The History of Jack and the giants (1795)

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Anno, 1795.




Chap. I. Of his birth and parentage, and what passed between him and a country Vicar, &c.
II. How a Giant inhabited the Mount of Cornwall, and spoiled the country thereabouts.
III. How Jack slew this Giant, and got himself the name of the Giant-killer.
IV. How Jack was taken by a Giant while asleep, and how he got his liberty again.
V. How Jack travelled into Flintshire, and what happened there.
VI. How king Arthur's son, going to seek his fortune, met with Jack.
VII. How Jack saved his masters life, and drove the evil spirit out of the Lady.



Chap.VIII. How Jack by king Arthur's leave went in pursuit of Giants yet alive.
IX. How Jack slew a Giant, and delivered a knight and his lady from death.
X. How Jack slew the other Giant, and sent both their heads to king Arthur.
XI. How Jack searched their cave, and delivered many men out of captivity.
XII. How Jack came to the knight’s house and his noble entertainment there.
XIII. How Jack overthrew the Giant in the moat, and cut off both his heads.
XIV. How Jack came to the house of an old Hermit and what discourse passed.
XV. How Jack got into the inchanted castle and broke the enchantment,






Of his birth and parentage, and what past between him and the Country Vicar.

IN the reign of king Arthur, near the lands end of England, namely in the county of Cornwall, there lived a wealthy farmer, who had one only son commonly known by the name of Jack the Giant killer. He was brisk and of a lively ready wit, so that whatever he could not perform by strength, he completed it by stratagem, ingenious wit, and policy; never was any person heard of that could word him; nay the very learned many times he baffled by his cunning, sharp, and ready inventions.

For instance, when he was no more than seven years of age, his father the farmer, sent him into the field to look after his oxen, which were then feeding in a pleasent pasture. A country vicar, by chance one day coming across the field, called to Jack, and asked him several questions, in particular, how many commandments there were? Jack told, there were nine. The parson reply'd, there are ten. Nay, (quoth Jack) master parson you are out of that; it is true there were ten, but you broke one of them with your own maid Margery. The parson replied, thou art an arch wag Jack. Well, master parson, quoth Jack, you have asked me one question, and I have answered it, I beseech you let me ask you another; Who made these oxen? The parson replied, God made them, child. You are out again, quoth Jack, for God made them bulls, but my father and his man Hobson made oxen of them. These were the witty answers of Jack. The parson finding himself fooled, trudged away leaving Jack in a fit of laughter.


How a Giant inhabited the mount of Cornwall, and spoiled the country thereabouts &c.

IN those days the mount of Cornwall was kept by a huge monstrous Giant; of 27 feet in height, and about three yards in compass, of a fierce and grim countenance, to the terror of all the neighbouring towns and villages. His habitation was in a cave in the midst of all the mount, neither would he suffer any living creature to inhabit near him. His feeding was upon other mens cattle, which often became his prey, for whenever he had occasion for food, he would wade over the main land, where he would furnish himself with whatever he could find. For the people at his approach would forsake their habitations. Then would he seize upon the cows and oxen, of which he would think nothing to carry over his back half a dozen at a time; and as for sheep and hogs he would tie them round his waist like a bunch of bandeliers. This he had for many years practise in Cornwall which was much impoverished by him.

But one day Jack coming to the town hall, where the magistrates were sitting in consultation about the Giant asked them what reward they would give to any person that would destroy him? They answered, he should have all the Giant’s treasure in recompense. Quoth Jack, then I myself will undertake the work.


How Jack slew the Giant, and got himself the name of Jack the Giant killer.

JACK having undertaken this task, he furnished himself with a horn, a shovel, and a pick-ax and over to the mount he goes, in the beginning of a dark winter evening, where he fell to work, and before morning had digged a pit forty feet deep, and almost as broad, and covered the same over with long sticks and straw, then strewing a little of the mould upon it, so that appeared like plain ground.

