Hans could not sleep for a long time for the pain in his limbs, and thought much of the hidden treasure, but he dropped asleep at last towards morning.
The sun was high in the heavens when his master returned from town. "Hans," said the parson, "you were a great fool not to go with me yesterday. Look here! I've had plenty to eat and drink, and got money in my pocket into the bargain." Meantime he jingled the money to vex him more. But Hans answered quietly, "Worthy Mister Parson, you have had to keep awake all night for that bit of money, but I've earned a hundred times as much in my sleep." "Show me what you earned," cried the parson. But Hans answered, "Fools jingle their copecks, but wise men hide their roubles."
When they reached home, Hans did his duty zealously, unharnessed and fed the horses, and then walked round the church till he found the stone in the wall that was not mortared.
On the first night after the full moon, when everybody else was asleep, Hans crept quietly out of the house with a pickaxe, wrenched out the stone with much difficulty, and actually found the hole with the money, just as the dwarf had described it to him. Next Sunday he divided the third part among the poor of the parish, and gave notice to the parson that he was about to quit his service, and as he asked no wages for so short a time, he got his discharge without any demur. But Hans travelled a long way off, bought himself a nice farm-house, married a young wife, and lived quietly and comfortably for many years.
At the time when my grandfather was a shepherd-boy, there were many old people living in our village who had known Hans, and who bore witness to the truth of this story.
[Footnote 62: Hans is a generic term in Esthonia for the cunning fellow who always contrives to outwit the Devil, &c.]
THE TREASURE AT KERTELL.
During a great war, the people of Kertell, in the island of Dagoe, caused a great iron chest to be made, wherein they stored all their gold and silver, and sunk it in the river near the old bridge. But they all perished without recovering it. Many years afterwards, a man who was passing by in the evening saw a small flame flickering in the air. He laid his pipe on a stone and followed the flame; but it disappeared, and on going to pick up his pipe, he found it gone, and money lying on the stone. But afterwards, whenever he passed the stone, he found money. His companions advised him to consult a magician with respect to raising the treasure, of which the tradition had persisted; and the magician directed him to go to the place where he had seen the flame on three successive Thursdays, and sacrifice a cock, but not to speak of it to any one. On the third Thursday, he took some companions with him; and when the cock was sacrificed, the treasure-chest appeared above water, and they dragged it to shore with great labour. But one of the party looked towards the bridge, and saw a little boy mounted on a pig riding over it. He exclaimed to his companions, when the figures disappeared, the stakes and ropes gave way, and the treasure fell back into the river, and was irrecoverably lost to them.
[Footnote 63: This seems to be an error in the story; for the context shows that the prohibition was not to speak a word during the ceremony.]
THE GOLDEN SNAKES.
Two woodcutters found a number of snakes in the wood, and one of the men killed some, and he and his comrade followed them up till they came to a vast mass of snakes, among which was one with a golden crown. They fled, but were pursued by the snake-king, when one of them turned round and hit him on the head with an axe, when he changed into a heap of gold. They then returned to the cluster of snakes, but they had all disappeared, and they found only another heap of gold. They divided the money, and with half of it they built a church.
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The previous story is Lithuanian rather than Esthonian in character. The next has a more diabolical character than any of the preceding.
THE DEVIL'S TREASURE.
A travelling Swedish shoemaker saw a fire burning one night on the Sand Mountain, and on reaching the spot, found an iron chest, which he opened, and finding it to contain a pot of gold, helped himself to a good supply. He then left his situation, and wandered about till he came to Ringen, where he was appointed shoemaker to the castle. One evening he was alone in his room when he heard a horn blown twice, but each time he went out and found nothing. He then took his prayerbook in his hand, ate his supper, and went to bed, but was awakened by a tremendous noise in the castle. On opening his eyes, he saw that his room was lit up with tapers, and two women, one in a red and the other in a green dress, stood by his bed, who invited him to dance. Half asleep, he cried out, "To hell with you! Is this a time to dance?" They reminded him of the money which he had taken, left the room, and banged the door after them, so that the whole castle shook. The lights went out, and the shoemaker turned over and went to sleep again. Next morning he found himself lying terribly bruised, with his head and body in the hall, and his legs in the room. On his breast were the impress of two hands, showing prints of all the fingers. Shortly afterwards he died, having confessed to the priest, and left all his money for a church-bell. The chest was found empty, the demons having carried off their treasure again; but the shoemaker was buried under the pulpit in the church at Ringen.
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We may end this section with the story of a man who failed to raise a treasure through fear.
THE NOCTURNAL CHURCH-GOERS.
One Christmas Eve the people at a farm-house a couple of versts from a church went to bed early, intending to go to early morning service by candle-light. The farmer woke up, and on going out to see how the weather was, he saw the church lit up, and thinking he had overslept himself, called his people and they set out. They found the church lit up and full of people, but the singing sounded rather strange. When they reached the open door, the lights and people disappeared, and a stranger came out, who told them to return, saying, "This is our service; yours begins to-morrow." But he took one youth of the party aside, and told him to come again at midnight three days before St. John's Eve and he would make his fortune, but he warned him to keep it secret.
As the party returned to the farm-house, the sky cleared, and they saw from the position of the stars that it was midnight. When the matter came to the pastor's ears, he tried to persuade the people that it was only a dream; but the matter could not be hushed up.
The youth who had received an invitation from the stranger felt very doubtful about keeping the appointment, especially as he had been commanded to keep it secret; but a fortnight before the time, he was going home one evening after sunset, when he saw an old woman sitting by the roadside, who asked him what he was thinking about so deeply. He made no answer, and then she asked to see his hand to tell his fortune, assuring him that she meant him well. She put on her spectacles, and after examining his hand for some time, promised him great good fortune, and told him to go with the stranger without fear. But if he wished to take a wife, let him not do so without great consideration, or he might fall into misfortune. She refused any payment, and hurried away as lightly as a young girl.
Three days before St. John's Eve, the youth set out a little before midnight. A voice cried in his ear, "You are not going right!" and he was about to turn back when he heard voices singing in the air, which urged him not to throw away his good fortune, and encouraged him to proceed. He found the church-door closed, but the stranger came from behind the left side of the church. He told the youth he feared he might not have come; and that the church service was held at Christmas only once in seven years, at a time when men are all asleep. The stranger then told the youth that there was a grave mound in a certain meadow on which grew three junipers, and under the middle one a great treasure was buried. In order to propitiate the guardians of the treasure, it was needful to slaughter three black animals, one feathered and two hairy, and to take care that not a drop of the sacrificial blood was lost, but all offered to the guardians. A bit of silver was to be scraped from the youth's buckle that the gleam of the costly silver might lead him to that which was buried. "Then cut a stick from the juniper three spans long, turn the point three times toward the grass where you have offered the blood, and walk nine times round the juniper bush from west to east. But at every round strike the grass under the bush three times with the stick, and at every blow say 'Igrek!' At the eighth round you will perceive a subterranean jingling of money, and after the ninth round you will see the gleam of silver. Then fall on your knees, bend your face to the ground, and cry out nine times 'Igrek,' when the treasure will rise." The seeker must wait patiently till the treasure has risen, and not allow himself to be frightened by the spectres which would appear, for they were only soulless phantoms, to try the seeker's courage. If it failed, he would return home with empty hands. The seeker must go to the hill on St. John's Eve, when the bonfires were burning and the people merrymaking. A third of the treasure was to be given to the poor; the rest belonged to the finder.
The stranger repeated his directions three times word for word that the youth should not forget them, when the sexton's cock crew and the stranger vanished suddenly.
Next day the youth obtained a black cock and a black dog from some neighbours, and next night he caught a mole. On St. John's Eve he took the three animals, and carried out his instructions at midnight, slaughtering first the cock, then the mole, and lastly the dog, taking care that every drop of blood should fall on the appointed spot. But when he had called "Igrek!" at the conclusion of the ceremony, a fiery-red cock rose suddenly under the juniper, flapped his wings, crowed and flew away. A shovelful of silver was then cast up at the youth's feet. Next a fiery-red cat with long golden claws rose from under the juniper, mewed, and darted away, when the earth opened and threw up another shovelful of silver. Next appeared a great fiery-red dog, with a golden head and tail, who barked, and ran away, when a shovelful of roubles was cast up at the youth's feet. This was followed by a red fox with a golden tail, a red wolf with two golden heads, and a red bear with three golden heads; and behind each animal money was thrown out in the grass, but behind the bear there came about a ton of silver, and the entire heap rose to the height of a haycock. When the bear had disappeared, there was a rushing and roaring under the juniper as if fifty smiths were blowing the bellows at once. Then appeared from the juniper a huge head, half man, half beast, with golden horns nine feet long, and with golden tusks two ells long. Still more dreadful were the flames which shot from mouth and nostrils, and which caused the rushing and roaring. The youth was now beside himself with terror, and rushed away, fancying himself closely pursued by the spectre, and at last he fell down in his own farmyard and fainted. In the morning the sunbeams roused him; and when he came to himself, he took six sacks with him from the barn to carry off the treasure. He found the hill with the three junipers, the slaughtered animals, and the wand; but the earth showed no signs of having been disturbed, and the treasure had vanished. Probably it still rests beneath the hill, waiting for a bolder man to raise it.
The grandson of the unlucky treasure-seeker, who relates this story, could not say if his grandfather had been equally unfortunate in his marriage, as he never alluded to the subject.
[Footnote 64: Kergi (rise up), spelt backwards.]
[Footnote 65: As in the story of Joodar (Thousand and One Nights).]
Under this heading I propose to notice two stories only. The first of these is called the "Maidens who Bathed in the Moonlight" (Kreutzwald), and is peculiarly tame and inconsequential, but yet exhibits one or two features of special interest which forbid its being passed over altogether.
