Folk Tales Every Child Should Know eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 135 pages of information about Folk Tales Every Child Should Know.
when the excretions and secretions of all manner of animals, saurians, and venomous snakes and insects, and even live bugs, were administered to patients.  “Some physicians,” says Matthiolus, “use the ashes of scorpions, burnt alive, for retention caused by either renal or vesical calculi.  But I have myself thoroughly experienced the utility of an oil I make myself, whereof scorpions form a very large portion of the ingredients.  If only the region of the heart and all the pulses of the body be anointed with it, it will free the patients from the effects of all kinds of poisons taken by the mouth, corrosive ones excepted.”  Decoctions of Egyptian mummies were much commended, and often prescribed with due academical solemnity; and the bones of the human skull, pulverized and administered with oil, were used as a specific in cases of renal calculus. (See Petri Andreae Matthioli “Opera,” 1574.)

These remarks were made to me by a medical gentleman to whom I mentioned the Chinese doctor’s prescription of scorpion tea, and they seem to me so curious that I insert them for comparison’s sake.


[Footnote 1:  Bu. This coin is generally called by foreigners “ichibu,” which means “one bu.”  To talk of “a hundred ichibus” is as though a Japanese were to say “a hundred one shillings.”  Four bus make a riyo, or ounce; and any sum above three bus is spoken of as so many riyos and bus—­as 101 riyos and three bus equal 407 bus.  The bu is worth about 1_s._ 4_d._]

[Footnote 2:  Inari Sama is the title under which was deified a certain mythical personage, called Uga, to whom tradition attributes the honour of having first discovered and cultivated the rice-plant.  He is represented carrying a few ears of rice, and is symbolized by a snake guarding a bale of rice grain.  The foxes wait upon him, and do his bidding.  Inasmuch as rice is the most important and necessary product of Japan, the honours which Inari Sama receives are extraordinary.  Almost every house in the country contains somewhere about the grounds a pretty little shrine in his honour; and on a certain day of the second month of the year his feast is celebrated with much beating of drums and other noises, in which the children take a special delight.  “On this day,” says the O-Satsuyo, a Japanese cyclopaedia, “at Yeddo, where there are myriads upon myriads of shrines to Inari Sama, there are all sorts of ceremonies.  Long banners with inscriptions are erected, lamps and lanterns are hung up, and the houses are decked with various dolls and figures; the sound of flutes and drums is heard, and people dance and make holiday according to their fancy.  In short, it is the most bustling festival of the Yeddo year.”]



It is a common saying among men that to forget favours received is the part of a bird or a beast:  an ungrateful man will be ill spoken of by all the world.  And yet even birds and beasts will show gratitude; so that a man who does not requite a favour is worse even than dumb brutes.  Is not this a disgrace?

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Folk Tales Every Child Should Know from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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