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The Book of Noodles by W. A. Clouston

Part 3 out of 3

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The court agreed that the speaker had put in a very strong case; but
justice required that the other two should also be heard. The third
claimant was indeed burning with impatience for his turn, and as soon as
he had permission, he thus spoke:

_Story of the Third Brahman_.

My name was originally Anantya; now all the world call me Betel Anantya,
and I will tell you how this nickname arose. My wife, having been long
detained at her father's house, on account of her youth, had cohabited
with me but about a month when, going to bed one evening, I happened to
say (carelessly, I believe), that all women were babblers. She retorted,
that she knew men who were not less babblers than women. I perceived at
once that she alluded to myself; and being somewhat piqued at the
sharpness of her retort, I said, "Now let us see which of us shall speak
first." "Agreed," quoth she; "but what shall be the forfeit?" "A leaf of
betel," said I. Our wager being thus made, we both addressed ourselves
to sleep, without speaking another word.

Next morning, as we did not appear at our usual hour, after some
interval, they called us, but got no answer. They again called, and then
roared stoutly at the door, but with no success. The alarm began to
spread in the house. They began to fear that we had died suddenly. The
carpenter was called with his tools. The door of our room was forced
open, and when they got in they were not a little surprised to find both
of us wide awake, in good health, and at our ease, though without the
faculty of speech. My mother was greatly alarmed, and gave loud vent to
her grief. All the Brahmans in the village, of both sexes, assembled, to
the number of one hundred; and after close examination, every one drew
his own conclusion on the accident which was supposed to have befallen
us. The greater number were of opinion that it could have arisen only
from the malevolence of some enemy who had availed himself of magical
incantations to injure us. For this reason, a famous magician was
called, to counteract the effects of the witchcraft, and to remove it.
As soon as he came, after steadfastly contemplating us for some time, he
began to try our pulses, by putting his finger on our wrists, on our
temples, on the heart, and on various other parts of the body; and after
a great variety of grimaces, the remembrance of which excites my
laughter, as often as I think of him, he decided that our malady arose
wholly from the effect of malevolence. He even gave the name of the
particular devil that possessed my wife and me and rendered us dumb. He
added that the devil was very stubborn and difficult to allay, and that
it would cost three or four pagodas for the offerings necessary for
compelling him to fly.

My relations, who were not very opulent, were astonished at the grievous
imposition which the magician had laid on them. Yet, rather than we
should continue dumb, they consented to give him whatsoever should be
necessary for the expense of his sacrifice; and they farther promised
that they would reward him for his trouble as soon as the demon by whom
we were possessed should be expelled. He was on the point of commencing
his magical operations, when a Brahman, one of our friends, who was
present, maintained, in opposition to the opinion of the magician and
his assistants, that our malady was not at all the effect of witchcraft,
but arose from some simple and ordinary cause, of which he had seen
several instances, and he undertook to cure us without any expense.

He took a chafing-dish filled with burning charcoal, and heated a small
bar of gold very hot. This he took up with pincers, and applied to the
soles of my feet, then to my elbows, and the crown of my head. I endured
these cruel operations without showing the least symptom of pain, or
making any complaint; being determined to bear anything, and to die, if
necessary, rather than lose the wager I had laid.

"Let us try the effect on the woman," said the doctor, astonished at my
resolution and apparent insensibility. And immediately taking the bit of
gold, well heated, he applied it to the sole of her foot. She was not
able to endure the pain for a moment, but instantly screamed out,
"Enough!" and turning to me, "I have lost my wager," she said; "there is
your leaf of betel." "Did I not tell you," said I, taking the leaf,
"that you would be the first to speak out, and that you would prove by
your own conduct that I was right in saying yesterday, when we went to
bed, that women are babblers?"

Every one was surprised at the proceeding; nor could any of them
comprehend the meaning of what was passing between my wife and me; until
I explained the kind of wager we had made overnight, before going to
sleep. "What!" they exclaimed, "was it for a leaf of betel that you have
spread this alarm through your own house and the whole village?--for a
leaf of betel that you showed such constancy, and suffered burning from
the feet to the head upwards? Never in the world was there seen such
folly!" And so, from that time, I have been constantly known by the name
of Betel Anantya.

The narrative being finished, the court were of opinion that so
transcendent a piece of folly gave him high pretensions in the depending
suit; but it was necessary also to hear the fourth and last of the
suitors, who thus addressed them:

_Story of the Fourth Brahman_.

The maiden to whom I was betrothed, having remained six or seven years
at her father's house, on account of her youth, we were at last apprised
that she was become marriageable; and her parents informed mine that she
was in a situation to fulfil all the duties of a wife, and might
therefore join her husband. My mother being at that time sick, and the
house of my father-in-law being at the distance of five or six leagues
from ours, she was not able to undertake the journey. She therefore
committed to myself the duty of bringing home my wife, and counselled me
so to conduct myself, in words and actions, that they might not see that
I was only a brute. "Knowing thee as I do," said my mother, as I took
leave of her, "I am very distrustful of thee." But I promised to be on
my good behaviour; and so I departed.

I was well received by my father-in-law, who gave a great feast to all
the Brahmans of the village on the occasion. He made me stay three days,
during which there was nothing but festivity. At length the time of our
departure having arrived, he suffered my wife and myself to leave him,
after pouring out blessings on us both, and wishing us a long and happy
life, enriched with a numerous progeny. When we took leave of him, he
shed abundance of tears, as if he had foreseen the misery that awaited

It was then the summer solstice, and the day was exceedingly hot. We had
to cross a sandy plain of more than two leagues; and the sand, being
heated by the burning sun, scorched the feet of my young wife, who,
being brought up too tenderly in her father's house, was not accustomed
to such severe trials. She began to cry, and being unable to go on, she
lay down on the ground, saying she wished to die there. I was in
dreadful trouble, and knew not what step to take; when a merchant came
up, travelling the contrary way. He had a train of fifty bullocks,
loaded with various kinds of merchandise. I ran to meet him, and told
him the cause of my anxiety with tears in my eyes; and entreated him to
aid me with his good advice in the distressing circumstances in which I
was placed. He immediately answered, that a young and delicate woman,
such as my wife was, could neither remain where she lay nor proceed on
her journey, under a hot sun, without being exposed to certain death.
Rather than that I should see her perish, and run the hazard of being
suspected of having killed her myself, and being guilty of one of the
five crimes which the Brahmans consider as the most heinous, he advised
me to give her to him, and then he would mount her on one of his cattle
and take her along with him. That I should be a loser, he admitted;
but, all things considered, it was better to lose her, with the merit of
having saved her life, than equally to lose her, under the suspicion of
being her murderer. "Her trinkets," he said, "may be worth fifteen
pagodas; take these twenty and give me your wife."

