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t 



GYPSY FOLK-TALES 



I 
4 



I 

I 



/ 



I 



GYPSY FOLK -TALES 



BY 






FRANCIS HINDES GROOME 

II 

AUTHOR OF 'IN GYPSY TENTS' 

'TWO SUFFOLK FRIENDS' 

' KRIEGSPIEL,' ETC. 





LONDON 
HURST AND BLACKETT, LIMITED 

13 GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET 
/ 1899 



AU rigtUa reserved 






GENEKAL 



Edinburgh : T. and A. Constablr, Printers to Her Majesty 



\ 



'PAZORRHUS' 

I AM no folklorist; I have merely dabbled in folklore as 
a branch of the great Egyptian Question, which includes 
also intricate problems of philolog;y, ethnology, craniology, 
archaeology, history, music, and what not besides. But for 
twenty years I have been trying to interest folklorists in 
Gypsy folk-tales. Vainly so far ; and during those twenty 
years there have died Dr. Paspati, Dr. Barbu Constan- 
tinescu, Dr. Franz von Miklosich, Dr. Isidore Kopernicki, 
M. Paul Bataillard, and John Roberts, the Welsh-Gypsy 
harper : with them much has perished that folklorists should 
not have willingly let go. Meanwhile, however, a R6mani 
Grimm has arisen in Mr. John Sampson, the librarian of 
University College, Liverpool. With unparalleled generosity 
he has placed his collections at my free disposal — I trust I 
have not made too lavish use of them, — and has read, more- 
over, every page of the proofs of this volume, enriching it 
from the depths of his knowledge of * matters of Egypt.' 
Another, a very old friend, to whom my debt is great, is 
the Rev. Thomas Davidson, author of the admirable folklore 
articles in Cltamber^s Encyclopedia ; he has lent me scores 
of scarce works from his unrivalled folklore library. Others 
to whom I owe acknowledgments are: Mr. Tom Taylor, 
Mr. W. R. S. Ralston, Mr. W. A. Clouston, Dr. Hyde Clarke, 
Professor Bensly (all five also dead), Mrs. Gomme, Mr. H. 
Browne of Bucharest, Mr. Robert Bums, Lord Archibald 
Campbell, Mr. Archibald Constable, Mr. H. T. Crofton, 



vi GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Professor Dobschiitz of Jena, Mr. Fitzedward Hall, Dean 
Kitchin, Mr. William Larminie, Mr. David MacRitchie, 
M. Omont of the Bibliothique Nationale, Dr. David Patrick, 
Dr. Fearon Ranking, Mr. Rufus B. Richardson of Athens, 
Professor Sayce, and Dr. Rudolf von Sowa of Briinn. And, 
finally, I would thank in advance whoever may send me 
corrections, additions, or suggestions on the subject of Gypsy 
folk-tales. 

FRANCIS HINDES GROOME. 



137 Warrender Park Road, 
Edinburgh. 



i 



TO 

MM. COSQUIN, CLODD, JACOBS, AND LANG 

AND THEIR FELLOW-FOLKLORISTS 

THIS BOOK IS 

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED 



/ 




INTRODUCTION 



k 



No race is more widely scattered over the earth's surface than 
the Gypsies; the very Jews are less ubiquitous. Go where one 
will in Europe, one comes upon Gypsies everywhere iMBtrllmttoii 
— from Finland to Sicily, from the shores of the ofC^prtw. 
Bosporus to the Atlantic seaboard. Something under a million is 
their probable number in Europe ; of these Hungary claims 275,000, 
Roumania 200,000, Servia 38,000, and Bulgaria 52,000. How 
many Gypsies there are in Great Britain I have not the vaguest 
notion, for there are no statistics of the slightest value to go by.^ 
But I have never lived for any length of time in any place — ^and I 
have stayed in most parts of both England and Scotland — without 
lighting sooner or later on nomadic or house-dwelling Gypsies. 
London and all round London, the whole Thames valley as high at 
least as Oxford, the Black Country, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, 
and Yarmouth, it is here I should chiefly look for settled Gypsies. 
Whilst from study of parish registers, local histories, and suchlike, 
and from my own knowledge, I doubt if there is the parish between 
Land's End and John o' Groats where Gypsies have not pitched 
their camp some time or other in the course of the last four 
centuries. 

Asia has untold thousands of these wanderers, in Anatolia, Syria, 
Armenia, Persia, Turkestan, and Siberia, perhaps also India and 
China ; so, too, has Africa, itt Egypt, Algeria, DarfQr, and Kordofan. 
We find them in both the Americas, from Pictou in Canada to Rio 
in Brazil ; nor are New Zealand and Australia without at least their 
isolated bands. 

To-day at any rate the sedentary Gypsies must greatly outnumber 
the nomadic : in Hungary only 9000, or less than one-thirtieth of 
the entire number, are returned as * constantly on the move.' Still 
the race has always been largely a migratory race ; its wide distribu- 
tion is due to bygone migrations. Of these the most important 
known to us is that of the first half of the fifteenth century, whose 
movements have been so lovingly and laboriously traced by the late 

^ According to the Spectator (24th December 1897) ten thousand Gypsies 
wintered in Surrey in 1896-97 \ 

m 

IX 



X GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

M. Paul Bataillard in his Di t Apparition tt de la Dispersion des 
Bohhniens en Europe (1844), Nouvelles Recherches (1849), ^"^ 
* Immigration of the Gypsies into Western Europe in the Fifteenth 
Century ' (Gypsy Lore Journal^ April 1889 to January 1890, 10 r 
pages 1). 

Late in 141 7 a band of 'Secani' or Tsigans, 300 in number, 
besides children and infants, arrived in Germany 'from Eastern 
AppeanuiM parts' or 'from Tartary/ Their presence is first 
in Weft. recorded at Liineburg ; and thence they passed on to 

Hamburg, Liibeck, Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund, and Greifswald. 
At their head rode a duke and a count, richly dressed, with silver 
belts, and leading like nobles dogs of chase ; next came a motley 
crew afoot; and women and children brought up the rear in 
waggons. They bore letters of safe-conduct from princes, one of 
which from the Emperor Sigismund they had probably procured 
that same year at Lindau on Lake Constance ; and they gave out 
tjiat they were on a seven years' pilgrimage, imposed by their own 
bishops as a penance for apostasy from the Christian faith. They 
encamped in the fields by night outside the city walls, and were 
great thieves, especially the women, * wherefore several were taken 
and slain.' In 1418 they are heard of at Leipzig, at Frankfort-on- 
Main, and in Switzerland at Zurich, Basel, Berne, and Soleure : the 
contemporary Swiss chronicler, Conrad Justinger, speaks of them as 
'more than two hundred baptized Heathens from Egypt, pitiful, 
black, miserable, and unbearable on account of their thefts, for they 
stole all they could.' At Augsburg they passed for exiles from 
' Lesser Egypt ' ; at Macon in August 141 9 they practised palmistry 
and necromancy ; and at Sisteron in Provence as ' Saracens ' they 
got large rations from the terrified townsfolk. In 1420 Lord 
Andreas, Duke of Little Egypt, and a hundred men, women, and 
children, came to Deventer in the Low Countries ; and the alder- 
men had to pay 19 florins 10 placks for their bread, beer, herrings, 
and straw, as well as for cleaning out the barn in which they lay. 
At Toumay in 142 1 'Sir Miquiel, Prince of Latinghem in Egypt,' 
received twelve gold pieces, with bread and a barrel of beer. 

Next the Chronica di Bologna tells how 'the i8th of July 1422 a 
duke of Egypt, Duke Andrew, arrived at Bologna, with women, 

' I shall have frequent occasion to refer to the Gypsy Lore Journal (3 vols. 
1888-92), which should in time be one of the libri rarissimi, as the issue was 
limited to 150 copies, many of which are sure to have perished. There are 
complete sets, however, at the British Museum, the Bodleian, the Edinburgh 
Advocates* Library, Leyden, Berlin, Munich, Cracow, Rome, Madrid, Harvard, 
and twelve other public libraries. 



f 



INTRODUCTION xi 

children, and men from his own country. There might be a 
hundred. This duke having denied the Christian .^^^ 
faith, the King of Hungary [the Emperor Sigismund] 
had taken possession of his lands and person. Then he told the King 
that he wished to return to Christianity, and he had been baptized 
with about four thousand men; those who refused baptism were 
put to death. After the King of Hungary had thus taken and 
rebapdzed them, he commanded them to travel about the world for 
seven years, to go to Rome to see the pope, and then to return to 
their own country. When they arrived at Bologna, they had been 
journeying for five years, and more than half of them were dead. 
They had a mandate from the King of Hungary, the Emperor, 
permitting them during these seven years to thieve, wherever they 
might go, without being amenable to justice. 

' When they arrived at Bologna, they lodged themselves inside and 
outside the Gate of Galiera, and settled themselves under the 
porticoes, except the duke, who lodged at the King's Inn (Albergq 
del Re). They remained a fortnight at Bologna. During this time 
many people went to see them, on account of the duke's wife, who, 
it was said, could foretell what would happen to a person during his 
Ufetime, as well as what was interesting in the present, how many 
children would be born, and other things. Concerning all which 
she told truly. And of those who wished to have their fortunes 
told, few went to consult without getting their purse stolen, and the 
women had pieces of their dress cut off. The women of the band 
wandered about the town, seven or eight together; they entered 
the houses of the inhabitants, and whilst they were telling idle tales, 
some of them laid hold of what was within their reach. In the 
same way they visited the shops under the pretext of buying some- 
thing, but really to steal. Many thefts were thus committed at 
Bologna. So it was cried through the town that no one should go 
to see them under a penalty of fifty pounds and excommunication, 
for they were the most cunning thieves in all the world. It was 
even permitted those who had been robbed by them to rob them in 
return to the amount of their losses. In consequence of which 
several of the inhabitants of Bologna slipped during the night into a 
stable where some of their horses were shut up, and stole the best 
of them. The others, wishing to get back their horses, agreed to 
restore a great number of the stolen articles. But seeing that 
there was nothing more to gain there, they left Bologna and went 
ofi" towards Rome. 

'Observe that they were the ugliest brood ever seen in this 
country. They were lean and black, and they ate like swine. Their 



xii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

women went in smocks, and wore a pilgrim's cloak across the 
shoulder, rings in their ears, and a long veil on their head. One of 
them gave birth to a child in the market-place, and at the end of 
three days went on to rejoin her people.' 

On 7th August the same band, now swelled to two hundred, 
arrived at Forli, where, writes the city chronicler, * some ^ said they 
were from India.' The Vatican archives may contain some record 
of the audience granted to these strange penitents by Pope Martin v. ; 
all that we know is that later in the same year the ' cunning and 
lazy strange people called Zigeiner* led by Duke Michael, were 
back in Switzerland with papal as well as imperial safe-conducts. 
And next, after a gap of nearly five years, in the August of 1427 
there appeared outside Paris, then held by the English, a hundred 
men, women, and children, ' good Christians from Lower Egypt, who 
were headed by a duke, an earl, and ten other horsemen. They 
told how the pope, after hearing their confession, gave them as 
penance to wander seven years without sleeping in a bed, and 
letters enjoining every bishop and mitred abbot to make them one 
payment of ten livres tcurnois. 

The Bourgeois of Paris, whose Journal records this visit with a 
Pepys-like fidelity, describes how multitudes 'came from Paris, 

Pa-i ixova Sainct Denis, and from the neighbourhood of 

Paris to see them. And it is true that the children, 
boys and girls, were as clever as could be. And most or nearly 
all had both ears pierced, and in each ear a silver ring, or two in 
each, and they said it was a sign of nobility in their own country. 
Item^ the men were very black, their hair was frizzled ; the women, 
the ugliest that could be seen, and the blackest. All had their 
faces covered with wounds {toutes avoient le visage deplaik\ hair 
black as a horse's tail, for sole dress an old blanket, very coarse, 
and fastened on the shoulder by a band of cloth or a cord, and 
underneath a shifl, for all covering. In short, they were the 
poorest creatures ever seen in France in the memory of man. 
Yet, in spite of their poverty, there were witches among them who 
looked into people's hands, and told what had happened to them, 
or would happen, and sowed discord in several marriages by saying 
to the husband, " Your wife has played you false," or to the wife, 
"Your husband has played you false." And what was worse, 
whilst they were speaking to folks, by magic or otherwise, or by 

^ Aliqui in the LAtin may stand for either some of the Gypsies or some of the 
townsfolk, more probably the latter. ifDneas Sylvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius 11. ) 
speaks, a very few years after this, of the Northumbrian women staring at him *as 
in Italy the people stare at an Ethiopian or an Indian.' 



I 






\ 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

the Enemy in Hell, or by dexterity and skill, it was said they 
emptied people's purses and transferred the coin to their own. 
But in truth I went there three or four times to speak with them, 
yet never perceived that I lost a penny, nor did I ever see them 
look into a hand. But people said so everywhere, and it came to 
the ears of the Bishop of Pans, who went there, and took with him 
a Minorite friar called Little Jacobin. And he, by command of 
the bishop, made a fine preaching, excommunicating all who had 
believed them and shown them their hands. And they were 
obliged to depart, and departed on the day of Our Lady of 
September, and went away towards Pontoise.' 

Three weeks later, at Amiens, Thomas, Earl of Little Egypt, 
with forty followers, received pious alms from the mayor and 
aldermen after exhibition of the papal letters; and during the 
next seven years we find similar scattered bands of Egyptians, 
Saracens from Egypt, or Heidens, at Toumai, Utrecht, Amheim, 
Bommel, Middelburg, Metz, Leyden, Frankfort, etc. These, ac- 
cording to M. Bataillard, all belonged to the original band, some 
four hundred strong, which split up or reunited as occasion required, 
and which had probably started from the Balkan peninsula. The 
thirty tented Cingari or Cigawnar, who encamped near Ratisbon in 
1424 and 1426, seem on the other hand to have belonged to 
Hungary. Their leader had also a safe-conduct granted him at 
Zips on 33rd April 1423 by the Emperor Sigismund, and styling 
him ' our faithful Ladislas, Woiwode of the Cigani ' ; and they gave 
out quite a different reason for their exile, that it was ' in remem- 
brance of the flight of our Lord into Egypt.' The four hundred 
would-be pioneers, then, sent forward to spy out the lands of 
promise on behalf of vast hordes behind, who in 1438 began to 
pour over Germany, Italy, and France by thousands instead of by 
hundreds, and headed this time by King Zindl. Spain the Gypsies 
reached in 1447, Sweden by 15 12, and Poland and Russia about 
1501. 

The earliest certain mention of their presence in England is this 
chance allusion in A Dy'alog of Syr Thomas More^ knyght (1529), 
bk. iii. ch. xv. In 15 14 the king sent the lords to «--,^ 
inquire into the death of Richard Hunne in the 
Lollards' Tower, and a witness appeared who owned to having said 
*that he knew one who could tell who killed Hunne. "Well,'' 
quoth the Lords, " at the last, yet with much work, we come to 
{ somewhat. But whereby think you that he can tell?" "Nay, 
forsooth, my Lord," quoth he, " it is a woman. I would she were 
here with your Lordships now." " Well," quoth my Lord, " woman 



xiv GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

or man is all one. She shall be had wheresoever she be.** " By 
my faith, my Lord," quoth he, " an' she were with you, she could 
tell you wonders, by God. I have wist her tell many marvellous 
things ere now." "Why," quoth the Lords, "what have ye heard 
her tell ? " " Forsooth, my Lords," quoth he, " if a thing had been 
stolen, she would have told who had it And therefore I think she 
could as well tell who killed Hunne as who stole a horse." 
"Surely," said the Lords, "so think we all, I trow. But how 
could she tell it — by the Devil?" "Nay, by my troth, I trow," 
quoth he, "for I could never see her use any worse way than 
looking into one's hand." Therewith the Lords laughed, and 
asked, "What is she?" "Forsooth, my Lords," quoth he, "an 
Egypcyan, and she was lodged here at Lambeth, but she is gone 
over sea now. Howbeit, I trow she be not in her own country yet, 
for they say it is a great way hence, and she went over little more 
than a month ago." ' 

It is quite Shakespearian, this scrap of dialogue; well, that is 
our earliest evidence for the presence of Gypsies in England. 
Eight years later, in 1522, the churchwardens of Stratton in 
Cornwall received twenty pence from the * Egypcions ' for the use 
of the church house; and some time between 15 13 and 1524 
Thomas, Earl of Surrey, entertained 'Gypsions' at his Suffolk 
seat, Tendring Hall. For all which, and eighty more similar notes 
of much interest, see Mr. H. T. Crofton's * Eatly Annals of the 
G)rpsies in England' {Gypsy Lore Journal^ i. 5-24). 

In Scotland the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer yield this 
entry: '1505, April 22. Item to the Egyptianis be the Kingis 

command, vij lib.'; and Gypsies probably were the 
overliers and masterful beggars whom an Act of 
1449 describes as going about the country with 'horses, hunds, 
and other goods.' In no other country were the Gypsies better 
received than in Scotland, where, on 3rd July 1505, James iv. gave 
Anthonius Gagino, Earl of Little Egypt, a letter of commendation 
to the King of Denmark ; where in 1 530 the * Egyptianis that dansit 
before the king in Halyrudhous ' received forty shillings, and where 
that same king, James v., subscribed a writ (February 15, 1540) in 
favour of * oure louit Johnne Faw, lord and erle of Litill Egipt,' to 
whose son and successor, Johnne Wanne, he granted authority to 
hang and punish all Egyptians within the realme (May 26, 1540). 
Exactly when cannot be fixed, but about or soon after 1559, Sir 
William Sinclair, the Lord Justice-General, * delivered ane Egyptian 
from the gibbet in the Burrow Moore, ready to be strangled, re- 
turning from Edinburgh to Roslin, upon which accoumpt the whole 



\ 



INTRODUCTION xv 

body of gypsies were of old accustomed to gather in the stanks 
[marshes] of Roslin every year, where they acted severall plays, 
dureing the moneth of May and June. There are two towers,' 
adds Father Richard Augustine Hay in his Genealogie of the 
Sainteclaires of Roslin (written 1700; ed. by Maidment, 1835, 
p. 136), 'which were allowed them for their residence, the one 
called Robin Hood, the other Little John.' Roslin seems to have 
been a Patmos of the race for upwards of fifty years, but in 
1623-24 they were hunted oat, and eight of their leaders hanged on 
the Burgh Muir. Six of those leaders were Faas ; and eleven years 
before, on 21st August 161 2, four other Egyptians of the same 
well-known surname had been put on trial as far north as Scalloway 
in Shetland. These were * Johne Fawe, elder, callit mekill Johne 
Faw, Johne Faw, younger, calit Littill Johne Faw, Katherin Faw, 
spous to umquhill Murdo Broun, and Agnes Faw, sister to the said 
Litill Johne.' They were indicted for the murder of the said 
Murdo Brown, and for theft, sorcery, and fortune-telling, * and that 
they can help or hinder in the proffeit of the milk of bestiale.' 
Three of them were acquitted ; but Katherine, pleading guilty to 
having slain her husband with a ' lang braid knyff,' was sentenced 
to be ' tane to the Bulwark and cassen over the same in the sey to 
be drownit to the death, and dome given thairupone.' For all 
which, and a multitude more of most curious and recondite in- 
formation, I refer my readers to Mr. David MacRitchie's Scottish 
Gypsies under the Stetvarts (Edinb. 1894, 120 pages), which has 
done for our northern tribes what Mr. Crofton had done for the 
southern. Its one omission is this, the earliest mention of Gypsies 
in the Highlands, contained in a news-letter from Dundee of 
January i, 1651 : — 'There are about an hundred people of severall 
nations, call'd heere by the name of Egyptians, which doe att this 
day ramble uppe and downe the North Highlands, the cheifest of 
which are one Hause and Browne : they are of the same nature 
with the English Gypsies, and doe after the same manner cheate 
and cosen the country ' (C. H. Firth's Scotland and the Common- 
wealthy Edinb., Scottish Hist. Society, 1895, p. 29). 

As to America it was till recently supposed that there were not, 
had never been, any Gypsies there. In 'The Fortune-teller,' a 
story reprinted in Chambers's Journal for November in North 
25» 1843, ^1^0™ ^^ Lady's Booh^ an American Amerloa. 
publication, a Mrs. Somers is made to exclaim, 'An English 
gipsy ! Alice, you must be deceived. There never has been a 
gipsy in America.' And, sure enough, the fortune-teller turns out 
to be no Gypsy. Nay, in a work so well-informed as Appleton's 



/ 



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L 



\\ 



1 



xvi GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

American Cyclopadia (1874), the writer of the article 'Gipsies' 
pronounces it 'questionable whether a band of genuine Gipsies 
has ever been in America.' Yet in 1665 at Edinburgh the Privy 
Council gave warrant and power to George Hutcheson, merchant, 
and his co-partners to transport to Jamaica and Barbadoes Egyptians 
and other loose and dissolute persons; and on ist January 17 15 
nine Border Gypsies, men and women, of the names of Faa, 
Stirling, Yorstoun, Finnick (Fenwick), Lindsey, Ross, and Robert- 
son, were transported by the magistrates of Glasgow to the Virginia 
plantations at a cost of thirteen pounds sterling {Gypsy Lorejoumaly 
ii. 60-63). That is all, or practically all, we know of the coming 
of the Gypsies to North America, where, at New York, there were 
house-dwelling Gypsies as far back as 1850, and where to-day there 
must be hundreds or thousands of the race from England, Scotland, 
Hungary, Spain, one knows not whence else besides. Some day 
somebody will study them and write about them ; meanwhile we 
have merely stray jottings by Simsofi and Leland. 

For South America our information was, quite recently, even more 
meagre. Twenty years ago I just knew from Henry Roster's 
Uifloath Travels in Brazil (Lond. 18 16, p. 399) of the pre- 

America. sence of Ciganos there, whom he described as 'a 

people of a brownish cast, with features which resemble those of 
white persons, and tall and handsome. They wander from place 
to place in parties of m^, women, and children, exchanging, buying, 
and selling horses, and gold and silver trinkets. . . . They are said 
to be unmindful of all religious observances, and never to hear 
Mass or confess their sins. It is likewise said that they never marry 
out of their own nation.' Since then, however, Mello Moraes has 
published Os Ciganos no Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, 1886), which, be- 
sides a R6mani glossary, gives a good historical and statistical 
account of the Brazilian Gypsies. They seem to be the descend- 
ants of Ciganos transported from Portugal towards the close of the 
seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century. Thus, 
by a decree of 27th August 1685, the Gypsies were henceforth to 
be transported to Maranh^o, instead of to Africa ; and in 17 18, by 
a decree of nth April, the Gypsies were banished from the kingdom 
to the city of Bahia, special orders being given to the governor to 
be diligent in the prohibition of the language and * cant ' {giria), not 
permitting them to teach it to their children, that so it might die 
out. It was about this time, according to *Sr. Pinto Noites, an 
estimable and venerable Gypsy of eighty-nine years,' that his \ 
ancestors and kinsfolk arrived at Rio de Janeiro — nine families 
transported hither by reason of a robbery imputed to the Gypsies. 



\ 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

The heads of these nine families were Jo^o da Costa Ramos, called 
JoSto do Reino, with his son, Fernando da Costa Ramos, and his 
wife, Dona Eugenia ; Luis Rabello de Arag^o ; one Ricardo Frago, 
who went to Minas ; Antonio La90, with his wife, Jacintha Lago ; 
the Count of Cantanhede ; Manoel Cabral and Antonio Curto, who 
settled in Bahia, accompanied by daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and 
grandchildren, as well as by wife and sons. They applied them- 
selves to metallurgy — were tinkers, farriers, braziers, and goldsmiths; 
the women told fortunes and gave charms to avert the evil eye. In 
the first half of the nineteenth century the Brazilian Gypsies seem 
to have been great slave-dealers, just as their brethren on this side 
of the Atlantic have always been great dealers in horses and asse& 
We read on p. 40 of * M . . ., afterwards Marquis of B . . ., be- 
longing to the Bohemian race, whose immense fortune proceeded 
from his acting as middleman in the purchase of slaves for Minas.' 
And there are several more indications, scattered through the book, 
that the Brazilian nation, from highest to lowest, must be strongly 
tinctured with R6mani blood. We know far too little about the 
Chingan^ros or Montan^ros, wandering minstrels of Venezuela, to 
identify them more or less vaguely with Gypsies {Gypsy Lore Joumaly 
i- 306, 373); and a like remark applies, even more strongly, to the 
Lpwbey s of Gambia, who have been described as the * Gypsies of 
Norti^West Africa,' who never intermarry with another race, and 
who confine themselves almost exclusively to the making of the vari- 
ous wooden utensils in use by natives generally {ib. i. 54). Still, 
these Lowbeys may be the descendants of Gypsies transported from 
Portugal, or of the Basque Gypsies, whole bands of whom so lately 
as 1802 were caught by night as in a net, huddled on shipboard, 
and landed on the coast of Africa (Michel's Pays Basque^ p. 137). 

To transportation Australia certainly owed its earliest Gypsies. 
In 1880, a few months before his death, Tom Taylor wrote to me : — 

*The only Gypsy I ever knew who had travelled 

.« I 1 » -r , •. In Australia, 

among "the people was one Jones, who used to 

drive a knife-grinding wheel at Cambridge. Having "left his 

country for his country's good " in the old transportation days, he 

had made his escape from Australia, and, the ship aboard which he 

had stowed himself putting into a Spanish port, had landed, met with 

some of the Zincali, and travelled with them for some time. He 

was looked on as a master of "deep Rommany" among the Gypsies 

round Cambridge.' Mr. MacRitchie has a letter containing a 

longish list of wealthy Australian Gypsies, whose grandsires were 

bitchadS pdrdei (* sent over ') ; yet, according to the Orange Guardian 

of May 1866 : — *The first Gypsies seen in Australia passed through 

b 



J y 



r- 



xviii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Orange the other day en route for Mudgee. Although they can 
scarcely be reckoned new arrivals, as they have been nearly two 
years in the colony, they bear about them all the marks of the 
Gypsy. The women stick to the old dress, and are still as anxious 
as ever to tell fortunes ; but they say that this game does not pay in 
Australia, as the people are not so credulous here as they are at 
home. Old " Brown Joe " is a native of Northumberland, and has 
made a good deal of money even during his short sojourn here. 
They do not offer themselves generally as fortune-tellers, but, if 
required and paid, they will at once " read your palm." At present 
they obtain a livelihood by tinkering and making sealing-wax. 
Their time during the last week has been principally taken up in 
hunting out bees* nests, which are very profitable, as they not only 
sell the honey, but, after purifying and refining the wax, manufacture 
it into beautiful toys, so rich in colour and transparency that it would 
be almost impossible to guess the material ' (quoted in Notes and 
Queries, 28th July 1866, p. 65). 

Banishment and transportation have been important factors in 
the dispersion of the Gypsies. They were banished from Germany 

in 1497, Spain in 1499, France in 1504, England in 
153 1, Denmark in 1536, Moravia in 1538, Scotland 
in 1541, Poland in 1557, Venetia in 1549, 1558, and 1588, etc.; to 
such banishment is probably due the fact that in 1564 we find in the 
Netherlands a Gypsy woman, Katarine Mosroesse, who had been bom 
in Scotland. Besides the transportation, already noticed, of Scottish 
Gypsies to Jamaica, Barbadoes, and Virginia, of Portuguese Gypsies 
to Africa and Brazil, of Basque Gypsies to Africa, and of English 
Gypsies to Botany Bay, we know that some time prior to 1800 
Gitanos were transported from Spain to Louisiana; whilst in 1544 
we find one large band of Egyptians being sentenced at Huntingdon 
to be taken to Calais, the nearest English port on the Continent, 
and another being shipped at Boston in Lincolnshire and landed 
somewhere in Norway. 

From the preceding it may be safely deduced that, with our 
present knowledge, or rather lack of knowledge, we can seldom, 

if ever, fix the precise date when the Gypsies first 
set foot in any country. Till 1849 it was almost 
universally accepted that 141 7, the year of their appearance at the 
Hanse cities of the Baltic, was also the date of their first arrival in 
Europe. But since then Bataillard, Hopf, and Miklosich have col- 
lected a number of passages which prove incontestably that long 
before then there must have been Gypsies in south-eastern Europe. 
Symon Simeonis, a Minorite friar, who made pilgrimage from 



i 



INTRODUCTION xix 

Ireland to the Holy Land, tells in his Itinerarium (Camb. 1778, 
p. 17), how in 1 3 2 2 near Candia in Crete : * There also we saw a race 
outside the city, following the Greeks' rite, and asserting themselves 
to be of the family of Chaym [Ham], They rarely or never stop in 
one place beyond thirty days, but always wandering and fugitive, 
as though accursed by God, after the thirtieth day remove from 
field to field with their oblong tents, black and low, like the Arabs', x 
and from cave to cave. For after that period any place in which j 
they have dweiTbecomes full of worms and other nastinesses, with 1 
which it is impossible to dwell* ^ 

The Empress Catherine de Courtenay-Valois (1301-46), granted 
to the suzerains of Corfu authority to receive as vassals certain 
* homines vageniti^ coming from the Greek mainland, 
and using the Greek rite. By the close of the 
fourteenth century these vageniti were all of them subject to a 
V single baron, Gianuli de Abitabulo, and formed the nucleus of a 
fief called the fief of Abitabulo or feudum Acinganorum^ which 
lasted under various superiors until the abolition of feudal tenures 
in the beginning of the present century. One of those superiors, 

^ This passage was cited as far back as 1785 by Jacob Bryant in Archaologia^ 
vii. 393 ; but another on p. 57 of the Itinerarium has hitherto escaped Gypsio- 
logists. I give it in the original Latin : — * Item sciendum est, quod in sxpedictis 
civitatibus [Alexandria and Cairo] de omni secta alia ab illorum viri mulieres 
lactantes juvenes et cani pravae venditioni exponuntur ad instar bestiarum ; et 
signanter indiani schismatici et danubiani, qui omnes utriusque sexus in colore 
cum corvis et carbonibus multum participant ; quia hii cum arabis et danubianis 
semper guerram continuant, atque cum capiuntur redemptione vel venditione 
evadunt. . . . Praedicti autem Danubiani, quamvis ab Indianis non sunt figura 
et colore distincti, tamen ab eis distinguuntur per cicatrices longas quas habent 
in fade et cognoscuntur ; comburunt enim sibi cum ferro ignito fades illas vilis- 
simas terribiliter in longum, credentes se sic flamine [?flammis] baptizari ut 
didtur, et a peccatorum sordibus igne purgari. Qui postquam ad legem 
Machometi fiierunt conversi christianis deteriores sunt Saracenis, sicut et sunt 
Radiani renegati, et plures molestias inferunt. . . . Item sciendum, quod in 
prsefatls civitatibus tanta est eorum multitudo, quod nequaquam numerari pos- 
sunt.' There is much in this passage that remains obscure ; but it seems clear 
from it that in 1322 there were in Egypt large numbers of captives, male and 
female, old and young, from the Danubian territories. They were black as 
crows and coal, and in complexion and features differed little from Indians, 
except that their Aices bore long scars produced by burning (?a kind of tattooing, 
like that of the Gypsy women in 1427 at Paris on p. xii.). On conversion to 
Mohammedanism these Danubians were worse to the Christians than the Saracens. 
Were these Danubians, or some at least of them, Gypsies, prisoners of war, from 
. the Danubian territories ? and did some of them buy back their freedom and 
return to Europe ? If so, perhaps one has here an explanation of the hitherto 
unexplained names * Egyptian,' * Gypsy,* ' Gitano,' etc. , and of the story told by 
the western immigrants of 1417-34 of renegacy from the Christian faith. 



/ 



\\ 






XX GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

about 1540, was the learned Antonio Eparco, Melanchthon*s 
correspondent; another, the tyrannical Count Teodoro Michele, 
who died in 1787. This little Gypsy colony, numbering about a 
hundred adults, besides children, had a tax to pay twice a year to 
their superior, as also such fines as two gold pieces and a couple 
of fat hens for permission to marry. They were mechanics, smiths, 
tinkers, and husbandmen ; celebrated a great yearly festival on the 
first of May ; and were amenable only to the jurisdiction of their 
lord. Carl Hopf, in Die Einwanderung der Zigeuner in Europa 
(Gotha, 1870, pp. 17-23), tells us much about them, collected from 
the papers of Count Teodoro Trivoli, who succeeded to the 
property in 1863. Still we would fain know much more, especially 
something as to their language. One point to be noticed is that 
Italians must in Corfu have come early in contact with Gypsies, for 
the island belonged to Venice from 1401 to 1797. 

From a Venetian viceroy, moreover, Ottaviano Buono, the 
Acingani of Nauplion in the Peloponnesus received about 1398 a 
Inttae confirmation of the privileges granted them by his 

Peloponnemu. predecessors ; and Hopf from two facts infers that 
Gypsies must have been early settled in the peninsula — one, the 
frequency of ruins called Gyphtokastron (* Gypsy fortress*); the 
other, that in 14 14 the Byzantine rhetorician Mazaris^ reckoned 
Egyptians as one of the seven races dwelling there. Nauplion is on 
the east coast, Modone on the west ; and at Modone the Cologne 
patrician, Arnold von HarfF, who went on pilgrimage 1496-99, 
found a whole suburb of * poor naked people in little reed-thatched 
houses, well on to three hundred families, called Suyginer, the 
same as those whom we call Heiden (Heathen) from Egypt, and who 
wander about in our lands. Here the race plies all sorts of handi- 
work — shoemaking, cobbling, and also the smith's craft, which is 
right curious to behold. The anvil stands on the ground, the man 
sat in front of it, like a tailor with us ; near him sat his wife, also on 
the earth, and span. Between them was the fire. Near it were two 
little leather bags, like a bagpipe's, half in the ground and point- 
ing towards the fire. So the wife, as she sat and span, sometimes 
lifted up one of the bags and then pressed it down again ; this sent 
wind through the earth to the fire, so that the man could get on 
with his tinkering.' HarfT then says that the race originates from a 

^ £. A. Sophocles in the Introduction to his Greek Lexicon of the Roman and 
Byzantine Periods (Boston, U.S., 1870, p. 32) regards Mazaris as probably an 
imaginary character of an anonymous writer of >^^ fourteenth century, according 
to whom ' Peloponnesus was at that time inhabited by a mongrel population, the 
principal elements being Lacedaemonians, Italians, Peloponnesians, Slavs, 
Illyrians, Egjrptians (Af7«/irriot), and Jews.* 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

• 
country called Gyppe, some forty miles distant from Modone 

'Sixty years ago' [i,e, about 1436] 'the Turkish emperor seized this 
territory, whereupon some counts and lords, who would not submit 
to his authority, fled to Rome to our spiritual father, and demanded 
his comfort and succour. So he gave them commendatory letters 
to the Roman emperor and to all princes of the empire, to render 
them conduct and assistance as exiles for the Christian faith. But 
though they showed the letters to all princes, they found nowhere 
assistance. So they died in wretchedness, but the letters passed to 
their servants and children, who still wander about in our lands, and 
call themselves from Little Egypt. But that is a lie, for their parents 
came from the territory of Gyppe, called also Suginia, which is not so 
far from our city of Cologne as it is from Egypt. But these vaga- 
bonds are rascals and spy out the lands.' This passage, modernised 
from Harff's narrative by Hopf (pp. 14-17), is of high interest, though 
there was no Turkish occupation of the Morea about 1436, and 
though we know of no territory there called Gyppe or Suginia, 

In 1 387 Mircea i., woiwode of Wallachia, by a charter still preserved 
in the archives of Bucharest, renewed a grant made about 1370 by 
his uncle Vladislav to the monastery of St Anthony 
at Voditza of forty saiascht ('tents* or families) of 
Atsegane. Which shows that already the Roumanian Gypsies were 
serfs ; and serfs they continued till 1856. To the Proceedings of the 
Royal Geographic^ Society (vol. i., Lond., 1857, pp. 37-41) Mr. 
Samuel Gardner, H.M. Consul at Jassy, contributed some interest- 
ing ' Notes on the Condition of the Gypsy Population of Moldavia.' 
'The Tzigans,' he says, 'are an intelligent and industrious race, 
and in their general condition of prsedial slavery (for few are in 
reality emancipated) are a reproach to the country and to the 
Government. Many of them are taught arts. They are the black- 
smiths, locksmiths, bricklayers, masons, farriers, musicians, and 
cooks especially, of the whole country. . . . They dwell in winter 
in subterra nean excavations, the roof alone appearingjaboye ground, 
and in summer in brown serge tents of their own fabric. . . . The 
children, to the age of ten or twelve, are in a complete state of 
nudity ; but the men and women, the latter offering frequently the 
most symmetrical form and feminine beauty, have a rude clothing. 
Their implements and carriages, of a peculiar construction, display 
much ingenuity. They are in fact very able artisans and labourers, 
industrious and active, but are cruelly and barbarously treated. In 
the houses of their masters they are employed in the lowest offices, 
live in the cellars, have the lash continually applied to them, and are 
still subjected to the iron collar and a kind of spiked iron mask or 




I 



xxii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

helmet, which they are obliged to wear as a mark of punishment 
and degradation for every petty offence.* The Gypsies of Wallachia 
and Moldavia are referred to in eleven original documents of the 
fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. Every one of these 
documents speaks of them as serfs, but we get never a hint of 
when they were first reduced to serfdom. 

In a free metrical paraphrase of Genesis, made in German about or 
before the year 1122 by an Austrian monk, and cited by Freytag in 
The Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit (1859, ii. 226), 

Ghaltsmlde. occurs this passage : — * So she [Hagar] had this child, 
they named him Ishmael. From him are descended the Ishmaelitish 
folk. They journey far through the world. We call them chaitsmide 
[mod. Ger. kalischmiedty * workers in cold metal ']. Out upon their 
life and their manners ! For whatever they have to sell is never with- 
out a defect ; whenever he buys anything, good or bad, he always 
wants something in; he never abates on what he sells himself. 
They have neither house nor country ; every place is the same to 
them. They roam about the land, and abuse the people by their 
knaveries. It is thus they deceive folk, robbing no one openly.' 
That here, by chaitsmide^ Ishmaelites^ and descendants of Hagar 
Gypsies were meant, can scarcely admit of doubt. The smith's is 
still the Gypsies' leading handicraft; Lusignan in 1573 says of the 
Gypsies of Cyprus,^ * Les Cinquanes sont peuple d'Egypte dits 
autrement Agariens'; Agareni is one of the numberless names 
applied to the Gypsies by Fritschius in 1664; and in German and 
in Danish thieves' slang Geshmeilim and Smaeiem (Ishmaelites) are 
terms for Gypsies at the present day. One fancies that Austrian 
monk had somehow been '.done' by the Chaitsmide. 

From whatever cause, it seems certain that a confusion did exist 
between the 'ArcrtyKavoi, or Gypsies, and the 'A^iyyavoi, or heretics 
AthHuranL ^''rming a branch of the Manichaean sect of the 

Paulicians, which renders it sometimes extremely 
difficult to determine whom the Byzantine historians are speaking 
of in seven passages collected by Dr. Franz von Miklosich in his 
great work, Ueber die Mundarten und die Wanderungen der Zigeuner 
Europa's (part vi., 1876, Vienna, pp. 57-64). It appears from these 
that the Athingani, described as magicians, soothsayers, and serpent- 
charmers, first emerge in Byzantine history under Nicephorus i. 

^ Of the Gypsies of Cyprus, as indeed those of Crete, Modern Greece, Lesbos, 
etc., we know practically niL A writer in the Saturday Review for 12th January 
1878, p. 52, quoted, without giving date or source, these words of a Cretan 
poet :— * Franks and Saracens, Corsairs and Germans, Turks and Atzingani, they 
have tried them all, and cannot say who were better, who worse.' 



INTRODUCTION xxiii 

(802-11), were banished by Michael i. (811- 13), and were restored 
to favour by Michael 11. (820-29). But Miklosich's grounds for 
absolutely identifying them with Gypsies, and positively asserting 
the latter to have appeared at Byzantium in 810 under Nicephorus, 
are hard to recognise. 

Far less dubious seems an extract from the Georgian Life of 
Giorgi Mtharsmindel of Mount Athos (St. Petersburg, 1846, 
p. 241), which was demonstrably composed in the 
year iioo. We have two French translations of that 
extract — one published by Otto Boehtlingk {Bulletin historico-philoL 
de tAcadkmie de St Petersbaurgy ii. 1853, p. 4), and the other by 
Miklosich (loc, cit^ part vi. p. 60). Both translations agree closely ; 
I follow Miklosich's: — 'Whilst the pious king, Bagrat iv. \c, 1048], 
was in the imperial city of Constantinople, he learnt — a thing 
marvellous and quite incredible — that there were certain descend- 
ants there of the Samaritan race of Simon Magus, called Atsincan, 
wizards and famous rogues. Now there were wild beasts that used 
to come and devour the animals kept, for the monarch's chase, in 
the imperial park. The great emperor Monomachus, learning of 
this, bade summon the Atsincan, to destroy by their magic art the 
beasts devouring his game. They, in obedience to the imperial 
behest, killed a quantity of wild beasts. King Bagrat heard of it, 
and summoning the Atsincan, said, ''How have you killed these 
beasts ? " " Sire," said they, " our art teaches us to poison meat, 
which we put in a place frequented by these beasts ; then climbing 
a tree, we attract them by imitating the cry of the animals ; they 
assemble, eat the meat, and drop down dead. Only beasts born on 
Holy Saturday obey us not. Instead of eating the poisoned meat, 
they say to us, * Eat it yourselves \; then off they go unharmed." 
The monarch, wishing to see it with his own eyes, bade them 
summon a beast of this sort, but they could find nothing but a dog 
which they knew had not been born upon that day. The monk, 
who was present with the king, was moved with the same natural 
sentiment as we have spoken of above, on the subject of the icons 
and of the divine representation. He was moved, not with pity 
only, but with the fear of God, and would have no such doings 
among Christians, above all before the king, in a place where he 
was himself. He made the sign of the cross on the poisoned meat, 
and the animal had no sooner swallowed it than it brought it up, 
and so did not drop dead. The dog having taken no harm, the 
baffled wizards begged the king to have the monk, Giorgi, taken 
into the inner apartments, and to order another dog to be brought. 
The holy monk gone, they brought another dog, and gave him the 






xxiv GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

poisoned meat : he fell dead instantly. At sight of this King Bagrat 

and his lords rejoiced exceedingly, and told the marvel to the pious 

emperor, Constantine Monomachus [1042-54], who shared their 

satisfaction and thanked God. As to King Bagrat, he said, *' With 

this holy man near me, I fear neither wizards nor their deadly 

poisons."' That things fell out precisely as here reported is 

questionable, but Gypsies are clearly meant by the Atsincan ; the 

passage attests their existence in Europe in the eleventh century. 

y^ The poisoning of pigs — ^for which compare Borrow's Romany Rye — 

C" has become a lost Gypsy art. But twenty-five years ago I knew 

^^ English Gypsies who had a most unpleasant knowledge of whence 

c*** to get natural arsenic. One of them dropped down dead, and the 

^ policeman who examined his body found a quantity of it in his 

pocket. * Oh ! yes,' explained the survivors, * he used it, you know, 

sir, in his tinkering.' ^ 

What it was first directed my attention to the Komodromoi of 

Byzantine writers I cannot be positive, but I am pretty sure it was 

^ ^ . something somewhere in Pott. Not in any of the 
Komodromoi. 

1034 pages of his Zigeuner in Europa und Asien 

(2 vols., Halle, 1844-45), ^^r I have once more gone through that 

stupendous work, bnt perhaps in a letter, perhaps in a conversation, 

or perhaps in one of his contributions to the Zeitschrift der 

Deutschen Morgenldndischen Gesellschaft Anyhow, I am sure no 

work hitherto on the Gypsies has cited this extract from Du Cange's 

Glossariutn ad Scriptores Media etinfima Grcecitatis (Paris, 1688) : — 

* KtofAobpofjLoi, interdum KOfiobpofioi, Circulatores^ atque adeo Fabri ararij 
qui per pages cursitant : ut hodie passim apud nos, quos Chaudroniers 
dicimus. Lexicon MS. ad Schedographiam ; 

Ba/3al, BavfjLacmK6v cVri, BdvavaoSf 6 ;(aX«ecvr t€, 
Kal xpvc^X^^^y Xcycrai, aXXa koi KmfjLodpofios, 
Glossae Graecobarb. 'Ak/iw, a-lBripop €<f>* a ;(aXfccvf ;(aXfc€t;ci, ^yovv anpLoviv 
onov KOfiodpofjL€V€i 6 Kopiobpofios. Alibi, 'Axpof^vcrio, ra aicpa r&v da-Kmy^ cV 
ols ol ;(aXKcI( t6 irvp €K<l>v(r&(nv' ai iKpai, rfyovv ff aKp€s rmv dcKvy rj dcKimyy 
p^& als Snoicus <f}va'ova'iv ol Kop^dpopoi Trjv (f>fOTtav. Theophanes, an. 1 7 
Justiniani : t\s eKT&v 'IraX£v ;(opaf Kop.obp6po£, — c)(a>v fic^ iavrov kvpo 
iav$6p Koi Tv<t>\6v, etc. Cons tan tinus de Adm. Imp. c. 50, p. 182, koI 
dnb rov Beparos tS>p *App^viaK&v c2f r6 tov Xapaiavov Bipa puTtBtja'ap ravra 
TO, PdpdOf rjroi ^ tov KOfiobpdp^v TOtroTfiparia Ta/3iaf , koi €U r^v Tovppop rov 
Xapcriapov r^v €lprjp€prip irposerfSrfo-ap, Anonymus de Passione Domini : 

^ According to Captain Newbold, the Gypsies of Syria and Palestine ' vend 

charms, philtres, poisons, and drugs of vaunted efficacy'; in 1590 Katherene 

^ Roiss, Lady Fowlis, was ' accusit for sending to the Egyptianis, to haif knawledge 

of thame how to poysoun the young Laird of Fowlis and the young Lady 

Balnagoune.' 



INTRODUCTION xxv 

K€u ore ^$afr»(nv tU rhv r&irov, lK6»v 6 K0fiodp6fjLOs as aravp»a'€i avroVy etc. 
Occurrit praeterea in Annalib. Glycae.' 

Dictionaries are not as a rule lively reading; but every line 
almost in this extract has its interest. Komodromos^ 'village- 
roamer/ is certainly a vague term, but no vaguer than landloopery 
which does in Dutch stand for 'Gypsy/ as landlouper does for 
* vagrant ' in Lowland Scotch. Du Gangers own definition of 
komodromoi as roamers (drculatores) and coppersmiths who 
rove about the country, like those in our midst whom we call 
ChaudronnierSy must have been meant by him to apply to Gypsies, 
and to Gypsies only. The modem Roumanian and Hungarian 
Gypsies are divided into certain classes — Caldarari (chaudronniers 
or caldron-smiths), Aurari (gold-workers), etc.; and Bataillard's 
note prefixed to most of his monographs runs — * L'auteur recevrait 
avec reconnaissance toute communication relative aux Boh^miens 
hongrois voyageant hors de leur pays (vrais nomades pourvus de 
tentes et de chariots, la plupart chaudronniers)? Next, the six 
passages quoted by Du Cange show that the komodromos was 
variously or conjointly a coppersmith (chalkeus) and a gold-worker 
{chrysoclioosy defined by Du Cange as 'aurifer, aurarius*). The 
Gypsy Aurari have practised gold-washing in Wallachia and\ 
Transylvania from time immemorial (Grellmann, Die Zigeuner, 2nd ' 
ed. 1787, pp. 105-112); but we have also many indications of the 
Gypsies as actual goldsmiths. Captain Newbold says that the 
Persian Gypsies ' sometimes practise the art of the gold and silver 
smith, and are known to be forgers of the current coin of Persia. 
These are the zergars (lit. " workers in gold ") of the tribe ' {/our, 
Roy, Asiatic SoCy vol. xvi. 1856, p. 310). The Egyptian Gypsies, 
he tells us, at Cairo ' carry on the business of tinkers and black- 1 
smiths, and vend ear-rings, amulets, bracelets, and instruments of 
iron and brass * {ib, p. 292). The Gypsy bronze and brass founders 
of Western Galicia and the Bukowina — the only Gypsy metallurgists 
of whom, thanks to Kopernicki, we possess really full information — 
are called Zlotars and DzvonkarSy Ruthenian words meaning * gold- 
smiths* and * bell-makers.' They are no longer workers in gold, 
but they do make rings, crosses, clasps, ear-rings, etc., of brass 
and German silver (Bataillard, Les Zlotars^ 1878, 70 pages). 
Henri van Elven, in *The Gypsies in Belgium* {Gypsy Lore 
Journaly ii. 139), says: *The women wear bracelets and large 
earrings of gold, copper, or bronze, seldom of silver ; while all the 
Gypsies wear earrings \cf, supra^ p. xii.]. It appears to me that 
the Gypsy jewels and the metal-work of their pipes have not yet 
been sufficiently studied. In the fabrication of these objects they 



xxvi GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

must have preserved something typical and antique, which would 
contribute to the comparative study of their ancient industries. I 
remember seeing some rings, cast in bronze, of which the setting 
was ornamented with a double or a single cross, and whose 
ornamentation recalled the motifs of the Middle Ages, the style 
being evidently Oriental. Their walking-sticks are topped with 
copper or bronze hatchets, but more frequently with round knobs, 
which are hollow, and which hold their money, the lid being screwed 
off and on. These Gypsies were tin-workers, repairing metal utensils, 
and also basket-makers.' The Gypsies, says Dr. R. W. Felkin, 
'appear to be on friendly terms with the natives of the country, and 
curiously enough they are said to have introduced the art of filigree 
work and gold-beating into Darfftr* ('Central African Gypsies,' 
Gypsy Lore Journal^ i. 22 1). Even the Brazilian Gypsies of 1816, as 
we have seen from Koster's Travels, sold gold and silver trinkets. 

The reference to the anvil and to the bellows of skins with which 
the komodromoi blew up their furnace recalls the passage cited from 
Arnold von Harff on p. xx., where, about 1497, he described the 
anvil and the bellows of the Modone Gypsies. Gypsy bellows are 
figured in Bataillard's Les Zioiars^ in Van Elven's article, and in 
Die Meialle bei den Naturvdlkem of Richard Andree (Leip. 1884, 
p. 83). Arthur J. Patterson in The Magyars: their Country and 
Institutions (1869, ii. 198) writes: *A curious consequence of 
their practising the art of the smith is that a Gypsy boy is in 
Hungary called purde^ which is generally supposed to be the 
equivalent in the Gypsy language for "boy." It is really the 
imperative mood of the verb " to blow," for, while the Gypsy father 
is handling the hammer and the tongs, he makes his son manage 
the bellows.' Small points enough these, but they must be viewed 
in relation to the metallurgical monopoly still largely enjoyed by 
the Gypsies in south-east Europe and in Asia Minor. So ex- 
clusively was the smith's a Gypsy (and therefore a degrading) craft 
in Monten^o that, when in 1872 the Government established an 
arsenal at Rieka, no natives could be found to fill its well-paid posts. 
And in a very long letter of 21st January 1880, the late Mr. Hyde 
Clarke wrote to me that * over more than one sanjdk of the Aidin 
viceroyalty the Gypsies have still a like monopoly of iron-working ; 
the naalband^ or shoeing-smith, being no smith in our sense at all. 
He is supplied with shoes of various sizes by the Gypsies, and 
only hammers them on.' It is most unlikely that, if recent comers 
to the Levant, the Gypsies should have acquired such a monopoly ; 
it is obvious that, if they possessed that monopoly a thousand 
years ago, these komodromoi must have been Gypsies. 



INTRODUCTION xxvii 

For Du Cange's first three quotations I can assign no dates, but 
Theophanes Isaunis was bom in 758 and died in 818; the seven- 
teenth year of Justinian would be 544 a.d. — a very early date at 
which to find a Gypsy from Italy, * having with him a blind yellow 
dog.' The dates of the Emperor Constantinus Porphyrogenitus 
are 905-959; I own I can make little of this passage from his 
lAber de administrando Imperio^ but thema, bandon^ topoteresia^ and 
tourma seem all to be words for administrative divisions. 

Du Cange's last passage is by far the most interesting: — 

* Anonymus de Passione Domini : " And when they arrive at the 
place, the komodromos coming to crucify him," etc.* HalU of 

* Why so interesting ? there does not seem much in OrucUlxloiL 
that,' my readers may exclaim. Why ? because there is a widely- 
spread superstition that a Gypsy forged the nails for the crucifixion, 
and that henceforth his race has been accursed of heaven. That 
superstition was first recorded in an article by Dr. B. Bogisic on 
'Die slavisirten Zigeuner in Montenegro' {Das Auslandy 25th May 
1874); and in Le Folklore de Lesbos^ by G. Georgeakis and L^on 
Pineau (Paris, 1891, pp. 273-8), is this 'Chant du Vendredi Saint,' 
this plaint of Our Lady : — 

' Our Lady was in a grotto 
And made her prayer. 
She hears rolling of thunder, 
She sees lightnings. 
She hears a great noise. 
She goes to the window : 
She sees the heaven all black 
And the stars veiled : 
The bright moon was bathed in blood. 
She looks to right, she looks to left : 
She perceives St. John ; 
She sees John coming 
In tears and dejection : 
He holds a handkerchief spotted with blood. 
" Good-day, John. Wherefore 
These tears and this dejection ? 
Has thy Master beaten thee, 
Or hast thou lost the Psalter?" 
*' The Master has not beaten me, 
And I have not lost the Psalter. 
I have no mouth to tell it thee, 
Nor tongue to speak to thee : 
And thine heart will be unable to hear me. 
These miserable Jews have arrested my Master, 
They have arrested him like a thief, 
And they are leading him away like a murderer." 



il 



\ 



xxviii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Our Lady, when she heard it, 

Fell and swooned. 

They sprinkle her from a pitcher of water, 

From three bottles of musk, 

And from four bottles of rose-water. 

Until she comes to herself 

When she was come to herself, she says, 

" All you who love Christ and adore him, 

Come with me to find him, 

Before they kill him, 

And before they nail him, 

And before they put him to death. 

Let Martha, Magdalene, and Mary come, 

And the mother of the Forerunner." 

These words were still on her lips, 

Lo ! five thousand marching in front, 

And four thousand following after. 

They take the road, the path of the Jews. 

No one went near the Jews except the unhappy mother. 

The path led them in front of the door of a nail-maker. 

She finds the nail-maker with his children. 

The nail-maker with his wife. 

" Good-day, workman, what art making there ? " 

" The Jews have ordered nails of me ; 

They have ordered four of me ; 

But I, 1 am making them five." 

" Tell me, tell me, workman, 

What they will do with them." 

" They will put two nails in his feet, 

Two others in his hands ; 

And the other, the sharpest, 

Will pierce his lung." 

Our Lady, when she heard it. 

Fell and swooned. 

They sprinkle her from a pitcher of water 

From three bottles of musk. 

And from four bottles of rose ; 

Until she comes to herself. 

When she had come to herself, she says : 

*^ Be accursed, O Tziganes I 

May there never be a cinder in your forges. 

May there never be bread on your bread-pans. 

Nor buttons to your shirts 1 " 

They take the road,* etc. 

And M. Georgeakis adds in a footnote, * The Tziganes whom one 
sees in the island of Mitylene are all smiths.' It is a far cry from 
the Greek Archipelago to the Highlands of Scotland, but in the 



INTRODUCTION xxix 

Gypsy Lore Journal {yix. 1892, p. 190), is this brief unsigned note: 
' I should be pleased to know if you have the tradition in the South 
[of Scotland], that the tinkers are descendants of the one who made 
the nails for the Cross, and are condemned to wander continually 
without rest' No answer appeared ; and I know of no other hint 
of the currency of this belief in Western Europe, unless it be the 
couplet : — 

*' A whistling maid and a crowing hen 
Are hateful alike to God and men,' 

* because,' according to Lieut. -Col. A. Fergusson {Notes and Queries^ 
August 1879, P- 93)> though he gives no authorities, *a woman 
stood by and whistled while she watched the nails for the Cross 
being forged.' ^ 

On the other hand, the Gypsies of Alsace have a legend of their 
own, opposed to, and probably devised expressly to refute, the ga^jo 
or Gentile version. How there were two Jew brothers, Schmul and 
Rom-Schmul. The first of them exulted at the Crucifixion ; the 
other would gladly have saved Our Lord from death, and, finding 
that impossible, did what he could — pilfered one of the four nails. 
So it came about that Christ's feet must be placed one over the 
other, and fastened with a single nail. And Schmul remained a 
Jew, but Rom-Schmul turned Christian, and was the founder of the 
R6mani race (' Die Zigeuner in Elsass und in Deutschlothringen,' ^ 
by Dr. G. Miihl, in Der Salon^ 1874). In a letter of i6th December 
1880, M. Bataillard wrote : * An Alsatian Gypsy woman, one of the 
Reinhart family, has been at me for some time past to procure a 
remission of sentence for one of her relations who has been in gao 
since 2d October. "The Manousch" [Gypsies], she urges, "are 
not bad ; they do not murder." And on my answering with a smile 
that unluckily they are only too prone to take what doesn't belong 
to them, and that the judges, knowing this, are extra severe towards 
them, her answer is, " It is true, it 's in the blood. Besides, you 
surely know, you who know all about the Manousch^ they have leave 
to steal once in seven years." " How so ? " " It 's a story you surely 
must know. They were just going to crucify Jesus. One of our women I 
passed by, and she whipped up one of the nails they were going to use. 1 
She would have liked to steal all four nails, but couldn't. Anyhow, 
it was always one, and that 's why Jesus was crucified with only 
three nails, a single one for the two feet. And that 's why Jesus 

^ It is just worth noting that St. Columbanus (543-615) was accustomed to 
celebrate the Eucharist in vessels of bronze {fleris\ alleging as a reason for so 
doing that Our Lord was affixed to the cross by brazen nails. —Smith's Diet, 
'Christ. Antiqs,^ s.v. Chalicb. 

/ 



XXX GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

gave the Manousch leave to steal once every seven years." ' ^ The 
Lithuanian Gypsies say, likewise, that ' stealing has been permitted in 
their favour by the crucified Jesus, because the Gypsies, being pre- 
sent at the Crucifixion, stole one of the four nails. Hence when 
the hands had been nailed, there was but one nail left for the feet ; 
and therefore God allowed them to steal, and it is not accounted a 
sin to them.' (* The Lithuanian Gypsies and their Language,' by 
Mieczyslaw Dowojno-Sylwestrowicz, in Gypsy Lore Journal^ i. 1889, 

P- 253.) 

This Gypsy counter-legend offers a possible explanation of the 

hitherto-unexplained transition from four nails to three in crucifixes 

during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The change must at 

first have been hardly less startling than a crucifix now would be in 

which both hands should be pierced with one nail. Dr. R. Morris 

discusses it in his Introduction to Legends of the Holy Rood (Early 

Eng. Text Soc, 187 1). There it appears that while St Gregory 

Nazianzen, Nonnus, and the author of the Ancren Riwk speak of 

three nails only, SS. Cyprian, Augustine, and Gregory of Tours, 

Pope Innocent in., Rufinus, Theodoret, and -^Ifric speak of four ; 

and that the earliest known crucifix with three nails only is a copper 

one, of probably Byzantine workmanship, dating from the end of 

the twelfth century. Now, if the Byzantine Gypsies possessed at 

that date a metallurgical monopoly, this crucifix must of course have 

been fashioned by Gypsy hands, when the three nails would be an 

easily intelligible protest against the calumny that those nails were 

forged by the founder of the Gypsy race. 

I give the suggestion just for what it is worth ; but the occurrence 

of the legend and the counter-legend in regions so far apart as 

Lesbos and Scotland, Alsace and Lithuania, strongly argues their 

antiquity, and corroborates the idea that the komodromos was a 

Gypsy who figures in * Anonymus de Passione Domini.' One would 

like to know the date of that Greek manuscript ; but Professor R. 

Bensly, in a long letter of 28th May 1879, could only conjecturally 

identify it with *S. Joannis Theologi Commentarius Apocryphus 

MS. de J. C (? No. 929 or looi, Colbert Coll. Paris Cat. mss.*). 

Probably there are many allusions to komodromoi in Byzantine 

writers, if one had leisure and scholarship to hunt them up ; certainly 

it is strange that of Du Gangers six quotations for komodromoi four 

should seem unmistakably to point to Gypsies. I myself have 

* Cf, supra^ p. XL, line 13. 

' Information supplied by M. Omont of the Biblioth^ue Nationale at Paris 
and by Prof, von Dobschiitz of Jena, shows that the komodromos passage is to b 
found in neither of these two Mss. It has still to be sought for, then. 






INTRODUCTION xxxi 

little doubt of their identity. From which it would follow that 
more than a thousand years ago south-eastern Europe had its 
Gypsies, and that not as new-comers, but as recognised strollers, 
like the Boswells and Stanleys of our old grassy lanes. The verb 
komodrotnein occurs in Pollux Archseologus (Jlo, 183 a.d.); and the 
classic authors present many hints of the possible presence of 
Gypsies in their midst. R6mani Chals, or Gypsies, would often fit 
admirably for Chaliim\ and the fact that the water-w£#ail is the 

* Gypsy bird* of both German and English Gypsies reminds one 
that the Greeks had a saying, as old at least as the fifth century B.C., 

* Poorer than a kinkios * (#"yicXos= water-wagtail), and that peasants 
in the third century a.d. called homeless wanderers kinkloi. One 
need not, with Erasmus and Pierius, derive Ctngarus {ZingarOy 
Tchinghianey Zigeunery etc.) from kinkios \ the words in all likeli- 
hood were as distinct originally as Gypsies (Egyptians) and vipseys 
or gipseys (eruptions of water in the East Riding of Yorkshire ; cf. 
William of Newburgh's twelfth century Chronicle). But the Gypsies 
may have been led, by the resemblance of its name to theirs, 
to adopt the water-wagtail as their bird; and Theognis and 
Menander may have applied to the water- wagtail the epithets * much- 
wandering* and *poor,' because the bird was associated in their 
minds with some poor wandering race. 

I do not build on this guesswork, as neither even on .the ingenious 
theories of M. Bataillard, according to which prehistoric Europe 
gained from the Gypsies its knowledge of metallurgy, and which 
may be studied in his L^ Anciennete des Tsiganes (1877) ^^^ other 
monographs, or in my summaries of them in the articles * Gipsies ' 
{JEncycL Britannicay vol. x. 1879, p. 618), and * Gypsies ' (Chambtrs^s 
EncycLy vol. v. 1890, p. 487). All that I hold for certain is our 
absolute uncertainty at present whether Gypsies first set foot in 
Europe a thousand years after or a thousand years before the 
Christian era. We have no certitude even for western Europe. In 
1866 a large band of English ball-giving Gypsies paid a visit to 
Edinburgh; Scottish newspapers of that date wrote as though 
Gypsies had never till then been seen to the north of the Border. 
That was ridiculous : a similar mistake may have been made by the 
German, Swiss, Italian, and French chroniclers of 1417-34. As it 
is, M. Bataillard has established the presence, before 1400, of 

* foreigners called Be mische ' in the bishopric of Wiirzburg, who may 
have been Gypsies, as almost indubitably were certain J^mische at 
Frankfort-on-Main in 1495 (^yp^y -^^^ Journal^ i. 207-10).^ 

^ In his Beitrage zur Kenniniss der deutscken Zi^runer (H&We, 1894, PP« 5'^)) 
Y lerr Richard Pischel maintains, as it seems to me, successfully, that the * Bemische 



4 



I 



xxxii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Then *A Charter of Edward iii. confirming the Privileges of St. 
Giles' Fair, Winchester, a.d. 1349' (ed. by Dean Kitchin, 1886), 
contains this passage : — * And the Justiciaries and the Treasurer of 
the Bishop of Wolvesey for the time being, and the Clerk of the 
Pleas, shall yearly receive four basons and ewers, by way of fee (as 
they have received them of old time) from those traders from foreign 
parts, called Dynamitters^ who sell brazen vessels in the fair.' On 
which passage Dean Kitchin has this note : 'These foreigners were 
sellers, we are told, of brazen vessels of all kinds. The word may 
be connected with Dinant near Namur, where there was a great 
manufacture of Dinanderie, t,e, metal-work (chiefly in copper). A 
friend suggests Dinant-batteurs as the origin. Batteur was the 
proper title of these workers in metal. See Commines, 11. i., * une 
marchandise de ces oeuvres de cuivre, qu'on appelle Dinanderie^ qui 
sont en effttpots et pesles,^* ' 

It is a relief to turn from the thousand and one appellations under 
which Gypsies have been known at different times and in different 
Oypi^ countries, to the sure and unerring light that thjsir 

L angu a ge. language throws on their history. Though never a 
chronicler or traveller had written, we yet could feel confident 
from R6mani that the forefathers of our English Gypsies must for a 
long period have sojourned in a Gre^-speaking country. Among 
the Greek loan-words in the Anglo-R6mani dialect are drom^ 
road, (SpofAos), cMrus, time (icatpos), Sftay seven (cirra), Snnea, nine 
(tvvea), fb ros^ market-town (<^o/5os), filisin^ mansion (<^vAaicTi;/oiov), 
kekdvi, kettle {KaKKd^rj)^ kSkaio, bone (KOKaA.01/), kSli^ anger (x^^^), 
kiiriki, Sunday (KvpiaKij), misd/i, table {fi€v<rdXi\ bchiOy eight 
(oicTcu), pdpin^ goose (irdjnrta), pdpus, grandfather (irainros), sdpin, 
soap (caTTovvt), shdmba^ frog ((dfiva)^ sima^ to pawn ((nyfiaSI), 
skdminy chair (o-ica/jivt), solivdris^ reins {a-oX.ipdpi), stddi, hat 
(o-KiaSt), wagSra, fair (dyopd), wd/iri, bottle (vaAi), and zimin, soup 
{(ovfii). The total number of Greek loan-words in the different 
Gypsy dialects may be about one hundred; and the same loan- 
words occur in dialects as widely separate as those of Roumania, 
Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Scandinavia, Ger- 
many, Italy, the Basque Country, Spain, and Brazil. This is 
important as indicating that the modern Gypsies of Europe are 
descended not from successixfe-waves of Oriental immigration, but 
all from the self-same European-Gypsy stock, whenever that stock 
may have first been transplanted to Europe. It conclusively 
negatives the Kounavine theory that the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, 

lute' {Boehmische Leute) at WUrzburg between 1372 and 1400 were reaf. 
Bohemians and not Gypsies. * 

^ i 

r 

i » 



« 



or TMF * ' 

UNIVERSITY 

OF 

AUF09U}^ INTRODUCTION xxxiii 

Basque, and French Gypsies arrived at their present habitats by 
way of Africa, and the Scandinavian Gypsies by way of the Ural 
Mountains.^ 

Slavonic loan-words come next to the Greek : English R6mani 
has some thirty of the former, against fifty of the latter. There are 
also a few words of Persian, Armenian, Roumanian, Magyar, and 
German origin ; but the question of the presence or the absence of 
Arabic words in European R6mani is hardly yet determined. 
According to Professor De Goeje (1875; trans, in MacRitchie's 
Gypsies of India^ 1886, pp. 54-5), there are at least ten such words; 
according to Miklosich {Ueber die Mundarten^ etc., part vi. 1876, 
pp. 63-64), there are none. Kbtor^ a piece, for instance, by 
De Goeje is derived from the Arabic kofa^ by Miklosich from the 
Armenian kotor. Neither, however, of the two scholars seems to have 
recognised the possible importance of the presence or the absence 
(especially the absence) of Arabic elements. R6mani contains 
Persian words, e,g, ambrbl^ a pear; would it not have certainly 
contained also Arabic words if the ancestors of our modern 
European Gypsies had sojourned in Persia, or even passed through 
Persia, at a date later than the Arab conquest of Persia? If 
Miklosich is right in his contention that there are no Arabic words 
in European R6mani, it follows almost inevitably that the Gypsies 
must have passed through Persia on their way to Europe at some 
date QQfi£ to the middle of the seventh century a.d. 

Important as are the borrowings of Rdmani for helping us to 
trace the Gypsies' wanderings, they can barely amount to a twentieth 
of the total vocabulary (five ilipusand words rich, perhaps). The 
words of that vocubulary for * water ' and * knife ' are in Persia /i«/, 
chert (1823); in Siberia, panji^ tschuri (1878); in Armenia, pani^ 
churi(\%(i^\ in Egypt, pdni^ ckuri {}.^^(i) \ in Norway, pani^ tjuri 
(1858); in England pani^ churi (1830); in, probably, Belgium, 



^+^ 



^ No Greek loan-word has more interest for us than paramisi or paramisa^ a >^ ' 
story (Mod. Gk. Tapa/iOBt). It occurs in the dialects of the Roumanian, 
Hungarian, Bohemian, Polish, German, and English Gypsies. I heard it myself \ ^ 
first in 1872 near Oxford, from old Lolli Buckknd, in the curious sense of stars : — • ^v 
' As you kistas k^rri ke-rdti, r6ia, tuti'Il dik the paramishis vellin' avri adr6 the 
leeline ' (As you ride home this evening, sir, you '11 see the stars coming out in 
thTdarkjifiss). How she came to «pply the word thus, I cannot say, perhaps \ « 
from the mere jingle of stars and stories, perhaps from the notion of the stars 
foretelling the future. Again, in 1879, from one of the Boswells, I heard the 
verb pdramis, 'to talk scandal, tell tales.' And lastly, Mr. Sampson got 
pceramissa in its proper sense of * story' from the old tinker Philip Murray, who, 
though no Gypsy himself, had an unrivalled knowledge of Gypsydom and 
R6mani((^/. Lore Jour, ^ iii. 77). 

C 






xxxiv GYPSY FOLK. TALES 

panin^ chauri (1597) ; in Brazil, panitiy churin (1886) — where spelling 

and dates are those of the works whence these words have been 

taken. Over and above the identity in every R6mani dialect of 

these two selected words — and there are hundreds more like them — 

they are also identical with the Hindustani pani and churi^ familiar 

to all Anglo-Indians. And to cite but a few more instances, * nose,' 

* hair,' * eye,' * ear ' are in Turkish Rdmani naky bal^ akh^ kann ; in 

Hindustani, naky bal^ akh^ kan : whilst ' Go, see who knocks at the 

door ' in the one language is JA^ dik kon chalavkla vuddr^ and in 

the other yi, dekh kon chaldya dvdr ko. This discovery waS not 

made till long after specimens of Rdmani had been published — by 

Andrew Boorde (1542), whose twenty-six words, jotted down 

seemingly in a Sussex alehouse, were intended to illustrate the 

*speche of Egipt'; by Bonaventura Vulcanius (1597), whose 

vocabulary of seventy-one words, collected apparently in Belgium, 

fills up some blank pages in a Latin work on the Goths ; and by 

I-.udolphus (1691), whose thirty-eight words are embedded in his 

huge Commentarius ad Historiam yEthiopicam. In 1777 Riidiger 

first compared with Hindustani some specimens of R6mani got from 

a Gypsy woman at Halle, and in 1782 he published the result of 

the comparison in his Neuester Zuwachs der Sprachkunde, In 

1783 Grellmann's Historischer Versuch uber die Zigeuner reaped all 

the fruits of Riidiger's research; and William Marsden the same 

year was independently led to a like discovery {ArchcRologia^ 1785, 

pp. 382-6). Grellmann^ whose work has still a high value, leapt 

naturally enough to the conclusion that the Gypsies who showed 

themselves in western Europe in 141 7 had newly come also to 

south-eastern Europe, and were a low-caste Indian tribe expelled 

from their native country about 1409 by Tamerlane. In 1783 the 

older languages of India were a sealed book to Europeans; and 

Grellmann's opinion found almost universal approval for upwards of 

sixty years. Now, however, thanks to the linguistic labours of 

Pott, Ascoli, and Miklosich, combined with the historical researches 

of Bataillard and Hopf, the question has assumed a new aspect. 

For while on the one hand it has been demonstrated that south-east 

Europe had its Gypsies long before 141 7, so on the other R6mani 

/ has been shown to be a sister, not a daughter — and it may be an 

I elder sister— of the seven principal New Indian dialects. Not a 

few of its forms are more primitive than theirs, or even than those 

of Pali and the Prakrits — e.g. the Turkish R6mani vast^ hand 

(Sansk. kasta, Pali haitha\ and vusht^ lip (Sansk. ostha^ Pali otthd). 

In his Beitrdge zur Kenntniss der Zigeunermundarten (iv. 1878, 

p^es 45-54) Miklosich collected a number of such forms; but 



\ 



INTRODUCTION xxxv 

Miklosich it was who also pointed out there that many of the 
seeming archaisms of R6mani may be matched from the less-known 
dialects of India, especially north-west India — that we find, for 
example, in Dardu both hast and usht I have not the faintest 
notion what was Professor Sayce's authority for his statement that 

* the grammar and dictionary of the Romany prove that they started 
from their kindred, the Jats, on the north-western coast of India, 
near the mouth of the Indus, not earlier than the tenth century of 
the Christian era* (T?u Science of Language^ ii. 325). So far as I 
know, the only attempted comparison between R6mani and Jdtdki 
was made by myself (* Gipsies,' Enc, Brit, x. 618) ; and its results 
seemed wholly unfavourable to the Jat theory of the Gypsies' origin. 

No ; language, like history, has )delded important results, but on 
many points we still have almost everything to learn. We do not 
know within a thousand years when the Gypsies left OyiMies as 
India, or when they arrived in Persia, Armenia, Nomads. 
Africa, Asia Minor, and South-eastern Europe. But we do know 
that India was their_original home, that they must have sojourned 
long in a Greek-speaking region, and that in western and northern 
Europe their present dispersion dates mainly if not entirely from 
after the year 1417. These three facts will have to be borne in 
mind for understanding what follows ; a fourth fact is that a portion, 
if a small portion, of the Gypsy race is stilljntfinsely- nomadic. 
Nothing is commoner than for the English Gypsies of our novels 
and plays to speak familiarly of * sunny^ Spain * ; those of a little 
anonymous story, Tlie Gipsies (1842), go backwards and forwards 
tojiorway. But as a rule English Gypsies never stir out of Great 
Britain, or, if they do leave it, leave it only for another English- 
speaking country — Canada, the United States, or New Zealand.^ 
So far, too, as we know, our present Gypsies are all descendants of 
early Gypsy immigrants ; their surnames — Lee, Faa, Baillie, Stanley, 
Gray, Smith, Heron, Boswell, etc. — date bac^ to the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries. And our sole hint, until a quite recent date, 
as to visits to England by Continental Gypsies is a Bartholomew 
Fair handbill of 1689 about some German Gypsies, rope-dancers. 

* In Chronicles of a Virgin Fortress (1896), Mr. W. V. Herbert gives an 
extraordinary story of one of the Stanleys, who, forced to fly Hampshire for 
some offence, found his way to Bulgaria, and as * Istanli ' became a Gypsy 
chieftain and public executioner of Widdin about 1874. Tom Taylor's returned 

• lag ' of p. xvii recurs also to memory, and John Lee, the Gypsy recruit of 
'John Company,' from whom on the outward voyage in 1805 Lieut. Francis 
Irvine of the Bengal Native Infantry took down a R6mani vocabulary of 138 
words] (7>Ki«j. Lit, Soc. Bombay, 18 19). 



xxxvi GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Mutatis mutandis^ the same seems to hold good of the Gypsies of 
Germany, Poland, Norway, etc. ; they are apparently the descend- 
ants of early immigrants into those different countries. But the 
fiftidirnuH ^^^® *^ quite otherwise with the Caldarari, or copper- 

smiths, of Hungary, for they will wander forth north, 
south, east, west, and sometimes stay away a whole seven years. 
Myself I have met with Caldarari but once, at Halle, in 1875; 
I described that brief meeting thus in my Gypsy Tents (1880, 
pp. 43-44) :— 

* I had been paying my first call to Professor Pott, who had told 
me that only once had he spoken with living Gypsies, somewhere 
near London. So I asked him did they never come to Halle, and 
he answered. No; and presently I came away. I was not two 
hundred yards from his doorstep, when I saw a curious sort of 
skeleton waggon, drawn by two little horses, with their forelegs 
shackled together. On the top of this waggon sat a woman smoking 
a big black pipe ; and round it three or four children were playing, 
stark-naked. The waggon was standing outside an inn; and 
entering the inn, I found two Gypsy men seated at the table, eating 
soup and drinking beer. I greeted them with "Ldtcho dfvvus" 
(Good-day), and they seemed not the least bit surprised, for these 
were travelled gentlemen. Three years they had been away from 
Hungary, in France and Germany; and they could both speak 
French and German fluently. We talked of many things, and 
compared, I remember, passports: mine they pronounced an 
exceeding sMkar ^l (fine document), the lion and unicorn seeming 
to take their fancy. Every place they came to, they had to go first 
thing to the head policeman and show their passes, and then he 
told them where they were to stop. They were allowed three days 
in every place, and no one could meddle with them all that time. . . . 
The women came in, two of them, and some of the children. 
There was one, a little fellow of nine or ten, as brown and pretty a 
thing as ever I saw, but wild as a fox-cub. His father gave him 
a plate of soup to finish, and he lapped it up just as a fox-cub would, 
looking out at me now and again from behind his mother. Then 
they paid their reckoning, the women climbed up on the waggon, 
the children shouted, and the men cracked their whips. " God go 
with thee, brother " ; and so we parted.' 

There is not much in that, but one cannot learn much in half 
an hour's chance interview. Nor, indeed, is there very much in- all 
the scattered notes that I have been able thus far to collect 
respecting the Caldarari ; some of those notes relate to them only 
conjecturally. Du Cange's definition of komodromoi proves that 



\ 



INTRODUCTION xxxvii 

coppersmiths roamed through France in 1688; and it is at least 
highly probable that to this caste belonged the band of forty 
Gypsies with whom, in the spring of 1604, Jacques Callot, a boy 
of twelve, wandered from Nancy to Florence. Of the journey 
itself we know nothing, but he has left an imperishable record of it 
in his three matchless engravings of the ' Boh^miens,' which show 
them on the march, in their bivouac, and spoiling the Gentiles. 
Charles Reade worked a clever description of Callot's engravings 
into his Cloister and the Hearth^ and they were admirably re- 
produced in the Gypsy Lore Journal for January 1890, with a long 
article on them by Mr. David MacRitchie. 

In his Travels (1763, ii. 157-8), under the date 1721, John 
Bell of Antermony has the following passage : — * During our stay at 
Tobolsky, I was informed, that a large troop of gipsies had been 
lately at that place, to the number of sixty and upwards, consisting 
of men, women, and children. The Russians call these vagabonds 
tziggany. Their sorry baggage was carried on horses and asses. 
The arrival of so many strangers being reported to Mr. Petroff 
Solovoy, the vice-governor, he sent for some of the chief of the 
gang, and demanded whither they were going ? they answered him, 
to China ; upon which he told them he could not permit them to 
proceed any farther eastward, as they had no passport ; and ordered 
them to return to the place whence they came. It seems these 
people had roamed, in small parties, during the summer season, 
cross the vast countries between Poland and this place ; subsisting 
themselves on what they could find, and on selling trinkets, and 
telling fortunes to the country people. But Tobolsky, being the 
place of rendezvous, was the end of their long journey eastwards ; 
and they, with no small regret, were obliged to turn their faces to 
the west again.' I fancy these Gypsies also must have been 
Caldarari. But whether they were or no, the passage remains one 
of the most curious that we have relating to G3rpsy migrations. 
Taken in its most limited sense, it shows that the band had 
wandered in small detachments from Poland to Tobolsk, a distance 
of two thousand miles or upwards. But it suggests a great deal 
more than this. There seems no reason to question the statement 
that China was really the ultimate goal of their wanderings. If so,\ 
it is probable that they were following in the track of formerj 
migral^DS, that Gypsies had been in the habit of passing backwards 
and forwards between Europe and China, which opens up a vista 
of a possible connection between the West and the farthest East 
undreamed of by all our geographers. But without further evidence 
this must be mere conjecture. Of Gypsies in China I know nothing 



xxxviii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

whatever, except that a Russian noble, Prince Galitzin, whom I met 
three years since in Edinburgh, assured me he had seen a number 
of them there. Physique, outward appearance, seemed his only 
test ; and his statement, though interesting, needs corroboration. 

The Weserzeitung of 25th April 1851 announced that one 
hundred Gypsies had passed through Frankfort, on their way 
from Hungary to Algeria; and in the Revue de V Orient for 20th 
January 1889 Madame Marlet thus described her meeting with a 
Hungarian Gypsy in North Africa: — *I shall ever remember a 
scene which I witnessed in Africa. It was one evening at the base 
of the superb mountains of Mustapha Sup^rieur, just as the setting 
sun flooded the plain with his last rays of golden and crimson light 
— the gold and purple of the incomparable majesty of the Eastern 
sky. I observed a caravan of nomads encamped in the plain 
beneath their tents. I drew near, and saw that they were Gypsies, 
but Gypsies who had dwelt under other skies. Some were Spanish 
Gitanos, with garments of many hues, their shears hanging by their 
sides, at the end of a silvered chain wound around their blades ; 
the others came from Morocco, and wore the simple white attire of 
the Children of the Desert. They received me with indifference. 
By means of my knowledge of Italian I managed at length to make 
the Gitanos understand that I came from Hungary. They were at 
once alive with interest. " Hungaria ! " I heard them whisper into 
one another's ears; and finally an old Gypsy man informed me, 
** There is one of us who comes straight from that very country." 
They ran all at once to seek him out. But the young Gypsy — a 
superb, swarthy figure — quite unmoved, maintained a proud and 
gloomy silence. Did he suspect me of untruth in telling him that 
I knew that Hungary, so far away beyond the wide stretch of sea ? 
He may have thought so. However, I saw that the old Gitano 
had told the truth. The dress of the young nomad was entirely 
Hungarian, from his shining boots up to his little Magyar calpate. 
His attire generally was rather rich than poor. Had I conversed 
with him in Hungarian, perhaps his heart would have softened. But 
he remained thus, sombre and mistrustful, and only the Gitanos, 
who, in their fantastic rags, stood around us, repeated vivaciously in 
Spanish, as they pointed towards him, " Patria Hungaria ! " ' 

Giboure, a suburb of St. Jean de Luz, is a sort of Basque : 

Yetholm. Like Yetholm it has largely lost its Gypsy character. \ 

Its * Cascarrotac ' are supposed to be the descendants ( 

of Gypsies who came from Spain two centuries ago, \ 

but they are now quite mixed up with the Basques of the neighbour- \ 

hood, and have lost the last remnants of R6mani, though at the ^ 



INTRODUCTION xxxix 

beginning of the century they retained a few words, as dehla^ the 
sun, mambrun^ bread, and puro^ old man. But Ciboure is still a 
regular halting-place of Hungarian Gypsies, as appears from this 
passage in a very valuable article on * The Cascarrots of Ciboure,' 
by the Rev. Wentworth Webster {Gypsy Lore Journal^ October ' 
1888, pp. 76-84): — * My own observations are that the passage of • 
the Hungarian Gypsies, or Gypsies from Eastern Europe, alluded 
to in 1868 and 1874 by the former mayor of Ciboure, M. 
Darramboure, is a recurring fact every two or three years. I 
left St Jean de Luz in 1881, but for some time before that I had 
been ill, and a band may easily have passed without my being 
aware of it; but there were at least two other bands between 1870 
and 1880 — one, I believe, in 187 2.^ Their route seems to be, as 
far as I have been able to trace it, vid, Pans, Bordeaux, Bayonne, 
St. Jean de Luz, Hendaye, through Spain quite to the south, and 
returning by the eastern extremity of the Pyrenees, by Barcelona 
and Perpignan. M. de Rochas appears to have met one of these 
bands at Perpignan in July 1875 (^-^ Farias de France et d^Espagne, 
by V. de Rochas; Hachette, Paris, 1876, p. 259). These bands 
follow always the samfi. route, and encamp on the same spots. 
When at St. Jean de Luz they make an apparently useless visit to 
Ascai n. a village about five miles off their road, returning to St. 
Jean de Luz. They are evidently well-off, with good carts, wagons, 
horses, and utensils; many of them wear silver ear-rings and 
ornaments. Their trade, mending the copper vessels in the 
neighbourhood, seems to me to be a mere pretence; it cannot 
pay the expenses of the journey. What is the reason of this 
mig];ation? Once I was standing with a Basque fisherman, 
watching their arrival, when the chief of the band addressed him 
in Basque^ and the conversation went on between them in that 
language. When it had ceased, I asked the fisherman, whom I 
knew well, how the man spoke Basque. The reply was curt : — " He 
speaks it as well as I do." Afterwards I tried to draw out the 
Gypsy, but he evaded my questions. "We pick up languages 
along the road. I was never in the neighbourhood before," 
etc. These I believe to have been falsehoods. I must, however, 
add, that I have known Basque scholars learn Magyar, and 
Hungarians Basque, with unusual facility. Still the question 
remains: What is the object of these journeys? — a question for 
your Society to answer.' 

Alas ! the Gypsy Lore Society is dead ; after four years' most 

' In 1894 there was a small band of Bosnian Gypsies at St. Jean de Luz on 
their way to Spain. They were evidently well-off. 



xl GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

excellent work it died of want of support in 1892. And that 
question remains still unanswered. In the passage itself, however, 
there is a good deal to be noticed. Ciboure at present has little or 
nothing to draw foreign Gypsies to it ; but a hundred, two hundred 
years ago, it was probably a genuine Gypsy quarter: then there 
would be every resison why Caldarari should make it a regular 
halting-place. This conjecture, if valid, suggests the antiquity of 
these strange peregrinations; and Gypsies assuredly are the v ery 
staunchest conservat^g^u* Another guess is that at Ascain Gypsies 
>¥&:y likely WK bUrled ; that would fully account for their descendants 
turning aside thus. Mr. Webster's remark as to the ease with 
which Basque scholars acquire Magyar, and Hungarians Basque, 
was well worth making; still the fact remains — and it is an 
important one for our theory — that the unlettered Gypsies as a 
race are marvellous linguists. The immigrants of 1417-34 must, to 
' tell fortunes as they did, have been able to $peak Gernjany-Eceash, 
and Italian ; and I could, if necessary, adduce many testimonies as 
to the Gypsies' faculty for picking up foreign languages. I have . 
myself known an English Gypsy family remove (for family reasons) 
into Wales, and in three years' time become thoroughly Cymricised. 
M. Paul Bataillard was for years collecting materials about the 
Caldarari, but he died without publishing his promised monograph 
on the subject, so we must content ourselves with these stray notes 
from his writings : — * The Gypsy Caldarari (as they are called in the 
districts of Roumania where they are accustomed to journey), have 
recommenced in our own days, throughout the whole of the west, 
circuits which have led them sometimes as far as England, as far 
as Norway, and sometimes, by way of France and Spain, as far as 
Corsica and Algeria. France was during a certain time " infested " 
by them, to quote the newspapers of the day, whilst I was rejoicing 
in the good luck which had thrown them in my way. . . . These 
exotic Gypsy blacksmiths generally return to the country whence 
they came. . . . They travel sometimes in rather large numbers in 
r waggons which have no resemblance to the houses upon wheels 
loTour Gypsies; and wherever they stop they set up large tents, 
where each waggon finds its place. The men have generally long 
hair, and clothes more or less foreign, often ornamented with very 
, large silver buttons ; and the chiefs carry a large stick with a silver 
head. It is easy to recognise them at a glance by these signs, and 
by their trade. . . . The journeys of these Gypsy blacksmiths had 
already been noticed in Germany and Italy ^ long before 1866. On 

' The tented Gypsies in Calabria in May 1777, described in Henry Swin- 
burne's Travels in the Two Sicilies (2nd ed. ii. 168-172), were almost certainly 



INTRODUCTION xli 

the other hand, the edict of Ferdinand and Isabella, published at 

Medina del Campo in 1499, mentions the " Calderos estrangeros,'' 

who might well be Gypsies ("Immigration of the Gypsies into 

Western Europe," Gypsy Lore Journal^ i. 202-3). . . . The 

Caldarari, if I am rightly informed, form a corporation, strictly 

organised, and having its hierarchical chiefs. They always travel in 

groups, commanded by chiefs of different degrees ; and the work is 

done always in common. They even say it is the head chief who 

procures at Tjgaesvar all the copper used by the corporation, and 

supplies the wandering bands with it . . . There was certainly an 

intermission in the circular journeys pushed as far as France and 

farther, since I know of none that date from earlier than 1866 ; but 

they may have gone back to a long way beyond that date ; and, as a 

matter of fact, before 1866 the Caldarari made excursions in Germany 

and Italy ' (Les Zlotars^ p. 549). ... * A fact still stranger is that 

Algeria has recently received a visit from Hungarian Gypsies, forming 

part of the numerous bands of Danubian Tsigans (for the most part 

chaudronniers), who, for some years (especially since 1866) have 

been traversing the West I know for a fact that at Algiers a band 

of twenty to twenty-five persons was seen towards the middle of 

187 1, and that the same persons, or others like them, reappeared six 

months later. I have myself seen at Paris Hungarian Gypsies who 

had a vague idea of visiting Algeria ' (Z^5 Boh'emiens en Aigerie, 

1874, p. 3, note). Cf also his L'origine des Tsiganes^ pp. 54-58. 

In an article on the Lithuanian Gypsies ((7j^jry Lore JourHal^ 
i. 252) M. Mieczyslaw Dowojno-Sylwestrowicz says: 'Sometimes 
we are visited also by Hungarian, Servian, and Roumanian Gypsies. 
These last consider themselves to belong to the Orthodox (i,e, the 
Russian) Church. They are mostly tinkers, repairing copper cooking 
utensils ; but of these they are very apt to steal the copper bottoms, 
substituting an imitation of pa0et-ia4chL They differ greatly from 
our own Gypsies, whom they excel in an incredible amount 
of obtrusiveness j moreover, they attack and rob wayfarers, and 
when asked what they are, they say, " We are not Gypsies, sir, we 
are Magyars." ' 

In an article, already quoted, on the Gypsies of Belgium (Jb, 
iii. 138) Professor Henri van Elven writes of the Caldarari : — *They 
usually travelled in little two-wheeled carts covered over with tilts 

not Italian Gypsies, but Caldarari. Borrow speaks of the foreign excursions of 
the Hungarian Gypsies, which frequently endure for three or four years, and ex- 
tend to France, even to Rome {The Zincaliy 1841, i. 13) ; and Adriano Colocci 
tells in GU Zinguri (Turin, 1889), p. 181, how in the Apennines of Fossato he 
encountered Hungarian Gypsies who seemed quite at home there, as also how 
at Kadi Koi in Asia Minor he had discourse with a band of Neapolitan Gypsies. 



\ 



xlii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

of grey cloth, and containing straw, baggage, and tinworkers' tools. 
They have a great love for their horses, who are far from being in 
the miserable condition of horses of wandering mountebanks. I 
have seen the children share their bread with the horses. They 
buy and sell — sometimes steal — their horses. They have also dogs, 
large and well set-up. Their clothes are for the most part of 
Hungarian style, but also often like ours ; notably, of gaudy colours, 
( rgd and blue. All have long, black, curly hair, well furnished with 
inhabitants, which renders scratching a habit^ The complexion is 
swarthy ; the features are fine and strongly accentuated, both among 
the men and the women. The nose is fairly long, and aquiline ; 
the teeth are yellow, through the use of tobacco in all forms among 
women as well as men, imless in the case of some young girls. . . . 
These Gypsies were tin-workers, repairing metal utensils, and also 
basket-makers. The women went from door to door, asking work 
and begging. The women and children usually go barefoot and 
bare-headed, even in bad weather, displaying an astonishing endur- 
ance. .We have not observed any smelters among the Gypsies, but 
many exhibitors of animals, jugglers, and female fortune-tellers. 
With regard to the young girls given over to vice, they are better 
attired, wearing clothes of the Italian and Hungarian modes of 
bright colours. They go about in the evening especially, looking 
about them, or carrying playing-cards, or again with small articles of 
basket-work for sale.' 

In 1879 Sir Henry Howorth encountered in Sweden fez- wearing 
Gypsies, natives presumably of the Balkan peninsula ; and in July 
1 88 1 a band of Gypsy blacksmiths from Corfu landed in Corsica, 
after having travelled over Italy (Gypsy Lore Journal^ i. 204, note). 
Late in the sixties a company of Caldarari visited England, and en- 
camped at several points round London. I know no mention of 
this visit in print, and I never met them myself, but I have talked 
with English Gypsies who did, and who were full of their little 
horses, their big copper vessels, and curious R6mani. Some of the 
Taylors on Rushmere Heath in 1873 told me these foreign Gypsies 
' came from the Langdri country, and were called Langarians.' 

In July 1886 ninety-nine Gypsies arrived by train at Liverpool. 

, They were called the * Greek Gypsies,' and had started 

' from Corfu, but according to their passports came 

from all parts of Greece and European Turkey, as also from Seryia, 

Bulgaria, Roumania, even Smyrna. Three hundred napoleons their 

^ Against this statement I must set what was quite a typical remark of an 
English Gypsy, a Boswell : — ' That 's a thing, sir, I should be disdainful of, to 
\yijiivalo* (verminous). 



INTRODUCTION xHii 

journey had cost them thus far, and they meant to take shipping to 
New York. But America being closed to ' pauper ' immigrants, no 
steamboat company would accept them, and they had perforce to 
encamp at Liverpool. Their encampment was visited by Mr. David 
MacRitchie and Mr. H. T. Crofton, the joint author with Dr. Bath 
Smart of the admirable Dialect of the English Gipsies (1S75); ^^ 
former wrote an excellent article about them in Chamber^ s Journal 
for September 1886. These Gypsies were not Caldarari, though some 
of them were coppersmiths (designated as ' chaudronniers ') ; others 
were builders, bricklayers, and agriculturists. They were typical 
Gypsies in physique, but not in apparel, ' absolutely free from the 
vice of drunkenness,' but most inveterate beggars. Their chief 
spokesman 'was quite an accomplished linguist, and could speak 
Greek, Russian, Roumanian, and two or three other dialects of 
south-eastern Europe. The curious thing was, that he never once 
included in his list his own mother tongue, the speech of the Gypsy 
race. Neither would he admit that he was a Ziganka, not for a 
long time, at anyrate \ but subsequently both he and his comrades 
answered to the name of Rouniy and the cigar was no longer bon^ but 
Ids ho, ^ After stopping some time at Liverpool, these Gypsies crossed 
over to Hull, but neither there could they get passage to America ; 
about a year later, so an English Gypsy informed me, a showman 
was exhibiting them, or some of them, through Yorkshire. Their 
subsequent fate is unknown to me ; perhaps they are in process of 
absorption into English Gypsydom. 

I thought at first it must have been some of this band whom my 
friend Mr. Robert Bums, the Edinburgh artist, met in Galloway in 
1895; but his account of that meeting, written at my Batteni OypslM 
request, dispels that notion : — * Two years ago, while *a OaUoway. 
walking with my wife near Kirkcudbright, I met a large troop of 
Gypsies, of a type quite different from any I had formerly seen. 
The first to appear round a comer was a tall, swarthy man leading 
a brown bear. My dog, a big powerful beast, immediately made a 
rush for the bear, but I managed to catch him in time. On seeing 
me holding the dog, the man came up, and, in very broken English, 
said that the bear would not hurt the dog. I explained that my 
fears were not for the dog but for the bear, an undersized, emaciated 
beast, and strongly muzzled. By this time we were surrounded by 
the whole troop, numbering, I should think, sixteen or seventeen, 
all begging from the " pretty lady " and " kind gentleman," which 
seemed to be about all the English they knew. A good-looking 
young woman, with a baby on her back, asked uie in French if I 
understood that language. I said I did, and asked her where they 



\ 






xHv GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

came from. " From Spain/' Then she spoke Spanish also ? " Oh ! 
yes, and German, and other languages as well." I tried her with a 
few sentences in German and Spanish, and found that she spoke 
both languages fluently, although with an accent which made it 
difficult to understand her. While we were talking, the men, not 
having stopped, were a considerable distance off. So I gave the 
woman some silver, while my wife distributed pennies among the 
children, and with many smiles and thanks they started off to join 
the others. They were very dark in colour, like Hindoos; the 
men and the older women very aquiline in feature, some of the 
younger girls really beautiful, with lithe graceful figures; and all 
without exception had splendid teeth. Their dress, though ragged 
and dirty, suggested Eastern Europe rather than Spain; some 
cheap brass and silver ornaments seemed to point in the same 
direction. They had two ponies with panniers, full of babies, 
cabbages, empty strawberry baskets, and other odds and ends ; one 
of the ponies had a headstall of plaited cord similar to those used 
in Hungary. I saw them several times about Kirl^Qjdbright and 
^Gatehouse-on-Fleet ; and from mental studies painted the head 
exhibited in the R.S.A. Exhibition of 1896.' 

These must have been Ursdri^ or bear-wards, and recent arrivals 
in Britain; but what were they doing in that remote corner of 
Galloway, in Billy Marshall's old kingdom ? Frampton Boswell, an 
English Gypsy of my acquaintance, met the very same band, I 
fancy, near Glasgow in 1896; and they were perhaps the foreign 
Gypsies encamped at Dunfermline in the autumn of 1897 — I was 
lying ill at the time in Edinburgh. Almost certainly they were 
identical with *a little band of Roumanian Ursdri^ whom Mr. 
Sampson met in Lancashire in the latter half of 1897, and who 
were * travelling in English-Gypsy vans which they had bought in 
this country. They stopped for a month or more at Wavertree, 
quite close to us, and I saw a good deal of them. The first time, 
crossing a field by night and expecting to meet with some of the 
English breed, I stumbled among the six unmuzzled bears, 
chained to the wheels of the vans, and took them for large dogs 
till their grunts undeceived me ; fortunately I got off with whole 
legs. They spoke a jumble of tongues — some Slavonic dialect 
(^rfl/= brother), bad French, Italian, no German, and little English ; 
but with the help of R6mani and scraps of other tongues we held some 
instructive conversations. Their young girls were beautiful, half- 
clad, savage, but the older women ugly as sin. When I first spoke 
to them, they replied to a question in R6mani with an Italian 
denial: — * We are not Gypsies, we are (i^) Christianos.' 



INTRODUCTION xlv 

Oh for three years of health, a thousand pounds sterling, say, and 
a good capacity for wine and languages ! I would pass those three 
years at Temesvar and Ciboure, and also perhaps in Morocco ; at 
their close fsHould hold the key to Mr. Wentworth Webster's pro- 
blem. Fifty years hence, very likely, there will no longer be any 
problem left to solve ; the ancient corporation of the Caldarari will 
have undergone dissolution. 

Given then this wandering race, from time immemorial established 
in Europe, but emigrants originally from India: the interest of 
their folk-tales, if folk-tales indeed they have, will Oypsy 
surely at once be apparent to every student of Indo- Pott-tales. 
European folklore. Yet folklorists as a body seem strangely 
ignorant of the existence of R6mani folk-tales, of the fact that not 
a few Gypsies are even professional story-tellers. 

In the Saturday Review for 22nd August 1856 was an article by, 
I fancy, Grenville Murray, the * Roving Englishman,' on Alexandri's 
Ballades et Chants Populaires de la Roumanie^ where allusion is 
made to * the long-haired Gypsies who wander about in their snowy 
tunics and bright sashes, the paxf^Soi of Moldo-Wallachia, as in 
Russia their brethren are the popular musicians.' But our earliest 
account of actual Gypsy folk-tales occurs in vol. iv. p. 431 of 
Popular Tales of the West Highlands^ by J. F. Camp- OampbeU 
bell of Islay (4 vols. Edinburgh, 1860-62). That of Way. 
eminent collector * picked up two gipsy tinkers in London — William 
and Soloman Johns.* They came to the office after hours, and 
were treated to beer and tobacco. Present, the author of Norse 
Tales [Sir George Dasent]. They were rather hard to start, but, 
when once set agoing, they were fluent One brother was very 
proud of the other, who plays the fiddle by ear, and is commonly 
sent for to wakes, where he entertains the company with stories. 
He gave us : (i) A ghost, which appeared to himself. Finding that 
he was on the wrong track, told him a popular tale which I had 
got from another tinker in London, "The Cutler and Tinker." 
Got (2) "The Lad and the Dancing Pigs." This is the same as 
the " Mouse and Bee," and has something of " Hacon Grizzlebeard." 
A version of it was told to me by Donald MacPhie in South Uist. 
It is one of the few indecent stories which I have heard in the 
Highlands. There are adventures with a horse, a lion, and a fox, 
which the London tinker had not got. It savours of the wit which 
is to be found in Straparola. (No. 3) A sailor and others by the 
help of a magic blackthorn stick, go to three underground castles 

* Query, Solomon Jones ? Jones I know for a real Gypsy surname. 



\ 



w 



xlvi GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

of copper, silver, and gold, and win three princesses. Same as " The 
King of Lochlin's Daughters" [i. 236] and "The Knight of 
Grianaig " [iii. i], and several stories in Norse Tales and Grimm. 
(No. 4) " The Five Hunchbacks." This story was quite new to both 
of us, but a version of it was subsequently found in a book of 
Cniikshank's. The tinker's version was much better. (No. 5) A 
long and very well told story of a Jew, in which there figured a 
magic strap, hat, etc. Same as " Big and Little Peter," " Eoghan 
Tuarach" [ii. 235], a story in Straparola, etc. \cf, my No. 68]. 
(No. 6) " The Art of Doctoring "—dirty wit. (No. 7) Poor student 
and black man travel, dig up dead woman, make fire in church, 
steal sheep, clerk and parson take black man for fiend and bolt. 
Very well told. See ** Goosey Grizzle" and several Gaelic 
versions. (No. 8) Poor student, parson, and man with cat, which 
was the fiend in disguise. Well told ; new to both of us. The men 
said that they knew a great many more ; that they could neither 
read nor write; that they picked these up at wakes and other 
meetings, where such tales are commonly told in England now.' 

I hoped that the Campbell mss. in the Advocates' Library, 
Edinburgh, might yield some fiirther notes on these eight folk-tales ; 
but a search, instituted in 1888 through the kindness of Mr. Clark, 
the librarian, proved ineffectual. Of all unlikely places in the 
world for a professional story-teller, London seems the unlikeliest ; 
the heroine, it may be remembered, of Mr. Hardy's Hand of Ethel- 
berta prides herself on the absolute novelty of the notion. What 
is almost more surprising is that two folklorists like Campbell and 
Dasent should have struck so precious a vein, and not followed it 
up. Whatever the source of these stories, Gypsy, Irish, or English, 
they were distinctly valuable, and their value was enhanced by the 
meagreness forty years ago of the folk-tales collected in England.^ 
But it is quite possible that one or other of the two brothers may 
still be living (he need not be seventy). At least any folklorist 
could probably find this out at the Potteries, Notting Hill, on 
Mitcham Common, or in some other of the Gypsyries in or round 
London. 

Again in vol. i. p. xlvii., Campbell tells how in February i860 he 

^ I take some little pride in having myself been a means of preserving two of 
our best — I had almost said, our only two really good — English folk-tales. 
These are *Capo' Rushes* and *Tom Tit Tot,' which were told by an old 
Suifolk servant to Miss Lois Fison when a child, and which she communicated 
to Nos. 23 and 43 of a series of ' Suffolk Notes and Queries,' edited by me for 
the Ipswich Journal m 1876-77. Thence my friend, Mr. Clodd, unearthed them 
a dozen years afterwards ; and on the latter he has just issued a masterly 
monograph. 



INTRODUCTION xlvii 

* met two tinkers in St Jameses Street, with black faces and a pari' of 
burning coals each. They were followed by a wife, and preceded 
by a mangy terrier with a stiff tail. I joined the party, and one 
told me a version of "The Man who travelled to learn what 
Shivering meant," while we walked together through the park to 
Westminster. It was clearly the popular tale which exists in Norse, 
and German, and Gaelic, and it bore the stamp of the class, and of 
the man, who told it in his own peculiar dialect, and who dressed 
the actors in his own ideas. A cutlerand a tinker travel together, \ 
and sleep in an empty house for a reward. They are beset by I 
ghosts and spirits of murdered ladies and gentlemen; and the 
infienQL-the tinker, shows most courage, and is the hero. " He ' ^ ^ c 
went into the cellar to draw beer, and there he found a little chap 
a-sittin' on a barrel with a red cap on 'is 'ed; and sez he, sez 
he, * Buzz.' * Wot 's buzz ? ' sez the tinker. ' Never you mind wot 's 
buzz,' sez he. * That 's mine ; don't you go for to touch it,* " etc. 
etc. etc' [Cf, my No. 57, * Ashypelt,' and No. 74, *The Tale of 
the Soldier.'^] In vol. ii. p. 285, Campbell adds that he was never 
able again to find this London tinker, who ' could not read the card 
which I gave him, with a promise of payment if he would come and 
repeat his stock of stories. His female companion, indeed, could 
both read the card and speak French. The whole lot seemed to 
suspect some evil design on my part ; and I have never seen the 
one who told the story or the woman since, though I met their 
comrade afterwards.' 

