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MAR 3 1992 





How many uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and cousins of all 
degrees a little story has, and how few of those we hear can lay 
any claim to originality ! BARING-GOULD. 



Note : Precocious Children .... 


Note : Book of the Forty Vazirs 




Note : Story of King Shah Bakht and his Vazlr . 



Note: Sending one to an Older and the Oldest 
Person . . ... 


Note : Marking a Culprit .... 






THE ELOPEMENT . . . . . .212 

Note : Falling in Love through a Dream . . 228 

LITTLE FAIRLY ...... 229 





BACKS, ETC. ...... 332 

Note : Women Betraying their Husbands . . 357 


THE LOST PURSE ...... 367 



Note : Kesuscitation in Folk-Lore . . . 407 



HATCHED ! " . . . . . . 432 






Modern Egyptian Version .... 473 

n. THE TALE OF BERYN Was it part of some lost text 

of 'The Seven Sages'? . . . .478 


Modern Egyptian Analogue . . . 480 




Persian Analogue ..... 488 


The Sack Trick : Scotch Analogue . . 489 

Norse . . 490 


Sinhalese Version ..... 491 


Albanian Version ..... 493 


Norse Variant ..... 494 


Story from Jacques de Vitry . . . 497 


Additional Analogues . . . .497 


Analogues of the Incident of Joseph and Potiphar's 

Wife . . . . .499 

INDEX 503 


\* Having, in the preceding volume, traced through, various 
countries stories which, from their magical or supernatural 
elements, were the delight of our simple-minded ancestors in 
remote times, and still enchant wondering childhood, "when 
Love and all the world are young," we now come to treat simi- 
larly stories of common life, which have little or nothing im- 
probable in their details, and while all of them may be true, 
some are certainly "founded in fact." 


fTHHE story of Attorney-General Noy and the Three 
-*- Graziers is a well-worn "Joe Miller," and fur- 
nishes a curious instance of the migrations and modi- 
fications of popular fictions and tales. In a foot-note to 
the article on William Noy (3577-1634) in Chalmers' 
' Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Persons ' (vol. 
xxiii. pp. 267, 268), it is cited as follows, from Lloyd's 
' State Worthies ' : 


j ^ 


" Three graziers at a fair had left their money with 
their hostess while they went to market : one of them 
calls for the money and runs away; the other two 
come upon the woman and sue her for delivering that 
which she had received from the three before the three 
came and demanded it. The cause went against the 
woman, and judgment was ready to be pronounced, 
when Mr Noy, being a stranger, wisheth her to give 
him a fee, because else he could not plead ; and then 
moves, in arrest of judgment, that he was retained by 
the defendant, and that the case was this : The de- 
fendant had received the money of the three together, 
and confesseth was not to deliver it until the same three 
demanded it ; therefore the money is ready : let the 
three men come, and it shall be paid ; a motion which 
altered the whole proceedings." l 

Strange to say, the very same anecdote is also related 
of Lord Chancellor Egerton (1540-1617) in the same 
work, vol. xii. pp. 71, 72, note. Noy is, however, in- 
variably connected with it in the popular mind. Yet 
it is found in an old English jest-book, printed at 
London half a century before Noy was born and ten 
years before Egerton. It is thus told in 'Tales and 
Quicke Answeres, very Mery and Pleasant to Eede,' 
first printed in 1530 : 

" There were two men on a time, the whiche lefte a 
great somme of money in kepyng with a maiden on 

1 Lloyd, says honest Anthony Wood, " wrote many books, which, 
being without quotation or authority, were little esteemed by in- 
telligent men." 


this condition, that she shulde nat delyuer hit agayne, 
excepte they came bothe to gether for hit. Nat lang 
after, one of them cam to hir mornyngly arayde, and 
sayde that his felowe was deed, and so required the 
money, and she delyuered it to hym. Shortly after 
came the tother man, and required to haue the moneye 
that was lefte with her in kepyng. The maiden was 
than so sorowfull, both for lacke of the money and 
for one to defende her cause, that she thought to hange 
her selfe. But Demosthenes, that excellent oratour, 
spake for her and sayd : Sir, this mayden is redy to 
quite her fidelite, 1 and to deliuer agayne the money 
that was lefte with her in kepynge, so that thou wylt 
brynge thy felowe with the [i.e., thee] to resceyue it. 
But that he could nat do." 

This version has been taken directly from Valerius 
Maximus, who is said by some authors to have flourished 
about the middle of the third century of our era, and 
by others in the early years of the first century. In 
place of a " maiden," we find it is an old woman whose 
cause is so astutely defended by Demosthenes ; but the 
story of Valerius is probably as baseless as that of 
Lloyd himself. 2 

1 That is, discharge or acquit herself of her trust. 

2 Demosthenis quoque astutia mirifice cuidam aniculse succursum 
est, quae pecuniam deposit! nomine a duobus hospitibus acciperat ea 
condicione ut illam simul utrique redderet. Quorum alter inter jecto 
tempore tamquam mortuo socio squalore obsitus deceptse omnis num- 
mos abstulit. Supervenit deinde alter et depositum petere cocpit. 
Hserebat misera et in maxima pariter et pecunise et defensionis 
penuria jam de laqueo et suspendio cogitabat : sed opportune Demos- 
thenes ei patronis adfulsit. Qui ut in advocationem venit, "Mulier," 


The story reappears in another old jest-book, entitled 
' Jacke of Dover, His Quest of Inquirie, or His Privie 
Search for the Veriest Foole in England/ printed in 
1604, where the woman defends her own case without 
assistance from a lawyer not to mention Demosthenes ! 
And again we find it reproduced in the ' Witty and 
Entertaining Exploits of George Buchanan, commonly 
called the King's Fool,' where we read that three pre- 
tended pedlars left a pack of goods with a "widow 
woman": two of the rogues return together, and in- 
forming her that their other partner had gone to a 
certain fair, where they were to meet him, request her 
to deliver up the pack to them, which she does without 
hesitation. The third fellow brings an action against 
the poor widow, and George, putting on an attorney's 
gown, goes to the court and wins her cause. 

A somewhat elaborate variant occurs in the notes 
to Eogers' poem of ' Italy.' He says it was told him 
by a cardinal who had heard it when a boy, and " you 
may not be unwilling to hear it," quoth his eminence, 
" for it bears some resemblance to the ' Merchant of 
Venice.' " The outline of this Italian version is as fol- 
lows : A widow lady, of the family of Lambertini, in 
the fourteenth century, was reduced to keep an inn at 

inquit, " parata est depositi se fide solvere, sed nisi socium adduxeris, 
id facere non potest, quoniam, ut ipse vociferaris, haec dicta est lex, 
ne pecunia alteri sine altero numeraretur." 'Valeri Maximi Fact- 
orum et Dictorum Memorabilium Libri Novem. Julii Paridis et 
Januarii Nepotiani epitomis adjectis recensuit Carolus Halm.' Lip- 
sise in sedibus Teubnerianis, MDCCCLXV. Lib. vii. cap. iii. 5. 


the foot of the Apennines. Three cavaliers, who had 
come to the inn for refreshment, desired her to take 
charge of a bag of gold until all three returned toge- 
ther, and then rode away; presently one of the cava- 
liers returned, saying that he had not affixed his seal 
to the bag as the others had done, and, having received 
the bag, while pretending to seal it, the lady was called 
away by some of her guests, and the cavalier decamped 
with the money. The two others sued the lady for 
recovery of the bag of gold. She consulted the most 
eminent lawyers in Bologna, and their unanimous 
opinion was that she must lose the cause ; but a young 
advocate, her daughter Gianetta's lover, undertakes 
her defence, and is triumphantly successful ; becomes, 
in consequence, famous and wealthy, and duly marries 
the lovely Gianetta. 

Wright, in his introduction to an old English metri- 
cal text of the ' Seven Wise Masters,' printed for the 
Percy Society, states that he had met with the story 
among the Latin tales of the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries, but could not call to mind in what collec- 
tion : it is found, he adds, a little varied in detail, in 
the ' Nouveaux Contes a rire,' Amsterdam, 1737, under 
the title of " Jugement subtil du Due d'Ossone centre 
deux Marchands." Apparently Wright was not aware 
that the story in this form occurs in one of the novels 
of Le Sage, ' The History of Vanillo Gonzales,' ch. xvi., 
which was published in 1734. The hero, while a page 
to the Duke of Ossuna, governor of Sicily, is met on 
the street one day by a young citizen of Palermo, who, 


recognising by his dress that he is in the duke's ser- 
vice, tells him that his old father will be ruined unless 
the governor's influence is secured in his behalf, and 
prevails upon Gonzales to go home with him and hear 
the story from his father's own lips, which the old man 
relates as follows : 

" About six months ago, Charles Azarini, Peter Scan- 
nati, and Jerom Avellino, three merchants, all of them 
my intimate friends, came to this house, accompanied 
by a public notary, and bringing with them the sum 
of ten thousand crowns in gold, informed me that they 
had agreed to make me the depositary of this money, 
which they intended to export whenever an advan- 
tageous opportunity happened. Delivering it into my 
possession, they desired me to give them an undertak- 
ing in writing that I would not deliver it, or any part 
of it, to any one of them except in the presence of the 
other two ; and I accordingly entered into this engage- 
ment by executing a document which the notary pre- 
pared for this purpose. We carefully preserved the 
money thus deposited for the parties concerned when- 
ever its delivery should be required. But a few nights 
ago, Jerom Avellino knocked loudly at my door, and 
on its being opened, hastily entered my room, in great 
agitation. ' Signor Giannetino,' said he, ' if I break in 
upon the hours of repose, you must excuse the inter- 
ruption from the importance of the business which 
occasions it. Azarini, Scannati, and myself have 
learnt that a Genoese vessel, richly laden, is just 
arrived at Messina, from which, if despatch be used, 


we have an opportunity of deriving great advantage, 
and have therefore resolved to employ the ten thousand 
crowns which are in your hands. Make haste, if you 
please, and deliver them to me ; my horse is waiting 
at the door, and I burn with impatience to reach Mes- 
sina.' ' Signor Avellino,' said I, ' you seem to forget 

that I cannot part with them unless ' ' Oh no, 

no/ interrupted he ; ' I very well recollect that it is 
expressed in the agreement that you are not to deliver 
them unless the three parties be present ; but Azarini 
and Scannati are ill, and could not accompany me to 
your house ; they, however, absolve you from that 
condition, and desire that you will deliver me the 
money immediately. Every moment is of conse- 
quence. Come, you have nothing to fear. You have 
long known me. I have always maintained the char- 
acter of an honest man, and I hope you will not, by 
any unjust suspicion of my integrity, disturb the 
friendship which has subsisted between us, and be the 
cause of our losing the present advantageous oppor- 
tunity. Do, do make haste,' continued he; 'deliver 
me the money instantly, or I am fearful I shall be too 
late at Messina.' A secret apprehension of danger, 
which Heaven no doubt inspired for my safety, made 
me hesitate a long time; but Avellino, the villain 
Avellino, supplicated, pressed, and tormented me in 
such a way that my resistance at length failed, and I 
foolishly delivered to him the deposit, with which he 
immediately disappeared." 

The old man, as he uttered these words, recollecting 


his imprudence, burst into a flood of tears. Gonzales' 
heart melted at his distress. " Do not afflict yourself," 
said he, endeavouring to console him ; " his excellency 
the viceroy has much in his power. Avellino will 
have great difficulty to escape his vengeance." " Avel- 
lino, alas ! " said the son of the old citizen, " is already 
at a great distance; and what is more afflicting, no 
sooner were Azarini and Scannati informed of the 
trick their associate had played, than they instantly 
commenced a suit against my father for the money 
confided to his care. This cause will be heard in the 
course of two days, and my poor father will in all 
probability be condemned to restore ten thousand 
crowns to the complainants." " The cause is not yet 
decided," exclaimed Gonzales ; " and I have no doubt 
that the viceroy, upon being informed of the facts and 
circumstances, which he shall be this very day, will 
choose to try it himself." 

Gonzales made a faithful report of this case to his 
excellency, who, after great attention, said to him, 
smiling, " I shall give such a judgment in this case as 
will make some noise in the world." On the following 
day he summoned the parties to appear before him ; 
and when the plaintiffs had pleaded their cause, he 
addressed the defendant : " Giannetino," said he, " what 
answer have you to make to this demand ? " " None, 
sir," replied Giannetino, elevating his shoulders . and 
resting his chin upon his breast. " He is right, gentle- 
men," said the viceroy, addressing himself to Azarini 
and Scannati; "he has no answer to make to your 


charge. He acknowledges all that you have said, and 
is ready to pay you the ten thousand crowns which 
were deposited in your hands. But as he cannot, by 
the terms of the agreement, deliver them unless the 
three parties be actually present, do you bring Avel- 
lino into court, and you shall have the money." The 
numerous auditory which attended this trial no sooner 
heard the judgment than the court resounded with 
peals of applause, and it became the subject of con- 
versation throughout Sicily. 1 

But the story, so long a favourite throughout Europe, 
appears to be of Eastern origin, and it was in all like- 
lihood among the earliest to migrate westward along 
with other Indian tales. It is found in nearly all the 
Eastern texts, or texts directly derived from Eastern 
sources, of the Book of Sindibad, of which some account 
will be found in another paper. The following is a 
prose rendering of the story from the Persian 'Sin- 
dibad Nama': 

Once on a time three persons agreed among them- 
selves to enter into partnership, have everything in 
common, and share one another's secrets. One was a 
farmer, another a merchant, and another a dealer in 
grain. When they had amassed a sum of money, they 
agreed to deposit it with an old woman of approved 

1 The novel of ' Vanillo Gonzales ' is said by the editor of Le Sage's 
works to be of Spanish extraction " tire"e de 1'Espagnol " ; but this 
may mean no more than that Le Sage took the general plan of it 
from a similar Spanish novel, as in the case of his ' Diable Boiteux. ' 


honesty, but on this condition, that none should ask 
it back unless all the three were present. One of 
them was an expert sharper. Being with his com- 
panions in the street, he pretended that he was going 
to ask from the woman some clay and other substances 
for the bath. He approached her window, and begged 
her to hand him out, not what he had mentioned, but 
the purse. She asked, where were his two partners ? 
He said, " They are at hand. Look from the window, 
and see that they are both witnesses." The woman, 
seeing them, gave him the purse, while his companions 
never suspected any mischief. The man immediately 
on receiving it fled to the desert, and went to another 
kingdom. The two friends, after waiting some time 
in the street, and not finding their companion return, 
began to suspect what had happened, and hastening 
in alarm to the house of the old woman, demanded 
the deposit. She replied, that their partner had re- 
ceived the money by their order and in their presence ; 
upon which they took her before the kazi, who com- 
manded her to restore the deposit. She begged a 
delay of three days, which was granted. She departed 
weeping, and a child five years of age, whom she 
met in the street, inquired the cause of her distress. 
Upon her relating it, the child smiled and said, 
" Tell the kazi to-morrow that when he produces the 
three ,' partners before you, you are ready to restore 
the money." Next day she did as the child had sug- 
gested to her. The kazi, in astonishment, asked her 
"who had pierced this pearl" [i.e., who had solved 


this difficult question] ? She at first claimed the merit 
to herself ; but as the kazi would not believe that a 
woman could possess such wisdom, she confessed the 
truth ; and whenever in future a difficulty occurred, 
the kazi referred to that child for a solution." l 

In the Greek text (' Syntipas ') three merchants put 
their gold and silver in three purses. In a manuscript 
copy of the ' Thousand and One Nights/ preserved in 
the British Museum, which, though imperfect, contains 
the ' Seven Vazirs,' the number of merchants is four ; 
they possess a thousand dinars, which they put into 
one purse, and as they are travelling they enter a gar- 
den, in which was a running stream, and having sat 
down and refreshed themselves, they say one to another, 
" Come, let us bathe in this river." So they leave their 
purse with the woman who was keeper of the garden, 
and put off their clothes and go into the water. One 
of the four, who had not yet put off his clothes, said 
to his friends, "We have no comb; let us ask the 
woman for one." The others saying, " Go, then, and 
ask her for one," he went to her, and said, " Give me 
the purse." But she said, "When thy companions 
come all together and ask for it, as they gave it me 
together." The man then called out to his friends in 
the river, " Are you willing she should give it me ? " 
They answered, " Yes ; give it him," thinking he meant 
the comb. So she gives him the purse, and off he goes 
with it, flying as fast as possible. At length the 
bathers became impatient, and putting on their clothes, 

1 See Note, " Precocious Children," at the end of this paper. 


they went to the woman and said, " Where is he to 
whom thou gavest the comb ? " She said, " What 
comb? He asked me for the purse; and I was not 
willing to give it him till he cried out to you, and you 
told me to give it to him, and he took it and is gone." 
The conclusion is the same as that of the Persian 
version above quoted. The story is well known in 
India at the present day : in a Canarese collection of 
tales it is related of four sharpers who found a purse 
on the road, and disputing about its possession, they 
agree to deposit it, in the meantime, with a respectable 
merchant. It also occurs in Gladwin's ' Persian Moon- 
shee ' (No. 7 of " Pleasing Stories "), where two sharpers 
leave their money with an old woman ; by-and-by one 
of them returns and gets the money ; the other sues 
the old woman, and the kazi is credited with the 
sagacity which in the ' Sindibad ' is ascribed to a child 
of five years. And now we may regard the story of 
Valerius Maximus with suspicion, and that of Lloyd 
as absolutely untrue, so far as William Noy's alleged 
share in the " case." 


Absurd as it seems to represent a child of five years as ex- 
hibiting such sagacity, yet this occurs in all versions of the 
Book of Sindibad in which the story is found. It is indeed 
far from uncommon in Eastern tales to find children credited 
with solving difficulties which had puzzled grave and reverend 


seigniors, and otherwise showing wonderful precocity of intel- 
lect. A well-known instance occurs in the story of the pot of 
olives as related in the 'Arabian Nights,' which finds some 
curious parallels in the tales of ' Ardshi Bordshi,' the Mongolian 
form of the Indian romance entitled ' Sinhasana Dwatrinsati,' 
Thirty-two Tales of a Throne : 

A merchant intrusted his friend with a jewel to give to his 
wife, but the man sold it, and used the proceeds for his own 
purposes, and afterwards declared that he had duly delivered 
it. When the merchant brought his case to trial, his false 
friend produced two witnesses who asserted that they had seen 
him give the jewel to the merchant's wife, and judgment would 
at once have been given in his favour but for the interposition 
of a boy, who advised that all four should be confined in separate 
rooms, and each be given a piece of clay, out of which they were 
to make models of the jewel. But when their models were 
examined, only those of the merchant and his false friend were 
found to correspond, while those of the two suborned witnesses, 
who had never seen the jewel, were each different, and neither 
of them at all like the others. Thus was the twofold crime of 
the false friend made manifest by the sagacity of a boy. A 
similar incident is related in Gladwin's 'Persian Moonshee' 
(No. 14 of " Pleasing Stories "), where a king is substituted for 
the boy. 

In the same Mongolian collection we read of a youth who 
went to the wars, and, after two years' absence, he sent his 
father notice of his approaching return. The father made pre- 
parations for his reception, but when he arrived there appeared 
at the same time a person exactly like himself in form, features, 
and voice, who declared himself to be the true son, and the 
other to be an impostor. In vain was he tested regarding his 
knowledge of family affairs ; he knew more than the real son, 
and there seemed no alternative but to receive him into the 
family, when a boy undertook to settle the question decisively. 
A water-jug was brought, and the boy said that the true son should 
be able to go inside of it. On hearing this, the son, saying that 
such a thing was impossible, was turning sadly away, when his 
"double" who was, as the boy suspected, Shinmu, or the 


devil suddenly compressed himself, and triumphantly entered 
the jug (like the genie in the Arabian tale), upon which the boy 
clapped down the lid and imprisoned him ; and the father had 
no longer any doubt as to the identity of his son. 

Another example of juvenile shrewdness is found in the 
' Katha Sarit Sdgara,' book ii. chap. xiv. : A child of five years, 
who was neglected by his stepmother, resolved to punish her, 
and with this view he said to his father one day, " Papa, I have 
two papas," which made the man suspect his wife had a lover, 
and he refrained from visiting her. The lady, surmising that 
her husband's altered conduct was caused by something that 
her stepson had said to him against her, deemed it good policy 
to mollify the clever but spiteful child, so she gave him dainty 
food, and taking him in her lap, asked him what he had been 
saying to his father about her. He answered that he would 
say a great deal worse if she did not treat him as she did her 
own children, and she promised to do so in future. When his 
father came home, the child held a mirror before him, and, 
showing him his reflection, said, " That is my second father." 
Upon this the man dismissed his suspicions, and was imme- 
diately reconciled to his wife, whom he had blamed without 



any one suspect that the popular and highly 
humorous Scotch song, " The barrin' o' the door," 
had for its subject an Oriental origin, and that it is 
only the treatment of the subject which is indeed 
admirable that is peculiarly Scotch? The song 
informs us that about " Martinmas time " a goodwife 
was busy making puddings, and the cold wind blow- 
ing through the open door, her husband desires her to 
close it ; but she bids him do it himself, as her hands 
are busily occupied : hereupon they have an alter- 
cation, until it is at length agreed that whichever of 
them first spoke should "get up and bar the door." 
For some time both remain obstinately silent ; by-and- 
by, two travellers, passing by, see the open door, and 
enter the house. Having repeatedly addressed the 
silent couple without receiving any reply, one says to 
his companion : 

" Do you tak' aff the aulcl man's beard, 
While I kiss the gudewife." 

Upon this the husband starts up, and indignantly 


demands to know whether they would dare to kiss 
his wife before his face and scald himself with " puddin' 
bree." The gudewife then " gives three skips o'er the 
floor," and exultingly exclaims : 

" Gudeman, ye've spoke the foremost word, 
Else up and bar the door ! " 

This song was recovered by Herd in 1776, and 
included in the second edition of his collection of 
Scottish Songs and Ballads. It is an improved ver- 
sion of an ancient song entitled " Johnie Blunt," which 
is found in Johnson's ' Scots Musical Museum,' pub- 
lished in 1790, vol. iv. p. 376, and which thus begins : 

There lived a man in yonder glen, 

And John Blunt was his name, O ; 
He maks gude maut, and he brews gude ale, 

And he bears a wondrous fame, 0. 

The wind blew in the hallan ae nicht, 

Fu' snell out o'er the moor, ; 
" Eise up, rise up, auld Luckie," he says, 

" Eise up and bar the door, 0." 

They made a paction 'tween them twa, 

They made it firm and sure, O ; 
Whae'er sud speak the foremost word, 

Should rise and bar the door, 0. 

By-and-by three travellers, who had lost their way, 
come in, and begin to use freedoms with the wife, 
which Johnie resents by an expression "not fit for 
ears polite," when she cries : 

" Aha ! Johnie Blunt, ye hae spoke the first word, 
Get up and bar the door, ! " 


The date of this song which is evidently imperfect 
does not seem to be known, but it is believed to 
be of considerable antiquity. 

A musical entertainment by Prince Hoare, 1 entitled 
' No Song, no Supper,' written in 1790, has for its plot 
the same incident : Crop orders his wife Dorothy to 
shut the door, which he had left open on coming in, 
" because his hands were full," and she flatly refuses : 
ultimately they agree that " whoever speaks the first 
word shall shut the door." So they sit doggedly silent, 
until a seafaring acquaintance, named Kobin, comes 
in, and finding he cannot get either to utter a word, he 
tells the husband, "A good ducking at the yard-arm 
would put your jawing-tackle aboard, and be well 
employed on you wouldn't it, mistress ? " To which 
she replies, " Ay, that it would oh, I forgot ! " Upon 
this the husband bursts into a guffaw, and says, " Now, 
Dorothy, go and shut the door." 

If this idea was not derived from some current 
English jest, it may have been taken from ' Le Notte 
Piacevoli ' (the Pleasant Nights) of Straparola, printed 
at Venice in 1550, where the story forms the eighth 
Novel of the first Night, in which, as in the English 
dramatic piece, only one person comes in, and the 
husband is victorious. The story is orally current 
among the Venetians as follows : 

1 Not a "prince" of the blood-royal, but a very respectable gentle- 
man nevertheless, who wrote a considerable .number of light comic 
pieces for the stage, some of which were very successful in their day ; 
and a fine sea-song, 'The Saucy Arethusa,' which even Dibdin might 
have been proud to own. He was born in 1755, and died in 1835. 



There was once a husband and wife. The former 
said to the latter, "Let us have some fritters." She 
replied, " What shall we do for a frying-pan ? " " Go 
and borrow one from my godmother." " You go and 
get it ; it is only a little way off." " Go yourself. I 
will take it back when we are done with it." So 
she went and borrowed the pan, and when she re- 
turned she said, "Here is the pan, but you must 
carry it back." So they cooked the fritters, and 
after they had eaten, the husband said, " Now let us 
go to work, both of us, and the one who speaks first 
shall carry back the pan." Then she began to spin, 
and he to draw his thread (for the man was a shoe- 
maker), and all the time keeping silence, except that 
when he drew his thread he said, "Leulero, leulero," 
and she spinning said, " Piccici, piccici," and they said 
not another word. By - and - by a soldier came in 
and said to the man, " Cut me a girth for my horse." 
But he went on working away, saying, " Leulero, leu- 
lero," and she spinning away, saying, " Piccici, piccici." 
Then said the soldier, " Cut me a girth for my horse, 
or I'll cut your head off." But they both paid no 
heed to him, but went on as before. The soldier, now 
quite enraged, seized the man and was about to cut off 
his head, when the wife called out, "Ah, don't, for 
mercy's sake!" Upon this the man exclaimed, "Good ! 
good ! Now do you go and carry the pan back to my 
godmother, and I will go and cut the horse's girth." 
In a Sicilian variant, the husband and wife fry some 
fish, and then set about their respective work, and the 


one who finishes first is to eat the fish. While they 
are singing and whistling respectively, a friend knocks 
at the door, and finally walks in ; speaks to the silent 
couple, but gets no answer ; so he sits down and eats 
up all the fish. 1 

This droll incident is the subject of several East- 
ern stories. In the Arabian tale of Sulayman Bey 
and the Three Story-Tellers, a hashish-eater, having 
married his pretty cousin, gave the customary feast 
to their relations and friends. " When the festivities 
were over," he goes on to relate, " I conducted my re- 
lations and guests to the door, but, from absence of 
mind, I neglected to shut it before returning to my 
wife. ' Dear cousin,' said my wife to me when we 
were alone, ' go and shut the street door.' ' It would 
be strange indeed if I did,' I replied. ' Am I just made 
a bridegroom, clothed in silk, wearing a shawl and a 
dagger set with diamonds, and am I to go and shut 
the door ? Why, my dear, you are crazy go and 
shut it yourself. ' ' Oh, indeed ! ' she exclaimed, ' am 
I, young, robed in a satin dress, with lace and precious 
stones am I to go and shut the street door ? No, 
indeed; it is you who have become crazy, and not 
I. Come, let us make a bargain,' she continued, 
' and let the first who speaks go and fasten the door.' 
'Agreed, 1 I replied, and straightway I became mute, 
and she too was silent, while we both sat down, 
dressed as we were in our nuptial attire, looking 

1 Crane's ' Italian Popular Tales,' pp. 284, 285. 


at each other, and seated on opposite sofas. We 
remained thus for one two hours. During this 
time thieves happened to pass by, and, seeing the 
door open, entered and laid hold of whatever came 
to their hands. We heard footsteps in the house, but 
opened not our mouths; the robbers came even into 
our room, and saw us seated, motionless and indifferent 
to all that took place. They continued their pillage, 
therefore, collecting together everything valuable, and 
even dragging away the carpets from beneath us ; 
they then laid hands on our own persons, which they 
despoiled of every article worth taking, while we, in 
fear of losing our wager, said not a word. Having 
thus cleared the house, the thieves departed quietly, 
but we remained on our seats, saying not a syllable. 
Towards morning a police officer came round on his 
tour of inspection, and, seeing our door open, walked 
in. Having searched all the rooms and found no one, 
he entered the apartment where we were seated, and 
inquired the meaning of what he saw. Neither my 
wife nor I would condescend to reply. The officer 
became angry, and ordered our heads to be cut off. 
The executioner's sword was just about to perform its 
office, when my wife cried out, ' Sir, he is my husband, 
spare him ! ' ' Oh, oh ! ' I exclaimed, overjoyed and 
clapping my hands, ' you have lost the wager ; go and 
shut the door.' I then explained the whole affair to 
the police-officer, who shrugged his shoulders and went 
away, leaving us in a truly dismal plight." 


To the same effect is another Arabian story, in 
Beloe's 'Oriental Apologues,' translated for him by 
Dr Kussel, from a manuscript collection of tales 
which the latter had procured at Aleppo : A man 
comes home one night and asks his wife to prepare 
his supper. She places before him some dry, stale 
bread. " Why, my dear," says he, " who on earth can 
eat such dry, hard bread as this ? " " Get up and 
moisten it, then," replied the wife. "No, you must 
do it," said he. " I'll do nothing of the sort," rejoined 
his loving spouse ; " I'm tired, and shan't budge an 
inch." So they went on, growing more and more 
obstinate. At length they determined, by mutual 
consent, that whoever should speak the first word 
should get up and moisten the bread. In this in- 
teresting situation they remained for a considerable 
time, when one of their neighbours accidentally 
dropped in. " Good evening," said the visitor. They 
said nothing. "What's the matter?" continued he; 
"why are you silent?" They said nothing. "You 
are a man," said he to the husband ; " why don't you 
speak ? " He said nothing. He kissed his wife, but 
the man said nothing. He gave him a blow on the 
cheek, but the man said nothing. Irritated, he at 
length went to the kazf, and complained that he 
could not make the man speak: he was committed 
to prison ; still he said nothing. Next morning he was 
again brought before the kazi; still he said nothing. 
The kazi ordered him to be hanged for contumacy. 
When the sentence was on the point of being exe- 


cuted, the wife appeared, and in the most pitiable 
tone exclaimed, " Alas, my unfortunate husband ! " 
" You devil," said he, " go home and moisten the bread." 

There is a Turkish version, in which only men are 
the principal actors, in the romance of the ' Forty 
Vazirs'; 1 and for the following rendering of it I am 
indebted to my friend Mr E. J. W. Gibb (author of 
' Ottoman Poems,' the ' Story of Jewad,' etc.), who is 
preparing for publication a complete English trans- 
lation of that interesting collection : 

Some bang-eaters, 2 while out walking, found a se- 
quin. They said, " Let us go to a cook, and buy food and 
eat." So they went and entered a cook's shop, and 
said, " Master, give us a sequin's worth of food." The 
cook prepared all kinds of food, and loaded a porter 
with it ; and the bang-eaters took him without the city, 
where there was a ruined tomb, which they entered 
and sat down in, and the porter deposited the food 
and went away. The bang-eaters began to partake 
of the food, when suddenly one of them said, "The 
door is open stay, do one of you shut the door, else 
some other bang-eaters will come and annoy us ; even 
though they be friends, they will do the deeds of foes." 
One of them replied, " Go thou and shut the door," 
and they fell a -quarrelling. At length one said, 
" Come, let us agree that whichever of us first speaks 

1 See Note, " Book of the Forty Vazirs," at the end of this paper. 

2 Bang is a preparation of hemp and coarse opium. In the East 
hemp is a soft fibreless plant, of no textile value, saturated with 
narcotic juice, from which hashish is made. 


or laughs, shall rise and fasten the door." They all 
agreed to this proposal, and left the food and sat 
quite still. Suddenly a great number of dogs came 
in : not one of the bang-eaters stirred or spoke, for if 
one spoke he would have to rise and shut the door, 
so they spoke not. The dogs made an end of the 
food, and ate it all up. Just then another dog leapt 
in from without, but no food remained. Now one of 
the bang-eaters had partaken of everything, and some 
of the food remained about his mouth and on his 
beard. That newly-come dog licked up the particles 
of food that were on the bang-eater's breast, and while 
he was licking up those about his mouth, he took his 
lip for a piece of meat and bit it. The bang-eater did 
not stir, for he said within himself, "They will tell 
me to shut the door." But to ease his soul he cried 
" Ough ! " inwardly cursing the dog. When the other 
bang-eaters heard him make that noise, they said, 
" Eise, fasten the door." He replied, " ' After loss, 
attention ' ; now that the food is gone and my lip is 
wounded, what is the use of shutting that door ? 
Through negligence and folly ye have let this great 
good slip." And crying, " Woe, alas ! " they each went 
away in a different direction. 

Perhaps the germ of the foregoing versions is to be 
found in the Indian tale of the Four Simple Brah- 
mans, 1 in which the noodles dispute with each other 

1 Translated from the Tamil, in the Abb Dubois' ' Description of 
the People of India.' 


the palm for superior stupidity, and, before a duly 
constituted court, each in his turn gravely relates 
the most foolish thing he has done in the course of 
his life. The Third Brahman recounts how he one 
night peevishly told his wife that all women were 
babblers, to which she retorted that she knew some 
men who babbled quite as much as women. Taking 
this remark as meant for himself in particular, he 
wagered a betel-leaf (an article of no value) that she 
would speak before he did. To this she agreed, and 
both went to sleep. Next morning they remained in 
bed till an advanced hour ; and their relations, having 
knocked at their door and received no response, sent 
for a carpenter to break it open, fearing that they 
were both sick perhaps dead. On the door being 
broken open, the relatives, discovering them both in 
good health, inquired the reason of such extraordinary 
conduct, but they remained silent. So they con- 
cluded that both were possessed with demons, and 
sent for a celebrated magician to exorcise them ; but 
the fee he demanded was so great that one of the 
relations, suspecting the real state of the affair, under- 
took himself to cure them both of their dumbness, 
and thus save all expense. Taking a small bar of 
gold, and heating it to a very high degree, he applied 
it successively to the husband's forehead, arms, breast, 
legs, and the soles of his feet; but all "this excruci- 
ating torture he heroically endured without even 
uttering a cry of pain. Proceeding next to the 
woman, no sooner had the hot bar come in con- 


tact with her tender epidermis than she screamed, 
" Enough ! enough ! " Then, turning to her husband, 
"There," said she, "is your leaf of betel." The ex- 
ulting husband exclaimed, "Did I not tell you that 
you would be the first to speak, and that you would 
prove by your own conduct that I was right in saying 
last evening that women are all babblers?" When the 
relations were informed of the whole affair, " Never," 
said they " never in the whole world was there seen 
such folly ! " 

Every popular tale has its history, according to 
Baring-Gould; but this is not always ascertainable. 
The story of the Silent Couple was probably intro- 
duced into Europe and diffused orally at first, and if 
so, its "Western history must be sunk in the sands of 
time. Possibly it may be found in one of the im- 
mense Latin collections made by monkish writers in 
mediaeval times when some future enthusiastic story- 
hunter undertakes the Herculean labour of searching 
into them ! 


This Turkish, collection of tales, entitled 'Qirq Vazir' the 
frame of which is similar to that of the Book of Sindibdd is 
said to have been composed, during the reign of Sultan Murdd 
II., by Shaykh Zdda, after an Arabian work entitled 'The 
Forty Mornings and Evenings.' Shaykh Zdda is not a proper 


name ; it signifies, simply, the offspring of a shaykh, and, em- 
ployed by an author, it must be considered as a nom de plwme, 
indicating, however, the quality of his parentage. In the early 
years of the last century a portion of this collection was trans- 
lated into French by Petis de la Croix, from which it was 
rendered into English, and included in Weber's 'Tales of the 
East.' Of the Arabian original nothing seems to be known. 
It is thought that the original work was of earlier date than the 
14th century. Des Longchamps, in his 'Essai sur les Fables 
Indiennes,' etc., has pointed out the close resemblance between 
one of the tales of the ' Forty Vazirs ' and the fifth Novel of the 
tenth Day of Boccaccio's ' Decameron,' and observes that its 
presence in the latter proves that the Arabian original of the 
'Forty Vazirs' was anterior to the 14th century, or that its 
author had gone to some more ancient collection. The story to 
which he refers forms one of the Twenty-five Tales of a Demon 
the tenth of the version incorporated in the ' Katha Sarit Sagara ' 
and is probably of Buddhistic origin. The Franklin's Tale 
of Dorigen, in Chaucer's ' Canterbury Tales,' is similar to Boc- 
caccio's novel ; indeed, the story is known all over the world. 
In a forthcoming publication, for the Chaucer Society, I have 
given many analogues, from Sanskrit, Burmese, Persian, Heb- 
rew, Turkish, Italian, Gaelic, etc. 



A NDEEW BOEDE, a Carthusian monk before the 
*"*" Eeformation in England, afterwards one of the 
physicians to Henry VIII. and an eccentric, mirth- 
loving good fellow he seems to have been from all 
accounts is the putative author of a collection of 
facetiae entitled ' The Jests of Scogin,' or Scogan, one 
of which is the following : 

" Scogin and his chamber-fellow, lacking money, 
Scogin said, ' If thou wilt be ruled after me, we will go 
to Thame l market, where we shall overtake, going or 
coming, some that drive sheep : now do as I shall tell 
thee, and we will get some money.' And as they went 
to Thame they did see a man drive sheep. Then said 
Scogin to his fellow, ' Go thou before, and make bargain 
with him that the sheep be no sheep, but hogs ; and 
when that thou hast made a full bargain, ask by 
whom the matter shall be tried ; and then say thou, 
by him that shall next overtake us.' The scholar did 
overtake him that drove the sheep, and said, 'Well 

1 Thame, in Oxfordshire. 


overtaken, my friend ; from whence hast thou brought 
these fine hogs ? ' ' Hogs ! ' quoth the fellow, ' they be 
sheep.' Said the scholar, ' You begin to jest.' ' Nay, 
sir,' said the fellow, ' I speak in good earnest.' ' Art 
thou in earnest ? ' said the scholar. ' Thou wilt lay no 
wager with me to the contrary ? ' ' Yes, by the bone 
of a pudding, I will lay all the money in my purse.' 
' How much is that ? ' said the scholar. The fellow 
said, ' I have two shillings.' Said the scholar, ' That 
is nothing. Wilt thou lay half thy hogs and two 
shillings, and I will lay as much against it ? Strike 
hands, and he that loseth shall pay.' ' Be it so,' said 
the fellow. ' Now,' said the scholar, ' by whom shall 
we be tried ? ' The fellow said, ' We shall be tried in 
the town of Thame.' ' Nay,' said the scholar, ' Thame 
is out of my way ; let us be tried by him that shall 
next overtake us.' 'Be it so/ said the fellow. By- 
and-by Scogin did overtake them, saying, ' Well over- 
taken, good fellows.' ' Welcome, master,' said the 
scholar and the fellow. 'Master,' said the fellow, 
'here is a scholar of Oxford hath made a bargain 
with me of two shillings and half of my sheep that 
they be hogs that I do drive before me.' Scogin did 
set up a laughing, saying, ' Alack, good fellow, dost 
thou think these be sheep ? ' ' Yea, sir,' said the 
fellow. 'Alack, good fellow, thou hast lost thy 
bargain,' said Scogin, 'for they be fair hogs.' Then 
said the scholar, 'Give me my money and divide 
these hogs, for I must have half of them.' ' Alack/ 
said the fellow, 'I bought these for sheep, and not 


for hogs ; I am undone.' ' Nay,' said Scogin, ' I will 
be indifferent between yon both ; let the scholar have 
the two shillings, and take thou the hogs away with 
thee.' The fellow said, ' Blessed be the time that ever 
you were born ! Hold, scholar, there is two shillings/ 
The fellow was glad he lost not his hogs, which were 

The story again appears, with some variations, in 
'The Sacke-Full of Newes/ probably printed, says 
Mr W. C. Hazlitt, as early as 1558, where the man 
is represented as driving hogs, and the two sharpers 
persuade him they are sheep, the first " coney-catcher " 
wagering his coat against one of the "sheep," and, 
unlike Scogin and his comrade, he selects the fattest 
of the hogs. " What became of him [i.e., the hoggard] 
afterwards I cannot tell ; only this much I know, that 
he was deceived by those two crafty fellows of one 
of his hogs. But they immediately met one the other 
again, and sold the hog for money, and rejoiced that 
they fared so well, not knowing how to have other- 
wise sustained their wants." And in a manuscript of 
the time of Charles I., printed by Mr J. Payne Collier 
in his ' Extracts from the Registers of the Stationers' 
Company/ the exploit is ascribed to George Peele, the 
dramatist, and John Singer, the actor. This is in 
verse, and does not differ materially from the version 
in the ' Sacke-Full of Newes/ 

In a note on the jest of Scogin, Mr Hazlitt says he 
does not know " whether this tale is to be found in 


earlier books, or related of any one before Scogin's 
time." Variants of the same story, in which the 
fundamental outline is clearly discoverable, are, in 
fact, found in the folk-tales of nearly every European 

One of the tales of the Anglican 'Gesta Boman- 
orum,' edited for the Eoxburghe Club by Sir Frederick 
Madden, is to this effect : A physician named Averoys 
is successful in curing the emperor of an obstinate 
disease, and is rewarded by his royal patient with 
fair gifts, and retained in the palace as one of the 
imperial household. Three other doctors, envious of 
his great good fortune, conspire to ruin Averoys. They 
go out of the city, and station themselves on the road 
along which he usually passed on his visits to patients 
in the suburbs, a mile or so apart from each other. 
As Averoys passes the first doctor, he is told that he 
is a leper. The second and the third successively 
make the same observation to him ; and Averoys, now 
thoroughly frightened, hastens home, and informs the 
emperor that he is smitten with leprosy. But the 
emperor, instead of causing him to be thrust from 
the city, as his enemies anticipated, expresses his 
concern, and assures him of his continued friendship. 
Averoys then takes a bath of goats' blood, and finds 
that the leprosy was only in his imagination. He 
informs the emperor of the wicked trick that had 
been put upon him by the three envious doctors, 
who are then, by the emperor's orders, dragged to 


the gallows at the tails of horses, and hanged with- 
out benefit of clergy. 1 

A droll variant occurs in the old English jest-book, 
' Merry Tales and Quick Answers,' No. Iviil, entitled 
" Of the fool that thought hym selfe deed " ; this is 
how it goes: 

" There was a felowe dwellynge at Florence, called 
Nigniaca, whiche was nat verye wyse, nor all a foole, 
but merye and iocunde. A sorte 2 of yonge men, for 
to laughe and pastyme, appoynted to gether to make 
hym beleue that he was sycke. So, whan they were 
agreed howe they wolde do, one of them mette hym 
in the mornynge, as he came out of his house, and 
bade hym good morowe, and than asked him if he 
were nat yl at ease ? No, quod the foole, I ayle 
nothynge, I thanke God. By my faith, ye haue a 
sickely pale colour, quod the other, and wente his 
waye. Anone after, an other of them mette hym, 
and asked hym if he had nat an ague, for your face 
and colour (quod he) sheweth that ye be very sycke. 
Than the foole beganne a lyttel to doubt, whether he 
were sycke or no, for he halfe beleued that they sayd 
trouth. Whan he had gone a lytel farther, the thyrde 
man mette hym and sayde : Jesu ! manne, what do 
you out of your bed ? Ye loke as ye wold nat lyue 
an houre to an ende. JS"owe he doubted greatly, and 

1 Madden, No. xx. p. 57 ; Herrtage, p. 67. The story is much 
abridged in the text translated by Swan. 

2 Knot or party. 


thought verily in his mynde that he had hadde some 
sharpe ague; wherfore he stode styll and wolde go 
no further; and, as he stode, the fourth man came 
and sayde : Jesu ! man, what dost thou here, and arte 
so sycke ? Gette the home to thy bedde, for I per- 
ceyue thou canst nat lyue an houre to an ende. Than 
the fole's harte beganne to feynte, and [he] prayde 
this laste man that came to hym to helpe hym home. 
Yes, quod he, I wyll do as moche for the as for myn 
owne brother. 

" So home he brought hym, and layde him in his 
bed, and than he fared with hym selfe, as thoughe he 
wolde gyue vp the gooste. Forth with came the other 
f elowes, and saide he hadde well done to lay hym in 
his bedde. Anone after, came one whiche toke on hym 
to be a phisitian ; whiche, touchynge the pulse, sayde 
the malady was so vehement, that he could nat lyue 
an houre. So they, standynge aboute the bedde, sayde 
one to an other, Nowe he gothe his way ; for his speche 
and syght fayle hym ; by and by he wyll yelde vp the 
goste. Therfore, lette vs close his eyes, and laye his 
hands a crosse, and cary hym forth to be buryed. 
And than they sayde lamentynge one to an other, ! 
what a losse haue we of this good felowe, our frende ! 

" The foole laye stylle, as one [that] were deade ; yea, 
and thought in his mynde, that he was deade in dede. 
So they layde hym on a bere, and caryed hym through 
the cite. And whan any body asked them what they 
caryed, they sayd, the corps of Mgniaca to his graue. 
And euer as they went, people drew about them. 


Among the prece l ther was a tauerners boy, the whiche, 
whan he herde that it was the cors of Nigniaca, he 
said to them, ! what a vile beastly knaue, and what 
a stronge thefe is deed ! by the masse, he was well 
worthy to haue ben hanged longe ago. Whan the 
fole harde those wordes, he put out his heed and sayd, 
I wys, horeson, if I were alyue nowe, as I am deed, I 
wolde proue the a false Iyer to thy face. They, that 
caryed him, began to laugh so hartilye, that they sette 
downe the bere and wente theyr waye. 

" By this tale ye may se, what the perswasion of 
many doth. Certaynly he is very wyse, that is nat 
inclined to foly, if he be stered therevnto by a multi- 
tude. Yet sapience is founde in f ewe persones : and 
they be lyghtly 2 olde sobre men." 3 

But more akin to the version in the ' Jests of Scogin ' 
is one of the tricks of the renowned German rogue, Tyl 

1 Crowd. 2 Usually. 

3 ' Mery Tales, Wittie Questions, and Quicke Answeres, very pleas- 
ant to be Readde.' Imprinted at London by H. Wykes, 1567. This 
quaint little work is reprinted, with useful and interesting notes, in 
the First Series of ' Shakspeare Jest-Books,' edited by Mr W. Carew 
Hazlitt (London : 1864). The story was probably taken from the 
Facetiae of Poggius, where it is entitled " Mortuus Loquens," which 
was reproduced by Grazzini in his collection, which was not printed 
till after his death. There are many modern variants of the story. 
In the Turkish jest-book which purports to relate the witless sayings 
of the Khoja Nasr-ed-Din, he is persuaded that he is dead, and allows 
himself to be stretched on a bier and carried to the cemetery. On the 
way, the bearers, coming to a miry place, said, "We will rest here," 
and began to talk together, upon which the Khoja, raising his head, 
remarked, " If I were alive, I would get out of this place as soon as 
possible" an incident which is also found in a Hindu story-book. 



Eulenspiegel, a work which, according to Gorres' ' Folks- 
biicher,' was first published in the Lower Saxon dialect 
in 1485, and of which an English translation was printed 
by William Copland at London about the year 1550, 
under the title of ' A Merrie Jest of a Man that was 
called Howleglas.' The story referred to is entitled, 
" How Howleglas, by False Witnesses, obtained a new 
piece of Cloth." Howleglas goes to a fair, and seeing 
a peasant purchase a piece of green cloth, begins to 
consider how he might obtain it for his own use. He 
presently meets with a priest of his acquaintance, and 
his companion, " a malicious rogue like himself," and 
they agree, for a consideration, to bear him out in his 
proposed assertion to the countryman, in order to in- 
duce the poor fellow to make a wager that his piece of 
cloth was not green, but blue. The arch-rogue then 
goes up to the peasant and asks him where he bought 
that fine blue cloth, to which the man replies that the 
cloth is green, as any one who had eyes might see for 
himself. To be brief, a wager is laid, and the question 
is to be decided by the first man who passes. The 
priest's companion then comes up, and on the question 
being referred to him, he pronounces the cloth to be 
blue. Upon this the peasant roundly asserts that 
" they are both in a tale," but he consents to abide by 
the judgment of the priest, who now approaches. The 
churchman, of course, declares for the blue colour, and 
the poor rustic, though still unconvinced, at length 
surrenders the cloth, which the rogues cut up into 
winter garments for themselves. 


A similar exploit to this of the German rogue is re- 
lated in the Spanish work ' El Conde Lucanor ' ; and, 
according to Dunlop, in the eighth novel of the Italian 
Fortini, " a countryman is persuaded at market, by the 
repeated asseverations of the bystanders, that the kids 
he had for sale were capons, and disposes of them as 
such." In a variant current in Mecklenburg, a far- 
mer is induced, in the same way, to believe that the 
calf he was leading to market is a goose. And there 
is an Arabian version in the tale of " The First Sharper 
in the Cave " vol. vi. of Jonathan Scott's edition of 
the 'Arabian Nights Entertainments' in which forty 
butchers at market combine to persuade a youth that 
the calf he had brought thither for sale is a she-goat ; 
but he is afterwards amply revenged upon them. 1 

1 A tale in the Turkish jest-book seems imitated from the Arabian 
version : The Khoja had a lamb, and his friends devised a plan to get 
a share of it. One of them met him, as if by accident, and said, 
"What do you intend to do with this lamb, O Khoja? To-morrow 
is the Last Day ; come, let us kill and eat it. " The Khoja paid little 
attention to him. A second companion came up. and said the same ; 
in short, they all came up, and said the same, till at length the Khoja 
professed to believe them. " Since it is thus," quoth he, " be welcome, 
my friends ; let us go to-day into the fields and kill the lamb, and pass 
our last moments merrily in a little feast." They all agreed, and took 
the lamb and went into the fields. " Oh, my friends," said the Khoja, 
" do you all amuse yourselves while I cook the lamb." So they all 
took off their cloaks and turbans, laid them beside him, and went 
away to stroll about the plain. Without delay the Khoja lighted a 
great fire, threw all the clothes into it, and began to cook the lamb. 
Shortly afterwards his friends say to one another, " Let us see what 
the lamb is like, and eat it." They approached, and seeing that the 
Khoja had thrown all their clothes into the fire, " Art thou mad ? " 
cried they. " Why hast thou destroyed our clothes ? " " Oh, sirs," 
answered the Khoja, " do you not, then, believe your own words, with 


Under the title of "Ass or Pig?" in Miss Busk's 
' Folk-Lore of Borne/ we seem to have a variant of the 
Arabian story last cited: A countryman was going 
along a road driving a pig. " Let's have a bit of fun 
with that fellow," said the porter of the monastery to 
the father superior, as they saw him approaching. " I'll 
call his pig an ass," continued the porter, "and of 
course he'll say it's a pig ; then I shall laugh at him 
for not knowing better, and he will grow angry. Then 
I'll say, ' Well, will you have the father superior to 
settle the dispute ? and if he decides I am right, I shall 
keep the beast for myself.' Then you come and say 
it is an ass, and we'll keep it." The father superior 
agreed with a hearty laugh, and as soon as the rustic 
came up, the porter did all as he had arranged. The 
countryman was so sure of his case, that he willingly 
submitted to the arbitration of the father superior, but 
great was his dismay when that holy man decided 
against him, and so he had to go home without his pig. 
But he resolved to have his revenge. So, disguised as 
a girl, he obtains admittance into the monastery, and is 
allowed to sleep all night in the superior's chamber. 
Early in the morning he gives the superior a severe 
drubbing, crying at each blow, "Don't I know an ass 
from a pig ? " In the course of the same day he returns 
to the monastery disguised as a doctor, and undertakes 
to cure the superior of his wounds and bruises, on the 
condition that the community all go out in search of a 

which you have persuaded me ? If to-morrow be the Last Day, what 
need have you of clothes ? " 


certain herb ; and while they are absent he whacks the 
superior more soundly than before. On the return of 
the brethren the superior penitently confesses his fault, 
and causes the pig to be restored to the countryman. 1 

The story is of Eastern origin, and seems to have 
been brought to Europe by Jacques de Vitry (Jacobus 
de Vitriaco), who was made Bishop of Accon (Acre) in 
Palestine, 1217, where he took an active part in the 
Crusades, and who died at Eome in 1240. From the 
' Sermones ' of de Vitry it was taken into the ' Liber de 
Donis ' of Etienne de Bourbon, a member of the Domin- 
ican order, who died in 1261, from which the story of 
the envious physicians in the ' Gesta Eomanorum ' was 
probably imitated. It reappears in a later collection, 
'Dialogus Creaturarum,' by an otherwise unknown 
author, Nicolaus Pergamenus, which, according to 
Grsesse, cannot be earlier than the middle of the four- 
teenth century. This work was first printed in Latin, 

1 In a Norse story (Dasent's 'Tales from the Fjeld') an old hunks 
cheats a poor lad out of his pig, by giving him only fourpence for 
it, pretending that was all it was worth. The lad, in revenge, puts 
on a beard, and a stout rope and whip in his pocket, goes to see the 
old rascal, and offers himself as a builder. As the " builder " requires 
a big tree, they both go into the forest, where the lad selects a tree, 
and bids old hunks go to the other side of the tree to see if their 
hands can meet. When hunks has embraced the tree with both arms, 
the lad fastens his hands to the tree with the rope, and then gives him 
a rare thrashing, exclaiming, " This is the lad that sold the pig ! " 
Next day he visits him in the capacity of a doctor, but no one is to be 
present while he cures hunks : should he cry, his people are not to 
mind him, for the more he cries the sooner he will be well, and so he 
thrashes him again, saying, " This is the lad that sold the pig ! " 


at Gouda, in 1480, and an English translation of it, 
entitled ' Dialogues of Creatures Moralised,' was printed 
in 1518. In the latter the story is thus related (the 
spelling modernised): 

" On a time a rioter said to his fellows, when he saw 
a poor man bear a lamb to the market to sell, ' Will 
ye have the lamb that he beareth to market ? ' And 
they said, 'Yea, with good will.' And he ordained 
his fellows to stand in divers places as the poor man 
should come, and each of them should ask if he would 
sell the dog that he bare. And when the first asked 
him, he answered and said, 'It is not a dog, but a 
lamb.' And when they had met with him all, and 
asked so, the simple man believed that the lamb was 
a dog, and so let them have it for little or nought." 

It also occurs, in a slightly different form, in the 
selection of mediaeval Latin Stories edited by Wright 
for the Percy Society, No. 27, " De Eustico et Agni," 
which may be translated as follows : 

"A certain countryman brought a lamb to the 
market. On his entering into the town six crafty 
hirelings met him, one of whom said to the others, 
'We can well have that lamb from the rustic if we 
wish.' And when they asked the way, he said, ' Let 
us separate ourselves mutually through six streets, so 
that none of us may be with another, and let each one 
of you ask if the countryman wishes to sell his dog.' 
This was done, and they accosted him in turn. And 
when the rustic swore that it was a lamb, the other 
said that it was a dog. At length, compelled by shame, 


because it had been said so often, and by so many, 
that it was a dog, he says to the sixth, ' I don't wish 
to sell it, but accept it for nothing, and don't envy me 
any more (in the name of God).' " 1 

We must now turn to the Eastern source of this 
widely diffused tale namely, the Fables of Bidpai, or 
Pilpay. In the oldest Sanskrit collection of these 
celebrated apologues, the ' Panchatantra,' it is the third 
fable of the third section; and in its abridged form, 
the ' Hitopadesa ' (ch. iv. fab. 10), it is thus told, ac- 
cording to Professor Johnson's translation : 

In the forest of Gautama was a Brahman ready 
for a sacrifice, who, having gone to another village and 
purchased a goat, laid it upon his shoulder, and as 
he was returning he was seen by three rogues, who 
having agreed that, if by any contrivance that goat 
could be got possession of, it would be the height of 
cleverness, seated themselves by the foot of three trees, 
by the wayside, along that Brahman's path. Presently 
the Brahman was thus accosted by one rogue, " 
Brahman, how is it that you carry a dog on your 
shoulder ? " " It is not a dog," replied the Brahman ; 
" it is a goat for sacrifice." Soon afterwards the same 
was repeated by the second rogue, stationed at the 

1 In the ' Liber de Donis,' No. 339, the sharpers are three in num- 
ber, and the rustic is persuaded by them to believe his lamb is a dog, 
and gives it to them. The story is reproduced in the ' Nights ' of 
Straparola, N. 1, Nov. 3 ; in the ' Face"tieux devis et plaisant contes, 
par le Sieur du Moulinet ' ; and also in Gueulette's Tartar Tales (the 
" Young Calender "), an interesting story-book, written in imitation 
of the ' Arabian Nights.' 


distance of a kos. On hearing that, the Brahman 
laid the goat on the ground, and after looking at it 
again and again, he replaced it on his shoulder, and 
walked on with a mind waving like a swing. The 
Brahman, on hearing the address of the third rogue, 
feeling convinced of his mistake, abandoned the goat, 
washed himself, 1 and went home. The goat mean- 
while was taken and eaten by the rogues. 

The Arabic, Hebrew. Greek, Syriac, Persian, and 
Latin versions of the Fables of Bidpa'i have also the 
story; this is how it is related in the later Syriac 
Arabic text of 'Kalila wa Dimna': 

" It is said that a certain ascetic bought a fat ram 
to offer as a sacrifice. As he was leading it home, 
there met him three rogues who lay in wait for him 
at three different places. The first one said to him, 
' What are you going to do with that dog, which you 
are leading along by a cord ? ' The next one said to 
him, ' Do you want to hunt game, ascetic, with that 
dog ? ' And the third one met him and said to him, 
' Ascetics and hermits truly do not use dogs ; so this 
man is no ascetic.' When the poor ascetic heard these 
words from those rogues, he let go the sheep and left 
it in their hands, saying within himself, 'Perhaps 
those who sold me this sheep bewitched my eyes, and 
instead of a sheep gave me a dog.' " 

The story is also found in the ' Katha Sarit Sagara,' 
Book x. ch. 62, where the Brahman is " seen by many 

1 Because he had touched, as he believed, a dog, which is con- 
sidered, both by Hindus and Muhammedans, as an unclean animal. 


rogues " : first one comes up to him, next two others, 
and finally three more six in all, which is the number 
of " hirelings " in the second of the Latin versions cited 
above; the victim is cheated by three rogues in the 
several versions of Bidpai's Fables, in Tyl Eulenspiegel, 
and in the ' Gesta ' imitation ; by only two in our old 
English jests: the number of "rioters" is not men- 
tioned in the ' Creatures Moralised.' In three ver- 
sions namely, Tyl Eulenspiegel, the Arabian, and our 
second Latin tale the rustic is not deceived, although 
he yields up, in one case, his cloth, in the second his 
calf, and in the third his lamb. 

We have thus traced Scogin's jest as far back as 
the 5th century, the date of the ' Panchatantra,' 
according to Dr H. H. Wilson ; but since Professor 
Benfey has shown that the outlines of most of these 
fables are of Buddhistic origin, the story of the 
Brahman and the Sharpers may be older than the 
present era. 

It is curious to find Macaulay giving a very garbled 
version of the Brahman and the Goat (which reappears 
in our English rendering of the ' Fables of Pilpay,' the 
sixth edition of which was published in 1789, and is 
now before me) in his scathing criticism of Robert 
Montgomery's so-called Poems: He represents one 
of three sharpers as coming up to a Brahman, and 
pulling a dog out of a sack, offering him this fine, sheep 
for sale. The second and third rascals come up in 


succession, and declare the dog to be a sheep; at 
length the Brahman, believing that he must be under 
the influence of an optical delusion, purchases the 
dog, and discovering on going home that he has been 
tricked, he is " smitten with a sore disease in all his 
joints ! " Possibly Macaulay thus perverted the story 
to render it apposite : the sharpers were the venal 
reviewers ; the dog was Eobert Montgomery's twaddle, 
which they asserted was true poetry ; and the Brah- 
man was the public, who were gulled by false knaves ! 



TN a fragment of an old magazine most probably 
printed about the year 1820 the title of which 
was wanting, I found the following diverting story, 
which has its parallels among divers peoples : 

A butcher having purchased a calf at the town of 
Lewes, in Essex, was riding home with it strapped be- 
fore him, when he stopped at a wayside tavern and 
called for a draught of ale. A droll cobbler, who hap- 
pened to be lounging at the door, offered to the land- 
lord to steal the calf from the butcher for sixpenny- 
worth of grog, which, being agreed to, he set off, and 
dropped one new shoe in the path, near the middle of 
a wood, through which the butcher had to pass, and 
another shoe about a quarter of a mile farther on. 
When the butcher came to where the first shoe lay, 
he did not think it worth the trouble of picking up ; 
but coming upon the other, he thought that he might 
as well have a pair of new shoes for nothing as any 
one else, and accordingly dismounted, and, tying his 
horse to the hedge, went back to pick up the first 


shoe. Meanwhile the crafty cobbler unstrapped the 
calf, took a short cut across the fields to the tavern, 
and gave it to the landlord, who placed it in his barn. 
The butcher returned in a state of great excitement, and 
informed the landlord of the loss he had just sustained. 
The landlord offered to sell him a calf to replace the 
one that had been stolen from him, and the butcher 
unwittingly bought his own calf of the landlord, and 
rode off with it. The cobbler, having undertaken to 
steal it again, hastened to the wood, where he hid 
himself till the butcher approached, when he imitated 
the cry of a calf so well that the butcher, thinking it 
to be the one he had lost, got off his horse and began 
to search the wood : meanwhile the cobbler again un- 
fastened the calf, and had returned to the tavern 
before the butcher had arrived to tell of his second 
misfortune, which he ascribed to downright witchcraft. 
The whole affair was then explained to him, and the 
good-natured butcher laughed heartily at the joke, and 
paid for a crown's worth of punch, of which he him- 
self partook with mine host and the clever son of St. 

In most versions of this tale the hero is a clever 
young thief, as in the Gaelic story of the Shifty Lad, 
whose first master, called the Black Eogue, he very 
soon surpasses in skill and adroitness : 

At the end of a few weeks there was to be a wed- 
ding in the neighbourhood ; and it was the custom of 
the country, when any who were well off were asked, 


that they should send some gift or other to the people 
of the wedding. There was a rich tenant, and he was 
asked ; and he desired his herd to go to the mountain 
moor and bring home a wether for the people of the 
wedding. The herd went up the mountain and he 
got the wether, and he was going home with it ; and 
he had it on his back when he was going past the 
house of the Black Eogue. Said the Shifty Lad to his 
master, " What wager wilt thou lay that I do not steal 
the wether from the back of that man yet before he 
reaches the house ? " Said the Black Eogue, " I will 
lay thee a wager of a hundred marks that thou canst 
not : how shouldst thou steal the thing that is on his 
back ? " " Howsoever I do it, I will try it," said the 
Shifty Lad. " Well, then, if thou dost it," said the 
Black Eogue, "I will give thee a hundred marks." 
" It is a bargain," said the Shifty Lad ; and with that 
he went away after the herd. 

The herd had to go through a wood, and the Shifty 
Lad took the ground that was hidden from him until 
he got before him ; and he put some dirt in his shoe, 
and he set his shoe on the road before the herd, and 
he himself went in hiding. And when the herd came 
forward and saw the shoe, he said, " But thou art dirty, 
and though thou art, if thy fellow were there I would 
clean thee;" and he went past. The Shifty Lad 
lifted the shoe, and ran round about and was before 
the herd, and he put his other shoe on the road before 
him. When the herd came forward and saw the 
other shoe on the road before him, he said to himself, 


" But there is the fellow of the dirty shoe." He set 
the wether on the ground, and said to himself, " I 
will return now, and get the dirty shoe, and clean it, 
and I shall have two good shoes for my trouble ; " and 
he ran swiftly back again. The Shifty Lad ran 
swiftly and stole the wether, and took with him the 
two shoes ; and he went home to the Black Eogue, 
and got a hundred marks from him. 

The herd went home and told his master how it 
had befallen him. His master scolded him ; and the 
next day he sent him again up the mountain to 
seek a kid instead of the wether he had lost. He 
went away to the hill, and got hold of a kid and tied 
it; then he put it on his back and went homeward 
with it. The Shifty Lad saw him, and went into the 
wood ; and he was there before the herd and went in 
hiding, and began bleating like the wether. The herd 
thought that it was the wether that was in it ; and he 
put the kid off his back and left it at the side of the 
road and went to seek the wether. At the time when 
the herd was seeking the wether, the Shifty Lad went 
and stole the kid and went home with it to the Black 
Eogue. When the herd went back to where he had 
left the kid, it was gone, and when he could not find 
it, he went home and told his master how it had be- 
fallen him. And his master scolded him, but there 
was no help for it. 

On the next day the tenant asked his herd to go 
up the mountain and bring home a stot, and to be 
sure that he did not lose it. The herd went up the 


mountain and got a good fat stot. And as he was 
driving it home the Shifty Lad saw him, and said to 
the Black Eogue, "Come along, and we will try to 
steal the stot from the herd when he is going through 
the wood with it." The Black Eogue and the Shifty 
Lad went away to the wood before the herd. And 
when the herd was going through the wood with the 
stot, the Black Eogue was in one place baa-ing, and 
the Shifty Lad in another place bleating like a goat. 
The herd heard them, and thought that he would get 
the wether and the kid again. He tied the stot to a 
tree, and went all about the wood seeking the wether 
and the kid ; and he sought them till he was tired. 
While he was seeking the wether and the kid, 
the Shifty Lad went and stole the stot, and took 
it home with him to the house of the Black Eogue. 
When the herd came back to the tree where he had 
left the stot tied, the stot was not there, and he 
knew that it had been stolen. He went home and 
told his master how it had happened, and his master 
scolded him, but there was no help for it. The next 
day his master asked him to go up the mountain and 
bring home a wether, and not let it off his back till he 
should come home, whatever he might see or hear. 
So the herd went away and got a wether, and he suc- 
ceeded in taking it home. 1 

Possibly the direct source of the Gaelic story is to 
be found in the Norse tale of the Master-Thief, in 

1 Campbell's 'Tales of the West Highlands,' vol. i. pp. 324-327. 


which a youth, in order to qualify himself as one of a 
gang of robbers, undertakes to steal an ox from a man 
as he drives it to market, without the man's knowledge, 
and without doing him any personal injury. The 
youth set off, and took with him a pretty shoe, with a 
silver buckle on it, which lay about the house ; and 
he put the shoe in the road along which the man was 
going with his ox; and when he had done .that, he 
went into the wood and hid himself under a bush. 
So when the man came by he saw the shoe at once. 
" That's a nice shoe," said he ; "if I only had the 
fellow to it I'd take it home with me, and perhaps I'd 
put my old dame in a good humour for once." (For you 
must know he had an old wife so cross and snappish, 
it was not long between each time she boxed his ears.) 
But then he bethought him that he could do nothing 
with the odd shoe unless he had the fellow to it ; so 
he went on his way, and let the shoe lie on the road. 
Then the youth took up the shoe, and made all the 
haste he could to get before the man by a short cut 
through the wood, and laid it down before him in the 
road again. When the man came along with his 
ox, he got quite angry with himself for being so dull 
as to leave the fellow to the shoe lying in the road in- 
stead of taking it with him ; so he tied the ox to the 
fence, and said to himself, "I may just as well run 
back and pick up the other, and then I'll have a pair 
of good shoes for my old dame, and so perhaps I'll get 
a kind word from her for once." So he set off, and 
hunted and hunted up and down for the shoe, but no 


shoe did he find, and at length he had to go back with 
the one he had. But meanwhile the youth had taken 
the ox and gone off with it. The poor man returns 
home and takes another ox to sell, and this the clever 
youth contrives by another ingenious trick to steal 
also. Home again the man goes and takes his third 
and only remaining ox, which the youth also under- 
takes to steal ; and this he does by means of the same 
trick as that employed by the cobbler of our English 
story in his second exploit. The youth conceals him- 
self in the wood until the man approached, when he 
set up a dreadful bellowing, "just like a great ox." 
The man, thinking it was the cry of one of his two 
stolen animals, ties up his third ox by the roadside, 
and runs off to look for the others in the wood, but 
meantime the youth goes away with the third ox. 1 

These incidents also occur in No. 24 of Legrand's 
collection of modern Greek popular tales, where a 
youth is adopted by his uncle, an arrant rogue, in 
whose thievish tricks he takes part : the youth sees a 
man carrying a lamb to market, and drops first one 
slipper in advance of the man, then another still 
farther on his road; and when the man goes back 
for the first slipper the uncle seizes the lamb. After 
a time the man returns with another lamb ; the youth 

1 Dasent's ' Popular Tales from the Norse.' In a Suabian analogue 
(tale of Clever Martin, No. 55 of Mein's collection) the thief places 
separately on the road the contents of his luncheon -case ; and in an- 
other German version (Wolf's ' Hausmarchen,' p. 398) Hans Kiihstock 
deposits singly a sword and its sheath. 



hides himself and imitates the cry of a lamb, and while 
the man is seeking for the lost one, the second is also 
stolen. Another time they discover a man with two 
oxen drawing a cart. The lad goes near him and 
exclaims, "Wonderful ! wonderful !" Thinking a great 
treasure has been discovered, the man leaves his oxen 
and goes up to the youth and asks him what he means 
by his cries. " Is it not a wonder," says the youth, 
" to see a cart drawn by a single ox ? " The man re- 
turns and finds one of his oxen is stolen. 

Most probably the story is of Asiatic extraction. 
The Arabs have a proverb, "The boots of Hunayn," 
which is used in reference to any one who has lost 
more than he gained by a bargain; and the saying 
had its origin in the following incident, related by 
Baron de Slane in the notes to his translation of 
Ibn Khallikan's great biographical dictionary of the 
eminent men of Islam : 

A desert Arab, mounted on his camel, entered 
a town, went to the bazaar, and bargained for a pair 
of boots. Not being able to conclude with the dealer, 
whose name was Hunayn, he flew into a passion, 
gave him foul names, and quitted the shop. Having 
made his other purchases, he got upon his camel, left 
the town, and took the road leading to the tents of 
his tribe. The bootmaker was so highly offended at 
the Arab's insulting language, that he resolved upon 
being revenged. Taking up the boots, he ran to the 
road by which the Arab had to pass, and threw one 
of them on the ground. A mile or two farther on 


he threw the other, and hid himself to see the result. 
The Arab observed the first boot as he was riding 
along, and said to himself, " There is one of the boots 
of Hunayn ; if the other were along with it, I should 
dismount and pick them up." About half an hour 
after he perceived the other boot, and regretted not 
having picked up the first. So he got off his camel, 
not wishing to fatigue it too much; and having 
fettered it with a cord, picked up the boot which 
was lying there, and ran back to take up the other. 
As soon as he disappeared, Hunayn went off with 
the camel and the baggage. When the Arab returned, 
his camel was missing, so he went home on foot. On 
reaching his tent, he was eagerly asked what he had 
brought back, and he replied dolefully, "The boots 
of Hunayn ! " 

Much farther east than Arabia, however, the same 
story is known. In a Bengali version, the trick is 
played by one thief on another, who had decamped 
with their joint stock of stolen treasure on the back 
of a cow. The older thief determined to overreach 
his comrade in his turn. He invested all his money 
in a costly pair of shoes covered with gold lace ; and 
walking very fast, avoiding the public road, and mak- 
ing short cuts, he soon discovered the younger thief 
trudging on slowly with his cow. He went before 
him in the highway a distance of about 200 yards, 
and threw down on the road one shoe. Then he 
walked on another 200 yards and threw the other shoe, 
at a place near which was a large tree, and amongst 


the thick leaves of that tree he hid himself. The 
younger thief coming along the road saw the first 
shoe, and said to himself, " What a beautiful shoe 
is this ! It is covered with gold lace, and would 
have suited me in my present circumstances, now that 
I have become rich; but what shall I do with one 
shoe ?" So he passed on. Presently he came to the 
place where the other shoe was lying. The younger 
thief said within himself, "Ah, here is the other shoe ! 
What a fool I was, that I did not pick up the one 
I first saw! However, it is not too late. I'll tie 
the cow to yonder tree and go for the other shoe." So 
he tied the cow to the tree, and, taking up the second 
shoe, went for the first, which was lying at a distance 
of about 200 yards. In the meantime the elder thief 
got down from the tree, loosened the cow, and drove 
it towards his native village, carefully avoiding the 
highway. 1 

Surely no one could be so infatuated as to consider 
the incidents of these several versions of the same 
story as mere accidental resemblances. The exploit 
of the Norwegian rogue is performed with but one 
shoe, which is doubtless a corruption of the original 
story; but our English version has the advantage 
of the others, insomuch as the jolly son of St. Crispin 
plays his clever tricks with no evil intention, while 
the others are represented as actual thefts and very 
heartless ones, besides. 

1 Rev. Lai Behari Day's ' Folk-Tales of Bengal,' pp. 167, 168. 



UNLOP thought the concluding portion of the fine 
old ballad of " The Unthrifty Heir of Linne " to 
have been suggested by one of the Italian novels of 
Cinthio, who died in 1573: but there is certainly 
no ground for such a conjecture. According to the 
ballad, after the Heir of Linne had like Niir-ed- 
Dm in the Arabian tale wasted all his patrimony in 
riotous living, and having in vain solicited pecuniary 
assistance from the boon companions who had shared 
in his prosperity 

One, I wis, was not at home ; 

Another had paid his gold away ; 
Another called him " thriftless loon," 

And bade him swiftly hie away 

he resolves, in accordance with his father's testa- 
mentary injunctions, in the event of his being re- 
duced to penury, to go to the "lonely lodge," where 
he should find means of release from his misery. 
There he discovers a rope with a noose at the end, 
dangling from the roof; and putting it round his 


neck, he takes the fatal leap, when suddenly he falls 
to the ground ; and on recovering from the shock, he 
looks towards the roof, where he perceives a golden 
key, to which is attached a billet, informing him that 
his father had feared his conduct would sooner or 
later lead to this, and that he would find additional 
treasure in the lodge, which he hoped he would use 
with more prudence. 

A prose version of the story was widely popular in 
England last century, in the form of a chap-book, the 
elaborate title of which is as follows : ' The Drunkard's 
Legacy. In four parts. Giving an account, First, 
of a Gentleman having a wild Son, and foreseeing he 
would come to poverty, had a cottage built with one 
door to it, always kept fast. His father, on his dying 
bed, charged him not to open it 'till he was poor and 
slighted, which the young man promised he would 
perform. Secondly, of this young man's pawning his 
estate to a Vintner, who, when poor, kicked him out 
of doors. Thinking it time to see his Legacy, he 
broke open the door, when, instead of money, he 
found a Gibbet and Halter, which he put round his 
Neck, and jumping off the Stool, the Gibbet broke, and 
a Thousand Pounds came down upon his head, which 
lay in the Ceiling. Thirdly, of his redeeming the 
Estate, and fooling the Vintner out of Two Hundred 
Pounds, who, for being jeered by his neighbours, cut 
his own throat. And Lastly, of the young man's 
Eeformation.' There can be little doubt, I think, 


that this chap-book version was adapted from the 
Scotch ballad of "The Heir of linne." 

Cinthio's story, to which Dunlop refers, is the eighth 
of the ninth decade of his ' Hecatommithi,' and tells how 
a widow lady concealed a treasure in her house during 
the siege of Carthage : A daughter of the Eoman soldier 
who had obtained this house being disappointed in love, 
determined to hang herself ; but in tying the rope she 
removed a beam, which discovered the hidden treasure, 
and completely consoled her for all misfortunes. 1 

And not very reinotely allied to this tale of Cinthio's 
is the following from an old magazine, the name of 
which I omitted to " make a note of," thus disregarding 
the maxim of the immortal Captain Cuttle : An Italian, 
named Antonio Batistei, having lost five hundred 
crowns in a ship that was wrecked, resolved to hang 
himself, and entered an uninhabited house for the 
purpose ; but as he was about to fasten the rope to the 
beam, he discovered a treasure of one thousand crowns, 
and very gladly exchanged the halter for the hoard and 
went away. Shortly after he was gone, the owner 
came to look at his gold, and finding it to be stolen, he 
straightway hanged himself with the halter which was 
left in its place. 

In the Persian tales of ' The Thousand and One Days/ 
however, we have a striking parallel to the ballad : 

1 This story was reproduced in Paynter's ' Palace of Pleasure,' first 
published in 1556. 


Al Talmulk, 1 who was styled the Sorrowful Vazir, 
relates that when his father, a rich jeweller, was at 
the point of death, he called him to his bedside and 
cautioned him to take care of the great wealth which 
he was to inherit. " If you are so unhappy," he con- 
tinued, " as to squander it away idly, be sure to have re- 
course to the tree which is in the middle of the garden ; 
tie the fatal rope to one of the branches, and by that 
means prevent the miseries which attend poverty." 
After his father's death he keeps open house, and 
in a short time dissipates all his wealth in feasting 
his companions and sycophants. At length he re- 
members his father's advice, and goes to the tree, 
fastens a rope to one of the branches, places the other 
end in a noose round his neck, and, springing into the 
air, expects to end his misery ; but the branch gives 
way, and on his rising from the ground he discovers 
that the branch was hollow, and filled with diamonds 
and other precious stones. This was a prudential 
stratagem of his father, who had suspected that he 
would misspend his wealth in a life of pleasure. 2 The 
same story is found in the ' Forty Vazirs,' the only 
variation being that the father directs his son to a 
wooden ring hanging from the roof of a room, to 
which he is to attach a rope, when he has become 
penniless, and hang himself. 

1 Perhaps for Aletu-'l-Mulk : instrument, or insignia, of the king- 
dom ; or for ' Aliyetu-'l-Mulk : high purpose, or aim, of the kingdom. 

2 These Persian Tales are not, as many have supposed, mere French 
imitations of Eastern fictions. In the preface to Petis de la Croix" 
translation (' Les Mille et Un Jours '), which was published after his 


There is a singular version in the text of ' The Thou- 
sand and One Nights/ printed at Breslau, 1 under the 
editorship of Habicht and Fleischer, from a manuscript 
procured in Tunis, where it forms one of a series of 
28 tales related to Shah Bakht by his vazfr, Er-Eahwan 2 
Nights 875-930 : A man on his deathbed counsels 
his son, should he ever come to want, not to ask relief 
of any one, since he would find a treasure laid up for 
him in a chamber, which he indicated, but which he 
was not to open until he stood in need of a day's food. 
After his father's death, the youth had not patience to 
wait till he had spent all the great wealth he had in- 
herited, but opened the chamber, and found it empty 
save that some bricks lay on the floor, and from the 

death, it is stated that they were taken by a dervish of Ispahan, named 
Mukhlis, from a collection of Hindii comedies, a Turkish translation of 
which, entitled ' Alfaraja Badal Shidda,' or Joy after Affliction, is 
preserved in the Paris Library. Mukhlis transformed these comedies 
into tales, inserted them in a frame-story, after the plan of the 
' Arabian Nights,' and entitled his work, ' Hazdr u Yek Ruz,' or the 
Thousand and One Days. In 1675 Mukhlis allowed Petis to take a 
copy of it, and it is said that in the translation Petis was assisted by 
Le Sage which is certainly far from being an additional guarantee 
of its fidelity to the original and that " nearly all " of the tales were 
afterwards transformed into comic operas (!), which were performed 
at the Theatre Italien. Early in the last century Ambrose Phillips 
made an English version from the French, under the title of ' Per- 
sian Tales,' which is reprinted in Henry Weber's ' Tales of the East,' 
published, in 3 vols., in 1811. Of the genuineness of these Tales there 
can be no doubt, since Sir William Ouseley brought from Persia a 
manuscript which comprised a part of the ' Haza> u Yek Ruz ' see his 
' Travels,' vol. ii. p. 21, note ; and, in the same place, his interesting re- 
marks on " a thousand and one " being a favourite number in the East. 

1 It occurs in no other printed text of the ' Nights.' 

2 See Note at the end of this paper, " Story of King Shah Bakht 
and his Vazlr." 


middle of the ceiling dangled a rope with a noose at the 
lower end, and there was a scroll which directed him 
to beg not of any, but to hang himself forthwith. 
Seeing this, the youth said, " Here in sooth is a goodly 
legacy ! " and went forth and feasted and revelled with 
his companions till all his wealth was gone. After 
being two days without food, he sold a handkerchief 
for two dirhams (about a shilling), with which he 
bought milk and bread, and leaving some of it on a 
shelf, went out. During his absence, a dog came 
and ate up all the bread and milk. When he dis- 
covered his loss on returning home, he was distracted, 
and again going out, he met an old friend to whom 
he related his misfortune ; but his friend would not 
believe his story, and abused him. Then the youth 
returned to his house, and opening the fatal chamber, 
piled the bricks one upon another, put the halter 
round his neck, and kicked away the bricks, upon 
which the rope gave way, and he fell to the ground, 
while a shower of gold fell upon him from the ceiling. 
And now he understood the lesson his father meant 
to impart to him. He at once bought back the lands 
and houses he had sold, and one day invited his former 
boon companions to a feast, when he entertained them 
with the following " story " : "We had some bread, and 
locusts ate it all up, so we put in its place a stone, a 
cubit long and a cubit broad, and the locusts came and 
ate the stone, because of the smell of the bread that 
had formerly been there." One of his friends even 
he who had refused to credit his story of the dog 


eating his bread and milk on a shelf remarked, " This 
is no wonder ; for locusts do more than that." Then 
said the youth in wrath, " Get you back to your own 
houses. In the days of my poverty, I was called a liar 
because I said that a dog had climbed up to a shelf and 
eaten my bread and milk there ; but now that I am 
once more a wealthy man, you pretend to believe me 
when I tell you that locusts devoured a great stone ! " 1 

Part of the plot of an ancient Eoman comedy, en- 
titled ' Thesaurus,' by Lucius Lavinius, based upon a 
Greek play by Menander, bears some analogy to the 
ballad of the Heir of Linne. It is thus sketched by 
Dunlop, in his ' History of Eoman Literature ' : An 

1 Many variants of this last incident are current in Europe. The 
following is given by Professor Crane, in his ' Italian Popular Tales,' 
from Pitre's Sicilian collection : A peasant one day conversing in the 
farmhouse with his master and others happened, while speaking of 
sheep and cheese, to say that he had had a present of a little cheese, 
but the mice had eaten it all up. Then the master, who was rich, 
proud, and fat, called him a fool, and said that it was not possible that 
the mice could have eaten the cheese ; and all present said the master 
was right and the peasant wrong. What more could the poor man 
say ? Talk makes talk. After a while the master said that, having 
taken the precaution to rub his ploughshares with oil, to keep them 
from rusting, the mice had eaten off all the points. Then the friend 
of the cheese broke forth, " But, master, how can it be that the mice 
cannot eat my cheese if they can eat the points of your ploughshares ? " 
But the others began to cry out, " Be silent, you fool ! The master 
is right, the master is right ! " The original is probably found in the 
fable of the mice that ate iron, and the hawk that carried off a boy, 
which occurs in most versions of the Fables of Bidpa'i, and from which 
La Fontaine adapted his fable of ' Le Ddpositaire Infidele.' From the 
Fables of Bidpa'i it was doubtless taken into the ' Kathd Sarit Sa'gara,' 
see Tawney's translation, vol. ii. pp. 41, 42. 


old man, by his last will, commanded his son to carry, 
ten years after his death, libations to the monument 
under which he was to be buried. The youth, 
having squandered all his fortune, sold the ground 
on which the monument stood to an old miser. At 
the end of the ten years the prodigal sends a servant 
to the tomb with due offerings, according to the in- 
junctions of his deceased father. The servant applied 
to the new proprietor to assist him in opening the 
tomb, in which they discovered a hoard of gold. The 
miserly owner of the soil seizes the treasure, and 
retains it on pretence of having deposited it there 
for safety during a period of commotion. It is 
claimed, however, by the young man, who goes to 
law with him; and the remainder of the comedy 
consists chiefly of the progress of the suit. 

It is very evident that the idea of the 'Heir of 
Linne ' was not taken from the plot of this Eoman play. 
But the resemblance between the ballad and the Persian 
and Turkish tales is so close, that we must conclude 
all three have been indirectly derived from a common 
source. 1 In the ballad, however, there are incidents 

1 In our ballad and the Eastern prose versions the " hanging " busi- 
ness was designed together with the sudden accession to wealth 
to induce the prodigal to reform his way of life. In the Grceco- 
Roman play the father seems to have intended the same moral lesson 
(without any incipient hanging), apparently never dreaming that his 
spendthrift heir would pour the libations by proxy. The analogy 
between the play and the ballad is, however, closer than may appear 
at first sight : for the sacred tomb we have the " lonesome lodge," 
which the son is on no account to sell. It is curious to observe that 
in the Arabian version the reading of the scroll in the chamber 


which give the story additional interest. The "un- 
thrifty heir" had sold all his lands all save the 
"lonesome lodge" to his factor, yclept John o' the 
Scales, who, as is unfortunately usual in such cases, 
drove a hard bargain, well knowing he was dealing 
with a man who was sorely in need of money. When 
he found, so strangely, the hidden treasure in the lodge, 
he went to the house of John o' the Scales erst- 
while, alas ! his own paternal home and, looking 
in at the "speere," or hole in the door or window, 
there he saw 

Three lords upon a row 
Were drinking of the wine so free. 

And John himself sat at the board's head, 

Because now lord of Linne was he. 
I pray thee, he said, good John o' the Scales, 

One forty pence for to lend me. 

Away, away, thou thriftless loone, 

Away, away, this may not bee ; 
For Christ's curse on my head, he sayd, 

If ever I trust thee one pennle. 

Then bespake the heire of Linne, 

To John o' the Scales his wife spake he : 

Madame, some almes on me bestowe, 
I pray, for sweet saint Charitie. 

Away, away, thou thriftless loone, 
I swear thou gettest no almes of mee ; 

For if we should hang any losel heere, 
The first we wold begin with thee. 

unlike his brethren in the other versions, he still has lots of money 
does not deter him from his extravagant courses : we may safely 
regard this as a corrupted version, like many other stories in the text 
of ' The Nights ' in which it occurs. 


Then bespake a good fellawe, 

Which sat at John o' the Scales his bord : 

Sayd, Turn agayne, thou heire of Linne, 
Sometime thou wast a well good lord ; 

Sometime a good fellow thou hast been, 
And sparedst not thy gold or fee ; 

Therefore He lend thee forty pence, 
And other forty if need be. 

And ever, I pray thee, John o' the Scales, 

To let him sit in thy companle : 
For well I wot thou hadst his land, 

And a good bargain it was to thee. 

Up then spake him John o' the Scales, 
All wood [i.e., enraged] he answered him againe 

Now Christ's curse on my head, he sayd, 
But I did lose by that bargaine. 

And here I proffer thee, heir of Linne, 
Before these lords so faire and free, 

Thou shalt have it back againe better cheape, 
By a hundred marks, than I had it of thee, 

I drawe you to record, lords, he said. 

With that he cast him a gods pennle ; 
Now by my fay, sayd the heire of Linne, 

And here, good John, is thy monle. 

And he pulled forth three bagges of gold, 
And layd them down upon the board ; 

All woe begone was John o' the Scales, 
So shent he could say never a word. 

He told him forth the good red gold, 
He told it forth with mickle din : 

The gold is thine, the land is mine, 
And now I'm again the lord of Linne. 


Sayes, Have thou here, them good fel!6we, 

Forty pence thou didst lend mee ; 
Now I'm again the lord of Linne, 

And forty pounds I will give thee. 

The ballad concludes with the lamentation of Joan, 
wife of John o' the Scales, at this sudden reverse of 
fortune, and the Heir of Linne's expression of his 
resolution to take good care of his gear henceforward. 
Percy, who gives the ballad in his ' Eeliques of 
Ancient English Poetry,' says that it is found in his 
folio MS., and that, "from Scottish phrases here 
and there discernible, it should seem to have been 
composed beyond the Tweed " ; but he assigns no 
approximate date. 


Er- Rah wan, prime minister of Shah Bakht, "had many 
enemies, who envied him his high place, and still sought to 
do him hurt, but found no way thereunto ; and God, in His 
foreknowledge, decreed that the king dreamt that his vazir 
Er-Rahwan gave him a fruit from off a tree, and he ate it 
and died." The king sends for a celebrated astrologer, in 
order that he should learn what his dream imported. But 
the vazir's enemies had privately besought the sage to slander 
him to the king, promising him much wealth therefor ; and so 
the sage told the king that his vazir would slay him within a 
month from that day, and bade him hasten to put the vazir to 
death. The king then sends for his vazir Er-Rahwan, and frankly 
tells him of his dream and the sage's interpretation thereof ; 
and the vazir, seeing it was a wicked device of his enemies to 


destroy him, expresses his willingness to be put to death ; 
" But if the king," he adds, " see fit not to put me to death 
till to-morrow, and will pass this night with me, and take 
leave of me, when the morrow cometh, the king shall do what 
he will." That same night the vazir related a story to the 
king, which so pleased him that he respited the vazir for 
another day ; and in this way he entertained Shah Bakht 
each night until the fatal month was past, when the wicked- 
ness of the vazfr's enemies was made manifest. This romance, 
with its twenty-eight subordinate tales, belongs to the sporadic 
part of the ' Sindibad ' family. 



fTlHAT Lord Mayor Whittington was the poor ill- 
used boy he is represented to have been in the 
popular tale seems quite impossible, since, according 
to the accurate Stow, he was the son of the Worship- 
ful Sir William Whittington, Knight. The story 
was current in Europe in the 13th century: In the 
chronicle of Albert, abbot of the convent of St Mary 
at Slade, written at that period, it is related that 
there were two citizens of Venice, one of whom was 
rich, the other poor. It fortuned that the rich man 
went abroad to trade, and the poor man gave him as 
his venture two cats, the sale of which, as in our tale 
of the renowned Dick Whittington, produced him great 

In the Facetiae of Arlotto, a celebrated character 
in Tuscany in the 15th century, the story is told of a 
Genoese merchant who presents two cats to the king 
of a foreign land, who rewards him with rich pre- 
sents. Arlotto's version was reproduced in the 17th 
century by a Florentine nobleman, Count Lorenzo 



Magalotti, in a letter to his friend Ottavio Falconieri, 
in which he tells how a merchant named Ansaldo degli 
Ormanui (temp. Amerigo Vespucci), after three suc- 
cessful voyages, on the fourth was driven to an island 
named Canary. The king received him graciously ; 
but he noticed that all present at the dinner-table had 
long staves in their hands to drive away the countless 
numbers of mice which attacked the viands. Ansaldo 
sends to his ship for two cats, a male and a female, 
which he presents to the king. On his return home, 
a friend hearing the story, and thinking, if the king 
gave much wealth for a pair of cats, he would give 
still more for precious gems, sailed to the Canaries, 
and presented his majesty with some valuable jewels, 
and received in return, what the king supposed to 
be a gift of the highest value, a cat, offspring of 
Ansaldo's pair. In a description of Guinea, published 
in 1665, it is related that Alfonso, a Portuguese, being 
wrecked on the coast of Guinea, was presented by the 
king with its weight in gold for a cat to kill their 
mice, and for an ointment to kill their flies : this he 
improved within five years to six thousand pounds 
in the place, and returning to Portugal, after fifteen 
years' traffic, became not, like Whittington, the second, 
but the third man in the kingdom. 

The story is common to all Europe. In Norway 
it is thus told: A poor woman's little boy, having 
wrapped his jacket round a stone which looked wan 
with the frost, found under it next day a box full of 


silver money, which he emptied into the tarn ; but 
one silver piece floated, which he kept, believing it 
to be "honest." His mother is angry at his folly, 
and sends him off to earn his own living. After 
wandering about for some time, he obtains employ- 
ment in a merchant's kitchen, carrying wood and water 
for the cook. It comes to pass that the merchant has 
to make a voyage to foreign parts, and so he asks his 
servants what he should bring home for each of them, 
and when it is the turn of the poor boy, he gives 
the merchant his silver penny to purchase something 
for him. So the merchant sailed away, and when he 
had unloaded his ship and taken in a fresh cargo, he 
bought what he had promised the servants, and just 
as he was about to weigh anchor he recollected the 
poor boy's penny, and bought with it a cat from an 
old woman. On the voyage home the ship was driven 
out of her course and arrived at a strange country. 
The merchant went up into the town, and at the inn 
he observed that the table was laid with a rod for 
each man who sat at it, and when the meat was put 
on the table he soon saw what the rods meant, for out 
swarmed thousands of mice, and each one who sat at 
the table had to beat them off with his rod. The 
merchant in astonishment asked them if they did not 
keep cats, but they knew not what cats were ; so he 
sent for the cat he had bought for the poor scullion, 
and she soon made the mice scamper off into their 
holes. Then he sold them the cat for a hundred 
dollars, and soon after sailed off again. But what 


was his surprise to see the cat sitting on the main- 
mast-head ! And all at once there came on foul 
weather, and the ship was driven to another strange 
port, where the mice were more numerous than at the 
former place. So he sold the cat to the people for 
two hundred dollars; but when he got to sea again, 
there was the cat sitting on the mast as before, and a 
great storm carried the ship to a third country, where 
the people suffered from swarms of rats. So he sold 
them the cat for three hundred dollars ; but when the 
merchant was once more at sea, he began to think 
how much the poor lad had made out of his penny, 
and resolved to keep part of the money to himself; 
but no sooner had he formed this wicked resolution, 
than there arose such a storm that all on board the 
ship believed they must perish. So the merchant 
made a vow that the poor lad should have every 
penny, and immediately the weather became calm, 
and the ship soon reached home in safety. And 
when the merchant got to land he gave the lad the 
six hundred dollars, and his daughter besides; and 
after that the lad sent for his mother and treated 
her kindly, and he lived all his days in mirth and 
jollity. 1 

1 "The Honest Penny" in Dasent's 'Tales from the Fjeld.' In a 
Danish version, a man in Jutland had made much money by unlawf ul 
means, and dying, left it to his three sons. The youngest usually 
the favourite of Fortune in folk-tales threw his share into the sea, 
and only one small copper coin floated, with which he bought a cat, 
which he sent as a venture on board a ship, like Whittington in our 


In a Breton popular tale, entitled " Les Trois Freres ; 
ou, le chat, le coq, et I'e'chelle," which M. F.-M. Luzel 
has given in ' Melusine,' 1876, c. 154-8, we find our 
story of Dick Whittington in another form : 

A certain man had three sons, and when their 
mother died they demanded of him each their share 
of patrimony, in order that they should go into the 
world and seek their fortune. The eldest of the 
brothers, Yvon, gets for his share a cat, and sets off 
towards the seaside. He comes to a mill, near which 
is a grand castle, with lofty towers. Yvon enters the 
mill, carrying his cat on his left arm. There he sees 
four men in their shirt-sleeves, armed with sticks, 
and very busy running after mice, which were scam- 
pering about on all sides. " How much trouble you 
are taking for a trifling matter ! " says Yvon. " A 
trifling matter?" echo the men. "Don't you see 
that, if we allowed them, these accursed beasts would 
eat both the corn and the meal, and we should starve ?" 
" Well," says Yvon, " here is a little animal," show- 
ing his cat, " who, alone, in less than an hour, will do 
more work than you could do in a year: he will 
very quickly free you from the mice." Quoth the 
men, " That little animal ! you are surely joking. 
He hasn't a wicked look at all. What do you call it ? " 
(In that country they had never seen a cat.) " He is 
called Monsieur le Chat," says Yvon. " Do you wish 
to see him working ?" " Yes ; let us see what he can 
do." Hereupon Yvon let go his cat, who was very 
hungry. The mice, never having seen a cat, were 


not at all afraid of him, and were in no hurry to run 
into their holes ; so the cat soon made great havoc 
among them. The four men looked on, quite thunder- 
struck, and in less than an hour the whole floor of 
the mill was covered with dead mice. 

