Myths and Myth-makers: Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology

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J.R. Osgood, 1873 - Folklore - 251 pages

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Page 98 - So she disappeared through the window, but ever afterward hovered about her husband's castle of Lusignan, like a Banshee, whenever one of its lords was about to die. The well-known story of Undine is similar to that of Melusina, save that the naiad's desire to obtain a human soul is a conception foreign to the spirit of the myth, and marks the degradation which Christianity had inflicted upon the denizens of fairy-land. In one of Dasent's tales the water-maiden is replaced by a kind of werewolf....
Page 219 - his rude language fails to state the difference between seeing and dreaming that he saw, doing and dreaming that he did. From this inadequacy of his language it not only results that he cannot truly represent this difference to others, but also that he cannot truly represent it to himself. Hence in the absence of an alternative interpretation, his belief, and that of those to whom he tells his adventures, is that his other self has been away and came back when he awoke. And this belief, which we...
Page 50 - Sultan's army from tlK iol«r ray*. too, had many other representatives besides ships and cows. In a future paper it will be shown that they were sometimes regarded as angels or houris ; at present it more nearly concerns us to know that they appear, throughout all Aryan mythology, under the form of birds. It used to be a matter of hopeless wonder to me that Aladdin's innocent request for a roc's egg to hang in the dome of his palace should have been regarded as a crime worthy of punishment by the...
Page 232 - If an animal or a plant die, its soul immediately goes to Bolotoo; if a stone or any other substance is broken, immortality is equally its reward; nay, artificial bodies have equal good luck with men, and hogs, and yams. If an axe or a chisel is worn out or broken up, away flies its soul for the service of the gods.
Page 27 - ... exiled thither for many centuries, and who is so far off that he is beyond the reach of Death. He has once visited this earth, if the nursery rhyme is to be credited, when it asserts that — " The Man in the Moon Came down too soon, And asked his way to Norwich ;" but whether he ever reached that city, the same authority does not state.
Page 110 - The poets of the Veda indulged freely in theogonic speculations, without being frightened by any contradictions. They knew of Indra as the greatest of gods, they knew of Agni as the god of gods, they knew of Varuna as the ruler of all, but they were by no means startled at the idea that their Indra had a mother, or that their Agni was born like a babe from the friction of two fire-sticks, or that Varu;;a and his brother Mitra were nursed in the lap of Aditi.
Page 228 - ... expected, but if the face be seen he is dead already. A party of Maoris (one of whom told the story) were seated round a fire in the open air, when there appeared, seen only by two of them, the figure of a relative, left ill at home ; they exclaimed, the figure vanished, and on the return of the party it appeared that the sick man had died about the time of the vision.
Page 213 - the time-honoured rhyme really wants but one thing to prove it a sun-myth, that one thing being a proof by some argument more valid than analogy.
Page 156 - The victor returned to his grandmother, and established his lodge in the far east, on the borders of the great ocean whence the sun comes. In time he became the father of mankind, and the special guardian of the Iroquois.
Page 32 - Similar stories are told of other towns in Germany, and, strange to say, in remote Abyssinia also. "Wesleyan peasants in England believe that angels pipe to children who are about to die; and in Scandinavia, youths are said to have been enticed away by the songs of elf-maidens. In Greece, the sirens by their magic lay allured voyagers to destruction; and Orpheus caused the trees and dumb beasts to follow him. Here we reach the explanation. For Orpheus is the wind sighing through untold acres of pine...

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