Italian Popular Tales
by Thomas Frederick Crane
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected.

Carets (^) indicate a superscript letter.

This book has two types of notes. Footnotes are in the text and are indicated by a letter. These have been moved to the end of the appropriate paragraph. Endnotes are indicated by a number, and the notes for all the chapters are at the end of the stories.




Professor of the Romance Languages in Cornell University

Boston and New York Houghton, Mifflin and Company The Riverside Press, Cambridge

Copyright, 1885, by Thomas Frederick Crane. All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A. Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.




The growing interest in the popular tales of Europe has led me to believe that a selection from those of Italy would be entertaining to the general reader, and valuable to the student of comparative folk-lore.

The stories which, with but few exceptions, are here presented for the first time to the English reader, have been translated from recent Italian collections, and are given exactly as they were taken down from the mouths of the people, and it is in this sense, belonging to the people, that the word popular is used in the title of this work. I have occasionally changed the present to the past tense, and slightly condensed by the omission of tiresome repetitions;[A] but otherwise my versions follow the original closely, too closely perhaps in the case of the Sicilian tales, which, when recited, are very dramatic, but seem disjointed and abrupt when read.

[Footnote A: Other condensations are indicated by brackets.]

The notes are intended to supplement those of Pitre and Koehler by citing the stories published since the Fiabe, Novelle e Racconti, and the Sicilianische Maerchen, and also to furnish easy reference to the parallel stories of the rest of Europe. As the notes are primarily intended for students I have simply pointed out the most convenient sources of information and those to which I have had access. My space has obliged me to restrict my notes to what seemed to me the most important, and I have as a rule given only references which I have verified myself.

My object has been simply to present to the reader and student unacquainted with the Italian dialects a tolerably complete collection of Italian popular tales; with theories as to the origin and diffusion of popular tales in general, or of Italian popular tales in particular, I have nothing to do at present either in the text or notes. It is for others to draw such inferences as this collection seems to warrant.

It was, of course, impossible in my limited space to do more than give a small selection from the class of Fairy Tales numbering several hundred; of the other classes nearly everything has been given that has been published down to the present date. The Fairy Tales were selected to represent as well as possible typical stories or classes, and I have followed in my arrangement, with some modification and condensation, Hahn's Maerchen- und Sagformeln (Griechische und Albanesische Maerchen, vol. i. p. 45), an English version of which may be found in W. Henderson's Notes on the Folk-lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders. With an Appendix on Household Stories, by S. Baring-Gould. London, 1866.

In conclusion, I must express my many obligations to Dr. Giuseppe Pitre, of Palermo, without whose admirable collection this work would hardly have been undertaken, and to the library of Harvard College, which so generously throws open its treasures to the scholars of less favored institutions.


ITHACA, N. Y., September 9, 1885.
















By popular tales we mean the stories that are handed down by word of mouth from one generation to another of the illiterate people, serving almost exclusively to amuse and but seldom to instruct. These stories may be roughly divided into three classes: nursery tales, fairy stories, and jests. In countries where the people are generally educated, the first two classes form but one; where, on the other hand, the people still retain the credulity and simplicity of childhood, the stories which with us are confined to the nursery amuse the fathers and mothers as well as the children. These stories were regarded with contempt by the learned until the famous scholars, the brothers Grimm, went about Germany some sixty years ago collecting this fast disappearing literature of the people. The interesting character of these tales, and the scientific value attributed to them by their collectors, led others to follow their footsteps, and there is now scarcely a province of Germany that has not one or more volumes devoted to its local popular tales. The impulse given by the Grimms was not confined to their own country, but extended over all Europe, and within the last twenty years more than fifty volumes have been published containing the popular tales of Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Germany, England, Scotland, France, Biscay, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Asia and Africa have contributed stories from India, China, Japan, and South Africa. In addition to these we have now to mention what has been done in this field in Italy.

From their very nature the stories we are now considering were long confined to the common people, and were preserved and transmitted solely by oral tradition. It did not occur to any one to write them down from the lips of the people until within the present century. The existence of these stories is, however, revealed by occasional references, and many of them have been preserved, but not in their original form, in books designed to entertain more cultivated readers.[1] The earliest literary collection of stories having a popular origin was made in the sixteenth century by an Italian, Giovan Francesco Straparola, of Caravaggio.[2] It is astonishing that a person of Straparola's popularity should have left behind him nothing but a name. We only know that he was born near the end of the fifteenth century at Caravaggio, now a small town half way between Milan and Cremona, but during the Middle Ages an important city belonging to the duchy of Milan. In 1550 he published at Venice a collection of stories in the style of the Decameron, which was received with the greatest favor. It passed through sixteen editions in twenty years, was translated into French and often printed in that language, and before the end of the century was turned into German. The author feigns that Francesca Gonzaga, daughter of Ottaviano Sforza, Duke of Milan, on account of commotions in that city, retires to the island of Murano, near Venice, and surrounded by a number of distinguished ladies and gentlemen, passes the time in listening to stories related by the company. Thirteen nights are spent in this way, and seventy-four stories are told, when the approach of Lent cuts short the diversion. These stories are of the most varied form and origin; many are borrowed without acknowledgment from other writers, twenty-four, for example, from the little known Morlini, fifteen from Boccaccio, Sachetti, Brevio, Ser Giovanni, the Old-French fabliaux, the Golden Legend, and the Romance of Merlin. Six others are of Oriental origin, and may be found in the Pantschatantra, Forty Viziers, Siddhi Kur, and Thousand and One Nights.[3] There remain, then, twenty-nine stories, the property of Straparola, of which twenty-two are maerchen, or popular tales. We say "the property" of Straparola: we mean they had never appeared before in the literature of Europe, but they were in no sense original with Straparola, being the common property which the Occident has inherited from the Orient. There is no need of mentioning in detail here these stories as they are frequently cited in the notes of the present work, and one, the original of the various modern versions of "Puss in Boots," is given at length in the notes to Chapter I.[4] Two of Straparola's stories have survived their author's oblivion and still live in Perrault's "Peau d'Ane" and "Le Chat Botte," while others in the witty versions of Madame D'Aulnoy delighted the romance-loving French society of the seventeenth century.[5] Straparola's work had no influence on contemporary Italian literature, and was soon forgotten,—an unjust oblivion, for to him belongs the honor of having introduced the Fairy Tale into modern European literature. He has been criticised for his style and blamed for his immorality. The former, it seems to us, is not bad, and the latter no worse than that of many contemporaneous writers who have escaped the severe judgment meted out to Straparola.

We find no further traces of popular tales until nearly a century later, when the first edition of the celebrated Pentamerone appeared at Naples in 1637. Its author, Giambattista Basile (known as a writer by the anagram of his name, Gian Alesio Abbattutis), is but little better known to us than Straparola. He spent his youth in Crete, became known to the Venetians, and was received into the Academia degli Stravaganti. He followed his sister Adriana, a celebrated cantatrice, to Mantua, enjoyed the duke's favor, roamed much over Italy, and finally returned to Naples, near where he died in 1632.[6] The Pentamerone, as its title implies, is a collection of fifty stories in the Neapolitan dialect, supposed to be narrated, during five days, by ten old women, for the entertainment of the person (Moorish slave) who has usurped the place of the rightful princess.[7] Basile's work enjoyed the greatest popularity in Italy, and was translated into Italian and into the dialect of Bologna. It is worthy of notice that the first fairy tale which appeared in France, and was the avant-coureur of the host that soon followed under the lead of Charles Perrault, "L'Adroite Princesse," is found in the Pentamerone.[8] We know nothing of the sources of Basile's work, but it contains the most popular and extended of all European tales, and must have been in a great measure drawn directly from popular tradition. The style is a wonderful mass of conceits, which do not, however, impair the interest in the material, and it is safe to say that no people in Europe possesses such a monument of its popular tales as the Pentamerone. Its influence on Italian literature was not greater than that of Straparola's Piacevoli Notti. From the Pentamerone Lorenzo Lippi took the materials for the second cantare of his Malmantile Racquistato, and Carlo Gozzi drew on it for his curious fiabe, the earliest dramatizations of fairy tales, which, in our day, after amusing the nursery, have again become the vehicles of spectacular dramas. Although there is no proof that Mlle. Lheritier and Perrault took their stories from Straparola and the Pentamerone, there is little doubt that the French translation of the former, which was very popular (Jannet mentions fourteen editions between 1560 and 1726) awakened an interest in this class of stories, and was thus the origin of that copious French fairy literature, which, besides the names mentioned above, includes such well-known writers as Mde. D'Aulnoy, the Countess Murat, Mlle. De La Force, and Count Caylus, all of whom drew on their Italian prototypes more or less.[9]

Popular as were the two collections above mentioned they produced but one imitation, La Posillecheata, a collection of five stories in the Neapolitan dialect and in the style of the Pentamerone, by Pompeo Sarnelli, Bishop of Bisceglie, whose anagram is Masillo Reppone. The first edition appeared at Naples in 1684, and it has been republished twice since then at the same place. The work is exceedingly coarse, and has fallen into well-deserved oblivion.[10]

Nearly two centuries elapsed before another collection of Italian tales made its appearance. The interest that the brothers Grimm aroused in Germany for the collection and preservation of popular traditions did not, for obvious reasons, extend to Italy. A people must first have a consciousness of its own nationality before it can take sufficient interest in its popular literature to inspire even its scholars to collect its traditions for the sake of science, to say nothing of collections for entertainment. In 1860, Temistocle Gradi, of Siena, published in his Vigilia di Pasqua di Ceppo, eight, and in his Saggio di Letterature varie, 1865, four popular tales, as related in Siena. These were collected without any other aim than that of entertainment, but are valuable for purposes of comparison. No attempt at a scientific collection of tales was made until 1869, when Professor De Gubernatis published the Novelline di Santo Stefano, containing thirty-five stories, preceded by an introduction on the relationship of the myth to the popular tale. This was the forerunner of numerous collections from the various provinces of Italy, which will be found noted in the Bibliography. The attention of strangers was early directed to Italian tales, and the earliest scientific collection was the work of two Germans, Georg Widter and Adam Wolf, who published a translation of twenty-one Venetian tales in the Jahrbuch fuer romanische und englische Literatur, Vol. VII. (1866), pp. 1-36, 121-154, 249-290, with comparative notes by R. Koehler. In the same volume were published, pp. 381-400, twelve tales from Leghorn, collected by Hermann Knust; and finally the eighth volume of the same periodical, pp. 241-260, contains three stories from the neighborhood of Sora, in Naples. In 1867 Schneller published at Innsbruck a German translation of sixty-nine tales, collected by him in the Italian Tyrol. Of much greater interest and importance than any of the above are the two volumes of Sicilian tales, collected and translated into German by Laura Gonzenbach, afterwards the wife of the Italian general, La Racine. There are but two other collections of Italian stories by foreigners: Miss Busk's Folk-Lore of Rome, and the anonymous Tuscan Fairy Tales recently published.

