صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

also trace a slight resemblance in the 1 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.-This ancient search of Orpheus for Eurydice, and story is very evidently a myth of the Sun the Vedic myth of Mitra, the Sun-god, and the Dawn. In all the variants the as well as the beautiful Deccan tale of hero and the heroine cannot behold each (Sodewa Bai.? If we search for indi- other without misfortune. Generally the cations of a nature-myth in the story of bride is forbidden to look upon her husCinderella, we shall find that it belongs band, who is enchanted under the form of to the myths of the Sun and the Dawn. a monster. The breaking of the taboo The maiden is the Dawn, dull and gray, | results in separation, but they are finally away from the brightness of the Sun; reunited after many adventures. The the sisters are the clouds, that screen anthropological school of myth interpretand overshadow the Dawn, and the step ers see in this feature a primitive marmother takes the part of Night. The riage custom, which still exists among Dawn fades away from the Sun, the many savage races of the present day. prince, who after a long search finds One of the earliest forms of the story is her at last in her glorious robes of sun the Vedic myth of Urvasi and Purûraset. Max Müller gives the same mean vas.) Another is the Sanskrit Bheki, who ing to the Vedic myth of Urvasî,' whose marries on condition she shall never see name (“great-desires ») seems to imply a water; thus typifying the dawn, vanishsearch for something lost.

ing in the clouds of sunset. Müller gives Hop o' MY THUMB.-A mythic theory an interesting philological explanation of of this tale has been given, by which this myth. Bheki means frog, and stands the forest represents the night; the peb for the rising or setting sun, which like bles, the stars; and the ogre, the devour amphibious creatures appears to pass ing sun. The idea of cannibalism which from clouds or water. But in its Greek it contains may possibly be a survival form Bhekî means seaweed which is red, of an early savage state; and thus the thusgiving dark red; and the Latin story very obligingly supports two of the for toad means “the red one,» hence schools of mythic interpretation. It con the term represents the dawn-glow or tains traces of very great antiquity, and gloaming, which is quenched in water. the main features are frequently met In Greek myths we find a resemblance with. We find them, for instance, in in some features of Orpheus and Eurythe Indian story of Surya Bai, where a dice); and the name of Orpheus in its handful of grain is scattered; in the Ger Sanskrit form of Arbhu, meaning the man counterpart, Hänsel and Gretel); sun, hints quite plainly at a solar origin in the Kaffir tale, in which the girl drops of this cycle of tales. A more marked ashes; and that is found again in a story likeness exists in the myth of Eros and in the Pentamerone.) The incident of Psyche by Apuleius, and in the Scandithe ogre's keen scent is found in a Nam navian tale of the Land East of the aqua tale, in which the elephant takes the Sun and West of the Moon.' More or part. In a Zulu story an ogress smells less striking parallels are seen in the the hero Uzembeni, and the same feature Celtic (Battle of the Birds); in the 'Soaris seen in Polynesian myths, and even ing Lark,' by Grimm; in the Kaffir (Story among the Canadian Indians. In Per of Five Heads); in Gaelic, Sicilian, and rault's tale Hop o' My Thumb makes the Bengal folk-lore; and even in as remote ogre kill his own children; but in many a quarter as Chili. The investigation of forms the captor is either cooked, or forced minor fairy-tales, nursery rhymes, and to eat some of his relatives, by means detached features running through many generally of some trick. The substitution myths, will yield an abundance of inof the ogre's daughters is suggested by | teresting information. For instance, the the story of Athamas and Themisto, whose swan-maidens and werewolves, the beanchildren are dressed by her orders in stalk (which is probably a form of the white, while those of her rival are clad sacred ash of the Eddas, Yggdrasil, the in black; then by a reversal of the plan, heaven-tree of many myths), can be she murders her own. In most variants found in ever-varying combinations. the flight of the brothers is magically We can allude to only a portion of the helped; but Perrault uses only the Seven voluminous literature on this subject. In League Boots, which are no doubt iden the general works on mythology, the tical with the sandals of Hermes and Aryan theory is maintained by Müller in Loki's magic shoes.