This done Jack placed himself on the contrary side of the pit, just about the dawning of the day, when putting the horn to his mouth he then blew, tan twivie, tan twivie. Which unexpected noise roused the Giant, who came forth roaring towards Jack, crying out, Incorrigible villain! are you come here to disturb my rest? You shall dearly pay for it. Satisfaction I will have, and it shall be that; I will take you wholly, and broil you to my breakfast,———which words were no sooner out of his mouth, but he tumbled headlong into the deep pit, whose heavy fall made the very foundations of the mount to shake.

Oh Giant! where are you now! Faith you are gotten into Lobb's pond, where I will place you for your threatening words. What do you think now of broiling me for your breakfast? Will no other diet serve you but poor Jack? Thus, having tantalized the Giant for a while, he gave him a most weighty knock upon the crown of the head with his pick ax, that he immediately tumbled down, and giving a most dreadful groan he died. This done Jack threw the earth in upon him, and so buried him; then going and searching the cave he found a great quantity of treasure.

Now when the magistrates who employed him, heard the work was over, they sent for him, declaring that he should henceforth be called Jack the Giant Killer. And in honour thereof, they presented him with a sword, together with a rich fine embroidered belt, on these words were wrought in letters of gold.

Here's the right Valliant Cornish Man,
Who slew the Giant Cormelian.


How Jack was taken by a Giant while asleep, and how he got his liberty again.

THE news of Jack's victory was soon spread over all the western parts, so that another huge Giant named Blunderboar hearing of it, vowed to be revenged on Jack, if ever it was his fortune to light upon him. This Giant kept an enchanted castle situated in the midst of a lonesome wood: Now Jack about four months after, walking near the borders of the said wood, on his journey towards Wales, he grew weary, and therefore sat himself down by the side of a pleasant fountain, where a deep sleep seized on him; at which time the Giant coming there for water found him, and by the lines written upon his belt, knew him to be Jack that killed his brother Giant, and therefore without making any words, he throws him upon his shoulder, for to carry him to his enchanted castle.

Now as they passed throw a thicket, the rustling of the boughs awaked poor Jack, who finding himself in the clutches of the Giant, he was strangely surprised; yet it was but the beginning of his terrors; for at the first entering within the walls of the castle he beheld the ground all covered with bones and soulls of dead men. The Giant telling Jack that his bones would enlarge the number of those that be saw. This said, he brought him into a large parlour where he beheld the bloody quarters of some that were lately slain, and in the next room were many hearts and livers; which the Giant to terrify Jack, told him, 'That mens hearts and livers were the choicest of his diet, for he commonly, as he said, eat them with pepper and vinegar; adding that he did not question but his heart would make him a dainty bit.' This said, he locks up poor Jack in an upper room, leaving him there, while he went to fetch another Giant, living in the same wood, that he might be partaker in the pleasure which they would have in the destruction of poor Jack.

Now when he was gone, dreadful shrieks and cries affrighted poor Jack, especially a voice which continually cried,

Do what you can, to get away,
Or you'll become the Giant's prey.
He's gone to fetch his brother, who
Will kill and likewise torture you.

This dreadful noise so amazed poor Jack that he was ready to run distracted; then seeing from the window afar off, the two Giants coming together, now quoth to himself, my death or deliverance is at hand.

There were strong cords in the room by him, of which he took two, at the end of which he made a noose; and while the Giant was unlocking the iron gate, he threw the ropes over each of their heads, and then drawing the other end across the beam, where he pulled with all his main strength until he had throttled them and then fastening the rope to the beam, turned towards the window, where he beheld the two Giants to be black in their faces; then sliding down by the rope he came close to their heads; where the helpless Giants could not defend themselves, and drawing out his sword, slew them both, and deliver'd himself from this intended cruelty. He then taking a bunch of keys, he unlocked the rooms where, upon a strick search, he found three fair Ladies tied by the hair of their heads, almost starved to death, who told Jack that their husbands were slain by the Giant, and that they were kept many days without food, in order to force them to feed upon the flesh of their husbands; which they would not, if they were starved to death.

Sweet Ladies, quoth Jack, I have destroyed this monster and his brutish brother, by which I have obtained your liberties. This said, he predated them with the keys of the castle, and so preceded on his journey to Wales.


