Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/179

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Its Struct2ire and Developinent. 151

parallel to the Teutonic belief that household serpents or Unken are not only friendly to solitary children and drink milk with them, but that their lives are closely related to one another, so that if the snake be killed the child wastes away (Grimm and Simrock).

However, in view of the fact that the serpent appears to be of late introduction into the combined charm, I doubt whether it is worth discussing further as to whether its virtues are as good as the Ophites would have us believe, or its properties those of the basilisk.

10. Cornucopia. 11. Cherub.

Other emblems appear in isolated cases, seemingly added in accordance with the fancy of maker or wearer or perhaps occasionally as erroneous interpretations of some obscure portion of the cimaruta from which the copy has been taken. Among such we find the cornucopia, indicative of plenty and good luck, and bunches of grapes (Elw. Fig. 81), which probably have a similar meaning. The cimaruta shown in Fig. 28 has a cherub added to the other emblems. Their occurrence is so exceptional that I do not feel justified in accepting any explanation for their presence ; for while they may on the one hand be regarded merely as elaborate birds, yet I feel certain that those who see Diana, the moon-goddess, in everything will compare them with the Egyptian winged Isis or with the bird-woman Hathor — and thus as being related to the Sirens.

General Conclusions.

In attempts to reconstruct the history of the cimaruta and to attribute due significance to its elements, it is but too easy to go wide of the truth by the adoption of one theory to the exclusion of all others. Many students will