Grimm's Household Tales, Volume 1/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, 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.
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, 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.
3.—Our Lady's Child.
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 Romanzen der Spanier, pp. 151, 152).
4.—Learning to Fear.
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, 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 Wolf's 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 (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.
7.—The Good Bargain.
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 Kalenberg, 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, Asbjörnsen, p. 209. Also the Lithuanian story in the report of the meetings of 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.
From two stories from the Maine district which complete each other; in one of them the incident is wanting of the little stag springing into the midst of the chase, and enticing the King by its beauty. According to another version which H. R. von Schröter has communicated to us, the little brother is changed by the step-mother into a fawn, and is hunted by her hounds. It stands by the river, and calls across to the little sister's window,
"Ah, little sister, save me!
The dogs of the lord they chase me;
They chase me, oh! so quickly;
They seek, they seek to rend me,
They wish to drive me to the arrows,
And thus to rob me of my life."
But the little sister had already been thrown out of the window by the stepmother and changed into a duck, and from the water a voice came to him, saying,
"Patience, dear brother mine,
I lie in the lowest depths,
The earth is the bed I sleep on,
The water it is my coverlid,
Patience, dear brother mine,
I lie in the lowest depths."
Afterwards when the little sister goes into the kitchen to the cook, and makes herself known to him, she asks
"What do my maids do, do they still spin?
What does my bell do, does it still ring?
What does my little son, does he still smile?"
"Thy maids they spin no more,
Thy bell it rings no more,
Thy little son, he weeps right sore."
Here, as in the story of The Three Little Men in the Forest (No. 13), the mother comes out of her grave to suckle and attend to her child, so likewise in the old Danish Volkslied (Danske viser, 1. 206-208. Altd. Blätter, 1. 186.) The Swedish story, which is otherwise identical, lacks this feature. (See further on.) Melusina, after her disappearance, comes to her little sons Dietrich and Raimund, warms them at the fire, and suckles them; the nurses watch her, but dare not speak (Volksbuch). The Servian song of the walled-up mother who hushes her child, may be compared with this, and also a story in Le Foyer Breton, of Souvestre, pp. 3, 4, where a mother comes from her grave at night to take care of her children, which are neglected by their stepmother. Although again very different, La biche au bois, D'Aulnoy, No. 18, has some affinity to this.
Fr. Schulz tells this story in his Kleine Romanen (Leipzig, 1790), 5, 269-88, only too diffusely, though undoubtedly from oral tradition. It begins in the following manner: A witch has a young girl with her, to whom she entrusts all her keys, but forbids her to enter one room, When, however, impelled by curiosity, she does enter it, she sees the witch sitting in it with two great horns. The girl is now placed, as a punishment, in a high tower which has no door. When the witch brings her food, the girl has to let down from the window her hair, which is twenty yards in length, and by this, the witch ascends. In these stories it frequently occurs that the father, or more usually the mother, in order to gratify a momentary desire, pledges away her coming child. It is often asked for and given, in veiled or mysterious terms; for instance, the mother is to give what she carries beneath her girdle. In the old Norse Alfskongssage a similar incident is to be found, (chap. i). Othin grants Signy's wish that she may brew the best beer, in return for which she promises him what is between her and the beer-barrel, namely, the child which she is about to bear. Compare the Sagabibliothek of P. E. Müller, ii. 449. In the Danish Volkeslieder, for instance, that of the Wilder Nachtraben, there are promises of the same kind. Salebad, Firdusi (Schack, p. 191) mounts up by the braids of the maiden's hair which she lets down. In Büsching's Volkssagen, p. 287, a story begins with some incidents in common with ours. In the Pentamerone it is Petrosinella, ii. 1.
From two tales, both from Hesse, which complete each other. In the one from Zwehrn, the beginning with the boot being used as a test is wanting. The name of Haulemännerchen by which, in Lower Hesse, the little folks who dwell in caves in the forest (Waldhöhlen), and steal away people's unchristened children, are known; comes from Höhlen-Waldmännlein. In Denmark the common people call them by the very similar name Hyldemänd (Thorlacius, spec. 7. 161). The curse on the wicked daughter, that a toad shall spring out of her mouth with each word that she utters, appears in a third story, which we likewise heard in Hesse, and for that reason have inserted. There is a story with some affinity to this from Austria, Reward and Punishment, which is allied to Frau Holle (No. 24), and is to be found in Ziska, p. 47, and another in Pröhle's Märchen für die Jugend No. 5. Compare Perrault's Les Fées No. 1, and in the Pentamerone (3. 10), The three Fairies.
The punishment of being rolled in a barrel stuck full of nails is an old custom. According to the Dutch Chronicle, Gerhard van Velzen, because he had murdered Count Florens, V. of Holland (1296), was rolled in a barrel of the like kind for the space of three days. The old song says,
"zy deden een vat vol spykers slaan,
daar most zyn edeldom in glyden;
zy rolden hem daar drie dagen lank,
drie dagen voor den noene."
When he was taken out of it, and asked how he felt, he answered,
"ik ben noch dezelve man,
die Graaf Floris zyn leven nam.'
See Casp. Commelin's, Beschryving van Amsterdam i. 86-88. This punishment occurs in a Swedish, and also in a Danish Volkslied (Geyer and ⟨Afzerius⟩, 1, No. 3, and Danske viser, No. 165).
14.—The Three Spinners.
From a story from the Principality of Corvei, but it is from Hesse that we have the version with the three women, all of whom are afflicted with some peculiar defect caused by spinning. In the former there are only two extremely aged women, who have become so broad from sitting that they can hardly get into the room. They have thick lips from wetting and licking the thread; and from drawing and pulling it they have ugly fingers, and broad thumbs. The story from Hesse begins differently; for instance, that there was a King who liked nothing so much as spinning, and for that reason, on taking leave before going a journey, he left behind him for his daughters, a great chest full of flax which was to be spun by his return. In order to release them from this, the Queen invited these three misshapen women, and on the King's arrival set them before his eyes. Prätorius, in the Glückstopf, pp. 404-406, relates the story in the following way: a mother cannot induce her daughter to spin, and for this reason often beats her. A man who on one occasion sees this, asks what is the meaning of it. The mother answers, "I cannot keep her from spinning; she spins away more flax than I can procure." The man says, "Then give her to me to wife; I shall be quite satisfied with her indefatigable industry, even if she bring me nothing else." The mother is heartily delighted, and the man at once gives his betrothed a great provision of flax. At this she is secretly terrified, but she takes it and puts it in her room, and considers what she is to do. Then three women come in front of her window, one so broad with sitting that she cannot get through the door of the room, the second has an enormous nose, the third a broad thumb. They offer their services to her, and promise the bride to spin what has been given to her if, on her wedding-day, she will not be ashamed of them, but will declare that they are her aunts, and place them at her table. She agrees to this, and they spin the flax, for which the bridegroom praises the bride. So when the wedding-day comes, the three horrible women appear also, and the bride pays them great honour, and says they are her aunts. The bridegroom is astonished, and asks how she comes by such repulsive relatives. "Ah," says the bride, "they have all been made like that by spinning. One of them is so broad with sitting, the other has quite licked away her mouth, and that makes her nose stand out so, and the third has twisted the thread so much with her thumb." Thereupon the bridegroom is much troubled, and tells the bride that she shall not spin another thread so long as she lives that she may not become a monster like them.
A third story from Upper Lusatia, by Th. Pesheck, is in Büsching's Wöchentliche Nachrichten i. 355-360; on the whole it corresponds with that of Prätorius. One of the three old women has blear-eyes because the flue of the flax has gone into them, the second has a great mouth reaching from ear to ear from wetting her thread, the third is fat and unshapely with sitting so much at the spinning-wheel. A portion of the story is to be found in Müllenhoff, No 8. In Norwegian, see Asbjörnsen, p. 69. In Swedish, Cavallius, p. 214. The beginning of Ricdin-Ricdon, by Mlle. l'Héritier, resembles it, and Le sette cotenelle, in the Pentamerone, bears some affinity (iv. 4).
15.—Haensel and Gretel.
From different stories current in Hesse. In Swabia it is a wolf which is in the sugar-house. See in Caroline Stahl's Stories, p. 92. The house of sweetmeats (see further on). Also Pröhle's Kinder- und Volksmärchen, No 40. Bechstein, vii. 55. The Eierkuchenhäuschen, in Stöber's elsass. Volksbuch, p. 102. In Danish the Pandekagehuset (see further on). In Swedish, Cavallius, pp. 14, 26. In Hungarian, Stier, p. 43. In Albanian, Hahn, 164, 165. In Servian, Wuk, No 35. The story of Der Fanggen, from the Oberinnthal in Zingerle's Kinder und Hausmärchen, p. 51. Oberlin gives a piece, in the dialect of the district of Lüneville, in his Essai sur le patois. Clearly allied too, especially in the beginning, is Nennillo and Nennilla in the Pentamerone (5-8), and so is the first part of Finette Cendron, in D'Aulnoy, No. 11. In this there are three King's children who are twice brought home by the cleverness of the youngest; the first time by a thread which had been given to her by a fairy, the second by strewn ashes; the third time, the two elder provide an expedient and scatter peas, but the pigeons eat them, and the children cannot find the way back. In a Tyrolese story, Zingerle, p. 138, as here, the boy who is imprisoned reaches out a bit of stick to the man-eater, instead of his finger; but in a Swedish story his captor is a giant (Cavallius, 31). Hänsel is connected with Thumbling (No. 37 and 45), and thus appears in the German stories. There are six children; he is the seventh. When they are in the forest with the man-eater, they have to comb his hair, but Thumbling springs in among it, pulls it, and always comes back again. Afterwards there is the changing the seven crowns during the night for the seven red caps. Thumbling puts all the purses of money and valuables into the seven-league boots. To this group also belongs a Tyrolese story in Zingerle, p. 235, of the Thumbling Hänsel. The old German fable Altd. Wälder iii. 178, 179) of the twelve who go to the giant (Turse), and who are previously warned by his wife, and told to go into the bedroom, is only altered so far as concerns the moral.
From two stories which only differ from each other in trifling matters, the one from Hof am Habichtswald, a village in Lower Hesse, the other from a village near Paderborn. A Greek saga may be traced in it. Polyidus is to restore life to Glaukos, but is unable. The enraged father therefore has him shut up in the tomb with the corpse. Polyidus sees a snake creeping up to the dead body, and kills it. Soon afterwards a second snake comes carrying a herb in its mouth, which it lays on the dead one, by means of which it at once comes to life again. Polyidus quickly snatches the herb, lays it on Glaukos, and he returns to life. See Apollodorus, iii. 3, 1. Compare with this a Hungarian story, in Stier, p. 107, and also a poem by Marie de France Lai d'Eliduc (1. 401), where the part of the snakes is played by two weasels (474).
The woman's desire that the survivor shall allow himself to be buried with her, recalls the Norse saga of Asmund and Aswit, who, when they adopted each other as brothers, exchanged a similar promise. Asmund afterwards caused himself to be taken into the barrow with the dead Aswit, but took with him a store of provisions which was sufficient to support him for a time; he was afterwards drawn up by a lucky accident (Suhm's Fabelzeit, ii. 178). A similar custom between man and wife is found in Sindbad's voyages (1001 Nights, ii. 137). The unfaithfulness of the woman after coming to life again, seems originally only to have been intended to express that she had begun a new life and forgotten the old one.
[It is however commonly believed among the dwellers in the North of Scotland that if you save a man's life he will repay you by doing you some great injury. Sir Walter Scott, as usual, seized on this superstition and used it in one of his stories. Mordaunt is trying to save Cleveland, and Bryce remonstrates with him thus, "Are you mad?" said he, "You that have lived so long in Zetland to risk the saving of a drowning man? Wot ye not, if ye bring him to life again, he will be sure to do you some capital injury?" Pirate, vol. i. chap. 7.—Tr.]
17.—The White Snake.
From Hanau. The story of the Queen of the Bees (No. 62) has some similarity to this. So has another in the Ammenmärchen of Vulpius; see also Soldat Lorenz, No. 7, in Pröhle's Kindermärchen. By eating a white snake, one learns to understand the speech of animals, as in the Saga of the Seeburg (Deutsche Sagen, i. 131). The same result is produced by eating the heart of a dragon or of a bird. See Donkey Cabbages, No. 122. According to a Scotch saga, the middle piece of a white snake roasted by the fire gives a knowledge of supernatural things to any one who shall put his finger into the fat which drops from it. See Grant Stewart, pp. 82, 83. Compare with this The Magic Horse, in Straparola, iii. 2.
From Cassel, the best and earliest version is to be found in Burkard Waldis, Book 3, Fab. 97 (1542). The Nugœ venales (1648, s. l. 12mo.) contain also Crepundia poetica, and pp. 32, 33, an abridgement of our story.
"Pruna, faba et stramen rivum transire laborant,
Seque ideo in ripis stramen utrimque locat.
Sic quasi per pontem faba transit, pruna sed urit,
Stramen et in medias praecipitatur aquas.
Hoc cernens nimio risu faba rumpitur ima
Parte sui: hancque quasi tacta pudore tegit."
In a Latin poem of the Middle Ages (MS. Strasburg), the fable of the mouse and the coal travelling occurs with the variation that both make a pilgrimage to church to confess their sins, and, in crossing a little brook, the coal falls in, hisses, and is extinguished. The cat and mouse travel, the straw breaks, and the cat falls into the water, at which the mouse laughs so that she bursts. See Stöber's elsass: Volksbuch, 95. In a Wendish story, see Haupt and Schmaler, p. 160, a coal, a pair of bellows, and a straw, travel together. Compare Neue Preuss. Provinzialblätter, i. 226. In Transylvania a duck, a frog, a mill-stone and a red-hot coal travel together, and the two last are drowned. (Haltrich, No 46). The Æsopian fable of the thorn-bush, the diver, and the bat (Furia, 124, Coray 42) ought to be mentioned.
This story has been excellently well taken down by Runge of Hamburg, in the Pomeranian dialect, and it was kindly communicated to us by Arnim, as early as in the year 1809. It was afterwards printed in Runge's works also. It is often told in Hesse, but imperfectly and with variations. It is called The History of little Husband Domine (sometimes also of Hans Dudeldee), and little Wife Dinderlinde (Dinderl, Dirne?) Domine complains of his ill luck and goes out to the sea. There a little fish stretches forth its head and says,
"What aileth thee, little man Domine?"
"'Tis hard in a pig-stye to pass my life."
"Then wish thee a wish, little man Domine."
"Nay, first must I home to ask my wife."
He goes home to his wife and asks what he is to wish for. "Wish for a better house for us," says Dinderlinde. He goes to the sea and cries,
"Little fish, little fish in the sea!"
"What wilt thou, little man Domine?"
And now the wishes begin: first a house, then a garden, then oxen and cows, then lands and kingdoms, and so on to all the treasures of the world. When they have wished for everything they can wish for, the man, says, "Now I should like to be God, and my wife to be the mother of God." Then the little fish stretches out its head again and cries,
"Wilt thou be the Lord on high?
Then back with thee to thy pig-stye."
In Justus Kerner's Poetical Almanack for 1812, pp. 50-54, the story is told in a similar way, apparently from a South German version, but the doggrel rhymes are wanting. The fisherman is called Hans Entender. In Albert Ludwig Grimm's Kindermärchen (2nd edit. Heidelberg, 1817) it appears also, but in prose. The fisherman Hans Dudeldee lives with his wife in a hut, and is so poor that they have no window, but are forced to look through a hole, where there has been a knot in the wood. He first begs the fish to give him a house, and so on until he is emperor; at last he desires to be able to make sunshine and rain as God does, whereupon they find themselves sitting in the hut again, looking through the hole in the planks. It is much more meagre as a whole. See De Kossät und siine Fruu, in Kuhn, No 6. The Golden Fish in Firminich's Völkerstimmen, p. 377.
The beginning of the story strikingly reminds us of a story in the 1001 Nights (1. 107, Histoire du Pêcheur), as well as of the Welsh saga of Taliesin (compare Altd. Wälder, 1. 70). A story from Finland also, given in the Freimüthiger, 1834, No. 253-256, has a similar opening, but the development is different. The feature of the wife inciting her husband to seek high dignities is ancient in itself, from Eve and the Etruscan Tanaquil (Livy, i. 47), down to Lady Macbeth.
The first half is taken from two stories from Hesse, which complete each other. The second from the place where the Tailor leaves the giants, and betakes himself to the King's court, is from a somewhat rare little book, Wegkürzer, a very amusing and unusually diverting little book by Martinus Montanus of Strasburg (1557, in 12mo. p. 18-25). This part can stand alone, but as it fits naturally to what has gone before, it is here joined to it, and therefore re-written. In the first edition may be seen the unaltered copy. Allusion is made to the story by Fischart, in Gargantua (254b), "I will kill you like the midges, nine at one blow, as the tailor did," and in Flohhatz (Dornavius), 39b.
"Horst nicht vom tapfern Schneiderknecht,
Der drei in einem Streich zu todt schlecht."
Also in Simplicissimus (chap. ii. 28), "and has surpassed the tailor's title, 'seven at one blow.'" And in Fabelhans (16, 3) "five at one blow." The number naturally changes; we likewise hear of " nine-and-twenty at one blow." If the giant here squeezes water out of a stone, it perhaps has some reference to a passage in Bruder Wernher (M.S. 2. 164b):
"und weiz doch wol ê ich ein argen zagen
getwunge ùf milten muot,
daz ich mit riemen liehter twunge einen stein,
daz man in an der âder lieze bluot."
And a passage in Freiberg's Tristan alludes to the tailor's cunning when he takes a cheese instead of a stone,
5190. "und nam den kaese in sîne hant,
der willetôre Tristrant
grief sô grimmeclich dar în
daz im durch die vinger sîn
ran daz kaesewazzer."
A part of this story is from a Lower Austrian story in Ziska, p. 9. The little tailor begins his journey, and enters the service of the giant, whom in the distance he had taken for a mountain. "What wages am I to have?" he asks. "Three hundred and sixty-five days every year, and, when it is leap-year, one day more," answers the giant, "does that satisfy thee?" "Yes, all right, one must cut one's coat according to one's cloth." The giant orders him to fetch a pitcher of water. "What! a jug of water! why not bring the well itself, and the spring too;" says the boastful little tailor. "What!" growls the giant "the fellow can do more than roast apples!—he has a mandrake in his body." After this he tells the tailor to cut some logs of wood in the forest, and to bring them home. "Hey day, and why not bring the whole forest?" When he has brought the wood, the giant desires him to shoot a couple of wild boars. "And why not rather shoot a thousand of them at once with one shot, and thyself as well?" "What," says the giant in a fright, "that is enough for to-day; go to bed and sleep." The next morning the giant goes with the tailor to a marsh which is thickly overgrown with willows. "Now my man, seat thyself on a branch like this, and let me see if thy weight will bend it down." The tailor seats himself, holds his breath, and makes himself heavy in order to bend the branch; but as he is obliged to breathe again, and as he unfortunately has not got his goose with him, to the giant's delight it springs up with him so high in the air that he is never seen again. The story is spread over the whole of Germany. It is found in the Büchlein für die Jugend, p. 171-180 In Kuhn, No. 11. In Stöber's elsass: Volksbuch, p. 109; in Bechstein, p. 5; in Ernst Meyer, No. 37; Vonbun, p. 9; Zingerle, p. 12; Pröhle's Kindermärchen, No. 47; in Swedish in Cavallius, pp. 1-8; in Norwegian in Asbjörnsen, p. 40; in Danish in Etlar, p. 29, in the tale of a valiant young shoemaker's apprentice. Nyerup describes the rhymed treatment of this version in his work on the Danish Volksbücher (Almindelig Morskabsläsning i Dannemark og Norge. Kiobenhavn, 1816), pp. 241, 242. The hero strikes fifteen flies dead at one blow with his garter, the renown of which great deed is so spread abroad, that a prince takes him into his service, that he may deliver his country from a wild boar. The animal devours a fruit which causes sleep, and is easily killed by the shoemaker. He then overcomes the unicorn, and lastly a bear, which he shuts up in a brickmaker's oven. There is likewise the following characteristic story in Dutch, from a book on folk-lore published in Amsterdam. Van Kleyn Kobisje, alias Koningh sonder Onderzaten, p. 7. 14. (King without subjects). It is to be found also as a supplement, in an almost identical form in another Dutch book on folk-lore; Clement Marot, pp. 132-133, under the title of Hans Onversagt. "Little Kobisje was sitting by his cutting-board peeling an apple, and left the parings lying on it. He made a fly-killer, and when the flies settled on the apple-parings to eat them; he killed seven at one stroke. He leapt up from the table, imagining that he had performed a valiant deed, and had thus become a great man; sold all he had, and caused a pretty shield to be made for himself on which he had inscribed, "My name is young Kobis the dauntless, I slew seven at one stroke." Then he went to a far-off country where a King ruled; placed his shield on his breast, went behind the King's palace, and lay down on a high hill, where he knew he was accustomed to pass.
