GIVE the following notices as I receive them :-- "I caant altogether exackly bleve in wiches at al," said a good dame to us ; "but this I can tell ee, our John's wife quarrelled once wit her next door neighbor's wife, and when John come home, like husband always should, he took up for his wife, 'northin hi nat'r'l chiel was a.' Well, the woman took a nif and for a Ion time never spoke to our John; at laast, after a bit, she used I speak to un, and like as if a was all over, and she used to speak quite sochebl' like. Well, John alleas was very well when he use to meet her, but as soon as ever he got underground, he ws tooken ill to wonce; when a dedn't meet her, a was well enu Well, John was advised to go to the 'Peller,' and off he went Helstun sure nuf, and the 'Peller,' towld un to come so man times in three months, and do something anorther, and towld un who a was that hoverlooked un, and a was that vere womar. Well, the 'Peller' towld John that if a dedn't do it, a would ver likely die sudden. Our John, dear fellow, came home, and got unbelieving, and dedn't do as a was towld. Wat was the konsikense ? Why, in less than three months a was a dead man. Not as I believe the woman 's a witch--no, not I ; but she had evil mind, and what 's so bad as a evil mind ?"
"I used to have a woman meeting me," said a fisherman "when I went a-fishing; and she used to wish me 'a good catch' every time she seed me, and I was always sure to have no luck whenever I met her; luck used to be good enough other times. Well, I went to the 'Peller,' and done what he told me done, and the woman came and begged my pardon, and my luck was good enough after that." To what purpose he had been lucky I could not divine, for he was miserably clad, and I learned that his family were, like himself, miserable and degraded.
In a certain cordwainer's workshop, which we could name, the following important information was afforded by a lady customer. The worthy tradesman was bewailing the loss of a good-sized pig that had sickened, and being afraid it would die, he had drowned it, to make its death easier :-- "If thee 'st only towld me afore, tha peg wud a bean wel enuf in a week, I knaw. That peg wus begruged thee, thas the way a wudn' thrive. I 'll tel ee wat mi faathur dun wonse. He wont hof to pausans [a] an' bot a ' bra purty letle peg, an' as a wus cumin horn wed'en, a wumun seed un, an' axed faathur to sell un to hur fur five shelins fur his bargin. Shaan't sell un, saze faathur. Mite sa wel, saze she, an' off she went. Faathur tendud un an' tendud un, an' a wudn' grough a mossel. Wy ? A was begruged, thas wot a was. Wel, faathiir wen' off, an' he wos towid to go horn an fill a botel with waater, an' bere un in the cawl. Faathur dun so, an' a wuden long afore the wumun caame to faathur an' axed un wat had a dun by bur, for she suffered agonies; an' if heed only forgive hur, she 'd nevur do so nevur no mure. So faathur went to the cawl hus, an' brok the botel. She was at wonse relieved, an' the peg got wel enuf aftur. I can tel ee, ef thee's honle dun that, a wud ben wel enuf, if a wusn'd pisind."
"Well," said one of the company, "I believe I was ill-wished once. I had a great beautiful cage, full of pretty canaries. I hung 'them out one Sunday morning, and a woman came along and asked me to let her have one of my birds. 'Yes,' said I, 'for half-a-crown.' She said she shouldn't buy none. I told her I would not give her one, and off she went. That day week I had not a bird left; everybody said they was bethought me, and I suppose they were; but this I do know, I lost all my canaries."
Carne, in his " Legend of Pacorra," well expresses the belief in the power of ill wishes :-- "Thriven !" said the woman, with a bitter laugh; "not if my curse could avail, should they thrive I and it has availed," she continued, in a lower tone. "You know the wasting illness that 's fallen on all that cruel faggot, Dame Tredray's children, that said they ought to thraw me from tise head of Toly-pedden, and that I should neither be broken nor drowned; and the hard squire of Pendine, that would ha' had me burned in the great bonfire upon the bicking, [b] because King Harry had a son born,--has he ever left his bed since, or will he ever again, ken ye ?"
[a] The Parson's.
[b] The Beacon.