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the kitchen sewage. A chicken's head is placed before Champa Ranee, who exults over the success of her scheme of vengeance. But the nautch woman is one who fears death exceedingly, and her constant prayer to the god whose image stood in a neighbouring temple was that she might be translated to heaven without the process of dying. The parrot, placing itself behind this image, tells the girl when next she comes, that her prayer has been heard, and that, if she wishes to attain her desire, she must sell her goods and give them to the poor, and, having levelled her house to the ground, must return to the temple, whence she should be bodily taken up into heaven. Champa Ranee does as she is bidden; but when she hastens to the shrine with the friends whom she has brought to witness her glorification, the parrot flies up from behind the image and bids her farewell. “You ate a chicken's head,' said the bird. house now? Where are your servants and all your possessions ? Have

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words come true, think you, or yours ?' Cursing her folly, the nautch girl dashes herself down on the floor of the temple, and is killed.

This incident of the promised ascent into heaven, and of the disappointment which follows it, is found, as we have seen, in the Norse and Teutonic versions of the story of the Master Thief. The correspondence extends even to minute touches; but the setting in the two cases is entirely unlike, and the fact would seem to prove that of the innumerable mythical incidents handed down by the forefathers of the Aryan nations some might be applied to different purposes, the change of collocation establishing their great age still more conclusively. But, apart from this, what opportunity have German peasants had of borrowing from the peasants of India, or the latter from the former, since the days when Hermann crushed the legions of Varus, or for centuries before his time? Clearly none: and it would probably be true to say that no borrowed story ever differed so widely from its original as that of Champa Ranee differs from the German tale of the Dog and the Sparrow. If there is absolutely no evidence of borrowing, the notion must be given up, and it should be given up with good-will. Professor Max Müller has rightly set aside, as sneaking, the argument which ascribes to conscious borrowing even those fables which are common to all the branches of the Aryan family. It seems to afford an explanation, when it is really a mere surmise which furnishes none. But it is not the less impossible that the Hindu and the German should each for himself have hit on the idea which makes a bird the avenger of wanton wrong, and brings about the ruin of the wrongdoer through his own acts, while in each case the criminal swallows, or thinks that he has swallowed, his persecutor. Whatever, then, be the origin of the story (and with this it is unnecessary for the present to concern ourselves), its framework belongs, we must conclude, to that distant time when the forefathers of the Hindu, the German, and the Englishman had still a common home in Central Asia.

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There are, of course, a vast number of tales, of which it would be very rash to speak positively, but which raise nevertheless some curious and interesting questions. The readers of Fraser' will remember Mrs. Oliphant's singularly beautiful story of Earthbound,' which appeared in the number for January last. This tale tells us of a girl who had died in early youth, and whose short life was marked by the clinging tenderness which, after death, would not suffer her to leave the scenes which she had loved. More than others about her she had delighted in her home; and when her happy springtime was cut short, her spirit could not tear itself away from her old haunts. She lingers especially round one spot as the slow years roll away; and at length a young man, with a deeper insight than his companions, is enabled to see her and confess his love. She answers him gratefully and tenderly, but without any trace of earthly passion. After his departure no one else, so far as we have heard, has been again accosted by the gentle little lady who was earthbound. Perhaps her time of willing punishment is over, and she is earthbound no more.'

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This, it may be said, is a very simple framework for a story; but it is as striking as it is simple, and it awakens a keen curiosity to learn how the idea originated. Arguing for another purpose, Mr. Gladstone had said long ago in his Homeric Studies' that 'invention cannot absolutely create; it can only work on what it finds already provided to hand;' and the Eastern and Western versions of myths already noticed have shown convincingly how extremely simple may be the framework of very complicated stories, which in spite of all differences in local features and colouring come undoubtedly from the same source. Now in Washington Irving's delightful Tales of the Alhambra '1 we have in the Legend of the Three Beautiful Princesses' a character which is precisely that of the gentle lady in 'Earthbound.' Zorayhayda, like her, is bound to her home, even to those objects in it which we might fancy would not be likely to call forth any warm affection. But to every object in it she clings; and when, like her sisters, she wins the love of a Spanish captive, she cannot make up her mind to follow their example, and elope with her lover. She remained in her home and she died young, and the

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Due allowance must be made, in examining these tales, for the degree in which the imagination of the narrator may have modified or embellished them. But it must be remembered that Irving disclaims complete originality for any of them, while he declares that he has given some as nearly as he can recollect in the words of his informant. To the latter belongs the noteworthy story entitled the 'Adventure of the Mason,' one of the many tales of plundered treasure-houses which have already come before us in the stories of Rhampsinitos, of Karpara and Gata, of Hyrieus, and of the Master Thief. It is probably not too much to say that those who have given any attention to the subject of comparative mythology will have no difficulty in distinguishing those portions of Irving's Alhambra stories which belong to the local tradition from his additions or embellishments. There can be no question of the substantial genuineness of the story of 'Prince Ahmed-al-Kamel, or the Pilgrim of Love;' and with scarcely less confidence we may speak of the passage relating to Zorayhayda in the legend of the Rose of the Alhambra as obtained by Irving from the story-tellers of the place.

story ran that every night, clad in her Moorish garb, she appeared by the side of the fountain in the patio (the square of grass with its vase-surmounted pedestal in Earthbound'), in the hope of being seen by some Christian, at whose hands she might receive baptism and thus be enabled to rest in peace. Generations roll away; and at length a maiden, who despairs of the faithfulness of her lover, sits down one midsummer night disconsolate by the fountain side. The poor little damsel's heart was overladen with sad and tender recollections, her tears began to flow, and slowly fell drop by drop into the fountain. By degrees the crystal water became agitated, until a female figure, richly clad in Moorish robes, slowly rose to view.' Like Edmund Coventry, the Rose of the Alhambra the next morning relates her experience to her aunt, and like him is told that she must have been dreaming. Like him also, she resolves on seeing the gentle lady again, if it be possible. That what I have seen is no phantasy of the brain,' said she to herself, I am confident. If indeed it be the spirit of the gentle Zorayhayda, which I have heard lingers about this tower, of what should I be afraid?' Her hope is realised. The vision excites in her mind a strange tumult of feelings, but she is reassured by the soft and plaintive voice of the apparition, and the sweet expression of her pale, melancholy countenance.' The Moorish lady asks if the Maiden will undertake the task of breaking the spell by pouring over her the waters of baptism and uttering the holy words?