The merchant's arguments appeared unanswerable; so I yielded to them,
and delivered to him my wife, whom he placed on one of his best oxen,
and continued his journey without delay. I continued mine also, and got
home in the evening, exhausted with hunger and fatigue, and with my feet
almost roasted with the burning sand, over which I had walked the
greater part of the day. Frightened to see me alone, "Where is your
wife?" cried my mother. I gave her a full account of everything that had
happened from the time I left her. I spoke of the agreeable and
courteous manner in which my father-in-law had received me, and how, by
some delay, we had been overtaken by the scorching heat of the sun at
noon, so that my wife must have perished and myself suspected of having
caused her death, had we proceeded; and that I had preferred to sell her
to a merchant who met us for twenty pagodas. And I showed my mother the

When I had done, my mother fell into an ecstasy of fury. She lifted up
her voice against me with cries of rage, and overwhelmed me with
imprecations and awful curses. Having given way to these first emotions
of despair, she sank into a more moderate tone: "What hast thou done!
Sold thy wife, hast thou! Delivered her to another man! A Brahmanari is
become the concubine of a vile merchant! Ah, what will her kindred and
ours say when they hear the tale of this brutish stupidity--of folly so
unexampled and degrading?"

The relations of my wife were soon informed of the sad adventure that
had befallen their unhappy girl. They came over to attack me, and would
certainly have murdered me and my innocent mother, if we had not both
made a sudden escape. Having no direct object to wreak their vengeance
upon, they brought the matter before the chiefs of the caste, who
unanimously fined me in two hundred pagodas, as a reparation to my
father-in-law, and issued a proclamation against so great a fool being
ever allowed to take another wife; denouncing the penalty of expulsion
from the caste against any one who should assist me in such an attempt.
I was therefore condemned to remain a widower all my life, and to pay
dear for my folly. Indeed, I should have been excluded for ever from my
caste, but for the high consideration in which the memory of my late
father is still held, he having lived respected by all the world.

Now that you have heard one specimen of the many follies of my life, I
hope you will not consider me as beneath those who have spoken before
me, nor my pretensions altogether undeserving of the salutation of the


The heads of the assembly, several of whom were convulsed with laughter
while the Brahmans were telling their stories, decided, after hearing
them all, that each had given such absolute proofs of folly as to be
entitled, in justice, to a superiority in his own way: that each of
them, therefore, should be at liberty to call himself the greatest fool
of all, and to attribute to himself the salutation of the soldier. Each
of them having thus gained his suit, it was recommended to them all to
continue their journey, if it were possible, in amity. The delighted
Brahmans then rushed out of court, each exclaiming that he had gained
his cause.


[1] A Samaradanam is one of the public festivals given by pious people,
and sometimes by those in power, to the Brahmans, who on such occasions
assemble in great numbers from all quarters.

[2] In a Sinhalese story, referred to on ["p. 68" in original. This
approximates to the reference to Chapter III, Footnote 5 in this
e-text], it is, curiously enough, the woman herself "who has her head
shaved, so as not to lose the services of the barber for the day when he
came, and her husband was away from home." The story probably was
introduced into Ceylon by the Tamils; both versions are equally good as



Few folk-tales are more widely diffused than that of the man who set out
in quest of as great noodles as those of his own household. The details
may be varied more or less, but the fundamental outline is identical,
wherever the story is found; and, whether it be an instance of the
transmission of popular tales from one country to another, or one of
those "primitive fictions" which are said to be the common heritage of
the Aryans, its independent development by different nations and in
different ages cannot be reasonably maintained.

Thus, in one Gaelic version of this diverting story--in which our old
friends the Gothamites reappear on the scene to enact their unconscious
drolleries--a lad marries a farmer's daughter, and one day while they
are all busily engaged in peat-cutting, she is sent to the house to
fetch the dinner. On entering the house, she perceives the speckled
pony's packsaddle hanging from the roof, and says to herself, "Oh, if
that packsaddle were to fall and kill me, what should I do?" and here
she began to cry, until her mother, wondering what could be detaining
her, comes, when she tells the old woman the cause of her grief,
whereupon the mother, in her turn, begins to cry, and when the old man
next comes to see what is the matter with his wife and daughter, and is
informed about the speckled pony's packsaddle, he, too, "mingles his
tears" with theirs. At last the young husband arrives, and finding the
trio of noodles thus grieving at an imaginary misfortune, he there and
then leaves them, declaring his purpose not to return until he has found
three as great fools as themselves. In the course of his travels he
meets with some strange folks: men whose wives make them believe
whatever they please--one, that he is dead; another, that he is clothed,
when he is stark naked; a third, that he is not himself. He meets with
the twelve fishers who always miscounted their number; the noodles who
went to drown an eel in the sea; and a man trying to get his cow on the
roof of his house, in order that she might eat the grass growing there.
But the most wonderful incident was a man coming with a cow in a cart:
and the people had found out that the man had stolen the cow, and that a
court should be held upon him, and so they did; and the justice they did
was to put the horse to death for carrying the cow.[1]

In another Gaelic version a young husband had provided his house with a
cradle, in natural anticipation that such an interesting piece of
furniture would be required in due time. In this he was disappointed,
but the cradle stood in the kitchen all the same. One day he chanced to
throw something into the empty cradle, upon which his wife, his mother,
and his wife's mother set up loud lamentations, exclaiming, "Oh, if
_he_ had been there, he had been killed!" alluding to a potential
son. The man was so much shocked at such an exhibition of folly that he
left the country in search of three greater noodles. Among other
adventures, he goes into a house and plays tricks on some people there,
telling them his name is "_Saw ye ever my like_?" When the old man
of the house comes home he finds his people tied upon tables, and asks,
"What's the reason of this?" "Saw ye ever my like?" says the first. Then
going to a second man, he asks, "What's the reason of this?" "Saw ye
ever my like?" says the second. "I saw thy like in the kitchen," replies
the old man, and then he goes to the third: "What's the reason of this?"
"Saw ye ever my like?" says the third. "I have seen plenty of thy like,"
quoth the old man; "but never before this day," and then he understood
that some one had been playing tricks on his people.[2]

In Russian variants the old parents of a youth named Lutonya weep over
the supposititious death of a potential grandchild, thinking how sad it
would have been if a log which the old woman had dropped had killed that
hypothetical infant. The parents' grief appears to Lutonya so uncalled
for that he leaves the house, declaring he will not return until he has
met with people more foolish than they. He travels long and far, and
sees several foolish doings. In one place a horse is being inserted into
its collar by sheer force; in another, a woman is fetching milk from the
cellar a spoonful at a time; and in a third place some carpenters are
attempting to stretch a beam which is not long enough, and Lutonya earns
their gratitude by showing them how to join a piece to it.[3]

A well-known English version is to this effect: There was a young man
who courted a farmer's daughter, and one evening when he came to the
house she was sent to the cellar for beer. Seeing an axe stuck in a beam
above her head, she thought to herself, "Suppose I were married and had
a son, and he were to grow up, and be sent to this cellar for beer, and
this axe were to fall and kill him--oh dear! oh dear!" and there she sat
crying and crying, while the beer flowed all over the cellar-floor,
until her old father and mother come in succession and blubber along
with her about the hypothetical death of her imaginary grown-up son. The
young man goes off in quest of three bigger fools, and sees a woman
hoisting a cow on to the roof of her cottage to eat the grass that grew
among the thatch, and to keep the animal from falling off, she ties a
rope round its neck, then goes into the kitchen, secures at her waist
the rope, which she had dropped down the chimney, and presently the cow
stumbles over the roof, and the woman is pulled up the flue till she
sticks half-way. In an inn he sees a man attempting to jump into his
trousers--a favourite incident in this class of stories; and farther
along he meets with a party raking the moon out of a pond.

