Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/291

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Mr. Clouston is one of the most prominent discijiles in this country ofBenfej; and the contributions which he has made to the contro- versy, though chiefly indirect, have been substantial and valuable. It has not been his to take much part in the actual combat. He liJis been rather, like an engineer, engaged in the equally strenuous work of undermining the enemy's position or strengthening his own. It has been his business to unearth Eastern tales and mediaeval fabliaux, and thus, over and over again, to surprise the advocates of the anthropological theory with new problems, or to pile up further difficulties in their way. In the volume before us, for instance, little controversial matter can be found; but it is not for nothing that it contains the story of the Rose of Bakawali. This tale, though it comes to us in a Moslem guise and from a Persian source, has been derived from India ; or at least it contains Hindoo elements. What else, for example, can be made of the sentences which open its seventh chapter? " Indian writers say that there was a city called Amarnagar, whose inhabitants were immortal, the king of which, named Indra, passed his days and nights in joyful festivities. * * * His sway extended over all the world of the jinn, and his court was constantly attended by the paris, who danced before him." Here not only are Indra and Amarnagar (as the capital of the Swerga is called in Urdu) mentioned by name, but " Indian writers " are referred to as the authority for the statements made. Moreover, the incident of Indra's punishment of Bakawali, and her subsequent new birth, is unmistak- ably Indian in form ; and others might easily be cited. Nor does Mr. Clouston forget in a quiet way to point the moral in the direction he favours, both in this and other instances — not always, perhaps, with the same amount of reason.

This is not the place for entering into the controversy. We are only concerned to show that the book is one which ought not to be overlooked by any who are interested in the problem of the origin of Folktales. One of the most valuable portions of the work is the Appendix, in which Mr. Clouston has brought together a great number of variants of the stories in the text. These are often from recondite sources, and students cannot fail to fin4 theni useful,