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But the very numerous versions in
East Europe must in that case have been derived from oral tradition
from these. Something similar has even spread to Greenland, where the
story of the Giant and the boy is told by Rae, _Great White
Peninsula_. (See Grimm, tr. Hunt, i., 364.) The Dutch version is told
of Kobis the Dauntless. Cosquin, who has two versions (8 and 25), has
more difficulty than usual in finding the full plot in Oriental
sources, though various incidents have obviously trickled through to
the East, as for example the hero Nasnai Bahadur in the Caucasus, who
overcomes his three narts, or giants, very much in the same manner as
our tailor.


This Puss-in-Boots formula has become universally European from
Perrault's version, to whom we owe the boots that occur in no other
version, so that I have been reluctantly obliged to take them off. But
apart from this the story in its entirety existed earlier in
Straparola, xi., 1, and in the _Pentamerone_, and is found widely
spread through Italy (Pitre, 88; Imbriani, 10; Gonzenbach, 65, etc.),
as well as in Hungary (Jones and Kropf, No. 1), Germany (Grimm, 33a),
and even in Finland (see Jones and Kropf, p. 305). In some of these
cases the cat is a vixen (or female fox), and the incident of the
false bathing and the marriage occurs before reaching the ogre's
castle, as is indeed more natural. I have, therefore, so far amended
Perrault. In most of the folk versions the miller's son betrays
ingratitude towards his animal protector, who sometimes reduces him to
his original state. This final incident, unknown to Perrault, shows
the independence of these versions from that contained in his Mother
Goose Stories. In Sweden the hero, if one may speak Hibernically, is a
girl, who turns up her nose at everything in the palace as not being
so good as in her castle of Cattenburg (Thorpe quoted by Lang,
_Perrault_, p. lxxi.). In India it is found in Day, _Folk Tales of
Bengal_, under the title of "The Matchmaking Jackal," which has
numerous Indian touches; thus the jackal remembers the grandeur of the
weaver's forefathers and rolls himself in betel leaves. Sultan Darai,
in the Swahili version (Steere), has the stripping incident and the
no-talking trick, as well as the ingratitude at end. Lang argues
elaborately that it is impossible to determine the original home of
Puss-in-Boots, though he seems to own that it had one. His criterion
is the absence or presence of a moral in the story, in this case the
incident showing the ingratitude of the Marquis. This occurs, as we
have seen, as far south as Madagascar, and as far east as India, but,
after all, does not seem to be the essence of the story, though in one
of the versions the cat does his tricks for the miller because he had
previously saved him from the hunters. The late Mr. Ralston has an
interesting article on Puss-in-Boots in the _Nineteenth Century_,
August, 1883, though in his days there was a tendency to explain all
fairy tales as variants of the Sun and Moon myths.

It is right that I should add that the servant's evening salute has
nothing to do with the story but is a tradition in my own family,
where my grandfather's servant used to utter this rhyme in a sort of
chant when bidding the family good-night.


The Swan Maidens occur very widely spread and have been studied with
great diligence by Mr. E. S. Hartland in two chapters (x., xi.) of his
_Science of Fairy Tales_ (pp. 255-347). In consonance with his general
principle of interpretation, Mr. Hartland is mainly concerned with the
traces of primitive thought and custom to be seen in the Swan Maidens.
Originally these were, according to him, probably regarded as actual
swans, the feathery robe being a later symbolic euphemism, though I
would incidentally remark that the whole of the story _as a story_
depends upon the seizure of a separate dress involving the capture of
the swan bride. Mr. Hartland is inclined to believe partly with F.
Liebrecht in _Zur Volkskunde_, pp. 54-65, that these mysterious
visitors from another world are really the souls of deceased persons
(probably regarded as totemistic ancestresses). In some forms of the
story, enumerated by Mr. Hartland, the captured wife returns to her
original home, not when she recovers her robe of feathers but when the
husband breaks some tabu (strikes her, chides her, refers to her
sisters, sees her nude, etc.).

