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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/398

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362 Reviews.

to be a safeguard in case the letter fell into the wrong hands, but intended it as a method of writing the name possibly more com- prehensible to the infernal power to which the letter was addressed than the normal method.

As we should expect in so litigious a place as Athens, a large proportion of the curses are designed to incapacitate adverse witnesses in prospective lawsuits.

How are we to explain the frequency with which KcnnjXoi — tavern-keepers — are cursed ? I fear not on the supposition that there was a temperance party which adopted this means of warfare.

Inanimate objects are included in the curses, e.g. in No. 55, which is one of the most interesting and oldest Attic examples (it seems to be as early as the fourth century B.C.). I give a trans- lation of part of it : —

" I, Diodes, son of Xenophon ? bind down Kimonocles ? of the deme Oenoe, the pipe-maker and carpenter and his . . . and the basket in which his pipes are taken to market (restore, eis ryy ayopav)." Then follow Kimonocles' name and demotic with all the letters mixed up, and a number of other people, chiefly soldiers, are cursed. At the end: "These all I bind down in lead and wax and . . . and in idleness and obscurity and ill-fame and defeat, and in tombs, them and all they have dealings with, their children and wives."

W. R. Paton.

Welsh Folk-Lore: a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales, being the Prize Essay of the National Eisteddfod, 1887, revised and enlarged. By the Rev. Elias Owen, M.A., F.S.A. Oswestry and Wrexham : Woodall, Minshull, & Co.

Few are the examples of prize essays that deserve to be printed and published. Mr. Owen's is one of the few, for it is a genuine collection of Welsh folklore of much value both to the student of the Celtic population of these islands and to the student of tradi- tion in general. True, it is misnamed ; since it is neither a re- presentative collection of Welsh folklore, nor merely a collection of the folktales of North Wales. It is mainly a collection of folk- tales of North Wales. But many tales from South Wales are