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grounds, to preserve the plants from snails and yellow-blossoming fern is sought for on this caterpillars.
night, from a belief that its possession confers In the district of Eger, the youths procure good fortune, and the power of discovering from the woods a straight and tall pine or fir- hidden treasure. The blossoms, however, must tree, full of rosin, and fix it on some elevated not be touched by the fingers, but sprinkled spot, while the maidens adorn it with green upon a white cloth, otherwise they vanish like wreaths, coloured ribbons, and garlands of vapour. A like precaution must be taken when flowers. A pile of firewood is then built up a maiden collects nine differently coloured around the tree, and at night the whole is flowers for a garland, which she places under kindled. While the bonfiro is blazing, the young her pillow, in order to see her beloved in a men climb the tree, to obtain the garlands dream. To ensure success, the cloth should hung on by their favourite maidens. When be washed with dew; and she must bring the tree is consumed, the young people place home the blossoms, avoiding to meet any one themselves round the remaining fire, and look
on her way. at each other, through garlands, to discover In the villages of Leitmeritz, the maidens whether they are still mutually faithful ; and use seven variegated flowers, gathered in a they also throw the garlands to one another peafield ; and, placing the garland as a pillow, through the fire, three times, without failing under the right ear, receive their answer,
in to catch them, if possible, for their falling voice from underground.
For the same purwould be a bad omen. When the fire has pose, wreaths are twisted of nine different sorts burnt still lower, each youth, holding his of twigs, and, being placed on the head, the maiden by the hand, leaps with her, three wearer, by starlight, gazes into a stream where times, over the glowing embers. The scorched it is overhung by a tree, and there sees in the wreaths are taken home, and hung about the water the image of the future helpmate. At pictures, cupboards, and windows. The pea- Ostrovetz, near what is called the “Hellpool,” sants plant the half-burnt brands and charcoal on Midsummer-eve, may be seen a horse within their fields and gardens, and under the out a head, who for awhile accompanies the thresholds and the eaves of their dwellings, to wayfarer, and then leaps into a piece of water act as charms against evil and witchcraft. a little beyond the pool. Others, instead of a During a tempest they throw fragments of the horse, see a woman without a head, and somegarlands into the hearth-fire, and while they times a black dog or pig, a hare, or a white are burning apply themselves to prayers. They duck. On this night, also, the wood-demons give morsels of the charcoal to their cattle have extraordinary power. when sick, or about to calve, and also on The numerous bonfires may be seen blazing holidays; and with portions ignited they for miles around in the valleys, and along the fumigate the house and offices, to preserve the mountains, especially on the crest of the health of the inmates; consequently, the “hoary Schöninger," near Budweis, which, as scorched garlands are preserved for these pur- well as the fireworks displayed from an old poses from year to year.
tower upon it, are visible to a great distance. In some places, the people, during the bon- St. John the Baptist is, in Bohemia, after fire, wear wreaths of St. John's wort on their the Holy Venceslas, the saint most in repute, heads, or as girdles round the waist, for pre- having no less than 151 churches dedicated to servatives against sickness and witchcraft, but his honour, besides giving his name to many especially to prevent diseases of the eyes. The places and persons, since it is believed to be maidens about Eisenberg plait garlands of wild endued with specific power against Satan. The flowers, through which they look at the bon- day of his nativity is the only one that is obfire, while repeating some rhymes, to invoke served as such, beside those of the Virgin and its favour on their eyes till they see it again ; the Saviour, among the festivals of the Roman and when this is done three times the prayer
Church. On this day, at noon, it is believed is expected to be granted. About Jung- that all the treasures hidden in the earth are bunzlau, the people throw up their blazing laid open ; but, as they are again closed as brooms into the air, repeating a verse to ascer- soon as the hour strikes one, those who may tain how many years they have still to live ; have entered must remain shut in till the next and believe, that as many times as the besom St. John's Day. falls and continues to burn, so many years are
It is supposed by the Taborites that their they sure of life ; but should it be extinguished ancient heroes are still living, but buried by the fall, their death is certain within the within the mountain Blanick, where, in a year, Others cast garlands into the water, trance, they are waiting the moment for sallywhich, if drawn down by the water-sprite, be- ing forth to destroy their enemies. A stream token the speedy death of the owner. Al that issues from the mountain, having the
smell and colour of stable refuse, is said to The same change took placo with some dung, proceed from their horses, standing in a row, which a hind had swept out of their stable ; along a wall of rock. The knights, clad in both events taking place on St. John's Day. full armour, and with their weapons at hand, The peasants affirm that strange noises are all sleeping in various postures, either on often heard within the mountain, at such times the ground or on benches round the cavern; as the knights are furbishing their arms for some are stretched at full length ; some are battle ; but their outburst is not expected till sitting, with their heads supported by their the dry poud near Blanick is filled with blood, swords ; and others are mounted, with their and the withered trees on the banks of the heads resting on their horses' necks. A shep- rivulet put forth fresh blossoms ; and then the herd, who once entered the cavern, found them knights will come forth, with Duke Venceslas in this condition, and saw them awaken, when at their head, mounted on a white horse, aud they asked whether the hour for their exit had bearing in his hand the standard of Bohemia.
