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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/401

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Reviews. 365

chafers, the story being circulated by their neighbours that on the day of the village /^/^ dishes of these insects are prepared to regale the guests invited. This calumny also finds a parallel beyond the English Channel, for in North Lincolnshire it is sometimes afifirmed that the reason house-flies disappear in the autumn is that they are all made into pies for Scawby feast.

The Celtic Doctrine of Re-birth. By Alfred Nutt. With Appendices : the Transformations of Tuan McCairill, the Dinnshenchas of Mag Slecht, edited and translated by Kuno Meyer. London: D. Nutt, 1897. (Grimm Library, vi.)

In this volume Mr. Nutt confines himself, as he tells us in his preface, chiefly to the doctrine of Re-birth in reference especially to the Irish evidence.

Beginning with Mongati (who clearly belongs mythologically to the Lear group of tales, which have had such a far-reaching and potent influence in these islands), he finds that this group of tales, associated with an Ulster-man slain in 615, and localised in the far North-west of Ireland, is parallel with the Finn tales which belong to an Irishman of the third century, and are topographi- cally associated with South and South-west Ireland and West Scotland (tales existing certainly as early as the eighth century, and supplanting the earlier and more archaic Irish heroic cycle of Ulster, from the eleventh century onwards) ; and with the Arthur stories which belong to Cumberland and, as early as the eighth century, to South-west Britain also, and, certainly as early as the eleventh century, to Brittany. Ingenious, and convincing, too, is the theory that accounts for the way in which the Mongan story suffered eclipse, while the Finn cycle of Munster came into pro- minence with the successes of the Dal-Cais and the elevation of Brian the Deliverer to the High Kingship of Erin. The equation Mongan [ = Mong-find] = Finn = Arthur = Pryderi, is well estab- lished by Mr. Nutt, and I should add, as I suggested long ago, Gwyn = Finn, though whether a real parallel or a derivative it is perhaps difficult as yet to say. The re-birth of Cuchullin is dis- cussed with care, and the South Irish "Two Swineherds" is shown to be " the working up of an older tale to fit it into the great