Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Beliefs and unbeliefs

One woman told me last Christmas that she did not believe either in Hell or in ghosts. Hell was an invention got up by the priest to keep people good; and ghosts would not be permitted, she held, to go "trapsin' about the earth" at their own free will; "but there are faeries and little leprechauns, and water-horses, and fallen angels." I have met also a man with a Mohawk Indian tattooed upon his arm, who held exactly similar beliefs and unbeliefs. No matter what one doubts, one never doubts the faeries, for, as the man with the Mohawk Indian on his arm said, "they stand to reason."
--W.B. Yeats
from "Belief and Unbelief"
The Celtic Twilight

I read (most of) this book many years ago--1997 I must assume since that's when that gasoline receipt was dated that I found in it--and recently decided to re-read it. I think I might have to hunt down a copy of that Katharine Briggs book, too.

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