At length the sun began to shine brightly, and the King could not imagine what it was that was glittering so, and immediately sent a nobleman thither. When the nobleman came up, he was alarmed when he read, "My name is young Kobis, the Dauntless; I slew seven at one blow." He went back and told the King what he had seen, who instantly sent two or three companies of soldiers thither with the nobleman, to give him courage, and conduct the stranger to court with the respect and honour due to such a knight. They went thither as the King had ordered, and approached and examined him, but none of them would be the first to speak to him. At last one of the crowd was bold enough to take a spear and touch the sole of his shoe with it. Up he sprang with great vigour, and they fell on their knees, and entreated him to be pleased to go to the King, which he did. When he came to the King, he was treated with great respect. Meanwhile he was informed that he might become the King's son-in-law, but that there were three difficult things which he must first do for him. In the first place there was a wild boar which did a great deal of mischief, and no one could capture it. Secondly, there were three giants, who had made the King's forest so dangerous that any one who traversed it was a dead man. Thirdly, several thousand foreigners had invaded the land, and the realm appeared to be in great peril. He accepted these conditions, and they told him the way to the place where the wild boar lurked. Full of courage he left the court. He was, however, so terrified when he heard the wild boar that he wished himself back again by his cutting-board. The wild boar came rushing on him with such fury that he looked for a safe place to escape to, espied a ruined chapel, and took refuge in it. The wild boar followed him, but with all speed he sprang through the window over the wall, and shut the door of the chapel. No sooner was the wild boar secured, than Kobisje went to the King, who said to him, "How didst thou catch the wild boar?" The other replied, "I seized it with great force by its bristles and flung it into the chapel, but I would not kill it, for I wanted to present it to you." Then there were great rejoicings at court, and he went in search of the giants, and had the good fortune to find them asleep. He took his bag and filled it with stones, climbed up a high tree, and threw a stone at one of them, who thought one of the others had done it, and began to scold, and tell him to leave off throwing stones, or he would box his ears soundly. He threw stones at the second, who likewise began to swear. The third was treated in the same way. He got up, drew his sword, flew at the other, and stabbed him and he fell down on the ground. Then he attacked the other and after a long struggle both fell to the earth exhausted. Kobisje seized the opportunity, came down and took the sword of the dead one and stabbed the two others, cut off their heads, and went back to court again. The King asked him if he had performed the task? He answered, "Yes." On this the King enquired how he had done it. He answered thus, "I took one giant by his legs and belaboured the other with him till he dropped down dead, and I paid off the other in the same coin. And as the one I was holding by the legs was half dead, I struck him with such force against a tree that it flew up six feet high into the air." Again there was great joy at court, and he was held to be the greatest man there. Then he once more made ready, and the nobles of the court with him, and he had an army of brave men of whom he was the general. Having taken leave, he began his third task. He bade the troops march onwards, and followed on horseback. But as he had never ridden on horseback he had great difficulty in keeping his seat. When they had arrived at the place where the enemy was, he ordered his troops to draw up in order of battle, and was soon told that all was ready. He did not know how to turn his horse round, drew the wrong side of the bridle, spurred his horse, and it went off with him full gallop towards the enemy. As he could not hold the bridle fast, he clutched at a wooden cross by the wayside, which broke off and he held it tightly in his arms. When the enemy perceived him, they thought that he was the Devil, and began to fly, and those who could not escape were drowned. The others unloosed their ships from their moorings and sailed away. After this victory, he returned to his noblemen, and the whole army, and told them of his conquest, and how he had completely routed the enemy. He went to the King, and informed him of the victory, and the King thanked him. Moreover he had him proclaimed his successor to the throne. The wedding-day was fixed, and great preparations were made for it. When the wedding had taken place, he was held in high esteem, and always placed next the King. It happened however that nearly every night Kobisje dreamt that he was sitting by his cutting-board once more, and his mind was always filled with this or that thought about his work, and he cried aloud, "Courage, courage, bestir yourselves, in six or seven hours you will leave off work," for he was fancying that he was giving his apprentices something to cut or sew. The princess was alarmed, for she thought that he must be possessed by the Devil, as he was always babbling, "Courage! courage!" She accused her father of having given her to a book-binder, and not a great lord. The father resolved to place a company of soldiers by his bed-side who were to take him prisoner or kill him if they heard him say this. He however, was warned, and when he was in bed he thus exclaimed, "I have overcome a wild boar, I have killed three giants; I have slain an army of a hundred thousand men, and shall I be afraid of two or three companies of soldiers to-night?" and he jumped out of bed and went fiercely towards them. On hearing him, they fell head over heels from the top of the stairs to the bottom. Those who lay dead, or had lost legs and arms, were very numerous, and those who ran away, took such news to the King, that he said, "My daughter ought to be wiser than to affront such a great knight!" Soon after this, the King became ill and died, leaving the throne to Kobisje, which he accepted, and ruled over the kingdom in peace. The English story of Jack the Giant Killer is allied (Tabart Collection, 3. 1-37); and No. 17 in Müllenhoff. Also some incidents in a Tyrolese story, Zingerle, p. 108. The Persian story, Amint the wise (Kletke's Märchensaal, 3. 54) likewise belongs to this group. It is even known among Laplanders (see Nilsson' Ureinwohner des skand: Nordens (Stockh. 1843), p. 31. In a Russian ballad in Wladimir's Tafelrunde (see further on), Tugarin performs in earnest what the little tailor only pretends to do, and throws a stone so far that it never comes back at all. The saga of the conquered wild-boar is also to be found in the Buch von den sieben weisen Meistern, p. 36, 37.
[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.]
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. 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!"
"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. 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 Wörterb. 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 Wörterbuch, 581, and Ascherling. In Swabia we find Aschengrittel, Aschengruttel, Aeschengrusel. (Schmid's, Schwäb. Wörterb. 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. 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 (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
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
25.—The Seven Ravens.
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
Mit eenen Perd opriden."
Wolfdieterich is bewitched in a tomb, where, according to the Dresd. Gedicht, Str. 289.
vir perg umb in geleit,
die waren auch glesseine
und waren hel und glatt."
In the old edition it says (Str. 1171),
"mit glasse was fürware
burg und grabe überzogen,
es mocht nichts wan zura tore
sein in die burg geflogen."
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
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
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,
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.
26.—Little Red Cap.
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.
28.—The Singing Bone.
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 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.]
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 Mägdetröster (1663), p. 92.
33.—The Three Languages.
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 officiating, and the dove continued until the service was ended. In the old woodcuts of the Golden Legend, the Popes are uniformly distinguished by a Dove whispering in their ears." Anglia Sacra ii. 631.—Tr.]
From Zwehrn. Another story called, Hansen's Trine, also from Hesse, likewise begins with lazy Trine asking, "What shall I do; shall I eat, or sleep, or work?" Hans finds her asleep in the room and cuts off her gown as far as her knees, and when she awakes, she is confused about her identity. On this last point a passage in Joh. Pomarius; Sächs Chronik. (1588), p. 14, should be observed, which says, "Whatsoever maid or wife shall be taken in adultery, her clothes shall be cut off beneath her girdle, and she shall be scourged and driven away from amongst the people." As a whole, the story of Clever Alice is allied to that of Catherlieschen, No. 59, and in one part is identical.
35.—The Tailor in Heaven.
From a story in Frei's Gartengesellschaft, No. 61, and in Kirchhof's Wendunmut, 1. No. 230. A story varying a little in trifling points, is to be found in Wickram's Rollwagen (Frankfurt, 1590), pp. 98b. 99b. Fischart alludes to the story in Flohhatz (Dornavius, 390); only, according to him, it was told of St. Peter.
"wie man von Sanct Peter saget,
der, als er Herr Gott war ein Tag
und Garn sah stehlen eine Magd,
wurf er ihr gleich ein Stuhl zum Schopf,
erwies also sein Peterskopf;
häts solcher Gestalt er lange getrieben,
es wär kein Stuhl im Himmel blieben."
In Hans Sachs (5. 3, 89, Kempt: edition;) it is Der Schneider mit dem Panier. The story continues to exist among the people, and Möser mentions it in his Miscellaneous Writings, 2. 332 and 2. 235. See Jan im Himmel, in Wolf's Deutsche Sagen und Märchen, No. 16. Also a Swabian story in Ernst Meier, No. 35. The chair of the Lord, from which one is able to overlook the whole world, strongly reminds us of Odin's seat, named Hlidsciálf, from which he saw everything that took place on earth, and on which others occasionally seated themselves, Freya, for instance, as we are told in the Edda. That the Tailor forced his way into heaven with inimical intentions, is shown in Wolf's Zeitschrift für deutsche Mythologie, 2. 2.
"der nû den himel hât irkorn
der geiselet uns bî unser habe,
ich führte sêre und wird im zorn
den flegel wirft er uns her abe."
From Hesse. Another story also from there begins thus. A tailor has three sons, whom he sends out into the world one after the other, to look about them and see if they can learn some honest trade. That they may not go forth quite unprovided, each has a pan-cake and a farthing given to take with him on the way. The eldest goes forth first and comes to a little master, who dwells it is true in a nut-shell, but is immensely rich. The tailor for liberal payment is to watch and take his flock to pasture on the mountains, only the little master tells him, he is not to be allowed to go into a house which stands at the foot of the mountain, from which merry dance music resounds. For a time the tailor keeps the herd quite properly, but in the end he allows himself to be led away, and goes into the forbidden house. So his master discharges him; but as in other respects he has behaved well, he gives him a table that can cover itself with food. With this he goes home, but on the way it is exchanged; he has also eaten his pan-cake, and spent his farthing, and brings nothing back with him but a table that is useless. And now the second son is sent out and comes to the same little master, and has a like fate, and instead of a real gold-donkey, brings a false one with him. On the other hand, the third son stays with the little master for a whole year as the latter desired, and as he has filled his ears with cotton-wool, the house with the music is never dangerous to him. When he takes leave he receives a "Cudgel in the sack," with which he gets back the magic things which his brothers have lost and they live very happily with their father, who now rejoices that he did not squander away the little he had on his sons. In Lina's Märchenbuch, by Albert Ludwig Grimm, see No. 4, The Cudgel in the Sack. Compare with this the story from Meran, in Zingerle, pp. 84 and 185, and a Swabian story, Meier, No. 22. In Danish, see Etlar, p, 150. In Norwegian, Asbjörnsen, p. 43. In Netherlandish, see Wodana, No. 5. Hungarian, see Stier, p. 79.
In Polish, see Levestam, p. 105. In Wallachian, Schott, No. 20. To this also belongs a tale from the Zillerthal, Zingerle, p. 56, which corresponds with the Irish story The Bottle (Elfenmärchen, No. 9), and also with the Russian one, The Gentle Man and the Cross Wife, in Dietrich, No. 8. The story of the Knapsack, Hat, and Horn is also allied with it (No. 54).
[A version of this story is also to be found in Von Hahn's Modern Greek Household Tales, and a somewhat similar one, No. 1, in the Pentamerone of Basile. Mr. Henderson gives two which are current in the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire, in his Folklore.—Tr.]
From Mühlheim on the Rhine. Belongs to the same class of fables as Thumbling as Journeyman (No. 45); compare the notes on that. In Slavonic, see Vogl. No. 6. In Roumanian, from the Bukowina in Wolf's Zeitschrift für deutsche Mythologie, 1. 48. In Albanian, see Hahn, 2. pp. 168, 169.
Is told in many forms in Hesse and the Maine district: we here give the two most important variations, the others turn on the fact of the old fox being really dead, or only apparently so (as in the old French poem), and whether foxes only, or other animals as well, come to woo the widow. In the latter case her questions are more numerous: "What is the wooer like? Does he, too, wear a redcap?" "Alas, no—a white one," for it was the wolf. "Has he a little red jacket on?" "No, a yellow one," for it was the lion. The speech to the cat at the beginning has also many variations:
"Mistress Cat, Mistress Kit,
Is your fire ready lit?
Is your meat on the spit?
What is Mistress Fox about?"
"I'm sitting here, warming each pit-a-pat;"
With her little tail so bent,
Away she went upstairs.
"Mistress Fox, what a beautiful beast is here,
In shape it is like the most beautiful deer!"
"Alas, no," answered Mrs. Fox, and made a complimentary discourse upon her former lord, in which she spoke of his many virtues, and howsoever highly the other animals might be gifted, some other thing that the Fox had was always more admired.
39.— The Elves.
All three from Hesse. There is a Holstein story like the third in Miillenhoff, p. 313, a Lithuanian in Schleicher, pp. 104, 105. Of the verse in the third story, it should be remarked that in Dähnert's Platt-deutsches Wörterbuch, p. 556, very old things are said to be "Old as de Bremer wold" (as old as the forest of Bremer). Schütze, in the Holstein Jdioticon, 3. 173, 373, has "So oold as de Bremer Woold." In Müllenhoff—
In Transylvania they say "Alt wie der Kokelfluss," as old as the river Kokel; see Haltrich, p. 72. In Hungary, according to Weinhold, "old as the Hungarian forest;" see Deutsche Mythologie, pp. 437, 438. The third story is also in Colshorn, p. 224, and in a Breton song, Barzas-Breiz, 1. 50. The Danes have it likewise, see Thiele's Dänische Sagen, 1. 49; where the little fellow says, "Nu har jeg seet tre gang ung Skov paa Tiis Söe"—(I have now thrice seen young trees upon Tiis Söe.) In the Tyrol, he says,
Als Nadeln hat die Tanne da im Wald."
"Vonbun. Vorarlberg. Volkssagen," p. 4.
To this place also belongs No. 6 in the Irische Elfenmärchen. Compare the stories of the quiet folk, the benevolent dwarfs, and well-disposed kobolds in the first vol. of our Deutsche Sagen. It is a peculiar feature that these little spirits disappear if clothes are given to them. A little sea-dwarf will have none, and vanishes when he receives them. See Mone's Anzeiger 1837, p. 175. A fairy man receives a little red coat, is delighted with it, and disappears, see Vonbun, pp. 3, 4.
[Stories of this kind are extremely numerous in the south of Scotland and north of England. The best known is perhaps that of "The cauld lad of Hilton," who devoted himself to undermining the good qualities of the servants at Hilton Castle. His practice was to throw everything into dire confusion in the kitchens and larders if he found these places tidy and clean; and to put everything to rights with the greatest precision if he found them dirty and disorderly. The result of this fancy of his may be imagined.
At length a green cloak and hood were laid for him; it was green because it was supposed his connexion with fairyland would induce him to prefer that colour. He was delighted, but utterly demoralized,
And the cauld lad of Hilton will do no more good,'
said he, and disappeared for ever.—Tr.]
40.—The Robber Bridegroom.
From two stories heard in Lower Hesse: in one, ashes are strewn on the road to mark it instead of peas and lentils. A third and less perfect version comes from the district of the Maine. In this it is a king's daughter, to whom the bridegroom shows the way by means of ribbons which he ties to every tree. While she is hidden behind the barrel, the robbers bring in her grandmother and cut off her finger. Compare Carol. Stahl's story of the Miller's Daughter (see further on). See Meier, No. 63. No. 33 in Pröhle's Märchen für die Jugend. In Danish, see Thiele, 2. pp. 12, 13. In Hungarian, Streit, p. 45.
From the district of the Maine, but we have heard it in Hesse also, though the rhyme runs rather differently—
The carriage rolls,
The mouse squeaks,
The cock he nods his beard,
All goes well upon my word.
The Pack of Ragamuffins No. 10 is allied to this.
This is more complete than in the earlier editions, and is taken from a story in the Büchlein für die Jugend, pp. 173, 174.
A better and more complete version than in the earlier editions. Use has been made of a poem by Meier Teddy in the Frauentaschenbuch, 1823, p. 360.
From Hesse; but here oral tradition completes the story by the fact of Death showing the physician the cavern with the life-candles, and warning him. The stratagem by means of which Death punishes his Godson is taken from the rendering of the story in Schilling's Neue Abendgenossen, 3. 145, 286, who has also derived it from modern folklore. The age of the story is proved by one of Hans Sachs's Meister Songs in the year 1558, which is to be found in a MS. collection of Meister songs in Berlin (German MSS. No. 22 and following parts. The conclusion is different. Compare a Meister song by Henry Wolf in the year 1644, in another collection (German MSS. No. 24 fol. p. 496), in which first the Devil and then Death is rejected by the peasant. Jacob Ayrer, too, has made a Shrove-Tuesday Play of it (the 6th in the theatrical works), called The Peasant and his Godfather, Death. First Jesus offers himself as Godfather, but is not accepted by the peasant because he makes one man rich and another poor. Thereupon the Devil comes up whom the peasant likewise rejects (as St. Christopher did when he was in search of a master), because he runs away at the name of the Lord and the holy cross. At length the Devil sends Death to him who treats every one alike, and he stands Godfather to the child, and promises to make him a physician, so that superabundant wealth will come to him:
"bei alien Kranken findst du mich,
und mich sieht man nicht bei ihn sein,
dann du sollst mich sehen allein.
wenn ich steh' bei des Kranken Füssen
so wird derselbe sterben müssen,
alsdann so nim dich sein nicht an,
sichstu mich aber beim Kopfen stahn," &c.
The candles with which life is bound up recall Nornagest and the still current expressions, "to extinguish the flame of life," or the taper of life. Already in a Greek myth was life connected with a burning faggot. See Grüber's Mythological Dictionary, 3. 153. The story specially points to deep-seated ideas; compare Wackernagel in Haupt's Zeitschrift, 6. 280, and following pages. Death and the Devil are evil deities, and both are one, in the same way that hell, the nether world and the kingdom of the dead, run into each other in the story of the Smith.
But the Evil One, like the good God, is called Father, and "Tatta" The Godfather is not only called Father, but also "Pathe," " Goth," and "Dod," or "Tod." The baptized child is likewise called "Pathe" and "Gotbel," hence the confusion between the two in the story: compare Altdeutsche Wálder, 1. 104, notes. Grammatically, indeed, the words tôt (mors) and tote (susceptor baptizati) are carefully distinguished.
45.—Thumbling as Journeyman.
From stories current in the districts of the Maine, Hesse, and Paderborn, which reciprocally complete each other. A continuation or special combination of the detached stories, which belong to this group, contains the story of Thumbling (No. 37), see Pröhle's Kindermärchen No. 30. Bechstein, p. 131. The Thumbling in Carol: Stahl's stories also belong to this group. Compare in the Tabart Collection, The Life and Adventures of Tom Thumb, 3 37–52 (see further on). A Danish story similar in substance is given by Nyerup (Morskabsläsning, pp. 238, 239), Svend Tommling, a being not larger than a thumb, wishes to marry a woman three ells and three quarters high. He comes into the world with a hat on his head and sword at his side, drives the ploush, and is caught by a landed proprietor who keeps him in his snuff-box; he springs out and falls on a little pig, which becomes his riding-horse. The Greeks have similar stories of little Thumbs. It is related of Philytas, a poet of Cos, that he wore lead in the soles of his shoes to prevent his being carried away by the wind; of Archestratus, that when he was captured by the enemy, and placed in the scales, he only weighed as much as an obolus. Comp. Athenæus, 12, 77, in Schweighäuser, 4. 551, 552. Aelian, Var. 9. 14; the Grecian Anthology also (2. 350. LXV. Jacob's Tempe, 2, 7) furnishes us with a contribution—
"Plötzlich erhoben vom leisesten Hauch des lispelnden Westwinds,
stieg jüngst, leichter als Spreu, Markos zum Aether hinauf.
Und er hätte die Luft mit rauschender Eile durchsegelt,
hätte der Spione Geweb nicht ihm die Füsse verstrickt,
Als er nun hier fünf Tag und Nächte gehangen, ergriff er
eineu der Fäden und stieg langsani zur Erde herab."
The following, too, are also stories which belong to this group. A certain man was so thin of body that he could jump through the eye of a needle. Another crept nimbly on to the spider's web, which was hanging in the air, and danced skilfully upon it until a spider came, which spun a thread round his neck and throttled him with it. A third was able to pierce a sun-mote with his head, and pass his whole body through it. A fourth was in the habit of riding on an ant, but the ant threw him off and trampled him to death with one foot. A filth was on one occasion blowing up the fire, and, as in our story, flew up the chimney with the smoke. A sixth was lying by the side of a sleeping man, and as the latter breathed rather heavily, was blown out of the window. Finally a seventh was so small that he dared not go near anyone for fear of being drawn in to his nose with the air when he breathed.
In Eucharius Eyering's Sprichwörter, 1601, a spider relates,
"Einsmals fieng ich ein Schneider stolz,
der war so schwer als Lautenholz,
der mit eim Schebhut in die Wett
vom Himmel rab her fallen thet.
Er wär auch wohl darinnen blieben,
niemand hat in heraus getrieben;
fiel in mein Garn, drin hangen blieb,
nicht raus kunt komn, war mir nicht lieb,
dass auch der Schebhut ohngefehr
neun Tag ehe rabher kam dann er."
In an Austrian popular book, we have Hansel, who is as tall as a thumb, with a beard of an ell in length (Linz, 1815). Modern as this version is, there are still some genuine features in it. He hides himself with his father and mother in the hollow tooth of a whale (see later the Servian story of The Bear's Son), and is found there. He terrifies a gambler, who is exclaiming, "May the Devil take me," by hopping out of the chimney on to the seat by the fire all covered with soot, and crying, "Here am I." He sets a plate of peas at night before the door of the innkeeper's daughter's lover, which make him fall with a great noise. When she wants to revenge herself for it, and strews the thorns of some briars about her room for him to walk on, he sees them, picks them up, and puts them in her bed. He has himself placed in a horse's ear, and gives out that it is a horse that speaks; then he escapes by springing into a cheese full of holes, and is thrown out of the window with it.
From two stories current in Hesse. A third from Hanover varies. A poor wood-cutter who has three daughters goes to his work in the forest, and orders the eldest to bring him his dinner, and in order that she may find the way he will (as in the story of The Robber Bridegroom, No. 40, which is as a whole allied) strew it with peas. Three dwarfs however live in the forest, and they hear what the man says to his child, and pick up the peas and strew them on the path which leads to their cave. And now at dinner-time, the girl goes to the forest, finds the path and falls among the dwarfs. She has to be their servant, but in other respects fares well. She is permitted to go into every apartment in the cave but one. And now the story agrees with ours, and the two other sisters are also lured out. When the dwarfs are forced to carry these latter home again in the basket, and she is alone, she plunges into the blood and then into the feathers, and sets a bundle of straw dressed in her clothes by the hearth. As she leaves the cave some foxes meet her who ask, "Dressed-out bird, from whence comest thou?" "From the dwarfs' cave where they are making ready for a wedding." Thereupon the foxes go thither. Some bears meet her who put the same question, and at length the dwarfs also meet her on their way home, and do not recognize her. She gives them all the same answer. When the dwarfs enter their cave and find the straw figure, they become aware of how they have been deceived, and run after the girl; but they are not able to overtake her before she reaches her father's house. She slips in safely, but the door cuts off her heel. In Pröhle's Märchen für die Jugend, No. 7, the story is called Fledervogel (Flitter-bird). A very similar Finnish story from Karalän is quoted by Schiefer, p. 609, from Erik Rudbek's Collection (2. 187).
