31 OCTOBER 1908, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR OF THE esseersmoa..91

SIE,—In the island of Guernsey a friend of mine was told by an old inhabitant that the little twirling dust-whirlwinds were caused by the presence of Herodias's daughter. Asking for an explanation, the old lady continued :—" You see, she was in love with John the Baptist, and as she was carrying his head on the dish to her mother, she tried to kiss his lips. But the saint blew her away. And ever since she has been trying; and ever since she has been whirling in the dust in punish- ment for her fault." I can vouch for the story, and for its persistence as a legend, at least in the Channel Islands.—I am,

[It is indeed curious to find that the inventions of mediaeval legend-mongers were as fantastic and as morbid as those of a decadent poetaster.—En. Spectator.]