Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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semblies of bards and scholars were held like the Welsh Eistedfodds, and there was a temporary Breton rage like that for the Highland Scotch un­der the influence of the Waverley novels, although no ruler of France went so far as to appear in the Breton hat and waistcoat, as George the Fourth did in the Highland kilt during his visit to Edin­burgh. Several translations of the ballads of the Barzaz Breiz appeared in German, and Mr. Tom Taylor rendered them into English, in a version singularly compounded of archaic phraseology and stage rhetoric. But the later investigation of care­ful and conscientious collectors of Breton folk-poetry, like M. F. M. Luzel and others, has destroyed the faith in the authenticity of M. Ville-marque's ballads almost as completely as in that of Macpherson's Ossian. They are not to be found in existence among the present singers or the surviv­ors of the generation from whom M. Villemarque professed to have gathered them, except in a very mutilated form, and with most of their flowers of poetry ruthlessly swept away. Experiments have been tried at gatherings of the most famous deposi­tories of folk-poetry and the most accomplished singers, by repeating the ballads of the Barzaz Breiz to them, but they have in all cases either professed total ignorance, or insisted upon such amendments as deprived them of all but the faint-
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