The Grateful Dead, by Gordon Hall Gerould, , at sacred-texts.com
As has already been shown, 1 Simrock regarded as an essential feature of The Grateful Dead the release of a maiden from captivity by the hero. Stephens and Hippe 2 saw that such was not the case. The latter's treatment of the matter 3 leaves little to be desired as far as it goes, save that it implies a derivation of the compound The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman from the compound treated in the last chaptera view which I believe erroneous.
The Ransomed Woman appears as a separate tale or in combination with other themes than The Grateful Dead more than once. A prolonged study of the motive would probably yield a rich harvest of examples, though it is sufficient for the present purpose to refer to Hippe's article as establishing the existence of the form. His Wendish folk-tale 4 and Guter Gerhard, from the latter of which Simrock started his enquiry, are of themselves evidence enough. 5 Neither example has anything whatever to do with The Grateful Dead. 6 The characteristics
of The Ransomed Woman will appear as we consider the compound type, which contains folk-tales almost exclusively, as was the case with the type studied in the previous chapter, but in most cases from Western Europe instead of from both Asia and Europe.
Nineteen variants have The Grateful Dead and The Ransomed Woman combined in a comparatively simple form without admixture with related themes. These are: Servian I., Lithuanian I., 1 Hungarian II., Transylvanian, Catalan, Spanish, Trancoso, Nicholas, Gasconian, Straparola I., Istrian, Gaelic, Breton III., 2 Swedish, Norwegian I., Icelandic I. and II., and Simrock IV. and VI.
In Servian I. a merchant's son, while on a journey, ransoms a company of slaves whom he finds in the hands of freebooters. Among them is a beautiful maiden with her nurse. He marries the lady, who proves to be the daughter of an emperor. On a second voyage he ransoms two peasants, who have been imprisoned for not paying their taxes to the emperor. On his third journey he comes to his father-in-law's court, and is sent back for his wife. He is, however, cast into the sea by a former lover of the princess, and succeeds in getting ashore on a lonely island, where he remains for fifteen days and fifteen nights. 3 Then an angel in the disguise of an old man appears to him, and, on condition of receiving half of his possessions, brings him to court, where he is
reunited with his wife. After renouncing his claim, the old man explains who he is, and disappears.
The most striking peculiarity of the variant is the loss of the burial, for which appears rather awkwardly the ransoming of some peasants on the hero's second voyage. That substitution has occurred is apparent, however, both from the clumsiness of the device by which the original trait is replaced, and from the angel in the form of an old man, who takes the rôle of the ghost. It will be remembered that the same substitution has already been met with in the case of Tobit and Russian II.
In Lithuanian I. is found a variant which, as we shall find, is of a common type. A king's son pays three hundred gold-pieces, all that he possesses, to release a dead man from his creditors and have him buried. The hero then becomes a merchant, and finds a princess on an island, whither she has been driven by a storm. He takes her to a city, where he makes his home, and marries her. A messenger, sent out by her father to seek her, arrives, takes them aboard ship, and pitches the hero into the sea in order to obtain the offered reward. He is saved by a man in a boat, who says that he is the ghost of the dead, and instructs him how to rejoin his bride. So everything ends happily.
The events as here related follow a very normal course, which is repeated again and again in stories of this type: a burial, a ransom, an act of treachery, a rescue by the ghost, and a happy reunion of the lovers. The agreement between the hero and the ghost, which is found in Servian I., and very frequently elsewhere, is lacking, however. A peculiarity of the variant is the change in status of the hero. He is a prince, but becomes a merchant, thus uniting the two characters given him in the other tales of this class.
Hungarian II. is in some respects more interesting than the variant just cited. A merchant's son while in
[paragraph continues] Turkey pays the debts and for the burial of a mistreated corpse. After returning home, he goes to England and rescues a French princess with her two maids, but by his cunning saves the gold that he has agreed to pay for them. At her bidding he goes to Paris and tells the king that she is safe. On his return to bring her to her home, where he is to marry her, he is placed on a desert island by a general who is enamoured of the princess. Thence he is rescued by an old man, the ghost of the dead, who takes him to the Continent. He goes to Paris, where he is recognised by the princess, when he drops a ring that she has given him into a beaker. When she comes to him in his room, he threatens to kill her if she does not go away; but when she agrees that he has the right to do so since he has saved her life, he says that his threat was only a test of loyalty. So the story ends happily.
The course of events is not very different from that of Lithuanian I., since the variant has all the normal elements save the agreement between the ghost and the hero. A peculiarity is the final scene in which the hero tests his lady. It will be evident, I think, that this is an obscured and modified form of the test to which the ghost elsewhere submits the hero, a test of fidelity likewise, though different in its nature.
In the Transylvanian variant, a merchant's son while on a journey pays fifty florins, half of his capital, for the burial of a dead man. On a second journey he pays one hundred florins, again one-half of his store, for the ransom of a princess who has been imprisoned while out doing charity incognito. She gives him a ring and sends him to the castle, where her father turns him out of doors. He then meets an old man the ghostand promises him one-half of his gains after seven years for his help. He is then enabled to marry the princess, who recognizes him at the castle by his ring. They
have two children. When the old man comes back at the end of seven years, the hero gives up one of his children, and, after offering her whole, is ready to divide his wife. The old man renounces his claim, and disappears.
Every step in the narrative is here clearly marked, even to the conditional agreement with the ghost, which so frequently is wanting. The variant thus appears to be entirely normal as far as The Grateful Dead goes, though it does not have the rescue by the ghostan important feature of The Ransomed Woman.
In Catalan 1 a young man on a journey has a poor man buried at his expense, and ransoms a princess. Later he goes to the court of her parents with a flag on which she has embroidered her name. They recognise this, and send the youth back for the lady. On the way he is cast into the sea by the sailors, but is saved by the thankful dead and brought to the court again, where he espouses the princess.
In Spanish 2 a young Venetian merchant pays the debts of a Christian at Tunis, and has him buried. At the house of the creditor he also buys a Christian slave girl. He takes her back to Venice and marries her. At the wedding a sea-captain recognizes the lady, and lures the couple aboard his ship. The young man is cast into the sea, but by clinging to a plank reaches land, where he lives seven months with a hermit. At the end of that time he is sent to the coast, where he finds a ship, and is transported to Ireland. There he is entrusted by the captain with two letters to the king. The one says that he is a great physician, who will heal the sick princess; the other that the plank, the hermit, and the captain who has brought him to Ireland are one and all the ghost of the man whom he buried. The hero is recognized at court by the princess, who has
been brought thither by the traitor, and has explained all to her father.
In these tales the theme of The Grateful Dead is somewhat abbreviated for the sake of the romantic features of the secondary motive. In both, the agreement with the ghost and every trace of a division have disappeared, though they differ in the details of the treachery by which the lovers are separated. In the former 1 much is made of the manner by which the hero gets a favourable reception at the court of the princess's father, while in the latter this is suppressed. Recognition by some such means, it will appear, is an important feature of the majority of the variants in this section. It must be remembered, of course, that Spanish is a semi-literary version, even though popular in origin.
Trancoso, the work of a sixteenth century Portuguese story-teller, is even more consciously literary. It shows, besides, the tendency of the narrative to take on a religious colouring. The son of a Lusitanian merchant, while in Fez on a trading expedition, buys the relics of a Christian saint. In spite of his father's anger, he does this a second time, and is so successful in retailing the bones that he is sent out a third time with instructions to buy as many relics as possible. On this expedition, however, he succeeds merely in ransoming a Christian girl, whom he takes home. At her request he carries to the King of England a piece of linen, on which she has embroidered the story of her adventures. He learns that she is the king's daughter, and restores her to her father. Subsequently he wanders over Europe in despair, for he has hoped to marry the princess, till he meets with two minstrels, who accompany him to the English court. There he makes himself known to the princess
by a song; and, by the aid of the two minstrels, he wins her hand in a tournament. Later the two friends reveal themselves as the saints whose bones he had rescued from the Moors.
