Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde and words of Irish wisdom from his Mum!


I have a quaint volume entitled “The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde”. I became interested in this author after seeing a PBS movie of his work, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. It was quite an intriguing story. Then I purchased a cd by a favorite musician of mine and noticed that a quote of Oscar Wilde’s was used as the inspiration for one of the songs on the CD. This peaked my interest even more. I looked at my quaint volume of fairy tales with new interest. Here is a listing of the nine stories in my fairy tale book and it has wonderful illustrations inside by Michael Hague.

The Happy Prince         The Selfish Giant

The Devoted Friend      The Remarkable Rocket

The Nightingale and the Rose      The Young King

The Birthday of the Infanta         The Star-Child

The Fisherman and His Soul


Then, while surfing for information about Mr. Wilde, I learned that his mother was also quite an interesting person, Lady Francesca Speranza Wilde, and she compiled a unique little book of Irish folklore, superstitions, etc. called Irish Cures, Mystic Charms & Superstitions. Always curious, my quest for information was now becoming very interesting and irresistible! I will be happy to share with you some gems of wisdom I found in Lady Wilde’s little book.

To Cure Warts (quoted from Lady Wilde’s book)
“On meeting a funeral, take some of the clay from under the feet of the men who bear the coffin and apply it to the wart, wishing strongly at the same time that it may disappear; and so it will be.”

How to have Money Always (quoted)
“Kill a black cock, and go to the meeting of three cross-roads where a murderer is buried. Throw the dead bird over your left shoulder then and there, after nightfall, in the name of the devil, holding a piece of money in your hand all the while. And ever after, no matter what you spend, you will always find the same piece of money undiminished in your pocket.”

The Evil Eye (also quoted from Lady Wilde’s book)

“THERE is nothing more dreaded by the people, nor considered more deadly in its effects, than the Evil Eye.
It may strike at any moment unless the greatest precautions are taken, and even then there is no true help possible unless the fairy doctor is at once summoned to pronounce the mystic charm that can alone destroy the evil and fatal influence.
There are several modes in which the Evil Eye can act, some much more deadly than others. If certain persons are met the first thing in the morning, you will be unlucky for the whole of that day in all you do. If the evil-eyed comes in to rest, and looks fixedly on anything, on cattle or on a child, there is doom in the glance; a fatality which cannot be evaded except by a powerful counter-charm. But if the evil-eyed mutters a verse over a sleeping child, that child will assuredly die, for the incantation is of the devil, and no charm has power to resist it or turn away the evil. Sometimes the process of bewitching is effected by looking fixedly at the object, through nine fingers; especially is the magic fatal if the victim is seated by the fire in the evening when the moon is full. Therefore, to avoid being suspected of having the Evil Eye, it is necessary at once, when looking at a child, to say "God bless it."

(I’ll mention here that my Italian relatives, evidently along with the Irish, also have this same little superstition and even in the 1990’s were saying “God bless” while telling me how lovely my children were.)

If you cannot go another minute without learning more of Lady’s Wilde’s collected wisdom, you can have a look at the site “Sacred Texts” to read it all for yourself at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/ali/index.htm
Or, you could pick it up used at Amazon for as little as $0.01. http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Cures-Mystic-Charms-Superstitions/dp/0806982004

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