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Folk-Lore Of The Pennsylvania Germans.


Journal of American Folk-Lore 2:4 pp. 23-35 [1889]

As before stated, 1 nearly all the food required for home consumption was the product of the farm, and in the endeavor to vary the monotony of dishes some curious combinations resulted.

Among the common people in the rural districts table etiquette was unknown, and even common decency was frequently disregarded. The various members of the household congregated at the table with the servants and hired laborers, each helping himself and totally oblivious of the presence of his neighbor.

The chief dish, whether a roast, fowl, or shnits un knep, was common property, and each, after helping himself, would break his bread into small pieces, and sop them in the gravy on the central dish, generally by means of a fork, though sometimes even with the fingers.

Shnits un knep was prepared by first making small dough balls, or dumplings, of flour, and adding thereto a sufficient quantity of sliced, dried unpared apples, and a piece of meat. These, being deposited in a kettle, were covered with water and thoroughly boiled and then served in a large, deep plate.

Saur kraut is now less extensively used. It is prepared by cutting the cabbage into slaw, which is then packed and stamped with salt in a tall wooden vessel termed a shten'ner. When filled, and the brine has formed, the mass is kept submerged by means of a piece of board and a heavy stone. The usual accompaniment to saur kraut was mashed potatoes, while apple-butter was eaten with the bread in the belief that the acidity of the former helped to neutralize the grease of the cabbage and meat and prevented liability to nausea from over-indulgence.

The present writer has frequently been told of families who invariably had one of the children to press down the cabbage with the bare feet, as the kraut was, by this method, not so bruised as when stamped with a heavy wooden pestle.

Hot boiled corn meal mush was often used at supper, and served in one large dish. Milk was poured over it, and each helped himself directly therefrom with his own spoon. At such times quarrels among the children frequently resulted on account of encroachments upon the recognized portion or space of a less rapid neighbor.

Rye bread--shwarts bröd (black bread)--was generally used, wheaten bread--wais bröd (white bread)--being considered a luxury, and served only on Sunday or during the visit of friends.

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The corn mills 1 used by the earliest settlers were but a slight improvement upon that of the aborigines, and the early erection of grist mills was considered with as much interest as the construction of houses of worship.

The presence of visitors--generally on Sunday after church service--sometimes necessitated the opening of the parlor or best room, which under ordinary circumstances would remain with closed shutters and locked doors from one year's end to the other. There are many families even at the present day, both in the rural districts and in the towns, who never enter the parlor except upon similar occasions.

The following signs are believed to foretell the coming of visitors:--

If any one drop a fork at the table the visitor will be a man; if a knife, it signifies a woman (Fayette County).

If a cock crows some one is coming; if two hens get to fighting the visitors will be women (Eastern Pennsylvania).

If any one helps himself to food of which he still has some remaining upon his plate the visitor will be hungry.

When the cat washes her face it signifies that visitors are coming. This is also a sign of clearing weather.

There are certain days in the year for which special articles of food are prepared in accordance with time-honored customs. One of these is Shrove-Tuesday 2--Fās nacht--when peculiarly shaped doughnuts are eaten. The custom appears to have originated in

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[paragraph continues] England, where the eating of "pancakes" was an old one. A correspondent in the "Gentleman's Magazine" 1 respecting this practice says, "as the Romish religion has given way . . . yet the custom of ringing the great bell in our antient parish churches, at least in some of them, yet remains, and obtains in and about London the name of Pancake-bell; perhaps because, after the confession, it was customary for the several persons to dine on pancakes or fritters. Latter churches, indeed, have rejected that custom of ringing the bell on Shrove-Tuesday; but the usage of dining on pancakes or fritters, and such-like provision, still continues."

Dances were held on Shrove-Tuesday "for a good yield of flax for that year," or, in other words, the host's crop of flax would be tall in proportion to the height to which the dancers raised their feet from the floor.