The Icelandic Fitfuglar, Schwimmvogel (swimming-bird), which looked as white as a swan, will help to explain Fitclier's Vogel. The wizard himself having to carry the girl home, reminds us of Rosmer in the Altdänische Lieder (see p. 201 and the following), who also without being aware of it, carries away on his back the first bride he had stolen. The indelible blood appears likewise in a story in the Gesta Romanorum. Four drops of the blood of her innocent child whom she has murdered, fall on a mother's hand, and she cannot remove them, and has always to wear a glove. The fact of a dressed-up doll having to represent the bride is also related in the story of The Hare's bride (No. 66), and shows its relationship. Disguising the girl as a bird seems to have some connection with the ancient custom of persons changing themselves into animals. A passage from Becherer's Thuringian Chronicle, pp. 307, 308, where it is related of the soldiers of the Emperor Adolf of Nassau that "they found an aged woman whom they stripped naked, smeared with tar, rolled in a feather-bed which they had cut open, and then tied her to a rope and led her round the camp and elsewhere as a bear or strange wild-beast, and then carried her away by night and restored her to her original condition," seems to find an appropriate place here. In Madrid, in the year 1824, a woman who had permitted herself to speak in disrespectful terms of the King, was smeared with oil over her whole body, and covered with all kinds of feathers.
Our story visibly contains the saga of Bluebeard. We have indeed heard this in German, and have given it in the first edition, No. 62, but as it only differs from Perrault's La barbe bleue, by one or two omissions, and by one peculiar circumstance, and as the French story may have been known at the place where we heard the story, we have, in our uncertainty, not included it again. Sister Anne is wanting, and the part which varies contains this feature that the distressed girl lays the bloody key in hay, and it is a genuine popular belief that hay draws blood out. The story in Meier, No. 38, seems also to be derived from the French. The saga is likewise evidently to be traced in a beautiful popular ballad, Ulrich and Annchen (Wunderhorn, 1. 274). See Herder's Volkslieder, 1. 79, and Gräter's Idunna, 1812), where however the blue beard is not named. Bluebeard is also the popular name of a man whose beard o;rows strongly, as in Hamburg (Schütze, Hoist. Idiot. 1. 112); and here in Cassel, a deformed, halt-mad apprentice lad is for the same cause tolerably well knowa by the name. There is also (like the Norse Blatand, Blacktooth) a Blackbeard, referable in the first instance to some illness, such as leprosy which can only be cured by bathing in the blood of innocent maidens, hence the inconceivable horror. See Der arme Heinrich, p. 173.
We add also a Dutch story from oral tradition which belongs to this place. A shoemaker had three daughters. Once on a time when he had gone out, a great lord came in a splendid carriage, and took one of the girls away with him, who never returned. Then he took away the second in exactly the same way, and lastly the third, who likewise went with him, believing she was about to make her fortune. On the way, when night fell, he asked her,
"The moon shines so bright,
My horses rua so light,
Sweet love dost thou repent?"
("'t maantje schyut zo hel,
myn paardtjes lope zo snel,
soete liefje, rouwt 't w niet?")
"No," she answered, "why should I repent? I am always safe when with you; "nevertheless she was secretly alarmed. They came into a great forest, and she asked if they would soon reach the end of their journey. "Yes," he replied, "Dost thou see that light in the distance, there stands my castle." Then they arrived there and everything was most beautiful. Next day he said to her, "I must go away, but I will only be absent two days; here are the keys of the entire castle, and thou mayst see of what kind of treasures thou art the mistress." When he had set out on his journey, she went through the whole house and found everything so beautiful that she was perfectly satisfied. At length she came to a cellar wherein sat an old woman scraping intestines. "Well, little mother, what may you be doing?" said the girl. "I am scraping intestines, my child; to-morrow, I will scrape yours for you." Thereupon the girl was so terrified that she let the key which she was holding in her hand fall into a basin full of blood, which it was not easy to wash off again. "Now," said the old woman, "Your death is certain, because my lord will see by that key that you have been in this chamber, into which no one is permitted to enter except himself and me." Then the old woman perceived that at this very moment a cart of hay was going to be driven away from the castle, and said, "If thou would'st save thy life, hide thyself in the hay, and then thou wilt be driven away with it." This she did, and got safely out. When the lord came home however, he asked for the girl. "O," said the old woman, "I had no more work, and as it had to be done to-morrow anyhow, I killed her at once; here is a lock of her hair and her heart, and there too is some blood which is still warm; the dogs have eaten all the rest of her, but I am still cleaning her intestines." So he was satisfied, and believed that the girl was dead. She had, however, arrived at a castle to whose owner the cart of hay had been sold. She sprang out, and told the lord of the castle all that had happened. He asked her to stay there, and after some time gave a feast to the noblemen of the neighbourhood, and the lord of the murder-castle was invited too. The girl was forced to seat herself at table, but her face and dress were so changed that she was not recognizable. When they were all sitting together every one was to tell a story, and when it was the maiden's turn, she related her own. During this the lord of the murder-castle became so very uneasy that he wished to force his way out, but the lord of the castle had him seized and bound. Then he was executed, his murder-castle was pulled down, and the maiden received his treasures. She married the son of the lord of the castle where she had taken refuge, and lived to an old age. In Swedish, compare a popular ballad in Geyer and Afzelius (3. 94.) In Asbjörnsen (p. 237) there is a Norwegian tale. In The Thousand and One Nights, in the Story of the third Kalender (Night 66), the prohibition against entering a certain room in a palace likewise appears, and disregard of it is punished.
47.—The Juniper Tree.
Written down by Runge from oral tradition. According to a story from the Pfalz, communicated to us by Mone, the little sister is placed by the mother near the pan in which the murdered brother is to be cooked. She is strictly forbidden to look inside it, but as the pan is boiling so furiously she just uncovers it, on which the little brother stretches out his hand to her. Thereupon she is seized with terror and instantly covers it, but weeps over what she has seen. When her father's dinner is quite cooked, she has to carry it out into the vineyard to him. She collects the bones and buries them under a wild juniper. Others relate that she threaded them and hung them up in the loft. Then the little brother is changed into a bird, and pipes
"My mother slew me, and I died,
My father did eat me,
And yet I'm still here,
The story is likewise told in the Pfalz with another beginning; the stepmother one day sends the two children into the wood to seek strawberries, and the one who comes home first is to have an apple. Then the little boy ties the little girl to a tree and comes back first, but the mother will not give him anything until he has brought his little sister home. The story is common in Hesse, but is seldom told so circumstantially, the only addition that we derive from thence is that the little sister strings together the bones on a red silken thread. The verse runs,
'My mother she boiled me,
My father he ate me,
My little sister sat under the table,
Picked up all my little bones,
Threw them over the pear-tree
And then a little bird came out
That sings both day and night."
In a Swabian story, otherwise incomplete, Meier, No. 2, we find,
What a pretty little bird am I!
My mother she cooked me.
My father he ate me!"
There is a passage in Goethe's Faust, p. 225, which our story will help to explain, and which the poet unquestionably took from ancient oral tradition.
"Meine Mutter die Hur,
die mich umgebracht hat,
mein Vatet der Schelm
der mich gessen hat,
mein Schwesterlein klein
hub auf die Bein
an einem kühlen Ort,
da ward ich schönes Waldvögelein
fliege fort, fliege fort!"
The story is indigenous in the south of France, in Languedoc and Provence, and its details do not differ from the German one. The bird sings,
m'a fait bouillir
ma jeune sœur
sous un arbre
riou, tsiou, tsiou!
je suis encore en vie."
Feuilleton du Globe, 1830.
No. 146 by C. S.
That the saga is also current in Scotland is proved by the following rhyme, which Leyden has preserved from a nursery tale. The spirit of a child, in the form of a bird, whistles the following verse to its father:
"Pew wew, pew wew (pipi, wiwi),
My minny me slew."
with which the remarks, by Albert Hofer in the Blätter fur literarische Unterhaltung, 1849, No. 199, should be compared. Lastly, the Bechuanas in South Africa have a kindred story.
Marleenken is Marianchen, Marie Annchen; Machandel is perhaps not Almond (Mandel) but Wacholder (juniper), and very important, as it is a tree which rejuvenates, and is awake so far as is implied by quick, active, vivus, living. In other places it is called Queckholder, Reckholder, Juniperus (from junior, younger) Anglo-Saxon, Quicbeam. The wicked stepmother (an old proverb says, "The Devil is lined with stepmothers") is to be found in many other stories. The beginning where the mother cuts her finger reminds us of Snow-white, and of a remarkable passage in Parzival, which is explained in Altd. Wälder, 1, 1-30. The gathering the bones together occurs in the myth of Osiris and Orpheus, and also in the legend of Adalbert; the bringing to life again, in many others, viz., in the story of Brother Lustig (No. 81); in Fitcher's Vogel (No. 46) in the old Danish ballad Mariböquelle; in the German saga Das ertrunkene Kind (1. St. 62), illusively in Pfaffe Amis; in the Negro story of Nanni, who is taught by her mother to eat the flesh of a young chicken, and put its hones and feathers together again. Zeus restores life to the bones of the child which has been eaten, and replaces with ivory the shoulder-blade which Demeter has eaten. See Gruber's Mythological Dictionary, 3. 377. Thor collects the bones of the buck which has been eaten, and brings them back to life by shaking them (Dämesage, 38). Other stories need not be mentioned. The punishment of a mill-stone falling on the head from above the door is found in the Edda in the story of the two dwarfs, Fialar and Galar (Copenhagen edition, p. 84). Compare No. 90.
[A Devonshire story The Rose-tree, which is allied to this, is given by Mr. Henderson in his Folklore of the Northern Counties. London, 1866. For Almond-tree birth refer to Pausanias, VII. 17.—Tr.]
From two stories which complete each other, one from Lower Hesse, the other from the district of Paderborn. In the latter it is the fox and the bear which are about to have a combat, and the story opens with the tale, so well known from the Reinecke Vos, of the fox luring the bear to the honey, and shutting him fast in a tree. The latter then demands to be set free that he may revenge himself. According to a third story, likewise from the region of Paderborn, the fox has the dog and the bee as well as the cat to support him. The bee gets into the ear of the swine which is on the side of the bear, and stings it; the cat catches a mouse and throws it into the bear's open mouth, it bites his tongue, and the two run screaming away. On the second day they arrange that whichsoever of them can first run up a mountain, shall be lord of the others. The fox has a brother who resembles him so much that they cannot be distinguished from each other; he sends him on in front (as in The Hedgehog and his Wife, No. 187), and then begins the race at the same time as the bear, but remains behind intentionally and conceals himself. When the bear reaches the top the fox is there, and the bear thinks that it is the right fox, and cries angrily, "I wish the storm would overwhelm me." A youth is, however, silting in the very tree under which the bear is standing, who has fled thither to escape when he saw the animals running towards him, and in his terror he lets his axe fall, and it hits the bear's head and kills him. This incident occurs likewise in a story from Transylvania; see Haltrich, No. 14 and No. 34. In a fourth story also from the district of Paderborn a discourse is interwoven in which the bear describes his meeting with a huntsman (compare No. 72): "I met a man who made a long, long nose at me (aimed his gun) and spat fire out of it, and black seeds in my face; then I rushed at him, but he pulled a white rib out of his side which was sharp, and struck me on the paws, but I broke it in two, and then he fetched out a black rib (the scabbard), but I contrived to get away." In Wendish, see The War of the Wolf and the Fox (No. 8) in Haupt and Schmaler. In Servian, see Reinhart Fuchs, ccxciv. In Esthonian, the same, cclxxxv. The story of The Fox and Horse (No. 32) is allied to this, and so is the Willow Wren and the Bear, (No. 102). Also The War of the Wasps and the Ass, in Barachja Nikdani, in Wolf's Zeitschrift, 1. 1, 2; and lastly, Der kleine Knäpzagel in Haltrich, No. 31. A story of animals in Lassberg's Liedersaal, 1, 291, should also be compared, and the eleventh extravaganza, The Wolf and the Hungry Dog, in Steinhöwel (1487), pp. 56, 57.
49.—The Six Swans.
From Hesse. It is connected with the story of the Seven Ravens (No. 25), only here we have six swans, because the children have been bewitched when perfectly innocent. Another story from German Bohemia links the two stories together. It agrees with the former up to the point where the sister went out into the world with a loaf of bread and a small pitcher of water to seek her brothers. Then it is related that she wandered on day after day for many a mile, and never found the least trace of them, but came at length to an ancient deserted castle, and thought that she might perhaps find something there. But no human being was to be seen in the castle, and yet she saw smoke ascending, and heard a fire crackling. "Where smoke is rising and fire burning, human beings must be living too," thought she, and went onwards. At last she reached a kitchen where seven pans were standing on the hearth, frothing and bubbling up, but no cook was there. "Eh, what is being cooked here?" said the girl, and peeped into the pans, and strange roots and herbs were inside them. "How good these must taste!" said she, and tasted a little bit out of each, and stirred them round thoroughly. She liked cooking, which she had not done for a long time, and the morsel of warm food did her good too, for it was long since she had tasted any. And now she heard a rustling in the air, and seven black ravens came whirring down through the chimney; each laid hold of his little pan and flew with it into the dining-room and began to eat his dinner. The first raven had just eaten a couple of mouthfuls when he said, "It is strange! There is rather less of my food than there ought to be, but it tastes as if it had been cooked by a human hand." "It is the same with mine!" said the second, "What if our little sister should be here?" "Ah!" said the third, "she is the cause of all our misery; we will pick her eyes out." "What had she to do with it?" said the fourth raven. The fifth said, "I would do nothing to hurt her." "She might perhaps be able to release us," said the sixth, and just as the seventh was crying, "God grant she may be here," she came in by the door of the room for she had been listening to the whole conversation, and could not find it in her heart to wait any longer, so great was her sorrow at seeing her dear brothers changed into such ugly birds. "Do with me even as you will," said she, "I am your sister with the golden cross; tell me if I can set you free." "Yes," said they, "thou canst still set us free, but it is very difficult." She said she was ready, and would gladly do anything, no matter what it was. Then the ravens said, "For seven long years thou must not say one word on pain of death, and during that time must sew for each of us a shirt and a handkerchief, and knit us a pair of stockings, which must not be ready either sooner or later, than the last day of the seven years. This time can, however, not be passed by thee here with us, for we might some time chance to do thee an injury, if the raven nature were to come upon us; or our companionship might some time lead thee away to speak."
So they searched in the forest for a hollow tree for her, placed her inside it at the top that she might remain quiet and alone, procured for her as much flax as was needed, and spinning-gear, and from time to time carried her some food that she might not perish of hunger.
Thus passed one year, a second, and still another; and the good little sister sat still in the hollow tree, and only moved as much as was needful to do her spinning. Then it came to pass that the son of the King to whom the forest belonged, one day commanded a chase in the forest, and by mistake, a pack of hounds got through the briars and bushes to a part where no huntsman had ever been before, and went as far as the hollow tree. There they stood still, because they scented some living creature, and they snuffed and stood barking round about the tree. The hunters however followed the sound and came up, but at first could find no animal that the hounds could have tracked, because the girl sat so still and never moved and she had been there such a length of time that moss had grown all over her, and she was almost like the tree. At length, however, they distinguished the shape of her body, and informed their master that a beast in human shape was sitting in a hollow tree, and neither moved nor uttered any sound. The Prince went up to it, and ordered them to take her oat. She let them do as they liked, and never spoke. And when they began to remove the moss from her and to clean her, her white face appeared, and also the cross upon her forehead, so that the Prince was amazed at her beauty, and spoke to her in every language that he knew, that he might learn who she was and how she had got there. But she remained mute as a fish to all he said, so the Prince took her home with him, gave her into the care of the women-in-waiting, and bade them wash and dress her, which was done, as he had commanded. But if she had been beautiful before, now she shone forth in her rich garments like the bright day, only no word ever passed her lips. Nevertheless, the Prince placed her by his side at table, and was so deeply touched by her appearance and gentle bearing, that in a very few days he wished to marry her, and would have no other on earth. His mother opposed this marriage most vehemently, and said that no one knew for certain whether she was a beast or a human being, for she neither spoke, nor wished to learn to do so, and such a marriage was nothing but a crime. But no talking did any good, the King said, "How can any one doubt that she is a human being? She has a form that is as beautiful as an angel's, and the cross upon her forehead bears witness to her noble origin?" So the marriage was solemnized with much splendour and rejoicing.
As the Prince's wife she lived modestly and industriously in her little chamber, working continually at her spinning-wheel to release her brothers from the curse which lay on them. After half a year, just when she was with child, the Prince had to go away to the wars, and he ordered his mother to take good care of his wife. But his mother was very glad of his absence, and when the hour of the Princess's delivery came, and she brought forth a most beautiful boy, with a cross on his brow like that which she had herself, the old woman gave the child to a servant and ordered him to carry it into the forest and murder it, and bring her its tongue as a token that the deed was done. She wrote a letter to the Prince, in which it was written that his wife, who must herself be looked on by every one as half-beast, had as was to be expected, been delivered of a dog which they had had drowned. Whereupon the Prince replied that she was nevertheless to be treated as his wife until he returned home from the wars, and himself determined what was to be done. In the meantime the servant had gone into the forest with the little boy, and a lioness met him, and he threw the child down to her thinking she would devour it, and he would not need to kill it, but the lioness licked it with her tongue. "If a raging wild beast can feel pity, I am still less able to behave with cruelty," thought the servant, and left the child with the lioness, and took back a dog's tongue to the old Queen. Soon after this the King returned home from the wars, and when he saw how beautiful his wife was, he could not but believe her innocent, nor could he make her undergo any punishment. Next year she was again expecting to have a child; and as the Prince was again on the point of going away, everything happened just as before: the child that was born was taken to the lioness, and was brought up by her. The aged Princess accused her much more violently, but again the Prince was convinced of her innocence, although she herself dared not utter one syllable in her own justification. But when for the third time all that had happened before occurred again, the Prince believed that he should fail under the displeasure of God if he continued to live any longer with a wife who brought beasts into the world instead of human heirs, so when he came home he commanded that she should be put to death by fire. Now the day of her execution was just the very last of the seven years, and as she was putting in the last stitch she sighed and thought, "Ah Heavens, can the weary time have come to an end!" In the selfsame moment her seven brothers were delivered from the spell, and changed from ravens to men again, and instantly leapt on seven ready-saddled horses, and galloped through the forest. In the midst of it they saw three little boys sitting beside a lioness, each with a golden cross on his forehead. "Those are the children of our dearest sister," said they, and took them up on their horses. When they were riding out of the forest they saw from afar a crowd of people standing, and the pile of wood burning. They made signals with their handkerchiefs, and rode on at a gallop. "Dearest sister, how art thou?" they cried. "Here are thy three children for thee." She was unbound, and as speech was once more permitted to her, she thanked God with a loud voice, and the wicked old woman was burnt to ashes in her stead. Here we see how our story is connected with that of the Seven Ravens (No. 25), and with that of The Twelve Brothers (No. 9), and how all three belong to the same group, as does a Bohemian story (see further on). In the Brunswick Collection, see pp. 349–379, The Seven Swans. In Kuhn, No 10. In Sommer, p. 142. In Meier, No. 7. In Asbjörnsen, p. 209. Compare Altdeutsche Blätter, 1. 128; and Leo's Beowulf, p. 25, and following. The story everywhere shows extreme antiquity, the seven men's shirts seem to be connected with the swan's shirts, which we know from the Völundarquida. In connection with this there is also the saga of the boat drawn by swans on the Rhine (Parcifal, Lohengrin, &c.), and the old French Chevalier au cigne, where also the last swan is not set free because the gold of its swan's ring is already used up. A ball which unrolls itself, and shows the way, is also to be found in the Russian ballad in Wladimir's Round Table, p. 115.
From Hesse. The maiden who lies sleeping in a castle surrounded by a wall of thorns, until the right prince before whom the thorns give way, sets her free, is the sleeping Brünhild, who, according to the old Norse saga, is surrounded by a wall of flames through which no one can force his way but Sigurd, who wakens her. The spindle with which she pricks herself, and which causes her to fall into this sleep, in the Sleep-thorn with which Odin pierces Brünhild: compare Edda Saemundar, 2. 186. In the Pentamerone (5. 5) it is a bit of the beard of flax. See La belle au bois dormant, in Perrault. The sleep of Snow-white is similar. Both the Italian and French stories have the conclusion which is lacking in the German, but appears in the The Wicked Stepmother (see Fragments, Mo 5). It is remarkable that amidst the considerable variations between Perrault and Basile (who is the only one who preserves the beautiful incident of the baby sucking the spike of flax out of its sleeping mother's finger), both agree as to the proper names of the children, in so far as the twins in the Pentamerone are called Sun and Moon; and in Perrault, Day and Dawn. These names remind us of those of Day, Sun, and Moon, which also occur in juxtaposition in the genealogy of the Edda.
From the district of Schwalm in Hesse. It is also told that the cook was the wicked wife of the forester, and the question and answer are differently given, for instance, "You should just have gathered the rose, and the bush would very soon have followed you." Vossius heard the story in his youth, and gives some fragments of it in the notes to his ninth Idyll. There is a similar search for the fugitive in Rolf Krages Sage, chap. 2. In Colshorn, No 69. The story of Dearest Roland, No 56, is allied to it.
From three stories current in Hesse and the districts of the Maine and Paderborn. The last has a different beginning. There is nothing in it about the King's forcing his proud daughter to marry the first comer. A handsome musician, however, comes beneath the King's window. The King summons him upstairs, and his song pleases both the King and his daughter. The musician stays a long time at court, and lives opposite the beautiful maiden, so that he can look in at her window and she into his. Once she sees him touching a little golden wheel with his fingers whereupon beautiful sounds proceed from it; so when he comes again, she entreats him to bring the little golden wheel to her, and he has to show her how to play upon it. She learns, and asks her father to give her also such an instrument. All the goldsmiths in the kingdom are summoned together, but not one of them is able to make it. Thereupon the King's daughter is very sad; and when the musician is aware of that, he says that if she is inclined to marry him he will give her the ingenious bit of work, but she disdainfully refuses. After a while 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.
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 the ass eats till it makes itself ill, and finally dies. The trooper has its skin tanned, stretched over a drum, and as soon as it is beaten, troopers come running to it.
There is an Austrian story. The Lucky Brothers, Ziska, p. 57. A Danish one is contained in a people's newspaper, from Copenhagen (compare Nyerup's Morskabsläsning, p. 234); Lykkens flyvende Fane; Historie om tre sattige Skraedere, der ved Pillegrimsreise horn til stor Vaerdighed og Velstand.