The number of stories published, in German and English, is about twice as many as those published in Italian before Pitre's collection, being over four hundred. Pitre contains more than all the previous Italian publications together, embracing over three hundred tales, etc., besides those previously published by him in periodicals and elsewhere. Since Pitre's collection, the three works of Comparetti, Visentini, and Nerucci, have added one hundred and eighty tales, not to speak of wedding publications, containing from one to five stories. It is, of course, impossible to examine separately all these collections,—we will mention briefly the most important. To Imbriani is due the first collection of tales taken down from the mouths of the people and compared with previously published Italian popular tales. In 1871 appeared his Novellaja fiorentina, and in the following year the Novellaja milanese. These two have been combined, and published as a second edition of the Novellaja fiorentina, containing fifty Florentine and forty-five Milanese tales, besides a number of stories from Straparola, the Pentamerone, and the Italian novelists, given by way of illustration. The stories are accompanied by copious references to the rest of Italy, and Liebrecht's references to other European parallels. It is an admirable work, but one on which we have drawn but seldom, restricting ourselves to the stories in the various dialects as much as possible. The Milanese stories are in general very poor versions of the typical tales, being distorted and fragmentary. In 1873 Dr. Giuseppe Pitre, of Palermo, well known for his collection of popular Sicilian songs, published three specimens of a collection of Sicilian popular tales, and two years later gave to the world his admirable work, Fiabe, Novelle e Racconti, forming vols. IV.-VII. of the Biblioteca delle Tradizioni populari Siciliane per cura di Giuseppe Pitre. It is not, however, numerically that Pitre's collection surpasses all that has previously been done in this field. It is a monument of patient, thorough research and profound study. Its arrangement is almost faultless, the explanatory notes full, while the grammar and glossary constitute valuable contributions to the philology of the Italian dialects. In the Introduction the author, probably for the first time, makes the Sicilian public acquainted with the fundamental principles of comparative mythology and its relation to folk-lore, and gives a good account of the Oriental sources of the novel. He has, it seems to us, very properly confined his notes and comparisons entirely to Italy, with references of course to Gonzenbach and Koehler's notes to Widter-Wolf when necessary. In other words, his work is a contribution to Italian folk-lore, and the student of comparative Aryan folk-lore must make his own comparisons: a task no longer difficult, thanks to the works of Grimm, Hahn, Koehler, Cox, De Gubernatis, etc. The only other collection that need be mentioned here is the one in the Canti e Racconti del Popolo italiano, consisting of the first volume of the Novellino pop. ital. pub. ed ill. da Dom. Comparetti, and of Visentini's Fiabe Mantovane. The stories in both of the above works are translated into Italian. In the first there is no arrangement by locality or subject; and the annotations, instead of being given with each story, are reserved for one of the future volumes,—an unhandy arrangement, which detracts from the value of the work.

We will now turn our attention from the collections themselves to the stories they contain, and examine these first as to their form, and secondly as to their contents.

The name applied to the popular tale differs in various provinces, being generally a derivative of the Latin fabula. So these stories are termed favuli and frauli in parts of Sicily, favole in Rome, fiabe in Venice, foe in Liguria, and fole in Bologna. In Palermo and Naples they are named cunti, novelle and novelline in Tuscany, esempi in Milan, and storie in Piedmont.[11] There are few peculiarities of form, and they refer almost exclusively to the beginning and ending of the stories. Those from Sicily begin either with the simple "cc'era" (there was), or "'na vota cc'era" (there was one time), or "si raccunta chi'na vota cc'era" (it is related that there was one time). Sometimes the formula is repeated, as, "si cunta e s' arricunta" (it is related and related again), with the addition at times of "a lor signuri" (to your worships), or the story about to be told is qualified as "stu bellissimu cuntu" (this very fine story). Ordinarily they begin, as do our own, with the formula, "once upon a time there was." The ending is also a variable formula, often a couplet referring to the happy termination of the tale and the relatively unenviable condition of the listeners. The Sicilian ending usually is:—

"Iddi arristaru filici e cuntenti, E nuatri semu senza nenti."

(They remained happy and contented, and we are without anything.) The last line often is "E nui semu cca munnamu li denti" (And here we are picking our teeth), or "Ma a nui 'un ni desinu nenti" (But to us they gave nothing), which corresponds to a Tuscan ending:—

"Se ne stettero e se la goderono E a me nulla mi diedero."

(They stayed and enjoyed it, and gave nothing to me.) A common Tuscan ending is:—

"In santa pace pia Dite la vostra, ch'io detto la mia."

(In holy pious peace tell yours, for I have told mine.) In some parts of Sicily (Polizzi) a similar conclusion is found:—

"Favula scritta, favula ditta; Diciti la vostra, ca la mia e ditta."

(Story written, story told; tell yours, for mine is told.) So in Venice,—

"Longa la tua, curta la mia; Conta la tua, che la mia xe finia."

(Long yours, short mine; tell yours, for mine is ended.) The first line is sometimes as follows:—

"Stretto il viuolo, stretta la via; Dite la vostra, ch'io detto la mia."

(Narrow the path, narrow the way; tell yours, for I have told mine.) The most common form of the above Tuscan ending is:—

"Stretta e la foglia e larga e la via, Dite la vostra che ho detto la mia."

(Narrow is the leaf, broad is the way, etc.) This same ending is also found in Rome.[12] These endings have been omitted in the present work as they do not constitute an integral part of the story, and are often left off by the narrators themselves. The narrative is usually given in the present tense, and in most of the collections is animated and dramatic. Very primitive expedients are employed to indicate the lapse of time, either the verb indicating the action is repeated, as, "he walked, and walked, and walked," a proceeding not unknown to our own stories, or such expressions as the following are used: Cuntu 'un porta tempu, or lu cuntu 'un metti tempu, or 'Ntra li cunti nun cc'e tempu, which are all equivalent to, "The story takes no note of time." These Sicilian expressions are replaced in Tuscany by the similar one: Il tempo delle novelle passa presto ("Time passes quickly in stories"). Sometimes the narrator will bring himself or herself into the story in a very naive manner; as, for example, when a name is wanted. So in telling a Sicilian story which is another version of "The Fair Angiola" given in our text, the narrator, Gna Sabbedda, continues: "The old woman met her once, and said: 'Here, little girl, whose daughter are you?' 'Gna Sabbedda's', for example; I mention myself, but, however, I was not there."[13]

If we turn our attention now to the contents of our stories we shall find that they do not differ materially from those of the rest of Europe, and the same story is found, with trifling variations, all over Italy.[14] There is but little local coloring in the fairy tales, and they are chiefly interesting for purposes of comparison. We have given in our text such a copious selection from all parts of the country that the reader can easily compare them for himself with the tales of other lands in their more general features. If they are not strikingly original they will still, we trust, be found interesting variations of familiar themes; and we shall perhaps deem less strange to us a people whose children are still amused with the same tales as our own.


ARCHIVIO per lo Studio delle Tradizioni popolari. Rivista trimestrale diretta da G. Pitre e S. Salomone-Marino. Palermo, 1882-1885. 8vo.

The following popular tales have been published in the Archivio: Novelle popolari toscane, edited by G. Pitre, vol. I. pp. 35-69, 183-205, 520-540; vol. II. pp. 157-172. La Storia del Re Crin, collected by A. Arietti [Piedmont], vol. I. pp. 424-429. Cuntu di lu Ciropiddhu, novellina popolare messinese, collected by T. Cannizzaro, vol. I. pp. 518-519. Novelle popolari sarde, collected by P. E. Guarnerio, vol. II. pp. 19-38, 185-206, 481-502; vol. III. pp. 233-240. La Cenerentola a Parma e a Camerino, collected by Caterina Pigorini-Beri, vol. II. pp. 45-58. Fiabe popolari crennesi [provincia di Milano], collected by V. Imbriani, vol. II. pp. 73-81. Fiaba veneziana [= Pitre, xxxix.], collected by Cristoforo Pasqualigo, vol. II. pp. 353-358. Il Re Porco, novellina popolare marchigiana, collected by Miss R. H. Busk, vol. II. pp. 403-409. Tre novellini pugliesi di Cerignola, collected by N. Zingarelli, vol. III. pp. 65-72. La Bona Fia, fiaba veneziana, collected by A. Dalmedico, vol. III. pp. 73-74. Tradizioni popolari abruzzesi, Novelle, collected by G. Finamore, vol. III. pp. 359-372, 331-350. I Tre Maghi ovverosia Il Merlo Bianco, novella popolare montalese, collected by G. Nerucci, vol. III. pp. 373-388, 551-568.


Una novellina e una poesia popolare gragnolesi. Florence, 1881. 8^o. Pp. 15. Per le Nozze Biagi-Piroli. Edizione di 100 copie numerate.

The novellina is a version of Pitre, Nos. 159, 160 ("The Treasure of Rhampsinitus").


Lo Cunto de li Cunti. Overo Lo Trattenemiento de Peccerille. De Gian Alesio Abbattutis. Iornate Cinco. Naples, Per Camillo Cavallo. 1644. 12^o.

Il conto de' conti trattenimento a' fanciulli. Trasportato dalla Napolitana all' Italiana favella, ed adornato di bellissime Figure. Naples, 1784.

La Chiaqlira dla Banzola o per dir mii Fol divers tradutt dal parlar Napulitan in lengua Bulgnesa per rimedi innucent dla sonn, e dla malincunj. Dedica al merit singular dl gentilessem sgnori d' Bulogna. Bologna, 1813. 4^o.

Der Pentamerone oder: Das Maerchen aller Maerchen von Giambattista Basile. Aus dem Neapolitanischen uebertragen von Felix Liebrecht. Nebst einer Vorrede von Jacob Grimm. 2 vols. Breslau, 1846. 8^o.

The Pentamerone, or the Story of Stories, Fun for the Little Ones. By Giambattista Basile. Translated from the Neapolitan by John Edward Taylor. With Illustrations by George Cruikshank. Second edition. London, 1850. 8^o.

Archiv fuer das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen. Herausgegeben von Ludwig Herrig. Vol. XLV. p. 1. Eine neapolitanische Maerchen-sammlung aus der ersten Haelfte des XVII. Jahrhunderts—Pentamerone des Giambattista Basile.

BASILE, GIAMBATTISTA. Archivio di Letteratura popolare. Naples, 1883-85.

A monthly periodical devoted to popular literature. The volumes which have already appeared contain a large number of popular tales collected at Naples or in the vicinity.


Fiabe popolari veneziane raccolte da Dom. Giuseppe Bernoni. Venice, 1875. 8^o.

Leggende fantastiche popolari veneziane raccolte da Dom. Giuseppe Bernoni. Venice, 1873. 8^o.

Le Strighe: Leggende popolari veneziane raccolte da Dom. Giuseppe Bernoni. Venice, 1874. 16^o.

Tradizioni popolari veneziane raccolte da Dom. Giuseppe Bernoni. Puntate I.-IV. Venice, 1875-77.


Fiabe e Legende della Valle di Rendena nel Trentino. Rovereto, 1881. 8^o. Pp. 50. [Estratto dal VII. Annuario della Societa degli Alpinisti Tridentini.]


Household Stories from the Land of Hofer; or, Popular Myths of Tirol, including the Rose-Garden of King Lareyn. London, 1871. 8^o.

