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F so-called Fairy Tales there are three kinds : there is that
which consists of stories taken down from the lips of the
ignorant, unlettered peasantry, literally, without any embellishment
whatever; and there is that kind which is manufactured for the
amusement of children out of pre-existing material that is tradi-
tional in its main parts; and lastly, there is that which is a pure
creation of the imagination. The first class represents oral tradition
of-in most cases-vast antiquity in its rudest form. The second
represents the same accommodated to modern taste. The third
has no pretence to be other than a play of the fancy at the
To the first class belong the Household Tales of the Brothers
Grimm, to the second class belong a portion of those of Hans
Christian Andersen, to the third class belong those of Count
Hamilton. Those stories belonging to the first are of real value
to the student of the antiquities of the human race, for they con-
tain in many cases relics of early mythologies, glimpses of a con-
dition of life in a cultural state of society out of which we have
long ago passed, and of an intellectual condition of full-grown
man, which is that of the child of six years old at the present day.
Moreover, such tales collected throughout the world help towards
the ethnological history of races. If, for instance, we find a story
among the Basques in the Pyrenees which is also found among
the Finns on the Gulf of Bothnia, and is not found among the
peoples who intervene, it establishes a probability that such a
tale belonged to the stock before it separated at a period beyond
the dawn of history.
To a much less degree do stories of the second class interest
the student of popular antiquities, for he cannot be assured as to
what portion of the tale is traditional and what is embellishment.
The third class has a literary value alone.
The collection of folk-tales made by the Brothers Grimm at
the beginning of this century was first issued in print in 1812,
and it speedily attracted attention. It not only went through
numerous editions in Germany, but it was translated by Edgar
Taylor into English, with illustrations by Cruikshank, in 1823,
and Halbot K. Browne in 1861, into Dutch in 1820, and into
French in 1836. It was an epoch-making work, for the Brothers
Grimm for the first time pointed out that such collections of folk-
tales had a value higher than that of amusing children.
There were other and earlier gatherings together into one of
tales told among the people and committed to writing, but these
were made without the faintest conception that they had any
other worth than that of a pastime. The oldest known collection
is in Sanskrit, and is the Pantschatantra, which was made about
the sixth century after Christ. Somewhere about the year 570 it
was translated into Persian, and thence into Arabic, Greek,
Hebrew, Latin; finally the tales found their way into Italian,
Spanish, French, and almost all other European languages. We
find distinct traces of these early folk-tales from India in the
"Gesta Romanorum," a medieval collection made by the monks
with a moral purpose; then in Straparola's "Tredeci piaceroli
notti" (1550), and in Basile's "Pentamerone" (1637).
An immense impetus was given to the publication of fairy tales
by Charles Perrault, who issued his "Contes de ma Mere l'Oye"
in 1697. These were fresh and almost unadorned. The little
book contained "Red Riding Hood," "Frogs and Diamonds,"
"Blue Beard," "The Sleeping Beauty," "Puss in Boots,"
"Cinderella," "Ricket and His Tuft," "Hop o' My Thumb."
He added some others, which were partly traditional and partly
due to his imagination. At once the fine ladies and gentlemen
of the French court began to write fairy tales, but almost all of
these were inventions of their own, full of exaggeration, and
devoid of much originality. Nevertheless, some of them have
lived, notably those of the Countess d'Aulnoy, the authoress of
"Gracieuse and Percinet," "The Fair Maid with Golden Locks,"
"The Blue Bird," "The White Cat," "The Yellow Dwarf," and
"The Beneficent Frog." The Princess de Beaumont wrote
others; one alone has lived, "Beauty and the Beast," and that in
a very different form from what it appeared in as it issued from
the press. The good luck of the Countess d'Aulnoy was due to
her having in a measure worked.up pre-existing material. A
whole series of her tales, the creation of her unassisted imagina-
tion, have died a natural and rapid death.
There were other writers, the Princess of Murat, the Countess
d'Auneuil, the Sieur de Preschac, Mlle. la Force, Mile. de Lubert,
Count Hamilton, &c., not one of whom has left a story with
sufficient vitality in it to live. In 1704 appeared Gallard's
translation of the "Thousand and One Nights," and at once
turned the taste in the direction of Oriental tales. In quick suc-
cession appeared the "Thousand and One Days, or Persian Tales,"
The Turkish Tales," The Indian Tales," The Tales of Count
Hamilton," "The Tartar Tales, or the Thousand and One Quarters
of an Hour," "The Mogul Tales," "The Oriental Tales" of the
Count de Caylus, Sir Charles Morell's "Tales of the Genii,"
"Chinese Tales," &c.
An immense collection of these was issued at Paris, with
beautiful engravings, between 1785 and 1786, in thirty-seven
volumes, entitled "Le Cabinet des Fees."
With the Revolution and the Empire and European war men
and women had other things to think of and to write about
than fairy tales. The terrible realities of those times were all-
engrossing, and enough to satisfy the most ardent imagination
without having recourse to the enchanted realm of fiction.
The storms of that period cleared the air of a good deal more
than might have been supposed. It blew away all the fantastic
nonsense and extravagant idealism that went with powder and
patches. It led the way to a more wholesome atmosphere in the
region of fairy tale. Instead of the fantasmagoria conjured up
by counts and princesses, came the fresher, more original folk-
tales gathered from the mouths of old nurses and shepherds.
The Brothers Grimm led the way, and showed that what was
treasured in the hearts of the people themselves had an importance
which had not been dreamed of. They issued two collections,
one of Sagen, that is to say, of traditional tales more or less
turning on historical personages or identified with places ; and the
other of Jlfirchen, folk-tales intended merely for the amusement
of children, or of the childlike minds of their elders. To the
" Kinder und Haus Mirchen" in two volumes was appended a
third, which contained valuable notes on the tales, showing where
their analogues could be found in collections already made.
It may be said that with the publication of these volumes a
new system sprang into existence, that of gathering traditional
tales everywhere with conscientious exactitude as to every detail.
Such collections are not always as delightful as that of the Brothers
Grimm, who had the happy knack of printing a tale in the best of
the many forms in which it had been obtained.
Now it is a constant feature of folk-tales that there are certain
stock incidents which are used by the tale-teller as pleases him,
and seems to him most suitable, to lengthen out his story to an
extent appropriate to the occasion when told.
It was with stories as with ballads. Every minstrel had a
number of stock stanzas which he incorporated with the several
metrical tales or songs that he sung, and it is perplexing to the
ballad collector to come across the same ideas, even the same
words and rhymes, in the most different ballads.
The Brothers Grimm saw clearly that these stock incidents,
though valuable enough in their way, did not belong to the
essence of the tale, and they gave them each once, and once only,
using their judgment as to where to excind. Other gatherers in
the same field have not had the same judgment, and their stories
are often overladen with incidents that do not enter naturally into
the plot of the tale.
In the year 1864, Von Hahn, Austrian Consul in Greece,
published a collection of Greek and Albanian folk-tales, and
in an important introduction he pointed out that the great mass
of fairy tales current in Europe and Asia might be analysed and
reduced to skeletons, and grouped under several heads. He
divided the stories under three main groups, and subdivided them
into forty classes. In 1866, in an Appendix to Mr. Henderson's
"Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England,"
I proposed a slightly different classification. Mr. Nutt has sug-
gested a further development of this system.
Now a good many stories can be broken up and resolved into
their parts, and prove to be a very mosaic made up of portions
of various story radicals, and a series of fairy tales resembles a
series of kaleidoscopic pictures, in which the same pieces are
arranged in the most diverse groups. With a little observation,
all the pieces out of which the groups are formed can be dis-
tinguished and tabulated. Take, for instance, the story of the
lad who obtains an ass that drops gold, a table that decks itself,
and a cudgel in a sack that works of its own accord. He loses
the first and second to a cunning rogue, but recovers them by
means of the cudgel. This story occurs in Grimm. Now it is
one that lends itself to all kinds of beginnings and endings.
A Sclavonic version is this: A fool in his folly waters a dry tree
stump. The stump is grateful, becomes an oak and rains on him
golden acorns, then gives him a tablecloth, which decks itself
at will with food. In exchange for these he obtains a stick
which strikes, a belt which becomes a pond, and a hat which
shoots. He is robbed of these, and then killed. From his blood
springs up a tree, and on this tree grows an apple. A princess
opens the apple and discovers in it the fool. Then all his lost
articles return to him of their own accord, and he marries the
princess.* Here we have mixed together a foreign element, that
of the grateful tree; the marvellous gifts are duplicated. There
is added a myth of death and regenesis which occurs in the story
of "The Juniper Tree," and in the Quiche epic of the Popol
Vuh. The same story is found in the Kalmuk collection,
Chodzko: Contes des Paysans Slaves. 1864. Tale xxi.
called the Siddhi-Kfr. Here a man who had lost his way in
the desert found a dead horse. He cut off the head and carried
it away with him. At night he climbed into a tree. Demons
came and feasted under the tree. The man let fall the horse's
head on them, and this frightened them away. He came down
and secured a golden cup they had left behind, which at will
filled itself with whatever he desired to eat and drink. He next
encountered a man who had a stick, which at his bidding would
knock any man down. He swopped the cup for the stick, and
then bade the stick knock the man down and kill him. So he
recovered his cup. He next, in like manner, obtained an iron
hammer with which he could build an iron castle then a rain-
bag which, when shaken, poured forth rain. He built an iron
castle with his hammer by the palace of the Chan. The Chan
tries to burn down the tower, but the man shakes his bag and
quenches the fire, and produces such a flood as to wash the Chan
away, and so he enters on his place and wealth and harem. This
incident of the horse's head is very like that of "Frieder and
Catherlieschen" in Grimm (59), only the silly couple take a
door up into a tree and let that fall on the robbers who are
dividing their spoil beneath it.
In an English version there are ass, table, and stick. When the
youth has all three, he gives out that he will marry the richest girl
he sees, and all are to come with gold in their aprons. Then they
come in quantities, but the lad's own true love has but two
copper pennies. Then he bids the stick knock the rest of the
girls on the head, and Jack takes all their money and endows
his bride with it. The fairy tale tellers think they must marry
their hero, so they do it as they list, tacking on any incident that
comes to hand which suits their fancy.
"The Juniper Tree has been referred to. Reduced to its
skeleton, it is this. A stepmother hates her stepchild, and
accomplishes his death. Marvellous circumstances follow, through
the transmigration of the soul of the child into, first, a juniper tree,
and, second, a bird that flies out of the tree. Finally follows the
punishment of the stepmother.
The story of Little Snowflake" is somewhat similar. A step-
mother is jealous of her stepdaughter. She drives her from the
house. She is received by dwarfs. Her stepmother endeavours
to kill her. She fails several times, but at last sends her into
an enchanted sleep. A prince breaks the spell and marries the
damsel, and the stepmother is punished.
It is not hard to see that in "The Juniper Tree we have a
trace of an ancient belief in the transmigration of souls and rebirth
in various forms. Not only have we the same idea in the Popol
Vuh, but also in an ancient Egyptian fairy tale that has been
recovered on papyrus in a mummy case. Such an idea is un-
intelligible to the peasant of the present day. Nevertheless, in
Germany and in England the story is told by nurses without much
variation, and it obviously is a relic from a hoar antiquity, when
such an idea as a soul migrating into a tree and then into a bird
was not thought surprising.
Attention has been called to the story of Little Snowflake for
another reason. In it the seemingly dead maiden is placed in a
glass coffin. Now this is not a mere freak of the imagination,
but is a reminiscence of a very early practice. Glass tombs have
actually been discovered, as have glass castles. The vitrified forts
in Scotland are well known. There are others in France, and not
only castles, but also vitrified tombs. Tombs were constructed of
granite, and then submitted to an intense heat, with sea-sand or
sea-weed added to assist fusion, and the whole resolved into a
glass sepulchre. Such vitrified tombs as have been explored in
France contains Merovingian relics; but unquestionably such are
a late survival of a far earlier usage, when castles and tombs were
melted into solid masses of glass because there was known no
other means of cementing masses of stone together. It was a
means employed before the discovery or introduction of lime as
mortar. Many another folk-tale contains in it a revelation of a
condition of ideas through which mankind has passed, and which
has been left far behind. Many another contains in it traces of a
condition of social lifewhich belonged to a period indistinguishable
from savagery, or at all events when manners were very primitive.
In the nursery tale the king's daughter keeps sheep, and in
the ballad of the Shepherd's Daughter," where the maiden knocks
at the palace door, the king himself opens to her. In some are
traces of polygamy, in others of ferocious cruelty; in some of
mother-right, very commonly of the youngest son as favoured, a
condition of inheritance still followed in parts of Germany. What
are we to say of the fairies and giants who figure in the tales ? An
ingenious writer in Folk stories will have it that the pyxies, brow-
nies, elves are the spirits of the dead, and that stories connected
with visits to them, or marriages contracted with them, belong to
a category of supposed expeditions to the under world of ghosts,
and to unions formed with the spirits of deceased ancestors.*
I am not prepared to accept this altogether. I quite admit
that ghost stories may have been mixed up with, and have given
material towards the making of, the fairy tale, but not that it lies
at the bottom of all those which relate to pyxies and fairies.
One whole class of fairy tales turns on the union being tem-
porary-generally contracted between a mortal and one of a super-
natural race. Of this Cupid and Psyche is one example, and
Melusine is another.
Cupid and Psyche is this: A beautiful girl is beloved by a
man of supernatural race. He appears as a man at night and
warns her not to look on him. She breaks the command, and
loses him. There is a continuation, not necessarily belonging to
it. She goes in quest of him, and has to surmount difficulties
and accomplish hard tasks; or answer riddles. She succeeds,
and recovers him.
The Melusine story is this: A man loves a woman of super-
natural race. She consents to live with him if he will not look
on her upon a certain day of the week. He breaks the command,
and loses her. He seeks her, but never recovers her.
In the story of Lohengrin or Helias the lady is forbidden to
ask her husband's name and inquire whence he comes.
It is quite possible that in these stories there may be a fusion of
two distinct sets of ideas, the one social, the other mythological.
I will take the latter first.
