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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/540

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502 Reviews.

women near Simla. She tells us that she refused the aid of a Pahari man who was well versed in the local folk-lore. Though such tales are often naive and deal with subjects taboo in respectable circles in the West, they are not usually grossly indecent in the sense that they are told with an immoral purpose. Unfortunately the authoress seems to be unacquainted with the work done by other collectors in India. If she had studied even such well-known books as the Wideawake Stories of Sir. R. Temple and Mrs. Steel, the Folk-tales frotn Kashmir of Mr. Knowles, or Mr. Swynnerton's Indian Nights' Entertain- fnent, she would have avoided the risk of repeating tales already familiar. In fact, she seems hardly to have tapped the vein of really indigenous folk-lore, and some of the tales which she prints appear to have been obviously derived from the Plains, where they have been affected by literary contamination. Thus the resemblance between some of her stories and the Arabian Nights can hardly be accidental. The tale of " Sheik Chilli," who dreams of wealth and power as he carries his pot of oil which is finally smashed, is our old friend, Al-nashshar, the fifth brother of the immortal Barber. To the same collection may be attributed the tale of "Abul Hussain," which appears to have come direct from Abd al-Hasan, " The Sleeper Awakened," with which Burton's Supplemental Nights open. So the " Magician and the Merchant " is based on the " Eldest Lady's Tale," the "First Shaykh's Story," and the "Trader and the Jinni." That of "Bickermanji the Inquisitive" is of the familiar " Forbidden Door " type, and better told in the Arabian version as the " Tale of the Third Kalendar." In the Plains Hindustani translations of the Arabian Nights are largely read in almost every bazaar, and thence they have doubtless filtered to the people of the lower hills. The " Dog Temple " story localises in the usual way the well-known "Bethgelert" tale in the Central Provinces. Its literary record in India is as early as the Panchatantra and the Katha Sarit Sagara of Soma "^va.

Though considerable portions of the tales here recorded suggest foreign influence, much of interest remains, and we find good examples of familiar incidents — the mango tree giving