.In enumerating the sources of his Gaelic stories (i. p. xxiv.), 
Campbell gives {a) a West Country fisherman ; (d) an old dame of 
seventy ; (c) a pretty lass ; or (^ * it is an old wandering vagabond 
of a tinker who has no roof but the tattered covering of his tent. 
. . . There he lies, an old man past eighty, who has been a soldier, 
and "has never seen a school" ; too proud to beg, too old to work ; 
surrounded by boxes and horn spoons ; with shaggy hair and naked 
feet, as perfect a nomad as the wildest Lapp or Arab in the whole 
world.' etc. Campbell gives four stories of tinker origin, our Nos. 
73-76. To them and to their tellers I shall revert in my Intro- 
duction. 

In Beitrdge zur Kenntniss der Rom-Sprache (Vienna, 1869), Dr. 
Friedrich Miiller, the 'leading representative of linguis- 
tic ethnology,' published five Hungarian-Gypsy stories 
in the original R6mani, with an interlinear German translation. 

* The London tinker's story, however, seems more closely to resemble * The 
Claricaune' in Crofton Croker's Fairy Legends and Traditions of ike South 
of Irelcmd {tA. by Thos. Wright, N.D. pp. 98-112). 



xlviii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Taken down by Herr Fialowski from the recitation of a Hungarian- 
Gypsy soldier, §ipo§ Janos, quartered at Vienna, these stories are 
wholly void of literary merit. They are rambling and disconnected, 
sometimes all but unintelligible, and often excessively gross. At 
the same time they are genuine folk-tales ; the soldier was trying to 
remember stories he had heard, not weaving them out of his own 
imagination. Four of them offer variants of Gypsy stories in other 
collections; and of these four I give summaries on pp. 19, 34, 48, 
174, and 208. The fifth, *The Wallachian Gypsy,* after six most 
Rabelaisian pages, passes on to a Tannhaiiser episode. For the 
Gypsy, having murdered his.iiather,- plants on his grave the stick he 
killed him with. 'And that stick began to blossom. That son 
went about on his knees for four-and-twenty years, and carried 
water in his mouth. And every evening the tree blossomed, and 
every evening grew a red apple. . . . And once the king came that 
way, . . . and as he went to pluck an apple, " Stay," said the Gypsy, 
''don't seize it so, but shake the tree, and then they will all turn 
into doves." The king shook the tree, and all the apples then 
turned into doves. Up they flew, and the poor son's father arose.' 
•»^ The Gypsy then goes in quest of the Otter King ( Vldrisko _Kirdliy 
A king gives him a filly that can speak. On the way he is fed by a 
swineherd (one pail of wine and a whole swine) and a neatherd (an 
ox and two pails) ; he then meets a shepherd, overcomes a wether, 
and stabs the shepherd at his own request. Come to the Otter 
King, he eats his grapes, empties the biggest barrel of wine, wrestles 
with the Otter King on the Golden Bridge, and turns him into 
stone. He inquires of the king's daughter, ' Where is thy father's 
strength ? ' * My father's strength is underneath the bridge. There 
is a besom ; draw out a twig ; and if thou with this, if thou with this 
wilt strike all the stones, then they will all turn into men.' After 
trying once vainly to destroy him, the maiden pushes him into a 
fountain. But he ups with the fountain, and puts it and a tree under 
the window of a king, to whom he becomes turkey-keeper. A lady 
falls with child by him. He is caught, and there is a trial. She has 
had other lovers, and she is adjudged to him to whom she shall 
throw a red apple. She throws it to the Gypsy. So they marry and 
have children. — A nightmare kind of story this, which I can match 
from no other collection ; still it offers numerous analogies, e.g. for 
the apple-tree, to Hahn, i. 70 and my No. 17; for turning men 
into stone, to Hahn, i. 172 and ii. 47 ; for the besom, to Hahn, ii. 
294 ; and for throwing the apple, to Hahn, i. 94, 104, and ii. 56 ; 
also Bemhard Schmidt's Griechische Mdrchen^ pp. 85, 228, and 
Reinhold Kohler in Orient und Occident^ ii. 304-6. 



INTRODUCTION xlix 

Alexander G. Paspati, M.D., who died at Athens in the Christmas 
week of 1891, practised long as a doctor at Constantinople, and 
was an eminent Byzantine antiquary. His Etudes 
sur les Tchinghianks ou Bohkmiens de V Empire Otto- ^' ^"P**^ 
man (Cont. 1870, 652 pp.), is one of the very best works that we 
have on the R6mani language. It is largely based on Turkish- 
Gypsy folk-tales, of which Dr. Paspati seems to have made a huge 
collection, but six only of which are published by him as an appendix 
(pp. 594-629), in the original R6mani with a French translation. 
Two of these six stories — 'Baldpate,' No. 2, and *The Riddle,' 
No. 3 — he got from a sedentary Gypsy, * Leon Zaffri, middle-aged, by 
profession mower, musician, and story-teller. Gifted with a prodi- 
gious memory, this man has repeated to me a great number of folk- 
tales (conies fabuleux\ portions of which I have inserted in the text 
of my vocabulary. To test his memory I have made him repeat 
some of these stories, and he has retold them word forjjKOid, making ) 
only very slight changes. During the long nights of winter his 
brother Gypsies invite him to tell his tales, which he also translates 
into Turkish with extreme facility. I have on& whose recital would 
occjipaL two hours . These stories are very old. He has heard them 
from various members of his race, and has been able to retain them 
in his marvellQiisj[iemory. I have written these stories at his 
dictation. I have several volumes of them among my papers. 
Several were told by his grandfather, long since dead, who was also 
a story-teller. In these stories, with their mixture of truth and fable, 
I have not hitherto met any token either of their Indian origin or of 
an ancient faith. I say that these stories are old, for one finds in 
them words such as mang hin^ shfihi^ etc., which to-day are quite for- \ 
gotten by the Tchinghianks. This illiterate man is not only familiar 
with the dialect of the Sedentary Gypsies, but he knows also that of 
the Nomads, in whose midst he sings his songs and tells his stories. 
One is sorry to see a man of such intelligence, so superior to the 
mass of his race, dragging out a pitiful existence and clad in rags ' 

(PP- 34-35)- 

Paspati was, obviously, no folklorist ; the folk-tales to him were 

valuable solely as so much linguistic material. But every word 

almost of the above deserves the closest consideration. I have tried, 

but in vain hitherto, to recover some trace of those * several volumes ' ; 

their destruction would be a grievous loss to the science of folklore.^ 

* Since writing this, I have learned, through the kindness of Mr. Rufus B. 
Richardson of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, that 'nothing 
remains of Paspali's collections except a few notes, which will be brought out in 
a new edition of his works.' 

d 







1 GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Still, from passages cited in the vocabulary, one can guess at in some 
cases, and in others actually identify, a portion of their contents. 
Thus, when one finds, *The Sun said to her, **Thou art pretty, and 
thou art good ; thou art not as pretty as Maklftcha " ' (p. 580), one 
may feel sure that the Tchinghian^s must possess some such version 
of Grimm's * Little Snow-white ' (No. 53) as * Marietta et la Sorcifere, 
sa Maritre,' in Camoy and Nicolaides* Traditions Fopulaires de 
VAsie Mineure (p. 91), where the stepmother asks, not a mirror, but 
the Sun, ' Hast thou seen any woman fairer than I ? ' and the Sun 
answers, ' I am fair, thou art fair, but not so fair as Marietta.' Three 
passages point as clearly to Bemhard Schmidt's *Die Schonste' 
\ {Griechische Mdrchen^ p. 88), or some other version of * Beauty and 
I the Beast' : — *In those days there was a man with three daughters. 
He said, " I am going to the city, I ask you what your souls desire 
me to bring you " ' (p. 394) ; * The eldest daughter said, " O father, 
bring me a thousand pieces of linen, to make dresses of" ' (p. 410) ; 
and * The middle daughter came, and she said, " Bring me, O father, 
the heaven with the stars, the sea with the fishes, the forest with 
the flowers " ' (p. 535). * My daughter, if your husband goes home, 
and one of his people kisses him, he will forget you, and you will 
remain in the forest' (p. 555) must be an excerpt from a * Forsaken 
Bride ' tale ; and in ' He became a church, and the girl turned into 
a priest * (p. 580) one recognises a widespread episode, which recurs 
in our No. 34, *Made over to the Devil,' and No. 50, *The Witch.' 
Similarly, our No. 21, *The Deluded Dragon,' a Bukowina-Gypsy 
version of *The Valiant Little Tailor,' is foreshadowed by — *I am 
looking for the biggest mountain, to seize you, and fling you there, 
that not a bone of you may remain whole,' on which Paspati 
observes that * this story relates the combat of a young man with a 
dragon, and the speaker here is the young man' (p. 576). 'She 
stuck a pin in her head ; as soon as she had done so, the young 
girl turned into a pretty and beautiful bird' (p. 514), may be 
matched from India {infra, p. 271); and *He gave the old man 
a feather, and said to the old man, "Take it and carry it to 
the maiden. I will come when she burns it," ' is discussed on our 
p. 167. The 'Beauty of the World' (pp. 347, 511, 569) is familiar 
through Hahn ; and with Hahn i. p. 90, compare * The mare was 
pregnant, and his wife, the queen, also was pregnant' (p. 195). 
*The king said, "Come, my brother, and restore her to human 
shape " (a story of a woman punished by being turned into an ass),' 
on p, 351, must belong to a variant of our No. 25, * The Hen that 
laid Diamonds'; and our No. 7, 'The Snake who became the 
King's Son-in-law,' is suggested by two passages on pp. 262, 266 : 



INTRODUCTION li 

* He said to his mother, " I want the king's daughter to wife " ' and 
* " How am I to plant trees, and make them grow up, and gather 
their fruits ? " (from a story in which, as the price of his daughter's 
hand, the father requires the suitor to plant trees in the morning 
and gather their fruits in the evening).' One can almost recon- 
struct a story out of *We are forty cats; three are black, one is 
white' (p. 411), .. . *" Very early we go to the bath, and we strip 
ourselves naked, we take off our skins, and we become human 
beings" (a story of forty pretty women turned into cats),' (p. 367), 
and * " When we are in the bath take the skins and fling them in 
the fire " ' (p. 368 ; cf, also p. 537). That story should belong to the 
husk-myth or swan-maiden type, as should also perhaps this passage 
on p. 381 — * " Why did you go off? " " There was a man." " There 
was no man : a stick fell from the tree " (a story in which a man 
surprises three maidens at the bath. Two go off, but the third, 
whom the man is in love with, remains behind, and she holds this 
discourse with her sisters as they go home).' Cats are pretty often 
referred to — t,g, * The cat found a shop where they sold honey. She 
dipped her tail in it, and then rolled it in the ashes ' (p. 344) ; * The 
cat sat down near them ; she sees they are flinging away the precious 
stone with the guts of the fish that had swallowed it' (p. 189); 
'The queen said to the lame cat' (p. 195) ; and *The lame cat said 
to the lad, " I '11 give you a bit of advice " ' (p. 245). To the same 
story — perhaps a version of the well-known * Silly Women ' — certainly 
belong * His wife said, " Wait a bit till they put him in the coffin " ' 
(p. 295) and * They put him in the coffin ; he rose up in the coffin ; 
and his wife said, "Hold! my husband who was in the coffin, 
is alive"' (p. 227); and to the same story (? *Ali Baba') 
doubtfully, these two passages: *He packed the riches on his 
horses, and brought them at midnight to his house, and he became 
a rich man ' (p. 349) and * He sat down and sewed up the belly of 
his brother, whom the robbers had killed' (p. 422). Finally, some 
pkassages picked almost at random, to illustrate the wealth of 
Paspati's collections, are, on p. 472, * He is the son of the King of 
the Serpents ' ; on p. 582, ' I pray you earnestly, O my wise king, 
have all the doors shut, and let no man come in, and none go out ' 
(? 'Master Thief); on p. 195, *The King of India said, "I have 
no son"'; on p. 564, *She went into the forest, she found a 
shepherd, and she changed clothes with the shepherd, and took 
the road : she went walking on a whole month ' ; on p. 505, * One 
taper burnt at her head, the other at her feet' (? a 'Sleeping 
Beauty' story); on p. 170, *I heard him, and I became a devil'; 
on p. 302, *She took a sword and an arrow, and set off. She did 



lii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

not wish any one, even her sisters, to know of her departure ' ; on 
p. 250, *The girl dressed herself, mounted her horse, and took her 
sword * ; on p. 251, * I become a bird for thee, O apple of my eyes ' ; 
on p. 291, 'I shall become a swallow, I shall sit on thy neck, to 
kiss the freckle upon thy cheek'; on p. 259, 'Said the lad, "Who 
has taken my black bird? " '; on p. 356, * They lay down : the lad 
placed the sword between himself and the maiden ' (cf. Grimm's 
No. 60, i. 262); on p. 421, ^The old man said, "I give you 
forty days to find me"'; on p. 310, *The ass said, "All these 
years we have been with you, and to me you give bones to eat, and 
the dog has had to eat straw " ' * ; and on p. 362, * The dead man 
goes last, the khodja goes in front.' 

They are not very lively reading, these little scraps; still, they 
considerably extend our knowledge of Tchinghian6 folk-tales. Of 
the six stories given in full by Paspati I have had to omit two. 
One of these, told by Christian nomads in the mixed style, is 
mixed indeed, more incoherent than the tale of the Great Pan- 
jandrum, as witness this sample: — *The godfather sees her with 
flowers on her head. Song, "The wolf will eat the lamb; The 
wolf will eat the turkey; The cat hit the bear; A stranger was 
alarmed." ' The other story, told by one of the wild Zapiris, opens 
with a boon granted by an old man to the youngest of a king's 
five sons, to possess all the holes in the country. * He went ; in 
the forest he went ; he found a hole. He stooped down over the 
hole. "Come out of the hole, whoever is inside." A woman 
came out; he asked her, "What are you doing down there?" 
"There are two wolves; I feed them." "Feed them well; God 
be with you." " And with you also." Again he went and went ; 
he found a hole, and stooped down over that hole. " Gome out of 
the hole." Out came a blackamoor,' etc. It is not a bad opening, 
but the story wanders off into drivel and obscenity. Even of the 
four tales I do give, one, the * Story of the Bridge,' is valuable 
solely for its theme, of the master-builder Man61i and his wife ; if it 
is as old as it is corrupt, it should be of hoary antiquity. But the 
three others are really good folk-tales, versions of * The Grateful 
Dead,' * Faithful John,' and Campbell of Islay's *Knight of Riddles.' 
As always wherever possible, my translations are made direct from 
the original R6mani. 

Probe de Limba si Literatura Tiganilor din Romdnia^ by Dr. 
Barbu Constantinescu (Bucharest, 1878; 112 pp.), is an admirable 

* Cf. the Indian story of 'Prince Lionheart and his Three Friends* (F. A. 
Steers Wide-awake Stories^ p. 59) : — ' In front of the horse lies a heap of bones, 
and in front of the dog a heap of grass/ etc. 



»♦ 



INTRODUCTION Hii 

collection of seventy-five Roumanian-Gypsy songs and thirteen 
folk-tales, in the original R6mani, with a Roumanian Dr. Barbu Oon- 
translation. The thirteen tales were got from thirteen rtan t inewiL 
different Gypsies, and naturally they vary in merit, the best to my 
thinking being *The RejL-King and the Witch,' *The Vampire,' ^ 
and * The Prince and the Wizard.' I have given eleven of them, 
with full annotations ; of * The Stolen Ox ' and * The Prince who 
ate Men' there are summaries on pp. 66 and 219. Dr. Barbu 
Constantinescu, who was latterly a professor at Crajova, is, I learn, 
dead; he must have known R6mani thoroughly, and may have 
left large collections. 

In part iv. of his great work, Ueber die Mundarten und die 
Wanderungen der Zigeuner Europa's (Vienna, 1874), Dr. Franz von 
Miklosich published fifteen Gypsy folk-tales and nine 
songs from the Bukowina, in the original R6mani, 
with an interlinear Latin translation. They were collected by 
Professor Leo Kirilowicz, of Czernowicz, but when, where, or from 
whom is not told ; and they, alone of Gypsy folk-tales, have been 
utilised by M. Emmanuel Cosquin to illustrate his admirable 
Conies de Lorraine (2 vols. 1886). I have given them all in full, 
except *The Rivals,' part only of which is cited under No. 48, 
p. 181. 'Tropsyn,' *The Enchanted City,' and *The Jealous 
Husband' are perhaps the best; the last has a special interest 
through its relation to Cymbeline, In his Beitxige zur Kenntniss 
der Zigeunermundarten (part iv., Vienna 1878), Miklosich published 
three more folk-tales, communicated by Professor Kirilowicz, Herr 
J. Kluch, and Dr. M. Gaster — the first a Lying Story from the 
Bukowina (No. 35), the second, *The Three Brothers,' from the 
Hungarian Carpathians (No. 31), and the third, a mere fragment, 
from Roumania. This fragment is on the familiar theme of an 
emperor who till old age has had no heir ; then his empress bears 
him a son ; but just as the child is being shown to the people, two 
eagles carry it off. * Men,' cries the empress, * if you will find my 
boy, I will become your servant, to wait on you, to wash your feet, 
to drink the water they are washed in, to quit my greatness, to 
make you king in my stead, if only you will find my boy.' After 
which the story becomes hopeless nonsense, then suddenly stops — 
I fancy the Gypsy story-teller had got too drunk to continue. 

Mdrchen und Sagen der Transilvanischen Zigeuner (Berlin, 1886, 
157 pages), by Dr. Heinrich von Wlislocki, differs from all other 
Continental collections of R6mani folk-tales in this, ^^ 
that its sixty-three stories are published for their 
intrinsic interest, not solely as linguistic curiosities. They arc 



liv GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

given in German only, not in the original. Hence they are open 
to a suspicion of having been here and there touched up, a suspicion 
somewhat confirmed in the rare cases where the original is appended 
in a footnote, as on p. 88. They are interesting, but only as a 

* restored * building may be interesting ; one doubts, one can never 
feel quite sure of anything. At the same time, I believe that such 

* improvements ' apply solely to the language, not to the subject- 
matter, of these stories. Their general genuineness is attested by 
their occasional lacunae, as in * Godfather Death,' which is closely 
identical with Grimm's No. 44, but lacks the entire episode of 
the sick princess. Besides, except that his work is dedicated to 
Liebrecht, Dr. von Wlislocki gives no indication of acquaintance with 
the subject of folk-tales, whilst he has approved himself a master of 
R6mani by his Grammar of the Dialect of the Transylvanian Gypsies 
(Leipzig, 1884). He tells us in the preface to his Mdrchen that for 
several months of the summer of 1883 he wandered with a band of 
tented Gypsies through Transylvania and south-east Hungary, and 
that during his wanderings he collected these sixty-three stories, every 
one of which he was careful to verify from the lips of a second mem- 
ber of the race. His little work is easily accessible to every folk- 
lorist, so to the folklorists I leave the task of analysing its stories in 
detail, premising merely that, like their predecessors, they offer numer- 
ous analogies to non-Gypsy folk-tales, but that fourteen of them bear 
a distinctively Gypsy character, especially Nos. 15, 24, 31, 36, 51, 55. 
Haltrich also gives some Transylvanian-Gypsy stories (Zur Volks- 
kunde der siebenbiirgischen Sachsen^ Vienna, 1885) ; and Vladislav 
Kornel, Ritter von Zielinski, contributed four Hungarian-Gypsy 
ones to the Gypsy Lore Journal iox April 1890, pp. 65-73. 

Die Mundart der Slovakischen Zigeuner (Gottingen, 1887), by 
Dr. Rudolf von Sowa, of Briinn, is based on nineteen Slovak- 
Dr. B. von Gypsy stories which he collected at Teplicz in 
S«wa. 1884-85, and nine of which are given in the original 

R6mani without a translation. Dr. von Sowa also contributed four 
Gypsy folk-tales — Slovak and Moravian — to the Gypsy Lore 
Journal \ and the Bohemian-Gypsy story of *The Three Dragons' 
he sent me in manuscript. His stories have a high value for the 
purposes of comparison, but are inferior as stories to those of 
several other collections. I have given eight of them — Nos. 12, 
19, 22, 41, 42, 43, 44, 60. 

Isidore Kopernicki, M.D. (1825-91), published in 1872 a German 

Dr Eopemickl "^^"^g^P^ o" Gypsy craniology, and, called from 

Bucharest to Cracow in 1870, collected thirty Polish- 
Gypsy folk-tales in 1875-77. A year or two before his death he 



INTRODUCTION Iv 

put out a prospectus of a projected work on R6mani stories and 
songs, with a French translation; but the work never found a 
publisher. Six, however, of his stories appeared in the Gypsy Lore 
Journal^ and are reproduced here, Nos. 45-50. They are one and 
all so admirable as stories and valuable as folklore that I cannot 
but hope some folklore society or some individual folklorist may 
purchase and publish the entire collection — Madame Kopernicki, I 
believe, is still a resident of Cracow. 

Twenty to thirty years ago I knew hundreds of Gypsies in most 
parts of England and Wales. But the R6mani dialect was in those 
days my all-in-all ; I would walk or ride thirty miles, 
and feel richly rewarded if I came back with two or 
three new words, such as mormHssi^ midwife, or taltordiro, crow. 
I knew little or nothing about folklore, and cared less; the few 
stray odds and ends of it that I picked up among the people are 
scattered mostly through my In Gypsy Tents (Edinb. 1880). At 
Virginia Water, in 1872, I remember old Matty Cooper telling me 
how the plaice went about calling out, *I'm the King of the 
Fishes,' which was why her mouth was made crooked {cf, Grimm's 
No. 172, * The Soje ') ; and from a Boswell in, I think, 1875, I got 
the lying story of * Happy Bozll,' which I give here. No. 36. But 
my one great find was my lighting on the Welsh-Gypsy harper, John 
Roberts (1815-94), of Newtown in Montgomeryshire. In Gypsy 
Tents contains a great deal about him and by him (pp. 78-81, 94-99, 
149-158, 197-216, 269-278, 290-294, 299-319, 372-377); here, then, 
it may suffice to say that, though not a full-blooded Gypsy, he could 
speak R6mani, yes, and write R6mani, as no other Gypsy I have 
ever met at home or on the Continent. I know, indeed, of no other 
instance where the teller of folk-tales has also been able himself to 
transcribe them. He wrote out for me the two long folk-tales 
reprinted here (Nos. 54 and 55), and he had a wealth of others : 
I fear that many of them have perished with him. He was 
one of the finest of Welsh harpers ; he spoke Welsh, English, and 
R6mani with equal fluency; and he was a man besides of rare 
intelligence. His tales, he would have it, were all derived from the 
Arabian Nights^ * leastwise if it was not from my poor old mother, 
or else from my grandmother, and she was a wonderful woman for 
telling stories.' 

I may regret my own missed opportunities the less, as English and 
Welsh Gypsy folk-tales have found at length an ideal collector in 
my friend, Mr. John Sampson, the librarian of Mr. J6iin 
University College, Liverpool. No man could be SampBon. 
better equipped for the task than he, as the nineteen stories here of 



Ivi GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

his collecting will amply prove. Long a master of English R6mani, 
he has also during the last few years been making a profound study 
of the * deep * Welsh dialect, the best-preserved of all the Gypsy 
dialects with the doubtful exception of that of the Turkish Tchin- 
ghian^. His promised work on the subject is anxiously looked for. 
But, more than this, he possesses the rare gift of being able to take 
down a story in the very words, the very accents even, of its teller. 
Hundreds of times have I listened to Gypsies' talk, and in these 
stories of his I seem to hear it again : a phonograph could not 
reproduce it more faithfully. His * Tales in a Tent ' ( Gypsy Lore 
Journal^ April 1892, pp. 199-2 11) contained in a charming setting, 
from which, indeed, it has seemed a sin to wrench them, the three 
English-Gypsy stories of * Bobby Rag,' * De Little Fox,' and * De 
Little Bull-calf,' given here as Nos. 51, 52, 53. They were got near 
Liverpool — the middle one from Wasti Gray, and the two others 
from her husband, Johnny Gray, who also told Mr. Sampson the 
story of *The Horse that coined Golden Guineas.'^ Then in 1896 
from Matthew Wood, felling trees upon Cader Idris, and in 1897 
from Cornelius Price in Lancashire, Mr. Sampson heard twenty- 
seven Welsh-Gypsy stories, about which he writes thus in letters : — 
* On the slopes of Cader I have laboured for days together taking 
down these things in a sort of phrenzy. No work could be more 
exhausting. To note every accent, to follow the story, and to keep 
the wandering wits of my R6mani raconteur to the point, all helped 
to make it trying work. For days together I have heard no English 
spoken, the Woods always talking R6mani, and the Gentiles Welsh. 
It is as well I did so at the time, for Matthew Wood has cleared his 
mountain of trees, and departed, God knows whither. Three jour- 
neys into Wales, and many letters to post-offices and police-stations, 
have failed to find him. Nor can I chance upon his mother again. 
Matthew got these stories from his grandmother, Black Ellen, who, 
he says, knew two hundred stories, many of them so long that their 
narration occupied four or five hours. In listening to' these tales, I 
think what struck me most was the severity of their style, reminis- 
cent of Paspati's and other Continental collections. A single word 
serves often as a sentence — " Chalky^ they ate ; " Rati^^ it was night. 

* The notes of that story are unfortunately lost, but it b a version of Grimm's 
No. 36, * The Wishing-table, the Gold -ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack,' Basile's 
first tale in the Peniamerons (1637), etc. No European folk-tale is more widely 
spread than this in India, where we find ' The Story of Foolish Sachuli ' (Maive 
Stokes's Indian Fairy -iaUSy p. 27), *The Indigent Brahman' (Rev. Lai Behari 
Dzy\ Folk-tales of Bengaiy p. 53), and * The Jackal, the Barber, and the Brahman ' 
(Mary Frere's Old Deccan Days, p. 174). A fragment of the story comes into 
our Slovak-Gypsy one of *The Old Soldier* (No. 60). 



INTRODUCTION Ivii 

The latter beats for compression the Virgilian ^^ Nox eraty ... I 
have added lately to my tales to the number of five or six, taken 
down chiefly in English from a South Welsh Gypsy named Cornelius 
Price. ... I have Cornelius's pedigree somewhere among my 
papers. The Prices are a South Wales family, not of the purest 
descent, who entered Wales from Hereford some generations ago. 
Some of them intermarried with the Ingrams. Cornelius is a son of 
Amos Price, from whom my old tinker Murray got most of his 
R6mani lore, including the version of the old ballad * Lord Barnard 
and Little Musgrave,' which I sent to MacRitchie, and which he 
sent to Professor Child. It has beautiful lines, like — 

"She lifted up his dying head, 
And kissed his cheek and chjji," 

side by side with others like — 

'* And when he came to his brother dear. 
He was in a hell of a fright.'' 

It is printed in Child's collection. Cornelius got his stories from 
Nebuchadnezar Price, his uncle. I met him at Wavertree, near 
Liverpool, but he has since left for Chester way, returning south. 
He is a man of middle age, or rather younger, perhaps, say thirty- 
five, a pleasant, harum-scarum fellow. His younger brother, he 
tells me, knows many more tales than he himself. . . . Some of 
the best tales Price forgets, or only remembers interesting fragments. 
Such as a story of a bull who fights a query, what ? If he con- 
quers, he tells the hero, the stream will flow down to him blood one 
side only, but, if he is defeated, blood each side. The bull is 
defeated, and, following his instructions, the hero cuts a thong from 
his tail upwards, finds in his body a " Sword of Swiftness," and 
makes a belt of the hide. Of what tale is this a fragment ? Cornelius 
assures me that his youngest brother knows thirty to fifty very long 
tales. . . . Had I time, I believe I could collect hundreds of such 
tales from English and Welsh Gypsies.' 

(Three or four years ago I found myself in a library — I would 
not for worlds say where — alone with a complete set of the forty 
Reports of the Challenger Expedition. I drew out a volume rever- 
ently — its pages had never been opened. Tastes differ, and I own 
that myself I should be quite as much interested by the discovery 
(say) of a Welsh-Gypsy version of the * Grateful Dead,' as by eight 
hundred and odd pages on the ' Abdominal Secretions of the Lower 
Gasteropoda.' Nay, I would even venture to suggest that a fraction, 
a very small fraction, of the money yearly devoted to the Endowment 
of Research by government, by our colleges, and by individual 



Iviii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

generosity, might well be apportioned to the collecting and pre- 
serving of English and Welsh Gypsy folk-tales. Every year will 
make the task harder ; but, as it is, I believe Mr. Sampson could 
bag the whole lot in a couple of three months' summer holidays. 
Holidays, quotha ! I wonder what Mr. Sampson would say to my 
notion of holidays.) 

Of the four stories which I cite (No. 73-76) from J. F. CampbelFs 
Popular Talcs of the West Highlands (4 vols. 1860-62), three were 
Campbell of told by John MacDonald, travelling tinker, and the 
l«lay. fourth by his old father. * John,' Hector Urquhart 

writes, * wanders all over the Highlands, and lives in a tent with his 
family. He can neither read nor write. He repeats some of his 
stories by heart fluently, and almost in the same words. I have 
followed his recitation as closely as possible, but it was exceedingly 
difficult to keep him stationary for any length of time.* To which 
Campbell himself adds : — * The tinker's comments on " The Brown 
Bear of the Green Glen " I got from the transcriber. John himself is a 
character. He is about fifty years of age. His father, an old soldier, 
is alive and about eighty ; and there are numerous younger branches; 
and they were all encamped under the root of a tree in a quarry 
close to Inverary, at Easter 1859. The father tells many stories, 
but his memory is failing. The son told me several, and I have a 
good many of them written down. They both recite ; they do not 
simply tell the story, but act it with changing voice and gesture, as 
if they took an interest in it, and entered into the spirit and fun of 
the tale. They belong to the race of " Cairds," and are as much 
nomads as the gipsies are. The father, to use the son's expression, 
" never saw a school." He served in the 42d in his youth. One 
son makes horn spoons, and does not know a single story; the 
other is a sporting character, a famous fisherman, who knows all the 
lochs and rivers in the Highlands, makes flies, and earns money in 
summer by teaching Southerns to flsh. His ambition is to become 
an under-keeper ' (i. 174-5). 

There are three points to be specially noticed here. First, if I 
mistake not, these two tinkers, father and son, are the only Gaelic 
story-tellers whom Campbell describes as reciting and acting their 
stories ; he repeats the same of the son in a passage which I quote 
on p. 288. Secondly, the father told * many stories,' but one does 
not learn what they were, except that Campbell got from him a 
version of *Osean after the Feen' (ii. 106), that the son 'argued 
points' in the story of * Conal Crovi ' (i. 142), and that he knew the 
story of the 'Shifty Lad,' though not well enough to repeat it 
(i- ^3)- * Many stories ' should mean more than these three and the 



INTRODUCTION lix 

four of our text. Lastly, these Max:Donalds are said to * belong to 
the race of *' Cairds," and to be as much nomads as the gipsies are.' 
But the question arises, Are they not Gypsies, or half-breed 
Gypsies, or quarter-breed Gypsies at any rate ? To the Gypsy Lore 
Journal for January 1891, pp. 319-20, D. Fearon Ranking, LL.D., 
contributed this paper : — 

' I spent the month of August this year (1890) at Crinan Harbour, 
in Argyllshire, and there came for a few moments across a family of 
'' Tinklers," who are, I fancy, worth following up for Boat-dweUing 
the sake of getting from them a stock of words. I was Ttnken. 
one morning on my way to the post-office at Crinan, and, lying 
at the slip in front of the office, I saw a good-sized boat, which I 
knew did not belong to the place. I crossed the road, and went 
down to see who the owners were. To my surprise, I found they 
were a party of " Tinklers." On questioning them they told me 
that they always went about in this manner, sailing from place to 
place on the West Coast and among the Islands, and making and 
mending pots and pans. They had just put in for provisions, and 
were on the point of sailing for Scarba. The boat was a good-sized 
fishing smack, three-quarter decked, rigged, if I remember rightly, 
with a big lug-sail and jib, and a small lug aft, but on this point I 
am not quite certain. The party consisted of three men and two 
women, with two or three children. They were stunted in appear- 
ance, and quite young ; the women reddish-haired, the men rather ' 
darker. 

* On a venture, I asked whether they spoke " Shelta," ^ as I was 
anxious to learn something of this language, of which I knew nothing. 
One of the men said that they did speak it, and, on being questioned, 
gave the names of several common objects mentioned by me. Un- 
fortunately, I had neither pencil nor paper with me, and was there- 
fore unable to make any notes, and, the words being entirely strange 
to me, I could not retain them. The only word I can remember is 
yergan = " tin." 

* One of the men suddenly said, " But we have another language, 
which I do not think any one knows but ourselves ; it is not in any 
books." "What do you call a *boat' in your language ? " I said. 
To my great astonishment, he replied, " Bero" On my then asking 
for the words for "man," "woman," and "child," he gave musA or 
gairo^ fnonishay and chavo. Feeling now tolerably sure of my ground, 
I said, " Kushto hero se duvo.^^ He stared at me as if I had been a 
ghost, and, on my continuing with a few more words, he called to 

* See for this Celtic secret jargon the article *Shelta,* by Mr. J. Sampson, in 
vol. ix. of Chambers's Encyclopadia (1S92), p. 389. 



Ix GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

one of the women in the boat and said, " Come here, I never saw 
anything like this. Here is a gentleman knows our language as 
well as we know it ourselves." I continued asking the names of 
various common objects, such as "fire," "water," the names of 
animals, parts of the body, etc, and soon noticed that for each they 
had two or three names, one being always good " Rommanis," the 
other, I presume, " Shelta." But my surprise was greatest when, 
on asking the name for a " hen," the answer was " moorgheer and 
then, as an afterthought, ^^kanni" Now, can any one tell me where 
they got this word " moorghee " from ? I have never met with it 
among any " Rommani foki " of my acquaintance, but know it only 
as the common Hindustani name for a fowl. Is it an old word 
which has been lost by others, but retained by this family ? Or 
have they picked it up from some one of their number who has 
been in India soldiering ? 

* Another surprise was in store for me. On asking them where 
they got this language from, one of the men said, " We got it from our 
grandfather. He could speak it much better than we can,'' and then 
volunteered the information that this grandfather was a keeper to 
the Duke of Argyll, and had supplied Campbell of Islay with many 
of the Sgeulachdan in his Highland Tales. This must be either the 
John McDonald, travelling tinker, referred to by Mr. MacRitchie in 
his article on the " Irish Tinkers and their Language" (Oct 1889, 
P* 354)> o^ ^ relation of his. An account of this family will be 
found in the notes to the tale of the " Brown Bear of the Green Glen " 
(Popular Ta/es, vol. i. pp. 174-175). It mentions that the father 
had served in the Forty-Second. Had he brought back this word 
moorghee with him from India ? One of the sons is mentioned as 
being a keen sportsman. No hint is given, however, of their know- 
ing any language but Gaelic. It would probably have astonished 
Campbell of Islay to find that they were masters of four tongues — 
Gaelic, Shelta, English, and Rommanis. It may be noticed that the 
accounts of occupation do not quite tally, as these tinklers distinctly 
stated that their grandfather was one of Argyll's keepers. I should 
like to know whether any of the sons did actually hold such a post. 
This is all I could learn in an interview of, at the most, twenty 
minutes.' 

Dr. Ranking, my friend for a quarter of a century, has a thorough 
knowledge of R6mani ; I would trust his judgment as I would trust 
my own. I have never myself come across any Tinklers of the 
West Coast, but I have met scores in the I^hians and in the Border 
Country, and my observations on these tally closely with Dr. 
Ranking's. The Lowland Tinklers have little or nothing of the 



/ 

I 



INTRODUCTION Ixi 

Gypsy type, though they have a marked type of their own — a * 
bleached, washed-out, mongrel type ; their language has sunk to a 
mere gibberish, without the least trace of inflection, as different 
from the Welsh-Gypsy dialect as Pidgin-English from the English 
of Tennyson. None the less, side by side with such thieves' cant 
as mort^ woman, dell^ girl, beenlightment, daylight, ruffUy devil, and '^ 
patriy clergyman, that gibberish contains two or three^undred good 
enough R6mani words, as churi^ knife, drom^ road, pauni^ water, 
gady shirt, and diista Idvo, plenty money. Nay, a curious point is 
that it retains a few R6mani words which have been almost or wholly 
lost in the English and Welsh Gypsy dialects — shukar, beautiful, 
MrOf sword, k/istt\ soldier, kdlshes^ breeches, and pbwiski^ gun. On 
the other hand, Scottish thieves' cant shows a much larger admix- 
ture of words of Rdmani origin than does the English. We possess 
no early specimens of Scottish R6mani, but Scotland two centuries 
since would seem to have had as true Gypsies as any Stanleys or 
Boswells or Herons south of the Border. But the persecution of 
the race as a race lasted a hundred years longer in Scotland than in 
England, and it is probable that, whilst many of its chief members 
were hanged or drowned or transported to America, others fled 
southward— one finds to-day the Gaelic Gilderay (* red lad ') a ' 
Christian name among English Gypsies, and such surnames as 
Baillie, Gregory, and Marshall. Those who remained behind must 
have intermarried largely with Scottish vagrants, Irish vagrants, 
gangrel bodies generally: the Gypsy stream broadened out, and 
became correspondingly shallow. Nowadays, then, it is difficult to 
say of the Faa-Blyths, Taits, Norrises, Baillies, Douglases, or any 
other of the Tinklers I have met, whether they are more Gypsies or 
Gentiles; English Gypsies assuredly would not regard them as 
Gypsies. Still, they have all a dash of the Gypsy, stronger or weaker ; 
and with these boat-dwelling Tinklers, whom Dr. Ranking describes, 
the dash was decidedly stronger. There can hardly be any doubt 
that the grandfather whom they spoke of as a keeper to the Duke of 
Argyll, was John MacDonald the younger, who at Inverary in 1859 
had an ambition to become an underkeeper.^ 

^ So I had written when I learned, through the kindness of Lord Archibald 
Campbell, that John MacDonald the younger, known variously as 'John Fyne,* 
* Long John,' and 'Baboon,' got a cottage on the Argyll estate, but was never 
either a keeper or an under-keeper in the Duke's employ. He was, however, a 
keeper for a short while on the neighbouring estate of Ardkinlas. * Long John,* 
writes Lord Archibald, * as far as I know, had no K6mani. His daughters still 
tramp the country.* I may add here that Mr. Arthur Morgan, of the Crofters* 
Commission, who knows the Highlands as few, is strongly of opinion that the 
tinkers are not Celts ; * the Highlanders never regard them as such.* This 
though tEey speak Gaelic, but much intermixed with odd words. 



Ixii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Lastly, in the Gypsy Lore Journal for April and July 1890, were 
two long articles by Dr. A. B. Elysseeflf — * Kounavine's Materials for 

the Study of the Gypsies.' According to these, 
Michael Ivanovitch Kounavine (1820-81) studied 
medicine at Moscow, and then having passed as doctor, for the 
thirty-five years 1841-76 wandered from Gypsy camp to Gypsy 
camp in Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. Eight of those years 
were passed amongst the Gypsies of Germany, Austria, Southern 
France, Italy, England, and Spain ; twelve amongst those of Asia 
Minor, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Kurdistan, Iran, Hindustan, and the 
Deccan ; ten amongst Russian Gypsies ; and then from the Caucasus 
* the indefatigable traveller followed the transition of the European 
Gypsies into those of Kurdistan, and all along the Ural Mountains 
into those of Central Asia and Turan, on this occasion revisiting 
India and the ranges of Tian-Shan and the Himalayas.' Meanwhile 
he collected an * immense store of materials, consisting of 123 tales, 
80 traditions and legends, 62 ritual songs, and 120 smaller products 
of Gypsy poetry. ... In the ancient legends the mythological 
elements assert themselves most strongly, and the characteristic 
features of the Hindu mythology are there so evident, that even the 
names in these tales recall the analogous divinities of the Hindu 
theology. These are Baramy^ the proto-divinity, Jandra^ the sun- 
god, Laki^ Matta^ Anromoriy and others, in which one cannot fail 
to recognise the Hindu Brama^ Indra, Lakshmi^ Mdta {Frithik, 
earth-mother), as well as the Zendic name of Ariman. ... In the 
traditions and historical narratives one meets with classic names of 
towns known to the Greek geographers, such as Batala^ Pourini^ 
Espadiy Rikoiy Bikin, and Babili, in which it is not difficult to 
recognise the ancient towns Fattala, Foura, Aspadana (Ispahan), 
Rhaga^ Beikind^ and Babylon^ cited by Arrian and other historians 
and geographers.' 

These are the merest pickings from Dr. Kounavine's * colossal ' 
collections, which perished, alas ! with him somewhere in Siberia, 
and are known to us only through an elaborate abstract drawn up 
in 1878 by Dr. Elysseeff, since himself also dead. First printed in 
the Transactions of the Russian Geographical Society (1882), that 
abstract, thanks to Dr. Kopemicki, appeared in English in the 
Gypsy Lore Journal^ where it occupied twenty-five pages. It was 
quite right it should appear there; still, I cannot feel absolutely 
certain that there ever was any Dr. Kounavine at all. If there was, 
I am certain that nine-tenths of the discoveries claimed for him are 
the merest moonshine. To maintain that the Gypsies of England, 
France, . Spain, and Italy arrived at their present habitats from 



INTRODUCTION Ixiii 

Africa by way of Sicily, is, as has been shown, to evince a crass 
ignorance of the R6mani language. Equally absurd is it to main- 
tain that * every Gypsy dialect contains a large number of words of 
non-Aryan origin : Aramaic, Semitic, and even Mongol words form 
25 per cent, of the Gypsy vocabulary taken in its largest sense.* For 
this implies that Aramaic is non-Semitic, as though one should speak 
of Gaelic and Celtic, or of German and Teutonic. Again, what of 
the sketch-map, according to which Dr. Kounavine seems to have 
found * fragmentary and confused traces of a primitive mythology ' 
somewhere about Newtown in Montgomeryshire and round the 
Cambridgeshire Wash ? Newtown is a Welsh-Gypsy centre (I had 
shown it be such in 1880); but unquestionably its Gypsies would 
have retained some recollection of a visit from a mysterious R6mani- 
speaking foreigner, even after the lapse of thirty or forty years. 

So there the folklorists have all that is essential — or rather all 
that I can give of the essential — for the right understanding of the 
following seventy-six folk-tales. And there I should TlMory as to 
have been quite content to leave them, did I not Oypgy Pott- 
wish to disavow the theory imputed to me mistakenly **^' 
by my friend, Mr. Joseph Jacobs. In his More English Fairy Tales 
(1894), p. 232, he speaks of *Mr. Hindes Groome's contention (in 
Transactions Folk-Lore Congress) for the diffusion of all folk-tales 
by means of Gypsies as colporteurs,^ The paper I read before the 
Folklore Congress of 189 1 was not on folk-tales at all, but on 
English popular superstitions; I certainly never contended that 
their diffusion was solely due to the Gypsies. Whilst as to Gypsy 
folk-tales, the first thing I ever wrote about them was forty-three 
lines in the Encyclopcedia Britannica (vol. x. 1879, P- ^'SX which, 
with but forty stories to go by, concluded: — *At present our 
information is far too scanty to warrant any definite conclusion ; 
but, could it once be shown that the Asiatic possess the same 
stories as the European Gypsies, it might be necessary to admit 
that Europe owes a portion of its folklore to the Gypsies.' And 
the last thing I wrote on the subject was twenty-seven lines in 
Chamber^ s Encyclopetdia (vol. v. 1892, p. 489), and they wound 
up: — 'According to Benfey, Reinhold Kohler, Ralston, Cosquin, 
Clouston, and other folklorists, most of the popular stories of 
Europe are traceable to Indian sources. But how? by what 
channels ? One channel, perhaps, was the Gypsies.' 

That seven years ago was my theory, if it may be dignified with 
so high-sounding a title ; and that is my theory still. And it seems 
to me even now, that, though now we possess 160 Gypsy folk-tales, 



Ixiv GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

our store is still far too scanty to warrant any definite conclusion. 

We want the unpublished materials of Paspati and Kopemicki ; we 

want Dr. von Sowa and Mr. Sampson to complete their collections ; 

and we want, too, the Gypsy folk-tales, if such there be, of Spain, 

^ Portugal, Brazil, the Basque Country, Italy, Alsace, Germany, 

pi-a«i^ Scandinavia, Russia, and Greece — ^above all, of Africa and Asia,^ 

^t \rJ(K^^ If a word like pdnt\ water, is found in every Gypsy dialect from 

£^vj|.^ ■ Persia to South America, from Finland to Egypt, one reasonably 

'^' f\rr<'^'[, regards it as a true R6mani word, as one that the Gypsies have 

L\civ\y\'^ <"^-^ brought from their eastern home. Similarly, if a folk-tale could be 



^ . ^ X f^\^ shown to have an equally wide distribution among the Gypsies, we 
" /\ ^'"^^^o varunta ^flight reasonably believe that the Gypsies had 

brought it with them. But at present we know of 
no such wide distribution. We have five Gypsy versions of * The 
Master Thief (Nos. ii, 12), one from Roumania, two from 
Hungary, and two from Wales; and two of the cognate story, 
* Tropsyn ' (Nos. 27, 28), from the Bukowina and Wales. We have 
two of * The Vampire ' (No. 5), Roumanian and Hungarian ; three 
of *The Bad Mother' (Nos. 8, 9), Roumanian, Bukowinian, and 
Hungarian ; two of * Mare's Son ' (Nos. 20, 58), Bukowinian and 
Welsh; three of *It all comes to Light* (Nos. 17, 18, 19), 
Bukowinian, Roumanian, and Slovak ; two of * The Rich and the 
Poor Brother' (Nos. 30, 31), Bukowinian and Hungarian; three of 
*The Robber Bridegroom' (No. 47), Polish, Hungarian, and Welsh; 
three of * The Master Smith' (Nos. 59, 60), Welsh, Catalonian, and 
Slovak ; two of * The Golden Bush and the Good Hare ' (Nos. 49, ' 
75), Polish and Scotch; and four of *The Deluded Dragon' 
(Nos. 21, 22), Bukowinian, Slovak, Transylvanian, and Turkish. It 
is something to have established this much ; and it will be seen how 

^ Kounavine apart, we have but one hint of story-telling by Gypsies in Asia. 
In Blackwood's for March 1891, pp. 388-9, the late Mr. Theodore Bent had an 
article on an archaeological tuur in 'Cilicia Aspera,' a district lying on the 
southern slopes of the Taurus Mountains, in which was this passage : ' Periodi- 
cally a travelling tinker comes among them [the mountain tribes], the great 
newsmonger of the mountain. He chooses a central spot to pitch his tent, and 
the most wonderful collection of decrepit copper utensils is soon brought from 
the neighbouring tents and piled around. He usually brings with him a young 
assistant to look after the mule and blow the bellows ; and with nitre heated at 
his fire he mends the damaged articles, gossiping the while, and filling the minds 
of the simple Yourouks who stand around with wonderful tales, not always 
within the bounds of veracity. When his work is done, he removes to another 
central point, and after he has amassed as many fees as his mule can carry, for 
they usually pay in cheese and butter, he returns to his town, and realises a 
handsome profit.* I have not seen a small work on the Yourouks by 
M. Tsakyrc^lou (Athens, 1S91), giving their popular songs, etc. 



INTRODUCTION Ixv 

enormously Mr. Sampson has extended the area of Gypsy folk-tales 
since 1896. But it still needs much greater extension. 

An absolutely unique story or incident is a very rare find in 
folklore. A few stories in the present collection I have not been 
able to match, e,g, *The Three Princesses and the Unique 
Unclean Spirit' (No. 10), 'The Red King and the Peaturw. 
Witch* (14), *The Prince and the Wizard' (15), * Pretty-face ' (29), 
* A Girl who was sold to the Devil ' (46), and * The Black Dog of 
the Wild Forest' (72). Then as to incidents, I have met with no 
non-Gypsy parallel to the somersault that in Gypsy stories almost 
invariably precedes a transformation {cf, footnote 2 on p. 16). I have 
met with none to the striking ordeal in * Mare's Son ' (No. 20) : — 

* He went to his brothers. " Good-day to you, brothers. You fancied 
I should perish. If you acted fairly by me, toss your arrows up in the 
air, and they will fall before you ; but if unfairly, then they will fall on 
your heads." All four tossed up their arrows, and they stood in a row. 
His fell right before him, and theirs fell on their heads, and they died.' 

* The Seer ' (No. 23) offers a variant : — 

* And he said, "Good-day to you, brothers. You fancied I had perished. 
You have pronounced your own doom. Come out with me, and toss 
your swords up in the air. If you acted fairly by me, it will fall before ydu ; 
but if unfairly, it will fall on your head." The three of them tossed up 
their swords, and that of the youngest fell before him, but theirs fell on 
their head, and they died.' 

Then there is the fine conception, of frequent occurrence in 
Wlislocki's Transylvanian-Gypsy stories, that the sun in the morning 
sets forth as a little child, by noon has grown to a man, and comes 
home at eventide weary, old, and grey.^ And this again, from * The 
Hen that laid Diamonds' (No. 25) : — 

' The emperor there was dead, and they took his crown and put it in 
the church ; whosever head the crown falls on, he shall be emperor. 
And men of all ranks came into the church ; and the three boys came. 
And the eldest went before, and slipped into the church ; and the crown 
floated on to his head " We have a new emperor." They raised him 
shoulder-high, and clad him in royal robes.' 

The episode is reminiscent of * Excalibur ' in the old Arthurian 
legend. The story in which it occurs is identical with Hahn's 
No. 36, but there the episode is wholly wanting. The multiplication 
of such seemingly unique Gypsy stories and incidents would certainly 
favour a belief in the originality of the Gypsies, would suggest that 

* Not unique; occurs also in Wratislaw*s Bohemian story, No. 2, p. 21. But 
I let the lines stand for a warnirg against the vanity of dogma Using. 

€ 



Ixvi GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

some at least of their stories are at first-hand, and not derived from 
Greeks, Roumans, Slavs, Teutons, or Celts. 

Still, nothing would surprise me less than to come on non-Gypsy 
versions of one or all of these stories or incidents. The great mass 
of the collection can be paralleled from Grimm, Asbjomsen, Hahn, 
Campbell, Cosquin, etc. Thus my No. 63 is Grimm's * Our Lady's 
Child' (No. 3); No. 57 his 'Youth who went forth to learn what 
Fear was' (No. 4); No. 2 his * Faithful John' (No. 6); No. 21 his 
* Valiant Little Tailor' (No. 20); No. 38 his * Devil with the Three 
Golden Hairs ' (No. 29); No. 47 his * Robber Bridegroom ' (No. 40); 
No. 70 his * Frederick and Catherine' (No. 59); No. 25 his *Two 
Brothers' (No. 60); No. 68 his 'Little Peasant' (No. 61); No. 59 
his 'Brother Lustig' (No. 81) and 'Old Man made Young again' 
(No. 147); No. 32 his 'King of the Golden Mountains' (No. 92); 
No. 17 his * Three Little Birds ' (No. 96) ; Nos. 55 and 73 his ' Water 
of Life ' (No. 97) ; No. 43 his * Skilful Huntsman ' (No. 1 1 1) ; No. 25 
his 'Ferdinand the Faithful' (No. 126); No. 41 his 'Shoes that 
were danced to Pieces' (No. 133) ; Nos. 20 and 58 his 'Strong Hans' 
(No. 166); and Nos. 1 1 and 12 his ' Master Thief ' (No. 192); besides 
which his 'Cinderella' (No. 21), 'Godfather Death' (No. 44), and 
'The Sole* (No. 172) are known to be current among the Gypsies. 
The Gypsies, then, by the showing even of our present meagre 
store of Gypsy folk-tales, have over ten per cent, of Grimm's entire 
collection. 

Which are the better, the Gypsy versions, or the non-Gypsy 
versions, can only be definitely determined when we can feel pretty 
sure of possessing the best Gypsy versions procurable. Take, for 
example, our story of 'The Vampire' (No. 5). The wretched 
Hungarian-Gypsy version of Dr. Friedrich Miiller (1869) could not 
for a moment compare with Ralston's fine Russian story of ' The 
Fiend,' but the Roumanian-Gypsy version of Barbu Constantinescu 
(1878) quite well can. The standard of Gypsy folk-tales should 
clearly be taken from the best, not the poorest, specimens ; and the 
standard by that rule is high. Indeed, 'The Red King and the 
Witch ' to me appears as good as anything in the whole field of folk- 
lore; and 'Ashypelt,' 'The Jealous Husband,' and half a dozen 
more of my collection seem only less good than it. But, of course, 
one's own geese are all swans. 

A curious point about these Gypsy stories is that in three or four 

of them one recognises an incident or a whole plot which, unless it 

Literary be Gypsy, the Gypsies would seem to have derived 

Sources. from books. Here, for instance, are two parallel 

passages from No. 120 of the Gesta Romanorum and from the 

Bukowina-Gypsy story of 'The Seer' (No. 23) : — 



INTRODUCTION 



Ixvii 



Gesta. 

Where to bend bis steps he knew 
not, but arising, and fortifying him- 
self with the sign of the Cross, he 
walked along a certain path until 
he reached a deep river, over which 
he must pass. But he found it so 
bitter and hot, that it even separ- 
ated the flesh from the bones. Full 
of grief, he conveyed away a small 
quantity of that water, and when 
he. had proceeded a little further, 
felt hungry. A tree, upon which 
hung the most tempting food, in- 
cited him to eat ; he did so, and 
immediately became a leper. He 
gathered also a little of the fruit, 
and conveyed it with him. After 
travelling for some time, he arrived 
at another stream, whose virtue 
was such that it restored the flesh 
to his feet ; and eating of a second 
tree, he was cleansed of his leprosy. 



Gypsy Tale, 

The youngest went into the 
woods, and he was hungry, and he 
found an apple-tree with apples, 
and he ate an apple, and two stag's 
horns grew. And he said, * What 
God has given me I will bear.' 
And he went onward, and crossed 
a stream, and the flesh fell away 
from him. And he kept saying, 
*What God has given me I will 
bear. Thanks be to God.' And 
he went further, and found another 
apple-tree. And he said, *I will 
eat one more apple, even though 
two more horns shall grow.' When 
he ate it, the horns dropped off. 
And he went further, and again 
found a stream. And he said, 
* God, the flesh has fallen from me, 
now my bones will waste away; but 
even though they do, yet will I go.' 
And he crossed the stream ; his 



flesh grew fairer than ever. 

Which is the better here, the nearer the original — the Geste of 
the Romans, or that of the Romanies ? It is hard to determine ; 
but of this I feel pretty sure, that, if any one were asked to say which 
of these two passages was monkish and which Gypsy, he would 
decide wrongly : there is such a tone of pious fortitude about * The 
Seer.' The Welsh-Gypsy story of 'The Three Wishes' (No. 65) 
looks as though it were taken straight from Giambattista Basile's 
tale of 'Peruonto,' i. 3, in the Pentamerone (1637) — a none too 
accessible work, one would fancy, and a tale that has not passed 
into popular folklore. Then there is the fine Bukowina-Gypsy story 
of 'The Jealous Husband' (No. 33), derived apparently from the 
novella ii. 9 of Boccaccio's Decamerone (1358), the prototype of 
Shakespeare's Cymbeline. Except that the Gypsy story is localised 
on the Danube, the plot is almost identical — the wager, the chest, 
the theft of the ring, the mole. It sounds unlikely that Gypsies, the 
most illiterate race in Europe, should have enriched their stock of 
folk-tales from Boccaccio. Still, that is how folklorists would pro- 
bably account for the identity of the two stories, if those stories 
stood alone. But they do not; there are also four folk-tales at 
least to account for — Roumanian, German, Scottish Gaelic, and 
Irish Gaelic. And Campbell's Gaelic story of *The Chest,' whilst 



Ixviii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

like Boccaccio's, is in some points still liker that of the Buko- 
wina Gypsies. On the whole, it seems easier to suppose that 
Boccaccio got his story directly or indirectly from the Gypsies, 
than that they got theirs from Boccaccio. But Gypsies, it will be 
urged, were unknown in Italy in Boccaccio's day. That is by no 
means so certain. There was the kamodromos with the blind yellow 
dog, who came from Italy in 544 a.d. ; and there was the Neapolitan 
painter, Antonio Solario, Mo Zingaro,' who was born about 1382.^ 
And even though Boccaccio himself could never have seen Gypsies, 
many of his countrymen must have come across them outside of 
Italy — in Greece, in Corfu, in Crete, and in other parts of the 
Levant 

Sometimes, however, a date does seem to preclude the notion 
that the dissemination of this or that folk-tale can have been due 
Qaestions of to Gypsies. The * Grateful Dead,' the first of our 
Date. collection, is a case in point. The Turkish-Gypsy 

version is excellent — as good, indeed, as any known to me ; but the 
story seems to have been current in England as early, at any rate, as 
1420 — the date assigned to the metrical romance of *Sir Amadas.' 
Again, according to Mr. Jacobs' More Celtic Fairy Ta/eSy p. 229, 

* the most curious and instructive parallel to Campbell's West High- 
land tale of " Mac Iain Direach " [=our No. 75] is that afforded by 
the Arthurian romance of Walewein or Gawain, now only extant in 
Dutch, which, as Professor W. P. Ker has pointed out in Folk-Lore^ 
V. 121, exactly corresponds to the popular tale, and thus carries it 
back in Celtdom to the early twelfth century at the latest' Only, 
how from Celtdom has the story wandered to the Polish Gypsies 
of Galicia, whose tale of * The Golden Bush and the Good Hare ' 
(No. 49) is clearly identical ? 

I raise these objections myself, knowing that, if I did not, some 

* ^. ^ « , o"G ^^se would certainly do so, with the gleeful remark, 
TxidiftD Furallols. 

* Down goes the silly theory of the dispersion of 

folk-tales by Gypsies.' By no means, necessarily. The theory 

' According to the Archduke Josefs great Czigdny Nyelvatan (1888), p. 342, 

* chronological reasons force us to the conclusion that Solario was not a Gypsy. 
He came by the name of Zingaro as being the son of a travelling smith (farrier), 
and as having himself first engaged in that calling. . . . Since the Gypsies only 
made their appearance in Italy in 1422, it is clear that Solario could not be of 
Gypsy parentage.' If it could be proved that Italy in 1382 had its travelling 
smiths, called Zingari, it would be clear that then there were Italian Gypsies. A 
similar instance of arguing from a foregone conclusion occurs in the remark of a 
German lexicographer of 1749, that, * the common people gave the name Zikegan 
to land-tramps before Gypsies ever were heard of.' The said Zihegan could not 
of course be Gypsies, because Gypsies were then non-existent. 



INTRODUCTION Ixix 

may be inapplicable in these and in other cases ; but what will the 
folklorists make of another Polish-Gypsy story, the *Tale of a 
Foolish Brother and of a Wonderful Bush ' (No. 45) ? Of it we 
find a variant in the Welsh-Gypsy story of * The Dragon' (No. 61), 
and a most unmistakable version in the Indian fairy-tale of ' The 
Monkey Prince* (Maive Stokes, No. 10, p. 41). The connection, 
indeed, between the Gypsy and the Indian folk-tale seems scarcely 
less obvious than that between pdnt\ water, in R6mani, and pdni^ 
water, in Hindustani. This, I think, must be granted ; but what, 
then, of the non-Gypsy versions, cited on p. 161, from Russia, 
Norway, and Sicily ? Or take the Turkish-Gypsy story of * Baldpate * 
(No. 2). It is identical, on the one hand, with Grimm's 'Faithful 
John ' (No. 6) and many more European versions, and, on the other 
hand, with the latter half of * Phakir Chand ' (Lai Behari Day's 
Folk-tales of Bengal^ pp. 39-52). Is it not possibly the link between 
them? And may not similar links be discernible in these eight 
parallels, where the notes on the Gypsy tales will supply the exact 
references : — 

Indian. Gypsy. European. 

1. The Son of Seven = The Bad Mother (No. = The Blue Belt (Norse), 

Mothers, etc. 8), etc. etc. 

2. The Boy with the = It all comes to Light = Grimm's Three Little 

Moon on his Fore- (No. 17), etc. Birds, etc. 

head, etc. 

3. Prince Lionheart, = Mare's Son (No. 20), = Grimm's Strong Hans, 

etc. etc. etc. 

4. Valiant Vicky, the = The Deluded Dragon = Grimm's Valiant Little 

Brave Weaver, (No 21), etc. Tailor, etc. 

etc. 

5. The Two Brothers, = The Hen that laid = Grimm's Two Brothers, 

etc. Diamonds (No. 25). etc. 

6. The Weaver as = TheWingedHero(No. = Andersen's Flying 

Vishnu (Sansk.). 26). Trunk, etc. 

7. The Two BhGts, etc. = The Rich and the Poor = Grimm's Two Travel- 

Brother (No. 30), etc. lers, etc. 

8. Story cited by Ral- = The Witch (No. 50), = Cosquin's Chatte 

ston. etc. Blanche, etc. 

There is also a frequent identity of incident in Gypsy and Indian 
folk-tales. Thus, in the Hungarian-Gypsy version of * The Vampire ' 
(No. 5), the king sends his coachman to pluck the flower that has 
grown from the maiden's grave ; the coachman cannot, but the king 
himself can, and takes the flower home. Just so the Bel-Princess, 
thrown into a well, turns into a lotus-flower, which recedes from the 
villager who tries to pluck it, but floats into the prince's hand 



Ixx GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

(Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales ^ p. 145 ; also p. 10). Fruits 
causing pregnancy are common in Gypsy as in Indian folk-tales 
{cf. Notes to No. 16); and God sends St. Peter with them in the 
former just as Mahddeo does an old fakfr in the latter. The 
sleeping beauty in *The Winged Hero' (No. 26) lies lifeless on the 
bed, and is awakened only by the removal of the candle from her 
head ; in * The Boy with the Moon on his Forehead ' (Lai Behari 
Day's Folk-tales of Bengal^ p. 251) it is two little sticks of gold and 
silver that revive the suspended animation of the young lady 
sleeping on the golden bedstead. The rescue of the eaglets from 
the dragon in * Mare's Son ' (No. 20) exactly matches the rescue of 
the two birds from the huge serpent in the Bengal * Story of Prince 
Sobur' (p. 134); and the princess in the tree in that same Bengal 
story (p. 126) comes very near the wife in the oak in the Polish- 
Gypsy * Tale of a Girl who was sold to the Devil ' (No. 46). The 
robbers in a Moravian-Gypsy story (No. 43) break through the 
wall of a castle like the robbers of Scripture and of Indian folk-tales; 
and one very curious feature, which we can trace across two con- 
tinents, is the feather, hair, or wing of a bird, beast, or insect, the 
burning of which, or sometimes the mere thinking on which, 
summons its former possessor to the hero's aid. It occurs in 
this passage from an unpublished Turkish-Gypsy story (Paspati, 
p. 523) : — *He gave the old man a feather, and he said to the old 
man, " Take it and carry it to your daughter, and if she puts it in 
the fire I will come." ' It occurs, too, in the Roumanian-Gypsy story 
of *The Three Princesses and the Unclean Spirit' (No. 10), in the 
Bukowina-Gypsy story of 'The Enchanted City' (No. 32), and in 
the Polish-Gypsy *Tale of a Girl who was sold to the Devil' 
(No. 46). It is by no means a common feature in Western folk- 
lore, but it occurs in Basile's Pentamerone^ iv. 3, and in the Irish 
story of *The Weaver's Son and the Giant of the White Hill' 
(Curtin, pp. 64-77) the hero gets a bit of wool from the ram, 
a bit of fin from the salmon, and a feather from the eagle, 
with injunctions to take them out when in any difficulty, and so 
summon all the rams, salmon, or eagles of the world to his assist- 
ance. As I show in the notes to No. 46, the idea is of frequent 
occurrence in the folk-tales of the Levant ^ and of India. In Mrs. 
Steel's Wide-awake Stories^ p. 32, the demon says to the Faithful 
Prince, * Take this hair with you, and, when you need help, burn it, 

' Some one will be sure to point out, if I do not, that most or all of these 
incidents occur also in non -Gypsy European folk- tales, and that therefore they 
are not peculiar to the Gypsies. Precisely : that is a possible confirmation of 
my theory. 



INTRODUCTION Ixxi 

then I will come immediately to your assistance.' And in the 
Arabian Nights ('Conclusion of the Story of the Ladies of Baghdad') 
the Jinneeyeh gives the first lady a lock of her hair, and says, 
* When thou desirest my presence, burn a few of these hairs, and I 
will be with thee quickly, though I should be beyond Mount Kaf,' 

The list, I expect, of identical plots and incidents could be 
largely extended even from my collection by M. Cosquin or any one 
else well versed in Indian folklore. Yet, as it stands, that list goes 
some way to corroborate my theory. One obvious objection may 
be anticipated. A folk-tale, as told to-day in India, need not be 
more primitive, more faithful to the original, than the same folk-tale 
as told to-day in Greece or Germany. The same wear and tear 
may have affected the story that stayed at home as lias affected the 
story that wandered westward a thousand or two thousand years 
ago ; it may have affected it in a very much greater degree. That 
is just what we find in language ; the R6mani vast^ hand, comes 
much nearer the Sanskrit hasta than does the Hindustani hath. 
Another point may also be illustrated from language. The same 
word, or two kindred words, may have reached the same destination 
by different routes and at widely different periods. The Gypsies 
brought with them pdni^ water, to England, whither centuries after 
came the ^hidindy -pawnee^ of Anglo-Indians; pdni is a far-away 
cousin of ae^ aqueous^ aquarium^ etc. Brother and fraternal^ foot and 
pedestrian^ are two out of hundreds of similar instances. In much 
the same way, it need not be any positive objection to the late 
transmission of a folk-tale to Norway or England, that an earlier 
form of that folk-tale already existed there. Because in the Nibe- 
lungenlied one finds a striking parallel to an episode in the Bukowina- 
Gypsy story of * The Prince, his Comrade, and Nastasa the Fair ' 
(No. 24), it does not follow that that story is necessarily derived 
from the Nibeiungenlied, Still, the difficulty of discriminating 
between the earlier and the more recent forms of a folk-tale must 
be enormous — it may be, insuperable. 

Sometimes, however, it seems to me, we get sure tokens of recent 
diffusion. Thus in the folk-tales to which Sir George Cox, Professor 
de Gubematis, and their fellow-mythologists assign a Tokens of 
prehistoric antiquity, one of the commonest incidents Beoent 
is where the hero and heroine, flying from a demon, Diffwion. 
magician, or ogre (the heroine's father often), transform themselves 
into a church and priest. We find the incident in Lorraine, 
Brittany, Picardy, many parts of both Germany and Italy, the Tyrol, 
Transylvania, Hungary, Croatia, Russia, Spain, Portugal, and 

^ To which add the slang pal^ a comrade, from the R6mani, prai^ brother. 



Ixxii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

Brazil, as well as among the Gypsies of Turkey, the Bukowina, and 
Galicia (cf, Cosquin, i. io6; and my own pp, 127, 196). What 
was the prehistoric form of the church} Was it a tope, a stone 
circle, something of the kind? That well may be. But how 
comes it that the development of the prehistoric form has in all 
these widely-separated countries reached exactly the same stage, 
and there stopped ? Why has not the stone circle become in one 
case a stone-heap with a stone-breaker, in another a pound with a 
horse in it, in a third a field with a rubbing-post ? Why always the 
modern Christian notion of a church ? But the difficulty vanishes if 
one may suppose that the Gypsies, starting from the Balkan Penin- 
sula at a date when churches were familiar objects, which a pursuer 
would naturally pass, carried with them the modern version of the 
story to Russia, Spain, and the other countries in which it is told 
to-day. Similarly, in Gypsy stories, and in stories current in coun- 
tries wide apart, one finds such incidents as the hero falling in love 
through a portrait^ the hero playing cards with the devil, the hero 
carrying a Bellerophon letter, the hero looking through an all-seeing 
telescope. Such stories in their original form may be of indefinable 
antiquity ; but the recurrence of their developed form amongst Slavs 
and Teutons and Celts would seem to be due to recent transmis- 
sion, unless one is prepared to maintain that our primaeval Aryan 
ancestors were acquainted with portrait-painting, with playing-cards, 
with the art of writing, and with telescopes. 

In his Introduction to Mrs. Hunt's admirable translation of 
The AntbroiKflo- Grimm, Mr. Andrew Lang thus expounded his ' An- 
gloai Theory. thropological ' theory of folk-tales : — 

* As to the origin of the wild incidents in Household Tales, let any one 
ask himself this question : Is there anything in the frequent appearance 
of cannibals, in kinship with animals, in magic, in abominable cruelty, 
that would seem unnatural to a savage? Certainly not; all these 
things are familiar to his world. Do all these things occur on almost 
every page of Grimm? Certainly they do. Have they been natural 
and familiar incidents to the educated German mind during the historic 
age ? No one will venture to say so. These notions, then, have survived 
in peasant tales from the time when the ancestors of the Germans were 
like Zulus or Maoris or Australians.' 

It is an interesting, the most interesting theory ; still I cannot 
forbear pointing out that many of Mr. Lang's survivals of dead 

Oypiy Teutonic savagery are living realities in Gypsy tents. 

Savagery. Matty Cooper, discoursing to his * dear little wooden 
bear,' and offering it beer to drink ; * Gypsy Mary,' who * washed 
herself away from God Almighty ' ; Riley Smith and Emily Pinfold, 



INTRODUCTION Ixxiii 

who both * sold their blood to the Devil ' ; Mrs. Draper, who vowed 
that, sooner than touch beer or spirits, she would go to Loughton 
churchyard, and drink the blood of her dead son lying there; 
Riley Bosville with his two wives, and old Charles Pinfold with his 
three ; Lementina Lovell, who heard the fairy music ; her grandson, 
Dimiti, who lay awake once in Snaky Lane, and watched the little 
fairies in the oak-tree; and Ernest Smith (1871-98), who one July 
night in the grounds of the Edinburgh Electrical Exhibition of 1890 
saw ' two dear little teeny people, about two feet high, and he upp'd 
and flung stones at 'em ' — I myself have known eight of these 
Gypsies, and kinsfolk of the two others. It is not sixteen years 
since an English Gypsy girl, to work her vengeance on her false 
Gentile lover, cut the heart out of a living white pigeon, and flung 
the poor bird, yet struggling, on the fire. It is barely fifty years since 
old Mrs. Smith was buried at Troston, near Ixworth, after travel- 
ling East Anglia for half a century with a sparrow, which, like the 
raven in Grimm's story, told her all manner of secrets. (Cf, Mr. Lang's 
* 4. Savage idea. — Animals help favoured men and women.') Then, 
there is the Gypsy system of ta^u, by which wife and child renounce 
for ever the favourite food or drink of the dead husband or father, 
or the name of the deceased is dropped clean out of use, any 
survivors who happen to bear it adopting another. There is the 
belief in the evil eye ; there are caste-like rules of ceremonial purity ; 
and on the Continent there is, or was lately, actual idolatry — tree- 
worship among German Gypsies, and the worship of the moon-god, 
Alako, among their brethren of Scandinavia. Nor even for 
cannibalism need Mr. Lang go far back or far afield. ^ 
In 1782 m Hungary, next door to Germany, forty- 
five Gypsies, men and women, were beheaded, broken on the 
wheel, quartered aUve, or hanged, for cannibalism. Arrested first 
by way of wise precaution, they were racked till they confessed to 
theft and murder, then were brought to the spot where they said 
their victims should be buried, and, no victims forthcoming, were 
promptly racked again. *We ate them,' at last was their dis- 
pairing cry, and straightway the Gypsies were hurried to the 
scaffold; straightway the newspapers all over Europe rang with 
blood-curdling narratives of 'Gypsy cannibalism.' Then, when it 
all was over, the Emperor Joseph sent a commission down, the out- 
come of whose investigations was that nobody was missing, that no 
one had been murdered — but the Gypsies. That was in Hungary, 
a century ago; but even^in England, in 1859, a judge seems to have 
entertained a similar suspicion. In that year, at the York assizes, 
a Gypsy lad, Guilliers Heron, was tried for a robbery, of which, by 



\ 



r 



Ixxiv GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

the bye, he was innocent. * One of the prisoner's brothers ' (I quote 
frooi" the Times of Thursday, loth March, p. 1 1), * said they were all 
at tea with the prisoner at five o'clock in their tent, and, when asked 
what they had to eat, he said they had a " hodgun " cooked, which 
is the provincial name for a hedgehog. His Lordship (Mr. Justice 
Byles) : " What do you say you had — cooked urchin ? *' Gypsy : 
" Yes, cooked hodgun. I 'm very fond of cooked hodgun " (with a 
grin). His Lordship's mind seemed to be filled with horrible mis- 
givings, wh^'the meaning of the provincialism was explained amid 
much laughter.' Cannibalism is a common feature of Gypsy folk- 
tales, as this collection will show ; but it is far commoner, and on a 
far grander scale, in the folk-tales of India, where a rakshasi makes 
nothing of polishing off the entire population of a city, plus the 
goats and sheep, horses and elephants. How does Mr. Lang ac- 
count for this, for Germany remained savage long ages after India ? 
I rather fancy, though I cannot be certain, that cannibalism in folk- 
tales, tapers off pretty regularly westward from India.^ 

In the Academy iox nth June 1887 Mr. Lang objected: *Can 
M. Cosquin show that South Siberia and Zanzibar got their conies 
Osrpiy Migra. by oral transmission from India within the historical 
tioii8. period ? This is doubtful ; but it seems still more un- 

likely that tales which originated in India could have reached Barra 
and Uist in the Hebrides, and Zululand, and the Samoyeds — not to 
mention America — by oral transmission, and all within the historical 
period.* My pp. xv-xviii and xxxv-xlv furnish a fairly good answer 
^to much of this objection, for they show that during the last three 
centuries recent immigrants from India, possessed of folk-tales, have 
been passing to and fro between Lorraine and Italy, Scotland and 
North America, Portugal and Africa and Brazil, Poland and Siberia, 
Spain and Louisiana, the Basque Country and Africa, Hungary and 
Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, and Algeria, the Balkan 
Peninsula and Scandinavia, Italy and Asia Minor, Corfu and Corsica, 
the Levant and Liverpool, Hungary and Scotland. But, indeed, 
Mr. Lang's objection was, in part at least, answered already, by the 
, discovery in Scancljnavia, Orkney, and Lancashire of thousands of 
1 Gufic coins of the ninth and tenth centuries. For where coins could 
' journey from Bagdad, so also of course could folk-tales. 

I remember once in an English parsonage being shown a ' canni- 
bal fork.' I do not think I rushed to the conclusion that the parson's 
grandmother had been a ghoul ; no, I rather fancy there was talk of 

^ I have discussed the subject-matter of the last two pages more fully in my 
paper, * The Influence of the Gypsies on the Superstitions of the English Folk ' 
{Tram. InttrncU. Folklore Congress, 1891, pp. 292-308). 



-il 



INTRODUCTION Ixxv 

a son or a brother who was a missionary somewhere, perhaps in the 
South Sea Islands. And I remember also how a Suffolk vicar 
unearthed a Romano-British cemetery. One of his most treasured 
finds was a pair of brass compasses : ^ Marvellous,' he would point 
out, * how like they are to our own.' ' As well they may be,* old 

Mrs. C remarked to me (she was the daughter of a former 

vicar), * for I can quite well remember my poor brother John losing 
them.' 

Sometimes, I scarce know why, the eloquence and Ih^ ingenuity 
of folklorists suggest these reminiscences ; anyhow, I doubt if to 
folklorists my theory is likely to commend itself, oypfly oxlgin- 
From solar myths, savage philosophy, archsean sur- ality. 
vivals, polyonymy, relics of Druidism, polygamous frameworks, and 
such-like high-sounding themes, it is a terrible come-down to 
Gypsies = gipsies = tramps.^ So I look for most folklorists to scout 
my theory, and to maintain that the Turkish Gypsies picked up 
their folk-tales from Turks or Greeks, the Roumanian Gypsies theirs 
from Roumans, the Hungarian Gypsies theirs from Magyars, the 
English and Welsh Gypsies theirs from the English and Welsh, the 

Hold ! hold ! pray where are the English or Welsh originals 

of our Gypsy versions of *The Master Thief,' *The Little Peasant,' 
* Frederick and Catherine,* * Ferdinand the Faithful,' * The Master 
Smith,' * The Robber Bridegroom,' or * Strong Hans ' ? where those 
of such English and Welsh Gypsy stories as *The Black Dog of the 
Wild Forest,' ' De Little Bull-calf,' ' Jack and his Golden Snuff-box,' 
or *An Old King and his Three Sons in England'? It may be 
answered that the last three are in Mr. Joseph Jacobs' English Fairy 
Tales (2 vols. 1890-94). I know those stories are there; they form 
nearly ten per cent, of Mr. Jacobs' entire collection ; but have they 
any business to be there? I have John Roberts' manuscript of 
' An Old King * before me now ; it opens — * Adoi ses yecker porro 
koreelish, ta ses les trin chavay.* You may render that, as I ren- 
dered it, into English, ' There was once an old king, and he had 
three sons *; but that does not make the story an English one. No; 
so far as our present information goes, * An Old King ' is a Welsh- 
Gypsy folk-tale.^ 

^ That, however, is a vulgar error ; the Gypsies are one of the purest races in \ 
Europe. ' 

^ I have sometimes wondered, what if a folklorist, making a little tour in 
Wales, in a Welsh inn-garden had come on a venerable Welsh harper, playing 
ancient Welsh airs, and speaking Welsh more fluently than English ? He would 
have drawn him, of course, for folk-tales, and lo ! a perfect mine of them — long, 
unpublished stories, all about magic snuff-boxes and magic balls of yam, the 
kings of the mice and the frogs and the fowls of the air, griffins of the green- 



Ixxvi 



GYPSY FOLK-TALES 



There is at least one other story in Mr. Jacobs* collection that 
may be Gypsy, not English, This is * The Three Feathers/ which, 
Mrs. Gomme tells me, was collected from some Deptford hop-pickers 
by a lady now in America. Not all hop-pickers are Gypsies, but a 
goodly proportion are, as I know from old walks among Kentish 
and Surrey hop-gardens. *The Three Feathers' is a variant of 
Laura Gonzenbach's Sicilian story of 'Feledico and Epomata' 
,(No. 55, i. 251), of an incident in CampbelFs Gaelic story of *The 
' Battle of the Birds' (No. 2, i. 36, 50), of one in Kennedy's 
Irish story of * The Brown Bear of Norway ' (p. 63), and of one in 
the Norse story of * The Master-maid.' 

Now, of * The Battle of the Birds ' we have a Welsh-Gypsy version, 
* The Greer\^Man of Noman's Land ' (No, 62), lacking, it is true, 
CkMlie and Welsb- this episode, which may be an interpolation in the 
QypBj storiee. Gaelic story, but unmistakably identical with the 
Gaelic story, of which, however, it forms only a fragment. In the 
Gaelic version the hero is set four tasks by the heroine's father, in 
the Gypsy version five tasks, as follows : — 



Gaelic. 

To cleanse a byre, unclean sad 
for seven years. Heroine does it. 
Father taxes him with having been 
helped. 

Wanting. 



To thatch byre with birds' down 
— birds with no two feathers of one 
colour. Heroine does it. He denies 
help. 

To climb a very lofty fir-tree be- 
side a loch, and fetch down mag- 
pie's five eggs. He climbs it on a 
ladder of heroine's fingers, but in 
his haste her little finger is left on 
top of tree. 



Welsh-Gypsy. 

To clean a stable. Heroine does 
it. Father accuses him of receiv- 
ing help. He denies it. 

To fell a forest before mid-day 
{cf, Polish-Gypsy story of *The 
W^itch,' p. 188). Heroine does it. 
Same denial. 

To thatch barn with one feather 
only of each bird. Heroine does 
it. 

To climb glass mountain in 
middle of lake, and fetch t%% of 
bird that lays one only. H e wishes 
heroine's shoe a boat, and they 
reach mountain. He wishes her 
finger a ladder, but steps over the 
last rung, and her finger is broken. 
She warns him to deny help. 



wood, golden apples and golden castles, sleeping princesses, and all the rest of 
it. 'Eureka !' that folklorist would have shouted, and straightway meditated a 
new Welsh Mabiftogion. Welsh — Celtic — not at all necessarily ; his old Welsh 
bard might have been just John Roberts the Gypsy. 



INTRODUCTION Ixxvii 

Gaelic. Welsh-Gypsy. 

To select at the dance the young- To guess which of the three 
est of the three sisters all dressed daughters is which, as they fly three 
alike. He knows her by the ab- times over castle in form of birds, 
sence of the little finger. Forewarned by heroine, he names 

them correctly. 

The story, of course, is a very widespread one. We have a 
Sanskrit version of it on the one hand, and on the other an African 
Negro version from Jamaica, with many more referred to in the 
notes on two other Gypsy versions — one from the Bukowina, * Made 
over to the Devil' (No. 34), and the other from Galicia, *The 
Witch ' (No. 50). But in the Gaelic and in the Gypsy version there 
are two special points to be noted. The first is that the almost 
absolute identity of the tasks imposed seems to preclude the idea 
that the likeness between the two versions can be explained by their 
being derived firom a common original, three or four thousand years 
old. The second point is that in some respects the Gypsy version 
is decidedly the better of the two : the fir-tree beside a loch cannot 
compare with the glass mountain in the middle of the lake ; and the 
selection of the youngest daughter at the dance is inferior to the 
selection of her as she flies in bird-shape over the castle. 

Resemblances only less strongly marked are observable between 
Campbeirs two stories of * The Shifty Lad ' and * The Three Widows ' 
and the Welsh-Gypsy story of *Jack the Robber* 
(No. 68), between his * Tale of the Soldier ' (given here 
as a tinker story. No. 74), and my * Ashypelt ' (No. 57), and between 
his * Brown Bear of the Green Glen' (No. 73 here) and my *01d 
King his Three Sons ' (No. 55). There is also sometimes a strik- 
ing similarity of phrase and idea in Gaelic and Welsh-Gypsy stories. 
Thus, in Campbell we get : * The dun steed would catch the swift 
March wind that would be before, and the swift March wind could 
not catch her ' ; * He went much further than I can tell or you can 
think ' ; and * Whether dost thou like the big half of the bannock 
and my curse, or the little half and my blessing ? ' For which John 
Roberts gives : * Off he went as fast as the wind, which the wind 
behind could not catch the wind before '; * Now poor Jack goes . . . 
further than I can tell you to-night or ever intend to tell you ' ; and 
* Which would you like best for me to make you — a little cake and 
to bless you, or a big cake and to curse you ? ' This last feature — of 
the big cake and curse, or the little cake and blessing — is found, to 
the best of my knowledge, in no folk-tale outside the British Isles ; 
but it occurs also in the Aberdeenshire story of * The Red Etin > 
(Chambers's Popular Rhymes of Scot Ian dy p. 90), and in Kennedy's 



Ixxviii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

* Jack and his Comrades ' and * The Corpse-Watchers ' (Fictions of 
the Irish Celts, pp. 5, 54). 

It IS hard to conceive how stories told by Welsh G5rpsies should 
have been derived from West Highland folk-tales ; of the alternative 
Iriihand notion that the West Highland folk-tales may have 

Osrpsy Polk- originally been derived from G5rpsies we get one pretty 
^■^•■« strong confirmation — the identity of Campbell's 

'Knight of Riddles' (No. 22) and the Turkish-Gypsy story of 

* The Riddle ' (No. 3). Reinhold Kohler, in Orient und Occident, 
ii. 320, failed to find in all Europe's folklore any parallel to the 
latter, the essential, half of the Gaelic story; but the knight's 
daughter's plaid there is clearly the Highland version of the 
princess's chemise in the Gypsy story. Campbell, too, is sore put 
to it how the Rhampsinitus story can have found its way to 
Dumbartonshire (i. 352), or a tale from Boccaccio to Islay (ii. 14), 
or one from Straparola to Barra (ii. 238). But all three stories 
are known to the Gypsies ; there, then, is a solution of Campbell's 
perplexities. So that if Campbell's stories and the Welsh-Gypsy 
stories had stood alone, I should, I believe, have urged that 
alternative notion. But they do not, for in several cases the 
Welsh-Gypsy stories resemble Irish Gaelic versions a great deal 
more closely than they do the Scottish ones. Thus, in Mr. Curtin's 
Myths and Folklore of Ireland^ (1890) is 'The Son of the King of 
Erin and the Giant of Loch Lein,' pp. 32-49, a variant of Campbell's 
'Battle of the Birds'; the following brief abstract of it will show 
how exactly it tallies with our * Green Man of Noman's Land' 
(No. 62): — Prince plays cards with giant, and wins two estates. 
Plays again, and wins golden -homed cattle. Plays again, and 
loses his head, so has to give himself up to giant in a year and 
a day. On his way to giant's he lodges with three old women, 
sisters, each of whom gives him a ball of thread for guide. Near 
the giant's castle he comes on a lake, in which giant's three 
daughters are bathing. He seizes the clothes of the youngest one, 
and to get them back she promises to save him from danger. The 
giant sets him tasks — to clean stable, to thatch stable with birds^ 
feathers (no two alike), and to bring down crow's one egg from a 
tree covered with glass, nine hundred feet high. The youftgest 
daughter helps him in all three tasks, for the third task making him 
strip the flesh from her bones, and use the bones as steps for 

' It is a great pity Mr. Curtin has not specified when, where, and from whom 
he got his stories ; all we are told is that they were collected by him * personally 
in the West of Ireland, in Kerry, Galway, and Donegal, during the year 1887.' 
It is almost incomprehensible that he never alludes once to Campbell's collection. 



INTRODUCTION Ixxix 

climbing. Coming down, he misses the last bone, and she loses her 
little toe. The prince goes home, and is to be married to the 
daughter of the King of Lochlin [Denmark], but the giant and his 
daughter are invited to the wedding. Then, as in Campbells tale, 
the giant's daughter * threw two grains of wheat in the air, and there 
came down on the table two pigeons. The cock pigeon pecked at 
the hen and pushed her off the table. Then the hen called out to 
him in a human voice, "You wouldn't do that to me the day I 
cleaned the stable for you." ' So, too, the hen reminds the cock of 
the second and third tasks ^ ; and, awakened at last to remembrance, 
the prince weds the giant's daughter. 

Clearly, the readiest explanation of the likeness between *The 
Green Man of Noman's Land ' and the Scottish and Irish stories 
would be that these last are both derived from Gypsies ; but then 
of Gypsies in Ireland our knowledge is almost nil. In a letter of 
8th February 1898, Mr. William Larminie, of Bray, Co. Wcklow, 
the author of West Irish Folk-tales (1893), writes: — 'I have never 
heard of Irish Gypsies proper. They seem never to have settled in 
the country for some reason.' On the other hand, three or four 
English-Gypsy families of my acquaintance have certainly travelled 
Ireland during the last thirty years ; Simson's History of the Gipsies 
(1865) contains allusions on pp. 325-8, 356-8, etc., to visits of * Irish 
Gipsies ' to Scotland ; and, according to a note by Mr. Ffrench of 
Donegal in the Gypsy Lore Journal for April 1890, p. 127, 'there 
are two tribes of Gypsy-folk in Ireland. The first are real Gypsies ; 
the second are what are called "Gilly Goolies," and are only 
touched on the Gypsies, i.e. have a strain of Gypsy blood in their 
veins, and follow the mode of life followed by the Gypsies.* More- 
over, the Irish novelist, William Carleton (1794-1869), in his 
Autobiography (1896), i. 212, shows that * Scottish gipsies' did 
visit mid-Ireland about 18 14 and earlier. *My eldest married 
sister, Mary,' he writes, * lived (about the period when I, having 
been set apart for the Church, commenced my Latin) in the 
townland of a place called Ballagh, Co. Roscommon, remarkable 
for the beauty of its lough. It was during the Easter holidays, and 
I was on a visit to her. At that time it was not unusual for a small 
encampment of the Scottish gipsies to pass over to the north of 
Ireland, and indeed I am not surprised at it, considering the 

^ These two birds, which recur also in Norse, Swedish, and German versions 
of the story {Orient und Occ. ii. 108-9), ^^ <^i^ce recaU the parrot and the maind 
in 'The B^l-Princess' (Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales j pp. 149-150) whose 
discourse revives the prince's recollections. See also p. 412 of Mrs. Steel's 
Wide-awake Stories. 



Ixxx GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

extraordinary curiosity, not to say enthusiasm, with which they 
were received by the people. The men were all tinkers, and the 
women thieves and fortune-tellers — but in their case the thief was 
always sunk in the fortune-teller/ And he goes on to describe how 
he had his own fortune told with a pack of cards by one of the 
women, * a sallow old pythoness.' 

One may not build upon so slight a superstructure, though at the 
same time it should be borne in mind that nothing, absolutely 
nothing, was known of the Welsh Gypsies till 1875. Where, 
however, as in England, G5^sies have certainly been roaming to 
and fro for centuries, nothing seems to me likelier than the trans- 
mission by them of folk-tales. For I know by frequent journeyings 
with them how the Gypsy camp is the favourite nightly rendezvous 
of the lads and lasses from the neighbouring village. All the 
amusement they can give their guests, the Gypsies give gladly ; and 
stories and songs are among their best stock-in-trade. 

Campbell of Islay has shown us a Gypsy professional story-teller 
in London, and Paspati has shown us a Gypsy professional story- 
Gypey teller, the grandson of one at Constantinople. That 

Story-tellera. is not much, perhaps ; but there are several more in- 
dications of the trans mission o f folk-tales by Gypsies. Bakht^ the 
R6mani word for * luck ' or * fortune,' has passed, not merely into 
Albanian folk-tales, but into the Greek and Turkish languages, as I 
show in a footnote on p. 53 ; and a good many of the following 
seventy-six stories seem to show unmistakable tokens of the practised 
raconteur's art. * Let us leave the dogs, and return to the girl,' in 
No. 47 ; * Now we '11 leave the master to stand a bit, and go back to 
the mother,* in No. 68 ; * And I came away, told the story,' in Nos. 
6, 7, 8, and 15; *And I left them there, and came and told my 
story to your lordships,' in No. 10; *I was there, and heard every- 
thing that happened,' in No. 12 ; 'Away I came, the tale have told,' 
in No. 18 ; * Now you *ve got it,' in No. 28 ; * If they are not dead, 
they are still alive,' in Nos. 41 and 42, and also in Hungarian-Gypsy 
stories ; * The floor there was made of paper, and I came away here,' 
in No. 43 ; * So if they are not dead, they are living together,' in No. 
44 ; * Excuse me for saying it,' in No. 55 ; * She was delivered (pray, 
excuse me) of a boy,' in No. 46 ; * And the last time I was there 
I played my harp for them, and got to go again,' in No. 54 — these 
all sound like tags or formulas of the professional story-teller. L^on 
Zafiri's usual wind-up, says Paspati (p. 421), ran : * And I too, I was 
there, and I ate, and I drank, and I have come to tell you the story.' 

A tree can never be quite dead as long as it puts forth shoots ; I 
fancy the very latest shoot in the whole Yggdrasil of European folk- 



INTRODUCTION Ixxxi 

tales is the episode in *The Tinker and his Wife' (No. 70), where 
the tinker buys a barrel of beer, and says, * Now, my wench, you 
make the biggest penny out of it as ever you can,' and story-wiUiiff a 
she goes and sells the whole barrel to a packman for llTlng diyp^y 
one of the old big pennies. That episode cannot be •**• 
earlier than the introduction of the new bronze coinage in 1861 ; it 
looks as though it must itself be a recent coinage of Cornelius Price, 
or of Nebuchanezar, his uncle. But, there, I have known a Gypsy 
girl dash off what was almost a folk-tale impromptu. She had been 
to a pic-nic in a four-in-hand, with * a lot o' real tip-top gentry ' ; and 
' i?^,' she said to me afterwards, ^ I '11 tell you the comicalest thing 
as ever was. We 'd pulled up, to put the brake on ; and there was a 
p^ro hoichiwitchi (old hedgehog) come and looked at us through 
the hedge, looked at me hard. I could see he 'd his eye upon me. 
And home he'd go, that old hedgehog, to his wife, and "Missus," 
he'd say, " what d' ye think ? I seen a little Gypsy gal just now in 
a coach and four bosses"; and "-Z?^/a/" she'd say, ^^sawkumni 
^as vardi kendw " ' (Bless us ! every one now keeps a carriage). 

I have told English Gypsies Grimm's tale of * The Hare and the 
Hedgehog,' and they always pronounce that it must be a R6mani 
story (^Who else would have gone for to make up a PosslblA Gypsy 
tale about hedgehogs ?') ^ But the question whether Inflnmioes. 
in many non-Gypsy collections there are not a number of folk-tales 
that present strong internal evidence of their Gypsy origin is a 
difficult question ; it would take us too far afield, and could lead to 
no really definite results. Still, I must say a word or two. In 
Hahn's fine variant (ii. 267) of our * Mare's Son' from the island of 
S3rra a vizier travels from town to town, seeking a lad as handsome 
as the prince. At last he is passing through a Gypsy quarter,^ when 
he hears a boy singing : * his voice was beautiful as any nightingale's.' 
He looks through a door, and sees a boy, who is every whit as 
handsome as the prince, so he purchases this boy, and the boy plays 
a leading part in the story. The abject contempt in which Gypsies 
are held throughout the whole of south-eastern Europe renders it 
probable that none but a Gypsy would thus have described a 
member of the race. The story, too, from its opening clause, a 
greeting to the * goodly company,' would seem to have been told by 

' For an excursus, of true German erudition, on Gypsies and hedgehogs, see 
R. Pischel*s Biitrage zur Ktnntniss der deutschen Z^<«<M^r( Halle, 1894, pp. 26- 
30). He shows that hedgehogs are a Gypsy delicacy from Wales to Odessa, and 
that the Gypsies probably brought the taste from the foothills of the Himalayas, 
where hedgehogs are plentiful. 

^ ' Fv^ixd,' says Hahn in a footnote. * The sedentary Gypsies as a rule are 
smiths, therefore Gypsy and Lock^mtM are synonymous in the towns.* 

f 



Ixxxii GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

a professional story-teller — a kinsman, possibly, of L^on Zafiri, 
Krauss's Croatian story (No. 98) of *The Gypsy and the Nine 
Franciscans' is just *Les Trois Bossus' of the trouvfere Durant 
(Liebrecht's Dunlop^ p. 209) ; yet it has, to my thinking, a thoroughly 
R6mani ring. In Campbell's Gaelic story of y The Young King of 
Easaidh Ruadh' (No. i) the hero's young wife is carried off by a 
giant, and, following their track, he comes thrice on the site of a fire. 
If I were telling that story to Gypsies, I should say, not site ofafire^ 
but fireplace : I fancy I can hear the Gypsies' exclamations— 
*Dere! my blessed! following de fireplaces. Course he'd know 
den which way de giant had gone.' I could cite a good score of 
similar instances ; but I will content myself with this footnote from 
Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (ed. 1873, iv. 102): — 
'Besides the prophetic powers ascribed to the Gypsies in most 
European countries, the Scottish peasants believe them possessed of 
the power of throwing upon bystanders a spell, and causing them to 
see the thing that is not. . . . The receipt to prevent the operation 
of these deceptions was to use a sprig of four-leaved clover. I 
remember to have heard (certainly very long ago, for at that time I 
believed the legend), that a Gypsy exercised his glamour over a 
number of persons at Haddington, to whom he exhibited a common 
dunghill cock, trailing what appeared to the spectators a massy 
oaken trunk. An old man passed with a cart of clover ; he stopped, 
and picked out a four-leaved blade ; the eyes of the spectators were 
opened, — ^and the oaken trunk appeared to be a bulrush.' But 
that is iust Grimm's No. 149, * The Beam ' : what folklorist has ever 
associated * The Beam ' with the Gypsies ? 

To recapitulate, my theory, then, is this : — ^The Gypsies quitted 
India at an unknown date, probably taking with them some scores 

of Indian folk-tales, as they certainly took with them 
many hundreds of Indian words. By way of Persia 
and Armenia, they arrived in the Greek-speaking Balkan Peninsula, 
and tarried there for several centuries, probably disseminating their 
Indian folk-tales, and themselves picking up Greek folk-tales, as 
they certainly gave Greek the R6mani word bakht^ * fortune,' and 
borrowed from it paramisi, * story,' and about a hundred more 
terms. From the Balkan Peninsula they have spread since 141 7, or 
possibly earlier, to Siberia, Norway, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Brazil, 
and the countries between, everywhere probably disseminating the 
folk-tales they started with and those they picked up by the way, 
and everywhere probably adding to their store. Thus, I take it, 
they picked up the complete Rhampsinitus story in the Balkan 
Peninsula, and carried it thence to Roumania and Scotland; in 



INTRODUCTION Ixxxiii 

Scotland, if John MacDonald was any sort of a Gypsy, they seem to 
have picked up * Osean after the Feen.' 

It is not so smooth and rounded a theory as I hoped to be able 
to present to folklorists, or as I might easily have made it by sup- 
pressing a little here and filling out somewhat there. But at least I 
have pointed out a few fresh parallels; I have, thanks to Mr. 
Sampson's generosity, enriched our stock, not of E nglish folk - i 
tal^^_but of folk-tales. collectfiid^ in England^anS TWalg;^ and I / 
have, I hope, stimulated a measure of curiosity in Ihe strange, like- 
able, uncanny race, whom ' Hans Breitmann ' has happily designated 
* the Colporteurs of Folklore.' I let my little theory go reluctantly, 
but invite the fullest argument and discussion. There is nothing 
like argument. I was once at a meeting of a Learned Society, 
where a friend of mine read a most admirable paper. Then uprose 
another member of that Learned Society, and challenged his ever>' 
contention. In a rich, sonorous voice he thus began: 'Max 
Miiller has said (and I agree with Max Miiller), that Sanskrit in 
dying left twins — Chinese and Semitic' 

^ Only four years ago Mr. Joseph Jacobs wrote : ' It is* at any rate clear, that 
the only considerable addition to our folklore knowledge in these isles must come 
from the Gaelic area.* And since then a folklorist has expressed himself in 
the Atkenaum as ' pretty certain that as to complete stories of any length there 
are none such to be found in Wales at the present day.' 



Of thc 



UNIVERSITY 




Of 



^-^LTCRN^^ 



GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

CHAPTER I 

TURKISH-GYPSY STORIES 

No. I. — The Dead Man's Gratitude^ 

A KING had three sons. He gave the youngest a hundred 
thousand piastres ; he gave the same to the eldest son and 
to the middle one. The youngest arose, he took the road ; 
wherever he found poor folk he gave money ; here, there, he 
gave it away ; he spent the money. His eldest brother went, 
had ships built to make money. And the middle one went, 
had shops built. They came to their father. 

* What have you done, my son ? * 

* I have built ships.' 

To the youngest, * You, what have you done ? ' 

* I ? every poor man I found, I gave him money ; and for 
poor girls I paid the cost of their marriage.' 

The king said, * My youngest son will care well for the 
poor. Take another hundred thousand piastres.' 

The lad departed. Here, there, he spent his money ; 
twelve piastres remained to him. Some Jews dug up a 
corpse and beat it 

* What do you want of him, that you are beating him ? ' 
' Twelve piastres we want of him.* 

' I '11 give you them if you will let him be.' 

He gave the money, they let the dead man be. He arose 
and departed. As the lad goes the dead man followed him. 
' Where go you ? ' the dead man asked. 

' I am going for a walk.' 

* I '11 come too ; we '11 go together ; we will be partners.' 

^ Told by an old sedentary Gypsy woman of Adrianople. 

A 



2 TURKISH-GYPSY STORIES 

* So be it; 

* Come, I will bring you to a certain place.* 

He took and brought him to a village. There was a girl, 
takes a husband, lies with him ; by dawn next day the 
husbands are dead. 

* I will hide you somewhere; I will get you a girl ; but we 
shall always be partners.* 

He found the girl (a dragon came out of her mouth). 

* And this night when you go to bed, I too will lie there.' 
He took his sword, he went near them. The lad said, 

* That will never do. If you want her, do you take the girl.' 
'Are we not partners? You, do you sleep with her; I 

also, I will sleep here,' 

At midnight he sees the girl open her mouth ; the dragon 

came forth ; he drew his sword ; he cut off its three heads ; 

he put the heads in his bosom ; he lay down ; he fell asleep. 

Next morning the girl arose, and sees the man her husband 

living by her side. They told the girl's father. * To-day 

your daughter has seen dawn break with her husband.' 

* That will be the son-in-law,* said the father. 
The lad took the girl ; he is going to his father. 

* Come,* said the dead man, * let 's divide the money.' 
They fell to dividing it. 

*We have divided the money; let us also divide your 
wife.' 

The lad said, * How divide her? If you want her, take 
her.' 

* I won't take her ; we '11 divide.' 

* How divide ? ' said the lad. 

The dead man said, * I, I will divide.' 

The dead man seized her ; he bound her knees. * Do you 
catch hold of one foot, I *11 take the other.* 

He raised his sword to strike the girl. In her fright the 
girl opened her mouth, and cried, and out of her mouth fell 
a dragon. The dead man said to the lad, * I am not for a 
wife, I am not for any money. These dragon's heads are 
what devoured the men. Take her ; the girl shall be yours, 
the money shall be yours. You did me a kindness ; I also 
have done you one.' 

* What kindness did I do you ? ' asked the lad. 

* You took me from the hands of the Jews.' 



THE DEAD MAN'S GRATITUDE 3 

The dead man departed to his place, and the lad took his 
wife, went to his father. 

In his introduction to the Panischatanira (Leip. 1859), i. 219-221, 
Benfey cites an Armenian version of this story that is practically 
identical. Compare also the English *Sir Amadas' (r. 1420), first 
printed in Weber's Metrical Romances (Edinb. 18 10, iii. 243-275); 
Straparola (iSS^) ^^ ^ (*The Simpleton,' summarised in Grimm, ii. 
480); *The Follower' or *The Companion' of Asbjomsen (Dasent's 
Tales from the Fjeld^ p. 68), on which Andersen founded his * Travel- 
ling Companion ' ; * The Barra Widow's Son ' (Campbell's Tales of the 
West Highlands^ No. 32, ii. no) ; Hahn, ii. 320 ; Cosquin, i. 208, 214 ; 
Hinton Knowles' Folk-tales of Kashmir^ pp. 39-40 ; Wratislaw's Sixty 
Slavonic Folk-tales^ No. 18 (Polish) ; and especially Reinhold Kohler 
in Orient und Occident (\Zt^ ii. 322-9, and iii. 93-103). What should 
be of special interest to English folklorists, is that Asbjomsen's 

* Follower* forms an episode in our earliest version (Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, 171 1) of * Jack the Giant-killer.' Cf pp. 67-71 of J. O. Halli well's 
Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales (1849), where we get the redemp- 
tion of a dead debtor (who is not grateful), a witch-lady who visits an 
evil spirit, and the cutting off of that evil spirit's head by a comrade 
clad in a coat of darkness. The resemblance has never been noticed 
between the folk-tale and the Book of Tobit, where Tobit shows his . 
charity by burying the dead ; the archangel Raphael plays the part of 
the 'Follower' (in both *Sir Amadas' and the Russian version the 
Grateful Dead returns as an angel) ; Sara, Tobias's bride, has had 
seven husbands slain by Asmodeus, the evil spirit, before they had lain 
with her ; Raguel, Sara's father, learns of Tobias's safety on the morn- 
ing after their marriage ; Tobias offers half his goods to Raphael ; 
and Raphael then disappears. The story of Tobit has certainly passed 
into Sicilian folklore, borrowed straight, it would seem, from the 
Apocrypha, as *The History of Tobik and Tobiola' (Laura Gonzen- 
bach's SicU, Mdrchen^ No. 89, ii. 177) ; but the Apocryphal book itself 
is plainly a corrupt version of the original folk-tale. 

Madame Darmesteter's Ufe of Renan(\Z()'j\ contains at p. 251 the 
following passage : — * That night he told us the story of the Babylonian 
Tobias. Rash and young, this Chaldaean brother of our Tobit, dis- 
couraged by the difficult approaches of prosperity, had entered into 
partnership with a demi-god or Demon, who made all his schemes suc- 
ceed and pocketed fifty per cent, upon the profits. The remaining fifty 
sufficed to make Tobias as rich as Oriental fancy can imagine. The 
young man fell in love, married his bride, and brought her home. On 
the threshold stood the Demon : " How about my fifty per cent ?" The 
Venus d'llle, you see, was not born yesterday. From the dimmest dawn 
of time sages have taught us not to trust the gods too far.' 

Unluckily there seems to be no authority whatever for this alleged 
Chaldsean version, which should obviously come closer to the foIk-tale 
than to the Book of Tobit. At least. Professor Sayce writes word : — 

* The passage in Madame Darmesteter's Life of Renan must be based 



4 TURKISH-GYPSY STORIES 

on an error, for no such story — so far as I know— has ever been found 
on a cuneiform tablet It may have originated in a mistranslation of 
one of the contract-tablets ; but if so, the mistranslation must have 
appeared in some obscure French publication, perhaps a newspaper, 
which I have not seen.' Alack ! and yet our folk-tale remains perhaps 
the oldest current folk-tale in the world. 