Though this version clearly belongs in the category now under discussion, it has certain features that can be explained only on the supposition that Trancoso altered his source to suit his personal fancy. The clever substitute for actual burial, the duplication of that trait (which occurs nowhere else), the humorous touch with reference to the hero's success in selling relics, and the appearance of the ghosts as minstrels, are all strokes of individual invention. The wanderings of the hero and his manner of revealing himself to the princess are doubtless reminiscences from the popular romances of Spain, while the tournament probably comes, as Menendez y Pelayo hints, 1 from an earlier version of our theme, Oliver, which will be treated below. In spite of these peculiarities, the ordinary features of the combined theme are not more obscured than in the two preceding variants. The agreement, the division, and the rescue are the only ones that disappear.
In the fourteenth century variant from Scala Celi, Nicholas, our story is altogether transformed into a legend. The only son of a widow 2 of Bordeaux is sent as a merchant to a distant city with fifty pounds. He gives it all to help rebuild a church of St. Nicholas, and returns home empty-handed. Much later he is sent out with one hundred pounds, and buys the Sultan's daughter. His mother disowns him, and he is supported by the embroidery which the princess makes. With her wares he goes to a festival at Alexandria, but, at her bidding, keeps away from the castle. When he journeys to
[paragraph continues] Alexandria a second time, however, he goes to the castle and is imprisoned, as the handiwork of the princess is recognized. She is sent for, while the hero is released and goes home. Since he does not find the maiden there, he returns to Alexandria with a piece of embroidery which she has sent him, meets her, and elopes by the aid of St. Nicholas, who sends them a ship opportunely.
Because of its legendary character the variant has been materially transformed, but not beyond recognition. The thankful dead is replaced by the saint throughout, so that the burial is altered into church building, and both the agreement and the division of the gains disappear. The various elements of The Ransomed Woman fare better: the act of treachery done the hero is the only one lacking, and that perhaps is replaced by his imprisonment in the Sultan's castle. It is remarkable that the details of the narrative have been so little altered in spite of its complete change of purpose.
In the Gasconian folk-tale Jean du Boucau, the son of a mariner, goes to fight the corsairs. On the shore of the sea he rescues a man named Uartia, who is pretending death to escape from his creditors. Later this man becomes a prosperous freebooter, and is sailing with a load of captives when met again by Jean. The latter is so shocked by his evil deeds that he encloses him in the coffin prepared for him on the previous occasion, and throws him into the sea. Jean then marries the most beautiful of the captives, who is the daughter of the King of Bilbao.
The variant is excessively rationalized, it will be observed, and most traces of The Grateful Dead have disappeared. Though various substitutions for the burial are found in each of the groups, this is the only case that I know where the man plays possum to escape his creditors. The story is likewise unique in making the hero take vengeance on the man whom he has helped
earlier, and accordingly in making him rescue the maiden from the hands of the person who is in the character of the thankful dead. The variant has been modified by a free fancy; yet its position in the group remains perfectly clear in spite of the loss of such traits as the agreement, the act of treachery, the rescue of the hero, and the division of the gains.
Straparola I., one of the Italian novelist's two renderings of our theme, is far more normal than the above, and is probably based directly on a folk-story. Bertuccio pays one hundred ducats to free a corpse from a robber and bury it, greatly to his mother's disgust. He goes out again with two hundred ducats, and pays them for the ransom of the daughter of the King of Navarre. His mother is still more angry. The princess is taken home to Navarre by officers of the court who have been searching for her, but first she tells Bertuccio to come to her, and to hold his hand to his head as a sign when he hears that she is to be married. On his way to Navarre he meets a knight who gives him a horse and clothing on condition of his returning them, together with half of his gains. He marries the princess, and is returning home, when he meets the knight again and offers to give up his wife whole rather than kill her by division. Whereupon the knight explains that he is the spirit of the dead, and resigns his claim.
All the traits previously mentioned are here evident save the act of treachery by which the hero comes near losing his bride. The sign appears as a means of communication between the lovers, as in Transylvanian and elsewhere. The question of division is simply a matter of fulfilling a bargain, but it shows how easily by a slight shift of emphasis the test of loyalty could be made the important element.
None of the Italian folk variants, which I know, conforms to the above closely enough to be regarded as a
near relative. Istrian, however, belongs in the same category. A youth called Fair Brow sets out to trade with six thousand scudi, which he pays to bury a debtor on the shore, for whom passers-by are giving alms. On his return home, he tells his father that he has been robbed, and again is sent out with six thousand scudi. He pays these for a maiden, who has been stolen from the Sultan, and he is consequently disowned by his father. After his marriage to the girl, the young couple live by the sale of the wife's paintings. Some sailors of the Sultan see these, and carry the lady off home. Fair Brow goes fishing with an old man whom he meets by the sea. They are driven by a storm to Turkey, and are sold to the Sultan as slaves, but they escape with the wife and considerable treasure. The old man then asks for a division of the property, even of the woman. When the hero offers him three-quarters of the wealth in order to keep the woman, the old man declares that he is the ghost, and disappears.
All of the essential traits, except the preliminary agreement and the rescue of the hero, are here clearly marked. The latter is, indeed, probably accounted for by the storm which the hero and the ghost encounter together. The fact that the young couple live by the sale of the wife's handiwork, and that this in some way or other leads to her restoration to her parents or earlier connections, is an important feature of The Ransomed Woman, being found clearly in the Wendish tale as well as in many variants of the compound type.
Gaelic is an interesting example of the theme. Iain, the son of a Barra widow, becomes the master of a ship and goes to Turkey, where he pays the debts of a dead Christian and buries the corpse. He ransoms a Christian maiden, the daughter of the King of Spain, with her servant, on the same journey, and takes her back to England, together with much gold. At her advice he
goes to Spain and attends church, where the king recognizes by his clothing, his ring, his book, and his whistle that he has news of the lost princess. Iain then returns to England for the maiden, whom he is to marry. While going with her to Spain he is left on a desert island by a general, who has secreted himself on the ship; but after a time he is rescued by a man in a boat, to whom he promises half of his wife and of his children, if he shall have any. In Spain the princess, who has gone mad, recognizes him when he plays his whistle. So they are married, and the general burned. When three sons have been born, the rescuer appears and asks for his share; but as soon as Iain accedes he declares himself to be the ghost, and disappears.
Apart from the dressing of the story, which is unusually good, the variant follows the normal course. The several signs by which the hero is recognized by the king and the princess mark the imaginative wealth of the Celt, though the appearance of a ring, and the fact that the hero is left on a desert island by an infatuated general, show a close correspondence with Hungarian II. The introduction of the children as part of the property to be divided is interesting, since it shows the connecting link by which the simple compound now under consideration passed into combination with the theme of The Two Friends. 1 Gaelic, however, clearly belongs where it is here placed. The healing of the princess at the hero's coming reminds one of the similar trait in Spanish.
Breton III. 2 is peculiar in several ways. A young man, who had been unjustly cast off by his parents, put himself under the protection of St. Corentin and the Virgin. To an old woman he gave all his stock of money that she might bury her husband and have
masses said for his soul. The saint and the Virgin then led the hero to a nobleman, whose daughter he married. On a hunt he was cast into the sea by an envious uncle of his wife, at a time when she was pregnant; but he was brought to an island by some mysterious power and nourished there for five years by St. Corentin. Finally an old man appeared and took him home after he had promised half of his possessions to the rescuer. When a year had passed, the old man came back and demanded half of the child; but just as the mysterious stranger was about to divide the child St. Corentin and the Virgin appeared and explained their identity, together with that of the old man, who was the saint himself. They told the hero, furthermore, that God was well pleased with him, and would take his son and himself to Paradise. Father and son fell dead immediately, while the wife went into a convent.
This tale, like Nicholas, has been dressed up as a legend, chiefly in the praise of St. Corentin, with the result that the elements are confused. The burial, however, persists, though the ransoming of the woman has been feebly replaced by the aid of the saint and the Virgin. The hero is cast into the sea by an avaricious uncle of the bride, again a weakened trait. The rescue and the agreement to divide are normal in essentials, though adorned with superfluous miracles, as is again the conclusion of the tale. It illustrates how easily such a narrative may be adapted, whether consciously or not, to a religious purpose. The division of the child, which comes in question, is of precisely the same character as in Gaelic; it does not imply the presence of a new motive, though it indicates the possibility of a new combination.
