Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/278

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240 Reviews.

folk-store of Mdrchen. Mr. Kittredge does not give to the pro- fessional minstrel the credit, or all the credit, of originating ballads. The Borderers, Bishop Lesley tells us, themselves made their own ballads of the class of Kinmont Willie, however much that poem owes to Sir Walter Scott. Men like " the bard of Rule " made them, ab initio, and reciters in several generations collaborated in the usual way. I do not think that a literary person must fail in making a ballad that would pass muster as popular ; but they usually do fail, because they try to be " too poetical," as Scott said of Mrs. Hemans. Could Mr. Kittredge have detected Scott's ballad of Harlaw, sung by Elspeth of the Burnfoot, in The Antiquary ? I do not despair of puzzling Mr. Kittredge by a ballad which he could not disprove by technical reasons : and I do not know what he makes of " Auld Maitland," a nut very hard to crack. Has Mr. Kittredge a theory of how a title so late as that of " Duke of AthoU" got into "The Duke of Atholl's Nurse " ? The difficulty, for a certain reason, of obtaining a nurse for the ducal family, in the eighteenth century, is " well known to me." Atholl was doubtless thrown in merely to give local colour. There is no room in a book of the dimensions of this for very minute inquiry : the specialist must go to Professor Child's five volumes. But a more exemplary edition than this is, for its purposes, cannot be imagined. The notes are very good, and the glossary is no less excellent. Mr. Kittredge's theory of / ballad origins is one with which I so heartily sympathise that an opponent might be a more useful critic.

A. Lang.

Books for Review should be addressed to The Editor of Folk-Lore,

c/o David Nutt, 57-59 Long Acre, London.