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NEGRO FOLK RHYMES
strated his ability to come into contact with the white man and neither move on nor be annihilated. I believe this is largely due to his power to muster wit and humor on all occasions, and even to laugh in the face of adversity. He refused during the days of slavery to take the advice of Job's wife, and to "Curse God and die." He repeated and sang his comic Folk Rhymes, danced, lived, and came out of the Night of Bondage comparatively strong.
The compiler of the Rhymes was quite interested to find that as a rule the country-reared Negro had a , larger acquaintance with Folk Rhymes than one brought up in the city. The human mind craves occasional recreation, entertainment, and amusement. In cities wThere there is an almost continuous passing along the crowded thoroughfares of much that contributes to these ends, the slave Negro needed only to keep his eyes open, his ears attentive, and laugh. He directed his life accordingly. But, in the country districts there was only the monotony of quiet woods and waving fields of cotton. The rural scenes, though beautiful in themselves, refuse to amuse or entertain those who will not hold communion with them. The country Negro longing for amusement communed in his crude way, and Nature gave him Folk Rhymes for entertainment. Among