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REVEL was formerly an unimportant place, and the inhabitants wished to make it famous by building a church. They contracted with the great architect Olaf1 to erect it; and when it was completed, and he was about to fix the cross on the summit, his wife cried out joyfully, “Olaf will come home to-day with a thousand barrels of gold.”2 But scarcely had p. 263 Olaf fixed the cross in its place, when he slipped and fell to the ground, and a toad and a snake sprang out of his mouth. The Devil wished to destroy the church, but could not get near it; so he made a sling at Pernau, and hurled a great rock at it. But the sling broke, and the rock fell half-way between Pernau and Revel, where it now remains. (Similar tales are related of the Devil in many countries, but are perhaps commonest in Scandinavia.)



p. 262

1 Doubtless Olev of the Kalevipoeg; possibly St. Olaf may also be intended.

2 This incident reminds us of the story of St. Olaf and the giant Wind and Weather (see Keightley’s Fairy Mythology, Bohn’s edition, 1860, p. 117), though here it is the giant church-builder who falls. According to one of the legends of Cologne Cathedral, the architect was hurled from the top of the unfinished building by the Devil. The calling of a person by name was often regarded by the Scandinavians as a death-omen.