A young man who had already learned the language of birds and other mysteries, and was still desirous to peer into all sorts of secret knowledge, applied to a famous necromancer to initiate him into the secrets hidden under the veil of night. The Finnish sorcerer endeavoured to dissuade him from his purpose; but as he persisted, he told him that on the evening of St. Mark's Day, which was not far off, the king of the serpents would hold his court at a place which he indicated, as was the custom every seven years. There would be a dish of heavenly goat's-milk before the king, and if the young man could dip a bit of bread in it, and put it in his mouth before taking to flight, he would gain the secret knowledge which he desired.
At the appointed time, the young man went at dusk to a wide moor, where he could see nothing but a number of hillocks. At midnight a bright light shone from one of the hillocks; it was the king's signal, and all the other snakes, which had been lying like motionless hillocks, uncoiled themselves, and began to move in that direction. At last they gathered themselves into a great heap as large as a haycock. The youth at first feared to approach, but at last crept up on tiptoe, when he saw thousands of snakes clustered round a huge serpent with a gold crown on his head. The youth's blood froze in his veins and his hair stood on end, but he sprang over the heap of hissing serpents, who opened their jaws as he passed, but could not disengage themselves quickly enough to strike him. He secured his prize and fled, pursued by the hissing serpents, till he fell senseless; but at the first rays of the sun he woke up, having left the moor four or five miles behind him, and all danger was now over. He slept through the day, to recover himself from the fatigue and fright, and went into the woods in the following night, where he saw golden bathing benches arranged, with silver bath whisks and silver basins. Presently the loveliest naked maidens assembled from all quarters, and began to wash themselves in the bright moonlight, while the youth stood behind a bush looking on. They were the wood-nymphs, and the daughters of the Meadow-Queen. Towards morning they disappeared suddenly from his sight, and though he visited the woods again night after night, he never again saw either the bathing utensils or the maidens, and pined away in hopeless longing.
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The next story is extremely interesting, and it contains a more elaborate description of the Seal of Solomon (which we should hardly expect to be known in the legends of a country like Esthonia) than any other which I have seen, except that given by Weil in his Biblische Legenden der Muselmaenner. Weil, however, represents it as a cluster of stones, possessing different virtues, and not as a single stone. The symbol called the Seal of Solomon by the Freemasons, &c., consists of two equilateral triangles intersecting each other within a circle, and is regarded by mystics of every class as one of the most sacred of all symbols. In Eastern legends the mystical name of God is said to have been inscribed on the Seal. Arabian writers say that the embalmed body of Solomon, with the ring on his finger, sits enthroned on one of the islands of the Circumambient Ocean. Cf. the story "Bulookiya" (Thousand and One Nights), and Kirby's poem of Ed-Dimiryaht.
[Footnote 66: There has been some discussion as to the right meaning to be put upon the words, Mana tark (Death-magician), but it appears to me that necromancer is simply a literal rendering.]
[Footnote 67: This serpent-gathering so much resembles those described in the first book of the Maha-Bharata, and in the story of Hasib (or Jamasp) in the Thousand and One Nights, that I have referred the present story to the class of tales of Oriental origin.]
[Footnote 68: In Finland and Esthonia they use dried birch-twigs with the leaves attached to whisk themselves with when bathing.]
[Footnote 69: See vol. i. p. 13.]
THE NORTHERN FROG.
Once upon a time, as old people relate, there existed a horrible monster which came from the north. It exterminated men and animals from large districts, and if nobody had been able to arrest its progress, it might gradually have swept all living things from the earth.
It had a body like an ox and legs like a frog; that is to say, two short ones in front, and two long ones behind. Its tail was ten fathoms long. It moved like a frog, but cleared two miles at every bound. Fortunately it used to remain on the spot where it had once alighted for several years, and did not advance farther till it had eaten the whole neighbourhood bare. Its body was entirely encased in scales harder than stone or bronze, so that nothing could injure it. Its two large eyes shone like the brightest tapers both by day and night, and whoever had the misfortune to meet their glare became as one bewitched, and was forced to throw himself into the jaws of the monster. So it happened that men and animals offered themselves to be devoured, without any necessity for it to move from its place. The neighbouring kings offered magnificent rewards to any one who could destroy the monster by magic or otherwise, and many people had tried their fortune, but their efforts were all futile. On one occasion, a large wood in which the monster was skulking was set on fire. The wood was destroyed, but the noxious animal was not harmed in the slightest degree. However, it was reported among old people that nobody could overcome the monster except with the help of King Solomon's Seal, on which a secret inscription was engraved, from which it could be discovered how the monster might be destroyed. But nobody could tell where the seal was now concealed, nor where to find a sorcerer who could read the inscription.
At length a young man whose head and heart were in the right place determined to set out in search of the seal-ring, trusting in his good fortune. He started in the direction of the East, where it is supposed that the wisdom of the ancients is to be sought for. After some years he met with a celebrated magician of the East, and asked him for advice. The sorcerer answered, "Men have but little wisdom, and here it can avail you nothing, but God's birds will be your best guides under heaven, if you will learn their language. I can help you with it if you will stay with me for a few days."
The young man thankfully accepted this friendly offer, and replied, "I am unable at present to make you any return for your kindness, but if I should succeed in my enterprise, I will richly reward you for your trouble." Then the sorcerer prepared a powerful charm, by boiling nine kinds of magic herbs which he had gathered secretly by moonlight. He made the young man drink a spoonful every day, and it had the effect of making the language of birds intelligible to him. When he departed, the sorcerer said, "If you should have the good luck to find and get possession of Solomon's Seal, come back to me, that I may read you the inscription on the ring, for there is no one else now living who can do so."
On the very next day the young man found the world quite transformed. He no longer went anywhere alone, but found company everywhere, for he now understood the language of birds, and thus many secrets were revealed to him which human wisdom would have been unable to discover. Nevertheless, some time passed before he could learn anything about the ring. At length one evening, when he was exhausted with heat and fatigue, he lay down under a tree in a wood to eat his supper, when he heard two strange birds with bright coloured plumage talking about him in the branches. One of them said, "I know the silly wanderer under the tree, who has already wandered about so much without finding a trace of what he wants. He is searching for the lost ring of King Solomon." The other bird replied, "I think he must seek the help of the Hell-Maiden, who would certainly be able to help him to find it. Even if she herself does not possess the ring, she must know well enough who owns it now." The first bird returned, "It may be as you say, but where can he find the Hell-Maiden, who has no fixed abode, and is here to-day and there to-morrow? He might as well try to fetter the wind." "I can't say exactly where she is at present," said the other bird, "but in three days' time she will come to the spring to wash her face, as is her custom every month on the night of the full moon, so that the bloom of youth never disappears from her cheeks, and her face never wrinkles with age." The first bird responded, "Well, the spring is not far off; shall we amuse ourselves by watching her proceedings?" "Willingly," said the other.
The young man resolved at once to follow the birds and visit the spring; but two difficulties troubled him. In the first place, he feared he might be asleep when the birds set out; and secondly, he had no wings, with which he could follow close behind them. He was too weary to lie awake all night, for he could not keep his eyes open, but his anxiety prevented him from sleeping quietly, and he often woke up for fear of missing the departure of the birds. Consequently he was very glad when he looked up in the tree at sunrise, and saw the bright-coloured birds sitting motionless with their heads under their wings. He swallowed his breakfast, and then waited for the birds to wake up. But they did not seem disposed to go anywhere that morning; but fluttered about as if to amuse themselves, in search of food, and flew from one tree-top to another till evening, when they returned to roost at their old quarters. On the second day it was just the same. However, on the third morning one bird said to the other, "We must go to the spring to-day, to see the Hell-Maiden washing her face." They waited till noon, and then flew away direct towards the south. The young man's heart beat with fear lest he should lose sight of his guides. But the birds did not fly farther than he could see, and perched on the summit of a tree. The young man ran after them till he was all in a sweat and quite out of breath. After resting three times, the birds reached a small open glade, and perched on a high tree at its edge. When the young man arrived, he perceived a spring in the midst of the opening, and sat down under the tree on which the birds were perched. Then he pricked up his ears, and listened to the talk of the feathered creatures.
"The sun has not set," said one bird, "and we must wait till the moon rises and the maiden comes to the well. We will see whether she notices the young man under the tree." The other bird replied, "Nothing escapes her eyes which concerns a young man. Will this one be clever enough to escape falling into her net?" "We will see what passes between them," returned the first bird.
Evening came, and the full moon had already risen high above the wood, when the young man heard a slight rustling, and in a few moments a maiden emerged from the trees, and sped across the grass to the spring so lightly that her feet hardly seemed to touch the ground. The young man perceived in an instant that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life, and he could not take his eyes from her.
She went straight to the well, without taking any heed of him, raised her eyes to the moon, and then fell on her knees and washed her face nine times in the spring. Every time she looked up at the moon, and cried out, "Fair and round-cheeked, as now thou art, may my beauty likewise endure imperishably." Then she walked nine times round the spring, and each time she sang—
"Let the maiden's face not wrinkle, Nor her red cheeks lose their beauty; Though the moon should wane and dwindle, May my beauty grow for ever, And my joy bloom on for ever!"
Then she dried her face with her long hair, and was about to depart, when her eyes suddenly fell upon the young man who was sitting under the tree, and she turned towards him immediately. The young man rose up to await her approach. The fair maiden drew nearer, and said to him, "You have exposed yourself to severe punishment for spying on the private affairs of a maiden in the moonlight, but as you are a stranger, and came here by accident, I will forgive you. But you must inform me truly who you are, and how you came here, where no mortal has ever before set foot."
The youth answered with much politeness, "Forgive me, fair lady, for having offended you without my knowledge or intention. When I arrived here, after long wanderings, I found this nice place under the tree, and prepared to camp here for the night. Your arrival interrupted me, and I remained sitting here, thinking that I should not disturb you if I looked on quietly."
The maiden answered in the most friendly manner, "Come to our house to-night. It is better to rest on cushions than on the cold moss."
The young man hesitated for a moment, uncertain whether he ought to accept her friendly invitation or to decline it. One of the birds in the tree remarked to the other, "He would be a fool if he did not accept her offer." Perhaps the maiden did not know the language of birds, for she added, "Fear nothing, my friend. I have not invited you with any ill intention, but wish you well with all my heart." The birds responded, "Go where you are asked, but beware of giving any blood, lest you should sell your soul."
