Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/200

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sents to be his wife. — (7) Meanwhile, Faithful John, sitting on forepart of vessel, making music, sees three ravens flying towards ship; stops playing, and listens to their talk about their master and the Princess of the Golden Dwelling. First raven says: If, on landing, Prince should mount the chest- nut horse that will leap forward to meet him, he will be carried away into the air and never see his maiden more. But there is a means of saving King— if anyone else mounts horse quickly and taking pistol from holster, shoots it dead. But anyone knowing this and telling it, would be turned to stone from toe to knee. Second raven says: Even if horse be killed young King will still net keep his bride. For, on reaching castle together, they will find on a dish a wrought bridal garment, looking as though woven of gold and silver, whereas it is nothing but sulphur and pitch, and whoso puts it on will be burnt to the bone and marrow. But there is escape; for if anyone wearing gloves seizes garment and throws it into fire, young King will be saved. But whosoever knows this and tells it will become stone from knee to heart. Third raven says: Even if bridal garment be burnt, young King will not keep his bride. For when young Queen is dancing after wedding she will suddenly turn pale and fall down as though dead ; and, unless someone lifts her up and draws three drops of blood from her right breast and spits them out again, she will die. But anyone knowing this and declaring it would become stone from crown of his head to sole of his foot. Havens fly off, and Faithful John ponders in sadness, but at length deter- mines to save his master at whatever cost to himself. — (8) When, therefore, on landing, King is about to mount chestnut horse, which springs towards him as foretold. Faithful John gets before him, mounts horse, draws pistol, and shoots it dead. King's attendants, who are ill-disposed towards Faithful John, cry shame on him; but King, taking his part, silences them.— (9) Ar- rived at palace, King is about to take bridal garment from dish, when Faithful John seizes it with gloves on, and burns it in the fire. Attendants again murmur, but King defends Faithful John. — (10) Wedding is solemnized ; Faithful John watches bride as she takes part in dance; sees her turn pale, and fall as if dead. Carries her to her chamber ; lays her down, and kneeling, sucks three drops of blood from her right breast, and spits them out. Immediately she revives ; but young King, having witnessed without understanding Faithful John's conduct, is enraged and orders him to be thrown into dungeon. — (11) Next morning he is condemned and led to gallows. King grants his request to make one last speech, and he relates ravens' conversation, on strength of which he has acted to sate his mastef. King asks his pardon and bids him descend, but Faithful John has fallen down lifeless and become a stone. — (12) King and Queen suffer great remorse, and King has stone figure placed beside his own bed. Whenever he sees it he weeps, and wishes he could reanimate it. — (13) Some time after this, Queen one day goes to church, leaving her twin sons, her great delight, playing with their father, who is still sorrowful about Faithful John, and wishes he could restore him to life. — (14) Then the stone figure speaks, and says he can do so at the cost of his dearest. King offers to give