Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/247

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Correspondence. 233

scientific lines." Are his assertions and his " uneasy feeling " justified? I have been so unlucky as to detect no certain allusion by ^Eschylus to crystal gazing. Will Mr. Clodd oblige me by offering the exact reference to the ^schylean passage ?

Andrew Lang.

Does the Folklore Society Exist for the Study of Early Institutions?

{Supra, p. III.)

Mr. Rose asks this question in the last number of Folk-lore. As an old member of the Society, I take leave to answer him as follows :

The Folklore Society "exists for the study oi" folklore; that is, as defined in its Handbook (published 1887, as the outcome of discussion in the Journal in previous years), of the Super- stitions (or let us say Beliefs), Customs, Stories, and Sayings prevalent among the more backward races, or surviving among the more backward classes of advanced races. The means it adopts to further this study are, as set forth in the rule quoted by Mr. Rose, " the collection and publication of Popular Tradi- tions, Legendary Ballads, Local Proverbial Sayings, Superstitions and Old Customs {British and Foreign), and all subjects relating thereto" (The italics are mine.) The wording of this rule, for- mulated in the earliest days of the Society, has perhaps now become itself somewhat of a "survival," and might easily be improved; but it nevertheless indicates clearly enough, though roughly, the limits of the subject studied. It excludes, by impli- cation, not only early arts and industries (which the wider German term Volkskunde covers), but language, physical anthro- pology, and the material side of archaeology ; while it equates with the sub-title of the present publication, " The Transactions of the Folklore Society ; a Review of Myth, Custom, Institution, and Legend" and adds Proverbs thereto.