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N 0 one could say. The minister referred the question to his daughter. The experiment was tried; the king said to the ambassador, This is the upper end, this the root end, to which he assented, and great presents were again given to the minister. The adverse monarch was convinced that his only safe course was peace and con ciliation, and sent his ambassador back once more with an offering of precious jewels and of amity for the future.

Grundtvig, Svend, et al. Hales, John W. Hall, Peter A. Patrick Shuldham-Shaw, Emily B. Lyle, et al. Halpert, Herbert, and J. Mary Ellen Brown and Bruce A. Hirsh, John C. Douglas S.

The English and Scottish popular ballads

Alvaro Ribeiro and James G. Basker Oxford: Clarendon Press, , pp. Innis, Harold A. Ives, Edward D. Jones, James H. Ker, W.

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Chambers London: Macmillan, []. Kinsley, James, ed. Knight, Stephen, ed. Laws, G. Malcolm, Jr. Levenston, E. Lockhart, J. Lyle, E. Macaulay, Ronald K. McCarthy, William B. McGann, Jerome J. McKean, Thomas A. Philip E.

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Mish, Charles C. Newman, David V. Nicolaisen, W. Maria Herrera-Sobek [n. Patricia Conroy Seattle: University of Washington, , pp. Ong, Walter J. Gerd Baumann Oxford: Clarendon Press, , pp. Parkes, M.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook of English and Scottish Popular Ballads, by Francis James Child.

Preston, Dennis R. Quiller-Couch, Arthur, ed. Reeves, James, ed. Johnson, Rollins, Hyder E. Ross, Angus, ed. How heavy is the moon? How far is it to heaven? The answers suggested by the poor peasant's daughter are: Spring is the most beautiful of things, the ground the strongest, autumn the richest. And the bailiff's daughter answers: The ground is fatter than fat, for out of it comes all that's fat, and this all goes back again; the moon has four quarters, and four quarters make a pound; heaven is only one day's journey, for we read in the Bible, "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

The judge then says that if the girl will come to him neither dressed nor naked, etc. A peasant, against the advice of his daughter, carries the king a golden mortar, as he had found it, without any pestle. The king shuts him up in prison till he shall produce the pestle [Grimms]. The man does nothing but cry, "Oh, that I had listened to my daughter! She must come to him neither clothed nor naked, neither riding nor driving, etc. A poor [Pg 10] man had a wise daughter. An emperor gave him thirty eggs, and said his daughter must hatch chickens from these, or it would go hard with her.

The girl perceived that the eggs had been boiled. She boiled some beans, and told her father to be ploughing along the road, and when the emperor came in sight, to sow them and cry, "God grant my boiled beans may come up! The girl gave her father a piece of wood, and sent him back to the emperor with the message that she would perform what he had ordered, if he would first make her a distaff, spindle, and loom out of the wood.

The emperor was astonished at the girl's readiness, and gave the old man a glass, with which she was to drain the sea. The girl dispatched her father to the emperor again with a pound of tow, and asked him to stop the mouths of all the rivers that flow into the sea; then she would drain it dry. Hereupon the emperor ordered the girl herself before him, and put her the question, "What is heard furthest? But the girl said, "Nay, the emperor's beard is worth three rains in summer.

The Elfin Knight - Child 2

With these traditional tales we may put the story of wise Petronelle and Alphonso, king of Spain, told after a chronicle, with his usual prolixity, by Gower, Confessio Amantis, Pauli, I , ff. The king valued himself highly for his wit, and was envious of a knight who hitherto had answered all his questions. Determined to confound his humbler rival, he devised three which he thought unanswerable, sent for the knight, and gave him a fortnight to consider his replies, which failing, he would lose his goods and head.

The knight can make nothing of these questions, which are, What is that which needs help least and gets most? What is worth most and costs least? What costs most and is worth least? The girl, who is but fourteen years old, observing her father's heavy cheer, asks him the reason, and obtains his permission to go to court with him and answer the questions. He was to say to the king that he had deputed her to answer, to make trial of her wits. The answer to the first question is the earth, and agrees in the details with the solution of the query, What is fatter than fat?

Humility is the answer to the second, and pride the third answer. The king admires the young maid, and says he would marry her if her father were noble; but she may ask a boon. She begs for her father an earldom which had lately escheated; and, this granted, she reminds the king of what he had said; her father is now noble. The king marries her.


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In all these seven tales a daughter gets her father out of trouble by the exercise of a superior understanding, and marries an emperor, a king, or at least far above her station. The Grimms' story has the feature, not found in the others, that the father had been thrown into prison. A prince had a feeble-minded son, for whom he wished to get a wife.

He found a girl gathering fire-wood with others, and, on asking her questions, had reason to be pleased with her superior discretion. He sent an ox to the girl's father, with a message that on the third day he would pay him a visit, and if by that time he had not made the ox drop a calf and give milk, he would lose his head. The old man and his wife fell to weeping. The daughter bade them be of good cheer, killed the ox, and gave it to her parents to eat.

On the [Pg 11] third day she stationed herself on the road by which the prince would come, and was gathering herbs. The prince asked what this was for. The girl said, "Because my father is in the pangs of child-birth, and I am going to spread these herbs under him.

He went away, and sent his messenger again with three stones in a bag.