GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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35°
THE MAGIC FIDDLE.
he screamed after him as loud as he could: "You miserable musician—you wretched fiddler ! wait till I can catch you alone; I will hunt you then till you lose the soles of your shoes, you raga­muffin ! I dare say you were not worth sixpence till you got all that money out of me." And so he went on calling him all the dreadful names he could think of. At last he stopped for want of breath, and, making his way quickly to the next town, he bought some clothes to make himself decent, and then went before the magis­trate.
" My Lord Judge," he said, in a woful voice, " I have been robbed and cruelly treated on the king's highway, by a rascally fellow who met me on the road. The very stones on the ground might pity me for what he made me suffer; my clothes torn to rags j my bodj' all scratched, and my little bit of savings taken with my purse. Bright golden ducats, each as Ireautiful as the other. For tht love of heaven let the man be found and put in prison."
"Was it a soldier," asked the judge, "who cut you about in this manner with his sword PJ
" No, no," replied the Jew, " he had not even a dagger with him, but he had a gun on his shoulder and a violin which hung round his neck; the rascal can easily be recognised."
So the judge sent his people out to find the offender, and it was not long before they met him walking along quite wearily, and upon searching they found upon him the purse of gold. When he was brought before the judge and heard the accusation against him, he said : " I never touched the Jew, nor his gold, but he gave me the purse of his own free will because I stopped my fiddling when he asked me, and said he could not endure'it."
" Heaven defend us!" cried the Jew ; " his lies swarm like flies on a wall."
But even the judge refused to believe the young man's assertion. " It was not likely," he said, " that the Jew would act so foolishly."
Therefore the good servant was condemned to be hung for having committed a robbery on the king's highway. As he was being led away to the scaffold the Jew screamed after him, " You dog of a fiddler, you thief! you are justly paid now for your conduct to me."
The young man paid not the least attention to the Jew's abuse,