his Essay on Comparative Mythology'

(1856), and Chips from a German Work | 200 A. D., and in circulation for many shop) (1867-75); by Sir G. W. Cox in centuries, in many languages, as a kind (Mythology of the Aryan Nations) (1870), of natural Bible of the common people; "Introduction to the Science of Compara more universally known, and more poptive Mythology and Folk-Lore) (1881), and ularly regarded, than the Bible even,

Popular Romances of the Middle Ages); because so familiar in the memories of by Grimm in his (Teutonic Mythology) the masses, and not dependent upon (Deutsche Mythologie, translated by written copies. Stallybrass) (1880–88); by A. Kuhn in So entirely was it a book of tales his (Teutonic Mythology, and the De- and traditions of the uneducated mass, scent of Fire' (1872); and by W. Schwartz more often told to hearers than copied in (Origin of Myths) (Ursprung der out and read, that any one who made Mythe); 1860).

a written copy varied the text at will, The most important works on the basis enlarging or abridging, and inserting of the anthropological theory are E. B. new ideas or Scripture quotations at Tylor's Primitive Culture) (1871); An pleasure. It was in this respect a redrew Lang's Custom and Myth) (1885); flection of the literary method of the his (Myth Ritual and Religion (1887); Græco-Hebrew writers of the time of and John Fiske's 'Myths and Myth-Mak- | Christ, and of the Greek Christians of ers) (1872); as well as J. G. Frazer's the New Testament age, 50–150 A. D. (Golden Bough' (1890). W. A. Clouston It was the lesson only of the story, in Popular Tales and Fictions) (1887) | not its exact text, which was regarded; supports the Indian theory. The best facts were of less account than the truth works directly bearing on Fairy Tales meant to be conveyed. Some of the are J. Ritson's Fairy Tales) (1831); T. animals of the stories were imaginary;: Keightley's Fairy Mythology) (1833), and with animals were included the both somewhat antiquated; J. T. Bunce's diamond, the magnet, the fire-fint, the (Fairy Tales, their Origin and Meaning) | carbuncle, the Indian stone, and such (1878); J. O. Halliwell-Phillips's Popular trees as the sycamore and one called Rhymes and Nursery Tales) (1849); peridexion. The facts in each story R. Koehler's European Popular Tales) were not those of science, given by Ar(1865), and his Essays on Fairy Tales istotle or any other authority; but those and Popular Songs) (1894); E. S. Hart of folk-lore, of popular tradition and land's (Science of Fairy Tales) (1891); | fable, and of frequent touches of the im. Andrew Lang's Edition of "Perrault's agination. It mattered little as to the Popular Tales) (1888); W. Adlington's facts, if they were of startling interest: (Most Pleasant and Delectable Tale of the important thing was the spiritual the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche,' with lesson. Thus the one horn of the uni(Discourse on Fable) by A. Lang (1887); corn signifies that Christ is one with the and Joseph Bedier's Fables) (Les Fa Father; the wonderfully sweet odor of bliaux') (1893).

the panther's breath, attracting all other The most noteworthy collections of animals except the serpent, signifies the folk-tales of individual nations are Christ drawing all unto him except the Dasent's Popular Norse Tales) (1862); Devil. The riot of legend and fable, Campbell's (Tales of the West Highlands); | which ran under « Physiologus says,» Frere's (Old Deccan Days); Steel and took the popular fancy in proportion as Temple's (Wide-Awake Stories) (1884); it was wild; and credulity thus stimu. L. B. Day's (Folk Tales of Bengal (1883); lated was the strongest belief. The Callaway's 'Zulu Nursery Tales) (1866); ideas thus taught passed into all the lit, Theal's Kaffir Folk Lore); Cosguin's eratures of Europe, and found incessant Popular Tales of Lorraine) (1886); Mas- | expression in art, and in emblems carved pero's "Tales of Ancient Egypt, 2d ed. upon churches and even upon furniture. (1889).

