Page:The Grateful Dead.djvu/169

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CHAPTER VII.


THE RELATIONS OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD TO THE
SPENDTHRIFT KNIGHT, THE TWO FRIENDS,
AND THE THANKFUL BEASTS.


We have met at various points in our study with tales in which the motive of the hero's fateful journey was his impoverishment through extravagance; we have seen that many variants make the division of a child part of the agreement between the ghost and the hero; and we have noted the appearance of the ghost in the form of a beast in a large number of instances. The bearing of these phenomena we shall do well to investigate before proceeding to general conclusions. Occurring as they do in versions which have been assigned on other accounts to different categories, are they of sufficient importance to disturb the classification already proposed? Furthermore, what cause can be found for their introduction? Are they in reality sporadic, or are they the result of some determinable factor in the history of the cycle?

Eleven variants, namely, Richars, Oliver, Lope de Vega, Dianese, Old Swedish, Icelandic I., Icelandic II., Rittertriuwe, Treu Heinrich, and Sir Aniadas, have more or less clearly expressed the motive of a knight who has exhausted his patrimony and goes out to recruit his fortunes by winning a princess in a tourney. The figure of such a knight or adventurer is not an uncommon one in the fiction of Europe, and scarcely requires illus-