How Jack travelled into Flintshire and what happened.

JACK having, but very little money, thought it prudent to make the best of his way, by travelling, as fast as he could, but losing his road was benighted and could not get a place of entertainment, until he came to a valley, placed between two hills, where stood a large house, in a lonesome place, and by reason of his present condition, he took courage to knock at the gate; and to his surprise there came forth a monstrous Giant, having two heads, yet he did not seem so fierce as the others had been, for he was a Welsh Giant, and what he did was by private and secret malice under the false shew of friendship, and Jack telling his Condition, he bid him welcome, shewing him a room with a bed in it, whereupon he might take his night's repose. Therefore Jack undressed himself, and as the Giant was walking away to another room, Jack heard him mutter these few words to himself.

Tho' here you lodge with me this night.
You shall not see the morning light.
My club shall dash your brains out quite.

Sayest thou so, quoth Jack, this is like one of your Welsh tricks, yet I hope to be cunning enough for you. Then getting out bed, he put a billet in his stead, and hid himself in the corner of the room and in the dead time of the night, the Welsh Giant came with his great knotty club, and struck several heavy blows upon the bed where Jack had laid the billet and then returned to his own chamber, supposing he had broken all the bones in his body.

In the morning Jack gave him hearty, thanks for his lodging. The Giant said to him, How have you rested? Did not you feel something in the night? Nothing, quoth Jack, but a rat which gave me three or four slaps with her tail. Soon after the Giant arose and went to breakfast with a bowel of hasty pudding containing near four gallons, giving Jack the like quantity; who being loth to let the Giant know he could not eat with him, got a large leather bag putting it very artfully under his great coat, into which he secretly conveyed the pudding; telling the Giant he could shew him a trick; then taking a large knife he riped open the bag, which the Giant supposed it to be his belly, when out came the hasty pudding. At which the Welsh Giant cried out, Cots plut, hur can do dat trick himself. Then taking a sharp knife he ripped up his own belly, from the bottom to the top; and out dropped his tripes and trolly-bags, so that hur fell down for dead. Thus Jack outwitted the Giant, and proceeded forward on his journey.


How king Arthur's son going to seek his fortune, met with Jack.

KING Arthur's son only desired of his father to turn him with a certain sum of money, that he might go and seek his fortune in the Principality of Wales, where a beautiful lady lived, whom he heard was possessed with seven evil spirits. But the king his father advised him utterly against it, yet he would not be persuaded against it; so that he granted what he requested, which was one horse loaded with money, and another for himself to ride on; thus he went forth without any attendants.

Now after several days travel he came to a market town in Wales, where he beheld a large concourse of people gathered together; the king's son demanded the reason of it, and was told that they had arrested a corpse for many large sums of money which the deceased owed when he died. The kings son replied, It is a pity that creditors should be so cruel, go bury the dead, said he, and let his creditors come to my lodgings, and their debts shall be discharged. Accordingly, they came, and in such great numbers, that before night he had left himself pennyless.

Now Jack the Giant killer being there, and seeing the generosity of the king's son, he was taken with him and desired to be his servant; it was agreed upon, and the next morning they set forward, when riding out at the town end, an old woman called after him, crying out, he was owing me twopence these five years; pray Sir, pay me as well as he rest. He put his hand into his pocket, and gave it her, it being the last he had left. Then the king's son turning to Jack, said, I cannot tell how I will subsist in my intended journey. For that quoth Jack, take you no thought nor care, let me alone, I warrant you, we will not want.

Now Jack having a small spell in his pocket, which served at noon to give them a refreshment, which done, they had not one penny left betwixt them, the afternoon they spent in travel and familiar and friendly discourse, till the sun began to grow low, at which time, the king's son said, Jack, since we have no money, where can we think to lodge this night? Jack replied, Master, we'll do well enough, for I have an uncle that lives within two little miles of this place; he is a huge and monstrous Giant, with three heads: he'll fight five hundred men in armour, and make them to fly before him. Alas! quoth the king's son, what shall we do there; he'll certainly chop us both up at one mouthful; nay, we are scarce enough to fill one of his hollow teeth. It is no matter for that, quoth Jack, I myself will go before, and prepare the way for you; therefore tarry here, and wait my return.

