The habit of telling stories is one of the most primitive char-acteristics of the human race. The most ancient civilisations, the most barbarous savages, of whom we have any knowledge have yielded to investigators clear traces of the possession of this practise. The specimens of their narrative that have been gathered from all the ends of the earth and from the remotest times of which we have written record show traces of purpose, now religious and didactic, now patriotic and political; but behind or beside the purpose one can discern the permanent human delight in the story for its own sake.
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