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Grimm's Fairy Tales

The Stolen Farthings -

a comparison of the first version (1812)
with the final version (1857)

 
German title (1812): Von dem gestohlenen Heller
English title: Regarding the Stolen Farthings
Story position (1812): Volume 1, Number 7

German title (1857): Der gestohlene Heller
English title: The Stolen Pennies
Story position (1857): Volume 2, Number 68
Story designation: KHM 154 ("Kinder- und Hausmärchen")

Quick history: There were seven editions of the Grimm's Fairy Tales published in the Grimm Brothers' lifetime. Each edition was presented in two volumes. Volume 1 of the first edition appeared in 1812; Volume 2 of the first edition appeared in 1815. Both volumes of the seventh (7th) and final edition appeared in 1857.

(Take me directly to the detailed comparison in the original German.)

Here are the nontrivial differences between the first and final versions of The Stolen Farthings using the English translation by Margaret Hunt (1884). We disregard spelling, punctuation, and grammar updates, and minor shuffling of words.

In the difference spots, "1:" indicates the first edition (1812), and "7:" indicates the seventh and final edition (1857). Naturally, Hunt worked with the final edition, so all of the words in the common passages and the lines labeled "7:" are hers. Think of the lines labeled "1:" as what she would have produced if she had translated the 1st edition. Highlighted words direct your attention to the added, deleted, or changed wording. Click on "1:" to see the difference spot in the original German.

A highlighted ! in a section of text common to both versions indicates an exclamation appearing in the first version that was lost by the final version. Find 1 of them.

 

The Stolen Farthings -
showing the significant differences between the first and final versions

A FATHER was

1:  

7:   one day

sitting at dinner with his wife and his children, and a good friend

1:   who was visiting them.

7:   who had come on a visit ate with them.

And as they thus sat, and it was striking twelve o'clock, the stranger saw the door open, and a

1:  

7:   very

pale child dressed in snow-white clothes came in. It did not look around, and it did not speak; but went

1:   quietly

7:   straight

into the next room. Soon afterwards it came back, and went

1:   away

7:   out at the door

again in the same quiet manner. On the second and on the third day,

1:   the same child came again. The

7:   it came also exactly in the same way. At last the

stranger asked the father to whom the beautiful child that went into the next room every day at noon belonged?

1:   "I know nothing of it," the father answered, neither had he yet seen it.

7:   "I have never seen it," he answered, neither did he know to whom it could belong.

The next day

1:   as twelve o'clock struck and it again stepped in,

7:   when it again came,

the stranger pointed it out to the father, who however

1:   saw nothing,

7:   did not see it,

and the mother and the children also all saw nothing. On this the stranger got up, went to the

1:   door,

7:   room door,

opened it a little, and

1:   peeped

7:   looked [1]

in. Then he saw the

1:   pale, little

7:  

child sitting on the ground, and digging and seeking about industriously amongst the crevices between the boards of the floor, but when it saw the stranger, it disappeared. He now told what he had seen and described the

1:   little

7:  

child exactly, and the mother recognized it, and said, "Ah! it is my dear child who died a month ago." They took up the boards and found two farthings which the child

1:   once was supposed to give

7:   had once received from its mother in order to give them

to a poor man; it, however, had thought, "Thou canst buy thyself a biscuit for that," and had kept the farthings, and hidden them in the openings between the boards; and therefore it had had no rest in its grave, and

1:   had to come every day at noon and

7:   came every day at noon in order to

seek for these farthings. The parents gave the money at once to a poor man, and after that the

1:   little

7:  

child was never seen again.

 
NOTES:
[1] Hunt had "peeped" here.

 

***

To identify the differences, I did a word-by-word comparison of the first and final versions in the original German. I used texts provided on the fine "Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm" site (khm.li). In the comparisons below, as above, "1:" indicates the first version (1812), and "7:" indicates the seventh and final version (1857).

Und nun, auf Deutsch, mit aller Unterschieden zwischen die erste und letzte Ausgaben . . .

 


1: Von dem gestohlenen Heller
7: Der gestohlene Heller

Es saß

1:
7: einmal

ein Vater mit seiner Frau und seinen

1: Kindern, und einem guten Freund, der ihn besuchte, Mittags am Tisch. Wie sie so saßen
7: Kindern Mittags am Tisch, und ein guter Freund, der zum Besuch gekommen war, aß mit ihnen. Und wie sie so saßen,

und es zwölf Uhr schlug, da sah der Fremde die Thür

1: aufgehen, und es kam ein schneeweiß gekleidetes blasses Kindlein herein: es
7: aufgehen und ein schneeweiß gekleidetes, ganz blasses Kindlein hereinkommen. Es

blickte sich nicht

1: um,
7: um und

sprach auch nichts, sondern

1: ging still
7: gieng geradezu

in die Kammer neben an. Bald darauf kam es

1: zurück, und ging
7: zurück und gieng

eben so still wieder

1: fort.
7: zur Thüre hinaus.

Am zweiten und

1:
7: am

dritten Tag kam

1: dasselbige Kind wieder; da fragte
7: es auf eben diese Weise. Da fragte endlich

der Fremde den

1: Vater,
7: Vater

wem das schöne Kind

1: gehöre,
7: gehörte

das alle Mittag in die Kammer

1: gehe. Der Vater antwortete, er wisse nichts davon, er hab es auch noch nicht gesehen.
7: gienge. »Ich habe es nicht gesehen,« antwortete er, »und wüßte auch nicht wem es gehören könnte.«

Am andern Tage,

1: als es zwölf Uhr schlug und es wieder hereintrat, so
7: wie es wieder kam,

zeigte es der Fremde dem Vater, der sah

1: aber nichts,
7: es aber nicht,

und die Mutter und die Kinder alle sahen auch nichts.

1: Der Fremde stand auf, ging zu der Thüre,
7: Nun stand der Fremde auf, gieng zur Kammerthüre,

öffnete sie ein wenig und

1: guckte
7: schaute

hinein. Da sah er das

1: blasse Kindlein
7: Kind

auf der Erde sitzen und emsig mit den Fingern in den Dielenritzen graben und

1: wühlen,
7: wühlen;

wie es aber den Fremden bemerkte, verschwand es.

1: Darauf erzählte er, was er gesehen,
7: Nun erzählte er was er gesehen hatte

und beschrieb das

1: Kindlein
7: Kind

genau, da erkannte es die Mutter und

1: sagte: »ach!
7: sagte »ach,

das ist mein liebes Kind, das vor vier Wochen gestorben ist.«

1: Da brachen sie
7: Sie brachen

die Dielen auf und fanden zwei Heller, die hatte

1: das Kind einmal einem armen Mann geben sollen,
7: einmal das Kind von der Mutter erhalten, um sie einem armen Manne zu geben,

es hatte aber

1: gedacht, dafür
7: gedacht »dafür

kannst du dir einen Zwieback

1: kaufen,
7: kaufen,«

die Heller behalten und in die Dielenritzen

1: versteckt,
7: versteckt;

und da hatte es

1: ihm Grabe keine Ruh und mußte alle Mittage kommen und die Heller suchen. Sie
7: im Grabe keine Ruhe gehabt, und war alle Mittage gekommen um nach den Hellern zu suchen. Die Eltern

gaben darauf das Geld einem Armen, und nachher ist das

1: Kindlein
7: Kind

nicht wieder gesehen worden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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