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inhabits the southern part of France, even there it is / POPULAR LEGENDS AND FICTIONS. rare; in the north it is entirely unknown. In Italy,
XI. where it is more common, it is known by the name of
HOLY WELLS. Cicella or Ciciqua. The scales of its belly are separated from those of its back by three lines. This
The most remarkable, but not the most peculiar, reptile is not dangerous, for nature has not bestowed superstition, which we proceed to notice. is that upon it any venom, and even if it possessed any, its
concerning what were called holy wells. Of these, mouth is too small for it to bite a man, or any other | Wales possessed several : four of which, namely, large animal.
St. Winefred's, St. Tegla's, St. Elian's and St. DwynWe know that whenever man has presumed to wen's, had attained a decided pre-eminence over the deem any created object as incomplete or useless, others; and of these four, that of St. Winefred, at experience or science has, sooner or later, proved that Holywell, in Flintshire (already described in vol. IX., it is man who, in the infirmity of his judgment, bas p. 130), was by far the most estimable. erred. Surely we should do wisely to apply this im- The superstitious ceremonies used at such wells, portant fact to the question of usefulness, which and the respect with which they are frequented, must arises from the scantiness of the feet of the reptile be of very remote antiquity, since as early as the time under consideration. It is evident that the feet of of Joshua the name of En-shemesh, or the Fountain the Seps no more enable him to walk on the earth, of the Sun, was given to a well, which manifestly inthan the wings of the Penguin to cleave the air ; dicates that the well was dedicated to the sun, and but in either case, shall we say that these members the name of another En-rogel, or the Fountain of are superfluous, because they do not answer the end Secret Inquiry intiniates, that it was used for some for which we suppose them to be invariably intended *? purpose of divination. To these may be added En-dor, Has the Creator failed in his work, or has man mis- or the Fountain of Circular Revolution : and in these judged the end of that work? I confidently expect three names the three principal superstitions are disthat every sensible man will justify the wisdom of the cernible, which are denoted by practices not even at Almighty.---FROSSARD.
this time wholly fallen into disuse. The origin of * For instance, might we not suppose, that the little paws of the
these superstitions must undoubtedly be looked for Seps assist it to turn itself, when any accident may have placed it on in a hot climate, where a well of pure water affords its back, or to prevent it from getting into that uneasy position.
one of the greatest blessings of life ; and thus the
Hebrew word for a tank, which is of less value than WHAT APPEARS USELESS, NOT ALWAYS TO BE a well, with the slight variation of a vowel point, DESPISED.
signifies a blessing; and when the sun became an I can scarcely condemn mankind for treating with contempt
object of worship, the dedication of a well to it, as of a virtuoso, whom they see employed in poring over a moss the earthly to the heavenly source of comfort, was or an insect day after day, and spending his life in such simple and natural. From this reference a higher seemingly unimportant and barren speculations. The first estimation of a well opening and flowing eastward and most natural reflections that will arise on this occasion
may have arisen, and such wells were formerly must be to the disadvantage of such pursuits. Yet were the whole scene of nature laid open to our views, were we
thought in Wales to afford the purest water. The admitted to behold the connexions and dependencies of | purifications necessary, first for health, and secondly every thing on every other, and to trace the economy of preparative to religious ceremonies, were additional nature through the smaller as well as the greater parts of motives for a regard to wells ; but above all, where this globe, we might, perhaps, be obliged to own we were the waters were found to possess medical virtues, mistaken; that the Supreme Architect had contrived his
those virtues were readily believed to be conferred works in such a manner, that we cannot properly be said to
by some benevolent and superintendent divinity. be unconcerned in any one of them; and therefore, that studies which seem upon a slight view to be quite use
Whatever be the religious system, deprecation of the less, may in the end appear to be of no small importance to wrath of the Deity must form one part of it, and mankind. Nay, were we only to look back into the bistory | humiliation must precede an act of supposed purifiof arts and sciences, we must be convinced, that we are cation. It is the course which nature and reason, apt to judge over hastily of things of this nature. We
even in its most feeble efforts, would dictate. Acshould there find many proofs, that he who gave this instinc
cordingly it appears, that in Ireland the votaries of tive curiosity to some of his creatures, gare it for good and great purposes, and that he rewards with useful discoveries
some holy wells crawl around them several times on all these minute researches.
