Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/414

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364 Reviews.

others to forms used by the clergy, others again he thinks may represent Teutonic and Celtic folklore.

Any person in the least familiar with early medicine will be well aware how largely it is based upon herbs, and Dr. Payne selects the "Herbarium" of Apuleius for consideration under this head- ing. The MS. of this work, in the British Museum, is believed to have been written about 1000-1050 a.d. The original Apuleius Platonicus (it was an Apuleius of Madaura who wrote " The Golden Ass " ) appears to have written in the fifth century and possibly in Africa, and the book in question is an English adapta- tion. It is remarkable, as Dr. Payne points out, how many of the plants had, even at that time, an English name, and, in many cases, a very charming and expressive name too. " Waybraid " or " waybroad " is, as he says, a much more picturesque name than plantain, and " Unfortraedde " ( "untrodden-to-pieces") admirably expresses the character of knotgrass. Amongst the herbs, of course, mandrake occupies a prominent position, and Dr. Payne devotes some space to discussion of the many curious facts alleged about it. It is less easy to understand why so inconspicuous, or even ugly, a plant as mug-wort (artemisia) and one therapeutically speaking so very inert, should occupy a position of such import- ance. Yet it is said to put " to flight devil-sickness (demoniac possession); and in the house in which one hath it within, it forbiddeth evil leechcrafts, and also it turneth away the (evil) eyes of evil men." And, Dr. Payne points out, it was in high respect amongst the early Greek physicians. The figures in this herbal, a number of which are reproduced, together with figures from other similar books, are interesting, and it is specially to be noted that as the artists copied each from an earlier work and not from nature, the drawings get to look less and less like the real thing. This was not due to laziness, but to the fact that the pictures were intended not to represent natural or known objects, but to identify the plants described by the old writers, an instance of science held in bondage by tradition.

Dr. Payne's summary of this portion of his subject is interesting and very instructive, and may here be quoted : " The Anglo- Saxons took a keen interest in the study of plants for medicinal uses. Much of this was doubtless due to the monkish physicians