No. 2. — Baldpate 

In those days there was a man built a galleon ; he manned 
her ; he would go from the White Sea to the Black Sea. He 
landed at a village to take in water ; there he saw four or 
five boys playing. One of them was bald. He called him. 
' Where 's the water ? ' he asked. Baldpate showed him ; he 
took in water. 

' Wilt come with me ? ' 

* I will, but I Ve a mother.' 

' Let 's go to your mother.* They went to her. 

* Will you give me this boy ? * 
' I will.' 

The captain paid a month's wages; he took the lad. 
They weighed anchor ; they came to a large village ; they 
landed to take in water. 

The king's son went out for a walk, and he sees a dervish 
with a girl's portrait for sale. The king's son bought it; 
it was very lovely. The girl's father had been working at it 
for seven years. The king's son set it on the fountain, 
thinking. Some one of those who come to drink the water 
will say, ' I 've seen that girl.' The captain came ashore ; he 
took in water ; he lifted up his eyes, and saw the portrait. 

* What a beauty ! ' He went aboard, and said to his crew, 

* There 's a beauty yonder, I 've never seen her like.' 

Baldpate said, * I 'm going to see.' 

Baldpate went. The moment he saw the portrait, he 
burst out laughing. * It 's the dervish's daughter. How do 
they come by her ? ' 

Hardly had he said it when they seized him and brought 
him to the palace. Baldpate lost his head the moment they 
seized him. But two days later they came to him : * This 
girl, do you know her ? ' ^j ' 

'Know her? why, we were brought up togetfier. Her 
mother is dead ; she suckled both her and me.' 



BALDPATE 5 

* If they bring you before the king, fear not' 
He came before the king. 

* This girl, do you know her, my lad ? * 
' I do, we grew up together.' 

' Will you bring her here ? ' 

* I will. Build me a gilded galleon ; give me twenty 
musicians ; let me take your son with me ; and let no one 
gainsay whatever I do. Then I will go. I shall take seven 
years to go and come.' 

They took their bread, their water for seven years ; they 
set out They went to the maiden's country. At break 
of day Baldpate brought the galleon near the maiden's 
house ; the maiden's house was close to the sea. Baldpate 
said, * I '11 go upon deck for a turn ; don't any of you show 
yourselves.' He went up ; he paced the deck. 

The dervish's daughter arose from her sleep. The sun 
struck on the galleon ; it struck, too, on the house. The 
girl went out, rubs her eyes. A man pacing up and down. 
She bowed forward and saw our Baldpate. She knew him : 

* What wants he here ? ' 

' What seek you here ? ' 

* I 've come for you, come to see you ; it is so many years 
since I 've seen you. Come aboard. Your father, where 's 
he gone to ? ' 

* Don't you know that my father has been painting my 
portrait ? He 's gone to sell it ; I 'm expecting him these 
last few days.' 

* Come here, and let 's have a little talk.' 

The girl went to dress. Baldpate went to his crew. 

* Hide yourselves ; don't let a soul be seen ; but the moment 
I get her into the cabin, do you cut the ropes ; I shall be 
talking with her.' 

She came into the cabin ; they seated themselves ; they 
talk ; the galleon gets under weigh. He privily brought in 
the king's son. 

* Who is this ? ' said the gifl. * I am off.' 

'Are you daft, my sister? Let's have some sweetmeats.' 
He gave her some ; they intoxicated the girl. 

* A little music to play to you,' said Baldpate. 

He went, brought the musicians; they began to play. 
The girl said, ' I 'm up, I 'm off; my father's coming.' 



6 TURKISH-GYPSY STORIES 

* Sit down a bit, and let them play to you/ They play 
their music ; she hears not the departure of the galleon. 

* I 'm off/ said the girl to Baldpate. 

She went on deck and saw where her home was. * Ah ! 
my brother, what have you done to me ? ' 

* Done to you ! he who sits by you is the son of the king, 
and I 'm come to fetch you for him.' 

She wept and said, * What shall I do ? shall I fling my- 
self into the sea ? ' No, she went and sat down by the king's 
son. Plenty of music and victuals and drink. Baldpate is 
sitting up aloft by himself; he is captain. They eat, they 
drink ; he stirred not from his post. 

Two or three days remained ere they landed. At break 
of dawn three birds perched on the galleon ; no one was 
near him. The birds began talking : * O bird, O bird, what 
is it, O bird ? The dervish's daughter eats, drinks with the 
son of the king ; she knows not what will befall them.' 

* What will ? ' the other birds asked. 

*As soon as he arrives, a little boat will come to take 
them off. The boat will upset, and the dervish's daughter 
and the king's son will be drowned ; and whoever hears it 
and tells will be turned into stone to his knees.' 

Baldpate listens ; he is alone. 

Early next morning the birds came back again. They 
began talking together : * O bird, O bird, what is it, O bird ? 
The dervish's daughter and the king's son eat, drink ; they 
know not what will befall them. As soon as they land, as 
soon as they enter the gate, the gate will tumble down, it 
will crush them and kill them ; and whoever hears it and 
tells will be turned into stone to the back.' 

Day broke ; the birds came back. ' O bird, O bird, what 
is it, O bird ? The dervish's daughter eats, drinks ; she 
knows not what will befall her.* 

* What will ? ' the other birds asked. 

*The marriage night a seven-headed dragon will come 
forth, and he will devour the king's son and the dervish's 
daughter; and whoever hears it and tells them will be 
turned into stone to the head.' 

Baldpate says, all to himself, ' I shan't let any boats 
come.' He arose ; he came opposite the palace ; some 
boats came to take off the maiden. 



BALDPATE 7 

*I want no boats.' Instead he spread his sails. The 
galleon backed, the galleon went ahead. One and all 
looked : * Why, he will strand the galleon ! ' 

' Let him be,' said the king, * let him strand her.' 

He stranded the galleon. 

Baldpate said to the king, * When I started to fetch this 
girl, did I not tell you you must let me do as I would ? No 
one must interfere.' 

He took the girl and the prince ; he came to the gate. 
* Pull it down.' 

* Pull it down, why ? ' they asked. 

* Did I not tell you no one must interfere ? ' 

They set to and pulled it down. They went up, sat down, 
ate, drank, laugh, and talk. 

The worm gnaws Baldpate within. 

Night fell ; they will bed the pair. Baldpate said, ' Where 
you sleep I also will sleep there.' 

* The bridegroom and bride will sleep there ; you can't' 
' What 's our bargain ? ' 

* Thou knowest' 

They went, they lay down ; Baldpate took his sword, he 
lay down, he covered his head. At midnight he hears a 
drs^on coming. He draws his sword ; he cuts off its 
heads ; he puts them beneath his pillow. The king's son 
awoke, and sees his sword in his hands. He cried, * Bald- 
pate will kill us.' 

The father came and asked, *What made you call out, 
my son ? ' 

' Baldpate will kill us,' he answered. 

They took and bound Baldpate's arms. 

Day broke ; the king summoned him. * Why have you 
acted thus ? Seven years you have gone, you have journeyed, 
and brought the maiden ; and now you have risen to slay 
them.' 

* What could I do .? ' 

* You would kill my son, then will I kill you.' 

* Thou knowest' 

They bind his arms, they lead him to cut off his head. 
As he went, Baldpate said to himself, * They will cut off my 
head. If I tell, I shall be turned into stone. Come, bring 
me to the king ; I have a couple of words to say to him.' 



1 



8 TURKISH-GYPSY STORIES 

They brought him to the king. 

* Why have you brought him here ? ' 

* He has a couple of words to say to you.* 

* Say them, my lad.' 

* I, when I went to fetch the dervish's daughter, I was 
sitting alone on the galleon ; your son was eating, drinking 
with the maiden. One morning three birds came; they 
began talking : " O bird, O bird, what is it, O bird ? The 
dervish's daughter eats, drinks with the son of the king ; 
she knows not what will befall her. And whoever hears it 
and tells will be turned into stone to his knees." No one 
but I was there ; I heard it.' 

As soon as Baldpate had said it, he was turned into stone 
to his knees. The king, seeing he was turned into stone, 
said, * Prithee, my lad, say no more.' 

*But I will,' Baldpate answered, and went on to tell of 
the gate ; he was turned into stone to his back. 

* The third time the birds came and talked together again, 
and I heard (that was why I wished to sleep with them) : 
"A seven-headed dragon will come forth; he will devour 
them." And if you believe it not, look under the pillow.' 

They went there ; they saw the heads. 

* It was I who killed him. Your son saw the sword in 
my hands, and he thought I would kill them. I could not 
tell him the truth.* 

He was turned into stone to his head. They made a tomb 
for him. 

The king's son arose ; he took the road ; he departed. 
* Seven years has he wandered for me, I am going to wander 
seven years for him.' 

The king's son went walking, walking. In a certain place 
there was water ; he drank of it ; he lay down. Baldpate 
came to him in a dream: 'Take a little earth from here, 
and go and sprinkle it on the tomb. He will rise from 
the stone.' 

The king's son slept and slept. He arose ; he takes some 
of the earth ; he went to the tomb ; he sprinkled the earth 
on it. Baldpate arose. * How sound I 've been sleeping ! ' 
he said. 

* Seven years hast thou wandered for me, and seven years 
I have wandered for thee.' 



I 



THE RIDDLE 9 

He takes him, he brings him to the palace, he makes him 
a great one. 

Miklosich's Bukowina-Gypsy story, * The Prince, his Comrade, and 
Nastasa the Fair' (No. 24) presents analogies ; but *Baldpate' is iden- 
tical with Grimm's No. 6, * Faithful John,' i. pp. 23 and 348, where in the 
variant the third peril is a seven-headtd dragon. C/, also Wolfs Haus- 
marchen (Gott. 1851), p. 383 ; Basile's Pentamerone (1637), iv. 9 ; Hahn, 
i. 201-208, and ii. 267-277 ; and especially the Rev. Lai Behari Day's 
Folk-tales of Bengal (London, 1883), pp. 39-52, ihe latter half of * Phakir 
Chand.' Here two immortal birds warn the minister's son of four perils 
threatening the king's son : — (i) riding an elephant; (2) ixoxa fall of 
gate\ (3) choking by fish-head; (4) cobra. Penalty of telling, to be 
turned into statue. Another Indian version is *Rama and Luxman; 
or, the Learned Owl,* in Mary Frere's Old Deccan Days^ No. 5, pp. 66- 
78, whose ending is very feeble. See also Reinhold Kohler's Aufs'dtze 
uber Marchen und Volkslicder (Berlin, 1894), pp. 24-35. 



No. 3.— The Riddle 

In those days there was a rich man. He had an only son, 
and the mother and the father loved him dearly. He went 
to school ; all that there is in the world, he learned it. One 
day he arose ; took four, five purses of money. Here, there 
he squandered it. Early next morning he arose again and 
went to his father. * Give me more money.' He got more 
money, arose, went ; by night he had spent it. Little by 
little he spent all the money. 

And early once more he arose, and says to his father and 
mother, * I want some money.' 

* My child, there is no money left. Would you like the 
stew-pans ? take them, go, sell them, and qat.* 

He took and sold them : in a day or two he had spent it. 

* I want some money.' 

' My son, we have no money. Take the clothes, go, sell 
them.' 

In a day or two he had spent that money. He arose, and 
went to his father, ' I want some money.' 

*My son, there is no money left us. If you like, sell the 
house.' 

The lad took and sold the house. In a month he had 
spent the money ; no money remained. * Father I want 
some money.' 



^ 



\ 



\ 



lo TURKISH-GYPSY STORIES 

J * My son, no riches remain to us, no house remains to us. 

»-^ If you like, take us to the slave-market, sell us.' 
^ \} The lad took and sold them. His mother and his father 

,■'-'' said, 'Come this way, that we may see you.' The king 

bought the mother and father. 

With the money for his mother the lad bought himself 
clothes, and with the money for his father got a horse. 

One day, two days the father, the mother looked for the 
son that comes not ; they fell a-weeping. The king's 
servants saw them weeping ; they went, told it to the king. 
* Those whom you bought weep loudly.' 

' Call them to me.' The king called them. * Why are you 
weeping.' 

* We had a son ; for him it is we weep.' 

* Who are you, then ? ' asked the king. 

* We were not thus, my king ; we had a son. He sold us, 
and we were weeping at his not coming to see us.' 

Just as they were talking with the king, the lad arrived. 

'^ The king set-to, wrote a letter, gave it him into his hand. 

V ,v * Carry this letter to such and such a place.' In it the king 

.^ wrote, ' The lad bearing this letter, cut his throat the minute 

^ ' you get it' 

The lad put on his new clothes, mounted his horse, put 
the letter in his bosom, took the road. He rode a long way ; 
he was dying of thirst ; and he sees a well. * How am I to 
get water to drink ? I will fasten this letter, and lower it 
into the well, and moisten my mouth a bit* He lowered it, 
drew it up, squeezed it into his mouth. 
' Let 's see what this letter contains.' 
See what it contains — * The minute he delivers the letter, 
cut his throat* The lad stood there fair mesmerised.^ 

In a certain place there was a king's daughter. They go 
to propound a riddle to her. If she guesses it, she will cut 
off his head ; and if she cannot, he will marry the maiden. 

The lad arose, went to the king's palace. 

* What are you come for, my lad ? ' 

* I would speak with the king's daughter.' 

* Speak with her you shall. If she guesses your riddle, 

^ Lit. ' the lad there became dry ' ; but that is how an English Gypsy would 
put it 



THE RIDDLE ii 

she will cut off your head ; and if she cannot, you will get 
the maiden.' 

' That 's what I 'm come for/ 

He sat down in front of the maiden. The maiden said, 

* Tell your riddle.' 

The lad said, * My m other I wor(e her^^ my father I rode 
him^rommy. death I drank water.* 

The maiden looked in her book, could not find it. * Grant 
me a three days' respite.' 

* I grant it you,' said the lad. The lad arose, went to an 
inn, goes to sleep there. 

The maiden saw she cannot find it out. The maiden set- 
to, had an underground passage made to the place where 
the lad lies sleeping. At midnight the maid arose, went to 
him, took the lad in her arms. 

* I am thine, thou art mine, only tell me the riddle.' 
*Not likely I should tell you. Strip yourself,' said the 

lad to the maiden. The maiden stripped herself. 

* Tell me it' Then he told her. 

The maiden clapped her hands ; her servants came, took 
the maiden, and let her go. The maiden was wearing the 
lad's sark, and the lad was wearing the maiden's. 

Day broke. They summoned the lad. The lad mounted 
his horse, and rides to the palace. The people see the lad. 

* 'Tis a pity ; they '11 kill him.' 

He went up, and stood face to face with the king. 

* My daughter has guessed your riddle,' said the king. 

* How did she guess it, my king ? At night when I was v 
asleep, there came a bird to my breast. I caught it, I killed 

it, I cooked it. Just as I was going to eat it, it flew away.' 

The king says, * Kill him ; he 's wandering.' 

' I am not wandering, my king. I told your daughter the 
riddle. Your daughter had an underground passage made, 
and she came to where I was sleeping, came to my arms. 
I caught her, I stripped her, I took her to my bosom, I told 
her the riddle. She clapped her hands ; her servants came 
and took her. And if you don't believe, I am wearing her 
sark, and she is wearing mine.' 

The king saw it was true. 

Forty days, forty nights they made a marriage. He took 
the maiden, went, bought back his father, his mother. 



( 



12 TURKISH-GYPSY STORIES 

When I translated this story, I deemed it unique, though the Bel- 
lerophon letter is a familiar feature in Indian and European folk-tales, 
and so too is the princess who guesses or propounds riddles for the 
wager of her hand to the suitors' heads. She occurs in * The Com- 
panion * of Asbjomsen (Dasent's Tales from the Fjeld^ p. 68, and so in 
our * Jack the Giant-killer,' cf, p. 3), and in Ralston's * The Blind Man 
and the Cripple '(p. 241), of both of which there are Gypsy versions, 
our Nos. I and 24. In Ralston's stoiy, as here, the princess takes her 
magic book, her grimoire^ and turns over the leaves to find out the 
answer {cf, also the Welsh-Gypsy tale of * The Green Man of Noman's 
Land,' No. 62). Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales has a story, * R4jd 
Harichand's Punishment,' No. 29, p. 225, where a rdni is * very wise and 
clever, for she had a book, which she read continually, called the Kop 
sh^stra ; and this book told her everything.' I know myself of a Gypsy 
woman who told fortunes splendidly out of her * magic book '— it was 
really a Treatise on Navigation, with diagrams. Fortune-tellers with 
* sacred book* occur in Mary Frere's Old Deccan DaySy p. 261. Now, 
since translating this story, I find it is largely identical with Campbell's 
West Highland tale, * The Knight of Riddles,' No. 22 (ii. p. 36), with 
which cf Grimm's * The Riddle,' No. 22 (i. 100, 368). See also Reinhold 
Kohler in Orient und Occident (ii. 1864), p. 320. 



No. 4. — Story of the Bridge 

In olden days there were twelve brothers. And the 
eldest brother, the carpenter Manoli, was making the long 
bridge. One side he makes ; one side falls. The twelve 
brothers had one mistress, and they all had to do with her. 
They called her to them, * Dear bride.' On her head was 
the tray; in her hands was a child. Whoseso wife came 
first, she will come to the twelve brothers. ManoH's wife, 
Ldnga, will come to the twelve brothers. Said his wife, 
* Thou hast not eaten bread with me. What has befallen 
thee that thou eatest not bread with me? My ring has 
fallen into the water. Go and fetch my ring.' Her husband 
said, * I will fetch thy ring out of the water.' Up to his two 
breasts came the water in the depth of the bridge there. He 
came into the fountain, he was drowned. Beneath he became 
a talisman, the innermost foundation of the bridge. Manoli's 
eyes became the great open arch of the bridge. * God send 
a wind to blow, that the tray may fall from the head of her 
who bears it in front of L^nga.' A snake crept out before 
L^nga, and she feared, and said, * Now have I fear at sight 
of the snake, and am sick. Now is it not bad for my 



STORY OF THE BRIDGE 13 

children ? ' Another man seized her, and sought to drown 
her, Manoli's wife. She said, * Drown me not in the water. 
I have little children.' She bowed herself over the sea, 
where the carpenter Manoli made the bridge. Another 
man called Manoli's wife ; with him she went on the road. 
There, when they went on the road, he went to the tavern, 
he was weary ; the man went, drank the juice of the grape, 
got drunk. Before getting home, he killed Manoli's wife, 
L^nga. 

I hesitated whether to give this story ; it is so. hopelessly corrupt, it 
seems such absolute nonsense. Yet it enshrines beyond question, how- 
ever confusedly, the widespread and ancient belief that to ensure one*s 
foundation one should wall up a human victim. So St Columba buried 
St Oran alive in the foundation of his monastery ; in Western folklore, 
however, the victim is usually an infant — a bastard sometimes, in one 
case (near Gottingen) a deaf-mute. But in south-eastern Europe it is 
almost always a woman — the wife of the master-builder, whose name, 
as here, is Manoli. Reinhold Kohler has treated the subject admirably 
in his Aufsdtze iiber M'drchen und VolksUeder (Berlin, 1894, pp. 36-47) ; 
there one finds much to enlighten the darkness of our original. * God 
send a wind,' etc., is the husband's prayer as he sees his wife coming 
towards him, and hopes to avert her doom ; ' My ring has fallen into 
the water,' etc., must also be his utterance, when he finds that it is hope- 
less, that. she has to die. The Gypsy story is probably of high antiquity, 
for two at least of the words in it were quite or almost meaningless to 
the nomade Gypsy who told it (Paspati, p. 190). The masons of south- 
eastern Europe are, it should be noticed, largely Gypsies ; and a striking 
Indian parallel may be pointed out in the Santal story of * Seven 
Brothers and their Sister' (Campbell's Santal Folk-tales^ y?- 106-110). 
Here seven brothers set to work to dig a tank, but find no water, so, by 
the advice of a yof^^ give their only sister to the spirit of the tank. 
* The tank was soon full to the brim, and the girl was drowned.* And 
then comes a curious mention of a Dom, or Indian vagrant musician, 
whose name is probably identical with Doum^ Loniy or Rom^ the Gypsy ) 
of Syria, Asia Minor, and Europe. 



) 



CHAPTER II 
ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

No. 5. — The Vampire 

There was an old woman in a village. And grown-up 
maidens met and span, and made a * bee/ * And the young 
sparks came and laid hold of the girls, and pulled them 
about and kissed them. But one girl had no sweetheart 
to lay hold of her and kiss her. And she was a strapping 
lass, the daughter of wealthy peasants ; but three whole 
days no one came near her. And she looked at the big 
girls, her comrades. And no one troubled himself with her. 
Yet she was a pretty girl, a prettier was not to be found. 
Then came a fine young spark, and took her in his arms 
and kissed her, and stayed with her until cock-crow. And 
when the cock crowed at dawn he departed. The old woman 
saw he had cock*s feet.* And she kept looking at the lad's 
feet, and she said, *Nita, my lass, did you see anything?* 

* I didn't notice.' 

* Then didn't I see he had cock's feet ? * 

* Let be, mother, I didn't see it' 

And the girl went home and slept ; and she arose and 
went off to the spinning, where many more girls were hold- 
ing a *bee.' And the young sparks came, and took each 
one his sweetheart. And they kissed them, and stayed 
a while, and went home. And the girl's handsome young 

* Kldka, *Claca,' says Grenville Murray, * signifies a species of assembly 
very popular in Wallachia. If any family has some particular work to do on 
any particular account, they invite the neighbourhood to come and work for 
them. When the work is completed there is high glee, singing and dancing, and 
story -telling.' — Doine\ or^ Songs and Legends of Roumania (Lond. 1854), 
p. 109 If. 

* In Wlislocki, p. 104 note^ the devil has a duck's foot. In F. A. Steel's 
hidian Wide-awake Stories^ p. 54, the hero detects a ghost by her feet being 
set on hind part before. 

14 



THE VAMPIRE 15 

spark came and took her in his arms and kissed her and 
pulled her about, and stayed with her till midnight. And 
the cock began to crow. The young spark heard the cock 
crowing, and departed. What said the old woman who was 
in the hut, * Nita, did you notice that he had horse's hoofs ? * 

* And if he had, I didn't see.' 

Then the girl departed to her home. And she slept and 
arose in the morning, and did her work that she had to do. 
And night came, and she took her spindle and went to the 
old woman in the hut. And the other girls came, and the 
young sparks came, and each laid hold of his sweetheart. 
But the pretty girl looks at them. Then the young sparks 
gave over and departed home. And only the girl remained 
neither a long time nor a short time. Then came the girl's 
young spark. Then what will the girl do? She took heed, 
and stuck a needle and thread in his back. And he departed 
when the cock crew, and she knew not where he had gone 
to. Then the girl arose in the morning and took the thread, 
and followed up the thread, and saw him in a grave where 
he was sitting. Then the girl trembled and went back 
home. At night the young spark that was in the grave 
came to the old woman's house and saw that the girl was 
not there. He asked the old woman, * Where 's Nita ? ' 

* She has not come.' * 

Then he went to Nita's house, where she lived, and called, 
* Nita, are you at home ? ' 

Nita answered, [* I am ']. 

*Tell me what you saw when you came to the church. 
For if you don't tell me I will kill your father.' 

* I didn't see anything.' 

Then he looked,^ and he killed her father, and departed 
to his grave. 

Next night he came back. * Nita, tell me what you saw.* 

* I didn't see anything.' 

* Tell me, or I will kill your mother, as I killed your father. 
Tell me what you saw.* 

* I didn't see anything.' 

Then he killed her mother, and departed to his grave. 
Then the girl arose in the morning. And she had twelve 

^ On p. 1 10 Dr. Barbu Constantinescu gives a long and terrific formula for 
bewitching with the evil eye. 



i6 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

servants. And she said to them, * See, I have much money 
and many oxen and many sheep ; and they shall come to 
the twelve of you as a gift, for I shall die to-night. And it 
will fare ill with you if you bury me not in the forest at the 
foot of an apple-tree.' 

At night came the young spark from the grave and asked, 
* Nita, are you at home ? ' 

* I am.' 

* Tell me, Nita, what you saw three days ago, or I will kill 
you, as I killed your parents.' 

* I have nothing to tell you.' 

Then he took and killed her. Then, casting a look, he 
departed to his grave. 

So the servants, when they arose in the morning, found 
Nita dead. The servants took her and laid her out decently. 
They sat and made a hole in the wall and passed her 
through the hole, and carried her, as she had bidden, and 
buried her in the forest by the apple-tree. 

And half a year passed by, and a prince went to go and 
course hares with greyhounds and other dogs. And he 
went to hunt, and the hounds ranged the forest and came 
to the maiden's grave. And a flower grew out of it, the like 
of which for beauty there was not in the whole kingdom.^ So 
the hounds came on her monument, where she was buried, 
and they began to bark and scratched at the maiden's grave. 
Then the prince took and called the dogs with his horn, and 
the dogs came not The prince said, * Go quickly thither.' 

Four huntsmen arose and came and saw the flower burn- 
ing like a candle. They returned to the prince, and he asked 
them, * What is it ? ' 

* It is a flower, the like was never seen.' 

Then the lad heard, and came to the maiden's grave, and 
saw the flower and plucked it. And he came home and 
showed it to his father and mother. Then he took and put 
it in a vase at his bed-head where he slept. Then the flower 
arose from the vase and turned a somersault,^ and became 

^ The notion of a dead girl turning into a flower is very common in Indian 
folk-tales. Cf, Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tahs^ pp. 145, 149, 244, 247, 248, 
252, etc. ; and Mary Frere*s Old Deccan Days, No. 6, * Little Surya Bai,' 

PP- 79-93- 
■ Ddpes pe sheristi, lit. gave, or threw, herself on her head. In Gypsy stories 

this undignified proceeding almost invariably precedes every transformation. Cf, 



THE VAMPIRE 17 

a full-grown maiden. And she took the lad and kissed him, 
and bit him and pulled him about, and slept with him in her 
arms, and put her hand under his head. And he knew it 
not When the dawn came she became a flower again. 

In the morning the lad rose up sick, and complained to 
his father and mother, * Mammy, my shoulders hurt me, and 
my head hurts me.' 

His mother went and brought a wise woman and tended 
him. He asked for something to eat and drink. And he 
waited a bit, and then went to his business that he )iad to 
do. And he went home again at night. And he ate and 
drank and lay down on his couch, and sleep seized him. 
Then the flower arose and again became a full-grown maiden. 
And she took him again in her arms, and slept with him, 
and sat with him in her arms. And he slept And she 
went back to the vase. And he arose, and his bones hurt 
him, and he told his mother and his father. Then his father 
said to his wife, * It began with the coming of the flower. 
Something must be the matter, for the boy is quite ill. Let 
us watch to-night, and post ourselves on one side, and see 
who comes to our son.' 

Night came, and the prince laid himself in his bed to sleep. 
Then the maiden arose from the vase, and became there was 
never anything more fair — as burns the flame of a candle. 
And his mother and his father, the king, saw the maiden, and 
laid hands on her. Then the prince arose out of his sleep, and 
saw the maiden that she was fair. Then he took her in his 
arms and kissed her, and lay down in his bed, slept till day. 

And they made a marriage and ate and drank. The folk 
marvelled, for a being so fair as that maiden was not to be 
found in all the realm. And he dwelt with her half a year, 
and she bore a golden boy, two apples in his hand.^ And 
it pleased the prince well. 

Then her old sweetheart heard it, the vampire who had 
made love to her, and had killed her. He arose and came 
to her and asked her, * Nita, tell me, what did you see me 
doing ? ' 

* The Red King and the Witch,* * The Snake who became the King's Son-in-law, 

* Tropsyn,' etc 

* For golden boy cf. Dr. Barbu Constantinescu's own 'The Golden Qiildren,' 
No. 18, also Hahn, ii. 293. The two apples seem to be birth-marks. 

B 



i8 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

* I didn't see anything.' 

* Tell me truly, or I will kill your child, your little boy, as 
I killed your father and mother. Tell me truly.' 

* I have nothing to tell you.' 

And he killed her boy. And she arose and carried him 
to the church and buried him. 

At night the vampire came again and asked her, * Tell me, 
Nita, what you saw.' 

* I didn't see anything.' 

* Tell me, or I will kill the lord whom you have wedded.* 
Then Nita arose and said, * It shall not happen that you 

kill my lord. God send you burst' ^ 

The vampire heard what Nita said, and burst. Ay, he 
died, and burst for very rage. In the morning Nita arose 
and saw the floor swimming two hand's-breadth deep in blood. 
Then Nita bade her father-in-law take out the vampire's 
heart with all speed. Her father-in-law, the king, hearkened, 
and opened him and took out his heart, and gave it into 
Nita's hand. And she went to the gfrave of her boy and dug 
the boy up, applied the heart, and the boy arose. And Nita 
went to her father and to her mother, and anointed them 
with the blood, and they arose. Then, looking on them, 
Nita told all the troubles she had borne, and what she had 
suffered at the hands of the vampire. 

The word dohand^ which throughout I have rendered ' vampire,' is of 
course identical with Paspati's Turkish-Romani tchovekhano^ a * revenant' 
or spectre, which, according to Miklosich, is an Armenian loan-word, 
and in other Gypsy dialects of Europe means 'wizard, witch.' This 
vampire story is a connecting link between the two meanings'; but 
whether the story itself is of Gypsy or of non-Gypsy origin is a difficult 
question. We have four versions of it — two of them Gypsy, viz., this 
from Rotimania, and one in Friedrich Miiller's Bdtrage \ and two non- 
Gypsy, viz., Ralston's *The Fiend' {Russian Folk-tales^ pp. 10-17), and 
one from Croatia (Krauss's Sagen und Marchen der Sudslaven^ i. 293). 
Hahn's ' Lemonitza ' (ii. 27) also offers analogies. Krauss's and Miiller's 
are both much inferior to Ralston's and our Roumanian-Gypsy one ; 
and of them, although Ralston's opens best, yet its close is immeasur- 
ably inferior. For in it, as in the Hungarian-Gypsy variant, the flower 
transforms itself merely to eat and drink. But Ralston's story, it will 

^ For the bursting of monsters, cf» Dasent's Tales from the Norse^ pp. 27, 240 ; 
and Ralston, p. 130. 

' Our queen's great-great-great-grand&ther, George i., was a firm believer in 
the vampire superstition (Horace Walpole's Letters ^ vol. i. p. cix.). 






( 



THE VAMPIRE 19 

probably be urged, s a typical Russian story, so must needs be of 
Russian origin. To which I answer, Irish-wise, with the question, How 
then did it travel to Croatia, to the Gypsies of Hungary and Roumania ? 
That the Gypsies, with never a church, should make church bells might 
seem unlikely, did we not know that at Edzell, in Forfarshire, there is a 
church bell that was cast by Gypsies in 1726. So Gypsy story-tellers 
may well have devised some domestic narratives for their auditors, not 
for themselves. And this story is possibly theirs who tell it best. 

The merest glance at Ralston or Krauss will suffice to show that 
the Gypsy and Gentile stories are identical, that the likeness between 
them is no chance one, but that there has been transmission — either 
the Gypsies have borrowed from the Gentiles, or the Gentiles have 
borrowed from the Gypsies. Ralston and Krauss are readily accessible 
to the general folklorist ; of Friedrich Miiller's version I append this 
brief risumi. It is compounded of the first half of his No. 4, which 
drifts off into quite another story about a dove and a soldier, and of 
the second half of his number No. 2, which opens with a variant of 
Grimm's * Robber Bridegroom ' (cf. infra^ No. 47, notes) : — 

The Holy Maid will not marry. The devil creeps in at window. 
* " Now, thou fair maiden, wilt thou come to me or no ?" " No** — this 
said the maiden — "to a dead one say I it, but to a living one No."' 
Devil kills first her father, next her mother ; lastly threatens herself 
She tells the gravedigger, ' Bear me not over the door [this supplies a 
lacuna in the Roumanian- Gypsy version], but bury me in a grave under 
the threshold, and take me not out from there.' The girl then dies 
and is buried. Flower grows out of grave. King sees it and sends, 
coachman to pluck it. He cannot [supplies lacuna], but king does, and 
takes it home. At night the flower turns into a girl and eats. Servant 
sees and tells. King watches next night. The girl bids him pluck the 
flower with a clean white cloth with the left hand,' then she will never 
change back into a rose, but remain a maiden [supplies lacuna]. King 
does so, and she marries him on condition he will never force her to go 
to church [supplies lacuna]. He rues his promise when he sees the 
other kings going to church with their wives. She consents : * But now, 
as thou wilt, I go. Thy God shall be also my God.' When she comes 
into church, there are the twelve robbers [story reverts here to the first 
half of No. 2]. The robber cuts her throat and she dies. ' If she is not 
dead, she is still alive.' 

It will be seen that, rude and corrupt as these two fragments are, 
they supply some details wanting in the Roumanian-Gypsy version. 
They cannot, then, be borrowed from it, but it and they are clearly 
alike derived from some older, more perfect original. 

* Cf. Grimm, No. 56, * Sweetheart Roland,' i. 226. 



20 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

No. 6. — God's Godson 

There was a queen. From youth to old age that queen 
never bore but one son. That son was a hero. So soon as 
he was born, he said to his father, * Father, have you no 
sword or club ? ' 

' No, my child, but I will order one to be made for you.' 

The son said, * Don't order one, father : I will go just as 
I am.' 

So the son took and departed, and journeyed a long while, 
and took no heed, till he came into a great forest So in 
that forest he stretched himself beneath a tree to rest a bit, 
for he was weary. And he sat there a while. Then the holy 
God and St. Peter came on the lad ; and he was unbaptized. 
So the holy God asked him, ' Where are you going, my lad?' 

* I am going in quest of heroic achievements, old fellow.' 
Then the holy God thought and thought, and made a 

church. And he caused sleep to fall on that lad, and bade 
St Peter lift him, and went with him to the church, and gave 
him the name Handak. And the holy God said to him, 
'Godson, a hero like you there shall never be any other; 
and do you take my god-daughter.' 

For there was a maiden equally heroic, and equally bap- 
tized by God. And she was his god-daughter, and he told 
his godson to take her. And he gave him a wand of good 
fortune and a sword. " And he endowed him with strength, 
and set him down. And his godfather departed to heaven, 
like the holy God that he was. 

And Handak perceived that God had endowed him with 
strength, and he set out in quest of heroic achievements, and 
journeyed a long while, and took no heed. So he came into 
a great forest. And there was a dragon three hundred years 
old. And his eyelashes reached down to the ground, and 
likewise his hair. And the lad went to him and said, ' All ! 

hail.' j 

* You are welcome.' J 
Soon as that hero [the dragon] heard his voice, he knew | 

that it was God's godson. j 

And the lad, Handak, asked him, ' Does God's god-daughter 

dwell far hence ? ' j 

' She dwells not far ; it is but a three days* journey.' 



X 



GOD'S GODSON 21 

And the lad took and departed, and journeyed three days 
until he came to the maiden's. Soon as the maiden saw 
him, she recognised him for her godfather's godson. And 
she let him into her house, and served up food to him, 
and ate with him and asked him, 'What seek you here, 
Handak ? ' • 

He said, * I have come on purpose to marry you.' 

* With whom ? ' 

* With myself an you will.' 

She said, ' I will not have it so without a fight' 

And the lad said, * Come let us fight' 

And they fell to fighting, and fought three days ; and the 
lad vanquished her. And he took her, and went to their 
godfather. And he crowned them and made a marriage. 
And they became rulers over all lands. And I came away, 
and told the story. 

This story, though poor as a story, is yet sufficiently curious. 
Tweedledum and Tweedledee, in Alice in Wonderland^ are suggested 
by the * not without a fight * ; but I can offer no real variant or 
analogue of * God*s Godson.' It is noteworthy, however, that the holy 
God and St. Peter occur in another of Barbu Constantinescu's 
Roumanian-Gypsy stories, *The Apples of Pregnancy,' No. 16, and 
baptize another boy in Miklosich's Gypsy story from the Bukowina, 
No. 9, * The Mother's Chastisement ' ; whilst we get Christ and 
St Peter in a Catalonian-Gypsy story (cited under No. 60). For 
the nuptial crown in the last line but two, cf. Ralston's Songs of ike 
Russian People^ pp. 198, 270, 306. See also the Roumanian-Gypsy 
story of *The Prince and the Wizard,' No. 15, for an heroic hero, 
nought-heeding, who sets out in quest of heroic achievements. 

No. 7. — The Snake who became the 
King s Son-in-law 

There were an old man and an old woman. From their 
youth up to their old age they had never had any, children 
(lit * made any children of their bones '). So the old womsyi 
was always scolding with the old man— what can they do, 
for there they are old, old people ? The old woman said, 
' Who will look after us when we grow older still ? * 

* Well, what am I to do, old woman ? ' 

* Go you, old man, and find a son for us.* 

So the old man arose in the morning, and took his axe in 



J 



22 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

his hand, and departed and journeyed till mid-day, and 
came into a forest, and sought three days and found nothing. 
Then the old man could do no more for hunger. He set 
out to return home. So as he was coming back, he found a 
little snake and put it in a handkerchief, and carried it home. 
And he brought up the snake on sweet milk. The snake 
grew a week and two days, and he put it in a jar. The time 
came when the snake grew as big as the jar. The snake 
talked with his father, *My time has come to marry me. 
Go, father, to the king, and ask his daughter for me.' 

When the old man heard that the snake wants the king's 
daughter, he smote himself with his hands. * Woe is me, 
darling ! How can I go to the king ? For the king will 
kill me.* 

What said he ? ' Go, father, and fear not For what he 
wants of you, that will I give him.* 

The old man went to the king. * All hail, O king ! ' 

• Thank you, old man.' 

King, I am come to form an alliance by marriage.' 

* An alliance by marriage ! ' said the king. * You are a 
peasant, and I am a king.' 

'That matters not, O king. If you will give me your 
daughter, I will give you whatever you want* 

What said the king ? * Old man, if that be so, see this 
great forest Fell it all, and make it a level field; and 
plough it for me, and break up all the earth ; and sow it 
with millet by to-morrow. And mark well what I tell you : 
you must bring me a cake made with sweet milk. Then 
will I give you the maiden.' 

Said the old man, * All right, O king.* 

The old man went weeping to the snake. When the 
snake saw his father weeping he said, * Why weepest thou, 
father ? ' 

How should I not weep, darling ? For see what the king 
said, that I must fell this great forest, and sow millet ; and 
it must grow up by to-morrow, and be ripe. And I must 
make a cake with sweet milk and give it him. Then he will 
give me his daughter.' 

What said the snake ? * Father, don't fear for that, for I 
will do what you have told me.' 

The old man : * All right, darling, if you can manage it' 



THE SNAKE 23 

The old man went off to bed. 

What did the snake ? He arose and made the forest a 
level plain, and sowed millet, and thought and thought, and 
it was grown up by daybreak. When the old man got up, 
he finds a sack of millet, and he made a cake with sweet 
milk. The old man took the cake and went to the king. 

* Here, O king, I have done your bidding.' 

When the king saw that, he marvelled. * My old fellow, 
hearken to me. I have one thing more for you to do. Make 
me a golden bridge from my palace to your house, and let 
golden apple-trees and pear-trees grow on the side of this 
bridge. Then will I give you my daughter.' 

When the old man heard that, he began to weep, and 
went home. 

What said the snake ? * Why weepest thou, father ? ' 

The old man said, * I am weeping, darling, for the miseries 
which God sends me. The king wants a golden bridge 
from his palace to our house, and apple and pear-trees on 
the side of this bridge.* 

The snake said, * Fear not, father, for I will do as the king 
said' Then the snake thought and thought, and the golden 
bridge was made as the king had said. The snake did that 
in the night-time. The king arose at midnight ; he thought 
the sun was at meat [t\e. it was noon]. He scolded the 
servants for not having called him in the morning. 

The servants said, * King, it is night, not day ' ; and, seeing 
that, the king marvelled. 

In the morning the old man came. * Good-day, father-in- 
law.' 

* Thank you, father-in-law. Go, father-in-law, and bring 
your son, that we may hold the wedding.' 

He, when he went, said, * Hearken, what says the king ? 
You are to go there for the king to see you.' 

What said the snake ? ' My father, if that be so, fetch 
the cart, and put in the horses, and I will get into it to go 
to the king.' 

No sooner said, no sooner done. He got into the cart 
and drove to the king. When the king saw him, he trembled 
with all his lords. One lord older than the rest, said, * Fly 
not, O king, it were not well of you. For he did what you 
told him ; and shall not you do what you promised ? He 



24 ROUMANIAN. GYPSY STORIES 

will kill us all. Give him your daughter, and hold the 
marriage as you promised.' 

What said the king ? ' My old man, here is the maiden 
whom you demand. Take her to you.' 

And he gave him also a house by itself for her to live in 
with her husband. She, the bride, trembled at him. 

The snake said, * Fear not, my wife, for I am no snake as 
you see me. Behold me as I am.' 

He turned a somersault, and became a golden youth, in 
armour clad; he had but to wish to get anything. The 
maiden, when she saw that, took him in her arms and kissed 
him, and said, * Live, my king, many years. I thought you 
would eat me.' 

The king sent a man to see how it fares with his daughter. 
When the king's servant came, what does he see? The 
maiden fairer, lovelier than before. He went back to the • 

king. * O king, your daughter is safe and sound.' 

* As God wills with her,' said the king. Then he called 
many people and held the marriage; and they kept it up 
three days and three nights, and the marriage was consum- 
mated. And I came away and told the story. 

Cf, Hahn's No. 31, * Schlangenkind ' (i. 212) and notes, but the 
stories are not identical ; and his No. 100, especially the note (ii. 313) 
for Indian version. WratislaVs Croatian story. No. 54, * The Wonder- 
working Lock,' p. 284 (see under No. 54), offers striking analogies. ^ 
Cf, too for cobra palace, Mary Frere's Old Deccan Days^ p. 21. 



No. 8.— The Bad Mother 

There was an emperor. He had been married ten years, 
but had no children. And God granted that his empress 
conceived and bore a son. Now that son was heroic ; there 
was none other found like him. And the father lived half 
a year longer, and died. Then what is the lad to do ? He 
took and departed in quest of heroic achievements. And he 
journeyed a long while, and took no heed, and came into a 
great forest. In that forest there was a certain house, and 
in that house were twelve dragons. Then the lad went 
straight thither, and saw that there was no one. He opened 
the door and went in, and he saw a sabre on a nail and took 
it, and posted himself behind the door, and waited for the 



J 



THE BAD MOTHER 25 

coming of the dragons. They, when they came, did not go 
in all at once, but went in one by one. The lad waited, sabre 
in hand ; and as each one went in, he cut off his head, flung 
it on the floor. So the lad killed eleven dragons, and the 
youngest dragon remained. And the lad went out to him, 
and took and fought with him, and fought half a day. And 
the lad vanquished the dragon, and took him and put him 
in a jar, and fastened it securely. 

And the lad went to walk, and came on another house, 
where there was only a maiden. And when he saw the 
maiden, how did she please his heart. As for the maiden, 
the lad pleased her just as well. And the maiden was yet 
more heroic than the lad. And they formed a strong love. 
And the lad told the maiden how he had killed eleven 
dragons, and one he had left alive and put in a jar. 

The maiden said, 'You did ill not to kill it; but now 
let it be.' 

And the lad said to the maiden, * I will go and fetch my 
mother, for she is alone at home.' 

Then the maiden said, 'Fetch her, but you will rue it. 
But go and fetch her, and dwell with her.' 

So the lad departed to fetch his mother. He took his 
mother, and brought her into the house of the dragons whom 
he had slain. And he said to his mother, * Go into every 
room ; only into this chamber do not go.' 

His mother said, * I will not, darling.' 

And the lad departed into the forest to hunt. 

And his mother went into the room where he had told her 
not to go. And when she opened the door, the dragon saw 
her and said to her, * Empress, give me a little water, and 
I will do you much good.' 

She went and gave him water and he said to her, *Dost 
love me, then will I take thee, and thou shsdt . be mine 
empress.' 

* I love thee,' she said. 

Then the dragon said to her, * What will you do, to get rid 
of your son, that we may be left to ourselves ? Make yourself 
ill,^ and say you have seen a dream, that he must bring you 
a porker of the sow in the other world ; that, if he does not 

^ i,e. Pretend to be ill. English Gypsies employ the same phrase alike in 
Romani and in English. 



26 ROUMANIAN. GYPSY STORIES 

bring it you, you will die ; but that, if he brings it you, you 
will recover.* 

Then she went into the house, and tied up her head, and 
made herself ill. And when the lad came home and saw 
her head tied up, he asked her, 'What's the matter, mother?' 

She said, * I am ill, darling. I shall die. But I have seen a 
dream, to eat a porker of the sow in the other world.' 

Then the lad began to weep, for his mother will die. And 
he took^ and departed. Then he went to his sweetheart, 
and told her. * Maiden, my mother will die. And she has 
seen a dream, that I must bring her a porker from the other 
world.' 

The maiden said, ' Go, and be prudent ; and come to me 
as you return. Take my horse with the twelve wings, and 
mind the sow does not seize you, else she '11 eat both you 
and the horse.' 

So the lad took the horse and departed. He came there, 
and when the sun was midway in his course he went to 
the little pigs, and took one, and fled. Then the sow heard 
him, and hurried after him to devour him. And at the very 
brink (of the other world), just as he was leaping out, the 
sow bit off half of the horse's tail. So the lad went to the 
maiden. And the maiden came out, and took the little pig, 
and hid it, and put another in its stead. Then he went home 
to his mother, and gave her that little pig, and she dressed 
it and ate, and said that she was well. 

Three or four days later she made herself ill again, as 
the dragon had shown her. 

When the lad came, he asked her, 'What's the matter 
now, mother? 

' I am ill again, darling, and I have seen a dream that you 
must bring me an apple from the golden apple-tree in the 
other world.' 

So the lad took and departed to the maiden ; and when 
the maiden saw him so troubled, she asked him, 'What's 
the matter, lad ? ' 

'What's the matter! my mother is ill again. And she 
has seen a dream that I am to bring her an apple from the 
apple-tree in the other world.' 

Then the maiden knew that his mother was compassing 

^ Lit. • put himself.' 



THE BAD MOTHER 27 

his destruction (lit ' was walking to eat his head '), and she 
said to the lad, * Take my horse and go, but be careful the 
apple-tree does not seize you there. Come to me, as you 
return.' 

And the lad took and departed, and came to the brink 
of the world. And he let himself in, and went to the apple- 
tree at mid-day when the apples were resting. And he took 
an apple and ran away. Then the leaves perceived it and 
began to scream ; and the apple-tree took itself after him 
to lay its hand on him and kill him. And the lad came out 
from the brink, and arrived in our world, and went to the 
maiden. Then the maiden took the apple, stole it from him, 
and hid it, and put another in its stead. And the lad stayed 
a little longer with her, and departed to his mother. Then 
his mother, when she saw him, asked him, * Have you brought 
it, darling ? ' 

* I 've brought it, mother/ 

So she took the apple and ate, and said there was nothing 
more the matter with her. 

In a week's time the dragon told her to make herself ill 
again, and to ask for water from the great mountains. So 
she made herself ill. 

When the lad saw her ill, he began to weep and said, 
' My mother will die, God. She 's always ill.' Then he went 
to her and asked her, * What 's the matter, mother ? ' 

* I am like to die, darling. But I shall recover if you will 
bring me water from the great mountains.* 

Then the lad tarried no longer. He went to the maiden 
and said to her, ' My mother is ill again ; and she has seen 
a dream that I must fetch her water from the great 
mountains.' 

The maiden said, * Go, lad ; but I fear the clouds will 
catch you, and the mountains there, and will kill you. But 
do you take my horse with twenty-and-four wings; and 
when you get there, wait afar off till mid-day, for at mid-day 
the mountains and the clouds set themselves at table and 
eat. Then do you go with the pitcher, and draw water 
quickly, and fly.' 

Then the lad took the pitcher, and departed thither to the 
mountains, and waited till the sun had reached the middle 
of his course. And he went and drew water and fled. And 



^ 

' .r 



28 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

the clouds and the mountains perceived him; and took 
themselves after him, but they could not catch him. And 
the lad came to the maiden. Then the maiden went and 
took the pitcher with the water, and put another in its stead 
without his knowing it And the lad arose and went home, 
and gave water to his mother, and she recovered. 

Then the lad. dejparted into the forest to hunt. His mother 
went to the dragon and told him, ' He has brought me the 
water. What am I to do now with him ? ' 

* What are you to do ! why, take and play cards with him. 
You must say, " For a wager, as I used to play with your 
father." ' 

So the lad came home and found his mother merry: it 
pleased him well. And she said to him at table, as they 
were eating, * Darling, when your father was alive, what did 
we do? When we had eaten and risen up, we took and 
played cards for a wager.' 

Then the lad : * If you like, play with me, mother.* 

So they took and played cards ; and his mother beat him. 
And she took silken cords, and bound his two hands so tight 
that the cord cut into his hands. 

And the lad began to weep, and said to his mother, 
* Mother, release me or I die.' 

She said, * That is just what I was wanting to do to you.' 
And she called the dragon, * Come forth, dragon, come and 
kill him.' 

Then the dragon came forth, and took him, and cut him 
in pieces, and put him in the saddle-bags, and placed him on 
his horse, and let him go, and said to the horse, * Carry him, 
horse, dead, whence thou didst carry him alive.' 

Then the horse hurried to the lad's sweetheart, and went 
straight to her there. Then, when the maiden saw him, she 
began to weep, and she took him and put piece to piece ; 
where one was missing, she cut the porker, and supplied 
flesh from the porker. So she put all the pieces of him in 
their place. And she took the water and poured it on him, 
and he became whole. And she squeezed the apple in his 
mouth, and brought him to life. 

So when the lad arose, he went home to his mother, and 
drove a stake into the earth, and placed both her and the 
dragon on one great pile of straw. And he set it alight, and 



THE MOTHER'S CHASTISEMENT 29 

they were consumed. And he departed thence, and took 
the maiden, and made a marriage, and kept up the marriage 
three months day and night. And I came away and told 
the story. 



Of this Roumanian- Gypsy story Miklosich furnishes a Gypsy variant 
from the Bukowina, which I will give in full at the risk of seeming 
repetition, italicising such words and phrases as show the most marked 
correspondence : — 

No. 9. — The Mother's Chastisement 

There was an emperor's son, and he went to hunt And 
he departed from the hunters by himself. And by a certain 
stack there was a maiden. He passed near the stack, and 
heard her lamenting. He took that maiden, and brought 
her home. 

* See, mother, what I Ve found.* 

His mother took her to the kitchen to the cook to bring 
her up. She brought her up twelve years. The empress 
dressed her nicely, and put her in the palace to lay the table. 
The prince loved her, for she was so fair that in all the world 
there was none so fair as she. The prince loved her three 
years, and the empress knew it not. 

Once he said, * I will take a wife, mother.' 

'From what imperial family ? ' 

* I wish to marry her who lays the table.' 

* Not her, mother's darling ! ' 

* If I don't take her, I shall die.' 

* Take her.' 

And he took her ; he married her. And an order came 
for him to go to battle. He left her big with child. 

The empress called two servants. 'Take her into the 
forest and kill her, and bring me her heart and little finger.' 

They put her in the carriage, and drove her into the forest ; 
after them ran a whelp. And they brought her into the 
forest, and were going to kill her, and she said, * Kill me not, 
for I have used you well.' 

* How are we to take her the heart, then ? ' 

' Kill the whelp, for its heart is just like a human one, and 
cut off my little finger.' 



30 BUKOWINA-GYPSY VARIANT 

They killed the whelp, and cut off her little finger, and 
took out the whelp's heart. 

And she cried, ' Gather wood for me, and make me a fire ; 
and strip off bark for me, and build me a hut/ 

They built her a hut, and made her a fire, and went away 
home, bringing the heart and the little finger. 

She brought forth a son. God and St. Peter came and 
baptized him ; ^ and God gave him a gun that he should 
become a hunter. Whatever he saw he would kill with the 
gun. And God gave him the name Silvester. And God 
made a house of the hut, and the fire no longer died. And 
God gave them a certain loaf; they were always eating, and 
it was never finished. 

The boy grew big, and he took his gun in his hand, 
and went into the forest. And what he saw he killed, 
carried to his mother, and they ate. Walking in the forest^ 
he came upon the dragons' palacBy and sat before the door. 
At mid-day the dragons were coming home. He saw them 
from afar, eleven {sic) in number ; and eleven he shot with 
his gun, and one he merely stunned. And he took them, 
and carried them into the palace, and shut them up in a 
room ; and he went to his mother^ and said, ' Come with me, 
mother.* 

* Where am I to go to, mother's darling ? ' 
' Come with me, where I take you to.' 

He went with her to the palace. * Take to thee, mother, 
twelve keys. Go into any room you choose, but into this room 
do not go* 

He went into the forest to hunt. 

She said, * Why did my son tell me not to go in here ? 
But I will go to see what is there.' 

She opened the door. 

The dragon asked her, * If thou art a virgin, be my sister ; 
but if thou art a wife, be my wife.' 

' I am a wife.' 

* Then be my wife.' 

* I will ; but will you do the right thing by me ? ' 

* I win; 

* Swear, then.' 

* I swear.' 

^ See note on No. 6, 'God's Godson.' 



THE MOTHER'S CHASTISEMENT 31 

The dragon swore. The dragon said to her, * Swear also 
thou.' 

She also swore. They kissed one another on the mouth. 
She brought him to her into the house ; they drank and ate, 
and loved one another. 

Her son came from the forest. She saw him. She said, 
' My son is coming ; go back into the room.' 

He went back, and she shut him in. 

In the morning her son went again into the forest to hunt 
She admitted the dragon again to her. They drank and ate. 
He said to her, * How shall we kill your son ? Then we '11 
live finely. Make yourself illy and say that you have seen a 
dreanty that he must bring milk from the she-bear for you to 
drink. Then you'll have nothing to trouble you, for the 
she-bear will devour him.' 

He came home from the forest. * What *s the matter with 
yoUy mother f ' 

' I shall diey but I saw a dream. Bring me milk from the 
she-bear.' 

* I '11 bring it you, mother.' 

He went into the forest, and found the she-bear. He was 
going to shoot her. 

She cried, * Stop, man. What do you want ? ' 

' You to give me milk.' 

She said, * I will give it you. Have you a pail ? ' 

* I have.' 

* Come and milk.' 

He milked her, and brought it to his mother. 

* Here, mother.' 

She pretended to drink, but poured it forth. 
In the morning he went again into the forest, and met the 
Moon. * Who art thou ? ' 
' I am the Moon.' 

* Be a sister to me.' 

* But who art thou ? ' 

* I am Silvester.' 

* Then thou art God's godson, for God takes care of thee. 
I also am God's.' 

* Be a sister to me.' 

* I will be a sister to thee.' 

He went further ; he met Friday. * Who art thou ? ' 






3? BU-KOWINA-GYPSY VARIANT 

' I am Friday, but who art thou ? * 

* I am Silvester.* 

* Thou art God's godson ; I also am God's.* 

* Be a sister to me." 

He went home. His mother saw him. * My son is coming.' 

* Send him to the wild sow to bring thee milk, for she will 
devour Yivoi^ 

*■ Always sick, mother ? ' 

' I am. I have seen a dream. Bring me milk from the 
wild sow.' 

* I know not whether or no I shall bring it, but I will try.' 
He went ; he found the sow ; he was going to shoot her 

with his gun. She cried, ' Don't, don't shoot me. What do 
you want ? ' 

* Give me milk.' 

' Have you a pail ? come and milk.' 

He brought it to his mother. She pretended to drink, but 
poured it forth. He went again into the forest 

She admitted the dragon to her. * In vain, for the sow 
has not devoured him.' 

* Then send him to the Mountains of Blood, that butt at one 
another like rams, to bring thee water, the water of life and 
the water of healing. If he does not die there, he never will.' 

* I have seen a dream, that you bring me water from the 
Mountains of Blood, which butt at one another like rams, 
for then there will be nothing the matter with me.* 

He went to the Moon. 

* Whither away, brother ? * 

*I am going to the mountains to fetch water for my 
mother.' 

* Don't go, brother ; you will die there.* 

* Bah ! I will go there.* 

* Take thee my horse when thou goest, for my horse will 
carry thee thither. And take thee a watch, for they butt 
at one another from morning till noon, and at noon they rest 
for two hours. So when you come there at the twelfth hour, 
draw water in two pails from the two wells.' 

He came thither at mid-day, and dismounted, and drew 
water in two pails, the water of life and the water of healing. 
And he came back to the Moon ; and the Moon said, * Lie 
down and sleep, and rest, for you are worn out.* 



'V 



X 



THE MOTHER'S CHASTISEMENT 33 

She hid that water, and poured in other. 

He arose. * Come, sister, I will depart home.* 

* Take my horse, and go riding. Take the saddle-bags.' 
He went home to his mother. His mother saw him 

coming on horseback, and said to the dragon, * My son is 
coming on horseback.' 

* Tell him that you have seen a dream, that you bind his 
fingers behind his back with a silken cord ; and that if he can 
burst it he will become a hero, and you will grow strong.' 

* Bind away, mother.* 

She made a thick silken cord, and bound his fingers behind 
his back. He tugged, and grew red in the face ; he tugged 
again, he grew blue ; he tugged the third time, he grew 
black. 

And she cried, ' Come, dragon, and cut his throat* 
The dragon came to him. * Well, what shall I do to you 
now?' 

* Cut me all in bits, and put me in the saddle-bags, and 
place me on my horse. Thither, whence he carried me living, 
let him carry me dead.' 

He cut him in pieceSyput him in the saddle-bags^ and placed 
him on the horse. * Go, whence thou didst carry him livings 
carry him dead.* 

The horse went straight to the Moon. The Moon came 
out, and saw him, and took him in, and called Wednesday, 
and called Friday; and they laid him in a big trough, and 
washed him brawly, and placed him on a table, and put him 
all together, bit by bit ; and they took the water of healing, 
and sprinkled him, and he became whole ; and they took the 
water of life, and sprinkled him, and he came to life. 

* Ah ! I was sleeping soundly.' ^ 

* You would have slept for ever if I had not come.' 

* I will go, sister, to my mother.' 

* Go not, brother.* 

* Bah ! I will.' 

* Well, go, and God be with thee. Take thee my sword.' 
He went to his mother. His mother was singing and 

dancing with the dragon. He went in to the dragon. * Good 
day to you both.* 

^ Baldpate makes the same remark in No. 2, p. 8, but the conventional 
answer is wanting there. 

C 



34 BUKOWINA-GYPSY VARIANT 

* Thanks/ 

* Come, what shall I do to you, dragon ? * 

*Cut me in little pieces, and put me in the saddle-bags, 
and place me on my horse. Whence he carried me living, 
let him carry me also dead.' 

He cut him in little pieces, put him in the saddle-bags, 
placed him on his horse, and dug out the horse's eyes. * Go 
whither thou wilt.* 

Away went the horse, and kept knocking his head against 
the trees ; and the pieces of flesh kept falling from the saddle- 
bags. The crows kept eating the flesh. 

Silvester shot a hare, and skinned it, and spitted it, and 
roasted it at the fire. And he said to his mother, * Mother, 
look straight at me.' 

His mother looked at him. He struck her in the eyes, 
and her eyes leapt out of her head. And he took her by 
the hand, led her to a jar, said to her, * Mother, when thou 
hast filled this jar with tears, then God pardon thee ; and 
when thou hast eaten a bundle of hay, and filled the jar with 
tears, then God pardon thee, and restore thee thine eyes.' 

And he bound her there, and departed, and left her three 
years. In three years she came back to his recollection. * I 
will go to my mother, and see what she is doing.' 

Now she has filled the jar, and eaten the bundle of hay. 

* Now may God pardon thee ; now I also pardon thee. 
Depart, and God be with thee.' 

A third Gypsy version, from Hungary, the first half of Friedrich 
Miiller's No. 5, may be summarised thus : — Two children, driven 
from home by mother, wander thirty-five years, and come to a forest 
so dense the birds cannot fly through it. They come to a castle so 
high they cannot see the top of it. Twelve robbers dwell here. 
Lad kills eleven as they come home^ but only wounds the tivelfth. He 
goes forth to hunt^ spares lives of twelve wild animals, and brings 
them home. The sister meanwhile has restored the twelve robbers 
to life. She suggests that her brother shall have a warm bath {cf, De 
Gubematis' ZooL Myth, i. 213), saying that thereby their father 
had been so healthy. In the bath she binds his hands and feet. 
She summons twelve robbers. They permit him to play his father's 
air on his pipe; it calls up the twelve animals. They rend the 
robbers, and loose the lad, who packs his sister into the great empty 
jar (here first mentioned), and leaves her to die of hunger. 



THE BAD MOTHER 35 

This last is a poorly-told story; still, not without its features of 
interest. It will be noticed that in it, as in many non-Gypsy variants, 
the dragons are rationalised into robbers (sometimes blackamoors). Of 
the Roumanian and the Bukowina Gypsy versions the former seems 
to me the better on the whole. The opening of the Bukowina 
version cannot properly belong to the story, for it arouses an interest 
in the mother, who yet turns out a bad lot.^ Its close, however, 
is decidedly superior. What a picture is that of the mother 
and the dragon singing and dancing, and what a one that of the 
blinded horse and the crows ! In both versions there is the same 
omission — the inquiry into the seat of the heroes strength ; and in the 
Bukowina one no use is made of the milk from the she-bear and the 
wild sow, nor are we told of the hero's first meeting with Wednesday. 
Plainly the Roumanian version is not derived from the Bukowina one, 
nor the Bukowina one from the Roumanian ; but they point to an 
unknown, more perfect original. Even as they stand, however, both 
are better than any of the non-Gypsy variants known to me. These 
include five from Hahn's Greek collection (i. 176, 215 ; ii. 234, 279, 
283) ; one in Roumanian Fairy Tales^ by E. B. M. (Lond. 1884, pp. 81- 
89), resembling the Hungarian-Gypsy version ; three German and one 
Lithuanian, cited by Hahn (ii. 236) ; one Russian, summarised by 
Ralston (p. 235); the well-known *Blue Belt' in Dasent's Tales from 
the Norse (p. 178); and Laura Gonzenbach's No. 26, *Vom tapfern 
Konigssohn' {Sicil. Mar, i. 158-167), where the hero is cut in pieces by 
his supposed stepfather, the robber-chieftain, packed into a saddle-bag, 
and carried by his ass to a hermit, who revives him, after which the 
story drifts off into our No. 45. 

I have annotated the Gypsy stories very fully ; my notes cover several 
pages. Here, however, it must suffice to indicate some of the more 
striking parallels from non-Gypsy sources. In Hahn, i. 267, God gives 
a house to a woman abandoned in a forest {cf. also i. 73 ; ii. 26). For 
the heart and little finger, a very common incident, compare the 
English-Gypsy story of * Bobby Rag* (No. 51), and Hahn, i. 258 and 
ii. 231. In Grimm, No. 11 1, a hunter gives the hero a gun which never 
misses. For the formula, * If thou art a virgin,' etc., cf, Ralston, pp. 75- 
76. For the mountains that butt together, cf Ralston, p. 236 ; Tylor's 
Primitive Culture^ pp. 313-316 ; Hahn, ii. 46-47 ; and Grimm, No. 97. 
For the water of healing and the water of life, cf, Ralston, pp. 17, 91, 
230,255. For *Ah! I was sleeping soundly,' cf Ralston, pp. 91-92; 
Hahn, ii. 274 ; and our No. 29. In Campbell's SantcU Folk-tales^ p. 92, 
a father, restored to life, says, 'O my son, what a lengthened sleep 



^ So I had written ; but I have since read Maive Stokes' story of * The Demon 
conquered by the King's Son' {Indian Fairy Talcs ^ No. 24, pp. 173 and 288). 
Here it is the demon j//r/-mother, who, pretending her eyes are bad, sends the 
hero to fetch tigress's milk, an eagle's feather, night-growing rice and water 
from the Glittering Well. He speaks, however, of her as his * mother.' e.g, on 
p. 180. Compare *The Son of Seven Mothers' in F. A. Steel's Indian Wide- 
awake Stories J pp. 98-110, and Knowles' Folk-tales of Kashmir, pp. i and 42. 



36 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

I have had ! ' For the sow biting off half of the horse's tail, cf. 
Hahn, i. 312; Krauss, ii. 94; Ralston, p. 235; and Bums's 'Tarn o' 
Shanter.' For the leaves beginning to scream, cf, Hahn, i. 270 and 
ii. 171. In a variant from Afanasief, vi. 52, cited by De Gubematis 
{Z.M,^ i. 215), the sister for punishment is placed near some hay and 
some water, and a vessel which she is to fill with her tears. It is just 
worth noting that Silvester is a common English-Gypsy name. 



No. 10. — The Three Princesses and the 

Unclean Spirit 

There was a king ; and from youth to old age he had no 
son. In his old age three daughters were bom to him. And 
the very morning of their birth the UruJsaji-SEiDt came and 
took them, the three maidens. And he fought to win a 
woman, the Serpent-Maiden ; and half his moustache turned 
white, and half all the hair on his head, for the sake of the 
Serpent-Maiden. Time passed by, and he had no son ; and 
his daughters the Unclean Spirit had carried away. 

Then he took and thought. * What am I to do, wife ? I 
will go for three years {sic) ; and, when I return, let me find 
a son bom of you. If in a year's time I find not one, I will 
kill you.' 

He went and journeyed a year and a day. His wife took 
and thought. As she was a-thinking, a man went by with 
apples : whoso eats one of his apples shall conceive. Then 
she went, and took an apple, and ate the apple, and she con- 
ceived. The time came that she should bring forth. And she 
brought forth a son, and called his name Cosmas. So her 
king came that night, and sent a messenger to ask his wife. 

She said, * Your bidding is fulfilled.* 

Then he went in, and, when he saw the lad, his heart 
was full. 

And the time came when the lad grew big, and he looked 
the very picture of his father. The time came that his father 
died. By that time he felt himself a man, and he put forth 
his little finger, and lifted the palace up. Then he came 
back from hunting, and he lifted the foundation of the 
palace, and told his mother to place her breast beneath 
it. Then his mother placed her breast beneath the founda- 
tion, and he left it pressing upon her. Then she cried aloud. 



.■) 



^^ 



v^ 



THE THREE PRINCESSES 37 

The lad said to her, ' Mother, tell me, why was my father's 
moustache half white ? ' 

Then she said to him, *Why, darling, your father 
fought nine years to win the Serpent-Maiden, and never 
won her.' 

Then he asked, ' And have I no brother ? * 

* No,* she said ; * but you have three sisters, and the 
Unclean Spirit carried them away.* 

And he asked, * Whither did he carry them ? ' 

Then she said he had carried them to the Land of the 
Setting Sun. 

Then he took his father's saddle and his bridle and like- 
wise his father's colt, and set out in quest of his sisters, and 
arrived at his sister's house, and hurled his mace, and smashed 
the plum-tree s. 

Then his sister came out and said to him, ' Why have you 
smashed the plum-trees ? For the Unclean Spirit will come 
and kill you.' 

Then he said, * I would not have you think ill of me ; 
but kindly come and give me a draught of wine and a 
morsel of bread.' 

Then she brought bread and wine. As she was handing 
him the bread and wine, she noticed her father's colt, and 
recognised it. Then she said, 'This must be my fathers 
horse.* 

' Take notice then that I also am his.* 

Then she fell on his neck, and he on hers. 

Then she said to him, 'My brother, the Unclean Spirit 
will come from the Twelfth Region. And he will come and 
destroy you.' 

Then the Unclean Spirit came, and hurled his mace ; and 
it opened twelve doors, and hung itself on its peg. Then 
Cosmas took it, and hurled it twelve regions away from him. 
Then the Unclean Spirit took it, and came home with it in n v' ■* 
his hand, and asked, * Wife, I smell mortal man ? * ^'" 

(Meanwhile she had turned her brother into an ear-ring, 
and put him in her ear.) 

Then she said, ' You *re for ever eating corpses, and are 
meaning to eat me, too, for I also am mortal.' 

Then he said to her, * Don't tell lies ; my brother-in-law 
has come.' 



(f 



38 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

'Well, then, and if your brother-in-law has come, will 
you eat him ? ' 

Then he said, * I will not' 

' Swear it on your sword that you will not eat him.' 

Then she took him out of her ear, and set him at table. 
He ate at table with the Unclean Spirit. 

Then the lad went outside,^ and creeps into the fetlock 
of his colt, and hid himself there. Then the Unclean Spirit 
arose, and hunted everywhere, and failed to light on him. 
And he set his bugle to his mouth, and blew a blast, and 
summoned all the birds upon the horse, and they searched 
every hair of the horse. And just as he was coming to the 
fetlock, then the cocks crowed, and he fell. 

Cosmas came forth, and went to him. * Good day, brother- 
in-law.' 

Then he asked him, * Where were you ? ' 

* Why, I was in the hay, before the horse.* 

Then Cosmas took leave of them, and went to his other 
sisters, and did with them just as with this one. 

Then his little sister asked him, 'Where are you going, 
my brother ? ' 

' I am going to tend the white mar e^ and get one of her 
colts, and I am going to win the Serpent-Maiden.' 

Then she said to him, ' Go, my brother, and if you get 
the colt, come to me.' 

He went. 

Now some peasants were hunting a wolf to slay it. The 
wolf said, * Cosmas, don't abandon me. Send the peasants 
the wrong way, that they may not kill me ; and take one 
of my hairs,^ and put it in your pocket. And whenever 
you think of me, there I am, wherever you may be.' 

Going further, he came on a crow that had broken its 
wing, and it said, 'Don't pass me by, Cosmas; bind my 
wing up; and I will give you a feather to put in your 
pocket, and whenever you are in any difficulty, I '11 be with 
you.' 

Going still further, he came on a fish, which said, ' Cosmas, 
don't pass me by. Tie me to your horse's tail, and put me 
in the water, for I will do you much good.' 

^ There is obviously an omission, at this point, of a wager or something of 
that sort. ' See note on No. 46. 



THE THREE PRINCESSES 39 

He did so, and put it in the water. 

♦ Then he came to the old woman who owned the white 
mare; and she sat before her door; and he said to her, 
* Will you give me a colt of the white mare, old one ? ' 

* The old wife said, ' If you can find her three days running, 
one of her colts is yours. But if you can't find her, I will 
cut off your head, and stick it on yonder stake.' 

' I '11 find her,' he said. 

And she gave him the white mare, and away he went 
with her to try and find her. So the mare ran in among 

• the sheep, and took and hid herself in the earth. And the 
lad arose and searched for the mare, and failed to light on 
her. And the wolf came into his mind ; and he thought 

'> of him. 

And the wolf came and asked him, ' What 's the matter, 
lad?' 
^ He said, * I can't find the white mare.' 

The wolf said, * Do you see this one, the biggest of the 
sheep ? that is she. Go, and give her a taste of the stick.' 
^ So the lad took and called her, and she became a horse. 

And he went with her to the old woman. 

And the old woman said, ' You have two more days.' 

* All right, old lady,' said the lad. 

So next day also he took and went off with the mare, 
to try and find her. (The old woman had thrashed the 
mare for not hiding herself properly, so that he could not 
have found her. And the white mare had said, 'Forgive 
me, old woman. This time I will hide in the clouds, and he 
never will find me.') 

So the lad went off with her, to try and find her ; and she 

went into the clouds. So the lad set to work, and searched 

from morning till noon. And the crow came into his mind ; 

and, as he thought of it, the crow came and asked him, 

^ * What 's the matter, lad ? ' 

* Why, I have lost the white mare, and cannot light on 
her.' 

So the crow summoned all the crows, and they searched 
upon every side, till they lighted on her. So they took her 
in their beaks, and brought her to the lad. So the lad took 
*" her, and led her to the old woman. 

' You have one day more,' said the old woman. 



40 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

So the day came when the lad had to find the mare once 
more. (That night the old woman had thrashed the white 
mare and pretty nigh killed it And the mare had said to 
the old woman, * If he lights on me this time, old woman, 
you may know I have burst, for I will go right into the 
sea.') 

So when the lad departed with her, she went into the sea. 
And the lad searched for her, and it wanted but little of * 

night. And the fish came into his mind. So the fish 
emerged before him and said, * What 's the matter, lad ? * 

* I don't know where the white mare has gone to.' 

And the fish went and summoned all the fishes ; and they 
gave up the white mare with her colt behind her. And the 
lad took her. He went with her to the old wife, and she ^ 

said to him, * Take, deary, whichever pleases you.' 

The lad chose the youngest colt. 

And the old wife said, * Don't take that one, my lad ; it 
isn't a good one. Take a handsomer.' 

And the lad said, * Let be.' 

And the lad went further : and the colt turned a somer- ^ 

sault,^ and became __gol den, w ith twenty-and-fouj:i__wings. 
And the Serpent had none like^his. And he went to his 
sisters, and took the three of them, and took too the Serpent- 
Maiden, and went with them home. Neither the Unclean 
Spirit nor the dragon could catch him. And he went 
home. So he made a marriage ; and they ate and drank. 
And I left them there, and came and told my tale to your 
lordships. 

A valuable story, but confused and imperfect. Who the dragon was 
is left to conjecture ; and the serpent-maiden — she must have been a 
real old (serpent) maid —is barely mentioned. In no collection can I 
find any exact parallel to this story ; but it offers many analogies, 
e.g.Xo 'Childe Rowland '(J. Jacobs' English Fairy Tales, i. 117- 124, ^ 

238-245); and to Von Sowa's Bohemian-Gypsy story of *The Three \ 

Dragons' {infra. No. 44). The * Apples of Pregnancy' form the theme 
of another Roumanian-Gypsy story (No. 16). The hurling the mace 
occurs in Miklosich's Bukowina-Gypsy story, * Pretty-face' (No. 29), and 
in 'Sir Peppercorn' (Denton's Serbian Folklore, p. 124). For 'the 
cocks crowed, and he fell,' cf, Ralston, p. 316 ; and for blowing a blast 
and summoning all the birds, the Welsh-Gypsy story of ' The Green 
Man of Neman's Land' (No. 62). For the latter part of the story 



^ See footnote 2 on p. 16. 



1 



THE TWO THIEVES 41 

reference should be made to Ralston, pp. 92, 98, 103-4 ; Krauss, i. 362 ; 
and especially the close of the Bulgarian story of * The Golden Apples 
and the Nine Peahen s' (Wratislaw's Sixty Slavonic Folk-ialeSy pp. 193- 
198), where we get the watching of a mare for three successive days, and 
the finding of her by the help of a grateful fish, fox, and crow. Cf, too, 
WratislaVs Croatian story, * The Daughter of the Ki ng of the V ilas ' 
(No. 53, pp. 278-283). 



No. II. — The Two Thieves 

There was a time when there was. There were two 
thieves. One was a country thief, and one a town thief. 
So the time came that the two met, and they asked one 
another whence they are and what they are. 

Then the country thief said to the town one, *Well, if 
you 're such a clever thief as to be able to steal the eggs 
from under a crow, then I shall know that you are a thief.' 

He said, * See me, how I '11 steal them.' 

And he climbed lightly up the tree, and put his hand 
under the crow, and stole the eggs from her, and the crow 
never felt it Whilst he is stealing the crow's eggs, the 
country thief stole his breeches, and the town thief never 
felt him. And when he came down and saw that he was 
naked, he said, 'Brother, I never felt you stealing my 
breeches ; let 's become brothers.* 

So they became brothers. 

Then what are they to do ? They went into the city, and 
took one wife between them. And the town thief said, 
* Brother, it is a sin for two brothers to have one wife. It 
were better for her to be yours.' 

He said, • Mine be she.' 

* But, come now, where I shall take you, that we may get 
money.' 

' Come on, brother, since you know.' 

So they- took and departed. Then they came to the 
king's, and considered how to get into his palace. And 
what did they devise ? 

Said the town thief, ' Come, brother, and let us break into 
the palace, and let ourselves down one after the other.' 

* Come on.' 

So they got on the palace, and broke through the roof ; 



V 



42 ROUMANIAN. GYPSY STORIES 

and the country thief lowered himself, and took two hundred 
purses of money, and came out. And they went home. 

Then the king arose in the morning, and looked at his 
money, and saw that two hundred purses of money were 
missing. Straightway he arose and went to the prison, 
where was an old thief. And when he came to him, he 
asked him, * Old thief, I know not who has come into my 
palace, and stolen from me two hundred purses of money. 
And I know not where they went out by, for there is no hole 
anywhere in the palace.' 

The old thief said, * There must be one, O king, only you 
don't see it But go and make a fire in the palace, and 
come out and watch the palace ; and where you see smoke 
issuing, that was where the thieves entered. And do you 
put a cask of molasses just there at that hole, for the thief 
will come again who stole the money.' 

Then the king went and made a fire, and saw the hole 
where the smoke issues in the roof of the palace. And he 
went and got a cask of molasses, and put it there at the 
hole. Then the thieves came again there at night to that 
hole. And the thief from the country let himself down 
again ; and as he did so he fell into the cask of molasses. 
And he said to his brother, * Brother, it is all over with me. 
But, not to do the king's pleasure, come and cut off my 
head, for I am as good as dead.' 

So his comrade lowered himself down, and cut off his 
head, and went and buried it in a wood. 

So, when the king arose, he arose early, and went there, 
where the thief had fallen, and sees the thief there in the 
cask of molasses, and with no head. Then what is he to do ? 
He took and went to the old thief, and told him, * Look you, 
old thief, I caught the thief, and he has no head.' 

Then the old thief said, * There ! O king, this is a cunning 
thief. But what are you to do ? Why, take the corpse, and 
hang it up outside at the city gate. And he who stole his 
head will come to steal him too. And do you set soldiers to 
watch him.' 

So the king went and took the corpse, and hung it up, and 
set soldiers to watch it. 

Then the thief took and bought a white mare and a cart, 
and took a jar of twenty measures of wine. And he put it 



THE TWO THIEVES 43 

in the cart, and drove straight to the place where his com- 
rade was hanging. He made himself very old, and pretended 
the cart had broken down, and the jar had fallen out And 
he began to weep and tear his hair, and he made himself to 
cry aloud, that he was a poor man, and his master would kill 
him. The soldiers guarding the corpse said one to another, 
' Let 's help to put this old fellow's jar in the cart, mates, for 
it *s a pity to hear him.' 

So they went to help him, and said to him, ' Hullo ! old 
chap, we '11 put your jar in the cart ; will you give us a drop 
to drink ? ' 

' That I will, deary.' 

So they went and put the jar in the cart. And the old 
fellow took and said to them, * Take a pull, deary, for I have 
nothing to give it you in.' 

So the soldiers took and drank till they could drink no 
more. And the old fellow made himself to ask, ' And who 
is this ? ' 

The soldiers said, ' That is a thief.' 

Then the old man said, * Hullo ! deary, I shan't spend the 
night here, else that thief will steal my mare.' 

Then the soldiers said, ' What a silly you are, old fellow ! 
How will he come and steal your mare ? ' 

* He will, though, deary. Isn't he a thief? * 

' Shut up, old fellow. He won't steal your mare ; and if 
he does, we *11 pay you for her.' 

* He will steal her, deary ; he 's a thief.* 

* Why, old boy, he *s dead. We '11 give you our written 
word that if he steals your mare we will pay you three 
hundred groats for her.* 

Then the old man said, ' All right, deary, if that *s the 
case.' 

So he stayed there. He placed himself near the fire, and 
a drowsy fit took him, and he pretended to sleep. The 
soldiers kept going to the jar of wine, and drank every drop 
of the wine, and got drunk. And where they fell there they 
slept, and took no thought The old chap, the thief, who 
pretended to sleep, arose and stole the corpse from the 
gallows, and put it on his mare, and carried it into the 
forest and buried it And he left his mare there and went 
back to the fire, and pretended to sleep. 



44 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

And when the soldiers arose, and saw that neither the 
corpse was there nor the old man's mare, they marvelled, 
and said, 'There I my comrades, the old man said rightly 
the thief would steal his mare. Let 's make it up to him/ 

So by the time the old man arose they gave him four 
hundred groats, and begged him to say no more about it 

Then when the king arose, and saw there was no thief on 
the gallows, he went to the old thief in the prison, and said 
to him, * There ! they have stolen the thief from the gallows, 
old thief. What am I to do ? ' 

' Did not I tell you, O king, that this is a cunning thief? 
But do you go and buy up all the joints of meat in the city. 
And charge a ducat the two pounds, so that no one will care 
to buy any, unless he has come into a lot of money. But 
that thief won't be able to hold out three days.' 

Then the king went and bought up all the joints, and left 
one joint ; and that one he priced at a ducat the pound. 
So nobody came to buy that day. Next day the thief 
would stay no longer. He took a cart and put a horse in it, 
and drove to the meat-market. And he pretended he had 
damaged his cart, and lamented he had not an axe to repair 
it with. Then a butcher said to him, * Here, take my axe, 
and mend your cart' The axe was close to the meat As 
he passed to take the axe, he picked up a big piece of meat, 
and stuck it under his coat And he handed the axe back 
to the butcher, and departed home. 

The same day comes the king, and asks the butchers, 
* Have you sold any meat to any one ? ' They said, * We 
have not sold to any one.' 

So the king weighed the meat, and found it twenty 
pounds short And he went to the old thief in prison, and 
said to him, ' He has stolen twenty pounds of meat, and no 
one saw him.' 

* Didn't I tell you, O king, that this is a cunning thief? ' 
'Well, what am I to do, old thief?' 

* What are you to do ? Why, make a proclamation, and 
offer in it all the money you possess, and say he shall become 
king in your stead, merely to tell who he is.' 

Then the king went and wrote the proclamation, just as 
the old thief had told him. And he posted it outside by 
the gate. And the thief comes and reads it, and thought 



THE TWO THIEVES 45 

how he should act. And he took his heart in his teeth and 
went to the king, and said, * O king, I am the thief.' 

* You are ? ' 

* I am.' 

Then the king said, * If you it be, that I may believe you 
are really the man, do you see this peasant coming ? Well, 
you must steal the ox from under the yoke without his 
seeing you.* 

Then the thief said, * I '11 steal it, O king ; watch me.' 
And he went before the peasant, and began to cry aloud, 
* Comedy of Comedies ! ' 

Then the peasant said, * See there, God ! Many a time 
have I been in the city, and have often heard " Comedy of 
Comedies," and have never gone to see what it is like.' 

And he left his cart, and went off to the other end of the 
city; and the thief kept crying out till he had got the 
peasant some distance from the oxen. Then the thief 
returns, and takes the ox, and cuts off its tail, and sticks 
it in the mouth of the other ox, and came away with the 
first ox to the king. Then the king laughed fit to kill him- 
self. The peasant, when he came back, began to weep ; and 
the king called him and asked, ' What are you weeping for, 
my man ? ' 

* Why, O king, whilst I was away to see the play, one of 
the oxen has gone and eaten up the other.' 

When the king heard that, he laughed fit to kill himself, 
and he told his servant to give him two good oxen. And 
he gave him also his own ox, and asked him, 'Do you 
recognise your ox, my man ? ' 

* I do, O king.' 

* Well, away you go home.* 

And he went to the thief. * Well, my fine fellow, I will 
give you my daughter, and you shall become king in my 
stead, if you will steal the priest for me out of the church.' 

Then the thief went into the town, and got three hundred 
crabs and three hundred candles, and went to the church, 
and stood up on the pavement. And as the priest chanted, 
the thief let out the crabs one by one, each with a candle 
fastened to its claw ; he let it out 

And the priest said, ' So righteous am I in the sight of 
God that He sends His saints for me.' 



46 SLOVAK-GYPSY VARIANT 

The thief let out all the crabs, each with a candle fastened 
to its claw, and he said, * Come, O priest, for God calls thee 
by His messengers to Himself, for thou art righteous/ 

The priest said, * And how am I to go ? ' 

' Get into this sack.' 

And he let down the sack ; and the priest got in ; and he 
lifted him up, and dragged him down the steps. And the 
priest's head went tronk, tronk. And he took him on his 
back, and carried him to the king, and tumbled him down. 
And the king burst out laughing. And straightway he 
gave his daughter to the thief, and made him king in his 
stead. 

Good as this version is, the last episode is much better told in the 
Slovak-Gypsy variant from Dr. Rudolf von Sowa's Mundart der Slovak- 
tschen Zigeuner (Gott. 1887), No. 8, p. 174 :— 

No. 12. — The Gypsy and the Priest 

. There was a very poor Gypsy, and he had many little 
children. And his wife went to the town, begged herself 
a few potatoes and a little flour. And she had no fat. 

* All right/ she thought ; ' wait a bit. The priest has killed 
a pig ; I '11 go and beg myself a bit of fat* 

When she got there, the priest came out, took his whip, 
thrashed her soundly. She came home, said to her husband, 
* O my God, I did just get a thrashing ! ' 

And the Gypsy is at work. Straightway the hammer fell 
from his hand. * Now, wait a bit till I show him a trick, and 
teach him a lesson.' 

The Gypsy went to the church, and took a look at the 
door, how to make the key to the tower. He came home, 
sat down at his anvil, set to work at once on the key. When 
he had made it, he went back to try to open the door. It 
opened it as though it had been made for it. 

* Wait a bit, now,' he thinks to himself; * what shall I need 

next ? * 

He went straight off to the shop, and bought himself some 
fine paper, just like the fine clothes the priests wear for high 
mass. When he had bought it, he went to the tailor, told 
him to make him clothes like an angel's ; he looked in them 



THE GYPSY AND THE PRIEST 47 

just like a priest. He came home, told his son (he was 
twenty years old), * Hark'ee, mate, come along with me, and 
bring the pot. Catch about a hundred crabs. Ha! they 
shall see what I '11 do this night ; the priest won't escape 
with his life.* 

All right I 

Midnight came. The Gypsy went to the church, lit all 
the lights that were in the church. The cook goes to look 
out ' My God ! what 's the matter ? the whole church is 
lighted up.' 

She goes to the priest, wakes him up. * Get up 1 Let 's go 
and see what it is. The whole church is blazing inside. 
What ever is it ? ' 

The priest was in a great fright. He pulled on his vest- 
ment, and went to the church to see. The Gypsy chants 
like a priest performing service in the great church where 
the greatest folks go to service. *0h!* the Gypsy was 
chanting, * O God, he who is a sinful man, for him am I 
come ; him who takes so much money with him will I fetch 
to Paradise, and there it shall be well with him/ 

When the gentleman heard that, he went home, and got 
all the money he had in the house. 

All right ! 

The priest came back to the church. The Gypsy chants 
to him to make haste, for sooner or later the end of all 
things approaches. Straightway the Gypsy opened the sack, 
and the priest got into it. The Gypsy took all the priest's 
money, and hid it in his pocket. 

' Good ! now you are mine.' 

When he closed the sack, the priest was in a great fright. 
* My God ! what will become of me? I know not what sort 
of a being that is, whether God Himself or an angel.' 

The Gypsy straightway drags the priest down the steps. 
The priest cries that it hurts him, that he should go gently 
with him, for he is all broken already ; that half an hour of 
that will kill him, for his bones are all broken already. 

Well, he dragged him along the nave of the church, and 
pitched him down before the door; and he put a lot of 
thorns there to run into the priest's flesh. He dragged him 
backwards and forwards through the thorns, and the thorns 
stuck into him. When the Gypsy saw that the priest was 



48 OTHER VARIANTS 

more dead than alive, he opened the sack, and left him 
there. 

The Gypsy went home, and threw off his disguise, and 
put it on the fire, that no one might say he had done the 
deed. The Gypsy had more than eight hundred silver 
pieces. So he and his wife and his children were glad that 
they had such a lot of money ; and if the Gypsy has not died 
with his wife and his children, perhaps he is living still. 

In the morning when the sexton comes to ring the bell, 
he sees a sack in front of the church. The priest was quite 
dead. When he opened it and saw the priest, he was in 
a great fright * What on earth took our priest in there ? ' 
He runs into the town, made a great outcry, that so and 
so has happened. The poor folks came and the gentry 
to see what was up: all the candles in the church were 
burning. So they buried the parson decently. If he is 
not rotten he is w^Jiole. May the devils still be eating 
him. I was there, and heard everything that happened. 

The briefest epitome will serve of our third Gypsy version, from 
Hungary, Dr. Friedrich Miiller's No. i, which is very coarse and 
very disconnected : — * Somewhere was, somewhere was not, lucky. 
Golden God ! somewhere was, somewhere was not, a poor Gypsy/ 
An old woman tells him, * Go into yonder castle, and there is the 
lady ; and take from her the ring, and put it on thine own hand, 
and turn it thrice, then so much meal and bread will be to thee 
that thou wilt not know what to do with it/ . . . He wins twenty- 
four wagon-loads of money for seducing the nobleman's wife, which 
he achieves by luring away the nobleman with a corpse. The 
Gypsy then kills his children and his wife ; cheats an old woman 
of her money ; cures and marries the king's daughter ; leaves her, 
because she will not go and sell the nails he manufactures ; and 
finally marries a Gypsy girl, who pleases him much better. 

Our next version, * Jack the Robber,' is from South Wales, told 
to Mr. Sampson by Cornelius Price. It is as good as the last one is 
bad, but like it somewhat Rabelaisian. The following is a summary 
of the first half, the latter (our No. 68) being a variant of Dasent's 
* Big Peter and Little Peter ' : — A poor widow has a son. Jack, who 
'took to smoking when he was twelve, and got to robbing the 
master's plough-socks to take 'em to the blacksmith's to sell 'em to 
rise bacca.' So the farmer makes the mother send Jack away from 
home ; and Jack comes to a big gentleman's hall. This gentleman 
is the head of eleven robbers, and Jack, after cunningly relieving 



THE TWO THIEVES 49 

one of them of j^ii, joins the band, and in six months 'got a 
cleverer robber than what the master hisself was.' So, with the 
money he has made, he sets off for his mother's, meets the farmer, 
tells him he has been prentice to a robber, and, to test his skill, is 
set to steal two sheep in succession. He does so by the familiar 
expedients of, first, a boot here and a boot there, and, next, baaing 
like a lost sheep. Then Jack is set to take the middlemost sheet 
from underneath the farmer and his missus, and achieves it by 

* loosing a dead body down the chimley,' which the farmer shoots 
dead, as he fancies, and goes off to bury. 

The fifth and last version, *The Great Thief,' is from North 
Wales, told by Matthew Wood, and is thus summarised by Mr. 
Sampson : — * Hard by a parson lived a thief. The parson told the 
thief, " To-morrow my man goes to the butcher with a sheep. Steal 
it, and you shall have such and such money." Thief gets a pair of 
new boots, and places one on one stile, the other on another further 
on. Man sees first boot and leaves it, finds other, ties up sheep, 
and goes back for the first. Thief steals sho^p. The parson says 
again, " I want you to steal my wife's ring from her finger and the 
sheet from under her. If you can't, I shall behead you." Thief 
makes dummy man, and props it against wall. Parson shoots it, 
comes out, and buries it in well. Meanwhile thief visits wife, pre- 
tending to be parson, and takes her ring and sheet for safety. 
Parson returns and discovers the trick.' 

Though not, at least but very conjecturally, a Gypsy version, the 
following version is still worth citing. It is from Henry Mayhew's 
London Labour and the London Poor, vol. iii. (1861), pp. 388-390: — 

* An mtelligent-looking boy, aged 16, a native of Wisbech in Cam- 
bridgeshire i at 1 3 apprenticed to a tailor ; in three months' time ran 
away ; went home again for seven months, then ran away again, and 
since a vagrant. Had read Windsor Castle^ Tower of London^ etc. 
He gives account of amusements in casual wards : — 

* " We told stories sometimes, romantic tales some ; others black- 
guard kind of tales, about bad women ; and others about thieving 
and roguery ; not so much about what they 'd done themselves, as 
about some big thief that was very clever and could trick anybody. 
Not stories such as Dick Turpin or Jack Sheppard, or things that 's in 
history, but inventions. I used to say when I was telling a story — 
for I 've told one story that I invented till I learnt it. [I give this 
story to show what are the objects of admiration with these 
vagrants ^] : — 

^ Clearly Mr. Mayhew was no folklorist. The boy's claim to have invented 
the story is worth noting. 

D 



so ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

* " You see, mates, it was once upon a time, and a very good time 
it was, a young man, and he runned away, and got along with a gang 
of thieves, and he went to a gentleman's house, and got in because 
one of his mates sweethearted the servant, and got her away, and 
she left the door open. And the door being left open, the young 
man got in, and robbed the house of a lot of money, ;^iooo, and 
he took it to their gang at the cave. Next day there was a reward 
out to find the robber. Nobody found him. So the gentleman put 
two men and a horse in a field, and the men were hidden in the 
field, and the gentleman put out a notice that anybody that could 
catch the horse should have him for his cleverness, and a reward as 
well ; for he thought the man that got the ;^iooo was sure to try 
to catch that there horse, because he was so bold and clever, and 
then the two men hid would nab him. This here Jack (that 's the 
young man) was watching, and he saw the two men, and he went 
and caught two live hares. Then he hid himself behind a hedge, 
and let one hare go, and one man said to the other, * There goes a 
hare,' and they both ran after it, not thinking Jack 's there. And 
while they were running he let go t'other one, and they said, * There 's 
another hare,' and they ran different ways, and so Jack went and 
got the horse, and took it to the man that offered the reward, and 

got the reward; it wasj^ioo; and the gentleman said, *D it. 

Jack 's done me this time.' The gentleman then wanted to serve 
out the parson, and he said to Jack, * I '11 give you another ;^ioo 
if you '11 do something to the parson as bad as you 've done to me.' 
Jack said, * Well, I will ' ; and Jack went to the church and lighted up 
the lamps and rang the bells, and the parson he got up to see what 
was up. Jack was standing in one of the pews like an angel] when 
the parson got to the church. Jack said, * Go and put your plate in 
a bag ; I 'm an angel come to take you up to heaven.' And the 
parson did so, and it was as much as he could drag to church from 
his house in a bag ; for he was very rich. And when he got to 
church Jack put the parson in one bag, and the money stayed in the 
other j and he tied them both together, and put them across his 
horse, and took them up hill and through water to the gentleman's, 
and then he took the parson out of the bag, and the parson was 
wringing wet. Jack fetched the gentleman, and the gentleman gave 
the parson a horsewhipping, and the parson cut away, and Jack got 
all the parson's money and the second ;£^ioo, and gave it all to the 
poor. And the parson brought an action against the gentleman for 
horsewhipping him, and they were both ruined. That's the end of 
it. That 's the sort of story that 's liked best, sir." ' 

Dasent, *The Master Thief {Tales from the Norse^ p. 255). He 



THE TWO THIEVES 51 

takes service with robbers. Steals three oxen, the first one by a shoe 
here and a shoe there, the third by imitating lost ox. He steals the 
squire's roast, first catching three hares alive. He steals Father Lau- 
rence in a sack, but not out of church, posing as an angel, and bidding 
him lay out all his gold and silver. N,B, No crabs, no lighting of 
candles. 

Grimm, No. 192, *The Master Thief (ii. 324). He steals horse from 
under rider. Steals sheet from under count's wife, first luring count 
away by means of corpse. Disguised like monk, he steals parson and 
clerk out of church in sack, bumping them against steps, and dragging 
them through puddles — ' mountains ' an^ ^ clouds.' No mention of plate 
or money. Neither of these two versions can be the original of 
Mayhew's English vagrant one. 

Straparola (Venice, 1550), No. 2, *The Knave.' First, he steals from 
the provost the bed on which he is lying ; next, horse on which stable- 
boy is sitting ; and thirdly, an ecclesiastical personage in sack. 

De Gubernatis {ZooL Myth,^ i. 204) alludes to the famous robber 
Klimka, in Afanasief, v. 6, who, by means of a drum (in Indian tales a 
trumpet) terrifies his accomplices, the robbers, and then steals from a 
gentleman his horse, his jewel-casket, even his wife. 

* Les Deux Voleurs ' (Dozon's Conies Albancds^ p. 169) has two thieves 
with the same mistress, as in Barbu Constantinescu. One of them, 
posing as the angel Gabriel, steals the cadi in a chest at the instiga- 
tion of a pasha whom the cadi has ridiculed. 

Much more striking are the analogies offered by * Voleur par Nature ' 
(Legrand's Contes Grecs^ p. 205) from Cyprus. Here we get the steal- 
ing of two sheep, first by a boot here and a boot there, and next by 
baaing like a lost sheep. Then we have the stealing of one of a yoke 
of oxen, the robbery of the king's treasure-house, the consulting a 
robber in prison, a caldron of pitch, the headless robber, the exposure 
of His corpse, and, lastly, the marriage of the surviving thief and the 
princess. 

For heroic form of *The Master Thief see Hahn's No. 3, * Von dem 
Schonen und vom Drakos.' Hero has to steal winged horse of the 
dragon, coverlet of dragon's bed, and the dragon himself. He steals 
him in a box, and marries the king's daughter. In Laura Gonzenbach's 
most curious Sicilian story. No. 83, * Die Geschichte von Caraseddu ' 
(ii. 142-145), the hero steals the horse of the *dragu' (? dragon, 
rather than cannibal), next his bed-cover, and lastly the * dragu ' him- 
self ; with which compare the Bukowina- Gypsy story, *Tropsyn,' No. 27. 
In Hahn, ii. p. 182, we have mention oi sack, in variant 4 of ringoi the 
dragon. Cf, infra^ p. 109. 

Finally, three little points connecting the Gypsies and the * Master 
Thief may be noted. Mrs. Carlyle's * mother's mother was a grand- 
niece of Matthew Baillie,' a famous Scottish Gypsy, who, as she said, 
* could steal a horse from under the owner, if he liked, but left always the 
saddle and bridle.' John Macdonald, travelling tinker, * knew the story 
of the " Shifty Lad," though not well enough to repeat it ' (Campbell's 
Tales of the West Highlands^ i. 142, 356). An English Gypsy once said 



52 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

to me, * The folks hereabouts are a lot of rdtfalo heathens ; they all 
think they *re going to heaven in a sack* 

Dr. Barbu Constantinescu's * Two Thieves ' is so curious a combina- 
tion of the * Rhampsinitus * story in Herodotus and of Grimm's * Master 
Thief,' that I am more than inclined to regard it as the lost original 
which, according to Campbell of I slay, ' it were vain to look for in any 
modem work or in any modem age.' The * Rhampsinitus ' story and 
the * Master Thief have both been made special subjects of study — the 
former by Reinhold Kohler in Orient und Occident^ 1864, pp. 303-316, 
by Clouston in his Popular Tales and Fictions (1887, ii. 11 5-165), and 
by Sir George Cox in Fraset^s Magazine {]v\y 1880, pp. 96-1 11); the 
latter by M. Cosquin in Contes Populaires de Lorraine (1887 ; ii. 271- 
281, 364-5). With their help and that of the above jottings, we can 
analyse the Gypsy story of the * Two Thieves ' detail by detail, and see 
in how many and how widely-separated non-Gypsy versions some of 
those details have to be sought : — 

(i) A town thief meets a country thief, and is challenged by him to 
steal the eggs of a magpie without her noticing it. — Grimm, No. 129, 
and Kashmir and Kabyle versions. (2) Whilst doing so, he is himself 
robbed unawares of his breeches by the country thief. The stealing of 
the labourer's paijdmas in Kashmir version is analogous. (3) They 
enter into partnership, and have one wife. — Albanian version. (4) They 
go to the king's palace, and, making a hole in the roof, descend and 
steal money. The king, discovering his loss, takes counsel with an old 
robber in prison. — So in Dolopatkos^ modem Greek, and Cypriote 
versions. (5) By his advice the king finds out hole by lighting a fire 
in the treasure-house, and noticing where the smoke escapes. — Dolo- 
pathoSy Pecorone^ old French, Breton, old Dutch, Danish, Kabyle. (6) 
Under the hole he sets a cask of molasses. — Snare in * Rhampsinitus,' 
Tyrolese, Kabyle ; pitch in old English, modem Greek, Cypriote, old 
French, Gaelic, old Dutch, Danish. (7) The country thief is caught, 
and his comrade cuts off his head. — 'Rhampsinitus,' Pecorone^ old 
■English, old French, Breton, Gaelic, Tyrolese, Danish, Kabyle, 
Tibetan, Cinghalese. (8) The headless trunk is exposed, and the 
comrade steals it by intoxicating the guards. — ' Rhampsinitus,' Sicilian, 
Breton, Gaelic, old Dutch, Russian. (9) He further cheats them of 
400 groats as payment for his horse, which he pretends the dead thief 
has stolen. — Wanting elsewhere. (10) The king then puts a prohibitive 
price on all the meat in the city, thinking the thief will betray himself 
by alone being able to pay it ; but the thief steals a joint. — Italian 
(Pecorone^ 1378, ix. i ; and Prof. Crane's Italian Popular Tales ^ p. 166). 
(11) The king finally makes a proclamation, offering his daughter to 
the thief, who plucks up courage and reveals himself. — * Rhampsinitus,' 
PecoronCy Sicilian, modem Greek, Tyrolese, Kabyle. (12) To exhibit 
his skill, he steals one of a yoke of oxen. — Russian (De Gubematis, 
Zoological Mythology y i. 186, from Afanasief). (13) As a further test he 
steals the priest out of the church in a sack, out of which he has just 
let 300 crabs, each with a lighted taper fastened to its claw. According 
to Cosquin, the complete crab episode occurs only in Grimm (he of 



THE WATCHMAKER 53 

course knows nothing of our Gypsy version). But herein he for once is 
wrong, since we find jt also in Krauss's Croatian version of the ' Master 
Thief (No. 55X which bears the title of * The Lad who was up to Gypsy 
Tricks ' ; its hero, indeed, is generally styled * the Gypsy.* He is a 
Gypsy in Dr. Friedrich M liner's Gypsy variant, and in Dr. von Sowa's. 
In the latter version, as in several non-Gypsy ones, the hero, it will be 
noticed, catches crabs, but makes no use whatever of them afterwards. 



No. 13. — The Watchmaker 

There was once a poor lad He took the road, went to 
find himself a master. He met a priest on the road. 

* Where are you going, my lad ? * 

* I am going to find myself a master.' 

* Mine *s the very place for you, my lad, for I Ve another 
lad like you, and I have six oxen and a plough. Do you 
enter my service and plough all this field.' 

The lad arose, and took the plough and the oxen, and 
went into the fields and ploughed two days. Luck^ and 
the Ogre came to him. And the Ogre said to Luck, * Go for 
him.' Luck didn't want to go for him ; only the Ogre went. 
When the Ogre went for him, he laid himself down on his 
back, and unlaced his boots, and took to Bight across the plain. 

The other lad shouted after him, 'Don't go, brother; 
don't go, brother.' 

* Bah ! God blast your plough and you as well.' 

Then he came to a city of the size of Bucharest Presently 
he arrived at a watchmaker's shop. And he leaned his 
elbows on the shop-board and watched the prentices at their 
work. Then one of them asked him, * Why do you sit there 
hungry ? ' 

He said, * Because I like to watch you working.' 

^ The Roumanian-Gypsy word is Baht^ which in one form or another {bakhif 
bakif boky bachlf etc.) occurs in every Gypsy dialect — Turkish, Russian, Scandi- 
navian, German, English, Spanish, etc., and which Pott derives from the 
Sanskrit (ii. 398-9). But the curious point is that in Dozon's Contes Albanais 
(1881), p. 60, we get 'Va trouver ma Fortune/ and a footnote explains, 
' Fortune, en turc bakht^ esp^ce de g^nie protecteur. ' Paspati, again, in his 
Turkish-Gypsy vocabulary (1870), p. 155, gives—* Bakhi, n.f. fortune, sort, hasard. 
. . . Les Grecs et les Turcs se servent tr^ souvent du meme mot ' ; and Mik- 
losich, too, cites the Modem Greek ti^iriLKTi {Ueber die Mundartetty vii. 14). 
The occurrence of this Gypsy word as a loan-word in Modern Greek and Turkish 
is suggestive of a profound influence of the Gypsies on the folklore of the Balkan 
Peninsula. Bakht^ fortune, is also good Persian. 



y . 



54 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

Then the master came out and said, * Here, my lad, I will 
hire you for three years, and will show you all that I am 
master of. For a year and a day,' he continued, * you will 
have nothing to do but chop wood, and feed the oven fire, 
and sit with your elbows on the table, and watch the 
prentices at their work.' 

Now the watchmaker had had a clock of the emperor's 
fifteen years, and no one could be found to repair it; he 
had fetched watchmakers from Paris and Vienna, and not 
one of them had managed it. The time came when the 
emperor offered the half of his kingdom to whoso should 
repair it ; one and all they failed. The clock had twenty- 
four tunes in it And as it played, the emperor grew young 
again. Easter Sunday came ; and the watchmaker went to 
church with his prentices. Only the old wife and the lad 
stayed behind. The lad chopped the wood up quickly, and 
went back to the table that they did their work at He 
never touched one of the little watches, but he took the big 
clock, and set it on the table. He took out two of its pipes, 
and cleaned them, and put them back in their place ; then 
the four-and-twenty tunes began to play, and the clock to 
go. Then the lad hid himself for fear ; and all the people 
came out of the church when they heard the tunes playing. 

