Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/230

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2o8 Reviews^

or to much gaiety. The general impression one gets from the collection is, that man should expect httle and worry less. Amongst so many kindly and good-humoured sayings it is strange that but one touch of real tenderness should be shown : namely, in the saying " a wo'ld beawt childer is Hke a fielt beawt flowers : " and even that is counterbalanced by the complaint that " it's not oft 'at t' kittlin brings t' old cat a meaws." As a whole the com- parisons are more humorous than emphatic, though examples to the contrary might easily be found ; what could be more expressive than " as mad as a squozzen rotten ? " There are some allusions to superstitions — " Feaw as a corn-boggart," " Like the Clegg Ho Boggart, aws't keep comin' again," and so on ; but references to old customs are more numerous ; — for instance, " Hoo're donned like a meawntibanks foo'," or, " He dainc't waur nor a drunken pace-egger." The old belief in the stars' influence stifl survives in the saying that one " born under a thrippenny planet '11 ne'er be worth a groat ; " and many other phrases alluding to local stories and modes of thought might be quoted from this unpretending little pamphlet.

The handsome volume next on our list is far less worthy of the attention of the folklorist. What sort of people write, read, or buy such dreary compilations as Proverb Lore is to us an in- soluble problem. It contains a miscellaneous collection of pro- verbs, gathered from all kinds of sources, arranged to suit the essayist's convenience, cited without references, and imbedded in platitudes such as " The part of the candid friend is a very diffi- cult one ; nothing short of transparent honesty and abounding sympathy will make it possible. ' Few there are,' says the adage, ' that will endure a true friend ; ' while another runs, ' I will be thy friend, but not thy vice's friend.' " The use of proverbs in literature, collections of proverbs, nationality and locality in proverbs, comparisons, proverbs about animals, occupations, ethics, are all touched upon, and all inadequately dealt with. Antiquaries have long had reason to lament the way in which archeology has been lowered in public estimation by the pointless work of second-hand scrappists ; and it is with sincere regret that we observe that the increasing study of folklore is beginning to incite these pseudo-scholars to turn their attention to our field also. Such popularisation as this can only injure us in the eyes of the intellectual world.