The miller and his men could not think enough of 
it, and so one of them runs to the castle, and says to 
the lord, " Make haste, my lord, and come to the mill, 
where you will see what you never saw in your life." 
" What's that ? " asks he. " There has arrived a man, 
we don't know from what country, with a little animal 
which has a very quiet look, yet in the twinkling of an 
eye it has killed all the mice against which we have 
had so much trouble to protect your corn and meal." 
" I wish that were true," cries the lord, and he runs to 
the mill, and looking at the work of the cat, remains in 
admiration, with his mouth and eyes wide open. Then 
perceiving on the arm of Yvon the' author of all this 
havoc, who sat quietly, with eyes half shut and purring 
away like a wheel, he asks, " Is that the animal with 
so mild a look that has done so bravely ? " " Yes, my 
lord, that is he," said the men. "What a treasure 
is this creature ! " then says the lord. " Ah, if I could 
only possess it ! Will you sell it to me ? " he asks 
Yvon. "With pleasure," replies Yvon, stroking his 
cat. " How much do you want for it ? " " Six hun- 
dred crowns, with board and lodgings ; for my friend 
the cat will not work well if I don't remain with 
him." " Agreed," cries the lord ; and there and then 
they strike hands upon it. Yvon is at once installed 


in the castle, where he has nothing to do but eat and 
drink, walk about, and go from time to time to see the 
cat at the mill. He becomes the friend of the lord of 
the manor as well as of his daughter, for he was a 
pretty fellow. With the young lady indeed he is on 
such good terms, that he gets from her all that he 
wishes gold and diamonds galore. At length he 
gathers his wealth together, secretly mounts the best 
horse in the stable, and rides back to his father's 
house. 1 

This is how the story is told in Eussia: A poor 
little orphan served a rich man for three years, and 
received for his wages three copecks (a copeck is 

1 Dr Reinhold Kbhler, in a iiote appended to the Breton story of 
" Les Trois Freres," compares with it No. 10 of ' Le Grand Parangon 
des Nouvelles,' composed by Nicolas de Troyes, and published from 
the original manuscript by E. Mabille, at Paris, 1869; No. 70 of the 
Brothers Grimm's ' Kinder und Haus Miirchen ; ' and a tale in 
Waldau, 'Bdhmisches Marchenbuch,' Prague, 1880, p. 176 ff. In the 
collection of Nicolas de Troyes, the youngest of the three brothers 
sells his cat to a king who was so much pestered with rats and mice 
that, whether at dinner or supper, or other repast, he had a great 
crowd of gensdarmes to drive away the vermin. When the lad had 
gone a little distance on his way home, a messenger is sent after him 
by the king to ask him what the cat will eat besides rats and mice, 
and he answers that it will eat anything (" Si luy fut dit qu'elle 
mengeoit de tout "). The king is affrighted at this, and orders the 
cat to be killed, but it makes its escape. In the German version, the 
cat, having destroyed an immense number of mice, becomes thirsty, 
and cries " mew ! mew ! " upon which the king, in fear of the cat, 
bombards his castle, but the cat escapes through a window. In the 
Bohemian version (translated from the Tche'que), the youth, on being 
asked what they should give the cat after it has eaten all the mice, 
replies, "Yourself." A similar story is told of the Schildbxirgers, the 
Gothamites of Germany : see chap. iii. of my ' Book of Noodles. ' 


worth about one-third of a penny), with which he 
bought from some mischievous boys a cat which 
they were tormenting. He then hired himself to a 
merchant, whose business at once began to increase 
wonderfully. By-and-by the merchant prepared to 
go on a long trading voyage, and he took the poor 
boy's cat with him, in order that she might keep 
down the mice on board ship. When the merchant 
reached his destination in a far-distant country, he 
took up his lodgings at an inn. The landlord, seeing 
that he was very wealthy, put him into a bedroom 
infested with swarms of rats and mice, hoping that 
the vermin would make an end of him during the 
night. But when the landlord came into the mer- 
chant's room next morning, much to his surprise, he 
discovered the floor heaped with dead rats and mice, 
and the cat placidly purring in the merchant's arms. 
The landlord buys the cat for a sackful of gold ; and 
when the merchant had despatched all his business, 
he sailed homeward. On the way he thought it 
would be the height of folly to give the orphan lad 
so much money, and determined to keep it to him- 
self. Suddenly a great storm arose, and the vessel 
was in danger of sinking. The merchant, knowing 
that this was because of his wicked purpose of rob- 
bing the poor orphan, prayed to heaven for forgive- 
ness, when the sea immediately was calmed, and the 
ship duly arrived at port in safety. The merchant 
faithfully paid over to the orphan all the great wealth 
he had received for the cat, and the first thing the 


lad did afterwards was to buy a large quantity of 
incense, which he scattered along the shore and 
burned in honour of God. 1 

Such is the outline of the Eussian version of 
"Whittington and his Cat." But it may be main- 
tained by some readers, who firmly believe in the 
"genuineness" of all our British household tales, 
that the Italians, Bretons, Norwegians, and Eussians 
all borrowed the story from us, 'and dressed it up to 
suit themselves. This is, perhaps, possible, though 
far from probable. But what will they say when 
they learn that the story is found in the pages of a 
grave Persian historian, who wrote at the end of the 
13th century, sixty years before Ei chard Whittington 
was born ? In the history of Persia, by Abdullah, 
the son of Fazlullah, a native of Shiraz, whose poetical 
name was Wasif, or the Describer, entitled 'Events 
of Ages and Fates of Cities,' the story is thus re- 
lated : 

Kays, the eldest son of a man named Kayser, 
having spent the whole of his patrimony at Siraf, 
and disdaining to seek for service in a place where 
he had once lived in opulence, passed over to an 
island (from him called Kays) opposite to the city, 
with his two brothers, in a small skiff, and left his 
widowed mother behind, helpless and forlorn. The 
brothers built a dwelling with the branches and 
leaves of trees, and supported life with dates and 

1 " The Three Copecks " : Ralston's ' Russian Folk-Tales.' 


other fruits, the produce of the island. It was 
customary for the masters and captains of ships to 
ask the poorest people for some gift when they were 
setting out on a trading voyage, which they disposed 
of to the best advantage at the port to which they 
were bound; and if the trip proved prosperous, and 
they ever returned, they repaid the amount of the 
gift or venture, with the profit upon it, and a present 
besides, proportionate to the good luck with which, 
in their opinion, the prayers of the poor had blessed 
their concerns. 1 It so happened that the captain of 
a vessel bound to India from Siraf applied for a gift 
to the poor old widow of Kayser, who gave him the 
only property which the extravagance of her sons had 
left her a cat. The captain, a kind-hearted man, 
received the old lady's present gratefully, although 
he did not consider it as the best kind of venture 
for a foreign port. Heaven had ordained otherwise. 
After the ship had anchored at an Indian port, the 
captain waited on the sovereign with costly presents, 
as is usual, who received him graciously, and invited 
him to dinner in a kind hospitable manner. With 
some surprise he perceived that every dish at table 
was guarded by a servant with a rod in his hand; 
but his curiosity about the cause of this strange 

1 We have an instance of this in the tale of " Muhammed the 
Lazy" (see Lane's 'Arabian Nights,' vol. ii. p. 366), where the 
youth's mother gives the captain of a ship that was about to sail 
five pieces of silver in her son's name. In the Norse version of our 
story, also (see ante, p. 67), the like practice is observed : the poor 
scullion gives his silver penny to the merchant as his "venture." 


appearance was shortly satisfied without asking any 
questions, for on looking about he perceived hundreds 
of mice running on all sides, and ready to devour the 
viands, whenever the vigilance of the domestics ceased 
for a moment. He immediately thought of the old 
woman's cat, and on the following day brought it in 
a cage to the palace. The mice appeared as usual, 
and the cat played her part amongst them to the 
astonishment and admiration of the monarch and 
his courtiers. The slaughter was immense. The 
captain presented the cat to his Majesty, mentioned 
the case of the old lady, and the motive for bringing 
so strange, but, as it turned out, so acceptable a 
freight with him, on which the king, happy at his 
delivery from the plague of mice, not only rewarded 
the captain with splendid presents, but loaded his 
ship with precious articles of merchandise, the pro- 
duce of his kingdom, to be given to the mistress of 
the cat, with male and female slaves, money, and 
jewels. When the vessel returned to Siraf, the old 
lady came down to the landing-place to ask about 
the fate of her cat, when, to her great joy and as- 
tonishment, the honest and worthy captain related 
to her the fortunate result of her venture, and put 
her in possession of her newly acquired wealth. She 
immediately sent for her son Kays and his brothers 
to share her opulence; but as they had collected a 
large settlement in their island, she was soon per- 
suaded by them to accompany them to it, where, by 
means of her riches, they formed more extensive con- 


nections, purchased more ships, and traded largely 
with India and Arabia. When Kays and his friends 
had sufficiently added to their wealth by commerce, 
they by a signal act of treachery having murdered 
the crews of twelve ships from Oman and India, then 
at anchor there, seized the ships and property in them. 
With this addition to their fleet they commenced a 
series of outrageous acts as pirates, and successfully 
resisted every attempt of the neighbouring states to 
suppress their wicked practices. Every year added 
to their power and wealth, and at length a king was 
elected to the chief government of the island of Kays. 
This monarchy lasted for nearly 200 years, until the 
reign of Atabeg Abubaker, A.H. 628 (A.D. 1230), when 
the descendants of Kays were reduced to vassalage 
to the court of Persia. 1 

This " plain, unvarnished " narrative of the Persian 
historian the incident, it will be seen from the con- 
cluding sentence, is said to have occurred in the llth 
century 2 reads rather tamely in comparison with our 
own veracious 'History of Sir Eichard Whittington, 
thrice Lord Mayor of London, showing how he came 
up a poor boy to London, and was received as a scullion 
by a merchant ; his sufferings and afflictions under a 

1 ' Biographical Notices of Persian Poets,' etc. By Sir Gore Ouseley. 

2 Morier, who gives the story in his ' Second Journey to Persia.' 
as it was told him by the Persian ambassador, says that the date of 
the occurrence was the 700th year of the Hijra, or about A.D. 1300. 
He does not appear to have known of its being found in W^sif's 


cruel cookmaid ; how he bought a cat for a penny, and 
sent her a venture beyond sea, for which he got great 
riches in exchange; and lastly, how he married his 
master's daughter, and was made thrice Lord Mayor of 
London.' How Whittington came to be adopted as 
the hero of the English version of this romantic tale is 
not very apparent. Even in the absence of direct 
evidence regarding its first appearance in England, we 
should conclude that the story must have been com- 
posed long after the parentage of Whittington had 
passed out of the popular memory. A rather significant 
circumstance is mentioned by Granger, in his 'Bio- 
graphical History of England,' with reference to the 
common print of Sir Richard Whittington. He says 
that " the cat has been inserted, as the common people 
do not care to buy the print without it. There 
was none originally in this plate, but a skull in place 
of it." 

With regard to the Russian version, Mr Ralston 
thinks there can be little doubt as to its origin " such 
a feature as the incense-burning pointing directly to 
a Buddhistic source " ; and he is probably right in this 
conjecture, 1 notwithstanding the circumstantial and 

1 Another incident in this version seems also to indicate its Bud- 
dhist origin, that of the poor boy's purchasing with his three copecks 
a cat which some mischievous boys were tormenting. Compare with 
this the Mongolian and Tamil versions of " Aladdin's Lamp," vol. i. 
pp. 335, 337, 338 ; and the Bohemian, Albanian, and modern Greek 
variants, pp. 321, 324, 326. I cannot but think the Norse version of 
our story also shows traces of its Buddhist extraction in the incident 
of the poor boy's covering a "frost-bitten" stone with his jacket, 
and finding under it next day a box full of silver money, only one 


unembellished narrative of the Persian historian, to 
which, however, he makes no reference. The original 
Buddhist story or a variant of it may well have 
reached Eussia vid China. Yet nothing at all like our 
story has hitherto been found in Indian fiction, so far 
as I am aware, which is strange, since we have seen 
that it has been so long domiciled in Persia as to 
become one of the historical traditions of that country. 
But if the facts be not as the Persian historian relates 
them and indeed there is much that is purely ficti- 
tious in the historical works of Asiatic writers whence 
came the story into Persia ? From India, unquestion- 
ably; and we may trust that the Buddhist original 
will yet be discovered. One thing is very clear, how- 
ever namely, that this is one of those tales which came 
to Europe in two different and independent ways : by 
the Mongolians to the North ; through the Ottoman 
Turks to the south ; and our nursery tale of Dick 
Whittington like that of Jack and the Giants 
was almost certainly imported from the North. 

coin of which he keeps, and with it his master purchases the cat 
which is the source of the boy's fortune. The reappearance of the 
cat twice after being sold the first time, and the storm which 
frightened the greedy merchant into a resolution to be just towards 
his poor scullion, are incidents which appear to me also essentially 



HHHE propensity of tailors to appropriate to their 
own purposes part of their customers' cloth is a 
frequent subject of satire in the popular literature of 
Europe. In one of the early volumes of ' Chambers's 
Edinburgh Journal' (No. 29, January 1837) there 
is an amusing story, entitled "John Hetherington's 
Dream," beginning thus : " In a certain small town in 
the West of Scotland there lived several years ago 
a decent old tailor." The story goes on to say that 
he was greatly addicted to " cabbaging," and that one 
night, after a plentiful supper, he dreamed that he 
was in the "lower regions," where Satan unrolled 
before him a long web of patchwork of all colours, 
consisting of pieces of cloth which he had cabbaged 
in the course of his business. The poor tailor awakes 
in great fright, and virtuously resolves to " cabbage no 
more " ; and next morning, telling his foreman of his 
appalling dream, he requests the man, should he see 
him at any time inclined to yield to his besetting sin, 
to remind him of it. For some time after this all goes 


well with the reformed tailor, until one day he 
receives from a customer a piece of fine scarlet cloth 
to be made into a coat for a fox-hunter ; and, unable to 
resist the temptation of a fine "off-cut," he is about 
to apply the scissors, " on cabbaging thoughts intent," 
when his foreman, as requested, reminds him of his 
terrible dream. " Ay, ay," quoth John, " I mind the 
dream ; but I mind, too, that there was nae clout o' 
this colour in the wab." l 

This story is simply a modernised and localised 
version of an old European popular tale, and " John 
Hetherington " is a mere myth. In order to gird at 
the English Puritans of his day, Sir John Harrington 
(1561-1612) made it the subject of the following 
humorous verses : 

Of a Precise Tailor. 

A tailor, known a man of upright dealing 
(True, but for lying, honest, but for stealing), 
Did fall one day extremely sick by chance, 
And on the sudden was in wondrous trance. 
The fiends of hell, mustering in fearful manner, 
Of sundry coloured stuffs displayed a banner, 
Which he had stolen, and wished, as they did tell, 
That he might find it all one day in hell. 
The man, affrighted at this apparition, 
Upon recovery grew a great precisian. 
He bought a Bible of the best translation, 
And in his life he showed great reformation : 
He walked mannerly, he talked meekly, 
He heard three lectures and two sermons weekly . 

1 The tale so circumstantially related in ' Chambers's Edinburgh 
Journal ' had been told long before in ' Joe Miller.' 


He vowed to keep no company unruly, 

And in his speech to use no oath but truly ; 

And, zealously to keep the Sabbath's rest, 

His meat for that day on the eve was drest. 

And lest the custom which he had to steal 

Should cause him sometimes to forget his zeal, 

He gives his journeyman a special charge, 

That if the stuff, allowance being large, 

He found his fingers were to filch inclined, 

Bid him to have the Banner in his mind. 

This done (I scant can tell the rest for laughter), 

A captain of a ship came three days after, 

And brought three yards of velvet and three-quarters, 

To make Venetians down below the garters. 

He, that precisely knew what was enough, 

Soon slipped aside three quarters of the stuff : 

His man, espying it, said in derision, 

" Master, remember how you saw the vision ! " 

" Peace, knave," quoth he, " I did not see' one rag 

Of such a coloured stuff in all the flag ! " 

But the tailor's multi-coloured banner is met with 
in the writings of a Scottish poet of earlier date than 
Sir John Harrington. William Dunbar, a man of re- 
markable genius, who nourished from about 1460 to 
1520, in his humorous description of an imaginary 
tournament between a tailor and a shoemaker, the 
scene of which is also laid in the "lower regions," 
says of the tailor-knight that 

His banner borne was him before, 
Wherein were clouts a hunder score, 

Ilk ane of divers hue ; 
And all stolen out of sundry webs ; 
For while the sea flood fills and ebbs, 

Tailyors will never be true. 


And in a curious 16th-century tract, entitled 'The 
Wyll of the Deuyll [i.e. Devil] and Last Testament ' is 
the following : " Item. I geue to euery Tayler, a Banner, 
wherein shall be conteyned al the parcelles of cloth 
and sylkes, etc., as he hath cast them into hell." l The 
late Mr J. Payne Collier thought this was "most 
likely borrowed from the ' Facetia3 ' of Piovano Arlotto, 
originally printed in 1520, and often afterwards ; but 
it is the first notice of it in English ; " and that from 
the ' Wyll ' " it may have found its way into Sir John 
Harrington's Epigrams, published in 1615, and from 
thence into later jest-books." Dunbar, however, anti- 
cipated, as we have seen, this reference to the infernal 
"banner" in the 'Wyll'; and while it is likely he 
got the idea from Arlotto, it is perhaps more probable 
he had it from some old monkish collection of exempla. 

The story of the Tailor's Dream appears to be of 
Asiatic extraction. It is thus told in Cardonne's ' Me- 
langes de Litte"rature orientale/ extracted from Arabic, 
Persian, and Turkish manuscripts : 

A tailor, being dangerously ill, had an extraordinary 
dream. He saw, floating in the air, an ensign of 
immense extent, composed of all the pieces of different 
stuffs he had purloined. The angel of death bore this 
ensign in one hand, and in the other an iron club, with 

1 This tract, with some others, has been reprinted, edited by Dr F. 
J. Furnivall, as a supplementary fasciculus of the publications of the 
Ballad Society. The repository for remnants of cloth is, I under- 
stand, called " hell " by journeyman-tailors both in this country and 
in Germany. 


which he chastised the tailor. Starting from his sleep, 
he made a vow that in case of his recovery he would 
deal more honestly for the future. His health re- 
turned, and, as he distrusted his own memory, he told 
one of his men to remind him of his dream whenever 
he was cutting out a garment. For some time the 
tailor paid regard to this admonition of his servant ; 
but a great man having sent him some costly cloth to 
be made up, his virtue was not proof against so strong 
a temptation. In vain did his servant remind him of 
the ensign in the air. " You tire my patience," said 
the tailor, " with harping on my dream ; there was no 
such stuff as this in the standard." l 

Apropos of tailors' " cabbage," a unique black-letter 
history, in verse, of the renowned Eobin Goodfellow 
is given by Mr J. Payne Collier, in his introduction to 
the prose version, entitled 'Mad Pranks and Merry 
Jests of Eobin Goodfellow ' (ed. 1628 Percy Society 
publications), in which a ludicrous incident is related. 
Robin is apprenticed to a tailor, and they have a maid's 
wedding-gown to make : 

1 In almost identical terms, the jest is found in ' Sottisier de Nasr- 
ed-Dln Hodja, Bouffon de Tamerlan, suivi d'autres face"ties turques, 
traduits sur les manuscrits inedits." By J. A. Decourdemanche. 
Brussels, 1878. It is amusing to find this old story reappear in a 
collection of Scottish anecdotes published about the year 1873, and 
the compiler gratefully acknowledging his indebtedness to a corre- 
spondent, whom he names, for " this original anecdote " ! 


His master then the gown did take, 

And to his work did fall ; 
By that time he had done the same 

The maid did for it call. 
Quoth he to Robin, " Goe thy wayes 

And fetch the remnants hither 
That yesterday we left," said he, 

" We'll break our fasts together." 

Then Robin hies him up the staires, 

And brings the remnants downe 
"Which he did know his master saved 

Out of the woman's gowne. 
The Taylor he was vext at this 

He meant remnants of meate, 
That this good woman ere she went 

Might there her breakfast eate. 

Quoth she, " This is a breakfast good, 

I tell you, friend, indeed; 
And, to requite your love, I will 

Send for some drinke with speed ; 
And Robin he must goe for it 

With all the speed he may." 
He takes the pot and money too, 

And runs from thence away. 

And readers of ' Don Quixote ' will remember, among 
the various instances of shrewdness exhibited by 
Sancho during his brief governorship of the island of 
Barrataria (several of which appear to be of Tal- 
mudic origin), how a man brought a tailor don't 
suppose, good reader, that I would insinuate a tailor is 
not also a man ! before Sancho, complaining that he 
had given him a piece of cloth to make up into six 
caps, and that the rascally Snip had sent him half- 


a-dozen caps (produced) that fitted the tips of his 
fingers and kept the rest of the cloth to himself ; and 
how the tailor stoutly asserted that he had made up 
all the cloth into these caps ; finally, Sancho finding 
the case " abstruse," as the priest remarked of Paddy 
and the stolen chicken sagaciously decrees that the 
man shall keep the caps, and the tailor shall have 
nothing for his labour. 



old English jest-books generally represent 
Welshmen and Frenchmen as arrant simpletons 
or noodles ; for these, in our modern collections of 
facetiae, the raw Highlander and the blundering Irish- 
man are often substituted. Occasionally, however, the 
Irishman is exhibited as a particularly shrewd fellow 
turning the tables on would-be practical jokers, as in 
the "Joe Miller" of the Englishman, the Scotsman, 
and the Irishman who were travelling together and 
had but one loaf, which it was agreed should be eaten 
by him who had the most wonderful dream during the 
night. In the morning the Englishman and the Scots- 
man related their (concocted) dreams, after which the 
Irishman coolly informed them that he " dreamt he was 
hungry, and so got up and ate the loaf." This forms 
the third novel of the first decade of Cinthio's ' He- 
catommithi' (16th century), in which a soldier is 
travelling with a philosopher and an astrologer, and 
the wise men mistake him for a simpleton. They had 
but a single loaf, and resolved to cheat him out of his 


share. Accordingly they propose that it should belong 
to the person who had the most delightful dream 
during the following night. The soldier, suspecting 
their design, rose while they were sound asleep, ate the 
loaf, and in the morning told them with an ingenuous 
air that he " dreamt " he had eaten the loaf. 

Cinthio probably borrowed the story from the ' Gesta 
Eomanorum,' where the first traveller dreams that he 
ascended to heaven on a golden ladder; the second, 
that devils with iron implements dragged his soul from 
his body, and plunged him into flames ; the third, that 
an angel led him to the gate of paradise, where he saw 
one companion (the first) with abundance of good 
things to eat and drink, and the other companion he 
saw in the nether regions, but still with plenty of 
bread and wine, and so the angel said to him, " Do 
you rise up and eat the bread, since you will see 
neither of your comrades again." 1 

I am not aware that the story has yet been dis- 
covered in any of the great monkish collections of 
earlier date than the ' Gesta ' ; but its first appearance, 
in European literature, was in the ' Disciplina Cleri- 
calis ' of Petrus Alf onsus, where it is thus related : 

Two citizens and a rustic, going to Mecca, shared 
provisions till they reached that place, and then their 
food failed, so that nothing remained save so much 
flour as would make a single loaf, and that a small one. 

1 This is also the subject of a fabliau, " Les Deux Bourgeois et le 
Vilain " see Le Grand, ed. 1781, tome ii. p. 328. 


The citizens, seeing this, said to each other, " "We have 
too little bread, and our companion eats a great deal. 
Wherefore we ought to have a plan to take away from 
him part of the loaf, and eat it by ourselves alone." 
Accordingly a plan of this sort proved acceptable : to 
make and bake the loaf, and while it was being baked 
to sleep, and whoever of them saw the most wonderful 
things in a dream should eat the loaf alone. These 
words they spake artfully, as they thought the rustic 
too simple for inventions of the kind. They made the 
loaf and baked it, and at length lay down to sleep. 
But the rustic, more crafty than they thought, whilst 
his companions were asleep took the half-baked loaf, 
ate it up, and again lay down. One of the citizens, as 
if terrified out of his sleep, awoke, and called his com- 
panion, who inquired, " What is the matter ? " He 
said, " I have seen a wondrous vision, for it seemed to 
me that two angels opened the gates of Paradise and 
led me within." Then his companion said to him, 
" This is a wondrous vision you have seen. But I 
dreamed that two angels took me, and, cleaving the 
earth, led me to the lower regions." The rustic 
heard all this, and pretended to be asleep; but the 
citizens, being deceived, and wishing to deceive, called 
on him to awake. But the rustic replied cunningly, 
as though he was terrified, " Who are they that call 
me ? " Then they said, " We are your companions." 
But he replied, " Have you returned already ? " To 
this they rejoined, " Where did we go, that we should 
return ? " Then the rustic said, " Now it seemed to me 


that two angels took one of you, and opened the gates 
of heaven and led him within ; then two others took 
the other, and opened the earth and took him to hell : 
and, seeing this, I thought neither of you would return 
any more, and I rose and ate the loaf." l 

1 A similar tale occurs in the ' Toldoth Jes'u,' a scurrilous Jewish 
" Life " of Christ, the Hebrew text of which, with a Latin translation 
and elaborate notes, was published at Leyden in 1705 : ' Historia 
Jeschuse Nazareni, a Judseis blaspheme corrupta, ex Manuscripto 
hactenus inedito nunc demum edita, ac versione et notis (quibus 
Judseorum nequitae propius deteguntur, et authoris asserta ineptise 
ac impietatis convicuntur) illustrata a Joh. Jac. Huldrico, Tigurnio.' 

In the following Latin rendering of the Jewish version of our story 
it will be observed that, in place of a loaf, the prize to be " dreamt" 
for is a little roasted goose : 

Venerunt itaque inde in diversorium. Quserit ibi Jesus ex hospite, 
"Est ne tibi unde hi edant?" Resp. hospes, " Non mihi suppetit 
nisi anserculus assatus." Sumit ergo Jesus anserem illisque apponit, 
aiens, " Anser hie exiguus nimis est, quam ut a tribus comedi debeat. 
Dormitum eamus, et ille qui somniarit somnium optimum, comedit 
anserem solus." Decumbunt igitur. Tempesta vero nocte surgit 
Jehuda et anserem devorat. Mane itaque illis surgentibus, Petrus ait, 
" Somnio mihi visus fui assidere solio Filii Dei Shaddai." Jesus ait, 
" Ego sum Filius ille Dei Shaddai ; et somniavi te proprope me 
sedere. Ecce ergo me prsestantius quid somniasse te ; quare meum 
erit anserem comedere." Jehuda tandem aiebat, " Ego quidem ip- 
semet in somnio comedi anserem." Quserit ergo anserem Jesus, sed 
frustra, Jehuda enim devorabat ilium. 

Jehuda, the person who in this version plays the part of the rustic 
in Alfonsus' story, was, according to the ' Toldoth Jes'u,' a rabbi 
a most malignant scoundrel he appears in the narrative who pre- 
tended to be a disciple of Jesus in order the more surely to betray 
Him, which he did shortly after this adventure at the inn. If 
Alfonsus adapted his story from the above and it is not unlikely he 
was acquainted with the ' Toldoth Jes'u ' before he became a convert 
to Christianity it must be allowed that he has greatly improved 
upon his model. 

There is a Sicilian variant in Pitre's collection, in which a monk, 
who was an itinerant preacher, is represented as being accompanied 
on a journey by a very cunning lay-brother. One day the monk re- 


Going still farther afield, we find our " Joe Miller " 
also, though in a somewhat different guise alter et 
idem in a fable which occurs in the introduction to a 
Persian poetical version of the ancient Book of Sindi- 
bad (' Sindibad Nama '), the only known copy of which 
is an illuminated but unfortunately imperfect 
manuscript preserved in the Library of the India 
Office (No. 3214): 

An old wolf and fox, intimate friends, were once 
travelling together. A short way before them they 
saw a camel, who joined them, and the three together 
took the road to the village of camels. Their only 
provision for the journey consisted of a pumpkin. 
They travelled on for a long time, up hill and down 
dale, till, exhausted by the heat of the road, their eyes 
became black with thirst. At length they reached a 
pond full of water, and sat down on its brink. The 
pumpkin was produced, and after some discussion it 
was agreed that the prize should belong to him who 
was eldest among them. First the wolf began, " In- 
dian, Tajik, and Turk, 1 know that my mother bore me 
one week before God created heaven and earth, time 
and space ; consequently I have the best right to the 
pumpkin." " Yes," said the old and crafty fox, " I 

ceived a present of some fish, which he wished to eat himself, and so 
he proposed to his companion that the one of them who dreamed the 
best dream should have all the fish : the monk is outwitted by his 

1 The term "Tajik" is used for "Persian" ; thus in Mirkhand's 
history, " Turk u Tadjik," Turk and Persian. As employed above, the 
phrase is equivalent to " all the world," or " all civilised men." 


have nothing to object on this account; for on the 
night your mother bore you, I was standing by in 
attendance. That morning it was I that lit the taper, 
and I burned beside your pillow like a morning taper." 
When the camel had heard their speeches to an end, 
he stalked forward, and bending down his neck, 
snapped up the pumpkin, observing, " It is impossible 
to conceal a thing so manifest as this that, with such 
a neck and haunches and back as mine, it was neither 
yesterday nor last night that my mother bore me." 

The original form of this fable is probably found in 
the " Culla Vagga " portion of the ' Vinayapitaka,' one 
of the oldest parts of the Buddhist sacred books, which 
Professor E. B. Cowell, who has made the following 
translation of it, thinks can hardly be later than the 
third century B.C. : 

Long ago, there was a great banyan-tree on the slope 
of the Himalya mountains, and three friends dwelt 
near it a partridge, a monkey, and an elephant. 
They were disrespectful and discourteous to one an- 
other, and did not live harmoniously together. Then 
it occurred to them : " Oh, if we could know which of 
us is the eldest, we could honour him, and respect him, 
and show him duty and reverence, and abide by his 
exhortations." Then the partridge and the monkey 
asked the elephant, " What is the oldest thing, friend, 
that you remember ? " " Friends," he replied, " when 
I was a child I used to walk over this banyan-tree, 
keeping it between my thighs, and its topmost shoot 


touched my belly. This is the oldest thing that I 
remember." Then the partridge and the elephant 
asked the monkey, " What is the oldest thing, friend, 
that you remember ? " " Friends, when I was a child 
I used to sit on the ground and eat the topmost shoot 
of this banyan. This is the oldest thing that I re- 
member." Then the monkey and the elephant asked 
the partridge, " What is the oldest thing, friend, that 
you remember ? " " Friends, in yonder place there was 
once a certain great banyan-tree ; I ate a fruit from it, 
and voided it in this spot, and from it sprang this 
banyan. Therefore, friends, I am older than either of 
you." Then the monkey and the elephant thus ad- 
dressed the partridge, " You, friend, are the oldest of us 
all; we will honour and respect you, and will show 
you duty and reverence, and will abide by your ex- 
hortations." Then the partridge stirred them up in 
the five moral duties, 1 and also took those duties upon 
himself. They were respectful and courteous to one 
another, and lived harmoniously together, and after the 
dissolution of their bodies they were reborn happily 
in heaven. 2 

1 The five moral duties, or the Five Precepts of Buddha, are : (1) 
Not to do murder ; (2) not to steal ; (3) not to commit adultery ; 
(4) not to drink intoxicating liquors ; (5) not to do anything which 
is evil. 

2 The partridge, monkey, and elephant are, of course, men re- 
born in these forms. A variant of this apologue is known to the 
Northern Buddhists : " Some Bhikshus asked the Lord what claims 
an elder person had to the veneration of the younger. The Lord 
said, During the reign of Brahmadatta there lived at Bendres four 
animals, a francoline partridge, a hare, a monkey, and an elephant, 


The same fable occurs in the ' Avadanas,' translated 
from the Chinese into French by Stanislas Julien; 
another version is found in the ' Jatakas,' or Buddhist 
Birth-Stories, recently translated by Dr T. W. Ehys 
Davids; and a curiously distorted variant occurs in the 
" Uttara Kanda " of the Sanskrit epic, the ' Eamayana,' 
in which an owl and a vulture dispute about the 
possession of a certain cave, each claiming it to be 
his by ancient right. They refer the matter to Kama, 
who decides in favour of the owl, because the cave 
had been his ever since the earth was first adorned 
with trees, while the other had only known it since 
men first came into being. 

A Mongolian version presents a striking analogy 
to the fable as found in the Persian ' Sindibad Nama,' 
though, as in the variant last cited, the number of 
the disputants is but two: 

The wolf and the fox found on the road a skin 
full of fat. " Hand it over ; let us eat it," said the 
wolf. " That won't do here," answered the fox. " Here 
are people going backwards and forwards ; so we 
must carry it to the top of a mountain and eat it 
there." "Do thou carry it." So the wolf carried 
the fat to a great mountain. Then said the fox, 
"There is not enough fat for us both, and it is not 
worth dividing ; let one of us eat the whole." " Which 

who all honoured an elderly banyan-tree. On account of the merits 
of this good work, there was always abundance of rain and plenty of 
everything." From 'The Sanskrit Buddhist Literature of Nepal,' by 
Rajendratdla Mitra, LL.D. Calcutta, 1882. Pp. 70, 71. 


of us ? " asks the wolf. " Let the elder eat it," replied 
the fox ; " pray how old art thou ? " The wolf thought 
a while, and determined to invent a lie, so as to cheat 
the fox. "When I was a youngster," said he, "the 
Mount Sume"rn was only a clot of earth in a bog, 
and the ocean only a puddle." The fox lay down 
and wept. "Why weepest thou?" "I weep," said 
the fox, "because I once had two cubs, and the 
youngest was just your age." So the fox cheated 
the wolf, who was so ashamed that he ran away. 1 

Variants of the Buddhist legends of the oldest 
animals seem to have come to Europe at an early 
period. " Eeaders of the ' Mabinogion,' " says Professor 
Cowell, 2 "will remember the curious legend which 

1 'Folk-Lore Journal,' 1886, vol. iv. p. 29. In Riviere's ' Contes 
populaires de la Kabylie du Djurdjura ' (I. iii. 4), a lion, a jackal, and 
a boar possess jointly a jar of butter. One day they all go to plant 
beans. The jackal gets hungry, and pretends he is called away. 
" Who calls thee ? " asks the lion. " My uncle there's a marriage at 
his house, and so I'm off to the feast. " The jackal goes and eats half 
the butter. When he comes back, " Have you had a good feed ? " the 
others ask. " Yes, yes- God bless them ! " Next day he goes off on 
a similar pretended errand, and eats the rest of the butter. After 
some time they invite all their friends to a grand feast, and on dis- 
covering the butter -jar empty, the lion and the boar, exclaiming, 
" You ate it ah, you scoundrel ! " tear the jackal in pieces. With a 
different catastrophe, the Icelandic story of the Butter-Tub (in Powell 
and Magnusson's collection) closely resembles the Kaba'il fable : An 
old man and his wife set apart for the winter a tub of butter, and the 
old woman, pretending on three occasions that she is invited to a 
christening, goes secretly and eats up all the butter. For the sequel, 
see vol. i. of the present work, pp. 55, 56. 

2 In an interesting paper, " The Legend of the Oldest Animals," in 
' Y Cymrodor ' (Welsh Society's Journal), October 1882. 


is found in the story of Kilhwch and Olwen. "We 
read there how Arthur's ambassadors went successively 
in search of tidings about Mabon the son of Modron, 
to the ousel of Cilgwri, the stag of Bedynvre, the owl 
of Cwm Cawlwyd, the eagle of Gwern Abwy, and, 
finally, the salmon of Llyn Llyw, and each of them 
gave some fresh proof of its greater age than its 
predecessors, but still referred the -question to some 
animal of still more venerable antiquity than itself. 1 
Ap Gwilym, however, alludes to another version of 
the story, which, I am inclined to think, preserves 
an older form of this widespread piece of folk-lore. 
In his poem ' Yr Oed,' where he describes himself as 
waiting and waiting under the thorn for his faithless 
mistress, he says : 

A thousand persons and more liken me 

To him who dwelt in Gwern Abwy ; 

In truth I should not be an eagle at all, 

Except for my waiting for my lady three generations of men ; 

I am exactly like the stag 

In Cilgwri, for my beloved ; 

Of the same colour, gray, to my thinking, 

As my bedfellow (the owl) in Cwm Cawlwyd. 

Here we have only three animals, instead of the 
five in the ' Mabinogi ' ; and, as far as I can trace 
the story in Eastern literature, three is the usual 
number given, however the species of the animals 
themselves may vary." 

1 See Note at the end of this paper, " Sending one to an Older and 
the Oldest Person." 


It would be interesting to ascertain how the Buddhist 
legend of the oldest animals came to be transformed 
into the popular jest of the Three Travellers and the 
Loaf. The fable of the Wolf, Fox, and Camel, in 
the Persian 'Sindibad Kama,' and the Mongolian 
variant of the Wolf and the Fox in both of which 
the disputants are still animals, but with a pumpkin 
introduced in the one and a skin of fat in the other, 
as the objects of contention may be considered as 
transition forms, some version of one of which was 
doubtless known to the author of the ' Toldoth Jesu,' 
whence, through Alfonsus, it seems to have spread 
over Europe in its existing form. 


PERSON (p. 95). 

The incident of one aged individual sending an inquirer to 
another who is older occurs in many fairy tales. To cite a few 
instances : In the Albanian tale of the Jealous Sisters (No. 2 of 
Dozon), the hero, in quest of a flower from the Belle of the Earth, 
meets with a lamia, who not only refrains from eating him, but 
kindly directs him to go to her elder sister, who may tell him 
where the place is of which he is in search, and she again refers 
him to the eldest sister, from whom he obtains the wished-for 
information. In Laura Gonzenbach's Sicilian Tales, a prince 
is sent by an " Einsiedler " to his brother, who sends him to an 
older brother, and he again to one older still. In the Swedish 
tale of the Beautiful Palace East of the Sun and North of the 
Earth (Thorpe's 'Yule-Tide Stories'), the hero, in quest of the 
palace, is sent by an old woman to her old sister, who in turn 
sends her to an older sister, dwelling in a small ruinous cottage 


on a mountain. In the ' Katha Sarit Sagara' (Book v. ch. xxv.) 
Saktideva, in quest of the Golden City, is sent by a hermit, who 
had lived 800 years in the same place and had never heard of it, 
to an elder brother ; and most readers will remember a similar 
instance in the Arabian tale of Hasan of Basra. But in the tenth 
story of Natesa Sastri's ' Dravidian Nights ' (translation of the 
Tamil romance, ' Madana Kamaraja Kadai '), instead of to older 
persons, the hero, in quest of the pdrijdta flower for his betrothed, 
is sent by a devotee, who opened his eyes every watch, to another, 
who opened his eyes every second watch, and he sends him to a 
third devotee, who opened his eyes every third watch. 

In Thorns' ' Longevity of Man ' the following is quoted from 
Clarkson's 'History and Antiquities of Eichmond' (in York- 
shire) : " There had been some legal dispute in which the evi- 
dence of 'Old Jenkins,' as confessedly the oldest inhabitant, 
was required, and the agent of Mrs Wastell, one of the parties, 
went to visit the old man. Previous to Jenkins going to York 
(says Mr Clarkson), when the agent went to find out what account 
he could give of the matter in dispute, he saw an old man sitting 
at the door, to whom he told his business. The old man said he 
could remember nothing about it, but that he would find his 
father in the house, who perhaps could satisfy him. When he 
went in he saw another man sitting over the fire, bowed down 
with years, to whom he repeated his former question. With 
some difficulty he made him understand what he had said, and 
after a little while got the following answer, which surprised him 
very much : That he knew nothing about it, but that if he 
would go into the yard he would meet with his father, who 
perhaps could tell him. The agent, upon this, thought that he 
had met with a race of antediluvians. However, into the yard 
he went, and to his no small astonishment found a venerable man 
with a long beard and a broad leathern belt about him, chopping 
sticks. To this man he again told his business, and received 
such information as in the end recovered the royalty in dispute. 
The fact is," adds Mr Thorns, "that this story of Jenkins' 
son and grandson is only a Yorkshire version of the story as old 
or older than Jenkins himself, namely, of the very old man who 
was seen crying because his father had beaten him for throwing 



stones at his grandfather." Mr Thorns does not seem to have 
been aware, however, of the incident of sending an inquirer to 
older and oldest persons being both ancient and common to the 
folk-lore of most countries. In Dasent's second series of Norse 
popular tales (entitled ' Tales from the Fjeld '), a traveller comes 
to a house and asks a night's lodgings ; he is referred by son to 
father successively until he comes to the head of the house, the 
oldest of seven old men and a five-fold grandfather, who had 
shrunk to the bulk of a baby, and was literally laid on a shelf ! 
Something like this I remember having met with in an Indian 
story-book. The idea is probably a survival of some primitive 
myth, suggested by the physical and mental imbecility of ex- 
treme old age " second childhood." 



TT is probable that few besides special students of 
Chaucer are acquainted with the old metrical 
"History of Beryn," which is foisted in a unique 
manuscript of the ' Canterbury Tales.' Assuredly it 
is none of Chaucer's, 1 although it is of considerable 
importance to such as are interested in the genealogy 
of popular fictions. In the folio edition of the works 
of Chaucer, by John Urry, London, 1721, " The History 
of Beryn " is given as the Merchant's Second Tale, the 
prologue to which is " The mery adventure of the Par- 
donere and Tapstere at the Inn at Canterbury," and 
both, it is stated in a prefatory note, " were never be- 
fore printed, and are taken out of a MS. borrowed 
from the Honourable Lady Thinn, and not to be met 
with in any of the other MSS. which Mr Urry had 
perused." That unique manuscript, which is described 

1 It would seem, from a couplet at the end of the Tale, that it was 
written by a monk of Canterbury : 

Nomen Autoris presentis Cronica Rome 
Et translatoris, Filius ecclesie Thome. 


in the preface to Urry's edition of Chaucer as imper- 
fect at the beginning and end, is now in the pos- 
session of the Duke of Northumberland, and the 
" Pardoner's Adventure " and the " Tale of Beryn " 
re-edited by Dr F. J. Furnivall and Mr Walter G. Stone, 
with side-notes giving the substance of the narratives 
were published for the Chaucer Society in 1876, as 
a first fasciculus of a volume of Supplementary Canter- 
bury Tales ; and an introduction and appendix of ana- 
logues are likely to be issued shortly. The following 
is the outline of the Tale of Beryn : 

A Roman knight of great worth and wealth, named 
Faunus, had a son born to him after many years of 
wedlock, who was named Beryn. His parents in- 
dulged this only son in his every whim, the result 
being that he grew up idle and dissipated, a dicer and 
frequenter of ribald assemblages. His mother died 
when Beryn was still a youth, and some time after his 
father married again, and doted on his second wife, 
who set his heart against his spendthrift son, and 
Faunus one morning, after a colloquy with his wife, 
refused him further supplies of money. Beryn, after 
upbraiding his father for being so completely under 
the influence of his new wife, in despair went out of 
the house, and wandering without aim, came to the 
church in which his mother was buried, entered it, and 
gave vent to his grief now thoroughly repentant on 
his mother's tomb. Meanwhile his step-mother, fear- 
ing that she should be blamed by the citizens for 
causing Beryn to be disinherited, induced his father 


to search for him, and he was brought home. Faunus 
made several proposals to Beryn, but he would be 
nothing but a merchant, and ultimately his father 
purchased five ships, and having laden them with rich 
merchandise, Beryn sailed away to foreign shores. 
After a dangerous voyage, he arrives with his five ships 
all safe at a strange city, where he falls into the toils 
of the knavish inhabitants: (1) He plays at chess 
with a burgess, who makes it a condition that the 
loser shall do whatsoever the other may require of 
him ; and Beryn, having lost the game, is required to 
" drink up all the salt water that is in the sea," and 
compelled to pledge his ships for his performance of 
the task. (2) Another induces him to discharge into 
his store-houses the cargoes of his ships, lest they 
should be forfeited as well as the ships, promising to 
reload them with any kind of goods he might choose. 
(3) A blind man accuses him of having borrowed his 
eyes many years before, and failed to restore them, 
according to agreement. (4) A woman accuses him 
of deserting her, his wife, and their child. (5) Lastly, 
a knave persuades him to purchase a peculiar knife 
which he possesses, in order to present it to the judge, 
who had long desired it, by way of bespeaking his 
favour on the morrow, when all the charges against 
him are to be heard ; and then accuses Beryn in 
court of having murdered his (the knave's) father 
seven years before, when he left for Rome, the knife 
being then in his possession. On the following day 
Beryn and his accusers appear before the judge 


(" steward "), and by the cleverness of a man who was 
a native of Eome, and desired to return thither, he 
comes out of his troubles not only scatheless, but with 
considerable profit. His first pursuer is required to 
stop the fresh water from flowing into the sea, and 
then Beryn will drink all the salt water. But as 
this is impossible, the burgess is heavily fined because 
of the trouble and anxiety the accused had suffered 
through him. The second, having made away with 
the goods, is required to load the five ships with 
butterflies. The blind man is challenged to produce 
Beryn's eyes, that they should be exchanged for those 
which Beryn has at present. The woman is asked to 
accompany Beryn to Eome, but she declines fearing, 
perhaps, that she might be drowned on the way thither. 
Finally, the knave is answered that Beryn found the 
knife sticking in his own father's body, and that it 
was the knave's father who was his murderer. All, 
therefore, had to pay large sums of money to Beryn 
for having brought false accusations against him ; and 
Beryn, having thus doubled his property, returns with 
his able advocate to his ships in great joy and solace. 
Presently five damsels come with rich presents to 
Beryn from the Duke Isope: a cup of gold, a fine 
sword, a purple mantle, a cloth of gold, and a palm. 
Next day he visits Isope, by whom he is received most 
graciously, and the Duke bestows on him the hand of 
his fair daughter in marriage. 

The Tale of Beryn which is told with spirit 


throughout has evidently been taken from the first 
part l of an old French romance, of which two manu- 
scripts are known to exist, one in the National Lib- 
rary at Paris, 2 the other in the Imperial Library at 
Vienna. This romance was printed early in the 
16th century ; 3 and a copious extrait of it is found 
in ' Melanges, tire's d'une grande bibliotheque,' Paris, 
1780, tome viii. 225-277. Our English version ends, 
as we have seen, with the marriage of Beryn to the 
daughter of Duke Isope, who is called Cleopatra in 
the French romance, and it goes on to relate : That a 
chevalier named Logres, who had loved Cleopatra, and 
had pretensions to the crown of Blandie the scene of 
our Beryn's troubles and triumphs enraged that a 
foreigner should have deprived him of the one and his 
chance of the other, sent a challenge to the " Eoman 
merchant." They fight ; Berinus is victor, and Logres 
quits the field covered with shame. Esope, the em- 
peror, dies some time after, and Berinus succeeds to 
the throne of Blandie ; but the army give him up at 
length to his old rival Logres, who generously allows 
him to return to Home, with five richly laden ships. 

1 Not the second part, as Dunlop says ' History of Fiction.' 

2 This MS. is of the 15th century, Professor Gaston Paris has in- 
formed me. 

3 With the spelling modernised, the title runs thus : ' L'Histoire 
du noble Chevalier Berinus, et du vaillant et tres-chevalereux Cham- 
pion Aigres de 1'Aimant, son fils ; lequel Livre est tant solacieux qu'il 
doit etre sur tout autre nomme" le vrai Sentier d'Honneur, et 1'Ex- 
emplaire de toute Chevalerie ; nouvellement reduit de langage in- 
connu au vulgaire langage Fra^ois.' A Paris, par Jean Jannot. 
[? 1521.] 


So Berinus sails away from Blandie, with his wife 
Cleopatra, their son Aigres, and their daughter 
Eomaine. For three days all goes well, but on the 
fourth the ships are irresistibly drawn towards a huge 
rock, which the older mariners know to be called the 
Rock of Adamant, and soon the vessels are all stuck 
to it no efforts of the crews avail to free them. To 
be brief, they learn from an inscription on the rock 
that if one of their number consent to be left behind, 
and throw a ring which is there into the sea, the ships 
should be freed. They draw lots, and Aigres, the son 
of Berinus, is the allotted one. He goes upon the 
rock, and throws the ring into the sea, when instantly 
the vessels are freed and resume their voyage. Aigres 
gets off the rock after some time, by informing the 
crew of the next ship attracted to it how to free them- 
selves, and carries with him a fine horse, a sword, and 
armour which he found in a vessel that had long before 
been attracted by the fatal rock. Here follow the 
chivalric adventures of Aigres; and the rest of the 
romance comprises a version of the ancient legend of 
the Eobbery of the King's Treasury, which must form 
the subject of a separate paper. 

A story similar to that of the adventures of Beryn 
in Falsetown is found in all the Eastern derivatives 
of the Book of Sindibad, including versions derived 
directly from Eastern texts namely, the Greek (' Syn- 
tipas '), which was translated from the Syriac, and the 
old Castilian (' Libro de los Engannos,' etc.), which was 


made from an Arabic text now lost. The Arabic ver- 
sion (the ' Seven Vazirs '), which forms a member of 
the ' Elf Layla wa Layla,' or Thousand and One 
Nights, is probably not more than 400 years old, if 
not even of later date in some texts of that famous 

In the Persian metrical version (' Sindibad Nama), 
a merchant, on arriving in the city of Kashgar, is 
first victimised by a rogue who induces him to be- 
lieve that the sandal- wood he has brought for sale 
was of no value the fact being that it was worth 
its weight in gold and purchases all his stock, 
promising to give him in return a certain measure 
of " whatever else he should choose." He plays 
with a citizen at draughts, the condition being 
that the loser shall do whatever the winner should 
require ; l and being beaten, he is required to " drink 
up the waters of the sea." He is next accosted by 
a one-eyed man, who accuses him of having stolen 
his other eye. Lastly, another rogue produces for 
some reason not mentioned in the MS. a stone, and 
says to him, "Make me from this piece of marble 
a pair of trousers and a shirt." The merchant 
having acquainted the old woman with whom he 
lodged of all these entanglements, she advises him 
to disguise himself and go to such a place in the 
evening, where all the rogues of the city assembled 

1 A favourite practice in the East, especially among the Arabs, is 
to impose upon the loser of a game, instead of a pecuniary payment, 
the obligation of doing whatsoever the winner may command him. 


to recount their exploits of the day to their chief, 1 a 
blind old man, who was noted for his sharpness of 
intellect, and attend carefully to his remarks. He 
goes thither accordingly, and sits among the numerous 
cheaters unobserved. To him who had related the 
bargain for the sandal-wood the blind old man said, 
" You are a fool ; for instead of this merchant asking a 
measure of silver or gold, he may require you to give 
him a measure of male fleas, with silken housings and 
jewelled bridles, and how will you do this ? " To the 
draught-player he said, that his opponent might express 
his readiness to drink up the waters of the sea, pro- 
vided the rivers were first stopped from flowing into it. 
To the one-eyed man he said, "The merchant may 
propose that one of his eyes and your only eye be taken 
out and weighed, to prove whether they are the same, 
and in such a case you would be totally blind, while 
the other would still have one eye." And to the man 
who required a pair of trousers and a shirt to be made 
of a piece of marble, he said, that the other might ask 
him to first make an iron thread to sew them with. 
The disguised merchant, having attentively heard the 
blind old man's remarks, returned to his lodging, and 
next day, when the parties appeared before the kazi, 
he made to each of his claimants the reply which their 
chief had suggested, so that all were confounded the 

1 "Every Muslim capital," says Sir R. F. Burton, "has a Shaykh 
of Thieves, who holds regular levies, and will restore stolen goods for 
a consideration ; and this has lasted since the days of Diodorus Sicu- 
lus." Notes to his Translation of ' The Nights ' ; see also his ' Pil- 
grimage to Meccah and el-Medinah,' vol. i. p. 91. 


rogue who had cheated him out of the sandal-wood 
having to restore it, and pay the merchant several 
bags of gold hy way of compensation. 

In the Arabic version the merchant, after disposing 
of his sandal-wood, is accosted by the one-eyed man, 
and obtains a day's respite, on finding surety ; his shoe 
having been torn in the scuffle, he takes it to a cobbler, 
saying, "Eepair it, and I will give thee what will 
content thee " ; then he plays at dice with a fourth 
sharper, and losing the game, is required to drink up 
the sea, or surrender his wealth. The blind old man 
tells the cobbler that the merchant might say to him, 
" The sultan's troops have been victorious, and the 
number of his children and allies is increased art 
thou content ? " to which he dared not reply in the 
negative; and the dice-player might be required to 
hold the mouth of the sea and hand it to him. In 
the Greek, Hebrew, and old Castilian versions, the 
"stopping the rivers" is the old man's suggestion, 
and the incident of the cobbler does not occur. 

It has not, I think, been hitherto noticed that the 
story, in a somewhat varied form, is orally current in 
India whence, indeed, it first set out upon its travels 
many ages ago. The following is abridged from a 
version given in a little-known but very entertaining 
collection of Indian stories and anecdotes : 

A merchant, on his deathbed, warns his son not to 
venture into the region of the Himalyas in his trading 


journeys, since the people there were very artful 
and dishonest ; but should he neglect this warning 
and go thither, and fall into trouble, he should go to 
Gholab Sing, the chief of that place, and mention his 
(the father's) name, and he would help him out of his 
difficulties. The young man, after his father's death, 
resolves, out of curiosity, to visit the prohibited 
country, and accordingly sets off, with a large stock 
of valuable goods. Arriving there after two months' 
tedious journey, instead of firing his gun in the air 
to notify the fact (as usual), he shot at and killed 
a heron that was sitting quietly on the bank of a 
large piece of water. A washerman, engaged in 
cleansing clothes hard by, seeing this, accused him 
of having killed his father, who had been re-born 
in the form of that bird, and demanded that he 
should restore his father (the heron) to life, or pay 
him 400 rupis. Presently a man came up who was 
blind of an eye, and said to the merchant, " Your 
father (peace be to his spirit !) traded in all kinds 
of things, took a fancy to my eyes, and bought one 
of them for 600 rupis, promising to pay me on his 
next visit hither. I forego the interest due me for 
many years, but you must pay me the principal, or 
restore the eye to me." While this man and the 
merchant were disputing there came up a woman 
bearing a child in her arms, who said that she was 
a wife of the young merchant's father, and had borne 
him that child ; and that when he left her, he bade 
her borrow such sums of money as she should re- 


quire for her maintenance during his absence, which 
he should duly refund on his return: she therefore 
desired him to pay off the debts she had incurred 
during the past two years and six months, to save his 
father's credit. The young merchant, confounded by 
such strange demands, bethought himself of his 
father's advice, and desired all three claimants to 
accompany him to Gholab Sing, their chief, by whose 
decision he would be bound. To this proposal they 
willingly agreed; and when the merchant had, in a 
private audience, stated the several claims made upon 
him, the chief advised him to repel them in this wise : 
To the washerman he should say that his own father 
had been re-born as a fish, which the washerman's 
father, the heron, had swallowed : " Eestore my father 
to life, and I will then resuscitate your father." To 
the one-eyed man he should say that it was true his 
father dealt largely in eyes, but in order to find out 
which of those in his stock belonged to him, he must 
take out his remaining eye to have it weighed. 1 And 

1 Among the Kashmiri traditions regarding Akbar is the following : 
The emperor went out one night into the outskirts of the city, dis- 
guised as a fakir, and Bir Bal, his minister, meeting and recognising 
him, the two went on together, till a one-eyed man came up to them 
and said to Akbar, " You have taken out my eye. Either pay me 
1200 rupis or restore my other eye." Akbar was taken aback by such 
a demand, but Bir Bal was equal to the occasion. " Yes," said he, " it 
is quite true. We have your eye, and if you will come to-morrow we 
will return it to you." The man agreed, and left. Bir Bal sent to 
the butcher's for some sheep's eyes, and put each one separately in a 
wooden box by itself. When the man came in the morning, Bir Bal 
told him that the king had several eyes, but it was impossible to say 
which was his eye : he must therefore submit to have his other eye 


to the woman he should say that he admitted the 
truth of her statement, his father having often spoken 
to him of the circumstance, and indeed had on his 
deathbed desired him to give her one of his sandals, 
which she was to put on and then mount the funeral 
pyre. 1 The young merchant acted upon these sug- 
gestions, and having thus defeated his claimants, they 
were sent to prison loaded with chains, and he was 
afterwards permitted to trade in that place without 
further molestation. 2 

We might well suppose that the adventures of 
Beryn in Falsetown were derived from the Greek 
' Syntipas,' and that the variations in the former 
were made by the author. But the case is al- 
tered when we have before us an Indian version of 
the story which has two incidents in common with 
the Tale of Beryn, not found in any of the 'Sindi- 
bad ' versions : (1) the woman and her child ; (2) the 
charge of having murdered a man's father, which in 
the Hindu story has its representative in the washer- 
man accusing the merchant of having killed his 
father in shooting a heron. On the other hand, the 

taken out and weighed, and the man was blinded for life. See 
Knowles' 'Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs,' pp. 88, 89. 

1 When a Hindu died away from his family, a messenger was 
despatched to his house with one of his shoes to intimate his death 
and cremation ; his wives then performed satti (or voluntary death by 
burning), with his shoes in place of his body. 

2 ' The Hermit of Motee Jhurna ; also Indian Tales and Anecdotes.' 
By C. Vernieux. Calcutta: 1873. 


'Sindibad' versions have two incidents in common 
with the Tale of Beryn, neither of which is found in 
the Indian story: (1) "the waters of the sea;" (2) 
the aloes-wood swindle, for which the rogue is required 
to give a measure of " harnessed fleas," which has its 
equivalent in Beryn's being cheated out of his cargoes 
and requiring the cheater to reload his ships with 
butterflies. But the Indian version has one incident 
in common with all the others the one-eyed man : 
in Beryn he is totally blind. Thus, it appears, the 
Tale of Beryn that is to say, his adventures in False- 
town was derived neither from any known ' Sindibad' 
version nor from the only Indian version at present 
known. We must therefore conclude that a version 
having the elements of both was the source of the 
Tale of Beryn. As to the long narrative of Beryn's 
froward youth, that may have been an invention of 
the author, or adapted by him from another tale no 
unusual thing, whether in the case of written or oral 
fictions. To conclude this critical inquiry which 
may by some, perhaps, be considered as "wasted 
labour " on a trifling subject : but let that pass it is 
observable that in all the ' Sindibad ' versions the 
merchant, by the advice of another, learns from the 
remarks of the blind old shaykh of the thieves how 
to answer his opponents : in the Tale of Beryn, he is 
advised by a pretended cripple called Geoffrey an 
incident which does not appear in my brief abstract of 
the story to go and listen to what the rogues should 
say of their cases to Duke Isope, who, like the thieves' 


shaykh, is blind but very clever ; and when Beryn 
declines to do so, Geoffrey goes himself : in the Indian 
story, the advice is obtained directly from a prince, 
Gholab Singh. 

A jest similar to the reply, in the Persian version of 
our story, to the man with the piece of marble is found 
in the Talmud where many wise and witty as well as 
foolish and absurd things occur in the story of an 
Athenian who, walking about the streets of Jerusalem, 
and seeing a tailor on his shop-board busily at work, 
picked up a broken mortar and facetiously asked him 
to be good enough to put a patch upon it. " Willingly," 
replied the tailor, taking up a handful of sand and offer- 
ing it to the witling " most willingly, if you will first 
have the kindness to make me a few threads of this ma- 
terial." The " stopping of the rivers " is the reply made 
by the German rogue, Tyl Eulenspiegel, when asked to 
state the quantity of water in the sea ; and this ques- 
tion also occurs in one of Sacchetti's novels, though the 
answer is somewhat different; but in the nineteenth 
Tale of Madden's edition of the ' Gesta Eomanorum ' we 
find, to the question of how many gallons of salt water 
there be in the sea, the answer : " Let all the passages 
of fresh water be stopped, and I shall tell thee." Such 
" hard questions," or posers, are very common in the 
early popular literature of Europe. Thus, in the ballad 
of King John and the Abbot of Canterbury, the latter 


is required to answer the king " questions three," and 
failing to do so, " his head should be smitten from his 
bodie," which is similar in outline to one of Eulen- 
spiegel's exploits and to the novel of Sacchetti already 
referred to. 1 In a small tract preserved in the British 
Museum, entitled 'Demands Joyous,' are such posers 
as : " Why doth a dog turn himself about three times 
before he lieth down ? Ans. Because he knoweth not 
his bed's head from its foot." Again : " How many 
straws go to a goose's nest ? Ans. None ; because they 
be all carried." Again : " How many calves' tails would 
it take to reach the moon ? Ans. But one, if it be long 
enough." Goldsmith may have had this last jest in 
mind when, Johnson and he supping on rumps and 
kidneys one night at the Mitre Tavern, the literary 
dictator remarked to his friend, "These rumps are 
very fine things, sir;" to which Goldy replied, "Yes, 
sir, but it would take a great many of them to reach to 
the moon." " To the moon ! " echoed Johnson ; " that, 
sir, I fear, exceeds your calculation." " I think I could 
tell," answered Goldy. " Pray, then, sir, how many ? " 
Quoth Goldy at the same time probably hitching 
beyond arm's length of the irascible Doctor "Only 
one, if it were long enough." For a little, Johnson, 
saith the veracious Boswell, sate sulky, but at length 

1 The Norse story of " The Priest and his Clerk," in Dasent's ' Tales 
from the Fjeld'; "The Cook" and the "Thoughtless Abbot," in 
Crane's 'Italian Popular Tales'; and the "Three Priests and the 
Khoja," in the Turkish collection of pleasantries ascribed to Khoja 
Nasr-ed-Din Efendi, also correspond, mutatis mutandis, with our 
fine old English ballad of ' King John and the Abbot.' 



recovered his good-humour, and said, " I deserved it, 
sir." In another book of facetiae, entitled ' The Scots 
Piper's Queries, or John Falkirk's Cariches ' (i.e., Cate- 
chism) : " What time is a scolding wife at her best ? 
Ans. When she is fast asleep." " Who was the good- 
man's muckle cow's calf's mother ? A ns. The muckle 
cow herself." " What is the likest thing to a man and 
a horse ? Ans. A tailor and a mare." " What is the 
hardest dinner that ever a tailor could lay his teeth to ? 
Ans. His own goose, ever so well boiled or roasted." 
With such " hard questions " did our simple ancestors 
exercise their wits, and pleasantly pass the long winter 
evenings, in the absence of higher intellectual amuse- 
ments and of halfpenny newspapers with "piping- 
hot" tidings from the farthest ends of the earth! 



"1T7HETHEK it be true, as Butler asserts in his 
'Hudibras,' that "the pleasure is as great of 
being cheated as to cheat," there can be no doubt that 
mankind in all ages have delighted in stories of expert 
thievery. Indeed, in some Eastern countries at the 
present day theft is a regular profession, and no dis- 
grace attaches to it except perhaps upon detection. 
It often appears in folk-tales that boys and youths 
are apprenticed to the thieving craft, as in the Norse 
tale of the Master-Thief, and the Gaelic tale of the 
Shifty Lad. Even the sons of kings formerly added 
to the ordinary accomplishments of princes perfect 
skill in jugglery and theft, if we may credit the 
Indian romance which recounts the adventures of the 
princes Somasekhara and Chitrasekhara, who cleverly 
effected their entrance into the palace of Vikrama, 
king of Lilavatf, and in spite of every precaution 
plundered, unknown to them, the king, the queen, and 
the princess of their jewels, and stripped them and 
the maids of honour of their garments leaving a 


written paper stating that they would not cease their 
depredations until the king consented to give his 
daughter in marriage to one of them, and threatening, 
if he withheld his consent, to carry off the princess. 
The exploits of European sharpers in modern times 
are tame compared with those of their brethren in the 
East, especially in Egypt, which breeds the cleverest 
thieves in the world ; but all combined are " as 
nothing, and less than nothing, and vanity," in com- 
parison with the achievements of the hero of a hun- 
dred stories (he is one and the same clever youth 
under all disguises) stories which are spread through 
every country, from the shores of Argyleshire to the 
plains of Mongolia, from Ceylon to the pine -clad 
hills of Norway variants (brothers and sisters and 
cousins) of an ancient Egyptian legend which Hero- 
dotus has related (Euterpe, 121) : 

Ehampsinitus, king of Egypt, to secure his vast 
treasures, caused a strong room to be built of hewn 
stone. The architect erected the building in exact 
accordance with the king's orders, but left a stone 
loose, yet so nicely adjusted that it could not be dis- 
covered by any one who was not aware of the fact ; 
while it could be readily removed and replaced by two 
persons, or even one, if necessary. When the architect 
was on his deathbed, he acquainted his two sons of 
this secret provision he had made for their future 
maintenance, whereby they could, without fear of de- 
tection, supply themselves with gold from the royal 


treasury. The elder brother is at length caught in a 
snare set by the king's orders near his coffers, when he 
discovered that his treasure was fast growing less, and 
the younger cuts off his head and carries it home. The 
king causes the headless body to be suspended from the 
outer wall of his palace, with a guard of soldiers near. 
The mother of the dead man induced her surviving son 
to devise some plan of removing the body, and with 
this purpose he thus proceeded : Having loaded some 
asses with skins of wine, he drove them towards the 
place where the soldiers were on guard ; and as he drew 
near, he contrived to partially unloose the necks of 
several skins, thus permitting the wine to run out, upon 
which he began to make loud lamentations over the 
misfortune. The soldiers, hearing his cries, and seeing 
so much good wine running to waste, quickly ran with 
vessels to save some of it for themselves. At this the 
pretended wine-dealer seemed in a still greater rage ; 
but as they answered him in soothing terms, he affected 
to become gradually pacified, and having secured the 
wine that remained, he made them a present of a full 
skin, which they thankfully accepted, and insisted on 
his joining in their carouse. At midnight, when the 
soldiers were all dead drunk, the youth shaved the 
right side of the guards' beards, then removed his 
brother's body, and placing it on one of his beasts, 
returned home. In the sequel the king sends his 
daughter in the capacity of a courtesan, in hopes of 
her being able to discover the thief; and on the 
youth's visiting her, when she had heard from him 


an account of his exploit with his brother's body 
(she had made it the condition of her granting her 
love to such as related the most extraordinary thing 
that had happened to them), the lady attempted 
to lay hold of him, but the youth had, in expecta- 
tion of this, provided himself with the fresh hand 
of a dead man, which he put into her hand, and 
escaped. When this new exploit was reported to the 
king, he was amazed at the versatility and boldness of 
the man, and at last caused proclamation to be made 
in all the cities that he would grant a pardon and add 
to it a valuable reward if the thief would come into 
his presence. Trusting to his promise, the thief went 
before Rhampsinitus, who was much astonished, and 
gave him his daughter in marriage, as to one who sur- 
passed all men in knowledge; for, as they say, the 
Egyptians surpass all mankind, while he surpassed 
the Egyptians. A similar legend is found in Pau- 
sanias, ix. 37, relating to the treasury of Hyrieus, 
built by Trophonius and Agamedes, architects of the 
temple of Apollo at Delphi, which corresponds with 
the story in Herodotus so far as the cutting off of the 
brother's head, caught in the snare, but, according to 
Pausanias, the earth opened and received Trophonius 
and so the story ends. 

This legend seems to have been first introduced 
into European literature in the 12th century, in the 
oldest version of the romance of the ' Seven Wise 
Masters,' a work written in Latin prose, and en- 


titled 'Dolopathos; sive, de Rege et Septem Sapien- 
tibus.' After the king discovers that his treasury 
has been robbed, he takes counsel of a wise old 
man, who had formerly been himself a great robber, 
but, though now deprived of sight, often gave the 
king excellent advice. The old man suggests that 
a quantity of green grass should be taken into the 
treasury and set on fire ; then closing the gate, the 
king should walk round the building, and observe 
whether smoke escaped through any part of the 
walls. This the king does, and perceiving smoke 
issuing from between stones which had not been 
cemented, the precise place where the robbers had 
gamed entrance was at once ascertained. The 
youth's device of stealing his father's body is pecu- 
liar: The king, still acting by the old man's advice, 
causes the corpse to be guarded by twenty horsemen 
in white armour, and twenty in black. The youth 
disguises himself, one side in white and the other in 
black, so that he is mistaken as he rides past the 
two lines of horsemen by each as belonging to the 
other party, and thus reaches the body and carries 
it away. 

The story as found in one of our Early English 
versions of the 'Seven Sages' probably derived 
from the French being put into the mouth of the 
queen, whose object is solely to prejudice the king 
against his son, ends with the incident of the father's 
decapitation : 

A certain ' king's counsellor, having wasted all his 


wealth and become reduced to poverty, breaks into the 
royal treasury, with the assistance of his son, and takes 
away a great quantity of gold. The king, on discover- 
ing the robbery, placed a large vessel filled with pitch 
close to where the breach had been made in the wall, 
in order to entrap the robber when he next came there. 
The counsellor, having again fallen into poverty, went 
one night with his son to procure a fresh supply of gold, 
and on entering the treasury as before, fell up to his 
neck in the pitch. Calling to his son, and informing 
him of what had happened to him, he warned him not 
to attempt his release, for it was quite impossible ; but 
desired him to draw his sword and cut off his head 
and carry it away, so that he should not be recognised 
and his family disgraced. The son accordingly cuts 
off his father's head, takes it home, and recounts the 
whole particulars of the adventure. In the Latin 
prose version of the same work, entitled 'Historia 
Septem Sapientum Eomae,' the robber of the king's 
treasury is a knight, who had spent all his wealth at 
tourneys, and similar idle sports. After the son had 
taken home his father's head, the king is informed of 
the headless body found in his treasury, and orders 
it to be drawn at the tails of horses through the prin- 
cipal streets to the gallows, charging his soldiers to 
bring before him any persons whom they observed 
affected with excessive grief. As the body was 
drawn past the knight's house, one of his daughters 
uttered loud cries of sorrow, upon which the son 
quickly drew his knife and wounded his hand, caus- 


ing the blood to flow freely. The soldiers entered 
the house, and inquired the cause of the loud cries 
they had just heard, when the son, showing his 
wounded hand, said that his sister had been alarmed 
at seeing his blood, on which the soldiers, satisfied 
with this explanation, quitted the house. 1 

From the version in ' Dolopathos ' it is probable 
Ser Giovanni derived the story as found in his 
'Pecorone,' a work written about 1378, but not 
printed till 1578, where it is related of an architect 
named Bindo, who stole a golden vase from the 
treasury of the Doge of Venice, who adopts the plan 
of burning straw in order to discover how the thief 
had entered. The son of Bindo recovers the headless 
body, which was guarded by a party of soldiers, in 
this manner: He hires twelve porters and disguises 
them in the black habits of monks, and himself in a 
vizard, and his horse in a black cloth, and proceeding 
thus at night to where the soldiers were stationed, 
so frightened them that they made no attempt to 
resist, and reported next morning that the body had 
been carried off by demons. Finally the Doge pro- 
claims that he will give his daughter in marriage to 
the clever robber, and the son of Bindo accordingly 
reveals himself. 

1 An Armenian version of the ' Seven Wise Masters,' written at 
Ispahdn in 1687, of which a Russian translation appeared at Moscow 
in 1847, has the story in much the same terms, with the addition that 
the father's corpse was huug on a tree. 


In a Sicilian popular version, given in Pitre's collec- 
tion, the youth steals the body, after drugging the 
guards, but it is recovered; and he next borrows a 
flock of goats, sticks lighted candles in pots between 
their horns, which terrify the soldiers, who run away, 
and the youth steals the body once more. Next day 
proclamation is made, fixing a high price for meat, and 
ordering all old women to come to the palace. A 
hundred come : they are to find out who was cooking 
meat the king thinks only the thief could afford to 
buy meat at the price. The thief does buy meat. 
An old woman conies begging, and gets from his 
mother a piece of meat ; she is met by the thief, who 
suspects the trick and throws her into the well. On 
the following day, when the old women assemble at 
the palace, one is missing. The king ascertains that 
only one person had purchased meat, so he at last 
issues proclamation that the man who had done such 
wonders should have his daughter. 

A modern Greek popular version (No. 24 of Le- 
grand's collection) is, I think, singular in preserving 
the incident in the Egyptian legend of the dead man's 

The " Thief by Nature " goes, with his rascally uncle, 
to break open the king's treasury : taking a sack, some 
ropes, and two grappling-irons, he climbs on to the 
roof, then helps his uncle to ascend, removes a plate, 
and thus gains access to the treasury, and having filled 
the sacks with gold, the two rogues get home in safety. 


In this manner they rob the royal treasury on thir- 
teen different nights. At length the king, discovering 
that his store of gold was becoming rapidly less, con- 
sulted an old and expert thief who was in prison, and 
was advised by him to close all doors and other 
openings, in order to find where any light comes in, 
and thus the loose plate is discovered. The prisoner 
then directs that a cauldron of boiling pitch be placed 
immediately below the loose plate ; and next time the 
uncle and nephew visit the treasury for a further 
supply of gold, the youth smells the pitch, and will 
not go down, but the uncle goes and falls into the 
pitch; his nephew cuts off his head, and taking it 
home, tells his aunt not to betray herself by excessive 
grief. The man in prison next advises that the head- 
less body be exposed in the market-place, and men 
concealed to watch if any persons weep at the sight 
of it. The youth bids his aunt take some glasses of 
sour milk to market, and, if she must see her hus- 
band's corpse and give vent to her feelings, to let the 
glasses drop on the ground, and then sit down and cry 
ostensibly for the loss of her glasses and milk : this 
she does accordingly, and is not suspected, but the old 
thief says she ought to have been detained. He next 
counsels the king to put some gold coins under the 
dead body the confederate is sure to come for them ; 
but the youngster gets a boy to play with him at 
horses, and each time he passes the body he clutches 
some of the coins, and in the evening the soldiers in 
charge are censured for their carelessness. After this 


another expedient is adopted to detect the dead rob- 
ber's accomplice : A camel laden with precious stones 
is driven through the city, in hopes of attracting the 
thief ; but the youth goes to a cheap wine-seller, and 
procures a quantity of wine, with which he makes 
the guards drunk, then shaves off half their hair and 
beards, takes away the jewels, kills the camel, from 
which his mother obtains two pots of grease. Then 
an old woman is sent through the city to procure 
camel's grease, gets some at the old woman's house, 
and marks the door, but the young thief similarly 
marks all the doors in the city. At last the ex- 
perienced thief in prison tells the king that the dead 
robber's associate is much more clever than himself, 
and he can advise nothing further. The king offers, 
by public proclamation, the hand of his daughter in 
marriage to the man who had so cleverly escaped 
detection, and the youth comes boldly forward; but 
when the king called to his soldiers to arrest him, 
he leaps amongst them, as if trying to arrest some 
one, like the others, and thus escapes once more. In 
the sequel the king again makes public offer of his 
daughter to the clever man, and the young thief, 
providing himself with a dead man's hand, presents 
himself before the princess, and when she has heard 
his story and calls for help to arrest him, he runs 
off, leaving her holding the dead man's hand; and 
the king, seeing that he can make nothing of the 
youth with all his devices, gives him the princess in 


In the collection of Albanian Tales by M. Dozon 
(No. 13) we find a most extraordinary version: The 
youngest of three brothers joins a party of twelve 
robbers, and they all set off to rob the king. Having 
broken a hole in the stable-wall, the twelve robbers 
go inside ; but the youth remains outside to watch, and 
resolving to have no part in the robbery, but on the 
contrary, to kill them, he calls out, " Save yourselves 
you are discovered," and as they come out, one by 
one, he cuts off their heads, then sticks his knife in the 
ground, and goes away. In the morning the king is 
astonished to see the twelve dead bodies and the 
knife; and in order to discover the person who had 
thus saved him from being robbed, he causes an inn 
to be erected at cross roads, at which all travellers 
are to be lodged and fed free of charge, on condition 
of their relating all, good and bad, they had done in 
their lives. The hero, among others, comes to the 
inn, where he tells of the intended robbery of the 
royal stables, which being communicated to the king, 
he gives him his daughter in marriage. 1 

1 This seems a distorted reflection of the device of Rhampsinitus 
in exposing his daughter to public hire on the like condition. It 
reappears in a Hungarian tale, cited by Miss Busk in her ' Folk-Lore 
of Rome' (pp. 167-169) : The hero, Istvdn, comes to a castle which is 
besieged by three giants to obtain possession of the king's three 
beautiful daughters. Istva'n kills them by stratagem, takes three 
tokens of his having been there, and returns to his two brothers. 
They continue their wanderings till they come to an inn where the 
three princesses and the king their father have established themselves 
in disguise, and make all who pass that way to tell the story of their 
lives, in order to discover who it was that delivered them from the 


The story as related in the old French romance 
'L'Histoire du Chevalier Berinus' the first part of 
which, his adventures in Falsetown, is the subject of 
the preceding paper l is indebted but little to Hero- 
dotus : When Berinus arrived at Eome, he found that 
all his father's property had been seized by the 
emperor, and it was not long till the wealth he 
brought with him from Blandie was all spent, and he 
was in sore straits for the means of subsistence. And 
now a man called Silvain, whom he had taken off the 
Rock of Adamant, when his own son Aigres was left 
there in order to free the ships from its influence (see 
ante, p. 104), informed Berinus that his father was the 
architect who built the tower where the emperor kept 
his treasure, and had taken care in the course of its 
construction to make a secret entrance for his own 
use. " It is marked with a stone, which is not 
cemented like the others, but which joins itself to 
them so perfectly that one could not suspect it is 
loose. I know this entrance," he added, "and have 
been more than once into the tower before I quitted 
Rome. I will go there again on your account, and 
will restore to you, without knowledge of the emperor, 
a portion of what he has taken from you." Berinus 
hesitated a long time before acquiescing in Silvain's 

giants. They make themselves known, and the king bestows his 
daughters on them. 

1 The romance is really composed of three parts, which have very 
slight connection one with another: (1) Berinus at Falsetown ; (2) 
his son the Chevalier Aigres 1'Aimant's knightly adventures ; (3) 
Berinus at Rome : robbing the treasury of Philip. 


proposal, and scarcely had he given his consent than 
shame and remorse took firm hold of him. But with- 
out any means in the midst of Rome, even obliged to 
conceal his name, he saw Cleopatra his wife and 
Romaine his daughter, the one the offspring of a 
sovereign, the other born whilst he was himself one, 
he saw them both condemned to die of hunger ; and 
he could not endure the prospect. " Take me there," 
said he to Silvain " I agree to everything." He lodged 
in an isolated house not far from the treasury of 
Philip, to which Silvain made several visits, so that 
Berinus was enabled to live in a state of comfort, 
but he was prudent enough to have no one in the 
secret. Cleopatra and Romaine, knowing that they 
had been formerly rich, were not astonished that he 
should find in Rome some means of subsistence. They 
asked him no questions of this matter, because his 
absolute silence announced that he did not wish that 
they should do so. 

The emperor Philip, intending to give his barons 
rich presents on their departure from court after the 
Feast of Pentecost, went into his treasury, and per- 
ceiving his wealth considerably diminished, he accused 
the ten treasurers who guarded it of the robbery, and 
threw them into prison. One of them offered to the 
emperor to discover the thief, if he would keep the 
matter of the robbery a profound secret, to which 
Philip consented, and both repaired to the tower. 
The treasurer lighted a great fire in it, and closed all 
the windows and the door, and when the smoke 


issued from the sides of the loose stone they discov- 
ered how the robbery had been effected, finding it 
could be displaced and replaced easily. In order to 
capture the robber, they placed close to the stone a 
vessel filled with a glutinous composition. Silvain 
was now dead. Berinus determines to visit the trea- 
sury once more, and never return to it again. He 
goes, and is caught in the trap laid for him. Just 
then his son Aigres, surnamed L'Aimant, from his 
adventure on the Eock (who had come to Rome some 
time before), is returning from a visit to the palace, 
and passing the tower observes the aperture left by 
the removal of the stone, and is proceeding to seize 
the robber, when he hears a voice exclaiming, " Alas, I 
have lost my own honour, and have disgraced my 
family ! " " Who are you, unhappy one ? " cried Aigres. 
"Approach, my son," responded the same voice. 
" Come and save the honour of your father ! " Aigres 
entered, and found it impossible to extricate his 
wretched parent. In short, after much entreaty, 
Aigres cuts off his father's head, and, carrying it 
away, buried it in a neighbouring wood. Next day 
the headless corpse was exposed in the city, and 
guarded by forty horsemen and a great number of 
foot - soldiers. Aigres, resolved to save his father's 
corpse from such degradation, attacks the guards, and 
having routed them, carries off the body and buries 
it. In fighting, he had shouted the name of Nullie, 
the emperor's daughter, of whom he was deeply enam- 
oured. When this was made known to the emperor's 


Seven Sages, they advised that all the barons should 
be ordered to sleep in beds round the hall, with the 
Princess Nullie in the midst. This is done accord- 
ingly. During the night, when all the rest are sound 
asleep, Aigres kisses Nullie's hand. She marks his 
forehead with a black preparation, and on his speak- 
ing she recognises her lover, and tells him in a broken 
voice that she has signed his death-warrant, where- 
upon Aigres marks all the other barons on the fore- 
head. 1 In the morning the Seven Sages are perplexed ; 
but Geoffrey, the old advocate of Berinus at False- 
town, who has just returned to Eome, says that the 
man with the small thumb-mark is the culprit, even 
Aigres. Geoffrey, however, having been promised a 
boon by the emperor on his finding out the guilty 
man, demands the pardon of Aigres, who is then ban- 
ished from Eome. On the death of Philip, Aigres 
returns, becomes emperor of Eome, and re-establishes 
his mother Cleopatra as queen of Blandie. 

Under the title of "Le Voleur Avise"," M. F.-M. 
Luzel gives, in " Melusine," 1876, c. 17 ff., a Breton 
version, as related by a workman of Morlaix, in which 
are interpolated several incidents from other popular 
tales; and it is unique, inasmuch as the thief per- 
forms his exploits, not by his own skill, but by magical 
means : 

There was once a poor man who had a son named 

1 See the Note, " Marking a Culprit," at the end of the present 



Efflam, and a daughter named Henori. The father 
sent Efflam to seek his fortune in Paris ; and he 
walked and walked, always setting one foot before 
the other, till, in passing through a forest, he was 
overtaken by night, and climbed into a tree, to secure 
himself from wild beasts and to await daylight. 
Presently three robbers, laden with booty, arrived at 
the tree, and raising a stone, deposited their spoil in a 
cavern, the entrance of which it covered. Then they 
sat down under the tree to eat and drink, and to talk 
over their exploits. Efflam listened attentively to 
what they said to each other. Quoth one of the 
robbers, " I have a wonderful mantle which can carry 
me through the air wherever I wish to be." Said 
another, "And I possess a hat which renders me 
invisible, and when I put it on my head I can do 
anything I please without being seen." Then said 
the third robber, " And I have gaiters with which I 
can march as fast as the wind when I have them on 
my legs." Efflam, thinking it would be fine if he had 
these magical things, quickly devised a plan by which 
he might obtain them. Dropping down, by means of 
a long branch of the tree, into the midst of them, and 
roaring out, " Ah, robbers ! " they were seized with 
fright, believing that the devil or the gensdarmes had 
come after them, and ran away, leaving behind the 
mantle, the hat, and the gaiters. 1 Efflam took posses- 
sion of these talismans, and putting on the gaiters was 

1 This device occurs again and again in folk-tales, as we shall see in 
a subsequent paper. 


instantly in Paris, where, by the aid of his hat of in- 
visibility, he contrived to plunder several shopkeepers, 
and lived merrily on the proceeds of the stolen goods. 
It happened one day, while he was walking through 
the city, he overheard three men talking about the 
king's treasury, and lamenting that it was so well 
guarded, upon which he resolved that thick walls and 
watchful soldiers should be no obstacles to himself. 
So when night came on, Efflam went to the foot of the 
tower, and having spread his mantle on the ground 
and seated himself upon it, and putting on his magic 
hat, he said, "Mantle, do your duty, and take me 
immediately into the royal treasury;" and he was 
there in an instant, without the guards or any other 
person being aware of it. He returned in the same 
manner with his pockets filled with gold and silver. 
The next night and several nights following he went 
again to the treasury, and always with the like success. 
Having now become very wealthy, Efflam bought a 
fine palace, and sent for his father and sister to come 
to him. The day on which they were to arrive, he 
went to meet them in a fine carriage drawn by two 
horses. When he reached the outskirts of the city he 
discovered his father and sister on the road, on foot, 
and poorly clad. So he bade his coachman return on 
one of the horses to his house, and bring him a box 
which he had left on the table in his private chamber. 
Efflam then retired to a house on the roadside with 
his father and sister, and gave them rich vestments 
which he had brought with him in. the carriage, and to 


each a purse full of gold, so that the coachman should 
not recognise the poor peasants. When the coachman 
returned and told his master that he could not find 
the box, "No," replied Efflam, "I had it in the 
carriage all the time, and was not aware of it." 

One day the father asked Efflam how he had become 
rich so soon. " It is by robbing the king's treasury," 
replied he. " If you please," then said the old man, 
" I will go with you, and we two can carry away a 
great sum." To this Efflam consented, and the next 
night they both seated themselves on the mantle, 
placed their heads under the hat, and were at once 
transported inside the royal treasury, where, having 
taken much gold and silver, they returned in the same 
manner. But the king now began to perceive that his 
treasury was being robbed, at which he was greatly 
astonished, since he never confided the key to any one, 
and could see no trace of an opening having been 
made in the walls. In order to catch the robber, he 
placed traps close to the vessels containing his gold 
and silver, and on the following night the father was 
caught by one of the traps. " Cut off my head," said 
he to his son, " and carry it away, with my clothes, so 
that no one may recognise me." Efflam accordingly 
cut off his father's head, and carrying it away, buried 
it in his garden. 1 

In the morning, when the king visited his treasury, 
he was pleased to see the dead body, but on examining 

1 This is the only version, I think, in which the father directs his 
clothes to be carried off as well as his head. 


it, was astonished to find it headless. He caused 
proclamation to be made that the robber was taken at 
last, and ordered the body to be drawn through each 
quarter of the city. Four soldiers, two in front and 
two behind, accompanied the corpse, with instructions 
to observe if any one wept or lamented in the course 
of their passage through the streets. Efflam cautioned 
his sister not to weep or lament when their father's 
body was drawn past, else both he and herself should 
lose their lives. She does cry, however, and Efflam, 
drawing his poignard, wounds her in the hand. So 
when the soldiers come in and ask the cause of the 
outcry, he tells them that his sister, playing with his 
dagger, had wounded herself, and they went away 
quite satisfied. 

This stratagem of the king having failed, he caused 
the robber's body to be suspended from a hook in the 
palace-wall, and placed guards near it, persuaded that 
the parents or the friends of the robber would come 
at night to remove the corpse. When Efflam saw this, 
he disguised himself as a wine-merchant, loaded an 
ass with wine in which he had put a narcotic, and, 
accompanied by his sister, came to the place where his 
father's body was exposed. He artfully tumbled one 
of the casks off the ass, and the soldiers coming to 
assist him, he gave it to them, still half-full, for their 
trouble, and drinking the drugged wine they soon fell 
asleep. Then Efflam takes the body down, and going 
to an abbey in his assumed capacity of wine-merchant, 
he there obtains lodging for the night. The abbot and 


all the monks drink freely of Efflam's wine, and when 
they were sound asleep, Efflam and his sister buried 
their father's body in consecrated ground. He then 
strips the garments off the sleeping monks, and does 
likewise with the soldiers, clothing the monks in the 
soldiers' dresses and the soldiers in the robes of the 

"This is certainly a very clever robber," said the 
king, when he heard of this exploit ; " but nevertheless 
I shall yet find him out." Then he published that he 
would expose in a public place a beautiful white kid, 
which should be the property of him who should steal 
it away. The king himself sat in his balcony, with 
his queen and courtiers, and soldiers guarded the white 
kid. Efflam put on his magic hat, and stole the kid 
without being seen by any one. The king now 
thought the robber must be a great magician. Efflam 
took the kid to his house, and gave it to his sister to 
cook, charging her not to bestow any of it in charity 
on a mendicant or any other person. " We shall eat 
the kid between our two selves alone," said he. The 
king employed a blind man to go through the city 
begging, and should he get flesh of a kid at any house, 
he must mark the door with chalk. The beggar gets 
some of the kid's flesh from Efflam's sister, and marks 
the door. The king then despatched his guards to 
arrest all that were in the house ; but Efflam having 
observed the mark on his door, questioned his sister, 
and learning of the blind beggar's visit, goes at once 
and marks all the doors in the street, thus foiling the 


soldiers. " What a man this is, to be sure ! " said the 
king. He next exposes his royal crown, which Efflam 
steals by the aid of his invisible hat. And now the 
king reflected that it would be wise for him to 
attach the clever man to his own interests, so he ex- 
posed his daughter in a public place, and proclaimed 
that whoever should take her away, in spite of his 
guards, should marry her. Efflam's magic hat enabled 
him to carry off the princess, after which he took her 
to the king's palace, and confessed that he was the son 
of the treasury thief. The marriage of Efflam and the 
princess was celebrated with great pomp, and the old 
king at the same time made Efflam's sister He'nori his 

A Gaelic variant is found in the story of the Shifty 
Lad, in Campbell's ' Popular Tales of the West High- 
lands ' : The shifty lad remarks to his master the wright, 
that he might get plenty from the king's storehouse, 
which was near at hand, if only he would break into 
it. The two eventually rob it together. But the 
king's people missed the butter and cheese and the 
other things that had been taken out of the storehouse, 
and they told the king how it had happened. The 
king took the advice of the Seanagal about the best 
way of catching the thieves, and the counsel that he 
gave them was, that they should set a hogshead of soft 
pitch under the hole where they were coming in. This 
was done, and the next day the shifty lad and his 
master went to break into the king's storehouse. The 


consequence was that the wright was caught in the 
pitch. Thereupon the lad cut off his head, which he 
carried home and buried in the garden. When the 
king's people came into the storehouse, they found a 
body without a head, and they could not make out 
whose it was. By the advice of the Seanagal, the king 
had the trunk carried about from town to town by 
soldiers on the points of spears. They were directed 
to observe if any one cried out on seeing it. When 
they were going past the house of the wright, the 
wright's wife made a tortured scream, and swift the 
shifty lad cut himself with an adze, and he kept saying 
to the wright's wife, " It is not as bad as thou thinkest." 
He then told the soldiers that she was afraid of blood, 
and therefore the soldiers supposed that he was the 
wright and she his wife. The king had the body hung 
up in an open place, and set soldiers to watch if any 
person should attempt to take it away, or show pity or 
grief for it. The shifty lad drives a horse past with a 
keg of whisky on each side, and pretends to be hiding 
it from the soldiers. They pursue him, capture the 
whisky, get dead drunk, and the shifty lad carries off 
and buries the wright's body. The king now lets loose 
a pig to dig up the body. The soldiers follow the pig, 
but the wright's widow entertains them. Meanwhile 
the shifty lad kills the pig and buries it. The soldiers 
are then ordered to live at free quarters among the 
people, and wherever they get pig's flesh, unless the 
people could explain how they came by it, to make a 
report to the king. But the shifty lad kills the soldiers 


who visit the widow, and persuades the people to kill 
all the others in their sleep. The Seanagal next 
advises the king to give a feast to all the people. 
Whoever dared to dance with the king's daughter would 
be the culprit. The shifty lad asks her to dance ; she 
makes a black mark on him, but he puts a similar 
black mark on twenty others. The king now proclaims 
that if the author of these clever tricks will reveal 
himself, he shall marry his daughter. All the men 
with marks on them contend for the honour. It is 
agreed that to whomsoever a child shall give an apple, 
the king is to give his daughter. The shifty lad goes 
into the room where they are all assembled, with a 
shaving and a drone, and the child gives him the apple. 
He marries the princess, but is killed by accident. 

