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But one of
them listened to her heart and said: "She lives! She lives!"

And they began to consider what caused Snowwhite to fall into such a
swoon. They soon found the comb, and when they took it out Snowwhite
soon opened her eyes and became as lively as she ever was before.

Next morning the Queen went to the mirror on the wall and said to it:

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of us all?"

Then the mirror said as before:

"Queen, Queen, on thy throne,
Snowwhite's the fairest thou must own."

Then the Queen knew that something had happened to the comb and that
Snowwhite was still alive. So she dressed herself once more as an old
woman and took with her a poisoned ribbon and went to the hut of the
three dwarfs. And when she got there she knocked at the door, but
Snowwhite called out:

"You cannot enter; I must not open the door."

Then, as before, the Queen called out in reply:

"Then come to the window, and you can see my wares."

When Snowwhite came to the window the Queen said:

"You are looking more beautiful than ever, but how unbecomingly you
arrange your hair. Did you use that comb I gave you yesterday?"

"Yes, indeed," said Snowwhite, "and I fell into a swoon because of it;
I am afraid there is something the matter with it."

"No, no, that cannot be," said the Queen; "there must be some mistake.
But if you cannot use the comb I will let you have this pretty ribbon
instead," and she held out the poisoned ribbon. Snowwhite took it, and
after the old woman, as she thought she was, had gone away, Snowwhite
went to the mirror and tied up her hair with the piece of ribbon. But
scarcely had she done so when she fell to the ground lifeless and lay
there as if she were dead.

That evening the dwarfs came home and found Snowwhite lying on the
ground as if dead, but soon discovered the poisoned ribbon and untied
it; and almost as soon as this was done Snowwhite revived again.

Next morning the Queen went once more to the mirror on the wall, and
called out:

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of us all?"

to which the mirror replied, without any change:

"Queen, Queen, on thy throne,
Snowwhite's the fairest thou must own."

And the Queen recognized that once again her plans had failed, and
Snowwhite was still alive. So she dressed herself once more and took
with her a poisoned apple, which was so arranged that only one half of
it was poisoned and the rest of it was left as before. And when the
Queen got to the hut of the dwarfs she tried to open the door, but
Snowwhite called out:

"You can't come in!"

"Then I'll come to the window," said the Queen.

"Ah, you are the old lady that came twice before; you have not brought
me good luck, each time something has befallen me."

But the Queen said:

"I do not know how that can be; I only brought you something for your
hair; perhaps you tied it too tight. To show you that I have no
ill-will against you I have brought you this beautiful apple."

"But my guardians," said Snowwhite, "told me that I must take nothing
more from you."

"Oh, this is nothing to wear," said the Queen, "this is something to
eat. To show you that there can be no harm in it I will take half of
it myself and you shall eat the other half."

So she cut the apple in two and gave the poisoned half to Snowwhite.
And the moment she had swallowed the first bite of it she fell down
dead. Then the Queen slunk away and went back to the palace and went
at once to her chamber and addressed the mirror on the wall:

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of us all?"

And this time the mirror answered, as it used to do:

"Queen, Queen, on thy throne,
The greatest beauty is thine own."

Then the Queen knew that Snowwhite was dead at last, and that she was
without a rival in beauty.

When the dwarfs came home that night they found Snowwhite lying upon
the ground quite dead, and could not find out what had happened or
how they could cure her. But, though she seemed dead, Snowwhite kept
her beautiful white skin and seemed more like a statue than a dead
person. So the dwarfs had a glass coffer made, and put Snowwhite in
and locked it up. And she remained there for days and days without
changing the slightest, looking oh, so beautiful under the glass case.

Now a great prince of the neighbouring country happened to be hunting
near the hill of the dwarfs and called at their hut to get a glass of
water. And when he came in he found nobody there but Snowwhite lying
in her crystal coffer. And he fell at once in love with her and sat by
her side till the dwarfs came home, and he asked them who she was.
Then they told him her history, and he begged that he might carry the
coffer away so that he might always have her near him. At first they
would not do so. But he showed how much he loved her, so that they at
last yielded, and he called for his men to carry the coffer home to
his palace.