The Greek text of Physiologus, and

versions in great variety, have been Physiologus (The Naturalist). A very printed; and in the 'Geschichte des ' remarkable book of animal allego Physiologus,' by F. Lauchert, 1889, a full ries, some fifty or sixty in number, pro account of the origin, character, and dif. duced originally in Greek at Alexandria, fusion of the work is given, with the as early probably as the final comple Greek original and a German transla. tion of the New Testament, or before I tion.

Colden Ass, The, by Apuleius. A its pursuit of the ideal. Apuleius excels U collection of stories divided into every other ancient writer in catching the eleven books, and written in Carthage, changing aspects of nature and of hunot later than 197 A. D. It is usually man comedy; and with all his fantastic described as an imitation of The Ass) imaginative power, he is as realistic as of Lucian; the author himself tells us Zola, and sometimes as offensive. He that it is a «tissue woven out of the describes, for instance, the agony of a tales of Miletus); but probably both broken-down horse tortured by swarms works are based on the same earlier of ants, with the same precision that he originals. The plot is of the thinnest. | uses to relate the gayety of a rustic A young man sees an old sorceress breakfast, or a battle between wolves transform herself into a bird after drink and dogs. On the other hand, he puts ing a philter. He wishes to undergo a in no claim to be a moralist, and is similar metamorphosis, but mistakes the | much more concerned about the extevial and is turned into an ass. To be riors of his characters than about their come a man again, he must eat a certain souls. species of roses, and the pilgrimage of the donkey in search of them is the au Daphnis and Chloe, by Longus. This thor's excuse for stringing together a charming pastoral romance was writ. number of romantic episodes and stories: | ten in Greek during the fourth century stories of robbers, such as "The Brigand of our era. It was first translated into for Love,' where a youth becomes a ban- | a modern language by Amyot, who pubdit to deliver his betrothed; (The Three lished a French version in 1559. Other

Brothers,' where the three sons of a renderings were soon made, and had . wealthy peasant are massacred by a fero great influence on European literature. cious squire and his servants; and (The Many English, French, and Italian pasBear of Platæa,' where a heroic robber torals were suggested by this work; but lets dogs devour him in the bearskin in the one derived most directly from this which he has hidden himself. Then come source is Saint-Pierre's (Paul and Virghost stories: (The Spectre,' where the ginia,' which is almost a parallel story, phantom of a girl penetrates in full noon with Christian instead of pagan ethics. day into a miller's yard, and carries off On the island of Lesbos, a goatherd the miller to a room where he hangs named Lamon finds one of his goats suckhimself; (Telephron,' where a poor man |ling a fine baby boy, evidently exposed falls asleep, and supposes himself to by his parents. The good man adopts awaken dead; "The Three Goat-Skins, him as his own child, calling him Daphwhere the witch Pamphile inadvert nis, and brings him up to herd his goats. ently throws some goats' hair into her The year after he was found, a neighcrucible, instead of the red hair of her bor, Dryas, discovers a baby girl nout. fat Boeotian lover, thus bringing back to ished by a ewe in the grotto of the life in place of him the goats to whom nymphs. She is adopted under the name the hairs belonged. But the prettiest and of Chloe, and trained to tend the sheep. most finely chiseled of these tales are The two young people pasture their those that paint domestic life: (The San herds in common, and are bound by an dals,' where a gallant devises a very innocent and childlike affection. Eventuingenious stratagem to get out of an un ally, this feeling ripens on both sides to pleasant predicament and regain posses something deeper; but in their innocence sion of his sandals, forgotten one night | they know not the meaning of love, even at the house of a decurion; and sev- , when they learn that tho little god has eral of the same kind. Many others are them in his especial keeping. After a real dramas of village life. The most winter of forced separation, which only famous of all is (The Loves of Psyche.) inflames their passion, Daphnis sues for It occupies two entire books, and has the hand of Chloe. In spite of his huminspired poets, painters, and sculptors, in ble station, he is accepted by her fosterall ages and countries; though perhaps parents; but the marriage is deferred till the author would have been rather as after the vintage, when Lamon's master tonished to learn that the moderns had is coming. On his arrival the goatherd discovered in the sufferings of his hero describes the finding of the child, and exine a profound metaphysical allegory, hibits the tokens found with him. Heresymbolizing the tortures of the soul in | upon he is recognized as the son of the