Dr Eeinhold Kohler, in his review of Campbell's 
Gaelic Tales in ' Orient und Occident,' bd. ii., cites 
a considerable number of versions, mostly German, 
which present no very important variations from those 
given above. Thus in an old Dutch poem entitled 
' Der Dieb von Brugge ' (the Thief of Bruges), we are 
told that two great thieves, of Paris and Bruges, rob 
the king of France's treasury. By the advice of an 
aged knight the opening made by them is discovered, 
as in ' Dolopathos ' and other versions, by means of a 
fire of straw, and a kettle of pitch is set under it. 
The Paris thief falls into it, and has his head cut off 
by the thief of Bruges. When the corpse is dragged 
round, and the wife of the deceased breaks into lamen- 


tation, the thief of Bruges hacks his hand, and on the 
servants of the king informing him and the knight 
of this, the latter is convinced that that must be the 
culprit, and sends the servants back again to that 
house, but they find it empty. Now the king, by the 
advice of the knight, has the corpse hung on the 
gallows and watched by twelve warders. The thief 
loads a cart with provisions, a cask of wine drugged, 
and a dozen monks' cowls, and drives at night to the 
gallows. The warders take his meat and drink and 
fall asleep, whereupon he puts on them the cowls and 
steals away the body. After this follows the incident 
of the princess sleeping in a general room, her marking 
the thief, and his marking all the others in the room, 
and the marriage of the princess and the thief. 

In a Tyrolese variant (Zingerle's ' Kinder und Haus- 
marchen aus Siiddeutschland,' p. 300), two thieves, of 
Prussia and Poland, rob the treasury of a lord, by 
digging a subterranean passage. As in ' Dolopathos/ 
a blind old thief is the lord's mentor, and suggests the 
placing of an iron trap on the hole. The Prussian 
thief is caught in it, and his head is cut off by his 
companion, who recovers the body from the gallows 
in the same manner as did the Bruges thief. After 
this a stag with gilded horns is driven through the 
streets : the thief contrives to steal it. A beggar is 
sent about and gets venison-broth at the thief's house, 
and marks the door ; the thief on discovering this rubs 
it out, and marks the lord's house. And now the lord 


offers a reward to the person who has performed these 
tricks, upon which the thief declares himself. 

In Denmark (Etlar's 'Eventyr og Eolkesagen fra 
Jylland,' p. 165) the tale is told of Klaus, a school- 
master, who must really have lived in the 14th 
century, when Count Geert governed Jutland. He 
broke into the count's treasury. The mason who had 
built the treasury discovers through the issuing smoke 
of a straw-fire the place through which Klaus broke 
in. A tar barrel is set under the place, and at the 
next entry Klaus' son falls into it. Klaus cuts off his 
head. Next day the body is dragged through the 
streets, and Klaus' wife would have betrayed the 
matter by her cries had not Klaus quickly cut her 
hand with the knife with which she had just been 
cutting bread. The tale then runs into another which 
has no special connection with it. 1 

A Eussian version is cited by M. Leger, in 
'Melusine,' 1878, from a paper by Professor Vessel- 
ovsky, of the University of St Petersburg, in the 
' Eevue Eusse,' 1877. The robber is called Chibarca. 

1 It is nothing unusual to find popular tales, especially oral versions, 
comprising incidents which properly belong to other tales, as in the 
Breton version of our story which begins with an adventure of the 
Hat of Fortunatus class of stories. And in this Danish version the 
process is reversed ; with the story of the Treasury is fused a quite 
different one. So far as it goes, it seems to have been orally recited 
by one who had a confused recollection of the story : instead of the 
mason who built the treasury being the thief, he is the detective ; 
and it is the thief's son, not himself, who falls into the trap ! 


After having drugged the guards he steals his uncle's 
body. The king sets precious stones in the horns of 
an ox, which he causes to be led through the streets of 
Moscow, directing his soldiers to arrest whoever should 
regard it with astonishment (the king's idea being, of 
course, that the thief would thus betray himself). 
Chibarca puts some fine birds in a cage, which he 
offers for sale as rare foreign birds. The soldiers 
insist upon seeing them ; he refuses ; they break open 
the cage, and the birds fly away. While they are 
pursuing the birds, Chibarca leads off the ox ; prepares 
the flesh at home; kills an old beggar-woman who 
comes to his house (presumably sent to get some of 
the flesh); takes her body during the night to the 
palace gates, and placing the horns (without the gems, 
we may suppose) on her breast, leaves it there. In 
the morning the guards report that an old woman who 
had brought the horns had been found dead near the 
palace. The next stratagem of the king is to supply 
wine and beer ad libitum at the taverns, in front of 
which silver is scattered abundantly, and his soldiers 
are to arrest any one who should stoop to pick up the 
money. But Chibarca puts adhesive matter on the 
soles of his boots, to which as he walks along the 
pieces of money stick, after which he goes into a 
tavern and gets drunk. The soldiers, to identify him, 
shave off half his beard. Chibarca, on waking, does 
likewise to all in the tavern while they in their turn 
are asleep. 


Among the Kabail of Northern Africa a rather 
curious version is current : An expert thief dies, leav- 
ing two sons, who prove themselves true " chips of the 
old block." They seek out their father's old comrade 
in thieving, who had " retired from business," but con- 
sents to accompany them in their adventures. They 
come upon a hawk's nest, and the old man shows his 
dexterity by taking away the sleeping bird without 
waking it, and putting it into his sack an incident 
which resembles the exploit of one of the Four Clever 
Brothers in stealing the eggs from beneath a sitting- 
bird, in the German story : see vol. i. p. 277. The elder 
brother contrives to steal the still sleeping bird from 
the old man without his knowledge, and the younger 
in his turn performs the same exploit with his brother. 
They resolve to rob the king's house ; and scaling the 
wall, one of the youths breaks through the roof and 
" conveys " from the house a quantity of valuables. 
The king misses his property, consults an old man, 
who advises him as in the ' Dolopathos ' version to 
discover the place by which the thieves had gained 
entrance by burning faggots and observing whence the 
smoke issued. This being successful, he fixes a trap ; 
one of the youths is caught by it on their next visit 
(their father's comrade is now dead) ; his brother cuts 
off his head and takes it home. The king finds the 
headless body, and consults his mentor again to be 
brief, he does nothing in the case without his advice. 
The body, with nails stuck into it, is publicly exposed ; 
and the youth bids his mother take a vessel of oil, on 


going to view the body, and spill it before beginning 
to cry, which she does accordingly. When the king 
observes her crying, he asks the reason ; she points to 
her spilt oil, and the king, pitying her case, gives her 
gold and tells her to go home. At night the youth 
disguises himself; mixes among the soldiers guarding 
the body; they take him for the angel of death, 
Azrael, and flee in dismay, when he carries the body 
away. Next day the king scatters gold on the road, 
expecting the thief would come to pick it up ; but 
the clever youth hires some camels, smears their 
feet with a sticky substance, and drives them past the 
place, so the gold pieces stuck to their feet, and once 
more the craft of the old expert was baffled. Then a 
gazelle is let loose, and runs into the youth's house 
unobserved by the watchers. The king offers a large 
sum for gazelle's flesh, and an old woman goes through 
the town in search of some, and procures a small 
quantity from the youth's mother ; but just as she is 
quitting the house in secret triumph, the youth him- 
self comes up, and learning from her that she had just 
got some gazelle's flesh, " which was good for a fever," 
he invites her to return and he would give her some 
more. The busybody re-entered the house, and the 
youth at once slew her. Next the king gives a gen- 
eral feast, and, as his mentor told him, the man who 
selected certain dishes would be the thief. The youth 
goes, selects the dishes, and is immediately pounced 
upon by a soldier, who cuts off half his moustache ; but 
he contrives to do likewise to the other guests, and 


once more escapes. After this the king proclaims 
that if the clever man would declare himself, he should 
marry his daughter and have the kingdom the king 
undertaking to act as his prime minister. The youth 
now goes boldly before the king, who faithfully imple- 
ments his promises. 1 

Turning to the Far East, we find an almost unique 
form of the story current in Mongolia, in which, 
however, the fundamental outline of the original is 
still traceable: 

A simple-minded khan, had among his subjects a 
man renowned for the acuteness of his intellect. He 
sent for him one day to try whether his name of 
" Bright Intellect " (Gege*u Uchatu) became him : 
" To this end let us see if thou hast the wit to steal 
the khan's talisman, defying the jealous care of the 
khan with all his guards. If thou succeedest, I will 
recompense thee with presents, making glad thy heart ; 
but if not, I will pronounce thee unworthily named, 
and in consequence will lay waste thy dwelling, and 
put out both thine eyes." Now the khan bound the 
talisman to the marble pillar of his bed-chamber, 
against which he lay, leaving the door open, the bet- 
ter to hear the approach of the thief, and the palace 
was surrounded by a strong guard of soldiers. Bright 
Intellect takes store of rice and brandy, and after 
chatting freely with the guards, gives them abundance 

1 ' Recueil de Contes populaires de la Kabylie du Djurdjura,' re- 
cueillis et traduits par J. Riviere. Paris, 1882. 


and goes away. An hour later he returns, and find- 
ing the guards before the gate fast asleep on their 
horses, sets them astride a ruined wall and carries 
off the horses. 1 He then goes into the kitchen, where 
the cooks are about to light the fire : he draws over 
the head of one a cap woven of grass ; into the sleeve 
of another he puts three stones. After this he pro- 
ceeds to the khan's chamber, and draws over his 
head and face a dried bladder, hard as a stone ; and 
then, having tied the guards together by their hair, 
he takes down the talisman from the pillar to which 
it was bound and makes off with it. The khan calls 
out, " Hey ! a thief has been here !" But the guards 
can't move, and their exclamations of " Don't pull 
my hair," one to another, drowned the khan's cry 
of " Stop the thief ! " " Hey ! " roars the khan, " bring 
me a light. Not only is my talisman stolen, but my 
head is enclosed in a wall of stone ! " One of the cooks, 
in a hurry, begins to blow the fire his cap blazes 
up and burns his hair off; the other, trying to put 
out the fire, the stones fall from his sleeve and hit 
him on the head too much engrossed with his own 
concerns to go after the thief. The khan, out of 
breath with his shouting, now calls to the outer 
guards, who should have been on horseback at the 
gates. Waking up at his voice, they begin spurring 
at the old wall ; and thus Bright Intellect makes 

1 This absurd incident reappears in Berni's ' Orlando Innamorato ' ; 
and in ' Don Quixote ' by a similar device Sancho's ass Dapple is 
stolen from him. 


good his escape. Next day he presents himself before 
the khan, who is seated on his throne full of wrath. 
" Be not angry," says the clever man ; " here is your 
talisman. I only took it according to the word of 
the khan." Quoth the khan, " I will not take back 
the talisman. But for drawing the stone-like bladder 
on my face last night, you shall have your head cut 
off." Hearing this, Bright Intellect, thinking to him- 
self, " This is not just," dashed the talisman against 
a stone, and lo ! blood poured out of the khan's nose, 
and he died. 1 

The Tibetan story of the Clever Thief (which was 
derived from India) bears a closer resemblance to the 
legend of Herodotus: An orphan and his uncle, a 
weaver, betook themselves to housebreaking. Once, 
when they had made a hole into a house and the 
weaver was going to pass his head through the open- 
ing, the youth said, " Uncle, although you are a thief, 
yet you do not understand your business. The legs 
should be put in first, not the head. For if the head 
should be cut off, its owner would be recognised, and 
his whole family plunged into ruin. Therefore put 
your feet first." 2 When the weaver had done so, at- 

1 The khdn proved himself an arrant noodle by refusing to take 
back his talisman, on the preservation of which his life depended. In 
another of the Tales of Siddhi Khur a similar life-charm figures 
prominently ; and these may be added to those I have mentioned in 
the Note on Life depending on an extraneous object. See vol. i. pp. 

2 It is not only customary at the present day in India and other 
Asiatic countries for thieves to gain access to a house by digging 



tention was called to the fact, and a cry was raised of 
" Thieves ! thieves ! " At that cry a great number of 
people assembled, who seized the weaver by his legs 
and began to pull him in. The youth all by himself 
could not succeed in pulling him out, but he cut off 
the weaver's head, and got away with it. The king 
hears of this, and orders the trunk to be exposed at 
the crossing of the main street, and sets a party of 
soldiers to guard it. The youth assumes the appear- 
ance of a madman, goes up to the headless body and 
embraces it, unmolested by the guards. He then 
disguises himself as a carter, and drives a cart laden 
with wood past the body, where he contrives to up- 
set it, and having unyoked the bullock from the cart, 
he set the wood and the cart on fire and went away ; 
so the body of his uncle was consumed. Next he went 
disguised as a Brahman from house to house collecting 
food; made five oblation cakes and left them at the 
place where he had burned the body. Then having 
assumed the appearance of a Kapalika (skull-carrying 
Siva worshipper), he went back to the place, smeared 

through the clay walls and beneath the floor, but it was their modus 
operandi in the time of the patriarch Job, who says (chap. xxiv. 16), 
"In the dark days they dig through houses." As an illustration of 
this practice, the following amusing Chinese anecdote may be cited : 
A literary man, while reading during the night, perceived that a thief 
was digging under the wall of his house. He happened to have before 
the fire a teapot full of boiling water. He took it, put it beside the 
wall, and awaited the thief. The opening made, the thief first put in 
his feet ; the literary man caught them and watered them well with 
the scalding contents of his teapot. The thief uttered a piercing cry, 
and asked pardon. But he answered him in a grave tone, " Wait till 
I have emptied the teapot." 


his body with ashes, filled a skull with the bones and 
ashes of his uncle and flung it into the Ganges. Now 
the king had a garden at a spot where the Ganges 
formed a bay, and he set men in it to watch its shores, 
and his daughter also, who was to cry out should 
any one touch her, and the watchmen were to hasten 
to the spot as soon as they heard her voice calling 
for help. The thief went thither with an empty 
pitcher and began to draw water, when the watch- 
men struck him and broke the pitcher ; the like 
happens to him a second time, and the watchmen- 
conclude he is not a thief but a water-carrier, and 
take no more notice of him. After this he covered 
his head with a pot, swam down the river, and came 
ashore. He went up to the king's daughter and 
threatened her that if she called out he would in- 
stantly kill her. The consequence of this meeting 
was that the princess had a son. The thief would 
not but be present at his son's birth-feast, so he goes 
to the palace as a courtier, and tells the king's ser- 
vants to plunder the merchant's quarter by order 
of the king which they do accordingly, supposing 
it to be in honour of the birth of the king's grandson, 
and there was a great outcry. Then the king orders 
public proclamation to be made that all men in the 
kingdom assemble within an enclosure he had caused 
to be formed, under pain of death. All assemble, and 
the king gives his grandson a wreath of flowers which 
he is to present to the man who is his father, and 
watchmen are instructed to lay hands on him when 


thus discovered. "As the boy walked with the 
wreath through the assembled crowds and closely 
observed them, he caught sight of the thief, and in 
accordance with the incomprehensible sequence of 
human affairs, handed him the wreath." The watch- 
men at once seized the thief, and brought him before 
the king, who gave his daughter to him as his wife, 
and half of the kingdom. 1 

Several of the incidents in the Gaelic, Breton, 
Sicilian, Kabail, and Kussian versions reappear in 
the following Bengali popular tale, which also has 
a close affinity with the Norse tale of the Master- 
Thief, and other European stories of the same class : 

There was a past master in thievery who had a son 
that bade fair to rival himself, and in order to test 
the lad's skill he told him to steal the queen's gold 
chain and bring it to him. The youth contrives, by a 
series of clever stratagems, to pass unnoticed through 
four doors, each of which was guarded by a number 
of soldiers, and enter the royal bed-chamber, where a 
maid-servant was drowsily reciting a story, and the 
king and queen were apparently asleep. He went 
stealthily behind the girl and seated himself. The 
queen was lying down on a richly furnished bed of 
gold beside the king. The massive chain of gold 
round the neck of the queen was gleaming in the 

1 'Tibetan Tales, derived from Indian Sources.' Translated from 
the Tibetan of the ' Kah-Gyur,' by F. Anton von Schiefner. Done 
into English from the German by W. R. S. Ralston, M.A. 


candle-light. The thief quietly listened to the story 
of the drowsy girl, who was becoming more and more 
sleepy. She stopped for a second, nodded her head, 
and again resumed her story ; it was evident she was 
under the influence of sleep. In a moment the thief 
cut off the head of the girl with his sword, and then 
himself went on reciting for some minutes the story 
she had been telling. The king and queen were un- 
conscious of any change of the story-teller, for they 
were both sound asleep. He stripped off the girl's 
clothes, put them on himself, tied his own clothes in a 
bundle, and, walking softly, very gently took off the 
chain from the queen's neck. He then went through 
the rooms down -stairs, ordered the inner guard to 
open the door, as ' she ' was obliged to go out of the 
palace on urgent business. The guards, seeing it was 
the queen's maid-servant, readily allowed her to go 
out. In the same manner he got through the other 
doors, and at last out into the street. When he put 
into his father's hand the gold chain of the queen, 
the old thief's joy knew no bounds. " Well done, my 
son," said he ; " you are not only as clever as your 
father, but you have beaten me hollow. The gods 
give you long life, my son!" 

Great was the astonishment of the king and the 
queen to discover in the morning that the gold chain 
of the queen had been stolen and the poor maid-servant 
murdered. The king learned from his guards that a 
person calling herself the queen's maid-servant had 
gone out of the palace some hours before daybreak. 


All sorts of inquiries were made, but in vain. At last 
the king ordered a camel to be brought to him. On 
the back of the animal he caused to be placed two large 
bags filled with gold mohurs. The man taking charge 
of the bags upon the camel was ordered to go through 
every part of the city making this challenge : " As the 
thief was daring enough to steal a gold chain from the 
neck of the queen, let him further show his daring by 
stealing the gold mohurs from the back of this camel." 
Two days and nights the camel paraded through the 
city, but nothing happened. On the third night, as 
the camel-driver was going his rounds, he was accosted 
by a religious mendicant (sannyasi), who sat on a 
tiger's skin before a fire, and near him was a huge 
pair of tongs. This individual was none other than 
the thief in disguise. He said to the camel-driver, 
" Brother, why are you going through the city in this 
manner ? Who is there so daring as to steal from the 
back of the king's camel ? Come down, friend, and 
smoke with me." The camel-driver alighted, tied the 
camel to a tree, and began smoking. The thief not 
only supplied him with tobacco, but also with ganja 
and other narcotics, so that in a short time he became 
quite intoxicated, and fell asleep. Then the young 
thief led away the camel with the treasure on its back 
in the dead of night, through narrow lanes and by- 
paths, to his own house. That very night the camel 
was killed, and its carcase buried in deep pits in the 
earth. And the thing was so managed that no one 
could discover any trace of it. 


Next morning, when the king heard that the camel- 
driver was lying drunk in the street, and that the 
camel had been stolen, together with the treasure, he 
was almost beside himself with rage. Proclamation 
was made in the city, that whoever caught the thief 
should get a reward of a lakh of rupees. The son of 
another thief now came forward and said he would 
apprehend the thief. In the evening of the following 
day he disguised himself as a woman, and coming to 
that part of the town where the young thief lived, 
began to weep very much, and went from door to 
door, saying, " Oh sirs, can any of you give me a bit of 
camel's flesh ? For my son is dying, and the doctors 
say nothing but eating camel's flesh can save his life." 
At last he came to the house of the young thief, who 
happened to be out, and begged of his wife to tell him 
where he could get some camel's flesh in order to save 
his son's life. The woman, saying, " Wait, and I will 
try to get you some," went secretly to the spot where 
the carcase of the camel was buried, cut off a piece, 
and gave it to the pretended mother. He then went 
and told the king that he had traced the thief, and 
would be ready to deliver him up at night if the king 
would send some constables with him. At night the 
old thief and his son were captured, the body of the 
camel was disinterred, and all the treasure in the 
house seized. Next morning the king sat in judg- 
ment. The son of the old thief confessed that he had 
stolen the queen's gold chain, killed the girl, and 
taken away the camel ; but he added that the person 


who had detected him and his father were also thieves 
and murderers, of which he gave proofs. As the king 
had promised to give a lakh of rupees to the person 
who discovered the camel-thief, he placed that sum 
before the youth. But soon after he ordered four pits 
to be dug in the earth, in which were buried alive, 
with all sorts of thistles and thorns, the two young 
thieves and their fathers. 1 

The first part of the foregoing Bengali story closely 
resembles a tale in the ' Bahar-i Danush,' which may 
be termed an Indo-Persian version. A king possesses 
a great golden fish encrusted with the most precious 
jewels, and this coming to the knowledge of a bold and 
expert thief, he determines to steal it, and one night 
he contrives to escape the vigilance of the royal 
guards who surrounded the palace, and, by means of 
a rope and a hook, climbs to the parapet. Entering 
the chamber of the king, he found him asleep. A 
lamp burned on the floor, and the fish lay under his 
pillow. A beautiful slave-girl was rubbing the king's 
feet with her hand. 2 The thief, advancing lightly, 

1 Abridged from " Adventures of Two Thieves and their Sons," in 
Rev. Lai Behari Day's 'Folk-Tales of Bengal,' pp. 174-181. 

2 " The Arabs," says Lane and, he might have- added, Persians 
and Indians " are very fond of having their feet, and especially the 
soles, slowly rubbed with the hand ; and this operation, which is one 
of the services commonly required of a wife or a female slave, is a 
usual mode of waking a person, as it is also of lulling a person to 
sleep." Thus in the story of Maaroof (Lane's ' Arabian Nights,' vol. 
iii. p. 271), " the damsel then proceeded to rub and press gently the 
soles of his feet till sleep overcame him." Sometimes young boys are 


concealed himself behind a curtain till sleep over- 
powered the girl, when he removed the veil from her 
head, and covering himself with it, began to perform 
her office on the king's feet (lest he should awake 
upon the sudden cessation of the rubbing) ; and when 
the king happened to turn himself on his side, he 
drew the fish from under his pillow, and quitting the 
palace in the same manner as he had entered, escaped 
unobserved by the drowsy guards. Eeflecting that the 
king would cause a thorough search to be made for 
the golden fish, and that the city gates would be kept 
carefully closed, he devised a plan for effectually con- 
cealing it till the search was abandoned. Wrapping 
the fish with the veil which he had taken from the 
sleeping slave-girl in the form of a shroud over a dead 
infant, and covering it with wreaths of white flowers 
to which he had helped himself from a neighbouring 
garden, the thief proceeded like one afflicted by sore 
calamity to the city gates. Telling the guards that 
his infant having died of an infectious disease, he 
wished to bury it at once, he prevailed upon them to 
let him go out of the city. Another thief, who had 
heard his pretended complaints as he went past his 
house, and readily suspected the true object, resolving 
to watch his. movements, presently went up to the 
guards and begged them to open the gates for him 

employed in this office. Thus in the story of Abu Tema'm (Persian 
Romance of BakhtyaV) we read : " When it was night the boys were 
engaged as usual in their office of rubbing the king's feet ; and when 
they perceived his eyes to be closed," and so on. 


also, in order that he should accompany his bereaved 
brother, and they did so. 

The first thief went directly to the place of execu- 
tion, where he saw three robbers impaled upon stakes, 
and a fourth stake vacant, close by. From this last, 
having counted a few paces, he buried the fish in the 
ground, and taking a stone clotted with blood from 
beneath one of the pales, placed it as a talisman upon 
his treasure, that he might readily know the spot. 
The thief who had followed, while the first was em- 
ployed in digging the hole and burying the fish, 
climbed up the vacant stake and seated himself upon 
it. The first thief, when he had finished his business, 
by way of making sure, again came to the stakes, 
where he now saw also a man upon the fourth. 
Astonished at this, he thought at first that his eye- 
sight must have deceived him, but on reflection 
becoming alarmed, he " exercised his wits to obtain 
certainty and cut the knot of such a mystery. First 
he felt the breast and temples of each criminal, that 
he might distinguish if they breathed, and find out 
the living from the dead. But they proved alike to 
his feeling, without the least difference. Overcome 
with surprise, he considered a while ; then advancing 
to the suspicious stake, and holding for a full quarter 
of an hour the thief's nose, tried his breath. But the 
artful rogue so held his breath that it would have 
been impossible even for the finger of Afflatiin (Plato) 
to perceive the motion of his veins. The first thief, 
after he had used all this trial and caution, according 


to the axiom, that the sword is the last resource, 
drawing a short sabre, struck it with all his force at 
the cheek of the second, who shrank not a hair's 
breadth or moved the least, though he received a 
severe wound. The first thief, now dismissing suspi- 
cion from his mind, became eased of apprehension, 
and, self-secure from mischief, went his way. Then 
the second thief descended from the stake, and going 
to the spot where the golden fish was buried, dug it 
up, and having deposited it in another place, bound 
up his wound and returned home." Next day it was 
proclaimed through the city : " A thief last night stole 
the king's fish set with jewels. Whosoever will re- 
cover it shall be distinguished by the royal favour, 
and may take the phoenix of riches in the snare of 
attainment." The first thief, having already discovered 
the trick that had been played upon him by some 
equally clever thief, went to the palace, and on condi- 
tion of pardon, told everything, adding that the wound 
which he had inflicted on the face of the man on the 
stake would be the means of his detection. The king 
commanded the chief of police to afford him every as- 
sistance, and he set out to examine all the streets, and 
whenever he saw a surgeon visiting patients he in- 
sisted upon accompanying him in his rounds. At 
length he followed the right person into the house of 
the thief, whose wound was fast healing, and caused 
him to be brought before the king, who had him 
instantly executed. 1 

1 Scott's translation of the ' Bahsir-i Ddnush,' vol. ii. pp. 225-248. 


A different form of the legend is found in the 
' Katha Sarit Sagara ' : Two thieves, Ghata and Kar- 
para, one night break into the king's palace to plunder 
his treasure-chamber ; and while Ghata watches with- 
out, the other enters the inner apartments, where he 
is seen by the king's daughter, who falls in love with 
him. She bestows on him much wealth in jewels and 
gold, which he passes out to his companion, and re- 
turns to the princess, where he is surprised by the 
guards, and by the king's order led off to execution. 
On the way, Ghata, who was alarmed at his friend's 
absence, and had returned to look for him, sees him 
led to the gibbet. Karpara, by secret signs, com- 
mends the princess to his care, and he, in like man- 
ner, answers that he should effect her rescue. Ac- 
cordingly at night Ghata enters the palace, and re- 
leasing the princess from the fetters with which she 
was bound, carries her off. When the, king heard of 
this, he concluded that it must have been the work of 
some accomplice of his daughter's paramour. So he 
set a party of soldiers to watch the body of Karpara, 
with orders to arrest any one that came thither lament- 
ing, in order to burn the corpse and perform other 
rites. Ghata, as the king had anticipated, resolved 
to obtain the body of his friend, and so, disguising 
himself as a drunken villager, with one of his servants 
dressed as a bride, and another carrying a pot of sweet- 
meats, in which the narcotic juice of the dhatura had 
been infused, he came reeling along past the guards, 
entered into familiar conversation with them, and 


invited them to partake of his sweetmeats, of which 
they all ate, and were speedily stupefied. He then 
took the body of Karpara and burnt it. When the 
king was informed of this new exploit, he placed other 
guards to watch that no one carried away the ashes ; 
but Ghata by another device contrived this also, and 
the king at length caused it to be proclaimed that he 
would give his daughter and his kingdom to the man 
who had performed these clever deeds. Ghata is per- 
suaded, however, by the princess that no confidence 
is to be placed in the king's word, and he departs 
with her and a religious mendicant, by both of whom 
he is afterwards murdered. 

An interesting variant is current in Ceylon: A 
father and son are both very expert thieves. The son 
proposes to his father that they should steal the king's 
jewel-box, which was always kept, for safety, at the 
foot of his bed. There was a tunnel leading to the 
royal palace from a certain part of the town. It was 
only large enough for a man of ordinary size to creep 
through : when, by whom, and for what purpose this 
tunnel had been constructed, were facts quite unknown. 
At dead of night the father and son got into the tunnel, 
the former leading the way. Having entered the 
palace, the father's first care was to eat as much as 
his stomach could contain, after which he takes the 
casket, and, handing it to his son, whispers him to re- 
cede the king and queen being still fast asleep. Then 
he began himself to creep back through the tunnel, 


but had not gone more than two or three cubits when 
he stuck fast his stomach being so distended with food 
that he could neither get back nor forward ; upon which 
he told his son to cut off his head, for if caught, he 
and his wife and the youth would be impaled alive. 
The son accordingly cuts off his father's head, and on 
his way home ties a heavy stone to it and throws it 
into the river. He acquaints his mother of the catas- 
trophe; and the treasure is concealed. In the morn- 
ing the headless body is discovered in the tunnel by 
the king's servants, and the casket is also missing. 
An old counsellor advises the king to cause the body 
to be drawn through the town, and to order every one, 
on pain of death, to be outside their houses when it 
passes ; and on being seen by the wife, mother, or 
other relatives of the dead thief, they would give way 
to grief, and thus betray themselves. This was done 
accordingly, and the son planned with his mother that 
he should climb a tree, and just as the body came 
past, drop down, as if he fell by accident, when she 
should rush up to him, and her weeping would be mis- 
taken for concern at his supposed injury by falling 
from the tree. The plan succeeded, and the king did 
not recover his jewels. 1 

The general likeness which these versions of the 
Eobbery of the King's Treasury bear one to another 
is very striking, and some resemble others still more 
remarkably in the incidents. Thus, the king acts by 

1 < The Orientalist,' vol. i. pp. 56-61 (March, 1884). 


the advice of a wise old man in ' Dolopathos,' the 
modern Greek, the Gaelic, Dutch, Tyrolese, Kabail, 
and Sinhalese ; and the device of burning a straw-fire 
in the treasury occurs in ' Dolopathos/ Giovanni, the 
modern Greek, Dutch, and Kabail. The self -wound- 
ing of the hand occurs in the ' Seven Wise Masters,' 
the Breton, the Gaelic, and the Dutch. The stolen 
animal and the quest for some of its flesh is found in 
the Sicilian, the modern Greek, 1 Breton, Gaelic, Tyro- 
lese, Kabail, and Bengali. For the wine in Herodo- 
tus and several versions, we have whisky in the 
Gaelic, ganj in the Bengali, and dhatura in the San- 
skrit. There seems a close affinity between the modern 
Greek and the Kabail versions ; for example, in one 
the woman, in viewing her husband's body, spills some 
glasses of sour milk to account for her lamentation, 
and in the other she spills oil; while in the Sinha- 
lese version, the lad pretends to fall from a tree 
with the same purpose, when the body of his father 
is drawn past. For the child and the wreath in the 
Tibetan version we have more naturally the child and 
the apple in the Gaelic. 2 Many other points of resem- 

1 The fact of the animal being a camel in the modern Greek ver- 
sion indicates its Asiatic origin. 

2 It is a common notion in the East that a child instinctively knows 
its parents ; hence in the Tibetan story the thief is readily recog- 
nised by his own offspring ! The incident is much better related 
(according to European ideas) in the Gaelic version, where the child 
is to give the thief an apple, and the thief having provided himself 
with two things which amuse children, a carpenter's shaving and a 
musical instrument, the child naturally came up to him with its 


blance are readily observable on a comparative analysis 
of the several versions. 

The well-known Arabian tale of Ali Baba and the 
Forty Eobbers also presents some analogy to our 
story : For the loose stone in the latter we have the 
magical " open sesame " and " shut sesame " in the 
former, which enable the poor woodcutter to enter the 
robber's cave and carry off ass-loads of gold : and the 
stealing of the avaricious brother's quartered body ; 
the discovery, through the man who sewed the parts 
together, of Ali Baba's house; the marking of the 
door, all bear some analogy to the exploits of the 
clever young treasury-thief, who foiled every attempt 
to entrap him. 

Sir George Cox, in his 'Mythology of the Aryan 
Nations,' includes among parallels to, or variants of, 
the Robbery of the King's Treasury, the Adventure 
of the Poor Mason in Washington Irving's ' Tales of 
the Alhambra.' It seems to me the resemblance is 
very remote ; but however this may be, Irving's story 
has its analogue in a Persian legend related by J. 
Baillie Fraser in his interesting ' Narrative of a Journey 
into Khorassam' (pp. 458, 459), regarding the founder 
of a medressa called Paen Pah. " There is a tradition," 
he says, " that the founder of this college, having, like 
other adventurers, gone to India [from Persia] in the 
hope of bettering his fortune, continued for a long time 


so unlucky that lie was forced to solicit charity in the 
public streets. One day he was accosted by an old 
Hindu, who told him that, if he would submit to be 
blindfolded and led to his house, he would have work 
and good pay. The poor man, reflecting that his con- 
dition could not well be made worse, but might be 
improved, consented to the terms; and after a very 
circuitous course, his eyes being uncovered he found 
himself in a place surrounded by lofty walls, where he 
was ordered to dig a large hole, in which the Hindu 
buried a great quantity of gold mohurs and other money. 
This operation occupied several days, during which 
time he bethought himself of an expedient by which 
he might discover whither he had been conveyed. A 
cat came into the place, which he caught and killed ; 
and stuffing the skin with gold, he took an opportunity, 
when not observed, to throw it over what he believed 
to be the boundary wall of the premises. He listened 
to the sound, and judged that it fell upon clay, or some 
moist substance. When his work was done, he received 
a present of a few rupis, was again blindfolded, and 
led to the place whence he had been brought. He 
immediately began to search for his cat, which, after 
some time, he found lying in a dirty pond beside a high 
wall, which he recognised for the enclosure of the 
Hindu's dwelling. The gold he thus obtained enabled 
him at the old man's death, which took place some time 
after, to purchase the house from his heir, and he thus 
became possessed of the wealth which the Hindoo had 


buried. With this he returned to Persia, and with a 
portion of it he built this college." 

Irving's tale is to this effect: There was once in 
Grenada a mason who, in spite of his piety, grew 
poorer and poorer, and could hardly earn bread for 
his family. One night he was roused from sleep by 
a knocking at the door, and on opening it beheld a 
lean, cadaverous-looking priest, who asked him if he 
would undertake a job, for which he would be well 
paid, but he must submit to be blindfolded. The 
mason willingly consented to this proposal, and after 
being hoodwinked, was led through many tortuous 
passages to the portal of a house, which the priest 
opened with a key, and when they had entered, again 
locked and bolted. When the bandage was taken 
from his eyes, the mason found himself in a spacious 
hall, in the centre of which was the dry basin of a 
Moorish fountain, beneath which the priest desired 
him to form a small vault, bricks and mortar being 
at hand for the purpose. The mason worked all 
night, and being again blindfolded was conducted 
back to his own house, promising to return next 
night and complete the job, which having done, the 
priest asked him to help him to bury some dead 
bodies in the vault. Trembling with terror, the 
mason followed the priest, but was relieved to find, 
instead of ghastly corpses, a number of jars in a 
corner, which, from their weight, were evidently 
filled with money. The jars were conveyed into 
the vault, which was then closed, and all traces of 


the work removed: the priest gave the mason two 
pieces of gold, and having blindfolded him again, he 
conducted him out of the house. Years passed on, 
and still the mason continued poor. One day a 
man, who was known to be the owner of many 
houses in Grenada, came to him, saying he wanted 
to repair an old house that was fallen into decay. 
On entering the house, the mason recognised the 
Moorish fountain in the hall, and inquired of the 
landlord who had formerly lived there. "An old 
miserly priest," quoth he, " who died suddenly ; and 
when the friars came to take away his wealth, they 
found only a few ducats in his purse. The people 
say that his ghost haunts the house, and that they 
often hear him clinking his gold : whether this be 
true or false, no tenant will remain here." The 
mason offered to keep the house in repair, if allowed 
to live in it rent-free, to which the landlord gladly 
consented. So the mason removed to it with his 
family, and soon increased in wealth, of which he 
gave largely to the church, and on his deathbed re- 
vealed the secret of the vault to his son. 

The only points of resemblance which I can discover 
between this tale and that of Rhampsinitus' Trea- 
sury, as related by Herodotus, are, the vault in the 
former, and the loose stone in the latter, but the 
Spanish mason had no clue to the vault; and in 
both, the father's revealing the secret to his son on 
his deathbed. I am disposed to consider Irving's 


story as a Spanish survival of some Moorish legend, 
of which the tradition related by Baillie Fraser seems 
a variant. 



This device is often met with, in popular stories. In Nov. 
2, Day III, of the ' Decameron,' King Agiluf, having ascertained 
that one of his household had been with the queen, goes into 
the gallery where they all slept, and discovering the guilty 
person by the palpitation of his heart, in order to distinguish 
him in the morning, cuts off a lock of his hair above the ear ; 
but the groom escapes punishment by clipping off a correspond- 
ing lock from the heads of all his companions. 

Boccaccio probably derived this idea from some Eastern 
story ; at all events, a similar incident is found in a collection 
of Canarese tales, entitled ' Katha Manjari,' which, was pub- 
lished, with an English translation, at Bangalore, in 1841 : A 
merchant, who was travelling on business, put up one night at 
a lodging-house. While he slept, some one stole from him a 
jewel which he had tied up in his cloth. He awoke in the 
night, and missing the jewel, thought he might ascertain who 
had stolen it, by feeling at every one's breast, and seeing whose 
heart palpitated the hardest. He did so, and finding one man 
amongst them whose heart beat rapidly, he cut off the knot of 
his hair, that he might know him next day, and again went to 
sleep. The fellow whose hair he had cut awoke also, and dis- 
covering what had been done to him, cut off the knot of hair 
from every one in the place, that all should be alike. The 
merchant was, of course, ignorant of this, and arose early in the 
morning, and desired the landlord to search for the thief, and 
apprehend the man whose knot of hair was cut off, as he was 
the person who had stolen the jewel. Accordingly he roused all 
who were asleep, and on looking at their heads found that all 
had been deprived of their knots of hair, consequently the thief 


was unknown. He then took them before the magistrate, to 
whom the affair was related. The magistrate suspected that 
the thief must be a tailor, as the hair had been cut off with 
much exactness ; so he asked each man what his business was, 
and apprehended and punished the man who said he was a 
tailor, who gave up the jewel, and the merchant was dismissed. 
The marking of the door of Ali Baba's house by the leader of 
the Forty Thieves, in the well-known Arabian story, and Ali's 
clever servant Morgiana's marking similarly all the other houses 
in the street, has been already referred to as a parallel to the 
incident in versions of the ' Treasury ' legend ; and the same 
device is adopted in the Albanian tale of the Wonderful Box, 
No. 13 of M. Dozen's collection ; and in the German story of 
the Blue Light, an attempt made to discover the house of the 
hero by scattering peas all the way -thither is frustrated by the 
"slave" of the Blue Light scattering peas in all the other 
streets of the city. 



TN his 'Curious Myths of the Middle Ages/ Mr 
Baring-Gould has conclusively shown that the 
tradition of Llewellyn and his faithful hound so 
glibly related to credulous tourists in North Wales 
by the officious guides, who show, moreover, the very 
grave of the dog Gellert, or Killhart has no more 
foundation in fact than the story of William Tell's 
shooting at an apple on his son's head. I purpose, in 
the present paper, going somewhat more fully into 
the literary history of this widely-diffused tale, tracing 
it, if not to its original, at least to an older form than 
is referred to in Mr Baring-Gould's useful and inter- 
esting work. 

The Dog Gellert. 

" There is a general tradition in North Wales," says 
Edward Jones, in his 'Musical Eelics of the Welsh 
Bards,' vol. i., " that a wolf had entered the house of 
Prince Llewellyn. Soon after, the prince returned 


home, and going into the nursery, he met his dog Kill- 
hart all bloody and wagging his tail at him. Prince 
Llewellyn, on entering the room, found the cradle 
where his child lay overturned and the floor strewed 
with blood. Imagining that the greyhound had killed 
the child, he immediately drew his sword and stabbed 
it ; then turning up the cradle, found under it the child 
alive, and the wolf dead. This so grieved the prince 
that he erected a tomb over the faithful dog's grave, 
where afterwards the parish church was built, and 
goes by the name Bedd Gelhart (the Grave of Kill- 
hart), in Caernarvonshire. From this incident is de- 
rived a very common Welsh proverb, C I repent as 
much as the man who slew his greyhound.' Prince 
Llewellyn ab Jowerth," adds our author, "married 
Joan, a daughter of King John, by Agatha, daughter 
of Eobert Ferrers, Earl of Derby, and this dog was a 
present to the prince from his father-in-law, about 
the year 1205." 1 

1 The legend of Gellert has been finely versified by Mr Spencer : 
when Llewellyn had slain the faithful dog and immediately after dis- 
covered his child unhurt 

Ah, what was then Llewellyn's pain ! 

For now the truth was clear : 
The gallant hound the wolf had slain, 

To save Llewellyn's heir. 

Vain, vain was all Llewellyn's woe : 

' ' Best of thy kind, adieu ! 
The frantic deed which laid thee low 

This heart shall ever rue." 

And now a gallant tomb they raise, 

With costly sculpture decked ; 
And marbles storied with his praise 

Poor Gellert's bones protect. 


Such is the Welsh tradition ; but the story was 
current in Europe, with a snake instead of a wolf, 
before Prince Llewellyn was presented with his faith- 
ful hound. It is the first tale in the oldest Latin 
prose version of 'The Seven Wise Masters/ entitled 
'Dolopathos; sive, de Eege et Septem Sapientibus,' 
written by Johannes, a monk of the Abbey of Alta 
Silva (Dan Jehans of Haute Seille), in France, about 
the year 1184. Nearly a century previous to that 
date circa 1090 it had existed in ' Syntipas,' a 
Greek version of the Book of Sindibad, the Eastern 
prototype of 'The Seven Wise Masters'; and it is 
probable that it was current orally at a much earlier 
period. From the Latin 'Dolopathos,' or from oral 
tradition, the story was taken into subsequent versions 
of the Wise Masters, and also into the 'Gesta Eo- 
manorum.' l It reappears in the ' Historia Septem 

Here never could the spearman pass, 

Or forester, unmoved ; 
Here oft the tear-besprinkled grass 

Llewellyn's sorrow proved. 

And here he flung his horn and spear, 

And oft as evening fell, 
In fancy's piercing sounds would hear 

Poor Gellert's dying yell. 

1 The story also occurs in the ' Liber de Donis ' of Etienne de Bour- 
bon (No. 370). " After giving a version of this story, which has become 
in several places a local legend, Etienne proceeds to say that the dog 
was considered as a martyr, and its grave was visited by the sick, just 
like the shrines of wonder-working saints. Sick children especially 
were brought to the place, and made to pass nine times through an 
aperture formed in the trunks of two trees growing over the hound's 
grave, while various pagan rites were performed, and the child was 
finally left naked at the foot of the tree until two candles an inch 
long were consumed. Etienne, by virtue of his office as inquisitor 


Sapientum Komee,' from which was derived our Eng- 
lish version of the ' History of the Seven Wise Masters 
of Eome,' first printed by Wynkyn de Worde, about 
1505, and reprinted by W. Copland, about 1550. And 
here I may remark that Sir G. Dasent, following Des 
Longchamps and others, is in error when he states, in 
the introduction to his ' Popular Tales from the Norse,' 
pp. Ixi, Ixii, that the ' Historia Septem Sapientum 
Komse ' was derived from the work of Dan Jehans, that 
is, the Latin ' Dolopathos.' These two works are very 
different : In ' Dolopathos ' there are eight subordinate 
stories, seven of which are related by the Wise Masters, 
and the eighth by the prince's tutor ; in the ' Historia ' 
there are fifteen stories, seven by the Wise Men, seven 
by the queen, and one by the prince, and only three of 
these the Snake, the King's Treasury, and the Hus- 
band Shut Out are found in ' Dolopathos.' Moreover, 
the ' Historia ' was not composed till after the inven- 
tion of printing (say, in the latter years of the fif- 
teenth century), while the French 'Koman des Sept 
Sages,' written about 1284, has all the tales save one 
which are found in the ' Historia,' and that one does 
not occur in 'Dolopathos.' 

The story of the Dog and the Snake is thus related 
in a black-letter copy of the ' Seven Wise Masters,' 
preserved in the Glasgow University Library : 

[of heresy in the south of France], had the dog exhumed, its bones 
burnt, and the grove cut down." Professor T. F. Crane : 'Mediaeval 
Sermon -Books and Stories.' 


The Knight and the Greyhound. 

There was a certain valiant knight which had only 
one son, the which he loved so much, that he ordained 
for his keepers three nourishers (i.e., nurses). The 
first should give him suck, and feed him ; the second 
should wash him, and keep him clean ; and the third 
should bring him to his sleep and rest. The knight 
had also a greyhound and a falcon, which he also loved 
right well. The greyhound was so good that he never 
run at any game, but he took it and held it till his 
master came. And if his master disposed him to go 
into any battel, if he should not speed therein, anone 
as he should mount upon his horse, the greyhound 
would take the horse-tail in his mouth, and draw 
backward, and would also howl and cry marvellouslie 
loud. By these signs, and the due observation thereof, 
the knight did always understand that his journey 
should have very ill success. The falcon was so gentle 
arid hardy, that he was never cast off to his prey but 
he took it. The same knight had much pleasure in 
justing and tourney, so that upon a time under his 
castle he proclaimed a tournament, to the which came 
many great lords and knights. The knight entered 
into the tourney, and his ladie went with her maidens 
to see it : and as they went out, after went the nour- 
ishers, and left the child lying alone there in the cradle 
in the hall, where the greyhound lay near the wall, 
and the hawk or falcon standing upon a perch. In 
this hall there was a serpent lurking, or hid in a hole, 


to all of them in the castle unknown, the which when 
he perceived that they were all absent, he put his head 
out of the hole, and when he saw none but the child 
lying in the cradle, he went out of his hole towards 
the cradle, for to have slain the child. The noble 
falcon perceiving that, made such a noise and rust- 
ling with her wings presently, that the greyhound 
awoke and rose up: and when he saw the serpent 
nigh the child, anone against him he leapt, and they 
both fought so long together, until that the serpent 
had grievously hurt and wounded the greyhound, that 
he bled so sore, that the earth about the cradle was 
all bloody. The greyhound, when that he felt himself 
grievously hurt and wounded, starts fiercely upon the 
serpent, and fought so sore together, and so eagerly, 
that between them the cradle was overcast with 
the child, the bottome upward. And because that the 
cradle had four pomels like feet falling towards the 
earth, they saved the child's life and his visage from 
any hurt. What can be more exprest to make good 
the wonder in the preservation of the child ? Incon- 
tinently thereafter, with great pain the greyhound over- 
came and slew the serpent, and laid him down again 
in his place and licked his wounds. And anon after 
the justs and turney was done, the nowrishers came 
first into the castle, and as they saw the cradle turned 
upside down upon the earth, compassed round about 
with blood, and that the greyhound was also bloody, 
they thought and said among themselves that the 
greyhound had slain the child, and were not so wise 


as to turn up the cradle again with the child, for to 
have seen what was thereof befallen ; but they said, 
Let us run away, lest that our master should put or 
lay any blame upon us, and so slay us. As they were 
thus running away, they met the knight's wife, and 
she said unto them, Wherefore make ye this sorrow, 
and whither will ye run ? Then said they, lady, wo 
and sorrow be to us, and to you. Why, said she, 
what is there happened ? show me. The greyhound, 
they said, that our lord and master loved so well, hath 
devoured and slain your son, and lyeth by the wall all 
full of blood. As the lady heard this she presently 
fell to the earth, and began to weep and cry piteouslie, 
and said, Alace, O my dear son, are ye slain and dead ? 
What shall I now do, that I have mine only son thus 
lost ? Wherewithal came in the knight from the 
tourney, and beholding his lady thus crying and mak- 
ing sorrow, he demanded of her wherefore she made 
so great sorrow and lamentation. She answered him, 
O my lord, that greyhound that you have loved so 
much hath slain your only son, and lyeth by the wall, 
satiated with the blood of the child. The knight, very 
exceeding angry, went into the hall, and the grey- 
hound went to meet him, and did fawn upon him, as 
he was wont to do, and the knight drew out his sword, 
and with one stroke smote off the greyhound's head, 
and then went to the cradle where the child lay and 
found his son all whole, and by the cradle the serpent 
slain ; and then by diverse signs he perceived that the 
greyhound had killed the serpent for the defence of 


the child. Then with great sorrow and weeping he 
tare his hair, and said, Wo be to me, that for the words 
of my wife I have slain my good and best greyhound, 
the which hath saved my child's life, and hath slain 
the serpent, therefore I will put myself to penance. 
And so he brake his sword in three pieces, and went 
towards the Holy Land, and abode all the days of his 

How many generations, "gentle and simple," old 
and young, have pored over, or listened to, this story 
of the Knight and his Greyhound ! In the pedlar's 
pack, among his stock of ballads and chap-books, the 
'History of the Seven Wise Masters of Eome' was 
never wanting; and the reading of it aloud by the 
" farmer's ingle " has cheered many a winter's night. 
Gorres, in his ' Folksbucher,' bestows extraordinary 
praise on this Book of the Seven Sages. " It sprang 
originally," says he, " from the Indian mountains, 
whence from primeval days it took its course as a 
little rivulet, and flowed in a westerly direction through 
Asia's wide field, and, while it proceeded for thousands 
of years through space and time, always spreading 
more and more in reaching us. Out of it whole gen- 
erations and many nations have drank; and, having 
passed to Europe with the great tide of population, is 
now also in our day and generation supplied to such a 
considerable portion of the public, that in regard to its 
celebrity and the magnitude of its sphere of influence, 
it reaches the Holy Book, and surpasses all classical 


works." But there is much exaggeration in all these 
fine phrases. It is utterly absurd to assert that the 
tales of the Seven Sages are as old as the Aryans in 
Europe. There are no grounds for supposing the 
original Indian work to date much farther back than 
two thousand years. 

The story of the Dog and the Snake occurs in all 
the Western group of the Book of Sindibad, known 
commonly as the Seven Wise Masters ; and of Eastern 
texts, or versions directly derived from Eastern texts, 
it is found in the Syriac, Persian, Greek, Hebrew, 
Latin (the ' Directorium Humanse Vitse ' of John of 
Capua), and the Old Spanish, translated from an 
Arabic version, now lost. It does not occur in the 
modern Arabic version (the Seven Vazirs) which is 
incorporated with the ' Book of the Thousand and One 
Nights.' In the Persian metrical version, ' Sindibad 
Nama,' written in 1374, but representing probably a 
much earlier text, of which a unique/but unfortunately 
imperfect, MS. copy is preserved in the library of the 
India Office, a cat is substituted for a dog, and the 
following is an abstract of the story as related in this 

The Snake and the Cat. 

In a city of Cathay there dwelt a good and blameless 
woman and her husband, who was an officer of the 
king. By-and-by she bore him a son, and thereupon 
died, and the officer procured a nurse to bring up the 


child. Now he had a cat, of which he was very fond, 
and to which his wife had also been very much attached. 
One day he went out on some business, and the nurse 
also had left the house, no one remaining but the 
infant and the cat. Presently a frightful snake came 
in and made for the cradle to devour the child. The 
cat sprang upon it, and after a desperate fight suc- 
ceeded in killing it. When the man returned, he was 
horrified at seeing a mangled mass lying on the floor. 
The snake had vomited so much blood and poison that 
its form was hidden, and the man, thinking that the 
cat, which came up to him, rubbing against his legs, 
had killed his son, struck it a blow, and slew it on 
the spot. But immediately after he discovered the 
truth of the matter, how the poor cat had killed the 
snake in defence of the boy, and his grief knew no 

But we have a much older form of the story in the 
Sanskrit collection of tales and apologues entitled 
' Panchatantra ' (five sections), which, according to 
Dr H. H. Wilson, bears internal evidence of having 
been composed not later than the fifth century, as 
follows (sect. v. fab. 2): 

The Snake and the Ichneumon. 

There was a Brahman, named DeVa Sarma, whose 
wife had one son ; she had also a favourite ichneumon 
that she brought up with the infant, and cherished 


like another child. At the same time she was afraid 
that the animal would, some time or other, do the 
child a mischief, knowing its treacherous nature, as 
it is said, " A son, though ill-tempered, ugly, stupid, 
and wicked, is still the source of delight to a father's 
heart." One day the mother, going forth to fetch 
water, placed the child in the bed, and desired her 
husband to guard the infant, especially from the ich- 
neumon. She then departed, and after a while the 
Brahman himself was obliged to go forth to collect 
alms. When the house was thus deserted, a black 
snake came out of a hole, and crawled towards the 
bed where the infant lay: the ichneumon, who saw 
him, impelled by his natural animosity, and by regard 
for his foster-brother, instantly attacked him, and after 
a furious encounter, tore him to pieces. Pleased with 
his prowess and the service he had rendered, he ran to 
meet his mistress on her return home, his jaws and 
face besmeared with blood. As soon as the Brahman's 
wife beheld him, she was convinced that he had killed 
her child, and in her rage .and agitation she threw the 
water-jar at the ichneumon with all her force, and 
killed him on the spot. She then rushed into the 
house, where she found the child still asleep, and the 
body of a venomous snake torn in pieces at the foot of 
the bed. She then perceived the error she had com- 
mitted, and beat her breast and face with grief for the 
unmerited fate of her faithful little favourite. In this 
state her husband found her on his return. When he 
had told her the cause of his absenting himself, she 


reproached him bitterly for that greedy desire of profit 
which had caused all the mischief. 1 

In this Sanskrit version, it will be observed, the 
mother is represented as avenging the supposed death 
of her child ; 2 and instead of reproaching her husband 
for his " greedy desire of gain," she should rather have 
blamed her own precipitation. In the 'Seven Wise 

1 Near akin to the story of the Bra"hman and the Ichneumon is 
that of the King and his Falcon, which is found in the 'Anva>-i- 
Suhayli ; ' or Lights of Canopus, a Persian version of the Fables 
of Bidpa'i, composed by Husain Va'iz. In this tale a king, while 
hawking, chanced to ride ahead of his followers, and feeling thirsty, 
he sought about for water. Coming to the foot of a mountain, 
he discovered water slowly trickling from a rock, and taking a 
little cup from his quiver, he held it to catch the drops as they fell. 
When the cup was full, and the king was about to drink, his hawk 
flapped his wings so as to spill the water, and this occurring a second 
time, the king in a rage dashed the bird to the ground, and it in- 
stantly expired. It was afterwards found that a monstrous serpent 
lay dead at the fountain-head, and his poisonous foam was mingling 
with the water. The king then reflected on the evils of precipitancy 
and thoughtlessness, and during the remainder of his life the arrow 
of regret was continually rankling in his breast. A variant of this is 
interwoven in No. 9 of Lai Behari Day's ' Folk-Tales of Bengal,' p. 
154, in which a king, hunting in a dense forest and becoming very 
thirsty, looks about for water, and at last saw something dripping 
from the top of a tree. Thinking it to be rain-water which had 
fallen into a cavity of the tree, he stood up on the back of his horse 
and caught the drops in a small cup. But it was not rain-water. His 
horse knew better. A huge cobra on the top of the tree was dashing 
its fangs against it, and its poison was falling in drops. And when 
the king was about to drink from the cup, the horse, to save his 
master, so moved about that the cup fell from his hand to the ground. 
The king with his sword struck the horse on the neck, and killed his 
faithful steed. 

2 In a Sinhalese variant, it is a widowed mother who leaves her 
child alone in the house, while she pounds rice for her wealthy 



Masters,' the man bitterly blames himself for having 
listened to the words of his wife. In the 'Hito- 
padesa' (Friendly Advice), an abridgment of the 
' Panchatantra ' though it has a number of tales 
peculiar to itself the woman leaves the house to 
make her ablutions, and during her absence the raja 
sends for her husband to perform for him some 
religious rite. The Persian 'Sindibad' Nama is the 
only version in which the mother is represented as 
having died in giving birth to her child. It is a dog 
that kills the snake in the Syriac, Greek, Hebrew, 
and Old Castilian versions, and also in the ' Seven 
Wise Masters.' In the 'Panchatantra' it is a mun- 
goose, or ichneumon; and in the 'Hitopadesa' it is a 
weasel, of which the ichneumon is a species. "The 
fierce hostility of the mungoose to snakes," says Dr 
H. H. Wilson, "and its singular power of killing 
them, are in India so well known as to have become 
proverbial, and are verifiable by daily observation. 
It is doubtful," he adds, "if a dog has either any 
instinctive enmity to snakes, or any characteristic 
dexterity in destroying them." 

A very curious example of the modifications which a 
written story sometimes undergoes after it has once 
more passed into oral tradition, is furnished in the 
following version of the Snake and Mungoose story, 
current among the natives of the North-West Prov- 
inces, from ' Past Days in India ': 


Current Indian Version. 

In a certain village there lived a poor family, con- 
sisting of the man and his wife and several children. 
One day, when her husband and elder children had 
gone out to work and the younger ones to play, the 
mother put her infant son on the ground, and by his 
side she placed a thdlee (a metal plate of different sizes, 
having a deep rim of half an inch, or an inch) of water 
to amuse himself with, while she went about some 
necessary household duties. Before setting about 
cleaning the rice and so forth in the adjoining room, 
as they had a tame mungoose about the house, she 
caught and tied it up not far from the child, thinking 
that if loose it might hurt the boy. When the mother 
had left the room, a cobra-snake, hearing the splash- 
ing of the water, came out of its hole to have a drink. 
The little child, not knowing what it was, stopped 
playing with the water, intently watching the snake 
as it came up and began to drink. Having satisfied 
its thirst, the reptile was gliding back to its hole, 
when the little innocent put out its hands and caught 
it, thinking to amuse himself with the pretty new 
toy. The snake made no resistance, and in turn 
amused itself with twining in and out of the boy's 
arms and legs, until somehow the child accident- 
ally hurt the snake, when it turned round and bit 
him in the neck. On feeling the bite, the child 
let go of the snake, and very soon became motion- 
less, the snake gliding off to its hole. The mun- 


goose, directly the snake (which is its natural enemy) 
came out of its hole, began making fruitless efforts to 
break the string with which it was tied, and failing 
in that, succeeded in biting the string through, just 
as the snake had slipped into its hole. Having 
seen what the snake did to the child, the mungoose 
ran off quickly into the jungle to get some snake- 

Meanwhile the mother, alarmed at his unusual 
silence, coming into the room at that moment, and 
seeing the child motionless, ran and took him up and 
tried her best to restore animation, crying heartily all 
the time. Having found the antidote, the mungoose 
ran back quickly with it in his mouth into the room, 
and the mother, turning her head in that direction, 
seeing the mungoose loose, and having remarked a 
wound on the child's neck, immediately concluded 
that the mungoose had bitten and killed her little son. 
Without reflecting a moment, she seized the mungoose, 
and in a rage dashed it on the ground with all her 
strength. After one or two convulsive motions the 
pet mungoose died, and then, too late, the mother dis- 
covered something in the animal's mouth, and, exam- 
ining it closer, recognised the snake-root. Intuitively 
divining all the circumstances, she instantly reduced 
the root to powder, and administering it to the child 
at once, had the happiness of seeing her darling re- 
turning to consciousness. The mungoose having been 
a great pet with all the children, the news of its 
death caused general grief, to no one more than the 


mother, who resolved never to let her anger master 
her again. 1 

Thus far we have traced the "Welsh tradition of the 
Dog Gellert to an ancient Sanskrit source, and we can 
even go a step farther, and show that the story is of 
Buddhist origin, dating from before Christ. But first 
I shall take leave to correct some errors which Mr 
Baring-Gould has unaccountably fallen into, in the 
following passage, referring to this story: 

" It occurs in the ' Seven Wise Masters ' and in the 
'Calumnia Novercalis' as well, so that it must have 
been popular throughout medieval Europe. Now the 
tales of the Seven Wise Masters are translations 
from a Hebrew work, the 'Kalilah and Diinnah' of 
Rabbi Joel, composed about 1250, or from Simeon 
Seth's Greek 'Kylile and Dimne,' written in 1080. 
These Greek and Hebrew works were derived from 
kindred sources. That of Rabbi Joel was a transla- 
tion from an Arabic version made by Nasr-Allah in 
the twelfth century, whilst Simeon Seth's was a 
translation of the Persian 'Kalilah and Dimnah.' 
But the ' Kalilah and Dimnah ' was not either an 

1 " The natives of India," adds the author, " have an idea that when 
the mungoose, in its encounter with a snake, happens to be bitten by 
it, it immediately runs off in search of an antidote to counteract the 
virulent poison of the snake. This supposed antidote, the root of a 
plant, hence called snake-root, is regarded by all classes of the natives 
as a certain specific against snake-bite. That it is a foolish belief is 
proved by continual failure." This version is also given in Vermieux" 
collection of Indian Tales appended to his story of ' The Hermit of 
Motee Jhurna' (second edition, pp. 101, 102). 


original work ; it was in turn a translation from the 
Sanskrit ' Panchatantra,' made about 540." x 

These statements are very misleading. The ' Cal- 
umnia Novercalis ' is a Latin version of the ' Seven Wise 
Masters.' But to say that the tales of the Seven 
Wise Masters are translations from a Hebrew work, 
the ' Kalilah and Dimna ' of Eabbi Joel, or from Simeon 
Seth's Greek 'Kylile and Dimne,' is absolutely incorrect. 
' Kalila and Dimna ' is the title of the Arabic version 
of the Fables of Bidpa'i, or Pilpay. The history of this 
remarkable work is briefly as follows : About the year 
531 a Sanskrit collection of tales and fables was trans- 
lated into Pahlavi, the ancient language of Persia, 
under the title of ' Kalilag and Damnag,' the names 
of two jackals that play leading parts in the first 
section. From Pahlavi, the work was translated into 
Syriac, about 570, and into Arabic, under the title of 
' Kalila and Dimna,' by Ibn-Almukaffa, about the 
year 754. From the Arabic a Greek translation, 
entitled ' Ichnelates and Stephanites,' was made by 
Simeon the son of Seth, in 1080. Two Hebrew trans- 
lations were made from the Arabic or Syriac, both in 
the thirteenth century, one of which is anonymous, the 
other is by Eabbi Joel. And here we come to another 
gross inaccuracy : Eabbi Joel's version was not " a 
translation from an Arabic version made by Nasr- 
Allah in the twelth century." The work of Nasr- 
'ullah was a Persian translation from the Arabic, made 
in 1168. But in the concluding sentence of the 

1 ' Curious Myths of the Middle Ages,' p. 138. 


above-cited passage Mr Baring-Gould has contrived to 
reach a climax of confusion : " Simeon Seth's [Greek 
version] was a translation of the Persian ' Kalilah and 
Dimnah.' But the ' Kalilah and Dimnah ' was not 
either an original work ; it was in turn a translation 
from the Sanskrit ' Panchatantra,' made about 540." 
The ' Panchatantra ' was not the Sanskrit work trans- 
lated into Pahlavi (called Persian by Mr Baring-Gould), 
although it is the oldest extant Sanskrit form of the 
Fables as a separate work; and the Pahlavi text, 
which was translated into Arabic, is now lost. 1 How 
Mr Baring-Gould could derive the tales of the 
' Seven Wise Masters ' from any version of the Fables 
of Bidpai' is matter for profound wonder: with ex- 
ception of the story of the Snake and another, the 
Fables of Bidpai are quite different from the Tales of 
the Wise Masters. I have thought it advisable to 
correct such misleading statements, since the work in 
which they are found (' Myths of the Middle Ages ') 
is so generally read and esteemed as reliable for the 
information it affords regarding the popular legends 
and fictions of which it treats. 

The learned Benfey has pointed out the Buddhist 
origin of the tales and apologues in the ' Panchatantra,' 
and in the case of the story of the Snake and the Ich- 
neumon, the proof seems conclusive. Dr S. Beal, of 

1 See Professor Max Miiller's ' Chips from a German Workshop,' 
vol. iv. pp. 145-209 ; and the introduction to the Hon. Keith Falconer's 
English translation of the later Syriac text of ' Kalila and Dimna. ' 


the British Museum, published in ' The Academy ' for 
Nov. 4, 1882, the following translation of a version 
from the 'Vinaya Pitaka' of the Chinese Buddhist 
collection of books : 

Tlie Brahman and the Nakula. 

In years gone by there was a certain Brahman who, 
being very poor, had to beg daily for food enough to 
keep him alive. This Brahman's wife had borne him 
no child, but there was a young Na-ku-lo (Nakula, or 
mungoose) in the house, of which the master had 
made a pet, as if it was his own son. After this, it 
came to pass that the wife of the Brahman bore him 
a son, on which he thought thus : " Certainly it was 
lucky for me when I took this mungoose as my child, 
for, in consequence of this, my wife has borne me a 
child." Now on one occasion, the Brahman wishing to 
leave home to beg some food, enjoined on his wife, if 
she went out, to be sure to take the child with her, and 
not to loiter about, but return home quickly. It hap- 
pened, however, that, having fed the child, she went 
to grind at the mill, 1 and forgot to take the baby. In 
her absence a snake, attracted by the smell of the 
cream which the child had eaten, came towards the 
spot, and was about to kill it with its fang, when the 
mungoose, seeing the danger, thought thus with itself : 
"My father has gone out and my mother, and now 

1 See p. 177, note 2. 


this poisonous snake would kill my little brother;" 
and so it is said : 

The poisonous snake and the nakula, 

The little (flying) bird and the hawk, 

The Shaman and the Brdhman, 

The step-mother and the child of a former wife 

All these are mutually opposed and at enmity, 

And desire, as with poison, to destroy one another. 

At this time the mungoose attacked the poisonous 
snake and killed it, and tore it into seven pieces. 
Then the mungoose thus thought : " I have killed the 
snake, and preserved the child. I ought to acquaint 
my father and mother of this, and rejoice their hearts." 
So he went out of the door and stood there, with his 
mouth covered with blood. At this time the Brah- 
man, coming home, saw his wife in the outside house 
[where the mill was] without the child. On this he 
was angry, and expostulated with her. And now, as 
he entered the door, he saw the mungoose there with 
his mouth covered with blood. On this he thought : 
" Alas, this creature, being hungry, has slain and eaten 
the child ! " Whereupon, taking up a stick, he beat 
the mungoose to death. On entering his house, he 
saw the little child sitting upright in his cradle and 
playing with his fingers, while the dead snake in seven 
pieces lay by his side. Beholding this, he was filled 
with sorrow, and said : " Alas, for my folly ! This 
faithful creature has preserved the life of my child, and 
I have hastily, and without consideration, killed it ! " 


Dr Beal considers this as probably the oldest form 
of the ' Panchatantra ' story. The Chinese book from 
which it is rendered dates, he says, from the time of 
Fa-hien (A.D. 412), who translated it from an Indian 
original, which he had procured at Pataliputra, where 
it was supposed to date from the time of Asoka's 
Council, say, B.C. 230. And now we may leave the 
Welsh guides to continue to recite their veritable 
story of Prince Llewellyn and his Faithful Hound! 



ninth novel of the fourth Day of Boccaccio's 
'Decameron' is a ghastly story of a jealous 
husband's revenge: Two noble gentlemen, who were 
intimate friends, lived in neighbouring estates in 
Provence. The name of one was Gulielmo Eossillione, 
that of the other Gulielmo Guardastagno. At length 
the former, suspecting that a criminal intercourse sub- 
sisted between his wife and his friend, invited him to 
his residence, but waylaid and murdered him in a 
wood, through which the road between the two castles 
passed. He then opened the breast of his victim, drew 
out his heart, and carried it home, wrapped in the 
pennon of his lance. When he alighted from his 
horse, he gave it to his cook as the heart of a wild 
boar, commanding him to dress it with his utmost 
skill, and serve it up for supper. At table the husband 
pretended want of appetite, and the lady ate the 
whole of the monstrous repast. When not a fragment 
was left, he informed her that she had feasted on 
the heart of Guardastagno. The lady, declaring that 


no other food should profane the relics of so noble 
a knight, threw herself from a casement which was 
behind her, and was dashed to pieces in the fall. 

Dunlop, who gives the foregoing outline of the story 
in his ' History of Fiction,' remarks that some of the 
commentators on Boccaccio have supposed it to be 
taken from the well-known story of Eaoul de Couci ; 
" but as Boccaccio himself informs us that his tale is 
given according to the relation of the Provencals 
(' secondo de che raconti i Provenzals '), it seems 
probable that it was taken from the story of the 
Provencal poet Cabestan, which is told by Nostradamus 
in his ' Lives of the Troubadours.' Besides, the story 
of Cabestan possesses a much closer resemblance to 
the novel of Boccaccio than the fiction concerning 
Eaoul de Couci and the lady of Du Fayel. Indeed it 
precisely corresponds with the ' Decameron,' except in 
the names, and in the circumstance that the lady 
starves herself instead of leaping from the window." 
It will be seen from the following version of the story 
of De Couci, from Bougier's 'Historical Memoirs of 
Champagne,' that it varies considerably from Boc- 
caccio's tale: 

The Lord de Couci, vassal to the Count de Cham- 
pagne, was one of the most accomplished youths of 
his time. He loved with an excess of passion the 
lady of the Lord du Fayel, who felt a reciprocal 
affection. With the most poignant grief, his lady 
heard from her lover that he had resolved to 
accompany the king and the Count de Champagne 


to the wars in the Holy Land; but she would not 
oppose his wishes, because she hoped that his absence 
might dissipate the jealousy of her husband. The 
time of departure having come, these two lovers 
parted with sorrows of the most lively tenderness. 
The lady, in quitting her lover, presented him with 
some rings and diamonds, and with a string of her 
own hair, intermixed with silk and buttons of large 
pearls, to serve him, according to the fashion of those 
days, to tie a magnificent hood which covered his 
helmet. In Palestine, at the siege of Acre, in 1191, 
De Couci, in gloriously ascending the ramparts, 
received a wound which was declared mortal. He 
employed the few moments he had to live in writing 
to the Lady du Fayel ; and he poured forth the fervour 
of his soul. He ordered his squire to embalm his 
heart after his death, and to convey it to his beloved 
mistress, with the presents he had received from her 
hands on quitting her. The squire, faithful to the 
dying injunction of his master, returned to France, 
to present the heart and gifts to the Lady du Fayel. 
But when he approached the castle of the lady, he con- 
cealed himself in the neighbouring wood, watching some 
favourable moment to complete his promise. He had 
the misfortune to be seen by the husband of the lady, 
who recognised him, and immediately suspected he 
came in search of his wife with some message from 
his master. He threatened to deprive him of his life 
if he did not divulge the occasion of his return. The 
squire assured him that his master was dead; but 


DM Fayel, not believing it, drew his sword on him. 
The squire, frightened at the peril in which he found 
himself, confessed everything, and put into his hands 
the heart and the letter of his master. Du Fayel 
was maddened by the fellest passions, and he took 
a wild and horrid revenge. He ordered his cook to 
mince the heart, and having mixed it with meat, he 
caused a ragout, which he knew pleased the taste of 
his wife, to be made, and had it served to her. The 
lady ate heartily of the dish. After the repast, Du 
Fayel inquired if she had found the ragout according 
to her taste, and she answered that she had found 
it excellent. " It is for that reason that I caused it to 
be served to you, for it is a kind of meat which you 
very much liked. You have, madam," continued the 
savage Du Fayel, "eaten the heart of the Lord de Couci." 
But this the lady would not believe till he showed her 
the letter of her lover, with the string of her hair and 
the diamonds she had given him. Shuddering in the 
anguish of her sensations, and urged by the utmost 
despair, she said to him, " It is true that I loved that 
heart ; for never could it find its superior. And since 
I have eaten of so noble a meat, and my stomach is 
the tomb of so precious a heart, I will take care that 
nothing of inferior worth shall ever be mixed with it." 
Grief and passion choked her utterance. She retired 
to her chamber ; she closed the door for ever ; and re- 
fusing to accept of consolation or food, the amiable 
victim expired on the fourth day. 1 

1 Cited in D'Israeli's ' Curiosities of Literature. ' 


The story was the subject of an English chap-book 
in the last century : " The Constant but Unhappy 
Lovers ; being a full and true Eelation of one Madam 
Butler, a young Gentlewoman, and a great Heiress, at 
Hackney Boarding School, who, being forced by her 
father to marry Mr Harvey, a Eich Merchant's Son, 
near Fanchurch Street, against her Will, one Perpoint, 
a young Gentleman of Considerable Estate, who had 
courted her above two years, grew so Discontented that 
he went a Volunteer to the Wars in Spain, where being 
Mortally Wounded, at the Battle of Almanza, he writ a 
Letter with his own Blood, therein putting a Bracelet of 
Madam Butler's Hair, and then ordering his Servant to 
bake his Heart to powder, after his death, he charged 
him to deliver them in a Box to the above-said Gentle- 
woman. His man came to England, and went on the 
6th June to deliver the Present to Madame Butler, 
but it was took away by her Husband, who gave her 
the Powder in a Dish of Tea ; which when she knew 
what she had Drank, and saw the bloody Letter and 
Bracelet, she said it was the last she would ever Eat 
and Drink, and accordingly going to Bed, she was found 
dead in the Morning, with a copy of verses lying by 
her on a Table, written with her own Blood (London : 
Printed by E. B., near Ludgate, 1707)." 

It is probable the story was brought to Europe by 
the Crusaders, or by pilgrims returned from the Holy 
Land, whither it may have migrated from India, through 
Persia, since it is a very old and favourite legend in 
the Panjab, where it is still recited by the Bhats, or 


minstrels, of Rasalu, son of Raja Salbiihan, circa A.D. 78. 
Raja Rasalu is to the Panjab what Antar is to Arabia, 
Riistam to Persia, and Arthur to England. The follow- 
ing version is from a little work by General James 
Abbott, printed, for private circulation, at Calcutta, 
in 1851: 

Rasalu educated the young Rani Kokilan, 1 apart from 
her father, and at an early age married her. The raja, 
however, proposed to himself a life of rigorous self- 
denial and hardihood, without reflecting upon the 
claims a young wife possesses on the tenderness and 
attention of her husband. Left alone in his palace of 
Miirut (since so-called), whilst he followed the chase 
at Dumtur, and little cherished or fondled on his re- 
turn, a dangerous void was left in her young and inex- 
perienced heart. The Raja Hodi who seems to have 
resided in Sohat, Peshawar, and the Yiisufzaie, and 
whose castle is still shown on the hill opposite Attuk, 
Trans-Indus whether allured by her reputation for 
beauty, or accidentally led thither, came to Miirut to 
hunt or hawk. He saw the Rani Kokilan looking from 
the window of her palace, and was violently enamoured 
of her. She saw him, and he took the place which 
Rasalii had left vacant in her heart. Rasalu was 
hunting at Dumtur ; but he had left behind him two 
guardians of his honour, a hill maina (or starling) and 
a parrot, both of which could talk. Hodi approached 

1 Queen Cooing-Dove. KokiMn (Kokla is her name in some ver- 
sions) may be interpreted as cuckoo, cooing-dove, or simply darling, 
according to Captain R. C. Temple, in an interesting paper on Legends 
of Riijsi Rasdlu in the ' Calcutta Review ' for 1884. 


the window of the palace, looked around, and saw no 
one in the court. But the beautiful Eanf Kokilan sat 
at the window looking northward, and there was no 
approach to her chamber excepting through the hall, 
where were the menials of the palace. So she threw 
him down a rope, which she tied firmly to the balcony, 
and Eaja Hodi climbed up by it and entered her 
chamber. The maina, in great indignation, exclaimed, 
" What wickedness is this ? " and Hodi went to the 
cage and wrung the bird's neck. Then the parrot, 
taking warning, said : " The steed of Easalii is swift ; 
what if he should surprise you ? Let me out of my 
cage, and I will fly over the palace, and will inform 
you the instant he appears in sight." The Eanf Kok- 
ilan said, " excellent bird ! do even as thou hast 
said ;" and she released the parrot from its cage. And 
the parrot flew swift as an arrow to Dumtur, alighted 
upon Easalu's shoulder as he hunted the stag, and 
exclaimed : " Eaja, may your shadow never be less ! 
A cat is at your cream." So Easalii wheeled round his 
wonderful horse and galloped back to Miirut, seventy 
miles, without drawing rein, and the clang of his horse's 
hoofs in the court was the first notice of his approach. 
Eaja Hodi in dismay retreated down the rope into the 
court, where he met Easalii, who made him follow into 
the wilderness, and there slew him after a brief combat, 
and cut out his heart and liver, 1 and had them fricas- 

1 " His heart and liver. " Asiatics, like the old Greeks and Romans, 
place the seat of love in the liver. Thus the Arabian poet-hero Antar 
exclaims : " Ask my burning sighs that mount on high ; they will tell 



seed and set before the Eani that day at dinner. 1 The 
Bam ate the fricassee with great relish, and when she 
had finished, Easalii said, " Do you know whose heart 
and liver you have eaten ? " The Eani replied, 
" Doubtless they belonged to some dear little pet of a 
calf." Then said Easalii, " True, O Kokilan, that heart 
was beating two hours ago in the breast of that pet- 
calf Baja Hodi." This was said as they stood in the 
balcony; and Eani Kokilan clapped her hands and 
shrieked, "Then will I die with him;" and leaping 
from the balcony, she fell into the paved court, and 
was taken up, apparently lifeless. And Easalii bound 
the bodies of Eaja Hodi and Eani Kokilan together by 
a strap, flung them over Hodi's steed, so that one body 
hung on one side and one body on the other side ; then 
he cropped the ears, mane, and tail of the horse, and 
drove him forth into the jungle. It so happened that 
the horse took the route towards Ghayb, a district on 
the left bank of the Indus, far below Atuk. The 
prince of that country was a Chandala, and the horse 

thee of the flaming passion in my liver." Theocritus says of Her- 
cules (13th Idyll), "In his liver love had fixed a wound." Anacreon 
tells how the god of Love drew his bow, and " the dart pierced through 
my liver and my heart." An epigram in the 'Anthologia' is to the 

same effect : 

Cease, love, to wound my liver and my heart ; 
If I must suffer, choose some other part. 

And Horace : " Burning love . . . doth in thy liver rage. " Our own 
Shakspeare seems to have had the same notion : 

Alas, then, love may be called appetite, 
No motion of the liver, but the palate. 

1 According to tradition, Rasalvi himself never tasted flesh-meat, 
being a Jallu Kdjd. 


was brought to him with his strange burthen. He 
ordered the bodies to be unbound, and perceiving 
that life was still left in the body of Eanf Kokilan, 
with care she revived. The prince was struck with 
her beauty and married her; and the Ghayb race 
are descendants of this pair. But remorse fell upon 
Rasalii : probably he reflected that he had needlessly 
exposed his young and inexperienced wife to tempta- 
tion ; and he caused her form to be carved in stone, 
and set it up over that fountain at which they had 
so often sat together to enjoy the evening breeze. 1 

General Abbott adds that he saw this statue of the 
Eani Kokilan in 1848 ; but it had fallen under the 
ban of a bigoted Moolah, who had defaced the features. 
The place is called Murut (the statue), after the effigy 
of Kokilan. " The tale is on the lips of every bard 
of the Panjab; and the ascent of Eaja Hodf to the 
balcony is one of the favourite subjects for painters, 
and may be seen in fresco on the panels of palaces and 

1 See also ' Legends of the Panjdb,' by Captain R. C. Temple, pub- 
lished at Bombay, 1884 London : Triibner & Co. where this story 
may be found, with other traditions of Ra"jd, Rasa"lu. 



A PARALLEL to the device of the Raja Rasalii, of 
*-* leaving behind him two talking birds to watch 
over, and report to him on his return home, the con- 
duct of his young wife during his absence (cited in the 
last paper), is found in the frame, or leading story, of 
the Persian ' Tiiti Nama,' Tales of a Parrot : A mer- 
chant, before setting out on a long journey, purchased, 
for a large sum of money, a wonderful parrot that 
could discourse eloquently, and a sharyk, a species of 
nightingale, says Gerrans, " which imitates the human 
voice in so surprising a manner, that if you do not see 
the bird you cannot help being deceived," and put 
both in the same cage. In taking leave of his young 
and beautiful wife, he charged her, whenever she had 
any affair of importance to transact, to first obtain the 
advice and consent of the two birds. Some time after 
his departure, she was one day on the terrace of her 
house when a handsome young prince with his atten- 
dants passed, and having observed her beauty, he sent 
an old go-between to the lady, soliciting an interview 


with her at his palace. The skaryk forbade her to go, 
upon which the lady flew into a rage, seized the virtu- 
ous bird, and dashed it on the ground, so that it died. 
She then represented her case to the parrot, who, hav- 
ing witnessed the fate of his companion, prudently re- 
solved to temporise with the amorous dame, " quenched 
the fire of her indignation with the water of flattery, 
and began a tale conformable to her temperament, 
which he took care to protract till the morning." In 
this way the parrot prevents the lady's intended in- 
trigue by relating, night after night, until her husband 
returns, one or more fascinating tales, which he does 
not bring to an end till it is too late for the assigna- 
tion. 1 

This plan of the ' Tuti Nama ' is faintly reflected in 
the Mongolian tales of " Ardshi Bordshi " (the second 
part of ' Sagas from the Far East '), where a merchant 
buys a parrot for a hundred ounces of silver, and leaves 
it to watch over his wife during his absence. The 

1 The 'Tuti Nama,' or Parrot-Book, was written by Nakhshabi 
about A.D. 1320, according to Pertsch, after an older Persian work, 
now lost, which was made from a Sanskrit book, also no longer extant, 
of which the ' Suka Saptati,' Seventy (Tales) of a Parrot, is a repre- 
sentative. A similar Indian work is the ' Hamsa-Vinsati,' written in 
Telegu : twenty tales related by a hamsa, or goose, to prevent the 
wife of Vishnudas from carrying on a criminal intrigue during his 
absence ; by Agala Rdja" Narayana, son of Surdppd. Nakhshabi is the 
pen-name (takhallus) of Ziya'-ed-Din, the author of the ' Tuti Ndma,' 
from his birthplace, Nakhshab, a city in Turkestan, where they say 
there is a well named Cluihi Nakhshab, from which an appearance of 
the moon, called Mahi Nakhshab, was produced by a notorious im- 
postor named Mukanna the " Veiled Prophet of Khorassan " of 
Moore's ' Lalla Rookh. ' 


wife resolves to go out and visit her acquaintances, 
and indulge in pleasures from which she had hitherto 
been debarred. But the parrot detains her all night 
by telling her the story of the wife of a king who 
swore falsely, and yet spoke the truth, to which refer- 
ence has already been made in vol. i. p. 178, note. 

The story seems to have found its way to the south 
of Europe in the fourteenth century, and it may per- 
haps have been diffused among the people of Italy 
through some Oriental collection which is now lost, 
since versions have long been current in Piedmont 
and Tuscany, and also in Sicily. In a very interesting 
and valuable paper on Italian Popular Tales, in the 
'North American Review' for July 1876, Professor 
T. F. Crane gives abstracts of three of the versions, 
as follows: 

The most simple version is from Pisa (Professor 
Comparetti's collection), under the title of " II Pappa- 
gallo," and is to this effect: There was once a mer- 
chant who had a beautiful daughter, with whom the 
king and the viceroy were both in love. The former 
knew that the merchant would soon have to depart on 
business, and he would then have a chance to speak 
with the girl. The viceroy knew it too, and considered 
how he could prevent the king from succeeding in his 
design. He was acquainted with a witch, and pro- 
mised her immunity and a large sum of money if she 
would teach him how to change himself into a parrot. 
This she does, and the merchant buys him for his 


daughter, and then departs. When the parrot thought 
it was about time for the king to come, he said to the 
girl, " Now to amuse you, I will tell you a story ; but 
you must attend to me, and not see any one while I 
am telling it." Then he began his story, and after he 
had gone a little way in it, a servant entered and told 
her mistress that there was a letter for her. " Tell 
her to bring it later," said the parrot ; " and now listen 
to me." The mistress replied, " I do not receive let- 
ters while my father is away," and the parrot continued. 
After a while there was another interruption a ser- 
vant announced the visit of an aunt of her mistress : 
it was not an aunt, however, but an old woman who 
came from the king. The parrot said, " Do not receive 
her we are in the finest part of the story ; " and the 
young girl sent word that she did not receive any 
visits while her father was absent ; so the parrot went 
on. When his story was ended, the girl was so pleased 
that she would listen to no one else until her father 
returned. Then the parrot disappeared, and the vice- 
roy visited the merchant, and asked his daughter's 
hand. He consented, and the marriage took place 
that very day. The wedding was scarcely over when 
a gentleman came to ask the girl's hand for the king, 
but it was too late. And the poor king, who was much 
in love with her, died of a broken heart, and the girl 
remained the wife of the viceroy, who had been more 
cunning than the king. 

Another version from Piedmont (De Gubernatis' 
' Zoological Mythology,' vol. ii. p. 322 Comparetti's 


collection, No. 2), differs materially from the one just 
given : A king is obliged to go to war, and leave behind 
him his wife, with whom another king is in love. 
Before departing, he forbids his wife to leave the 
palace during his absence, and presents her with a 
parrot. No sooner had the king left than the other 
king attempted to obtain an interview with the queen, 
by giving a feast and inviting her to it. The parrot 
prevents her from going, by relating the same story 
which is contained in the first version. They are 
interrupted in the same manner by an old woman, 
sent by the royal lover, but to no purpose. When 
the story is finished the husband returns, and the 
parrot becomes a young man, whom the king had 
engaged to watch over his wife's fidelity. The story 
told by the parrot is of no special interest, except that 
it is in the main also the one given in the Sicilian 
version, and has some resemblance to a story in the 
' Pentamerone/ vol. ii. p. 22 " Verdo Prato." 

The Sicilian version is the most interesting as well 
as the most complete ; the single story in the Italian 
versions has here been expanded into three, and the 
frame is more artistic. It is the second in the collec- 
tion of Pitre : A merchant is obliged to leave his wife, 
of whom he is insanely jealous. She advises him to 
shut her up in the house with plenty to eat. One day, 
to amuse herself, she looks out of the single window 
which has been left open. At this moment a gentle- 
man and a notary happen to pass, and see her. They 
immediately make a bet of a hundred ounces as to 


which of them will speak to her first. The notary 
summons an evil spirit, and sells him his soul, on con- 
dition that he wins the bet. The devil then changes 
him into a parrot, who plays the same role as in the 
Italian versions, but relates, as we have said, three 
stories. When the merchant returns, the parrot is 
placed on the table at dinner, and splashes some of 
the soup into the husband's eyes, flies at his throat 
and strangles him, and then escapes through the win- 
dow. The parrot, of course, resumes his human form, 
obtains the widow's hand and his hundred ounces 
from the cavalari ; and afterwards tells his wife the 
whole story, her only comment being, "I am aston- 
ished ! " (To restu allucuta). 1 

The well-known story, in the ' Arabian Nights,' of 
the Merchant, his Wife, and his Parrot, which pro- 
perly belongs to the Book of Sindibad, may have been 
adapted either from the legend of Kaja Kasahi and his 
fair young wife, or from the frame of the original 
Indian Parrot- Book. It occurs in the Breslau printed 
text of the 'Thousand Nights and One Night,' and 
also in the text of the first Two Hundred Nights, edited 
by Shaykh Ahmed bin Muhammad Shirwan^ el- Yemeni, 
printed at Calcutta, 1814-18. But in the text printed 
at Bulak, and in that edited by Sir W. Macnaughton 
and printed at Calcutta, 1839-42, in place of it is the 
story of the King and his Falcon, which will be found 

1 See also Crane's ' Italian Popular Tales ' (London : 1885), pp. 167- 
183, where the stories related by the parrots are given in full. 


in a former paper see note on page 177. Lane, in 
his translation of a portion of the Bulak text of the 
' Nights,' has substituted the story of the Parrot, al- 
though it occurs also in its proper place in his work, 
namely, the romance of the ' King and his Seven Vazirs.' 

With a magpie instead of a parrot, the story forms 
one of the tales of the ' Seven Wise Masters.' Accord- 
ing to the oldest extant English version of that famous 
work (in the Auchinleck MS., and printed in Weber's 
' Metrical Eomances '), a merchant had a clever magpie : 
in his absence his wanton wife had an intrigue with a 
young man, and the magpie, on seeing him enter the 
house, cried out that he would tell of this to his mas- 
ter on his return. The wife, with a ladder, removed 
a tile or two from the roof, placed a basin of water so 
that it should drop on the bird, and make a clear light 
dazzle its eyes. The youth goes away in the morning, 
and when the merchant comes home the magpie tells 
him of the lover, and how it rained and lightned 
during the night. His wife bids him not credit the 
magpie's story, but ask the neighbours what sort of a 
night it had been. He learns that the night was fair, 
upon which he wrings the magpie's neck. But soon 
after he finds the ladder against the wall of his house, 
and the basin, etc. ; and thus discovering how the bird 
had been tricked, he drove his wife out of doors. 

An analogous legend is told by Ovid in his ' Meta- 
morphoses,' which has been adapted by Chaucer for 


his Manciple's Tale, and has also been taken by Gower 
into the third book of his ' Confessio Amantis.' In the 
latter, after relating, out of Ovid, the story of the dis- 
pute between Jupiter and Juno, which began "as it 
were in borde (jest)," which of the two is the more 
amorous, man or woman, and they referred the question 
to Tiresias, who gave his decision in favour of man, at 
which Juno was so incensed that she deprived him of 
his eyesight ; to compensate him, Jupiter bestowed on 
him the gift of prophecy : but though he was ever 
after a soothsayer, he had much rather have had his 
eyesight ; the Confessor warns his " son " to guard his 
speech, and to keep to himself whatever he might hear 
or see against other men, and relates this tale : 

Phebus, which maketh dales light, 
A love he hadde, which tho hight 1 
Cornide, whom aboven alle 
He pleseth. But what shall befalle 
Of love, there is no man knoweth. 
But as fortune her happes throweth, 
So it befell upon a chaunce 
A yonge knight toke her acqueintaunce 
And had of her all that he wolde. 
But a fals bird, which she hath holde 
And kept in chambre of pure youthe, 
Discovereth all that ever he couthe. 2 
The briddes name was as tho 
Corvus, the which was than also 
Well more white than any swan, 
And he the shrewe 3 all that he can 
Of his lady to Phebus saide. 
And he for wrath his swerd out-braide, 4 

1 Then called. 3 Knew. 8 Calumniated. 4 Drew out. 


With which Cornide anone he slough, 1 
But after him was wo inough 
And toke a full great repentaunce, 
Wherof in token and remembraunce 
Of hem, 2 whiche usen wicke 3 speche, 
Upon this bird he toke his wreche, 4 
That there he was snow-white to-fore 5 
Ever afterward cole-black therfore. 
He was transformed, as it sheweth. 
And many a man yet him beshreweth 
And clepen 6 him unto this day 
A Haven, by whom yet men may 
Take evidence, whan he crieth, 
That some mishap it signifieth. 
Beware therfore and say the best, 
If thou wolt be thy self in rest, 
My gode sone, as I the rede. 7 

The story as told in all the versions, Eastern as well 
as Western, of the ' Seven Wise Masters,' was certainly 
not derived from any Greek or Eoman source, and it 
is probable that the classical legend is of Indian ex- 
traction. This is how it is related in the Persian 
' Sindibad Nama ' : 

There once lived in Egypt a confectioner, who had 
a very beautiful wife, and a parrot that performed, as 
occasion required, the office of watchman, guard, police- 
man, bell, or spy, and napped his wings did he hear a 
fly buzzing about the sugar. This parrot was a great 
annoyance to the wife, always telling the suspicious 
husband what took place in his absence. One evening, 
before going out to visit a friend, the confectioner gave 

1 Slew. 2 Them. 8 Wicked. 4 Revenge. 

8 Before ; hitherto. 6 Called ; named. 7 I thee advise. 


the parrot strict injunctions to watch all night, and de- 
sired his wife to make all fast, as he should not return 
till morning. No sooner had he left than the woman 
went for her lover, who returned with her, and they 
passed the night together in mirth and feasting, while 
the parrot observed all. In the morning the lover de- 
parted, and the husband, returning, was informed by the 
parrot of what had taken place; upon which he hastened 
to his wife's apartment and beat her soundly. She 
thought to herself, who could have informed against her, 
and asked a woman who was in her confidence whether 
she had done so. The woman protested, " by what is 
hidden and what is open," that she had not betrayed 
her ; but informed her that in the morning her hus- 
band, on his return, stood some time before the cage, 
and listened to the talking of the parrot. When the 
wife heard this, she resolved to plot the destruction of 
the bird. Some days after, the husband was again 
invited to the house of a friend, where he was to pass 
the night. Before departing, he gave the parrot the 
same injunctions as before. His heart was free from 
care, for he had his spy at home. She and her confi- 
dante then planned how they might destroy the credit 
of the parrot with its master. For this purpose they 
resolved to counterfeit a storm, which they effected by 
means of a hand-mill placed over the parrot's head, 
which the lover worked by a rush of water, by 
blowing a bellows, and by suddenly uncovering a 
taper hid under a dish. Thus did they raise such a 
[sham] tempest of rain and lightning that the parrot 


was drenched and immersed in a deluge. Now rolled 
the thunder, now flashed the lightning the one from 
the noise of the hand-mill, the other from the reflec- 
tion of the taper. " Surely," thought the parrot to 
itself, " the deluge has come on, and such a one as 
perhaps N"oah never witnessed." So saying, he buried 
his head under his wing, a prey to terror. The hus- 
band, on his return, hastened to the parrot to inquire 
what had happened during his absence. The bird 
replied that he found it impossible to convey an idea 
of the deluge and tempest of last night ; it would take 
years to describe the uproar of the hurricane and 
storm. When the shopkeeper heard the bird talk of 
last night's deluge, he said, " Surely, O bird, you are 
gone mad. Where was there even in a dream rain 
or lightning last night ? You have utterly ruined my 
house and ancient family. My wife is the most virtu- 
ous woman of the age, and all your accusations of her 
are false." In anger he dashed the cage upon the 
ground, tore off the parrot's head, and threw it from 
the window. Presently his friend, coming to call upon 
him, saw the parrot in this condition, with head torn 
off, and without wings or plumage. Being informed 
of the circumstances, he suspected some trick on the 
part of the wife, so he said to the husband, " When 
your wife leaves home to go to the bath, compel her 
confidante to disclose the secret." As soon, therefore, 
as his wife went out, the husband entered his harem, 
and insisted on the woman telling him the truth. She 
detailed the whole story, and the husband now bitterly 


repented having killed the parrot, of whose innocence 
he had proof. 

