Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/417

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NOTICES AND NEWS. 329

height of Inck; such an one is proof against every kind of ill-luck and malice. Dr. Pitre once overheard two women quarrelling violently ; the one in the height of passion threatened to turn some act of black art against her son, but the other snapped her fingers, quite confident it was all in vain, exclaiming. Me Jigghiu e vinnirinu (my son is a Venenno=z2t> Friday-born). Page 271 tells of celebrated men who have attached as much faith to the ill-luck of Friday as the most ignorant Sicilian peasant. Eossini, who made no secret of his scepticism, yet bowed to this superstition, and it so befell that he died on a Friday, the 13th of the month. The philosophy of the double signification of Friday — bringing ideas of the influence of Venus, as of that of Freia in northern countries, and the later belief in that of the Crucifixion — ■ has been already treated at length in a separate work by the present author, II Venerdi nelle tradizioni popolari, the first edition of which was published in Russ at St. Petersburg at the request of the Minister of Public Instruction.

Lucky and unlucky numbers are treated in chapter 4. The objection to sit down thirteen to dinner exists just as among ourselves, and for the same reason ; but a general dread of the number seventeen, to such an extent that many people will not date a letter if they have to write one on the seventeenth of a month, is not accounted for in any way.

Lucky and unlucky dreams follow in chapter 5- In the long list of such here given I only recognise two as common among ourselves : one is that dreaming of a tooth dropping out portends the death of a friend (it might be asked in these days whether the fall of a false tooth intimates the loss of a false friend !); and the second, the fall of a tree dreamt of shows that the head of the family is going to die. Closely allied to the question of dreams, the choice of number being greatly influenced by dreams, comes the lottery, forming chapter 6. From statistics supplied at pp. 285-286, it appears that the passion for the lottery finds far greater favour in Naples and Sicily than in any other part of Italy. In these the number of tickets sold yearly amount to fourteen for every unit of the population. In Tuscany and Rome the proportion is just half this ; in the rest of the Papal State only one and a-half a year for every unit of the population. In