And when the men commenced carrying the coffer down the mountain they
jolted it so much that the piece of poisoned apple in Snowwhite's
throat fell out, and she revived and opened her eyes and looked upon
the Prince who was riding by her side. Then he ordered the coffer to
be opened, and told her all that had happened. And he took her home to
his castle and married her.

After this happened the Queen once more came to her room and spoke to
the mirror on the wall and said:

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of us all?"

And the mirror this time said again:

"Queen, Queen, on thy throne,
Snowwhite's the fairest thou must own."

And the Queen was so enraged because she had not destroyed Snowwhite
that she rushed to the window and threw herself out of it and died on
the spot.

[Illustration: Snowwhite and the Three Dwarfs]



Ever since the Brothers Grimm in 1812 made for the first time a fairly
complete collection of the folk-tales of a definite local or national
area in Europe, the resemblance of many of these tales, not alone in
isolated incidents but in continuous plots, has struck inquirers into
these delightful little novels for children, as the Italians call them
(_Novelline_). Wilhelm Grimm, in the comparative notes which he added
to successive editions of the _Mährchen_ up to 1859, drew attention to
many of these parallels and especially emphasized the resemblances of
different incidents to similar ones in the Teutonic myths and sagas
which he and his brother were investigating. Indeed it may be said
that the very considerable amount of attention that was paid to the
collection of folk tales throughout Europe for the half century
between 1840 and 1890 was due to the hope that they would throw some
light upon the origins of mythology. The stories and incidents common
to all the European field were thought likely to be original
mythopoeic productions of the Indo-European peoples just in the same
manner as the common roots of the various Aryan languages indicated
their original linguistic store.

In 1864 J. G. von Hahn, Austrian Consul for Eastern Greece, in the
introduction to his collection of Greek and Albanian folk tales, made
the first attempt to bring together in systematic form this common
story-store of Europe and gave an analysis of forty folk-tale and saga
"formulæ," which outlined the plots of the stories found scattered
through the German, Greek, Italian, Servian, Roumanian, Lithuanian,
and Indian myth and folk-tale areas. These formulæ were translated and
adapted by the Rev. S. Baring-Gould in an appendix to Henderson's
_Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England_ (London, 1866), and he
expanded them into fifty-two formulæ. Those were the days when Max
Müller's solar and lunar explanations of myths were in the ascendant
and Mr. Baring-Gould applied his views to the explanation of folk
tales. I have myself expanded Hahn's and Baring-Gould's formulæ into a
list of seventy-two given in the English Folk-Lore Society's
_Hand-Book of Folk-Lore_, London, 1891 (repeated in the second
edition, 1912).

Meanwhile the erudition of Theodor Benfey, in his introduction to the
Indian story book, _Pantschatantra_ (Leipzig, 1859), had suggested
another explanation of the similarities of European folk-tales. For
many of the incidents and several of the complete tales Benfey showed
Indian parallels, and suggested that the stories had originated in
India and had been transferred by oral tradition to the different
countries of Europe. This entirely undermined the mythological
theories of the Grimms and Max Müller and considerably reduced the
importance of folk tales as throwing light upon the primitive
psychology of the Aryan peoples. Benfey's researches were followed up
by E. Cosquin who, in the elaborate notes to his _Contes de Lorraine_,
Paris, 1886, largely increased the evidence both for the common
European popularity of many of the tales and incidents as well as for
the parallels to be found in Oriental collections.

Still a third theory to account for the similarity of folk-tale
incidents was started by James A. Farrer and elaborated by Andrew Lang
in connection with the general movement initiated by Sir Edward Tylor
to explain mythology and superstition by the similar processes of
savage psychology at definite stages of primitive culture. In
introductions to Perrault and Grimm and elsewhere, Andrew Lang
pointed out the similarity of some of the incidents of folk
tales--speaking of animals, transference of human feeling to inanimate
objects and the like--with the mental processes of contemporary
savages. He drew the conclusion that the original composers of fairy
tales were themselves in a savage state of mind and, by inference,
explained the similarities found in folk tales as due to the
similarity of the states of minds. In a rather elaborate controversy
on the subject between Mr. Lang and myself, carried through the
transactions of the Folk-Lore Congress of 1891, the introduction to
Miss Roalfe Cox's "Cinderella," and in various numbers of "Folk-Lore,"
I urged the improbability of this explanation as applied to the
_plots_ of fairy tales.

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