"In nine cases out of ten, the legend is simply an attempt made by an unlettered, but imaginative people, to account for natural appearances by supernatural agency"

Dublin Core

Title

"In nine cases out of ten, the legend is simply an attempt made by an unlettered, but imaginative people, to account for natural appearances by supernatural agency"

Subject

Lough Derg--Folklore--Education--Disputes

Description

A description of the power given to unexplained natural phenomena in Irish folklore, and the character of the storytellers

Creator

Henry Newland, 1804-1860

Source

Newland, Henry, The Erne, Its Legends and Its Fly-Fishing, pp. 228-29

Publisher

Chapman and Hall, London

Date

1851

Contributor

Digitised by Internet Archive, originally from University of California

Rights

Public domain

Format

xiv, 395 p. plates. 20 cm

Language

English

Type

Fishing memoirs

Identifier

DD_0187

Coverage

54.620679, -7.902967

References

http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t4qj7g05s

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

"'It is quite true,' said the Parson, 'that the legends of every locality take their tone from the character of the scenery, and that in so great a degree, that a person acquainted with the place would always distinguish a true legend from a fabrication. There would be an incongruity in the latter, — a want of character. It would be as if an artist, painting this landscape, thought fit to decorate these islands with elms or beeches. You would see at once, from the character of the scenery, that the thing could not be, — it would be out of character. In nine cases out of ten, the legend is simply an attempt made by an unlettered, but imaginative people, to account for natural appearances by supernatural agency ; therefore the natural appearances must exist.'

'I understand you,' said the Captain : 'you mean, for instance, that when the charitable monk is said to have crossed the Erne on a supernatural pathway, there must be a pathway of some sort to account for the legend.'

'Exactly so,' said the Parson. 'We, with our knowledge, can account for that pathway, by the very natural solution, that the debris washed down by the river in its furious passage from Belleek to Clogh-or must settle as soon as they have cleared the gorge, and are carried into stiller water ; and wherever they do settle there will be a ford. But, in earlier times, men were ignorant of the doctrines of specific gravity, and had recourse to the supernatural ; hence the Ballagh na Monach.' 'Or again, the other day, when the weather fell so calm at Lough Melvin, the Scholar, a stranger to the place, was struck at once with the resemblance of that reef of rocks to a ruined bridge. Had he seen the moon shining along it, the resemblance would have been stronger. Hence the legend. Had there been no such resemblance, there would have been no such legend : had that resemblance existed in this lake, the legend would have been of a darker and gloomier character.'"

Original Format

Monograph

Collection

Citation

Henry Newland, 1804-1860, “"In nine cases out of ten, the legend is simply an attempt made by an unlettered, but imaginative people, to account for natural appearances by supernatural agency",” Digital Derg: A Deep Map, accessed July 9, 2020, https://digitalderg.eu/items/show/205.

Geolocation