Page:The Grateful Dead.djvu/97

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
The Ransomed Woman.

been brought thither by the traitor, and has explained all to her father.

In these tales the theme of The Grateful Dead is somewhat abbreviated for the sake of the romantic features of the secondary motive. In both, the agreement with the ghost and every trace of a division have disappeared, though they differ in the details of the treachery by which the lovers are separated. In the former[1] much is made of the manner by which the hero gets a favourable reception at the court of the princess's father, while in the latter this is suppressed. Recognition by some such means, it will appear, is an important feature of the majority of the variants in this section. It must be remembered, of course, that Spanish is a semi-literary version, even though popular in origin.

Trancoso, the work of a sixteenth century Portuguese story-teller, is even more consciously literary. It shows, besides, the tendency of the narrative to take on a religious colouring. The son of a Lusitanian merchant, while in Fez on a trading expedition, buys the relics of a Christian saint. In spite of his father's anger, he does this a second time, and is so successful in retailing the bones that he is sent out a third time with instructions to buy as many relics as possible. On this expedition, however, he succeeds merely in ransoming a Christian girl, whom he takes home. At her request he carries to the King of England a piece of linen, on which she has embroidered the story of her adventures. He learns that she is the king's daughter, and restores her to her father. Subsequently he wanders over Europe in despair, for he has hoped to marry the princess, till he meets with two minstrels, who accompany him to the English court. There he makes himself known to the princess

  1. Hippe fails to note that the hero used all his money on the first journey in burying the dead, and that it was on a second trip that he bought the king's daughter.