The Folk-Lore of Rome. Collected by word of mouth from the people. By R. H. Busk. London, 1874. 8^o.


See Comparetti and Visentini.


Novelline popolari italiane pubblicate ed illustrate da Domenico Comparetti. Vol. I. Turin, 1875. 8^o.

In Canti e Racconti del Popolo italiano. Pubblicati per cura di D. Comparetti ed A. D'Ancona. Vol. VI.


Some Italian Folk-Lore, Folk-Lore Record, I., pp. 187-215.

Notice of Comparetti's Nov. pop. ital., with translations.


I Componimenti minori della letteratura popolare italiana nei principali dialetti o saggio di letteratura dialettale comparata. Benevento, 1877. 8^o.

Novelle toscane, beneventane, apicese (Benvento), bolognese, bergamasca e vicentina. Pp. 409-489.


Novelle popolari bolognesi raccolte da Carolina Coronedi-Berti. Bologna, 1874. 8^o.

La Fola del Muretein, Novellina popolare Bolognese. Estratto dalla Rivista Europea. Florence, 1873. 8^o. Pp. 9.


A Nursery Tale. The Cornell Review, May, 1876, pp. 337-347.

Italian Fairy Tales. St. Nicholas, December, 1878, pp. 101-107.

Italian Popular Tales. North American Review, July, 1876, pp. 25-60.

Le Novelle Popolari Italiane. In Giornale di Sicilia. Palermo. Nos. 186-188, 190, 195, 206, 207, 216, 225, 236, 239, 240. Aug.-Oct., 1877.

Italian translation of above Article.

Recent Italian Popular Tales. The Academy, London, March 22, 1879, pp. 262-263.

Sicilian Folk-Lore. Lippincott's Magazine, October, 1876, pp. 433-443.

Devoted to Pitre's collection.

La Novellistica Popolare di Sicilia per T. F. Crane. Versione dall' Inglese per F. Polacci Nuccio. Estratto dalle Nuove Effemeridi Siciliane, Vol. VI. Palermo, 1877. 8^o. Pp. 26.

Italian translation of above Article.


Le Novelline di Santo Stefano raccolte da Angelo De Gubernatis e precedute da una introduzione sulla parentela del mito con la novella. Turin, 1869. 8^o.

See Rivista di Letteratura Popolare.

Zoological Mythology, or the Legends of Animals. By Angelo De Gubernatis. 2 vols. London, 1872. 8^o.


Usi e Costumi Abruzzesi. Vol. III. Fiabe. Florence, 1883. 16^o.


Tradizioni popolari abruzzesi. Vol. I. Novelle. Prima Parte, Lanciano, 1882. 8^o. Parte seconda, Lanciano, 1885.


Novella montanina, Florence, 1876. 8^o. Pp. 36. Edizione di 150 esemplari.


Novelline e Canti popolari delle Marche. Fano, 1878. 8^o. Pp. 18.

Per le Nozze Imbriani-Rosnati.


Biblioteca delle Tradizioni popolari marchigiane. Novelline e Fiabe popolari marchigiane raccolte e annotate da Antonio Gianandrea. Jesi, 1878. 12^o. Punt. I. pp. 32.

See Academy, March 22, 1879, p. 262.

Della novella del Petit Poucet. In Giornale di Filologia Romanza, II., pp. 231-234.

A few copies were printed separately.


Sicilianische Maerchen. Aus dem Volksmund gesammelt von Laura Gonzenbach. Mit Anmerkungen Reinhold Koehler's und einer Einleitung herausgegeben von Otto Hartwig. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1870. 8^o.


Saggio di Letture varie per i Giovani di Temistocle Gradi da Siena. Turin, 1865. 8^o.

La Vigilia di Pasqua di Ceppo. Otto Novelle di Temistocle Gradi. Coll' aggiunta di due racconti. Turin, 1860. 8^o.


Una novellina nel dialetto di Luras in Gallura (Sardinia). Milan, 1884. Per le Nozze Vivante-Ascoli. Edizione di soli L. esemplari.

An incomplete version of the Cupid and Psyche myth.


La Novellaja fiorentina cioe fiabe e novelline stenografate in Firenze dal dettato popolare e corredate di qualche noterella da Vittorio Imbriani. Naples, 1871. Esemplari 150. 16^o.

La Novellaja milanese, esempii e panzane lombarde raccolte nel Milanese da Vittorio Imbriani. Bologna, 1872. Esemplari 40. 8^o.

Paralipomeni alla Novellaja Milanese. Bologna, pp. 9. Tratura a parte del Propugnatore, Vol. VI. Esemplari 30.

'A 'Ndriana Fata. Cunto pomiglianese. Per nozze. Pomigliano d' Arco, 1875. 8^o. Pp. 14. 250 esemplari fuori di commercio.

Due Fiabe Toscane annotate da V. I. Esemplari 100. Naples, 1876. 8^o. Pp. 23.

These fiabe are also in Nerucci, pp. 10, 18.

Dodici conti pomiglianesi con varianti avellinesi, montellesi, bagnolesi, milanesi, toscane, leccesi, ecc. Illustrati da Vittorio Imbriani. Naples, 1877. 8^o.

'E Sette Mane-Mozze. In dialetto di Avellino. Principato Ulteriore. Pomigliano d'Arco, 1877. 8^o. Per le nozze Pitre-Vitrano. Esemplari cc. Fuori commercio.

La Novellaja Fiorentina. Fiabe e Novelline stenografate in Firenze dal dettato popolare da Vittorio Imbriani. Ristampa accresciuta di molte novelle inedite, di numerosi riscontri e di note, nelle quali e accolta integralmente La Novellaja Milanese dello stesso raccoglitore. Leghorn, 1877. 8^o.


Fiabe popolari rovignesi. Per le Nozze Ive-Lorenzetto, XXVIII. Novembre, 1877. Vienna, 1877. 8^o. Pp. 32. Edizione fuori di commercio di soli 100 esemplari.

See Academy, March 22, 1879, p. 262.

Fiabe popolari rovignesi raccolte ed annotate da Antonio Ive. Per le Nozze Ive-Rocco. Vienna, 1878. 8^o. Pp. 26. Edizione fuori di commercio di soli 100 esemplari.

See Academy, March 22, 1879, p. 262


Unter den Olivenbaeumen. Sueditalienische Volksmaerchen. Nacherzaehlt, Leipzig, 1880. 8^o.

Of the forty-four stories in this work thirty-four are translated from Pitre's Fiabe, six from Comparetti's Nov. pop. ital., and three from Imbriani's XII. Conti pomig., without any acknowledgment. This plagiarism was first exposed by R. Koehler in the Literarisches Centralblatt, 1881, vol. XXXII. p. 337, and afterwards by Pitre in the Nuove Effemeridi siciliane, 1881.


Italienische Maerchen. (Leghorn.) In Jahrbuch fuer romanische und englische Literatur. Leipzig, 1866. Vol. VII. Pp. 381-401.


Italienische Volksmaerchen. (Sora). In Jahrbuch fuer romanische und englische Literatur. Leipzig, 1867. Vol. VIII. Pp. 241-260.


Les Contes de Nourrice de la Sicile, d'apres des recueils nouveaux publies recemment in Italie. Revue des Deux Mondes, 15 Aug., 1875.

Devoted to Pitre's collection.

Les Contes de Pomigliano et la filiation des Mythes populaires. Revue des Deux Mondes, 1 Nov., 1877.

Contes populaires de l'Italie. Les Contes de Toscane et de Lombardie. Revue des Deux Mondes, 1 Dec., 1879.

Devoted to the Novellaja Fiorentina of Imbriani.

Les Contes populaires en Italie. Paris, 1880. 16^o.

Reprint of the above articles.


Studi sui Dialetti Greci della Terra d' Otranto. Preceduto da una raccolta di Canti, Leggende, Proverbi, e Indovinelli. Lecce, 1870. 4^o. Leggende, pp. 73-77.


Sessanta novelle popolari montalesi (Circondario di Pistoja). Florence, 1880. 12^o.

Cincelle da Bambini in nella stietta parlatura rustica d' i' Montale Pistolese. Pistoia, 1881. 8^o.


Les Contes populaires de l'Ile de la Corse. Paris, 1883. 8^o.

Vol. XVI. of Litteratures populaires de toutes les Nations, Paris, Maisonneuve.


In dialetto di Crenna [Provincia di Milano]. Rome, 1876. 8^o. Pp. 15. 200 esemplari fuori di commercio.


Novelline popolari livornesi raccolte e annotate da Giovanni Papanti. Leghorn, 1877. 8^o. Pp. 29.

Per le nozze Pitre-Vitrano. Edizione fuori di commercio di soli 150 esemplari.


Fiabe e Canzoni popolari del Contado di Maglie in Terra d' Otranto. Fasc. I. Maglie, 1884. 8^o. Pp. 143.


Saggio (Primo) di Fiabe e Novelle popolari Siciliane raccolte da Giuseppe Pitre. Palermo, 1873. 8^o. Pp. 16.

Nuovo Saggio (Secundo) di Fiabe e Novelle popolari Siciliane raccolte ed illustrate da Giuseppe Pitre. Estratto dalla Rivista di Filologia Romanza, vol. I., fasc. II. e III. Imola, 1873. 8^o. Pp. 34.

Otto Fiabe (Terzo Saggio) e Novelle Siciliane raccolte dalla bocca del Popolo ed annotate da Giuseppe Pitre. Bologna, 1873. Estratto dal Propugnatore, Vol. VI. 8^o. Pp. 42.

Novelline popolari siciliane raccolte in Palermo ed annotate da Giuseppe Pitre. Palermo, 1873. 8^o.

Edizione di soli 100 esemplari.

Fiabe, Novelle e Racconti. 4 vols. Palermo, 1875. 8^o.[B]

Biblioteca delle tradizioni popolari siciliane per cura di Giuseppe Pitre. Vols. IV.-VII.

[Footnote B: When Pitre is mentioned without any other qualification than that of a numeral, this work is understood.]

La Scatola di Cristallo. Novellina popolare senese raccolta da Giuseppe Pitre. Palermo, 1875. 8^o.

Per le Nozze Montuoro-Di Giovanni.

Cinque novelline popolari siciliane ora per la prima volta pubblicate da G. Pitre. Palermo, 1878. 8^o.

Per le Nozze Salomone Marino-Abate. Ediz. di 50 esemplari. See Academy, March 22, 1879, p. 262.

Novelline popolari toscane ora per la prima volta pubblicate da G. Pitre. Il Medico grillo. Vocaboli. La Gamba. Serpentino. Palermo, 1878. 8^o. Pp. 16.

Per le Nozze Imbriani-Rosnati. Tirato a soli 25 esemplari.

Una variante toscana della novella del Petit Poucet. 8^o. Pp. 6.

Estratto dalla Rivista di Lett. Pop. Vol. I. pp. 161-166.

La Tinchina dell' alto Mare. Fiaba toscana raccolta ed illustrata da Giuseppe Pitre. Quattrasteriscopoli, 1882. 8^o. Pp. 14.

Per le Nozze Papanti-Giraudini. Esemplari novanta.

