From the PREFACE.
"Folk-Medicine" comprehends charms, incantations, and traditional habits and customs relative to the preservation of health and the cure of disease, practised now or formerly at home and abroad; an attempt has been made in the following pages also to classify the explanations of the cause of disease which come to light in folk-lore. I would refer to Chapter XIII. for my reasons for differing from certain conclusions to which Mr. Herbert Spencer has given the weight of his authority on subjects intimately associated with several classes of Folk-Medicine.
Through the courtesy of many correspondents, known and unknown, I have been enabled to make use of notes which in several instances have not before appeared in print. I have endeavoured in every case to indicate my authority for the folklore embodied in my text, and should I in any case have failed to do so I must ask my readers to believe that there has been no intentional neglect. A list is appended of the chief works consulted. When the MS. left my hands no part of Grimm's great work, Deutsche Mythologie, had been translated, otherwise I should, of course, have availed myself of English words. As it is, I have added in most cases a second reference to the translation by Mr. Stallybrass, when a quotation has been made from the first volume; the second volume of Mr. Stallybrass's translation has been too recently issued to allow of my making use of it in the same way. M. Lenormant's La Magie chez les Chaldeens has also been translated since I first referred to its pages. The publications of the Folk-Lore Society have been of great service, and also the works of Dr. Tylor and Sir John Lubbock.
Special acknowledgment for notes, books, references, and counsel, must be made to Dr. Tylor, Mr. A. Lang, Professor Veitch, and Professor Young, of Glasgow University; Professor Lindsay, of the Free Church College, Glasgow; Miss Guernsey, Rochester, U.S.A.; Mr. W. H. Patterson, Belfast; and the Rev. G. S. Streitfeild, Louth.
Mr. Gomme and Mr. Robert Guy, Glasgow, have read all the proof sheets and revises, and have favoured me with many suggestions. To Mr. Gomme I am, in common with all the other members of the Folk-Lore Society, under great obligations for unfailing courtesy; but I trust he will allow me to bear special testimony to his untiring desire to promote the best interests of the study of Folk-Lore. The fault of any errors or mis-statements must entirely rest upon myself; that there are such I cannot but believe; that there were not more is due to the careful and valued criticism of Mr. Gomme and Mr. Guy.show more