Folk-Lore/Volume 27/Review/Recent Work in Slavonic Folklore

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Folk-Lore/Volume 27. Volume 27
Number 3 (September).
Review: Recent Work in Slavonic Folklore
by Leonard Cyril Wharton

Recent Work in Slavonic Folklore.

Národopisný Věstník Českoslovanský.
Year 6.Nos. 7 and 8.August and September, 1911.
Tvrdý (J.), The Pottery Ware of Wischau and its Development. Part IV.
01. Černík (J.), From Alt-Hrosinkau Diggings.
02. Franko (I.), Studies on Ukrainian National Songs.
03. Bugiel (W.), Literary Studies and Sketches.
Forke (A.), Indian Fairy Tales and their Importance for the Comparative Study of Fairy Tales.
04. Leyen (Friedrich von), The Fairy Tale.
Ranke (F.), The Saviour in the Cradle. A Study of a German Legend.
Frobenius (L.), A Black Decameron.
A Notice of Middle School Programmes.
Small Folklore Reports. Reports on Folklore Museums and Societies.
Kubín (J.), Tales from Kladno (Glatz). With a commentary by J. Polivka. Part 2.
Nos. 9, 10.November, December, 1911.
01. Černík (J.), Part of Article in Nos. 7, 8; concluding.
05. Bufková-Wanklová (K.), and Polívka (J.), Mourn not the Dead.
Vlach (J.), Ethnography of all Parts of the World.
Talko-Hryncewicz (J.), Attempt at a Physical Characterization of the old East Slavs.—Schwela (J.), Manual of the Lower Lusatian Language.—Böklen (E.), Studies on "Snow-White." — Kubín's Kladno-tales, continued.
Year 7. No. 1.January, 1912.
06. Horák (J.), Erben's Collection of Bohemian Popular Songs.
Ivanovsky (A. A.), Citizens of the World.
Anthropologico-Archaeological and Ethnographical Materials. XI.
Strejček (F.), A Selection from the Bohemian Popular Epic.
Gennep (A. van), Popular Legends and Heroic Songs from Savoy.
Supplement: Kubín as before.
Nos. 2, 3.February, March, 1912.
07. Bíbová (R.), Is it possible to regard tape-making and knitting as the first form of lace-making on a pillow, and can we attribute to the Slavonic plaiters the discovery of a technique?
Moravec (B.), The Grease Box [in vehicles].
Zollschau (J.), The Problem of Races, with special reference to the Jewish Racial Question.
08. Mladenov (S.), Old Germanic Elements in the Slavonic Languages.
Bárta-Zahradecký (J.), The German "Island" of Brünn.
Pekař (J.), The Book of Kost.
09. Peasant Art in Austria and Hungary.
Strejček (F.), A Selection from Popular Bohemian Lyrics.
10. The latest publications about the Kaszubs.
New Slavonic Periodicals.
Supplement: Kubín as usual.
No. 4.April, 1912.
11. Vykoukal (F. V.), The Gifts of God.
Rozum (K.), The Gifts of God for Palm Sunday.
Heimfelsen (J.), German Settlements in Bosnia.—Theilhaber (F. A.), The Fall of the German Jews.—The Dawn in Silesia.—Hnatjuk (V.), Ethnographical Materials on the Ruthenians of Hungary.—Truhelka (C.), Albanian Fairy Tales.—Panzer (F.), The German Popular Song of the Present Time.—Pohl (J.), The Black or Pitched Book of the Free Royal City of Rokycany.
Supplements: (1) Kubín as before.
(2) Annual Report of the Society of the Bohemian Ethnographical Museum for 1911.
Nos. 5, 6.May, June, 1912.
12. Niederle (L.), The Old Village House in the Moravian "Slovakei."
Boháč (A.), Changes in the Linguistic Character of Hungarian Communes.
Horák (J.), The latest Bohemian Ethnographical Publications.
Supplement: Kubín as before.
Nos. 7, 8.August, September, 1912.
13. Wollman (F.), The Tale of the White Lady in the Literature and Traditions of the Bohemian People. I., II.
Rhamm (K.), Germanic Antiquities from the "Urheimat" of the Slavs and Finns.—Weinreich (O.), The Deceit of Nectarebo.—Huber (M.), The Legend of the Seven Sleepers.—Sartori (P.), Manners and Customs.
Supplement: Kubín as before.
Nos. 9, 10.November, December, 1912.
13. Wollman (F.), The White Lady. III.
Havelková (V.), The Ancient Rights of the Judges and their “Ferules.”
Zawiliński (R.), On the Boundaries of the Polish People. Impressions of a Traveller.—Černý (A.), Lusatia and the Lusatian Serbs. Schwela (G.), Typical Figures in Lusatian Popular Songs.—Wesselski (A.), Die Schwänke und Schnurren des Pfarrers Arlotto. Der Hodscha Nasr-eddin. F.F. Communications. Edited for the Folklore Fellowship, etc.
Supplement: Kubín as usual.
Year 8.No. 1.January 1913.
14. Horák (J.), The Reminiscences of F. J. Vavák.
Koloušek (J.), The Problem of Fertility.—Janko (J.), On Slavonic Prehistory.—Collection in honour of Professor Miletich.
Supplement: Kubín as usual.
Nos. 2, 3.February, March, 1913.
Boháč (A.), Studies in Demography.
Veselý (J.), From the Dictionary (Wordlore) of the Wooden Acting Company of Maizner's Marionette Dynasty.
Florinsky (T. D.), Ethnographical Map of Western Slavdom and Western Russia.
Niederle (L.), Slavonic Antiquities.—Anthropologico-archaeological and Ethnographical Materials published by the Commission of the Academy of Sciences at Cracow.
Smirnov (A. M.), The Present State of the Russian National Fairy Tale.
Svoboda (E.), Statistics of the Slovak Country.
Supplement: Kubin as usual.
No. 4.April, 1913.
Tykač (J.), The Potters of Česká Třebova.
Notes on the Review of Koloušek's Problem of Fertility.
Nos. 5, 6.May, June, 1913.
15. Horák (J.), Minor Ethnographical Contributions.
13 Salaba (J.), The Tale of the White Lady in the Literature and Traditions of the Bohemian People.
Horák (J.), Ethnographical Studies in our Provincial Periodicals.—Lud, XVII—Saintyves (P.), Les Reliques et les images legendaires.—Siuts (H.), Jenseitsmotive in deutschen Volksmärchen.—Leyen (F. von der) and Zaunert (P.), Die Märchen der Weltliteratur.
Supplement: Kubín as usual.
Nos. 7, 8.August, September, 1913.
Tvrdý (J.), Popular Majolica at Ždánice.
Boháč (A.), Studies in Demography.
13. Wollman (F.), The Tale of the White Lady in the Literature and Traditions of the Bohemian People.
Löwis (A. von), of Menar. Der Held im deutschen und russischen Märchen.—Maeterlinck (L.), Les Péchés primitifs.Rocznik polskiego Towarzystva krajoznawczego.
Supplement: Kubín as usual.
Nos. 9, 10.November, December, 1914.
Poledne (F.), Bohemian Children's Popular Counting-out Rhymes and their Analogies in the Traditions of the Germans and Poles.
Černík (J.). Hosasisa.
Sébillot (P.), Le Folklore.Pomorze Kaszubskie; Zeszyt monograficzny "Ziemi."—Materiyali do Ukrainsky etnologii. X.
Supplement: Kubín as usual.
Year 9.No. 1.January, 1914.
Boháč (A.), Studies in Demography.
Abt (A.), Die volkskundliche Literatur des Jahres 1911.—Sochineniya Mikhaila Dmitrievicha Chulkova.—Pyesni Russkikh Sektantov Mistikov.
Supplement: Kubín as usual.—End of Text, with Bibliography.