The watchmaker, too, came home, and said, * Mother, who 
did me this kindness, and repaired the clock?' 

His mother said, * Only the lad, dear, went near the table.' 

And he sought him and found him sitting in the stable. 
He took him in his arms : ' My lad, you were my master, 
and I never knew it, but set you to chop wood on Easter 
Day.' Then he sent for three tailors, and they made him 
three fine suits of clothes. Next day he ordered a carriage 
with four fine horses ; and he took the clock in his arms, and 
went off to the emperor. The emperor, when he heard it, 
came down from his throne, and took his clock in his arms 
and grew young. Then he said to the watchmaker, * Bring 
me him who mended the clock.' 

He said, * I mended it' 

* Don't tell me it was you. Go and bring me him who 
mended it* 

He went then and brought the lad. 

The emperor said, * Go, give the watchmaker three purses 



THE WATCHMAKER 5J 

of ducats ; but the lad you shall have no more, for I mean 
to give him ten thousand ducats a year, just to stay here 
and mind the clock and repair it when it goes wrong.* 

So the lad dwelt there thirteen years. 

The emperor had a grown-up daughter, and he proposed 
to find a husband for her. She wrote a letter, and gave it 
to her father. And what did she put in the letter? She 
put this : * Father, I am minded to feign to be dumb ; and 
whoso is able to make me speak, I will be his.' 

Then the emperor made a proclamation throughout the 
world : * He who is able to make my daughter speak shall 
get her to wife ; and whoso fails him will I kill.' 

Then many suitors came, but not one of them made her 
speak. And the emperor killed them all, and by and by no 
one more came. 

Now the lad, the watchmaker, went to the emperor, and 
said, * Emperor, let me also go to the maiden, to see if I cannot 
make her speak.' 

* Well, this is how it stands, my lad. Haven't you seen 
the proclamation on the table, how I have sworn to kill 
whoever fails to make her speak ? ' 

* Well, kill me also. Emperor, if I too fail' 

* In that case, go to her.' 

The lad dressed himself bravely, and went into her 
chamber. She was sewing at her frame. When the lad 
entered, he said, * Good-day, you rogue.' 

* Thank you, watchmaker. Well, sit you down since you 
have come, and take a bite.' 

* Well, all right, you rogue.' 

He only was speaking.^ Then he tarried no longer, but 
came out and said, * Good-night, rogue.' 

' Farewell, watchmaker.' 

Next evening the emperor summoned him, to kill him. 
But the lad said, ' Let me go one more night.' Then the 
lad went again, and said, * Good-evening, rogue.' 

'Welcome, watchmaker. And since you have come, 
brother, pray sit down to table.' 

Only he spoke, so at last he said, * Good-night, rogue.' 

' This is a little puzzling, but it must mean that all the speeches seemingly by 
the princess were really made by the watchmaker — that he maintained the 
dialogue. 



56 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

* Farewell, watchmaker.' 

Next night the emperor summoned him. ' I must kill you 
now, for you have reached your allotted term.' 

Then said the lad, ' Do you know, emperor, that there is 
thrice forgiveness for a man ? * 

* Then go to-night, too.' 

Then the lad went that night, and said, ' How do you do, 
rogue ? ' 

* Thank you, watchmaker. Since you have come, sit at 
table.' 

' So I will, rog^e. And see you this knife in my hand ? I 
mean to cut you in pieces if you will not answer my question.' 
' And why should I not answer it, watchmaker ? ' 

* Well, rogfue, know you the princess ? ' 

* And how should I not know her ? ' 

* And the three princes, know you them ? ' 

* I know them, watchmaker.' 

* Well and good, if you know them. The three brothers 
had an intrigue with the princess. They knew not that the 
three had to do with her. But what did the maiden ? She 
knew they were brothers. The eldest came at nightfall, and 
she set him down to table and he ate. Then she lay with 
him and shut him up in a chamber. The middle one came 
at midnight, and she lay with him also and shut him up in 
another chamber. And that same night came the youngest, 
and she lay with him too. Then at daybreak she let them 
all out, and they sprang to slay one another, the three 
brothers. The maiden said, ** Hold, brothers, do not slay 
one another, but go home and take each of you to himself 
ten thousand ducats, and go into three cities ; and his I will 
become who brings me the finest piece of workmanship." So 
the eldest journeyed to Bucharest, and there found a beauti- 
ful mirror. Now look you what kind of mirror it was. " Here, 
merchant,^ what is the price of your mirror ?" "Ten thousand 
ducats, my lad." " Indeed, is that not very dear, brother?" 
" But mark you what kind of mirror it is. You look in it 
and you can see both the dead and the living therein." Now 
let 's have a look at the middle brother. He went to another 
city and found a robe. " You, merchant, what is the price of 
this robe ? " " Ten thousand ducats, my son." ' 

* Lit Greek. 



THE WATCHMAKER 57 

* What an you talking about, watchmaker ? A robe cost 
ten thousand ducats 1 ' ^ 

* But look you, you rogue, what sort of robe it is. For 
when you step on it, it will carry you whither you will. So 
you may fancy he cries " Done ! " Meanwhile the youngest 
also arrived in a city and found a Jew, and bought an apple 
from him. And the apple was such that when a dead man 
ate it he revived. He took it and came to his brothers. 
And when they were all come home they saw their sweet- 
heart dead. And they gave her the apple to eat and she 
arose. And whom then did she choose? She chose the 
youngest What do you say ? ' 

And the emperor's daughter spoke. And the watchmaker 
took her to wife. And they made a marriage. 

This story, though well enough told, is very defective. Of course, by 
rights the eldest brother looks in his mirror, and sees the princess dead 
or about to die ; then the middle brother transports the three of them 
on his travelling robe ; and only then can the youngest brother make 
use of his apple of life. * The Watchmaker' is a corrupt version of * The 
Golden Casket' in Geldart's Folk-lore of Modem Greece^ pp. 106-125, 
which should be carefully compared with it, to render it intelligible. 
Compare also Clouston's chapter on * The Four Clever Brothers ' (i. 277- 
288), where he cites with others a Sanskrit version, and Grimm's No. 129 
(ii. 165, 428). Apropos of the magic mirror here, and of the telescope in 
European folk-tales. Burton has this note on the ivory tube bought by 
Prince Ali in the Arabian tale of * Prince Ahmad and the Peri Bdnd ' : — 
' The origin of the lens and its applied use to the telescope and the 
microscope "are lost" (as the Castle guides of Edinburgh say) "in the 
gloom of antiquity." Well-ground glasses have been discovered amongst 
the finds in Egypt and Assyria ; indeed, much of the finer work of the 
primeval artist could not have been done without such aid. In Europe 
the "spy-glass" appears first in the Opus Majus of the learned Roger 
Bacon (circa a.d. 1270) ; and his "optic tube" (whence his saying, "All 
things are known by perspective") chiefly contributed to make his wide- 
spread fame as a wizard. The telescope was popularised by Galileo, 
who, as mostly happens, carried off and still keeps amongst the vulgar 
all the honours of the invention.' With the travelling robe compare the 
saddle in the Polish-Gypsy * Tale of a Girl who was sold to the Devil ' 
(No. 46) and the wings in the Bukowina-Gypsy * Winged Hero ' (No. 26) ; 
and with the apple of life, which occurs also in the Icelandic version of 
this story, the other-world apple in the Roumanian-Gypsy * Bad Mother' 
(No. 8). See also Clouston on * Prince Ahmad ' in his Variants of Sir 
R, F. Burtoris Supplemental Arabian Nights^ pp. 600-616. 

^ This is the first real remark on the part of the princess, who, woman-like, 
cannot stand a stupid male remark about the price of a dress. 



58 ROUMANIAN. GYPSY STORIES 



No. 14. — The Red King and the Witch 

It was the Red.Xiag, and he bought ten ducats' worth of 
victuals. He cooked them, and he put them in a press. 
And he locked the press, and from night to night posted 
people to guard the victuals. 

In the morning, when he looked, he found the platters 
bare; he did not find anything in them. Then the king 
said, * I will give the half of my kingdom to whoever shall 
be found to guard the press, that the victuals may not go 
amissing from it.' 

The king had three sons. Then the eldest thought with- 
in himself, * God ! What, give half the kingdom to a stranger ! 
It were better for me to watch. Be it unto me according to 
God's will.' 

He went to his father. ' Father, all hail. What, give the 
kingdom to a stranger ! It were better for me to watch.' 

And his father said to him, * As God will, only don't be 
frightened by what you may see.' 

Then he said, ' Be it unto me according to God's will.' 

And he went and lay down in the palace. And he put 
his head on the pillow, and remained with his head on the 
pillow till towards dawn. And a warm sleepy breeze came 
and lulled him to slumber. And his little sister arose. And 
she turned a somersault, and her nails became like an axe 
and her teeth like a shovel. And she opened the cupboard 
and ate up everything. Then she became a child again and 
returned to her place in the cradle, for she was a babe at the 
breast. The lad arose and told his father that he had seen 
nothing. His father looked in the press, found the platters 
bare — no victuals, no anything. His father said, * It would 
take a better man than you, and even he might do nothing.' 

His middle son also said, ' Father, all hail. I am going to 
watch to-night.' 

* Go, dear, only play the man.' 

* Be it unto me according to God's will.' 

And he went into the palace and put his head on a pillow. 
And at ten o'clock came a warm breeze and sleep seized 
him. Up rose his sister and unwound herself from her 
swaddling-bands and turned a somersault, and her teeth 



THE RED KING AND THE WITCH 59 

became like a shovel and her nails like an axe. And she 
went to the press and opened it, and ate oflF the platters 
what she found. She ate it all, and turned a somersault 
again and went back to her place in the cradle. Day broke 
and the lad arose, and his father asked him and said, 'It 
would take a better man than you, and even he might do 
nought for me if he were as poor a creature as you.' 

The youngest son arose. * Father, all hail. Give me also 
leave to watch the cupboard by night' 

* Go, dear, only don't be frightened with what you see.' 
'Be it unto me according to God's will,' said the lad. 
And he went and took four needles and lay down with 

his head on the pillow; and he stuck the four needles in 
four places. When sleep seized him he knocked his head 
against a needle, so he stayed awake until ten o'clock. And 
his sister arose from her cradle, and he saw. And she turned 
a somersault, and he was watching her. And her teeth be- 
came like a shovel and her nails like an axe. And she went 
to the press and ate up everything. She left the platters 
bare. And she turned a somersault, and became tiny again 
as she was ; went to her cradle. The lad, when he saw that, 
trembled with fear ; it seemed to him ten years till daybreak. 
And he arose and went to his father. * Father, all hail.' 
Then his father asked him, * Didst see anything, Peterkin?* 

* What did I see ? what did I not see ? Give me money 
and a horse, a horse fit to carry the money, for I am away 
to marry me.' 

His father gave him a couple of sacks of ducats, and he put 
them on his horse. The lad went and made a hole on the 
border of the city. He made a ch est of stone , and put all the ^ 
money there and buried it. He placed a stone cross above 
and departed. And he journeyed eight years and came to 
the queen of all the birds that fly. ^ 

And tlie queen of the birds asked him, 'Whither away, 
Peterkin ? ' 

* Thither, where there is neither death nor old age, to '^ ^ i r, 
marry me.' 

The queen said to him, * Here is neither death nor old age.' 
Then Peterkin said to her, * How comes it that here is 
neither death nor old age ? ' 
Then she said to him, * When I whittle away the wood of 



.' \ 



60 ROUMANIAN. GYPSY STORIES 

all this forest, then death will come and take me and old 
age.' 

Then Peterkin said, ' One day and one morning death will 
come and old age, and take me.' 

And he departed further, and journeyed on eight years 
and arrived at a palace of. copper. And_a maiden came 
forth from that palace and took him and kissedThim. She 
said, • I have waited long for thee,' 

She took the horse and put him in the stable, and the lad 
spent the night there. He arose in the morning and placed 
his saddle on the horse. 

Then the maiden began to weep, and asked him, * Whither 
away, Peterkin ? ' 

* Thither, where there is neither death nor old age.' 

Then the maiden said to him, * Here is neither death nor 
old age.' 

Then he asked her, *How comes it that here is neither 
death nor old age ? ' 

* Why, when these mountains are levelled, and these forests, 
then death will come.' 

* This is no place for me,' said the lad to her. And he 
departed further. 

Then what said his horse to him ? * Master, whip me four 
times, and twice yourself, for you are come to the Plain of 
Regret And Regret will seize you and cast you down, 
horse and all. So spur your horse, escape, and tarry not' 

He came to a hut In that hut he beholds a lad, as it 
were ten years old, who asked him, *What seekest thou, 
Peterkin, here ? * 

* I seek the place where there is neither death nor old age.' 
The lad said, * Here is neither death nor old age. I am 

the Wind.' 

Then Peterkin said, 'Never, never will I go from here.' 
And he dwelt there a hundred years and grew no older. 

There the lad dwelt, and he went out to hunt in the 
Mountains of Gold and Silver, and he could scarce carry 
home the game. 

Then what said the Wind to him ? * Peterkin, go unto all 
the Mountains of Gold and unto the Mountains of Silver ; but 
go not to the Mountain of Regret or to the Valley of Grief 

He heeded not, but went to the Mountain of Regret and 



THE RED KING AND THE WITCH 6i 

the Valley of Grief. And Grief cast him down ; he wept till 
his eyes were full. 

And he went to the Wind. *I am going home to my 
father, I will not stay longer.' 

* Go not, for your father is dead, and brothers you have 
no more left at home. A million years have come and gone 
since then. The spot is not known where your father's 
palace stood. They have planted melons on it; it is but 
an hour since I passed that way.' 

But the lad departed thence, and arrived at the maiden's 
whose was the palace of copper. Only one stick remained, 
and she cut it and grew old. As he knocked at the door, 
the stick fell and she died. He buried her, and departed 
thence. And he came to the queen of the birds in the great 
forest. Only one branch remained, and that was all but 
through. 

When she saw him she said, 'Peterkin, thou art quite 
young.' 

Then he said to her, * Dost thou remember telling me to 
tarry here ? ' 

As she pressed and broke through the branch, she, too, 
fell and died. 

He came where his father's palace stood and looked about 
him. There was no palace, no anything. And he fell to 
marvelling: *God, Thou art mighty!* He only recognised 
his father's well, and went to it. His sister, the witch, when 
she saw him, said to him, * I have waited long for you, dog.' 
She rushed at him to devour him, but he made the sign of 
the cross and she perished. 

And he departed thence, and came on an old man with 
his beard down to his belt. 'Father, where is the palace 
of the Red King ? I am his son.' 

*What is this,' said the old man, *thou tellest me, that 
thou art his son ? My father's father has told me of the 
Red King. His very city is no more. Dost thou not see it 
is vanished ? And dost thou tell me that thou art the Red 
King's son ? ' 

* It is not twenty years, old man, since I departed from 
my father, and dost thou tell me that thou knowest not my 
father? ' (It was a million years since he had left his home.) 
* Follow me if thou dost not believe me.' 



62 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

And he went to the cross of stone ; only a palm's breadth 
was out of the ground. And it took him two days to get at 
the chest of money. When he had lifted the chest out and 
opened it, Death sat in one corner groaning, and Old Age 
groaning in another comer. 

Then what said Old Age ? * Lay hold of him, Death.' 

* Lay hold of him yourself.' 

Old Age laid hold of him in front, and Death laid hold of 
him behind. 

The old man took and buried him decently, and planted 
the cross near him. And the old man took the money and 
also the horse. 

In these days, when one is called upon to admire Maeterlinck and 
not for the world to admire Scott's Marmion^ it is hard to know what is 
really good and what bad. Else this story of * The Red King and the 
Witch* to mg^sfienis the finestiolk-tale thatwejiaxe. It is like Albert 
Diirer's * Knight,' it is like the csdrdis of some great Gypsy maestro. 
But is it original ? Well, that 's the question. There are several non- 
Gypsy stories that offer most striking analogies. There is Ralston's 
*The Witch and the Sun's Sister' (pp. 170-175, from the Ukraine), and 
there is Ralston's *The Norka' (pp. 73-80, from the Chernigof govern- 
ment). Then there is WratislaVs * Transmigration of the Soul ' (pp. 161- 
162, Little Russian), of a baby that gobbles up victuals. And there are 
Grimm's No. 57 and Hahn's No. 65. From these it would not be difficult 
to patch together a story that should almost exactly parallel our Gypsy 
one ; but not one of them, I feel certain, can rightly be deemed its 
original. 

No. 15. — The Prince and the Wizard 

There was a king, and he had an only son. Now, that lad 
was heroic, nought-heeding. And he set out in quest of 
heroic achievements. And he went a long time nought- 
heeding. And he came to a forest, and lay down to sleep 
in the shadow of a tree, and slept. Then he saw a dream, 
that he arises and goes to the hill where the dragon's horses 
are, and that if you ^ keep straight on you will come to the 
man with no kidneys, screaming and roaring. So he arose 
and departed, and came to the man with no kidneys. And 
when he came there, he asked him, * Mercy ! what are you 
screaming for ? ' 

^ This change from the third to the second person is in the original. 



THE PRINCE AND THE WIZARD 63 

He said, ' Why, a wizard has taken my kidneys, and has 
left me here in the road as you see me.* 

Then the lad said to him, ' Wait a bit longer till I return 
from somewhere.' 

And he left him, and journeyed three more days and three 
nights. And he came to that hill, and sat down, and ate, 
and rested. And he arose and went to the hill. And the 
horses, when they saw him, ran to eat him. And the lad 
said, ' Do not eat me, for I will give you pearly hay ^ and 
fresh water.' 

Then the horses said, * Be our master. But see you do as 
you 've promised.' 

The lad said, * Horses, if I don't, why, eat me and slay me.' 

So he took them and departed with them home. And 
he put them in the stable, and gave them fresh water and 
pearly hay. And he mounted the smallest horse, and set 
out for the man with no kidneys, and found him there. And 
he asked him what was the name of the wizard who had 
taken his kidneys. 

' What his name is I know not, but I do know where he 
is gone to. He is gone to the other world.' 

Then the lad took and went a long time nought-heeding, 
and came to the edge of the earth, and let himself down, 
and came to the other world. And he went to the wizard's 
there, and said, * Come forth, O wizard, that I may see the 
sort of man you are.' 

So when the wizard heard, he came forth to eat him and 
slay him. Then the lad took his heroic club and his sabre ; 
and the instant he hurled his club, the wizard's hands were 
bound behind his back. And the lad said to him, * Here, you 
wizard, tell quick, my brother's kidneys, or I slay thee this 
very hour.' 

And the wizard said, * They are there in a jar. Go and get 
them.' 

And the lad said, * And when I 've got them, what am I 
to do with them ? ' 

The wizard said, ' Why, when you 've got them, put them 
in water and give him them to drink.' 

Then the lad went and took them, and departed to him. 

^ What ' pearly hay ' is I know not, but it stands so in the original. 



64 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

And he put the kidneys in water, and gave him to drink, 
and he drank. And when he had drunk he was whole. 
And he took the lad, and kissed him, and said, *Be my 
brother till my death or thine, and so too in the world to 
come.' 

So they became brothers. And having done so, they took 
and journeydd in quest of heroic achievements. So they 
set out and slew every man that they found in their road. 
Then the man who had had no kidneys said he was going 
after the wizard, and would pass to the other world. Then 
they took and went there to the edge of the earth, and let 
themselves in. And they came there, and went to the wizard. 
And when they got there, how they set themselves to fight, 
and fought with him two whole days. Then when the lad, 
his brother, took and hurled his club, the wizard's hands 
were bound behind his back. And he cut his throat, and 
took his houses, made them two apples.^ 

And they went further, and came on a certain house, and 
there were three maidens. And the lad hurled his club, and 
carried away half their house. And when the maidens saw 
that, they came out, and saw them coming. And they flung 
a comb on their path, and it became a forest — no needle 
could thread it. So when the lad saw that, he flung his 
club and his sabre. And the sabre cut and the club battered. 
And it cut all the forest till nothing was left. 

And when the maidens saw that they had felled the forest, 
they flung a whetstone, and it became a fortress of stone, so 
that there was no getting further. And he flung the club, 
and demolished the stone, and made dust of it. And when 
the maidens saw that they had demolished the stone, they 
flung a mirror before them, and it became a lake, and there 
was no getting over. And the lad flung his sabre, and it 
cleft the water, and they passed through, and went there to 
the maidens. When they came there they said, * And what 
were you playing your cantrips on us for, maidens ? ' 

Then the maidens said, * Why, lad, we thought that you 
were coming to kill us.' 

Then the lad shook hands with them, the three sisters, 
and said to them, * There, maidens, and will you have us ? * 

^ The last four words fairly beat me, but such seems their literal meaning. 
In the Roumanian rendering, * le-a facut doue mere.' 



THE APPLES OF PREGNANCY 65 

And they took them to wife — one for himself, and one for 
him who had lost his kidneys, and one they gave to another 
lad. And he went with them home. And they made a 
marriage. 

And I came away, and I have told the story. 

And a very quaint story it is ; to the best of my knowledge, that 
rarest of all things, a new one. * God's Godson,' No. 6, also offers an 
instance of an heroic hero, nought-heeding, who sets out in quest of 
heroic achievements ; and we find the same notion in a good many 
folk-tales of South-east Europe, e,g, in the Croatian story of * Kraljevitch 
Marko' (Wratislaw, No. 52, p. 266). For the comb, whetstone, and 
mirror, cf, Ralston, p. 142, and the Bukowina- Gypsy story, * Made over 
to the Devil' (No. 34), where it is a whetstone, a comb, and a towel. 



No. 16. — The Apples of Pregnancy 

There were where there were a king and a queen. Now 
for sixteen years that king and that queen had had no sons 
or daughters. So he thought they would never have any. 
And he was always weeping and lamenting, for what would 
become of them without any children ? Then the king said 
to the queen, * O queen, I will go away and leave you, and 
if I do not find a son bom of you by my return, know that 
either I will kill you with my own hands, or I will send you 
away, and live no longer with you.' 

Then another king sent a challenge to him to go and 
fight, for, if he goes not, he will come and slay him on his 
throne. Then the king said to his queen, * Here, O queen, 
is a challenge come for me to go and fight. If I had had a 
son, would he not have gone, and I have remained at home ? * 

She said, * How can I help it, O king, if God has not 
chosen to give us any sons ? What can I do ? ' 

He said, * Prate not to me of God. If I come and don't 
find a son born of you, I shall kill you.' 

And the king departed. 

Then the holy God and St. Peter fell to discussing what 
they should do for the queen. So God said to Peter, * Here, 
you Peter, go down with this apple, and pass before her 
window, and cry, " I have an apple, and whoso eats of it will 
conceive." She will hear you. For it were a pity, Peter, for 
the king to come and kill her.' 

E 



66 ROUMANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

So St. Peter took the apple, and came down, and did as 
God had told him. He cried in front of the queen's window. 
She heard him, and came out, and called him to her, and 
asked, * How much do you want for that apple, my man ? ' 
He said, * I want much ; give me a purse of money.* 
And the queen took the purse of money, and gave it him, 
and took the apple and ate it. And when she had eaten it, 
she conceived. And St. Peter left her the purse of money 
there. So the time drew near for her to bear a child. And 
the very day that she brought forth her son, his father came 
from the war, and he had won the fight So when he came 
home and heard that the queen had borne him a son, he went 
to the wine-shop and drank till he was drunk. And as he 
was coming home from the wine-shop, he reached the door, 
and fell down, and died. Then the boy heard it, and rose 
up out of his mother's arms, and went to the vintner, and 
killed him with a blow. And he came home. And the 
people, the nobles, beheld him, what a hero he was, and 
wondered at him. But an evil eye fell on him, and for 
three days he took to his bed. And he died of the evil eye. 

Two other Roumanian-Gypsy stories may be compared with this one — 
No. lo and * The Prince who ate Men,' where, likewise, a king has no 
son, threatens the queen with death, and goes off to the war. The 
queen goes out driving, and meets a little bit of a man who follows her 
home, gives her a glass of medicine, and vanishes. She conceives, and 
bears a son, * half dog, half bear, and half man.* The father returns 
victorious, and is going to slay this monster, till he learns who he is. 
Afterwards the monster takes to eating sentinels, until he himself is 
slain by a hero. Fruits of pregnancy are very common in Indian 
folk-tales, and God plays much the same part there. For instance, in 
* Chandra's Vengeance* (Mary Frere*s 0/d Deccan DaySy pp. 253-4), 
Mahadeo gives a mango-fruit to a sterile woman, and she bears a child. 
Cf, also Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Taies^ pp. 42, 91 ; Knowles's 
Folk-tales of Kashmir^ p. 416 note ; Hahn, Nos. 4, 6, etc. ; and the 
English-Gypsy story, * De Little Fox,' No. 52. 



CHAPTER III 
BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

No. 17. — It all comes to Light 

There was a man with as many children as ants in an 
anthill. And three of the girls went to reap corn, and the 
emperor's son came by. And the eldest girl said, * If the 
emperor's son will marry me, I will clothe his whole army 
with one spindleful of thread.' And the middle girl said, 

* I will feed his army with a single loaf.' And the youngest 
girl said, * If he will marry me, I will bear him twins clever 
and good, with hair of gold and teeth like pearls.' 

His servant heard them. * Emperor, the eldest girl said, 
if you will marry her, she will clothe your army with one 
spindleful of thread ; the middle girl said, if you will marry 
her, she will feed your army with a single loaf; the youngest 
girl said, if you will marry her, she will bear you twins clever 
and good, with golden hair.' 

*Turn back,' he cried, *take the youngest girl, put her in 
the carriage.' 

He brought her home ; he lived with her half a year ; and 
they summoned him to the army to fight. He remained a 
year at the war. His empress brought forth two sons. The 
servant took them, and flung them into the pigstye; and 
she put two whelps by the mother. 

At evening the pigs came home, and the eldest sow cried, 

* Hah ! here are our master's sons ; quick, give them the 
teat to suck, and keep them warm.' 

The pigs went forth to the field. The servant came, saw 
that the boys are well, not dead ; she flung them into the 
stable. At evening the horses came home, and the eldest 
mare cried, * Hah ! here are our master's sons ; quick, give 
them the teat to suck.' 

67 



68 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

In the morning the horses went forth to the field. The 
servant took them, and buried them in the dunghill. And 
two golden fir-trees grew. 

The emperor came from the war. The servant went to 
meet him. * Emperor, the empress has borne you a couple 
of whelps.' 

The emperor buried the empress behind the door up to 
the waist, and set the two whelps to suck her. He married 
the servant. This servant said to the emperor, ' Fell these 
fir-trees, and make me a bed.' 

' Fell them I will not ; they are of exquisite beauty.' 

* If you don't, I shall die.' 

The emperor set men to work, and felled the firs, and 
gathered all the chips, and burned them with fire. He made 
a bed of the two planks, and slept with his new empress in 
the bed. 

And the elder boy said, * Brother, do you feel it heavy, 
brother ? ' 

* No, I don't feel it heavy, for my father is sleeping on me ; 
but you, do you feel it heavy, brother ? ' 

* I do, for my stepmother is sleeping on me.' 

She heard, she arose in the morning. * Emperor, chop up 
this bed, and put it in the fire, that it be burnt.' 
' Bum it I will not.' 

* But you must put it in the fire, else I shall die.' 

The emperor bade them put it in the fire. She bade 
them block up the chimney, that not a spark should escape. 
But two sparks escaped, and fell on a couple of lambs : the 
lambs became golden. She saw, and commanded the 
servants to kill the Iambs. She gave the servants the 
chitterlings to wash them, and gave the chitterlings num- 
bered. They were washing them in the stream ; two of the 
chitterlings fell into the water. They cut two chitterlings 
in half, and added them to the number, and came home. 
From those two chitterlings which fell into the water came 
two doves ; and they turned a somersault,^ and became 
boys. And they went to a certain lady. This lady was a 
widow, and she took the boys in, and brought them up 
seven years, and clothed them. 

And the emperor made proclamation in the land that they 

^ See footnote 2 on p. i6. 



IT ALL COMES TO LIGHT 69 

should gather to him to a ball. All Bukowina assembled. 
They ate and drank. The emperor said, ' Guess what 
I have suffered.' Nobody guessed. These two boys also 
went, and sat at the gate. The emperor saw them. * Call 
also these two boys.' 

They called them to the emperor. * What are you come 
for, boys ? ' 

* We came, emperor, to guess.' 

* Well, guess away.' 

' There was a man with children as many as ants in an 
anthill. And three of the girls went to reap corn, and the 
emperor's son came by. And the eldest girl said, " If this 
lad will marry me, I will clothe his army with one spindle- 
ful of thread." The middle girl said, " If he will marry me, I 
will feed his army with a single loaf." The youngest girl 
said, "If this emperor's son will marry me, I will bear him 
twins clever and good, with hair of gold and teeth like 
pearls." His servant said to the emperor, " Emperor, the 
eldest girl said that, if you will marry her, she will clothe 
your army with one spindleful of thread ; and the middle 
girl said, if you will marry her, she will feed your army with 
a single loaf ; and the youngest girl said, if you will marry 
her, she will bear you twins clever and good, with hair of 
gold and teeth like pearls." Come forth, pearl.^ The 
emperor lived with her half a year, and departed to war, 
and remained a year. The empress brought forth two sons. 
The servant took them, flung them into the pigstye, and put 
two whelps by her. At evening the pigs came home, and 
the eldest sow cried, " Hah ! here are our master's sons ; 
you must give them the teat" In the morning the pigs 
went forth to the field. The servant came, saw that they 
are well, flung them into the stable. At evening the horses 
came ; the eldest horse cried, " Hah ! here are our master's 
sons ; you must give them the teat." In the morning the 
horses went forth to the field. She came and saw that they 
are well. She buried them in the horses' dunghill, and two 
golden fir-trees grew. The emperor came from the army. 
The servant went to meet him. " Emperor, the empress has 

^ The meaning of these three words is obscure. According to Miklosich, they 
are a magic formula with which the boy summons the empress from her grave 
behind the door. Or, perhaps, at this point the boy shows his pearly teeth. 



70 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

borne a couple of whelps.*' The emperor buried her behind 
the door, and set the two whelps to suck. The emperor 
married the servant The new empress said, " Fell the fir- 
trees, and make a bed." "Fell them I will not, for they 
are beautiful." "If you don't fell them, I shall die." The 
emperor commanded, and they felled them, and he gathered 
all the chips and flung them in the fire, and he made a bed. 
And the emperor was sleeping in the bed with the servant. 
And the elder brother said, " Do you feel it heavy, brother?" 
" No, I don't feel it heavy, for my true father is sleeping on 
me ; but do you feel it heavy, brother ? " "I do, for my 
stepmother is sleeping on me." She heard, she arose in the 
morning. " Emperor, chop up this bed, and put it in the 
fire." " Chop it up I will not, for it is fair." " If you don't, I 
shall die." The emperor commanded, and chopped up the 
bed, and they put it in the fire ; and she told theni to block 
up the chimney. But two sparks jumped out on two lambs, 
and the lambs became golden. She saw, and commanded 
the servants to kill them, and gave the chitterlings to two 
girls to wash. And two chitterlings escaped, and they cut 
two chitterlings, and made up the proper number. From 
those chitterlings came two doves ; and they turned a 
somersault, and became two boys. And they went to a 
certain widow lady, and she took them in, and brought 
them up seven years. The emperor gathered Bukowina 
to a ball, and they ate and drank. The emperor told them 
to guess what he had suffered. Nobody guessed, but I 
have. And if you believe not, we are your sons, and our 
mother is buried behind the door.' 

Then came his mother into the hall. * Good-day to you, 
my sons.' 

* Thank you, mother.' 

And they took that servant, and bound her to a wild 
horse, and gave him his head, and he smashed her to pieces. 

Dr. Barbu Constantinescu furnishes this Roumanian -Gypsy variant : — 

No. 1 8. — The Golden Children 

There were three princesses, and they vaunted themselves 
before the three princes. One vaunted that she will make 
him a golden boy and girl. And one vaunted that she will 



THE GOLDEN CHILDREN 71 

feed his army with one crust of bread. And one vaunted 
that she will clothe the whole army with a single spindle- 
ful of thread. The time came that the princes took the 
three maidens. So she who had vaunted that she will bear 
the golden boy and girl, the time came that she grew big 
with child, and she fell on the hearth in the birth-pangs. 
The midwife came and his mother, and she brought forth a 
golden boy and girl. And her man was not there. And 
the midwife and his mother took a dog and a bitch, and put 
them beneath her. And they took the boy and the girl, 
and the midwife threw them into the river. And they went 
floating on the river, and a monk found them. 

So their father went a-hunting, and their father found the 
lad. * Let me kiss you.' For, he thought, My wife said she 
would bear a golden lad and girl like this. And he came 
home and fell sick ; and the midwife noticed it and his 
mother. 

The midwife asked him, * What ails you ? ' 

He said, * I am sick, because I have seen a lad like my 
wife said she would bear me.' 

Then she sent for the children, did his mother ; and the 
monk brought them ; and she asked him, * Where did you 
get those children ? ' 

He said, * I found them both floating on the river.' 

And the king saw it must be his children; his heart 
yearned towards them. So the king called the monk, and 
asked him, * Where did you get those children ? ' 

He said, * I found them floating on the river.' 

He brought the monk to his mother and the midwife, and 
said, * Behold, mother, my children.' 

She repented and said, * So it is.' She said,'* Yes, darling, 
the midwife put them in a box, and threw them into the 
water/ 

Then he kindled the furnace, and cast both his mother 
and also the midwife into the furnace. And he burnt 
them ; and so they made atonement. He gathered all the 
kings together, for joy that he had found his children. 
Away I came, the tale have told. 

And a very poor tale it is, most clearly defective ; we never, for 
instance, hear what becomes of the mother. Non-Gypsy versions of this 
story are very numerous and very widely spread, almost as widely spread 



72 SLOVAK-GYPSY VARIANT 

as the Gypsies. We have them from Iceland, Brittany, Brazil, Catalonia, 
Sicily, Italy, Lorraine, Germany, Tyrol, Transylvania, Hungary, Servia, 
Roumania, Albania^ Syria, White Russia, the Caucasus, Egypt, Arabia, 
Mesopotamia, and Bengal, as well as in Dolopathos {c, 1180) and 
Straparola. Special studies of this story have been made by Cosquin 
(vol. i. p. Ixiii. and p. 190), and W. A. Clouston in his Variants and 
Analogues of the Tales in vol. Hi, of Sir R, F, Burtotis Supplemental 
Arabian Nights (1887), pp. 617-648.' Reference may also be made to 
Grimm, No. 96, * The Three Little Birds ' ; Wratislaw's, No. 23, * The 
Wonderful Lads*; Grenville-Murray's Z?<7/>i^y or^ Songs and Legends of 
Roumania (1854), pp. 106- no; Denton's Serbian Folklore, p. 238; 
Hahn, i. 272 ; ii. 40, 287, 293 ; *The Boy with the Moon on his Fore- 
head,' in the Rev. Lai Behari Day's Folk-tales of Bengal (No. 19, p. 
236) ; and ' The Boy who had a Moon on his Foreheyl and a Star on 
his Chin,' in Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales (No. 20, p. iig ; cf also, 
No. 2, pp. 7 and 245). * Chandra's Vengeance ' in Mary Frere's Old 
Deccan Days (No. 22, p. 225), offers some curious analogies. There the 
heroine is born with two golden anklets on her ankles, ' dazzling to look 
at like the sun.' She is put in a golden box, floated down the river, 
saved by a fisherman, etc. Cosquin acutely remarks that in the original 
story the king, of course, marries the three sisters, and the two elder, 
jealous, are the prime workers of the mischief. 

* Yet a third Gypsy version, a Slovak one, is furnished by Dr. von 
Sowa. It is plainly corrupt and imperfect : — 

No. 19. — The Two Children 

Somewhere there was a hunter's son, a soldier ; and there 
was also a shoemaker's daughter. She had a dream that if 
he took her to wife, and if she fell pregnant by him, she 
would bring forth twins — the boy with a golden star upon 
his breast, and the girl with a golden star upon the brow. 
And he presently took her to wife. And she was poor, 
that shoemaker's daughter; and he was rich. So his 
parents did not like her for a daughter-in-law. She became 
with child to him ; and he went off to serve as a soldier. 
Within a year she brought forth. When that befell, she had 
twins exactly as she had said. She bore a boy and a girl ; 
the boy had a golden star upon his breast, and the girl had 
a golden star upon her brow. But his parents threw the 
twins into diamond chests, wrote a label for each of them, 
and put it in the chest Then they let them swim away 
down the Vah river.^ 

^ Slov. Vah, Ger. Waag, a river of Northern Hungary. 



THE TWO CHILDREN 73 

Then my God so ordered it, that there were two fishers, 
catching fish. They saw those chests come swimming down 
the river ; they laid hold of both of them. When they had 
done so, they opened the chests, and there were the children 
alive, and on each was the label with writing. The fishers 
took them up, and went straight to the church to baptize 
them. 

So those children lived to their eighth year, and went 
already to school And the fishers had also children of 
their own, and used to beat them, those foundlings. He, 
the boy, was called Jankos ; and she, Marishka. 

And Marishka said to Jankos, * Let us go, Jankos mine, 
somewhere into the world.' 

Then they went into a forest, there spent the night. 
There they made a fire, and Marishka fell into a slumber, 
whilst he, Jankos, kept up the fire. There came a very old 
stranger to him, and he says to him, says that stranger, 
* Come with me, Jankos, I will give you plenty of money.' 

He brought him into a vault ; there a stone door opened 
before him ; the vault was full, brim full of money. Jankos 
took two armfuls of money. It was my God who was there 
with him, and showed him the money. He took as much 
as he could carry, then returned to Marishka. Marishka 
was up already and awake; she was weeping — 'Where, 
then, is Jankos ? ' 

Jankos calls to her, * Fear not, I am here ; I am bringing 
you plenty of money.' 

My God had told him to take as much money as he wants ; 
the door will always be open to him. Then they, Jankos 
and Marishka, went to a city ; he bought clothes for himself 
and for her, and bought himself a fine house. Then he 
bought also horses and a small carriage. Then he went to 
the vault for that money, and helped himself again. With 
the shovel he flung it on the carriage; then he returned 
home with so much money that he didn't know what to 
do with it. 

Then he ordered a band to play music, and arranged for 
a ball. Then he invited all the gentry in that country, 
invited all of them ; and his parents too came. This he did 
that he might find out who were his parents. Right enough 
they came ; and he, Jankos, at once knew his mother — my 



74 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

God had ordained it, that he at once should know her. 
Then he asks his mother,^ does Jankos, what a man deserved 
who ruins two souls, and is himself alive. 

And she says, the old lady, * Such a one deserves nothing 
better than to have light set to the fagot-pile, and himself 
pitched into the fire.' 

That was just what they did to them, pitched them into 
the fire ; and he remained there with Marishka. And the 
gentleman cried then, * Hurrah ! bravo ! that *s capital.' 



No. 20. — Mare's Son 

A priest went riding on his mare to town. And ... he 
led her into the forest, and left her there. The mare brought 
forth a son. And God came and baptized him, and gave 
him the name * Mare's Son.' He sucked one year, and went 
to a tree, and tries to pluck it up, and could not. 

* Ah ! mother, I '11 suck one year more.* 

He sucked one year more ; he went to the tree ; he 
plucked it up. 

* Now, mother, I shall go away from you.* 

And he went into the forests, and found a man. * Good 
day to you.* 
' Thanks.' 

* What 's your name ? ' 

* Tree-splitter.' 

' Hah ! let 's become brothers. Come with me.' 

They went further ; they found another man. * Good day ' 

* Thanks.' 

* What 's your name ? ' 

* Rock-splitter.' 

* Hah ! let 's become brothers.' 
They became brothers. 

* Come with me.' 

They went further j they found yet another man. * Good 
day to you.' 
' Thanks.' 

* What 's your name } ' 

* Tree-bender.' t 

^ By rights this question should be put to the grand-parents. 



MARE'S SON 75 

* Come with me/ 

The four went further, and they found a robbers' den. 
The robbers had killed a heifer. When the robbers saw 
them, they fled. They went away, and left the meat 
untouched. They cooked the meat and ate. They passed 
the night. In the morning Mare's Son said, * Let three of 
us go to hunt, and one stay at home to cook.' They left 
Tree-splitter at home to cook, and he cooked the food 
nicely. And there came an old man to him, a hand's- 
breadth tall, with a beard a cubit in length. 

* Give me to eat.' 

* Not I. For they '11 come from hunting, and there '11 be 
nothing to give them.' 

The old man went into the wood, and cut four wedges, 
and threw him. Tree-splitter, on the ground, and fastened 
him to the earth by the han<^s and feet, and ate up all the 
food. Then he let him go, and departed. He put more 
meat in the pot to cook. They came from hunting and 
asked, ' Have you cooked the food ? ' 

* Ever since you 've been away I 've had the meat at the 
fire, but it isn't cooked properly.' 

* Dish it up as it is, for we 're hungry.' 

He dished it up as it was, and they ate it. They passed 
the night. The next day they left another cook, and the 
three of them went off to hunt. The old man came again. 

* Give me something to eat.' 

*Not I, for they'll come from hunting, and there'll be 
nothing to give them to eat.' 

He went into the wood, and cut four wedges, and fastened 
him to the earth by the hands and feet, and ate up all the 
food, and let him go, and departed. He put more meat in 
the pot to cook. They came from hunting. * Have you 
cooked the food ? ' 

* Ever since you 've been away I 've had it at the fire, but 
it isn't cooked, for it 's old meat' 

They passed the night. The third day they left another 
cook. The three of them went to hunt; and those two 
never told what they had undergone. Again the old man 
came, demanded food. 

* Not a morsel, for they '11 come from hunting, and I should 
have nothing to give them.' 



76 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

He went into the wood, and cut four wedges, and fastened 
him to the earth by the hands and feet, and ate up all the 
food, and let him go. They came from hunting. 'Have 
you cooked the food ? ' 

* The minute you went away I put the meat in the pot ; 
but it isn't cooked, for it 's old/ 

The fourth day Mare's Son remained as cook, and he 
cooked the food nicely. 

The old man came. * Give me something to eat, for I 'm 
hungry.' 

* Come here, and I *11 give you some.' 

He called him into the house, and caught him by the 
beard, and led him to a beech-tree, and drove his axe into 
the beech, and cleft it, and put his beard in the cleft, and 
drew out the axe, and drove in wedges by the beard, and 
left him there. They came from hunting ; he gave them to 
eat. * Why didn't you cook as good food as I ? ' 

They ate. 

The old man pulled the tree out of the earth on to his 
shoulders, and dragged it after him, and departed into a cave 
in the other world. 

Said Mare's Son to them, * Come with me, and you shall 
see what I 've caught' 

They went, and found only the place. 

Said Mare's Son, *Come with me, for I've got to find 
him.' 

They went, following the track of the tree to his cave. 

* This is where he went in. Who '11 go in to fetch him 
out?' 

They said, * Not we, we 're afraid Do you go in, for it 
was you who caught him.' 

He said, * I '11 go in, and do you swear that you will act 
fairly by me.' 

They swore that they will act fairly by him. They made 
a basket, and he lowered himself into the cave, and went to 
the other world. There was a palace under the earth, and he 
found the old man with his beard in the tree, put him in the 
basket, and they drew him up. He found a big stone, and 
put it in the basket. ' If they pull up the stone, they will pull 
up me.' They pulled it up half-way, and cut the rope. 
He fell a-weeping. * Now I am undone.' 



MARE'S SON ^^ 

He journeyed under the earth, and came to a house. 
There was an old man and an old woman, both blind, for the 
fairies ^ had put out their eyes. Mare's Son went to them 
and said, * Good day.' 

* Thanks. And who are you ? ' 
' I am a man.' 

'And old or young? ' 

* Young.' 

* Be a son to us.' / 
' Good.' / 

The old man had ten sheep. ' Here take the sheep, and 
graze them, daddy's darling. And don't go to the right 
hand, else the fairies will catch you and put out your eyes ; 
that 's their field. But go to the left hand, for they 've no 
business there ; that 's our field.' 

He went three days to the left hand, until he bethought 
himself, and made a flute, and went to the right hand with 
his sheep. 

And there met him a fairy, and said to hirt, *Son of a 
roarer,* what are you wanting here ? ' 

He began to play on the flute. * Dance a bit for me.' 

He began to play, and she danced. Just as she was 
dancing her very best, he broke the flute with his teeth. 

The fairy said, * What are you doing, why did you break 
it, when I was dancing my very best ? ' 

* Come with me to that tree, that maple, that I may take 
out its heart and make a flute. And I will play all day, and 
you shall dance. Come with me.' 

He went to the maple, and drove his axe into the maple, 
and cleft it. ' Put your hand in, and take out the heart' 

She put in her hand ; he drew out the axe, and left her 
hand in the tree. 

She cried, * Quick, release my hand ; it will be crushed.' 

And he said, * Where are the old man's and the old 
woman's eyes ? For if you don't tell me, I shall cut your 
throat' 

' Go to the third room. They 're in a glass. The larger 
are the old man's, the smaller the old woman's.' 

' ZemUf a Roumanian loan-word, is rendered ' zense ' in the Latin translation ; 
'bose weibliche genien,* 'evil feminine spirits/ in the vocabulary. 
^ She says much worse in the original. 



78 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

' How shall I put them in again ? ' 

' There is water in a glass there, and moisten them with 
the water, and put them in, and they will adhere. And 
smear with the water, and they will see/ 

He cut her throat, and went and got the eyes of the old 
man and the old woman, and took the water, and moistened 
them with the water, and put them in, and they adhered. 
He smeared with the water, and they saw. 

The old man and the old woman said, * Thank you, my 
son. Be my son for ever. I will give all things into your 
hand, and I will go to my kinsfolk, for it is ten years since I 
have seen them.' 

And the old man mounted a goat, and the old woman 
mounted a sheep ; and he said to his son, ' Daddy's darling, 
walk, eat, and drink.' Away went the old man and the old 
woman to their kinsfolk. 

He too set out, and went walking in the forest In a tree 
were young eagles, and a dragon was climbing up to devour 
them. And Mare's Son saw him, and climbed up, and 
killed him. 

And the young eagles said to him, *God will give you 
good luck for killing him. For my mother said every year 
she was hatching chicks, and this dragon was always devour- 
ing them. But where shall we hide you? for our mother 
will come and devour you. But put yourself under us, and 
we will cover you with our wings.' 

Their mother came. * I smell fresh man.' 

*No, mother, you just fancy it. You fly aloft, and the 
reek mounts up to you.' 

* I 'm certain there 's a man here. And who killed the 
dragon ? * 

* I don't know, mother.' 

* Show him, that I may see him.' 

* He 's among us, mother.' 

They produced him, and she saw him ; and the minute 
she saw him, she swallowed him. The eaglets began to 
weep and to lament : * He saved us from death, and you 
have devoured him.' 

* Wait a bit ; I *11 bring him up again.' 

She brought him up, and asked him, * What do you want 
for saving my young ones from death ? * 



MARE'S SON 79 

* I only want you to carry me to the other world.* 

' Had I known that, I 'd have let him devour my young 
ones, for to carry you up is mighty difficult. Do you know 
how I shall manage it? Bake twelve ovenfuls of bread, 
and take twelve heifers and twelve jars of wine.' 

In three days he had them ready. 

She said, ' Put them on me ; and when I turn my head to 
the left, throw a heifer into my mouth and an ovenful of 
bread ; and when I turn to the right, pour a jar of wine 
into my mouth.' 

She brought him out ; he went to his brothers. * Good 
day to you, brothers. You fancied I should perish. If you 
acted fairly by me, toss your arrows up in the air, and they 
will fall before you ;, but if unfairly, then they will fall on 
your heads.' 

All four tossed up their arrows, and they stood in a row. 
His fell right before him, and theirs fell on their heads, and 
they died. 

I have excised the opening of this tale as far too Rabelaisian ; in fact, 
it leaves the very priest ashamed. Its hero is called * Mare's Son,' and 
is suckled by a mare like Milosh Obilich in a Croatian ballad. But the 
story is clearly identical with Grimm's 'Strong Hans' (No. i66, ii. 253, 
454) and *The Elves' (No. 91, ii. 24, 387), in one or other of which, 
or of their variants, almost every detail, sometimes to the minutest, 
will be found. Cosquin's *Jean de I'Ours' (No. i, i. 1-27) should also 
be carefully studied, and Hahn's *Das Barenkind' (No. 75, ii. 72). 
The Gypsy version is in one respect clearly defective : it has no heroine 
— a lack that might be supplied from Miklosich's Gypsy story of * The 
Seer' (No. 23). The episode of the fairies that blind occurs in *The 
Scab-pate ' (Geldart's Folklore of Modem Greece^ p. 158 ; <r/C also Hahn, i. 
222) ; and in Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales, p. 57, one finds a similar 
restoration of their eyes to seven blinded mothers, with salve, however, 
not water, for application. Cf, Krauss, i. 181, for a flute that obliges to 
dance ; and a blind old man riding on a great goat comes in Denton's 
Serbian Folk-lore, p. 249. The rescue of the young eagles, and the 
being borne to the upper world by the old mother-bird, are conjointly 
or separately very widespread. The meat generally runs short, and the 
hero gives her a piece of his own flesh {cf. p. 240). nahn's * Der Goldap- 
felbaum und die HoUenfahrt,' from Syra (No. 70, ii. 57, 297), furnishes 
an excellent example ; and Cosquin (ii. 141) gives Avar, Siberian, 
Kabyle, Persian, and Indian variants. The rescue of two eaglets from 
a great snake occurs in *The Demon and the King's Son' (Maive 
Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales, No. 24, p. 182), and in *Punchkin' (Mary 
Frere's Old Deccan Days, No. i, p. 14). The striking ordeal at the 
close, recurring in * The Seer ' (No. 23, p. 89), is, to the best of my know- 



8o BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

ledge, peculiar to these two Gypsy stories ; the arrows suggest a high 
antiquity. Von Sowa's Slovak-Gypsy story of *The Three Dragons' 
(No. 44) offers many analogies to * Mare's Son,* of which the Welsh- 
Gypsy story, * Twopence-halfpenny * (No. 58, p. 243), is actually a variant. 
The first eight pages of * Prince Lionheart and his three Friends,* in 
F. A. StcePs Wide-awake Stories, pp. 47-54, and her *How Raja 
Rasalu's Friends forsook him,* pp. 255-7 ; also the very curious story 
of * Gumda the Hero ' (Campbell's Sanial Folk-tales^ p. 57), offer Indian 
versions of the opening of ' Mare's Son.* 



No. 21. — The Deluded Dragon 

There was an old man with a multitude of children. He 
had an underground cave in the forest. He said, 'Make 
me a honey-cake, for I will go and earn something.' He 
went into the forest, and found a well. By the well was 
a table. He laid the cake on the table. The crows came 
and ate it. He slept by the well. He arose and saw the 
flies eating the crumbs. He struck a blow and killed a 
hundred flies. He wrote that he had killed a hundred souls 
with one blow. And he lay down and slept 

A dragon came with a buffalo's skin to draw water. He 
saw what was written on the table, that he had killed a 
hundred souls. When he saw the old man, he feared. The 
old man awoke, and he too feared. 

The dragon said, * Let 's become brothers.' 

And they swore that they would be Brothers of the Cross.^ 
The dragon drew water. *Come with me, brother, to my 
palace.' 

They went along a footpath, the old man first. When 
the dragon panted, he drove the old man forward ; when he 
drew in his breath, he pulled him back. The dragon said, 
* Brother, why do you sometimes run forward and sometimes 
come back ? ' 

* I am thinking whether to kill you.* 

* Stay, brother, I will go first and you behind ; maybe you 
will change your mind.* 

^ This phrase occurs also in our No. 24, in a Wallachian story cited hy 
Hahn (ii. 312), and, if I mistake not, in Ralston, but I have mislaid the exact 
reference. The Romani tnishul^ cross, is from the Sanskrit trisula, the 
trident of Siva. 



THE DELUDED DRAGON 8i 

They came to a cherry-tree. * Here, brother, have some 
cherries.' 

The dragon climbed up, and the old man was eating below. 
The dragon said, * Come up, they 're better here.' 

The old man said, * No, they aren't, for the birds have 
defiled them.' 

* Catch hold of this bough.' 

The old man did so. The dragon let go of it, and jerked 
the old man up, and he fell on a hare and caught it 

The dragon said, * What 's the matter, brother ? Was the 
bough too strong for you ? ' 

*I sprang of my own accord, and caught this hare. I 
hadn't time to run round, so up I sprang.' 

The dragon came down and went home. The old man 
said, * Would you like a present, sister-in-law ? * [seemingly 
offering the hare to the dragon's wife]. 

* Thanks, brother-in-law.* 

The dragon said to her aside, * Don't say a word to him, 
else he '11 kill us, for he has killed a hundred souls with one 
blow.' He sent him to fetch water : * Go for water, brother.' 

He took the spade and the buffalo's hide, dragged it after 
him, and went to the well, and was digging all round the 
well. 

The dragon went to him. * What are you doing, brother ? * 

* I am digging the whole well to carry it home,' 

* Don't destroy the spring ; I '11 draw the water myself 
The dragon drew the water, and took the old man by the 

hand, and led him home. He sent him to the forest to fetch 

a tree. He stripped off bark, and made himself a rope, and 

bound the trees. 

The dragon came. * What are you doing, brother ? ' 
' I am going to take the whole forest and carry it home.' 
'Don't destroy my forest, brother. I'll carry it myself,' 

The dragon took a tree on his shoulders, and went home. 
He said to his wife, * What shall we do, wife, for he will 

kill us if we anger him ? ' 

She said, 'Take uncle's big club, and hit him on the 

head.' 

The old man heard. He slept of a night on a bench. 

And he took the beetle, put it on the bench, dressed it up 

in his coat, and put his cap on the top of it. And he lay 

F 



82 .BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

down under the bench. The dragon took the club, and felt 
the cap, and struck with the club. The old man arose, re- 
moved the beetle, put it under the bench, and lay down on 
the bench. He scratched his head. * God will punish you, 
brother, and your household, for a flea has bitten me on the 
head.' 

* There I do you hear, wife ? I hit him on the head with 
the club, and he says a mere flea has bitten him. What 
shall we do with him, wife ? ' 

* Give him a sackful of money to go away.' 

*What will you take to go, brother? . I'll give you a 
sackful of money.' 

' Give it me.' 

He gave it. * Take it, brother, and be gone.* 

*I brought my present myself; do you carry yours^ 
yourself.' 

The dragon took it on his shoulders and carried it. They 
drew near to the underground cavern. The old man said, 
* Stay here, brother, whilst I go home and tie up the dogs, 
else they '11 wholly devour you.' The old man went home 
to his children, and made them wooden knives, and told 
them to say when they saw the dragon, 'Mother, father's 
bringing a dragon ; we '11 eat his flesh.' 

The dragon heard them, and flung down the sack, and 
fled. And he met a fox. 

* Where are you flying to, dragon ? ' 
' The old man will kill me.' 

* Fear not ; come along with me. I '11 kill him, he 's so 
weak.' 

The children came outside and cried, ' Mother, the fox is 
bringing us the dragon skin he owes us, to cover the cave 
with.' 

The dragon took to flight, and caught the fox, and dashed 
him to the earth ; and the fox died. The old man went to 
the town, and got a cart, and put the money in it. Then 
he went to the town, and built himself houses, and bought 
himself oxen and cows. 



THE GYPSY AND THE DRAGON 83 

Dr. Von Sowa furnishes this Slovak-Gypsy variant : — 

No. 22. — ^The Gypsy and the Dragon 

There were a Gypsy and a shepherd, who tended his 
sheep. Every night two of the shepherd's sheep went 
a-missing, or even three. The peasant came to his gossip, 
the Gypsy, who asks him, * Hallo ! gossip, what 's up with 
you, that you 're so sorrowful ? ' 

The peasant says to the Gypsy, * Ah ! how should I not 
be sorrowful, when some one — I know not who — does me 
grievous harm ? ' 

* All right. I '11 help you there, for I know fine who it is. 
To-night let your wife make me two big cheeses, the size 
of that; and let her bake me some nice fine dough for 
supper. I '11 come and sup with you to-night Then I '11 
go and look after your sheep.' 

All right ! The Gypsy went and had a fine blow-out at the 
peasant's. Night came, and the Gypsy went off to the sheep. 
And the cheese he put in his pocket, and in his hand he took 
an iron bar weighing three hundredweight, besides which he 
made himself quite a light wooden rod. And off he went to 
the sheepfold. There was nobody there but the shepherd's 
man. 

' Go you home, my lad,' says the Gypsy, * and I '11 stop 
here.' 

Midnight came. The Gypsy made himself a big fire, and 
straightway the dragon comes to the Gypsy by the fire. 

He said to him, * Wait a bit. I '11 give it your mother for 
this ; ^ what are you wanting here ? ' 

* Just wanting to see if you are such a strong chap, though 
you do eat three sheep every night.* 

He was terrified. 

* Sit down beside me by the fire, and let *s just have a little 
trial of strength, to see which of us is the stronger. Do you 
throw this stick so high up in the air that it never falls 
down again, but stays there.' (It was the bar that weighed 
three hundredweight) 

The dragon throws, threw it so high, that then and there 

^ Bowdlerised. 



84 SLOVAK-GYPSY VARIANT 

it remained somewhere or other up in the sky. ' Now,' says 
the dragon to the Gypsy, * now do you throw, as I threw.* 

The Gypsy threw — it was the little light wooden stick — 
threw it somewhere or other behind him, so that the dragon 
couldn't see where he threw it, but he fancied he had thrown 
it where he had thrown his own. 

'Well, all right! Let's sit down, and see whether you 
really are a clever chap. Just take this stone and squeeze 
it so that the water runs out of it, and the blood, like this.' 
The Gypsy took the cheese ; he squeezed it till the water 
ran out of it ; then he said to the dragon, ' Do you take it 
now and squeeze.' 

He handed him a stone, and the dragon kept squeezing 
and squeezing till the blood streamed from his hand. ' I see 
plainly,' he said to the Gypsy, * you 're a better man than I.' 

* Well, take me now on your back, and carry me to your 
blind mother.' 

They came to his blind mother. Fear seized her, for 
where did one ever hear the like of that — the dragon to 
carry the Gypsy on his back. 

' Now, you '11 give me just whatever I want' • 

* Fear not. I will give you as much money as you can 
carry, and as much food as you want, both to eat and to 
drink ; only let me live and my mother. And I '11 never go 
after the sheep any more.' 

* Well and good. I could kill you this moment, and your 
blind mother too. Then swear to me that you will go no 
more to that peasant's to devour his sheep.' 

Straightway he swore to him, that indeed he would go no 
more. 

* Now you must give me money, both gold and silver, and 
then you must take me on your back and carry me home.' 

Well and good. He gave him the money, and took him on 
his back, and carried home the Gypsy and the money. The 
Gypsy's wife sees them. ' My God ! What 's up ? ' And 
the children — he had plenty — came running out. The 
dragon was dreadfully frightened and ran off. But he flung 
down the Gypsy's money and left it there. The Gypsy was 
so rich there was not his equal. He was just like a gentle- 
man. And if he is not dead, he is still living, with his wife 
and children. 



I 



THE SEER 8s 

There must be also a Turkish-Gypsy version, for Paspati on p. 576 
gives this quotation from the story of a young man's contest with a 
dragon : — ' I am looking to see which is the highest mountain, to seize 
you, and fling you thither, that not a bone of you be left whole.' 
Wlislocki furnishes a Transylvanian-Gypsy variant, 'The Omniscient 
Gypsy,' No. 23, p. 61 ; and the hero is a Gypsy in Lithuanian and 
Galician stories. 'The Valiant Little Tailor' (Grimm, No. 20, i. 85, 
359), is very familiar, but is less like our Gypsy versions than is Hahn's 
No. 23, ' Herr Lazarus und die Draken.' Cf. also Hahn, i.[ 1 52 and ii. 
211 ; Cosquin, i. 95-102 ; and Clouston, i. 133-154. The story is widely 
spread ; we have Norwegian, Sicilian, Hungarian, Albanian, Turkish, 
Persian, Sanskrit, and other versions. 'Valiant Vicky, the Brave 
Weaver,* in F. A. Steel's Wide-awake Stories^ pp. 89-97, is a very 
modem, non-heroic Indian version; cf. also 'The Close Alliance,' pp. 
132-7. 'How the Three Clever Men outwitted the Demons' (Mary 
Frere's Old Deccan Days^ No. 23, p. 271) offers certain analogies ; so 
does the 'Story of a Simpleton' in Campbell's Santal Folk-tales^ P* 45* 



No. 23. — The Seer 

They say that there was an emperor, and he had three 
sons. And he gave a ball ; all Bukowina came to it. And 
a mist descended, and there came a dragon, and caught up 
the empress, and carried her into the forests to a mountain, 
and set her down on the earth. There in the earth was a 
palace. Now after the ball the men departed home. 

And the youngest son was a seer ; and his elder brothers 
said he was mad. Said the youngest, ' Let us go after our 
mother, and seek for her in Bukowina.' The three set out, 
and they came to a place where three roads met. And the 
youngest said, * Brothers, which road will you go ? ' 

And the eldest said, ' I will keep straight on.' 

And the middle one went to the right, and the youngest 
to the left. The eldest one went into the towns, and the 
middle one into the villages, and the youngest into the 
forests. They had gone a bit when the youngest turned 
back and cried, * Come here. How are we to know who has 
found our mother ? Let us buy three trumpets, and who- 
ever finds her must straightway blow a blast, and we shall 
hear him, and return home.* 

The youngest went into the forests. And he was hungry, 
and he found an apple-tree with apples, and he ate an apple, 



86 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

and two horns grew. And he said, * What God has given 
me I will bear.* And he went onward, and crossed a stream, 
and the flesh fell away from him. And he kept saying, * What 
God has given me I will bear. Thanks be to God.' And 
he went further, and found another apple-tree. And he 
said, * I will eat one more apple, even though two more 
horns should grow.' When he ate it the horns dropped off. 
And he went further, and again found a stream. And he 
said, ' God, the flesh has fallen from me, now will my bones 
waste away ; but even though they do, yet will I go.' And 
he crossed the stream ; his flesh grew fairer than ever. And 
he went up into a mountain. There was a rock of stone in 
a spot bare of trees. And he reached out his hand, and 
moved it aside, and saw a hole in the earth. He put the 
rock back in its place, and went back and began to wind his 
horn. 

His brothers heard him and came. * Have you found my 
mother ? ' 

* I have ; come with me.* 

And they went to the mountain to the rock of stone. 

* Remove this rock from its place.' 

* But we cannot.' 

' Come, I will remove it' 

He put his little finger on it, and moved it aside.^ ' Hah ! ' 
said he, * here is our mother. Who will let himself down ? ' 

And they said, * Not I.' 

The youngest said, * Come with me into the forest, and we 
will strip off bark and make a rope.' 

They did so, and they made a basket. 

* I will lower myself down, and when I jerk the rope haul 
me up.' 

So he let himself down, and came to house No. i. There 
he found an emperor's daughter, whom the dragon had 
brought and kept prisoner. 

And she said, * Why are you here ? The dragon will kill 
you when he comes.' 

^ Cf, the very curious ' Story of Lelha * in Campbell's Santcd Folk-ta/es^ 
p. So : — Boots, the youngest brother, presses his three brothers ' to attempt the 
removal of the stone, so they and others to the number of fifty tried their strength, 
but the stone remained immovable. Then Lelha said, *' Stand by, and allow me 
to try." So putting to his hand, he easily removed it, and revealed the entrance 
to the mansion of the Indarpuri /Curi.* 




THE SEER 87 

And he asked her, ' Didn't the dragon bring an old lady 
here ? ' 

And she said, * I know not, but go to No. 2 ; there is my 
middle sister.' 

He went to her ; she too said, * Why are you here ? The 
dragon will kill you when he comes.* 

And he asked, * Didn't he bring an old lady ? * 

And she said, * I know not, but go to No. 3 ; there is my 
youngest sister.' 

She said, * Why are you here ? The dragon will kill you 
when he comes.' 

And he asked, * Didn't he bring an old lady here ? ' 

And she said, ' He did, to No. 4.' 

He went to his mother, and she said, * Why are you here ? 
The dragon will kill you when he comes.' 

And he said, * Fear not, come with me.' And he led her, 
and put her in the basket, and said to her, * Tell my brothers 
they 've got to pull up three maidens.' He jerked the rope, 
and they hauled their mother up. He put the eldest girl in 
the basket, and they hauled her up ; then the middle one, 
jerked the rope, and they hauled her up. And while they 
are hauling, he made the youngest swear that she will not 
marry * till I come.' She swore that she will not marry till 
he comes ; he put her also in the basket, jerked the rope, 
and they hauled her up. 

And he found a stone, and put it in the basket, and jerked 
the rope. * If they haul up the stone, they will also haul up 
me.' And they hauled it half-way up, and the rope broke, 
and they left him to perish, for they thought he was in the 
basket. And he began to weep. And he went into the 
palace where the dragon dwelt, and pulled out a box, and 
found a rusty ring. And he is cleaning it ; out of it came 
a lord, and said, * What do you want, master ? ' 

* Carry me out into the world.' 

And he took him up on his shoulders, and carried him 
out. And he took two pails of water. When he washed 
himself with one, his face was changed ; and when with the 
other, it became as it was before. And he brought him to a 
tailor in his father's city. 

And he washed himself with the water, and his face was 
changed. And he went to that tailor ; and that tailor was 



88 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

in his father's employment. And he hired himself as a 
prentice to the tailor for a twelvemonth, just to watch the 
baby in another room. The tailor had twelve prentices. 
And the tailor did not recognise him, nor his brothers. 

The eldest brother proposed to the youngest sister, whom 
the seer had saved from the dragon. And she said, * No, I 
have sworn not to marry until my own gne comes.' The 
middle son also proposed ; she said, ' I will not, until my 
own one comes.' 

So the eldest son married the eldest girl ; the middle son 
married the middle girl ; and they called the tailor to make 
them wedding garments, and gave him cloth. 

And the emperor's son said, * Give it me to make.* 

' No, I won't, you wouldn't fit him properly.' 

* Give it me, I '11 pay the damage if I don't sew it right' 
The tailor gave it him, and he rubbed the ring. Out came 

a little lord, and said, * What do you want, master ? ' 

* Take this cloth, and go to my eldest brother, and take his 
measure, so that it mayn't be too wide, or too narrow, but 
just an exact fit. And sew it so that the thread mayn't show.* 

And he sewed it so that one couldn't tell where the seam 
came. And in the morning he brought them to the tailor. 

' Carry them to them.* 

And when they saw them, they asked the tailor, * Who 
made these clothes ? For you never made so well before.* 

* I 've a new prentice made them.* 

* Since the youngest would not have us, we '11 give her to 
him, that he may work for us.' 

They went and got married. After the wedding they called 
the prentice, called too the maiden, and bade her go to him. 
She said, * I will not,' for she did not know him. 
The emperor's eldest son caught hold of her to thrash her. 
She said, * Go to him I will not' 

* You 've got to.* 

* Though you cut my throat, I won't' 

Said the youngest son, * I '11 tell you what. Prince, let me 
go with her into a side-room and talk with her.' 

He took her aside, and washed himself with the other 
water, and his face became as it was. She knew him.^ 

* Come, now I '11 have you.' 

' Cf. Hahn, i. 140, lines 4-7. 



THE SEER 89 

He washed himself again with the first water, and his face 
was changed once more, and he went back to the emperor. 
And he asked her, ' Will you have him ? * 

* I will/ 

* The wedding is to be in twelve days.' 

And they called the old tailor, and commanded him, ' In 
twelve days' time be ready for the wedding.' And they 
departed home. 

Six days are gone, and he takes no manner of trouble, 
but goes meanly as ever. Now ten are gone, and only 
two remain. The tailor called the bridegroom. * And what 
shall we do, for there 's nothing ready for the wedding ? * 

' Ah ! don't fret, and fear not : God will provide.' 

Now but one day remained ; and he, the bridegroom, went 
forth, and rubbed the ring. And out came a little lord and 
asked him, ' What do you want, master? * 

' In a day's time make me a three-story palace, and let 
it turn with the sun on a screw, and let the roof be of glass, 
and let there be water and fish there, the fish swimming and 
sporting in the roof, so that the lords may look at the roof, 
and marvel what magnificence is this. And let there be 
victuals and golden dishes and silver spoons, and one cup 
being drained and one cup filled.' 

That day it was ready. 

* And let me have a carriage and six horses, and a hundred 
soldiers for outriders, and two hundred on either side.' 

On the morrow he started for the wedding, he from one 
place, and she from another ; and they went to the church 
and were married, and came home. His brothers came and 
his father, and a heap of lords. And they drink and eat, 
and all kept looking at the roof. 

When they had eaten and drunk, he asked the lords, 
* What they would do to him who seeks to slay his brother? * 

His brothers heard. * Such a one merits death.' 

Then he washed himself with the other water, and his face 
became as it was. Thus his brothers knew him. And he 
said, * Good day to you, brothers. You fancied I had perished. 
You have pronounced your own doom. Come out with me, 
and toss your swords up in the air. If you acted fairly by 
me, it will fall before you, but if unfairly, it will fall on your 
head.' 



90 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

The three of them tossed up their swords, and that of the 
youngest fell before him, but theirs both fell on their head, 
and they died. 

*The Seer' belongs to the same group as Miklosich's * Mare's Son' 
(No. 20), Grimm's * Strong Hans,' and Cosquin's *Jean de FOurs.' Its 
first half is largely identical with that of Ralston's * Koshchei the Daunt- 
less' (pp. 100-103), its latter half more closely with that of Ralston's 
'The Norka' (pp. 75-80). There also the prince engages himself to a 
tailor : but, whilst in our Gypsy version the change in his appearance 
is satisfactorily accounted for, the Russian says merely, ' So much the 
worse for wear was he, so thoroughly had he altered in appearance, that 
nobody would have suspected him of being a prince.' The striking 
parallel with No. 120 of the Gesta Romanorum has been noticed in the 
Introduction ; minor points of resemblance may be glanced at here. 
The mist that descends, and the carrying off of the empress, may be 
matched from Hahn, ii. 49, and Dietrich's Russtsche Volksmarchen 
(Leip. 1 831), No. 5. For the cross-roads, compare Hahn, ii. 50, and the 
Welsh-Gypsy story of 'An Old King and his Three Sons' (No. 55), 
where likewise the younger of three sons goes to the left. Figs causing 
horns to grow occur in Hahn, i. 257 (4/C also Grimm, ii. 421-422 ; and 
De Gubematis' ZooL Myth. i. 182). The box with the little lord belongs 
to the Aladdin cycle {cf, Welsh-Gypsy story, 'Jack and his Golden 
Snuffbox, No. 54 ; Grimm, ii. 258 ; and Clouston, i. 314-346). For the 
engagement to court-tailor as apprentice, cf. Grimm, ii. 388 ; for washing 
the face, Grimm, ii. 145 ; for pronouncing one's own doom, Grimm, i. 59 ; 
and for the conduding ordeal the close of our No. 20, p. 79. In a Lesbian 
story, 'Les trois Fils du Roi' (Georgeakis and Pineau's Folk-lore de 
Lesbos, No. 7, p. 41, the hero also turns tailor, the youngest maiden 
having given him three nuts containing three superb dresses. 

No. 24. — The Prince, his Comrade, and 

Nastasa the Fair 

There was an emperor with an only son ; and he put him 
to school, to learn to read. And he said to his father, 
' Father, find me a comrade, for I 'm tired of going to school/ 
The emperor summoned his servants, and sent them out 
into the world to find a boy, and gave them a carriageful 
of ducats, and described what he was to be like, and how 
old. So they traversed all the world, and found a boy, and 
gave a carriageful of ducats for him, and brought him to the 
emperor. The emperor clothed him, and put him to the 
school ; and he was the better scholar of the two. 

There was an empress, the lovely Nastasa.^ A virgin she, 

^ Anastasia. 



NASTASA THE FAIR 91 

who commanded her army. And she had a horse, which 
twelve men led forth from the stable ; and she had a sword, 
which twelve more men hung on its peg. And princes came 
to seek her, and she said, * He who shall mount my horse, 
him will I marry, and he who shall brandish my sword.' 
And when they led forth the steed, and the suitors beheld 
It, they feared, and departed home. 

The emperor's son said, * Father, I will go to Nastasa the 
Fair, to woo her ' ; and he said, ' Come with me, brother.' 
Their father gave them two horses, and gave them plenty 
of ducats ; and they set out to Nastasa the Fair. And night 
came upon them, and they rested and made a fire. 

And the emperor's son said, * If I had Nastasa the Fair 
here, I would stretch myself by her side ; and if her horse 
were here, what a rattling I 'd give him ; and if her sword 
were here, I would brandish it' 

And his brother said, * All the same, you've got to feed 
swine.' 

And in the morning they journey till night, and at night 
they rested again. Again he said, * If I had Nastasa the 
Fair here, I would stretch myself by her side ; and if her 
horse were here, I would rattle him ; and if her sword were 
here, I would brandish it.' 

' Brother, you 've got to feed swine.* 

He cut oflf his head with his sword, and went onward. And 
two Huculs ^ came, and put his head on again, and sprinkled 
the water of life. And he arose, and mounted his horse, 
and gave each of the Huculs a handful of ducats. And he 
went after his brother, and caught him up on the road. 
And they journeyed till night, and he said to his brother, 
* Brother, if you will hearken to me, it will go well with you.' 

* I will, brother.' He came to Nastasa the Fair. 

* What have you come for ? ' 

* We have come to demand your hand.' 

And she said, * Good, but will you mount my steed ?* 

* I will' 

She cried to her servants, * Bring forth the steed.' 
Twelve men brought him forth; the comrade mounted 

him. The horse flew up aloft with him, to cast him down. 

And he took his club, and kept knocking him over the head. 

^ Ruthenian mountaineers of the Carpathians. 



92 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

The horse said, * Don't kill me.' 

' Let yourself gently down with me, and fall beneath me, 
and I will take you by the tail and drag you along the 
ground, that she may see how I treat you.* 

He cried aloud, * What a poor, wretched horse you have 
given me.^ Bring the sword, that I brandish it/ 

Twelve men brought the sword ; he brandished it, and 
flung it to the Ninth Region. There was Paul the Wild ; 
he was nailed to the roof by the palms of his hands. And 
thither he flung the sword ; it cut ofl* his hands, and he fled 
away. 

They summoned the prince to table to eat, and set him 
at table, and twelve servants ate with him. They kept 
squeezing him, and he said, ' I '11 step outside into the fresh 
air.' He went out, and said to his brother, ' Come, do you 
sit here, for I *m off".' 

So he sat there in their midst, and they kept squeezing 
him. And he took his club, and began to lay about with 
it. And he said, ' This is your way of showing one honour.' 
They fled and departed. 

At nightfall now it grew dark, and Nastasa the Fair called 
the prince to her. He went to her. She set her foot on 
him, and picked him up, and he was like to die. 

And he said, * Let me go into the fresh air.' 

She said, * Go.' 

He went out, and said to his brother, ' Stay you here, for 
I 'm off:' 

And he went and lay down beside her. She set her foot 
on him. He took his club and thrashed her with it, so that 
he left in her only the strength of a mere woman. 

He went out, went to his brother. 'Well, brother, now 
you can go, and don't be frightened ; but, when you come to 
her, give her a slap.' 

He went to her, gave her a slap, and slept beside her. In 
the morning they went out for a walk, and she said to him, 
'My lord, what a thrashing you gave me! yet when you 
came back you kissed me.' * 

^ With this episode of the horse compare that of the pony in * Brave Seventee 
Bai' (Mary Frere*s Old Dtccan DaySy No. 3, p. 30). 

' That is, of course, the prince's poor little blow had seemed to her like a 
caress. 



NASTASA THE FAIR 93 

And he said to her, * I didn't kiss you, I gave you a slap.' 

* Who then was it thrashed me ? ' 

* My brother.' 

She said not a word. 

The brother slept by himself in another room. And she 
took the sword and cut off his feet. He made himself a 
winged cart ; it ran a mile when he gave it a shove. And 
he found Paul the Wild, and said, * Where are you going to, 
brother?' 

* I am going into the world to get my living, for I have no 
hands.' 

* Ha ! let 's become Brothers of the Cross,^ and do you 
yoke yourself to the cart, and draw it gently, for you have 
feet.' 

They went a-begging, and went into the woods and found 
a house, and took up their abode in it. And they went into 
a city and begged. A girl came to give him an alms ; and 
he caught her, and threw her into the cart, and fled with her 
into the forest, there where their house was. And they swore 
they would not commit sin with her. The devil came, and 
lay with her. And they heard, and arose in the morning. 

And Dorohyj Kiipec * asked, * You swore. Why then did 
you go in to her and commit sin ? ' 

* It wasn't me, brother, for I too heard, and I thought it 
was you.' 

' He '11 come this night, and do you take me in the stumps 
of your hands, and fling me on to them ; I '11 seize him, who- 
ever he is.* 

At night he came to her, and lay with her. They heard, 
and Paul took him and flung him on to them. He seized 
the devil, and they lit the candle, and began to beat him. 
And he prayed them not to, * for I will restore you your feet, 
and likewise him his hands.' In the morning they bound 
him by the neck, and led him to a spring. 

* Put your feet in the spring.' 

He put his feet in the spring, and his feet became as they 
were before. And Paul put his hands in, and his hands 
were likewise. restored. And Doroh]?j Kiipec put some of 
the water of life in one pail, and some of the water of death 

^ Cf. footnote on p. 80. 

' This, it seems, is the comrade's name. 



94 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

in another. And he came back to their house; and they 
made a fire, put a fagot of wood on the fire, and burnt the 
devil, and flung his ashes to the wind. And Doroh^j Kijpec 
said, ' Now, brother, do you take that girl to yourself, and 
live with her, for I will go to my brother.' 

He set out, and went to his brother, and found his brother 
by the roadside feeding swine. 

' Well, do you mind my telling you, brother, you 'd come 
to feed swine? Do you put on my clothes, and give me 
yours, for I *11 turn swineherd, and do you stay behind.' 

He took and drove the swine home, and she cried, * Why 
have you driven the swine home so soon ? ' 

The swine went into the sty, and one wouldn't go ; and 
he took a cudgel and beat it so that it died. And when 
Nastasa the Fair saw that, she fled into the palace, ' for this 
is Dorohyj Kiipec' 

He followed her into the palace, and said to her, ' Good 
day to you, sister-in-law.' 
' Thanks,* said she. 

He caught her by the hand and dragged her out, and cut 
her all in pieces, and made three heaps of them ; and two 
heaps he gave to the dogs, and they devoured them. And 
the rest of her he gathered into a single heap, and made a 
woman, and sprinkled her with the water of death, and she 
joined together ; and sprinkled her with the water of life, 
and she arose. 

* Take her, brother ; now you may live with her, for now 
she has no great strength. I will go home,' said Dorohyj 
Kiipec. 
And home he went. 

This Gypsy story is absolutely identical with the widespread Russian 
one of 'The Blind Man and the Cripple' (Ralston, pp. 240-256). The 
Russian version as a whole is fuller and more perfect ; yet neither from 
it, nor, seemingly, from any of its variants, can the Gypsy tale be derived. 
The opening of the latter comes much closer to that of Hahn's story 
from Syra (iL 267), a variant of the Turkish-Gypsy story of * The Dead 
Man's Gratitude' (No. i), and surely itself of Gypsy origin. Here a 
king has an only son, and puts him to school ; and the vizier, sent in 
quest of another lad, buys a beautiful Gypsy boy with a voice like a 
nightingale's. He, too, is put to school, and proves the better scholar 
of the two. 

In Ralston, as in Hahn, ii. 268, the prince falls in love through a 



THE HEN THAT LAID DIAMONDS 95 

portrait (cf, supra^ p. 4). In Ralston Princess Anna the Fair propounds 
a riddle, as in the Turkish-Gypsy story of *The Riddle* (No. 3), where, 
too, she consults her book {cf, Ralston, p. 242}. In Ralston there is no 
quarrel, and no cutting off of head ; nothing also of the heroic sword. 
The squeezing by the servants is wanting in the Russian tale, but the 
sleeping with the bride occurs in a variant, and Ralston cites a striking 
parallel from the Nibelungenlied, The comrade in Ralston, after his 
feet are cut off, £^lls in with a blind hero ; the devil — a late survival of 
the mediaeval incubus — is represented by a Baba Yaga ; and the prince 
is made a cowherd (but a swineherd in two of the variants). The finale 
in Ralston is extremely poor — best in the Ryazan variant, where the 
comrade beats the enchantress-queen with red-hot bars until he has 
driven out of her all her magic strength, * leaving her only one woman's 
strength, and that a very poor one.' In the winged cart we seem to get 
a forecast of the tricycle. 



No. 25. — The Hen that laid Diamonds 

There was a poor man, and he had three sons. And the 
youngest found six kreutzers, and said, * Take, father, these 
six kreutzers, and go into the town and buy something.* 
And the old man went into the town and bought a hen, and 
brought it home ; and the hen laid a diamond egg. And he 
put it in the window, and it shone like a candle. And in 
the morning the old man arose and said, ' Wife, I will go 
into the town with this ^g.' And he went into the town, 
and went to a merchant. ' Buy this egg.' 

* What do you want for it ? ' 

* Give me a hundred florins.' 

He gave him a hundred florins. The old man went home 
and bought himself food, and put the boys to school. And 
the hen laid another egg, and he brought it again to that 
merchant, and he gave him a hundred more florins. He 
went home. Again the hen laid an egg; he brought it 
again to that merchant. And on the egg there was written : 
* Whoso eats the hen's head shall be emperor ; and whoso 
eats the heart, every night he shall find a thousand gold 
pieces under his head ; and whoso eats the claws shall 
become a seer.' 

The merchant came to that village and hired the old 
man : * What shall I give you to convey my merchandise ? * 

'Give me a hundred florins.' 

And he hired the man with the hen for half a year. The 



96 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

merchant came to the man's wife and said, 'Your man is 
dead, and my money is gone with him, but I 'm willing to 
wed you : I 'm rich.' 
' Wedded let us be.' 

* Good, we will, and kill me the hen for the wedding-feast 
We shall do without fiddlers.' ^ 

And they hired a cook. * Have the hen ready against our 
return from church.' 

The boys came home from school. 'Give us something 
to eat' 

* I 've nothing to give you, for he told me not to give any 
of the hen.' 

And the boys begged her, * Do let us have a bit too, for 
it was we looked after the hen ; do let us have a bit too, if 
it 's ever so little.' 

She gave the eldest the head, and the middle one the 
heart, and to the youngest she gave the claws. And they 
went off to school. 

And they came from the wedding, and sat down to table ; 
and he said to the cook, * Give us to eat' 

And she served up the hen to them. And he asked for 
the head and the heart, and he asked for the claws. There 
were none ! 

And he asked the cook, * Where is the head ? * 

She said, * The boys ate it' 

And he, that merchant, said, ' I don't want any of this 
hen. Give me the head and the heart and the claws ; I will 
eat only them.* 

The cook said, * The boys ate them.' 

And he said, *Wife, make them bitter coffee to make 
them vomit' 

And they came home from school, and the youngest boy 
said, * Don't drink this coffee, it will kill you.' ^ 

They went home, and their mother gave them the coffee ; 
and they poured it on the ground and went back to school. 

The merchant came and asked, * Were they sick ? ' 

She answered, * No.' 

* I will go to the town and buy apples ; and do you entice 

^ A very Gypsy touch this, for the fiddlers of course would be Gypsies, so the 
meanness of dispensing with their services would appeal to the Gypsy mind. 
' Observe, he had become a seer already. 



THE HEN THAT LAID DIAMONDS 97 

them into the cellar, and I will cut their throats, and take 
QUt head, heart, and claws, and eat them/ 

The youngest brother said, * Let us go out into the world.' 

'Go! what for?' 

' Our father is meaning to kill us.* 

They departed, and went into another kingdom. The 
emperor there was dead ; and they took his crown and put 
it in the church ; whosevef head the crown falls on he shall 
be emperor. And men of all ranks came into the church ; 
and the three boys came. And the eldest went before, and 
slipped into the church ; and the crown floated on to his 
head. 

* We have a new emperor.' 

They raised him shoulder-high,^ and clad him in royal 
robes. A mandate is issued : There is a new emperor. The 
army came and bowed before the new emperor. 

And the middle brother said, * I *m off. I shan't stay here. 
I want to be emperor too.' 

And the youngest said, * I shall stay.' 

So the middle one departed, and went to another emperor ; 
that emperor had a daughter. And thus said the emperor, 

* Whoever surpasses her in money, he shall marry her.' 

He went to her. * Come, let us play for money.' 
They started playing ; he beat her. One day they played, 
and two not And he surpassed her in money, and wedded 
her. And the emperor joined them in marriage, and made 
him king. 

And she had a lover. And that lover sent her a letter : 

* Ask him wftere he gets all his money from.' 

And she asked him : * My lord, where do you get all your 
money from, that you managed to beat me ? ' 

* Every night I find a thousand gold pieces under my head.' 
'How so?' 

' I ate a hen's heart' 

She wrote a letter and sent it to her lover: 'He ate a 
hen's heart, and every night he finds a thousand gold pieces 
under his head.' 

And he sent her another letter : ' Make him coffee, that 
he vomit — ^vomit that heart up. And do you take it and 
eat it ; then I '11 marry you.' 

^ Lit. they raised him on the hands. 

G 



98 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

She made him coffee, and he drank it, and vomited up 
the heart ; and she took it and ate it. And she went to hca" 
father. 'Come, father, see how he vomits. He's not the 
man for me.' 

The emperor saw how he vomited. *Here, off you go. 
I don't want your sort' And he took all his clothes off 
him, and gave him common clothes. And he departed. 

He went into the forest, and lie hungered, and he came 
to an apple-tree. He took an apple and ate it^ and became 
an ass. He goes weeping, goes onward, and found a crab- 
apple, and ate one of its apples, and became a man again. 
He turned back and took two apples, and took two also of 
the crab-apples, and went to the city where his wife was. 
And he stood by the roadside, and his wife went out to walk. 

* Are your apples for sale, my man ? ' 

* They are.' 

He sold her an apple. She took a bite of it, and became 
a she-ass. He took her by the mane, and put a bridle on 
her head, and got on her, and galloped with her into the 
town, and went with her to an inn, and ordered bitter coffee, 
and poured it into her mouth ; and she vomited, and vomited, 
and vomited up the heart. And he took it and ate it, and 
said, * Now, I *m master.' And he went to his father-in-law : 
* I demand justice ; this is your daughter.' , 

The emperor summoned his ministers, but he said, *I 
don't v/3,nt j/ou to pass judgment ; come with me to the new 
emperor.* 

So they went to the new emperor. And the emperor 
drives in his carriage, and he goes riding on his wife. 

And the youngest brother said, * My brother will appeal 
to you for judgment ; deliver a good one.' 

The emperors met, and bowed themselves ; and the father- 
in-law said, * Deliver judgment for this man.' 

* I will. You have made her a she-ass ; make her a 
woman again.' 

* But she '11 have to behave herself in the future.' 

* She shall,' said her father, * only do restore her.' 

He gave her a crab-apple, and she ate it, and became 
a woman again. The emperor took off his crown and set 
it on his head. *Do you take my crown, do you be 
emperor.' 



THE HEN THAT LAID DIAMONDS 99 

' Das goldene Hahn,' a Greek story from Ziza (Hahn, No. 36, i. 227}, 
presents a very close parallel : — The Jew knows that whoever eats the 
head will be king, whoever eats the heart will be able to read men's 
hearts, and whoever eats the liver will every morning find a thousand 
piastres under his pillow. . . . The three boys, coming from school, eat 
them. . . . Their mother tries to poison them. ... By advice of the 
middle boy they do not eat. . . . Finally they go out into the world. 

The episode of the crown, suggestive of the Arthurian legend, is 
wanting in Hahn. The notion of a contest in money occurs, to the 
best of my knowledge, in no other folk-tale ; but we meet with it in 
the second fytt of the English ballad of ' The Blind Beggar of Bethnal 
Green.' And at Peterborough Fair, in September 1872, a Gypsy told 
me, as a matter of history, of a similar contest between two Gypsies : 
each had to show a guinea for the other's. 

Grimm's * Two Brothers* (No. 60, i. 244, 418), with its variants, should 
be carefully compared, also his ^Donkey Cabbages' (No. 122, ii. 139, 
419), which is a recast of the latter portion of our Bukowina- Gypsy story, 
for we get bird's heart . . . gold pieces under pillow . . . emetic . . . 
donkey cabbage . . . recovery through different kind of cabbage . . . 
punishment . . . restoration . . . emetic proposed. It is noteworthy 
also that the conclusion of Grimm's * Two Brothers ' can be matched by 
the conclusion of a Hungarian-Gypsy story (Friedrich Miiller's No. 5), 
whose first half I have summarised on p. 34. Its hero next comes to 
a city deprived of its water by twelve dragons, who are also going to 
eat the king's daughter. He undertakes to rescue her, but falls asleep 
with his head on her knee. The twelve white dragons roar under the 
earth, and then emerge one by one from out of the fountain, to be torn 
in pieces by the hero's twelve wild animals. The water becomes plentiful, 
and the hero marries the princess. But a former lover of hers poisons 
him. The twelve animals find his grave, and dig him up. They go in 
quest of the healing herb ; and the hare, * whose eyes are always open, 
sees a snake with it in his mouth, robs the snake of it, and runs off, 
but at the snake's request restores a portion.' They then resuscitate 
their master. (C/. Grimm's *The Two Snake-leaves,' No. 16, i. 70; 
Hahn, ii. 204, 260, 274 ; and our Bukowina-Gypsy story, * Pretty-face ' 
(No. 29, p. III). The hero sends a challenge by the lion to the former 
lover, who is just about to wed the princess. She reads, weeps, and 
breaks off the match. In comes the hero, and they are married again. 
* If they are not dead, they are still alive.' 

Clouston epitomises Roman and Indian versions of our story (i. 93- 
99), but omits * The Two Brothers ' in F. A. SteePs Wide-awake Stories^ 
pp. 138-152, and *Saiyid and Said' in Knowles's Folk- tales of Kashmir^ 
pp. 74-97» The last offers wonderfully close analogies to the Gypsy 
story. Cf, also Krauss, i. 187 ; and Vuk's Servian story. No. 26. 



lOO BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 



No. 26. — ^The Winged Hero 

There was a certain great craftsman, and he was rich. 
He took to drinking and gambling, and drank away all his 
wealth, and grew poor, so that he had nothing to eat He 
saw a dream, that he should make himself wings ; and he 
made himself wings, and screwed them on, and flew to the 
Ninth Region, to the emperor's castle, and lighted down 
And the emperor's son went forth to meet him, and asked 
him, * Where do you come from, my man ? ' 

* I come from afar.' 

* Sell me your wings.' 
' I will.' 

* What do you want for them ? ' 

* A thousand gold pieces.' 

And he gave him them, and said to him, * Gro home with 
the wings, and come back in a month's time.' 

He flew home, and came back in a month ; and the prince 
said to him, * Screw the wings on to me.' 

And he screwed them on, and wrote down for the prince 
which peg he was to turn to fly, and which peg he was to 
turn to alight. The prince flew a little, and let himself 
down on the ground, and gave him another thousand florins 
more, and gave him also a horse, that he might ride home. 
The prince screwed on the wings, and flew to the south. 
A wind arose from the south, and tossed the trees, and drove 
him to the north. In the north dwelt the wind, drove him 
to the Ninth Region. And a fire was shining in the city. 
And he lighted down on the earth, and unscrewed his wings, 
and folded them by his side, and came into the house. There 
was an old woman, and he asked for food. She gave him a 
dry crust, and he ate it not. He lay down and slept. And 
in the morning he wrote a letter for her, and gave her 
money, and sent her to a cookshop with a letter to the 
cookshop to give him good food. And the old woman 
came home, and gave him to eat, and he also gave to the 
old woman. He went outside, and saw the emperor's palace 
with three stories of stone and the fourth of glass. And he 
asked the old woman, * Who lives in the palace ? and who 
lives in the fourth story ? ' 



THE WINGED HERO loi 

*The emperor's daughter lives there. He won't let her 
go out. He gives her her food there by a rope.' 

And the maid-servant lowered the rope, and they fastened 
the victuals to it, and she drew them up by the rope. And 
the maid-servant had a bedchamber apart, where she slept 
only of a night, and the day she passed with the princess. 

And that emperor's son screwed on his wings and flew up, 
flew to the glass house, and he looked to see how the bars 
opened, and opened them, and let himself in. And she was 
lying lifeless on the bed. And he shakes her, and she never 
speaks. And he took the candle from her head; and she 
arose, and embraced him, and said to him, * Since you are 
come to me, you are mine, and 1 am yours.' They loved 
one another till daybreak ; then he went out, placed the 
candle at her head, and she was dead. And he closed the 
bars again, and flew back to the old woman. 

Half a year he visited the princess. She fell with child. 
The maid-servant noticed that she was growing big, and her 
clothes did not fit her. She wrote a letter to the emperor : 
* What will this be, that your daughter is big ? ' The 
emperor wrote back a letter to her: 'Smear the floor at 
night with dough, and whoever comes will leave his mark on 
the floor.' She placed the candle at her head, and the girl 
lay dead. And she smeared the floor with dough, and went 
to her chamber. The emperor's son came again to her, and 
let himself in to her, and never noticed they had smeared the 
floor, and made footprints with his shoes, and the dough 
stuck to his shoes, but he never noticed it, and went home to 
the old woman, and lay down and slept The servant-maid 
went to the emperor's daughter, and saw the footprints, and 
wrote a letter to the emperor, and took the measure of the 
footprints, and sent it to the emperor. The emperor sum- 
moned two servants, and gave them a letter, and gave them 
the measure of the footprints. * Whose shoes the measure 
shall fit, bring him to me.' They traversed the whole city, 
and found nothing. 

And one said, ' Let 's try the old woman's.' 

And another said, ' No, there 's nobody there.' 

• Stay here. I '11 go.' 

And he saw him sleeping, and applied the measure to his 
shoes. They summoned him. * Come to the emperor.' 



I02 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

' All right/ 

He bought himself a great cloak, and put it on, so that his 
wings might not be noticed, and went to the emperor. 
The emperor asked him, * Have you been going to my 
daughter ? ' 

' I have.' 

* With what purpose have you done so ? ' 

* I want to marry her.' 

The emperor said, *Bah! you'll not marry her, for I'll 
bum you both with thorns.' 

The emperor commanded his servants, and they gathered 
three loads of thorns, and set them on fire, and lowered her 
down, to put them both on the fire. The emperor's son 
asked, * Allow us to say a pater noster.' He said to the girl, 
* When I fall on my knees, do you creep under the cloak and 
clasp me round the neck, for I '11 fly upwards with you.' 

She clasped him round the neck, and quickly he screwed 
the wings, and flew upwards. The cloak flew off", the 
soldiers fired their guns at it ; on he flew. She cried, * Let 
yourself down, for I shall bear a child.' 

He said, * Hold out.' 

He flew further, and alighted on a rock on a mountain, 
and she brought forth a child there. She said, ' Make a fire.' 
He saw a fire in a field afar off. He screwed his wings, and 
flew to the fire, and took a brand of it, and returned. And 
a spark fell on one wing, and the wing caught fire. Just 
as he was under the mountain the wing fell off, and he flung 
away the other one as well. And he walked round the 
mountain, and could not ascend it. 

And God came to him and said, * Why weepest thou ? ' 

*Ah! how should I not weep? for I cannot ascend the 
mountain, and my wife has brought forth a child.' 

' What will you give me if I carry you up to the top ? ' 

* I will give you whatever you want.' 

* Will you give me what is dearest to you ? ' 
' I will' 

* Let us make an agreement.' 

They made one. God cast him into a deep sleep, and her 
as well, and God bore them home to his father's, to his own 
bed, and left them there, and departed. And the child cried. 
The warders heard a child crying in the bedchamber. 



THE WINGED HERO 103 

They went and opened the door, and recognised him, the 
emperor's son.- And they went to the emperor and told 
him, * Your son has come, O emperor.' 

* Call him to me.* 

They came to the emperor ; they bowed themselves before 
him ; they tarried there a year. The boy grew big, and was 
playing one day. The emperor and the empress went to 
church, and his nurse too went to the church. God came, 
disguised like a beggar. The emperor's son said to the 
little lad, * Take a handful of money, and give it to the 
beggar.' 

The beggar said, *I don't want this money; it's bad. 
Tell your father to give me what he vowed he would.' 

The emperor's son was angry, and he took his sword in 
his hand, and went to the old man to kill him. The old 
man took the sword into his own hand and said, * Give me 
what you swore to me — the child, you know — when you were 
weeping under the mountain.' 

* I will give you money, I will not give you the child.' 
God took the child by the head, and the father took him 

by the feet, and they tugged, and God cut the child in half. 

' One half for you, and one half for me.' 

*Now you've killed him, I don't want him. Take him 
and be hanged to you.' 

God took him, and went outside, and put him together ; 
and he was healed, and lived again. 

* Do you take him now.' 
For God cut off his sins. 

Of this story, widely familiar through H. C. Andersen's 'Flying 
Trunk,' Wlislocki furnishes a Transylvanian-Gypsy variant, *The 
Wooden Bird,' in his * Beitrage zu Benfey's Pantschatantra ' iZeitschrift 
der deutschen morgenL Gesellschaft^ vol. xxxii. 1888, part i. p. 119). 
For that variant and many others — Persian, Hindu, Modem Greek, etc., 
including *Der Weber als Wischnu* from Benfey, i. 159-163, ii. 48-56, 
see W. A. Clouston's Notes on the Magical Elements in Chancers 
^ Squires Tale ^ and Analogues (Chaucer Soc. 1890, pp. 413-471). Cf. 
also Grimm's 'Blue Light,' No. 116; Hahn, No. 15, and ii. 269, for 
tower of glass or crystal ; Cosquin, No. 31 ; and Hahn, ii. 186, for a 
king who governs nine kingdoms. With the princess lying lifeless on 
the bed compare the lady sleeping on a golden bedstead in Lai Behari 
Day's Folk-tales of Bengal^ p. 251. In *The Demon and the King's 
Son' (Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales^ p. 186), the demon every day 
makes his daughter lie on her bed, and covers her with a sheet, and 



I04 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

places a thick stick at her head, and another at her feet. Then she dies 
till he comes home in the evening and changes the sticks. This brings 
her to life again. Cf, also notes to our Welsh-Gypsy story of * An Old 
King and his three Sons' (No. 55). 

No. 27. — ^Tropsyn 

There was a poor man, and he had four sons. And they 
went out to service, and went to a gentleman to thrash 
wheat. And they received so much wheat for a wage, and 
brought it to their father. * Here, father, eat ; we will go 
out to service again.' And they went again to a gentleman, 
who was to give them each a horse at the year's end. And 
the youngest was called Tropsyn ; and the gentleman made 
him his groom. And a mare brought forth a colt ; and that 
colt said, * Tropsyn, take me. The year is up now.' 

The gentleman said, * Choose your horses.' 

So the three elder brothers chose good horses; but 
Tropsyn said, * Give me this horse, master.* 

* What will you do with it ? it 's so little.' 

* So it may be.' 

Tropsyn took it and departed ; and the colt said, * Let me 
go, Tropsyn, to my dam to suck.' 

And he let it go, and it went to its dam, and came back a 
horse to terrify the world. 

' Now mount me.' 

He mounted, and the horse flew. He caught up his 
brothers, and his brothers asked him, ' Where did you get 
that horse from ? ' 

' I killed a gentleman, and took his horse.' 

' Let 's push on, and escape.' 

Night fell upon them as they were passing a meadow, and 
in that meadow they saw the light of a fire. They made for 
the light. It was an old woman's, and she was a witch, and 
had four daughters. And they went there, and went into the 
house ; and Tropsyn said, * Good-night' 

* Thank you.' 

* Can you give us a night's lodging ? ' 

* I 'm not sure ; my mother is not at home. When she 
comes you had better ask her.' 

The mother came home. * What are you wanting, young 
fellows ? ' 



TROPSYN lOS 

* We Ve come to demand your daughters in marriage/ 

* Good.' 

. She made them a bed on the ground with its head to the 
threshold, and her daughters' with its head to the wall. 
And the old woman sharpened her sword to cut off their 
heads. And Tropsyn took his brothers' caps, and put them 
on the girls' heads. And the old woman arose, and kept 
feeling the caps, and keeps cutting off the heads, and killed 
her daughters. 

Tropsyn arose, and led his brothers outside. * Come, be 
off.' And he arose, Tropsyn ; and the old woman had a 
golden bird in a cage ; and Tropsyn said to the horse, * I 
will take a feather of the bird.* 

And the horse said, * Don't' 

' Bah ! I will.' And he took a feather, and put it in his 
pocket. 

And they mounted their horses and rode away, and went 
to a city. There was a great lord, a count ; and he asked 
them, * Where are you going ? ' 

* We are going to service.' 

* Take service with me, then.' 

And that lord was still unmarried. And they went to 
him, and he gave them each a place. One he set over the 
horses, and one he set over the oxen, and one he set over the 
swine ; and Tropsyn he made coachman. Of a night 
Tropsyn stuck the feather in the wall, and it shone like a 
candle. And his brothers were angry, and went to their 
master. * Master, Tropsyn has a feather, such that one needs 
no candle — of gold.' 

The master called : * Tropsyn, come here, bring me the 
feather.' 

Tropsyn brought it, and gave it to his master. The 
master liked him better than ever, and the brothers went to 
the master, and said to him, ' Master, Tropsyn has said that 
he '11 bring the bird alive.' 

The master called Tropsyn. * Tropsyn, bring me the bird. 
If you don't, I shall cut off your head.' 

He went to his horse. * What am I to do, horse, for the 
master has told me to bring the bird ? * 

' Fear not, Tropsyn ; jump on my back.' 

So he mounted the horse, and rode to the old woman's. 



io6 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

And the horse said to him, * Turn a somersault,^ and you '11 
become a flea, and creep into her breast and bite her. And 
she '11 fling off" her smock, and do you go and take the bird.' 

And he took the bird, and departed to his master; the 
master made him a lackey. 

And there was in the Danube a lady, a virgin ; and of a 
Sunday she would go out on the water in a boat And his 
brothers came to their master and said, * Master, Tropsyn 
boasts that he'll bring the lady from the bottom of the Danube.' 

* Tropsyn, come here. What is this you *ve been boasting, 
that you '11 bring me the lady ? ' 

' I didn't' 

* You 've got to, else I shall cut off your head' 

He went to his horse. * What am I to do, horse, for how 
shall I bring her ?* 

And the horse said, * Fear not, let him give you twelve 
hides and a jar of pitch,' and put them on me, and let him 
make you a small ship, not big, and let him put various 
drinks in the ship. And do you hide yourself behind the 
door. And she will come, and drink brandy, and get drunk, 
and sleep. And do you seize her, and jump on my back 
with her, and I will run off home.' 

The horse ran home to the master, and Tropsyn gave her 
to his master in the castle. The count shut the doors, and 
set a watch at the window to prevent her escape, for she was 
wild. The count wanted to marry her ; she will not. 

* Let them bring my herd of horses, then I will marry you. 
He who brought me, let him bring also my horses.' 

The count said, * Tropsyn, bring the horses.' 
Tropsyn went to his horse. * What am I to do, horse ? 
How shall I bring the horses from the Danube ? ' 

* Come with me, fear not' 

When he came to the Danube, the horse leapt into the 
Danube, and caught the mother of the horses by the mane, 
and led her out. And Tropsyn caught her, and mounted 
her, and galloped off. And the whole herd came forth, and 
ran after their dam home to the count's palace. The lady 
cried * Halt ! ' to the horses. 

The count wants to marry her. She says, * Let him milk 

1 See footnotes on p. i6. 

9 No use is made of these. Was the ship to be made of them ? 



TROPSYN 107 

my mares, and when you have bathed in their milk, then I 
will marry you.' 

The count cried, * Tropsyn, milk the mares.' 

And Tropsyn went to his horse. * What shall I do, horse ? 
How shall I milk the mares ? ' 

* Fear not, for I will catch her by the mane, and do you 
milk, and fear not.' 

And he milked a whole caldron full. 

And the lady said, ' Make a fire, and boil the milk.' 

And they made a fire, and the milk boils. 

' Now,' said the lady, ' let him who milked the mares bathe 
in the milk.' 

And the" count said, * Tropsyn, go and bathe in the milk.' 

He went to the horse. * What shall I do, horse ? for if I 
bathe, then I shall die.' 

The horse said, * Fear not, lead me to the caldron ; I will 
snort through my nostrils, and breathe out frost.' 

He led the horse ; the horse snorted through his nostrils ; 
then the milk became lukewarm. Then he leapt into the 
caldron, and fair as he was before, he came out fairer still. 
When he came out, the horse snorted through his nostrils, 
and breathed fire into the caldron, and the milk boiled again. 

