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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/290

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266 Reviews. Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society, London. Supplement I. Nihongi, Chronicles of Japan FROM the Earliest Times to a.d. 697. Translated from the original Chinese and Japanese by W. G. Aston, C.M.G. Vol. II. London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner, & Co., Limited. 1896. The second volume of the Nihongi is hardly less interesting to the students of folklore than the former, which we reviewed last year. Although the mythological tales have disappeared as the chronicler advanced to times nearer his own, the same characteristics mark the course of the narrative. What with omens and wonders, we are continually reminded of the monkish chronicles of the West, or the story of pagan Rome. Nor is the importance of the volume limited to these. The repeated notices of cult, custom, and legislation render it a very useful document for the history of civilisation. Mr. Aston's notes and the illustrations of objects like those mentioned in the text are valuable aids to under- standing it. He has made so admirable a beginning with the Nihongi, that we hope his health and inclination will permit him to translate the earlier part of the Kinjiki, the only one of the ancient chronicles that remains untranslated, down to the reign of Jimmu Tenno.

The Book of Wonder Voyages. Edited by Joseph Jacobs. Illustrated by John D. Batten. London : D. Nutt, 1896.

The latest of Mr. Jacobs' Christmas Books for Children has all the qualities of the earlier ones, except, perhaps, the great variety that was one of their characteristics. This comparative defi- ciency is due rather to the subjects than to the manner of telling or the illustrations ; and the book is anyhow very delightful to old and young. It contains four stories : the Argonauts, told in Kingsley's words ; the Voyage of Maelduin, revised and abridged by Mr. Alfred Nutt from Mr. Whitley Stokes' version ; Hasan of Bassorah, and the Voyage of Thorkill and Eric, by the editor.

For us the chief value lies in the notes. Mr. Jacobs holds that "at the root of the whole idea of a Wonder Voyage is the scep- ticism with regard to travellers' tales and sailors' yarns which is