ENGLISH

The Devil's sooty brother

DANSK

Djævelens snavsede bror


A disbanded soldier had nothing to live on, and did not know how to get on. So he went out into the forest and when he had walked for a short time, he met a little man who was, however, the Devil. The little man said to him, "What ails you, you seem so very sorrowful?" Then the soldier said, "I am hungry, but have no money." The Devil said, "If you will hire yourself to me, and be my serving-man, you shall have enough for all your life? You shall serve me for seven years, and after that you shall again be free. But one thing I must tell you, and that is, you must not wash, comb, or trim yourself, or cut your hair or nails, or wipe the water from your eyes." The soldier said, "All right, if there is no help for it," and went off with the little man, who straightway led him down into hell. Then he told him what he had to do. He was to poke the fire under the kettles wherein the hell-broth was stewing, keep the house clean, drive all the sweepings behind the doors, and see that everything was in order, but if he once peeped into the kettles, it would go ill with him. The soldier said, "Good, I will take care." And then the old Devil went out again on his wanderings, and the soldier entered upon his new duties, made the fire, and swept the dirt well behind the doors, just as he had been bidden. When the old Devil came back again, he looked to see if all had been done, appeared satisfied, and went forth a second time. The soldier now took a good look on every side; the kettles were standing all round hell with a mighty fire below them, and inside they were boiling and sputtering. He would have given anything to look inside them, if the Devil had not so particularly forbidden him: at last, he could no longer restrain himself, slightly raised the lid of the first kettle, and peeped in, and there he saw his former corporal shut in. "Aha, old bird!" said he, "Do I meet you here? You once had me in your power, now I have you," and he quickly let the lid fall, poked the fire, and added a fresh log. After that, he went to the second kettle, raised its lid also a little, and peeped in; his former ensign was in that. "Aha, old bird, so I find you here! You once had me in your power, now I have you." He closed the lid again, and fetched yet another log to make it really hot. Then he wanted to see who might be sitting up in the third kettle it was actually be but a general. "Aha, old bird, do I meet you here? Once you had me in your power, now I have you." And he fetched the bellows and made hell-fire blaze right under him. So he did his work seven years in hell, did not wash, comb, or trim himself, or cut his hair or nails, or wash the water out of his eyes, and the seven years seemed so short to him that he thought he had only been half a year. Now when the time had fully gone by, the Devil came and said, "Well Hans, what have you done?" - "I poked the fire under the kettles, and I have swept all the dirt well behind the doors." - "But you have peeped into the kettles as well; it is lucky for you that you added fresh logs to them, or else your life would have been forfeited; now that your time is up, will you go home again?" - "Yes," said the soldier, "I should very much like to see what my father is doing at home." The Devil said, "In order that you may receive the wages you have earned, go and fill your knapsack full of the sweepings, and take it home with you. You must also go unwashed and uncombed, with long hair on your head and beard, and with uncut nails and dim eyes, and when you are asked whence you come, you must say, 'From hell,' and when you are asked who you are, you are to say, 'The Devil's sooty brother, and my King as well.'" The soldier held his peace, and did as the Devil bade him, but he was not at all satisfied with his wages.

Then as soon as he was up in the forest again, he took his knapsack from his back, to empty it, but on opening it, the sweepings had become pure gold. "I should never have expected that," said he, and was well pleased, and entered the town. The landlord was standing in front of the inn, and when he saw the soldier approaching, he was terrified, because Hans looked so horrible, worse than a scare-crow. He called to him and asked, "Whence comest thou?" - "From hell." - "Who art thou?" - "The Devil's sooty brother, and my King as well." Then the host would not let him enter, but when Hans showed him the gold, he came and unlatched the door himself. Hans then ordered the best room and attendance, ate, and drank his fill, but neither washed nor combed himself as the Devil had bidden him, and at last lay down to sleep. But the knapsack full of gold remained before the eyes of the landlord, and left him no peace, and during the night he crept in and stole it away.