He waits, and Jack rides full speed, when coming to the gate of the castle, he knocked with such a force, that he made all the neighbouring hills resound. The Giant, with a voice like thunder, roared out, Who's there; He answered, none but your poor nephew Jack. Quoth he, What news with my poor nephew Jack? He replied, Dear uncle, heavy news! God wot, prithee, what heavy news can come to me? I am a Giant with three heads; and besides, thou knowest, I can fight five hundred men in armour, and make them fly like chaff before the wind. O! but quoth Jack, here's the king's son coming with a thousand men in armour, to kill you, and to to destroy all that you have. Oh! nephew Jack, this is heavy news indeed: I have a large vault under the ground, where I will go immediately and hide myself, and thou shalt lock, bolt, and bar me in, and keep the keys till the king's son is gone.

Now Jack, having secured the Giant, he soon returned and fetched his master. They were both heartily merry with the wine and other dainties which were in the house. So that night they rested in very pleasent lodgings, while the poor uncle the Giant, lay trembling in the vault under ground.

Early in the morning, Jack furnished his master with a fresh supply of gold and silver, and so setting him three miles forward on his journey, concluding he was then pretty well out of the smell of the Giant and then returned to let his uncle out of the hole; who asked Jack, what he would give him in reward that his castle was not demolished. Why, quoth Jack, I desire nothing but the old coat and cap, together with that old rusty sword and slipers, which are at your bed head. Quoth the Giant, Thou shalt have them, and pray keep them for my sake, for they are things of excellent use: the coat will keep you invisible, the cap will furnish you with knowledge, the sword cuts in sunder whatever you strike, and the shoes are of extraordinary swiftness: These may be serviceable to you, and therefore, pray take them with all my heart. Jack takes them, and thanking his uncle, and follows his master.


How Jack saved his master's life, and drove the evil spirits out the lady.

JACK having overtaken his master, they soon after arrived at the lady's house, who finding the King son to be a suitor, she prepared a banquet for him; which being ended, she wiped his mouth with her handkerchief, saying, You must shew me this one to-morrow morning, or else you lose your head, and with that she put it to her own bosom.

The king's son went to bed very sorrowful, but Jack's cap of knowledge instructed him how to obtain it. In the middle of the night, she called upon her familiar spirit to carry it to her friend Lucifer: Jack soon put on his coat of darkness, with his shoes of swiftness, and was there as soon as her, by reason of his coat they could not see him. When she entered the place, she gave the handkerchief to old Lucifer, who laid it upon the shelf, from whence Jack took, and brought it to his master, who shewed it to the lady the next day, and so saved his life.

The next night she saluted the king's son, telling him he must shew her to-morrow morning the lips that she kissed last this night, or lose his head. Ah! replied he, if you kiss none but mine, I will. 'Tis neither here nor there, said she, if you do not, death's your portion. At midnight she went as before, and was angry with Lucifer for letting the handkerchief away; but now, said she, I'll be too hard for the king's son, for I will kiss thee, and he's to shew thy lips; which she did. Jack standing near him with his sword of sharpness, cut off the devil's head, and brought it under his invisible coat to his master, who was in bed, and laid it at the head of his bolster. In the morning when the lady came up, he pulled it out by the horns, and shewed her the devil's head which she kissed last.

Thus, having answered her twice, the inchantment broke, and the evil spirit left her; at which time she appeared to all beauty; a beautiful and virtuous creature. They were married the next morning, in great pomp and solemnity, and soon after they returned; with a numerous company to the court of King Arthur, where they were received with the greatest joy, and loud acclamation, by the whole court. Jack, for the many and great exploits he had done for the good of his country, was made one of the knights of the round table.

Thus we have finished the first part of this History, which now leads us to the second part, wherein you have a more full account of the many valiant and wonderful exploits, which were done by that bold, adventrous, great, invisible, and valiant hero Jack the Giant-Killer.



How Jack, by King Arthur's leave, went in pursuit of Giants alive.

