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The Kobold of Finland is called Para (from the Swedish Bjära); he steals the milk from other people's cows, carries and coagulates it in his stomach, and then disgorges it into the churn of his mistress. There is a species of mushroom, which, being fried with tar, salt, and sulphur, and then beaten with a rod, the woman who owns the Kobold will quickly appear, and entreat to spare him *.
The Hungarians, or Magyaren, as they call themselves, are a portion of the Finnish race. A collection of their popular tales has been lately published t. The editor assures us that he took them from the lips of an old Hungarian soldier, who knew no language but his own. We therefore cannot but regard the tales as genuine, though the mode and tone in which they are narrated by the editor are not always the best. They contain no traits of popular mythology,-a circumstance not a little remarkable; they rather resemble the French and Italian Fairy tales. Several of them are very pleasing; and it was our intention to have inserted specimens of them in this place, but our limits have forbidden it.
* Rühs, Finland und seine Bewohner. + Gaal, Märchen der Magyaren. Wien, 1822.
Whatsoe'er at eve had raised the workmen,
Bowring's Servian Popular Poetry.
The Slavonian race, akin to the Gothic, is widely spread: it numbers among its stems the Russians, Poles, Bohemians, Moravians, Servians, and the nations dwelling to the north-east of the Adriatic. Our knowledge of its popular mythology is very limited.
According to Delrio *, a demon, in the attire of a mourning widow, used, in the Eastern Russia, to go through the fields at noon in harvest-time, and break the legs and arms of the workmen, who failed, when they saw her, to fall on their faces and worship her.
The Russians also believe in a species of water and wood-maids, called Rusalki. They are of a beautiful form, with long green hair; they swing and balance themselves on the branches of trees bathe in lakes and rivers-play on the surface of the water—and wring their locks on the green meads at the water-edge *.
* L. ii. Sect. 2.
The Servian ballads, that have lately appeared, have made us acquainted with an interesting species of beings called Vilas +. These are represented as mountain-nymphs, young and beautiful, clad in white, with long flying hair. Their voice is said to resemble that of the woodpecker. They shoot, according to popular belief, deadly arrows at men, and sometimes fall upon children: yet the general character of the Vilas is to injure none but those who intrude upon their kolos, or roundels.
The Vilas sometimes appear gaily dancing their kolos beneath the branches of the Vislinia or Vistula cherry; sometimes a Vila is introduced comforting the sorrows of an enamoured deer; at other times collecting storms in the heavens f; now fore
* Monc, vol. i. · P.
144. + The Vila is conceived, and perhaps not without reason, to have some affinity to the Scandinavian Völa.
# Bowring, p. 175. Sabejam oblake, cloud-gatherer, is an cpithet of the Vila, answering to the Nepeanyigérns of the Grecian Zeus.
telling to a hero his impending death*; now ruthlessly casting down each night the walls of a rising fortress, till a young and lovely female is immured within them t.
Being totally unacquainted with the Slavonian languages, we take the liberty of borrowing the following poems from Mr. Bowring's “Servian Popular Poetry.”
Vishnia! lovely Vishnia !
* “ Death of Kralwich Marko." Bowring, p. 97.
+ “The building of Skadra.” Ibid. p. 64. This beauti. ful poem is too long to quote, and too well known to require it. The following illustrations of it seem to have escaped the translators :-.“ When Charles the Great intended to make a channel between the Rhone and Danubius, look! what his workmen did in the day, these spirits flung down in the night.” Burton, Anat. of Mel., p. 43. “When they went to build a wall round Copenhagen, it sank incessantly, and they found it scarcely possible to get it to stand. They then took an innocent little girl, put her on a chair at a table, and gave her playthings and sweetmeats. W’nile she sat there amusing herself, twelve masons built a vault over her, and when it was complete, they, to the sound of music, raised the wall over it, which is, therefore, regarded now as immovable.” Thiele Danske Folkesagn, vol. i. p. 3. The same work informs us that they used, in Denmark, to bury a live lamb under every church, and a live horse in every churchyard.
Vilas dance delighted ;
* We have just confessed our utter ignorance of the Slavonian languages, yet we doubt if in this and the following piece Mr. Bowring's version be perfectly faithful. The fol. lowing is a faithful version of the German translation of this poem in the Wiener Jahrbücher, vol. xxx.
Cherry! dearest cherry!
Radisha, we are told, is a Servian man's name, derived from a word signifying joy. The German reviewer queries if it be not a mythological name. He farther, on the two last lines, asks, “ Does not this situation point to India ?”