Then the youth went with her. Not far from the spring they arrived at a beautiful garden, in which stood a magnificent mansion, which shone in the moonlight as if the roof and walls were made of gold and silver. When the youth entered, he passed through very splendid apartments, each grander than the last; hundreds of tapers were burning in gold chandeliers, and everywhere diffused a light like that of day. At length they reached a room where an elegant supper was laid out, and two chairs stood at the table, one of silver and the other of gold. The maiden sat down on the golden chair, and invited the youth to take the other. White-robed damsels served up and removed the dishes, but they spoke no word, and trod as softly as if on cats' feet. After supper the youth remained alone with the royal maiden, and they kept up a lively conversation, till a woman in red garments appeared to remind them that it was bedtime.
Then the maiden showed the young man to another room, where stood a silken bed with cushions of down, after which she retired. He thought he must have gone to heaven with his living body, for he never expected to find such luxuries on earth. But he could never afterwards tell whether it was the delusion of dreams or whether he actually heard voices round his bed crying out words which chilled his heart—"Give no blood!"
Next morning the maiden asked him whether he would not like to stay here, where the whole week was one long holiday. And as the youth did not answer immediately, she added, "I am young and fair, as you see yourself, and I am under no one's authority, and can do what I like. Until now, it never entered my head to marry, but from the moment when I saw you, other thoughts came suddenly into my mind, for you please me. If we should both be of one mind, let us wed without delay. I possess endless wealth and goods, as you may easily convince yourself at every step, and thus I can live in royal state day by day. Whatever your heart desires, that can I provide for you."
The cajoleries of the fair maid might well have turned the youth's head, but by good fortune he remembered that the birds had called her the Hell-Maiden, and had warned him to give her no blood, and that he had received the same warning at night, though whether sleeping or waking he knew not. He therefore replied, "Dear lady, do not be angry with me if I tell you candidly that marriage should not be rushed upon at racehorse speed, but requires longer consideration. Pray therefore allow me a few days for reflection, until we are better acquainted." "Why not?" answered the fair maid. "I am quite content that you should think on the matter for a few weeks, and set your mind at rest."
Lest the youth might feel dull, the maiden led him from one part of the magnificent house to another, and showed him all the rich storehouses and treasure-chambers, thinking that it might soften his heart. All these treasures were the result of magic, for the maiden could have built such a palace with all its contents on any day and at any place with the aid of Solomon's Seal. But everything was unsubstantial, for it was woven of wind, and dissolved again into the wind, without leaving a trace behind. But the youth was not aware of this, and looked upon all the glamour as reality.
One day the maiden led him into a secret chamber, where a gold casket stood on a silver table. This she showed him, and then said, "Here is the most precious of all my possessions, the like of which is not to be found in the whole world. It is a costly golden ring. If you will marry me, I will give it you for a keepsake, and it will make you the happiest of all mankind. But in order that the bond of our love should last for ever, you must give me three drops of blood from the little finger of your left hand in exchange for the ring."
The youth turned cold when he heard her ask for blood, for he remembered that his soul was at stake. But he was crafty enough not to let her notice his emotion, and not to refuse her, but asked carelessly what were the properties of the ring.
The maiden answered, "No one living has been able to fathom the whole power of this ring, and no one can completely explain the secret signs engraved upon it. But, even with the imperfect knowledge of its properties which I possess, I can perform many wonders which no other creature can accomplish. If I put the ring on the little finger of my left hand, I can rise in the air like a bird and fly whithersoever I will. If I place the ring on the ring-finger of my left hand, I become invisible to all eyes, while I myself can see everything that passes around me. If I put the ring on the middle finger of my left hand, I become invulnerable to all weapons, and neither water nor fire can hurt me. If I place it on the index finger of my left hand, I can create all things which I desire with its aid; I can build houses in a moment, or produce other objects. As long as I wear it on the thumb of my left hand, my hand remains strong enough to break down rocks and walls. Moreover, the ring bears other secret inscriptions which, as I said before, no one has yet been able to explain; but it may readily be supposed that they contain many important secrets. In ancient times, the ring belonged to King Solomon, the wisest of kings, and in whose reign lived the wisest of men. At the present day it is unknown whether the ring was formed by divine power or by human hands; but it is supposed that an angel presented the ring to the wise king."
When the youth heard the fair one speak in this way, he determined immediately to endeavour to possess himself of the ring by craft, and therefore pretended that he could not believe what he had heard. He hoped by this means to induce the maiden to take the ring out of the casket to show him, when he might have an opportunity of possessing himself of the talisman. But he did not venture to ask her plainly to show him the ring. He flattered and cajoled her, but the only thought in his mind was to get possession of the ring. Presently the maiden took the key of the casket from her bosom as if to unlock it; but she changed her mind, and replaced it, saying, "There's plenty of time for that afterwards."
A few days later, their conversation reverted to the magic ring, and the youth said, "In my opinion, the things which you tell me of the power of your ring are quite incredible."
Then the maiden opened the casket and took out the ring, which shone through her fingers like the brightest sun-ray. Then she placed it in jest on the middle finger of her left hand, and told the youth to take a knife and stab her with it wherever he liked, for it would not hurt her. The youth protested against the proposed experiment; but, as she insisted, he was obliged to humour her. At first he began in play, and then in earnest to try to strike the maiden with the knife; but it seemed as if there was an invisible wall of iron between them. The blade would not pierce it, and the maiden stood before him unhurt and smiling. Then she moved the ring to her ring-finger, and in an instant she vanished from the eyes of the youth, and he could not imagine what had become of her. Presently she stood before him smiling, in the same place as before, holding the ring between her fingers.
"Let me try," said he, "whether I can also do these strange things with the ring."
The maiden suspected no deceit, and gave it to him.
The youth pretended he did not quite know what to do with it and asked, "On which finger must I place the ring to become invulnerable to sharp weapons?" "On the ring-finger of the left hand," said the maiden, smiling. She then took the knife herself and tried to strike him, but could not do him any harm. Then the youth took the knife from her and tried to wound himself, but he found that this too was impossible. Then he asked the maiden how he could cleave stones and rocks with the ring. She took him to the enclosure where stood a block of granite a fathom high. "Now place the ring," said the maiden, "on the thumb of your left hand, and then strike the stone with your fist, and you will see the strength of your hand." The youth did so, and to his amazement he saw the stone shiver into a thousand pieces under the blow. Then he thought, "He who does not seize good fortune by the horns is a fool, for when it has once flown, it never returns." While he was still jesting about the destruction of the stone, he played with the ring, and slipped it suddenly on the ring-finger of his left hand. Then cried the maiden, "You will remain invisible to me until you take off the ring again." But this was far from the young man's thoughts. He hurried forwards a few paces, and then moved the ring to the little finger of his left hand, and soared into the air like a bird. When the maiden saw him flying away, she thought at first that this experiment too was only in jest, and cried out, "Come back, my friend. You see now that I have told you the truth." But he who did not return was the youth, and when the maiden realised his treachery, she broke out into bitter lamentations over her misfortune.
The youth did not cease his flight till he arrived, some days later, at the house of the famous sorcerer who had taught him the language of birds. The sorcerer was greatly delighted to find that his pupil's journey had turned out so successfully. He set to work at once to read the secret inscriptions on the ring, but he spent seven weeks before he could accomplish it. He then gave the young man the following instructions how to destroy the Northern Frog:—"You must have a great iron horse cast, with small wheels under each foot, so that it can be moved backwards and forwards. You must mount this, and arm yourself with an iron spear two fathoms long, which you will only be able to wield when you wear the magic ring on the thumb of your left hand. The spear must be as thick as a great birch-tree in the middle, and both ends must be sharpened to a point. You must fasten two strong chains, ten fathoms long, to the middle of the spear, strong enough to hold the frog. As soon as the frog has bitten hard on the spear, and it has pierced his jaws, you must spring like the wind from the iron horse to avoid falling into the monster's throat, and must fix the ends of the chains into the ground with iron posts so firmly that no force can drag them out again. In three or four days' time the strength of the frog will be so far exhausted that you can venture to approach it. Then place Solomon's ring on the thumb of your left hand, and beat the frog to death. But till you reach it, you must keep the ring constantly on the ring-finger of your left hand, that the monster cannot see you, or it would strike you dead with its long tail. But when you have accomplished all this, take great care not to lose the ring, nor to allow anybody to deprive you of it by a trick."
Our friend thanked the sorcerer for his advice, and promised to reward him for his trouble afterwards. But the sorcerer answered, "I have learned so much magic wisdom by deciphering the secret inscriptions on the ring, that I need no other profit for myself." Then they parted, and the young man hastened home, which was no longer difficult to him, as he could fly like a bird wherever he wished.
He reached home in a few weeks, and heard from the people that the horrible Northern Frog was already in the neighbourhood, and might be expected to cross the frontier any day. The king caused it to be proclaimed everywhere that if any one could destroy the frog, he would not only give him part of his kingdom, but his daughter in marriage likewise. A few days later, the young man came before the king, and declared that he hoped to destroy the monster, if the king would provide him with what was necessary; and the king joyfully consented. All the most skilful craftsmen of the neighbourhood were called together to construct first the iron horse, next the great spear, and lastly the iron chains, the links of which were two inches thick. But when all was ready, it was found that the iron horse was so heavy that a hundred men could not move it from its place. The youth was therefore obliged to move the horse away alone, with the help of his ring.
