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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/438

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Cinderella and the

know, Celtic may be the source of Lowland Scots tales as they now exist.

Finally, my own position has been marked, since 1872, by a growing tendency towards the Borrowing Theory. Argument and reflection convince me that, being vera causa, it is the better cause, the cause on which most stress should be laid. I conceive that the details, the incredible incidents, are universal, are the natural evolution of the human mind everywhere. And everywhere, I think, since men began the art of romantic composition, those details have been diversely combined. In this or that place, at this or that remote period, the more fortunate and artistic combinations of details were made, and, being the fittest, survived, and were diffused. But these forms could, at any moment, shift and glide into other forms, like the visionary faces which we see between asleep and awake, in illusions hypnagogiques. Miss Cox's volume is full of such fluid, shifting, only partially successful faces of Cinderella, or of Cinderellus, who, for all that we can certainly say, may be older than his sister. The Marquis de Carabas is brother of Cendrillon. A lass makes a good marriage by aid of a helpful beast: a lad makes a good marriage by aid of a helpful beast. But it must be very long ago that the Marquis and Cendrillon took separate paths, his course more rusé and morally reckless, hers more kindly, more feminine. Thus the details are everywhere, while, more and more clearly, since 1872, I have seen that the combination of details, where it is prolonged, and keeps closely to a type, must descend, must almost beyond possibility of chance descend, from a type. In face of the coincident inventions of modern novelists, I cannot absolutely deny the possibilities of the least probable coincidences. But, at least as early as 1884, I made the most strenuous assertion of the limitless freedom in which a story may have wandered round the world, and, at the same time, distinguished, in "Cupid and Psyche", the cases in which a similar