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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/281

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The Jataka, or Stories of the Buddha's Former Births. Translated from the Pali by various hands under the Editor- ship of Professor E. B. Cowell. Vol. 11. translated by W. H. D. Rouse, M.A., 1895. Vol. III. translated by H. T. Francis, M.A., and R. A. Neil, M.A., 1897. Cambridge : University Press.

The translation of the Jataka is proceeding apace. Since we reviewed the first volume two more volumes have appeared, which bring up the number of Birth Tales to 438. At first sight this might seem to bring us within appreciable distance of the end, since there are only 555 Birth Tales altogether. But the arrangement of the stories is determined by the number of verses in the gatha or moral of each story. The first book consists of those stories which have only one verse in the gatha, the second those containing two verses, and so on. As a consequence, the stories get longer and longer as the book progresses, and it will probably take at least three if not four more volumes to complete the 120 tales still remaining to be translated. We shall then be in a position to test in some measure the views of those who hold that all folk-tales come from India.

It cannot be said that the complete translation, so far as it is given, has very much increased the range of evidence for the Indian origin of all folktales. For it would seem that a large proportion of the Jatakas which afford parallels to European folk- tales have already been translated or summarised by Professor Rhys Davids or the late Dr. Morris. Even where the Jataka has not already been translated, its publication does not present any- thing additional as to the Indian origin of a folktale, for in almost every case other Indian variants are known in the great store- house of Indian tales, like the Pantchatantra, or the Kathasarit- sagara. Thus there is no doubt that the Jataka, No. 386, trans- lated here for the first time in volume iii., is a variant of the