their hands and knees, and such, it has been supIt is true this does not always happen to the searcher, or posed, was the custom at En-dor in the time of his contemporaries, nor even, sometimes, to the immediate Joshua. The expression of gratitude for benefits resucceeding generation; but I am apt to think that advan- ceived was another natural sentiment of religion ; tages of one kind or other always accrue to mankind from
and hence, probably, arose the custom of leaving such pursuits. Some men are born to observe and record
some token of it, however small, such as the dropping what perhaps by itself is perfectly useless, but yet of great importanee, to another who follows and goes a step further
of a pin into the well, or hanging up a rag on some still as useless. To him another succeeds, and thus by de bush near it. Brand says, “I have frequently obgrees, till at last one of a superior genius comes, who laying served shreds, or bits of rags, upon the bushes that all that has been done before his time together, brings on a overhang a well in the road to Benton, a village in new face of things, improves, adorns, exalts human society.
the neighbourhood of Newcastle. Many instances might be produced to prove, that bare
It is called, The curiosity in one age is the source of the greatest utility in
Rag-well. The spring has been visited for some disanother. And what has frequently been said of chemists,
order or other, and these rag-offerings are relics of may be applied to every other kind of virtuosi. They bant, the then prevailing superstition. Thus, Mr. Pennant perhaps, after chimeras and impossibilities, they find some tells us, they visit the well of Spey in Scotland, for thing really valuable by the by. We are but instruments many distempers, and the well of Drachaldy for as under the Supreme Director, and do not so much as know,
many more, offering small bits of money, and bits of in many cases what is of most importance for us to search after. But we may be sure of one thing; namely, that if we study and follow nature, whatever paths we are led into,
In the third of the excellent letters of Columbanus, we shall at last arrive at something valuable to ourselves a very interesting account is given of the well-worship and others, but of what kind we must be content to remain as practised in Ireland, a worship justly censured by ignorant. - BENJAMIN STILLINGFLEET.
the worthy author. In this account he says, “ Wheu
I pressed a very old man, Owen Hester, to state what | the name of the individual upon whose hapless head possible advantage he expected to derive from the the malediction was to fall. A pin was then dropped singular custom of frequenting in particular such into the well, in the name of the victim, and the wells as were contiguous to an old blasted oak, or an report that such a one had been thus put into the upright unbewn stone; and what the meaning was well, soon reached the ear of the devoted person. If of the yet more singular custom of sticking rags on the individual were cursed with a credulous disposithe branches of such trees, and spitting on them: his tion, the idea, like that of the West Indian Obi, soon answer, and the answer of the oldest men, was, that preyed upon his spirits, and at length terminated in their ancestors always did it ; and that it was a pre- his destruction: for the poor unhappy object pined servative against the sorceries of the Druids ;-and himself to death, unless a timely reconciliation should so thoroughly persuaded were they of the sanctity of take place between the parties, in which case, the these pagan practices, that they would travel bare priestess, for a suitable fee, erased the name from her headed and barefooted from ten to twenty miles, for book, and took the poor wretch out of the well! the purpose of crawling on their knees round these wells, and upright stones, and oak trees, westward, as the sun travels, some three times, some six, some
ART. nine, and so on, until their voluntary penances were
WHEN from the sacred garden driven, completely fulfilled. A passage from Hanway leads
Man fled before his Maker's wrath, directly to the Oriental custom of these Druidical An angel left her place in heaven, superstitions. We arrived at a desolate caravanserai,
And crossed the wanderer's sun.ess path. where we found nothing but water. I observed a
'Twas Art! sweet Art! New radiance broke, tree with a number of rags to the branches; these
Where her light foot flew o'er the ground;
And thus with seraph voice she spoke, were so many charms, which passengers coming from
