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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/421

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Folk-Lore


Vol. IV.]
[No. IV.
DECEMBER, 1893.


CINDERELLA AND THE DIFFUSION OF TALES.



"WE mortal millions live alone", and, at best, can only make ourselves approximately understood. In the question as to the origin and distribution of Popular Tales, I feel, for one, as if I were speaking into a telephone to other antiquaries very remote in space, and, may I say, a little hard of hearing. Some words in the message seem to be caught, others are obviously inaudible, others are misconceived. Perhaps the voice is indistinct.

There can be no doubt, perhaps, that I have been very generally supposed to deny that märchen can be borrowed by one people from another, very generally believed to maintain that märchen, in each country, are indigenous growths, blossoming out of the same soil of human fancy. Even my friend, M. Henri Gaidoz, reviewing Miss Cox's Cinderella, says that I am not a foe of transmission, aujourd'hui. But when was I? Perhaps in 1872, not since. How far I am thought to carry the Casual Theory, I know not. Perhaps I am credited with disbelieving that a tale can pass from Fife to Galloway, or from Scotland to England, or from France to Italy, from Russia to the Lapps, or vice versâ. Well, these are not, and never have been my ideas, though, of course, in thirty long years, those ideas have been modified in many ways. But M. Cosquin