The Easter breakfast usually consisted of eggs. Children received presents of dyed eggs, which they carried around to their friends, receiving others in exchange therefor. Sometimes to rabbits,--or hares,--made of canton flannel and stuffed with cotton or saw-dust, were given as presents. Children were told that the Osh'ter hâs laid these eggs in the nests which were previously arranged somewhere about the house, a practice similar to hanging up a stocking on Christmas Eve. 2

In the rural districts even at this day, pastry, cakes, and preserves are served at almost every meal, and if anything remains over it is served again and again at subsequent meals until it is consumed or unfit for use.

Unusual quantities of pastry are prepared at various seasons, such as when an extra number of laborers are subsisted, during the harvest season, at "apple-butter boilings," quiltings, corn-huskings, and in case there is a funeral.

Saturday was the cleaning-up day of the week, and although the custom of washing pavements was common, and still is so, the writer does not remember to have observed as much importance attached to this practice as stated by a writer in the "Gentleman's Magazine" 3 in the following words: "There is also another custom peculiar to the city of Philadelphia, and nearly allied to the former

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[paragraph continues] [white washing]. I mean, that of washing the pavement before the doors every Saturday evening. I at first took this to be a regulation of the police; but, on further inquiry, I find it is a religious rite, preparatory to the Sabbath, and is, I believe, the only religious rite in which the numerous sectaries of this city perfectly agree. The ceremony begins about sunset, and continues till about ten or eleven at night. It is very difficult for a stranger to walk the streets on those evenings; he runs a continual risk of having a bucket of dirty water thrown against his legs: but a Philadelphian born is so much accustomed to the danger that he avoids it with surprising dexterity. It is from this circumstance that a Philadelphian may be known anywhere by his gait."

In connection with the preceding may be mentioned the almost universal custom of white-washing. Fences, out-buildings, cellars, and in the houses of many the rooms, are white-washed at the approach of spring,--the period of house cleaning,--both for the purpose of cleanliness and appearance. In the publication just quoted 1 a writer makes mention of a custom which does not appear to be recognized at the present time. He says: "When a young couple are about to enter into the matrimonial state, a never-failing article in the marriage treaty is, that the lady shall have and enjoy the free and unmolested exercise of the right of white-washing, with all its ceremonials, privileges, and appurtenances. A young woman would forego the most advantageous connection, and even disappoint the warmest wish of her heart, rather than resign the invaluable right. There is no season of the year in which the lady may not claim her privilege, if she pleases; but the latter end of May is most generally fixed upon for the purpose." A lengthy and amusing description follows, noting the removal from the house of every article of furniture and ornament, when white-wash is spread over the walls, with a brush, and windows and floors scrubbed.

As before stated, it is customary for the bride to receive from her parents or guardian a wedding outfit,--haus shtai'er,--consisting of household linen and other articles necessary to assist in furnishing a house. A case has just been decided in one of the courts in Pennsylvania in which the husband had brought suit against his wife's guardian in default of the latter furnishing the usual gift. The plaintiff was awarded the sum of one hundred and twenty-five dollars.

Professional medical services were seldom demanded, as ordinary complaints were treated by the administration of infusions and decoctions of plants and roots collected and preserved for such purpose.

Lying-in women were generally attended by an old woman of alleged

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skill and experience; and numerous instances are known where no such assistance was at hand at the critical period and the patient successfully passed through it alone.

Infants were disposed of by putting them into a cumbersome cradle, almost smothered in feather beds, and removed only when occasion demanded.

Children were permitted to nurse at their mother's breast for a longer period than is now customary. One instance is known to the writer in which a boy of seven years of age daily earned this privilege by splitting the amount of kindling wood necessary for his mother's use. 1

The following superstitions relate to children:--

The child will have the colic if the empty cradle is rocked.

If any one step across a child it will cease to grow. 2

A cat, when left alone with an infant, will strangle it by sucking its breath.

If a child be permitted to see its image in a mirror before it is one year of age it will become proud.

In western counties the saying is that the child will be unlucky if allowed to see itself in a mirror before it is nine months old.

A child will receive lofty thoughts if a louse is placed upon its head and it is carried to the upper story of the house, before it is nine days old (Fayette County).

