Page:The Grateful Dead.djvu/82

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66
The Grateful Dead.

Norwegian II. and Danish III. stand together, since the relation of the latter (Andersen's Reisekammeraten) to the former is simply that of a literary redaction to its original. A brief analysis of each is, however, necessary.

In Norwegian II. a young peasant on account of a dream sets forth to win the hand of a princess. On his way he gives most of his money to bury a dishonest tapster, who has been executed and left frozen in a block of ice outside a church for passers-by to spit upon. As he proceeds, the youth is joined by the ghost of the tapster, who accompanies him. They go to a hill, where they get a magic sword from one witch, a golden ball of yarn from another, and a magical hat from a third. Of the yarn they make a bridge, and so come to the princess's castle. The hero is told to keep her scissors overnight and loses them; but the companion rides behind the princess on her goat in the hat of invisibility, when she goes to her troll lover, and so rescues them. The hero is told to keep a golden ball overnight, and the same adventure is repeated. The hero is then told to bring what the princess is thinking of. The companion rides again with the princess and beats her with his sword, gets the troll's head for his master, and so enables him to win the lady. On the wedding night the hero flogs his wife at the advice of the companion, only just in time to save himself, indeed, as she is about to kill him with a butcher-knife. He dips her into a tub of whey, whence she comes out black as a raven, but after a rubbing with buttermilk and new milk she becomes very beautiful. The companion discovers his identity and disappears.

In Danish III. poor John, whose father has died, dreams of a beautiful princess, and sets forth to find her. He does various kind deeds by the way, and one night takes refuge from the storm in a church. There