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resided one winter on the island, and collected much valuable inforin. ation. I confess, however, to doubt as to his accuracy in all respects, as the Heligolanders, like many other people, will follow your lead in conversation if they think you will like it. Oetker, for example, gives "vier” as the Heligolander's numeral “four”; no doubt he was told so, but the word the people always use is “steué” (I spell it phonetically
, as I have never seen the word in print), and even had he heard it i doubt if he would have reproduced the pronunciation, for I have been told by my boatman that a German who learns the frd always says * stooé.” It is a slow and difficult thing to pick ut people's folklore, unless you are one of their race and constantly goldeig then. “Even then, it is a common experience of collecto g, buays truly the excellent and very useful hand-book of folkwas inpublished by the Folklore Society, " that persons who may rea gildecirimming over with the most curious and interesting tales will vlace, wntly deny that they know any; and it is difficult to overcome tick, butictance to tell them even after long periods of friendly intimacyk warience and geniality are the only means, unless the collector p soon also the most potent key of all, the ability himself to tell talesd minange the metaphor, if he can once set the ball rolling, the probalwear at the others will not allow it to stop. Nothing is more cont fat as han tale-telling among those who can tell tales." I had a mary" Wtance of this recently in Heligoland. Knowing the people ind nemyly pretty well by frequent visits, I have endeavoured more that her to get them to tell me something of their folklore, not ofne pith much success.
One night, however, walking with a young hirgolander I got unexpected information on many points by tellinh n about the Beltane fires in Scotland. "But we have those firen,” he said, “only they are on Sylvesterabend;" that is the day by the New Year, which corresponds with Old Christmastide, me of the winter solstice; he showed me the place on the cliffs the fire was lit, and told me how he and other lads had played arnped about it, according, as he said, “to our ancient custom.” Ing along we came to the Flagenberg, a mound on the Oberlay ere I remarked, following Oetker, "But I thought the witches dy here on Christmas Eve.” “Oh no," was his reply, “they only doere on the first of May, so the old people say, but I have ber on the first of May and have seen none,” and so on. Thus the little book above referred to says, that the best collecting is ch is done by accident, by living among the people, and gathe-le sayings and stories they let fall from time to time. But very slow process for one who, be he German or English peak the Frisian language fluently. Sylt
more severely than any other country, and the Frisians were pillaged by both sides. As time passed on, however, the islanders became sincerely attached to Denmark. King Christian VI., in 1735, abolished the compulsory service; King Christian VIII. visited Föhr every year for sea-bathing, and was very popular indeed. So much so, that when in 1850 the young men of that island and of Sylt were invited to serve as volunteers in the Schleswig-Holstein navy against Denmark, not one from Föhr would go, and less than twenty from Sylt. Within five years of Prussia's acquisition of the Duchies (what other polite word for that act can one use ?) 345 persons emigrated from Föhr rather than serve the Prussians. Perhaps the whirligig of time may bring its revenge ! Before treating of the legends, it is perhaps as well that some idea of the people among whom they are found, and some historical summary, however rapid, should be given. Their annals are like the annals of other peoples, with deeds of valour and adventure, and of shame and treachery. During the last two or three centuries the island Frisians have been a peculiarly adventurous people; they were in the first rank as Greenland fishers, and as adventurers they were found in Barbary. But wherever they went to live, they came home to Sylt to die. The people have a sterile and inhospitable shore, but so industrious are they at home and abroad, that there is scarce any poverty in Sylt. This, too, is true of Heligoland, not so much that the Heligolanders have hoards, like the Sylt investments in the Danish funds, but that all are comfortable, and all are proud. If his wishes are modest, his life simple, his temptations to expense few, the Heligolander knows that poverty in the sense of actual want need little be dreaded, and any lonely old person is well looked after, for his wants, too, are few, and half the island are his kindred.
