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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/103

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Report on Folk-tale Research.

the apprentice as well as to his master. Another curious tale, The Friendly Rat, is a variant of Sennacherib's Disaster. It is, I think, the first time that famous incident has appeared in modern folk-lore. If still current in the East, as its appearance here indicates, we may expect to meet with other versions : shall we be told that they must be of Buddhist origin, as witness the Beast-helpers ? The story of The Queen and the Goldsmith strikes me as of literary — not traditional — provenance. It were much to be wished that Mr. Swynnerton had given the name and other particulars of everyone from whom he obtained the tales, thus following the examples of the best recent collectors. I must add that not the least valuable part of his work is the index, in which he has inserted a useful series of explanatory notes.

Another book of Indian tales is Mr. Campbell's Santal Folk-tales. Its importance lies in the fact that its contents have been gathered among some of the aborigines of whose traditional stories little has hitherto been known. It consists of drolls and märchen, several of which will repay careful study. One of them, The Magic Fiddle, has been made use of by Mr. Jacobs in his Indian Fairy Tales. This story belongs to a type of which three examples are found in Mr. Campbell's volume. The Singing Bone is its nearest analogue in European folk-lore. In these Santal stories, however, the conclusion is not the bringing to justice of the murderers, but the reappearance of the heroine and her marriage to a prince. The murdered girl, in short, is Cinderella. It is evident that the European and Santal stories are two different developments of the same theme, though we cannot as yet say whether they are originally independent of one another. One of the Santal variants seems to have a close connection with the Outcast Child group. This we might expect ; but a curious incident, which we should not have expected, occurs, namely, that when the heroine's mother and brothers, grown poor, come to her, selling firewood, she