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Prevuius group

Group No. 178


L. Reversal of fortune

Group No.

L200 – L299

Group name

Modesty brings reward


L200. Modesty brings reward.
L210. Modest choice best. Types 480, 580. See also references to L211 and L221. Scala Celi 26a No. 171; *Roberts 177, 198; Spanish: Espinosa Jr. Nos. 71, 74, 139, 191; Italian: Basile Pentamerone III No. 10; Icelandic: Boberg; Japanese: Ikeda; N. A. Indian (Zuñi): Benedict II 340; Africa: Werner African 196, 205; Cape Verde Islands: Parsons MAFLS XV (1) 277 No. 91; West Indies: Flowers 559.
L211. Modest choice: three caskets type. Objects from which choice is to be made are hidden in caskets (or the like). The worst looking casket proves to be the best choice. Type 480; *Cox 501ff.; Cosquin Lorraine No. 17; *Chauvin III 99 No. 4; *Crane Vitry 153 No. 47; *Oesterley No. 251; *Roberts 200; *Cosquin Contes indiens 527; Boccaccio Decameron X No. 1 (Lee 294); *Ward II 122; Herbert III 196; *Wesselski Märchen 213 No. 18; *Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 836; *Fb ”skål“ III 352a. – North Carolina: Brown Collection I 633; Spanish Exempla: Keller; Italian Novella: *Rotunda; India: *Thompson-Balys; Chinese: Graham; Japanese: Anesaki 320; N. A. Indian (Arikara): Dorsey CI XVII No. 16, (Nez Percé): Spinden JAFL XXI 156, (Carib): Alexander Lat. Am. 264; Malay: V. Ronkel Catalogus der Maleische Handschriften te Batavia (Den Haag, 1909) 48; Africa (Angola): Chatelain 121 No. 10, 229 No. 41, (Benga): Nassau 225 No. 33.
L212. Choice among several gifts. The worst horse, armor, or the like proves best. *Fb ”hest“ I 598b; Child II 444f., 450, 453f.; German: Grimm No. 57; Spanish: Espinosa Jr. Nos. 62, 64; Jewish: *Neuman; India: *Thompson-Balys; Chinese: Graham; N. A. Indian: Thompson CColl II 341, (Arikara): Dorsey CI XVII No. 16; West Indies: Flowers 559.
L212.1. Saint, offered any gift from God, chooses (virginity and) wisdom. Irish myth: *Cross.
L212.2. Solomon, offered any gift from God, chooses wisdom. Granted wisdom and wealth. Irish myth: Cross.
L212.3. Hero prefers fame to long life. Irish myth: Cross.
L212.3.1. ”Fame (honor) is more enduring than life.“ Irish myth: *Cross.
L212.4. Modest choice proves good (simple unique privilege). Girl offered reward of five villages chooses rather to be only one on certain night to be allowed to have light in her house and to keep all animals who enter as hers. All kinds of livestock come. India: Thompson-Balys.
L213. Poor girl chosen rather than the rich. Treasure follows. Chauvin III 103 No. 13; Spanish Exempla: Keller.
L213.1. Modest choice best: wife chosen from crowd of women – only one poorly dressed. Chinese: Graham.
L213.2. Choice of ugliest girl as bride. Chinese: Graham.
L214. Old chosen rather than new. Fortunate choice. Africa (Basuto): Jacottet 142 No. 20.
L215. Unpromising magic object chosen. Hero refuses to take one that cries out ”take me!“ Roberts 204; Tonga: Beckwith Myth 25, Gifford 20; Africa (Benga): Nassau 114 No. 11; Jamaica: *Beckwith MAFLS XVII 269 No. 81.
L216. Poor game proves rich. N. A. Indian (California): Gayton and Newman 83.
L217. Accustomed rags preferred to new garments. A Brahmin returns home to find a palace instead of a cottage; he recognizes his wife only after she throws off her jewels and ornaments to stand before him in her old rags. India: Thompson-Balys.
L217.1. Former poverty chosen over new riches. Weaver laments loss of water vessel. Offered many new, but prefers old and modest life. India: Thompson-Balys.
L220. Modest request best. *Cox 480; *BP II 232; *MacCulloch Childhood 191; N. A. Indian: *Thompson Tales 276 n. 18a.
L221. Modest request: present from the journey. Asked what her father shall bring her as a present, the heroine chooses a modest gift. It is usually a flower but sometimes does not turn out to be such a simple gift after all (golden cloak, golden apple). *Type 425; *Fb ”rose“ III 80a, ”guldæble“ I 515b, ”guldrok“ I 514b; *Hdwb. d. Märchens I 206b; Tegethoff 11; Italian Basile Pentamerone II No. 8; India: Thompson-Balys.
L221.1. Present from the journey: what you first see. Hdwb. d. Märchens I 606a nn. 80 – 89.
L222. Modest choice: parting gift. Small gift with blessing preferred to large gift with parent’s curse. *Köhler-Bolte I 188; BP I 214 n. 1; Gunkel Das Märchen im alten Testament (Tübingen, 1921) 100f.; Campbell Tales I 220 No. 13; Lang English Fairy Tales 136 No. 23; Gipsy: Aichele Zigeunermärchen 289 No. 69; Jewish: Neuman; Cape Verde Islands: Parsons MAFLS XV (1) 110, 122.
J229.3. Choice: a big piece of cake with my curse or a small piece with my blessing.
L222.1. Modest choice for parting gift – money or counsels. Counsels chosen. Jewish: bin Gorion Born Judas III 100, 304.
L222.2. Modest parting gift best – meat or bones. Bones thrown to pursuing dogs delay them and allow escape; not so with meat. India: Thompson-Balys.
L222.3. Modest choice for parting gift: when offered money man takes magic stick. Chinese: Graham.
L222.4. Modest choice of parting gift: magic iron measure chosen. Korean: Zong in-Sob 27 No. 12.
L225. Hero refuses reward. Rides away without it. *Types 300, 303; Italian: Basile Pentamerone I No. 7; Icelandic: Boberg.
L250. Modest business plans best.
L251. Beggar with small bag surpasses the one with the large. Latter refuses all but large donations; gets none. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 607; *Crane Vitry 168 No. 77; Alphabet No. 607.
L290. Modesty brings reward – miscellaneous.
L291. Prosperity forever or for a day? King asks prince whether he has secret of prosperity forever or a day. Prince says ”forever“ and is captured. Later his wife, asked same question, says ”for a day“ and is honored. India: Thompson-Balys.

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