JACK having been successful in all his undertakings, he resolved not to be idle for the future, but to perform what service he could for the honour of his king and country. He humbly requested of the king his royal master, to fit him with a horse and money to travel in search of new and strange adventures: for, said he, there are many Giants yet alive in the remotest part of the kingdom, and the dominions of Wales, to the unspeakable damage of your Majesty's liege subjects; wherefore, may it please your Majesty to give me encouragement, I doubt not but in a short time to cut them off root and branch, and to rid the realm of the Giants and devouring monsters of nature.

Now when the king had heard these noble propositions, and had duly considered the mischievous practices of those blood-thirsty Giants, he immediately granted what honest Jack requested, and on the first day of March, and thoroughly furnished with all necessaries for his progress, he took his leave, not only of King Arthur, but likewise of all his trusty and hardy knights belonging to the round table, who, after much salutation and friendly greeting, they parted, the king and his nobles to their courtly palaces, and Jack the Giant-killer, to the eager pursuit of fortune's favour's, taking with him his cap of knowledge, sword of sharpness, shoes of swiftness, and likewise the invisible coat, the better to perfect and complete the dangerous enterprizes that lay before him.


How Jack slew a Giant, and delivered a knight and his lady from death.

JACK travelling over vast hills and wonderful mountains, when at the end of three days, he came to a large and spacious wood, through which he must needs pass, when on a sudden to his great amazement, he heard dreadful shrieks and cries, whereupon casting his eyes around to observe what it might be, he beheld with wonder a Giant rushing along with a worthy knight and his fair lady, whom he held by the hair of their heads in his hands, with as much ease as if they had been a pair of gloves, the sight of which melted poor Jack into tears of pity and compassion: whereupon he alighted from off his horse, which he left tied to an oak tree, and putting on his invisible coat, under which he carried his sword of sharpness, he came up to the Giant, and though he made several passes at him, yet nevertheless it could not reach the trunk of his body, by reason of his height, though it wounded his thighs in several places: but at length giving him a swinging stroke, he cut off both his legs just below the knees, so that the trunk of his body made not only the ground to shake, but likewise the trees to tremble with the force of his fall, at which, by mere fortune, the knight and the lady escaped his rage, then had Jack time to talk with him, setting his foot upon his neck, said, Thou savage and barbarous wretch, I am come to execute upon you the just reward of your villany. And with that running him through and through, the monster let forth a hideous groan, and yielded up his life into the hands of the valiant conqueror Jack the Giant Killer, while the noble knight and virtuous lady were both joyful spectators of his sudden downfal, and their own deliverance.

This being done, the courteous knight and his fair lady, not only returned him hearty thanks for their deliverance, but also invited him home, there to refresh himself after the dreadful encounter, as likewise to receive some ample reward by way of gratitude for his good service. No, quoth Jack, I cannot be at ease till I find out the den which was this monster's habitation. The knight hearing this waxed right sorrowful, and replied, Noble strange, it s too much to run a second risk; for this noted monster lived in a den under yonder mountain, with a brother of his more fierce and fiery than himself, and therefore if you should go thither and perish in the attempt, it would be the heart breaking of both me and my lady: here let me persuade you to go with us, and desist from any further attempt. Nay, quoth Jack, if there be another, nay, if there were twenty I would shed the last drop of blood in my body, before one of them escape my fury, and when I have finished this task I will come and pay my respects to you.

So taking directions to their habitation, he mounted his horse, leaving them to return home, while he went in pursuit of the deceased Giant's brother.


How Jack slew the other Giant, and sent both their heads to King Arthur.

HE had not rode past a mile and a half before he came in sight of the cave's mouth, near to the entrance of which he beheld the other Giant sitting upon a huge block of timber, with a knotted iron club lying by his side, waiting as he supposed, for his brother's return with his cruel prey; his gogle eyes appeared like terrible flames of fire, his countenance grim and ugly, and his cheeks appeared like a couple of large and fat flitches of baken; moreover, the bristles of his beard seemed to resemble rods of iron wire, his locks hung down upon his broad shoulders like curled snakes or hissing adders.