The frog was now hardly four miles away, so that a couple of bounds might carry it across the frontier. The young man now reflected how he could best deal with the monster alone, for, as he was obliged to push the heavy iron horse from below, he could not mount it, as the sorcerer had directed him. But he unexpectedly received advice from the beak of a raven, "Mount upon the iron horse, and set the spear against the ground, and you can then push yourself along as you would push a boat from the shore." The young man did so, and found that he was able to proceed in this way. The monster at once opened its jaws afar off, ready to receive the expected prey. A few fathoms more, and the man and the iron horse were in the monster's jaws. The young man shook with horror, and his heart froze to ice, but he kept his wits about him, and thrust with all his might, so that the iron spear which he held upright in his hand, pierced the jaws of the monster. Then he leaped from the iron horse, and sprang away like lightning as the monster clashed his jaws together. A hideous roar, which was heard for many miles, announced that the Northern Frog had bitten the spear fast. When the youth turned round, he saw one point of the spear projecting a foot above the upper jaw, and concluded that the other was firmly fixed in the lower one; but the frog had crushed the iron horse between his teeth. The young man now hastened to fasten the chains in the ground, for which strong iron posts several fathoms long had been prepared.
The death-struggles of the monster lasted for three days and three nights, and when it reared itself, it struck the ground so violently with its tail, that the earth was shaken for fifty miles round. At length, when it was too weak to move its tail any longer, the young man lifted a stone with the help of his ring, which twenty men could not have moved, and beat the monster about the head with it until no further sign of life was visible.
Immeasurable was the rejoicing when the news arrived that the terrible monster was actually dead. The victor was brought to the capital with all possible respect, as if he had been a powerful king. The old king did not need to force his daughter to the marriage, for she herself desired to marry the strong man who had alone successfully accomplished what others had not been able to effect with the aid of a whole army. After some days, a magnificent wedding was prepared. The festivities lasted a whole month, and all the kings of the neighbouring countries assembled to thank the man who had rid the world of its worst enemy. But amid the marriage festival and the general rejoicings it was forgotten that the monster's carcass had been left unburied, and as it was now decaying, it occasioned such a stench that no one could approach it. This gave rise to diseases of which many people died. Then the king's son-in-law determined to seek help from the sorcerer of the East. This did not seem difficult to him with the aid of his ring, with which he could fly in the air like a bird.
But the proverb says that injustice never prospers, and that as we sow we reap. The king's son-in-law was doomed to realise the truth of this adage with his stolen ring. The Hell-Maiden left no stone unturned, night or day, to discover the whereabouts of her lost ring. When she learned through her magic arts that the king's son-in-law had set out in the form of a bird to visit the sorcerer, she changed herself into an eagle, and circled about in the air till the bird for which she was waiting came in sight. She recognised him at once by the ring, which he carried on a riband round his neck. Then the eagle swooped upon the bird, and at the moment that she seized him in her claws she tore the ring from his neck with her beak, before he could do anything to prevent her. Then the eagle descended to the earth with her prey, and they both stood together in their former human shapes. "Now you have fallen into my hands, you rascal," cried the Hell-Maiden. "I accepted you as my lover, and you practised deceit and theft against me: is that my reward? You robbed me of my most precious jewel by fraud, and you hoped to pass a happy life as the king's son-in-law; but now we have turned over a new leaf. You are in my power, and you shall atone to me for all your villainy." "Forgive me, forgive me," said the king's son-in-law. "I know well that I have treated you very badly, but I heartily repent of my fault." But the maiden answered, "Your pleadings and your repentance come too late, and nothing can help you more. I dare not overlook your offence, for that would bring me disgrace, and make me a byword among the people. Twice have you sinned against me: for, firstly, you have despised my love; and, secondly, you have stolen my ring; and now you must suffer your punishment." As she spoke, she placed the ring on the thumb of her left hand, took the man on her arm like a doll, and carried him away. This time she did not take him to a magnificent palace, but to a cavern in the rocks where chains were hanging on the walls. The maiden grasped the ends of the chains and fettered the man hand and foot, so that it was impossible for him to escape, and she said in anger, "Here shall you remain a prisoner till your end. I will send you so much food every day, that you shall not die of hunger, but you need never expect to escape." Then she left him.
The king and his daughter endured a time of terrible anxiety as weeks and weeks passed by, and the traveller neither returned nor sent any tidings. The king's daughter often dreamed that her consort was in great distress, and therefore she begged her father to assemble the sorcerers from all parts, in hopes that they might perhaps be able to give some information respecting what had happened to him, and how he could be rescued. All the sorcerers could say was that he was still alive, but in great distress, and they could neither discover where he was, nor how he could be found. At length a famous sorcerer from Finland was brought to the king, who was able to inform him that his son-in-law was kept in captivity in the East, not by a human being, but by a more powerful creature. Then the king sent messengers to the East to seek for his lost son-in-law. Fortunately they met with the old sorcerer who had read the inscriptions on Solomon's Seal, and had thus learned wisdom which was hidden from all others. The sorcerer soon discovered what he wished to know, and said, "The man is kept prisoner by magic art in such and such a place, but you cannot release him without my help, so I must go with you myself."
They set out accordingly, and in a few days, led by the birds, they reached the cavern in the rock where the king's son-in-law had already languished for seven years in captivity. He recognised the sorcerer immediately, but the latter did not know him, he was so much worn and wasted. The sorcerer loosed his chains by his magic art, took him home, and nursed and tended him till he had recovered sufficient strength to set out on his journey. He reached his destination on the very day that the old king died, and was chosen king. Then came days of joy after long days of suffering; and he lived happily till his end, but he never recovered the magic ring, nor has it ever since been seen by human eyes.
* * * * *
The succeeding prose sections are short, and chiefly contain stories from Jannsen's collections, of many of which I have given only a brief outline.
[Footnote 70: Loewe translates the word kon, "dragon," but it primarily means a frog or toad; and "dragon" is not among the other meanings which I find in the dictionaries. Besides, the creature is described as resembling a frog in many respects.]
[Footnote 71: Compare vol. i. p. 223.]
[Footnote 72: Porgu neitsi. Who she was is not clearly explained.]
Several of these, given by Jannsen, may be briefly narrated.
THE CHURCH AT REVEL.
Revel was formerly an unimportant place, and the inhabitants wished to make it famous by building a church. They contracted with the great architect Olaf to erect it; and when it was completed, and he was about to fix the cross on the summit, his wife cried out joyfully, "Olaf will come home to-day with a thousand barrels of gold." But scarcely had Olaf fixed the cross in its place, when he slipped and fell to the ground, and a toad and a snake sprang out of his mouth. The Devil wished to destroy the church, but could not get near it; so he made a sling at Pernau, and hurled a great rock at it. But the sling broke, and the rock fell half-way between Pernau and Revel, where it now remains. (Similar tales are related of the Devil in many countries, but are perhaps commonest in Scandinavia.)
[Footnote 73: Doubtless Olev of the Kalevipoeg; possibly St. Olaf may also be intended.]
[Footnote 74: This incident reminds us of the story of St. Olaf and the giant Wind and Weather (see Keightley's Fairy Mythology, Bohn's edition, 1860, p. 117), though here it is the giant church-builder who falls. According to one of the legends of Cologne Cathedral, the architect was hurled from the top of the unfinished building by the Devil. The calling of a person by name was often regarded by the Scandinavians as a death-omen.]
THE CHURCH AT PUeHALEPP.
Before Christian times there was a great alder forest in the island of Dagoe, where the people used to make sacrifices and hold festivals. Afterwards the forest was hewn down, all but one tree, under which the people wished to build a church. But the missionaries would not consent, till a man advised them to yoke two oxen to the cart in which the building materials should be loaded, and then let them wander at will. Where they halted, the church should be built.
So the oxen were driven to the alder forest, where there was plenty of grass, and after being allowed to graze awhile they were brought back and yoked to the cart. They returned to the heath and began to feed, and the church was erected on that spot and named the Church of Puehalepp.
The Devil thought to destroy it by hurling two great rocks at it at night from a hill, after having carefully noted its position in the daytime. He missed his aim in the darkness, but mounted his mare and rode to see what damage was done. Just as he reached the church the cock crew, and he was forced to turn round and ride back to hell. But the marks of the mare's hoofs are still to be seen where he heard the cock crow.
Another story relates how the Devil pulled down a church which was in course of erection, and tore up the very foundations. But a wise man told the people to take two white calves, dropped on that night, harness them to a cart, and build the church where they stopped, which was accordingly done.
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS.
A blind nobleman of Vastemois, near Fellin, was driving out one day, when his coachman saw a splendid golden cross. His master ordered him to drive up to it; and on touching it, he recovered his sight. In gratitude, he built a church on the spot, which was afterwards destroyed in war-time, and only the walls left standing. The people were too poor to rebuild it, but from the ruins grew a tree which all regarded as holy. The then over-lord commanded them to fell it, and as they refused, he did so himself, but was immediately struck blind.
THE CHURCH AT FELLIN.
In former days, the church of Fellin did not stand where it stands at present, but close to the lake. It was prophesied that it should stand till seven brothers should be present in it together. When this happened by chance, the church began to sink. The congregation escaped, except the seven brothers, who remained in it, but it sunk till even the summit of the spire had disappeared. The site is now a marshy meadow, but if any one is there near midnight on New Year's Eve, he hears entrancing voices, and cannot move from the spot till the church clock beneath the ground has struck the last stroke of twelve.
The story of the wicked rich brother who oppresses the poor one is not unknown in Esthonia. There is a hideous story of such a pair, relating how when the poor brother died his widow begged grave-clothing from the wife of the rich one. When the rich brother returned, he scolded his wife, and rushed off, cursing and swearing, to strip the body of his dead brother, even in his coffin, crying, "That's mine! that's mine!" But when he would have laid the naked corpse back in the coffin, it clung round his neck, and he was compelled to carry it about with him for the rest of his life.
THE RICH BROTHER AND THE POOR ONE.
Once upon a time there were two brothers, one of whom had abundance, but the other was very poor. As is the way of the world, riches do not heed poverty, and thus it was with the two brothers. The rich one would not give the poor one even a spoonful of soup.
One day the rich brother gave a great feast. The poor brother expected to have been invited, but his hopes were vain.
All at once a bright idea struck him, and he went to the river and caught three large pike. "I'll carry these to my brother," said he, "and perhaps they will bring me a blessing."
He took the fish to his brother, and addressed him humbly, like a rich lord. But it made no difference. His brother only said, "Many thanks," turned his back, and went off.