Il Zoccolo di Legno, Novella popolare fiorentina. In Giornale Napoletano della Domenica, 2 July, 1882. [= Pitre, Fiabe, No. XIII.]

I tre pareri. Novella popolare toscana di Pratovecchio nel Cosentino. In Giornale Napoletano della Domenica, 20 August, 1882. [= Pitre, Fiabe, No. CXCVII.]

Novelle popolari toscane. Florence, 1885. 16^o.

Collected by Giovanni Siciliano. A few of the stories in this collection have already been published in the Archivio per lo Studio delle Tradizioni popolari.


La Leggenda Indiana di Nala in una Novellina popolare Pitiglianese. 8^o. Pp. 8. Extract from I Nuovi Goliardi.

La Leggenda del Tesoro di Rampsinite nelle varie redazioni Italiane e Straniere. Como, 1882. 8^o. Pp. xii., 51. Edizione di soli 100 esemplari numerati.

Una Novellina popolare monferrina. Como, 1882. 8^o. Pp. 67. Edizione di soli 80 esemplari.

Quattro Novelline popolare livornesi accompagnate da varianti umbre raccolte, pubblicate ed illustrate con note comparative. Spoleto, 1880. Gr. 8^o. Pp. 168.

L' Uomo nella Luna. Fol. pp. 4. Estratto dalla rivista di Ancona: Il Preludio, del 30 gennaio, 1881.

L' Orma del Leone, un racconto orientale nella tradizione popolare. Romania XII., pp. 535-565.


Sicilian Fairy Tales. Fraser's Magazine, New Series, vol. XIII. 1876, pp. 423-433.


Vol. I., pp. 81-86, contains Novelline di Sto. Stefano di Calcinaia in continuation of Le Novelline di Santo Stefano, see De Gubernatis; p. 161, G. Pitre, Una variante toscana della novella del Petit Poucet; p. 213, R. Koehler Das Raethselmaerchen von dem ermordeten Geliebten; p. 266, G. Pitre, La Lucerna, nov. pop. tosc.; p. 288, F. Sabatini, La Lanterna, nov. pop. bergamasca.

ROMANE, QUATTRO NOVELLINE POPOLARI. Nel giornale Il Manzoni (Spoleto), No. 1, 1 Marzo, 1880.


La Lanterna. Novella popolare siciliana pubblicata ed illustrata a cura di Francesco Sabatini. Imola, 1878. 8^o. Pp. 19.

Per le nozzi Salomone-Marino-Abate. Edizione di soli 180 esemplari. See Academy, March 22, 1879, p. 262.


La Posillecheata de Masillo Reppone di Gnanopole. Naples, 1789. In Collezione di tutti li poeti in lingua Napoletana. 28 vols. 12^o. Naples, 1789.


Sette novellette, non piu ristampate da oltre due secoli, ripubblicate da V. Imbriani. Pomigliano d'Arco, 1875. 8^o. Pp. 15. Soli 150 esemplari.


Maerchen und Sagen aus Waelschtirol. Ein Beitrag zur deutschen Sagenkunde. Gesammelt von Christian Schneller. Innsbruck, 1867. 8^o.


Cento Racconti per divertire gli amici nelle ore oziose e nuovi brindisi per spasso nelle tavole e nelle conversazioni. Messina, 1883. 16^o.

The book really contains one hundred and thirty-one stories, and deserves mention here solely for its relation to the class of stories discussed in Chapter VI.


Piacevoli Notti di M. Giovan Francesco Straparola da Caravaggio, Nelle quali si contengono le Favole con i loro Enimmi da dieci donne, et da duo giovani raccontate. 2 vols. Venice, Per Comin da Trino di Monferrato, 1562. 8^o.

Le Tredici Piacevolissime Notte di M. Gio: Francesco Straparola da Caravaggio. Divise in due libri... con licenza de' superiori. Venice, 1604. Appresso Zanetto Zanetti. 8^o. Con figure.

Les Facetieuses Nuits de Straparole. Traduites par Jean Louveau et Pierre de Larivey. 2 vols. Paris, 1857. 8^o.

Bibliotheque elzeverienne.

Die Maerchen des Straparola. Aus dem Italienischen, mit Anmerkungen von Dr. F. W. V. Schmidt. Berlin, 1817. 8^o. In Maerchen-Saal. Sammlung alter Maerchen mit Anmerkungen; herausgegeben von Dr. F. W. V. Schmidt. Erster Band.

Giovan Francesco Straparola da Caravaggio. Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung der philosophischen Doctorwuerde in Goettingen von F. W. J. Brakelmann. Goettingen, 1867. 8^o.


La Tradizione dei Sette Savi nelle novelline magiare di E. Teza. Bologna, 1874. Pp. 56. Contains: Mila e Buccia, novellina veneziana, p. 26; La Novellina del Papagallo, novellina toscana, p. 52.

TUSCAN FAIRY TALES (Taken down from the Mouths of the People). With sixteen illustrations by J. Stanley, engraved by Edmund Evans. London, 1880. 16^o.


The Cornhill Magazine, July, 1875, pp. 80-90.

Devoted to Bernoni's collections.


Fiabe Mantovane raccolte da Isaia Visentini. Turin, 1879. In Canti e Racconti del Popolo italiano. Vol. VII.


Volksmaerchen aus Venetian. Gesammelt und herausgegeben von Georg Widter und Adam Wolf. Mit Nachweisen und Vergleichungen verwandter Maerchen von Reinhold Koehler. In Jahrbuch fuer romanische und englische Literatur. Leipzig, 1866. VII. vol., pp. 1-36; 121-154; 249-290.


Those marked with an * are translated from the dialect; those in italics are found in the notes.

PAGE I. * THE KING OF LOVE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 18, Lu Re d'Amuri) 1

II. ZELINDA AND THE MONSTER. (Tuscan, Nerucci, No. 1, Zelinda e il Mostro) 7

III. * KING BEAN. (Venetian, Bernoni, Fiabe, No. 17, El Re de Fava) 12

IV. * THE DANCING WATER, THE SINGING APPLE AND THE SPEAKING BIRD. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 36, Li Figghi di lu Cavuliciddaru) 17

V. THE FAIR ANGIOLA. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 53, Von der schoenen Angiola) 26

VI. THE CLOUD. (Tuscan, Comparetti, No. 32, La Nuvolaccia) 30

VII. * THE CISTERN. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 80, La Jisterna) 36

VIII. * THE GRIFFIN. (Neapolitan, Imbriani, Pomiglianesi, p. 195, L'Auciello Crifone) 40

IX. CINDERELLA. (Tuscan, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 151, La Cenerentola) 42

X. * FAIR MARIA WOOD. (Vincenza, Corazzini, p. 484, La Bela Maria del Legno) 48

XI. * THE CURSE OF THE SEVEN CHILDREN. (Bolognese, Coronedi-Berti, No. 19, La Maledizion di Set Fiu) 54

XII. ORAGGIO AND BIANCHINETTA. (Tuscan, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 314, Oraggio e Bianchinetta) 58

XIII. THE FAIR FIORITA. (Basilicata, Comparetti, No. 20, La Bella Fiorita) 61

XIV. * BIERDE. (Istrian, Ive, 1877, p. 13, Bierde) 68

XV. * SNOW-WHITE-FIRE-RED. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 13, Bianca-comu-nivi-russa-comu-focu) 72

XVI. HOW THE DEVIL MARRIED THREE SISTERS. (Venetian, Widter-Wolf, No. 11, Der Teufel heirathet drei Schwestern) 78

XVII. IN LOVE WITH A STATUE. (Piedmontese, Comparetti, No. 29, L'Innamorato d'una Statua) 85

XVIII. * THIRTEENTH. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 33, Tridicinu) 90

XIX. * THE COBBLER. (Milanese, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 575, El Sciavattin) 94

XX. SIR FIORANTE, MAGICIAN. (Tuscan, De Gubernatis, Sto. Stefano, No. 14, Sor Fiorante mago) 322

XXI. THE CRYSTAL CASKET. (Tuscan, La Scatola di Cristallo raccolta da G. Pitre) 326

XXII. * THE STEPMOTHER. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 283, La Parrastra) 331

XXIII. * WATER AND SALT. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 10, L'Acqua e lu Sali) 333

XXIV. * THE LOVE OF THE THREE ORANGES. (Istrian, Ive, 1878, p. 3, L'Amur dei tri Naranci) 338

XXV. THE KING WHO WANTED A BEAUTIFUL WIFE. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 73, Von dem Koenige, der eine schoene Frau wollte) 97

XXVI. * THE BUCKET. (Milanese, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 190, El Sidellin) 100

XXVII. THE TWO HUMPBACKS. (Tuscan, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 559, I due Gobbi) 103

XXVIII. THE STORY OF CATHERINE AND HER FATE. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 21, Die Geschichte von Caterina und ihrem Schicksal) 105

XXIX. * THE CRUMB IN THE BEARD. (Bolognese, Coronedi-Berti, No. 15, La Fola d' Brisla in Barba) 110

XXX. * THE FAIRY ORLANDA. (Neapolitan, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 333, 'A Fata Orlanna) 114

XXXI. THE SHEPHERD WHO MADE THE KING'S DAUGHTER LAUGH. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 31, Von dem Schaefer der die Koenigstochter zum Lachen brachte) 119

XXXII. THE ASS THAT LAYS MONEY. (Tuscan, Nerucci, No. 43, Il Ciuchino caca-zecchini) 123

XXXIII. * DON JOSEPH PEAR. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 88, Don Giuseppi Piru) 127

XXXIV. PUSS IN BOOTS. (Straparola, XI. 1.) 348

XXXV. * FAIR BROW. (Istrian, Ive, 1877, p. 19, Biela Fronte) 131

XXXVI. LIONBRUNO. (Basilicata, Comparetti, No. 41, Lionbruno) 136

XXXVII. * THE PEASANT AND THE MASTER. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 194, Lu Burgisi e lu Patruni) 150

XXXVIII. THE INGRATES. (Piedmontese, Comparetti, No. 67, Gli Ingrati) 150

XXXIX. * THE TREASURE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 138, La Truvatura) 156

XL. * THE SHEPHERD. (Milanese, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 572, El Pegoree) 156

XLI. * THE THREE ADMONITIONS. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 197, Li tri Rigordi) 157

XLII. * VINEYARD I WAS AND VINEYARD I AM. (Venetian, Bernoni, Trad. pop. venez., Punt. I. p. 11, Vigna era e Vigna son) 159

XLIII. THE LANGUAGE OF ANIMALS. (Piedmontese, Comparetti, No. 56, Il Linguaggio degli Animali) 161

XLIV. * THE MASON AND HIS SON. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 160, Lu Muraturi e so Figghiu) 163

XLV. THE PARROT. FIRST VERSION. (Tuscan, Comparetti, No. 1, Il Pappagallo) 168

XLVI. THE PARROT. SECOND VERSION. (Tuscan, Teza, La Tradizione dei Sette Savi, etc., p. 52, La Novellina del Papagallo) 169

