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WE have these tales combined in the story of the “Princess who slept for seven years” (Kreutzwald).

 A princess falls into a deep sleep, and is placed by a magician in a glass coffin. A glass mountain is prepared, on which the coffin is fixed. Up the p. 41 glass mountain the successful suitor must ride when seven years and seven days have expired, when the princess will awake and give him a ring.

 Meanwhile an old peasant dies, leaving his house and property to his two elder sons, and charging them to take care of the third, who is considered rather lazy and stupid, but who has a good heart.1 He charges his three sons to watch, one each night, by his grave; but the elder ones excuse themselves, leaving the duty to the youngest son. The eldest brother proposes to turn the youngest out of the house, but is dissuaded by the other, who thinks it would look too bad.

 When the king promises his daughter to whoever can climb the glass mountain,2 the two elder brothers dress themselves in fine clothes, and set off, leaving the youngest at home, lest he should disgrace them by his shabby appearance. But he receives from his father a bronze horse and bronze armour, and rides a third of the way up the mountain. On the second day he receives a silver steed p. 42 and silver armour, and rides more than half-way up; and on the third day he receives a golden steed and golden armour, and rides to the summit. Then the lid of the glass case flies open, the maiden raises herself and gives the knight a ring, and he rides down with her to her father.

 Next day it is proclaimed that whoever can produce the ring shall marry the princess; and, to the astonishment of the two elder brothers, the youngest claims the prize. The magician explains to the king that the young man is in reality the son of a powerful monarch, but was stolen away in infancy and brought up as a peasant, and the king accepts him as his son-in-law. His indolence was not an inherent defect, but had been imposed upon him by the witch who had stolen him. On Sunday he appeared before the people in his golden armour and mounted on his golden horse, but his reputed brothers died of rage and envy.



p. 41

1 There are several very similar stories in Finnish.

2 Compare the story of “Princess Helena the Fair” (Ralston’s Russian Folk-Tales, p. 256).