Ipswich Journal. "Suffolk Notes and Queries". Story republished in Longman's Magazine, Feb. 1889. P. 441. (Told by a Suffolk nurse to "A.W.T.")
"CAP O' RUSHES."
King Lear judgment--Loving like salt--Outcast heroine-- Heroine disguise -- Menial heroine--Meeting-place (ball) -- Dresses (rank)--Threefold flight--Young master gives ring to heroine--Love-sick (hero)--Recognition food--Happy marriage--Value of salt.
(1) Rich man asks his three daughters how much they love him. First says, "As my life"; second, "Better than all the world"; third says, "As fresh meat loves salt." Last answer angers father, who drives youngest daughter from home.-- (2) She comes to fen, gathers rushes and makes cloak, which covers her from head to foot, hiding her clothes. Inquires at house if maid is wanted there; she asks no wages, and will do any kind of work. Is engaged to wash pots and pans, and is called Cap o' Rushes.--(3) Dance is given in neighbourhood, and servants go to look on, C. feigns fatigue, and remains behind. When other servants have started, C. doffs disguise and goes to ball; her master's son falls in love with her, and dances with her. She slips home before other servants, puts on disguise, and pretends to be asleep. Next day they tell her of beautiful lady who so attracted young master. Next night there is another dance. C. again pleads fatigue, but afterwards goes as before, and dances with young master. Returns home before other servants, and gets to bed. Next day they tell her what she missed seeing.-- (4) Same thing happens a third time; young master gives ring to C., saying if he does not see her again he will die. He tries in vain to find out what becomes of her.-- (5) At last grows ill, and has to keep his bed. Cook is ordered to make gruel for him; C. comes in, begs to be allowed to do it, and slips ring into it. Young master finds ring and sends for cook, who at last confesses that C. made gruel. C. is fetched, is questioned about ring, and finally throws aside her disguise.-- (6) Young master recovers, and marries C. Her father is invited to wedding, but no one knows who C. is. She tells cook to dress all dishes without salt. Guests cannot eat the tasteless fare.-- (7) C.'s father, after trying every dish, bursts into tears, explaining that he once drove his daughter from home for saying that she loved him as much as fresh meat loves salt, and she may be dead by now. C. makes herself known.
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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