In the Hebrew version of the Book of Sindibad 
(' Mishle Sandabar ') the husband " slew the parrot, and 
sent to bring his wife, and gave her presents " ; in the 
Arabic, he kills the parrot, and afterwards discovering 
the bird's innocence and his wife's guilt, according to 
one text he divorces her, but in the others he kills 
both the woman and her paramour. In the Syriac 
(' Sindban ') and the old Spanish (' Libro de los Engan- 
nos et los Asayaniientos de las Mugeres,' Book of the 
Deceits and Tricks of Women), as in the Hebrew text, 
he kills the parrot, and is reconciled to his wife. The 
story also occurs in the Turkish romance of the Forty 
Vazfrs (' Qirq Vezir '), with some variations : A piece 
of bullock's hide is beat from time to time to imitate 
thunder; water is sprinkled on the bird through a 
sieve ; and a looking-glass is flashed now and again : 
in this version the husband does not kill the parrot, 
which is also the conclusion of the Greek text of the 
Book of Sindibad ('Syntipas'). The story was very- 
popular in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, 
forming one of the tales and fables in John of Capua's 
' Directorum Humanse Vitse,' a Latin version of the 
Fables of Bidpa'i ; and it is also found in the ' Discorsi 
degli Animali ' and the ' Giorni ' of Sansovini. 

The story related by the parrot on the first night in 
some texts of the Persian ' Tiiti Nama ' is a variant of 
the tale of the Merchant and his Parrot : Once on a 


time, in days of yore, a merchant having occasion to 
travel, left his goods and chattels and his wife in 
charge of a cockatoo. While he is absent, his wife 
entertains a young man every evening ; but when he 
returns home, the discreet bird, in giving him an ac- 
count of all other transactions, says not a word about 
the lady's merry pranks. The merchant, however, 
soon hears of them from a " good-natured friend," and 
reproaches and punishes his wife. Suspecting the 
cockatoo to have blabbed, the lady goes at night to 
the cage, takes out the bird, plucks off all its feathers, 
and throws it into the street. In the morning, when 
her husband misses his favourite bird, she tells him 
that a cat had carried it off; but he discredits her 
story, and thrusts her out of doors. Meantime the 
cockatoo has taken up its abode in the burying-ground, 
to which the poor woman also retires ; and the cockatoo 
advises her to shave her head and remain there fasting 
during forty days, after which she should be reconciled 
to her husband. This she does, and at the end of the 
prescribed period the cockatoo goes to his old master 
and upbraids him for his cruel treatment of his inno- 
cent wife, who had been fasting forty days in the 
burying-ground. The husband hastens to seek his 
wife, asks her forgiveness, and they live together after- 
wards in perfect harmony. "In like manner," adds 
the story-telling parrot, "shall I conceal your secret 
from your husband, or make your peace with him if 
he should find it out." l 

1 The 68th chapter of the Continental ' Gesta Romanorum ' seems 


Whether the leading story of the Parrot-Book sug- 
gested the incident of the two birds left by Kasalu to 
watch his wife's conduct, is a question which cannot 
well be decided in the absence of any knowledge of 
the approximate date of the original Sanskrit work. 
The resemblance is certainly too close to be merely 
fortuitous; and the legend of Eaja Kasalu and Eani 
Kokilan has been current in the Panjab time out of 
mind. It is the opinion of some scholars that the 
' Sindibad ' story of the Merchant and his Parrot was 
adapted from the frame of the ' Suka Saptati,' and that 
the other (second) tales of the Vazirs in the several 
existing representatives of the Book of Sindibad were 
also taken from that work. Others, again, contend that 
these tales were taken into the Parrot-Book from the 
Book of Sindibad. 

In Indian tales and fables the parrot is a favourite 

near akin to the story of the Woman and the Parrot : A certain 
noble had a fair but vicious wife. It happened that her husband, 
having occasion to travel, was from home, and the lady sent for her 
gallant, and rioted hi every excess of wickedness. Now one of her 
handmaids, it seems, was skilful in interpreting the song of birds ; 
and in the court of the castle were three cocks. During the night, 
while the gallant was with his mistress, the first cock began to crow. 
The lady heard it, and said to her servant, " Dear friend, what says 
yonder cock ? " She replied, " That you are grossly injuring your 
husband." Then said the lady, "Kill that cock without delay." 
They did so ; but soon after the second cock crew, and the lady 
repeated the question. " Madam," said the handmaid, " he says, 
' My companion died for revealing the truth, and for the same cause 
I am prepared to die.' " " Kill him," said the lady, which they did. 
After this the third cock crew. " What says he ? " cried the lady 
again. " ' Hear, see, and say nothing, if you would live in peace.' " 
" Oh," said the lady, " don't kill him." 



character, probably from the remarkable facility with 
which that bird imitates the human voice, as also from 
the belief in metempsychosis, or transmigration of 
human souls after death into other animal forms. 
Stories of wise parrots frequently occur in the ' Katha 
Sarit Sagara ' ; sometimes they are merely birds, but 
often they are men or women who have been re-born 
in that form. The third of the Twenty-five Tales of a 
Vetala, or vampyre ('Vetala Panchavinsati'), relates 
how a king had a parrot that was "possessed of a 
god-like knowledge, versed in all the ' Sastras,' having 
been born in that condition owing to a curse " ; and 
his queen had a hen-maina " remarkable for know- 
ledge." They are put into the same cage, and " one 
day the parrot became enamoured of the maina, and 
said to her, " Marry me, fair one, as we sleep, perch, 
and feed in the same cage." But the maina answered 
him, " I do not desire intimate union with a male, for 
all males are wicked and ungrateful." The parrot 
answered, " It is not true that males are wicked, but 
females are wicked and cruel-hearted." So a dispute 
arose between them, until at length they agreed each 
should relate a story, the one to show that men are 
all wicked and ungrateful, the other that women are 
wicked and cruel-hearted ; and if the maina won, the 
parrot should be her slave, but if the parrot won, then 
he should have the maina for his wife. In a Gujeratf 
metrical version of the 'Sinhasana Dwatrinsati' (Thirty- 
two Tales of a Throne), by Samala Bhata, this story 
reappears in an extended form, and with two parrots 


in place of a parrot and a maina tale of the Twenty- 
second Statue. In the Bahar-i Danush (Spring of 
Knowledge), composed by 'Inayatu-'llah of Delhi, a 
wise parrot inflames the hero with love for a princess 
whose beauty it describes eloquently, and accompanies 
him as guide on his travels in quest of the lady. And 
in the story of ' Nala and Damayanti,' a swan incites 
love between the hero and heroine by praising to each 
the personal charms and good qualities of the other. 
This beautiful tale which is an episode of the ' Maha- 
bharata was translated from the Tamil by Kindersley 
in the end of last century ; and the Sanskrit original 
has been rendered into graceful English verse by Dean 



A LTHOUGH the frame, or leading story, of the 
**~* : romance of the 'Seven Wise Masters,' in its 
European versions Latin, French, Spanish, German, 
Italian, English, etc. generally corresponds with that 
of its Indian prototype, the Book of Sindibad, as re- 
presented by several Eastern texts, yet the subordi- 
nate tales for the most part belong exclusively to this 
Western group. One of these, the Eobbery of the 
King's Treasury, has been traced in a former paper 
through a great variety of versions (ante, p. 115 ff.), 
and in the present paper I shall endeavour to throw 
some new light on the history of another, which is 
commonly known as " The Two Dreams," or " The 
Elopement," of which the outline is as follows : l 

A certain noble knight of Hungary dreamt of seeing 
a very beautiful lady, but knew her not; and it so 
happened that the lady whom he saw in his dream 

1 English metrical MS. text of ' The Seven Sages ' composed pro- 
bably about the end of the fourteenth century edited by Wright, 
and printed in vol. xvi. of the Percy Society's publications. 


that same night dreamt also of him. 1 Next day the 
knight of Hungary took horse and arms, and proceeded 
in quest of the lady. Three weeks and more did he 
ride, sorely sighing for his lady-love, till he came to a 
town where was a fair castle, strongly fortified. He 
took up his abode at the inn, and on questioning the 
landlord regarding the castle and its owner, learned 
that it belonged to a lord who had a fair jewel of a 
wife, of whom he was so jealous that two years ago he 
built a strong tower at one end of the castle, in which 
he confined her, with one maiden as her companion ; 
and he always carried the key of the tower, which was 
never opened save when he himself visited her. Now 
the knight had already seen the lady looking out of 
the tower window, and recognised her as the object of 
his dream. The following day he went to the castle 
and offered his services to the old lord, who heartily 
bade him welcome ; and the knight, being a good and 
valiant warrior, conquered all his enemies for him, so 
that the old lord loved him fondly, and made him 
steward of his lands. 

One day, when the knight chanced to be under the 
tower, the lady perceived and recognised him as the 
same she had seen in her dream, and contrived to 
communicate with him by means of a rope of rushes 
let down from the window. The knight now planned 
a crafty device, by which he should enjoy the society 
of his lady-love unknown to the old lord. He built a 

1 See note at the end of this paper : " Falling in love through a 


tower at some distance from the castle, and caused an 
underground passage to be made, leading direct from 
it to the lady's chamber. When all was completed, 
he visited the lady, who gave him a ring as a keep- 
sake, telling him, should her husband see it and appear 
suspicious, to bring it back to her at once. The old 
lord does one day recognise his wife's ring on the 
knight's finger, " as he sat at meat," and after examin- 
ing it, hastens to the tower; but the knight having 
reached the lady's chamber by the private way, and 
restored the ring, on the husband demanding to see it 
she at once produces the ring, to his great satisfac- 
tion. 1 

At length the lovers resolve to elope, and the lady 
counsels the knight to tell the old lord that, having 
slain a great man in his own country, he had been 
banished, and that his lady-love was coming to him 
with tidings of his heritage. The old lord would, of 
course, ask to see the lady, and she herself would play 
her part. The knight accordingly tells his lord this 
story, and invites him to a banquet at his house. 
Before he arrives, his wife, dressed in the costume of 
the knight's country, has reached the banqueting-hall 

1 The husband is a king in the 'Historia Septem Sapientum Romse' 
(a later prose version), and he and the knight, while hunting, having 
dismounted in order to repose during the heat of noontide, the king 
recognises the ring on the knight's finger while the latter is asleep. 
On awaking, the knight suspects from the king's countenance that 
the ring has betrayed him, and, feigning illness, obtains leave to 
return home. This incident may be compared with the first part of 
the legend of St Kentigern see vol. i. p. 400 in which the queen's 
gift to her paramour is discovered by her jealous husband under 
similar circumstances. 


by the secret passage, prepared to enact the part of 
the knight's leman. The old lord, on seeing her, thinks 
she is remarkably like his own wife ; but then he 
recollects the affair of the ring, and there might also 
be two women exactly alike. At this juncture the 
lady pretends to swoon, is taken out, and returns with 
all speed by the private way to her chamber, where, 
having changed her dress, she is found by her husband, 
whom she embraces with every token of affection. He 
was " blythe as bird on bough," says our author, and 
remained with her all night. 

On the day following the knight sends all his pro- 
perty on board a ship, and goes to take leave of the 
old lord, as he is to return at once, with his lady-love, 
to his own country. The knight and the old lord's 
wife who had now resumed the character of the sup- 
posititious lady of Hungary are accompanied by the 
deceived husband " into the sea a mile or two, with 
minstrelsy and many manner of melody," and then 
bids them farewell. On his return home, he proceeds, 
as usual, to the tower, and finds his bird has flown : 

Then sayed he, walaway ! 
That ever was he man boren ! 
Than was all his myrthe lorne. 
He lepe out of the tour anon, 
And than brake hys neke boon. 1 

1 From the Appendix to my (privately printed) versions of the 
'Book of Sindibdd,' from the Persian and Arabic : 1884. This story 
is related by the Seventh Wise Master in two old English metrical 
versions, and in the French metrical text, ' Roman des Sept Sages ' 
(about 1284) ; but by the queen on the seventh night in our prose 
English version, derived (through the French probably) from the 
' Historia Septem Sapientum." 


Dunlop has pointed out the resemblance which this 
story bears to the " Miles Gloriosus " of Plautus ; he 
also states that it coincides with "Le Chevalier a la 
Trappe," one of the ' Fabliaux ' (Le Grand, vol. iii. p. 
157); with a tale in the fourth part of the 'Novellino' 
of Massuccio Salernitano ; and with the adventures of 
the Old Calender in Gueulette's ' Contes Tartares.' l 
But he does not notice the version in Berni's ' Orlando 
Innamorato ' : 

Folderico, who had won the damsel, 2 carried her 
to a tower which he possessed upon the sea-shore, 
called Altamura, where he kept her, together with his 
treasure, under lock and key, and utterly secluded 
from the sight of man. But what will not love ? 
Ordauro, who was also rich, though not so wealthy 
as Folderico, purchased a sumptuous palace in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Altamura, and at an 
immense cost made a subterraneous passage from his 
palace to the damsel's prison, by which he visited her 
and enjoyed her society without danger. At last, how- 
ever, the lovers, tired of the restraint under which 
they carried on their intercourse, and emboldened by 
success, determined to make a desperate effort to 

With this view Ordauro communicates to Folderico 
news of his approaching nuptials with another 
daughter of Monodontes for so was called the king 

1 Dunlop 's ' History of Fiction.' 

2 Namely, the Daughter of the King of the Distant Isles, having 
distanced her in a foot-race in the same manner as was Atalanta by 
Hippomenes, the son of Macareus. 


of the Distant Isles and invites him, as his brother- 
in-law, to the marriage feast. Folderico having care- 
fully secured the gates of his tower, goes thither, and 
finding his wife installed as bride, becomes ferocious 
at the sight. Ordauro, however, with great difficulty, 
succeeds in appeasing him, by the assurance that she 
was a twin-sister of his own wife, to whom she bore a 
perfect resemblance; and by bidding him return to 
his tower and satisfy himself of the fact. The means 
of proof appeared decisive, and accordingly Folderico 
accepts them. He finds his locks as they were left, 
and his wife (who had returned by the subterraneous 
passage and changed her dress) alone and overcome 
with melancholy. He again takes the way, which was 
somewhat circuitous, to the palace of Ordauro, and 
again finds her there, shining in all the festivity of a 
bride. He can no longer resist the conviction that 
the two persons whom he had seen were different 
women, lays aside his distrust, and even offers to 
convoy the bridegroom and his bride on a part of 
their journey toward's Ordauro's natural home, to 
which he was returning. 

A certain advantage was thus gained, since Fol- 
derico never left his tower, though locked, for above 
an hour, and consequently would have soon discovered 
his loss if the lovers had eloped in secret. The party 
set out together; and at the end of the first day's 
journey, Folderico turns back and gallops to his tower. 
He is now first assured of his disgrace. Full of rage, 
he pursues his rival, but does not dare make any 


attempt to recover his wife till he has separated 
Ordauro from his adherents. Having effected this by 
a stratagem, he attacks his retainers and repossesses 
himself of the lady. He is destined to a short posses- 
sion of the prize; for he is, on his return, beset by 
giants, who seize her and all his treasure, which the 
lady was carrying off as a dowry to her new lord. He 
himself escapes. 1 

A version current among the common people of 
Borne furnishes an interesting example of the curious 
transformations which stories undergo in being trans- 
mitted by oral tradition : 

There once lived in a small cottage a poor woman 
and her daughter, a very pretty girl. At the death of 
her mother the girl was rendered homeless, and was 
wandering aimlessly about when an ugly hunchbacked 
tailor chanced to see her, and being struck with her 
beauty, he asked her name. " They call me," said she, 
' La Buona Grazia ' " (the Good Grace). " Come," said 
the hunchbacked tailor, " and be nay wife." The girl 
consents, and so he takes her to his house. Thinking 
to himself, " She's too young and pretty to care for me," 
he keeps her carefully locked up in a room up-stairs, 

1 ' The Orlando Innamorato.' Translated into prose from the 
Italian of Francesco Berni, and interspersed with extracts in the 
same stanza as the original. By William Stewart Rose. Edinburgh 
and London : 1823. Pp. 125-128. This story, of the Daughter of 
the King of the Distant Isles and her lover and husband, she herself 
relates to the brave knights Orlando and Brandimart, who had 
rescued her from the giants. The princess is afterwards reunited to 
her lover Ordauro, and they pursue their journey to his home. 


and whitened all the windows, so that she should not 
be seen by any passers-by in the street. But there was 
a small window in a dirty lumber closet that had not 
been thus obscured, and she was looking out of it one 
day when a stranger happened to pass and discovered 
her. He enters into conversation with the lovely girl, 
and learning from her that there was a large picture 
on the wall adjoining his room in the next house, he 
arranges that he should break through the wall on his 
side, and she on hers, which being done, they meet. 
The gentleman asks her if she would like to marry 
him, and she very readily consents, upon which he 
tells her that he will have a dress made for her, even 
by the hunchbacked tailor himself. So he takes her 
to the tailor, who, on seeing her, thinks she is very like 
La Buona Grazia. After he had taken her measure, the 
gentleman gives him some money to get himself break- 
fast, in order that the girl might get back and replace 
the picture. Soon after, the tailor comes into the 
girl's room, and tells her that she has got to work hard 
to make a travelling dress for the wife of a gentle- 
man staying at the inn, who is exactly like herself. 
" Going to travel ? " asks La Buona Grazia with an air 
of innocence. " Yes," says the hunchback ; " they said 
they should start as soon as the dress was ready." 
"Oh, let me see them drive off!" "Nonsense; get on 
with your work." So she went on, but teased him till 
he consented for that day to take the whitening off 
one of the windows. The dress was duly finished, and 
taken to the inn, and while the tailor was absent on 


this errand, the girl got out by the hole behind the 
picture, and joined her lover. She had previously 
dressed a great doll to look like herself, and placed it 
at the window. The tailor stood below to see the 
couple drive off; looked up and saw the doll, which, 
supposing to be La Buona Grazia, he made signs to 
her not to stay there too long. Presently the gentle- 
man and his lady came out of the inn. The hunch- 
backed tailor was standing at the door of the carriage, 
and near him were two of the inn-stablemen. " You 
give me your good grace ? " said the gentleman to the 
tailor. " Yes, yes ! " " You say it sincerely and with 
all your heart." " Yes, with all my heart." And the 
hunchback, more than delighted with the gentleman's 
condescension, put out his hand, and the two stablemen 
were looking on all the time. As soon as the carriage 
had driven off, the tailor looked up at the window to 
see if the girl had gone in, but the doll was still there. 
" Go in, go in," cries he, waving his hand. He then 
goes into the girl's room, and discovers how he had 
been tricked. He complains to the judge, and demands 
that soldiers should be sent after the fugitives. But 
the stablemen had had their orders, and were there be- 
fore him, and deponed that they were witnesses to his 
having given his Good Grace up to the gentleman with 
all his heart, and his hand upon the bargain. So 
the hunchbacked tailor got no redress. 1 

The story is also found in Pitre's Sicilian collection, 

1 " The Good Grace and the Hunchback : " Miss M. H. Busk's 
' Folk-Lore of Rome,' p. 399. 


" where it is told of a tailor who lived next to the 
king's palace (sic), with which his house communi- 
cated by a secret door, known only to the king and the 
tailor's wife. The tailor, while at work in the palace, 
imagines he sees his wife there, and pretending that 
he has forgotten his shears, etc., rushes home, to find 
his wife there. She finally elopes with the king, leav- 
ing at her window an image that -deceives her husband 
until she is beyond pursuit." x 

The principal part of the intrigue in the "Miles 
Gloriosus " of Plautus, which properly commences with 
the second act, is thus sketched by Dunlop : 

While residing at Athens, the captain had purchased 
from her mother a young girl whose lover was at that 
time absent on an embassy and had brought her 
with him to his house at Ephesus. The lover's slave 
entered into the captain's service, and seeing the girl 
in his possession, wrote to his former master, who, on 
learning the fate of his mistress, repaired to Ephesus, 
and there went to reside with Periplectomenes, a merry 
old bachelor, who had been a friend of his father, and 
who now agreed to assist him in recovering the object 
of his affections. The house of Periplectomenes being 
immediately adjacent to that of the captain, the in- 
genious slave dug an opening between them, and the 
keeper, who had been entrusted by the captain with 
charge of the damsel, was thus easily persuaded, by her 

1 Crane's ' Italian Popular Tales,' p. 167. This Sicilian variant is 
ludicrously garbled, judging from the above outline. 


rapid, and to him unaccountable, transition from one 
building to the other, that it was a twin-sister who 
had arrived at the house of Periplectomenes, and who 
possessed an extraordinary resemblance to her. After- 
wards, by a new contrivance, a courtesan is employed to 
personate the wife of Periplectomenes, and to persuade 
the captain that she is in love with him. To facilitate 
this amour, he allows the girl whom he had purchased 
at Athens to depart with her " twin-sister " her lover 
having assumed the character of the master of the 
vessel in which she sailed. The captain afterwards 
goes to the house of Periplectomenes to a supposed 
assignation, where he is seized and beat, but does not 
discover how completely he has been duped till the 
Athenian girl had got clear off with her lover. 1 

While Dunlop did not, apparently, know of the 
existence of the story in Berni's ' Orlando Innamorato,' 
Rose, on the other hand, seems to have been ignorant 
of its forming the main part of the plot of the " Miles 
Gloriosus " ; since, in a note to his outline of Berni's 
version of the story, he says that, " as the author was 
indebted to Greek fable for the beginning, 2 so was he 
indebted to Norman story for the subsequent adven- 
ture ; " adding, " the story would seem to be of Eastern 
origin." What reason he had to conjecture that the 

1 ' History of Roman Literature. From its Earliest Period to the 
Augustan Age.' In Two Volumes. By John Dunlop, author of ' The 
History of Fiction.' London : 1823. Vol. i. pp. 212, 213. 

2 That is, the foot-race A la Atalanta between Folderico and the 
princess see ante, p. 216, note 2. 


story is of Asiatic extraction does not appear: it is 
certain he could not have known of any Eastern form 
of it ; and indeed but one is known even at the pres- 
ent time, namely, an Arabian version, which is found 
in the Breslau-printed text of the ' Thousand and One 
Nights/ and of which the following is a translation : 

There was once in a certain city a woman fair of 
favour, who had to lover a trooper. Her husband was 
a fuller, and when he went out to his business, the 
trooper used to come to her and abide with her till the 
time of the fuller's return, when he would go away. On 
this wise they abode awhile, until one day the trooper 
said to his mistress, " I mean to take me a house near 
unto thine, and dig an underground passage from my 
house to thy house, and do thou say to thy husband, 
' My sister hath been absent with her husband, and 
now they have returned from their travels ; and I have 
made her take up her sojourn in my neighbourhood, 
so as I may foregather with her at all times. So go 
thou to her husband the trooper and offer him thy 
wares [for sale], and thou wilt see my sister with him, 
and wilt see that she is I and I am she, without doubt. 
So, Allah ! Allah ! go to my sister's husband and give 
ear to that which he shall say to thee.' " Accordingly 
the trooper bought him a house near at hand, and 
made therein an underground passage communicating 
with his mistress' house. 

When he had accomplished this affair, the wife be- 
spoke her husband as her lover had lessoned her, and 
he went out to go to the trooper's house, but turned 


back by the way, whereupon quoth she to him, " By 
Allah, go forthright, for that my sister asketh of thee." 
So the dolt of a fuller went out, and made for the 
trooper's house, whilst his wife forewent him thither 
by the secret passage, and going up, sat down by her 
lover. Presently the fuller entered and saluted the 
trooper and his [supposed] wife, and was confounded 
at the coincidence of the case. Then doubt betided 
him, and he returned in haste to his dwelling; but 
she forewent him by the underground passage to her 
chamber, and, donning her wonted clothes, sat [wait- 
ing] for him, and said to him, " Did I not bid thee go 
to my sister and salute her husband, and make friends 
with them ? " Quoth he, " I did this, but I misdoubted 
the affair, when I saw his wife." And she said, " Did 
I not tell thee that she resembleth me and I her, and 
there is nought to distinguish between us but our 
clothes? Go back to her." So, of the heaviness of 
his wit, he believed her, and turning back, went in to 
the trooper ; but she had foregone him, and when he 
saw her beside her lover, he fell to looking on her and 
pondering. Then he saluted her, and she returned 
him the salutation; and when she spoke he was be- 
wildered. So the trooper said to him, " What ails thee 
to be thus ? " And he answered, " This woman is my 
wife, and the voice is her voice." Then he rose in 
haste, and returning to his own house, saw his wife, 
who had foregone him by the secret passage. So he 
went back to the trooper's house and saw her sitting 
as before ; whereupon he was abashed before her, and 


sitting down in the trooper's sitting-chamber, ate and 
drank with him, and became drunken, and abode 
without sense all that day till nightfall, when the 
trooper arose, and, shaving off some of the fuller's hair 
[which was long and flowing], after the fashion of the 
Turks, clipped the rest short, and clapped a tarbosh on 
his head. Then he thrust his feet into boots, and girt 
him with a sword and a girdle, and bound about his 
middle a quiver and a bow and arrows. Moreover, he 
put money in his pocket, and thrust into his sleeve 
letters-patent addressed to the governor of Ispahan, 
bidding him assign to Kustam Khemartekeni a month- 
ly allowance of a hundred dirhams l and ten pounds of 
bread and five pounds of meat, and enrol him among 
the Turks under his commandment. Then he took 
him up, and carrying him forth, left him in one of the 
mosques. \ 

The fuller gave not over sleeping till sunrise, when 
he awoke, and finding himself in this plight, mis- 
doubted of his affair, and imagined that he was a Turk, 
and abode putting one foot forward and drawing the 
other back. Then said he in himself, " I will go to 
my dwelling, and if my wife know me, then am I 
Ahmed the Fuller, but if she know me not, I am a 
Turk." 2 So he betook himself to his house ; but when 

1 About fifty shillings. 

2 This recalls the favourite nursery rhyme of the little old woman 
who " went to market her eggs to sell," and falling asleep on the road, 
a naughty pedlar cut her petticoats " up to the knees " : 

When the little woman first did wake, 

She began to shiver and she began to shake ; 



the artful baggage, his wife, saw him, she cried out in 
his face, saying, " Whither away, trooper ? Wilt 
thou break into the house of Ahmed the Fuller, and he 
a man of repute, having a brother-in-law a Turk, a 
man of high standing with the sultan ? An thou 
depart not, I will acquaint my husband, and he will 
requite thee thy deed." When he heard her words, 
the dregs of the drunkenness wrought in him, and he 
imagined that he was indeed a Turk. So he went out 
from her, and putting his hand to his sleeve found 
therein a scroll, and gave it to one who read it to him. 
When he heard that which was written in the scroll, 
his mind was confirmed in the false supposition ; but 
he said in himself, " May be my wife seeketh to put a 
cheat on me ; so I will go to my fellows the fullers, 
and if they know me not, then am I for sure Khemar- 
tekeni the Turk." So he betook himself to the fullers, 
and when they espied him afar off, they thought that 
he was one of the Turks who used to wash their clothes 
with them without payment, and gave them nothing. 
Now they had complained of this aforetime to the 
sultan, and he said, " If any of the Turks come to you, 
pelt them with stones." So when they saw the fuller, 
they fell upon him with sticks and stones, and pelted 
him ; whereupon quoth he [in himself], " Verily, I am 
a Turk and knew it not ! " Then he took of the money 

She began to wonder, she began to cry 
" Lawk-a-merey 011 me, this is none of I ! 

" But if this be I, as I do hope it be, 

I've a little dog at home, and he'll know me ; 

If it be I, he'll wag his little tail, 

And if it be not I, he'll loudly bark and wail." 


in his pocket and bought him victual [for the journey], 
and hired a stout hackney, and set out for Ispahan, 
leaving his wife to the trooper. 1 

In a prologue to the second act of the " Miles Glori- 
osus," the plot of the drama is said to have been taken 
from the Greek play 'AXa&v, but whether the Greek 
dramatist was the inventor of the intrigue, or borrowed 
it from some popular tale of Eastern extraction, is not 
known. Whatever may have been the source whence 
the Arabian version was derived and the circum- 
stance that it is found only in a text of the " Nights " 
which is said to have been made in Tunis would seem 
to point to a Turkish one it is very unlikely that it 
was adapted from the comedy of Plautus. True, in 
Berni and the Arabian version, as in Plautus, the 
damsel is represented to the husband as a twin-sister 
of his wife ; but, on the other hand, the Arabian story 
corresponds with the version in the ' Seven "Wise Mas- 
ters ' in at least one particular, namely, in the lover's 
house being situated at some distance from the house 
of his mistress. The Italian and Sicilian versions 
seem to be distorted reflections of Plautus; at all 
events, in all three the house of the damsel adjoins 

i 'Tales from the Arabic of the Breslau and Calcutta (1814-18) 
editions of the " Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night," not 
occurring in the other printed texts of the work. Now first done 
into English by John Payne.' London (privately printed), 1884. Vol. 
i. p. 261. This version of The Elopement forms one of twenty-eight 
tales related to Shah Bakht by his vazir Er-Rahwan, a romance found 
only in the Breslau -printed text of " The Nights ; " see an account 
of this romance, pages 63 and 64 of the present volume. 


that of her lover. It is probable, on the whole, that 
the original story is best preserved in the ' Seven Wise 
Masters ' : the incident of the two dreams with which 
the version in that work commences is essentially 
Oriental ; and many parallels to it are known to exist 
in the fictions of India and Persia. 


In the Hindu romance entitled ' Vasavadattd,' by Subhan- 
dhu (7th century), as analysed by Colebrooke in vol. x. of 
' Asiatic Researches,' Candaspascetu, a young and valiant 
prince, saw in a dream a beautiful maiden, of whom he became 
enamoured. Impressed with the belief that a person such as he 
had seen in his dream had a real existence, he resolves to travel 
in search of her, and departs, attended only by his confidant 
Macaranda. While reposing under a tree in a forest at the foot 
of the Vindhya mountains, where they halted, Macaranda over- 
hears two birds conversing, 1 and from their discourse learns that 
the princess Vasavadattd, having rejected all the suitors who had 
been assembled by the king her father for her to make choice of 
a husband, had seen Candaspascetu in a dream, in which she had 
even learned his name. Her confidante, Samdlika, sent by her 
in search of the prince, has arrived in the same forest, and is 
discovered there by Macaranda. She delivers the prince a letter 
from the princess, and conducts him to the king's palace. He 
obtains from the princess the avowal of her love, and her con- 
fidante reveals to him the violence of her passion. 

1 This may be added to the other examples of secrets learned from 
birds, adduced in vol. i. p. 242 ff. 



is the title of an Irish legend, related with 
-*- much humour by Samuel Lover, which is even 
as widespread as the story of the Eobbery of the King's 
Treasury, to which indeed it is closely allied : 

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had two 
wives for in those days a man could have more than 
one wife at a time by one of whom he had a son, who 
was very sharp-witted, and was called, from his dim- 
inutive size, Little Fairly ; by the other he had a son of 
huge dimensions, and as stupid as his half-brother was 
clever. The old man left all his possessions to his big 
son, with the exception of one poor cow, which he be- 
queathed to Little Fairly, desiring his favourite son to 
allow it to graze on his land. The big brother, however, 
grudging even this small concession, contrives to cause 
the death of Little Fairly's cow, for he bore him a 
bitter hatred. Then Little Fairly takes off the skin of 
the wretched animal, and splitting it in a few places 
puts into them some shillings, and goes away to market, 
where he demands a hundred guineas for it, which 


soon brings a jeering crowd about him. But he tells 
the people that the skin has the wonderful property of 
producing any quantity of shillings whenever it is beat 
with a stick ; and in proof of this he thrashes the skin 
at a place where he had slipped in a coin, when, sure 
enough, out drops a shilling, to the admiration of the 
onlookers, and he repeats the process several times, 
until a greedy old farmer calls out to him to stop, and 
handing him a hundred guineas, folds up the magical 
skin and hastens home with his prize. Next day 
Little Fairly sends to his big brother to borrow his 
scales, and he is engaged ostensibly in weighing his 
gold, when the brother pops in, and seeing what he is 
about, asks him where he got so much money. Little 
Fairly tells him that he had got a hundred guineas for 
the old cow's hide at the market, and he at once goes 
home and slaughters all his kine and calves, and takes 
their skins to market, where he demands a hundred 
and ten guineas for each. But by this time the folks 
had heard of Little Fairly's trick, and conceiving this 
to be another attempt to impose on them, they set upon 
him with their sticks, and left him with aching bones. 
When he got home he went to Little Fairly's hut 
with a big stick, and while attempting to fell him, he 
accidentally struck his old mother and killed her on the 
spot. But Little Fairly determines to make profit 
even out of this misfortune. His old mother had been 
a nurse in the squire's family, and the children were 
still fond of her, for she often visited at the mansion, 
and brought them gingerbread. So he carried the body 


to the squire's, and having propped it close by the well 
in the garden, went into the house, and told the squire's 
children that " old mammy nurse " was in the garden 
with gingerbread for them. Hearing this, they all 
scampered out, and in their race to be first they came 
bump against the body, which tumbled into the well. 
Little Fairly sets up a great cry at this fatal accident, 
and the squire gives him fifty guineas, and undertakes 
to bury the old woman " dacently." Eeturning home, 
he again borrows his brother's scales, telling him that 
he had got a " thrifle " of fifty guineas for the corpse of 
the old woman. So the big brother kills his old mother, 
and takes her body to the same doctor who had bought 
the other, as Little Fairly pretended. The doctor, how- 
ever, was horror-struck at the offer, and bade him be 
off, or he would give him into custody as a murderer. 
Enraged at being again tricked by the little " spal- 
peen," he vows that he will throw him into the deepest 
hole in the Bog of Allen ; and so he stuffs Little Fairly 
into a sack, and rides off with him. On the way he 
alights at a public-house, and sets the sack against 
the wall outside. While he is drinking his whisky, 
a farmer comes up with a great drove of cattle, and 
hearing groans from something in the sack, he asks who 
is there, when Little Fairly calls out that he is going 
straight to Paradise in this holy sack. The farmer 
offers his horse, his drove of cattle, and five hundred 
guineas, if Little Fairly will allow him to get into the 
sack in his place, to which he agrees ; and after the 
blockhead has set him at liberty and is himself secured 


in the sack, Little Fairly mounts his horse and drives 
the cattle away. At length the big brother comes out 
of the tavern, and taking up the sack, which he found 
much heavier than before, but without suspecting its 
changed contents, he proceeds to the Bog of Allen, into 
the deepest hole of which he throws the unlucky 
farmer. On his way home he sees Little Fairly on 
horseback and driving a fine lot of cattle. Inquiring 
where he had got the beeves, Little Fairly tells him 
that he took them from amongst many thousands that 
grazed in the meadows at the bottom of the big hole 
into which he had been thrown, adding that there was 
an easy way from the place to upper-earth. Upon 
this the big brother gallops off and casts himself into 
the hole and he never came back to persecute clever 
Little Fairly. 

There is another Irish version, in which a poor 
fellow called Darby Daly puts some coins in his grey 
horse's dung, and pretends that he thus produces 
money. Mr Purcell buys the horse of him; and 
when he comes to revenge himself for the cheat, and 
have the rascal hung, Darby pretends that he has 
come to contention with his wife, and, having pre- 
viously fastened a sheep's stomach full of blood round 
her neck (concealed by her dress), he stabs her, and 
she falls apparently dead. Then he reanimates her by 
blowing in her ear with a ram's horn. Purcell is 
appeased, and buys the horn. He goes home and 
stabs his wife, and in vain attempts to resuscitate 


her. Purcell then stuffs Darby in a sack, intending to 
drown him ; but while the persons he has engaged to 
do this piece of business turn into a tavern, a pedlar 
passes by, and changes places with Darby, who makes 
him believe he has to marry Purcell's daughter and 
doesn't like her. So the pedlar is drowned. Darby 
goes round with his wares, and after some time he 
comes to Purcell, who is much frightened at seeing him. 
Darby pretends that he is a blest spirit, and brings greet- 
ing from Purcell's wife in purgatory, and in her name 
asks for money, which Purcell readily gives him. 1 

The Norse tale of " Big Peter and Little Peter " is 
own brother to the Irish legend of Little Fairly, but 
varies somewhat in the earlier details. Little Peter's 
sole possession is a calf, which his big brother kills, 
because it grazed in his field. Having taken off the 
skin and dried it, Little Peter goes away to sell it, 
but no one would buy such a tattered thing. Coming 
at night to a farm-house, he asks for lodgings, but the 
farmer's wife refuses him, saying that she is quite 
alone, and could not admit any one in the absence 

1 This last incident is the subject of a quite different story, which 
is widely spread. For instance : in the Norse tale (Dasent) entitled 
" Not a Pin to choose between them," an old fellow sets out in quest 
of three greater fools than his own wife, and, among other curious 
adventures, persuades a simple-minded woman that he has come from 
Paradise, where one of her husbands (for she had been thrice married) 
is in rather sad case as to clothes and food, and gets from her good 
store of both to take back to him. This tale is also current in 
Brittany, and similar stories are found in Miss Busk's ' Folk- Lore 
of Rome ' and Nate"sa Sastri's ' Folk-Lore in Southern India.' More- 
over, the story is well known in Ceylon see my ' Book of Noodles.' 


of her husband. But Little Peter, peeping in at the 
window, sees the dame and the parish priest at 
supper together, regaling themselves on a great bowl 
of custard, and having plenty of ale and brandy be- 
sides. Presently the farmer is heard approaching, 
upon which the good dame locks the priest in a 
great chest, and hides the bowl of custard in the 
oven and the liquors in the cellar. The farmer being 
admitted, Peter again knocks at the door, and is 
heartily welcomed by the good man. Sitting down 
with his calf's skin at his feet, he thus addresses it, 
" What are you saying now ? " The farmer asks him 
who he is talking with. "It is a spae-maiden I've 
got in my calf's skin," he replies. "And what does 
she spae ? " " She says there's a bowl of custard in 
the oven." The farmer, on searching, discovers it, 
and also, by the directions of the "spae-maiden," 
the ale and brandy hidden in the cellar. 1 Amazed 
at this, the farmer offers to buy the calf's skin, and 
Peter says he will sell it for the great chest [in 

1 Although this incident does not occur in the story of Little 
Fairly, a variant of it is found in another Irish popular tale, current in 
the county of Kerry, which the Hon. J. Abercrombie has published 
in the ' Folk-Lore Journal ' for 1885. A poor lad enters the service 
of a farmer, and he is not at liberty to leave until (among other stipu- 
lations) the cat can speak. The farmer's wife is in love with the land- 
lord, and had one day concealed in her bedroom a dish of fowls which 
she designed for him. In the evening the lad takes up the cat and 
pretends to converse with her. His master asks what the cat is saying. 
" She says, there's a dish of fowls in the bedroom," quoth the lad. So 
the farmer goes thither, and finds " the cat " has told nothing but the 
truth. In the sequel, both the wicked landlord and the farmer's wife 
come to well-merited punishment through the poor lad's clever devices. 


which the priest is locked], to which the farmer 
readily agrees. The dame, secretly alarmed, declares 
she has lost the key, but Peter will take it notwith- 
standing ; and so, shouldering his bargain, he trudges 
off. When he comes to a bridge he sets down his 
burden on the parapet, exclaiming, "This is too 
heavy for me to carry farther; I will throw it into 
the river." On hearing this the priest implores 
him not to do so, but to set him free, and he should 
have for his reward 800 dollars and his gold watch. 
So Peter takes a stone and breaks the lock, and the 
priest got out and went home, minus his watch and 
money. When Peter reached home, he said to his 
big brother, "There was a good sale for calf -skins 
in the market to-day. I got 800 dollars for my 
tattered one, but bigger and stouter ones fetch twice 
as much," and shows his dollars. "'Twas well you 
told me this," answered Big Peter, who went and 
slaughtered all his kine and calves, and set off on 
the road to town with their skins. So when he 
got to the market, and the tanners asked what he 
wanted for his hides, Big Peter said he must have 
800 dollars for the small ones, and so on, more and 
more for the big ones. But all the folk laughed and 
made game of him he'd better turn into a mad- 
house for a better bargain ; and so he found out 
how things had gone, and that Little Peter had 
played him a trick. 

After this he determined to make short work of 
Little Peter; but the latter, suspecting as much, got 


his mother to exchange places with him in bed, and 
Big Peter with his axe cut off her head, thinking he 
had done for his brother. But next morning Little 
Peter shows him what he had done, and gets 800 
dollars from him as hush-money. Then he set his 
mother's head on her body again, put her on a hand- 
sledge, and so drew her to market. There he set her 
up with an apple-basket on each arm and an apple 
in each hand. By-and-by came a skipper, walking 
along; he thought she was an apple -woman, and 
asked if she had apples to sell, and how many he 
might have for a penny. But the old woman made 
no answer. So the skipper asked again. 'No I she 
hadn't a word to say for herself. "How many may 
I have for a penny ? " he bawled the third time, but 
the old dame sat bolt upright, as though she neither 
saw him nor heard what he said. Then the skipper 
flew into such a rage that he gave her one under 
the ear, and so away rolled her head across the 
market-place. At that moment up came Little 
Peter with a bound ; he fell a- weeping and bewail- 
ing, and threatened to make the skipper smart for it 
for dealing the old woman her death-blow. "Dear 
friend, only hold your tongue about what you know," 
said the skipper, " and you shall have 800 dollars." 
And so they made it up. 

Big Peter, having learned that Little Peter had got 
800 dollars for the body of his old mother, went and 
killed his mother-in-law, then tried to sell the body, 
and narrowly escaped being handed over to the sheriff. 


Then he threatens to strike Little Peter dead, but 
Little Peter suggests that he should rather put him 
in a sack and throw him in the river. On the way 
Big Peter found that he had forgotten something, so 
he set down the sack by the road-side, and went back 
for it. Just then came by a man driving a flock of 
fat sheep, and Little Peter roars out lustily 

" To kingdom-come, to Paradise ! 
To kingdom-come, to Paradise ! " 

The shepherd asks leave to go with him, and Little 
Peter bids him untie the sack, and he can creep into 
it in his stead for his own part, another time will 
do as well. Big Peter throws the man in the sack 
into the river, and returning home overtakes Little 
Peter with the flock of sheep ; and being told that he 
had got them at the bottom of the river, where they 
were in thousands, Big Peter gets his wife to tie him 
in a sack and throw him in; should he not return 
soon, it would be because the flock was bigger than 
he could manage, so she must jump after him, which 
she does. And so Little Peter got rid of them both. 1 

A considerably amplified version of the droll inci- 
dent of Little Peter and the priest in the chest is found 
in the once-popular 'History of Friar Bush,' as follows : 

" Eush got up earely in the morning and went to 
the field, and about his worke ; so soone as his master 
was ready, he tooke his man's breakfast and came to 

1 Dasent's ' Popular Tales from the Norse,' second ed., p. 387 ff. 


the field, thinking to helpe Eush. (But he was no 
sooner come from his house but the priest came to 
see his wife, and presently she made ready some good 
meate for them to be merry withall, and whyle it was 
a dressing, they sate sporting together who had beene 
there should have scene many loving touches.) And 
when the goodman came to the field, he found that 
Rush had done all that which he appointed, whereof 
he had great marvaile ; then they sate downe to 
breakfast, and as they sate together, Rush beheld his 
master's shoone, and perceived that for fault of greas- 
ing they were very hard : then said Rush to his master, 
Why are not your shooes better greased ? I marvaile 
that you can goe in them, they be so hard. Have you 
no more at home ? Yes, said his master, I have another 
payre lying under a great chest at home in my 
chamber. Then said Rush, I will goe home and 
grease them, that you may put them on to-morrow ; 
and so he walked homeward merrily and sung by the 
way. And when he approached neare the house he 
sung out very loude ; with that his dame looked out 
at the window, and perceiving that it was her servant, 
shee said unto the priest, Alas, what shall we doe ? 
Our servant is come home, and my husband will not 
be long after ; and with that she thrust the meate into 
the oven, and all that was upon the table. Where 
shall I hyde me ? said the priest. Goe into the 
chamber, and creepe under the great chest, among 
the olde shoone, and I shall cover you : and so she did. 
And when Rush was come into the house, his dame 


asked him why he came home so soone ? Eush an- 
swered and said, I have done all my busines, and my 
master commaunded me to come home and grease his 
shoone. Then he went into the chamber and looked 
under the chest, and there he found the priest, and 
tooke him by the heeles and drew him out, and said, 
Thou whoreson priest, what doest thou here ? With 
that, the priest held up his hands and cryed him 
mercy, and desired him to save his honesty, and hee 
would never more come there ; and so Eush let him 
goe for that once." 

The priest broke his word, however, returned, and 
was again surprised by Eush, who found him hidden 
under some straw in the stable. A second time he 
was permitted to escape, though not till after he had 
received " three or four good dry stripes," and had 
solemnly promised never to return. Yet the priest 
ventured to break his word again, and in a visit to 
the farmer's wife their merriment was a third time 
interrupted by the familiar song of Eush, who was 
returning from his labours. 

" Then wringing her hands she said unto the priest, 
Goe hyde you, or else you be but dead. Where shall 
I hyde me ? said the priest. Goe up into the cham- 
ber and leape into the basket that hangeth out at the 
window, and I shall call you when he is gone againe. 
Then anon in came Eush, and she asked him why he 
came home so soone ? Then said Eush, I have done 
all my busines in the field, and my master hath sent 
me home to wash your cheese-basket ; and so he went 


into the chamber, and with his knife he cut the rope 
that the basket hung by, and downe fell the priest and 
all into a great poole of water that was under the 
window: then went he into the stable for a horse 
and rode into the poole, and tooke the rope that 
hung at the basket, and tying it to the horse's tayle, 
rode through the poole three or four tymes. Then he 
rode through the towne to cause the people to wonder 
at him, and so came home againe. And all this while 
he made as though he had known nothing, but look- 
ing behinde him, espyed the priest. Then he alighted 
downe, and said unto him: Thou shalt never more 
escape me; thy life is lost. With that the priest 
held up his hands and said, Heere is a hundred 
peeces of gold, take them and let me goe. So Rush 
tooke the golde and let the priest goe. And when 
his master came home, he gave him the half of his 
money, and bad him farewell, for he would goe see 
the world." l 

1 ' The Historic of Frier Rush : How he came to a House of 
Religion to seeke service, and being entertained by the Priour, was 
first made Under-Cooke. Being full of Pleasant Mirthe and Delight 
for Young People. Imprinted at London, by Edw. All-de, dwelling 
neere Christ-churche, 1620.' This work seems to have had a com- 
mon origin with an old Danish poem of ' Brother Rus ; how he 
did service as a cook and monk in the monastery of Esserom." The 
tricky friar was known to Reginald Scot before the history of his 
pranks was published in this country. 

" Friar Rush," says the writer of an interesting article on the 
Popular Mythology of the Middle Ages in the ' Quarterly Review,' 
No. XLIV., "is Puck under another name. Puck is also found under 
the character of Robin Goodfellow, or Robin Hood the outlaw 
acquired his by-name from his resemblance to the unquiet wandering 
spirit. The Robin Hood of England is also the Scottish Red Cap 


In a Danish variant of our story, entitled "Great 
Glaus and Little Glaus," the hero and his enemy are 
not brothers, merely neighbours. Little Glaus has 
but one horse, and Great Glaus has four horses. All 
the week Little Glaus ploughed for Great Glaus, and 
on Sunday he had leave to plough his own land with 
all the five. But he was wont to call out, " Gee up ! 
my five horses 1 " at which Great Glaus was so enraged 
that he killed his only horse. Instead of a priest it is 
a sexton who is locked in the chest; Glaus gets a 
bushel of money from the sexton to let him free, and 
goes home. Then he sent a boy to Great Glaus to 
borrow a bushel measure. " What can he want that 
for ? " thought Great Glaus ; so he smeared the bottom 
of the measure with tar, that some of whatever was 
put into it might stick there and remain. And so it 
happened ; for when the measure was returned, three 

and the Saxon spirit Hudken or Hodeken, so called from the hoodiken, 
or little hood or hat, which he wore, and which also covers his head 
when he appears in the shape of the Nisse of Sweden. Hoodiken was 
ever ready to aid his friends and acquaintances, whether clerks or 
laymen : A native of Hildesheim, who distrusted the fidelity of his 
wife, said to him, when he was about to depart on a journey, ' I 
pray thee have an eye upon my wife whilst I am abroad : I com- 
mend my honour to thy care.' Hoodiken accepted the trust without 
anticipating the nature of his labours. Paramour succeeded para- 
mour. Hoodiken broke the shins of the first, led the second into 
the horse-pond, and thrust the third into the muck-heap ; and yet 
the dame had wellnigh evaded his vigilance. ' Friend,' exclaimed 
the merry devil to the husband when he returned to Hildesheim, 
' take thy wife back : as thou leftest her even so thou findest her ; 
but never set me such a task again : sooner would I tend all the 
swine in the woods of Westphalia than undertake to keep one woman 
constant against her wilL' " 



new silver florins were sticking to it. 1 Great Glaus, 
having killed his four horses, offered their skins for 
sale, asking a bushel of money a-piece, but only got 
his own skin well marked by the people, so he re- 
solved to kill Little Glaus. Now it happened at this 
time that the old grandmother of Little Glaus died, 
and he laid the body on his bed, and seated himself 
in a chair for the night. Great Glaus comes in, and 
groping his way to the bed, strikes the corpse with 
his hatchet, supposing he had done for Little Glaus. 
In the morning Little Glaus dresses his dead grand- 
mother in her best clothes, borrows a horse, which 
he harnesses to a cart, and drives off to town. Stop- 
ping at a wayside inn, he tells the landlord to take a 
glass of mead to his grandmother in the cart. The 
landlord offers the mead repeatedly, but the old lady 
makes no sign ; at last in a rage he flings the glass at 
her, and she falls back into the cart. "Oh!" says 
Little Glaus, " you've killed my old grandmother ! 
Look at the big hole in her forehead ! " The landlord 
gives him a bushel of money, and promises to bury 
her respectably. As in the other versions, Great 
Glaus kills Ms grandmother, and offers, without suc- 
cess, to sell the body to an apothecary. The rest 
of the story exactly agrees with the conclusion of the 
Norse variant, excepting only that Great Glaus on his 

1 The reader will here be reminded of the similar device adopted 
by the sister-in-law of AH Baba in the Arabian tale. This incident 
occurs in other variants of our story which follow the present one ; 
also in the Norse tale of the Magic Quern see vol. i. p. 120. 


way to drown Little Glaus comes to a church, and 
thinks he " may as well go in and hear a psalm," and 
while thus engaged, an old cattle-driver comes up, and 
so on. 

In a second Norwegian version, the king one day 
asks the hero ("Peik") to show him some of his 
tricks, but he says he has left his " fooling-rods " at 
home. The king lends him his horse to go and fetch 
them, and the trickster rides off to the next town and 
sells the horse and the saddle. He afterwards per- 
suades the king to buy a boiler that could boil por- 
ridge without a fire ; and when the king discovers he 
has been again tricked and goes to punish him, he 
induces him to buy the chopping-block to set the 
boiler on in place of a fire. After this the king vows 
he will have the rogue's life, but he fills a bladder 
with sheep's blood and hangs it round his sister's neck, 
and, having instructed her what to do when the king 
comes, lies down in his bed. On the arrival of the 
justly incensed king, he asks the girl where her 
brother is, and she replies that he is ill and confined 
to his bed, and she dare not disturb him ; but the king 
insisting upon her awaking her brother at once, she 
does so, upon which he stabs the bladder suspended 
from her neck and she falls down as if dead. The 
king is horror-struck at this, but the rogue blows a 
horn, and immediately the girl rises up as well as 
ever. For a large sum the king purchases this won- 
derful horn, and returning to his palace picks a 


quarrel with the queen and his daughter, and having 
slain them both, blows his horn in vain to restore 
them to life dead they were, and dead they con- 
tinued to be, in spite of all the horn-blowing. The 
story concludes like the preceding version, with a cask 
substituted for the sack. 1 

As might be expected, the story is also current among 
the people of Iceland, but in a form so different from 
any of the versions already cited, that a pretty full 
abstract of it is necessary for comparison with variants 
that are to follow. The hero of the Icelandic legend 
is a young smith named Sigurdr, who had in his early 
youth been a playmate of the king's two sons, but when 
the princes grew up they treated him harshly, for which 
he paid them off with clever tricks. They burned 
down his smithy one night, and next day Sigurdr filled 
two sacks with the ashes, and hanging one on each side 
of his horse, went off into the forest. Coming to a farm 
belonging to the king, he asked and obtained leave to 
stop there for the night, and consigned to the manager's 
care his two sacks of ashes, saying they contained rare 
and costly things. Now the housekeeper, overhearing 
this conversation, became curious to see the contents of 
the two sacks ; so at night she took one of them and 
emptied it outside the house, and the wind blew all the 
ashes away, and she was no wiser than before ; then she 
emptied the other sack, with the like result. Thinking 
that this might be a hanging matter for her, she secretly 

1 Dasent's 'Tales from the Fjeld,' pp. 94-104. 


filled the two sacks with the king's gold, and put them 
in their former place. In the morning, Sigurdr takes 
his new load home, and pretends to the king's sons 
that he got all the money by the sale of the ashes of 
his old smithy. So they burned down the forge of 
their father's goldsmith, and gathering the ashes, went 
about offering them for sale, but they only got laughed 
at for their trouble. Then they swore to be revenged 
on Sigurdr, but he suspected they meant him no good, 
and going to the stable, he scattered a lot of gold about 
his mare, and was busy picking it up when the king's 
sons came. They asked him if it was the mare that 
had produced all that money, and when he said it was, 
they bought the mare for a great sum; and Sigurdr 
told them to put her in a stable by herself, give her no 
meat for a fortnight, then go to the mare and they 
should see what they should see. But at the end 
of a week they went to the stable, and found the 
mare stone-dead, with a heap round her of something 
different from gold coins. Sigurdr next takes a big 
lump of butter, and spreads it over a hillock with his 
cudgel, when up came the king's sons and scolded 
him for the mare-business ; but he told them all had 
happened because they did not wait the fortnight out. 
When they discover the butter on the hillock, they 
ask him how that was, and he says that his cudgel has 
the magic power of turning hillocks that were beaten 
with it into butter. So they buy his cudgel for an un- 
heard-of price, and on the way home they begin turn- 
ing the hillocks into butter, but only knocked the clods 


and stones about their own ears. After this they 
induce the king to promise he will put Sigurdr to 
death. But he is not to be taken unawares, so he says 
to his mother, " The king is coming here. Dress as 
well as you can, and sit down in the middle of the 
floor, and I will cover you over with a heap of rags ; 
and when the king comes to the window and looks in, 
I shall tell you that I am going to make you shed your 
age-shape. 1 I will take a bag full of wind and thump 
you with it, and at the blow I will tell you to get up 
and shake yourself. Then you will stand up at once, 
and the rags will fall off you, so that you will look 
younger than before in the king's eyes." So when the 
king comes to the window, he hears some one inside 
saying, " Now I will have you shed your age-shape, my 
mother "; and then walking into the cottage, he says to 
Sigurdr, " If you show me how it is done, I will spare 
your life." And Sigurdr did all with his old mother 
that he had before arranged. So the king tries the 
plan on his son's foster-mother, but as he put stones in 
the sack, he broke her skull. "Get up, old woman, 
and shake yourself," says the king; but she moved 
neither leg nor limb, and then he saw that he had been 
duped by Sigurdr. After this the king was having one 
of his oxen slaughtered, and Sigurdr came to beg some of 
the entrails, when the king roundly abused him for his 
trick, but Sigurdr explained, the king should not have 
put stones in the sack ; and then the king asked what 

1 In Norse folk-lore, certain men, after living a hundred years, shed 
their " age-shape," and became young and vigorous again. 


he meant to do with the entrails of the ox, so Sigurdr 
replied he should drink the liquor from them through 
a reed, and then he should have knowledge of future 
events. The king gave him a part but kept the 
remainder for his own use, and the result of the ex- 
periment he made was that he died. The king's sons 
had now his death to avenge, so they went to Sigurdr's 
cottage, and broke his mother's neck because she would 
not tell them where Sigurdr was to be found. When 
Sigurdr comes home and discovered his dead mother, 
he dressed her up in fine clothes, saddled a horse, and 
fastening the body to it, led it into the forest, where he 
met with a man who had charge of the king's oxen ; 
and the oxen surrounded the horse and made it shy, 
and the body of the old woman fell to the ground. 
" Oh, oh," cries Sigurdr, " you're the cause of my poor 
mother's death you'd better cut and run, if you'd 
save your own life." So the man ran off, and Sigurdr 
drove the oxen to his own place. Next day he tells 
the king's sons that he had exchanged the old woman's 
body for these oxen, so they drown their old mother in 
the bath, and go to the king, who, Sigurdr pretended, 
had bought the other body, and offered him the corpse 
for sale ; but he bade them be off for a brace of villains. 
Meanwhile Sigurdr had visited their sister, who asked 
his advice as to how she might get her rights from her 
two brothers ; so he told her to keep an easy mind, for he 
did not think her brothers would live long. When they 
come home, they seize Sigurdr, put him in a sack, and 
hang him over a rock that stretched up from the sea, say- 


ing that there he should hang till he died, and went away. 
It happened that Sigurdr had his harp with him, and 
he was playing on it for amusement, when up comes a 
herdsman and asks him that was in the sack what he 
was doing. " Let me alone," cries Sigurdr ; " I'm draw- 
ing money out of the rock." Then the herdsman 
hauled him up, drove him out of the sack, jumped into 
it himself, and set to work with the harp to draw 
money from the rock, while Sigurdr took the herdsman's 
sheep and drove them home. But the king's sons had 
gone to the rock and tossed the herdsman in the sack 
into the sea, thinking they had done for Sigurdr, and 
were returning home when they overtook Sigurdr 
himself with his flock of sheep. " It was well done, 
your throwing me over a rock, for I've got all these 
sheep in a cave under the sea, and there are many 
more." On hearing this, they went to the rock, cast 
themselves into the sea expecting to find lots of sheep, 
and were both drowned. Then Sigurdr wooed and 
married the king's daughter, and was made king over 
the whole kingdom and here ends the story. 1 

A great many versions are known in Germany, 
some of which are rather important. In Valen- 
tin Schumann's ' Nachtbuchlein,' No 6, a peasant, 
called Einhirn, has made himself detested through 
his knavery. His neighbours destroy his oven. He 
pounds the red clay small, puts it into a sack, and 

1 Powell and Magnusson's ' Legends of Iceland,' second series, 
p. 581-595. 


goes to Augsburg. The hostess of an inn believes 
there is gold in the sack, and substitutes a sack- 
full of pence. Einhirn relates at home that he 
obtained money for the earth of the oven. His 
neighbours then smash all their own ovens and try 
to sell the earth in Augsburg. Finding how they 
had been tricked, they kill Einhirn's cow. He takes 
off the hide and sells it in Augsburg. From the 
tanner's wife, with whose amorous desires he had 
complied, but whom he threatened to betray to her 
husband, he extorts 100 florins, and pretends at 
home that he received them for the cow's hide. Then 
his neighbours slaughter their cows and carry the 
hides to Augsburg. Once more deceived, in revenge 
they kill his mother. He lays the corpse in the high- 
way, where a wagoner drives over it, whom he accuses 
of the murder, and who in his fear gives up to him his 
wagon and horses. Finally, the peasants put him in a 
sack to drown him ; but before they do this they hear 
a mass. Einhirn screams in the sack, " I won't learn 
it," and palms off upon a passing swineherd that his 
father wants him to learn the goldsmith's craft. The 
herd allows himself to be put in the sack, and is 
drowned. In the evening Einhirn appears in the 
village with the swine. The peasants now determine 
to throw one of themselves also into the water, and 
if he sees swine at the bottom, he must throw up his 
hands. The drowning man does this, and they all 
spring in after him. 

In 'Volkssagen, Marchen, und Legenden,' edited by 


J. G. Biisching, p. 296 ff., the hero is a peasant named 
Kibitz (Lapwing). As he at his ploughing one day 
heard a lapwing crying continually " kibitz," he thinks 
the bird is mocking his own name, and throws a stone 
at him, but the stone hits one of his yoke of oxen and 
kills it. Then he strikes the other ox also, for he can't 
do anything with it alone, kills it, and carries the 
hides to the town for sale. He has an opportunity to 
observe how a tanner's wife conceals her lover in an 
old chest ; buys the chest of her husband for the hide, 
and then extorts from its occupant a large sum of 
money. To the peasants of his village he says he has 
got the money for the hides, whereupon they all kill 
their oxen and drive off to the tanners with the 
hides, and finding the cheat that had been put upon 
them, they try to kill Kibitz, but instead of him they 
kill his wife, with whom he had exchanged clothes. 
Kibitz now sets the body with a basketful of fruit 
against a paling in the town, where the servant of a 
noble house, who wants to buy fruit, and whom she 
does not answer, pushes her, so that she falls into the 
water. Kibitz hastens up, crying, and the servant's 
master gives him a carriage and horses by way of 
compensation, with which he returns to the village. 
The envious peasants now put him in a barrel, and so 
on. He cries in the barrel, " I won't be burgomaster! " 
and exchanges places with a shepherd, and so on. 
Afterwards he says to the peasants that only the 
white bubbles in the water will turn out to be sheep. 
The bailiff springs in first, and when the peasants 


begin to be afraid he will take too many, they all 
jump in and are drowned. 

A Westphalian variant more closely resembles the 
Norse story (Stahl, ' Westphalische Sagen und Geschich- 
ten/ s. 34) : A poor peasant named Hick through neces- 
sity kills his only cow. He carries the hide to Cologne. 
Caught in a thunderstorm on the way, he wraps him- 
self up in the hide, and by this means catches a raven, 
which settles upon him. In Cologne he spies a hostess 
entertain a monk and eat with him. When her hus- 
band arrives unexpectedly, she conceals the food and 
drink and the monk. Hick says to the husband that 
his raven can divine, and discovers to him the hidden 
articles and the monk, whereupon the husband pur- 
chases the bird of him. 1 At home Hick tells his 
neighbours that he has got all his money for the 
cow's hide, and so on. After the disappointment of 

1 Here, again, we have Little Peter's adventure at the farmhouse, 
which indeed occurs in many European versions of this story. It 
is the subject of the poetical tale entitled " The Friars of Berwick," 
ascribed to William Dunbar, the eminent Scottish poet, who died about 
the year 1525, which was imitated by Allan Eamsay, under the title 
of " The Monk and the Miller's Wife." Between the time of Dunbar 
and Ramsay, the story of the concealed lover was produced in the third 
part of a curious work by Francis Kirkman, a voluminous scribbler, 
"The English Rogue," published in 1674, pp. 182-188, where a soldier is 
billeted in the house of an old mercer, lately married to a pretty young 
woman, who scrupled to admit him in the absence of her husband. The 
soldier spies, through a crack in the floor of the garret, the virtuous 
young wife about to sit down to a sumptuous supper with her lover, 
a young lawyer, when the husband returns unexpectedly, and there 
is barely time to conceal the lover and the food before he comes into 
the room. When the soldier introduces himself, he pretends to be a 
magician, and causes the hidden supper to be produced, as in the case 
of the little trickster of our tale. 


the peasants with their cow-hides, immediately follows 
the incident of the tun (or sack), the turning of the 
peasants into the tavern, the exchange with the pass- 
ing shepherd, and lastly, the leap of the peasants into 
the Ehine. Hick sings in the tun, as it were but to 
ease his misery, the commencement of a popular song, 
"I must be Bishop of Cologne, and have little joy." 
The shepherd takes this seriously, and thus Hick 
succeeds in his device. Subsequently Hick drives 
his sheep to the Rhine, and their reflections in the 
water are taken by the peasants for real sheep at the 
bottom. 1 The first who leaps in has to stretch his 
arms upward if he sees the sheep. 

In a Tyrolese version (Zingerle, vol. ii. p. 414), an 
old blind butcher has a cow he had bought replaced by 
other neighbouring butchers by a goat. For this he has 
his revenge when, in concert with some innkeepers, he 
makes them believe he has an old hat which always pays 
the score, and sells it to them for a large sum of money. 
When he hears the victims of his deception afterwards 
crowding into his house, he concerts with his wife and 
pretends to be dead, but the wife revives him by a thrice- 
repeated touch with a stick. The butchers at sight of 
this marvel forget their wrath, buy the stick, and en- 
deavour to revive the king's dead daughter with it. 
Then the story runs as usual : sack, tavern, pig-driver 
" I won't have the king's daughter," and so on. 2 

1 In a Hessian version found in Grimm, No. 61, the reflections of the 
fleecy clouds in the water are taken for lambs. 

2 These form but a small selection from the German and other vari- 


An interesting version, taken, it is said, from a manu- 
script of the eleventh century, is found in Grimm 
and Schmeller's collection of mediaeval Latin poetry, 
published, at Gottingen, in 1838, from which the Ger- 
man story of The Little Farmer (Grimm's 'Kinder 
und Haus Marchen ') was perhaps derived : The hero, 
Unibos, who was so named because he constantly lost 
all his cattle but one, had enemies in the provost, 
mayor, and priest of the town. At length his last 
bullock dying, he took the hide to a neighbouring fair 
and sold it, and on his way home accidentally dis- 
covered a treasure. He thereupon sent to the provost 
to borrow a pint measure. The provost, curious to 
know the use to which this is to be applied, watches 
through the door, sees the gold, and accuses Unibos of 
robbery. The latter, aware of the provost's malice, 
determines to play a trick upon him, which leads him 
into farther scrapes than he expected, though they all 
turn out in the end to his advantage. He tells the 
provost that at the fair which he had visited, bullocks' 
hides were in great request, and that he had sold his 
own for the gold which he saw there. The provost 
consults with the mayor and the priest, and they kill 
all their cattle and carry the hides to the fair, where 
they ask an enormous price for them. At first they 
are only laughed at, but in the end they become in- 
volved in a quarrel with the shoemakers of the town, 
are carried before the magistrates, and obliged to 

ants, cited by Dr Reinhold Kohler, in a valuable review of Campbell's 
Gaelic tales in ' Orient und Occident,' vol. ii. p. 488 ff. 


abandon their hides to pay the fine for a breach of 
the peace. 

The three enemies of Unibos return in great wrath, 
to escape the effects of which he is obliged to have 
recourse to another trick. He smears his wife with 
bullock's blood, and makes her lie down, to all appear- 
ance dead. The provost and his companions arrive, 
and are horror-struck at the spectacle offered to their 
eyes; but Unibos takes the matter coolly, and tells 
them that, if they will forgive him the trick he had 
played upon them, he will undertake to restore his 
wife to life, and make her younger and more handsome 
than she had been before. To this they immediately 
agree, and Unibos, taking a small trumpet out of 
a wooden box, blows on it three times over the 
body of his wife, with strange ceremonies, and when 
the trumpet sounds the third time, she jumps upon 
her feet. She then washes and dresses herself, and 
appears so much more handsome than before, that the 
three officials, who had each a wife that was getting 
old and ill-favoured, give a great sum of money to 
possess the instrument, and each of them goes imme- 
diately and kills his wife ; but they find that the virtue 
of the trumpet has departed. 

Again they repair to the hut of Unibos, who averts 
their vengeance by another trick, and extorts a large 
sum of money as the price of his mare. In this they 
find themselves equally cheated, and seize upon Uni- 
bos, whose tricks appear to be exhausted, and give 
him only the choice of the manner of his death. He 


requests to be confined in a barrel and thrown into 
the sea. On their way to the coast, his three enemies 
enter a public-house to drink, and leave the barrel 
at the door. A herdsman passes at this moment 
with a drove of pigs, and hearing a person in the 
barrel, asks him how he came there. Unibos answers 
that he is subjected to this punishment because he 
refused to be made provost of a large town. The 
herdsman, ambitious of the honour, agrees to change 
places with him, and Unibos proceeds home with 
the pigs. The three officials continue their journey 
and in spite of the exclamations of the prisoner in 
the barrel that he is willing to be provost, they throw 
him into the sea; but what was their astonishment 
on their return at meeting their old enemy, whom 
they supposed drowned, driving before him a fine 
drove of pigs. He tells them that at the bottom 
of the sea he had found a pleasant country where 
were innumerable pigs, of which he had only brought 
with him a few. The greedy officials are seduced 
by his tale, and throw themselves from a rock into 
the sea, and Unibos is thus delivered of his enemies. 1 

In Burgundy (Beauvois' 'Contes populaires de la 
Norvege, de la Finlande, et de la Bourgogne ') the story 
is told of one called Jean Bete, who, on the way to 

1 From an article on Mediaeval Stories in the ' Foreign Quarterly 
Review,' No. LXX., July 1845, pp. 434-436. The hero's trick with his 
mare, so obscurely referred to by the modest reviewer, was doubtless 
similar to that employed by Sigurdr the Sack-knocker in the Icelandic 


market with his cow-hide, was overtaken by a thunder- 
storm, and climbed a tree under which a gang of thieves 
presently came and seated themselves to divide their 
booty. Jean Bete lets his hide fall, and the thieves 
run away in great fright, leaving the money lying 
there, which Jean appropriates. Eeturning home, he 
borrows of his lord a bushel to measure the money 
with, and leaves some pieces sticking to it, for the 
lord had put a little pitch inside of it. Being told that 
the money was obtained by the sale of the skin, the 
lord kills all his cows and carries the hides to market 
with the usual result. Then follows the incident of 
the sack : Jean cries out in the sack that he won't 
be a bishop, and changes places with a passing cattle- 

In Gascony the story (according to Cenac Mon- 
caut's ' Contes populaires de la Gascogne ') is thus 
told : A youth called Capdarmere is sent by his 
mother to sell her only pair of oxen, and get as much 
as possible for them. Two merchants give him a 
little tobacco and a bean. When he comes home with 
these articles his mother scolds him, and says he will 
never " catch the wolf by the tail." Capdarmere goes 
into the forest, catches a sleeping wolf with a noose, 
and leads him to his mother. Then he puts the fleece 
of a sheep round the wolf, and sells it to the two 
merchants who had cheated him out of the oxen, in 
whose stalls the wolf soon makes great havoc. When 
the merchants hasten in a rage to Capdarmere, who 


sees them coming, they find him just as he has 
apparently stabbed his dog with a knife, and then 
reanimated him with certain words. He pretends 
that refractory animals pierced with this knife, and 
revived with the words, become tame. The merchants 
buy the knife of him, and when they have found out 
the trick, they pounce upon him, and stuff him in a 
sack, and so on. Capdarmere tells a passing pig-dealer 
that he has to marry a princess. The swine are to 
rise from the bottom of the lake. For the rest, 
neither the pig-dealer nor the two merchants are 
drowned in this Gascon version, but are saved by 
Capdarmere, which may, perhaps, as Dr Kohler has 
remarked, be an alteration of the collector. The in- 
troduction, which is quite peculiar to the Gascon 
tale, probably belongs to a different one ; while the 
knife which tames refractory animals is certainly no 
improvement on the reanimating or rejuvenating horn 
in other versions. 

One of the four Gaelic versions given by Campbell 
in his ' Popular Tales of the West Highlands ' (vol. ii. 
p. 218) is rather inaptly entitled " The Three Widows," 
since they are only mentioned in the opening sentence : 
" There were three widows, and every one of them had 
a son apiece. Domhnull was the name of the son of 
one of them." He had four stots, and the others 
had but two each. They kill his animals, and he 
takes the skin of one of them to sell in " the big town." 
At night he goes into a wood, and puts the hide about 

VOL. n. E 


his head ; and a flock of birds come and light on the 
hide, and he put out his hand and caught one of them. 
At daybreak he resumed his journey, and arrived at 
the house of a gentleman, "who came to the door 
himself." Domhnull tells him that his bird is a 
soothsayer, and that it says he has a wish to buy it, 
and would give two hundred pounds Saxon for it. 
So the gentleman buys the bird and pays the money, 
and Domhnull went home, "but never a pinch of 
divination did the bird do after." The two envious 
neighbours of Domhnull ^believing that he had got his 
money by the sale of a stot's skin, killed their stots, 
with the same result as is related in the preceding 
versions, and returning home, they kill his mother 
on her way to the well. Domhnull adopts a similar 
device to that of Little Fairly to make profit out of 
the misfortune, only in place of a squire it is the 
king's house that he visits. The conclusion corre- 
sponds with that of the versions already cited. 

In the second Gaelic variant, "Eibin, Eobin, and 
Levi the Dun " (vol. ii. p. 229), we find Little Fairly's 
trick of slitting the cow's hide and putting pieces of 
money inside. Levi the Dun takes his cow's hide to 
market, and meeting with a man who made him an 
offer, he invited him to go into the inn and " have a 
dram." When the liquor was brought, Levi the Dun 
struck the hide with his stick and said, "Pay this,- 
hide," whereupon the required sum fell on the floor. 
So the gentleman bought the hide. When his mother 
is killed by the two others, Eibin and Eobin, Levi the 


Dun takes the body to the town and props it against 
a well ; a boy, the son of the provost, topples it into 
the well, and the father gives him 500 marks by way 
of compensation, and promises to see her "decently 
buried." After getting home, his two envious neigh- 
bours observe him counting his money, and learning 
from him that " there is a high price given for dead 
old women, to make powder of their bones," they will 
try the same thing. And " he who had no mother had 
a mother-in-law ; so they killed an old woman each," 
but without producing the expected result. Levi the 
Dun, suspecting they meant to do him an injury, 
invited them to a grand feast, and before they came, 
" he filled a portion of a sheep's gut with blood, and 
tied it round his wife's neck. ' Now,' said he, ' when 
they come, I will call you to place more upon the 
table, and when you don't lay down enough, I will 
rise and take my knife, and stick it into the piece of 
gut that is around your neck, and I will let you fall 
gently to the ground. Afterwards I will sound a 
horn, and you will then rise and wash yourself, and 
be as you were living and well.' " All this took 
place at the feast, and when Eibin and Eobin saw 
the strange things that Levi the Dun could do, they 
went away, saying to each other, "Our own wives 
might very well provide us with such a feast as we 
had from Levi the Dun ; and if they do not, we will 
treat them just as he did his wife." When they had 
returned home, " they told their wives that they must 
prepare them a feast, and a better one than Levi the 


Dun had given them. ' Oh,' said the women, ' Levi 
the Dun has sent you home drunk, and you don't 
know what you are saying.' Both of the men rose 
and cut the throats of their wives at once. They fell 
down and were shedding their blood. The men then 
rose and sounded a horn to raise them again. Though 
they should sound the horn till this very hour, the 
wives wouldn't rise. When they saw that their wives 
would not rise, they resolved to pursue Levi the Dun. 
When he saw them coming, he took to his heels and 
ran away. They looked at nothing else; but after 
him they ran, determined to have 'his life. He hadn't 
run far on his way when he met with a man having 
a flock of sheep. He said to the man, ' Put off your 
plaid and put on what I am wearing ; there are two 
men coming who are resolved to have your life. Run 
as fast as you can, or you will be a dead man im- 
mediately.' The man ran away as he was bidden, and 
they ran hard after him. They didn't halt until they 
had pushed him into the deep pool of Ty-an Ie6ban. 
The man fell in, and he was never seen afterwards. 
They returned home. Next day, what did they see 
on looking out but Levi the Dun herding a fine flock 
of sheep. They came to the place where he was. 
'Levi the Dun,' said they, 'the whole world won't 
satisfy you ; didn't we think that we had pitched you 
last night into the pool of Ty-an leoban?' 'Don't 
you see the sheep I found there ? ' said he. ' Would 
we find the same if we went in ? ' said they. ' Yes, if 
I were to put you in,' said he. Off Ribin and Robin 


set, and off Levi the Dun set after them. When they 
were got to the hole they stood still. Levi the Dun 
came behind them, and pushed them both into the 
pool. ' Fish for sheep there,' he said, ' if you choose.' 
Levi the Dun came home, and got everything in the 
place for himself." 

The third of the Gaelic versions is entitled " Brian 
Briagach," Bragging Brian (vol. ii. p. 233). The hero 
is visited by a merchant, and pretends to him that he 
has a mare that coined gold and silver. Brian secretly 
"gave the mare money among her food, and the 
merchant found it when he looked for it, and he gave 
thousands for the mare, and when he got her she was 
coining money. He took her with him, and he had 
her for a week, but a penny of money she did not 
coin. He let her alone till the end of a month, but 
money she did not make." Then he went to talk to 
Brian " for the lie," and to send the mare back again. 
Brian adopts the same device as Levi the Dun in the 
preceding version, of tying a gut full of blood to his 
wife's neck, and in presence of the merchant begins to 
scold her, and ultimately knocks her down for dead, 
and the blood ran about the floor. Then he takes two 
horns and blew into his wife's throat, and brought her 
alive again. " The merchant got the horns, and pro- 
mised to say no more about the mare, and went home 
and killed his wife, and his sister, and his mother, and 
he began to blow into their throats with the horns; 
but though he were blowing for ever, he had not 
brought them alive. Then he went where Lying 


Brian was, to kill him. He got him into a sack, and 
was to beat him to death with flails, but Brian asked 
a little delay, and got out [it is not said how], and put 
in two little dogs. The men threw the sack into the 
sea when they were tired of beating it. What was 
more wonderful for the merchant at the end of a fort- 
night than to see Brian and a lot of cattle with him ! 
' Oh my reason ! ' said the merchant, ' hast thou come 
back, Brian ? ' 'I came,' said Brian. ' It was you 
that did the good to me : when you put me into the 
sea, I saw thy mother, and thy wife, and thy sister, 
since I went away, and they asked thee to go out 
on the sea in the place where thou didst put me out, 
and said that thou thyself shouldst get a lot of cattle 
like this.' The merchant went and cut a caper on the 
spot where he had put out Brian, and he was drowned, 
and Brian got his house for himself." 

Something is evidently omitted in this version, 
which leaves Brian's escape from the sack and his 
herd of cattle unexplained. The fourth Gaelic version 
given by Campbell (vol. ii. p. 235) comprises incidents 
in the second and third, and may be passed over, as it 
has nothing peculiar to itself. 

In his notes to the Gaelic variants Campbell points 
out that the story occurs in the 'Pleasant Nights' 
(Piacevoli Notti) of the Italian novelist Straparola, 
first published, at Venice, in 1550. In this version three 
rogues outwit a priest, who is very profitably revenged 
on them in his turn : First, they persuade him that a 


mule which he has bought is an ass, and get it (an 
incident adapted from the story, in the Fables of 
Bidpai, of the Brahman and the Goat) ; then he sells 
them, as a bargain, a goat which is good for nothing. 
He next pretends to kill his housekeeper by sticking 
a knife into a bladder filled with blood, as in the 
third and fourth Gaelic versions, and brings her alive 
again by something which he sells to them for two 
hundred gold florins, and they kill their wives in 
earnest. They are enraged, catch the priest, and put 
him into a sack, intending to drown him in the river. 
They set him down, and a shepherd comes, who hears 
a lamentable voice in a sack saying, '-'They wish to 
give her to me, and I don't want her." The priest 
explains that the lord of that city wants to marry 
him to his daughter, and thus entices the shepherd 
to exchange places with him, and he is drowned. 
The priest takes the sheep, and the rogues, when 
they find that he had got them (according to his own 
account) in the river, beg also to be put into sacks. 
They get in, and are thrown into the river, after 
which the priest, rich in money and flocks, returns 
home and lives very happily. 

Mr Campbell remarks that "it seems worthy of 
inquiry by what process the story got from Italian 
into Gaelic, or who first invented it." But the story 
did not come to the West Highlands from Italy, but 
through the Norsemen; moreover, there is reason to be- 
lieve that it was also carried to the south of Europe by 


the same hardy and adventurous race, since there is a 
Sicilian popular version, in Pitre's collection, which pre- 
sents some points of resemblance to incidents in the 
second Norse variant (cited on page 243), not found in 
any other version, the substance of which is as follows: 
There was a crafty old fellow called Uncle Capriano, 
who had a wife and a daughter, and lived on his own 
property near a certain town. One day thirteen rob- 
bers happened to pass his house; they dismounted, 
made friends with him, and often afterwards came 
to see him, and even do work for him. Uncle Cap- 
riano at length says to his wife that he has devised 
a plan for getting money out of the simple-minded 
robbers, and instructs his daughter how she is to act 
when they next come to the house. So one day Uncle 
Capriano brings the thieves home with him, and his 
daughter, as she had been previously instructed, bathes 
a rabbit privately, and bringing it into the room wet 
from its bath, exclaims to her father, " Is this the 
way you load the poor little thing, that it comes home 
tired to death, and all covered with sweat?" The 
robbers, believing that the rabbit had been taught to 
fetch and carry, buy it of Uncle Capriano for a large 
sum of money, and take it away. " Let us," said one, 
" send a bag to each of our houses. First carry a bag 
to mine;" and giving the rabbit a stroke, it ran off 
and was seen no more. 1 So they went to Uncle 

1 In the " Merry Tales of the Mad Men of Gotham," one of the ex- 
ploits of those wittols is to put their rents into a purse, which they 
fasten to a hare's neck, and send her off with it to their landlord. 


Capriano and complained of the trick he had played 
them. " Did you beat it ? " " Of course we did." 
"Oh, where?" "On the left side." "That's why 
it ran away. You should have beat it on the 
right." And so they became good friends as before. 
Another day Uncle Capriano said to his wife, "To- 
morrow you must buy a new pot, and then cook some 
meat in an old pot somewhere in the house; and at 
Ave Maria, just before I come home, you must empty 
the contents of the old pot into the new one, and 
I will tell them that I have a pot that cooks without 
fire." When the thieves see this new wonder they 
buy the pot, to find they have been duped once more ; 
and they broke the pot in their rage. Going to Uncle 
Capriano with their fresh complaint, " What kind of a 
hearth did you set it on ? " he asks " high or low ? " 
"It was rather high." "Ah, you should have set 
it on a low hearth," says Uncle Capriano ; and the 
thieves go off, satisfied that it was all their own 
mistake. Some days after this, Uncle Capriano 
fastens a bladder of blood under his wife's dress, 
and when the thieves come to dine with him, he 
stabs his wife, who falls down, apparently weltering 
in her life's blood. Uncle Capriano then blows a 
whistle three times, upon which she starts up, to the 
astonishment of the simpletons, who, having pur- 
chased the whistle, go home and kill their wives, 
and find the whistle's blasts powerless to restore them 
to life. They now resolve to put Uncle Capriano to 
death for his repeated villainies ; so they stuff him in 


a sack, and set off to throw him into the sea. On 
their way they stop at a country house to eat, leaving 
him in the sack outside. A herdsman conies past, and 
Uncle Capriano begins to cry, " They want to marry 
me to the king's daughter, and I won't, for I'm 
married already." The herdsman says, "I'll take 
her myself I'm single." So he readily exchanges 
places with Uncle Capriano, who drives off the herds- 
man's sheep and oxen. The thieves having thrown 
the sack containing the unlucky herdsman into the 
sea, they overtake Uncle Capriano driving his flocks 
and herds, and when they learn that he found them 
at the bottom of the sea, they all entreated to be 
thrown in also. They returned to the sea, and Uncle 
Capriano began to throw them in, and each cried out, 
" Quick, Uncle Capriano, throw me in before my com- 
rades get them all ! " l 

In M. Legrand's collection of modern Greek popu- 
lar tales we find a rather unsatisfactory version, which 
must be taken for what it is worth : 

Three brothers, Spazio, Antonuccio, and Trianniscia, 
inherit from their father, the two first, each a fine ox, 
and the youngest, who was thought a little silly, a lean 
cow. Trianniscia, the youngest, kills his cow, flays it, 
and stretches the skin to dry on a wild pear-tree. 
When it is very dry he binds it round him with a cord 
and goes off, beating on it like a drum. He frightens 
some thieves, while they are dividing their spoil, who, 

1 Crane's ' Italian Popular Tales,' pp. 303-308. 


thinking the soldiers are coming, run away, and Trian- 
niscia takes all the money they leave behind them, and 
returning home, tells his brothers he got it for the dried 
skin. They kill their oxen, dry the skins, and go to 
market, crying, "Who wants skins for 100 ducats 
each ? " The police put them in prison, and on their 
being set at liberty, they determine to kill their brother. 
Trianniscia next takes a basket and goes away again. 
Coming to a village, he enters the inn, where he leaves 
it, saying, " Let no one touch this basket. I'm going 
to hear mass." On his return, the basket could not be 
found, so he begins to scold the folk of the inn, and 
the landlord pacifies him with a present of 100 ducats 
and he goes home. Another time he conceals himself 
in the confessional of the church : an old lady is being 
buried there ; after the people are all gone, he takes up 
the body, puts it on his horse, and brings it to Lecce. 
He enters the inn there, and having laid the body in a 
bed, goes to mass, leaving orders not to disturb the lady. 
When he comes back, he makes a great outcry at 
her death, and the innkeeper offers him one of his 
three pretty daughters for his wife. He chooses one, 
and takes her home with him. The brothers are 
envious of his good fortune, and exclaim, " What trick 
have you played us ? One and one, two, and one, three : 
let us take him, bind him in a sack, and throw him 
into the sea." Accordingly they put him in a sack, 
carry him to a wall, throw him over, and leave him 
till their return from mass. Meantime a shepherd 
playing the flute comes by, and Trianniscia persuades 


him to open the sack and exchange places with him. 
When the brothers return they take up the sack and 
throw it into the sea, saying, " We have got rid of him 
now ! " But they soon see Trianniscia sitting on a 
wall playing the flute, and say to each other, " What 
a miserable lot is ours ! This Trianniscia is a demon 
who plays us tricks ! " l 

The story of the Young Calender in Gueulette's 
so-called ' Contes Tartares ' may have been partly 
adapted from Straparola: The hero, having been 
cheated by three sharpers in a manner similar to 
the story of the Sharpers and the Simpleton see ante, 
p. 27 ff. is eager to be revenged, and having two 
white goats resembling each other, he goes with one 
of them to the market where he had been cheated. 
The three men, who are there seeking opportunities 
of depredation, immediately enter into conversation 
with him, and in their presence he buys various 
articles of provision, and placing them in a basket 
on the goat's back, orders the animal to inform his 
servant that he had invited some friends to dinner, 
and to give her directions how each of the different 

1 Had M. Legrand known the story in a number of forms, it is 
possible that, by jogging the memory of his story-teller, he might 
have obtained a much better version. As it is, the brothers say that 
the hero had played them three tricks, yet only one is mentioned 
the cows' hides. The youth must have pretended that his basket 
contained something valuable, to induce the host to give him 100 
ducats as compensation. The incident of the sack is also very 
obscurely told. 


articles is to be cooked, and then he turns it loose. 
The sharpers laugh at him ; but in order to convince 
them he was in earnest, he asks them to accom- 
pany him home. There, to their astonishment, they 
find the dinner prepared exactly according to the 
Calender's directions ; and, in their presence, the 
mother of the Calender, who was in the secret and 
acted the servant, tells her son that his friends had 
sent to excuse themselves, and that the goat had 
delivered his orders and was now feeding in the 
garden, where, in fact, the other white goat was 
browsing on the plants. The Calender invites the 
sharpers to join in his dinner, and ends by cheating 
them of a large sum of money in exchange for the 
supposed miraculous goat. 

Finding the animal endowed with none of the pro- 
perties they expected, they return to take revenge on 
the Calender. He receives their reproaches with sur- 
prise, calls in his pretended servant, and asks why she 
neglected to give them a particular direction relating 
to the goat which he had forgotten, and she makes an 
excuse. In a feigned passion he stabs her, and she 
falls down covered with blood, and apparently dead. 
The three men are horrified at this catastrophe ; but 
the Calender tells them not to be alarmed. He 
takes a horn out of a little casket, blows it over 
the body, and his mother, who only pretended to be 
dead, arises and leaves the room unhurt. Seeing this, 
the three sharpers buy the horn for a great sum of 
money, and returning home, sup with their wives. 


After supper, anxious to try the virtue of the horn, 
they "pick a quarrel with the ladies and cut their 
throats. The horn proves as great a failure as the 
goat; and the police, who had been attracted by 
the noise, force their way in and seize two of the 
sharpers, who are hanged for the murders, while the 
third escapes. 

The surviving sharper, some time afterwards, meets 
with the Calender, puts him in a sack, and carries him 
off with the intention of throwing him into a deep 
river. But on his way he hears the approach of 
horsemen, and, fearing to be discovered, throws the 
sack into a hole beside the road, and rides off to a 
distance. A butcher arrives with a flock of sheep, 
and discovering the Calender in the sack, proceeds 
to question him. The Calender says he is confined 
there because he will not marry the kazi's daughter, 
a beautiful damsel, but who has been guilty of an 
indiscretion. The butcher, allured by the prospect 
of advancement, agrees to take his place in the sack, 
and the Calender marches off with the sheep. The 
sharper returns, and, in spite of the promises of the 
butcher to marry the kazi's daughter, throws him 
into the river. But on his way back he is astonished 
to meet the Calender with the sheep. The latter tells 
him that when he reached the bottom of the river he 
found a good genie, who gave him these sheep, and 
told him that if he had been thrown farther into the 
river he would have obtained a much larger flock. 
The sharper, allured by the love of gain, allows 


himself to be confined in a sack and thrown into 
the river. 1 

The Kabail, or wandering tribes of Algeria, have a 
very curious version of the story, which they probably 
obtained from some Muslim (Arabian) source : 

An orphan boy tends a calf of his own and two 
oxen belonging to his uncle. He puts the calf to 
feed in the meadow, and fastens up the oxen so 
that they cannot feed. At the end of a month the 
oxen are lean and the calf is bursting with fatness ; 
and when the uncle asks the reason of this, the 
boy professes ignorance, but the old man secretly 
discovers the trick. One day he asks the lad to 
come out to hunt, and gives him a gun. He con- 
trives to cover the calf with dust, in order to alter 
its appearance, and drives it towards his nephew, 
who shoots it by mistake ; but he says nothing, and 
makes a grand feast with the flesh. The skin of 
the calf he keeps till it is sour, and then sells it 
at market for one pierced coin. Meeting two men 
who had sold goods for 100 francs, the youth slyly 
puts his coin among theirs, and then shouts that 
they have robbed him, upon which they are appre- 
hended. The youth states to the judge that they 
took 100 francs and a pierced coin from him. The 
men are searched, and this sum is found in their 
possession. In vain they disown the pierced coin ; 

1 Gueulette's ' Contes Tartares ' are imitations of Eastern fictions, 
though the incidents are for the most part traceable to Asiatic sources. 


the judge decrees that the money belongs to the 
youth, so home he goes with the 100 francs, which 
he gives to his uncle. The nephew then advises him 
to kill his oxen, keep the skins till they have become 
sour, and then take them to market, which he does, 
but finds no purchasers. Seeing how he has been 
tricked, the old man takes his nephew out one day 
to cut wood, gets him up an ash-tree, and leaves 
him hanging there. By -and -by an aged man and 
his daughter-in-law come riding past on a mule, and 
the youth, seeing them, exclaims, " Oh, oh, an old 
man once I was ; now I'm a youth again ! " So the 
old man wishes a similar change in his own person, 
liberates the boy, puts the rope round his own neck, 
and is speedily strangled. The boy goes home with 
the young woman and the mule, and replying to his 
uncle's expressions of astonishment, he says, "Had 
you hung me on the very top of the tree, I should 
have been luckier still." So the uncle takes one of 
his own sons and hangs him to the tree-top; awaits 
his return in vain ; then goes and finds him dead. 
More than ever bent on revenge, the uncle next 
invites the youth to go and fish with him. On the 
way the youth persuades a shepherd to take his place, 
pretending that his uncle is going to be married. He 
takes the shepherd's flock of 100 sheep home to his 
uncle's house. Now the uncle had in the dusk thrown 
the shepherd into the sea, supposing him to be his 
nephew, saying to himself, " This time he is drowned, 
and won't come back any more." When he reaches 


home, he is surprised to see his nephew alive and well. 
" You threw me," says the lad, " into the sea near the 
shore, and I have got only 100 sheep for you ; if you 
had thrown me farther out I should have been more 
lucky." The uncle, with this hope, throws his only 
remaining child into the sea and he never returned. 
After this the uncle, his wife, 'and the nephew set 
out on a journey, and coming to a precipice, " Let us 
sleep here," says the uncle. The youth arranges a 
cord, carefully covered with earth ; he is placed nearest 
the precipice, then the uncle, and his wife farthest 
from it. At night the uncle says he must have more 
room; the youth replies there is plenty, and slips 
aside. The old man feels after him, and the youth 
pulls the cord and sends his uncle and aunt to the 
bottom of the precipice. He then returns home and 
inherits his uncle's property. 

The original source of this favourite story of the 
cunning fellow who always contrived to profit by his 
misfortunes has not yet been ascertained. It belongs 
obviously to the same class of tales as those of the 
Cobbler and the Calf and the Eobbery of the King's 
Treasury, and may, perhaps, like the latter, be of 
Egyptian extraction. The story is known popularly 
in India in several forms, each of which presents some 
points of resemblance to European versions. Under 
the title of " The Farmer who outwitted the Six Men," 
Mr C. H. Damant published, in the ' Indian Antiquary,' 
vol. iii., the following legend of Dinajpur (Bengal) : 



There was once a farmer's wife who had a tame 
paddy-bird, and when the farmer went to plough, his 
wife used to fasten a hookah, cleaning stick, tobacco, 
chillum, flint and steel to the body of the bird, and it 
would fly with them to the field where the farmer was 
working, and he unfastened all the things and smoked 
his hookah. One day six men, who were passing that 
way on their road to the cutcherry, saw the bird thus 
act, and offered the farmer 300 rupees for it, and he 
agreed to sell it. And the six men took it and tied 
300 rupees to its body, and said, "You, paddy-bird, 
take these 300 rupees to the cutcherry." But the bird, 
instead of going to the cutcherry, went to the farmer's 
house, and he took all the money, and made a cow eat 
100 rupees of it. In the meantime the men went to 
the cutcherry, and not finding the paddy-bird, re- 
turned to the farmer's house, where they saw the cow 
relieving herself of the rupees she had eaten, and 
forgot all about the paddy-bird. 1 Seeing the extra- 
ordinary virtue the cow possessed, they offered the 
farmer 5000 rupees for her ; and he agreed, and they 
took her away. The farmer came a little way after 
them, and called out, "Feed her well, and she will 
give you plenty of rupees." So they fed her well, 

1 In the ' KatM Sarit Sdgara ' an ape is trained to bring up from 
his stomach as many pieces of money as might be asked for, the ape 
having been made previously to swallow a quantity. And in the 
Albanian tale of the Cock and the Hen (No 23 of Dozon's French 
collection) the cock, being found in the king's garden, is taken and 
locked up in the royal treasury, where it ate as many gold pieces as 
it could contain, and afterwards making its escape, deceived the old 
woman who owned the hen by voiding the money. 


but not a rupee, nor even a pice, did they get from 
her ; so they determined to take her back to the 
farmer's house and to return her. 

