Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/37

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Presidential Address. 25

sat down to rest on a stone. As he sat there, his eye fell on a plant that grew by his feet, which looked so beautiful that he resolved to take it with him and plant it. The sun was hot on the sand, and for fear that it might wither, he found out a bird's thigh-bone and put it within. But in his blessed hand the plant grew so fast, that it grew out of both ends of the bone. He then found a lion's bone to contain the bird's bone and the plant, and the plant grew out of that as out of the other ; the same happened with the thigh-bone of an ass. When he came to Naxia, he found that the plant had so en- twined these bones that he could not separate them. Accordingly he planted them all together. By and by the plant put forth beautiful clusters of grapes, from which he made the first wine to give joy to man. But what a miracle happened now! As they drank they became first like birds of the air ; then, as they drank more, they waxed strong as lions ; and if they drank more still, they became like asses.' "

Such are a few of the echoes of ancient life which I have noted down in reading folk-tales. They are taken from three collections only, and from only a few tales out of these. They might easily be multiplied. But, as I said before, the time has not yet come for theorizing ; we must first gather the facts, and to that end I urge every member of the Society according to his opportunity. Much might be done even by a gift of money. I have the collectors ready, and they progress as fast as I can pay them, but I cannot pay them much. Our Society is poor; but perhaps this hint may fall on the ear of some one who could either assist in collecting, or in publishing what is collected. I can assure any such pious benefactor that his money will not be wasted.^ If Shake- speare is commercial English, this is a branch of natural

1 This appeal has already met with response from one generous friend, Mr. C. Letts, who has contributed £^ 5s. for collecting in Astypalaea.