In the savage mind everything that moves has life; nay, more,
everything that exists has a living soul. The river lives, the tree
Hartland : "The Science of Fairy Tales." 1891.
is inhabited by a spirit, sun and moon and stars are living indi-
viduals. In some tongues the sun is feminine, and the moon
masculine. They are seen wandering after each other through
heaven, and when the sun rises and faces the moon, then, at
once, the moon begins to wane and disappears in darkness. It
is hardly wonderful that the waning or vanishing away of the
moon should be supposed to be due to the sun looking upon his
or her face. There is a time, moreover, when sun and moon are
together-at night in the under world, at that epoch when there is
no moon in the sky.
I do not doubt that the story of the seeking of Eurydice by
Orpheus in Hades, and of his losing her because he turned and
looked in her face, is a myth based on this rude observation of a
natural phenomenon. And we can quite imagine that men with
the minds of children, at a time when they actually considered
the sun as a male being and the moon as a female, or vice versa,
should have interpreted their travels in pursuit of each other,
and the warnings of the moon, as something like what has been
The New Guinea savage has a different explanation for sun
and moon being apart in their courses through the sky. They
were husband and wife, and once in close association, but owing
to incompatibility of temper have been divorced, and now walk
abroad at times when least likely to see each other. When the
native of New Guinea has advanced to a higher cultural and in-
tellectual plain, he will tell a story of a hero and his wife who
once loved, then quarrelled and were separated, and will have
lost all reminiscence of the fact, that at one period in the develop-
ment of ideas this story was a nature myth explanatory of the sun
and moon ruling day and night severally. We come on the tales
of Orpheus and Eurydice, of Cupid and Psyche, of Helias and the
Fair Maid of Cleves, of Melusine, &c., at a late period in their
career; but we can conjecture, and that with considerable pro-
bability, that there was an earlier stage in which these tales were
told to explain the relations to each other of sun and moon. In
the Melusine myth, the half-fish or serpent nature of the lady
bears trace of its origin, for sun and moon were often thought to
live a life half marine, because seen to rise or set in and out of
But then-how comes it that in the fairy tales one of the actors
is represented as mortal, and the other as immortal? That, I
believe, to be due to a fusion of another class of tales with
that which is mythologic. At a period when one invading
race overflowed and buried temporarily another race, then no
marriage was allowed between the conquering people and the
conquered. We know that in Germany the strictest rules were
embodied in the early laws prohibiting such unions. A man of
the conquering class who contracted marriage with a woman of
the subjugated people lost caste, and was driven out to dwell in
the cabins of the latter. So strict was the separation between the
races, that none might eat of the food of the people to which he
did not belong. To eat of the food of the other race made him
a member of it. Among the Scandinavians, a new-born infant
might be exposed and left to die; but if a particle of food from the
parental dwelling had passed its lips, it was safe from exposure-
it had been taken into the family. We see the same sort of idea
in Arab hospitality. The stranger who has broken bread and
eaten salt in the Bedaween tent is adopted into the circle, and is
safe. He is no longer a stranger and an enemy.
A whole series of tales exists relative to mortals finding them-
selves in the habitations of trolls, fairies, pyxies ; they are their
own masters unless they eat the food of these supernatural people.
If they do that, they are at once adopted into their number, and
are unable to return to their homes. All these stories rest on the
ancient separation between races, and imply the taboo in which
the food of one was held to a member of the other. That a fusion
did come about in spite of the strongly reprobated contraction
of alliances, or of holding any familiar intercourse between the
two races, is undoubted. The stories of such men-let us say
of Gaelic blood-who had been in the habitations of the Lapp-like
Ivernian subjugated autochthones, and had married there, and
then returned, but never were able to recover caste, or of women
of the fair, tall, blue-eyed upper race, who had been lured away by
the swarthy, short, lank-haired dwellers in mound-like bothies-
such stories lingered on and got fused with those of the lives of
sun and moon. Moreover, a conquered race is always feared by
a race that has conquered it when the latter is not in a high
condition of culture. Unable to explain the nature of epidemics,
it attributes these to the incantations of the hereditary foes, and
it comes to regard that race with awe, as gifted with supernatural
powers. Its ways of life, its manner of clothing, its language, its
arts are all different; and if that subjugated and overwhelmed
people is superior in skill in the manufacture of weapons, in the
production of metals, then all the elements are present for regard-
ing it as made up of superhuman beings.
We have an instance in Ireland. The Tuatha de Dannan, the
dark Ivernian race, was conquered by the Celts, and driven into
the fastnesses of the mountains and the bogs. In Irish legend,
this defeated race is synonymous with one of fairies. "After
the Dedannans had held sway in Ireland for about two hundred
years," says Dr. Joyce, "they were in their turn conquered by
the last and greatest colony of all-the Milesians, who are the
ancestors of the leading Gaelic families of Ireland. The Milesians
defeated the Dedannans in two great battles. In the legendary
and romantic literature of Ireland, the Dedannans are celebrated
as magicians. By the Milesians and their descendants they are
regarded as gods, and ultimately, in the imagination of the people,
they became what are now in Ireland called 'fairies.' After their
defeat by the Milesians they seem to have retired to remote and
lonely places, and their reputation as magicians, as well as the
obscure and mysterious manner in which they lived, gradually
impressed the vulgar with the belief that they were supernatural
An entire group of tales relates to a man carrying off the
feather dress or sealskin habit of a bathing damsel, whereby he
obtains her as his wife; but after some years, either because he
strikes her, or because she recovers her former dress, she escapes
from his house, and returns to her former: element or people.
Another form of the tale is that in the "Saga" of Hrolf Kraka, where.
a damsel lives in a cave with one who is a bear by day and a man
Joyce: "Old Celtic Rominces," 1894. P. 427.
at night. In both cases we have a reminiscence of a mixed
marriage between man and woman on different cultural planes.
The swan-maids are those of a Finn race, who dress in the down
of water-birds, and are temporarily taken up into union with men
of the Scandinavian or Teutonic race, which has advanced to
linen and woollen fabrics. The bear-man is a cave dweller, who,
in like manner, dresses himself in. skins, belongs to a different and
infinitely less cultured race than the damsel who lives with him.
The Esquimaux to the present day wear garments of feathers, and
the Hairy Ainu wear dresses skilfully make out of the skins of fish.
In the most archaic form of the story all turns on the feather
or skin dress, of which the man retains possession. After some
years the woman obtains it again, when she is filled with heim-
7weh for her own people, and for the freedom of old savagery, and
she escapes. A transitional form of the tale consists in the dress
being reduced to a petticoat or a girdle. The final shape assumed
by it is one in which every trace of the peltry has disappeared.
In ages when races were blended, and the inferior had ceased to
wear its distinguishing clothing of skins, the significance of this
element of the tale was not understood, and was excinded.
In some of the versions of the story the woman, of alien race,
flies when touched with iron. This is almost certain indication
that the race to which she belonged was in the neolithic stage,
and that it looked with superstitious terror on the metal weapons
by which the conquerors had subdued them. No doubt but
that in the earlier phase of the Tale now lost the wife fled from
bronze. But that is now lost. We still affix iron horse-shoes to
doors as protection against witches-the protection is due not
only to the broken circle of the shoe, but especially to the metal.
And the usage is a survival of a custom whereby the conquering
race exhibited iron as a token of being the ruling power, and of
menace to the conquered.
Another group of tales concerns the power obtained over a man
by the discovery of his name. We have an instance in Lohengrin,
another in Rumpelstiltskin. This relates to a stage in civilisation
which all races pass through when the name is kept secret, and
is known only by blood relations, and the man is called by nick-
names instead, for the discovery of the real name confers power
over him. To the present day, it is thought amongst ourselves'
that only relationship or such intimate friendship as almost consists
in adoption into the family entitles one to the familiar use of the
Christian name. In the stories in question-when the name has
been discovered the man flies from the person who has discovered
it, lest the person should employ that name to obtain undue
supernatural power over him.
We have a trace of this idea in the Pentateuch, where God, by
the revelation of a new Name, elevates the patriarchs into nearer
connection, and gives them more power with Him than they
possessed before. In ballads, as in fairy tales, a hero or heroine
is set tasks, or has to answer riddles, before he or she is taken
up into acknowledged marriage with the object of affection. In
other versions of the Riddle, or Task Radical, death is the penalty
of such as cannot solve the riddle or execute the tasks.
In a primitive condition of life no youth could pass to the
condition of "Brave" unless he underwent an ordeal that tried
his courage and endurance. He had to bring away the head or
scalp of some hereditary foe, or to kill some wild beast, before he
was received into the council of men, and before he was allowed
to marry. It is so with the Zulus and the Matabele, and has
been the occasion of wars. The young men are condemned to
single blessedness, and are esteemed as boys till they have done
some butchery. In all probability before a man was accepted
into a new people,-and if he desired to be exogamous he must
leave father and mother and cleave to his wife and be taken into
her family,-he would be subjected to tests of courage and
endurance, and unless he passed satisfactorily through these
proofs he would be rejected. On the other hand, when in a
later condition of social life the woman entered into the family
of the husband, that family would try her with hard questions, or
put to proof her powers of spinning, of weaving, of bread making,
&c., assure itself that she was intellectually and socially suitable,
or else it would "forbid the banns."
This testing of the wit or skill or courage of the hero or heroine
is of such constant recurrence in folk-tales, that we may be sure it
dates back to a genuine institution which prevailed in a certain
stage of the development of the race.
In all fairy stories there is a large element variously employed
which is derived from nature myths. Such, as I have shown, are
those tales relative to the wandering heroes and heroines, who lose
and pursue each other. If we look at the story of the ass that
drops gold, the table that decks itself, and the stick that leaps out
of a bag and deals blows, we see other nature myths, the significa-
tion of which has been lost. The donkey dropping gold is equated
in the Kalmuk tale by a bag that discharges rain, that is to say, it
is the rain cloud shedding its sparkling spring showers. The
table that covers itself, is the round world that produces of itself
bread and meat and drink. The bag out of which leaps the cudgel,
is the storm cloud in which lurks the lightning.
So in the story of Jack and the Beanstalk; the hen that
lays the golden egg is the red dawn that produces the sun, and
the harp that plays by itself is the wind. In the Saga of King
Olaf Tryggvason, we have the earliest form of Jack and the Bean-
stalk. In it we are told that the king in dream climbed a myste-
rious tree and got into the strange land above the clouds where
he saw God. This gives us the clue to understand the Jack
and the Beanstalk tale; we see that it is a mythological story,
and that the ogre and his wife are the Odin and Freya of
pagan times. But in the nursery tale not only has Odin lost his
divinity, but the meaning of the hen and the harp is quite gone,
along with that of the money bags, which are the clouds contain-
ing fertilising showers. Thus there is a large amount of nature
myth ready to hand for the making up of a story for the nursery.
There are also reminiscences in the fairy tale of a former age,
when rude attempts were made at civilisation and of a state when
certain things were taboo. As our nurses have no knowledge of
such a state of things, but have memories stored with tales built
up out of all this traditional material, they cannot explain the
marvels and inconsistencies that occur in their stories. It does
not do for a precocious child to question them as to these-the
nurses are at once thrown out; they can: explain nothing, they
can but tell the tale as it was told to them by their mothers.
There can be little doubt that many of the attempts made to
explain mythology and fairy tale by natural phenomena will not
bear too close examination. In Schwarz' "Sonne, Mond und
Sterne," 1864, we have the principle worked out to a reduction ad
absurdum. The sun is a heavenly stone, a golden ball, a shield,
a wheel, an urn, a cup, a fountain, a fire, a red bird, a dragon, an
eye in a giant, an eye in a horse, a hero, a virgin, a queen-mother,
a master-mason, and so on ; and all folk-tales which tell of golden
shields, balls, or precious stones, of giants, of heroes, of magic
cups, of marvellous wells, of wondrous birds, of dragons, &c., are
That there is an element of this in folk-tales can hardly be
denied. But it must not be forgotten that there is another
element of which we must take account, which is reminiscence
in a confused state of a condition of affairs when two distinct
races dwelt in close proximity, not comprehending each other,
each suspicious of and dreading the other, and each investing
the other with superhuman powers or knowledge. These once
so distinct races are now fused, and the tales of mixed marriages
between them hang on in the popular memory.
We can realise the attribution of magic powers by one race to
another when we look at the manner in which beasts are treated
in fairy tales. They are dealt with as though they were intelligent
as human beings. They have their language, not indeed under-
stood by men, but a language nevertheless. They are in some
points wiser, cleverer than men. They are grateful, they are
revengeful; in a word, they reflect the characteristics of the man,
but in addition are invested with powers that transcend his.
The beast, the bird, the fish, the tree, the spring, the rock,
live their mysterious lives, and what it was "that animates them
the primitive man did not know. Sometimes he thought they
had individual souls of their own, sometimes that the souls that
animated them were those of human beings, dead or alive-that
in sleep men's spirits passed into animal bodies and ranged the
woods as wolves, or swam in the ocean as fish, or soared as eagles
in the air; or else, that after death the spirit of man passed into
an animal or other form. Strangely shaped stones with an out-
line like human heads were supposed to be men and women who
had been petrified, and stories were made to account for this
fossilisation. The clouds were an ever-present wonder. What
were they? Heavenly cows? Dragons flying about and attempt-
ing to devour the sun? Were they the spirits of the dead
wandering in the heavens? What was the wind? What was the
whispering and the movement that went on among the leaves
of the forest? surely the spirits of the trees were talking and
embracing or fighting ?
Traditional exploits of great men of the race also got mixed
up with much matter that is mythological, and floating stories of
uncertain origin attached themselves to their names and got in-
corporated into the tale of their achievements. It is not easy to
distinguish myth from distorted history. According to Dr. Skene
and Dr. Joyce, the record of the successive conquests of Ireland by
the Fir Bolgs and the Tuatha de Danann, Milesians and Fomori, is
basedon historic facts; whereas Professor Rhys would convertthese
peoples into sun and culture gods on one hand, and the powers of
darkness on the other. The truth being, that historic facts have
become invested with a mythic halo, and that actual races have
acquired supernatural characteristics. We have among ourselves to
the present day the descendants of the old Ivernian or Silurian race
that occupied the land. They go to Board School and sit beside
the fair-haired descendants of Gael, Brython, and Saxon. That
their ancestors had any part in the origination of familiar folk-
tales they have no suspicion. Yet it was so. They are the
pyxies, brownies-the witches of latter days, long held in sus-
picion, and forbidden union with the conquerors. In fact, their
position was that of the Negro in the United States, at present.