Swedish 1 is a somewhat abbreviated form of the normal type. Pelle Båtsman, while on a journey, pays
the debts of a dead man, and so brings repose to him; for he has been hunted from his grave and soundly beaten every night by his creditors, who are likewise dead. Pelle then falls in with robbers, with whom he finds the daughter of the King of Armenia. He escapes with her, and goes on board a ship to seek her father, but he is thrown overboard by the envious captain. He is saved by the thankful dead and brought to Armenia, where he marries the princess. Here the burial is peculiar in that the dead man is harassed by creditors who are already dead. This is a marvel, which need excite no surprise in view of the modifications of the trait found elsewhere. The ransom in this case does not imply a money payment, since the hero escapes from robbers with the maiden. The way in which the hero is left behind by the master of the vessel on which the lovers sail is a trait similar to the one in Catalan and Spanish. The agreement between the hero and the ghost, the sign employed by the hero, and the division of gains are all lacking; but no new feature replaces them.
Norwegian I. 1 is not very different from the preceding tale. A man in the service of a merchant pays all he has, while on one voyage, to bury the body of a dead man. On his next voyage he ransoms a princess, and sets out with her for England. On the way she is carried off by her brother and a former suitor. The hero overtakes them and is given a ring by the lady, but is cast into the sea by the suitor. For seven years he lives on a desert isle, till an old man appears, tells him that it is the princess's bridal day, carries him to England, and gives him a flask. This the hero sends to his lady, is thus recognized, and is married. The agreement with the ghost and the division of the woman are entirely lacking, though the burial, the ransom, the treachery of the suitor, and the aid of
the ghost appear in normal fashion. The sign enters only as a means of communication between the lovers. The tale thus has no very unusual traits.
Icelandic I. 1 is a fuller, and, for our purpose, more interesting variant than the last. Thorsteinn, a king's son, who has wasted his substance, sells his kingdom and sets forth into the world. He pays two hundred rix-dollars to free from debt a dead man, whose grave is beaten every day by a creditor to destroy his rest. The prince goes on, and in the castle of a giant finds a princess hanging by the hair. He frees her, and is taking her home when he meets Raudr, a knight to whom her hand has been promised if he can find her. Raudr puts the prince to sea alone in a boat and carries the lady home. Thorsteinn, however, is brought thither also by the ghost and is recognized by the princess, when she is about to be married to the traitor. So Raudr is punished, and Thorsteinn obtains the princess.
Here, again, the agreement, the sign, and the division do not appear, though the version is otherwise normal. To be sure, the ransom of the lady is replaced by a rescue, as in Swedish, and the beating of the grave preserves a bit of northern superstition, which is interesting even though not primitive as far as our tale is concerned. 2
Icelandic II. is similar to the variant just cited in several particulars, though it has important differences. Vilhjálmur, a merchant's son, loses his property and becomes the servant of twelve robbers. In their den he finds a princess named Ása hanging by the hair. He escapes with her by sea, taking along the thieves treasure. This he pays to have the body of a debtor buried. To
the haven where this happens comes Rauður in search of the princess, takes the couple on his ship, but puts the hero to sea in a rudderless boat. A man appears to Vilhjálmur in a dream, saying that he is the ghost of the man whom he has buried, and that he will bring him to land and show him treasure. So the hero is brought to the land of the princess and tells his story at the wedding of the traitor with the princess. Thus the bride is won for him.
The hero, it will be observed, is a merchant instead of a prince, as in Icelandic I., and the burial of the dead is customary in form though exceptionally placed in the narrative. Otherwise the two variants correspond rather closely, even in such a detail as the name of the traitor. There is the same omission of elements peculiar to The Grateful Dead, the same preponderance of the secondary motive, found in all the northern versions of this particular group. The two Icelandic variants seem to be perfectly distinct, though they are nearly related.
The two German folk-tales which fall into this group are not very different from one another. In Simrock IV. a merchant's son pays the debts of a man who is being devoured by dogs, but does not succeed in saving his life. He goes on, finds two maidens exposed on a rock, and takes them home. In spite of his father's objections, he marries one of them. He goes to sea again, wearing a ring that his wife has given him, and carrying a flag marked with her name. Coming to the royal court of her father, he is sent back for the princess with a minister. On his voyage to court again he is put overboard by the minister, who hopes thus to win the princess. However, he is cast up on an island, where the ghost of the dead man appears to him in sleep and transports him miraculously to court. There he is recognized by his ring and reunited to his wife.
Details such as those concerning the burial, the rescue
of the lady, and the help given miraculously by the ghost mark the independence of the variant, though they do not alter the normal course of the narrative. As so often in this group, the agreement with the ghost and the division are entirely lacking.
In Simrock VI. the variations from the normal are even slighter. Heinrich of Hamburg buys a beautiful maiden in a foreign land. On the sea-coast, when he is returning home with her, he pays the debts of a corpse and has it buried. He wishes to marry the girl, but she asks that he delay the wedding for a year and make a journey first. So she gives him two coffers, with which he crosses the sea. By the help of a shipman he finds his betrothed's royal father, but on his way back to fetch her home is cast overboard by the mariner, who is the original kidnapper of the maiden. This man gets her and carries her to the court with the hope of marrying her. The hero is saved from the sea, however, by the ghost of the dead man, who brings him to the garden of the princess's palace, where he is found by his bride.
The order of the burial and the ransoming 1 is here reversed, but the facts are given in the ordinary form. Otherwise the variant does not differ essentially from the preceding.
In Transylvanian, 2 and more clearly in Gaelic and Breton III., 3 a tendency has been remarked to introduce the children of the hero as part of the gains which he is asked to divide with the thankful ghost. In a series of tales belonging to the general type The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman this tendency has been accentuated so far that it seems best to group them together, because of their approach to the theme of The Two Friends. Since an actual combination of this motive
with The Grateful Dead in its simple form is found in only three variants, all of them literary, it will perhaps be best to discuss the relationship of the main to the minor theme at this point.
The Two Friends is the chief motive of Amis and Amiloun, which in its various forms 1 is the mediaeval epic of ideal friendship. Its essential feature, as far as the present study is concerned, is the sacrifice of his two sons by Amis to cure the leprosy of Amiloun. They are actually slain, but are miraculously brought to life again by the power of God. This story, which exercised a powerful influence on the imagination of European peoples, easily became connected with the sacrifice of his wife by the hero of The Grateful Dead.
The three variants with the simple compound, or forming a group on that basis, are those entered in the bibliography as Lope de Vega, Calderon, and Oliver.
The plot of Oliver runs as follows 2: Oliver, the son of the King of Castille, becomes the close friend of Arthur of Algarbe, the son of his stepmother. When he has grown up, he flees from home because of the love which the queen declares for him, leaving to Arthur a vial in which the water would grow dark, were he to come into danger. He is shipwrecked while on his way to Constantinople, but, together with another knight, is saved miraculously by a stag, which carries them to England. Talbot, the other knight, is ill, and asks Oliver to take him to his home at Canterbury, where he dies. Because of debts that his parents will not pay he cannot be buried in consecrated ground till Oliver himself
attends to the matter. The hero then starts for a tourney where the hand of the king's daughter is the prize. On the way he loses his horse and money, but is supplied anew by a mysterious knight, on condition of receiving half of what he gets at the tourney. Here he is victor, and after a further successful war in Ireland marries the princess, who bears him two children. While hunting he is taken prisoner by the King of Ireland and placed in a dungeon. Arthur, who is acting as regent in Spain, notices that the vial has grown dark, and sets out to rescue his brother. In Ireland he is wounded by a dragon, but is healed by a white knight, who notices his resemblance to Oliver, and takes him to London to solace the princess. He only escapes her embraces by the pretence of a vow, and sets forth to deliver Oliver. On their way back he tells of his visit at London, and so excites Oliver's jealousy, who leaves him. At home, however, Oliver discovers his mistake, and determines to find his brother, who, after a punitive expedition into Ireland, falls gravely ill. Oliver learns in a dream that Arthur can only be cured by the blood of his children, whom he slays accordingly. On his return home, however, he finds them as well as ever. Later appears the mysterious knight to demand his share of wife and children, as well as of all his property. As Oliver raises his sword to divide his wife, he is told to desist, since his loyalty is proved. The knight then explains that he is the ghost of Talbot. Later Arthur marries Oliver's daughter, and eventually unites the kingdoms of England, Castille, and Algarbe.
