Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 9, 1898.djvu/263

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237
Tobit and Jack the Giant-Killer.

Halliwell's Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales (1849, pp. 67-71) and Mr. Joseph Jacobs' English Fairy Tales (1890, pp. 103-106, 237). As was first pointed out by Reinhold Köhler in Orient und Occident (vol. ii., 1864, p. 327), the "Grateful Dead" story occurs here in two disconnected episodes:—


"Now it happened in these days that King Arthur's only son asked his father to give him a large sum of money in order that he might go and seek his fortune in Wales, where lived a beautiful lady possessed with seven evil spirits. The king did his best to dissuade his son, but in vain, so at last gave way; and the prince set out off with two horses, one loaded with money, the other for himself to ride upon. Now, after several days' travel, he came to a market-town in Wales where he beheld a vast crowd of people gathered together. The prince asked the reason of it, and was told that they had arrested a corpse for several large sums of money which the deceased owed when he died. The prince replied that it was a pity creditors should be so cruel, and said:'Go, bury the dead, and let his creditors come to my lodging, and there their debts shall be paid.'

"They came in such great numbers that before night he had only twopence left for himself. Now Jack the Giant-Killer, coming that way, was so taken with the generosity of the prince that he desired to be his servant. This being agreed upon, the next morning they set forward on their journey together, when, as they were riding out of the town, an old woman called after the prince, saying: 'He has owed me twopence these seven years; pray, pay me as well as the rest.'

"Putting his hand to his pocket the prince gave the woman all he had left, so that after their day's food, which cost what small spell Jack had by him, they were without a penny between them. [Then comes a visit to a three-headed giant— a long intermediate episode of no further concern to us than that Jack procures here a coat of darkness, a cap of knowledge, a sword of sharpness, and shoes of swiftness.] Jack soon overtook his master, and they quickly arrived at the house of the lady the prince sought, who, finding the prince to be a suitor, prepared a splendid banquet for him. After the repast was concluded she told him she had a task for