And the lady said to the count, * Go thou too and bathe 
in the milk, then will I live with thee.* 

The count went to the caldron and said, * Tropsyn, bring 
me my horse.' 

Tropsyn brought him his horse ; the horse trembled from 
afar. The count leapt into the caldron ; only bones were to 
be seen at the bottom of the caldron. 

Then cried the lady, * Come hither, Tropsyn ; thou art my 
lord, and I am thy lady.' 

Of this Bukowina- Gypsy story we have a very interesting Welsh- 
Gypsy version, taken down in R6niani from Matthew Wood's recitation 
by Mr. Sampson, and thus epitomised by him in English : — 

No. 28. — The Beautiful Mountain 

Somewhere far off were a quarryman and his wife. They had a 
son in their old age. They died. An old man comes to beg, and 
asks boy will he come with him to seek fortune. They go. * Wish 



io8 WELSH-GYPSY VARIANT 

me into a horse.' Boy does so. * Jump on my back.' He does 
so. They take the road. Horse warns boy to help anything in 
distress. Boy finds a little fish cast up by the tide, and puts it back 
in the water. Fish promises gratitude. They cross the Beautiful 
Mountain. Horse warns boy to touch nothing, A feather blows 
in his mouth. He spits it out again and again, but it returns. He 
looks at it, thinks it pretty, puts it in his pocket They descend 
other side of the mountain. Boy hears noise of bellowing in a 
castle. Finds sick giant in bed, without servant-maid. Boy gets 
him food. Giant promises gratitude. Horse asks boy if he 
touched anything on mountain. * Nothing but this feather.' 

* That feather will bring you sorrow, but keep it now you have it.' 
They come to a castle. Boy asks for work. Master tests his hand- 
writing. Engages him. Wants him to sleep indoors; he prefers 
stable beside his old horse (cf, Grimm, No. 126, ii. 155, also for 
pen). They marvel at his penmanship, done with this feather. 
One day the master's man steals the pen by a ruse, and brings it 
to master : * Master, the man that got the feather can get the bird.' 
Boy tells horse what they want him to do. Horse tells him to ask 
for three days' leave and three sacks of gold. Horse and boy go 
off. They go and get the bird, choosing the dirtiest and ugliest 
bird ((/". Polish-Gypsy story, No. 49, for choosing bird in common 
cage). The master's man says, * Master, the bird is fair, but fairer 
still the lady' (that owned it). Boy told to fetch lady; he tells 
horse. Horse reminds him that he said the feather would bring 
him trouble. Three more days and three purses of gold. Horse 
says, * Wish me into a boat on the sea.' The boat is full of the 
finest silk. They sail under the castle. Lure lady on board to 
see silk. She goes into cabin. Boy weighs anchor and off. Lady 
comes up, and drops her keys into sea. They return. Man says 
to master, * Master, the man that got the lady can get the castle.' 
Boy tells horse. Horse reminds him of unlucky feather. Three 
more days and bags of gold. They go. Horse reminds boy of 
giant's promise. Giant puts chain round castle and drags it along. 
The castle is walled round and locked. Lady demands her keys. 
Boy and horse go off, call the httle fish. He fails to find keys. 
Tries again and brings them up. Keys given to lady. Lady says, 

* Which would you prefer. Jack, to have your head cut off or your 
master's head cut off?' Boy says, *Cut off mine, not his.' Lady 
says, *You have spoken well. Had you not spoken thus, your 
own head would have been cut off. Now the master's head 
will fall, not yours.' Boy and lady wed, and live in the castle still. 

* Now you 've got it.' 



TROPSYN 109 

It must at least be nearly five hundred years since the ancestors of 
our Welsh Gypsies parted from those of their kinsfolk in Bukowina ; 
yet the resemblance between these two versions still is marvellous. The 
talking horse, the entering into service at the castle, the feather, the 
fetching the bird, the fetching a lady (in the Bukowina version not ihe^ 
lady), the cabin even, the fetching the lady's belongings, and the doom 
of the master — these eight details are common to both : the very order 
of them is identical. Non-Gypsy variants are Grimm's * Ferdinand the 
Faithful' (No. 126 ; ii. 153, 425), Cosquin's *Le Roi d'Angleterre et son 
Filleul* (No. 3, i. 32), his *La Belle aux Cheveux d'Or' (No. 72, ii. 290), 
the Donegal story of *The Red Pony' in W. Larmenie's West Irish 
Folk-tales {\Z<)% pp. 21 1-2 18), a Russian story summarised by Ralston 
(p. 287), and Laura Gonzenbach's long Sicilian story, * Die Geschichte 
von Caruseddu ' (No. 83, ii. 143-155, 257-9). All six deserve careful study, 
but specially the last, which links these stories to the heroic version of 
* The Master Thief* {supra, p. 51). For its plot, told briefly, is this : — 
Caruseddu and his two elder brothers go as gardeners to a dragu 
(rendered * menschenfresser' or * ogre,' but query rather * dragon'). By 
the Hop-o'-my-thumb device of changing caps, as in * Tropsyn ' {cf, also 
Hahn, ii. 179-180), Caruseddu deludes him into devouring his own three 
daughters. The brothers then take service with a king — Caruseddu as 
trusted servant,the others as gardeners. They are jealous of Caruseddu, 
and get the king to send him to steal first the dragu^s talking horse, 
next his bed-cover with golden balls, and lastly the dragu himself. 
This last task he achieves by the trick of getting the dragu to 
try if a new coffin for (the supposed dead) Caruseddu is big enough.* 
Still at his brothers' suggestion, Caruseddu is now sent to fetch the 
daughter of the queen with the seven veils ; he achieves this, like his 
former feats, with the help of the talking horse. The princess refuses 
to wed the king unless he recovers for her the veil and the ring she had 
lost on the way to him ; Caruseddu recovers them by the aid of a grateful 
bird and a grateful fish {cf, the Welsh version). He also sifts a bamful 
of wheat, oats, and bSrley with the aid of grateful ants. Lastly, he has 
to plunge into a fiery furnace, but, smeared with foam snorted by the 
talking horse, he emerges uninjured, far fairer than before. The old and 
ugly king has to essay the same ordeal, and asks Caruseddu what he 
smeared himself with. Who, sickened at last by his master's ingratitude, 
answers, *With fat.' So the king is burnt to ashes, and Caruseddu 
marries the princess. Reinhold Kohler, the learned annotator of Gon- 
zenbach, compares Straparola, iii. 2 (Grimm, ii. 478) and a Wallachian 
story, where the hero bathes in boiling milk, which his magic horse 
blows cold, but in which the king himself perishes. Wratislaw gives a 
curious Servian story from Bosnia, *The Bird-catcher' (No. 42, pp. 
239-245). Here the hero, a bird-catcher, is advised by a grateful crow, 
but the horse comes in very mal-dpropos at the finish. Cf, also Hahn, 
ii. 180, 186 ; and Clouston's Eastern Romances, p. 499, 570. 



^ Hahn has the selfsame story up to this point, only not so well told, * Von 
dem Schonen und vom Drakos* (No. 3, i. 75-79> and ii. 178-86). 



no BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 



No. 29. — Pretty-face 

There was a widow lady, and she had an only son. And 
he stuck his ring in the wall, and said, * Mother, when blood 
flows from the ring, then I am dead.' 

And he was called Peter Pretty-face. 

He took the road, and the dragon with six heads came, 
and he drew his sword and killed him, and made three heaps 
of him, and planted a red flag, and went further. And a 
dragon with twelve heads came, and he drew his sword, and 
killed him also, and made twelve heaps, and planted a black 
flag, and went further. And there came one with twenty- 
four heads, and he killed him also, and made twenty-four 
heaps, and planted a white flag. 

Behold ! the dragons carried off" an emperor's daughter — 
there were twelve dragons — and shut her up in their castle. 
And they went and fought from morning even till noon ; he 
who shall prove himself strongest, he shall marry the maiden. 

And his mother had said to him, * If you will go, your 
death will not be by a hero, but your death will be by a 
cripple.* 

So he went to that castle, and saw the maiden at the 
window, and he asked her, * What are you doing there ? * 

' The dragons carried me off, and shut me up here.' 

* And where are they gone to ? ' 

* They are gone to fight for me.* 
'And when will they come home?' 

*They will come at noon to dine. And they will hurl 
their club, and it will strike the door, that I may have the 
food ready.' 

He opened the door and went in to her. The dragons 
hurled the club, and struck the door ; and he took the club, 
and hurled it back, and killed them all. 

* Now have no fear ; they are dead.* 
He married the emperor's daughter. 

And the emperor heard that the dragons had carried off 
his daughter ; and the emperor said, * He who shall free her 
from the dragons, he shall marry her.' The emperor knew 
not that Peter Pretty-face had married her. He thought 
that the dragons had carried her off. 



PRETTY-FACE in 

And there was one Chutilla the Handless, and he went to 
the emperor. * I, O emperor, will rescue your daughter from 
the dragons/ 

* Well, if you do, she shall be yours.' 

So he, Chutilla, went to Peter Pretty-face. And night 
came upon him, and he had nowhere to sleep, and he crept 
into the hen-house. In the morning Peter Pretty-face arose, 
and washed his face, and looked out of the window, and 
Chutilla came forth from the hen-house. 

And Peter Pretty-face saw him. * By him is my death.' 

Chutilla came indoors and said, * Good-morning, Peter 
Pretty-face.* 

' Thanks, Chutilla.' 

* Come, Peter Pretty-face, give me the emperor's daughter.' 
He said, ' I will not' 

Chutilla caught him by the throat, and placed his head 
on the threshold.^ * Give me, Peter Pretty-face, the maiden, 
else I will cut off your head.' 

'Cut it off ; I will not give her.' 

Chutilla cut oif his head, and took the girl and departed. 

Blood began to flow from the ring. His mother saw it. 
* Now my son is dead.' She went after him, to seek for him, 
and came to the red flag. His mother said, * My son went 
this way.' She went further, and came to the black flag. 
*My son went this way.' She went further, and came to 
the white flag. * My son went this way.' She came to the 
castle, found her son dead ; and two serpents were licking 
the blood. And she struck one serpent, and it died. And 
the other serpent brought a leaf in its mouth, and went to 
the first serpent, and it also arose. And the lady saw, and 
killed it also, and took the leaf, and placed her son's head 
again on the trunk, and touched it with the leaf, and he 
arose. 

* Mother, I was sleeping soundly.' 

* You would have slept for ever if I had not come.' 

* Mother, I will go to my lady.' 
' Go not, mother's darling.' 

Bah ! I will go, mother.' 
' If go you will, God aid you.' 
He went, and went straight to Chutilla, and seized Chutilla, 

^ As a kind of block evidently. I do not remember this elsewhere. 



112 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

and cut him all in little pieces, till he had cut him up, and 
cast him to the dogs, and they devoured him. And he took 
the emperor's daughter, and went with her to the emperor. 

And the maiden said, 'Father, this is he that saved me 
from the dragons.' 

The emperor joined them in marriage, and made him 
king. And they live, perhaps they are living even now. 

I know no variant, Gypsy or Gentile, of this story, though Chutilla 
recalls the * Halber Mensch ' of Hahn, ii. 274. The three flags, red, 
black, and white, are seemingly unique. For casting the club to 
announce one's coming, cf. supra^ pp. 37, 40 ; and Denton's Serbian 
Folklore f^, 124. For snake-leaf in Hungarian-Gypsy tale, cf, supra, 
p. 99. And for * Mother, I was sleeping soundly,' cf, supra^ P» 33* I^ 
the story of * Peter Pretty-face ' is complete, his easy victory at the 
end may be due to God's help, invoked by the mother. 



No. 30. — The Rich and the Poor Brother 

There were two brothers, one poor and one rich. And 
the rich one said to him, * Come with me, brother, to our 
father.' And the rich one took bread for himself, and the 
poor one had none. 

And the rich one kept eating bread, and the poor one 
said, * Give me, too, a bit of bread.' 

* If you will give me an eye, I will give you a bit of bread.' 

* I will give it you, brother.' 

And he took out an eye, and gave him a bit of bread. 
And he went further, and he hungered. ' Give me a bit 
more bread.' 

* Give me one more eye.' 

* I will give it you, brother.' 

Behold, he was blind now, and his brother took him by 
the hand and led him under the gallows, and left him there ; 
and his brother departed. At nightfall came the devils, and 
perched on the gallows. 

And the biggest devil asked, 'What hast done in the 
world ? where wert walking ? ' 

* I did — I stopped the water.' 

* And thou, what hast thou done ? ' 

'The emperor's daughter neither dies nor lives; she is 
just in torment' 



RICH AND POOR BROTHER 113 

' And thou, what hast thou done ? ' 

* I did — that a brother dug out a brother's eyes/ 

' If he knew, there's a brook here, and if he washed him- 
self, he would see.' 

* If the townsfolk knew to go to the mountain and remove 
the stone, the water would flow again.' 

And the third said, ' But if the emperor's daughter knew, 
under her bed there is a toad, and if she takes it out, and gets 
ready a bath, and puts the toad in the bath, and if they wash 
her, she would grow strong.' 

Then the cocks crowed, and the devils departed. 

So the man dragged himself to the brook, and kept feeling 
with his hand till he found the water. And he washed his 
face, and his eyes were restored to him. And he went into 
the city where they had stopped the water. * What will you 
give me if I release the water ? ' 

* What you want, we will give you.' 

' Well, come with me to the mountain, take to you iron 
crowbars.' 

So they went to the mountain, and raised the stone ; and 
the water flowed plentifully. 

'Well, now, what do you want, man, for releasing the water?' 

'Give me a carriage and two horses and a carriageful 
of money.' 

They gave them to him. He went to the emperor's 
daughter. ' What will you give me if I make her strong ? ' 

* What you want, I will give you.' 
' Set water on the fire to boil.' 

And he went and. took out the toad, and threw it into 
the bath ; and they washed the emperor's daughter, and she 
grew stronger and fairer than ever. 

' What do you want for making her strong and fair ? ' 

'Give me two horses and a carriageful of money, and 
give me a driver home.' 

So he went home, and sent the servant to his brother, to 
borrow a bushel. And his brother asked, ' What to do with 
the bushel ? ' 

' To measure money with.' 

His brother gave him the bushel, and went himself and 
asked his brother, ' Where did you get it, the money, from, 
and the horses ? ' 

H 



114 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

* From there where you left me.' 

* Lead me, too, thither to that place. I am sorry, brother.' 
'Don't be sorry; you've just got to go. Well, come, 

brother.' 
So they both went to the place where he dug out his eyes. 
' Give me, brother, a bit of bread.' 

* Give me an eye.' 

He gave him an eye, and he gave him a bit of bread. 
And they went further. 'Give me, brother, a bit more bread.' 

* Give me one more eye.' 

* I will, brother.' 

So he gave him a bit more bread, and took him by the 
hand, and led him under the gallows, and left him there, 
and departed. At nightfall came the devils, and perched on 
the gallows. And the biggest devil asked, ' What have you 
done ? where have you been to in the world ? ' 

One said, 'Don't tell, for there was lately a blind man 
under the gallows, and he heard what we said. And he 
made himself eyes, and made the water run, and raised up 
the emperor's daughter. Stay, while I look under the 
gallows.' 

And they found the blind man. 'There's a blind man 
here.' And they rent him all in pieces. Then the devils 
departed ; the man was dead. 

This story is told as well as story may be. There is a Gypsy variant, 
longer but not half so good, from the Hungarian Carpathians, in 
Miklosich's BeitrSge^ p. 3 : — 

No. 31. — ^The Three Brothers 

There was, there was not, a lord ; and he had three sons. 
And one was the eldest son, and he said to his father, ' We 
will go somewhere to seek a livelihood.' 

* Well, go, my sons,' said their father. 

When they went, he baked loaves for each one to put in 
his wallet. Then they went a long way, and the youngest 
had most bread. And that youngest brother said, * Brothers 
mine, I cannot carry this wallet, so first we will eat from my 
wallet, brothers mine.' 

When they had eaten, they then went a long way further. 



THE THREE BROTHERS 115 

and then those two brothers ate, and gave not to the third. 
He now had nothing, and says, ' Brothers mine, why don't 
you give me to eat ? You ate up mine, and now you don't 
give me to eat' 

* If you'll let one of your eyes be taken out, then we will 
give you to eat,' said the two elder brothers. And then they 
took out his eye, and then gave him to eat. When they had 
eaten, they went a long way further. And there again those 
two brothers eat, and the third one says, * Why don't you 
give me to eat ? Now you 've taken my eye out, and yet 
give me nothing to eat' 

'If you'll let your other eye be taken out, then we will 
give you to eat.' 

And he, the youngest, says, 'Just do with me what 
you will.' 

Then they took out his eye ; then they gave him to eat ; 
then that eyeless one said, * Lead me under the cross ; maybe 
some one will give me something.' 

They led him not under the cross, but under a gallows, 
and there hung a dead man. And then thither came thnee 
crows, and thus talked one with another : 

' What 's the news in your country ? ' thus they asked one 
of them. ' What 's the news ? ' 

' In my country there is no water.' 

* And in your country what 's the news ? ' 

* There 's a dew there, if a blind man rubs his eyes with 
it, he forthwith sees.' 

' And in your third country what 's the news ? ' 

* In my country there is a princess sick.' 

And then those three crows went to the lad, and then 
they asked him what he was doing under the gallows. 
And he said, * My brothers brought me here.' 
And then those three crows flew away. And that lad 
feels in the grass with his hands, then he put it on his eyes, 
then he moistened his eyes ; forthwith he saw. And then 
that lad departed to the king. That lad was then the king's 
servant, and went then to a city, and went up above the 
city, and saw there such a great rock, and struck that rock 
as with a rod ; forthwith the water came from the rock. And 
then that water flowed into the city, where there was no 
water, there flowed that water, and the people were greatly 



ii6 HUNGARIAN. GYPSY VARIANT 

rejoiced. And then he, that lad, cried that the water will 
always flow ; tlien were the people greatly rejoiced that that 
water was flowing. 

And then that boy went to another city, and there was 
a sick princess. He went to that king, and asked him, 
* What 's this princess got ? ' 

* What *s she got ! she 's sick.' 

* If you will give me her to wife, then I will help her,* said 
that lad to the king. 

' Do but help her, then we will give you her to wife.' 
When he had healed her, then he took her to wife ; and 

then they held the bridal seven whole years. And then he 

became young king. 
That young king said to his soldiers, * Hark ye, soldiers, 

go after my two brothers.' 

Then those soldiers went after those two brothers, and 

then they brought the brothers. Then that young king 

asks them, * How many brothers had you ? ' 
And they said, * We are only two.' 
The king says, ' Hah ! were there ever more of you ? ' 
Then those two brothers say, * We were three.' 
Then, * What have you done with the third one ? ' 

* Done with him ! He demanded of us to eat, then we took 
out his eyes.' 

Then, * I am he,' thus did that young king say. * Now, 

what am I to do with you ? ' 

Those two brothers say, ' Lead us under that cross.' 

He led them under that very cross. When he had led 

them, there came again those same three crows. When 

they had come, again they asked one another, * What is the 

news in your country ? ' 

* In my country now is the princess well.' 

' And in your second country what is the news ? ' 

* In my country now is much water.' 

* And in your third country what is the news ? ' 

'There now is no such dew as they rubbed the eyes 
with.' 

Then those three crows came to those two lads, and then 
there those crows say, * We will tear these two lads.' And 
they tore and devoured them. And then those three crows 
flew away, and flew into the sky. 



THE ENCHANTED CITY 117 

With its thetis and its that% a very imperfect, schoolboyish version. 
It does not tell how the hero cured the princess, or that his two brothers 
were blinded. Non-Gypsy variants of this widespread story are 
Grimm's *The Two Travellers' (No. 107, ii. 81), Cosquin's *Les Deux 
Soldats de 1689* (No. 7, i. 84), Denton's Servian story of 'Justice or 
Injustice' (p. 83}, Wratislaw's 'Right always remains Right' (Lusatian, 
No. 14, p. 92), Hahn's 'Gilt Recht oder Unrecht' (No. 30, i. 209), and 
others cited by Clouston (i. 249-261} from Norway, Portugal, the Kabyles, 
the Kirghiz, Arabia, Persia, and India. The borrowing the bushel 
•occurs in the 'Big Peter and Little Peter' group of stories {cf, 
Clouston, i. 120, ii. 241-278 ; and Campbell's Sanial Folk-tales^ pp. 30, 
100), of which we have a Welsh-Gypsy version (No. 68), and which have 
a certain affinity with 'The Rich and the Poor Brother.' 'Prince Haif- 
a-Son' in F. A. Steel's Indian Wide-awake Stories^ p. 290, is plainly 
analogous. On p. 277 we have ' a great rich wedding that lasted seven 
years and seven days.' 

No. 32. — The Enchanted City 

There was a poor lad, and he served seven years, and 
could not earn anything. And he went into the world, 
and went into a city, and spent the night there, and lay 
down under a wall, and slept. In that wall there was a 
hole, and he awoke, and looked through the hole, and saw 
a candle. And he crept through the hole, and went into 
a palace. There was a great city, and there was an emperor 
in the city ; and the emperor was dead, and also the empress 
was dead. And the emperor had a daughter, and she 
commanded the army. And that city was excommunicated, 
and the people were turned into stone. So the lad went 
into the palace of the emperor, and there in the palace all 
were turned into stone. And he marvelled what this might 
be, that the men were like men, but yet were all turned into 
stone. 

A cat came, and set food on the table. He sat down to 
table, and ate. At night came the cat, and brought him 
food, and brought him cards, and said to him, ' There will 
come a lord, and will say, " Play at cards," and do you play ; 
and he will spit on you, and do you bear it, but look at the 
clock. When it strikes ten, then give him a slap.' 

Then there came devils as many as the blades of grass ; 
and they beat him and tormented him till twelve o'clock ; 
and the cocks crowed, and they fled. He lay down in the 
bed and slept In the morning the cat brought him food. 



ii8 BUKOWINA. GYPSY STORIES 

and he ate. At nightfall she again brought him food, said 
to him, * He will come s^ain for you to play with him, and 
do you play till ten o'clock, and give him a slap ; and they 
will come to you as many as all the blades of grass, and will 
beat you and torment you, and do you bear it till twelve 
o'clock/ 

The lord came to. him. ' Hah ! let us play cards.' 

And they played till ten o'clock. He gave him, the devil, 
a slap. They came as many as all the blades of grass, and 
they beat him and tormented him till twelve o'clock, and 
they fled. He lay down in the bed and slept. In the 
morning he heard the folks talking in the city. In the 
morning the cat brought him food, and brought him royal 
clothes. He ate, and put on the clothes, and went into 
twelve chambers. There was the emperor's daughter in her 
bed. One half was alive, and she said, 'You are my 
emperor, and I am your empress, but come no more to me.' 

Again at night the cat brought him food, and said to him, 
* He will come again to-night to play cards till ten o'clock. 
At ten o'clock give him a slap again, and they will come to 
you as many as all the blades of grass, and they will beat 
you and torment you, but bear it' 

That lord came to him. * Hah ! let us play cards.' 

And they played till ten o'clock. He gave him a slap, 
and they came as many as all the blades of grass, and they 
beat him and tormented him, and he bore it till twelve 
o'clock. At twelve o'clock they fled. He lay down on the 
bed and slept In the morning the band began to play, 
they held a review.^ ' For we have a new emperor.' The 
ministers came to him, and raised him shoulder-high. * We 
have a new emperor.' 

And he is in a hurry to go to his empress, and said, ' Stay 
here, I will be back immediately.' 

And he went to her. There she stood with her head to 
the roof, and a vapour went forth from her mouth ; and he 
opened the door, and she just made a sign to him with her 
hand, and fell back on the bed, and became stone up to the 
waist. And she called him to her. ' Leave me ; I want you 
not Why did you not wait to come to me, till I should 

^ It should be remembered that Austro-Hungarian Gypsies have all to serve 
in the army. 



THE ENCHANTED CITY 119 

obtain remission of my sins ? Take you my father's horse 
and his sword, and take a purse; as much money as you 
want, it shall not fail/ 

He set out, and journeyed, and departed into another 
kingdom. There two emperors were fighting, because one 
would not give his daughter to the other's son. * Set your- 
self to battle with me, since you refuse your daughter.' 
They fought seven years. So he ^ came into that city, and 
came to an inn, to a certain Armenian. And there was a 
great famine; the soldiers were dying of hunger. So he 
asked the Armenian, ' What 's the news here ? ' 

*No good. They have been waging a great war seven 
years here for a girl, and the soldiers are dying of hunger.' 

And he said, * Go and call them to me.* 

The soldiers came, and he bought bread and brandy, and 
they drank and ate ; and he said to the Armenian, * I, if I 
choose, I will cut that army to pieces.' 

The Armenian went to the emperor. * Emperor, a king's 
son is come, and has boasted that he by himself will cut that 
army to pieces.' 

* Call him to me.' 

'What is this you've been boasting? will you cut that 
army to pieces ? ' 
' I will.' 

* If you do, I will give you my daughter, and give you 
one half of my kingdom.' 

And he, when he went to battle, waved to the right hand, 
and slew one half of the army, and he waved to the left 
hand, and slew the other half. And he came home, and the 
emperor gave him his daughter, and made a marriage. 

' Ask him what strength is his, that he slew so great an 
army.' * 

And he said, * My sword slays.' 

And she sent back a letter, * The sword alone slays ; send 
me another sword, and I will send this one to you.' 

She sent him the sword, and he then said, * Set yourself 
now to battle with me.' 

And he went in hope. But the emperor slew him, and 

^ The text runs, ' So he, the king's son,* etc., but this makes nonsense. 
' This inquiry as to the secret of the hero's strength should by rights be made, 
not by the emperor, but by a former lover. 



I20 BUKOWINA. GYPSY STORIES 

cut him all in pieces, and put him in the saddle-bags, and 
placed him on his horse, and said, ' Whence thou didst bear 
him living, bear him dead.' ^ 

The horse carried him home, thither to that lady who was 
of stone. She cried, ' Bring him to me.* She laid him on a 
table, and put him all together ; and she sprinkled him with 
dead water, and he became whole ; and she sprinkled him 
with living water, and he arose.* 

' Go back ; take you this purse, you have but to wish and 
you will find it full of money. And go to that Armenian, 
and give him whatever he wants, and tell him you will turn 
yourself into a horse. Take a hair from my tail,^ and bind 
it round you like a girdle, and fling a somersault* ^ 

So he turned himself into a horse; and the Armenian 
took him, and led him into the city. The emperor bought 
him, and mounted him. He dashed him to the earth, and 
he died. The horse took the sword in his mouth, and went 
to the Armenian. The Armenian loosened the hair, and 
he became a man again. He made the Armenian king; 
and he departed home to his mistress, the first one, and 
wedded her. And he became emperor. 

A mere ruin of a folk-tale, but what a fine ruin. The cat reminds one 
of Grimm's No. io6, * The Poor Miller's Boy and the Cat ' (ii. 78, 406), 
where the cat takes the hero into an enchanted castle, and gives him to 
eat and to drink. But Grimm's No. 92, 'The King of the Golden 
Mountain ' (ii. 28, 390), comes much closer to our Gypsy story. There 
the hero has three nights running to let himself be tortured in a 
bewitched castle by twelve black men till twelve o'clock, so to set free 
an enchanted maiden. Grimm's No. 121, 'The King's Son who feared 
Nothing' (ii. 134, 419), should also be compared, and our Welsh-Gypsy 
story, * Ashypelt ' (No. 57). The latter half of ' The Enchanted City ' is 
identical with Krauss's No. 47 (i. 224), a Slovenian story. For the 
magic sword cf, infra^ p. 160 ; Clouston's notes to Lan^s Conttnu- 
ation of Chaucer's ^ Squires Tale' (Chaucer Soc. 1888, pp. 372-381); 
Wratislaw's Polish story, *The Spirit of a buried Man,' No. 18, p. 122 ; 
and F. A. Steel's Wide-awake Stories^ p. 62. Playing cards with the 
devil or a monster occurs also in our No. 63 (p. 256), and in folk- 
tales from Russia, Germany, French Flanders, Lorraine, and Brittany 
{cf, Ralston, p. 375 ; Grimm, No. 4, i. 16, 346 ; and Cosquin, i. 28 ; 
ii. 254, 259, 260). 



* Cf, supra, pp. 28, 33, 35. * Cf. supra, pp. 28, 33. 

' This suggests that the cat and the princess really were one. Cf* footnote on 
No. 46. ^ Cf footnote 2, p. 16. 



THE JEALOUS HUSBAND 121 



No. 33. — The Jealous Husband 

There was a merchant, great and wealthy, and he had a 
beautiful wife ; he did not let her go out. And he went 
in a ship on the Danube after merchandise with another 
merchant And they were coming home. They hauled 
their ships to the bank, and moored them to the bank, to 
pass the night. They fell into discourse. Said one, ' Has 
your wife got a lover at home ? ' 

And he said, * My wife has not got a lover.* 

* Come, what will you give me if I become her lover ? * 

* If you do, I will give you my estate, and my merchandise 
too, ship and all.' 

* How will you know that I am her lover ? ' 

* If you tell me her birth-mark, and if you take the gold 
ring from her finger. But my wife will be like to thrash you, 
if you but hint such a thing to her. I left a maid with her, 
to see that my wife does not go out of doors.' 

* I shall succeed, though.' 

* Go home and try ; I '11 bring your ship.' 

Home he went. What will he do ? for he cannot come 
near her. He found an old wife. * Old wife, what am I to 
do to get the ring from the lady ? ' 

* What will you give me if I contrive that you get it ? * 

* I will give you a hundred florins.' 

* Get a big chest made, and a window in it, and get into it, 
and make a bolt inside, and I will carry you to her.' 

She carried him in the chest under the wall of her house, 
and went to the lady. * I beg you, lady, to take in my box 
of clothes, so that they may not be stolen.* 

* Carry it into the hall.' 

She called the maid, and the maid helped her to carry 
him into the hall. 

* I b^ you, lady, to let me take it right into your house. 
I will come in the morning to fetch it' 

* Well, put it in a corner.* 

The old woman went off home. The lady at night took 
a bath, and laid the ring on the table, and washed herself. 
And thrpugh the little window he perceived a mole under 
her right breast The lady slept all night in her bed, and 



122 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

m 

forgot the ring on the table, and put out the candle. And 
he let himself out, took the ring off the table, and got back 
into the chest, shut himself in. The old woman came next 
morning at daybreak, and carried her chest outside. He 
opened it, and came out, and took the chest', and departed. 
He went to meet the husband, and found him on the 
way. 

* Hast thou lain with my lady ? ' 

* I have.' 

' What is her birth-mark ? ' 

'She has a mole under her right breast If you do not 
believe me, here is the ring as well.' 

'It's all right; take the ship and everything in it, and 
come home, and I will give you also the estate.' 

He went home, and said never a word to the lady ; and 
he made a little boat, and put her in it, and let it go on the 
Danube. * Since you have done this, away you go on the 
Danube.' He gave his whole estate, and became poor, and 
carried water for the Jews. 

A whole year she floated on the Danube ; the year went 
like a day. An old man caught her, and drew her to shore, 
and opened the boat, and took her out, and brought her to 
his house. She abode with him three years, and spun with 
her spindle, and made some money. And she bought 
herself splendid man's clothes, and dressed herself, and cut 
her hair short, and went back to her husband. She went 
and passed the night beneath a lime-tree, and slept under 
the lime-tree. In that city the emperor was blind. She saw 
a dream : in the lime-tree was a hole, and in the hole was 
water; and if the emperor will anoint himself with that 
water he will see. She arose in the morning, and searched 
around, and found the hole. And she had a little pail, and 
she drew water in the pail, and put it in her pocket, and went 
into that city to an inn, and drank three kreutzers' worth of 
brandy. And she asked the Jew, 'What's the news with 
you?' 

' Our emperor is blind, and he will give his kingdom to 
him who shall make him see.' 

' I will do so.' 

The Jew went to the emperor, and the emperor said to 
him, ' Hah ! go and bring him to me.' 



THE JEALOUS HUSBAND 123 

They brought him to the emperor. * Will you make me 
see ? then I will give you my daughter.* 

She took water, and anointed his eyes, and he saw. The 
emperor set his crown on her head. * Do you be emperor. 
I want nothing but to stay beside you.' The emperor clad 
her royally, called his army, beat the drum. ' For there 's a 
new emperor.' 

And she saw her husband carrying water for the Jews. 

* Come hither. Have you always been poor ? ' 

* No, I once was not poor, I was rich. I had an estate, 
and I was a great merchant.' 

' Then how did you lose your estate ? ' 

* I lost it over a wager. My wife played the wanton with 
another, and I gave up the estate, and sent her adrift on the 
Danube/ 

Straightway she sent for the other, and they brought him. 

* How did you come by this man's estate ? * 

' Over a wager.' 

' What was your wager ? ' 

' That I would lie with her.' 

* Then you did so ? * 
' I did.' 

* And, pray, what were her birth-marks ? ' 
' Under her right breast she had a mole.' 

* Would you know that mole again ? ' 
' I would.' 

Then she drew out her breast. ' Did you lie with me ? ' 

' I did not' 

*Then why those falsehoods? Here, take him, and cut 
him all to pieces.' 

And she looked earnestly on her husband. *You, why 
did you not ask me at the time ? ' 

* I was a fool, and I was angry.' 

* Here, take him outside, and give him five-and-twenty, to 
teach him wisdom.' 

She threw the robes off her, and put them on him. * Do 
you be emperor, and I empress.* 

Were I a painter, I would paint a picture — the Forest of Arden, a 
Gypsy encampment, with tents, dogs, donkeys, and children, a Gypsy 
story-teller, and Shakespeare. But one knows, of course, that Shake- 
speare derived the material of his Cymbeline from the novel of Boccaccio 



124 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

{Dec. ii. 9), immediately in all likelihood, and not through the second 
story in Westward for Smelts, Granted he did, the question arises next, 
whence did Boccaccio get his material ? Did he invent it, and, if so, is 
this Gypsy story derived from Boccaccio, and not it only, but Campbell's 
West Highland tale of *The Chest' (No. 18), Larminie's 'Servant of 
Poverty ' ( West Irish Folk-taleSy pp. 1 1 5-129), and at least two other folk- 
tales cited by Kohler — one in Wolfs German Hausmarchen^ P* 355? and 
one from Roumania in Ausland^ 1856, p. 1053 ? Campbell's story at any 
rate cannot have come from Boccaccio, containing, as it does, the essence, 
not merely of Cymbeline^ but also of The Merchant of Venice, For its 
hero borrows £^0 on condition that if he does not repay it within a 
year and a day he is to lose a strip of skin cut from his head to his 
foot ; ^ * Yes,' says the heroine, * but in cutting it, not one drop of blood 
must be shed.' To go fully into this question would occupy pages and 
pages ; I must content myself with referring to The Remarks of M, 
Karl Simrock on the Plots of ShcUzespear^s Plays, with notes by J. O. 
Halliwell (Shakespeare Soc. 1850), pp. 64-75 ^^^ 45-^3) ^'^^ to Reinhold 
Kohler on Campbell's tale m Orient und Occident, ii. 1864, pp. 313-316. 
But it is just worth pointing out: that Gypsies may have had a consider- 
able influence on the European drama. The Scottish Gypsies who, as 
. /recorded in the Introduction, used yearly to gather in the stanks of 
'. yRoslin during the last half of the sixteenth century, acted there * severall 
plays.' We have not the dimmest notion what those plays may have 
been ; still, this would be quite an early item in any history of the stage 
in Scotland. Sir William Ouseley in his Travels in Persia (1823), 
iii. 400-405, gives a long description of a Persian puppet-play, curiously 
like our own Punch and Judy : ' the managers of these shows, and the 
musicians who attended them, were said to be of the Karachi or Gypsy 
tribe.' I myself at Gottingen, in 1873, several times came across a 
family of German Gypsies, very full-blooded ones, who were marionette- 
showers ; like a dull dog, I never went to see their shows. Gorger 
{K6xnBm gatijo, Gentile or man) is current theatrical slang for a manager; 
and Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor (1851) shows 
that the slang of our English show-folk contains a good many 
R6mani words. The very Pandean pipes are suggestive of importation 
from South-east Europe. Goethe's Wilhelm Meister offers something 
to the purpose, so also do the Bunjara players in Mrs. F. A. Steel's 
On the Face of the Waters (1896) ; and my own In Gypsy Tents, 
pp. 295-6, gives a glance at an English travelling theatre whose per- 
formers spoke fluent R6mani. 

No. 34. — Made over to the Devil 

There was a rich man, and he went into the forest, and fell 
into a bog with his carriage. And his wife brought forth a 



f\ 



^ Cf, note on the Polish-Gypsy story of 'The Brigands and the Miller's 
Daughter,' No 47, p. 171. 



MADE OVER TO THE DEVIL 125 

son, and he knew it not And the Devil came forth, and 
said, ' What will you give me if I pull you out ? ' 

* I will give you what you want' 

' Give me what you have at home.' 

* I have horses, oxen.' 

* Give me that which you have not seen.' 
' I will' 

* Make a covenant with me.' 

He made a covenant with him, and the Devil pulled him 
out of the mud, and the man went home. By the time he 
got home he had forgotten the covenant. 

The boy was twenty years old. 'Make me a cake, 
mother, for I 'm off to the place my father pledged me to.' 
And he went far over the mountains, and came to the 
Devil's house. There was an old woman in the house, and 
a daughter of the Devil's, and she asked him, * Whither art 
going, lad ? ' 

* I have come to the lord here, to serve.' 

And the girl saw him, and he pleased her. ' I may tell 
you that he is my father. My father will turn himself into a 
horse, and will tell you to mount him and traverse the 
world. And do you make yourself an iron club and an iron 
curry-comb, and hit him with the club, for he will not stoop, 
and get on his back, and as you go keep hitting him on the 
head.' 

He traversed the world, and came home, put him in the 
stable, and went to the maiden. 

* My father didn't fling you ? ' 

' No, for I kept hitting him on the head.' 

The Devil called him, and took a jar of poppy-seed, and 
poured it out on the grass, and told him to gather it all up, 
and fill the jar, for, * If you don't, I will cut off your head.' 

He went to the maiden, and wept 

* What are you weeping for ? ' 

* Your father has told me to fill the jar with poppy-seed ; 
and if I don't, he will cut off my head.' 

She said, 'Fear not.* She went outside and gave a 
whistle, and the mice came as many as all the blades of 
grass and the leaves. 

And they asked, ' What do you want, mistress ? ' 

' Gather the poppy-seed and fill the jar.' 



126 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

And the mice came and picked up the grains of poppy- 
seed one by one, and filled die jar. 

The Devil saw it * You 're a clever chap. Here is one 
more task for you : drain the marsh, and plough it, and sow 
it, and to-morrow bring me roasted maize. And if you do 
not, I shall cut your head off.' 

He went to the maiden and wept ' Your father has told 
me to drain the marsh, and give him roasted maize to- 
morrow,' 

* Fear not' 

She went outside, and took the fiery whip. And she 
struck the marsh once, and it was dried up ; a second time 
she struck, and it was ploughed ; the third time she struck, 
it was sowed ; the fourth time she struck, and the maize was 
roasted ; and in the morning he gave him roasted maize. 

She said to him, * We are three maidens. He will make 
us all alike, will call you to guess which is the eldest, which 
is the middle one, and which the youngest; and you will not 
be able to guess, for we shall be all just alike. I shall be at 
the top, and notice my feet, for I shall keep tapping one foot 
on the other ; the middle one will be in the middle, and the 
eldest fronting you, and so you will know.* 

The Devil said to him, * One more task I will give you. 
Fell the whole forest, and stack it by to-morrow.' 

He went to the maiden, and the maiden asked him, ' Have 
you a father and mother ? ' 

* I have.' 

' Ah I let us fly, for my father will kill you. Take the 
whetstone, and take a comb ; I have a towel.' 

They set out and fled. The Devil arose, saw that the 
forest is not felled. * Go and call him to me.' 

Ho, ho ! there is neither the lad nor the maiden. 

* Hah I go after them.' 

They went, and the two saw them coming after them. 
And she said to him, ' I will make myself a field of wheat, 
and do you make yourself to be looking at the wheat, and 
they will ask you, " Didn't a maiden and a lad pass by ? " 
" Bah 1 they passed when I was sowing the wheat" ' 

* Go back, for we shall not catch them.' 
They went back. * We did not catch them.* 

* On the road did not you find anything ? * 



MADE OVER TO THE DEVIL 127 

' We found a field of wheat and a peasant/ 

' Go back, for the field of wheat was she, and he was the 
peasant' 

They saw them again. She said to the lad, * I will turn a 
somersault and make myself an old church, and do you turn 
a somersault and make yourself an old monk, and they will 
ask you, "Didn't a maiden and a lad pass by?" "They 
passed just as I began the church." ' 

* Ah ! go back, for we shall never catch them. When he 
was beginning the church ! It is old now.' 

* Did you not find anything on the road ? ' 
' We found a church and a monk.' 

* The church was she, and he was the monk. I will go 
myself.' 

They saw him. *" Now my father is coming ; we shall not 
escape. Fling the comb.' 

He flung the comb, and it became a forest from earth to 
sky. Whilst he was gnawing away the forest, they got a 
long way ahead. He was catching them up; she cried, 
' Fling the whetstone.' 

He flung the whetstone, and it became a rock of stone 
from earth even to heaven. Whilst he, the Devil, was 
making a hole in the rock, they got a long way ahead. 
Again he is catching them up. * Father is catching us up.' 
She flung the towel, and it became a great water and a 
mill. They halted on the bank. 

And he cried, ' Harlot, how did you cross the water ? ' 

* Fasten the millstone to your neck, and jump into the 
water.' 

He fastened the millstone to his neck, and jumped into 
the water, and was choked. 

She said, * Fear not, for my father is choked.' 

He went to his father with the maiden. His father re- 
joiced ; but the maiden said to the lad, ' I will go to expiate 
my father's sins, for I choked him. I go for three years.' 

She took her ring, and broke it in half, and gave one half 
to him. ' Keep that, and do not lose it.' She departed for 
three years. 

He forgot her, and made preparations to marry. He was 
holding his wedding. She came, and he knew her not. 

* Drink a glass of brandy.' 



^ 128 BUKOWINA-GYPSY STORIES 

She drank out of his glass, and flung the half of the ring 

. into the glass, and gave it to him. When he drank, he got 

'it into his mouth, and he took it in his hand and looked at 

^\ , . ' it, and he took his half and fitted the two together. * Hah ! 

this is my wife ; this one saved me from deatli.* 
;C^ '^v7 And he quashed that marriage, and took his first wife and 
lived with her. 



1 



/I 



f 



I .^' There are several obvious lacunse in this story, one that the poppy- 

rl' ' / seed must have been mixed with some other seed, else the task would 

^^ have been far too easy. The Polish-Gypsy story of *The Witch' 

(No. 50), corresponds pretty closely; and for the roasted maize task 
compare the Roumanian-Gypsy story of ' The Snake who became the 
King's Son-in-law' (No. 7). For a multitude of non-Gypsy variants 
see Ralston's *The Water- King and Vasilissa the Wise' (pp. 120-133), 
especially the Indian story at the end. C/, also Cosquin, ii. 9, and 
i. 103, 106, 139, 141. The ring episode recurs in the Bohemian- Gypsy 
story, *The Three Dragons' (No. 44, p. 154). The fiery whip in the 
yGypsy story is, to the best of my knowledge, unique. 

No. 35. — The Lying Story 

Before I was born, my mother had a fancy for roast 
starlings. And there was no one to go, so I went alone to 
the forest. And I found roast starlings in the hollow 
of a tree. I put in my hand, and could not draw it out I 
took and got right in, and the hole closed up. I set out 
and went to my godfather to borrow the axe. 

My godfather said, * The servant with the axe is not at 
home, but,' said my godfather, * I will give you the hatchet, 
and the hatchet is expecting little hatchets.' 

* Never fear, godfather.' 

And he gave me the hatchet, and I went and cut my way 
out of the tree, and I flung down the hatchet. Whilst it 
was falling a bird built its nest in the handle, and laid eggs, 
and hatched them, and brought forth young ones ; and when 
the hatchet had fallen down, it gave birth to twelve little 
hatchets. And I put them in my wallet, and carried 
them to my godfather. My godfather rejoiced. He gave 
me one of the hatchets, and I stuck it in my belt at my 
back, and went home. I was thirsty and went to the well. 
The well was deep. I cut off* my brainpan, and drank water 
out of it. I laid my brainpan by the well, and went home. 



w^ 



THE LYING STORY 129 

And I felt something biting me on the head ; and when I put 
up my hand to my head there came forth worms. I re- 
turned to my brainpan, and a wild-duck had laid eggs in my 
brainpan, and hatched them, and brought forth ducklings. 
And I took the hatchet, and flung it, and killed the wild- 
duck, but the ducklings flew away. Behind the well was a 
fire, and the hatchet fell into the fire. I hunted for the 
hatchet, and found the handle, but the blade of the hatchet 
was burnt. And I took the handle, and stuck it in my belt 
at my back, and went home, and found our mare, and got 
up on her. And the handle cut the mare in half, and I 
went riding on two of her legs, and the two hind ones were 
eating grass. And I went back, and cut a willow withy, and 
trimmed it, and sewed the mare together. Out of her grew 
a willow-tree up to heaven. And I remembered that God 
is owing me a treeful of eggs and a pailful of sour milk. 
And I climbed up the willow, and went to God, and went 
to God's thrashing-floor. There twelve men were thrashing 
oats. 

' Where are you going to, man ? ' 

* I am going to God.' 

* Don't go ; God isn't at home.' 

And the smiths felled the willow, and I took an oat-straw 
and made a rope, and let myself down. And the rope was 
too short, and I kept cutting off above, and tying on below ; 
then I jumped down, and came to the other world. I went 
Home, and got a spade, and dug myself out [of the other, or 
nether world], and went home, and gave the starlings to my 
mother, and she ate, and was safely delivered of me, and I 
am living in the world. 

One is reminded of Munchausen and of several lying tales in 
Grimm, e,g, Nos. 112, 138, 158, and 159. Cf. especially his notes at 
ii. 413. The very first Gypsy folk-tale I ever took down, twenty years 
ago now, from one of the Boswells, was the following lying tale : — 



No. 36. — Happy Boz 11 

Wonst upon a time there was a Romano, and his name 
was Happy Boz'll, and he had a German-silver grinding- 
barrow, and he used to put his wife and his child on the top, 

I 



I30 ENGLISH-GYPSY STORY 

and he used to go that quick along the road he 'd beat all 
the coaches. Then he thought this grinding-barrow was 
too heavy and clumsy to take about, and he cut it up and 
made tent-rods of it. And then his donkey got away, and 
he didn't know where it was gone to ; and one day he 
was going by the tent, and he said to himself, ' Bless my 
soul, wherever 's that donkey got to ? ' And there was a tree 
close by, and the donkey shouted out and said, * I 'm here, 
my Happy, getting you a bit o' stick to make a fire.' Well, 
the donkey come down with a lot of sticks, and he had been 
up the tree a week, getting firewood. Well then, Happy 
had a dog, and he went out one day, the dog one side the 
hedge, and him the other. And then he saw two hares. 
The dog ran after the two ; and as he was going across the 
field, he cut himself right through with a scythe ; and then 
one half ran after one hare, and the other after the other. 
Then the two halves of the dog catched the two hares ; and 
then the dog smacked together again ; and he said, * Well, 
I Ve got 'em, my Happy ' ; and then the dog died. And 
Happy had a hole in the knee of his breeches, and he cut a 
piece of the dog's skin, after it was dead, and sewed it in 
the knee of his breeches. And that day twelve months his 
breeches-knee burst open, and barked at him. And so that 's 
the end of Happy Boz'll. 

Also Munchausen-like ; but I believe it was largely this story, which 
I printed on p. i6o of my In Gypsy Tents^ that led the great Lazarus 
Petulengro to remark once to Mr. Sampson, * Isn't it wonderful, sir, 
that a real gentleman could have wrote such a thing — nothing but low 
language and povertiness, and not a word of grammar or high-learned 
talk in it from beginning to end.' 

We have a third Gypsy lying story, a Welsh-Gypsy one. Matthew 
Wood's father had, like a good many Gypsies, a contempt for folk-tales, 
and, when called on for his turn, he always gave this, the very shortest 
one : — * There were a naked man and a blind man and a lame man. 
The blind man saw a hare, and the lame man ran and caught it, and 
the naked man put it in his pocket.' Cf, Grimm's No. 1 59, * The Dit- 
marsch Tale of Wonders' (ii. 230, 452). Indian lying stories occur in 
Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales^ Nos. 4, 8, 17. 



CHAPTER IV 
TRANSYLVANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

No. 37. — The Creation of the Violin 

In a hut on a mountain, in a fair forest, lived a girl with 
her four brothers, her father, and her mother. The sister 
loved a handsome rich huntsman, who often ranged the 
forest, but who would never speak to the pretty girl. Mara 
wept day and night, because the handsome man never came 
near her. She often spoke to him, but he never answered, 
and went on his way. She sang the song : 

* Dear man from a far country, 
Slip your hand into mine ; 
Clasp me, an you will, in your arms ; 
Lovingly will I kiss you.' 

She sang it often and often, but he paid no heed. Knowing 
now no other succour, she called the devil. * O devil, help 
me.' The devil came, holding a mirror in his hand, and 
asked what she wanted. Mara told him her story and 
bemoaned to him her sorrow. * If that's all,' said the devil, 
' I can help you. I '11 give you this. Show it to your 
beloved, and you '11 entice him to you.' Once again came 
the huntsman to the forest, and Mara had the mirror in her 
hand and went to meet him. When the huntsman saw him- 
self in the mirror, he cried, * Oh ! that 's the devil, that is the 
devil's doing ; I see myself.' And he ran away, and came 
no more to the forest. 

Mara wept now again day and night, for the handsome 
man never came near her. Knowing now no other succour 
for her grief, she called again the devil. * O devil, help me.' 
The devil came and asked what she wanted. Mara told 
how the huntsman had run away, when he saw himself in 
the mirror. The devil laughed and said, *Let him run, I 

181 



132 TRANSYLVANIAN. GYPSY STORIES 

shall catch him ; like you, he belongs to me. For you both 
have looked in the mirror, and whoso looks in the mirror is 
mine. And now I will help you, but you must give me 
your four brothers, or help you I cannot' The devil went 
away and came back at night, when the four brothers slept, 
and made four strings of them, fiddle-strings — one thicker, 
then one thinner, the third thinner still, and the thinnest the 
fourth. Then said the devil, 'Give me also your father.' 
Mara said, * Good, I give you my father, only you must help 
me.' Of the father the devil made a box: that was the 
fiddle. Then he said, 'Give me also your mother.' Mara 
answered, ' Good, I give you also my mother, only you must 
help me.' The devil smiled, and made of the mother a stick, 
and horsehair of her hair : this was the fiddle-stick. Then 
the devil played, and Mara rejoiced. But the devil played 
on and on, and Mara wept. Now laughed the devil and 
said, * When your beloved comes, play, and you will entice 
him to you.' Mara played, and the huntsman heard her 
playing and came to her. In nine days came the devil and 
said, ' Worship me, I am your lord.' They would not, and 
the devil carried them oflF. The fiddle remained in the 
forest lying on the ground, and a poor Gypsy came by and 
saw it. He played, and as he played in thorp and town 
they laughed and wept just as he chose. 

In the GyPsy Lore /ournal for April 1890, pp. 65-66, Vladislav Komel, 
Ritter von Zielinski, published a very close Hungarian- Gypsy variant, 
told to him both at Guta and at Almas. One cannot but be reminded of 
the ballad of * Binnorie,' whose story is current in Scotland, Sweden, 
the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Denmark, Sicily, Poland, Esthonia, and 
Lithuania, and which Reinhold Kohler has ably discussed in * Die Ballade 
von der sprechenden Harfe ' {Aufsdtse iiber Mdrchen und Volkslieder^ 
pp. 79-98). Campbell's Santal Folk-tales^ pp. 54, 104, furnish two remark- 
able analogues. In the first a drowned girl grows up as a bamboo, out 
of which SLJugi makes a magic fiddle ; in the second a princess, devoured 
by a monkey, springs up after his death as a gourd, of whose shell a^jugi 
makes a wonderful banjo. In both tales there is mention of Doms ; and 
it is at least an odd coincidence that, while the Gypsy word for devil is 
bengy in Santali a spirit is called donga. Selling one's self, or rather 
one's blood, to the devil is a superstition still current amongst English 
Gypsies. I myself knew an elderly East Anglian Gypsy woman, who 
was supposed to have so sold her blood, and to have got in return a 
young, good-looking husband, her own nephew, whom she ' kept like a 
gentleman.' Cf. also pp. 297-9 of my In Gypsy Tents. 



.^ 



THE SUN-KING'S GOLDEN HAIRS 133 

No. 38. — The Three Golden Hairs of the 

Sun-King 

A rich, mighty king once went hunting, and wandered 
himself in a great forest. Towards evening he came to a 
hut, in which lived a poor charcoal-burner. The king asked 
the poor man his way to the city. 

The charcoal-burner answered, * Sir, the way to the city 
you could not find by yourself, and to-day I cannot go with 
you for my wife lies sick, and this very night will bring a 
child into the world. Lie down here then in the side room, 
and to-morrow I will guide you to the city.' 

The king took the offer, and lay down in the side room ; 
but he could not close an eye for the moaning of the char- 
coal-burner's wife. Towards midnight she bore a beautiful 
boy, and now it was quiet in the hut Yet still the king 
could not sleep. He got up from his couch, drew near the 
door, and looked through a chink into the room where the 
sick woman lay. He could see her sleeping in her bed ; her 
man, fast asleep too, lay behind the stove ; and in its cradle 
was the new-born child, with three ladies in white standing 
round it. 

The king heard one say, * I wish this boy a misfortune.' 

The second said, * And I grant him a means to turn this 
misfortune to good.' 

The third said, * I will bring to pass his marriage with the 
daughter of the king who is now in the next room. At this 
very moment his wife is bringing into the world a girl of 
marvellous beauty.' 

Thereupon the three ladies departed ; and the king 
thought and thought how to destroy this boy. Early next 
morning the charcoal-burner came into the side room and 
said, weeping, to the king, * My poor wife is dead. What can 
I do with the little child ? ' 

The king answered, quite rejoiced, * I am the king, and will 
care for the child. Only show me the way to the city, and I 
will send one of my servants to fetch the child.' 

And so it was. The charcoal-burner guided his king to 
the city and was richly rewarded ; and the king sent a 
servant back with secret instructions to fling the boy into 



134 TRANSYLVANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

the river and let him drown. When now the servant was 
returning from the forest with the child, he flung it, basket 
and all, into the river, and told the king, *Most gracious 
king, I have done as thou hast commanded me.' The king 
rewarded him, and went now to his wife, who the night 
before had borne a girl of marvellous beauty. 

The basket with the boy went floating about a long time 
on the water, and at last was seen by a fisherman who drew 
it out, and took the child home to his wife. They both 
rejoiced greatly at the sight of this pretty boy ; and as they 
had no children they kept him and brought him up. 

Twenty years went by ; and the boy, whom his parents 
called Nameless, grew up a wonderfully pretty lad. Once the 
king passed the fisherman's hut, and saw the fair youngster. 
He entered the hut and asked the fisherman, * Is this pretty 
youngster your son ? ' 

* No,' said the fisherman, * twenty years ago I fished him 
out of the water.* 

Then the king was exceeding terrified, and said presently, 
* I will write a letter to the queen, and this lad shall take it 
to her.* 

So he wrote this letter : * Dear wife, have this lad put 
forthwith to death, else he will undo us all.' 

Nameless set out with the letter for the queen, but on his 
way to the city lost himself in a forest, and there met a lady 
in white who said to him, * You have lost yourself. Come to 
my hut, and rest a bit ; then I '11 soon bring you to the 
queen.' 

She led Nameless to her hut, and there he fell fast asleep. 
The old lady took the letter from his pocket, burnt it, and 
put another in its stead. When the lad awoke, to his great 
amazement he found himself in front of the king's house. 
So he went in to the queen and gave her the letter, in which 
stood written : * Dear wife, at once call the pope, and let him 
plight this lad to our daughter. I wish him to marry her, 
else a great ill will befall us.' 

The queen did as her husband, the king, desired. She 
bade call the pope, and Nameless and the king's fair daughter 
became man and wife. When the king came home and 
learnt of this wedding, he had the letter brought, and saw it 
was his own handwriting. Then he asked his son-in-law 



THE SUN-KING'S GOLDEN HAIRS 135 

where he had been and whom he had spoken with; and 
when Nameless told him about the lady in white, the king 
knew that the fairy^ had aided him. Nameless was not at 
all the son-in-law he wanted, and he sought to make away 
with him, so said, 'Go into the world and fetch me three 
golden hairs from the head of the Sun-King, then shall you 
be king along with me.' 

Sorrowfully Nameless set out, for he loved his young wife, 
and she too loved him dearly. As he wandered on he came 
to a great black lake, and saw a white boat floating on the 
water. He cried to the old man in it, *Boat ahoy! come 
and ferry me over.' 

The old man answered, * I will take you across if you '11 
promise to bring me word how to escape out of this boat, 
for only then can I die.' 

Nameless promised, and the old man ferried him over the 
black water. Soon after Nameless came to a great city, 
where an old man asked him, * Whither away ? ' 

' To the Sun-King,' said Nameless. 

* Couldn't be better. Come, I '11 bring you to our king, 
who '11 have something to say to you.' 

The king, when Nameless stood before him, said, * Twenty 
years ago there was in our city a spring whose water made 
every one that drank of it grow young. The spring has 
vanished, and only the Sun-King knows where it is gone to. 
You are journeying to him, so ask him where it is gone to, 
and bring us word.' 

Nameless promised him to bring word on his return, and 
departed. Some days after he came to another city, and 
there another old man met him and asked, * Whither away ? * 

* To the Sun- King,' said Nameless. 

* That 's capital. Come, I '11 bring you to our king, who '11 
have something to say to you.' 

When they came to the king, the king said, * Twenty years 
ago a tree in this city bore golden apples ; whoso ate of 
those apples grew strong and healthy, and died not. But 
now for twenty years this tree has put forth no more fruit, 
and only the Sun-King knows the reason why. So when 
you come to him, ask him about it, and bring us word.* 

Nameless promised him to bring word on his return, and 

^ Urme. 



< » 



136 TRANSYLVANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

departed. Some days after he reached a great mountain, 
and there saw an old lady in white sitting in front of a 
beautiful house. She asked him, * Whither away ? ' 

* I seek the Sun-King/ said Nameless. 

' Come in then,' said the old lady. * I am the mother of 
the Sun-King, who daily flies out of this house as a little 
child, at mid-day becomes a man, and returns of an evening 
a greybeard.* 

She brought Nameless into the house, and made him tell 
her his story. He told her of the man on the black lake, of 
the spring, and of the tree that used to bear golden apples. 

Then said the old lady, ' I will ask my son all about that 
But come, let me hide you ; for if my son finds you here 
he '11 burn you up.' 

She hid Nameless in a great vessel of water, and bade 
him keep quiet. At evening the Sun-King came home, a 
feeble old man with golden head, and got victuals and drink 
from his mother. When he had eaten and drunk, he laid 
his golden head in his mother's lap and fell fast asleep. 
Then the old lady twitched out a golden hair, and he cried," 

* Mother, why won't you let me sleep ? ' 

The old lady .answered, * I saw in a dreani a city with a 
tree which used to bear golden apples, and whoso ate of 
them grew well and healthy, and died not. For twenty 
years now the tree has put forth no more fruit,_ and the 
people know not what they ought to do.' 

The Sun-King said, *They should kill the serpent that 
gnaws at the root of the tree.' 

Again he slept, and after a while his mother twitched out 
a second hair. Then cried the Sun-King, * Mother, what 's 
the meaning of this ? why can't you let me sleep ? ' 

The old lady answered, ' My dear son, I dreamed of a city 
with a spring, and whoso drank of it grew young again. 
Twenty years has this spring ceased to flow, and the people 
know not what they should do.' 

The Sun-King said, * A great toad is blocking the source 
of the spring. They should kill the toad, then the spring 
will flow as before.' 

Again he slept, and after a while the old lady in white 
twitched out a third hair. Then cried the Sun-King, 

* Mother, do let me sleep.* 



THE SUN. KING'S GOLDEN HAIRS 137 

The old lady answered, • I saw in a dream a g^reat black lake 
with an old man rowing about it in a boat, and he doesn't 
know how to escape from the boat, for only then can he die.* 

The Sun-King said, ' Next time he takes any one over, let 
him hand him the oars and jump ashore himself ; then the 
other must stop in the boat, and the old man can die.' 

Again he slept. 

Early next morning the Sun-King arose as a lovely child, 
and flew out of the window. The old lady gave Nameless 
the three hairs and said, ' Now go to your wife, and give the 
king the three hairs. I have done for you all that at your 
birth I promised my sisters. And now farewell.' 

She kissed Nameless, and led him outside, and he started 
off homewards. When he came to the city where the spring 
had ceased to flow, he told the people to kill the great toad 
that blocked up the source. They looked, found the toad, 
and killed it ; then the spring flowed again, and the king 
rewarded him richly. When Nameless came to the city 
where for twenty years the tree had ceased to bear golden 
apples, he told the people to kill the serpdnt that was gnaw- 
ing the roots of the tree. The people dug down, found the 
serpent, and killed it. Then the tree again bore golden fruit, 
and the king rewarded him richly. When Nameless reached 
the black lake, the old man would not take him across. But 
Nameless said if he would he would tell him the secret then, 
so the old man took him across the black water. When he 
was out of the boat he told the old man to hand his oars 
to the next passenger and then jump ashore himself; so he 
would be free and at last could die, but the other would have 
to go rowing about on the lake. 

Nameless soon got back home, and gave the king the 
three golden hairs ; his wife rejoiced greatly, but her father 
was beside himself for rage. But when Nameless told of 
the spring and the golden apples, the king cried quite 
delighted, ' I too must drink of this spring ; I too must eat 
of these golden apples.' He set out instantly, but when he 
reached the black lake, the old man handed him the oars 
and jumped ashore. And the king could not leave the boat, 
and had to stop there on the water. As he never came 
home, Nameless became king of the country, and lived 
henceforth with his beautiful bride in peace and prosperity. 



138 TRANSYLVANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 

Identical with Wratislaw's Bohemian story of * The Three Golden 
Hairs of Grandfather Allknow ' (Sixty Slavonic Folk-tales^ pp. 16-25), 
and with Grimm's No. 29, * The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs ' 
(i. 1 19-125, 377-378), only the German tale opens defectively. Wlis- 
locki's opening, however, meets us again in Bernhard Schmidt's ' Der 
Spruch der Moeren* {Griechische Mdrchen, No. 2, p. 67), where, as 
elsewhere, the part of the fairies is taken by the three Moirai or fates. 
The whole question of fairy mythology requires to be carefully re-studied 
in the light of our copious stock of Greek and Indian folk-tales, of which 
Leyden and Grimm could know nothing. In his Deutsche Mythologie 
(i. 382) Grimm expresses himself as in doubt whether y^/a came to mean 
* fairies' owing to Celtic or to Teutonic influences; probably /z/<z was 
a conscious translation of the Greek moirai^ and is an indication that 
the fairy mythology of Western Europe was largely, if not wholly, 
derived from Greek-speaking Levantine sources^ 

No. 39. — The Dog and the Maiden 

There was once a poor Gypsy with a very beautiful 
daughter, whom he guarded like the apple of his eye, for 
he wanted to marry her to a chieftain. So he always kept 
her in the tent when the lads and lasses sat of an evening 
by the fire and told stories, or beguiled the time with play 
and dance. Only a dog was the constant companion of this 
poor maiden. No one knew whom the dog belonged to, or 
where he came from. He had joined the band once, and 
thenceforth continued the trusty companion of the poor 
beautiful maiden. 

It befell once that her father must go to a far city, to 
sell there his besoms, baskets, spoons, and troughs. He 
left his daughter with the other women in the tents on the 
heath, and set out with the men for the city. This troubled 
the poor girl greatly, for no one would speak to her, as all 
the women envied her for her beauty and avoided her ; in 
a word^ they hated the sight of her. Only the dog remained 
true to her ; and once, as she sat sorrowfully in front of the 
tent, he said, * Come, let us go out on the heath ; there I 
will tell you who I really am.' The girl was terrified, for 
she had never heard of a dog being able, to speak like a 
man ; but when the dog repeated his request, she got up 
and went with him out on the heath. There the dog said, 
' Kiss me, and I shall become a man,' The girl kissed him, 



THE DOG AND THE MAIDEN 139 

and lo ! before her stood a man of wondrous beauty. He 
sat down beside her in the grass, and told how a fairy had 
turned him into a dog for trying to steal her golden apples, 
and how he could resume his human shape for but one 
night in the year, and only then if a girl had kissed him 
first. Much more had the two to tell, and they toyed in 
the long grass all the livelong night. When day dawned, 
the girl slipped back with the dog to her tent ; and the two 
henceforth were the very best of friends. 

The poor Gypsy came back from the city to the heath, 
merry because he had made a good bit of money. When 
again he must go to the city to sell his besoms and spoons, 
the girl remained behind with the dog in the camp, and one 
night she brought forth a little white puppy. In her terror 
and anguish she ran to the great river, and jumped into the 
water. When the people sought to draw her out of the 
water, they could not find her corpse ; and the old Gypsy, her 
father, would have thrown himself in too, when a handsome 
strange gentleman came up, and said, ' I '11 soon get you 
the body.' He took a bit of bread, kissed it, and threw it 
into the water. The dead girl straightway emerged from 
the water. The people drew the corpse to land, and bore 
it back to the tents, in three days' time to bury it. But the 
strange gentleman said, * I will bring my sweetheart to life.' 
And he took the little white puppy, the dead girl's son, and 
laid it on the bosom of the corpse. The puppy began to 
suck, and when it had sucked its full, the dead girl awoke, 
and, on seeing the handsome man, started up and flew into 
his arms, for he was her lover who had lived with her as 
a white dog. 

All greatly rejoiced when they heard this marvellous 
story, and nobody thought of the little white puppy, the 
son of the beautiful Gypsy girl. All of a sudden they heard 
a baby cry ; and when they looked round, they saw a little 
child lying in the grass. Then was the joy great indeed. 
The little puppy had vanished and taken human shape. 
So they celebrated marriage and baptism together, and lived 
in wealth and prosperity till their happy end. 

This finding a drowned body by casting one's bread on the waters 
has been practised in England by non-Gypsies not so many years ago. 
Gypsies may have brought the method with them from the Continent. 



I40 TRANSYLVANIAN-GYPSY STORIES 



No. 40. — Death the Sweetheart 

There was once a pretty young girl with no husband, no 
father, no mother, no brothers, no kinsfolk : they were all 
dead and gone. She lived alone in a hut at the end of 
the village ; and no one came near her, and she never went 
near any one. One evening a goodly wanderer came to her, 
opened the door, and cried, * I am a wanderer, and have been 
far in the world. Here will I rest; I can no further go.' 
The maiden said, 'Stay here, I will give thee a mattress 
to sleep on, and, if thou wilt, victuals and drink too.' The 
goodly wanderer soon lay down and said, * Now once again 
I sleep ; it is long since I slept last' * How long ? ' asked 
the girl ; and he answered, * Dear maid, I sleep but one 
week in a thousand years.' The girl laughed and said, 

* Thou jestest, surely ? thou art a roguish fellow.' But the 
wanderer was sound asleep. 

Early next morning he arose and said, * Thou art a pretty 
young girl. If thou wilt, I will tarry here a whole week 
longer.' She gladly agreed, for already she loved the goodly 
wanderer. So once they were sleeping, and she roused 
him and said, * Dear man, I dreamt such an evil dream. I 
dreamt thou hadst grown cold and white, and we drove in 
a beautiful carriage, drawn by six white birds. Thou didst 
blow on a mighty horn ; then dead folk came up and 
went with us — thou wert their king.' Then answered the 
goodly wanderer, * That was an evil dream.' Straightway 
he arose and said, * Beloved, I must go, for not a soul has 
died this long while in all the world. I must oflf, let me go.' 
But the girl wept and said, * Go not away ; bide with me.' 

* I must go,' he answered, * God keep thee.' But, as he 
reached her his hand, she said sobbing, *Tell me, dear 
man, who thou art then.' * Who knows that dies,' said the 
wanderer, * thou askest vainly ; I tell thee not who I am.' 
Then the girl wept and said, * I will suffer everything, only 
do tell me who thou art' * Good,' said the man, * then thou 
comest with me. I am Death.' The girl shuddered and 
died. 

The one beautiful story of the whole collection. And yet — I doubt. 



CHAPTER V 

SLOVAK, MORAVIAN, AND BOHEMIAN 

GYPSY STORIES 

No. 41. — The Three Girls 

Somewhere there was a king who had three daughters, 
princesses. Those three sisters used to go to meet the 
devils, and the father knew not where they went to. But 
there was one called Jankos ; Halenka aided him. 

The king asks Jankos, * Don't you know where my 
daughters go ? Not one single night are they at home, and 
they are always wearing out new shoes.' 

Then Jankos lay down in front of the door, and kept 
watch to see where they went to. But Halenka told him 
everything; she aided him. *They will, when they come, 
fling fire on you, and prick you with needles.' Halenka 
told him he must not stir, but be like a corpse. 

They came, those devils, for the girls, and straightway the 
girls set out with them to hell. On, on, they walked, but 
he stuck close to them. As the girls went to hell he followed 
close behind, but so that they knew it not. He went through 
the diamond forest ; when he came there he cut himself a 
diamond twig from the forest. He follows ; straightway 
they, those girls, cried, * Jankos is coming behind us.' For 
when he broke it, he made a great noise. The girls heard 
it. * Jankos is coming behind us.' 

But the devils said, * What does it matter if he is ? ' 

Next they went through the forest of glass, and once more 
he cut off a twig ; now he had two tokens. Then they went 
through the golden forest, and once more he cut off a twig ; 
so now he had three. Then Halenka tells him, * I shall 
change you into a fly, and when you come into hell, creep 
under the bed, hide yourself there, and see what will happen.' 

Then the devils danced with the girls, who tore their 

141 



142 SLOVAK-GYPSY STORIES 

shoes all to pieces, for they danced upon blades of knives, 
and so they must tear them. Then they flung the shoes 
under the bed, where Jankos took them, so that he might 
show them at home. When the devils had danced with the 
girls, each of them threw his girl upon the bed and lay with 
her ; thus did they with two of them, but the third would 
not yield herself. Then Jankos, having got all he wanted, 
returned home and lay down again in front of the door, 
' that the girls may know I am lying here.' 

The girls returned after midnight, and went to bed in 
their room as if nothing had happened. But Jankos knew 
well what had happened, and straightway he went to their 
father, the king, and showed him the tokens. * I know 
where your daughters go — to hell. The three girls must 
own they were there, in the fire. Isn't it true? weren't you 
there? And if you believe me not, I will show you the 
tokens. See, here is one token from the diamond forest ; 
then here is one from the forest of glass ; a third from the 
golden forest ; and the fourth is the shoes which you tore 
dancing with the devils. And two of you lay with the 
devils, but that third one not, she would not yield herself.' 

Straightway the king seized his rifle, and straightway he 
shot them dead. Then he seized a knife, and slit up their 
bellies, and straightway the devils were scattered out from 
their bellies. Then he buried them in the church, and laid 
each coffin in front of the altar, and every night a soldier 
stood guard over them. But every night those two used to 
rend the soldier in pieces ; more than a hundred were rent 
thus. At last it fell to a new soldier, a recruit, to stand 
guard ; when he went upon guard he was weeping. But 
a little old man came to him — it was my God ; and Jankos 
was there with the soldier. And the old man tells him, 
* When the twelfth hour strikes and they come out of their 
coffins, straightway jump in and lie down in the coffin, and 
don't leave the coffin, for if you do they will rend you. So 
don't you go out, even if they beg you and fling fire on you, 
for they will beg you hard to come out' 

Thus then till morning he lay in the coffin. In the morn- 
ing those two were alive again, and both kneeling in front 
of the altar. They were lovelier than ever. Then the 
soldier took one to wife, and Jankos took the other. Then 



THE DRAGON 143 

when they came home with them their father was very glad. 
Then Jankos and the soldier got married, and if they are 
not dead they are still alive. 

A confused, imperfect story, but plainly identical with Grimm's No. 
133, *The Shoes that were danced to Pieces* (ii. 179, 430), and with 
* The Slippers of the Twelve Princesses * {Roumanian Fairy Tales^ by 
£. B. M., p. i). The Gypsy finale is reminiscent of many vampire 
stories. 'The story-teller,' says Dr. von Sowa, 'explained Halenka as 
an alias of Jankos ; that this is not so, but that Halenka must stand for 
some higher being, a fairy, is shown by the story.' 

No. 42. — The Dragon 

There was a great city. In that city was great mourning ; 
every day it was hung with black cloth and with red. There 
was in a cave a great dragon ; it had four-and-twenty heads. 
Every day must he eat a woman — ^ah ! God ! what can be 
done in such a case? It is clean impossible every day to 
find food for that dragon. There was but one girl left. 
Her father was a very wealthy man ; he was a king ; over 
all kings he was lord. And there came a certain wanderer, 
came into the city, and asked what 's new there. 

They said to him, * Here is very great mourning.' 

* Why so ? any one dead ? ' 

* Every day we must feed the dragon with twenty-four 
heads. If we failed to feed him, he would crush all our city 
underneath his feet.' 

* I '11 help you out of that. It is just twelve o'clock ; I 
will go there alone with my dog.' 

He had such a big dog : whatever a man just thought of, 
that dog immediately knew. It would have striven with 
the very devil. When the wanderer came to the cave, he 
kept crying, * Dragon, come out here with your blind mother. 
Bread and men you have eaten, but will eat no more. I '11 
see if you are any good.' 

The dragon called him into his cave, and the wanderer 
said to him, * Now give me whatever I ask for to eat and 
to drink, and swear to me always to give that city peace, 
and never to eat men, no, not one. For if ever I hear of 
your doing so I shall come back and cut your throat.' 

* My good man, fear not ; I swear to you. For I see 
you 're a proper man. If you weren't, I should long since 



144 MORAVIAN-GYPSY STORY 

have eaten up you and your dog. Then tell me what you 
want of me.' 

* I only want you to bring me the finest wine to drink^ 
and meat such as no man has ever eaten. If you don*t^ 
you will see I shall destroy everything that is yours, shall 
shut you up here, and you will never come out of this cave.' 

* Good, I will fetch a basket of meat, and forthwith cook 
it for you.' 

He went and brought him such meat as no man ever had 
eaten. When he had eaten and drunk his fill, then the 
dragon must swear to him never to eat anybody, but sooner 
to die of hunger. 

* Good, so let us leave it' 

He went back, that man, who thus had delivered the city, 
so that it had peace. Then all the gentlemen asked him 
what he wanted for doing so well. The dragon from that 
hour never ate any one. And if they are not dead they are 
still alive. 

This story belongs to the* Valiant Little Tailor* group (No. 21). 
The maiden-tribute is a familiar feature ; the Tobit-like dog seems 
superfluous, but cf, Hahn's No. 22, i. 170, ii. 217. English-Gypsy women 
wear black and red in mourning. 



No. 43. — The Princess and the Forester's Son 

Somewhere or other there lived a forester. He ill-used 
his wife and his children, and often got drunk. Then the 
mother said, * My children, the father is always beating us, 
so we '11 get our things together and leave him. We will 
wander out into the world, whither our eyes lead us.' 

They took their things, and followed the road through 
a great forest. They journeyed two days and two nights 
without reaching any place, so the eldest son said to his 
mother, * Mother, dear, night has come on us, let us sleep 
here.' 

* My children,' said the mother, ' pluck moss, make a rest- 
ing-place, and we will lie down here to sleep.' 

The elder son said to his brother, * Go for wood.' 

They made a fire, and seated themselves by it. 

Then said the elder son to his brother, * Now, you must 
keep watch, for there are wild beasts about, so that we be 



PRINCESS AND FORESTER'S SON 145 

not devoured. Do you sleep first ; then you '11 get up, I lie 
down to sleep, then you will watch again.' 

So the younger brother lay down near his mother to sleep ; 
the elder kept watch with his gun. Then he thought within 
himself, and said, * Great God ! wherever are we in these 
great forests? Surely we soon must perish.' He climbed 
up a high tree, and looked all round, till a light flashed in 
his eyes. When he saw the light, he took his hat from his 
head, and let it drop.^ Then he climbed down, and looked 
to see if his mother was all right. From the spot where his 
hat lay he walked straight forward for a good distance, a 
whole half hour. Then he observed a fire. Who were there 
but four-and-twenty robbers, cooking and drinking? He 
went through the wood, keeping out of their sight, and 
loaded his gun ; and, just as one of them was taking a drink 
of wine, he shot the jug right from his lips, so that only the 
handle was left in his hand. And his gun was so constructed 
that it made no report. 

Then the robber said to his comrade, 'Comrade, why 
won't you let me alone, but knock the jug out of my mouth ?' 

* You fool, I never touched you.' 

He took a pull out of another jug, and the lad loaded 
again. He sat on a tree, and again shot the jug — shot it 
away from his mouth, so that the handle remained in his 
hand. 

Then the first robber said, * Will you leave me alone, else 
I '11 pay you out with this knife ? ' 

But his comrade stepped up to him, looking just like a 
fool ; at last he said, * My good fellow, I am not touching 
you. See, it is twice that has happened ; maybe it is some 
one in the forest. Take your gun, and let *s go and look if 
there is not some one there.' 

They went and they hunted, searched every tree, and 
found him, the forester's son, sitting on a tree at the very 
top. They said to him, * You earth-devil, come down. If 
you won't, we'll shoot at you till you fall down from the 
tree.' 

But he would not come. Again they ordered him. What 

^ He threw the hat in the direction of the light, so that when he had descended, 
and could no longer discern the light, he might know by the hat in which direc- 
tion to find it. So in Grimm, No. ill (ii. 103). 

K 



146 MORAVIAN-GYPSY STORY 

was the poor fellow to do? He had to come. When he 
was down, they each seized him by an arm, and he thought 
to himself, * Things look bad with me. I shall never see my 
mother and brother again. They '11 either kill me, or tie me 
up to a tree.* 

They brought him to the fire and asked him, * What are 
you ? — are you a craftsman ? ' 

' I am one of your trade.' 

* If you are of our trade, eat, drink, and smoke as much 
as your heart desires.* 

When he had eaten and drunk, they said, 'Since you 
are such a clever chap, and such a good shot, there is a castle 
with a princess in it, whom we went after, but could not 
come at her anyhow, this princess. Maybe, as you are so 
smart, there *s a big dog yonder that made us run, but as 
you are such a good shot, and your gun makes no report, 
you '11 kill this dog, and then we *11 make you our captain.' 

Then they broke up camp, took something to eat and to 
drink, and came to the castle. When they reached the 
castle the dog made a great noise. They lifted him up, the 
forester's son ; he aimed his gun, and, as the dog sprang at 
him, he fired and hit him. The dog made ten more paces, 
and fell to the earth. As he fell, the lad said to the robbers, 
* Comrades, the dog is dead.' 

* Brave fellow,' said they, ' now you shall be our captain, 
for killing the dog ; but one thing more you must do. We 
will make a hole for you in the wall. When we have done 
that, then — you are so slender — you will creep through the 
hole.' 1 

They made the hole, and he crept through it. Then the 
robbers said to him, * Here you, you have to go up a flight 
of steps, and at the fourth flight you will come to a door. 
There is one door, two doors, three doors,' 

So through each door he passed ; then he passed through 
the third, there were a quantity of swords. He saw they 
were very fine swords, and took one of them. Then he went 
to the fourth, opened it slowly ; it did not stop him, for the 

^ The idea may be far-fetched (literally), but this passage has a very Oriental 
flavour. C/. * A Simple Thief in Campbeirs Sanial Folk-tales, p. 126.— The 
thieves ' went to a rich man's house, and dug a hole through the wall. They 
then said, " You creep in." * 



PRINCESS AND FORESTER'S SON 147 

keys were there. Through the keyhole he saw a bed. Then 
he opened it, and went in. There he saw a princess lying, 
quite naked, but ^ covered with a cloth of gold. At her feet 
stood a table, on which lay a pair of golden scissors. There 
were golden clasps, and there were two rings, and her name 
was engraved inside one of them. And when he sees her 
sleeping thus, he thought, * O great God, what if I were to 
lie down beside her! Do, my God, as thou wilt.' So he 
took the scissors, and cut off half the cloth of gold, and lay 
down beside her ; and she could not awake. Then he arose, 
and took to himself the half of the coverlet and one of the 
rings and one of her slippers, and went out, taking the sword 
with him, and shutting the door. As he passed through the 
fourth door he said to himself, ' I must open it carefully, so 
as not to waken her mother and father.' He got out safely, 
then he went through the courtyard to the robbers. When 
he reached the hole he said to them, ' My dear men, I know 
where she is. Come, we '11 soon have the princess, but you 
must creep through the hole one after the other.' Then he 
drew his sword, and, as one came through after the other, he 
seized him by the head, cut oif his head, and cast him aside. 
When he had done so to the twenty- fourth, he cast away the 
sword, and returned by the way that he had come to his 
mother, where they had slept. (He had thought never again 
to see his mother and his brother.) When he came to his 
mother, he said, * Mother, how do you find yourself? you 
must be sleepy.' 

His mother asked him, *My dear son, how have you 
managed to do with so little sleep ? ' 

His younger brother said, * Why didn't you wake me up?' 

' You were so sleepy, I let you sleep.' 

Then they made a fire, ate and drank, and wandered on 
again through the forest. They arrived in a town, and 
sought employment. The mother said to her eldest son, 
* My son, we will stay at least a year here.' She fortunately 
got a place at a big house as cook, and the two lads went as 
servants to an innkeeper. When they had been a year there, 
the mother said to her two sons, * Just see how well off we 
were at home, and here we have to work, and I an old body. 

^ The text for the next ten lines is very corrupt, like the narrative. I have 
Bowdlerised much, and omitted a good deal more. 



148 MORAVIAN-GYPSY STORY 

You are young folk, and can stick to it, but I am old, and 
can't stand it any longer. The father ill-used us ; still, let 
us return home, if the Lord God gives us health and strength 
to do so.* 

So they made ready; the landlord paid them their wages ; 
and they set out. They went by the very way that he had 
gone by to the castle where he killed the twenty- four 
robbers. 

But how had they got on there since the year when he 
did that to her ? The princess had borne a child, but she 
knew not who was the father. She had a tavern built not 
far from the castle, and said to her mother, * Mother dear, 
see what has befallen me, and how I now am. But I know 
not whom the child is by. You have let me have the tavern 
built. Whoever comes there I will entertain gratis, and ask 
him what he has learned in the world — ^whether he has any 
story to tell me, or whether he has had any strange experi- 
ences. Perhaps the man will turn up by whom I had the 
child.' 

As luck would have it, the two brothers came through 
the village where the tavern was. There was a large sign- 
board, on which was written, * Every man may eat and 
drink to his heart's desire, and smoke, only he must relate 
his experiences that he has gone through in the world.' 
The elder lad said to Kis brother, * Brother dear, where are 
we ? I don't myself know.' But right well he knew whom 
the tavern belonged to. They halted. Then he looked at 
the notice, and said to his mother, * See, mother dear, see 
what that is. See there is written that the victuals and 
drink are gratis.' 

* Let us go in, my son ; we are very hungry, anyhow. Sure, 
we '11 find something to tell her, if only she '11 give us to eat 
and to drink.' 

They went into the tavern. Straightway the hostess 
greeted them, and said, 'Good-day, where do you come 
from ? ' 

*We come from a town out yonder. We have been 
working there; now we want to return home, where my 
husband is.' 

She said, ' Good. What might you drink, what will you 
eat ? I will give you just what you want.' 



PRINCESS AND FORESTER'S SON 149 

' Ah, my God ! ' said she, ' kind lady, if you would be so 
good as to give us something. We know you are a kind 
lady.' 

So she said to her women-servants, 'Bring wine here, 
bring beer here, bring food here, and for the two men bring 
something to smoke.' 

When they brought it, they ate and drank. 

' Now,' said the princess — ^the seeming hostess, but they 
knew not that she was a princess ; only the elder brother 
knew it — * oh 1 if only you would tell me something. Come, 
you, old wife, what have you seen in your time ? ' 

* Why, my good lady, I have gone through plenty. When 
I was at home, my man drank much, ran through my money. 
When he got drunk, he 'd come home, scold and knock me 
about, smash everything that came to hand, and as for his 
children, he couldn't bear the sight of them. He scolded 
and knocked them about till they didn't know where they 
were. At last I said to my children, " My children, since I 
can't get on with my man, and he uses us so badly, let us 
take our few things, and go off into the world." ' 

The hostess listened, brought the old wife a mug of beer, 
and gave it her. When she had drunk, the hostess said, 
* Speak on.' 

* Well, we set off and journeyed through the great forests, 
where we must go on and on, two whole days, without ever 
lighting on town or village. Never a peasant was to be 
seen, and night,' she said, * came upon us, when we could go 
no further, and I was so weak that I could not take another 
step. There, poor soul, I had to bide, lying in the great 
forest under a great tree. It rained, and we crouched close 
under so as not to get wet. Forthwith I gathered wood, 
made a big fire, plucked moss, and made a resting-place for 
us. It was dark, and my sons said, " We must mind and 
not be eaten by wild beasts." And my elder son said to his 
brother, " I will think what must be done. You, too, have a 
couple of guns; if anything attacks us, you will shoot." 
But he said to his elder brother, " Do you, my brother, sleep 
first, and when you have had your sleep out, then you will 
watch again." ^ As they all slept under that great tree, he 

^ This is wrong ; and from this point onward there is some confusion — the son, 
sot the mother, seeming to become the narrator. 



ISO MORAVIAN-GYPSY STORY 

thought to himself, " I will sling my gun round my neck and 
climb a tree." He climbed a tree, reached its top, for he 
wondered whether he might not see something — a village or 
a town or a light As it was, he did see a light He took 
the hat from his head, and threw it in the direction of 
the light' 

Then she said, ' Ah ! hostess, believe him not Mark you, 
that is not true,' said his mother. 

But she went and brought them beer, and said, * Tell on.' 
And he said, * I climbed down the tree to look where my 
hat was.' 

* Ah ! believe him not, hostess, believe him not ; mark 
you, that is not true.' 

* Nay, let him go on with his story. What was there ? ' 
'Twenty-four robbers. There was a bright light that 

dazzled my eyes. Not far from them was a tree.' [At this 
point the story-teller forgot that the elder son is the narrator, 
so resumed the third person, repeating his former words 
almost verbatim till he came to the passage where the 
robbers send the lad into the castle.] 

Then said the old mother to the hostess, * Believe him not, 
believe him not, for that is not true which he tells you.' 

'Let him proceed. What have you then done?' the 
hostess asked him. 

* I — have done nothing.' 

* You must have done something.' 

' Well then, I have lain with you. I took away the ring ; 
I took half the cloth of gold ; a slipper I took from you — 
that I carried off. And I took me a sword, and went out, 
shut the door behind me. Then I went to where the robbers 
were, called to them to step through the hole one after 
another. As they came through the hole, I cut off each 
one's head, and flung him aside.' 

Then the hostess saw it was true. * Then you will be my 
man.' 

And he drew the things out, and showed them to her. 
And they straightway embraced, and kissed one another. 
And she went into the little room, fetched the boy. * See, 
that is your child ; I am your wife.' 

Forthwith she bids them harness two horses to the 
carriage ; they drove to the castle. When they reached it. 



THE THREE DRAGONS 151 

she said to her father, ' Father dear, see, I have soon found 
my husband/ 

Forthwith they made a feast, invited everybody. Forth- 
with the banns were proclaimed, and they were married. 
The floor there was made of paper, and I came away here. 

Identical with Grimm's No. iii, 'The Skilful Huntsman' (ii. 102), 
but in some points more closely resembling the variants on p. 412. 
There are also some striking analogies to our Welsh-Gypsy story of 
'An Old King and his Three Sons in England,' No. 55. 

No. 44. — ^The Three Dragons 

A gentleman had three daughters. They went one day 
to a pond to bathe. There came a dragon, and carried them 
off. He hurried with them to a rocky cave. There they 
remained twelve years, without their father seeing them 
again or knowing where they were. There was a sly-boots 
called Bruntslikos. He went to the girls' father, and told 
him he would do his best to find his daughters. The father 
promised him one of them to wife, if he could find them. 
He took the road, and stayed seven years away ; then he 
demanded a horse of the girls' father. He mounted it, and 
rode a whole year through the forest. At last he came to a 
tavern ; two fellows there asked him where he was going to. 
He told them that he was going in search of three maidens. 
They offered to go with him. * Good,' he thought, * three 
will make merrier company.' 

As they went through the forest, the horse stamped his 
foot against the entrance to the dragon's cave, and pawed 
against it. Then Bruntslikos knew that those he was seek- 
ing were there. It was a great cavity in the rock. He left 
the two comrades on the brink above, and made them lower 
him by a rope to fetch up one of the maidens. He said he 
must fetch her at any cost. When he came down, she sat 
alone in the house ; the dragon has gone to hunt hares. 

When he came to her, she asked, * How comest thou here, 
my beloved ? Here must thou lose thy life.' 

* I have no fear,' he answered. 

* Never a bird comes flying here,' she said, * but thou hast 
come.' ^ 

^ Cf, Hahn, i. 186 and ii. 52. 



152 BOHEMIAN. GYPSY STORY 

* I will see, though/ she thought, ' what sort of a hero he 
is,* and bade him brandish a sword ; but he could not so 
much as raise it from the ground. But there was wine there. 
She made him drink thereof; straightway he felt himself 
stronger. And she bade him now lift the sword ; he fell to 
so cutting and thrusting with it in the air that he now no 
more dreaded the dragon. 

* Now I am strong,' he said, * I will soon help thee out of 
here.' 

*God grant thou may,' she said, 'then will I be thy 
bride.' 

She gave him a golden ring, which she cut in half; the 
one half she gave to him, kept the other herself. 

Then came the dragon home. When he still was fourteen 
miles off, he flung a hammer there, weighing nearly fifteen 
hundredweight. When he came, he said to his wife, 'I 
smell human flesh.' 

She said, *Dear husband, but how could that be? How 
could it get here ? Hither comes never a bird. How could 
human flesh get here ? ' 

* But I feel,' he said, * that a man 's here. Don't talk non- 
sense.' And he came nearer, and called, * Brother-in-law ! ' 

But Bruntslikos was hidden beneath a trough. After the 
dragon had called him thrice, he sprang out, faced him, and 
cried, * What wilt thou of me ? I fear thee not' 

The dragon answered, * What need to tell me thou fearest 
me not ? I will soon put thy strength to the test' 

Leaden dumplings were served up for the dragon's dinner, 
and he invited Bruntslikos to partake. * I don't care for 
such dumplings,' said Bruntslikos, *but give me wine to 
drink, and I 'm your man.' 

When they had drunk their fill, the dragon challenged 
Bruntslikos to wrestle with him ; straightway he faced the 
dragon. The dragon drove him into the earth to the waist, 
then drew him out again. In the second bout Bruntslikos 
drove the dragon into the earth to the neck, then grasped 
the sword and began to cut off his heads (he had twelve). 
Bruntslikos struck them all off; only the middle one he could 
not sever. Then said the maiden, ' One smashing blow on 
it, and he will die at once.' So he killed him, and straight- 
way the dragon was turned to pitch. But he took all the 



THE THREE DRAGONS 153 

tongues out of his heads, and put them in his pocket. Then 
he collected all the money that was there, put his bride in a 
basket and himself as well. And the two comrades had 
been waiting for him above, and, when he called, they drew 
him up with his bride. But when he was up with her, the 
two fellows began to quarrel over the maiden ; she was so 
fair, they wanted her for wife. 

But he said, ' There still remain two more maidens ; of 
them you can take your choice.' 

' I,' she said, * will never desert Bruntslikos ; he shall be my 
husband. We have plighted ourselves to all eternity, for he 
has saved my life.' 

Then they went to seek the other dragon ^ in the cavern. 
He had fifteen heads, and was three times as strong as the 
first The maiden whom this dragon had carried off showed 
Bruntslikos a sword, twice as heavy as the first. He could 
just move it, but not lift it clear off the earth. But she gave 
him wine to drink, and then he was straightway stronger. 
She too had greeted Bruntslikos, when he came, with the 
words, * How comest thou here, my beloved } Here must thou 
lose thy life, for my husband will kill thee.' 

But he said, * To fetch thee am I come. Thy sister dear 
have I already fetched, and thee too I must help out of here.' 

* God grant thou may,* she said, ' then would I be thy bride.' 
' I have one already,' he said, * thy sister ; but all the more 

readily will I help thee out.' 

Then came the dragon. He was still fifty miles away 
when he flung a hammer there weighing fifty hundred- 
weight. When he was come, he said, * I smell human flesh 
here.' 

* But, dear husband, how couldst thou smell human flesh ? 
Never even a bird comes hither, and yet thou wilt be scenting 
a mortal.' 

* Don't talk nonsense,' said he ; and cried, * Brother-in-law ! 
Why comest thou not out? What is it thou wilt of me? 
I fear thee not.' 

Thrice he thus called him, but he would not answer. But 
at last he said to him, * I fear thee not. I must slay thee.' 

*Come, if thou art so strong that thou wilt kill me,' 
answered the dragon, ' then let us wrestle.' 

^ Now first mentioned. The whole story is confused. 



154 BOHEMIAN-GYPSY STORY 

They wrestled, and the dragon drove him into the earth 
to the waist They settled that the dragon should draw him 
out again. He seized the dragon, and drove him into the 
earth to the neck. Then he grasped the sword, and cut off 
his fifteen heads ; only the middle one held so firm that he 
could not sever it 

But the princess told him, 'Just one blow right on the 
head, and he will die at once.' 

When he had killed him, he plucked out all his tongues, 
and then had himself drawn up and the maiden. So now 
there were two sisters up, and now they went for the third. 
The third dragon had twenty-four heads. When Bruntslikos 
had served him like the other two, he helped the third maiden 
also out. But when the three maidens were out, his two 
comrades threw him into a well, for they wished not to give 
him the credit of that achievement, but rather themselves to 
vaunt at home that they had slain the dragons. 

But Bruntslikos had covenanted with his bride that if he 
did not come within eight years, she should take a husband. 
So the eighth year came : she had chosen another man, and 
was celebrating the marriage. Then came Bruntslikos 
dressed like a beggar, so she knew him not, and felt no 
shame for her conduct. But he asked her for wine. When 
she gave him such, he threw as he drank that half of the 
ring into the glass, then offered it her. When she drank, her 
lips came against it. When she noticed it, she threw her 
half of the ring into the glass, and it straightway united with 
the other. Forthwith she fell to kissing him, for she recog- 
nised he was her lover. The marriage she straightway 
broke off, and plighted herself to him. When now he flung 
the dragons' tongues on the table, the gentlemen cried, 
* Hurrah ! That 's it ! that 's the real thing ! ' at the sight of 
the tongues. 

So, if they are not dead, they are living together. 

This is a sort of compound of the Roumanian-Gypsy story of ' The 
Three Princesses and the Unclean Spirit ' (No. lo), and of the Bukowina- 
Gypsy story, * Mare's Son' (No. 20). The ring episode occurs in ' Made 
over to the Devil' (No. 34). For the hiding under the trough and the 
thrice-repeated challenge, cf, Wratislaw's Croatian story of *The 
Daughter of the King of the Vilas ' (p. 278), and for the leaden dumplings 
his Hungarian-Slovenish story of * The Three Lemons * (p. ^5). Cf, also 
notes to * An Old King and his Three Sons* (No. 55). 



CHAPTER VI 

POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

No. 45. — Tale of a Foolish Brother and of a 
>^ Wonderful Bush 

There was once a poor peasant who had three sons, two of 
them wise and one foolish. One day the king gave a feast, 
to which everybody was invited, rich and poor. These two 
wise brothers set out for the feast like the rest, leaving the 
poor fool at home, crouching over the stove. He thereupon 
besought his mother to allow him to go after his brothers. 
But the mother answered, * Fool that thou art ! thy brothers 
go thither to tell tales, whilst thou, thou knowest nothing. 
What then couldst thou tell ? ' Still the fool continues to beg 
his mother to let him go, but still she refuses. * Very well ! if 
thou wilt not let me go there, with the help of God I shall 
know what to do.* 

Well, one day the king contrived a certain tower. He 
then placed his daughter on the second story, and issued 
a proclamation that whoever should kiss his daughter there 
should have her in marriage. Well, various princes and 
nobles hastened to the place ; not one of them could reach 
her. The king then decreed that the peasants were to come. 
This order reached the house where dwelt the peasant who 
had three sons, two wise and one foolish. The two wise 
brothers arose and set out. The fool feigned to go in search 
of water, but he went to a bush and struck it three times with 
a stick. Whereupon a fairy appeared, who demanded, 
' What wouldst thou ? ' * I wish to have a horse of silver, 
garments of silver, and a sum of money.' 

After he had received all these things, he set out on his 
way. Whom should he happen to overtake on the road but 
his two wise brothers. 

* Whither are you going ? ' he asked of them. 

156 



156 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

' We are going to a king's palace — ^his who has contrived 
this tower, upon the second story of which he has placed his 
daughter; and he has proclaimed that whoever kisses her 
shall become her husband/ 

The fool got off his horse, cut himself a cudgel, and began 
to beat his two brothers ; finally he gave them each three 
ducats. The two brothers did not recognise him, and so he 
went on by himself, unknown. When he had come to the 
king's palace all the great lords looked with admiration at 
this prince, mounted on a silver steed, and clad in garments 
of silver. He leapt up with a great spring towards the 
princess, and almost got near enough to kiss her. He fell 
back again, and then, with the help of the good God, he 
took his departure. These noblemen then asked of one 
another, ' What is the meaning of this ? He had scarcely 
arrived when he all but succeeded in kissing the princess.' 

The fool then returned home, and went to the bush, and 
struck it thrice. The fairy again appeared, and asked of 
him, ' What is thy will ? ' He commanded her to hide his 
horse and his clothes. He took his buckets filled with water 
and went back into the house. 

* Where hast thou been ? ' asked his mother of him. 

' Mother, I have been outside, and I stripped myself, and 
(pardon me for saying so) I have been hunting lice in my 
shirt.' 

' That is well,' said his mother, and she gave him some food. 

On the return of the two wise brothers their mother 
desired them to tell her what they had seen. 

' Mother, we saw there a prince mounted on a silver steed, 
and himself clad in silver. He had overtaken us by the way, 
and asked us whither we were going. We told him the 
truth, that we were going to the palace of the. king who had 
contrived this tower, on the second story of which he had 
placed his daughter, decreeing that whosoever should get 
near enough to give her a kiss should marry her. The 
prince dismounted, cut himself a cudgel, and gave us a sound 
beating, and then gave us each three ducats.' 

The mother was very well pleased to get this money ; for 
she was poor, and she could now buy herself something to eat. 

Next day these two brothers again set out. The mother 
cried to her foolish son, * Go and fetch me some water.' He 



THE WONDERFUL BUSH 157 

went out to get the water, laid down his pails beside the 
well, and went to the bush ; he struck it thrice, and the fairy 
appeared to him. ' What is thy will ? ' 

' I wish to have a horse of gold and golden garments/ 
The fairy brought him a horse of gold, golden garments, 
and a sum of money. Off he set, and once more he over- 
took his brothers on the road. This time he did not 
dismount, but, cudgel in hand, he charged upon his brothers, 
beat them severely, and gave them ten ducats apiece. He 
then betook himself to the king. The nobles gazed admir- 
ingly on him, seated on his horse of gold, himself attired in 
a golden garb. With a single bound he reached the second 
story, and gave the princess a kiss. Well, they wished to 
detain him, but he sprang away, and fled like the wind, with 
the help of the good God. He came back to his bush, out 
of which the fairy issued, and asked him, * What wilt thou ? ' 

* Hide my horse and my clothes.' 

He dressed himself in his wretched clothes, and went into 
the house again. 

* Where hast thou been ? ' asked his mother. 

* I have been sitting in the sun, and (excuse me for saying 
it) I have been hunting lice in my shirt' 

She answered nothing, but gave him some food. He went 
and squatted down behind the stove in idiot fashion. The 
two wise brothers arrived. Their mother saw how severely 
they had been beaten, and she asked them, *Who has 
mauled you so terribly ? ' 

* It was that prince, mother.' 

'And why have you not laid a complaint against him 
before the king ? ' 

' But he gave us ten ducats apiece.' 

*I will not send you any more to the king,' said the 
mother to them. 

* Mother, they have posted sentinels all over the town to 
arrest him, the prince ; for he has already kissed the king's 
daughter, after doing which he took to flight. Then the 
sentinels were posted. We are certain to catch this prince.' 

The fool then said to them, 'How will you be able to 
seize him, since evidently he knows a trick or two ? ' 

* Thou art a fool,' said the two wise brothers to him ; ' we 
are bound to capture him.' 



158 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

* Capture away, with the help of the good God/ replied 
the fool. 

Three days later the two wise brothers set out, leaving the 
fool cowering behind the stove. 

* Go and fetch some wood,' called his mother to him. 

He roused himself and went, with the good God. He 
came to the bush, and struck it three times. The fairy 
issued out of it and asked, * What dost thou demand ? ' 

* I demand a horse of diamonds, garments of diamonds, 
and some money.' 

He arrayed himself and set out. He overtook his two 
brothers, but this time he did not beat them ; only he gave 
them each twenty ducats. He reached the king's city, and 
the nobles tried to seize him. He sprang up on to the 
second story, and for the second time he kissed the princess, 
who gave him her gold ring. Well, they wished to take 
him, but he said to them, * If you had all the wit in the 
world you could not catch me.' But they were determined 
to seize him. He fled away like the wind. He came to the 
bush ; he struck it thrice ; the fairy issued from it and came 
to him, and took his horse and his clothes. He gathered some 
wood, and returned to the house ; his mother is pleased 
with him and says, * There, now ! that is how thou shouldst 
always behave ' ; and she gave him something to eat. He 
went and crouched behind the stove. His two brothers 
arrived ; the mother questioned them. 

* Mother,' they answered, * this prince could not be taken.' 

* And has he not given you a beating? ' 

' No, mother ; on the contrary, he gave us each twenty 
ducats more.* 

* To-morrow,' said the mother, *you shall not go there again.' 
And the two brothers answered, * No, we will go there no 

more.' 

Aha ! so much the better. 

This king gave yet another feast, and he decreed that 
* All the princes, as many as there shall be of them, shall 
come to my palace so that my daughter may identify her 
husband among them.' This feast lasted four days, but the 
husband of the princess was not there. What did this king 
do? He ordained a third feast for beggars and poor 
country-folk, and he decreed that * Every one come, be he 



THE WONDERFUL BUSH 159 

blind or halt, let him not be ashamed, but come.' This feast 
lasted for a week, but the husband of the princess was not 
there. What then did the king do ? He sent his servants 
with the order to go from house to house, and to bring to him 
the man upon whom should be found the princess's ring. ' Be 
he blind or halt, let him be brought to me,' said the king. 

Well, the servants went from house to house for a week, 
and all who were found in each house they called together, 
in order to make the search. At last they came to this same 
house in which dwelt the fool. As soon as the fool saw them 
he went and lay down upon the stove. In came the king's 
servants, gathered the people of the house together, and 
asked the fool, * What art thou doing there ? ' 

* What does that matter to you ? ' replied the fool. 
And his mother said to them, * Sirs, he is a fool.' 

* No matter,' said they, * fool or blind, we gather together 
all whom we see, for so the king has commanded us.' 

They make the fool come down from the stove; they 
look ; the gold ring is on his finger. 

* So, then, it is thou that art so clever.' 
' It is I.' 

He made ready and set out with them. He had nothing 
upon him, this fool, but a miserable shirt and a cloak all 
tattered and torn. He came to the king, to whom the 
servants said, ' Sire, we bring him to you.' 

' Is this really he?* 

' The very man.' 

They show the ring. 

' Well, this is he.' 

The king commanded that sumptuous garments be made 
for him as quickly as possible. In these clothes he presented 
a very comely appearance. The king is well pleased ; the 
wedding comes off ; and they live happily, with the help of 
the good God. 

Some time after, another king declared war against this 
one : ' Since thou hast not given thy daughter in marriage 
to my son, I will make war against thee.' But this king, 
the fool's father-in-law, had two sons. The fool also made 
preparations, and went to the war. His two brothers-in-law 
went in advance ; the fool set out after them. He took a 
short cut, and, having placed himself on their line of march 



i6o POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

he sat down on the edge of a pond, and amused himself 
hunting frogs. These two wise brothers-in-law came up. 

' Just look at him, see what he is doing ; he is not thinking 
of the war, but only amusing himself hunting frogs.' 

