Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/483

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Reviews. 44 1

to assimilate her to the type of the ordinary fairy. But I think it most probable that the final identification was brought about by confusion between the Arthurian Morgain and an independent and powerful fairy being bearing a similar name. We are only now beginning to realise how much the Crusaders borrowed from the East, and what confusion their borrowings have wrought in this very Arthurian legend. Is it not possible that a careful examination of the fairy traditions of Sicily and the East may show that if the Crusaders lent traditions of Arthur and his sister, they also borrowed stories of a powerful fairy queen ? In any case I feel sure that in Morgain we have a composite character, and her legend must be examined from more than one side.

On the question of the abduction respectively of Renouart, Lancelot, and Alisander I'Orphelin, to which Miss Paton devotes a chapter, a suggestion of Professor Singer's {Beiblatt zjir Anglia, June, 1903, p. 177) is worth noting; he suggests that the account given by Wolfram of the descent of Arthur's race from a union between Mazadan and Fei-Mtirgan rests upon the tradition of the love of Alexander the Great for a fairy being ; a story well known in the Middle Ages. Mazadan he equates with Macedo, or the Macedonian, a name by which Alexander is frequently designated in German poems. If this be the case, we can, I think, under- stand how this last version arose. For the other two, they are manifestly doublets of the same tale, and until the evolution of the Lancelot legend is more clearly determined it would be rash to hazard an opinion as to the exact relation between them.

Is it not possible that the connection between Morgain, the Dame du Lac, and Sebille I'Enchanteresse may be founded on the fact that each of these has been connected with the Queen of the Otherworld in one of her many forms ? Morgain as Lady of Avalon, the Dame du Lac as Queen of the Isle of Women, and Sebille as Queen of the Sidh ? This would tend to differentiate them from other fairies, and account for their being considered as " Queens."

The section of the study devoted to the Dame du Lac is some- what thin, and too much is made both of her relations with Arthur, which are not a part of the early tradition, and of " Excalibur," the real origin and ownership of the sword being still a problem ; but again the fault lies in too much reliance being placed on Malory and the Huth Merlin. The section devoted to