From the standpoint of "storyology" from which we are mainly
considering the stories here purely as stories, the Swan Maidens
formula is especially interesting as showing the ease with which a
simple theme can be elaborated and contaminated by analogous ones. The
essence of the story is the capture of a bride by a young man who
seizes her garment and thus gets her _in manu_, as the Roman lawyers
say. She bears him children, but, on recovering her garment, flies
away and is no more heard of. Sometimes she superfluously imposes a
tabu upon her husband, which he breaks and she disappears (Melusine
variant; compare Lohengrin). This is the effective and affecting
incident of which Matthew Arnold makes such good use in his _Merman_.
It could obviously be used, as Mr. Hartland points out, in a
quasi-mythological manner to account for supernatural ancestry, as in
the cases of the physicians of Myddvai in Wales, or of the Counts of
Lusignan. But on this simple basis folk tellers have developed
elaborations derived from other formulæ. In several cases, notably in
the _Arabian Nights_ (Jamshah and Hasan of Bassora), the capture of
the swan maiden is preceded by the Forbidden Chamber formula. Then
when the bride flies away there is the Bride-Quest, which is often
helped by Thankful Animals and aided by the Magical Weapons. When the
hero reaches the home of the bride he has often to undergo a
Recognition-Test, or even is made to undertake Acquisition Tasks
derived from the Jason formula; and even when he obtains his wishes in
many versions of the story there is the Pursuit with Obstacles also
familiar from the same formula.

Cosquin, ii., 16, has, with his usual analytical grasp, seen the
separable character of these various series of incidents. He, however,
attempts to show that all of them, including the germ of the Swan
Maidens, are to be found in the East, and is successful in affiliating
the Greek of Hahn, No. 15, with the two stories of the _Arabian
Nights_ mentioned above, as well as the Siberian version given by
Radloff, iv., 321, the hero of which has even derived his name from
the Jamshah of the _Thousand and One Nights_.

In my own version I have utilized a few of these incidents but reserve
most of them for their proper story environment. I have introduced,
from the Campbell version, the phrase "seven Bens, and seven Glens,
and seven Mountain Moors," which so attracted Stevenson's Catriona, in
order to point out as a remarkable coincidence that Hasan of Bassora,
in the _Arabian Nights_, flies over "seven Waddys, seven Seas, and
seven Mountains." It is difficult to understand that such a remarkable
phrase should recur accidentally in Bagdad and in the West Highlands.
Without some actual intermediation, oral or literary, the hypothesis
of universal human tendency can scarcely explain such a coincidence.


This well-known story occurs first in the fables of Phædrus, though
not in the extant form, only being preserved in the mediæval prose
version known as _Romulus_. It is also referred to in Appian, Aulus
Gellius, and Seneca (see the references in my _History of Æsop_, p.
243, Ro. III., i.). It is told in Caxton's _Esope_, p. 62, from whom I
have borrowed a few touches. He calls his hero Androclus, whereas
Painter, in his _Palace of Pleasure_, ed. Jacobs, i., 89-90, calls the
slave Androdus. We moderns, including Mr. Bernard Shaw, get our
"Androcles" from Day's _Sanford and Merton_. It also occurs in _Gesta
Romanorum_, 104, edit., Oesterley, who gives a long list of parallels
in almost all the countries of Europe.

Benfey, in the introduction to his edition of _Pantschatantra_, i.,
112, contends that the story is of Oriental origin, showing Buddhistic
traits in the kindly relations between the slave and the lion; but the
parallels he gives are by no means convincing, though the general
evidence for Oriental provenance of many of Phædrus' fables gives a
certain plausibility to this derivation. From our present standpoint
this is of less importance since Androcles, though it has spread
through Europe and is current among the folk, is clearly of literary
origin and is one of the few examples where we can trace such literary


I have given the story of the barber's fifth brother from the _Arabian
Nights_ as another example of the rare instances of tales that have
become current among the folk, but which can be definitely traced to
literary sources, though possibly, in the far-off past, it was a folk
tale arising in the East. The various stages by which the story came
into Europe have been traced by Benfey in the introduction to his
edition of _Pantschatantra_, § 209, and after him by Max Mueller in
his essay "On the Migration of Fables" (_Chips from a German
Workshop_, iv., 145-209; it was thus a chip from another German's
workshop). It came to Europe before the _Arabian Nights_ and became
popular in La Fontaine's fable of Perrette who counted her chickens
before they were hatched, as the popular phrase puts it. In such a
case one can only give a reproduction of the literary _source_, and it
is a problem which of the various forms which appear in the folk books
should be chosen. I have selected that from the _Thousand and One
Nights_ because I have given elsewhere the story of Perrette (Jacobs,
_Æsop's Fables_, No. 45), and did not care to repeat it in this place.
I have made my version a sort of composite from those of Mr. Payne and
Sir Richard Burton, and have made the few changes necessary to fit the
tale to youthful minds. It is from the quasi-literary spread of
stories like this that the claim for an Oriental origin of all folk
tales has received its chief strength, and it was necessary,
therefore, to include one or two of them in _Europa's Fairy Book_
(Androcles is another).

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