When they arrived, they told the farmer about the 
cow, and he said, " Very well ; have something to eat 
first." So they consented, and all sat down to eat, 
and the farmer took the stick with which he drove his 
plough-bullocks in his hand and began to eat, and 
when his wife went out to bring more food he struck 
her with the stick and said, " Be changed into a girl, 
and bring in the curry," and so it came to pass ; and 
this happened several times. When the men saw 
this wonderful thing, they forgot all about the cow; 
but the truth of it was that the farmer had a 
little daughter, and she had been sent in with the 
food. The men offered 150 rupees for the stick, and 
he sold it them, and told them that when their 
wives came to bring their food they must beat them 
well, and they would recover their former youth and 

When they were near home, they all began to 
quarrel as to which should first test the stick. At last 
one of them took it home, and when his wife was 
bringing his food he struck her so violently with it 
that she died ; but he told no one about it. And this 
happened to them all, so they all lost their wives. 
After that they all went in a body and burnt down 
the farmer's house, and he collected a large quantity 
of ashes and put them in bags and placed them on a 
bullock's back and went away. On his road he met a 


number of men driving bullocks laden with rupees, 
and asked them where they were going, saying he 
wished to go with them ; they said they were going to 
the house of a certain banker at Eangpur, and he said 
he was taking his bullock to the same place. So they 
went together for some distance, and then cooked 
their food under a tree and went to sleep. But the 
farmer put two bags of rupees on the back of his 
bullock, leaving the two bags of ashes in their place, 
and took to flight. 

After that he sent the first of the six men with the 
bags to take home to his wife, and he put some gum 
underneath one of the bags, so that some of the rupees 
stuck to it, and so he found out the contents. The 
six men then went to the farmer's house, and asked 
him how he had obtained the money ; he said he had 
got it by selling ashes, and that, if they wished for 
money, they had better burn down their houses and 
fill bags with the ashes, and open a shop in the bazaar, 
and every one would buy them. So they went home 
and burned down their houses, but the only result was 
that a great number of people seized them and kicked 
them and beat them with shoes. They were ex- 
tremely enraged at this, and went to the farmer's 
house and tied him hand and foot, and put him into a 
sack, and threw him into the river Ghoradhuba, and 
then ran away, thinking he would surely die this 
time. But he went floating down-stream till he 
struck against a post. Now a man happened to pass 
by on horseback, and he called out to him, " If you 


come and open the mouth of this sack, I will cut 
grass for your horse without pay." So the man came 
and opened the mouth of the sack, and the farmer, 
stepping out on the clear, said, " If you will give me 
your horse, I will take him for an airing." The man 
gave him the horse, and went home, but when the 
farmer had gone a little way he mounted the horse 
and rode past the houses of the six men, so that they 
could see him. They were exceedingly surprised at 
the sight, and asked him where he had found the 
horse. He said he had found it in the river Ghora- 
dhuba, and added, " I was alone, ' and could only 
catch this small one, as I could not run very fast; 
there are a great many fine horses there, and if you 
were to go you could catch them." 

When they heard this they asked what they must 
take with them, and he said they must each bring a 
sack and some strong rope; but when they had 
brought them, he said he was going home. However, 
they persuaded him to stop, and he told them all to 
go into the sacks, and he threw them one after the 
other into the river, but took care to avoid the place 
where the post was. When the other five heard the 
bubbling of the water they asked what it was, and 
he said it was only the other man catching a horse. 
Directly they heard that they all entreated him, and 
began to quarrel, saying, " Throw me in first throw 
me in first ! " So he threw them all in, and in this 
way they all perished, and the farmer ever after that 
spent his time in happiness. 


Another Indian version, entitled " The Six Brothers," 
is found in the little collection of tales translated from 
Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali by Mr C. Vernieux, 1 of 
which this is an abstract : 

Once upon a time there were six brothers, the 
youngest of whom had very defective eyesight, in 
consequence of which the other five cast him off, 
giving him a half -ruined hut and a wretched bullock 
as his portion. Near his hut was a large tree, and 
beneath it a gang of robbers were used to assemble to 
divide their spoil. The youth overheard them one 
night saying to each other, " He who does not make 
a just division, God's thunder will descend on his 
head." In order to work upon their superstitious 
minds to his own advantage, he slaughters his poor 
bullock, dries the skin in the sun, and next night 
climbs with it into the tree, and awaited their coming. 
When they were all assembled under the tree, and had 
repeated their formula about the thunder, he dropped 
the dried skin, which fell on them with a dreadful 
noise. Appalled at this, they all leapt up and ran off 
in different directions, leaving their ill-gotten wealth 
behind them, which the youth gathered up and took 
into his hut. In the morning he desired his mother 
to go to his brothers and borrow their coonkee (or 
measuring basket), that he might ascertain the amount 
of money he had got by his trick on the robbers ; and 

1 ' The Hermit of Motee Jhurna, or Pearl Spring ; also Indian Tales 
and Anecdotes, Moral and Instructive.' By C. Vernieux. Second 
Edition. Calcutta: 1872. 


before returning it he slipped a few rupees between 
the rattan ties. When his brothers saw the coins 
they hastened to him, and inquired how he had pro- 
cured so much money as to require to measure instead 
of count it. So he told them it was by the sale of the 
hide of his poor bullock ; but had he as many cows as 
they possessed, he could make ten times as much 
money. On this the brothers went home, killed all 
their cows, dressed their skins, and went to market 
to dispose of them. But they found they could get 
only four annas for each hide, and seeing they had 
been fooled by their despised half-blind brother, when 
they came home they set fire to his house. Next 
morning he gathered all the ashes into sacks, and, 
hiring a bullock, went ostensibly to sell them. On 
his road he fell in with a party of merchants near 
sunset, who had oxen laden with bags of gold and 
silver. He obtained permission to remain under their 
protection all night, and to place his bags of ashes 
which he pretended to contain the same precious 
metals along with their goods. Early in the morn- 
ing he crept stealthily from his place, and putting his 
bags of ashes among their sacks, he dragged two of 
them near his bullock, and when all were awake and 
preparing to resume their journey, he got them to 
help him to lift the sacks on his animal, saying that 
he had a long way to go, and must be off at once ; so 
they helped him to load his bullock with their own 
property, and he went away. When he reaches home 
he tells his brothers he had got all his new wealth by 


the sale of the ashes of his house, upon which they 
burn down their houses, to find themselves once more 
deceived. They now determine to put him to death ; 
so, tying his hands and feet, they stuff him in a sack 
and throw him into a tank, and to elude detection 
decamp in hot haste. Some cowherds, who were 
watching their cattle close by, having seen this, ran 
quickly to the tank and drew him out, after which they 
all went off to get some food. Meanwhile the half- 
drowned brother, having recovered from his stupor, 
drove the herds to his own house, on seeing which his 
brothers were astonished, and inquired where he had 
got such fine cattle. At the bottom of the tank, he 
tells them ; and, anxious to obtain some for them- 
selves, they allow him to tie their hands and feet, 
put them in sacks, and throw them all into the tank. 

In the second part of the Santali story of the 
brothers Kanran and Guja, translated by the Rev. 
F. T. Cole in the ' Indian Antiquary,' vol. iv. pp. 257- 
259, of which the first part has been already cited 
see vol. i. pp. 148, 149 is found a rather singular 
version, which, however, in the catastrophe is similar 
to several European variants : 

After the stupid tiger has been killed, Kanran takes 
for his share the best portions of the flesh, and Guja 
takes simply the entrails. Then they resumed their 
journey, and as it drew near nightfall, they found a 
suitable tree on which to rest. It so chanced that 
a king's son was just passing on the way to his father- 


in-law's house, in order to fetch home his wife, and 
he lay down to repose under the same tree. All this 
time Guja had been holding the entrails of the tiger 
in his hands. At last he said to his brother, " I can't 
keep this any longer." Kanran replied, " What shall 
we do, then ? If you let it fall we shall be discovered, 
and shall certainly be killed." But Guja, unable to 
hold it any longer, let it fall on the king's son, who 
was lying fast asleep at the foot of the tree. Awak- 
ened by the blow, he arose, greatly dismayed at seeing 
blood, etc., upon his body, and imagined that some 
accident must have happened to himself; he there- 
fore hastened from the spot. His servants, seeing him 
run at a mad pace, immediately followed. The two 
brothers quickly came down from the tree and began 
to plunder the baggage which had been left behind in 
the fright. Kanran seized upon the finest garments, 
while Guja selected a large drum. Being upbraided 
by his brother for thus losing such a splendid oppor- 
tunity of enriching himself, he replied, " Brother, this 
will suit my purpose." They now proceeded on their 
journey. Guja was so much pleased with his drum 
that he kept on beating it all day long, till the drum- 
head split, and it was rendered useless. But Guja, 
instead of throwing it away, carried it about with him. 
They found a bee's nest, and Guja refreshed himself 
with the honey, and filled his drum with bees. Con- 
tinuing their journey, they arrived at a river ghat. 
When the villagers came out at eventide to draw 
water, Guja let fly some of the bees amongst them. 


The people, being much stung, ran home and told how 
two strangers had arrived, and had greatly annoyed 
them by allowing bees to sting them. The villagers, 
headed by their chief and armed with bows, advanced 
to the attack, determined to be avenged upon the 
strangers. They commenced shooting, but the brothers, 
hidden behind their drum, remained unharmed. After 
all the arrows had been shot, Guja opened the hole of 
his drum, and the bees streamed out like a cart-rope. 
The villagers now prayed to be released from this 
plague of bees, and their chief promised to give one 
of them his daughter in marriage, also a yoke of oxen 
and a piece of land. Guja then calling his bees forced 
them into the drum. The chief performed his promise. 
Kanran was married to his daughter, and he cultivated 
the land which his father-in-law gave him. 

One day, for some reason, Kanran was obliged to 
leave home for a short time, and upon his departure 
gave Guja this injunction : " If," said he, " the plough 
becomes at any time entangled in the ground, and the 
ox be unable to get along, strike it with your axe." 
Guja imagined that his brother was speaking of the 
ox ; so when the plough became entangled he struck 
the ox with his hatchet and killed him, instead of 
cutting away the obstacle as his brother had intended. 
Kanran, returning home about this time, was informed 
by his wife of what had happened. Upon hearing it 
he became greatly enraged, and ran to the spot intend- 
ing to kill his brother. Guja, however, becoming aware 
of his brother's intentions, immediately snatched up 


the entrails of the ox and fled. Seeing a tree having 
a large hole in the trunk, he got inside, having first 
covered himself with the entrails. Kanran, arriving 
at the spot, thrust his spear into the hole repeatedly, 
and when he drew it out, perceived that it was smeared 
with blood. He exclaimed, " I have speared him to 
death, and now he won't kill any more of my oxen," 
and returned home. Guja, however, was not at all 
hurt, the spear not having touched him the blood 
was not his, but that of the ox. Having satisfied 
himself that no one was near, he came out of the hole, 
crept secretly into his brother's house, and climbing to 
the top, he sat there perched upon one of the beams. 
A little while after Kanran entered, bringing with him 
portions of the slain ox, and also some rice. After 
closing the door, he commenced to offer a sacrifice 
to his brother Guja's memory. The usual ceremony 
being performed, he addressed the soul of his departed 
brother in the following manner : " Guja, receive 
these offerings. I killed you indeed, but don't be angry 
with me for doing so. Condescend to accept this meat 
and rice." Guja, from his hiding-place, replied, " Very 
well ; lay them down." Kanran, hearing the voice, 
was greatly astonished, but was afraid to look in the 
direction from which the sound proceeded. Going 
out, he inquired of the villagers whether it was pos- 
sible for a dead man to speak. They told him that 
such was sometimes the case. While Kanran was 
talking to the neighbours, Guja escaped secretly by a 
back door, taking with him the meat and rice. He 


had not gone far before he encountered some men 
who, he afterwards learned, were professional thieves. 
He divided his meat and rice with them, and they 
were at once great friends. Guja became their com- 
panion in their plundering expeditions. However, 
afterwards coming to words, they beat him severely, 
tied his hands and feet, and were carrying him off to 
the river with the intention of drowning him, when 
they were compelled by hunger to go in search of 
food, and not wishing to be burdened with him, they 
set him down bound under a tree. A cowherd passing 
that way was attracted by his crying, and asked who 
he was, and why he was lamenting. Guja answered, 
" I am a king's son, and am being taken against my 
will to be married to a king's daughter, for whom I 
have not the slightest affection." The cowherd said, 
" I am indeed sorry for you ; but let me go instead of 
you. I will gladly marry her." So the cowherd 
quickly released Guja, and allowed himself to be 
bound in his place. The thieves returning soon after- 
wards, took up the supposed Guja, and, in spite of the 
cowherd's protestations that he was not Guja, threw 
him into the river. In the meanwhile Guja drove 
away the cowherd's cattle. The thieves afterwards 
meeting him again, and seeing the cows, inquired of 
him whence he had procured them. Guja answered, 
" Don't you remember you threw me into the river ? 
There it was I got all these. Let me throw you in too, 
and you will get as many cows as you wish." This 
proposition meeting with general approbation, they 


suffered themselves to be bound and thrown into the 
river, where, as a natural consequence, all were 

From a comparative analysis of the foregoing versions, 
I am disposed to consider them as representing, more 
or less closely, two distinct variants of a common ori- 
ginal that the story was brought to Europe in two 
different forms. In the Indian tale of the Farmer 
who outwitted the Six Simpletons the first incident is 
that of the carrying paddy-bird, for which we have the 
hare in the Sicilian popular version (Uncle Capriano), 
and the goat in Straparola and Gueulette. (2) For 
the cow that was supposed to produce rupi there 
is the horse in the second Irish, the Icelandic, the 
Latin, and the third Gaelic variants ; while the cow's 
skin plays a similar part in all the others. (3) The 
incident of the farmer's wife being (apparently) 
changed into a young girl has its equivalents in 
the Icelandic story, where the hero pretends to make 
his old mother throw off her "age-shape," in the 
second Irish, the second and third Gaelic, in Straparola, 
the Sicilian, and in Gueulette, where the hero makes 
believe that he restores the woman to life by blowing 
a horn or a whistle ; in the Kabail, the lad suspended 
from a tree persuades an aged passer-by that he has 
been changed from an old man to a young lad. The 
trick with the ashes of the burned house occurs in the 
Icelandic as well as in two of the Indian stories ; but 
the Icelandic has, exclusively, the incidents of the 


hillock of butter and the cow's entrails. The stove (or 
boiler) that required no fire to cook meat is found in 
the second Norse and the Sicilian variants. Only in 
European versions does the adventure with the dead 
body occur first Irish, first Norse, Danish, Icelandic, 
first and second German, and the first and second 
Gaelic. The device of the hero in the second Indian 
tale, of letting his cow's hide fall upon a party of thieves 
dividing their booty under a tree, has its parallel in 
the Burgundian version, and others which are not cited 
in this paper. 1 The borrowing of the coonkee and the 
sacks of ashes changed for sacks of money reappear 
in European variants. Not less interesting is the In- 
dian story of the brothers Kanran and Guja, since in 
it we find the incident of killing the plough-ox, which 
also occurs in a modified form in the second German 
version (p. 250), and the trick of the hero in order 
to get out of the sack, his saying that they want 
to marry him to a great lady whom he doesn't like, 
which occurs in many of the Western versions. 

The different tricks with the skin may perhaps be 
considered as characteristic of the localities where the 
story is domiciled ; that of the Kabail hero seems to 
be so especially, for the wandering tribes of Algeria do 
not regard theft as dishonourable, and are noted for 
being expert thieves ; while the device of Little Fairly, 
of putting coins between the cow's skin, reappears in 
the second of the Gaelic variants. Finally, in the 

1 In the third Indian tale, Guja drops the tiger's entrails on a sleep- 
ing prince. 


Irish, first Norse, Danish, old Latin, three Gaelic, the 
Kabail and second Indian stories the hero contrives 
that his enemies should slaughter their cattle, in the 
vain expectation of obtaining a great price for their 
hides, a device which seems adapted in the following 
story from the Talmud : 

An Athenian while on a visit to Jerusalem openly 
ridiculed the citizens, some of whom devised a plan 
for punishing his impertinence. They despatched one 
of their number to Athens in order to induce him to 
revisit Jerusalem. Arriving there, he soon found out 
the man's house and bought of him a new shoe-string 
(for the man was a shoemaker), and paid for it a 
greater sum than the value of a pair of shoes. Next 
day he went to him again, and bought a second shoe- 
string, paying for it a similar sum. " Why," cried the 
Athenian, in amazement, " shoes must be very dear in 
Jerusalem, when you give so much for a mere shoe- 
string ! " " You are right," quoth the Hebrew, " they 
are rather dear : they generally cost ten ducats a 
pair, and the cheapest sort cost seven or eight ducats." 
" In that case," said the Athenian, " it would be more 
profitable for me to sell my stock of shoes in your 
city." The stranger replied that he would doubtless 
make a much greater profit, and find a ready market 
for his goods ; after which he took his leave, returned 
to Jerusalem, and acquainted his complotters of the 
probable success of his mission. Soon after this the 
Athenian, with a large stock of shoes, entered the Holy 
City, and was accosted by a number of respectable 


citizens, who desired to know his business. Suspecting 
nothing sinister on the part of a people whom he so 
much depised, he informed them that, understanding 
that shoes were very dear in Jerusalem, he had brought 
with him a considerable quantity, in hopes of profitably 
disposing of them. The citizens pretended to warmly 
approve of his object, assuring him that he would 
readily find purchasers for his whole stock ; but being 
a foreigner, it was absolutely necessary, in order to 
qualify himself to offer his goods for sale in the Holy 
City, that he should shave his head and blacken his 
face, after which he would be entitled to take his stand 
among the merchants in the great square. The greedy 
Athenian (" covetousness sews up the eyes of cun- 
ning ! ") willingly consented to this initiatory ceremony, 
which being completed to the satisfaction of the 
plotters, he then, with blackened face and shaven head, 
took up his stock-in-trade, and proceeded to " the place 
where merchants most do congregate." The loungers 
soon observed the strange-looking merchant, and flock- 
ing round him, inquired the price of his shoes. " They 
are ten ducats a pair," said he, " and certainly not less 
than seven or eight ducats." On hearing this prepos- 
terous demand, the people laughed at him; and at 
length discovering that he had been cleverly hoaxed, 
he was glad to make his way out of the city with all 
speed ; but he was accompanied to the gate by a great 
crowd, jeering and hooting him, until he escaped 
through the gateway, and set off for Athens, " a sadder 
and a wiser man." 



fTlHEEE is a widespread class of tales, in which a 
virtuous wife is beset by importunate suitors, and 
cleverly entraps and exposes them to ridicule, or gets 
rid of them by imposing unpleasant or dangerous tasks 
as the condition of her love. The fabliau of ' Constant 
du Hamel ' is probably the earliest European version : 
A lady is violently solicited by a priest, a provost, 
and a forester, who, on her refusal, persecute her hus- 
band. To stop their attacks, she gives them a meeting 
at her house immediately after one another, so that 
when one is there and stripped for the bath, another 
comes, and, pretending it is her husband, she conceals 
them successively in a large tub full of feathers. 
Finally, they are turned out into the street, well 
feathered, with all the curs of the town barking and 
snapping at their heels. 

In the 69th tale of the Continental ' Gesta Eoman- 
orum' a carpenter receives from his mother-in-law 
a shirt, having the wonderful quality of remaining 



unsoiled so long as he and his wife were faithful to 
each other. The emperor, who had employed him in 
the erection of a palace, is astonished to observe his 
shirt always spotless, and asks him the cause of it ; to 
which he replies, that it is a proof of his wife's unsullied 
virtue. A soldier, having overheard this, sets off to 
attempt the wife's chastity, but she contrives to lock 
him in a room, where she keeps him on bread and 
water. Two other soldiers successively visit her on 
the same errand, and share their comrade's fate. 
When the carpenter has finished his job, he returns 
home and shows the unsullied shirt to his wife, who in 
her turn exhibits to him the three soldiers, whom he 
sets free on their promising to reform their ways. 

We have a much better version than that of the 
' Gesta,' in which there is also a test of chastity, but 
of a more dignified nature than a shirt, in the old 
English metrical tale of ' The Wright's Chaste Wife,' 
written about the year 1462, by Adam of Cobsam, 
which was published for the Early English Text Society 
in 1865, under the editorship of Dr F. J. Furnivall. 
The story runs thus : 

A wright marries the daughter of a poor widow, 
whose sole dower is a rose-garland that will remain 
fresh and blooming as long as she continues chaste, 
but will wither the moment she becomes unfaithful. 
He is delighted with his garland and his wife, and 
takes her home. After a time, thinking that men 
would likely come to tempt his wife when he was 


absent, he constructs in his house a lower room, the 
walls of which he makes as smooth as a mirror, and 
in the floor above a trap-door, which would give way 
when a man put his foot upon it, and precipitate him 
into the room below, out of which it was impossible 
to escape. Just at that time, the lord of the town 
sent for him to build him a hall a two or three 
months' job. The lord observes the wright's garland, 
and learning that it is a token of his wife's chastity, he 
determines to visit her. So off he goes, and offers her 
forty marks. She asks him to lay the money down, 
and then conducts him to the place with the cunningly 
contrived trap-door, on which having stepped, down he 
tumbles into the lower room. The lord begs and prays 
the dame to have pity on him, but she says, " Nay, 
you must wait till my husband comes home." Next 
day he asks for food, but she says he must first earn it. 
" Spin me some flax," she says. The lord consents ; 
so she throws him the tools and the flax, and he works 
away for his meat. The steward next sees the wright's 
garland, and he too must visit the goodwife, whom he 
offers twenty marks, which she pockets, and then leads 
him into the same trap, where, after suffering hunger for 
several days, he also spins flax for his food. Then the 
proctor, seeing the garland, asks the wright all about 
it, and, in his turn, having given the dame other twenty 
marks, he joins the lord and the steward in the trap 
which the wright had so craftily constructed for men 
of their sort. There the three spin and spin away, as 
if for their very lives, until at length the wright has 


finished his three months' job and comes home. His 
wife tells him of her prisoners, and then sends for 
their wives, each of whom takes away her shamefaced 
husband. 1 

It is possible that ' The Wright's Chaste Wife ' sug- 
gested to Massinger the idea of the plot of his comedy 
of ' The Picture ' (printed in 1630), which is as follows : 
Mathias, a Bohemian knight, about to go to the wars, 
expresses to his confidant Baptista, a great scholar, his 
fears lest his wife Sophia, on whom he doted fondly, 
should prove unfaithful during his absence. Baptista 
gives him a picture of his wife, saying, 

" Carry it still about you, and as oft 

As you desire to know how she's affected, 

With curious eyes peruse it. While it keeps 

The figure it has now entire and perfect, 

She is not only innocent in fact 

But unattempted ; but if once it vary 

From the true form, and what's now white and red 

Incline to yellow, rest most confident 

She's with all violence courted, but unconquered ; 

But if it turn all black, 'tis an assurance 

The fort by composition or surprise 

Is forced, or with her free consent surrendered." 

On the return of Mathias from the wars, he is loaded 

1 With 'The Wright's Chaste Wife' may be compared the old 
ballad of " The Fryer well-fitted ; or, 

A pretty jest that once befel, 

How a maid put a Fryer to cool in the well," 

which is found in 'Wit and Mirth, an Antidote to Melancholy,' 
1682, and has been reprinted in the Bagford and other collections of 


with rich gifts by Honoria, the wife of his master 
Ferdinand, king of Hungary ; and when he expresses 
his desire to return to his fair and virtuous wife, Hon- 
oria asks him if his wife is as fair as she, upon which 
he shows her the picture. The queen resolves to win 
his love merely to gratify her own vanity and per- 
suades him to remain a month at court. She then 
despatches two libertine courtiers to attempt the virtue 
of Mathias' wife. They tell her Mathias is given to 
the society of courtesans moreover, not young, but 
old and ugly ones; so poor Sophia begins to waver. 
Meanwhile the queen makes advances to Mathias, 
which at first he repels ; but afterwards, seeing a 
change in his wife's picture, he consents, when the 
queen says she will think over it and let him know her 
decision. Sophia, at first disposed to entertain her 
suitors' proposals, on reflection determines to punish 
their wickedness ; and pretending to listen favourably 
to one of them, she causes him to be stripped to his 
shirt and locked in a room, where he is compelled to 
spin flax (like the suitors in 'The Wright's Chaste 
Wife '), or go without food. The other fares no better, 
and the play concludes with the exposure of the liber- 
tines to the king and queen, their attendants, and the 
lady's husband. 

The identity of the ' Gesta ' story with that of ' The 
Wright's Chaste Wife ' is very evident, and they have 
a close parallel in the fourth story of Nakhshabf s . 
'Tiitf Nama.' The following is a translation of the 


tale, according to Kaderi's abridgment of that enter- 
taining work : l 

In a certain city dwelt a military man who had a 
very beautiful wife, on whose account he was always 
under apprehension. The man being indigent, his wife 
asked him why he had quitted his profession and occu- 
pation. He answered, " I have not confidence in you, 
and therefore do not go anywhere in quest of employ- 
ment." The wife said, " This is a perverse conceit, for 
no one can seduce a virtuous woman ; and if a woman 
is vicious, no husband can guard her. It is most 
eligible for you to travel, and to get into some service. 
I will give you a fresh nosegay, and as long as it shall 
continue in this state, be assured that I have not com- 
mitted any evil action ; but if it should wither, you 
will then know that I have done something wrong." 
The soldier listened to these words, and resolved on 
making a journey. On his departure his wife presented 
him with a nosegay. When he arrived in a certain 
city he engaged in the service of a nobleman of the 
place. The soldier always took the nosegay along 
with him. When the winter season arrived the 
nobleman said to his attendants, " At this time of the 
year a fresh flower is not to be seen in any garden, 
neither is such a thing procurable by persons of rank. 
It is wonderful from whence this stranger, the soldier, 
brings a fresh nosegay every day." They said that they 

1 Although an abstract of this tale has been given in the first vol., 
in connection with Tests of Chastity, it is necessary to present it here 
more fully, for the purpose of comparison. 


also were astonished at this circumstance. Then the 
nobleman asked the soldier, " What kind of nosegay is 
this ? " He answered, " My wife gave me this nosegay 
as a token of her chastity, saying, 'As long as it 
continues fresh and blooming, know you of a truth 
that my virtue is unsullied.' " The nobleman laugh- 
ingly remarked that his wife must be a conjuror or a 

Now the nobleman had two cooks, remarkable for 
their cunning and adroitness. To one of these he said, 
" Repair to the soldier's country, where, through arti- 
fice and deceit, contrive to form an intimacy with his 
wife, and return quickly with a particular account of 
her ; when it will be seen whether his nosegay will 
continue fresh or not." The cook, having accordingly 
gone to the soldier's city, sent a procuress to the wife, 
who, through treachery and deceit, waited on her, and 
delivered the message. The wife did not give any 
direct assent to the procuress, but said, " Send the man 
to me, in order that I may see whether he will be 
agreeable to me or not." The procuress introduced 
the cook to the soldier's wife, who said in his ear, " Go 
away for the present, and tell the procuress that you 
will have nothing to say to such a woman as I am ; 
then come along to my house without apprising the 
procuress, for persons of her sort cannot keep a secret." 
The cook approved of her plan and acted accordingly. 
The soldier's wife had in her house a dry well, over 
which she placed a bedstead, very slightly laced, and 
covered it with a sheet. When the cook returned, she 


desired him to sit down on that bed ; and he, having 
placed himself thereon, fell through, and began to 
bawl out. The woman then said, " Tell me truly who 
you are, and from whence you came." Thereupon the 
forlorn cook related all the circumstances about her 
husband and the nobleman ; but she kept him confined 
in the dry well. And when some time had passed and 
the cook did not return, the nobleman gave the other 
cook a large sum of money, with abundance of goods, 
and sent him to the soldier's wife in the character of a 
merchant. He pursued the like course with the other, 
and was caught in the same whirlpool. The nobleman, 
astonished that neither of the two cooks came back, 
began to suspect that some evil had befallen them, so 
he at length resolved to go himself. 

One day, under pretence of hunting, he set out, 
attended by the soldier. When they arrived at the 
soldier's city, he went to his own house, and presented 
his wife with the nosegay, still fresh and blooming, and 
she informed him of all that had occurred. Next day 
the soldier conducted the nobleman to his dwelling, 
and prepared for him a hospitable entertainment. He 
took the two cooks out of the well and said to them, 
" Guests are come to my house ; do you both put on 
women's clothes, place the victuals before them, and 
wait upon them ; after which I will set you at liberty." 
The cooks accordingly put on women's apparel, and 
served up the victuals to the nobleman. From their 
sufferings in the well and their poor food, the hair 
had fallen from off their heads, and their complexion 


was very much changed. Quoth the nobleman to the 
soldier, " What crimes have these girls been guilty of, 
that their heads have been shaved?" The soldier 
answered, "They have committed a great fault ask 
themselves." And having examined them more atten- 
tively, the nobleman recognised them as his own cooks, 
while they, having, in their turn, recognised their 
master, began to weep grievously, fell at his feet, 
and testified to the woman's virtue. The wife then 
called out from behind a curtain, "I am she whom 
you, my lord, suspected to be a sorceress, and sent 
these men to put me to the proof, and laughed at my 
husband. Now you have learned my character." 
Hearing this, the nobleman was abashed, and asked 
forgiveness for his offences. 

Such is the Persian form of the story ; and although 
the 'Tutf Nama' of Nakhshabi is probably not of 
earlier date than the ' Gesta Eomanorum/ yet it re- 
presents a very much older work, now lost. Moreover, 
in the ' Katha Sarit Sagara ' we have a version of the 
story which dates as far back as the 6th century 
of our era : 

A merchant named Guhasena is compelled to leave 
his wife, Devasmita, for a season, on important busi- 
ness matters. The separation is very painful to both, 
and the pain is aggravated by fears on the wife's part 
of her husband's inconstancy. To make assurance 
doubly sure, Siva was pleased to appear to them in 
a dream, and giving them two red lotuses, the god 


said to them, " Take each of you one of these lotuses 
in your hand ; and if either of you shall be unfaithful 
during your separation, the lotus in the hand of the 
other shall fade, but not otherwise." The husband 
set out on his journey, and, arriving in the country 
of Kataha, he began to buy and sell jewels there. 
Four young merchants, learning the purport of his 
lotus and the virtue of his wife, set off to put it to 
the proof. On reaching the city where the chaste 
Devasmita resided, they bribe a female ascetic to 
corrupt the lady ; so she goes to her house, and adopt- 
ing the device of the little she-dog see chap, xxviii. 
of Swan's ' Gesta Eomanorum ' l which she pretends 
is her own co-wife in a former birth, re-born in that 
degraded form, because she had been over-chaste, and 
'warns Devasmita that such should also be her fate 
if she did not take her pleasure in her husband's 
absence. The wise Devasmita said to herself, " This 
is a novel conception of duty ; no doubt this woman 
has laid a treacherous snare for me," and so she said 
to the ascetic, "Reverend lady, for this long time I 
have been ignorant of this duty, so procure me an 
interview with some agreeable man." Then the 
ascetic said, "There are residing here some young 
merchants who have come from a distant country, so 
I will bring them to you." The crafty old hag returns 
home delighted with the success of her stratagem. 

1 Taken into the ' Gesta,' probably, from the ' Disciplina Clericalis ' 
of P. Alfonsus. The incident is also the subject of a fabliau, and 
occurs in all the Eastern versions of the Book of Sindibdd. 


In the meantime Devasmita resolves to punish the 
four young merchants. So calling her maids, she 
instructs them to prepare some wine mixed with 
datura (a stupefying drug), and to have a dog's foot 
of iron made as soon as possible. Then she causes 
one of her maids to dress so as to resemble herself. 
The ascetic introduces one of the young libertines 
into the lady's house in the evening, and then re- 
turns home. The maid, disguised as her mistress, 
receives the young merchant with great courtesy, 
and, having persuaded him to drink freely of the 
drugged wine till he becomes senseless, the other 
women strip off his clothes, and, after branding him 
on the forehead with the dog's foot, during the night 
push him into a filthy ditch. On recovering con- 
sciousness he returns to his companions, and tells 
them, in order that they should share his fate, that 
he had been robbed on his way home. The three 
other merchants in turn visit the house of Devas- 
mita, and receive the same treatment. Soon after- 
wards the pretended devotee, ignorant of the result 
of her device, visits the lady, is drugged, her ears 
and nose are cut off, and she is flung into a foul 
pond. In the sequel, Devasmita, disguised in man's 
apparel, proceeds to the country of the young liber- 
tines, where her husband had been residing for some 
time, and going before the king, petitions him to 
assemble all his subjects, alleging that there are 
among the citizens four of her slaves who had run 
away. Then she seizes upon the four young mer- 


chants, and claims them as her slaves. The other 
merchants indignantly cried out that these were 
reputable men, and she answered that if their fore- 
heads were examined they would be found marked 
with a dog's foot. On seeing the four young men 
thus branded the king was astonished, and Devas- 
mita thereupon related the whole story, and all the 
people burst out laughing, and the king said to the 
lady, "They are your slaves by the best of titles." 
The other merchants paid a large sum of money to 
the chaste wife to redeem them from slavery, and a 
fine to the king's treasury. And Devasmita received 
the money, and recovered her husband ; was honoured 
by all men, returned to her own city, and was never 
afterwards separated from her beloved. 

We now come to versions in which, as in the fabliau, 
there is no magical test. In the Arabian text of the 
Book of Sindibad, commonly known as the 'Seven 
Vazi'rs,' the story is to this effect : 

A lady, whose lover has been arrested and carried to 
prison, earnestly solicits his release, first, of the chief 
of police ; next, of the kazf, or magistrate; then, of the 
chief vazfr ; and, lastly, of the governor of the city ; 
each of whom promises to grant her request on con- 
dition that she permit him to visit her at her own 
house. She professes willingness, and appoints a 
different hour for each to wait upon her the same 
evening. As they arrive in turn, she shuts them up 
unknown to each other in a large cabinet, with separ- 


ate compartments, on the pretence that her husband is 
at the door. By-and-by her lover, having been released 
from prison, comes to the house, and she decamps 
with him, leaving the amorous officials locked up, safe 
enough. In the morning the owner of the house, 
finding the gate open, enters, and hearing the voices of 
the imprisoned dignitaries clamouring to be released, 
causes the cabinet to be carried to the sultan's palace, 
where it is opened in his presence; and the shame- 
faced officials come forth amidst the derision of the 
whole court. 

The story is told very differently in Jonathan Scott's 
edition of the ' Arabian Nights,' vol. vi., where the lady 
is represented as virtuous. Her suitors are the judge, 
the collector-general of port-duties, the chief of the 
butchers, and a wealthy merchant. She informs her 
husband of her plan to punish them, and at the same 
time reap some profit. The judge comes first, and 
presents her with a rosary of pearls. She makes him 
undress and put on a robe of yellow muslin, and a 
parti-coloured cap her husband all the while looking 
at them through an opening in the door of a closet. 
Presently there is heard a loud knock at the street- 
door, upon which she affects to think it is her husband, 
and the judge is pushed into an adjoining room. 
The three other suitors, as they successively arrive, 
bring each also a valuable present, and are treated in 
like manner. The husband now enters, and his wife 
tells him to the consternation of the suitors that in 


returning from the bazaar that day she had met four 
antic fellows, whom she had a great mind to bring 
home with her for his amusement. He pretends to be 
vexed that she had not done so, since he must go from 
home on the morrow. The lady then says that they are, 
after all, in the next room, upon which her husband 
insists on their being brought before him, one after 
another. So the judge is dragged forth in his ludicrous 
attire and compelled to dance and caper like a buffoon, 
after which he is made to tell a story, and is then dis- 
missed. The three other suitors go through the same 
performance in succession, each making himself ridicu- 
lous to please the lady's husband, and prevent scandal. 

In the Persian tales of the 'Thousand and One 
Days,' by the Dervish Mukhlis of Ispahan, Aniya, 
the virtuous wife of a merchant, in like manner en- 
traps, also with her husband's consent, a kazi, a doctor, 
and the city governor ; but they do not relate stories. 
And in the 'Bahar-i Danush,' or Spring of Know- 
ledge, by 'Inayatu-'llah of Delhi, a lady named Grohera, 
whose husband is in the hands of the police, makes 
assignations with the kutwal (police magistrate) and 
the kazi, one of whom is entrapped in a large jar, 
the other in a chest, which next morning she causes 
porters to carry into the presence of the sultan, who 
punishes the suitors and sets her husband at liberty. 

In Miss Stokes' charming little work, ' Indian Fairy 
Tales/ the wife of a merchant, during his absence on a 


journey, having spun a quantity of beautiful thread, 
takes four hanks to market. There she is accosted 
successively by the kutwal, the vazfr, the kazf, and, 
lastly, by the king himself, to each of whom she grants 
an interview at her own house at different hours, and, 
as they arrive, shuts them in separate chests. In the 
morning she hires four stout coolies, who take the chests 
on their shoulders. She first goes to the kutwal's son, 
and asks him to give her 1000 rupi's for one of the 
chests, which, she says, contains something he would 
value far beyond that sum ; he gives the required sum, 
opens the chest when it has been taken into the house, 
and finds his father crouching in it, full of shame ; in 
like manner from the vazfr's son she receives 2000 
rupi's, from the kazi's son 3000, and from the king's 
son 5000. With the money thus cleverly acquired she 
builds a fine well, to the admiration of her husband on 
his return home. 

In a legend of Dinajpiir, by G-. A. Damant (" Folk- 
Lore of Bengal " ' Indian Antiquary/ 1873), a woman 
plays somewhat similar tricks upon four admirers : A 
king having promised that he would give every one 
whatever he wished during the space of two hours, when 
the family priest had distributed all the king's pos- 
sessions, he asked a present for himself, and said he 
should like to have a touchstone. The king was 
grieved at being quite unable to comply with this 
request ; but his son undertook to bring him a touch- 
stone, in order that he might keep his word. After a 


long and toilsome journey, the prince receives a touch- 
stone from a pair of birds, who inform him that they 
had brought it from over the sea, because the shells 
of their eggs would not burst until they were rubbed 
with a touchstone. On his way homeward he falls in 
with a party of robbers, whose practice it was to decoy 
their victims into an inner room by means of the 
blandishments of the chief's daughter. But the girl 
falls in love with the prince, and they both escape 
from the robbers' den. When the prince arrived at 
his father's capital he first placed his bride in the care 
of a garland-maker, and then went to his father's 
palace, where he gave his wife the touchstone to 
keep in the meantime. She, however, was in love 
with the kutwal of the city, and gave him the 
touchstone. The prince became distracted on learn- 
ing that it had been " stolen " ; but the robber-chief's 
daughter found by magical arts that it had fallen into 
the hands of the kutwal, and formed a plan to recover 
it. She went on the roof of the house, where the 
kutwal passing by saw her, and spoke to the garland- 
maker about her beauty, saying that he would visit 
her that night. The man (having been prompted by 
the damsel) said that his " sister " had made a vow to 
receive no one unless he presented her with a touch- 
stone. To this the kutwal consented, and an hour was 
appointed for his visit. Shortly after this the king's 
counsellor in passing saw the girl on the house-top, 
and the garland-maker arranged that he should come 
to converse with her at the second watch of the night. 


Next comes the king's prime minister, and the garland- 
maker appoints the third watch of the night for his 
visit. Lastly, the king himself, happening to observe 
the damsel, is to come at the last watch. At the due 
time the kutwal comes, delivers up the touchstone, 
and sups with the damsel. When the king's coun- 
sellor comes, the kutwal, on being informed of it, 
urgently requests to be concealed somewhere. She 
smears him over with molasses, pours water on him, 
covers his whole body with cotton-wool, and fastens 
him in a window. On the minister's knocking at the 
door, the counsellor is concealed beneath a seat. The 
minister, when the king comes, is placed near the 
kutwal, behind a bamboo screen. The king, having 
observed the frightful figure of the kutwal, inquires 
what was fastened in the window. She answers that 
it is a rakshasa (a species of demon), whereupon 
the king, counsellor, and prime minister flee from the 
house in mortal fear of the monster, after which 
the kutwal is allowed to make the best of his way 
home, in his strange garb of molasses and cotton-wool. 
Next morning the damsel gives the touchstone to the 
prince, who recovers his wits, presents the treasure 
to his father, puts to death his wife and the wicked 
kutwal, and takes the clever damsel for his wife. The 
king abdicates in favour of his son, and retires to the 
forest as a hermit. 

One of the exploits of the Indian jester, Temal 
Ramakistnan (the Tyl Eulenspiegel, or the Scogin, of 


Madras), is akin to the various stories already cited ; 
Temal Eamakistnan, fearing that the raja and his 
priest, who were angry with him on account of his fre- 
quently ridiculing them, would one day deprive him 
of his head, thought his only safety lay in obtaining 
an oath of protection from them. For this purpose he 
went first to the raja's priest, and, after speaking a 
while, informed him that a certain man was come from 
a distant country to his house, accompanied by his 
wife, who was as bright as the moon, but he was unable 
to tell him her quality, adding that he did not think 
such another beautiful woman could be found through- 
out the whole fifty-six kingdoms of India. The priest 
desired him to make him acquainted with this beauti- 
ful lady ; but Eamakistnan said that her husband was 
so jealous that he seldom allowed her out of his sight, 
and advised the priest to disguise himself in woman's 
garb, and come to his house at ten o'clock that night, 
when he would comply with his request. Having made 
this arrangement with the priest, the jester then went 
to the raja, gave him a similar account of the lady's 
charms, and agreed to introduce him to her at one 
o'clock that night, disguised as a woman. Eamakist- 
nan then returned home and prepared a room for their 
reception. The priest and the raja arrived each at the 
hour appointed, and were conducted one after the other 
into the room, and the door was locked on them. They 
soon discovered each other, and being heartily ashamed, 
softly requested to be let out ; on which Eamakistnan 
demanded, as a condition, that they should first swear 


to him by a solemn oath that they would pardon him 
one hundred offences every day. The raja and his 
priest, fearing that if they refused he would publish 
their disgrace to the world, had no alternative but 
to comply, and Ramakistnan then sent them home 
with all possible marks of respect. 

The original of all the foregoing versions in which 
there is no magical test is probably found in the story 
of the virtuous and wise Upakosa in the ' Katha Sarit 
Sagara,' which has been thus translated by Dr H. H. 
Wilson : 

Whilst I [Vararuchi] was absent, my wife, who per- 
formed with pious exactitude her ablutions in the 
Ganges, attracted the notice and desires of several 
suitors, especially of the king's domestic priest, the 
commander of the guard, and the young prince's pre- 
ceptor, who annoyed her by their importunites, till at 
last she determined to expose and punish their de- 
pravity. Having fixed upon the plan, she made an ap- 
pointment for the same evening with her three lovers, 
each being to come to her house an hour later than the 
other. Being desirous of propitiating the gods, she sent 
for our banker to obtain money to distribute in alms ; 
and when he arrived he expressed the same passion as 
the rest, on her compliance with which he promised to 
make over to her the money that I had placed in his 
hands, or on her refusal he would retain it to his own 
use. Apprehending the loss of our property, therefore, 
she made a similar assignation with him, and desired 


him to come to her house that evening, at an hour 
when she calculated on having disposed of the first 
comers, for whose reception, as well as his, she ar- 
ranged with her attendants the necessary preparations. 

At the expiration of the first watch of the night the 
preceptor of the prince arrived. Upakosa affected to 
receive him with great delight, and after some conver- 
sation desired him to take a bath, which her attendants 
had prepared for him. 1 The preceptor made not the 
slightest objection, on which he was conducted into a 
retired and dark chamber, where his bath was ready. 
On undressing, his own clothes and ornaments were 
removed, and in their place a small wrapper given to 
him, which was a piece of cloth smeared with a mix- 
ture of oil, lamp-black, and perfumes. Similar cloths 
were employed to rub him after bathing, so that he 
was of a perfect ebon colour from top to toe. The rub- 
bing occupied the tune till the second lover (the priest) 
arrived, on which the women exclaimed, " Here is our 
master's most particular friend in, in here, or all will 
be discovered " ; and hurrying their victim away, they 
thrust him into a long and stout wicker basket, 2 fast- 
ened well by a bolt outside, in which they left him to 
meditate upon his mistress. 

The priest and the commander of the guard were 
secured, as they arrived, in a similar manner, and it 

1 It is curious that the fabliau alone agrees with this Hindu story 
in disrobing the suitors by the plea of the bath. 

2 This will probably remind the reader of the buck-basket in which 
Sir John Falstaff was thrust by Mrs Ford and her gossip Mrs Page. 


only remained to dispose of the banker. When he 
made his appearance, Upakosa, leading him near the 
baskets, said aloud, "You promise to deliver me my 
husband's property ? " And he replied, " The wealth 
your husband entrusted to me shall be yours." On 
which she turned towards the baskets and said, " Let 
the gods hear the promise of Hiranygupta ! " The 
bath was then proposed to the banker. Before the 
ceremony was completed the day began to dawn, on 
which the servants desired him to make the best of his 
way home, lest the neighbours should notice his depart- 
ure ; and with this recommendation they forced him, 
naked as he was, into the street. Having no alterna- 
tive, the banker hastened to conceal himself in his 
own house, being chased all the way by the dogs of 
the town. 1 

So soon as it was day, Upakosa repaired to the palace 
of Nanda, and presented a petition to the king against 
the banker, for seeking to appropriate the property 
entrusted to him by her husband. The banker was 
summoned. He denied ever having received any 
money from me. Upakosa then said, "When my 
husband went away he placed our household gods in 
three baskets ; they have heard this man acknowledge 

1 The fabliau has also this incident, the only difference being that 
all the lady's suitors are turned naked, or rather, well-feathered, into 
the street, are hunted by the townsfolk and the dogs, and reach their 
homes " well beaten and bitten." So, too, in the Dinajptiri story 
(p. 305), the kutwal is sent away, covered from head to feet with 
molasses and cotton-wool, and such a figure must have maddened all 
the dogs of the quarter, though nothing is said about them. 


his holding a deposit of my husband's, and let them 
bear witness for me." The king, with some feeling of 
surprise and incredulity, ordered the baskets to be sent 
for, and they were accordingly produced in the open 
court. Upakosa then addressed them, " Speak, gods, 
and declare what you overheard this banker say in our 
dwelling. If you are silent I will unhouse you in this 
presence." Afraid of this menaced exposure, the ten- 
ants of the baskets immediately exclaimed, " Verily in 
our presence the banker acknowledged possession of 
your wealth." On hearing these words the whole court 
was filled with surprise, and the banker, terrified out 
of his senses, acknowledged the debt and promised 

This business being adjusted, the king expressed his 
curiosity to see the household divinities of Upakosa, 
and she very readily complied with his wish. The 
baskets being opened, the culprits were dragged forth 
by the attendants, like so many lumps of darkness. 
Being presently recognised, they were overwhelmed 
with the laughter and derision of all the assembly. As 
soon as the merriment had subsided, Nanda begged 
Upakosa to explain what it all meant, and she acquaint- 
ed him with what had occurred. Nanda was highly 
incensed, and, as the punishment of their offence, ban- 
ished the criminals from the kingdom. He was equally 
pleased with the virtue and ingenuity of my wife, and 
loaded her with wealth and honour. Her family were 
likewise highly gratified by her conduct, and she ob- 
tained the admiration and esteem of the whole city. 


Part of the Norse story of the "Mastermaid" (Das- 
ent) presents some analogy to the several tales of the 
Lady and her Suitors : 

The heroine takes shelter in the hut of an old 
cross-grained hag, who presently meets with her death 
by an accident. Next morning a constable, passing 
the hut and seeing a beautiful maiden there, instantly 
falls over head in love with her, and asks her to 
become his wife. She requires him to state how 
much money he possesses, and he at once goes away 
and returns with a half-bushel sack full of gold and 
silver. So she consents to marry him ; but they have 
scarcely retired to their nuptial couch when she says 
that she must get up again, as she has forgotten to 
make up the fire. The loving constable, however, 
would not hear of her getting out of bed, so he 
jumped up and stood on the hearth. Says the lady, 
" When you have got hold of the shovel, let me know." 
"Well," says he, "I'm holding it now." Then the 
damsel said, " God grant that you may hold the 
shovel, and the shovel hold you ; and may you heap 
hot burning coals over yourself till morning breaks." 
So there stood the constable all that night, heaping hot 
coals upon himself till dawn, when he was released 
from the spell and sped home, dancing with pain, to 
the amusement of all who saw him on the way. Next 
day the attorney passed by the hut, and fell in love 
with the damsel. In answer to the question, had he 
much money, he went off and brought a whole 
bushel-sack full of gold and silver. Just as they had 


got into bed, she said she must rise and fasten the 
door of the porch. The attorney would not allow 
her, but gets up himself ; and when she learns from 
him that he has grasped the handle of the porch- 
door, she expresses the wish that the handle might 
hold him, and he the handle, till morning. Such a 
dance the attorney had in struggling to free himself 
from the door-handle till dawn, when he, too, runs 
home, leaving his money behind him. On the 
third day the sheriff passes, and falls in love with 
the damsel ; he goes and brings a bushel and a half 
of money. When they have got into bed, she says 
that she has forgot to bring home the calf from the 
meadow; so the sheriff gets up, and she utters a 
spell, by which he holds the calf's tail, and the 
calf's tail holds him, until daybreak, when the breath- 
less sheriff is released, and returns home in a sorry 
plight. 1 

Closely allied to the tales in which a lady entraps 
objectionable suitors are those which represent the 
lady as appointing them disagreeable tasks in order to 
be rid of them : 

The first novel of the Ninth Day in Boccaccio's 
' Decameron ' tells of a widow lady who had two lovers, 
one called Kinuccio, the other Alexander, neither of 

1 In an Icelandic variant, entitled " Story of Geirlaug and Groe- 
dari," two pages and a prince, who come as suitors to two daughters 
of a farmer and the heroine, are tricked by means of the calf's tail 
only. Powell & Magnusson (Second Series). 


whom was acceptable to her. It happened that 
while she was pestered by their solicitations, a man 
named Scannadio, of reprobate life and hideous aspect, 
died and was buried. His death suggested to the 
lady a mode of getting rid of her lovers, by asking 
them to perform a service which she felt sure they 
would not undertake. She informed Alexander that 
the body of Scannadio was to be brought to her 
dwelling by one of her kinsmen, for a purpose which 
she would afterwards explain, and feeling a horror at 
such an inmate, she would grant him her love if, 
attired in the dead garments of Scannadio, he would 
occupy his place in the coffin, and allow himself to be 
conveyed to her house instead of the corpse. She 
then sent a request to Einuccio that he would bring 
the body of Scannadio at midnight to her house. 
Contrary to her expectations, both lovers agree to 
comply with her desires. During the night she 
watches the event, and soon perceives Einuccio com- 
ing along bearing Alexander, who was equipped in 
the shroud of Scannadio. On the approach of some 
watchmen with a light, Einuccio throws down his 
burden and runs off, while Alexander returns home in 
the dead man's shroud. Next day he demands the 
love of his mistress, which she refuses, pretending to 
believe that no attempt had been made to execute her 
commands. Dunlop. 

The old English metrical tale of ' The Lady Prior- 
ess and her Three Wooers,' ascribed to John Lydgate, 


a monk of Bury (circa 1430), 1 bears a strong resem- 
blance to the great Florentine's novel : 

The suitors are a knight, a parish priest, and a 
merchant. As the condition of her love, the lady 
prioress imposes on the young cavalier the task of 
lying all night in a chapel as a dead body, wrapped in 
a sheet. She next sends for the churchman, and, 
telling him a feigned story, induces him to go to 
the chapel and secretly bury the body. Then beguil- 
ing the merchant with another fictitious tale about 
the body, she persuades him to array himself as the 
devil and prevent the burial. The priest on seeing, 
as he imagines, the arch-fiend, throws down his book 
and leaps through the chapel window ; the knight 
rises and takes to his heels; the merchant, equally 
affrighted, seeing the dead come back to life, flies 
from the chapel in a different direction from the 
others; and the fugitives spend a terrible night in 
hiding from each other. Next day the priest comes to 
tell the lady prioress how, just as he was about to bury 
the body, the devil appeared, and the dead man came 
to life again. "I never," quoth the lady, "had a 
lover that died a good death." "Then," says Mass 
John, " that will serve for ale and meat ; thou wilt 
never be wooed by me." The cavalier is dismissed 
because he did not remain all night in the chapel, 
according to the condition she had imposed. When 
the merchant comes to tell her of his misadventures, 

1 Ritson, in his ' Biographia Literaria.' unjustly calls honest Lydgate 
"a voluminous, prosaic, drivelling monk." 


she threatens to disclose his wicked designs to his 
wife and to all the country; and he purchases her 
silence by giving twenty marks a year to the convent. 
Thus the good lady prioress punished her three prof- 
ligate suitors, and freed herself from their impor- 
tunities. 1 

Lastly, under the title of " The Wicked Lady of 
Antwerp," in Thorpe's ' Northern Mythology,' we find 
a very singular variant of the two preceding stories, 
in which the catastrophe is tragical : 

A rich lady in Antwerp led a very licentious life, 
and had four lovers, all of whom visited her in the 
evenings, but at different hours, so that no one knew 
anything of the others. The Long Wapper 2 one 
night assumed the form of the lady. At ten o'clock 
came the first lover, and the Wapper said to him, 
"What dost thou desire?" "I desire you for a 
wife," said the gallant. " Thou shalt have me," replied 
the Wapper, " if thou wilt go at once to the Church- 
yard of Our Lady, and there sit for two hours on the 
transverse of the great cross." " Good," said he, " that 
shall be done " ; and he went and did accordingly. At 
half -past ten came the second lover. "What dost 
thou want ? " asked the Wapper. " I wish to marry 
you," answered the suitor. "Thou shalt have me," 

1 If this most diverting tale was imitated from Boccaccio's novel 
(which I doubt), the author deserves credit for his invention, since it 
is a great improvement on his model. 

2 A Flemish sprite, whose knavish exploits resemble those of our 
Robin Goodfellow, or of Friar Rush. 


replied the Wapper, " if thou wilt go previously to the 
Churchyard of Our Lady, there take a coffin, drag it to 
the foot of the great cross, and lay thyself in it till 
midnight." " Good," said the lover, " that shall be done 
at once " ; and he went and did so. About eleven 
o'clock came the third. Him the Long "Wapper com- 
missioned to go to the coffin at the foot of the cross in 
Our Lady's Churchyard, knock thrice on the lid, and 
wait there till midnight. At half-past eleven came 
the fourth gallant, and Wapper asked him to take an 
iron chain from the kitchen and drag it after him, 
while he ran three times round the cross in the 
Churchyard of Our Lady. The first had set himself 
on the cross, but had fallen dead with fright on seeing 
the second place the coffin at his feet. The second 
died with fright when the third struck thrice on the 
coffin. The third fell down dead when the fourth 
came along rattling his chain. The fourth knew not 
what to think, when he found the three others lying 
stiff and cold around the cross. With all speed he 
ran from the churchyard to the lady, to tell her what 
had happened, and to hold her to her word. But she, 
of course, knew nothing of the matter. When, how- 
ever, on the following day she was informed of the 
miserable death of her three lovers, she put an end to 
her own life. 



TN the ' Gesta Eomanorum ' we read of a king 
-*- who bought of a merchant three maxims, the 
first of which was, "Whatever you do, do wisely, 
and think of the consequences"; and it saved his 
life on one occasion, when his barber had been 
hired by the prime minister to cut the king's 
throat while engaged in shaving him, but observing 
these words engraved on the bottom of the basin he 
was about to use, the razor dropped from his hand, 
and he fell on his knees and confessed his guilty 
design. This story was probably taken into the 
' Gesta ' from No. 81 of the ' Liber de Donis ' of 
Etienne de Bourbon, where a prince buys for a large 
sum of money the advice, "In omnibus factis tuis 
considera antequam facias, ad quern finem inde venire 
valeas," which he causes to be written on all the 
royal linen, etc. ; and it was the means of saving his 
life, as above related. 

An Arabian version is given in Beloe's ' Oriental 


Apologues ' : A king obtains from a dervish, seated by 
the wayside, the maxim, " Let him who begins a thing 
consider its end." This he had engraved on all the 
dishes of the royal household, and painted on the walls 
of the palace. One day he sends for his surgeon to 
bleed him. The prime vazir gives the surgeon a hand- 
some lancet to use in place of his own, but on reading 
the maxim engraved on the basin, he substitutes his 
old lancet. After the operation the king inquires why 
he had changed lancets, to which the surgeon replies 
so as to awaken the king's suspicions, and he com- 
mands the grand vazir to approach and submit to be 
bled with the lancet he had given the surgeon, which 
being poisoned, the vazir dies on the first puncture. 

In the Turkish romance of the ' Forty Vazirs,' where 
the same story also occurs, instead of the chief vazir 
plotting against the king's life, it is another king, 
his mortal enemy, who disguises himself, goes to the 
king's barber, presents him with much gold, and gives 
him a poisoned lancet to be used when he is next 
called to bleed the king. The conclusion is the same 
as that of the version in the ' Gesta Eomanorum.' 
The story is also found in several collections of Italian 
tales, and in the ' Sicilianische Marchen ' of Laura 

In a Kashmiri variant, a holy man sells to a king, 
for a hundred rupis, certain words, which he is to 
repeat three times every night. One of the ministers 


resolved to bring about the king's death, and to this 
end had caused an underground passage to be made 
between his house and the king's palace. It happened 
one night that the minister had gone into the passage 
to remove the foot of earth that yet remained, when 
he heard the king mutter the holy man's charm, and 
saying to himself, "I am discovered," he hastened 
back. 1 

It has not hitherto been pointed out to English 
readers, at least that this story is of Buddhist ex- 
traction. The incident of the king and his barber 
occurs in ' Buddhaghosha's Parables,' under the title 
of the " Story of Kulla Panthaka " : 

This youth, on quitting his teacher to return home, 
received from him a charm, consisting of these words : 
Ghatesi ghatesi kim kdrana? tava karman aham 
gdndmi, " Why are you busy ? why are you busy ? 
I know what you are about ! " His teacher advised 
him to repeat these words frequently, so that he 
should not forget them. " It will," he added, " always 
provide you with a living, wherever you may be you 
have only to mutter the charm." The young man 
duly arrived at the house of his parents in Benares. 
It happened that the king went out one night in dis- 
guise, 2 " to discover whether the actions of his subjects 

1 Knowles' ' Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs and Sayings.' 

2 Like the renowned Khalif Hariin-er-Rashid and King James the 
Fifth of Scotland, both of whom, according to tradition, were wont 
to go about disguised among their subjects. 


were good or evil." As he was passing the house 
where the youth resided, he overheard him repeat the 
words of the charm ; and it so chanced that a party 
of thieves, who had burrowed under the walls of a 
neighbouring house, 1 and were about to enter it, also 
heard the words, and saying one to another, " "We are 
discovered," they made off in all haste. The king saw 
them as they fled away, and knowing that it was in 
consequence of the charm, noted the place very care- 
fully and returned to his palace. Next morning he 
despatched a messenger to bring the youth into his 
presence; and when he stood before him, the king 
desired him to impart to him the charm he had re- 
peated on the previous evening. The youth willingly 
did so, and the king rewarded him with a thousand 
pieces of gold. 

" At this time," the narrative proceeds, " the prime 
minister, having formed the design of taking the king's 
life, went to the king's barber and said to him, ' When 
you shave the king's beard, take a very sharp razor 
and cut his throat. When I am king I will give you 
the post of prime minister.' He made the barber a 
present worth a thousand [pieces of gold], and the 
man agreed to do it. Accordingly, after he had soaked 
the king's beard with perfumed water, and was just 
going to cut his throat; at that moment the king, 
thinking of the charm, began to recite it. The bar- 
ber no sooner heard this than he said, ' The king has 
discovered my intention ! ' Then he dropped the razor 

1 See ante, p. 145, note 2. 


and fell trembling at the king's feet. The king ex- 
claimed, ' you, barber ! do you not know that I am 
the king ? ' ' Your majesty,' said the barber, ' it was 
no plot of mine : the prime minister gave me a present 
worth a thousand [pieces of gold] to cut your majesty's 
throat while I was shaving you. It was he indeed who 
induced me to attempt it.' The king said to himself, 
'It is owing to this young man who taught me the 
charm that my life has been saved.' Then he sent 
for the prime minister, and banished him from the 
country, saying, 'Since you have plotted against my 
life, you can no longer live within my territory.' 
After this, he called the young man who had given 
him the charm, and making him a very handsome 
present as an acknowledgment for his services, con- 
ferred on him the post of prime minister." 

Here we have another example of the influence 
of Buddhism on the literature of Europe during the 
Middle Ages. The story had evidently assumed the 
form in which it is found in the Arabic long before it 
was brought to Europe, with many others that occur 
in the monkish collections of exempla. 




HHHE celebrated Dr Isaac Barrow, in a sermon 
* on Contentment, has the following anecdote : 
"When once a king did excessively and obstinately 
grieve for the death of his wife, whom he tenderly 
loved, a philosopher, observing it, told him that he 
was ready to comfort him by restoring her to life, 
supposing only that he would supply what was need- 
ful towards the performing it. The king said he was 
ready to furnish him with anything. The philosopher 
answered that he was provided with all things neces- 
sary except one thing. What that was, the king 
demanded. He replied that if he would, on his 
wife's tomb, inscribe the names of three persons who 
never mourned, she presently would revive. The 
king, after inquiry, told the philosopher that he 
could not find one such man. ' Why then,' said the 
philosopher, smiling, ' O absurdest of all men, art 
thou not ashamed to moan as if thou hadst alone fallen 
into so grievous a case, whereas thou canst not find 
one person that ever was free from such domestic 
affliction ? ' " 


The editor of Barrow's Sermons conjectures that 
this was derived from the Epitome of Julianus. 
However this may be, it occurs in Lucian's ' Demonax ' : 
Herod was grieving for the death of his son Pollux, 
and the philosopher Demonax offered to raise up his 
shade, provided Herod produced three men who had 
never grieved for anything. 

To the same purpose is the tale related in the col- 
lection of Ser Giovanni : A son, on his deathbed, writes 
to his mother to send him a shirt made by the most 
happy woman in the city where she resided. The 
mother finds that the person whom she selects is ut- 
terly wretched, and is thus consoled for her own loss, 
as her son intended. Dunlop remarks that Giovanni's 
tale has given rise to ' The Fruitless Enquiry, or Search 
after Happiness,' by Mrs Heywood, one of the earli- 
est of our English novelists. And an analogous story 
is related of Iskandar, or Alexander the Great, by 
the Arabian historian Abu-'l-Faraj : Alexander's last 
words to his mother had been to request that a ban- 
quet should be set out on the occasion of his death, 
and that proclamation should be made, at the begin- 
ning of the feast, that none should partake of it but 
those whose lives had been uniformly prosperous. 
When this was announced, every hand was drawn 
back, all sat silent, and the unhappy mother saw, in 
this tacit and affecting confession of the troubled lot 
of humanity, a melancholy consolation for her own 
individual loss. 


A much more beautiful version if it be not indeed 
the original form occurs in ' Buddhaghosha's Para- 
bles' (Mr Edwin Arnold has reproduced it in his 
grand poem, ' The Light of Asia/ being an account of 
the life and teachings of Gautama, the illustrious 
founder of Buddhism) : 

A wealthy man of the Savatthi country married a 
young girl, whose name was Kisagotami. In course 
of time she gave birth to a son. When the boy was 
able to walk by himself he died. The young girl, in 
her love for it, carried the dead child clasped to her 
bosom, and went about from house to house asking if 
any one would give her some medicine for it. When 
the neighbours saw this, they said, " Is the girl mad, 
that she carries about on her breast the dead body of 
her son ? " But a wise man, thinking to himself, 
"Alas, this Kisagotami does not understand the law 
of death ; I must comfort her," said to her, " My good 
girl, I cannot myself give medicine for it, but I know 
of a doctor who can attend to it." "If so, tell me 
where he is." The wise man continued, " Para Taken 1 
can give medicine ; you must go to him." Kisagotami 
went to Para Taken, and doing homage to him, said, 
"Lord and Master, do you know any medicine that 
will be good for my boy ? " Para Taken replied, " I 
know of some." She asked, " What medicine do you 
require ? " He said, " I want a handful of mustard- 
seed." The girl promised to procure it for him, but 
Para Taken continued, " I require some mustard-seed 

1 Para Taken : Lord, or Master, i.&, Gautama (Buddha) himself. 


taken from a house where no son, husband, parent, or 
slave has died." The girl said, " Very good," and went 
to ask for some at the different houses, carrying 
the dead body of her child upon her hip. 1 The 
people said, "Here is some mustard-seed, take it." 
Then she asked, " In my friend's house has there died 
a son, a husband, a parent, or a slave ? " They replied, 
" Lady, what is this you say ? The living are few, 
but the dead are many." Then she went to other 
houses ; but one said, " I have lost a son ; " another, 
" I have lost my parents ; " another, " I have lost my 
slave." At last, not being able to find a single house 
where no one had died, from which to procure the 
mustard-seed, she began to think, "This is a heavy 
task that I am engaged in. I am not the only one 
whose son is dead. In the whole of the Savatthi 
country everywhere children are dying, parents 
are dying." Thinking thus, she acquired the law 
of fear, and putting away her affection for her 
child, she summoned up resolution and left the 
dead body in the forest. Then she went to Para 
Taken and paid homage to him. He said to her, 
"Have you procured the handful of mustard-seed?" 
" I have not," she replied. " The people of the 
village told me, ' The living are few, but the 
dead are many.' " Para Taken said to her, " You 
thought that you alone had lost a sou; the law of 
death is, that among all living creatures there is no 

1 Still a common mode of "carrying young children in India. 


Buddhist teaching had begun to spread westward 
before the time of Lucian. It is possible that the 
story of his friend Demonax and the sorrowing Herod 
had foundation in fact; on the other hand, Lucian 
was not the man to be scrupulous about appropriating 
to his own purposes any tales or legends he chanced 
to hear, and he may have heard some modified form of 
the Buddhist story of Kisagotamf. 



TN one of Mr Ealston's ' Eussian Folk Tales,' Semi- 
letka is chosen for his wife by a civil governor 
(Voyvode), with the stipulation that if she ever meddled 
with the affairs of the law-court, she should be sent 
back to her father, but allowed to take with her what- 
ever thing belonging to her which she most prized. 
One day she tells him that he had decided a certain 
case unfairly. The governor, enraged at her inter- 
ference, demands a divorce. " After dinner, Semiletka 
was obliged to go back to her father's house. But 
during dinner she made the Voyvode drink till he was 
intoxicated. He drank his fill, and went to sleep. 
While he was sleeping, she had him placed in a car- 
riage, and then she drove away with him to her father's. 
When they arrived there, the Voyvode awoke, and 
said, ' Who brought me here ? ' 'I brought you,' said 
Semiletka. ' There was an agreement between us 
that I might take away whatever I prized most, and 
so I have taken you.' The Voyvode marvelled at 
her wisdom, and made peace with her. He and she 
returned home, and went on living prosperously." 


This beautiful little story has perhaps been derived 
(indirectly, of course) from a similar one in the Tal- 
mud, which is somewhat as follows : 

A certain man brought his wife before Kabbi Simon 
the son of Jochoe, stating his desire to be divorced 
from her, since he had been married over ten years 
without being blessed with children. 1 The rabbi at 
first endeavoured to dissuade the man from his pur- 
pose, but finding him resolute, he gravely addressed 
the pair thus : " My children, when you were married, 
did ye not make a feast and entertain your friends ? 
Well, since you are determined to be divorced, do 
likewise ; go home, make a feast, entertain your friends, 
and on the following day come to me and I will 
comply with your wishes." They returned home, and, 
in accordance with the reverend father's advice, the 
husband caused a splendid feast to be prepared, to 
which were invited their friends and relations. In the 
course of the entertainment, the husband, being glad- 
dened with wine, said to his wife, " My beloved, we 
have lived many happy years together, it is only the 
want of children that makes me wish for a separation. 
To convince thee, however, that I still love thee, I 

1 According to Jewish law, the want of children is sufficient to 
justify the dissolution of the marriage tie, though the Rabbins, it is 
said, are not generally in favour of divorces, unless on very grave 
grounds. Throughout the East the want of offspring is considered as 
a great disgrace. Readers of the ' Arabian Nights ' must be familiar 
with the numerous instances which occur in that most fascinating 
work of khalifs, sultans, vazirs, etc. being childless, and of the pious 
and often magical means they adopted to obtain the blessing of a son 
and heir. An Asiatic considers his sons as the light of his house. 


give thee leave to take with thee out of my house 
whatever thou likest best." " Be it so," said his wife. 
The wine-cup was freely plied among the guests, and 
all became merry, until at length many had fallen 
asleep, and amongst these was the master of the feast, 
which his wife perceiving, she caused him to be carried 
to her father's house and put to bed. Having slept off 
the effects of his carouse, he awoke, and, finding himself 
in a strange house, he exclaimed, " Where am I ? How 
came I here ? " His wife, who had placed herself behind 
a curtain to await the issue of her little stratagem, came 
up to him, and told him that he had no cause for alarm, 
since he was in her father's house. " In thy father's 
house ! " echoed the astonished husband. " How should 
I come hither?" "I will soon explain, my dear husband," 
said she. " Didst thou not tell me last night that I might 
take out of thy house whatever I most valued ? Now, 
my beloved, believe me, amongst all thy treasures there 
is none I value so much as I do thyself." The sequel 
may be easily imagined : overcome by such devotion, 
the man affectionately embraced his wife, was recon- 
ciled to her, and they lived happily together ever 
afterwards. 1 

1 A variant of this is found in Crane's ' Italian Popular Tales : ' 
" The Clever Girl," p. 311. In the same story is another incident which 
also occurs in the Talmud : A youth, who is the guest of a householder, 
is given at supper a capon to carve ; to the master he gave the head, 
because (as he afterwards explained) he was head of the house ; to 
the mistress, the inward part, as typical of her fruitfulness ; to the 
two daughters, who were marriageable, each a wing, to indicate that 
they should soon fly abroad ; to the two sons, who were the pillars 
of the house, the legs, which are the supporters of the animal ; and to 


It is curious to find a historical anecdote which 
presents a close resemblance to these stories of devoted 
wives: In the year 1141, during the civil war in 
Germany between the Ghibellines and the Guelphs, 
it happened that the Emperor Conrad besieged the 
Guelph count of Bavaria in the castle of Weinsberg. 
After a long and obstinate defence, the garrison was 
obliged at length to surrender, when the emperor, 
annoyed that they had held out so long and defied 
him, vowed that he would destroy the place with 
fire, and put all to the sword except the women, 
whom he gallantly promised to let go free, and pass 
out unmolested. The Guelph countess, when she 
heard of this, begged as a farther favour that the 
women might be allowed to bear forth as much of 
their valuables as they could severally manage to 
carry. The emperor having pledged his word and 
honour that he would grant this request, on the 
morrow at daybreak, as the castle gates were opened, 
he saw, to his amazement, the women file out one by 
one, every married woman carrying her husband with 
their young ones upon her back, and the others each 
the friend or relation nearest and dearest to her. 1 At 
sight of this the emperor was tenderly moved, and 
could not help according to the action the homage 

himself, he took that part of the capon which most resembles a boat, 
in which he had come thither, and in which he intended to return. 
This is also the subject of a story in Boccaccio's ' Decameron.' 

1 The women of Weinsberg must have been stronger than London 
draymen, when each could carry " her husband with their young ones 
upon her back " ! 


of his admiration. The result was, that not only were 
life and liberty extended to the Guelphs, but the place 
itself was spared and restored in perpetuity to its 
heroic defenders. The count and his countess were 
henceforth treated by the emperor with honour and 
affection, and the town itself was long after popularly 
known by the name of " Weibertreue," i.e., the Abode 
of Womanly Fidelity. Heywood, in the Third Book 
of his ' History of Women,' reproduces this anecdote ; 
he says that the emperor " not only suffered them [i.e., 
the women] to depart with their first burdens, but 
granted every one a second, to make choice of what 
best pleased them amongst all the treasure and wealth 
of the city," but he does not state that the place was 



TN the old English prose version of the ' Seven "Wise 
*- Masters ' we have a kind of tragi-comical story 
related by the sixth sage such as our mediaeval 
ancestors seem to have keenly relished: 

An old knight had a young and beautiful wife, who 
sang so melodiously that many persons were attracted 
to her house, several of whom came as lovers. Among 
the latter were three young and gallant knights, great 
favourites of the emperor. She promised each of them 
an interview, unknown to one another, for which she 
was to receive twenty florins. Having received the 
money, she causes her husband to murder them, one 
by one, as they come into the house ; and then sends 
for her brother, who was a city sentinel, and, telling 
him that her husband had killed a man in a quarrel, 
prevails upon him to take the body of one of the 
murdered knights and throw it into the sea. When 
the brother returns, she proceeds to the cellar (where 
the bodies had been temporarily concealed), on the 
pretence of drawing some wine, and suddenly cries 


out for help. The sentinel hastens to the cellar, when 
she tells him that the body has come back again, at 
which he is naturally much astonished ; but stuffing 
the second body into his sack, and tying a stone round 
the neck, he plunges it into the sea. The same trick 
is played upon him with the third body, which he 
takes away, believing it to be the one that he had 
first thrown into the sea, and burns it in a great fire 
which he had kindled in the middle of a wood, to 
make sure that it should not again return. Presently 
a knight on horseback, who was going to a tourna- 
ment, approached the fire to warm himself, and the 
sentinel, supposing him to be the dead man, throws 
him and his horse into the midst of the fire, and 
remains until they are reduced to ashes. He then 
goes back to his sister and obtains the promised 
reward. Some time after this the woman, in a fit 
of rage, accuses her husband of the triple murder, and 
both are put to death. 1 

Precisely the same story is found in the 'Gesta 
Eomanorum,' into which it was taken immediately 
from the 'Seven Wise Masters,' according to Douce, 
the eminent literary antiquary ; but in this conjecture 
he was mistaken, as also in believing the ' Gesta ' to 
have been first composed in Germany, and another 
version made from it in England some time afterwards. 
Oesterley has shown, on the contrary, that the ' Gesta ' 

1 See Note at the end of this paper : " Women betraying their 


was originally written in England, towards the end of 
the thirteenth century, and that what is now distin- 
guished as the Continental ' Gesta ' was composed after 
it. As the ' Historia Septem Sapientum Bomee/ from 
which was derived our prose version of the ' Seven 
Wise Masters,' was not written till near the end of the 
fifteenth century, it follows that the story in question 
was taken from that work into the ' Gesta.' It does not 
occur in any earlier version of the Wise Masters, such 
as the French ' Eoman des Sept Sages/ thirteenth cen- 
tury ; the ' Liber de Septem Sapientibus ' (in the ' Scala 
Cceli' of Johannes Junior, a Dominican monk who 
lived in the middle of the fourteenth century), and our 
Early English metrical texts of the ' Seven Sages/ In 
the ' Historia ' two stories which are separate in these 
earlier texts are fused together in order to make room 
for this tale of the Three Knights and the Lady. 

The fabliau of ' Estourmi/ by Hugues Piaucelle, of 
which Le Grand gives only an extrait, is probably the 
source of the ' Gesta ' story. The outline of it is as 
follows : 

Three canons enamoured of Yfame, wife of Jean, 
offer her each a considerable sum of money for her 
love-favours. She feigns to consent, and assigns to 
each of them a different hour. As they successively 
arrive, Jean, her husband, whom she has forewarned, 
kills them, and takes the money they had brought, 
but he is presently much perplexed about the disposal 
of the bodies. He goes to his brother-in-law, Estourmi, 


a sort of bandit and frequenter of low taverns, con- 
fesses to him that he has killed a priest, and asks him 
if he has enough courage to take away the body and 
bury it somewhere. Estourmi, with many horrid oaths, 
answers that he wishes he was the last of the priests, 
in order to have the pleasure of freeing the world from 
them ; and he goes to inter this one in a field. But 
when he returns, and Jean shows him the second body, 
he appears to be astonished at seeing the dead man 
come back, and swears dreadfully; nevertheless he 
carries it away and buries it in another place. The 
same thing happens in the case of the third. As 
Estourmi is returning, he meets a good priest on the 
way to church, to sing matins, and, with the idea that 
it is always the same man, kills him on the spot. 1 

There are no fewer than five of the fabliaux in Le 
Grand and Barbasan that recount droll adventures 
with dead bodies, of which the most amusing is that 
of the Three Hunchbacks ('Les Trois Bossus'), by 
Durant, which Dunlop has thus rendered : 

Gentlemen (says the author), if you choose to 
listen, I will recount to you an adventure which once 
happened in a castle that stood on the bank of a 
river, near a bridge, and at a short distance from a 
town, of which I forget the name, but which we may 
suppose to be Douai. The master of this castle was 
humpbacked. Nature had exhausted her ingenuity 

1 Le Grand's ' Fabliaux,' ed. 1781, tome iv. pp. 250, 251 ; Barbasan 
(Meon's ed 1808), t. iii. p. 245 ff. 


in the formation of his whimsical figure. In place of 
understanding, she had given him an immense head, 
which, nevertheless, was lost between his two shoul- 
ders ; he had thick hair, a short neck, and a horrible 
visage. Spite of his deformity, this bugbear bethought 
himself of falling in love with a beautiful young 
woman, the daughter of a poor but respectable burgess 
of Douai. He sought her in marriage, and, as he was 
the richest person in the district, the poor girl was 
delivered up to him. After the nuptials, he was as 
much to pity as she, for, being devoured by jealousy, 
he had no tranquillity night or day, but went prying 
and rambling everywhere, and suffered no stranger to 
enter his castle. 

One day during the Christmas festival, while 
standing sentinel at his gate, he was accosted by three 
hump - backed minstrels. They saluted him as a 
brother, as such asked him for refreshments, and at 
the same time to establish the fraternity, they osten- 
tatiously displayed their humps. Contrary to expec- 
tation, he conducted them to his kitchen, gave them a 
capon with some peas, and to each a piece of money 
over and above. Before their departure, however, he 
warned them never to return, on pain of being thrown 
into the river. At this threat of the chatelain the 
minstrels laughed heartily, and took the road to the 
town, singing in full chorus, and dancing in a grotesque 
manner in derision. He, on his part, without paying 
any farther attention to them, went to walk in the 


The lady, who saw her husband cross the bridge, 
and had heard the minstrels, called them back to 
amuse her. They had not been long returned to the 
castle when her husband knocked at the gate, by 
which she and the minstrels were equally alarmed. 
Fortunately the lady perceived, on a bedstead in a 
neighbouring room, three empty coffers. Into each of 
these she stuffed a minstrel, shut the covers and then 
opened the gate to her husband. He had only come 
back to spy the conduct of his wife, as usual, and after 
a short stay went out anew, at which you may believe 
his wife was not dissatisfied. She instantly ran to the 
coffers to release the minstrels, for night was approach- 
ing, and her husband would not probably be long 
absent. But what was her dismay when she found 
them all three suffocated ! Lamentation, however, was 
useless. The main object now was to get rid of the 
dead bodies, and she had not a moment to lose. She 
ran then to the gate, and seeing a peasant go by, 
offered him a reward of 30 livres, and leading him into 
the castle, she took him to one of the coffers, and 
showing him its contents, told him he must throw the 
dead body into the river. He asked for a sack, put 
the carcase into it, pitched it over the bridge into the 
stream, and then returned quite out of breath to claim 
the promised reward. " I certainly intended to satisfy 
you." said the lady, " but you ought first to fulfil the 
conditions of your bargain ; you have agreed to rid me 
of the dead body, have you not ? There, however, it is 
still " ; saying this, she showed him the other coffer, in 



which the second hunchback had expired. At this 
sight the clown was perfectly confounded, saying, 
" How the devil ! come back ! a sorcerer ! " He then 
stuffed the body into the sack, and threw it, like the 
other, over the bridge, taking care to put the head 
down, and to observe that it sank. 

Meanwhile the lady had again changed the position 
of the coffers, so that the third was now in the place 
which had _been successively occupied by the two 
others. When the peasant returned she showed him 
the remaining body. " You are right, friend," said she, 
" he must be a magician, for there he is again." The 
rustic gnashed his teeth with rage : " What the devil ! 
am I to do nothing but carry about this accursed 
hunchback ? " He then lifted him up, with dreadful 
imprecations, and having tied a stone round the neck, 
threw him into the middle of the current, threatening, 
if he came out a third time, to despatch him with a 
cudgel. The first object that presented itself to the 
clown on his way back for the reward was the hunch- 
backed master of the castle returning from his even- 
ing walk, and making towards the gate. At this sight 
the peasant could no longer restrain his fury : " Dog 
of a hunchback, are you there again ? " So saying, he 
sprang on the chatelain, stuffed him into a sack, and 
threw him headlong into the river after the minstrels. 
" I'll venture a wager you have not seen him this 
last time," said the peasant, entering the room where 
the lady was seated. She answered that she had not. 
"Yet you were not far from it," replied he. "The 


sorcerer was already at the gate, but I have taken care 
of him be at your ease, he will not come back now." 
The lady instantly comprehended what had occurred, 
and recompensed the peasant with much satisfaction. 1 

The second tale of the seventh sage in the ' Mishle 
Sandabar ' the Hebrew version of the Book of Sindi- 
bdd written about the middle of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, seems to have been derived from the same source 
as Durant's fabliau : 

There was a young and beautiful woman married to 
an old man, who [was so jealous of her that he] would 
not allow her to walk in the street, and she submitted 
to this only with impatience. One day she said to her 
maid, " Go outside ; perhaps thou wilt meet some one 
who will be able to amuse us." The maid went out 
and met a hunchback, who had a tambourine and a 
flute in his hand, and was dancing and beating the 
tambourine, so that the people might give him some 
reward. The maid brought this man to her mistress, 
who gave him to eat and to drink, which caused him 
great pleasure. He then rose and danced and leaped 
about, at which the young woman was much pleased, 
and having dressed him in fine clothes, and given 
him a present, she sent him away. The friends and 
comrades of the hunchback saw him, and asked him 
where he had met with such good luck, and he 
told them of the beautiful wife of the old man. 

1 Le Grand's 'Fabliaux' (ed. 1781), tome iv. p. 241; Barbasan 
(Moon's ed. 1808) : " Du Trois Bo<;us," tome iii. p. 245. 


They then said to him, " If thou dost not take us 
with thee, we will make the whole affair public." 
Now the young woman sent [her maid] again to the 
hunchback, that he might come to her. He said to 
her, " My companions also wish to come and amuse 
thee ; " and she replied, " Let them come." The lady 
offered them all sorts of things ; so they set to eating 
and drinking, and got drunk, and fell from their seats. 
Presently the master of the house came back, and the 
lady immediately rose with her maid and carried the 
men into another part of the house. There they 
quarrelled and fought, and strangled each other, and 
died. Meantime the husband, having taken some food, 
went out again, and then the lady ordered her maid to 
bring the hunchbacks out, but they were all dead. 
Then said she, " Go out quickly, and find some simple- 
minded porter," and she put the dead bodies into sacks. 
The maid-servant chanced to meet a black man, and 
brought him to her mistress, who said to him : " Take 
this first sack and throw it into the river ; then come 
back to me and I will take care to give thee all thou 
mayest require." The black did so, then he returned 
and took the second sack; and in that way he took 
them all, one after the other, and threw them into the 

Wright, in his introduction to an early English 
metrical version of the ' Seven Sages/ printed for the 
Percy Society, gives a somewhat confused abstract of 
the Hebrew story : he says that the lady, hearing her 


husband at the door, " hurriedly concealed the hunch- 
backs in a place full of holes and traps, into which 
they fell and were strangled," as if it had been her 
purpose thus to get rid of them ; yet no sooner is her 
husband gone than "she opens the door to release 
them, and is horrified to find them all dead." It does 
not appear from the Hebrew text that the number 
of the minstrels was only three, or indeed that all 
were hunchbacks ; but it is very probable that the 
version as we now possess it is imperfect, and that 
it originally concluded in the same manner as the 
fabliau of ' Estourmi.' It is not to be imagined, 
surely, that the lady could have the hardihood to 
exhibit, even to a black, all the bodies at once and 
ask him to dispose of them. 

The ' Mishit Sandabar ' is the only Eastern text of 
the Book of Sindibad that has the story of the Hunch- 
backs, a circumstance which may have led Wright to 
make the very erroneous statement that from it was 
derived the ' Historia Septem Sapientum Komse,' which 
" served as the groundwork of all other mediaeval ver- 
sions." This is not the case : with the exception of the 
story of the Three Knights and the Lady, which was 
almost certainly derived from the ' Gesta,' the ' His- 
toria ' possesses no more in common with the Hebrew 
than with any other Eastern version. 

That Durant's fabliau of ' Les Trois Bossus ' and its 
Hebrew analogue are both of Indian extraction seems 
probable from a circumstance which has, I believe, 


hitherto escaped notice. In the appendix to Scott's 
translation of the ' Bahar-i-Danush,' vol. iii. p. 293, 
there is the following outline of one of the tales which 
he omitted from the text for reasons of his own : A prin- 
cess, having fallen in love with a young man, had him 
brought into her palace disguised as a female. While 
she was enjoying his society the king came to pay her 
a visit, and she had barely time to put her gallant into 
a narrow dark closet to prevent his discovery. The 
king stayed long, and on his departure the princess 
found her lover dead from suffocation. In order to 
have the body conveyed away, she applies to an ugly 
negro, her domestic, who refuses, and threatens to 
disclose her abandoned conduct unless she will receive 
his addresses, and she is forced to submit. "Wearied 
with his brutality, she, with the assistance of her 
nurse, one night hurls him headlong from the battle- 
ments, and he is dashed to pieces by the fall. As the 
rest of the story belongs to another cycle, we may 
suppose the incidents of the disguised youth, the 
unexpected visit of the lady's father, the hurried 
concealment of the lover, and his suffocation, to- 
gether with the negro's stipulation before removing 
the body (which occurs in the Hebrew tale), to have 
been adapted from an Indian story from which the 
fabliau of ' Les Trois Bossus ' was indirectly derived. 
Through Persia the story would reach Syria, where 
doubtless the author of the ' Mishle* Sandabar ' heard 
it, and whence some trouvtre or pilgrim brought it 
to Europe. 


Douce thought that the original of the Three Knights 
and the Lady, and the different fabliaux which re- 
semble it, is the story of the Little Hunchback in the 
' Arabian Nights.' x I consider this as very far from be- 
ing probable indeed as almost impossible. In the tale 
of the Three Knights and the Lady, and in the fabliau 
which is most likely its model, the bodies are repre- 
sented to the watchman as being one and the same 
body, having returned to the place whence it had 
been taken; while in the Arabian tale, the body of 
the hunchbacked buffoon is moved about from one 
place to another first, by the Tailor to the house of 
the Jewish Physician, who, having stumbled against 
it in the dark and believing he had accidentally 
killed his patient, to save himself, carries it to the 
store-room of the Sultan's Purveyor, who, mistaking it 
for a thief, beats it till he thought he had slain him, 
takes it to a shop and props it against the front wall, 
after which the Sultan's Broker, returning home from 
an orgie, staggers against it, and is accused of having 
murdered the hunchback. 

