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may appear to “ Norsemen” an undue prominence given to Celtic. And to Mr. Ferguson's work, any person desirous of seeing Norse well advocated-Norse against “all England”—is referred.
It has been the author's endeavour, in the revisal of his papers, without diminishing the information they contained, to give all the additional matter that could be collected. He has never scrupled, under the pressure of evidence, to alter an opinion formerly expressed, though only once has he thought it necessary to make any remark thereon. But it must be added, the alterations are extremely few and unimportant, and in every case involving a theory his convictions have been strengthened many fold.
The author takes advantage of the present occasion to appeal to persons possessed of local information, to place it on record, ere it be lost. He would urge upon them not to be hindered by the vulgar notion that traits of manners and fragments of superstition are subjects of no value, an opinion that could only proceed from a sadly distorted view of history. Let us save what we can, if only
In addition to what is acknowledged in the work, thanks are due for some private assistance. The author regrets not having remembered the information on the graves of Westmorland, contained in Mr. Simpson's lecture (so often quoted), which he would gladly have used in the proper place, had not circumstances driven it from his mind. Of books not specially cited, some valuable assistance has been derived from Pott's Etymologische Forschungen, and Diefenbach's Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der gothischen Sprache. With these exceptions he has given up his authority, so far as it could be useful to a critic or a reader to verify what is stated, or to pursue the subject farther.
For all the imperfections and shortcomings of the little work, the author can only express his regret. He has no wish to say anything to disarm criticism. On the contrary, having no favourite theory, and having attempted to do equal justice to all the elements of his subject, he cannot regard as hostile any remarks corrective of the views he has advanced, proceeding from any one more learned in the whole subject, or better stored with local information on any individual point. And now, having said enough, or more than enough, he is compelled to lay down his book, as the Hebrew woman placed her child among the flags by the river side, and stood afar off to watch what might happen to it.
SUPERSTITIONS AND CUSTOMS.
Chap. 1. Introductory.
6. Holy Wells.
“DURCH sie (Ortnamen), die ältesten und dauerndsten Denkmäler, erzählt eine längst vergangene Nation gleichsam selbst ihre eigenen Schicksale, und es fragt sich nur, ob ihre Stimme uns noch verständlich bleibt."
W. VON HUMBOLDT.
Through these (names of places), the oldest and most enduring monuments, a nation long passed away relates as it were its own destiny, and the only question is, whether we yet understand its voice.