Next morning, however, when Hans got up and wanted to pay the landlord and travel further, behold his knapsack was gone! But he soon composed himself and thought, "Thou hast been unfortunate from no fault of thine own," and straightway went back again to hell, complained of his misfortune to the old Devil, and begged for his help. The Devil said, "Seat yourself, I will wash, comb, and trim you, cut your hair and nails, and wash your eyes for you," and when he had done with him, he gave him the knapsack back again full of sweepings, and said, "Go and tell the landlord that he must return you your money, or else I will come and fetch him, and he shall poke the fire in your place." Hans went up and said to the landlord, "Thou hast stolen my money; if thou dost not return it, thou shalt go down to hell in my place, and wilt look as horrible as I." Then the landlord gave him the money, and more besides, only begging him to keep it secret, and Hans was now a rich man.

He set out on his way home to his father, bought himself a shabby smock-frock to wear, and strolled about making music, for he had learned to do that while he was with the Devil in hell. There was however, an old King in that country, before whom he had to play, and the King was so delighted with his playing, that he promised him his eldest daughter in marriage. But when she heard that she was to be married to a common fellow in a smock-frock, she said, "Rather than do that, I would go into the deepest water." Then the King gave him the youngest, who was quite willing to do it to please her father, and thus the Devil's sooty brother got the King's daughter, and when the aged King died, the whole kingdom likewise.
Der var engang en soldat, som havde fået sin afsked, og ikke vidste, hvordan han skulle slå sig igennem, for han havde ikke noget at leve af. Han gik så ud i skoven, og da han havde gået lidt, mødte han en lille mand, og det var djævelen. "Hvad er der i vejen med dig, du ser så bedrøvet ud?" spurgte manden. "Jeg er sulten og har ingen penge," svarede soldaten. "Hvis du vil tage tjeneste hos mig, skal du få så meget, at du har nok for hele din levetid," sagde djævelen, "du skal tjene mig i syv år, så er du fri igen. Men en ting siger jeg dig: du må ikke vaske eller rede dig, ikke barbere dig eller klippe dit hår og dine negle og ikke tørre vandet bort af øjnene." - "Ja, ja, når det ikke kan være anderledes," sagde soldaten, og gik med manden lige lukt ind i helvede. Han fik så at vide, hvad han skulle bestille. Han skulle gøre ild på under panderne med helvedesstegene, holde huset i orden, bære fejeskarnet ud på møddingen og sørge for, at der var rent og pænt overalt, men hvis han en eneste gang kiggede ned i kedlen, ville det komme ham dyrt til at stå. "Det skal jeg nok klare," sagde soldaten.

Den gamle djævel gik så igen på vandring, og soldaten begyndte sit arbejde, gjorde ild på, fejede og bar fejeskarnet ud, som han havde fået befaling til. Da den gamle djævel kom hjem, så han efter, om alt var i orden, var meget velfornøjet med det, og gik sin vej igen. Soldaten så sig nu rigtig om. Der stod en mængde kedler. Ilden flammede højt op, og det sydede og kogte. Han ville forfærdelig gerne have set derned, hvis djævelen ikke så strengt havde forbudt ham det, men til sidst kunne han ikke holde det ud længere, lettede lidt på låget og kiggede ned. Der sad hans forrige underofficer. "Skal jeg træffe digher," sagde han, "du har rådet over mig før, nu råder jeg over dig." Hurtigt lod han låget falde, fyrede på ilden og gik hen og kiggede ned i den næste kedel, der sad hans officer. "Skal jeg træffe dig her," sagde han, "du har rådet over mig, nu råder jeg over dig." Han satte låget på igen og smed et vældigt stykke brænde på for at gøre det rigtig hedt for ham. Han ville også se, hvem der var i den tredie kedel, og der sad selve generalen. >Skal jeg træffe dig her," sagde han, "du har rådet over mig, nu råder jeg over dig Derpå tog han en blæsebælg og fik ilden til at blusse rigtigt op.

