Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Sixty Folk-Tales from Exclusively Slavonic Sources, by A.H. Wratislaw, [1890], at

p. 164


HERE I have but little to remark that has not already been noticed by Mr. Ralston. In No. 33 I have given a pretty variant of Grimm's 'Fisherman's Wife.' In this story, which is from the Government of Moscow, there is a curious confusion between 'king' (korol), and 'emperor' (tzar). The peasant asks to be made korol 'king,' but is answered that an 'emperor' (tzar) is chosen by God. The King of Poland was formerly the mighty potentate west of Moscow, which emerged from Tartar bondage under a grand-duke, or grand-prince. This confusion may possibly imply that the story was crystallized in its present form not long after the assumption of the imperial dignity by the ruler of Muscovy.

As to No. 34, Mr. Ralston, in his 'Songs of the Russian People,' gives an account of the manner in which Ilya of Murom obtained a vast accession of strength from the still mightier hero Svyatozor (pp. 58-63). By his exploits, however, in the story which I have given, Ilya appears to have already possessed strength enough for most purposes.

Next: XXXIII. The Lime-Tree