“ The curse a blessing shall be found.” Ghilaw, a province remarkable for agues, had left there, in a fond expectation of leaving their disease
She led him through the trackless wild, also in the same spot.' From Chaldea and Persia
Where noontide sunbeam never blazed :well-worship passed into Arabia, where the well of
The thistle shrunk-the harvest smiled,
And nature gladdened as she gazed. Zimzim at Mecca was celebrated from the remotest
Earth's thousand tribes of living things, ages,” &c
At Art's command to him are given, Some of the wells are celebrated for producing a The village grows, the city springs, salutary effect, but that of St. Elian, near Beltiss
And point their spires of faith to heaven. in Denbighshire, is equally notorious for possess
He rends the oak—and bids it ride, ing an opposite influence. It is not only an opi
To guard the shores its beauty graced ; nion, but a firmly rooted belief, among the pea
He smites the rock-upheaved in pride, santry, that if any one be put into the well, as they
See towers of strength, and domes of taste. call it, he will be afflicted with any malady or mis
Earth's teeming caves their wealth reveal, fortune, which his enemy may desire. “I will put
Fire bears his banner on the wave, you into St. Elian's well, and have my revenge of
He bids the mortal poison heal,
And the destroying knife to save. you!" said a choleric mountaineer to Mr. Pennant, in return for some trifling offence; and it was only He plucks the pearls that stud the deer, so lately as April 1820, that a person of the name of
Admiring Beauty's lap to fill;
He breaks the stubborn marble's sleer, John Edwards, of the parish of Northop, in Flint
Rocks disappear before his skill : shire, was tried at the great sessions, for defrauding
With thoughts that swell his glowing sou... one Edward Pierce, of Llanelyrnig, in Denbighshire,
He bids the ore illume the page, of the sum of fifteen shillings, under the pretence
And proudly scorning time's control, (to borrow the classical language of the indictment),
Commerces with an unborn age. " that the said Edward Pierce was put into Funnon
In fields of air he writes his name, Elian (Elian's Well), and that some great evil and
And treads the chambers of the sky; misfortune would, in consequence, befall the said He reads the stars, and grasps the flame Edward Pierce; and that he, the said John Edwards,
That quivers in the realms on high. could avert the said evil and misfortune, by taking In war renowned, in peace sublime, him, the said Edward Pierce, out of the said well, if
He moves in greatness and in grace;
His power subduing space and time, he, the said Edward Pierce, would pay unto the said
Links realm to realm, and race to race. -SPRAGUE. John Edwards, the sum of fifteen shillings."
This “the said Edward Pierce” was silly enough to do, as well as to accompany the arch enchanter to the common blessings of God are not dispensed without a the well, where several mystic ceremonies were to be
directing Providence. Nature works not without the God performed, to the no small' satisfaction of both parties; and the ignorant dupe returned home with a full persuasion that his affairs, which had been long The Arabians distinguish a man of honour, true nobility,
and figure, as having “a fair unspotted countenance." On "going cross," would thenceforth be in a more pro
the contrary, “a face as black as a coal," is imputed to the sperous state than ever. Deceived in this, however,
base dishonourable person.-CHAPPELOW. he brought the offender to justice, and the “ said John Edwards" was rewarded for his ingenuity by an It must be owned that we are not able to account for the imprisonment for twelve months.
method of Divine Providence in many instances; and whoThe mode which was usually adopted, to secure the soever is not abandoned of all modesty, must readily good or evil influence of St. Elian's well, was, in acknowledge that it is reasonable it should be so. BRAD
FORD. truth, sufficiently formal and elaborate to inspire the credulous with a perfect belief in its efficacy. Near
As a father should provide for the religious education of bis the well, resided some worthless and infamous woman,
children, so should a government for the instruction of its who officiated as priestess. To her, the person who
subjects. This should teach us to look for edification only wished to inflict the curse, applied, and for a trifling from legitlmate sources, and to expect it most in the path sum, she registered, in a book kept for the purpose, of humble and implicit obedience. ----SINCLAIR.
