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THE pedigree of Superstition is easily traced.
She is the offspring of Ignorance and Fear,
and has fully developed with her growth
the qualities of both her parents. She has
unfortunately been very long-lived, and it is
almost a question, whether she will ever die,
Tradition, her daughter (whose sire was
Custom), sustaining her existence with a
devotion more than commonly filial.
Superstition is a hag that always rides in darkness,
but we occasionally, even now, get glimpses
of her flight, and the time is not so very far
gone by since she was a constant guest not
only in pauperum tabernas (the habitation
of the poor), but regumque turres (in the
palaces of kings also). Napoleon's Red Man,
the Black Huntsman of Fontainebleau, the
Spectre of the Tuileries, and other examples
nearer home, demonstrate the great
unwillingness of Superstition to shift her ground
when once she gets into high places; while
there is scarcely any one we meet, of our
own or of a lower degree, who has not some
tradition to tell, in which an implicit belief
in an inexplicable superstition is the unalterable
feature. I have myself a story of this
kind to repeat, at no very distant day; but
in the meantime I confine the present subject
to certain details of belief and observance.

Let me begin with a singular account of a
very curious people, the Aparctians, of whom
I meet with a description in the Dictionnaire
Infernal, of M. J. Collin de Plancy, a somewhat
rare and rather remarkable volume.
The Aparctians, as their name implies,
inhabit the frozen north. They are transparent
as crystal, and their feet are as sharp
and narrow as skates, a peculiarity which
enables them to get over the groundor
rather the iceat a most tremendous pace.
Their beards are long, but they wear them
at the end of the nose instead of the chin,
which makes it probable that they may be
icicles. They have no tongue, but in its
place they clatter musically with their teeth,
which are not separated from each other, but
form two solid pieces. They never go out of
doors in the daytime (perhaps the icy caverns,
in which they dwell, have no doors), and the
perpetuation of their race is insured by
drops of perspiration, which congeal and
become Aparctians (a simple and natural
process, when once the necessary perspiration
is obtained). That all things in the habits of
this people may be conformable, they worship
a white bear. M. de Plancy's authority
states, that they are not often met with,—
which is probable.

From the Pole to the Equator is a long
stride, but the local colour produces similar
effects. What the Aparctians are to northern
wanderers, the race called Tibalang are to
the native inhabitants of Borneo and Sumatra,
with only the difference between a past
and a present existence. The Tibalangs are
phantoms, which the aborigines believe they
see hovering over the tops of certain very old
trees, in which they are persuaded that the
souls of their ancestors have taken up their
abodes. .They describe them as of gigantic
stature, with long hair, small feet, painted
bodies, and outstretched wings of enormous
size,—not very unlike the Vampire bat,
magnified by superstitious dread.

But, there is no need to visit hyperborean
regions, or to voyage between the tropics in
search of the præternatural, when a steamer
from Southampton can take us in twelve
hours to the coast of Brittany; where, if
we carefully look up the traditions of the
inhabitants, we may find the means of filling a
tolerably large wallet with the materials
which travellers are commonly said to
dispense so freely. Abundant in all parts of
the ancient Duchy, there is no district in
which traditions are more deeply rooted than
in the department of Finist√®re,—so deeply,
that it may be many years yet before they
are dispersed by the railway whistle. In the
cantons surrounding Morlaix, the popular
belief is strong in a race of demons called
Teus. They are of two kinds: one of them
is called the Teus-ar-pouliet. and the other the
Buguel Nos; both are of a beneficent nature.
The Teus-ar-pouliet usually presents himself
under the form of a dog, a cow, or some other
domestic animal, beingI supposeunwilling
to affright or astonish the natives by
assuming a less familiar shape, though I must
confess it would astonish me very much to
see a cow attempt to iron my shirts, or sweep
up the kitchen. Like Milton's lubber-fiend,
however, or the Scottish brownie, this