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Northern Africa. However this may be, there can be no doubt that, as Isaac D'Israeli remarks, "tales have wings, whether they come from the East or the North, and they soon become denizens wherever they alight. Thus it has happened, that the tale which charmed the wandering Arab in his tent, or cheered the northern peasant by his winter's fireside, alike held on its journey towards England and Scotland."

Many of the Fabliaux of the Trouvères of northern France are evidently of Oriental origin; and their prose imitators, the early Italian Novelists, also drew much of their material-of course indirectly-from similar sources. German folk-tales comprise variants of the ever-charming Arabian story of 'Ali Bābā and the Forty Robbers, as in the tale of "The Dumberg," and of Aladdin ('Ala-'u-'d-Din) and the Wonderful Lamp, as in the tale of "The Blue Light." Norse Tales, too, abound in parallels to stories common to Arabia, Persia, and India. And some of the incidents in one of them, "Big Peter and Little Peter," apparently find their origin in the Hebrew Talmud. A very considerable proportion of old European humorous stories ascribed to Arlotto,


See Thoms' Lays and Legends of Germany; Thorpe's Yule-Tide Stories; Roscoe's German Novelists.

+ Grimm's German Popular Tales.

Dasent's Popular Tales from the Norse.

Tyl Eulenspiegel, Rabelais, Scogin (Andrew Borde), Skelton, Mother Bunch, George Peele, Dick Tarlton, etc., have somehow, and at some time or another, winged their way from the Far East; since they are found, with little modification save local colouring, in very old Indian works. Galland, well-nigh two hundred years ago, pointed out that the story of the fellow in a tavern (according to our version, a blundering Irishman in a coffee-house), who impudently looked over a gentleman's shoulder while he was writing a letter, came from the East; and a version of it is given in Gladwin's Persian Moonshee. The prototype of the popular Scottish song, "The Barrin' o' the Door," is an Arabian anecdote. The jest of the Irishman who dreamt that he was invited to drink punch, but awoke before it was prepared, is identical with a Chinese anecdote translated by M. Stanilas Julien in vol. iv of the Fournal Asiatique, and bears a close resemblance to one of the Turkish jests ascribed to Khōja Nasru-'d-Din Efendi.*


Perhaps one of the most curious instances of the migrations of popular tales is the following. In Taylor's Wit and Mirth, an excellent jest-book, compiled by the celebrated Water-Poet (temp. James I of England), we are told of a countryman who had come up to London on a visit, and some wags having set a big dog at him in sport, the poor fellow stooped to pick up a stone to throw at the brute, but finding them all rammed hard and fast into the ground, he exclaimed in astonishment: "What strange folk are these, who fasten the stones and let loose their dogs!" More than three centuries before Taylor heard this

Of stories of simpletons, such as the one last cited, perhaps the largest and oldest collection extant is contained in a section of that vast storehouse of tales and apologues, aptly entitled, Katha Sarit Ságara, Ocean of the Rivers of Story, where may be found parallels to the famous-the truly admirable !— exploits of the Wise Men of Gotham, and to a similar class of stories of fools and their follies referred to in Mr Ralston's Russian Folk-Tales. The story of "The Elves and the Envious Neighbour," in Mr Mitford's Tales of Old Fapan, is practically identical with a fairy tale of a hunchbacked minstrel in Mr Thoms' Lays and Legends of France. In the Arabian Nights (Story of Abou Neeut and Abou Neeuteen, vol. vi of Jonathan Scott's edition) and in the Persian romance of the Seven Faces (Heft Paykar), by

jest, the Persian poet Sa'dī related it in his Gulistan, or RoseGarden (ch. iv, story 10 of Eastwick's translation): "A poet went to the chief of a band of robbers, and recited a panegyric upon him. He commanded them to strip off his clothes, and turn him out of the village. The dogs, too, attacked him in the rear. He wanted to take up a stone, but the ground was frozen. Unable to do anything, he said: 'What a villanous set are these, who have untied their dogs, and tied up the stones!'"-Here we have a jest, at the recital of which, in the 14th century, "grave and otiose " Easterns wagged their beards and shook their portly sides, finding its way, three centuries later, to London taverns, where Taylor probably heard it told amidst the clinking of cans and fragrant clouds blown from pipes of Trinidado! But how came it thither ? -that is the question.

Nizāmī, the reader will find parallels to the "Three Crows" in Grimm's German popular tales. Our favourite nursery story of Whittington and his Cat (also common to the folk-tales of Scandinavia and Russia, Italy and Spain) is related by the Persian historian Wasaf in his "Events of Ages and Fates of Cities," written A.H. 699 (A.D. 1299). The original of the Goose that laid Eggs of Gold is a legend in the great Indian epic, Mahábharata, and variants exist in other Hindu works; but this may be a "primitive myth," common to the whole Aryan race. Largely, indeed, are popular European tales indebted to Eastern sources.

For several centuries previous to the publication of the first professed translation of a work of Eastern fiction into a European language, there existed two celebrated collections of Tales, written in Latin, mainly derived from Oriental sources, to which may be traced many of the popular fictions of Europe; these are, the Clericali Disciplina of Peter Alfonsus, a Spanish Jew, who was baptized in the twelfth century; and the Gesta Romanorum, the authorship of which is doubtful, but it is believed to have been composed in the 14th century. The latter work greatly influenced the compositions of the early Italian Novelists, and its effect on English Poetry is at least equally marked. It furnished to Gower and Chaucer their history of Constance; to Shakspeare his King Lear, and his Merchant of Venice, which is an

Eastern story; to Parnell the subject of his Hermit— primarily a Talmudic legend, afterwards adopted in the Kur'an. The Clericali Disciplina, professedly a compilation from Eastern sources, contains a number of stories of undoubted Indian origin, which Alfonsus must have obtained through an Arabian medium in Spain, however they may have come thither. These fictions of Oriental birth were, of course, filtered through the clerical mind of medieval Europe, and in the process they lost all their native flavour. But on the publication of Galland's Les Mille et Une Nuits, the Thousand and One Nights, in the beginning of last century, garbled and Frenchified as was his translation, the richness of the Eastern fancy, as exhibited in these pleasing fictions, was at once recognised, and, as the learned Baron de Sacy has remarked, in the course of a few years this work filled Europe with its fame. And its success has continued to increase, so that there is perhaps no work of fiction, whether native or exotic, which is at the present day so universally popular throughout Europe it is at once the delight of the school-boy and the recreation of the sage. Shortly after its appearance in a French dress, Addison introduced it to English readers in the Spectator, where he presented a translation or adaptation of the now famous story of Alnaschar (according to Galland's French transliteration of the name) and his basket of brittle wares a story which is not only calculated to

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