The household tale is, as already said, a kaleidoscopic picture,
and to form that picture materials of the most different nature are
combined. Looked at with the childish eye, all is wonderful, com-
plete, glorious, and mysterious; but the scientific examiner takes
the whole to pieces, and distinguishes the elements, and shows how
the skill of the narrator has combined them, but that the material
out of which the pictures are composed is of the highest interest
to the student of the history of Primeval Man.
Co --rn riaS
THE TWELVE BROTHERS I
THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE .
HANSEL AND GRETHEL .
FAITHFUL JOHN 36
THE FROG PRINCE .46
THE THREE SPINNERS 53
A TALE OF ONE WHO TRAVELLED TO LEARN WHAT SHIVER-
ING MEANT 56
THE VALIANT LITTLE TAILOR. 68
LITTLE RED-CAP 79
:THE TABLE, THE ASS, AND THE STICK I00
THE HANDLESS MAIDEN II
JORINDE AND JORINGEL 120
THE KNAPSACK, THE HAT, AND THE HORN 123
GODFATHER DEATH 131
THE GOLDEN BIRD 140
THE THREE FEATHERS 151
HOW SIX TRAVELLED THROUGH THE WORLD 155
THE GOOSE GIRL I64
THE SOARING LARK 175
THE NIX OF THE MILL-POND 185
SNOW-WHITE AND ROSE-RED 193
THE LITTLE ELVES 201
THE EVIL SPIRIT AND HIS GRANDMOTHER 206
THE THREE BROTHERS 212
THE PRINCE WHO WAS AFRAID OF NOTHING 215
THE THREE LITTLE MEN IN THE WOOD 224
THE GOOSE-GIRL AT THE WELL 234
THE POOR MILLER'S SON AND THE CAT 248
FERDINAND THE FAITHFUL AND FERDINAND THE UN-
THE DRUMMER 260
THE UNDUTIFUL SON 272
THE FOUR ACCOMPLISHED BROTHERS 274
THE THREE ARMY SURGEONS. 281
THE MAN OF IRON 285
THE KING OF THE GOLDEN MOUNTAIN. 296
THE SPIRIT IN THE BOTTLE 312
THE GIANT WITH THE THREE GOLDEN HAIRS 319
THE RAVEN '. 328
A GOOD BARGAIN .. 335
FRONTISPIECE-" Whoever looked at him ran away."
Heading to Preface v
S List of Contents xxiii
List of Illustrations xxv
The Twelve Brothers I
"The Twelve Brothers were changed into twelve Crows" 3
Each brother kept watch in turn. 5
"' I am a King's daughter, and am seeking my twelve Brothers'" 6
An enchanted Prince Io
"'Flounder, flounder, in the sea, hither quickly come to me" II
Hansel and Grethel 18
" Hansel kept dropping crumbs". 21
"A very old Woman came out" 23
The Duck takes Grethel over the Water 27
"There he saw the old Witch" .29
"'Rapunzel Rapunzel! let down your hair'" 30
The old Witch waiting for the King's son 34
Portrait of the King's daughter .36
The first Crow 39
The second Crow. .40
"The Crows flew away" 41
"Faithful John shot the horse dead" 42
The Frog Prince 46
"'Why weepest thou, O King's daughter?'" 47
"The Frog dived" 49
The Three Spinners 53
A Goblin Comrade 56
"The Boy sat down under the gallows" 59
"There came out of every hole and corner black cats and black
"Half a man's body came down the chimney" .64
"' Good preserves for sale !'" .68
"The Giant was forced to carry the whole tree" 71
"'This must be some mighty hero'" .73
"The Unicorn was made prisoner" 76
"The Wolf looked so wickedly out of his great eyes 79
"' Good-day, little Red-Cap,' said the Wolf" 80
Crown, Sceptre, and Slipper. 84
"The two proud sisters derided Cinderella" .85
"There lay Cinderella among the ashes" .91
"'Table, cover thyself!'" oo
"Out jumped the Stick, and thumped about on the Landlord" 109
The Handless Maiden. 2
The young Queen went away with her child 116
"By day she changed herself into a cat" 12
The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn 123
"'What does my lord and master desire ?'" 126
Godfather Death .
"' I am Death, who make all things equal'" 132
"'Why do you weep so sore ?'" 136
"The King's Son led away the beautiful Princess on the Golden
"Away they went, over hedges and ditches, uphill and downhill" 143
"The King blew Three Feathers into the air" .15
" He saw a large Frog, and round her several smaller ones 152
"'Two miles hence are seven Windmills'" 1 55
"They met with a man standing on one leg, with the other leg
lying by his side" 156
"'Don't hang your hat on one side like that '". 157
Rout of the Regiments. 16
"'Such an one deserves to be put into a cask'.". 164
"'Ah, Falada, that you should hang there "' 67
"'Blow, blow, thou wind, blow Conrad's hat away !'" 171
The Soaring Lark 175
"'I will give you this Egg'" 78
"The Princess seized the Prince, and leapt with him on to the
back of a Griffin" 182
"With a terrible rushing noise the pond overflowed its banks" 185
The Nix of the Mill-Pond 186
"The end of the Dwarfs beard was fixed in a split of the tree" 193
The Little Elves .. 201
A Changeling 204
"The three Soldiers crept into the corn" 206
"The Dragon carried them through the air" 207
Grandmother to the Evil Spirit 210
"The Farrier shod the galloping horse" 214
"'You worm !' cried the Giant, 'what are you meddling with
my balls for?'" 216
"They pulled him down on the ground, and tormented him" 221
The Three Little Men in the Wood 224
" Dividing her bread in two, she gave them half" 226
"A toad jumped out of her mouth at each word" 228
" They threw her out of the window into the river which ran past" 231
The Goose-Girl driving her Geese 234
"The Youth's knees trembled and shook" 239
Illus t ratio ns
"Three Cats had to play Music" 248
" A little tortoise-shell Cat came up" 249
"The boy went up again, and there saw the castle" 253
"The Fish made its appearance, carrying the letters" 255
"' Here, you little fellow,' said the Giant" 262
"The Drummer sat himself on the saddle" 264
"The Toad sprang upon his head, and would not go away" 272
"' She is on a rock in the midst of the sea, watched by the Dragon'" 277
The Three Army Surgeons 281
"The others tried to hold him by the coat" 283
"'Open my door,' said the Wild Man" 286
"His golden locks glittered in the sun" 290
"This snake was an enchanted maiden" 296
"There suddenly appeared a little Black Dwarf" 297
"The King changed clothes with a shepherd" 300
"He saw a stranger standing before him" 306
The Spirit in the Bottle 312
"' Here I stick among the roots of the oak-tree. Let me out '" 314
"The King threw the box into the water" 319
"'Bah cried the King, 'what are you about '" 324
"The Ferryman put the oar into his hand, and sprang on shore
"The Giant took the Man within a hundred miles of the Castle" 332
Headings. Initial Letters. Tail-Pieces, &c., &c.
The Twelve Brothers
NCE upon a time there lived happily together
a Queen and a King, who had twelve chil-
dren-all boys. One day the King said
to his consort, "If the thirteenth child is
a girl, then shall the twelve boys die, that
Usher riches may be great, and that the king-
dom may fall to her alone." He then ordered
twelve coffins to be made, and, all of them having been
locked up in a room, he gave the key thereof to the Queen,
and bade her tell nobody about the matter.
But the mother sat crying the whole day long, so that her
youngest child, who was always with her, and whom she had
named Benjamin, said to her, Mother dear, why are you so
sorrowful ?" "My dearest child," she replied, I dare not
tell you!" But he let her have no peace until she went and
unlocked the room, and showed him the twelve coffins.
Then she said, My dearest Benjamin, these coffins your
father has had prepared for yourself and your eleven
brothers, for, if I bring a little girl into the world, you will
all be killed together and buried in them." And as she
wept while she spoke these words, the son comforted her,
The Twelve Brothers
saying, Do not cry, dear mother; we will help ourselves,
and go away." But she said, Go with your eleven brothers
into the wood, and let one of you climb into the highest tree
which is to be found, and keep watch, looking towards the
tower of the castle here. If I bear a little son, I will hang
out a white flag, and you may venture home again; but if I
bear a little daughter, I will hang out a red flag; and then
flee away as quickly as you can, and God preserve you!
Every night I will arise and pray for you: in winter, that
you may have a fire to warm yourselves; and in summer,
that you may not be melted with the heat."
Soon after she gave her blessing to all her sons, and they
went away into the forest. Each kept watch in turn, sitting
upon the highest oak-tree, and looking towards the tower.
When eleven days had passed by, and it came to Benjamin's
turn, he perceived a flag hung out; but it was not the white
but the red flag, which announced that they must all die.
As the brothers heard this, they became very angry, and
said, Shall we suffer death on account of a maiden ? Let
us swear that we will avenge ourselves; wherever we find a
maiden, her blood shall flow."
Thereupon they went deeper into the forest, and in the
middle, where it was most gloomy, they found a little
charmed cottage standing empty, and they said, "Here we
will dwell, and you, Benjamin, as you are the youngest and
the weakest, shall stop here and keep house while we go out
to fetch meat." So they set forth into the forest, and shot
hares, wild fawns, birds, and pigeons, and what else they
could find. These they brought home to Benjamin, who
cooked and dressed them for their different meals. In this
little cottage they lived ten years together, and the time
passed very quickly.
Their little sister was now grown up: she had a kind
heart, was very beautiful, and always wore a golden star
upon her brow. Once, when there was a great wash, she
The Twelve Brothers
saw twelve boys' shirts hanging up, and she asked her
mother, "To whom do these twelve shirts
belong, for they are much too small for
my father?" Then she answered
with a heavy heart, "My dear
child, they belong to your twelve
brothers!" The maiden
replied, "Where are my
I twelve brothers ? I have
never yet heard of them."
The Queen answered, "God only knows where they are:
they have wandered into the wide world." Then she took
the maiden, and, unlocking the room, showed her the twelve
coffins. These coffins," said she, "were ordered for your
brothers, but they went away secretly before you were born;"
and she told her how everything had happened. Then the
The Twelve Brothers
maiden said, "Do not cry, dear mother, I will go forth and
seek my brothers;" and, taking the twelve shirts, she set
out at once straight into the great forest. All day long
she walked on and on, and in the evening she came to the
charmed house, into which she stepped. There she found
a young lad, who asked her, "Whence dost thou come,
and whither goest thou?" and he stood astonished to
see how beautiful she was, and at the queenly robes she
wore, and the star upon her brow. Then she answered,
"I am a King's daughter, and am seeking my twelve
brothers, and will go as far as heaven is blue until I find
them;" and she showed him the twelve shirts that belonged
to them. Benjamin perceived at once that it was his sister,
and he said, "I am Benjamin, thy youngest brother." At
his words she began to weep for joy, and Benjamin wept
also, and they kissed and embraced one another with the
greatest affection. Presently he said, "Dear sister, there
is one terrible condition: we have agreed together that
The Twelve Brothers
every maiden whom we meet shall die, because we were
obliged to leave our kingdom on account of a maiden."
Then the maiden replied, I will willingly die, if I can by
that means release my twelve brothers."
"No," answered he, "thou shalt not die; hide thyself
under this tub until our eleven brothers come home." She
did so; and when night came the others returned from
hunting, and their dinner was made ready, and as they sat
at the table eating, they asked, "What is the news?"
Benjamin said, "Do you not know ? "
"No," they answered. Then he spoke again: "You have
been in the forest, and I have stopped at home, yet I know
more than you."
Tell us directly! they exclaimed. He answered, First
promise me that you will not kill the first maiden who shall
meet us." Yes, we promise! they exclaimed; "she shall
have pardon; now tell us at once." Then he said, "Our
sister is here;" and, lifting the tub, the King's daughter
came from beneath, looking most beautiful, delicate, and
gentle in her royal robes, and with the golden star upon her
brow. The sight gladdened them all; and, falling upon her
neck, they kissed her, and loved her with all their hearts.
Now she stopped at home with Benjamin, and helped him
in his work, while the eleven others went into the wood, and
caught wild animals, deer, birds, pigeons, for their eating,
which their sister and brother took care to make ready. The
sister sought for wood for the fire, and for the vegetables,
which she dressed, and put the pots on the fire, so that their
dinner was always ready when the eleven came home. She
also kept order in the cottage, and covered the beds with
beautiful white and clean sheets, and the brothers were
always contented, and they all lived in great unity.
But there was a little garden belonging to the charmed
house, in which stood twelve lilies (which one calls also
African marigolds), and one day the sister, thinking to give
The Twelve Brothers
her twelve brothers a pleasure, broke off the twelve flowers,
intending to give each of them one. But as she broke off
each flower the twelve brothers were changed, one by one,
into twelve Crows, and flew off into the forest, and at the
same moment the house and garden both disappeared.
Thus the poor maiden was left alone in the wild forest,
and as she looked round an old woman stood near, who said,
" My child, what hast thou done ? Why didst thou not leave
the twelve white flowers ? They were thy brothers, who
are now changed into Crows!" Then the maiden asked
with tears, "Is there no means of saving them ?" "There
is but one way in the whole world," said the old woman,
" but that is so difficult, that thou canst not free them. Thou
must be dumb for seven years-thou mayest not speak, nor
laugh, and if thou speakest but a single word, even if it
wants but one hour of the seven years, all will be in vain,
and thy brothers will die at that single word."
Then the maiden said in her heart, "I know for certain
that I shall free my brothers;" and she went and found a
tall tree, into the branches of which she climbed and passed
her time spinning, without ever speaking or laughing.
Now it happened once that a King was hunting in the
forest, who had a large greyhound, which ran to the tree on
which the maiden sat, and, springing round, barked furiously.