Lane was of opinion that, while very many of the 
tales in the ' Arabian Nights ' -are of Indian origin, 
those of a humorous character are distinctly of Arab 
invention, and perhaps such is the case. But that 
celebrated collection, according to Baron de Sacy and 

1 'Illustrations of Shakespeare,' vol. ii. pp. 378, 379. "Little 
Hunchbacked Tailor" Douce calls him; but he was the Sultan's 
buffoon, and it was while supping with the Tailor and his pretty wife 
that he was choked with a fish-bone. 


other competent judges, was not composed before the 
middle of the 15th century, and consequently could 
not have furnished the trouveres with materials for 
those fabliaux which are similar to Arabian tales 
both must have been derived independently, and, in the 
case of the fabliaux, probably from oral sources. The 
story of the Little Hunchback finds a parallel in a 
fabliau by Jean le Chapelain, entitled 'Le Sacristan 
de Cluni/ the substance of which is as follows : 

Hugues, a citizen of Cluni, was a money-changer 
and merchant. One day as he was returning from a 
fair with different kinds of goods, and amongst other 
things, with cloth from Amiens, he was attacked in a 
forest by robbers, who took from him his wagons. 
Obliged, in order to satisfy his creditors, to sell the little 
property which he possessed, he found himself thus en- 
tirely ruined. Then his wife Idoine proposed that they 
should withdraw into France, 1 where they had some 
friends, and they fixed their departure on the third 
day. But the sacristan of the monastery, who loved 
Idoine, wished to profit by the circumstance in order 
to obtain one of those nice little agreeable favours 
which he had hitherto solicited in vain. He offered 
Idoine 100 livres, a sum which he could very readily 
give, since he was treasurer of the abbey. The wife, 

1 It is to be observed that this manner of speaking distinguishes 
France from Burgundy. The author understands by the first coun- 
try the provinces which were domains of the king, as distinct from 
those which were only suzerain, and which, like Burgundy, had their 
particular sovereign. The people say even to-day, " St Denis en 
France." Note by Le Grand. 


tempted by so considerable a sum, which in a moment 
would have repaired the embarrassments of the family, 
feigned to yield, and, by concert with her husband, 
made an assignation with the monk for the evening. 
The monk secretly escaped by the door of the church, 
of which he had the keys. He hands over to the 
lady the stipulated money, and claims her fulfilment 
of the other half of the bargain, when suddenly the 
husband appears armed with a stick. Hugues, intend- 
ing to strike the monk in order to frighten him and 
cause him to fly away, unfortunately dealt him a 
blow on the head that killed him on the spot. Upon 
this Hugues and his wife were in despair. " "What 
shall we do," say they, " when day appears, and this is 
discovered ? " They were so much alarmed, that if the 
gate of the town had been open they would have saved 
themselves by flight at once. Presently, necessity re- 
animating their courage, Idoine proposes to carry back 
the body into the abbey, which they could enter by 
means of the sacristan's keys. Hugues accordingly 
takes the body upon his shoulders and sets off, fol- 
lowed by his wife to open the door of the church, and 
deposits it in an appendage to the monastery. During 
the night the prior visited this place, and pushing the 
door open hastily, overturned the dead sacristan, who 
fell to the ground with a heavy thud. The prior be- 
lieved he had killed the sacristan, and this misfortune 
was augmented by the fact that he had quarrelled the 
evening before with him, and so it would be univers- 
ally concluded that he had murdered him out of re- 


venge. What he conceived the best he could do in 
the circumstances was to carry the body outside of 
the abbey and place it at the door of some beautiful 
lady, in order to cause suspicion to be thrown upon her 
husband. The house of Idoine being nearest, he went 
thither, placed the body near the door, and then re- 
tired. The prior's purpose would undoubtedly have 
been accomplished had Hugues and his wife been 
asleep, but anxiety kept them both awake, and Idoine 
having heard a noise at the door, caused her husband to 
rise. When the body is discovered they believe them- 
selves lost, and that the devil had carried it to their 
house to bring about their death. In order to foil this 
purpose of the evil spirit, the lady gave her husband a 
billet in which was written the name of God. Armed 
with the sacred talisman, Hugues recovered his courage, 
and lifted the body of the sacristan a second time, 
with the design of depositing it elsewhere. In passing 
before the house of Thebaut, the farmer of the convent, 
he perceived a heap of dung, and the idea occurred 
to him that here he might conceal the monk, since 
the sacristan was in the habit of frequently visiting 
Thebaut, and so they would suspect him of the murder. 
He was preparing a place among the straw, when he 
felt a sack which seemed to contain a body. " Oh, 
oh," he exclaimed, " is it possible that this fellow has 
also killed a monk ? Ah, well, they will keep one 
another company, and he will have the honour of both." 
Then Hugues untied the sack, and was very much 
astonished to find therein a pig. Thebaut, in fact, as 


Christmas was approaching, had killed one of his pigs, 
but two thieves had come in the evening to carry it 
off, and while waiting till night should enable them to 
take it away without risk, they had concealed it in the 
fireplace, and gone to drink at the tavern. Hugues, 
without troubling himself as to whom the pig belonged, 
drew it out of the sack, and having substituted the 
monk, went off with his booty. The two thieves had 
found at the tavern other men of their own kidney, 
with whom they drank. One of the company, in order 
to improve the flavour of the wine, said he wished to 
have a rasher or two of fresh pork, upon which one of 
the thieves offered to treat them all to rashers, and 
immediately went to fetch the pig. At the appear- 
ance of the sack they all expressed their pleasure it 
was evidently a large pig ; and while one thief goes 
for firewood the other goes for a gridiron. Meantime 
the servant-girl unties the sack, and raises up the other 
end in order to drop the pig on the floor. Suddenly 
the monk appears, and the girl utters a fearful scream. 
All present are stupefied. The host enters, and asks 
where is the murderer. " I have killed no one," said 
one of the thieves. " I had only stolen a pig, and the 
devil, to play me a trick, has made a monk of it. For 
the rest, it belongs to Thebaut. I wish the villain had 
it again." The thief then returns with the body to 
Thebaut's house, and hangs it from the same cord that 
had been used to suspend the pig before it was stolen. 
All this could not be done without some noise. Thebaut 
awoke and rose up in order to go and feel if his pig 


was still in its place. But the cord, too weak for its 
new weight, suddenly breaks, and the monk's body 
falls on the farmer, whom it overturns. The farmer 
cries for help ; his wife and servants come with a light, 
and find him caught under the robe of the sacristan. 
Thebaut was not long before recognising the dead 
body, and fearing that if they found it at his house 
they would accuse him of the murder, he sought means 
for getting rid of it, for it was already day. In his 
stable there was a young colt which had not yet been 
broken in, and was therefore very wild. He causes 
it to be led out, places on its back the sacristan's body, 
which he ties to the saddle to prevent it from falling 
off, and after having put in the right hand an old lance, 
and suspended a shield from his neck, as if it was a 
knight, he struck the horse with his whip, when it at 
once rushed madly through the town, followed by 
Thebaut and his men, calling out, " Stop the monk ! " 
Their cries, joined to those of the townsfolk, frightened 
the horse still more. It ran till out of breath, and 
rushed into the garden of the convent, the gate of 
which was open. The prior, who happened to be 
there, and had not time to get out of the way, was 
struck with the lance and thrown down. The monks 
save themselves and shout, " Take care ! take care ! the 
sacristan has become mad ! " Twenty times the fright- 
ened horse runs through the garden and cloister. He 
even penetrates into the kitchen, where he breaks 
everything, striking lance and shield against the walls. 
At last he comes to a large hole which they had dug 


for a well and falls headlong into it, with the cavalier- 
monk. As no one knew his adventure, the sacristan's 
death was ascribed to the fall. As to Hugues, he 
gained by it a fine pig and 100 livres. Thebaut alone 
was a loser, but he caused the monks to compensate 
him for the loss of his colt, and it was they who paid 
everything. 1 

Under the title of "The Fair Lady of Norwich," 
Heywood, in his ' History of Women,' gives a variant 
of the fabliau of the Sacristan of Cluni : In the time 
of Henry the Fifth there resided at Norwich a worthy 
knight and his lady, whose beauty was such that " she 
attracted the eyes of all beholders with no common 
admiration." This brave knight, " for the good of his 
soul," erected near his own house a church, and be- 
tween them a religious house capable of accommodating 
twelve friars and an abbot. Two of the friars, John 
and Richard, were at continual enmity, and nothing 
could reconcile them. It was the custom of the 
knight and his lady to attend matins in the church, 
and Friar John, becoming enamoured of the lady, 
had the audacity to write her a letter, in which he 
declared his passion. The lady showed her husband 
this letter, at which he was naturally enraged, and 
caused her to write a reply to the monk, stating that, 

1 Le Grand (ed. 1781), t. iv. pp. 252-260 ; Barbasan (Moon's ed. 
1808): "Du Segretaine Moine," t. i. p. 242 ff. The poet Long- 
fellow, in his ' Outre Mer ; or, a Pilgrimage Beyond Sea,' has turned 
this fabliau into an excellent prose tale, entitled " Martin Franc ; or, 
the Monk of St Anthony." 


her husband being about to ride to London, she would 
receive and entertain him. Friar John is punctual to 
the appointment ; the lady conducts him into a private 
chamber, where the knight and his man strangle him. 
After this the man takes up the body, and by means 
of a ladder scales the convent wall and deposits the 
body in an outhouse. Friar Eichard gets up during 
the night and perceiving his enemy in that place, 
addresses him, and receiving no answer, in a rage 
picks up a brick-bat and throws it at him, whereupon 
Friar John falls to the ground. Believing that he had 
slain him, and aware that their enmity was well known, 
Friar Eichard takes the body, climbs over the wall and 
leaves it at the door of the knight, of whose lady he 
had heard it whispered Friar John was enamoured. 
The knight's conscience so pricked him that he could 
not sleep, and he sent his man out to listen about the 
convent walls and ascertain whether there was any 
uproar about the murder. When the man opens the 
door, he is terror-struck to discover Friar John sitting 
in the porch, and returns to inform his master, who, 
when he has recovered from his astonishment, quickly 
devises another plan to get rid of the body. He causes 
his man to bring out an old stallion he had used in 
the French wars ; to put an old suit of armour on the 
monk and a rusty lance in his hand; then to bind 
him on the horse, seated like a cavalier ; which being 
done, the horse is turned out into the highway. Mean- 
time Friar Eichard is ill at ease, and at length resolves 
to escape from the monastery. With this object he 


wakes up the man who had charge of the mare that 
was employed to carry corn to the mill, bids him 
saddle her, and he would himself go and bring back 
their meal. The man, glad to be saved the trouble, 
brings out the mare, which Friar Eichard mounts and 
rides out of the convent gate, just at the time when 
the knight and his man had turned out Friar John 
upon the horse. To be brief, the horse scents the 
mare and rushes after her. Friar Eichard looking 
back, and perceiving the horse and its armed rider, 
is in mortal terror. The citizens awake at the noise 
and come out of their houses. Friar Eichard, finding 
himself still pursued, cries out that he is guilty of 
murder, and is arrested and thrown into prison. The 
runaway horse is caught; Friar John is dismounted 
and buried. Friar Eichard is tried for the murder, 
and condemned on his own confession. But the 
knight, knowing him to be innocent, posts to the 
king, confesses his guilt, and, on account of his former 
services, is pardoned, and Friar Eichard is released. 1 

In this version, it will be observed, a knight is 
substituted for the broken merchant of the fabliau, 
and the incident of the carcase of the pig is omitted. 
Kirkman, however, who lived about the same time 

1 This story has somehow got into Blomfield's ' History of Norfolk,' 
with the addition of the name of the murderer, which is strangely 
said to be Sir Thomas Erpingham. From Blomfield's version it is 
probable George Coleman the Younger derived the materials of the 
metrical tale of " The Knight and the Friar," which is found in his 
'Broad Grins.' 


as Heywood, has introduced the story with all the 
details of the fabliau and some additional incidents, 
and with a " little lawyer " in place of a monk in his 
translation of the French rendering of 'Erasto,' an 
Italian version of the 'Seven Wise Masters.' It is 
fused with the story of the Three Knights and the 
Lady, which does not occur either in the original 
Italian text or the French translation, but which 
Kirkman gives, as being " to the same purpose " as the 
story, told by the sage Agathus, of the lady who killed 
her husband out of love for a young man. In this 
curious variant, the lady having got rid of the bodies 
of her three murdered lovers, as related in the ' Seven 
Wise Masters ' (ante, pp. 332, 333), the tale goes on to 
say that " after this manner she served several wooers, 
and among the rest came a little lawyer." He is 
knocked on the head by the husband, who carries the 
body and deposits it in an outhouse, where it is dis- 
covered by the little lawyer's bedfellow, who, think- 
ing him asleep, pulls him by the sleeve, when down 
drops the lawyer on the floor. The lawyer's friend, 
suspecting who was his murderer (he does not believe 
himself to have killed him), takes the body and leaves 
it at the knight's house. It is discovered by the 
knight, who carries it off, intending to throw it into 
the river, but on his way, he sees some thieves hide 
a sack full of stolen goods under a stall, and then 
retire to a tavern to drink, so he opens the sack and 
finding it contains two flitches of bacon, he takes 
them out and puts the body in their stead. The 


thieves offer to sell the host of the tavern some bacon, 
to which he consents, and one of them fetches the 
sack. When its contents are discovered, they resolve 
to carry it to the chandler's back -shed, whence 
they had stolen the bacon, and they do so. The 
chandler sends his man to drop the body in the 
mill-dam, and on coming to the mill he sees a cart 
loaded with sacks of meal ready for the market, and, 
it being dark, he lays the sack with the lawyer on 
the cart, and, taking one of the sacks of meal on his 
horse, returns home. At daybreak the miller's cart 
is driven to market, whither come the knight and his 
lady to buy meal. The lady desires a sack to be 
opened in order to judge of the quality of the meal. 
It chanced that the one containing the body was 
opened, and the lawyer's head appearing, the lady 
cried out, " Lord, husband, the lawyer you killed 
is come again!" They were taken before a magis- 
trate, and, confessing the murders, were duly executed. 1 

Both Hey wood and Kirkman may have derived their 
stories from an old English metrical version, a unique 
copy of which is preserved in the Bodleian Library, at 
Oxford, entitled ' Here beginneth a mery Jest of Dane 
Hew, 2 Munk of Leicestre, and how he was foure times 

1 From Kirkman's 'Erastus* was evidently taken the version of 
the Three Knights and the Lady which is found in an edition of the 
' Seven Wise Masters ' printed at Glasgow in 1772, since it has this 
addition of the Little Lawyer in almost the identical words. 

2 Dan (Master) Hugh. Dominus : monkish Latin, Domnus ; ab- 
breviated in Fr., Dom ; Sp. , Don ; English, Dan. 



slain and once hanged ' : printed at London by John 
Allde ; no date. Dibdin, who has reprinted it in vol. 
ii. of the ' British Bibliographer,' edited by Sir Egerton 
Brydges, says the first notice of Allde as a printer is in 
1554, but from the rudeness of the language it is prob- 
ably a century earlier. In this version we are told 
that Dan Hew, a young and lusty monk of the abbey 
of Leicester, was deeply in love with the fair wife of a 
tailor. At length, by concert with her husband, she 
feigns to consent. The tailor is locked in a chest, 
and when the monk arrives and presents her with 20 
nobles, she opens the chest to put them in it: out 
leaps the tailor, and 

He hit Dane Hew upon the head. 
Thus was he first slain indeed. 

When it is dark, the tailor takes the monk's body and 
places it near the abbey-wall. The abbot sends his 
man to look for Dan Hew ; he discovers and addresses 
him; then goes back and tells his master that Dan 
Hew will not answer him. So the abbot goes himself, 
and finding he will not speak, gives him a rap on the 
sconce, when down he tumbles. Thus was Dan Hew 
a second time slain. The abbot gives his man forty 
shillings to get rid of the body. He takes it to the 
tailor's house. The tailor tells his wife that he dreamt 
Dan Hew had come back again. She laughs at him, 
saying dead men don't. He gets up, and, armed with 
a pole-axe, goes and opens the door, where he sees Dan 
Hew, sure enough. He cleaves the monk through the 


head ; and thus was Dan Hew a third time slain. 
The wife advises him to put the monk in a sack and 
throw it in the mill-dam. Near the mill he perceives 
two thieves with a sack ; they take him for the miller, 
and throwing down the sack, run away. The tailor 
opens the sack, and substitutes Dan Hew for the 
bacon he found it contained. After a time the 
thieves return to seek their bacon, and finding a 
dead man instead of it, they hang the body in the 
place from which they had taken the bacon. 

The Miller's wife rose on the morning erly, 

And lightly made herself redy, 

To fetch some Bacon at the last, 

But when she looked vp she was agast, 

That she saw the Munk hang there ; 

She cryed out, and put them all in fere ; 

And said, Heer is a chaunce for the nones, 

For heer hangeth the false Munk, by cocks bones. 

" It must have been the devil," she thinks, " that has 
thus requited him. But our bacon is stolen; this is 
a scurvy trick; I wonder what we shall eat this 
winter ? " Quoth the miller, " Don't fret yourself 
about that, but advise me as to how we shall get quit 
of the monk." She details a plan. 

When the Miller this vnderstood, 

He thought his wiues counsail was good, 

And held him wel therwith content, 

And ran for the horse verament. 

And when he the horse had fet at the last, 

Dane Hew vpon his back he cast ; 

And bound him to the horse ful sure, 

That he might the better indure, 


To ride as fast as they might ren ; 
Now shall ye knowe how the Miller did then. 
He tooke the horse by the brydle anon, 
And Dane Hew sitting theron ; 
And brought him that of the mare he had a sight, 
Then the horse ran ful right. 
The Abbot looked a little him beside, 
And saw that Dane Hew towarde him gan ride ; 
And was almoste out of his mind for feare, 
When he saw Dane Hew come so neere, 
He cryed, Help, for the looue of the trinitie, 
For I see wel that Dane Hew auenged wil be. 
Alas I am but a dead man ! 
And with that from his mare he ran ; 
The Abbots men run on Dane Hew quickly, 
And gave him many strokes lightly, 
With clubs and staues many one, 
They cast him to the earth anone ; 
So they killed him once again. 
Thus was he once hanged and foure times slaine ; 
And buried at the last as it was best, 
I pray God send vs al good rest. 

Such is the " merry jest of Dan Hew," which must, 
I think, have been directly derived from Jean le 
Chapelain's fabliau of ' Le Sacristan de Cluni,' which 
is also the original of the first novel of Massuccio de 
Salerno (circa 1470), as Dunlop has pointed out. The 
early Italian novelists, it is well known, drew largely 
on the compositions of the trouveres for their ma- 
terials ; but how came this fabliau to Norway ? For 
in that country it is popularly known; the story of 
"Our Parish Clerk" in Sir G. Dasent's 'Tales from 


the Fjeld' having been evidently adapted from the 
Sacristan of Cluni. 


Churchmen of mediaeval times had seldom a good word to say 
about women. In their writings, at least, they appear to have 
been arrant misogynists ; albeit, if we may credit contemporary 
lay authors, they were the very reverse, constantly intriguing 
with honest men's wives under cover of their religious profes- 
sion. No follower of Muhammed could speak with more con- 
tempt of women than the monks in their sermons ; and they 
commonly illustrated their unjust remarks with some story 
representing women as naturally vindictive and cruel. The 
lady denouncing her husband at the end of the tale of the 
Three Knights (by which, however, she was herself also a suf- 
ferer) has many parallels in mediaeval tales. Thus in one text 
of the 'Gesta Romanorum' it is related that a noble having 
offended his king, he is to be pardoned on condition that he bring 
to court his best friend, his best comfort, and his worst enemy. 
At this time a pilgrim comes to his castle to claim his hospital- 
ity, and after he has retired to his chamber the noble says to 
his wife that pilgrims often carry much gold, and proposes to 
rob and murder their guest, of which she approves. But the 
knight, rising early in the morning, dismisses the pilgrim, then 
kills a calf, and cutting it into pieces, he puts them in a sack, 
which he gives his wife, telling her that it contains only the 
head, legs, and arms of the pilgrim the rest he had buried in 
the stable. On the appointed day he appears before the king, 
accompanied by his clog, his little son, and his wife. The dog, 
he tells the king, is his most faithful friend ; his little son is 
his greatest solace, for he amuses him with his mimicry ; and 
his wife is his worst enemy. Hearing this, the lady exclaims, 


" Dost thou forget that thou didst slay a pilgrim in thy house, 
and that I know where I placed the sack containing parts of the 
murdered man, and that the rest lies in the stable 1 " But when 
messengers are despatched to search the places she indicated, 
and return with the bones and flesh of the calf, the king 
bestows rich gifts on the knight, and ever afterwards held him 
in great esteem. 1 

An earlier version of this story is found in ' Dolopathos,' from 
which it was taken into the ' Cento Novelle Antiche ' : A king, 
during a protracted siege, orders all the old men and women to 
be killed, as they consumed food, and were useless for the de- 
fence of the city. One wise old man was concealed in a cave by 
his son, whose wife was aware of the fact, but swore to keep it 
secret. The enemies of the young man suspected that his father 
was still alive, but dared not openly to say so. Thinking to 
entrap him, they induced the king to appoint a time for feasts 
and games, and to require every one to bring forward (1) his 
best friend ; (2) his most faithful servant ; (3) his best mimic ; 
(4) his worst enemy. The youth presents his dog, his ass, his 
little son, and his wife. The woman, in a rage, cried out, 
" Oh, most ungrateful of men.'have I not shown kindness to your 
father, whom you saved, and have for years kept concealed in a 
cave 1 " The youth then asked the king whether he was not 
right in calling his wife his worst enemy, since for a single word 
she had both betrayed his concealed father, and brought himself 
under sentence of death ? The king, admiring his wisdom and 
filial piety, told him that the lives of himself and his father 
were safe. 

Akin to these stories is an anecdote of Hajaj, a great captain, 
and harsh Arabian governor, in the 7th century, which is 
told in a Persian work entitled ' Akhlak-i Jelali ' (15th century), 
in illustration of the truly Muslim maxim that "a man 
should not consult his wife on matters of paramount importance : 

1 Hans Sachs has made this story into a Spiel ; the woman says : 

" Thou murderer and villain, 
Broken on the wheel thou'rt bound to be : 
Art thou going to murder me too, 
As thou murderedst the man yesterday ? " 


let him not make her acquainted with his secrets, or their weak- 
ness of judgment will infallibly set them wrong" : 

We are told in history that Hajaj had a chamherlain with 
whom, having been long acquainted, he was on very familiar 
terms. In the course of conversation, he happened one day to 
remark that no secrets should be communicated and no confi- 
dence given to a woman. The chamberlain observed that he 
had a very prudent and affectionate wife, in whom he placed 
the utmost confidence, because, by repeated experiment, he had 
assured himself of her conduct, and now considered her the 
treasurer of all his fortunes. " The thing is repugnant to 
reason," said Hajaj, " and I will show you that it is." On this 
he bade them bring him a thousand dinars in a bag, which he 
sealed up with his own signet, and delivered to the chamberlain, 
telling him the money was his, but he was to keep it under seal, 
take it home, and tell his wife he had stolen it for her from the 
royal treasury. Soon afterwards Hajaj made him a farther 
present of a handsome maiden, whom he likewise brought home 
with him. " Pray oblige me," said his wife, " by selling this 
handsome maiden." The chamberlain asked how it was possi- 
ble for him to sell what the king had given. At this the wife 
grew angry, and coming in the middle of the night to the door of 
the palace where Hajaj resided, desired it might be told him that 
the wife of the chamberlain such-a-one requested an audience. 
On obtaining access to Hajaj, and after going through the pre- 
liminary compliments and protestations, she represented that, 
long as her husband had been attached to the royal household, 
he had yet been perfidious enough to peculate upon the privy 
purse, an offence which her own sense of gratitude would not 
allow her to conceal. With this she produced the bag of money, 
saying it was the same her husband had stolen, and there was 
the prince's seal to prove it. The chamberlain was summoned, 
and soon made his appearance. "This prudent, affectionate 
wife of yours," said Hajdj, "has brought me your hidden de- 
posit ; and were I not privy to the fact, your head would fly 
from your shoulders, for the boys to play with and the horses to 
trample under foot." 



T DAEESAY our worthy ancestors had many a laugh 
- 1 - over this oft-told tale in the ' Jests of Scogin,' and 
greatly admired the cleverness of the imaginary jester : 
" On a certain time Scogin went to the King's 
Grace, and did desire that he might come to him divers 
times and sound [query 'round,' that is, 'whisper,'] 
in his ears 'Ave Maria gratia plena Dominus tecum.' 
The king was content he should do so, except he were 
in great business. Nay, said Scogin, I will mark my 
time. I pray your Grace that I may do thus this 
twelvemonth. I am pleased, said the king. Many 
men were suitors to Scogin to be good to them, and did 
give him many gifts and rewards of gold and silver, 
and other gifts, so that within the year Scogin was a 
great, rich man. So when the year was out, Scogin 
desired the king to break his fast with him. The king 
said, I will come. Scogin had prepared a table for the 
king to break his fast, and made a goodly cupboard of 
plate of gold and silver, and he cast over all his beds 
and tables and corners of his chamber full of gold and 


silver. When the king did come thither and saw so 
much plate and gold and silver, he asked of Scogin 
where he had it, and how he did get all his treasure. 
Scogin said, By saying Am Maria in your ear; and 
seeing I have got so much by it, what do they get that 
be about your Grace daily, and be of your counsel, 
when that I with six words have gotten so much ? 
He must needs swim that is held up by the chin." 

A similar story occurs in the Italian novels of Mor- 
lini (the 4th), in which a merchant, who is deeply in 
debt, gives a considerable sum of money to the king 
for the privilege of riding by his side through the 
city; and his creditors, believing him to be on the 
high road to fortune, henceforth cease from impor- 
tuning him. It is not unlikely, however, that the tale 
was taken into Scogin from one of the mediaeval Latin 

The following variant is from an old French col- 
lection of anecdotes : A gentleman who had been long 
attached to Cardinal Mazarin, reminded him of his 
many promises and his dilatory performance. Mazarin, 
who had a great regard for him, and was unwilling to 
lose his friendship, took his hand, and explained the 
many demands made upon a person in his situation as 
minister, which it would be politic to satisfy previous 
to other requests, as they were founded on services 
done to the 'state. The cardinal's adherent, not very 
confident in his veracity, replied, "My lord, all the 


favour I now ask of you is, that whenever we meet in 
public, you shall do me the honour to tap me on the 
shoulder in a familiar manner." The cardinal smiled, 
and in the course of two or three years his friend 
became a wealthy man on the credit of these attentions 
to him. 

The story is of Eastern extraction. In a Kashmiri 
version, a poor woodcutter is observed by the king 
from a window of his palace, half-clad and shivering 
from cold, for it was winter-time, and pointing him out 
to his queen, he remarks that it was a pity to see such 
a wretched creature. The queen replies that the poor 
man had not got a wise minister ; and her royal consort, 
supposing that this remark was a reflection upon him- 
self and his prime minister, in a rage orders her to quit 
the palace and become a servant to the woodcutter. 
She at once obeys his command, and, in the humblest 
of humble capacities of servant to the woodcutter, 
manages his household affairs admirably, is friendly 
with his wife, and induces him to practise economy 
even with his scanty income. When the woodcutter 
had saved some money, and was able to wear respect- 
able clothes, the queen advised him one day to go 
with bread and water into the jungle when the king 
was likely to be done with the chase ; offer them to 
him, and he would be so grateful for the timely and 
unexpected refreshment that he would ask what the 
woodcutter wished .in requital. He should answer 
that he simply wished the king to grant him a few 


private interviews at the palace. The man follows this 
advice, and the king grants his request. " Frequently 
did this man visit the king privately, and the king 
appeared to welcome his visits. When the nobles and 
courtiers saw this they were very jealous, and afraid 
that this man would impeach them. So they began to 
give him handsome presents by way of bribes to check 
his tongue concerning themselves. The woodcutter 
had now become the king's intimate companion, and 
having amassed much wealth, the queen thought it 
would not be amiss if he made a great feast and invited 
the king and many of the nobles to grace it by their 
presence. The king readily accepted the invitation. 
The dinner was served on a most magnificent scale, 
and everybody seemed pleased. Before the company 
retired, the queen went up, unperceived, to the king, 
and told him that his host was the poor woodcutter of 
former years, and that she was his 'wise minister.' 
Admiring her astuteness, the king was there and then 
reconciled to his queen." l 

The original form of the story is perhaps found in 
the ' Katha Sarit Sagara,' Book x. chapter 66, where 
it is thus related, according to Professor C. H. Tawney's 
translation (vol. ii. pp. 121, 122) : 

There was a certain king in a city in the Dekkan. 
In that city there was a rogue who lived by im- 
posing upon others. And one day he said to him- 

1 Knowles' ' Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs and Sayings," pp. 


self, being too ambitious to be satisfied with small 
gains, "Of what use to me is this petty rascality, 
which only provides me with subsistence? Why 
should I not do a stroke of business which would 
bring me great prosperity ? " Having thus reflected, 
he dressed himself splendidly as a merchant, and went 
to the palace-gate and accosted the warder. And he 
introduced him into the king's presence, and he offered 
a complimentary gift, and said to the king, " I wish to 
speak with your majesty in private." The king was 
imposed upon by his dress, and much influenced in his 
favour by the present, so he granted him a private 
interview, and then the rogue said to him, " Will your 
majesty have the goodness every day, in the hall of 
assembly, to take me aside for a moment in the sight 
of all, and speak to me in private ? And as an ac- 
knowledgment of that favour I will give your majesty 
every day five hundred dinars, and I do not ask for 
any gift in return." When the king heard that, he 
thought to himself, " What harm can it do ? What 
does he take away from me ? On the contrary, he is 
to give me dinars every day. What disgrace is there 
in carrying on a conversation with a great merchant ? " 
So the king consented, and did as he requested, and 
the rogue gave the king the dinars as he had promised, 
and the people thought he had obtained the position 
of a cabinet minister. Now one day the rogue, while 
he was talking with the king, kept looking again and 
again at the face of one official with a significant ex- 
pression. And after he came out, that official asked 


him why he had looked in his face so, and the rogue 
was ready with this fiction : " The king is angry, because 
he supposes that you have been plundering his realm. 
This is why I looked at your face, but I will appease 
his anger." When the sham minister said this, the 
official went home in a state of anxiety, and sent him 
a thousand gold pieces. And the next day the rogue 
talked in the same way with the king, and then came 
out and said to the official, who came towards him, 
" I appeased the king's anger against you with judicious 
words. Cheer up; I will now stand by you in all 
emergencies." Thus he artfully made him his friend, 
and then dismissed him ; and then the official waited 
upon him with all kinds of presents. Thus gradually 
this dexterous rogue, by means of continual conver- 
sation with the king, and by many artifices, extracted 
from the officials, the subordinate monarchs, rajputs, and 
the servants so much wealth, that he amassed together 
fifty millions of gold pieces. Then the scoundrelly- 
sham minister said in secret to the king, " Though I 
have given you every day five hundred dinars, never- 
theless, by the favour of your highness, I have amassed 
fifty millions of gold pieces. So have the goodness to 
accept of this gold what have I to do with it ? " Then 
he told the king his whole stratagem. But it was with 
difficulty that the king could be induced to take half 
the money. Then he gave him the post of a cabinet 
minister, and. the rogue, having obtained riches and 
position, kept complimenting the people with enter- 


" Thus," adds the story-teller, " a wise man obtains 
great wealth without committing a very great crime, 
and when he has gained the advantage, he atones for 
his fault in the same way as a man who digs a well." 

If we may judge from popular tales, Oriental poten- 
tates frequently select sharpers, thieves, and highway 
robbers for their vazirs and treasurers ; in the present 
case, however, since the king's ministers were all cor- 
rupt, perhaps he acted wisely in thus " setting a thief 
to catch thieves." Yet this clever man's conduct, 
after all, was not quite such as to justify his being 
called a scoundrel by the story-teller. When he had 
amassed an immense sum, by practising on the fears 
of the ministers, he certainly showed himself an 
honest fellow by explaining all to the king, and offer- 
ing to restore the whole of the money to him. Few 
Eastern monarchs would refuse such an offer; the 
general practice of an Asiatic potentate being to allow 
his ministers and provincial governors to amass wealth 
for a few years, and then, on some frivolous pretext 
or without any at all cut off their heads and transfer 
their riches into his own treasury. As it was, this 
king received from the rogue 500 dinars every day, 
and in the end, one half of his gains ! 



A VEEY common story in our old English jest-books 
* is that of a merchant who, having lost his purse, 
caused it to be proclaimed, stating the sum it contained, 
and offering a reward, which he afterwards refused when 
the purse was found, alleging that it contained more 
money than was advertised, in consequence of which 
he loses it all. The following version (spelling modern- 
ised) is from ' Tales and Quick Answers ' : A certain 
merchant, between Ware and London, lost his budget 
and 100 therein, wherefore he caused to proclaim, 
in divers market towns, that whosoever found the 
said budget, and would bring it again, should have 
20 for his labour. An honest husbandman that 
chanced to find the said budget, brought it to the 
bailie of Ware, according to the cry, and required 
his 20 for his labour, as it was proclaimed. The 
covetous merchant, when he understood this, and 
that he must needs pay 20 for the finding, he said 
that there was 120 in his budget, and so would have 
had his own money and 20 over. So long they 


strove, that the matter was brought before Master 
Vavasour, the good judge. When he understood by 
the bailie that the cry was made for a budget with 
100 therein, he demanded where it was. "Here," 
quoth the bailie, and took it unto him. "Is it just 
100?" said the judge. "Yea, truly," quoth the 
bailie. "Hold," said the judge, to him that found 
the budget; "take thou this money into thine own 
use, and if thou hap to find a budget with 120 
therein, bring it to this honest merchantman." " It is 
mine ; I lost no more but 100," quoth the merchant. 
" Ye speak now too late," quoth the judge. By this ye 
may understand that they that go about to deceive 
others be oftentimes deceived themselves; and some 
time one falleth in the ditch that he himself made. 1 

There are innumerable variants of the story in 
French and Italian collections of tales and facetiae. 
Cinthio, one of the Italian imitators of Boccaccio, 
who nourished in the sixteenth century, relates it in 
his ' Hecatommithi ' (ninth of the First Decade): A 
merchant loses a bag containing 400 crowns. He 
advertises it, with a reward to any one who finds it ; 
but when brought to him by a poor woman, he 
attempts to defraud her of the promised recompense, 
by alleging that besides the 400 crowns it contained 
some ducats, which he had neglected to specify in 

1 In ' Pasquil's Jests and Mother Bunch's Merriments,' 1604, the 
tale is reproduced, with the variation that the greedy merchant lost 
his purse between Waltham and London. 


the advertisement, and which she must have pur- 
loined. The Marquis of Mantua, to whom the 
matter is referred, decides that, as it wanted the 
ducats, it could not be the merchant's, advises him 
again to proclaim his loss, and bestows on the poor 
woman the whole of the contents of the purse. 

The tale is also domiciled in Turkey. Prince Can- 
temir, in his ' History of the Othman Empire,' gravely 
relates it as a case that was decided by the celebrated 
Chorluli Ali Pasha. 1 A merchant of Constantinople 
went to a bath before morning prayers, and on his 
way to the mosque lost in the street his purse out of 
his bosom. On coming out of the mosque he for the 
first time became aware of his loss, and at once got 
the crier to proclaim a reward of one half its contents, 
or one hundred pieces of gold, as a reward to the finder 
on his restoring the purse with the two hundred gold 
pieces intact. It happened that a marine found the 
purse, and took it to the crier, who sent for the mer- 
chant, who, finding the money complete, tried to back 
out of his bargain, and pretending there were also 
in the purse emerald ear-rings, demanded these of 
the marine. The man stoutly denied this; but the 
merchant brought him before the kazf, and accused 
him of theft. The magistrate, probably having been 
bribed, acquitted the man of the charge of theft, 
but dismissed him without a reward, because of his 

1 Chorluli Ali Pasha, temp, Ahmed III., the 24th Sultan, early in 
the last century. 

VOL. II. 2 A 


carelessness in losing such valuable articles. The 
poor marine presented his case in a petition to Chor- 
luli Ali Pasha, who summoned the merchant, with the 
money in dispute and the crier, to appear before him. 
After hearing the case, the pasha first asked the crier 
what it was the merchant had requested him to make 
inquiry after; and he replied that it was for two 
hundred pieces of gold. The merchant thereupon 
said that he had caused no mention to be made of 
the emerald ear-rings, fearing that if the purse had 
fallen into the hands of some person who knew not 
the value of the gems, when he should discover what 
a great treasure he had found, it might be a tempta- 
tion to him to keep it all. The marine, on the other 
hand, making oath that he had found nothing in the 
purse but the money, Ali Pasha passed the following 
judgment : " Since the merchant, besides two hundred 
pieces of gold, has lost also emerald ear-rings in the 
same purse, and since the marine has deposed upon 
oath that he found nothing but the money, it is plain 
that the purse and money which the marine found 
were not lost by the merchant, but by some one else. 
Let the merchant, therefore, have his things cried till 
some God-fearing person, having found them, restore 
them to him ; and let the marine keep the money he 
found for the space of forty days, and if no one comes 
and claims it within that period, then let it be his 

When the reader learns that the story is found in 


the 'Disciplina Clericalis' of Peter Alfonsus, he will 
readily perceive that neither " Mayster Vavasour, the 
good judge," nor the Marquis of Mantua, nor the 
Chorluli Ali Pasha ever had the "case" to decide, 
any more than Attorney-General Noy defended the 
Alewife in the case of the Three Graziers. It is the 
sixteenth tale of Alfonsus: A man loses a purse of 
gold, and a golden serpent with eyes of hyacinth, and 
endeavours to defraud a poor man who had found it 
of the promised reward, by asserting that the purse 
contained two serpents. The dispute being referred 
to a philosopher, the purse is adjudged to the finder. 
As the tales of Peter Alfonsus were avowedly derived 
from the Arabian fabulists, the Turkish version was 
doubtless adapted from the same source. 



rilHE story of a man who neglected and even ill-used 
his old father, and was brought to a sense of his 
iniquity by his own little child, has long been " fami- 
liar in our mouths as household words." It was from 
Bernier's fabliau of ' La Housse Partie,' according to 
Dunlop, that the Italian novelist Ortensis Lando, who 
flourished in the sixteenth century, derived his 13th 

A Florentine merchant, who had been extremely 
rich, becoming sickly and feeble, and being no longer 
of service to his family, in spite of his intercessions, 
was sent by his son to the hospital. The cruelty of 
this conduct made a great noise in the city, and the 
son, more from shame than affection, despatched one 
of his children, who was about six years of age, with 
a couple of shirts to his grandfather. On his return 
he was asked by his parent if he had executed the 
commission. "I have taken only one shirt," replied 
he. " Why so ? " asked the father. " I have kept the 
other," said the child, " for the time when I shall send 


you to the hospital." This answer had the effect of 
despatching the unnatural son to beg his father's 
pardon, and to conduct him home from his wretched 

Etienne de Bourbon, in No. 161 of his 'Liber de 
Donis,' cites a version of the story from a sermon by 
Nicolas de Flavini, Archbishop of Byzantium (who 
occupied the See of Besangon from 1227 till 1235): 

A certain man, who had married his son well and 
made over to him all his great wealth, when he be- 
came old and decrepit, at the instigation of his wife, 
was put into a wretched place, and with difficulty 
obtained from his son two ells of borel 1 in order 
that he might cover himself in the winter. The son's 
child, a little boy, observing this, wept bitterly, and 
said he would not cease unless his father would give 
him also two ells of borel as he had given his 
grandfather. After it had been given to him, the 
boy carefully folded it together and laid it aside, say- 
ing that he himself would do the same to his father 
when he became old as he had done to his grand- 
father, giving him two ells of borel to cover him. 

The following is quoted in Cobbett's 'Advice to 
Young Men ' : "In Heron's collection of ' God's Judg- 
ments on Wicked Acts,' it is related of an unnatural 

1 In the original, " de burello " : bord (Fr. bureau), coarse cloth of 
a brown colour see Du Cange, s.v. Burellus. Chaucer employs the 
word lorell, or burd, to denote an ignorant, ruda, clownish person. 


son, who fed his father upon oats and offal, lodged 
him in a filthy and crazy garret, and clothed him in 
sackcloth, while he and his wife and children lived 
in luxury, that sackcloth enough for two dresses for 
his father having been bought, his children took away 
the part not made up and hid it, and on being asked 
what they could do this for, they told him they meant 
to keep it for him when he should become old and 
walk with a stick." 

With slight modifications, this touching little tale is 
popular throughout Europe. In the following Albanian 
version, from M. Dozon's French collection, it is consi- 
derably amplified, and, as I think, improved : 

There was in a certain town a very honourable 
merchant, who had commercial relations with many 
friends in the same city. Being afraid that his 
partners would waste the capital which he had 
acquired, he withdrew from them, and took the wise 
step of leaving that town and setting up his business 
in another. He took his wife and son with him. 
After having chosen a suitable position, he commenced 
a small business, which prospered by degrees and gave 
him the means of living comfortably. When he had 
been twenty years in the new establishment, and was 
intending to retire from business, his wife died 
suddenly. They had lived together for thirty years, 
and neither of them had ever given the other the least 
cause of reproach. It is easy to conceive how sad a 
loss was her death to the merchant. However, seeing 


that his son was also afflicted, he tried to overcome 
his own grief in order to console him. " Thy mother 
is no more," he said; "the loss is irreparable. All 
we can do is to pray to God for her soul, for our 
tears will not restore her to life. Here I have no one 
but thee to love me, for my friends remain in the city 
where we formerly dwelt. If thou dost wish to be 
wise and to conduct thyself well, labour, and I will 
try to marry thee to some girl of our rank." And in- 
deed the old man set about seeking a wife for his son. 

In their neighbourhood lived three brothers, the 
eldest of whom had a daughter. Formerly rich, they 
were at that time living in a condition bordering on 
poverty ; and the old man had often thought of their 
daughter. One day he made up his mind, put on his 
new clothes, and went to ask her in marriage for his 
son. He thought that, being poor, she must be honest. 
The first question of the three brothers was this: 
"What does your son possess?" He replied, "All 
my wealth, goods and money may amount to a thou- 
sand pounds ; I give now the half of it to the young 
couple, and the rest will be theirs after my death." 
They came to an agreement, and the marriage took 
place. After some time a child was born to the couple, 
who showed himself intelligent, and endowed with 
many good qualities. 

But, unhappily for the old man, his daughter-in-law 
did not love him. At first she had still some regard 
for him, but soon she lost all respect : she spared no 
outrage, and even went so far as to refuse him 


bread. 1 The unfortunate one concealed his grief, and 
dared not speak of it to any one. At last he once 
heard his daughter-in-law say to her husband, " I can 
no longer endure to live under the same roof with that 
man " ; and one day his own son desired him to look out 
for another abode, saying that he should support him- 
self at his own charge. At these words the poor man 
changed colour, and his whole body trembled. " What, 
my son," said he, " is it you who speak thus to me ? 
From whom have you received all that you possess ? 
Nevertheless, do not drive me away no, no, leave me 
a shelter till I die ; reflect, my dear son, on what I 
have suffered in order to bring you up ! " This 
address of the old man deeply moved his son, but his 
daughter-in-law would no longer bear the sight of 
him. Then he said to the former: "Where do you 
wish me to go ? How can I approach strangers when 
my son drives me away ? " And as he spoke the tears 
ran down his face. He ended, however, by taking his 
staff, and rising, prayed to God to pardon the ungrate- 
ful son; and then he said: "Winter approaches, if 
God does not pity me, but leaves me in life till that 
time, I shall have nothing to cover me. I conjure 
you, give me some old garments something you no 
longer wear." The daughter-in-law, who heard him 
make this request, replied that she had no clothes to 
spare. Then he prayed that they would give him one 

1 Something seems omitted just before this probably that the old 
man had been induced to surrender to his son the remainder of his 
property, else how should he be without bread ? 


of the horse-rugs, and the son made a sign to his little 
boy to bring one of them. The child, who had lost 
none of the conversation, went to the stable, and 
having taken the best of the rugs, he cut it in two, 
and brought one half to his grandfather. "Every- 
body, it seems, desires my death," he cried, "since 
even this young child wishes it ! " The son growled 
at the boy for not executing the order as he had given 
it. "I was wrong, father," said the child; "but I 
had something in my mind : I wish to keep the other 
half for you, when you will become old in your turn." 
This reproach made him see himself; he understood 
all the extent of his crime, sent away his wife, and 
falling at the old man's feet, he begged him still to 
stay with him. 

The story would appear to be of Indian extraction ; 
at all events, it is found in a form closely resem- 
bling the version sometimes given in English school- 
books, in the Canarese collection of tales entitled 
' Katha Manjari,' as follows : 

A rich man used to feed his father with congi 
from an old broken dish. His son saw this, and hid 
the dish. Afterwards the rich man, having asked his 
father where it was, beat him [because he could not 
tell]. The boy exclaimed, " Don't beat grandfather ! 
I hid the dish, because when I become a man I may 
be unable to buy another one for you." When the 
rich man heard this he was ashamed, and afterwards 
treated his father kindly. 


Quite a different story is No. 145 of the Brothers 
Grimm's collection, " Der Undankbare Sohn : " 

Once upon a time a man and his wife were sitting 
before their house-door, with a roast fowl on a table 
between them, which they were going to eat together. 
Presently the man saw his old father coming, and he 
quickly snatched up the fowl and concealed it, because 
he grudged sharing it, even with his own parent. The 
old man came, had a draught of water, and then went 
away again. As soon as he was gone, his son went to 
fetch the roast fowl again ; but when he touched it he 
saw that it was changed into a toad, which sprang 
upon his face and squatted there, and would not go 
away. When any one tried to take it off, it spat out 
poison and seemed about to spring in his face, so that 
at length nobody dared to meddle with it. Now this 
toad the ungrateful son was compelled to feed, lest it 
should feed on his flesh ; and with this companion he 
moved wearily about from place to place, and had no 
rest anywhere in this world. 

Professor T. F. Crane, in his paper on 'Medieval 
Sermons and Story-Books,' states that this story is 
found in Etienne de Bourbon, No. 163 ; Bromyard's 
' Summa Praedicantium,' F 22 ; Pelbartus, ' Serm. de 
Temp. Hiem.,' B 22 ; and in other works of the same 
class referred to by Oesterley in his notes to Pauli, 
' Schimpf und Ernst/ and by Doiihet, ' Dictionnaire des 
Legendes,' col. 305, n. 158. He adds that there are prob- 
ably other versions which have not yet been collected. 



"HEADERS of the "well of English undefiled," as 


** Spenser styles the writings of Chaucer, must be 

familiar with the striking story which he represents 
the Pardoner as relating to his fellow-pilgrims on the 
way to the shrine of Thomas a Becket : 

A pestilence was raging in a certain city, and 
people were dying in great numbers every day. 
Three youths, drinking and dicing in a tavern, in- 
quired of the host the reason why the church bell 
was tolling so constantly, to which he replied that 
a "privie thefe" had come amongst them, and was 
busy taking away the folk's lives. Hearing this, they 
resolved to seek out this "false traitour," and slay 
him without fail. They meet an "old chorle," and 
after mocking his grey beard and bent form, 1 demand 

1 The " old chorle " says : 

" Thus walke I like a restlesse caitiffe, 
And on the ground, which is my mother's gate, 
I knocke with my staffe both erliche and late, 
And sayin thus, Leve mother, let me in I " 

In the Bedouin romance of Antar, the hero and his half-brother 
Shibtib, traversing the wilds and deserts by secret paths, one day 


to know of him where they should find Death. The 
old man replies : 

" Now sirs, if that it be to you so lefe 

To findin Deth, tourne up this crokid waie, 

For in that grove I left him, by my faie, 

Undir a tre, and there he woll abide, 

Ne for your boste he n'ill him nothing hide : 

Se ye that oke, right there ye shal him finde ; 

And God you save that bought ayen mankinde, 

And you amende," thus sayid this olde man. 

The three " riottours " set off as directed, and find 
a great treasure at the foot of a tree, and, resolving 
to wait on the spot till darkness should enable them 
to carry it off unseen by 'any, they draw lots, and 
the youngest, on whom the lot falls, is sent to the 
town for some wine. During his absence the two 
others plot his death when he returns, in order that 
they should have his share of the treasure. The 
youth, on his way to the town, determines to poison 
his companions, and so have all the treasure for him- 
self. He goes first to an apothecary and buys strong 

came upon a single tent pitched beside a spring, and near it was an 
aged shaykh, bent with years : 

An old man was walking along the ground, 
And his beard almost swept his knees. 
So I said to him, "Why art thou thus stooping?" 
He said, as he waved his hands towards me, 
" My youth is lost somewhere in the dust, 
And I am stooping in search of it." 

. In a Talmudic variant of the Seven Stages of Man's Life, the final 
stage is thus described : " He now begins to hang down his head 
towards the ground, as if surveying the place where all his schemes 
must terminate, and where ambition and vanity are finally humbled 
to the dust." 


poison, then to a wine-shop where he purchases three 
bottles of wine, and having put the poison into two 
of them, returns to his comrades: 

What needith it thereof to sermon more ? 
For right as thei had cast his deth before, 
Eight so thei han him slain, and that anone. 
And whan that this was doen, than spake that one, 
Now let us sit and drinke and make us mery, 
And aftirward thei wolne his body bury. 
And aftir that it happid one, per caus, 
To take the bottle there the poison was, 
And dronke, and yave his fellowe drinke also, 
Through whiche anon thei stervin * bothe two. 

This fine story was very popular in Europe during 
mediaeval times, and while it has not been ascertained 
whence Chaucer derived it, I think we can now guess 
pretty approximately. In the oldest Italian collection j 
of short stories, ' Cento Novelle Antiche,' which is 
generally believed to have been made in the 13th 
century, and was first printed, according to Panizzi, 
at Bologna in 1525, the 73rd tale is as follows: 

Christ was one day walking with his disciples 
through a desert place, when they who were follow- 
ing him, saw shining there on the wayside a quantity 
of gold piastres; whereupon they, calling to Christ and 
wondering why he did not stop, said to him, " Lord, 
let us take this gold, for it will make amends to us 
for many labours." And Christ turned and rebuked 
them, and said, "Ye desire such things as rob our 
kingdom of the greater part of souls. And that is 

1 Stervin, died ; were killed ; perished. 


true; on our return, ye shall perceive an example 
thereof," and passed on. A little after, two intimate 
companions found it, whereat they were joyous, and 
agreed [one should go] to the nearest village to get a 
mule, and the other remain on guard. But hearken 
how evil deeds followed on evil thoughts, for the 
enemy gave them. The one returned with the mule, 
and said to his companion, "I have eaten at the 
village, and thou must also be hungry ; eat these two 
fair loaves, and then we will load [our mule]." Eeplied 
the other, " I have no great mind to eat now, so we 
will do our loading first." Then they set to loading. 
And when they had nearly done, he who had gone for 
the mule bent down to make the burden fast, and the 
other fell upon him treacherously from behind with a 
sharp knife and killed him. Then he took one of the 
loaves and gave it to the mule. The other he ate 
himself. The bread was poisoned ; he fell down dead, 
and the mule also, before they could move from the 
spot ; and the gold remained free as at first. Later in 
the same day our Lord passed with his disciples, and 
pointed out to them the example of which he had 

Here we have but two men, and the other details 
vary considerably ; but in a later edition of the 'Novelle 
Antiche,' printed at Florence in 1572, a different ver- 
sion is substituted it is No. LXII. of this edition, 
which is entitled ' Libro di Novelle, et di bel Parlar 
Gentile,' Book of Stories, and of fine Courtly Speaking 


and one which much more closely resembles the 
Pardoner's Tale : 

A hermit, walking one day in a desert place, found 
a very large cave, which was much hidden from view, 
and retiring thither for sleep (for he was very weary), 
saw, as soon as he entered the cave, something shining 
in a certain place very brightly ; for much gold was 
there. And no sooner had he perceived it than he 
incontinently departed and began to run through the 
desert as fast as he could go. Thus running, the 
hermit met with three great ruffians, who haunted 
that wild place (foresta), to rob whoever passed 
thereby. Nor were they ever aware this gold was 
there. Now seeing, as they lay hid, this man flee 
without a soul behind to chase him, they were some- 
what afraid, but yet stopped him, to know what he was 
fleeing for, because at this they marvelled much. And 
he replied and said, " My brothers, I am fleeing from 
Death, who comes after me in chase." They, seeing 
neither man nor beast that chased him, said, " Show 
us what is chasing thee, and lead us unto where it is." 
Then said the hermit to them, " Come with me and I 
will show it to you " ; beseeching them all the time 
not to go to it, for he himself was fleeing for that 
reason. And they, desiring to find it, to see what 
manner of thing it was, demanded of him nothing else. 
The hermit seeing that he could do no more, and 
fearing them, led them to the cave, whence he had 
departed, and said to them, " Here is Death, which was 
chasing me"; and showed them the gold that was 


there ; and they began to mightily congratulate them- 
selves, and to have great fun together. Then they 
dismissed that good man, and he went away about his 
own affairs ; and they began to say one to the other, 
how simple a person that was. 

These three ruffians remained all three together, 
to guard this wealth, and began to consider what they 
must do. Eeplied one and said, " Meseems that God 
has given us this so high fortune, that we should not 
depart from here until we carry away all this property." 
And another said, " Let us not do so. Let one of us 
take somewhat thereof and go to the city and sell it, 
and buy bread and wine, and whatsoever we need ; 
and in that let him do his best, so that we be fur- 
nished." To this they all agree. The Devil, who is 
crafty and bad enough to contrive to do whatever evil 
he can, put in this one's heart to go to the city for 
supplies. " When I am in the city," said he to himself, 
" I will eat and drink what I want, and then provide 
me with certain things whereof I have need at the 
present time ; and then I will poison what I bring to 
my comrades, so that when the pair of them are dead 
I shall then be lord of all this property ; and, as it 
seems to me, it is so much that I shall be the richest 
man of all this country for possessions." And as it 
came into his thought, so he did. He took for himself 
as much victual as he needed, and then poisoned the 
rest, and so he brought it to those his companions. 
But while he went to the city, as we have said, if he 
thought and contrived ill, to slay his companions, that 


every thing should remain for him, they, on their part, 
thought no better of him than he of them, and said one 
to the other, " As soon as this our comrade shall return 
with the bread and the wine and the other things we 
need, we will kill him, and then eat as much as we 
desire, and then all this great wealth shall be between 
us two. And the less in number we are the more 
shall each of us have." Now came he who had gone 
to the city to buy the things they needed. The moment 
his companions saw he had returned, they were upon 
him with lances and knives and killed him. When 
they had made a dead man of him, they ate of what he 
had brought ; and so soon as they were satisfied both 
fell dead. And so died all three ; for the one slew the 
other, as ye have heard, and had not the wealth. And 
thus may the Lord God requite traitors ; for they 
went seeking death, and in this manner they found it, 
and in a way which they deserved. And the sage 
wisely fled it, and the gold abode free as at first. 1 

Tyrwhitt was the first to point -out the likeness be- 
tween this version and that of Chaucer ; and Wright, 

1 Hans Sachs made this story the subject of a ' Meisterlied ' and 
also of a ' Spiel,' the first of which was written in 1547, the second in 
1555 ; the only variations being that the hermit discovers the treasure 
in the hollow trunk of a tree, and that the robbers, when he tells them 
he has seen Death in the trunk of a tree, thinking he is mocking them, 
slay him on the spot. In another German version, three robbers 
murder a merchant for his money ; and in yet another, three men of 
Balkh find a treasure, and so on. And Professor Adalbert Kuhn, in 
his ' Westf alische Sagen, Gebriiuche, und Marchen,' cites the same 
story, of three Jews who commit a robbery. 

VOL. II. 2 B 


in his edition of the ' Canterbury Tales/ says that the 
Pardoner's Tale appears to have been taken from a 
fabliau, now lost, but of which the outline is preserved 
in No. 72 of the ' Novelle Antiche.' That the story 
was the subject of a fabliau is likely enough, and cer- 
tainly a number of the tales in the ' Novelle Antiche ' 
are also among thefabliaux of the trouveres. From the 
' Novelle Antiche ' perhaps the tale of the Hermit who 
found a Treasure was taken into one of the old Italian 
miracle-plays, that of St Antonio, 1 published in D'An- 
cona's ' Eappresentazione Sacre/ vol. ii. p. 33, of which 
the following is the outline of the part referring to 
our story: 

The Spirit of Avarice places a silver dish in the 
way of St Antonio, to corrupt his virtue, "for such 
a springe will snare the wisest bird." Antonio walks 
in the desert and finds the basin. He at once per- 
ceives the trick and its origin. Avarice, finding his 
device unavailing, then sets forth a great pile of gold 
(monte d'ord), resolved, should this attempt fail, to give 
up the game. Antonio finds the gold, and roundly 
rails at the enemy, whose cunning has in this instance 
again been foiled. 

Two robbers, Tagliagambe and Scaramuccia, 2 meet ; 

1 " Antonio (San), of Padua, a relative of Godfrey of Bouillon, was 
born in Lisbon in 1195 ; preached with such fervour that even 
the fishes rose to the surface of the sea to listen to him ; and died in 
Padua, 1231. The splendid basilica in which his ashes rest was not 
completed until two centuries later. His chapel, with its alti relievi 
by Lombardi, Sansovino, and others, still attracts the student of art. " 
From Bayard Taylor's Notes to his ' Faust,' ed. 1871, vol. i. p. 319. 

3 Legslasher and Skirmisher. 


the latter asks the news. Trade is so bad that Taglia- 
gambe has not a groat in his purse. Scaramuccia has 
been robbed of a thousand ducats at Reggio fair. He 
proposes that they join hands and take to the road. 
At this juncture Carapello, an old acquaintance, comes 
on the scene ; they welcome him, and it is agreed that 
the three shall share equally all that they " convey." 

The Devil (Satanasso) is introduced, ordering his 
fiends to soundly cudgel Antonio, whom pain, if not 
pleasure, may move. They do his bidding. Antonio 
is comforted by the appearance of Jesus, who pro- 
mises him world -wide fame and an eternal reward. 
Healed of his wounds, Antonio walks into the desert, 
and meets with the robbers, whom he counsels to turn 
back from the death in their way. They take him for 
a madman, and go on. Finding the pile of gold, they 
laugh at the hermit's simplicity, who had called it 

The three robbers agree to draw lots for one of them 
to go to Damascus for food and flasks of wine, and 
a pair of balances to weigh the gold. The lot falls 
on Scaramuccia, who sets off, but on the way reflects 
on his folly in leaving the others in possession of the 
gold, and resolves to have it all for himself. He 
changes his lump for two and twenty ducats, pur- 
chases ratsbane of an apothecary, and plenty of 
victuals and wine; and having poisoned the viands, 
he returns. Meanwhile the two others have con- 
certed his death, and as soon as he appears they pick 
a quarrel with him and despatch him. They then sit 


down to their meal and dine heartily, particularly 
commending their late comrade's taste in wine; and 
while they are considering how they shall extract the 
most enjoyment from their treasure, the poison begins 
to work, and speedily makes an end of them. 

Avarice, delighted at his success, returns to Satan, 
full of confidence, and makes his report. He is pro- 
mised a crown as his reward for having brought three 
souls below instead of one. An angel closes the show, 
and dismisses the spectators with a solemn injunction 
to take warning by the catastrophe, and to direct their 
eyes upward, seeking God, who is the true riches. 

An ancient Portuguese version is given by Theo- 
philus Braga (' Contos tradicionees do povo portuguez/ 
No. 143) from the ' Orto do Sposo ' of Frei Hermene- 
gildo de Tancos, 14th century: Four robbers open a 
grave in Home, and find in it gold and silver, precious 
stones, and vessels and cups of gold. One of them 
goes to the town to procure food, for which he gives 
the largest and finest gold cup, and so on, as in 

Four is also the number of the rascals in a version 
cited by M. Paulin Paris, in his ' Les Manuscrits fran- 
gais,' vol. iv. p. 83, from a treatise on the Holy Scrip- 
ture, "blaming the vices and praising the virtues" 
therein, of the 15th century : They find a golden stone, 
and agree that when they have breakfasted they will 
share it. Two keep watch over the treasure while the 
other two go to buy bread, and so on. " Thus may we 


understand how things of earth are death to those 
who know not how to use them well : for a hundred 
men may damn themselves for an inheritance, and 
the inheritance remain in its place to this day. It is 
the golden stone which does not die." 

In the novels of Morlini a singular version occurs 
Nov. XLII. " De illis qui in Tiberi reperto thesauro, 
ad invicem conspirantes, venemo et f erro periere " : A 
magician learns from the spirits that a great treasure 
lies hid in the Tiber. On its being found, some of his 
companions go to a neighbouring town to fetch food 
and liquor, and they resolve to buy poison to kill the 
others. Those who remain meanwhile conspire to 
kill them, which they do on their return, and then 
eating of the poisoned food themselves perish. " This 
story teaches that evil should not be thought of; for 
he who sows, reaps." 

We now proceed towards the very ancient original, 
of this oft-told tale. In a form which is already'; 
familiar to us, it is found in the Breslau-printed 
Arabic text of the ' Thousand and One Nights,' where i 
it forms one of the twenty-eight tales related to King 
Shah Bakht by his Vazir Er-Rahwan. 1 

Three men once went out in quest of riches, and 
came upon a block of gold weighing a hundred pounds. 
When they saw it, they took it up on their shoulders 
and fared on with it till they drew near a certain city, 
when one of them said, "Let us sit in the mosque 

1 See ante, p. 63. 


whilst one of us goes and buys us what we may eat." 
So they sat down in the mosque, and one of them 
arose and entered the city. When he came therein, 
his soul prompted him to play his fellows false, and 
get the gold for himself alone. So he bought food 
and poisoned it; but when he returned to his com- 
rades they fell upon him and slew him, so they might 
enjoy the gold without him. Then they ate of the 
[poisoned] food and died, and the gold abode cast 
down over against them. 

Presently Jesus, son of Mary (on whom be peace !), 
passed by, and seeing this, besought God the Most 
High for tidings of the case. So He told him what 
had betided them, whereat great was his wonder- 
ment, and he related to his disciples what he had 
seen. 1 

Very different from all the preceding versions, and 
possibly composed from memory, is the story as 
found in the Calcutta and Bulak printed texts of 
the 'Arabian Nights,' which Sir K. F. Burton has 
thus rendered (in vol. ii. p. 158, of his complete 
translation) : 

In a city called Sindah there was once a very 
wealthy merchant, who made ready his camel-loads 

1 ' Tales from the Arabic,' &c. Now first done into English by 
John Payne. London (Privately Printed), 1884. Vol. i. p. 282. 
Muslims, while denying the divinity of Christ, being essentially 
Unitarians, yet regard Him with great reverence, as the " Spirit " or 
" Breath " of God, as they are taught by the Kurdn and by their 


and equipped himself with goods, and set out with 
his outfit for such a city. Now he was followed by 
two sharpers, who had made up into bales what 
merchandise they could get; and, giving out to the 
merchant that they also were merchants, wended 
with him by the way. So, halting at the first 
halting-place, they agreed to play him false and 
take all he had ; but at the same time each in- 
wardly plotted foul play to the other, saying in his 
mind, " If I can cheat my comrade, times will go well 
with me, and I shall have all these goods to myself." 
So after planning this perfidy, one of them took food, 
and putting therein poison, brought it to his fellow ; 
the other did the same: and they both ate of the 
poisoned mess, and they both died. Now they had 
been sitting with the merchant; so when they left 
him, and were long absent from him, he sought for 
tidings of them, and found the twain lying dead, 
whereby he knew that they were sharpers who had 
plotted to play him foul, but their foul play had 
recoiled upon themselves. So the merchant was pre- 
served, and took what they had. 

Peculiarly interesting and suggestive is a version 
given by Muhammad Casim Siddi Lebbe, in his 
"Account of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, according 
to Arabian Writers," published in the first volume 
of 'The Orientalist': 

Jesus was once journeying in company with a Jew, 
and the Lord proposed that they should put their 


stock of food together and make common property 
of it. Jesus had but one loaf and the Jew had two 
loaves. In the absence of Jesus (to perform his de- 
votions), the Jew ate one of the loaves, and after- 
wards persistently denied that he had done so. After 
Jesus had performed several miracles, each time con- 
juring the Jew to declare who had ate the loaf, and 
the Jew persisting there were originally but two 
loaves, the narrative thus proceeds: They came to 
a lonely place, where Jesus made three heaps of 
earth, and by his word turned them into three mas- 
sive blocks of gold. Then addressing the Jew, he 
said, "Of these three blocks, one is for me, one for 
you, and the other for the man who ate the loaf." 
The Jew immediately exclaimed, " It was I that ate 
the loaf, and therefore I claim the two blocks." Jesus 
gently rebuked him for obstinately adhering to a 
falsehood, and making over to him all three blocks, 
left him and went away. The Jew then endeavoured 
to take away the blocks of gold, but found them too 
heavy to be moved. While he was thus wasting his 
strength in trying to move the blocks, Jesus returned 
to the spot and said to the Jew, " Have nothing to do 
with these heaps of gold. They will cause the death 
of three men ; leave them and follow me." The man 
obeyed, and leaving the gold where it lay, went away 
with Jesus. 

Three travellers happened soon afterward to pass 
that way, and were delighted to find the gold. They 
agreed that each should take one. Finding it, how- 


ever, a matter of impossibility to carry them, they 
resolved that one of them should go to the city for 
carts and food for them to eat, whilst the. other two 
should watch the treasure. So one of the travellers 
set out for the city, leaving the other two to guard 
the gold. During his absence the thoughts of his 
companions were engrossed in devising some means 
whereby they should become the sole sharers of the 
treasure, to the exclusion of the one who had gone to 
the city. They finally came to the diabolical resolu- 
tion of killing him on his return. The same murder- 
ous design had entered into the mind of him who had 
gone to the city in reference to his companions. He 
bought food and mixed poison with it, and then re- 
turned to the spot to offer it to them. No sooner had 
he arrived than, without a word of warning, his com- 
panions fell upon him and belaboured him to death. 
They then began to eat the food which was in its turn 
to destroy them; and so, as they were partaking of 
the poisoned repast, they fell down and expired. A 
little after, Jesus and the Jew were returning from 
their journey along that road, and seeing the three 
men lying dead amidst the gold, Jesus exclaimed, 
" This will be the end of the covetous who love gold ! " 
He then raised the three men to life, upon which they 
confessed their guilt, repented themselves, and thence- 
forward became disciples of Jesus. Nothing, however, 
could make the Jew overcome his avarice. He per- 
sisted in his desire to become the possessor of the 
gold ; but whilst he was struggling to carry away the 


blocks, the earth opened and swallowed him up, and 
the gold with him. 

It is much to be regretted that Mr Siddi Lebbe did 
not give the names of the Arabian writers from whom 
he compiled his narrative, or afford some other clue to 
its date. But, thanks to the learned Dr F. Eiickert, 
a similar Persian version, though differing in some 
important details, is known to European scholars, 
regarding the authorship and date of which there 
need be no doubt. From a Persian manuscript in 
the Library at Gotha, entitled ' Kitab-i Masibat- 
nama,' or Book of Misfortunes, by the celebrated 
Sufi poet Shaykh Farfdu-'d-Din 'Attar, who died 
in 1229 (a century old, it is said, on good authority), 
Dr Eiickert published the text of a version of our 
tale, together with a translation in German verse, 
in the ' Zeitschrif t der Deutschen Morgenlandischen 
Gesellschaft ' (Journal of the German Oriental So- 
ciety) for 1860, Bd. xiv. s. 280-7. My esteemed 
friend Mr Chas. ' J. Pickering has favoured me with 
the following translation of the same Persian poem, 
in which he has preserved the original form of verse, 
called masnavi, or rhymed couplets : 

Upon a road fared 'fsd, bathed in light ; 
The fellow of his far way a caitiff wight. 
Three wheaten loaves alone were 'fsa's cheer ; 
One loaf he ate, another gave his fere ; 
So one of those three loaves whereof they ate 
Remained between the two uneaten yet. 


For water 'fsd walked a space before ; 
His fellow ate the loaf in that same hour. 
When to him 'fsd, Marina's child, returned, 
No wheaten loaf beside him he discerned. 
Said he, " Where is that wheaten loaf, my son ? " 
Replied he, " Never have I heard of one." 
Thence fared the two still onward, side by side, 
Till on their path appeared a river-tide : 
Straightway his hand caught 'fsa, as he stood, 
And walked with him across the running flood. 
When o'er that stream at last he'd passage given, 
" Ah, fere," said he, " by the just Judge in heaven, 
That Sovereign Lord who has this wonder shown, 
Such wonder as man had never wrought alone 
This moment tell me true, traveller, 
Who yonder ate the wheaten loaf to spare ?" 
" Thereof I've not an inkling," answered he. 
" When I know not, why dost thou question me ? " 

So onward, inly loathing, 'fsa fared, 

Till from afar a little fawn appeared. 

To him did 'fsa call that nimble roe, 

Then with its life-blood made earth rosy grow. 

The flesh he broiled, thereof a little ate ; 

Full to the throat that sinner feasted yet. 

Then 'fsa, Marina's child, the several bones 

Gathered, and breathed into their midst but once ; 

New life the fawn snatched from that breath's impress, 

Worshipped, and sprang into the wilderness. 1 

1 Muslims believe that the breath of the Messiah had the virtue of 
restoring the dead to life. In the Persian romance of the ' Four Dar- 
weshes ' a very skilful physician is called 'Isd in allusion to this notion. 
And in the Persian ' Sindibad Nama ' we read : " Sweet is the air of 
Ja'farabdd [a suburb of Shirdz], whose breezes perform the work of the 
Messiah " that is, are health-giving, like his breath. For parallels to 
the above incident of the resuscitation of the roe from its bones, see 
Note at the end of this paper : " On Resuscitation in Folk-Lore." 


That hour Messiah, guide in ways untrod, 
Spake, " companion, by the truth of God, 
Who of His power hath shown thee such a proof, 
Let me but know of that one wheaten loaf." 
" I never set my eyes on it," said he. 
" How long wilt thou object this thing to me ? " 

Yet all the same that man with him he bore, 
Until three mounds of earth appeared before ; 
When a pure prayer by 'fsa's lips was told, 
And the three heaps of earth were yellow gold. 
" Man of good faith," said he, " one heap is thine ; 
This other heap thou seest here is mine ; 
And that third heap is at this moment his 
Who ate in secret that one loaf we miss." 
The man, soon as he heard the name of gold 
(Strange, that mutation should so swiftly hold), 
Cried, " That one loaf of bread I've eaten I, 
A-hungered, I devoured it secretly." 
When 'fsa heard him so confess the sin, 
He said, " I care not ; all the three are thine. 
My fellow-traveller thou'rt not fit to be ; 
I'll none of thee, although thou wished for me." 
So spake he, and, in sorrow for his sake, 
Forsook him, far away his path to take. 

A brief time fled, and two men passed thereby ; 

Both see the gold, and burn with enmity. 

The one said, " Mark you, all this gold's mine own." 

" Not so," the two replied ; " 'tis ours alone." 

Much babble and contention thence arose, 

Till tongue and hand were tired of words and blows. 

The quarrelling trio came to terms at last, 

That all the gold should in three lots be cast. 

By this time all the three were hungering sore ; 

They were so beaten they could breathe no more. 

The one said, " Life is more to me than gold : 

I'll go to the city and buy where bread is sold." 


Quoth the other two, " If thou but bring us bread, 
To failing bodies bring'st thou life indeed. 
Go thou for bread : when thou return'st in glee, 
"We will that moment share that gold in three." 

Now to his friends the man his gold resigned, 
Set out, and to his business gave his mind. 
To the city he came, bought bread, and ate awhile ; 
Then mid the rest put poison in his guile, 
So the other two might eat and die, and he 
Survive, and all the gold be his in fee. 
But those two made a compact in their stay 
That they would put that one out of the way, 
Then into two divide those portions three ; 
As this was settled came the man in glee. 
Incontinent the couple struck him dead, 
And erelong perished as they ate his bread. 

When 'fsa, Marim's child, came there again, 
He saw the dead men there, he saw the slain. 
Said he, " If here unmoved this treasure stay, 
Uncounted throngs of creatures will it slay." 
A prayer that pure soul offered up once more ; 
The gold became the earth it was before. 
Though gold be better than the earth we tread, 
Gold is the best when earth lies overhead. 1 

1 Dr Reinhold Kohler has informed me that Fabricius, in his 'Codex 
Apocryphus Novi Testament!,' ed. 1739, iii. 395, cites a brief prose 
version from ' Proverbiorum et Sententiorum Persicarum Centuria, 
collecta, et versione notisque adornata, a L. Warner,' Leyden, 1644, 
p. 31. (It is not in the first edition of Fabricius.) Warner, he says, 
gives also the Persian original, but without stating the source : Three 
travellers find a treasure. One goes to procure food, and so on. Jesus 
comes by with his disciples, and seeing the three dead bodies, he says, 
" Hsec est conditio mundi ! Videte quomodo ternos hosce tractaverit, 
et ipse tamen post eos in statu suo perseveret. Vae illi qui petit 
mandum ex mundo ! " This is evidently a different version from 
the above. 


From the " Happy Valley " of Kashmir we have yet 
another version, which differs materially from those 
already cited: Four men left their country together 
to seek their fortune. As they journeyed on, it came 
to pass that Allah, according to His power and wisdom, 
caused a large golden tree to spring up suddenly, 
which was loaded with rich clusters of golden fruit. 1 
Seeing this miracle, the travellers were astonished, 
and at once resolved to proceed no farther, but to 
take the tree home with them, and be glad for ever. 
In order to fell the tree, and cut it up into pieces 
of convenient size, it was arranged that two of the 
party should go to the nearest village and procure 
saws and axes, while the two others should remain 
to guard the precious treasure ; and they went accord- 
ingly. The two who were left to watch the tree began 
to consult together how they might kill their partners, 
and they resolved to mix poison with their bread, 
so that, when they ate thereof, they should die, and 
they themselves should have a double share of the 
treasure. But the other two, who were going for the 
tools, had also plotted that they might get rid of their 
partners left behind by the tree, and they resolved to 
slay them with one stroke of the axe, and thus have 
a double share of the treasure. And when they 
returned from the village they immediately slew them 
with one stroke of the axe. Then they began to hew 

1 In the ' Katha Sarit Sagara ' we read of trees with golden trunks, 
branches of jewels, the clear white flowers of which were clusters of 
pearls a very old and very wide-spread myth. 


down the tree, and soon cut up the branches and made 
them into bundles convenient for carrying away ; after 
which they sat down to eat and sleep. They ate of 
the poisoned bread, and slept the fatal sleep of death. 
Some time afterward, a party of travellers chanced 
to pass that way, and found the four bodies lying 
cold and stiff beneath the golden tree, with the 
bundles of golden branches ready for carrying away. 1 

In Mr Ealston's 'Tibetan Tales from Indian 
Sources,' pp. 286, 287, we find our story assume a 
form which is unique, while curiously reflecting the 
source whence it was derived: 

In long past times a hunter wounded an elephant 
with a poisoned arrow. Perceiving that he had hit 
it, he followed after the arrow and killed the elephant. 
Five hundred robbers, who had plundered a hill-town, 
were led by an evil star to that spot, where they per- 
ceived the elephant. As it was just then a time of 
hunger with them, they said, "Now that we have 
found this meat, let 250 of us cut the flesh off 
the elephant and roast it, while 250 go to fetch 
water." Then those among them who had cut the 
flesh off the elephant and cooked it said among 
themselves, "Honoured sirs, now that we have ac- 
complished such a task and collected so much stolen 
property, wherefore should we give away part of it 

1 ' Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs and Sayings. Explained and 
illustrated from the rich and interesting folk-lore of the Valley.' By 
J. Hinton Knowles. Bombay, 1885. Pp. 45, 46. 


to others ? Let us eat as much of the meat as we 
please, and then poison the rest. The others will eat 
the poisoned meat and die, and then the stolen goods 
will be ours." So after they had eaten their fill of 
the meat, they poisoned what remained over. Those 
who had gone to fetch water, likewise, when they had 
drunk as much as they wanted, poisoned what they 
were to take with them. So when they came back, 
and those who had eaten the flesh drank the water, and 
those who drank the water ate the flesh, they all of 
them died. 

And now we have reached the original source of all 
the foregoing stories. It is the ' Vedabbha Jataka' 
the 48th of Fausboll's edition of the Pali text of the 
'Jatakas,' or (Buddhist) Birth-Stories. 1 The first to 
point out in this country, at all events the identity 
of Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale with one of the Buddhist 
Birth-Stories was the Eev. Dr Eichard Morris, in a 

1 " According to the Buddhist belief, every man living has entered 
on his present life in succession to a vast number of previous lives, 
in any one of which he may have been a man king, monk, or goat- 
herd an animal, goblin, or deity, as the case might be. For the mass 
of men, these previous lives have left no trace on memory, but a 
Buddha remembers them all, and not his own only, but the previous 
births also of other men. And Gotama, so the tradition runs, was in 
the habit of explaining the facts of the present in the lives of those 
about him, by what they had been or done in other births, and of illus- 
trating his own teaching by what he had done himself in earlier births. 
Of the stories which he has thus told of his own previous existences, 
550 are supposed to have been collected immediately after his decease." 
The Bishop of Colombo, in the ' Journal of the Ceylon Branch of 
the Royal Asiatic Society,' 1884, vol. viii. part 2, p. 100. 


paper in the 'Contemporary Beview' for April 1881. 
Mr Francis, of Cambridge University Library, pub- 
lished an abstract of the story in ' The Academy ' 
for 1882. A year later Professor C. H. Tawney con- 
tributed a full translation to the ' Journal of Philology,' 
1883, vol. xii. pp. 202-208. In 1884 the Bishop of 
Colombo published, in the 'Journal of the Ceylon 
Branch of the Eoyal Asiatic Society,' a translation of 
the first fifty ' Jatakas,' one of which is our original. 
Another rendering slightly abridged appeared in 
'The Orientalist,' published at Kandy, Ceylon, 1884, 
which is as follows: 

In times gone by, when King Brahmadatta reigned 
in the city of Benares, there lived a Brahman who 
was skilled in alchemy and knew a certain charm 
(mantra) called " Vedabbha." When this charm was 
repeated at a lucky hour, with the eyes of the reciter 
turned up to the sky, it had the effect of bringing 
down showers of treasure from the heavens. This 
Brahman set out once for the Cetiyan country with 
the Bodhisat, 1 his pupil, and on their way they fell 
into the hands of a band of robbers, called " sending 
thieves," from a practice they had of sending one of 
their captives for a ransom, while they detained the 
rest as hostages till its arrival. Of father and son, 
they were wont to detain the son; of mother and 
daughter, the daughter ; of two brothers, the younger ; 
of teacher and pupil, the teacher. In conformity with 

1 A potential Buddha ; in the present case, Gautama himself before 
attaining Buddhahood (see last note). 

VOL. n. 2 c 


this practice they detained the Brahman, and sent 
the B6dhisat to fetch the ransom. On taking leave 
of his teacher, the Bodhisat entreated him not to avail 
himself of the charm, although there was to be a 
lucky hour that very day, at which the mantra might 
be repeated with effect, warning him at the same time 
that a disregard of this advice would result in the 
death both of himself and of the five hundred robbers. 
So saying, he went away, promising to return in a 
day or two with the ransom. The Brahman, however, 
unable on the one hand to bear his confinement, and 
on the other to resist the temptation which the ap- 
proach of the lucky hour presented, gave way to his 
weakness, and informed the robbers of his resolution. 
Thereupon he performed the ablutions enjoined pre- 
paratory to the recital of the mantra, bedecked him- 
self with flowers, and at the advent of the lucky hour 
muttered the mantra, when, to the amazement and 
gratification of the robbers, a shower of gems fell 
from the heavens. The robbers helped themselves 
to as much of the treasure as they could carry, and, 
releasing the Brahman, set out thence. Whilst they 
were on their march another band of robbers more 
powerful than they met them and made them captives. 
The captives informed their captors how they got 
the wealth, whereupon they were released, and the 
Brahman was seized. On being told by the Brah- 
man that they must wait for a lucky hour, the robbers 
were so much incensed that they cut the Brahman 
into two, and throwing the two pieces on the way, 


pursued the five hundred robbers whom they had 
just released, killed them all, and took possession of 
the treasure. After this they divided themselves into 
two factions, not being able to agree in the division of 
the spoil. Each faction attacked the other, and all 
were killed except two. 1 

Now these two surviving robbers carried the 
treasure and buried it in a woody place near a vil- 
lage, and one sat with a sword guarding it while the 
other went into the village to get rice and other 
food cooked. Covetousness is indeed the root of de- 
struction ! The man who was sitting by the treasure 
thought, " When he comes, the treasure will be 
divided into two parts. Suppose I strike him a blow 
with the sword just as he comes, and kill him." And 
he drew the sword and sat watching for his arrival. 
And the other thought, "That treasure will have to 
be divided into two parts. Suppose I put poison 
into the food, and give it to that man to eat, and so 
kill him, and take all the treasure for myself." And 
so, as soon as the food was prepared, he ate of it, 
and then put poison in the rest and took it to the 
place. He had hardly set down the food and stood 
still, when the other cleft him in two with the sword, 
and threw him in a covered place. Then he ate the 
food, and himself died on the spot. 

1 In the Tibetan version we have a curious reflection of this ab- 
surdity, in the five hundred robbers, one half of whom went to fetch 
water and poisoned it, while the other half remained to cook the 
elephant's flesh, and poisoned what they did not eat themselves. 


In the meantime the Bodhisat collected some money 
for ransoming his tutor the Brahman, and entering the 
forest to offer it to the robbers, found the corpse of his 
teacher cut into two pieces. He at once knew that his 
teacher must have disregarded his advice, and caused 
a shower of treasure to descend. Advancing farther, 
he saw the mangled corpses of the thousand but two 
robbers lying scattered on the ground, and he finally 
discovered the corpses of the two who were the last 
possessors of the ill-fated treasure. The Bodhisat 
then, reflecting upon the consequences of covetous- 
ness, removed the treasure and spent it in charitable 
purposes. 1 

1 The story assumes a very different form in the ' Avadanas,' Indian 
tales and apologues, translated from the Chinese into French by M. 
Stanislas Julien (3 vols., Paris, 1859), in which it occurs twice, No. 
xi. tome i. p. 60, and No. ci. tome ii. p. 89. In this Chinese-Buddhist 
form we have no longer three travellers or robbers slaying each other ; 
but still the leading idea, that " covetousness is the root of destruc- 
tion." The two 'Avadanas ' are so nearly alike that it will suffice to 
cite No. ci. as follows : 

The ambition of riches exposes us to a danger as formidable as a 
venomous serpent. We should neither look at them nor attach our- 
selves to them. One day Buddha, journeying in the province of 
Prasirajit, saw a place where a treasure had been deposited by some 
one, which was composed of a quantity of precious things. Buddha 
said to Ananda, " Do you not see that venomous serpent ? " "I see 
it," replied Ananda. At this moment there was a man walking 
behind Buddha. On hearing these words, he resolved to go and see 
the serpent. Having observed precious and beautiful objects, he 
bitterly blamed the words of Buddha, and considered them vain and 
foolish. "These are very precious things," said he, "and yet he said 
that it was a venomous serpent ! " Straightway he brought all the 
people of his house to the spot, and by then* assistance conveyed away 
that treasure, so that his wealth became immense. But there was 
a man who presented himself before the king, and told him that that 
person had lately found a great treasure, and had not brought it 


" Thus far, and no farther," in the case of Chaucer's 
well - told tale of the three " riottours " and their 
treasure-trove ? Perhaps not. Then in what quarter 
should we expect to find an earlier form of this world- 
wide story ? In the Egyptian papyri ? Possibly. 
Or, failing these, in the ' Mahabharata ' ? The great 
Hindu epic has not, I think, been thoroughly examined 
by special students of the genealogy of fiction. It is 
as yet only known to such from episodes of it which 
have been translated into English and other European 
languages Nala and Damayanti, Dushwanta and 
Sakiintala, the Brahman's Lament, etc. There is, 
however, a complete English translation of the ' Ma- 
habharata ' now in course of publication at Calcutta, 1 
a considerable portion of which has already appeared 
would that the paper and typography were more 
worthy of the noble work ! and it should be searched 
for this and other ancient stories. We ought to be 
cautious in giving Buddhism all credit for the inven- 
tion of tales which are traceable to Pali writings. 
There can be no doubt that the early Buddhists 
adopted for their purposes many fictions of Hindu 
origin, as well as tales and apologues which, even in 
their time, were the common property of the world. 

to the judge. So the king immediately caused him to be cast into 
prison, and demanded from him the treasure which he had found. 
He declared that he had spent it all. But the king would not 
believe him ; he caused him to be stunned with blows, and put him 
to the most cruel tortures. This man recognised too late the truth 
of the words of Buddha. 

1 ' The Mahdbharata of Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa. Translated into 
English Prose by Protap Chundra Roy.' 


The version which most closely resembles Chaucer's 
tale is the second of those cited from the 'Novelle 
Antiche.' True, there is nothing in the Italian story 
about' a pestilence which renders the old English 
poet's narrative the more impressive but the "olde 
chorle " who tells the " riottours " where they may 
find Death is the counterpart of the Hermit, and 
of Saint Anthony in the Italian miracle - play. If 
Chaucer, like Shakspeare after him, used materials 
which he found ready to his hand, it must be allowed 
that he has in every instance used them as the statu- 
ary does a block of marble ; and of all the variants 
of the Eobbers and their Treasure-trove there is none, 
I think, to compare with the Pardoner's Tale. 

Eegarding the other versions, it is observable that 
three is the usual number of the robbers or travellers 
who perish through their own cupidity and treachery ; 
although in the original it is but two, which, curiously 
enough, is also the number in our second Arabic 
version. With a few insignificant exceptions, the sev- 
eral versions all run in the same groove : a treasure is 
found, or stolen, by three men, one of whom goes away 
to fetch food ; the other two plan to murder him on 
his return ; and he puts poison in the food he is bring- 
ing to them. The Persian poem points to an Indian 
source. There must, it seems to me, have been a 
Hindu version in which the number of the men was 
three. From India the story would get to Persia, 
thence to the Arabs, from some of whose possessions 
on the Mediterranean it would get to Italy, and from 


Italy spread throughout Europe ; or, " another way," 
to employ the formula of the immortal Mrs Glasse, let 
us say that it was brought by some minstrel or palmer 
from Syria, and through & fabliau became current from 
England to Italy. 


Legends similar to the incident, in the Persian tale, of the 
resuscitation of an animal from its bones have been popular 
time out of mind in Europe as well as in Asia. A very curious 
analogue of it is found in the Older Edda (the compilation of 
which is ascribed to Ssemund Sigfusson, a learned Icelander, 
who was born A.D. 1056), in the narrative of Thor's journey to 
Utgard : 

Thor and Loki once set out, in chariots drawn by buck-goats, 
for Yotenheim, or giant-land. Towards evening they arrived at 
the house of a farmer, where they took up their quarters for the 
night. Thor took and killed his goats, broiled their flesh, and 
invited his host and his children to partake of the feast. When 
it was ended Thor spread the goat-skins on the ground, and 
desired the children to throw the bones into them. The far- 
mer's son Thialfi had broken one of the bones to get out the mar- 
row. In the morning Thor got up and dressed himself, and then 
laying hold of Miolner (his wonder-working hammer) swung it 
over the skins. Immediately the goats stood up, but one of them 
limped on the hind leg. The god exclaimed that the farmer and 
his family had not dealt fairly with the bones, for the goat's leg 
was broken. The farmer was terrified to death when he saw 
Thor draw down his eyebrows and grasp the handle of Miolner 
till his knuckles grew white. He and his children sued for 
grace, offering any terms, and Thor, laying aside his anger, 
accepted Thialfi and his sister Rosko for his servants, and left 
his goats there behind him. 


I shall not, I trust, be charged with irreverence by any 
reader, in referring to mediaeval Christian and Muhammedan 
legends of miracles ascribed to Christ : it is necessary that I 
should do so, in order to illustrate an interesting and curious 
feature of folk-lore. Legends of the miracles of 'Isa, son of Mar- 
yam, 1 found in the works of Muslim writers seem to have been 
derived from the Kuran and also from early Christian, or rather 
quasi-Christian traditions, such as those in the apocryphal gos- 
pels, which are now for the most part traceable to Buddhist 
sources. Thus the Muslim legend which relates that when 'Isd 
was seven years old, he and his companions made images in 
clay of birds and beasts, and 'fsa, to show his superiority, caused 
his images to fly and walk at his command this is also found 
in the gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and in that of the Infancy. 

Another Muslim legend of 'fsa, son of Maryam, is of his 
healing the sick by laying his staff on them. A man, think- 
ing the virtue lay in the staff, begged and obtained it of him, 

1 Maryam (Mary) is regarded with much reverence by Muslims. 
Muhammed himself has said, that although many men had attained 
moral excellence, yet among women only four had arrived at that dignity, 
namely, 'Ashiyah, wife [query daughter ?] of Pharaoh ; Maryam (Mary), 
the daughter of Imran [mother of Jesus] ; Khadija, the first wife of 
Muhammed ; and Fatima, Muhammed's daughter M. Cassim Siddi 
Lebbe, in ' The Orientalist,' 1884. 

El-Mas'iidi, the Arabian traveller and historian, in his 'Meadows of 
Gold and Mines of Gems ' has the following: " When Maryam was seven- 
teen years of age, God sent the angel Gabriel to her, and he breathed the 
Spirit into her. She was pregnant with the Masih [Messiah], Jesus the 
son of Maryam, and she gave him birth in a country town called Beit 
Lehm [Bethlehem : the House of God], which is some miles from Jeru- 
salem. His history is related in the Kuran [3d sura and passim], and 
the Christians believe that Jesus observed the old religion of his nation. 
He lectured on the Pentateuch and other ancient books twenty -nine or 
thirty years in the province of the Jordan, in a synagogue called el- 
Madras [the college]. A certain day he was reading the Book of the 
prophet Esaias, and he saw in it the passage, " Thou art my prophet and 
my elect ; I have chosen thee for me." He closed the book, gave it to 
the minister of the synagogue, and went out, saying, ' The word of God 
is now fulfilled in the Son of Man.' Some say Christ lived in a town 
called Nazarah [Nazareth], in the district of el-Lajjiin, in the province 
of the Jordan; hence the Christians have [in Arabic] the name of 


and hearing of a king who was sick unto death, he undertook 
to heal him. Being admitted to the king, he laid such a stroke 
upon him that he immediately expired. In his distress he 
applied to 'fsa, who came and restored the king to life. 1 

A parallel to this is found in the tale of the Master-smith, 
which is equally current in Sicily and Italy, and in Germany, 
Norway, and Kussia : There was a blacksmith who boasted 
that he was without an equal in his craft. One day Christ 
appeared in his smithy and transformed the smith's aged and 
bedridden mother into a young woman, by burning her in the 
furnace. The smith attempted to do likewise with an old beg- 
gar-woman, and burned her to a cinder. But the Lord, coming 
back, restores her to life thus rebuking the pride of the 
boastful smith. 

This legend appears to have been formerly popular in Eng- 
land, since it is the subject of an old black-letter tract (in verse), 
entitled, ' Of the Smyth that burnt his Wyfe, and after forged 
her againe by the helpe of our blessed Lord,' printed by William 
Copland, probably about 1550, and privately reprinted in 1849, 
by Mr Halliwell-Phillipps, in his ' Contributions to Early Eng- 
lish Literature.' 

The indecent Jewish author of the ' Toldoth Jesu,' 2 while ad- 
mitting that Christ performed many wonders, ascribes them to 
his having abstracted from the Temple the Ineffable Name 3 and 
concealed it in his thigh an idea which is evidently of Indian 
origin, and which had doubtless found its way, with other 
magical nonsense, into Syria long before the time of this most 
scurrilous writer. In the first story of the Tamil romance 
' Madana Kdmaraja Kadai,' the son of L6kadhipa, king of Udaya- 

1 This seems reflected in those versions of ' Little Fairly ' (ante, p. 
229 ff.) in which the hero pretends to make his wife young by striking 
her with a cudgel, or to reanimate her by sounding a horn over her. 

2 Not the recension published, with a Latin translation and castigation, 
by Ulrico, 1705 see ante, p. 89 but the version, also with a Latin 
translation, at the end of the second volume of Wagenseil's ' Tela Ignea 
Satanse,' 1681. 

3 In the Arabian tale of Hasan of Basra, it is said of a shaykh of the 
seed of 'Azaf bin Barkhiya (vazir of Solomon), "he knoweth the most 
Great Name of Allah." 


giri, longs to obtain the daughter of Indra for his wife. In 
the course of his wanderings he comes to a cottage, where he 
takes up his abode with an old woman, and herds her cattle. 
One day he observes the beautiful daughter of Indra bathing in 
a tank, and having stolen her garment takes it home. The old 
woman cuts open his thigh, puts the celestial garment in the 
opening, and then sews it together. The daughter of Indra 
like others of the Bird- Maiden class had no alternative but to 
follow him and become his wife. In the ' Toldoth Jesu,' we 
have an incident similar to that related in the Persian tale, of 
the resuscitation of the roe : When Jesus was challenged to 
give public proof of his divinity (according to the recension in 
Wagenseil), he said, " Bring hither to me a dead man, and I 
will restore him to life." The people hasten to a certain sepul- 
chre, and finding there nothing but bones, they return and 
report this, whereupon Jesus said, " Bring them hither in our 
midst." And when the bones were brought, he put them to- 
gether, and lo ! there rose up a living man. 

This legend was probably current in Syria during the time of 
Muhammed, since he apparently alludes to it in the Kuran, 
" See how I restored the carcase after it was separated ; " and 
he may have obtained it from the Christian who is said to 
have had a hand in the composition of the Kuran, for many 
tales of the same kind were known among the different so- 
called Christian sects in Egypt and Syria, in the earlier centuries 
of our era. 

Stories of the resuscitation of animals from their bones are 
common in Indian fiction, one of which occurs in the ' Vetala 
Panchavinsati ' (Twenty-five Tales of a Demon) : Four brothers, 
after agreeing to go into the world in order to acquire magic 
knowledge, and fixing upon a trysting-place at which to meet, 
separate, each going in a different direction. In course of time 
they met again at the appointed spot, and asked one another 
what each had learned. Then one of them said, " I have learned 
this magic secret : if I find a bit of a bone of any animal, I can 
instantly produce on it the flesh of that animal." The second 
said, "When the flesh of any animal has been superinduced 
upon a piece of bone, I know how to produce the skin upon it." 


Then the third said, " And I am able to create the limbs of the 
animal." And the fourth said, " When the animal has its limbs 
properly developed, I know how to endow it with life." Then 
the four brothers went into the forest to find a piece of bone on 
which to display their skill. There it happened that they 
found a piece of a lion's bone, and they took it up, without 
knowing to what animal it belonged. And when the four 
brothers had successfully exercised their magical arts on the 
piece of bone, it rose up a very terrible lion, and rushing upon 
them, it slew them on the spot. The story is somewhat differ- 
ently told in the ' Panchatantra ' (Book v. fab. 14) : Of the four 
brothers, three possess knowledge, and one possesses only common 
sense. The first joins the bones of the lion ; the second covers 
them with flesh and skin ; and the third is about to give the 
animal life, when the man of common sense says, " If you raise 
it to life it will kill us all." Seeing the third brother will not 
desist from his purpose, he climbs up a tree, and thus saves his 
life, while the others are torn to pieces. In the ' Tiiti Ndma,' 
four friends, journeying through a desert, discover the bones of 
a monstrous serpent. One of them, being a magician, takes out 
a book from which he reads certain words, when the bones are 
joined and covered with skin. He then proposes to his friends 
that he should endow the carcase with life, but they advise him 
not to do so, and when they see he is obstinate, they run away. 
The magician then takes out another book, and on reading there- 
from the serpent becomes alive, and instantly devours him. In 
No. 20 of Lai Behari Day's ' Folk-Tales of Bengal ' four friends 
learn their several arts by overhearing a hermit recite the 
magical formulae, but all escape up a tree, and the tiger, having 
devoured their horses, rushes into the jungle. In a Burmese 
version (No. 10 of ' Decisions of the Princess Thoo-dhamrna 
Tsari') the friends are three, and having resuscitated a tiger 
from its bones, which they find in a forest, the tiger follows 
them, ostensibly to furnish them with food, but in three nights 
he eats up the three learned but foolish friends. This last 
version would seem to indicate that the story is of Buddhist 
extraction. In the ' Bahdr-i Danush ' (vol. ii. p. 290 of Scott's 
translation) a hermit put together the bones of a cow, then 


sprinkled water on the skeleton, and at once it was covered with 
flesh and skin, stood up, and began to low. 

All these stories cannot fail to remind the reader of the sublime 
parable in the Book of Ezekiel, chap, xxxvii. 1-10 : 

" The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in 
the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the 
valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them 
round about : and, behold, there were very many in the open 
valley ; and, lo, they were very dry. And He said unto me, 
Son of man, can these bones live ? And I answered, O Lord 
God,' thou knowest. Again He said unto me, prophesy upon 
these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word 
of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones : 
Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live ; 
and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon 
you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye 
shall live ; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I pro- 
phesied as I was commanded : and as I prophesied, there was 
a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, 
bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and 
the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above : 
but there was no breath in them. Then said He unto me, 
Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to 
the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, 

breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So 

1 prophesied, as He commanded me, and the breath came into 
them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceed- 
ing great army." 



fTlHE story of the Charcoal-Burner is certainly not 


one of the least entertaining of Dr Dasent's ' Tales 

from the Fjeld': A bibulous charcoal-burner, on re- 
turning from the market-town where he had been to 
sell a few loads of his charcoal, is asked by his friends 
what he had seen there, and replies that all he had 
observed was, that the people paid great deference to 
the priests, but took no notice whatever of him. They 
advise him to go to the sale of their dead priest's 
effects, buy his gown and cape, and set up for a priest 
himself. He does so, and is upbraided by his wife for 
his folly. Next day he sees a party of priests go past 
his house, so, putting on his gown and cape, he joins 
them, and they all proceed to the palace, where the king 
informs them that his ring having been stolen lately, 
he had sent for them to see whether they could find 
out the thief, and whoever did so should be suitably 
rewarded : if a rector, he should be made a dean ; if a 
dean, he should be made a bishop ; if a bishop, he 
should be made the first man in the kingdom. He 


went round them all, without success, till he came to 
the charcoal-burner, of whom he demanded, " Who are 
you ? " Our impostor boldly answered, " I am the 
wise priest, and the true prophet." " Then," said the 
king, " can you tell me who has stolen my ring?" 
He replied that he must have time and some paper, 
for it required a good deal of calculation in order to 
track the thief through many lands. With paper, pen, 
and ink he was accordingly locked up in a room of 
the palace, and having spent many days in merely 
making pot-hooks on the paper (for he could not 
write), at length the king told him that if he did not 
discover the thief within three days he should be put 
to death. This was certainly a sore dilemma, but his 
good luck saved him. For it happened that his meals 
were served to him successively by three of the king's 
servants, who had jointly stolen the ring ; and in the 
evening, when the man 'who waited on him took away 
his supper dishes, the poor charcoal-burner, thinking 
only of the lapse of one of his three days of life, 
sighed and exclaimed, " This is the first of them ! " 
and the fellow believing himself detected, reported 
this to his comrades. Next day, when another of the 
trio performed the same service, the sham priest said, 
" This is the second of them ! " When the other rogue, 
on the following day, heard him say, "This is the 
third of them ! " he hastened to the others, and con- 
sulted with them what they had best do to save them- 
selves. In short, they offered him each a hundred 
dollars if he would not denounce them to the king. 


