Grimm's Household Tales, Volume 1/Notes

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NOTES.




This comes from Hesse, where there is also another story. A King who had three daughters was ill, and asked for some water from the well in his court-yard. The eldest went down and drew a glassful, but when she held it up to the sun, she saw that it was not clear. She thought this very strange, and was about to empty it again, when a frog appeared in the well, stretched forth its head, and at last jumped on to the edge of it. It then said to her,

"If thou wilt my sweetheart be,
Clear, clear water I'll give to thee;
But if my love thou wilt not be,
I'll make it as muddy as muddy can be."


"Oh, indeed, who would be the sweetheart of a disgusting frog?" cried the King's daughter, and ran away. When she went back again she told her sisters about the wonderful frog which was in the well and made the water muddy. Then the second went down and drew a glassful, which was also so thick that no one could drink it. The frog again sat on the brink, and said,

"If thou wilt my sweetheart be,
Clear, clear water I'll give to thee."

"That would be a chance for me!" cried the King's daughter, and ran away. At last the third also went to draw water, but she did not succeed better, and the frog cried to her,

"If thou wilt my sweetheart be,
Clear, clear water I'll give to thee."

"Very well, then," she answered laughingly, "I will be your sweetheart; I will really; only draw me some pure water that is fit to drink." She thought to herself, "What can it signify, it is very easy to please him by saying that; after all, a stupid frog can never be my sweetheart." The Irog had, however, leapt back into the well, and when the King's daughter again drew some water, it was so clear that the sun was actually sparkling in it for joy. So she took the glass upstairs and said to her sisters, "Why were you so stupid as to be afraid of the frog?" Then the King's daughter thought no more about it, and went to bed quite happy. And when she had lain there a while, but had not fallen asleep, she heard a noise outside the door, and some one sang,

"Open thy door, open thy door,
 Princess, youngest princess!
 Hast thou forgotten what thou didst say
 When I sat by the well this very day,
 That thou wouldst my sweetheart be,
 If clear, clear water I gave to thee?"

"Why, if that is not my sweetheart the frog!" said the King's child. "Well, as I promised, I will open the door for him." So she got up, and opened the door for him a very little, and then lay down again. The frog hopped after her, and at last hopped on the bottom of the bed to her feet, and stayed lying there, and when the night was over and day dawning, it leapt down and went out by the door. The next night when the King's daughter was in bed, it again crawled to the door, and sang its little song, she again opened the door, and the frog lay for another night at her feet. On the third night it came once more; then she said, "Mind, this is the last time that I shall let thee in; in future it won't happen." Then the frog jumped under her pillow, and she fell asleep. And when she awoke next morning, and expected the frog to hop away again, a handsome young prince was standing before her, who said that he had been the bewitched frog, but was now set free, because she had promised to be his sweetheart. Then they both went to the King, who gave them his blessing; a magnificent wedding was celebrated, and the two other sisters were vexed that they had not taken the frog to be their sweetheart. In a third story from the district of Paderborn, the King's son, after he has been delivered from his frog's shape, gives his betrothed, when he takes leave of her, a handkerchief, on which his name is written in red, and tells her if that should become black it will betoken that he is either dead or unfaithful. One day the princess sees, to her sorrow, that the name really has become black. On this she and her two sisters disguise themselves as troopers, and hire themselves to him. Some people suspect them, and strew peas,[1] thinking that if they really are girls and fall, they will be afraid, but if they are men they will swear. They have, however, discovered the plot, and when they fall on the peas, they swear. After this when the King's son travels away with the false bride, the three have to ride behind the carriage. On the way, the King's son hears a loud crack, and cries, "Stop; the carriage is breaking!" on this, the true bride behind the carriage, cries, "Alas, no, it is one of my heart-strings which is breaking." Twice more there is a crack, and each time he receives the same answer. Then he remembers the true bride, recognizes her in the disguise of the trooper, and marries her.

This story is one of the oldest in Germany. It was called by the name of Iron Henry, from the faithful servant who had caused his sorrowful heart to be bound with iron bands. Rollenhagen thus names it in the Old German Household Tales, and Philiinder von Sittewald refers to it (3. 42) when he says, "Then her heart would lie in my hand, more fast than in an iron band," which occurs in the same proverbial fashion in Froschmeuseler. The band of sorrow, the stone which lies on the heart, is spoken of elsewhere. An old Minnesinger says beautifully, "She is stamped on my heart as on steel;" and Heinrich von Sar (Man. p. 1. 36) has the expression, "My heart lies in bands." We find in the Lied von Heinrich dem Löwen, St. 59, "her heart lay in bands;" in Keller's Würteniberger (p. 35), "the body bound with iron bands." Wirnt says of the breaking heart,

von sîme tôde sî erschrac
sô sêre daz ir herze brast
lûte als ein dürrer ast,
swâ man den brichet enzwei.[2]

Wigalois, 7697-82.

In its main features the story is still current in Scotland. In the Complaynt of Scotland (written in 1548), the tale of the "wolf of the warldis end," which has unfortunately been entirely lost, is mentioned among other stories, perhaps the Saga of the Northern Fenrir. J. Leyden, in his edition of the Complaynt (Edinb. 1801, pp. 234, 235), believes that fragments of it are still existing in various songs and nursery tales, and says that he has heard fragments sung in which the "well of the warldis end" occurred, and was called the "well of Absolom" and "the cauld well sae weary." He connects our story with it, although the well of the world may very easily have worked its way into various traditions, and we perceive in the German no connection with the wolf (or should we in the original read wolf instead of well?) Leyden's words are these: "According to the popular tale, the lady is sent by her stepmother to draw water from the well of the world's end. She arrives at the well, after encountering many dangers, but soon perceives that her adventures have not come to a conclusion. A frog emerges from the well, and before it suffers her to draw water, obliges her to betroth herself to the monster, under penalty of being torn to pieces. The lady returns safe, but at midnight the frog-lover appears at the door and demands entrance, according to promise, to the great consternation of the lady and her nurse."

"Open the door, my hinny, my hart,
Open the door, my ain wee thing;
And mind the words that you and I spak,
Down in the meadow at the well-spring."

The frog is admitted, and addresses her:

"Take me up on your knee, my dearie,
Take me up on your knee, my dearie,
And mind the words that you and I spak
At the cauld well sae weary."

The frog is finally disenchanted, and appears in his original form as a prince.

It is likewise deserving of notice that the name of Henry for a servant, has something about it that is popular, as is fully shown in our edition of Der arme Heinrich, 213-216.

[This story bears some resemblance to the ballad of Earl Mar's daughter. She went out to play and saw a dove sitting in a tree, which she persuaded to come down by promising it a cage of gold and silver. The bird flew down and alighted on her head. She took it home and kept it daintily, but when night came a handsome youth stood by her side, who told her that he was the dove she had brought home, and that his mother was a queen skilled in witchcraft, who had turned him into a dove to charm such maidens as herself, and that he loved her and would live and die with her. She entreated him never to leave her.

For six years he lived in her bower, and she bore him seven sons, but whenever one was born he instantly flew away with it, and gave it into his mother's care. After twenty-three years a great lord came to court the maiden, who refused him, and said she was content to dwell alone with her bird cow-me-doo. Hereupon the Earl swore he would kill the bird. The bird heard of this, and flew to his mother's castle beyond the sea, and told her that next day his wife, the mother of his seven sons, was to be married to another. The mother changed twenty-four stalwart men into storks, the seven sons into swans, and cow-me-doo into a hawk, and the birds flew over the sea to Earl Mar's castle, seized the men and bound them to trees, and then seized the maiden and carried her away with them.—Tr.]

From Hesse, where it is also told of the cock and hen. These found a precious stone in the dirt, sold it to a jeweller, and bought a pot of grease with the proceeds, which they put on a shelf for winter. The hen, however, by degrees emptied it secretly, and when that came to light, the cock was quite furious, and pecked his hen to death. Afterwards, in great repentance and sorrow, he buried her, as in the story of the Death of the Hen (No. 80). There is also a story about the cock and the hen in Pomerania, where the children are named, Top-off, Half-done, and Upside-down,[3] see Firmenich's Völkerstimmen, pp. 91, 92. It is also told of the fox and cock, who found a honey-pot. The children at their christening received the significant names, Top-off, Half-done, Quite-done. See Müllenhoff, No. 28, The Fox and the Bear. In Norwegian in Asbjörnsen, No. 17, there is also The Bear and the Fox. In it the names are, Just-begun, Half-eaten, and Cleaned-out. The negro story of the Hen and Cat, No. 2, has a similar incident.


From Hesse. According to another story, the poor man goes into a forest and is about to hang himself because he cannot support his children. Then comes a black carriage with four black horses; a beautiful maiden dressed in black, alights from it, and tells him that in a thicket in front of his house, he will find a bag of money, and, in return for that, he must give her what is concealed in his house. The man consents, and finds the money, but the thing which is concealed is his yet unborn child. When it is born, the maiden comes and wants to carry it away, but as the mother begs so hard, the maiden leaves it until its twelfth year. Then she takes it away to a black castle, which is furnished magnificently, and the child may go into every part of it except one chamber. For four years the girl is obedient, then she can no longer resist the torment of curiosity, and peeps into the chamber through a crack.

She sees four black maidens, who absorbed in reading, appear alarmed at the instant, but her foster-mother comes out, and says, "I must drive thee away; what wilt thou lose most willingly?" "Speech," replies the girl. She gives her such a blow on the mouth that the blood streams out, and drives her forth. She has to pass the night under a tree, and next morning the King's son finds her there, takes her away with him, and against his mother's will, marries the dumb beauty. When the first child comes into the world, the wicked mother-in-law takes it and throws it into the water, sprinkles the sick Queen with blood, and gives out that she has devoured her own child. Thus it happens twice more, and then the innocent Queen, who cannot defend herself, is to be burnt. She is already standing in the fire when the black carriage comes; the maiden steps out of it, and goes through the flames, which instantly sink down and are extinguished; reaches the Queen, smites her on the mouth, and thus restores her speech; the other three maidens bring the three children whom they have rescued from the water, the treachery comes to light, and the wicked stepmother is put into a barrel filled with snakes and poisonous adders, and rolled down a hill.

Allied to this are the Poor Man's Daughter, in Meier, No. 36, a Norwegian story in Asbjörnsen, No. 8, and Graamantel, a Swedish one (see further on). The legend of St. Ottilia has some resemblance to it, as told by Frau Naubert in her Volksmärchen, (Part I.) In the Pentamerone (1. 8) a goat's face is given as a punishment.

In Wendish compare The Virgin Mary as Godmother, Haupt and Schmaler, No. 16, p. 179; in Wallachian, The Walled-up Mother, of Schott, No. 2. The root-idea of many doors which may be opened and one which may not, often re-appears and with various introductions, as in Fitcher's Vogel (No. 46). As regards each apostle being placed in a shining dwelling, compare the Hymn in praise of St. Anno, verse 720, where it is said that the bishops were sitting together in heaven like stars. It is an old incident that maidens who are robbed of their clothes should cover themselves with their long hair. It is related of St. Agnes in the Bibl. maxima 27, 82b; of St. Magdalen, by Petrarch, in Latin verse, and there is a picture of the latter in the Magasin pittoresque, 1. 21. In an old Spanish romance a King's daughter sits in an oak, and her long hair covers the whole tree. (Diez's Ancient Spanish Romances, 177. Geibel's Volkslieder und Bomanzen der Spanier, pp. 151, 152).