Take the island Frisians as a whole, the men are finely-built, straight-nosed, sea-tanned folk ; the women are in early youth pretty, but are all small, and have much hard work; they marry early ; they have excellent education for their children, and in their leisure hours they have a store of legends and folklore, rich indeed, of which I can now give but a gleaning the most meagre.
The traditions of the island have not all been equally well preserved. Heligoland has of the whole group the least traces of folk tales. This is partly explained by its small population, rapidly influenced by the education insisted upon by the English Government. But undoubtedly the customs and folklore of the island, such as they are, have never yet found a capable collector. Oetker, who has written much the best German book on the island, though it is now thirty years old,
was alrtly deny that they
resided one winter on the island, and collected much valuable inforin: ation. I confess, however, to doubt as to his accuracy in all respects, as the Heligolanders, like many other people, will follow your lead in conversation if they think you will like it. Oetker, for example, gives "vier” as the Heligolander's numeral “four"; no doubt he was told so, but the word the people always use is "steué" (I spell it phonetically, as I have never seen the word in print), and even had he heard it I doubt if he would have reproduced the pronunciation, for I have been told by my boatman that a German who learns the Frd always says “stooé.” It is a slow and difficult thing to pick "elm people's folklore, unless you are one of their race and constantlyden dig them. “Even then, it is a common experience of collecto,ut Brays truly the excellent and very useful hand-book of folk inordipublished by the Folklore Society, “that persons who may resied ho rimming over with the most curious and interesting tales will ; know any; and it is difficult to overcome thut as h'
ictance to tell them even after long periods of friendly intimacyas a ience and geniality are the only means, unless the collector Pn, and
also the most potent key of all, the ability himself to tell tales ind thnange the metaphor, if he can once set the ball rolling, the proba! “By
hat the others will not allow it to stop. Nothing is more contas a hay han tale-telling among those who can tell tales.” I had a maryhen w łance of this recently in Heligoland. Knowing the people ind, cannyly pretty well by frequent visits, I have endeavoured more tha, flat w to get them to tell me something of their folklore, not ofar of ith much success. One night, however, walking with a younçueck t/golander I got unexpected information on many points by tellir,rved A about the Beltane fires in Scotland. "But we have those fired Boi
” he said, "only they are on Sylvesterabend;" that is the day byhile the New Year, which corresponds with Old Christmastide, klet
, zme of the winter solstice; he showed me the place on the cliffs vbranc the fire was lit, and told me how he and other lads had played ar) cany nped about it, according, as he said, “to our ancient custom.” it. (ing along we came to the Flagenberg, a mound on the Oberlar, and here I remarked, following Oetker, “But I thought the witches dahere , here on Christmas Eve.” “Oh no," was his reply, “they only dann in ere on the first of May, so the old people say, but I have beene wite on the first of May and have seen none,” and so on. Thus it is dist/the little book above referred to says, that the best collecting is thatıravejch is done by accident, by living among the people, and gathering will cre sayings and stories they let fall from time to time. But this isd in very slow process for one who, be he German or English, cannarist peak the Frisian language fluently. Sylt,
VOL. CCLXXIV. NO. 19
10. It isto such scenery that all the dramas of earnest, innocentis valour a heir relive action of the characters—simple,
ds, like, oncligations to Hansen, and I gladly inhabitants, the dwarfs wer he islang efore tive inhabitants. Such tales
old pers s also the ancestors of the present population overcome a feeblo hard wa jur inadequately armed race,
nced they who are represented
e hihes to their conquerors, herenquest of a race who whi.onfounded with fairies up th'al qualities attributed
undoubtedly, stands first of all the islands in respect of tradition owing to her good fortune in possessing in Hansen a most invaluable collector of folklore and legends. To his pages we owe all the best North Frisian tales. He was a true follower of Grimm in his method of simple, nay childish, narration. I may be prejudiced by having acquainted myself with Sylt before I read his Sagen, but every page of that book seems instinct with local colour, and one sees as a background to all the tales. weird or humorous, that he has to narrate, the long stretches of tred
and the lonely, scattered steep-roof houses,
polie to feel the keen
weeps along the level land, hill-less but for funeral mounds,
"he hoarse and constant roar of the North
time Sea on the miles of
rhaps North Friesland a.
