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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "Faithful and Unfaithful"

Faithful and Unfaithful

Then Faithful crept out again, laid aside his armor, and entered the troll's castle. Within the great golden hall sat the captive queen, fettered with seven strong chains of gold. Faithful could not break the strong chains; but he took up his fiddle and played such tender music on it, that the golden chains were moved, and one after another, fell from the queen, until she was able to rise and was free once more. She looked at the courageous youth with joy and gratitude, and felt very kindly toward him, because he was so handsome and courteous. And the queen was perfectly willing to return with him to the king's castle.

The return of the queen gave rise to great joy, and Faithful received the promised reward from the king. But now the queen treated her husband with even less consideration than before. She would not exchange a word with him, she did not laugh, and locked herself up in her room with her gloomy thoughts. This greatly vexed the king, and one day he asked the queen why she was so sad: "Well," said she, "I cannot be happy unless I have the beautiful golden hall which I had in the hill at the troll's; for a hall like that is to be found nowhere else."

"It will be no easy matter to obtain it for you," said the king, "and I cannot promise you that anyone will be able to do it." But when he complained of his difficulty to his servant Unfaithful, the latter answered: "The chances of success are not so bad, for Faithful said he could easily bring the troll's golden hall to the castle." Faithful was at once sent for, and the king commanded him, as he loved his life, to make good his word and bring the golden hall from the troll's hill. It was in vain that Faithful denied Unfaithful's assertions: go he must, and bring back the golden hall.

Inconsolable, he went to his beautiful horse, wept and wanted to say farewell to him forever. "What troubles you?" asked the horse. And the youth replied: "Unfaithful has again been telling lies about me, and if I do not bring the troll's golden hall to the queen, my life will be forfeited.

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