Oliver has certain elements not to be accounted for by the combination of The Two Friends with The Grateful Dead. Such are the motive of the hero's journey, for example, which allies it with the tales of incestuous step-mothers; and the tourney in which the hero wins his bride. Yet the burial of the dead man
[paragraph continues] (here a knight and a friend of the hero's) 1 corresponds to the normal form of the episode in that Oliver pays the creditors and the sum necessary for the man's interment. So, too, the demand made by the ghost for half of all that has been won runs true to the original form. The distinctive trait of Amis and Amiloun, at the same time, comes out more clearly than in the case of such folk-tales as Gaelicthe hero actually kills his little children to save the life of his old friend and foster-brother. One factor leads me to think that the romance and the two romantic plays are to be regarded as forms of the general type treated in this chapter, with additions from other stories. The ghost rescues the hero from imprisonment. A rescue of the sortnormally after the hero has been cast into the sea or left behind by his rivalis characteristic of The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman. In Oliver this rescue takes place, to be sure, after the marriage instead of before, which is the normal order, yet it is a factor of considerable importance. The romance takes a position somewhat apart; and even though this is partly due to the literary handling which it has undergone, it must remain doubtfully classed with the immediate circle of variants belonging to the compound type.
The position of the play by Lope de Vega is involved with that of Oliver. Don Juan de Castro flees to England because of the unlawful love of his stepmother, the Princess of Galicia. His ship is wrecked on the English coast, and the captain, Tibaldo, is cast ashore in a dying condition. To free the latter's mind from unrest, Don Juan pays his debts of two thousand ducats, though this is half of the hero's possessions. He hears that the princess Clarinda is promised to anyone of princely blood who wins an approaching tournament. While he
is sorrowful that he cannot enter the contest, because of his poverty, the ghost of Tibaldo appears to him one night and promises the necessary equipment on condition of receiving one-half the gains. The next morning he finds everything ready and wins the princess. He is later taken prisoner by one of the contestants through a ruse, and is carried off to Ireland. By the ghost's advice, his stepbrother and double comes to London and takes his place, while Don Juan is freed by force of arms and restored to his wife. After some years, when the couple have two children, the stepbrother falls ill of a dreadful malady, which can only be cured, Don Juan learns in a dream, by the blood of his children. So he slays them and gives their blood to the sick man to drink. They are found alive by a miracle; but Don Juan is troubled, and does not find rest till the ghost appears and tells him that the only remedy for his affliction is to fulfil his promise of a division. The hero prepares to divide his wife, when the ghost stops him and explains that the demand was only a test.
As Schaeffer pointed out, 1 Lope's plot is clearly taken from Oliver, probably from the Spanish translation issued in 1499. Indeed, the drama follows the romance with far more fidelity than could have been expected of such an adaptation. The various elements of the motive appear without essential alteration.
The play El mejor amigo el muerto, listed for convenience as Calderon, has suffered, in contrast to Lope's play, from many changes. Prince Robert of Ireland and Don Juan de Castro are wrecked on the English coast. The former finds the sea-captain Lidoro in a dying condition, and refuses to give him aid. Don Juan, on the other hand, finds Lidoro's body, which a creditor keeps from interment, and pays for his burial out of his scanty savings from the wreck. He then goes to London,
where there is trouble because Queen Clarinda will not marry Prince Robert. Don Juan is cast into prison on a false charge, his identity being unknown to the queen, though he is recognized by Robert. He is saved by the aid of Lidoro's ghost, nevertheless, lays siege for Clarinda's hand, overcomes Robert, and so becomes king of England.
The correspondence of names and details makes it clear that the source of this play is Lope de Vega, though the plot has been modified in several features. In the process of adaptation all trace of The Two Friends has dropped out, a fact which would make the position of the variant difficult to ascertain, had the authors not left most of the characters their original names. The change in the position of the rescue of the hero from prison, indeed, gives a specious resemblance to the normal type The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman, which is quite unjustified by the real state of the case.
All the other variants in which there is question of dividing a child, save one, 1 are folk-tales; and all of them save three 2 clearly belong in the category now under discussion. If they did not group themselves in this way, I should be unwilling even to consider the possibility of any general influence from The Two Friends upon these tales, since the only trait borrowed by any of them is precisely the division. Only in Oliver and Lope de Vega is this sacrifice made for the healing of a friend; and we have seen in the case of Transylvanian, Gaelic, and Breton III. how naturally the division of the child grows out of the division of the wife. As the matter stands, however, the case for the influence of The Two Friends is sufficiently strong to warrant the grouping of these tales together. The general
relationship of the theme may be deferred to a later chapter. 1
Lithuanian II. 2 is a characteristic specimen of the class of tales just referred to. A prince, while travelling, sees a corpse gnawed by swine in a street. He pays the man's creditors for his release and has the body buried. Later, on the same journey, he buys two maidens, one of whom is a king's daughter, and takes them home. After a year he goes on a second journey with the princess's picture for a figure-head on his ship, and a ring, which she has given him. The picture is recognized by the maiden's father, and the prince is sent back in the company of certain nobles to fetch her. While they are returning to her home with the princess, one of the nobles pushes the prince overboard. He lives on an island for two years, until a man comes to him and promises to bring him to court before the princess marries the traitor, on condition of receiving his first-born son. The agreement is made, and the prince wins his bride. After a son has been born to them, the man appears and demands the child. He is put off for fifteen years, and at the end of that time explains that he is the ghost of the rescued dead man.
All the traits of the compound type, as it has already been analyzed, are here apparent, save that the sacrifice of the child is substituted for that of the wife. The variant does not demand any further comment.
We come now to the various forms of Jean de Calais, which make up a little group by themselves. The ten examples of the story that I have been able to find differ from one another sufficiently to make separate analyses of most of them necessary.
The version by Mme. de Gomez (I.) runs as follows: 3 Jean, the son of a rich merchant at Calais, while on a journey, comes to the city of Palmanie on the island of
[paragraph continues] Orimanie. There he pays the debts and secures the burial of a corpse which is being devoured by dogs. He also ransoms two slave girls, one of whom he marries and takes home. The woman is the daughter of the King of Portugal. While taking her to her father's court, Jean is separated from her by a treacherous general, but is saved by the grateful dead, and enabled to rejoin his wife. Later the ghost, who appears in the form of a man, demands half of their son according to the agreement of division which they have made. When Jean gives him the child to divide, the stranger praises his loyalty and disappears.
This story has all the characteristics of the type The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman + the demand that the hero's son be divided. In general outline it is scarcely distinguishable from Lithuanian II., save that the hero Jean is a merchant's son instead of a prince. In details, however, it differs considerably. For example, Jean marries one of the captive maidens as soon as he buys her; there is no question of signs by which the hero is recognized by his wife's father or by the princess herself; and the ghost is less dilatory in his demands. Some of these differences are doubtless to be accounted for through the unfaithfulness of the rendering, which is semi-literary.
At all events, Jean de Calais III., IV., and V., all three of which were heard on the Riviera, have several changes from I., though they vary from one another only in very minor matters. 1 A single analysis will suffice for the three. Jean de Calais, the son of a merchant, on his first voyage gives all his profits to bury the corpse of a deceased debtor. On his second he ransoms a beautiful woman (with or without a companion),
and lives with her in poverty because of his father's displeasure. On a subsequent voyage he bears her portrait on the prow of the ship, where it is seen by her father. A former suitor meets him on his return to court with his wife (in III. goes with him) and throws him into the sea either by violence or by a ruse. He is cast up on an island (in III. is carried thither in a boat by the ghost in human form), whence he is conveyed by the ghost, on condition of receiving half of his first son, or half of what he loves best, to the court just as the princess is to marry the traitor. By a ruse he enters the palace and is recognized. Later the ghost appears, but stays Jean when he is about to sacrifice his son.
