In this, the Sclavonic folktale differs radically from its Celtic neighbour. A comparison of the two types suggests that the Russian principally desires a clear statement of facts; a poetic idea which must be extracted from clouds of metaphor conveys but little significance to his mind.
It has the imaginative credulity of a primitive folktale; whereas Miss Canby's story is evidently told for children by an older person, who adopts the manner of a fairy tale and cannot conceal the mature mood which allows such didactic phrases as "Jack Frost as he is sometimes called," "Noon, at which time Mr. Sun is strongest."
This is, of course, a folktale, explaining the pebble-hills and illustrating the belief in Frode's power; but armies were mustered by such expedients of old. Burton tells of an African army each man of whom presented an egg, as a token of his presence and a means of taking the number of the host. We hear of men marching in light order without even scabbards, and getting over the ice in socks.
The last point is well illustrated in Sinon's speech at the opening of the second book. The old folktale of how the "wooden horse," left on the shore by the Greeks, was recklessly dragged to the citadel by the Trojans satisfied the unquestioning Homer. Vergil does not take the improbable on faith. Sinon is compelled to be entirely convincing.
Word Of The Day