The Ancient Library

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existence of water spirits which drag under and drown the unwary. Those who looked into a mirror pool in Samoa ran the risk of being sucked in by the treacherous water,1 and of the Alkyonian Lake Pausanias says: " I was told too that smooth and still as the water of the lake looks to the eye, it yet has the property of sucking down anyone who is rash enough to swim in it: the water catches him and sweeps him down into the depths."2 Similarly at the Cauldron of the Palikoi in Sicily, " when a man wished to take a solemn oath, he wrote upon a tablet, and flung it into the water ; if he swore truly, the tablet floated ; but if he foreswore himself, it sank."3 If the apparel of an invalid floated in the Dow Loch, convalescence should follow: if otherwise, his decease. The same method of divination was used at St. Oswald's Well near Great Ayton and Ragwells at Whitby. Theft was betrayed by the sinking of the billet inscribed with the name of the thief thrown with others into the holy water, both in Scotland and elsewhere.4 In Western Yannan old

1 Hartland, Legend of Perseus, vol. ii. p. 21.

2 Pausanias ii. 37. 6. (trans. Frazer).

3 Steph. Byz. s.v. IlaXocT); Aristot. De mir. ausc. 58; Frazer, Paus. iii. p. 389, with references. Summary punishment fell on the perjured.

4 Mrs. Gutch, County Folklore, ii. N. Riding, pp. 26, 34; Dalyell, p. 513. For the "elsewhere" of the last of these instances Dalyell is

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