These two brothers went on, and this fool mounted his 
horse, and went to his bush ; he struck it thrice, and the fairy 
appeared before him. 

* What demandest thou ? ' 

' I demand a magnificent horse and a sabre with which 
I may be able to exterminate the entire army, and some of 
the most beautiful clothes.' 

He speedily dressed himself; he girded on this sabre ; he 
mounted his horse, and set forth with the help of God. 
Having overtaken these two brothers-in-law by the way, he 
asked them, * Whither are you bound ? ' 

* We are going to the war.' 

' So am I ; let us all three go together.' 

He reached the field of battle ; he cut all his enemies to 
pieces ; not a single one of them escaped. 

He returned home, this fool, with his horse and all the 
rest ; he hid his horse and his sabre and all the rest, so that 
nobody would know anything of them. These two brothers 
arrived after the fool had returned. The king asked them, 
* Were you at the war, my children ? ' 

* Yes, father, we were there, but thy son-in-law was not 
there.' 

* And what was he about ? ' 

* He ! he was amusing himself hunting frogs ; but a prince 
came and cut the whole army to pieces ; not a soul of them 
has escaped.' 

Then the king reproached his daughter thus : ' What, 
then, hast thou done to marry a husband who amuses 
himself catching frogs ? ' 

* Is the fault mine, father ? Even as God has given him 
to me, so will I keep him.' 

The next day those two sons of the king did not go to 
the war, but the king himself went there with his son-in-law. 
But the fool mounted his horse the quickest and set out 
first ; the king came after, not knowing where his son-in-law 
had gone. The king arrived at the war, and found that his 
son-in-law had already cut to pieces the whole of the 



THE WONDERFUL BUSH i6i 

enemy's army. And therefore the other king said to this 
one that henceforth he would no more war against him. 
They shook hands with each other, these two kings. The 
fool was wounded in his great toe. His father-in-law noticed 
it, he tore his own handkerchief and dressed the wounded 
foot; and this handkerchief was marked with the king's 
name. The fool got home quickest, before his father-in-law ; 
he pulled off his boots and lay down to sleep, for his foot 
pained him. The king came home, and his sons asked him, 
' Father, was our brother-in-law at the war ? ' 

* No, I saw nothing of him, he was not there ; but a prince 
was there who has exterminated the whole army. Then 
this king and I shook hands in token that never more should 
there be war between us.' 

Then his daughter said, *My husband has my father's 
handkerchief round his foot.' 

The king bounded forth; he looked at the handkerchief: 
it is his I it bears his name. 

* So, then, it is thou who art so clever ? ' 

* Yes, father, it is I.' 

The king is very joyful ; so are his sons and the queen, and 
the wife of this fool — all are filled with joy. Well, they 
made the wedding over again, and they lived together with 
the help of the good, golden God. 

Cf. Ralston's 'Princess Helena the Fair' (Afanasief, from Kursk 
Government), pp. 256-9; and Dasent's 'Princess on the Glass Hill' 
iJPop^ Tales from the Norse\ pp. 89-103. The latter half, however, 
closely resembles the latter half of Dasent's * The Widow's Son ' {ib, pp. 
400-404), as also that of Gonzenbach's Sicilian story, ' Von Paperarello,' 
No. 67 (ii. 67), whose opening suggests our No. 9, *The Mother's 
Chastisement.' Matthew Wood's Welsh-Gipsy story, 'The Dragon' 
(No. 61), offers analogies. There Jack gets (i) black horse and black 
clothes, (2) white horse and white clothes, (3) red horse and red clothes. 
The Polish-Gypsy story is strikingly identical with 'The Monkey 
Prince' in Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy TaleSy No. 10, p. 41. 



No. 46. — Tale of a Girl who was sold to the 
Devil, and of her Brother 

Once upon a time there lived a countryman and his old 
wife ; he had three daughters, but he was very poor. One 

L 



i62 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

day he and his young daughter went into the forest to 
gather mushrooms. And there he met with a great lord. 
The old peasant bared his head, and, frightened at the sight 
of the nobleman, said apologetically, ' I am not chopping 
your honour's wood with my hatchet, I am only gathering 
what is lying on the ground.' 

*I would willingly give thee all this forest,* replies the 
nobleman ; and he then asks the peasant if that is his wife 
who is with him. 

* No, my lord, she is my daughter.* 

* Wilt thou sell her to me ? ' 

* Pray, my lord, do not mock and laugh at my daughter, 
since none but a great lady is a fitting match for your lord- 
ship.' 

* That matters little to thee ; all thou hast to do is to sell 
her to me.* 

As the peasant did not name the price he asked for her, the 
nobleman give him two handfuls of ducats. The peasant, 
quite enraptured, grasped the money, but instead of going 
home to his wife, he went to a Jew's. He asked the Jew to 
give him something to eat and drink, but the Jew refused, 
being certain that he had no money to pay him with ; how- 
ever, as soon as the peasant had shown him the lai^e sum 
that he had, the delighted Jew seated him at the table and 
gave him food and drink. He made the old peasant drunk, 
and stole away all his money. The peasant went home to 
his wife. She asked him where had he left his daughter ? 

* Wife, I have placed her in service with a great lord.' 
The wife asked him if he had brought anything to her. 

He replied that he was himself hungry, but that this noble- 
man had said to him that he had taken one daughter, and that 
he would take the two others as well. His wife bade him 
take them away. He went away with these two daughters, 
and one of them he sold to another lord. This one gave 
him a hatful of money. Then the peasant said to his 
remaining daughter, * Wait for me here in the forest ; I will 
bring thee something to eat and drink ; do not stray from 
here.' He went to the same Jew that had robbed him of his 
money. This Jew again stole from him the money he had 
received from the other lord. The peasant returned to his 
daughter, and brought her some bread, which she ate with 



GIRL SOLD TO THE DEVIL 163 

delight There came a third nobleman, who purchased this 
third girl. 

' Do not go to the Jew/ said this lord to the peasant, * but 
go straight home to thy wife, and hand over thy money to 
her, so that she may take charge of it ; else this Jew will rob 
thee once more/ 

The peasant went home to his wife, who was very glad. 

This great lord spoke thus to him : * There is in a forest 
^ beautiful castle covered with silver. Go to the town, 
buy some fine horses and harness, engage some peasants 
to work, and rest thou thyself; make the peasants do the 
work/ 

He got into a carriage ; he took his peasants ; and they 
set out with the help of God. They came, by a magnifi- 
cent road, smooth as glass, into a great forest They met 
a beggar, who asked this great lord (this peasant, once poor, 
now grown rich) where his daughters were. 

Soon after these peasants discover that they are clean be- 
wildered ; they find themselves surrounded by deep ravines 
and insurmountable obstacles, so that they cannot get out, 
for they have lost their way. 

There came an old beggar who asked them, ' Why do you 
tarry here ? why are you not getting on ? ' 

* Alas ! ' they answered, * we cannot get out of this ; we 
had a beautiful road, but we have lost it.' 

* Whip up your horses a bit,' said the old man, * perhaps 
they will go on.' 

A lad touched up the horses, and all of a sudden the 
peasants see a magnificent road before them. They wish to 
thank this beggar, but he has vanished. The peasants fall to 
weeping, for, say they to themselves, * This was no beggar ; 
more likely was it the good God himself.' They reach the 
castle; the peasant is in ecstasies with it. The peasants 
work for him, and he and his wife take their ease. 
• Ten years rolled by. Once he had three daughters, whom 
he had already forgotten. * The good God,' said he, * gave 
me three daughters, but I have never yet had a son.' 

One day the good God so ordered it that this peasant 
woman was brought to bed. She was delivered (pray excuse 
me) of a boy. This boy grew exceedingly ; he was already 
three years old ; he was very intelligent When he was 



i64 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

twelve years old his father put him to school. He was an 
apt scholar : he knew German, and could read anything. 

One day this boy, having returned home, asked his father, 
* How do you do, father? ' His mother gave him some food, 
and sent him to bed. Next day he got up, and went to 
school. Two little boys who passed along said the one to 
the other, * There goes the little boy whose father sold his 
daughters to the devils.' The boy reached the school filled 
with anger ; he wrote his task quickly, for he could not calm 
his angry feelings. He went home to his father as quickly 
as possible ; he took two pistols, and called on his father to 
come to him. As soon as his father came into the room, 
the boy locked the door on them both. 

* Now, father, tell me the truth ; had I ever any sisters ? 
If you do not confess the truth to me, I will fire one of these 
pistols at you and the other at myself.* 

The father answered, *You had three sisters, my child, 
but I have sold them to I know not whom.' 

He sent his father to the town, and bade him, ' Buy for 
me, father, an apple weighing one pound.' 

The father came back home, and gave the apple to his 
son. The latter was delighted with it, and he made 
preparations . for going out into the world. He embraced 
his father and mother. * The good God be with you,' he 
said to them, * for it may be I shall never see you more ; 
perchance I may perish.' 

He came to a field, where he saw two boys fighting 
terribly. The father of these two boys had, when dying, 
left to the one a cloak and to the other a saddle. The little 
boy went up to these boys and asked them, * What are you 
fighting about ? ' 

* Excuse us, my lord,* replied the younger, * our parents are 
dead ; they have left to one of us a cloak and to the other 
a saddle ; my elder brother wants to take both cloak and 
saddle, and not to give me anything.' 

This little nobleman said to them, * Come now, I will put 
you right. Here is an apple which I will throw far out into 
this field ; and whichever of you gets it first shall have both 
of these things.' 

He flung away the apple, and while the boys were running 
to get it, this little nobleman purloined both cloak and 



GIRL SOLD TO THE DEVIL 165 

saddle. He resumed his journey, and went away, with the 
help of God. He came to a field, he stopped, he examined 
the cloak he had just stolen, and to the saddle he cried, 
• Bear me away to where my youngest sister lives.' The 
saddle took hold of him, lifted him into the air, and carried 
him to the dwelling of his youngest sister. He cried to his 
youngest sister, * Let me in, sister.' 

Her answer was, * Twenty years have I been here, and 
have never seen anybody all that time ; and you — you will 
break my slumber.' 

* Sister, if you do not believe I am your brother, here is a 
handkerchief which will prove that I am.' 

His sister read thereon the names of her father, her 
mother, and her brother. Then she let him enter, and 
fainted away. * Where am I to hide you now, brother ? for 
if my husband comes he will devour you.' 

* Have no fear on my account,' he replied, * I have a cloak 
which renders me invisible whenever I wear it.' 

Her husband came home ; she served some food to him ; 
and then, employing a little artifice, * Husband,' she said, * I 
dreamt that I had a brother.' 

* Very good.' 

' If he were to come here, you would not harm him, would 
you, husband ? ' 

'What harm should I do to him? I would give him 
something to eat and to drink.' 

At this she called out, * Brother, let my husband see you.' 

The young lad's brother-in-law saw him, and was greatly 
pleased with his appearance ; he gave him food and some- 
thing to drink. He went out and called his brothers. 
They, well satisfied with the state of things, entered, along 
with the boy's two other sisters. The latter were brimming 
over with delight. A lovely lady also came, who enchanted 
him. 

' Is this young lady married ? ' he asked his sister. 

* No,' she replied, * she has no husband ; you can marry 
her if you like.' 

They fell in love with each other ; they were married. 

Ten years they lived there. At last this youth said to 
his sister, *I must return home to my father; perchance 
he IS dead by now.' 



i66 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

He got up next morning; his brother-in-law gave him 
large sums of gold and silver. 

They drew near to the house, he and his wife. Not far 
from this house was a small wood through which they had 
to pass, and in it they noticed a beautiful wand. 

' Let us take this wand,' said his wife to him, ' it is very 
pretty ; we will plant it at home.' 

He obeyed her, and took the wand. He reached the 
house ; the father was very happy that his son was now 
married. 

Five years passed away. The good God gave them a 
son. He went to the town to invite the godfathers. After 
the christening they came back from church ; they ate, they 
drank, and at last everybody went away ; he remained alone 
with his wife. One day he went to the town. When he 
came home, he saw that his wife was no longer there, and 
that the sapling also had disappeared. (It was no sapling, 
but a demon.) He began to lament. 

* Why do you lament? ' asked his father. 

' Do not anger me, father,' he said, * for I am going out 
into the world.* 

He got ready for the road ; he set out. He came into a 
great forest. As it was beginning to rain, he took shelter 
under an oak ; and in that very oak his wife was concealed. 
He slept for a little while ; then he heard a child weeping. 

* Who is this that is crying ? ' he asked of his wife. 

* It is your child.' 

And he recognised her and cried, * Wife, hearken to what I 
am going to say to you. Ask this dragon of yours where it 
is that he hides the key of his house.' 

* Very well,* she assented. 

The dragon came home ; she flung her arms round his 
neck and said to him, * Husband, tell me truly, where is 
the key of our house ? ' 

* What good would it do you if I told you?' he replied. 
* Well, then, listen. In a certain forest there is a great cask; 
inside this cask there is a cow ; in this cow there is a calf; 
in this calf a goose ; in this goose a duck ; in this duck 
an egg; and it is inside this egg that the key is to be 
found.' 

* Very good ; that is one secret I know.' 



GIRL SOLD TO THE DEVIL 167 

She then asked him wherein lay his strength. 

The dragon owned this to his wife : * When I am dressed 
as a lord, I cannot be killed ; neither could any one kill me 
when I am dressed as a king ; but it is only at the moment 
I am putting on my boots that I can be killed/ 

* Very good ; now I know both these secrets/ 

He smelt at his feather, and all his three brothers-in-law 
appeared beside him. They lay in wait till the moment 
when the dragon was drawing on his boots, and then they 
slew him. They betook themselves to that forest, they 
smashed the cask, they killed the cow that was inside it, 
they killed the goose that was inside the calf, then the duck 
that was inside the goose ; they broke open the egg, and out 
of it they drew the key. He took this key, he came back to 
where his wife was, he opened the oak, and he let his wife 
out. 

'Now, my brothers-in-law, the good God be with you. 
As for me, I am setting out to follow my way of happiness ; 
now I shall no more encounter any evil thing.' 

He returned with his wife to his father's house. His 
father was very glad to see him come back with his wife ; 
he gave them something to eat and drink, and he said to 
his son, * Hearken to me now, my child. We are old now, 
I and my wife ; thou must stay beside me.' 

And he answered him, * It is well, my father ; if thou 
sendest me not away, I will dwell with thee.* 

This story of the prig of a little nobleman — a blend of George 
Washington and little Lord Fauntleroy — is somewhat incoherent, and 
presents a good many obvious lacunae. Thus Kopemicki remarks, 
' the narrator had omitted to mention the feather in the fourth paragraph 
from the end. In many Polish and Russniak tales one meets with a 
bird's feather or a horse- hair possessing the magical power of making 
anybody immediately appear. One has only to burn this feather a little, 
and then to smell it. In this Gypsy tale, therefore, the hero's brothers- 
in-law had evidently given him such a feather at the time of his 
departure. But the narrator had forgotten to mention this though he 
remembered the feather when he reached that point at which the hero 
had need of it to summon his brothers-in-law to kill the dragon.' Such 
a feather, however, is by no means exclusively Slavonic ; it occurs in 
our Roumanian-Gypsy story (No. 10, p. 38), and in a Turkish-Gypsy one 
(Paspati, p. 523) : * He gave the old man a feather, and he said to the 
old man, " Take it and carry it to your daughter, and if she puts it in 
the fire I will come."' Cf, too, Hahn, i. 93; Camoy and Nicolaides' 



i68 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

Traditions de PAsie Mineure (1889), p. 140; Legrand's Contes Grecs 
(1881), pp. 69, 71, 72, 73 (hero bums bee's wing with a cigar\ 89 ; and 
the Arabian Nights (' Conclusion of the Story of the Ladies of Bagh- 
dad ') : — ' She gave me a lock of her hair, and said, " When thou 
desirest my presence, bum a few of these hairs, and I will be with thee 
quickly."' Precisely the same idea occurs frequently in F. A. Steel's 
Wide-awake Stories from the Panjab and Kashmir : e.g. ' Only take 
this hair out of my beard ; and if you should get into trouble, just 
bum it in the fire. I'll come to your aid' (p. 13 ; cf, also pp. 32, 34, 
413-14, and Knowles's Folk-tales of Kashmir^ pp. 3, 12). 

I can offer no exact variant of this story, but many analogies suggest 
themselves, e.g, in No. 5, *The Three Princesses and the Unclean 
Spirit,' in No. 44, *The Three Dragons,' and in * The Weaver's Son and 
the Giant of the White Hill ' (Curtin's Myths and Folklore of Ireland^ 
p. 64), where also one gets the wool, fin, and feather. For the invisible 
cloak, cf Clouston, i. 72, etc. In Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy TaleSy 
No. 22, p. 1 56, the hero finds four fakirs quarrelling for the possession 
of a travelling bed, a Fortunatus bag, a water-supplying stone bowl, and 
a stick and rope that bind and lay on. He shoots four arrows, and 
whilst the fakirs are searching for the fourth one, decamps with these 
objects (so, too, Knowles's Folk-tales of Kashmir^ p. 87). An invisible 
cap occurs in F. A. Steel's Wide-awake Stories^ p. yj. 

No. 47. — The Brigands and the Miller's 

Daughter 

There was once a miller who had a beautiful daughter. 
Noble lords paid their court to her, but she cared not for 
them. She was wooed by high officials, but neither to them 
did she listen. At length three brigands, disguised as noble- 
men, came to the miller's house. They ordered something 
to eat and drink. The miller, being invited to the repast, 
drank willingly, but his daughter would not take anything, 
for she despised them. These three brigands returned to 
their leader, and said to him, * What shall we do with this 
girl ? She cares for nobody ; she refuses to eat and drink.* 

Then twelve of them set out for the miller's. It was 
Sunday. The miller was from home ; he had gone to a 
baptism. The daughter was all alone in the house. The 
brigands arrived. They made a hole in the store-room by 
which to enter. Having heard them doing this, she took 
a sword and placed herself beside the hole made by the 
brigands. She was, however, very much frightened. One 
of the brigands came and thrust his head half through the 



BRIGANDS AND MILLER'S DAUGHTER 169 

hole. She took the sword ; she cut off the brigand's head, 
and drew him into the store-room. Another brigand essayed 
to enter ; she cut off his head and drew him inside. The 
ten other brigands asked their two comrades what they were 
about. 

*They are helping me to carry away the money here, 
which I am not able to lift alone/ ^ 

Then a third brigand came forward ; the girl cut off his 
head and pulled him in. A fourth came, and his head too 
was cut off, and his body drawn in. The fifth brigand 
endeavoured to enter; she killed him in the same way, 
and, having cut off his head, dragged him inside. 

'What are all of you about there?' asked the seven 
brigands who remained outside. 

To whom the girl answered, ' They are helping me to carry 
off the bacon, which I am not able to carry myself, there is 
such a lot of it. If you do not believe me, see, here is a 
bit — taste it' 

They ate of this bacon ; they were delighted with it. 
The sixth brigand thrust himself forward ; she killed him 
also; she cut off his head and drew him inside. The 
seventh followed ; he was killed in the same way; she cut off 
his head and drew him in. The eighth went there; she killed 
him like the others, and drew him in and cut off his head. 
The ninth advanced ; him she killed in like fashion, pulled 
him in and cut off his head. The tenth tried to enter ; she 
killed him also, drew him in and cut off his head. The two 
remaining brigands were astounded, and said to each other, 
* Hallo 1 there are ten of them there, and they are not 
sufficient for this money.' The eleventh came forward ; he 
also was killed ; she drew him inside and cut off his head. 
The twelfth one at last hesitates. * What is going on there ? * 
He pushed his head in a little way, and the girl cut off a 
piece of his skin. 

* Ah ! you are as cunning as that, are you ? So, then you 
have killed my brothers.' 

This brigand betook himself home.^ 

^ This answer presupposes the presence of at least three robbers. 

* This method of killing the robbers is exactly the same as that followed by 
the youth in the Moravian-Gypsy story of ' The Princess and the Forester's 
Son* (No. 43, p. 147). Cf, too, No. 8, 'The Bad Mother,' pp. 25, 30, where 
the lad kilb eleren of twelve dragons, and Hahn, vol. ii. p. 279. 



170 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

Leaving this brigand in the meantime^ let us pass to the 
dead ones. 

The miller's daughter went to bed. Her father got up 
next day. She said to him, ' Father, twelve brigands have 
been here. They meant to carry me away last night, but 
I armed myself with your sword, and killed the whole 
twelve \sic\ of them.* 

The miller did not believe her. 

* If you don't believe me, father, I will show you them.' 

* Very well, show them to me.' 

She led him to the store-room, where the miller saw the 
lot of decapitated brigands. He went to the town, and 
told the peasants and great lords what had happened. ' My 
daughter has just slain twelve brigands. If you do not 
believe me, come with me.' 

They went with the miller. He conducted them to the 
store-room. These noblemen, seeing so many decapitated 
brigands, spoke thus to the miller, * Tell us truly, now, who 
was it killed them ? ' 

' My daughter,' answered he. 

* Was it you who killed these brigands?' they asked his 
daughter. 

* It was I.' 

* And why did you do so ? ' 

* Because they wanted to carry me off.* 
' What did you kill them with ? ' 

* With my father's sword.' 

* That was well done.' 

They gave her three bushels of ducats. These brigands 
were buried. 

Ten years have already passed away. One time twelve 
brigands, disguised as lords, came to this miller's house, he 
being unaware who they were. 

'Will you give me your daughter in marriage?' one of 
them asked him. 

*Why not?' he made answer, 'all the more willingly 
because she has pined for a great lord.' 

This was the very brigand from whose head she had cut 
a piece of skin. But the miller's daughter did not recognise 
him, and she consented to marry him. This girl begged her 
father to give her three bushels of oats. She got into the 



BRIGANDS AND MILLER'S DAUGHTER 171 

carriage with these noblemen, and went off with them. 
Hardly had they got a league from the house when she 
took one handful after another of the oats and cast them 
on the road : this was to mark her route, and in order to 
recognise afterwards the way by which she had gone. She 
went on sowing these oats till they came to the forest where 
the brigands lived. She scattered the whole quantity. 

Having got home, they made her come down out of the 
carriage. They went into the room with her. She sat 
down, and saw no one there but a solitary old peasant 
woman. 

* Do you recognise me ? ' this brigand asked her. 

* No,' she replied, * I do not recognise you at all.' 

He showed her the part of his head where a piece of the 
skin had been cut off by her. It was only then that she 
recognised him. She was greatly alarmed at the sight of 
this brigand in the guise of a nobleman. 

' Keep quite calm,* he said to her, * we are going to cut 
some stripes from your back.* ^ 

* Very well,' she replied, * if I have deserved it, chop me 
up into little bits.' 

He leads her into a room, which she sees is full of money. 
They pass into another, and this is full of linen clothes. 
They enter the third, and there she sees a block and a great 
number of peasants hanging from pegs all round the walls. 
All that she saw there caused her heart to grow faint as 
though she were passing to the other world. The brigand 
led her back, and intrusted her to the old woman, to whom 
he said, * Guard her, that she flee nowhere, while we go 
a-hunting. We shall not return till nightfall ; then we shall 
cut some stripes from her back.* 

* Very well,* said the old dame. 

This old woman began to lament for her. 'Why have 
you come here ? * she said to her. * They will cut off stripes 
from your back, and I shall be forced to look on. But listen 

* For cutting three red stripes out of back, cf, 'Osbom's Pipe' (Dasent's TcUcs 
front the Fjeld, p. 3), which = the Welsh-Gypsy tale of 'The Ten Rabbits' (No. 
64); also Dasent's Tales from the Norse, 'The Seven Foals,* p. 38a Cutting 
three strips out of the back occurs also in a Russian story epitomised by Ralston, 
p. 145 ; and cutting a strip of skin from head to foot in Campbell's West High- 
land tale, No. 18 {cf supra, p. 124), which Reinhold Kohl^r connects with the 
pound of flesh in the Merchant of Venice {Orient ufid Occident^ 1864, pp. 313-316). 



172 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

to me. Go to draw water ; take off your clothes and place 
them on the well ; leave the pail there and take to flight* 

Well, she went out and fled. She came to a great forest 
The dogs of the house, having smelt that she was away, 
began seeking for her. The old woman set herself to scold 
the dogs, crying out to them, * Where were you, then, when 
this girl went to fetch water ? * 

The dogs ran out of doors ; they see that she is there 
beside the well ; they return to the house reassured. 

Let us now leave the dogs^ and return to the girl. 

The girl travelled for about seven leagues along the road 
which she had marked by scattering the oats. Towards 
night-time the brigands returned home ; they asked the 
old woman where the girl is, where is she gone to ? 

That brigand calls her, * Why do you not return ? * 

She gives him no response. 

He armed himself with his sword, this brigand ; he 
approached what he thought was the girl standing erect, 
and struck a blow on the iron standard of the well. He 
at once returned to the house, and told his comrades what 
had happened. They all rushed forth in pursuit 

Well, then, she perceived these brigands following on her 
track. Fortunately a peasant was passing with a wagon- 
load of straw.^ She implored the peasant, 'For the love 
of God, hide me in one of those large bundles of straw, and 
I will give you a peck of money.* 

*I would willingly hide you,' he answered, *only I am 
afraid that these brigands would do me harm.' 

* Fear nothing, only hide me.' 

He concealed her in a large sheaf; he placed it on the 
wagon ; and he sat down upon it 

The brigands came up and called out to the peasant, 
* What are you carrying there ? ' 

* A load of straw, gentlemen.' 

They searched through the straw, but they did not ex- 
amine the large bundle on which the peasant was sitting. 
The brigands turned back. 

The peasant came to the house of the miller, whose 

* Our story here has a curious resemblance with pp. 122-3 ^^ ' ^ Trimmator 
ou rOgre aux Trois Yeux,* a vampire story from Cyprus, in Legrand's C<mUs 
Grecs {\%%iY Query : Was * Mr. Fox ' orginally a vampire story? 



BRIGANDS AND MILLER'S DAUGHTER 173 

daughter this was, and said to him, 'Look, I bring your 
daughter back to you.* 

On seeing that his daughter was naked the miller fainted 
away. 

The girl dressed herself, and said to her father, * Do not be 
alarmed, father. Look you, those were no noblemen but 
brigands. I know,* she added, * where they live.* 

The miller went to get soldiers and gensdarmes. These 
took his daughter with them. 

* Do you know where they live ? * 

* Yes, I know.* 

* Will you show us where it is ? * 

* I will show you where.' 

She went with them into that large forest They saw a 
beautiful stone palace. Three of them went in ; they saw 
that there were a hundred brigands. 

' What shall we do now with these brigands ? ' 

* We will kill them,' replied the soldiers. 

They shot the whole lot of them ; not one remained alive 
except the old peasant woman. Her too they would have 
killed, but the girl begged them, * Do not kill her, for it was 
she who saved my life.* 

They enter one room, they see it is full of money. They 
pass into the other room, and it is full of linen clothes. 
They go into the third, and there they find a great number 
of peasants suspended from pegs along the walls. All that 
they found there they carried away — gold, silver, and sums 
of money. Then they set fire to the palace and burned it 
down. They returned home ; and the miller's daughter took 
the old peasant woman with her and kept her till her death, 
because she had saved her life. 

One night she was reminded in a dream that she had not 
yet recompensed the peasant who had hidden her in the straw. 
So next day she sent a boy to fetch this peasant The boy 
went to the peasant's house, and said to him, ' Come to the 
miller's daughter, who is asking for you.* 

The peasant dressed himself, and went to the miller's 
house. He entered. He stopped on the threshold and 
saluted the good God.* 

^ It is the general custom among pious people in Poland, on entering a house, 
or when meeting one another, to give the greeting, 'Jesus Christ be praised.* 
To which the response is, * From age to age.' 



174 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

* You remember hiding me in the straw, my good man ? ' 

* Yes, I remember.* 

* Well, I have never given you anything,' she said to him. 
She went to the store-room, and brought four quarts of 

silver money to him. This poor peasant, quite delighted, 
accepted the money and took it in his hand. The miller's 
daughter gave him something to eat and drink ; and then he 
took his leave and went home with the good God. 

We have two other Gypsy versions of this story— one from Hungary 
(Dr. Friedrich Miiller), and the other from North Wales (Matthew 
Wood, * Laula '). The Hungarian opens : — * Somewhere was, some- 
where was not,^ in the Seventy-seventh Land in a village a Hungarian ;' 
and may thereafter be summarised : — Of his three daughters two 
get married. The third at last has a sweetheart, who always comes 
to see her after midnight Once she follows him to a cave in the 
forest, from which twelve robbers come out. She enters, comes on 
corpses, and hides behind cask. A lady is brought in ; her hand is 
chopped off; the girl possesses herself of it and escapes home. 
The wedding is fixed. She tells soldiers, but not her father. At 
the wedding she relates a dream : ' And, ye gentlemen, think not 
that I was really there, for I saw it merely in a dream.' Soldiers 
come in just as she draws the hand from her bosom and flings it 
on the table. After which the story drifts off into a version of 
the Roumanian-Gypsy tale of *The Vampire* (No. 5), a version 
summarised on p. 19. 

The following epitome of * Laula ' is by Mr. Sampson : — Three 
young ladies live at a castle. A gentleman comes to visit them 
daily. They know not who he is or where he lives. He asks the 
youngest to accompany him home. She goes with him, eats, drinks, 
and returns. She asks his coachman his master's name, * Laula.' 
She thinks it a pretty name; her elder sister a bad one. Next 
evening she goes again. They eat, drink, and play cards. He 
leaves the room, and returns with a phial of blood. * Is your blood 
as red as this ? ' She pretends that he is jesting ; but he cuts off her 
finger, opens the window, and throws it to the big dog, afterwards 
killing her. The tale goes on, *Who got the finger? The elder 
sister got it'; and it then explains how she had followed the pair by 
the track of the horse's feet, pacified the dog, and caught the finger 
(with ring on) thrown to him. She desires her father to issue 
invitations to a dinner. Every one comes and has to tell a tale or 

^ Albanian folk-tales open with a similar formula (Dozen's Conies A/danais, 
1881, p. i). 






THE WISE YOUNG JEW 175 

sing a song. On Laula's plate is placed nothing but this finger. 
When the elder sister tells her fale, he grows uneasy, and says he 
must go outside. He twice interrupts thus, but is restrained by the 
other gentlemen. She gives him away, and at the old father's 
suggestion he is placed in a barrel filled with grease and burnt to 
death. [On which it is just worth noting that Lawlor was a Gypsy 
name in 1540. — MacRitchie's Scottish Gypsies under the Stewarts 
(1894), pp. 37-39-] 

Of non-Gypsy variants may be cited Grimm's No. 40, * The Robber 
Bridegroom'; and Cosquin's *La Fille du Meunier' (another miller's 
daughter), i. 178. In England we have *The Story of Mr. Fox' (Halli- 
well's Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales ^ 1849, P* 47» and Jacobs's 
English Fairy Talesy pp. 148, 247), and *The Girl who got up the Tree* 
(Addy's Household Tales^ 1895, p. 10). Shakespeare refers to the story 
in Much Ado about Nothings I. i. 146. * Bopoluchi ' in F. A. Steel's 
Indian Wide-awake S lories ^ pp. 73-8, should also be compared. 



No. 48. — Tale of a Wise Young Jew and a 

Golden Hen 

There was once a rich nobleman who had lived with his 
wife for ten years without having any children. One time 
he dreamt that he would have a very warlike son. Another 
time he dreamt again that a Jewess was going to be confined 
on the same day as his lady. (This was true !) Next morn- 
ing this lord arose and said to his wife, * Wife, I dreamt that 
we are going to have a child.* 

* That may really come to pass,' she answered. 

He further told her of the Jewess ; he said she would be 
brought to bed at the very same hour as her ladyship. 

The good God ordained that she should be delivered of a 
child; the good God gave them a son. The boy's father 
was very joyful, as were also the mother and that Jewess, 
who was brought to bed at the very same hour as this lady. 

The nobleman said to his wife, * My lady, we must go to 
this Jewess, in order that our child may be brought up with 
hers.' 

* Very well, husband.' 

They brought thither the Jewess, and she made her home 
there, near this nobleman's dwelling. 

He begins to grow up, this son of the nobleman. He is 



176 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

very wise ; yet the son of the Jewess is still wiser. He is 
now ten years old, and is eager to go to school ; he learns 
there to perfection. His father and mother are filled with 
delight. 

Once the Jewish boy said to the lord's son, * Look here, 
now, why not request your father to have some beautiful 
baths made for you in the fields ? * 

The nobleman's son approached his father, kissed his 
hand, as also his mother's. * Father,* said he, * I beg that 
you will build me some fine baths in the fields.' 

Who should it happen to be that set themselves to this 
work ? Two old retainers. They had seen in a town some 
time before a very beautiful princess. Well, what have they 
gone and done, these two servitors ? They have caused the 
portrait of this princess to be painted on the walls of the 
baths. These two servants came back and announced to 
their lord, * We have done everything we were ordered to do.' 

* Very good. How much now do you ask for it ? ' 

*We shall be satisfied with whatever your grace deigns 
to give us.' 

The nobleman gave them four thousand fiorins. They 
accorded to their lord their best thanks. Then the Jew boy 
called to the nobleman's son, * Come, the baths are now built, 
let us see what there is to be seen.* 

Thither they went, but this young Jew was always wiser 
than the nobleman's son. They entered the first hall, where 
they saw painted upon the walls various kinds of birds, 
wolves ; all which delighted the son of the lord. Then all 
by himself he enters the other apartment, and what does he 
behold there ? The portrait of this lovely princess painted 
on one of the walls. He gazes at the likeness of the princess, 
and is so greatly enchanted with it that he swoons away. 
The young Jew sees him (swoon); he revives him with 
vinegar ; and he asks the nobleman's son, * What is the 
matter with you ? * 

' O brother, if I do not have this princess to wife I shall 
kill myself 

* Hush, for the love of God,* replied the young Jew ; * do 
not cry so loud. For you shall perhaps have her indeed, 
only not so soon as you wish.' 

He returned home very sick, this nobleman's son. 



THE WISE YOUNG JEW 177 

* What ails him ? ' asks his father ; but the young Jew was 
ashamed to own what had happened. Orders were given to 
fetch doctors with all speed ; various remedies are adminis- 
tered ; but he has nothing the matter with him, for he is 
quite well, only withering away for the sake of this princess.. 

'What's to be done with him?' this lord asks himself. 
He sends the mother to question her son, that he may reveal 
to her what it is that has happened. 

The mother comes to him, *What is the matter, my 
child ? Don't be ashamed to tell me everything.' 

* Ah, mother,' he answered, * even though I were to tell you 
all, you would not be able to give me any advice.' 

* On the contrary, my son, I will give you very good advice.' 
Then he said to her, * Mother, I have seen the likeness of 

a beautiful princess in these fine baths ; if I do not have her 
to wife I shall kill myself.' 

The mother hears this with delight. 'That is well, my 
son. In the meantime, where am I to find her ? ' 

But the Jew lad said to the nobleman, ' My lord, I will go 
with him to seek the princess. I make myself answerable 
for his person, and if any harm befalls him, punish me.' 

' Very well, then ; get ready, and set out with the help of 
God.' 

They set out, and on the further side of a large town the 
young Jew saw a beautiful wand on the road and a little key 
beside it. 

' I shall dismount and pick up that wand,' said he. 

But the nobleman's son said to him, ' What good will that 
wand do you ? You can buy yourself a fine sword in any 
town.' 

But the young Jew replied, * I don't want a sword ; I 
wish to take that wand.' 

Well, he got down from his horse ; he picked up this wand 
and the little key. He got into the saddle again, and they 
went on their way with the help of God. They came to a 
great forest, where night surprised them. They saw a 
light shining in this forest. 

*See,' caid the lord's son, 'there's a light shining over 
yonder.' 

They came up to this light ; they went into the room ; 
there was no one within. There they see a beautiful bed, 

M 



ryS POL.ISH-GYPSY STORIES 

but • unoccupied. They see that there is food for them. 
There is a golden goblet on the side next to the nobleman's 
son ; and beside the young Jew there is a goblet of silver. 
The nobleman's son would have seated himself beside thfe 
silver goblet, but the young Jew said to him; * Listen to me, 
brother. You are the son of a wealthy sire, and I am a poor 
man's son ; your place therefore is beside the goblet of gold, 
and I will seat myself beside the silver goblet' 

Thereafter he disrobed him deftly, and made him lie down 
on the bed. 

* Come you to bed, brother,' said the nobleman's son. 

* I don't feel sleepy,' replied the young Jew. 

* Well, I 'm going to sleep at any rate.' 

He placed himself beside the table, this young Jew, and 
pretended to fall asleep. Two ladies approached the young 
Jew, but they were not really ladies — they were fairies.^ 
These ladies spoke . thus to one another, * Oh ! this young 
Jew and this nobleman's son are going to a capital, where 
they wish to carry away the king's daughter. But,' said 
they, * the young Jew did well to pick up that wand with 
the little key, for there will be an iron door, which with that 
key he will be able to open.' 

These ladies went away with the help of God. The young 
Jew undressed himself and went to bed. They arose next 
morning; they came to that iron door; the young Jew 
dismounted and opened it. They see that this is the 
capital wherein dwells the princess. They went into this 
town ; they see a gentleman passing. The young Jew asks 
him, * Where is there a first-rate inn in this place ? ' The 
gentleman indicated such a one to them, and guided them 
to it. He paid him for his trouble. They ate until they 
were satisfied. The nobleman's son remained in the inn, 
and the young Jew sallied out into the town. He saw a 
gentleman passing. 

* Stay, sir, I have something to ask of you.' 

The gentleman stopped, and the young Jew asked him, 
* Where is the principal goldsmith's in this town ? ' 

He directed him there; the young Jew went to this 
goldsmith. 

* Will you make me an old hen and her chickens of gold ? 

* The Gypsy word, rasAam, originally means 'priestess.' 



THE WISE YOUNG JEW 179 

The bid hen must have eyes of diamonds and the young 
chickens also.* 

* Very well.* 

' But I stipulate further that she be alive.' 
- The goldsmith, who was a great wizard, replied, * Very 
good, sir ; I will do so if you will pay me.' 

* I will pay you as much as ten thousand.' 

Three days later he returned to get what he had ordered. 
He chose a Sunday, at the time when the princess was going 
to church. It was then he proposed to exhibit this golden 
hen and her chickens in such a way that the princess should 
see them. Well, he went to the goldsmith's; he got the 
golden hen with her young chickens. On the following 
Sunday, he went near the church, this young Jew ; he placed 
a table there, and on it he exposed his golden h^n with the 
young chicks. Nobody who passed that way thought any 
more about going to church, but all stopped to gaze with 
wonder at this golden hen with her young chickens. A 
throng of people gathered from all parts of the town to 
•see this hen and her chickens. The priest himself does 
not go into the church, but stops before the hen and her 
chickens ; he looks at them so greedily that his eyes are 
almost starting out of his head. At last the king's daughter 
comes to church. She looks to see what is going on there. 
A crowd of people, gentle and simple, gathered together. 
She had four lackeys with her. 

* Go,' she said to one of them, * see what is going on there.* 
He went and did not return. 

She sent a second one; no more did he come back, so 
much was he enchanted. She despatched a third ; neither 
-did that one return — ^he was charmed. She sent the fourth, 
and he returned not either, being enchanted like the others. 

'What can have happened there?* she asked herself. 
* Has somebody been killed ? ' 

She sent her maid, who forced her way with difficulty 
among the people; but she also came not back, so much 
did this golden hen delight her. Another was sent, who 
with great difficulty forced a passage through the crowd, 
but she too returned not, so charmed was she. She de- 
spatched her third maid-servant, who also penetrated the 
throng, but, being charmed, did not return. Finally she said 



i8o POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

to the fourth one, * I am sending you to see what is happen- 
ing there ; but if you do not come back to tell me, I will have 
you put to death.' 

This one too went She forced her way after much 
difficulty through the crowd, but she came not back out 
of it, so greatly had that golden hen charmed her. 

The princess then said to herself, * What can be going on 
there ? Here, I Ve sent eight persons, and not one of them 
has come back to tell me what 's the matter.' 

Then she went herself to see what had happened. 
Peasants and gentlemen gave way before her. She 
draws near and sees — a golden hen with her young chickens. 
The Jew lad perceives her and asks her, * Does this give 
pleasure to your royal highness ? ' 

* Greatly though it pleases me, sir,* she answered, * you will 
not give it to me.* 

He took this hen and presented it to the princess ; then, 
with the help of the good God, he went away. But the 
princess called after him, and invited him to dine at her 
father's. The young Jew returned to the inn, where the 
nobleman's son was asleep. He knew nothing of what the 
young Jew had done. The king sent a very fine carriage 
to fetch the young Jew ; he got into it and drove off. The 
princess was amusing herself with the hen and its young 
golden chickens. The king proposed to him that he should 
live with his daughter. 

* Very well,' said the young Jew to him. * I will live with 
her.' 

Well, they eat, they drink, and at length towards night 
the young Jew sent some one to fetch the nobleman's son. 
When he arrived, all three went out to walk in the garden. 
Then the young Jew said to the princess, * Will you go away 
from here with us ? ' 

* Yes, I will go away,' she replied. 

They set out with her and hurried away, with the help 
of the good God. The father of the princess knew not where 
she had gone to ; neither did he know whence the young 
Jew and the nobleman's son had come. The nobleman's 
son arrived at his father's house. The father and mother 
are well satisfied that he has been so successful in bringing 
home the princess. 



THE RIVALS i8i 

*And now, my son/ said his father to him, *you must 
marry her.' 

So he married her, and they live together with the help of 
God, The young Jew has also married a wife, and they live 
together with the help of God. 

Obviously an incomplete story ; for of the beautiful wand the young 
Jew makes no use at all, of the key very little. It offers analogies to 
•Baldpate' (No. 2), to *The Dead Man's Gratitude' (No. i), and to 
Miklosich's Bukowina-Gypsy story of ' The Rivals.' The last may be 
smnmarised thus : — 

An emperor's daughter on her brow had the sun, on her breast 
the moon, on her back the stars. An old lady had a sow with 
twelve little golden pigs ; and her servant tended them. He goes 
into the forest and grazes them along the road, and on three 
successive days the princess gets a little pig by revealing to him 
her birth-marks. The emperor makes proclamation for them to 
come and guess her birth-marks. A prince, who is in love with 
her and knows her marks, guesses them ; so too does the swine- 
herd. So the emperor shuts up the three of them in a room. 
'And the boy bought himself bread and sweet apples and sweet 
cakes, and put them in his bosom. And the prince lay with the 
girl in his arms, and the boy at her back. The princess was hungry. 
The boy was eating cakes. She asked him, " What are you eating, 
boy ?" " I am eating my lips." " Give me some.'* And he gave to 
her. " God I how sweet." And the prince said, " Mine are sweeter." 
And he took his knife, and cut off his lips, and gave them to her. 
She flung them on the ground. Again the boy was eating apples. 
** What are you eating now, boy ? " "I am eating my nose." " Give 
me some." He gave her. " God ! how delicious." And the prince, 
" Mine is sweeter." He took his knife and cut off his nose, and 
gave it to her. She flung it on the ground. The boy eats bread. 
" What are you eating now, boy ? " "I am eating my ears." " Give 
me some." He gave to her. " God ! how delicious." And the prince, 
** Mine are sweeter." He took his knife, cut off" his ears, and gave 
them to her. She flung them on the ground. By daybreak the 
prince was dead; the girl was all over blood from him, and she 
shoved his corpse on the ground, and took the boy in her arms. 
And the emperor came and found the two locked in an embrace. 
Straightway the emperor clad him, and joined them in marriage.' 

Denton's * The Shepherd and the King's Daughter,' in Serbian Folk- 
lore^ p. 172, is. closely akin to Miklosich's story over the first six pages, 
but is probably Bowdlerised. Cf, too, * The Emperor's Daughter and the 
Swineherd,' in Krauss's Sagen und Marchen der Sudslceven^ ii. 302 ; and 



i82 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

Hahn, ii. i8o. Mr. David MacRitchie suggested in the Gypsy' Lore 
Journal (ii. 381) that by the golden hen and her chickens in the Polishr 
Gypsy story is to be understood a planetarium of the Pleiades, the 
popular Roumanian name for the Pleiades being ' the golden hen with 
her golden chickens.' The suggestion is most ingenious ; but in Laura 
Gonzenbach's Sicilian story, *VomRe Porco' (No. 42, i. 291-293) the 
true bride purchases permission from the false bride to pass three 
nights with the bridegroom with the contents of three nuts — (i) a golden 
hen with many golden chickens ; (2) a little golden schoolmistress, with 
little golden pupils, who sew and embroider ; and (3) a lovely golden 
eagle. Cf. also Hahn, i. 188. 



No. 49. — The Golden Bird and the 

Good Hare 

Once upon a time there was a king who had three sons, 
two wise and one foolish. This king had an apple-tree 
which bore golden apples ; but every night some one robbed 
him of these apples. The king inflicted severe punishment 
on his servants. 

One time his eldest son said to him, * Father, I am going 
to watch the golden apple-tree, and if I do not catch the 
thief you shall kill me.* 

'Very well ; go, then.' 

He went to stand guard, but in the night-time a golden 
bird came and stole a golden apple from the tree. 

Next day the king arose, and asked of his son, ' Have you 
caught the thief? * The king counted the apples on the tree: 
one of them was missing. 'Well,' said he to his son, 'you 
shall be put to death.' 

The notables of the kingdom, and everybody, prayed that 
he would pardon him. The king pardoned him. 

Then the other brother said to the king, * Father, I also 
will go and keep watch ; it may be that I shall seize the 
thief.' 

' Very well ; then go.' 

He made his preparations, and went on guard. The 
golden bird came once more and stole an apple from the tree. 

Next day the king arose and asked of his son, ' Have you 
caught the thief?' 

* No, father, I have not caught him, for he has escaped me.' 

* Did you see him, then ? ' 



GOLDExN BIRD AN,n G00D.:HARE ^83 

' Yes, I saw him.* . . '. 

' Well, then, how was he able to escape you ? : You shall 
be killed.' 

Then the queen and all the nobles entreated .him. He 
pardoned this other son. 

The king returned to his house. 

Then the third brother, the fool, came to beg him that 
he would allow him to go and guard the golden apple- 
tree. ' Father/ said he, ' it must be that I shall catch this 
thief.' 

' Go, then, fool that thou art,' replied the king ;' 'your wise 
brothers have kept watch, and could not take him ; and you, 
what will you do, fool ? ' 

'Never mind, father, wise though my brothers may be, 
they knew not how to secure the thief. I, who am a fool, 
shall know better than they how to capture him.' 

' Very well ; then, go. But you shall be put to death if you 
do not take him.' 

'Very well, father, I agree to it that you kill me ; but if I 
do secure the thief, it is I who am to kill you.' 

* Very well, I shall not seek to excuse myself.' 

He made his preparations. He went to keep watch. He 
climbed up into the tree to watch there. He stuck a needle 
into a twig, and leant his chin upon it 

* Whenever I feel sleepy,' said he to himself, ' the needle 
will prick me, and I shall be aroused.' 

Just at daybreak he saw a golden bird come, intending to 
steal one of the golden apples. He perceived this, and, firing 
at the bird, knocked. out three feathers of gold. These he 
picked up and kept in his hand. 

He got up in the morning and went to his father, who 
asked him, ' Have you seized the thief? What have you 
taken from him ? ' 

* I have blown off a piece of his shirt with a musket-shot' 
Then said the king to him, * Now you may kill me.' 

' Father, I grant you your life.' 

He showed him the three golden feathers, whereupon his 
father became blind, so dazzled was he by the terrible gleam. 

* What shall we do now, unfortunates that we are? ' 

The eldest brother said to his father, * I am going in quest 
of this bird.' 



i84 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

* Well, go, my son ; have a care of me.* 

He took plenty of money with him and a beautiful horse. 
He set out in quest of this bird. He went away far out into 
the world. Once he saw a fine inn. He went in. He 
ordered something to eat and drink. He hears, this son of 
the king, that they are wrangling in the next room. He 
looks through the keyhole and sees twelve young ladies 
playing at cards. He gently opens the door a little, and 
these damsels call to him, ' Come away, sir, and play with 
us.' 

He goes in, and he loses all his money at play. He sells 
his horse, and loses that money too. He sells his clothes, 
and still loses. Lastly, he asks these damsels to lend him 
a hundred florins. They lend them to him, and he loses the 
hundred florins. 

' What shall I do now, pauper that I am ? ' 

These damsels have him arrested and put into prison. 
For six months he sees no one, this eldest brother. 

Then his younger brother made his preparations, and 
requested his father to let him go in quest of the golden bird. 

His father said to him, * Each of you goes away, and none 
returns. Very well, go.' 

He took even more money than his brother and a finer 
horse. He set out, and came to the same inn. He makes 
them serve him with something to eat and drink. He hears 
people wrangling in the next room. He opens the door a 
little, and sees twelve damsels playing at cards. 

* Come away, sir, and play with us.* 

He sits down to play, and loses all his money. He sells 
his horse for a large sum, which he loses in the same way. 
He sells his clothes, and loses likewise. Lastly, he borrows 
a hundred florins from the twelve damsels, and loses them 
also. 

* What shall I do now, pauper that I am ? * 

These damsels have him arrested and put into prison. 

Then the king says, * See, it is full six months since my 
two sons set out, and neither of them has returned.' 

Then the fool, the youngest brother, wishes to go in quest 
of this bird. He requests his father to let him go and seek 
the golden bird. 

*Well, go, my boy. Fool though you are, perhaps you 



GOLDEN BIRD AND GOOD HARE 185 

will bring this bird to me sooner than your two wise brothers, 
who set out and return not' 

So he made his preparations. He set out without money, 
without anything save two bottles of wine, but he set out 
with the help of God. After a very long journey he came 
to a small wood. In this wood he saw a lame hare, which 
fled away from him. He would have killed this hare, but 
it besought him, * Have the fear of God ; do not kill 
me. For I know where you are going, and I will tell it to 
you.' 

*That is well,* replied this foolish prince; and he dis- 
mounted from his horse. He drew a fine loaf out of his 
pocket, and gave it to the hare to eat For himself, he 
drank some of his wine, and said to this hare, ' If I gave you 
wine too, you would certainly not drink any of it ? * 

' Why should I not drink any of it, my lord ? ' replied the 
hare ; * you have only to give me some.* 

Well, he gave him some. The hare drank of it, and 
thanked him courteously. Then the foolish prince asked 
him, * What was that you said to me just now ? ' 

' I will tell you that you are going in quest of the golden 
bird, three of whose feathers you knocked out with a musket- 
shot You showed them to your father, who has conse- 
quently become blind.' 

' Yes, that is so.' 

' But listen : there will be various birds ; there will be a 
cage of diamonds, a cage of gold, a cage of silver, and a cage 
of wood. In the first there will be a diamond bird, in the 
second a golden bird, in the third a silver bird, and in the 
fourth a miserable, common bird. Beware of taking one of 
the birds with a beautiful cage, or it will bring misfortune 
on you. Now, get on my back, and leave your horse to 
graze in this forest' 

He mounted the hare, and on arriving at the place where 
these birds were he dismounted. Then said the hare to him 
again, * For God's sake, beware of touching a bird with a 
beautiful cage, but take the one in a common cage.' 

Well, then, he goes in to steal, and he sees that there are 
three miserable cages. ' Why,' said he, * should I take one 
of these, when I can take a bird with a beautiful cage ? * He 
then espied a cage of diamonds with a diamond bird in it 



i86 POLISH. GYPSY STORIES 

He approached it He would have taken it, when suddenly 
these wretched birds uttered a terrible scream. The warders 
came running up, and secured the prince. Next day the 
king questioned him, ' Why have you come here ? ' 

' I came, sire, to take the bird that robbed me of the golden 
apples.' 

' Listen, then. You shall have that bird provided you do 
this for me. There is a certain king who ha3 a silver horse. 
Steal that horse from him and bring it to me, and I will give 
you the bird.' 

* Very well' 

The fool came to his hare, and began to lament The 
hare said to him, ' Didn't I tell you not to touch the bird 
in the fine cage, but to take the bird in the common cage ? 
Well, be silent ; come with me without mounting me. And 
listen : there will be beautiful horses of gold and silver. 
Don't touch them, but take that miserable horse beside the 
door.' 

Well, he went. He sees such beautiful horses, one all 
gold, the other silver. He looks at them, and says to him- 
self, * Why should I take that wretched horse, when I can 
take the golden one ? ' He tries to mount the golden horse, 
when they all neigh terribly loud, and he was arrested. 

On the morrow the king arose and questioned him, ' What 
do you want here ? ' 

' I came, sire, to steal your silver horse, because that other 
king said to me that if I bring him your silver steed, he will 
give me his golden bird.' 

'Well, I will give it to you myself if you will accomplish 
this feat : Our third king has a daughter with locks of gold. 
If you will carry her off, and bring her to me, then I will 
give you my silver steed.' 

* Very well.' 

He came back to his hare, * Why, then, won't you do what 
I tell you ? ' said the hare to him, and would have beaten 
him. 'Come, then, with me, but do not get on my back. 
You will go to where this princess dwells ; you will eat with 
her; you will drink with her; finally, you will sleep with 
her. Then I shall come during the night and carry you 
both away.' 

Well, he came to where the princess lived. Ht ate, he 



GOLDEN BIRD AND GOOD HARE 187 

drank, and he slept with her. The hare got up during the 
nightj and carried them both away. They set out, and by 
the time it was day they had gone a great distance. 

* Where am I ? ' asked the princess. 

The hare told her, * You will be the wife of this prince.' 

She was quite content to have such a young and hand- 
some husband. 

Then said the foolish prince, * Well, we have already got 
the princess with the golden locks, but how are we going to 
manage to steal the silver steed and the golden bird ? ' 

'Oh!' replied the hare, 'that is my affair, and I shall 
answer for it.' 

They remained, then, in that place, and the hare set out 
alone. He went to where that king lived, and he stole from 
him that same wretched horse that was beside the door. 
He mounted it and came back to the fool. The latter sees 
such a beautiful silver horse. He is enchanted that the hare 
had succeeded in stealing it. He mounts the princess on 
this horse, and they continued their journey with the help 
of God. They reach the home of the third king, who had 
the golden bird. The hare stole from him the miserable 
bird in the wretched cage. (Neither the birds nor the horses 
uttered a single cry.) The hare returned to the fool. He 
is perfectly delighted on seeing a golden bird in a golden 
cage. They go on their way. They set out with the help 
of God, and they come- to that forest where they had left 
their horse. The prince mounted it 

Before his departure the hare said to him, ' I forbid you to 
ransom your two brothers from death.' The prince swore 
that he would not. He and the princess returned thanks to 
the good hare who had brought them away. They set out 
and arrived at his father's house. He presents the golden 
bird to his father, who thereupon recovered his sight. His 
father is charmed at his son bringing him his wife with the 
golden locks and a silver steed. He marries her, and lives 
with her five years. 

Once it occurred to this fool that he ought to go in search 
of his two brothers. 

' Do not go, my son,* said his father, * let God punish them.' 

* Permit me to do so, father ; I will go and seek them.' 



i88 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

His father objected, but he besought him incessantly, till 
at last he allowed him to go. He came to a very large town. 
What does he see there? His two brothers. They were 
just being led to death. He came to the place, this fool, and 
he would have ransomed them from death, but the nobles 
would not have it. He offered an enormous sum, but they 
would not accept it. 

* If you will not, I can but go home.' 

He came home, and he said to his father, ' Alas ! father, 
my brothers are now dead.' - 

* Since they did not obey me,* replied his father, * it is 
right that God should punish them.' 

This youngest prince dwells with his wife, and they live 
with the help of the good, golden God. 

This opens like a Bulgarian story, ' The Golden Apples and the Nine 
Peahens,' No. 38 of Wratislaw's Sixty Slavonic Folk-tales^ p. 186, also 
somewhat like the Roumanian-Gypsy tale of ' The Red King and the 
Witch' (No. 14). Laura Gonzenbach's Sicilian story. No. 51, *Vom 
singenden Dudelsack,' may also be compared. But it is essentially 
identical with our Scottish-Tinker story of * The Fox* (No. 75), and with 
Wratislaw's Serbian story of 'The Lame Fox,' No. 40, pp. 205-217, with 
Grimm's No. 57, *The Golden Bird' (i. 227, 415), and with Campbell 
of I slay's No. 46, * Mac Iain Direach,' on which see Reinhold Kohler 
in Orient und Occident^ ii. 1864, pp. 685-6. Kopemicki's Gypsy story is 
plainly very defective. The lame hare should first meet the two elder 
brothers, and his stealing the steed and the bird is as lame as himself. 
The concluding phrase, ' golden God,' occurs often in Hungarian and in 
Slovak-Gypsy stories ; so I am inclined to question Kopemicki's 
footnote that * " with the help of God " (or " of the good God "), a phrase 
frequently occurring in the Polish-Gypsy stories is borrowed from the 
popular speech of Poland.' Dja DevUsa^ * go with God,' is of constant 
occurrence in Turkish-Romani (Paspati, p. 205), and in most, if not all, 
of the other European Gypsy dialects. 

No. 50. — The Witch 

There was once a nobleman who had a very handsome 
son. The nobleman wished that his son should marry, but 
there was nobody whom he would wed. Young ladies of 
every kind were assembled, but not one of them would he 
have. For ten years he lived with his father. Once in a 
dream he bethought himself that he should go and travel. 
He went away far out into the world ; and for ten years he 
was absent from his home. He reflected, and ' What shall 



THE WITCH 189 

I do?' he asked himself; ' I will return to my father.* He 
returned home in rags, and all lean with wretchedness, so 
that his father was ashamed of him. He remained with him 
three months. 

Once he dreamt that in the middle of a field there was a 
lovely sheet of water, and that in this little lake three 
beautiful damsels were bathing. Next morning he arose and 
said to his father, * Rest you here with the help of the good 
God, my father ; for I am going afar into the world.' 

His father gave him much money, and said to him,' If you 
do not wish to stay with me, go forth with the help of God.* 

He set out on his way ; he came to this liltle lake ; and 
there he saw three beautiful damsels balhing. He would 
have captured one of them, but these damsels had wings on 
their smocks, by means of which they soared into the air 
and escaped him. He went away, this nobleman's son, and 
said he to himself, ' What shall I do now, poor wretch that 
I am ? ' and he began to weep bitterly. 

Then he sees an old man approaching him, and this old 
man asks him, * Why do you weep, my lad ? ' 

* Oh ! well do I know why I weep : there are three lovely 
damsels who bathe in that lake, but I cannot capture them.* 

* What do you want, then ? ' asks this old man. * Would 
you catch the whole three of them ? ' 

* No,* he replied, * I wish to catch only one of them, the 
youngest one.* 

* Very well, then, listen ; I am going to dig a pit for you ; 
whenever you see them coming for a swim, hide yourself in 
this hole, and wait there in silence. As soon as they have 
laid down their clothes, jump up and seize hold of the smock 
belonging to the youngest one. She will beg you to give it 
up to her, but do not give it up.* 

Well, these three damsels came ; they took off their 
smocks, and laid each of them aside. The nobleman's son 
watched them from his pit ; he jumped out ; he seized hold 
of the smock belonging to the youngest one. She beseeches 
him to give it back to her, but he will not consent to do so. 
The two other sisters fly away with the good God, and he 
returns to his home with the young damsel. His father sees 
that he brings a beautiful damsel with him. Well, he 
marries her. They live together for five years. They had 



190 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

a very pretty. young son. But as for the winged smock he 
had a special room made, into which he locked it, and the 
key of .the room he gave to his mother to take care of. 
Madman that he was! he would have done better had he 
burned that smock. 

One day he went out into the fields. Then his wife spoke 
thus to his mother, 'Mother, five years now have I been 
here^ and I know not what there is in my husband's room, 
because he always keeps it hidden from me.* 

Then the mother said to her, * Well, come with me ; I am 
going to show it to you.' 

' That is right, mother. I wish it much, because he ought 
not to hide anything from me, for I would not rob him of 
anything, to hand it over to the lads.' 

She went into that room with his mother ; she sees that 
her smock with the two wings is there. 

* Mother,' she said, * may I again don this smock, to see 
whether I am as beautiful still as I was once.' 

* Very well, my daughter, put it on again ; I do not forbid 
you.' 

She put on the smock, and she said to his mother, * Re- 
main here with the help of the good God, my mother ; 
salute my husband for me ; and take good care of my child. 
For never more will you see me.' 

Then she sped away with the good God, and returned 
home to the witch, her mother. 

Her husband came back to the house and asked his 
mother, * Where has my wife gone ? ' 

* My son, she went into that room there ; she once more 
put on a certain smock ; she sent you a farewell greeting ; 
and she asked me to take care of her child, for never more 
would she see us.' 

* Well, I am going away in quest of her.* 

He took a lot of money with him, he set out, and 
journeyed forth with the help of the good God. He came 
to a miller's house. The miller had a mill, where they 
ground corn for this witch. Well, the nobleman's son asked 
this miller to hide him in a sack, to cover him with meal, 
and to fasten him securely into the sack. 

* I will pay you for this service,' said he to the miller. 
Well, as soon as he had hidden him in the sack and 



THE WITGH 191 

fastened it, four devils came. Each of them took a sack ; 
but the first of these, the one in which the nobleman's son 
was concealed, was very heavy. This devil took the sack ; 
he threw it upon his back ; he set out on his road, and went 
away with the good God (wl). They went to the abode of 
the witch and laid down their sacks. 

The next day there was to be a wedding there. Who 
should happen to come to this first sack but his wife? 
* What are you doing here ? ' 

* Well, I am come to take you away.* 

' Meanwhile, my mother is going to kill you.' 

Her mother, having heard with whom she was speaking, 
entered and recogfnised him. * So, then, it is you who are so 
clever, and who stole away my daughter. Hearken, then, 
you shall have her to wife if you perform for me the feats 
which I shall lay upon you.' 

She gave him food and drink ; he went to bed. 

Next day he got up, and the witch arose also and said to 
him, 'Hearken, I have here a great forest, three hundred 
leagues in extent. You must uproot for me every tree, cut 
them in pieces, arrange these pieces in piles, the logs on one 
side and the brushwood on the other. If you do not do that 
for me, I will cut off your head.' 

She gave him a wooden axe and a wooden spade. He 
set out ; he went to the forest. He came to this forest ; he 
saw it was very large. 

* What can I do here, wretched man that I am, with the 
wooden axe and the wooden spade that she has given me ? ' 

He struck a blow with the axe on a tree ; and the axe 
broke. 

* What am I going to do now, wretched man that I am ? ' 
He cowered down upon the ground, and fell a-weeping. 

He sees his wife come; she brings him something to eat 
and drink. 

* Why are you weeping ? * asks his wife. 

* How can I refrain from weeping when your mother has 
given me an axe and a spade of wood, and I have broken 
them both already.' 

* Hush, then, weep not ; all will go well. Only eat and be 
filled.' 

He ate and was filled. 



192 POLISH. GYPSY STORIES 

* Come, now, I am going to louse your head.' * 

He went to her ; he laid his head in her lap ; and he fell 
asleep. His wife put her fingers into her mouth and 
whistled. A great number of devils came to her. 

' What is it that the great lady demands of us ? ' 

^ That this entire forest be cut down, and that the logs be 
set in piles on one side, and the brushwood on the other ; 
each kind has to be ranged in separate piles.' 

The devils set themselves to this task, and cut down the 
whole forest, so that not a stick of it remained standing, and 
all the wood was arranged in piles. 

His wife then awoke him : * Get up now.' 

He arose, he saw the whole forest was cut down, and 
each kind of wood w^ arranged in lots. He is rejoiced ; he 
returns to the house before night. 

' Finished already ? ' the mother, this witch, asks him. 

* Yes/ he replied, * I am finished.' 

She went out to see. The whole forest indeed was felled, 
and each kind of wood was arranged in piles. At that she 
was much mortified. Well, she gave him some food ; he 
satisfied himself, and lay down to sleep. 

She arose next morning, this witch, and said to him, ' I 
will give you my daughter to wife if you cause my forest to 
become again what it was before, with every leaf in its place 
again. And if you fail to do that for me, why, then, I will 
cut off your head.' 

Well, he set out ; he went on his way. He came to the 
forest 

' What shall I do now, unhappy wretch that I am ? ' 

He tried to fasten a branch on to its proper trunk, and the 
branch fell off again. He bowed himself to the ground and 
wept His wife came to him, bringing him food. 

* Why do you weep so, like a calf? ' 

* How can I help weeping, when your mother has made 
me fell this forest, and now commands me so to restore this 
same forest so that each leaf shall be once more in its proper 
place on the tree ? ' 

* Don't weep any more, then ; eat.' 
He ate ; he was satisfied. 

^ Cf, Campbell's Tales of the West Highlands^ i. 6i, and iv. 283 ; and Dozon's 
Contes Albanais^ 27, note. 



THE WITCH 193 

* Come, let me louse your head.' 

He lay down on her lap and went to sleep. 
Then she whistled, and the devils appeared in great 
numbers. 

* What do you demand of us, my lady ? ' 

*I demand that my forest be restored to its former 
condition, so that each leaf may be on its own tree.' 

Well, the devils set to work and restored everything, so 
that every leaf was in its proper place. Then she awoke 
him. He got up and saw the whole forest entire, as it had 
been before. 

Quite overjoyed, he returned to the house before night. 

* Finished already ? ' asked the mother. 

* Yes. I have finished.' 

She went forth to see if it was true. There was the forest 
as it had been before. 

Then the mother said, *What are we to do with him 
now?' 

She gave him food and drink. 

She arose next morning, this witch. * Hearken, you shall 
have my daughter to wife if you perform for me yet one 
more feat.' 

* Very well, mother.' 

* There is a very large pond here ; you must drain it dry.' 
' Willingly.' 

* But beware of letting a single fish in it perish.' 

She gave him a sieve with big holes. * This is what you 
must empty the pond with.* 

He went to the pond, this nobleman's son ; he lifted up 
a sieveful of water, which immediately streamed away. He 
flung the sieve to the devils. 

* If at least she had given me a bucket, I might perhaps 
have managed to empty this pond more quickly.' 

Then he bowed himself down and began to weep. 
' Wretch that I am, what shall I do now ? ' 
He sees his wife come to him. 

* Why are you weeping again ? ' 

* Because your mother has given me a sieve with big holes, 
so that the water runs away at once.' 

'Never mind, then, be quiet; do not weep any more. 
With God's help all will go well.' 

N 



194 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

She gave him to eat and to drink ; then he lay down on 
his wife's lap and slept. His wife whistled, and a great 
number of devils appeared before her. 

' What does her ladyship demand of us ? ' 

* I desire that all the water in this pond be drained away, 
without a single fish in it dying/ 

The devils set themselves to the task ; the pond was soon 
empty ; and not one fish in it died. When he arose, he saw 
that there was no longer any water in the pond, and that the 
fish in it remained alive. Filled with joy, he went away to 
the house. 

* Finished already ? * the witch asked him. 

* Yes, mother, I have done it already.' 

Well, she went away out to see. She sees that not a 
single drop of water remained in her pond, but that the 
fish, still living, were like to die for want of water. The 
witch, having then returned home, said to herself, * What 
are we going to do with him now? He has already per- 
formed three feats for me ; I must make him perform yet 
a fourth.' 

She gave him food and drink. He went to bed. 

Next morning, when he arose, the witch said to him, 
* Hearken, you shall have my daughter to wife if you 
accomplish this feat : my pond must be fuller than ever of 
water, and with more fish in it' 

Then he betook himself to the pond, this nobleman's son, 
and began to weep bitterly. * Unhappy that I am, what 
am I going to do now ? ' He sees his wife come bringing 
food. 

* Why are you weeping at such a rate ? I 've told you 
already not to weep any more.' 

He ate ; he lay down with his head in his wife's lap, and 
fell asleep. She whistled, and the devils appeared in great 
numbers. 

* What does her ladyship demand of us ? ' 

* I desire that my pond again be filled with water, and that 
it have more water and more fish than before.' 

Well, she awoke him ; he found the pond full of water. 
He was quite delighted and returned to the house. 

* Finished already ? ' the witch asked him. 

* Yes, mother, I have finished.' 



THE WITCH 195 

She goes out and sees that the pond is full of water and 
fish. She comes into the house again, and says she to her- 
self, * What are we going to do now with him ? However, he 
must be killed to-morrow/ 

She gave him food and drink ; thereafter he went to bed. 

His wife came to him and said, * We must escape this very 
night. But should our mother pursue us, I will then change 
myself into a lovely flower, and you shall change yourself 
into a beautiful meadow.' 

* Very well.' 

* And if you see it is our father that pursues us, then I will 
change myself into a church, and you shall change yourself 
into an old man.' 

* Well.' 

* And if you perceive it is our sister who is coming after 
us, then I shall have to change myself into a duck, and you 
must change yourself into a drake. But I shall no longer 
have the heart to retain myself; she will beseech me, "My 
darling sister, return to us." Thus will she speak to me. 
Then must you, in your form of drake, allow her no rest, but 
beat her senseless with blows of your wings.' 

* All right' 

Well, they set out and took to flight. 

After they had escaped, and had traversed a distance of a 
great many leagues, what do they see? — the eldest sister 
coming after them. As soon as she perceived her, she said 
to her husband, ' Change yourself into a beautiful meadow, 
and I will change myself into a pretty flower.' 

The eldest sister came up, and, finding nobody, said to 
herself, * In the midst of such miserable fields, see, here is a 
beautiful large meadow and a very pretty flower.' Then she 
went home to her mother, the witch. 

* What have you seen ? ' asked her mother. 

' In the midst of a field I saw a beautiful meadow with 
a lovely flower.' 

Her mother stormed at her: 'Why did you not pluck 
that flower? You would have brought them both home 
again.' 

Well, the witch set out herself. Meanwhile they had got 
to a great distance. At length she sees the witch pursuing 
them, and she says to her husband, * I will change myself 



I 
I 
I 

into a church.' 



196 POLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

into a duck swimming in the middle of a pond, and you 
must change yourself into a swan/ ^ 

Well, she changed herself into a duck on a beautiful pond, 
and he changed himself into a swan. Her motlier, the witch, 
making up to them, said to them, * Oh I I am just going to 
capture you, to take you both back with me.' 

She proceeded to drink up the water of the pond. Then 
the swan flung himself upon the witch, and battered in her 
head. 

' That *s what my wife advised me to do,' he remarked. 

Then they renewed their journey, and went away with the 
help of God. They had gone yet some leagues further on ; 
then the father set out in pursuit of them. His daughter 
sees her father coming, and says she to her husband, * Now 
change yourself into an old man, and I will change myself 



The father arrives, but finds nobody. He sees a church in 
the middle of a forest, and he says to himself, this sorcerer^ 
* lam now a hundred years old, but never yet have I seen a 
church in the depths of a forest with an old man inside it' 
So he went back to his house with the good God. When he 
got there, his two daughters said to him, ' Our mother has 
been killed. We knew not that she had exposed all the 
tricks to him, and they have ended by killing our mother.* 

They journeyed still further away into the world. She 
sees, the wife of the nobleman's son, that her youngest sister 
is pursuing them. She says to him, * I will change myself 
into a duck, and do you change yourself into a drake, and 
you must do the same thing to her as you did to my mother.* 

Well, he stopped there and changed himself into a drake, 
and she changed herself into a beautiful duck. Her sister 
came up, and proceeded to entreat her, * My dear sister, come 
back with me, for if you do not I will kill myself 

Then the drake flung himself upon this sister, and battered 
her with blows of his wings, and gave her no respite ; again 
he flung himself on her and battered in her head. Well> 
then they set out, and resumed their journey with the good 
God. 

^ It should by rights be a drake ; still, the swan is suggestive of ' swan- 
maidens.' Nor does she strictly adhere to her self-prescribed rules of meta* 
morphosis. 



THE WITCH 197 

*Now/ said they to themselves, 'nobody will pursue us 
any more.' 

They arrived, this nobleman's son and his wife, at the 
house of that same miller who had hidden him in a sack. 

* So you see, sir, that I have gained my end.' 

* It is very fortunate that you have, by the grace of God. 
We were certain you were dead, and, see, you are still alive.* 

He paid this miller a large sum of money for bringing him 
to the house where his wife was living. He comes home ; 
his mother sees that it is her son, who had been absent from 
home for more than twenty years. His child is now grown 
up. She is filled then with joy, so is his son at his father's 
return; and they all live together with the good, golden 
God. 

*The Witch' is identical with the middle portion (pp. 125-130) of 
Ralston's 'The Water King and Vasilissa the Wise,* collected by 
Afanasief in the Voronej government, South-eastern Russia. Ralston cites 
many variants, among them an Indian one. Cf, also ' Prince Unexpected,' 
a Polish story, No. 17 in Wratislaw's Sixty Slavonic Folk-tales^ pp. 108- 
121. A striking parallel for the recovery of the smock is furnished by 

* La Loulie et la Belle de la Terre' in Dozon's Contes AlbanaiSy pp. 94-5. 
Cf, also Wratislaw's Croatian story, * The She- Wolf,' No. 55, p. 290; 
Georgeakis and Pineau's story from Lesbos, No. 2, 'Le Mont des 
Cailloux,' p. II; and especially Cosquin's ' Chatte Blanche,' No. 32, 
with the valuable notes thereon (ii. 9-28}. The Welsh-Gypsy story of 
' The Green Man of Noman's Land,' No. 63, is almost a variant (there, 
likewise, the hero is tearful) ; so, too, is the Bukowina-Gypsy story, 

* Made over to the Devil ' (No. 34). Cf, the notes on these ; and 
Clouston, i. 182- 1 91, for bird-maidens. The pursuit and the transfor- 
mation into a church and a priest are discussed pretty fully in the 
Introduction. 



CHAPTER VII 
ENGLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

No. 51. — Bobby Rag 

Yeahs an' yeahs an' double yeahs ago, deah wuz a nice 
young Gypsy gal playin' round an ole oak tree. An' up 
corned a squire as she wur a-playin', an' he failed in love 
wid her, an' asked her ef she'd go to his hall an' marry him. 
An' she says, *No, sir, you wouldn't have a pooah Gypsy 
gal like me.' But he meaned so, an' stoled her away an' 
married her. 

Now when he bring'd her home, his mother warn't 'gree- 
able to let hisself down so low as to marry a Gypsy gal. 
So she says, * You '11 hev to go an' 'stry her in de Hundert 
Mile Wood, an' strip her star'-mother-naked, an' bring back 
her clothes and her heart and pluck wid you.' 

And he took'd his hoss, and she jumped up behint him, 
and rid behint him into de wood. You '11 be shuah it wor 
a wood, an ole-fashioned wood we know it should be, wid 
bears an' eagles an' sneks an' wolfs into it. And when he 
took'd her in de wood he says, * Now, I '11 ha' to kill you 
here, an' strip you star'-mother-naked and tek back your 
clothes an' your heart an' pluck wid me, and show dem to 
my mammy.' 

But she begged hard for herself, an' she says, * Deah 's an 
eagle into dat wood, an' he 's gat de same heart an' pluck as 
a Christ'n ; take dat home an' show it to your mammy, an* 
I '11 gin you my clothes as well.' 

So he stript her clothes affer her, an' he kilt de eagle, an' 
took'd his heart an' pluck home, an' showed it to his mammy, 
an' said as he 'd kilt her. 

And she beared him rode aff, an' she wents an, an' she 

106 



BOBBY RAG 199 

wents an, an' she wents an, an* she crep an' crep an her 
poor hens and knees, tell she fun' a way troo de long wood. 
You 'ah shuah she 'd have hard work to fin' a way troo it ; 
an' long an' by last she got to de hedge anear de road, so 
as she 'd hear any one go by. 

Now, in de marnin' deah wuz a young genleman corned 
by an hoss-back, an' he couldn't get his boss by for love nor 
money; an' she hed herself in under de hedge, for she 
wur afrightened 'twor de same man come back to kill her 
agin, an' besides you 'ah shuah she wor ashamed of bein' 
naked. 

An' he calls out, *Ef you 'ah a ghost, go way; but ef 
you 'ah a livin' Christ'n, speak to me.' 

An' she med answer direc'ly, * I 'm as good a Christ'n as 
you are, but not in parable.' ^ 

An' when he sin her, he pull't his deah beautiful topcoat 
aflfer him, an' put it an her. An' he says, * Jump behint me.' 
An' she jumped behint him, an' he rid wi' her to his own 
gret hall. An' deah wuz no speakin' tell dey gat home. 
He knowed she wuz deah to be kilt, an' he galloped as 
hard as he could an his blood-hoss, tell he got to his own 
hall. An' when he bring'd her in, dey wur all struck stunt 
to see a woman naked, wid her beautiful black hair hangin 
down her back in long rinklets. Deh asked her what she 
wuz deah fur, an' she tell'd dem, an' she tell'd dem. An' 
you 'ah shuah dey soon put clothes an her; an' when she 
wuz dressed up, deah warn't a lady in de land more han'some 
nor her. An' his folks wor in delight av her. 

* Now,' dey says, * we '11 have a supper for goers an' comers 
an' all gentry to come at.' 

You 'ah shuah it should be a 'spensible supper an' no 
savation of no money. And deah wuz to be tales tell'd an' 
songs sing'd. An' every wan dat didn't sing't a song had to 
tell't a tale. An' every door wuz bolted for fear any wan 
would mek a skip out. An' it kem to pass to dis' Gypsy 
gal to sing a song; an' de gentleman dat fun' her says, 
* Now, my pretty Gypsy gal, tell a tale.' 

An* de gentleman dat wuz her husband knowed her, an' 
didn't want her to tell a tale. And he says, * Sing a song, 
my pretty Gypsy gal.' 

* Apparel. 



200 ENGLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

An* she says, * I won't sing a song, but I '11 tell a tale. 
An' she says — 

* Bobby rag ! Bobby rag I 

Roun' de oak tree * 

*Pooh! pooh!' says her husband, *dat tale won't do.' 
(Now de ole mother an' de son, dey knowed what wuz 
comin' out) 

* Go on, my pretty Gypsy gal,' says de oder young genle- 
man. * A werry nice tale indeed.' 

So she goes on — 

* Bobby rag ! Bobby rag ! 

Roun' de oak tree. 
A Gypsy I wuz bom*d, 

A lady I wuz bred ; 
Dey made me a coffin 

Afore I wuz dead.' 

' An' dat 's de rogue deah.' 

An' she tell't all de tale into de party, how he wur agoin* 
to kill her an' tek her heart an' pluck home. An' all de 
gentry took't an' gibbeted him alive, both him an* his mother. 
An' dis young squire married her, an' med her a lady for 
life. Ah ! ef we could know her name, an' what breed she 
wur, what a beautiful ting dat would be. But de tale 
doan' say. 

I can offer no exact parallel for this stoiy, though it presents such 
commonplaces of folklore as the marriage of a poor girl by a rich man, 
his mother's jealousy, her order to take the bride into a forest and kill 
her, and bring back her heart or something as a token,^ the substitution 
of some other creature's heart, and the ultimate retribution. The 
husband, however, is nearly always guiltless. The close of our story 
is reminiscent of * Laula' or * Mr. Fox' (pp. 174-5). 



No. 52.— De Little Fox 

In ole formel times, when deh used to be kings an' queens, 
deah wuz a king an' queen hed on'y one darter. And dey 
stored dis darter like de eyes in deir head, an' dey hardly 
would let de wind blow an her, Dey lived in a 'menjus big 
park, an' one way of de park wuz a lodge-house, an' de oder 

^ So in the Bukowina-Gypsy story of • The Mother's Chastisement,' No, 9, 
p. 29, C/, Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales, p. 245, 



DE LITTLE FOX 201 

en* deah wuz a great moat of water. Now dis queen died 
an' lef dis darter. An' she wur a werry han'some gal — 
you 'ah sure she mus' be, bein' a queen's darter. 

In dis heah lodge-house deah wuz an ole woman lived. 
And in dem days deah wur witchcraft. An' de ole king 
used to sont fur her to go up to de palast to work, an' she 
consated herself an' him a bit. So one day dis heah ole 
genleman wuz a-talking to dis ole woman, an' de darter 
gat a bit jealous, an' dis ole woman fun' out dat de darter 
wuz angry, an' she didn't come anigh de house fur a long 
time. 

Now de ole witch wuz lamin' de young lady to sew. So 
she sont fur her to come down to de lodge-house afore she 
hed her breakfast An' de fust day she wents, she picked 
up a kernel of wheat as she wuz coming along, an' eat it. 

An' de witch said to her, ' Have you hed your breakfast? ' 

An' she says, * No.' 

' Have you hed nothin' ? ' she says. 

' No,' she says, * on'y a kernel of wheat.' 

She wents two marnin's like dat, an* picked up a kernel of 
wheat every marnin', so dat de witch would have no powah 
over her — God's grain, you know, sir. But de third marnin' 
she on'y picked up a bit av arange peel, an' den dis ole wise 
woman witchered her, an' after dat she never sont fur her to 
come no more. Now dis young lady got to be big. An' de 
witch wuz glad. So she goned to de king an' she says, 
*Your darter is dat way. Now, you know, she'll hev to 
be 'stry'd.' 

'What! my beautiful han'some darter to be in de fam- 
baley way 1 Oh ! no, no, no, et couldn't be.' 

* But it can be so, an' et es so,' said de ole witch. 

Well, it wuz so, an' de ole king fun' it out and was well- 
nigh crazy. An' when he fun' it out, for shuah dem days 
when any young woman had a misforchant, she used to be 
burnt An' he ordered a man to go an' get an iron chair 
an' a cartload of faggots ; an' she hed to be put in dis iron 
chair, an' dese faggots set of a light rount her, an' she burnt 
to death. As dey had her in dis chair, and a-goin' to set it 
of alight, deah wur an old gentleman come up — dat was my 
ole Dubel ^ to be shuah — an' he says, * My noble leech,* don't 

» God. « Liege. 



202 ENGLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

burn her, nor don't hurt her, nor don't 'stry her, for dere 's 
an ole wessel into de bottom of dat park. Put her in dere, 
an' let her go where God d'rect her to.' 

So dey did do so, an' nevah think'd no more about her. 

Durin' time dis young lady wuz confined of a little fox. 
And d'rectly as he was bornt he says, *My mammy, you 
mus' be werry weak an' low bein' confined of me, an' nothin* 
to eat or drink ; but I must go somewheres, an' get you 
somethin'.' 

' O my deah little fox, don't leave me. What ever shall 
I do without you ? I shall die broken-hearted.' 

* I 'm a-goin' to my gran'father, as I suspose,' says de little 
fox. 

* My deah, you mustn't go, you '11 be worried by de dogs.' 

* Oh ! no dogs won't hurt me, my mammy.' 

Away he goned, trittin' an' trottin' tell he got to his 
gran'fader's hall. When he got up to de gret boarden gates, 
dey wuz closed, an' deah wuz two or tree dogs tied down, 
an' when he goned in de dogs never looked at him. One of 
de women comed outer de hall, an' who should it be but 
dis ole witch ! 

He says, 'Call youah dogs in, missis, an' don't let 'em 
bite me. I wants to see de noble leech belonging to dis 
hall' 

* What do you want to see him fur ? ' 

* I wants to see him for somethin' to eat an' drink fur my 
mammy, she 's werry poorly.' 

* And who are youah mammy ? * 

* Let him come out, he '11 know.' 

So de noble leech comed out, an' he says, * What do you 
want, my little fox ? ' 

He put his hen' up to his head (such manners he had !) : 
* I wants somethin' to eat an' drink fur my mammy, she *s 
werry poorly.' 

So de noble leech tole de cook to fill a basket wid wine 
an' wittles. So de cook done so, and bring'd it to him. 

De noble leech says, * My little fox, you can never carry 
it, I will sen' some one to carry it' 

But he says, 'No, thank you, my noble leech*; an' he 
chucked it on his little back, an' wents tritting an' trotting 
to his mammy. 



DE LITTLE FOX 203 

When he got to his mammy, she says, * O my deah little 
fox, I've bin crazy about you. I thought de dogs had 
eaten you.' 

* No, my mammy, dey turn't deir heads de oder way.' 
An' she took'd him an' kissed him an' rejoiced over him. 

* Now, my mammy, have somethin' to eat an' drink,' says 
de H£lle fox, * I got dem from my grandfather as I suspose 

It IS. 

So he went tree times. An' de secon' time he wents, de 
ole witch began smellin' a rat, an' she says to the servants, 
* Don't let dat little fox come heah no more; he'll get 
worried.' 

But he says, * I wants to see de noble leech,' says de little 
fox. 

* You 'ah werry plaguesome to de noble leech, my little 
fox.' 

' Oh ! no, I 'm not,' he says. 

De las'^time he comes, his moder dressed him in a beautiful 
robe of fine needlework. Now de noble leech comes up 
again to de little fox, an' he says, * Who is youah mammy, 
my little fox ? ' 

* You wouldn't know p'raps ef I wuz to tell you.' 
An' he says, * Who med you dat robe, my little fox ? ' 

* My mammy, to be shuah ! who else should make it ? ' 
An' de ole king wept an cried bitterly when he seed dis 

robe he had, on, fur he think'd his deah child wur dead. 

* Could I have a word wi' you, my noble leech ? ' says de 
little fox. '^Could you* call a party dis afternoon up at your 
hall ? ' 

He says, * What fur, my little fox ? ' 

* Well, ef you call a party, I '11 tell you whose robe dat is, 
but you mus' let my mammy come as well.' 

' No, no, my little fox ; I couldn't have youah mammy to 
come.' 

Well, de ole king agreed, an' de little fox tell'd him, * Now 
deah mus' be tales to be tell'd, an' songs to be sing'd, an' dem 
as don't sing a song hez to tell a tale. An' after we have 
dinner let 's go an* walk about in de garden. But you mus* 
'quaint as many ladies an' genlemen as you can to dis party, 
an' be shuah to bring de ole lady what live at de lodge.' 

Well, dis dinner was called, an' dey all had 'nuff to eat ; 



204 ENGLISH. GYPSY STORIES 

an* after dat wur ovah, de noble leech stood up in de 
middit an* called for a song or tale. Deah wus all songs 
sing*t and tales teirt, tell it earned to dis young lady's tu'n. 
An' she says, * I can't sing a song or tell a tale, but my little 
fox can.* 

* Pooydorda I ' says de ole witch * tu'n out de little fox, he 
stinks.' 

But dey all called an de little fox, an' he stoods up an' 
says, * Once ont a time,' he says, ' deah wuz an ole-fashn't 
king an' queen lived togeder ; an' dey only had one darter, 
an' dey stored dis darter like de eyes into deir head, an' 
dey 'ardly would let de wint blow an her.' 

* Pooydorda I ' says de old witch, * tu'n out de little fox, it 
stinks.' 

But deah wuz all de ladies an' genlemen clappin' an' 
sayin', * Speak an, my little fox I ' ' Well tole, my little fox ! ' 
* Werry good tale, indeed I ' 

So de little fox sp^ak'd an, and tell't dem all about de ole 
witch, an' how she wanted to 'stry de king's darter, an' he 
says, * Dis heah ole lady she fried my mammy a egg an' a 
sliced of bacon ; an' ef she wur to eat it all, she 'd be in de 
fambaley way wid some bad animal ; but she on'y eat half 
on it, an' den she wor so wid me. An' dat 's de ole witch 
deah,' he says, showin' de party wid his little paw. 

An' den, after dis wuz done, an' dey all walked togeder in 
de garden, de little fox says, * Now, my mammy, I 've done 
all de good I can for you, an' now I 'm a-goin' to leave you.' 
An' he strip't afT his little skin, an' he flewed away in de 
beautifulest white angel you ever seed in your life. 

An' de ole witch was burnt in de same chair dat wuz 
meant fur de young lady. 

In the Bukowina-Gypsy story of *The Winged Hero,' No. 26, the 
emperor's daughter, for being * that way,* is to be burnt with her lover ; 
and just as the mother of the little fox is sent adrift in an * ole wessel,' 
so in the Celtic legend is St Thenew or Enoch, having miraculously 
conceived St. Kentigem, exposed in a coracle on the Firth of Forth. 
In her Variants of Cinderella (Folklore Soc, 1893, pp. 307, 507), Miss 
Cox gives an interesting parallel for this husk-myth, whose close 
recalls * Bobby Rag' (No. 51). From Matthew Wood Mr. Sampson 
has heard a variant of ^ De Little Fox,' but very different in details. 



DE LITTLE BULL-CALF 205 

No. 53.— De Little Bull-calf 

Centers of yeahs ago, when all de most part of de country 
wur a wilderness place, deah wuz a little boy lived in a 
pooah bit of a poverty ^ house. An' dis boy's father guv him 
a deah little bull-calf. De boy used to tink de wurl' of dis 
bull-calf, an' his father gived him everyting he wanted fur it. 

Afterward dat his father died, an' his mother got married 
agin ; an' dis wuz a werry wicious stepfather, an' he couldn't 
abide dis little boy. An' at last he said, if de boy bring'd 
de bull-calf home agin, he wur a-goin' to kill it Dis father 
should be a willint to dis deah little boy, shouldn't he, my 
Sampson ? 

He used to gon out tentin' his bull-calf every day wid 
barley bread. An' arter dat deah wus an ole man comed to 
him, an' we have a deal of thought who Dat wuz, eh ? An' 
he d'rected de little boy, 'You an' youah bull-calf had 
better go away an' seek youah forchants.' 

So he wents an, an' wents an, as fur as I can tell you 
to-morrow night,^ an' he wents up to a farmhouse an' begged 
a crust of bread, an' when he comed back he broked it in 
two, and guv half an it to his little bull-calf. 

An' he wents an to another house, an' begs a bit of cheese 
crud, an' when he comed back, he wants to gin half an it to 
his bull-calf. 

' No,' de little bull-calf says, * I 'm a-goin' acrost dis field 
into de wild wood wilderness country, where dere'll be 
tigers, lepers, wolfs, monkeys, an' a fiery dragin. An' I shall 
kill dem every one excep' de fiery dragin, an' he '11 kill me.' 
(De Lord could make any animal speak dose days. You know 
trees could speak wonst. Our blessed Lord He hid in de eldon 
bush, an' it tell't an Him, an* He says, * You shall always 
stink,' and so it always do. But de ivy let Him hide into it, 
and He says. It should be green both winter an' summer.)' 

^ Poverty ='gooif possibly confused with paltry^ is very common among 
English Gypsies. ' Cf, footnote, p. 212. 

' Cf. Noah Young's name for elder, mi-duveVs kandlo ruk (' God's stinking 
tree'); some other Gypsies, including Isaac Herren, call it wuzin, Oliver 
Lee's name for ivy is chirikUskro ruk ('bird's tree'), because it was the tree 
brought back by the dove into the ark, and this is the reason that birds are fond of 
clustering round it. Holly is mi-duveUskro ruk (* God's tree * ; cf, Cornish Aunt 
Marys Tree) ; and Gypsies pitching their tent against a holly-bush are under 
divine protection. — ^J. S. 



2o6 ENGLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

An' dis Httle boy did cry, you 'ah shuah ; and he says, * O 
my little bull-calf, I hope he won't kill you.' 

* Yes, he will,' de little bull-calf says. * An' you climb up 
dat tree, an' den no one can come anigh you but de monkeys, 
an* ef dey come de cheese crud will sef you. An' when I 'm 
kiUt de dragin will go away fur a bit An' you come down 
dis tree, an' skin me, an' get my biggest gut out, an' blow it 
up, an' my gut will kill everyting as you hit wid it, an' 
when dat fiery dragin come, you hit it wid my gut, an' den 
cut its tongue out.' (We know deah were fiery dragins dose 
days, like George an' his dragin in de Bible. But deah ! it 
aren't de same wurl' now. De wurl' is tu'n'd ovah sence, 
like you tu'n'd it ovah wid a spade.) 

In course he done as dis bull-calf tell't him, an' he climb't 
up de tree, an' de monkeys climb't up de tree to him. An' 
he belt de cheese crud in his hend, an' he says, * I '11 squeeze 
youah heart like dis flint stone.' 

An' de monkey cocked his eye, much to say, ' Ef you can 
squeeze a flint stone an' mek de juice come outer it, you 
can squeeze me.' An' he never spoked, for a monkey 's 
cunning,^ but down he went. 

An' de little bull-calf wuz fighting all dese wild tings on 
de groun' ; an' de Httle boy wuz clappin' his hands up de 
tree an' sayin', * Go an, my little bull-calf! Well fit, my little 
bull-calf!' An' he mastered everyting barrin' de fiery 
dragin. An' de fiery dragin killt de little bull-calf 

An' he wents an, an' saw a young lady, a king's darter, 
staked down by de hair of her head. (Dey wuz werry 
savage dat time of day kings to deir darters if dey mis- 
behavioured demselfs, an' she wuz put deah fur de fiery 
dragin to 'stry her.) 

An' he sat down wid her several hours, an' she says, ' Now, 
my deah little boy, my time is come when I 'm a-goin' to be 
worried, an' you '11 better go.' 

An' he says, * No,' he says, ' I can master it, an' I won't go.' 

She begged an' prayed an him as ever she could to get 
him away, but he wouldn't go. An' he could heah it comin' 
far enough, roarin' an' doin'. An' dis dragin come spitting 
fire, wid a tongue like a gret speart: an' you could heah 

* 'As cunning as a bushel o* monkeys * is a favourite figure of a Gypsy friend 
of mine. 



DE LITTLE BULL-CALF 207 

it roarin' fur milts ; an' dis place wheah de king's darter wur 
staked down wuz his beat wheah he used to come. And 
when it corned, de little boy hit dis gut about his face tell he 
wuz dead, but de fiery dragin bited his front finger affer 
him. Den de little boy cut de fiery dragin's tongue out, an* 
he says to de young lady, * I Ve done all dat I can, I mus' 
leave you.' An' you 'ah shuah she wuz sorry when he hed to 
leave her, an' she tied a dimant ring into his hair, an' said 
good-bye to him. 

Now den, bime bye, de ole king comed up to de werry 
place where his darter wuz staked by de hair of her head, 
'mentin' an' doin', an' espectin' to see not a bit of his darter, 
but de prents of de place where she wuz. An' he wuz 
disprised, an' he says to his darter, * How come you seft ? ' 

*Why, deah wuz a little boy comed heah an* sef me, 
daddy.' 

Den he untied her, an' took'd her home to de palast, for 
you' ah shuah he wor glad, when his temper comed to him 
agin. Well, he put it into all de papers to want to know 
who seft dis gal, an' ef de right man comed he wur to marry 
her, an' have his kingdom an' all his destate. Well, deah 
wuz gentlemen comed fun all an' all parts of England, wid 
deir front fingers cut aff, an' all an' all kinds of tongues — 
foreign tongues, an' beast^s' tongues, an' wile animals' 
tongues. Dey cut all sorts of tongues out, an' dey went 
about shootin' tings a-purpose, but dey never could find 
a dragin to shoot. Deah wuz genlemen comin* every other 
day wid tongues an' dimant rings ; but when dey showed 
deir tongues, it warn't de right one, an' dey got turn't aff. 

An' dis little ragged boy comed up a time or two werry 
desolated like ; an' she had an eye on him, an* she looked 
at dis boy, tell her father got werry angry an' turn't dis 
boy out, 

' Daddy,* she says, * I 've got a knowledge to dat boy.' 

You may say deah wuz all kinds of kings' sons comin' up 
showin' deir parcels ; an' arter a time or two dis boy comed 
up agin dressed a bit better. 

An' de ole king says, * I see you 've got an eye on dis boy. 
An' ef it is to be him, it has to be him.' 

All de oder genlemen wuz fit to kill him, an' dey says, 
* Pooh ! pooh 1 tu'n dat boy out ; it can't be him.' 



208 ENGLISH-GYPSY STORIES 

But de ole king says, * Now, my boy, let 's see what you 
got/ 

Well, he showed the dimant ring, with her name into it, 
an' de fiery dragin*s tongue, Dordi! how dese genlemen 
were mesmerised when he showed his 'thority, and de king 
tole him, * You shall have my destate, an' marry my darter.' 

An' he got married to dis heah gal, an' got all de ole 
king's destate. An* den de stepfather came an' wanted to 
own him, but de young king didn't know such a man. 

A bull-calf helps twins in a Russian story summarised by Ralston, 
p. 134 ; the squeezing of the cheese crud can be matched from the 
Slovak-Gypsy story of *The Gypsy and the Dragon' (No. 22, p. 84; 
cf, also Hahn, i. 152 and ii. 211). For the slaying of a dragon with the 
aid of helpful animals, and so rescuing a princess, and for the recognition 
of the rescuer by means of the dragon's tongues, cf. Grimm's No. 60, 
*The Two Brothers' (i. 244-264 and 418-422). That story must be 
known to the Gypsies of Hungary, for we get a rude version of it in the 
latter half of Dr. Friedrich MuUer's No. 5, whose first half we have 
summarised on p. 34. The hero here comes to a city deprived of its 
water by twelve dragons, who are also going to devour the king's 
daughter. He undertakes to rescue her, but falls asleep with his head 
on her knees. The twelve white dragons roar beneath the earth, and 
then emerge one by one from the fountain, but are torn in pieces by the 
hero's twelve wild animals, whose lives he has spared when hunting. 
Thereupon the water becomes plentiful, and the hero marries the 
princess. Her former lover, however, poisons him. The twelve animals 
find his grave, and dig him up. They go in quest of the healing herb ; 
and the hare, ' whose eyes are always open,' sees a snake with that herb 
in its mouth, robs it thereof, and is running away, but at the snake's 
request gives back a bit. They then resuscitate their master, who sends 
a challenge to the lover by the lion. The marriage is just about to 
come off, but the princess reads, weeps, and breaks off the match. In 
comes the hero, and having packed off the lover, remarries her. * If 
they are not dead, they are still alive.' Cf, our No. 30, *The Rich and 
the Poor Brother,* pp. 1 12-1 17, for stopping the water ^ ; No. 29, * Pretty- 
face,' p. Ill, for the snake-leaf; and No. 42, *The Dragon,' p. 143. 
None of these stories, however, offers more than analogues to ' De Little 
Bull-calf,' whose humour as to the dragon's tongue is peculiarly its own. 
The tongue as the test of who killed the demon occurs in ' Kara and 
Guja' (A. Campbell's Santal Folk-tales^ 1891, pp. 20-21). 



^ Cf, also Hahn, Nos. 22, 70, 98, and i. 30S. 



CHAPTER VIII 
WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

No. 54. — Jack and his Golden Snuff-box 

Once upon a time there was an old man and an old woman, 
and they had one son, and they lived in a great forest And 
their son never saw any other people in his life, but he knew 
that there was some more in the world besides his own father 
and mother, because he had lots of books, and he used to 
read every day about them. And when he read about some 
pretty young women, he used to go mad to see some of 
them. Till one day, when his father was out cutting wood, 
he told his mother that he wished to go away to look for his 
living in some other country, and to see some other people 
besides them two. And he said, * I see nothing at all here 
but great trees around me ; and if I stay here, maybe I shall 
go mad before I see anything.' 

The young man's father was out all this time, when the 
conversation was going on between him and his poor old 
mother. 

The old woman begins by saying to her son before leaving, 
* Well, well, my poor boy, if you want to go, it 's better for 
you to go, and God be with you.' (The old woman thought 
for the best when she said that.) * But stop a bit before you 
go. Which would you like best for me to make you — a little 
cake and to bless you, or a big cake and to curse you ? ' 

' Dear I dear I ' said he, * make me a big cake. Maybe I 
shall be hungry on the road.' 

The old woman made the big cake, and she went on 
top of the house, and she cursed him as far as she could 
see him. 

He presently meets with his father, and the old man says 
to him, * Where are you going, my poor boy ? ' When the 
son told the father the same tale as he told his mother, 

O 



2IO WELSH. GYPSY STORIES 

* Well/ says his father, ' I 'm sorry to see you going away, 
but if you 've made your mind to go, it *s better for you 
to go; 

The poor lad had not gone far, till his father called him 
back ; when the old man drawed out of his pocket a golden 
snuff-box, and said to him, ' Here, take this little box, and 
put it in your pocket, and be sure not to open it till you are 
near your death.' 

And away went poor Jack upon his road, and walked till 
he was tired and hungry, for he had eaten all his cake upon 
the road ; and by this time night was upon him, as he could 
hardly see his way before him. He could see some light a 
long way before him, and he made up to it, and found the 
back door and knocked at it, till one of the maidservants 
came and asked him what he wanted. He said that night 
was on him, and he wanted to get some place to sleep. The 
maidservant called him in to the fire, and gave him plenty 
to eat, good meat and bread and beer ; and as he was eating 
his refreshments by the fire, there came the young lady to 
look at him. And she loved him well, and he loved her. 
And the young lady ran to tell her father, and said there 
was a pretty young man in the back kitcheiL And immedi- 
ately the gentleman came to him, and questioned him, and 
asked what work he could do. He said, the silly fellow, 
that he could do anything. (Jack meant that he could do 
any foolish bit of work, what would be wanted about the 
house.) 

' Well,' says the gentleman to him, * at eight o'clock in the 
morning I must have a great lake and some of the laigest 
man-of-war vessels sailing before my mansion, and one of 
the largest vessels must fire a royal salute, and the last 
round break the leg of the bed where my young daughter is 
sleeping on. And if you don't do that, you will have to 
forfeit your life.' 

' All right,' said Jack. And away he went to his bed, and 
said his prayers quietly, and slept till it was near eight 
o'clock, and he had hardly any time to think what he was to 
do, till all of a sudden he remembered about the little golden 
box that his father gave him. And he said to himself, 

* Well, well, I never was so near my death as I am now ' ; 
and then he felt in his pocket, and drew the little box out 



JACK AND HIS GOLDEN SNUFF-BOX 211 

And when he opened it, there hopped out three little red 
men and asked Jack, * What is your will with us?' 

'Well/ said Jack, ' I want a g^reat lake and some of the 
largest man-of-war vessels in the world before this mansion^ 
and one of the largest vessels to fire a royal salute, and the 
last round to break one of the legs of the bed where this 
young lady is sleeping on/ 

• All right,* said the little men ; ' go to sleep.' 

Jack had hardly time to bring the words out of his mouth, 
to tell the little men what to do, but what it struck eight 
o'clock, when bang, bang went one of the largest man-of-war 
vessels ; and it made Jack jump out of bed to look through 
the window. And I can assure you it was a wonderful sight 
for him to see, after being so long with his father and mother 
living in a wood. 

By this time Jack dressed himself, and said his prayers, 
and came down laughing, because he was proud, he was, 
because the thing was done so well. The gentleman comes 
to him, and sa3rs to him, ' Well, my young man, I must say 
that you are very clever indeed. Come and have some 
breakfast' And the gentleman tells him, ' Now there are 
two more things you have to do, and then you shall have 
my daughter in marriage.' Jack gets his breakfast, and has 
a good squint at the young lady, and also she at him. 

(However, I must get on again with my dear little story.) 

The other thing that the gentleman told him to do was to 
fell all the great trees for miles around by eight o'clock in 
the morning ; and, to make my long story short, it was done, 
and it pleased the gentleman welL The gentleman said to 
him, ' The other thing you have to do ' (and it was the last 
thing), 'you must get me a g^reat castle standing on tu-elve 
golden pillars ; and there must come r^ments of soldiers, 
and go through their drill. At eight o'clock the command- 
ing officer must say, " Shoulder up."'* • All right,' said Jack ; 
when the third and last morning came and the three great 
feats were finished, when he had the young daughter in 



But, oh dear ! there is worse to come yet 
The gentleman now makes a large hunting party, and 
invites all the gentlemen around the country to it, and to 

* C/i footnote on p. Ii8w John Roberu also was an old soldier. 



212 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

see the castle as well. And by this time Jack has a beautiful 
horse and a scarlet dress to go with them. On that morningf 
his valet, when putting Jack's clothes by, after changing 
them to go a-hunting, put his hand in one of Jack's waist- 
coat pockets and pulled out the little golden snuff-box, as 
poor Jack left behind in a mistake. And that man opened the 
little box, and there hopped the three little red men out, and 
asked him what he wanted with them. *Well,* said the 
valet to them, * I want this castle to be moved from this 
place far and far across the sea.' * All right,' said the little 
red men to him, *do you wish to go with it ? ' * Yes,* said he. 
* Well, get up,' said they to him ; and away they went, far 
and far over the great sea. 

Now the grand hunting party comes back, and the castle 
upon the twelve golden pillars disappeared, to the great 
disappointment of those gentleman as did not see it before* 
That poor silly Jack is threatened by taking his beautiful 
young wife from him, for taking them in the way he did* 
But the gentleman is going to make a 'greement with him,, 
and he is to have a twelvemonths and a day to look for it ; 
and off he goes with a good horse and money in his pocket. 