Three poor tailors, who earn little by their trade, take leave of their wives and children, and go out into the world to seek their fortunes. They come to a desert, where there is a mountain in which an enchanter dwells. The mountain is covered with flowers and fruits both in summer and winter, and at mid-day and mid-night these are turned into the finest silver. The eldest tailor fills his bundle and all his pockets with the most beautiful silver flowers and fruits, goes home, throws needle and goose under the table, and becomes a rich merchant. The two others think, "We can return to the mountain at any time when we are inclined; we will seek our luck farther," and travel onwards. They reach a great iron door which opens of its own accord after they have knocked thrice. They enter a garden where there are trees covered with golden apples. The second tailor gathers as many as he can carry away on his back, takes leave of the other, and returns home. There he, too, betakes himself to trade, and becomes a still greater merchant than the first; indeed it is believed that the rich Jew in Hamburg is descended from him. But the third thinks to himself, "The garden with the gulden apples will always be there for me, I will try my chance a little longer." He wanders about the wilderness, and when he seeks the garden and the silver mountain again, cannot find them. At last he comes to a great hill, and hears some one playing on a pipe. He goes nearer and finds an old witch, who is piping to a flock of geese, which beat their wings at the sounds, and dance backwards and forwards in front of the old woman. She has already been struggling with Death on this hill for ninety-four years, and cannot die until the geese dance themselves dead, or some Christian comes and kills her with his weapons. As soon as she hears his footsteps, and he is near enough for her to see him, she entreats him, if he is a Christian, to kill her with the club which is lying by her side. The tailor will not do it until she tells him that he will find a cloth beneath her head on which, whenever he desires it, a dainty repast will stand, if he does but say a couple of words. So he gives her a blow on the skull, and seeks and finds the cloth, packs it up immediately in his bundle, and sets out homewards. A trooper meets him and asks him for a piece of bread. The tailor says, "Deliver up thine arms to me, and I will share with thee." The trooper who has spent all his powder and shot in the war, does that readily, and the tailor spreads his cloth, and treats the hungry warrior. The latter is much pleased with the cloth, and offers the tailor in exchange for it his wonderful cartridge-pouch, from which when anyone taps it on one side, a hundred thousand men on horse and foot come out, and if it is tapped on the other side all kinds of musicians. The tailor consents; but when he gets the cartridge-pouch, he demands ten horsemen who have to gallop after the trooper, and get the cloth back from him. And now the tailor reaches home, and his wife is surprised that he has gained so little during his travels. He goes to his former comrades, who give him such large help that he would have been able to live on it for some time with his wife and child. He, however, invites his comrades to dinner, and begs them not to be too proud to come, and not to despise him when they do. They reproach him with wanting to squander all he has at once, but promise to come. When they arrive at the appointed time, no one is at home but the wife who knows nothing of any guests being expected, and fears that her husband has lost his head. But the tailor comes, and bids his wife to make haste and clean the room. He greets his guests, and begs them to excuse him; he knows they have everything better at their own houses, but he has been anxious to see if their riches have made them proud. They seat themselves at the table, but no dish makes its appearance. Then the tailor spreads his cloth, says his words, and in an instant the table is covered with the most dainty food. " Ha! ha!" think the others. "Is this how it is? Then thou art not so ill off by half as thou wouldst appear," and they swear to love him like brothers until the day of his death. Their host tells them they have no need to give him such assurances, and strikes his cartridge-pouch on one side, and immediately musicians come and make music which is delightful to hear. Then he strikes it on the other side, and bids a hundred thousand soldiers and artillery come forth, and they throw up a wall and carry up pieces of ordnance, and whenever the three tailors drink, they discharge the guns. The Prince dwells four miles away, and hears the thunder and thinking the enemy has come, sends out a trumpeter, who brings back the intelligence that a tailor is keeping his birthday and making merry with some good friends. The Prince goes thither himself, and the tailor regales him by means of his cloth. The Prince likes it, and offers the tailor lands and ample independence for it; but he refuses; he prefers his cloth, for with it he has no care, trouble, or vexation. The Prince makes up his mind very quickly, takes possession of the cloth by force, and goes away. The tailor puts on his cartridge-pouch, and goes with it to the Prince's court, but receives a backful of blows. Then he runs on to the castle wall and bids twenty thousand men come forth and plant their pieces against the castle and fire on it. Then the Prince has the cloth brought out, and humbly entreats him to stop the firing. So the tailor makes his men return to their quarters, goes home and lives very happily with his two brothers. In Zingerle, it is The Bag, the Hat, and the Horn, p. 143; and with peculiar variations, The Four Cloths, p. 61. The story of The Long Nose in Heinrich von Kleist and Adam Müller's Phoebus journal, 1808, 6th part, pp. 8–17, is an affected rendering of this. The conclusion has some resemblance to Fortunatus, and the whole story is allied to the story of Out of the sack, cudgel, No. 36; to the Robber's cave, in Wolf's Hausmärchen, p. 116; and to a story in Zingerle, p. 73. In Netherlandish, see Wolf's Wodana, No. 5. p. 69. In Danish, see Molbech, No. 37. For a Tartar story, see Relations of Ssidi Kur. Wallachian, see Schott, No. 54.
From four stories collected in Hesse, which agree with, and in some particulars, complete each other. In one of them, however, the conclusion varies in that the Queen does not send out any emissaries to enquire about strange names; but on the third day the King loses himself when he is out hunting, and accidentally listens to what the mannikin is saying, and hears what he calls himself. A fifth story begins in the following manner: a bundle of flax was given to a little girl to spin into yarn, but what she span was always golden thread, and not flaxen yarn. On this she became very sad and seated herself on the roof, and span and span, but still never anything but gold. Then a little man came walking by, who said, "I will help thee out of thy difficulty; a young prince shall pass by, and shall take thee away with him, and marry thee, but thou must promise me thy first child." Afterwards the Queen's maid goes out and sees the little man riding round the fire on a ladle, and hears his name. When Rumpelstilzchen sees that his secret is discovered, he flies out of the window on the ladle. Besides this, a sixth variant from Hesse may be named, in which nothing is said about spinning. A woman is walking past a garden wherein beautiful cherries are hanging; longs for some of them, and climbs in and eat some; but a black man comes out of the earth, and for this theft she is forced to promise him her child. When it is born, he forces his way through all the guards who have been set by her husband, and will only consent to leave the woman the child, if she can get to know his name. Then the husband follows him and sees him clamber into a cave, which is hung on all sides with ladles, and hears him call himself Flederflitz. See the Little Staff in Carol. Stahl's Stories, p. 85. In Müllenhoff, No 8, the mannikin is called Rümpentrumper. In Kletke's Märchensaal, No. 3, he is Hopfenhütel, In Zingerle, No. 36, and Kugerl, p. 278, Purzinigele. In Pröhle's Kindermärchen, No. 23, and in Bechstein's Märchen für die Jugend, No. 20, he is Hipche, Hipche. Compare Colshorn, p. 83. In Swedish see Cavallius, p. 210. Fischart can prove the age of this story, for in Gargantua (chap. 25), where a list of games is to be found (under No. 363), there is a game called "Rumpelestilt, or the Poppart." Now people also say "Rumpenstinzchen." Gnomes bear names which are not in use among men, so the mannikin believed himself quite safe when he imposed the condition that his name should be discovered. A being of the same kind (Müllenhoff's Sagen, pp. 306 and 578) is called Knirrsicker and Hans Donnerstag, and betrays himself in the same way. A similar story to ours is interwoven with D'Aulnoy's White Cat, No. 19. The French Ricdinricdon in the Dark Tower, by Mlle. l'Héritier from which is printed a Danish rendering, en smuk Historie om Rosanie … tjent ved Fandens Hielp for Spindepige. Nyerup, Morskabsläsning, p. 173, also belongs to this group.
Millers and miller's daughters appear in numbers of German stories; this we are speaking of reminds us strangely of the Northern Fenia and Menia, who could grind whatsoever was wanted, and who were ordered by King Frode to grind peace and gold. The spinning gold may also refer to the difficult and painful work of preparing gold-wire which is left to poor girls. Thus in the ancient Danish song, Kämpe Viser, p. 165, verse 24:
"Nu er min Sorg saa mangefold,
Som Jongfruer de spinde Guld."
Compare Wolfdietrich, Str. 89, and Iwein, 6186–6198.
The task of guessing a name occurs also in a Danish saga. (Thiele, 1. 45) where a certain man, in return for services performed, has to give his heart and his eyes to a trold if he cannot get to know his name. He listens however to the trold's wife when she is comforting her child, and saying, "To-morrow thy father will come," and at the same time says his name. Besides this there is the saga of Turandot, in The Thousand and one days. Calaf has guessed all her riddles, but will renounce his rights, if she can guess his name. One of her maids goes cunningly to him and tells him of Turandot's horrible inhumanity, who is going to have him murdered because she cannot guess his riddle. Then he imprudently cries, "Oh, unhappy son of Timurtas, oh Calaf worthy of pity! " Thus Turandot learns his name. A Swedish popular Story of St. Olaf turns upon discovering the name of a spirit in this way. See Gräter's Iduna, 3. 60, 61. The incident of demanding the child enters into a great number of myths.
From Hesse. In another saga, which also comes from Hesse, this story is allied to Hänsel and Grethel, No. 15. The witch wants to kill and cook Hansel because he is fat, but Grethel sets him free, and the children run away, but before going, Grethel spits in front of the hearth. So when the witch cries, "Will the water soon be hot?" the spittle answers, "I am just fetching it," and afterwards "It's boiling now," and "I am just bringing it," and between each answer the witch sleeps awhile. The last time she calls, however, when the spittle has dried up, he receives no answer, and gets out of bed, and when she cannot find the children, she puts on her skates and runs after them, but the girl has transformed herself into a pond and her little brother into a duck which is swimming on it. The witch wants to drink up the pond, but she bursts with the water, and is left lying dead. The two resume their human form and go home.
Our story is like Fundevogel, No. 51; The Water Nixie, No 79. and The two Kings' children, No. 113. The last metamorphosis, when the stepmother perishes in the briar-hedge with dancing, recalls the Jew among Thorns, No. 110. Vossius, in the notes to his Idyll of Riesenhügel, mentions a story which also has some connection with ours. Der Riesenwald, pp. 44–72, in the Brunswick Collection, is also akin to this, and No. 6 in Müllenhoff; No. 1. in Kuhn. In Norwegian Asbjörnsen, vol. 2. In Swedish Cavallius, No. 14. In Hungarian, Mailath's Zauberhelene, No. 12; and the Magic Horse, in Stier p. 28. Also The Glass hatchet in Gaal. p. 53. The Orange tree and The Bee (No. 8) in D'Aulnoy, and The Dove (2. 7) and Rosella (3. 9) in the Pentamerone, are allied to this. Being turned to stone by grief and pain occurs also in the Danish ballad of Kosmer. It has a deep signification and resembles the numbness which ensues when light and warmth are taken away. Changing yourself into a flower by the wayside when in sorrow, is an incident which appears again in a popular song:
"Ai Annie, lot dos Waene stohn
nahnit aich viel liever a'n anden Mon."
"Eh wenn ich lo das Waene stohn,
wiel ich liever outf de Wagschaed gohn,
diett wiel ich zu aner Feldblum w'an.
***** Virmeittich's wiel ich schien uofblihn,
Nochmeittichs wiel ich traurich stien;
wo olle Lait vorieba gohn,
diett wiel ich inde traurich stohn."
57.—The Golden Bird.
From Hesse; but this story is frequently found here, and also in Paderborn, where it is told in the older but not better form that a certain King had become ill (according to others, blind), and nothing in the world could cure him, until at last he heard (or dreamed), that in a far distant place the phœnix was to be found, and by its piping (or singing) alone could he be cured. And now the sons set out one after the other; and the various stories differ from each other only in the various tasks which the third son has to perform. The singing of the phœnix, being so necessary, is certainly a better foundation. One version also relates that the fox after having at last been shot, vanishes entirely and does not become a man. The fall into the well (instead of which a quarry sometimes occurs), is remarkably allied to the saga of Joseph; the deliverance from it by the Fox to that of Aristomenes (after Pausanias); to Sindbad (in The 1001 Nights); and to Gog and Magog (after Montevilla). The warning to buy no gallows-flesh is also contained in the Knight of Thurn's Lehre: "In the third place thou shalt beg off no thief or any other malefactor from death." Agricola's Sprichwörter (Wittenb. 1582), 97. There are other stories like this in the Erfurt Kindermärchen; pp. 94–150; in Wolf's Hausmärchen, pp. 230–242; and in Meier, 5; also in Zingerle, p. 157, but it is weaker in most of the incidents and in other respects. This saga was, however, known in the north at an early period, and doubtless in other parts of Europe also. La Petite Grenouille Verte, the first story in a French collection written in the beginning of the 18th century, and reprinted in the Cabinet des Fées, vol. 31 (see further on), is manifestly related to it. In Slavonian, see the Witch Corva, No. 1, in Vogl, with which Troldhelene, Molbech, No. 72, should be compared. In Wallachian, see Schott, No. 26. From the Bukowina, by Staufe, in Wolf's Zeitschrift, 2. 389. It appears to be also told in Poland (see further on). Perinskjöld, in his catalogue made for Hickes, p. 315, mentions the saga "af Artus fagra," and describes its contents thus: "Hist. de tribus fratribus Carolo, Vilhialmo atque Arturo, cogn. fagra, regis Anglian filiis, qui ad inquirendum Phönicem, ut ea curaretur morbus immedicabilis patris illorum, in ultimas usque Indiæ oras missi sunt." Perhaps some allusion is also made to it in an Anglo-Saxon Codex, of which Manley gives a sketch, p. 281, book vi. "Septem constans capitulis, descriptionem tractat felicissimæ cujusdam regionis orientalis et de Phönice quæ ibi invenitur." A later Danish treatment in strophes of six lines has become a popular book, but has no poetical value. Nyerup treats of it (Morkabsläsning, pp. 226–230). An edition is lying before us bearing the same title given there: it varies a little, and nothing is said of its being a translation from the Dutch, which is, indeed, only an assertion. "En meget märkvärdig Historic om Kong Edvard af Engelland, der faldt i en svär Sygdom, men helbrededes ved en viis Qvindes Raad, og det ene ved bans yngste Söns Prins Atti (Arti) Oemhed og Mod, der havde sin Fader saa kjer, at han foretog en Reise til Dronningen af Arabien, tilvendte sig ved List hendes Klenodier, bortförde Dronningens dyrebare Fugl Phönix, og sik til Slutning. … Dronningen selv tilägte." Here too the sons are called Carl, Wilhelm and Arthur; nothing is said about the helpful fox, and in almost every respect the German popular story is much superior. There is a Danish story from oral tradition in Etlar, p. 1. We have likewise heard the beginning in the following form as a part of the story of Dummling. In front of a King's palace stood a very large pear-tree, which every year bore the most beautiful fruit; but as soon as it ripened it was always carried away in one night, and no one knew who had done it. The King had three sons, and the youngest was called Dummling (Simpleton). The eldest was to watch the tree for one year, which he did most diligently, and the boughs were laden with fruit ; but during the last night, and just as they were going to be gathered next day; he was surprised by sleep, and when he awoke every pear was gone, and nothing left but leaves. The second son also watched for a year, but he had no better success than the eldest; during the last night all the pears disappeared. At length it was Dummling's turn, and during the decisive night he guarded himself against sleep, and saw a white pigeon fly thither which picked off one pear after the other and flew away with it. As it was flying away with the last, Dummling followed, and the pigeon flew into a cleft in the rocks in a high mountain. Dummling looked round and saw a little grey man standing by him, to whom he said, "God bless thee!" The little man replied, "God has blessed me already, for by thy words I am delivered." Then he told Dummling to descend into the cleft, and he would find fortune. He descended and saw the white pigeon caught in a spider's web. As soon as she perceived him, she tore herself loose, and when the last thread was rent asunder, a beautiful maiden stood before him, who was a princess, whom he had likewise set free. Thereupon they married each other.
[Another variant is to be found in Rae's White Sea Peninsula. See the story of Kuobbá the Giant, and the Devil.—Tr.]
58.—The Dog and the Sparrow.
From three slightly differing stories, the most perfect of which is from Zwehrn, and forms the groundwork of this. The second, likewise from Hesse, has a different beginning. A hind had given birth to a young deer, and asked the fox to stand godfather. The fox invited the sparrow as well, and the latter wished to invite the house-dog, who was his especially dear friend. The dog however had been tied up with a rope by his master, because once after a wedding he had come back to the house drunk. So now the sparrow pecked out one thread of the rope after another, until the dog was released; but at the christening-feast he again forgot himself, was overcome by wine, reeled home, and remained lying in the street. And now came the waggoner, who scoffed at the sparrow's warning, drove over the dog, and killed him. The third story, which is from Göttingen, has no introduction at all. It only says that a bird and a dog go out together, and on the great highway come to a deep rut which the dog cannot get over as the bird does, and, as just then a waggoner with some casks of wine comes driving up, the bird entreats him to help the dog over; he, however, does not trouble himself about it, but drives over the poor beast and kills him. Then the bird avenges him. The end of our story is taken from the second Hessian one. An ancient German poem which is allied to this story is given in Reinhart Fuchs, p. 290, but is derived from the French Renart—compare cxciii. An Esthonian animal story which is also given in Reinhart Fuchs, cclxxxiv., is related to our story.
59.—Frederick and Catharine.
At the basis of this lies a story from Zwehrn, but the incidents of Catharine compassionately using the butter lor the road, and letting the cheeses roll away, form part of another from Hesse. The jest of the counters and the earthenware pots, occurs in a third story from Fritzlar. In that from Zwehrn the man gives out that he has buried a hare-skin under the cow's manger. Catharine bids the pedlars take this up, whereupon they find the treasure. She hangs the pots which she has bought round about her house on the nails which are sticking in it. A fourth story, from the neighbourhood of Diemel, has various pecuHarities. The man goes to his work in the fields, and says to his wife, "Put some meat among the cabbage, and when it is ready bring it out into the field to me." She takes the raw meat, carries it into the field where her cabbages are growing, and puts it among them. The dog soon scents it out, and carries off the meat; she runs after him, catches him, and as a punishment, ties him up at home to the beer-barrel in the cellar, and indeed to the tap. The dog becomes wild and impatient, and pulls the tap out. When the woman comes into the cellar all the beer is swimming about it. Then she dries it up with the flour. She takes with her some vinegar and dried pears, and, in order to secure the house, takes the door off its hinges, puts it on her back, and goes out. Her husband reproaches her for bringing such bad food, but they sit down to eat it. Then they see twelve robbers coming. In their terror they climb up a tree, and, that they may not be discovered, take the food and the door up with them. The robbers come and sit down immediately below them, and begin to divide six bags of gold. They are however, as in our story, frightened away, and the man and his wife drag the bags home. The woman borrows a measure of her neighbour to measure the gold in, and one piece of gold is left sticking in it, which makes the latter suspicious. So the woman tells everything that has happened. And now every one goes into the forest to get gold, but none return, for no one was so stupid as the woman, and the robbers killed all who ventured to show themselves in the forest. The man and the foolish woman lived very happily and free from all care till their death. There is another story in Colshorn, No. 37. In Norwegian in Asbjörnsen, p. 202. The incident of throwing down the door on the rascals is to be found in Kuhn and Schwartz, No. 13. Vardiello, in the Pentamerone (1. 4), and No. 49 in Morlini, are in some degree allied to this. Two Slavonian stories in Vogl—The Master Liar, pp. 64–65, and Hans at School, p. 83, where stupid things of another kind are done—should be compared with this.
60.—The Two Brothers.
For the main lines of our story we are indebted to one from Paderborn, which is the simplest and most natural. The beginning of this has also been told us in Hesse as a fragment, and with some variations. There we have only two poor orphan broom-maker's boys, who have a little sister to support as well as themselves. The youngest discovers the bird with the golden egg, and sells the egg to a goldsmith. For some time the boy finds an egg every morning, until at last the bird tells him to take him to the goldsmith. The bird sings to the goldsmith that whosoever eats his heart shall be king, and whosoever eats his liver shall every morning find a purse of gold under his pillow. And now the goldsmith is willing to marry the little sister of the poor boys if they will give him the bird. At the wedding however, for which the bird is roasted, the two brothers, who are turning the spit in the kitchen, eat two little bits which have fallen off, and which, though they do not know it, are the heart and liver of the bird. 1 hen, full of anger, the deceived goldsmith drives them out of his house. This part of the story is told with peculiar refinement in a Servian story in Wuk, No. 26; and the Russian story in Dietrich, No. 9, should likewise be compared. From the point where the expelled children reach the forester in the wood we have followed an excellent story, full of details, from the district of Schwalm in Hesse, compared with which that from Paderborn is only a meagre summary. This latter begins only with the incident of the forester having taken into his house two poor children who were begging at his door.