A more common practice is to put a silver spoon within a child's hand, and then carry the child to the attic. This must be done before the ninth day has passed. In some of the eastern counties the Bible is used instead of a spoon, and there are some persons who believe it of sufficient value to the child to merely mount a chair with it, or anything higher than the floor of the room in which it was born.

To pare an infant's finger-nails may cause it to become a thief in after years.

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The following superstitions pertain to children's complaints and the methods of treatment.

Slabbering is cured by passing a live fish through the child's mouth. 1 This practice still obtains in Berks County.

To cure pleurisy, pass the child beneath a table to an assistant. 2

It is necessary to state, in this connection, that pleurisy is believed to be caused by the attachment of the liver to the ribs; the cure being to break this adhesion by stretching the body. The disease is commonly known as liver grown--ân'gewâk'sa, lit., grown fast.

A fretful baby is believed to long for something for which the mother herself had an ungratified desire previous to the infant's birth, The only remedy is to ascertain what this is, and to give the infant a taste of it.

Incontinence of urine is cured by whipping the afflicted one with a hud'l lum'ba. This is a cloth used to remove ashes from the oven previous to depositing the bread for baking.

When the patient reaches the age of adolescence the alleged relief is obtained by urinating into a newly made grave, the corpse must be of the opposite sex to that of the experimenter. 3

Blisters on the tongue (Stomatitis) are caused by telling fibs. When they show no disposition to leave, the following process is adopted: three small sticks are cut from a tree, each about the length of a finger and as thick as a pencil. These are inserted into the mouth and buried in a dunghill; the next day the operation is repeated, as well as on the third day, after which the three sets of sticks are allowed to remain in the manure, and as they decay the complaint will disappear.

The following procedure for the cure of bronchitis is still practised in Berks County. Make a gimlet hole in the door frame at the exact height of the top of the patient's head, into which insert a small tuft of his hair and close the hole with a peg of wood, then cut off the projecting portion of the peg. As the patient grows in height beyond the peg, so will the disease be outgrown.

To cure whooping-cough, administer milk stolen from a neighbor's cow.

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A common remedy for croup is to administer a mixture of goose-grease and molasses, to induce emesis.

One less frequently adopted for the same complaint is to make a poultice of grated poke-root and vinegar and apply to the feet.

In Lehigh County the emetic for this purpose is prepared by boiling three (or five) onions until soft, and mixing the juice therefrom with honey.

In Fayette County an emetic for croup is made by mixing urine and goose-grease and administering internally, and also rubbing some of the mixture over the breast and throat.

For diphtheria a poultice consisting of the fresh excrement of a hog is worn about the neck for one night (Fayette County).

A Lehigh County remedy for ordinary sore throat is made by boiling either three or five onions, pressing out the juice, and mixing it with strong sage tea; this is sweetened with brown sugar. Sometimes a small lump of butter is added while the decoction is still hot.

A common practice for the same complaint is to turn a stocking wrong side out and wear it tied around the throat at night.

For ordinary febrile complaints strawberry leaf tea is administered to produce diaphoresis. Elder-blossom tea is also given in fevers, and especially to hasten the eruption in measles and scarlatina.

For measles, both mare's milk and a tea made of sheep cherries (gen. et sp.?) are given (Mr. Brown, Fayette County).

To cure mumps, the swollen parts must be rubbed against such portion of a hog-trough as has been worn smooth by that animal.

A decoction of dog-wood bark is given as a purgative to adults as well as to children. The same remedy, if properly prepared, is also taken to produce emesis. The belief pertaining to these properties and the special preparation of the bark is as follows: When the remedy is to act as an emetic, the bark is scraped from the branches from below upward when the sap is rising in the spring. This is put into boiling water and a strong decoction made, which, if taken internally, will readily produce the desired effect. If, however, a purgative is wanted, the bark must be scraped downward, in autumn, when the sap is believed to run downward. The scrapings must be put into a vessel of cold water and boiled for a considerable period of time. If sufficient be taken of the decoction, purging results.