This story is generally told in other places with new, or differently arranged, trials of courage, and is allied to the sagas Brother Lustig and Spielhansl, Nos. 81, 82. Parzival goes in an enchanted bed through the castle, 566, 567, in the same way as the youth who had no fear. The root of this is a Mecklenburgh story. The game of skittles played with dead men's bones, is inserted from a story from the district of Schwalm,[4] in Hesse. In another from Zwehrn it is related that ghosts come and invite the youth to play a game with nine bones and a dead man's head, which he fearlessly accepts, but in which he loses all his money. At midnight the spectres disappear of their own accord. From this also is taken the incident of the corpse being brought in, which he warms in bed. It contains, however, no further trials, and it lacks the jesting conclusion, which, on the other hand, appears in a third Hessian story, where the youth is a tailor, and his master's wife pours a bucket of cold water over him as he is lying in bed. In a fourth tale, this great bravery is ascribed to a youth from the Tyrol. He takes counsel with his father as to what trade will be most profitable for him, and at last resolves to learn how to fear. A new feature in this is, that a spirit comes in by night who is entirely covered with knives, and orders the Tyrolese youth to sit down and have his beard shaved by him, as in the story Stumme Liebe, by Musäus, 4. 65–82; and a similar incident is told by Cl. Brentano in his notes on Die Gründung Prags. The youth does it without fear, but the ghost when he has shaved him wants to cut his throat as well, but at that very moment the clock strikes twelve, and the ghost disappears. In this part there is a connection with the story of the youth who kills the dragon and cuts out its tongue, by means of which he afterwards makes himself known to be the victor, and wins the King's daughter, as is fully detailed in the story of The Gold Children (No. 85). A fifth story from Zwehrn deserves to be given here at full length.

A certain man once lived in the world whose father was a smith, who carried the youth to the grave-yard and to every place where it was terrible, but he never knew what fear was. Then his father said, "When once thou goest out into the world thou wilt soon learn it." He went out, and it chanced that he arrived in a village by night, and as all the houses were shut, he lay down beneath the gallows. And as he saw a man hanging there, he spoke to him, and said, "Why art thou hanging there?" Then the man who was hanging, answered, "I am innocent. The schoolmaster stole the little bell of the alms-bag, and denounced me as the thief. If thou wilt help me to a decent burial, I will present thee with a staff, with which thou canst drive away all spirits. The schoolmaster has concealed the little bell under a great stone in his cellar." When the youth heard that, he got up, went into the village to the schoolmaster's house and knocked. The schoolmaster got up, but would not open his door, because he was afraid, but the other cried, "If thou dost not open the door, I will break it open." So the schoolmaster opened it, and the youth instantly seized him just as he was, in his shirt, took him on his back, and carried him to the judge's house. Then he cried aloud, "Open your door, I am bringing a thief." When the judge came out, the youth said, "Take down from the gallows the poor sinner outside; he is innocent, and hang up this one in his stead; he stole the little bell from the alms-bag, and it is lying in his cellar, under a great stone." The judge sent thither and the little bell was found, so the schoolmaster was forced to confess the theft. Then the judge pronounced the sentence, that the innocent man should be taken down from the gallows, and honourably buried, and that the thief should be hanged in his place.

The next night when the innocent man was already lying in a Christian grave, the young smith went out once more. Then the spirit came, and presented him with the staff which he had promised him. Said the smith, "Now I will go out into the world, and look for the "Scare-me-well."

It so happened that he arrived in a town where there was a bewitched castle, which no one ever dared to enter. When the King heard that a man had arrived who was afraid of nothing, he caused him to be summoned, and said, "If thou wilt deliver this castle for me, I will make thee so rich that thou shalt know no end to thy possessions." "Oh, yes," answered he, "I'll do it willingly, only some one must show me the way to the castle." Said the King, "I have no keys to it." "I don't want any," he replied, "I will contrive to get inside." Then was he taken thither, and when he reached the first gate, he struck it with his staff, and it sprang open instantly, and behind it lay the keys of the whole castle. He opened the first inside door, and as it opened, the spirits came against him. One of them had horns, another spat fire, and all were black as coal. Then he said, "What queer folks are these! They might be the devil himself! They may all go home with me, and mend my father's fire for him." And when they rushed forward against him, he took his staff, and smote them all together, six of them at a time, and seized them, and pushed them into a room where they could no longer stir. Then he took the keys in his hand again, and opened the second door. There stood a coffin, and a dead man lay in it, and on the ground beside it, was a great black poodle which had a burning chain round its neck. So he went up to it, and struck the coffin with his staff, and said, "Why art thou lying in there, old charcoal-burner?" The dead body rose up, and wanted to terrify him, but he cried, "Out with thee at once." And as the dead man did not come immediately, he seized him, and thrust him among the rest. Then he returned and caught hold of the burning chain, and wound it round himself, crying, "Away with thee!" But the black dog defended itself, and spat fire. Then said he, "If thou canst do that, there is all the more reason for taking thee with me. Thou also shalt help my father to light his fire." But before he was aware, the dog was gone, and he was most likely the devil.

Now he had still one little key for the last door. As he opened that, twelve black spirits which had horns and breathed fire rushed on him, but he struck them with his staff, dragged them out, and threw them into a water-cistern, the cover of which he shut fast.

"I have laid them to rest," said he, well pleased, "but it has made me warm; I should like a drink after it." So he went into the cellar, tapped some of the old wine which was there, and enjoyed himself. But the King said, "I should just like to know how he has got on," and sent his confessor thither, for no one else dared to trust himself in that bewitched castle. When the confessor, who was crooked and hump-backed, came to the castle and knocked the young smith opened the door for him, but when he saw him in all his deformity, and in his black gown, he cried, "After all, there is another of them left. What dost thou want, thou crooked old devil?" and he locked him up too.

So the King waited one day longer, but as the confessor did not return at all, he sent a number of warriors who were to make their way into the castle by force. The smith said, "Here are some men coming, so I will gladly let them in." They asked him why he had shut up the King's confessor? "Eh! what!" said he. "But how could I know that he was the confessor? And why did he come here in his black gown?" Then the soldiers asked him what they were to say to the King. "That he may come here himself," he replied, "and that the castle is cleared."

When the King heard that, he came full of joy, and found great possessions in jewels, silver-work, and old wine, all of which were once more in his power.

Then he ordered a coat to be made for the young smith, which was entirely of gold. "No," said the smith, "I will not have that; it is the coat of a fool," and threw it away, and said, "But I will not leave the castle until the King has shown me the Scare-me-well; for that I must really get to know." Then the King had a white linen blouse made for him, and in order to do him some good in spite of himself he had a number of pieces of gold sewn inside it. But the young smith said, "That is too heavy for me!" and threw it away, put on his old blouse, and said, "But before I go home to my father I must just see the Scare-me-well." Then he took his staff, and went to the King, who led him up to a cannon. The young smith looked at it well and went round about it, and asked what kind of a thing that was? Said the King, "Stand a little aside," and ordered the cannon to be charged and fired off. When the young smith heard the violent report, he cried, "That was the Scare-me-well, now I have seen it!" and went home quite content.

A sixth story is from the neighbourhood of Paderborn. Hans continually tells his father that he is afraid of nothing in the world. The father wishes to break him of this, and orders his two daughters to hide themselves at night in the charnel-house, and then he will send out Hans, and they, wrapped in white sheets, are to pelt him with bones, which will soon terrify him. At eleven o'clock the father says, "I have the tooth-ache so badly; Hans, go and fetch me a dead man's bone; but take care of thyself, the bone-house may be haunted." When he gets there, the sisters pelt him with dead men's bones. "Who is throwing things at me?" cries Hans. "If thou dost it again, thou shalt just see!" They pelt him again, and he seizes them, and wrings their necks. Then he takes a bone, and goes home with it. "How hast thou fared, Hans?" says the father. "Well: but there were two white things there, which threw things at me; however, I have wrung their necks." "Alack," cries the father, "they were thy two sisters; go away at once, or thou too, wilt have to die." Hans goes his way into the wide world, and says everywhere, "I am called Hans Fear-naught." He has to watch three nights in a castle, and thus free it from ghosts. The King gives him a soldier as a companion. Hans begs for two bottles of wine and a horsewhip. At night it becomes so cold that the two can bear it no longer. The soldier goes out and is about to light a fire in the stove, when the ghosts wring his neck. Hans stays in the room and warms himself with wine. Then there is a knock. Hans cries, "Come in, if thou hast a head." No one comes, but there is another knock, and then Hans cries, "Come in, even if thou hast no head." Then there is a crackling sound in the beam above, Hans looks up, and sees a mouse-hole; a pot full of tow falls down, and a poodle-dog is formed from this, which grows visibly, and at last becomes a tall man, whose head, however, is not at the top of his body, but under his arm. Hans says to him, "Put thy head on, and we will have a game at cards." The monster obeys, and they play together. Hans loses a thousand thalers, which he promises to pay the next night. Then, however, all happens as on the previous night. A soldier who has once more been given to Hans as a companion is cold, and goes out to light a fire. As he is stooping, his head is cut off. Hans again hears the knocking, and cries, "Come in, either with or without thy head." The ghost comes in with his head under his arm, but has to put it on in order to be able to play again. Hans wins two thousand thalers from the ghost, which he promises to bring the following night. This last night begins in the same way, the soldier who leaves the room in order to light the fire, is thrust into the stove by the spirits, and is suffocated inside it; the powerful spirit goes to Hans, gives him the thousand thalers he owes him, and tells him he is to take himself off at once, or it will cost him his life, for all the spirits are coming to a great meeting. But Hans will not go, and says, "I will soon show you all the door." The two struggle with each other to see which shall give way, until at last they agree to count three, and that the one who can then first thrust his finger into the key-hole shall stay. Hans counts, and the ghost gets his finger in first, on which Hans fetches a morsel of wood and a hammer, and wedges it tightly in, and then takes his horsewhip and beats him so violently, that the ghost promises never to let either himself or any of his spirits be seen in the castle again, if he may be allowed to remain in the little flower-garden behind the castle. Hans consents to that, and sets him free, on which the ghost and all the spirit-folk run instantly into the garden. The King causes a high wall to be built round it, the castle is delivered, and Hans receives the King's daughter to wife. This story appears again with characteristic variations in Wolf's Hausmärchen, p. 328-408; in Zingerle, p. 281-290; in Pröhle's, Kinder und Volksmärchen, No. 33. In Netherlandish there is The Bold Soldier, in Wolf's Niederländische Sagen, p. 517. In Swedish, there is Molbech's Graakappen, No. 14. In Danish, Molbech's De Modige Svend, No. 29.

Besides these, a similar character appears in an Icelandic story. Hreidmar is also apparently a stupid fellow of this kind, who wishes for once to know what rage is, and does get to know it. Goethe has written most thoughtfully about this story; see his Works, 1833, xlvi. 274. Works of the Scandinavian Literature Society, 1816-17, p. 208, and following.


