The Grateful Dead, by Gordon Hall Gerould, , at sacred-texts.com
THE märchen known in its various forms as The Water of Life 1 is based on the myth which goes by the same name. 2 The myth, as has been shown quite independently by two recent investigators, Dr. Wünsche 3 and Dr. E. W. Hopkins, 4 is of Semitic origin, and is found among the traditions of the Assyrio-Babylonian cycle. It is to be distinguished from the very similar myth of The Fountain of Youth, which apparently originated in India. 5 The latter concerns the magic properties of the "water of rejuvenation"; the former in its uncontaminated
form, at least, deals with water which cures, revivifies, or revitalizes. The two have been frequently confused, not only in popular tradition of all ages, but in critical writings of contemporary date as well. It is the great merit of Professor Hopkins article, to which reference has been made, that their essential difference in origin and character is clearly marked. Though he makes no pretence that his study of The Fountain of Youth is definitive, he has broken ground which sadly needed the plough, and incidentally has thrown light upon The Water of Life.
The myth which is properly known by this name is intimately connected in origin and development with that of The Tree of Life, 1 which finds expression in the legends of the Cross. In the words of Dr. Wünsche: 2 "Wie wir aus den kosmogonischen und theogonischen Mythen und Sagen der Völker das Rauschen des Lebensbaumes vernehmen, durch dessen Früchte sich Götter und Menschen ihre ungeschwächte Lebenskraft und ewige Jugendfrische erhalten, so nicht minder das Sprudeln einer Quelle des Lebenswassers, die Leben schafft und zu Ende gehendes oder bereits erloschenes Leben wieder zu neuem Sein erweckt." Both myths are Semitic, and both have profoundly influenced Christian doctrine. It is with the "water of life," however, that we are immediately concerned, and with that only as it has found embodiment in a widely disseminated and variously modified tale. Whence this märchen came we must presently inquire, in order to reach some conclusion as to the point in space and time where it joined The Grateful Dead, but we must first fix its essential traits.
Owing to the complex variations which the tale
presents in its various combinations with really foreign themes, there is great difficulty in getting at the outline of the original story or even the characteristics common to all the known variants. To do this satisfactorily would require a searching and detailed study, which it is impossible to undertake here,an examination with The Water of Life as the point of attack. It is possible, however, to arrive at a rough sketch of the theme.
"Dans tous ces contes," says Cosquin, in his notes on The Water of Life, 1 "trois princes vont chercher pour leur père leau de la vie ou un fruit merveilleux qui doit le guérir, et cest le plus jeune qui réussit dans cette entreprise. Dans plusieurs . . . les deux aînés font des dettes, et ils sont au moment dêtre pendus, quand leur frère paie les créanciers (dans des contes allemands et dans les contes autrichiens, malgré lavis que lui avait donné un hermite, un nain ou des animaux reconaissants, de ne pas acheter de 'gibier de potence'). Il est tué par eux ou, dans un conte allemand (Meier, no. 5), jeté dans un grand trou; mais ensuite il est rappelé à la vie dans des circonstances quil serait trop long dexpliquer."
Dr. Wünsche's summary is somewhat different: 2 "Gewöhnlich handelt es sich um einen König und seine drei Söhne. Der König leidet an einer schlimmen Krankheit, von der ihn kein Arzt zu heilen vermag. Da wird ihm durch irgendeine Gelegenheit die Kunde, dass er von seinem Siechtum durch das Lebenswasser eines fernen Landes befreit werden könne. Aus Liebe zu ihrem Vater machen sich die drei Söhne nacheinander auf den Weg, das Lebenswasser zu holen. Doch die beiden ältesten erliegen den auf dem Wege ihnen begegnenden Versuchungen, nur der jüngste ist wegen seiner Standhaftigkeit und Bescheidenheit so glücklich, es zu erhalten. Ein Riese, ein Zwerg, ein alter Mann oder ein alte Frau
sind ihm zur Auffindung der Wunderquelle behilflich, indem sie ihm guten Rat erteilen und ihm sagen, wie er es anzufangen und wovor er sich in acht zu nehmen habe. Hier und da greifen auch dienstbare Tiere, Vierfüssler, Vögel und Fische hilfreich ein, indem sie dem Jünglinge genau die Örtlichkeit des Wassers angeben, oder auch selbst ihn mit Schnelligkeit dahin bringen. Die Lebensquelle sprudelt in einem Berge, der sich nur zu gewissen Zeiten, gewöhnlich gegen Mittag oder Mitternacht von 11-12 Uhr öffnet. Im berge steht in der Regel in einem prächtigen Garten ein versunkenes Schloss, das die grossen Schätze und Kostbarkeiten birgt, durch deren Anblick der Eintretende geblendet wird. In einem Gemache des Schlosses wieder ruht auf einem Bett eine Jungfrau von wunderbarer Schönheit, die später als Prinzessin hervortritt und den Prinzen, der durch das Schöpfen des Lebenswassers sie von ihrem Zauber gelöst hat, zum Gemahle heischt. Der Prinz hat nur kurze Zeit bei ihr geruht oder ihr einen flüchtigen Kuss auf die Lippen gedrückt. In vielen Fällen wird der Eingang zur Quelle von einem Drachen oder einem anderen Ungeheuer bewacht, die erst aus dem Wege geräumt werden müssen. Es kostet einen schweren Kampf. Auf dem Heimweg trifft der jüngste Königssohn gewöhnlich mit seinen älteren Brüdern wieder zusammen, die ihr Leben durch tolle Streiche verwirkt haben und die er vom Tode loskauft. Zuweilen sind aber die Brüder durch ihre Unbedachtsamkeit in schwarze Steine verwandelt worden und liegen am Abhange des Zauberberges, oder stehen als Marmorsäulen auf demselben, oder sind infolge ihres Hochmutes in einen tiefen Abgrund eingeschlossen. Auch in diesem Zustande werden sie durch den jüngsten Bruder bald durch das geschöpfte Wasser des Lebens, bald auf seine Bitten hin wieder ins Leben gerufen. Vereint reisen sie nun mit ihrem Bruder nach Hause zum Könige. Unterwegs
aber erfasst die Beiden Falschen Neid und Missgunst, weil ihr Bruder allein in den Besitz des Lebenswasser gelangt ist und sie sich vergeblich darum gemüht haben. Daher vertauschen sie das Lebenswasser, während der Bruder schläft, mit gewöhnlichem Wasser und eilen nun voraus und machen mit dem erbeuteten Trank den kranken König gesund, oder sie erscheinen nach der Ankunft des Bruders, dessen vertauschtes Wasser den König nur noch elender gemacht hat. Dabei raunen sie dem Könige heimlich ins Ohr, dass der jüngere Bruder ihn habe vergiften wollen, infolgedessen dieser vom Könige verbannt oder gar zum Tode verurteilt wird. Derselbe lebt nun längere Zeit zurückgezogen in einer untergeordneten Stellung, bis endlich durch die von ihm entzauberte Prinzessin seine Unschuld an den Tag kommt."