So the King came up and saw the beautiful girl with the
golden star upon her brow, and was so enchanted with her
beauty, that he asked her if she would become his bride.
To this she gave no answer, but slightly nodded with her
head; so the King, mounting the tree himself, brought her
down, and placing her upon his horse carried her home.
Then the wedding was celebrated with great pomp and
joy, but the bride neither spoke nor laughed.
After they had lived contentedly together two years, the
King's mother, who was a wicked woman, began to slander
the young Queen, and said to her son, "This is a common
"The Twelve Brothers were changed, one by one, into twelve Crows, and flew off
into the forest."-Page 6.
The Twelve Brothers
beggar girl whom you have brought home with you: who
knows what impish tricks she practised at home ? If she be
dumb and not able to speak, she might still laugh once; but
they who do not laugh have a bad conscience." The King
would not at first believe it, but the old woman persisted in
it so long, and accused the Queen of so many wicked things,
that the King at last let himself be persuaded, and she was
condemned to die.
Now a great fire was kindled in the courtyard in which
she was to be burnt; and the King standing above at the
window, looked on with tearful eyes, because he still loved
her so much. And now she was bound to the stake, and
the fire began to lick her clothing with its red tongues, and
just at that time the last moment of the seven years expired.
Then a whirring was heard in the air, and twelve Crows
came flying by, and sank down to the earth, and as they
alighted on the ground they became her twelve brothers
whom she had freed. They tore away the fire from around
her, and, putting out the flames, set their sister free, and
kissed and embraced her. And now, as she could open her
mouth and speak, she told the King why she was dumb, and
why she never laughed.
And the King was highly pleased when he heard she was
innocent, and they all lived together in great happiness to the
end of their lives.
TlE. FISH ROMANN AND HIS VAFE
HERE was once upon a time a fisherman
and his wife, who lived together in a little
S hut near the sea, and every day he went down
to fish. There he sat with his rod, and
looked out upon the blank water; and this
he did for many a long day. One morning
the line went to the bottom, and when he
drew it up a great Flounder was hooked at the end. The
Flounder said, Let me go, I pray you, fisherman; I am not
a real fish, but an enchanted Prince. What good shall I do
you if you pull me up ? I should not taste well; put me back
into the water, and let me swim."
"Ah," said the man, "you need not make such a palaver; a
fish which can speak I would rather let swim;" and so say-
ing, he put the fish into the water, and as it sank to the
bottom it left a long streak of blood behind it. Then the
fisherman got up, and went back to his wife in their hut.
Have you caught nothing to-day, husband ? said she.
"Oh he replied, "I caught a Flounder, who said he was
an enchanted Prince; so I threw him again into the sea to
Flounder, Flounder, in the sea, For my wife, dame Isabel,
Hither quickly come to me, Wishes what I dare not tell."
.--- -- ---~---- .-. --
The Fisherman and his Wife
"Did you not wish first ? she inquired. No," said he.
"Ah," said the wife, "that is very unlucky; is one to
remain in this hovel for ever? you might have wished for a
better hut, at least. Go again and call him; tell him we
choose to have a better hut, and for certain you'll get it."
"Ah !" replied he, how shall I manage that ? "Why,"
said his wife, you must catch him again, and before you let
him swim away he will grant what you ask: be quick."
The man was not much pleased, and wished his wife further;
but, nevertheless, he went down to the sea. When he came
to the water, it was green and yellow, and looked still more
blank; he stood by it and said-
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Hither quickly come to me,
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I dare not tell."
Then the Fish came swimming up, and said, "What do
you want with me ?" "Oh !" said the man, "I was to catch
you again; for my wife says I ought to have wished before.
She won't stay aly longer in her hovel, and desires a
Go home again;" said the Flounder, she has it already."
So the fisherman departed, and there was his wife, no longer
in the dirty hovel, for in its place stood a clean cottage,
before whose door she sat upon a bench. She took him by
the hand, saying, "Come in now and see: is not this much
better ?" So in they went, and in the cottage there was a
beautiful parlour, and a fine fireplace, and a chamber where
a bed stood; there were also a kitchen and a store-room,
with nice earthenware, all of the best; tinware and copper
vessels, and everything very clean and neat. At the back
was a large yard, with hens and chickens, as well as a nice
garden, full of fruit-trees and vegetables. "See," said the
wife, "is not this charming?"
The Fisherman and his Wife
"Yes," said her husband, "so long as it blooms you will
be very well content with it."
"We will consider about that," she replied, and they went
Thus eight to fourteen days passed on, when the wife said,
" Husband, the hut is far too narrow for me, and the yard and
garden are so small; the Flounder may very well give us
a larger house. I wish to live in a large stone palace; go,
then, to the Flounder, and ask him to give us a castle."
"Ah, wife said he, "the cottage is good enough; why
should you choose to have a castle ? "
Go along," she replied, the Flounder will soon give you
"Nay, wife," he said, the Flounder gave us the cottage
at first, but when I go again he will perhaps be angry."
"Never you mind," said she, he can do what I wish for
very easily and willingly; go and try." The husband was
vexed at heart, and did not like going, and said to himself,
"This is not right." But at last he set off.
When he came to the sea, the water was quite clouded
and deep blue coloured, and black and thick: it looked green
no longer, yet it was calm. So he went and said-
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Hither quickly come to me,
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I scarce dare tell."
"Now, then, what do you want ?" said the Flounder.
"Oh," said the man, half-frightened, she wants to live in a
great stone castle." "Go home, and see it at your door,"
replied the Fish.
The fisherman went away, and lo! where formerly his
house stood, there was a great stone castle; and his wife
called to him from the steps to come in, and, taking him by
the hand, she said, "Now let us look about." So they
The Fisherman and his Wife
walked about, and in the castle there was a great hall, with
marble tables, and there were ever so many servants, who
ushered them through folding-doors into rooms hung all
round with tapestry, and filled with fine golden stools and
chairs, with crystal looking-glasses on the walls; and all the
rooms were similarly fitted up. Outside the house were
large courtyards with horse and cow-stalls, and waggons,
all of the best, and besides a beautiful garden filled with
magnificent flowers and fruit-trees, and a meadow full a
mile long, covered with deer, and oxen, and sheep, as many
as one could wish for. "Is not this pretty ?" said the wife.
"Ah," said her husband, so long as the humour lasts you
will be content with this, and then you will want something
"We will think about that," said she, and with that they
went to bed.
The next morning the wife woke up just as it was day,
and looked out over the fine country which lay before her.
Her husband did not get up, and there she stood and called
out, "Get up, and come and look here at the window; see,
shall I not be Queen over all the land ? Go, and say to the
Flounder, we choose to be King and Queen." "Ah, wife,"
said he, "why should I wish to be King?" "No," she
replied, "you do not wish, so I will be Queen. Go, tell the
"Oh, why do you wish this ? I cannot say it."
"Why not? go off at once; I must be Queen." The
husband set out quite stupefied, but she would have her
way, and when he came to the sea it was quite black-
looking, and the water splashed up and smelled very dis-
agreeably. But he stood still, and repeated-
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Hither quickly come to me,
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I scarce dare tell."
The Fisherman and his Wife
"What does she want now?" asked the Flounder.
"Ah! said he, "she would be Queen." "Go home, she is
so already," replied the Fish. So he departed, and when he
came near the palace he saw it had become much larger,
with a great tower and gateway in front of it; and before
the gate stood a herald, and there were many soldiers, with
kettledrums and trumpets. When he came into the house
he found everything made of the purest marble and gold,
with magnificent curtains fringed with gold. Through the
hall he went in at the doors where the great court apartment
was, and there sat his wife upon a high throne of gold and
diamonds, having a crown of gold upon her head, and a
sceptre of precious stones in her hand; and upon each side
stood six pages, in a row, each one a head taller than the
other. Then, he went up, and said, "Ah, wife, are you
Queen now?" "Yes," said she, "now I am Queen!"
There he stood looking for a long time. At last he said,
"Ah, wife, how do you like being Queen? now we have
nothing else to choose." "No, indeed !" she replied, I am
very dissatisfied; time and tide do not wait for me; I can
bear it no longer. Go then to the Flounder: Queen I am;
now I must be Pope." "Ah, wife! what would you?
Pope thou canst not be: the Pope is the head of Christen-
dom; the Flounder cannot make you that."
I will be Pope," replied the wife, and he was obliged to
go, and, when he came to the shore, the sea was running
mountains high, and the sky was so black, that he was quite
terrified, and began to say in a great fright-
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Quickly, quickly, come to me,
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I dare not tell."
"What now ?" asked the Flounder. "She wants to be
Pope," said he. "Go home, and find her so," was the reply.
The Fisherman and his Wife
So he went back, and found a great church, in which she
was sitting upon a much higher throne, with two rows of
candles on each side, some as thick as towers, down to those
no bigger than rushlights, and before her footstool were
Kings and Queens kneeling. "Wife," said he, "now be
contented: since you are Pope, you cannot be anything else."
"That I will consider about," she replied, and so they went
to bed; but she could not sleep for thinking what she
should be next. Very early she rose, and looked out of the
window, and as she saw the sun rising, she thought to
herself, "Why should I not do that?" and so she shook
her husband, and called out to him, "Go, tell the Flounder
I want to make the sun rise." Her husband was so
frightened that he tumbled out of bed, but she would hear
nothing, and he was obliged to go.
When he got down to the sea a tremendous storm was
raging, and the ships and boats were tossing about in all
directions. Then he shouted out, though he could not hear
his own words-
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Quickly, quickly, come to me,
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I dare not tell."
"What would she have now?" said the Fish. "Ah!"
he replied, "she wants to be Ruler of the Universe."
"Return, and find her back in her hovel," replied the
And there the fisherman and his wife remained for the
rest of their days.
NCE upon a time there dwelt near a large
wood a poor woodcutter, with his wife and
B two children by his former marriage, a little
boy called Hansel, and a girl named Grethel.
He had little enough to break or bite; and
Once, when there was a great famine in the
land, he could not get even his daily bread; and as he lay
thinking in his bed one evening, rolling about for trouble, he
sighed, and said to his wife, "What will become of us?
How can we feed our children, when we have no more than
we can eat ourselves ?"
Know, then, my husband," answered she, "we will lead
them away, quite early in the morning, into the thickest part
of the wood, and there make them a fire, and give them each
a little piece of bread; then we will go to our work, and leave
them alone, so they will not find the way home again, and
we shall be freed from them." "No, wife," replied he," that
I can never do; how can you bring your heart to leave my
children all alone in the wood; for the wild beasts will soon
come and tear them to pieces ? "
"Oh, you simpleton I" said she, "then we must all four
Hansel and Grethel
die of hunger; you had better make our coffins." But she
left him no peace till he consented, saying, "Ah, but I shall
regret the poor children."
The two children, however, had not gone to sleep for very
hunger, and so they overheard what the stepmother said to
their father. Grethel wept bitterly, and said to Hansel,
What will become of us ? Be quiet, Grethel," said he;
"do not cry-I will soon help you." And as soon as their
parents had fallen asleep, he got up, put on his coat, and,
unbarring the back door, slipped out. The moon shone
brightly, and the white pebbles which lay before the door
seemed like silver pieces, they glittered so brightly. Hansel
stooped down, and put as many into his pocket as it would
hold; and then going back, he said to Grethel, "Be com-
forted, dear sister, and sleep in peace; God will not forsake
us." And so saying, he went to bed again.
The next morning, before the sun arose, the wife went
and awoke the two children. "Get up, you lazy things;
we are going into the forest to chop wood." Then she gave
them each a piece of bread, saying, "There is something for
your dinner; do not eat it before the time, for you will get
nothing else." Grethel took the bread in her apron, for
Hansel's pocket was full of pebbles; and so they all set out
upon their way. When they had gone a little distance,
Hansel stood still, and peeped back at the house; and this
he repeated several times, till his father said, Hansel, what
are you peeping at, and why do you lag behind ? Take
care, and remember your legs."
"Ah, father," said Hansel, "I am looking at my white
cat sitting upon the roof of the house, and trying to say
good-bye." "You simpleton !" said the wife, "that is not
a cat; it is only the sun shining on the white chimney."
But in reality Hansel was not looking at a cat; but every
time he stopped, he dropped a pebble out of his pocket upon
Hansel and Gr.ethel
When they came to the middle of the wood, the father told
the children to collect wood, and he would make them a fire,
so that they should not be cold. So Hansel and Grethel
gathered together quite a little mountain of twigs. Then
they set fire to them; and as the flame burnt up high, the
wife said, Now, you children, lie down near the fire, and
rest yourselves, whilst we go into the forest and chop wood;
when we are ready, I will come and call you."
Hansel and Grethel sat down by the fire, and when it was
noon, each ate the piece of bread; and because they could
hear the blows of an axe, they thought their father was
near: but it was not an axe, but a branch which he had
bound to a withered tree, so as to be blown to and fro by
the wind. They waited so long, that at last their eyes closed
from weariness, and they fell fast asleep. When they
awoke, it was quite dark, and Grethel began to cry, "How
shall we get out of the wood ? But Hansel tried to com-
fort her by saying, "Wait a little while till the moon rises,
and then we will quickly find the way." The moon soon
shone forth, and Hansel, taking his sister's hand, followed
the pebbles, which glittered like new-coined silver pieces,
and showed them the path. All night long they walked on,
and as day broke they came to their father's house. They
knocked at the door, and when the wife opened it, and saw
Hansel and Grethel, she exclaimed, "You wicked children!
why did you sleep so long in the wood ? We thought you
were never coming home again." But their father was very
glad, for it had grieved his heart to leave them all alone.
Not long afterwards there was again great scarcity in
every corner of the land; and one night the children over-
heard their mother saying to their father, "Everything is
again consumed; we have only half a loaf left: the children
must be sent away. We will take them deeper into the
wood, so that they may not find the way out again; it is the
only means of escape for us."
Hansel and Grethel
But her husband felt heavy at heart, and thought, "It
were better to share the last crust with the children." His
wife would listen to nothing that he said, and scolded and
reproached him without end.
