[PAGE] [PAGE]
JACK
AND
THE BEAN-STALK.

IN days of yore, there lived a widow who had a
son, named Jack. Being an only child, he was
too much indulged, and became so extravagant
and careless, that he wasted the property which
his mother possessed, until at last there remained
only a cow, the chief support of her and her son.

One day the poor woman, with tears in her
eyes, said to Jack, "O, you wicked child, by your
ungrateful course in life, you have brought me to
beggary in my old age: Cruel boy! I have not
money to buy even a bit of bread, and we must
now sell the cow. I am grieved to part with her,
but I cannot see you starve."

Jack felt somewhat remorse, but having less affec-
tion for the cow than his mother had, he drove
her to the nearest market town, where he met a
butcher, who made a very curious offer for her.
"Your cow," said he, "you young prodigal dog!
is worth nothing; you have starved her until she
would disgrace the shambles; and, as to milk, no
wonder that you and your mother have been
starving while you were depending upon that
supply. One ill turn deserves another, and re-
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ceives it just as surely as one good turn deserves
another. But you shall not take back the cow
to perish with hunger. I have got some beans in
my pocket; they are the oddest I ever saw, not
one of them being, either in colour or shape, like
another; if you will take them in exchange for
the cow, you may have them."

The silly boy could not conceal the pleasure
he felt at the offer. The bargain was struck, and
the cow exchanged for a few paltry beans. Jack
made the best of his way home, calling to his
mother, before he reached the house, thinking to
surprise her. When she saw the beans, and heard
Jack's story, her patience quite forsook her; she
kicked the beans away in a passion; they flew
in all directions,--some were scattered in the
garden. Not having anything to eat, they both
went supperless to bed.

Jack awoke early in the morning, and seeing
something uncommon in the garden, soon disco-
vered that some of the beans had taken root, and
sprung up surprisingly; the stalks were of great
thickness, and had so entwined, that they formed
a ladder, nearly like a chain in appearance.

Looking upwards he could not discern the
top; it appeared to be lost in the clouds. He
tried the bean stalks, found them firm and
not to be shaken. He quickly formed the
resolution of climbing to the top, to seek his for-
tune, and ran to communicate his intention to his
mother, not doubting but she would be equally
pleased with himself. She declared he should
not go: said it would break her heart if
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he did--entreated and threatened, but all in
vain

Jack set out, and after climbing for some hours,
reached the top of the bean stalk quite fatigued.
Looking around, he found himself in a strange
country. It appeared to be a desert, quite barren;
not a tree, shrub, house, or living creature to be
seen.

Jack seated himself upon a stone, and thought
of his mother: he reflected with sorrow on his
disobedience in climbing the bean-stalk against her
will, and concluded that he must die of hunger.

However, he walked on, hoping to see a house,
where he might beg something to eat and drink.
Presently a handsome young woman appeared at
a distance. As she approached, Jack could not
help admiring how beautiful she looked: she was
dressed in the most elegant manner, and had a
white wand in her hand, on the top of which was
a peacock of pure gold. While Jack was look-
ing with the greatest surprise at this charming
female, with a smile of the most bewitching
sweetness, she inquired how he came there? Jack
told how he had climbed up the bean-stalk. She
asked him if he recollected his father? He an-
swered that he did not; and added, that he had
inquired of his mother, who or where his father
was, but that she avoided answering him, and
even seemed afraid of speaking, as if there was
some secret connected with his father's history.

The lady replied, "I will reveal the whole
story; your mother must not. But, before I be-
gin, I require a solemn promise, on your part, to
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do what I command. I am a fairy, and if you
do not perform exactly what I desire, you will be
destroyed." Jack promised to obey her injunc-
tions, and the fairy thus addressed him:--

"Your father was a rich and benevolent man;
he was good to the poor, and constantly re-
lieving them; he never let a day pass without
doing good to some person. On one particular
day in the week he kept open house, and invited
those who were reduced and had lived well. He
always sat at the table with them himself, and did
all he could to render his guests comfortable.
The servants were all happy, and greatly attach-
ed to their master and mistress. Such a man was
soon known and talked of. A giant lived a great
many miles off, who was altogether as wicked as
your father was good: he was envious, covetous,
and cruel, but had the art of concealing those
vices.

"Hearing your father spoken of, he formed
the design of becoming acquainted with him,
hoping to ingratiate himself into your father's
favour. He removed quickly into your neigh-
bourhood, caused it to be reported that he had
lost all he possessed by an earthquake, and found
it difficult to escape with his life; his wife was
with him. Your father believed his story, and
pitied him; he gave him apartments in his own
house, and caused him and his wife to be treated
hospitably, little imagining that the giant was
meditating a horrid return for all his favours.

"Things went on in his way for some time;
the giant becoming daily more impatient to put
[PAGE]
his plan into execution. At last an opportunity
presented itself. Your father s house was at some
distance from the sea-shore, but the giant, stand-
ing on a hill one stormy day, observed some ships
in distress off the rocks; he hastened to your
father, and requested that he would send all the
people he could spare to relieve the mariners.

"While the servants were all employed upon
this service, the giant despatched your father, by
stabbing him with a dagger. You were then
only three months old, and your mother, upon
discovering what had happened, fainted, but still
clasping you in her arms. The giant, who in-
tended to murder both of you, having found her
in that state, for a short time repented of the
dreadful crime he had committed, and granted
your mother and you your lives, but only upon
condition that she should never inform you who
your father was, nor answer any questions con-
cerning him; assuring her, that, if she did, he
would certainly put both of you to death in the
most cruel manner. Your mother took you in
her arms, and fled as quickly as possible. Having
gained your father's confidence, he knew where
to find all his treasure. He and his wife soon
carried off two large chests, filled with gold, which
they could not have done unless they had been
giants, and, having set the house on fire in several
places, when the servants returned, it was burned
quite down to the ground.


"Your poor mother wandered with you a great
many miles from this scene of desolation; fear
added to her haste; she settled in the cottage
[PAGE]
where you were brought up, and it was entirely
owing to her fear of the giant that she never men-
tioned your father to you.

"I became your father's guardian at his birth;
but fairies have laws to which they are subject
as well as mortals. A short time before the giant
went to your father's, I transgressed; my punish-
ment was a suspension of power for a limited
time--an unfortunate circumstance, as it totally
prevented my succouring your father.

"The day on which you met the butcher, as
you went to sell your mother's cow, my power
was restored; and, as I had been told by Oberon,
the King of the Fairies, how dreadful were the
consequences to your father of my single error, I
resolved to take you under my protection, and to
be more circumspect in future. It was I who
secretly prompted you to take the beans in ex-
change for the cow.

"By my power the bean-stalk grew to so great
a height, and formed a ladder. I need not add,
that I inspired you with a strong desire to ascend
the ladder.

"The giant now lives in this country; you are
the person appointed to punish him for all his
wickedness. You will have dangers and difficult-
ties to encounter, but you must persevere in
avenging the death of your father, or you will
not prosper in any of your unde takings, but be
always miserable.

"As to the giant's possessions, you may seize on
all you can, for every thing he has belongs either
to you or to me; for you must know, that, not
[PAGE]
satisfied with the gold he carried off from your
father, he broke into my house, and stole the two
greatest curiosities ever possessed even by a fairy,
and would have killed me as he did your father,
if it could have been possible to kill a fairy. One
thing I desire,--do not let your mother know you
are acquainted with your father's history till you
see me again.

"Go along the direct road; you will soon see
the house where your cruel enemy lives. While
you do as I order you, I will protect and guard
you; but, remember, if you disobey my commands
a most dreadful punishment awaits you."

When the fairy had concluded, she disappear-
ed, leaving Jack to pursue his journey. He
walked on till after sunset, when, to his great joy,
he espied a large mansion. A plain looking wo-
man was at the door; he accosted her begging
she would give him a morsel of bread and a night's
lodging. She expressed the greatest surprise at
seeing him; and said it was quite uncommon to
see a human being near their house, for it was
well known that her husband was a large and
powerful giant, and that he would never eat any-
thing but human flesh, if he possibly could get it;
that he did not think any thing of walking fifty
miles to procure it.

This account greatly terrified Jack, but he
still hoped to elude the giant, and therefore he
again entreated the woman to take him in for
one night only, and hide him where she thought
proper. The woman at last suffered herself to
be persuaded, for although she had assisted in
[PAGE]
the murder of Jack's father, and in stealing the
gold, she was of a compassionate and generous
disposition, and took him into the house.

First, they entered a fine large hall, magnificently
furnished; they then passed through several spa-
cious rooms, all in the same style of grandeur.

A long gallery was next; it was very dark,
just light enough to show that, instead of a wall
on one side, there was a grating of iron, which
parted off a dismal dungeon, whence issued the
groans of those poor victims whom the cruel
giant reserved in confinement for his own voraci-
ous appetite.

Poor Jack was half dead with fear, and would
have given the world to have been with his
mother again, for he now began to fear that he
should never see her more, and gave himself up
for lost; he even mistrusted the giant's wife, and
thought she had let him into the house for no
other purpose than to lock him up among the un-
fortunate people in the dungeon.

At the farther end of the gallery there was a
spacious kitchen, and a fire was burning in the
grate. The good woman bade Jack sit down,
and gave him plenty to eat and drink. Jack,
not seeing any thing here to make him uncom-
fortable, soon forgot his fear, and was beginning
to enjoy himself, when he was aroused by a loud
knocking at the door, which made the whole
house shake; the giant's wife ran to secure him
in the oven, and then went to let her husband in.

Jack heard him accost her in a voice like thun-
der, saying "Wife, I smell fresh meat."--Oh!
[PAGE]
my dear," replied she, "it's only the people in
the dungeon." The giant appeared to believe
her, and walked into the kitchen, where poor
Jack lay concealed, shaking with fear, and tremb-
ling in every limb.

At last, the monster seated himself by the fire-
side, whilst his wife prepared supper. By de-
grees Jack took courage to look at the giant
through a small crevice: he was quite astonished
to see what an amazing quantity he devoured, and
thought he never would have done eating and
drinking. When supper was ended, the giant
desired his wife to bring him his hen, which was
one of the curiosities he had stolen from the fairy.
A very beautiful hen was brought, and placed
on the table before him. Jack's curiosity was
very great to see what would happen:--he
observed that every time the giant said, "Lay!"
the hen laid an egg of solid gold.

The giant amused himself a long time with his
hen, meanwhile his wife went to bed. At length
the giant fell asleep by the fireside, and snored
like the roaring of a cannon. At daybreak, Jack,
finding the giant still asleep, crept softly out of
his hiding-place, seized the hen, and ran off with
her.

He easily found the way to the bean-stalk, and
descended it more quickly than he expected. His
mother was overjoyed to see him; for she con-
cluded he had come to some shocking end.

Jack was impatient to show his hen, and in-
from his mother how valuable it was.

[PAGE]
"And now, mother," said Jack, "I have
brought home that which will quickly make us
rich, and I hope to make you some amends for
the affliction I have caused you through any idle-
ness and extravagance."

The hen produced as many golden eggs as they
desired: and so they became possessed of immense
riches.

For some months, Jack and his mother lived
very happily together; but he, recollecting the
fairyıs commands, and fearing that, if he delayed
to avenge his father's death, she would put her
threats into execution, longed to climb the bean-
stalk again and pay the giant another visit. Jack
was, however, afraid to mention it to his mother,
being well assured that she would endeavour to
prevent his going. However, one day he told
her boldly that he must take a journey up the
bean-stalk. She begged and prayed him not to
think of it; she told him that the giant's wife
would certainly know him again, and that the
giant would desire nothing better than to get him
into his power, that he might put him to a cruel
death, in order to be revenged for the loss of his
hen.

Jack resolved to go at all events; for, being a
very clever fellow, although a very idle one, he
had no great dread of the giant, concluding, that
although he was a cannibal, he must be a very
stupid fellow not to have regained his hen, it be-
ing just as easy to come down the stupendous
bean-stalk as to ascend it. Jack, therefore, had
a dress made, not exactly invisible, like that of
[PAGE]
his illustrious namesake, the Giant-killer, but one
which so disguised him, that even

"The mother that him bore,
Would not have known her child."

In a few mornings after this, he rose very early,
changed his complexion, and unperceived by any
one, climbed the bean-stalk a second time. He
was greatly fatigued when he reached the top,
and very hungry, for, with his usual thoughtless-
ness, he forgot to take a piece of bread in his
pocket.

Here we are inclined to remark, that as he had
neither bread nor bacon, he must in his progress
have met with a good supply of beans. But per-
haps he never thought of this resource.

Having rested some time, he pursued his jour-
ney to the giant's mansion. He reached it late
in the evening; the woman was at the door as be-
fore. Jack addressed her, telling her a pitiful
tale, and requesting that she would give him some
victuals and drink, and also a nightıs lodging.

She told him (what he knew before very well)
about her husband's being a powerful and cruel
giant; and also that she one night admitted a
poor, hungry, friendless boy, who was half dead
with travelling; that the little ungrateful fellow
had stolen one of the giant's treasures; and ever
since that her husband had used her very cruelly,
and continually upbraided her with being the
cause of his loss. But at last she consented, and
took him into the kitchen, where, after he had
done eating and drinking, she hid him in an old
lumber closet. The giant returned at the usual
time and walked in so heavily, that the house
[PAGE]
was shaken to the foundation. He seated himself
by the fire, and soon after exclaimed, "Wife, I
smell fresh meat." The wife replied, "It was
the crows, which had brought a piece of raw meat,
and left it on the top of the house." The giant
was very ill-tempered and impatient, continually
crying for his supper, like little Tom Tucker, and
complaining of the loss of his wonderful hen,
which we verily believe he would have eaten, dis-
regarding the treasures which she produced. Jack
therefore rejoiced that he had not only got pos-
session of the hen, but had in all probability saved
her precious life.

The giant's wife at last set supper on the table,
and when he had eaten till he was satisfied, he
said to her--"I must have something to amuse
me--either my bags of money or my harp."
Jack, as before, peeped out of his hiding-place,
and presently his wife brought two bags into the
room, one filled with gold, the other with
silver.

They were both placed before the giant, who
began reprimanding his wife for staying so long.
She replied, trembling with fear, that the bags
were so heavy, that she could scarcely lift them
and adding, that she had nearly fainted, owing
to their weight.

The giant took his bags, and began to count
their contents. First the bag which contained the
silver was emptied, and the contents placed on the
table. Jack viewed the glittering heaps with
delight, and most heartily wished the contents in
his own possession. The giant (little thinking he
was so narrowly watched) reckoned the silver
[PAGE]
over several times: and having satisfied himself
that all was safe, put it into the bag again, which
he made very secure.

The other bag was opened next, and the gold
pieces placed on the table. If Jack was pleased
at the sight of the silver, how much more delight-
ed must he have felt when he saw such a heap of
glittering gold?

When the giant had counted over the gold till
he was tired, he put it up, if possible, more secure
than he had put up the silver before; he then fell
back on the chair by the fireside, and fell asleep.
He snored so loud, that Jack compared the noise
to the roaring of the sea in a high wind when the
tide is coming in. At last, Jack being certain
that he was asleep, stole out of his hiding-place,
and approached the giant, in order to carry off the
two bags of money; but, just as he laid his hand
upon on of the bags, a little dog, which he had
not perceived before, started from under the giant's
chair, and barked at Jack most furiously, who
now gave himself up for lost. But Jack, recol-
lecting that the giant had left the bones which he
had picked at supper, threw one to the dog, who
instantly seized it, and took it into the lumber closet
which Jack had just left.

Finding himself delivered from a noisy and
troublesome enemy, and seeing the giant did no
awake, Jack seized the bags, and throwing them
over his shoulders, ran out of the kitchen. He
reached the door in safety, and found it quite
daylight.

[PAGE]
Jack was overjoyed when he found himself
near the bean-stalk, although much incommoded
with the weight of the money bags, he soon reach-
ed the bottom, and immediately ran to seek his
mother. He was greatly shocked on finding her
apparently dying, and could scarcely hear his own
reflections, knowing himself to be the cause. On
being informed of Jack's safe return, his mother
gradually recovered. Jack presented her his two
valuable bags; and they lived as happily and
comfortably as ever.

For three years, notwithstanding the comforts
Jack enjoyed, his mind dwelt continually upon
the bean-stalk; for the fairy's menaces were ever
present to his mind, and prevented him from be-
ing happy. It was in vain he endeavoured to
amuse himself; he became thoughtful, and would
rise at the dawn of day, and view the bean-stalk
for hours together.

His inclination at length growing too powerful
for him, he began to make secret preparations for
his journey, and, on the longest day, arose as soon
as it was light, ascended the bean-stalk, and reach-
ed the top. He arrived at the giant's mansion in
the evening, and found his wife standing, as usual,
at the door. Jack had disguised himself so com-
pletely, that she did not appear to have the least
recollection of him, however, when he pleaded
hunger and poverty in order to gain admittance,
he found it very difficult indeed to persuade her.
At last, he prevailed and was concealed in the
oven.

[PAGE]
When the giant returned, he said, as upon the
former occasions, "I smell fresh meat!" But
Jack felt quite composed, as he had said so before,
and had been soon satisfied; however, the giant
started up suddenly, and notwithstanding all his
wife could say, he searched all around the room.
Jack was ready to die with fear, wishing himself
at home; the giant approached the oven, and put
his hand into it, Jack thought his death was certain.

The giant at last gave up the search and ate a
hearty supper. When he had finished, he com-
manded his wife to fetch down his harp. Jack
peeped as he had done before, and saw the
most beautiful harp that could be imagined; it was
placed by the giant on the table who said,
"Play!" and it instantly played of its own accord,
without being touched. The music was very
fine: Jack was delighted, and felt more anxious
to get the harp into his possession than either of
the former treasures.

The music soon lulled the giant into a sound
sleep. This, therefore, was the time to carry off
the harp. As the giant appeared to be in a more
profound sleep than usual, Jack soon determined,
got out of the oven, and seized the harp. The
harp had also been stolen by the giant from the
fairy.


The giant suddenly awoke, and tried to pursue
him, but he had drunk so much that he could
hardly stand. Jack ran as fast as he could; in a
little time the giant recovered sufficiently to walk
slowly, or rather to reel after him. Had he been
sober, he must have overtaken Jack instantly;
but, as he then was, Jack contrived to be first at
[PAGE]
the top of the bean-stalk. The giant called after
him in a voice like thunder, and sometimes was
very near him.

The moment Jack got down the bean-stalk, he
ran for the hatchet. Just at that instant the giant
was beginning to descend, but Jack with his
hatchet cut the bean stalk close off at the root,
which made the giant fall headlong into the
garden, and the fall killed him.

At this instant the fairy appeared: she charged
Jack to be dutiful to his mother, and to follow his
father's good example, which was the only way
to be happy. She then disappeared, after re-
covering her hen and her harp, which Jack gave
to her most thankfully, having acquired great
riches, and revenged the tragical death of his father.

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