Another English variant relates that a young girl having been left alone
in the house, her mother finds her in tears when she comes home, and
asks the cause of her distress. "Oh," says the girl, "while you were
away, a brick fell down the chimney, and I thought, if it had fallen on
me I might have been killed!" The only novel adventure which the girl's
betrothed meets with, in his quest of three bigger fools, is an old
woman trying to drag an oven with a rope to the table where the dough

Several versions are current in Italy and Sicily, which present a close
analogy to those of other European countries. The following is a
translation of one in Bernoni's Venetian collection:

Once upon a time there were a husband and a wife who had a son. This son
grew up, and said one day to his mother, "Do you know, mother, I would
like to marry?" "Very well, marry! Whom do you want to take?" He
answered, "I want the gardener's daughter." "She is a good girl--take
her; I am willing." So he went, and asked for the girl, and her parents
gave her to him. They were married, and when they were in the midst of
their dinner, the wine gave out. The husband said, "There is no more
wine!" The bride, to show that she was a good housekeeper, said, "I will
go and get some." She took the bottles and went to the cellar, turned
the cock, and began to think, "Suppose I should have a son, and we
should call him Bastianelo, and he should die! Oh, how grieved I should
be! oh, how grieved I should be!" And thereupon she began to weep and
weep; and meanwhile the wine was running all over the cellar.

When they saw that the bride did not return, the mother said, "I will go
and see what the matter is." So she went into the cellar, and saw the
bride, with the bottle in her hand, and weeping. "What is the matter
with you that you are weeping?" "Ah, my mother, I was thinking that if I
had a son, and should name him Bastianelo, and he should die, oh, how I
should grieve! oh, how I should grieve!" The mother, too, began to weep,
and weep, and weep; and meanwhile the wine was running over the cellar.

When the people at the table saw that no one brought the wine, the
groom's father said, "I will go and see what is the matter. Certainly
something wrong has happened to the bride." He went and saw the whole
cellar full of wine, and the mother and bride weeping. "What is the
matter?" he said; "has anything wrong happened to you?"

"No," said the bride; "but I was thinking that if I had a son, and
should call him Bastianelo, and he should die, oh, how I should grieve!
oh, how I should grieve!" Then he, too, began to weep, and all three
wept; and meanwhile the wine was running over the cellar.

When the groom saw that neither the bride, nor the mother, nor the
father came back, he said, "Now I will go and see what the matter is
that no one returns." He went into the cellar and saw all the wine
running over the cellar. He hastened and stopped the cask, and then
asked, "What is the matter that you are all weeping, and have let the
wine run all over the cellar?" Then the bride said, "I was thinking that
if I had a son and called him Bastianelo, and he should die, oh, how I
should grieve! oh, how I should grieve!" Then the groom said, "You
stupid fools! Are you weeping at this and letting all the wine run into
the cellar? Have you nothing else to think of? It shall never be said
that I remained with you. I will roam about the world, and until I find
three fools greater than you, I will not return home."

He had a bread-cake made, took a bottle of wine, a sausage, and some
linen, and made a bundle, which he put on a stick and carried over his
shoulder. He journeyed and journeyed, but found no fool. At last he
said, worn out, "I must turn back, for I see I cannot find a greater
fool than my wife." He did not know what to do, whether to go on or turn
back. "Oh," said he, "it is better to try and go a little farther." So
he went on, and shortly saw a man in his shirt-sleeves at a well, all
wet with perspiration, and water. "What are you doing, sir, that you are
so covered with water and in such a sweat?" "Oh, let me alone," the man
answered; "for I have been here a long time drawing water to fill this
pail, and I cannot fill it." "What are you drawing the water in?" he
asked him. "In this sieve," he said. "What are you thinking about, to
draw water in that sieve? Just wait!" He went to a house near by and
borrowed a bucket, with which he returned to the well and filled the
pail. "Thank you, good man. God knows how long I should have had to
remain here!"--"Here," thought he, "is one who is a greater fool than my

He continued his journey, and after a time he saw at a distance a man in
his shirt, who was jumping down from a tree. He drew near, and saw a
woman under the same tree, holding a pair of breeches. He asked them
what they were doing, and they said that they had been there a long
time, and that the man was trying on those breeches and did not know how
to get into them. "I have jumped and jumped," said the man, "until I am
tired out, and I cannot imagine how to get into those breeches." "Oh,"
said the traveller, "you might stay here as long as you wished, for you
would never get into them this way. Come down and lean against the
tree." Then he took his legs and put them in the breeches, and after he
had put them on, he said, "Is that right?" "Very good; bless you; for if
it had not been for you, God knows how long I should have had to jump."
Then the traveller said to himself, "I have seen two greater fools than
my wife."

Then he went his way, and as he approached a city, he heard a great
noise. When he drew near he asked what it was, and was told it was a
marriage, and that it was the custom in that city for the brides to
enter the city gate on horseback, and that there was a great discussion
on this occasion between the groom and the owner of the horse, for the
bride was tall and the horse high, and they could not get through the
gate; so that they must either cut off the bride's head or the horse's
legs. The groom did not wish his bride's head cut off, and the owner of
the horse did not wish his horse's legs cut off, and hence this
disturbance. Then the traveller said, "Just wait," and came up to the
bride and gave her a slap that made her lower her head, and then he gave
the horse a kick, and so they passed through the gate and entered the
city. The groom and the owner of the horse asked the traveller what he
wanted, for he had saved the groom his bride and the owner of the horse
his horse. He answered that he did not wish anything, and said to
himself, "Two and one make three! that is enough. Now I will go home."
He did so, and said to his wife, "Here I am, my wife; I have seen three
greater fools than you;--now let us remain in peace, and think of
nothing else." They renewed the wedding, and always remained in peace.
After a time the wife had a son, whom they named Bastianelo, and
Bastianelo did not die, but still lives with his father and mother.[4]