What could the poor brother do? He also turned round, and went his way, sorrowfully reflecting, "He is my brother in name indeed, but he's worse than an entire stranger!"
All at once he saw an old man sitting by the road, who rose up quickly and went towards him, saying, "Friend, why do you look so sorrowfully on the world?"
"Sorrowful or not," said the poor brother, "it goes well enough with me! I brought my rich brother three fish for a present, and he didn't even give me a drink in return!"
"But you perhaps got something else?" asked the old man.
"Oh, yes, 'many thanks,'" said he; "that's your something else!"
The old man answered, "Give me your 'many thanks,' and you shall become a rich man."
"Take it, and welcome," said the poor brother.
Then the old man instructed him as follows:—"Go home, look for Poverty under the stove, and throw it into the river, and you shall see how it will fare with you."
Then he went his way, and the poor brother returned home. He found Poverty under the stove, seized it, and flung it into the river.
After this, everything which he undertook succeeded with the poor brother, and it was a real marvel to see how he got on. His fields grew fine harvests, and his barns and stables were soon more imposing than his rich brother's.
When the rich brother saw it, he grew envious, and wanted to know how the other had got wealthy. He was always teasing him to know how it was, and at last the other got tired of it, and said, "How did I get rich? I dragged Poverty out from under the stove, and threw it in the water. That's how it was!"
"That's how it was," cried the rich brother. "Wait a bit! your sort shan't outdo me!"
So he went to the river and fished for Poverty, from whom he supposed that his poor brother had received everything. He fished and fished, and would do nothing else, till at length he held Poverty fast.
While he inspected and examined it at home, it slipped through his fingers and hid under his stove, and nobody could get it out again.
After this everything went worse and worse with the rich brother, till he became at last quite poor, and remained so.
* * * * *
This story, which I have not abridged, is a well-known Sclavonic legend. It is probably connected with the story of the three apes which forms the introduction to that of "Khaleefeh the Fisherman," in the Thousand and One Nights.
The plague continued to rage in Eastern Europe long after it had disappeared from the West, and down to a very recent period. Consequently we find plague-legends, which have almost died out in the British Islands, except in Scotland, rife among all the Eastern nations. The Plague-demon is usually represented as female, but in the Esthonian legends it is masculine.
The Plague once seated himself in a boat which was returning to the Island of Rogoe, which had hitherto escaped his ravages, in the shape of a tall black man with a great scythe in his hand. He arrived among the dead crew, and at once sprang on shore and began to destroy the inhabitants. Some saw the Plague himself, and others not. If any one saw him, his heart froze with terror before he could speak a word. One night during a violent storm, an old woman saw him enter her cottage as she was sitting alone spinning; but she gathered courage to cry out, "Welcome, in God's name." He stopped short, muttering, "That's enough," returned to the boat in which he had come, and went out to sea. The storm ceased as he departed, and since then he has never reappeared.
In the Island of Nuckoe he appeared as an old grey man, with a taper in one hand and a staff in the other, a book under his arm, and a three-cornered hat on his head. As he went from house to house, he looked up the names of his victims in his book, let his taper shine on their faces to make sure that he had made no mistake, and touched the doomed with his staff. A peasant once saw him enter his cottage, and touch all with his staff, except himself and the infant in the cradle. All the others died before cockcrow.
Another time the Plague was driving down a steep path which led to a village, when he upset his vehicle and broke the axle. A passing peasant helped him to bind it up, and directed him to the smithy; but he declared that he was the Plague, and for the good deed that had been done him all the village should be spared. So he turned his horse, drove back up the hill, and vanished like a cloud. When the news was brought to the village, bonfires of rejoicing were lighted, and kept up for many days.
[Footnote 75: There is a similar tale told of the arrival of the Cholera in one of the Greek islands.]
[Footnote 76: Speaking of the Vad Velen, the Yellow Plague, in Britain, we are told in the Mabinogion that all who saw him were doomed to die.]
[Footnote 77: This story somewhat resembles that of the old hag seen by Lord Seaforth when lying ill of scarlet fever with several of his schoolfellows. The narrative has been reprinted several times, and is included in Stead's More Ghost Stories, p. 37.]
I commence with wolf-stories, which are rather numerous in Esthonia. One of them relates the creation of the wolf. When God had created the world, he asked the Devil what he thought of his work; and the Devil objected that there was no animal to scare away mischievous boys from the woods when the bear and the snake were sunk in their winter sleep. Thereupon God gave leave to the Devil to make such an animal as he wished, and to give it life by the formula, "Stand up and devour the Devil." Then the Devil made the wolf's back of a strong hedge-pole, the head of a tree-stump, the breast of twigs and leather, and the loins of bricks. He made the tail of a fern-frond, and the feet of alder-stumps, but he put a stone into its breast for the heart. He clothed the body with moss, burning coals formed the eyes, and iron nails were used for the teeth and claws. He then named the creature Wolf, and pronounced the spell as far as "devour," when the creature raised his head and snorted. The Devil was too much frightened to finish, but afterwards plucked up courage, and repeated the spell, substituting God's name for his own. But the wolf took no notice, and when the Devil appealed to God, he was only told to use the same spell; so he stood a long way off and pronounced it. Then the wolf rushed at the Devil, who was forced to hide under a stone to save himself. Since then the wolf has been the Devil's worst enemy, and pursues him everywhere.
Another story relates how God forbade the wolf to eat the flocks and the dogs, but to receive his share when the farmers baked. But one day a farmer's wife threw the wolf a red-hot stone instead of bread, and he burnt his muzzle, which has been black ever since. Since then he devours whatever falls in his way.
A farmer, hemmed in by a herd of wolves, succeeded in driving them away, but was followed home by one of them. When he took his provisions out of the sledge, he laid his hand on a square object like a whetstone. He then remembered hearing that the wolves sometimes receive food from heaven, and thought this might be their portion. So he flung it to the wolf, saying, "Take it if it's yours;" and the wolf seized it and disappeared.
There is an odd story of a young woman who was carrying an apron full of eggs to her mother. She was overtaken by a violent thunderstorm, and sheltered under a fir-tree. She felt something moving among the eggs, and was frightened; but presently she was still more terrified when she found a great wolf tugging at her apron. She dropped it in her fright, and a black cat jumped out and darted away, pursued by the wolf. When she reached the village, her mother told her that the black cat was the Devil, who had taken that form in order to play her a trick or do her some injury, but had been scared away by the wolf.
Have we here an inverted and distorted echo of "Little Red Riding Hood?"
A peasant who was broiling fish in the forest at nightfall met with a still more alarming adventure. A black man appeared to him, and commanded him to fetch him a spit, for he wanted to broil fish too. But the spit which he wanted was a long sharp stake, and the peasant himself was to be the fish. In his terror the peasant called "St. George's Dogs" to his aid, and a pack of wolves rushed out, and chased the Devil away, while the peasant drew out the axle from his cart-wheel, and supplied its place with a pole of rowan-wood.
Another story relates how an unfortunate wolf missed getting his usual rations from God, and set out to forage for himself. After sparing some whom he met, and allowing others to escape, he fell into the hands of a young peasant, who gave him a sound beating and then took refuge in a tree. The wolf's relatives, seeking revenge, climbed on each other's back till they nearly reached the peasant, who upset them by a stratagem, and they fell, many breaking their limbs. Since then a wolf always runs away when he sees a man.
Were-wolves are sometimes alluded to in Esthonian tales.
* * * * *
The following stories are of a more miscellaneous character, and some of them are sufficiently interesting to be given with little or no abridgment.
[Footnote 78: Such origins are common in Esthonian and Finnish folk-literature, and I regard them as relics of fetishism.]
THE MAN WITH THE BAST SHOES.
Once upon a time a traveller came to a village and asked for a night's lodging. He was handsomely dressed, but he had coarse bast shoes on his feet. A friendly farmer received the stranger hospitably, and offered him accommodation. At night the man asked his host, "Farmer, where shall I put my bast shoes?" The farmer showed him the place, but he added, "No, my shoes must spend the night among the feathered people, for that is what they are used to. So I would rather hang them on the perch in the hen-house." The farmer laughed at the joke, and permitted him to do so.
As soon as all were in their first sleep, the owner of the bast shoes rose from his bed, slipped into the hen-house, tore the shoes to pieces, and scattered the coarse plaits among the fowls. Next morning he went to the master of the house and complained, "Farmer, my property was badly damaged last night." Said the farmer, "Well, let whoever has done the mischief make it good." This was just what the stranger wanted, and he immediately caught the dappled cock, and put him into his knapsack, "for," said he, "he's the culprit; last night he pecked at my shoes till he spoiled them." Then he proceeded on his journey with the cock.
On the evening of the same day he arrived at a neighbouring village, and asked again for accommodation. At night he put the cock in the farmer's sheep-pen, and excused himself by saying, "My cock has not been used to anything else since he was a chicken." But at night he strangled the bird, and then complained, "The sheep have killed my cock." He indemnified himself by taking a fat ram from the flock, for he held by the farmer's adage, "He who has done the mischief must pay for it."
By a similar stratagem he exchanged the ram at the third village for an ox, and at last the ox for a horse. He soon contrived to get a sledge too, and drove merrily over hill and dale, till the stones flew behind him, while he contrived new schemes and stratagems. On the way, he encountered Master Reynard, who persuaded him by entreaties and cajoleries to take him into his sledge. After a while, the wolf and bear joined them, and likewise found a place in the sledge; but this made the load too heavy, and when they came to a curve in the road, the side-poles of the sledge gave way. Then the man sent his companions to fetch wood to make a new pole. But none of the three brought a proper one back. The fox and wolf brought thin sticks in their mouths, and the bear brought a whole pine-tree, roots and all. Then the man went himself, and soon found the wood which he wanted. Meantime, the wild beasts availed themselves of the opportunity, and sprang upon the horse and devoured it. But they stuffed the skin nicely with straw, and set it carefully up, so that it stood again on its four legs as if it was alive.
