The Project Gutenberg eBook, Italian Popular Tales, by Thomas Frederick Crane This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Italian Popular Tales Author: Thomas Frederick Crane Release Date: November 26, 2007 [eBook #23634] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ITALIAN POPULAR TALES*** E-text prepared by Cathy Smith, Chloe P. H. Lewis, Josephine Paolucci, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net.) Transcriber's Note: Minor typographical errors have been corrected. This book has two types of notes. Footnotes are in the text and are indicated by a letter. These have been moved to the end of the appropriate paragraph. Endnotes are indicated by a number, and the notes for all the chapters are at the end of the stories. ITALIAN POPULAR TALES BY THOMAS FREDERICK CRANE, A. M. PROFESSOR OF THE ROMANCE LANGUAGES IN CORNELL UNIVERSITY BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY The Riverside Press, Cambridge Copyright, 1885, BY THOMAS FREDERICK CRANE. All rights reserved. The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A. Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company. To GIUSEPPE PITRÈ. PREFACE. The growing interest in the popular tales of Europe has led me to believe that a selection from those of Italy would be entertaining to the general reader, and valuable to the student of comparative folk-lore. The stories which, with but few exceptions, are here presented for the first time to the English reader, have been translated from recent Italian collections, and are given exactly as they were taken down from the mouths of the people, and it is in this sense, belonging to the people, that the word popular is used in the title of this work. I have occasionally changed the present to the past tense, and slightly condensed by the omission of tiresome repetitions;[A] but otherwise my versions follow the original closely, too closely perhaps in the case of the Sicilian tales, which, when recited, are very dramatic, but seem disjointed and abrupt when read. [A] Other condensations are indicated by brackets. [Pg v] The notes are intended to supplement those of Pitrè and Köhler by citing the stories published since the Fiabe, Novelle e Racconti, and the Sicilianische Märchen, and also to furnish easy reference to the parallel stories of the rest of Europe. As the notes are primarily intended for students I have simply pointed out the most convenient sources of information and those to which I have had access. My space has obliged me to [Pg vi] restrict my notes to what seemed to me the most important, and I have as a rule given only references which I have verified myself. My object has been simply to present to the reader and student unacquainted with the Italian dialects a tolerably complete collection of Italian popular tales; with theories as to the origin and diffusion of popular tales in general, or of Italian popular tales in particular, I have nothing to do at present either in the text or notes. It is for others to draw such inferences as this collection seems to warrant. It was, of course, impossible in my limited space to do more than give a small selection from the class of Fairy Tales numbering several hundred; of the other classes nearly everything has been given that has been published down to the present date. The Fairy Tales were selected to represent as well as possible typical stories or classes, and I have followed in my arrangement, with some modification and condensation, Hahn's Märchen- und Sagformeln (Griechische und Albanesische Märchen , vol. i. p. 45), an English version of which may be found in W. Henderson's Notes on the Folk-lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders. With an Appendix on Household Stories, by S. Baring-Gould. London, 1866. In conclusion, I must express my many obligations to Dr. Giuseppe Pitrè, of Palermo, without whose admirable collection this work would hardly have been undertaken, and to the library of Harvard College, which so generously throws open its treasures to the scholars of less favored institutions. T. F. CRANE. ITHACA, N. Y September 9, 1885 . ., CONTENTS. INTRODUCTION BIBLIOGRAPHY LIST OF STORIES I. FAIRY TALES II. FAIRY TALES CONTINUED III. STORIES OF ORIENTAL ORIGIN IV. LEGENDS AND GHOST STORIES PAGE ix xix xxix 1 97 149 185 [Pg vii] V. NURSERY TALES VI. STORIES AND JESTS NOTES LIST OF BOOKS REFERRED TO INDEX 240 275 319 384 387 INTRODUCTION. [Pg ix] By popular tales we mean the stories that are handed down by word of mouth from one generation to another of the illiterate people, serving almost exclusively to amuse and but seldom to instruct. These stories may be roughly divided into three classes: nursery tales, fairy stories, and jests. In countries where the people are generally educated, the first two classes form but one; where, on the other hand, the people still retain the credulity and simplicity of childhood, the stories which with us are confined to the nursery amuse the fathers and mothers as well as the children. These stories were regarded with contempt by the learned until the famous scholars, the brothers Grimm, went about Germany some sixty years ago collecting this fast disappearing literature of the people. The interesting character of these tales, and the scientific value attributed to them by their collectors, led others to follow their footsteps, and there is now scarcely a province of Germany that has not one or more volumes devoted to its local popular tales. The impulse given by the Grimms was not confined to their own country, but extended over all Europe, and within the last twenty years more than fifty volumes have been published containing the popular tales of Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Germany, England, Scotland, France, Biscay, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Asia and Africa have contributed stories from India, China, Japan, and South Africa. In addition to these we have now to [Pg x] mention what has been done in this field in Italy. From their very nature the stories we are now considering were long confined to the common people, and were preserved and transmitted solely by oral tradition. It did not occur to any one to write them down from the lips of the people until within the present century. The existence of these stories is, however, revealed by occasional references, and many of them have been preserved, but not in their original form, in books designed to entertain more cultivated readers.[1] The earliest literary collection of stories having a