Our story is also told with another remarkable beginning. A certain king his a daughter who is pursued by mice, until at last he knows no other means of saving her but having a tower built in the middle of a great river, to which she is taken. She has one maid with her, and one day, when they are sitting together in the tower, a jet of water springs in through the window. She bids her maid set a tub, which is filled, whereupon the spring of water ceases. Both of them drink some cf it, and afterwards each bears a son, one of whom is called Water- Peter and the other Water-Paul. They put both of the children in a small chest, write their names upon it, and let it float down the stream. A fisherman gets it out, brings up the two boys, who are exactly alike, and has them taught huntsmanship. The rest of the story is like ours until the marriage of Water-Peter with a king's daughter; but it is much more meagre. Each has only three animals, a bear, a lion, and a wolf. The old king dies a year afterwards, and Water-Peter receives the kingdom. One day he goes out hunting, loses sight of his attendants, and at night rests with his beasts by a fire. An old cat is sitting on a tree, and asks if she may be allowed to warm herself a little at his fire. When he says yes, she gives him three hairs of her fur, and begs him to lay one hair on each animal, otherwise she will be afraid to come. As soon as he has done this the beasts die. The king is enraged, and is about to kill her, but she says that in that place there is a spring with the water of death and another with the water of life, and that he is to take some of the latter and pour it over the animals. He does this, and they come to life again. When Water-Peter comes home he finds Water-Paul in his place, and kills him in his jealousy; but when he hears how faithful he has been, and that he has always laid a naked sword between himself and the queen, he fetches some of the water of life, and restores him to life. A fourth story from Hesse calls the two brothers John Water-spring and Caspar Water-spring, and begins thus. A certain king was firmly resolved that his daughter should not marry, and had a house built for her in the greatest solitude in a forest; and there she had to dwell, and never saw any strange man. Near the house however rose a wondrous spring of water, of which the maiden drank, and afterwards bore two boys who exactly resembled each other, and received those names. The rest of the story contains nothing that is new; after the combat with the dragon the defunct John Water-spring is restored to life by the sap of an oak which the ants were fetching for their dead who had been trampled down in the struggle. A fifth story only says by way of a beginning that a golden box, in which two beautiful boys are lying, falls down from heaven into the net which a fisherman has just thrown out. When they have grown up, they learn huntsmanship. The dragon is slain by a poisoned seed which the youth throws down his throat. The princess's betrothed tries to kill the youth by poisoned food, but his animals discover the treachery. Afterwards he is turned to stone by a witch, but the other brother compels her to tell him the means of restoring him to life again. Under a certain stone a wicked snake is lying, which is the cause of the whole enchantment. This snake he has to hew in pieces, roast them at the fire, and smear the petrified brother with the fat. On the other hand a sixth story, from Zwehrn, contains much that is peculiar, but it lacks this introduction, and has nothing in it about the two brothers. Three poor sisters support themselves by means of three goats, which their brother has to take charge of. One day when he is out he meets a forester with three fine dogs; and the youth is delighted with them, and exchanges one of the goats for a dog which is called "Stop him." When he goes home the sisters are full of lamentations; nevertheless he cannot restrain his desire, and next day exchanges another goat for another dog which is called "Seize him," and, on the third day, the third goat for a dog called "Iron and steel breaker." Then the huntsman gives him a gun, a hanger, a powder-horn, and a bag, into the bargain, and he goes out into the world; and a hare, a deer, and a bear become his servants. He goes into a forest, and to a small house wherein sits an aged woman. She says to him, "Do not stay here; this is the dwelling-place of twelve thieves, who will slay thee." He replies, "I have no fear. I trust to my animals." Then he places the hare at the window, the deer and the bear behind the door of the room, and the three dogs in the stable. The robbers come, pretend to be friendly, and invite him to eat with them. They sit down to table; the robbers lay their knives with the points turned round towards themselves; the huntsman's is laid with the point turned from him, as it ought to be. The robbers say, "Why do you not lay your knife as we lay ours?" "I lay mine like a huntsman, but you lay yours like thieves!" They jump up, and are about to kill him, when the hare knocks at the window, and immediately the deer opens the door, and the three dogs rush in, and the bear likewise, and tear the twelve thieves to pieces. Then the youth goes onwards and reaches a town, which is hung on the first day with white, on the second with red, and on the third with black cloth. He kills the dragon by means of his three dogs, goes away for a year and three days, and then returns and receives the king's daughter. In other respects it agrees with our story, only here it ends with the wedding and the deliverance of the three animals. They urgently entreat the youth to cut off their heads, but for a long time he will not consent to do it; when at last he does, the hare is transformed into a beautiful princess, the deer into a queen, and the bear into a king. This story occurs in Lina's Story Book, by A. L. Grimm, pp. 191–311. The twins are called Gentle Spring and Strong Spring. They are Peter and Paul in Zingerle, p. 131, where also a second story is given, p. 260. In Pröhle's Kindermärchen, No. 5, we have Luck-bird and Pitch-bird. In Meier it is Hans and the Princess, Nos. 29 and 58; and there is another version, p. 306. In Wolf's Hausmärchen, p. 369. In Kuhn und Schwartz, No. 10. The story is widely spread. In India, compare Somadeva, 2, 142. In Danish, Etlar, p. 18. In Swedish, Cavallius, pp. 78, 85. In Flemish, the Wodana, p. 69. In Hungarian, Gaal, No. 9, and Slier, p. 67. In Wallachian, Schott, No. 11. The Merchant (1, 7) and The Doe, (1, 9), in the Pentamerone, also belong to this group, and so does the third story of the tenth night in Straparola; also the beginning of The Golden Bird in a French fairy-tale by Count Caylus (Cabinet des Fées, 24, 267), and in Bohemian, see The Twins, Gerle, 2. 2. Allied to this are The Gold Children (No. 85), and a Servian story given by Wuk, No. 29. The Persian saga of Lohrasp in Firdusi (Görres, 2, 142) has much affinity with the whole of it.
In this remarkable story two different lines are to be indicated. In the first place the saga of Sigurd is visible in it. The incident of putting the newly-born children in the water, with which the other stories begin, coincides with the tradition in the Wilkinasage, according to which Siegfried was laid by his mother in a little glass coffer that rolled into the river and was carried away (compare the story of The Golden Mountain). And now comes the cunning and wicked goldsmith, the Reigen of the Norse saga; then the talking-bird, which is so rich in gold, and is at the same time the prophetic bird, and the worm Fafnir; and then the eating the creature's heart, which gives gold and empire (wisdom), which the smith strives to compass with much cunning, but which Sigurd accomplishes. The instruction in woodcraft corresponds with the instruction which Reigen gives Sigurd, The faithful serving-animals correspond with the horse Grane. Then follows the deliverance of the maiden from the dragon, the maiden being the Kriemhild of the German lay; in the Norse it is by leaping over a wall of flames that the hero wins her.
Yet he leaves her, as Sigurd Brünhild. The brother who has the same form as himself is Gunnar, his brother in arms, with whom Sigurd also exchanges forms; even the placing the swords is there, only in a different connection. Just as the larger and more powerful beasts always entrust the charge to the smaller, until at last the responsibility falls on the poor hare, there is a similar chain of descent, in the more ancient story Touti Nameh (Kosegarten from Iken, p. 2'11), in which the sea-animals and monsters always push off a task upon one still smaller, until at last it is fixed on the frog.
The story also contains the saga of Die Blutsbruder. It is thoroughly elucidated in our edition of Der arme Heinrich, pp. 183–197. Both children are born strangely and at the same time. The token at their separation, of the knife stuck into a tree, corresponds with the golden cup of Amicus and Amelius. Originally perhaps it was the knife with which the veins were punctured in order to drink brothership in arms. Compare the notes to the story of The Water of Life (No. 97). The one takes the other's place at home and with his wife, but he separates himself from her in their couch by a sword. The illness which attacks one of them, and drives him away from human society, is here the enchantment of the witch, who turns him to stone, an enchantment from which the other brother frees him. For this part of the story see The Burning Stag, in Colshorn, No. 74. Compare the story of Faithful John, No. 6, and one from Cornwall. (See further on.) As the one brother fights against the dragon, Thor in the northern myth (both in the Völuspâ and in the Later Edda) fights against the Mitgard Snake at the end of the world. He kills it, indeed, but falls dead on the ground with the poison which the snake has spat out against him.
[Prince Bahman gave Princess Perizade a knife, the blade of which would inform her of his health; when it appeared stained with blood he would be dead. See The Thousand and One Nights story of the Three Sisters.—Tr.]
61.—The Little Peasant.
From Zwehrn. Another story, from Hesse, tells of a tailor who makes his fortune in this manner, but it is less complete. It likewise begins with the tailor finding a benumbed thrush which he afterwards puts to his ear that it may prophesy to him. When he is shut up in the chest on the water, he cries out that on no account will he marry the princess, and thus entices the shepherd to take his place. According to another story, the man is called Herr Hands. The peasants hate him because of his cunning, and in their envy destroy his baking-oven; he, however, carries away some of the remains of it in a sack to a noble lady, and begs her to take care of the sack for him, and says that there are spices, cinnamon, cloves and pepper in it. Then he goes to fetch it away again, and makes a great outcry, and says she has robbed him, whereby he extorts three hundred thalers from her. The peasants see the money being counted out to him, and ask how he has come by it? He says it is for the remains of the oven. Then all the peasants destroy their ovens and carry what is left of them to the town, but fare badly. They want to revenge themselves by killing him; he puts on his mother's clothes, and thus escapes, but his mother is killed. He rolls her in a cask to a doctor, leaves her standing there a while, and then returns and blames him for killing her, and thus obtains a sum of money from the doctor. He tells the peasants that he has got this for his dead mother, on which they all kill their mothers too. Then comes the incident of the shepherd getting into the barrel and being drowned in his place, and of the other peasants all leaping in after him. In the story of Peasant Kibitz, which Büsching gives (p. 296), there are also some varying features. Kibitz lets his wife be killed by the peasants, and then sets her up by some railings with a basketful of fruit, and a servant, who has been ordered by his master and mistress to buy something from her, pushes her into the water because she returns no answer. For this Kibitz receives the carriage in which the master was driving, together with ail that pertains to it. Obtaining money by mere clamour is also part of the cunning of Gonella (Flögel's Gesch. der Hofnarren, p. 309). In the people's book, "Rutschki or the Bürgher of Quarkenquatsch," various incidents from this story are used, the purchasing the old chest in which the lover is hid for the cow-hide (p. 10), and the setting up the dead wife. Rutschki puts some butter on her lap, and sets her by the side of the well, and the apothecary who wants to buy some, but can obtain no answer from her, shakes her and pushes her down into it, and for that he has to pay Rutschki a thousand thalers (pp. ]8, 19). The betrayal of the shepherd at the end is also quite different. Rutschki is condemned to death, and is bolted into a clothes-press, and taken out to the pond; but, as this is frozen over, they leave the press standing, and go away to fetch axes to cut a hole in the ice. While they are absent, Rutschki hears a cattle-dealer going by, and calls out, "I will not drink any wine! I will not drink any wine! I am not thirsty!" The cattle-dealer asks what he is doing. Rutschki gets him to unbolt the door, and tells him that he has been elected burgomaster, and is quite willing to accept the appointment, for very little work and a salary of five hundred thalers go with it, but that he will on no account comply with the custom that every burgomaster shall, when he takes office, drink to the dregs a great glass of Burgundy, because he never drinks any wine at all. He also says that they have set him out there on the ice in order that the frost may make him long for a warm draught, but that all is in vain, for he will not drink it. The cattle-dealer proposes to exchange his herd for this position, and gets into the press. Rutschki bolts it. The peasants come and cut a hole, and let the press down into it. When they are returning, they meet Rutschki with the cattle, and he tells them that he has found them at the bottom of the pond, and that it is a beautiful land where perpetual summer reigns. And now they all plunge into the water (pp. 22, 23). H. Stahl communicates another version in the Mitternachtblatt, 1829, No. 35, 36. The poor peasant is called Hick, and lives at Lieberhausen in the county of Gimbornneustadt. His poverty compels him to slaughter his only cow, and he goes to Cologne to sell its hide. As he is going, it begins to rain, so he covers himself with the hide, the bloody side being outwards. A raven lights upon it, and is about to eat. Hick catches it carefully, and takes it with him into the town. He relates his adventure in an inn at Cologne. He twitches the raven's tail and makes him prophesy. The innkeeper buys the prophet at a high price. Hick tells his neighbours that cows' hides are frightfully dear in Cologne. The people of Lieberhausen now kill all their cows, and get nothing by the sale of the hides. Out of revenge they put Hick in a barrel to roll him into the Rhine, but they stop awhile at an inn on the shore. Hick cries from the barrel, "I am to go to Cologne to be bishop," and a shepherd gives him his sheep, and takes his place in the barrel. Hick drives his flock home, and tells the people of Lieberhausen that he has found them in the Rhine, and that the bottom of the river is full of them. Hick advises one of them to lump into the river, and when he has found the sheep, to come to the top again and stretch out both arms as a token. They follow his advice, and when one of them has leaped in, and before drowning stretches out his arms, they all leap, plump, plump, after him. Two stories from the Tyrol in Zingerle have many peculiarities, pp. 5 and 419. There is another in Pröhle's Märchen für die Jugend, No. 15; and two which vary very much in Müllenhoff, Nos. 23 and 24, which repeat the contents of the Latin Unibos of the 11th century in the most perfect manner. (Jac. Grimm, Latein. Gedichte, p. 354, and notes 382.) The Wallachian story Bakáld, No. 22 in Schott, is allied with this.
Solitary jests are narrated separately. Bartoldo prevails on a watchman to open the sack in which he is lying imprisoned, and to creep in himself, by pretending to him that he has only concealed himself because he did not wish to marry a beautiful girl. See Hagen's preface to Morolf, p. 19. There is something of the same kind in the Irish story of Darby Duly (K. v., K., 2, 23). The jest of the peasant, the miller, the miller's wife and the parson, is even to be found in the old German poem Der Kündige Kneht (Viennese MS. 428, No. 62). The servant tells a story about a wolf, and skilfully alludes to the concealed sheep. See also Eyering (2. 430), and Burkard Waldis. The story of Old Hildebrand, No. 95, No. 63, in Pröhle's Kindermärchen, is allied. In Danish there is Little Klaus and Big Klaus, in Andersen, in Etlar, p. 134. From Vorarlberg, see Vonbun, p. 36. In the Pentamerone, see The Godfather (2, 10), in Straparola, Scarpafico (1. 3). As for the rest, the peasants—peasants have been in every period of time easily betrayed—are clearly allied to the Lalenbürgers.
62.—The Queen Bee.
From Hesse, where we have also heard another story differing in various ways. A poor soldier ofiers his services to the King, and promises to win for him the most beautiful maiden. He is royally equipped, and on his way, when he passes by a great forest, he hears the song of many thousands of birds resounding delightfully through the blue air. "Halt, halt!" cries he. "The birds must not be disturbed; they are praising their Creator!" and he orders his coachman to turn round, and drives another way. After this he comes to a field where many thousands of ravens are crying loudly for food. He has a horse unharnessed, killed, and thrown for the ravens to eat. At length he comes to a marsh where a fish is lying pitifully lamenting that it cannot reach any flowing water. The soldier himself conveys it to the water, and the fish wags its tail with joy. When he comes to the princess, three tasks are given him, which he must accomplish. In the first place he must gather together again a peck of poppy-seed which the King has had scattered. The soldier takes a measure, a sack, and some white sheets into the field, and spreads out the sheets there. Presently the birds whose singing he would not disturb, come, pick up the seeds, grain by grain, and carry them to the sheets, and the soldier sets before the King the peck which he has had scattered. In the second place he has to fetch a ring which the King's daughter has dropped into the sea. The fish which he bad placed in flowing water brings him the ring from under the fin of a whale, where it had fallen. Thirdly, he is to kill a unicorn which has taken up its abode in a forest, and is doing great damage. The soldier goes into the forest, and there the ravens which he rescued from starvation are sitting, and say to him, "Have patience for a little longer, the unicorn has only one good eye, and now he is lying on it, and sleeping; but if he turns round, and sleeps on the bad eye, we will peck out the good one. He will then become furious, but, as he will be blind, he will run against the trees in his fury, and stick fast with his horn." Soon afterwards the animal turns in his sleep, and then he lies on the other side, on which the ravens fly to him, and peck out his good eye. He leaps up and runs against an oak-tree and sticks his horn firmly into it. Then the soldier cuts off his head, carries it to the King, and receives in return for it his beautiful daughter, whom he takes to his master, by whom he is royally rewarded.
In Netherlandish, see The Grateful Animals, No 4. in Wolf's Wodana. In Hungarian, see Gaal, No 8. In Persian, Touti-Nameh, No 21 in Iken. A certain King dies and leaves behind him two sons. The elder usurps the crown; the second leaves the country. He comes to a pond where a snake has caught a frog. He calls the snake, which leaves hold of the frog, and it hops back into the water. In order to compensate the snake, he cuts off a bit of his own flesh. To show their gratitude for these benefits, both the frog and the snake come to him in human form and serve him. The prince enters into the service of a King, whose ring falls into the water when he is fishing, and who orders the prince to get it out again for him. The frog-man reassumes the form of a frog, goes into the water, and brings out the ring. Soon afterwards the King's daughter is bitten by a snake, and no one can save her from death but the snake-man, who sucks out the poison from the wound. Thereupon the King gives the prince his daughter to wife. And now the two faithful servants take leave of him, and make themselves known to him respectively as the frog whose life he had saved, and the snake to whom he had given a piece of his own flesh to eat. See the story of Livoret (3, 2) in Straparola. In the Jewish Maasähbuch (chap. 143 of Rabbi Chanina), the King first gets to know about the Princess with the Golden Hair, by a single hair which a bird one day (as in Tristan), lets fall on his shoulders, and which it has plucked from her head while she was bathing. On his way Chanina shows kindness to a raven, a dog, and a fish. The tasks set him are to procure water from Paradise and from hell, and the grateful raven brings a small pitcherful from both places. Then he has to get a ring out of the sea. The fish prevails upon Leviathan, who has swallowed it, to spit it out on land, but in the meantime a wild boar comes and swallows it. And now the dog attacks the wild boar and tears it in two pieces, and Chanina again finds the ring. The end is entirely different; for instance, when Chanina has brought the bride home to the King he is taken into high favour by him, and for that reason is murdered by the envious. But the young Queen, who is very much devoted to him, sprinkles him with the water from Paradise, by which he is immediately restored to life. The King wishes to make a trial of this likewise, and orders one of his men to kill him, but the Queen pours the water of hell over him, by which he is immediately burnt to ashes. She says to the people, "See, he was an impious man, or he would have been brought back to life again;" and marries Chanina. There are some more details in Helwig. There is a certain amount of resemblance to Ferdinand the Faithful, No. 126. The story of the White Snake, No. 17, is like this, and so is Soldier Lawrence in Pröhle's Kindermärchen, No 7.
63.—The Three Feathers.
From Zwehrn; but we have frequently heard the story in Hesse, and there are usually variations in the three tasks which are set. Thus the finest linen yarn is demanded, which is given to Dummling (Simpleton) by a spinning-maiden in a subterranean cavern; the most beautiful carpet, which she also weaves for him; and, finally, the most beautiful woman. Dummling has to take a frog and leap into the water with it, on which it changes into the most beautiful girl. Or else a toad is given him, which he has to place on the bench by him as his wife. From thence it springs on to the table, then on the plate, and then, to the horror of all who are dining with him, into the dish. It will only sit quietly when on the salad. Then Dummling has to take hold of it, and lay it in a bed, and then cut it straight through its heart with a sharp sword; something cracks, and a beautiful maiden is lying there, who far surpasses the brides of the brothers in beauty. Afterwards the father gives each of his three sons an apple, and the one who throws it the farthest is to inherit the kingdom. The youngest son's apple flies the farthest, but as be is quite too stupid, the father will not let him have the power, and demands twenty score yards of linen in a nutshell. The eldest travels to Holland, the second to Schleswig, where fine linen was said to be, the third and stupid one goes into the forest, where a nutshell falls from a tree, and in it is the linen. Afterwards the father asks for a dog small enough to jump through his wedding-ring, and then for three hanks of yarn which will go through the eye of a needle, all of which Dummling brings. Or else it is that the one shall inherit the kingdom who brings back with him the most delightful perfume. The stupid one comes to a house where a cat is sitting outside the door, which asks "Why art thou so sad?" "Alas, thou canst not help me!" "Come, let me hear! Tell me what thou art in need of?" The cat procures the best scent for him. The opening of the story is manifold—the father drives stupid Hans away, because he is too stupid for anything. He goes to the sea-shore, sits down, and weeps. Then comes the toad, who is an enchanted maiden; at her bidding he leaps with her into the water, struggles with her, and wins himself the kingdom, whilst she thus regains her beautiful human form. The Snake maiden in the Deutsche Sagen (i. 13) should be compared with this. The story is to be found, pp. 271–286, in the Brunswick Collection. In Büsching's, p. 268, Von der Padde. In Zingerle, p. 348. In D'Aulnoy, La Chatte Blanche, No. 19. It is also told in Swedish, in Cavallius, p. 300 (see further on). In Norwegian, in Asbjörnsen, p. 160. In Polish, Lewestam, p. 101. In Albanian, in Hahn, 2. 166, 167. In Servian, in Wuk, No. 11.
For blowing feathers, which are to be followed, the Altd. Wälder, 1. 91, should be seen. Aventin, in the Bavarian Chronicle, p. 98b, says, "There is a common proverb, which is generally used by such as wish, or are obliged, to till strange lands. 'I will blow a feather, and where it flies, I will follow.'" Indeed, at this very day, people in Hesse say, "Which way will that man blow his feather? Whither will he go?" Compare also Völundurs Lied, where one brother goes east, the second south, and the third stays at home. A similar custom was observed by the discontented Norwegians who left their fatherland under Harald Harfager, and emigrated to Iceland. It frequently happened that on approaching the island the captain threw overboard a piece of a chair which usually stood in the place of honour in the house. This fragment was adorned with a carving of the head of Thor or some other god, and the leader chose the place where it drifted to shore as the central point of the tract of land of which he was about to possess himself. But in the Persian Firdusi something of the same kind can be traced (Görres, i. 136). Sal went to descry the position of the enemy. He shot one arrow straight up towards heaven; he fixed spears in three places ; and he shot three arrows across the stream, to serve as signs to the army where to assemble and make the attack.
64.—The Golden Goose.
After a story from Hesse, and another from the neighbourhood of Paderborn. This last has the following variations; when Dummling has shared his food with the little man, the latter says, "Now lie down and sleep a while; and when thou awakest thou wilt find a sledge, to which a little bird is harnessed; and when it cries 'Kisi,' answer only 'Keifes;' and then thou wilt see what will happen." So Dummling lay down, for he was tired; and when he awoke, the sledge with the little bird was standing before him, and he seated himself in it, drove away, and came to a town. Three girls however were looking out of the window of one of the houses, and they saw the sledge with the little bird; and the eldest exclaimed, "I must have that bird!" but the youngest, who also wanted to have it, could run quicker, and got first into the street, and tried to grasp it. The little bird cried "Kisi!" and Dummling answered "Keifes," on which the girl stuck fast to the sledge, and could not get loose again, but was forced to try to seize the bird continually. And now came the two other sisters, and were held fast. Dummling drove onwards, and they reached a great piece of water, where many washerwomen were standing washing; and when they saw the girls they were angry with them for running after the sledge, and ran up to beat them with their wooden mallets; but they too were held fast, and were still forced to try to strike the girls. Then the parson and clerk came with the holy-water vessel, and they too were made fast, and thus the band grew greater, until Dummling arrived with it in the presence of the king's serious daughter, who laughed at the sight, and whom he now received to wife. The other tasks are not given. See The Golden Duck, in Meier, No. 17; and No. 27 in Pröhle's Märchen für die Jugend. Compare the story, The Miller and the Cat, No. 106.