From the Maine district. In Pomerania, it is said to be related of a child which, during its mother's absence, has been devoured by the children's ghost, which corresponds with Knecht Ruprecht. But the stones which he swallows with the child make the ghost so heavy that he falls down on the ground, and the child springs out again unhurt. It occurs in Alsace, see Stöber's Volksbüchlein, p. 100. Boner (No. 33) tells the story quite simply. The mother warns her kid against the wolf, which it refuses to admit when it comes with its voice disguised. The story is still more abridged in an old poem (Reinhart Fuchs, 346),in which, however, the kid recognizes the wolf through a chink. So too in Burkard Waldis (Frankfurt, 1563, Fab. 24), and in Hulderich Wolgemuth's Erneuerter Æsopus (Frankf. 1623). A life-like story comes to us from Transylvania, see Haltrich, No. 33. In Lafontaine (iv. i. 15) the fable is as simple as in Corrozet, but the former mentions the incident of the white paw which, as in our story, the little kid asks to see; and we remember a fragment of a complete French story. The wolf goes to the miller, stretches out his grey paw, and says,

"Meunier, meunier, trempe-moi ma patte dans ta farine blanche."

"Non, non! Non, non!"

"Alors je te mange."

On this the miller does it from fear.

The Nereid, Psamathe, sent the wolf to the flocks of Peleus and Telamon; the wolf devoured them one and all, and was then turned to stone, just as in our story, stones were sewn into him. But the saga of the wolf being turned to stone has a deeper foundation.


From Zwehrn. There is another story from the Paderborn district. At the bidding of an old woman, a poor peasant invites the first person whom he meets on the road, who is a stranger to him, to stand as godfather. It so happens that this is the King, who therefore holds the child at the christening, and gives him the name of Roland. The Queen has been confined at the same time, and her child called Joseph. When a year has passed by, the King sends for the little Roland, and adopts him as his child. Roland and Joseph grow together, and look on each other as brothers. When they are twenty years of age, the King one day rides away and leaves them the keys of all the rooms, all of which they may open but one. Roland, however, is so curious that on the third day he persuades Joseph to go into the forbidden room with him. It is entirely hung with cloth, but when Roland lifts this up he beholds the portrait of a wonderfully beautiful maiden, and faints at the sight; Joseph carries him out. Roland is restored to consciousness, but from that hour is sick with love, and knows no rest until they both go to the kingdom where the King's daughter lives. She is shut up in a tower for seven years. In the evening she is taken in a closed carriage to her parents, and early in the morning before daybreak back again to the tower. Roland and Joseph cannot see her even once, and have to go home as they came. Then their father gives them four ships; three furnished with cannon, and one with the most beautiful wares. They sail thither, and give out that they are merchants, and Joseph begs the King to make a law that only one person at a time may go on board his ship, as it would otherwise be too much crowded. This is done, and now the King himself comes on board the ship, and after him the Queen, and they buy largely. And as all the things are so beautiful, their daughter is to see them too. But no sooner has she stepped on board than the anchor is raised, and the lovely bride carried away. The King sends a ship to bring her back again, but that is sunk by the cannon. During the voyage Joseph is one night on the watch, and hears a murmuring, and a voice which cries, "Do you know any news?" "News enough," answers another, "the King's beautiful daughter is stolen away, and is here in this ship; but whosoever intends to have her for his wife must first find some one who will cut the black horse's head off." This alarms Joseph, and the next night, when Roland is going to keep watch, Joseph begs him to sleep instead, and give up the watch to him. Then he again hears the voices. "Do you know any news?" "News enough; the King's daughter is stolen away, and is shut up here in the ship; but whosoever intends to have her to wife, can only succeed if any one can be found who, when the bridegroom is drinking the bride's health, will strike away the glass from his lips so that the fragments fly round about. He, however, who speaks of this will be turned into stone to the height of his heart." Joseph is on the watch on the third night also, and then he hears, "The bridegroom cannot obtain the bride unless some one can be found to cut off the seven heads of the dragon which will be thrust in through the window on the night of the marriage. He, however, who speaks of this will be stone to his head." On the following day they arrive; the King comes to meet them with his people, and brings with him a white horse for Joseph, and a black one for Roland. Joseph mounts his, and cuts the black one's head off. All are astonished and excited, and ask the cause, but he replies, "I may and dare not tell you." In the same way also at the wedding-feast, when Roland is about to drink his bride's health, Joseph strikes the glass away from his lips so that the fragments fly about. At last at night when Roland and his bride are already asleep, Joseph walks with his drawn sword backwards and forwards in the room before the window. Suddenly something begins to roar and bellow, and a dragon thrusts in his seven heads. He cuts them off at one blow, and the blood spirts into the room and fills his boots. The watch hearing the noise, summon the King, who comes, and when he opens the door the blood streams out to meet him, and he sees Joseph with drawn sword. "Alas, what hast thou done, my son?" he cries. Then Joseph cannot do otherwise than tell him all, and is immediately encased in stone, so that no one can see anything of him but his head, which seems to be asleep. In the course of a year the young Queen brings a son into the world, and then she dreams on three successive nights that if Joseph is smeared with the blood of the child he will be set free. She relates her dream to Roland, who summons together all the counsellors of the kingdom, who say that indeed he must sacrifice his child for the sake of his friend. So the child is christened, and then its head is cut off. Joseph is smeared with the blood of the child, the stone disappears forthwith, and he stands up and says, "Alas, dear brother, why hast thou awakened me? I have slept so sweetly." They tell him all that has passed, and then Joseph says, "Now I must help thee once more," and ties up the dead child in a linen cloth, and goes away with him. When he has already wandered about for three-quarters of a year, and troubled at heart that he can find no help, seats himself beneath a tree, an aged man comes and gives him two small bottles wherein are the water of life, and the water of beauty. Joseph now carries the child home, but is forced to beg, as he has nothing left. After a quarter of a year, he reaches his father's castle, and then he sits down on the bridge and rubs the child first with the water of life, which restores it to life, and then with the water of beauty, which makes it more fresh and beautiful than all others. Thereupon he takes it to its parents, who rejoice over it with all their hearts. There is a third variant in Wolfs Hausmärchen, p. 383.

It is evidently the saga of the faithful friends, Amicus and Amelius. The one while appearing to wrong the other, in reality gives his life for him; on the other hand, the latter sacrifices his own children in order to bring his friend back to existence, though, by a miracle, these are preserved. The counterpart of the voluntary sacrifice of a pure virgin's life (in Der arme Heinrich) is to be found in the story of Hildebrand, the faithful master of Dieterich; and the story of the Child Oney may be said to form a connecting link between them. Compare The Two Brothers (No. 60), Der arme Heinrich, p. 187, and following, and further indications in Athis, p. 46. The fate which in Hartmann's poem is announced by the physician, is here declared by the ravens—birds of destiny. The bridal-shirt[5] (a woven one, as it is called, in the language of the people, in contradistinction to one which is cut out) which consumes with fire whosoever puts it on, resembles the garment which Dejanira sends to Hercules, and Medea to Glauce. In our story it has apparently so happened that a witch for some reason or other desires to destroy the young King. In the corresponding, but still very individual Italian story (Pentam. iv. 9), it is probably the father of the stolen bride who sends misfortune after them by his curses. A Russian story in Dieterich, p. 38, should be compared, and the Negro story in Kölle (see further on).

A ship is similarly equipped, in the poem of Gudrun (1060 and following) on the voyage when Horand has to fetch Hilda.

From the neighbourhood of Paderborn. The amusing trick by which the peasant transfers the beating to the sentinel and the Jew, is similarly related of Tamerlane's fool Nasureddin (Flögel's Geschichte der Hofnarren, p. 178), and likewise of the Pfaffe von Kalenherg, see the preface to Hagen's Narrenbuch, pp. 272-277, and in Flögel, p. 255. It is also told in Sacchetti's 195th story of a countryman who brings back to a King of France his lost hawk. Bertoldo amplifies something of the same kind. The peasant in his story is to have a beating, but he entreats that the head shall be spared. He therefore does not receive the beating, but those who follow him, for he is the head or leader. Bertoldino also appeases the frogs by throwing gold pieces at them. See Hagen's preface to Morolf, pp. 18, 19.

From Lorsch near Worms. It seems as if the story were not quite perfect; a reason ought to be given why the musician, who, like Orpheus, can entice animals to follow him, treats them so deceitfully. There is a similar story in Transylvania, as Haltrich remarks (No. 50).

From Zwehrn, but there the incident of the maiden noticing the twelve children's shirts and inquiring about her brothers, is wanting. We find it in another, otherwise meagre story, likewise from Hesse. There is a similar incident in The Six Swans (No. 49), from German Bohemia. In Wigalois a red standard denotes a combat for life and death (6153). Compare in the Pentamerone, The Seven Doves (iv. 8). In Norwegian, Asbjoörnsen, p. 209. Also the Lithuanian story in the report of the meetings ot the Viennese Academic der Wissenschaften, xi. 209-212.

From Paderborn. It resembles Herr Korbes (No. 41) and the Town Musicians of Bremen (No. 27). In Pomerania it is united with the story of The Cat and the Mouse in Firmenich's Deutsche Mundarten, 91, 92.

 
 

[A very good story, The Giant and his Boy, which is told in Rae's White Sea Peninsula, ought to be given here. "A boy once served a giant who, wanting to try his strength, took him into the forest. The giant proposed that they should strike their heads against the fir-trees. The boy anticipating this, had made a hole in a tree and covered it with bark. They both ran, the boy burying his head in the tree while the giant only split the bark. 'Well,' said the giant, 'now I have found a boy who is strong.'

"Then the giant wished to try who could shout the loudest. The giant roared till the mountains trembled, and great rocks tumbled down. The boy cut a branch from a tree, saying he would bind it round the giant's head for fear it should burst when he shouted. The giant prayed him not to shout, and said they would try instead who could throw the farthest. He produced a great hammer which he threw so high in the air, that it appeared no larger than a fly. The boy said he was considering which sky to throw the hammer into, and the giant, fearing to lose his hammer, asked the boy not to throw at all.

"In the evening the giant asked him when he slept the soundest, and he answered, at midnight. At midnight the giant came and aimed heavy blows at the bed. In the morning when the boy, in reply to the giant's enquiries, said he had felt some chips falling on his face during the night, the giant thought he had better send him away. This he did, giving him as much money as he could carry."—Tr.]


21.—Cinderella.

