tip70-10-5-1 Fison to Frazer 29/8/01



Essendon Melbourne Victoria. 29 Aug. '01

[written in top left corner] I most sincerely trust that Pagenstecher will have no difficutly with your eye-trouble, + that Mrs Frazer will be benefitted by the baths.

My dear Dr Frazer, It is always a great delight to me to receive a letter from you, + yours of July 14 has given much pleasure to both myself + Howitt, to whom I showed it. My wife + I went to his house yesterday afternoon, + stayed the night there, so that I might have an opportunity of going over with him what we may call his Mura mura chapter. He is going to send you a duplicate of the MS, so I need say nothing more about it here than that it shows conclusively that the Mura mura were "dream time" blackfellows. It is not clear that they were actually the Dieri ancestors, for it is said that they found a number of [crossed out - partially] undeveloped human beings, whom they carved into shape, fashioning their limbs +c, + that these

Last edit 21 days ago by ALourie


2 were the ancestors of the Dieri. But the fact remains that the Mura mura were veritable black fellows, differing no whit from the other blacks, excepting in that they had greater magical powers. Andrew Lang will get no comfort out of Howitt. Miss M. E. B. Howitt also has written a most interesting paper on "Legends of some Lake Eyre Tribes", + this also Howitt went over with me to my great delight. I suggested that it should be sent to you for your perusal before it goes to the Folk-lore Society for whom it is intended, + to whom you would forward it. This is to be done, + you will be delighted with it. It deals with the Mura mura among other things, + completely settles the question as to the Good Spirit - at least as far as these tribes are concerned. Howitt's book would have been ready for the printer ere now if he had not allowed himself to be persuaded by the Government to continue in office for "a little time", which little time has lengthened itself, + would continue so to do indefinitely if he would let it. But he has put his foot down at last, + swears by the Nine Gods that he won't go on longer that to the end of the year. He has all his materials ready, some of the chapters already done + others nearly complete. The book will be about the size of Spencer + Gillen's which Macmillan published. Spencer has been sending to David Syme, proprietor of the Age + Leader - the wealthy man who gave £1000 for the present expedition - occasional [crossed out - papers] articles + illustrations which are intensely interesting. A sudden thought came into my head the other day, + I called upon the great David - one of the crabbedest mortals on earth - to ask him to send you copies of his papers containing Spencer's articles. His digestions was happily in good order just then, + he jumped at my suggestion, +

Last edit 19 days ago by ALourie


actually thanked me for it. So you will doubtless receive copies of the "Leader" with the illustrated articles in them. May I suggest that when you get them you write a line of acknowledgement to him direct? It will make him amiable, + we may want to get something more out of him. (David Syme Esq. "Age Office, Collins St., Melbourne)

I have no recollection of the parts of your Golden Bough (new Edn) on which I sent you a few notes. I have marked a number of places, but cannot remember which of them I annotated in my letter. If you will send it back to me, I will try to send you something more.

I had a letter from Spencer dated July 15 They were then at Barrow Creek + on the eve of going farhter north. He gives his new address as Powell Creek via Port Darwin, + a letter from you would give him great pleasure. But I daresay you also have heard from him lately.

My sister, Mrs Potts, after a year of wandering among out Kinsfolk, has settled again in rooms at Cambridge - 52 Trumpington St. opposite the Fitzwilliam. I am sure she would be glad if Mrs Frazer would call upon her. Her late husband gave £1000 to Trinity. Yours very sincerely Lorimer Fison

Last edit 29 days ago by ALourie
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