The children, however, had heard the conversation as they
lay awake, and as soon as the old people went to sleep
Hansel got up, intending to pick up some pebbles as before;
but the wife had locked the door, so that he could not get
out. Nevertheless he comforted Grethel, saying, "Do not
cry; sleep in quiet; the good God will not forsake us."
Early in the morning the stepmother came and pulled
them out of bed, and gave them each a slice of bread, which
was still smaller than the former piece. On the way,
Hansel broke his in his pocket, and, stooping every now and
then, dropped a crumb upon the
path. "Hansel, why do you stop -ii,
and look about ? said the father;
"keep in the path." "I am look- i
ing at my little dove," answered '
Hansel, "nodding a good-bye to ,
me." "Simpleton!" said the wife,
"that is no dove, but only the sun
shining on the chimney." But Hansel kept still dropping
crumbs as he went along.
The mother led the children deep into the wood, where
they had never been before, and there making an immense
fire, she said to them, Sit down here and rest, and when
you feel tired you can sleep for a little while. We are going
into the forest to hew wood, and in the evening, when we
are ready, we will come and fetch you."
When noon came Grethel shared her bread with Hansel,
who had strewn his on the path. Then they went to sleep;
but the evening arrived and no one came to visit the poor
children, and in the dark night they awoke, and Hansel
comforted his sister by saying, "Only wait, Grethel, till the
Hansel and Grethel
moon comes out, then we shall see the crumbs of bread
which I have dropped, and they will show us the way
home." The moon shone and they got up, but they could
not see any crumbs, for the thousands of birds which had
been flying about in the woods and fields had picked them
all up. Hansel kept saying to Grethel, "We will soon find
the way;" but they did not, and they walked the whole
night long and the next day, but still they did not come out
of the wood; and they got so hungry, for they had nothing
to eat but the berries which they found upon the bushes.
Soon they got so tired that they could not drag themselves
along, so they lay down under a tree and went to sleep.
It was now the third morning since they had left their
father's house, and they still walked on; but they only got
deeper and deeper into the wood, and Hansel saw that if
help did not come very soon they would die of hunger. As
soon as it was noon they saw a beautiful snow-white bird
sitting upon a bough, which sang so sweetly that they stood
still and listened to it. It soon left off, and spreading its
wings flew off; and they followed it until it arrived at a
cottage, upon the roof of which it perched; and when they
went close up to it they saw that the cottage was made of
bread and cakes, and the window-panes were of clear sugar.
"We will go in there," said Hansel, "and have a glorious
feast. I will eat a piece off the roof, and you can eat the
window. Will they not be sweet ?" So Hansel reached up
and broke a piece off the roof, in order to see how it tasted;
while Grethel stepped up to the window and began to bite
it. Then a sweet voice called out in the room, "Tip-tap,
tip-tap, who raps at my door ?" and the children answered,
"The wind, the wind, the child of heaven;" and they went
on eating without interruption. Hansel thought the roof
tasted very nice, and so he tore off a great piece; while
Grethel broke a large round pane out of the window, and sat
down quite contentedly. Just then the door opened, and a
"A very old woman, walking on crutches, came out."-P- ge 25.
Hansel and Grethel
very old woman, walking upon crutches, came out. Hansel
and Grethel were so frightened that they let fall what they
had in their hands; but the old woman, nodding her head,
said, "Ah, you dear children, what has brought you here ?
Come in and stop with me, and no harm shall befall you;"
and so saying she took them both by the hand, and led them
into her cottage. A good meal of milk and pancakes, with
sugar, apples, and nuts, was spread on the table, and in the
back room were two nice little beds, covered with white,
where Hansel and Grethel laid themselves down, and thought
themselves in heaven. The old woman behaved very kindly
to them, but in reality she was a wicked witch who waylaid
children, and built the bread house in order to entice them
in; but as soon as they were in her power she killed them,
cooked and ate them, and made a great festival of the day.
When Hansel and Grethel came near the witch's house she
laughed wickedly, saying, "Here come two who shall not
escape me." And early in the morning, before they awoke,
she went up to them, and saw how lovingly they lay sleeping,
with their chubby red cheeks; and she mumbled to herself,
"That will be a good bite." Then she took up Hansel with
her rough hand, and shut him up in a little cage with a
lattice-door; and although he screamed loudly, it was of no
use. Grethel came next, and, shaking her till she awoke,
she said, "Get up, you lazy thing, and fetch some water to
cook something good for your brother, who must remain
in that stall and get fat; when he is fat enough I shall eat
him." Grethel began to cry, but it was all useless, for the
old witch made her do as she wished. So a nice meal was
cooked for Hansel, but Grethel got nothing else but a crab's
Every morning the old witch came to the cage and said,
"Hansel, stretch out your finger that I may feel whether you
are getting fat." But Hansel used to stretch out a bone,
and the old woman, having very bad sight, thought it was
Hansel and Grethel
his finger, and wondered very much that he did not get more
fat. When four weeks had passed, and Hansel still kept
quite lean, she lost all her patience, and would not wait any
longer. "Grethel," she called out in a passion, "get some
water quickly; be Hansel fat or lean, this morning I will
kill and cook him." Oh, how the poor little sister grieved
as she was forced to fetch the water, and fast the tears ran
down her cheeks! "Dear good God, help us now!" she
exclaimed. Had we only been eaten by the wild beasts in
the wood, then we should have died together." But the old
witch called out, "Leave off that noise; it will not help you
So, early in the morning Grethel was forced to go out and
fill the kettle, and make a fire. First, we will bake, how-
ever," said the old woman; I have already heated the oven,
and kneaded the dough;" and so saying, she pushed poor
Grethel up to the oven, out of which the flames were burning
fiercely. "Creep in," said the witch, "and see if it is hot
enough, and then we will put in the bread;" but she intended
when Grethel got in to shut up the oven and let her bake, so
that she might eat her as well as Hansel. Grethel saw
what her thoughts were, and said, I do not know how to
do it; how shall I get in ?" "You stupid goose," said she,
"the opening is big enough. See, I could even get in
myself!" and she got up, and put her head into the oven.
Then Grethel gave her a push, so that she fell right in, and
then shutting the iron door, she bolted it. Oh how horribly
she howled; but Grethel ran away, and left the wicked old
woman to burn to ashes.
Now she ran to Hansel, and, opening his door, called out,
"Hansel, we are saved; the old witch is dead!" So he
sprang out, like a bird from his cage when the door is opened;
and they were so glad, that they fell upon each other's neck,
and kissed each other over and over again. And now, as
there was nothing to fear, they went into the witch's, house,
Hansel and Grethel
where in every corner were caskets full of pearls and precious
stones. "These are better than pebbles," said Hansel,
putting as many into his pocket as it would hold; while
Grethel thought, "I will take some home too," and filled her
apron full. "We must be off now," said Hansel, "and get
out of this enchanted forest;" but when they had walked
for two hours they came to a large piece of water. "We
cannot get over," said Hansel; I can see no bridge at all."
"And there is no boat either," said Grethel, "but there
swims a white duck, I will ask her to help us over; and
"Little Duck, good little Duck,
Grethel and Hansel, here we stand;
There is neither stile nor bridge,
Take us on your back to land."
So the Duck came to them, and Hansel sat himself on, and
bade his sister sit behind him. "No," answered Grethel,
"that will be too much for the Duck; she shall take us over
one at a time." This the good little bird did, and when both
were happily arrived on the other side, and had gone a little
way, they came to a well-known wood, which they knew the
better every step they went, and at last they saw their father's
house. Then they began to run, and, bursting into the house,
they fell on their father's neck. He had not had one happy
Hansel and Grethel
hour since he had left the children in the forest; and his
wife was dead. Grethel shook her apron, and the pearls and
precious stones rolled out upon the floor, and Hansel threw
down one handful after the other out of his pocket. Then
all their sorrows were ended, and they lived together in great
NCE upon a time there lived a man and his
wife, who much wished to have a child, but
/ for a long time in vain. These people had a
little window in the back part of their house,
out of which one could see into a beautiful
// I garden which was full of fine flowers and
vegetables; but it was surrounded by a high
wall, and no one dared to go in, because it belonged to a
Witch, who possessed great power, and who was feared by the
wholeworld. One day the woman stood at this window looking
into the garden, and there she saw a bed which was filled
with the most beautiful radishes, and which seemed so fresh
and green that she felt quite glad, and a great desire seized
her to eat of these radishes. This wish tormented her daily,
and as she knew that she could not have them she fell ill, and
looked very pale and miserable. This frightened her husband,
who asked her, What ails you, my dear wife ?"
"Ah !" she replied, if I cannot get any of those radishes
to eat out of the garden behind the house, I shall die I The
husband, loving her very much, thought, Rather than let
my wife die, I must fetch her some radishes, cost what they
may." So, in the gloom of the evening, he climbed the wall
of the Witch's garden, and, snatching a handful of radishes
in great haste, brought them to his wife, who made herself a
salad with them, which she relished extremely. However,
they were so nice and so well-flavoured, that the next day
after she felt the same desire for the third time, and could
not get any rest, so that her husband was obliged to promise
her some more. So, in the evening, he made himself ready,
and began clambering up the wall; but, oh! how terribly
frightened he was, for there he saw the old Witch standing
before him. "How dare you "-she began, looking at him
with a frightful scowl-"how dare you climb over into my
garden to take away my radishes like a thief? Evil shall
happen to you for this."
"Ah," replied he, "let pardon be granted before justice;
I have only done this from a great necessity; my wife saw
your radishes from her window, and took such a fancy to
them that she would have died if she had not eaten of them."
Then the Witch ran after him in a passion, saying, "If she
behave as you say, I will let you take away all the radishes
you please, but I make one condition; you must give me the
child which your wife will bring into the world. All shall go
well with it, and I will care for it like a mother." In his
anxiety the man consented, and when the child was born the
Witch appeared at the same time, gave the child the name
"Rapunzel," and took it away with her.
Rapunzel grew to be the most beautiful child under the sun,
and when she was twelve years old the Witch shut her up in
a tower, which stood in the forest, and had neither stairs nor
door, and only one little window just at the top. When the
Witch wished to enter, she stood beneath, and called out-
"Rapunzel I Rapunzel I
Let down your hair."
Let down your hair."
For Rapunzel had long and beautiful hair, as fine as spun
gold; and as soon as she heard the Witch's voice she unbound
her tresses, opened the window, and then the hair fell down
twenty ells, and the Witch mounted up by it.
After a couple of years had passed away it happened that
the King's son was riding through the wood, and came by
the tower. There he heard a song so beautiful that he stood
still and listened. It was Rapunzel, who, to pass the time
of her loneliness away, was exercising her sweet voice. The
King's son wished to ascend to her, and looked for a door in
the tower, but he could not find one. So he rode home, but
the song had touched his heart so much that he went every
day to the forest and listened to it; and as he thus stood
one day behind a tree, he saw the Witch come up, and heard
her call out-
Let down your hair."
Then Rapunzel let down her tresses, and the Witch mounted
up. "Is that the ladder on which one must climb ? Then
I will try my luck too," said the Prince; and the following
day, as he felt quite lonely, he went to the tower, and said-
Rapunzel! Rapunzel !
Let down your hair."
Then the tresses fell down, and he climbed up. Rapunzel
was much frightened at first when a man came in, for she
had never seen one before; but the King's son talked in
a loving way to her, and told how his heart had been so
moved by her singing that he had no peace until he had
seen her himself. So Rapunzel lost her terror, and when
he asked her if she would have him for a husband, and she
saw that he was young and handsome, she said "Yes," and
put her hand within his: "I will willingly go with you, but
I know not how I am to descend. When you come, bring
with you a skein of silk each time, out of which I will weave
a ladder, and when it is ready I will come down by it, and
you must take me upon your horse." Then they agreed
that they should never meet till the evening, as the Witch
came in the daytime. The
old woman remarked nothing,
until one day Rapunzel
innocently said, "Tell
me, mother, how it
happens you find it
more difficult to
come up to me
than the young
King's son, who
is with me in a
the Witch; //. c@
"what do I
hear? Thought -
I had separated you
from all the world, and yet you have deceived me." And,
seizing Rapunzel's beautiful hair in a fury, she gave her a
couple of blows with her left hand, and, taking a pair of
scissors in her right, snip, snap, she cut off all her beautiful
tresses, and they fell upon the ground. Then she was so
hard-hearted that she took the poor maiden into a great
desert, and left her to die in great misery and grief.
But the same day when the old Witch had carried
Rapunzel off, in the evening she made the tresses fast
above to the window-latch, and when the King's son came,
and called out-
Let down your hair,"
she let them down. The prince mounted; but when he got
to the top he found, not his dear Rapunzel, but the Witch,
who looked at him with furious and wicked eyes. Aha!"
she exclaimed scornfully, "you would fetch your dear wife;
but the beautiful bird sits no longer in her nest, singing;
the cat has taken her away, and will now scratch out your
eyes. To you Rapunzel is lost; you will never see her
The Prince lost his senses with grief at these words, and
sprang out of the window of the tower in his bewilderment.
He escaped with his life, but the thorns into which he fell
put out his eyes. So he wandered blind, in the forest,
eating nothing but roots and berries, and doing nothing but
weep and lament for the loss of his dear wife. He wandered
about thus, in great misery, for some few years, and at last
arrived at the desert where Rapunzel lived in great sorrow.
Hearing a voice which he thought he knew he followed in
its direction; and, as he came near, Rapunzel knew him,
and fell upon his neck and wept. Two of her tears
moistened his eyes, and they became clear again, so that
he could see as well as formerly.
Then he led her away to his kingdom, where he was
received with great joy, and where they lived long, contented
What became of the old Witch no one ever knew.
NCE upon a time there lived an old King,
Swho fell very sick, and thought he was lying
upon his deathbed; so he said, Let faith-
ful John come to me." This faithful John
was his affectionate servant, and was so
called because he had been true to him all
his lifetime. As soon as John came to the
bedside, the King said, My faithful John, I feel that my end
approaches, and I have no other care than about my son, who
is still so young that he cannot always guide himself aright.
