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hives, and the wine and vinegar, or the bees, the wine and the vinegar, will all go off or spoil.
The first medicine which a lying-in woman takes, should be out of her husband's spoon; it will then be more efficacious.
During the pains of child-birth, it does good to turn the slippers of the husband round.
Three grains of salt in a measure of milk preserves it from witchcraft.
No one must taste the first warm beer which is given to a lying-in woman; it must be tried with the finger, otherwise the woman will be attacked with colic.
If a child has the red-gum, take a piece of wood from a mill-wheel, burn it, and smoke the child's swaddling-clothes therewith; then wash the child with water that flows from the wheel. The wood that remains must be cast into running water.
You should never wean a child while trees are in blossom; u otherwise it will have
hair. Three buttons bound together with a thread, and laid in a coffin, will free from warts.
If any one has received a bodily hurt, wash him with v brook-water while the bell is tolling for a funeral.
Plantain laid under the feet removes weariness.
He who carries a wolf's heart with him, will not be devoured by the wolf.
To cure the weakness of children, let their water be received into a vessel in which is laid the egg of a coal-black hen, which has been bought without handling, and in which nine holes are pierced. The vessel must then be wrapped in linen, and placed in an ant's nest which has been found without seeking for, and that after sunset. Whoever finds this vessel let him take care not to use it, otherwise he will receive the buried weakness.
If a child fall off in its health, bind a thread of red-silk about its neck; then catch a mouse, draw a thread of the same silk through its skin across the back-bone, and let it run away. As the mouse wastes away, the child will improve.
When an old woman blesses and prays the spasms of the chest, she breathes crosswise on the affected part, applies a poultice of salt and barley meal to it, and pro
nounces—“Spasm and throe, I bid thee go; away from the rib, as Christ from the crib." If the patient is seized with the cramp, he must stretch himself on a plum-tree, and say _“ Climbing plant stand, plum-tree waver."
There are people who, through the muttering of a formula, are able to stop a horso in full gallop, to make a watch-dog silent, to stanch blood, and to drive back fire, so that it consumes itself.
In sowing peas, take before the sun goes down some of the peas in your mouth, keep them there in silence while you are sowing the rest, and this will preserve them from sparrows.
The oak is a prophetic tree. A fly in the gall-nut foretells war; a maggot, dearness; a spider, pestilence.
A piece of oak rubbed in silence on the body on St. John's Day, before the sun rise, heals all open wounds.
He who has warts, let him take a great house-snail, and nail it on the door-post, and as the snail dries up, the wart will dry up too.
A bunch of wild thyme and origanum laid by the milk, prevents its being spoiled by thunder.
Moles are cured on the face by touching them with a dead man's hand; but the hand must be kept there till it becomes warm.
Rain water that stands on a tomb-stone will take away freckles.
A horse may be lamed by driving a nail into the recent print of his foot.
If a hen wants to set, make her nest of straw out of the bed of husband or wife.
He who has ague, let him go without speaking, or crossing water, to a lofty willow, make a gash in it, breathe three times into it, close it quickly, and hasten away without looking back, and the ague will be gone.
Young lilies of the valley gathered before sunrise, and rubbed over the face, take away freckles.
The women hang a kind of root on the cows to drive gadflies and maggots, and have extraordinary superstitions concerning this.*
* The author has omitted the well-known practice in the middle ages of anointing the sword which had wounded any one, instead of the
Those spasms which were witnessed so frequently in the witch-trials are in all respects very like those to which people are prone in general; nay, they may even become epidemic and contagious. They were common amongst the Brahmins and the deliverers of oracles; in the St. Vitus's Dance, and in lunacy; and the visions connected with them shaped themselves according to the individual circumstances and the activity of the imagination. There frequently is a chest
spasm connected with a clairvoyant state, and out of this arises what is called the alp, or nightmare. Some kind of a beast, or monster, a giant or cobold, comes and lays itself on the chest, in which the circulation stops, and the action of the muscles is paralysed, so that the sufferer cannot move a limb. In those who are attacked by nightmare, which often occurs in youth from a too fuil or weak stomach, there are frequently violent attacks of cramp, and after the attack swellings, or blue spots, or bloody marks, even in particular places. The congestion of blood in the part, with severe spasmodic pressure of the same, occasions an anxious feeling, and a pain which can be felt long after the attack and the vision connected with it have disappeared.