From three stories current in Hesse. One of them from Zwehrn is without the introduction, where the dying mother promises her help to her child, but begins at once with the unhappy life of the step-child—the end also is different. After Cinderella has lived happily with the King for one year, he travels away and leaves all his keys with her, with the order not to open a certain room. "When he is gone however, she is persuaded by the false sister to open the forbidden room, wherein they find a well of blood. Into this the wicked sister afterwards throws her, when she is lying ill after the birth of a son. The sister lies down in the bed in her place, but the sentries hear the cry of lamentation, and save the real Queen and the false one is punished. This termination resembles that in the story of The little Brother and Sister (No. 11). A fourth from Mecklenburg has an ending which reminds us of the well-known saga of St. Genoveva. Aschenputtel has become Queen, and has taken her step-mother, who is a witch, and her wicked step-sister to live with her. When she gives birth to a son these two lay a dog beside her, and give the child to a gardener who is to kill it; and they do the same thing a second time, but the King loves her so much that he again says nothing about it. The third time they give the Queen and the child to the gardener who is to kill them, but he takes them into a cave in the forest. As the Queen from grief has no milk, she puts the child to a hind which is in the cave. The child grows, but he becomes wild, and has long hair, and seeks herbs in the forest for his mother. One day he goes to the palace and tells the King about his beautiful mother.[6] Being asked, "Where is thy beautiful mother, then?" he answers, "In a cave in the forest." "Then I will go there." "Yes, but take a mantle with thee, so that she may be able to dress herself." The King goes there, recognizes her though she is wasted away, and takes her home with him. On the way, two boys with golden hair meet him. "To whom do ye belong?" he asks. "To the gardener." The gardener comes and reveals that they are the King's children whom he had not killed but brought up in his house. The truth comes to light, and the witch and her daughter are punished. A fifth story from the Paderborn district begins thus: A beautiful Countess had a rose in one hand and a snowball in the other, and wished for a child as red as the rose, and as white as the snow. God grants her wish. Once, when she is standing by the window looking out, she is pushed out of it by the nurse. The godless woman, however, screams loudly, and pretends that the Countess has thrown herself out. Then she ensnares the Count by her beauty, and he marries her. She bears him two daughters, and the beautiful red and white step-child has to serve as scullion. She is not allowed to go to church because she has no clothes; then she weeps on her mother's grave, and her mother gives her a key, and bids her open a hollow tree; it opens like a wardrobe; and she finds in it clothes, soap with which to wash herself, and a prayer-book. A Count sees her, and in order to catch her, smears the threshold of the church with pitch. After this all developes itself as in the other stories. A sixth from the neighbourhood of Zittau is given in Büsching's Wochentliche Nachrichten, i. 139. Aschenputtel is a miller's daughter, and is likewise not allowed to go to church. There is nothing new in it, except that instead of a dove, a dog betrays the false bride, and barks,

"Wu, wu, wu,
Full of blood is the shoe!"

And to the true one :

"Wu, wu, wu,
How well fits the shoe!"

A seventh is found in Hagen's Erzählungen und Märchen, ii. 339. The rhymes run thus,

"Help to put them in the pot
But not into thy crop."

"Open thee, open thee, willow-tree,
And give thy silken clothes to me."

The dog barks,

"Hau, hau, hau, hau, hau,
My lord has not got the right wife.

There is an eighth in Colshorn, No. 44. A ninth in Meier, No. 4.

This story is one of the best known, and is told in all parts.[7] Murner says, "es soll ein gouch sein wib regieren lassen und meister sin. Nit dass du si alwegen für ein Fusstuch woltest halten, denn si ist dem man uss der siten genummen und nit nss den Füssen, dass si soll ein äschengriddel sin." Geuchmat Strassb. 1519 (first 1515), 4 folio eb.

In Low German we find Askenpüster, Askenböel, and Askenbüel (Bremer Worterb. i. 29, 30). In Holstein, according to Schütze, Aschenpöselken is derived from pöseln, to seek laboriously (as, for instance, the peas among the ashes). Sudelsödelken, from sölen, sudeln, because it must be destroyed in the dirt.

In Pomerania, Aschpuk, signifies a dirty kitchen-maid (Dähnert). The Hessian dialect corroborates this (see Estor's Upper Hessian Dictionary): "Aschenpuddel, an insignificant, dirty girl," What is more the High German is Aschenbrödel (Deutsches Worterbuch, 581, and Ascherling. In Swabia we find Aschengrittel, Aschengruttel, Aeschengrusel. (Schmid's, Schwäb. Worterb. 29. Deutsches Wörterbuch i. 582). In Danish and Swedish it is Askesis, from blowing the ashes (at fise i Asken). In Jamieson, see Assiepet, Ashypet, Ashiepattle, a neglected child employed in the lowest kitchen work.[8] In Polish Kopciuszek, from Kopec, soot, smoke.

There was also a story in which Aschenprödel was a boy despised by his proud brothers; a similar incident occurs in the story of The Man with the iron hand[9] (No. 136) and in Aschentagger, see Zingerle, p. 395. Rollenhagen mentions it in the preface to Froschmeuseler, as the wonderful domestic tale "of the despised and pious Aschenpössel and his proud and scornful brethren."

Oberlin also gives one passage from Aschenprödel, in which a servant bears this name; and Geiler von Keisersberg calls a despised kitchen-boy an Eschengrüdel and says, "how an Eschengrüdel has everything to do," Brosamen, folio 79 a., compare the seventh stave of the fifteen verses. Tauler, in the Medulla animæ, says, "I thy stable-boy, and poor Aschenbaltz." Luther, in the Table-talk, 1. 16, says "Cain, the godless reprobate, is one of the powerful ones of earth, but the pious and Godfearing Abel has to be the submissive Aschenbrödel—nay, even his servant and be oppressed." In Agricola, No. 515, occurs "Does there remain anywhere an Aschenbrödel of whom no one has thought?" No. 594, "Jacob the Aschenbrödel, the spoiled boy." In Eyering, 2. 342, is "poor Aschenwedel." Verelius, in the notes to the Gothreks Sage, p. 70, speaks of the Volks Saga, "huru Askesisen sick Konungsdottren til hustru," which also treats of a youth who was kitchen-boy, and won the king's daughter. The proverbs also, sitia hema i asku, liggia som kattur i hreise und liggia vid arnen, apply for the most part to King's sons, in the Wilkinasage, cap. 91, of Thetleifr, and in the Refssage (cap. 9 of the Gothreks Sage) from which Verelius wishes to derive all the others. In Asbjörnsen's Norwegian stories an Askepot frequently occurs. In Finnish he is called Tukhame or Tuhkimo, from tukka, ashes—vide Schiefner, 617. We are likewise reminded of Ulrich von Thürheim's Starker Rennewart, who must also have first been a scullion; likewise of Alexius, who lived under the stairs in his father's royal house like a drudge. Vide Görres' Meisterlieder, p. 302.

It was a very ancient custom that those who were unhappy should seat themselves amongst the ashes. Odysseus, who, as a stranger entreating help, had spoken with Alkinous, thus seated himself humbly down in the ashes on the hearth, and was then brought forth and set in a high place. 7. 153, 169; compare 11. 191.

It is frequently mentioned that pigeons pick all clean. They are pure, holy creatures, and good spirits. In Meister Sigeher (MS. 2, 221b) we find,

"dem milten bin ich senfte bî[10]
mit linden sprüchen süezen,
schône alz ez ein turteletûbe habe erlesen."

In Geiler von Keisersberg, "thus the pigeons pick up the very cleanest corn," and therefore when any one has good corn, the saying is, "It is just as if it had been got together by pigeons." Brosamen, folio 88b. In Pauli's Schimpf und Ernst (1535), chap. 315, folio 60a there is a story of a woman who knelt down quite far back in the church and wept from devotion, and the bishop saw how a dove came and picked up these tears, and then flew away. In the incident of Aschenputtel being sought for and found by means of the lost shoe, we are reminded of the saga of Rhodope, whose shoe having being carried away by an eagle, Psammetichus, into whose breast it had fallen, sent over the whole of Egypt in order to make the owner of it his wife, (Ælian, Var. lib. 13).

Gudrun in her misfortunes has to become an Aschenbrödel; she herself although a queen, has to clean the hearth and wipe up the dust with her hair, or else she is beaten. Compare 3986, 3991, 4021, 4077, 4079.

In the Pentamerone (1.6) is Cenerentola, in Perrault Cendrillon, ou la petite pantoufle de verre (No. 6.) In D'Aulnoy, Finette Cendron (No. 10). In Norwegian, see Asbjörnsen, p. 110. In Hungarian, see the second part of The Three Kings' Daughters, in Stier, p. 34, and following. In Servian, with special and beautiful variations, see Wuk, No. 32. Schottky expressly says (in Büsching's Wöchentl. Nachrichten, 4. 61) that the Servians have a story of Aschenbrödel, which is like the German one. The story of Allerleirauh (No. 65) is related to this, and so is that of Einäuglein, No. 130.


22.—The Riddle.

From Zwehrn in Lower Hesse. The story of Turandot: she wants to have her riddle guessed, and seeks what she fears, and what will destroy her pride and power. Another story differs in some respects. A King's son sees a maiden whose beauty so attracts him that he follows her, and gets into the house of a witch, whose daughter she is. The maiden herself is well-disposed, and warns him against her mother's magical and poisonous drinks. He rides away, but the mother hurries after him, and wants to give him something to drink. As she cannot get up to him, she gives the glass to the servant, who is to take it to him, but it flies in pieces (compare Deutsche Sagen, 2. 319), and the horse, which is sprinkled with poison, falls down dead. The servant runs to his master and tells him what has happened, they go back to fetch the saddle, and a raven is sitting on the horse eating it. The King's son kills the raven, and they take it with them; when they enter the inn, they give it to the innkeeper, who is to roast it. They have however stumbled on a den of murderers, and are shut in. By night the murderers come to take the lives of the strangers, but before doing so, they eat the raven which was roasted for the prince and his servant and all die of it; and now the innkeeper's daughter who means well by them, goes and opens the doors for the strangers, and shows them the abundance of gold and treasure. The King's son says, she shall keep that as a reward, and rides on farther with his servants, and comes to the town where the King's daughter is to guess the riddle. He gives her this riddle to guess, "One struck none, and yet struck twelve." All the other stories are like this. One in Lassberg's Liedersaal, 1. 537, should be compared with it.


From Philander von Sittewald's Gesichten, part 2, at the end of the seventh "Vision." The story however still survives by word of mouth, but it is told in many different ways, for instance, it is related of a mouse and sausage without the little bird. One has to cook one week, the other the week after. There is a story from Alsace in Stöber's Volksbüchlein, p. 99. See Gossip Mysel, and Gossip Läverwürstel, in the Neue Preuss. Provinzialblätter, 1. 226.


24.—Frau Holle.

From Hesse and Westphalia. A third story from the Schwalm district connects this story with that of Hänsel and Grethel. Two girls were sitting together by a well, spinning; one of them was pretty, the other hideous. The pretty one said, "The one who lets her distaff fall into the water shall go in after it."

Then her distaff fell down, and she was forced to go in after it. When she was below she was however not drowned in the water, but came out in a meadow wherein stood a little pear-tree, to which she said, "Shake thyself, stir thyself," and then the little pear-tree shook and tossed itself about. Then she came to a little calf, and said, "Moo-calf, stoop down." Then the little calf stooped down. Then she came to an oven, and said, "Oven, bake me a roll." Then the oven baked her a roll.[11]

At length she came to a little house made of pancakes, and as she was hungry she ate some of it, and when she had eaten a hole in it, she looked in and saw a little red woman, who cried, "The wind, the heavenly child! come in and comb my hair." Then she went in and combed the old woman's hair until she fell asleep. Thereupon the girl went into a room full of things made of gold, and put on a golden dress, and went away again. When however she came to the oven again, she said, "Oven, please do not betray me." "No, I will not betray thee." Then she came to the little calf, and at last to the little pear-tree, and to each of them she said, "Betray me not," and each answered, "No, I will not betray thee." Then she came out of the well again, and day was just dawning, and the cock cried, "Our golden girl is coming."