Jean de Calais VI., though from Brittany instead of southern France, does not differ greatly from the above, nor from I. Jean buries the dead man and ransoms two women on a single voyage, as in I. He is kindly received at home in spite of his extravagance, in which the variant differs from III., IV., and V., and he marries one of the maidens there. On his next voyage the King of Portugal (as in I. and III.) recognizes his daughter's portrait and that of her maid, which the hero has displayed on his ship. He brings his wife to the court, after which they go back, together with a former suitor, for their possessions. On the voyage Jean is thrown overboard, but is washed up on an island, whither the ghost comes, announces himself immediately, and bargains rescue for half of the hero's child. Jean is transported to court miraculously, and there meets with the customary adventures at the close of the tale.
The variant is chiefly peculiar, it will be remarked, in placing the treachery of the former suitor after the marriage has been recognized by the king, and in making the ghost announce himself at once. Jean makes no blind bargain, a fact which detracts somewhat from the interest.
Jean de Calais II. and VII. differ from the other forms of the story in several ways. In the former 1 Jean is the son of a rich merchant, and has wasted much money. He is sent out to seek his fortune on land with seven thousand pistoles, but he pays his all for the debts and burial of a poor man. On his return, he is commended by his father, but again falls into evil ways. Once more he is sent forth with seven thousand pistoles, and passes the cemetery where he buried the debtor. As he does so, a great white bird speaks from the cross, saying that it is the soul of the dead man and will not forget. Jean buys the two daughters of the King of Portugal from a pirate and takes them home, where, with his complaisant father's approval, he marries the elder. Later he journeys to Lisbon with the portraits of the sisters, which are recognized by the king. 2 He is sent back for his wife, but is pushed overboard by a traitor, being driven on a rock in the sea, where he is fed by the white bird. Meanwhile, the traitor goes to Calais and remains there seven years as a suitor for the princess's hand. He is about to be rewarded, when Jean, after promising half of what he loves best to the white bird, is miraculously transported to Calais, whither the King of Portugal comes at the same time. The white bird bears witness to the hero's identity, and demands half of his child. When Jean is about to divide the boy, however, it stops him and flies away.
Version VII. has certain characteristics in common with the above. It is a Basque tale. Juan de Kalais, the son of a widow, sets off as a merchant, but sells his cargo and ship to pay the debts of a corpse, which is being dragged about on a dung-heap. On his return, his mother is angry. Again he goes on a voyage, but
with a very poor ship, and is compelled by an English captain to ransom a beautiful maiden with all his cargo. The hero's mother is again angry at this seemingly bad bargain, but she does not forbid his marrying the girl. Juan is now sent to Portugal by his wife with a portrait on a flag, a handkerchief, and a ring. At the same time she tells him that she has been called Marie Madeleine. When the King of Portugal sees the portrait, he sends the hero back with a general to fetch Marie, who is his daughter. The general pitches Juan overboard and goes for the princess, whom he persuades to marry him after seven years. At the end of that time, a fox comes to Juan on an island, where he has lived, and bargains to rescue him for half of all he has at present and will have later. The hero arrives in Portugal, is recognized by the king, tells his story, and has the general burned. After a year the fox appears and demands payment, but, when Juan is going to divide his child, it says that it is the soul of the dead man whom he buried long before.
The two variants are chiefly peculiar in that they introduce a new element into the compound,The Thankful Beast. This substitution of some beast for the ghost has been encountered twice before 1 in connection with Jewish and Servian IV., and must receive special treatment later on. 2 For the present it is sufficient to remark the variation from all other forms of Jean de Calais except X. 3 In both II. and VII. Jean makes two journeys, 4 as in III., IV., and V., as against I. and VI. The attitude of the parent differs widely in the two. The maiden whom the hero marries is a Portuguese princess, which is the prevailing form of the tale. The
portrait is also found in each, and both state the time of Jean's exile as seven years. II. differs from all the other versions in placing the later adventures of the story at Calais rather than at the court of the heroine's father. In II., as in VI., the ghost announces himself at the first meeting, which is undoubtedly a modification of the original story. Thus the two forms are sufficiently independent of one another, in spite of their common use of an animal as the hero's friend.
Jean de Calais VIII., though like VI. from a Breton source, differs from all the other variants, chiefly in transposing the burial and the ransom. Jean Carré, sent out by his godmother as a sea-captain, ransoms an English princess with her maid, and marries the former. After two years, when a son has been born to them, Jean goes on another voyage, and adorns the stern of his vessel with portraits of his wife, the child, and the maid, which he is begged to show while anchored at London. He does so, and is received by the king as a son-in-law. One day he sees a poor debtor's body dragged along the street, pays the debts, and has it buried. He then sets out with a fleet to seek his wife, and is cast overboard by a Jew, who is the pilot; but he is saved by a supernatural man, who carries him to a green rock in the sea. The princess refuses to go to England when the fleet arrives, and is wooed by the Jew so persistently that after two years she promises him marriage. At this juncture Jean, who has been asleep during the whole interval, is awakened by his rescuer and carried over the sea, where the man explains that he is the ghost of the debtor. Jean is first recognized by his little son, the Jew is burned by the gendarmes, and all ends well.
The transposition mentioned above is clearly a change due to the individual narrator or some local predecessor, since everywhere else the burial takes place before the
ransom. The mention of a Jew as traitor is also peculiar and unreasonable, since no motive for his action appears until later, and then incongruously. The variant is likewise defective in not having any bargain between the ghost and the hero. In other respects it is normal save in minor details. As in V., the heroine is made an English princess, which occurs nowhere else. On the whole the version is picturesque, but defective.
Jean de Calais IX. is unique in certain features, though in most respects normal. It is from Asturia in Spain. Juan de Calais goes out into the world to seek his fortune with a single peseta as his store. This he gives to bury a corpse, and proceeds. In a certain kingdom he attracts the notice of a princess, who marries him after considerable opposition. When the wedding is over, he takes his wife to seek his father's blessing, but is cast off the ship by a former suitor of the lady, her cousin. He is carried to an island by invisible hands, where he lives until a phantom bargains to take him to court for half of what he gets by his marriage. He arrives on the day of the princess's wedding. He is recognized by the king, who puts to his guests a parable of an old key found just when a new one has been made, while the suitor flees. On the following night, when Juan is dejected at the thought of giving up half his son, the phantom appears and releases him from his agreement, explaining its identity.
Juan wins the gratitude of the dead man, and obtains his bride in this version on a single journey, as in I. and VI., but its chief peculiarity is the manner in which he gets his wife, with the sequel that the couple set out to seek his father instead of hers. The ransom is replaced by a romantic but more natural wooing, while the ghost appears somewhat unusually in propria persona. One of the oddest traits in the whole version is the parable of the key, by which the king introduces the
hero to the assembled guests. This will be encountered again in Breton VII.
In Jean de Calais X., finally, a Wallon variant, appear certain interesting changes in the fabric. The King of Calais sent his son Jean to America to trade, but the prince was shipwrecked on the coast of Portugal, and there ransomed and rescued a corpse, which was being dragged through the streets because the man had died in debt. The king scolded his son for wasting so much money, but the next year sent him to Portugal to trade. There he encountered brigands, who had captured the king's daughter with her maid, and ransomed them. On returning to Calais with his bride, he was ill received, and resolved to go back to Portugal. A young lord of Calais accompanied them and threw Jean into the sea, while he took the princess onward and obtained from her a promise of marriage in a year. Happily Jean found a plank by which he reached an island, where a crow fed him every day. At the end of a year he promised the crow half his blood for rescue, and was taken to Portugal by a flock of crows. There he was recognized, and the traitor hanged. One day the crow appeared and demanded the fulfilment of the promise. Jean was about to slay his son, when the bird explained its identity with the ghost of the dead man.
