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Mr. Willtams's essays merit a few words of commendation from folk-lorists on this side of the Atlantic as being calculated to interest readers in a subject which is full of profound significance, but against which they may possibly be prejudiced in the degree that science claims it as material for analysis.
For within the last few years folk-lore has been promoted to the rank of a serious study and the Folk-Lore Society of London, aided by its numerous and lusty offshoots, both American and Continental, is busily applying the scientific method to fireside tale, custom, song, and ballad seeking what old philosophies lie at the heart of these, and what they have to tell about intercourse between peoples in the past.
Nevertheless, the folk-lorist treats his subject-matter as tenderly as Isaak Walton bade the angler hook his worm, for he remembers what poetry the song and saga hold, and that laughter and tears are ever young.
These essays range over a wide field, both of