When the man came back with the pole, he mended the sledge and harnessed the horse again. "Oho! now we'll drive on." But alas! the horse would not move. Then the man looked at the red scamp, the grey rascal, and the brown villain, and said angrily, "Give me my horse back." But the wild beasts answered, "You killed it yourself, while we were running about looking for wood by your orders."
Thus they stood quarrelling and disputing, till Reynard considered how he could best put an end to the dispute and save his own skin. He knew of a pit in the neighbourhood which the hunter had dug for a wolf-trap, and covered loosely with thin twigs. "The matter won't be settled by quarrelsome and angry words," cried he; "but come, let the four of us go to the wolf-pit; we will all tread on it at once, and whoever falls in shall be adjudged guilty." The rest agreed, and when they stood on the twigs, they broke under their weight, and precipitated them into the pit, and even Reynard was unable to escape. He had trusted too much to the lightness of his tread, and had trodden on the twigs without consideration. Now they were all in the trap together, and none of them could hope to escape. The time seemed long to them, and their hunger soon became too great to bear.
First of all, the wild beasts attacked the man of the bast shoes and devoured him, and then Reynard had to resign his life. Last of all the bear throttled the wolf. Then came the hunter and gave the bear his quietus. Thus all the four rascals experienced the truth of the proverb, "As the deed, so the reward."
WHY THE DOG AND CAT AND THE CAT AND MOUSE ARE ENEMIES.
In former days all animals dwelt together in peace; but then it befell that the dogs killed and devoured hares and other game in the open fields. The other animals complained, and when God called the dogs to account, they objected that they had nothing to eat. Their plea was admitted, and leave was granted them to eat fallen animals. The dogs requested and received a written license to that effect, which was intrusted to the sheep-dog, as the largest and most reliable among them. But in autumn the sheep-dog was very busy, and could neither carry it about with him nor find a dry place for it, so he intrusted it to the care of his friend the tom-cat, who had always a safe room, or sat on the stove. The cat arched his back, and rubbed it against his friend's foot, as a promise of fidelity, and the document was laid on the stove, where it was supposed to be safe.
One day the dogs found a pony in the wood which had fallen, so they fell upon it, and killed and devoured it. The animals complained again, and the dogs were pronounced guilty; but they appealed to the license, in which it was not stated whether the fallen animals should be dead or alive. When the sheep-dog and the cat sought for the document, they could not find it, for the mice had nibbled it away.
The cats were so angry with the mice that they began to kill and eat them, and have done so ever since; but the dogs likewise became enemies of the cats, as they are at present.
The sheep-dog did not venture to return to his fellows without the license. They waited for him in vain, and at last followed him, and sought for him everywhere, but could not find him. So whenever a dog sees another he runs to ask him whether he has not got the missing document with him.
THE ORIGIN OF THE SWALLOW.
The wife of a drunkard was sitting weaving with her child on her lap. She wore a black cloth on her head, a red neckerchief, a white shift, and a coal-black petticoat. When her husband came home, he pushed his wife away, and destroyed the loom with an axe. Then he killed the child with a blow of his fist, and beat his wife till she fell senseless. But Ukko took pity on her, and changed her into a swallow. As she was trying to escape, the man struck at her with a knife, but only cleft her tail. Since that time she flies about twittering her misfortunes, and does not shun men like other birds, but builds her nest against their houses.
THE SPIDER AND THE HORNET.
Once upon a time some boys burned a hornet's nest because the hornet stung them so badly. Then the hornet went to God to complain that the boys despised His gifts, and scattered broken victuals about in the fields. But God objected that she had no witnesses. So she went to the king of the spiders, and made him return with her to God, who asked if he had seen the boys scatter food about the fields. But the spider said that it was not their fault, for they had no table to put their bread on. Then God praised the spider for speaking the truth, and condemned the hornet for telling lies and hating her neighbours without a cause. He then struck her on the back with his staff, and cast her down from heaven to earth, so that she broke in two with the fall. But he let the spider down with a cord, because he had spoken the truth. Since then the spider has had a net and a web, by which he can climb up and down as he likes, as on a cord; but the hornet still retains the pinched-in body which she got when falling from heaven, but is fat enough at both ends.
THE OFFICIOUS FLIES.
A few dozen flies once attacked a cart-horse who was feeding quietly in a thicket, and lamented that they were not more numerous, that they might make him lie down. Presently his skin began to itch, when he lay down, rolled first on once side and then on the other, and crushed them all.
Esthonian Ballads, &c.
For reasons stated in the Preface, only a few specimens are here given.
THE HERALD OF WAR
To the Finnish Bridge when driving On the west wind's path of copper, On the pathway of the rainbow, With the king's note in my wallet, And his mandate in my bosom, And upon my tongue defiance, What was that which came to meet me, And what horror to confound me? Nothing but an ancient corbie, Aged crow, a wretched creature; With his beak he sniffed around him, And his nostrils snuffed the vapour; He had smelt the war already, When his nostrils snuffed the vapour, That he might discern the message Which I carried in my pocket; He had smelt the war already, And the scent of blood allured him. To the Finnish Bridge when driving On the west wind's path of copper, On the pathway of the rainbow, Swift I hastened as an envoy, With the king's note in my wallet, And his mandate in my bosom, In my charge the leader's orders, And upon my tongue the secret That the flags in breeze should flutter, And the lance-points smite in battle, And the swords should do their duty. What was that which came to meet me, And what horror to confound me? 'Twas an eagle came to meet me, Eagle fierce with beak hooked sharply; With his beak he sniffed around him, Through the mist he pushed his nostrils, By the scent he sought to fathom What was in the envoy's message. He had smelt the war already, And the scent of blood had reached him, And he went to call his comrades. To the Finnish Bridge when driving On the west wind's path of copper, On the pathway of the rainbow, Swift I hastened on as envoy, With the king's note in my wallet, And his mandate in my bosom, And upon my tongue the secret And the leader's secret orders That the flags should now be waving, And the spear-points should be sharpened, What was it I there encountered, And what met me there to vex me? 'Twas the raven's son that met me, 'Twas a carrion-bird that met me; With his beak he sniffed around him, And his nostrils snuffed the vapour, That the meaning of my message With his nose he thus might fathom. He had smelt the war already, And the scent of blood had reached him, And he went to call his comrades. To the Finnish Bridge when driving On the west wind's path of copper, On the pathway of the rainbow, While I hastened as an envoy, With the king's note in my wallet, And his mandate in my bosom, And upon my tongue the secret, And the leader's secret orders, What was that which came to meet me, And what horror to confound me? 'Twas a little wolf that met me, And a bear that followed closely; With their snouts they sniffed around them, Through the mist they pushed their nostrils, Seeking thus to probe the secret, And the letter to discover; They had smelt the war already, And the scent of blood had reached them, And they ran to spread the tidings. To the Finnish Bridge when driving On the west wind's path of copper, On the pathway of the rainbow, While I hastened as an envoy, With the king's note in my wallet, And his mandate in my bosom, And upon my tongue defiance, With the leader's secret orders That the flags unfurled should flutter, And the spear-points do their duty, And the axes should be lifted, And the swords should flash in sunlight, What was that which came to meet me, And what horror to confound me? It was Famine met me tottering, Tottering Famine, chewing garbage; With her nose she sniffed around her, That the meaning of my message With her nose she thus might fathom; For she smelt the war already, And the scent of blood had reached her, And she went to call her comrades. To the Finnish Bridge while driving On the west wind's path of copper, On the pathway of the rainbow, While I hastened as an envoy, With the king's note in my wallet, And his mandate in my bosom, On my tongue the secret orders That the flags unfurled should flutter, And the spear-points do their duty, And the axes and the fish-spears All should do the work before them, What was that which came to meet me, What unlooked-for horror met me? 'Twas the Plague I there encountered, Crafty Plague, the people's murderer, Of the sevenfold war-plagues direst; With his nose he sniffed around him, And his nostrils snuffed the vapour, Seeking thus to probe the matter, And the letter to discover; He had smelt the war already, And the scent of blood had lured him And he went to call his comrades. After this my horse I halted, Yoked him with a yoke of iron, Fettered him with Kalev's fetters, That he stood as rooted firmly, From the spot to move unable, While I pondered and considered, Deeply in my heart reflecting If the profit of my journey Were not lost in greater evil For the war brings wounds and bloodshed, And the war has throat of serpent. Wherefore then should I the battle, Whence springs only pain and murder, Forth to peaceful homesteads carry? Let a message so accursed In the ocean-depths be sunken, There to sleep in endless slumber, Lost among the spawn of fishes, There to rest in deepest caverns, Rather than that I should take it, Till it spreads among the hamlets. Thereupon I took the mandate Which I carried in my wallet, And amid the depths I sunk it, Underneath the waves of ocean, Till the waves to foam had torn it, And to mud had quite reduced it, While the fishes fled before it. Thus was hushed the sound of warfare, Thus was lost the news of battle.
[Footnote 79: Kalevipoeg, Canto 9, lines 769-925. Neus, Ehstnische Volkslieder, pp. 305-311. The manner in which the gathering symbols of the horrors of war, each more terrible than the last, are successively brought upon the scene in this poem is very fine.]
THE BLUE BIRD (I.).