There is (Professor Crane remarks) a Sicilian version in Pitre's
collection, called "The Peasant of Larcara," in which the bride's mother
imagines that her daughter has a son who falls into the cistern. The
groom--they are not yet married--is disgusted, and sets out on his
travels with no fixed purpose of returning if he finds some fools
greater than his mother-in-law, as in the Venetian tale. The first fool
he meets is a mother, whose child, in playing the game called
_nocciole_.[5] tries to get his hand out of the hole whilst his
fist is full of stones. He cannot, of course, and the mother thinks they
will have to cut off his hand. The traveller tells the child to drop the
stones, and then he draws out his hand easily enough. Next he finds a
bride who cannot enter the church because she is very tall and wears a
high comb. The difficulty is settled as in the former story. After a
while he comes to a woman who is spinning and drops her spindle. She
calls out to the pig, whose name is Tony, to pick it up for her. The pig
does nothing but grunt, and the woman in anger cries, "Well, you won't
pick it up? May your mother die!" The traveller, who had overheard all
this, takes a piece of paper, which he folds up like a letter, and then
knocks at the door. "Who is there?" "Open the door, for I have a letter
for you from Tony's mother, who is ill and wishes to see her son before
she dies." The woman wonders that her imprecation has taken effect so
soon, and readily consents to Tony's visit. Not only this, but she loads
a mule with everything necessary for the comfort of the body and soul of
the dying pig. The traveller leads away the mule with Tony, and returns
home so pleased with having found that the outside world contains so
many fools that he marries as he had first intended.[6]

In other Italian versions, a man is trying to jump into his stockings;
another endeavours to put walnuts into a sack with a fork; and a woman
dips a knotted rope into a deep well, and then having drawn it up,
squeezes the water out of the knots into a pail. The final adventure of
the traveller in quest of the greatest noodles is thus related in Miss
Busk's _Folk-lore of Rome_:

Towards nightfall he arrived at a lone cottage, where he knocked, and
asked for a night's lodging. "I can't give you that," said a voice from
the inside; "for I am a lone widow. I can't take a man in to sleep
here." "But I am a pilgrim," replied he; "let me in at least to cook a
bit of supper."

"That I don't mind doing," said the good wife, and she opened the door.
"Thanks, good friend," said the pilgrim, as he sat down by the stove.
"Now add to your charity a couple of eggs in a pan." So she gave him a
pan and two eggs, and a bit of butter to cook them in; but he took the
six eggs out of his staff and broke them into the pan too. Presently,
when the good wife turned her head his way again, and saw eight eggs
swimming in the pan instead of two, she said, "Lack-a-day! you must
surely be some strange being from the other world. Do you know
So-and-so?" naming her husband. "Oh yes," said he, enjoying the joke; "I
know him very well: he lives just next to me." "Only to think of that!"
replied the poor woman. "And, do tell me, how do you get on in the other
world? What sort of a life is it?" "Oh, not so very bad; it depends what
sort of a place you get. The part where we are is pretty good, except
that we get very little to eat. Your husband, for instance, is nearly
starved." "No, really?" cried the good wife, clasping her hands. "Only
fancy, my good husband starving out there, so fond as he was of a good
dinner, too!" Then she added, coaxingly, "As you know him so well,
perhaps you wouldn't mind doing him the charity of taking him a little
somewhat, to give him a treat. There are such lots of things I could
easily send him." "Oh dear, no, not at all. I'll do so with pleasure,"
answered he. "But I'm not going back till to-morrow, and if I don't
sleep here I must go on farther, and then I shan't come by this way."
"That's true," replied the widow. "Ah, well, I mustn't mind what the
folks say; for such an opportunity as this may never occur again. You
must sleep in my bed, and I must sleep on the hearth; and in the morning
I'll load a donkey with provisions for my poor husband." "Oh, no,"
replied the pilgrim, "you shan't be disturbed in your bed. Only let me
sleep on the hearth--that will do for me; and as I am an early riser, I
can be gone before any one's astir, so folks won't have anything to

So it was done, and an hour before sunrise the woman was up, loading the
donkey with the best of her stores--ham, macaroni, flour, cheese, and
wine. All this she committed to the pilgrim, saying, "You'll send the
donkey back, won't you?" "Of course I would send him back," he replied;
"he'd be of no use to me out there. But I shan't get out again myself
for another hundred years or so, and I fear he won't find his way back
alone, for it's no easy way to find." "To be sure not; I ought to have
thought of that," replied the widow. "Ah, well, so as my poor husband
gets a good meal, never mind the donkey." So the pretended pilgrim from
the other world went his way. He hadn't gone a hundred yards before the
widow called him back. "Ah, she's beginning to think better of it," said
he to himself, and he continued his way, pretending not to hear. "Good
pilgrim," shouted the widow, "I forgot one thing: would money be of any
use to my poor husband?" "Oh dear, yes," said he, "all the use in the
world. You can always get anything for money anywhere." "Oh, do come
back, then, and I'll trouble you with a hundred scudi for him." He went
back, willingly, for the hundred scudi, which the widow counted out to
him. "There's no help for it," said he to himself as he went his way: "I
must go back to those at home."

From sunny Italy to bleak Norway is certainly a "far cry," yet the
adventure of the "Pilgrim from Paradise" is also known to the Norse
peasants, in connection with the quest of the greatest noodles: A goody
goes to market, with a cow and a hen for sale. She wants five shillings
for the cow and ten pounds for the hen. A butcher buys the cow, but
doesn't want the hen. As she cannot find a buyer for the hen, she goes
back to the butcher, who treats her to so much brandy that she gets
dead-drunk, and in this condition the butcher tars and feathers her.
When she awakes, she fancies that she must be some strange bird, and
cries out, "Is this me, or is it not me? I'll go home, and if our dog
barks, then it is not me." Thus far we have a variant of our favourite
nursery rhyme:

There was an old woman, as I've heard tell,
She went to market her eggs for to sell;
She went to market, all on a market-day,
And she fell asleep on the king's highway.

There came a pedlar, whose name was Stout,
He cut her petticoats all round about;
He cut her petticoats up to the knees,
Which made the old woman to shiver and freeze.

When the little woman first did wake,
She began to shiver and she began to shake;
She began to wonder, and she began to cry,
"Lauk-a-mercy on me, this is none of I!"

"But if this be I, as I do hope it be,
I've a little dog at home, and he'll know me;
If it be I, he'll wag his little tail,
And if it be not I, he loudly bark and wail."

Home went the little woman all in the dark,
Up got the little dog, and began to bark;
He began to bark, and she began to cry,
"Lauk-a-mercy on me, this can't be I!"

