The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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was sitting there ; he fell in love with her at once, and straightway on the spot he begged her, both prettily and kindly, to marry him. ' Well, but have you a great deal of money ? ' said the Master-maid.
' Oh! yes; so far as that is concerned, I am not ill off,' said the sheriff. So now he had to go home to get the money, and in the evening he came back, bringing with him a bag with two bushels in it, which he set down on the bench. Well, as he had such a fine lot of money, the Master-maid said she would have him, so they sat down to talk.
But scarcely had they sat down together before the Master-maid wanted to jump up again. ' I have forgotten to see to the fire,' she said.
' Why should you jump up to do that ? ' said the sheriff; ' I will do that!' So he jumped up, and went to the chimney in one bound. ' Just tell me when you have got hold of the shovel,' said the Master-maid.
' Well, I have hold of it now,' said the sheriff. ' Then may you hold the shovel, and the shovel you, and pour red-hot coals over you, till day dawns,' said the Master-maid. So the sheriff had to stand there the whole night and pour red-hot coals over himself, and, no matter how much he cried and begged and entreated, the red-hot coals did not grow the colder for that. When the day began to dawn, and he had power to throw down the shovel, he did not stay long where he was, but ran away as fast as he possibly could ; and everyone who met him stared and looked after him, for he was flying as if he were mad, and he could not have looked worse if he had been both flayed and tanned, and everyone wondered where he had been, but for very shame he would tell nothing.
The next day the attorney came riding by the place where the Master-maid dwelt. He saw how brightly the hut shone and gleamed through the wood, and he too went into it to see who lived there, and when he entered and saw the beautiful young maiden he fell even more in love with her than the sheriff had done, and began to woo her at once. So the Master-maid asked him, as she had asked the sheriff, if he had a great deal of money, and the attorney said he was not ill off for that, and would at once go home to get it; and at night he came with a great big sack of money—this time it was a four-bushel sack—and set it on the bench by the Master-maid. So she promised to have him, and he sat down on the
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