with the legends of saints are its still more ancient superstitions. There is scarcely a rock, a fountain, a wood, or a cave, to which some tale of wonder is not attached. From thence omens and auguries are drawn regarding the ordinary occurrer ces of life. Every operation of nature is attributed by the Bretons to miraculous interposition: they believe that the air, the earth, and the waters are peopled with supernatural agents of all sorts and descriptions.
pleasure of frightening any body who may chance to meet him.
Likewise there are fountains, into which if a child's shirt or shift be thrown and it sinks, the child will die within the year; if it should swim, it is then put wet on the child, and is a charm against all kinds of diseases. The waters of some fountains are poured upon the ground by those who have friends at sea, to procure a favourable wind for them during four-and-twenty hours.
Another mode of procuring a favourable wind is to sweep up the dust from a church immediately after mass, and blow it towards the side on which the friends are expected to return. The croak of the raven and the song of the thrush are answers to any questions put to them; they tell how many years any one is to live, when he is to be married, and how many children he is to have. Any noise which cannot be immediately accounted for foretells some misfortune, and the howling of a dog is as sure forerunner of death in a family of Brittany as in England. The noise of the sea,, or the whistling of the wind heard in the night, is the lamentation of the spirit of some one who has been drowned, complaining for want of burial.
A daemon or spirit of some kind, called the Teutarponlict, often presents himself to the people under the form of a cow, a dog, a cat, or some other domestic animal; nay, he will sometimes in his assumed form do all the work of the house.
Jean gant y Tan, " John and his fire," if a demon who goes about in the night with a candle on each finger, which he keeps constantly turning round very quick. What end this is to answer does not appear; there seems none, but the
Another nocturnal wanderer is a spectre in white carrying a lantern; he appears at first like a mere child, but as you look at him he increases in size every moment, till he becomes of a gigantic stature, and then disappears. Like the other he seems to have no object in his walks except to frighten people. One of the servants in the house where Miss Flumptre resided very gravely gave her an account of a rencontre which she once had with this gentleman. She had been out on an errand, and returning home over the Place du Peuple she saw a light coming towards her, which thought at first was somebody with a lantern; but as it came near the perceived the white figure, and it began to increase in size,—so then she knew what it was, and she put her hands before her face, and ran screaming home. Her master, she said, laughed at her for a fool, and said it was her own fancy, because he had never happened to see the spectre; nay, she did not know whether he would believe in it if he did see it; but nobody should persuade her out of her senses; she saw it as plain as ever she saw any thing in her life, and she had never ventured since to go out by herself after dark without a lantern, for the spectre never presents himself before people who carry a light.
The Carigvel Jncou, or "Chariot of death," is a terrible apparition covered with a white sheet, and driven by skeletons; and the noise of the wheels is always heard in the street passing the door of a house where a person is dying.
The Bvguel-not is a beneficent spirit of a gigantic stature, who wears a long white cloak, and is only to be seen between midnight and two in the morning. He defends the people against the devil by wrapping his cloak round them; and while they are thus protected they hear the infernal chariot whirl by, with a frightful noise, the charioteer making hideous cries and howlings: it may be traced in the air for a long time after, by the stream of light which it leaves behind it.
There are a set of ghostly washerwomen called ar canncrez not, or "nocturnal dingers," who- wash their linen always by night, singing old songs and tales all the time: they solicit the assistance of people passing by to wring the linen; if it be given awkwardly, they break the person's arm; if it be refused, they pull the refusers into the stream, and drown them
In the district of Carhaix is a mountain called St. Michael, whither it is believed all daemons cast out from the bodies of men are banished: if any one sets his foot at night within the circle they inhabit, he begins to run, and will never be able to cease all the rest of the night. Nobody therefore ventures to this mountain after dark.
The Bretons throw pins or small pieces of money into certain wells or springs, for good luck; in others the women dip their children, to render them inaccessible to pain. Tliey watch the graves of their friends for some nights after their interment, lest the devil should seize upon them, and carry them ofTto his dominions
do not close, his nearest relation is to die very soon.