NOTES ON FOREST TREES. No. XIX. | the timber easily detaches the former. These pieces
of bark are generally eight or ten feet in length, and
THE WHITE BIRCH, (Betula alba.) This well-known and elegant tree, is, in England, merely regarded as an ornamental addition to the shrubbery, but in the northern parts of Europe and of North America, it is of the most extensive use to the inhabitants.
The bark of this tree has the property of being more firm and durable than the wood it invests. Of this, the peasants of Sweden, Lapland, &c., take advantage, and shaping it like tiles, cover their houses with it. Maupertuis, in traversing Lapland, to measure a degree of latitude, had to pass through vast forests composed entirely of Birch. The soil in
LEAVES AND CATKINS OF THE WHITE BIRCH some parts being very loose, more than half the [. trees had been blown down. He examined several
The Birch is raised from seed, which is sown in of them, and was surprised to see. in such as had | the beginning of March, in beds three feet and a half lain long. the substance of the wood was entirely wide; the seeds are to be pressed down with the gone, but the bark remained a hollow trunk without
spade, but not covered with the earth; if the weather any signs of decay.
is dry and frosty, they are to be protected for a few The Betula papyracea, or Canoe Birch, is the
weeks by a covering of peas-haulm or matting. The name of the American species, whose bark is em
next March remove the young plants, shorten their ployed for the same purposes. The bark of this tree,
top roots, and plant them at two and a half feet disin the younger specimens, is of a beautiful white; 1
tance, and let them remain in this state for two or this bark is employed by the country people of Canada,
three years before they are again moved. to close the openings in the roofs of their houses. Baskets and boxes are made of it, and even port
BUT' is to me a more detestable combination of letters folios, which are ornamented with different coloured than 'No' itself. No is a surly, honest fellow, speaks his silks and embroidery; and, split into very thin leaves, mind rough and round at once. But is a sneaking, evasive, it has been used for writing on. It is placed between half-bred, exceptious sort of a conjunction, which comes to the soles of shoes, and formed into a lining for a hat, pull away the crop just when it is at your lips :to keep out the wet; but the most important use to
. . . . . . . . It does allay which it is applied, is in the construction of pirogues
The good precedent;-fie upon but yet!
But yet is as a jailor to bring forth and canoes. To obtain the pieces of bark of which
Some monstrous malefactor. these are composed, they select the largest trees, and
Sir WALTER Scott those which have the smoothest rind. In the Spring they make two circular incisions on the bark, at some
LONDON: feet distance from each other, and one longitudinal | PUBLISHED IN WEEK1,8 NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PENNY, AND IN MONTHLY PARTS incision on each side of the tree, when the introduc
JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND, tion of a thin piece of wood between the bark and |
Sold by all Booksellers and Newsvenders in the Kingdom.
PRICE SIXPENCE, BY
IT IS NOT
The Eagles' Nest.
of the counties Limerick, Cork, Tipperary, and Waterford,
conferring a dignity upon the landscape which level or unThe hoary Peak with Heaven's bright azure crowned,
broken ground cannot possess. The general outline of And brow, with wreaths of ivy compassed round,
these mountains is happily varied; though heavy and Leans o'er the deep; the base, and shaggy side,
inelegant shapes are by no means uncommon, yet they are In sylvan beauty clad and forest pride.
seldom found alone, and rather improve than injure the Its form, unhurt by tempests, or by years,
effect of the sharp and irregular forms with which they Still ip fresh robes of majesty appears :
are combined. Here his dread seat the royal Bird hath made,
Dame Nature drew these mountaynes in such sort, To awe the inferior subjects of the shade,
As though the one should yield the other grace. Secure he built it for a length of days,
Many of their glens and passes possess a sublime sterility Impervious but to Phoebus' piercing rays;
that inspires feelings of awe and reverence. Masses of His young he trains to eye the solar light, And soar beyond the famed Icarian flight.