Upon which the leader, who slept in The Bohemians entertain many amiable an elevated seat, in the centre of the hall, re- fancies associated with the native fruit—the plied, “It is not yet time to destroy the strawberry. The first handful gathered, and enemies of Bohemia.” On hearing this, they those which may slip through the fingers in all resumed their sleep. The shepherd, when gathering, are reserved for the poor, for whom he at last got out, learnt that he had been they are placed on a tree-stump or other conshut up for a year.
spicuous spot. A similar adventure happened to a black- A mother who has lost her infant in the smith, who possessed a meadow close to the previous part of the year must gather no straw. Blanick mountain ; and went there one morn- berries before St. Johu's Day ; for, if she does, ing, with a labourer, to make hay. His serv- her child will not be permitted to join the ing-maid brought breakfast, and the smith, blessed children when they go with the Virgin with his portion, sat him down at the foot of Mary to gather strawberries in the groves of the mountain. He had hardly finished, when Heaven. According to another version, the a man, wrapped in a mantle, came to him, and child will indeed get some strawberries, but said,
not so many as the others; for the Virgin will “ Follow me, friend !”
say, The smith obeyed, and both entered the “ See, darling, your share is small, because mountain, where the stranger, turning round, your mother has eaten the rest.” said,
Cherries are, in like manner, forbidden to “I have brought you here to shoe our the bereaved mother. horses.”
In the valley at Tetschen, it is believed that “That is impossible," said the smith, “ for a certain cray, resembling a human bust, and I have no tools."
called “ The Stone Strawberry-Lass,” which “ Be not uneasy about that,” returned the projects from a mountain, may become animated knight, who then brought what was required on St. John's Day, provided a pure and pious and told him to begin, but warned him not to youth, who, from his seventh year of age, has jostle against any of the sleeping cavaliers. never missed or neglected the Sunday churchThe smith, however, in shoeing the last horse, service, nor, during it, looked at a maiden, did, by chance, shove against the knight who should strike it three times on the breast while sat upon it; and who, awakening instantly, High Mass is being performed. The tradition cried,
states that the cray was once a giddy maid, " Is it time?"
called Petronella, who lived with her pious “Not yet; sleep on!” replied the smith's grandmother, in a cottage lying far away in employer, who reproved him for his negligence, the valley. but, for all that, paid him for his trouble by On St. John's Day, in 1614, which fell giving him the old horseshoes.
upon a Sunday, Petronella, disobeying her When the smith came out again into his grandmother, instead of going to High Mass, meadow, he found all these horseshoes con- went to dance and sport among the strawberryverted into gold; and he found, also, two grounds; and, as she saw her granılmother labourers making hay, where he had left but returning from church, she made game of her. one ; and, on inquiry, he learnt that a year The grandmother was angry, and said she had passed since he had gone away and been would rather see Petronella a stone thau as given up for lost.
wicked as she was ; and the wish was no sooner A nail-smith once bartered with a knight of spoken than Petronella, with her strawberryBlanick a sack of nails for a heap of stable- pot, was transformed into stone, as she appears sweepings, which afterwards changed to gold.
