Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/114

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98 Reviews.

wise, to procure love, against danger in war, in lawsuits, and so forth. In meaning, wording, and structure they often remind one of the later Finnish magic songs, made or recast under the influ- ence of Christianity. In addition to the invocation of native saints like Columba and Bridget, reference is sometimes made to heroes of the pre-Christian period, such as Manaman mac Leth (Manannan mac Lir), Finn mac Cumhaill, Cailte, and the Fianna.

The Gaelic expression for " second sight " means " the two sights," and the author regards it as synonymous with " spectre- haunted." It is not looked upon in any case as an enviable or desirable gift. In some of the stories given in illustration, men are merely haunted or visited once by the spectre of a living person. Sometimes the phantom gives the man a good threshing, but otherwise nothing untoward happens. Apparitions of the dead frighten the seer, but are not necessarily followed by any evil con- sequence. Thought-transference, even to a great distance, is believed to occur when a wish is very strongly felt, and to show this several anecdotes are related. Those gifted with second sight can sometimes tell the appearance of a man's future wife, and before a death can see the forms of living people coming for the coffin. Among the examples given to illustrate second sight are some that hardly belong to the subject. They are rather presages of death, and consist in hearing a hammering of nails, trampling of horses, rattling of glasses, a wailing human cry, or the howling of dogs. If a person is about to meet with a violent death his wraith is apt to be seen, sometimes long before the event occurs.

By Hobgoblins {baucatis) we have to understand a general name for terrifying objects seen at night. Generally the apparition of a baitcan is considered the precursor of a violent death. It may take the shape of a headless man, a one-legged man, a long grey paw, and so forth. Before a man has a tussle with a baucan his dirk must be partly drawn from the sheath or he will be unable to draw it. In speaking of it to the unearthly enemy he must call it "my father's sister." This prevents enchantments being laid upon it to render it useless.

The last chapter on the "Celtic Year" contains many interesting items of folklore, though many of the derivations of Gaelic words must be rejected as erroneous. Though there are several mis- prints, only one need be mentioned. It occurs in a charm at p 63 ; f(jr "drop of wine" read "drop of urim- {mi/in)."