Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/126

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lio Reviews.

perhaps be profitable to his compatriots, but it will not replace here such practical manuals as those of Mr. J. R. Allen and Margaret Stokes and Dr. Browne. The sight of it may possibly bring home to some British scholar the desirability of a good little handbook on Celtic Origins, which is much needed. His task is indeed above the powers of M. Roessler.

The English reader will not be misled by our author's theories as to prse-christian oghams being the origin of the Morse code, &c. The two curious facts, that the top row of ogham con- sonants h, d, t, c, g, coincides with the initials of the first five numerals in a by-no-means proto-celtic form ; and that the vowels are in the order of the vowels in pAter iiOster qVi Es In, point distinctly to a date not anterior to Christianity ; though it is quite possible that just as Celts in South Gaul used Greek letters for their own inscriptions, so heathen Celts may for a short while have used a script invented by or for their Christian fellows. The word ogham may easily have been applied to this late alphabet, though it may have originally been given to an earlier and wholly different set of signs.

As to the origin of " Celtic " ornament, the influence of Roman ornament upon Gaul and Britain has not yet been worked out, and we are not entitled to assume, as M. Roessler does, that the spirals of Leicester mosaic are " Celtic." By the way, the draughts- man of plate v. that illustrates this mosaic has badly misrepre- sented his original by breaking the invariable law of "alternation " that governs all these interlacings. Plate vi. is also faulty in this way, and it is also wrongly referenced in the Table des Planches.

M. Roessler might have made his little book of real use if he would have added a bibliography of the best books on the subject, but he has only given a purposeless list of authors cited, amongst whom we miss many of primary value. — F. York Powell.

Tales from the Faerie Quee?ie. Told by Clara L. Thomson. Illustrated by Helen Stratton. E. E. Speight : The Norland Press, Shaldon, South Devon,

This is a reader for children, in which the story of the Faerie Queene is told in simple language, with a few poetical extracts, and illustrated by pictures. It calls for no remark from the student ; but for its purpose it is admirably well adapted.