Saint Andrew's Night

: Folk-lore And Legends: German

It is commonly believed in Germany that on St. Andrew's night, St.

Thomas' night, and Christmas and New Year's nights, a girl has the

power of inviting and seeing her future lover. A table is to be laid

for two persons, taking care, however, that there are no forks upon

it. Whatever the lover leaves behind him must be carefully preserved,

for he then returns to her who has it, and loves her passionately. The

article mu
t, however, be kept carefully concealed from his sight, for

he would otherwise remember the torture of superhuman power exercised

over him which he that night endured, become conscious of the charms

employed, and this would lead to fatal consequences.

A fair maiden in Austria once sought at midnight, after performing the

necessary ceremonies, to obtain a sight of her lover, whereupon a

shoemaker appeared having a dagger in his hand, which he threw at her

and then disappeared. She picked up the dagger which he had thrown at

her and concealed it in a trunk.

Not long afterwards the shoemaker visited, courted, and married her.

Some years after her marriage she chanced to go one Sunday about the

hour of vespers to the trunk in search of something that she required

for her work the next day. As she opened the trunk her husband came to

her, and would insist on looking into it. She kept him off, until at

last he pushed her away, and there saw his long-lost dagger. He

immediately seized it, and demanded how she obtained it, because he

had lost it at a very particular time. In her fear and alarm she had

not the power to invent any excuse, so declared the truth, that it was

the same dagger he had left behind him the night when she had obliged

him to appear to her. Her husband hereupon grew enraged, and said,

with a terrible voice--

"'Twas you, then, that caused me that night of dreadful misery?"

With that he thrust the dagger into her heart.

Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty,

at the Edinburgh University Press.