THE MAGIC FIDDLE.
He gave them to the young man, and said, " Whatever request you may make, no man on earth will be able to refuse."
"What more do I want now?" said he, as the little man left him. And he continued his way, feeling more light-hearted and merry than ever. In a short time after this, he met a Jew with a ong beard like a goafs, who stood listening to the song of a bird perched on the branch of a tree.
" How wonderful," he cried, " that such a little creature should have such a powerful voice. I wish it was mine. Oh, if I could only sprinkle a little salt on its tail, and bring it down !"
"If that is all," cried the youth, "the bird shall soon come down." And, raising his gun, he aimed so correctly that the bird fell into the hedge of thorns beneath the tree.
" Go and fetch out your bird, you knave !" said he to the Jew.
" Mine ?" he replied. " Oh, I'll run like a dog to find it, if I may have it myself."
Then he laid himself on the ground, and began to work his way into these bushes till the thorns held him fast. The young man, seeing him in this position, felt a little mischievous, and inclined to tease the Jew, so he took up his fiddle and began to play.
In a moment the Jew was on his legs, dancing and springing in the bush, and the longer the violin continued to play, the faster the Jew danced; and as the thorns tore his shabby coat, pulled out his long beard, and at last scratched him all over terribly, he cried out, " Master, master, stop playing! leave off playing! I don't want to dance any more."
But the youth would not listen, or stop, for he thought: "You have fleeced others often enough, my friend, and now you shall see how you like it yourself;" and as he played, the Jew dauced higher and higher till his rags were torn off and hung on the bush.
" Ah, woe is me !" cried the Jew. " Master, master, I will give you whatever you ask me—even a purse full of gold—if you will leave off playing/*
" If you are really going to be so generous," said the young man, "I will stop my music; but indeed I must praise your dancing, your style is perfection." So saying, he put up his fiddle, took the purse of money the Jew had promised him, and went on his way.
The Jew stood and watched him till he was out of sight; then