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mundo " (Venice, 1616, fol. 33ib; first ed. 1579): three Germans decide to award the gallina to the one who uses the worst Latin.
This same anecdote is translated in "Scelta di facezie cavate da diversi autori," p. 112 (LeGrand d'Aussy, 3d ed., 2:395); and a variant is given by Count d'Ouville, "De trois compagnons en vn Cabaret." There were no means for gambling for the one egg, so they agreed to give it to the one who could say the best word from the Bible . One said "Jesus Nazarenus;" the second, "Rex Judaeorum;" the third, "Consummatum est." — Contes aux Heures Perdues (Paris, 1652), 2 : 253-254.
In a version current among the French Canadians, three Gascons have only one egg left, and decide that the one who finds the best Latin for it can eat it. One says, "Est cassatus," and breaks it; the second, "est salatus," and salts it; the third, "Et consummatus est," and swallows it. — C.-M. Barbeau, JAFL 29 : 135.
Moreover, this variant of the dream story has, through literary sources of course, reached the Slavs. Krek (/. c.) mentions a Serbian version in which three monks have only one fish, and agree to give it all to whichever makes the pattest quotation from Scripture. The oldest, raising the fish in the air between two spoons, says, "Lazarus, arise!" The second cuts the fish in two, takes one half, and gives the rest to the others with the words, "They parted my garments" . . . But the third takes the whole fish and begins to eat it. The others protest, but he bids them wait till he has finished. Then he rubs his paunch, and says in a loud voice, "This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise."
The Folk-lore Society Of Texas. — The last meeting of the FolkLore Society of Texas was held at San Marcos on April 27 and 28. The officers for the year 1917-18 are: President, Clyde C. Glasscock; VicePresidents, Mrs. Adele B. Looscan, W. S. Hendrix; Secretary, W. P. Webb, San Antonio; Treasurer, Stith Thompson, Austin; Councillors, Mrs. Lillie T. Shaver, L. W. Payne, Jr., Miss Dorothy Scarborough. The next meetwill be held at Houston.
Mexican Branch.—At the instance of Mr. Manuel Gamio, the Branch Society of the American Folk-Lore Society in Mexico is being re-organized. As a result of this re-organization, a number of contributions on Mexican folk-lore have reached the editor. These are to be published in the next Hispanic Number of the Society.
Ontario Branch.—Through the efforts of Mr. C.-M. Barbeau, a new branch of the American Folk-Lore Society is being organized in Ontario. It is intended that this branch shall devote itself particularly to the collection of the folk-lore of the English-speaking people of that province.
NOTES AND QUERIES.
Peiscilla Alden — A Suggested Antecedeht. — The expression "0 speak for thyself, John!" has such a familiar ring, that even students of literature, if asked to identify it, are likely to be ready with a reply. Yet, with all its seeming familiarity, this maidenly appeal is not so well known as at first one is likely to think. It is not from the popular poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish." It is not the reply of the Puritan maiden, "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?"
"O speak for thyself, John!" is a quotation from an original folk-ballad, composed at an uncertain date, at least two hundred years before Longfellow was born. The first notice we have of the ballad is that given by the celebrated Bishop Percy, the ballad collector. It is recorded that he found it in the house of a neighbor, Humphrey Pitt, of Shiffnal, in Shropshire, England, in a manuscript the leaves of which were being used by a maid for lighting fires. How long before being copied the ballads of this manuscript, which Percy dated 1650, had been circulating orally among the people, one must hesitate to conjecture. It is enough for us to know that the manuscript, containing our ballad "Will Stewart and John," from which comes the quotation, was first published by Bishop Percy and his nephew in 1794.
It is manifestly a Scottish popular ballad, and was so accepted by Professor Child in his complete collection of English and Scottish popular ballads. The poem is built upon a story of romance and love.
Will Stewart is sick for the love of a young maiden whom he has never seen, the Earl of Mar's daughter. His brother John, either from brotherly affection or from love of adventure, makes Will happy by agreeing to conduct his courtship for him. Proceeding to the castle of the Earl of Mar, John presents himself and asks for service. Pleased with the young man's appearance, the earl engages him as his daughter's chamberlain. In this situation, John has little difficulty in going about his particular mission. On the following Sunday, as the family are returning from church, he ventures to the maiden his proposal.
'"O spcake for thyself, John Stewart,' she saies,
But John Stewart, unlike John Alden, resisted the charming appeal, and kept true to his trust. With such glowing words did he inform her of his brother's riches and honor, his beauty and love, that she concludes, —
"' By my faith then, John Stewart,
After overcoming many difficulties, Will Stewart and the young lady elope, incur the violent displeasure of the Earl of Mar, and live in estrangement from him for a twelvemonth. Then a child is born, the parents agree to re-marry for form's sake, in the presence of the earl, and a complete reconciliation is effected, —
"And William Stewart is Earl of Marr.
Thus ends a thoroughly human story of an ardent lover and an obdurate father. As usual, love finds a way.
