The Folk Literature of Bengal
The history of the Indian people in these ancient days is but imperfectly known but the tales are a mirror of the customs and the thoughts of the people and as such are of far greater valueFOREWORD IX to us than the dates and the names of a few individuals—the dry bones of history. [...] carried the head of the Gorgon Medusa in a magic wallet —of Herakles who secured the golden apples from the garden of Hesperides and made his escape from the giant Atlas with the prize —of Bellerophon who killed the Chimaira with the help of the aerial steed Pegasos —of the encounter of Theseus with the Minotaur and of the -former killing the dragon with the help of Ariadne —of Jason who' fought [...] Among a considerably large number of these we may mention here the story of the milmaid who while carrying a pail of milk on her head to the market and building all kinds of castles in the air with the future proceeds of the sale of the milk gives a jump of joy at the prospect of her approaching fortune and thereby shatters the pail to pieces on the ground." This story first related in the P [...] But how could the folk-tales of Bengal current amongst her peasant folk and her women break through the mud-walls of the rustic homes and the seclusion of the female apartments to find an audience in the world outside ? The Jataka stories the Panchatantra the Hitopadeca and even the KathasaritsEigara certainly obtained a world-wide celebrity in the past. [...] We read in it how " the king and the queen and.all their Court fell asleep and the horses slept in the stable and the dogs in the court the pigeons on the houstop and the flies on the walls.
|Chapter I. Striking Coincidences Between Some of the Bengali and European Folk-tales||1-51||unknown|
|Chapter II. Internal Evidences in the Early Bengali Folk-tales Proving their Origin Before the Hindu Renaissance||52-80||unknown|
|Chapter III. Currency of Older Forms of Belief Amongst the Converts to Islam in their Folk-Literature||81-97||unknown|
|Chapter IV. Classifications of Muhammadan Folk-Tales in Bengal||98-232||unknown|
|Chapter V. Four Kinds of Folk-Tales||232-344||unknown|