[More detailed Notes on above.]

1. This is supplementary to a work by Černík on the songs of the Moravian miners generally. He gives specimens to illustrate the special characteristics of the several classes of miners. The Slovaks of Zitkova have a special relation to nature and their fellow-citizens, and their songs show the intimacy of the former, and are in form and character such as to recall the chastushki of the Russian factory hands. There is a musical analysis also. This folk music has the right to appear in the concert rooms.

2. This review deals especially with the tale of the gnat who died of a fall from an oak and was magnificently buried, supplying further variants in their Slavonic literatures, e.g. Bohemian and Slovene. The rest of the review is devoted to Dr. Franko's collection of songs about Chmelnicki, pointing out the extraordinary variety of relations of Cossackdom with the world around, and the complexity of its developments.

3. The most important essay is a revision of an article of 1893 in Wisla on what the author has called "metabiose," the belief that the soul was bound to stay in some part of the body after death, or at least in contact with it. The subject is based upon certain incidents in Stowacki's poem, Balladyna. Dr. Bugiel entirely denies that metempsychosis is in question here.

4. Reviewed at length for its other qualities and also because of its bearing on the Slavonic fairy tales. His main point is that the popular tale comes from the artistic (artificial) originally. Cf. Countess Martinengo Cesaresco on the Study of Folk Songs.

5. A mother lost her child and wept and wept and wept, day and night, until her tears filled the well and overflowed. But she never ceased to weep. On a time her child appeared to her in a white shirt. It smiled, it shone, but it had a blood-red wound on its head, from which blood dripped constantly. The mother rejoiced to see her child, but was terrified at the wound, and asked who had given it. "Ah! mamma, do not weep for me. This wound I have because you weep so much for me. The more you weep, the more the blood will drip from the wound." The child then disappeared and the mother stopped. Already she no longer wept so much and the well did not overflow. And again her child appeared to her. The wound on the little head was already smaller, but the child pointed to it and disappeared. Then the mother ceased to weep altogether and the well dried up. Only she prayed for her dead child. And the child appeared a third time and said: "Now I am happy with God." On the head there was no wound, and the child smiled blessedly. On this the mother was full of joy.

There follows a series of variants. The story, though not a common one, is found at great distances apart. The continuation by Dr. Polívka shows the extreme antiquity of the idea, and that it is in medieval literature, e.g. in Magnum Speculum Exemplorum, in whose Russian version it appears (P. V. Vladimirov). It is traced back step by step to very early times (Helmold, Chronicle of the Slavs). There follow still more variants from Germany, France, Brittany, etc. The most ancient religions in their records (Greek, Persian, Zend-Avesta, etc.) show the same idea.

6. A careful general analysis of the first three editions of Erben's Collection of Bohemian Folk Songs, in which also the extraordinary period in which it was brought out is well illustrated, and the sane handling of a matter too often spoilt by dilettantism is shown well. A warning is given against the text by Hynek—the alleged corrected edition.

Perhaps I had better refer to the allusion on p. 22 to Folklore, xxii. 382, where, while agreeing with my friend Malinowski about the desirability of the comparative study of the folklore material of Bohemia and Poland, he justly objects to the ridiculous description of Bohemia (which I can hardly believe he wrote) as forming "an ethnical island among German-speaking peoples." Well may the editor say, "If a Pole writes so, what are we to expect of an English reader?"

