Oct 16 2012

Rather unfanciful legends


You’d expect legends to have some sort of fantastical element to them — but apparently, not necessarily.    Except for the Lorelei material, it’s all sort of mundane.   A lot of religious this and historical that, and the devil said xyz.   A little heavy on the retribution and lack of sympathy, too:


“One day as [the young nun] was singing in her stall, her glance fell upon the congregation, and there, among the people, she suddenly beheld her lover, who had not been slain, but only sorely wounded.  Her surprise was so great that she paused abruptly in her pious strain, and a loud, discordant cry broke from her trembling lips.”

“The abbess, who was a quick-witted woman, and equal to any emergency, immediately perceived the cause of the young nun’s confusion.  To bring her promptly back to a realization of time and place, she raised her hand and dealt her a sound box on the ear.

“Startled into propriety by this stinging blow, the nun went on with the service, singing as truly as before, and tradition recounts that never again did she dare to raise her eyes during the service, or sing a note out of tune, for fear of feeling the abbess’ heavy hand.”

Legends of the Rhine by H.A. Guerber, A.S. Barnes & Co., 1895

Plus: bonus anti-semitism!

You'll take your lumps and like it, say the Legends of the Rhine