This is the only version which makes Jean a prince; and it is curious that the change should occur in a tale from a region not very remote from Calais. Most of the events of the tale take place in Portugal, however, which is an extension of the ordinary appearance of that country as the home of the heroine. The most striking peculiarity of the version is the home of the traitor, who is a lord of Calais instead of Portugal. All mention of signs is lacking, which is doubtless due to the changes just mentioned. In the matter of the appearance of the ghost as an animal the variant allies itself with II. and
[paragraph continues] VII., though it has no special likeness to them in other respects.
Basque II. is like Gaelic 1 in general outline. Juan Dekos is sent out with a ship to complete his education. He pays all that he gets for his cargo to ransom and bury the corpse of a debtor. His father is not pleased, but sends him out again. This time he uses all his money to ransom eight slaves, seven of whom he sends to their homes, but carries one home with him. His father is still more angry, and casts him off; but Juan has a portrait of Marie Louise painted for the figure-head of his ship, and sets off with her for her own land. The lame mate pitches him overboard, and carries the lady to her father's dwelling-place, where he is to marry her after a year and a day. Juan is saved by an angel and placed on a rock. On Marie's wedding-day the angel returns, and offers to take the hero to his bride for half of the child that will be born. The angel was the soul of the dead man. So Juan arrives in time, is recognized by a handkerchief, and tells his story, which causes the burning of the mate. After a year the angel comes for his half of the babe, but when Juan starts to divide it stays his hand.
Webster, the collector of this tale, noticed 2 its similarity to Gaelic, especially in the name of the hero, and surmised that the Basques must have borrowed it from the Celts in some way. The theory is tenable, though a comparison of the two variants shows that the Basques must either have borrowed it in a form considerably different from the Highland tale as we have it, or have altered the details largely. The first part of the story is entirely different; the hero goes on two voyages in Basque II., one only in Gaelic; the lady goes with the hero immediately in the former, he returns for her in the latter; the treachery and the signs are different; the
ghost appears as an angel instead of a human being in Basque; and the promised division concerns the wife and three sons in Gaelic, a single babe in Basque. Thus, apart from the title, there is little to substantiate Webster's theory. The differences are certainly more important than those between any two versions of Jean de Calais. In some particulars, like the voyages and the portrait on the ship, Basque is more nearly normal, while in others, like the account of the treachery and the appearance of the ghost, Gaelic conforms to the ordinary form. Certainly Basque II. is to be regarded as a fairly close relative of Lithuanian II. and Jean de Calais.
In Breton VII. a normal form appears, though with some embroidery of details. A merchant's son, Iouenn Kerménou, goes out with his father's ship to trade. He pays the greater part of the proceeds of the cargo to ransom and bury the corpse of a debtor, which dogs are devouring. On his way home he gives the rest of his money to ransom a princess, who is being carried to a ravaging serpent, which has to be fed with a royal princess every seven years. He is cast off by his father when he reaches home, but is supported by an aunt and enabled to marry his lady. After a son has been born to them, he is sent out by an uncle on another ship, which by his wife's counsel has the figure of himself and herself with their child carved on the prow. He comes to her father's realm, and after some misunderstanding is sent back with two ministers of state for the princess. While returning with her, he is pushed overboard by the first minister, who is an old suitor for the lady's hand, but swims ashore on a desert island. The wife goes to court, and after three years consents to marry the minister. All this time Iouenn lives alone on his rock, but at the end is greeted by the ghost of the man whose body he buried, which appears in a very
horrible form. On condition of giving in a year and a day half of what he and his wife possess, he is taken to court by this being, where he is recognized by means of a gold chain, which the princess had given him. At the wedding feast, which takes place that day, the wife recounts a parable of how she has found the old key of a coffer just as a new one was ready, brings in Iouenn, and has the minister burned. At the end of a year and a day comes the ghost, and demands half of the child (the older one has died) that has been born to them. As the hero reluctantly proceeds to divide the child, the ghost stops him, praises his fidelity, and disappears.
It will be seen that this variant does not differ in essentials from those previously summarized, though its details exactly coincide with none of them. The order of events is normal, very like that of Lithuanian II., for example, yet it has marks of peculiarity. Chief among these are the events connected with the ransom of the lady and the parable by which she introduces her long lost husband to court. The first is a trait borrowed from the Perseus and Andromeda motive, 1 the second is the same as the riddle in Jean de Calais IX. 2 How this latter feature should happen to appear in these two widely separated variants and nowhere else I am not wise enough to explain.
Simrock I. introduces still another complication in the way of compounds. A merchant's son on a journey secures proper burial for a black Turkish slave, thereby using all his money. His father is angry with him on his return. On his second voyage he ransoms a maiden and is cast off by his father when he reaches home. The young couple live for a time on the proceeds from the sale of the wife's handiwork, but after a little set off to the court of her father, who is a king. On the way
they meet one of the king's ships, and go aboard. The hero is cast into the sea by the captain, but is saved by a black fellow and brought back to the ship. Again he is cast overboard. When the princess arrives at home, she agrees to marry whoever can paint three rooms to her liking. The hero, meanwhile, is again saved by the black man, and in return for the promise of his first child on its twelfth birthday he is given the power of obtaining his wishes. After a year and a day he is taken to court by his friend, where by wishing he paints the three rooms, the third with the story of his life. So he is recognized. On the twelfth birthday of his first child the black man comes to him and is offered the boy, but instead of taking him explains his identity.
As far as The Grateful Dead, The Ransomed Woman, and the sacrifice of the child are concerned, this follows the normal course of events, except perhaps as to the child, of actually dividing which there is no question. Like Lithuanian II., Jean de Calais III., IV., V., and X., Basque II., and Norwegian I., it makes the hero and heroine set out for her father's court together and of their own free will. 1 The colour of the thankful dead is a peculiar trait. Yet the element which complicates the question, as mentioned above, is the feat by which the hero obtains his wife. If I am not mistaken, this allies the variant on one side with stories of the type of The Water of Life, where the bride is gained by the performance of some task obviously set as impossible. The questions involving the relations of such motives with The Grateful Dead will occupy the next chapter, so that it needs simply to be mentioned at this point.
In Simrock II. a miller's son goes with merchandise to England. In London he pays all his money for the debts and the burial of a poor man. He is again sent to England by his father, and this time he gives his
whole ship to ransom a beautiful maiden. When he returns with her, he is cast off by his father, marries the girl, and lives on what she makes by her needle. He takes a piece of her embroidery with him to England, where it is seen by the king and queen, whose daughter has become his wife. He is sent for her in company with a minister, who pitches him overboard and goes on for the princess, hoping to marry her. The hero swims ashore, in the meantime, and communicates with his wife by means of a dove, which also feeds him. Finally a spirit conveys him to London, after receiving the promise of half of his first child. He obtains work in the kitchen of the castle, and sends a ring to his wife, by means of which they are reunited. At the birth of their child he refuses to give the spirit half, but offers the whole instead, 1 whereupon ensues an explanation.
This variant is of the same type as Jean de Calais II. and VII., 2 resembling the latter more than the former in details. The three are sufficiently unlike, however, to make any immediate relationship quite out of the question, even did not geography forbid. As in Hungarian II., Oliver, Lope de Vega, Calderon, Jean de Calais V. and VIII., and Norwegian I., the heroine is an English princess, a point of interest, but not of much importance.
Simrock VIII. differs from the above in only two points. The beginning states that a merchant while in Turkey pays the debts and burial expenses of a poor man. On his next voyage he buys three hundred slaves from the Emperor of Constantinople. Three of them he keeps at his home, one of whom he marries. The further adventures of the hero agree with Simrock II. even in names and most details, except that the hero is
recognized at the court by dropping his ring in a cup of tea, which the princess gives him to drink. It will be evident that the two tales are nearly related.
