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The Adventures of Jack the Giant-Killer

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The Adventures of Jack the Giant-Killer

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The Adventures of Jack the Giant-Killer

In the time of good King Arthur there lived in Cornwall l a farmer who had an only son named Jack. This young man was very strong, brave and clever.

In those days a terrible great giant named Cormoran lived in the mountains of Cornwall. He was very, very tall, strong and cruel, and the people of neighbouring towns and villages were greatly afraid of him. He lived in a cave in the middle of a mountain. When he wanted food, he went out to get it.

When the giant came to a town or a village, people ran away from their homes, and he seized their cattle. He could carry six oxen on his back at a time. And he tied the pigs and sheep to the belt round his waist. This went on for many years and nobody could do anything because the giant was too strong. So all the people in Cornwall became poor and unhappy.

One day Jack was at the town hall when the magistrates were sitting and talking about the giant.

"What will the man get who kills Cormoran?" asked Jack.

"He will get the giant's treasure," they answered.

"Then let me try," said Jack.

So he got a horn, a spade, and a pick 2 and went to the mountain where Cormoran lived. All evening and all night, while the giant was asleep, Jack dug a very, very deep and wide pit in front of the cave. Then he covered it over with long branches and straw, and put earth over it, so that it looked like ordinary ground. When all this was done, Jack sat down near the pit, away from the mouth of the cave 3 and waited.

Early in the morning, he put his horn to his mouth and blew hard. The loud noise of the horn woke the giant. He rushed from his cave and shouted:

"How dare you come here to disturb my rest? 4 You will pay dearly for it. I shall kill you and broil you for my breakfast."

But just as he shouted these words, he fell into the pit. He was very big and very heavy, and the mountain shook as he fell.

"Oh, Giant! Where are you now? Do you still think you will broil me for your breakfast?" shouted Jack. He laughed at the giant for a while, then he hit him hard on the head with the pick, and killed him. So that was the end of the terrible giant Cormoran.

Jack filled up the pit with earth, and went into the giant's cave. There he found a lot of treasure.

When the magistrates heard of Cormoran's death, they said:

 

 

 

"From this day everybody must call this young man Jack the Giant-Killer." And they gave him presents—a sword and a belt. On the belt there were words in golden letters:

Here is the brave Cornish man, Who killed the giant Cormoran.

The news of Jack's victory soon reached all the corners of the country. Another giant whose name was Blunderbore heard of it too and decided to revenge himself on Jack. 5 This giant lived in a large castle which stood in the middle of a dark wood.

Four months later Jack was walking through this wood on his way from Cornwall to Wales. 6 He was very tired, so he sat down beside a spring and fell fast asleep. While he was sleeping, the giant Blunderbore came to the spring for water and found him there. When the giant read the words on Jack's belt, he picked him up, threw him over his shoulders and carried him to his castle.

Now, as the giant was passing through the thick wood, Jack woke. He was very surprised and frightened to find himself on the shoulders of the giant. His fright became greater when the giant entered the castle, and Jack saw the place where human bones lay, and when the giant said, "And your bones, my fine man, will soon lie here, too." The giant did not want to eat poor Jack alone, so he locked him in a great room and went to fetch another giant, us brother, who lived in the same wood.

Jack looked carefully around the room. In a dark corner he found some good strong ropes. When he went to the window, he saw that the window was over the gate of the castle. Then far away he saw the two giants. They were coming о the castle.

"Now," said Jack to himself, "I'll die or I'll save myself." He took two of the ropes and made a strong loop at the end of each. 7 He stood at the window and watched the giants. Then, just as they were opening the iron gate of the castle, he threw a loop over the head of each of them. Then he pulled with all his strength. He pulled and he pulled and at last the giants fell to the ground, but they were still alive. So Jack climbed down the rope and killed them with his sword. After that he took the giant's keys and opened all the rooms of the castle. In the rooms he found three beautiful ladies who were almost starved to death. 8

 

 

 

"Dear ladies," said Jack, "I have killed the cruel giant and his brother. You are free now. These are the keys of the castle.". Then Jack left them and went on his way to Wales.

But after a while Jack lost his way. Night came on before he found a place to spend the night. At last he saw a large house, so he went up to it and knocked at the gate. What was his surprise when a terrible great giant with two heads came out! Now this was a Welsh giant 9 who was very cunning and liked to play cruel tricks on people. Jack explained to the giant that he had no place to sleep that night and the giant invited him in and led him to a bedroom. Late in the night Jack heard a voice in the next room. It was the giant's voice and he was saying these words:

"Though you lodge with me this night,

You shall not see the morning light:

My club shall dash your brains outright." 10

"That's what you want to do," Jack said to himself. "If that is your trick, I can be more cunning than you. I can play a better trick than that." So Jack got up out of his bed, put a long, thick piece of wood 11 in his place and hid in a corner of the room. Soon the giant crept in with his club and hit the bed hard several times with it. He was sure that he has broken every bone in Jack's body.

