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extraordinary story spread through the dale, the “old wives” were enabled to recall some almost forgotten incidents precisely identical with those related by the boggle. The seducer was known to be a clergyman. The occurrence is believed to have made a lasting impression on the old man, who still lives, and was until very lately a shepherd on the fells. There can be no moral doubt that he both saw, and spoke with, the boggle; but what share his imagination had therein, or how it had been excited, are mysteries, and so they are likely to remain.

The swath, or swarf, called in Northumberland, the wraith, or wauf, and in some places the fetch, still gains currency in the north. “ There is a person now living in the county,” says Mr. Simpson, “ who fully believes the swarf, or likeness of his nephew appeared to him the night he was lost at sea. He was aroused from sleep by a noise, as of some one clinging to the window of the bedroom. He looked round and distinctly saw the face and form of his nephew, then on his journey to India. After gazing into the room a short while, the apparition seemed to fall to the ground with a dull, heavy sound. The uncle rose from bed, and looked out of the window, but nothing could be seen. It is thought that if the swarf is seen late in the day, and on the road towards church, the person to whom it is like will soon die; if it is seen in the early part of the morning, and going in any other direction, it betokens health and long life.”

Though it would be unsafe to declare the entire extinction of boggles, it is certain they have very sensibly declined. The boggles of the present day are scarcely more than the ghosts of boggles, and the persons now most tenacious of such stories, are old country tailors.

Not one of these who cannot tell tales of boggles innumerable. On winter nights after dark, the interest of these stories becomes painfully intense, as the tailor has probably to pass, in his way home, some spot—a pond or quarry-where he himself or somebody else has seen once, when all alone, late at night, neither moon nor stars visible, no human creature within hearing on whom to call for aid, --something white, that never stirred.

Perhaps the abortive attempt made to get up the Orton boggle a few years ago in Westmorland, is as striking a proof as need be

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given of the decline of this belief. One characteristic incident occurred amongst the stories that then became current in the coun. try. It was said that a

“Methodee man” (Methodist preacher) was brought to exorcise the boggle, thus assuming for “Methodee men” the power supposed at one time to belong exclusively to Catholic priests. But the exorcist on receiving a blow with his own hat on the back of his head, very properly declined any

further interference. On the whole, as far as local history is concerned, there is every appearance that the last page of the chapter of boggles is turned for ever.

CHAPTER IX.

ANNIVERSARIES.

Four periodical festivals anciently existed amongst the Celts, in celebration of the seasons, and irrespective of the rejoicings at the New Year and Midsummer. Of these the first two only, now known as Candlemas, and May-day, have left any traces in Cumbria; the others, Lammas, and All Hallows, have long since become extinct.

Candlemas was once celebrated with fireworship, as mentioned before, judging from the names of Blaze Fell in Cumberland and Westmorland. Candlemas cake, a relic of this festival, is still remembered.

Carnival customs outlive the subsequent fasts for which they form the preparation, the substantial support of dinner being wanting in the latter case. The Monday preceding Lent is celebrated with the dinner adjunct of bacon “collops" and eggs, Tuesday with pancakes, Ash Wednesday with a hash. An imagination that may be termed butcherly, fills up the void to the end of the week, thus : Collop Monday, Pancake Tuesday, Hash Wednesday, Bloody Thursday, Hang up on Friday, and cut down on Saturday. The singular phenemenon of Hash Wednesday, a custom very generally observed, is perhaps not to be parallelled.

Carling Sunday, the second Sunday before Easter, has a peculiar celebration in these counties. In some districts, according to custom, grey peas are steeped in water, fried in fat, and presented to all visitors, the peas being called carlings; whilst in Cumbria, wherever it is yet observed, the raw carlings are carried in the pocket, and thrown at friends and acquaintances. The curious Carnival custom of Italy-the pelting with sugar plums and confetti—seems to be identical with our carlings, but changed as to time and manner. There is no appearance of a Christian origin.

Good Friday is kept by the smiths as a sort of holiday. No smith will heat an iron on that day under any pretence, on account, it is said, of the nails used in the crucifixion of Christ. The master limits himself to an examination of his old irons, the assistants to whitewashing the shop, and renovating the bellows. It was an old custom on this day to have an ale posset with the addition of figs, hence called figsue, which furnishes another connecting link with the Italian Carnival.

Easter is announced a fortnight before it arrives by the “paceegging” of the children, which they carry on at the farmhouses of the surrounding country. The “pace-egger" hardly ever meets a refusal, many persons having prepared eggs, boiled and coloured, which they give away during the last week to all comers. When the pace-eggers go in bands, as is generally the case, they sing at the door or in the kitchen, and formerly each of the party was dressed, or supposed to be dressed, in character. The song com

mences

hus :

Here's two or three jolly boys all in one mind,
We've comt a pace-egging, I hope you'll prove kind,
I hope you'll prove kind with your eggs and strong beer,

And we'll come no more nigh you until the next year. We are then informed that “the first that comes in is Lord Nelson you'll see;" and the remainder of the company may be enumerated as Jolly Jack Tar, Old Tosspot, and a female character styled Old Miser“ with her bags."* The “ladies and gentlemen that sits by

* The singing in character of the pace-eggers comes down from the Miracles and Mysteries of the Middle Ages. In the latter Belzebub was the principle comic actor, assisted by a troop of under-devils. These characters are traceable in the Lancashire custom of singing at Christmas. The chief actor, who has his face blackened, carries a broom, and sings “ Here come I little David Doubt," was the little Devil Doubt of older times, in conjunction with whom used to appear Oliver Cromwell, a very natural addition after the Restoration, The transition from this point to the popular character of Lord Nelson, is obvious enough.

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the fire," are then requested to put their hands in their pockets and remember pace-egging time. The eggs thus obtained are supposed to be "trundled,” or rolled against each until one or both break, on Easter Monday.

Much of the Easter rejoicing seems to have come from the May festival. The sports of Easter Monday answer well enough to the season, but the providing of new clothes for the children belongs more naturally to May. The change proves to be a crying misfortune, as the gauze of Summer clothing now replaces the warm covering of Winter frequently in the face of sleet, snow, and north winds. The “pace-egg,” probably the magnet of the whole transfer, appears to have come from the East in Christian times.*

The first of April is still in a flourishing condition, and the fools made thereon are in these counties called gowks (D. giöy, the cuckoo). We have likewise the notion that the three first days of the month are sometimes borrowed by March for sinister purposes.

May-eve was formerly celebrated in this district with the Beltain, at which green branches were borne, a Scandinavian rite, apparently, superadded to the Celtic fire worship. The latter custom identifies itself with the Jack in the Green of the London

sweeps, the intention having been to celebrate at this season, when Nature is awaking from the chaotic sleep of Winter, the myth of the creation.t The singular sign called the Green Man, who is now

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The Tcherkesses (Circassians), who have adopted many customs from their neighbours north and south, celebrate an Easter-feast at which the young people shoot at an egg. Cf. the story of Tell shooting at the apple.

+ The rulers of the earth, says the mythology of Scandinavia, found two pieces of wood on the shore, and out of them formed the first man and woman. They named them Askr and Embla, Ash and Alder.

We have a similar instance of the long preservation of old traditions and myths in the nursery rhyme commencing

London Bridge is broken down,
Dance o'er my lady lee.

See Nursery Rhymes, by J. O. Halliwell. Here is its origin : At the death of Svend Tveskiæg, Ethelred returned to England, to endeavour to regain possession of his kingdom. He was joined by Olaf of Norway. The allied forces made an attack on London from the Thames, but the Danes defended themselves wit success from both sides of the river and

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