Is there any literary relation between John Stewart and John Alden? between the reply "O speake for thyself, John Stewart," of the Earl of Mar's daughter, and the "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" of Priscilla Mullens? It is obvious that they have much in common, — the two bold, brave men, loving at a distance; the two friends who agree to act as go-betweens and carry on the courtship; the two innocent, unspoiled maidens; the close identity of their replies. There is but one essential difference, — John Alden, while attempting to court Priscilla for the bashful captain, loves her himself; on the other hand, John Stewart is disinterested in the Earl of Mar's daughter, except in the fact that his brother loves her. Furthermore, Longfellow, though a lover of ballads and a frequent composer of them, fails to mention any connection between the New England tradition and the Scottish popular ballad. Of his poem he wrote Charles Sumner on July 10, 1858, "I wrote you about my new poem, "Miles Standish," founded on the well-known adventure of my maternal ancestor, John Alden. The heroine's name is Priscilla; and so you have the chief characters, and the chief incident before you, — taking it for granted that you remember the traditional anecdote (of Priscilla's reply)."
If, however, one may conjecture about the facts underlying a tradition, one may venture a possible explanation. Ballads lived in oral circulation often for generations and generations. Particularly romantic, striking, or odd anecdotes, often in ballad form, were floating everywhere. These peculiar stories invariably attached themselves to the heroes of each community. The popular heroes were magnetic centres to which these incidents gravitated and clung. It is certain that there were no more popular heroes in Colonial New England than John Alden and Miles Standish. Therefore the striking story of the ballad, circulating among the settlers fresh from the mother country, would normally have attached itself to these heroes. Whether the explanation accords with the facts or not, it is interesting thus to associate one of the finest bits of folk-lore with one of our most fascinating metrical romances.
G. B. Franklin. Colby College,
The John G. White Collection. — "The John G. White Collection of Folk-Lore, Oriental and Mediaeval Literature, and Archaeology," now owned by the Cleveland Public Library, comprises thirty thousand volumes and pamphlets, with additions at the rate of two thousand or three thousand pieces annually, and is available for loan to those interested, whether residents of Cleveland or not. The material is now in order, and a librarian in charge.
In the general field of folk-lore the material is large. It includes the chief magazines, such as "Melusine," "Revue des Traditions Populaires," "La Tradition," "Ons Volksleven," "Folk-Lore," "Dania," "Archives Suisses des Traditions Populaires," "Archivio per le Tradizioni Poplari," "Volkskunde," etc.
Local folk-lore has several thousand volumes and pamphlets, German being particularly strong. Other subjects of note are ballads (a very large collection), fables, proverbs, gipsies, saints' lives, and mediaeval romances and legends. There is an excellent Faust collection, including many German and Dutch chap-books. "Tyll Eulenspiegel" and the "Seven Wise Masters," "Rflbezahl" and the Norse sagas, should also be mentioned. On witchcraft there is less material, but there are some rare and early works, and pamphlets infrequently met with, especially in German. Alchemy and astrology have not been purchased to any large extent. The collection on the American Indians has developed recently. There are also, of course, books on plant and animal lore and other similar matters, and a number of chap-books and broadside ballads.
Much in the other parts of the collection will also be of interest. Oriental literature is perhaps the most notable feature, Sanscrit, Arabic, and Persian books being very numerous. In all, a hundred and forty languages from all parts of the world are represented in the collection. Some of the other features are Oriental history, especially that of India; mediaeval literature, present in great abundance (except that purely linguistic material and the philological journals have not, as a rule, fallen within the scope of the collection); archaeology, chiefly Asiatic, including a long series of the publications of the Archaeological Survey of India and neighboring countries; Assyriology; Egyptology (all the principal archaeological series being available); Mexican and Maya picture-writing; Western editions of works on China and Japan; early Irish and Welsh literature, ethnology, and early travel, a number of the geographical publishing societies having been added of late. Finally, in catalogues of manuscripts in European and Oriental libraries, the White collection stands among the first three or four in the country.
While no- printed lists are in existence, any desired book can be found readily, and loans will gladly be made. Applications should be made, if possible, through the library of the institution with which the applicant is connected; those not in a position to comply with this rule should state their case. The period for which books are loaned is ordinarily two weeks, with the privilege of renewal for two weeks more; but other arrangements may be made if need warrants. All communications should be addressed to the Librarian, Public Library, Cleveland, O.
Alabama Folk-lore.—At a meeting of the English Teachers' Association held at Birmingham, Ala., April 7, 1916, Professor N. I. White read a paper on the collection of folk-lore, which contained "The Yankee Soldier," Negro songs heard on a farm in Alabama, "Simon Slick," a hunting-song from Alabama, Negro hymns, and "Sistah Mary Wove Three Links of Chain." These are published in the "Official Proceedings of the Thirty-Fifth Annual Convention of the Alabama Educational Association" (Birmingham, 1916), 35 : 119-126.