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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/285

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Cinderella in Britain.

This is indeed an archaic touch which seems to hark back to primitive times and totemistic beliefs. And more important still, it is a touch which vitalises the other variants in which the helpful animal is rather dragged in by the horns. Mr. Nutt's lucky find at the last moment seems to throw more light on the origin of the tale than almost the whole of the remaining collection.

But does this find necessarily prove an original Celtic origin for Cinderella? Scarcely. It remains to be proved that this introductory part of the story with helpful animal was necessarily part of the original. Having regard to the feudal character underlying the whole conception, it remains possible that the earlier part was ingeniously dovetailed on to the latter from some pre-existing and more archaic tale, perhaps that represented by the Grimms' "One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes". The possibility of the introduction of an archaic formula which had become a convention of folk-telling cannot be left out of account when we consider our next type.

B. "Catskin, or the wandering Gentlewomen", now exists in English only in two chapbook ballads. But, as can be seen above, Chambers' first variant of Cinderella begins with the Catskin formula in a euphonised form. The full formula may be said to run, in abbreviated form—Death-bed promise—Deceased wife's resemblance marriage test—Unnatural father (desiring to marry his own daughter)—Helpful animal—Counter-tasks—Magic dresses—Heroine flight—Heroine disguise—Menial heroine—Meeting-place—Token objects named—Threefold flight—Love-sick prince—Recognition ring—Happy marriage. Of these the chapbook versions contain scarcely anything of the opening motifs. Yet they existed in England, for Miss Isabella Barclay, in a variant which Miss Cox has overlooked (Folk-Lore, i, App., p. 149), remembers having heard the Unnatural Father incident from a Cornish servant-girl. Campbell's two versions also contain the incident from which one of them receives its name. One wonders in what