Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/321

This page needs to be proofread.


Notes on Orendel and other Stories. 297

importance in Diirviart le Gallois than the moral ; and the story can hardly be regarded as anything but an arrange- ment of quite common and familiar material. It is not like Sir Amadas or Walewein, a romantic version of a definite coherent traditional plot.

The story of Durmart is the story of Orendel, in the main. If the story of Orendel [i.e. that part of it which has been abstracted above) is anything but a repetition of commonplaces, if there is in it any specific scheme of a story analogous to the definite plot of Sir Ajnadas, that must be proved by consideration of the particular details, e.g., the Klebermere, the helping fisherman.

The sluggish sea is a commonplace of popular knowledge in the Middle Ages; ^ it might easily be put in or left out by any story-teller. But in other stories of the search for the princess there recurs a similar hindrance of the adven- turer. One of the stories referred to by Rydberg is that of Alf and Alfhild in Saxo, where Alf in his search for Alfhild has his ships frozen up — densatis aquarum coactibiis tanta glaciei moles naves corripuit, ut eis nulla remigandi vis processum struere potuisset?

The King's Son of Ireland, in his voyage to find the unseen princess, the daughter of the King with the Red Cap,^ is hindered by " druidic mist." So that the Kleber- mere in Orendel is either part of an original story, or else a coincidence with a common story-formula, and in either case worth noting.

The fisherman Ise also appears in the right place if the story is compared with some others in which the hero is bound on a similar quest. Here again coincidence is easily acceptable as an explanation. Given the idea of anv quest, it follows naturally that the adventurer should find helpers as well as obstacles by the way. At the sr.me time

' Bartsch, 1. c.

- vii., p. 229, Holder.

^ MacDougall, Folk and Hero Tales from Argyllshire (1891), p. 151.