Soon afterwards the dirty ugly girl's distaff also falls into the well, and she has to go after it. She comes to the pear-tree, the calf, and the oven. She speaks to them as the pretty one had done, but they do not obey her. Then she, too, combs the red old woman's hair until she has fallen asleep, goes into the room and dresses herself all in gold, and is about to go home. She entreats the oven, the calf, and the pear-tree not to betray her, but they answer, "Yes, indeed, we will betray thee." So when the old woman awakes, she hastens after the girl, and they say to her, "If thou runnest, thou wilt yet overtake her." She overtakes the girl and dirties her golden dress for her. When she comes out of the well again day is just dawning and the cock cries, "Our dirty girl is coming." A fourth story from the Paderborn district is most like this, especially in the sympathy which the things the girl has spoken to on her way show her afterwards. She has shaken a little tree, milked a cow which has had its calf stolen from it, and has taken the bread out of the oven. Then in the house she is forced every afternoon to pick the lice off a witch, an ape, and a bear, and for that she receives the most beautiful clothes and a quantity of gold and silver. When she has got all these things, she says, "I will go out and fetch some water." She goes and again finds the door of the well by which she had come down. She opens it and sees the bucket just being let down. She seats herself in it, and is drawn up. As she stays away, the witch, the ape, and the bear send a great black dog after her, which asks every where if no one has seen a girl quite covered with silver and gold. But the tree which she shook points with its leaves to another road, the cow which she milked goes another way and nods her head as if she were showing him the right one, and the oven shoots out its flames and points in quite a wrong direction. The dog therefore cannot find the girl. All fares on the contrary very ill with the wicked girl, when she runs away and comes under the tree which she refused to shake: it shakes itself, and throws down a great many dry branches which strike her, the cow she would not milk kicks her, so that at last she arrives above again, bruised and covered with blue marks.

A fifth story, also from Hesse, is different. There was once a woman who had a great affection for her own daughter, and did not at all love her step-daughter, who was a good and pious girl, but treated her very cruelly, and tried to get rid of her. One day she places both of them by a well, and says that they are to spin there, but adds, "If either of you lets her distaff fall down the well, I will throw her in after it." Having said this, she fastens her own daughter's distaff tightly, but her step-daughter's quite loosely. The latter has only spun a very short time, when her distaff falls into the well, and the step-mother is hard-hearted enough to throw her in after it. She falls deep down, but comes into a magnificent garden and to a house in which there is no one. In the kitchen, the soup is just boiling over, the roast meat just going to burn, and the cakes in the oven are just going to turn black. She quickly takes the soup off the fire, pours water on the roast meat, draws the cakes out of the oven, and puts everything right, and though very hungry, takes nothing but a few crumbs which have fallen off while she was trimming the cakes.

But now comes a water-nixie with frightful hair which has certainly not been combed out for a year, and desires the girl to comb it without twitching it, or pulling a single hair out, which at length, with much dexterity, she accomplishes. The nixie now says that she would much like to keep the girl with her, but cannot do so because she ate the two or three crumbs, but she gives her a ring and other things, and says if at night she turns the ring round she will come to her. The other daughter likewise has now to go to the nixie, and is thrown into the well, but she does everything wrong, does not restrain her hunger, and therefore comes back with evil gifts.

W. Reynitzsch gives a sixth story from Thuringia in his book, Ueber Truhten und Truhtensteine[12] (Gotha, 1802), pp. 128-131. The pretty sister, whose distaff has fallen into the well, is pushed down by the wicked ugly one (aischliche). She comes into a wide open country. A little white man goes with her into a green meadow in which a minstrel with his fiddle meets her, receives her singing, and accompanies her. A red cow begs to be milked in order that her udder may not burst; the girl does it. At last they reach a magnificent town; the little man asks by which gate she will enter—the golden gate, or the pitch gate? She chooses the latter out of humility, but is led through the first, where everything is dropping with gold, and her face and clothes become gilded. A maiden asks her where she will live; in the white house, or in the black one? She again says, "In the black one," but is conducted to the white one. Another asks her whether she would prefer to spin gold flax with pretty spinning-girls and have her meals with them, or with cats and snakes. The girl is terrified, but is taken to the golden spinners and eats roast meat with them, and drinks beer and mead. After she has led a delightful life there for some time she is taken back through a golden gate by another little man, and reaches home covered with golden garlands. On her arrival the yellow cock crows "Cock a doodle doo! Cock a doodle doo!" and every one cries, "Here comes Golden Mary." The ugly sister now also lets herself be pushed into the well. Everything happens quite contrariwise with her. A little black man guides her, she passes by a gate of pitch into a misty abode of snakes and toads, where she is not allowed to eat so much as she wants, and has no rest day or night. In the Naubert collection (1. 136-179) the story is on the whole treated in the same way as in the fourth tale from Hesse, and in the same manner as the rest, but it is very pleasantly amplified. There is another method of treatment in Mad. Villeneuve's stories, of which in 1765 a translation appeared in Ulm, under the title, Die junge Amerikanerin. The Marmot (Liron), so the step-child is called, has to perform the coarsest work, keep the sheep, and at the same time bring back home with her an appointed quantity of spun thread. The maiden frequently seats herself on the edge of a well, and one day when she is about to wash her face, she falls in. When she comes to herself again, she finds herself in a crystal globe in the hands of a beautiful nixie, whose hair she is obliged to comb, for which she receives a magnificent dress, and whenever she lets down her hair and combs it, bright flowers are to fall from it, and whenever she is in trouble she is to plunge into the well and seek help from the nixie. The nixie likewise gives her a shepherd's crook which will keep off wolves and robbers; a spinning-wheel and distaff, which spin of their own accord, and lastly, a tame beaver able to perform many services. When Marmot comes home one evening with these things, the other daughter also is to get some like them for herself, and she jumps down the well. She falls however, into a morass, and because of her pride receives the gift, that stinking weeds and rushes shall grow out of her head, and that if she pulls one out still more shall grow. Marmot alone can remove the hateful decoration for a day and a night if she combs her, and now she is always obliged to do it. Then follows the further history of Marmot for which other stories are used; she always has to perform something which is dangerous, but by the aid of her magical gifts she does everything safely. In Hesse they say when it snows, "Frau Holle is making her bed;" in Holstein, "St. Peter is shaking up his bed;" or "The angels are picking feathers and down," vide Müllenhoff, p. 583. In Swabian, see Meier, 77. Kuhn, No. 9. Holstein, see Müllenhoff, No. 31, 51. There is a story from Alsace, in Stöber's Volksbuch, p. 113. In Norwegian in Asbjörnsen, p. 86. Roumanian, from the Bukowina, in Wolf's Zeitschrift für Mythologie, 1. 42. In the Pentamerone, The two Cakes (4, 7). The first story in the Brunswick Collection has some affinity. The proud wild Fir-tree (Stolze Föhre) in Ziska, p. 38, is allied to this; also two Servian tales in Wuk, No. 34, 36. Compare the stories of Frau Holle in our Deutsche Sagen, vol. ii, and Panzer's German Mythology, i. 125, 190. For Norse stories see P. E. Müller's Sagabibliothek, i, 274–275.


From the Maine district, but the beginning, up to where the little sister goes out into the world, is added from a Viennese story. The former only tells briefly that the three little sons (seven in the latter) play at cards on Sunday, during church time, and on that account are bewitched by their mother, as in a story in E.M. Arndt, where for the same reason they are changed into mice (see further on). The story of the Six Swans, No. 49, has some resemblance, in which story, too, the Austrian one is merged. In that we have the ravens in the black and more unhappy form; in the story of the Twelve Brothers they also appear in the same way as here, and the whole bears some affinity. We have also a story about the Glass Mountain from Hanau. There was an enchanted princess whom no one could set free, who had not climbed the Glass Mountain whither she was banished. Then a young apprentice came to the inn; a boiled chicken was set before him for dinner, all the bones of which he carefully collected, put them in his pocket, and went towards the Glass Mountain. When he had got there he took out a little bone, stuck it in the mountain, and climbed on it, and then he stuck in one little bone after the other until he had in this way mounted almost to the top. He had only one single step more to make, but the little bone was wanting to do it with, whereupon he cut off his little finger and stuck it in the Glass Mountain, and thus attained the summit and released the princess. Thus does Sivard deliver proud Bryniel af Glarbierget (Altdän. Lieder, S. 31), riding up it on his foal. In a song from Ditmars, occurs

"So schalst du my de Glasenburg[13]
Mit eenen Perd opriden."

Wolfdieterich is bewitched in a tomb, where, according to the Dresd. Gedicht, Str. 289.

vir perg umb in geleit,[14]
die waren auch glesseine
und waren hel und glatt."

In the old edition it says (Str. 1171),

"mit glasse was fürware[15]
burg und grabe überzogen,
es mocht nichts wan zura tore
sein in die burg geflogen."

A Glass Mountain occurs in the Younger Titurel (Str. 6177) also in other stories, viz. in Snow-White (No. 53), in the Raven (No. 93), in the Iron Stove (127). King Arthur dwells with Morgan le fay, on the Glass island, and it is easy to trace a connection not in words alone, with the Norse Gläsiswoll. In Scotland, walls are still to be found covered as it were with glass (vitrified forts), see Archæologia Britan. 4. 242. Saemundar Edda, 2. see 879, Notes.

When the little sister reaches the end of the world, we may compare the observations in the Scottish version of the Frog King (No. 1). Fortunatus also travels until at last he can go no farther, with reference to which Nyerup (Morskabsläsning, p. 161) quotes the following song,

"gamle Sole ligge der[16]
og forslidte Maaners Här,
hvoraf Stjerner klippes."

With this should be compared a song in the Wunderhorn, 1; 300. In the Younger Titurel it is said,

"swer an der erden ende[17]
so tiefe sich geneiget,
der vindet sunder wende
daz er Antarticum wol vingerzeiget 4748."

Wolfram speaks of a land,

"daz sô nâh der erden orte liget,[18]
dâ nieman fūrbaz bûwes pfliget,
und dâ der tagesterne ûf gêt
sô nâh, swer dâ ze fuoze stêt
in dunct daz er wol reichte dran." Willehalm, 35, 5–9.

Vossius, in his Abhandlung über die alte Weltkunde, gives the following fragments. "The Spinning-girls tell of a young tailor's apprentice who travelled farther and farther, and after manifold adventures with griffins, enchanted princesses, wizard-dwarfs, and fierce mountain-piling giants at last reached the end of the world. He did not find it as it is commonly supposed to be, all boarded up with planks, through the seams of which one sees the holy angels busily engaged in brewing storms, forging lightning, and working up the old sunshine into new moonlight, and the used-up moon and starlight into northern lights (aurora), rainbows, and the bright twilight of the summer nights. No, the blue vault of heaven sank down on the surface of the earth like a dome. The moon was just rising above the horizon, and the tailor allowed himself the pleasure of touching it with his fore-finger. But it hissed, and skin and flesh were scorched off to the nail." Falk has elaborated this story in his Osterbüchlein, pp. 178–252. Compare Kuhn, No. 7. Müllenhoff, No. 3. Büchlein fur die Jugend, No. 1. Meier, No. 49. Sommer, No. 11. Asbjörnsen, No. 3. The Seven Doves in the Pentamerone, (4, 8), A Lithuanian story, see Schleicher, pp. 109-112, is allied, and so is a Finnish story, as is remarked by Schiefner, p. 607. A portion of the fable reminds us also of the ancient Danish ballad of Berner Ravn, who was bewitched by his step-mother, and whose sister gave him her little child, that by means of its eyes and heart's blood he might be restored to his human form again.