As in this story, every one sticks fast to the goose, or to those who are touching it, so Loki sticks fast to the rod with which he is trying to strike the eagle (Thiasse). The rod, however, sticks to the eagle, and he is dragged away too (Younger Edda, Dames, 51). Just as the sons are tested by seeing if they are disposed to share a piece of cake, so Engelhart, in a poem of Konrad von Würzburg's, has three apples given him by his father, and is to give one of them to whomsoever he shall happen to meet; if the stranger eats the whole of it without giving him a piece he is to avoid him, but if the stranger gives him some he is to accept his friendship. The third is the first to behave kindly. Compare in Wyss's Volkssagen p. 321; and p. 22, the notes on the test by apples. A man who can drink a pond dry, or eat many thousands of loaves, appears in the Volksbuch of the Pomeranian Kunigund; see the story of The Seven Apprentices who get on in the World, No 71; and The Six Servants, No. 134.
Consists of stories from Hesse and Paderborn; the last varies in some particulars. The maiden puts the mantle of all kinds of fur—en which moss or whatever else she can pick up in the forest is sewn—over the three bright dresses, and escapes into the forest. Then, for fear of the wild beasts, she climbs up a high tree, and sleeps, resting on the branches. In the morning some wood-cutters come to get wood for the King's court; they cut down the tree on which Allerleirauh is still sleeping, but it falls slowly, so she is not hurt. She awakes in a fright, but when she sees that she is among kind people she begs them to take her away with them. "Yes," they say; "get into the wood-cart there, hairy animal." They drive to the King's court, and she serves in the kitchen. As she has made some very good soup, the King sends for her, and says, "Thou art indeed a pretty child; come and seat thyself on my chair." Then he lays his head on her lap, and says, "Comb my hair a little." She does it, and henceforth has to do it every noon. One day while she is doing it he sees her shining star-dress glittering through the sleeve of her mantle, and tears it off; there she stands as the most beautiful princess in the world. According to a third story, from the neighbourhood of Paderborn, Allerleirauh pretends to be dumb. The King one day strikes her with the whip, and the fur-mantle is torn, and the gold dress shines through it. The King makes the rent larger, and she is discovered. The punishment of the father, too, follows in both stories. He himself has to pronounce the sentence that he does not deserve to be King any longer. A fourth story begins differently. Allerleirauh is driven away by a step-mother because a foreign prince has given a betrothal ring to her and not to the step-mother's daughter. Afterwards Allerleirauh arrives at the court of her lover, does menial work, and cleans his shoes, but is discovered, as she lays the betrothal ring among the white bread, as in another saga it is put in the strong broth. (Musäus, 2, 188.) When the King will marry no girl whose hair is not like that of the dead Queen, we are reminded of an incident in the Färöische Sage, where the bereaved King will marry no one whom the dead Queen's clothes do not fit. Sagabibliothek, 2, 481. There is a very flat version of the story in one from the Zillerthal, Zingerle, p. 231. Compare No. 48 in Meier, and No. 10 in Pröhle's Märchen für die Jugend. The story has some affinity to that of Aschenputtel, and Perrault's Peau d'Ane belongs to this group; so does the story of Doralice in Straparola (1. 4), especially the beginning of it. In the Pentamerone see The She-bear (2. 6). In Wallachian, The Emperor's Daughter in the Pig-stye, No 3 in Schott.
66.—The Hare's Bride.
From Buckow, in the neighbourhood of Mecklenburg. It has some affinity with Fitcher's Bird (No. 46). The enumeration of the people at the wedding is taken from another version of the story, and recalls the Wendish comical song of The Merry Wedding, (Herder's Stimmen der Völker, p. 139).
67.—The Twelve Huntsmen.
From Hesse. The incident of the first betrothed being forgotten is repeated in many stories (Dearest Roland, The Singing, Soaring Lark, &c.) We will only cite two memorable examples, Duschmanta forgets Sacontala, and Sigurd, Brunhild. See The Servant, in the Pentamerone (3. 6).
From Münster. There is a variant from Vienna. A master-wizard tries to find a youth to assist him who can neither read nor write. He asks one whom he meets, "Canst thou read and write?" "Yes," answers the youth. The wizard says, "If thou canst read and write thou wilt be of no use to me." "Oh, you are speaking of reading and writing!" says the youth. "I misunderstood you; I thought you were asking if I could scream and eat; and both these things 1 understand thoroughly, but of reading and writing I know nothing. The master-wizard thinks, "He will suit me," and, as he likes him in other respects, he takes him. The youth, however, was quick-witted, and knew very well how to read and write, and was only pretending to be stupid. So he remamed some time in service, and lent a hand in the wizard's work, but whenever he was out of the way or gone out, the boy secretly read the books of magic and learnt by heart the formulas and rules. This continued until one day the master found him reading one of the books, and saw what had happened. "Wait," cries he; "thou shalt not escape me!" The boy hastily utters a powerful spell, becomes a bird, and flies away. The master as swiftly changes himself into a bird of prey and pursues him. The narrator had forgotten the series of metamorphoses which now followed, but the sequel was that the youth proved cleverer than the master, and whilst the latter was lying before him in the form of a grain of corn, the youth took that of a cock, and swallowed him, by which the magician was lost and annihilated.
There is another form of the tradition in Müllenhoff, No. 27, and in Pröhle's Märchen für die Jugend, No. 26. Incontestably the finest is the story in Straparola, 8, 5, in the complete edition (see further on); but the Danish in Etlar, p. 36, is also very good. In Polish see the Danish collection in Molbech, No. 66, p. 66, and Lewestam, p. 110. In Wallachian, The Devil and his Pupil, Schott, No. 18. In Servian, see Wuk, No. 6. The similar, though not identical, transformations of the two magicians in the well-known story in the Thousand and One Nights (1, 385, 386), should be remarked. It likewise occurs that one of the magicians changes himself into a pomegranate, the seeds of which the other, who is in the form of a cock, tears out; hut, as he has overlooked one seed, the metamorphoses continue. Others are to be found in the stories No. 56, 76, 79, and also in the Welsh saga of Ceridwen (Mone, 2. 521.) in which at last a hen devours the seed. Lastly, in Simplicissimus (p. 212, 235, Mömpelg. Edition) similar, but seriously intended feats of magic are related. Malagis likewise chances to find the magic books of Baldaris, whom he has regarded as his father, and secretly learns the art of magic from them. Once, when they are seated at table, Baldaris enchants hares and rabbits, which run about after each other; then Malagis causes two beautiful greyhounds to leap upon the table, which chase the little animals and tear them to pieces. Baldaris enchants some water, and every one is compelled to wash his hands in it, but Malagis causes the water to become black, and it sticks to them like pitch. (Heidelberg, MS, folio 19b, 20a.) Compare with this the Hungarian story, The Glass Hatchet (Gaal, No 3), where also from the one animal another but a weaker one always arises, and the last is an egg. In the Bohemian story in Gerle (p. 241) the evil spirit changes himself from a dragon into an eagle, and then into a fly; but the fly is caught in the web of a spider, who is a good spirit, and is by him devoured.
69.—Jorinde and Joringel.
From the Life of Heinrich Stilling, 1, 104-108. A story told by word of mouth from the Schwalm district varies very slightly. There are two children who go into a great forest. The youth stumbles on the castle of an enchantress, who touches him with her wand and he is changed into a bird. The girl dreams of the flower, and by means of it restores him to his human form. She likewise touches the witch with the flower, and she is transformed into a crow. The children return home; but once when they are playing in the garden the crow comes flying to them, alights on a tree, and the girl brings the flower, touches the crow with it, and thus restores the witch to her own shape.
70.—The Three Children of Fortune.
From Paderborn. Clearly allied to the Lalenbürgers. The last story of the cat is indeed extremely like what we find there (chap. 44). They have never seen a cat before, and buy it at a great price as a mouse-dog, and set fire to the house in which it is, because they believe it will devour man and beast (the vendor had said, something which they had misunderstood). In the chronicle of Albertus von Stade we find p. 1946, the following, which is probably interpolated; "habitaverunt ibi [in Venice] a principio duo concives, unus dives, alter pauper, dives ivit mercatum et requisivit a socio mercimonium. 'Non habeo,' pauper ait, 'præter duos catos,' hos dives secum assumpsit et casu inter rem venit, ubi locum fere totum mures vastaverant, vendidit catos pro magna pecunia et suo socio per mercatum plurima comparans reportavit."
In Servian see Wuk, No. 7. Whittington and his Cat, is an English story of the same kind.
71.—How Six go Through the World.
From Zwehrn. A story from Paderborn is almost exactly like it. The description of the runner is taken from it; in the Hessian story, he had fastened a cannon to his leg to make himself go more slowly. In the Paderborn story there is a Listener besides, who, when he takes the stopping from his ears, can hear the dead under ground singing. A third story from the district of Schwalm is more imperfect, but has some incidents which are special. In it only four men go about together, the Listener, the Runner, the Hower, and the Strong-One. The Runner fetches the game, the Blower blows a blast which drives the people out of the villages, or up the chimneys, and then takes whatsoever is to be found in their houses—bread, meat, and eggs. The Strong-One carries these things away, and the Listener has to be on the look out to hear if the hussars are fallowing them. They go one day to the King's court, and the King's daughter is ill, and can only be cured by a herb that grows a hundred miles off, and must be procured in four-and-twenty hours. It is made known that whosoever brings it shall have as much treasure as he desires. The four comrades undertake the task. The physicians describe the herb exactly, and the Runner sets out. He brings it before the appointed time, and the princess recovers. Thereupon the King asks how much money he wants to have? "As much as my brother (the Strong-One) can carry." The King thinks, "He has some moderation," and says, "Yes," with pleasure. The Strong-One makes himself an enormous sack, sweeps up all the gold in the treasure-chamber, but that is too little, and the King is forced to wive all that there is in the whole kingdom. When the Strong-One has gone away with his wealth, the King sends some hussars after him. The Listener hears them coming, the Runner sees if it is true, and when they have marched up, the Blower blows them into the air and none of them are ever heard of or seen again. A popular book, The History of the Pomeranian Maiden Kunigunda, who, after many strange adventures, became a Queen (new and improved edition, Elbing, 1804), consists of similar and in some degree identical sagas. Kunigunda also has seven servants; Marrow-bone, who is so strong that in an hour he cuts down a number of trees in a forest, and wants to carry them away as well; Birdswift, who has bound his legs so close together that he is only able to take short steps, otherwise he would outrun the deer and hares and never be able to catch anything; Sharp-shot who has bandaged his eyes, because he sees too clearly, and can see all the game for four miles round, so that at one shot he hits more than he wishes, and could easily clear all the country of game; Fine-ear, who hears the grass and herbs growing (Heimdallr hears the grass growing; in the ground, and the wool growing on the hacks of the sheep, Snorra Edda, p. 30); the Blower, who when he only blows a little can turn fifty wind-mills; Drink-all, who can empty out a pond; and lastly, Eat-all, who can eat up many thousand loaves. With these seven servants, Kunigunda, disguised as a man, goes through many kinds of adventures. She ties up a dragon, while Drink-all drinks up the pond where the monster quenched its thirst, and fills it with wine, whereby the monster becomes drunk. After this she wins away the treasure of a rich Emperor; one of her seven servants each time fulfilling the imposed conditions. Eat-all eats six heaps of bread; Drink-all drinks all the wells and the water that came through the pipes in the city. A race too, as here, occurs. Bird-swift is stupified with a strong drink, and falls asleep when he ought to be running. His opponent is just reaching the goal when Fine-ear listens, and hears the sleeper snoring two miles off; so Sharp-shot shoots an arrow into the tip of his ear, which wakens him; he bethinks himself, starts up quickly, and runs so fast that with the arrow still in his ear, he arrives first at the goal. Marrow-bone carries away the treasure they have won; they come to a river over which they cannot carry it as there are no ferry-boats, but Drink-all drinks up the river. The enemy's horsemen follow them, but the Blower raises such a storm that all the boats sink, and not a single man is left. Afterwards the servants quarrel, each declaring that he has done the most, but Kunigunda pacifies them. The whole is interwoven with a love story. Kunigunda, disguised as a man, and bearing the name of Felix, serves the King of Poland. A magician who is favourably disposed to her, has sent her the seven servants, and has also given her an excellent speaking-horse. She secretly falls in love with the King; the Queen, on the other hand, falls in love with her; and because she slights the Queen's love, the latter forces all kinds of dangerous enterprises on her. At length the Queen accuses Kunigunda of having grossly insulted her. She is condemned to death, but then her sex is revealed. The Queen dies of poison, and Kunigunda becomes the King's wife. An Arabian tale, in the continuation of The 1001 Nights by Chavis and Cazotte, in the Cabinet des Fées, 39, 421–478, is altogether in the spirit of one story. The leader is Rock-splitter (Tranchemont), under whom Drink-all (Pretaboire), Sharp-eye (Percevue), Straight-on (Droitaubut), Air-cleaver (Fendl'air), Strong-back (Bondos), Cloud-grasper (Grippe-nuage), and the Blower (Grossitout), seven in all, practise the arts which their names denote. The fact that they are conquered in spite of these, and that the magician from whom they have received this supernatural strength is annihilated, appears to be a later and intentional alteration for the sake of the moral application.
The story of the Six Servants (No. 134) belongs also to this place. In Colshorn, see Peter Bär, No. 105, and No. 8 and 31, in Meier. In Müllenhoff, Rinroth, p. 453. In Wolf's Deutsche Sagen, No. 25. Münchhausen has used this comic saga in his unveracious Travels (London, i.e. Göttingen, 1788, p. 84, and following), but has on the whole told it ill. Thor and his servant Thialfi should also be named here, as well as the enormous dinner of the giant, in the Altdänische Lieder, when the bride devours whole oxen, and drinks out of hogsheads. In Norwegian, see Asbjörnsen, No. 24. In the Pentamerone, The Simpleton, (5, 8) is allied; and the story of the Flea (1. 5) should be compared. In D'Aulnoy it is called Belle-Belle ou le Chevalier Fortuné, and translated into English form, has come into the Tabart Collection.
72.—The Wolf and the Man.
From Paderborn. There is another story from Bavaria. The wolf boasts to the fox that there is nothing in the world that he is afraid of, and that he will devour a horseman, and his horse as well. The fox in order to humble the wolf, whom he secretly fears, will not believe this until he sees it with his own eyes. They conceal themselves in the forest by the roadside. Two small weak men seem to the fox to be too insignificant for the trial, but at last a hussar, with a powerful sabre by his side, comes thither. "That is the right one," says the fox, "thou must set on him." The wolf, to keep his word, springs out and seizes the rider, but he draws his sword out of the scabbard, strikes promptly, and mangles the wolf so terribly that he has great difficulty in returning to the fox, " Well," says the fox, "how did the horseman taste?" "Alas!" replies the wolf in a feeble voice, "I should certainly have devoured him, if he had not had a white tongue behind him, which he pulled out and licked me with so terribly, that I never got to the eating." In an old German 13th century poem (Keller's Erzáhlungen, No 528), a young lion appears. He asks his father if he has ever seen an animal stronger than they. "Yes," answers the old lion, "and man is that animal." A boy comes thither, and the old lion says, "He will be a man." Then a grey-beard comes, and the old one says, "He, too, was once a man." And now comes a man who has a spear in his hand, and a sword in his belt. The old lion says, "Son, here is one of the kind I spoke of to you." He warns his son not to go too near this one, but the young lion springs on him. The man attacks him with the spear, and then draws his sword and cuts him through the back, and he falls on the ground. The old lion comes up, and the young one says to him, "The long tooth with which the man defended himself was of hard steel, and then he drew a rib out of his side, and dealt me this wound." "There are many children like you who will not obey their fathers and have to bear the consequence," replies the father. The story is also known in Transylvania, see Haltrich, No. 30. Franz von Kobel has treated it in Poems in the Upper Bavarian dialect (Munich, 1846, p. 81). But the Negroes also have the story. See The Lion and the Huntsman, Kölle, No. 9. Compare the notes to No. 48.
73.—The Wolf and the Fox.
From Hesse. Another story from Schweig, in the province of Treves, contains nothing but the conclusion of the fox persuading the wolf to creep through a narrow hole to drink his fill of milk, and how, after the meal, the fox only returns, and the wolf, who is swollen with eating, has to stay behind and is killed. A third story from Bavaria, has also only this adventure, but after all the wolf escapes with his life. He is thoroughly beaten, however, and is ridiculed by the fox. A fourth from the neighbourhood of Paderborn has also some special incidents. The fox invites the wolf to go under a pear-tree, and he will climb it, and shake down the fruit to him. When the people hear the pears falling, they run to the spot, and beat the wolf while the fox escapes. The fox also invites the wolf to go fishing; the wolf has to let his tail hang down into the pond, and is frozen fast in it. At last, when in revenge, the wolf is determined to devour him, the fox chatters to him about some delicious pancakes, which any one who will roll down the mountain will alight straight upon. He himself rolls down, and as he knows the situation of everything below, he brings a couple of pancakes back with him. When they have consumed these, he conducts the longing wolf to a particular part of the mountain, and says he must roll down there. The wolf obeys him, but rolls straight into the pond, and is drowned. The story from Transylvania, No. 3, in Haltrich is good. Horace, Ep. 1, alludes to the fable.
74.—Gossip Wolf and the Fox.
From German Bohemia. In Wendish, see Haupt and Schmaler, No. 6. It is related with lively circumstantiality by Haltrich, No. 10, from Transylvania. He calls it the central point of all the stories of the fox and the wolf.
75.—The Fox and the Cat.
From Scbweig, in the province of Treves. There is the same saga in an old German poem (Reinhart Fuchs, 363), in Nicolaus von Strasburg (Franz Pfeifler's German Mystics, p. 293) ; also in Hans Sachs (2, 4, 177, Kempten). A Latin story from a manuscript of the 15th century is communicated by W. Wackernagel in Hofmann's Monatsschrift von und für Schlesien, 1829, pp. 471, 472. A sack filled with wisdom occurs hereafter, in No. 175; and in a Negro story, Kölle (No. 9), there is a sack in which reason is lying shut up.
From Zwehrn. Another story, likewise from Hesse, begins differently. The King intends to invite the first person whom he meets, to be godfather. He meets a poor man, who at first refuses to go with him, but follows at last, promises the child the fulfilment of all his wishes as soon as he is eighteen years old, and then disappears. A dwarf conceals himself beneath the table during the christening, and hears everything. He steals the child, accuses the Queen, whom the King causes to be walled up, and goes away with it to a rich merchant, whose daughter he marries. When the prince is eighteen years old, the dwarf is afraid, and wants to persuade his wife to kill him. The remainder of the story agrees with ours, only the dwarf's wife appears no more, and the transformation into a pink is of course also wanting. In a third story from Hesse, there is the following divergence; the christening takes place in a church, the godfather has stood out against any one else being present, but the wicked gardener has stolen in, hears what gift has been promised to the child, and steals it. He sends the child to a forester, under whose care it grows up. The woodman's daughter becomes the youth's sweetheart, whom he takes in the form of a pink, together with the transformed poodle, to the King's court, where he serves as huntsman. He puts the pink in a glass full of water in his window, and when he is alone, he restores her to her human form again. His comrades observe something, and persuade the King to ask for the pink, whereupon the huntsman reveals that he is his son, and everything comes to light. A saying in use among the people seems appropriate here,
"If only my sweetheart a pink could be,
In the window I'd set him (her?) for all to see."
The song in the Wunderhorn (2. 11, 12), should be compared, where a rose shut up in a room changes itself into a beautiful maiden. The Myrtle in the Pentamerone (1. 2) is allied.
From a book, which in Northern Germany is certainly rare, Ovum paschale, oder neugefärbte Oster Ayr (newly-dyed Easter-eggs) (Salzburg, 1700, quarto, pp. 23–26); and from a Meistersong in a MS. in the Berlin Library, German MSS., fol. 23, No. 51 (formerly in the possession of Arnim), with the title, Inn des Marners Hoff-thon die vernascht maid, and beginning, "Vor kurzen Jarenn sase ein perckrichter im Johanisthal." In Hans Sachs (2. 4,217b, Kempt: edit.) Die vernascht Köchin. Compare Hagen's Gesammtabenteuer. No. xxxvii. and notes vol. 2. See Pauli's Schimpf und Ernst, folio 65. We believe that we have also heard the story by word of mouth.
78.—The Grandfather and the Grandchild.
Stilling relates the story thus in his Life (2. 8, 9), as we also have often heard it, and it occurs in the Volkslied aus dem Kühländchen (Meinert, 1. 106). It is also related that the child gathered together the fragments of the earthen platter, and wanted to keep them for his father. An old Meister song (No. 83, in Arnim's MS.) has quite a different version of this fable, and gives a chronicle as its source. An aged King has given his kingdom to his son, but is to keep it as long as he lives. The son marries, and the young Queen complains of the old man's cough. The son makes the father lie under the stairs on the straw, where for many years he has to live no better than the dogs. The grandson grows big, and takes his grandfather meat and drink every day; but once the old man is cold and begs for a horse-cloth. The grandson goes into the stable, takes a good cloth, and angrily cuts it in two. The father asks why he is doing that. "I am taking one half to grandfather, the other I am going to lay by to cover you with some day." A different treatment of this is contained in Zwey schöne Neue Lieder (Nuremberg, Val. Neuber), in the Meusebach Library. It begins:
"Zu Rom ein reicher König sass
Als ich etwan gelesen das,"
"das niemandts sein Elten verschmeht
warnt treulich Jörg Brentel von Elbogen."