To return to the Norse tale. As in our nursery rhyme, when the goody
reaches home, the dog barks at her; then she goes to the calves' house,
but the calves, having sniffed the tar with which she was smeared, turn
away from her in disgust. She is now fully convinced that she has been
transformed into some outlandish bird, so she climbs on to the roof of a
shed, and begins to flap her arms as if she were about to fly, when out
comes her goodman, and seeing a suspicious-looking creature on the roof
of the shed, he fetches his gun and is going to shoot at his goody, when
he recognises her voice. Amazed at such a piece of folly, he resolves to
leave her and not come back till he has found three goodies as silly. He
meets with a female descendant of the Schildburgers, evidently, carrying
into her cottage sunshine in a sieve, there being no window in the
house: he cuts out a window for her and is well paid for his trouble. He
next comes to a house where an old woman is thumping her goodman on the
head with a beetle, in order to force over him a shirt without a slit
for the neck, which she had drawn over his head: he cuts a slit in the
shirt with a pair of scissors, and is amply rewarded for his ingenuity.
His third adventure is similar to that of the "pilgrim" in the Italian

At another house he informs the goody that he came from Paradise Place--
which was the name of his own farm--and she asks him if he knew her
second husband in paradise. (She had been married twice before she took
her present husband, who was an old curmudgeon, and she liked her second
husband best--she was sure he had gone to heaven.) He replies that he
knew him very intimately, but, poor man, he was far from well off,
having to go about begging from house to house. The goody gives him a
cart-load of clothes and a box of shining dollars, for her dear second
husband; for why should he go about begging in paradise when there was
so much of everything in their house? So the stranger, jumps into the
cart and drives off, as fast as possible. But Peter, the goody's third
husband, sees him on the road, and recognising his own horse and cart,
hastens home to his wife, and asks why a stranger has gone off with his
property. She explains the whole affair, upon which he mounts a horse
and gallops away after the rogue who had thus taken advantage of his
wife's simplicity. The stranger, perceiving him approach, hides the
horse and cart behind a high hedge, takes part of the horse's tail and
hangs it on the branches of a birch-tree, and then lays himself down on
his back and gazes up into the sky. When Peter comes up to him, he
exclaims, still looking at the sky, "What a wonder! there is a man going
straight to heaven on a black horse!" Peter can see no such thing. "Can
you not?" says the stranger. "See, there is his tail, still on the
birch-tree. You must lie down in this very spot, and look straight up,
and don't for a moment take your eyes off the sky, and then you'll see--
what you'll see." So Peter lies down and gazes up at the sky very
intently, looking for the man going straight to heaven on a black horse.
Meanwhile the traveller escapes, with the cart-load of clothes and the
box of shining dollars, and the second horse besides. Peter, when he
reaches home, tells his wife that he had given the man from paradise the
other horse for her second husband to ride about on, for he was ashamed
to confess that he had been cheated as well as herself.[7] As to our
traveller, having found three goodies as great fools as his own, he
returned home, and saw that all his fields had been ploughed and sown;
so he asked his wife where she had got the seed from. "Oh," says she, "I
have always heard that what a man sows he shall also reap, so I sowed
the salt that our friends the north-countrymen laid up with us, and if
we only have rain, I fancy it will come up nicely."[8] "Silly you are,"
said her husband, "and silly you will be as long as you live. But that
is all one now, for the rest are not a bit wiser than you;--_there is
not a pin to choose between you_!"[9]

Now, if it be "a far cry" from Italy to Norway, it is still farther from
Norway to India; and yet it is in the southern provinces of our great
Asiatic empire that a story is current among the people, which, strange
as it may seem, is almost the exact counterpart of the Norse version of
the pretended pilgrim from paradise, of which the above is an abstract.
It is found in Pandit S.M. Natesa Sastri's _Folk-lore in Southern
India_, now in course of publication at Bombay; a work which, when
completed, will be of very great value, to students of comparative
folk-tales, as well as prove an entertaining story-book for general
readers. After condensation in some parts, this story--which the Pandit
entitles "The Good Wife and the Bad Husband"--runs thus:

In a secluded village there lived a rich man, who was very miserly, and
his wife, who was very kind-hearted and charitable, but a stupid little
woman that believed everything she heard. And there lived in the same
village a clever rogue, who had for some time watched for an opportunity
for getting something from this simple woman during her husband's
absence. So one day, when he had seen the old miser ride out to inspect
his lands, this rogue of the first water came to the house, and fell
down at the threshold as if overcome by fatigue. The woman ran up to him
at once and inquired whence he came. "I am come from Kailasa,"[10] said
he; "having been sent down by an old couple living there, for news of
their son and his wife." "Who are those fortunate dwellers in Siva's
mountain?" she asked. And the rogue gave the names of her husband's
deceased parents, which he had taken good care, of course, to learn from
the neighbours. "Do you really come from them?" said the simple woman.
"Are they doing well there? Dear old people! How glad my husband would
be to see you, were he here! Sit down, please, and rest until he
returns. How do they live there? Have they enough to eat and dress
themselves withal?" These and a hundred other questions she put to the
rogue, who, for his part, wished to get away as soon as possible,
knowing full well how he would be treated if the miser should return
while he was there. So he replied, "Mother, language has no words to
describe the miseries they are undergoing in the other world. They have
not a rag of clothing, and for the last six days they have eaten
nothing, and have lived on water only. It would break your heart to see
them." The rogue's pathetic words deceived the good woman, who firmly
believed that he had come down from Kailasa, a messenger from the old
couple to herself. "Why should they so suffer," said she, "when their
son has plenty to eat and clothe himself withal, and when their
daughter-in-law wears all sorts of costly garments?" So saying, she went
into the house, and soon came out again with two boxes containing all
her own and her husband's clothes, which she handed to the rogue,
desiring him to deliver them to the poor old couple in Kailasa. She also
gave him her jewel-box, to be presented to her mother-in-law. "But dress
and jewels will not fill their hungry stomachs," said the rogue. "Very
true; I had forgot: wait a moment," said the simple woman, going into
the house once more. Presently returning with her husband's cash chest,
she emptied its glittering contents into the rogue's skirt, who now took
his leave in haste, promising to give everything to the good old couple
in Kailasa; and having secured all the booty in his upper garment, he
made off at the top of his speed as soon as the silly woman had gone

Shortly after this the husband returned home, and his wife's pleasure at
what she had done was so great that she ran to meet him at the door, and
told him all about the arrival of the messenger from Kailasa, how his
parents were without clothes and food, and how she had sent them clothes
and jewels and store of money. On hearing this, the anger of the husband
was great; but he checked himself, and inquired which road the messenger
from Kailasa had taken, saying that he wished to follow him with a
further message for his parents. So she very readily pointed out the
direction in which the rogue had gone. With rage in his heart at the
trick played upon his stupid wife, he rode off in hot haste, and after
having proceeded a considerable distance, he caught sight of the flying
rogue, who, finding escape hopeless, climbed up into a _pipal_

The husband soon reached the foot of the tree, when he shouted to the
rogue to come down. "No, I cannot," said he; "this is the way to
Kailasa," and then climbed to the very top of the tree. Seeing there was
no chance of the rogue coming down, and there being no one near to whom
he could call for help, the old miser tied his horse to a neighbouring
tree, and began to climb up the _pipal_ himself. When the rogue
observed this, he thanked all his gods most fervently, and having waited
until his enemy had climbed nearly up to him, he threw down his bundle
of booty, and then leapt nimbly from branch to branch till he reached
the ground in safety, when he mounted the miser's horse and with his
bundle rode into a thick forest, where he was not likely to be
discovered. Being thus balked the miser came down the _pipal_ tree
slowly cursing his own stupidity in having risked his horse to recover
the things which his wife had given the rogue, and returned home at
leisure. His wife, who was waiting his return, welcomed him with a
joyous countenance, and cried, "I thought as much: you have sent away
your horse to Kailasa, to be used by your old father." Vexed at his
wife's words, as he was, he replied in the affirmative, to conceal his
own folly.

