Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 1 1883.djvu/239

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231
NOTICES AND NEWS.

sincerity of all he writes, his very affectations, quaint and original as they are, endear him to his readers. The present work is full of his peculiar charm. An adequate answer to Prof. Bugge it can hardly be called—only on one point (that, it is true, a vital one) is issue fully joined. It was requisite for Prof. Bugge, in order to maintain his view of the late origin of the Norse mythology, as presented in the Eddas, to date the Ruthwell Cross from the tenth century instead of from the latter half of the seventh, as had been held by previous investigators. Prof. Stephens repeats and reaffirms his argument for the earlier date, and no unprejudiced reader but will admit that he proves his case thoroughly. In other points our author contents himself with a simple statement of the absurdity of Prof. Bugge's views—but he by no means shows how absurd they really are. By far the most valuable and interesting part of his book consists in the monuments he figures, some for the first time, from English, especially North-English, lands, and in the interpretation he gives of their symbolism from Norse mythology. Most remarkable of all these is the Gosforth Cross from Cumberland. Amongst other Eddaic episodes Prof. Stephens finds the slaying of the Femir wolf and the punishment of Loki. Another fragment from Gosforth is interpreted to figure Thor's fishing for the Midgardsworm.

Now for one word of criticism. Prof. Stephens would seem to think that the Kelts had nothing of their own in the way of god or hero tales. Thus on p. 404, referring to the tale of Thor and his goats, he says, "The same is told of an old Keltic saint. Unhappily I have not made a note where I found this. Of course it had been annext from the song of some Scandinavian pagan." The allusion is to the well-known story told by Nennius (c. 32) of St. Germanus, and its Scandinavian origin is by no means a matter of course.


Poesía Popular: Post-Scriptum á la obra Cantos populares Españoles (de F. R. Marin) Por Demófilo. Sevilla: 1883, Francisco Alvarez y Ca., Editores, Tetuan 24. 16 mo. pp. 125.

This booklet is a very interesting dissertation on popular poetry, designated by a Spanish writer, "lozano, huerto de la fantasia popular." It has been called forth by the publication of Cantos