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Italian Popular Tales
by Thomas Crane

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The Story of Buttadeu

IT was in the winter, and my good father was at Scalone, in the warehouse, warming himself at the fire, when he saw a man enter, dressed differently from the people of that region, with breeches striped in yellow, red, and black, and his cap the same way. My good father was frightened. "Oh!" he said, "what is this person?" "Do not be afraid," the man said. "I am called Buttadeu." "Oh!" said my father, "I have heard you mentioned. Be pleased to sit down a while and tell me something." "I cannot sit, for I am condemned by my God always to walk." And while he was speaking he was always walking up and down and had no rest. Then he said: "Listen. I am going away; I leave you, in memory of me, this, that you must say a credo at the right hand of our Lord, and five other credos at his left, and a salve regina to the Virgin, for the grief I suffer on account of her son. I salute you." "Farewell." "Farewell, my name is Buttadeu."

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WE HAVE only a few legends of the saints to mention. Undoubtedly a large number are current among the people (Busk, pp. 196, 202, 203, 213-228, gives a good many), but they do not differ materially from the literary versions circulated by the Church. Those which we shall cite are purely popular and belong to the great medieval legend-cycle.

The first is the legend of "Gregory on the Stone," which was so popular in the medieval epics. There are several Italian versions, but we select as the most complete the one in Gonzenbach, No. 85, called:

The Story of Crivoliu

Crane, Thomas Frederick. Italian Popular Tales. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1885. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

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Italian Popular Tales by Thomas Crane

Italian Popular Tales by Thomas Crane

Beautiful Angiola by Laura Gonzenbach


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