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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/286

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Cinderella in Britain.

form Mr. Burchell knew Catskin, for "he gave the [Primrose] children the Buck of Beverland[1] with the History of Patient Grissel, the adventures of Catskin and the Fair Rosamond's Bower" (Vicar of Wakefield, 1766, c. vi). Pity that "Goldy" did not tell the story himself as he had probably heard it in Ireland, where Kennedy gives a poor version in his Fireside Stories.

Yet, imperfect as the chapbook versions are, they yet retain not a few archaic touches. It is clear from them at any rate that the Heroine was at one time transformed into a Cat. For when the basin of water is thrown in her face she "shakes her ears" just as a cat would. Again, before putting on her magic dresses she bathes in a pellucid pool. Now Prof. Child has pointed out in his notes on Tamlane and elsewhere (English and Scotch Ballads, i, 338; ii, 505; iii, 505) that dipping into water or milk is necessary before transformation can take place. It is clear, therefore, that Catskin was originally transformed into an animal by the spirit of her mother, also transformed into an animal.

If I understand Mr. Nutt rightly (Folk-Lore, iv, 133, seq), he is inclined to think, from the evidence of the hero-tales which have the unsavoury motif of the Unnatural Father, that the original home of the story was England, where most of the hero-tales locate the incident. I would merely remark on this that there are only very slight traces of the story in these islands nowadays, while it abounds in Italy, which possesses one almost perfect version of the formula (Miss Cox, No. 142, from Sardinia). It is at any rate an interesting result of the abstract analysis of the story that the whole has to be printed in Clarendon type as being entirely composed of the formula.

Mr. Newell, on the other hand (American Folk-Lore Journal, vi, 160), considers Catskin the earliest of the three types contained in Miss Cox's book, and considers that Cinderella was derived from this as a softening of the

  1. Who knows the Buck of Beverland nowadays?