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Maybe you know the Norwegian folk tale Doll i 'the Grass. The story features the sentence

"But if you'll only say at once you'll be my wife, I'll not go a step further," said Boots to Doll i 'the Grass.

What does this mean? The literal meaning of walking or advancing in some physical room does not seem to come into question, nor does advancing in any kind of relationship, for in the context it is only a moment later when this same boy ("Boots") expresses his happiness about marriage with this tiny girl. So what does it really mean in this context?

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It's here: Popular Tales from the Norse, by George Webbe Dasent, [1904], at sacred-texts.com

The king sends his twelve sons out into the world to find wives. Although they've got separated they're all still looking. Boots is on his own. When he meets Doll he tells her his story and proposes to her: "But if you'll only say at once you'll be my wife, I'll not go a step further." He means he won't travel any further in search of a bride: the search is over (pending his father's approval).

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