Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/113

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Reviews. 97

tion of tying. For these and other reasons it seems probable that more is attributed to the action of the Evil Eye than was formerly the case when druids, witches, and sorcerers flourished in the land.

The second contribution is of a more general nature, and here again the author, who, unfortunately, is no longer in the land of the living, is already favourably known by his Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Mr. Campbell starts with illustrations of black magic or the work of witches. A common form of it is the abstraction of the milk of a neighbour's cow. Frequently a cow is said to have been sucked by a witch in the form of a hare, and this the author found so odd that he could not understand it. It may be that the modern belief is a somewhat rationalised form of a wholly magic practice, such as one found in the south of Sweden. There the troll-woman takes sticks of firewood that are burnt at each end, and sends them out as " milk-hares " to suck the milk of other people's cows. Originally, then, the " hare " was only a magic agent, now the hare is the witch herself. Counter-charms are a ball of hair placed in the milk-pail, a cow-shackle of rowan, tar smeared on the cow's ears, &c. Another involves sympathetic magic. Some of the bewitched cow's urine is corked up in a bottle, and then the witch cannot make water till she allows the milk to come back. Witches have the power of drawing fish toward their own shores, and after muttering a few words can fill a creel with herrings. A boatman that was wooing a witch's daughter — she must have been a syren in another form — received from her a string with three knots on it, on untying which three different strengths of wind would be produced. When the last knot was undone, the wind was so strong that her lover's boat was dashed to pieces on the rocks. Shipwreck was usually caused by sympathetic magic. A small dish was floated on water, and when it upset the ship went down. Witches can cross the sea in sieves and eggshells, and can assume the form of diverse animals and birds. But in the Western Isles witches never ride on broom- sticks, nor hold midnight revels with the Devil, as is the case in the Lowlands. A witch's house can always be known, as the smoke goes against the wind.

Under the heading of White Magic are given a number of inter- esting charms to cure sickness, caused by the Evil Eye or other-

VOL. XIV. H