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education is to be of real avail, the technical teacher must be one who grasps the difficulties of his calling ; but if this first necessary qualification be assured, the next step, that of gaining power to overcome them, will be a relatively easy one. Need I say that the reward of the teacher should be consonant with his task ?

This may be a high view of technical education and a new view to some. But I would ask such to remember that, if there be any truth in what I have tried to lay before you, then technical education the real technical education on which I have dwelt, is after all only a kind of general education ; and, if so, those who carry it out rightly, as from what I can see I believe you propose to do here, will have the satisfaction of knowing that in striving to fit the lad or the girl for the daily tasks of trade, they are at the same time fitting him or her for the general duties of life.

M. FOSTER.

THE PRISONERS OF THE GODS

None among people visiting Ireland, and few among the people living in Ireland, except peasants, understand that the peasants believe in their ancient gods, and that to them, as to their forbears, everything is inhabited and mysterious. The gods gather in the raths or forts, and about the twisted thorn trees, and appear in many shapes, now little and grotesque, now tall, fair-haired and noble, and seem busy and real in the world, like the people in the markets or at the crossroads. The peasants remember their old name, the sheagh sidhe, though they fear mostly to call them by any name lest they be angry, unless it be by some vague words, the gentry,' or 'the royal gentry,' or 'the army,' or 'the spirits,' or 'the others,' as the Greek peasant calls his Nereids; and they believe, after twelve Christian centuries, that the most and the best of their dead are among them.

A man close by the bog of Kiltartan said to the present writer : 'I don't think the old go among them when they die, but, believe me, it's not many of the young they spare, but bring them away till such time as God sends for them ;' and a woman at Spiddal, in northwestern Galway, where the most talk nothing but Gaelic, said : “There are but few in these days that die right. The priests know all about them, more than we do, but they don't like to be talking of them, because they might be too big in our minds.' Halloran of Inchy, who has told me and told a friend of mine many stories, says: ‘All that die are brought away among them, except an odd old person.' And a man at Spiddal says: Is it only the young go there ? Ah, how do we know what use they may have for the old as well as for the young ?' A fisher woman among the Burren hills says: 'It's the good and the handsome they take, and those that are of use, or whose Dame is up for some good action. Idlers they don't like; but who would like idlers ?' An old man near Gort has no fear of being taken, but says : “What would they want with the like of me? It's

· These names are not, of course, the real names. It seems better to use a name of some kind for every one who has told more than one story, that the reader may recognise the great number of strange things many a countryman and woman sees and hears. I keep the real names carefully, but I cannot print them,

the good and the pious they come for. And an old woman living on a bog near Tuam says: 'I would hardly believe they'd take the old, but we can't know what they might want of them. And it's well to have a friend among them, and it's always said you have a right not to fret if you lose your children, for it's well to have them there before

you. They don't want cross people, and they won't bring you away if you say so much as one cross word. It's only the good and the pious they want; now, isn't that very good of them?'

There are countless stories told of people who meet the others' and meet friends and neighbours among them. This old woman tells of “a man living over at Caramina, Rick Moran was his name, and one night he was walking over

the little

green

hill that's near his house, and when he got to the top of it he found it like a fair green, just like the fair of Abbey with all the people that were in it, and a great many of them were neighbours he used to know when they were alive, and they were all buying and selling just like ourselves. And they did him no harm, but they put a basket of cakes into his hand and kept him selling them all through the night. And when he got home he told the story, and the neighbours, when they heard it, gave him the name of the cakes, and to the day of his death he was called nothing but Richard Crackers.'

A Spiddal man says: There was a man told me he was passing the road one night, near Cruach-na-Sheogue, where they are often seen dancing in the moonlight, and the walls on each side of the road were all crowded with people sitting on them, and he walked between, and they said nothing to him. And he knew many among them that were dead before that time.' And a weatherbound boatman from Roundstone had a friend who was 'out visiting one night, and coming home across the fields he came into a great crowd of them. They did him no harm, and among them he saw a great many that he knew that were dead, five or six out of our own village. And he was in his bed for two months after that. He said he couldn't understand their talk, it was like the hissing of geese, and there was one very big man that seemed the master of them, and his talk was like a barrel when it is being rolled.'Halloran of Inchy knew a man that was walking along the road near the corner where Mr. Burke and the soldier who was with him were shot in the time of the land troubles, and he saw 'in the big field that's near the corner a big fire and a lot of people round about it, and among them a girl he used to know that had died.'

