Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/107

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99
Report on Folk-tale Research.

blown, and afterwards, placed on its owner's lips, restores him to life.

Father Leeb's first volume of Sagas of Lower Austria is also a collection partly traditional and partly from literary sources. It is much to be regretted that the custom of appending particulars of the reciter of the stories has hardly yet penetrated into German lands. Many of the items, too, are rather superstitions than tales; but they are none the less interesting for that. Notes are frequently added, and, so far as they call attention to variants, they are useful; but they are also sometimes explanatory. The latter portions would have been better omitted, as the author betrays no acquaintance with recent researches which have entirely changed the methods of interpretation. In one respect, however, he sets an example that ought to be followed in every such work: he gives a list of works cited. What labour this saves to the student! Many of the tales are noteworthy. One of them concerns the magician's half-instructed apprentice, who first appears in Lucian; he raises, but cannot lay, the devil. Another attributes the red Easter eggs to hens which picked up the sacred blood of Christ from under the Cross. Is this found elsewhere? Another accounts for evil spirits being no longer visible, by declaring that Pius IX banished them for fifty years to the Schneeberg and Oetscher, In the present decade, however, the period comes to an end, and then—!

Herr Mündel has published a new and enlarged edition of Stöber's Alsatian sagas. Like the preceding work, it is only in part from tradition. It has a somewhat literary air, though this is not to be wondered at when we consider that it was originally published more than forty years ago, and the friends whom the author thanks in his preface for their assistance are all professional men. Many extracts from continental chronicles are embodied, which will be useful to English students. The first volume, the only one hitherto issued, deals with Upper Elsass, and contains many interesting tales. A remarkable variant is given of