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THE following pages are based on Brand's Popular Antiquities, the edition published in 1841, supplemented by the results of later investigation. My aim has been to deal only with those superstitions and customs which are operative at the present time; and, as far as is possible, to trace these to their original sources. In some cases the task is fairly easy, in others very difficult; whilst in a few instances the "prime origin," to use the words of Brand, is absolutely unattainable. Still, in these days of pageantry, when the British people show some signs of periodically reviewing the picturesque life of bygone times, it will be a source of satisfaction if in this book I succeed in tracing, though it be for a century or two, the thoughts and habits which were born in a remote past.

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