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Gypsy Folk Tales, by Francis Hindes Groome, [1899], at


In part iv. of his great work, Ueber die Mundarten and die Wanderungen der Zigeuner Europa's (Vienna, 1874), Dr. Franz von Miklosich published fifteen Gypsy folk-tales and nine songs from the Bukowina, in the original Rómani, with an interlinear Latin translation. They were collected by Professor Leo Kirilowicz, of Czernowicz, but when, where, or from whom is not told; and they, alone of Gypsy folk-tales, have been utilised by M. Emmanuel Cosquin to illustrate his admirable Contes de Lorraine (2 vols. 1886). I have given them all in full, except 'The Rivals,' part only of which is cited under No. 48, p. 181. 'Tropsyn,' 'The Enchanted City,' and 'The Jealous Husband' are perhaps the best; the last has a special interest through its relation to Cymbeline. In his Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Zigeunermundarten (part iv., Vienna 1878), Miklosich published three more folk-tales, communicated by Professor Kirilowicz, Herr J. Kluch, and Dr. M. Gaster--the first a Lying Story from the Bukowina (No. 35), the second, 'The Three Brothers,' from the Hungarian Carpathians (No. 31), and the third, a mere fragment, from Roumania. This fragment is on the familiar theme of an emperor who till old age has had no heir; then his empress bears him a son; but just as the child is being shown to the people, two eagles carry it off. 'Men,' cries the empress, 'if you will find my boy, I will become your servant, to wait on you, to wash your feet, to drink the water they are washed in, to quit my greatness, to make you king in my stead, if only you will find my boy.' After which the story becomes hopeless nonsense, then suddenly stops--I fancy the Gypsy story-teller had got too drunk to continue.

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