Busk, R. H., Folk-lore of Rome. London, 1874. Pp. 66-84. No. X
Death-bed promise (that daughter shall wed
whomsoever deceased mother's ring fits). Devil as prince woos heroine
he steals ring and proposes other tests instead--Fairy teacher aid--Counter-tasks--Magic
dresses--Heroine escapes from devil after having taken ring from feather
in his hat--Heroine's hiding box (wooden figure). Charcoal-burners shelter
heroine-Hunting prince takes heroine to palace--Menial heroine-- Meeting-place
(carnival dance)--At third dance she lets prince try on mother's
(1) Dying queen gives ring to king; only he whom it fits is worthy to marry their daughter Maria. Father, growing old, wants Maria to marry; ring fits nobody.--(2) At last a suitor, declaring himself prince of distant region, arrives, but objects to test; father inclines to omit it. Suddenly prince agrees to it, but ring cannot be found; he suggests Maria naming three tests instead.--(3) Maria, having instinctive dislike for prince, consults teacher, who is a fairy, and knows prince is the devil. She suggests his providing a dress woven of stars of heaven, another of moonbeams, a third of sunbeams. Prince is angry, but procures dresses; they dazzle the pages that carry them, second and third dresses having to be carried by relays of pages. Teacher tells Maria who suitor is, and how to circumvent him. Prince and Maria will come at night to dark wood; here she must make excuse to alight, after having got stolen r from feather of prince's cap, where he will wear it. She will then find wooden figure of old woman, which fairy will provide, and in which will be all her valuables, including three dresses; must get inside figure when prince's head is turned, and walk away.--(4) Prince and Maria start off; she twitches ring off feather as it grows dark, and, complaining of cramp, gets out to walk. They see old woman's form under tree. Maria asks prince to chase a firefly, and meanwhile gets into figure. Prince returns with fly, misses Maria, sends old woman to look for her; spends the night searching in vain, then drives home.--(5) Maria falls in with party of charcoal-burners who offer hospitality. She s a long time, and works with them.--(6) One day, when she is some distance from camp, young king of that country is out wild boar hunting; hounds in pursuit dash past her, followed by riders; she swoons with fright. King nearly tramples on her; bids huntsmen carry her to palace; king pities her, and tries to find her employment. Steward says she may help scullions; Maria thankfully agrees. Scullions and turnspit dissatisfied to have old woman as help; impose on her. She is hard worked and harshly treated.--(7) Carnival comes; every servant may don a domino. Maria locks herself in loft where she sleeps, gets out of wooden disguise, dons star-dress, and goes to ball. Only king dares dance with her; but dares not ask whence she comes. She leaves early, unperceived.--(8) Second night she goes in moonbeam dress, and when king asks why she left so early last night, says because she has to be up early. He is incredulous, but questions her in vain. She with draws unperceived by inverting folds of garment.--(9) Third night she wears sunbeam-dress; chandeliers paled by it. Evades king's questions, but bids him try on her ring, which she says has fitted none yet. She takes back ring, and, turning sunbeams inwards, escapes; but guards stationed by king recognise and follow her. She unthreads strings of pearls, which they stop to gather.--(10) King in despair, shuts himself in dark room, weeps all day and will scarce take food. Physicians fear the worst if he is not roused. Lent is past, Easter at hand. Maria, satisfied with his constancy, makes cake, putting ring inside. Assures queen-mother that if king will eat it all he will be cured. Ladies-in-waiting laugh, but queen takes cake to king.--(11) He cuts it, and discovers ring; is aroused, makes inquiries, learns that old woman brought cake as remedy; sends for her; she cannot be found; he nearly relapses. Goldsmiths, refiners, and alchemists examine ring and report the gold from a workmanship of kingdoms of West; characters show owner is princess of high degree. Further search for Maria, who dresses suitably under wooden covering, and goes to king. He promises reward for tidings of lady. She steps out of case, and tells her story.--(12) King marries her. They live with her father till his death. Maria inquires for teacher; she has returned to fairyland.
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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