That the desired effect is generally attained by adults may appear singular, but it may readily be attributed to the will and conduct of the patient himself. The decoction, if taken as an emetic, is readily gotten rid of at the first indication of nausea, but when the purpose is to purge, the patient, with some effort on his part, retains the obnoxious mixture until it has passed beyond the control of the stomach into the intestines, when the desired result follows.

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Household remedies, usually resorted to for the ailments of adults, will be treated of later.

Several curious customs relating to death and burial are worthy of mention. A death was announced by tolling the church bell, the number of strokes corresponding to the age in years of the deceased. After a short interval the taps of the bell denoted the number of days that would elapse before the funeral.

Immediately upon the death of a member of any household, the women of the neighborhood congregated and prepared for the funeral dinner. This was done to feed the friends and relatives who came from a distance. Pastry, cakes, fowl, and hams in great quantity were prepared, and previous to the departure of the funeral a lunch was handed round, followed by hot coffee, and frequently the bottle of whiskey. If it was known to the lovers of ardent spirits that the latter was to be had, there was frequently an unusual number of attendants at the funeral, and some of the mourners consequently failed to accompany the remains of the departed, preferring to await the return to the house of the funeral cortege.

The regular dinner was then served, after which each one returned to his respective home With reference to the burial custom of the Moravians at Bethlehem, Mr. Rupp says: "The Corpse House, where, on the death of a member of the society, the corpse is deposited for three days, is worthy of a notice. When a death occurs, a part of the choir ascend the church cupola or steeple, where a requiem or funeral hymn is played for the departed, and the melancholy notes as they fall on the ear in a calm morning are peculiarly solemn and impressive. The body on the third day is removed from the corpse house, the mourners place themselves around it, and after several strains of solemn music, the procession forms a line of march to the grave, preceded by the band, still playing, which is continued some time after the coffin is deposited." 1

Coffins were made of walnut or stained wood. Hearses were rarely used, the coffin being placed upon the floor of a large wagon with chairs around it for the chief mourners, the children generally sitting upon the coffin itself.

The eyes of the corpse were closed by placing copper cents upon them, and a small piece of linen with embroidered edges, called a shwēs duch (sweat cloth), covered the entire face until the day of the funeral, when both the coppers and the cloth were deposited inside the coffin and buried with the body.

Upon the death of any inmate of a house the mirrors are turned round so as to face the wall, otherwise the first person to see his image in any one of them will be sure to die within a year.

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If any one wear crêpe when not in mourning, his or her death is sure to follow. 1

The chirping in the house of a cricket, or the clicking of a deathwatch, foretell the death of one of the inmates. When horses in pasture are seen running and playing, it is a sign that a funeral will soon be seen.

That a dog howling at night should be a presage of death is a superstition of almost world-wide belief, and is abundantly observed in classic literature. 2

A white Christmas makes a full graveyard. 3

When apple-trees bloom out of season it is an omen of death to some one connected with the household.

If any one suffering from corns takes a small piece of cotton, rubs it over the offenders and hides it, unobserved, with a body about to be buried, the corns will leave him.

If the hand of a corpse be rubbed over a goitre the afflicted may be certain of recovery.

Under-garments cut out on Friday are sure to be used for a corpse.

It is unlucky to undertake a journey on Friday.

A piece of work begun on Friday will not be finished by the cutter; death is sure to follow.

The custom of casting stones on the graves of suicides, those who had met with a violent death, or bodies buried in canny places or in unconsecrated ground, was extensively practised until a very recent period, if, indeed, it does not still survive. Any passer-by who neglected to throw a stone upon such a grave was in imminent danger of meeting with the spirit of the departed, and the consequences were believed to be most unfortunate.

Many of the more ignorant and superstitious classes firmly believe that nightmare, ghostly manifestations, and similar evidences of uncanny doings are often the direct doings of witches. Nightmare can sometimes be caught, 4 as is illustrated by the following instance. A hostler in the service of the writer's father frequently suffered from nightmare, and to secure the intruder he procured a small phial which he placed within easy reach of his bed. After two or

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three nights the nightmare was caught and bottled, and destroyed by burning. This was stated to have been the spirit of a black cat, under control of a witch with whom the hostler had had a previous misunderstanding.

