Grimm, Household Tales. Translated by Margaret Hunt. London, 1884. Vol. i, pp. 277-282. Tale No. LXV. (From Hesse and Paderborn.)
[You can read the Hunt's translation of Allerleirauh on SurLaLune.]
Death-bed promise--Deceased wife resemblance marriage teat--Unnatural father -- Counter-tasks -- Magic dresses-- Heroine flight--Heroine disguise--Allerleirauh found in tree and carried off by king--Menial heroine--Meeting-place (ball)-- Three-fold flight--Recognition food--(Gold ring, gold reel, and gold spinning-wheel in soup)--Prince puts ring on heroine's finger at third ball--Heroine flings disguise over ball-dress; omits to blacken one finger--Recognition (by means of ring on white finger)--Happy marriage.
(1) King's wife, whose beauty is unrivalled, exacts promise on her death bed that king will only marry a woman with golden hair and beauty equal to hers. For long after her death king cannot be comforted. Councillors urge him to marry again, and messengers are sent to seek for bride. None is found sufficiently beautiful.-- (2) King's daughter exactly resembles her mother. Perceiving this, king resolves to wed her.-- (3) To hinder him, daughter demands first three dresses, like the sun, the moon, and the stars, besides a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur; every kind of animal must contribute towards it. She thinks to have asked an impossibility, but maidens weave the dresses, and huntsmen procure one thousand kinds of fur for mantle.-- (4) King shows mantle, and fixes wedding for the morrow. Daughter resolves to escape. Whilst all sleep, she takes from her treasures gold ring, gold spinning-wheel, and gold reel. Puts three dresses into nut-shell, dons fur mantle, and blackens face and hands. Walking all night, she reaches forest, and rests in hollow tree.-- (5) Sleeps till full day, when king who owns forest comes by hunting. Hounds bark round tree, and king bids huntsmen see what wild beast is hidden there. Huntsmen marvel at its strange fur, and king bids them take it alive, and fasten it to carriage. At huntsmen's touch, heroine awakes full of terror; cries that she is poor child deserted by parents, and begs for pity.-- (6) She is taken to palace to be kitchen-maid. A dark closet is given her to live in, and dirty work to do. She is called Allerleirauh.-- (7) One day, when feast is held in palace, cook consents to her going for half-an-hour to look on. Allerleirauh takes lamp into her den, puts off fur mantle, washes herself, and appears among guests in golden dress. King dances with her, and is in love with her. She vanishes at end of dance, and guards are questioned about her in vain, Allerleirauh resumes disguise, and returns to kitchen.-- (8) Cook goes to look on at ball, and bids her meanwhile make soup for king. Allerleirauh puts gold ring into it. King enjoys soup; is astonished to find ring, and summons cook, who scolds Allerleirauh, thinking king is about to complain. King asks who made soup, which was so much better than usual. Cook confesses truth, and Allerleirauh is fetched. She tells king she is an orphan, and good for nothing, and knows naught of ring.-- (9) After awhile there is another festival. Allerleirauh beg leave to look on, and appears at ball in silver dress. King rejoices to see her again, dances with her, but fails to mark her disappearing.-- (10) She returns to kitchen in fur dress and makes soup, hiding little gold spinning-wheel in it. King praises soup, and sends for cook, who again acknowledges who made it. Allerleirauh is fetched, says she is only good for having boots thrown at her, and denies all knowledge of spinning-wheel.-- (11) Third festival is held, all happening as before. King dances with Allerleirauh, now wearing star-dress, and contrives, unnoticed, to slip ring on her finger. At close of dance, prolonged at his order, he tries to detain her, but she breaks away and vanishes.-- (12) Having been absent more than half-an-hour, Allerleirauh has only time to fling mantle over ball-dress, and, in her haste, omits to blacken one finger. She makes soup and puts in gold reel, on finding which king summons her, and espies the white finger with his ring on it.-- (13) He grasps her band; in the struggle, fur mantle opens and discloses star-dress. King tears off mantle, and sees lovely golden hair, and, beneath the soot, a heavenly face. King marries her.
(P. 223.) In a variant from Paderborn (Grimm, i, 429) the maiden puts the mantle of all kinds of fur--on which moss, or whatever else she can pick up in the forest, is sewn--over the three bright dresses, and escapes into the forest. For fear of wild beasts she climbs up a high tree. Some woodcutters, fetching wood for the king's court, cut down the tree in which Allerleirauh is still sleeping; but it falls slowly and she is not hurt. She wakes in a fright, but they are kind to her, and take her in the wood-cart to the court, where she serves in kitchen. As she has made some very good soup, the king sends for her; he admires her, and makes her comb his hair. One day, whilst she is thus employed, he spies her shining star-dress through the sleeve of her mantle, which he tears off.
In another version, from Paderborn, Allerleirauh pretends to be dumb. The king strikes her with a whip, tearing the fur-mantle, and the gold dress shines through it. The punishment of the father follows in both stories. He himself has to pronounce the sentence that he no longer deserves to be king.
In fourth story, Allerleirauh is driven away by her stepmother because a foreign prince has given a betrothal-ring to her and not to the stepmother's daughter. Afterwards Allerleirauh arrives at the court of her lover, does menial work, and cleans his shoes, but is discovered through ptttting the betrothal-ring among the white bread, as in another saga it is put in the strong broth (Musaus, 2. 188).
When the king will marry no girl whose hair is not like
that of the dead queen we are reminded of an incident in the Faröische
Saga, where the bereaved king will marry no one whom the dead queen's
clothes do not fit.
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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