Page:Grimm's household tales, volume 2 (1884).djvu/426

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412
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD TALES.

the snakes by playing the harp. Oberon's pipe had also the power of making people dance; specially remarkable is the instance in the Herrauds og Bosesage (pp. 49-51), where even the tables, chairs, knives, and glasses have to dance too. Perhaps even the very word "Geige" (fiddle) is derived from the "Gygiarslag," which occurs there (a magical blow from Gygur the enchantress, giantess). For a song which makes men, horses, and everything dance, see Mambriano, 3. 62, 63, and Ginguené, 259. There is a similar story of Fandango; the pope and the cardinals who wanted to condemn him were forced to set him free.[1]

[There was, too, the Pied piper of Hamelin (so well known from Mr. Browning's splendid poem) who lured all the rats in the town to destruction by his magic pipe, and when the townsfolk refused to pay the promised reward, piped away their children from their homes for ever.—Tr.]


111.—The Skilful Huntsman.

From two stories heard in Hesse; in the second (at least as told by one narrator) the events vary a little. The sharp-shooter, when he has made the sentinel fall asleep by means of a sleeping drink, and has forced his way into the tower, finds in the first and second apartments the princess's waiting-maids lying asleep in their beds. He kisses them both, but goes onward and comes to the third chamber, where the princess herself is lying, but she is naked. He takes away a golden necklet, a ring, and a pocket-handkerchief from the table as tokens, and lies down beside her. She goes on sleeping, and does not awake when he goes away. When, hereafter, it is discovered that she is with child without knowing by whom, her angry father has her cast into prison. A common serving-man accuses himself of the crime, and she is to marry him. Then she is taken to the inn. The remainder of the story corresponds again. A third story from Hof in Habichtswald has the same subject matter; and has also the secondary incidents that a cup was standing by the sleeping princess, from which the huntsman was forced to drink three draughts to attain strength enough to draw the sword. He comes back in three years' time, and goes to the inn where the princess is shut up, which has the inscription, "Here every one eats for nothing, but must relate the history of his life." And now she hears that he is the father of the child to which she has given birth, and when she has seen the tokens, she makes herself known to him. In a fourth story, likewise from Hesse, it is to be remarked that with one of his arrows the sharp-shooter shoots the giant in the right thumb.

This skill in shooting reminds us of An Bogsweigr (Sagabibliothek, 2. 542), he, too, shoots a piece of meat out of the hand: com-

  1. See the medieval romance, Huon de Bordeaux.—Tr.