true: I tried to drown my sorrow.” Another pause, and

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[119] Thorpe, Northern Mythology, Vol. 11. p. 258.

true: I tried to drown my sorrow.” Another pause, and

One day a fowler, who was a terrible bungler and could n't hit a bird at a dozen paces, sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a Freischutz. The fiend was to come for him in seven years, but must be always able to name the animal at which he was shooting, otherwise the compact was to be nullified. After that day the fowler never missed his aim, and never did a fowler command such wages. When the seven years were out the fowler told all these things to his wife, and the twain hit upon an expedient for cheating the Devil. The woman stripped herself, daubed her whole body with molasses, and rolled herself up in a feather-bed, cut open for this purpose. Then she hopped and skipped about the field where her husband stood parleying with Old Nick. "there's a shot for you, fire away," said the Devil. "Of course I'll fire, but do you first tell me what kind of a bird it is; else our agreement is cancelled, Old Boy." There was no help for it; the Devil had to own himself nonplussed, and off he fled, with a whiff of brimstone which nearly suffocated the Freischutz and his good woman.[120]

true: I tried to drown my sorrow.” Another pause, and

[120] Thorpe, Northern Mythology, Vol. II. p. 259. In the Norse story of "Not a Pin to choose between them," the old woman is in doubt as to her own identity, on waking up after the butcher has dipped her in a tar-barrel and rolled her on a heap of feathers; and when Tray barks at her, her perplexity is as great as the Devil's when fooled by the Frenschutz. See Dasent, Norse Tales, p. 199.

true: I tried to drown my sorrow.” Another pause, and

In the legend of Gambrinus, the fiend is still more ingloriously defeated. Gambrinus was a fiddler, who, being jilted by his sweetheart, went out into the woods to hang himself. As he was sitting on the bough, with the cord about his neck, preparatory to taking the fatal plunge, suddenly a tall man in a green coat appeared before him, and offered his services. He might become as wealthy as he liked, and make his sweetheart burst with vexation at her own folly, but in thirty years he must give up his soul to Beelzebub. The bargain was struck, for Gambrinus thought thirty years a long time to enjoy one's self in, and perhaps the Devil might get him in any event; as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb. Aided by Satan, he invented chiming-bells and lager-beer, for both of which achievements his name is held in grateful remembrance by the Teuton. No sooner had the Holy Roman Emperor quaffed a gallon or two of the new beverage than he made Gambrinus Duke of Brabant and Count of Flanders, and then it was the fiddler's turn to laugh at the discomfiture of his old sweetheart. Gambrinus kept clear of women, says the legend, and so lived in peace. For thirty years he sat beneath his belfry with the chimes, meditatively drinking beer with his nobles and burghers around him. Then Beelzebub sent Jocko, one of his imps, with orders to bring back Gambrinus before midnight. But Jocko was, like Swiveller's Marchioness, ignorant of the taste of beer, never having drunk of it even in a sip, and the Flemish schoppen were too much for him. He fell into a drunken sleep, and did not wake up until noon next day, at which he was so mortified that he had not the face to go back to hell at all. So Gambrinus lived on tranquilly for a century or two, and drank so much beer that he turned into a beer-barrel.[121]

[121] See Deulin, Contes d'un Buveur de Biere, pp. 3-29.

The character of gullibility attributed to the Devil in these legends is probably derived from the Trolls, or "night-folk," of Northern mythology. In most respects the Trolls resemble the Teutonic elves and fairies, and the Jinn or Efreets of the Arabian Nights; but their pedigree is less honourable. The fairies, or "White Ladies," were not originally spirits of darkness, but were nearly akin to the swan-maidens, dawn-nymphs, and dryads, and though their wrath was to be dreaded, they were not malignant by nature. Christianity, having no place for such beings, degraded them into something like imps; the most charitable theory being that they were angels who had remained neutral during Satan's rebellion, in punishment for which Michael expelled them from heaven, but has left their ultimate fate unannounced until the day of judgment. The Jinn appear to have been similarly degraded on the rise of Mohammedanism. But the Trolls were always imps of darkness. They are descended from the Jotuns, or Frost-Giants of Northern paganism, and they correspond to the Panis, or night-demons of the Veda. In many Norse tales they are said to burst when they see the risen sun.[122] They eat human flesh, are ignorant of the simplest arts, and live in the deepest recesses of the forest or in caverns on the hillside, where the sunlight never penetrates. Some of these characteristics may very likely have been suggested by reminiscences of the primeval Lapps, from whom the Aryan invaders wrested the dominion of Europe.[123] In some legends the Trolls are represented as an ancient race of beings now superseded by the human race. " 'What sort of an earth-worm is this?' said one Giant to another, when they met a man as they walked. 'These are the earth-worms that will one day eat us up, brother,' answered the other; and soon both Giants left that part of Germany." " 'See what pretty playthings, mother!' cries the Giant's daughter, as she unties her apron, and shows her a plough, and horses, and a peasant. 'Back with them this instant,' cries the mother in wrath, 'and put them down as carefully as you can, for these playthings can do our race great harm, and when these come we must budge.' " Very naturally the primitive Teuton, possessing already the conception of night-demons, would apply it to these men of the woods whom even to this day his uneducated descendants believe to be sorcerers, able to turn men into wolves. But whatever contributions historical fact may have added to his character, the Troll is originally a creation of mythology, like Polyphemos, whom he resembles in his uncouth person, his cannibal appetite, and his lack of wit. His ready gullibility is shown in the story of "Boots who ate a Match with the Troll." Boots, the brother of Cinderella, and the counterpart alike of Jack the Giant-killer, and of Odysseus, is the youngest of three brothers who go into a forest to cut wood. The Troll appears and threatens to kill any one who dares to meddle with his timber. The elder brothers flee, but Boots puts on a bold face. He pulled a cheese out of his scrip and squeezed it till the whey began to spurt out. "Hold your tongue, you dirty Troll," said he, "or I'll squeeze you as I squeeze this stone." So the Troll grew timid and begged to be spared,[124] and Boots let him off on condition that he would hew all day with him. They worked till nightfall, and the Troll's giant strength accomplished wonders. Then Boots went home with the Troll, having arranged that he should get the water while his host made the fire. When they reached the hut there were two enormous iron pails, so heavy that none but a Troll could lift them, but Boots was not to be frightened. "Bah!" said he. "Do you suppose I am going to get water in those paltry hand-basins? Hold on till I go and get the spring itself!" "O dear!" said the Troll, "I'd rather not; do you make the fire, and I'll get the water." Then when the soup was made, Boots challenged his new friend to an eating-match; and tying his scrip in front of him, proceeded to pour soup into it by the ladleful. By and by the giant threw down his spoon in despair, and owned himself conquered. "No, no! don't give it up yet," said Boots, "just cut a hole in your stomach like this, and you can eat forever." And suiting the action to the words, he ripped open his scrip. So the silly Troll cut himself open and died, and Boots carried off all his gold and silver.

[122] Dasent, Popular Tales from the Norse, No. III. and No. XLII.

[123] See Dasent's Introduction, p. cxxxix; Campbell, Tales of the West Highlands, Vol. IV. p. 344; and Williams, Indian Epic Poetry, p. 10.

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