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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/406

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370 Reviews.

aesthetic grounds. I believe it to be a task, patriotic in the highest sense of the word, as tending to sympathetic api)rccia- tion of a common past, to sympathetic union in the present and future of all the varied elements of a common nationality."

The useful and singularly complete index of Miss M. James and the two important texts — Seel Ti'iain inaic Cairill do Finneu Maige Bile, and the Dmnshenchas of Mag Slecht, edited and translated by Dr. Kuno Meyer, considerably enhance the value of a fine and suggestive piece of investigation in a difficult field of research. The Grimm Library certainly deserves well of all members of our Society.

I have preferred to let the present volume speak for itself, without raising objections or suggesting additions. I heartily concur with its main positions and with the methods of investiga- tion employed. The history of a social secretion, such as religion undoubtedly is, can only be arrived at by a series of efforts such as the English School of Folklorists are making. The work of Mr. Frazer, Mr. Robertson Smith, Mr. Lang, Mr. Nutt, Mr. Hartland, and Mr. Allen, only to name a few of the more pro- minent English students in this field, has already cleared the road and brought us some stages on the way. We may look for more progress along a path they have made their own by their exemplary labours.

F. Y. P.

The Chances of Death and other Studies in Evolution. By Karl Pearson. 2 vols. Edward Arnold.

The folklorist v.ould never judge from the title that Professor Pearson's latest work contains matter of profound interest to his studies. Yet so it is, as a transcript of the contents of vol. ii. shows at once, (i) Woman as Witch, evidences of Mother-right in the customs of medieval witchcraft ; (2) Ashiepattle, or Hans seeks his luck ; (3) Kindred Group-Marriage — (a) Mother-age civilisation, (b) General words for sex and kinship, (c) Special words for sex and relationship; (4) The German Passion Play, a study in the evolution of Western Christianity.

Of these studies some, e.g. the third, which date back to 18S5, are fairly old, are printed as originally compiled, and take no account