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115 proverbial rural credulousness, McGahan, a simple rustic, accepted his offer. The communication was carried on by writing, now with chalk and on the bellows, an airy medium, and now with a pen on a slate. There was considerable mystery enshrouding the revelation, but the fortune of the McGahans cropped up sufficiently plain to show that there was a letter containing £6 in the Benburb post-office from America, which they only could legally obtain. The fortune-teller claimed five shillings as his fee which was paid and was considered a moderate charge, as he alleged he often got 10s [shillings] for his services. McGahan went to Benburb, presented himself at the post-office, demanded his letter; but either his friends in America had forgotten him or the fortune-teller was at fault, for his name and address were not in the office. Crestfallen, he returned to his home a disappointed man. The only resource he had was to punish the scamp by whom he had been deceived and he summoned him accordingly. In his examination he stated that he expected the letter and would not swear that it might not yet arrive. Under these circumstances, his worship did not think the charge could be sustained as the letter might yet come and dismissed the complaint. It might be added that Magill is a professional spaeman and to his other qualification annexes the very unenviable one of having, on two or three occasions, tuned approver against his father as the murderer of a man near Crossmaglen. Love magic [Back to Contents] Frances Brown (1816-79), The Legend of May Eve73 (taken from Lyrics and Miscellaneous Poems, 1848). The poem by Frances Brown is called ‘The Legend of May Eve’ (1848), and demonstrates her fascination with the ‘superstitions’ and folklore of her native Ulster. ‘The Legend of May Eve OH! the moonlit Eve of the lovely May That comes with song and flowers, We have marke’d, as year by year it lay On the valleys green and the mountains gray, 73 In the north of Ireland, there was a popular superstition regarding a small wild herb, known to the peasantry by the name of “Yarra;” it was said, that if gathered and placed under the pillow of any unwedded person of either sex, on the night of May Eve, the sleeper should see, in a dream, his or her destined partner; but it was added, that the experiment had always some unfortunate result – and one of the numerous tales of this description is the subject of the following poem.

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