Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/115

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Reviews. 99

Miss Goodrich-Freer's volume, unlike the other two, is not specially devoted to folklore. In it she gives her experiences in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, where she spent various summers and made friends with the native inhabitants. The eleventh chapter, which is entirely concerned with the beliefs and customs of the islanders, is almost a word-for-word reproduction of her paper, " The Powers of Evil in the Outer Hebrides," printed in Folk-Lore, x., 259-282. A few other items will be found in her paper, " More Folklore from the Hebrides," in Folk-Lore, xiii., 29-62.

In one or two instances there are slight discrepancies between the two versions. In Folk-Lore, xiii., 39, is given " a rhyme said about the time of St. Patrick's feast day, which is sometimes quoted as a charm against serpents." It contains the line " Ivar's daughter will come out of the hole." As there are no snakes on the islands Miss Freer is inclined to accept an explanation of Father Allan, that "Ivar's daughter" is very probably the common nettle. In the new volume all hesitation is thrown aside, and we are cate- gorically informed that "Ivar's daughter" "is the nettle-plant, which about St. Patrick's Day puts her head out of holes in the walls of the houses loosely built without lime." In this Miss Freer is, I believe, mistaken. "Ivar's daughter" is a euphuism for a " snake," not for a " nettle." The late Mr. Campbell of Tiree in his Superstitions of the Scottish Highla7ids, p. 225, men- tions that in a popular rhyme in Argyleshire and Perthshire the serpent is called the " daughter of Edward," but in Skye simply " the damsel," mi ribhinn. As the words " Ivar " and " Edward " have probably a common origin it can hardly be doubted but that " Ivar's daughter " refers to a " snake." In a Norse charm to neutralise snake-poison the snake is called Aablik, var. Aabert, var. Oblich.

Sometimes an obscure point in one of the volumes before us is explained in another volume. Miss Freer mentions a belief that perhaps partly explains a fact given by Dr. Maclagan, which he does not quite understand. The latter at p. 143 states that in using the "string charm " the skilled woman wound the three-ply yarn round the points of her thumb, middle, and ring finger, holding the thread between the thumb and middle finger of the right hand. And at p. 145 "the forefinger must not be allowed to touch the yarn throughout the performance." Miss Freer

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