Jack alighted from his horse, and put him into a thicekt, then with his coat of darkness he came somewhat near to behold the figure, and said softly, Oh! are you there? It will not be long e're I shall take you by the beard. The Giant all this time could not see him by reason of his invisible coat, so coming up close to him, valiant Jack fetching a blow at his head with his sword of sharpness, and missing somewhat of his aim, cut off the Giant's nose, whose nostrils were wider than a pair of jack-boots; the pain was terrible, and so he put up his hand to feel for his nose, and when he could not find it, he raved and roared out louder than claps of thunder; and though he turned up his large eyes he could not see from whence the blow came which had done him that great disaster; nevertheless, he took up his iron knotted club, and began to lay about him like one stark mad. Nay, quoth Jack, if thou be for that sport, then I will dispatch you quickly for fear of any accidental blow falling out. Then as the Giant rose from his block, Jack makes no more ado but runs up his sword to the hilt in the Giant's fundament, where he left it sticking for a while, and stood himself a-laughing with his hands a-kim-bow to see the Giant caper and dance the canaries with the sword in his arse, crying out. He should die, he should die, with the gripping of his guts. Thus did the Giant continue raving for an hour or more, and at length fell dead, whose dreadful fall had like to have crushed poor Jack, had he not been nimble enough to have avoided the same.

This being done, Jack cut off both the Giant's heads, and sent them both to king Arthur, by a waggoner, whom he hired for that purpose, together with an account of his prosperous success in his undertakings.


How Jack searched their cave, and delivered many men out of captivity.

JACK having thus dispatched these two monsters, resolved with himself to enter the cave in search o these Gaints treasure He passed along through many turnings and windings, which led him at length to a room paved with a free stone, at the upper end of which, was a boiling caldron; then on the right hand stood a large table, whereat he supposed the Giants used to dine; then he came to the iron gate, where was a window secured with bars of iron, through which he looked, and there beheld a vast many miserable captives, who seeing Jack at a distance, cried out with a loud voice, Alas! young man, art thou come to be one among us in this miserable den? Ay, quoth J ck, I hope I shall not tarry long here: but pray tell me what is the meaning of your captivity? Why, said one young man, I'll ell you, we are persons that have been taken by the Giants that keep this cave, and here are we kept till such time as they have occasion for a particular feast, and then the fattest among us is slaughtered and prepared for their devouring jaws; it is not long since they took three of us for the same purpose; nay, many times they have dined entirely on murdered men. Say you so; quoth Jack, well I have given them both such a dinner, that it will be long enough e're they will have occasion for any more. The miserable captives were amazed at these words. You may believe me, quoth Jack for I have slain them both with the point of my sword, and as for their monstrous heads, I sent them in a waggon to the court of king Arthur, as trophies of my unparalelled victory And for a testimony of the truth of what he said, he unlocked the iron gate, setting the miserable captives at liberty, who all rejoiced like condemned malefactors at the sight of a reprive: then leading them altogether to the aforesaid room, he placed them round the table, and set before them two quarters of beef, as also bread and wine, so that he feasted them very plentifully. Supper being ended, they searched the Giant's coffers, where he finding a vast store of gold and silver, Jack equally divided it amongst them; they all returned their hearty thanks for their treasure and miraculous deliverance. That night they went to their rest, and in the morning they arose and departed; the captives to their respective towns and places of abode, and Jack to the knight's house, whom he had formerly delivered from the hands of the Giant.


How Jack came to the knight's House, and his noble entertainment there.

IT was about sun-rising, when Jack mounted his horse to proceed on his journey, and by the help of his directions he came to the knight's house some time beforo noon, where he was received with all demonstration of joy imaginable by the knight and his lady, who in an honourable respect to Jack, prepared a feast which lasted for many days, inviting all the gentry in the adjacent parts, to whom the worthy Knight was pleased to relate his former danger, and the happy deliverance, by the undaunted courage of Jack the Giant Killer: and by way of gratitude, he presented him with a ring of gold, on which was engraven, by a curious artist, the picture of the Giant dragging a diftressed knight and his fair lady by the hair of the head, with this motto:

We were in sad distress you see,
Under a Giant's fierce command;
But gain'd our lives and liberty,
By valiant Jack's victorious hand.