Now poor Jack goes in search of his missing castle, over 
hills, dales, valleys, and mountains, through woolly woods 
and sheepwalks, further than I can tell you to-night or ever 
intend to tell you.^ Until at last he comes up to the place 
where lives the King of all the little mice in the world. 
There was one of the little mice on sentry at the front gate 
going up to the palace, and did try to stop Jack from going 
in. He asked the little mouse, ' Where does the King live ? 
I should like to see him.' This one sent another with him 
to show him the place ; and when the King saw him, he 
called him in. And the King questioned him, and asked 
him where he was going that way. Well, Jack told him all 
the truth, that he had lost the great castle, and was going to 
look for it, and he had a whole twelvemonths and a day to 
find it out. And Jack asked him whether he knew anything 
about it ; and the King said, * No, but I am the King of all 

^ Much the same phrase recurs in 'An Old King and his three Sons in 
England* (No. 55), and in * Ashypelt * (No. 57). Cf. also Goldsmith's Vicar of 
Wakefield^ chapter xiii. : — * They now travelled far, and farther than I can tell, 
till they met with a company of robbers.' 



JACK AND HIS GOLDEN SNUFF-BOX 213 

the little mice in the world, and I will call them all up in the 
morning, and maybe they have seen something of it/ 

Then Jack got a good meal and bed, and in the morning 
he and the King went on to the fields ; and the King called 
all the mice together, and asked them whether they had 
seen the great beautiful castle standing on golden pillars. 
And all the little mice said, No, there was none of them had 
seen it. The old King said to him that he had two other 
brothers : * One is the King of all the frogs ; and my other 
brother, who is the oldest, he is the King of all the birds in 
the world. And if you go there, maybe they know some- 
thing about it ' (the missing castle). The King said to him, 
■* Leave your horse here with me till you come back, and 
•take one of my best horses under you, and give this cake 
to my brother; he will know then who you got it from. 
Mind and tell him I am well, and should like dearly to see 
him.' 

And then the King and Jack shook hands together. And 
when Jack was going through the gates, the little mouse 
asked him should he go with him ; and Jack said to him, 
'' No, I shall get myself into trouble with the King.' 

And the little thing told him, * It will be better for you to 
have me go with you ; maybe I shall do some good to you 
sometime without you knowing it' 

'Jump up, then.' 

And the little mouse ran up the horse's leg, and made it 
dance ; and Jack put the mouse in his pocket. Now Jack, 
after wishing good-morning to the King, and pocketing the 
little mouse which was on sentry, trudged on his way. And 
such a long way he had to go, and this was his first day. 
At last he found the place ; and there was one of the frogs 
en sentry, and gun upon his shoulder, and did try to hinder 
Jack not to go in. And when Jack said to him that he 
wanted to see the King, he allowed him to pass ; and Jack 
made up to the door. The King came out, and asked him his 
business ; and Jack told him all from beginning to ending. 

' Well, well, come in.' 

He gets good entertainment that night ; and in the morn- 
ing the King made a curious sound, and collected all the 
frogs in the world. And he asked them, did they know or 
see anything of a castle that stood upon twelve golden 



214 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

pillars. And they all made a curious sound, Kro-krOy kro-kro, 
and said * No/ 

Jack had to take another horse, and a cake to his brother 
which is the King of all the fowls of the air. And as Jack 
was going through the gates, the little frog which was on 
sentry asked John should he go with him. Jack refused 
him for a bit ; but at last he told him to jump up, and Jack 
put him in his other waistcoat pocket. And away he went 
again on his great long journey ; it was three times as long 
this time as it was the first day ; however, he found the 
place, and there was a fine bird on sentry. And Jack passed 
him, and he never said a word to him. And he talked with 
the King, and told him everything, all about the castle. 

* Well,' said the King to him, * you shall know in the morn- 
ing from my birds whether they know anything or not' 

Jack put up his horse in the stable, and then went to bed> 
after having something to eat. And when he got up in the 
morning, the King and he went on to some fields, and there 
the King made some funny noise, and there came all the 
fowls that were in all the world.* And the King asked them> 
Did they see the fine castle? and all the birds answered, * No.' 

* Well,' said the king, ' where is the great bird ? ' 

They had to wait, then, for a long time for eagle to make 
his appearance, when at last he came all in a perspiration^ 
after sending two little birds high up in the sky to whistle 
on him to make all the haste he possibly could. The King 
asked the great bird, Did he see the great castle ? 

And the bird said, * Yes, I came from there where it now is.* 

* Well,' says the King, ' this young gentleman has lost it, 
and you must go with him back to it. But stop till you get 
a bit of something to eat first' 

They killed a thief, and sent the best part of it to feed the 
eagle on his journey over the seas, and had to carry Jack 
on his back. Now, when they came in sight of the castle,, 
they did not know what to do to get the little golden box. 
Well, the little mouse said to them, * Leave me down, and 
I will get the little box for you.' So the mouse stole him- 
self in the castle, and had a hold of the box ; and when he 
was coming down the stairs, fell it down, and very near being 
caught He came running out with it, laughing his best. 

* Cf, notes on * The Green Man of Noman*s Land,' No. 62. 



JACK AND HIS GOLDEN SNUFF-BOX 215 

' Have you got it ? ' Jack said to him. 

He said, * Yes ' ; and off they went back again, and left 
the castle behind. As they were all of them (Jack, mouse, 
frog, and eagle) passing over the great sea, they fell to 
quarrelling about which it was that got the little box, till 
down it slipped into the water. (It was by them looking 
at it, and handing it from one hand to the other, that they 
dropped the little box in the bottom of the sea.) 

* Well, well,' said the frog, * I knew as I would have to do 
something, so you had better let me go down in the water.* 

And they let him go, and he was down for three days and 
three nights ; and up he comes, and shows his nose and little 
mouth out of the water. And all of them asked him, * Did 
he get it ? ' and he told them, ' No.' 

* Well, what are you doing there, then ? ' 

* Nothing at all,' he said ; * only I want my full breath ' ; 
and the poor little frog went down the second time, and he 
was down for a day and a night, and up he brings it. 

And away they did go, after being there four days and 
nights; and, after a long tug over seas and mountains, 
arrive at the old King's palace, who is the master of all the 
birds in the world. And the King is very proud to see them, 
and has a hearty welcome and a long conversation. Jack 
opens the little box, and told the little men to go back and 
to bring the castle here to them. * And all of you make as 
much haste back again as you possibly can.' 

The three little men went off; and when they came near 
the castle, they were afraid to go to it, till the gentleman 
and lady and all the servants were gone out to some dance. 
And there was no one left behind there, only the cook and 
another maid with her. And it happened to be that a poor 
Gypsy woman, knowing that the family was going from 
home, made her way to the castle to try to tell the cook's 
fortune for a bit of victuals, was there at the time. And the 
little red men asked her, ' Which would she rather — go or 
stop behind ? ' 

And she said, ' I will go with you.' 

And they told her to run upstairs quick. She was no 
sooner up and in one of the drawing-rooms than there comes 
just in sight the gentleman and lady and all the servants. 
But it was too late. Off they went at full speed, and the 



2i6 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

Gypsy woman laughing at them through the window, making 
motion for them to stop, but all to no purpose. They were 
nine days on their journey, in which they did try to keep 
the Sunday holy, by one of the little men turned to be priest, 
the other the clerk, and third presided at the organ, and the 
three women were the singers (cook, housemaid, and Gypsy 
woman), as they had a grand chapel in the castle already. 
Very remarkable, there was a discord made in the music, 
and one of the little men ran up one of the organ-pipes to 
see where the bad sound came from, when he found out that 
it only happened to be that the three women were laughing 
at the little red man stretching his little legs full length on 
the bass pipes, also his two arms the same time, with his 
little red nightcap, what he never forgot to wear, and what 
they never witnessed before, could not help calling forth 
some good meiriment while on the face of the deep. And, 
poor things! through them not going on with what they 
begun with, they very near came to danger, as the castle 
was once very near sinking in the middle of the sea. 

At length, after merry journey, they come again to Jack 
and the King. The King was quite struck with the sight 
of the castle ; and going up the golden stairs, wishing to 
see the inside, when the first one that attracted his attention 
was the poor Gypsy woman. And he said to her, * How are 
you, sister ? ' 

She said to him, * I am very well. How are you ? ' 

* Quite well/ said he to her ; * come into my place, to have 
a talk with you, and see who you are, and who your people 
are.' 

The old Gypsy woman told him that some of her people 
were some of them from the Lovells, Stanleys, Lees, and I 
don't know all their names. The King and Jack was very 
much pleased with the Gypsy woman's conversation, but 
poor Jack's time was drawing to a close of a twelvemonths 
and a day. And he, wishing to go home to his young wife, 
gave orders to the three little men to get ready by the next 
morning at eight o'clock to be off to the next brother, and 
to stop there for one night ; also to proceed from there to 
the last or the youngest brother, the master of all the mice 
in the world, in such place where the castle shall be left 
under his care until it 's sent for. Jack takes a farewell of 



JACK AND HIS GOLDEN SNUFF-BOX 217 

the King, and thanks him very much for his hospitality, and 
tells him not to be surprised when he shall meet again in 
some other country. 

Away went Jack and his castle again, and stopped one 
night in that place ; and away they went again to the third 
place, and there left the castle under his care. As Jack had 
to leave the castle behind, he had to take to his own horse, 
which he left there when he first started. The king liked 
the Gypsy woman well, and told her that he would like if 
she would stay there with him ; and the Gypsy woman did 
stay with him until she was sent for by Jack. 

Now poor Jack leaves his castle behind and faces towards 
home ; and after having so much merriment with the three 
brothers every night, Jack became sleepy on horseback, and 
would have lost the road if it was not for the little men 
a-guiding him. At last he arrives, weary and tired, and 
they did not seem to receive him with any kindness what- 
ever, because he did not find the stolen castle. And to 
make it worse, he was disappointed in not seeing his young 
and beautiful wife to come and meet him, through being 
hindered by her parents. But that did not stop long. Jack 
put full power on. Jack despatched the little men off to 
bring the castle from there, and they soon got there ; and 
the first one they seen outside gather sticks to put on the 
fire was the poor Gypsy woman. And they did whistle ^ to 
her, when she turned around smartly and said to them, 
^ Dordi! dordi!^ how are you, comrades? where do you 
come from, and where are you going ? ' 

* Well, to tell the truth, we are sent to take this castle from 
here. Do you wish to stop here or to come with us ? ' 

' I would like better to go with you than to stay here.' 

* Well, come on, my poor sister.' 

Jack shook hands with the King, and returned many thanks 
for his kingly kindness. When, all of a sudden, the King, 
seeing the Gypsy woman, which he fell in so much fancy 
with, and whom he so much liked, was going to detain the 
castle until such time he could get her out But Jack, per- 
ceiving his intentions, and wanting the Gypsy woman him- 

^ Gypsies have different kinds of whistles, one peculiar to each family, by 
which they can recognise one another at a distance or in the dark. 
* Dordi=^ * look -ye,' a common Gypsy exclamation. 



2i8 WELSH. GYPSY STORIES 

self for a nurse, instructed the little men to spur up and put 
speed on. And off they went, and were not long before they 
reached their journey's end, when out comes the young wife 
to meet him with a fine lump of a young SON. 

Now, to make my long story short. Jack, after completing 
what he did, and to make a finish for the poor broken- 
hearted Gypsy woman, he has the loan of one of his father- 
in-law's largest man-of-wars, which is laying by anchor, and 
sends the three little men in search of her kinsfolk, so as 
they may be found, and to bring them to her. After long 
searching they are found and brought back, to the great joy 
of the woman and delight of his wife's people-in-law, for 
after a bit they became very fond of each other. When they 
came on land. Jack's people allowed them to camp on their 
ground near a beautiful river ; and the gentlemen and ladies 
used to go and see for them every day. Jack and his wife 
had many children, and had some of the Gypsy girls for 
nurses; and the little children were almost half Gypsies, 
for the girls continually learning them our language. And 
the gentleman and the lady were delighted with them. And 
the last time I was there, I played my harp for them, and 
got to go again. 

This story, like the next, was first printed in my In Gyfisy Tents (1880), 
pp. 201-214 and 299-317. Thence both have been reprinted, with addi- 
tions and deletions of his own, by Mr. Joseph Jacobs in his English 
Fatty Tales (1890), pp. 81-92, 236, and More English Fairy Tales 
(1894), pp. 132-145, 232-233. They are not English fairy-tales at all; 
neither were they * taken down from the mouths of the peasantry.' Both 
were written out for me by the Welsh-Gypsy harper, John Roberts, for 
whom see the Introduction. I still have his neatly- written Mss., from 
one of which the second story of * An Old King and his Three Sons in 
England ' was printed verbatim et literatim at Messrs. T, and A. Con- 
stable's for the Gypsy Lore Journal {yo\. iii. October 1891, pp. 110-120). 
I insist upon this the more as it is all but unique to find the teller of a 
folk-tale who can himself transcribe it The story belongs to the Aladdin 
group ; and according to Mr. Jacobs, ' the closest parallel to it, including 
the mice, is afforded by Camoy and Nicolaides' Traditions Populaires 
de PAsie Mineure (1889), in a tale from Lesbos, ^L'Anneau de Bronze,' 
No. 3, pp. 57-74. A much closer parallel, however, is afforded by 
WratislaVs Sixty Slavonic Folh-tales (iS^g), in the Croatian story of 
* The Wonder-working Lock,' No. 54, pp. 284-289, with which compare 
a poorish Bohemian variant, ' La Montre Enchantde,' in Louis Leger's 
Contes Slaves (1882, No. 15, pp. 129-137) ; Hahn's * Von den drei dank- 
baren Thieren * (No. 9, 1, 109, and ii. 202) ; and two stories, Nos. 9 and 10, 



JACK AND HIS GOLDEN SNUFF-BOX 219 

both called 'Le Serpent Reconnaisant/ in Dozen's Conies Albanais 
(188 1, pp. 63-76, and 219-222), in the former of which the talisman is a 
snakestone, in the latter a todctccoAiox (of course, a mere coincidence). 
All these four stories offer analogies to our Roumanian-Gypsy ' Snake 
who became the King's Son-in-law' (No. 7, p. 21). Grimm's No. 97, 
' The Water of Life ' (ii. 50, 399), should also be compared ; and * Sir 
Bumble,' in F. A. Steel's Wide-awake StorieSy pp. 5-16. The little cake 
and blessing, or big cake and curse, recurring in *The Ten Rabbits,' 
No. 64, comes also in * The Red Etin * (Chambers's Popular Rhymes of 
Scotland^ p. 90), in Campbell's West Highland Tales^ Nos. 13, 16, and 
17, and in Patrick Kennedy's Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts^ 
pp. 5, 54. In the Bukowina-Gypsy story, 'Made over to the Devil* 
(No. 34), the mother makes a cake for her departing son, but there 
is no word of curse or blessing. For many more variants (Arabic, 
Mongolian, Tamil, Greek, etc.) of ' Aladdin,* see Clouston's Variants 
of Burton^ s Supplemental Arabian Nights^ pp. 564-575. ' The elements,' 
he observes, 'of the tale are identical in all versions, Eastern and 
Western : a talisman by means of which its possessor can command 
unlimited wealth, etc. ; its loss and the consequent disappearance 
of the magnificent palace erected by supernatural agents who are 
subservient to the owner of the talisman ; and, finally, its recovery, 
together with the restoration of the palace to its original situation.' 
The words apply strikingly to 'Jack and his Golden Snuff-box,' of 
whose existence Mr. Clouston was ignorant when he wrote them. 
Lastly — this is a find since I began this note — a marvellously close 
parallel to * The Wonder-working Lock ' and * La Montre Enchant^e * 
is offered by * The Wonderful Ring,* in F. A. Steel's Wide-awake Stories 
from the Panjab and Kashmir, pp. 196-208. Here the hero with his 
last four rupees buys a cat, dog, parrot, and snake ; receives from snake's 
grateful father a talismanic ring ; builds by means of it a golden palace 
in the sea, and marries a princess ; has the ring stolen by a witch, who 
sleeps with it in her mouth ; but recovers it, thanks to the grateful 
animals, who tickle the witch's nose with a rat's tail. Another Oriental 
version is * The Charmed Ring,' in Knowles's Folk-tales of Kashmir^ pp. 
20-28. Of this story and its Croatian, Albanian, and other variants we 
get a fragment in Dr. Barbu Constantinescu's Roumanian-Gypsy story 
of * The Stolen Ox.' Here a peasant and his twelve sons are starving. 
He goes begging, but no one will give him anything, so he steals an ox 
from a farmer. The farmer next morning goes to look after his cattle, 
misses the ox, and, going in search of it, comes on the boys in the road. 
' What are you doing there, boys ? ' * Just playing.* ' But last night you 
were roaring for hunger.' * Yes ; but my daddy went to a farm and 
stole an ox, and my daddy killed it. He killed the ox, he did, and we 
ate half the ox, and half remained, and my daddy buried it in the earth, 
wrapped up in the hide.* The farmer goes and demands payment of 
the peasant, who gives him one of his sons to serve him for seven years. 
The lad serves the farmer faithfully, and at the end of his term sets off 
home. On his way he ' lights on a dragon, and in the snake's mouth was 
a stag. Nine years had that snake had the stag in his mouth, and been 



220 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

trying to swallow it, but could not because of the horns. Now that 
snake was a prince. And seeing the lad, whom God had sent his way, 
** Lad," said the snake, " relieve me of this stag's horns, for I Ve been 
going about nine years with it in my mouth." So the lad broke oiT the 
horns, and the snake swallowed the stag. '* My lad, tie me round your 
neck, and carry me to my father, for he doesn't know where I am." So 
he carried him to his father, and his father rewarded him. And I came 
away, and told the tale.' 

No. 55. — An Old King and his three Sons in 

England 

Once upon a time there was an old King, who had three 
sons. And the old King fell very sick one time, and there 
was nothing at all could make him well but some golden 
apples from a far country. So the three brothers went on 
horseback to look for some of those apples to recover their 
father. The three brothers set off together ; and when they 
come to some cross-roads, they halted and refreshed them- 
selves a bit. And there they agreed to meet on a certain 
time, and not one was to go home before the other. So 
Valentine took the right, and Oliver ^ went on straight, and 
poor Jack took the left And, so as to make my long story 
short, I shall follow poor Jack, and leave the other two take 
their chance, for I don't think they was much good in them. 
Well, now, poor Jack rides off over hills, dales, valleys, and 
mountains, through woolly woods and sheepwalks, where 
the Old Chap never sounded his hollow bugle horn, further 
than I can tell you to-night, or ever I intend to tell you.^ 

At last he came to some old house near a great forest, and 
there was some old man sitting out by the door, and his 
look was enough to frighten the Devil. And the old man said 
to him, * Good-morning, my king's son.' 

* Good-morning to you, old gentleman,' was the answer by 
the young prince, and frightened out of his wits, but he did 
not like to give in. 

The old gentleman told him to dismount and to go in and 
have some refreshments, and to put his horse in the stable, 
such as it was. After going in, and Jack feeling much better 
after having something to eat, and after his long ride, began 

' Valentine and Oliver are both Welsh -Gipsy Christian names. 
' See footnote on p. 212. 



OLD KING AND HIS THREE SONS 221 

to ask the old gentleman how did he know that he was a 
king's son ? 

* Oh dear ! ' said the old man, * I knew that you was a 
king's son, and I knew what is your business better than 
what you do yourself. So you will have to stay here to- 
night ; and when you are in bed, you mustn't be frightened 
when you hear something come to you. There will come 
all manner of snakes and frogs, and some will try to get 
into your eyes and into your mouth. And mind,' the old 
man said, * if you stir the least bit, then you will turn into 
one of those thfngs yourself.' 

Poor Jack did not know what to make of this, but how- 
ever, he ventured to go to bed ; and just as he thought to have 
a bit o' sleep, here they came around him, but he never 
stirred one bit all night 

* Well, my young son, how are you this morning ? ' 

* Oh ! I am very well, thank you, but I did not have much 
rest' 

' Well, never mind that You have got on very well so 
far, but you have a great deal to go through before you can 
have the golden apples to go to your father. So now you 
better come to have some breakfast before you start on your 
way to my other brother's house. Now you will have to 
leave your own horse here with me, until you come back 
here again to me, and to tell me everything about how you 
got on.* 

After that out comes a fresh horse for the young prince. 
And the old man give him a ball of yarn ; and he flung it 
between the horse's two ears. And off he goes as fast as 
the wind, which the wind behind could not catch the wind 
before, until he came to his second oldest brother's house* 
When he rode up to the door, he had the same salute as he 
had from the first old man ; but this one was much uglier 
than the first one. He had long grey hair, and his teeth 
was curling out of his mouth, and his finger and toe nails 
were not cut for many thousands of years. So I shall leave 
you to guess what sort of a looking being he was, but still 
his R6mani speech was soft and nice, much different to his 
younger brother. He puts his horse in a much better stable^ 
and calls him in, and gives him plenty to eat and drink, and 
lots of tobacco and brandy. And they have a bit of chat 



222 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

before they goes to bed. When the old man asks him many 
questions : * Well, my young son, I suppose that you are 
one of the King's children, and come to look for the golden 
apples to recover him, because he is sick ? * 

Jack, — * Yes ; I am the youngest of the three brothers, and 
I should like well to get them to go back with.' 

Old Man, — 'Well, don't mind, my young son. I will 
send before you to-night to my oldest brother, when you go 
to bed, and I will say all to him what you want, and then he 
will not have much trouble to send you on to the place 
where you must go to get them. But you must mind to- 
night not to stir when you hear those things biting and sting- 
ing you, or else you will work great mischief to yourself.' 

The young man went to bed, and beared all, as he did the 
first night, and got up the next morning well and hearty, 
and thought a good deal of the old man's R6mani way the 
night before. After a good breakfast, and passing some few 
remarks, What a curious place that was, when the old man 
should say, * Yes ' to him, * you will see a more curious place 
soon ; and I hope I shall see you back here all right' 
When out comes another fresh horse, and a ball of yam to 
throw between his ears. The old man tells him to jump up, 
and said to him that he has made it all right with his oldest 
brother to give him a quick reception, and not to delay any 
whatever, * as you have a good deal to go through in a very 
short and quick time.' 

He flung the ball, and off he goes as quick as lightning, 
and comes to the oldest brother's house. (I forgot to tell 
you that the last old man told him not to be frightened at 
this one's looks.) Well, to make my long story short, the 
old man received him very kindly, and told him that he long 
wished to see him, and that he would go through his work 
like a man, and return back here safe and sound. 

* Now to-night I shall give you rest ; there shall nothing 
come to disturb you, so as you may not feel sleepy to- 
morrow. And you must mind to get up middling early, for 
you *ve got to go and come all in the same day. For there will 
be no place for you to rest within thousands of miles of that 
place ; and if there was, you would stand in great danger 
never to come from there in your own form. Now, my 
young Prince, mind what I tell you. To-morrow, when you 



OLD KING AND HIS THREE SONS 223 

go in sight of a very large castle, which will be surrounded 
with black water, the first thing you will do you will tie 
your horse to a tree, and you will see three beautiful swans 
in sight. When you will say, ' Swan, swan, carry me over 
for the name of the Griffin of the Greenwood'; and the 
swans will swim you over to the castle. There will be three 
great entrances, before you go in. The first will be guarded 
by four great giants, and drawn swords in their hands ; the 
second entrance lions and other things ; and the other with 
fiery serpents and other things too frightful to mention. 
You will have to be there exactly at one o'clock ; and mind 
and leave there precisely at two, and not a moment later. 
When the swans carry you over to the castle, you will pass 
all these things, when they will be all fast asleep, but you 
must not notice any of them. When you go in, you will 
turn up to the right, you will see some grand rooms, then 
you will go downstairs and through the cooking kitchen, and 
through a door on your left you go into a garden, where you 
will find the apples you want for your father to get him well. 
After you fill your wallet, you make all the speed you pos- 
sibly can, and call out for the swans to carry you over the 
same as before. After you get on your horse, should you 
hear any shouting or making any noise after you, be sure 
not to look back, as they will follow you for thousands of 
miles ; but when the time will be up and you near my place, 
it will be all over. Well, now, my young man, I have told 
you all you have to do to-morrow ; and mind, whatever you 
do, don't look about you when you see all those dreadful 
things. Keep a good heart, and make haste from there, and 
come back to me with all the speed you can. I should like 
to know how my two brothers were when you left them, and 
what they said about me.' 

* Well, to tell the truth, before I left London, my father 
was sick, and said I was to come here to look for the golden 
apples, for they were the only things would do him good. 
And when I came to your youngest brother, I could not 
understand him well : his speech was like the English 
Gypsies and not like yours.^ You speak the same as the 

^ This point is lost, of course, in my English rendering of the R6mani portions 
of this story. In the original MS. the youngest brother uses the broken dialect 
put by John Roberts in the mouths of all English Gypsies, while the two others 
speak in the very deepest R6mani. 



224 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

Welsh Gypsies, and so I understand your second brother 
well. He told me many things what to do before I came 
here. And I thought once that your youngest brother put 
me in the wrong bed, when he put all those snakes to bite 
me all night long, until he [t.e. the middle brother] told me» 
" So it was to be," and said, " So it is the same here," but said 
you had none in your beds, but said when I came to you I 
should find you a fine dear R6mani old man/ 

TAe Old Man, — ^* So 'tis, my daddy. My youngest brother 
ran away when he was young with the English Gypsies, and 
their speech is nol the same as our speech. Well, let 's take 
a drop more brandy and a little tobacco, and then let 's go 
to bed. You need not fear. There are no snakes here.' 

The young man went to bed, and had a good night's rest^ 
and got up the next morning as fresh as newly caught trout. 
Breakfast being over, when out come the other horse, and, 
when saddling and fettling, the old man began to laugh, and 
told the young gentleman that if he saw a pretty young 
lady, not to stay with her too long, because she may waken» 
and then he would have to stay with her, or to be turned 
into one of those unearthly monsters, like those which he 
will have to pass by going into the castle. 

' Ha ! ha ! ha ! you make me laugh that I can scarcely 
buckle the saddle-straps. I think I shall make it all rights 
my uncle, if I sees a young lady there, you niay depend.' 

* Well, my daddy, I shall see how you will get on.' 

So he mounts his Arab steed, and off he goes like a shot 
out of a gun. At last he comes in sight of the castle. He 
ties his horse safe to a tree, and pulls out his watch. It was 
then a quarter to one, when he called out, *Swan, swan, 
carry me over, for the name of the old Griffin of the Green- 
wood.' No sooner said than done. A swan under each 
side, and one in front, took him over in a crack. He got on 
his legs, and walked quietly by all those giants, lions, fiery 
serpents, and all manner of other frightful things too 
numerous to mention, while they were all fast asleep, and 
that only for the space of one hour, when into the castle he 
goes neck or nothing. Turning to the right, upstairs he 
runs, and enters into a very grand bedroom, and seen a 
beautiful Princess lying full stretch on a beautiful gold bed- 
stead, fast asleep. It will take me too long to describe the 



OLD KING AND HIS THREE SONS 225 

other beautiful things which was in the room at the time, so 
you will pardon me for going on, for there was no time to 
lose. He gazed on her beautiful form with admiration, and 
looked at her foot, and said, * Where there is a pretty foot, 
there must be a pretty leg.' And he takes her garter off, and 
buckles it on his own leg, and he buckles his on hers ; he 
also takes her gold watch and pocket-handkerchief, and 
exchanges his for hers ; after that ventures to give her a kiss, 
when she very near opened her eyes. Seeing the time short, 
off he runs downstairs, and passing throligh the cooking 
kitchen, through where he had to pass to go into the garden 
for the apples, he could see the cook all-fours on her back on 
the middle of the floor, with the knife in one hand and the 
fork in the other. He found the apples out, and filled his 
wallet well ; and by passing through the kitchen the cook did 
very near waken, and she did wink on him with one eye ; 
he was obliged to make all the speed he possibly could, as 
the time was nearly up. He called out for the swans, and off 
they managed to take him over, but they found he was a 
little heavier than when he was going over before. No sooner 
than he had mounted his horse, he could hear a tremendous 
noise, and the enchantment was broke, and they tried to 
follow him, but all to no purpose. He was not long before 
he came to the oldest brother's house ; and glad enough he 
was to see it, for the sight and the noise of all those things 
that were after him near frightened him to death. 

* Welcome, my daddy, I am proud to see you. Dismount 
and put the horse in the stable, and come in and have some 
refreshments ; I know you are hungry after all you have 
gone through in that castle. And tell all what you did, 
and all what you saw there. There was other kings' sons 
went by here to go to that castle, but they never came 
back alive, and you are the only one that ever broke the 
spell (for me to go from here). And now you must come 
with me, and a sword in your hand, and must cut my head 
off and must throw it in that well.' 

The young Prince dismounts, and puts the horse in the 
stable, and then goes in to have some refreshments, for I can 
assure you he wanted some. And after telling him every- 
thing that passed, which the old gentleman was very pleased 
to hear, they both went for a walk together, the young 



226 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

Prince looking around and seeing the place all round 
him looking dreadful, also the old man. He could scarcely 
walk from his toe-nails curling up like ram's horns that had 
not been cut for many hundred years, and big long hair. 
And although his teeth was curling out of his mouth, he 
could speak the R6mani language better than any other. 
They come to a well, and he gives the Prince a sword, and 
tells him to cut the old man's head off, and to throw it in 
that well. The young man, through him being so kind to 
him, hias to do it against his wish, but has to do it. 

No sooner he does it, and flings his head in the well, than 
up springs one of the finest young gentlemen you would 
wish to see ; and instead of the old house and the frightful- 
looking place, it was changed into a beautiful hall and 
grounds. And they went back, and enjoyed themselves 
well, and had a good laugh about the castle, when he told 
him all about what had passed, especially when he told him 
about the cook winking on him and could not open the 
other eye. The young Prince leaves this young gentleman 
in all his glory, and he tells the young Prince before leaving 
that he will see him again before long. They have a jolly 
shake-hands, and off he goes to the next oldest brother; 
and, to make my long story short, he has to serve the other 
two brothers the same as the first, and he has to take to his 
own horse to go home. 

Now the youngest brother there was a good deal of the 
English Gypsy in him, and begun to ask him how things 
went on, and making inquiries and asking, * Did you see my 
two brothers ? * 

* Yes.' 

* How did they look ? ' 

* Oh ! they looked very well. I liked them much. They 
told me many things what to do.' 

* Well, did you go to the castle ? ' 

* Yes, my uncle.' 

* And will you tell me what you see in there ? Did you 
see the young lady ? ' 

* Yes, I saw her, and plenty other frightful things.' 

* Did you hear any snake biting you in my oldest brother's 
bed?' 

* No, there were none there ; I slept well.' 



OLD KING AND HIS THREE SONS 227 

' You won't have to sleep in the same bed to-night. You 
will have to cut off my head in the morning.' 

The young Prince had a good night's rest, and changed 
all the appearance of the place by cutting his head off before 
he started in the morning, having a good breakfast, and sup- 
plying himself with a little brandy and a good lot of tobacco 
for the road* before starting, for he had a very long way to 
go, and his horse had not the same speed as theirs had. A 
jolly shake-hands, and tells him it 's very probable that he 
shall see him again very soon when he will not be aware of 
it. This one's mansion was very pretty, and the country 
around it beautiful, after having his head cut off. And off 
he goes, over hills, dales, valleys, and mountains, and very 
near losing his apples again. (I forgot to tell you that he 
give some to each of those brothers before leaving.) 

At last he arrives at the cross-roads where he has to meet 
his brothers on the very day appointed. Coming up to the 
place, he sees no tracks of horses, and, being very tired, he 
lays himself down to sleep, by tying the horse to his leg,^ 
and putting the apples under his head. When presently up 
comes the other brothers the same time to the minute, and 
found him fast asleep. And they would not waken him, 
but said one to another, ' Let 's see what sort of apples he 
has got under his head.' So they took and tasted them, 
and found they were different from theirs. They took and 
changed his apples for theirs, and hooked it off to London 
as fast as they could, and left the poor fellow sleeping. 

After a while he awoke, and, seeing the tracks of other 
horses, he mounted and off with him, not thinking anything 
about the apples being changed. He had still a long way 
to go by himself, and by the time he got near London he 
could hear all the bells in the town ringing, but did not 
know what was the matter until he rode up to the palace, 
when he came to know that his father was recovered by his 
brothers' apples. When he got there, his two brothers went 
off to some sports for a while. And the king was very glad 
to see his youngest son, and was very anxious to taste his 
apples. And when he found that they were not good, and 
thought that they were more for poisoning him, he sent 

^ The Jacobite engraver, Sir Robert Strange, thus tethered his horse on the 
eve of Culloden {Lifty i. 59). 



228 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

immediately for the head butcher to behead his youngest 
son ; and was taken away there and then in a carriage. 
But instead of the butcher taking his head off, he took him 
to some forest not far from the town, because he had pity 
on him, and there left him to take his chance. When 
presently up comes a big hairy bear, limping upon three 
legs ; and the Prince, poor fellow, climbed up a tree, 
frightened of him, and the bear telling him to come down, 
that it *s no use of him to stop there. With hard persuasion 
poor Jack comes down ; and the bear speaks to him in 
R6mani, and bids him to * Come here to me ; I will not do 
you any harm. It 's better for you to come with me and 
have some refreshments. I know that you are hungry all 
this time.' 

The poor young Prince says, * No, I am not very hungry ; 
but I was very frightened when I saw you coming to me 
first, when I had no place to run away from you.* 

The bear said, ' I was also afraid of you when I saw that 
gentleman setting you down from that carriage. I thought 
you would have some guns with you, and that you would 
not mind killing me if you would see me. But when I saw 
the gentleman going away with the carriage, and leaving 
you behind by yourself, I made bold to come to you, to see 
who you was ; and now I know who you are very well. 
Isn't you the King's youngest son > I seen you and your 
brothers and lots of other gentlemen in this wood many 
times. Now, before we go from here, I must tell you that I 
am a Gypsy in disguise ; and I shall take you where we are 
stopping at.* 

The young Prince up and tells him everything from first 
to last, how he started in search of the apples, and about the 
three old men, and about the castle, and how he was ser\'ed 
at last by his father after he came home ; and instead of the 
butcher to take his head off, he was kind enough to leave 
him to have his life, and to take his chance in the forest, 
live or die ; * and here I am now, under your protection/ 

The bear tells him, * Come on, my brother. There shall be 
no harm come to you as long as you are with me.' 

So he takes him up to the tents ; and when they sees 'em 
coming, the girls begin to laugh, and says, *Here is our 
Jubal coming with a young gentleman.* 



OLD KING AND HIS THREE SONS 229 

When he advanced nearer the tents, they all begun to 
know that he was the young Prince that had passed by that 
way many times before ; and when Jubal went to change 
himself, he called most of them together in one tent, and 
tells them everything all about him, and tells them to be kind 
to him. And so they were, for there was nothing that he 
desired but what he had, the same as if he was in the palace 
with his father and mother. He was allowed to romp and 
play with the girls, but no further, through his princely 
manners and the chastity of the girls hindered all bad 
thoughts. Him having lessons on the Welsh harp when a 
boy by some Welsh harper belonging to the Woods or 
Roberts family, who were Welsh Gypsies of North Wales, 
made a little difference to his way of speaking to that of the 
London magpies, when they used to say, ^Dordal this 
young gentleman talks as if he was two hundred years old ; 
we can't understand him.' They used to have a deal of fun 
with him at night-time, when telling his funny tales by the 
fire. Jubal, after he pulled off his hairy coat, was one of the 
smartest young men . amongst them, and he stuck to be the 
young Prince's closest companion. The young Prince was 
always very sociable and merry, only when he would think 
of his gold watch, the one as he had from the young Princess 
in that castle. The butcher allowed him to keep that for 
company, and did not like to take it from him, as it might 
come useful to him some time or another. And the poor 
fellow did not know where he lost it, being so much excited 
with everything. 

He passed off many happy days with the Stanleys and 
Grays in Epping Forest But one day him and poor Jubal 
was strolling through the trees, when they came to the very 
same spot where they first met, and, accidentally looking up, 
he could see his watch hanging up in the tree which he had 
to climb when he first seen poor Jubal coming to him in the 
form of a bear ; and cries out, * Jubal, Jubal, I can see my 
watch up in that tree.' 

*Well! I am sure, how lucky!' exclaimed poor Jubal, 
* shall I go and get it down ? ' 

* No, I 'd rather go myself,' said the young Prince. 

Now when all this was going on, the young Princess whom 
he changed those things with in that castle, seeing that one 



230 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

of the King of England's sons had been there by the 
changing of the watch,* and other things, got herself ready 
with a large army, and sailed off for England. She left 
her army a little out of the town, and she went with her 
guards straight up to the palace to see the King, and also 
demanded to see his sons, and brought a fine young boy 
with her about nine or ten months old. They had a long 
conversation together about different things. At last she 
demands one of the sons to come before her ; and the 
oldest comes, when she asks him, ' Have you ever been at 
the Castle of Melvdles i ' and he answers * Yes.' She 
throws down a pocket-handkerchief, bids him to walk over 
that without stumbling. He goes to walk over it, and no 
sooner he put his foot on it he fell down and broke his leg. 
He was taken off immediately and made a prisoner of by 
her own guards. The other was called upon, and was asked 
the same questions, and had to go through the same per- 
formance, and he also was made a prisoner of 
Now she says, * Have you not another son ? ' 
When the King began to shiver and shake and knock his 
two knees together that he could scarcely stand upon his 
legs, and did not know what to say to her ; he was so much 
frightened. At last a thought came to him to send for 
his head butcher, and inquired of him particularly. Did he 
behead his son, or is he alive? 

* He is saved, O King.' 

* Then bring him here immediately, or else I shall be done 
for.' 

Two of the fastest horses they had were put in the 
carriage, to go and look for the poor Welsh-harping Prince. 
And when they got to the very same spot where they left 
him, that was the time when the Prince was up the tree, 
getting his watch down, and poor Jubal standing a distance 
off. They cried out to him, Did he see another young man 
in this wood ? Jubal, seeing such a nice carriage, thought 
something, and did not like to say No, and said Yes, and 
pointed up the tree. And they told him to come down 
immediately, as there is a young lady in search of him with 
a young child. 

* Presumably the royal arms of England would be engraved on his watch, 
and his princely initials embroidered on his pocket-handkerchief. 



OLD KING AND HIS THREE SONS 231 

* Ha I ha ! ha ! Jubal, did you ever hear such a thing in 
all your life, my brother ? ' 

* Do you call him your brother? ' 

* Well, he has been better to me than my brothers.' 

* Well, for his kindness he shall come to accompany you 
to the palace, and see how things will turn out/ 

After they go to the palace, he has a good wash, and 
appears before the Princess, when she asks him, or puts 
the question to him, ' Had he ever been at the Castle of 
Melvdles ? ' when he with a smile upon his face, and gives a 
graceful bow. 

And says my lady, * Walk over that handkerchief without 
stumbling.' 

He walks over it many times, and dances upon it, and 
nothing happened to him. She said, with a proud and 
smiling air, * That is the young man ' ; and out comes the 
exchanged things by both of them. Presently she orders 
a very large box to be brought in and to be opened, and out 
come some of the most costly uniforms that was ever wore 
on an emperor's back ; and when he dressed himself up, the 
King could scarcely look upon him from the dazzling of the 
gold and diamonds on his coat and other things. He orders 
his two brothers to be in confinement for a period of time ; 
and before the Princess demands him to go with her to her 
own country, she pays a visit to the Gypsies' camp, and she 
makes them some very handsome presents for being so kind 
to the young Prince. And she gives Jubal an invitation to 
go with them, which he accepts, also one of the girls for a 
nurse ; wishes them a hearty farewell for a time, promising 
to see them again in some little time to come, by saying, 
* Cheer up, comrades, I'm a R6mani myself; I should like 
to see you in my country.' 

They go back to the King and bids farewell, and tells him 
not to be so hasty another time to order people to beheaded ^ 
before having a proper cause for it. Off they go with all 
their army with them ; but while the soldieis were striking 
their tents, he bethought himself of his Welsh harp, and had 
it sent for immediately to take with him in a beautiful 
wooden case. After they went over, they called to sec 

* In another Welsh-Gypsy story, * Jack the Robber,* summarised on pp. 48-9, 
the master says, * If you can't do that, Jack, I '11 be behead you.' 



232 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

each of those three brothers whom the Prince had to stay 
with when he was on his way to the Castle of MelvAles ; and 
I can assure you, when they all got together, they had a very 
merry time of it The last time I seen him, I play upon the 
Prince's harp ; and he told me he should like to see me again 
in North Wales. Ha ! ha ! ha ! I am glad that I have 
come to the finish. I ought to have a drop of Scotch ale 
for telling all those lies. 

As I said in my notes to No. 54, Mr. Joseph Jacobs has also re- 
printed this story, with alterations {e.g. of * head butcher ' to * headsman '}) 
additions, and omissions of his own. Especially has he deleted every 
mention of Gypsies, whilst leaving in references to * tents,' * camp,' etc., 
which thus appear rather Apropos des bottes. Such tampering with folk- 
tales reminds one somehow of your * restoring' architect, called in about 
an old church. * Yes,' he pronounces, ' that window is Late Perpendicular, 
so will have to come out, and we '11 put in an Early English one accord- 
ing to the original design.' Not that he knows the original design, but 
he pleases his dupes : some there be, however, that curse. But Grimm, 
Mr. Jacobs pleads, rewrote his fairy-tales. Maybe He did, but every 
folklorist is not a Grimm. 

After this, Mr. Jacobs remarks that *the tale is scarcely a good 
example for Mr. Hindes Groome's contention (in Transactions Folk- 
Lore Congress) for the diffusion of all folk-tales by means of gypsies as 
colporteurs. This is merely a matter of evidence, and of evidence 
there is singularly little, though it is indeed curious that one of 
Campbell's best equipped informants should turn out to be a gypsy. 
Even this fact, however, is not too well substantiated.' As I have 
shown in my Introduction, I have never made such a contention ; there, 
too, I have told all I know about Campbell's informant — Mr. Jacobs, 
perhaps, may know more. But his oracular judgment, that this story is a 
poor example for my (real) contention, that is what staggers me, un- 
backed though it be by one tittle of counter- evidence. The following 
is all I can adduce in self- vindication. 

My friend Mr. Sampson has got from Matthew Wood another Welsh- 
Gypsy version, called * / Valin Kalo Pant ' (The Bottle of Black Water). 

* This,' he writes, * is a variant of your " King and his Three Sons," wth 
which it agrees in most particulars, except of course Roberts' own 
picturesque little touches, and that a bottle of black water takes the 
place of the three golden apples.' Then, what I did not, could not know 
when I published In Gypsy Tents (1880), there is a closely parallel non- 
Gypsy variant in Professor Theodor Vernaleken's In The Land of 
Marvels (Eng. trans. 1884), No. 52, pp. 304-9 and 360. It is called 

* The Accursed Garden,' and comes from St. Polden in Lower Austria. 
Here is a summary : — 

A king has three sons, the youngest the handsomest. He falls 
sick, and learns he can only get better by eating a fruit from the 



OLD KING AND HIS THREE SONS 233 

Accursed Garden. The brothers set out one after the other ; the 
two eldest lose all theu: money gaming in an inn, and are put 
in jail (cf. No. 49, p. 184). The youngest son comes to a hermit's 
in a great forest, inquires the way to the Accursed Garden, and gets 
a red ball, which, flung before him, will show the way. He next 
comes to a black dog, and sleeps three nights with him, then to a 
red dog, lastly to a white maiden. Before reaching the mountain 
on whose top is the garden he ties his horse to a fig-tree. He has to 
enter the garden at eleven, and leave before noon. In a castle in 
the midst of the garden he finds a sleeping lady, writes down his 
name and address, departs and is pursued by devouring beasts. 
Returning to the white maiden, he is desired by her to divide a 
grape into four parts, and to cast a part into each corner of her 
dwelling. Immediately it became a splendid palace. The red and 
black dogs are likewise changed into princes, and the hermit into 
a king. The prince comes up as his brothers are going to be 
hanged, buys them off, is robbed by them in the night of his fruit, 
receiving in its stead a poisoned one, and then is thrown into a 
valley. The late hermit discovers and revives him, but the king 
his father, finding his fruit is poisoned, orders him to be shot. 
But the servant spares him ; and the young lady, arriving with a 
great army, proclaims that if the prince who fetched the fruit be not 
produced she will besiege the city. Then the servant tells how he 
spared the prince, who is sought for and brought to the king. He 
accurately describes the garden, and marries the princess. 

This version is markedly inferior to our Welsh-Gypsy one ; still, I 
know in all folklore of few closer parallels. And the two versions are 
separated by over four centuries and by more than a thousand miles. 
The ball of yam on p. 22 1 recurs in two other Welsh-Gypsy stories, 

* The Black Dog of the Wild Forest' (* You follow this ball of worsted. 
Now it will take you right straight to a river ') and * The Green Man 
of Noman's Land' (* She . . . gives him a ball of thread to place 
between the horse's ears'). In Dasent's Norse tale of *The Golden 
Palace that hung in the Air ' (Tales from the Fjeld^ p. 291) an old hag 
gives the hero * a grey ball of wool, which he had only to roll on before 
him and he would come to whatever place he wished.' In Addy's 
Household Tales, p. 50, there is a curious but poorly told story from 
Wensley in Derbyshire, *The Little Red Hairy Man,' a variant of our 

* Mare's Son ' (No. 20) and * Twopence-halfpenny ' (No. 58). Here the 
little man throws * a small copper ball on the ground, and it rolled away, 
and Jack followed it until it came to a castle made of copper, and flew 
against the door.' So with a silver ball and a silver castle, and a golden 
ball and a golden castle. On which it is just worth remarking that 
underground castles of copper, silver, and gold occur in No. 58, p. 245, in 
a story told to Campbell of Islay by a London Gypsy {Tales of the West 



234 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

Highlands^ iv. 143), and in Ralston's The Norka^ pp. 75-76. In Wratis- 
law*s Hungarian-Slovenish story of * The Three Lemons/ p. 63,* we find 
castles of lead, silver, and gold, and at each the hero gets dumplings of 
the same metals, which he afterwards throws before him, when they fix 
themselves on the glass hill, and permit him to ascend {cf, too, our 
* Three Dragons,' pp. 152-4 ; Irish folk- tale in Folk-lore Journal^ ». 318 ; 
and Folk lore for December 1890, p. 495). In Hahn's * Filek-Zelebi * 
(No. 73, ii. 69) the heroine has to follow three golden apples ; and in 
*The Wicked Queens' (J. H. Knowles's Folk-tales of Kashmir^ p. 401) 
a jogi gives a boy a pebble, telling him to * throw it on before and to 
follow its leadings.' 

The well-known Sleeping Beauty recurs in two other Gypsy stories — 
the Moravian one of 'The Princess and the Forester's Son' (p. 147), 
which offers marked analogies to John Roberts's tale, and that from the 
Bukowina, *The Winged Hero' (pp. 100-104), which is very Oriental 
in character. Whether she was ever familiar to English or Scottish 
folklore I do not know ; but Scott in chapter xxvi. of The Antiquary 
alludes to her. 

For the three helpful brothers, cf. F. A. Steel's Wide-awake Stories^ 
P- 35-36 ; and for the prohibition not to look about [behind], Maive 
Stokes's Indian Fairy Tales, p. 140. 



No. 56. — The Five Trades 

Once there were a sailor and other four men. One was a 
smith, and the other was a soldier and a tailor, and the last 
was an innkeeper. The sailor asked the smith to come upon 
the sea. The smith said, * No, I must go and do some work.' 
* What is your work ? ' * To heat iron,' says the smith, * and 
make it into shoes for horses.' The sailor asked the other 
three to come on board his ship. The soldier said he must 
go to make facings and marchings ; and the tailor said, ' I 

m 

must go and make clothes to keep you warm.' And the 
innkeeper said, * I am going to make beer to make you drunk, 
that you may all of you go to the devil.' That's all of 
that. 

This little temperance apologue by a non-teetotaler is one of the very 
few Gypsy stories with a moral. 



' That story is of very wide and seemingly recent dispersion. It occurs in 
Norway (*The Three Lemons,' Dasent's Tales from the Fjeidy p. 158); Sicily 
(* Die Schone mit den siebcn Schleiem,' Laura Gonzenbach, No. 13, i. 73, which 
offers striking analogies to * An Old King ' and * The Accursed Garden *) ; 
Zacynthus ( * Die drei Citronen.' Bernhard Schmidt, No. 5, p. 71), etc.; also 
in India (*The Bel Princess,' Maive Stokes, No. 21, p. 138). 



ASHYPELT 235 

No. 57. — Ashypelt 

Once there was an old man and an old 'ooman livin' in 
the Forest o' Dean. They 'ad twelve sons, and there was 
one son called Ashypelt. He was the youngest son, and 
they didn't never think but very little o' Ashypelt, as 'ee 
was alius used to be i' the esshole under the fire, an' the 
brothers used to spit on 'im and laugh at 'im an' make fun 
of 'im an' that. He never spoke, didn't Ashypelt, nor hear 
nuthin'. These eleven brothers — they was nearly alius fell- 
ing timber and that — used to go, they used to go off tel 
Saturdays for a week. They used to do that very reglar, 
and were bringing a lot of money in for the old man and the 
old 'ooman. 

So the old 'ooman sez one day, * Well, John, I sez, I think 
you an' me 'as got enough money now to live on which will 
keep we all the days of our life. An' we '11 tell *em to-night ' 
— it was on a Saturday, an' they was comin' home again, they 
was comin* home with all the week's wages — *we'll say to 
'em as the pressgang 'as been after 'em, as they've got to 
'ear as we 've got eleven very fine sons, and they wants to 
make soldiers of 'em. So I '11 begin a-cryin' when they 
comes 'ere to-night, and I '11 say to 'em, " O my very dear sons, 
the pressgang 's been after yous 'ere to-day. They want 
yous to go for soldiers, an' the best you can do, my dear 
children" — the old 'ooman was cryin' very much, makin' 
herself so — ** is to go to sleep in the barn." An' we '11 put 
'em to sleep in the barn, an* give 'em their week's victuals 
with 'em ' (what they used to take reglar), sez the old 'ooman 
to the old man. * We can soon put Ashypelt out o' the road.' 
(He was listenin' all the time, the poor Ashypelt, listenin' wot 
the old 'ooman was sayin'.) * Soon as we 've put the eleven 
sons in the barn we '11 set fire to 'em about twelve o'clock 
and burn 'em : that 's the best way to take it out of 'em. 
We '11 burn 'em,' she sez. 

Poor Ashypelt gets up out o' the esshole — this was about 
the hour of eleven : they was sittin' up till twelve to set the 
bam afire. He goes up to the barn, an' 'ee throws 'is brothers 
up one after another neck and crop — an' they was goin' to 
kill 'im — an' their week's victuals. 

* Oo are you ? ' they sez. 



236 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

* I am your brother Ashypelt/ he sez, * I am your brother 
Ashypelt' 

So one looks at 'im, an' another looks at 'im, to find a 
certain mark as they know to him. They went to kill poor 
Ashypelt for throwing them up. 

He sez, * My father and mother is goin' to set you afire, 
all the lot o* you, that 's the reason they put you in the barn. 
An* come with me up on that back edge, an' you '11 see the 
bam goin' afire directly/ sez Ashypelt. 

They sat on this high edge tel twelve o'clock come, an' 
they was lookin' out, an' they seen the old 'ooman an' the 
old man go with a lantern, an' puttin* a light to the barn an' 
all the straw what was in it. So they thanked Ashypelt very 
much for savin' their lives, but they didn't injure their father 
or mother ; but they all started to go on the road together. 
They comes to twelve cross-roads ; an' poor Ashypelt, never 
bein' out o' the esshole before, 'ee took very sleepy, through 
bein' a very *ot day. 

So one brother sez to the other, * We '11 all take a road to 
ourselves. Each one will take a road, an' in twelve months 
an* a day we '11 all meet 'ere agen.' 

So poor Ashypelt the sun overcame *im, an' 'im never 
bein' out o' the esshole, 'ee fell asleep ; an' each brother left 
a mark on the road which way they went, for 'im to go 'is 
road to 'imself When poor Ashypelt wakened up, 'ee 
began lookin' round 'im an' rubbin' 'is eyes. They left 'im 
a very old nasty lane to go up, an old nasty lane with the 
mud up to your knees. Poor Ashypelt bein' very weak, he 
got fast several times goin' up this old lane, an' tumbled 
down in the mud ; an' the 'edges was growed very high with 
'em so meetin' together ; and the briers was scratching poor 
Ashypelt's eyes very near out, as 'ee was goin' up this old 
lane. 'Ee travels on, over high dales an' lofty mountains, 
where the cock never crowed and the divel never sounded 'is 
bugle horn. It '11 last tel to-morrow night, but I don't mean 
to half tell you so long.^ But poor Ashypelt got benighted 
up this old lane. 'Ee used to fall asleep, bein' summer-time, 
an' very early in the mornin' come daylight 'ee wakens up, 
an' 'ee kept on the same old lane all the way he was goin'. 
'Ee travels on tel 'ee come to a castle an' a new 'ouse, where 

* See note on p. 212. 



ASHYPELT 237 

there was a man, an' 'ee axed this man could 'ee give 'im 
a job. 

'Ee sez, * Yes, Ashypelt, I can give you a job/ 'ee sez. 'Ee 
sez, * Wot can you do ? * 

Ashypelt sez, ' I can do every think as you try to put me to/ 

* Well, Ashypelt,' 'ee sez, * I '11 give you fifty pounds to 
sleep into the castle all night, an' a good suit o' clo'es.' 

* Oh ! yes,' 'ee sez ; * I '11 sleep there,' 'ee sed. 

So 'ee sez to Ashypelt, 'ee sez, ' You shall have a good bag 
o' nuts to crack an' plenty o' 'bacca to smoke, an' a good fire 
to sit by,' 'ee sez. 

But 'ee allowed him no can o' beer to drink, plenty o* 
water, so as he wouldn't get trussicated. An' 'appen about 
eleven o'clock at night 'ee sez, * Now Ashypelt, it is about 
the time you 've got to come in along o' me.' 

So 'ee takes Ashypelt with 'im about eleven o'clock to this 
castle. 'Ee opens the door, an' 'ee sez, * There you are, go an* 
take your seat, an' sit down.' 'Ee sez, * Here is your bag 
o' nuts, an' plenty o' 'bacca to smoke.' 

So just now Ashypelt was sittin' down, an' just about the 
hour o' twelve 'ee could 'ear a lot o' noise about the room. 
*Ee looks around behind 'im at the door, an' 'ee sees a 
man naked. 

So 'ee sez, * Come up to the fire an' warm you. You looks 
very cold.' 

It was a sperrit, you see. 'Ee wouldn't come up to the 
fire, so Ashypelt went an' fetched im. Ashypelt sez, * Will 
you 'ave a smoke ? * 'ee sez, an' 'ee takes an' 'ee fills 'im a new 
pipe. 'Ee sez, * Will you crack some nuts ? ' 

So 'ee smoked all poor Ashypelt's 'bacca, an* cracked all 
'is nuts, an' poor Ashypelt 'ad none. But 'ee sez, * You are a 
very greedy fellow indeed, I must say,' 'ee sed, * after a man 
bringing you up to warm you at the fire, an' taking every- 
think off 'im.' 

Just about the hour o' two o'clock away goes this man 
from 'im. So therefore Ashypelt sits contented down afore 
the fire to hisself. 

So next mornin' the master sez to 'im at the hour o' six 
o'clock, * Are you alive, Ashypelt ? ' 

* Oh ! yes,' 'ee sez to 'im, * I am alive, sir. An' there 
came a very rude man 'ere last night, an' took all my 



238 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

'bacca, an' cracked all my nuts off me/ 'ee sez, * for the kind- 
ness I done for 'im. 'Ee was naked, an' I axed 'im to .'ave 
a warm.' 

* Well,' 'ee sez to Ashypelt, * come along an' 'ave some 
breakfast, Ashypelt' An' 'ee takes 'im to the new 'ouse 
from the castle, to 'ave some breakfast ' Would you wish 
to stop another night, Ashypelt ? ' 'ee sez, * an' I *11 give you 
another fifty pounds.' 

'Oh! yes,* sez Ashypelt, 'im never seein' anythin', an* 
never knowin* wot sperrits or ghostses was, 'im bein* alius in 
the esshole. 

So all day Ashypelt went up an' down the garden, an' 
learnin' 'ow to dig in the garden an* one thing or another, tel 
eleven o'clock came again the next night 

* Well, come, Ashypelt, my lad,' 'ee sed, * it 's time for you 
to go back to your room agen now.* 

So the next night 'ee gave 'im very near 'alf a pound o' 
'bacca to smoke an' a bigger bag o* nuts. So about the hour 
o* twelve o'clock *ee turns round to the door again, an' there 
was five or six of these ghostses came in to 'im this time an' 
sperrits. So there was one stood up in the corner in 'is 
skeleton. There was five more runnin* up and down the 
room pitity-pat, pitity-pat 

* Come up to the fire,' Ashypelt sez, * an' warm yous. Yous 
looks very cold all runnin' about naked,' 'ee sed. 'Ee sez, 
' There 's some 'bacca there an' some pipes. 'Ave a smoke 
apiece.' 

So this poor fellow stood up in the corner. 

* You come 'ere,* sed Ashypelt ; * you looks very cold, 
you 're nuthin' but bones.' 

But 'ee gave Ashypelt no answer. So Ashypelt comes up 
to *im, to pull 'im out up to the fire, an' 'ee 'appened to 
give 'im a bit of a touch round the neck — somewhere under 
the jaw, I think it was — as 'ee wouldn't come for 'im. This 
fellow tumbled all into pieces, in small bits o' pieces about 
'alf an inch, tumbled all into pieces when Ashypelt 'it 'im. 

* Now, Ashypelt,' sez one of 'em, * if you don't put that 
fellow up agen as you fun' 'im, we '11 revour you alive.' 

Poor Ashypelt got fixing one little bone on top of another, 
an' one little bone on top of another, but 'ee got tumblin' 
them down as quick as 'ee was fixing them very near. 



ASHYPELT 239 

Well, 'ee fixed an* fixed at last tel it come very near one 
o'clock that 'ee was bein' with 'im, but 'ee got 'em together 
agen. So away they all goes just about two o'clock an' 
leaves 'im ; an' when 'ee come to look for the 'bacca, every 
morsel 'ad gone, 'ee never 'ad one pipeful. 

* Well,' 'ee sez, * they 're a greedy lot o' fellows, them is,' 'ee 
sez. * They served me worse agen to-night,' 'ee sez. So 'ee 
comes an' sits 'imself down completely by 'is own fire agen. 

Next morning at the hour o' six o'clock the master comes 
for 'im agen. 'Are you alive, Ashypelt?' 'ee sez. 

* Oh ! yes,' 'ee sez, * I 'm alive.' 

He sez, * Did you 'ear anythin' last night ? ' 

* Yes,' sez Ashypelt, * there come a lot o' greedy fellows 
'ere, an 'smoked all my 'bacca an' cracked all my nuts off me.' 

So 'ee sez, 'Come on down, Ashypelt, an' 'ave your 
breakfast' 'Ee takes 'im to the new 'ouse to 'ave 'is break- 
fast. But after 'ee 'd 'ad 'is breakfast, * Now, Ashypelt,' *ee 
sez, * I will give you another fifty to stop another night' 

Well, poor Ashypelt, never 'avin' no money, 'ee sed, Yes, 'ee 
would do it Well, *ee took 'im, as usual, up an' down the 
garden agen next day with 'im, taking 'im up an' down 
the garden tel eleven o'clock come the next night. 

' So now, Ashypelt, my boy, it 's time for me to take you 
up to your room,' 'ee sez. ' I '11 give you a little extra 'bacca 
to-night, I '11 give you a pound, an' a bigger bag o' nuts — 
altogether it might be a gohanna [guano] bag o' nuts — an* a 
pound o* 'bacca.' 

So 'ee fastened 'em into the room before Ashypelt comes, 
an' 'ee leaves 'im sittin' 'down comfortable to 'isself 'avin' a 
bit o* a smoke o' 'is 'bacca. But 'ee 'eard one o' the terriblest 
noises *ee ever 'eard in 'is life shoutin* blue wilful murders, 
but 'ee couldn't see nuthin'. This was at the hour o* twelve. 
Bangin' one of 'is doors wide open, in comes a man to 'im 
with 'is throat cut from 'ere to there. Ashypelt axed 'im to 
come an* 'ave a pipe o* bacca, an' to 'ave a warm. Well, poor 
Ashypelt never seein* nuthin', 'ee wasn't frightened a bit 

So the man sez to 'im, * Now, Ashypelt, my boy, I see you 
are not frightened. Come with me, an' I '11 show you where 
I lies. My brother 'as killed me — it's my brother what 
gives you this money to stop 'ere. You come with me, 
Ashypelt, down these steps.' 



240 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

He took 'im down steps, down steps, down steps. Ashy- 
pelt axed 'im 'ow much further *ee *ad to go, an' it 'ad been 
very dark goin' down these steps. Ashypelt couldn't see 'is 
way, but when *ee got to the bottom there was a very fine 
light 

* Now, Ashypelt,' 'ee sez, * come with me,' *ee sez. * I 'm 
that man as you struck in the room an' knocked all to pieces. 
Now, Ashypelt, I '11 make you a gentleman for life if you '11 do 
one thing for me. Come along o* me,* 'ee sez to Ashypelt. 
Then *ee sez, * Lift up that flag,' 'ee sez. 

* No, sir,' sez Ashypelt, * I can't lift it up,* 'ee sez to *im ; 

* but lift it you.' 

' Put your 'and down to it, an' try to lift it up,' 'ee sed. 

Ashypelt done what 'ee told 'im, puttin' 'is 'and down to 
lift the flag, an' he draws the flag up. What was under that 
but a big pot o' gold spade-ace guineas an' that' 

So 'ee sez, * Come along o' me, Ashypelt,' 'ee sez, * on 
further,' 'ee sez. 'Ee sez, * Rise that flag up, Ashypelt' 

Ashypelt doin' so, 'ee told 'im to rise one flag up, 'ee sez, 

* Rise the other one, Ashypelt, next to it' 

Ashypelt rises the other one, an' there this 'ere skeleton 
was lyin' in the coffin. That 's where 'ee was buried ; 'is 
brother buried 'im there into the coffin. This was the older 
brother tel what the one was that was alive, that was dead. 
But they got fallin' out which would 'ave the castle. The 
next brother killed the old one, an' buried 'im there. 

* Now,' sez this man with his throat cut from 'ere to there, 

* Ashypelt, I want you to do me a favourite, an',' 'ee sez, 

* you '11 never be troubled no more.' You can sleep in that 
room all your lifetime,' 'ee sez, *nuthin' will ever trouble 
you no more. Now, in the mornin*,' 'ee sez, * when my brother 
comes for you, 'ee '11. ax you what sort o' night's rest you 'ad. 
So you say, " All right, only they smoked all my 'bacca an' 
cracked all my nuts agen." An* the first town you get to, 
Ashypelt, an' you leaves here, you make a report as 'ee 's 
killed 'is own brother ; an' when they calls for witnesses, 
Ashypelt, I *11 repear into the hall with my throat cut from 
'ere to there. You can come back, Ashypelt, an' take the 
castle, 'cause there 's nobody takes the castle barrin' me 
an' my brother.* 

So Ashypelt goes to the next town as 'ee could meet with, 



ASHYPELT 241 

an' 'ee goes an* makes a *larm to a magistrate; an* the 
magistrate sent some pleecemen with 'im, back to fetch this 
gentleman, an' Ashypelt goes with 'em. 

* Hello ! ' sez *ee to Ashypelt, * what brings you back 'ere ? * 
'ee sed. 

So the pleeceman got close to this man. * For you,I 'ee 
sez, an' catches 'out of 'im, ' They are come back for you, for 
kilHn* youm brother,' takin* im' off back to the town agen, 
an' Ashypelt along with 'im, takin' 'im an' tryin' 'im. When 
they were tryin' 'im, at the hour o' twelve the magistrate cries 
out for witnesses, an' the man repears with 'is throat cut 
from 'ere to there, just as they cried out for witnesses. 'Is 
brother got life — twenty years ; an' 'ee died shortly after 'ee 
got life. 'Ee broke 'is 'eart. 

Well, Ashypelt goes back to the castle an' lives there, an* 
got a servant or two with *im into the castle. One day 'ee 
bethought 'isself about 'is brothers where 'ee 'ad to meet 
them. 'Ee gets a pair of 'orses and a carriage, an* 'ee buys 
eleven suits o* clo*es, thinkin* upon 'is poor brothers. So *ee 
drives ahead until 'ee comes to these twelve roads, where 
'ee 'ad to meet 'em twelve months an' a day. So 'ee was 
drivin' up to these 'ere twelve roads, an' there they was all 
lyin' down. 

* Hello! my men,' 'ee sez, * what are you men all lyin' down 
for ? ' (Ashypelt bein' dressed up, lookin' gentleman, they 
didn't know 'im.) 

* We 're waitin* for a brother of ours by the name o* Ashy- 
pelt,' they sed. 

* Would you know 'im if you would see 'im ? ' 'ee sed. 

* Oh ! yes, we would know 'im very well. Twelve months 
an' a day we *ad to meet on these roads.* 

So 'ee sez to 'em, * I 'm your brother Ashypelt,' 'ee sed 
to the one. 

So they looks at 'im. 

' If you 're our brother Ashypelt, show your arm ; you 'ave 
a mark on it what we know to.' 

So they looks at this mark. 

' Oh ! it is my brother Ashypelt,' they sez, blessin* 'im 
an' kissin' 'im an' slobberin', an* so on. 

So 'ee gives 'em a suit o' clo'es apiece, these eleven brothers, 
to put on. 

Q 



242 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

* Now/ 'ee sez, * I think we *11 go back an' see the old 
'ooman an* the old man, how they are gettin' on, from 'ere,* 
sez Ashypelt to 'is brothers. * An' when we get nigh 'ome, 
you eleven brothers stop behind, an* I '11 drive up to the little 
farm, an' ax the old lady what came of her eleven sons what 
she 'ad.' 

So poor Ashypelt drives up to the 'ouse. 
•Hello! my old lady,' 'ee sez, * what's come of all the 
eleven sons as you 'ad ? ' 

* Oh I ' sez 'er, * they all went off for soldiers,' 

So 'ee calls 'is eleven brothers up, an* 'ee sez, * Didn't you 
try to bum my eleven brothers in that bam,' 'ee sez, * when 
you set the barn alight, an' told 'em as the pressgang o' 
soldiers was after 'em ? ' 

So she sez, * No— tme — ^no,' she sed, 

I tell you, sir, they give me a shilling for telling you that lie. 

The name Ashypelt {ScoWasYl Ashypet^ Irish Ashiepelt^ etc. ; cf, EngL 
Dialect Dict,^ pp. 80, 8i) must be of Teutonic origin — ^akin to the familiar 
High German Aschenbrbdel ('Cinderella') and the Norse Askefot 
(' Boots '). The form coming nearest to it is also the oldest known to 
me : the mystic, Johann Tauler (f. 1300-61), says, in the Medulla Animce^ 
* I thy stable-boy and poor Aschenbaltz.' See Grimm's Household Talesy 
i. 366-7. In another story told by Cornelius Price, * The Black Dog of 
the Wild Forest,' the hero is hidden by an old witch in the ash-hole 
under the fire. In the Polish-Gypsy tale^of * A Foolish Brother and a 
Wonderful Bush' (No. 45), that brother crouches over his stove; in 
Dasent's Tales from the Norse^ Boots sits all his life in the ashes 
(pp. 90, 232, 382) ; in Ralston's story * Ivan Popyalof ' (p. 66), firom the 
Chemigof government, the third brother, a simpleton, *for twelve whole 
years lay among the ashes from the stove, but then he arose and shook 
himself, so that six poods of ashes fell off from him ' ; and in Leger's 
Bohemian story {Contes Slaves, p. 130) of * La Montre Enchant^e,' which 
is a variant of our No. 54, the third brother, a fool, does nothing but 
begrime himself with the cinders from the stove. The idea, then, 
extends beyond the Teutonic area ; but how the name Ashypelt has 
found its way to South Wales is past my telling. 

Compare Grimm's No. 4 (i. 11), *The Story of the Youth who went 
forth to learn what Fear was,' with the variants on pp. 342-347 ; also a 
fragment from Calver, Derbyshire, *.The Boy who Feared Nothing,' in 
Addy's Household Tales, From a London tinker Campbell of Islay got 
a story of a cutler and a tinker who * travel together, and sleep in an 
empty haunted house for a reward. They are beset by ghosts and 
spirits of murdered ladies and gentlemen, and the inferior, the tinker, 
shows most courage, and is the hero. " He went into the cellar to draw 
beer, and there he found a little chap a-sittin* on a barrel with a red cap 



TWOPENCE. HALFPENNY 243 

on 'is 'ed ; and sez he, sez he, ^ Buzz.' ' Wot 's Buzz ? ' sez the tinker. 
* Never you mind wot *s buzz,' sez he. * That 's mine ; don't you go for 
to touch it,'" etc., etc., etc' {Tales of the West Highlands^ vol. i. 
p. xlvii.). And in vol. ii. p. 276, Campbell gives a Gaelic story, ' The 
Tale of the Soldier' (our No. 74), which was told by a tinker. 



No. 58. — ^Twopence-Halfpenny 

There were three brothers. The three were going on the 
road to seek for work. Night came upon them. They knew 
not where to go to get lodgings : it was night. They were 
travelling through a wood on an old road. They saw a small 
light, and they came to a cottage. They were hungry and 
tired. The door was open. They saw a table with food 
upon it 

Said the eldest brother, * Go you in.' 

* I am not going in ; go in yourself.' 

* Not I, indeed.' 

* You are two fools,' said Jack. And in he went, and sat 
down at the table, and ate his bellyful. The other two 
watched him. They were afraid to enter the house. At last 
the other two went in, and sat down and ate. 

Now a little old woman comes. Said the old woman, * I 
have seen no man here for many years. Whence came ye 
hither?' 

* We are seeking for work.' 

* I will find work for you to-morrow.' 

They went to bed. Up they rose in the morning. And 
there was a great pot on the fire, and porridge and milk. 
That was the food they ate. Now the old woman tells the 
eldest brother to go into the barn to get the tools, and to go 
into the wood to fell the trees. He took off his coat There 
he is doing the work. There came an old dwarf, and asked 
him who told him to fell the wood. He could not see this 
little man, so small was he. He looked under his feet ; he 
saw him in the stubble. The old dwarf hit him and beat 
him, until he bled, and there he left him. Now the maid 
comes with his dinner. The girl went home and told the 
two other brothers to come and carry him home and put 
him to bed. 

In the morning the second brother goes to the wood. 



244 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

The eldest brother told him it was a little man who beat 
him, and the second brother laughed at him. He went off 
now down to the woods. Here is something that asks him 
who told him to fell the trees. He looked around him ; he 
could see nothing. At last he saw him in the stubble. 

* Be off/ said he. The little stranger knocked him to pieces. 
The little maid came down to him with his dinner, and went 
home and told the two brothers to come and carry him home 
The two brothers went down and brought him home. 

Jack laughed at them : * I am going down to-morrow 
myself.' 

In the morning he went down to the wood. Here he is 
felling the trees. He heard something. He looked beneath 
his feet. He saw the little man in the stubble. Jack kicked 
him. 

* You had better keep quiet,' said the little man. 

The dwarf hit him. Down went Jack, and the dwarf half- 
killed him. There was Jack lying there now. The maid 
came with his dinner. Home went the maid, and told the 
two brothers to come and carry him home. 

* No,' said Jack, * leave me here and go.' 

The two brothers went home. Jack was watching him, 
and the little man crept under a great stone. Up got Jack 
now, and home he went, and told his two brothers to go into 
the stable and get out four horses. They took a strong rope, 
and the three went with the horses and fastened the rope 
round the stone. They took the horses, and pulled it up, 
and found a well there. 

* Go you down,' said one. 

* Not I,' said the other ; * I am not going down.' 

* I will go down,' says Jack. * Fasten this rope and let me 
down, and when you hear me say " Pull up," pull me up; and 
when I say " Let go," let me go.' 

Now the two brothers fastened him and let him down. 
Down he went a very little way. The little man beat him. 
' Pull me up.' He goes down again. He forgets the word : 

* Let me down.' He came into a beautiful country, and there 
he saw the old dwarf The old dwarf spoke to him : * Since 
you have come into this country, Jack, I will tell you some- 
thing now.' The old man tells Jack what he is to do. ' You 
will find three castles. In the first one lives a giant with 




TWOPENCE. HALFPENNY 245 



two heads, and/ said the old dwarf, 'you must fight him. 
Take the old rusty sword. I will be there with you.' 
' I am afraid of him.' 

* Go on, and have no fear. I will be there with you.' 
Here is Jack at the castle now. He knocked at the door. 

The servant-maid came, and he asked for her master. 
' He is at home. Do you wish to see him ? ' 

* Yes,' said Jack, * I want to fight with him.' 
The maid went and told him to come out. 

* Are you wanting something to eat ? ' 

* No,' said Jack, * come out, and I will fight with you.' 

' Come here and choose your sword.' (Jack chose the old 
rusty sword.) * Why do you take that old rusty sword ? 
Take a bright one.' 

' Not I. This one will do for me.' 

The twain went out before the door. Off went one head. 

* Spare my life. Jack. I will give you all my money.' 
'No.' 

He struck off the other head ; he killed him. (Now this 
was the Copper Castle : so they called it.) 

Now Jack goes on to the next, the Silver Castle. A giant 
with three heads lived there. Jack chose the rusty sword, 
and struck two heads off. 

'Don't kill me. Jack; let me live. I will give you the 
keys of my castle.' 

* Not I,' said Jack ; and off went the other head. 

Now Jack goes on to the next, the Golden Castle. And 
there was a giant with four heads. 

* Have you come here to fight with me ? ' 

* Yes,' says Jack. 

The giant told him to choose a sword, and he chose the 
old rusty sword ; and out they went. Jack struck off three 
heads. 

' Don't kill me, Jack. I will give you my keys.' 

* Yes, I will,' said Jack ; and off went the other head. 
Now all the castles, and the money and the three fair 

ladies in the three castles, were his. Off Jack goes now and 
the lady with him. He goes back to the Silver Castle, and 
takes that lady. He goes to the Copper Castle, and takes 
that lady. And the four went on and came to the place 
where Jack descended. The old dwarf was there waiting for 



246 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

him. Jack sent the three ladies up to his brothers. Now 
the old dwarf wanted meat. Jack went back to the castle, 
and cooked some meat for him. The old dwarf carried Jack 
up a bit ; the old dwarf stopped ; he wanted meat Jack 
gave him meat. He went up a bit further ; he stopped ; he 
wanted meat Jack gave him meat He went up a bit 
higher. He. wanted meat Jack had none. Now he was a 
very little way from the surface. He knew not what to do. 
He drew his knife from his pocket, and cut a little meat off 
his leg, and gave it to the old dwarf Up went Jack. 

Two of the ladies and his two brothers had gone off. And 
the eldest brother had taken the fairest lady; and the second 
brother had taken the other lady ; and they had left the 
ugly lady for Jack. Jack asked her where they had gone. 
The lady told him ; and he hastened after them. He caught 
them by the church : they were going to be married. The 
fairest lady looked back, and saw Jack. 

* That one 's mine,* said Jack. 

Jack took and married her. He left the other lady for 
his eldest brother to marry. There was only the second 
brother now, and he took the ugly lady. There are the 
three brothers and the three ladies. 

Now they want to go down to the three castles. Jack 
told the old dwarf to carry them down. 

* I will carry you down ; you must give me food as I come 
down.' 

* Yes,' said Jack, * I will give you plenty of food.* 

* I will take you down.' 

He carried them all down. And the old dwarf went along 
with Jack. Jack put one brother and one lady in the Copper 
Castle, and the other brother in the Silver Castle ; and Jack 
went to the Golden Castle. And Jack kept the old dwarf 
all his days. The old dwarf died, and at last Jack grew 
old himself 

There ! you Ve done me. 

A most interesting variant of our No. 20, the Bukowina- Gypsy story 
of * Mare's Son,' and so of Grimm's 'Strong Hans' and Cosquin's 
* Jean de I'Ours.' In one respect it is more perfect than 'Mare's Son,' 
that during the upward flight the hero cuts a piece out of his leg, which 
piece by rights the dwarf should have kept and restored (cf, p. 79). 
It is, however, contrary to every canon of the story-teller's art for the 



THE OLD SMITH 247 

dwarf to prove helpful to the hero ; and the brother's treachery, in 
cutting the rope, is omitted. For the castles of copper, silver, and gold 
see pp. 233-4. One is left rather sorry for the ugly lady. 



No. 59.— The Old Smith ^ 

An old smith lived on a hill with his wife and mother-in- 
law. He could only make ploughshares. A boy comes, 
and wants his horse shod. The smith could not do it. The 
boy cuts the horse*s legs off, stops the blood, and puts the 
legs on the fire, beats them on the anvil, and replaces them 
on the horse. He gives the smith a guinea, and goes away. 
The smith tries this with his mother-in-law's horse, but 
bungles it : the horse bleeds to death, and its legs are burnt 
to ashes. The boy comes again with two old women. * I 
want you to make them young again.' The smith couldn't. 
The boy puts them on the fire, beats them on the anvil, and 
rejuvenates them. The smith tries it with his wife and 
mother-in-law, but bums them to ashes. He leaves his 
forge, and sets off in the snow and wind. The barefooted 
boy follows him. The smith wants to send him off. The 
boy tells him of a sick king in the next town, whom they 
will cure, the boy acting as the smith's servant. The butler 
admits them» and gives them plenty to eat and drink. The 
smith forgets all about the sick king, but the boy reminds 
him. They go up. The boy asks for a knife, pot, water, 
and spoon. He cuts the king's head off, and spits on his 
hand to stop the blood. He puts the head in the pot, boils 
it, lifts it out with the golden spoon, and replaces it on the 
king, who is cured. The king gives them a sack of gold. 
They take the road again. 

* All I want,' says Barefoot, * is a pair of shoes.' 

* I 've little enough for myself,' says the smith. 

The boy leaves him, and the smith goes on alone. Hearing 
of another sick king, he goes to cure him, but takes too 
much to drink, and boils his head all to ribbons, and lets 
him bleed to death. A knock comes to the door. The 
smith, frightened, refuses admittance. 

1 The next eight Welsh-Gypsy stories were told, like the last, in Romani, by 
Matthew Wood to Mr. Sampson ; and the English summaries of them given 
here are by Mr. Sampson. 



248 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

* Won't you open to little Barefoot ? ' 

The boy enters, and with much difficulty gets the head on 
again. The king is cured, and gives them two sacks of gold. 
The boy asks for shoes and gets them. The boy tells the 
smith of a gentleman who has a wizard,^ whom none can 
beat : * Let 's go there. Three sacks of gold to any one who 
beats him.' They enter. There was a bellows. The wizard 
blows, and blows up half the sea ; the boy blows up a fish 
that drinks up all the wizard's water. The wizard blows up 
com as it were rain ; the boy blows up birds that eat the 
corn. The wizard blows up hundreds of rabbits ; the boy 
blows up greyhounds that catch the rabbits. So they win. 
the three sacks of gold. The smith hardly knows what 
to do with all his money. He builds a village and three 
taverns, and spends his time loafing round. An old woman 
comes and begs a night's lodging. He gives it her. She 
gives him three wishes. He wishes that whoever takes his 
hammer in his hand can't put it down again, that whoever 
sits on his chair can't get up again, and that whoever gets 
in his pocket can't get out again. One day, when money 
had run low, a man comes to the smith and asks will he 
sell himself. The smith sells himself for a bag of gold, the 
time to be up in five years. After five years the man returns. 
The smith gives him his hammer to hold, and goes off to his 
tavern. From inn to inn the man follows him, and, finding 
him in the third inn, gives him five more years' freedom. 
The same thing happens with the chair ; and the smith gets 
five more years from the old man (now called Bengy devil). 
The third time the devil finds the smith in one of his taverns. 
The smith explains that he has called for drinks, and asks 
the devil to change himself into a sovereign in his (the 
smith's) pocket to pay for them. The devil does so. The 
smith returns home, and goes to bed. At night he hears 
a great uproar in his trousers pocket, gets up, puts them 
on the anvil, and hammers. The devil promises never to 
meddle with him in future if he will release him. The 

^ I am reminded of Poly Mace, the champion's cousin. He was camping at 
Golden Acre near Granton, and told me one Sunday that he knew a sea-captain 
who had a familiar : would I care to see it ? Of course I would ; had he seen 
it ? what was it like, then ? * Well, it 's a very curious kind of a little, wee, teeny 
dragon, that is, Mr. Groome ; changes colour, it does, according to where you 
puts it.' I found Poly meant a chameleon. 



THE OLD SMITH 249 

smith lets him go. Afterwards the smith dies, and goes to 
the devil's door and knocks. An imp of Satan comes out 

* Tell your father the smith is here.' 
The little devil went and told his father. 

* He will kill us all/ said the devil, * if we let him in. Here, 
take this wisp of straw, and light him upstairs to God.' 

The little devil did so. The smith went to heaven. There 
he sat and played the harp. And there we shall all see him 
one day unless we go to the devil instead. 

Cf, Ralston's *The Smith and the Demon,' p. 57, and *The Pope with 
the Greedy Eyes,' p. 351 ; Dasent's *The Master-Smith* {Tales from the 
NorsCy p. 106) ; Clouston, ii. 409 ; a curious Nigger version from Vir- 
ginia, * De New HanV plainly derived from a European source, which 
I published in the AtheruFum for 20th August 1887, p. 215, and give 
here as an appendix; Reinhold Kohler's essay, 'Sanct Petrus, der 
Himmelspfbrtner' {Aufsatze iiber Mdrchen und Volkslieder^ pp. 48-78) ; 
^L'Anneau de Bronze' in Camoy and Nicolaides' Traditions Popu- 
laires de PAsie Mineure^ p. 62 ; and Grimm's 'Brother Lustig,' No. 81 
(i. 312, 440). With the last compare this sketch of a story, which 
M. Paul Bataillard got from Catalonian Gypsies encamped near Paris 
in 1869, and which very closely resembles one of the Cento Novelle 
Antiche^ summarised by Crane {Italian Popular Tales^ p. 360). 

St Peter travels with Christ as his servant, and they are often 
hard put to it for a livelihood. Christ sends St Peter to find a 
sheep, and, bidding him cook it, goes to heal a sick person, who 
rewards him richly. Peter eats the sheep's liver and kidneys, and 
Christ, when he comes back, asks where the liver and kidneys are, 
* for Jesus, who is God, knows everything.' Peter replying that the 
sheep had none, at the end of their meal Christ divides into three 
heaps the large sum received from the farmer whom he has healed. 
*For whom are these three heaps?' asks Peter. 'The two first 
for each of us,' Christ answers, *and the third for him who ate the 
liver and kidneys.' 'That was me,' says Peter. 'Very well,' 
Christ answers, 'take my share as well. I return to my own.' 
And then it is that Christ takes the cross, etc. 'You see,' the 
narrator ended, ' that it was God Jesus who at the beginning of 
the world founded all the estates of men — first doctors, for he 
healed for money — and who taught the Gypsies to beg and to go 
barefoot, whilst St Peter instructed them how to deceive their like.' 

In another Catalonian-Gypsy story, Christ sends St Peter to a farm 
to get an omelette or some roasted eggs, and Peter returns with the 
omelette hidden in his hat, intending to keep it for himself. Two other 
pseudo-Christian legends of Christ travelling with St. Peter were told 



250 SLOVAK. GYPSY VARIANT 

to M. Bataillard by an Alsatian Gypsy, but he had forgotten them 
(Letter of 22nd April 1872). Ralston has a legend (p. 346) of a Gypsy 
who learns of God, through St. George, that ^ his business is to cheat 
and to swear falsely,' so opens business by stealing the sainf s golden 
stirrup. 

Lastly Dr. von Sowa gives this confused but curious Slovak-Gypsy 
tale:— 

No. 60. — The Old Soldier 

There was a very old soldier; he was twelve years in 
military service. Then the colonel asked him, *My good 
man, what do you want for having served me so many years 
here? Whatever you want I will give you, for you have 
served me well so many years. I will give you a beautiful 
white horse, and I will give you three big tobacco-pipes, so 
that you '11 smoke like a gentleman. I will give you three 
rolls for your journey. The whole company never served 
as well as you have served me. I left everything to you ; 
you have performed every sentry.' 

* If I went home on furlough, I should weep bitterly. How 
can I leave you, my good comrades ? Now I go home, shall 
never see you more; I have none but my God and good 
comrades. I was a good soldier, the sergeant over the 
entire company. The major has given me a beautiful white 
horse to go home on. O God, I am going ; but I have not 
much money, only a little.' 

When he had come into great forests, there came a beggar 
and begs of the soldier. He said to him, did the soldier, * O 
God ! what can I give you ? I am, you see, a poor soldier, 
and I have far to go, yet my heart is not heavy. But, wait 
a bit, O beggar, I will give you a roll.* Then he bade him 
farewell. 

Afterwards the same beggar came again to the soldier, 
and begs of him, * O my soldier, give me something, make 
me a present' 

* How can I make you a present, seeing I have given 
already to four beggars ? But wait, here I '11 give you these 
couple of kreutzers, to get a drink of brandy with.' 

Well, he went further. Again a third beggar met him ; 
again he begs of him. ^ My God ! ' he said to him, ' I am 
a poor soldier; I have no one but God and myself I shall 



THE OLD SOLDIER 251 

have no money; I shall have nothing for myself; I'm giving 
you everything. My God I what am I to do ? I 'm an old 
soldier, a poor man ; and, being so poor, where shall I now 
get anything ? I gave you everything — bread, money, and 
my white horse Now I must tramp on alone on my old 
legs. No one ever will know that I was a soldier. But 
my Golden God be with you, farewell.' 

Then the beggar said to the soldier, * Old soldier, I permit 
you to ask whatever you will. For I am God.' 

The soldier answered, *I want nothing but a stick that 
when I say " Beat " will beat every one and fear nobody.' 

God gave it him. 'Tell me now what do you want 
besides.' 

* Give me further a sack that if I say to a man " Get in " 
he must forthwith get into it.' 

* Good, but you still may ask for a third gift. Only think 
well, so that God in your old days may succour you.' 

* I want nothing but a sack that will let fall money when 
shaken.' 

God gave him that too, and went off. The old soldier 
goes further, comes to a city, comes into an inn. There 
were many country-folk and other people of all sorts. He 
sits down to table, and orders victuals and drink. Straight- 
way the gentleman brought him something to eat When 
he had eaten and drunk, he asks him to pay. He takes the 
sack, shakes it ; golden pieces come tumbling out. He paid 
them all to the gentleman, and went away. The gentleman 
was right glad that he had given him all that money. 

He goes further, came into a vast forest. There were four- 
and-twenty robbers ; they kept an inn there, and sold what 
one required. He went in, and orders victuals to eat and 
brandy to drink ; forthwith they brought him brandy strong 
as iron. He drank ; he got drunk. * Now pay.' He takes 
the sack, and shook out golden pieces, and hands them over. 
He paid the robbers, but he did not know that they were 
robbers. When he had paid up, they marvel to see him 
shake a sack like that and the money come falling out. 
They took him, take the sack, and go into another room. 
There four of them held him down, whilst two shake the 
sack ; the money came tumbling out to their hearts' desire. 
They told their chief, seize the soldier, and kill him, and cut 



252 WELSH. GYPSY STORIES 

him in pieces ; then they hung up his body like an ox on 
a peg. Let us leave them and come to the soldier. When 
he got to paradise, my Golden God let him be, but not long. 

* Do you, Peter, go to that old soldier, and ask him what he 
wants here.' Good, Peter came. * What are you wanting ? ' 

* I just want the peace of God.' * Hah ! I '11 ask God if he 
will let you stay here.' Peter went to my God and asks 
him, * God, that old soldier is wanting your peace.' * Go to 
the devils ; tell them all to lay hold of him, tear him in 
pieces, and put as much wood as possible beneath the pot, 
so as to roast him thoroughly.' Well, they cooked him to 
shreds ; but after all had to chuck him out, for he knocked 
them about so that he broke their bones. A second time 
my God sent Death for him, and him too the old soldier 
thrashed. But now he is dead and rotten, and we are 
alive. 

This very confused story Professor von Sowa got from a Gypsy lad, 
A. Facsuna. Another Gypsy, with whom he conversed about Gypsy 
folk-tales, said that it should be much longer, and told him in Slovak 
that, Death refusing to repeat his visit, God at last finished the old 
soldier's existence by sending him so much vermin that he died. 

No. 6i. — The Dragon 

A lord, his wife, and his daughter live at a great castle, 
A poor lad is engaged to mind the sheep. The daughter 
gives him bread and beer in a basket for lunch. The old 
lord explains that previous servants have always come back 
with one cow short. In the field a little man comes to Jack. 
Jack gives him as much as he can eat ; and the little man 
gives Jack a plum. The little man explains that a giant in 
a neighbouring castle steals a cow daily. He gives Jack 
a pennyworth of pins, and bids him put them in the giant's 
drink. Jack goes to the giant, and asks for work. The 
giant goes to get drinks, and Jack mixes up the pins in the 
giant's glass. The giant drinks, falls ill, and dies. Jack 
tells the little man how he has fared, and returns with the 
full tale of cows. The master is surprised. Presently his 
daughter comes in. She tells Jack that to-morrow she is to 
be killed by a dragon, and would like him to be there to see. 
Jack refuses, but gives the girl a plum, which she eats. 



THE DRAGON 253 

Next morning she gives him his food, and off he goes. He 
shares it as before with the little man, who bids him take 
a key, unlock a large door, and take out a black horse and 
black clothes, with a sword he will find there. Then, having 
watered his horse, he is to go and fight the dragon. He 
goes, and knocks the dragon about with his sword. The 
dragon shoots fire from his mouth, but the horse throws up 
the water he has drunk, and quenches it. Jack puts back 
the horse, changes his clothes, and goes home with the cows. 
He gives another plum to the girl, who has to meet the 
dragon again next day, and asks Jack to be there. He 
refuses. Next morning she gives Jack his food, and Jack at 
the little man's suggestion asks for more. He gets it, goes, 
and shares it with the little man. It is the same as before, 
only this time he gets a white horse and white clothes. The 
little man tells Jack that to-morrow is the last day of the 
fight, and bids him rise early, and ask the young lady to 
send more food. Jack gives her another plum. This time 
she prepares the food over-night, as she has to meet the 
dragon at daybreak. She wants Jack to come and see, but 
he refuses — * must see after the cows.* He gets a red horse 
and red clothes this time, and the horse drinks the water 
dry. The fire from the dragon burns the lady's hair, but the 
horse's flood of water quenches it ; and between them they 
kill the dragon. The lady cuts off a lock of Jack's hair with 
a golden scissors. He returns to the castle, and there the 
girl tells him about the fight and gets another plum. Then 
there is the usual dinner. Every guest has to lay his head 
in the lady's lap to let her see whether the lock matches. 
Jack having meanwhile gone off as usual with his cows, and 
shared his food with the little man. They fail to match the 
hair, so they bring up the servants — Jack last of all, wearing 
the red clothes underneath his own rags. He marries the 
young lady, and they live first in the dead giant's castle, and 
then, the parents having died, in her father's. 

No exact parallel, but the story reminds one inter alia of the sheep- 
grazing episode in * Mare's Son ' (No. 20), and of the Polish-Gypsy * Tale 
of a Foolish Brother and of a Wonderful Bush * (No. 45). 



254 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 



No. 62. — ^Thc Green Man of Noman's Land 

There was a young miller, who was a great gambler. 
Nobody could beat him. One day a man comes and 
challenges him. They play. Jack wins and demands a 
castle. There it is. They play again, and Jack loses. The 
man tells Jack his name is the Green Man of Noman's Land, 
and that unless Jack finds his castle in a year and a day 
he will be beheaded. The time goes by. Jack remembers 
his task, and sets out in cold and snow. He comes to a 
cottage, where an old woman gives him food and lodging. 
He asks her if she knows the Green Man. * No,* she says ; 
' but if a quarter of the world knows I can tell you.' In 
the morning she mounts on the roof and blows a horn. 
A quarter of all the men in the world came. She asks 
them. They do not know the Green Man, and she dis- 
misses them. Again she blows the horn, and the birds 
come. She asks them ; they don't know ; and she dismisses 
them. She sends Jack on to her elder sister, who knows 
more than she does. She lends Jack her horse, and gives 
him a ball of thread to place between the horse's ears. He 
comes to the second sister's house. * It is long,* she says, 

* since I saw my sister's horse.' He eats and sleeps, then 
asks about the Green Man. She knows not, but will tell 
him if half the world knows ; so goes on the roof and blows 
a horn. Half the world come, but they do not know the 
Green Man. *Go,' she says, and blows the. horn again. 
Half the birds in the world come, but with a like result. 
She takes her sister's horse, and gives Jack hers, with a ball 
of thread, and sends him on to the eldest sister. It is the 
same thing there. The third sister also doesn't know, but in 
the morning goes on the roof and blows a horn. All the 
people in the world come, but do not know the Green Man. 

* Go.' Again she blows, and all the birds come, but do not 
know. She goes down and looks in her book, and finds that 
the eagle is missing. She blows again ; the eagle comes ; 
and she abuses him. He explains that he has just come 
from the Green Man of Noman's Land. She lends Jack her 
horse, and bids him go till he comes to a pool and sees three 
white birds, to hide, and to steal the feathers of the last one 



THE GREEN MAN 255 

to enter the water. He does so. The bird cries and 
demands its feathers. Jack insists on her carrying him over 
to her father's castle. She denies at first that she is the 
Green Man's daughter, but at last carries him over, and when 
across becomes a young lady. Jack goes up to the castle 
and knocks. The Green Man comes out : * So you 've found 
the house, Jack.' *Yes.' The Green Man sets him tasks, 
the loss of his head the penalty of failure. The first task is 
to clean the stable. As fast as he throws out a shovelful of 
dirt, three return. So Jack gives it up, and the girl, coming 
with his dinner, does it for him. The Green Man accuses 
him of receiving help ; he denies it The second task is to 
fell a forest before mid-day. Jack cuts down three trees and 
weeps. The girl brings his dinner, and does it for him, 
warning him not to tell her father. The same accusation is 
met with the same denial. The third task is to thatch a bam 
with a single feather only of each bird. Jack catches a robin, 
pulls a feather from it, lets it go then, and sits down despair- 
ing. The girl brings his food, and performs his task for him, 
warning him of the next task, the fourth one. This is to 
climb a glass mountain in the middle of a lake and to bring 
from the top of it the egg of a bird that lays one egg only. 
The girl meets him at the edge of the lake, and by her 
suggestion he wishes her shoe a boat. They reach the 
mountain. He wishes her fingers a ladder. She warns him 
to tread on every step and not miss one. He forgets, steps 
over the last rung, and gets the egg ; but the girl's finger 
is broken. She warns him to deny having had any help. 
The fifth task is to guess which daughter is which, as in the 
shape of birds they fly thrice over the castle. Forewarned 
by the girl. Jack names them correctly. The Green Man 
thereupon gives in, and Jack weds his daughter. 

For the ball of thread, see pp. 22 1 , 233 ; and for looking in the book, p. 1 2. 
Blowing a blast and summoning all the birds, occurs in the Roumanian- 
Gypsy story of *The Three Princesses and the Unclean Spirit,' p. 38 
(cf, the Welsh-Gypsy *Jack and his Golden Snuff-box,* p. 214, where 
likewise the eagle comes last). So too in Dasent's * Three Princesses 
of Whiteland' {cf. Folklore for December 1890, p. 496, and note on p. 17 
of Georgeakis and Pineau's Folklore de Lesbos), The * Green Man of 
Noman's Land ' offers close analogies to the Polish-Gypsy story of * The 
Witch' (No. 50), and is identical with CampbelPs West Highland tale, 
* The Battle of the Birds ' (No. 2), in a variant of which the hero plays 



256 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

cards with a dog, loses, so has to serve him. Reinhold K5hler has 
treated Campbell's story very fully in Orient und Occident^ ii. 1864, 
pp. 103-114, where he gives Irish, Norse, Swedish, German, and Indian 
variants. The Indian variant, from the Sanskrit verse Kathd SaritSagara 
of Somadeva (eleventh century A.D.) is of high interest. In it the hero, 
by the help of his beloved, performs tasks set by her father, a cannibal 
R&kshasa ; one of those tasks is the picking out of the beloved from 
among her sisters, as in ^ The Green Man of Noman's Land.' Then, as 
in 'The Witch,' we get the pursuit, with transformations and final 
victory. What Kohler does not point out is that the two birds in 
Campbell's story correspond very closely to the two birds that figure so 
often in Indian folk-tales, e,g. in 'The Bel Princess' (Maive Stokes's 
Indian Fairy-tales^ p. 149). 



No. 63. — ^The Black Lady 

A young girl goes to service at an old castle with the 
Black Lady, who warns her not to look through the window. 
The Black Lady goes out The girl gets bored, looks 
through the window, and sees the Black Lady playing cards 
with the devil. She falls down frightened. The Black 
Lady comes in and asks her what she has seen. * Nothing 
saw I ; nought can I say. Leave me alone ; I am weary of 
my life.' The Black Lady beats her, and asks her again, 
'What saw you through the window?' 'Nothing saw I,' 
etc. The girl runs off and meets a keeper, who takes her 
home, and after some years marries her. She has a child, 
and is bedded. Enter the Black Lady. *What saw you 
through the window.?' 'Nothing saw I,' etc. The Black 
Lady takes the child, dashes its brains out, and exit Enter 
the husband. The wife offers no explanation, and the 
husband wants to burn her, but his mother intercedes and 
saves her this time. But the same thing happens again, and 
the husband makes a fire. As she is being brought to the 
stake, the Black Lady comes. * What saw you through the 
window ? ' * Nothing saw I,' etc. ' Take her and bum her,' 
says the Black Lady. They fasten her up, and bring a light 
The same question, the same answer. The Black Lady sees 
that she is secret, so gives her back her two children, and 
leaves her in peace. 

A story of the ' Forbidden Room' type {cf. Clouston, i. 198-205). An 
incomplete Italian variant is cited there ; much closer parallels are 



THE TEN RABBITS 257 

Grimm's No. 3, *Our Lady's Child* (i. 7 and 341), and Dasent's *The 
Lassie and her Godmother' (p. 198). For playing cards with the devil, 
see p. 120 ; and cf, also this passage from the Roumanian-Gypsy story 
of *The Vampire' (No. 5, p. 18):— *" Tell me what did you see me 
doing ? " "I saw nothing." And he killed her boy.' 



No. 64. — The Ten Rabbits 

In a little house on the hill lived an old woman with her 
three sons, the youngest of them a fool. The eldest goes to 
seek his fortune, and tells his mother to bake him a cake. 
* Which will you have — a big one and a curse with it, or a 
little one and a blessing in it ? ' He chooses a big cake. He 
comes to a stile and a beautiful road leading to a castle ; he 
knocks at the castle door, and asks the old gentleman for 
work. He is sent into a field with the gentleman's rabbits. 
He eats his food, and refuses to give any to a little old man 
who asks for some. The rabbits run here and there. He 
tries to catch them, but fails to recover half of them. The 
gentleman counts them, and finds some missing, so cuts the 
eldest brother's head off, and sticks it on a gatepost. The 
second brother acts in the same way, and meets the same 
fate. The fool also will seek his fortune. He chooses a 
little cake with a blessing. His mother sends him with a 
sieve to get water for her. A robin bids him stop up the 
holes with leaves and clay. He does so, and brings water. 
He gets the cake and goes. He sees his two brothers' heads 
stuck on the gateposts, and stands laughing at them, saying, 
' What are you doing there, you two fools ? ' and throwing 
stones at them. He enters, dines, and smiles at the old 
gentleman's daughter, who falls in love with him. He goes 
to the field, lets the rabbits go, and falls asleep. The rabbits 
run about here and there. An old man by the well begs 
food, and Jack shares his food with him. Jack hunts for 
hedgehogs. He can't get the rabbits back, but the old man 
gives him a silver whistle. Jack blows, and the rabbits 
return. The old gentleman counts them, and finds them 
correct. The girl brings Jack his dinner daily in the field. 
The old man tells Jack to marry her. He does so, still 
living as servant in the stable till the old people's death. 

R 



258 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

Then he takes over the castle, and brings his mother to live 
with him. 

A very imperfect story, still plainly identical with Dasent's ' Osbom's 
Pipe* {Tales from the Fjeld^ p. i), where it is hares that Boots has to 
tend, and an old wife gives him a magic pipe. According to an article 
in Temple Bar for May 1876, pp. 105- 118, the same story is told of the 
Brussels * Manneken,' the well-known bronze figure, not quite a metre 
high, by Duquesnoy (16 19). Here a boy has to feed twelve rabbits in 
the forest, gets a magic whistle from an old woman, befools a fat noble- 
man, the princess, and the king, and finally marries the princess. In 
the heads of the two brothers stuck on the gateposts, Mr. Baring-Gould 
may find a confirmation of his theory that the stone balls surmounting 
gateposts are a survival of the practice of impaling the heads of one's 
enemies. Anyhow, in the Roumanian-Gypsy story of 'The Three 
Princesses and the Unclean Spirit ' (No. 10, p. 39), the old wife threatens 
the hero, ' I will cut off your head and stick it on yonder stake ' {cf, also 
Campbell's IVes/ Highland Tales, i. p. 51, line 20). For the big cake 
with curse or the little cake with blessing, cf, p. 219. The hunting for 
hedgehogs is a very Gypsy touch. 

No. 65. — The Three Wishes ^ 

A fool lives with his mother. Once on a hillside he finds 
a young lady exposed to the heat of the sun, and twines a 
bower of bushes round her for protection. She awakes, and 
gives him three wishes. He wishes he were at home: no 
sooner said than done. On the way he catches a glimpse of 
a lovely lady at a window, and wishes idly that she were 
with child by him. She proves so, but knows not the cause. 
She bears a child, and her parents summon every one from 
far and near to visit her. When the fool enters, the babe 
says, * Dad, dad ! * Disgusted at the lover's low estate, the 
parents cast all three adrift in a boat. The lady asks him 
how she became with child, and he tells her. *Then you 
must have a wish still left' He wishes they were safe on 
shore in a fine castle of their own. They live happily there 
for some time, then return home, and visit the girl's parents 
splendidly dressed. The parents refuse to believe him the 
same man. He returns in his old clothes. Triumph and 
reconciliation. He provides for his old mother. 

This story is largely identical with Hahn's No. 8, ' Der Halbe Mensch ' 
(i. 102 ; ii. 201), which lacks, however, the episode of making a bower 

* / Shuvali Rtlni is the R6mani title of this story. 



FAIRY BRIDE 259 

for the fairy. That episode forms the opening of Wrati slaw's Illyrian- 
Slovenish story of * The Vila' (No. 60, p. 314), otherwise different. And 
the whole Welsh-Gypsy story is absolutely identical with Basile's story 
of Penionto in the Pentamerone (i. 3). For the recognition of the 
father by the child see Clouston, ii. 159, note. In Hahn's story the 
child gives its father an apple ; and in Friedrich Miiller's Hungarian- 
Gypsy story, No. 3, * The Wallachian Gypsy,' a lady is adjudged to him 
to whom she shall throw a red apple. Cf, also Hahn, i. 94, ii. 56 ; 
Bemhard Schmidt's Griechische Marchetiy pp. 85, 228 ; and Reinhold 
Kohler in Orient und Occident^ ii. 1864, pp. 304, 306. 



No. 66. — Fairy Bride 

A king has three sons, and knows not to which of them to 
leave his kingdom. They shoot for it with bow and arrows. 
The youngest shoots so far that his arrow is lost. He seeks 
it for a long time, and at last finds it sticking in a glass 
door. He enters and finds himself in the home of the Queen 
of the Fairies, whom he marries. After a while he returns 
home with his bride. An old witch who lives in the park 
incites the king to ask the fairy bride to fetch him a handker- 
chief which will cover the whole park. She does it, and 
then is asked to bring her brother. She refuses, but finally 
summons him. He enters, and terrifies the king by his 
threatening aspect. 'What did you call me for?' The 
king is too frightened to answer coherently. The fairy's 
brother kills him and the old witch, and vanishes. They 
live at the castle. 

Arrows occur in the Bukowina- Gypsy story of * Mare's Son' (No. 20, 
p. 79). The handkerchief that will cover all the park reminds one of 
the tent with room for the king and all his soldiers in an Arab version 
of our No. 17, *It all comes to Light' (Cosquin, i. 196). Otherwise I 
can offer no parallel for this story. 



No. 67. — Cinderella 

A glorious version, too long to take down, and now almost 
forgotten. After Cinderella's marriage the sisters live with 
her, and flirt with the prince. Her children are stolen, and 
Cinderella is turned into a sow. She protects the children, 
but at the instigation of the sisters (or stepmother) she is 



26o WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

hunted by the prince's hounds and killed. The three children 
come to the hall, and beg for the sow's liver (its special 
efficacy forgotten). The children are followed and further 
restored to their father. Perhaps Cinderella herself comes 
again to life. 