The old inhabitants of the forts dug caves under the forts, in which they kept their precious things, one supposes, and these caves, though shallow enough, are often believed to go miles. They are thought pathways into the country of the dead, and I doubt not that many who have gone down into them shaking with fear, have fallen into a sudden trance, and have had visions, and have thought they had walked a great way. The fisher woman among the Burren Hills tells this story, that has doubtless come of such a trance, and would be like the visions of St. Patrick's Purgatory if it were at all Christian :

* There's a forth away in the county Clare, and they say it's so long that it has no end. And there was a pensioner, one Rippingham, came back from the army, and a soldier has more courage than another, and he said he'd go try what was in it, and he got another man to go with him, and they went a long, long way and saw nothing, and then they came to where there was the sound of a woman beetling. And then they began to meet people they knew before, that had died out of the village, and they all told them to go back, but still they went on. And then they met the parish priest of Ballyvaughan, Father Ruane, that was dead, and he told them to go back, and so they turned and went. They were just beginning to come to the grandeur when they were turned away.'

The dead do not merely live among their captors as we might among a strange people, but have the customs and power which they have, and change their shapes and become birds and beasts when they will. A Mrs. Sheridan said to me, 'Never shoot a hare, for you wouldn't know what might be in it. There were two women I knew, mother and daughter, and they died, and one day I was out by the wood and I saw two hares sitting by the wall, and the minute I saw them I knew well who they were. And the mother made as though she'd kill me, but the daughter stopped her. Bad they must have been to be put into that shape, and indeed I knew that they were not too good. I saw the mother another time come up near the door as if to see me, and when she got near she turned herself into a big red hare. The witches are believed to take the shape of hares, and so the hare's is a bad shape. Another time she saw the old Captain standing near the road, she knew well it was him, and while she was looking at him he was changed into the shape of an ass.'

Young children are believed to be in greater danger than anybody else, and the number of those whose cries are heard in the wind shows how much the others' have to do with the wind. called Martin, who lives by Kiltartan bog, says : ‘Flann told me he was by the hedge up there by Mr. Gerald's farm one evening, and a blast came, and as it passed he heard something crying, crying, and he knew by the sound it was a child that they were carrying away.'

All the young are in danger, however, because of the long lives they have before them, and the desire of 'the others' to have their lives devoted to them and to their purposes. When I was staying with a friend in Galway a little time ago, an old woman came from the Burren Hills to ask for help to put a thatch on her cottage, and told us, crying and bemoaning herself, of the snatching away of her five children. One of us asked her about

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a certain place upon the road where a boy had fallen from his cart and been killed, and she said:

• It's a bad piece of the road. There's a forth near it, and it's in that forth my five children are that were swept from me. I went and I told Father Lally I knew they were there, and he said, “Say your prayers, my poor woman, that's all you can do.” When they were young they were small and thin enough, and they grew up like a bunch of rushes, but then they got strong and stout and goodlooking. Too good-looking they were, so that everybody would remark them and would say, “Oh! look at Ellen Joyce, look at Catherine, look at Martin ! So good to work and so handsome and so loyal to their mother !” And they were all taken from me; all gone now but one. Consumption they were said to get, but it never was in my family or in the father's, and how would they get it without some privication? Four of them died with that, and Martin was drowned. One of the little girls was in America and the other at home, and they both got sick at the one time, and at the end of nine months the both of them died.

Only twice they got a warning. Michael, that was the first to go, was out one morning very early to bring a letter to Mr. Blake. And he met on the road a small little woman, and she came across him again and again, and then again, as if to humbug him. And he got afraid, and he told me about her when he got home. And not long after that he died.

* And Ellen used to be going to milk the cow for the nuns morning and evening, and there was a place she had to pass, a sort of an enchanted place, I forget the name of it. And when she came home one evening she said she would go there no more, for wben she was passing that place she saw a small little woman with a little cloak about her, and her face not the size of a doll's face. And with the one look of her she got, she got a fright and ran as fast as she could and sat down to milk the cow. And when she was milking she looked up and there was the small little woman coming along by the wall. And she said she'd never go there again. So to move the thought out of her mind I said, “Sure that's the little woman is stopping up at Shemus Mor's house.” “Oh, it's not, mother,” says she. “I know well by her look she was no right person.” “Then, my poor girl, you're lost," says I, for I knew it was the same woman that Michael saw. And sure enough, it was but a few weeks after that she died.

· And Martin, the last that went, was stout and strong and nothing ailed him, but he was drowned. He'd go down sometimes to bathe in the sea, and one day he said he was going, and I said, “Do not, for you have no swim." But a boy of the neighbour's came after that and called to him, and I was making the little dinner for him, and didn't see him

pass

the door. And I never knew he was gone till

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