'I will,' replied the damsel, trembling. Come hither, then, and fear not. Dip thy hand in the fountain, sprinkle the water over me, and baptize me after the manner of thy faith: so shall the enchantment be dispelled, and my troubled spirit have repose.' The damsel advanced with faltering steps, dipped her hand in the fountain, collected water in the palm, and sprinkled it over the pale face of the phantom. The latter smiled with ineffable benignity. She dropped her silver lute at the feet of Jacinta, crossed her white arms upon her bosom, and melted from sight, so that it seemed merely as if a shower of dewdrops had fallen into the fountain.

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In this legend we have the essential features and some even of the minuter details in the story of Earthbound.' It would be a matter therefore of no little interest to learn whether Mrs. Oliphant has found this tale localised in any English spot; in what shape it first came to her knowledge; and whether there is any clue towards tracing its history. Because it resembles in greater or less degree the Alhambra story, it by no means follows that it is a direct importation from Spain; but, on the other hand, no peculiarities of local colouring will suffice, of themselves, to prove that it is of strictly English origin. The features of The Ghost of Lew Trenchard' seem to be absolutely distinctive; and Mr. Baring Gould relates with reference to it a circumstantial tale which might deceive any but the most wary. A young man who had landed from America soon after the death of Madame Gould was riding home to Tavistock.

It was a clear moonlight night, and as he passed through the Lew valley,

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with the white rime lying thick on the grass, he noticed a newly ploughed field, in which the plough bad been left. On this was seated a lady in white satin, with long brown bair floating down her shoulders. Her face was uplifted and her eyes were directed towards the moon, so that Mr. Symonds had a full view of it. He recognised her at once, and taking off his hat, he called out, ‘I wish you a very good-night, Madame.' She bowed in return and waved her hand, the man noticing the sparkle of her diamond rings as she did so. On reaching home, after the first greetings and congratulations, he said to his aged parents, “What do you think now? I have seen that strange Madame Gould sitting on a plough this time o’night, and with frost on the ground, looking at the moon.' All who heard him started, and a blank expression passed over their countenances. The young man, seeing that he had surprised them more than he had anticipated, asked what was the matter. The reply was, ' Madame was buried three days ago in Lew Church.'

In this story Mr. Baring Gould sees a legend which in its essential features is of great antiquity, and he asserts in plain words that Madame Gould, a lady who died towards the close of the eighteenth century, is unquestionably an ancient Saxon goddess (the German Frau Holle) who has fallen from her pedestal and undergone anthropomorphism and localisation. Such instances, he adds, although rare in England, are common enough in Norway, It would be interesting to learn whether the framework of Earthbound' has been provided by any like process ; nor must it be forgotten that it is strictly the framework only which is a matter of scientific interest. The details may vary indefinitely; but the myths already examined must surely suffice to show that the divergences of stories manifestly cognate may be profoundly astonishing.

GEORGE W. Cox.

HOSPITAL NURSING.

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FEW weeks ago the writer of this paper was conversing with Mr.

Bonham Carter, the Secretary to the Nightingale Fund. The writer observed that he had always had a preference for the Nightingale, as opposed to all other so-called systems of nursing,' because long experience proved it to be founded upon business principles. Mr. Carter's reply to this remark explains the controversies at present vexing the hospital world with epigrammatic truth : Don't call it the Nightingale system! Miss Nightingale repudiates any patent rights in any particular system, as her sole object is to promote everywhere the progress of good nursing. In short, the so-called Nightingale system is really nursing on common-sense principles.' Every hospital committee can easily secure good nursing at their institution, and they will no more need the promptings of any

, particular system than a doctor needs patent medicines.

Yes! that is exactly what the public ought to be made acquainted with at the present time. Hospital nursing can be efficiently carried out in every institution, if the managers only display a fair amount of common sense. This is proved by many experiences, but perhaps the most convincing is that of Miss Nightingale herself. On her return from the Crimea, she was very anxious to improve the nursing arrangements of British hospitals. With this object she personally visited and investigated the systems in force at all the larger hospitals. As the result of her inquiries and observation, she came to the conclusion that Mrs. Wardroper had brought the nursing at St. Thomas's Hospital to a higher pitch of perfection than any other matron or superintendent, not excepting the lady superiors of the nursing sisterhoods who had charge of King's and University College Hospitals at that time. Realising this, she conferred with the Governors of St. Thomas's Hospital, and, with the cordial support of the treasurer, Miss Nightingale was allowed to establish there a school for training nurses, and to place it under the direction of the matron, Mrs. Wardroper. In doing this Miss Nightingale had no idea of upsetting the arrangements which had been adopted by Mrs. Wardroper, although she felt that improvements were in several respects possible. On the contrary, she cordially fell in with existing arrangements, and with their aid, and by degrees, Miss Nightingale founded what is now recognised all the world over as the greatest school of English Nursing Miss Nightingale did not care for the triumph of her own particular crotchets, views, systems, what you will. She simply desired to make English nursing better and better, until it gradually became worthy of the reputation of a great people. Others have started special systems-sisterhoods,

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