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The Mystic Three.

There is much superstitious regard for the number three in the popular mind, and the third repetition of anything is generally looked upon as a crisis, observes a writer in Chambers "Journal." Thus an article may be twice lost and recovered, but the third time that it is lost it is gone for good. Twice a man may pass through some great danger in safety, but the third time he loses his life. If, however, the mystic third can be successfully passed, all is well. Three was called by Pythagoras the perfect number, and we frequently find its use symbolical of Deity. Thus, we might mention the trident of Neptune, the threw-forked lightning of Jove, and the thee-headed dog of' Pluto. The idea of trinity is not confined to Christianity, but occurs in several religions. In mythology, also, we find three Fates, three Furies, and three Graces, and, coming nearer to our own times, Shakespeare introduces his three witches. * In public-house signs there seems to play an important part, for we frequently meet with ' Three Cups,' ' Three Jolly Sailors.' 'Three Bells,' 'Three Tuns,' 'Three Feathers,' in fact that number of almost anything of which a fertile imagination can conceive a trio. In nursery rhymes this number is not unknown, and if we look back to the days of our childhood most of us will call to mind the three wise men of Gotham, who took a sea voyage in a bowl, not to mention the three blind mice that had their tails cut off by the farmer's wife. Perhaps there is some occult power in the number which governs the divisions of novels into three volumes and induces doctors to order their medicine to be taken thrice daily. It is said that some tribes of savages cannot count beyond three ; but, although they may have no words to express higher numbers, perhaps we should be scarcely justified in assuming that they are incapable of appreciating the value of the latter.

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Bibliographic details

The Mystic Three., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2461, 8 July 1890

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The Mystic Three. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2461, 8 July 1890