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their way, the weight became so heavy that
she threw the half of it away; the rest, when
they got home, were turned out as a heap of
ducats. So the lad and the lass built a
farmhouse, and were married, and if they don't
live happily, you and I never will.

Now, by way of change, let us pile up a
little heap of superstitious practices and
opinions, of which the record is come to us
from the good old times. If any young
gentleman wishes to know what sort of a wife he
shall haveon the night of May the first, he
must ride on a broomstick to the stable, and
knock thrice; then go to the pigstye, and
hear what pig gruntswhether an old or a
young one. His wife will be old or young

"The devil has thrashed peas upon him,"
is said of one whose face is pock-marked.—If
new-baked bread has a crack, one of the
family will die soon. How great must have
been the discomfort caused by a superstition
like this last, among villagers who drew a
weekly batch from their own ovens!

The next is an invention absolutely wicked
(a Netherlandish superstition). If a child
falls into the fire, you must not take it out
till you have seen how the loaf lies, and
turned it, if it should lie topsy-turvy.—A
German superstition for St. Andrew's-eve
must make a prettier sport than our own dull
pack of fortune-telling cards, or our Doll-
Sibyls. To learn which of the persons present
love one another, or will one day be united
a vessel, with pure water, is placed on the
table, and there are placed, to float upon the
water, little cups of silver-foil, inscribed with
the names of those whose fortune is to be
determined. If a youth's cup advances to a
maiden's, or a maiden's to a youth'sit is
worth while to note which makes the chief
advancesand if they eventually cling
together, they will be sweethearts. But, little
cups must also be set floating, marked as
priests; and it is only when the youth and
maid, coming together, get a priest between
them, that they can look forward, with any
certainty, to marriage.

To " the Mariners of England" we commend
a bit or two of information. When there is a
calmtradition says at Hamburghscratch
with an old nail on the foremast, then wind
will rise. Again, when the wind has long
been contrary, and you meet with another
ship, throw an old broom before it; the wind
will then change; you will get a fair, the other
ship a contrary wind.

There is a severe legend against tailors, who
must have suffered long under the reproach
of cabbaging. Bearing hard upon the
proverbial dishonesty (tailors have not been
equitably dealt with in the sayings of our
ancestors), they said, in some parts of North
Germany, " If it rains while the sun shines,
a tailor has gone to Heaven! " Popular
superstitions bring us into very close contact
with many of the choice secrets which were
accepted even by the learned in the good old
times. Two or three hundred years ago a
large number of the legends and sayings,
which now live as curiosities among the
people to be laughed at, were solemnly
believed, and gravely put in books, by men
who were comparatively clever. Then it might
gravely be written: " To obtain what you
wish from another, lay a swallow's tongue
under your own, and then kiss the person
whom you wish to influence." Can we imagine,
now, that a party of agricultural labourers,
feeding their families on six shillings a-week,
would ever put on clean smocks, slip swallows'
tongues into their mouth, and go up in a body
sworn to kiss the farmer into letting them
have better wages!

Here is a superstition, which, in the present
state of flour-mills, we do not hesitate to back
as true. If a girl finds a whole corn in her
bread and butter, she can see her future
husband. She must stick the corn in a crack
of the door, and then keep watch. The third
person that passes is the future one. In love
matters it is always some unfortunate third
party who is made to suffer trouble.


THE words British Cotton will perhaps
sound as significantly as Gooseberry
Champagne, conveying to the mind the embodiment
of one of the " shams" of the present
age. Some may " pooh, pooh! " the flax-
cottonising process as very much akin to a
discovery for converting silver into lead,
linen goods being dearer than those made
from cotton; whilst not a few express their
astonishment at the recent " Flax Movement,"
and wonder why we should be so desirous of
finding any substitute for what has hitherto
answered, and still continues to answer our
purpose remarkably well.

The annual importation of raw cotton into
Great Britain has risen enormously since the
commencement of the present century. In
1800, it amounted to fifty-six millions of pounds;
in 1815, to one hundred millions; in 1835, to
four hundred millions; and at the present
time it is upwards of seven hundred millions
of pounds, equal to one thousand tons a-day.
Nearly the whole of this arrives at the port
of Liverpool. Seventeen-twentieths of this
aggregate is imported from the United States
of America, the remainder from the Brazils,
the East Indies, and Egypt. About one-
seventh leaves the country for other places in
the raw state; so that fully six hundred
millions of pounds are wrought into goods in our
factories, the greater portion of which are in
Lancashire, affording employment to a million-
and-a-half of inhabitants. The quantity
manufactured is thus disposed of:—one-tenth is
wasted in the process, in dirt and refuse; one-
fourth is worked up for home consumption;
and the balance is shipped to other countries as