his few letters to me ; and partly from the The following narrative I have compiled, conversations I have had with his companion, partly from portions of the journal kept by James Burlow. These conversations have enamy nephew, Philip Fraser, who was murdered bled me to connect the incidents mentioned at Melbourne in March, 1855 ; partly from in the letters and the journal, and to under
He grew up
stand their relation to each other so well ; and child was born under my roof. the private phase of these occurrences and of in the light of a son to me; and when we lost his own feelings, which my nephew portrayed his mother, I promised her that I would treat to me in his letters, throws such a light on the him as a son. When he came back from facts themselves, that I seem about to detail Rugby, in 1852, he was seventeen years of experiences, instead of to record occurrences age. I designed him for the army, and he in which I had no part. The combination of would have shone in it ; he would have done circumstances which led to the dreadful atro- his duty. I know my judgment was not wrong city by which my sister's son, in the fullest in that. He came back, however, with a flow of his hope, was foully murdered, is so craving after adventure which puzzled me remarkable, that contemplating them now, at somewhat at first. It disturbed my plans for a distance of time, the impression I receive is him. I did not want to check it, for it was not almost as vivid as when they were first known ignoble. Unfortunately, there was no service
Time alters to us the aspect of nearly to be seen just then ; and had I sent him, as all joys or sorrows ; or rather, time allows us I had at first intended, into the army at once, to alter our relations to the facts from which he might have misinterpreted the duties of a our pleasures or troubles may spring. But, soldier in peace, and failed to appreciate the whatever may have altered around me, my charm there is in discharging faithfully and own particular feeling in estimating the matter completely the most unnoticed duties of a does not seem to have changed. I still feel, soldier's life. He might have viewed them in whenever I turn to it, much as I imagine an a false light. He was one of those youngsters animal may feel when its instincts are raised who at school are dubbed “lucky.” In every to their fiercest expression on feeling itself game of chance, and, indeed, almost everyrobbed of its young. I feel all the baffled thing he engaged in, luck seemed to stick to hopes writhe, and turn where they have been his fingers. Whether the incense which simple so ruthlessly cut short to a thirst for venge- success is always greeted with may have
This is a feeling which, had I been a tended to foster the idea, or whether the wonyoung man, might have carried me to the derful and highly-coloured accounts which antipodes to seek out his murderer and re- were daily published first drew him on, venge his death.
Yet I am able now, as I not tell, but he desired more than anything to was then, to argue how wrong such a feeling go and dig gold on the Australian fields. He is, how foolishly wrong. What would be the had an idea, which he tried to explain to use of the teachings of civilisation, religion, me, that the small pieces of gold which were or even worldly experience, if impulses which washed out of the soil by the diggers must belong so closely to imperfect nature alone have been detached from some rich system of that we find the best likeness for them in the gold, which could be discovered. He wished instincts of the brute were not to be chained to explore, and seek fortune thus in a short or tempered by them? But our nature is so time. I could not but consent, and he left imperfect that we cannot make theory accord I never saw him again, with practice always. There are insults and wronys which our imperfect nature (mine at least) feels to be beyond the reach of ordinary Philip Fraser landed at Port Phillip on the laws. I am an old soldier, and perhaps have 3rd October, 1854. His purpose was to go to acquired such ideas from my profession. It is the diggings at Bendigo, and to join a working with a terrible feeling that I think upon poor party of three others already established there. Philip's murder at all times. I cannot help it. Two members of this party, James and William It is perhaps wrong—I know it is wrong ; but Burlow, had been more than twelve years in still it is so. The law never discovered or the colony. They had left their home in Melovertook his murderer, that I know of. I bourne in the early days of the gold fever, and struggle hard often to think my fearful wish, had breasted the rough work with varying that I had been able in revenge to shoot him
ever since, excepting during a few like a dog, is not a darling wish with me ; that intervals. The third one of the party was it grows weaker with time; that it is a weak- Philip's friend, who had been nearly two years ness, and not a crime, so to wish to put our at the gold-fields. His name was Richard hand upon God's purposes. But I always find | Gordon. The custom at the diggings is to it fast rooted among my doubts.
work in small gangs in this way, to divide the Philip was my only sister's son. His father labour, and to share the result. Philip was a was a scoundrel, and ill treated his wife in creature of day.dreams" and sanguine anticinumberless ways till the day of his death. She pations; but by the time he reached the diggings then lived with me for some years, and her he had but few of the ideas with which he had.