Surprised but glad at this, the charcoal-burner con- 
sented, provided they brought him the ring and a great 
bowl of brose, which they did very willingly, at the 
same time giving him three hundred dollars. He 
stuffed the ring in the brose, and bade them give it to 
the biggest of the king's pigs : and when the king 
came to see whether he had discovered the thief, or 
the whereabouts of his ring, the charcoal-burner told 
him that the thief was not a man, but one of his own 
pigs the biggest and fattest of them. The king, 
albeit thinking this a mere subterfuge, caused the pig 
to be killed and cut open, and, behold, the ring was 
found in its inside, upon which the sham priest was 
presented with a living. In his capacity of rector he 
performed some queer antics, which, however, were 
explained by his superiors to have a mysterious 
spiritual meaning, and he was extolled as a wise 
priest. But farther trials awaited him. The king's 
consort having been pronounced to be in " an interest- 
ing condition," he sent for his priests to ascertain 
from them whether she should present him with an 
heir to the crown ; but they all confessed their ignor- 
ance, and suggested the wise priest as the most likely 
person to afford him the desired information. The 
king, by way of preliminary test of the wise priest's 
gift of prophecy, takes a big silver tankard, and goes 
to the sea-shore, where he picks a crab, which he puts 
in it, closing down the lid. Then he calls for the 
wise priest, and asks him to declare what is in the 
tankard. Believing his last hour was come, the poor 


man, addressing himself aloud, said, "Oh you most 
wretched crab and cripple on earth ! this is all your 
backslidings and sidelong tracks have brought on you ! " 
Admiring his sagacity, the king lifted the lid of the 
tankard and showed that it contained a crab. Then 
he commanded him to go into the queen's presence, 
and declare whether she was to present him with a 
son or a daughter. In a state of mortal agitation, the 
wise priest paced the chamber to and fro, exclaiming, 
" Whenever I come near the queen I think it will be 
a girl, and whenever I go at some distance from her I 
am sure it will be a boy." As the queen was shortly 
after this safely delivered of twins, a boy and a girl, 
the sagacity of the whilom charcoal-burner was placed 
beyond farther question. 

There is a well-known German version of this 
story in Grimm's collection : A poor peasant, named 
Krebs, sets up as a doctor who knows everything 
(Allwissend), and a great robbery having taken place 
in the house of a nobleman, Dr Know-all is requested 
to assist in the recovery of the stolen property. He 
consents to visit the nobleman, on condition that his 
wife be allowed to accompany him. When they are 
seated at the nobleman's table, the first servant brings 
a dish, upon which the Doctor says to his wife, 
" Grethel, that is the first," meaning the first dish ; 
and he makes similar remarks when the second and 
third servants come in; but when the fourth enters, 
the nobleman, to test the Doctor's skill, desires him 


to say what is under the cover. Now it happened 
to be a crab, which the Doctor, of course, did not 
know ; so he looked at the covered dish, and felt 
that he was in a great dilemma, from which he could 
not escape ; and so he said in a low tone to himself, 
" Krebs, Krebs, what will you do ? " The noble- 
man said, " Yes, it is a crab ; I see you know every- 
thing, and will be able to tell me where my money 
is, and who has stolen it." The servants, alarmed, 
winked at the Doctor to come out to their offices. 
They there confessed that they had stolen the money, 
and offered him wealth to any amount if he would 
not betray them. He promised, on condition that 
they would show him where they had hidden the 
money; so they took him to the spot at once. On 
returning to the table, he said he would consult his 
book, and ultimately conducted the nobleman to the 
place where the money was concealed. 

In a popular version current in Mantua, after the 
pretended astrologer whose name, as in the German 
story, is Crab has been shut up in a room for a 
month, his wife comes to visit him, and he makes 
her hide under the bed and cry out when a servant 
enters, " That is one," and so on. The servants con- 
fess they stole the king's ring, and Crab says to them, 
" Take the ring and make the turkey-cock swallow it ; 
leave the rest to me." At the impostor's sugges- 
tion, the king has the turkey killed and the ring, of 
course, is found in its inside, and the " astrologer " is 

VOL. n. 2 D 


richly rewarded. Then follows the test of the crabs 
in a covered dish. 1 It is evident that this version 
was not derived from the German story of Dr Know- 
all, in which the servants reveal to the impostor the 
spot where they had concealed the stolen money; 
while in the Italian story, as in the Norse tale of the 
Charcoal-Burner, an animal is made to swallow the 
lost article, which is not merely fortuitous, but rather 
an instance of the influence of the Norsemen in the 
south of Europe. 

The story is current in Persia, and was related 
to Sir John Malcolm by the Shah's own story-teller. 
In this version a poor but contented cobbler named 
Ahmed is induced by his vain and ambitious wife to 
set up as an astrologer, who knew the past, the pre- 
sent, and the future. By chance he discovers a fine 
ruby that had been stolen from the king's jeweller, 
and a valuable necklace, which a lady had lost in 
the public baths. After this it happened that the 
royal treasury was robbed of forty chests of gold 
and jewels, and the king's astrologer having failed 
to discover either the robbers or the treasure, his 
majesty threatened him with death if he did not 
find out the thieves within the next day. Ahmed 
is sent for by the king's astrologer, who conducts 

1 Crane's 'Italian Popular Tales,' p. 314. Mr W. J. Thorns, in 
the notes to his ' Lays and Legends of Tartary,' refers to an English 
story of " The Conjuror and the Turkey-Cock " which is probably 
similar to this Italian version. 


him before the king. On being desired to discover 
the robbers of the treasury, Ahmed declares there 
were forty robbers concerned in the affair, and that 
he should require forty days to discover them all ; 
intending to escape to another country before the 
expiry of that period. When he returns home and 
acquaints his wife of his having but forty days more 
to live, unless he made good his escape out of the 
land, she threatens to inform the king at once of 
his meditated flight if he does not set to work to 
find out the robbers. "Well," says the unhappy 
cobbler, "so be it. All I desire is to pass the few 
remaining days of my life as comfortably as I can. 
You know that I am no scholar ; so there are forty 
dates, give me one of these every night after I have 
said my prayers, in order that I may put them in a 
jar, and by counting them, may always see how 
many of the days I have to live are gone." The 
wife, pleased at carrying her point, took the dates 
and promised to be punctual in doing what he 
desired. Meanwhile the thieves who had stolen 
the king's treasure, having been kept from leaving 
the city by fear of detection and pursuit, had re- 
ceived information of every measure taken to dis- 
cover them. One of their number was among the 
crowd before the palace on the day the king sent 
for Ahmed, and hearing the cobbler had immediately 
declared there were forty robbers concerned in the 
affair, he ran in a fright to his comrades and ex- 
claimed, " We are all found out ! Ahmed, the new 


astrologer, has told the king there are forty of us." 
The captain of the band replied, " It needed no astro- 
loger to tell that: this Ahmed, with all his simple 
good-nature, is a shrewd fellow ; forty chests having 
been stolen, he naturally guessed that there must 
have been forty thieves, and he has made a good 
hit, that is all. Still, it is prudent to watch him, 
for he certainly has made some strange discoveries. 
One of us must go to-night and listen to his conversa- 
tion with his handsome wife, for he is said to be very 
fond of her, and will, no doubt, tell her what success 
he has had in his endeavours to detect us." Every 
one approved of this proposal ; and soon after night- 
fall one of the thieves repaired to the terrace of 
Ahmed's house. He arrived there just as the cobbler 
had finished his evening prayers, and his wife was 
giving him the first date. " Ah," said Ahmed, as he 
took it, " there, my dear, is one of the forty." The 
thief, supposing Ahmed was aware of his presence, 
hastened back to his comrades, and told them what 
he had heard. Next night two men went to Ahmed's 
house, and heard him say to his wife, as he received 
the second date, "Now there are two of them, my 
dear." Three men went the next night, and so on, 
till the fortieth night, when the whole gang went, 
and heard Ahmed exclaim, " The number is complete, 
my dear; to-night the whole forty are here," upon 
which the robbers knocked at the door, and when 
Ahmed opened it, expecting to see the king's guards 
come to lead him off to execution, to his surprise 


and relief, the robbers confessed their guilt, and 
conducted him to the place where they had con- 
cealed the king's treasure, he having promised not 
to betray them to the king. In the morning he 
appeared before the king, who asked him if he had 
succeeded in discovering the robbers, and also the 
whereabouts of the treasure they had stolen. Ahmed 
replied that he could either direct him to the robbers 
or the treasure, but not to both. The king thought 
hanging the thieves would do no good to himself if 
he lost his treasure, so he chose to have the chests 
recovered, even though the rogues should get off 
scot-free. Then Ahmed made his calculations, and 
finally led the way to the place where the treasure 
was hidden, after which the king gave him his own 
daughter in marriage ; and his vain and foolish wife 
was no gainer, but a loser, by her having urged the 
honest cobbler to set up as an astrologer. 1 

A Mongolian variant occurs in the 'Eelations of 
Siddhi Kur,' under the title of the Magician with 
the Sow's Head, in which, in place of stolen treasure, 
the pretended soothsayer recovers a lost talisman on 
which the welfare of the country depended, and cures 
a khan who was bewitched by evil spirits. His folly 
is shown by the paltry reward he asks for his ser- 
vices ; but his wife afterwards goes to the khan, and 
obtains costly gifts. 2 

1 Sir John Malcolm's ' Sketches of Persia," chap. xx. 

2 ' Sagas from the Far East' : Tale iv. of Siddhi K6r. 


The oldest and best form of the story is found in 
the ' Katha Sarit Sagara,' Book vi. chapter 30, and it 
is here given in full, from Professor C. H. Tawney's 
translation of that work : 

There was a certain Brahman in a certain village, 
named Harisarman [i.e., says Benfey, "Blockhead"]. 
He was poor and foolish, and in evil case for want of 
employment, and he had very many children, that he 
might reap the fruits of his misdeeds in a former life. 
He wandered about begging with his family, and at 
last he reached a certain city, and entered the service 
of a rich householder called Sthiiladatta. He made 
his sons keepers of this householder's cows and other 
possessions, and his wife a servant to him, and he 
himself lived near his house, performing the duty of 
an attendant. One day there was a great feast on 
account of the marriage of the daughter of Sthula- 
datta, largely attended by many friends of the bride- 
groom and merry-makers. And then Harisarman 
entertained a hope that he would be able to fill 
himself up to the throat with ghi and flesh and other 
dainties, together with his family, in the house of his 
patron. While he was anxiously expecting that occa- 
sion, no one thought of him. Then he was distressed 
at getting nothing to eat, and he said to his wife at 
night, " It is owing to my poverty and stupidity that 
I am treated with such disrespect here; so I will 
display, by means of an artifice, an assumed know- 
ledge, in order that I may become an object of respect 
to this Sthiiladatta, and when you get an opportunity, 


tell him that I possess supernatural knowledge." He 
said this to her, and after turning the matter over in 
his mind, while people were asleep he took away 
from the house of Sthuladatta a horse on which his 
son-in-law rode, and placed it in concealment. And 
in the morning the friends of the bridegroom could 
not find the horse, though they searched for it in 
every direction. Then, while Sthuladatta was dis- 
tressed at the evil omen, and searching for the thieves 
who had carried off the horse, the wife of Harisarman 
came and said to him, " My husband is a wise man, 
skilled in astrology and sciences of that kind, and he 
will procure for you the horse; why do you not ask 
him ? " When Sthuladatta heard that, he called Hari- 
sarman, who said, "Yesterday I was forgotten; now 
the horse is stolen I am called to mind." And Sthula- 
datta then propitiated the Brahman with these words, 
" I forgot you ; forgive me," and asked him to tell 
him who had taken away the horse. Then Hari- 
sarman drew all kinds of pretended diagrams, and 
said, "The horse has been placed by thieves on the 
boundary-line south from this place. It is concealed 
there ; and before it is carried off to a distance, as it 
will be at close of day, quickly go and bring it." 
When they heard that, many men ran and brought 
the horse quickly, praising the discernment of Hari- 
sarman, who was honoured by all men as a sage, and 
dwelt there in happiness, honoured by Sthuladatta. 

Then, as days went on, much wealth, consisting of 
gold and jewels, was carried off by a thief from the 


palace of the king. As the thief was not known, the 
king quickly summoned Harisarman on account of 
his reputation for supernatural knowledge. And he, 
when summoned, tried to gain time, and said, " I will 
tell you to-morrow " ; and then he was placed in a 
chamber by the king, and carefully guarded. And he 
was despondent about his pretended knowledge. Now 
in that palace there was a maid named Jihva, 1 who, 
with the assistance of her brother, had carried off that 
wealth from the interior of the palace. She, being 
alarmed at Harisarman's knowledge, went at night 
and applied her ear to the door of his chamber, in 
order to find out what he was about. And Hari- 
sarman, who was alone inside, was at that very 
moment blaming his own tongue, that had made a 
vain assumption of knowledge. He said, " Tongue, 
what is this you have done through desire of enjoy- 
ment ? Ill-conducted one, endure now punishment in 
this place." When Jihva heard this, she thought in 
her terror that she had been discovered by this wise 
man, and by an artifice she managed to get in to 
where he was, and falling at his feet, she said to that 
supposed sage, " Brahman, here I am, that Jihva [i.e., 
Tongue] whom you have discovered to be the thief 
of the wealth ; and after I took it I buried it in the 
earth in a garden behind the palace, under a pome- 
granate tree. So spare me, and receive the small 
quantity of gold that is in my possession." When 
Harisarman heard that, he said to her proudly, " De- 

1 The name, or word, means " tongue." 


part ! I know the past, the present, and the future. 
But I will not denounce you, being a miserable 
creature that has implored my protection ; but what- 
ever gold is in your possession you must give up to 
me." When he said this to the maid she consented, 
and departed quickly. But Harisarman reflected, in 
his astonishment, "Fate, if propitious, brings about, 
as if in sport, a thing that cannot be accomplished ; 
for in this matter, when calamity was near, success 
has been unexpectedly attained by me. While I was 
blaming my tongue [jihvd] the thief Jihva suddenly 
flung herself at my feet. Secret crimes, I see, mani- 
fest themselves by means of fear." In these reflec- 
tions he passed the night happily in his chamber, 
and in the morning he brought the king, by some 
skilful parade of pretended knowledge, into the gar- 
den, and led him up to the treasure which was buried 
there ; and he said that the thief had escaped with a 
part of it. Then the king was pleased, and proceeded 
to give him villages. 

But the minister, Devajnanin, whispered in the 
king's ear, " How can a man possess such knowledge 
unattainable by man, without having studied treatises ? 
So you may be certain that this is a specimen of the 
way he makes a dishonest livelihood, by having a 
secret intelligence with thieves; therefore it will be 
better to test him by some new artifice." Then the 
king, of his own accord, brought a new covered pitcher, 
into which he had thrown a frog, and said to Hari- 
sarman, " Brahman, if you can guess what is in this 


pitcher, I will do you great honour to-day." When 
the Brahman heard that, he thought his last hour 
had come, and he called to mind the pet name of 
Frog which his father had given him in sport; and, 
impelled by the deity, he apostrophised himself by it, 
lamenting his hard fate, and exclaimed, "This is a 
fine pitcher for you, Frog, since suddenly it has 
become the swift destroyer of your helpless self in 
this place." The people there, when they heard 
that, made a tumult of applause, because his speech 
chimed in so well with the object presented to him, 
and murmured, " Ah, a great sage ! He knows even 
about the frog ! " Then the king, thinking that this 
was all due to knowledge of divination, was highly 
delighted, and gave Harisarman villages, with gold, 
umbrella, and vehicles of all kinds. And immediately 
Harisarman became like a feudal chief. 

This Sanskrit version is for us the oldest form of 
the story, and, as Tawney has pointed out, the German 
version of Grimm is nearest to it, in the exclamation 
of Doctor Know-all whose name is Krebs when the 
covered dish with a crab inside is set before him, " 
crab, crab ! what will you do ? " The name of the 
sham-priest in the Norse version was evidently also 
Krebs, else there would be no appositeness in his 
exclamation, " O you most wretched crab ! " And 
this version corresponds with the Sanskrit in the 
locking-up of the pretended priest. The story is 
also found, says Tawney, in the 'Facetiae' of Henri- 


cus Bebelius, 1506. Here a poor charcoal-burner, as 
in the Norse version, represents the Brahman. He 
asks three days to consider. The king gives him a 
good dinner, and while the first thief is standing at 
the window, he exclaims, " Jam unus accessit" mean- 
ing, " one day is at an end." The next day the second 
thief comes to listen. The charcoal-burner exclaims, 
" Secundus accessit," and so with the third ; whereupon 
all confess. This seems to have been derived from 
the same source as the Norse story. Benfey con- 
ceives the incident of the horse to be found in the 
' Facetiae ' of Poggius, where a doctor boasts a wonder- 
working pill. A man who has lost his ass takes one 
of these pills, and it conducts him to a bed of reeds, 
where he finds his ass ! The version of the story in 
' Siddhi Kiir ' differs greatly from all the others. Ben- 
fey considers that collection as a comparatively late 
work, and thinks that the Mongols brought the Indian 
story to Europe in a form more nearly resembling that 
in the ' Katha Sarit Sagara ' than does the tale in the 
' Siddhi Kur.' * 

1 The Mongolian form of the story is so different from the Euro- 
pean versions and their Indian original that I have thought it need- 
less to give an abstract of it. The hero does not, as in all other 
versions, at first pretend that he is a soothsayer or astrologer ; it is 
only after he has by chance seen where the talisman is deposited that 
he undertakes to recover it ; and in the case of the sick khdn, he over- 
hears two demons one, in the shape of a buffalo, the other in that 
of a woman who had become the khaVs wife, and had caused his sick- 
ness conversing together about the means by which they might be 
destroyed, and next day, acting upon the information thus obtained, 
the khiln is cured, honours and wealth are bestowed upon himself and 
his relations, and he is ever after regarded as a most skilful magician. 


Incidents similar to that of the chance-discovery of 
the thieves in the several versions of the story above 
cited are found in other tales. In the 'Pleasant 
Nights' of Straparola, xiii. 6, a mother sends her 
booby-son to find "good day." The lad lies down 
by the roadside near the city gate, where he could 
see all that went in or out of the city. It so hap- 
pened that three men had gone into the fields to 
take away a treasure they had found, and on their 
return, when one of them greeted the booby with 
"good day," he exclaimed, "I have one of them," 
meaning that he had met one of the good days ; and 
so on with the second and third. Believing they were 
discovered, the men shared the treasure with the 
booby in order to secure his silence. 

In Pitre's Sicilian collection, among the stories of 
Giufa, the typical noodle of Sicily, it is related that 
he went out one day to gather herbs, and it was 
night before he returned. On his way home the 
moon rose through the clouds, and Giufa sat down 
on a stone and watched the moon appear and dis- 
appear behind the clouds, and he exclaimed alter- 
nately, " It appears ! it appears ! " " It sets ! it sets ! " 
Now there were near by some thieves, who were 
skinning a calf which they had stolen, and when 
they heard, " It appears ! it sets ! " they feared that 
the officers of justice were coming, so they ran away 
and left the meat. When Giuf& saw the thieves 
running away, he went to see what it was they had 
left behind, and found the calf skinned; so he took 


his knife and cut off flesh enough to fill his sack, and 
went home. 1 

An elaborate variant of the incident is known 
among the Sinhalese, of which a translation is given 
by Mr W. Goonetilleke in ' The Orientalist ' for Feb- 
ruary 1884, to this effect: A blockhead said to his 
wife that he wished to receive sil, 2 so she bade him 
go to the priest and repeat after him the words he 
should pronounce. Before break of day next morning 
he set out for the priest's house, and arriving there, 
knocked at the door. The priest called out, " Kavuda?" 
(Who's there?) The noodle, following literally the 
instructions of his wife as to repetition, replied, 
"Kavuda?" The priest could not understand how 
any one should be in the mood for jesting at such a 
time and place, and drawing near the door, said, 
"Mokada?" (What's the matter?) "Mokada?" re- 
peated the blockhead. The priest was bewildered : he 
could not for the life of him understand the meaning 
of so strange a proceeding, so he called out, "AUa- 
piya!" (Lay hold!) And "Allapiya!" was quickly 
echoed. Upon this the priest went into one of the 
rooms to wake up his servant, and in the meantime 
the simpleton, hearing nothing more, concluded that 
the ceremony was over, and returning home, told his 
wife that the words he must repeat were, " Kavuda ? 
Mokada? Allapiya!" His wife replied that if he 

1 Crane's ' Italian Popular Tales," p. 293. 

2 SU is a religious observance : vowing to follow the Five Precepts 
of Buddha see ante, p. 92, note 1. 


had not already lost his small wits he was pretty 
near it. The man, however, paid no attention to 
her remarks, believing her to be in jest, but kept 
repeating the words all night long at frequent inter- 
vals, to the serious disturbance of his wife's rest. 
This went on for several nights, and nothing that 
the wife could think of had the effect of convincing 
the man of his mistake. About this time three 
thieves broke into the king's treasury at night, and 
stole from it much wealth, consisting of gold, silver, 
and jewels of price. Carrying off their booty, they 
came to the back part of the simpleton's house and 
began to divide it, when they were startled by the 
words, "Who's there? What's the matter? Lay 
hold ! " uttered in a loud tone from within the house. 
" We are undone ! " said one of the thieves. " Dis- 
covered most certainly we are," said another. " Hush, 
hush ! " said the third ; " 'the words may have been 
addressed to somebody else." So they made up their 
minds to go on with the division, but had scarcely 
recommenced before the same words fell on their 
ears, " Who's there ? What's the matter ? Lay hold ! " 
Then they took to their heels, leaving the treasure 
behind. The man, hearing the clatter outside, went 
to the back part of the house with a light, and saw, 
to his amazement, three heaps of treasure. He im- 
mediately awoke his wife and took her to the spot. 
Her eyes beamed as she beheld the unexpected wealth: 
husband and wife together conveyed the heaps into 
the house, and all was secure before day dawned. 


" Now," said the wittol to his wife triumphantly, " was 
it not my observance of sil that brought us this luck ? " 
" Yes," said she ; " I am glad you have been so earnest 
in its practice." 

These three stories are not only closely allied to 
the chief incident of the story of the Lucky Im- 
postor, but may be farther considered as having near 
affinity with the cycle of tales (see ante, p. 317 ff.) in 
which a certain maxim saves a king's life. "Thus 
conscience does make cowards of us all!" 



fTlHIS proverb, or maxim, had its origin in the fa- 
J- vourite tale of the Milkmaid and her Pail of Milk, 
which, in her day-dream, was to form the basis of her 
fortune : With the profit obtained from her milk she 
would purchase a hundred eggs, the eggs would pro- 
duce chickens, which, when grown up, she would sell, 
and then buy a pig, and finally a cow and a calf ; then 
she would have many suitors for her hand in marriage, 
but she would scorn them every one; hereupon she 
tossed her head, and her pail fell, and all the milk was 
spilled on the ground. In this form it was adapted 
from La Fontaine's fable of " La Latiere et le Pot au 
Lait," but it was well known throughout Europe long 
before the great French fabulist's collection of apo- 
logues and tales was published in 1678. In the 
' Contes et Nouvelles ' of Bona venture des Periers (six- 
teenth century) it is thus related : 

A good woman carried a pot of milk to market, 
making her reckoning thus : she would sell it for two 


liards ; with these two liards she would buy a dozen 
of eggs; she would hatch them, and obtain a dozen 
chickens ; these chickens would grow up and become 
fat fowls, selling at five sols apiece, which would make 
a crown or more ; with which she would buy two little 
pigs, male and female; which would grow up, and 
produce a dozen others; which she would sell for 
twenty sols apiece, which would be twelve francs; 
with which she would buy a mare, which would bring 
a beautiful colt, which would grow up and become 
quite gentle : it would leap and cry hin ! And in say- 
ing Tiin ! the good woman, with the joy she had at- 
tained from her reckoning, made a kick as the colt 
would do, and so doing the pot of milk was kicked 
over, and the milk flowed away. And there were her 
eggs, her chickens, her fat fowls, her pigs, her mare, 
and her colt all on the ground! 

The story seems to have been familiar in France in 
the 15th century, with a shoemaker, however, in place 
of the milkmaid, since it is thus referred to by Rabe- 
lais, in his ' Gargantua,' " I have great fear (said Eche- 
phron) that all this enterprise will be like the farce of 
the pot of milk, with which the shoemaker made him- 
self rich in his day-dream, and then broke the pot, and 
had not wherewithal to dine " a version which does 
not seem to have survived. 

The Infante Don Manuel, who died in 1347, gives it 
as follows, in cap. 29 of ' El Conde Lucanor ' : 
VOL. n. 2 E 


There was a woman called Dona Truhana [i.e., 
Gertrude], rather poor than rich. One day she went 
to the market, carrying a pot of honey on her head. 
On her way she began to think that she would sell the 
pot of honey and buy a quantity of eggs ; that from 
those eggs she would have chickens ; that she would 
sell them and buy sheep ; that the sheep would give 
her lambs; and thus calculating all her gains, she 
began to think herself much richer than her neigh- 
bours. With the riches which she imagined she pos- 
sessed, she thought how she would marry her sons and 
daughters, and how she would walk in the street sur- 
rounded by her sons and daughters-in-law, and how 
people would consider her very happy from having 
amassed so large a fortune, though she had been so 
poor. While she was thinking over all this, she began 
to laugh for joy, and struck her head and brow with 
her hand. The pot of honey fell down, and was 
broken, and she shed hot tears because she had lost 
all that she would have possessed if the pot of honey 
had not been broken. 

In the 14th century it was also related in ' Dialogus 
Creaturarum optime Moralizatus,' by Mcolaus Perga- 
menus, which was rendered into English under the title 
of ' Dialogues of Creatures Moralised,' where it thus 
appears : 

" For as it is but madnesse to trust to moche in 
svrete, so it is but foly to hope to moche of vanyteys, 
for vayne be all erthly thinges longynge to men, as 


sayth Davyd, Psal. xciiii : Wher of it is tolde in f ablys 
that a lady uppon a tyme delyvered to her mayden a 
galon of mylke to sell at a cite, and by the way, as 
she sate and restid her by a dyche syde, she began to 
thinke that with the money of the mylke she wold 
bye an henne, the which shulde bringe forth checkyns, 
and when they were growyn to hennys she wolde sell 
them and by piggis, and exchaunge them in to shepe, 
and the shepe in to oxen, and so whan she was come to 
richesse she sholde be maried right worshipfully unto 
some worthy man, and thus she rejoycid. And whan 
she was thus mervelously comfortid and ravisshed 
inwardly in her secrete solace, thinkynge with howe 
greate ioye she shuld be ledde towarde the chirche 
with her husbond on horsebacke, she sayde to her 
selfe, 'Goo we, goo we.' Sodaynlye she smote the 
ground with her fote, myndynge to spurre the horse, 
but her fote slyppid, and she fell into the dyche, and 
there lay all her mylke, and so she was farre from her 
purpose, and never had that she hopid to have." 

But the same form of the story is found in the 
' Liber de Donis ' of Etienne de Bourbon, which was 
written a century before the ' Dialogus Creaturarum,' 
and, still earlier, in the ' Sermones ' of Jacques de Vitry, 
who seems to have been its originator, or rather, he 
was the first thus to adapt the ancient Eastern origi- 
nal, 1 which is one of the celebrated Fables of Bidpai, 

1 In Jacques de Vitry's version it is " a certain little old fellow " 
who is carrying milk to the market in an earthen pitcher ; but in 


the Arabian version of which, entitled 'Kalfla wa 
Dimna' (8th century), derived from the Pahlavf, is 
probably the closest representative of the Sanskrit 
original. This is how the story is told in the Arabic 
version, according to Knatchbull's translation : 

A religious man was in the habit of receiving 
every day from the house of a merchant a certain 
quantity of butter and honey, of which having eaten 
as much as he wanted, he put the rest into a jar, which 
he hung on a nail in a corner of the room, hoping that 
the jar would in time be filled. Now as he was lean- 
ing back one day on his couch, with a stick in his 
hand, and the jar suspended over his head, he thought 
of the high price of butter and honey, and said to him- 
self, " I will sell what is in the jar, and buy with the 
money which I obtain for it ten goats, which, produc- 
ing each of them a young one every five months in 
addition to the produce of the kids, as soon as they 
begin to bear, it will not be long before there is a large 
flock." He continued to make his calculations, and 
found that he should, at this rate, in the course of two 
years have more than 400 goats. " At the expiration 
of this term, I will buy," said he, " a hundred black 
cattle, in the proportion of a bull or a cow to every 
four goats. I will then purchase land, and hire work- 
men to plough it with the beasts, and put it into 

Etienne de Bourbon it is a maid-servant who has received as a gift a 
quantity of milk which she carries on her head to sell in the city. 
The story of the shoemaker referred to by Rabelais was doubtless 
taken from Jacques de Vitry. 


tillage, so that before five years are over I shall no 
doubt have realised a great fortune by the sale of the 
milk which the cows will give, and of the produce of 
my land. My next business will be to build a mag- 
nificent house, and engage a number of servants, both 
male and female, and when my establishment is com- 
pleted, I will marry the handsomest woman I can find, 
who, in due time becoming a mother, will present me 
with an heir to my possessions, who, as he advances 
in age, shall have the best masters that can be pro- 
cured, and if the progress which he makes in learning 
is equal to my reasonable expectations, I shall be 
amply repaid for the pains and expense which I have 
bestowed upon him; but if, on the other hand, he 
disappoints my hopes, the rod which I have here shall 
be the instrument with which I will make him feel 
the displeasure of a justly-offended parent." At these 
words, he suddenly raised the hand which held the 
stick towards the jar, and broke it, and the contents 
ran down upon his head and face. 1 

1 This tale is somewhat altered in the conclusion of the following 
version, which occurs in a manuscript text of the Turkish romance of 
the ' Forty Vazirs,' preserved in the India Office Library : They 
relate that there was a devotee in the province of Fars, and that this 
devotee had a friend who loved him exceedingly. And that man was 
by trade a grocer, and sold oil and honey ; and every day he gave the 
devotee a sufficient quantity of oil and honey. The devotee ate a 
little of it, and put the rest into a jar, and kept that jar in a corner 
of his house. One day the jar became full, and the devotee said in 
himself, " Now shall I take this oil and honey and sell it ; and I shall 
buy five head of sheep with the money ; and these sheep with their 
lambs will in time become a flock ; and I shall grow very rich, and 
wear new clothes, and marry a virgin ; and I shall have a son and 


Here we see, in what is perhaps the oldest form of 
the tale, instead of a maiden and her pail of milk, it 
is a religious man and a pot of oil and honey, and thus 
it is also in the Greek version, made from the Arabic, 
in 1080, by a Jew named Symeon, the son of Seth. 1 
In the oldest extant Sanskrit form of the Fables of 
Bidpai, the ' Panchatantra,' 2 the story is told somewhat 
differently, and has been translated as follows, by Dr 
H. H. Wilson (Book v. fab. 9) : 

There was an avaricious Brahman, named Soma Sar- 
ma, who had collected during the day as much meal in 
alms as filled an earthen jar. This jar he suspended 
to a peg immediately at the foot of his bed, that he 
might not lose sight of it. During the night he lay 
awake some time, and reflected thus : " That jar is full 
of meal. If a scarcity should take place I shall sell it 
for a hundred pieces at least. With that sum I will 
buy a pair of goats. They will bear young, and I shall 
get enough for their sale to purchase a pair of cows. 

heir by her, and I shall teach him all things polite." Then he took 
the staff in his hand, and put the jar on his head, and went to the 
bazaar ; but as he was leaning his staff against the wall, he forgot the 
jar, and it struck against the wall, so that it was broken, and all that 
oil and honey ran down his beard. From Mr Gibb's translation of 
the ' Forty Vazirs,' recently published (London : Redway). Ap- 
pendix, p. 393. 

1 It is also a pot of honey in ' El Conde Lucanor,' from which we 
might suppose that this version was adapted from the Arabic or the 
Greek, did we not find a woman in place of the religious man, which, 
as we shall presently see, occurs in no Eastern version of the tale. 

2 The oldest extant Sanskrit form ; but it was not from the ' Pan- 
chatantra ' that the Pahlavi translation was made, from which was 
derived the Arabic ' Kalila wa Dimna ' (see ante, pp. 182, 183). 


I shall sell their calves, and will purchase buffaloes ; 
and with the produce of my herd I shall be able to 
buy horses and mares. By the sale of their colts I 
shall realise an immense sum ; and with my money I 
will build a stately mansion. As I shall then be a 
man of consequence, some wealthy person will solicit 
my acceptance of his daughter, with a suitable dower. 
I shall have a son by her, whom I will call by my own 
name Soma Sarma. When he is able to crawl, I shall 
take him with me on my horse, seating him before me. 
Accordingly, when Soma Sarma sees me he will leave 
his mother's lap, and come creeping along, and some 
day or other he will approach the horses too near, 
when I shall be very angry, and shall desire his mother 
to take him away. She will be busy with her house- 
hold duties, and will not hear my orders, on which I 
shall give her a kick with my foot." Thus saying, 
he put forth one of his feet with such violence as to 
break the jar. The meal accordingly fell to the 
ground, where, mingling with the dust and dirt, it 
was completely spoiled; and so ended Soma Sanaa's 

In the ' Hitopadesa,' which is commonly considered 
as an abridgment of the ' Panchatantra,' although it 
has some tales not found in the latter, we find other 
variations (Professor Johnson's translation ; Book iv. 
fab. 8) : 

In the city of Devakotta lived a Brahman, whose 
name was Deva Sarman. At the entrance of the sun 


into the equinoctial line, he obtained a dish of flour, 
which when he had taken, he laid himself down over- 
powered with heat in a potter's shed filled with pots. 
And as he held a staff in his hand to protect the flour, 
he thus thought within himself : " If by selling this pot 
of flour I gain ten cowries, then with those cowries 
having presently purchased a stock of pots, pans, etc., 
I will dispose of them at a profit. With the money 
thus greatly increased, having repeatedly purchased 
betel-nuts, cloth, and the like, and having sold them 
again, and in this manner carried on traffic, until I 
have realised a fortune amounting to a lack of rupfs, 
I will contract four marriages. Among those wives 
there will be one young and beautiful, and on her I 
shall bestow my affection. Afterwards, when those 
rival wives, grown jealous, shall be bickering among 
themselves, then, being inflamed with anger, I will 
thrash them all with a stick " saying which, he flung 
his stick, whereby the dish of flour was dashed in 
pieces, and many pots were broken. He was con- 
sequently seized by the throat and turned out of the 
shed by the potter, who came out on hearing the pots 

The tale of Alnaschar (properly, En-Nashshar) must 
be familiar to all readers from our common version of 
the 'Arabian Nights,' which was derived from Gal- 
land's French translation, ' Les Mille et une Nuits ' : 

With a hundred pieces of silver, it will be remem- 
bered, he purchased all kinds of articles of glass, and 


having put his stock in a large tray, he sat upon an 
elevated place to sell it, leaning his back against a 
wall. " And as he sat he meditated, and said within 
himself, ' Verily, my whole stock consisteth of glass. 
I will sell it for two hundred pieces of silver; 
and with the two hundred I will buy other glass, 
which I will sell for four hundred ; and thus I will 
continue buying and selling until I have acquired 
great wealth. Then with this I will purchase all 
kinds of merchandise and essences and jewels, and so 
obtain vast gain. After that I will buy a handsome 
house, and mamluks, and horses, and gilded saddles ; 
and I will eat and drink ; and I will not leave in the 
city a single female singer, but I will have her brought 
to my house that I may hear her songs.' All this he 
calculated with the tray of glass lying before him." 
He then proposes to demand as his wife the daughter 
of the chief vazir, and the marriage is to be a very 
grand affair. But he will treat his wife with disdain : 
refuse to take the proffered cup of wine from her 
hand, albeit she humbly kneels before him in present- 
ing it. Her mother will order her to put the cup to 
his mouth, but he will shake his hand in her face and 
spurn her with his foot, and do thus so saying, he 
kicked the tray of glass, which fell to the ground, and 
all that was in it broke there escaped nothing. 1 

1 Sir Richard F. Burton, in a note to this story (The Barber's Fifth 
Brother), in his excellent unabridged translation of the 'Book of the 
Thousand Nights and a Night,' would " distinctly derive it from JSsop's 
market-woman who kicked over her eggs, whence the Latin proverb, 


Yet another variant is found in Miss Stokes' ' Indian 
Fairy Tales' a charming collection. The Foolish 
Sachalf is promised four pice to carry a jar of ghi for 
a sepoy. As he goes along he says to himself, " With 
these four pice I will buy a hen ; and I will sell the 
hen and her eggs, and with the money I get for them 
I will buy a goat ; and then I will sell the goat and 
her milk and her hide, and buy a cow, and then I will 
sell her milk. And then I will marry a wife ; and then 
I shall have some children, and they will say to me, 
'Father, will you have some rice,' and I will say, 
' No, I won't have any rice.' " At this he shook his 
head, when down came the jar and was smashed, and 
the ghi was all spilled. 

On comparing these different Eastern versions, it is 
curious to find that the day-dreamer purposes punish- 
ing his potential son in the Arabian ' Kalila wa Dimna,' 
and his wife in the ' Panchatantra,' ' Hitopadesa,' and 
the tale of Alnaschar. " It seems a startling case of 
longevity," remarks Professor Max Mliller, " that while 
languages have changed, while works of art have 
perished, while empires have risen and vanished 
again, this simple children's tale should have lived on 
and maintained its place of honour and its undisputed 

Ante victoriam canere triumphum: to sell the skin before you have 
caught the bear." But it is probable this proverb had a very differ- 
ent origin, like our "don't halloo till you are out of the wood." 
Moreover, what proof is there that ^Esop composed that fable or 
any others that are ascribed to him ? Tyrwhitt compares Malvolio, 
in Shakspeare's ' Twelfth Night,' act ii. scene 5, to Alnaschar. 


sway in every schoolroom of the East and every nur- 
sery of the West." 

Some passages in Lucian's tract of ' The Wishes ' 
present a resemblance to these versions of a day-dream 
of opulence. For example : Adimittus tells his friends 
that, having learned that the annual profit earned by 
a large vessel, then lying in the harbour of Athens, 
could not be less than twelve Attic talents (over 
2000), he thought to himself, "'If some god now 
should put me in possession of this ship, what a happy 
life I should lead, and how well could I serve my 
friends ; sometimes going to sea myself, and sometimes 
sending my servants.' I then, with my twelve talents, 
began at once to build a house in a good situation, 
bought slaves, fine clothes, horses, and chariots. I 
then set sail, and was considered the happiest of men 
by the passengers, dreaded by the sailors, and respected 
like a little king by every one of them when, be- 
hold ! just as I was settling my naval affairs, and look- 
ing out at a distance for the haven, whilst my ship 
moved on with a propitious gale, you came in, and 
sank all my treasures to the bottom ! " This may 
very possibly be a mere coincidence ; but the Indian 
fictions had already begun their westward travels in 
the time of Lucian, who was a diligent collector as 
well as a skilful adapter of current tales, regardless 
of their origin. 



G CAECELY any story of Eastern origin has attracted 
*^ more admiration, if we may judge from the number 
of versions which exist, than that of the favourite of a 
king whose death was plotted by an envious courtier 
who fell into his own snare. This is the well-known 
tale of Fulgentius, in the 98th chapter of the Anglican 
' Gesta Eomanorum.' Its first appearance in Europe, 
according to Dunlop, was in the 'Contes DeVots,' 
under the title of " D'un Eoi qui voulut faire bruler le 
fils de son Seneschal," from which it was adapted in 
the earliest Italian collection of tales, ' Cento Novelle 
Antiche,' No. 68, where an envious knight is jealous 
of the favour a young man enjoys with the king. As 
a friend, he bids the youth hold back his head while 
serving this prince, who, he says, was disgusted with 
his foul breath, and then acquaints his master that 
the page did so from being offended with his Majesty's 
breath. The irascible monarch forthwith orders his 
kilnman to throw the first messenger he sends to him 
into the furnace, and the young man is accordingly 


despatched on some pretended errand, but, happily 
passing near a monastery on his way, tarries for some 
time to hear mass. Meanwhile the contriver of the 
fraud, impatient to learn the success of his stratagem, 
sets out for the house of the kilnman, and arrives be- 
fore his intended victim. On inquiring if the com- 
mands of his master have been fulfilled, he is answered 
that they will be immediately executed, and, as the 
first messenger on the part of the king, is forthwith 
thrown into the furnace. 1 

The story reappears in the 'Liber de Donis' of 
Etienne de Bourbon, 13th century ; John of Brom- \ 
yard's ' Summa Prsedicantium,' 14th century ; and the ./ 
' Dialogus Creaturarum ' of Nicolaus Pergamenus ; and, ./ 
under the title of " Les deux Pages," it is also found 
in ' Anecdotes Chretiennes de 1'Abbe 1 Eeyre.' Schiller 
has made it the subject of a fine ballad, "Der gang 
nach dem Eisenhammer," which must be generally 


1 Walter Mapes, one of the most remarkable of the literary men at 
the court of Henry II. (latber part of the 12th century he is lost 
sight of after 1196), has this story in his 'Nugse Curialium,' which 
exists in only one manuscript, preserved in the Bodleian Library, and 
that a very incorrect one. The ' Nugse Curialium ' was printed for 
the Camden Society, in 1850, edited, with an introduction and notes, 
by Mr Thomas Wright, the well-known literary antiquary, and the 
story will be found on pages 124-131 of the work. The 'Contes 
DeVots ' were first composed in Latin, in the 12th century, by Hugues 
Farsi, a monk of St Jean des Vignes, from which selections were 
rendered into French verse, by Coinsi, or Comsi, a monk (afterwards 
prior) of St Me"dard de Soissons, who died in 1236, including some 
tales of his own invention or adaptation. It is impossible to say 
whether Walter de Mapes derived his story from the ' Contes Devots ' ; 
most probably it was orally current in his time or he may have 
heard it related by some monkish preacher in the course of a sermon. 


known to English readers from Mr Bowring's trans- 
lation, entitled "Fridolin; or the Walk to the Iron 
Foundry." Schiller's ballad differs in some of its 
details from other versions: Eobert the huntsman, 
having long cherished in vain a guilty passion for the 
wife of his master the Count Savern, in revenge falsely 
accuses the page Fridolin of the very crime which he 
had himself designed : 

Then two workmen beckons he, 

And speaks thus in his ire : 
" The first who's hither sent by me, 

Thus of ye to inquire 
' Have ye obeyed my lord's will well ? ' 
Him cast ye into yonder hell, 

That into ashes he may fly, 

And ne'er again torment mine eye." 

The catastrophe is identical with that of the Italian 
version. Mr J. Payne Collier states, on the authority 
of M. Boettiger, that Schiller founded his ballad upon 
an Alsatian tradition which he had heard at Mannheim. 

In the Turkish romance of the ' Forty Vazfrs ' (the 
Lady's 22d tale), the favourite companion of a king is 
envied by the other courtiers, one of whom tells the 
monarch that his favourite said he had leprosy. The 
envious courtier cooks a Tartar pie strongly seasoned 
with garlic, and invites the favourite to his house. 
They eat together, and afterwards go to the king. 
On their way the favourite is warned by his " friend " 
not to go near the king, because of his garlic-tainted 


breath; so he holds his sleeve to his mouth, and 
stands a little way off. The king, believing this con- 
duct confirmed the report, gives him a letter to take 
to the chief magistrate, telling him to keep whatever 
he is offered. The envious man persuades the favour- 
ite to give him the letter, for the sake of the present, 
since he would always be in the king's favour. So he 
gave him the letter, which ordered the magistrate to 
seize the bearer, "flay him alive, stuff his skin with 
grass, and set it upon the road that I may there 
when I pass." When the king recognises the stuffed 
skin of the envious courtier, he sends for his favourite, 
who explains why he had held his sleeve to his mouth 
in his presence. 

Through the Ottoman Turks this incident may 
have reached Northern Africa ; at all events, it occurs 
in the Kabail story of the Good Man and the Bad 
Man (Biviere's French collection), the first part of 
which is a variant of the German tale of the Three 
Crows see vol. i. p. 249. The good man, who had 
married the king's daughter, feeling unwell one day, 
his false friend advises him to eat an onion as medi- 
cine, but he must take care that the king does not 
smell his tainted breath. Then the wicked man tells 
the king that his son-in-law despises him ; and when 
he comes into his presence the king observes that he 
keeps his face turned away from him. So he gives 
him a letter to the sultan, and on the way the good 
man meets his false friend, who offers to do his errand, 


which he does, and is burnt to death in place of the 
king's son-in-law. 

The story is also found, but in a different form, in 
the Arabian romance of the ' Seven Vazirs/ but in no 
other version of the Book of Sindibad : x 

A sultan adopts a male infant whom he saw exposed 
on the highway, and when he is grown up appoints 
him keeper of the royal treasury. It happened one 
day that Ahmed (such was the foundling's name), hav- 
ing occasion to pass through the chamber of the king's 
favourite concubine, he discovered her with a male 
slave, but did not tell of this misconduct to his master. 
The woman, convinced that she had been seen by 
Ahmed with her paramour, and that he would not long 
keep the matter a secret, resolved to anticipate him by 
complaining to the king that his base-born treasurer 
had made improper proposals to her. The king told 
her to conceal the affair, and in an hour he should 
bring her Ahmed's head. Then sending for one of his 
slaves, he privately instructed him to go to a certain 
house and remain there: "When any one shall say 
to thee, ' Thus saith the sultan, Do that which thou 
wast commanded to execute/ strike off his head, place 
it in this basket, and fasten over it the cover. When 

1 And, so far as I am aware, only in two Arabic texts of the ' Seven 
Vazirs,' viz., that translated by Dr Jonathan Scott (see vol. i. p. 378, 
note 1), and that in the imperfect manuscript of the 'Thousand and 
One Nights ' preserved in the British Museum : Rich. MSS. Nos. 
7404, 7405, and 7406 the story of the 'Seven Vazirs' is in the third 


I shall send to thee a messenger, who will say, ' Hast 
thou performed the business ? ' commit to him the 
basket." When the slave had retired, the king called 
to Ahmed, and said, " Hasten to such a house, and say 
unto such a slave, ' Execute the commands of the sul- 
tan.' " On the way Ahmed saw the woman's paramour 
sitting with some of his fellow-slaves feasting and 
drinking. The guilty slave, thinking that by detaining 
Ahmed from the king's business he might procure 
his death, invited him to join them. Ahmed replied 
that he had been sent by the king with a message to 
a certain house, and the slave offered to carry the 
message in his stead, if he would remain with his 
companions till he returned. Then Ahmed said, " Be 
it so, and say to the slave whom thou wilt find there 
that he must execute the orders of the sultan." When 
the wicked slave arrived at the house, he said to the 
person there, " Thus saith the sultan, ' Complete thy 
orders.'" "Most willingly," he replied, and drawing 
his sword, struck off his head, and then placing it in 
the basket, he tied the cover on it, and sat down. 
Ahmed, having waited some time for the messenger's 
return, proceeded to the house, and inquired of the 
man, " Hast thou performed thy orders ? " He an- 
swered that he had, and committed the basket to him. 
Ahmed, ignorant of the ghastly contents, took the 
basket to the sultan, who was greatly astonished to 
see him, and lifting the lid, discovered the head of the 
slave. The sultan then inquired into the whole affair, 
VOL. II. 2 F 


and being convinced of the guilt of his concubine, 
caused her to be put to death. 

Several versions of this widespread story are current 
in different Indian countries. Mr Vernieux gives two 
in his collection of Indian tales and anecdotes (Cal- 
cutta, 1873). ' In one of these, a prince who had spent 
all his wealth resolves to leave his country, with his 
wife, and before departing he receives from a fakfr 
four maxims : (1) Act according to circumstances ; (2) 
Never forsake ready food ; (3) Clothe the naked ; (4) 
Never proceed without premeditation. Coming to a 
foreign country, he acts upon the first maxim, and 
takes service as a field-labourer, continuing in that 
capacity for some months. One day he saw the body 
of a devotee floating on the river, and drew it to land 
in order to bury it, as was the custom of the place, 
when he found a ball of gold entwined in the long 
knotted hair of the corpse. With part of this wealth 
he procured better clothes, and then applied to the 
raja for employment, who, seeing him to be a person 
of refinement, kept him about his own person for a 
time, and finally appointed him prime minister. Now 
it was the raja's custom to go out very early in the 
morning to the river for ablution, and the new prime 
minister observed that no sooner had he quitted the 
palace than the queen also went out, but whither he 
did not know. One morning he saw, by chance, the 
queen in the apartment of the gate-keeper and entirely 
nude ; and recalling to mind the second maxim of the 


fakir, he threw his upper garment over her with 
averted face, and then went away. The faithless 
queen, dreading the disclosure of her crime, accused 
the prime minister to the raja of having attempted 
her dishonour, showing his garment as evidence. The 
raja, full of rage, despatched the minister with a letter 
to his brother, in which he was desired to put the 
bearer to death. 

As he was about to depart on his fatal errand, his 
wife suggested that he should take the food prepared 
for him; and so, acting on the third maxim of the 
fakir, he postponed his journey till he had break- 
fasted. Meanwhile the profligate paramour of the 
queen came in about some business, when the minister 
informed him of the letter he had to deliver to the 
king's brother, which the gate-keeper undertook to do, 
as he was going in that direction. When the brother 
of the king had read the letter, the bearer was im- 
mediately beheaded. The minister arriving soon after 
this, and learning the fate of the gate-keeper, he 
thought of the fourth maxim, and related the whole 
affair to the prince, who, being convinced that it was 
a clear case of retributive justice, gave him a letter to 
the king, disclosing the queen's guilt. The king, on 
reading the letter, banished his wicked queen, and, 
having resigned the throne in favour of his faithful 
minister, spent the remainder of his days in pious 

The second version translated by Vernieux relates 


how a fakir obtained from a pious raja an allowance 
of two rupis daily, but, living at a distance, he came 
only every third or fourth day to receive his money. 
He had thus enjoyed the raja's bounty for some time 
when the raja's guru, or chaplain, becoming envious of 
the fakir's good fortune, resolved to bring about his de- 
struction. With this object, he said to the fakir one 
day, after he had received his allowance, "Why do 
you bring your face so near the king ? It is very dis- 
respectful. Next time you come, take care to turn 
away your face from the king." The guru then went 
to the king and said to him privately, " Maharaja, 
you are too easily imposed upon by any rascal who 
tells you a plausible story of his distress. That fakir 
who was here to-day is a great drunkard. I saw him 
go into one of the drinking-houses after leaving here, 
and spend all the money you gave him. Observe 
whether he turns his face from you when next he 
comes to receive your bounty." On hearing this the 
king felt much grieved to think that he should have 
bestowed money on such an unworthy person. 

When the fakir came again, he spoke to the raja 
with his face averted from him, which convinced the 
raja that the guru's account of his drunken habits was 
true ; and to punish him for his roguery, he gave the 
fakir a letter to his (the raja's) brother, ordering the 
bearer to be soundly scourged. The guru, learning 
that the fakir had received a letter from the king for 
his brother, and supposing his stratagem to have failed, 
and that the king designed him still farther favours, 


said to him, " The raja has written to his brother to 
pay you the sum due to you for the last three days ; 
here are the six rupi's, give me the letter and I will 
deliver it myself." The guru, on taking the letter to 
the raja's brother, was treated kindly, received water 
to wash his hands and feet, got a bath, and then some 
refreshments. But when he had opened and read the 
letter, he had no alternative but to execute the raja's 
order. So he caused one of the guru's cheeks to be 
marked with chunan, and the other with lamp-black, 
and, with a string of old shoes suspended from his 
neck, he was paraded through the streets of the city 
and the market-place, with beat of drum. It hap- 
pened that while he was thus being made the object 
of public ridicule the queen saw him and informed 
the raja of the treatment to which his guru was sub- 
jected. The guru and the fakir were both brought to 
the palace, and the facts of the case being ascertained, 
the raja dismissed the guru from his service, and 
appointed the fakir a residence in the royal garden. 

In a Bengali folk-tale, entitled "The Minister and 
the Fool," translated by Damant in vol. iii. of the ' In- 
dian Antiquary,' the raja, having heard three birds 
conversing, desired his prime minister to interpret 
to him what they had said to each other. A young 
man in the minister's service, who was thought to be 
little better than crazy, knowing the language of birds, 
gave his master the required information, which he at 
once communicated to the raja. Afraid lest it should 


transpire that the fool had solved the question for him, 
the minister determined to have him put to death, and 
accordingly gave him a letter to the executioner. In 
passing through the garden, on the way to deliver his 
own death-warrant, he encountered the minister's son, 
who desired him to pick a nosegay of flowers for him, 
which he promised to do after he had delivered his 
letter; but the minister's son would brook no such 
delay, and told the fool to remain and pick the flowers, 
while he himself delivered the missive. The fool, 
therefore, remained in safety, while the minister's son 
was put to death in his stead. 

To the same effect is the story of Phalabhuti in the 
' Katha Sarit Sagara ' (Tawney's translation, vol. i. pp. 
162, 163). A king is persuaded by his wife, in order that 
he should acquire magic power, to consent to practise 
the horrid rite of eating human flesh, and the story 
goes on thus : Having made him enter the circle, pre- 
viously consecrated, she said to the king, after he had 
taken an oath, " I attempted to draw hither, as a vic- 
tim, that Brahman named Phalabhuti, who is so in- 
timate with you; but the drawing him hither is a 
difficult task ; so it is the best way to initiate some 
cook in our rites, that he may himself slay and cook 
him. And you must not feel any compunction about 
it, because by eating a sacrificial offering of his flesh, 
after the ceremonies are complete, the enchantment 
will be perfect, for he is a Brahman of the highest 
caste." When his beloved said this to him, the king, 


though afraid of the sin, consented alas ! terrible is 
compliance with women ! Then that royal couple had 
the cook summoned, and after encouraging him and 
initiating him, they both said to him, "Whoever 
conies to you to-morrow morning and says, ' The king 
and queen will eat together to-day, so get some flesh 
ready quickly,' him you must slay, and make for us 
secretly a savoury dish of his flesh." The cook con- 
sented, and went to his own house. 

Next morning, when Phalabhuti arrived, the king 
said to him, " Go and tell the cook in the kitchen, ' The 
king, together with the queen, will eat to-day a savoury 
mess, therefore prepare as soon as possible a splendid 
dish.' " Phalabhuti said, " I will do so," and went out. 
When he was outside, the king's son, whose name was 
Chandraprabha, came to him and said, " Have made 
for me this very day, with this gold, a pair of earrings 
like those you had made before for my noble father." 
Phalabhuti, in order to please the prince, immediately 
proceeded, as he was ordered, to get the earrings made, 
and the prince went readily with the king's message, 
which Phalabhuti told him, alone to the kitchen ; and 
when he delivered the king's message, the cook, true 
to his agreement, at once put him to death with a 
knife, and made a dish of his flesh, which the king 
and queen ate, after performing the ceremonies, not 
knowing the truth. After spending the night in re- 
morse, the king saw Phalabhuti arrive with the ear- 
rings in his hand. So, being bewildered, he questioned 
him about the earrings immediately; and when Phala- 


bhiiti had told him his story, the king fell on the earth 
and cried out, " Alas, my son ! " blaming the queen and 
himself ; and when the ministers questioned him, he 
told them the whole story, and repeated what Phala- 
bhiiti had said every day, " The doer of good will ob- 
tain good, and the doer of evil, evil/' 

Though the details are more or less varied in each 
of these versions, yet the catastrophe is identical in 
them all, except the two last : he who plotted the death 
of an innocent man falls into his own snare ; or the 
innocent is saved from death by the cupidity of the 
guilty, who justly suffers in his stead. The story, we 
have seen, was known in Europe in the 12th century, 
or three hundred years before the Turkish romance of 
the ' Forty Vazirs ' was composed ; yet it is curious to 
find that in the Ottoman version, as in the ' Contes 
DeVots,' the ' Gesta,' and the ' Novelle Antiche,' the en- 
vious man pretends to the king that his favourite says 
he has a foul breath: in the second Indian version 
from Vernieux the envious guru tells the king that 
the fakir turns his face away in order that his majesty 
should not discover from his breath that he is a 
drunkard. On the other hand, Schiller's " Fridolin," 
in which the huntsman falsely accuses the page of 
criminal intimacy with the countess, seems a reflection 
of the Arabian story, where the king's favourite damsel 
accuses Ahmed of having attempted her chastity 
an incident which finds a parallel in the first of the 
Indian versions from Vernieux' collection. The Turk- 


ish and second Indian versions agree in the incident of 
the envious man falling a victim to his own cupidity by 
undertaking to deliver the letter, in hopes of obtaining 
a present ; and doubtless the lady's paramour in the 
first Indian version was actuated by a similar motive. 
The catastrophe of the Bengali version resembles that 
of the story of Phalabhuti, which is probably of 
Buddhist extraction. 



TT would be a hard task to find among the folk-tales 
of any country one more pleasing than that of 
"Rich Peter the Pedlar," in Dasent's 'Popular Tales 
from the Norse,' a story which, besides being admir- 
ably suited to the minds of the young, illustrates a 
peculiar article of ancient popular belief that it is 
vain to attempt to oppose the decrees of destiny, as 
they are foretold by the aspect of the heavenly bodies : 
Rich Peter the Pedlar hears from the " star-gazers " 
that the miller's son is to marry his daughter. In 
order to prevent such a disgrace, he buys the lad from 
his parents, puts him in a box, and throws it into 
the river. But the boy is found and adopted by a 
miller who lives lower down the river. Peter dis- 
covers this by the skill of the " star-gazers," and pro- 
cures the youth as his apprentice by giving the second 
miller 600 dollars. " Then the two travelled about far 
and wide with their packs and wares till they came to 
an inn, which lay by the edge of a great wood. From 
this the pedlar sent the lad home with a letter to his 


wife, for the way was not so long if you take the short 
cut across the wood, and told him to tell her she was 
to be sure to do what was written in the letter as 
quickly as she could. But it was written in the letter 
that she was to have a great pile made then and there, 
fire it, and cast the miller's son into it. If she didn't 
do that, he'd burn her alive when he came back. So 
the lad set off with the letter across the wood, and 
when evening came on, he reached a house far, far 
away in the wood, into which he went ; but inside he 
found no one. In one of the rooms was a bed ready 
made, so he flung himself across it, and fell asleep. 
The letter he had stuck into his hat-band, and the hat 
he pulled over his face. So when the robbers came 
back for in that house twelve robbers had their abode 
and saw the lad lying on the bed, they began to 
wonder who he could be, and one of them took the 
letter and broke it open and read it. ' Ho ! ho ! ' said 
he, ' this comes from Peter the Pedlar, does it ? Now 
will we play him a trick. It would be a pity if the 
old niggard made an end of such a pretty lad.' So 
the robbers wrote another letter to Peter the Pedlar's 
wife, and fastened it under his hat-band while he 
slept ; and in that they wrote that as soon as ever she 
got it she was to make a wedding for her daughter and 
the miller's son, and give them horses and cattle and 
household stuff, and set them up for themselves in the 
farm which he had under the hill, and if he didn't find 
all this done when he came back she should smart for 
it. Next day the robbers let the lad go ; and when he 


came home and delivered the letter, he said he was to 
greet her kindly from Peter the Pedlar, and to say 
that she was to carry out what was written in the 
letter as soon as ever she could." This was accord- 
ingly done, to the great chagrin of Peter the Pedlar. 1 

The 20th chapter of Swan's 'Gesta Eomanorum' 
presents a striking analogy to the Norse tale : A king, 
belated while hunting, takes shelter for the night in 
the hut of a disgraced courtier, whom he does not 
recognise. During the night the courtier's wife gives 
birth to a fine boy, upon which the king hears a voice 
telling him that the child just born should be his son- 
in-law. In the morning the king orders his squires to 
take the infant from his mother and destroy it ; but, 
moved to compassion, they place it upon the branches 
of a tree, to secure it from wild beasts, and then kill a 
hare, and convey its heart, as that of the infant, to the 
king. A duke, passing through the forest, hears the 
cries of the child, and discovering it, wraps it in the 
folds of his cloak, and takes it to his wife to bring up. 
In course of time, when the child is grown a handsome 
youth, the king suspects him to be the same who was 
predicted to be his son-in-law, and despatches him 
with a letter to the queen, commanding her to put the 
bearer to death. On his way he goes into a chapel, 
and there having fallen asleep, a priest, seeing the 
letter suspended from his girdle, has the curiosity to 
open it; and after learning the intended wickedness, 

1 See also Thorpe's ' Yule-Tide Stories,' p. 315 of Bohn's edition. 


he alters its purport thus : " Give the youth our 
daughter in marriage " ; which the queen does ac- 

But the thirteenth of M. Dozen's Albanian Tales 
comprises the principal incidents which occur in our 
series of stories of ' The Favourite who was Envied ' 
and in the foregoing: A couple who had long been 
childless had at length a son born to them ; and on 
the third night after, three women came to declare his 
destiny. It so happened that a pasha had that night 
taken refuge in the cottage from a fearful storm, and 
lay in a corner, but awake, for he had thousands in 
money with him ; and he overheard the first woman 
declare, " The child will be short-lived, and die soon " ; 
the second woman said, " The child will live for years, 
and then perish by the hand of his father " ; and the 
third woman predicted, " This child will live to kill 
this pasha, deprive him of his authority, and marry 
his daughter." Next day the terrified pasha persuaded 
the parents to give him the child for 9000 piastres. 
In journeying he threw the child and cradle into a 
river, and they were stranded lower down. Hearing 
the child's cries, one of a flock of goats, which were 
brought down to drink, went and suckled the child, 
and the same occurring next day while the goatherd 
was watching, he took the infant home. He soon 
found out to whom it belonged, and gave it to the old 
man, to be returned to him when it grew up. The 
boy showed great intelligence, and was sent to the 


man who had rescued him. The pasha came to the 
village, and, lodging in the goatherd's house, took a 
fancy to the boy, but was terrified on learning his 
history. He sends the boy to his wife with a letter, 
ordering his death, which was to be announced to him 
by a volley of cannon. On the way the youth becom- 
ing tired, goes to a spring, drinks, and falls asleep. A 
negro comes, takes the letter and reads it, then writes 
another, requiring the pasha's wife to receive the youth 
with all honour, provide a feast, and marry him to 
their daughter, announcing the completion by a volley 
of cannon; and substitutes this for the pasha's letter. 
The youth delivers the forged letter, and all comes off 
as it directed. When the pasha returns and finds how 
matters stand, he once more determines to have the 
youth put to death. He sends for a blacksmith, and 
tells him that a youth whom he will send to him next 
day he is to kill with his big hammer, and to send him 
his head in a handkerchief. On the following day the 
youth, having been requested by the pasha to go to 
the smith's shop, was about to rise at an early hour, 
but his wife persuaded him to rest a little longer. 
By-and-by the pasha sent his own son to see whether 
his son-in-law had started on his fatal errand, who, 
finding him still at home, went himself, and was killed 
by the smith, his head being sent to the pasha by his 
son-in-law when he arrived and learned the fate that 
he had so narrowly escaped. Next day the pasha 
orders his groom to take a spiked-club, allow the 
horses to fight in the stable, and when his son-in-law 


comes out to separate them, to kill him on the spot. 
When night comes the pasha calls to his son-in-law to 
go and quell the disturbance in the stable, but his 
wife detains him, and soon the horses become quiet. 
Thinking his son-in-law now dead, the pasha goes out 
to see, and is killed by the groom with his club. The 
son-in-law becomes pasha, and thus is the prophecy of 
the third woman fulfilled. 

M. Dozon, in his " rapprochements," gives the open- 
ing of a similar tale in Hahn's modern Greek stories : 
A rich man had no children. It was foretold that the 
youngest son of a poor man would spend his fortune. 
He finds the man, and offers to buy his son, is refused, 
but allowed to adopt him. He throws the child from 
a bridge into the river ; a shepherd finds him on the 
sands, and so on. The negro is replaced by a priest. 
The boy grows up, and encounters only one danger, 
when the merchant is killed instead of himself, by a 
shot from a vineyard guard, who had been ordered to 
shoot one who should come to eat raisins. 1 

A very close Indian parallel to the Norse tale of 

1 Hahn cites another parallel from Grimm, in which the prophecy 
threatens a king. This inevitable destiny recalls the story of the 
Second Calender, in the ' Arabian Nights ' ; the story of the Second 
Dervish, in the Persian romance of the Four Dervishes (' Kissa-i 
Chehar Darwesh') ; the "Fulfilled Prophecy," in Ralston's translation 
of ' Tibetan Tales from Indian Sources ' ; the Netherlandish legend 
of Julian the Ferryman, in Thorpe's ' Northern Mythology ' ; and 
the story of the King and hia Son, in the Persian romance, ' Bakht- 
ya> Ndma.' 


Peter the Pedlar is found in the ' Katha Kosa,' a Jaina 
collection, the conclusion of which, like that of the 
Albanian variant, is similar to the catastrophe of the 
" Favourite who was envied " : 

There was formerly, in the town of Eajagriha, a 
merchant named Sagarapota, who was told by an as- 
trologer that a young beggar named Damannaka he 
was, however, the son of a merchant who had died of 
the plague would inherit all his property. He made 
over the youth to a Chandala (outcast) to be killed. 
But the Chandala, instead of killing him, cut off his 
little finger ; and Damannaka, having thus escaped 
death, was adopted by the merchant's cowherd. In 
course of time the merchant recognised the youth, 
and, to ensure his being put out of the way, he sent 
him with a letter to his son Samudradatta. But when 
he reached the outskirts of the town of Kajagriha he 
felt fatigued, and fell asleep in the temple. Mean- 
while the daughter of the merchant came to that 
temple to worship the divinity. " She beheld Dam- 
annaka with the large eyes and the broad chest." 
Her father's handwriting then caught her eye, and 
she proceeded to read the letter, in which was the 
following distich : 

" Before this man has washed his feet, do thou with speed 
Give him poison [visharn], and free my heart from anxiety." 

The damsel concluded that she herself (Visha) was to 
be given to the handsome youth, and that her father 
in his hurry had made a slight mistake in ortho- 


graphy. She therefore made the necessary correction 
and replaced the letter. The merchant's son carries 
out his father's order " as amended " and Sagara- 
pota returns home to find Damannaka married to his 
daughter Visha. The implacable merchant once more 
attempts the life of the young man. Knowing that 
the bride and bridegroom must perform the customary 
worship at the temple, he despatched a man to lie in 
wait for him there. But his own son met them and 
insisted upon performing the worship in their stead. 
"Having taken the articles for offering, he went off, 
and as he was entering the temple of the goddess he 
was slain by Khadjala, who had gone there before." 
Thus was the proud merchant justly punished for his 
impious efforts to thwart the decrees of Heaven. 

Sending a person with a letter containing his own 
death-warrant is a very common incident in popular 
tales. The letter which David king of Israel gave to 
Uriah to deliver to Joab is the prototype of that 
carried by Bellerophon in the classical legend. An 
instance in ancient Arabian tradition is found in the 
story of the letters which Tarafa and Mutalammis, two 
celebrated pre-Islamite poets, received from the king 
of Hira, whom they had offended by their lampoons, 
addressed to the governor of Bahrayn, commanding 
him to put the bearers to death. It seems neither 
of the poets could read, since we are told that Muta- 
lammis, suspecting the design of the king, broke open 

VOL. n. 2 G 


his letter and showed it to a friend, who read it to 
him, and on learning the fatal contents, Mutalammis 
destroyed it and advised his companion to turn back 
with him. But Tarafa, perhaps thinking that his 
friend had been deceived by the reader of the letter, 
declined his advice and continued his journey. On 
delivering his letter, the governor of Bahrayn, carry- 
ing out the order of the king, cut off Tarafa's hands 
and feet, and then caused him to be buried alive. 



"JIT ANY proverbs and sayings, it is well known, are 
*--*- derived from popular tales and apologues, al- 
though the latter may not be themselves " original." 
Thus we have seen that the saying " Don't count your 
chickens until they are hatched" originated in the 
tale of the Maid and the Pot of Milk, which is of 
Indian extraction. The Arabian saying, " The Boots 
of Hunayn," when a person has lost more than he has 
gained by a transaction, had its origin in a tale (see 
ante, p. 50) which has its parallels in Europe and in 

Isaac D'Israeli, in a paper on the Philosophy of 
Proverbs, gives the following story as being the origin 
of the Italian popular saying, " Luckily, they are not 
peaches," employed in reference to any person who 
has received a beating quietly: 

The community of Castle Poggibonsi, probably from 
some jocular tenure observed on St Bernard's Day, pay 
a tribute of peaches to the court of Tuscany, which 
are usually shared among the ladies-in-waiting and the 


pages of the court. It happened one season, in a great 
scarcity of peaches, that the good people of Poggibonsi, 
finding them rather dear, sent, instead of the custom- 
ary tribute, a quantity of fine juicy figs, which were so 
much disapproved of by the pages that as soon as they 
got hold of them they began in a rage to empty the 
baskets on the heads of the ambassadors of the Poggi- 
bonsi, who, attempting to fly as well as they could 
from the pulpy shower, half-blinded, and recollecting 
that peaches would have had stones in them, cried 
out, " Luckily, they are not peaches ! " l 

Whether there ever was such a " tribute " paid to 
the court of Tuscany (and it is, to say the least, very 
doubtful), the story is evidently, like that of the Pot 
of Milk, a mere localised variant of an Asiatic tale. 
As an example of the folly of following a woman's 
advice a favourite subject of Oriental jests it is 
related in the Turkish collection of blunders and jokes 
ascribed to the Khoja Nasr-ed-Dm Efendi, that the 
citizens of Yenisheher (where the Khoja lived) pre- 
pared to defend their city when they heard that 
Tfrmir (Tamerlane) was coming against it. The 
Khoja earnestly dissuaded them, and offered to go 
himself as ambassador to the emperor. As he was 
about to leave his house, he had some doubts re- 
garding the kind of present best calculated to ap- 
pease Tiimir and render him benevolent towards 

1 'Curiosities of Literature,' second series, ed. 1823, vol. i. pp. 
461, 462. 


both himself and his fellow -citizens. 1 At last he 
resolved on fruit; but reflecting that advice is good 
in times of difficulty, he went to his wife and asked 
her, "What should be more grateful to Ti'mur figs 
or quinces ? " She replied, " Oh, quinces, of course ; 
being more beautiful as well as larger, they are, in my 
opinion, more likely to prove acceptable." But the 
Khoja thought within himself, " However good advice 
may be in general, a woman's advice is never good, 2 
and therefore I will present figs, not quinces." So, 
having gathered a quantity of figs in a basket, he 
hastened to Timur. When the emperor was apprised 
of the Khoja's arrival at his camp, he ordered him to 
be brought before him bareheaded, and his figs to be 
thrown at his bald pate. The servants obeyed the 
order with great alacrity, and the Khoja, at every blow 
he received, exclaimed very composedly, " Praised be 
Allah ! " On the emperor demanding to know the 
reason of this exclamation, the Khoja replied, " I 
thank Allah that I followed not my wife's advice ; 
for had I, as she counselled me, brought quinces 
instead of figs, my head must have been broken." 

The same incident forms the second part of the rab- 

1 All great men in the East expect a present from a visitor, and 
look upon themselves as affronted, and even defrauded, when the 
compliment is omitted. See 1 Samuel ix. 7 and Isaiah Ivii. 9. 

2 " Bear in mind," says Thorkel to Bork, in the Icelandic saga of 
Gisli the Outlaw " bear in mind that a woman's counsel is always 
unlucky." And see vol. i. p. 181 for the Muslim estimate of women's 


binical tale of the Emperor and the Old Man, as related 
in the Talmud : 

The emperor Hadrian, passing through the streets 
of Tiberias one day, observed a very aged man plant- 
ing a fig-tree, and thus addressed him, " Why are you 
thus engaged ? If you had laboured in your youth, 
you should now have had ample store for your old 
age ; and surely you cannot hope to eat of the fruit of 
that tree ? " " In my youth I laboured," replied the 
old man, " and I still labour. With God's pleasure, I 
may even partake of the fruit of this tree which I 
plant : I am in His hands." " What is thine age ? " 
asked the emperor. " I have lived a hundred years." 
" A hundred years old, and yet expect to eat of the 
fruit of this tree ! " exclaimed Hadrian. " If such be 
God's good pleasure," answered the old man ; " if not, I 
will leave it for my son, as my father left the fruit of 
his labour for me." " Well," said the emperor, " if thou 
dost live until the figs of this tree are ripe, I pray thee 
let me know of it." The aged man actually lived to 
partake of the fruit, and, remembering the emperor's 
words, he resolved to visit him. So, taking a small 
basket, he filled it with the choicest figs from the tree, 
and proceeded on his errand. Telling the palace -guard 
his purpose, he was admitted into the presence of the 
emperor. " Well," said Hadrian, " what is thy wish ? " 
" I am the old man to whom thou didst say on the day 
thou sawest him planting a fig-tree, 'If thou live to 
eat of the fruit, let me know;' and behold, I have 
brought thee of the fruit, that thou mayest also par- 


take of it." The emperor was greatly pleased, and, 
emptying the basket of the figs, he ordered it to be 
filled with gold coins. When the old man had de- 
parted with his treasure, the courtiers asked Hadrian 
why he had thus signally honoured the old Hebrew. 
"The Lord has honoured him," answered he; "and 
why should not I ? " Now, next door to this old man 
there lived an envious and foolish woman, who, when 
she heard of her neighbour's good fortune, desired her 
husband to try his luck in the same quarter. She 
filled for him an immense basket with figs, and, bidding 
him put it on his shoulder, said, " Carry this to the 
emperor ; he loves figs, and will fill thy basket with gold 
coins." When her husband reached the gates of the 
palace, he told his errand to the guard, saying, " I have 
brought these figs for the emperor ; empty my basket, 
I pray, and fill it up again with gold." On this being 
told to the emperor, he ordered the man to be placed 
in the balcony of the palace, and all who passed pelted 
him with figs. Returning home crestfallen, his wife 
eagerly asked him what good luck he had. "Have 
patience, wretched woman," he replied, " have patience, 
and I will tell thee. I have had both great and good 
luck : my great luck was that I took the emperor figs 
instead of peaches, else I should have been stoned to 
death ; and my good luck was that the figs were ripe, 
for had they been unripe, I must have left my brains 
behind me." 1 

1 ' Hebrew Tales,' etc. By Hyman Hurwitz. London : 1826, Pp. 


It is not at all likely, I think, that the Ottomans 
derived the story ascribed to their typical noodle, 
Nasr-ed-Dm, from a Jewish source. But the Italian 
version may have come through the Ottomans. The 
incident of the old man and the emperor is of common 
occurrence in Asiatic story-books, and the sequel is 
also a separate popular jest in the East : the two seem 
to have been fused into one story by the talmudist. 

*** Here, for the present, end my examples of the 
migrations and transformations of popular tales and 
fictions not that materials have " run short," for they 
are practically inexhaustible. Many other interesting 
features of folk-lore many other popular stories 
have I carefully traced through different countries, 
and the results may assume form at no very distant 
date, though probably not 500&-form in the first in- 
stance. Meanwhile perhaps my good friend the 
friend of all authors the " intelligent reader " will 
condescend to " ponder and inwardly digest " what is 
set down in these two volumes. For my own part, I 
can truly say, modifying the words of Spenser 

The ways through which my wearie steps I guyde, 

In this researche of olde antiquitie, 
Are so exceeding spacious and wyde, 

And sprinckled with such sweet variety 

Of all which pleasant is to eare or eye, 
That I, nigh ravisht with rare thoughts delight, 

My tedious travail doe forget thereby. 



" Ass OR Pia ? "p. 36. 

THIS Roman popular story, together with the Norse variant, 
" This is the Lad who sold the Pig " (p. 37, note), finds a modern 
Egyptian analogue in J. A. St John's ' Tales of the Ramad'han,' 
vol. iii. pp. 33-47 : 

A youth in the city of Cairo, named Mansur, having captured 
two nightingales and placed them in a wicker cage, which he 
suspended outside of the window, their sweet warbling one day 
attracted the attention of an officer of the khalif s guard, who 
offered two or three dirhams for them, and on being told that 
the birds were not for sale, rose gradually in his offer to two 
gold dinars, for which the lad consented to part with them. 
" Take the cage," said the officer, " and follow me ; I am now 
going home, and will be your guide." On arriving at his house 
the officer knocked at the door, and, taking the cage from 
Mansur, stepped in, bidding him tarry a moment for the money. 
He waited a long time, and at last knocked, upon which a 
soldier came out and demanded his business. The youth told 
him that he had sold the officer two nightingales and waited for 
payment. " You had better be contented with your loss," said 
the soldier, " and make the best of your way home, for you may 
otherwise deliver up the camel to him who has stolen the 
saddle." " What is your master's name ? " asked Mansur. 


" Abu Sefl," replied the soldier ; " but he is more commonly 
known by the appellation of Ibn Shaytan" [the Son of the 
Devil]. " Well," said Mansur, " were he the Devil's father, he 
should pay me for my birds. Tell him this from me ; but add, 
at the same time, that I am willing to take them back if he 
does not consider them worth what he offered me." " Be ad- 
vised, friend," answered the soldier, " and push this business no 
farther. It is better to lose ten ardebs of dhourra than set fire 
to the granary. You know not Ibn Shaytan : he is dreaded 
throughout Cairo as a blood-drinker, whom no man can offend 
with impunity. There is, in fact, not a merchant in the bazar 
who would not prefer taking a lion by the mane to beholding 
the moustachios of Ibn Shaytan stiffening, like a cat's tail, with 
indignation against him." "Yet," said Mansur, "I am deter- 
mined to have my birds, or the price agreed upon between us. 
Tell him this, and I will remain here in the meantime." Sur- 
prised at the lad's resolute air, the soldier proceeded towards the 
apartment of his master, followed by Mansur, who had slipped 
into the house unperceived. On hearing the importunate de- 
mands of the youth, Ibn Shaytan grew angry, or pretended to 
be so, and in a harsh, intimidating manner exclaimed, " Where 
is the impertinent fellow ? Bring him hither that I may chastise 
him." " Here I am, bimbashi," said Mansur, springing out 
from behind the soldier, who started at the sharp sound of his 
voice " here I am, to receive two gold dinars for the night- 
ingales you purchased of me about an hour ago." For a moment 
Ibn Shaytan himself was disconcerted by the youth's intrepidity, 
but recovering his self-possession, told him that he chose to owe 
him nothing, and if he did not be off, the soles of his feet should 
be quickly made acquainted with the bastinado. The youth, 
seeing there was no remedy, left the house, resolved to revenge 
the injury he had suffered. 

Near the residence of the officer there was a deep well, to 
which the young women of the neighbourhood daily resorted to 
draw water. Disguising himself as a girl, Mansur proceeded 
one day with a neat wooden vessel in his hand towards this 
well, and waiting patiently until Ibn Shaytan appeared, pur- 
posely dropped his vessel into the water, and then wringing his 

"ASS OR PIG?" 475 

hands, and affecting extreme grief, as if he had suffered a great 
loss, attracted the notice of his enemy, who, being an unprin- 
cipled man, came up and offered his services, in the hope of 
deriving some advantage from the gratitude of the supposed 
young woman. " Ah," exclaimed Mansur, in a soft feminine 
voice, " I am undone ! Having lost an antique carved vessel 
in the well, I shall be scourged to death." The officer pretended 
to compassionate the young slave, and then leaned over the 
parapet, bent down his head, and hung so nicely balanced that 
the slightest touch would have sufficed to precipitate him into 
the well. Drawing near on tiptoe, Mansur caught him by the 
feet, and bidding him remember the widow's son whom he had 
so cruelly wronged, hurled him down headlong, and immedi- 
ately making his escape, removed with his mother to another 
quarter of the city. Contrary to all probability, Ibn Shaytan, 
though much bruised and lacerated, was not killed by the fall ; 
and, the water being shallow, likewise escaped drowning. After 
long shouting in vain, he at length heard the voices of women 
above, and his heart began to entertain hopes of effecting his 
escape ; so mustering all his strength, he vociferated as loud as 
he could, and entreated them to draw him up. Hearing an in- 
distinct and broken murmur arising out of the bowels of the 
earth, the women started back with terror, imagining they had 
arrived by mistake at the mouth of Jehennam, and that the 
father of devils, with a legion at his back, would presently be 
amongst them. Observing, however, that the voice, to what- 
ever it might belong, still continued at a respectful depth, 
one of the women, more adventurous than the rest, plucking up 
her courage and approaching the well, inquired, in the name of 
Allah, whether it was Shaytan or the son of Shaytan who made 
so fearful a clamour below. Abu Sefi, supposing she alluded 
to the sobriquet he had acquired, and not caring by what name 
they called him, provided he could effect his escape, replied 
that he was Ibn Shaytan [the Devil's son], begging, at the same 
time, that they would lower the bucket and draw him up. 
" God forbid ! " exclaimed the woman ; " we have devils enough 
on earth already. If the Prophet, therefore, hath condemned 
thee to cool thyself in this situation, remain where thou art until 


the day of judgment. The water, however, can be none of the 
most savoury where so foul an imp is confined ; and for this 
reason we must warn our neighbours no more to draw from this 
well curses light on thee ! " It was in vain that the officer, 
perceiving the blunder he had committed, sought to convince 
her that he had not the honour of belonging to the family of 
Iblis, and was a simple officer of the khalif's guards. The only 
answer he obtained was a large stone, which, being thrown at 
random, fortunately missed him ; after which all the women 
took to their heels, looking back apprehensively over their 
shoulders to see whether the fiend was following them. The 
news of Ibn Shaytan's being in the well quickly spread ; and at 
length some Arabs, more acute than the rest, proceeded to inves- 
tigate the mystery, on the clearing up of which Abu Sefi was 
released from his uncomfortable situation, and carried home 
more dead than alive. 

Mansur, who thought he had killed him outright, was greatly 
vexed on learning of his escape, and at once began to cast about 
him for some means of completing the work he had commenced ; 
being convinced that should Ibn Shaytan recover, he would 
leave no stone unturned to avenge himself on his youthful 
enemy. For the present, however, there was little danger. The 
officer, though attended by many doctors, lay groaning on his 
couch, suffering the most excruciating pains, and unable to 
enjoy a moment's sleep night or day. Nevertheless, instead of 
regarding the present affliction as the just chastisement of 
Heaven and learning mercy from the lessons of calamity, he 
only grew more implacable ; his sole consolation being derived 
from the projects of revenge which his imagination was em- 
ployed in devising. One morning, as he lay awake on his 
couch anticipating the satisfaction he should derive from hang- 
ing Mausur upon his mother's door-post, a soldier entered the 
apartment to inform him that a remarkable little hunchbacked 
physician, with a long white beard, was at that moment passing 
by, inviting all persons who were suffering from any disorder to 
have recourse to his art, and he would heal them. Persons in 
Ibn Shaytan's situation are always open to delusion. Conceiv- 
ing a sudden confidence in the unknown doctor, chiefly on ac- 

"ASS OR PIG?" 477 

count of the deformity of his person as if Heaven must neces- 
sarily disguise wisdom and genius in an uncouth exterior 
he ordered him to be called in, and, even before he appeared, 
began to amuse himself with hopes of the most flattering kind. 
Presently the physician, preceded by the soldier, entered, and, 
drawing near the patient's bed, inquired in a cheerful voice the 
nature of his case. Ibn Shaytan related what had befallen him, 
dwelling particularly on the frightful dreams which disturbed 
the short imperfect slumbers procured by datura; at which the 
doctor smiled, and when he had made an end replied, that if 
he would place himself entirely under his care, and take without 
reluctance whatever medicines he should prescribe, he might 
reasonably expect a speedy recovery. Greatly rejoiced at these 
consolatory expressions, Ibn Shaytan promised to do whatever 
was enjoined him ; and so complete was the confidence inspired 
by the hunchbacked doctor, that even before any medicines had 
been administered, much of the cure appeared to be already 

Having thus enlisted the imagination of the patient on his 
side, the doctor despatched his attendants in different directions 
for various medicines ; and when they were all out of doors, ap- 
proaching the bed with flashing eyes, he said, " Ibn Shaytan, 
I have with me two potions, both very bitter, but productive of 
very different effects. Thou sayest that Mansur, the son of 
Esme*, is thine enemy, and even now, while on the brink of the 
grave, the rancour of revenge curdles round thy heart. Know, 
however, that the unforgiving are abandoned by Allah, and 
that, while their souls are thus diseased, no mortal mixture can 
heal their bodies. Forgive, therefore, and it shall be well with 
thee. Say thou wilt not prosecute thy feud with the young 
man, and I will answer for thy recovery. The first potion I 
offer thee is Repentance. Wilt thou drink it 1 " " Nay, hakim," 
replied the patient, alarmed at the manner of the old man, but 
resolved not to listen to his advice "nay, presume not beyond 
thy art. I will never forgive him, by Allah ! or cease to pursue 
my just revenge until both he and the beldam who bore him 
shall be trampled beneath my feet. Indeed, it is chiefly this 
consideration that renders me desirous of life." " Slave ! dog ! 


infidel ! " exclaimed Mansiir, tearing off his disguise, and seizing 
him by the throat " hadst thou been capable of mercy, I would 
have spared thee ; but since thy savage revenge meditates not 
only my destruction, but also that of my parent, who never 
injured thee or thine, take the second potion I have provided 
for thee ! " So saying, he smote him with a dagger in the 
breast, and, having slain him, made his escape from the house. 

THE TALE OF BEKYN (p. 100). 

Mr Thomas Wright, in a note to this poem, which he 
reprints from Urry's Chaucer in his edition of the Canterbury 
Tales published for the Percy Society, says : " From the manner 
in which the Seven Sages are introduced at the beginning of the 
Tale of Beryn, it is evident there must have been some version 
of that romance [the ' Seven Sages '] in Europe differing from 
the usual one, which does not contain this story." (Vol. xxvi. 
p. 243, of the Society's publications, vol. iii. of the Canterbury 
Tales.) I do not think such a conjecture Wright even con- 
siders it an " evident " fact has much foundation. The Tale 
begins by stating that once upon a time the city of Home was 
the most honoured in the world; but, like all other cities, it 
has gone down, for all things get worse, and man's life grows 
short. So Rome has lost its honour. After Romulus, Julius 
Caesar ruled Rome [a long time after !], and subdued all lands. 
After him the Douzepairs held sway. Then came Constantine ; 
then his son Philippus Augustinus : 

In whose tyme sikerlich l the vii. sagis were 

In Rome dwelling dassently ; and if ye lust to lere 2 

How they were y-clepid, 3 or I ferther goon, 

I woll tell you the names of hem every choon. 4 

i Surely, certainly. s If you please to learn. 

8 Named, called. 4 Every one of them. 


After the names and qualities of the Seven Sages of Rome (the 
two last, Scipio and Cicero, being skilful astrologers) follow 
these lines : 

But now to othir purpose : for here I woll departe 
As lightly as I can, and draw to my matere ; 

and then the author proceeds to relate that during the time of 
those seven sages there dwelt in the suburbs of Rome a rich 
senator, " Faunus was his name," and so on. 

Now the Seven Sages figure but once in the subsequent nar- 
rative, namely, after Faunus has lost his wife and is plunged in 
grief, the emperor consults with them and the senators how he 
might console Faunus. Wright seems to have overlooked (for 
he could hardly be ignorant of) the fact that this Tale of Beryn 
is taken from the first part of the old French romance ' L'His- 
toire du Chevalier Berinus ; ' the second part of which, as I have 
before mentioned p. 126, note 1, of the present volume 
recounts the adventures of his son Aigres ; and the third part 
the robbery, by Berinus, of Philip's treasury ; and in this last 
part the Seven Sages appear but once again see p. 129 when 
they are consulted about the barons being all similarly marked. 
There is not the faintest indication either in the old English 
Tale of Beryn or in the French romance from which it was 
taken that the Seven Sages related stories to the emperor, which 
they do, and nothing else, in the romance of the Seven Sages, or 
Wise Masters. The fact is, in medieval romances kings and 
emperors are often represented as having seven counsellors a 
notion borrowed, doubtless, from the story-book which was then 
so popular throughout Europe. Moreover, the ' Historia Septem 
Sapientum Roma3 ' itself has two stories, in each of which seven 
sages figure prominently : in one they are evil-minded men, who 
by their magical arts render the king blind whenever he goes 
out of the palace, in order that they might increase their own 
wealth by defrauding him and the people ; in the other, Rome 
being besieged by three Saracen knights, its defence is under- 
taken by seven wise men, one of whom, by a device with a 
mirror, causes the Saracens to decamp in mortal terror. The 
circumstance that a story like that of Beryn's adventures in 


Falsetown is found in the Greek, Hebrew, and other Eastern 
versions of the Book of Sindibad, and that the Bobbery of the 
Treasury occurs in all the versions of the ' Seven Wise Masters,' 
goes for nothing: both are not found in either of the two 


A very curious modern Egyptian adaptation of this world- wide 
story is found in J. A. St John's ' Tales of the Ramad'han,' vol. 
iii. p. 67 ff., in which, "amidst all the multiplications of mas- 
querade," we can still discern the fundamental outline of the 
original : 

Mansiir having slain the vindictive and unprincipled officer 
of the khalifs guards, rather for the preservation of his own 
life than in revenge, as related ante, p. 478, and foreseeing the 
danger he stood in, placed his mother in an obscure but safe re- 
treat, and leaving in her hands nearly all the money he pos- 
sessed, took refuge among the harami, or robbers, a formidable 
body of men who inhabited a particular quarter of Cairo, and 
under command of a shaykh elected by themselves, maintained 
a species of independence, often setting the government at de- 
fiance, and spreading terror through the whole community. He 
was heartily received by the chief of the robbers, and next day 
commissioned to set out with a band of fifty picked men to 
waylay the guards escorting the camels coming to the city laden 
with revenue from the provinces. A dozen of the more youth- 
ful of the band, whose beards were not yet grown, disguised 
their persons as almd ; two, putting on a ragged brown blanket, 
provided themselves with a pipe and drum, like the Dancing 
Dervishes ; while the remainder, armed at all points, took their 
station in the hollows of the rocks commanding the entrance to 
the ravine through which the camel-train must pass. About 
two hours after sunset Mansur was informed by his scouts that 
their expected booty was approaching. Upon this a large fire 
was kindled near the tents, and the piper and drummer, blowing 


and thumping with all their might, set the twelve alme" in 
motion. Still more surely to reach the ears of the Bedouins, they 
all began to sing ; and so agreeably did they acquit themselves 
in their new calling and so musical were their voices, that even 
their own companions, forgetting the purpose of their merriment, 
listened with pleasure to the songs. The snare was not set in 
vain, for as soon as the Arabs arrived opposite the mouth of the 
ravine, and saw the red reflection of the fire gleaming upon the 
rocks, they gave orders to halt, resolving to enjoy themselves at 
the expense of the strangers. Fatigued with their long marches 
across the desert, they, moreover, heard with delight the sound 
of the pipe and drum, and the intermingling voices of the 
singers ; little suspecting that those notes might be the prelude 
to their own death-shriek, and scatter mourning over the land of 
their forefathers. 

Immediately the camels, kneeling under their light burdens, 
which are never taken off on such occasions, were ranged in a 
circle, and the horses, in their saddles and bridles, picketed round 
them on the sand ; and while a part of the escort performed 
these duties, the others, impatient for pleasure, hastened up the 
valley, directed by the fire and merriment of the robbers. They 
were received with extraordinary glee by the alme, who laughed, 
clapped their hands, sang, and danced for their amusement ; 
but, to avoid exciting suspicion, they pretended to be too poor 
to entertain so great a number of people. It was therefore 
agreed that the Bedouins should provide the entertainment ; 
and being so near Cairo, in their own deserts, where they con- 
sidered all danger at an end, they brought two or three of their 
sumpter camels up the valley with their utensils and provisions, 
in order to enjoy the performances of the dancers, at the same 
time they superintended their cooking. As a show of precau- 
tion, eight or ten men were left with the revenue camels and 
horses ; but, influenced by the same motives as their comrades, 
and considering their situation perfectly safe, they soon deserted 
their post and joined the revellers in the glen. 

This was more fortunate than could possibly have been anti- 
cipated. Mansur, therefore, without a moment's delay, descended 
from the rocks, roused the camels, and delivering them to a part 

VOL. II. 2 H 


of his followers, directed them to push forward with all speed, 
while he remained to secure the horses and extricate their com- 
panions in arms. To prevent pursuit, the beasts of the enemy 
were tied together in long strings, and despatched after the 
sumpter animals ; which being done, they led forth their own 
horses out of the valley, and stationing them at a convenient 
spot, crept up the rocks overlooking the fire, to observe what 
was going forward, that they might regulate their own move- 
ments accordingly. Part of the Bedouins, having collected a 
quantity of camel's dung and kindled several large fires, were 
engaged in preparing their evening meal ; others amused them- 
selves with the performances of the dancers,whose effrontery some- 
what surprised them ; but, in the entire absence of suspicion, all 
appeared intent on the enjoyment of the present hour. They 
were crouching on their heels in a large circle, and the glare of 
the flames falling on their swarthy visages, exhibited many a 
double row of white teeth grinning with delight. Having ad- 
vanced to within a short distance of them without being dis- 
covered, Mansiir and his party suddenly raised a loud shout, 
and discharged several arrows, but without hitting any one. 
The pretended alme", affecting extreme terror, ran off with loud 
shrieks, and disappeared among the small glens and fissures of 
the cliffs ; the musicians followed, and the Bedouins, rushing 
down the valley towards their encampment, allowed them 
ample time to join their comrades and effect their escape. No 
words can express the amazement and fury of the outwitted 
escort on discovering the trick that had been put upon them. 
They stamped on the ground, tore their beards, and cast dust 
upon their heads ; but at length, perceiving that these mani- 
festations of rage brought back neither horse nor camel, they 
exclaimed, as all wise people do on such occasions, "Allah 
kerim ! " (God is merciful) and proceeded on foot towards Cairo, 
inventing by the way a fearful account of their combat with 
fifteen hundred robbers, who ultimately overpowered them. 

