Page:Grimm's household tales, volume 2 (1884).djvu/424

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410
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD TALES.

wards when the parents are humbled, are at last changed into human beings; compare Rosenol. 1. 210, 213; the Story of Solomon and the Egyptian King's daughter. The return of the child to the home of its parents is like that of The Young Giant, in No. 4. In one of Zingerle's Tyrolese stories, p, 173, there is, as in the Pentamerone (2. 5), and in a Hungarian story, in Gaal, No. 14, a snake instead of the hedgehog. In the Irische Elfenmärchen, see The Bagpiper, No. 5. In a popular ballad of the year 1620 are these lines,

"Ah, hedgehog dear, do let me live,
I will to thee my sister give."

This seems to refer to our story.

[In the chronicles of superstition instances may be also found when the parents, becoming weary of praying ineffectually to God to give them a child, invoked the help of the Devil, and therefore reaped the misery of a granted prayer. In the romance of Robert the Devil, the Duke and Duchess had long prayed for issue, but having often been disappointed of a child,

"The Ladye saide, the Devyll now send us one,
 For God will not oure petycion heare,
Therefore I trowe power hath he none."

The result was, that his birth was attended with dreadful tempests, and his early life was very wicked.—Tr.]


109.— The Shroud.

From Bavaria. The belief that the tears which are wept for the dead fall down upon the dead body in the grave and disturb its rest, appears also in Meinert's Lieder des Kühländchens (1. 13); also in the Edda, in the second Lay of Helgi[1] (Str. 44), as in the Danish popular song Knight Age and Maid Else.[2] In Müllenhoff, p. 144, there are two sagas, one from Helmold, 1. 78. A similar, and apparently true incident is related by Schubert in Knapp's Christoterpe (1835), p. 278. Compare W. Wackernagel's Zusammenstellungen, in the Altdeutsche Blätter, No. 174, and following, and the notes p. 197.


110.—The Jew among Thorns.

A version frequently told in Hesse begins differently. The father drives out his three sons who go forth into the world by three different roads. The good spirit meets one of them and bestows on

  1. Sigrun, wife of Helgi sits by the mound where Helgi is buried, and continually weeps and laments him. Helgi complains that he cannot rest for the tears wept by his true wife, "Every tear falls on the breast of thy lord, cold-wet, and bitter-sharp, heavy with sorrow."—Tr.
  2. Gruudvig, Folkeviser, Xo. 90.—Tr