Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/29

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" It has been the custom, for several years past, in some parts of Germany, for schoolmasters to ask children, on regular days, to stand up if they knew of any tales heard at home, and to re-tell them. This has been done at the intelligent suggestion of the authorities in edu- cational matters, in connection with men learned in Folk-Lore. A great many versions of tales have thus been obtained. Their comparison often brings out remarkable results in the way of understanding the real drift of a tale, or its reference to the ancient Nature-worship of our forefathers. Classification, also, is thus rendered more easy.

'* I believe important tales are more largely current, even now, in out- of-the-way places of this country, than some may think. At least, I judge so from personal experience, having been fortunately enabled, after repeated inquiries, to rescue many of them from oblivion — such as tales of the mystic Shetlandic Waterhorse, called Nuggle ; Finn Stories ; Night-Mare Incantations ; apparently Odinic Spell-Songs ; Cat, Fish, Nix, and Mermaid Tales ; sea-names of persons and things, and so forth. The essays were published in the Contemporary Review, the Nineteenth Century, and the Gentleman's Magazine since 1879.

  • ' Quite recently I had the luck to get a Grimm's Tale in a Shetland

version, which you were good enough to publish in the Archaeological Review. I am now in possession of what seems to me a very re- markable * Aessipattle ' or Cinderella story from Western Scotland. In its beginning it is unlike many stories of this kind ; and it has partly contact with the German, partly with a Carelian (Finnish) version.

" In short, I am convinced a great deal might be done to get at the still existing hoard of tale-treasures in England.

" I do not know whether the Council of the Society have endeavoured by a systematic procedure to obtain such access; and I should have wished, had I been able to come to-day, to develop the suggestion in question more fully. I think what has been done in Germany should be tried here. I would thank you for reading this letter to the meeting, after the Annual Report has been read, so that the proposal may perhaps be discussed in connection with it ; and I remain, yours sincerely, Karl Blind."