Mansur effected his return with the same spirit and success, 
and was congratulated on his boldness and ingenuity by the 
chief of the robbers ; who, however, observed that his exploit 
could not fail to arouse the anger of the khalif, and great pains 


would be taken to trace it home to them. He therefore advised 
Mansur to take up his abode in an uninhabited house close to 
a certain mosque, where he should easily discover the steps 
taken by government to detect the authors of the achievement 
in the desert. Mansur accordingly proceeded to the residence 
indicated to him, and, taking his mother to manage his house- 
hold affairs, began to live in the style of a private gentleman. 
Meanwhile the authorities were indefatigably employed in pur- 
suing every trace, real or imaginary, of the robbery committed 
on the royal treasury, but without success. At length the kha- 
lif, Biamrillah, who has been celebrated by historians for the 
extravagance of his fancies and the recklessness with which he 
set aside the established usages of the people, conceived a means 
of fathoming the mystery, that never could have presented itself 
to any other mind than his own. Learning that among the 
camels captured by the robbers there was one beautiful animal, 
marked in an extraordinary manner with black and white stripes, 
he informed the kazis and learned men that he would give the 
aga of police a lesson in his business, and make the very triumph 
of the robbers the means of betraying them into the hands of 

In order to carry this sagacious plan into execution, he com- 
manded thirty of his courtiers to send him each one of the 
ladies of his family ; and when they had arrived at the palace, 
they were seated on so many handsome mules, and directed to 
traverse the various streets of the city, with a crier going before 
them, proclaiming their intention of becoming the harem guests 
of the person who would entertain them with the flesh of a 
striped camel. It was in vain that they expressed their reluc- 
tance to execute the disgraceful commission ; the khalif was 
inexorable indeed, considering the idea wholly new, as it 
really was, the scruples they exhibited surprised and provoked 
him, not being able to comprehend how any person should 
value the preservation of honour above the satisfaction of fulfil- 
ling his commands. The cavalcade set out, therefore, each lady 
attended by two slaves ; but the crier, amused at his whimsical 
employment, could scarcely perform his duty for laughter. 
Though, on regarding the ladies, who were all unveiled, there 


was many an honest man that, not knowing what he prayed for, 
besought the Prophet to bestow on him a striped camel, it 
seemed probable that the wisdom of the prince would no more 
prove efficacious than the vigilance of the chief of the police ; 
for the fair ensnarers had already paraded in vain the greater 
part of the city, and no person invited them to alight. At 
length, having passed the mosque of Shaykh Hussayn, they saw 
Mansiir seated before his house. The crier, wishing to divert 
the young man, immediately repeated the khalif s proclamation, 
dwelling with malicious emphasis on the happiness proffered to 
the possessor of a striped camel. He even caused the mules to 
stand still, to allow the beauty of his charges to be seen ; but, 
having been hitherto unsuccessful, was not a little surprised to 
perceive the young man advance towards the ladies with a pro- 
found obeisance, and express the joy he felt at being able to 
entertain them as they desired. 

It should have been before observed that Mansur was ex- 
tremely handsome, and possessed of manners in the highest 
degree engaging. " Ladies," said he, " I am your slave. You 
may enter my house with safety ; for while you honour it with 
the light of your presence, 1 swear by the Prophet that your 
will shall be the will of the khalif. Pray suifer your slave to 
aid you in alighting." Somewhat reassured by the suavity of 
his demeanour, the ladies descended from their mules, and were 
conducted with becoming ceremony into a saloon of spacious 
dimensions, spread with Persian carpets, and furnished with 
divans of crimson cloth, fringed with gold. The mild, rich 
light of sunset, streaming through the numerous windows of 
painted gypsum, cast a flood of purple and deep orange colour 
over the fretted roof, luxuriant arabesques, and pillared re- 
cesses ; and its effect, blending with that of the most costly per- 
fumes, cast a soft spell over the imagination, which Mansur was 
careful to maintain by a language and behaviour in keeping 
with the place, now bestowing his attention on one, and now on 
another, with as scrupulous a politeness as if each had been a 
princess, and he the meanest of her slaves. A number of the 
thieves, disguised as merchants, performed all the household 
offices killed the camel, and bringing in its striped skin, 


according to their desire, spread it before them on the carpet, 
and waited on Mansur's mother, who undertook to superintend 
the preparations for the banquet. 

When the ladies had alighted from their beasts, and were 
about to enter the house, part of the attendants, under pretence 
of not incommoding the host by their numbers, endeavoured to 
make their escape, for the purpose of informing the khalif of 
the success of his stratagem, and to guide thither the troops 
for the apprehension of Mansur. But, perceiving the drift of 
the whole scheme, he affected to take offence at the supposition 
which the movement implied, that he was too poor to entertain 
the whole company, and took particular care that not a single 
individual, not even the crier, should absent himself from the 
feast he had provided for all. The slaves, therefore, being 
secured in the apartments appropriated to persons of their class, 
and their beasts provendered in the stables, nothing remained 
but to enjoy the passing hour. Several of the superior robbers, 
happening to be that evening on business with Mansur, were 
invited to be of the party ; and being men of prudent and dis- 
creet manners, their company greatly contributed to the amuse- 
ment of the guests. Finding themselves treated with extraor- 
dinary respect, the ladies began gradually to dismiss their fears, 
and to say within themselves that, after all, it might not be 
absolutely necessary to their happiness to live secluded in the 
recesses of the harem. The supper, which, in addition to the 
camel's flesh, consisted of every delicacy that could be procured, 
tended to strengthen this persuasion. And presently when, 
under the name of sherbet, the most exquisite wines were 
brought in, every vestige of reserve disappeared ; and forgetting 
their strange position, they talked"\and laughed with their host 
and his friends as familiarly as if they had been among their 
brothers and cousins. But, being wholly unaccustomed to wine, 
it was not long before they imagined themselves in Paradise. 
Everything floated around them in pleasing disorder. Now 
they were the hiiris of the Prophet's heaven ; and the thieves 
seemed, by the ministry of fancy, to be converted into beautiful 
youths, with whom they could be content to pass an eternity. 
To give fresh force to this delusion, a company of almd, with 


several musicians, were introduced into the apartment ; and 
their performances, with the music, the songs, and the rap- 
turous applause of the spectators, and their own bewildered 
imaginations, completing what the wine had begun, at length 
plunged them into absolute intoxication, which ended in a pro- 
found sleep. When Mansur perceived they were no longer 
conscious of what was going on around them, he ordered his 
companions to take each a lady in his arms and follow him into 
the street, where, selecting a large recess in front of the house 
of a pious man, sufficiently out of the track of passengers to 
secure them from being trodden on by mules or asses, he laid 
the whole sleeping bevy side by side, and then returned to dis- 
pose of their attendants, who had likewise been reduced to the 
same condition. 

Next morning, at peep of day, as Mustapha the cake-seller 
was going his usual rounds, bawling, as he trudged along, 
" Mashallah ! cakes ! nicely-buttered, fresh, hot cakes ! who 
will buy my cakes 1 " he discovered a number of white bundles 
packed close against the wall. " Aha ! " thought he to himself, 
" here hath fortune been at work for thee, Mustapha, before thy 
own mustachios were awake ! Wallah ! a whole caravan of 
muslin ! Let me see : I hope none of my neighbours are stir- 
ring. No, not a soul. Well, I will take the first bale that 
comes to hand and run home with it. Who knows ? perhaps 
no one may pass before I can return ; and then, if I secure a 
second, my fortune is made." So saying, he threw down the 
baking apparatus, spilling in his hurry a quantity of the liquid 
paste that constituted the whole of his property, and springing 
forward in the imperfect light, caught hold of something ex- 
tremely heavy, which moved as he endeavoured to lift it. 
Horror-stricken and trembling in every limb, he started back, 
exclaiming, " May the devil singe my beard, but I have stumbled 
on the warehouse of some magician ! Allah kerim ! See, the 
bales begin to move ! Imps of Jehennam, as I am a cake-seller ! " 
The lady, who had been roused by his seizing her rudely 
round the waist, now raised her head, still confused with the 
fumes of wine, and perceiving, instead of her curtained chamber 
and female slaves, the dark outline of a suite of ruinous houses, 


and the ragged cake-seller snatching up his baking apparatus 
and preparing to run away, she rubbed her eyes, supposing she 
was still in a dream. But, on making a second trial with the 
same result, a sudden fear and faint recollection of what had 
taken place came over her, and she started on her feet with an 
exclamation of distress. Upon this, her morning visitor, appre- 
hending it was all over with him, took to his heels and plunged 
headlong down the street, shrieking like an ogre, his pan of 
liquid paste splashing over his back and descending in streams 
to his travel-stained babushes, so that he appeared an over- 
grown baboon which some mischievous barber had covered with 
soap ready to be shaved. It was in vain that the lady, who 
really stood in need of some assistance, conjured him to come 
back. The louder she called the more he ran ; and it was not 
until he had proceeded the length of five streets that he con- 
sidered it safe to paiise a moment for breath. An aged fakir, 
supporting his tottering steps with a staff, now approached, and 
made as if he would pass on ; but the lady, emboldened by his 
age and the sacredness of his character, besought him to have 
pity on her and her companions, and guide them to the palace. 
" Daughter," said the holy man, " what dost thou here ? " " Be 
my guide to the palace," replied the lady, " and I will satisfy 
thy curiosity." She then awakened her companions, while the 
fakir, who seemed to have compassion on them without knowing 
who they were, called a number of ass-drivers, and assisting 
them into the saddles, led the way in the direction she desired. 
After traversing a large portion of the city, just as the gates of 
the royal residence appeared in sight, the fakir, who had atten- 
tively listened to her relation, stopped at the entrance into a 
dark alley, and stepping up close to her beast, whispered softly in 
her ear, " Speak favourably of me to the khalif, and, above all, 
commend the flavour of my striped camel and my wine " ; and 
gliding down the obscure winding alley, vanished in a moment. 
The khalif, enraged at being thus foiled, vows vengeance on 
the young robber, but is prevented from executing any other 
scheme for entrapping Mansur by his negro guards breaking 
into insurrection, and clamouring for the khalifs head. By 
the advice of an Arab shaykh, who chanced to be the guest of 


the khalif, the aid of Mansiir and his followers (for he had now 
become chief of the robbers) is requested to chastise the rebels, 
who are effectually subdued; after which Mansiir obtains the 
khalifs daughter in marriage, and is declared heir-apparent to 
the khalifate. 

In this sprightly story (much of which I have had to omit for 
want of space) we find two incidents reappear which occur in 
most versions of the Bobbery of the Treasury, though in very 
different forms : the quest of camel's flesh ; making the ladies and 
their attendants all intoxicated ; and placing the former in a 
ridiculous situation, which in Herodotus and other versions is 
done to the soldiers who guarded the headless body ; while we 
may consider the khalifs offering the ladies as harem guests to 
the person who should give them flesh of a striped camel, as 
derived from Rhampsinitus' device of sending his daughter 
abroad in the capacity of a kuttini. 


In the ' Tuti Nama ' the Emperor of China becomes violently 
enamoured of a beautiful damsel whom he saw in a dream, and 
his prime minister undertakes to go in quest of the creature of 
his dreaming fancy. After much toilsome journeying he at 
length discovers her in the person of the Princess of Rum (the 
Western Empire), and ascertains that she is averse from marriage 
in consequence of having seen in her garden a peacock basely 
desert his mate and their young when the tree on which their 
nest was built had been struck with lightning, which incident 
she considered as typical of the inherent selfishness of all men. 
The vazir provides himself with a number of paintings of ani- 
mals, and among these was a picture of a male deer sacrificing 
his life to save his mate and their fawn, which on being shown 
to the princess fills her with astonishment. Then the vazir 
shows the portrait of his master, the emperor, who, he tells her, 


has an aversion from women on account of having witnessed the 
incident depicted in the painting. This conquers the dislike 
of the princess, and the emperor is made happy. The frame of 
the Persian story -hook, ' Hazar u Yek Ruz ' (the Thousand and 
One Days see p. 56), seems to have been adapted from this 
tale ; and Mr J. A. St John gives a story which has also some 
resemblance to it, in his ' Tales of the Ramad'han,' vol. ii. p. 
164 ff., under the title of " The Princess who was changed into 
a Gazelle." The tales comprised in Mr St John's entertaining 
volumes he professes to have heard related in Egypt by a ghawazi 
(singing and dancing girl) and by minstrels and story-tellers in 
the evenings of the great Mohammedan Fast. 


LITTLE FAIRLY (p. 229). 

In a paper on Aberdeenshire Folk-Lore, contributed to the 
'Folk-Lore Journal,' vol. ii. (1884), pp. 70, 71, by the Rev. 
Walter Gregor, there is a story, entitled " Mally Whuppie," com- 
municated to him by Mr James Moir, rector of the Grammar 
School, Aberdeen, who heard it told by his mother, which pre- 
sents points of resemblance to versions of the Robbery of the 
King's Treasury, and in the conclusion bears some analogy to 
the incident of the sack in the variants of Little Fairly : 

The heroine, Mally Whuppie, first steals a giant's sword from 
the back of his bed, next, his purse from below his pillow, and 
each time escapes ; but in stealing the ring from off his finger 
the giant awakes and grasps her by the hand. " Now," says 
the giant, " I hae catcht you, Mally Whuppie ; and if I had 
deen as muckle ill to you as ye hae deen to me, what wad ye 
dae to me ? " Mally considered what plan she would fall upon 
to escape, and she said, " 1 wad pit you into a pyock (poke), 1 and 
I wad pit the cat inside wi' you, and the dog aside you, and a 
needle and thread and a sheers, and I wad hang you upon the 

1 The y in this word is pronounced as in " yoke," " yard," etc. 


wa', and I wad gang to the wood and wile (choose) the thickest 
stick I could get, and 1 wad come hame and tak you down and 
lay upon you till ye were dead." "Well, Mally," says the 
giant, " I'll just do that to you." So he gets a pyock and puts 
Mally into it, and the cat and the dog beside her, and a needle 
and thread, and shears, and hings her up upon the wa', and goes 
to the wood to choose a stick. Mally sings, " gin ye saw faht 
(what) I see ! " " O faht div ye see, Mally ? " says the giant's wife. 
But Mally never said a word but " gin ye saw faht I see ! " 
The giant's wife pleaded that Mally would take her up into the 
pyock till she would see what Mally saw. So Mally took the 
shears and cut a hole in the pyock and took out the needle and 
thread with her, and jumpt down, and helpit the giant's wife 
up into the pyock, and sewed up the hole. The giant's wife 
saw nothing, and began to ask to get down again, but Mally 
never minded, but hid herself at the back of the door. Home 
came the giant, and a great big tree in his hand, and he took 
down the pyock and began to lay upon it. His wife cried, 
" It's me, man " ; but the dog barkit, and the cat mewt, and he 
did not know his wife's voice. But Mally did not want her to 
be killed, so she came out from the back of the door, and the 
giant saw her and he after her ; and he ran and she ran, till 
she came to the " Brig o' the ae hair," and she wan (got) ower, 
but he coudna (couldn't), and he said, " Wae worth you, Mally 
Whuppie ! let you never come again ! " " Never mair, carle," 
quo' she, " will I come again to Spain." So Mally took the 
ring to the king, and she was married to his youngest son, and 
never saw the giant again. 

Another analogue of the sack-trick of Little Fairly is found in 
the Norwegian tale of the Master-Smith (Thorpe's ' Yule-Tide 
Stories,' p. 272), in which the hero, personating an angel, per- 
suades the priest that he will take him to heaven in a holy 
sack : " On Monday the Master-Smith appeared again as an 
angel, and the priest fell on his knees and returned thanks pre- 
vious to being put in the sack ; and when he was well in, the 
Master-Smith pulled and hauled him over stock and stone. 
' Oh, oh,' cried the priest in the sack, ' where are you taking me 


to ? ' ' This is the narrow way that leads to the kingdom of 
heaven,' said the Master-Smith, dragging him on till he had 
almost killed him. At length he threw him into the Amtman's 
goose-house, and the geese began to hiss and peck at him so that 
he was more dead than alive. ' Oh, oh, where am I now ? ' said 
the priest. ' Now you are in purgatory for the purpose of being 
purged and purified for everlasting life,' said the Master-Smith, 
and went his way, taking all the gold, silver, and valuables 
which the priest had collected together in his large parlour. 
Next morning, when the maid came into the goose-house to let 
out the geese, she heard the priest in the sack wailing and 
lamenting bitterly. ' In the name of Jesus, who are you and 
what do you want ? ' said she. ' Oh,' cried the priest, ' if thou 
art an angel from heaven, let me out and allow me to go back 
to earth again, for here it is worse than hell itself ; little devils 
are pinching me with their tongs.' ' God mend us,' said the 
girl, helping the priest out of the sack, ' I am no angel ; I tend 
the Amtman's geese, and they are the little devils that have 
been pecking at you, father.' ' Oh,' cried the priest, ' this is 
the work of the Master-Smith ! Oh my gold and silver and all 
my fine clothes ! ' and he ran home lamenting so woefully that 
the girl thought he had lost his senses." 



From the story of Kulla Panthaka in ' Buddhaghosha's Par- 
ables,' the version orally current among the Sinhalese was 
probably derived : The favourite minister of a king was foolish, 
timid, and illiterate, and the other ministers, out of envy of the 
favour he enjoyed, devised a plan for exposing his ignorance. 
They proposed to the king that each of them should compose a 
stanza in his honour and present it to his majesty on a certain 
day. The stupid minister went home, and taking a style and a 
palm leaf, sat down on the floor to the task of verse-making. 
His children, wondering at their father's novel occupation, 


crowded round him and began shouting out their childish 
rhymes. The poor man fearing the anger of the king, and 
finding himself unable to write anything in the presence of his 
noisy children, left the house, perched on a rock in a neighbour- 
ing field, and began to meditate very deeply. At last, when he 
despaired of writing anything fit to offer to the king, a buffalo 
came up and began rubbing his neck against the rock, a cir- 
cumstance which inspired the minister with a brilliant idea. 
Starting up and seizing his style he wrote the following line : 
" Do I not know the reason why you are coming rubbing your 
neck against the rock V 1 Now this line in the original means 
also, " Do I not know the reason why you are whetting your 
razor 1 " After writing this down the minister spent the whole 
of the night in attempting to get up three more lines to com- 
plete the stanza. He tried very hard, but in vain ; and when 
the time came for him to present himself before the king, he at 
length wrote down the same line four times over in imitation of a 
stanza, and with this he went to the palace. After all the other 
ministers had presented each his stanza to the king, it came to 
the turn of the stupid man, who tremblingly handed it to his 
majesty. The stanza was expressed in such simple language, 
one line four times repeated, that the king at once committed it 
to memory, in spite of its forming the subject of general laugh- 
ter among the jealous courtiers. The simplicity of the piece 
made the king keep repeating it when at leisure, so much was 
he taken up with it. This stirred the jealousy of the minis- 
ters afresh, and the king also incurred their displeasure to such 
an extent that they entered into a conspiracy and planned to 
take away his life. To this end, they bribed the king's barber, 
who promised to cut his majesty's throat when he went to shave 
him. Early in the morning of the day fixed for this wicked act, 
the barber went up with his razors and other things to the king. 
It so happened that the king was as usual repeating the foolish 
minister's line, on hearing which the barber at once thought his 
design on the king was alluded to in the stanza, and that the 
plot had been discovered ; so prostrating himself on the ground 

1 Karagalagaga enava, mama nodaninda. 


before the king, he made a full confession of the conspiracy. 
The king was shocked, and on inquiry ascertained the fact. 
Then he caused the conspirators to be executed ; and the stupid 
minister, whose simple line had saved his life, he raised to the 
position of his chief adviser. 1 

THE CAPON-CAEVEB (p. 329, note). 

In M. Legrand's ' Contes Albanais,' No. 4, as in the Italian 
version, a prince is the guest of a poor man. A cock, having 
been killed and dressed, is placed on the table, and the host's 
clever daughter carved it, giving the head to her father, the 
body to her mother, the wings to the prince, and the flesh to 
herself and the young children. The old man seeing his 
daughter share the food in this manner, turned and looked at 
his wife, for he was ashamed to speak of it before the stranger. 
But when they were going to bed, he said to his daughter, " My 
child, why did you cut up the fowl so badly ? Our guest has 
gone supperless to bed." She replied, " Ah, my father, let me 
explain it. The head I gave to you, because you are the head 
of this house ; to my mother I gave the body, because, like the 
body of a ship, she has borne us in her sides ; the wings I gave 
to the stranger, because to-morrow he will take flight and leave 
us ; and lastly, the flesh to us the children, because we are the 
true flesh of the house." The prince having overheard this 
explanation greatly admired the girl's cleverness, and ultimately 
married her. 

i J. P. Panabokke in ' The Orientalist/ 1885, pp. 174, 175. 



An abstract of " Our Parish-Clerk," as given in Dasent's 
' Tales from the Fjeld,' referred to in p. 356 as a variant of the 
fabliau ( Le Sacristan de Cluni,' may find a place here, although 
I did not consider the analogy between them sufficiently close 
to require its insertion among the other versions : 

There was once a parish-clerk of whom all the folks said that 
his brains were in his belly ; for while he was fond of pretty 
girls and buxom wives, he liked good meat and drink still 
better. It so happened that his next-door neighbour married a 
rich young lass, and the parish-clerk made friends with him, 
and something more than friends with his wife. Whenever the 
husband was from home on business at the mill, in the wood, 
or floating timber she would send for the clerk, and they 
spent the day in mirth and jollity. By-and-by the plough- 
boy discovers their on-goings, and one day he tells his master 
how his wife and the parish-clerk, in his absence, lived as if 
there was a bridal in the house every day, while his master and 
himself scarce got the leavings of their good cheer. The master 
wouldn't credit this story, and the boy offered to wager ten 
dollars that he would soon prove it to him. " Done ! " said the 
master. So when they got home he told his wife that he must 
be off to the river and land timber and off he and his boy 
went ; but when they had gone about half a mile they returned 
to the house, and found the door locked. By means of a trap- 
door they got from the cellar into the kitchen, and striking a 
light, there they saw the clerk and the goodwife both sound 
asleep, and the clerk lay snoring with his mouth wide open. 
The boy got some lead bullets from his master and melted them 
in a saucepan. Then they poured the molten lead down the 
clerk's throat, after which they went out by the way they got 
in, and began to thunder at the front door. The wife, waking 
up, and perceiving that her paramour was as dead as a door- 
nail, dragged him by the legs and hid him among the heap of 


wood behind the stove, and then opened the door to her hus- 
band. While he and his boy were at supper, he got up and 
went to the wood-pile for a few faggots, and there he saw the 
clerk lying stark and stiff. "Who's this ?" asks the man. 
" Only a beggar-man who came here and asked for a night's 
lodging." " A fine beggar," said the husband, " with his silver 
buckles in hia shoes, and silver buttons at his knees ! I see 
what you've been about ; and by rights I should hand you over 
to the sheriff. As it is, get rid of the body the best way you 
can." So the goodwife promised to reward the boy handsomely 
if he would but get the clerk buried ; and the boy, taking the 
body on his back, went away. Seeing some horses in a meadow, 
he caught one of them and bound the clerk fast to his back, 
and off he trotted, till he came near a barn where two men were 
watching for thieves who came to steal the hay. One of them 
called out, " Who's there 1 " but there came no reply, of course, 
and after calling again, he fired his gun, at which the horse gave 
a sudden jump, and off tumbled the clerk to the ground. When 
the two men found the supposed thief was killed outright, they 
were in a great fright, but at length resolved to bury him in the 
meantime among the hay, which they did accordingly. Pre- 
sently tip came a man bearing a heavy load on his back, all out 
of breath, and he sat down to rest on the door-step. He had 
been killing pigs at a farm a few days before, and thinking he 
was but poorly paid for his work, had stolen the biggest and 
fattest of them, which he had then with him in a sack. Sud- 
denly recollecting that he had forgotten his gloves, and knowing 
that if they were found at the farm he would be at once de- 
tected, he rose up hastily to get them. The two men in the barn 
thought this a capital opportunity of getting rid of the dead 
man, so they drew out the porker and put the clerk in the sack. 
The man came back with his gloves, and taking up the sack, 
carried it home. What was the surprise of his wife on opening 
the sack to find, instead of the fat porker her man had bragged 
so much about, the body of the parish priest ! However, they 
must get rid of the body, and that without a moment's delay. 
So Mary, their daughter, a stout, strapping wench, undertakes 
to carry it off and bury it in some out-of-the-way place, where 


nobody would ever find it. As she was tramping along she 
came near a house where 

The sound of flute and fiddle 
Gave signal sweet in that old hall 
Of hands across and down the middle ; 

for there was a dance going on ; and so she quietly set the clerk 
down on the back-stairs of the house, with his hat in his hand, 
as if he was asking charity, and then hid herself. Not long 
after this a girl comes out, and seeing what she supposed to be a 
beggar-man, she dropped twopence in his hat, but never a "Thank 
you " said he in return. So she went into the house and told 
this to the guests, and the young sheriffs officer goes out and 
bawls in the dead man's ear, "Why are you sitting here, sir?" 
But not a word did he get in reply ; so at last, in a rage, he 
fetched the parish-clerk one under the ear, when down he fell 
across the staircase. Out jumps Mary from her hiding-place, 
and makes a great outcry over the murder of her poor father. 
So the sheriff's officer gave her ten dollars to say no more about 
the accident, and Mary once more shoulders the parish-clerk and 
jogs off, till she came to another farm, and there she placed him 
on the brink of the well, as if he was looking down into the 
water. At daybreak the ploughboy comes to the well, and calls 
to the dead man, " Get out of this ; I want to draw some water. 
What are you looking at ? " Receiving no reply, the lad gave 
him a stroke that sent him plump into the well. When the 
body was drawn out and recognised, the farmer sent for the 
sheriff, and when he came and inquired into the affair it was 
found that the parish-clerk had been killed three times before : 
first with boiling lead, then with a bullet through his forehead, 
and lastly his neck was broken. 

The affinity of this story with the fabliau and its English 
derivatives is very evident, notwithstanding the variations in the 
earlier incidents : that of the horse comes first, yet it is curious 
to find the tumbling of the body into the well the final incident, 
as in the case of the dead sacristan ; while in both the dead man 
is substituted for the porker in the sack. 




As another example of the stories related by the mediaeval 
ecclesiastics at the expense of women, the following tale of the 
" Physician in spite of himself " may be cited from Jacques de 
Vitry's ' Sermones ' : 

I have heard (says he) of a certain woman who always con- 
tradicted her husband. When she and her husband were 
coming from the market, a hare crossed the road before them 
and escaped. Then the husband said, " How sleek and fat it 
is ! If we had caught it, we should have eaten it roasted with 
onions and stuffing." But the wife said, " I would relish it more 
heartily with pepper." " Nay," said the husband, " it is better 
when prepared with onions and stuffing." " It is not," said the 
wife, wishing in no way to humour her husband. The latter, 
very angry, beat her severely. And she began to reflect and 
consider in what manner she could avenge herself on her hus- 
band. Having heard that the king was in very delicate health, 
she went to the servants of the king and said, " I have a hus- 
band who is an excellent physician, but conceals his skill, and 
will not assist any one unless moved by terror and blows." 
And when her husband was brought before the king, he was 
commanded to diligently apply his skill on the king and cure 
him of his infirmity. But he refused, saying, " I am not a 
doctor." The servants of the king told him the words of his 
wife, and the king ordered him to be smartly whipped ; and 
when he could not be persuaded he was beaten again and again, 
and cast out from the presence of the king. And so the wicked 
wife caused her husband to be beaten. 



According to the ancient and wide-spread myth, the Water 
of Life had not only the virtue of endowing whosoever drank 
VOL. II. 2 I 


of it with immortality, but also of reviving the dead. In 
No. 18 of Prym and Socin's ' Syrische Marchen,' the bones of a 
man who had been killed ten years ago are collected and the 
water of life poured over them, upon which the man rose up 
alive as he was before. In the second of the Twenty-five Tales 
of a Demon, an ascetic entered as a guest the house of a Brahman, 
who received him courteously, and he sat down to rest. Mean- 
while a child there began to cry. When, in spite of all efforts, 
it would not stop, the mistress of the house fell into a passion, 
and taking it up in her arms, threw it into the blazing fire. 
The moment the child was thrown in, as its body was soft, it 
was reduced to ashes. When the ascetic saw this his hair stood 
on end, and he exclaimed, "Alas, alas ! I have entered the 
house of a Brahman-demon. So I will not eat food here now, 
for such food would be sin in a visible and material shape." 
But the Brahman said to him, " See the power of raising the dead 
to life inherent in a charm of mine, which is effectual as soon as 
it is recited." Then he took a book containing the charm and 
read it, and threw on to the ashes some dust, over which the 
charm had been recited, whereupon the child rose up alive and 
well. When the Brahman was asleep the ascetic got up quietly, 
took the book, and quitted the house. By means of the charm, 
he raised to life from her ashes his beloved Mandaravati. 

In the 47th tale of the ' Pentamerone ' of Basile, one of the 
five sons raises the princess to life and then demands her in 
marriage. Satu, in the ancient Egyptian romance see vol. i. p. 
350 is revived by means of a certain liquid. And in the ' Rama- 
yana, Hanuman, the monkey-deity, procures four different kinds 
of herbs in order to resuscitate his dead subjects : the first kind 
restores the dead to life ; the second drives away all pain ; the 
third joins broken parts ; the fourth cures all wounds. Mr 
Ralston, in a note to his ' Russian Folk-Tales,' p. 232, says that 
in a Kirghis (Siberian) story a golden-haired hero finds, after 
long search, the maiden to whom he had in very early life been 
betrothed. Her father has him murdered. She persuades the 
murderer to show her the body of her dead lover, and weeps 
over it bitterly. A spirit appears, and tells her to sprinkle it 
with water from a neighbouring well. It is very deep, but she 


induces the murderer to allow her to lower him into it by means 
of her remarkably long hair. He descends and hands up to her 
a cup of the water. Having received it, she severs her hair, and 
the murderer drops and is drowned. Then she sprinkles her 
lover's corpse with the water, and he revives, but lives only 
three days. She resolves not to survive him, and is buried by 
his side. From the graves of the lovers spring two willows, 
which intertwine their boughs as if in an embrace. 1 

In the ' Kathd, Sarit Sagara,' ch. 59, a husband and wife, who 
are re-born as swans, and reunited, after the rainy season take up 
their abode on the top of a mountain. There the female is shot 
by a fowler, on which her mate flies away, distracted with grief. 
The fowler takes up the dead female swan and goes off. On 
the way seeing many armed men at a distance coming towards 
him, and thinking they might take the bird from him, he cuts 
some grass with his knife, and covering up the bird with it, 
leaves her on the ground. After the men had gone, the fowler 
returns for the bird. But it happened that among the grass he 
had cut was an herb which possessed the power of raising the 
dead to life, and by means of its juice the female swan was 
resuscitated, and before his eyes she flung off the grass, flew up 
into the sky, and disappeared. Readers who desire farther 
instances will find many in Grimm's ' Teutonic Mythology,' 
p. 185, note, where, among other parallels, he refers to the myth 
of Zeus and Tantalus. 



Analogues of the Incident of Joseph and Potiphars Wife. 
(Vol. i. pp. 9, 67 ; ii. 448, 451.) 

Near akin to stories of women betraying their husbands are 
those in which an amorous dame, having found her advances 
repulsed by the object of her passion, avenges herself by ac- 

* Readers familiar with our old ballad poetry will remember more than 
one love-ditty which concludes in this manner. 


cusing him of having attempted to violate her chastity. The 
oldest recorded instance is found in the Egyptian romance of 
the brothers Anapii and Satii, to which reference is made in 
vol. L, pp. 67, 68, and again in pp. 350, 351. On a similar in- 
cident is based the frame, or leading story, of the ' Seven Wise 
Masters,' and of the several versions of the ' Book of Sindibad ' 
see vol. i. p. 9, note ; and it is not only found in the tales and 
legends of many lands, but doubtless has often occurred in real 
life. Among classical tales it forms the old story of Hyppolyte, 
the wife of Acastus, and Peleus ; that of Antea and Bellerophon ; 
and that of Phaedra and Hyppolytus ; while in European tradi- 
tions it reappears in the story of Fausta and Crispus. There is 
scarcely a single Asiatic story-book of any note which does not 
contain an analogous tale : it occurs in the ' Tiiti Nama,' in the 
' Forty Vazirs,' and in the Persian romance which purports to 
recount the adventures of Hatim Tai. 

In the ' Katha Sarit Sagara ' it is found again in the story of 
King Mahasena and his virtuous minister Gunasarman, as re- 
lated to King Suryaprabha, one night when he was sleepless, 1 
by his minister Vitabhiti. Queen Asokavati is desperately 
enamoured of Gunasarman, the faithful minister of Mahasena, 
king of Ujjayini, who had saved his royal master's life on five 
occasions, one of which was when the cook had put poison in the 
. king's food. The king desired Gunasarman to teach his queen 
to play on the lute ; and while he was instructing her, the 
queen indulged in perpetual coquetry, laughter, and mirth. 
One day, wounded with the arrow of love, she said to the chaste 
Gunasarman, " It was yourself that I asked for, handsome man, 
under the pretext of learning to play the lute, for I am deeply 
in love with you, so consent to my wishes." Gunasarmau re- 
plied, " Do not talk so, for you are my master's wife, and such a 

1 It is still a common practice of Asiatic monarchs, when they cannot 
sleep o' nights, to cause a story-teller to recite some entertaining narra- 
tives. In the case of Ahasuerus, as related in the Book of Esther, that 
potentate preferred more solid stuff, and well was it for the captive 
Israelites that he did so : "On that night could not the king sleep; and 
he commanded to bring the book of records of the Chronicles ; and they 
were read before the king," ch. vi. 1. 


one as I am should not commit such treason ; desist, therefore, 
from this reckless conduct." l The queen continued, " Why do 
you possess in vain this beauty and skill in accomplishments ? 
How can you look with a passionless eye on me who love you 
so much ? " Gunasarman answered sarcastically, " You are 
right. What is the use of that beauty and skill which is not 
tarnished with infamy by seducing the wife of another, and 
which does not in this world and the next cause one to fall into 
the ocean of hell 1 " Then the queen, pretending to be angry, 
said, " I am determined to die, if you do not do what I say ; so, 
being despised by you, I will slay you before I die." Gunasar- 
man replied, " By all means do so. For it is better to live for 
one moment bound by the bonds of righteousness than to live 
unrighteously for hundreds of crores of kalpas.% And it is far 
preferable to die without reproach, having done no wrong, than 
for me to have done wrong and to be put to death by the king, 
with reproach attaching to my name." In short, Queen Asoka- 
vati did not cease from importunately soliciting Gunasarman 
day and night ; but he would never consent to that crime : good 
men prefer death to immodest conduct. Then Asokavati, find- 
ing that he was resolved, one day, out of enmity to him, affected 
to be unhappy, and remained with tearful countenance. And 

1 The young Hebrew slave gave a more pious reason to the wife of 
Potiphar : " How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God ? "- 
Gen. xxxix. 9. 

2 So, too, in the 'Dhammapada,' or (Buddha's) Path of Virtue: "He 
who lives a hundred years vicious and unreflecting, a life of one day is 
better if a man is virtuous and reflecting." And in Addison's ' Cato' we 


A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty 
Is worth a whole eternity of bondage. 

And Bishop Heber 

Swell, swell the bugle, sound the fife ; 

To all the sensual world proclaim 
One crowded hour of glorious strife 

Is worth an age without a name. 

"Our happiness," said Speroni to Francis Maria II., Duke of Rovere, 
"is to be measured by its quality, not by its duration ; and I prefer to 
live for one day like a man, than for a hundred years like a brute, a stock, 
or a stone. " 


Mahdsena, coming in and seeing her in that condition, said, 
" What is this, my beloved 1 Who has offended you ? Tell me 
the name of the man whose life and property I am to take by 
way of punishment." Then the revengeful queen said, with 
affected reluctance, " You have not the power to punish the man 
who has injured me ; so what is the good of revealing the in- 
jury?" But when the king pressed her, she said, deceitfully, 
" My husband, if you are very anxious to know, listen, and I 
will tell you. Gunasarman came into my presence to-day, and 
said, ' Queen, I am consumed with passion for you, so consent to 
my wishes, otherwise I cannot live ; bestow on me life as a 
Brahman's fee.' When he had said this, as the room was empty, 
he fell at my feet, Then I drew away my foot and rose up in 
bewilderment, and he, rising up, embraced me, a weak woman, 
by force. And my maid Pallavika came in at that very moment. 
The instant he saw her he fled out alarmed. If Pallavika had 
not come in, the villain would certainly have outraged me. 
This is the injury he has done me to-day." When the queen 
had told this false tale, she stopped and wept. For in the be- 
ginning wicked women sprang from Lying Speech. And the 
moment the king heard it he was all on fire with anger, for 
reliance upon the words of women destroys the discrimination 
even of the great. And he said to his dear wife, " Be comforted, 
fair one ; I will certainly punish that traitor with death." In 
the sequel, the king and his other ministers attempt to kill 
Gunasarman, but he wards off their sword-cuts by his cunning 
of fence, makes his way out of the palace by force, and putting 
on his eyes an ointment which rendered him invisible, leaves 
the country and proceeds towards the Dekkan, reflecting on 
the way, " Surely that foolish king was set on by Asokavati. 
Alas ! women whose love is slighted are worse than poison ! " 


Abbott, General Jas., ii. 192, 195. 

Abercrombie, Hon. J., ii. 234. 

Abti-'l Faraj, ii. 323. 

Abu Hurayra, Code of, i. 38. 

Adenis le Roi, i. 373. 

Advantages of Speaking to a King, 

ii. 360. 

^Esop, i. 32, 123, 130, 266 ; ii. 441. 
Afreets, i. 255, 419. 
Age-shape, Shedding one's, ii. 246. 
Age, Old, ii, 379. 
Ahla, Legend of, i. 408. 
Ahmed the Cobbler, ii. 418. 
Ahmed, Prince, and Husn Banii, i. 

Akbar and the one-eyed Man, ii. 


Akhlak-i Jelali, ii. 359. 
Aladdin's Lamp, i. 122, 314. 
Albanian Tales, i. 131, 135, 137, 

158, 167, 183, 238, 263, 279, 324, 

431 ; ii. 96, 125, 165, 274, 374, 

461, 493. 

Albert, Chronicle of, ii. 65. 
Alewife and the Three Graziers, ii. 1. 
Alexander the Great, ii. 323. 
Alfonsus, Peter see Disciplina 


AH Baba, i. 116 ; ii. 160, 165, 242. 
Alnaschar and his glass-ware, ii. 


Aram and the Ghiil, i. 142. 
Amis and Amiloun (rom.), i. 316. 
Androcles and the Lion, i. 223. 
Anecdotes Chretiennes de 1'Abbe 

Reyre, ii. 445. 

Animals, Thankful see Beasts. 
Antar, Romance of, i. 40, 41, 42, 

46, 47, 68 ; ii. 379. 
An tar's horse Abjer, and sword 

Dhami, i. 45. 

Antonio, St, Miracle-play of, ii. 386. 

Antwerp, Wicked Lady of, ii. 315. 

Anvar-i Suhayli, i. 57, 263. 

Apuleius' Golden Ass, i. 205, 241, 

Arabian Tales, i. 81, 159, 168, 170, 
174, 186, 200, 237, 255, 284, 316, 
330, 349, 378, 381, 402, 406, 414, 
417, 470; ii. 11, 13, 19, 21, 35, 
50, 57, 74, 105, 107, 152, 160, 
201, 223, 300, 301, 317, 323, 343, 
389, 390, 391, 409, 448, 463. 

Ardshi Bordshi, i. 82, 178 ; ii. 13. 

Ariosto, i. 109 ; ii. 65, 82. 

Arlotto's Facetiae, ii. 65, 82. 

Armstrong's Banquet of Jests, i. 53. 

Arthur's Sword, i. 43. 

Ashton, John, i. 73. 

Asiatic origin of European fictions, 
i. 5. 

Ass or Pig ? ii. 36, 473. 

Ass, Table, and Stick, i. 89, 93. 

Asura Maya, i. 84. 

Athenseus, i. 39, 59. 

Athenian duped at Jerusalem, ii. 

'Attar, Feridu-'d-Din, ii. 394. 

Avadanas, i. 84 ; ii. 93, 404. 

Avian, i. 123. 

Ayar-i-Danush, i. 57. 

Babrius, i. 123. 
Bacon, History of Friar, i. 16. 
Bacon, Lord, on Fiction, i. 223. 
Bahar-i Danush, i. 80, 437, 445, 

446; ii. 152, 211, 302, 342, 411. 
Baharistan, i. 51. 

Bahram-i Ghur, i. 81, 159, 183, 257. 
Baka Badha, i. 164. 
Bakhtyar Nama, i. 396; ii. 153, 




Bandello, i. 53, 174. 
Bang (a narcotic), ii. 22. 
Barbasan see Fabliaux. 
Barbara's Ingoldsby Legends, i. 

Baring-Gould, Rev. S., i. 124, 157, 

187 ; ii. 166, 181. 
Barks, Magic, i. 211. 
Barlaam and Josaphat, i. 8, 36. 
" Barrin' o' the Door," ii. 15. 
Barrow, Dr Isaac, ii. 322. 
Bartsch's Mekleuburg Sagen, i. 117. 
Basile see Pentamerone. 
Basilisk, i. 162. 
Bastian, Adolf, i. 272. 
Beal, Dr S., ii. 183, 186. 
Beasts, The Thankful, i. 223, 321, 

324, 325, 335, 337. 
Beauvois, M., ii. 255. 
Bebelius, Henricus, ii. 426. 
Bellerophon Letters, ii. 465. 
Beloe's Oriental Apologues, ii. 21, 


Benfey, Th., ii. 41, 183, 427. 
Bengali Folk-Tales, i. 88, 256, 341, 

349, 463, 467, 469; ii. 51, 148, 

303, 411, 453. 
Berinus, French romance of, ii. 103, 


Bernardino, Novelette de San, i. 18. 
Berni's Orlando Innamorato, i. 109, 

162, 193 ; ii. 144, 216. 
Beryn, Tale of, ii. 99, 478. 
Bevis of Hampton (rom.), i. 41, 42. 
Bhima, i. 164. 
Bhuts, The Two, i. 256, 
Bibliotheque Universelle des Ro- 
mans, i. 54, 373. 

Big Peter and Little Peter, ii. 233. 
Bird-Maidens, i. 182 ; ii. 410. 
Birds, Monstrous, i. 165. 
Birds, Secrets learned from, i. 242, 

469 ; ii. 228. 
Birth-stories, Meaning of, ii. 400 

see also Buddhist Stories. 
Blomfield's Hist, of Norfolk, ii. 351. 
Bluebeard, i. 198. 
Blue Light, i. 319 ; ii. 165. 
Blunt, Johnnie, ii. 16. 
Boccaccio see Decameron. 
Bodisat, i. 234. 
Bohemian Tales, i. Ill, 288, 321. 

386 ; ii. 71. 

Bonaventure des Terriers, ii. 432. 
Bones, Vision of dry, ii. 412. 
Borde, Andrew, ii. 27. 

Borel (kind of cloth), ii. 373. 
Bossus, Les Trois, ii. 335. 
Bougier's Hist. Mem. of Champ., ii. 


Bourignon, Antoinette, i. 28. 
Braco, Laird, i. 59. 
Bradwardine, Thos., i. 21. 
Braga, Th., ii. 388. 
Brahman and the Goat, ii. 39. 
Brahman and the Nakula, ii. 184. 
Brahman and his Pot of Flour, ii. 

438, 439. 

Brahman's Lament, i. 163 ; ii. 405. 
Brahmans, The Four Simple, ii. 23. 
Breton Tales, i. 79 ; ii. 69, 129, 364, 


Bridget, St, i. 35. 

Bridle, Hanged for Stealing a, i. 60. 
Bromyard, John, i. 16 ; ii. 378. 
Brothers, The Four Clever, i. 277. 
Bryant, Jacob, i. 214. 
Buchanan's Jest Book, i. 64 ; ii. 4. 
Buddha's Five Precepts, ii. 92. 
Buddha's Ten Laws, i. 480. 
Buddhist Stories, i. 36, 37, 56, 66, 

113, 230, 233 ; ii. 91, 92, 93, 184. 
Buddhaghosha's Parables, i. 166 ; 

ii. 319, 324. 
Bull, Wishing, i. 109. 
Bunch, Mother, ii. 368. 
Burda (Mantle) Poem of Kab, i. 47. 
Burgundian Tales, ii. 255. ^-^ . . 
Burmese Tales, i. 444, 476 ; ii.(441) T> 
Burton, Sir R. F., i. 67, 350, 378, 

417 ; ii. 106, 390, 441. 
Busching, J. G., ii. 250. 
Busk, Miss M. H. see Rome, Folk- 

Lore of, and Mongolian Tales. 

Cajusse's Marriage, i. 314. 
Calender, The Young, ii. 267. 
Campbell, J. F. see Gaelic Tales. 
Canarese Tales, ii. 12, 164, 377. 
Cautemir's Ottoman Hist., ii. 369. 
Capon, Carving a, ii. 329, 493. 
Capua, John of, i. 8. 236: ii. 174, 


Cardonne's Melanges, i. 177 ; ii. 82. 
Carnoy, E. H. see French tales. 
Carpenter's Wife and her Suitors, 

ii. 289. 

Cat that speaks, ii. 234. 
Caussin de Perceval, i. 40. 
Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, i. 16, 29. 
Cento Novelle Antiche see Novelle 




Cervantes' Wooden Horse, i. 377. 
Ceylou see Sinhalese Tales. 
Chamberlain, Basil Hall, i. 190. 
Chap-Books, i. 72 ; ii. 54, 76, 191. 
Charcoal-Burner, ii. 413. 
Chastity, Tests of, i. 172; ii. 289, 

290, 292, 293, 297. 
Chaucers' Franklin's Tale (of Dori- 

geu), ii. 26 ; Manciple's Tale, ii. 

202 ; Pardoner's Tale, ii. 379 ; 

Squire's Tale, i. 374. 
Cheval de Fust, i. 373. 
Children instinctively knowing their 

parents, ii. 159. 
Children, Precocious, ii. 12. 
Children, Want of, ii. 328. 
Chilian Tales, i. 152, 210. 
Chinese Tales, i. 17, 33, 60, 61, 106, 

147, 159, 189, 384. 
Chitrasekhara and Somasekhara 

(Indian rom.), i. 171, 447 ; ii. 


Chivalric romances, i. 39. 
Chodzko, Dr, i. 38. 
Christ and His Disciples, ii. 381, 


Cinthio, ii. 55, 86, 368. 
Claris and Laris (rom.), i. 217. 
Glaus, Big and Little, ii. 241. 
Cleomades (rom.), ii. 373, 376. 
Clerk, Our Parish, ii. 356. 
Clodd, Edward, i. 347. 
Cobbett's Advice to Young Men, 

ii. 373. 

Cobbler and Calf, ii. 43. 
Cole, Rev. F. T., i. 148, 187 ; ii. 279. 
Coleraan's Knight and the Friar, ii. 


Colebrooke, Ed., ii. 228. 
Coleridge, S. T., i. 220. 
Collier, J. Payne, i. 16 ; ii. 29, 83. 
Colombo, Bishop of, i. 57 ; ii. 400, 


Colombo, Michele, i. 452. 
Colonsay, Maid of, i. 171. 
Comparetti, Prof. D., ii. 199. 
Conde Lucanor, ii. 35, 433, 446. 
Confessio Amantis, i. 224 ; ii. 203. 
Constant du Haniel, ii. 289. 
Contes Devots, i. 23 ; ii. 444, 445. 
Coote, H. C., i. 80, 91, 202, 333, 346. 
Cordelier Cheval, ii. 455. 
Couci, Raoul de (Lover's Heart), ii. 


Cowell, Prof. E. B., ii. 91, 94. 
Cox, Sir George, i. 198, 347 ; ii. 160. 

Crane, Prof. T. F. (Mediaeval 
Sermons and Story-Books), i. 11 ; 
ii. 169, 378; (Italian Popular 
Tales), i. 93, 142, 206, 209, 299, 
355, 394, 395; ii. 19, 59, 113, 
198, 201, 221, 266, 329, 418, 428. 

Croker, T. Crofton, i. 104, 192, 195, 

Crooked Sixpence, i. 294. 

Cruse, The Widow's, i. 118. 

Culprit, Marking a, ii, 164. 

Cumulative Stories, i. 289. 

Cupid and Psyche legends, i. 205. 

Damanaka (or Destiny), ii. 464. 
Damant, C. H., i. 256 ; ii. 273, 303, 

Dan Hew, Monk of Leicester, ii. 


D'Ancona's Rappr. Sacre, ii. 386. 
Danish Tales, i. 158, 162, 207, 211, 

238, 243, 327, 423; ii. 68, 139, 


Dante, i. 18. 

Darby Daly and Mr Purcell, ii. 232. 
Darweshes, The Four, ii. 395, 463. 
Dasent, Sir G., ii. 169 see also 

Norse Tales. 
David the Hebrew Shepherd boy, i. 

David (King) and Satan as a deer, i. 


Davidean Armour, i. 47. 
Davids, Dr Rhys, i. 16, 124 see also 

Buddhist Stories. 
Davis' work on the Chinese, i. 34. 
Davy's Ceylon, i. 118. 
Day, Rev. Lai Behari see Ben- 
gali Folk-Tales. 

Death and the old Lady, i. 389. 
Decameron, i. 51 ; ii. 164, 187, 312. 
Decourdemanche, J. A., ii. 83. 
Demands Joyous, ii. 113. 
Demon in a Bottle, i. 381. 
Demon, Twenty-five Tales of a, i. 

82, 197, 285. 

Demons, Art of subduing, i. 395. 
Demosthenes and the old woman, 

ii. 3. 

Denny, Dr M. B., i. 60, 159, 190. 
Deschamps, Eustace, ii. 32. 
Destiny; or, the Miller's Son, ii. 


Devasmita and her Suitors, ii. 297. 
Devil in Purse, &c., i. 384. 
Devil upon Two Sticks, i. 397. 



Devil, Will of the, ii. 82. 
Dhammapada (Buddha's), i. 167. 
Diable Boiteux, i. 396. 
Dialogus Creaturarum, ii. 37, 434, 

Directorium Humanae Vitae, i. 8, 

236, 263. 
Disciplina Clericalis, i. 8, 14, 53, 

262 ; ii. 87, 298, 371. 
Discorsi degli Animali, ii. 207. 
D'Israeli, Isaac, ii. 190, 467. 
Divorce, Intended, ii. 327. 
Doctor Know-all, ii. 416. 
Dolopathos, i. 9, 30 ; ii. 119, 168, 


Don Manuel, Infante, ii. 432. 
'Don't Count your Chickens,' &c., 

ii. 432. 

Don Quixote, i. 28 ; ii. 84, 144. 
Douce, Francis, ii. 333, 343. 
Douhet's Dictionnaire des Legendes, 

ii. 378. 
Dozon, Auguste see Albanian 

Dragons and Monstrous Birds, i. 

Dravidian Nights, i. 239, 244, 337 ; 

ii. 97, 410, 436, 445, 461, 463. 
Dream, Falling in love through a, 

ii. 212, 228, 488. 
Dreams, The Two, ii. 212. 
Dubois, Abbe, ii. 23. 
Due d'Ossone etlesdeuxmarchands, 

ii. 5. 

Du Halde's China, i. 33. 
Dunbar, William, ii. 81, 251. 
Dunlop's History of Fiction, ii. 53, 

103, 188, 216, 335, 444. 
Dunlop's Roman Literature, ii. 59, 


Dushwanta and Sakuntala, ii. 405. 
Dutch Tales, i. 392 ; ii. 137. 

Edda of Ssemund, i. 77, 316 ; ii. 407. 
Edda of Snorro, i. 135. 
Egerton, Lord Chancellor, ii. 2. 
Egyptian Magic, i. 451. 
Egyptian Romance, i. 67, 350. 
Egyptian Sharpers, ii. 116. 
Egyptian (modern) Tales, ii. 473, 


Elijah and Rabbi Jochonan, i. 24. 
Elites de Contes, i. 54. 
Elopement, The, ii. 212. 
Enchanted Horse, i. 373. 
English Rogue, ii. 251. 

Envious Sisters, i. 169, 170. 
Ephesus, Matron of, i. 32. 
Estourmi, Fabliau of, ii. 334. 
Etienne de Bourbon, i. 12 see also 

Liber de Donis. 

Eurialus and Lucretia (rom.), i. 54. 
Evremonde, St, i. 32. 
Exempla, i. 11. 

Fables, Origin of, i. 274. 

Fables of Bidpai, i. 8 see also 
Hitopadesa ; Panchatantra ; Ka- 
lila wa Dimna ; Anvar-i Suhayli, 

Fabliaux, i. 8, 16, 18, 23, 31, 53, 
129, 212, 213, 216, 219 ; ii. 87, 
216, 289, 335, 339, 344, 372, 439. 

Fabricius' Cod. Apocr. Nov. Test., 
ii. 397. 

Fa-Hien, ii. 186. 

Fairly, Little, ii. 229, 409, 489. 

Fairy Halls, Subaqueous, i. 192. 

Fairy Hinds, i. 215. 

Falconer, Hon. Keith, i. 228; ii. 

Falsetown, Merchant and the Folk 
of, ii. 99. 

Falstaff in the buck-basket, ii. 308. 

Farmer who outwitted the Six Men, 
ii. 273. 

Fate, i. 407. 

Fattii Khan, the valiant weaver, i. 

Faiisboll, Dr, ii. 400. 

Favourite who was envied, ii. 444. 

' Fee, fo, fum ! ' i. 134 ; ii. 468. 

Feet, Rubbing the, ii. 152. 

Felton, John, i. 16. 

Fiji Fables, i. 267. 

Firdausi, i. 47. 

Fish, Men living in monster, i. 403. 

Fish-and-Ring Legends, i. 398. 

Fisherman and Genie, i. 381. 

Fisherman's Son, i, 330. 

Flemish Tales, i. 174 ; ii. 315. 

Flesh, Cutting of one's own, i. 241. 

Fool and the Flies, i. 55. 

Fool who thought himself dead, ii. 
31, 33. 

Foolish Sachali, ii. 441. 

Foote, Samuel, i. 58. 

Forbes, Duncan, i. 117. 

Forbidden Rooms, i. 198. 

Fortunatus, i. 73. 

Forty Vazirs, ii. 25 see also Turk- 
ish Tales. 



Francis, H. T., ii. 401. 

Fraser, J. Baillie, ii. 160. 

Frere, Miss see Old Deccan Days. 

French Tales, i. 93, 174, 198, 352, 

366, 390 ; ii. 361, 388. 
Friar and Boy, i.108. 
Friar John and Friar Richard, ii. 


Friar Rush and the Priest, ii. 237. 
Friar well fitted, ii. 292. 
Friars of Berwick, ii. 251. 
Fridolin, ii. 446. 
Frodi's Mill, i. 118. 
Fryer, Dr A. C., L 89, 379. 
Furnivall, Dr F. J., i. 173 ; ii. 82, 

100, 290. 
Fuselier, M., 32. 

Gaelic Tales, i. 152, 171, 199, 220, 

297, 348, 427, 440; ii. 44, 115, 

135, 257, 258, 261. 
Galland's Les Mille et une Nuits, i. 

288, 315, 345, 440. 
Games in the East, ii. 105. 
Garuda, i. 281, 378. 
Gascon Tales, ii. 256. 
Gautama (Buddha), i. 37; ii. 400, 

Gellert, Llewellyn and the Dog, ii. 


Genji Monogatari (rom.), i. 284. 
George, St, and the Dragon, i. 

German Tales, i. 77, 78, 100, 110, 
117, 150, 174, 187, 206, 236, 249, 
277, 319, 353, 400, 416 ; ii. 49, 71, 
165, 248, 249, 251, 252, 378, 385, 

Gesta Romanorum, i. 12, 20, 28, 53, 
100, 109, 128, 162, 173, 175, 183, 
226, 262, 384, 404 ; ii. 30, 37, 87, 
112, 138, 168, 208, 289, 298, 317, 
333, 357, 444, 460. 

Ghiils, i. 142. 

Giants, Trolls, Ghuls, &c., Encoun- 
ters with, i. 133, 466. 

Gibb, E. J. W., i. 346, 438, 482 ; ii. 

Giovanni, ii. 121, 323. 

Gisli the Outlaw, i. 44 ; ii. 469. 

Giufa, the Sicilian booby, i. 55 ; ii. 

Gladwin's Persian Munshi, i. 18, 29, 
51, 52 ; ii. 12, 13. 

Goethe, i. 379. 

Gold-producing Animals, i. 123. 

Golden A.SS of Apuleius, i. 205, 241, 


Golden Legend, i. 155. 
Golden Swans, i. 127. 
Goldsmith on Parnell's Hermit, i. 27. 
Gonzenbach, Laura see Sicilian 

Good Grace and the Hunchback, ii. 


Goodman, C. W., i. 350. 
Good Man and Bad Man, i. 249, 464. 
Goonetilleke, W., i. 271 ; ii. 429. 
Goonetilleke, S. Jane, i. 464. 
Goose, Seventy Tales of a, ii. 197. 
Goose that laid Eggs of Gold, i. 123. 
Gb'rres on the Seven Sages, ii. 173. 
Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, i. 176 ; 

ii. 408. 
Gotham, Tales of the Men of, i. 65 ; 

ii. 264. 
Gower's Confessio Amantis, i. 224 ; 

ii. 203. 

Graf von Rom, i. 174. 
Grandfather Misery, i. 395. 
Granger on Whittington's portrait, 

ii. 77. 

Graziers and Alewife, ii. 1. 
Grazzini, ii. 33. 
Great Claus and Little Glaus, ii. 


Greek Legends, i. 38. 
Greek (modern) Tales, i. 147, 168, 

202, 243, 285, 325 ; ii. 49, 122, 

266, 463. 

Gregor, Rev. Walter, i. 489. 
Grimm and Schneller's Med. Lat. 

Poetry, ii. 253. 
Grundtvig's ' Danske Folkeaven- 

tyr,' i. 330. 

Gruelan, Lay of Sir, i. 212, 216. 
Gubernatis, De, i. 333, 347 ; ii. 199. 
Guest, Lady Charlotte, i. 428, 430. 
Gueulette see Tartar Tales. 
Gugemer, Lay of Sir, i. 218. 
Gunadhya, i. 83. 

Guy of Warwick (rom.), i. 40, 42. 
Gyges, Ring of, i. 109. 

Hadrian and the Old Man, ii. 470. 

Haftz, i. 39. 

Hagiology, Buddhist and Christian, 

i. 36. 
Hahn's Greek Tales, i. 147, 202, 

285, 325. 

Hair, The perfumed, i. 341, 351. 
Hajaj and his chamberlain, ii. 358. 



Halliwell-Phillipps, J. 0., i. 58, 

397 ; ii. 409. 
Ham (skin), i. 183. 
Hamsa, i. 124. 
Hamsa Vinsati, ii. 197. 
Hanuman, the monkey deity, i. 


Hare and Tortoise, i. 266. 
Harisarman the Soothsayer, ii. 422. 
Harrington's Epigrams, ii. 80. 82. 
Hartland, E. Sidney, i. 205. 
Hanit and Mariit, i. 396. 
Hatifi's 'Seven Faces,' i. 257. 
Hatim Tai, i. 116, 162, 195, 242. 
Hazlitt, W. C., i. 57 ; ii. 29, 33, 53. 
Heart, Lover's, i. 187. 
Hecatommithi (Cinthio's), ii. 55, 

86, 368. 

" Heir of Linne," ii. 53. 
Heir, The True, i. 14. 
Helyas, Knight of the Swan, i. 187. 
Henderson's F. L. of N. Counties, 

i. 165. 

Heptameron, i. 53. 
Herbert, Sir Percy, i. 22. 
Herbs, Magical, i. 97, 462. 
Hermit, Parnell's poem of the, i. 


Hermit and the Treasure, ii. 383. 
Herodotus, i. 122 ; ii. 116. 
Herolt, John, i. 16, 22. 
Heron's God's Judgments, ii. 373. 
Herrtage's 'Gesta,' i. 16, 183, 405. 
Hershon's Talmudic Miscellany, i. 

Heywood's History of Women, i. 

175, 177, 448 ; ii. 349. 
Heywood, Mrs (novelist), ii. 323. 
Hibbert's Shetland, i. 183. 
Highland Tales see Gaelic Tales. 
Hist. Jeschuae Nazareni, ii, 89. 
Hist. Sept. Sap. Eomse see Seven 

Wise Masters. 

Hitopadesa, i. 54, 197 ; ii. 39, 439. 
Hoare, Prince, ii. 17. 
Homer, i. 192, 220. 
Hoodiken, ii. 241. 
Horn, Magic, i. 77, 108. 
Horn of Bran, i. 116. 
Horse, Enchanted, i. 373. 
Hospitality Rewarded, i. 104, 366. 
Houris, i. 84. 

House that Jack built, i. 289. 
Howell's Letters, i. 22. 
Howleglass see Tyl Eulenspiegel. 
Hunchback and the Fairies, i. 352. 

Hunchback, The Little, ii. 343. 
Hunchbacks, The Three, ii. 335 


Hundred Merry Tales, i. 34, 57. 
Hungarian Tales, i. 320, 347 ; ii. 


Hungary, The Knight of, ii. 212. 
Huon of Bourdeaux (rom. ), i. 107. 
Hunt, Leigh, i. 331. 
Hurayra, Code of Abu, i. 38. 
Huri (houris), i. 84. 
Hyreius" Treasury, ii. 118. 

Ibn Khallikan, ii. 50. 

Icelandic Legends, i. 55, 80, 108, 
119, 121, 285, 385, 442 ; ii. 94, 
244, 312. 

'Ifrits, i. 255, 419. 

Impostor, The Lucky, ii. 413. 

Imra-el-Kays, i. 191. 

India, Folk -Lore in Southern, i. 230, 
260 ; ii. 233. 

India, Past Days in, ii. 178. 

Indian Antiquary, i. 99, 148, 187, 
256, 349 ; ii. 273, 279, 303. 

Indian Scogin, ii. 305. 

Indian Tales see Indian Anti- 
quary, Katha Sarit Sagara, Katha 
Manjari, Katha Kosa, Old Dec- 
can Days, Stokes' Indian Fairy 
Tales, Wide-awake Stories, &c. 

Ineffable Name, ii. 409. 

Ingoldsby Legends, i. 379. 

Innkeeper and the Norman Bache- 
lor, i. 18. 

Invisible caps, cloaks, &c., i. 72, 
77, 78, 79. 

Irish Poetry, Ancient, i. 217. 

Irish Tales, i. 102, 193, 357, 361, 
442 ; ii. 229, 232, 234. 

Irishman in Coffee-house, i. 50. 

Irving's Tales of the Alhambra, ii. 
160, 162. 

Italian Tales, i 29, 53, 79, 89, 93, 
99, 140, 174, 202, 206, 314, 331, 
333, 355, 392, 394, 395 ; ii. 4, 17, 
18, 55, 59, 113, 198, 199, 901, 207, 
218, 323, 329, 358, 361, 368, 372, 
381, 382, 389, 417, 428. 

Ixion's treasure-house, i. 198. 

Jack and the Bean-stalk, i. 124. 
Jack and the Giants, i. 75, 124, 133, 

136 ; ii. 468. 

Jack of Dover's Jests, ii. 4. 
Jacob's Staff, i. 44. 



Jacques de Vitry, i. 12, 16, 18, 21, 

28. 30, 35 ; ii. 37, 435. 
Jami's Baharistan, i. 51. 
Japanese Tales, i. 78, 190, 203, 236, 

284, 370. 

Jasher, Book of, i. 38. 
Jatakas, ii. 400 see also Buddhist 


Jests, Popular, i. 50, 57, 64. 
Jesu, Toldoth, ii. 89, 409, 410. 
Jesus and the Jew, ii. 391 , 394 ; 

and his Disciples, ii. 397. 
Jesus revered by Muslims, ii. 408 ; 

Muslim legends of his miracles, 


Jewels, Luminous, i. 412. 
Joel, Rabbi, ii. 181, 182. 
Joe Miller's Jest-Book, i. 65. 
Johannes Junior, ii. 334. 
Johnson, Dr, on taverns, i. 20. 
Johnson and Goldsmith at the 

Mitre Tavern, ii. 113. 
Johnson, Prof., i. 197. 
Jones, Sir William, i. 67, 191. 
Jones' Welsh Bards, ii. 166. 
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, ii. 499. 
Judges' sapient decisions, i. 61. 
Jiilg's Kalmuck Tales, i. 82. 
Julian the Ferryman, ii. 
Julien, Stanislas, i. 17, 61 see also 


Kaab bin Zuhayr, i. 47. 

Kabafl Tales, i. 252 ; ii. 94, 141, 270, 


Kaf, Mountains of, i. 81. 
Kalila wa Dimna, i. 228, 263 ; ii. 

40, 182, 436. 
Kalmuk Tales, i. 82, 86, 101, 111, 

125, 170, 178, 281, 335; ii. 93, 

143, 197, 421, 427. 
Kanran and Guja, i 148 ; ii. 279. 
Kashmiri Tales, i. 160, 349, 409, 

432 ; ii. 109, 318, 362, 398. 
Katha Kosa, ii. 464. 
Katha Manjari, ii. 12, 164, 377. 
Katha Sarit Sagara, i. 35, 36, 61, 83, 

117, 160, 167, 174, 175, 176, 187, 

201, 232, 239, 242, 408, 442 ; ii. 

14, 40, 59, 97, 156, 210, 273, 297, 

307, 363, 398, 422, 454. 
Keightley, Thos., i. 364, 414, 416. 
Keller's Roman des Sept Sages, i. 

31 ; ii. 169. 
Kelly's Indo-European Folk-Lore, 

i. 93. 

Kentigern (St Mungo) and the Ring, 

i. 400. 
Khizar and the Water of Life, i. 


'Kid, a Kid,' i. 291. 
Killing a fly, i. 55. 
King and his Falcon, ii. 177. 
King, Advantages of Speaking to a, 

ii. 360. 

King John and the Abbot, ii. 112. 
Kirkman, Francis, ii. 251, 352. 
Kisagotami, ii. 324. 
Knatchbull, see Kalila wa Dimna. 
Knight Errantry, i. 48. 
Knight of the Swan, i. 187. 
Knight of Hungary, ii. 212. 
Knight and the Greyhound, ii. 170. 
Knights and the Lady, The Three, 

ii. 332. 

Know-all, Doctor, ii. 416. 
Knowles, Rev. J. H., i. 349, 410 

see also Kashmiri Tales. 
Kohler, Dr R., ii. 71, 137, 253, 397. 
Krishna, i. 191, 399. 
Kuhn, Prof. A., ii. 385. 
Kulla Panthaka, ii. 319. 
Kuran, i. 26 ; ii. 408, 410. 
Kurroglii, the bandit-poet, i. 38. 

Lad and the Deil, i. 386. 

Lad who ate a match with a Troll. 

i. 136. 
Lad who went to the North Wind, 

i. 88, 89. 

Lady and her Suitors, ii, 289. 
La Fontaine, i. 32, 125, 422 ; ii. 59. 
Lamb, The Rustic and the, ii. 38. 
Lamote, M., i. 32. 
Lando, Ortensio, ii. 372. 
Lane, Edward W., ii. 343. 
Lanval, Lay of Sir, i. 213. 
Last Day, ii. 35. 
Latin Stories (Wright's), i. 28 ; ii. 


Lebbe, M. Cassim Siddi, ii. 391, 408. 
Lecoy de la Marche, i. 31. 
Legenda Aurea, i. 155. 
Leger, M. see Slav Tales, and 

Melusine (journal). 
Legitimate Son, i. 14. 
Le Grand see Fabliaux. 
Leland's Itinerary, i. 377. 
Le Sage, i. 396 ; ii. 5, 57. 
Lettsom on Mermaids, i. 183. 
Leyden's 'Mermaid,' i. 171. 
Liber de Donis, i. 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 



21, 28, 30, 31, 35 ; ii. 37, 39, 168, 
317, 373, 378, 435, 439, 445. 

Libro de los Engannos, &c., ii. 104, 
107, 207. 

Liebrecht, Dr F., i. 36. 

Life depending on extraneous ob- 
jects, i. 318, 347 ; ii. 145. 

Life-Tokens, i. 169, 351 ; ii. 145. 

Little Fairly, ii. 229, 409. 

Little Lawyer, ii. 352. 

Little Old Woman, ii. 225. 

Little Peter, ii. 233. 

Liver, the seat of Love, ii. 193. 

Llewellyn and his Dog, ii. 166. 

Lloyd's State Worthies, ii. 1. 

Longchamps, Des, ii. 26. 

Longfellow's Outre Mer, ii. 349. 

Lot's Wife, i. 169. 

Lover, Samuel, ii. 229. 

Lover's Heart, ii. 187. 

Lucian's Tales, i. 36, 59, 167, 379, 
406 ; ii. 323, 443. 

Lucius Laviuius, ii. 59. 

"Luckily, they are not peaches," 
ii. 467. 

Luminous Jewels, i. 412. 

Luzel, F.-M. ii. 69, 129. 

Lydgate, John, ii. 313. 

Mabinogion, i. 428 ; ii. 94. 
Macaulay, Lord, ii. 41 . 
Madagascar see Malagasy Tales. 
Madana Kamaraja Kadai see 

Dravidian Nights. 
Madden, Sir Frederick, i. 13. 
Magic barks, i. 218 ; herbs, etc., i. 

97; ii. 462; horses, i. 374; pestle, 

etc., i. 379 ; pipe, i. 107 ; purse, 

i. 73 ; quern, i. 118, 119, 121, 242 ; 

magic in modern Egypt, i. 451 ; 

magic of Babylon, i. 396. 
Magical Transformations, i. 413 ; 

Conflicts, i. 414, 443, 482. 
Mahabharata, i. 124, 125, 163. 399 ; 

ii. 211, 405. 

Maid of Colonsay, i. 171. 
Malagasy Tales, i. 171, 268, 269, 309. 
Malcolm, Sir John, i. 142; ii. 418. 
Malespini, i. 29, 53. 
Mally Whuppie, ii. 489. 
Man and his two wives, i. 16. 
Mapes, Walter, ii. 445. 
Margaret of Navarre, i. 53. 
Marie de France, i. ]29, 218. 
Marking a Culprit, ii. 164. 
Mary the Mother of Jesus, ii. 408. 

Massinger's play of The Picture, ii. 


Massuccio, ii. 216. 
Mastermaid, ii. 310. 
Master Smith, i. 385 ; ii. 409. 
Master Thief, ii. 47. 
Mas'udi, El, ii. 408. 
Matron of Ephesus, i. 31. 
Matthew, Gospel of Pseudo-, i. 176 ; 

ii. 408. 

Matthew Paris, i. 226. 
Maxim saves a king's life, ii. 317, 

Mazarin, Cardinal, and the courtier, 

ii. 361. 
Mediaeval Sermons and Story-books, 

i. 11. 

Melusine (rom. ), i. 212. 
Melusine ( journal), i. 79, 366 ; ii. 

69, 129, 139. 

Merchant and the Folk of False- 
town, ii. 99. 
Merchant, his Wife, and his Parrot, 

ii. 196. 

Merlin, Romance of, i. 42, 43. 
Mermaids, i. 182. 
Merry Tales and Quick Answers, i. 

35, 57 ; ii. 2. 

Merry Tales, A Hundred, i. 34, 57. 
Messiah, Breath of the, ii. 395. 
Mice that ate iron, ii. 59. 
Mick Purcell's Cow, i. 102. 
Midas, i. 108. 

Miles Gloriosus, ii. 216, 221, 227. 
Milkmaid and her Pot of Milk, ii. 


Miller's Son ; or, Destiny, ii. 458. 
Milman, Dean, i. 163 ; ii. 211. 
Mishle Sandabar, ii. 107, 207, 339, 


Misery, Grandfather, i. 395. 
Mitford, A. see Japanese Tales. 
Mitra, Rajendratala, ii. 93. 
Moir, James, ii. 489. 
Moncaut, Cenac, ii. 256. 
Mongolian Tales, i. 82, 85, 101, 

111, 125, 170, 178, 281, 335, 432 ; 

ii. 93, 143, 197, 211, 405, 421, 


Monk and Miller's Wife, ii. 251. 
Monk Transformed, i. 452. 
Montagu, E. Wort ley, i. 330. 
Montgomery, Robert, ii. 41. 
Moore's Lalla Rookh, ii. 197. 
Moore, Thomas H., i. 152, 211. 
More's Dialogues, i. 27. 



Morier's Second Journey to Persia, 
ii. 76. 

Morlini, ii. 361, 389. 

Morning Watch, i. 130. 

Morris, Rev. Dr E., ii. 400. 

Moses and the Lord (Ways of Pro- 
vidence), i. 25 : and Khizar, i. 

Moses' Rod, i. 44. 

Mother Bunch's Pasquils, ii. 368. 

Moulinet, Sieur du, ii. 39. 

Muhammed, L 48. 

Muir's Translations from Sanskrit, 
i. 125. 

Mukhlis, Dervish, ii. 302. 

Miiller, Prof. Max, i. 36, 167 ; ii. 

Mulleyj Miss Jane, i. 330. 

Nakhshabi, ii. 197 see also Tiiti 

Nala and Damayanti, ii. 211, 405. 

Name, The Ineffable, ii. 409. 

Natesa Sastri see Dravidian 
Nights, and India, Folk-Lore in 

Nats, i. 479. 

Nebel Kappe, i. 77. 

Neckam, Alex., i. 16. 

Nepalese Buddhist Literature, ii. 

Nibelungenlied, i. 77, 126, 183. 

Nifflunga Saga, i. 77. 

Noodles, Book of, i. 65. 

Norse Tales, i. 44, 78, 88, 108, 109, 
118, 121, 136, 203, 206, 233, 236, 
250, 264, 299, 300, 302, 325, 348, 
385, 386, 420, 427, 441 ; ii. 37, 
47, 66, 94, 98, 113, 115, 169, 233, 
243, 310, 356, 413, 458, 494. 

Norwich, Fair Lady of, ii. 349. 

Nose-Tree, i. 77. 

' No Song, no Supper,' ii. 17. 

Nostradamus, ii. 188. 

Novelle Antiche, i. 31 ; ii. 358, 381, 
382, 383, 444. 

Noy, Attorney-General, ii, 1. 

Nugse Curialium, ii. 445. 

Nun who tore out her eyes, i. 35. 

Oberon, i. 107. 
Odyssey, i. 220. 
Oesterley, Prof., ii. 333, 378. 
Old Age, ii. 379. 

Old Deccan Days, i. 88, 242, 263, 

Old Man and his Two Wives, i. 16. 

Old Woman and Crooked Sixpence, 
i. 294. 

Old Woman, Little, ii. 225. 

Oldest Persons, Legends of the, ii. 

One-eyed husband, i. 53. 

One-legged fowl, i. 51. 

Oriental Fictions, their introduc- 
tion into Europe, i. 5. 

Oriental Melanges, i. 177 ; ii. 82. 

Origin and diffusion of popular 
tales, i. 1-5. 

Orlando Furioso, i. 109. 

Orlando Innamorato, i. 109, 162, 
193 ; ii. 144, 216. 

Orpheus and Eurydice, i. 169. 

Ouseley, Sir Gore, i. 259 ; ii. 77. 

Ouseley, Sir William, i. 396 ; ii. 57. 

Ovid's Metamorphoses, ii. 202. 

Owls, The Two, i. 275. 

Panchatantra, i. 36, 57, 124, 125, 

228, 378; ii. 39, 175, 183, 411, 

Panjab, Temple's Legends of the, i. 

160 ; ii. 195. 
Pantagruel and the Pilgrims, i. 

Paradise, The man who came from, 

ii. 233. 

Pardoner's Tale, Chaucer's, ii. 379. 
Paris, Professor Gaston, L 22 ; ii. 


Paris, Paulin, ii. 388. 
Parish Clerk, Our, ii. 494. 
Parnell's Hermit, i. 20 ; Fairy Tale, 

i. 361. 

Parrot, Tales of a see Tuti Nama. 
Parrot-stories, ii. 192, 196, 210. 
Partenopex de Blois (rom.), i. 211, 

216, 219. 
Pauli's Schimpf und Ernst, i. 18 ; 

ii. 378. 

Pausanias, ii. 118. 
Payne, John, ii. 227, 390. 
Paynter's Palace of Pleasure, ii. 55. 
Pecorone, II, ii. 121, 223. 
Pegasus, i. 378. 
Pelbartus" Serm. de Temp. Hiem., 

ii. 378. 

Pentamerone, i. 174, 288. 
Percy, Bishop, i. 40 ; ii. 63. 
Pergamenus, Nicolaus, ii. 37, 434, 

Perjury, Test of, i. 177. 



Perrault's ' La Barbe Bleue,' i. 198. 
Perseus and Andromeda, i. 158. 
Persian Miinshi, i. 18, 29, 51, 52; 

ii. 12, 13. 
Persian Tales, i. 81, 142, 159, 177, 

183, 213, 217, 257, 378, 437; ii. 

55, 56, 73, 160, 302, 418, 489. 
Peter, Big and Little, ii. 233. 
Peter of Provence (rom.), i. 377. 
Peter the Pedlar, ii. 458. 
Petrifying Victims, i. 168. 
Petronius Arbiter, i. 32. 
Phaedrus, i. 123. 
Phalabhiiti, ii. 454. 
Phaya Kruth, i. 272. 
Philemon and Baucis, i. 107. 
Phillipps, J. 0. Halliwell-, i. 58, 

397 ; ii. 409. 

Phoebus and the Crow, ii. 203. 
Physicians, The Three Envious, ii. 


Pickering, Charles J., iL 394. 
Picture, The, ii. 292. 
Pipe, Magic, i. 107. 
Piper transformed, i. 449. 
Piron, Alexis, i. 455. 
Pitre, Dr see Sicilian Tales. 
Plautus' Miles Gloriosus, ii. 216, 

221, 227. 
Pleasant Nights of Straparola, i. 

415 ; ii. 17, 262, 427. 
Poet ill and well clothed, i. 17. 
Poggio's Facetiae, ii. 33, 427. 
Polish Tales, i. 105, 377. 
Polycrates, Ring of, i. 398. 
Polyphemus, i. 445. 
Portuguese Tales, i. 77, 251, 463 ; ii. 


Potiphar's Wife, ii. 499. 
Powell and Magnusson see Ice- 
landic Tales. 

Precocious Children, ii. 12. 
Prem Sagar, i. 191. 
Presents to great men in the East, 

ii. 469. 
Priest in Chest, ii. 34; in Sack, 

ii. 490. 

Prioress and her Wooers, ii. 31 3. 
Promptuarium Exemplorum, i. 16, 


Pseudo-Matthew, Gospel of, i. 176. 
Puck, ii. 240. 

Purcell and Darby Daly, ii. 232. 
Purcell's Cow, i. 102. 
Purse, Inexhaustible, i. 73, 77, 79. 
Purse, The Lost, ii. 367. 

Quern, Magic, 118, 119, 121, 242, 

Rabelais, ii. 406, 433. 

Radloff's Siberian Tales, i. 253. 

Raleigh, Sir W., i. 59. 

Ralston, W. R. S., i. 254, 368 see 

also Russian Tales and Tibetan 


Rama and Lakshmana, i. 350. 
Ramayana, i. 109, 176 ; ii. 93. 
Ramsay, Allan, i. 16 ; ii. 251. 
Ram that coined ducats, i. 89. 
Rappresentazione Sacre, ii. 386. 
Rasalii, Raja, i. 45 ; ii. 192. 
Red Cap, ii. 240. 
Redhotise, Dr J. W., i. 37, 255. 
Remusat, Abel, i. 34. 
Resuscitation in Folk-Lore, i. 247 ; 

ii. 407, 497. 
Reyre, Abbe, ii. 445. 
Rhampsinitus' Treasury, ii. 116. 
Rhodhope's shoe, i. 351. 
Rhydderich the Scholar, i. 116. 
Richard Cceur de Lion (rom.), i. 


Ring-and-Fish Legends, i. 398. 
Ritson on Lydgate, ii. 313. 
Riviere see Kaba'il Tales. 
Robbery of the King's Treasury, ii. 

116, 480. 

Robert of Sicily, i. 384. 
Robin Goodfellow, ii. 83, 240. 
Rogers, Captain T., i. 167. 
Roger's poem of Italy, ii. 4. 
Roman Comedies, ii. 59. 
Rome, Folk-Lore of, i. 93, 99, 314, 

355, 392 ; ii. 36, 218, 233. 
Rose, W. Stewart, i. 109, 201, 212, 

219, 254 ; ii. 218. 
Roumanian Tales, i. 309. 
Riickert, DrF., ii. 394. 
Rush, Friar, ii. 237. 
Russian Tales, i. 158, 168, 169, 188, 

201, 254, 305, 347; ii. 71, 139, 


Rustam's horse, i. 45. 
Rustic and Lamb, ii. 38. 
Rutter the Wizard, i. 377. 

Sacchetti, ii. 112. 
Sachs, Hans, ii. 358, 385. 
Sack-Full of Newes, ii. 29. 
Sacristan of Cluni, ii. 344, 494. 
Sacy, Baron de, ii. 343. 
Seemund's Edda, i. 77 ; ii. 407. 



Sagas from the Far East see Mon- 
golian Tales. 

Sakka's Presents, i. 113 ; ii. 462. 
Sakuntala (Indian drama), i. 399. 
Sancho's judicial decisions, i. 28; 

ii. 84. 

Sandal-wood Merchant, ii. 105, 107. 
Sangreal, i. 122. 
Sansovini, ii. 207. 
Satti (suttee), ii. 100. 
Scala Cceli, ii. 334. 
Schiefner, F. A. von, ii. 148. 
Schiller's Fridolin, ii. 445. 
Schumann, Valentin, ii. 248. 
Scogin, Jests of, ii. 27, 360. 
"Scot and Sot," i. 51. 
Scot, Reginald, ii. 240. 
Scots Piper's Queries, ii. 114. 
Scott, Dr Jonathan, i. 159, 330, 378, 

448 ; ii. 155, 301. 
Scott, Sir Walter, i. 180, 317. 
Seal-Maidens, i. 182. 
Secrets learned from birds and 

beasts, i. 242, 429 ; ii. 228. 
Semiletka and her Husband, ii. 


Sermones Dominicales, i. 16. 
Sermons and Story-books, Monkish, 

i. 11. 

Serpent, The Ungrateful, i. 262. 
Serpent-Legends, i. 125, 126. 
Seven Vazirs, i. 199, 221 ; ii. 107, 

300, 448. 
Seven Wise Masters, i. 9, 29 ; ii. 5, 

11, 119, 121, 168, 202, 204, 212, 

214, 317, 332, 334, 341. 
Shah Bakht and his Vazir, ii. 63, 


Shah Nama, i. 46. 
Shakspeare Jest-Books, ii. 33. 
Sharpers and Countryman's Ass, i. 


Sharpers and Simpleton, ii. 27. 
Sharpers of Bologna, i. 331. 
Sheep that produced gold, i. 91. 
Shetland Mermaids, i. 183. 
Shifty Lad, ii. 44, 135. 
Shoemaker, The Brave, i. 139. 
Shoes of Swiftness, i. 75, 77, 81. 
Siamese Tales, i. 230, 272. 
Siberian Tales, i. 253. 
Sibree, Rev. Jas., i. 171, 271. 
Sicilian Tales, i. 28, 55, 107, 125, 

139, 207, 208, 239, 298, 299, 318, 

368, 442, 463 ; ii. 89, 96, 122, 200, 

220, 264, 318, 428. 


Siddhf Kiir, i. 182 see also Mon- 
golian Tales. 

Sigurdr the Sack-knocker, ii. 244. 
Sil (a religious observance), ii. 429. 
Silent Couple, ii. 15. 
Sindbad the Sailor, ii. 406 ; valley of 

diamonds, i. 126. 
Sindibad, Book of, i. 8, 9 ; ii. 9, 

104, 147, 207, 215, 298. 
Sindibad Nama (Persian), i. 217, 

283 ; ii. 9, 90, 105, 174, 204, 395. 
Single combats in romances, i. 46. 
Sinhalese Tales, i. 118, 271, 311, 

464 ; ii. 157, 177, 233, 429, 491. 
Sinhasana Dwatriusati, i. 82, 116, 

447 ; ii. 13, 210. 
Sita's Ordeal, i. 176. 
Six Brothers, ii. 277. 
Skrymer and Thor, i. 135. 
Slav Tales, i. 91, 105, 111, 149, 236, 

238, 321, 386. 
Smith, Sydney, i. 58. 
Snake and Cat, ii. 174 ; Ichneumon, 

ii. 175. 

Snorro's Edda, i. 135. 
Sodom, Judges of, i. 61. 
Solar Myth theory, i. 2. 
Soldier transformed, ii. 450. 
Soldier's Wife and her Suitors, ii. 


Solomon, Judgment of, i. 16. 
Solomon's magical cap, staff, and 

slipper, i. 81 ; ring, i. 382 ; throne, 
i. 110. 

Somadeva, i. 83. 
Son, The Legitimate, i. 14. 
Son, The Ungrateful, ii. 372. 
Sorrow, Irrational, ii. 322. 
Spanish Tales, i. 363 ; ii. 35. 
Sparks, Capt. T. S., i. 444. 
Steele and Temple's Wide - Awake 

Stories, i. 87. 
Stick, Magic, i. 92. 
Stobaeus, I 39. 
Stoke's Indian Fairy Tales, i. 88, 

349, 410 ; ii. 302, 441. 
Stokes, Whitley, i. 35. 
Stone, Walter G., ii. 100. 
Straparola, i. 415 ; ii. 262, 428. 
Stupid Minister, ii. 491 ; Tiger, i. 

148; Wolf, i. 149. 
Subaqueous Fairy Halls, i. 192. 
Suitors, the Lady and her, ii. 289. 
Suka Saptati, i. 146, 178 ; ii. 197. 
Summa Prsedicantium, i. 16 ; ii. 





Suyematz Kenchis, i. 284. 
Swedish Tales, i. 167 ; ii. 96. 
Sword in bed, i. 316. 
Sword of Sharpness, i. 77, 78. 
Swords famous in romance, i. 43. 
Symeon, Son of Seth, i. 181, 182 ; 

ii. 438. 
Syntipas, i. 9 ; ii. 11, 104, 107, 168, 


Tailor, The Brave Little, i. 150. 

Tailor's Dream, ii. 79. 

Tajik, ii. 90. 

Tales and Quick Answers, i. 35 ; ii. 

2, 31, 367. 

Tales, A Hundred Merry, i. 34, 57. 
Talmud, i. 14, 24, 25, 31, 37, 38, 
' 39, 44, 61, 218, 291, 313, 399; 

ii. 112, 286, 327, 329, 380, 470. 
Tamil Tales see Dravidian Nights, 

and India, Folk-Lore in Southern. 
Tarlton's News out of Purgatory, 

i. 52. 

Tarn Hut, i. 77. 
Tartar Tales (Gueulette's), i. 16; 

ii. 39, 216, 267. 
Tawney, Professor C. H., i. 84; ii. 

401, 426. 

Taylor, Bayard, ii. 386. 
Taylor, Jeremy, i. 32. 
Taylor's Wit and Mirth, i. 58. ' 
Tela Ignea Satanse, ii. 410. 
Temal Ramakistnan, i. 65 ; ii. 305. 
Temple, Captain R. C., i. 3, 160; 

ii. 195. 

Theatrum Vitee Humanse, i. 16. 
Theocritus, i. 192. 
Thesaurus (Roman play), ii. 59. 
Thievery, Expert, ii. 115. 
Thieves digging through houses, ii. 

145 ; Shaykh of, 106. 
Thigh, Damsel's garment hid in, ii. 


Thomas of Erceldoune, i. 180. 
Thorns, W. J., i. 16, 82; ii. 97, 

Thor and Skrymer, i. 135 ; and his 

Buck Goats, ii. 407. 
Thorpe's Northern Mythology, i. 

162, 182; ii. 315, 463 Yule-Tide 

Stories, i. 167, 174, 207, 243, 402, 

427, 442 ; ii. 96, 490. ' 
Thousand and One Days, ii. 56 

see also Persian Tales. 
Thousand and One Nights see 

Arabian Tales. 

Throne, Thirty-two Tales of a, i. 82, 

116, 447 ; ii. 13, 26, 210. 
Tibetan Tales, ii. 145, 399, 463. 
Tiger, Stupid, i. 148. 
Tighe's 'Cupid and Psyche,' i. 205. 
Toldoth Jesu, ii. 89, 409, 410. 
Toria the Goatherd, i. 187. 
Touchstone, The, ii. 303. 
Travellers and the Loaf, ii. 86. 
Treasure-.trees, ii. 398. 
Treasures guarded by serpents, i. 

Treasury, Robbery of the King's, 

ii. 115. 

Tressan, Count, i. 373. 
Tristrem, Romance of Sir, i. 179, 


Trois Bossus, ii. 335, 341. 
Trois Freres, ii. 69. 
Trouveres, i. 8. 
Troyes, Nicolas de, ii. 71. 
Trueba, De, i. 28. 
Turi and Basanta, i. 98. 
Turkish Jests, i. 16, 65 ; ii. 33, 35, 

83, 113, 468. 
Turkish tales, i. 27, 432, 437, 481 ; 

ii. 22, 56, 207, 318, 369, 445. 
Tuti Nama, i. 117, 172, 241, 282; 

ii. 196, 197, 207, 293, 411. 
Tyl Eulenspiegel, i. 52; ii. 33, 


Tyrolese Tales, ii. 138, 252. 
Tyrwhitt's Chaucer, ii. 385, 443. 

Uhland's ' Graf von Rom,' i. 174. 
Ulrico, J. J., ii. 89. 
Uncle Capriano, ii. 264. 
Ungrateful Serpent, i. 262. 
Ungrateful Son, ii. 373. 
Unibos, ii. 253. 

Upakosa and her Lovers, ii. 307. 
Urry's Chaucer, ii. 99. 

Valerius Maximus, ii. 3. 
Vandyck, H. S., i. 392. 
Vanillo Gonzales, ii. 5. 
Velent the Smith, i. 77. 
Vernieux' Indian Tales, ii. 110, 181, 

277, 450. 

Vesselovsky, Prof., ii. 139. 
Vessels, Magic, i. 211. 
Vetala Pancliavinsati, i. 82, 197, 

285 ; ii. 26, 210, 410. 
Vikramaditya (rom.), i. 263, 437. 
Vinculum Spirituum, i. 396. 
Virgil, i. 192. 



Virgilius (rom.), i. 178. 
Vishnu, Bird of, i. 281. 
Vitae Patrum, i. 22, 35. 
Vitry see Jacques de Vitry. 
Voleur avise, i. 79 ; ii. 129. 
Volsung Tale, i. 43. 
Voltaire's Zadig, i. 28, 32. 
Voragine, Jacques de, i. 155. 
Vrihat Katha, i. 83. 

Wagenseil's Tela Ignea Satanae, ii. 

Waldau's Bb'hmische Marchen, i. 


Walker, Alexander, i. 177. 
Wapper, The Long, ii. 315. 
Warner's Persian Proverbs, ii. 397. 
Warton on Chivalric Romance, i. 40. 
Wasif s version of Whittington and 

his Cat, ii. 73. 
Way's Fabliaux, i. 216, 219. 
Weber's Tales of the East, ii. 57. 
Weil's Bible, Kuran, and Talmud, 

i. 26. 

Weir the wizard, i. 351. 
Werwolves, ii. 448. 
Westphalian Tales, ii. 251, 385. 
Whittington and his Cat, ii. 65. 
' Who eats my head,' &c., i. 93, 98, 

Wide-Awake Stories, from the Panj- 

ab and Kashmir, i. 87, 146, 152, 

160, 186, 236, 263, 265, 304. 

Widow who was Comforted, i. 29. 

Widow's Cruse, i. 118. 

Widows' Tears, i. 34. 

Wilkinga Saga, i. 77. 

Williams, Professor Monier, i. 163. 

Will of the Devil, ii. 82. 

Wilson, Dr H. H., i. 5, 7, 128, 166, 

174, 350, 378 ; ii. 41, 175, 438. 
Wishes, The Three, i. 390. 395. 
Witchcraft, i. 177, 447. 
Wives, Devoted, ii. 330. 
Wolf, The Stupid, i. 149. 
Women betraying their Husbands, 

ii. 357, 497. 
Women, Heywood's History of, 

i. 175, 177, 448 ; ii. 349. 
Women's alleged depravity, i. 181 ; 

ii. 357, 497. 
Women whose love is scorned, ii. 

Wright, Thomas, i. 28; ii. 5, 38, 

212, 340, 385, 445. 
Wright's Chaste Wife, The, i. 173 ; 

ii. 290. 
Wundervogel, i. 166. 

Youngest brother Fortune's favour- 
ite, i. 321. 
Youth and Age (Coleridge), i. 220. 

Zadig, i. 28, 33. 
Zingerle, ii. 138, 252. 
Zuinger, i. 116.