WITH the object of making known to the English public the rich Folk-Lore of Portugal, I purpose offering a few specimens which I have extracted from my vast inedited collection. This collection, which is far from exhausting the subject, has already commenced to be published in Portuguese under the titles of Contribuiçoes para uma Mythologia popular Portuguesa (fasciculos I.-IX. saidos já). Contributions towards a Portuguese popular Mythology (Livraison I.-IX. already published), and Contribuiçoes para um Cancioneiro e Romanceiro popular Portuquez (Contributions for a Portuguese popular Songster and Romanceiro); the first number of which will be shortly published in the Romania of Senhor Gaston-Paris. These publications, therefore, which are continuing uninterruptedly, especially comprise Mythology and Popular Poetry. The stories that I have collected in different parts of the country, and which at present number more than 500, still remain altogether inedited. The thirty which we now publish here are a specimen of this collection, in which are found different noteworthy versions indicative of the principal European types. I do not subjoin to each story the variants to be found elsewhere, in the first place because English mythographs would have nothing to learn by this new work, and in the second place, because this comparative commentary which I am preparing ought to appear in the most exhaustive manner possible, in the complete edition in Portuguese of my stories, a commentary upon which will constitute a separate volume. In respect to the process by which these present stories were collected, and the method which I have followed in this collection, in order that they should lose none of their popular features, my readers may consult my opuscule lately published, and which bears the title Estudos de Mythographia Portugesa. In the next publication, which will constitute the second part of this work, I will communicate to my co-associates of the Folk-Lore Society a summary of Portuguese popular mythology, a work which for some years I have been occupied in reconstituting, and which perhaps I may soon have occasion to present to the same Society.
Later on, when the plan of my researches shall have been completed, the Society may in a special publication, and in a separate volume, assist in bringing forward a Portuguese popular Mythology the existence of which for years, even in Portugal, has been unknown.
Lisbon, December 1880.
The text came from:
Folk Lore Society Publications, Vol. 9. Miss Henrietta Monteiro, translator.
New York: Folk Lore Society Publications, 1882.