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In these versions the magic dresses,
for example, are taken out of the ear of the cow or sheep! These
incidents however seem to me to be incongruous with the rest of the
story, which involves a monogamous society with fairly fixed social
grades and with the wearing of shoes at least among the upper strata
of society. They belong rather to the type of story represented by the
Grimm's "One eye, Two eyes, Three eyes"; and I have therefore reserved
them for my retelling of this formula. In a similar way, in some of
the Celtic versions, a long series of incidents is inserted, clearly
taken from the Sea Maiden story (see _Celtic Fairy Tales_, xvii.).

The central incident of the Cinder-Maid formula is clearly the Shoe
Marriage Test, up to which everything leads and upon which the
mutilation incidents at the end depends. The mutilation again implies
that the shoe in question must have been of a hard or metallic
substance which could not be pressed out of shape. In the form
endeared to most European children of the upper classes by Charles
Perrault, the slipper is made of glass. It was first suggested by
Balzac that Perrault's _pantoffles de verre_ was due to his
misunderstanding of the _pantoffles de vair_, or fur (the word _vair_
is still used to indicate this in heraldry), which he had heard from
his nurse or other folk-tale informant. But the step-sisters would not
have been compelled to hack their heels to get inside a fur slipper,
and, from this point of view, the glass shoe would be preferable. I
have had, however, to reject it because it occurs in only six of the
variants obviously derived directly, or indirectly, from Perrault. The
majority of the versions prefer _gold_ (see Miss Roalfe Cox's
enumeration p. 342).

The Shoe Marriage Test again involves the previous meetings of the
high-born lover and the menial heroine, transformed for the nonce by
her dress into a dame of equal standing. In some of the variants these
meetings are in church and not at a ball, royal or otherwise. But the
Shoe Marriage Test involves a highly desirable _parti_ who can
practically command any wife he desires; this points to some
super-chief or king. I have, therefore, reserved the church meetings
for the Catskin type of story in which the heroine is scullery-maid in
the young lord's own household. The obtaining of the dresses needed
for the Royal Balls involves some animal or supernatural aid (in
Perrault it is, of course, a fairy god-mother, unknown to the folk
mind), while the menial condition of the heroine is best explained in
the usual folk-tale manner by the envious step-mother or sisters.

I have pointed out in _English Fairy Tales_ (Note to "Childe Rowland")
that in most folk-tales of a romantic type the mode of telling is by
prose narrative interspersed with rhyming formulæ analogous to the
cante-fable as in "Aucassin and Nicolete." The Cinderella formula
shows clear traces of such rhymes, especially at the stages of the
narrative where incidents are repeated--the appeal for aid at the
mother's grave (Dress Rhyme), the avoidance of pursuit by the guards
(Pursuit Rhyme), and the calling attention of the Prince to the
mutilated feet of the step-sisters (Feet Rhyme).

Now some of these rhymes are found in similar and almost identical
shape in collections made in different countries and different
languages; thus the Tree Rhyme is found in the _Archivio_ (Cox, p.
139) and in Ive (p. 265), in Bechstein (p. 166), and in Grimm (p.
222), and in Hahn (p. 244), and Moe (p. 322), each pair having
practically identical rhymes. Thus we have the existence of a Tree
Rhyme, shown in Italy and Germany, Greece and Denmark. So, too, the
Feet Rhyme is found in Scotland and Denmark, Germany and Brittany. It
is scarcely possible to doubt that all these came from one original
form of the story in which similar rhymes occurred at the same stage
of the narrative. The possibility of such coincidences arising
casually may fairly be regarded as out of the question.

The subordinate incidents growing out of these essential elements of
the formula are of course more flexible, but the Shoe Marriage Test
itself involves some remarkable dresses used to disguise the identity
of the Cinder Maid at her meetings with the hero, and this again
involves, though not so directly, a series of metal carriages. The
Pursuit Rhyme might easily give rise to the expedients of the Honey
and Tar Traps though these do not occur in very many of the variants.
I have never-the-less inserted them for the sake of the children if
not for that of Folk-Lore Science.

Thus, from what may be called the artistic logic of the Cinderella
story, one is enabled to reconstitute its original formula somewhat as
follows:

Noble Father--Single Daughter--Mother's Death--Tree Planted on
Mother's Grave--Second Marriage--Two Ugly Step-Sisters--Menial
Heroine--Cinder-Maid--Prince Coming of Age--Royal Ball--Step-Sisters
Dressing--Tree Rhyme--Bird Aid--Magic Dress (blue heaven with
stars)--Copper Chariot from Tree--Copper Shoes--Caution Rhyme--Ball
Success--Pursuit Rhyme--Step-Sisters' Envy--Second Ball--Magic Dress
(golden brown earth with flowers)--Silver Chariot--Silver Shoes--Honey
trap--Pursuit Rhyme--Third Ball--Magic Dress (green sea with
waves)--Golden Chariot--Golden Slippers--Tar Trap (lost shoe)--Time
Expired--Shoe Marriage Test--Mutilated Foot--Feet Rhyme (_bis_)--Happy
Marriage.

