Notes and Queries, Number 61, December 28, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 76 pages of information about Notes and Queries, Number 61, December 28, 1850.
“Take a toad and dry him very well in the sun, then put him in a linen bag, and hang him with a string about the neck of the party that bleedeth, and let it hang so low that it may touch the breast on the left side near unto the heart; and this will certainly stay all manner of bleeding at the mouth, nose,” &c.

Sage leaves, yarrow, and ale, are recommended for a “gnawing at the heart;” which I think should be “made a note of” for the benefit of poor poets and disappointed authors.


Mice as a Medicine (Vol. ii., pp. 397. 435.).—­I was stopping about three years ago in the house of a gentleman whose cook had been in the service of a quondam Canon of Ch.  Ch., who averred that she roasted mice to cure her master’s children of the hooping cough.  She said it had the effect of so doing.


    “Many Nits, [nuts]
     Many Pits.”

A common saying hereabouts, meaning that if hazel-nuts, haws, hips, &c., are plentiful, many deaths will occur.  But whether the deaths are to be occasioned by nut-devouring or by seasonal influence, I cannot ascertain.  In many places, an abundant crop of hips and haws is supposed to betoken a severe winter.


Swans hatched during Thunder.—­The fable of the singing of swans at death is well known; but I recently heard a bit of “folk lore” as to the birth of swans quite as poetical, and probably equally true.  It is this:  that swans are always hatched during a thunderstorm.  I was told this by an old man in Hampshire, who had been connected with the care of swans all his life.  He, however, knew nothing about their singing at death.

Is this opinion as to the birth of swans common?  If so, probably some of your numerous correspondents will detail the form in which such belief is expressed.


Snakes (Vol. ii., p. 164.).—­Several years ago, in returning from an excursion from Clevedon, in Somerset, to Cadbury Camp, I saw a viper on the down, which I pointed out to the old woman in charge of the donkeys, who assailed it with a stout stick, and nearly killed it.  I expressed surprise at her leaving it with some remains of life; but she said that, whatever she did to it, it would “live till sun-down, and as soon as the sun was set it would die.”  The same superstition prevails in Cornwall, and also in Devon.


Pixies or Piskies.—­At Chudleigh Rocks I was told, a few weeks ago, by the old man who acts as guide to the caves, of a recent instance of a man’s being pixy-led.  In going home, full of strong drink, across the hill above the cavern called the “Pixies’ Hole,” on a moonlit night, he heard sweet {511} music, and was led into the whirling dance by the “good folk,” who kept on spinning him without mercy, till he fell down “in a swoon.”

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Notes and Queries, Number 61, December 28, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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