A model of heroic fortitude and pious resignation. She was a
princess betrothed to Herwig, but the King of Norway carried her off
captive. As she would not marry him, he put her to all sorts of menial
work, such as washing the dirty linen. One day her brother and lover
appeared on the scene, and at the end she married Herwig, pardoned the
“naughty” king, and all went merry as a marriage bell. (A North-Saxon poem.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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