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Date Posted: 00:58:59 11/05/05 Sat
Author: Carolyn
Subject: Re: Who's Peggy Spout
In reply to: Poirot 's message, "Who's Peggy Spout" on 20:30:35 10/13/05 Thu

The name Peggy is virtually identical to the Greek pegae (in the Roman alphabet), the word for a well or spring. As a proper noun Pegae was the name of the pool where Hylas, the companion of Hercules and one of the Argonauts, was lured into the depths by the nymph Dryope and her sisters (an incident depicted in Waterhouse's painting in Manchester City Art Gallery). The disappearance or death of Hylas was commemorated in the Mysian rites. Hylas of the Woods was one of the sacred kings of the oak cult, like Adonis, who was sacrificed to the goddess of vegetation by women who tore him to pieces and devoured him, and then cleansed themselves in a spring, announcing that the victim had vanished. According to Homer, Dryope was the mother of Pan.

According to Gibbon, in the Doric dialect of Greek spoken in parts of Italy, the word pegae became pagae, and this word for a spring or a fountain came to be applied to the surrounding district, and then to the countryside, and thence to its inhabitants who (in contrast to the citizens of the towns who were quick to become Christians) were faithful to the old gods and so were called pagans.

This obscure water-sprite Peggy, therefore, emerges as a central goddess of the old pagan religion.

the original Peggy's Spout was a well alongside the footpath as it passed through the farmyard. This spring now fills a large ornamental pond in front of the farmhouse, and the farmer, Mr. R. Farnworth, kindly allowed me to visit it. Despite the recent droughts, the pond has remained full. The O.S. Grid Reference for the pond is SD 612 062.

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