The next morning Jack, laughing in his sleeve, 12 thanked him for the night's rest.

"How did you sleep?" asked the giant. "Did you not feel anything in the night?"

"No," said Jack. "Nothing but a rat, which gave me two or three slaps with her tail." 13

The Welsh giant was greatly surprised, but he said nothing and led Jack to the breakfast table. He gave Jack a very, very big bowl full of porridge. Jack did not want to show the giant that it was too much for him. So he put a large leather bag under his loose coat, 14 in such a way that when he ate, he could put most of the porridge into the bag. The giant did not see what Jack was doing because he was very hungry and kept his eyes on his great bowl of porridge.

Then Jack said to the giant, "Now I'll show you a trick." And he took a knife, cut open the bag and out came all the porridge.

"Oh, I can do that trick myself!" cried the giant. And he took a knife and cut open his own belly, and at once fell down dead.

Some days after this, when Jack was on the road, he met a noble knight of King Arthur's court. The knight was on his way to save his lady from the enchantments of a wicked magician. 15 Jack offered to go with him. Together they had a lot of adventures. One day Jack won a fight with a three-headed giant and got the most wonderful magic things from him: the cap of knowledge which told you all that you want to know, the shoes of swiftness which made you the fastest man in the world, the coat of invisibility which made you invisible, and the sharp sword which cut anything in two parts. All these wonderful things helped Jack to break the enchantments 16 of the wicked magician and free the lady. The lady was very happy to return to her dear knight.

Then the knight and his lady and Jack went to King Arthur's court, where they were received with great joy. And Jack was made a Knight of the Round Table.

Jack now decided to rid the country of giants. 17 "There are still many bad giants in the country, " said Jack to King Arthur, "and I wish to kill them and save thousands of people."

The king listened to this noble wish, gave Jack all the things he needed and sent him on his way.

Jack rode over high hills and wonderful mountains, and after many days came upon a giant who was sitting in front of the cave where he lived. There was an iron club by his side. He was a horrible-looking giant. His eyes were like fire, his hair was like curled snakes. 18 Jack got down from his horse and put on his invisible coat. Then he went up close to the giant and said, "Oh, there you are! It will not be long before I kill you."

The giant could not see Jack, of course. Then Jack came nearer and killed the giant with his magic sword. After that he went into the giant's cave. He passed through many rooms, and came at last to a large room where there was a boiling copper 19 and a large table, at which the giant usually had his dinner. In the next room, behind an iron gate, Jack found a lot of captives. The unhappy captives told Jack that the giant had caught them and every day he killed and ate the fattest among them.

Jack opened the gate and let the captives go out. They were very happy to be free again. Then Jack found the giant's treasure and divided the gold and silver equally among all the captives. 20 After that he took the happy people to the neighbouring castle where they all had a feast and enjoyed themselves.

Some days later Jack heard that a giant with two heads, named Thunderdell was coming to the castle. He was the brother of the giant Jack had killed and he wanted to revenge himself on Jack. The castle was surrounded by a deep moat. 21 There was only one drawbridge over the moat. So Jack asked some men to cut through this bridge on both sides, nearly to the middle. 22 Then he put on his invisible coat, took his sharp sword and went to meet the giant not far from the castle. The giant could not see Jack, but he smelt him, and cried out these words:

"Fee, fi, fo, fum!

I smell the blood of an Englishman!

Be he alive or be he dead,

I'll grind his bones to make my bread!"

"So that's what you say!" said Jack. "Was it you who killed my brother?" shouted the giant. "I'll revenge myself on you! I'll kill now and eat you!" "You'll have to catch me first," said Jack. And he took off his invisible coat (so that the giant could see him), put on his shoes of swiftness and ran away from the giant, and the giant ran after him. The giant followed him, and the earth shook at every step. Jack ran and ran with the giant after him. Then Jack ran lightly over the drawbridge and the giant ran after him with his club. But, when the giant reached the middle of the bridge, it broke down, and Thunderdell fell into the water of the moat. Jack, who was standing near by, laughed at him as the giant tried to get out of the moat, but could not. At last Jack got a rope and threw it over the two heads of the giant, and pulled him out of the moat with the help of a few horses. Then Jack cut off both of the giant's heads with his sharp sword.

After this adventure Jack returned to the court of King Arthur and rested for a while.

