Skattegraveren, ix. p. 185. No. 566. (From Jutland; narrated by Mr. T. Kristensen, a country teacher.)
"PRINCESSEN I HELEN"
Prince woos heroine; goes to war with king, her father-- Heroine and maid shut up in underground chamber with pro visions for seven years. King slain; castle burned down; but heroine's unfinished web rescued. New king will wed anyone who can finish it--Heroine catches mice for food; gets out of cave--Menial heroine begs at new king's castle; finishes web for sorceress; goes to church in her stead. Sorceress cannot presently repeat to bridegroom things said on way to church, nor return glove; persuades heroine to enter dark room and stretch out hand holding glove. King holds her fast--Happy marriage --Villain Nemesis.
(1) A king named Fintking has a daughter named Usmatone. A neighbouring prince woos her, but goes to war with her father, because he refuses his consent to the marriage. Heroine's father has an underground house made, and secretly shuts her up in it with a maid and victuals for seven years.-- (2) Fintking is killed in the war and his castle burned down; hot heroine's web is rescued from the flames, and prince proclaims that he will wed any woman who can finish it.-- (3) Heroine is meanwhile starving in the cave; she catches mice to eat, and at last scrapes a hole in the earth with her hands, and gets out. Her dress is faded and in rags.-- (4) She sets out begging, and comes to new king's castle, where she finds a sorceress vainly trying to finish her old web. Heroine offers to help, and finishes the web, which sorceress then takes to the prince. Preparations for the marriage are made.-- (5) On the wedding-day the sorceress must needs stay at home, "for sorceresses cannot enter a church," and heroine takes her place, under orders to hold her peace. They pass a mouse-skin which heroine had hung in a tree, and she says:
Passing her father's ruined castle, she says:
Passing a dog, which stops the horses, she says: "Be quiet. My father Fintking gave you bread on purpose that you should let his daughter go to church to-day to be married" [rhyme forgotten]. The church-door cannot be opened; heroine says: "Open, door! Fintking, my father, had you hung, all because his daughter is going to church to be married this day" [rhyme forgotten]. Prince asks what this means, but gets no answer. Door flies open, and after they are married prince gives heroine a glove, bidding her give it to none but himself.-- (6) Afterwards the sorceress and heroine exchange dresses. Prince goes to bed; forbids bride to undress till she has told him the words she said to mouse-skin, to castle, etc. Each time she goes and thumps heroine till she teaches her the words.-- (7) Then prince demands the glove. Heroine will not give it up, but consents at length to enter the dark bed-chamber and stretch out her hand. Prince holds her fast.-- (8) Sorceress is put into a barrel stuck with nails, and dragged by seven wild horses over hills and dales.
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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