Page:The Grateful Dead.djvu/86

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70
The Grateful Dead.

the usual question, and so he breaks the spell. On the wedding night he dips her thrice in water. The first time she comes from the bath a raven, the second time a dove, and the third time in her own shape, but purified.

The burial is here retained, but the agreement is entirely lost. Though the variant follows Norwegian II. in general, even to such details as the preliminary beating of the lady, and the bath of final purification, the important trait of flogging the bride, by which the hero is saved on the wedding night, has altogether disappeared. Like Simrock X., the tale has obscured the first of the two secondary themes for the benefit of the second. Its position seems sure, however, as a member of the little group now being considered.

Jack the Giant-Killer clearly belongs to this group, approaching Irish I. in form. The earliest complete version that I know is unfortunately not older than the eighteenth century, and perhaps has lost several features of interest which might be found in earlier forms. King Arthur's son sets forth to free a lady possessed of seven spirits. At a market town in Wales he pays almost all his money to release the body of a man who died in debt. He gives his last twopence to an old woman, who meets him after he has left the town. Jack the Giant-Killer is so pleased with these good deeds that he becomes the prince's servant. They go to a giant's castle together. Jack tells the giant that a mighty prince is coming[1] and locks him up, so that the two take all his gold. Jack takes also an old coat and cap, a rusty sword, and a pair of slippers. They arrive at the lady's house. She tells the prince to show her in the morning a handkerchief, which she conceals in her dress. By putting on the coat of darkness, and the shoes of swiftness, and following her when she goes to

  1. See p. 62, note 2.