When one awakes in the morning feeling very tired, the witches have been riding him all night.

Witches are supposed to acquire influence over any one by becoming possessed of anything belonging to the intended victim, such as a hair, a piece of wearing apparel, or a pin. The influence acquired by the witch is greater if such an article be voluntarily or unconsciously handed to her by the person asked for it.

A witch can be disabled by securing a hair of her head, wrapping it in a piece of paper, and placing it against a tree as a target into which a silver bullet is to be fired from a gun.

The following instance was said to have occurred many years ago in northern Lehigh County. A vicious black sow was frequently encountered by people on the highway, but no one knew to whom the animal belonged. One day, as the sow became too aggressive in pursuit of its victim, the person thus annoyed picked up a heavy piece of wood and threw it, breaking one of the animal's legs.

It was learned subsequently that a witch living in that neighborhood had broken her leg at the same day and hour, and it was firmly believed that the witch and the animal--which was never encountered afterwards--were one and the same.

Among the German settlers no trial of witches, by ordeal or otherwise, was practised, and the following was probably instituted by the English colonists, with whom this process was in vogue in other portions of the early settlements. The following appears in the "Gentleman's Magazine" (January, 1731, i. p. 29): "From Burlington, in Pennsylvania, 't is advised that the owners of several cattle, believing them to be bewitched, caused some suspected men and women to be taken up, and trials to be made for detecting 'em. About three hundred people assembled near the governor's house, and a pair of scales being erected, the suspected persons were each weighed against a large Bible, but all of them outweighing it: the accused were then tied head and feet together, and put into a river, on supposition that if they swam they must be guilty. This they offered to undergo in case the accuser should be served in the like manner; which being done, they all swam very buoyant, and cleared the accused."

The following is the only instance with which the writer has become acquainted where the power of transforming human beings has been accredited to witches. Although the circumstances are said to have occurred during the early part of the present century,

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they are still mentioned as inexplicable and supernatural by the present residents. The story, in brief, is as follows: Near Trexlertown, Lehigh County, dwelt a farmer named Weiler. His wife and three daughters had by some means or other incurred the enmity of a witch who lived but a short distance away, when the latter, it is supposed, took her revenge in the following manner. Whenever visitors came to the Weiler residence, the girls, without any premonition whatever, would suddenly be changed into snakes, and after crawling back and forth along the top ridge of the wainscoting for several minutes they were restored to their natural form. These curious transformations occurred quite frequently, and the circumstance soon attained widespread notoriety. About the end of the third month the spell was broken and everything went on as before.

Of the many ghost stories still related, and generally believed, a great portion appear to relate to boundary lines, and corner stones marking land limits, about which there had been altercations during the life of the principals. In some of these the luminous outline of a human form will be seen, in others only the voice is heard, while in others, still, fiery balls are observed flying through the air and following the true boundary lines.

It is related that a miserly fellow formerly lived near Tulpehocken, Berks County, who during his lifetime had been suspected of removing the "line stones," marking the boundaries of his land, so as to encroach upon that of his neighbors.

Shortly after the death of this individual vague rumors were spread respecting ghostly visitations about the old house and along the borders of the farm. People gathered each evening after sunset to watch for the luminous ghost as it flitted from one corner of the lot to another, apparently searching for something, but upon the nearer approach of one of the bolder visitors he saw that it carried a stone, frequently uttering the words, Wu sol ich den shten hin dun? (Where shall I put this stone?) The remainder of the party observing no harm done to the first one to approach gradually came up so as to be as close as was deemed safe. A half-witted fellow who was in the party finally approached the apparition, and upon hearing the words uttered immediately responded, Wai, du ferdam'ter nar, du 'n hin wu d'n grikt hosht. (Why you d-----d fool, put it where you got it.) Whereupon the stone was seen to drop and the apparition was not observed again.