In the district of Quimpcrle there is a fountain called Krignac: to drink three nights successively of this at midnight is an infallible cure for an intermittent fever; or, if it should not sv<:eed it is a sure sign that the patient's time is come, and he has nothing to do but quietly wait the stroke of death.
If a person who keeps bees has his hives robbed, he gives them up immediately, because they never can succeed afterwards. This idea arises from an old Breton proverb, which says, Netqutt a chunche, varlearch ar laer '■ No luck after the robber." But why the whole weight of the proverb is made to fall upon the bee-hives, it might be difficult to determine.
In other parts of the country they tie a small piece of black stuff to the bee-hives, in case of a death in the family, and a piece of red in the case of a marriage; without which the bees would never thrive. On the death of any one, they draw from the smoke of the fire an augury whether his soul be gone to the regions of the blessed or the condemned: if the smoke be light and mount rapidly, he is gone to heaven; if it be thick and mount slowly, he is doomed to the regions below. If the loft eye of a dead person
The Bretons have Ihe legend of St Gucnole, whose sister had an eye plucked out by a goose; the saint took the eye out of the goose's entrails, and restored it to its place without its appearing in any way different from what it was before.
They tell you likewise of St. Vincent Ferrier, who, while he was celebrating mass at Vannes, perceived that he had lost his gloves and parapluie; and recollecting that he had left them at Uome went thither to seek them, and returned and finished his mass, without one of his congregation having perceived his absence.
They have also a narrative of a wolf who ate up a poor man's ass. St. Malo ordered the wolf to perform the functions of the ass, which he continued to do ever after; and though sometimes shut up in the stable with the sheep, never offered to touch them, but contentedly fed on thistles, and such other provender as his predecessor used to have.
A peasant boy in the district of Lesneven was never able to pronounce any other words than O itruun guerhet Mart, "O lady "Virgin Mary." This he was perpetually repeating, and he passed among the country people for an idiot. As he grew up he would live no longer with his parents in their cottage, but slept in the hollow of a tree, and ran about ilm woods making his usual cry; in t'.ic coldest weather he plunged into the water up to his neck, still uttering hii usual words, and came up without receiving any injury. After he died, a lily sprang from the spot where he was interred. "A miracle!" was the immediate cry, and a church was built over the grave, dedicated to Notre Dame de Fullgoat, "Our lady of the madman of the woods," where notable miracles were afterwards performed.
Certain rums near the coast, a little to the south of Brest, are reputed to be those of a palace which belonged to the Courilt, a sort of pigmies, who deal in sorceries, are very malicious, and are great dancers. They are often seen by moonlight skipping about consecrated stones or any ancient druidical monument; thev seize
people by the hand, who cannot help following them in all their movements; and when the spirits have made them dance as long as they please, they trip up their heels, leave them sprawling on the ground, and go laughing away.
There are in more than one place near the western coast stones set up in the same manner as those at Stonehenge. A species of genii, called Gaurict, are supposed to dance among them; and the stones are called, in general, Chior-gaur, or "The giants' dance." In one of the places where some of these stones are to be seen, the people of the neighbourhood, if asked what they mean, say that it was a procession to a wedding which was all in a moment changed into stone for some crime, but they do not know what. In another place they are reputed to be the funeral procession of a miser, who received this punishment because in his lifetime he had never given any thing to tbepoor.
These are only a few out of the innumerable superstitions which prevail throughout Bretagne, but they are sufficient to give a perfect idea of the power which imagination has over the minds of these people.*
Mean Temperature ... 63 - 30.
For this saint, and his supposed miraculous power over the weather, see vol. i. p. 953.
Too fast, alas ! they move the seeming dead,
pears, And like au ass hang down his dangling
ears; Unwillingly renews his slavish life, To hug the marriage chain, and hated wife For ten long tedious years he felt her pow'r, At length 'twas ended in a lucky hour; But now the husband, wiser than before, Fearing a fall might former life restore, Cries, " Soft, my friends! let's walk in solemn
measure, Nor make a toil o" that which gives us pleasure."'