In Hans Sachs, see the Half Horse-cloth, 2. 2, 107, 108. Nuremberg edition. Wunderhorn, 2. 269. See an old German story, the Knight with the Rug, in Lassberg's Liedersaal, 1. 585. Another form of the story is to be found in the Kolotz MSS., p. 145, and in Hagen's Gesammtabenteuer, 2. 391. A third by Hufferer is in the same place, 3. 729. An old French Fabliau (Méon. 4. 479, 485) varies only slightly. The son, at the instigation of his wife, drives away his old father, who begs for a coat, which the son refuses; then for a horse-cloth as he is trembling with cold. The son orders his child to go with the old man into the stable and give him one. The grandson cuts it in half, of which the grandfather complains. The grandson, however, excuses himself to his father on the ground that he must keep half of it for him, when he drives him out of the house. Then the son reflects, and takes the grandfather back into the house with all honour. Some stories formed on this by Niccolo Granucci, Sercambi, and the Abbé Le Monnier are pointed out by Hagen, Gesammtabenteuer 2. lvii. In Pauli's Scherz und Ernst (1535, see chap. 412. Folio 77. In the Danish, Lystig Shiemt og Alvor, p. 73, the grandfather begs for a new coat, and the son gives him two yards of stuff to patch the old one with. Thereupon the grandson comes crying because he too wants two yards of stuff. The father gives them to him, and the child hides them under a lath in the roof, and then says he is storing them up for his father when he grows old. Then the other bethinks himself, and behaves better. The following lines from a poem of Walther's should be quoted:
"die jungen habent die alten sô verdrungen,
nû spottent alsô dar der alten!
ez wirt in selben noch behalten;
beit unz iuwer jugent zergê:
swaz ir in tuot, daz rechent iuwer jungen."
From Hanau. It is a pursuit of the children by the witch, as in the story of Dearest Roland No. 56; she is at the same time Frau Holle, and the wicked one who makes people spin entangled flax, and gives them stones to eat instead of food. For the whole, compare J. Grimm's Irmenstrasse.
80.—The Death of the Hen.
From Hesse. It varies a little in the Kinderlieder in the third vol. of the Wunderhornm p. 232–6. According to a Bavarian tale, the cock runs to the spring and says, "Ah, spring, do give me some water, that my hen may not be choked." The spring says "I'll give you no water until you so to the lime-tree and bring me a leaf." The lime-tree says, "I'll give you no leaf until you go to the bride and bring me a ribbon." The bride says, "I'll give you no ribbon until you go to the hog and bring me a bristle." The hog says, "I'll give you no bristle until you go to the miller and bring me some bran." The miller says, "I'll give you no bran until you go to the farmer and bring me a dumpling." Then the farmer gives him a dumpling, and he satisfies every one, but arrives too late with the water, and weeps himself to death on the grave. According to another story, when the little hen is going to be buried, all beasts who are friends with them—the lion, wolf, fox, &c.—get into the carriage. When it is time to drive off, the flea comes also and begs to be taken in, as he is small and light, and will not make the carriage heavy. But his weight is too much, and the carriage sinks in the mud. See stories from Swabia, in Meier, No. 71 and 80; and from Holstein, in Müllenhoff, No. 30; from Transylvania, in Haltrich, No. 44; Norwegian, in Asbjörnsen, p. 98. There is a Danish popular tale about the Cock Mountain and the Cock Marsh Antiquarian Annals, 1. 331.
Individual parts of this story are told as if they were separate tales, and the connection is almost always more or less weakened. Here we have followed a story which was taken down from the lips of an old woman in Vienna, by George Passy, and is the most complete and lifelike; but the following incident, which was wanting in it, has been supplied from a very similar but much less valuable story from Hesse, viz. that Brother Lustig, after he has eaten the heart, is tested by St. Peter by means of the water which rises as far as his mouth; which still does not bring him to the point of confession. In this latter, too, it is to be remarked that the soldier brings forward a foolish reason for the lamb's having no heart, namely, because it was a black lamb. The Arnim MS. Meister songs contain No. 232, a poem of the year 1550, which belongs to this group. A trooper comes to St. Peter, and they agree to divide with each other what they earn, the latter by preaching, the former by begging. The trooper hastens to a village where a church is being consecrated, and begs both sleeves full. St. Peter cures the mayor of a fever, who gives him thirty gulden and a cheese for doing it. Both meet in an inn; the trooper shows the food he has got, and asks St. Peter how much he has made by preaching. He brings out his cheese. "Have you only got a cheese?" cries the trooper. St. Peter orders the innkeeper to serve a roasted fowl. The trooper goes into the kitchen and eats its liver. When it comes to table, St. Peter says to the trooper, "I do believe thou hast eaten the liver!" The trooper protests that he has never seen it. Then St. Peter pulls out the thirty gulden, divides them into three parts, and says, "The man who ate the liver shall have the third portion!" Whereupon the trooper immediately sweeps up the money. The story in the Wegkürzer (by Martinus Montanus, Strasburg, date not given, but probably in 1551) is much better. The Lord and a merry fellow from Swabia are travelling together. They arrive at a village where the bells are ringing for a wedding and a funeral at the same time. The Lord goes to the latter and the Swabian to the former. The Lord awakens the dead man, for which a hundred gulden are given him. The Swabian fills the glasses at the wedding, for which, when it is over, he receives a kreutzer. Satisfied with his reward he goes away, and when from afar he sees the Lord, he holds up his little kreutzer and shows it off. The Lord laughs at it, and shows him the bag with the hundred gulden, and the Swabian adroitly throws his little kreuzer in among them, and says, "In common! in common! we will have all in common." Then the lamb is killed, and the Swabian eats its liver, and says afterwards, "I declare to God that it had none!" They come to another village, where the bells are again ringing for a wedding and a funeral. And now the Swabian wants to bring the dead man to life again, and earn the hundred gulden, and says if he cannot do it they shall hang him without a trial; but the dead man does not stir. He therefore is to be hanged, but the Lord comes, and says if he will confess that he ate the liver, he will save him. The Swabian however insists on it that the lamb had none. The Lord says, "I will restore the dead man to life, and set thee free if thou wilt tell the truth." But the Swabian cries, "Hang me! Hang me! It had none!" When the Lord sees that there is no moving him, he brings the dead man to life again and sets the Swabian free. Then he divides the money into three portions, and the Swabian cries in a moment, "By God and all the Saints, I did eat it." There are other stories in the Büchlein für die Jugend, No. 9, pp. 180–186. In Pröhle's Kindermärchen, No 16; in Meier, Nos. 10, 62, 78. In Croatian in Vogl's Grossmütterchen, p. 27. The proverb, "The Swabian must have eaten the liver all the same," which is quoted in the Zeitvertreiber (1668), p. 152; and in Berkenmeyer's Antiquarius (Hamb. 1746), p. 549, refers to this. So does an allusion in Keisersberg, "To take the liver out of the roast meat;" and Fischart in Flohhatz, 35b has
"But I am innocent of this,
Yet I must have eaten the liver,
And have done that great wrong."
From Weitra in German Bohemia. We give a variant from the neighbourhood of Münster, in the patois in use there. Hans Lustig was a rich man, but had gambled away all that he had in card-playing and now had to sufler evil days. It came to pass that the Lord and St. Peter were on earth and went to his door and knocked, and said, "Good evening, Hans Lustig, may we spend the night with you?" "Why not?" said Hans Lustig, "If you will be content with what I have, but my wife and I have nothing but one bundle of straw; if you are willing to lie on that, you shall have it." "Why not?" said the Lord and Peter, so they sat down and talked of old times. St. Peter said, "Hans Lustig, we are thirsty, fetch us a jug of beer, here is some money." That was what Hans Lustig liked. When he came to the inn, he heard them playing cards and played with them once more, and in an instant his money was lost. "What shall I do now?" thought he, "Now 1 shall get no beer for those people who are waiting at home, and are so thirsty." He went home and said that he had had a fall and had broken his pitcher. Then St. Peter said, "For this time I will give you more money, but see that you get a pitcher full, for we are terribly thirsty." "How shall I be able to do that," thought he, "if they are still playing at cards?" He went away with bis pitcher, stopped his ears so that he could not hear the playing, and came back safely to the house with the beer. When the Lord and St. Peter had drunk it, they felt hungry. "What am I to do?" said the woman, "I have no flour; 1 must bake a pan-cake of ashes." So they sat down together and ate something, but Hans Lustig always spoke of card-playing, and how delightful it was, and thus he talked until it was time to go to bed. The Lord and St. Peter lay upon a bundle of straw, and Hans Lustig and his wife by the fire. In the morning when they arose, and the Lord and St. Peter were about to go away, the Lord gave Hans Lustig three things; a pack of cards with which he would win everything when he played with them; dice with which he would win everything whenever he threw them; and a fiddle which when be began to play on it, would make every one unable to stir. Hans Lustig once more began to gamble merrily, and won everything. He bought back his house and yard, and always carried his cards and fiddle about with him. At last he became ill, and Death came, and said, "Hans Lustig, thou must die." "Oh," said he, "Good Death, but first gather me some fruit from the tree which stands in front of my door." When Death was in the tree, Hans Lustig began to play the fiddle, and Death was unable to stir from the tree. Then once more he played merrily with the cards and dice, but one of his relations died and he was forced to go to the funeral. When he was buried, Hans Lustig prayed a very devout Paternoster. "So!" said Death, "I have been on the watch to hear thee pray that; now, thou must go." Hans Lustig died, and knocked at the door of heaven. "Who is there?" "Hans Lustig." "Thou must go to hell." When he got to hell, he knocked. "Who is there?" "Hans Lustig." "What dost thou want here?" "To play at cards." "For what wouldst thou play, then?" "For souls." Hans Lustig played and won a hundred souls. He took them up on his back and knocked at the door of heaven. "Who is there?" "Hans Lustig with a hundred souls, and not one less." "No, you may just go away again." He went back to the door of hell and knocked. "Who is there?" "Hans Lustig who wants to play for souls again." He again won a hundred souls, and again went away with them to heaven, and knocked. "Who is there?" "Hans Lustig with two hundred souls, neither less nor more: just let me have one peep of heaven." So St. Peter opened the door of heaven, and then Hans Lustig threw his pack of cards in. "Oh do let me get my pack of cards back," said he, and he is sitting on his cards to this very day.
That this Bohemian and the Low German story are connected with the foregoing story of Brother Lustig is manifest; in the latter the name is even the same. The Youth who went out to learn how to shiver, No. 4, also belongs to this group. A Hessian story from the Schwalm district unites together all three. A poor soldier who has taken in some wayfarers, and shared his black bread with them, receives in return a purse which will never be empty, then a knapsack into which everything that he wishes inside it must go, and thirdly, eternal happiness. The soldier comes to a village where dancing is going on, the inn-keeper's pretty daughter refuses to dance with him, he goes away in a bad temper and meets the Devil, who promises the soldier to change the girl's heart to him so that she shall marry him, and for that the soldier is to give a written promise to be the Devil's property in ten years. The soldier consents, marries the girl, lives happily for a year or two, and has as much money as he wants. Then it occurs to him that the King has never given him a pension which he has earned, and he goes to demand an explanation. The guards will not let him in, but he always wishes them in his knapsack, and gives them a good beating. The King readily consents to let him live in his palace, and eat and drink with him, but secretly hopes to get rid of him, and persuades him to pass a night in a haunted castle in which, up to that time, every one has lost his life. And now the story passes into that of the Youth who went out to learn how to shiver. See notes to that story. He overcomes all the spirits by wishing them in his knapsack. Thus he frees the castle, and discovers a great treasure which he shares with the King. When the ten years are over, the Devil comes, the soldier gives him his child and obtains ten years more. When these are over the Devil comes again, but the soldier wishes him in his knapsack, and now he has him captive. He makes six peasants who were in a barn thresh him furiously; and, not content with that, goes to a smithy where the blacksmith's men have to heat the knapsack red-hot and hammer it out. The Devil is so bruised, that in order to be free, he is glad to promise never to come back again. In the meantime the soldier sees that his end is approaching, and orders his purse and knapsack to be laid in the coffin with him. When after his death he comes to the door of heaven, St. Peter will not allow him to enter. It is true that eternal happiness had been promised him, but he had pledged himself away to the Devil. The soldier goes to hell, but the Devil is terrified, and he too will not let him enter. He goes back to heaven and entreats St. Peter to open the door just wide enough to let him have one peep inside. Hereupon he throws his knapsack in and wishes himself inside it, and then he is in heaven. The hammering out the Devil which occurs here carries us on to another form of this wide-spread saga according to which a smith himself is the bearer of it. First there is a story from Tachau, in Grerman Bohemia, in the dialect peculiar to that place.
Once on a time when the Lord Jesus and St. Peter were on earth, they came to a village where no one lived but very rich peasants. They went from house to house to ask for a lodging, and everywhere the door was shut in their faces. At last they came to a blacksmith's, who was a merry fellow and not particularly pious, and he invited them to come in. They ate and drank, and at day-break when they rose, the Lord told the Smith that he might ask for three things, but that he was not to forget his poor soul, and wish for nothing but temporal things, lest the Devil should some day fetch him. "Let the Lord look after that, for me," said the Smith; "and as you are so good as to grant me three wishes, I wish in the first place that my cherry-tree out there in the garden may always go on bearing cherries, and that whosoever climbs up it, may never be able to come down until I permit him. Next, I wish that whosoever sits down in my chair there, may never be able to get out of it until I am willing. Lastly, that no one who creeps into my stove shall be able to get out ef it." The Lord performs what he has promised, but threatens the Smith with hell for being so frivolous, and goes away with St. Peter. The Smith lives merrily until at last the time is up and he has to die. Then the Devil comes to his room and tells him that he must go with him to hell. "Well, then, if it must be so," says the Smith, "I will go with you; but be so good as to go out and climb up my cherry-tree and gather some cherries, that we may have something to eat on our way." Without more ado the good Devil climbs up the tree and picks cherries, but cannot come down again. Then the Smith bursts out laughing, and lets the Devil struggle for a long time in the tree until he promises him that he will never take him away to hell if he will but let him. come down from the tree. The Smith releases him from it, and the Devil goes home to hell, and tells what has happened to him. After a while another Devil comes to the Smith, and says that he is to go away with him immediately, and not to imagine that he can overreach him as he had overreached the first. "Ho ho!" says the Smithy "You need not be quite in such an hurry as that; just wait until I have made myself ready, and in the meantime seat yourself on that chair there." This Devil also allows himself to be persuaded, seats himself in the chair, and is not able to get out of it again, until he, like the first, promises to go back to hell alone. When the Devil returns to Lucifer, bringing no Smith with him, Lucifer is angry, scolds the Devil, and says, "Now, I will go myself and bring the Smith, and in the mean time, open the door of hell until I come with him." Lucifer goes to the Smith, and is about to seize him at once and carry him away. But the Smith says, "Oh, Lord Lucifer, I should have come away at once with your devils if I had not been ashamed. Do not you yourself think it will be a disgrace to me if the people see that the Devil is fetching me? I will go to hell most willingly, but that no one may see you taking me, creep into my stove, and I will take it on my shoulders and carry you into hell; it will be a hard task for me, but no harm can happen to you inside it." Lucifer thinks what he says is true; and says to himself, "I can get out of this stove when I like, it will" not hold me fast." He creeps in, the Smith takes it on his back, and as he is going through the workshop, he takes the largest hammer with him and walks continually onwards on the road to hell, as Lucifer directs him from the stove. When they are not very far from hell, the Smith puts the stove down on a stone, takes the great hammer, and hammers away most terribly at Lucifer. He cries, "Murder! Murder!" and constantly tries to get out and cannot. But the Smith goes on beating him, and the louder Lucifer cries, the harder the Smith strikes. At length, when the Smith thinks that he has had enough, he opens the stove-door, and lets him out. Lucifer runs off to hell as fast as he cam, and the Smith runs after him with the big hammer. When the devils hear Lucifer screaming, and see him running, they are terrified and run into hell, and Lucifer runs after them and calls to the devils to shut the door of hell quickly behind him, and stop the Smith coming in. In their fright they do not know what kind of bolt to put into the door, and one of them quickly thrusts in his long nose instead of a bolt. The Smith thinks, "As they will not let me into hell, I will go straight to heaven." He knocks at the door of heaven, and when St. Peter comes to the door and sees the good-for-nothing Smith outside it, he is just going to shut it again, but the Smith squeezes himself into the opening and begs St. Peter to let him have just one peep inside. St. Peter lets him look in a little, and then says he is to pack off at once. But when the Smith is once inside, he throws down his leather apron, sits down on it, and says, "Now I am sitting on my own property, and I should like to see any one turn me out." There he is sitting still; and, my dear friends, shall we not be astonished when we get there and see him?
Another story from Hesse runs as follows. The Smith has by his loose life become quite poor, and goes into the forest to hang himself on one of the trees; but a man with a long beard, who has a book in his hand, meets him, and says, "Write thy name in this, and thou shalt have ten years of prosperity, after which thou wilt be mine." "Who art thou?" asks the Smith. "I am the Devil." "What canst thou do?" "I can make myself as tall as a fir-tree and as small as a mouse." "Then let me see thee do it." The Devil exhibits himself as very large and very small, and the Smith inscribes his name in the book. From this time forth he has money in abundance. After a year or two the Devil comes, is satisfied with him, and presents him with a leather bag, which has this property, that whatsoever goes into it cannot get out again until the Smith himself takes it out. When ten years have expired, the Devil appears to take his property into his own possession again. The Smith seems to be ready, and goes out with him, but demands that the Devil, as a proof that he is the right one, shall exhibit himself before him in a large shape and a small one. When he changes himself into a mouse, the Smith seizes him, puts him in the bag, and cudgels him so soundly that he is quite willing to tear the page with the Smith's name out of the great book, if the latter will but take him out of the bag again. Full of rage he goes back to hell, and the Smith is free, and lives happily as long as God permits. When he becomes ill and sees that his death is near, he orders two good long-pointed nails and a hammer to be laid in the coffin with him. When he arrives on high, he knocks at the door of heaven, but St. Peter will not let him in because he had made that compact with the Devil. The Smith turns back, and goes to hell; but the Devil does not want him, because he is sure to do nothing but make an uproar. The Smith now becomes angry, and makes a great noise, and a small devil is curious and puts his nose a little out of the door. The Smith quickly seizes it, and with one of his nails, nails it to the door of hell. The little devil screeches like a lion's whelp, and a second comes and peeps, and the Smith seizes him by the ear, and takes the other nail, and nails him by the first devil. And now the two scream so terribly that the old Devil himself comes running thither, and is so enraged at the sight that he begins to cry with anger, and runs to God and entreats him to take the Smith to himself, for he is nailing up his devils by their noses and ears until he himself is no longer master in hell. In order to get rid of the Devil, God and St. Peter are forced to take the Smith into heaven, and there he is now in rest and peace.
A third story from Hanover also has its peculiarities. A horseman came to a Smith who had become so poor that he had no longer any iron or coals, and wanted to have his horse shod. The Smith said he would first borrow some iron and coals in the nearest village. "If that is all thou art in need of," said the horseman, "I will soon help thee, only thou must sign this page with thy blood." The Smith agreed to this without any difficulty and went into the room, scratched his finger, and signed it. When he came out again, the yard was filled with iron and coals. He shod the horse, and the horseman rode away again; but the Smith obtained large custom, and soon became a rich man again. One day after this a man came riding on an ass and had it shod. When that was done, the stranger said, "I have no money, but wish for three things and they shall be granted unto thee." So the Smith wished for a chair, in which whosoever sat down should remain sitting; for a pear-tree from which no one who had climbed up should be able to come down without he ordered him to do so; and a bag endowed with the same property. The man on the horse was the Devil, but the one on the ass was St. Peter. When the Devil came and showed the Smith the page which he had signed, and wanted to take him away as his property, the latter made him sit down on the chair, and horsewhipped him until he flew out of the window. He lured the second devil up the pear-tree, and the third into the bag, and drove them both away with blows. When the Smith saw that his death was drawing near, he ordered those near him to tie his leather apron round him. He knocked at the door of hell, but the devils would not have him. He came to the door of heaven, but St. Peter also refused to admit him; he allowed him, however, to look in. Then the Smith threw his leather apron into heaven, seated himself on it, and said that he was sitting on his own property from which no one could drive him.
A fourth presentment of the saga from Southern Germany is contained in the following book, Sittlich und Seelen nützlich Reise nach Bethlehem, von E. P. Attanasy von Billing, (Sulzbach, 1700, qto.), p. 153, communicated in the Curiosities of Vulpius, 3. 422, 425). Christ and St. Peter enter into the house of a blacksmith. His aged wife entertains them to the best of her ability, for which the departing guests wish her all good things, and promise her that she shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Christ wishes to show his gratitude to her husband also, and grants him four wishes. In the first place the Smith wishes that no one shall ever be able to descend from the pear-tree behind his house against his will; secondly, that no one who sits on the block of his anvil shall be able to get up again unless he gives him permission; and in the third place, that no one shall ever be able to get out of the flue of his stove unless he is willing. St Peter is angry at these requests, for he had expected that the Smith would ask to have his salvation assured; being reproached by St. Peter, the Smith however wishes, in the fourth place, that his green cap may always remain his own property, and that whenever he seats himself upon it no power may be able to drive him away from it. When Death comes to the Smith, he entices him to climb the tree, and does not let him descend again until he promises him a respite of twenty years. The second time he sets him on the block of the anvil, and obtains another twenty years. The Devil comes for the third time, and then the Smith gets him to go into the flue of the stove, and then he and his apprentices hammer him to their heart's delight, so that, howling terribly, the Devil promises that to all eternity he will never have anything to do with the Smith. At length his guardian-angel comes and conducts him to hell. The Devil peeps through the small window-pane, shuts it in a great hurry, and will not let him in. Then they go to heaven, where St. Peter also will not allow the Smith to enter. He begs to be allowed to have just the least little peep inside that he may see what it is like. Hardly, however, is the door opened than he throws in his cap, and says, "It is my property and I must fetch it." But once inside, he seats himself on the cap and then remains in heaven.
A fifth story from the neighbourhood of Münster makes the story a local one and the Smith live at Bielefeld. The conclusion has only one or two special incidents, as for instance, that the Smith when turned away by the Devil also goes for the second time to heaven, and stands by the door to see how the blessed ones are admitted by St. Peter. A horseman comes with boots and spurs and wants to go straight in, but the apostle says to him, "Dost thou suppose that men force their way into the kingdom of heaven with boots and spurs; thou must wait?" Then a pious maiden appears, and to her St. Peter at once opens the door, and the Smith makes use of the opportunity, and throws in his leather apron after her, "Why art thou throwing thy dirty leathern apron into heaven?" says the apostle. "I will fetch it out again," says the Smith, "if it is too bad for you." But when he is in heaven he spreads it out behind the door and seats himself upon it, saying, "Now I am sitting on my own property, and will not stir from it." The apostle says, "After all he has done much good to the poor with his money, so he may stay and sit behind the door."