left England, unchanged, excepting his theory sufficiently dirty, were working, some side by about the masses of gold, and the explorations side with jealous and absorbing earnestness, he hoped to make. He had found in Mel- some apart, equally intent, but all with the bourne all things so modified by the exceptional same one only purpose. Here and there he exigencies of the time, that his plans had to got only an oath, almost always a sneer, be changed, or were overthrown. He had been momentary reply to his inquiry for the party compelled to walk with a straggling party the he was about to join. When at last he found whole way through the bush, sleeping how he Gordon and his friends, he was soon able to could, and as others did. He had suffered settle amongst them, and to grapple with the from hunger, and was nearly destitute of every- realities of his new life, quite freed from home thing which he brought with him from Eng- fancies. Still, however, he cherished his theory land, but he was full of sturdy determination. about the masses of gold, and thought he found Nothing, however, had depressed and disap- it strengthen with the observations he made. pointed him more than the dreariness of the Nothing of any great importance occurred bush. His fancied picture of luxuriance and to him during the first two months of his shade, made brilliant here and there by the sojourn. He had become a regular goldrich yellow blooms of the wattle trees, was hunter, like all around him, with the same lamentably overthrown when he came upon continual work, and the samne ceaseless avidity the thin and peculiar maze, which seemed to for work. He had been moderately fortunate, extend interminably on every side of his way. but much more fortunate than his companions, The tall gum trees seemed to yield no corre- and when he told them of his character for good sponding shade, and the absence of the leafy luck at school, they nick-named him “ Lucky undergrowth which is found in English woods | Phil.” He had found the only nugget larger left the naked trunks more exposed in their than ordinary which had fallen to their lot, a bewildering sameness. The ground, strewn few days after his arrival. On the evening everywhere with dry sticks and little evidences when they took stock of and divided the gold, of dearth and ruin, seemed, under the hot sun, Philip was in better spirits than either of them. always the same weary, pathless way, without James Burlow, however, was discontented with landmarks of progress.
Where some great tree the gains, and, as he was the captain of the had fallen athwart its fellows, it seemed to him party, proposed a decided move. He said that, a mere evidence of present ruin ; where all although they had succeeded in getting a good were growing luxuriantly in the hot sun, it quantity of gold, it was not to be forgotten seemed to him that they grew rankly on a bed that they consumed most of it in the expenses of former ruin. He had privations to endure, of their living, and that the apparent gains and hardly anything but hope to meet them were not commensurate with the hard work with; but he was strong enough in that, and on
He wanted to know what they the 2nd of November he reached the Bendigo thought, therefore, of making a very decided Diggings in safety.
Some one had been out prospecting When Philip came to understand that he further east, and he had heard that the best was approaching Bendigo, his depressed spirits accounts, as to gold, had been received from underwent a sudden change, and he began to Queensleigh. He thought it would be wise to day-dream again. He felt like reaching home make a move. What did they think of the at last. He thought of being welcomed, as prospects, and did they feel inclined to chance from the old country, by the free-handed, rough it ? adventurers who had congregated there, and In the conversation which ensued William by his own friends. There would be a peculiar Burlow sided with his brother, but Gordon romance for him in the fact of men standing laughingly said he wanted to hear what“lucky” bravely on their own resources ; and where suggestion Philip could make, for they had tried education and refinement, which in long-settled long enough what hard work could wring from communities raise their possessors above the Fortuno ; he was for tempting her still more, classes who do the rough labours of the strong and he would join willingly in trying to "prohand and arm, might be found face to face spect” for themselves instead of following where with labour and duty in their simplest forms. others had been. When, however, he came upon the little com- The time had now clearly come for Philip munity of diggers he soon found that tho to propound his plan, and he did so. He had reality only left him the very dregs of his thought of it so long, and treasured it so much, dream, Tents and sbanties were scattered correcting it and confirming it by his daily obserabout in careless confusion. Heaps of dirt, vations, that when he found himself actually and holes, and mud; men in all kinds of appealed to on the very subject, and that unexcostume, and some with little enough, and all | pectedly, he spoke with an enthusiasm visible in