7. This is by way of a reply to a criticism in the Zeitschr. für österreich. Volkskunde, xvi. 160 sq., by Herr J. Blau aus Freihöls of a work called Laces and Lace-making of the Slavonic People, by the late M. A. Smolková and R. Bíbová. The blankly uncritical attitude of Herr Blau, who simply states that no Slav could be in so high a state of culture as to invent the lace-making process, is illustrated first, while R. Bíbova welcomes any nation's offering of evidence on this complex question. Sewn lace was a Greek invention, introduced into Italy in the twelfth century; the pillow lace is not claimed by any one. R. Bíbová claims it for an invention of the Slavs. A contrast is shown between the West European lace-maker with her drawn patterns to follow and her Slav sister, who works entirely by memory and manipulates the bobbins so wonderfully. It does not follow that it is wrong to consider the Slavonic as the original form and the West European form as the development. Their theory is that lace-making arose from weaving, but Herr Blau muddles things up so that one is bound to see the partisan character of his work. She states the ground of her belief on technical lines and proceeds with a detailed reply to single points in Herr Blau's paper. The Čech lace-makers sometimes used Western, sometimes Slavonic methods.

8. This makes a rather severe attack on the Peisker school of theorists, who endeavour to derive all the words of the Slavonic languages dealing with "Kultur" from Germanic, and reduces the list to twenty-two! Some of these actually came through Latin {krâl, korol, from Carolus and so from Karl, I notice among them). As the reviewer points out, he goes rather too far at times, and words like duma must be recognized as Teutonic. This does not in the least preclude the reviewer from recommending the book and approving its thesis that the borrowings, even if they were much more extensive than the wildest claims made, would not prove the superiority of Germanic culture.

I might add that the borrowing of the English word Company by an African tribe for the purpose of rendering the concept "swindle, cheat," does not make me very proud or elated.

9. A long Review of the Studio Monographs on Peasant Art in Austria. Naturally certain painful inaccuracies in Part I. are pointed out, due to the unavoidable use by its authoress of German sources.

In arranging the pictures great mistakes are reported, and the unfortunate use of artificial (and little understood) political boundaries is noted. Bohemia is badly represented and robbed of many of its own products. Galicia is nothing like as well represented as it should be; only one type of its varied architecture is given.

The Hungarian part is inaccurate in that it attributes everything to the Magyars, regardless of its true racial origin and of its connection with the Cisleithan provinces. It might have been as good as their Peasant Art in Sweden, Lapland and Iceland, 1910.

10. First a summary of the contents of the Kaszub number of Ziemia, then an account of a book by a Germanized Kaszub (Ernst Seefried-Gulgowski), with a preface by Professor Sohnrey, whose studies in Kaszub folklore brought him into trouble with the Ostmarkenverein. It is given a very detailed notice, but as in German needs no further summary here. The same author wrote a book, Kaschubische Hausindustrie, which is noticed here also. His wife, a noted artist, Th. Gulgowski-Fethke, started a revival of the local hand-industries and an industrial museum, under the influence of Dr. Sohnrey and of the Swedish models. The reviewer points out in the course of his remarks that the poems of Wos Budzysz, the Kaszub pseudonymous poet, and the designs of the peasant art-industries show very close analogies to those of Bohemia, and in any case deserve a place of their own in the Slavonic world. The whole population is now provided with a house-industry for the winter, all handed down by actual tradition and enlivened and helped by the Museum. The reviewer is the phonetist Frinta, a Bohemian, who had studied the Kaszubs and Slovintzes in their own country.

11. Bozi dar Gift of God, is a name for bread, in general, but the diminutive here, when not applied (a rare practice) to human beings, implies special bakings of cakes or the like for the great seasons, the solstices, the coming of (or invitation to) spring, now become the Church ales, weddings, christenings and the like. These are connected with practices like the "dziady" of Lithuania and Poland and other customs of making offerings to the dead. The pagan origin and the peculiar Slavonic form of these customs, as to which Vykoukal says that the Honák woman "makes poetry in pastry," is shown and suggested, while the ritual character of these practices is proved by the fixture of certain patterns to certain festivals and the like. A detailed illustration is afforded, with excellent pictures, by the second article, on those cakes made for Palm Sunday, by Rozum.

12. The houses described are in Veletiny, Moravia, and a ground-plan of each type is given besides views of the outside and inside. The author refers to the second volume of his work. The Life of the Ancient Slavs, for evidence against the assertions of the German investigators, who describe it as the "Frankish" or "Upper German" type, and say that this has utterly superseded the original Slavonic type. To those who wish to study the article, the following glossary will give the minimum necessary to the understanding of the plans and sketches. Jizba=house-place, in old English phrase, or room. This is the living room, with a stove and oven in the corner communicating with the other room. Pec=oven. A=and. Kamny=store. Ohnistě=fireplace or hearth. Síň=hall, entrance-hall. Komora (from Lat. camera)=store-room (clothes, food, seeds, etc., are kept here). Kolńa=shed, outhouse. Stodola=barn. Humno=threshing-floor or barn (back)-yard. Sklep=cellar. Chlévy=stables. Nasyp=a raised walk. {{lang|cs|Prujezd=entrance-gateway to yard; sometimes called Kolňa, because it is used to store carts in. Z kuchine=from the kitchen. Hnojiště=dunghill. Gánek, presumably from German gang, entrance. In plate 8 the little step for the children to climb to the top of the stove by. Silnice=high road. Dvéř=door. Čelusna=mouth of an oven. Pekelca=oven. Kuchyňské nářadí=cooking apparatus. {{lang|cs|Navši=village green.

