Flying off topic (Was RE: More magic stuff)

alexandra.bolintineanu at alexandra.bolintineanu at
Wed Nov 3 22:44:00 EST 1999

Elise wrote:
"It reminds of a story we had to read in grade school by the author of The
Lady or the Tiger (actual name of author long forgotten) where, in this
other story, a court lady is bragging to her friends that her suitor is so
wonderfully devoted that he would do anything for her, no matter what.  So
they are at an arena watching wild beasts tear each other to pieces and
she tosses her glove in to show off to her friends. Sure enough, he
fetches the
glove, climbs up the wall and then waps her across the face with it and
dumps her. At least, that's how I remember the ending - he may have just
dumped her.  Heh heh."

Heh heh indeed.  There's an even earlier form of that story--a rather
splendid German ballad, 1797ish, by Friedrich Schiller, called "The
Glove", same plot as above, same ending.  The lady in that story is a
truly unpleasant young woman (by the name of Kunigunde) who is very
scornful of her knight's protestations of fidelity and service, and sends
him to fetch her glove from the midst of the fighting wild beasts.  He,
good man, steps between two snarling tigers and a great fierce lion, and
picks up the glove "with nimble fingers".  As he climbs back to his lady,
she smiles at him kindly for the first time and offers him whatever reward
he'd like.

"And he cast the glove in her face.
'Your thanks, lady, I do not desire.'
And he left her in that self-same hour."



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