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see their miraculous spring and flow, even
now, in the midst of this unbelieving and
heretical nineteenth century. In Scotland
and Ireland, every well and river was
supposed to be under the protection of this or
that saint; and south-running water was
held of singular efficacy in cases of disease.
Of distinct proof and evidence of witchcraft
too; and significant of evil dealings with evil
powers: for, to have " washit the neuk of
her plaid" three times in south-running
water was quite enough to convict a poor
wretch of sorcery, in the days of that merciless
old pedant, James the Sixth. And not a
spell for healing or for laming could be
properly conducted without a " stoup of south-
running water" for the incantation. Both
countries put their waters under the protec-
tion of saints and fairies; who generally gave
them powers of blessing rather than for bale,
and, for the most part, endowed them with
beauties and precious gifts, rather than
treacherous powers and the sins of sorcery.
Indeed, some of the most graceful legends of
past times are connected with these fairy-
time haunted and saint-blessed waters,—
especially in Ireland: and we can recal
none at this moment of a harsh and cruel
character. But most of the mythology of
Ireland is of the same kind; very little of it
being dark or stern, while some of her most
mournful legends are connected with love,
rather than with hate; where they are
national, pointing backward to a faded past
of political grandeur, rather than to tales of
clannish wrong or clannish vengeance.

The ancients were as far out in their
hydrology, as they were in their poetical
properties of water. Yet, if they typified
the marshes of Lernæa, in the deadly
Lernæan hydra, and made of their foul and
stagnant Styx, the actual river of death; if
Avernus and Acheron and Cocytus were all
emblematic of pestilential lakes and rivers;
we cannot say that the ancients were without
the true knowledge of effects, how ignorant
so ever they might have been as to causes.
But when they talk at length, and we are
expected to receive their words, absolutely
and without reserve, we find so much physical
superstition mixed up with shrewd
observation, as to render the sifting difficult and
somewhat dangerous. We will give a few of
the assertions of Hippocrates, which it will
be easily seen are not very trustworthy in
their integrity.

"All waters looking south," says he, "are
saline, shallow,—cold in winter and hot in
summer, and though abundant are hurtful.
Northern waters, and those of cities which
lie exposed to cold winds, render women
childless, and prolong their sufferings. Those
to the west are foul and muddy; but those
to the east are perfect in all hydraulic
perfectionlimpid, sweet, soft, and of pleasant
odour. Those of reservoirs, marshes, and;
ponds, are unwholesome," continues our
ancient physicist; " also rock-springs and
mineral springs, and those from the
neighbourhood of thermal springs, those where
iron, copper, silver, gold, alum, sulphur, bitumen,
and natron are worked. Wholesome
waters come from hills and elevated places (in
which he is quite right), specially when they
look east (in which he is all abroad and fanciful).
Snow-water, unboiled rain-water, rivers
which receive tributaries, and rivers coming
from afar offfrom another country and
rising in another soilall these are unwholesome,
and to be avoided." Modern science
mends the old man's statistics a little, while
confirming a few of his ideas disproves the
rest. Modern science shows the unhealthy
waters to be:—

I. Those which hold animal or vegetable
matter in suspension.

II. Those containing an overplus of gaseous,
earthy, saline, or metallic principles.

III. Those deprived, or with an insufficient
quantity of air.

Some chemists say, that it is the confined
waters of Switzerland, and their mixture
with melted snow-water, which is almost
absolutely destitute of iodine, that helps
to make so many cretins. Of course they
do not assert that the water is the sole
cause. The want of a free circulation of air
in the deep valleys, and the want of a free
and generous diet, together with the close
intermarriages common even in Roman
Catholic mountainous districtsall these
causes count for much in this malady; but
Foissac makes the confined streams and
melted snow-water stand sponsors for more.
This is given only as the opinion of some
among the chemists, of some perhaps of the
most rash. Others, who need more sure
data before fixing a cause, hesitate and
doubt, and if they do not deny, at least, do
not affirm that statement. But, at all events,
it requires very little chemical courage to
say that melted snow-water is bad, owing to
its absence of iodine; iodine being, the grand
specific against scrofula, glandular swelling,
and the like. However, as rain-water holds
a larger proportion ot iodine than any
other, and as the streams of Switzerland are
partly fed by the rain which falls abundantly
there, we may place this as a set-off against
the other side. Davy indeed thought that
the waters of Switzerland were more highly
iodised than the rest, but would not say so;
and on these differences of opinion we may
not dare to pronounce.

The melted ice of sea-water has no saltness,
and is sweet and pleasant; but unwholesome,
causing glandular swellings in the throat,
arriving in fact to the condition of snow-
water which has been congealed and locked
up without atmospheric air. Lord Mulgrave
drank this melted sea-ice in his northern
expedition, and felt no ill-effects from it; but
Captain Cook's men, who did the same, during
a scarcity of fresh water, were seized with colic

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