Firebird by Ivan Bilibin Sixty Folk-Tales From Exclusively Slavonic Sources by A. H. Wratislaw Firebird by Ivan Bilibin

Sixty Folk-Tales From Exclusively Slavonic Sources by A. H. Wratislaw

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Sixty Folk-Tales
Table of Contents

Croatian Stories


LII. Kraljevitch Marko

LIII. The Daughter of the King of the Vilas

LIV. The Wonder-Working Lock

LV. The She-Wolf

LVI. Milutin

Illyrian-Slovenish Stories


LVII. The Friendship of a Vila and of the Months

LVIII. The Fisherman's Son

LIX. The White Snake

LX. The Vila

to Illyrian-Slovenish Stories

I AM afraid that our delightful friend Oliver Goldsmith has preoccupied the British mind with a certain amount of prejudice against the region,

'Where the rude Carinthian boor
On strangers shuts th’ inhospitable door.'

But if the said rude and inhospitable person had been addressed in a tongue 'understanded of the people,' his reception of the 'Traveller' might possibly have been very different. Be that as it may, the folk-lore tales of the Styrian and Carinthian Slavonians are full of interest, and in them we certainly find the fullest account of the Vilas, and even a Vila marriage with a human being, which ends in an unfortunate separation, like those in Irish legends between mermaids and men. No. 57 gives us a singular variant of 'Cinderella,' in which the circumstances are different down to the conclusion, which is similar to that of the Bulgarian version, No. 37. No. 58 carries us completely into wonderland, where several old acquaintances will meet us in new dresses and relations. In No. 57 we have a singular legend of a white snake, an animal connected with which there are also superstitions in the Scotch Highlands.

The backwardness of the Slovenes is mainly due to the ferocity with which Protestantism was stamped out by Ferdinand II., who, as well as his father, Ferdinand I., wrote his name in blood in the annals of Bohemia. (See Morfill's 'Slavonic Literature,' pp. 176, 177.)

As regards the language, the dual is as fully developed as in Lusatian.

The text came from:

Wratislaw, A. H. Sixty Folk-Tales From Exclusively Slavonic Sources. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, & Company, 1890.

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