I syv år tjente han nu i helvede, vaskede sig ikke, redte sig ikke, barberede sig ikke, klippede hverken sit hår eller sine negle og tørrede aldrig vandet bort af øjnene, og de syv år fløj, som havde det kun været et halvt år. Da tiden var omme, kom djævelen og sagde: "Nå, hvad har du så bestilt, Hans." - "Jeg har fyret under kedlerne, fejet og båret fejeskarnet ud." - "Jamen du har også kigget i kedlerne. Det er en lykke for dig, at du så lagde endnu mere brænde på, ellers havdet det været ude med dig. Men nu er årene gået. Vil du hjem igen?" - "Ja," svarede soldaten, "jeg vil gerne se til min far." - "Så skal du jo have din løn," sagde djævelen, "gå hen og fyld din ransel med fejeskarn og tag det med hjem. Du må heller ikke vaske eller rede dig, du skal beholde dit lange hår og skæg og ikke klippe dine negle eller tørre dine øjne, og når nogen spørger, hvor du kommer fra, skal du svare: "Fra helvede," og når de så spørger, hvem du er, skal du sige: "Djævelens snavsede bror og min egen herre." Soldaten sagde ikke noget og gjorde, hvad djævelen befalede, men han var slet ikke fornøjet med sin løn.

Da han kom op i skoven tog han sin ransel af og ville ryste fejeskarnet ud, men da han lukkede den op, så han, at det var forvandlet til det pure guld." Det havde jeg ikke tænkt mig," sagde han fornøjet og gik ind i byen. Værten stod udenfor kroen, og da han så soldaten komme, blev han forfærdet, for han så værre ud end det værste fugleskræmsel. "Hvor kommer du fra?" spurgte han. "Fra helvede." - "Hvem er du?" - "Djævelens snavsede bror og min egen herre." Værten ville først ikke lade ham komme ind, men da han så guldet, gik han selv hen og lukkede op. Hans forlangte den bedste stue og lod sig rigtig opvarte, spiste og drak, men hverken vaskede eller redte sig, som djævelen havde befalet, og lagde sig til sidst til at sove. Men værten så hele tiden ranslen med guldet for sig, og han fik ikke ro, før han om natten listede sig ind og stjal det.

Da Hans næste morgen stod op og ville betale værten og gå videre, var hans ransel borte. Han betænkte sig ikke længe. "Det er ikke min skyld, at jeg har været så uheldig," tænkte han, og gik lige ned i helvede igen, klagede sin nød for djævelen og bad om hans hjælp. "Sæt dig ned," sagde djævelen, "så skal jeg vaske, rede og barbere dig, klippe dit hår og dine negle og tørre dine øjne." Da han var færdig med det, fyldte han igen hans ransel med fejeskarn og sagde: "Gå hen og sig til værten, at han skal give dig dit guld igen, ellers kommer jeg og henter ham, og så må han lægge på ilden i dit sted." Han gik så tilbage til værten og sagde: "Du har stjålet mit guld. Hvis du ikke giver mig det igen, kommer du i helvede i mit sted, og kommer til at se lige så skrækkelig ud som jeg." Værten gav ham så hans eget guld og mere endnu, og bad ham endelig ikke fortælle det til nogen, og nu var Hans en rig mand.

Han begav sig så på vej hjem til sin far, købte sig en tarvelig lærredsfrakke og gik rundt og spillede på lirekasse, for det havde han lært nede i helvede. Han måtte også op på slottet og spille, og den gamle konge blev så henrykt, at han lovede ham sin ældste datter. Men da hun fik at vide, at hun skulle giftes med sådan en simpel fyr i en lærredsfrakke, sagde hun: "Så ville jeg da hellere springe ud i det dybeste vand." Kongen gav så Hans sin yngste datter, og hun ville gerne føje sin far. Således fik djævelens snavsede bror prinsessen, og da kongen var død, arvede han hele riget.




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