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SHORT STUDIES IN THE MYTHOLOGY OF AMERICA, GREAT
BRITAIN, THE NORSE COUNTRIES, GERMANY, INDIA,
SYRIA, EGYPT, AND PERSIA; WITH SELECTIONS

FROM STANDARD LITERATURE

RELATING TO THE SAME

BY

HUBERT M. SKINNER, A. M.
AUTHOR OF TIE SCHOOLMASTER IN LITERATURE

NEW YORK .:: CINCINNATI :: CHICAGO

AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY

1899

COPYRIGHT, 1893, BY
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY.

Printed by

Tam. Tvison

Aew York, W. S. A.

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PREFACE.

This book is intended as a companion volume to the Historical Readings, which has proved so popular as a book of culture for teachers and students; and as the latter is a volume of prose and of recorded fact, this is a book of poems and of popular beliefs.

The myths of legend and of pure fable, whether related to false religions or otherwise, are often of great interest to the student and the general reader. So interwoven are the faith and the folk-lore of a people with its literature and art that an acquaintance with its mythology is necessary to an understanding of its higher expressions of thought and feeling. Such knowledge is highly essential to the teacher.

Mythology is something more than an auxiliary study. It is a memorial of humanity's childhood. It possesses a charm of its own for those

Who have faith in God and Nature,
Who believe that in all ages
Every human heart is human,
That in even savage bosoms
There are longings, yearnings, strivings,
For the good they comprehend not.

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Formerly the subjects of popular study in mythology were confined to the divinities of ancient Greece and Rome.

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In later years a general interest has been awakened in the myths of other lands, and for these a marked preference has been shown at times in the popular pageants of cities and in the subjects of contributions to current literature.

In this volume are presented the principal American, British, Norse, German, Hindu, Syrian, Egyptian, and Persian myths, with representative selections from the literature relating thereto.

The selections from Longfellow, Lowell, and Whittier are used by permission of and arrangement with Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin and Company. The writer is under a similar obligation to Messrs. D. Appleton and Company for permission to use selections from the works of William Cullen Bryant. Dr. Sherman's splendid translation of Bishop Tegnér's Axel is used with the permission of the publisher of the Chautauquan, in which magazine it appeared in March and April, 1883.

English literature is rich in the folk-lore of various lands, and many of its poems relating to mythical and legendary characters afford a delightful and profitable study, not only as models of literary composition, but also as illustrations of the genius and character of the people among whom their subjects originated.

To teachers and students this work is commended, in the hope that it will lead to a further study and a higher appreciation of the various forms of literature and art to which it relates.

H. M. S.

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