"hout form a true idea of
neople, seamen, or wives and children all of seamen.
North Frisians generally the promise of
,st two o Revelation, "and th ll be no sea there” must be indeed incom
dventure prehensible, for witho ea no Frisian could live, and it seems to him
and as a strange promise for 1. Hansen's position, undoubtedly, gave him great opportuniti ollecting folklore, but it is not everyone
sterile who has the opportuni
o has the necessary literary ability to
and at write down what he he estly and simply. I have more than
is true of once elsewhere acknowl do so again, for withou)
we should have little Frisian folklore to help us.
comfortalen Sylt, like most other
hisits tale of wars between the giants and the dwarfs ; the are not pure legends. Till
what must have occurred
whole, the over and over again in almos
1 where a strong migrating
e women who were afterwards allowed
sufferance as servants, but who ultimately died out. Who and fo
ginal population is rapidly extinguished we may expect to fi he most i as the giants, because the greate all been el but where the struggle resulted
least trac, rapidly thereafter diminish in num will be described as dwarfs, and by\vernmen
4 rather anticipate they
on, rapidi and goblins, and all mysterious, half ch as the to them. As, of course, we have no ho has
account of those wars we must take the stories as we get
otse all their wealth of
is nown anachronistic detail-detail which shou
be appreciated than
otherwise, because it shows that the story-teller of each generation, who handed it on, felt that the bold narration of an ancient tale really in decency required the addition of little embellishments to make it realistic enough for hearers who were growing even more and more suspicious of the probability of old battles. Hansen tells us he heard the tale of the giants' war from an old woman, Frau Inken Nessen, of Braderup, in Sylt. The war arose, it appears, from the depredations of the underground folk who drank one Frisian's beer, stole the bride of another, misled a blind man, and so forth. Then assembled their King, Ring, with his gilded helmet with a boat as crest, and King Brin who rode in a golden carriage. Most of their followers hack ly skins as clothing, but Bramm, King Bröns's councillor, had ches of which he was inordinately proud. The Bull of Mors had a hide, with gilded horns standing above his head. Tsmith, of the same place, was always a thirsty fellow, so he took
sk of beer on his back, but as he desired no one to know of it pave out that the cask was a drum. His comrades found oy ne trick, however, very soon, and bade Niss, the smith, go on i dvance while they would mind the drum. (It is still an oath ylt, says Hansen, to swear "By the Drum.”) Tjul, of Arch was a peasant, and as fat as a haystack. He brought his barn hr with him, for he said, “When we go into the fight I can hold. before me, so that the enemy cannot get at me, and if they corso near I shall squash them flat with it.” His name is still perreated at Archsum. The Boar of Stedum was groom to King Bröhe had a cord round his neck to show that he was a servant, and peam in his hand which served as vaulting-pole and weapon ; Ha ke had a scythe ; Boh and Boik had boat-hooks ; Tix and The came from Tinnum, but while the former was King Bröns's secary and had a golden necklet, Thör was the King's fool, and wof a beer-hoop, or a willow branch round his neck to show he was
The Uwen (a family) came from the east, and the Mannen (ar her family) from the west. (Hansen remarks on the peculiarity of Ich names in a footnote, and mentions that near Morsum among alle Frisian population there was a family called “The Frisians,” ap their graves were even in the last century called the Frisian minds.) Barming came with his whole family, for he lived at Efum, and that, as land distances are counted by Frisians, was a lng way off ; he was a travelled thane, and had even brought home flass jar.
When his hill or mound was opened fifty years ago or a glass urn was found in it by one Henning Rinken, but he sold in 1843 to King Christian VIII. of Denmark. Riaul and his