Through the Tamils it is probable this story reached Ceylon, where it
exists in a slightly different form: A young girl, named Kaluhami, had
lately died, when a beggar came to the parents' house, and on being
asked by the mother where he had come from, he said that he had just
come from the other world to this world, meaning that he had only just
recovered from severe illness. "Then," said the woman, "since you have
come from the other world, you must have seen my daughter Kaluhami
there, who died but a few days ago. Pray tell me how she is." The
beggar, seeing how simple she was, replied, "She is my wife, and lives
with me at present, and she has sent me to you for her dowry." The woman
at once gave him all the money and jewels that were in the house, and
sent him away delighted with his unexpected good luck. Soon after, the
woman's husband returned, and learning how silly she had been, mounted
his horse and rode after the beggar. The rest of the story corresponds
to the Tamil version, as above, with the exception that when the husband
saw the beggar slide down the tree, get on his horse, and ride off, he
cried out to him, "Hey, son-in-law, you may tell Kaluhami that the money
and jewels are from her mother, and that the horse is from me;" which is
altogether inconsistent, since he is represented as the reverse of a
simpleton in pursuing the beggar, on hearing what his wife had done. It
is curious, also, to observe that in the Tamil version the man goes to
the house with the deliberate purpose of deceiving the simple woman,
while in the Sinhalese the beggar is evidently tempted by her mistaking
the meaning of his words. But both present very close points of
resemblance to the Norwegian story of the pretended pilgrim from
paradise. There are indeed few instances of a story having travelled so
far and lost so little of its original details, allowing for the
inevitable local colouring.


[1] Campbell's _Popular Tales of the West Highlands_, vol. ii., pp.
373-381. In a note to these adventures Campbell gives a story of some
women who, as judges, doomed a horse to be hanged: the thief who stole
the horse got off, because it was his first offence; the horse went back
to the house of the thief, because he was the better master, and was
condemned for stealing himself!

[2]: Campbell's _Popular Tales of the West Highlands_, vol. ii.,
pp. 385--387.

In a Northumberland popular tale a child in bed sees a little fairy come
down the chimney, and the child tells the creature that his name is
My-ainsel. They play together, and the little fairy is burnt with a
cinder, and on its mother appearing when it cries, and asking it who had
hurt it, the imp answers, "It was My-ainsel."--There is a somewhat
similar story current in Finland: A man is moulding lead buttons, when
the Devil appears, and asks him what he is doing. "Making eyes." "Could
you make me new ones?" "Yes." So he ties the Devil to a bench, and, in
reply to the fiend, tells him that his name is Myself _(Issi)_, and
then pours lead into his eyes. The Devil starts up with the bench on his
back, and runs off howling. Some people working in a field ask him who
did it. Quoth the fiend, "Myself did it" (_Issi teggi_).

Cf. the _Odyssey_, Book ix., where Ulysses informs the Cyclops that
his name is No-man, and when the monster, after having had his eye put
out in his sleep, awakes in agony, he roars to his comrades for help:

"Friends, No-man kills me, No-man, in the hour
Of sleep, oppresses me with fraudful power!"
"If no man hurt thee, but the hand divine
Inflict disease, it fits thee to resign;--
To Jove, or to thy father, Neptune, pray,"
The brethren cried, and instant strode away.

[3] Ralston's _Russian Folk-Tales_.

[4] Crane's _Italian Popular Tales_, pp. 279--282.

[5] A game played with peach-pits, which are thrown into holes made in
the ground, and to which certain numbers are attached.

[6] Crane's _Italian Popular Tales_, pp. 282-3.

[7] The same story is told in Brittany, with no important variations.

[8] Quite as literally did the rustic understand the priest's assurance,
that whatsoever one gave in charity, for the love of God, should be
repaid him twofold: next day he takes his cow to the priest, who accepts
it as sent by Heaven--and the poor man did _not_ get two cows in
return. The story is known in various forms all over Europe; it was a
special favourite in mediaeval times. See Le Grand's _Fabliaux_,
tome iii., 376: "La Vache du Cure," by the trouvere Jean de Boves;
Wright's _Latin Stories; Icelandic Legends_, etc.

[9] Dasent's _Popular Tales from the Norse_.

[10] "See note, p. 49" in original. This is Chapter II, Footnote 13 in
this e-text.


The idea of the old English jest-book, _Jacke of Dover His Quest of
Inquirie, or His Privy Search for the Veriest Foole in England_
(London: 1604), may perhaps have been suggested by such popular tales as
those of the man going about in quest of three greater fools than his
wife, father-in-law, and mother-in-law. It is, however, simply a
collection of humorous anecdotes, not specially examples of folly or
stupidity, most of which are found in earlier jest-books. The
introduction is rather curious:

"When merry Jacke of Dover had made his privy search for the Foole of
all Fooles, and making his inquirie in most of the principal places in
England, at his return home he was adjudged to be the fool himself; but
now wearied with the motley coxcombe, he hath undertaken in some place
or other to find a verier foole than himself. But first of all, coming
to London, he went into Paul's Church, where walking very melancholy in
the middle aisle with Captain Thingut and his fellowes, he was invited
to dine at Duke Humphry's ordinary,[1] where, amongst other good
stomachs that repaired to his bountiful feast, there came a whole jury
of penniless poets, who being fellows of a merry disposition (but as
necessary in a commonwealth as a candle in a straw bed), he accepted of
their company, and as from poets cometh all kind of folly, so he hoped
by their good directions to find out his Foole of Fooles, so long looked
for. So, thinking to pass away the dinner-hour with some pleasant chat
(lest, being overcloyed with too many dishes, they should surfeit), he
discovered to them his merry meaning, who, being glad of so good an
occasion of mirth, instead of a cup of sack and sugar for digestion,
these men of little wit began to make inquiry and to search for the
aforesaid fool, thinking it a deed of charity to ease him of so great a
burden as his motley coxcomb was, and because such weak brains as are
now resident almost in every place, might take benefit hereat. In this
manner began the inquiry:

_The Foole of Hereford._

"'Upon a time (quoth one of the jury) it was my chance to be in the city
of Hereford, when, lodging at an inn, I was told of a certain
silly-witted gentleman there dwelling, that would assuredly believe all
things that he heard for a truth; to whose house I went upon a
sleeveless errand, and finding occasion to be acquainted with him, I was
well entertained, and for three days' space had my bed and board in his
house; where, amongst many other fooleries, I, being a traveller, made
him believe that the steeple of Brentwood, in Essex, sailed in one night
as far as Calais, in France, and afterwards returned again to its proper
place. Another time I made him believe that in the forest of Sherwood,
in Nottinghamshire, were seen five hundred of the King of Spain's
galleys, which went to besiege Robin Hood's Well, and that forty
thousand scholars with elder squirts performed such a piece of service
as they were all in a manner taken and overthrown in the forest. Another
time I made him believe that Westminster Hall, for suspicion of treason,
was banished for ten years into Staffordshire. And last of all, I made
him believe that a tinker should be baited to death at Canterbury for
getting two and twenty children in a year; whereupon, to prove me a
liar, he took his horse and rode thither, and I, to verify him a fool,
took my horse and rode hither.'

"'Well,' quoth Jacke of Dover, 'this in my mind was pretty foolery, but
yet the Foole of all Fooles is not here found that I looked for.'

_The Fool of Huntington._

"'And it was my chance (quoth another of the jury) upon a time to be at
Huntington, where I heard tell of a simple shoemaker there dwelling, who
having two little boys whom he made a vaunt to bring up to learning, the
better to maintain themselves when they were men; and having kept them a
year or two at school, he examined them saying, "My good boy," quoth he
to one of them, "what dost thou learn and where is thy lesson?" "O
father," said the boy, "I am past grace." "And where art thou?" quoth he
to the other boy, who likewise answered that he was at the devil and all
his works. "Now Lord bless us," quoth the shoemaker, "whither are my
children learning? The one is already past grace and the other at the
devil and all his works!" Whereupon he took them both from school and
set them to his own occupation.[2]'"

A number of others of the jury of penniless poets having related their
stories, at last it is agreed that if the Foole of all Fooles cannot be
found among those before named, one of themselves must be the fool, for
there cannot be a verier fool than a poet, "for poets have good wits,
but cannot use them, great store of money, but cannot keep it," etc.

* * * * *

It is doubtful what the name "Jack of Dover" imports, as that of the
imaginary inquirer after fools. The author of the Cook's Tale of
Gamelyn--which is generally considered as a spurious "Canterbury" tale--
represents, in the prologue, mine host of the Tabard as saying to Roger
the Cook:

"Full many a pastie hast thou lettin blode;
And many a jack of Dovyr hast thou sold,
That hath ben twice hot and twice cold."

Dr. Brewer says--apparently on the strength of these lines--that a "Jack
of Dover" is a fish that has been cooked a second time. But it may have
been a name of a particular kind of fish caught in the waters off Dover.
If, however, a "Jack of Dover" is a twice-cooked fish, the title of the
jest-book is not inappropriate, since all the stories it comprises are
at least "twice-told."


[1] To "dine with Duke Humphry" meant not to dine at all. See Brewer's
_Dictionary of Phrase and Fable_ for the origin of the expression.

[2] The jest is thus told in some parts of Scotland: An old gentleman,
walking in the country, met three small boys on their way home from
school, and asked them how they progressed in their learning. The
youngest--referring, of course, to the _Shorter Catechism_--replied
that he was "in a state of sin and misery;" the second, that he was past
"redemption;" and the eldest, that he was "in the pains of hell for


* * * * *

Abdera, Man of, 6.

Alewife and her Hens, 73.

Alfonsus, Peter, 45.

Arab and his Cow, 70.

Arab Schoolmaster, 83.

Arabian Idiot, 133.

_Arabian Nights_, 81, 83, 133, 146.

Arabian Noodles, 70,75,107, 147.

Armstrong's, Archie, _Banquet of Jests_, 74.

Ashton, John, xiv.

Ass and the Two Sharpers, 81.

Austwick, Carles of, 17,53,54.

_Avadanas_, 53.

Babrius, 53.

Bakki, Brothers of, 32, 64.

Bang-eater and his Wife, 147.

Bang-eaters and the Dogs, 109.

Barrett, F.T., 9.

_Barrin' o' the Door_, 107.

Belmont, Fools of, 55.

_Beryn, Tale of_, 40.

Beschi, Father, 29.

_Bharataka Dwatrinsati_, 158.

_Bizarrures of the Sieur Gaulard_, 8, 12, 20, 76.

Bidpai's Fables, 53.

Birth-Stories--_see_ Jatakas.

Boccaccio's _Decameron_, 39.

"Boiling" River, 30, 43.

Bond, The Lord's, 17.

Borde, Andrew, 23.

Brahmans, Four Simple, 171.

Bromyard, John, 167.

Buddha's Five Precepts, 69.

Bull and the Gate, 54.

Bull of Siva, 48.

Burton's _Arabian Nights_, 83.

Busk's _Folk-Lore of Rome_, 204.

Butter eaten by a Dog, 18.

Buzzard, The Gothamite's, 38.

Cabbage-Tree, 47.

Caftan on Tree, 90.

Calf's Head in a Pot, 89.

Campbell's _Popular Tales of the West Highlands_, 32, 33, 34, 35,
36, 154, 193.

Cat and old Woman, 65.

Cat, Men of Schilda's, 61.

Cazotte's _New Arabian Nights_, 133.

Ceylon--_see_ Sinhalese Noodles.

Chamberlain, B.H., 130.

Cheese, The Gothamite's, 34.

Cheese on the Highway, 40.

Cheese, The Stolen, 91.

Chinese Noodles, 93, 94.

Coelho's _Contes Portuguezes_, 120.

Colombo, Michele, 81.

Countryman and Dog, 79.

Cozens, F.W., 9.

Council-House, Dark, 57.

Crane's _Italian Popular Tales_, 117, 128, 139, 202, 204.

Cuckoo, Hedging in the, 26.

Cumeans and the bath, 4;
and the father's corpse,15;
and the fig-tree, 10;
and the pot of honey, 19;
and the stolen clothes, 4.

Dark Council-House, 57.

Dasent's _Norse Tales_, 126, 212.

Dekker's _Gul's Horn Book_, 26.

Devil in the Meadow, 42.

_Disciplina Clericalis_, 45.

Doctor and Patients, 5.

Doctor's Apprentice, 168.

Dog that ate Honey, 18.

Door, Taking Care of the, 97, 98.

Dreams, The Good, 92, 93.

Dubois, Abbe, 171.

Ear, Biting one's own, 86.

Eberhard's _Hieraclis_, 3.

Eel, Drowning the, 33.

_El Conde Lucanor_, 162.

English typical booby, 139.

_Fabliaux_, Le Grand's, 39,163.

Family, Best of the, 165.

Farmer and his Pigs, 54.

Fisher, Indian Silly Son as, 163.

Fishers, Gothamite, 28.

Fleas, Bit by, 14.

_Folk-Lore in Southern India_, 212.

