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SLAVONIC FAIRY TALES

 

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Play, Oh Pipe, Play!

"PLAY, OH PIPE, PLAY!"

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SLAVONIC

FAIRY TALES.

 

COLLECTED AND TRANSLATED FROM

THE RUSSIAN, POLISH, SERVIAN, AND BOHEMIAN.

 

by

JOHN T. NAAKÉ,

Of the British Museum

 

WITH FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS.


 

Henry S. King & Co.,

65 Cornhill, and 12 Paternoster Row, London.
1874.

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PREFACE.




It is no longer thought needful to apologise for a collection of folk-tales. They are not even the peculiar property of the children any longer; the gravest scholars do not disdain to examine and discuss them, and all parts of the world, from Mongolia to Cafraria, are ransacked to produce them. Here is presented a little gathering of these wild flowers, plucked not for their scientific interest,—though that they possess,—but for the wild fresh perfume that clings about them.

Poland, Russia, Bohemia, and Servia have contributed stories to this little collection. It may be said that the Bohemian tales, perhaps through the genius of the poets who have preserved them, have, in their original form, more art, more grace, more completeness of outline, than the others. Those from Poland reflect the passive virtues and genial warmth of the peasants whose lives they illustrate. A greater simplicity, amounting even to childishness, will be found to characterise the Russian stories. Those from Servia are in some features unique, and may be found the most interesting of the series. The exalted imagination of the Servian race is allied with keen and homely sense, and their vigorous and beautiful romances called forth the admiration of Goethe. It is hoped that these varied characteristics may not wholly have evaporated in translation.

The translator makes no claim to the honour of having collected these stories. He has selected his materials from the Polish of K. W. Wojcicki; from the Russian of M. Maksimovich, B. Bronnitsuin, and E. A. Chudinsky; from the Bohemian of K. J. Erben, M. Mikssichek, J. K. Z. Radostova, and J. K. Tyl; and lastly, from the Servian of W. S. Karajich. Wojcicki's work has appeared in German, and the Servian collection has been excellently rendered in the same language by the daughter of W. S. Karajich. But none of these tales, as far as the translator is aware, have hitherto appeared in an English dress.

J. T. N.

London, April, 1874.

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CONTENTS.

 

 
Carried Away by the Wind Polish 1
Why is the Sole of Man's Foot Uneven? Servian 6
The Snow-Child Russian 9
The Demon's Dance Polish 17
The Plague-Omen Polish 19
Story of Gol Voyansky Russian 22
Lidushka and the Water Demon's Wife Bohemian 30
The Hare's Heart Polish 36
The Wonderful Hair Servian 41
Story of Vasilisa with the Golden Tress,
and of Ivan the Pea
Russian 46
The Emperor Trojan's Goat's Ears Servian 61
The Language of Animals Servian 65
The Evil Eye Polish 73
Huntsman the Unlucky Russian 84
How to Choose a Wife Servian 92
The Plague Polish 95
Golden Hair Bohemian 97
The Plague and the Peasant Polish 110
Handicraft above Everything Servian 113
Ivan Kruchina Russian 117
Right and Wrong Servian 130
Men-Wolves Polish 135
Yanechek and the Water Demon Bohemian 141
Spirit Treasures Russian 159
Just Earnings are Never Lost Servian 163
Story of Little Simpleton Russian 170
Jonek Polish 178
The Maiden who was Swifter
than the Horse
Servian 187
The Book of Magic Russian 190
The Wise Judgment Bohemian 194
Twardowski Polish 208
The Maiden who was Wiser
than the King
Servian 214
Madey Polish 220
The Long-desired Child Bohemian 226
The Wicked Wood-Fays Bohemian 232
The Wonderful Bird Servian 238
Wisdom and Fortune Bohemian 243
The Three Brothers Servian 250
The Brownie, or House Spirit Bohemian 257
All about Twopence Servian 265
 

 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

 
"Play, oh Pipe, play!" (Frontispiece.)
"Irik was almost blinded by its radiance" 107
"The bread was nicely baked" 256
"This is his house, and there he lies dead in it" 269

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This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.