Naturalists Calendar. Mean Temperature. . . 62 ■ 60.
Silence Of The Birds.
Dr. Foreter observes, there is one circumstance that will always render the country in July and August less pleasing than in the other summer and spring months, namely, that the birds do not sing. Avet mutae might be regularly entered into the calendar for these two months.
Silence girt the woods; no warbling tongue
swept Dry summer's dust, in fearefull whisperings
stirred. As loth to waken any singing bird.
On this day in the year 1743 died, " in earnest," the wife of one Kirkeen, who was twice at Dublin ready to be buried; hut came to life to her loving husband's great disappointment, who fearing the like accident immediately put her into a coffin, had it nailed up, and buried her the next day.
As wrapp'd in death-like sleep Xantippe lay, 'Twas thought her soul had gently stole away; TV officious husband, with a pious care, Made no delay her funeral pile to rear:
* Mini Plumptrr.
Naturalists Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 62 • 37.
A Penance. "The Times" of July 17, 1826, says' that on Sunday last Isaac Gaskill, bonesetter and farmer, of Bolton-by-the-Sands, did penance for the crime of incest in the parish church of that place. As th»
• Gentleman*! Magazine.
punishment is not very common, we subjoin, as a matter of curiosity to some of otir readers, the
Form of Penance.
"Whereas, I, good people, forgetting my duty to Almighty God, have committed the detestable sin of incest, by contracting marriage, or rather the show or effigy of marriage, with Mary Ann Taylor, the sister of my late wife, and thereby have justly provoked the heavy wrath of God against me, to the great danger of my own soul, and the evil example of others; I do earnestly repent, and am heartily sorry for the same, desiring Almighty God, for the merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive me both this and all other offences, and also hereafter so to assist me •with his Holy Spirit, that I never fall into the like offence again; and for that end and purpose I desire you all here present to pray with me, and for me, saying, 'Our father,'" &c.— Westmoreland Chronicle.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. Sir,—There is an ancient game, played by the " shepherds of Salisbury Plain," and " village rustics" in that part of the country, called " Ninepenny Marl." Not having read any account of it in print, I hasten to describe it on your historical and curious pages. Decyphering and drawing lines on the sand and ground are of great antiquity; and where education has tailed to instruct, nature has supplied amusement. The scheme, which affords the game of " Ninepenny Marl," is cut in the clay, viz.:—
or it might be drawn upon the crown of a hat with chalk. In cottages and public houses, it is marked on the side of a pair of bellows, or upon a table, and, in short, any plain surface. "Marl" is played, like cards, by two persons; each person has nine bits of pipe, or stick, so as to distinguish it from those of the opponent. Each puts the pipe or slick upon one of the points or corners of the line, alternately, till they are all filled. There is much caution required in this, or your opponent will avail himself of your error, by placing his man on the very point which it is necessary you should occupy; the chief object being to make a perfect line of three, either way, and also to prevent the other player doing so. Every man that is taken is put into the square till no further move can be made. But if the vanquished be reduced to only three, he can hop and skip into any vacant place, that he may, if possible, even at the last, form a line, which is sometimes done by very wary manoeuvres. However simple "Ninepenny Marl" may appear, much skill is required, particularly in the choice of the first places, so as to form the lines as perfectly and quickly as possible. This game, like cards, has its variations. But the above imperfectly described way is that to which I was accustomed when a boy. I have no doubt, Mr. Editor, many of your country readers are not wholly ignorant of the innocent occupation which "Ninepenny Marl" has afforded in the retirement of leisure; and with 'rong recollections of its attractions, I am, Sir,
Your obliged correspondent, •. •. P P T—, July, 1826.
rather than rise, when asked the road across the plain, they put up one of their legs towards the place, and say, '• Theeh woy .'" (this way )—" Thnck way .'" (thai way.)
Mean Temperature ... 63 • 17.