13. The "White Lady" in Bohemia.

I. In Bohemian Literature, 1. Belles-Lettres. Much of the "popular" tradition is merely literary invention, and has to be distinguished from the real traditional material, especially as the literature has really influenced the genuine popular tradition. The Beautiful Olivia, or the Terror in the White Tower: a true tale of the Thirteenth Century. Translated into Bohemian from Procopius the Hoary. Prague, 1798 (reprints 1844, 1858). This is the first popular booklet. The original—not as in Procopius—is in Spiess's Biographien der Selbstmörder, 1785. Variants of this German story from Bohemia are in Th. Vernaleken, Mythen u. Bräuche d. Volkes in Osterreich, Wien, 1859, p. 123, and J. V. Grohmann, Sagen aus Böhmen, Prag, 1863, p. 59 (=L. Laistner, Das Rätsel der Sphinx, Berlin, 1889, v. p. 232 n.). On December 1, 1844, the State Theatre gave The White Lady of Neuhaus, or the Sinner a Protector after Death. The German original in four acts was by F. Feslitz; the translation was by Jan Kaska.

In 1845 K. Vetterll published at Prague The White Lady, or the Sweet Pap: an origittal National Farce in One Act by Hanna Lykiška. The author was a priest, Jan Vlček-Vlčkovský. The story is based on Balbín, and is sufificiently oddly put together to be specially discommended.

Then comes a popular print: The White Lady of Neuhaus: a Narrative of the Fifteenth Century. Jihlav, printed and published by I. Rypl. There are two reprints, the latest of the three being of 1888. This work is the popular source of the tale of the white lady, but it is not original, but a shortened paraphrase of the German popular work, Die weisse Frau in Neuhaus. Geistergeschichte aus dem fünfzehnten Jahrhundert. The oldest print is: J. Stiassky, Prag, 1798. Many times reprinted after this. Even the German tale is not original: its source was an article by Prof. J. A. Eberhard in the Berlinische Monatschrift, i. 1783, p. 3, speaking of the tale according to Nagel's Dissertatio historico-metaphysica de celebri spectro weisse Frau, 1743, with an addendum by Prof. Gedicke, giving the life of Bertha v. Rosenberg according to Balbín. The German work has a story of Bohemian history from Jesuit sources. The story is much corrupted in these popular versions. Miloslav's "White Lady" in the Česká Včela of May 6, 1842, p. 141, No. 36, sings of the servant returning from her sweetheart to find the White Lady sitting by the cradle. This is from the story of the White Lady at the Cradle of Peter Vok von Rosenberg, and it is taken from Balbín. Boieldieu's play, performed at Prague in 1853, has nothing to do with this White Lady. Grillparzer's Ahnfrau appeared in Spott's version in 1854. This has only the name Bertha in common with our story, and she is Berta von Borotin. He based his play on Kristina B. Naubert's Die weisse Frau, a working up of Eberhard's article.

Jos. Pečírek's White Lady: a National tale, 1859, is an original and artistic compilation, under Balbín's influence. The tale of the establishment of the "sweet pap," and of the refusal of it by the besieger of Rosenberg are given. Even the incident of the treasure being shown to the disguised Peter Vok von Rosenberg by his ancestress appears here. Cf J. Wenig, Kytice pověstí, 1811, p. 54 note, for some parallels pointing to a common literary source.

J. K. Hraše gives one of the episodes in "Tales from S. Bohemia," in Hvězda, iii. 1861, No. 36, p. 584 n., No. 37, p. 599 n. But this is not a folk-tale. Another version in Babiččina vypravování, 1880, p. 149.

In the seventies appears the anonymous romance, The White Lady and the Last Knight of Hohenstein, or the Gipsy's Prophecy. A noteworthy historical romance of the time of the Reformation, with pictures. Prague, 2 vols., no date. Its heroine is Jitka v. Hohenstein. This is a complicated version of the story, and shows traces of incidents taken from J. Müller's Erzählungen und Sagen des Taborer Kreises, pt. 2, Die Burgkapelle von Borotin. The White Lady incident is not central in this worthless book, but the work has some nobler ideals, and is of value as a source of popular tradition.

In Václav Beneš-Třebízský's On the Eve of the Five-petalled Rose of 1884, an elegy on the end of the house of Rosenberg, the tale is used to strengthen the sorrowful feeling evoked by the dying out of a famous family. Evička, the sister of the last Rosenberg, reminds the servants of Krumlov of the White Lady Bertha, whose figure is seen in the castle corridor, and is regarded as the guardian spirit of the family, and so on. His version of the story uses the name Bertha von Rosenberg, following Balbín. Similarly he adorns his story of the end of the Svanbergs, the Rosenbergs' successors, with the White Lady story.

Żofia Podlipská, The White Lady, a three-act play, Prague, 1887. This is a very considerable rehandling of the usual material, raising the idea of the White Lady to the highest levels of ideality as an instrument of Providence.

A later version, in 1808, by J. Koštálek, as a children's play, makes the White Lady the living Bertha von Rosenberg, and takes features of the story from Sedláček and Pecírek.

2. The oldest literary studies of the tale are of secondary rank and, though set out by the writer, need not appear here, as they rather concern the history of Bohemian literary criticism.

3. The tale is traced through various disguises in borrowed plumes in various collections of popular tales, which need not be set out here.

II. Bohemian popular tradition relating to the White Lady. It was too late set down to show many variants.

1. (a) The White Lady in Nature. She is met with as accompanying a traveller on part of his way, or appearing at a chapel, a bridge, a cross, the moat of a city, etc. A number of local variants of this story, (b) Another class of appearances is connected with wells or springs, out of or into which she comes; here again certain named wells are indicated in the Slany district and elsewhere. Certain versions have a religious twist.

