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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/424

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416
Cinderella and the

venture to explain it, except by the chances of transmission, in the long past of the human race." Now I challenge any reasonable being to read these words, written nine, seven, and five years ago, and to maintain that I deny the possibility of the diffusion of stories, of the borrowing of stories by one race from another. In Myth, Ritual, and Religion (ii, 312), I show how an ancient Egyptian märchen may have reached Greece, Libya, the Great Lakes, and ultimately arrived among the ancestors of the Amazulu. M. Cosquin wonders that I find so much difficulty in conceiving transmission to the Zulus. What I doubt is recent transmission from Europeans. M. Cosquin suggests Islamite influence, and may be right, but prehistoric diffusion is very probable.

Of course people need not read one's writings, but how, if they do read them, they can regard me as a Casualist, or rather, as exclusively a Casualist, I fail to understand. But Mr. Jacobs holds the same opinion about poor M. Bédier; he is a Casualist, though he actually assails the Casual Theory in my person. And I am not a Casualist, or only at once a Casualist, and a "Diffusionist", to coin a hideous word. That Mr. Jacobs should rebuke M. Bédier for being a Casualist, when M. Bédier is rebuking me for the same crime, while neither M. Bédier nor I be Casualists, is—casual.

How the myth that I am a hard and fast Casualist arose, is a question for the mythologist. Generally the belief rests on the fact that I once said "something is due to transmission".[1] A man denies transmission, that is

  1. I have burned my faggot as to this remark. "Something" is due to transmission—I should have said "much", or even "most" is due to transmission. The remark is in Mrs. Hunt's Grimm, and qualifies too much the passage from it already quoted, I here seemed to limit the chances of diffusion more than I should have done, more than, perhaps, I intended. But the whole drift of the passages I cite from Custom and Myth, and Myth, Ritual, and Religion, might, perhaps, have been allowed by my critics to have weight against an isolated