Schulers Books Online
books - games - software - wallpaper - everything
- The Grey Fairy Book - 50/58 -
drink. There he found an old woman from whom he begged the water. She answered that first he should allow her to beat his dog with her little wand, that it might not bite her while she fetched the water. The hunter consented; and as soon as she had touched the dog with her wand it immediately turned to stone. Thereupon she touched the hunter and also his horse, and both turned to stone. As soon as that had happened, the cypress trees in front of his father's house began to wither. And when the other brother saw this, he immediately set out in search of his twin. He came first to the town where his brother had slain the giant, and there fate led him to the same old woman where his brother had lodged. When she saw him she took him for his twin brother, and said to him: ‘Do not take it amiss of me, my son, that I did not come to wish you joy on your marriage with the king's daughter.'
The stranger perceived what mistake she had made, but only said: ‘That does not matter, old woman,' and rode on, without further speech, to the king's palace, where the king and the princess both took him for his twin brother, and called out: ‘Why have you tarried so long away? We thought something evil had befallen you.'
When night came and he slept with the princess, who still believed him to be her husband, he laid his sword between them, and when morning came he rose early and went out to hunt. Fate led him by the same way which his brother had taken, and from a distance he saw him and knew that he was turned to stone. Then he entered the hut and ordered the old woman to disenchant his brother. But she answered: ‘Let me first touch your dog with my wand, and then I will free your brother.'
He ordered the dog, however, to take hold of her, and bite her up to the knee, till she cried out: ‘Tell your dog to let me go and I will set your brother free!'
But he only answered: ‘Tell me the magic words that I may disenchant him myself;' and as she would not he ordered his dog to bite her up to the hip.
Then the old woman cried out: ‘I have two wands, with the green one I turn to stone, and with the red one I bring to life again.'
So the hunter took the red wand and disenchanted his brother, also his brother's horse, and his dog, and ordered his own dog to eat the old woman up altogether.
While the brothers went on their way back to the castle of the king, the one brother related to the other how the cypress tree had all at once dried up and withered, how he had immediately set out in search of his twin, and how he had come to the castle of his father-in-law, and had claimed the princess as his wife. But the other brother became furious on hearing this, and smote him over the forehead till he died, and returned alone to the house of his father-in-law.
When night came and he was in bed the princess asked him: ‘What was the matter with you last night, that you never spoke a word to me?'
Then he cried out: ‘That was not me, but my brother, and I have slain him, because he told me by the way that he had claimed you for his wife!'
‘Do you know the place where you slew him?' asked the princess, ‘and can you find the body?'
‘I know the place exactly.'
‘Then to-morrow we shall ride thither,' said the princess. Next morning accordingly they set out together, and when they had come to the place, the princess drew forth a small bottle that she had brought with her, and sprinkled the body with some drops of the water so that immediately he became alive again.
When he stood up, his brother said to him: ‘Forgive me, dear brother, that I slew you in my anger.' Then they embraced and went together to the Fairest in the Land, whom the unmarried brother took to wife.
Then the brothers brought their parents to live with them, and all dwelt together in joy and happiness.
There was once upon a time a king who reigned over a country called ‘Bello Puojo.' He was very rich and powerful, and had everything in the world he could desire except a child. But at last, after he had been married for many years, and was quite an old man, his wife Renzolla presented him with a fine daughter, whom they called Cannetella.
She grew up into a beautiful girl, and was as tall and straight as a young fir-tree. When she was eighteen years old her father called her to him and said: ‘You are of an age now, my daughter, to marry and settle down; but as I love you more than anything else in the world, and desire nothing but your happiness, I am determined to leave the choice of a husband to yourself. Choose a man after your own heart, and you are sure to satisfy me.' Cannetella thanked her father very much for his kindness and consideration, but told him that she had not the slightest wish to marry, and was quite determined to remain single.
The king, who felt himself growing old and feeble, and longed to see an heir to the throne before he died, was very unhappy at her words, and begged her earnestly not to disappoint him.
When Cannetella saw that the king had set his heart on her marriage, she said: ‘Very well, dear father, I will marry to please you, for I do not wish to appear ungrateful for all your love and kindness; but you must find me a husband handsomer, cleverer, and more charming than anyone else in the world.'
The king was overjoyed by her words, and from early in the morning till late at night he sat at the window and looked carefully at all the passers-by, in the hopes of finding a son-in-law among them.
One day, seeing a very good-looking man crossing the street, the king called his daughter and said: ‘Come quickly, dear Cannetella, and look at this man, for I think he might suit you as a husband.'
They called the young man into the palace, and set a sumptuous feast before him, with every sort of delicacy you can imagine. In the middle of the meal the youth let an almond fall out of his mouth, which, however, he picked up again very quickly and hid under the table-cloth.
When the feast was over the stranger went away, and the king asked Cannetella: ‘Well, what did you think of the youth?'
‘I think he was a clumsy wretch,' replied Cannetella. ‘Fancy a man of his age letting an almond fall out of his mouth!'
When the king heard her answer he returned to his watch at the window, and shortly afterwards a very handsome young man passed by. The king instantly called his daughter to come and see what she thought of the new comer.
‘Call him in,' said Cannetella, ‘that we may see him close.'
Another splendid feast was prepared, and when the stranger had eaten and drunk as much as he was able, and had taken his departure, the king asked Cannetella how she liked him.
‘Not at all,' replied his daughter; ‘what could you do with a man who requires at least two servants to help him on with his cloak, because he is too awkward to put it on properly himself?'
‘If that's all you have against him,' said the king, ‘I see how the land lies. You are determined not to have a husband at all; but marry someone you shall, for I do not mean my name and house to die out.'
‘Well, then, my dear parent,' said Cannetella, ‘I must tell you at once that you had better not count upon me, for I never mean to marry unless I can find a man with a gold head and gold teeth.'
The king was very angry at finding his daughter so obstinate; but as he always gave the girl her own way in everything, he issued a proclamation to the effect that any man with a gold head and gold teeth might come forward and claim the princess as his bride, and the kingdom of Bello Puojo as a wedding gift.
Now the king had a deadly enemy called Scioravante, who was a very powerful magician. No sooner had this man heard of the proclamation than he summoned his attendant spirits and commanded them to gild his head and teeth. The spirits said, at first, that the task was beyond their powers, and suggested that a pair of golden horns attached to his forehead would both be easier to make and more comfortable to wear; but Scioravante would allow no compromise, and insisted on having a head and teeth made of the finest gold. When it was fixed on his shoulders he went for a stroll in front of the palace. And the king, seeing the very man he was in search of, called his daughter, and said: ‘Just look out of the window, and you will find exactly what you want.'
Then, as Scioravante was hurrying past, the king shouted out to him: ‘Just stop a minute, brother, and don't be in such desperate haste. If you will step in here you shall have my daughter for a wife, and I will send attendants with her, and as many horses and servants as you wish.'
‘A thousand thanks,' returned Scioravante; ‘I shall be delighted to marry your daughter, but it is quite unnecessary to send anyone to accompany her. Give me a horse and I will carry off the princess in front of my saddle, and will bring her to my own kingdom, where there is no lack of courtiers or servants, or, indeed, of anything your daughter can desire.'
At first the king was very much against Cannetella's departing in this fashion; but finally Scioravante got his way, and placing the princess before him on his horse, he set out for his own
Previous Page Next Page
1 10 20 30 40 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 58
Schulers Books Online
books - games - software - wallpaper - everything