2. The White Lady becomes in certain cases the guardian of a treasure on a hill. This is found in German as well as Bohemian sources. Sometimes she brings out the treasure herself, sometimes merely shows where it is.

3. The child forgotten in the hill and the White Lady. The child is left in the hill at one of the seasons (Good Friday, Passiontide) when it is open, and there are treasures there. The child's mother is a poor widow. After a year the mother finds the child, who has been guarded by the White Lady, according to some of the stories. A few variants exist.

4. The enchanted White Lady. The appearance of the vision prompted the question, Why? The answer was that she was under enchantment, either without offence or for some wrong-doing, and awaits release. This gave full rein to popular imagination, and there are the most varied reasons given to account for her position. One of the most interesting is that of the White Lady at the White Mountain castle. This has several variants, and occurs in different places. It is probably of German origin.

5. The enchanted White Lady and the finding of the treasure. The White Lady demands release and offers great treasures for it, which the bold deliverer may win.

The central motive of these tales is, as in the preceding section, a test which the deliverer must undergo. However, the would-be deliverer usually fails to fulfil the conditions, or has not enough courage to attempt the rescue.

According to the story in Krolmus's Collection, ii. 565 n., a white lady appeared to a ploughman at Waldeck, and asked him to free her. She often talked to him, and hid money in a well for him. Then she asked him to come at midnight to the well Lida that she might give him abundant treasures, but he refused. On this the White Lady said she must remain enchanted and lost until a priest from the cloister of St. Dobrotiva releases her, and he will be redheaded. Silesian and also German variants follow.

The "contamination" of the motives of enchantment and of a treasure is evident in a tale in the collection Slavie, poh. a pov. naš. lidu, 1882, p. 107. An old boatman saw on the day of the Passion a marshlight (wiil-of-the-wisp) below Točník. He did not allow himself to be misled by the mockery, but began to dig there. He dug down to some stairs leading to the depths. At the twentieth step a white lady appeared to him, and asked him what he was doing, then told him that she had but a year to watch a treasure and await release, that he is to come at the same time a year hence; then he will be able to take whatever he may desire. The opening fell on the old man when they finished singing in the church of the Passion, and he died soon after this.

In both the above tales it does not come to an attempt at liberation. The manner of the liberation is defined in a tale from the district of Beroun, cf. Amort, p. 36, where the motive of the Passion is also preserved. At Passiontide a beautiful young lady showed to a youth from a farm a treasure and says that he can accept what he can carry away, but must not dare to look back on the way home. Otherwise the treasure would disappear and she would be made unlucky for fifty years. The nearer the youth got to the house, the bigger and bigger was the noise he heard behind him, desperate weeping and cries for help. When he got to the side-door to his house, he turned round, wishing to step over the prop. There followed a huge report and violent weeping moved away from him. All the pockets in which he had stowed treasures took fire.

The prohibition to turn round is common and is illustrated from German sources, but one might add the classic Orpheus and Eurydike, and the Biblical story of Lot's wife.

The tale of the Enchanted Lady in the Schatzberg at Jihlau introduces as a condition of the liberation of the Enchanted Lady transportation over the castle moor. Cf. Pátek, Povešti z Jihlavy a Okolí, p. 20 n. The terrifying of the liberator by various chimeras hinders the rescue. The lady laments, and says she must suffer till the Judgment Day. Various German parallels are given.

The motive of carrying and of a huge weight appears also in a notable tale from Hungarian Hradishte. Cf. Vernaleken, Mythen, p. 124. A white lady appeared to two men who were looking for a treasure and told them that they will not find a treasure, unless they lie down on the ground, etc. But they could not endure that test. Various German parallels are quoted. Three white ladies appear in the ruins of Herstein, according to a tale from Domažlicko. Cf. Světozor, ii. 1868, p. 102. These are the spirits of the daughters of John of Herstein, whom he, to protect them from the enemy Bavarian, immured with the treasure and who perished of hunger, when their father was killed. Their spirits guard their father's treasure.

On the night of Palm Sunday it is possible to see them there; they will be rescued by a chaste youth who will raise the treasure that night. This tale arose on the basis of some historical event and of the tales of the freeing of an enchanted white lady. Pomeranian and German parallels given.

6. The White Lady announces an unlucky event. This unlucky event is mostly death: the White Lady is the ambassadress of death.

The tale, "The White and Black Lady, or the Woman," in Krolmus, ii. p. 484, tells how the dying saw "a white female [figure] standing by a stone and weeping," or "a white lady coming out of a door," who came to them to announce their death. According to a note by Krolmus, a black lady announces death in the district of Saatz and a white lady in the neighbourhood of Rakovnik. At Luštěnice they know a tale that a white lady appears to the woman whose husband is going to die. She comes down the chimney and makes a noise like a sheet of paper; if this rustling is to be heard, the woman will not dare to appear. [Vdati, usually = marry!] The men whose wives are to die see the white lady. Cf. Grohmann, pp. 68–9.

According to another story quoted there, a white lady announces deaths in the cloister of the nuns at Kuttenberg, singing sacred songs at midnight. In the district of Hořice also there is a similar belief. To some one it appeared that he saw "that evening that father died such a white female [figure] outside. There she grew grew till she hung over the tomb and became one with it." Nár. Sborník Okresu hořického, Hořice, 1895, p. 112.

Parallels from Lusatian Serbs (Wends), Tyrol, etc. Other forms of ill-luck are also announced by the white lady. If any kind of misfortune is going to happen at the village of Tuchoraz, in the district of Böhmisch Brod, there come out of the vault of the tower at midnight between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday two white ladies that go gradually through the village, singing sacred songs. Cf. Grohmann, p. 91. Other Bohemian and German cases.