Now amongst the vast assembly there present, were five aged gentlemen, who were fathers to some of those miserable captives which Jack had lately set at liberty, who understanding that he was the person that performed those great wonders, they immediately paid him their venerable respects. After which, their mirth increased, and the smiling bowls went freely round to the prosperous success of the victorious conqueror; but in the midst of all their mirth, a dark cloud appeared, which daunted all the hearts of this assembly.

Thus it was, a messenger brought the dismal tidings of the approach of one Thunderdel, a huge Giant with two heads, who, having heard of the death of his kinsman, the above mentioned Giants, was come from the northern pole in search after Jack, to be revenged on him for their most miserable downfal and was within a mile of the kight's seat, the country people flying before him from their houses and habitations, like chaff before the wind. When they had related this, Jack not a white daunted, said, Let him come. I am prepared with a tool to pick his teeth, and you ladies and gentlemen, walk but forth into the garden, and you shall be the joyful spectators of this monstrous Giant's death and destruction. To which they all consent, every one wishing him good fortune in that great and dangerous enterprize.


How Jack overthrew the Giant on the moat, and cut of both his heads.

THE situation of the knight's house, take as follows: it was placed in the midst of a small island, encompassed round with a vast moat, thirty feet deep, and twenty feet wide, over which lay a draw-bridge. Wherefore Jack employed two men to cut it on both sides, almost to the middle, and then dressing himself in his coat of darkness likewise putting on his shoes of swiftness, he marches forth against the Giant, with his sword of sharpness ready drawn; yet when he came close up to him, the Giant could not see Jack, by reason of his invisible coat, which he had on, yet nevertheless he was sensible of some approaching danger, which made him cry out in these following words:

Fe Fi Fo Fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman;
Be he living, or be he dead,
I'll grind his bones to mix my bread.

Says thou so, quoth Jack, then thou art a monstrous miller indeed; but how if I should serve thee as I did the two Giants, in my conscience I should spoil your practice for the future. At which time the Giant spoke with a voice as loud as thunder; Art thou that villain which destroyed my two kinsmen? then will I tear thee with my teeth, suck thy blood; You must catch me first, quoth Jack, and with that he threw off his coat of darkness that the Giant might see him clearly, and then run from him as through fear. The Giant with foaming mouth and glaring eyes, following after like a walking castle, making the foundation of the earth, as it were, to tremble at every step. Jack led him a dance three or four times round the moat that belonged to the knight's house, that the ladies and gentlemen might take a full view of this huge monster of nature, who followed Jack with all his might, but could not overtake him, by reason of his shoes of swiftness, which carried him faster than the Giant could follow. At length Jack to finish the work, took over the bridge, the Gaint with full speed pursuing after him with his iron club upon his shoulder; but coming to the middle of the draw-bridge, when with the weight of his body, and the most dreadful steps that he took, it broke down, and he tumbled into the water, where he rolled and wallowed like a whale: Jack standing at the side of the moat laughed at the Giant, and said, You told me you would grind my bones to powder, here you have water enough, pray where is your mill? The Giant fretted and frowned to hear him scoff at that rate, and though he plunged from place to place in the moat, yet he could not get out to be reveng'd on his adversary. Jack at length took a cart rope and cast it over the Giant's two heads, with a slip knot, and by the help of a team of horses, dragged him out again, with which he was near strangled, and before he would let him loose he cut off both his heads with his sword of sharpness, in the view of all the worthy assembly of knights, ladies, and gentlemen, who gave a joyful shout when they saw the Giant fairly dispatched. Then before he would either eat or drink he sent these heads also, after the others to the court of king Arthur; which being done, then Jack with the knights and ladies, returned to their mirth and pastime which lasted many days.


How Jack came to the house of an old Hermit, and what discourse passed between them.

