The PEDLAR OF SWAFFHAM is an English folktale from
* 1 Sources * 2 Origins * 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links
THE PEDLAR OF SWAFFHAM
Tradition says that there lived in former times in Soffham
(Swaffham), alias Sopham, in
At last it happened that a shopkeeper there, hard by, having noted his fruitless standing, seeing that he neither sold any wares nor asked any almes, went to him and most earnestly begged to know what he wanted there, or what his business was; to which the pedlar honestly answered that he had dreamed that if he came to London and stood there upon the bridge he should hear good newse; at which the shop-keeper laught heartily, asking him if he was such a fool as to take a journey on such a silly errand, adding: "I'll tell thee, country fellow, last night I dreamed that I was at Sopham, in Norfolk, a place utterly unknown to me, where methought behind a pedlar's house in a certain orchard, and under a great oak tree, if I dug I should find a vast treasure! Now think you," says he, "that I am such a fool to take such a long journey upon me upon the instigation of a silly dream? No, no, I'm wiser. Therefore, good fellow, learn wit from me, and get you home, and mind your business."
The pedlar observing his words, what he had say'd he dream'd, and knowing they concentred in him, glad of such joyfull newse, went speedily home, and digged and found a prodigious great treasure, with which he grew exceeding rich ; and Soffham (Church) being for the most part fallen down, he set on workmen and rectified it most sumptuously, at his own charges ; and to this day there is his statue therein, but in stone, with his pack at his back and his dogg at his heels ; and his memory is also preserved by the same form or picture in most of the old glass windows, taverns, and alehouses of that town unto this day.
Main article: The Alchemist (novel)
Similar legends can be found throughout Europe and the Middle-East.
The earliest version is one of the poems of the Mathanawi titled "In
Baghdad, Dreaming of Cairo: In Cairo, Dreaming of Baghdad", by 13th
century Persian poet
Jalal al-Din Rumi . This poem was turned into a
story in the tale from The
One Thousand and One Nights
The Alchemist (book) , modern version of the folktale;
* Upsall Castle , another English version of the folktale;
* Dundonald Castle , Scottish version of the folktale;
* ^ English fairy and other folk tales; p.76-77; by Hartland, Edwin Sidney, 1848-1927; Publisher: London : W. Scott; 1906; Possible copyright status: NOT IN COPYRIGHT. * ^ Diary of Abraham dela Pryme, p. 220; Surtees Society l0 Nov. 1699. * ^ The diary of Abraham De la Pryme; the Yorkshire antiquary; By Abraham De la Pryme, Charles De la Pryme, Charles Jackson; Published by Pub. for the Society by Andrews 1870 * ^ www.pitt.edu * ^ The Essential Rumi, transl. Coleman Barks, New York: HarperCollins, 1995 * ^ The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, (The Man Who Became Rich through a Dream) translated by Richard F. Burton (London: The Burton Club, 1885), vol. 4, pp. 289-90. Translation revised by D. L. Ashliman