In Carlstein district a white lady appears at midnight before a sick man's house and asks. Are they all at home? If so, she says whether the sick man will die or not. If all are not at home, she says she can't wait longer and the sick man will die. Cf. Grohmann, p. 70. The white lady of this tale has yet somehow another character; it is the white lady of the castle of Carlstein; she announced the death of the castle citizens, and then the people saw it in the lower castle. Cf. F. V. Zelinka, Sbírka lidového podání z Berounska, p. 7.

The announcement of death and important events belongs to the characteristics of numerous tales in later sections.

7. The White Lady in inhabited places, in walled cities and castles, the White Lady of the Vítkovec family.

Previous tales mention the appearance of a white lady in inhabited places or near them: this is due to enchantment, the unrest of the wandering spirit, a sign of death. Instances of causeless appearances are given from Vyšehrad and elsewhere in Prague, etc. Every "hrad" (fortified enclosure) in Bohemia has its White Lady. A long list from Balbín is given. It is a very simple story, of a mere vision. It also appears in the ruins of a "hrad." So at Tetín. The story is mostly elaborated by accretions from elsewhere. General references to the White Lady usually mean the one of the Rosenberg and Hradec families, the founder of the soft pap. (They claim descent from a mythical ancestor Vítka, hence Vitkovec.) This is in South Bohemia.

The earliest known account is in Gregor Richter's Axiomata Œconomica, printed in 1600 at Görlitz. The next is a Jesuit report of 1604, then a letter of Adalbert Chanovský, 1618. A fuller account is in his posthumous Vestigium Bohemiae piae, 1659, and in Adam Tanner's Amuletum Castrense, 1620, etc. The first compiler and historian of the story is Balbín (Miscellanea).

The details given in Balbín of Slavata's inquiry of the old men as to the soft pap, evidence the following traditions: that the white lady was a widow and the guardian of the orphans of the Vítkovec family, and that the winter was substituted quite late for the autumn as the date of distribution of the soft pap. These points were left out by Sedláček in his effort to restore the live tradition as it was before Balbín. The appearance on great occasions in the castle was a popular tradition: many of the details are purely literary in origin. There is a popular tale of a White Lady showing a treasure to Peter Vok of Rosenberg. Other versions and families are mentioned. Also other countries e.g. Bayreuth, Russia, Paris, London, even America! A specially common tale in Silesia. But the White Lady of the Vítkovec families was not only a messenger of death and misfortune, but also appeared on joyous events. Balbín says she only brought bad news when she had a black glove. Various versions make her a punisher of ill-doers and a protector of the poor. In most of these stories she is the ancestress of the family, but in others she is one who is suffering for her sins in some way or other, including that of opposing parental authority.

8. The White Lady in places of unlucky events, such as murders, suicides, accidents. Here the idea of the White Lady is merely the declaration of the popular religious idea as to the life after death and of the punishment which pursues the soul in that it does not find rest. Various examples are quoted from collections such as Krolmus, A. Blažka, etc.

III. Expositions of the story of the White Lady.

In this matter the most important story is that of the Vítkovec White Lady, and this has received continuous attention from Chanovský to the present day. According to him (ob. 1643) it was the spirit of Bertha von Schwamberg, wife of a lord of Rosenberg. His explanation is invalid, as history knows no such lady.

Next comes Balbín, who devoted much labour to the matter, collecting all the details of the story and variants, and trying to establish a standard version. He regards her as the benefactor, the ancestral spirit watching over the safety of the family. He proves this by the foundation of the sweet pap and the appearance at Pelčí in 1645, when the Swedes refused to give it. He conjectures that she is Bertha von Rosenberg. His main evidence is a picture in the castle at Neuhaus labelled Bertha. He gives a full description of the annual popular feast known as the "sweet pap."

This theory had such success that efforts were made to connect Bertha with the appearances in Germany through the family alliances with Baden, etc. Erasmus Francisci, Der Hollische Proteus, 1708, was the first to do this. Nagel gathered up all this in a dissertation, Wittenberg, 1743. Balbín is the source of all the stories even in the Calendar of Documents of the Telč estate.

Minutoli's book gave evidence that the White Lady had appeared in 1346 in Germany, too early a date for Balbín's theory. Later evidence came that Berta was not at Neuhaus, and so not the White Lady nor the founder of the feast. This was due to the study of the letters of Bertha.

J. Salaba in his work tried to show the probable origin, development, analysis and historical basis of the tale of the White Lady of the Vítkovec family. His analysis may be accepted in the main. Salaba explains the sad part of the story by carrying the German story into Bohemia after 1600, but there are evidences throwing the Bohemian popular tradition back into the sixteenth century, and this destroys his theory. But it is certain that new foreign elements associated themselves with the Bohemian tradition: this took place not later than the sixteenth century, from South Germany, perhaps direct from Bayreuth. The Rosenbergs had it first, then the Hradec family. In the seventeenth century White Ladies multiplied as a piece of Jesuit machinery.

The Vitkovec White Lady is a non-unitary composite of various elements: history, popular tradition, reflection on history and German tradition filtering down from the nobles to the people. Various mythological explanations vitiated by uncritical treatment of Bohemian history are cited from Grimm (a German goddess, the Bright one, hence white), J. E. Födisch, A. Kuhn, W. Schwartz, Max Müller, L. Laistner. The last abandoned the explanation given in his "Nebelsagen," and took a different view later.