AFTER some time spent in triumphant mirth and pastime, Jack grew weary of riotous living, wherefore taking leave of the noble knights and aldies he set forward in the search of more adventures. Through many woods and groves he passed, meeting with nothing remarkable, till at the length coming to the foot of a high mountain late at night, he knocked at the door of a lonesome house, at which time an ancient man, with a head as white as snow, arose and let him in. Father, said Jack, have you any entertainment for a benighted traveller that has lost his way? Yes, said the old man, if you will accept of such recommondation as my cottage will afford, thou shalt be right welcome. Jack returned him many thanks for his great civility; wherefore down they sat together, and the old man began to discourse him as follows: Son, said he, I am sensible thou art the great conqueror of Giants and it is in thy power to free this place of the country free in an intolerable burden which we groan under; for behold, my son, on the top of this high mountain there is an enchanted castle, kept by a huge monstrous Giant, named Galgantus, who, by the help of an old conjuror, betrays many knights and ladies into his strong castle, where by magic art they are transformed into sundry shapes and forms, but above all, I lament the sad misfortunes of a duke's daughter, whom they fetched from her father's garden by art, carrying her through the air in a mourning chariot, drawn as it were by two fiery dragons, and being secured within the walls of the castle, she was immediately transformed into the real shape of a white hind; many worthy knights have attempted deliverance, yet none of them could accomplish this great work by reason of two dreadful Griffins, who were fixed by magic art at the entrance of the castle gate, which destroys any as soon as they see them; but you, my son, being furnished with an invisible coat, may pass by them undiscovered, where upon the brazen gates of the castle, you will find engraven, in large characters, by what the enchantment may be broken.

This old man having ended his discourse, Jack gave him his hand, with a faithful promise, that in the morning he would venture his life to break the enchantment and free the Lady, together with the rest that were miserable partners in her calamity.


How Jack got into the Enchanted castle; broke the enchantment, killed the Giant, put the conjuror to flight, set free the knights and ladies, likewise the duke's daughter, whom he afterwards married.

Having refreshed themselves with a small morsel of meat, they laid them down to rest, and in the morning Jack arose and put on his invisible coat, and cap of knowledge, and shoes of swiftness, and so prepared himself for the dangerous enterprise.

Now, when he had ascended to the top of the mountain, he soon discovered the two Griffins; so he passed on between them without fear, for they could not see him by reason of his invisible coat. Now when he was got beyond them, he cast his eyes around him, where he found upon the gates a golden trumpet, hung in a chain of fine silver, under which, these lines were engraven,

Whoever shall this trumpet blow,
Shall soon the Giant overthrow;
And break the black enchantment streight,
So all shall be in a happy state:

Jack had no sooner read the inscription but he blew the trumpet, at which time the vast foundation of the castle trembled, and the Giant together with the conjuror, were in horrid confusion, biting their thumbs, and tearing their hair, knowing their wicked reign was at an end. At which time Jack standing at the Giant's elbow, as he was stooping to take up his club, he at one blow, with his sword of sharpness, cut off his head. The conjuror seeing this, immediately mounted into the air and was carried away in a whirlwind. Thus was the whole enchantment broke, and every knight and lady who had been for a long time transformed into birds and beasts, returned to their proper shapes again; and as for the castle, though it seemed at first to be of a vast strength and bigness, it vanished away like a cloud of smoke; whereupon an universal joy appeared among the released knights and ladies. This being done, the head of Galgantus was likewise, according to his accustomed manner, conveyed to the court of king Arthur, as a present made to his Majesty. The very next day, after having refreshed the knights and ladies at the old man's habitation, who lived at the foot of the mountain, he set forward to the court of king Arthur, with those knights and ladies he had so honourably delivered.

When coming to his majesty, and having related all the passages of his fierce encounters, and his fame rung through the whole court, and as a reward of his good service, the king prevailed with the aforesaid duke to bestow his daughter in marriage on honest Jack, protesting that there was no man so worthy of her as he, to all which the duke very honourably consented. So married they were, and not only the court but likewise the kingdom was filled with joy and triumph at the wedding; after which the king as a reward for his good services done to the nation, bestowed upon him a noble habitation, with a very plentiful estate belonging thereunto, where he and his lady lived the remainder of their days in great joy and happiness.



This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.