master of the estate, and restored to his | all the poets and dramatists of succeed. real position. By the aid of Daphnis's ing ages have freely drawn, so that parents, Chloe is soon identified as the scarcely a Sanskrit play or song lacks daughter of a wealthy Lesbian, who in a references to it. As the compilation time of poverty had intrusted her to the of long series of poets, it contains not nymphs. The young people are married only the original story of the Kaurava. with great pomp, but return to their pas Pandava feud, but also a vast number toral life, in which they find idyllic happi of more or less relevant episodes : it is ness,

a storehouse of quaint and ourious stocolden Fleece, Conquest of the

ries. It tells of the mental and moral

philosophy of the ancient Rishis, their U (Argonautica'), an epic poem in four cantos, by Apollonius of Rhodes, a

discoveries in science, their remarkable

notions of astronomy, their computations contemporary of Ptolemy Philadelphus.

of time, their laws for the conduct of Apollonius found all the elements of his poem in the legendary traditions of the

life, private and public, their grasp of

political truths worthy of Machiavelli. Greeks; the expedition of the Argonauts being, next to the siege of Troy, the

Stories and histories, poems and ballads,

nursery tales and profound discourses on most famous event of the heroic ages,

art, science, daily conduct, and religion, and the most celebrated poets having

are all sung in sonorous verse. Written sung some one or other of its heroes.

in the sacred language of India, it is the The first two cantos contain an expla

Bible of the Hindus, being held in such nation of the motives of the expedition,

veneration that the reading of a single the election of Jason as commander-in.

Parva or Book was thought sufficient to chief, the preparations for departure, and a narrative of the incidents that marked

cleanse from sin. It has been translated the voyage from Chalcis. The third

into English prose by Kisari Mohan describes the conquest of the Golden

Ganguli, and published in fifteen octavo Fleece, and the beginning of Medea's love

volumes. Sir Edwin Arnold has trans

lated the last two of the eighteen parvas for Jason, the development of which forms the finest portion of the poem. Her hesi

into blank verse; and in his preface he tations and interior struggles supplied

gives a succinct analysis of the epic Virgil with some of his best material for

which has been called the Fifth Veda.» the fourth book of the Æneid. In the

To ordinary readers much of the fig. fourth canto, Medea leaves her father to

urative language of the Mahābhārata) follow Jason. This book is full of inci

seems grotesque, and the descriptions are dent. The Argonauts go through the

often absurd; but no one can help being most surprising adventures, and encounter

amazed at its enormous range of sub

jects, the beauty of many of the stories perils of every description, before they

it enshrines, and the loftiness of the mo. are able to reach the port from which they started. These various events have

rality it inculcates. In grandeur it may

well be compared to the awe-inspiring allowed the poet to introduce brilliant mythological pictures, such as his account

heights of the Himalayas. of the Garden of the Hesperides. The work has been frequently translated into

culistan, or Rose Garden, by Sa'di. almost every modern language, and is ad.

(The Sheikh Muslih-ud-din was his mittedly the masterpiece of Alexandrian

real name.) He was born about 1193 at literature. The Argonautica) of Vale

Shiraz; and after many years of travel rius Flaccus is an imitation of that of

(once captured by the Christian CrusaApollonius, while the style is that of Vir

ders he was fighting), and visiting all gil. Quintilian and other contemporaries

the chief countries and cities of Asia, he of the author considered the imitation

settled down in a hermitage at Shiraz,

and wrote many works, including the superior to the original. Most modern scholars, however, regard it as without

"Gulistan. He has been called “The originality or invention, and as a mere

Nightingale of Shiraz,) and his works tasteless display of erudition.

