ANCIENT CURES, CHARMS, AND USAGES OF IRELAND.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO IRISH LORE.
An eel's skin tied round the knee alleviates pain, and for deafness nothing is esteemed better than
constant anointing with the oil of eels, used perfectly fresh.
FOR THE NINE DAY FEVER
Write the name of Jesus nine times on a slip of paper, then cut the paper into small bits, mix the pieces with some soft food, and make the patient swallow it. So will he be cured if he trusts in the Lord.
Tie a halter round the child's neck, then lead to a brook and bathe him, three
times in the name of the Trinity.
Take Him to a brook and bathe him, dipping him three times.
Foe a Sprain.
A young girl, under fourteen years of age, spins a thread dry, that is, without using saliva; then she ties it round the leg or the arm afflicted, and when the cure is completed the thread miraculously disappears. Chickweed is also used as a poultice. Galen notices the virtue of this herb, and extols its use to remove stiffness or swellings.
A blacksmith, whose fathers have been smiths for three generations, must carry the child in his apron three times round the anvil for seven days in succession, repeating the Paternoster each time.
But no money must be accepted for the cure.
Cut a twig of elder tree into nine parts, and string the pieces as a necklace to be tied round the patient's neck; but should the necklace fall and touch the ground, it must be burned, and a new one made.
FOR THE STAUNCHING OF BLOOD
"There came a man from Bethlehem to be baptized in the river Jordan ; but the water was so muddy that it stopped flowing. So let the blood! So let the blood! Let it stop flowing in the name of Jesus, and by the power of Christ! "
This is said in a loud voice over the patient, while a scarlet worsted is tied tightly round the wrists and round the throat, to stop the course of the blood.
FOR A BURN
A lone widow-woman from the Antrim shore, who had the gift of second-sight and the knowledge of many charms, used the following to cure a burn:
Lay your right hand very softly over the burn, then repeat these words three times over unto yourself, giving a gentle blast each time from your mouth on the place burned:
Old clod beneath the clay, Burn away, burn away.
In the name of God be thou healed. Amen.
After this the pain will cease, and a deep sleep will fall on the patient.
ANOTHER CHARM FOR BURNS
Blow upon the burn three times, repeating the words:
Two angels sat upon a stone,
One was Fire, the other Frost,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
It is believed in the South and West, that if a person is licked by the lizard called the "Man- keeper," he will never suffer from burns, and can even heal them in another by his touch; for a man one day having trod on a lizard found that he had acquired this power by the contact.
In modern times a plaster of potatoes, scraped as for starch, is constantly applied for a burn, and gives great ease. Fried cabbage-leaves are also used by the people to deaden the pain; but a plant of house-leek affixed to the thatch of the roof should not be forgotten, as this preserves the inmates of the cabin from scalds, burns, and the danger of fire as long as it remains untouched.
FOR WHOOPING COUGH
Take a mug of water from a running stream, against the current; give the child a drink, then throw the rest away with the current; repeat this for three mornings before sunrise, and the cure will be perfected.