Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/183

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175
NOTES AND QUERIES.

This mode of divination seems to be the lekanomanteia, or divination by water, described by Psellus. See Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire de la Divination dans l'Antiquité, i. p. 185. The poorer people sleep on the floor, where in summer they are liable to be attacked by vipers; to guard themselves against .these creatures the people sleep with garlic in their pockets. Garlic is not commonly eaten in this part of Spain.

J. G. Frazer.

Breakfasting at the Plough Tail, etc. — Mr. J. G. Frazer, of Trinity College, Cambridge, sends the following letters for insertion in the Journal: —

"41, Caledonian Crescent, Edinburgh, January 23, 1889.

"Dear Sir, — I had not forgotten the Folklore, but I was waiting for information as to two dates. I like to be as exact as possible; and when I find when my grand-uncle died, who, I believe, was the last in the district, if not the last in Scotland, who observed that custom of breakfasting at the plough-tail on the first day that the plough was yoked in spring, and when the woman died who welcomed her visitors in the name of Freya, I shall write, with details.

"Meanwhile I shall quote the rhyme about the yellowhammer used by children in Aberdeenshire:

"Yallow, yallow, yarhn',
Drinks a drap o' deevil's-bleed,
Ilka Monday mornin'."

In Aird's Old Bachelor in the Old Scottish Village, chap, xi., the following version is given as used by children in the west of Scotland :

"Half a paddock, half a toad,
Half a yellow yorling.
Cries for a drap o' the deil's bluid,
Every Monday morning."

"Supply the word rather after toad, and you have the usual number of halves to a whole.