Slavonic Fairy Tales
SLAVONIC FAIRY TALES
COLLECTED AND TRANSLATED FROM
THE RUSSIAN, POLISH, SERVIAN, AND BOHEMIAN.
JOHN T. NAAKÉ,
Of the British Museum
WITH FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS.
Henry S. King & Co.,
65 Cornhill, and 12 Paternoster Row, London.
It is no longer thought needful to apologise for a collection of folk-tales. They are not even the peculiar property of the children any longer; the gravest scholars do not disdain to examine and discuss them, and all parts of the world, from Mongolia to Cafraria, are ransacked to produce them. Here is presented a little gathering of these wild flowers, plucked not for their scientific interest,—though that they possess,—but for the wild fresh perfume that clings about them.
Poland, Russia, Bohemia, and Servia have contributed stories to this little collection. It may be said that the Bohemian tales, perhaps through the genius of the poets who have preserved them, have, in their original form, more art, more grace, more completeness of outline, than the others. Those from Poland reflect the passive virtues and genial warmth of the peasants whose lives they illustrate. A greater simplicity, amounting even to childishness, will be found to characterise the Russian stories. Those from Servia are in some features unique, and may be found the most interesting of the series. The exalted imagination of the Servian race is allied with keen and homely sense, and their vigorous and beautiful romances called forth the admiration of Goethe. It is hoped that these varied characteristics may not wholly have evaporated in translation.
The translator makes no claim to the honour of having collected these stories. He has selected his materials from the Polish of K. W. Wojcicki; from the Russian of M. Maksimovich, B. Bronnitsuin, and E. A. Chudinsky; from the Bohemian of K. J. Erben, M. Mikssichek, J. K. Z. Radostova, and J. K. Tyl; and lastly, from the Servian of W. S. Karajich. Wojcicki's work has appeared in German, and the Servian collection has been excellently rendered in the same language by the daughter of W. S. Karajich. But none of these tales, as far as the translator is aware, have hitherto appeared in an English dress.
J. T. N.
London, April, 1874.
|Carried Away by the Wind||Polish||1|
|Why is the Sole of Man's Foot Uneven?||Servian||6|
|The Demon's Dance||Polish||17|
|Story of Gol Voyansky||Russian||22|
|Lidushka and the Water Demon's Wife||Bohemian||30|
|The Hare's Heart||Polish||36|
|The Wonderful Hair||Servian||41|
|Story of Vasilisa with the Golden Tress,
and of Ivan the Pea
|The Emperor Trojan's Goat's Ears||Servian||61|
|The Language of Animals||Servian||65|
|The Evil Eye||Polish||73|
|Huntsman the Unlucky||Russian||84|
|How to Choose a Wife||Servian||92|
|The Plague and the Peasant||Polish||110|
|Handicraft above Everything||Servian||113|
|Right and Wrong||Servian||130|
|Yanechek and the Water Demon||Bohemian||141|
|Just Earnings are Never Lost||Servian||163|
|Story of Little Simpleton||Russian||170|
|The Maiden who was Swifter
than the Horse
|The Book of Magic||Russian||190|
|The Wise Judgment||Bohemian||194|
|The Maiden who was Wiser
than the King
|The Long-desired Child||Bohemian||226|
|The Wicked Wood-Fays||Bohemian||232|
|The Wonderful Bird||Servian||238|
|Wisdom and Fortune||Bohemian||243|
|The Three Brothers||Servian||250|
|The Brownie, or House Spirit||Bohemian||257|
|All about Twopence||Servian||265|
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
|"Play, oh Pipe, play!" (Frontispiece.)|
|"Irik was almost blinded by its radiance"||107|
|"The bread was nicely baked"||256|
|"This is his house, and there he lies dead in it"||269|