Last, but not least interesting of the versions in which the child appears, is the Factor's Garland or Turkey Factor, which must have been almost as well known in England at one time as the form of the story in Jack the Giant-Killer. It has no very remarkable features in its outline. A young Englishman, while acting as a factor in Turkey, pays fifty pounds to have the body of a Christian buried. A little later he pays one hundred pounds to ransom a beautiful Christian slave, and takes her back to his home, where he makes her his housekeeper. Later he sets out again, and is told by the woman to wear a silk waistcoat that she has embroidered, when he comes to the court whither he is bound. The work is recognized by her father, the emperor, and the factor sent back to fetch her. While returning with the princess, he is pushed overboard in his sleep by the captain, but swims to an island, whence he is rescued by an old man in a canoe, who bargains with him for his first-born son when three (or thirty) months old. The hero is recognized at court and marries the princess, while the captain dies by suicide. In two (or three) years the old man returns, just when the couple's son is three (or thirty) months old, and demands the child. On the hero's yielding, he explains that he is the ghost, and disappears.
Like Gaelic 1 and Simrock VIII.the latter just discussedthis version makes the hero undergo his early adventures in Turkey. Indeed, the similarity to Gaelic throughout is very notable, far more so than in the case of Basque II. 2 The only point in which it differs materially is the division of property, which in Gaelic concerns the wife and the three children, in the Factor's
[paragraph continues] Garland one son only. In this matter there is agreement between the present variant, Basque II., and Simrock VIII. Despite the likeness to Gaelic, there is no good reason for arguing any immediate connection with that version. They stand close to one another geographically and in content, that is all; they cannot be proved to be more than near relatives in the same generation.
The variants which introduce the division of the child have now all been considered. It is necessary to turn to a few scattered specimens in which the compound, The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman, has been joined with other material.
Bohemian is a curious and instructive example of the confusion which has resulted from welding various themes together. Bolemir, a merchant's son, is sent to sea, where he is robbed by pirates and imprisoned. He finds means to help an old man, who gives him a magic flute, and a princess, who gives him half of her veil and ring. By the aid of the flute he succeeds in winning the chief's permission to leave the island in the company of his friends. He sails with them to another island. There, at the old man's request, he strikes him on the head and buries him. He then goes home with the princess. On his second voyage he displays from his mast-head a golden standard, which the princess has made. He reaches the city of the lady's father, tells his story, and returns for the princess with the chamberlain. While they are all returning together, he is cast into the sea by the chamberlain, who takes the woman to court and obtains a promise of marriage, when a church has been built to her mind. Bolemir is saved from the sea by the ghost of the old man, and is given a wishing ring. He turns himself into an eagle and flies to court, into an old man and becomes a watchman at the church. By means of his ring he builds the structure, and paints it with the story of his life. At the wedding breakfast
of the princess, who cannot longer delay the bridal, he tells his story, and so marries her.
The peculiar form of the burial in this variant will be at once evident, though the reason for it is not clear to me. Disenchantment by decapitation is a common phenomenon in folk-lore and romance; 1 but though the blow on the head, which the hero gives the old man in our tale, surely stands for beheading, it is hard to see where any unspelling process comes in. It is perhaps best to suppose the trait a confused borrowing, without much meaning as it stands. The ransoming of the woman is closely connected with the benefits done the old man. That it occurs on the same journey has been shown by the variations in Jean de Calais to be a matter of little consequence. With respect to the standard and the ring, by which the hero restores his wife to her father, and later to himself, the tale is perfectly in accord with the prevalent form of the compound type; and so also in regard to the rescue of the hero by the ghost. No hint is given of any agreement of division between the hero and the ghost. The chief peculiarity of the variant, however, is the means by which the heroine is won. The feat recalls Simrock I., 2 even in details like the demand on the part of the bride for mural decoration. It again shows the combination of the present type with a theme akin to The Water of Life.
Simrock III. has several points of contact with the above. Karl, the son of an English merchant, on his first voyage to Italy pays the debts of a merchant who has died bankrupt. On his way home he buys two sisters from some pirates at an inn. His father casts him off, so he marries the older of the maidens, who tells him that she is a princess. They start for Italy
together, and on the way meet an Italian prince, who is a suitor for the wife's hand. The hero is cast overboard, but is brought to land by a great bird, which tells him that it is the ghost of the man whom he has buried. It directs him to go to court and give himself out as a painter. The bird again comes to him there with a dagger in its beak, and tells him to cut off its head. Unwillingly Karl obeys, and sees before him the spirit of the dead man. The ghost paints the room in which they are standing with the hero's history. So on the wedding-day of the princess with the traitor, Karl explains the meaning of the pictures and wins his bride again.
This Swabian story has preserved the decapitation 1 in much better form than Bohemian, though the reason for its introduction is still hard to understand. The ghost is obviously released from some spell when it is beheaded, and is thus enabled to help the hero to better advantage than before. The episode also occurs in a more logical position than in Bohemian. It replaces the more ordinary and normal test of the hero by the ghost. Probably the introduction of it in the two cases is sporadic, though some connection between the two is conceivable. As far as The Grateful Dead and The Ransomed Woman proper are concerned, the variant has no peculiarities of special importance, being of the type in which the hero and heroine set out for court together. 2 It contains, however, the feat by which the bride is won, in the same form as in Simrock I. and Bohemian, which is due to an alliance with the type of The Water of Life. Yet it differs from them in making the ghost appear first as a bird, which connects it with Jean de Calais II., VII., and X., and with Simrock II. and VIII., variants that have the thankful beast playing the rôle of ghost. 3
Simrock VII., together with some other peculiarities, again has the feat of winning the bride, though it is a feat of another sort. Wilhelm catches a swan-maiden, and later releases her from an enchanted mountain by hewing trees, separating grain, and finding his wife among three hundred women. Thus by her help he breaks the spell, and carries her back home. Later they journey together to her father's court. On the way Wilhelm pays the debts of a corpse, and has it buried. They meet two officers of the king, who toss Wilhelm overboard from the ship in which they sail, but he is saved by the ghost of the dead man and brought to court. He is recognized by the princess, and proves his identity to her father by means of a ring and a handkerchief.
The most salient point here is the fact that the maiden is not ransomed at all, but instead is captured like any other swan-maiden. We have already met with the theme of The Swan-Maiden in combination with The Grateful Dead in simple form; 1 but Servian V. has evidently nothing to do with Simrock VII., since the part played by the borrowed motive is different in each. In the former it is introduced as the reward bestowed on the hero by the ghost, while in the latter the swan-maiden simply replaces the ransomed maiden, as is shown by the subsequent events of the story, which follow the normal order as far as she is concerned. The feats by which the hero disenchants her are essentially like those in Bohemian, Simrock I., and Simrock III., though they are differently placed. Probably the introduction of this new material accounts for the transposition of the ransoming and the burial, as the latter is in other respects regular. It is curious to observe that the process of changing about various features, thus begun, continued in other ways, as in the matter of the signs by which the hero is recognized by his father-in-law and his wife. These
things go to show, however, that back of the variant must have existed the compound type in a normal form.
In Simrock V. the thankful beast again appears, but in a less complicated setting than in the case of Jean de Calais II., VII., and X., or Simrock II., III., and VIII. A widow's son on his way home from market pays the debts of a corpse and buries it, thus using all his money. The next time he goes to market, he gives all his proceeds to ransom a maiden, whom he marries. She does embroidery to gain money, and one day holds out a piece of it to the king, who is passing. He recognizes her as his daughter, and accepts the hero as son-in-law. The young couple start back home for the widow, but on the way the servants cast the young man into the sea. He escapes, however, to an island, where he is fed by an eagle. Later the eagle declares itself to be the ghost of the dead man, and brings its benefactor to court.
Oldenburgian is a similar tale. A merchant's son while on a voyage pays thirty dollars to bury a man, and also buys a captive princess with her maid. Though ill-received by his father on his return, he marries the girl. Later he goes on another voyage, with his wife's portrait as the figure-head of his ship. This is recognized by the king, who sends him back for the princess in the company of a minister. The latter pitches him overboard, goes on for the princess, and does not tell her of her loss till they arrive at court. She finally consents to marry the traitor after five years. Meanwhile, the hero lives on an island, whither on the day appointed for the princess's bridal comes the ghost of the dead in the form of a snow-white dove. It takes him to the court, where he is recognized by a ring, a gift from his bride, which he drops into a cup that she offers hint.