From the Maine district. See Perrault's Chaperon Rouge, whence Tieck's charming elaboration in the Romantic Poems. In a Swedish popular song (Folkviser, 3. 68, 69) Jungfrun i Blåskagen (Black Forest) is a kindred story. A girl is to go across the country to a wake. Her way leads through a dark forest, where the grey wolf meets her. "Ah dear wolf," says she, "do not bite me, and I will give thee my shift sewn with silk." "Thy shift sewn with silk is not what I want, I will have thy young life and blood!" So she offers her silver shoes, and then her golden crown, but all was in vain. In her trouble she climbs up a high oak-tree, but the wolf undermines the root. In her terrible anguish the girl utters a piercing cry. Her lover hears it, saddles his horse, and rides with the swiftness of a bird, but when he arrives at the spot, the oak is lying uprooted, and all that remains of the girl is one bleeding arm.


From two stories heard in the district of Paderborn. A third from Zwehrn differs in this respect, that the four animals do not drive the robbers out of the house in a fright, but enter it peaceably, make music, and in return are entertained by them. The robbers then go out in search of booty, and when they return home at midnight the one who is sent first to light up the house meets with the same adventures that in the other stories befel the one who went to reconnoitre. In Rollenhagen's Froschmeuseler, book 3, chap. 8, we find our story with the title, How the ox and the ass together with their companions storm a hut in the forest.

In our tale the wild beasts of the forest have become robbers. The former is certainly earlier, for in the Latin Reinhart Fuchs (Isengrimus, 529, and following), is a fable according to which the goat, buck, fox, stag, cock, and goose go a-travelling, establish themselves in a hut in the forest, and play a trick on the wolf who comes to it; as is also related in a story from Transylvania, (See Haltrich, No. 4) with which No. 41 is closely allied. Especially is it to be observed that here the strong, wild, and powerful animals are deceived (as in No. 102,) where dwarfs overreach giants. Rollenhagen is more complete, inasmuch as in his version the ox and the goose also appear, and with regard to this latter, we must particularly notice the good incident of the frightened man's mistaking her beak for a pair of red-hot iron tongs. A Swabian story, the Robber and the Domestic Animals, is to be found in Meier, No, 3. Compare as a whole, the establishment in the Ragamuffins, No. 10.


From Lower Hesse, whence also, though from two different places, we have two other stories. They begin like the story of The Water of Life, No. 97. An old King becomes ill and wants to give away his crown, but does not know to which of his three (or two) sons. At length he decides that it shall fall to the one who can catch a bear (or wild boar) with a golden padlock. The eldest goes out and has a horse, a cake, and a bottle of wine to take with him on his way. A little dwarf is sitting under a tree in the forest who asks kindly, "Whither goest thou?" and begs for a little piece of cake. The prince answers haughtily, gives him nothing, and is therefore "ill-wished" by the dwarf, that he shall seek the bear in vain. So he goes home again having done nothing. The second is sent out, but has no better success; and now it is the turn of the youngest, the simpleton, who is ridiculed, and who receives a stick instead of a horse, bread instead of cake, and water in place of wine. In the forest the little man speaks to him also; he answers civilly, and shares his food with him. Then the little man gives him a rope with which he catches the bear, and brings it home. The other story briefly relates that the second son slays the wild boar; the eldest brother sees him coming, goes to meet him, and kills him. The rest of the story is the same. For a fourth story, see Colshorn, No. 71. A fifth from Switzerland is communicated by Wackernagel in Haupt's Zeitschrift, 3. 35, 36. A boy and a girl are sent into the forest to seek a flower, the one who finds it is to have the kingdom. The girl finds it and falls asleep. The brother comes up, kills the sleeping girl, covers her with earth, and goes away. Afterwards a shepherd-boy finds a little bone, and makes a flute of it. The little bone begins to sing, and gives an account of everything that has been done. A sixth is in Müllenhoff, No. 49.

The same saga occurs in an old Scotch ballad, a harper makes a harp of the breast-bone of the drowned sister, which begins to play of its own accord, and accuses the guilty sister (Scott's Minstrelsy, 2. 157–162). In the Faroese ballad on the same subject, we have the incident of the harp-strings being made of the murdered girl's hair; see Schwedische Volkslieder, by Geyer and Afzelius, 1. 86. In Polish, see Lewestam, p. 105. See also The Esthonian Tales of H. Neus, p. 56. In a Servian story in Wuk, No. 39, an elder-tube used as a flute reveals the mystery. The Bechuanas also, in South Africa, have a similar story.


From Zwehrn; another story from the Maine district agrees with it on the whole, but is much less complete; three feathers only are demanded by the phoenix-bird, as the Devil is called. A third, also from lower Hesse, contains a portion of the story, and introduces it in this manner. A certain princess sees a woodcutter at work under her window, and falls in love with him for his beauty. It is decreed that whosoever shall bring three golden hairs out of the Devil's head, shall be her husband. Many princes have already undertaken the enterprise unsuccessfully, and now the wood-cutter, in his love for her, ventures it. There is no difference in the method of working this out—there is a slight variation in the two first questions which are put, why a village-fountain had run dry, and why a fig-tree was no longer green. When he brings the answers he receives in recompense besides gold, two regiments of infantry, and with these he compels the aged King to keep his word. Different, but akin to it, is the Swiss story of the Vogel Greif, (No. 165). Büsching's Volksmärchen (No. 59) give us an oral tradition also, the conditions with respect to dissolving the enchantment are much increased, and the whole seems diffuse and amplified in the French style. See The Five Questions in Wolf's Hausmärchen, p. 184. Meier, Nos. 73-79. Prohle's Märchen für die Jugend, No. 8. Die Drachenfedern, Zingerle, p. 69. There is a beautiful Swedish story in the Popular Tales of Afzelius (2. 161-167); a Norwegian story in Asbjörnsen, No. 5; a Wendish in Haupt and Schmaler; a Hungarian, called The Brothers, in Mailáth, No. 8. Compare a Mongolian story, in Gesser Khan, p. 142, and following. Allied to the opening of the story is an old saga of the Emperor Henry III. (see Deutsche Sagen, 2, No. 480; see Gesta Romanorum, under No. 2). The last part, where the questions are put to the Devil, bears some resemblance to an Italian story in the Pentamerone (4. 3). A story in Saxo Grammaticus, in the eighth book, which belongs to this subject, is noteworthy. Thorkill arrives at Utgard, which is described as like hell. There he snatches from Loki one of his long hairs which shines like fire. Here we may compare P. E. Müller upon Saxo Grammaticus (p. 141, and following), who accepts as a fact that this journey of Thorkill's was written after the introduction of Christianity. The superstition of the caul (pileus naturalis, in Lampridius) is also indigenous in Iceland; a spirit is said to dwell in it which accompanies the child its whole life through, on which account the caul is carefully preserved and concealed. In Belgium it is called the helmet (helm), and according to whether it is red, or pale and blackish in colour, they infer the child's future fortunes (Del Rio, disquisitt. magicae, 4. 2, 9, 7); compare Edda Saemundar 2, Note 653. The Devil's mother or grandmother is spoken of in the German Mythology. Here she is good-natured[19] and helps the oppressed, as in the English story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The giant's daughters also seem kindly disposed to the stranger.


From Cassel. It approaches the form of the nursery song, Es schickt der Herr den Jokel aus, er soll den Hafer schneiden, &c. Compare No. 16 in Kuhn and Schwartz, and Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes.


From two stories current in Hesse which, on the whole, complete and agree with each other. The one from Zwehrn lacks the beginning, and only says that a father wanted to have his own daughter to wife, and as she refused, cut off her hands (and breasts), made her put on a white shirt, and drove her out into the world. The sequel of this story, however, which is told almost in the same way, surpasses the other in internal completeness, only in the former the incident of its being the Devil who changes the letters is retained, whereas here it is the old Queen who is from the very first ill-disposed towards her step-daughter, who does it. There are also the distinguishing features, that before the girl marries the King she keeps the fowls for a while in his courtyard, and that afterwards, when she is driven out with her child on her back into the wild forest, an old man bids her fold her maimed arms thrice round a tree, and while she is doing this, they (and her breasts also) will, by God's grace, grow again of their own accord. He also tells her that the house in which she is to live, will only be allowed to open to him who shall thrice beg for admission for God's sake, which the King, when he comes to it, is afterwards forced to do before he is let in. A third story from the district of Paderborn coincides on the whole with that from Zwehrn. Instead of an angel, a little light which comes down from heaven guides the unhappy maiden. As she is going about in the forest with her stumps of arms, she sees a blind mouse which puts its head into a running stream, and thus receives its sight again. So, weeping and praying, the girl holds her arms under water, and her hands grow once more. A fourth tale from Mecklenburg contains another form of the saga. A certain man had a daughter, still a child, who day and night was always at prayer. He grew angry and forbade her to do it, but she went on praying continually, until at last he cut out her tongue, but she prayed in thought, and embraced the cross with her arms. Then the man became still more angry, and cut off her right hand, but she clasped the cross with her left. He cut off her arm as far as the elbow. Then a man said to her, "Depart, or thy father will cut off thy left arm as well." She was just seven years old, and she walked onwards and ever onwards until in the evening she came to a great house, in front of which a huntsman was standing. She mads him understand that she was hungry, and that she wished he would let her go in. The huntsman would willingly have done it, but did not know where to put her; at length he took her to a dog's kennel, where two pet dogs of the rich Count, in whose service he was, were lying. She stayed two years in the kennel, and ate and drank with the dogs. Then the Count remarked how thin the dogs were growing, and asked the huntsman what was the reason, and he confessed that he had taken in a girl who was sharing their food. The Count said that he was to fetch her to him, but the girl would not come; so he himself went down to the dog-kennel and saw her, and said she was to go with him into his castle and he would bring her up. She was then nine years old, and it happened that one day when she was standing by the gate, a poor grey-haired man came and begged for a charitable gift. She gave him something, and then he said, "Thou shalt have thy tongue and thine arm back again," and gave her a staff and said, "Take this staff, and walk straight onwards, it will protect thee from evil, and show thee thy way." So she took the staff and walked on for the space of two years. She reached a lake and drank some of it, and then her tongue came swimming to her and grew fast in her mouth, and then she put the maimed stump into the water, and the arm came and grew fast in its old place, and after that the hand came also. And now she took the staff, and returned to the Count, but she had grown so beautiful that he no longer knew her. She made herself known to him, and they were married.

One can see that this story is the popular source from which in the middle ages sprang the well-known poems Mai and Beaflor, Fair Helena and others. A fragment of a fourth story from Hesse coincides also strikingly with this. In this the Queen is driven out with her children, and her two fingers are cut off, which the children carry about with them. The children are stolen from her by wild beasts, and serve as scullions, and the mother as a washerwoman.

