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40   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

to meet one. " Melancholy as a hare " is the way Shakespeare has it, and he is always in touch with the common people and all their sayings. After the little fellow was dead, then there was a better opinion of him, as often turns out with mortal man. The great Francis Bacon tells us with due solemnity that " The brains of hares are very serviceable for strengthening the memory and brightening up the faculties," when made into a palatable dish. If there is any truth in his assertion, he should have strongly recommended a liberal diet of that sort of thing to most people. Another old English writer gravely tells us that " The knee-bone of a hare taken out when the animal is alive, and worse about the necke, is excellente against convulsive fits." There was scant consideration for the poor brute in that remedy. To carry in the pocket the right foot of a hare was once considered a fine remedy for rheumatism. It might answer such a purpose. Horse-chestnuts, or a potato carried in a pocket for rheumatism, have worked like charms, and that is the virtue of the cure, — their faith has made them whole. One can see now, in 1899, the fore feet of rabbits, mounted in silver, and offered for sale in shop windows of Boston as charms much in use by smart people.


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