If you do not promise to instruct him in everything he ought
to know, and to be his guardian, I cannot close my eyes in
peace." Then John answered, "I will never leave him; I
will always serve him truly, even if it cost me my life." So
the old King was comforted, and said, "Now I can die in
peace. After mgy death you must show him all the chambers,
halls, and vaults in the castle, and all the treasures which
are in them; but the last room in the long corridor you must
not show him, for in it hangs the portrait of the daughter of
the King of the Golden Palace; if he sees her picture, he
will immediately love her, and will fall down in a swoon, and
on her account undergo great perils, therefore you must keep
him away." Faithful John pressed his master's hand again
in token of assent, and soon after the King laid his head
upon the pillow and expired.
After the old King had been borne to his grave, faithful
John related to the young King all that his father had said
upon his deathbed, and declared, "All this I will certainly
fulfil; I will be as true to you as I was to him, if it cost me
my life." When the time of mourning was passed, John
said to the young King, "It is now time for you to see your
inheritance; I will show you your castle." So he led the
King all over it, upstairs and downstairs, and showed him
all the riches, and all the splendid chambers; only one room
he did not open, containing the perilous portrait, which was
so placed that one saw it directly the door was opened, and,
moreover, it was so beautifully painted, that one thought it
breathed and moved; nothing in all the world could be more
lifelike or more beautiful. The young King remarked, how-
ever, that faithful John always passed by one door, so he
asked, "Why do you not open that one ?" "There is some-
thing in it," he replied, "which will frighten you."
But the King said, "I have seen all the rest of the castle,
and I will know what is in there;" and he went and tried to
open the door by force. Faithful John pulled him back, and
said, I promised your father before he died that you should
not see the contents of that room; it would bring great mis-
fortunes both upon you and me."
"Oh no," replied the young King; "if I do not go in, it
will be my certain ruin: I should have no peace night nor
day until I had seen it with my own eyes. Now I will not
stir from the place till you unlock the door."
Then faithful John saw it was of no use talking; so, with
a heavy heart and many sighs, he picked the key out of the
great bunch. When he had opened the door, he went in
first, and thought he would cover up the picture, that the
King should not see it; but it was of no use, for the King
stepped upon tiptoes and looked over his shoulder; and as
soon as he saw the portrait of the maiden, which was so
beautiful, and glittered with precious stones, he fell down on
the ground insensible. Faithful John lifted him up and
carried him to his bed, and thought with great concern,
"Mercy on us! the misfortune has happened; what will
come of it ? and he gave the young King wine until he came
to himself. The first words he spoke were, "Who does
that beautiful picture represent ? "That is the daughter
of the King of the Golden Palace," was the reply.
"Then/' said the King, my love for her is so great, that
if all the leaves on the trees had tongues, they should not
gainsay it; my life is set upon the search for her. You are
my faithful John, you must accompany me."
The trusty servant deliberated for a long while how to set
about this business, for it was very difficult to get into the
presence of the King's daughter. At last he thought of a
way, and said to the King, "Everything which she has
around her is of gold-chairs, tables, dishes, bowls, and all
the household utensils. Among your treasures are five tons
of gold; let one of the goldsmiths of your kingdom manu-
facture vessels and utensils of all kinds therefrom-all kinds
of birds, and wild and wonderful beasts, such as will please
her; then we will travel with these, and try our luck."
Then the King summoned all his goldsmiths, who worked
day and night until many very beautiful things were ready.
When all had been placed on board a ship, faithful John put
on merchant's clothes, and the King likewise, so that they
might travel quite unknown. Then they sailed over the
wide sea, and sailed away until they came to the city where
dwelt the daughter of the King of the Golden Palace.
Faithful John told the King to remain in the ship, and
wait for him. Perhaps," said he, I shall bring the King's
daughter with me; therefore take care that all is in order,
and set out the golden vessels and adorn the whole ship.".
Thereupon John placed in a napkin some of the golden cups,
stepped upon land, and went straight to the King's palace.
When he came into the castle-yard, a beautiful maid stood
by the brook, who had two golden pails in her hand,
drawing water; and when she had filled them and had
turned round, she saw a strange man, and asked who
he was. Then John answered, "I am a merchant," and
opening his napkin, he showed her its contents. Then
she exclaimed, Oh, what beautiful golden things!" and,
setting the pails down, she looked at the cups one after
another, and said, The King's daughter must see these; she
is so pleased with anything made of gold that she will buy
all these." And taking him by the hand, she led him in;
for she was the lady's maid. When the King's
was much pleased, and
said, "They are so finely
worked, that I will purchase them
all." But faithful John replied, "I
am only the servant of a rich
merchant; what I have here is
nothing in comparison to those
which my master has in his ship, than which nothing more
delicate or costly has ever been worked in gold." Then
the King's daughter wished to have them all brought; but
he said, "It would take many days, and so great is the
quantity, that your palace has not halls enough in it to
place them around." Then her curiosity and desire were
still more excited, and at last she said, "Take me to the
ship; I will go myself and look at your master's treasure."
Faithful John conducted her to the ship with great joy,
and the King, when he beheld her, saw that her beauty was
still greater than the picture had represented, and thought
nothing else but that his heart would jump out of his mouth.
Presently she stepped on board, and the King led her below;
but faithful John remained on deck by the steersman, and
told him to unmoor the ship, and put on all the sail he could,
that it might fly as a bird through the air. Meanwhile the
King showed the Princess all the golden treasures-the
dishes, cups, bowls, the birds, the wild and wonderful
beasts. Many hours passed away while she looked at
everything, and in her joy she did not remark that the ship
sailed on and on. As soon as she had looked at the last, and
thanked the merchant, she wished to depart. But when she
came on deck, she saw that they were upon the high sea, far
from the shore, and were hastening on with all sail. "Ah,"
she exclaimed in affright, I am betrayed; I am carried off
and taken away in the power of a strange mer-
chant. I would rather die!"
But the King, taking her by the hand,
said, "I am not a merchant, but a king,
thine equal in birth. It is true that I have
carried thee off; but that is because
of my overwhelming love for thee.
Dost thou know that when I first
saw the portrait of thy beauteous face,
that I fell down in a swoon before it?"
When the King's daughter heard these words she was
reassured, and her heart was inclined towards him, so that
she willingly became his bride. While they thus went on
their voyage it happened that the faithful John, as he sat
on the deck of the ship playing music, saw three crows in
the air, who came flying towards them. He stopped playing,
and listened to what they were saying to each other, for he
understood them perfectly. The first one exclaimed, "There
he is, carrying home the daughter of the King of the Golden
Palace." "But he is not home yet," replied the second.
"But he has her," said the third; "she is sitting by him
in the ship." Then the first began again, and exclaimed,
"What matters that ? When they go on shore, a fox-
coloured horse will spring towards them, on which he
will mount; and as soon as he is on it, it will jump up
with him into the air, so that he will never again see his
bride." The second one asked, "Is there no escape?"
"Oh yes, if another mounts behind quickly, and takes
out the firearms which are in the holster, and with them
shoots the horse dead, then the young King will be
saved. But who knows that ? And if any one does know
it, and tells him, such a one will be turned to stone from the
toe to the knee." Then the second spoke again, "I know
still more: if the horse should be killed, the young King will
not then keep his bride; for when they come into the castle,
a beautiful bridal shirt will lie there upon a dish, and seem to
be woven of gold and silver, but it is nothing but sulphur
and pitch; and if he puts it on, it will burn him to his
marrow and bones." Then the third Crow asked, Is there
no escape ?" "Oh yes," answered the second; "if some
one takes up the shirt with his gloves on, and throws it into
the fire, so that it is burnt, the young King will be saved.
But what does that signify ? Whoever knows it, and tells
him, will be turned to stone from his knee
to his heart." Then the third Crow spoke:
"I know still more: even if the
bridal shirt be burnt, still the
young King will
not keep his
bride. For if,
after the wedding, a dance is held, while the young Queen
dances, she will suddenly turn pale, and fall down as
if dead; and if some one does not raise her up, and take
three drops of blood from her right breast and throw
them away, she will die. But whoever knows that, and
tells it, will have his whole body turned to stone, from
the crown of his head to the toes of his feet."
After the Crows had thus talked with one another, they
flew away, and the trusty John, who had perfectly under-
stood all they had said, was from that time very quiet and
sad, for if he concealed from his master what he had heard,
misfortune would happen to him; and if he told him all,
he must give up his own life. But at last he thought, "I
will save my master, even if I destroy myself."
As soon as they came on shore it happened just as the
Crow had foretold, and an immense fox-red horse sprang
up. "Capital!" said the King; "this shall carry me to
my castle," and he tried to mount; but the faithful John
came straight up, and swinging himself quickly on, drew
the firearms out of the holster and shot the horse dead.
Then the other servants of the King, who were jealous of
faithful John, exclaimed, "How shameful to kill the beautiful
creature, which might have borne the King to the castle!"
But the King replied, Be silent, and let him go; he is my
very faithful John-who knows the good he may have
done?" Now they went into the castle, and there stood
a dish in the hall, and the splendid bridal shirt lay in it,
and seemed nothing else than gold and silver. The young
King went up to it and wished to take it up, but the
faithful John pushed him away, and taking it up with his
gloves on, bore it quickly to the fire and let it burn. The
other servants thereupon began to murmur, saying, "See,
now he is burning the King's bridal shirt!" But the
young King replied, Who knows what good he has done ?
Let him alone-he is my faithful John."
Soon after the wedding was celebrated, and a grand ball
was given, and the bride began to dance. So the faithful
John paid great attention, and watched her; all at once
she grew pale, and fell as if dead to the ground. Then
he hastily raised her and bore her to a chamber, where
he laid her down, kneeled beside her, and drawing the
three drops of blood out of her right breast, threw them
away. The young King having seen everything, not knowing
why the faithful John had done this, was very angry,
and called out, "Throw him into prison !" Next morning
trusty John was brought up for trial, and led to the gallows;
and as he was about to be executed, he said, "Every one
condemned to die may once before his death speak. Shall
I also have that privilege ?" "Yes," answered the King,
"it shall be granted you." Then faithful John replied,
"I have been unjustly judged, and have always been true
to you;" and he told the conversation of the Crows which
he heard at sea; and how, in order to save his master,
he was obliged to do all he had done. Then the King
cried out, "Oh, my most trusty John, pardon, pardon; lead
him away! But trusty John had fallen down at the last
word and was turned into stone.
At this both the King and Queen were in great grief, and
the King thought, "Ah, how wickedly have I rewarded his
great fidelity He had the stone statue raised up and placed
in his sleeping-chamber, near his bed; and as often as he
looked at it, he wept and said, "Ah, could I bring you back
to life again, my faithful John !"
After some time the Queen bore twins, two little sons,
who were her great joy. Once when the Queen was in
church, and the two children at home playing by their
father's side, he looked up at the stone statue full of
sorrow, and exclaimed with a sigh, "Ah, could I restore
you to life, my faithful John At these words the statue
began to speak, saying, "Yes, you can make me alive again,
if you will bestow on me that which is dearest to you."
The King replied, "All that I have in the world I will give
up for you." The statue spake again: "If you, with your
own hand, cut off the heads of both your children and
sprinkle me with their blood, I shall be brought to life
again." The King was terrified when he heard that he
must himself kill his two dear children; but he remembered
his servant's great fidelity, and how faithful John had died
for him, and drawing his sword he cut off the heads of both
his children. And as soon as he had sprinkled the statue
with blood life came back to it, and the trusty John stood
again alive and well before him, and said, Your faith shall
not go unrewarded;" and taking the heads of the two
children, he set them on again, and they healed again in a
moment, and the children sprang away and played as if
nothing had happened.
Now the King was full of happiness, and as soon as he
saw the Queen coming, he hid faithful John and both the
children in a great closet. As soon as she came in he said
to her, "Have you prayed in the church?" "Yes," she
answered; "but I thought continually of the faithful John,
who has come to such misfortune through us." Then he
replied, "My dear wife, we can restore his life again to
him, but it will cost us both our little sons, whom we must
sacrifice." The Queen became pale and terrified, but she
said, "We are guilty of his life on account of his great
fidelity." Then he was very glad that she thought as he
did, and going up to the closet he unlocked it, brought out
the children and faithful John, saying, God be praised!
he is saved, and we have still our little sons:" and then he
told her all that happened. Afterwards they lived happily
together to the end of their days.
The Frog Prince
I-- N the olden time, when wishing was having,
there lived a King, whose daughters were
'all beautiful; but the youngest was so
'1 ~exceedingly beautiful that the Sun himself,
although he saw her very often, was en-
chanted every time she came out into the
Near the castle of this King was a large and gloomy
forest, and in the midst stood an old lime-tree, beneath
whose branches splashed a little fountain; so, when-
ever it was very hot, the King's youngest daughter ran off
into this wood, and sat down by the side of this fountain;
and, when she felt dull, would often divert herself by throw-
ing a golden ball up in the air and catching it. And this
was her favourite amusement.
Now, one day it happened that this golden ball, when the
King's daughter threw it into the air, did not fall down into
her hand, but on the grass; and then it rolled past her into
the fountain. The King's daughter followed the ball with
her eyes, but it disappeared beneath the water, which was so
deep that no one could see to the bottom. Then she began
to lament, and to cry louder and louder; and, as she cried,
' Why weepest thou, 0 King's daughter? '-Page 49.
The Frog Prince
a voice called out, "Why weepest thou, O King's daughter ?
thy tears would melt even a stone to pity." And she looked
around to the spot whence the voice came, and saw a Frog
stretching his thick ugly head out of the water. "Ah you
old water-paddler," said she, "was it you that spoke? I
am weeping for my golden ball which has slipped away from
me into the water."
"Be quiet, and do not cry," answered the Frog; "I can
give thee good advice. But what wilt thou give me if I fetch
thy plaything up again ? "
"What will you have, dear Frog?" said she. "My
dresses, my pearls and jewels, or the golden crown which I
wear ? "
The Frog answered, Dresses, or jewels, or golden
crowns are not for me; but if thou wilt love me, and let me
be thy companion and playfellow, and sit at thy table, and
eat from thy little golden plate, and drink out of thy cup,
and sleep in thy little bed-if thou wilt promise me all
these, then will I dive down and fetch up thy golden ball."