Just enough to make one want more. But some day of course the 
whole tale must be taken down. Meanwhile I will merely remark that 
in 1871-72 I frequently saw an old Gypsy house-dweller, Cinderella 
Petul^ngro, or Smith, at Headington, near Oxford. From her I heard 
the story of * Fair Rosamer,' so fair you could see the poison pass down 
her throat. She was turned, it seems, after death into a Holy Briar, 
which, being enchanted, bleeds if a twig be plucked. 



No. 68.— Jack the Robber ^ 

Now we '11 leave the master to stand a bit, and go back to 
the mother. So in the morning Jack says to his mother, 
* Mother,' he says, * give me one of them old bladders as hang 
up in the house, and,' he says, * I '11 fill it full of blood, and 
I '11 tie it round your throat ; and when the master comes up 
to ax me if I got the sheet, me and you will be having a bit 
of arglement, and I '11 up with my fist and hit you on the 
bladder, and the bladder will bust, and you '11 make yourself 
to be dead.' 

Now the master comes. * Have you got the sheet, Jack ? 

And just as he's axing him, he up with his fist, and hits 
his mother. 

And the master says, * O Jack, what did you kill your 
poor mother for ? ' 

* Oh ! I don't care ; I can soon bring her right again.' 

* No,' says the master, * never. Jack.' 

And Jack began to smile, and he says, * Can't I ? you shall 
see, then.' And he goes behind the door, and fetches a 
stick with a bit of a knob to it. Jack begin to laugh. He 
touches his mother with this stick, and the old woman 
jumped up. (This is s'posed to be an /^chanted stick.) 

Says the master : * O Jack,' he says, * what shall I give you 
for that stick ? ' 

* The first half of this story, which, like the next, was told to Mr. Sampson 
in English by Cornelius Price, is here omitted, having been already summarised 
on pp. 48-9. 



JACK THE ROBBER 261 

* Well, sir/ he says, ' I couldn't let you have that stick. 
My inchantment would be broke.' 

* Well, Jack, if you 'II let me have that stick, I '11 never 
give you another thing to do as long as you live here.' 

So he gave him ;^so for this stick, and said he 'd never 
give him nothing else to do for him. So the master went 
home to the house, and he didn't know which way to fall 
out with the missus, to try this stick. One day at dinner- 
time he happened to fall out with her; the dinner she put 
for him didn't please him. So he up with his fist and he 
knocked her dead. 

In comes the poor servant-girl and says, * O master, what 
ever did you kill the poor missus for ? ' 

He says, * I '11 sarve you the same.' And he sarved her 
the same. 

In come the wagoner, and he asked, * What did he kill the 
missus and the sarvint for.' And he says, * I '11 sarve you the 
same,' he says. He wanted to try this stick what he had off 
Jack. He thought he could use it the same way as Jack. 
So he touched the missus with it fust, but she never rose. 
He touched the servant with it, and she never rose. He 
touched the wagoner, and he never rose. *Well,' he says, 
* I '11 try the big end,' he says, and he tries the knob. So he 
battered and battered with the knob till he battered the 
brains out of the three of them. 

He does no more, and he goes up to Jack and says, * O 
Jack, you *ve ruined me for life.' He says, ' Jack, I shall 
have to drown you.' 

So Jack says, ' All right, master.' 

* Well, get in this bag,' he says ; and he takes him on his 
back. As he was going along the road, he . . . went one 
field off the road, being a very methlyist man. During the 
time he was down there, there come a drovyer by with his 
cattle. Now Jack's head was out of the sack. 

* Hello ! Jack, where are you going } ' 

* To heaven, I hope.' 

* Oh 1 Jack, let me go. I 'm an older man till you, and I '11 
give you all my money and this cattle.' 

Jack told him to unloosen the bag to let him out, and for 
him to get into it. Away Jack goes with the cattle and the 
money. So the master comes up, taking no notice of it, and 



262 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

he picks the bag up, and puts it on his shoulder, and goes 
on till he comes to Monfort's Bridge.* He says, * One, two, 
three ' ; and away he chucks him over. 

Well, Jack goes now about the country, dealing in cattle. 
So in about three years* time he comes round the same way 
again, round the master's place. 

So, * Hello ! Jack,' he says, * where ever did you get them 
from ? ' 

* Well, sir,' he says, ' when you throwed me, if I 'd had a 
little boy at the turning to turn them straight down the 
road, I should have had as many more.' 

So he says, * Jack, will you chuck me there, and you stop 
at the turning to turn them.' 

So Jack says, * You *11 have to walk till you get there, for I 
can't carry you.' 

And when he got to the bridge Jack put him in the bag, 
and Jack counted his * One, two, three,' same as he counted 
for him, and away he goes. And Jack went back and took 
to the farm, and making very good use of it For many a 
night he let me sleep in the field with my tent for telling 
that lie about him. 



Matthew Wood gave the closing episode to Mr. Sampson, who sum- 
marises it thus : — 

No. 69. — The Fool with the Sheep 

The youngest of three brothers is a fool, and the two others want 
to kill him. They induce him to get into a sack as the way to go 
to heaven. He does so, and they take him to the sea. They stop 
for a drink at a tavern. A stranger comes by with sheep. Ife 
wants to go, and takes Jack's place, and is thrown into the sea. 
Jack returns with the sheep. The brothers find him at home with 
his flock, and ask where he got them. * At the bottom of the sea.* 
They want to go too, so Jack throws them in, and returns home. 

One of the Boswells remarked to me twenty odd years ago, *The 
folks hereabouts are a lot of r&tfalo heathens ; they all think they are 
going to heaven in a sack.' Our story is a very widespread one, 
A Polish-Gypsy fragment of it was printed as a specimen by Kopemicki 
{Gypsy Lore Journal^ iii. 132) ; and it occurs also in Grimm (*The Little 
Peasant/ No. 61, i. 264, 422), Campbell of Islay (*The Three Widows,' 

* Monlford Bridge, over the Severn, near Shrewsbury. 



THE TINKER AND HIS WIFE 263 

No. 39, ii. 2 18-238 ; cf, R. K5hler thereon in Orient und Occident^ ii. 1864, 
pp. 486-506}, and Straparola (Venice, 1550: * Scarpafigo,' i. 3), besides 
which Clouston (ii. 229-288, 489-91) cites Irish, English, Norse, Danish, 
Icelandic, Burgundian, Gascon, Sicilian, Modem Greek, Kabyle, Indian, 
and other versions. He could not of course give two excellent versions 
from A. Campbell's Santal Folk-tales (i 891)—* The Story of Bitaram,' 
pp. 25-32, and *The Greatest Cheat of Seven,' pp. 98-101. In the first, 
which has features of Grimm's 'Thumbling' (No. 37) and * Frederick and 
Catherine' (No. 59), Bitaram, who is only a span high, by measuring 
money in Kpaila and leaving some coins sticking in it, deludes the king 
and his sons into killing all their cattle and firing their houses so as like- 
wise to grow rich by the sale of the hides and the ashes. They resolve 
to drown him, put him in a bag, and carry him to the river, then go to a 
little distance to cook their food. Bitaram tells a herd-boy that they are 
going to marry him against his will ; the herd-boy takes his place ; and 
the story ends exactly as in the European versions, only with cows and 
buffaloes in place of sheep. In the second story the rivals are induced 
to purchase a * magic' fishing-rod and a 'marvellous' dog, to bum their 
houses, and to kill their wives. The occurrence of this story, as of 
others already cited, among the aboriginal Santals of India is exceed- 
ingly curious. Is it perhaps to be explained by the frequent mention in 
the collection of Doms ( = Roms = Gypsies) ? Cornelius Price's whole 
story of * Jack the Robber ' is a combination of * The Master Thief and 
' The Little Peasant,' such as meets us also in Hahn's Greek story of 
'Beauty and the Dragon' (No. 3, i. 75-79 ; ii. 178-186). 

No. 70. — The Tinker and his Wife 

Once there was a tinker and his wife, and they got into a 
bit of very good countr>' for yernin' a few shillings quick. 
And in this country there wasn't very little lodgings. * Well, 
my wench/ he said to his wife, ' I think we *11 go and take 
that little empty house, and keep a little beer. Well, my 
wench, I '11 order for a barrel of beer.* He has this barrel of 
beer in the house. * Now, my wench, you make the biggest 
penny out of it as ever you can, and I '11 go off for another 
week's walk.' 

In the course of one day a packman come by. He says, 
* It's gettin' very warm, missus, isn't it?' 

* No, indeed,' she says, * it 's very cold weather.' 

* I 've got a very big load, and it makes me sweat, and I 
think it *s warm.' 

* I sell beer here,' she says. 

He says, * Well, God bless you, put me a drop for this 
penny.' 



264 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

It was one of the old big pennies, and was the biggest 
penny she ever saw there. She brought him all the barrel 
for it. So she takes the penny and drops it in the basin on 
the mantel-shelf. He was there three days drinking till he 
emptied the barrel of beer. The husband comes honie at the 
end of the week. 

* Well, my wench, how did you get on ? ' 

* Well, Jack, I did very well. I sold every drop of beer.' 

* Well done, my wench, we '11 have another one and see 
how that goes. Now, my wench, bring them few shillin's 
down, and let *s see what you made upon it' 

She brings the basin down, and says, * You telled me to 
make the biggest penny on it as ever I could.' 

He begin to count it, and turns the basin upside down, and 
empties it on the table. And what was there but the one 
big penny ? 

* Well ! well I ! well ! 1 1 * he says, ' you'll ruin me now for life.' 
*Ah!' she says, 'Jack, didn't you tell me to make the 

biggest penny out of it as ever I could, and that was the 
biggest penny as ever I seen.' 

* Well,' he says, * my wench, I see you don't understand 
sellin' beer. I think I '11 buy a little pig. We 've got plenty 
of taters and cabbage in the garden. Well, now, my wench, 
when the butcher comes round to kill the pig, you walk 
round the garden and count every cabbage that's in the 
garden, and you get a little stick, and stick it by every 
cabbage in the garden, and when the butcher slays the pig 
up, you revide a piece of pig up for every cabbage in the 
garden.' 

She revided a piece of pig up for every cabbage in the 
garden, and stuck it on every stick round the cabbages. The 
husband comes home again. 

* Well, my wife, how did you go on with the pig ? ' 

* Well, Jack, I done as you told me,' she says. * I got a 
stick and stuck it by every cabbage, and put a piece of mate 
on every stick.' 

* Well ! well ! ! well ! ! ! ' he says, ' where is the mate gone to 
now? You '11 ruin me if I stop here much longer. Pull the 
fire out,' he says, * and I '11 get away from here.' And he 
picks up his basket and throws it on his shoulder. 'Pull 
that door after you,' he says. 



THE TINKER AND HIS WIFE 265 

What did she do but she pulls all the fire out and put it 
into her apron. The old door of the house was tumbling 
down, and she picks it up and put it on her back. So him 
being into a temper, he didn't take much notice of her 
behind him. They travelled on, and it come very dark. 
They comes to an old hollow tree by the side of the road. 

* Well, my wench, I think we '11 stop here to-night' 
They goes up to the top of the old tree. After they got 

up in the tree, the robbers got underneath them. 

'Whatever you do, my wench, keep quiet. This is a 
robbers' den.' 

The robbers had plenty of meat and everything, and they 
prayed for a bit of fire. 

She says, * Jack,' she says, * I shall have to drop it' 

So she drops the fire out of her apron, and it goed down 
the hollow tree. 

* See, what a godsend that is,' said one. 

They cooked the meat as they had. * The Lord send me 
a drop of vinegar,* says one. 

. • . • . • • 

* Thank God for that,' says that other one. * See what a 
godsend 'tis to us.' 

Now, the door 's fastened to her back yet, and she says, 
• Jack, I shall have to drop it' 

* Drop what ? ' he says. 

* I shall have to drop the door, Jack,' she says, * the rope 's 
cutting my shoulders in two.' 

So she drop the door down the hollow tree, and it went 
dummel-tummel-tummel down the tree, and these robbers 
thought 'twas the devil himself coming. They jumps up, 
and away they goes down the road as hard as ever they 
could go. The time as they run. Jack's wife goes down the 
tree and picks up the bag of gold what they 'd left Being 
frightened as they 'd had such godsends to 'em, they left all 
behind. 

They had one brother as was deaf and dumb. Him being 
a very valuable ^ fellow, he thought he 'd come back to see 
what was the matter. He come peepin' round the old tree. 
Who happened to see him but Jack's wife. And he went 
' A a a a a a ' to her. 

1 Valiant. 



266 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

* Come here/ she says, * I can cure your speech.' 
She made motions with her own mouth for him to put his 
tongue out. She drew the knife sh'ghtly from behind her as 
he put his tongue out, and cut half of his tongue off. Him 
being bleeding, he went *Awa wa wa wa wa,' putting his 
hand to his mouth and making motions to his brothers. And 
when he got back to his brothers, them seeing him bleeding, 
they thought sure the devil was there. 

I never see Jack nor his wife nor the robbers sense after 
they left the tree. 

Matthew Wood furnished another (imperfect) Welsh-Gypsy version : — 

No. 71. — ^Winter 

An old man and woman, very poor, live in a cottage. The 
old man saves up money in a stocking for winter. A 
beggar comes to the door. The old woman asks his name. 
* Winter.' ' Here is money, my old man, saved for you.* 
The old husband comes home. They leave the cottage, the 
old woman taking the door with her (reason not given), 
and camp out in a tree. Robbers come and camp under- 
neath, and quarrel over the division of their spoil. They 
want change for £1, One says he will have change if he 
goes to the devil for it. Down falls the door. The robbers 
think it is the devil, and fly, leaving the money. The old 
man and woman seize it, and return to their cottage. 

HalliwelPs Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales (1849), p. 31, has a 
story of *The Miser and his Wife,' where the beggar calls himself 
' Good Fortune.' A most unlikely name, whereas Winter, it is worth 
remarking, was the name of a Northumbrian Gypsy family (Simson's 
History of the Gypsies^ 1865, p. 96), as also of German Gypsies. 'The 
Story of Mr. Vinegar' (Halliwell, p. 26), obtained from oral tradition in 
the West of England, tells how a husband and wife go off, taking the 
door, climb a tree, let the door fall on thieves, and get the booty. A very 
Rabelaisian passage in Price's story^ which I have omitted, explains 
why Vinegar. That story is identical with Grimm's 'Frederick and 
Catherine' (No. 59, i. 238-244 and 417-18) ; for putting meat among the 
cabbages, cf. Grimm's Diemel variant. In Campbell's Santal Folk-tales^ 
p. 30, Bitaram climbs into a tree for safety when darkness comes on, 
*as wild beasts infested the forest through which he was passing. 
During the night some thieves came under the tree in which he was, 
and began to divide the money they had stolen. Bitaram then relaxed 



THE BLACK DOG 267 

his hold of his dry cowhide, which made such a noise as it fell from 
branch to branch that the thieves fled terror-stricken, and left all their 
booty behind them. In the morning Bitaram descended, and collecting 
all the rupees carried them home.' And in F. A. Steel's IVide-awake 
Stories from the Panjab, p. 242, there is another most curious parallel, 
where the robber captain puts out his tongue, and, snip ! the barber's 
clever wife bites the tip off clean. ' What with the fright and the pain, he 
tumbled off the branch and fell bump on the ground, where he sat with 
his legs very wide apart, looking as if he had fallen from the skies. 
"What is the matter?" cried his comrades, awakened by the noise of 
his fall. " Bul-ul-a-bul-ul-ul 1 " said he, still pointing upwards. " The 
man is bewitched,'' cried one ; " there must be a ghost in the tree." ' 
From India to Wales I know not how many thousands of miles; neither 
know I how many centuries since the forebears of the tellers of these 
two tales parted company. Cf, also Hahn, i. 221. 

No. 72. — The Black Dog of the Wild Forest 

There was a king and queen in the north of Ireland, and 
they had one son. The son had to be revoured when he 
came of age by the Black Dog of the Wild Forest, and his 
father was very fond of his son. When he came close to the 
time when he had to be revoured, his father took him a 
shorter journey every day ; and one day his father saddled 
the best horse as he had in his stable, and gave him as much 
money as he liked to take with him. He galloped away as 
hard as ever he could till he got benighted. He rode some 
hundreds and hundreds of miles, and he could see a small 
little light a little distance off him, maybe a hundred miles 
off him to the best of his knowledge in the dark, and he 
makes for this little light. And who was living there but an 
old witch. 

' Well, come in,^ my king's son,' she said, * from the North 
of Ireland. I know you aren't very well.' 

And so when he comes in, she puts him in the ess-hole 
under the fire. He hadn't been in there but twenty minutes, 
but in comes the Black Dog of the Wild Forest, spitting fire 
yards away out of his mouth, th' owd lady and her little dog 
named Hear-all after him. But they beat him. 

* Now,' she says, * my king's son, please to get up. You 
can have your tea now. We have beat him.' 

So he gets up, has his tea with her, and gives a lot of 

* A corruption probably of * Welcome. ' 



268 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

money to the old lady, which says they have got a sister 
living from her three hundred miles. • And if you can get 
there, ten to one she will give you her advice to get safe. 
I will give you my favours, the bread out of my mouth, that 
is Hear-all, the dog. I will give you that dog with you.' 

He gallops on, gallops on, till he gets benighted. He 
looks behind him on the way he was going ; his horse was 
getting very tired ; and he could see the Black Dog of the 
Wild Forest after him. And he gallops on till he comes to 
t'other sister's house. 

* Well, come in,' she says, * my king's son from the North 
of Ireland. I know you aren't very well.' 

She puts him down into the ess-hole again, sir ; and she 
had a little dog named Spring-all. If they fought hard the 
first night they fought fifteen times harder with Hear-all and 
Spring-all and th' owd lady herself 

* Well,' she said, * my king's son, I will do the best as ever 
I can for you. I will give you Spring-all, and I will give 
you the rod. Don't forget what I tell you to do with this 
rod. You follow this ball of worsted. Now it will take you 
right straight to a river. You will see the Black Dog of the 
Wild Forest, and s'ever you get to this river, you hit this rod 
in the water, and a fine bridge will jump up. And when you 
get to t'other side, just hit the water, and the bridge will fall 
in again, and the Black Dog of the Wild Forest cannot get 
you.' 

He got into another wild forest over the water, and he got 
romping and moping about the forest by himself till he got 
very wild. He got moping about, and he found he got to 
a castle. That was the king's castle as he got over there to. 
He got to this castle, and the gentleman put him on to a 
job at this castle. 

So he says to him, * Jack, are you ony good a-shooting ? * 

* Yes, sir,' he says, * I can shoot a little bit. I can shoot 
a long way further.* 

* Well, will you go out to-day. Jack, and we will have a 
shot or two in the forest ? ' 

They killed several birds and wild varmints in the forest 
So him being sweet upon a daughter at this big hall, her 
and Jack got very great together. Jack tuck her down to 
the river to show her what he could do with his rod, him 



THE BLACK DOG 269 

being laughing and joking with her. The king wanted a 
bridge made over the river, and he said there was no one 
as could do it. 

* My dear,' says Jack, * I could do it,' he says. 

* With what ? ' she says. 

* With my rod.' 

He touched the water with his rod, and up springs as nice 
a bridge as ever you have seen up out of the water. Him 
being laughing and joking with this young girl, he come 
away and forgot the bridge standing. He comes home. 
Next day following he goes off again shooting with the king 
again, and the Black Dog of the Wild Forest comes to the 
king's house. 

He says to th' owd lady herself, 'Whatever you do to-morrow, 
Jack will be going out shooting again, and you get Jack to 
leave his two little dogs, as I am going to devour Jack. 
And whatever you do, you fasten 'em down in the cellar 
to-morrow, and I will follow Jack to the forest where he is 
going shooting. And if Jack kills me, he will bring me 
back on the top of his horse on the front of him ; and you 
will say to him, " O Jack, what ever are you going to do with 
that ? " "I am going to make a fire of it," he will say. And 
he will burn me, and when he burns me he will bum me 
to dust And you get a small bit of stick — Jack will go 
away and leave me after — and you go and rake my dust 
about, and you will find a lucky-bone. And when Jack 
goes to his bed, you drop this lucky-bone in Jack's ear, he 
will never rise no more, and you can take and bury him.* 

Now the old lady was against Jack a lot for being there. 
So the Black Dog of the Wild Forest told th' owd lady the 
way to kill Jack. * So see as when Jack brings me back and 
burns me, you look in my dust, and you will find a lucky- 
bone, and you drop it when Jack goes to bed, drop it into 
his ear, and Jack will never rise from his bed no more, he 
will be dead. Take Jack and bury him.' 

Jack goes to the forest a-shooting, and the Black Dog of 
the Wild Forest follows him, and Jack begin to cry. Now 
if the fire came from his mouth the first time, it came a 
hundred times more, and Jack begin to cry. 

*0h dear!' he cried, 'where is my little Hear-all and 
Spring-all ? ' 



270 WELSH-GYPSY STORIES 

He had no sooner said the words, five minutes but scarcely, 
comes up the two little dogs, and they 's a very terrible fight. 
But Jack masters him and kills him. He brings home the 
Black Dog of the Wild Forest on the front of his horse ; he 
brings him back, Jack, on the front of his horse; and the 
king says, * What ever are you going to do with that ? ' 

' I 'm going to burn him.' 

After he burns him, he burns him to dust. 

The Black Dog of the Wild Forest says to th' owd lady, 

* When Jack burns me to dust, you get a little stick and rake 
my dust about, and you will find a lucky-bone. You drop 
that lucky-bone in Jack's ear when he goes to bed, and Jack 
will never waken no more, and then you can take and bury 
him, and after that Jack is buried there will be no more said 
about him.' 

Well, th' owd woman did do so, sir. When Jack went to bed, 
she got this lucky-bone and did as the Black Dog of the Wild 
Forest told her. She did drop it in Jack's ear, and Jack was 
dead. They take Jack off to bury him. Jack been buried 
three days, and the parson wondered what these two little 
dogs was moping about the grave all the time. He couldn't 
get them away. 

* I think we 'II rise Jack again,' he says. 

And s'ever they rise him, off opened the lid of the coffin, 
and little Hear-all jumped to the side of his head, and he 
licked the lucky-bone out of his ear. And up Jack jumped 
alive. 

Jack says, * Who ever put me here?' 

* It was the king as had you buried here, Jack.' 

Jack made his way home to his own father and mother. 
Going on the road Jack was riding bounded on the back of 
his horse's back. Hear-all says to him, 'Jack,* he says, 

* come down, cut my head off.* 

* Oh dear, no ! Hear-all. I couldn't do that for the kind- 
ness you have done for me.' 

* If you don't do it, Jack, I shall devour you.' 

He comes down off his horse's back, and he kills little 
Hear-all. He cuts his head off, and well off timed [ofttimes] 
he goes crying about Hear-all, for what he done. Goes on 
a little further. Spring-all says to him, * Jack, you have got 
to come down and serve me the same.' 



THE BLACK DOG 271 

* Oh dear, no ! ' he says, * Spring-all, I shall take it all to 
heart/ 

* Well,' he says, * if you don't come down. Jack,' he says, 
* I will devour you.' 

Jack comes down, and he cuts his head off, and he goes 
on the road, crying very much to hisself about his two little 
dogs. So going on this road as he was crying, he turned 
his head round at the back of his horse, looking behind him, 
and he sees two of the handsomest young ladies coming as 
ever he saw in his life. 

* What are you crying for ? ' said these ladies to him. 

* I am crying,' he said, ' about two little dogs, two faithful 
dogs, what I had.' 

* What was the name of your little dogs ? * 

'One was named Hear-all, and the t'other was named 
Spring-all.' 

* Would you know them two dogs if you would see them 
again ? ' 

* Oh dear, yes ! ' says Jack. * Oh dear, yes 1 ' says Jack. 

* Well, I am Hear-all, and this is Spring-all.* 

Away Jack goes home to his father and mother, and lives 
very happy there all the days of his life. 

A capital and very curious story, but plainly imperfect : Jack, of 
course, should marry the princess. There is a very West Highland 
ring about it, yet I cannot match it from Campbell, nor indeed else- 
where. At the same time many of the incidents are familiar enough. 
For the balls of worsted and the three helpful sisters (or brothers, hermits, 
etc.), c/. John Roberts' story of * An Old King and his Three Sons ' (No. 
55, pp. 220-234). The bridge-making episode suggests a combination of 
the Passage of the Red Sea and the bridge-making ball of yam in * The 
Companion' (Dasent's Tales from the Fjeld^ p. 73). The lucky-bone 
in the ear reminds one of the pin which, driven into the heroine's head, 
causes transformation into a bird (Maive Stokes's Indian Fairy TaleSy 
pp. 12, 14, 253 ; and Laura Gonzenbach's Sicil. Mdrchen^ i. p. 82), or of 
the comb, poisoned apple, etc., in Grimm's * Snow-white' (No. 53), and 
its Chian, Albanian, and other variants, which produce, as in Jack's 
case, suspended animation. For the cutting off of the helpful animal's 
head, under a threat, and the consequent transformation, cf, the Scottish- 
Tinker story of * The Fox' (No. 75). 



CHAPTER IX 

SCOTTISH-TINKER STORIES 

No. 73. — The Brown Bear of the Green Glen 

There was a king in Erin once who had a leash of sons. 
John was the name of the youngest one, and it was said that 
he was not wise enough. And this good, worldly king lost 
the sight of his eyes and the strength of his feet The two 
eldest brothers said that they would go seek three bottles 
of the water of the green isle that was about the heaps of 
the deep. And so it was that these two brothers went away. 
Now the fool said that he would not believe but that he 
himself would go also. And the first big town he reached 
in his father's kingdom, there he sees his two brothers there, 
the blackguards. 

* Oh ! my boys,' says the young one, ' is it thus you are ? ' 

* With swiftness of foot,' said they, * take thyself home, or 
we will have thy life.' 

' Don't be afraid, lads. It is nothing to me to stay with 
you.' 

Now John went away on his journey till he came to a 
great desert of a wood. * Hoo, hoo ! ' says John to himself, 
* it is not canny for me to walk this wood alone.' The night 
was coming now, and growing pretty dark. John ties the 
cripple white horse to the root of a tree, and he went up 
in the top himself He was but a very short time in the 
top, when he saw a bear coming with a fiery cinder in his 
mouth. 

* Come down, son of the King of Erin,* says he. 

* Indeed, I won't come. I am thinking I am safer where 
I am.' 

* But if thou wilt not come down, I will go up,* said the 
bear. 

272 



THE BROWN BEAR 273 

'Art thou, too, taking me for a fool?' says John. *A. 
shaggy, shambling creature like thee, climbing a tree/ 

* But if thou wilt not come down, I will go up,' says the 
bear, as he fell out of hand to climbing the tree. 

* Lord ! thou canst do that same ! ' said John ; * keep back 
from the root of the tree, then, and I will go down to talk to 
thee.' 

And when the son of Erin's king drew down, they came 
to chatting. The bear asked him if he was hungry. 

* Weel, by your leave,' said John, * I am a little at this 
very same time.' 

The bear took that wonderful watchful turn, and he 
catches a roebuck. * Now, son of Erin's king,' says the bear, 
' whether wouldst thou like thy share of the buck boiled or 
raw?' 

* The sort of meat I used to get would be kind of plotted 
boiled,' says John. And thus it fell out ; John got his share 
roasted. 

* Now,' said the bear, * lie down between my paws, and 
thou hast no cause to fear cold or hunger till morning.' 

Early in the morning the bear asked, * Art thou asleep, 
son of Erin's king ? ' 

* I am not very heavily,' said he. 

* It is time for thee to be on thy soles, then. Thy journey 
is long — two hundred miles. But art thou a good horseman, 
John ? ' 

* There are worse than me at times,' said he. 

* Thou hadst best get on top of me, then.' 

He did this, and at the first leap John was to earth. 
* Foil ! foil ! ' says John. * What ! thou art not bad at the 
trade thyself Thou hadst best come back till we try thee 
again.' 

And with nails and teeth he fastened on the bear, till they 
reached the end of the two hundred miles and a giant's 
house. 

* Now, John,' said the bear, * thou shalt go to pass the 
night in this giant's house. Thou wilt find him pretty 
grumpy, but say thou that it was the Brown Bear of the 
Green Glen that set thee here for a night's share, and don't 
thou be afraid that thou wilt not get share and comfort' 

And he left the bear to go to the giant's house. 

s 



274 SCOTTISH-TINKER STORIES 

* Son of Erin's king,' says the giant, * thy coming was in 
the prophecy ; but if I did not get thy father, I have got 
his son. I don't know whether I will put thee in the earth 
with my feet or in the sky with my breath,* 

* Thou wilt do neither of either,* said John, * for it is the 
Brown Bear of the Green Glen that set me here.' 

' Come in, son of Erin's king,' said he, ' and thou shalt be 
well taken to this night.* 

And as he said, it was true. John got meat and drink 
without stint But to make a long tale short, the bear took 
John day after day to the third giant. *Now,' says the 
bear, 'I have not much acquaintance with this giant, but 
thou wilt not be long in his house when thou must wrestle 
with him. And if he is too hard on thy back, say then, 
" If I had the Brown Bear of the Green Glen here, that was 
thy master." * 

As soon as John went in, * Ai ! ai ! ! or ee ! ee ! ! ' says the 
giant * If I did not get thy father, I have got his son.' 

And to grips they go. They would make the boggy bog 
of the rocky rock. In the hardest place they would sink to 
the knee, in the softest up to the thighs ; and they would 
bring wells of spring water from the face of every rock.^ 
The giant gave John a sore wrench or two, 

* Foil ! foil ! ! * says he. * If I had here the Brown Bear of 
the Green Glen, thy leap would not be so hearty.' 

And no sooner spoke he the word than the worthy bear 
was at his side. 

*Yes! yes!' says the giant, *son of Erin's king, now I 
know thy matter better than thou dost thyself.' 

So it was that the giant ordered his shepherd to bring 
home the best wether he had in the hill, and to throw his 
carcass before the great door. * Now, John,' says the giant, 
' an eagle will come and she will settle on the carcass of this 
wether, and there is a wart on the ear of this eagle which 
thou must cut off with this sword, but a drop of blood thou 
must not draw.' 

^ A passage in ' The King of Erin and the Queen of the Lonesome Island ' 
(Curtin's Myths and Folk-lore oflrelami^ p. 98) offers a curious parallel : — * They 
fought an awiiil battle that day from sunrise to sunset. They made soft places 
hard, and hard places soft ; they made high places low, and low places high ; 
they brought water out of the centre of hard grey rocks, and made dry rushes 
soft in the most distant parts of Erin till sunset. ' 



THE BROWN BEAR 275 

The eagle came, but she was not long eating when John 
drew close to her, and with one stroke he cut the wart of her 
without drawing one drop of blood. {Ochf is not that a 
fearful lie ?) * Now/ said the eagle, ' come on the root of 
my two wings, for I know thy matter better than thou dost 
thyself/ 

He did this, and they were now on sea and now on land, 
and now on the wing, till they reached the Green Isle. 

'Now, John/ says she, *be quick and fill fhy three bottles. 
Remember that the black dogs are away just now.' (* What 
dogs?* — Black dogs. Dost thou not know that they always 
had black dogs chasing the Gregorach ?) 

When he filled the bottles with the water out of the well, 
he sees a little house beside him. John said to himself that 
he would go in, and that he would see what was in it. 
And the first chamber he opened, he saw a full bottle. 
(^ And what was in itf* What should be in it but whisky) 
He filled a glass out of it, and he drank it ; and when he 
was going, he gave a glance, and the bottle was as full as it 
was before. ' I will have this bottle along with the bottles 
of water,' says he. Then he went into another chamber, 
and he saw a loaf. He took a slice out of it, but the loaf 
was as whole as it was before. *Ye gods! I won't leave 
thee,' says John. He went on thus till he came to another 
chamber. He saw a great cheese ; he took a slice of the 
cheese, but it was as whole as ever. * I will have this along 
with the rest,' says he. Then he went to another chamber, 
and he saw laid there the very prettiest little jewel of a 
woman he ever saw. * It were a great pity not to kiss thy 
lips, my love/ says John. 

Soon after John jumped on top of the eagle, and she took 
him on the self-same steps till they reached the house of the 
big giant. And they went paying rent to the giant, and 
there was the sight of tenants and giants and meat and 
drink. 

•Well, John/ says the giant, * didst thou see such drink 
as this in thy father's house in Erin ? ' 

* Pooh ! ' says John, * hoo ! my hero, thou other man, I 
have a drink this is unlike it' He gave the giant a 
glass out of the bottle, but the bottle was as full as it was 
before. 



276 SCOTTISH-TINKER STORIES 

* Well ! ' said the giant, * I will give thee myself two 
hundred notes,^ a bridle, and a saddle for the bottle/ 

* It is a bargain, then,' says John ; ' but that the first sweet- 
heart I ever had must get it if she comes the way.' 

* She will get that,' says the giant 

But to make the long story short, he left each loaf and 
cheese with the two other giants, with the same covenant 
that the first sweetheart he ever had should get them if she 
came the way, Now John reached his father's big town in 
Erin, and he sees his two brothers as he left them, the 
blackguards. * You had best come with me, lads,' says he, 

* and you will get a dress of cloth and a saddle and bridle 
each.' And so they did ; but when they were near to their 
father's house, the brothers thought that they had better 
kill him, and so it was that they set on him. And when 
they thought he was dead, they threw him behind a dyke ; 
and they took from him the three bottles of water, and they 
went home. 

John was not too long here, when his father's smith came 
the way with a cart-load of rusty iron. John called out, 

* Whoever the Christian is that is there, oh ! that he should 
help him.' The smith caught him, and he threw John 
amongst the iron. And because the iron was so rusty, it 
went into each wound and sore that John had ; and so it 
was that John became rough-skinned and bald. 

Here we will leave John, and we will go back to the 
pretty little jewel that John left in the Green Isle. She 
became pale and heavy, and at the end of three quarters she 
had a fine lad son. * Oh ! in all the great world,' says she, 
'how did I find this?' 

* Foil ! foil ! ' says the hen-wife, * don't let that set thee 
thinking. Here 's for thee a bird, and as soon as he sees the 
father of thy son, he will hop on the top of his head.' 

The Green Isle was gathered from end to end, and the 
people were put in at the back door and out at the front 
door ; but the bird did not stir, and the babe's father was 
not found. Now here she said she would go through the 
world altogether till she should find the father of the babe. 
Then she came to the house of the big giant and sees the 
bottle. * Ai ! ai ! ' said she, * who gave thee this bottle ? ' 

* Of course, £i notes in Scotland. 



THE BROWN BEAR 277 

Said the giant, * It was young John, son of Erin's king, 
that left it' 

'Well, then, the bottle is mine,' said she. 

But to make a long story short, she came to the house of 
each giant, and she took with her each bottle and each loaf 
and each cheese, till at last she came to the house of the 
king of Erin. Then the five-fifths of Erin were gathered, 
and the bridge of nobles of the people; they were put in at 
the back door and out at the front door, but the bird did not 
stir. Then she asked if there was one other or any one 
else at all in Erin that had not been here. 

*I have a bald rough-skinned gillie in the smithy,' said 
the smith, ' but ' 

' Rough on or off, send him here,' says she. 

No sooner did the bird see the head of the bald rough- 
skinned gillie than he took a flight and settles on the bald 
top of the rough-skinned lad. She caught him and kissed 
him : ' Thou art the father of my babe.' 

* But, John,' says the great king of Erin, * it is thou that 
gottest the bottles of water for me.' 

* Indeed 'twas I,' says John. 

*Weel, then, what art thou willing to do to thy two 
brothers ? ' 

* The very thing they wished to do to me, do for them.' 
And that same was done. John married the daughter of 

the king of the Green Isle, and they made a great rich 
wedding that lasted seven days and seven years. And thou 
couldst but hear Leeg, leeg, and Beeg, beeg, solid sound and 
peg-drawing. Gold a-crushing from the soles of their feet 
to the tips of their fingers, the length of seven years and 
seven days. 

A variant clearly of John Roberts' Welsh-Gypsy story of * An Old 
King and his Three Sons in England' (No. 55, pp. 220-234), but I expect 
that Matthew Wood's variant, * The Bottle of Black Water,' would come 
closer still. Some day Mr. Sampson must give us that with its fellows. 
Which is the better story — that of John Roberts, the Welsh harper, or 
this of John Macdonald, the travelling tinker — is hard to determine ; in 
some respects each is immeasurably superior. John Roberts' is the 
more coherent and intelligible ; but it lacks that splendid wrestling 
match, with which compare the much poorer one in the Bohemian- 
Gypsy story of * The Three Dragons' (No. 44, p. 152). And then while 
it preserves the handkerchief ordeal, it has not the inexhaustible 



278 SCOTTISH-TINKER STORIES 

whisky-bottle, loaf, and cheese. The occurrence of a bear in each 
version, though with marked differences, can hardly be accidental For 
a long while after I got John Roberts' story, I believed that its close 
was largely of his own invention ; but that belief now seems to be in- 
admissible. The Polish-Gypsy story of 'The Golden Bird and the 
Good Hare' (No. 49, pp. 182-8), and its Scottish-Tinker version, *The 
Fox' (No. 75), should be carefully studied. 



No. 74. — The Tale of the Soldier 

There was an old soldier once, and he left the army. He 
went to the top of a hill that was at the upper end of the 
town-land, and he said, * Well, may it be that the Mischief 
may come and take me with him on his back the next time 
that I come again in sight of this town.' 

Then he was walking till he came to the house of a 
gentleman that was there. John asked the gentleman if he 
would get leave to stay in his house that night. 

' Well, then,' said the gentleman, ' since thou art an old 
soldier, and hast the look of a man of courage, without dread 
or fear in thy face, there is a castle at the side of yonder 
wood, and thou mayest stay in it till day. Thou shalt have 
a pipe and baccy, a cogie full of whisky, and a Bible to read.^ 

When John got his supper, he took himself to the castle. 
He set on a great fire, and when a while of the night had 
come, there came two tawny women in, and a dead man's 
kist between them. They threw it at the fireside, and they 
sprang out. John arose, and with the heel of his foot he 
drove out its end, and he dragged out an old hoary bodach. 
And he set him sitting in the great chair ; he gave him a 
pipe and baccy, and a cogie of whisky ; but the bodach let 
them fall on the floor. 

* Poor man,* said John, * the cold is on thee.' 

John laid himself stretched in the bed, and he left the 
bodach to toast himself at the fireside ; but about the 
crowing of the cock he went away. 

The gentleman came well early in the morning. * What 
rest didst thou find, John ? ' 

'Grood rest,' said John. *Thy father was not the man 
that would frighten me.' 

^ In the Welsh-Gypsy story Ashypelt gets no whisky, also no Bible. 



THE TALE OF THE SOLDIER 279 

* Right, good John, thou shalt have two hundred pund, 
and h'e to-night in the castle.' 

' I am the man that will do that/ said John. 

And that night it was the very like. There came three 
tawny women, and a dead man's kist with them amongst 
them. They threw it up to the side of the fireplace, and 
they took their soles out of that John arose, and with the 
heel of his boot he broke the head of the kist, and he dragged 
out of it the old hoary man. And, as he did the night 
before, he set him sitting in the big chair, and gave him pipe 
and baccy ; and he let them fall. 

* Oh ! poor man,' said John, * cold is on thee.' 

Then he gave him a cogie of drink, and he let that fall 
also. 

' Oh ! poor man, thou art cold.' 

The bodach went as he did the night before. ' But,' said 
John to himself, * if I stay here this night, and that thou 
shouldst come, thou shalt pay my pipe and baccy, and my 
cogie of drink.' 

The gentleman came early enough in the morning, and he 
asked, ' What rest didst thou find last night, John ? ' 

'Good rest,' said John. 'It was not the hoary bodach, 
thy father, that would put fear on me.' 

* Och ! ' said the gentleman, * if thou stayest to-night thou 
shalt have three hundred pund! 

* It 's a bargain,' said John. 

When it was a while of the night there came four tawny 
women, and a dead man's kist with them amongst them. 
And they set that down at the side of John. John arose, 
and he drew his foot, and he drove the head out of the kist 
And he dragged out the old hoary man, and he set him in 
the big chair. He reached him the pipe and the baccy, 
the cup and the drink ; but the old man let them fall, and 
they were broken. 

*Och!' said John, 'before thou goest this night, thou 
shalt pay me all thou hast broken.' 

But word came there not from the head of the bodach. 
Then John took the belt of his abersgaic} and he tied the 
bodach to his side, and he took him with him to bed. When 
the heath-cock crowed, the bodach asked him to let him go. 

' Haversack. 



28o SCOTTISH. TINKER STORIES 

* Pay what thou hast broken first,' said John. 

* I will tell thee, then,' said the old man, ' there is a cellar 
of drink under, below me, in which there is plenty of drink, 
tobacco, and pipes. There is another little chamber beside 
the cellar, in which there is a caldron full of gold. And 
under the threshold of the big door there is a crocky full 
of silver. Thou sawest the women that came with me 
to-night ? ' 

* I saw,' said John. 

* Well, there thou hast four women from whom I took the 
cows, and they in extremity. They are going with me every 
night thus, punishing me. . But go thou and tell my son 
how I am being wearied out. Let him go and pay the 
cows, and let him not be heavy on the poor. Thou thyself 
and he may divide the gold and silver between you ; and 
marry thyself my old girl. But mind, give plenty of gold 
of what is left to the poor, on whom I was too hard. And I 
will find rest in the world of worlds.' 

The gentleman came, arid John told him as I have told 
thee. But John would not marry the old girl of the hoary 
bodach. At the end of a day or two John would not stay 
longer. He filled his pockets full of the gold, and he asked the 
gentleman to give plenty of gold to the poor. He reached 
the house,^ but he was wearying at home, and he had rather 
be back with the regiment He took himself off on a day 
of days, and he reached the hill above the town, from which 
he went away. But who should come to him but the 
Mischief. 

' Hoth ! both ! John, thou hast come back ? ' 

* Hoth on thyself ! ' quoth John, ' I came. Who art thou ? * 

* I am the Mischief, the man to whom thou gavest thyself 
when thou was here last.* 

* Ai ! ai ! ' said John, * it 's long since I heard tell of thee, 
but I never saw thee before. There is glamour on my eyes ; 
I will not believe that it is thou at all. But make a snake 
of thyself, and I will believe thee.' 

The Mischief did this. 

' Make now a lion of roaring.' 

The Mischief did this. 

* Spit fire now seven miles behind thee and seven miles 
before thee.' 

* Went home. 



THE TALE OF THE SOLDIER 281 

The Mischief did this. 

' Well,* said John, * since I am to be a servant with thee, 
come into my abersgaicy and I will carry thee. But thou 
must not come out till I ask thee, or else the bargain's 
broke/ 

The Mischief promised, and he did this, 

* Now,' said John, * I am going to see a brother of mine 
that is in the regiment. But keep thou quiet' 

So now John went into the town ; and one yonder and 
one here would cry, * There is John the desairtair,^ There 
was gripping of John, and a court held on him ; and so it 
was that he was to be hanged about mid-day on the morrow. 
And John asked no favour but to be floored with a bullet 

The Coirneal said, * Since he was an old soldier, and in the 
army so long, that he should have his asking.' 

On the morrow, when John was to be shot, and the 
soldiers foursome round all about him, ' What is that they 
are saying.?' said the Mischief. *Let me amongst them, 
and I won't be long scattering them,' 

* Cuist ! cuist ! ' said John. 

* What 's that speaking to thee ? ' said the Coirneal, 

* Oh ! it 's but a white mouse,' said John. 

* Black or white,' said the Coirneal, ' don't thou let her out 
of the abersgaiCy and thou shalt have a letter of loosing, and 
let 's see no more of thee.' 

John went away, and in the mouth of night he went into a 
barn where there were twelve men threshing. * Oh ! lads,' 
said John, * here's for you my old abersgaic\ and take a 
while threshing it, it is so hard that it is taking the skin 
off* my back.' 

They took as much as two hours of the watch at the 
abersgaic with the twelve flails ; and at last, every blow 
they gave it, it would leap to the top of the barn, and it was 
casting one of the threshers now and again on his back. 
When they saw that, they asked him to be out of that, 
himself and his abersgaic ; they would not believe but that 
the Mischief was in it 

Then he went on his journey, and he went into a smithy 
where there were twelve smiths striking their great hammers. 
* Here 's for you, lads, an old abersgaic, and I will give you 
half-a-crown, and take a while at it with the twelve great 



282 SCOTTISH-TINKER STORIES 

hammers; it is so hard that it is taking the skin off my 
back.' 

But that was fun for the smiths ; it was good sport for 
them, the abersgaic of the soldier. But every sgaile it got, it 
was bounding to the top of the smithy. * Go out of this, 
thyself and it,' said they; *we will not believe that the 
Bramman * is in it* 

So then John went on, and the Mischief on his back ; and 
he reached a great furnace that was there. 

* Where art thou going now, John ? * said the Mischief. 

* Patience a little, and thou 'It see that,' said John. 

*Let me out,' said the Mischief, 'and I will never put 
trouble on thee in this world.' 

* Nor in the next ? ' said John. 

* That 's it,' said the Mischief. 

* Stop, then,' said John, * till thou get a smoke.' 

And so saying, John cast the abersgaic and the Mischief 
into the middle of the furnace : and himself and the furnace 
went as a green flame of fire to the skies. 

The first half is a variant, and a good one, of the Welsh-Gypsy story 
of * Ashypelt ' (No. 57, p. 235) ; the second half is a variant, a better one, 
of the latter part of the Welsh-Gypsy * Old Smith * (No. 59, p. 247), and of 
the confused and imperfect Slovak-Gypsy * Old Soldier' (No. 60, p. 250). 
The prominence given to tobacco-smoking in both * Ashypelt * and in 
the Scottish-Tinker story suggests that the forebears of Cornelius Price 
and those of John Macdonald must have parted company at some time 
later than the beginning of the seventeenth century, unless, indeed, this 
resemblance is accidental. About the beginning of the nineteenth 
century English Gypsies must have visited Scotland much more than 
they did in 1870-80, when a few of the Smiths or Reynolds, Maces, and 
Lees, all closely connected, were the only English Gypsies who * travelled ' 
north of the Tweed. Since 1880, again, there has been a great infiux of 
English Gypsydom, — one reason that fortune-telling seems to be not 
illegal in Scotland. In his notes upon Campbell's story in Orient und 
Occident (ii. 1864, pp. 679-680), Reinhold Kohler makes an odd slip, 
very unusual with him. He renders * the Mischief* by * das Ungliick,' 
and is puzzled why poor Ungliick should be so scurvily handled. 



' This word,' says Campbell, ' I have never met before. 



THE FOX 283 

No. 75. — The Fox 

Brian, the son of the king of Greece, fell in love with the 
hen-wife's daughter, and he would marry no other but she. 
His father said to him on a day of days, before that should 
happen that he must get first for him the most marvellous 
bird that there was in the world. Then here went Brian, 
and he put the world under his head, till he came much 
further than I can tell, or you can think, till he reached the 
house of the Carlin of Buskins.^ He got well taken to by 
the carlin that night ; and ki the morning she said to him, 

* It is time for thee to arise. The journey is far/ 

When he rose to the door, what was it but sowing and 
winnowing snow. He looked hither and thither, and what 
should he see but a fox drawing on his shoes and stockings. 

* Sha ! beast/ said Brian, * thou hadst best leave my lot of 
shoes and stockings for myself.' 

* Och ! * said the fox, * it 's long since a shoe or a stocking 
was on me; and I'm thinking that I shall put them to 
use this day itself.* 

* Thou ugly beast, art thou thinking to steal my foot- webs, 
and I myself looking at thee ? ' 

* Well,' said the fox, *if thou wilt take me to be thy servant, 
thou shalt get thy set of shoes and stockings.' 

* O poor beast ! ' said he, * thou wouldst find death with me 
from hunger.' 

* Ho ! both ! ' said the fox, * there is little good in the servant 
that will not do for his own self and for his master at times/ 

* Yes, yes,' said he, * I don't mind ; at all events thou mayst 
follow me.' 

They had not gone far on their journey when the fox 
asked him if he was good at riding. He said he was, if it 
could be known what on. 

* Come on top of me a turn of a while/ said the fox. 

* On top of thee ! Poor beast, I would break thy back.' 
*Ho! huth! son^^of^the king of Greece/ said the fox, 

* thou didst not know me so well as I know thee. Take no 
care but that I am able to carry thee.' 

' A sock, a brogue of untanned leather or skin, commonly worn with the hairy 
side outward ; Lat. cothurnus, Welsh cwaran, French cotkume, — ^J. F. C. 



284 SCOTTISH-TINKER STORIES 

But never mind. When Brian went on top of the fox, they 
would drive spray from each puddle, spark from each pebble. 
And they took no halt nor rest till they reached the house of 
the Giant of Five Heads, Five Humps, and Five Throttles. 

* Here 's for thee,' said the fox, ' the house of the giant who 
has the marvellous bird. And what wilt thou say to him 
when thou goest in ? ' 

'What should I say but that I came to steal the mar- 
vellous bird ? ' 

* Hu ! hu r said the fox, ' thou wilt not return. But,' said 
the fox, * take thou service with this giant to be a stable-lad. 
And there is no sort of bird under the seven russet rungs of 
the world that he has not got. And when he brings out 
the marvellous bird, say thou, "Fuith! fuith! the nasty 
bird, throw it out of my sight. I could find braver birds 
than that on the middens at home." * 

Brian did thus. 

* S'tia ! ' said the big one, * then I must go to thy country 
to gather a part of them.' 

But Brian was pleasing the giant well. But on a night 
of the nights Brian steals the marvellous bird, and drags 
himself out with it. When he was a good bit from the 
giant's house, * S'tia ! ' said Brian to himself, * I don't know 
if it is the right bird I have after every turn.' Brian lifts the 
covering off the bird's head, and he lets out one screech, and 
the screech roused the giant 

* Oh ! oh ! son of the king of Greece,* said the giant, * that 
I have coming to steal the marvellous bird. The prophet 
was saying that he would come to his gird^ 

Then here the giant put on the shoes that could make 
nine miles at every step, and he wasn't long catching poor 
Brian. They returned home to the giant's house, and the 
giant laid the binding of the three smalls on him, and he 
threw Brian into the peat-corner, and he was there till the 
morning on the morrow's day. 

*Now,' said the giant, *son of the king of Greece, thou 
hast thy two rathers — Whether wouldst thou rather thy 
head to be on yonder stake, or go to steal the White Glaive 
of Light that is in the realm of Big Women ? ' 

* A man is kind to his life,' said Brian. * I will go to steal 
the White Glaive of Light' 



THE FOX 285 

But never mind. Brian had not gone far from the giant's 
house when the fox met with him. ' O man without mind 
or sense, thou didst not take my counsel, and what will 
now arise against thee? Thou art going to the realm of 
Big Women to steal the White Glaive of Light. That is 
twenty times as hard for thee as the marvellous bird of that 
carl of a giant.' 

' But what help for it now but that I must betake myself 
to it ? ' said poor Brian. 

* Well, then,' said the fox, * come thou on top of me, and 
I am in hopes thou wilt be wiser the next time.' 

They went then further thap I can remember, till they 
reached the knoll of the country at the back of the wind 
and the face of the sun, that was in the realm of Big 
Women. 

* Now,' said the fox, * thou shalt sit here, and thou shalt 
begin at blubbering and crying ; and when the Big Women 
come out where thoti art, they will lift thee in their oxters ; 
and when they reach the house with thee, they will try to 
coax thee. But never thou cease of crying until thou get 
the White Glaive of Light ; and Jhey will leave it with thee 
in the cradle the length of the night, to keep thee quiet* 

Worthy Brian was not long blubbering and crying when 
the Big Women came, and they took Brian with them as 
the fox had said. And when Brian found the house quiet, 
he went away with the White Glaive of Light And when 
he thought he was a good way from the house, he thought 
he would see if he had the right sword. He took it out of 
the sheath, and the sword gave out a ring. This awoke the 
Big Women, and they were on their soles. * Whom have 
we here,' said they, *but the son of the king of Greece 
coming to steal the White Glaive of Light.' 

They took after Brian, and they were not long bringing 
him back. They tied him roundly (like a ball), and they 
threw him into the peat-corner till the white morrow's day 
was. When the morning came, they asked him to be under 
the sparks of the bellows,^ or to go to steal the Sun Goddess, 
daughter of the king of the gathering of Fionn. 

^ * BOLG SBIDIDH, bog of blowing. The bellows used for melting copper in 
the mint at Tangier in 1841 consisted of two sheepskins worked by two men. 
The neck of the hide was £sistened to the end of an iron tube, and the legs sewed 



286 SCOTTISH-TINKER STORIES 

' A man is kind to his life/ said Brian. ' I will go steal 
the Sun Goddess.' 

Never mind. Brian went, but he was not long on the 
path when the fox met him. * O poor fool/ said the fox, 
*thou art as silly as thou wert ever. What good for me 
to be giving thee counsel ? Thou art now going to steal the 

up. The end of each bag opened with two flat sticks ; and the workmen, by 
a skilful action of the hand, filled the bag with air as they raised it, and then 
squeezed it out by pressing downwards. By working the two bags turn-about, 
a constant steady blast was kept on a crucible in the furnace, and the copper 
was soon melted. The Gaelic word clearly points to the use of some such 
apparatus. I believe something of the kind is used in India ; but I saw the 
Tangier mint at work.' — J. F. C. 

Were Mr. Campbell still living I would call his attention to ' something of the 
kind * much nearer home than India or Tangiers, vix. the Scottish-Gypsy method 
of smelting iron in a furnace of stone, turf, and clay, three feet in height and 
eighteen inches in diameter : * the materials in the furnace are powerfully heated 
by the blasts of a large hand -bellows, generally wrought by females, admitted 
at a small hole a little from the ground ' (Walter Simson's History of the Gipsies^ 
1S65, p. 234). In the Gypsy Lore Journal for January 1892, pp. 134-142, is an 
article by Henri van Elven on ' The Gypsies of Belgium,' with excellent illus- 
trations of a Hungarian-Gypsy furnace and bellows, corresponding to Simson's 
description. And there are also illustrations and minute descriptions of the 
Gypsy furnace and bellows in Kopemicki's masterly monograph on 'Les 
Zlotars ou Dzvonkars, Tsiganes fondeurs en bronze dans la Galicie Orientale et 
la Bukovine,' communicated by Bataillard to the Soci^t^ d'Anthropologie 
(Paris, 1878). From a footnote here on p. 519 we learn that 'the Calderari 
often use two of these bellows at once, making them work turn-about to right 
and to left, so as to produce a constant blast.' One is tempted to conclude 
that the mint at Tangiers in 1841 was worked by Gypsies, that here we get an 
explanation of those mysterious visits of the Hungarian Calderari to Northern 
Africa, referred to in the Introduction. It sounds surprising, but Mr. Campbell, 
I doubt not, would have been quite as surprised to learn that the church bell of 
Edzell in Forfarshire was cast in the woods by Gypsies in 1726 ; that about 1740 
the Border Gypsies practised engraving on pewter, lead, and copper, as well as 
rude drawing and painting ; that about the beginning of this century the Gypsies 
had a small foundry near St. Andrews, which the country-folk called 'Little 
Carron' ; that Killin in 1748 had its tinker silversmith, whose secret of enamel 
inlaying died with him ; or that the silver Celtic Ix>chbuy Brooch, a pound in 
weight, was made by a Mull tinker * in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, about the 
year 1500' {Strand MagazinCy January 1897, p. 115). I myself have sat and 
watched a Gypsy lad, a Boswell, fashion a pretty silver finger-ring out of a 
shilling I had given him, and have thought of the hoard of a travelling silver- 
smith which in 1858 was unearthed on Skaill Links in Orkney. It comprised 
brooches, neck -rings, arm-rings, silver ingots, and Cufic coins, struck at 
Bagdad between 887 and 945. ' It seems most unlikely,' says Mr. Lang, ' that 
tales which originated in India could have reached the Hebrides within the 
historic period.' Perhaps ; but where coins could come, so surely also could 
folk-tales. — A desperate footnote this, but nothing to what has some day to be 
written on the subject of Gypsy metallurgy. 



THE FOX 287 

Sun Goddess. Many a better thief than thou went on the 
same journey, but ever a man came never back. There 
are nine guards guarding her, and there is no dress under 
the seven russet rungs of the world that is like the dress 
that is on her but one other dress, and here is that dress for 
thee. And mind,' said the fox, ' that thou dost as I ask thee, 
or, if thou dost not, thou wilt not come to the next tale.' 

Never mind. They went, and when they were near the 
guard, the fox put the dress on Brian, and he said to him 
to go forward straight through them, and when he reached 
the Sun Goddess to do as he bid him. * And, Brian, if thou 
gettest her out, I will not be far from you.' 

But never mind. Brian took courage, and he went on, 
and each guard made way for him, till he went in where 
the Sun Goddess, daughter of the king of the gathering of 
Fionn, was. She put all-hail and good-luck on him, and 
she it was who was pleased to see him, for her father was 
not letting man come near her. And there they were. 

' But how shall we get away at all, at all ? ' said she in the 
morning. 

Brian lifted the window, and he put out the Sun Goddess 
through it. 

The fox met them. * Thou wilt do yet,' said he. * Leap 
you on top of me.* 

And when they were far, far away, and near the country 
of Big Women, * Now, Brian/ said the fox, * is it not a great 
pity for thyself to give away this Sun Goddess for the White 
Glaive of Light ? ' 

* Is it not that which is wounding me at this very time ? ' 
said Brian. 

' It is that I will make a Sun Goddess of myself, and thou 
shalt give me to the Big Women,' said the fox. 

* I had rather part with the Sun Goddess herself than thee.' 

* But never thou mind, Brian, they won't keep me long.' 
Here Brian went in with the fox as a Sun Goddess, and 

he got the White Glaive of Light. Brian left the fox with 
the Big Women, and he went forward. In a day or two 
the fox overtook them, and they got on him. And when 
they were nearing the house of the big giant, * Is it not a 
great pity for thyself, O Brian, to part with the White Glaive 
of Light for that filth of a marvellous bird ? ' 



288 SCOTTISH. TINKER STORIES 

* There is no help for it/ said Brian. 

* I will make myself a White Glaive of Light/ said the 
fox ; * it may be that thou wilt yet find a use for the White 
Glaive of Light* 

Brian was not so much against the fox this time, since he 
saw that he had got off from the Big Women. 

*Thou art come with it/ said the big man. * It was in 
the prophecies that I should cut this great oak-tree at one 
blow, which my father cut two hundred years ago with the 
same sword.* 

Brian got the marvellous bird, and he went away. He 
had gone but a short distance from the giant's house when 
the fox made up to him with his pad to his mouth. 

* What *s this that befell thee ? * said Brian. 

* Oh ! the son of the great one/ said the fox, * when he 
seized me, with the first blow he cut the tree all but a small 
bit of bark. And look thyself, there is no tooth in the door 
of my mouth which that filth of a Bodach has not broken.* 

Brian was exceedingly sorrowful that the fox had lost the 
teeth, but there was no help for it. They were going for- 
ward, walking at times, and at times riding, till they came to 
a spring that there was by the side of the road. *Now, 
Brian,* said the fox, 'unless thou dost strike off my head 
with one blow of the White Glaive of Light into this spring, 
I will strike off thine* 

* S*tia/ said Brian, * a man is kind to his own life.* 

And he swept the head off him with one blow, and it fell 
into the well. And in the wink of an eye what should rise 
up out of the well but the son of the king that was father to 
the Sun Goddess. 

They went on till they reached his father's house. And 
his father made a great wedding with joy and gladness, and 
there was no word about marrying the hen wife's daughter 
when I parted from them. 

*0n the 25th of April 1859, [at Inverary], John [Macdonald] the 
tinker gave the beginning of this as part of his contribution to the 
evening's entertainment. He not only told the story, but acted it, 
dandling a fancied baby when it came to the adventure of the Big 
Women, and rolling his eyes wildly. The story which he told varied 
from that which he dictated in several particulars. It began : — 

*" There was a king and a knight, as there was and will be, and 



THE MAGIC SHIRT 289 

as grows the fir-tree, some of it crooked and some of it straight. 
And it was the King of Eirinn, it was. And the queen died with 
her first son, and the king married another woman. Oh 1 bad strad- 
dling queen, thou art not like the sonsy, cheery queen that we had ^re 
now," 

'And here came a long bit which the tinker put into another story, 
and which he seems to have condensed into the first sentence of the 
version which I have got and translated. He has also transferred the 
scene from Ireland to Greece, perhaps because the latter country sounds 
better, and is further off, or perhaps because he had got the original 
form of the story from his old father in the meantime. 

' Some of the things mentioned in the tinker's version have to do with 
Druidical worship — the magic well, the oak-tree, the bird. For the 
Celtic tribes, as it is said, were all guided in their wanderings by the 
flight of birds. The Sun Goddess, for the Druids are supposed to have 
worshipped the sun, and the sun is feminine in Gaelic. These are all 
mixed up with Fionn and the Sword of Light and the Big Women, 
personages and things which do not appear out of the Highlands.' 

The whole of this last paragraph seems to me more than questionable, 
for 'The Fox' is beyond all question identical with the Polish-Gypsy 
story of 'The Golden Bird and the Good Hare' (No. 49, pp. 182-8), in 
the excellent Servian version of which it is a fox, not a hare. Druidism 
is hardly to be looked for in either Poland or Servia. In some respects 
the Polish-Gypsy story is better than the Tinker one, but in others the 
Tinker version is greatly superior. Each, indeed, supplies the other's 
deficiencies. The original beginning, given by Campbell, seems to 
point to a form of the story where, as in the Indian versions of ' The 
Bad Mother,' cited on p. 35, note^ the hero is sent on his quest by a step- 
mother. In his notes on the Gaelic story in Orient und Occident 
(ii. 1864, pp. 685-6), Reinhold K6hler cites an interesting Wallachian 
version. 



No. 76. — ^The Magic Shirt ^ 

' There was a king and a knight, as there was and will be, 
and as grows the fir-tree, some of it crooked and some of it 
straight ; and he was a king of Eirinn,' said the old tinker, 
and then came a wicked stepmother, who was incited to 
evil by a wicked hen- wife. The son of the first queen was 
at school with twelve comrades, and they used to play at 
shinny every day with silver shinnies and a golden ball. 
The hen-wife, for certain curious rewards, gave the step- 
dame a magic shirt, and she sent it to her stepson, ' Sheen 

^ I have furnished a name to this nameless story, a long one, which Campbell 
got from ' Old Macdonald, travelling tinker.' Else I give it just as he gives it. 

T 



» <f 



290 SCOTTISH. TINKER STORIES 

Billy/ and persuaded him to put it on. He refused at first, 
but complied at last, and the shirt was a great snake about 
his neck. Then he was enchanted and under spells, and all 
manner of adventures happened ; but at last he came to the 
house of a wise woman who had a beautiful daughter, who 
fell in love with the enchanted prince, and said she must 
and would have him. 

* It will cost thee much sorrow,' said the mother. 

* I care not,' said the girl, * I must have him.' 
' It will cost thee thy hair.' 

* I care not* 

* It will cost thee thy right breast' 

I care not if it should cost me my life,' said the girl. 
And the old woman agreed to help her to her will. A 
caldron was prepared and filled with plants ; and the king's 
son was put into it and stripped to the magic shirt, and the 
gfirl was. stripped to the waist. And the mother stood by 
with a great knife, which she gave to her daughter. Then 
the king's son was put down in the caldron ; and the great 
serpent, which appeared to be a shirt about his neck, changed 
into its own form, and sprang on the girl and fastened on 
her; and she cut away the hold, and the king's son was 
freed from the spells. Then they were married, and a 
golden breast was made for the lady. 

' And then,' adds Mr. Campbell, ' they went through more adventures 
which I do not well remember, and which the old tinker's son vainly 
strove to repeat in August i860, for he is far behind his father in the 
telling of old Highland tales. The serpent, then, would seem to be an 
emblem of evil and wisdom in Celtic popular mythology.' 



APPENDIX 

P. 249. — ^The following nigger folk-tale, first printed by me in 
the AthetuBum for 20th August 1887, p. 245, was taken down by 
an American acquaintance, Mr. J. P. Suverkrop, C.E., in 187 1, 
at Sand Mountain, Alabama, from the recitation of his negro 
servant, Dick Brown, a *boy' about thirty years old, who was a 
native of Petersburg, Virginia, and there had got it from his 
granny. It seems to be clearly a variant of * The Master Smith ' 
(Clouston, ii. 409) and of Grimm's No. 147, 'The Old Man made 
Young Again' (ii. 215, 444). If so, it must be a comparatively 
recent transmission from one race (Aryan) to another (non-Aryan), 
yet it is as thoroughly localised as folk-tale well could be. 

DE NEW HAN'. 

Wunst dar war a sawmill on de aige of a wood not a thousan mili 
from heah, wid a branch a-runnin by a-tumin de wheel. An ole 
colored man, he kep de mill an wer a very fine kine of man ; but he son 
Sam, what help him, didn' take arter de ole man, but wer a triflin, no 
account sort o' young nigger ; an de ole man had to wuk right sharp to 
git along. One day 'long come a poor-lookin sort o' man, sayin he 
wanted to larn de saw-millin, an he wuk fur a yeah fur nuffin. De ole 
man wer glad to git his help, an de young 'un 'lowed he could shif some 
o' his wuk on to de New Han'. So de New Han' he went to totin beads 
and doin chores round de mill. De ole man he like de New Han' fus 
class, an alius gin he jes as good as he git hisself ; but de son he make 
hisself big to de New Han' behind de ole man back, an order him roun 
to do dis an dat. De New Han' he never say nuffin, but jes go 'long 
'bout he own bisness. De ole man he cotch Sam 'busin an a-bossin de 
New Han' aroun, and he club he good fur hit more'n a few times. One 
day an ole man come fur a load o' plank, and he war a-groanin wid 
de misery in de back, an a-wishin he were young an spry like as' he 
used to. 

Den up speak de New Han', an he say, * Ef you all go in de woods 
'ceptin dis man an me, whar you can't see nuffin goin on, an wait till I 
holler, I '11 fix dis man right up good ; but you all mus promis not to 
peek, for suffin bad happen ef yo do.' 

So dey promis. An de ole man an he son go in de woods wher dey 

291 



292 GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

can't see nuffin. An de New Han' he say to de man wid de misery in 
he back, ' Go lay down on de saw-frame.' 

Den he up wid de saw, an cut he in two. Den he up wid de two pieces 
of de man, an frow em into de branch, an de pieces jine togidder, an 
de ole man wid de misery in he back come outer de branch a live an 
well man an quite young like an frisky. Den he fell a-thankin de 
New Han', but he jest tole he to shet up. An den he hollerd. Sam 
and he fader come a-runnin, an was mighty exprised when dey seen de 
young-lookin nigger in de place of de ole limpin man. But de New 
Han' wouldn't say nuffin 'bout it. So dey jest shet up, an things carried 
on same as usual till de ole man he got word his mudder very bad, an 
he must start right off fur to see her. Befo he go he dun tole Sam not 
fur to ac obstropolus wid de New Han', case ef he did, so sho' would he 
git a clubbin soon ez he got back. But Sam he forgit jes so soon de ole 
man gone, an behave wery overbearin an obstropolus. 

Finally de New Han' say to Sam, * Ef you don' quit behavin, I 'se 
gwine to leave when my yeah up, an dat 's to-morrer.' 

Den Sam ac real owdashus, an tole him, ' Go along now, yo fool.' 

Sho' enuffnex dey de New Han' dun gone, an no one seed him go, an 
no one pass he in de road or in de wood. Well, de wery nex day 'long 
come de nigger what was made young an likely by de New Han', an 
'long wid him come he ole woman totin a baskit wid a elegant fat 
possum an sweet taters dat fairly made Sam mouf water. After passin 
de time o' day an so on, de man ax arter de New Han', sayin he want 
him fix up de ole woman same like he do him. 

Sam say, ' O^ he be back to-morrer. Jes leave de possum, an come 
agin. I '11 gin it to him when he come.' 

But de man too smart fur dat, an wouldn' leave hit 

So Sam 'fraid he gwine to lose de possum, so he say, ' De New Han' 
dun gone off fur to see he sic fader, an dun tole me fo' he go for to ax 
you an do same what he done to you.' 

So den de man tole Sam, an Sam tell de man to go in de wood an 
shet he eyes. Den Sam he saw de ole woman in two, an frow de pieces 
in de branch ; but dar dey stay. Den Sam git skeered, an go down to 
de branch, an try to jine de pieces, but dey wont jine. An de ole 
'Oman's husban come a-runnin and a-hollerin outer de wood case he see 
sufiin wrong ; an de neighbers come, an dey take Sam an try he, an fin' 
he guilty. 

An de judge he put on he black hat an say, ' Hang Sam by de neck 
ontil he mus be quite ded, an de Lor hab mussy on pore Sam.' 

Den Sam's ole fader come a-runnin, an he fall down, an beg for Sam ; 
but do' he roll in de dus, an cry, de judge won' let Sam go. Den dey 
all go 'way solemn like to de gallus. An de judge ax Sam, do he got 
anything to say for hisself. An Sam see de New Han' stan a-laffin in 
de crowd. An he think how bad he dun treated de pore man. 

So he say, * Brudren an sistren, min' what I gwine tell you. Don' ac 
highminded an biggity wid no one, case ef I hadn' ac dat way to a man 
in dis here very crowd, I 'd a been heavin saw-logs instid o' gwine to be 
hung dis day.' 



APPENDIX 293 

*Den all he frinds fall a-cryin an a-roUin, but de New Han* jump up 
longside Sam, an say quick like to he, * Do you shore enufT sorry for 
you acshuns ? ' 

Den Sam say, * Deed an deed I 's sorry, an I ax pardon an hope yo '11 
forgive me when I 's gone.' 

Den de New Han' speak out big an loud to de crowd, an say, ' How 
come yo gwine to hang dis heah man when de ole 'oman he kill is 
a-standin right dar ? ' 

Sho' enuff dar was she standin long o' her ole man. So dey let Sam 
down, an dey had great jollification ; but dey never see de New Han' 
from dat day to dis nowhar. 

JOHN BUNYAN. 

Folk-tales are scarcely literature, but a question affecting the world's 
literature arises out of these Gypsy folk-tales. Was the author of The 
Pilgritf^s Progress an English peasant or a Gypsy half-breed? The 
Rev. J. Brown, va John Bunyan : his Life, Times, and Work (1885), 
shows that the family of Bunyan — a name spelt in thirty-four different 
ways — was established in Bedfordshire as early at least as 1 199, and 
that in 1327 a William Bownon was living at Elstow on the very spot 
where John Bunyan was born in 1628. There is a gap in the Bunyan 
annals between 1327 and 1542, when one finds a William Bonyon of 
Elstow, as in 1548 a Thomas Bonyon, aged forty-six or more. Next 
come a Thomas Bunyon, 'Pettie Chapman,' who died in 1641, and his 
son, also Thomas Bunyon (1603-76), who, says Mr. Brown, is * usually 
spoken of as a tinker, but describes himself as a "braseyer."' This 
second Thomas took for his second wife in 1627 an Elstow woman, 
Margaret Bentley (1603-44), and John was the first child of that 
marriage. He, as every one knows, was an itinerant though house- 
dwelling tinker (Brown, pp. 64, 119, 158, etc); and his eldest son, 
John, ' was brought up to the ancestral trade of a brazier, and carried 
on business in Bedford till his death in 1728' (///. pp. 201-2). That is 
all of the essential to be gleaned about Bunyan's pedigree ; we know 
nothing as to his grandmother or great-grandmother. 

With this evidence, then, before him. Canon Venables pronounced, 
in the Dictionary of National Biografhy {v\\., 1886, p. 276), that *the 
antiquity of the family in Bunyan's native county effectually disposes 
of the strange hallucination, which even Sir Walter Scott was disposed 
to favour, that the Bunyans, ** though reclaimed and settled," may have 
sprung from the Gipsy tribe.' By no means necessarily, as may be 
seen from a single example. During 1870-75 I often came across 
members of the Bunce family in Oxfordshire, Wilts, Herts, and 
Somerset. Stephen Bunce, of Wiltshire yeoman ancestry, had thirty 
years earlier married Phcebe Buckland, a thorough-bred Gypsy woman, 
had himself turned tent-dweller, and ' travelled ' the southern counties 
till his death. They had a largish family ; and many, perhaps most, 
of their sons and daughters have married Gypsies of more or less 
purity. One son was (and maybe is still) a small farmer and horse- 



294 GYPSY FOLK-TALES 

dealer, living in a house of his own at Pewsey. Now, if a son or a 
grandson of his rose to eminence, he could not by Canon Venables' 
argument be a Gypsy, because, forsooth 1 the Bunces are an old Wilt- 
shire family. 

The chief upholder of Bunyan*s Gypsy ancestry was Mr. James 
Simson, a Scoto-American of New York, the editor of Walter Simson's 
History of the Gipsies (1865), and author of John Bunyan and the 
Gipsies (1882) and a whole host of similar pamphlets. He pointed out 
that Bunyan writes in his Grace Abounding : * For my descent, it was, 
as is well known to many, of a low and inconsiderable generation ; my 
father's house being of that rank that is meanest and most despised 
of all the families of the land.' And again : ' After I had been thus 
for some considerable time, another thought came into my mind, and 
that was, whether we were of the Israelites or no. For, finding in the 
Scriptures that they were once the peculiar people of God, thought I, 
if I were one of this race, my soul must needs be happy. Now, again, 
I found within me a great longing to be resolved about this question, 
but could not tell how I should. At last, I asked my father, who told 
me, No, we were not.' And yet again : * I often, when these temptations 
had been with force upon me, did compare myself to the case of such 
a child whom some Gipsy hath by force took up in her arms, and is 
carrying from friend and country.' 

Kidnapping has never been a Gypsy practice (/« Gypsy TentSy 
pp. 244-46), nor, though it were, would a Gypsy, even a converted Gypsy, 
be likely to use it as an illustration. But Mr. Simson's two first passages 
are really pertinent. The Anglo- Israelite craze was not devised till 
1793 ; and it is hard to conceive why about 1645 an English peasant- 
boy should have speculated on a Jewish origin for himself and his 
kindred. But with a Gypsy it would not the least surprise me. I 
hardly ever see Frampton Boswell, an English Gypsy of fifty, but 
he returns to the question, *And there's one thing, Mr. Groome, I've 
been wanting to ask you about, and that is where you think our people 
originated.' Hindoos, Jews, and Egyptians are regularly passed in 
review, but Frampton cannot make up his mind, as neither can he 
about R6mani, except that 'for certain 'tisn't one of the Seven 
Languages,' 

Tinker in Bunyan's day indubitably carried a suggestion at least of 
Gypsydom. I have not been able to see The Tinker of Turvey} or Canter- 
bury 7li/fj(Lond. 1630, ed. by J. O. Halliwell), to which Mr. Brown refers, 
but from his few quotations on p. 34 it seems evident that that ' strolling 
Tincker and brave mettle-man ' regarded himself as something widely 
different from an ordinary English artificer. Sir Thomas Overbury in 
his well-known Characters (1614) describes *The Tinker,' the companion 
of whose travels * is some foul sun-burnt quean, that since the terrible 
statute recanted gypsism and is turned pedlaress. So marches he all 

* Turvey, a parish near Elstow, was a Gypsy abode long after Bunyan's day ; 
at it, in 1822-25, Legh Richmond buried two Gypsies — James Smitli, and his 
mother-in-law, Elizabeth Robinson, both of the reputed age of 105. Robinson 
was a surname of descendants of Bunyan. 



APPENDIX 295 

over England with his bag and baggage,' etc. In an article by A. H. A. 
Hamilton on ' Quarter Sessions under Charles i. from original records 
of Devon* {Eraser's Mag,^ Jan. 1877) is a quotation concerning 'sundry 
suspect persons, Roagues both sturdy and begging vagrant, some where- 
of pretend to be petty chapmen [like Bunyan's grandfather], others 
peddlers, others glassmen, tynckers, others palmesters, fortune readers, 
Egiptians, and the like.' Brazier is a frequent designation of Gypsies 
at the present day — e,g, the baptismal register of Hill, Sutton Coldfield, 
has * Jan. 27, 1866, Miriam Kate Agnes, daughter of Benjamin and Mira 
Boswell, cutler and brazier'; and that of Boothroyd, Dewsbury, has 
* Mary Jane d' of Thomas and Mary Green, Dewsbury Moor, Brazier of 
the Gipsey tribe.' The occurrence in the Bunyan pedigree of such Gypsy 
' Christian ' names as Mantis and Perun, Delarifa and Meralini, would 
be a strong point, but is entirely lacking. On the other hand, ' gaujified ' 
or gentilised Gypsies often drop such names; two brothers of my 
acquaintance, Oti and Lazzy, became thus plain William and George. 
A contemporary description of Bunyan (Brown, p. 399) as 'tall of 
stature, strong-boned, though not corpulent, somewhat of a ruddy face, 
with sparkling eyes . . .his hair reddish,' runs rather against the theory 
of Bunyan's Oy^sy ancestry, but not conclusively, for I have known 
two Gypsy brothers, one very swarthy, the other red-haired. 

The strongest corroboration of that theory was unknown to both Mr. 
Simson and Mr. Brown. In Notes and Queries for January 24, 1 89 1 , p. 67, 
' R.' cited an entry from the parish register of St. Mary's, Launceston : 
'1586, March the ivth daie was christened Nicholas, sonne of James 
Bownia, an Egiptia rogue.' Here *Egiptia' (? Egiptia) must stand for 
' Egiptian ' ; ' Bownia ' similarly should be ' Bownian,' and, if so, we 
have veritable Gypsy Bunyans. It may seem a far cry from Launce- 
ston in Cornwall to Elstow in Bedfordshire, were nomads not in case ; 
in time, the interval between this baptism and the birth of ' the inspired 
tinker ' is but forty-two years. 

But, anyhow, whether Bunyan was Gypsy * or Gentile, folk-tales ij>lus 
the Bible) seem to me quite as likely a source of inspiration for his 
Pilgrim's Progress and Holy War as (say) the fourteenth century 
Pdlerinage de V Homme or the siege of the Anabaptists at Munster. I do 
not believe this has ever before been suggested ; I will merely suggest 
it, and leave the working out of it to folklorists. 

^ There are those to whom the notion will seem monstrous that the author of 
TJie PilgrinCs Progress should have been * a gipsy ! * I would remind such that at 
the present day there is Mr. George Smith, the Converted Gypsy, of the Potteries, 
who conducts missions in Edinburgh and other large cities. I have never heard 
him myself, but I am assured by a competent judge that he is a really eloquent 
preacher. Then there was William Mitchel (1672- 1740), the Edinburgh 
' Tinklarian Doctor,' author of a score of prophetical pamphlets. There was 
Thomas Wright, the tinker Berean of Bamsley, who baptized Ebenezer Elliott 
in 1 78 1. And there was the founder of the American Shakers, 'Mother' Ann 
Lee (1736-86), a Manchester blacksmith's illiterate daughter, who married in 
1762 the blacksmith Abraham Stanley. The conjunction of the surnames Lee 
and Stanley, of the smith's craft, and of the illiteracy, renders it almost certain in 
my mind that these were Gypsies. 



INDEX 



G. = Gypsy, and Gs. = Gypsies. 



' Accu&SBD Ga&dbn, The,' 232. 
Actors, Gs. as, 124. 
Africa, Gs« in, ix, xzxriii-xli. 
Agareni, xxii. 

* Aladdin,' 90, 218, 219. 
<AliBaba,'H. 
American Gs., ix, xv-xvii. 
Animals, grateful. See Grateful ani- 
mals. 

Apple causing horns to grow, 85-86. 
Apples turning into donkey, 98. 
Revivifying apple, 29, 57. Apples 
of pregnancy, 36, 40, 65, 66. Golden 
apple-tree and apples, 26, 27, 135, 
137, 182, 183, 220, 22s, 227. 

Arabian Nights, 57, 72, 168. 

Arabic and R6mani, xxxiii. 

Arrows, li, 79, 80, 259. 

Ash-bole, sitting in, or by stove, 155, 
23s, 242, 267, 268. 

'Ashypelt,'23S, 242. 

Asia Minor, Ixiv n. 

Athingani, xxii, xxiii. 

Australia, Gs. in, xvii, xviii. 

* Bad Mother, The,' 24. 
Baht or bakht, fortune, 53 ». 

* Baldpate,' 4. 

Ball of yam, thread, etc, 221, 222, 

233, 234, 254, 2SS, 268. 
Baptism by God, 20, 30. 
Barbu Constantinescu, Dr., Hi, liii. 
Basque-speaking G., xxxix. 
Bataillard, Paul, x, xxix, xl, xli. 

* Beam, The,* Ixxxi. 

Bear, 31, 228, 272-78. Bear- wards, 

xliii, xliv. 
' Beauty and the Beast,' 1. 

* Beautiful Mountain, The,' 107. 
Bell of Antermony, John, xxxvii. 
Bellerophon letter, 10, 134. 

29(5 



Bellows, XX, xxvi, Ixiv », 248, 285- 

28611. 
' Binnorie,' 132. 

Bird-maidens. See Swan-maidens. 
Birds, summoning the, 38, 40, 214, 

254> 255. Queen of the birds, 59. 

Prophetic and talking birds, Ixxix, 

6, 9, 115, 116, 256. Bird, stealing 

a, 106, 185-187, 284. 
Birth-marks, 17, 72, 121-23, 181, 236, 

241. 
'Black Dog of the Wild Forest,' 

267. 

* Black Lady, The,' 256. 

Blind mother of dragon, 84, 143. 
Blindness cured, 78, 79, 113, 115, 122, 

123, 187. 
Blood, Mountains of, 32. 

* Blue Belt, The,' 35. 

* Blue Light, The,' 103. 
Boat-dwelling Scotch tinkers, lix. 
« Bobby Rag,' 198. 
Bohemian-G. story, 15 1-54. 
Bologna, Gs. in 1422 at, x-xii. 
Book, magic, 1 1, 12, 254. 
Boots. See Youngest son. 

Bow and arrows, 259. 

Brazilian Gs., xvi, xvii. 

Bread cast on water to discover 

drowned body, 139. 
Breaking through to steal, 146 n. 
Bride, Forsaken, li. 
Bridge, 12, 268, 269. Golden bridge, 

xlviii, 23. 
' Brigands and Miller's Daughter,' 168. 

* Brother Lustig,' 249. 
Brothers of the Cross, 80 m, 93. 

* Brown Bear of the Green Glen,' 272. 
Bukowina-G. stories, liii, 29-34, 61 • 

129, 181. 
< Bull-calf, De LitUe,' 205. 



INDEX 



297 



Bunyan, John, 295-8. 

Burning, punishment of, 28, 71, 74, 94, 

102, 175, 201, 204, 256. 
Bursting of monster, 18 n. 
Bushel to measure money with, 113, 

117, 170, 263. 

Cagb, common, 108, 185. 

Cake and blessing or curse, Ixxvii, 219, 

257. 
Caldarari, xxxvi-xlv. 
Callot, Jacques, xxxvii. 
Campbell of Islay, J. F., xlv-xlvii, Iviii- 

Ixi. His West Highland Tales, Ixxvi- 

Ixxx, 3, 12, 124, 171 «, 188, 192, 

233, 242, 243, 25s, 262. 
Candle, shining like a, 16, 17, 95, 105. 
Cannibalism, Ixxiii, Ixxiv, 37, 61, 66, 

165, 181. 
Cards, playing, 28, 117, 120, 184, 256. 
Carlyle's, Mrs., G. ancestry, 51. 
Carriageful of money, 73, 82, 90, 113. 
Cart, winged, 93. 
' Caruseddu,' 109. 
Castles of copper, silver, and gold, xlvi, 

60| 233-34, 244i 245- 
Cat, xlvi, li, 1 17-120. 

Catalonian-G. story, 249. 

Chair that one cannot rise out of, 248. 

Chaldsean version of Tobit, 3. 

Challenge to war, 65, 1 19. 

Chaltsmide, xxii. 

Chamber, forbidden, 25, 30, 256. 

Cheese-squeezing, 84, 206. 

'Childe Rowland,* 40. 

Childlessness, liii, 21, 24, 36, 65, 175. 

China, Gs. in, xxxvii, xxxviii. 

Chingan^ros, xvii. 

Church and priest, transformation into, 

Ixxi, 127, 196. 
Chutilla the Handless, in. 
Ciboure, xxxviii-xl. 
' Cinderella,' 259. 
Cloak of darkness, 164. 
Clock, musical and rejuvenating, 54. 
Club, hurling a. See Mace. 
Cock-crow, 14, IS, 38, 40, 113, 279. 
Coffee as emetic, 96-98. 
Comb, magic, 64, 126, 127. 
Conception, miraculous, 201, 258. 
Copper, palace or castle of, xlvi, 60, 

233-34» 244i 245- 



Corfu, Gs. in, xix, xx, xlii. 

Cosqu:n*s CofUes de Lorraine, 3, 52, 72, 

79, 85, 90, 109, 117, 120, 128, 175, 

197, 246. 
Covenant as to new-bom child, 102, ' 

103, 125. 
Crabs in * Master Thief,* 45, 47, 52, 53. 

* Creation of the Violin, The,* 131. 
Crete, Gs. in, xix, xxii n, 
Crofton, Mr. H. T., xiv. 

Cross, brothers of the, 80 n, 93. 

Cross-roads, 85, 90, 220, 236. 

Crown floats on to future king's head, 

xlv, 97. Nuptial crown, 21. 
Crucifixion. See Nails. 

* Cudgel, bestir thyself,* Ivi «, 251. 
Cufic coins, Ixxiv. 

* Cymbeline,* Ixvii, 121-4. 

Danubiani, xix. 

Dasent's Norse tales, 3, 12, 35, 50, 161, 

171, 233, 234, 255, 257, 258, 271. 
Days of week personified, 31-33. 

* Dead Man*s Gratitude, The,* I. 
Death, resuscitation from, 8, 18, 28, 

33, 94, 99, 103, 270. 

* Death the Sweetheart,* 140. 

* Deluded Dragon, The,* 80, 144. 
Devil, 19, 93, 94, 112-114, 117.118, 

125-127, 141-143, 191-194, 248, 249, 

278-282. 
•Dog and the Maiden, The,* 138. 

Omniscient dog, 143. Helpful dogs, 

268-271. Black Dog, 267. 
Doms, 13, 263. 
Donkey-apples, 98. Donkey-cabbages, 

99- 
Doom, pronouncing one's own, 74, 89. 

Dragon, 2, 6, 7, 9, 20, 24, 30-34, 62, 

78, 80-85, 85-87, no, 143-144. 151- 
154, 166-167, 205-208, 219, 252, 

253. 
Drama and Gs., 124. 

Drowned body, recovery of, 139. 

Dumplings, leaden, 152. 

Dwarf, 75, 76, 243-246. 

Dynamitters, xxxii. 

Eagles, 78, 79, 198, 214, 215, 274, 

275. 
Egypt, Gs. in, xix. 

Elven, Professor H. van, xli, xlii. 



298 



GYPSY FOLK-TALES 



* Enchanted City, The,' 117. 
English-G. stories, 130, 198-208. 
Evil eye, zvii, 14, 66. 

Fairies, Ixiii, 77, 78, 133, 138, 141, 
143. iSSf 160, 178, 258, 259. 

* Fairy Bride,* 259. 

* Faithful John,* 9. 
Fata and Afotrai, 138. 

Feast or ball given, 70, 73, 85, 158, 

174, 198. 203 
Feather, magic, Ixx, 105, 108, 109, 

167 ». 
Feats. See Tasks. 
Feet, vampire detected by, 14. 
« Ferdinand the Faithful,' 109. 
« Fiend, The,* 18. 
Fire, undying, 3a 
« Five Trades, The,* 234. 
Flags, red, black, and white, no. 
Fleabite, 82. 
Flower, transformation into a, Ixix, 

16 n, 17, 19, 195. 
Flute, magic, 77, 257. 

* Flymg Trunk, The,' 103. 

* Follower, The,' 3. 

'Foolish Brother and the Wonderful 
Bush, The,* 154. 

* Fool with the Sheep, The,' 262. 
Footprints, detection by, loi. 
Forbidden chamber, 25, 30, 256. 
Forest, felling a, 22, 23, 64, 126, 191, 

243, 255. 
Forsaken Bride, 1. 
Fortune-telling, xi, xii, xiv, xv, xviii, 

12. 
Fox, 82. 'De Little Fox,* 20a 

' Mr. Fox,* 17s, 200. ' The Fox,' 283. 
' Frederick and Catherine,* 266. 
Freiscbiitz gun, 30, 35. 
Friday personified, 31. 
Fr<^, 213. 
Fruits of pregnancy. See Apple. 



Gallows, 42, 112, 115. 
Gesta jRomancrum, Ixvi, Ixvii, 90. 
Giant, 108, 252, 273, 274, 284. 
* Giri sold to the Devil,' 161. 
Glaive of Light, 284-288. 
Glass mountain, 255. 
Goat, riding a, 78. 



God, 20, 30, 65, 66, 73, 74, 102, 103, 
129, 163, 205, 249, 250-2. 

'Godfather Death,' liv. 

' God's Godson,* 2a 

Gold, Gs. as workers in, xxv, xxvi. 

Golden apple-tree and apples, 26, 27, 
135. I37i 182, 183, 220, 225, 227. 
Golden children, 17, 70-72. Golden 
God, 48, 188. Golden fir-trees, 68. 
Golden hen, 178, 179, 192. Golden 
lambs, 68. 

'Golden Bird and the Good Hare, 
The,* 182. 

Gonzenbach*s, Laura, Sicilian folk- 
tales, 3, 35, SI, 109, 164, 182, 188. 

Grateful or helpful animals, 34, 38-41, 
99, 108, 125, 126, 185-187, 208, 213- 
220, 268-271. 

'Grateful Dead, The,' i. 

Greek folk-tales. See Hahn. 

Greek Gs., xx, xxi. 

Greek loan-words in R6mani, xxxii. 

'Green Man of Noman's Land, The,' 
Ixxvi, Ixxvii, 197, 254. 

Grifiin of the Greenwood, 223. 

Grimm, 1, Ixvi, 9, 35, 51, 57, 62, 72, 
79> 85, 90, 99. 103, 109, 117, 120, 
129, 130, 138, 143, 145, 151. ^7S^ 
188, 208, 219, 242, 246, 249, 257, 
262, 266. 

Gun, never-missing, 30, 35. 

IIahn's Greek folk -tales, xlviii, Ixv, 
9, 17, 24, 35, 51, 62, 79. 85. 94. 99. 
103, 112, 144, 151, 182, 218, 221, 
258, 263, 267. 

Hair, feather, fin, etc., summoning by 
a, Ixx, 38, 12a 

Hammer, hurling a. See Mace. 

Handkerchief, identification by, 161, 
165, 225, 230 If. Ordeal by hand- 
kerchief, 230, 231. 

Hare, 34, 50, 81, 99, 185-187, 208. 

Head impaled on stake, 39, 257, 258, 
284. ilead cut off, to transform, 
225, 226, 227, 270, 271. 

Heart as token of death, 29, 35, 198. 

Hedgehog, Ixxiv, Ixxxi, 257. 

Helpful animals. See Grateful animals. 

' Hen that laid Diamonds, The,' 95. 

Hen, golden, 178, 179, 182. 

Hero, 20, 24, 62, 65, 66. 



INDEX 



299 



Hop-o'-my-thumb trick, 105, 109. 
Horns caused by eating apple, 85, 86. 
Horse, binding to a wild, 70. Talking 
horse, 104-109. Winged horse, 26, 

27, 40» 91. 125- 
Hungarian-G. stories, liii, liv, 19, 34, 
48, 174, 208. 

* Huntsman, The Skilful,' 151. 
Husk-myths, li, 21-24, 200-204, 228. 

Incubus, 93, 95. 

India, king of, li. 

Indian parallels, 1, lii, Ivi ly, Ixviii-lxxi, 
9, 12, 13, 14, 24, 35, 66, 72, 80, 85, 
86, 92, 99> 103-104, 117, 132, 146;/, 
i68, I7S, 197, 208, 219, 234, 256, 
263, 266-7. 

Indian origin of R6mani, xxxiii-zxxv. 

Invisible cloak, 104. 

Ireland, Gs. in, Izxix, Ixxx. 

' It all comes to Light,' 67. 

'Jack and his Golden Snuffbox,' 209. 

* Jack the Giant-killer,' 3. 
'Jack the Robber,' 48, 260. 

Jacobs, Mr. Joseph, Ixviii, Ixxv, 

Ixxxiii, 40, 218, 232. 
'Jealous Husband, The,' 121. 
'Jean de I'Ours,' 79, 90, 246. 
Jews, I, 2, 57, 122, 162, 175-181. 

Key, 166, 167, 177. 

Kidneys, man deprived of, 62-64. 

' King of the Golden Mountain,' 120. 

King of the Serpents, li. 

' Knight of Riddles, The,' 12. 

Komodromoi, xxiv-xxxi. 

Kopemicki, Dr. I., liv, Iv. 

' Koschei the Dauntless,' 90. 

Kounavine, Michael I., Ixii, Ixiii. 

Lang, Mr. Andrew, Ixxii-bcxiv. 

Langari, xlii. 

' Laula,' 174, 200. 

Life-tokens, Ivii, iia 

' Little Bull-calf, De,' 205. 

' Little Fox, De,' 20a 

•Little Snow-white,'!. 

Liverpool, 'Greek Gs.' at, xlii. 

Loaf, inexhaustible, 30, 67, 71, 275. 

Lousing, 156, 157, 192 ». 

Lowbeys, xviL 



Luck personified, 53. 
Lucky-bone, 269, 271. 
Lying stories, 128- 13a 

MacDonald, John, Iviii-lxi. 

Mace, hurling a, 37, 40, 63, 64, no, 

152, 153- 
MacRitchie, Mr. David, xv, xxxvii, 
xliii, 182. 

* Made over to the Devil,' 125. 
'Magic Shirt, The,' 289. 
Manneken, 258. 

Manoli, 13. 

Marionettes and Gs., 124. 

' Master Smith,' 247-9, 291. 

* Master Thief,* 41-53, 109. 

* Merchant of Venice,' 124, 171. 
Metallurgy, G., xvii, xxiv-xxxii, Ixxxi, 

46-8, 285-6 n. 
Mice, 126, 212-215. 
Mid-day. See Noon. 
Migrations, G., Ixxiv. 
Miklosich, Franz von, liii. 
Miller's daughter, 168, 175. 
Millstone, 127. 
Mirror, magic, 56, 64. 
Moirai, 138. 

Money, contest in, 97, 99. 
Montan^ros, xvii. 
Moon personified, 31. 
Moravian-G. story, 144- 151. 
' Mother's Chastisement, The,' 29. 

Nails of Crucifixion, xxvii-xxx. 

Names: Manoli, 13; Nita, 14; Han- 
dak, 20; Silvester, 30; Peterkin, 
59 ; Jankos, 73, 141 ; Marishka, 73 ; 
Nastasa, 90 ; Paul the Wild, 92 ; 
Doroh^j Kdpec, 93 ; Tropsyn, 104 ; 
Peter Pretty -face, no; Chutilla, 
III; Mara, 131; Nameless, 134; 
Halenka, 141 ; Bruntslikos, 151 ; 
Jack, 209, 220, 252, 257, 260, 262, 
268; Valentine and Oliver, 220; 
Jubal, 228; Ashypelt, 235; John, 
235, 272, 278 ; Winter, 266 ; Brian, 
283 ; Sheen Billy, 289. 

' Nastasa the Fair,' 90. 

Needles to keep one awake, 59, 183. 
Needle and thread to track vampire 
by, 15. 

Negro folk-tale, 291. 



300 



GYPSY FOLK-TALES 



Nether world. See World. 

• New Han', De,' 291. 
NiUlungenludy 95. 

Noon or one o'clock, 27, 32, 223. 
•Norka, The,'62. 

Obstaclbs to check advance or pur- 
suit, 64, 65, 126, 127. 
' Old King and his Three Sons,' 220. 
•Old Smith, The,' 247. 
'Old Soldier, The,' 250. 
Ordeal, Ixv, 79, 89, 90, 230, 231. 

• Osbom's Pipe,' 258. 
Other world. See World. 
Otter King, xlviii. 

•Ox, The Stolen,' 219. 

Parents, recognition of, 73, 258, 276, 

277. 
Paris, Gs. in 1427 at, xii, xiii. 
Paspati, Dr. A. G., xlix. 
Paul the Wild, 92-94. 
Peter, St, 20, 30, 65, 249, 252. 
Place-names: White Sea and Black 

Sea, 4; Bucharest 53, 56; Paris, 54; 

Vienna, 54 ; Bukowina, 69, 70, 85 ; 

Vah river, 72; Danube, 106, 121 ; 

England, 220; London, 227; Epping 

Forest, 229 ; Melvdles, 230 ; North 

Wales, 232; Forest 0? Dean, 235; 

-Montford Bridge, 262 ; Iceland, 267 ; 

Erin, 272, 289 ; Greecek283. 
PoUsh-G. stories, liv, Iv, 154-197. 
Polygamy, G., Ixxiii. 
Portrait, fidling in love with a, 4, 94, 

95» 176. 
Pregnancy. See Apple. 
•Pretty-face,' no. 
Price, Cornelius, Ivi, Ivii, 48. 

• Prince and the Wizard, The,' 62. 

• Prince, his Comrade, and Nastasa the 

Fair, The,' 90. 

• Princess on the Glass Hill,' 161. 

• Prince who ate Men, The,' 66. 

• Princess and the Forester's Son,* 144. 
Puppet-shows and Gs., 124. 
Pursuit, 126, 127, 195-7. 

Queen of the Birds, 59. 

Rabbits, 248, 257. 



Ralston's Russian folk-tales, 12, 18, 35, 
41, 62, 94, 121, 128, 161, I97i 234, 
249. 

Ranking, Dr. D. F., lix. 

Recognition of parents, 73, 258, 276. 

• Red King and the Witch, The,' 58. 
Rejuvenation, 54, 247. 
Resuscitation from death, 8, 18, 28, 33, 

94, 103, 247, 270. 
Rhampsinitus, 52. 

• Rich and the Poor Brother, The,' 1 12. 

• Riddle, The,' Ixxviii, 9, 95. 

Ring as talisman, 87-9a Recognition 
by ring, 127, 128, 152, 154, 159, 207, 
208. Ring as life-token, no. 

•Rivals, The,' 181. 

• Robber- Bridegroom, The,' 175. 
Roberts, John, Iv, 

Robin, 257. 

Rdmani or G. Language, xxxii-xxxv, 

Ivi, Ixiii. 
Room, forbidden, 25, 30, 256. 
Roslin, Gs. at, xiv, xv, 124. 
Roumanian-G. stories, lii, liii, 14-66, 

219. Roumanian Gs., xxi, xxii. 
Russian folk-tales. See Ralston. 



Saddle, magic, 164. 
Saddle-bags, 28, 33, 34, 35, 120. 
Sampson, Mr. John, xliv, Iv-lviii. 
Savagery, G., Ixxii-lxxiv. 
Sayce, Professor, xxxv, 3, 4. 
School, 90, 96. 
Scotland, Gs. in, xiv, xv. 
Scottish-Tinker stories, 272-290. 
Seed, gathering, 125, 126, 128. 
Selection of true bride, 126, 255. 
Serpent-maiden, 36-40. See also Snzkn, 
Sharpshooter, 30, 35, 145. 
Shelta, lix. 
Ships or boats, i, 4-7, 106, 108, 109, 

121, 122, 202, 210, 211, 255, 258. 
Shirt, magic, 289, 290. 
Shoes of swiftness, 284. • Shoes that 

were danced to pieces,' 143. 
Sicilian tales. See Gonzenbach. 
Sieve to bale water with, 193, 257. 
• Sir Amadas,' 3. 
•Skilful Huntsman, The,' 151. 
Slave-dealers, Gs. as, xvii. 
Slavery, xxi, xxii, 10, 11. 



f^ 



INDEX 



301 



Slavonic folk-tales. See Ralston and 

Wratislaw. 
Sleeping Beauty, li, Ixx, 101-4, I47» 

224, 225, 234, 275. 
Slovak-G. stories, liv, 46-48, 72-74, 83- 

84, 141- 144. 
Smelling human flesh, 37, 78. 

* Smith, The Old,' 250. 

Snakes, li, 21-24, 36-40, 136, 137, 219, 
220J 280, 290. 'The Snake who 
became the King's Son-in-law,' 21. 
Snake-leaves, 99, iii, 112, 208. 

Solano, Antonio, Ixviii. 

* Soldier, The Old,' 250. * Tale of the 

Soldier,' 278. 

Somersault, turning a, prior to trans- 
formation, Ixv, 16 n, 24, 40, 58, 59, 
68, 106, 120, 127. 

Sowa, Dr. Rudolph von, liv. 

Stable, cleansing a, 255. 

Stag half swallowed by serpent, 219. 

Stake, head impaled on, 39, 284. 

Stepfather, 205. 

Stepmother, 35 n, 67-70, 289. 

Sterility. See Childlessness. 

* Stolen Ox, The,' 219. 

Stone, turning into, xlviii, 6, 7, 8, 9, 

117, 118. 
Story-tellers, Gs. as professional, xlv, 

xlvi, xlix, Ixxx. 
Stream that consumes flesh, 86. 
Strength, seat of, xlviii, 35, 119, 167. 
Stripes, red, out of back, 124, 171 n. 
' Strong Hans,' 79, 90, 246. 
Sun-goddess, 285-8. 
Sun-king, Izv, 135-7. 
Swan-maidens, li, 189, 254, 255. 
Swiftness, shoes of, 284. 
Sword, magic, 63, 64, 92, 119, 120, 

152-4, 160, 284-8. Oath on sword, 

38. 
Symon Simeonis, xviii, xix. 
Symplegades, 32, 35. 

Tabu, G., Ixxiii. 

Tailor, hero turns, 87-9a 

Talisman, 87-90, 210-219. 

Tannhatlser episode, xlviii. 

Tasks imposed, li, 22, 23, 125-8, 191-5, 

25Si 256. 
Telescope, 57. 

* Ten Rabbits, The,' 257. 



•Three Brothers, The,' 114. 
•Three Dragons, The,' 151. 

• Three Girls, The,' 141. 

• Three Golden Hairs of the Snn-king, 

The,' 133. 
•Three Princesses and the Unclean 

Spirit, The,' 36. 
•Three Wishes, The,' 258. 
Threshold, burial under, 19. 
•Tinker and his Wife, The,' Ixxxi, 

263. 
Tinkers, Scottish, Iviii-lxi. 
Toad, 113. 
Tobit, 3. 

Tobolsk, Gs. at, xxxvii. 
Tongue, Dragon's, 154, 207, 208. 
Towel, magic, 126, 127. 
Transformation, xlviii, 1, li. Hi, 16, 37, 

40, 58, 59» 68, 98, 99, 106, 108, 125. 

8, 141, 195-7, 255. 
Transylvanian-G. stories, liii, liv, 85, 

103, 131- 140. 

• Travelling Companion, The,' 3. 
Travelling robe, 57. 

Tree, plucking up a, 74. Wife in tree, 
166-7. O. tree-worship, Ixxiii. 

• Tropsyn,' 104. 

Turkish-G. stories, xlix-lii, 1-13. 
•Twopence-Halfjpenny,' 243. 
•Two Thieves, The,' 41. 

• Valiant Little Tailor,' 80-85, 143. 
•Vampire, The,' 14, 143, 172, 257. 
Variants, G., Ixiv, Ixv. 

•Violin, The Creadon of the,' 131. 

Wager, 28, 121, 123. 

Wagtail, xxxi. 

Wand, magic, 166, 177. 

•Watchmaker, The,' 53. 

Water of life and Water of death, 27, 
28, 93, 94, 120. Water transforming 
one's appearance, 87, 88, 89. Water 
stopped, 99, 1 1 2- 1 1 7, 134. 136, 208. 

Webster, Rev. Wentworth, xxxix. 

Wednesday personified, 33. 

Welsh-G. stories, Iv-lviii, 48, 49, 107, 
130, 174, 204, 209-271. 

Whetstone, magic, 64, 126, 127. 

Whip, fiery, 126. 

Whistle, G., 193, 194, 217 n. 

Wind personified, 60. 



302 



GYPSY FOLK-TALES 



'Winged Hero, The/ lOO. 

Winged horse, 26, 27, 40, 91, 125. 

Winged cart, 93. 
'Winter' as G. surname, 266. 

* Wise Young Jew,' 175. 

• Witch, The,' 188. 
Wlislocki, Dr. H. von, liii, liv. 
Wood, Matthew, Ivi. 

World, other, 25, 26, 63, 76-9, 86, 87, 
244-6. 



Wrati8law*s Slavonic folk-tales, 3, 24, 
41, 62, 65, 72, 109, 117, 138, 154, 
188, 197, 218, 234, 259. 

Wrestling match, xlviii, 152-4, 274. 



Ybar and a day, 36, 212, 241. 
Youngest son, i, 59-62, 85-90, 155- 

161, 182-8, 220-234, 235-242, 243- 

246. 



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