Dr. Wünsche gives as subsidiary types stories where a princess wishes the magic water for herself, and, when her two brothers fail to return with it, goes on a quest which results in obtaining the water and releasing the enchanted brothers; where a mother and son are the chief actors; where a bird, or fruit, or the water of death is substituted for the water of life; and where thankful beasts appear. All of these elements and more appear in the accessible variants, yet not all of them can be said rightly to represent The Water of Life as such. The basal traits of the story are much more simple than Dr. Wünsche would have us believe. They do not include, for example, the wonderful companions whom the hero finds nor the adventures with the enchanted princess, since these are in reality traits of originally separate themes, as will presently be shown. 1
On the other hand, Cosquin's outline seems to me defective in two ways. First, he does not recognize that there existed in the original theme some reward due the
hero for his constancy and intelligence in the pursuit of his quest. A priori this conclusion would be expected from the general manner of folk-tales, and as a matter of fact it appears in all the versions which have come to my attention. The reward almost always takes the form of a princess, though the manner in which she is won varies very greatly. In the second place, Cosquin seems to regard The Golden Bird as a theme quite independent of The Water of Life. 1 This, I think, is to lose sight of the essential likeness between the two tales, despite their difference of introduction. As Dr. Wünsche notes, 2 not only a bird, but a fruit or the water of death may be substituted for the usual object of the quest. Indeed, certain variants have more than one of these magical forces. 3 To be sure, this superfluity of riches doubtless results from the fusion of subsidiary types, but none the less it points to the original unity of the central theme, which is all that I wish to suggest.
From this discussion we emerge with an outline of The Water of Life in something like the following form: A sick king has three sons, who go out to seek some magical water (or bird, or fruit) for his healing. The two older sons fall by the way into some misfortune due to their own fault; but the youngest, not without aid of one sort or another from beings with supernatural powers, succeeds in the quest and at the same time wins a princess as wife. While returning, he rescues his brothers, and is exposed by their envy and ingratitude to the loss of all he has gained (sometimes even of his
life). In the end, however, he comes to his own either because the cure cannot be completed without him or because his wife brings the older princes to book.
This summary I should be unwilling to have considered as anything more than a tentative sketch, since a systematic study of the material may bring to light certain features which I have overlooked. 1 It will, however, serve its purpose here.
This simple form of The Water of Life is not that with which The Grateful Dead has combined. Indeed, the opinion that this union was secondary to that of The Grateful Dead with The Poison Maiden and The Ransomed Woman 2 is strengthened by the fact that it is found with both of these compound types, and that The Water of Life almost invariably appears in a somewhat distorted form. In point of fact, the latter tale seems to have lent itself with remarkable facility to combination with other themes. Thus it is frequently found mixed with The Skilful Companions 3 (both with
and without The Grateful Dead), The Lady and the Monster, 1 and The Thankful Beasts.
The reason for the existence of the compounds just mentioned is not far to seek. With The Skilful Companions 2 there is a ready point of contact in the hero's need for aid in the accomplishment of his quest, another in the circumstance that three or more companions set out together with a common end in view, and still another in the fact that a maiden is rescued by them. To The Lady and the Monster, at least in those variants where The Grateful Dead appears, The Water of Life has the necessary approach in the rôle of the lady herself. As for The Thankful Beasts, their appearance at opportune
moments when the heroes of folk-tales need assistance is too frequent to require justification in any particular case. It is with such combinations as these, intricate and involved, that many variants of The Grateful Dead are found joined. Sometimes one element, sometimes another, predominates, so that the threads which unite them are hopelessly snarled. Sometimes The Water of Life is lost in the entanglement, or only appears as a distorted trait, while The Skilful Companions or The Lady and the Monster come out more clearly. Through this labyrinth we must painfully take our way, exercising what caution we can. The present guide recognizes the danger of losing the road and does not pretend to more than a rough and ready knowledge of the wilderness. Accordingly, he undertakes only to conduct the curious wayfarer by the least difficult of the paths that traverse it.
Let us first consider the tales into which The Poison Maiden and The Ransomed Woman do not enter, which have only The Grateful Dead + The Water of Life or some kindred theme. These include Maltese, Polish, Hungarian I., Rumanian II., Straparola II., Venetian, Sicilian, Treu Heinrich, and Harz II. They are as widely different in their characteristics as in their sources.
Maltese has the following form: The three sons of a king successively go out in search of a bird, the song of which will make their father young. The elder two lose their all by gambling with a maiden in a palace by the way. The youngest brother pays four thousand pounds sterling to bury properly a man who has been dead eight months. He is warned against the maiden by a ghost, and so wins all from her (by using his own cards), thus rescuing his brothers. When he comes to the castle, the ghost again appears, and tells him to take the bird that he finds in a dirty cage. On the way back he is thrown overboard from the steamboat by his brothers,
but is saved by the ghost, who appears in the form of a rock with a tree on it. He is rescued by another steamer, and comes home in rags, where he is recognized by the bird, which has hitherto refused to sing. The brothers are banished.
According to the Polish story, a poor scholar pays his all for the burial of a corpse lying maltreated by the way. Later he goes to sleep under an oak, and on awaking finds his purse full of gold. He is robbed of this while crossing a stream, by some scoundrels who cast him into the water; but he is rescued by the ghost of the dead man, who appears in the form of a plank and gives him the power of turning himself into a crow, a hare, or a deer. He becomes a huntsman to a king, whose daughter lives on an inaccessible island. In her castle is a sword with which a man could overcome the greatest army. When war threatens, the king offers the princess to any man who can obtain the sword. By means of his power of metamorphosis the hero carries her a letter and wins her love. When he exhibits his magical powers, she cuts off a bit of the fur, or a feather, from each creature into which he turns. With the sword he then starts back to court, but on the way he is shot by a rival and robbed of the sword and a letter from the princess. He lies in the way in the form of a dead hare till the war is ended and the rival is about to marry the princess, when he is revived and warned by the ghost. At court he is recognized by the princess, who proves his tale by having him turn into various shapes and fitting the samples which she has taken.
In Hungarian I. a soldier gave all he had to an old beggar, who in turn gave him the power to change at will into a dove, a fish, or a hare. He took service with a king, and one day was sent back to the castle for a magic ring. There he met the princess, and exhibited to her his powers of metamorphosis, permitting her to
pull two feathers, take eight scales, and cut off his tail. While running back to the king in the form of a hare, he was shot by an envious comrade, who took the ring and was rewarded. The hero was restored to life by the old beggar, and returned to the castle, where he was brought to the princess. She succeeded in proving the truth of his story by means of the feathers, the scales, and the tail, which she had so fortunately preserved.
