THE MAN WITHOUT A HEART
Once upon a time there were seven brothers, who were orphans, and had no sister. Therefore they were obliged to do all their own housework. This they did not like at all; so after much deliberation they decided to get married. There were, unfortunately, no young girls to be found in the place where they lived ; but the elder brothers agreed to go out into the world and seek for brides, promising to bring back a very pretty wife for the youngest also if he would meanwhile stay at home and take care of the house. He consented willingly, and the six young men set off in good spirits.
On their way they came to a small cottage standing quite by itself in a wood; and before the door stood an old, old man, who accosted the brothers, saying, ' Hullo, you young fellows! Whither away so fast and cheerily?'
' We are going to find bonny brides for ourselves, and one for our youngest brother at home,' they replied.
' Oh ! dear youths,' said the old man, ' I am terribly lonely here; pray bring a bride for me also; only remember, she must be young and pretty.'
' What does a shrivelled old grey thing like that want with a pretty young bride ?' thought the brothers, and went on their way.
Presently they came to a town where were seven sisters, as young and as lovely as anyone could wish. Each brother chose one, and the youngest they kept for their brother at home. Then the whole party set out on