Music Of The Waters - online book

Sailors' Chanties, Songs Of The Sea, Boatmen's, Fishermen's,
Rowing Songs, & Water Legends with lyrics & sheet music

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SAILORS' SUPERSTITIONS,
" A COMPARATIVE investigation of the superstitions rife amongst the different sailors of the world would result in a certain conclusion that there is but little variety in them. Certain objects, certain signs, and certain persons inspire Jack with an idea of the supernatural, whether European, Asiatic, or American. The Portsmouth tar, the Normandy matelot, the German seaman, and the Italian fisherman, all share in common with the Nile boatman, the Chinese waterman, and the Yankee blue-jacket, the fears that have been handed down from their respective marine ancestors for generations. Sailors, although usually the bravest men, have from time immemorial been noted for their credulity, and every literature contains evidence of the multiplicity of their superstitions, and of the tenacity with which they cling to them. It may be questioned, how­ever, whether as a class they are really more superstitious than landsmen, the only difference perhaps being that their isolation, consequent from their connection with the sea, gives them a distinctive character, which otherwise they would not possess. Their history, too, dating from the most remote period in the annals of the world, has natu­rally invested them with a peculiar interest in this and other countries. And hence we find scattered here and there many a curious account recorded by travellers of their customs and peculiarities, to give a detailed rfcume of which would occupy a volume of considerable size. Indeed, as Reginald Scott has truly remarked in his ' Discovery of Witchcraft,' innumerable are the reports of







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