"Oh, I will promise you all," said she, "if you will only
get me my ball." But she thought to herself, "What is the
silly Frog chattering about ? Let him remain in the water
with his equals; he cannot mix in society." But.
the Frog, as soon as he had received her pro-
mise, drew his head under the water and dived
down. Presently he swam up again with the i i
ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass. '.
The King's daughter was full of joy when she
again saw her beautiful plaything; and, taking
it up, she ran off immediately. "Stop stop "
cried the Frog; "take me with thee. I cannot run
as thou canst." But all his croaking was useless;
although it was loud enough, the King's daughter did
not hear it, but, hastening home, soon forgot the poor
Frog, who was obliged to leap back into the fountain.
The Frog Prince
The next day, when the King's daughter was sitting at
table with her father and all his courtiers, and was eating
from her own little golden plate, something was heard com-
ing up the marble stairs, splish-splash, splish-splash; and
when it arrived at the top, it knocked at the door, and a
voice said, "Open the door, thou youngest daughter of the
King So she rose and went to see who it was that called
her; but when she opened the door and caught sight of the
Frog, she shut it again with great vehemence, and sat down
at the table, looking very pale. But the King perceived that
her heart was beating violently, and asked her whether it
were a giant who had come to fetch her away who stood at
the door. "Oh, no !" answered she; "it is no giant, but
an ugly Frog."
"What does the Frog want with you ? said the King.
"Oh, dear father, when I was sitting yesterday playing
by the fountain, my golden ball fell into the water, and this
Frog fetched it up again because I cried so much : but first,
I must tell you, he pressed me so much, that I promised
him he should be my companion. I never thought that he
could come out of the water, but somehow he has jumped
out, and now he wants to come in here."
At that moment there was another knock, and a voice
"King's daughter, youngest,
Open the door.
Hast thou forgotten
Thy promises made
At the fountain so clear
'Neath the lime-tree's shade ?
King's daughter, youngest,
Open the door."
Then the King said, "What you have promised, that you
must perform; go and let him in." So the King's daughter
went and opened the door, and the Frog hopped in after her
The Frog Prince
right up to her chair : and as soon as she was seated, the Frog
said, "Take me up; but she hesitated so long that at last
the King ordered her to obey. And as soon as the Frog
sat on the chair he jumped on to the table and said, "Now
push thy plate near me, that we may eat together." And
she did so, but as every one saw, very unwillingly. The
Frog seemed to relish his dinner much, but every bite that
the King's daughter ate nearly choked her, till at last the
Frog said, "I have satisfied my hunger and feel very tired;
wilt thou carry me upstairs now into my chamber, and make
thy bed ready that we may sleep together ? At this speech
the King's daughter began to cry, for she was afraid of the
cold Frog, and dared not touch him; and besides, he actually
wanted to sleep in her own beautiful, clean bed.
But her tears only made the King very angry, and he
said, He who helped you in the time of your trouble, must
not now be despised! So she took the Frog up with two
fingers, and put him in a corner of her chamber. But as
she lay in her bed, he crept up to it, and said, "I am so
very tired that I shall sleep well; do take me up or I will
tell thy father." This speech put the King's daughter in a
terrible passion, and catching the Frog up, she threw him
with all her strength against the wall, saying, "Now, will
you be quiet, you ugly Frog! "
But as he fell he was changed from a frog into a hand-
some Prince with beautiful eyes, who after a little while
became, with her father's consent, her dear companion and
betrothed. Then he told her how he had been transformed
by an evil witch, and that no one but herself could have had
the power to take him out of the fountain; and that on the
morrow they would go together into his own kingdom.
The next morning, as soon as the sun rose, a carriage,
drawn by eight white horses, with ostrich feathers on their
heads, and golden bridles, drove up to the door of the palace,
and behind the carriage stood the trusty Henry, the servant of
The Frog Prince
the young Prince. When his master was changed into a frog,
trusty Henry had grieved so much that he had bound three
iron bands round his heart, for fear it should break with
grief and sorrow. But now that the carriage was ready to
carry the young Prince to his own country, the faithful
Henry helped in the bride and bridegroom, and placed
himself in the seat behind, full of joy at his master's release.
They had not proceeded far when the Prince heard a crack
as if something had broken behind the carriage; so he put
his head out of the window and asked Henry what was
broken, and Henry answered, It was not the carriage, my
master, but a band which I bound round my heart when it
was in such grief because you were changed into a frog."
Twice afterwards on the journey there was the same noise,
and each time the Prince thought that it was some part
of the carriage that had given way; but it was only the
breaking of the bands which bound the heart of the trusty
Henry, who was thenceforward free and happy.
TH5e THREC SPINNeRS
HERE was once a lazy girl who would not
spin, and let her mother say what she
would she could not get her to work.
At last the mother, getting both angry
and impatient, gave her a blow, which
made the girl cry very loud. Just then,
the Queen passing by, heard the noise,
and stopping the carriage, she stepped into the house and
asked the mother why she beat her daughter in such a way
that the passers-by in the street heard her shrieks. The
mother, however, was ashamed that her daughter's laziness
should be known, and said, "I cannot make her leave off
spinning; she will spin for ever and ever, and I am so
poor that I cannot procure the flax." The Queen replied,
"I never heard anything I like better than spinning, and I
am never more pleased than when the wheels are whirring.
Let your daughter go with me to the castle; I have flax
enough, and she may spin as much as she pleases." The
The Three Spinners
mother was very glad at heart, and the Queen took the girl
home with her. As soon as they entered the castle she led
her up into three.rooms, which were all full of the finest flax
from top to bottom. "Now, spin this flax for me," said the
Queen; "and, when you have prepared it all, you shall
have my eldest son for a husband. Although you are poor,
I do not despise you on that account; your unwearied
industry is dowry enough." The girl, however, was in-
wardly frightened, for she could not have spun the flax had
she sat there from morning to night until she was three
hundred years old. When she was left alone she began to
cry, and thus she sat three days without stirring a hand.
On the third day the Queen came, and when she saw that
nothing was yet spun she wondered; and the maiden ex-
cused herself by saying that she had not been able to begin
yet, on account of her great sorrow at leaving her mother's
house. So the Queen was satisfied, but on leaving she said,
"You must begin to work for me to-morrow."
As soon as the girl was again alone, she knew not how to
act or help herself, and in her vexation she went and looked
out of the window. She saw three women passing by; the
first of whom had a broad, flat foot, the second such a large
under-lip that it reached nearly to her chin, and the third a
very large thumb. They stopped before the window, and
looking up, asked the girl what she wanted. She told them
her trouble, and they offered her their help, saying, "Will
you invite us to the wedding, and not be ashamed of us, but
call us your aunts, and let us sit at your table ? If you do
all these, we will spin the flax in a very short time for you."
With all my heart," replied the girl; come in, and begin
at once." Then she let in these three women, and, making
a clear place in the first room, they sat themselves down and
began spinning. One drew the thread and trod the wheel,
the other moistened the thread, and the third pressed it and
beat with her fingers on the table; and as often as she did
The Three Spinners
so a pile of thread fell on the ground, which was spun in the
finest manner. The girl hid the three spinners, however,
from the Queen, and showed her, as often as she came, the
heaps of spun yarn; so that she received no end of praise.
When the first room was empty, the three women went to
the second, and at length to the third, so that soon all was
cleared out. Now the three spinners took leave, saying to
the girl, "Do not forget what you promised us; it will make
When the girl showed the Queen the empty rooms and
the great pile of thread, the wedding was performed, and the
bridegroom was glad that he had such a clever and indus-
trious wife, and praised her exceedingly
"I have three aunts," said the girl, "who have done me
much service; so I would not willingly forget them in my
good fortune. Allow me, therefore, to invite them to the
wedding, and to sit with me at table." The Queen and the
bridegroom asked, "Why should we not allow it ?"
When the feast was begun, the three old maids entered in
great splendour, and the bride said, "You are welcome, dear
"Ah," said the bridegroom, "how do you come by such
ugly friends ?" And, going up to the one with the big foot,
he asked, "Why have you such a broad foot ? From
treading, from treading," she replied. Then he went to the
second, and asked, "Why have you such an overhanging
lip ?" "From licking," she answered, "from licking." Then
he asked the third, "Why have you such a broad thumb ?"
"From pressing the thread," she replied, "from pressing
the thread." At this the Prince was frightened, and said,
"Therefore my bride shall never touch a spinning-wheel
And so she was set free from the unlucky flax-spinning.
A Tale of One who Travelled to
Learn what Shivering meant
FATHER had two sons, the elder of whom
FA was forward and clever enough to do
almost anything; but the younger was so
stupid that he could learn nothing. If any-
thing was to be done, the elder had at all
times to do it; but sometimes the father
would call him to fth etch something in the
dead of night, and perhaps the way led through the
churchyard or by a dismal place, and then he used to
answer, "No, father, I cannot go there, I am afraid," for he
was a coward. Or sometimes of an evening tales were
told by the fireside which made one shudder, and the
listeners exclaimed, "Oh, it makes us shiver! In a corner,
meanwhile, sat the younger son, listening, but he could not
comprehend what was said, and he thought, They say con-
tinually, Oh, it makes us shiver, it makes us shiver! but
perhaps shivering is an art which I cannot understand."
One day, however, his father said to him, Do you hear,
you there in the corner ? You are growing stout and big;
you must learn some trade to get your living by. Do you
To Learn what Shivering meant
see how your brother works ? But as for you, you are not
worth malt and hops."
"Ah, father!" answered he, "I would willingly learn
something. What shall I begin? I want to know what
shivering means, for of that I can understand nothing."
The elder brother laughed when he heard this speech, and
thought to himself, "Ah I my brother is such a simpleton,
that he cannot earn his own living." But the father sighed
and said, "What shivering means you may learn soon
enough, but you will never get your bread by that."
Soon after the parish sexton came in for a gossip, so the
father told him his troubles, and how that his younger son
was such a simpleton, that he knew nothing and could learn
nothing. "Just fancy, when I asked him how he intended
to earn his bread, he desired to learn what shivering meant! "
"Oh, if that be all," answered the sexton, "he can learn
that soon enough with me; just send him to my place, and
I will soon teach him." The father was very glad, because
he thought that it would do the boy good; so the sexton
took him home to ring the bells. About two days afterwards
he called him up at midnight to go into the church-tower to
toll the bell. You shall soon learn what shivering means,"
thought the sexton, and getting up he went out too. As
soon as the boy reached the belfry, and turned himself round
to seize the rope, he saw upon the stairs, near the sounding-
hole, a white figure. "Who's there?" he called out; but
the figure gave no answer, and neither stirred nor spoke.
"Answer," said the boy, "or make haste off; you have no
business here to-night." But the sexton did not stir, so
that the boy might think it was a ghost.
The boy called out a second time, "What are you doing
here? Speak, if you are an honest fellow, or else I will
throw you downstairs."
The sexton said to himself, "That is not a bad thought;"
but he remained quiet as if he were a stone. Then the boy
A Tale of One who Travelled to
called out for the third time, but it produced no effect; so,
making a spring, he threw the ghost down the stairs, so
that it rolled ten steps, and then lay motionless in a corner.
Thereupon he rang the bell, and then going home he went
to bed without saying a word, and fell fast asleep. The
sexton's wife waited some time for her husband, but he did
not come; so at last she became anxious, woke the boy, and
asked him if he knew where her husband was, who had gone
before him to the belfry.
"No," answered the boy; "but there was some one
standing on the steps who would not give any answer, nor
go away, so I took him for a thief and threw him downstairs.
Go now and see where he is; perhaps it may be he, but I
should be sorry for it." The wife ran off and found her
husband lying in a corner, groaning, with one of his ribs
She took him up and ran with loud outcries to the boy's
father, and told him, "Your son has brought a great mis-
fortune on us; he has thrown my husband down and
broken his bones. Take the good-for-nothing fellow from
The terrified father came in haste and scolded the boy.
"What do these wicked tricks mean ? They will only bring
misfortune upon you."
"Father," answered the lad, "hear me! I am quite
innocent. He stood there at midnight like one who had
done some evil; I did not know who it was, and cried three
times, 'Speak, or be off!'"
"Ah said the father, "everything goes badly with you.
Get out of my sight; I do not wish to see you again "
"Yes, father, willingly; wait but one day, then I will go
out and learn what shivering means, that I may at least
understand one business which will support me."
"Learn what you will," replied the father, "all is the
same to me. Here are fifty dollars; go forth with them
Learn what Shivering meant
into the world, and tell no man whence you came, or who
your father is, for I am ashamed of you."
"Yes, father, as you wish; but if you desire nothing else,
I shall esteem that very lightly."
As soon as day broke the youth put his fifty dollars into
a knapsack and went out upon the high-road, saying con-
tinually, "Oh, if I could but shiver!"
Presently a man came up, who heard the boy talking to
himself; and, as they were just passing the place where the
gallows stood, the man said, "Do you see? There is the
tree where seven fellows have married the hempen maid,
and now swing to and fro. Sit yourself down there and
wait till midnight, and then you will know what it is to
Oh, if that be all," answered the boy, I can very easily
do that! But if I learn so speedily what shivering is, then
you shall have my fifty dollars if you come again in the
Then the boy went to the gallows, sat down, and waited
for evening, and as he felt cold he made a fire. But about
midnight the wind blew so sharp, that, in spite of the fire, he
could not keep himself warm. The wind blew the bodies
A Tale of One who Travelled to
against one another, so that they swung backwards and for-
wards, and he thought, If I am cold here below by the fire,
how must they freeze above !" So his compassion was ex-
cited, and, contriving a ladder, he mounted, and, unloosen-
ing them one after another, he brought down all seven.
Then he poked and blew the fire, and set them round that
they might warm themselves; but as they sat still without
moving their clothing caught fire. So he said, "Take care
of yourselves, or I will hang all of you up again." The dead
heard not, and silently allowed their rags to burn. This made
him so angry that he said, "If you will not hear I cannot
help you; but I will not burn with you." So he hung them
up again in a row, and sitting down by the fire he soon went
The next morning the man came, expecting to receive his
fifty dollars, and asked, "Now do you know what shivering
means?" "No," he answered; "how should I know?
