Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling By Charles Godfrey Leland

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This work contains a collection of the customs, usages, and ceremonies current among gypsies, as regards fortune-telling, witch-doctoring, love-philtering, and other sorcery, illustrated by many anecdotes and instances, taken either from works as yet very little known to the English reader or from personal experiences.

Within a very few years, since Ethnology and Archæology have received a great inspiration, and much enlarged their scope through Folk-lore, everything relating to such subjects is studied with far greater interest and to much greater profit than was the case when they were cultivated in a languid, half believing, half sceptical spirit which was in reality rather one of mere romance than reason.

Now that we seek with resolution to find the whole truth, be it based on materialism, spiritualism, or their identity, we are amazed to find that the realm of marvel and mystery, of wonder and poetry, connected with what we vaguely call "magic," far from being explained away or exploded, enlarges before us as we proceed, and that not into a mere cloudland, gorgeous land, but into a country of reality in which men of science who would once have disdained the mere thought thereof are beginning to stray.

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