Grimm had hinted that Berchta might be parallel to Befana. J. W. Mannhardt definitely stated that she was a personification of the Epiphany. Still a goddess might more easily than a day in the calendar start such an idea. A. N. Veselovsky has studied Mannhardt's view and called into consideration the story of the "Reine Pédauque," Sybille, the girl with the goose feet. Another view regards this Reine Pedauque as Bertha, the mother of Charlemagne. Among other points she is said to be connected with the care of children, because the Epiphany was originally set apart for celebrating the children slain by Herod {i.e. as Innocents' Day). The later combinations may be admitted as resting on Balbín's error, borrowed from Grimm. The Epiphany explanation was driven out by E. H. Meyer, Mannhardt's own pupil. Various others are given, but need not be quoted here. Th. Stettner has pointed out the error of connecting the tale of the Orlamünd enemy of children with the tale of the White Lady: she might he a Valkyrie. W. Wundt, in his Völkerpsychologie revives a view of Balbín's. There are certain Bohemian explanations, resting largely on German views already stated or quoted.

Thus Krolmus represents something confused and quite opposed to the school of Mikšíček and Menšík. J. Fejfalk follows Grimm in part. J. I. Hanus takes more names into the equation. So too Dvorský, whose historical study of the question is, however, of value. Erben and Sedláček follow the German majority.

Everything in Bohemian and German traditions points to the White Lady and Bertha being quite separate ideas and essentially different. Certain appearances of Bertha in Bohemian tradition are quoted, and this was taken into the Bohemian cycle very early, and has nothing in common with the other.

The White Lady has a very varied origin, one of the most important sources being the belief in the soul. The idea of enchantment is a natural answer to the question why she appears. Some traces of metempsychosis come in here. The announcement of the future is possible because a spirit knows what is to come. The appearance in enclosed places is the least popular of the elements of the story: it comes from Bayreuth in 1486.

There are several German versions having elements such as a light carried by the White Lady, gifts made by her, etc.

The messenger of fate was introduced to Bohemia from Germany in the sixteenth century, but was ennobled and modified into a protective ancestress of the family. This idea, so modified, went back to Germany and thence elsewhere, chiefly by literary means.

In Year 8, No. 5–6, Salaba adds some notes on the same matter. He says he attributes the Vítkovec story to the Jesuits only, and Wollman vaguely to "noble circles."

He gives three instances of pre-Jesuit stories of the White Lady announcing the future, but all these three instances are from outside Bohemia and far from the Rosenberg territory. Other points also, besides the silence of quite uncritical adherents of Peter Vok and other Rosenbergs, are against the genuineness of these earlier stories. Thus the account of the change of nurses is given without Balbín's addition in Březan-Heerman. Certain proceedings of copyists-plagiarists, such as Balbín and Heerman, are pointed out as characteristic of the period. Working with this genealogical enthusiasm Jesuit demonology would be well able to produce the results.

He agrees with the South German, Bayreuth origin, assigned by Wollman, but sticks to his date and Sophia Hohenzollern as the one who brought the story into the Rosenberg family.

The banquet is an alien element introduced into the story. The first direct reports (1600) come from Bohmische Krummau (C. Krumlov) and then Neuhaus, never from Třebon. At the two former were Jesuit colleges, but not at Třebon. The Jesuits report the appearance and bring it up at castle after castle, when it became fashionable. It is a largely genealogical and political idea of the Jesuits, introduced at a certain date after the Hohenzollern marriage.

F. Wollman replies in the next number with some fresh evidences for his view and corrections of alleged errors by Salaba.

14. Beginning with the obituary notice at the time of his death and noting what has been written about Vavák since, the writer then turns to an analysis of the "Reminiscences." He was an agriculturist of note, an honorary citizen of Pilsen and judge at Milčice, having been wholly self-educated. The historical parts of the analysis, though of value as showing the high quality as well as the limits of Vavák's work, cannot be dealt with here. In the Reminiscences many matters of wide interest are copied. Thus there is a very violent sixteenth century poem against the Monks, which is not printed in full by the editor. An original poem of his own is a valuable summary of all the ills of villainage-serfdom as existing in Austria before Joseph II.'s abolition ot it. Very soon it was reinstated by Leopold, and great troubles ensued, as to which Vavák is illuminating and candid. He gives a series of brief accounts of various charms and old beliefs, as of the wooden pathway leading up from the castle of Libice in Libussa's time, of the army covered up inside the summit, of the great battle which the prophecy says will take place between Cidlina and Mrlina and end in the defeat of the enemy coming from the north. Although he gives with varying attitude a certain selection of superstitions, including the one that Joseph II. had not died but gone to Berlin and would return to exterminate the Roman Catholic faith utterly, the main value of the work is as a picture of the life of the countryman and countryside in the eighteenth century by an extraordinarily many-sided man.

15. I. How folk songs are circulated.

Epic and ballad poetry show astonishing parallelisms, which suggest that we have to do with variants of one original. So too with folk songs. He is specially concerned with Western Slav forms.

You must assume direct borrowing, and yet the method is not easy to explain and justify. He takes examples from an article on "Czech and Slovak Folk Songs" in the Warsaw Dzwon Literacki, of 1847, by O. Kolberg, the great Polish collector of ballad poetry. Apart from errors of language-classification (Slovak as a Bohemized Polish dialect! etc.), he proceeds to set out Kolberg's examples, taken down in Warsaw from Slovak wiredrawers[1] who spend the winter in the borders of German and Slavonic lands. Sreznevsky made similar collections from a similar source.

There are twenty-one songs, of which he prints a considerable part of the text of the last:

To je kratké—to je dluhe.
To stolica rézacy,
To sou skrypki—to sou basy,
To slepota pohazy, etc.