Rumanian II., though changed into legendary form, does not differ greatly from the two variants just cited. A shepherd boy gave his one sheep to Christ, when He asked for food. In return, he received a knife with three blades. Later he took service with a man, with whom he entered the army of the emperor. One day the monarch found that he had forgotten his ring, and promised half his kingdom to anybody who could bring it to him from the palace within twenty-four hours. By means of his magical knife the hero changed into a hare, obtained the emperor's ring as well as one from the princess's own hand, and returned to the army. There he was met by his master, who plundered him, threw him into a spring, and went to the emperor for reward. When the battle was over and all had returned to the capital, the princess said that the man who was presented as her bridegroom was not he to whom she gave the ring. Meanwhile, Christ had rescued the hero from the spring and sent him to the palace in the form of a fox with his ring in a basket. The princess recognized from the token that he was her true bridegroom, and brought him to the emperor.
Straparola II. introduces certain new elements to our notice. A king's son releases a wild man, whom his father has incarcerated, in order to get back an arrow that the man has taken from him. The man is really a disappointed lover, who had given himself up to a savage life. The boy's mother, in fear of the king, sends him
away in the care of two faithful servants, with whom he lives in obscurity till he is sixteen years old. Covetous. of his wealth, they are about to kill him, when the wild man, transformed into a splendid knight by a grateful fairy, joins them. They go to a beautiful city called Ireland, which is devastated by a ferocious horse and an equally savage mare. The traitorous servants plot to destroy the prince by giving out, first, that he has boasted that he can overcome the horse, and, second, the mare. By the advice of his unknown friend and the help of the latter's fairy horse, he accomplishes these labours. He is told by the king that he may have one of his daughters in marriage, if he can tell which has hair of gold. He is told by his companion that a hornet, which he has released, will appear at the test and fly three times around the head of the princess whom he is to choose. The man explains at the same time the cause of his benevolence,gratitude because by him he has been delivered from death. The prince is thus enabled to pick out the princess with golden hair, and is married to her, while his companion receives the sister.
In the Venetian tale, again a peculiar variant, twelve brothers seek twelve sisters as wives. Eleven of them go out at first, and are turned to stone. The youngest brother sets out after a year, and on the way has a poor dead man buried. Later, when he has saved his eleven brothers, they become envious, and throw him into a well. The thankful dead man then comes, draws him out with a cord, and explains who he is. The hero proceeds to his home and tells his story.
Sicilian is more extended but less difficult to place. The three orphaned sons of a rich man try to win the daughter of a certain king, who has announced that he will marry the princess to anyone who can make a ship that will travel alike on land and water. The eldest and middle brothers are unsuccessful because they are
unkind to the poor who ask for work. The youngest brother gives work to both old and young, and, when an old man (St. Joseph) appears, makes him overseer. After the work is done, he agrees to give half of what he obtains to the old man, and goes with him in the ship to court. On the way he takes in a man who is found putting clouds in a sack, another who is bearing half a forest on his back, another who has drunk half a stream, another who is aiming his bow at a quail in the underworld, and another who stands with one foot at Catania and the other at Messina. At the court the king refuses to give up his daughter till the hero can send a message to the underworld and get an answer in an hour, which he does by means of the long-strider and the shooter; and till he can find a man who will drink half the contents of his cellar in one day, which the drinker easily accomplishes. The king then offers as dowry only what one man can carry away, but he is foiled by the man who bore half the forest on his back, who now takes all the contents of the palace and departs with the hero, the princess, and their companions. The king pursues them, but is befogged by the man with the clouds. When they arrive at home, the saint demands his half, even of the king's daughter; but when the hero takes his sword to divide her, he cries out that he merely wished to test his faithfulness.
In Treu Heinrich a noble youth lost his property through prodigality in tournaments. Finally he sold his all to enter a tourney for the hand of the daughter of the King of Cyprus, but he gave half to his faithful follower Heinrich. After they set out for Cyprus, they were joined by a knight, who shared the hero's hospitality for fourteen days, agreeing to do the same in return, but at last riding away. In destitution they arrived at Famagust in Cyprus. While Heinrich was in the city, the hero found a clear stone left by a bird, through which
he obtained power to become a bird. He then established himself in the city, met the princess with the result that they fell in love, and flew to her chamber as a bird. He obtained from her not only his desire but an ornament which he gave to the strange knight, who had again joined him. Later he overcame this knight in the tourney, but the latter was mistaken for himself. Again he flew to the princess, who gave him a crown, and again, after giving it to the stranger, he overcame him in a fight. The princess now gave him a helmet, which he kept; and he was proclaimed victor of the jousting. Once more he flew to the princess, and obtained from her an ornament for his helmet, made by herself. Thus he won her as wife.
In Harz II. our primary motive is far less obscure than in the version just summarized. A youth pays his all, thirty-eight dollars, to free a dead man from indebtedness. He goes his way, and meets a young fellow, who accompanies him. They fall in with a man bearing two trees, a man with a hat on one side, a man with a wooden leg, and a man with a blind eye. The six go together to a city, where the princess can be won only by performing feats, with the penalty of death attached to failure. The companions aid the hero by bringing water from a distant spring and by keeping a fiery furnace habitable, so that he wins the princess.
These nine variants are, it will be seen, related in very different degrees to The Grateful Dead. What a debased type of the märchen they represent is shown by the fact that in no less than five 1 the burial of the corpse, which is the most fundamental trait of the theme, has been lost. Yet for two reasons it is clear that they are really scions of the stock. In the first place, wherever the burial has been cut away, other elements of
the motive in its simple form have been retained. Thus in Hungarian I. and Rumanian II. the deeds of the old beggar (or Christ) make his identity with the ghost unquestionable; in Straparola II., despite its sophistication, the wild man fills the same rôle, while his explanations at the end show that the burial has been merely blurred; in Sicilian both the agreement to divide and the division of the woman as a test are introduced; and in Treu Heinrich there is double division in a way, since the hero divides his property with his faithful follower to begin with and afterwards agrees to an exchange of hospitality with the helpful knight, going so far as actually to give him two of the four gifts received from the princess. In the second place, certain variants without the burial are very closely allied with others which retain it, 1 as will be seen in a moment. Thus all those treated here may safely be admitted to the group.