It is in accordance with the above formula that the version presented
in the preceding pages has been written, the rhymes being, in most
cases, compounded from the various renderings given in Miss Cox's
volume. I have only added the Caution Rhyme about returning at
midnight, which is in prose in the versions; it would be incongruous
for the little bird to change her mode of diction so suddenly. I can
only hope I will not remind the reader of the guide's description of
Wallenstein's horse at Prague: "The head, neck, forelegs, left
hind-leg, and part of the back and tail have been restored; all the
rest is the original horse."

_Parallels._--Miss Cox's volume contains all the parallels of the
Cinder-Maid formulæ, to which reference has been made above, and she
has supplemented these by a few additional ones in _Folk-Lore_ for
1907, pages xviii; 191-6. In addition, she gives, in her notes,
parallels to the different incidents:

Note 4. (Help by dead parent.) Note 6. (Pursuit checked by mist.) Note
7. (Magic tree on buried mother's grave.) Note 8. (Substituted bride.)
Note 26. (Sitting on ashes.) Note 32. (Birds' language.) Note 38.
(Tree or rock treasures.) Note 48. (Lost shoe.) Note 50. (Iron shoes,)
and further notes on, Helpful, animals, p. 526. Fairy god-mother, p.
527 and Talking birds, p. 527-9.

Of these the most important for our present purposes is the 48th note
dealing with the Lost Shoe, which we have suggested is the central
incident in the "original." In Strabo xvii. and in Ælian xiii.--33,
the myth of Rhodope informs us that, while she was bathing, an eagle
snatched one of her sandals and dropped it in the lap of Psammetichus
who, struck by its neatness, had all Egypt search for its owner, whom
he then took to wife. In other Egyptian and in Indian stories a
severed lock of hair of the heroine leads to the same result. Jacob
Grimm drew attention to the old German custom of using a shoe at
betrothals, which was placed on the bride's foot as a sign of her
being subjected to the groom's authority. King Rother had two shoes
forged, a silver and a golden one, which he fitted on the feet of his
bride, placed on his knee for that purpose. (See _Deutsche
Rechts-Alterthumer_, Göttingen, 1828, p. 155.) It is, of course,
possible that some reminiscence of the Rhodope myth had spread among
the folk to which the original teller of Cinder-Maid belonged, and if
the shoe betrothal was confined to German custom this would seem to
give a clue to the original home of the Cinder-Maid.

* * * * *

_Remarks._--The hazardous character of the reconstruction process
involved in the restoration of the original Cinder-Maid formula
cannot, of course, be exaggerated. It is even more precarious than the
similar procedure gone through by scholars to restore the original
reading of MSS. or by the Higher Critics in recovering the J.
narrative of Joseph or the E. narrative of Lot. But I think I have
shown that the incidents selected by me are those which are
necessitated by the artistic logic of the Shoe Marriage Test which
forms the decisive incident in the Cinder-Maid formula. Where the
majority of the incidents contained in the reconstruction occurred in
the same order in far distant countries it is practically impossible
to imagine that the resemblance is due to chance. Nor is it pertinent
to point out that the separate incidents occur equally widespread in
connection with other formulæ, since it must not be forgotten that no
folk teller ever indulges in a single incident; he tells a tale of
many incidents. At the same time it is obvious that a series of
incidents may be transferred appropriately (or inappropriately) from
one tale to another; and this has occurred with the Cinderella tales,
as is shown abundantly in Miss Cox's notes. It is thus quite easy for
a folk teller, who is familiar with other stories, to introduce an
analogous set of incidents in the Cinder-Maid formula, just as Rob
Roy's son can introduce variations of an air when playing the
bagpipes; but the air remains the same throughout.

If the formula I have reconstructed for the Cinder-Maid compares at
all with the original, one ought to be able to take any variant and
see where the teller of it has diverged from the original, inserted
new incidents or adopted new ones to local conditions. When one reads
over Miss Cox's variants one can often discern such additions or
variations introduced by the fancy of the teller. It is even possible
that in Cinderella itself the original folk artist who conceived it
made use of the Catskin formula to embellish the details of the three
meetings of the lovers; even in my own telling I fear there may be
traces of the same process.



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