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Sixty Folk-Tales from Exclusively Slavonic Sources, by A.H. Wratislaw, [1890], at

p. 51


MORAVIA is so named from the river Morava (in German the river March), of which, and its affluents, it is the basin. It falls into the Danube a little above Presburg. In very early times Moravia appears to have been more civilized and powerful than Bohemia; but later, Bohemia became a considerable kingdom, and Moravia a dependency of, and eventually a margravate under the Bohemian crown.

The Moravian stories differ but little in character from those of Bohemia. The country, unlike Bohemia, abounds in dialects, although the literary language is the Bohemian. On the east the Moravian melts into the Silesian, or 'Water-Polish.'

No. 8, 'Godmother Death,' is an interesting variant of the Teutonic 'Godfather Death,' which is given by Grimm. The reason why Death is represented as a Godmother, rather than a Godfather, in the Moravian story, is, that Death (Smrt) is feminine in all Slavonic dialects. The story constructed on this basis is more graceful and fuller of incident than the Teutonic tale, in which Death is masculine.

No. 9 is another story falling under the head of 'Natural Science in Allegory,' which is clearer and simpler in construction and interpretation than any variant of it that I am acquainted with.

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