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wedding, not be ashamed of us, and call us your cousins, and seat us at your table too, then we will spin your flax up, and that quickly.” “Gladly,” said she ; ' come in and set to work immediately.” So she let the three queer women in, and cleared a little space in the first room, where they could sit down and begin their spinning. One of them drew the thread and trod the wheel, the second wet the thread, the third twisted it and struck with her finger on the table; and as often as she struck, a skein of yarn fell to the floor, and it was of the finest. She hid the three spinners from the queen, and showed her as often as she came the pile of spun yarn, so that the queen could not praise her enough. When the first room was empty, they began on the second, and then on the third, and that was soon cleared up too. Now the three women took their leave, and said to the girl, “ Do not forget what you promised us. It will be your good fortune."
When the girl showed the queen the empty rooms and the great heap of yarn, she prepared for the wedding; and the bridegroom was delighted to get such a clever and industrious wife, and praised her very much. “ I have three cousins," said the girl"; "and since they have been very kind to me, I should not like to forget them in my happiness. Permit me to invite them to the wedding and to have them sit with me at the table.” The queen and the bridegroom said, “Why should not we permit it?” Now when the feast began, the three women came in queer dress, and the bride said, “ Welcome, dear cousins.” “Oh!” said the bridegroom; “how did you get such ill-favored friends ?” Then he went to the one with the broad paddle-foot and asked, “Where did you get such a broad foot ?” “From the treadle,” she answered," from the treadle." Then the bridegroom went to the second and said, “ Where did you get that hanging lip ?” “ From wetting yarn,” she answered,“ from wetting yarn.” Then he asked the third, “ Where did you get the broad thumb ?” “From twisting thread,” she answered, “ from twisting thread." Then the king's son was frightened and said, “ Then my fair bride shall never, never touch a spinning-wheel again.” And 80 she was rid of the horrid spinning.
NOTE BY THE GRIMMS. - From a tale from the duchy of Corvei ; but that there are three women, each with a peculiar fault due to spinning, is taken from a Hessian story. In the former they are two very old women, who have grown so broad by sitting that they can hardly get into the room; from wetting the thread they had thick lips ; and from pulling and drawing it, ugly fingers and broad thumbs. The Hessian story begins differently, too; namely, that a king liked nothing better than spinning, and so, at his farewell before a journey, left his daughters a great chest of flax that was to be spun on his return. To relieve them, the queen invited the three deformed women and put them before the king's eyes on his return. Prätorius in his “Gluckstopf” (pp. 404_406) tells the story thus: A mother cannot make her daughter spin, and so often beats her. A man who happens to see it asks what it means. The mother answers, “I cannot keep her froin spinning. She spins more flax than I can buy.” The man answers, “ Then give her to me for wife. I shall be satisfied with her cheerful diligence, though she brings no dowry.” The mother is delighted, and the bridegroom brings the bride immediately a great provision of flax. She is secretly frightened, but accepts it, puts it in her room, and considers what she shall do. Then three women come to the window, one so broad from sitting that she cannot get in at the door, the second with an immense nose, the third with a broad thumb. They offer their services and promise to spin the task, if the bride on her wedding day will not be ashamed of them, will proclaim them her cousins and set them at her table. She consents; they spin up the flax, and the lover praises his betrothed. When now the wedding day comes, the three horrid women present themselves. The bride does them honor, and calls them cousins. The bridegroom is surprised, and asks how she comes by such ill-favored friends. “Oh!” said the bride, “it's by spinning that they have become so deformed. One has such a broad back from sitting, the second has licked her mouth quite off, - therefore her nose stands out so, - and the third has twisted thread so much with her thumb.” Then the bridegroom was troubled, and said to the bride she should never spin another thread as long as she lived, that she might not become such a monstrosity.
A third tale from the “Oberlansitz,” by Th. Pescheck, is in Büsching's " Weekly News.” It agrees in general with Prätorius. One of the three old women has sore eyes because the impurities of the flax have got into them, the second has a mouth from ear to ear on account of wetting thread, the third is fat and clumsy by much sitting at the spinning-wheel. A part of the story is in Norwegian in Asbjörnsen, and in Swedish in Cavallius. Mademoiselle L'Hérétier's "Ricdin-Ricdon” agrees in the introduction, and the sette colenelle of the Pentameron is also connected with this tale.
GROTE, GEORGE, a distinguished English historian; born at Clay Hill, near Beckenham, Kent, November 17, 1794; died in London, June 18, 1871. He was educated at the Charterhouse School, London, and at the age of fifteen entered the banking house of which his father was the senior partner. He, however, devoted much of his time to literature and politics. In 1832 he was returned to Parliament for the City of London. In 1841 he resigned his seat in Parliament in order to devote himself to his “ History of Greece," for which he had begun to gather materials as early as 1823. This history comprises twelve volumes, of which Vols. I. and II. appeared in 1846; III. and IV. in 1847; V. and VI. in 1849; VII. and VIII. in 1850; IX. and X. in 1852; XI. in 1853; XII. in 1855. He proposed to supplement the “History" by an exhaustive work upon “Greek Philosophy," of which “Plato and the other Companions of Socrates” appeared in 1865; this was to be followed by “Aristotle," which, however, was never completed. In 1868 he succeeded Lord Brougham as President of the Council of the University of London.