XLVII. * THE PARROT WHICH TELLS THREE STORIES. THIRD VERSION. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 2, Lu Pappagaddu chi cunta tri cunti) 173 First Story of the Parrot 175 Second Story of the Parrot 178 Third Story of the Parrot 180

XLVIII. * TRUTHFUL JOSEPH. (Neapolitan, Pomiglianesi, p. 1, Giuseppe 'A Vereta) 184

XLIX. The Man, the Serpent, and the Fox. (Otranto, Morosi, p. 75) 354

L. * THE LORD, ST. PETER, AND THE APOSTLES. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 123, Lu Signuri, S. Petru e li Apostuli) 186

LI. THE LORD, ST. PETER, AND THE BLACKSMITH. (Venetian, Widter-Wolf, No. 5, Der Herrgott, St. Peter und der Schmied) 188

LII. * IN THIS WORLD ONE WEEPS AND ANOTHER LAUGHS. (Sicilian, Pitre, Cinque nov. pop. sicil., p. 7, A stu munnu cu' chianci e cu' ridi) 190

LIII. * THE ASS. (Sicilian, Pitre, Cinque nov. pop. sicil., p. 8, Lu Sceccu) 190

LIV. ST. PETER AND HIS SISTERS. (Tyrolese, Schneller, p. 6, St. Petrus und seine Schwestern) 193

LV. * PILATE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 119, Pilatu) 194

LVI. * THE STORY OF JUDAS. (Sicilian, Pitre, vol. I. p. cxxxviii., Lu Cuntu di Giuda) 195

LVII. * DESPERATE MALCHUS. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 120, Marcu dispiratu) 196

LVIII. * MALCHUS AT THE COLUMN. (Venetian, Bernoni, Preghiere pop. veneziane, p. 18, Malco a la Colona) 197

LIX. * THE STORY OF BUTTADEU. (Sicilian, Pitre, vol. I. p. cxxxiii., La Storia di Buttadeu) 197

LX. THE STORY OF CRIVOLIU. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 85, Vom Crivoliu) 198

LXI. THE STORY OF ST. JAMES OF GALICIA. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 90, Die Geschichte von San Japicu alla Lizia) 202

LXII. * THE BAKER'S APPRENTICE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 111, Lu Giuvini di lu Furnaru) 212

LXIII. * OCCASION. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 124, Accaciuni) 215

LXIV. * BROTHER GIOVANNONE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 125, Fra Giugannuni) 217

LXV. GODFATHER MISERY. (Tuscan, De Gubernatis, Sto. Stefano, No. 32, Compar Miseria) 221

LXVI. BEPPO PIPETTA. (Venetian, Widter-Wolf, No. 7, Beppo Pipetta) 222

LXVII. * THE JUST MAN. (Venetian, Bernoni, Trad. pop. venez., Punt. I. p. 6, El Giusto) 226

LXVIII. * OF A GODFATHER AND A GODMOTHER OF ST. JOHN WHO MADE LOVE. (Venetian, Bernoni, Leggende, p. 3, De una comare e un compare de San Zuane che i conversava in fra de lori) 228

LXIX. * THE GROOMSMAN. (Venetian, Bernoni, Leggende, p. 7, De un compare de l' anelo ch' el ga struca la man a la sposa co cativa intenzion) 231

LXX. * THE PARISH PRIEST OF SAN MARCUOLA. (Venetian, Bernoni, Leggende, p. 17, De un piovan de San Marcuola, che ga dito che i morti in dove che i xe i resta) 234

LXXI. * THE GENTLEMAN WHO KICKED A SKULL. (Venetian, Bernoni, Leggende, p. 19, De un signor che ga da 'na peada a un cragno da morto) 236

LXXII. * The Gossips of St. John. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 110, Li Cumpari di S. Giuvanni) 369

LXXIII. * SADDAEDDA. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 128, Saddaedda) 238

LXXIV. * MR. ATTENTIVE. (Venetian, Bernoni, Punt. II. p. 53, Sior Intento) 240

LXXV. * THE STORY OF THE BARBER. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 141, Lu Cuntu di lu Varveri) 241

LXXVI. * DON FIRRIULIEDDU. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 130, Don Firriulieddu) 241

LXXVII. LITTLE CHICK-PEA. (Tuscan, Rivista di Lett. pop. I. p. 161, Cecino) 242

LXXVIII. * PITIDDA. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 131, Pitidda) 248

LXXIX. * THE SEXTON'S NOSE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 135, Lu Nasu di lu Sagristanu) 250

LXXX. * THE COCK AND THE MOUSE. (Principato Ulteriore, Imbriani, Pomiglianesi, p. 239, 'O Gallo e 'o Sorece) 252

LXXXI. * GODMOTHER FOX. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 132, Cummari Vurpidda) 254

LXXXII. * THE CAT AND THE MOUSE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 134, La Gatta e lu Surci) 257

LXXXIII. * A FEAST DAY. (Venetian, Bernoni, Fiabe, No. 4, 'Na Giornada de Sagra) 261

LXXXIV. * THE THREE BROTHERS. (Venetian, Bernoni, Trad. pop. venez., Punt. I. p. 18, I tre Fradei) 263

LXXXV. BUCHETTINO. (Tuscan, Papanti, Novelline pop. livornesi, p. 25, Buchettino) 265

LXXXVI. * THE THREE GOSLINGS. (Venetian, Bernoni, Trad. pop. venez., Punt. III. p. 65, Le Tre Ochete) 267

LXXXVII. * THE COCK. (Venetian, Bernoni, Trad. pop. venez., Punt. III. p. 69, El Galo) 270

LXXXVIII. THE COCK THAT WISHED TO BECOME POPE. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 66, Von dem Hahne, der Pabst werden wollte) 272

LXXXIX. The Goat and the Fox. (Otranto, Morosi, p. 73) 375

XC. The Ant and the Mouse. (Otranto, Morosi, p. 73) 376

XCI. * THE COOK. (Milan, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 621, El Coeugh) 275

XCII. * THE THOUGHTLESS ABBOT. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 97, L' Abbati senza Pinseri) 276

XCIII. * BASTIANELO. (Venetian, Bernoni, Fiabe, No. 6, Bastianelo) 279

XCIV. * CHRISTMAS. (Neapolitan, Imbriani, Pomiglianesi, p. 226, Natale) 283

XCV. * THE WAGER. (Venetian, Bernoni, Fiabe, No. 13, La Scomessa) 284

XCVI. * SCISSORS THEY WERE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 257, Forfici foro) 285

XCVII. * THE DOCTOR'S APPRENTICE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 180, L' Apprinnista di lu Medicu) 287

XCVIII. * FIRRAZZANU'S WIFE AND THE QUEEN. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 156, La Mugghieri di Firrazzanu e la Riggina) 288

XCIX. * GIUFA AND THE PLASTER STATUE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 190, I, Giufa e la statua di ghissu) 291

C. * GIUFA AND THE JUDGE. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 190, 3, Giufa e lu Judici) 293

CI. THE LITTLE OMELET. (Tuscan, Novellaja fiorentina, p. 545, La Frittatina) 294

CII. * EAT, MY CLOTHES! (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 190, 9, Manciati, rubbiceddi mei!) 296

CIII. GIUFA'S EXPLOITS. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 37, Giufa) 297

CIV. * THE FOOL. (Venetian, Bernoni, Fiabe, No. 11, El Mato) 302

CV. * UNCLE CAPRIANO. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 157, Lu Zu Crapianu) 303

CVI. * Peter Fullone and the Egg. (Sicilian, Pitre, No. 200, Petru Fudduni e l' ovu) 381

CVII. THE CLEVER PEASANT. (Sicilian, Gonzenbach, No. 50, Vom Klugen Bauer) 309

CVIII. THE CLEVER GIRL. (Tuscan, Comparetti, No. 43, La Ragazza astuta) 311

CIX. CRAB. (Mantuan, Visentini, No. 41, Gambara) 314




The most wide-spread and interesting class of Fairy Tales is the one in which a wife endeavors to behold the face of her husband, who comes to her only at night. She succeeds, but her husband disappears, and she is not reunited to him until she has expiated her indiscretion by weary journeys and the performance of difficult tasks. This class, which is evidently the popular form of the classic myth of Cupid and Psyche, may for convenience be divided into four classes. The first turns on the punishment of the wife's curiosity; the second, on the husband's (Melusina); in the third the heroine is married to a monster, is separated from him by her disobedience, but finally is the means of his recovering his human form; the fourth class is a variant of the first and third, the husband being an animal in form, and parted from his wife by the curiosity or disobedience of the latter or of her envious sisters.

To illustrate the first class, we select, from the large number of stories before us, a Sicilian tale (Pitre, No. 18) entitled:


Once upon a time there was a man with three daughters, who earned his living by gathering wild herbs. One day he took his youngest daughter with him. They came to a garden, and began to gather vegetables. The daughter saw a fine radish, and began to pull it up, when suddenly a Turk appeared, and said: "Why have you opened my master's door? You must come in now, and he will decide on your punishment."

They went down into the ground, more dead than alive; and when they were seated they saw a green bird come in and bathe in a pan of milk, then dry itself, and become a handsome youth. He said to the Turk: "What do these persons want?" "Your worship, they pulled up a radish, and opened the door of the cave." "How did we know," said the father, "that this was Your Excellency's house? My daughter saw a fine radish; it pleased her, and she pulled it up." "Well, if that's the case," said the master, "your daughter shall stay here as my wife; take this sack of gold and go; when you want to see your daughter, come and make yourself at home." The father took leave of his daughter and went away.

When the master was alone with her, he said: "You see, Rosella (Rusidda), you are now mistress here," and gave her all the keys. She was perfectly happy (literally, "was happy to the hairs of her head"). One day, while the green bird was away, her sisters took it into their heads to visit her, and asked her about her husband. Rosella said she did not know, for he had made her promise not to try to find out who he was. Her sisters, however, persuaded her, and when the bird returned and became a man, Rosella put on a downcast air. "What is the matter?" asked her husband. "Nothing." "You had better tell me." She let him question her a while, and at last said: "Well, then, if you want to know why I am out of sorts, it is because I wish to know your name." Her husband told her that it would be the worse for her, but she insisted on knowing his name. So he made her put the gold basins on a chair, and began to bathe his feet. "Rosella, do you really want to know my name?" "Yes." And the water came up to his waist, for he had become a bird, and had got into the basin. Then he asked her the same question again, and again she answered yes, and the water was up to his mouth. "Rosella, do you really want to know my name?" "Yes, yes, yes!" "Then know that I am called THE KING OF LOVE!" And saying this he disappeared, and the basins and the palace disappeared likewise, and Rosella found herself alone out in an open plain, without a soul to help her. She called her servants, but no one answered her. Then she said: "Since my husband has disappeared, I must wander about alone and forlorn to seek him!"

The poor woman, who expected before long to become a mother, began her wanderings, and at night arrived at another lonely plain; then she felt her heart sink, and, not knowing what to do, she cried out:—

"Ah! King of Love, You did it, and said it. You disappeared from me in a golden basin, And who will shelter to-night This poor unfortunate one?"