The reader must, however, have been struck, while examining the summaries just given, with the great diversity of the residuum which would be left if the parts properly belonging to The Grateful Dead were taken away. Indeed, they may be separated on this score into four categories with a couple of minor divisions. Polish, Hungarian I., and Rumanian II. are very similar in respect to these matters, having a princess who is won by the feat of obtaining something left at home by her father (this feat made possible by the power given the hero to change his form) and a treacherous rival. Polish has the peculiarity that the article to be obtained by the hero is a magical sword. 2 Treu Heinrich stands a little apart from these, since the rival does not appear
and the princess is won by a tourney; yet it has the curious metamorphosis, and must be considered as having some connection. Maltese and Venetian fall together. Venetian has retained from The Water of Life only the misfortune and the treachery of the older brothers, 1 while Maltese keeps also the magical bird and the features naturally connected therewith. The introduction of two steamboats in the latter is a curious illustration of the ease with which popular tales change details without altering essentials. Sicilian and Harz II. again are alike, both being compounded with The Skilful Companions, 2 and making the winning of the princess depend on feats really accomplished by the helpers characteristic to that tale. Straparola II. must be placed alone, having nearly all trace of The Water of Life lost in the traits of The Lady and the Monster, with a princess won by the hero's happily directed choice. 3
All of these features will appear again when we come to discuss variants which combine the compound types The Grateful Dead + The Poison Maiden or The Ransomed Woman with The Water of Life. They may, therefore, be passed over for the present, together with the question as to whether such a simple combination as The Grateful Dead + The Water of Life may be regarded as being the original from which the more complicated types have sprung. It is sufficient for the moment to recognize the tendency of the simpler variants to fall
into groups on the basis of the residuum left by subtracting traits belonging to The Grateful Dead.
Let us now consider the tales where a thankful beast plays the part of the grateful dead through at least a portion of the narrative, and where there is still no trace of either The Poison Maiden or The Ransomed Woman. The change of beast for ghost is so obvious and easy that the separation of these variants from the preceding appears at first sight to be of merely formal use. Yet thus considered, they may serve to define the subdivisions already noticed. Nine such versions have come to my knowledge: Walewein, Lotharingian, Tuscan, Brazilian, Basque I., Breton IV., V., and VI., and Simrock IX. All but one are folk-tales, and that, curiously enough, an episode in a thirteenth century 1 Dutch romance translated from the French. 2
Walewein, the variant in question, has the following form: Walewein (or more familiarly Gawain) sets forth from Arthur's court to secure a magical chessboard. He is promised it by King Wonder if only he will get the sword of rings from King Amoris, who in turn will give that up if Walewein will bring him the princess of the Garden of India. On this quest the hero mortally wounds a certain Red Knight, who prays him for Christian burial and is properly interred. He then proceeds to the castle of King Assentin, whose daughter recognizes in him the ideal knight whom she has seen in a dream. He is led under the dark river which surrounds the castle by the Fox Rogès, and wins the princess. The lovers and the fox (a prince transformed) escape by the help of the Red Knight's ghost. After many adventures they come together to the court with a chessboard, which is given up by King Wonder in exchange for the sword. Walewein is able to keep the princess for his own because of the death of Amoris.
Lotharingian runs as follows: A king has three sons. He sends them successively to seek the water of life. Two of them refuse to help a shepherd on the way, and rest from their search in Pekin. The third, who is deformed, aids the shepherd, and receives from him some arrows, which will pierce well whatever they strike, and a flageolet, which will make everyone dance within hearing of it. Arrived at Pekin, the humpback pays the debts of a corpse, and has it buried. He goes on till his money is exhausted. When he is about to shoot a fox one day, he is stayed by pity, and is directed by the creature to the castle where the water of life is to be found. There he is detained by an ogre, and wins battles for him by the aid of the magical arrows. There is a princess in the castle, who refuses to marry the ogre. The hero makes her dance, and obtains from the ogre as recompense the promise of whatever he wishes. He asks for the most beautiful thing there and the right to circle the castle three times. So he takes the princess, a phial of the water of life, as well as the uglier of the two mules and of the two green birds, as the fox has told him, and flees away. He meets the fox again, and is warned not to help any one in trouble. Nevertheless, he rescues his two brothers from the scaffold in Pekin, and is cast into a well by them. They go home, but are not able to heal the king. Meanwhile, the prince is saved by the fox, and is made straight of body. He goes home, and at his coming the king becomes young again, while the brothers are burned. So the prince marries the lady.
In Tuscan we learn that the youngest of three princes, while wandering, paid the debts of a man whose corpse was being insulted. When he had buried the man, he found himself without a farthing, and so slept in the forest. In the morning he was greeted by a hare (lieprina) with a basket of food in its mouth. He took
this gladly, and reflected that the creature must be the soul of the man whom he had buried. He then came to an inn, and took service with the host, whose beautiful daughter he soon discovered to be a princess, who had been bought while an infant. After winning her love, the hero went on into two kingdoms, where he obtained a magical purse and a wonderful horse from two ugly daughters of innkeepers. With these possessions he returned to the princess, and started with her for his home. On the way he saved from death his two older brothers, who had gone out to seek adventures at the same time as himself. They repaid the kindness by trying to drown him and by carrying the princess off home, where only by feigning illness could she frustrate their plan that she choose one of them as husband. Meanwhile, the hero was rescued from drowning by the hare, and came home. By pretending to be a physician he obtained access to the princess, was recognized, and then revealed himself to his father.
The Brazilian tale is brief but not unusual in type. A prince, while seeking a remedy for his father, passes through a town and sees a corpse, which is held for debt. He pays the creditors, and has the corpse buried. Later he is met by a fox, which helps him obtain not only the remedy for his father but in addition a princess as his wife. On its last appearance the beast declares that it is the soul of the man whom he buried.
Basque I. has the following form: Three sons go out to seek a white blackbird by which their father can be healed. Two of them get into debt to the same three ladies, and, according to the custom of the land, are imprisoned. The third son resists the sirens, ransoms his brothers, and also pays the debts of a dead man, whose corpse is being maltreated. He arrives at the house of the king who has the white blackbird, and is told to get a certain young woman from another king.
[paragraph continues] He goes far on till he comes near the castle, where he meets a fox and is instructed by it to enter a certain room, in which he will find the lady dressed in poor clothing. He must have her put on good clothes, and she will sing. He follows the advice, but is interrupted, while the lady is singing, by the king of the castle, who tells him that he must get a white horse from still another king. He meets the fox again, and is instructed that, when he finds the horse with an old saddle on it, he must put on a good one, so that it will neigh. Again he follows the fox's advice, and is interrupted by people who rush in when they hear the horse neigh. From them he obtains the steed, and retraces his steps, eloping with the lady at the second king's castle and at the first king's carrying off the blackbird. On his arrival at home he is thrown into a cistern by his treacherous brothers, who take his spoil to the king. He is saved by the fox, however, which draws him out with its tail. When he comes into the presence of his father, and not till then, is the healing accomplished.
In Breton IV. we find again three sons of a king, who set forth to get the white blackbird and also the lady with locks of gold. Jeannot, the youngest of them, pays for the interment of a beggar on the way. Later a fox comes to him, saying that it is the soul of the poor man. It helps him procure the youth-giving blackbird and afterward the lady with the marvellous hair. He then meets his brothers, who for envy push him over a precipice, but he is saved and sent homeward by the fox.
Breton V. does not differ materially from the preceding, though it has interesting minor variations. The three sons of a king seek the bird Drédaine in its golden cage in order to cure their father. The two elder brothers go to England, and there meet jolly companions, but find no trace of the bird. The third brother, the ugly one, comes thither, is mocked and robbed by
them, but goes his way. One night he lodges in a forest hut, and there finds a man's body, which the widow cannot bury for lack of money to pay the priest. He is now poor, but pays for the interment of the corpse, and proceeds. He is followed by a white fox, which instructs him how to achieve his quest. He soon reaches the castle, traverses three courts, comes to one chamber where he finds a piece of inexhaustible bread, enters a second where he gets an unfailing pot of wine and makes love to a sleeping princess, and goes on to a third where he finds a magical sword and the bird. He hastens away with his booty, guided for a time by the fox, sells his bread and his wine to innkeepers on condition that they be given up to the princess if ever she comes for them, and arrives at the city where his brothers are now in prison. He ransoms them by helping the king, and pays their debts by selling his sword. On their way home he is thrown into a well by his brothers, who take the bird to their father, but do not succeed in curing him. Meanwhile, the hero is saved by the fox, which now explains that it is the soul of the man whom he has buried, and definitely disappears. He arrives at his home as a beggar, and takes service with his father. Later the princess comes thither with the son that is the fruit of their union, and brings with her the bread, wine, and sword which she has found on the way. The bird sings, the king is healed, and the wicked brothers are executed.
Breton VI. lacks some of the interesting traits of the variant just given, but embroiders the theme with considerable grace. The three sons of a king set out to find the princess of Hungary, who has the only remedy that will cure their father. The eldest forgets his purpose, and wastes his money in rioting. The second finds him just as he is being led to death on account of debt, ransoms him, and shares his riotous pleasures. The third
brother, a humpback, goes out with little money, but on his way procures burial for a man's corpse, which the widow has been unable to do because of lack of money to pay the priest. The next day a fox with a white tail meets him, and in return for a bit of cake leads him to the castle of a princess. There the prince resists the lady's advances, which he suspects are derisive, and is sent to her sister's castle, where he has the same experience. When he arrives at the castle of the third sister, he yields to her proposals, is given the remedy for his father and a magical sword, and is told how to go home. On the way he rescues his brothers from the scaffold by waving his sword, and is robbed and thrown into a well by them. Thence he is rescued by the fox, which comes at his call, and before it disappears explains that it is the ghost. Meanwhile, the older brothers have cured the king by the water of life in a phial; so when the hero comes home he is not believed. In a year and a day the princess arrives there according to her promise, and with a little son. At a feast she proclaims the truth, cuts her husband into bits, sprinkles the heap of fragments with the water of life, and marries the handsome youth who at once arisesthe humpback transformed. 1
According to Simrock IX., finally, the three sons of a king seek the bird phoenix to cure their blind father. The two elder enter the castle of a beautiful maiden, and are lost; but the youngest resists the temptation, and takes lodging at an inn. There at night he is startled by a ghost, which tells him that it is the spirit of a man whom the host has buried in the cellar for non-payment of a score, and which implores his help. The youth arranges for payment of the debt and for proper burial, then goes his way. In the wood he meets a wolf, which instructs him how to find the bird phoenix in a cage in
the magical castle, and carries him thither. Because he fails to take the worse-looking bird according to instructions, he has to get a steed as swift as wind for the lord of the castle. Again he is disobedient when told to take the worst-looking horse only, and so has to get the most beautiful woman in the world for the lord of this castle. Again he is brought by the wolf to a castle, where he obediently chooses a black maiden instead of one who is apparently beautiful. With maiden, horse, and bird he turns home. The wolf in parting from him explains that it is the ghost of the dead man, and warns him not to buy gallows flesh. When he meets his brothers on their way to be hanged, however, he forgets this, and ransoms them. In return he is nearly murdered by them and left for dead, but is rescued and healed by the wolf, and so at last reaches his destination.
In none of these nine stories is the burial of the dead, one of the two most fundamental features of our leading motive, in any way obscured. They are thus less difficult to treat than was the preceding group, in spite of the added complications introduced by the advent of the helpful animal. This creature should naturally take the rôle of the ghost, appear as the embodiment of the dead man's soul indeed; and with but two exceptions 1 it actually fulfils the part. In those two there has been, apparently, imperfect amalgamation, so that the helper is duplicated, and the motivation obscured. In Walewein, a literary version, consciously adapted to the requirements of a roman daventure, this need excite no wonder. The ghost does its part properly, and the fox is merely an additional agency in the service of the hero, acting out of pure kindness of heart 2 as far as one can see. Lotharingian, not contented with duplicating the trait, triplicates it.
[paragraph continues] The fox, as in the ordinary form of The Thankful Beasts, helps the hero because of a benefit received; the shepherd bestows magical gifts, as in a common type of The Water of Life, because of the hero's kindness; while the dead debtor remains inactive after the burial, and plays no further part in the narrative.
As for The Water of Life, there are fewer complications in this group than in that where the thankful beast does not appear. In all of the variants some of the fundamental traits of the theme remain intact. In all save Walewein and Brazilian (which is a degenerate form presumably carried across the sea by Spaniards or Portuguese) the three brothers set out from home in quite the normal way. Walewein again lacks the water of life, which Brazilian retains. All the other versions, save Tuscan, keep this water or replace it by some other restorative agency. Two variants only fail to make the older brothers act treacherously towards the hero, these being again Walewein and Brazilian. The former thus lacks three of the essentials of the theme, the latter two. Yet since Walewein makes the hero win his princess by going on from adventure to adventure quite in the normal manner, and since Brazilian makes him obtain both water of life and princess, though with loss of interesting details, we are surely justified in placing both in this category.
It is worth our while to note in this connection that all these nine variants come from southern Europe, directly or by derivation. 1 Geographical proximity, though not sufficient in itself as a basis of classification, adds welcome confirmation to other proof in cases like this, where a small group of highly complicated tales is found to exist in neighbouring countries only. That
[paragraph continues] Walewein can be connected with this specialized subdivision has important bearings on the question whence the material for that romance was taken. In view of the limited territory which this form of the story has covered as a folk-tale in six hundred years, and the fact that France would be the centre of the region, it seems fair to assume that some thirteenth century French writer took a märchen of his own land as the basis for his work, thus elaborating with native material the adventures of a Celtic hero.
The question now arises as to what light the group just considered throws upon the variants which combine the simple theme of The Grateful Dead with The Water of Life or some such motive. It appeared, the reader will remember, that according to the elements foreign to the main motive they must be separated into four classes. Reference to these classes 1 will show that the variants with The Thankful Beasts are in many respects different from any one of them as far as the features peculiar to The Water of Life, or kindred themes, are concerned. Yet because Maltese and the brief Venetian, though otherwise transformed, are the only tales aside from these 2 that preserve the treachery of the hero's brothers, it is safe to class them together. Both Maltese and Venetian come, it will be observed, from the same general region as all the other members of the group.
Since the elements left by subtracting The Grateful Dead from the variants of the four categories thus discovered are very diverse, we cannot postulate a parent form from which all four classes might have sprung. Indeed, the evidence thus far obtained all points to a separate combination of already developed themes with The Grateful Dead. The test of this will be found in
an examination of those variants of those larger compounds, which have also traces of The Water of Life or some allied motive.
Turning first to such versions of the combination The Grateful Dead + The Poison Maiden, we find eleven on our list, all of which have already been summarized and discussed in connection with the simple compound. 1 These are Esthonian II., Rumanian I., Irish I., Irish II., Irish III., Danish III., Norwegian II., Simrock X., Harz I., Jack the Giant-Killer, and Old Wives Tale. Since we know definitely that Danish III. (the tale by Christian Andersen) was taken from Norwegian II., it may be left out of account. Ten variants thus remain to be studied with reference to the subsidiary elements.
In Esthonian II. the hero releases a princess, who goes with devils every night to church, by watching in the church for three nights with three, six, and twelve candles on successive nights. In Rumanian I. the hero wins a princess by explaining why she wears out twelve pairs of slippers every night; and he accomplishes this by the aid of his helper, who follows the lady in the form of a cat, and picks up the handkerchief, spoon, and ring which she drops in the house of the dragons. According to Irish I. the helper obtains for the hero horses of gold and silver, a sword of light, a cloak of darkness, and a pair of slippery shoes; he helps him keep over night a comb and a pair of scissors, in spite of enchantment, and finally gets the lips of the giant enchanter, so that the hero unspells and wins the lady of his quest. In Irish II. the hero is joined by a green man (the grateful dead), a gunner, a listener, a blower, and a strong man. By the aid of the first he gives his princess a pair of scissors, a comb, and the enchanter's head; by the aid of the others he obtains water from the well of the western world, and is enabled to walk over three miles of needles. Irish III.
has a helper who obtains for the hero a sword, a cloak of darkness, and swift shoes, rescues a pair of scissors, and obtains the enchanter's head, while the hero wins a race by the aid of the shoes. According to Norwegian II. the hero and helper get a sword, a ball of yarn, and a hat, while the latter follows the princess and rescues a pair of scissors and a ball, finally obtaining the troll's head. In Simrock X. the helper secures three rods, a sword, and a pair of wings, follows the princess, and learns how to answer her riddles, emphasizing his knowledge by getting the wizard's head. Harz I. has the helper give wings and a rod to the hero, who flies with the princess and learns to guess her riddles, cutting off the monster's head. In Jack the Giant-Killer Jack obtains gold, a coat and cap, a sword, and a pair of slippers for his master, follows the princess, and secures the handkerchief and the demon's head, which are requisite to the unspelling. Finally, according to Old Wives Tale, the helper, while invisible, slays the conjuror, and so obtains the princess for his master.
It will at once be recognized that all of these variants are of one type as far as the traits just specified are concerned. The basal element is the hero's success in winning an enchanted princess either by accomplishing difficult feats or answering riddles. The water of life, as such, appears in only one story, Irish II., and there not as the prime goal of the hero's quest, but merely as the object of a subsidiary labour. Clearly these tales not only form a group by themselves, but have in combination with The Grateful Dead and The Poison Maiden a theme which is not properly The Water of Life. This theme is as clearly The Lady and the Monster, 1 which is closely allied to The Water of Life, but is essentially distinct. It has already been found compounded with the simple form of The Grateful Dead in the somewhat
degenerate and literary Straparola II., 1 though the method by which the enchanted princess was won in that variant was different from that given in the present group.
Within the group there are minor differences with reference to the manner of unspelling the princess, which resolve themselves either, on the one hand, into the hero's keeping or obtaining something for her, or, on the other, into his guessing the object of her thoughts. These details are not, however, of much importance for the purpose in hand, though they might become so if an attempt were made to sub-divide the group. Thus Esthonian II. is decidedly unusual in its treatment of the matter just mentioned. Irish I. has traces of the Sword of Light 2 and of The Two Friends. 3 In Harz I. the hero himself follows the princess instead of leaving the actual work of unspelling to the helper, as is elsewhere the case. Irish II., finally, is peculiar not only in bringing in The Water of Life, as mentioned above, but also the motive of The Skilful Companions, which we have already met with in Sicilian and Harz II. 4
Irish II. is, indeed, of great importance to our study at this point. It is in some way a link between Sicilian and Harz II. and the subdivision now under discussion. Furthermore, the fact that Straparola II. has some traits of The Lady and the Monster in common with all the members of the group under consideration shows that it can safely be placed in the same category as Sicilian and Harz II. Though the feats by which the princess is won are somewhat different in the last-named variants from the feats in Straparola II. on the one hand and in the compound The Grateful Dead + The Poison Maiden + The Water of Life (The Lady and the Monster) on the other, there can be little doubt, it seems
to me, that all of them belong together. Irish II. by the introduction of The Skilful Companions thus furnishes a clue by which the tales having the compound just mentioned may be classed with two varieties of the simple combination, and permits us to reduce the total number of categories with reference to The Water of Life from four to three.
Before proceeding to a general discussion of the means by which this theme was brought into connection with The Grateful Dead and the comparative date of the combination or series of combinations, it is necessary to examine four other versions,those which have the form The Grateful Dead + The Ransomed Woman + The Water of Life. Like the group just treated, all of them have been summarized and discussed with reference to the prime features of the compound. 1 They are Bohemian, Simrock I., Simrock III., and Simrock VII.
The elements of these variants, apart from those due to the main compound, are as follows. In Bohemian the hero is given a flute and a captive princess by his helper, and escapes with them from prison. Later he is cast into the sea by a rival, but is rescued by the helper and given a wishing ring. By means of this ring he turns first into an eagle and afterwards into an old man, and succeeds in winning the princess by building and painting a church. In Simrock I. the hero is rescued by the helper after being cast overboard by a rival, and is given the power of obtaining his wishes. Thereby he paints three rooms to the liking of the princess, and is recognized by her. Simrock III. differs from this only in making the helper do the painting and in having one room painted instead of three. In Simrock VII., finally, the hero releases a princess by hewing trees, separating grain, and choosing his mistress among three hundred women, all without aid. Later he is rescued
from the sea and recognized by means of a ring and a handkerchief.
The first three of these variants clearly show in the subsidiary elements just enumerated their relationship to The Water of Life. They lack the quest for some magical fountain or bird, to be sure, but they preserve the quest for the lady, which is an important factor in the märchen. Of the three, Bohemian has the most extended and probably the best presentation of the details of the difficult courtship; and it gives the hero that power of metamorphosis which was noted in four variants of the type The Grateful Dead + The Water of Life simply. It may, therefore, on the basis of general and particular resemblance be classed with Polish, Hungarian I., Rumanian II., and Treu Heinrich. 1 Along with it, of course, go the briefer Simrock I. and Simrock III. There is this important difference between the two sets of tales, that in the simpler form the princess is won by the hero's success in bringing something from a distance, in the more complicated form by building and decorating. Yet the resemblance is sufficient to warrant the classification proposed.
With Simrock VII. the case is altogether different. There the subsidiary elements are connected with The Lady and the Monster rather than The Water of Life proper, yet not with that theme as it appears in combination with The Poison Maiden, 2 since in that group the hero disenchants the princess by guessing some secret, here by performing two feats of prowess or discrimination and by choosing the proper lady from a host of maidens. With Straparola II., however, which has the simpler combination The Grateful Dead + The Lady and the Monster, the resemblance is very close, 3 as both have the happily directed choice. The complicated Simrock VII. thus falls into the same category with reference
to this matter as Straparola II., Sicilian, and Harz II., and the group having the form The Grateful Dead + The Poison Maiden + The Water of Life (The Lady and the Monster specifically).
A summary of our three categories will be of service in discussing their relations to one another and to the themes with which The Water of Life or The Lady and the Monster are combined.
Bohemian, Simrock I., Simrock III. (With The Ransomed Woman.)
All recorded variants with The Poison Maiden.
Simrock VII. (With The Ransomed Woman.)
All variants with The Thankful Beasts.
Class I. forms a territorially homogeneous group, all the members of it coming from eastern and central Europe. It is not altogether homogeneous in content, but preserves the theme of The Water of Life proper in a form where the hero wins a princess by means, among other feats, of metamorphosis. Class II. is the most widespread of all territorially, as its members come from all parts of Europe. It has instead of The Water of Life proper what must be regarded, in the present
state of the evidence, as the closely allied theme of The Lady and the Monster. Class III., the most compact of all in the region that it inhabits, preserves The Water of Life better than any other group, though not without frequent admixture and, in many instances, the loss of some elements.
It has been stated above 1 that it would be hard to imagine such various traits coming from a single type of story. This becomes even more evident from the tabulation just made. To suppose that The Grateful Dead first united with The Water of Life, and that this compound gave rise to the varieties, as enumerated, would involve us in the direst confusion. If such were the case, how could Class II. with its introduction of The Lady and the Monster be explained? Why, moreover, should one variant having The Ransomed Woman fall into Class II., while three others fall into Class I.? Such an assumption, it is clear, would be self-destructive.
The only alternative is to suppose that The Water of Life entered into combination with simple or compound types of The Grateful Dead at more than one time and in more than one region. That The Grateful Dead united with The Poison Maiden and The Ransomed Woman rather early and quite independently abundant evidence goes to show; that The Water of Life is an independent motive and that, like at least two of the other themes, it was of Asiatic origin has likewise been made clear; that the latter could not have united with The Grateful Dead so early as did The Poison Maiden and The Ransomed Woman is proved by the discrepancies noted above. If it be assumed, on the contrary, that after the compounds The Grateful Dead + The Poison Maiden and The Ransomed Woman had arisen, both they and the simple theme in one or another form came into connection with one or another
form of The Water of Life our difficulties are in great measure resolved.
With this in mind let us consider the three categories. Sometime before the fourteenth century 1 The Water of Life, perhaps in a rather peculiar form, came into contact with The Grateful Dead, both simple and combined with The Ransomed Woman, 2 in eastern or central Europe. With each form it seems to have united, giving rise in the century named to the German romance of Treu Heinrich and the legend of Nicholas by Gobius, as well as, sooner or later, to the folk-tales with which it has been found combined in those regions within the past hundred years. The territorial limitation of the resulting type is a point in the favour of the proposed theory, though I cannot but be aware that this may be disturbed by a variant outside the seemingly fixed circle. Yet even so, the relation of the variants of Class I. to the themes concerned appears to be pretty definitely established. With Class III. the matter is even simpler. According to my view, some form of The Grateful Dead, more or less confused with one of the countless versions of The Thankful Beasts met with a very clear type of The Water of Life in southern or south-western Europe by or before the thirteenth century. 3 With this it united and gave rise to an Old French romance (later turned into Dutch) and to a considerable body of folk-tales, which have not strayed far from the point of departure save in one instance, 4 where the means of transmission is not difficult to ascertain. Apparently the thankful beast was not absolutely in solution, since in Maltese and Venetian the human ghost resumes its characteristic rôle. 5 With Class
[paragraph continues] II. the case is different and more difficult of explanation. Here the compound has no definite territorial limits, and it is besides of a very complicated character. We have to suppose that The Lady and the Monster, a märchen allied to The Water of Life, was afloat in Europe somewhat before the early sixteenth century. 1 There it met and united with The Grateful Dead, in its simple form on the one hand, giving rise to three of our variants, and on the other hand separately with the compounds having The Poison Maiden and The Ransomed Woman. The former double compound must have been made fairly early, 2 since it has been found in such widely separated countries as Rumania and Ireland, and furnished one of the most important elements to the making of a sixteenth century English play, Peele's Old Wives Tale. The second of the double compounds is unfortunately represented on our list by a single folk-tale only, and may possibly be a later formation.
Such, then, seems to be the relationship of The Water of Life and allied motives to the main theme of our study,purely subsidiary and relatively late. The theory which has been proposed involves the necessity of placing the entrance of the Semitic märchen into Europe not much earlier than the twelfth century, though such matters of chronology must be left somewhat to speculation; it shows the points of contact between the various motives concerned; and it avoids contradictions of space and time. Writer and reader may perhaps congratulate themselves on finding so clear a road through the maze. Should subsequent discovery of material necessitate modification of the views here expressed, it should be welcomed by both with equal pleasure.
119:1 The most adequate treatment of the motive yet published is by August Wünsche, Die Sagen vom Lebensbaum and Lebenswasser, 1905, pp. 90-104. This is the same study which had previously been printed in the Zts. f. vergleichende Litteraturgeschichte, 1899, N.F. xiii. 166-180, but is furnished with a new introduction and a few additional illustrations. Dr. Wünsche's monograph, thoroughgoing and conclusive as it is with reference to the myths of the Tree of Life and the Water of Life, leaves much to be desired as an account of the folk-tale based on the latter belief. He himself says in his preface, p. iv: "Man sieht auch daraus, dass es sich um Wanderstoffe handelt, an die sich immer neue Elemente ankristallisiert haben." These elements he has not studied with any degree of completeness. Thus, for example, he does not use Cosquin's valuable contributions in Contes populaires de Lorraine, i. 212-222, which would have given him valuable assistance. The theme yet awaits definitive treatment.
119:2 See Wünsche, p. 92.
119:3 P. 71.
119:4 "The Fountain of Youth," Journal of the American Oriental Society, xxvi. 1st half, 19 and 55.
119:5 Hopkins, pp. 19, 42, 55, etc.
120:1 Wünsche, p. iii: "Es sind altorientalische Mythen, die in alle Kulturreligionen übergangen sind. Zeit und Ort haben ihnen ein sehr verschiedenes Gepräge gegeben, der Grundgedanke ist derselbe geblieben."
120:2 P. 71. See also Hopkins, p. 55.
121:1 Contes populaires de Lorraine, i. 213.
121:2 Pp. 90 f.
123:1 See pp. 125-127 below.
124:1 Pp. 212-214. He regards the story in Wolf, Hausmärchen, p. 230, as linking the two.
124:2 P. 91. Cosquin, it will be noted, makes the fruit an alternative of the water of life.
124:3 For example, "The Baker's Three Daughters" in Mrs. M. Carey's Fairy Legends of the French Provinces, 1887, pp. 86 ff., unites the water of life with both the magical apples and the bird.
125:1 The need of such a study may be shown by stating that, while Wünsche has treated about thirty variants, I know at present of something like four times that number.
125:2 See p. 118 above.
125:3 This well-known märchen has been treated by various scholars, most recently by G. L. Kittredge, in Arthur and Gorlagon (Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, viii.) 1903, pp. 226 f., from whom I take the liberty of transcribing the following references, some of which would otherwise be unknown to me. In note 2 to p. 226 he says: "See Benfey, Das Märchen von den 'Menschen mit den wunderbaren Eigenschaften,' Ausland, 1858, pp. 969 ff. (Kleinere Schriften II. iii. 94 ff.); Wesselofsky, in Giovanni da Prato, Il Paradiso degli Alberti, 1867, I. ii. 238 ff.; dAncona, Studj di Critica e Storia Letteraria, 1880, pp. 357-358; Köhler-Bolte, Ztsch. des Ver. f. Volkskunde, vi. 77; Köhler, Kleinere Schriften, i. 192 ff., 298 ff., 389-390, 431, 544; ii. 591; Cosquin, Contes pop. de Lorraine, i. 23 ff.; Crane, Italian Popular Tales, p. 67; Nutt, in Macinnes, Folk and Hero Tales, pp. 445 ff.; Laistner, Rätsel der Sphinx ii. 357 ff.; Steel, Tales of the Punjab, pp. 42 ff.; Jurkschat, Litauische Märchen, pp. 29 ff.; etc." A peculiarly interesting specimen is that in Bladé, Contes pop. de la Gascogne, 1886, iii. 12-22. See also Luzel, Contes pop. de Basse-Bretagne, 1887, iii. 296-311; Carnoy and Nicolaides, Traditions pop. de lAsie Mineure, 1889, pp. 43-56; and Goldschmidt, Russische Märchen, 1883, pp. 69-78.
126:1 So I venture to call the story of the woman, who through enchantment or her own bad taste is the mistress of an ogre or some other monster. She is rescued by a hero, who is able to solve the extraordinary riddles or to accomplish the apparently impossible tasks which she sets him at the advice of the monster, after other suitors have perished in the attempt. See Kittredge, Arthur and Gorlagon, p. 250 (note to p. 249); Wesselofsky, Arch. f. slav. Phil. vi. 594. A good specimen tale is "The Magic Turban" in R. Nisbet Bain's Turkish Fairy Tales, 1901, pp. 102-111.
126:2 Kittredge thus summarizes the tale (work cited, p. 226): "Three or more brothers (or comrades) are suitors for the hand of a beautiful girl. While her father is deliberating, the girl disappears. The companions undertake to recover her. One of them, by contemplation (or by keenness. of sight), finds that she has been stolen by a demon (or dragon) and taken to his abode on a rock in the sea. Another builds a ship by his magic (or possesses a magic ship) which instantly transports them to the rock. Another, who is a skilful climber, ascends the castle and finds that the monster is asleep with his head in the maiden's lap. Another, a master thief, steals the girl without waking her captor. They embark, but are pursued by the monster. One of the companions, an unerring shot, kills. the pursuer with an arrow. The girl is restored to her parents." This analysis would not hold for all variants, even when uncompounded (e.g. Grimm, Kinder- and Hausmärchen, No. 71, "Sechse kommen durch die ganze Welt") but a better could scarcely be made without a systematic study of the type. As Kittredge notes, the companions are not at all constant in number and function.
132:1 Hungarian I., Rumanian II., Straparola II., Sicilian, and Treu Heinrich.
133:1 Thus Hungarian I. and Rumanian II. with Polish, Sicilian with Harz II.
133:2 Possibly a trace of some such story as The Quest of the Sword of Light discussed by Kittredge, Arthur and Gorlagon, pp. 214 ff.
134:1 Since twelve brothers set out to win twelve sisters, there is probably a union here with the widespread tale of The Brothers and Sisters.
134:2 The ship that will travel equally well on land and water is seemingly a common trait in forms of The Skilful Companions. See the variant cited from Bladé on p. 125, note 3. It occurs in a curious tale from Mauritius, given by Baissac, Le Folk-lore de lÎle-Maurice, 1888, p. 78.
134:3 For examples of stories in which a king's son liberates one or more prisoners, and has the service returned in an emergency, see Child, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, v. 42-48.
135:1 See Jonckbloet, ii. 131 ff.
135:2 Paris, Hist. litt. de la France, xxx. 82.
140:1 The only instance known to me where such transformation occurs with reference to the hero.
141:1 Walewein and Lotharingian.
141:2 Like the wolf in Guillaume de Palerne, which is likewise a transformed prince.
142:1 Lotharingian comes from a region farther north than any other, since the Dutch romance is merely a translation from Old French. Simrock IX. is from Tyrol.
143:1 See pp. 133-135.
143:2 I include all the tales treated in this chapter.
144:1 See pp. 58-73.
145:1 See p. 126, note 1.
146:1 See p. 134.
146:2 See p. 133, note 2.
146:3 See pp. 92 ff. above, and pp. 156-158 below.
146:4 With the form The Grateful Dead + The Water of Life simply.
147:1 Pp. 107 f., 111-115.
148:1 See pp. 133 f.
148:2 See pp. 145-147.
148:3 See pp. 146 f.
150:1 P. 143.
151:1 The date of Treu Heinrich. This gives the date a quo.
151:2 The compound existed before the fourteenth century certainly. See pp. 117f.
151:3 The date is here determined by the existence of Walewein.
151:5 Venetian has, however, united with other material, which may account for this in the one case.
152:1 The date of Straparola, one of whose stories belongs to this class.
152:2 The compound The Grateful Dead + The Poison Maiden had been in existence since the end of the first century, as Tobit proves.