Of these two variants, Oldenburgian is much better preserved than the Tyrolese story (Simrock V.). The
latter is dressed in a homely fashion, which probably accounts for some of the changes, since the gap between the visits to market and the romantic or miraculous features of the couple's later adventures was too wide to be easily bridged. The disappointed suitor is not mentioned, which leaves the attempt on the hero's life without motivation, and clearly indicates some loss. 1 The trait is distinctly marked in Oldenburgian, as are all the other events connected with The Ransomed Woman, though Simrock V. provides an entirely original reason for the voyage of the young couple,their wish to get the hero's mother. The features concerning the rescue by the ghost and the hero's return to court are better preserved again in Oldenburgian, though both lack the agreement to divide, which is probably obscured as elsewhere by the prominence given the rescued woman. The most striking similarity between the two, however, lies in the fact that the ghost first appears as a bird. This clearly shows the existence of a type of The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman, on which The Thankful Beasts has had some influence.
It remains to consider the general relations of the variants discussed in this chapter. The wide variety in detail of the incidents concerned with the history of the hero's wife, yet the essential uniformity which they show, would indicate clearly, for one thing, that The Ransomed Woman is a motive originally quite independent of The Grateful Dead,that the type of story which is our present concern is a true compound. It would even be possible to reconstruct the independent theme in a form not unlike the Wendish folk-tale cited in the beginning of the chapter. The hero, while on a journey, ransoms a princess, takes her home, goes on another journey with some sign that attracts her father's notice, goes back to
her and is cast into the sea by some man who hopes to marry her himself, is rescued, and returns to court to claim his bride, usually by means of a token.
The points of contact between this motive and The Grateful Dead would seem to be, first, the journey which the hero undertakes at the opening of the plot. It will be noted that in the compound he usually makes two voyages, burying the dead on the first and ransoming the maiden on the second, though the two are sometimes welded. The second point of contact, I take it, was the rescue of the hero. In each story he did a good act for which he was rewarded in some way. It has been shown that this reward sometimes took the form of a rescue in the simple form of The Grateful Dead 1 and in the compound with The Poison Maiden. 2 What more natural than that it should lead to another combination with a story where the hero was saved from death? The difference in the case of the latter, of course, would be that the agency of rescue was of little importance. Could Simonides be shown to have anything more than a literary life in mediaeval Europe, I should be inclined to think that the rescue in that tale, even though the tale itself is not necessarily connected with The Grateful Dead as we know the theme, might have had some influence on the union. As the matter stands, however, it is probably better to believe that the two motives were united in eastern Europe, the one being Oriental and the other of uncertain derivation. That each motive had a wife as part of the hero's reward must be taken for granted, and it must have helped to combine them.
It follows from this that the compound The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman is quite independent of
the one discussed in the previous chapter, and could not have proceeded from it as Hippe thought. 1 It would have been next to impossible for that combined type to divest itself of the features peculiar to The Poison Maiden, and to absorb in their place those of The Ransomed Woman without leaving some trace of the process. Thus the existence of the compound as an independent growth is assured. In this connection it is interesting to note that the rescue of the hero from drowning in consequence of an act of treachery (or from an island) occurs in all the variants of the type save four, Transylvanian, Trancoso, Gasconian, and Straparola I., 2 but in no other version of The Grateful Dead as far as I know.
From this general type developed minor varieties with traits borrowed from The Water of Life, The Thankful Beasts, and The Two Friends, or some such tale. Thus very complex variants arose. The question of the connection which these subsidiary elements sustain to the central theme cannot properly be discussed until they have been seen in other combinations. The part they play in the development of the story, it is evident, must have been a secondary one both in importance and in time.
76:1 See above, p. 1.
76:2 See above, pp. 2 and 5.
76:3 Pp. 170-175.
76:4 P. 173.
76:5 See also the school drama cited by Köhler, Germania III. 208 f. The elements of Der gute Gerhard, foreign to The Ransomed Woman, I have treated in the Publications of the Modern Lang. Ass. 1905, xx. 529-545.
76:6 The same is true of the story related of St. Catharine, analyzed by Simrock, pp. 110-113, and cited by Hippe, p. 166, from Scala Celi, by p. 77 Johannes Junior (Gobius), under Castitas. Hippe, as shown by his scheme on p. 181, places this under "Legendarische Formen mit Loskauf." As a matter of fact, it is plainly a specimen of The Calumniated Woman.
77:1 Hippe's "Lithuanian II."
77:2 Breton III., though placed here, has peculiar traits, which require special consideration.
77:3 Köhler, followed by Hippe, p. 145, makes the hero live for fifteen years on the island, while Mme. Mijatovich gives the time as stated. As I have no knowledge of Servian, I cannot tell which is in the right. Hippe's analysis is otherwise faulty.
80:1 See Hippe, p. 151.
81:1 Hippe fails to note that the hero used all his money on the first journey in burying the dead, and that it was on a second trip that he bought the king's daughter.
82:1 Orígenes de la Novela, ii. xcv.
82:2 An odd inconsistency appears in the statement of the Latin that after the hero's second voyage "pater suus et mater" were angry with him.
86:1 So, too, with Transylvanian. See above, pp. 79 f.
86:2 See Hippe, p. 150.
87:1 See Hippe, p. 158.
88:1 Hippe's brief analysis, p. 159, fails to give a satisfactory outline.
89:1 Hippe's analysis, p. 159, is not quite adequate.
89:2 Russian I. is the only other variant that I know which makes the dead man uneasy in his grave.
91:1 So also in Servian I. and Icelandic II., cited above, as well as Bohemian and Simrock VII., for which see below.
91:2 See pp. 79 f.
91:3 See pp. 85-87.
92:1 See Amis et Amiles and Jourdains de Blaivies, ed. R. Hofmann, 2nd ed. 1882; Amis and Amiloun zugleich mit der altfranzösischen Quelle, ed. E. Kölbing, 1884, with the comprehensive discussion of versions in the introduction; also Kölbing, "Zur Ueberlieferung der Sage von Amiens and Amelius," in Paul and Braune's Beiträge iv. 271-314; etc.
92:2 Hippe's analysis, p. 156, is different from mine, and is taken from a less trustworthy source. I use the summary of the Ghent text.
94:1 See p. 49 for other tales in which the dead man is a friend of the hero's.
95:1 Geschichte des spanischen Nationaldramas, i. 141.
96:1 Sir Amadas, for which see p. 37.
96:2 Irish I., for which see pp. 62 and 64, Breton I., p. 65, and Sir Amadas.
97:2 Hippe's Lithauische III.
97:3 See Hippe, pp. 156 f.
98:1 Thus III. makes the princess a daughter of the King of Portugal, as in I.; IV. gives no names whatever; and V. makes the heroine's father King of England.
100:1 From Gascony, like III., IV., and V.
100:2 The portraits are not displayed on the ship, but on Jean's carriage,a curious deviation.
101:1 See pp. 27 and 57.
101:2 See chapter vii.
101:3 See pp. 104 f.
101:4 II. is the only version which has Jean make his first two voyages on land, a trait which contradicts the general testimony of the tales throughout the chapter.
105:1 See pp. 85 f.
105:2 P. 146.
107:1 See The Legend of Perseus, E. S. Hartland, 1896, volume iii.
107:2 See p. 103 above.
108:1 In Jean de Calais IX. they set out together, but to the hero's home.
109:1 So also in Transylvanian. Similarly the hero offers to give all of his wife, instead of dividing her, in Dianese, Old Swedish, and Old Wives Tale.
109:2 See pp. 100-102.
110:1 See pp. 85 f.
110:2 See pp. 105 f.
112:1 See the paper by Kittredge, Journal of American Folk-Lore, xviii. 1-14, 1905.
112:2 See pp. 107 f.
113:1 In this connection it is cited by Kittredge in the study above mentioned, pp. 9 f.
113:2 See p. 108.
113:3 See p. 101.
114:1 See pp. 31 f.
116:1 The same loss is evident in Catalan, Spanish, Simrock I., and Simrock VII.
117:1 See p. 27 for Jewish.
117:2 That is, the rescue of the bridegroom from the creatures which possess the bride.
118:1 See p. 4 above.
118:2 Of course this excludes the group connected with Oliver, which has no proper connection with the compound type.