When she had uttered these words an ogress appeared and said: "Ah! wretch, how dare you go about seeking my nephew?" and was going to eat her up; but she took pity on her miserable state, and gave her shelter for the night. The next morning she gave her a piece of bread, and said: "We are seven sisters, all ogresses, and the worst of all is your mother-in-law; look out for her!"

To be brief, the poor girl wandered about six days, and met all six of the ogresses, who treated her in the same way. The seventh day, in great distress, she uttered her usual lament, and the sister of the King of Love appeared and said, "Rosella, while my mother is out, come up!" and she lowered the braids of her hair, and pulled her up. Then she gave her something to eat, and told her how to seize and pinch her mother until she cried out: "Let me alone for the sake of my son, the King of Love!"

Rosella did as she was told, but the ogress was so angry she was going to eat her. But her daughters threatened to abandon her if she did. "Well, then, I will write a letter, and Rosella must carry it to my friend." Poor Rosella was disheartened when she saw the letter, and, descending, found herself in the midst of a plain. She uttered her usual complaint, when the King of Love appeared, and said: "You see your curiosity has brought you to this point!" Poor thing! when she saw him she began to cry, and begged his pardon for what she had done. He took pity on her, and said: "Now listen to what you must do. On your way you will come to a river of blood; you must bend down and take some up in your hands, and say: 'How beautiful is this crystal water! such water as this I have never drunk!' Then you will come to another stream of turbid water, and do the same there. Then you will find yourself in a garden where there is a great quantity of fruit; pick some and eat it, saying: 'What fine pears! I have never eaten such pears as these.' Afterward, you will come to an oven that bakes bread day and night, and no one buys any. When you come there, say: 'Oh, what fine bread! bread like this I have never eaten,' and eat some. Then you will come to an entrance guarded by two hungry dogs; give them a piece of bread to eat. Then you will come to a doorway all dirty and full of cobwebs; take a broom and sweep it clean. Half-way up the stairs you will find two giants, each with a dirty piece of meat by his side; take a brush and clean it for them. When you have entered the house, you will find a razor, a pair of scissors, and a knife; take something and polish them. When you have done this, go in and deliver your letter to my mother's friend. When she wants to make you enter, snatch up a little box on the table, and run away. Take care to do all the things I have told you, or else you will never escape alive."

Rosella did as she was told, and while the ogress was reading the letter Rosella seized the box and ran for her life. When the ogress had finished reading her letter, she called: "Rosella! Rosella!" When she received no answer, she perceived that she had been betrayed, and cried out: "Razor, Scissors, Knife, cut her in pieces!" They answered: "As long as we have been razor, scissors, and knife, when did you ever deign to polish us? Rosella came and brightened us up." The ogress, enraged, exclaimed: "Stairs, swallow her up!" "As long as I have been stairs, when did you ever deign to sweep me? Rosella came and swept me." The ogress cried in a passion: "Giants, crush her!" "As long as we have been giants, when did you ever deign to clean our food for us? Rosella came and did it."

Then the furious ogress called on the entrance to bury her alive, the dogs to devour her, the furnace to burn her, the fruit-tree to fall on her, and the rivers to drown her; but they all remembered Rosella's kindness, and refused to injure her.

Meanwhile Rosella continued her way, and at last became curious to know what was in the box she was carrying. So she opened it, and a great quantity of little puppets came out; some danced, some sang, and some played on musical instruments. She amused herself some time with them; but when she was ready to go on, the little figures would not return to the box. Night approached, and she exclaimed, as she had so often before:—

"Ah! King of Love," etc.

Then her husband appeared and said, "Oh, your curiosity will be the death of you!" and commanded the puppets to enter the box again. Then Rosella went her way, and arrived safely at her mother-in-law's. When the ogress saw her she exclaimed: "You owe this luck to my son, the King of Love!" and was going to devour poor Rosella, but her daughters said: "Poor child! she has brought you the box; why do you want to eat her?" "Well and good. You want to marry my son, the King of Love; then take these six mattresses, and go and fill them with birds' feathers!" Rosella descended, and began to wander about, uttering her usual lament. When her husband appeared Rosella told him what had happened. He whistled and the King of the Birds appeared, and commanded all the birds to come and drop their feathers, fill the six beds, and carry them back to the ogress, who again said that her son had helped Rosella. However, she went and made up her son's bed with the six mattresses, and that very day she made him marry the daughter of the King of Portugal. Then she called Rosella, and, telling her that her son was married, bade her kneel before the nuptial bed, holding two lighted torches. Rosella obeyed, but soon the King of Love, under the plea that Rosella was not in a condition to hold the torches any longer, persuaded his bride to change places with her. Just as the queen took the torches in her hands, the earth opened and swallowed her up, and the king remained happy with Rosella.

When the ogress heard what had happened she clasped her hands over her head, and declared that Rosella's child should not be born until she unclasped her hands. Then the King of Love had a catafalque erected, and stretched himself on it as though he were dead, and had all the bells tolled, and made the people cry, "How did the King of Love die?" The ogress heard it, and asked: "What is that noise?" Her daughters told her that their brother was dead from her fault. When the ogress heard this she unclasped her hands, saying, "How did my son die?" At that moment Rosella's child was born. When the ogress heard it she burst a blood-vessel (in her heart) and died. Then the King of Love took his wife and sisters, and they remained happy and contented.[1]

* * * * *

There is another version of this story in Pitre (No. 281) entitled, "The Crystal King," which resembles more closely the classic myth.

A father marries the youngest of his three daughters to a cavalier (the enchanted son of a king) who comes to his wife at night only. The cavalier once permits his wife to visit her sisters, and they learn from her that she has never seen her husband's face. The eldest gives her a wax candle, and tells her to light it when her husband is asleep, and then she can see him and tell them what he is like. She did so, and beheld at her side a handsome youth; but while she was gazing at him some of the melted wax fell on his nose. He awoke, crying, "Treason! treason!" and drove his wife from the house. On her wanderings she meets a hermit, and tells him her story. He advises her to have made a pair of iron shoes, and when she has worn them out in her travels she will come to a palace where they will give her shelter, and where she will find her husband. The remainder of the story is of no interest here.[2]

In the second class of stories belonging to this myth it is the curiosity of the husband which is punished, the best known example of this class, out of Italy, being the beautiful French legend of Melusina.[3] A Sicilian story in Gonzenbach, No. 16, "The Story of the Merchant's Son Peppino," is a very close counterpart of "The King of Love," above given. Peppino is wrecked on a rock in the sea; the rock opens, fair maidens come out and conduct Peppino to a beautiful castle in the cave. There a maiden visits him at night only. After a time Peppino wishes to see his parents, and his wife allows him to depart, with the promise to return at a certain date. His parents, after hearing his story, give him a candle with which to see his wife. Everything happens as in the first story; the castle disappears, and Peppino finds himself on the top of a snow-covered mountain. He recovers his wife only after the lapse of many years and the accomplishment of many difficult tasks.[4]

The third class, generally known by the title of "Beauty and the Beast," is best represented by a story from Montale (near Pistoja), called:


There was once a poor man who had three daughters; and as the youngest was the fairest and most civil, and had the best disposition, her other two sisters envied her with a deadly envy, although her father, on the contrary, loved her dearly. It happened that in a neighboring town, in the month of January, there was a great fair, and that poor man was obliged to go there to lay in the provisions necessary for the support of his family; and before departing he asked his three daughters if they would like some small presents in proportion, you understand, to his means. Rosina wished a dress, Marietta asked him for a shawl, but Zelinda was satisfied with a handsome rose. The poor man set out on his journey early the next day, and when he arrived at the fair quickly bought what he needed, and afterward easily found Rosina's dress and Marietta's shawl; but at that season he could not find a rose for his Zelinda, although he took great pains in looking everywhere for one. However, anxious to please his dear Zelinda, he took the first road he came to, and after journeying a while arrived at a handsome garden inclosed by high walls; but as the gate was partly open he entered softly. He found the garden filled with every kind of flowers and plants, and in a corner was a tall rose-bush full of beautiful rose-buds. Wherever he looked no living soul appeared from whom he might ask a rose as a gift or for money, so the poor man, without thinking, stretched out his hand, and picked a rose for his Zelinda.

Mercy! scarcely had he pulled the flower from the stalk when there arose a great noise, and flames darted from the earth, and all at once there appeared a terrible Monster with the figure of a dragon, and hissed with all his might, and cried out, enraged at that poor Christian: "Rash man! what have you done? Now you must die at once, for you have had the audacity to touch and destroy my rose-bush." The poor man, more than half dead with terror, began to weep and beg for mercy on his knees, asking pardon for the fault he had committed, and told why he had picked the rose; and then he added: "Let me depart; I have a family, and if I am killed they will go to destruction." But the Monster, more wicked than ever, responded: "Listen; one must die. Either bring me the girl that asked for the rose or I will kill you this very moment." It was impossible to move him by prayers or lamentations; the Monster persisted in his decision, and did not let the poor man go until he had sworn to bring him there in the garden his daughter Zelinda.

Imagine how downhearted that poor man returned home! He gave his oldest daughters their presents and Zelinda her rose; but his face was distorted and as white as though he had arisen from the dead; so that the girls, in terror, asked him what had happened and whether he had met with any misfortune. They were urgent, and at last the poor man, weeping bitterly, related the misfortunes of that unhappy journey and on what condition he had been able finally to return home. "In short," he exclaimed, "either Zelinda or I must be eaten alive by the Monster." Then the two sisters emptied the vials of their wrath on Zelinda. "Just see," they said, "that affected, capricious girl! She shall go to the Monster! She who wanted roses at this season. No, indeed! Papa must stay with us. The stupid creature!" At all these taunts Zelinda, without growing angry, simply said: "It is right that the one who has caused the misfortune should pay for it. I will go to the Monster's. Yes, Papa, take me to the garden, and the Lord's will be done."

The next day Zelinda and her sorrowful father began their journey and at nightfall arrived at the garden gate. When they entered they saw as usual no one, but they beheld a lordly palace all lighted and the doors wide open. When the two travellers entered the vestibule, suddenly four marble statues, with lighted torches in their hands, descended from their pedestals, and accompanied them up the stairs to a large hall where a table was lavishly spread. The travellers, who were very hungry, sat down and began to eat without ceremony; and when they had finished, the same statues conducted them to two handsome chambers for the night. Zelinda and her father were so weary that they slept like dormice all night.

At daybreak Zelinda and her father arose, and were served with everything for breakfast by invisible hands. Then they descended to the garden, and began to seek the Monster. When they came to the rose-bush he appeared in all his frightful ugliness. Zelinda, on seeing him, became pale with fear, and her limbs trembled, but the Monster regarded her attentively with his great fiery eyes, and afterward said to the poor man: "Very well; you have kept your word, and I am satisfied. Now depart and leave me alone here with the young girl." At this command the old man thought he should die; and Zelinda, too, stood there half stupefied and her eyes full of tears; but entreaties were of no avail; the Monster remained as obdurate as a stone, and the poor man was obliged to depart, leaving his dear Zelinda in the Monster's power.