After some time, however, Jack left King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and set out to seek new adventures. He passed through many woods and at last late at night, came to the foot of a high mountain. Here there was a little house and Jack knocked at the door. The door was opened by an old man whose hair was as white as snow.

"Father," said Jack., "have you a place to rest for a tired traveller?"

"Yes," said the old man, "you are welcome 23 to my poor house." So Jack went in and the old man gave Jack some food. Then he said:

"I see by your belt that you are that great Cornish man who has killed many giants. Now, my son, on the top of this mountain there is a castle, the castle of a giant whose name is Galligantua. With the help of an old magician he has caught many knights and ladies and taken them to this castle. Here they were changed into birds and beasts. 24

Some time ago a beautiful young lady, a duke's daughter, was caught by the magician in her father's garden. Then in the castle he changed her into a white dog."

Jack gave the old man his hand, and said, "In the morning I'll try to free the lady."

The old man said, "Many knights have tried to break the enchantment and save her, but all were killed by two dreadful griffins which guard the castle gate. 25 The griffins kill everyone who comes near. But you, my son, have your invisible coat and you can pass them and they will not see you. When you come to. the gate of the castle, you will read on the stone of the gate how to break the enchantment."

In the morning Jack got up and put on his invisible coat, his magic cap and his shoes of swiftness. When he reached the top of the mountain, he saw the dreadful griffins there, but Jack passed them, for they could not see him. Jack walked up to the gate and found a golden trumpet hanging from a silver chain, 26 and read on the stone of the gate these words:

Whoever shall this trumpet blow,

Shall cause the giant's overthrow,

And break the black enchantment. 27

When Jack read these words, he seized the trumpet and blew it. At once the gate opened and the castle trembled. The giant and the magician trembled too, but they trembled with fear. 28 The giant lifted his club, but Jack at one blow 29 cut off his head. And the magician was carried off by the wind.

Then the enchantment was broken, and all the birds and beasts were changed into lords and ladies again, and the castle disappeared in a cloud of smoke. 30

The next day Jack and the knights and ladies he had freed went to King Arthur's court. Then King Arthur ordered the duke to marry his daughter to honest and brave Jack. So they were married, and the whole country was filled with joy at the wedding. The king gave Jack a beautiful castle, and he and his lady lived there in great joy and happiness for many, many years.

 

 

1 Cornwall — Корнуолл (полуостров на юго-западе Англии)

2 So he got a horn, a spade, and a pick — Итак, он раздобыл рожок, лопату и кирку

3 away from the mouth of the cave — подальше от входа в пещеру

4 How dare you come here to disturb my rest? — Как посмел ты прийти сюда и нарушить мой покой?

5 to revenge himself on Jack — отомстить Джеку

6 Wales - Уэльс (полуостров на западе Великобритании)

7 and made a strong loop at the end of each — и завязал на конце каждой (веревки) надежную петлю

8 were almost starved to death — были на грани голодной смерти

9 a Welsh giant — уэльский великан

10 Хоть лег ты на мою кровать,

С кровати той тебе не встать —

По ней дубье пойдет плясать!

(Перевод М. Клягиной-Кондратъевой)

11 a long, thick piece of wood — длинное толстое бревно

12 laughing in his sleeve — посмеиваясь про себя (букв, смеясь в рукав)

13 Nothing but a rat, which gave me two or three slaps with her tail.— Вот только крыса раза два задела меня хвостом.

14 he put a large leather bag under his loose coat — он сунул большой кожаный мешок под свою просторную куртку

15 from the enchantments of a wicked magician — от чар (колдовства) злого волшебника

16 to break the enchantments — разрушить чары

17 to rid the country of giants — избавить страну от великанов

18 his hair was like curled snakes — его волосы были похожи на извивающихся змей

19 a boiling copper — кипящий медный котел

20 equally among all the captives — поровну между пленниками

21 was surrounded by a deep moat — был окружен глубоким рвом с водой

22 to cut through this bridge on both sides, nearly to the middle — подрубить мост с боков почти у самой середины

23 you are welcome — добро пожаловать

24 they were changed into birds and beasts — их превратили в птиц и зверей

25 but all were killed by two dreadful griffins which guard the castle gate — но все были уничтожены двумя страшными грифонами, которые охраняют ворота замка

26 a golden trumpet hanging from a silver chain — золотую трубу, которая висела на серебряной цепи

27 Кто в золотую трубу подует,

Тот страшный замок расколдует;

Свирепый великан умрет,

И к людям счастье вновь придет.

(Перевод М. Клягиной-Кондратъевой)

28 trembled with fear — задрожали от страха

29 at one blow — одним ударом

30 the castle disappeared in a cloud of smoke — замок исчез в клубах дыма

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