«the salt-cellar of poets.» Emerson so

admired him that he frequently used his Mahābharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana name as an alias in his poems. Sa'di's

Vyasa, The. This great Indian daughter married the poet Hafiz. The epic has been compared to a national (Gulistan’ is a poetical work, and con. bank of unlimited resources, upon which sists of fascinating stories or anecdotes, with a moral, like the parables of the | the Moors in Spain, is cut off with the Bible. They are replete with homely rear-guard of the army in the pass of wisdom and life experience; the prose Roncevaux; and, fatally wounded in the portions are interspersed with verses out last desperate struggle, crawls away to of Sa'di's wide experience of the man die beneath the shelter of a rock, against ners and customs of many men. Their which he strikes in vain his sword Dugreat charm can only be known by randal, in the effort to break it so that reading them. Delicacy, simplicity, and it may not fall into the hands of his enbonhomie are the chief features of Sa'di's emy:style.

• Be no man your master who shall know the Heimskringla, The, by Snorri Sturla

fear of man:

Long were you in the hands of a captain 1 son. This chronicle of the kings of Whose like shall not be seen in France set Norway (from the earliest times down

free! to 1177), sometimes known as the

The French text of the (Chanson) was (Younger Edda) or the Mythic Ring

first published in Paris by M. Francisque of the World,' was originally written in

Michel in 1837, and afterward in 1850 by Icelandic, in the early part of the thir

M. F. Genin. The original form of the teenth century. It has always been a

lines above quoted is as follows: household word in the home of every peasant in Iceland, and is entertaining

« Ne vos ait hume ki pur altre feiet!

Mult bon vassal vos ad lung tens tenue : reading to those who read for mere

Jamais n'ert tel in France la solue.” amusement, as well as to the student of

Around this incident have grown a history; being full of incident and anecdote, told with racy simplicity, and giv

multitude of heroic and romantic tales ing an accurate picture of island life at

which have taken form in all the mediæ. that early day. Short pieces of scaldic

val literature of Europe; but especially in poetry originally recited by bards are in

Italy, where however the hero appears terspersed, being quoted by Snorri as his

with little more than the name to idenauthorities for the facts he tells. The

tify him,- in the Orlando Furioso) of writer, born in Iceland in 1978, was ed

Ariosto, and the Orlando Innamorato) ucated by a grandson of Sæmund Sig.

of Boiardo. Tyrwhitt, in his edition of fusson, author of the Elder Edda,' who

Chaucer, was the first to call the atten. doubtless turned his pupil's thoughts in

tion of English readers to the Chanson); the direction of this book. A descendant

but English tradition has it that the of the early kings, he would naturally

song was sung by the Norman Taillefer like to study their history. He became

just before the battle of Hastings. The chief magistrate of Iceland, took an

best and oldest French MS., called the

«Digby, ) is preserved in the Bodleian active part in politics, and was murdered in 1241 by his two sons-in-law, at the

library at Oxford. The French poem instigation of King Hakon. His book

contains 6,000 lines. A Fragment of was first printed in 1697, in a Latin

1,049 lines, translated in Middle English

from what is known as the Lansdowne translation, having been inculcated in manuscript, or by word of mouth, up to

MS., is published by the Early English

Text Society. that time. It was afterwards translated into Danish and English, and may be

Ogier the Dane. This story of the regarded as a classic work.

paladin of Charlemagne has apChanson de Roland. This is the cul- peared in many different forms; but the

v mination of a cycle of "Chansons de | earliest manuscript is a chanson de geste, Geste' or Songs of Valor, celebrating the or epic poem, written by Raimbert de heroic achievements of Charlemagne, and Paris in the twelfth century. The subinspired especially by the joy and pride | ject is still older, and Raimbert is thought of the triumph of Christian arms over the to have collected songs which had been Mohammedan invasion, which, through sung in battle years before. The first the gate opened by the Moors of Spain, part is entitled The Anger of Ogier,' threatened to subdue all Europe. The and is descriptive of the feudal life of Song of Roland or of Roncesvalles cele the barons of Charlemagne. In a quarbrates the valor of Roland, a Count Pal. | rel over a game of chess, Charlot, the adin of Charlemagne; who, on the retreat , son of Charlemagne, kills Beaudoin, the of the King from an expedition against , son of Ogier. Ogier demands the death

« السابقةمتابعة »