It was believed by the superstitious neighbors that the miser's soul could not rest in peace until directed by a mortal what to do, hence the immediate effect upon the response of the yokel.

Many years ago there lived in that portion of Northampton County--known as the Settlement, In'sha land (Indian land)--two

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men of selfish nature, and whose farms unfortunately joined. Strife was kept up on account of one of them attempting to remove the corner stones which had been placed to mark the limits of the farms as well as the dividing line. Matters grew worse and worse, and the decisions of the courts failed to produce either harmony or a satisfactory adjustment of affairs, when it was announced by the gossips that the farmers had decided to fight out their differences with "fire and brimstone in the hereafter."

Death put an end to their earthly dissensions, but the report spread that at certain times during the night could be heard the clanking of chains and the swift passage of fiery balls to and fro along the dividing line of the farms. Occasionally the balls of fire would come in contact, when there would be heard hissing sounds, and innumerable sparks of fire would dart out in all directions while the balls ascended, as if in conflict, and finally return toward the ground to continue their course up and down the old line of dispute.

The superstitious ones were, naturally, the only ones who were favored with these fiery demonstrations of conflict, and after a few years of fear and speculation as to the nature of the visions their curiosity subsided and the alleged occurrences ceased.

Many years ago there dwelt in the northern portion of Northampton County a man named Kern, who was close and exacting in all transactions with his neighbors. He became very much disliked, and was shunned as much as possible by those with whom he chanced to come in contact. "Old Kern," as he was usually designated, died, and but a short time elapsed before rumors of uncanny things began to be heard. Mrs. Kern was alarmed previous to her husband's death by having crows come to the kitchen window at night, and pecking against the panes of glass. This statement, originating in the house and coupled with subsequent reports, lent new interest and firm belief in the impression that "Old Kern" had been called to the nether regions, or that the Devil had requested his presence elsewhere.

The statements made by neighbors were, that every night there was heard the sound of heavy footsteps going up and down stairs, mysterious knockings were frequently detected, but the most annoying of all was the opening and closing of doors, as if by some unseen hands; and no matter how securely the latches had been fastened, the doors still persisted in swinging open the moment the watchers had gotten back into bed.

Difficulty was experienced in retaining friends to sleep in the house as company for the relict of "Old Kern." Acquaintances were sent for who remained one or two nights, but could not be induced to tarry in the house a longer period. Finally, several young

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men, brothers, 1 were induced to come into the house, both as a favor to Mrs. Kern and for the purpose chiefly of ascertaining the cause of the mysterious manifestations. They sat up, for nights at a time, or remained awake in the bed, which was so placed as to permit them to observe any trickery or connivance with outside parties, but in each instance of door-opening, window-rappings, etc., they failed to detect anything which would serve as a clue toward a solution of the disturbances.

This state of things continued for a long time. No one would take possession of the house after Mrs. Kern was compelled to vacate it for her own peace of mind, and the writer is unable to learn how long these visitations and rappings were continued.

Old or deserted lime-kilns are generally accredited as being the abode of ghosts, usually the spirits of "murdered peddlers," or those who are known to have met with a violent death upon the highway. Such localities are avoided by pedestrians after nightfall.

Still another form of unearthly visitors is found in marshy ground and damp wood, for example the will-o'-the-wisp. This is called a drach--dragon--and is supposed to follow the timid. Numerous instances of narrow escapes are related.

W. J. Hoffman, M. D.


23:1 Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. i. p. 125 et seq.

24:1 One of the earliest forms of home-made mills was observed in a private collection in Nazareth, Pa. It had been found in Monroe County, on the northern side of the Blue Mountains, and consisted of grayish, compact sandstone. In shape it resembled a truncated pyramid with rounded corners, measuring about two and a half feet high, two feet across the top and a little less than three feet in diameter at the base. A circular opening extended from the middle of the top surface to within eight inches of the base; the opening being about six inches in diameter but rapidly narrowing to four inches a short distance from the top, when it again expanded and formed a rounded bottom, the whole cavity resembling an urn in contour. From the bottom of this an opening of two inches in diameter communicated with a square cavity in the base, opening on one side, from which the meal could be removed as it accumulated in grinding.

