Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/204

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away.' 'Well,' said the youth, 'it is something gained that I shall know when thou comest, and at any rate be safe from thee for so long.' Then he went on his way, and was light-hearted, and enjoyed himself, and lived without thought. But youth and health did not last long, soon came sicknesses and sorrows, which tormented him by day and took away his rest by night. 'Die I shall not,' said he to himself, 'for Death will send his messengers before that, but I do wish these wretched days of sickness were over.' As soon as he felt himself well again he began once more to live merrily. Then one day some one tapped him on the shoulder. He looked round, and Death stood beside him, and said, 'Follow me, the hour of thy departure from this world has come.' 'What,' replied the man, 'wilt thou break thy word? Didst thou not promise me that thou wouldst send thy messengers to me before coming thyself? I have seen none!' 'Silence!' answered Death. 'Have I not sent one messenger to thee after another? Did not fever come and smite thee, and shake thee, and cast thee down? Has dizziness not bewildered thy head? Has not gout twitched thee in all thy limbs? Did not thine ears sing? Did not toothache bite into thy cheeks? Was it not dark before thine eyes? And besides all that, has not my own brother Sleep reminded thee every night of me? Didst thou not lie by night as if thou wert already dead?' The man could make no answer; he yielded to his fate, and went away with Death."—(Grimm's Household Tales, No. 177, vol. ii. pp. 277, 278, 456, 457.)

This bears a close resemblance to the Latin story with the same title in the Æsop of Joach. Camerarius, where Hercules is mentioned as the giant, and Pheræus the young man who came to the aid of Death.

"De Mortis Nuntiis.

"Cum Hercules rellquisset superatum Letum ad bustum Alcestidos, vbi illud jaceret anhelans et exanimatum, misertum illius quondam Pheræum qui transiens aspexisset, recreasse ipsum et perfecisse ferunt, vt vires pristinas recuperaret. Ob hoc beneficium Letum promisisse iili memoriam à se grati animi, et cùm non prorsus parcere ei posset,