COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

In This World One Weeps and Another Laughs

In a story from Venice our Lord and St. Peter are hospitably received by a poor woman who has no bed to offer them, but makes up one for them from some straw and five ells of linen which she has bought that day. When the Lord departs the next morning he bestows on the woman the power of doing all day the first thing she does in the morning. She begins by taking the linen from the bed of her guests, and pulls off piece after piece of linen. A friend of hers learns this and determines to do the same, but is punished by the Lord for her selfishness. [1]


ONCE the Lord, while he was making the world, called one of the apostles and told him to look and see what the people were doing. The apostle looked and said: "How curious! the people are weeping." The Lord answered: "It is not the world yet!" The next day he bade the apostle look again and see what the people were doing. The apostle looked and saw the people laughing, and said: "The people are laughing." The Lord answered: "It is not the world yet." The third day he made him look again, and the apostle saw that some were weeping, and some were laughing, and said: "Some of the people are weeping, and some are laughing." The Lord said: "Now it is the world, because in this world one weeps and another laughs."


[1] Bernoni, Punt. I. p. 1, "I cinque brazzi de Tela." See Benfey, Pant. I. p. 497, where the same story (without the coarseness of the Italian version) is related of Buddha, who tells the hospitable woman that "what she begins shall not end until sunset." She begins to measure linen and it lengthens in her hands so that she continues to measure it all day. The envious neighbor receives the same gift, but before she begins to measure the linen, she thinks she will water the swine; the bucket does not become empty until evening, and the whole neighborhood is inundated. See Benfey's parallels, ut. sup. pp. 497-98, and Grimm, No. 87, notes.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: In This World One Weeps and Another Laughs
Tale Author/Editor: Crane, Thomas
Book Title: Italian Popular Tales
Book Author/Editor: Crane, Thomas Frederick
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin and Company
Publication City: Boston
Year of Publication: 1885
Country of Origin: Italy
Classification: unclassified

Prev Tale
Next Tale

Back to Top