chapter  IX
23 Pages

Il Spirito Del Scaldin

In Italy \vomen carry a scaldillo, a receptacle exactly in the form of a basket, but made of glazed earthen\vare. It is filled \vith ashes and charcoal, and is so comtnon that there are as many of them in Italy as there are inhabitants-at least, in the north. And as they are very often put under the garments next to the body, it is not retnarkable that the idea that the very agreeable \vartnth ,vould be impregnating should have occurred. It was kno\vn in earliest times, and Spenser has told us in the" Faerie Queenc" ho,v a beautiful lady, falling asleep, was exposed to the rays of the sun, \vhich, entering her person, caused her to bear a child.