When the Monster was alone with Zelinda he began to caress her, and make loving speeches to her, and managed to appear quite civil. There was no danger of his forgetting her, and he saw that she wanted nothing, and every day, talking with her in the garden, he asked her: "Do you love me, Zelinda? Will you be my wife?" The young girl always answered him in the same way: "I like you, sir, but I will never be your wife." Then the Monster appeared very sorrowful, and redoubled his caresses and attentions, and, sighing deeply, said: "But you see, Zelinda, if you should marry me wonderful things would happen. What they are I cannot tell you until you will be my wife."

Zelinda, although in her heart not dissatisfied with that beautiful place and with being treated like a queen, still did not feel at all like marrying the Monster, because he was too ugly and looked like a beast, and always answered his requests in the same manner. One day, however, the Monster called Zelinda in haste, and said: "Listen, Zelinda; if you do not consent to marry me it is fated that your father must die. He is ill and near the end of his life, and you will not be able even to see him again. See whether I am telling you the truth." And, drawing out an enchanted mirror, the Monster showed Zelinda her father on his death-bed. At that spectacle Zelinda, in despair and half mad with grief, cried: "Oh, save my father, for mercy's sake! Let me be able to embrace him once more before he dies. Yes, yes, I promise you I will be your faithful and constant wife, and that without delay. But save my father from death."

Scarcely had Zelinda uttered these words when suddenly the Monster was transformed into a very handsome youth. Zelinda was astounded by this unexpected change, and the young man took her by the hand, and said: "Know, dear Zelinda, that I am the son of the King of the Oranges. An old witch, touching me, changed me into the terrible Monster I was, and condemned me to be hidden in this rose-bush until a beautiful girl consented to become my wife."

* * * * *

The remainder of the story has no interest here. Zelinda and her husband strive to obtain his parents' consent to his marriage. They refuse and the young couple run away from the royal palace and fall into the power of an ogre and his wife, from whom they at last escape.[5]

A characteristic trait of this class of stories is omitted in the above version, but found in a number of others. In a Sicilian version (Pitre, No. 39, "The Empress Rosina") the monster permits Rosina to visit her family, but warns her that if she does not return at the end of nine days he will die. He gives her a ring the stone of which will grow black in that event. The nine days pass unheeded, and when Rosina looks at her ring it is as black as pitch. She returns in haste, and finds the monster writhing in the last agony under the rose-bush. Four days she rubbed him with some ointment she found in the palace, and the monster recovered. As in the last story, he resumes his shape when Rosina consents to marry him. In one of Pitre's variants the monster allows Elizabeth to visit her dying father, if she will promise not to tear her hair. When her father dies she forgets, in her grief, her promise, and tears out her hair. When she returns to the palace the monster has disappeared. She seeks him, exclaiming:—

"Fierce animal mine, If I find thee alive I will marry thee although an animal."

She finds him at last, and he resumes his form.[6]

The fourth class consists of stories more or less distantly connected with the first and third classes above mentioned, and which turn on the heroine's separation from, and search after, her lost husband, usually an animal in form.

The example we have selected from this class is from Venice (Bernoni, XVII.), and is as follows:—


There was once an old man who had three daughters. One day the youngest called her father into her room, and requested him to go to King Bean and ask him whether he wished her for his wife. The poor old man said: "You want me to go, but what shall I do; I have never been there?" "No matter," she answered; "I wish you to obey me and go." Then he started on his way, and asked (for he did not know) where the king lived, and they pointed out the palace to him. When he was in the king's presence he said: "Your Majesty's servant." The king replied: "What do you want of me, my good old man?" Then he told him that his daughter was in love with him, and wanted to marry him. The king answered: "How can she be in love with me when she has never seen or known me?" "She is killing herself with weeping, and cannot stand it much longer." The king replied: "Here is a white handkerchief; let her dry her tears with it."

The old man took back the handkerchief and the message to his daughter, who said: "Well, after three or four days you must go back again, and tell him that I will kill myself or hang myself if he will not marry me."

The old man went back, and said to the king: "Your Majesty, do me the favor to marry my daughter; if not, she will make a great spectacle of herself." The king replied: "Behold how many handsome portraits I have here, and how many beautiful young girls I have, and not one of them suits me." The old man said: "She told me also to say to you that if you did not marry her she would kill herself or hang herself." Then the king gave him a knife and a rope, and said: "Here is a knife if she wants to kill herself, and here is a rope if she wants to hang herself."

The old man bore this message back to his daughter, who told her father that he must go back to the king again, and not leave him until he obtained his consent. The old man returned once more, and, falling on his knees before the king, said: "Do me this great favor: take my daughter for your wife; do not say no, for the poor girl is beside herself." The king answered: "Rise, good old man, and I will consent, for I am sorry for your long journeys. But hear what your daughter must do first. She must prepare three vessels: one of milk and water, one of milk, and one of rose-water. And here is a bean; when she wants to speak with me, let her go out on the balcony and open the bean, and I will come."

The old man returned home this time more satisfied, and told his daughter what she must do. She prepared the three vessels as directed, and then opened the bean on the balcony, and saw at once something flying from a distance towards her. It flew into the room by the balcony, and entered the vessel of water and milk to bathe; then it hastened into the vessel of milk, and finally into that containing the rose-water. And then there came out the handsomest youth that was ever seen, and made love to the young girl. Afterward, when they were tired of their love-making, he bade her good-night, and flew away.

After a time, when her sisters saw that she was always shut up in her room, the oldest said: "Why does she shut herself up in her room all the time?" The other sister replied: "Because she has King Bean, who is making love to her." The oldest said: "Wait until she goes to church, and then we will see what there is in her room." One day the youngest locked her door, and went to church. Then the two sisters broke open the door, and saw the three vessels prepared, and said: "This is the vessel in which the king goes to bathe." The oldest said: "Let us go down into the store, and get some broken glass, and put a little in each of the three vessels; and when the king bathes in them, the glass will pierce him and cut all his body."

They did so, and then left the room looking as it did first. When the youngest sister returned, she went to her room, and wished to talk with her husband. She opened the balcony, and then she opened the bean, and saw at once her husband come flying from a distance, with his arms open to embrace her. He flew on to the balcony, and threw himself into the vessel of milk and water, and the pieces of glass pierced his body; then he entered the vessel of milk and that of rose-water, and his body was filled with the fragments of glass. When he came out of the rose-water, he flew away. Then his wife hastened out on the balcony, and saw a streak of blood wherever he had flown. Then she looked into the vessels, and saw all three full of blood, and cried: "I have been betrayed! I have been betrayed!"

She called her father, and told him that she had been betrayed by her sisters, and that she wished to go away and see whether she could cure her husband. She departed, and had not gone far when she found herself in a forest. There she saw a little house, with a little bit of a door, at which she knocked, and heard a voice saying, "Are you Christians?" She replied, "Yes." Then the door opened, and she saw a holy hermit, who said: "Blessed one, how did you get here? In a moment the witches will come who might bewitch you." She replied: "Father, I am seeking King Bean, who is ill." The hermit said: "I know nothing about him. Climb that tree; the witches will soon come, and you will learn something from them. If you want anything afterward, come to me, and I will give it to you."

When she was up the tree she heard a loud noise and the words, "Here we are! here we are!" and all the witches run and seat themselves on the ground in the midst of the forest, and begin to say: "The cripple is not here! Where has that cursed cripple gone?" Some one answered: "Here she is coming!" Another said: "You cursed cripple, where have you been?" The cripple answered: "Be still; I will tell you now. But wait a moment until I shake this tree to see whether there is any one in it." The poor girl held on firmly so as not to fall down. After she had shaken it this cripple said to her companions: "Do you want me to tell you something? King Bean has only two hours to live." Another witch said: "What is the matter with him?" The cripple answered: "He had a wife, and she put some broken glass in the three vessels, and he filled his body with it." Another witch asked: "Is there nothing that can cure him?" The cripple replied: "It is very difficult." Another said: "What would be necessary?" The cripple said: "Listen to what it needs. One of us must be killed, and her blood put in a kettle, and have added to it the blood of one of these doves flying about here. When this blood is well mixed, it must be heated, and with this blood the whole body of the king must be anointed. Another thing yet is necessary. Under the stone you see there is a flask of water. The stone must be removed, a bottle of the water must be poured over the king, and all the bits of glass will come out of him, and in five minutes he will be safe and sound."

Then the witches ate and drank until they were intoxicated and tired, and then threw themselves down on the ground to sleep. When the young girl saw that they were asleep, she descended quietly from the tree, knocked at the hermit's door, told him what the witches had said, and asked him for a kettle, knife, and bottle. He gave them to her, and caught a dove, which he killed, bled, and put the blood in a kettle.

The young girl did not know which one of the witches to kill, but finally she decided to kill the cripple who had spoken, and put her blood in the kettle. Afterward she lifted the stone, found the flask of water, and filled her bottle with it. She then returned to the hermit, and told him all she had done. He gave her a physician's dress, which she put on, and went to the palace of King Bean. There she asked the guards to let her pass, for she was going, she said, to see about curing the king. The guards refused at first, but, seeing her so confident, allowed her to enter. The king's mother went to her at once and said: "My good physician, if you can cure my son, you shall mount the throne, and I will give you my crown." "I have come in haste from a distance," said the physician, "and will cure him." Then the physician went to the kitchen, put the kettle on the fire, and afterward entered the room of the king, who had but a few minutes to live, anointed his whole body with the blood, and then poured the bottle of water all over him. Then the glass came out of his body, and in five minutes he was safe and sound. The king said: "Here, physician, is my crown. I wish to put it on your head." The physician answered: "How did your Majesty come to have this slight trouble?" The king said: "On account of my wife. I went to make love to her, and she prepared for me three vessels of water and milk, of milk, and of rose-water, and put broken glass in them, so that I had my body full of it." Said the physician: "See whether it was your wife who worked you this treason! Could it not have been some one else?" "That is impossible," said the king; "for no one entered her room." "And what would you do," said the physician, "if you had her now in your hands?" "I would kill her with a knife." "You are right," said the physician; "because, if it is true that she has acted thus, she deserves nothing but death."

Then the physician said he must depart; but the king's mother said: "No, no! It shall never be said that after saving my son's life you went away. Here you are, and here I wish you to stay; and, on account of the promise I made you, I wish my crown to come upon your head." "I want but one thing," said the physician. "Command, doctor; only say what you desire." "I wish the king to write on the palm of one of my hands my name and surname, and on the other his name and surname." The king did so, and the physician said: "Now I am going to make some visits, then I will return."

Instead of returning, the pretended physician went to her own home, and threw away the water and milk in the three vessels, and put in other pure water and milk and rose-water. Then she went out on the balcony, and opened the bean. The king, who felt his heart opened, seized his dagger, and hastened to his wife to kill her. When she saw the dagger, she raised her hands, and the king beheld his name and hers. Then he threw his dagger away, bathed in the three vessels, and then threw his arms about his wife's neck, and exclaimed: "If you are the one who did me so much harm, you are also the one who cured me." She answered: "It was not I. I was betrayed by my sisters." "If that is so," said he, "come at once to my parents' house, and we will be married there." When she arrived at the king's palace, she related everything to his parents, and showed them her hands with her name and surname. Then the king's parents embraced her, and gave her a wedding, and she and the king loved each other as long as they lived.[7]

* * * * *

The next class to which we shall direct our attention is the one in which jealous relatives (usually envious sisters or mother-in-law), steal a mother's new-born children, who are exposed and afterwards rescued and brought up far from their home by some childless person; or the mother is accused of having devoured them, and is repudiated or punished, and finally delivered and restored to her former position by her children, who are discovered by their father.[8]

The following story, belonging to this class, is from Pitre (No. 36), slightly condensed.


