Gunner and Boatswain, The
DESCRIPTION: Boatswain and gunner meet. They agree that the next man they meet will decide which is most evil. It is the devil; he weighs them in his balance and says "I think you are... both for me"
EARLIEST DATE: 1856 (Thompson-Pioneer)
KEYWORDS: accusation wager humorous sailor Devil
FOUND IN: US(MA)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Thompson-Pioneer 89, "The Gunner and Boatswain" (1 text)
NOTES [147 words]: Thompson-Pioneer: "This humorous ballad is so fragmentary that the story is not clear. It seems to be a trial of the honesty of two men, with the devil acting as judge." Possibly it belongs among the tests of truth with [TMI] Motif group H 226, ordeal by balance [Defendant is weighed twice. He must be lighter second time; Stith Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature revised and enlarged by Stith Thompson, Indiana University Press, 1955 (Motif-Index of Folk-Literature on CDROM, Intelex Corporation, 1992). TMI example is from Penzer, The Pentamerone of Giambittista Basile, V.iii [?] 195 n.3]" While checking Thompson I looked for applicable motifs for "scales" or "judgment" or "balance" or "wager" and found no hits. Moreover, I looked at Hans-Jorg Uther, The Types of International Folktales, Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 2004 and found no relevant tale types either. - BS
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