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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/106

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98
Report on Folk-tale Research.

ment from the word Sesame, it is important to track Olawia and Olatic-tic-tic to their home. The authoress regrets her inability to translate these and other words, presumably African, and asks for information. Is there any philologist, skilled in Nigritian tongues, who can throw light upon them ? The Robbers' attempted revenge does not appear in this version, as I believe it does not in any case, except where the story has probably come from the shores of the Levant.

Mr. Andrews has utilised his residence at Mentone, and his knowledge of the dialect of the Riviera, in the service of folk-lore, and has produced a capital collection of tales. For the most part they are variants not widely different from the common European types. The story of The Invisible Hen, and that of The Royal Sword, I do not recollect elsewhere. In Fleaskin we have the story of the hide usually assigned to a more offensive animal, told with dry humour, and without the Bluebeard termination. Mr. Andrews has given the names of many of the persons from whom the tales were obtained : why not all ?

M. Pineau's work, in the same series as Mr. Andrews', is only partly dedicated to folk-tales. They are, he tells us, direct from the illiterate peasantry of Poitou, without any change ; and he specifies the name, age, occupation, and residence of the teller of each tale. M. Pineau is an admirable collector, who has here given proof, not for the first time, of his gift. Among his tales I have only room here to notice a variant of The Wild Hunt, wherein the hero, hearing the racket, shoots into the air with a ball blessed for the purpose. A big beast, whose like had never been seen, falls, and is taken to the Jardin des Plantes !

Few of M. Thuriet's tales seem to be traditional. He has drawn from all sorts of sources, and unfortunately has expended no criticism upon the results of his industry. One of the traditional tales is a variant of The Singing Bone, in which the child is killed by his brother and sister for his flute. The flute speaks of itself, without being