Busk, R. H., Folk-lore of Rome. London, 1874. Pp. 84-90.
Death-bed promise -- Deceased wife's shoe marriage test-- Unnatural father -- Counter-tasks -- Heroine's hiding-box (wooden figure)--Flight--Hunting prince finds heroine; takes her to palace--Menial heroine--Meeting-place (ball)--Magic dresses--Token objects thrown (Prince strikes heroine with whip, hoot, and hand)--Three-fold flight--Love-sick prince--Recognition food (ring given at first ball)--Happy marriage.
(1) There is a king whose wife, when she comes to die, says to him, "You will want to marry; but take my advice--marry no one but her whose foot my shoe fits." But the shoe is under a spell, and will fit no one whom he can marry. King has shoe tried on all manner of women; fits none of them. He grows bewildered and strange in his mind.--(2) Daughter comes to him; says the shoe just fits her. "Then I must marry you," says king. "Oh, no, papa," says she, and skips away. He persists. At last she says he must do something for her first, he agrees willingly.--(3) She demands, first, a dress of the colour of noontide sky, all covered with stars, and parure to match; second, a dress colour of sea, covered with golden fishes, parure to match; third, dress of dark blue, covered with gold embroidery and silver bells, and parure to match. All these done, she asks for figure of old woman just like life, so that it will "move and walk just like a real woman when one gets inside it". This also done.--(4) Princess packs these three dresses and others, and all her jewellery, and much money inside, gets into figure, and walks away. Wanders on till she gets to palace of great king, just as king's son comes in from hunting. Whines out, "Have you a place in all this fine palace to take in a poor old body?" Servants try to drive her away. Prince interposes, asks her name, and what she can do. She says her name is Maria Wood, and she knows all about hens. He appoints her henwife, and she has a hut on the borders of forest. Prince often passes; she always comes out to salute him; he stops to chat.--(5) Carnival time comes. Prince tells her; she wishes him a good carnival, and says, "Won't you take me?" Prince says, "Shameless old woman, wanting to go to a festino at your time of life!" gives her cut with whip. Next night Maria puts on her dress colour of noontide sky and covered with stars, goes to ball. Prince alone dares to ask her to dance; falls in love, gives her ring, asks whence she comes. She says, "From country of Whipblow." He sends attendants to watch and find out where she lives. She is too quick for them.--(6) Next day prince passes hut again. She wishes him "Good carnival", and says, "Won't you take me?" "Contemptible old woman to talk us that way; you ought to know better!" says prince, and strikes her with boot. That night Maria puts on dress colour of sea, covered with gold fishes, and goes to feast. Prince claims her for partner; asks whence she comes. She says from country of Boot-kick. She again evades attendants.--(7) Next day prince comes by Maria's hut. "Tomorrow we have the last festino," says he. "You must take me; but what'll you say if I come in spite of you?" says Maria. "You incorrigible old woman says he, and slaps her. Next night Maria puts on dress covered with gold embroidery and silver bells, and goes to ball, dances with prince as before, and tells him she comes from Slap-land; evades servants again.-- (8) Prince now falls ill of disappointment. Physicians can do nothing. Maria says if he will take some broth of her making he will be healed. He won't take it; she persists. At last he is too weary to resist; she brings broth, servants give it. Presently whole palace roused by prince shouting, "Bring hither Maria Wood."--(9) They go to fetch her. She had put the ring he gave her in the broth, and he found it when he put the spoon in. "Wait a bit," she says to servant who fetches her. She puts on dress like noontide sky. Prince beside himself with joy when he sees her. Has betrothal celebrated that very day.
Cox, Marian Roalfe. Cinderella: Three Hundred and Forty-five Variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap O' Rushes, abstracted and tabulated. London: David Nutt for the Folklore Society, 1893.
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