Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/52

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44
SUPERSTITIONS OP THE SCOTTISH FISHERMEN.

Trout-fishers after baiting the hook spit on the worm. This act brings luck.

If the "black swallows" (Hirundo Apus. Linn.) are out, there will be no luck.

It is unlucky to tread on the line.

It is unlucky for the fisher to meet one with "red" hair.—( Advie).


SUPERSTITIONS OF THE SCOTTISH FISHERMEN.

IN "The Pirate" Sir Walter Scott introduces us to the old Norse belief—a belief still held, we are told, by some of our northern fishing communities—that whoever saves a drowning man must reckon on him ever after as an enemy. This has often been remarked by fishermen as a strangely-mysterious fact. Also, that when the crew of some boat or vessel have perished with but the exception of one individual, the relatives of the deceased invariably regard that one with a deep, irrepressible hatred. In both cases these feelings, engendered of hostility and dislike, are said not simply to arise from grief, envy, or a burdensome gratitude, but in some "occult and supernatural cause." The following singular occurence strikingly illustrates the case in point. About the beginning of last century a Cromarty boat was wrecked on the wild shores of Eathie. All the crew perished with the exception of one fisherman, who, sad to relate, was so persecuted on account of his good fortune by the relatives of the drowned men, who even threatened his life, that he was obliged, sorely against his inclination, to leave his native Cromarty and seek refuge at Nairn. Not many years afterwards he had the misfortune to be wrecked a second time, and again he chanced to be the sole survivor. As on the former occasion, he was subjected to such persistent persecution on the part