we know that Abracadabra was the supreme
deity of the
and this curious arrangement of the letters of the word was commonly
in Europe as an amulet or charm against diseases.
Sir Hugh had
heard of it, and, regarding the document rather seriously, he sent for
"I pray you, Sir Clerk," said he, "show me the
true intent of
Hugh," replied the holy man, after he had
spoken in a
with the stranger, "it is but an amulet that this poor wight doth wear
upon his breast to ward off the ague, the toothache, and such other
afflictions of the body."
give the varlet food and raiment and set him
way," said Sir
"Meanwhile, Sir Clerk, canst thou tell me in
how many ways this
word 'Abracadabra' may be read on the amulet, always starting from the
at the top thereof?"
your pencil on the A at the top and count in
ways you can trace out the word downwards, always passing from a letter
to an adjoining one.