In a supplement Kolberg gave the melodies and illustrations which enable slepota in the first stanza to be corrected to slepica. The song is well known to Bohemians, but the text actually got to the far North, the White Russian Polesie, the land about the Pripet. This was reported by Jan Karłowicz in Wiłsa (ii. 849). The language is mixed, having been brought by so-called "Hungarian" women, i.e. Slovaks, to Białorus. The White Russian text runs:

Basy skrypki długi krótki,
Tu stolica Reczyca,
Hak, ptak, pahaniàk,
Choine, widła gnojne, etc.

In place of the unintelligible rezacy, the White Russian put the name of a well-known place, Rzeczyca: przytahak was likewise altered to pahaniàk. Certain errors of Karłowicz are noted, due to the Bohemian-Slovak not being familiar to him.

The importance of the text is to show how far a song can go with slight variants even in an alien linguistic atmosphere. There is a mysterious drawing connected with this which caught the attention of Wisła, which tried to encourage the collection of materials about it. Except a schoolboy who wrote certain hieroglyphs and then read them off, there is no Polish record of these things. Some suggest they are old Slavonic characters (? runes, ? glagolitic ? Cyrillic), or the remains of some things used by smiths of various sorts (? gypsy alphabet), etc. A misinterpretation led Smólski to quote a stanza of our poem as a riddle, thus:

Koło wożne
widły gnojne
pośladu klepica
hop tak!
To jest kindebank!

[Trans. The wheel of a cart, dung forks after . . . hop so ! This is the child's bench.—Sklepica I don't know, but it is some diminutive of sklep, a shop.]

It is suggested that klepica and hop tak (for sklepica and hak, tak) arise from an error of the collector's : they would be still nearer to the original then. No pure Polish variants are known, and all the variants quoted are of Slovak provenance. Various Moravian and Czech variants are cited. "Paprika-Janči" quoted as a chain-form is explained as a hit at Magyar speculators by Malý, but seems to be of the same family as the "House that Jack built." They draw pictures on paper, and then say: 1. This is an apple. 2. And out of this apple Paprika Janči was born. 3. P. J. builds him a house, etc. P. J. ends on the gallows. This belongs to a class of games depending on drawings for their starting-point. There are even German variants, not previously noted by Slav investigators. Thus the "O, Du schöne Hobelbank" has a stanza:

Das ist kurz und das ist lang
Und das ist 'ne Hobelbank.
Kurz und lang, Hobelbank, etc.

The form of the repetition is identical with that of the Slavonic texts. Certain parallels with Moravian variants are shown. This is known throughout Germany and in Silesia. It is a forfeit game starting with pictures. It occurs also in isolated modified forms in German. I would add to what the writer points out that kindebank in the case collected by Smólski would very conveniently fit the case of the Hobelbank in the fisherman's wedding dialogue at Hela peninsula, Danzig.

II. Song: "Teče voda od Tábora." The text is quoted from Erben, and his explanation of the well-known erotic significance of the apple is given. Erben gave no variants, although he had seven texts. That they came from the same two districts (N.E. Bohemia) does not much lessen the curiosity of the point. The greatly increased modern facilities still show that this is, according to M. Horák, a hapax legomenon in Bohemian and Slavonic popular poetry.

The ballad can be divided into two parts, the first, strophe 1–5, being of the nature of a lyrico-epic song, and the rest is of different character. The first part (1-5) corresponds in substance to a folksong in Erben: strophe 1-3 are practically unchanged, and the 4th and 5th strophe agree in the song much more conveniently with the framework of the ist to 3rd than in the ballad. The song has many variants. It even found its way into Poland. In this latter case the apple which reaches the loved one's window is the lover himself, and it ends with a dialogue of the lovers.

The second part of the ballad is quite independent, strophes 6 and 7 being a fresh beginning. Zíbrt actually gives "Byl Myslivec na Táboře" as an independent text. The ending is obscure and disquieting. This second part may be said to consist of the same action in substance as the first part, and a lyrical song with its simple construction overweighted with what are non-popular, literary elements. The punctuation is modern and may have been due to Erben; but this is not all, the whole style is modern in the phrase "the night is close, the hart flees and the earth shakes beneath him," for instance.

His conclusion reduces the evidence for the whole ballad to one or at most two contributors, and finally shows that this is a literary construction on the basis of the folksong whose variants appearing elsewhere are not corruptions, still less corruptions of a pseudo-ballad of later date.

There are various evidences that the second part is no mere literary construction, as it contains elements strongly resembling certain folksongs from the Bohemian and Polish ethnographic district, though the former are in German (from Silesia). There is no evidence as to the author of the contamination. It was certainly not Erben, but may have been Doucha or some informant of his.

  1. Dróciarz is wiredrawer, but some derivatives of drót mean knitting, etc. (ó=u).

Note on Pp. 345, 346.

The stanzas quoted read:

"This is short—this is long,
This the chopping bench (or block).
These are fiddles—these are bass-viols.
This comes from the blind man," etc.

The last line is translated on the basis of slepica as=gen. of slepic blind man (slepice in Polish). Slepice in Bohemia means hen, and slepota is the nominative of the word for blindness, and so makes nonsense.

"Bass-viols, fiddles, long, short,
Here is the capital city Reczyca,
Hook, bird, pagan.
Pear trees, dung forks," etc.

The word przytohak, for which pahaniák is substituted, is pritahák in Slovak, where it means rope or grappling-iron.

The German variant reads:

"This is short and this is long.
And this is a joiner's bench.
Short and long, joiner's bench," etc.

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