The Mermaid Story

In the most common mermaid story, a mermaid falls in love with a mortal man who may or may not accept her love. If he accepts her, she may drag him down to die underwater. Whether this is due to malice or simply that mermaids forget that mortals cannot live underwater changes from story to story. On the other hand, if he rejects her...

A very beautiful mermaid became so much enamoured of a young man who used to tend his sheep upon the rocks, that she would frequently sit down by him and bring him pieces of coral, fine pearls, and other treasures. Her presents were accompanied with smiles, pattings of the cheek, and all the marks of sincere and tender passion. One day throwing her arms eagerly about him, he began to be frightened that she had a design to draw him into the sea. He struggled till he disengaged himself. Then he ran a good many paces from her; which behaviour she resented so much that she took up a stone and threw it at him. After which, she glided into the water and was never seen on land again. But the poor youth, though only lightly hit by the stone, felt from that moment so excessive a pain in his stomach, that the cry was never out of his mouth. After seven days he died.

Among people who actually believed in mermaids, this mermaid story was considered to show the usual result of getting involved, however slightly, with a mermaid - or any other-worldly creature for that matter.

Mermaid Story --> Legend of the Mermaid

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