There was once an herb-gatherer who had three daughters who earned their living by spinning. One day their father died and left them all alone in the world. Now the king had a habit of going about the streets at night, and listening at the doors to hear what the people said of him. One night he listened at the door of the house where the three sisters lived, and heard them disputing about something. The oldest said: "If I were the wife of the royal butler, I would give the whole court to drink out of one glass of water, and there would be some left." The second said: "If I were the wife of the keeper of the royal wardrobe, with one piece of cloth I would clothe all the attendants, and have some left." The youngest said: "Were I the king's wife, I would bear him three children: two sons with apples in their hands, and a daughter with a star on her brow."

The king went back to his palace, and the next morning sent for the sisters, and said to them: "Do not be frightened, but tell me what you said last night." The oldest told him what she had said, and the king had a glass of water brought, and commanded her to prove her words. She took the glass, and gave all the attendants to drink, and there was some water left. "Bravo!" cried the king, and summoned the butler. "This is your husband. Now it is your turn," said the king to the next sister, and commanded a piece of cloth to be brought, and the young girl at once cut out garments for all the attendants, and had some cloth left. "Bravo!" cried the king again, and gave her the keeper of the wardrobe for her husband. "Now it is your turn," said the king to the youngest. "Your Majesty, I said that were I the king's wife, I would bear him three children: two sons with apples in their hands, and a daughter with a star on her brow." The king replied: "If that is true, you shall be queen; if not, you shall die," and straightway he married her.

Very soon the two older sisters began to be envious of the youngest. "Look," said they: "she is going to be queen, and we must be servants!" and they began to hate her. A few months before the queen's children were to be born, the king declared war, and was obliged to depart; but he left word that if the queen had three children: two sons with apples in their hands and a girl with a star on her brow, the mother was to be respected as queen; if not, he was to be informed of it, and would tell his servants what to do. Then he departed for the war.

When the queen's children were born, as she had promised, the envious sisters bribed the nurse to put little dogs in the place of the queen's children, and sent word to the king that his wife had given birth to three puppies. He wrote back that she should be taken care of for two weeks, and then put into a tread-mill.

Meanwhile the nurse took the little babies, and carried them out of doors, saying: "I will make the dogs eat them up," and she left them alone. While they were thus exposed, three fairies passed by and exclaimed: "Oh how beautiful these children are!" and one of the fairies said: "What present shall we make these children?" One answered: "I will give them a deer to nurse them." "And I a purse always full of money." "And I," said the third fairy, "will give them a ring which will change color when any misfortune happens to one of them."

The deer nursed and took care of the children until they grew up. Then the fairy who had given them the deer came and said: "Now that you have grown up, how can you stay here any longer?" "Very well," said one of the brothers, "I will go to the city and hire a house." "Take care," said the deer, "that you hire one opposite the royal palace." So they all went to the city and hired a palace as directed, and furnished it as if they had been royal personages. When the aunts saw these three youths, imagine their terror! "They are alive!" they said. They could not be mistaken, for there were the apples in their hands, and the star on the girl's brow. They called the nurse and said to her: "Nurse, what does this mean? are our nephews and niece alive?" The nurse watched at the window until she saw the two brothers go out, and then she went over as if to make a visit to the new house. She entered and said: "What is the matter, my daughter; how do you do? Are you perfectly happy? You lack nothing. But do you know what is necessary to make you really happy? It is the Dancing Water. If your brothers love you, they will get it for you!" She remained a moment longer and then departed.

When one of the brothers returned, his sister said to him: "Ah! my brother, if you love me go and get me the Dancing Water." He consented, and next morning saddled a fine horse, and departed. On his way he met a hermit, who asked him, "Where are you going, cavalier?" "I am going for the Dancing Water." "You are going to your death, my son; but keep on until you find a hermit older than I." He continued his journey until he met another hermit, who asked him the same question, and gave him the same direction. Finally he met a third hermit, older than the other two, with a white beard that came down to his feet, who gave him the following directions: "You must climb yonder mountain. On top of it you will find a great plain and a house with a beautiful gate. Before the gate you will see four giants with swords in their hands. Take heed; do not make a mistake; for if you do that is the end of you! When the giants have their eyes closed, do not enter; when they have their eyes open, enter. Then you will come to a door. If you find it open, do not enter; if you find it shut, push it open and enter. Then you will find four lions. When they have their eyes shut, do not enter; when their eyes are open, enter, and you will see the Dancing Water." The youth took leave of the hermit, and hastened on his way.

Meanwhile the sister kept looking at the ring constantly, to see whether the stone in it changed color; but as it did not, she remained undisturbed.

A few days after leaving the hermit the youth arrived at the top of the mountain, and saw the palace with the four giants before it. They had their eyes shut, and the door was open. "No," said the youth, "that won't do." And so he remained on the lookout a while. When the giants opened their eyes, and the door closed, he entered, waited until the lions opened their eyes, and passed in. There he found the Dancing Water, and filled his bottles with it, and escaped when the lions again opened their eyes.

The aunts, meanwhile, were delighted because their nephew did not return; but in a few days he appeared and embraced his sister. Then they had two golden basins made, and put into them the Dancing Water, which leaped from one basin to the other. When the aunts saw it they exclaimed: "Ah! how did he manage to get that water?" and called the nurse, who again waited until the sister was alone, and then visited her. "You see," said she, "how beautiful the Dancing Water is! But do you know what you want now? The Singing Apple." Then she departed. When the brother who had brought the Dancing Water returned, his sister said to him: "If you love me you must get for me the Singing Apple." "Yes, my sister, I will go and get it."

Next morning he mounted his horse, and set out. After a time he met the first hermit, who sent him to an older one. He asked the youth where he was going, and said: "It is a difficult task to get the Singing Apple, but hear what you must do: Climb the mountain; beware of the giants, the door, and the lions; then you will find a little door and a pair of shears in it. If the shears are open, enter; if closed, do not risk it." The youth continued his way, found the palace, entered, and found everything favorable. When he saw the shears open, he went in a room and saw a wonderful tree, on top of which was an apple. He climbed up and tried to pick the apple, but the top of the tree swayed now this way, now that. He waited until it was still a moment, seized the branch, and picked the apple. He succeeded in getting safely out of the palace, mounted his horse, and rode home, and all the time he was carrying the apple it kept making a sound.

The aunts were again delighted because their nephew was so long absent; but when they saw him return, they felt as though the house had fallen on them. Again they summoned the nurse, and again she visited the young girl, and said: "See how beautiful they are, the Dancing Water and the Singing Apple! But should you see the Speaking Bird, there would be nothing left for you to see." "Very well," said the young girl; "we will see whether my brother will get it for me."

When her brother came she asked him for the Speaking Bird, and he promised to get it for her. He met, as usual on his journey, the first hermit, who sent him to the second, who sent him on to a third one, who said to him: "Climb the mountain and enter the palace. You will find many statues. Then you will come to a garden, in the midst of which is a fountain, and on the basin is the Speaking Bird. If it should say anything to you, do not answer. Pick a feather from the bird's wing, dip it into a jar you will find there, and anoint all the statues. Keep your eyes open, and all will go well."

The youth already knew well the way, and soon was in the palace. He found the garden and the bird, which, as soon as it saw him, exclaimed: "What is the matter, noble sir; have you come for me? You have missed it. Your aunts have sent you to your death, and you must remain here. Your mother has been sent to the tread-mill." "My mother in the tread-mill?" cried the youth, and scarcely were the words out of his mouth when he became a statue like all the others.

When the sister looked at her ring she saw that it had changed its color to blue. "Ah!" she exclaimed, and sent her other brother after the first. Everything happened to him as to the first. He met the three hermits, received his instructions, and soon found himself in the palace, where he discovered the garden with the statues, the fountain, and the Speaking Bird.

Meanwhile the aunts, who saw that both their nephews were missing, were delighted; and the sister, on looking at her ring, saw that it had become clear again.

Now when the Speaking Bird saw the youth appear in the garden it said to him: "What has become of your brother? Your mother has been sent to the tread-mill." "Alas, my mother in the tread-mill!" And when he had spoken these words he became a statue.

The sister looked at her ring, and it had become black. Poor child! not having anything else to do, she dressed herself like a page and set out.

Like her brothers, she met the three hermits, and received their instructions. The third concluded thus: "Beware, for if you answer when the bird speaks you will lose your life." She continued her way, followed exactly the hermit's directions, and reached the garden in safety. When the bird saw her it exclaimed: "Ah! you here, too? Now you will meet the same fate as your brothers. Do you see them? one, two, and you make three. Your father is at the war. Your mother is in the tread-mill. Your aunts are rejoicing." She did not reply, but let the bird sing on. When it had nothing more to say it flew down, and the young girl caught it, pulled a feather from its wing, dipped it into the jar, and anointed her brothers' nostrils, and they at once came to life again. Then she did the same with all the other statues, with the lions and the giants, until all became alive again. Then she departed with her brothers, and all the noblemen, princes, barons, and kings' sons rejoiced greatly. Now when they had all come to life again the palace disappeared, and the hermits disappeared, for they were the three fairies.

The day after the brothers and sister reached the city where they lived, they summoned a goldsmith, and had him make a gold chain, and fasten the bird with it. The next time the aunts looked out they saw in the window of the palace opposite the Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird. "Well," said they, "the real trouble is coming now!"

The bird directed the brothers and sister to procure a carriage finer than the king's, with twenty-four attendants, and to have the service of their palace, cooks and servants, more numerous and better than the king's. All of which the brothers did at once. And when the aunts saw these things they were ready to die of rage.

At last the king returned from the war, and his subjects told him all the news of the kingdom, and the thing they talked about the least was his wife and children. One day the king looked out of the window and saw the palace opposite furnished in a magnificent manner. "Who lives there?" he asked, but no one could answer him. He looked again and saw the brothers and sister, the former with the apples in their hands, and the latter with the star on her brow. "Gracious! if I did not know that my wife had given birth to three puppies, I should say that those were my children," exclaimed the king. Another day he stood by the window and enjoyed the Dancing Water and the Singing Apple, but the bird was silent. After the king had heard all the music, the bird said: "What does your Majesty think of it?" The king was astonished at hearing the Speaking Bird, and answered: "What should I think? It is marvellous." "There is something more marvellous," said the bird; "just wait." Then the bird told his mistress to call her brothers, and said: "There is the king; let us invite him to dinner on Sunday. Shall we not?" "Yes, yes," they all said. So the king was invited and accepted, and on Sunday the bird had a grand dinner prepared and the king came. When he saw the young people, he clapped his hands and said: "I cannot persuade myself; they seem my children."

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse