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Siati won, and he set off, riding on a shark, as
Arion rode the dolphin, to seek the home of the defeated deity. At
length he reached the shores divine, and thither strayed Puapae,
daughter of the god, looking for her comb which she had lost. 'Siati,'
said she, 'how camest thou hither?' 'I am come to seek the song-god,
and to wed his daughter.' 'My father,' said the maiden, 'is more a god
than a man; eat nothing he hands you, never sit on a high seat, lest
death follow.' So they were united in marriage. But the god, like
Æetes, was wroth, and began to set Siati upon perilous tasks: 'Build
me a house, and let it be finished this very day, else death and the
oven await thee.'[102]

Siati wept, but the god's daughter had the house built by the evening.
The other adventures were to fight a fierce dog, and to find a ring
lost at sea. Just as the Scotch giant's daughter cut off her fingers
to help her lover, so the Samoan god's daughter bade Siati cut her
body into pieces and cast her into the sea. There she became a fish,
and recovered the ring. They set off to the god's house, but met him
pursuing them, with the help of his other daughter. 'Puapae and Siati
threw down the comb; and it became a bush of thorns in the way to
intercept the god and Puanli,' the other daughter. Next they threw
down a bottle of earth, which became a mountain; 'and then followed
their bottle of water, and that became a sea, and drowned the god and
Puanli.'[103]

This old Samoan song contains nearly the closest savage parallel to
the various household tales which find their heroic and artistic shape
in the Jason saga. Still more surprising in its resemblances is the
Malagasy version of the narrative. In the Malagasy story, the
conclusion is almost identical with the winding up of the Scotch fairy
tale. The girl hides in a tree; her face, seen reflected in a well, is
mistaken by women for their own faces, and the recognition follows in
due course.[104]

Like most Red Indian versions of popular tales, the Algonquin form of
the Jason saga is strongly marked with the peculiarities of the race.
The story is recognisable, and that is all.

The opening, as usual, differs from other openings. Two children are
deserted in the wilderness, and grow up to manhood. One of them loses
an arrow in the water; the elder brother, Panigwun, wades after it. A
magical canoe flies past: an old magician, who is alone in the canoe,
seizes Panigwun and carries him off. The canoe fleets along, like the
barques of the Phæacians, at the will of the magician, and reaches the
isle where, like the Samoan god of song, he dwells with his two
daughters. 'Here, my daughter,' said he, 'is a young man for your
husband.' But the daughter knew that the proposed husband was but
another victim of the old man's magic arts. By the daughter's advice,
Panigwun escaped in the magic barque, consoled his brother, and
returned to the island. Next day the magician, Mishosha, set the young
man to hard tasks and perilous adventures. He was to gather gulls'
eggs; but the gulls attacked him in dense crowds. By an incantation he
subdued the birds, and made them carry him home to the island. Next
day he was sent to gather pebbles, that he might be attacked and eaten
by the king of the fishes. Once more the young man, like the Finnish
Ilmarinen in Pohjola, subdued the mighty fish, and went back
triumphant. The third adventure, as in 'Nicht Nought Nothing,' was to
climb a tree of extraordinary height in search of a bird's nest. Here,
again, the youth succeeded, and finally conspired with the daughters
to slay the old magician. Lastly the boy turned the magician into a
sycamore tree, and won his daughter. The other daughter was given to
the brother who had no share in the perils.[105] Here we miss the
incident of the flight;[106] and the magician's daughter, though in
love with the hero, does not aid him to perform the feats. Perhaps an
Algonquin brave would scorn the assistance of a girl. In the
'Kalevala,' the old hero, Wäinämöinen, and his friend Ilmarinen, set
off to the mysterious and hostile land of Pohjola to win a bride. The
maiden of Pohjola loses her heart to Ilmarinen, and, by her aid, he
bridles the wolf and bear, ploughs a field of adders with a plough of
gold, and conquers the gigantic pike that swims in the Styx of Finnish
mythology. After this point the story is interrupted by a long sequel
of popular bridal songs, and, in the wandering course of the rather
aimless epic, the flight and its incidents have been forgotten, or are
neglected. These incidents recur, however, in the thread of somewhat
different plots. We have seen that they are found in Japan, among the
Eskimo, among the Bushmen, the Samoyeds, and the Zulus, as well as in
Hungarian, Magyar, Celtic, and other European household tales.

The conclusion appears to be that the central part of the Jason myth
is incapable of being explained, either as a nature-myth, or as a myth
founded on a disease of language. So many languages could not take the
same malady in the same way; nor can we imagine any series of natural
phenomena that would inevitably suggest this tale to so many diverse
races. We must suppose, therefore, either that all wits jumped and
invented the same romantic series of situations by accident, or that
all men spread from one centre, where the story was known, or that the
story, once invented, has drifted all round the world. If the last
theory be approved of, the tale will be like the Indian Ocean shell
found lately in the Polish bone-cave,[107] or like the Egyptian beads
discovered in the soil of Dahomey. The story will have been carried
hither and thither, in the remotest times, to the remotest shores, by
traders, by slaves, by captives in war, or by women torn from their
own tribe and forcibly settled as wives among alien peoples.

Stories of this kind are everywhere the natural property of mothers
and grandmothers. When we remember how widely diffused is the law of
exogamy, which forbids marriage between a man and woman of the same
stock, we are impressed by the number of alien elements which must
have been introduced with alien wives. Where husband and wife, as
often happened, spoke different languages, the woman would inevitably
bring the hearthside tales of her childhood among a people of strange
speech. By all these agencies, working through dateless time, we may
account for the diffusion, if we cannot explain the origin, of tales
like the central arrangement of incidents in the career of Jason.

FOOTNOTES:

[91] _Primitive Culture_, i. 357: 'The savage sees individual stars as
animate beings, or combines star-groups into living celestial
creatures, or limbs of them, or objects connected with them.'

[92] This formula occurs among Bushmen and Eskimo (Bleek and Rink).

[93] The events of the flight are recorded correctly in the Gaelic
variant 'The Battle of the Birds.' (Campbell, _Tales of the West
Highlands_, vol. i. p. 25.)

[94] Ralston, _Russian Folk Tales_, 132; Köhler, _Orient und
Occident_, ii. 107, 114.

[95] _Ko ti ki_, p. 36.

[96] _Callaway_, pp. 51, 53, 64, 145, 228.

[97] See also 'Petrosinella' in the _Pentamerone_, and 'The
Master-maid' in Dasent's _Tales from the Norse_.

[98] _Folklore Journal_, August, 1883.

[99] _Poetæ Minores Gr._, ii.

[100] _Gr. My._, ii. 318.

[101] _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_, pp. 213, 229.

[102] This proves that the tale belongs to the pre-Christian cannibal
age.

[103] Turner's _Samoa_, p. 102. In this tale only the names of the
daughters are translated; they mean 'white fish' and 'dark fish.'

[104] _Folklore Journal_, August, 1883.

[105] Schoolcraft, _Algic Researches_, ii. 94-104.

[106] The Red Indian version of the flight is given in 'The Red Horse
of the Dacotahs,' _Century Magazine_, 1884.

[107] _Nature_, March 14, 1884.




_APOLLO AND THE MOUSE._


Why is Apollo, especially the Apollo of the Troad, he who showered the
darts of pestilence among the Greeks, so constantly associated with a
mouse? The very name, Smintheus, by which his favourite priest calls
on him in the _Iliad_ (i. 39), might be rendered 'Mouse Apollo,' or
'Apollo, Lord of Mice.' As we shall see later, mice lived beneath the
altar, and were fed in the holy of holies of the god, and an image of
a mouse was placed beside or upon his sacred tripod. The ancients were
puzzled by these things, and, as will be shown, accounted for them by
'mouse-stories,' Σμινθιακοὶ λόγοι, so styled by Eustathius, the
mediæval interpreter of Homer. Following our usual method, let us ask
whether similar phenomena occur elsewhere, in countries where they are
intelligible. Did insignificant animals elsewhere receive worship:
were their effigies elsewhere placed in the temples of a purer creed?
We find answers in the history of Peruvian religion.

After the Spanish conquest of Peru, one of the European adventurers,
Don Garcilasso de la Vega, married an Inca princess. Their son, also
named Garcilasso, was born about 1540. His famous book, _Commentarias
Reales_, contains the most authentic account of the old Peruvian
beliefs. Garcilasso was learned in all the learning of the Europeans,
and, as an Inca on the mother's side, had claims on the loyalty of the
defeated race. He set himself diligently to collect both their
priestly and popular traditions, and his account of them is the more
trustworthy as it coincides with what we know to have been true in
lands with which Garcilasso had little acquaintance.

* * * * *

To Garcilasso's mind, Peruvian religion seems to be divided into two
periods--the age before, and the age which followed the accession of
the Incas, and their establishment of sun-worship as the creed of the
State. In the earlier period, the pre-Inca period, he tells us 'an
Indian was not accounted honourable unless he was descended from a
fountain, river, or lake, or even from the sea, or from a wild
animal, such as a bear, lion, tiger, eagle, or the bird they call
_cuntur_ (condor), or some other bird of prey.'[108] To these
worshipful creatures 'men offered what they usually saw them eat' (i.
53).



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