Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/70

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they are supposed to "be incapable of conveying contagion. In Athens, Constantinople, or Smyrna, for example, the mouthpiece of your private nargilleh, or chibouque, will be made of amber, but in a public restaurant, if you call for a nargilleh, the mouthpiece of the one handed to you will be of brass ; should you ask why it is not of amber, the answer will probably be given you that amber is dangerous, being capable of conveying infection." — (P. 262.)

Hereditary Powers of Curing Disease. In honour of his friend Signer Salomone-Marino's wedding, Dr. Pitrè has printed an edition of 25 copies of an interesting study on "the miraculous faculties belonging to some families of curing certain diseases." The kings of England and France had the power of curing scrofula; and, as everyone knows, Dr. Johnson was "touched" by Queen Anne. In Sicily, if you only know where to go, you may still be cured of almost any disease by persons who by inheritance, or by a lucky accident, have become possessed of the curative power. Wounds also, and the bites of animals, are particularly amenable to this kind of cure. Sometimes the cure is effected by the touch, sometimes by the saliva, sometimes by the saying of a charm or prayer. The Settimu, or seventh son, is regarded by the Sicilians as having the gift of healing : the same power is ascribed in North Italy to the Settimino, or seven-month child. The latter is held in much esteem in Lombardy; one of my husband's labourers paid a visit to the Settimino of Soncino, who cured him of a fever which had baffled all the doctors. Another peasant was "cured" of a mad-dog-bite.

Dr. Pitrè tells me that he is now occupied with the superstitions relating to Friday — a large subject, which he is sure to treat with the thoroughness and the literary ability that have given him a world-wide reputation — the recompense of labours which for a long period resulted in nothing but trouble, expense, and discouragement of every kind to himself. Dr. Pitrè has now reached the XVIII. volume of his "Biblioteca delle tradizioni popolari Siciliane," and probably there exists no such complete and comprehensive record of the tales, songs,