Those fellows up there have not opened their mouths, and
were so stupid that they let the old rags on their bodies be
burnt." Then the man saw that he should not carry away
the fifty dollars that day, so he went away saying, "I never
met with such an one before."
The boy also went on his way and began again to say,
"Ah, if only I could but shiver-if I could but shiver!"
A waggoner walking behind overheard him, and asked,
"Who are you ?"
"I do not know," answered the boy.
The waggoner asked again, "What do you here ?"
"I know not."
"Who is your father?"
I dare not say."
"What is it you are continually grumbling about ?"
"Oh," replied the youth, "I wish to learn what shivering
is, but nobody can teach me."
"Cease your silly talk," said the waggoner. "Come with
Learn what Shivering meant
me, and I will see what I can do for you." So the boy went
with the waggoner, and about evening time they arrived at
an inn where they put up for the night, and while they were
going into the parlour he said, quite aloud, "Oh, if I could
but shiver-if I could but shiver!" The host overheard
him and said laughingly, Oh, if that is all you wish, you
shall soon have the opportunity." "Hold your tongue,"
said his wife; "so many imprudent people have already
lost their lives, it were a shame and sin that such a beauti-
ful youth should die." But the youth said, "If it were ever
so difficult I would at once learn it; for that reason I left
home;" and he never let the host have any peace till he
told him that not far off stood an enchanted castle, where
any one might soon learn to shiver if he would watch there
three nights. The King had promised his daughter in
marriage to whom ever would venture, and she was the
most beautiful young lady that the sun ever shone upon.
And he further told him that inside the castle there was an
immense amount of treasure guarded by evil spirits; enough
to make any one free, and turn a poor man into a very rich
one. Many had, he added, already ventured into this castle,
but no one had ever come out again.
The next morning this youth went to the King, and said,
"If you will allow me, I wish to watch three nights in the
enchanted castle." The King looked at him, and because
his appearance pleased him he said, "You may make three
requests, but they must be inanimate things you ask for,
and such as you can take with you into the castle." So the
youth asked for a fire, a lathe, and a cutting-board.
The King let him take these things by day into the castle,
and when it was evening the youth went in and made him-
self a bright fire in one of the rooms, and placing his cutting-
board and knife near it, he sat down upon his lathe. "Ah,
if I could but shiver!" said he. "But even here I shall
never learn." At midnight he got up to stir the fire, and as
A Tale of One who Travelled to
he poked it, there shrieked suddenly in one corner, "Miau,
miau how cold I am !" You simpleton !" he exclaimed,
"what are you shrieking for ? If you are so cold, come and
sit down by the fire and warm yourself! "
As he was speaking, two great black cats sprang up to
him with an immense jump and sat down one on each side,
looking at him quite wildly with their fiery eyes. When
they had warmed themselves for a little while they said,
"Comrade, shall we have a game of cards ? Certainly,"
he replied; "but let me see your paws first." So they
stretched out their claws, and he said, Ah, what long nails
you have got; wait a bit, I must cut them off first; and so
saying he caught them up by the necks, and put them on his
board and screwed their feet down. "Since I have seen
what you are about I have lost my relish for a game at
cards," said he; and, instantly killing them, threw them
away into the water. But no sooner had he quieted these
two and thought of sitting down again by his fire, than there
came out of every hole and corner black cats and black dogs
Learn what Shivering meant
with glowing chains, continually more and more, so that he
could not hide himself. They howled fearfully, and jumped
upon his fire, and scattered it about as if they would ex-
tinguish it. He looked on quietly for some time, but at
last, getting angry, he took up his knife and called out,
"Away with you, you vagabonds!" and chasing them
about, some ran off, and the rest he killed and threw into
the pond. As soon as he returned he blew up the sparks
of his fire again and warmed himself, and while he sat he
grew very sleepy. So looking around he saw a great bed
in one corner, in which he lay down; but no sooner had he
closed his eyes, than the bed began to move of itself and
travelled all round the castle. "Just so," said he, "only
better still;" whereupon the bed galloped away as if six
horses pulled it up and down steps and stairs, until at last
all at once it overset, bottom upwards, and lay upon him
like a mountain; but up he got, threw pillows and mattresses
into the air, and saying, Now, he who wishes may travel,"
laid himself down by the fire and slept till day broke.
In the morning the King came, and, seeing the youth
lying on the ground, he thought that the spectres had killed
him, and that he was dead; so he said, It is a great mis-
fortune that the finest men are thus killed; but the youth,
hearing this, sprang up, saying, "It is not come to that with
me yet! The King was much astonished, but still very
glad, and asked him how he had fared. "Very well,"
replied he; "as one night has passed, so also may the other
two." Soon after he met his landlord, who opened his eyes
when he saw him. "I never thought to see you alive
again," said he; "have you learnt now what shivering
means ? "No," said he; "it is all of no use. Oh, if any
one would but tell me! "
The second night he went up again into the castle, and
sitting down by the fire began his old song, "If I could but
shiver When midnight came a ringing and rattling noise
A Tale of One who Travelled to
was heard, gentle at first and louder and louder by degrees;
then there was a pause, and presently with a loud outcry
half a man's body came down the chimney and fell at his
feet. Holloa; he exclaimed, only half a man answered
that ringing; that is too little." Then the ringing began
afresh, and a roaring and howling was heard, and the other
half fell down. "Wait a bit," said he; I will poke up the
fire first." When he had done so and looked round again,
the two pieces had joined themselves together, and an ugly
man was sitting in his place. "I did not bargain for that,"
said the youth; "the bench is mine." The man tried to
push him away, but the youth would not let him, and giving
him a violent push sat himself down in his old place.
Presently more men fell down the chimney, one after the
other, who brought nine thigh-bones and two skulls, which
they set up, and then they began to play at ninepins. At
Learn what Shivering meant
this the youth also wished to play, so he asked whether he
might join them. "Yes, if you have money!" "Money
enough," he replied, "but your balls are not quite round;"
so saying he took up the skulls, and, placing them on his
lathe, turned them round. "Ah, now you will roll well,"
said he. "Holloa! now we will go at it merrily." So he
played with them and lost some of his money, but as it
struck twelve everything disappeared. Then he lay down
and went to sleep quietly. On the morrow the King came
for news, and asked him how he had fared this time. "I
have been playing ninepins," he replied, "and lost a couple
of dollars." Have you not shivered ? No I have
enjoyed myself very much; but I wish some one would
teach me that!"
On the third night he sat down again on his bench, saying
in great vexation, "Oh, if I could only shiver! When it
grew late, six tall men came in bearing a coffin between
them. "Ah, ah," said he, that is surely my little cousin,
who died two days ago;" and beckoning with his finger he
called, "Come, little cousin, come!" The men set down
the coffin upon the ground, and he went up and took off the
lid, and there lay a dead man within, and as he felt the face
it was as cold as ice. "Stop a moment," he cried; "I will
warm it in a trice;" and stepping up to the fire he warmed
his hands, and then laid them upon the face, but it remained
cold. So he took up the body, and sitting down by the
fire he laid it on his lap and rubbed the arms that the
blood might circulate again. But all this was of no avail,
and he thought to himself if two lie in a bed together they
warm each other; so he put the body in the bed, and cover-
ing it up laid himself down by its side. After a little while
the body became warm and began to move about. "See,
my cousin," he exclaimed, have I not warmed you ?" But
the body got up and exclaimed, "Now I will strangle you."
"Is that your gratitude ?" cried the youth. "Then you
A Tale of One who Travelled to
shall get into your coffin again;" and taking it up, he threw
the body in, and made the lid fast. Then the six men came
in again and bore it away. "Oh, deary me," said he, "I
shall never be able to shiver if I stop here all my lifetime! "
At these words in came a man who was taller than all the
others, and looked more horrible; but he was very old, and
had a long white beard. Oh, you wretch," he exclaimed,
"now thou shalt learn what shivering means, for thou shalt
"Not so quick," answered the youth ; "if I die, I must be
brought to it first."
"I will quickly seize you," replied the ugly one.
"Softly, softly; be not too sure. I am as strong as you,
and perhaps stronger."
"That we will see," said the ugly man. "If you are
stronger than I, I will let you go; come, let us try;" and he
led him away through a dark passage to a smith's forge.
Then taking up an axe he cut through the anvil at one blow
down to the ground. "I can do that still better," said the
youth, and went to another anvil, while the old man followed
him and watched him with his long beard hanging down.
Then the youth took up an axe, and, splitting the anvil at
one blow, wedged the old man's beard in it. "Now I have
you; now death comes upon you!" and, taking up an iron
bar, he beat the old man until he groaned, and begged him.
to stop, and he would give him great riches. So the youth
drew out the axe, and let him loose. Then the old man,
leading him back into the castle, showed him three chests full
of gold in a cellar. "One share of this," said he, "belongs
to the poor, another to the King, and a third to yourself."
And just then it struck twelve and the old man vanished,
leaving the youth in the dark. I'must help myself out here,"
said he, and groping round he found his way back to his
room and went to sleep by the fire.
The next morning the King came and inquired, "Now,
Learn what Shivering meant
have you learnt to shiver?" "No," replied the youth;
"what is it? My dead cousin came here, and a bearded
man, who showed me a lot of gold down below; but what
shivering means, no one has showed me Then the King
said, "You have won the castle, and shall marry my
"That is all very fine," replied the youth, "but still I
don't know what shivering means."
So the gold was fetched, and the wedding was celebrated,
but the young Prince (for the youth was a prince now), not-
withstanding his love for his bride, and his great contentment,
was still continually crying, If I could but shiver! if I could
but shiver! At last it fell out in this wise: one of the
chambermaids said to the Princess, Let me bring in my aid
to teach him what shivering is." So she went to the brook
which flowed through the garden, and drew up a pail of
water full of little fish; and, at night, when the young Prince
was asleep, his bride drew away the covering and poured the
pail of cold water and the little fishes over him, so that they
slipped all about him. Then the Prince woke up directly,
calling out, "Oh! that makes me shiver! dear wife, that
makes me shiver! Yes, now I know what shivering means! "
The Valiant Little Tailor
NE summer's morning a Tailor was sitting
on his bench by the window in very good
spirits, sewing away with all his might, and
presently up the street came a peasant
woman, crying, "Good preserves for sale!
SGood preserves for sale!" This cry
sounded nice in theTailor's ears, and, sticking
his diminutive head out of the window, he called out, Here,
my good woman, just bring your wares here!" The woman
mounted the three steps up to the Tailor's house with her
heavy basket, and began to unpack all the pots together before
him. He looked at them all, held them up to the light, put
his nose to them, and at last said, "These preserves appear
to me to be very nice, so you may weigh me out four half-
ounces, my good woman; I don't mind even if you make it
a quarter of a pound." The woman, who expected to have
The Valiant Little Tailor
met with a good customer, gave him what he wished, and
went away grumbling, very much dissatisfied.
"Now!" exclaimed the Tailor, "Heaven will send me a
blessing on this preserve, and give me fresh strength and
vigour;" and, taking the bread out of the cupboard, he cut
himself a slice the size of the whole loaf, and spread the
preserve upon it. "That will taste by no means badly,"
said he; "but, before I have a bite, I will just get this
waistcoat finished." So he laid the bread down near him
and stitched away, making larger and larger stitches every
time for joy. Meanwhile the smell of the preserve mounted
to the ceiling, where flies were sitting in great numbers, and
enticed them down, so that soon a regular swarm of them
had settled on the bread. "Holloa! who invited you ?"
exclaimed the Tailor, hunting away the unbidden guests;
but the flies, not understanding his language, would not be
driven off, and came again in greater numbers than before.
This put the little man in a boiling passion, and, snatching
up in his rage a bag of cloth, he brought it down with an
unmerciful swoop upon them. When he raised it again he
counted no less than seven lying dead before him with out-
stretched legs. "What a fellow you are !" said he to him-
self, wondering at his own bravery. "The whole town
shall know of this." In great haste he cut himself out a
band, hemmed it, and then put on it in large characters,
"SEVEN AT ONE BLOW!" "Ah," said he, "not one city
alone, the whole world shall know it!" and his heart
fluttered with joy, like a lambkin's tail.
The little Tailor bound the belt round his body, and
prepared to travel forth into the wide world, thinking the
workshop too small for his valiant deeds. Before he set
out, however, he looked round his house to see if there was
anything he could take with him; but he found only an old
cheese, which he pocketed, and noticing a bird before the
door which was entangled in the bushes, he caught it, and
The Valiant Little Tailor
put that in his pocket also. Directly after he set out bravely
on his travels; and, as he was light and active, he felt no
weariness. His road led him up a hill, and when he reached
the highest point of it he found a great Giant sitting there,
who was looking about him very composedly.
The little Tailor, however, went boldly up, and said,
"Good day, comrade; in faith you sit there and see the
whole world stretched below you. I am also on my road
thither to try my luck. Have you a mind to go with me ?"
The Giant looked contemptuously at the little Tailor, and
said, "You vagabond you miserable fellow "
"That may be," replied the Tailor; "but here you may
read what sort of a man I am;" and, unbuttoning his coat,
he showed the Giant his belt. The Giant read, "Seven at
one Blow;" and thinking they were men whom the Tailor
had slain, he conceived no little respect for him. Still
he wished to prove him first; so taking up a stone, he
squeezed it in his hand, so that water dropped out of it.
"Do that after me," said he to the other, "if you have
If it be nothing worse than that," said the Tailor, that's
play to me." And, diving into his pocket, he brought out
the cheese, and squeezed it till the whey ran out of it, and
said, Now, I think, that's a little better."
The Giant did not know what to say, and could not believe
it of the little man ; so, taking up another stone, he threw it
so high that one could scarcely see it with the eye, saying,
"There, you mannikin, do that after me."
"Well done," said the Tailor; "but your stone must fall
down again to the ground. I will throw one up which shall
not come back; and, dipping into his pocket, he took out
the bird and threw it into the air. The bird, rejoicing in its
freedom, flew straight up, and then far away, and did not
return. How does that little affair please you, comrade ?"
asked the Tailor.