A sixth story from the neighbourhood of Paderborn likewise speaks of the little Smith of Bielefeld. The Devil has in his presence to make himself as large as an elephant, and as small as a mouse, and the Smith catches him and thrusts him into his glove, out of which he is not able to come, and then he hammers him on the anvil. Afterwards the devils will not let the Smith into hell, and keep their door shut with iron bars. St. Peter also refuses to let him into heaven, so he hovers between heaven and hell like Gambling Hansel. In the seventh place follows the Saga of the Smith of Jüterbock, which is very well given in the German-French which still prevails in some places. (Leipz. edition of 1736, pp. 110–150, Nuremberg, 1772, pp. 80–95). The pious Smith of Jüterbock wore a black and white coat, and one night readily and kindly entertained a holy man, who, before his departure, permitted him to make three requests. In the first place, he begged that his favourite seat by the stove might be endowed with the power of holding fast every unbidden guest until he himself set him free; secondly, that his apple-tree in the garden should likewise hold fast those who should climb up it; thirdly, that no one should be able to get out of his coal-sack whom he himself did not release. Some time afterwards Death comes. He sits upon the chair, and in order to get up again is obliged to bestow ten years more life on the Smith. When this time of truce has expired. Death comes again and climbs the apple-tree. The Smith calls together his apprentices who beat Death unmercifully with iron bars. This time he is only released on condition that he will let the Smith live for ever. Full of trouble and lame in every limb. Death slowly departs. On his way he meets the Devil and laments his sorrows to him. The Devil mocks him, and thinks he himself could very easily manage the Smith. The Smith, however, refuses the Devil a night's lodging; at least, he will not open the house-door, but the Devil may creep in through the keyhole. That is easy to the Devil, only the Smith has held the coal-sack in front of it, and ties up the sack as soon as the Devil is inside it, and then has it well beaten out on the anvil. When they have wearied themselves to their hearts' content with knocking and hammering, the poor belaboured Devil is set free, but has to find his way out by the same hole by which he crept in.
Eighthly, there is a similar saga of the Smith of Apolda (compare Falk's Grotesken, 1806, pp. 3–88), who lodged our Lord and St. Peter all night and received the gift of three wishes. In the first place he wished that the hand of any one who went to his bag of nails should remain sticking in the bag until it fell to pieces. Secondly, that whosoever climbed into his apple-tree should be forced to sit there until the apple-tree mouldered away; thirdly, in the like manner, that whosoever sat down in the arm-chair should not be able to arise from it until the chair fell to pieces. One after another three evil spirits appear who want to carry off the Smith, ail of whom he lures into the traps which he has set for them, so they are forced to give him up. At length, however, Death comes and forces him to go away with him, but he obtains the favour of having his hammer laid in the coffin with him. When he comes to the door of heaven, St. Peter will not open it, so the Smith knows what to do, and goes to hell makes a key, and promises to be handy and useful with all kinds of work in heaven; to shoe St. George's horse, and do things of that kind, until at last he is admitted.
In the ninth place, there is a story from the Wetterau, communicated by Professor Wigand. The Smith tempts the Devil to climb a pear-tree from which he is to bring down a couple of beautiful golden pears for him, but in which he is held fast. In order to be able to descend, he has to promise the Smith ten years more. When the Devil reappears, the Smith begs him just to fetch him a nail from his nail-box, that he may nail something firmly, but the Devil s hand sticks fast in the box, and he is not released from it until he has promised the Smith twenty years more. When this time, too, has gone by, and the Devil presents himself, the Smith makes him sit upon a seat from which he is not able to rise until he gives the Smith entire freedom. Hereupon the Devil vanishes, and takes the whole of the roof of the house with him.
Lastly, in the tenth place, there is a Bavarian saga of the Smith of Mitterbach, see Schmeller's Bavarian Dialects, 493–496, and Panzer's German Mythology, p. 94; this also has a cherry-tree from which no one can descend, a seat on which every one must remain sitting unless the Smith wills otherwise; and lastly, a bag out which no one can come without the Smith's leave. To this group also belong a story in Kuhn, No. 8; one in Colshorn, No. 89; in Pröhle's Kindermärchen, Nos. 15 and 16; in Zingerle, p. 43; a Netherlandish story in Wolf's Wodana, No. 2 (compare the notes, p. 54); and a Norwegian, No. 24, in Asbjörnsen. Kopitar relates, from his childish recollections of Krain, a saga of Sveti Korant. He had an enchanted tree, and whosoever climbed into it could not come down again by means of which he tricked Death for a long time. When at length, he died, the Devil would not admit him into hell, and held the door fast, but the nails on the Devil's fingers projected, and Korant the Smith bent them back, and nailed them last till the Devil screamed loudly for mercy. Then the Smith went to heaven, where St. Peter also would not allow him to enter. Korant, however, saw his mantle, which he had once given to a poor man, lying inside, and jumped upon it, crying, "I am on my own land and property." Compare Keller in the Introduction to Li romans des sept sages, CLXXXIII. and following, and Hans von Bühel's, Diocletian, p, 54.
The printed popular book entitled, Das bis an den jüngsten Tag währende Elende (The History of Misery who will live to the Day of Judgment), or as it appears in the French translation, Histoire nouvelle et divertissement (divertissante?) du bon homme Misère (Troyes, chez Gamier), agrees for the most part with the story already given in the dialect of Hesse. On the other hand, however, many circumstances point to an Italian origin for this last story, or at all events, De la Riviere heard it related in Italy. The Apostles Peter and Paul arrive in very bad weather in a village, and stumble on a washerwoman who is thanking heaven because the rain is water, and not wine; they knock at the door of a rich man who haughtily drives them away, and are taken in by poor Misery. He only makes the one wish with respect to the pear-tree, which has just been plundered by a thief. The thief is caught, and so are other people besides who climb up out of curiosity to set the lamenting thief free. At length Death comes, and Misery begs him to lend him his scythe, that he may take one of the finest pears away with him; Death, like a good soldier, will not let his arms go out of his own hands, and himself undertakes the task. Misery does not set him free until he has promised to leave him in peace until the day of judgment, and this is why Misery still continues to live on for ever in the world. A fragment from the district of the Maine may be here quoted because it is conceived in the same spirit. The Devil comes to fetch away a certain man who has pledged himself to him, and whose time is up. At the same time, he brings with him a number of carts laden with old shoes. "What are they?" asks the man. "These shoes have been worn out by my spirits in thy service, but now thou art mine," replies the Devil. But the man desires to see the hand-writing in order to recognize it himself, the Devil comes nearer to show it, on which the man approaches it with his mouth, snatches at it and swallows it, and thus he is freed. Lastly, we must remark that Coreb and Fabel in the Merry Devil of Edmonton (Tieck's altengl: Theater 2), are clearly the characters of our story.
Here is a very perfect instance of the wide circulation and living diversity of a saga. Of its antiquity there can be no doubt; and if we see, in the smith with his hammer, the god Thor, and in Death and the Devil, a clumsy monstrous giant, the whole gains a well-based antique Norse aspect. We find references to it among the Greeks also, where the crafty smith is the cunning Sisyphus in a story which has been preserved by old Pherekydes, and which must have been known to the singer of the Iliad. Zeus, angry with the aged Sisyphus, seizes the opportunity to fetter him with strong bands, and then no one can die. See Welker on Schwenk's Etymological Mythology, Hints, pp. 323, 324. Gruber's Mythological Dict. 3. 522. Compare also the Jewish Days of David, and Deaths, Helvicus, 1, No. 12. The story of the Poor Man and the Rich One, No. 87, is clearly related to it. (Compare the note). There a good and a bad man made the good and bad wishes. Here a middle-state is depicted. The smith is both good and bad, spiritual and worldly, for which reason he wears a black and white coat. He, in his poverty, gladly entertains the Lord, and stops his ears that he may not for the second time gamble away the money intended for a refreshing draught, and is good-hearted, but sometimes thoughtless. On this account, he is at length allowed to enter into heaven, or, in the more severe instance, placed between heaven and hell. This ending connects the story with the saga of the lansquenets who can find no place in heaven, which is told by Frei in the Gartengesellschaft, No. 44, and by H. Kirchhof, in Wendunmut (1. No. 108). The Devil will not have them because they bear the red cross on their standards, and St. Peter also will not admit them because they were bloodhounds, robbers of the poor, and blasphemers against God, The captain however reproaches St. Peter with his own treachery to the Lord, until the apostle becomes red with shame, and shows them a village called "Wait a while," between heaven and hell, where they sit and gamble and drink. With this story are connected many others of St. Peter and the lansquenets. Wolf's Zeitschrift für deutsche Mythologie, 2. 3, shows how Gambling Hansel belongs to the stormers of heaven. A seat from which no one who has sat down on it can arise again, is already known in the Greek Saga; Hephæstus had such a one made for the witch: see Gruber's Mythological Dict. 2, 57, notes. The cunning which the Smith uses against the Devil in order to catch him while prevailing on him to take the form of a mouse, occurs also in the Story of the Spirit in the Bottle, No. 99, and in the French Bluebeard.
83.—Hans in Luck.
Communicated by Aug. Wernicke, in the Zeitschrift Wünschelruthe, 1818, No. 33, from oral tradition. It reminds us of the comic tale of Block and the tailor Bock (Wunderhorn, 2. 347). Block bought seven yards of cloth for a coat, then it was to be made into a doublet, then a pair of trousers, then stockings, gloves, a thumb-stall, and at last a girdle; but Block did not even get this out of it. It is to be found in Zingerle, p. 152, but with another ending, according to which the bargain turns out to the advantage of Hans. In Norwegian, see Asbjörnsen, p. 105. A Cornish story of Ivan belongs here. (See further on).
From Prätorius's Wünschelruthe, pp. 148, 149, we have often heard the boast founded on the bridegroom's bright farthing told as a joke. The question, "Did you also go to the wedding?" and the answer to it is added from oral tradition. Such jests are often used as conclusions to the stories when they fit them.
85.—The Gold Children.
From the Schwalm district in Hesse. It is in the main the story of the Two Brothers (No. 60), but with a distinctive beginning, which links it with the story of the Fisherman and his Wife, No. 19. There is another story in Sommer, p. 113, from Thuringia. The notes to No. 60 belong to this also. The marvellous birth, and the complete resemblance of the brothers, appear in this story also. The knife which, in No. 60, is stuck in the tree as a token, is here a lily, as in the story of the Three Little Birds, No. 96. Compare the notes on that story. But we find a similar belief and custom in an Indian popular song. Shortly after his marriage, the husband has to leave his beautiful young wife. He plants a Kewra (spikenard, lavender) in the garden, and bids her observe it closely, and as long as it is green and full of bloom all will be well with him, but if it wither and die, he will have met with some misfortune. See Broughton's Selections from the Popular Poetry of the Hindoos (London, 1814), p. 107. Also in the Persian Touti Nameh (Iken, No. 4), the wife gives her husband a wreath of flowers to take away with him, and as long as it is fresh she has remained faithful to him, but if it withers she has begun to be untrue.
[In Straparola's Enchanted Hind, when Cannelora is departing, his friend Fonzo asks him for a token of his love. He sticks his dagger in the ground and a fountain rises up from the place, which he tells him, will by the state of its water always indicate the conditions of his life; and plunging his sword into the ground, he causes a myrtle to shoot up which will always do the same by the appearance of its leaves and foliage. Keightley's Popular Fictions.—Tr.]
Mr. Max Müller says (Chips from a German Workshop), "There is in the popular traditions of Central America, the story of the two brothers, who, starting on their dangerous journey to the land of Xilalba, where their father had perished, plant each a cane in the middle of their grandmother's house, that she may know by its flourishing or withering whether they are alive or dead. When a Maori war-party is to start, the priests set up sticks in the ground to represent the warriors, and he whose stick is blown down is to fall in the battle. In British Guiana, when young children are betrothed, trees are planted by the respective parties in witness of the contract, and if either tree should happen to wither, the child it belongs to is sure to die."—Tr.]
86.—The Fox and the Geese.
From the neighbourhood of Paderborn. In a beautiful fable, No. 87, in Burkard Waldis, the Goose begs to be allowed to dance once more to her heart's content; as also in Pröhle's Märchen für die Jugend, 3. It is also told in Transylvania, see Haltrich, No. 20. It is a puzzling story, which is told instead of the more usual one of the shepherd, who wants to take several hundred sheep across a wide river in a small boat, in which there is always only room for one. Cervantes has, as is well known, used this very well in Don Quixote, vol. i. chap. 20; and Avellaneda has tried to outdo him in his continuation, chap. 21, by a similar story of the geese which cross a narrow bridge. It is intrinsically much older. Petrus Alfonsus told it in the Disciplina clericalis, p. 129, and Schmidt in the notes gives further information It is to be found in the Old French Castoiement, (Méon's Fabliaux, 2. 89–91), and in the Novelle Antiche, No. 30. Also in a pretty Low German poem in Haupt's Zeitschrift, 5. 469–512. A similar saga lies at the foundation of Æsop's orator Demades (Furia 54, Coray, 178). The proverb, "If the Wolf (here it is the Fox) teaches the geese to pray, he devours them for school fees," refers to this (Sailer, p. 60), and so does Ofterdingen's speech in the Krieg auf der Wartburg (MS. 2, 5a), ("sie,) hânt gense wân so si den wolf erkennent unde wellens ûz den ziunen gân."
END OF VOL. I.
LONDON: PRINTED BY WM. CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.
- ↑ Die Zwölf Jäger, No. 67, has many features in common with this story.—Tr.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ It is a custom among village-folks when drinking tea together to turn their cups upside down when they are empty.—Tr.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
A tun they hammered full of spikes,
Therein must his worship creep,
They rolled him there for three days long.
Three days before noontide,
I am still the self-same man
Who took the life of Count Floris.
- ↑ See also Schleicher's Lithuanian Tales, and the story of Habetrot and atlie Mab in Henderson's Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.—Tr.
- ↑ Hast thou not heard of the bold tailor's apprentice who killed three at one blow?
- ↑ And know that rather than vent my fierce anger on a person of generous temper, I would crush a stone with my girdle, so that (one) could draw blood from its veins.
- ↑ And the willing fool Tristran took the cheese in his hands and pressed it so fiercely, that the whey ran through his fingers.
- ↑ See "Valentine and Orson."—Tr.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Qu. Der Eisenhans.—Tr.
- ↑ I am softly singing to the generous man, sweet and gentle words lovelier than a turtle-dove could gather together.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ On Druids and Druidical Stones.
- ↑ And thus shalt thou ascend the Glass Mountain on horseback.
- ↑ Four mountains lay around it, they were also like crystal, and were bright and smooth.
- ↑ Truly castle and moat were coated with glass, nothing could have entered the gate unless it had flown.
- ↑ Old suns are lying there, and a host of waned moons, out of which stars are cut.
- ↑ Whosoever bends down deep enough at the world's end, will find that without turning round, he points his finger to the Antarctic (regions).
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ See the well-known nursery rhyme about the little old woman who fell asleep by the King's highway, and whose petticoats were cut off by the pedlar. In Verstegan, Camb. Brit., vol. iii., p. 260, we read, "If either wife or maid were found in dishonesty, her clothes were cut off round about her beneath the girdle-stead, and she was whipped and turned out to be derided of the people." See also Probert's Ancient Laws of Cambria.—Tr.
As of St. Peter it is told,
In God's place how he sat one day,
And saw a maid steal yarn away.
Into her lap a chair he threw,
And showed his saintly visage too,
If to this pastime more time he had given,
Not a single chair had been left in heaven.
- ↑ He who has chosen heaven, scourges us (in proportion) to our goods. I very much fear that in his anger he will throw down his scourges on us.
- ↑ In the Tyrol.
- ↑ Irische Elfenmärchen—a translation from Crofton Croker's Fairy Legends, by W. Grimm, to which he added a Treatise on Elves.—Tr.
- ↑ "As old am I,
As the logs that lie
Ripe for the fire,
In the forest hard by."
- ↑ "My years are as many at this very minute,
As that pine in the forest has needles in it."
- ↑ In Boswell's Life of Johnson, with notes by Malone, there is this very similar English story, which is thus alluded to by Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing. "Like the old tale, my lord, it is not so, nor 'twas not so; but indeed, God forbid that it should be so." Once upon a time there was a young lady (called Lady Mary in the story) who had two brothers. One summer they all went to a country seat of theirs, which they had not before visited. Among the other gentry in the neighbourhood who came to see them was a Mr. Fox, a bachelor, with whom they, particularly the young lady, were much pleased. He used often to dine with them, and frequently invited Lady Mary to come and see his house. One day when her brothers were absent elsewhere, and she had nothing better to do, she determined to go thither, and accordingly set out unattended. When she arrived at the house and knocked at the door, no one answered. At length she opened it and went in. Over the portal of the hall was written, "Be bold, be bold, but not too bold." She advanced: over the staircase the same inscription. She went up: over the entrance of a gallery, the same. She proceeded: over the door of a chamber she read: "Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart's blood should run cold." She opened it—it was full of skeletons, tubs full of blood, &c. She retreated in haste. Coming down stairs she saw from a window, Mr. Fox advancing towards the house, with a drawn sword in one hand, while with the other he dragged along a young lady by her hair. Lady Mary had just time to slip down and hide herself under the stairs before Mr. Fox and his victim arrived at the foot of them. As he pulled the young lady upstairs she caught hold of one of the banisters with her hand on which was a rich bracelet, Mr. Fox cut it off with his sword: the hand and and bracelet fell into Lady Mary's lap, who then contrived to escape unobserved, and got home safe to her brother's house. After a few days Mr. Fox came to dine with them as usual (whether by invitation or of his own accord this deponent saith not). After dinner, when the guests began to amuse each other with extraordinary anecdotes. Lady Mary at length said she would relate to them a remarkable dream she had lately had. "I dreamt," said she, "that as you, Mr. Fox, had often invited me to your house, I thought I would go there one morning. When I came to the house I knocked, but no one answered. When I opened the door, over the hall was written 'Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.' But," said she, turning to Mr. Fox and smiling, "It is not so, nor it was not so;" then she pursued the rest of the story, concluding at every turn with "It is not so, nor it was not so," till she came to the room full of dead bodies, when Mr. Fox took up the burden of the tale and said, "It is not so, nor it was not so, and God forbid that it should be so;" which he continued to repeat at every turn of the dreadful story, till she came to the circumstance of his cutting off the young lady's hand, when, upon his saying as usual, "It is not so, nor it was not so, and God forbid that it should be so," Lady Mary retorted, "But it is so, and it was so, and here is the hand I have to show," at the same time producing the hand and bracelet from her lap: whereupon the guests drew their swords, and instantly cut Mr. Fox into a thousand pieces.—Tr.
By every sick man I'll be found,
But none my presence shall espy,
And none save thou know I am by.
When by the patient's feet am I,
Be sure of this that he must die,
All care is vain, his life is sped,
But if thou see'st me by his head, &c.
- ↑ Gambling Hänsel, No. 82.—Tr.
- ↑ Suddenly raised by the softest breath of the murmuring west wind, Markos, lighter than chatff, mounted not long ago to aether. And he would have sailed through the air with intoxicating swiftness, if his feet had not caught in a spider's web. When he had hung in it for five days and nights, he seized one of the threads and slowly descended to earth.
- ↑ Once did I catch a tailor proud,
Heavy he was as elder-wood,
From Heaven above he'd run a race,
With an old straw hat to this place,
In Heaven he might have stayed no doubt,
For no one wished to turn him out.
He fell in my web, hung in a knot,
Could not get out. I liked it not
That e'en the straw hat, safe and sound
Nine days ere him came to the ground.
- ↑ Qu. Schiefner?
- ↑ This recals the well-known song of the dead rider, which in the Norwegian popular rhyme runs, "maanen skine, demand grine, värte du ikke räd (Idunna, 1812, p. 60). Compare Altdeutsche Blätter, i. 194.
- ↑ In Diefenbach's Hoch und Niederdeutsches Wőrterbuch, under 'Machandelbaum,' we find:
"Machandelbaum, Machandelenbaum, Magand . . . Scabina.
"Machandelbeere, Magandelenbeeren, arciotida = Wacholderbeere Vermittelnde Form: wachanderenberen, Juniperus."—Tr.
- ↑ Quicbeam, or cwicbeam, is, however, not the juniper, but the wild, or mountain-ash, a tree whose berries were also said to have possessed rejuvenating power, and a sprig of which, carried about or placed above house or barn doors, was said to "hinder witches of their will." Hence its common name, "witchwood."—Tr.
- ↑ "Now my sorrows are manifold,
For I'm a maiden who spins gold."
- ↑ "Ah, Annie, let thy weeping be,
Or take another love to thee." "Oh, if I let my weeping be
I'd sooner to the wayside go,
And as a humble field-flower grow.
***** Before the noon I'll blossom fair,
'Fore eve I'll stand so sadly there
When all the folk are passing by,
There will I stand so piteously."—Tr.
- ↑ Sagen and Märchen von K. von Killinger.—Tr.
- ↑ It was believed to be not genuine, but afterwards Caussin de Perceval found the Arabian manuscript which Chavis took as the foundation which Cazotte repolished. From this source Perceval gives the stories in his continuation of the Thousand and One Nights (usually the eighth or ninth vol,), see preface to vol. viii.; but this particular one is not found among them. Chavis must, therefore, have borrowed it from another not yet re-discovered Arabian MS., for its authenticity admits of no doubt.
- ↑ Kühländchen is a small, narrow valley near the source of the Oder, lying between the slopes of the North Carpathian, and the Troppauer mountains. Meinert says that nature and mankind have specially devoted it to the rearing of cattle, and that the grass grows in such profusion that it seems to spring up even beneath the plough.—Tr.
- ↑ In Rome there reigned a wealthy king,
As I somewhere have read.
- ↑ Let no one despise his parents
Is the faithful warning of Jörg Brentel von Elbogen.
- ↑ The young have so repressed the old, and now they scoff at the old. It will be stored up against you till your youth fades away. Whatever you do to them your young ones will avenge it.
- ↑ Geese are deluded creatures, for when they see the wolf they wish it get out of the hedge.