Siuru, bird and Taara's daughter, Siuru, bird of azure plumage, With the shining silken feathers, Was not reared by care of father, Nor the nursing of her mother, Nor affection of her sisters, Nor protection of her brothers; For the bird was wholly nestless, Like a swallow needing shelter, Where her down could grow to feathers And her wing-plumes could develop; Yet did Ukko wisely order, And the aged Father's wisdom Gave his daughter wind-like pinions, Wings of wind and cloudy pinions, That his child might float upon them, Far into the distance soaring. Siuru, bird and Taara's daughter, Siuru, bird of azure plumage, Sailed afar into the distance, And she winged her way to southward, Then she turned again to northward, And above three worlds went sailing. One of these the world of maidens, One where dwell the curly-headed, One the home of prattling children, Where the little ones are tended. Siuru bird outspread her pinions, Wide her silken plumes expanding, Soaring far aloft to heaven. To the fortress of the sunlight, To the lighter halls of moonlight, To the little gate of copper. Siuru bird outspread her pinions, Wide her silken plumes expanding, Soaring far into the distance, Till she reached her home at evening; And her father asked his daughter, "Whither have thy pinions borne thee? Whither didst thou take thy journey? Tell me what thine eyes have witnessed." Siuru heard and comprehended, And without alarm she answered, "Where my pinions have conveyed me, There I scattered feathers from me; Where I sailed above the country, There I scattered silken feathers; Where I shook and flapped my pinions, From my tail I dropped the feathers: What I saw with marten keenness, Might be told in seven narrations, Or in eight tales be recounted. Long I flew on path of thunder, On the roadway of the rainbow, And the hailstone's toilsome pathway; Onwards thus I sailed light-hearted, Heedless, far into the distance, And at length three worlds discovered, One the country of the maidens, One where dwell the curly-headed, One the world of prattling children, Where the little ones are tended; There it is they rear the fair ones, Slender-grown and silky-headed." "What thou heardest? speak and tell me; What thou sawest, let us hear it." "What then heard I, sire beloved, What beheld, O dearest father? There I heard the sport of maidens, There I heard their mirth and sadness, Jesting from the curly-headed, From the little infants wailing. Wherefore, said the maidens, jesting, Do the curly-headed children Dwell in solitude and lonely, Living thus apart from nurses? And they asked in every quarter, Are no youths in starry regions, Youths of starry birth or other, Who might dwell among the maidens, And amuse the curly-headed?" Ukko heard her words, and answered, "Soar away, my dearest daughter, Steer thy flight again to southward, Sailing far away till evening, Turning then unto the northward, Come before the doors of Ukko, To the western mother's threshold, To the northern mother's region; Seek thou there the youths to woo them, Youths that may release the maidens."
[Footnote 80: Kalevipoeg, xix. 493-583.]
THE BLUE BIRD (II.).
This totally different ballad is from Neus, Ehstnische Volkslieder, p. 42. Neus quotes Ganander as saying that one of the names of the Finnish Wood-goddess (the spouse of Tapio) is Blue Bird. The present poem is possibly a fragment of a creation-myth.
Lo, the bird with azure plumage, Feathers blue and eyes all lustrous, Took her flight, and hovered, soaring, Over forests four in number, Over four woods in succession; One a wood of golden pine-trees, One a wood of beauteous apples, One a wood of silver birch-trees, One a swampy wood of lime-trees.
Lo, the bird with azure plumage, Feathers blue and eyes all lustrous, Took her flight, and hovered, soaring, Over lakelets three in number; Three the lakes all close together, And the first with wine was brimming, And with ale the second foaming, And the third with mead was frothing.
Lo, the bird with azure plumage, Feathers blue and eyes all lustrous, Took her flight, and hovered, soaring, Over three fields in succession, Over three fields close together; In the first the oats were growing, In the second rye was waving, In the third the wheat was springing.
And the wood of golden pine-trees Was a wood of youthful striplings, And the wood of beauteous apples Was a wood of youthful maidens, And the wood of silver birch-trees Was a wood of youthful matrons, And the swampy wood of lime-trees Was a wood of men all aged.
And the lake with wine o'erbrimming Was the lake of youthful striplings, And the lake with ale up-foaming Was the lake of youthful matrons, And the lake where mead was frothing Was the lake of youthful maidens.
And the field where oats were growing Was the field of youthful striplings, And the field where rye was waving Was the field of youthful matrons, And the field where wheat was springing Was the share of youthful maidens.
CHARM AGAINST SNAKE-BITE.
Thou beneath the bridge, the smooth wood Under juniper the rough wood, Thou the arrow in the willows, O thou challenged gold-adorned one, Earthy-coloured, liver-coloured, Rainy-hued and hazel-coloured, Firebrand hued and cherry-coloured, Do not thou in secret bite me, Nor attack me unsuspecting, Do not bite me when I heed not.
[Footnote 81: Kreutzwald and Neus, Mythische und magische Lieder, p. 7. Charms of this kind are very common in Finland and Esthonia, and a whole volume has been published by the Finnish Literary Society under the name of Loitsurunoja, selections from which have been recently published in "Folklore" by the Hon. John Abercromby.]
The present list contains only books and papers which have been used or specially consulted in the preparation of this work, or which have been published in England on Esthonian tales and poems. Other books quoted are referred to in the Index and Glossary.
BLUMBERG, G. Quellen und Realien des Kalewipoeg, nebst Varianten und Ergaenzungen. Dorpat, 1869. An important work, including a map, from which we have borrowed some particulars.
BOECLER, J.M. Der Ehsten aberglaeubische Gebraeuche, Weisen, und Gewohnheiten, von Johann Wolfgang Boecler, weiland Pastor zu Kusal in Ehstland und des Consistorii in Reval Assessor. Mit auf die Gegenwart bezueglichen Anmerkungen beleuchtet von Dr. F. R. Kreutzwald. St. Petersburg, 1854.
BOUQUET from the Baltic. All the Year Round, IV. pp. 80-83 (Nov. 3, 1860). Relates to some of the legends of Vanemuine, the Kalevipoeg, and Koit and Aemmerik.
DIDO, A. Litterature orale des Estoniens. Bibliographie des principale Publications de l'Estonie, et en particulier celle du Dr. Frederic Reinhold Kreutzwald, 1804-1882. Revue des Traditions Populaires, VIII. pp. 353-365, 424-428, 485-495 (1893). Contains an account, more or less detailed, of the longer tales in Kreutzwald's collection, a few being fully translated.
DIDO, A. Kalewipoeg, Epopee nationale Estonienne. Op. cit. IX. pp. 137-155 (1894). Contains an analysis of the poem.
DONNER, A. Kalevipoeg jumalaistarulliselta ja historialliselta kannalta katsottuna. Suomi, ser. 2, vol. 5 (1866). Discusses the mythological and historical character of the Kalevipoeg, and its relations to the Kalevala, especially as regards the episode of Kullervo.
ESTHONIA. Encyclopaedia Britannica (ed. IX.), vol. viii. pp. 561-563 (1878).
GOULD, S.B. The Kalevipoeg. Fraser's Magazine, vol. 78, pp. 534-544 (Oct. 1868). A fragmentary account of the poem, containing some curious errors, such as "Sarwik" being translated "Hell;" but with useful comments, especially on the Kalevide's voyage to the North Pole. We cannot see, however, that the Esthonian writings exhibit the melancholy character of a depressed nation, as Mr. Baring-Gould imagines.
GROSSE, JULIUS. Die Abenteuer des Kalewiden: Esthnisches Volksmaerchen. Leipzig, 1875. An abstract of the story in hexameters.
ISRAEL, C. CHR. Kalewipoeg, oder die Abenteuer des Kalewiden, Eine estnische Sage frei nach dem Estnischen bearbeitet. Frankfort-on-Main, 1873. A good prose abstract of the poem, somewhat rearranged.
JANNSEN, HARRY. Maerchen und Sagen des estnischen Volkes. Two Parts. Dorpat, 1881, and Riga, 1888. A selection of tales from various sources, some few being from Kreutzwald's collection. Valuable notes are appended to Part ii.
——. Esthnische Maerchen. Veckenstedt's Zeitschrift fuer Volkskunde, i. pp. 314-317 (1889). Contains three stories: "The Devil's Visit," "The Talking Trees" (Christian variant), and "The Officious Flies." Jannsen states that the first has already been printed in the original, and that the other two are from his own collections.
KALEWIPOEG, Ueks ennemuistene Eesti jut. Kuopio, 1862. An earlier edition was published at Dorpat with the German translation; but this is the one which I have consulted in the preparation of this work.
KALEWIPOEG, eine estnische Sage, zusammengestellt von F.R. Kreutzwald, verdeutscht von C. Reinthal und Dr. Bertram. Dorpat, 1857-61.
KIRBY, W.F. On the Progress of Folk-lore Collections in Esthonia, with special reference to the work of Pastor Jacob Hurt. Papers and Transactions of International Folk-lore Congress, 1892, pp. 427-429. Based on information published by, or received from, Prof. Kaarle Krohn of Helsingfors.
KREUTZWALD, F.R. Eestirahwa ennemuisted jutud. Rahwa suust korjanud ja ueleskirjutanud. Helsingfors, 1866. One of the first and best collections of Esthonian tales, but without notes. I believe that several later editions have been published at Dorpat.
—— Ehstnische Maerchen, aufgezeichnet von Friedrich Kreutzwald. Aus dem Ehstnischen uebersetzt von F. Loewe, ehem. Bibliothekar a. d. Petersb. Akad. d. Wissenschaften. Nebst einem Vorwort von Anton Schiefner, und Anmerkungen von Reinhold Koehler und Anton Schiefner. Halle, 1869. Includes a very close translation of most of the longer tales in Kreutzwald's collection. The notes, too, are valuable.
KREUTZWALD, Fr., und NEUS, H. Mythische und Magische Lieder der Ehsten. St. Petersburg, 1854. In Esthonian and German.
KROHN, KAARLE. Die geographische Verbreitung Estnischer Lieder. Kuopio, 1892. This paper is noted in "Folk-Lore," IV. p. 19 (March, 1893).
LATHAM, R. Nationalities of Europe. 2 vols. London, 1863. Vol. i. includes translations of fourteen of the principal poems from Neus' Ehstnische Volkslieder.
LOeWE, F. See KREUTZWALD.
NEUS, H. Ehstnische Volkslieder. Urschrift und Uebersetzung. Reval, 1850-52. A collection of 119 poems in Esthonian and German, with notes.
OXENFORD, JOHN. The Esthonian Hercules. Macmillan's Magazine, vol. 30, pp. 263-272 (July 1874). An outline of the story of the Kalevipoeg, based on Israel's little book.