“Thus, some one saw that a spirit seized him; and after this had vanished, he felt in the part which it had seized
wound itself. From these notions no doubt comes the drinking proverb of taking a hair of the dog that bit him ; that is, the following morning taking a dram of the liquor which made him drunk. The common practice of children in the country, when they have nettled themselves, taking a dock-leaf and rubbing the place with it, repeating all the time—“Nettle go out, dock go in,” is a remains of the superstition of sympathetic cures, and the mummery of formulas during the process, especially of the belief that you might transfer your complaints to trees and plants; such as the instance recorded above of giving your ague to an old willow—“Good morning old one, etc.”
The peasantry of Germany, particularly in the Catholic districts, have full faith in these superstitions. The reader may find numerous formulas for such cures in a book sold on all stalls at German fairs called - Romanen Büchein." This book teaches that Abracadabra, written on a strip of paper and kept in your waistcoat pocket, will defend you against wounds or stabs, and also, if you should find your house on fire, you have only to throw this paper into it, and the fire will be extinguished. See Howitt's “ Rural and Social Life of Germany."— Translator,
a severe pain for several days. In other persons this' part was actually swollen. It is not to be wondered at that no one can persuade such persons out of the belief in apparitions, as they cannot otherwise account for the fixed pain and swelling. Experience shows, too, that men in severe frights swell over the whole body. In those spectral visions terror fixes the pain and swelling in the part on which the spectre seems to seize.”
A very orthodox, but at the same time very enlightened Catholic clergyman, L. Phil. Ed. Lillbopp, in his work on the Miracles of Christianity, and their relation to animal magnetism, sweeps away the darkness from this subject and from that which prevailed in the witch-times, with a few strokes of his pen, and lets in the light of reason and of tried experience.
Another phenomenon of magic was insensibility to all external stimulants, which was sometimes observed, and was attributed to the devil. We have already seen that in the rigid spasm, in madness and in convulsions, that was by no means unfrequent, and which is not difficult to conceive in the full negation of the external polarity of the senses.
In Paris, not many years ago, a clairvoyant prescribed in her sleep the amputation of her own diseased breast, and when this was afterwards done during her mesmeric sleep she was extremely astonished that she had not in the least perceived it.* Such a temporary loss of feeling I have myself often witnessed. I was able shortly after a dislocation of the thigh to convey the magnetic-sleeping Miss Hin a carriage, for more than ninety miles in two days, during the greater part of which time she slept. This clairvoyant placed a burning moxa on the chest and another on the hip of a magnetic patient during sleep, and she felt nothing of it. In modern times total insensibility to pain has been observed under the most violent torture; but this has not been attributed to supernatural agency, as in former ages.
Horst relates that a merchant named Löhnig, from Silesia, under the government of the Emperor Paul, was condemned to a hundred and fifty severe blows of the knout. At the same time another person was condemned to thirty, and a
* An eminent physician in London assured us that he had witnessed an exactly similar case in a lady on Denmark-hill.
thir. 1 to fifty. Löhnig saw the first die before him, and the next kicked away. When it came to his turn, he immediately under the stroke of the knout became insensible to all feeling. He received the whole number of his blows; both nostrils were torn open, and the brow scarred; yet Löhnig, according to his positive assurance, had felt nothing of all this. Heim, in the “ Archives of Practical Medicine, relates many cases of the temporary loss of consciousness and feeling in otherwise healthy individuals. Amongst others, a soldier received fifty strokes of a stick from a subaltern officer, which he sustained without a sign of pain, and without moving. After the chastisement, he said to the commanding officer that he begged pardon for sleeping in his presence.
Horst relates a similar but still more striking case. There have been men who could voluntarily throw themselves into a state of catalepsy, and of external insensibility; as, for instance, the celebrated Cardanus. Many such perfectly credible facts are related of the saints, especially when at the stake.
St. Augustine relates (De civitate Dei, 1. xiv. c. 24): There was a priest, of the name of Restitutus, in Calama, who according to his pleasure, when he imitated a tone of pain, thus withdrew himself from the senses, and lay like one dead, so that he neither felt pinches nor pricks; and even was once burnt with fire without any sensation or consequent wound. No breathing was observed in him; and he himself declared that he only heard the loudest voices as if they came from a distance. When in the year 1461 the Hussites fell under great persecution, a very pious man of superior rank at Prague was put upon the rack. Immediately that he was bound on the frame, he became insensible to all pain and as one dead, so that the executioner believing him so, threw him aside on the ground. After some time coming to himself, he wondered that his sides, his hands, and feet were so painful; and it was only when he had noticed the weals, the marks of stabs, and the blood-blisters on his body, and saw the instruments of his execution, that he was aware what had happened. He then related a beautiful dream which he had had during the time of the torture. He was led into a lovely meadow, in the midst of which there was a tree with abundance of splendid