The "grinder" or pestle consisted of a cylindrical stone which closely fitted into the top orifice, its weight crushing the grains as they passed beneath it. The upper extremity of the pestle was squared, probably for the attachment of a long piece of wood with which to turn it. Twelve years later--in 1885--the writer saw a similar relic used as a carriage stepping-stone in the yard of a gentleman residing near Liberty, Southwestern Virginia, a region which was early penetrated by German colonists, descendants of whom are still to be found in that vicinity.

24:2 Shrive is an old Saxon word (of which Shrove is a corruption), and signifies confession. Hence Shrove-Tuesday signifies Confession-Tuesday. Gentleman's Magazine, 1790, p. 495.

25:1 1790, p. 495.

25:2 The-belief that the hare lays the Easter-eggs is a singular one, and an explanation is offered by a writer in the Folk-Lore Journal (London, i. 1883, p. 123), as follows: "Originally the hare seems to have been a bird which the ancient Teutonic goddess Ostara (the Anglo-Saxon Eàstre or Eostre, as Bede calls her) transformed into a quadruped. For this reason the hare, in grateful recollection of its former quality as a bird and swift messenger of the Spring-Goddess, is able to lay eggs on her festival at Easter-time."

25:3 1821, p. 401

26:1 Gentleman's Magazine, pt. I. 1821, pp. 399, 400.

27:1 A parallel instance of an amusing character is given by Dr. Fredrich Krause in his Sitte und Brauch der Südslaven (Wien, 1885, p. 544, 545), where, in treating of the Southern Slavs he says: Jede Mutter nährt ihr Kind allein, und zwar reiht sie ihm so lange die Brust, bis sie ein zweites Kind gebärt. Das letzte Kind einer Mutter säugt oft viele Jahre au der Mutterbrust. Vor einigen sechzehn Jahren sah ich, wie ein sechsjähriger, ausgewachsener Junge noch säugte. Es war im Kaptol bei Požega. Das Bürschlein war Schweinetreiber. Früh Morgens wurden die Schweine aus der Hürde herausgelassen. Grunzend und einander herumstossend liefen sic im Gehöfte herum. Da rief jenes Burschlein: 'Majo, dader sise!' (Mütterchen, gib mir die Brust!) Darauf setzte sich seine Mutter, eine ältliche Bäuerin, auf die Thürschwelle, und der Junge nahm sein Frühstück ein."

27:2 The Magyar superstition is, furthermore, that the danger may be averted by stepping over the child again in the opposite direction. Folk-Lore Journal (London), i. 1883, p. 355.

28:1 According to a correspondent of Notes and Queries, London, 5th ser. vol. ix. p. 64, a fish was thrust into the throat of a child suffering from whooping-cough. This occurred near Philadelphia, in 1875.

28:2 In Lochee, Scotland, the child is passed under the belly of a donkey to cure whooping-cough. Folk-Lore Journal (London), i. 1883, p. 30.

28:3 An instance of the last named method occurred at Washington, D. C., two years ago, though with unknown result, as the patient was startled at the unexpected appearance of the funeral and fell into the grave, when, after her extrication therefrom, she ran away.

30:1 History of Northampton, Lehigh . . . Counties, Harrisburg, 1845, p. 81.

31:1 The same belief is entertained by the Magyars. Folk-Lore Journal, London, i. 1883, p. 356.

31:2 Among many of our Indian tribes the red fox is looked upon as being endowed with impressions of future calamity.

31:3 In the northern countries of England and the borders, the same idea occurs as "a green yule makes a fat kirk-yard." Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties, etc. (Folk-Lore Soc. Pub.), Lond., 1879, p. 75.

31:4 The German nightmare is caught by stopping up the hole through which it entered.

35:1 One of whom is a prominent physician in Pennsylvania, and who gave me the details of the story.