EARLY LEGENDARY HISTORY OF GREECE.
(From “ History of Greece.”) To set forth the history of a people by whom the first spark was set to the dormant intellectual capacities of our nature Hellenic phenomena as illustrative of Hellenic mind and character— is the task which I propose to myself in the present work, not without a painful consciousness how much the deed falls short of the will, and a yet more painful conviction that full success is rendered impossible by an obstacle which no human ability can now remedy: the insufficiency of original evidence. For in spite of the valuable expositions of so many able commentators, our stock of information respecting the ancient world still remains lamentably inadequate to the demands of an enlightened curiosity. We possess only what has drifted ashore from the wreck of a stranded vessel; and though this includes some of the most precious articles among its once abundant cargo, yet if any man will cast his eyes over the citations in Diogenes, Laertius, Athenæus, or Plutarch, or the list of names in Vossius's “ De Historicis Græcis," he will see with grief and surprise how much larger is the proportion which — through the enslavement of the Greeks themselves, the decline of the Roman empire, the change of religion, and the irruption of the barbarian conquerorg — has been irrecoverably submerged. We are thus reduced to judge of the whole Hellenic world, eminently multiform as it was, from a few compositions; excellent, indeed, in themselves, but bearing too exclusively the stamp of Athens. Of Thucydides and Aristotle, indeed, both as inquirers into matter of fact and as free from local feeling, it is impossible to speak too highly; but unfortunately that work of the latter which wou have given us the most copious information regarding Grecian political life - his collection and comparison of one hundred and fifty distinct town-constitutions - has not been preserved; while the brevity of Thucydides often gives us but a single word where a sentence would not have been too much, and sentences which we should be glad to see expanded into paragraphs.
Such insufficiency of original and trustworthy materials, as compared with those resources which are thought hardly sufficient for the historian of any modern kingdom, is neither to be concealed nor extenuated, however much we may lament it. I advert to the point here on more grounds than one. For it not only limits the amount of information which an historian of Greece can give to his readers — compelling him to leave much of his picture an absolute blank — but it also greatly spoils the execution of the remainder. The question of credibility is perpetually obtruding itself, and requiring a decision, which, whether fa rable or unfavorable, always introduces more or less of controversy; and gives to those outlines which the interest of the picture requires to be straight and vigorous a faint and faltering character. Expressions of qualified and hesitating affirmation are repeated until the reader is sickened; while the writer bimself, to whom this restraint is more painful still, is frequently tempted to break loose from the unseen spell by which a conscientious criticism binds him down; to screw up the possible and probable into certainty, to suppress counterbalancing considerations, and to substitute a pleasing romance in place of half-known and perplexing realities. Desiring in the present work to set forth all which can be ascertained, together with
such conjectures and inferences as can be reasonably deduced from it, but nothing more - I notice at the outset that faulty state of the original evidence which renders discussion of credibility, and hesitation in the language of the judge, unavoidable. Such discussions — though the reader may be assured that they will become less frequent as we advance into times better known — are tiresome enough even with the comparatively late period which I adopt as the historical beginning; much more intolerable would they have proved had I thought it my duty to start from the primitive terminus of Deukalion or Inachus, or from the unburied Pelasgi and Leleges, and to subject the heroic ages to a similar scrutiny. I really know nothing so disheartening or unrequited as the elaborate balancing of what is called evidence - the comparison of infinitesimal probabilities and conjectures, all uncertified - in regard to these shadowy times and personages.
The law respecting sufficiency of evidence ought to be the same for ancient times as for modern; and the reader will find in this history an application to the former of certain criteria analogous to those which have long been recognized in the latter. Approaching, though with a certain measure of indulgence, to this standard, I begin the real history of Greece with the first recorded Olympiad, 776 B. C.
To such as are accustomed to the habits once universal, and still not uncommon, in investigating the ancient world, I may appear to be striking off one thousand years from the scroll of history; but to those whose canon of evidence is derived from Mr. Hallam, M. Sismondi, or any other eminent historian of modern events, I am well assured that I shall appear lax and credulous rather than exigent or sceptical. For the truth is that historical records, properly so called, do not begin until long after this date; nor will any man, who candidly considers the extreme paucity of attested facts for two centuries after 776 B. C., be astonished to learn that the State of Greece in 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400 B.C., etc. —or any earlier century which it may please chronologists to include in their computed genealogies — cannot be described to him upon anything like decent evidence. I shall hope, when I come to the lives of Socrates, and Plato, to illustrate one of the most valuable of their principles, - that conscious and confessed ignorance is a better state of mind than the fancy, without the reality, of knowledge. Meanwhile I begin by making that confession in reference to the real