rock are heaped together in unprofitable barrenness,
clothed only with the humble lichen, and unyielding to EVERY one has heard of the Lakes of Killarney;
vegetation, receive from year to year in vain, the alternate
changes of rain and sunshine. A stream broken into their reputation has been spread as wide as that of
several little falls often foams along the centre of these our most celebrated English or Scottish lakes. Ire
rugged defles, or tumbles precipitately over a steep crag land is very remarkable for the number and extent with ceaseless plash. In some places, vast stones rounded of its lakes; in this respect neither England nor by the action of the atmosphere, hang in fantastic elevation, Scotland can be compared with it. But without the as if ready to be rolled down with overwhelming crash Lakes of Killarney, Ireland would be far from com
upon the spectator beneath, and have been poetically
described in Irish song, as the marbles that Time and peting with either England or Scotland, in that grand
Nature played with, when they were young, and the world and picturesque scenery, of which the lakes of each
in its infancy. Surrounded by some of the grandest of afford such striking examples.
| these mountains, lies Killarney, — In some remarks upon the scenery of the South of
Where woody glens in sweetness smile Ireland, in his interesting Researches, Mr. Crofton
As echo answers from their breast,
And lakes with many a fairy isle, Croker says,
That on a mirror seem to rests. The western districts of the county Cork, and the entire of Kerry, are wild and mountainous; and the Galtees, an | The Lakes of Killarney are situated nearly in the extensive range of many miles, stretch along the borders l centre of the maritime county of Kerry, on the con
fines of a chain of lofty mountains. The space in- can find way. Its course is deyious; sometimes it cluded between this chain and the ocean on the west, runs for a considerable distance close to the mouncontaining upwards of thirty square miles, is entirely tains, under immense masses of roeks , sometiines occupied by other mountains of still greater magni meandering through the centre of the defile, or tude, amongst which are those called Macgillicuddy's dividing into branches, which again unite, after en. Reeks, the most elevated in Ireland. In general, the circling numerous little islands. The scenery throughdisposition of these mountains is very irregular ; but out the whole passage is of the most picturesque as they approach the sea, they form short ridges, ter- description, and highly varied, although there is but minating on the coast in bold and rugged headlands. little change in the distant objects; for towards the
This mountainous region abounds with lakes. They upper part, the prospect downwards is invariably are mostly found in the depths of the valleys, but bounded by the Turk Mountain, and in the opposite some are situated in the sides of the mountains, at direction, or upwards, by the mountains which sura great elevation, in cavities, resembling the craters of round the Upper Lake. volcanos. In the vicinity of KiHarney, on the sum. The mountains rising on each side of the defile, or mit of the mountain called Mangerton, there is one valley, through which the river takes its course, are of these lakes many hundred feet above the level of not of great elevation; nor, with the exception of one the sea, the natives style it the Pit of Hell, but it is called the Eagles' Nest, are they distinguished for familiarly known by the names of the Devil's Punch- the gracefulness or boldness of their outline. But Bowl. After heavy rains, it discharges a large stream, “the great diversity and wildness of their surface are which precipitates itself down the mountain in a syc- | inexhaustible sources of gratification," which keep the cession of cataracts, distinguishable by their white eye constantly engaged during the whole passage to foam at the distance of many miles. Of all the lakes the Upper Lake, of Kerry, however, the largest and the most remark: They display immense precipices, and deep glens over. able are those of Killarney. They may be considered, hung with woods; each glen affords a channel to a mounindeed, as Mr. Weld observes, as an immense reser
tain-stream, and each stream supplies a cascade. Mapv of voir for the waters of the surrounding country, sup
these falls appear with inconceivable beauty sparkling
through the trees which shade their gloomy recesses; plied by the overflowings of other lakes, by rills from
whilst the existence of others is only known by the sound the adjoining mountains, and by rivers which fall into
