Baring-Gould, Rev. Sabine

In an essay on ‘Wandering Words,’ Mr T. W. Sandrey says :– ‘The talismanic words uttered by children in their innocent games have come down to us very nearly as perfect as when spoken by the ancient Briton, but with an opposite and widely different meaning.[*]

The only degree of likeness that lies between them now is, that where the child of the present day escapes a certain kind of juvenile punish­ment, the retention of the word originally meant DEATH in its most cruel and barbarous way.’

The correspondence is much closer than the writer perceived, for he overlooked the fact that the process in both instances is one of elimination, the one remaining being the victim, the rest being successively set free.

To be set free, you must recite the right words in the right order

I have tried in my novel Perpetua to give a description of what took place, according to tradition, at Nîmes once in every seven years. Nîmes possesses a marvellous spring, a river of green water that swells up out of the bowels of the earth and fills a large circular reservoir. A temple of Nemausus stood near the basin
[S. Baring-Gould, A Book of Folk-lore, p. 106]

Nemausus – Nîmes – Nemesis

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