A story from Meran, in Zingerle, p. 124, which is linked with the story of The Two Brothers (No. 60), also belong to this group. So likewise does No. 36 in Prohle's Kindermärchen. La Penta manomozza, in the Pentamerone (3. 2); two Servian tales (Wuk, Nos. 27-33) are allied, and probably also a Finnish story in Rudbek (1. 140). See Schiefner, 600, 616. An old German tale contains the saga of a king who wishes to have a wife who resembles his daughter. The Pope gives him permission to have the daughter, who refuses him, and is put into a barrel. (Pfälz. MS. 336, folio 276–286.) The girl's washing herself clean with her tears occurs also in a Swedish song (Geyer, 3. 37, 38) when the mother comes out of her grave to her children.

"hon tvälla dem så snöhvit
alt uti ögnatår."

[A story which I have never met with in print, but which was told me by my friend the late James Macdonell, bears a strong resemblance to Das Mädchen ohne Hände, No. 31, in so far as the method employed to escape from the power of the Evil One is concerned. The beginning is very different. It is as follows. In a lonely farmhouse, near Tomintoul, Banffshire, dwelt a poor farmer with his wife and family. Things had gone ill with him, and he had for some time not been able "to make all ends meet." At length he was obliged to let his eldest daughter go out to service. In order to find a place she walked to the hirings held at Grantown, which was several miles from her own home. These hirings were held twice a year at the great Candlemas and Martinmas fairs, and men and women stood in the market-place waiting to find places. She stood all day long, but no one hired her. At last, late in the evening, and bitterly disappointed at losing this chance of helping her family, she went homewards. Her way was a very lonely one, and led her across the spurs of mountains, just as they dipped down into the moorland, and long before she drew near home, darkness fell. Suddenly, as she was hurrying onwards, a man joined her whom she had never before seen. "Good evening, mistress," said he, "Good evening," said she, and as he still continued to walk by her side, and talk to her, she told him of the great disappointment she had just met with. "No one has hired you!" cried he. "Why, what wages do you want?" She told him the amount, and he said, "I will hire you; you shall come to me, and here are your arles" (God's-penny). The girl had been very glad when he said that he would hire her; but as he put the money in her hand, she shivered all over, and felt that there was something awful about this stranger. She took the arles, however, and then he told her that at twelve o'clock on the following night she was to come to him at a place very near her father's house, where four roads met. When she got home she told her father and mother what she had done, and what she thought about this stranger, and they too were much alarmed and convinced that he was the Devil. They sent for the priest, who came in the morning. He, too, said that the stranger was the Devil, but declared that the girl must keep her word with him. So when night came she went to the place where the four roads met, and by the priest's orders, drew a circle, and stood within it, saying always the Lord's Prayer and Ave Maria. At midnight there was a loud clap of thunder, and an angry flash of forked lightning, and immediately after a host of horrible black fiends rushed forward against her, screaming and gesticulating as if they would rend her in pieces. Her alarm was intense; but somehow she was just able to remember that the priest had told her never for a moment to cease praying, and making the sign of the cross, and never by any chance to allow herself to be terrified into overstepping the limits of the circle. She was likewise not to turn her back to her enemies. They, for their part, did their utmost to make her leave the circle and to weary her out with terror, that she might lose all power of resisting them. Sometimes they attacked her in front, sometimes behind, rushing madly on her, making the most horrible faces, uttering the most horrible cries, glaring at her with fierce fiery eyes, or seeming about to claw her forth and destroy her. Over and over again she felt as if she must faint for very weariness, or turn and fall into their power, but at length after many hours, a pale light in the sky showed that day would ere long dawn, and a cock crowed, on which all vanished, and she was delivered.—Tr.]


32.—Clever Hans.

From the Maine district. There is a similar story in Frei's Gartengesellschaft (1557), chap. 1., and one with corresponding incidents, but told in different words, in Kirchhof's Wendunmut (1565), 1. No. 81. We give the story from the former book.

In the valley of Geslinger dwelt a very rich widow, who had an only son, who was heavy-headed and dull-witted, and the most foolish of all the dwellers in this valley. This same dolt once upon a time saw at Saarbruck the daughter of a nobleman of high repute. The fool fell in love with her at once, and charged his mother to get this girl to be his wife, or else he would beat in all the stoves and windows, and break up all the stairs in the house. The mother was well aware what a stupid head her son had, and feared that even if she did seek this young girl in marriage for him, and gave him a large amount of property as well, he would still be such an uncouth ass that nothing could ever be made of him. However, as the girl's parents, though noble and of good family, were so ill off that their poverty made them unable to provide for her in a manner suitable to her station, this part of the wooing was more easily managed. But then the mother feared that as her son was such a great clumsy blockhead, perhaps the girl would not have him, and gave him all kinds of instructions so that he might be able to behave courteously and attentively to the bride. The first time this blockhead has any conversation with the girl she gives him a beautiful pair of gloves of soft Spanish leather. The yokel puts them on, and then it begins to rain heavily; but he keeps the gloves on and goes home; it is all the same to him whether they get wet or not. When he is crossing a plank, he slips off, and falls into the water and mud. He arrives at home very dirty, and his gloves have become mere pulp. He complains to his mother. The good old mother scolds him and says he ought to have wrapped them in his pocket-handkerchief and have thrust them in his breast. Soon afterwards the worthy young goose again goes to see the girl. She enquires about the gloves, and he tells her what has happened. She laughs, notes this first proof of his wisdom, and presents him with a hawk. He takes it, goes home, and remembering his mother's words, strangles the hawk, folds him up in his neckerchief, and puts him in his breast. Having arrived at home, he wants to show his mother the beautiful bird, and draws it out of his breast. The mother again takes him to task, and says that he ought to have carried it carefully on his hand. The yokel goes a third time to see the girl, who asks how the hawk is, and he tells her what he did to it. She thinks "He is an absolute fool!" and seeing plainly that nothing delicate or beautiful is suitable to him, makes him a present of a harrow, which he is to use when he has sown his corn. He has laid to heart his mother's words, and like a stupid fellow carries it home in his hands. His mother is anything but pleased, and says that he should have tied it to a horse and have had it dragged home. At length the girl sees that chrism and baptism have been thrown away on him, for there is neither reason nor understanding in him, and not knowing how to get rid of the fool, gives him a great piece of bacon and thrusts it in his bosom, and he is quite satisfied. He wants to go home, but is afraid of losing it out of his breast, so he ties it to a horse's tail, mounts the horse, and rides home. Then the dogs run after him and tear the bacon from the horse's tail and devour it. He reaches home, but the bacon is gone. The mother sees in this more of her son's wisdom, fears the wedding will never take place, goes to the girl's parents, and requests to know the day when the formal demand in marriage can be made; but before she goes away, she earnestly charges him to keep house well, and not to make a great deal of noise, for she has a goose sitting on some eggs. As soon as his mother is out of the house, Hans goes into the cellar, drinks his fill of wine and loses the tap of the cask, and while he is looking for it, all the wine runs out in the cellar. The clever fellow takes a sack of flour and empties it on the wine that his mother may not see it when she comes. Then he goes back to the house and is violently sick. The goose is sitting there on her eggs and is terrified, and cries, "Gaga! gaga!" the stupid fellow is seized with alarm, and thinks the goose is saying, "I will tell about it," and fears she will tattle about how he has behaved in the cellar, so he cuts off her head. He is afraid that the eggs will be destroyed too, and then he will be in a peck of troubles; and thinks it over, and makes up his mind to sit on the eggs himself, but after all thinks he would not be able to manage that as he is not covered with feathers like the goose. He soon has a good thought, undresses himself entirely, smears his body all over with some honey his mother has just made, and then empties a bed and rolls himself all over in the feathers till he looks like a tomtit, and then he sits down upon the goose's eggs and is perfectly quiet lest he should frighten the young geese. While this buffoon is thus sitting, his mother arrives and knocks at the door. The dolt sits on the eggs and will give no answer; she knocks again, so he calls out "Gaga! gaga!" thinking that as he is sitting on young geese (or fools) he can't speak in any other way. At length his mother threatens him so severely that he creeps out of the nest, and lets her in. As soon as she sees him, she thinks it is the Devil himself, and asks what it means, and he tells her everything in the order in which it occurred. The mother is very anxious about this great fool, for the bride is soon to follow, so she tells him she will willingly forgive him, and that he is to behave himself well now for the bride is coming, and that he must receive and greet her in a really friendly manner, and be always casting kind eyes on her. The fool says "Yes, I will do everything I can," washes off the feathers, dresses himself again, goes into the stable, cuts all the sheep's eyes out and puts them in his breast. As soon as the bride comes, he goes to meet her, and throws all the eyes in her face, thinking that is what he has to do. The good young girl is ashamed of being made so dirty, and having her appearance spoilt, perceives the youth's want of sense, and that he will never be fit for anything, goes home again and gives him up. So he was a fool afterwards as he had been a fool before, and is still to this day sitting on young geese to hatch them. I am afraid however that if ever they come forth they will be young fools. God forbid.

The wise deeds of Clever Hans are sometimes told in one way and sometimes in another, and are either multiplied or diminished. They are given with some variations in Wolf's Zeitschrift, 2. 386, after an oral tradition from Lower Silesia. Akin to this are the stories of Clever Alice, No. 34, and of Catherlieschen, No. 59, in which occurs the jest related by Frei of the drying up the wine which has run out, with flour. The Little Grandmother, in Vogl, p. 93, should be compared with this, also a Tyrolese story in Zingerle, p. 10, and a Swabian in Meier, No. 52. The hatching of the calves in Hans Sachs (2. 4, 138, Kempt edition) is also related to this group. There is also a story of a goat which Hans took to bed, and other things of the same kind. Bebellii facetiae (Amst. 1651), 47–49. A nursery song (Dichtungen aus der Kinderwelt; Hamburg, 1815) is also related to our story, and has new jests—

By the stream sits little Hans
Carrying out some clever plans.
His little house is burnt with fire,
So he's wearing his rags to make them dryer.
And having fish in plenty caught
The scales alone he home has brought.

Hansel and Grethel,
A merry young pair,
Hansel has no wits,
And she none to spare.

The story of Foolish Lazy Harry, which Rollenhagen refers to in the preface to Froschmeuseler, is to be found in Hans Sachs (2. 4. 85c-86d). Lazy Harry imitates the dog and cat. See Der alberne Heinz in Eyering (2. 116). Lazy Lenz is mentioned in the Mägdetroster (1663), p. 92.


From the Upper Valais, related by Hans Truffer from Visp. The Pope was perhaps intended for Silvester II. (Gerbert) of whom Vincent Bellov. (Spec. hist. xxiv. 98) says, "ibi (in Seville) didicit et cantus avium et volatus mysterium." But it is also told that at the election of Innocent III. (in the year 1198) three doves flew about the church, and that at length a white one came and perched itself on his right shoulder. See Raumer Hohenstaufen iii. 74.