of their gushing waters. them, after having been augmented during a long
Now tumbles o'er some rock their crystal pride ; course by countless tributary streams. The only
Sonorous they roll adown the glade, outlet to this extensive basin is the clear and rapid
Now plaintive tinkle in the secret shade. river Laune, which conveys the surplus water into The defile, strictly speaking, commences with the the Atlantic Ocean, through the Bay of Dingle. In Eagles' Nest, from the Lower Lakes up to that point: beauty, the Lakes of Killarney surpass the other an extensive tract of low, swampy ground spreads on lakes of Kerry, as much as in extent, for while the the left bank of the river. Throughout the defile, shores of the latter are rarely distinguished by any indeed, the land between the banks of the river and striking features from the dreary wastes which sur the approaching mountains is of the same character ; round them, the enchanting banks of the former, but there are several elevated spots, which, yielding Singled out, as it were, by nature, for the display of some
a coarse herbage, are annually mown. According to of her choicest productions, present the charming variety Mr. Weld, however, the floods with which the valley of a rich and adorned landscape, contrasted with the pic is liable to be overwhelmed, seldom allow the husturesque wildness of mountain and forest scenery,
bandman to enjoy the fruits of his labour without The Lakes of Killarney are three in number,—that many disappointments; the hay is commonly removed is to say, there are three distinct bodies of water; several different times before it can be taken home, each of them, however, communicates with the other and it often receives so much damage as to be ren. two. We have said that these lakes are upon the dered totally unfit for use. confines of a range of mountains. One of them is, I once counted (adds that gentleman,) upwards of fifty indeed, on the mountains-completely embosomed large stacks of hay, which had been made on the banks of within lofty heights; the others lie at the foot of the the river, very nearly covered with water. The valley is mountains. These two lower lakes are bounded on
much better adapted to pasturage; and numerous herds of one side only by mountains; in the opposite direc
cattle are fed in it, whose varied groups contribute to the
rural charms of the scene, some cooling themselves in the tion they are open to a cultivated country, whose
little pools which spread between the rushes; others resurface is diversified by innumerable hills. They are
posing on the grassy banks; while many of a more innearly upon the same level, and lie contiguous to each tractable and rambling disposition may be descried on the other, being separated merely by a narrow peninsula very summit of the mountains : and some small islands, between which there are
Who rove o'er bog and heath, and graze or browse, channels passable for boats. The Upper Lake lies
Alternate, to collect with due dispatch,
O'er the bleak wild the thinly-scaitered meal. on the mountains above, at the distance of three
The lowing of these animals occasionally produces the most miles from the Lower Lakes ; a navigable stream, I astonishing effect, owing to the numerous echoes for which þowever, descends from it, and communicates with the place is distinguished above every other part of Kil-. each of them, by dividing into two branches. This larney, lake on the mountains is called, from its situation, The rock, or lofty cliff, of the “Eagles' Nest," is the " Upper Lake ;' of the others below, the larger so designated, from an eyry situated on one of its one is called the “ Lower Lake," and the smaller, projecting cliffs, which has been annually frequented “ Turk Lake," from an adjacent mountain bearing by the eagle during time immemorial. Well, to use the name of “Turk."
| the language of Mr. Weld, may it be styledThe river which runs from the Upper Lake to the
. . . . . His fort, the towering seat, . Lower Lakes, generally preserves a placid course, For ages, of his empire, which in peace except in a few places, where the channel is contracted
Unstained he holds, while many a league to sea between rocks, or obstructed by bars and shoals. He wings his course, and preys in distant isles. When not swollen by floods, its breadth seldom ex The exact position of the eagles' residence may be ceeds fifteen yards, and at some of the passes it is distinguished by a black mark near the vertex of the so reduced by the opposing rocks, that only one boat rock, or “a horizontal fissure, which resembles a