[From A Manx Scrapbook]
Pages 12-14.-Though in medieval and modern folk-lore well-water benefits the eyes, a contrary effect is noticeable in Northern mythologies. Odin sacrificed an eye at llimir's Well in payment for a drink of its water; Finn MacCumhail lost one of his eyes at a well ; the fount of Sidh Nechtain, the source of the Boyne (now " Trinity Well "), had power to destroy the sight of whosoever looked into it. Both the curative and the destructive effects are related survivals from some primary association of springs and the sight.
Page 18, foot.-A trace of the custom of Well-dressing may perhaps be found in the account of Chibber y Chiam on page 85.
Pages 21, 22.-There is a Gold Well at Peterchurch in Herefordshire.
Page 43.-The explanation of " Inch "-Gaelic fiomns, a spring-was accidentally omitted.
Page 45.-The threefold spring issuing from the threerooted tree Yggdrasil may be adduced from Norse myth as an indication that the later reverence for such sources is not necessarily due to the Christian conception of the Trinity.
Page 76, Chibbert y Ihirra.-Faith in wells is not yet dead in England either. In February, 1929, I saw a white rag at the end of a bough overhanging the water-supply of a Somerset village.
Page 8.-According to latest advices, the offerings which now adorn Chibbei, y lhozwley, the Holy tiVelÏ of the Virgin Mary, near St. Olave's Parsonage, consist of old tin-cans, broken jam-pots, and other refuse overflowing from the Town Commissioners' adjacent dump.
Page 99.-The suggested derivation of Reckley or Raclay must be taken as strictly conjectural.
Page 126, line 5.-Not all the bridges in use in 1739 were wooden structures, for Waldron specifies three which were of stone, besides those which we know to have been so, viz., the Crossag, Laxey, and Douglas Bridges.
Page 173.-To the names of animals used alone as placenames, as well as for comparison with " Calf " for a subordinate piece of land, should be added " the Heifers " (O.S. map) on the coast of Rushen. This is no doubt a translation of the Manx gozonagh, which appears as " the Gownies " in the name of two rocks South of the mouth of Dhoon Glen. " The Tongue " in Douglas Harbour is probably the Norse tatnga, a spit of sand.
Page 191.-The substitution by the Water-horse of a changeling for an unchristened or unbaptized human babe appeared to me to be distinct from the belief, common to Celtic-speaking countries, in his fondness for abducting (willzoul compensation) women and adolescent girls. But the former practice, though prevalent chiefly in Teutonic regions, has some affinity to the now nearly forgotten fairy custom of bathing their stolen children in certain springs (page 16), as well as-more usually-of washing them, or their own offspring, in farm-kitchens after the household has retired to bed. And an article in vol. xviii. of Folk-Lore by Dr. M'Iienzie, entitled " Children and Wells," brings together many interesting examples of a mid-European-mostly German-association of wells with new-born and unborn infants. On the one hand, childish curiosity on the subject is allayed by reviving the details of a myth or allegory to the effect that the babies come out of wells ; on the other hand, the German Wasserman or ,Vasserweib (Waterman or N-b'oman-Aubrey's Nickard) steals babies and leaves
changelings, as do the Nixies of Bavaria and Brandenburg. Dr. M'fienzie relates the whole body of lore to the wish to liberate infants from a taboo which accompanies them into this world. (Prior to the dissipation of this other-world atmosphere, analogous perhaps to Wordsworth's " clouds of glory," they are, as is well-known to the instructed, liable to recall by their ghostly progenitors.) The author further quotes from a German writer an Irish belief that the souls of infants who have died before baptism go into a great field shrouded in mist, in the middle of which is a well ; here they play a game of sprinkling each other from little jugs.
Page 297, line 2 from foot.-Respecting the " fairy-holes " (not in reality very large) underneath the Lhergy Veg house, it should have been mentioned that offerings of food were placed in these by the tenants, in addition to offerings left outside the dwelling. The emergence of the wearers of a strange head-dress from below the hearth-stone is to be connected with these cavities rather than with the " tunnels" outside, as surmised in the second paragraph of page 300.
Pages 350, 407, 409 and 412.-The young Cailleach's antediluvian herds of deer, the giant elks of Garvogue (" the Young Rough 'un " another name for the Cailleach), the Mexican and Chinese horned rain-dragons, and the three-headed, stag-horned Cernunnos, seem to be epitomized in the Highland tradition of certain fomhor, giants or monsters, who were the offspring of the Cailleach Bera, bringer of rains and floods. These fomhor were manyheaded and had horns resembling those of deer.
Page 410 ; page 412, line 15.-The tangle of ideas is further complicated by many English superstitions. Examples from two widely-separated districts will suffice. An old Cornish remedy for the throat-ailment called " thrush " partly consisted in putting the head of a frog or toad into the sufferer's mouth. In Lincolnshire the complaint is called also " the frog," and is similarly treated.
Per contra, a live frog is believed to rise into the throat of a patient who is afflicted by a choking sensation. In that county ' ` the thrush " in an adult is taken as a death-omen.-(County Folk-love, Lincs., pages 106, zoo). In farriery a diseased state of the frog of a horse's hoof is known as ''thrush."
Page 498, line 4.-The account of the enchanted island is given as heard. The figure of to fathoms obviously connotes a deep area and not a shoal or bank. Without prejudice it may be remarked that a tract of that depth shown on charts in the position described closely resembles in its outline that of the 10-fathom line surrounding the Isle of Man. This can be seen most easily, by reason of the colouring, in Plate I of Bartholomew's Sumey Atlas of England and Wales, 1903.