TABULATION OF FOLKTALES. 13
Title of Story Faithful John.
Dramatis PerSOnaB OUl King.— Faithful John.— Young King.— Gold- smiths.— Princess of the Golden Dwelling; her waiting-maid.— Pilot.— Three Ravens.- Chestnut Horse.— King's Attendants. His twin sons.
Abstract of Story (l) Old King, dying, sends for Faithful John, com- mending son to his care and guidance. John promises this, even at cost of his own life. King bids him, after his death, show the Prince the whole castle and all the treasures, except the chamber containing picture of Princess of the Golden Dwelling ; because at sight of her he must needs become enamoured, and danger would ensue. — (2) King's death and burial over, and mourning past. Faithful John voavs fidelity to young King, relates the death-bed promises, and shows the whole of palace, except for- bidden chamber. King, noticing this, inquires reason, and is told that it contains something that would terrify him. King tries to force open door; is restrained by Faithful John, who at last reluctantly unlocks it. He enters first, hoping to screen from view the picture of lovely maiden ; but King catches sight of it over his shoulder and falls fainting to the ground. — (3) Recovering, his first words are about portrait. Faithful John tells him it is the Princess of the Golden Dwelling; and King, declaring his great love for her, says Faithful John must help him to win her. Faithful John pleads difficulty of seeing Princess ; relates how everything about her is golden, and recommends that the five tons of gold amongst the King's treasures be wrought into vessels and all kinds of birds and strange animals, as offerings. — (4) Goldsmiths work night and day, and at last all the splendid things are put on board ship, and Faithful John and King, in garb of merchants, sail to town where Princess dwells. Faithful John bids King remain behind and set out gold vessels to decorate ship for reception of Princess, whilst he goes to palace, with apron full of golden gifts. — (5) Beautiful girl, drawing water in two golden buckets from well in courtyard, , asks the stranger who he is. He calls himself a merchant, and, opening his apron, displays his wares. Girl admires them, and says Princess must see them, and will buy them all. He is led upstairs to Princess, who is delighted with wares; but Faithful John says he is only the servant of a rich merchant, who has far more beautiful and valuable things in ship. Princess wants them all to be brought to her, but he says there would not be room in house to display all. To his delight, she desires him to conduct her to ship. — (6) King perceives that her beauty is even greater than pic- ture represented. Whilst King shows treasures, Faithful John remains with pilot and orders him to push off and make ship fly like a bird. After many hours spent in seeing everything. Princess thanks merchant and is about to take her leave, when she sees for first time they are far from land, sailing apace. She is alarmed, and declares she would rather die than fall into the power of a merchant. But King tells who be is, and of the great love that has induced him thus to entrap her. She is comforted and con-