Fool and the aloes-wood, 98;
and the birch-tree, 151;
and the cotton, 99;
and the cup lost in the sea, 99;
and the elephant-driver, 51;
and his porridge, 119;
and the _Ramayana_, 70;
and the sack of meal, 19, 25, 68;
and the shopkeeper, 100;
at his fireside, 119;
kicked by his mule, 119;
of Hereford, 221;
of Huntingdon, 222.

Fools and the buffalo, 101;
and the Bull of Siva, 48;
and their inheritance, 118;
and the mosquitoes, 95;
and the palm-trees, 96;
and the trunks, 96.

Fortini's Italian Novels, 162.

Fuller, Thomas, on the Gothamites, 20.

Fumivall, F.J., 23.

Gaulard, The Sieur, 8, 12, 20, 76.

Geese and Tortoise, 52.

_Gesta Romanorum_, 117,163.

Gibb's _Forty. Vazirs_, 109, 166, 167.

Giufa, the Sicilian Booby, 97, 130, 165.

Goat and Old Woman, 66.

_Gooroo Paramartan_, 29, 37, 157.

Gossips and their late Husbands, 74.

Gossips at the Alehouse, 43.

_Gotham, Tales of the Mad Men of_, xiii., 20, 24-44.

Grazzini's Florentine Fool, 161.

Grecian Noodles, 1-15.

Halliwell-Phillipps, J.O., xiii., 13, 22, 27, 53.

Hama and Hums, Men of, 75.

Hazlitt, W.C., xiii., 12.

Heaven, Sorry he has gone to, 74.

Herdsman, The Foolish, 106.

Herodotus, Stephens' _Apology_ for, 119.

Hierokles, Jests of, 2.

_Hitopadesa_, 162.

Honey, Pot of, 6, 18.

Hunter's Dream of a Boar, 4.

Icelandic Noodles, 32, 64, 163.

Indian Noodles, 29, 37, 44, 48, 51, 70, 96, 97-106, 111,
1l8, 158, l6l, 163, 170, 212.

Italian Noodles, 115, 127, 143, 160, 197, 202, 204.

Irish Labourer and Farmer, 8.

Irishman and his ass, 119.

Irishman and his hens, 120.

Irishman and lost shovel, 99.

Irishmen and mosquitoes, 14.

Irishman's Dream, 92.

Jack of Dover's Quest, 219.

Japanese Noodle, 130.

Jatakas (Buddhist Birth-Stories), 52, 65, 95, 164.

_Jests of Scogin_, 162.

Joe Miller's Jest-Book, 1, 2.

Judge and Thieves, 87.

Kabail Tales, 37, 154.

Kashmiri Tales, 65, 89, 111.

_Katha Manjari_, 11, 70, 100, 163.

_Katha Sarit Sagara_, 48, 53, 120, 164.

Kerchief, The, 90.

Khoja Nasr-ed-Din, 89.

King's Stupid Son, The, 167.

Knite, 'The Gothamites', 53.

Knowles, J.H., 66, 113.

_Laird of Logan_, 13.

Leger's _Contes Populaires Slaves_, 128, 154.

Marie de France, 46.

_Mery Tales and Quicke Answeres_, 161.

Miller's Jest-Book, 1, 2.

Millstone of the Schildburgers, 59.

Minstrel and Pupil, 166.

Monk Transformed, 81.

Moon a green cheese, 44.

Moon in the well, 92.

Moon swallowed by an ass, 46.

"Mortuus Loquens," 160.

Mummy, The, 15.

Nasr-ed-Din Khoja, 89.

Natesa Sastri Pandit, 212.

Needham's _Hieroclis_, 3.

Noodles, The Three Great, 191.

Norfolk Noodles, 17.

Norse Noodles, 123, 207.

Notts Bridge, 24.

_Orientalist, The_, 69, 87, 114, 143, 160.

_Pancha Tantra_, 67, 171.

Paradise, Man who came from, 204, 210, 212, 217.

Pedant, bald man, and barber, 6;
and the lost book, 13;
and his dream, 5,6;
and the jar of feathers, 5;
and his jar of wine, 9;
and the mirror, 9;
and the two slave-boys, 4;
and his slave who died, 8;
and the sparrows, 5;
and the twin-brothers, 12;
and his tomb, 8.

Persian Noodle, 7.

Persian Tales, 7, 66, 79.

_Philotimus_, 27.

Poet and the Dogs, 79.

Poggius' _Facetiae_ 160, 162.

Priest of Gotham, 42.

Princess caused to grow, 102.

Pupil, The Attentive, 165.

Ralston's _Russian Folk-Tales,_ 48, 153.

Relic-hunter, 95.

Rents of Gothamites, 27.

Right Hand or Left, 91.

River, "Boiling," 30, 43.

Riviere's _Contes Populaires de la Kabylie du Djurdjura_,
37, 154.

Russian Noodles, 47, 128, 151, 154, 195

Rustic and the Dog, 79.

_Sacke Full of Newes_, 46, 97.

Sa'di's _Gulistan_, xi, 79.

Schilda, The Men of, 56.

Schoolmaster's Lady-love, 83.

Sesame, Roasted, 120.

Sheep's Eyes, Casting, 41, 126, 127.

Sicilian Boobies, 97, 116, 139, 165.

Silent Noodles, 107-117.

Silly Matt, 123.

Silly Son, The, 121.

Simple Simon, 121, 122.

Simpleton and Sharpers, 81.

_Sindibad Nama_, 66.

Sinhalese Noodles, 67-69, 87, 89, 113, 141, 165, 179, 217.

Smith, Alexander, 9.

Spade, The Stolen, 94.

Spinning-Wheel, The, 36.

Stephens, Henry, Tales by, 119.

Stokes' _Indian Fairy Tales_, 154.

_Summa Praaedicantium_, The, 167.

Tabourot, Etienne, 8.

_Tales and Quicke Answeres_, 161.

Tawney, C.H., 48.

Taylor's _Wit and Mirth_, 9, 10, 74, 78.

Thief on a Tree, 11.

Thoms, W.J., xii., 56.

Thoroton's _History of Nottinghamshire_, 21.

Three Greatest Noodles, 191.

Treasure Trove, 144, 151, 154.

Trivet, The Gothamite's, 36.

Turkish Noodles, 11, 86, 90, 93, 109, 166, 167.

Twelve Fishers, The, 28.

Twin Brothers, 12.

Vives, Ludovicus, 46.

Warton's _History of English Poetry_, 22.

Washerman and his young Ass, 103.

Wasp's Nest, 40.

"Whittle to the Tree," 53.

Widows, The Two, 74.

Wiltshire Noodles, 17, 54.

Wither's _Abuses Whipt and Stript_, 26.

Wolf's Tail, The, 91.

Wood, Anthony, on the Gotham Tales, 23.

Worsted Balls, The, 35.

Wrestler and the Wag, 7.

Wrong Man wakened, 6, 7.

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