[Of David, "Father" of the Monks of Rose Valley, it is thus related, "When a boy, his schoolfellows declared that they often saw a white dove teaching and advising him; and in this age every person designed for a Bishop or Saint was so attended when

 
 

she sees from her window the musician turning a little reel; and while he is doing it the most delightful tones resound; she wants to see it, and asks to have one like it; but the goldsmiths are still less able to produce such a skilful piece of workmanship. And now the handsome musician offers her the little wheel and the reel if she will marry him, and, as her longing for both is so great, she says, yes. Soon, however, repentance comes, and her pride lets her have no rest. She wants to retract her promise, but the King forces her to keep it, and the wedding is celebrated. Then the musician conducts her to the wretched hut in the forest. The rest of the story agrees with ours, and makes it more complete. At the ball when the pan with the food falls down on the ground, she faints with terror. When she awakes, she is lying in a magnificent bed, and the handsome musician is a king. A fourth story has the following peculiarity. The King's daughter made it known that she would give her hand to him who could guess to what species of animal a skin which was stretched out with neither a head nor feet, belonged. It was that of a she-wolf. Thrushbeard learnt the secret, guessed wrongly with great persistence, and then came back disguised as a beggar to guess rightly. Compare No 2. in Pröhle's Kindermärchen. Also (4. 10) in the Pentamerone, Pride punished; in Norwegian, Hakon Borkenbart, Asbjörnsen, part 2.

Thrushbeard (Drosselbart) is also called "Crumb-beard" (Bröselbart), because the crumbs of bread remain sticking in his beard. A "Brochselhart" appears in a song of Nithard (Benecke's Beiträge, p. 291); perhaps it is Brochselhart. The two names are indeed almost convertible, for in Ulfilas a crumb is called drauhsna; we may however also derive Drosselbart from Drossel, Drüssel, Rüssel (snout), mouth, nose, or beak, which also would suit the story.


53.—Snow-white.

From various stories from Hesse, where this story is one of the best known of all, yet even in that district, where High German especially prevails, the Low German name of Sneewitchen is retained, or even corrupted into Schliwitchen. In the opening it is like the story of the Juniper-tree; and it is still more like it in another story where the Queen, whilst driving with the King in the sledge, peels an apple, and cuts her finger while doing it. Another beginning of the story is this. A Count and Countess were driving past three heaps of white snow, and the Count said, "How I wish I had a girl as white as this snow!" Soon they came to three pits filled with red blood, and again he spoke, and said, "I wish I had a girl with cheeks as red as this blood." Finally, three black ravens flew by, and he wished for "a girl with hair as black as those ravens." When they had driven a little farther they met a girl white as snow, red as blood, and with hair as black as the ravens, and this was Snow-white. The Count at once made her come into the carriage and loved her, but the Countess did not, and thought of nothing but how to get rid of her. At last she let her glove fall out and commanded Snow-white to find it again, but in the meantime made the coachman drive quickly away. And now Snow-white was alone and came to the dwarfs, &c. In a third story the only variation is that the Queen drives with Snow-white into the forest, and asks her to gather a nosegay of the beautiful roses there, and while she is doing it, drives away and leaves her alone. In a fourth, it is narrated that after Snow-white's death she is to be burnt by the dwarfs. They wrap her in a sheet, make a pile of wood under a tree, and suspend her over it by cords. Just as they are going to light the fire, the Prince comes, who has her taken down, and carries her away with him in his carriage. The motion of the carriage makes the bit of poisoned apple jump out of her throat and she comes to life. A fifth story has the following variations. A certain King loses his wife, by whom he has an only daughter, named Snow-white, and he takes another by whom he has three daughters. She, too, hates her step-child because of her wondrous beauty, and ill-treats her whenever she can. In a cave in the forest dwell seven dwarfs who kill every maiden who approaches them. The Queen knows this, and as she does not wish to kill Snow-white by direct means, she hopes to get rid of her by taking her to the entrance of their cave, and saying, "Go in there, and wait till I come back." Then she goes away and Snow-white fearlessly enters the cave. The dwarfs come and at first want to kill her, but as she is so beautiful, they let her live, and tell her that in return for this, she must keep house for them. Snow-white, however, has a dog called "Mirror," and now she is gone, it stays in the castle, and is full of grief. The Queen asks it,

"Mirror, mirror beneath the bench,
Look in this land, look in that land,
Who is the fairest in Engelland?"

The dog answers, "Snow-white with her seven dwarfs is much more beautiful than my lady Queen with her three daughters." Thus she becomes aware that Snow-white is still living, and makes a poisoned stay-lace. With this she goes to the cave and calls to Snow-white that she is to open the door to her. Snow-white will not do it, because the seven dwarfs have strictly forbidden her to let in any human being, and certainly not the stepmother, who has tried to destroy her. The Queen however tells Snow-white that she has no daughters now, for a knight has robbed her of them, and that she would like to live with her and dress her prettily. Snow-white pities her and lets her in, and then the Queen laces her with the poisoned stay-lace, and she falls down dead, whereupon the Queen goes away. But the seven dwarfs come and take a knife and cut the stay-lace in two, and Snow-white returns to life again. And now the Queen questions Mirror (the dog) under the bench, and it gives her the same answer. Then she makes a poisoned hair-ribbon, and goes with it, and speaks so movingly to Snow-white, that she again lets her in. The Queen binds the ribbon round Snow-white's hair, and she falls down dead. But the seven dwarfs see what has happened, cut off the hair-ribbon, and she is restored to life. The Queen questions the dog the third time, and receives the same answer. And now she goes with a poisoned apple, and in spite of all the warnings which Snow-white has had from the dwarfs, she is touched by her lamentations, opens the door, and eats some of the apple. Then she dies, and when the dwarfs come they can do nothing for her, and "Mirror," under the bench, tells the Queen that she is now the most beautiful. But the seven dwarfs make a silver coffin, put Snow-white into it, and place it on a tree in front of their cave. A Prince comes by, and asks the dwarfs to give him the coffin, and takes it with him, and when he gets home has her laid upon a bed and dressed as if she were alive, and loves her above measure. A servant has to wait on her continually; but one day he gets angry at having do to this, and says, "The dead maiden is just to be treated as if she were a living one," and gives her a blow on her back, on which the piece of apple comes out of her mouth, and Snow-white is once more alive. A Viennese version of this story gives the following incidents. There are three sisters; Snow-white is the prettiest and youngest. The other two hate her, and send her out into the world with a loaf of bread and a pitcher of water. Snow-white comes to the glass mountain, and keeps house for the dwarfs. And now, when the two sisters ask the mirror who is the fairest, it answers,

"The fairest is on the Glass mountain,
And she dwells with the little dwarfs."

They send some one thither to poison Snow-white. See Richilda in Musäus, where the rhyme runs thus:

"Mirror white, mirror bright,
Mirror, let me have a sight,
Of the fairest girl in Brabant!"

It is also a genuine incident that, in the end, the dwarfs make steel slippers, heat them till they are red-hot, and put them on the feet of the stepmother, who is forced to dance in them until the floor smokes. In Wallachian, see The Magic Mirror, Schott, No.6. In the Pentamerone, the Kitchen-maid (2. 8).

There is a remarkable unison between this story and a Norse one, which has already become almost an historical saga. Snafridr, a most beautiful woman (qvenna friduzt), wife of Harald Harfager, dies, "and her countenance was not in the slightest degree altered, but she was just as rosy as if still in life. The King sat by the corpse and thought she would return to life, and thus he sat for three years." (Haraldssaga, chap. 25; Heimskringla, 1. 102). For the drops of blood upon the snow, compare the preface to Liebrecht's Translation of the Pentamerone, xxi. xxiii. The punishment of having to dance till dead occurs also in a Danish popular saga (Thiele, 1. 130), and the seven gold mountains in a Swedish popular song, in Geyer, 3, 72, 74; and in Firdusi (Görres, 1. 180), there is "on seven mountains must thou alight, where crowds upon crowds of frightful Deevs meet thee."


From Lower Hesse. Hans Sachs relates a very similar jest, (2. 4, 114, 115), Nuremberg edition, 2. 4. 227. Kempt. edit. St. Peter begs a gift of a trooper, who gives him all that he asks for, namely, three farthings. In recompense for his kindness, St. Peter presents him with a couple of wishing-dice. The trooper goes on his way delighted, and in the evening he sits down under an oak, throws his dice, wishes for a well-filled table, and enjoys himself. In the meantime a peasant comes up on an ass, and says that he has lodged St. Peter for the night, and in return for it he has this morning given him this ass, which is full of troopers; if anyone strikes it on the tail, a trooper falls down. He, however, has a dislike to troopers, for in the Bavarian war they reduced him to poverty. The trooper, on the contrary, is pleased with the ass; he offers the peasant his dice for it, and the exchange is made. The peasant goes away with the dice, and the trooper strikes the ass twice. Two troopers fall out, and with these he pursues the peasant and takes back the dice. He repairs to Sweden, where the King proclaims that whosoever shall prepare for him a royal supper without using coal, wood, or fire, shall in return for it have his daughter to wife. The trooper easily accomplishes it with his dice, but the King refuses to keep his word. The trooper secretly takes his ass away; the King hastens after him with all his court, but the trooper strikes the ass with his fist until a whole company or more of troopers stands before him. Then he throws the dice and wishes for a wall round about them. The King becomes alarmed, and gives him his daughter. The trooper prepares the wedding in the most exquisite manner, but

  1. Die Zwölf Jäger, No. 67, has many features in common with this story.—Tr.
  2. His death shocked her so much that her heart broke with a sound loud as that of a dry bough which is broken in two.
  3. It is a custom among village-folks when drinking tea together to turn their cups upside down when they are empty.—Tr.
  4. This district took its name from the river Schwalm, which rises in the Vogelsberg, in the N.E. of the Grand Duchy of Hesse, and joins the Edder near Altenberg, after a northward course of 35 miles.—Tr.
  5. A shirt without seams is probably what is meant. Such garments play a large part for good or for evil, in mythology. When Ragnar Lodbrog went on his last expedition to England, Aslanga his wife, who foreboded evil, gave him a shirt she had woven of fine grey silk in which no stitch had been put. He wore it instead of armour, and none could wound him, though at length he was captured. Finally, he was thrown into a pit full of snakes, none of which would touch him till the shirt was removed. See Ragnar Lodbrog's Saga, 16th chapter.—Tr.
  6. See "Valentine and Orson,"—Tr.
  7. A foolish man shall let his wife rule and be master. Not that thou wouldst altogether look on her as a door-mat, for she was taken out of the side of man, and not out of his feet, to be an äschengriddel.
  8. Jamieson observes that Ashiepattle is used in this sense in Shetland, and is perhaps derived from Isi askas patti, a little child employed in the lowest kitchen-work.—Tr.
  9. Qu. Der Eisenhans.—Tr.
  10. I am softly singing to the generous man, sweet and gentle words lovelier than a turtle-dove could gather together.
  11. This story is manifestly imperfect, for the help the tree, the cow, and oven afterwards give the girl is in return for kind services performed by her for them.—Tr.
  12. On Druids and Druidical Stones.
  13. And thus shalt thou ascend the Glass Mountain on horseback.
  14. Four mountains lay around it, they were also like crystal, and were bright and smooth.
  15. Truly castle and moat were coated with glass, nothing could have entered the gate unless it had flown.
  16. Old suns are lying there, and a host of waned moons, out of which stars are cut.
  17. Whosoever bends down deep enough at the world's end, will find that without turning round, he points his finger to the Antarctic (regions).
  18. That lies so near the end of the earth that no one takes thought for building, and where the morning star rises so near that whoever sets foot there fancies he can almost touch it.
  19. There is a wild place among the rocks near Wooler, in Northumberland, where the Devil is said to have cooked his grandmother. This seems to imply that there was a sequel to some one of these stories which turn on her helping others to outwit him. In South Wales, too, the witch-elm is called the tree on which the Devil hanged his grandmother.—Tr.