POPULAR POETRY of the Esthonians. Varieties of Literature from Foreign Literary Journals and Original MSS., now first published. London, 1795, pp. 22-44 (reprinted in "Folk-Lore Journal," iii. pp. 156-169, 1885). Contains twelve specimens of lyric poetry, undoubtedly based on some German publication. The anonymous compiler makes the strange mistake of regarding the Esthonians as "Sclavonians."
SCHIEFNER, A. Ueber die ehstnische Sage vom Kalewipoeg. Bulletin de l'Academie Imperiale des Sciences de St. Petersburg, ii. pp. 273-297 (1860). Contains an analysis of the first thirteen cantos of the Kalevipoeg, with reference to Finnish, Scandinavian, and Classical parallels.
SCHOTT. Ueber finnische und estnische Heldensagen, Monatsbericht d. k.k. Akademie der Wissenschaft zu Berlin, 1866, pp. 249-260.
* * * * *
I am indebted to Mr. Sydney Hartland for kindly calling my attention to one or two papers which I might otherwise have overlooked.
INDEX AND GLOSSARY
Abercromby, Hon. J., specimens of Finnish charms, ii. 298 note.
Adam and Eve, i. 252 note.
Aennchen, Cinderella sometimes called in German, ii. 4.
Aeike, one of the names of the Thunder-God, i. xxviii., 24.
Aemarik (Evening-Glow), ii. 30, 299.
Ahti, in Esthonian, the God of the Waters; in Finnish, one of the names of the hero Lemminkainen, i. xxviii., 221; ii. 95 note.
Ahto, Finnish name of the God of the Waters, i. xxviii.
Aino, a heroine of the "Kalevala," who was drowned in a lake, i. 34 note; ii. 147 note.
Air-Maiden, the daughter of the Thunder-God, i. xxviii., 4, 71.
Alder-beetle, divination by, i. 19.
Alev, ancestor of a race of heroes, probably a brother of Kalev, i. xxii., 2 note.
Alevide or Alevipoeg, a hero of the race of Alev, the chief friend and companion of his cousin, the Kalevipoeg, i. xxii., 4, 5, 6.
Alevide and water-demon, i. 64.
Alevide, death of the, i. 138.
Ali Shar and Zumurrud, a story of the "Thousand and One Nights," i. 187 note.
Alutaga, a district north of Lake Peipus, i. 237.
Angantyr, a famous Berserk in the Hervarar Saga, i. 60 note.
Anna, widows named, ii. 145.
Apes and Khaleefeh the fisherman, in the "Thousand and One Nights," ii. 270.
Apples, golden, ii. 14.
Argument of "Kalevipoeg," i. 2.
Ariel's song, i. 21 note.
Arju or Harju (German, Harrien), a province of Esthonia, i. xiv., 14 note.
Arjuna, one of the heroes of the Indian Epic, the Maha-Bharata, ii. 23 note.
Ark, ass entering, ii. 76 note.
Armageddon, i. 135.
Armi, name of dog, i. 25 note.
Arthur, King, i. xxxii.
Aschenputtel, German name for Cinderella, ii. 4.
Ash-Katie (Tuhka-Triinu, Cinderella), ii. 4.
Ass and Devil, ii. 76 note.
Bagpipe, i. 304 note; ii. 150.
Ballads and other short poems, i. xxiii.; ii. 287.
Baltic, Bouquet from the, ii. 299.
Baltic Provinces of Russia, i. xiii.
Banyan-tree, i. 39 note.
Barbarossa, i. xxxii.
Baring-Gould. See Gould.
Barnkeeper, courageous, ii. 195.
Bast shoes, magic, ii. 25.
Bast shoes, man with the, ii. 278.
Bathhouse visited by devils, ii. 186
Bathroom employed for accouchements, i. 21.
Bath-whisks, i. 98; ii. 235
Battles of the Kalevide, i. 119, 136, 137.
Bear, i. 52, 97; ii. 279, 290.
Beast-stories, ii. 274.
Beauty and the Beast, ii. 43 note.
Beer in Hades, i. xxxi., 173, 198.
Beetle as coachman, ii. 5.
Beetle and brooch, divination by, i. 19.
Beggar, God disguised as, ii. 182.
Bell, magic, i. 197.
Bell of Sarvik, i. 121, 126.
Beowulf, hero of an Anglo-Saxon poem of the same name, ii. 147 note.
Berserk, a Viking mad with battle-frenzy (the nearest modern parallel is the Malay custom of running amok), i. 39 note, 60 note.
Berserk, Angantyr the, i. 60 note.
Berserk, Kalevipoeg a, i. 39 note.
Bertram, Dr., part translator of the "Kalevipoeg," i. xix.; ii. 301.
Bewitched horse, ii. 193.
Bhima, one of the heroes of the Indian Epic, the Maha-Bharata. i. 25 note; ii. 23 note.
Bibliography, ii. 299.
Birch-bark maid, ii. 180.
Birch-tree, crooked, ii. 189.
Birch-twigs for bath-whisks, ii. 235.
Birds, language of, i. 215, 223; ii. 239.
Bitch, Devil's mother in form of, i. xxxi., 68.
Black Gods, ii. 136.
Black magic, stories of, ii. 148, 167, 188.
Black pool, ii. 146.
Blood, souls sold by, ii. 150, 175, 181, 245.
Blood, spells to stay flow of, i. 136.
Blood used in magical practices, i. 248; ii. 229.
Blood-vessel of Wisdom, ii. 186.
Bluebeard, ii. 1.
Blue bird, i. xxviii.; ii. 292, 296.
Blue spring, ii. 145.
Blumberg on the "Kalevipoeg," ii. 299.
Blumberg's account of Lake Endla, ii. 85 note.
Boecler on Esthonian customs, beliefs, &c., ii. 299.
Bouquet from the Baltic, ii. 299.
Brandy offered by lovers, i. 10; ii. 89.
Break-Iron, name of dog, ii. 6.
Breslau edition of the "Thousand and One Nights," i. 72 note.
Bridge-builder or wishing-rod, i. 91, 105, 108, 198.
Bridge, Finnish, i. 4, 48; ii. 287.
Brobdingnagians, Gulliver's remark respecting, i. 116 note.
Brooch and beetle, divination by, i. 19.
Brothers, friendly, i. 3, 49; ii. 23.
Brothers, gifted, ii. 12.
Brothers, parting of, i. 55.
Brothers, unnatural, ii. 41, 70, 71, 267.
Brothers of the Kalevipoeg, i. 18, 25, 51, 55.
Brothers, two, and the Frost, ii. 71.
"Brynhilda," poem by W. Herbert, i. 60.
Bug, Devil changed into, ii. 181.
Bugs, origin of, ii. 127, 181.
Boys, orphan, i. 4, 85, 261.
Bulookiya, story of, in the "Thousand and One Nights," ii. 236.
Cat, Devil in form of black, ii. 192, 199, 202, 276.
Cat, dog, and mouse, ii. 282.
Cat, pet, ii. 43.
Cave-dwellers, ii. 114.
Chamisso's Alsatian legend, "Das Riesenspielzeug," the "Giant's Toy," or the "Giant's Daughter and the Peasant," i. 116 note.
Chamois-hunter's inexhaustible cheese, i. 265 note.
Charlemagne, i. xxxii.
Charm against snake-bite, ii. 298.
Charms to stanch blood, i. 136.
Chase of Slieve Cullin, Irish legend, i. 71.
Cholera, arrival of, in a Greek island, ii. 271 note.
Christ, Vaeinaemoeinen quitting Finland on the coming of, ii. 60.
Church stories, ii. 282.
Church, Devil in, ii. 112.
Church at Fellin, ii. 265.
Church of the Holy Cross, ii. 265.
Church of Lais, ii. 145.
Church at Puehalepp, ii. 263.
Church at Revel, ii. 262.
Chuvash of Kasan call God Tora, i. 6 note.
Cinderella, i. 273; ii. 4.
Clever countrywoman, i. 186.
Coach, Devil's, ii. 186.
Cock-crowing, i. 250; ii. 40, 251, 291.
Cock, red, euphemism for burning a house, i. 108, 234.
Cock, witch riding on, ii. 140.
Cockchafer, spinning, i. 19 note.
Coiners of Leal, ii. 192.
Coins, discovery of English, ii. 194.
Cologne Cathedral, legend of, ii. 261 note.
Compassionate shoemaker, ii. 182.
Compassionate woodcutter, ii. 124.
Contest of brothers, i. 55.
Copper, man of, i. 3, 35.
Courageous barn-keeper, ii. 195.
Courland, Province of, i. xiii.; ii. 25.
Cox, Marian Roalfe, "Cinderella, Three Hundred and Forty-five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap o' Rushes, abstracted and tabulated, with a discussion of mediaeval analogues and notes, with an introduction by Andrew Lang, M.A.," London, 1893, ii. 4.
Crafty Hans, ii. 115, 211.
Crayfish, i. 85, 139, 140, 190.
Crayfish, powerful, ii. 48.
Creation-myths of Finns, ii. 60.
Cross, Church of Holy, ii. 285.
Cross-dance, i. 14.
Crow, slave-girl born from, i. 2, 10.
Cruel stepmothers, i. 85 note, 276, 280; ii. 4, 46.
Cuckoo, i. 82.
Cudgel, magic, ii. 25, 74.
Cup-bearer of Kalevide, i. 4, 66.
Cup-bearer visits Porgu, i. 66.
Cup-bearer, disappearance of, i. 115.
Dagoe, Island of, i. xiii.; ii. 112, 222, 283.
Damocles, sword of, ii. 8.
Danish ballads, Prior's, i. 115 note.
Daughters, Twelve, ii. 59, 87.
Dawn, story of, ii. 30.
Death-sorcerer, i. xxxi.
Demon cookery, i. 4, 88.
Despised younger son, ii. 40.
Devil, names and attributes of, i. xxx.
Devil, stories of, ii. 38, 78, 148.
Devil, animals hostile to, ii. 76.
Devil called Old Boy, i. xxx., 153.
Devil creates the wolf, ii. 274.
Devil in church, ii. 112.
Devil provides horses for the Kalevipoeg, i. 142.