Het Raedsel: Getekend door: Pauwels van Schoten 1619
Gedrukt door: Abraham van Wezel Nijmegen 1698

The Riddle: Drawn by: Pauwels van Schoten 1619
Printed by: Abraham van Wezel Nijmegen 1698

Het Raedsel tot Nymegen

Translation from Old Dutch:

The Riddle of Nijmegen

This picture can be found in the city hall of Nijmegen. It shows a young woman, with an old man lying in her lap; his six sons stand next to them, two dressed in red, two in green and two in white.

The wife of the old man says:
"Pay attention to what I have to say:
The two dressed in red are my father's brothers,
The two in green are my mother's brothers,
The two in white are my own children. And I, their mother,
Have the father of these six men for my husband, 
Even though there is no consanguinity in our marriage."

The two sons dressed in red say:
"We would be sad if it was kept secret
That our niece was given in marriage to our father:
Because she is not our father's niece,
Although no-one would easily guess it."

The two in green say:
"There is a remarkable thing in this picture,
Because he is our father by nature,
And he married our niece.
But still, we do not mind it." 

The two in white say:
"The old man is father to all of us,
The young lady is mother to the two of us,
But tell us, how it can be
That our brothers are our mother's uncles?"

The explanation of the riddle:
Huybert, the old man, marries as his first wife Anna, a widow who already had a son called Gijsbert from her previous marriage, and together they get the two sons in red, Adam en Arent. When this woman dies, Huybert marries as his second wife another widow, called Beel, who already had a daughter called Jacomijn from her previous marriage, and together they get the two sons in green, Bartel en Barent. Meanwhile, the son from the previous marriage of the first wife (Gijsbert) marries the daughter of the previous marriage of the second wife (Jacomijn), and they get a daughter named Charlotte - who later becomes the third wife of the old man, and together they get the two young sons in white, named Casper en Coenraet.



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